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 Post subject: Re: NRSV and JEDP
PostPosted: Tue Jun 11, 2019 4:47 am 
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Jack3 wrote:
He said that the two accounts of creation are explained by the JEDP theory. I didn't know there were two, so I asked him. He asked me if I have the NRSV and sent me two screenshots, the second of which was titled (in the NRSV), '" Another account of creation".

The document is still in force, but I think a newer source will be more effective in convincing him. He respects Pope Benedict as an intellectual, and likes the CCC, if that means anything.


Genesis 1 uses the word Elohim exclusively, while Genesis 2 includes Yahweh. Elohim is a more general term for God, while Yahweh is more personal, or relational. So Genesis 1, speaks of God as creator, while Genesis 2, speaks of God as Father.

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 Post subject: Re: NRSV and JEDP
PostPosted: Tue Jun 11, 2019 3:32 pm 
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There aren't 'two accounts of creation' in Genesis and only someone who knows nothing about literature would think that there are.

I am reminded of a quotation from CS Lewis (which comes from his essay 'Fern Seeds and Elephants' and I'm sure GKC will be able to provide the exact quote) that goes something like this: "Whenever I read a Bible scholar saying that something in the gospels is a 'legend' or a 'romance' I want to know how many legends or romances he has read, who good he is at identifying them by style or flavor, not how many years he has spent studying this particular gospel."

Lewis' point is that the theories created by Bible scholars tend to suffer from a complete lack of understanding of literary criticism. They are so obsessed with studying the minutiae of the Bible, things like vocabulary, and have so much time reading about theories of sources and literary dependency and all sorts of technical matter, and reading other scholar's commentaries on the Bible, that they do not know how to read, in any meaningful sense, the texts themselves.

In particular, they do not seem to understand LITERATURE, they've never read or seriously studied Homer, Virgil, Dante, Shakespeare, Milton, Dickens or Twain, so they make a lot of really dumb claims about the Bible which anyone who has an understanding of the principles of literary criticism would NEVER make.

An excellent example of the dumb arguments that Bible scholars make would be the common argument that the 'John' wrote the gospel of John and the three Epistles of John CANNOT POSSIBLY be the same 'John' who wrote the book of Revelation because 'the style of Greek is so different. At no point does it occur to the critic that maybe the reason for the difference in the style of Greek in the gospel of John and Revelation is that the two books belong to different genres and a good writer knows how to adjust his style to the specific book he is writing.

What would these scholars think of someone like Mark Twain, who wrote both the elevated, fairly sophisticated prose of books like 'Life on the Mississippi' and 'Roughing It', is the same guy who wrote 'Huckleberry Finn' a book which is (intentionally) written in what might be called a 'hick dialect', and filled with bad grammar and even intentional misspellings of certain words?

What would these critics make of a writer like Stephen King, who could write works of horror like 'The Shining' and a fairy tale like 'The Eyes of the Dragon', and a book like 'Dolores Claiborne' in which the narrator speaks in a thick southern dialect? Neither 'Eyes of the Dragon' nor 'Delores Claiborne' have any parallel in King's oeuvre, which is why they have a reputation as 'the books that are different.'

Will future Twain scholars conclude that several of his works must be spurious 'written several years his death in Twain's name by a student of his' because of the vast differences in literary style and vocabulary between some of his works?


So, no there are not 'two accounts of the creation' in the book of Genesis. What you have is a common literary technique where something is described first in very general terms, and then described again in more in a more detailed way. Anyone who understands LITERATURE immediately recognizes this.

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 Post subject: Re: NRSV and JEDP
PostPosted: Tue Jun 11, 2019 4:53 pm 
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Doom wrote:
There aren't 'two accounts of creation' in Genesis and only someone who knows nothing about literature would think that there are.

This was absolutely mainstream opinion though, at least for a time. Supposedly there are the Yahwist (J) account and the Elohist (E) account of creation. Probably still held by a lot of people who learned from the scholars of a generation ago or more.

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 Post subject: Re: NRSV and JEDP
PostPosted: Tue Jun 11, 2019 5:07 pm 
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Literary criticism is now a thing in Biblical studies, which is good.

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 Post subject: Re: NRSV and JEDP
PostPosted: Tue Jun 11, 2019 7:19 pm 
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Peregrinator wrote:
Doom wrote:
There aren't 'two accounts of creation' in Genesis and only someone who knows nothing about literature would think that there are.

This was absolutely mainstream opinion though, at least for a time. Supposedly there are the Yahwist (J) account and the Elohist (E) account of creation. Probably still held by a lot of people who learned from the scholars of a generation ago or more.



Yes, I know. There are a lot of parallel accounts of the same event in the Old Testament, and not just in the Pentateuch, but it continues through the books of Samuel, Kings, and Chronicles, where the same story seems to be told twice in a row, but with details that are slightly different between the two accounts.

That isn't really proof of anything except that Hebrew literature was apparently quite fond of parallelism, a fact which becomes evident in the Psalms and the book of Proverbs, other 'Wisdom literature' as well as in the prophets.


An example in the Psalms would be 'the heavens declare the glory of God and the firmaments show his handiwork'. This is really the same thought expressed in two slightly different ways. The Psalms are filled with this kind of stuff, where the author says 'Idea Idea Idea' and the very next verse is 'the exact same idea expressed in a slightly different way.' This is just the way they wrote, not just poetry, but apparently, history as well as written this way.

Have you ever noticed how so many of these 'Bible Contradictions' and minor discrepancies that historical-critical scholars like to seize upon to justify their theories always seem to be based on an extreme, hyperliteral reading of the text? Historical-critical scholars are basically fundamentalists who have adopted the fundamentalist mindset to dismantle the Bible rather than to build it up, but the mentality is the exact same.


The other thing that I find really irritating is the condescending tone of these critics as if no one ever noticed the minor discrepancies that they make such a big deal out of. 'Oh my, did you notice that the resurrection accounts in the 4 gospels are different?' Yes, everyone noticed that 2000 years ago, but no one thought the differences were significant enough to worry about.

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 Post subject: Re: NRSV and JEDP
PostPosted: Wed Jun 12, 2019 8:37 am 
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Anent Lewis:

"A man who has spent his youth and manhood in the minute study of New Testament texts and of other people’s studies of them, whose literary experience of those texts lacks any standard of comparison such as can only grow from a wide and deep and genial experience of literature in general, is, I should think, very likely to miss the obvious things about them. If he tells me that something in a Gospel is legend or romance I want to know how many legends and romances he has read, how well his palate is trained in detecting them by the flavor; not how many years he has spent on that Gospel."

Found in FERN-SEED AND ELEPHANTS, selection VIII, under the same title, p.107, Fount Paperbacks, 8th printing, 1984 and, as "Modern Theology And Biblical Criticism" , as the XIIIth selection in CHRISTIAN REFLECTIONS, 1st ed., p. 154.

Within half a page following, Lewis makes the point even clearer. Outlining a particular critic on the Gospel of John, who would make it a close parallel to PARADISE LOST, or perhaps closer to Job or Jonah: "I have been reading poems, romances, vision-literature, legends, myths all my life. I know what they are like. I know that not one of them is like this" (i.e., the Gospel).

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 Post subject: Re: NRSV and JEDP
PostPosted: Wed Jun 12, 2019 9:02 am 
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"An excellent example of the dumb arguments that Bible scholars make would be the common argument that the 'John' wrote the gospel of John and the three Epistles of John CANNOT POSSIBLY be the same 'John' who wrote the book of Revelation because 'the style of Greek is so different. At no point does it occur to the critic that maybe the reason for the difference in the style of Greek in the gospel of John and Revelation is that the two books belong to different genres and a good writer knows how to adjust his style to the specific book he is writing"

Which opens a door to an essay by Lewis' friend Dorothy L. Sayers: "A Vote Of Thanks To Cyrus". In UNPOPULAR OPINIONS, selection V, pp. 23-28, 1st ed.

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 Post subject: Re: NRSV and JEDP
PostPosted: Wed Jun 12, 2019 9:14 am 
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And apparently, the common idea that the plays of Shakespeare were written by Francis Bacon has its origin in a satirical essay someone wrote where the author used the common methods of skeptical Bible criticism of his time and applied them (in an attempt at a reductio ad absurdum) to the works of Shakespeare and drew the absurd (or so the author intended) conclusion that Shakespeare's plays could not have been written by Shakespeare. Unfortunately, not everyone got the joke and the completely unserious premise took on a life of its own.

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 Post subject: Re: NRSV and JEDP
PostPosted: Wed Jun 12, 2019 9:37 am 
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GKC wrote:


Which opens a door to an essay by Lewis' friend Dorothy L. Sayers: "A Vote Of Thanks To Cyrus". In UNPOPULAR OPINIONS, selection V, pp. 23-28, 1st ed.


A book unfortunately not currently in print, and since published in 1951, it won't be until January 2, 2047, that it enters the public domain, only one year before 'Mere Christianity'. The old, pre-1998 rule of 'the author's life + 50 years' was a much easier rule, by that standard, the complete works of CS Lewis and Dorothy L Sayers would both already be in the public domain, as would the complete works of GK Chesterton, and the complete works of Tolkien would be in the public domain before Trump leaves office (in saying that, I am, of course, assuming that he is re-elected in 2020, but that is almost guaranteed given the poor candidates the Democrats are fielding right now, it is amazing, 27 candidates, and they are all mediocrities, there is not a single 'A' candidate among them).

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 Post subject: Re: NRSV and JEDP
PostPosted: Wed Jun 12, 2019 9:52 am 
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Doom wrote:
And apparently, the common idea that the plays of Shakespeare were written by Francis Bacon has its origin in a satirical essay someone wrote where the author used the common methods of skeptical Bible criticism of his time and applied them (in an attempt at a reductio ad absurdum) to the works of Shakespeare and drew the absurd (or so the author intended) conclusion that Shakespeare's plays could not have been written by Shakespeare. Unfortunately, not everyone got the joke and the completely unserious premise took on a life of its own.


That would have had to be somewhere in the mid 1800s, at least.

But it opens the door to Ronald Knox ESSAYS IN SATIRE, passim, esp. chap. VIII, "The Authorship of 'In Memoriam' ", pp. 223-235, 1st ed. Which begins and ends with the rhetorical question "Why Shakespeare more than anybody else?"

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 Post subject: Re: NRSV and JEDP
PostPosted: Wed Jun 12, 2019 10:07 am 
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Satire? That guy might have thought it was satire, but truth be told, it was just great science. Anyone who really thinks Shakespeare wrote anything is obvies such a noob. It's all in the method. Another little known fact that the biblical-critical method revealed as far back as 1819 is that Napoleon never even existed. But the true genius here isn't in uncovering a great scandal but in proving a greater conspiracy. After all, "history" would have us believe that "Napoleon" lived from 1769 to 1821. But true scholars following the biblical-critical method were able, per the book just linked, to expose the entire myth for what it is during "his life"!

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 Post subject: Re: NRSV and JEDP
PostPosted: Wed Jun 12, 2019 10:11 am 
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Doom wrote:
GKC wrote:


Which opens a door to an essay by Lewis' friend Dorothy L. Sayers: "A Vote Of Thanks To Cyrus". In UNPOPULAR OPINIONS, selection V, pp. 23-28, 1st ed.


A book unfortunately not currently in print, and since published in 1951, it won't be until January 2, 2047, that it enters the public domain, only one year before 'Mere Christianity'. The old, pre-1998 rule of 'the author's life + 50 years' was a much easier rule, by that standard, the complete works of CS Lewis and Dorothy L Sayers would both already be in the public domain, as would the complete works of GK Chesterton, and the complete works of Tolkien would be in the public domain before Trump leaves office (in saying that, I am, of course, assuming that he is re-elected in 2020, but that is almost guaranteed given the poor candidates the Democrats are fielding right now, it is amazing, 27 candidates, and they are all mediocrities, there is not a single 'A' candidate among them).



Which brings a smile to the face of book collectors who started in on this hobby long, long ago. But the first ed. is from 1946.

The Cyrus essay can be read, in great part (missing 2 pages, I think) with google books and searching the title LETTERS TO A DIMINISHED CHURCH. Or Amazon will get you a used copy of that for a couple of bucks. It has a number of her notable essays.

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 Post subject: Re: NRSV and JEDP
PostPosted: Wed Jun 12, 2019 10:37 am 
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theJack wrote:
Satire? That guy might have thought it was satire, but truth be told, it was just great science. Anyone who really thinks Shakespeare wrote anything is obvies such a noob. It's all in the method. Another little known fact that the biblical-critical method revealed as far back as 1819 is that Napoleon never even existed. But the true genius here isn't in uncovering a great scandal but in proving a greater conspiracy. After all, "history" would have us believe that "Napoleon" lived from 1769 to 1821. But true scholars following the biblical-critical method were able, per the book just linked, to expose the entire myth for what it is during "his life"!


A pleasure to meet Mr. Whately.

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 Post subject: Re: NRSV and JEDP
PostPosted: Mon Jun 17, 2019 8:45 am 
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I replied to him (and also referred him to Humani Generis). He responded with handshake emojis, a hearts-instead-of-eyes-on-the-face emoji and the words "Good good".

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