[b-hebrew] Genesis 1:2 - And the earth was without form, and void

Karl Randolph kwrandolph at email.com
Sun Apr 16 21:20:27 EDT 2006


There is reading the text, and there is 
interpreting the text.

Among some my Jewish colleagues here, there is 
Pshat, Remez, Drush and Sod interpretations of the 
text. They would claim that I give priority to 
Pshat interpretations.

What we discuss here is the reading of the text, 
not the interpretations. For example, the 
secularist will interpret the text of Genesis 1 
completely differently than a Christian literalist. 
The secularist will bring in his theories of the 
Yahwist, Elohimist, redaktor and priestly strains 
found in the text. The literalist will reject those 
theories as a bunch of ..... . Then there are those 
who try to make the whole a type of parable or 
something like that. What we try to do here is 
merely to give the linguistic reading of what the 
text says, not the various interpretations that 
different people have.

Then you bring in findings from outside the text. 
That can be problematic. For example, you mention 
the frozen animals found in Siberia and Alaska. 
Most Christian literalists believe those are the 
detritus left behind by the world wide flood that 
Noah lived through, or possibly a later event, such 
as what may have happened during the long day of 
Joshua. You seem to have a different read on them 
than most Christian literalists. I am not here on 
this list to say that you are wrong (though I may 
think that privately), rather that you are bringing 
in an interpretation from outside the text itself.

In closing, I don't want to get into a long winded 
discussion of various interpretations of the text 
on this list, rather to limit myself to the reading 
according to linguistic principles. Interpreting is 
to be left to after the text has been analyzed.

Yours respectfully, Karl W. Randolph.

> ----- Original Message -----
> From: Revdpickrel at wmconnect.com
> In a message dated 4/15/2006 7:22:03 PM Central Daylight Time,
> kwrandolph at email.com writes:
> > The text of Genesis 1 says that darkness preceded the light. Then 
> > for two days the light came from ...?? The text does not say. 
> > From the third day and later it came from the sun. Isaiah 45:7 is 
> > a poetic statement, not one that give the order of creation.
> To properly understand biblical text you must compare Scripture to Scripture.
>   What sometimes seems out of place or as "figurative language" really goes
> with another passage somewhere else.  God gave us His record, not in
> chronological order but to different people in visions and night 
> dreams and they reported
> what they saw.  Now then its up to us to work at putting these things
> together.  If you're to quick to judge you miss something very critical.
> I believe God created the heaven and the earth just as it report in Genesis
> 1.  I don't believe it was created in any other condition other then complete
> in totality, not lifeless and still, not invisible and unfurnished, but
> complete with life and everything that goes with that.
> Yes, I believe by comparing Scripture to Scripture that a form of man existed
> on earth in Genesis 1:1, not a man like us created in the image of God but a
> man nevertheless, and animals, oh yes, those prehistoric creatures as well,
> dragons, etc.
> Now I believe from Scripture that about one third of the heavenly host that
> God had created lived upon the earth at that time, and their 
> leader, one of the
> arch angels decided to lift himself above the recesses of the north and above
> the Throne of God and that resulted in heavenly war at which time God came
> clothed in darkness and defeated this rebel and secured him in the deep.
> Many of the prophets saw these in visions, Isaiah, Jeremiah, Haggi, and so
> forth.  But we dismiss these visions as "figurative language" and never match
> them to their proper place in Scripture and miss the full picture.
> You see, God in his anger shook the earth nearly six thousand years ago and
> Isaiah said He emptied it, turned it upside down.  We know this is 
> true because
> there has been discoveries of tropical fish and animals frozen with tropical
> food still in their stomachs.
> I admire you for reading your Hebrew Tanakh, but reading it isn't enough if
> you don't understand what you're reading and dismiss important messages as
> "figurative language".
> The OT does gives many shadows and types and these are there to teach us
> something.  A parable is a story that teaches a truth, so 
> 'figurative language' is
> teaching a truth.  You need to figure out what that truth is.  And that is
> done by comparing Scripture to Scripture, and spiritual things to spiritual
> things.
> Doug.
> Rev. Doug Pickrel, Litt.D.
> Tejas Valley
> San Antonio, Texas


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