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

From: Terry M. Gray <>
Date: Thu Feb 01 2007 - 10:48:33 EST


As I was reading your post, I was formulating a response saying what
you said in the last paragraph. At bottom the framework view says
that the purpose of text is not chronology. That's different from
saying that it's not historical. I trust that even the most ardent
non-literalists believe that Genesis 1 teaches that God did create
the heavens and the earth--some time and in some order.

Consequently, the details of chronology must be worked out by other
means and thus could be consistent, as you say, with any of the major
views that claim scientific support.

Wouldn't it be nice if we could all agree that the framework view is
the proper interpretation and that the differences between us are
actually other theological issues (death before the fall, literalness
of genealogies, extent of the flood) or scientific issues (age of the
earth, common ancestry, evolvability of irreducible complexity,
etc.)? I'm guessing that that is actually the case and that the
exegesis of Genesis 1 is relatively minor issue overall.


On Feb 1, 2007, at 6:56 AM, Ted Davis wrote:

> 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
> 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.
> Ted
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Terry M. Gray, Ph.D.
Computer Support Scientist
Chemistry Department
Colorado State University
Fort Collins, CO 80523
(o) 970-491-7003 (f) 970-491-1801

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Received on Thu Feb 1 10:49:12 2007

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