[b-hebrew] Gen 1 & Gen 2

K Randolph kwrandolph at gmail.com
Tue Oct 30 19:57:34 EDT 2007


On 10/30/07, George Athas <george.athas at moore.edu.au> wrote:
> Hi Karl!
> I'm familiar with the 'final toledoth' theory as opposed to the
> 'initial toledoth' theory. I don't think the 'final toledoth' theory
> fits the evidence as well as the 'initial toledoth' theory. I think
> you see this most clearly in the toledoth associated with Noah's name,
> as well as the fact that there is no toledoth formula at the end of
> the book.
But if you are looking for a toledoth formula at the beginning of the
stories, then there is none at the beginning of the book. Furthermore,
the final toledoth formula may not appear at the end of the book
because that section concerns history that happened around the time
that the final toledoth formula was being dropped and was written
around that time or later.

> Also, just to clarify, I was not arguing that Gen 1 and Gen 2 are
> conceptually or ideologically/theologically incompatible. Rather, I
> was arguing that they are literarily incompatible. That is, they deal
> with the same subject matter and have essentially the same agenda to
> convey (they are, after all, in the same book!), but they do it with
> two different stories. Gen 1 is a prologue to the rest of Genesis, and
> arguably to the whole Pentateuch.
I don't understand this paragraph, it sounds contradictory.

> Now, I for one am a passionate advocate of the non-consecutive
> interpretation of the wayyiqtol. However, the argument for Gen 2
> having a different storyline to Gen 1 goes beyond just the use of
> wayyiqtol verbs. An analysis of all the verb forms in Gen 2.4ff. as
> well as the active content conveyed by the verbs and other lexemes
> yields a very different 'story' to Gen 1. In other words, both the
> verb forms and deictic markers make for a storyline in Gen 2 which is
> different from Gen 1.
Isn't that what I just said? But even in the different stories, they
don't contradict?

> As such, I don't buy the 'wide angle' and 'zoomed in' views of Gen 1 &
> Gen 2. I would argue for a different explanatory analogy, such as
> different movements within the one musical piece, or distinct
> instrumental scores for different sections of an orchestra. I hope you
> see what I'm trying to get at.
No I don't see it. This reminds me more of some of the post-modernism
that I find objectionable elsewhere.

I would say that the different stories are more like scarfs in a board
to make it longer. And just as scarfs have a certain amount of overlap
for strength, so chapter 2:5 to the end of the chapter overlaps part
of the sixth day of chapter one, but its purpose is to set the stage
for chapter three, then chapter four through 5:2 make up the third and
final act of this three part narrative.

This is not a wide angle vs. zoomed in views, as that presumes the
same vantage point, rather it is the helicopter vs. the driver stuck
in the traffic: the helicopter sees the over all view, but can't see
into the cars; the driver can read the license plate numbers and can
see the expressions on the faces of his fellow drivers, but can't see
the bridge ahead because of the truck blocking his view. Furthermore,
the helicopter watched the traffic jam develop, but we don't hear from
the driver until he is well into the jam. How the two report the same
event is very different, but it is the same event.
> Best Regards,
> Moore Theological College (Sydney)
> 1 King St, Newtown, NSW 2042, Australia
> Ph: (+61 2) 9577 9774
We find a similar pattern in Genesis 5:3–6:9 which set the stage for
6:10–10:1—again there is a slight overlap where Noah bows out as the
narrator and had his sons take over.

What I've objected to in chapter two is that when the non-consecutive
interpretation of the wayyiqtol is a known phenomenon albeit a
minority event, that I am told that it is forbidden for me to say it
might have happened because it is a minority event. It is that ban
that is an addition to the text, and it is that ban that I object to,
especially when the context argues that we should go with the minority
position in this case. And if we allow the minority event, then there
is no contradiction between the first and second chapters.

Oh yes, the context has the final say.

That's my 2¢ on this issue.

Karl W. Randolph.

More information about the b-hebrew mailing list