The 24 hour "evening and mornings" ???

Michael Hildenbrand hildenbr at Haas.Berkeley.EDU
Tue Aug 29 12:14:28 EDT 2000


Martin,
	Let me see if I am understanding you correctly.  If a text has
repetitions, it is not literal?  Counting makes it not literal?  So that
makes the phrase evening and morning not literal?  why only that
phrase?  Should we not take the term "God" as literal?  Surely it should
be taken in the context of an understanding of the Bible as a whole,
whether you understand it as P (written either in the 8th or 5th
centuries-depending on your source critical presupposition) or by Moses in
the 15th/14th centuries, this text *assumes* an understanding of the terms
used.  Surely we should understand the term "earth" as the same as was
understood in the rest of the Bible.  As well as the terms
"God," "man," "plants," and all of the other terms.  What criterion can we
develop to place a new understanding on particular terms?  We have to use
context first and formost to understand words.  The context here, as far
as the lexical understanding of the vocabulary, is consistent within
itself and within the rest of the Biblical corpus.  To argue that this
text is somehow special because it deals with a special situation is a
very short logical circle.  But I digress.
	Back to your original understanding.  If we go to other texts and
find repetitions and counting, does that make those texts not literal?

Michael


 On Mon, 28 Aug 2000, Martin Badenhorst wrote:

> Having watched for a long time - I'm pitching in.
> 
> There do appear some clues in the entire narrative structure that could mark
> it as not being literal:
> 
> Foremost is the repetitions which occur in the text. They have a quality
> comparable to good children's stories, which encourage memorization.
> 
> The second is the counting, which serves the same purpose, helping to
> associate the different elements of the narrative to each other. Think of
> counting songs like the Passover "Who knows the One?" with answer and
> refrain repeating the elements.
> 
> It is within this framework that the refrain of "it was evening, it was
> morning..." occurs.
> 
> I am of the opinion that these devices serve the same purpose as "once upon
> a time" in English. It marks the narrative as not having occured - thus the
> "once" is redundant. It also marks the narrative as not being a part of
> normal history, thus the "upon a time" signifies a legendary narrative not
> having to do with strict history. In other words, "once upon a time" alerts
> us to the fact that the following narrative has nothing to do with anything
> that ever happened - it in fact marks the exact contrary to that statement.
> 
> Greetings
> 
> Martin
> 
> =================
> Martin Badenhorst OP
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