claims of poetry&days of proc.
Sun, 15 Aug 1999 19:48:36 +0000

At 03:52 PM 08/15/1999 -0400, George Murphy wrote:
> When did I ever say that Genesis 1-11 is _poetry_? I never said that.
(You may
>admire my restraint in not shouting!)

And you may admire my restraint also. Maybe I have misunderstood you, or
maybe you have miscommunicated. But you have come very close to doing
precisely that as I read you.

On Sun, 08 Aug 1999 13:05:08 -0400

"The early chapters of Genesis, on the other hand, are different kinds of
accounts. They are true statements about God's relationship with the
world, but they are true in different ways than scientific or historical
narratives. The Bible contains a number of different types of literature -
history "as it really happened", poetry, fiction, myth, liturgies,
theological arguments, laws, &c. One has to learn to distinguish one from
the other, which isn't always an easy task."

This clearly says that the Early Genesis account isn't history (which you
consistently state) and logically, it then must be among poetry, fiction,
myth or liturgy or possibly some other unnamed form. It doesn't look like
liturgy, so is it poetry, fiction or myth or what?

On Mon, 09 Aug 1999 08:32:08 -0400 you approvingly quoted Jerome:

"1st, this statement is incorrect. Jerome said that the creation story is
"after the manner of a popular poet", & there was extensive use in the
early church of allegorical interpretation (which I am NOT recommending) of
Genesis as well as other texts. It was particularly with the Reformation
that the emphasis was placed on a single "literal" meaning - usually
understood to be historical narrative - of the biblical text."

I understood the parenthetical as referring to allegorical interpretation,
not to 'after the manner of a popular poet'.

Now, if that isn't at the very least leading the reader to believe that you
hold Genesis is poetry, then I am sorry for misunderstanding you.

IN another note you wrote:
>>Briefly, Genesis 1 describes
a sequence of commands & fulfillments, & external evidence (age of the
universe, temporal order of the origins of living things) tells against
reading either account as an accurate scientific description.>>

ONce again, your conclusion must rely upon the assumption that the Days of
Proclamation view has been ruled out. If you make Genesis 1 as a set or
proclamations made prior to the creation of the universe (with reports by
the editor about what then happened) then the order of the proclamations
doesn't need to match the order of fulfillment. Proclamation order and
fulfillment order are independent. Thus the lack of correspondence of the
proclamation order with the temporal order of fulfillment can not then
constitute evidence that Genesis is non-historical. Once again, as with
the conflicts between Genesis 1 and 2, the Days of Proclamation theory
avoids that kind of problem. (see Dallas Cain's IBRI report which is in
storage and I can't find the reference).

I agree with you that scientific data must be used to evaluate the views we
have of Genesis. But unless one can rule out a view like mine, they can't
use contradictions as evidence for non-historicity, which is what you are
doing. I have not accepted your assumption (that proclamation order =
fulfillment order) thus I am not trapped by your conclusion!


Foundation, Fall and Flood
Adam, Apes and Anthropology

Lots of information on creation/evolution