[b-hebrew] Re: Re: Ex 20:11 extent of time
peterkirk at qaya.org
Fri Feb 18 15:24:11 EST 2005
On 18/02/2005 18:16, C. Stirling Bartholomew wrote:
>It is one thing to suggest the dubious "for six days" as a rendering of
>$$t-ymyM, it is another thing to proceed to cosmological speculation on the
>basis of that dubious rendering. It was this second move that I was
>The is a standard pulpit technique. You call into question a standard
>English translation. You suggest a dubious alternative. Then you construct
>an even more dubious exegetical and hermeneutical edifice on the dubious
>translation alternative. This is all vapor (fog). Only the first move has
>anything to do with Hebrew and the first move as C admits isn't a sound one.
>So why proceed to the second move?
Clay, you misunderstand me. I was certainly not indulging in
cosmological speculation. And it was not me who called into question the
standard English translation. Although this is in fact proper scholarly
technique - there are plenty of theological edifices built on
questionable English and other translations which need to be reexamined.
In fact I was examining in a bit more detail C's dubious hypothesis that
the phrase means "for six days" rather than "in six days", i.e. that the
end of the six day period does not imply the completion of the creation
process. What could this mean? That the creation was left unfinished?
Unlikely. That God repeatedly (any number of times from 2 upward, in
principle even to billions) worked six days on, one day off? Well, I can
imagine Israelites having that concept, with the number of times
unknown. But it does conflict with Genesis 1. So no one can say that I
am trying to reconcile the Bible with any cosmology, only to point out
that this one passage just might be less definite on the issue than it
appears to be at first sight and from English translations. On the other
hand, I agree with C that the traditional understanding is more likely.
peter at qaya.org (personal)
peterkirk at qaya.org (work)
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