Exegesis or Eisegesis?

From: Peter Ruest (pruest@pop.mysunrise.ch)
Date: Thu Dec 27 2001 - 14:09:46 EST

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    Dick Fischer wrote:
    > Peter Ruest wrote:
    > > > Doesn't Scripture
    > > > tell us He creates [bara'] individual human beings (Is. 43:7), who are
    > > > fathered and borne by natural procreation?
    > The "bara" you refer to pertains to "Israel" (Isa. 43:1), descendant from
    > Adam, who was created (bara) in "the image of God." Generic human
    > beings, outside of Israel, not descendant from Adam, are not included
    > in this verse. This has been the tendency for Christian apologists,
    > extending to all of humanity what was written for only one nation.

    Dick, I agree that Is. 43:7 belongs in the context of vv.1 ff. which
    speak of the people of Israel. In my above argument, I made a shortcut.
    In a more complete form, it would read:

    Is. 43 deals with God's promise to graciously redeem his people Israel
    from the diaspora. In v.1, the entire nation is collectively named by
    the name of its patriarch Jacob/Israel, using the singular, yet the
    whole context indicates that many future individuals of the people of
    Israel are meant. So, in vv.5-7, God says he will gather his sons and
    his daughters (of the people of Israel dispersed among the nations),
    namely "every one who is called by my name, whom I created [bara'] for
    my glory, whom I formed [yatsar] and made [^asah]." Thus, terms for
    God's activity used in Genesis 1-2 are here applied to many individuals
    of the people of Israel (I suspect it might refer to believing ones
    especially, as God refers to them as his sons and daughters).

    In a further step, I extended to all humans the idea that God created
    them individually. As it is clear that all of them are born by "natural"
    means, yet the unique term bara' is used, I conclude that what is unique
    and fundamentally new in each individual human is what is meant here.
    This, of course, applies to Israelites as well as others. It has its
    parallel in Gen. 1:26-27, where God both "made" [^asah] and "created"
    [bara'] humans, the first term presumably referring to their "natural"
    evolution, the second to their being created in God's image, i.e. a
    fundamentally new, spiritual dimension (the third term "form" [yatsar]
    is then used in Gen. 2:7, with the calling of Adam for his special

    If you don't accept the extension to all humans, this doesn't affect the
    argument itself, which I gave to just indicate that God has an active
    hand in creating the personality of _individual_ humans (or Israelites),
    not just the human species collectively, or all of creation as a whole
    evolving system.


    Dr Peter Ruest, <pruest@dplanet.ch>
    CH-3148 Lanzenhaeusern, Switzerland
    Biochemistry - Creation and evolution
    Creative providence in biology (Gen.2:3):
    "..the work which God created (in order) to (actively) evolve it"

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