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Thread: Genesis 1 is Hebrew Poetry

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    tWebber Quantum Weirdness's Avatar
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    Genesis 1 is Hebrew Poetry

    Here's the vid on it. Thoughts?
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KnerB4Wwk_Y
    -The universe begins to look more like a great thought than a great machine.
    Sir James Jeans

    -This most beautiful system (The Universe) could only proceed from the dominion of an intelligent and powerful Being.All variety of created objects which represent order and Life in the Universe could happen only by the willful reasoning of its original Creator, whom I call the Lord God.
    Sir Isaac Newton

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    tWebber
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    Quote Originally Posted by Quantum Weirdness View Post
    Here's the vid on it. Thoughts?
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KnerB4Wwk_Y
    Very nice presentation!

    I would quibble with his definitions, though. By his definition Gen 1 is "poetry". But usually the genre of Gen 1 is said to be "narrative". It has the standard grammatical structure of Hebrew narrative, with a string of events introduced by the "preterite" or "waw-consecutive". (Note: the genre is not "historical narrative" as many YECs [young earth creationists] claim. There IS no such genre. The genre is "narrative"; the adjective "historical" describes function, not genre. Narrative genre is not necessarily historical; e.g. Parables are written in narrative genre, but are not historical.)

    But the video is correct that all of these elements of Hebrew poetry are present in Gen 1. Gen 1 is a highly structured narrative account, with all the main elements of Hebrew poetry. Maybe it should be called a "poetic narrative" (or a "narrative poem?"). Some have given it the genre label of "cosmogony" to distinguish it from the rest of Hebrew narrative.
    Last edited by Kbertsche; 01-26-2014 at 09:27 PM.

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    tWebber
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    Gen 1 certainly has poetical structures within its narrative. I don't know why "historical narrative" could not be fairly described as a "genre" distinct from "allegorical narrative" or "parable narrative" or pure "fictional narrative," though. On what basis do you exclude functional considerations from the question of genre?

    gen·re
    /ˈZHänrə/
    noun
    noun: genre; plural noun: genres
    1. a category of artistic composition, as in music or literature, characterized by similarities in form, style, or subject matter.

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