Re: higher criticism

From: Lawrence Johnston (
Date: Tue Oct 08 2002 - 10:53:10 EDT

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    David --- Touche'!

      I wonder, did the Higher Critics of Scripture evolve the
    technique of the "Just So Story" by themselves, or did they
    borrow it from the Evolutionary Biologists? Or could it have
    been the other way around? Or, as the Cladists would have us
    include, was it an example of Convergent Evolution? In any case,
    we should never lack a Naturalistic explanation for its Origin.

    Thanks to you David, and to Ed Clowney.

    Larry Johnston
    Date sent: Mon, 7 Oct 2002 17:46:00 -0400
    From: "bivalve" <>
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    Subject: higher criticism

    > >From Edmund P. Clowney, 1960, Eutychus.
    > The original source material which follows shows the value of a
    > scholarly interpretation of a familiar text:
    > Humpty-Dumpty sat on an wall.
    > Humpty-Dumpty had a great fall.
    > We need not stop to discuss the critical questions which surround
    > this classical text. It is generally understood by modern scholars
    > to be a conflation of H and D. The Humptyist (H) may well have
    > written ¤Humpty sat on a wall.Ë The original Deutero-Dumptyist (D2)
    > probably had the reading ¤Dumpty had a fall.Ë A later redactor,
    > acquainted with both traditions, and struck by the rhyming
    > possibilities (Humpty/Dumpty; wall/fall) joined the conflicting
    > accounts in a couplet. the adjective ¤greatË is almost certainly a
    > later gloss, which may be traced to lapsarian circles in Great Falls,
    > Minnesota. The formgeschichtlich school traces the term to a
    > sitz-im-kindergarten which favored exaggeration and legendary
    > embellishment, but this has now been decisively rejected by I. E.
    > Hohlkopfig (Z. A. G. XCMIII: 4, p. 116).
    > Our primary interest, however, is not in the vicissitudes of history
    > which led to the challenging statement of the text. The fascinating
    > speculations of Glowinkel linking our couplet with the festival of
    > the Easter egg roll cannot be commented upon here. We pass over the
    > moralizing and allegorizing that many have found in C. Dodgson,
    > Through the Looking-Glass (Ch. I, ¤Humpty-DumptyË).
    > Instead, we turn to the simple declaration of the text. to be sure,
    > the literal picture of an animate egg in a sitting posture on a stone
    > wall is absurd from the scientific standpoint, for it escapes
    > scientific categories. This fall did not occur in calendar time, but
    > in the egg╠s act time, oval history. It gives mythological
    > expression to the human predicament. as the Monarchist observes in
    > those existential lines which he has added in conclusion:
    > All the king╠s horses and all the king╠s men
    > Couldn╠t put Humpty-Dumpty in his place again.

    "He has made everything beautiful in its time. He has also set
      eternity in the hearts of men" - - Ecclesiastes 3:11, NIV trans

    Lawrence H. Johnston home:917 E. 8th st.
    professor of physics, emeritus Moscow, Id 83843
    University of Idaho (208) 882-2765
    Fellow of the American Physical Society =========

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