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Switch to Forum Live View Genesis and genre determination
5 years ago  ::  May 23, 2013 - 6:49PM #1
amcolph
Posts: 20,246
Here are a couple of posts that FivePointDad did not get a chance to respond to before they were buried in spam:


May 23, 2013 -- 10:08AM, five_point_dad wrote:


You can believe that the garden story is 100% accurate literal history if you like.  However, even if it is, it has all the earmarks of an etiological folktale--a "Just So" story.


With highly anthropomorphised non-human characters, magical trees, puns and other wordplay, an overall dramatic construction clearly crafted for oral transmission, it might as well begin "Once upon a time..."


YEC insistance that the story can only be literal history deserves some justification.





May 22, 2013 -- 10:06AM, JRT wrote:



If we look at the second creation story in Genesis what we actually read is a coming of age story not an original sin story. In the allegory mankind is created in a totally innocent state. Not having eaten of the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil, mankind is incapable of sin. Capable of making a mistake? Certainly! But not to sin until they have eaten of the tree. By now knowing good from evil, mankind has thus graduated from a totally naive animal existance into a fully self aware state capable of making moral decisions. In this sense it is not only a coming of age stort but also an evolution story.




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5 years ago  ::  May 23, 2013 - 9:08PM #2
five_point_dad
Posts: 4,719

May 23, 2013 -- 6:49PM, amcolph wrote:

Here are a couple of posts that FivePointDad did not get a chance to respond to before they were buried in spam:


May 23, 2013 -- 10:08AM, five_point_dad wrote:


You can believe that the garden story is 100% accurate literal history if you like.  However, even if it is, it has all the earmarks of an etiological folktale--a "Just So" story.


With highly anthropomorphised non-human characters, magical trees, puns and other wordplay, an overall dramatic construction clearly crafted for oral transmission, it might as well begin "Once upon a time..."


YEC insistance that the story can only be literal history deserves some justification.





May 22, 2013 -- 10:06AM, JRT wrote:



If we look at the second creation story in Genesis what we actually read is a coming of age story not an original sin story. In the allegory mankind is created in a totally innocent state. Not having eaten of the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil, mankind is incapable of sin. Capable of making a mistake? Certainly! But not to sin until they have eaten of the tree. By now knowing good from evil, mankind has thus graduated from a totally naive animal existance into a fully self aware state capable of making moral decisions. In this sense it is not only a coming of age stort but also an evolution story.






AMCOLPH: May 23, 2013 -- 10:08AM, five_point_dad wrote:You can believe that the garden story is 100% accurate literal history if you like.  However, even if it is, it has all the earmarks of an etiological folktale--a "Just So" story.

 

FPD:  I didn't write this it was written to me.  I would be interested in the authors understanding of what constitutes the "earmarks" of an etiological folktale" and where were those earmarks found? 

AMCOLPH: With highly anthropomorphised non-human characters, magical trees, puns and other wordplay, an overall dramatic construction clearly crafted for oral transmission, it might as well begin "Once upon a time..."


FPD: This was merely the expression of an opinion.  I don't know that anyone needs to comment on it.  There is no reason expressed or history of this opinion.


AMCOLPH:  YEC insistance that the story can only beliteral history deserves some justification.  

FPD: Justification like what?  The days of creation in the Hebraic idiom have ordinals with them.  I am not aware of any ancient Hebrew writing where that specific combination doesn't mean a literal day.  One of the seven days of creation was the Sabbath which was always regarded by the Hebrews as a literal day.  Why would it be different in duration from the other days in creation?  Each day of creation had an evening and a morning.  It is significant that the evening was mentioned first as the pre-exilic Jews regard the beginning of a new day at sunset. 




AMCOLPH:  May 22, 2013 -- 10:06AM, JRT wrote:  If we look at the second creation story in Genesis what we actually read is a coming of age story not an original sin story. In the allegory mankind is created in a totally innocent state. Not having eaten of the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil, mankind is incapable of sin. Capable of making a mistake? Certainly! But not to sin until they have eaten of the tree. By now knowing good from evil, mankind has thus graduated from a totally naive animal existance into a fully self aware state capable of making moral decisions. In this sense it is not only a coming of age stort but also an evolution story.

 

FPD: I responded to this individual and asked how he/she knew this information and I'm still waiting for a response.  Semetic writing customarily repeated the narrative of an event adding more and more detail.  That pattern is evident in several OT passages.  In the customary literature of that culture, the creation narrative is told several times with added details, nothing unusual.   What this post was, once again, was simply stating an opinion.  In this case, it was stating an opinion without any references, I would be interested in knowing the reasoning behind it. 

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5 years ago  ::  May 23, 2013 - 9:33PM #3
upsala81
Posts: 2,733
FPD,

No one is suggesting that in Genesis 1 the word for day doesn't mean 24 hour day.  The whole how long was a day then, maybe a billion years misses the point. What you don't comprehend is that it is a story, a mythological piece that describes how the God of the Jews created the heavens and the earth,  not the false gods of other peoples.

If I wanted to write a little story on what a Pastor does in a week. On the first day he wrote his sermon,  on the second day he visited the nursing home, I will of course use day to mean 24 hours.  Does it matter that literally the Pastor wrote his sermon on Monday, maybe it's his day off?  But the point is that this is what a Pastor does, in the story I'd include everything a Pastor does, but is that week an historical recount of a particular week? No. Does it matter? No. Because it describes the work of a Pastor so that those who read it will understand.
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5 years ago  ::  May 24, 2013 - 9:02AM #4
amcolph
Posts: 20,246

FPD:


I thought it was clear that we were talking about the second creation story, Gen 2:4-24--the "Garden" story.  The meaning of yom doesn't come into it.


What was presented to you were two mainstream and unremarkable takes on the Garden story.  Any seminary student will have been introduced to and discussed interpretations like these, if only to deplore and reject them. What I want to know is why you reject them.


Why is the Garden story not the etiological folktale it appears to be?  We're talking garden-variety literary scholarship here.  I shouldn't have to give a person with your level of education "references" for this kind of thing.


Likewise with JRT's reading of the story, which goes all the way back to Midrash. You reject it; what did they teach you in seminary about why it should be rejected?


I was hoping for more from you than feigned incredulity.


  


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5 years ago  ::  May 24, 2013 - 8:52PM #5
five_point_dad
Posts: 4,719

AMCOLPH: I thought it was clear that we were talking about the second creation story, Gen 2:4-24--the "Garden" story.  The meaning of yom doesn't come into it.


FPD: And I thought I made it clear that there is no "second" creation story.  The ancient Hebraic style of writing was to repeat a description and add more facts which is what the opening of Genesis is.  That same idiomatic writing is found in many OT passages. 


AMCOLPH: What was presented to you were two mainstream and unremarkable takes on the Garden story.  Any seminary student will have been introduced to and discussed interpretations like these, if only to deplore and reject them. What I want to know is why you reject them.


FPD: Again, I answered that question.  My belief in the inspiration, inerrancy, and infallibility of Scripture.  The grammar undoubtedly presents a literal six days of creation, the Sabbath was one of those days and it has always been regarded as a literal day, and each of the creation days has an evening and a morning.  Perhaps what is more important is the fact that the Lord Jesus spoke of Adam of Eve as real human beings and no models or imaginations. 


AMCOLPH: Why is the Garden story not the etiological folktale it appears to be?  We're talking garden-variety literary scholarship here.  I shouldn't have to give a person with your level of education "references" for this kind of thing.


FPD: Again, I responded to that.  What was the questioner using as his/her defintion of "etiological folktale" and how, in his opinion, does the creation account comply with such a standard? 


AMCOLPH:  Likewise with JRT's reading of the story, which goes all the way back to Midrash. You reject it; what did they teach you in seminary about why it should be rejected?


FPD:  The midrash is a commentary, it's actually a commentary on a commentary and no one--but no one--regards it as inspired or inerrant Scripture.  It is merely someone's opinion. 

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5 years ago  ::  May 24, 2013 - 9:57PM #6
upsala81
Posts: 2,733
FPD,

There are do many differences between Genesis 1 and 2, including the order of creation and the basic message, purpose and vocabulary that serious scholars have determined that each story is from a different tradition, time and author.

And please show me an instance in the Hebrew Scriptures that a whole story is repeated,  not just a verse or two or chiastic structure which the two stories do not employ.
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5 years ago  ::  May 25, 2013 - 5:19AM #7
Blü
Posts: 26,191

five point dad


the ancient Hebraic style of writing was to repeat a description and add more facts which is what the opening of Genesis is.


Are you saying that just one single author wrote Genesis?


Are you saying that the single author did an outline and then later did a revision?


Are you saying that the single author was Moses?


I hope not, since such notions are jarringly out of step with modern evidence based biblical scholarship and techniques of textual criticism.


And are you familiar with the growing archeological evidence against there having been an historical Moses?


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5 years ago  ::  May 25, 2013 - 7:54AM #8
rsielin
Posts: 4,997

May 25, 2013 -- 5:19AM, Blü wrote:

I hope not, since such notions are jarringly out of step with modern evidence based biblical scholarship and techniques of textual criticism.


And are you familiar with the growing archeological evidence against there having been an historical Moses?


Just as creationists don't give a rats tail about compelling scientific evidence, they certainly won't give a rats tail about any Biblical scholarship that conflicts with the answer they cling to. Scholarship is the least of their interests; arrogant selfish salvation is their only motivation. 


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5 years ago  ::  May 26, 2013 - 10:37AM #9
amcolph
Posts: 20,246

May 24, 2013 -- 8:52PM, five_point_dad wrote:



FPD:  The ancient Hebraic style of writing was to repeat a description and add more facts which is what the opening of Genesis is.  That same idiomatic writing is found in many OT passages.



Can you give me another example of this kind of writing in which the literary style of the reprise is so different from the initial account?


I thought I made it clear that there is no "second" creation story.



Many reputable Bible scholars read them as two different stories by two different authors.


But I am not interested in arguing the point with you.  What I am interested in is discovering why it is important to you that they not be two different stories.


AMCOLPH: What was presented to you were two mainstream and unremarkable takes on the Garden story.  Any seminary student will have been introduced to and discussed interpretations like these, if only to deplore and reject them. What I want to know is why you reject them.


FPD: Again, I answered that question.  My belief in the inspiration, inerrancy, and infallibility of Scripture.  The grammar undoubtedly presents a literal six days of creation, the Sabbath was one of those days and it has always been regarded as a literal day, and each of the creation days has an evening and a morning. 


AMCOLPH: Why is the Garden story not the etiological folktale it appears to be?  We're talking garden-variety literary scholarship here.  I shouldn't have to give a person with your level of education "references" for this kind of thing.


FPD: Again, I responded to that.  What was the questioner using as his/her defintion of "etiological folktale" and how, in his opinion, does the creation account comply with such a standard? 


AMCOLPH:  Likewise with JRT's reading of the story, which goes all the way back to Midrash. You reject it; what did they teach you in seminary about why it should be rejected?


FPD:  The midrash is a commentary, it's actually a commentary on a commentary and no one--but no one--regards it as inspired or inerrant Scripture.  It is merely someone's opinion. 




I think it interesting that whenever you meet with an interpretation of scripture different from your own you dismiss it as "one person's opinion" even when it is the fruit of a large body of scholarship.  Have you really never heard of these ideas before?  Or is it just a rhetorical device you like to employ?


I indicated some of the features which suggest that the Garden story is an etiology, and I mentioned Midrash not because I am so ignorant as to take it for inspired scripture as you imply, but to inform you that JRT's take on Genesis was not just his own opinion.


Perhaps what is more important is the fact that the Lord Jesus spoke of Adam of Eve as real human beings and no models or imaginations.



That is the weakest apologetic in the YEC arsenal.  It is an insult to the intelligence of anyone you try to persuade with it.  Please do not mention it again.




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5 years ago  ::  May 30, 2013 - 4:58PM #10
vra
Posts: 7,467

May 24, 2013 -- 8:52PM, five_point_dad wrote:


FPD: And I thought I made it clear that there is no "second" creation story.  The ancient Hebraic style of writing was to repeat a description and add more facts which is what the opening of Genesis is.  That same idiomatic writing is found in many OT passages.


 


Sometimes true and sometimes not.  Theologians typically use the term "variations" without jumping to conclusions one way or another.  The order of Gen,1:1 and 2:4 is different, plus the choice of words seems to suggest different authors. 


FPD:  The grammar undoubtedly presents a literal six days of creation, the Sabbath was one of those days and it has always been regarded as a literal day, and each of the creation days has an evening and a morning.  Perhaps what is more important is the fact that the Lord Jesus spoke of Adam of Eve as real human beings and no models or imaginations.




Sometimes "yom" is used for an unspecific period of time, such as "a thousand years is but a day in the eyes of G-d". 


FPD:  The midrash is a commentary, it's actually a commentary on a commentary and no one--but no one--regards it as inspired or inerrant Scripture.  It is merely someone's opinion. 




It's a moot point since the midrashim deal with commentaries from sages that have spent much of their life studying Torah and Tanakh.  Often opinions would vary on many different topics, which should be easy to understand if one has ever been involved with Bible study within a group.


In Judaism, we don't have a creed, plus the fact is that we tend to let individuals decide for themselves as to what they may get out of any narrative.  Also, we have never been literalists, thus looking for "the meaning behind the words" was always what we tried to do.  IOW, what was the author really trying to tell us?


And the issue of Adam and Eve being referred to in other parts of scripture as if they were literal people should not be a surprise since it is common for the authors to take a narrative and run with it.


When it became obvious that there has been an evolutionary process, we generally had no problem accepting this, especially since our "drift" has long been "if a particular interpretation defies reason, go with reason and look for alternative interpretations". 


Finally, let me remind all that the Genesis accounts were written by Jews for Jews from a Jewish paradigm.  Not only have we been dealing with our sriptures for many centuries, we well know the "rules" with how they were written and how we can begin to go about interpreting them.  One thing we have long known: certainty of any given interpretation is generally to be avoided.       

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