Re: analysis & synthesis (Was Hyers' Dinosaur Religion ...)

From: Graham E. Morbey <>
Date: Mon Feb 23 2004 - 11:06:41 EST

It may be Don, that Genesis got its (almost?) final form and editing at
the time of the Exile. This would imply that there were several other
documents, perhaps, in circulation. Oral traditions, etc. Living in
Exile may have been a providential time to gather and reflect. I agree
with you that the people had traditions and even writings about Creation
much earlier than the Exile! It is the finished text (canon) that
scholars tried to get behind in the18th and 19th and 20th and
21centuries with a lot of cutting and pasting (sometimes with less
inclination to consider it Word of God). An influential Christian
critique of this type of literary criticism then became interested in
dating material and trying to show that it was "all of one piece"
playing down the human work of collecting, assembling, ordering,
researching, checking , etc. Thus developed a rather sterile historical
and grammatical handling of the text so far as its meaning and meanings
were concerned. Much present day biblical scholarship takes the canon
as is and is interested in the literary genres, and rich and surprising
usages of language, analogies, metaphors, allegories, etc. This is no
threat to Christian faith, only a demonstration of the richness,
diversity and power of "God's Word."


Don Winterstein wrote:

> William Hamilton wrote:
> "I do have a problem with the idea that Genesis 1 was written during the
> exile."
> Even if Genesis was written so late, it's inconceivable that the
> nation could have flourished for so long without an account of
> origins. Going without would be something like living in a vacuum. I
> have yet to learn of a tribe or people that did not have a
> well-developed myth of origins. The natives of New Guinea had (have)
> such myths (which seem to have varied a lot from tribe to tribe, as a
> sculpture garden at Stanford U. graphically illustrates), and so did
> the Australian aborigines, etc., etc. By analogy it's almost certain
> that the Israelites had such a well-developed account of origins, and
> I think it's safe to assume further that it dated from the time of the
> patriarchs even if it wasn't fully fleshed out or written down then.
> Don
Received on Mon Feb 23 11:07:21 2004

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