Re: [asa] RE: Conrad Hyers essay [WAS: (much better than) Jonathan Wells essay

From: Ted Davis <>
Date: Thu Feb 01 2007 - 08:56:09 EST

Let me add to my comments recently, concerning Hyers and hermeneutics, the
following points.

(1) Hyers' essay is part one of two parts. The second part, "THe Narrative
Form of Genesis One," appeared in the next issue of the old JASA in Dec 84.
It is also on the ASA website, as far as I know. Reading the two parts
together (both of them based on his book, incidentally), it is abundantly
clear that Hyers holds the "framework" view of Genesis.

(2) The framework view can be used to support *either* an OEC *or* a TE
interpretation of Genesis. It can be coupled with assumpations/conclusions
about historicity or with assumptions/conclusions about non-historicity.
The OECs tend to do the former, the TEs tend to do the latter. The
framework view itself, IMO, does not settle that dispute. An example of an
OEC/historical framework view, which the authors themselves conceive of as a
type of "concordism," (their word), is the section on Framework in The
G3N3S1S Debate, ed. David Hagopian, which I have discussed here before.
They believe the Genesis creation story is making historical claims about
creation, human creation, and the fall. However, consistent with their
framework commitment, they deny that Genesis is chronological--a contrast
with (say) Hugh Ross or Bob Newman.

Hyers is an example of a TE/non-historical framework view, as far as I can
tell. Authors in this category tend to emphasize the ancient literary,
religious, and cultural context more than authors in the first category,
IMO. That is, they tend to see the form of the story being a "given" from
the existing genre of ancient near east cosmogonies, and the content being
revelational to the Hebrews.

An intermediate -- or perhaps I just can't tell -- approach would be the
excellent book by Henri Bloucher, In the Beginning.

(3) Theoretically, the framework view can also be consistent with a YEC
view--or, at least with a young earth and with creationist views of
humanity. B/c it denies the chronological nature of Genesis One, however,
the YECs denounce this view. This suggests to me that the literalness of
the days in sequence is even more important to the YECs than is their
commitment to the "young" earth itself, with all that implies about
evolution and death before the fall. Comments are invited.


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Received on Thu Feb 1 08:57:09 2007

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