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

Dave Washburn dwashbur at nyx.net
Tue Apr 25 18:47:09 EDT 2006

On Tuesday 25 April 2006 16:19, Harold Holmyard wrote:
> Dear Dave,
> >But that's not the point of the whole flood story.  The point is the death
> > of everything except those that caught the boat.  If you add up the whole
> > thing, the entire event took a full year.  But once again, that's not the
> > point. Again, I have no ax to grind here except trying to see what the
> > text says I should see.  And it sure appears to say that seasons etc. are
> > something new after this world-destroying event, else in the context of
> > the story there's no real reason to mention it.  Obviously, Your Mileage
> > May Vary.  But the above is reading something into the text that the text
> > itself doesn't discuss.  Noah and his family let all those stinky animals
> > out of the boat, get out and walk around, and realize they're the only
> > living humans left on earth.  There may even have been dead bodies
> > scattered from hither to yon, further smelling the place up.  Is the
> > question of seasons, hot and cold etc. really going to be the first thing
> > on their minds?  I rather doubt it.
> >
> >All that's assuming the story is literal, of course.  I say that before
> >someone pounces on me, because I really don't care one way or the other. 
> > I'm just looking to deal with the text as it stands, since that's what
> > working with biblical Hebrew is all about ;-)
> HH: The fact that I have never understood the text the way you are
> describing it is my first clue your interpretation is far from being
> intuitively obvious. On the other hand, you seem to overlook the real
> implications of Genesis 8:22 by isolating them from their nearest
> context, the Flood. God seems to be making a promise that there will be
> no more major upheavals to the earth such as the Flood, upheavals that
> overthrow mundane realities of seedtime and harvest, hot and cold,
> summer and winter, and day and night. These uniformitarian expectations
> of life will not be disappointed until the end of the earth. There will
> not be anything comparable to the Flood.

Since we seem to have reached an impasse on the topic, I'm going to bow out.  
I don't actually come at it from the POV you attribute to me, though I have 
been sort of arguing from that angle in my past few posts.  Every so often I 
like to take a position like that and see where it goes.  I've heard the 
so-called "canopy theory" many times, and as you know, that's what the view 
I've been presenting is based on.  Like many such theories, I can take it or 
leave it.  The main reason I picked it up in this thread is because I felt 
that some (I don't think you were one of them) had sort of misrepresented or 
presented a sort of borderline caricature of it, and that sort of thing bugs 
me.  As I said before, I'm not a young-earth creationist; as an amateur 
astronomer, I have no problem acknowledging the millions of years it took for 
the light from some of our favorite stars to reach Earth.  But in a topic 
like this one where there frankly is no real solution, I like to see that all 
fairly reasonable views are represented accurately, hence my entry into the 
fray.  My own tentative view is really closer to yours than it is to the 
canopy view, but as always, it's subject to revision pending further 

Let me say that I appreciate the respectful and careful way that you've 
interacted with me, and I hope I have treated you the same way.

Dave Washburn
Encephaloriasis: That condition generated when the person you are dealing with 
is so stupid, you can actually feel your own brain cells drying up and 
flaking off.

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