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Old 08-16-2003, 12:11 AM   #1
Starbug
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Default pleasant poetry of genesis

I was thinking of how one of the main features of Hebrew poetry is parallelism. Then I was thinking of how the 6 days of creation in Gen. 1 contain parallelism: 1-4, 2-5, 3-6; the objects created in these paired days supplement each other. Then thinking of what Genesis was ultimately trying to convey, it seems to me to convey the harmony in nature; especially when light is created before the stars and sun - to me this seems intentional as if to say the purpose of the sun is to give us light.

So, basically, my rambling on is to get some input on the idea of Genesis 1 being a poem. Obviously, this opposes the literal interpretations, but it seems to give me some perspective as to why it's still in our culture - it's actually a neat poem. And the fact that the elohim (the gods) are the creators even gives it a classical Gr/Latin kind of feel.

Tho'ts? Comments?
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Old 08-16-2003, 03:55 AM   #2
judge
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Default Re: pleasant poetry of genesis

Quote:
Originally posted by Starbug
I was thinking of how one of the main features of Hebrew poetry is parallelism. Then I was thinking of how the 6 days of creation in Gen. 1 contain parallelism: 1-4, 2-5, 3-6; the objects created in these paired days supplement each other. Then thinking of what Genesis was ultimately trying to convey, it seems to me to convey the harmony in nature; especially when light is created before the stars and sun - to me this seems intentional as if to say the purpose of the sun is to give us light.

So, basically, my rambling on is to get some input on the idea of Genesis 1 being a poem. Obviously, this opposes the literal interpretations, but it seems to give me some perspective as to why it's still in our culture - it's actually a neat poem. And the fact that the elohim (the gods) are the creators even gives it a classical Gr/Latin kind of feel.

Tho'ts? Comments?
Good observations ,I think.
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Old 08-16-2003, 04:03 AM   #3
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Default

I don't really see it as "neat" though I may understand where you're getting at. Someone once emailed me a Macromedia Flash file animating the first creation narrative. It was nicely done.

BTW, judge, there is a forum policy (though I'm not sure if it's official, or informal) that you shouldn't quote an entire passage if you aren't specifically replying on it (and your commonet is a general one and not specific). And you should also not be quoting an entire passage from the post just before yours.
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Old 08-16-2003, 03:28 PM   #4
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Default Re: pleasant poetry of genesis

Quote:
Originally posted by Starbug
ISo, basically, my rambling on is to get some input on the idea of Genesis 1 being a poem.
Tho'ts? Comments?
How about the entire bible is a poem of which its meaning must be prior to us by nature?

Jn.5:39-40 makes this perfectly clear: "[You] search the scriptures in which you think you have eternal life [because] they testify on my behalf. Yet you are unwilling to come to me to possess that life."

The message here is that we are supposed to receive what is described in the bible and must do so in our own world, here and now.
 
Old 08-16-2003, 03:36 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally posted by Starbug
So, basically, my rambling on is to get some input on the idea of Genesis 1 being a poem.


Genesis 1:27 is clearly poetic in its structure:

So God created man in his own image,
in the image of God he created him;
male and female he created them.


but the rest of Genesis 1 seems quite matter-of-fact. I first read Genesis 1 in the original Hebrew when I was five years old, and never has it occurred to me to read it any other way than literally.

Quote:

but it seems to give me some perspective as to why it's still in our culture - it's actually a neat poem.
I don't think so. I think Genesis is still in our culture because it sounds so descriptive. Unlike other creation myths, where you have egg yolks or heads of giants made into the sea and sky, Genesis 1 sounds almost like a scientific treatise. That, I think, is what is so seductive about it.

As a religious Orthodox Jew I was a young-earth creationist and very proud of Genesis 1. It was only when I began to visit Talk.Origins that I came to the conclusion Genesis has no scientific answers for us.
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Old 08-16-2003, 09:21 PM   #6
Will I Am
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Default Nature's Harmony...

I just want to question that idea that "Nature' is "in harmony". I think an objective look at Nature will reveal it's very "inharmonic". There are endless imbalances, catastrophic changes, mass "mistakes", and general chaos in Nature.

Lemmings are not "committing"suicude. They are trying to reach distant breeding grounds that are now underwater. But they don't know that.

Millions of American moths die every year, migrating to places that no longer are hospitable.

Nature is screwed up, bumbling and only just 'getting along', really.

Surely not evidence of any 'perfect design'.

I'm not saying that their aren't deeply imbedded patterns in nature, just that the edges are pretty well frazzled.
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Old 08-16-2003, 09:58 PM   #7
Apikorus
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The dangers of reading too much poetry into the Hebrew Bible:
Quote:
At one end of the spectrum, an Orientalist in the 1930's, Paul Kraus, set out to show that the entire Hebrew Bible, once properly accented, could be demonstrated to have been written in verse (a project in which he had been anticipated three decades earlier by the German Old Testament scholar Eduard Sievers). When he discovered two-thirds of the way through his analysis that the texts no longer bore out his thesis, he took his own life.
This little factoid, from Robert Alter's The Art of Biblical Poetry, is hardly the entire truth about Kraus and his 1944 suicide, but it is nevertheless misguided (and hardly new) to propose that the entire Hebrew Bible is written in verse.

Incidentally, Gen 1:27 is not so much a poem as it is an example of chiasmus, or concentric parallelism (e.g. A-B-A, A-B-C-X-C'-B'-A' type structures). Chiasmus is sometimes obscured by the process of translation.
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Old 08-17-2003, 03:19 PM   #8
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I donít know about the Hebrew version but the old Sumerian/Babylonian creation stories, and almost all stories, were originally written as poems to be sung, while someone played the lyre.
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Old 08-17-2003, 04:29 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally posted by Heathen Dawn
[B. That, I think, is what is so seductive about it.

As a religious Orthodox Jew I was a young-earth creationist and very proud of Genesis 1. It was only when I began to visit Talk.Origins that I came to the conclusion Genesis has no scientific answers for us. [/B]
But it's a lovely peace Heathen Dawn and a good place to be sucked into.

The problem is that until you have the omniscient mind of Christ (which is our mandate), you may find scientific research a good alternative-- even if it leaves you stranded with many more unanswered questions.
 
Old 08-17-2003, 06:04 PM   #10
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Default Re: Nature's Harmony...

Quote:
Originally posted by Will I Am

Lemmings are not "committing"suicude. They are trying to reach distant breeding grounds that are now underwater. But they don't know that..
Actually,they were being herded over the cliff for the benefit of the cameras. Never let reality get in the way of a good nature movie Walt!....

The Lemming Truth
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