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Carson-Newman to honor disputed author Ralph Elliott


JEFFERSON CITY, Tenn. (BP) The man whose view of biblical authority triggered an outcry among conservative Southern Baptists is being honored by Carson-Newman College as its 2005-06 distinguished alumnus.

Ralph Elliott, now living in Rochester, N.Y., will receive the award next April. He is a 1949 graduate of Carson-Newman, which is affiliated with the Tennessee Baptist Convention.

After teaching Hebrew at Southern Seminary, Elliott was enlisted in 1958 as one of the first faculty members of Midwestern Seminary where he taught Old Testament. In his book The Message of Genesis, published by Broadman Press imprint of the Baptist Sunday School Board in 1961, he denied the historicity of Adam and Eve, rejected the Genesis flood as worldwide and asserted that Sodom and Gomorrah were destroyed by natural causes.

Conservative, moderate and liberal sympathizers agree that his first book moved the debate over scriptural integrity to a national level in the Southern Baptist Convention.