Fairy tales for adults

Steve Bougerolle steveb at creek-and-cowley.com
Wed Feb 12 10:24:07 PST 2003


On Wed, 2003-02-12 at 21:08, bslaveboy wrote:

> Actually, his family are other people. 

Yeh yeh yeh.. I know there are all sorts of other possible explanations
for the "other people" he was worrying about, most generally involving a
rapid population boom.  This scrabbling at details, however, ignores the
general tone of Genesis, which I say is still clearly literary.

> Well, the Jews take chapters 12-50 to be the record of their
> own literal history. There is no difference in the style
> that those chapters were written in, so why would the first
> 11 chapters be exempt from a literal interpretation?

> Christ certainly was very opposed to hypocrisy... it's worth
> mentioning that Christ accepted the book of Genesis as
> literal history though. See for example Matthew 19:4 where
> Jesus refers to the creation account and Matthew 24:37-39
> where he refers to Noah and the flood.

These are more reasonable arguments, but I don't accept them.  First,
you are making a blanket assumption that all Jews believe the same
thing, which would be a foolhardy assumption about any group of people
but is particularly so for a group of people who are notorious for their
love of debate.

Second, Jesus's allusion to OT events prove merely that he was familiar
with them and willing to use them to spread his message.  They don't say
that he accepted Genesis as being strict history, but the debate is
rather pointless anyway because that sort of analytical thought is
surprisingly modern and in that day and age probably few would have been
at all concerned with the question of whether history was "true",
mythological, legendary, or in some other category.

> I suspect that people are going to start complaining about
> this thread soon :), so I will continue all further
> correspondence on this topic off-list and will CC anyone who
> asks. My email address is bshortridge at tellumat.com

I don't have much more to say myself, because I'm not really interested
in arguing over fine details.  We're too far away (in time, language and
culture) from the original sources of all these documents for it to be
really valid.  I'm content to make the point that it's a real mistake
for anyone to become overly concerned about the fine details of the
oldest parts of the OT, for any reason.

-- 
Steve Bougerolle
Creek & Cowley Consulting

http://www.creek-and-cowley.com

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