Re: [asa]The Barr letter( request for some resources)

From: <>
Date: Tue Jun 19 2007 - 16:56:47 EDT

Quoting "D. F. Siemens, Jr." <>:

> On Tue, 19 Jun 2007 11:42:28 +1200 Don Nield <>
> writes:
> > I am returning to this ASA thread after locating my copy of Barr's
> > book
> > . I cite extracts from Barr's book below, between rows of 8's.
> > Barr is clearly of the opinion that both the YECs (as represented by
> > the
> > AiG people) and the OEC scientific concordists have at the outset
> > made a
> > category error. They have made a mistake in identifying the genre of
> >
> > Genesis 1:1-2:4b.
> > The OEC scientific concordists have also violated a basic
> > hermeneutical
> > principle -- that the meaning of a word should be ascertained in its
> >
> > context rather than invoking the full semantic range of the word.
> >
> > 88888888
> > James Barr, Escaping from Fundamentalism, SCM Press, 1984
> >
> > <snip>
> > p.135. [N]o one in the Bible said, and no one in ancient times in
> > Israel
> > supposed, that God had told, or revealed, or related the story that
> > now
> > stands as the first chapter of the Bible. It simply does not say in
> > the
> > Bible that the material in Gen. 1., of any of the narratives of
> > creation, is there because it was spoken or revealed by God. This
> > was
> > “Wisdom”, the product of men of faith who had observed the world
> > with
> > such means as they had and integrated into the story of creation
> > their
> > balanced judgment on numerous theological problems which had best
> > the
> > religion of Israel. By placing this account at the very start of the
> >
> > Bible they gave deservedly high importance to it. But they did not
> > regard it as direct divine revelation and nowhere did they say so.
> > <snip>
> I fear he has jumped to a conclusion too quickly. How often in the Wisdom
> books has "God said" been stated? Does he document his claim that this
> comes from the Wisdom tradition? I find the phrase noted of messages to
> patriarchs and prophets, from Genesis through Malachi. The unusual
> evening-morning sequence in Genesis 1 (and, if my memory serves, only one
> other place in the Hebrew scriptures) is compatible with the giving of
> visions, hence of its being revelation. So I don't think the problem is
> solved by Barr's claim. Beyond its apologetic purpose, there seem to be
> complications of interpretation.
> Dave

complication -- yes, not to mention that Jesus himself refers back to the
creation account (Mark 10:6) and uses it as authoritative to correct the

And furthermore ... while scholars may not accept this, most YECs think of God
as not only directly inspiring the Scriptures, but also overseeing their
compilation and the process of giving us our current canon. So when they read
in II Tim. 3:16 that "All Scripture is inspired..." they freely take that to
include Gen 1:1 to Rev. 22:21 even if the current canon as we know it didn't yet
exist (and indeed wasn't even completely written yet.) But since God is
overseeing it, temporal problems aren't problems at all. Scholars sneer. The
faithful take it as a matter of faith -- and are not impressed by the
scholarship assumptions. The chasm widens.

Having said that, though, Barr's point about correcting theology by using
theology (as early church fathers would have done prior to any geological
motivations) is well taken. And the framework theory ought to be supported in
exactly that way if it is to reach those not inclined.


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Received on Tue Jun 19 16:56:55 2007

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