Does Genesis 1 & 2 have a poetic structure? If so, why? If not, why not?

Discussion in 'Sacred Scripture' started by Mayim, Dec 13, 2016.

  1. Mayim

    Mayim New Member

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    Hi,

    I'm new here.




    First:

    I read through a bit of the "Genesis" thread here (http://forums.anglican.net/threads/genesis.1162/). It is the only thread here that I have read.

    It appears to me that that thread has gone very off-topic from the opening post of that thread.
    I assume that this is due to there being an effectively very small quantity of regular posters here, and to their rate of conversation per day or hour. For, it is far more efficient for such a small number to reply as they will within a single location. As indeed they have done in that thread.

    So, for such a small number of regular participants, a senselessly rigid forum policy can be shown by analogy: It would be odd for oneself to sit in person for conversation with a few fellows, only to find that any of or more of them go into another room when they have elected to change the topic.






    Second:

    Nevertheless, my being new here comes with my own wishes for the present thread to stay on topic.





    Third:

    I myself come to this forum in hope of finding some way to obtain direct exchange with one 'Watcher', specifically who has a blog called 'Anglican Origins Discussion'. For example, see ion.blogspot.com/search?updated-min=2016-01-01T00:00:00%2B11:00&updated-max=2017-01-01T00:00:00%2B11:00&max-results=28 .

    I have enjoyed reading some of his posts, but I find no way within his blog to comment on his posts. And I find no contact information for him.

    I know of one online discussion forum on which he has posted recently. But he has not replied to my own posts there.





    Fourth:

    Now, 'Watcher' recently has posted saying that it is his impressed belief that Genesis 1 is not poetic in form (http://anglicanoriginsdiscussion.blogspot.com/2016/08/genre-seriously-now.html).....

    "Bringing a modern conception of information to Genesis 1, it bears an uncanny resemblance to a structured computer file of 6 records. Each record has a record opening field, an event description field, a count field and an end of record marker.

    "Nothing like poetry, nothing like an impressionistic account, nothing mystical. The closed thing we have to it today is a concrete list of events."​

    But I think that this impression gets things ontologically backwards. To my way of thinking, human contrived poetry merely is a borrowing upon the poetic structure of reality. We perceive beauty in nature precisely because we sense, in our gut, how its parts cohere in an orderly, predictable, and yet interesting way. Even these qualities in the sound waves that comprise any natural or incident sound are qualities by which we are inspired to contrive sounds specially for our joy in the structures of sounds.



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  2. Aidan

    Aidan Well-Known Member

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    Thank you for your thoughts. Now, would you like to introduce yourself saying a little about yourself?
     
  3. Mayim

    Mayim New Member

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    From the very first verse...

    ..."It was [a book] about you." (Pete Latimer, Warehouse 13, ‘The Greatest Gift’, Season 3 Episode 13; pleading with Myka Bering in The Cambridge bar.)




    ... ...(1) Cosmos and its Earth (Genesis 1:1);


    ... ... ...(2) Earth and her water (v. 2);

    ... ... ... ...(3) Water and its cycle (v. 3-9);

    ... ... ... ... ...(4) The water cycle and its life (vs. 11-12);

    ... ... ... ... ... ...(5) Life and its animals (Gen 1:20-22);

    ... ... ... ... ... ... ...(6) Animals and their human(s) (Adam himself);


    ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ...(7) Man and his Woman. (Genesis 2)






    “To find the destination within any three-dimensional space, you need six points to determine the exact location. [...] But to [be able to] chart a course [to that location,] you need a point of origin.” -------- Dr. Daniel Jackson, Stargate, Roland Emmerich, a Le Studio Canal and Centropolis Film production, 1994





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  4. Botolph

    Botolph Well-Known Member

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    That seems to be a good question. Given that scholarly opinion is that most of the early parts of Genesis were first committed to writing some time after the conquest of Jerusalem (and probably not a long time after) that would put it in the region of may 990 BCE to 940 BCE.

    Poetry as such is a developed literary genre, and what passes for poetry in one culture may not be recognised as such in another. Things that pass for poetry today may well be regarded by people of earlier generations as uncultured prose! There is no doubt that metre and measure, together with structure and repeating structures were tools used in ancient time to ensure that stories passed from generation to generation faithfully. The Song of Miriam The horse and rider he has thrown into the sea are regarded as being very solid in the old tradition precisely because it was a song.

    The Priestly account of Creation (Genesis 1:1 - 2:4) clearly has a literary structure, and presumably is close to what we may consider Poetry, and there was evening and there was morning the #th day. It certainly is writing with both form and structure suitable to the handling on of a great oral tradition of origin.
     

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