Re: Black Sea Flood

From: george murphy (
Date: Sat May 04 2002 - 16:11:42 EDT

  • Next message: Walter Hicks: "Re: Black Sea Flood"

    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
    historiographers -
    none of who would simply put two accounts like those together with no
    comment on
    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
    in harmonizing
    the two accounts. They're just there - take it or leave it.
             & this is by no means the only example in the Bible. There
    are numerous
    examples other examples in the Bible of different accounts of the
    same thing which
    are not, let us say, easily reeconcilable as straightforward
    historical accounts
    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
    concerned with
    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
    "redactors", note
    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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