Walter Hicks wrote:
> > I'd probably agree with this, with the quick comment that "history" to the
> > ancient Hebrews is not to be equated with "history" to a 21st century mind.
> Let me suggest that the 21st century mind is then using _external_
> factors to force fit a theory into the Bible which was never intended by
> the writers (and was therefore never looked upon as such _until_ the
> 21st century)
OK, assume for the sake of argument that Gen.1:1-2:4a was thought of by
its human author as history - i.e., as an account of things that actually
happened. & assume the same for Gen.2.4b-25.
But what about the final redactor or editor of Genesis - the person
who put these
manifestly different accounts down side by side? Did that person think of the
whole of Gen.1-2 as an accurate account of things that actually happened?
Maybe. But it seems pretty clear that that final editor thought of
history in a way quite different from the assumptions of modern
none of who would simply put two accounts like those together with no
their differences or attempts at harmonization. But in Genesis there
is simply no
sign of the type of thing that conservative interpreters want to do
the two accounts. They're just there - take it or leave it.
& this is by no means the only example in the Bible. There
examples other examples in the Bible of different accounts of the
same thing which
are not, let us say, easily reeconcilable as straightforward
but are simply set down together without any attempt to clean up the
E.g., in I Sam.16:14-23 Saul has come to know David and "loved him well" but in
16:55-58 he doesn't know him at all.
Now spare me the harmonizations because the point is that those who put
the biblical writings in their final form apparently weren't at all
such an activity. They were content to leave such accounts unharmonized. So
perhaps we should consider the possibility that their understanding
of history &
historical writing was quite different from ours.
& lest anyone be put off by my reference to "editors" or
that my argument does not really depend on these concepts. In fact, if both
Genesis accounts were written by Moses the difference between the
biblical way of
looking at history & ours would, if anything, be even clearer.
George L. Murphy
"The Science-Theology Interface"
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