Wednesday, July 17, 2019

The Genesis Account of Creation: Myth or Reality

I everlastingly do recall, spot reading finished the outset few pages of the record, (i. e. the book of genesis), how extremely impressed I was as a child, to see how the world began and how graven image interceptow e trulything in place but thus kept pondering who was on that point with theology taking a record of events while he was creating? Once upon a time, I asked my Christian Religious Studies teacher in School and he stood there dumbstricken unable to give both response. During my Catechism days, I was made to understand I essential believe everything that the bible sees as avowedly with off doubting.However the more I try to understand the handstal home narratives, the more gestures generated inside me. Was the world actually growd just as the book of Genesis tells us? Did the akin idol, who created human last on the ordinal day in Chapter One, scrape bum again in Chapter Two to create the alike(p) man first so oner early(a) things? In parti cular, considering the new advancements in science and the claims by evolutionists today astir(predicate) the stem of the world, can we say that these creation narratives amount to mere legends?According to the fasten leger lexicon, prior to the period of the Enlightenment, the question of whether or non the parole contained any horizontal surfaces at all was non so pronounced. In fact, it was as from the 18th degree Celsius that people started wondering if the sexagenarian will stories such(prenominal) as the creation narratives could perchance count as allegorys. This was basically fuelled by the various movements which came up to stress that the understructure for anything to be considered accredited was its historical verifiability. Hence, the ponder close to inventions in the account book was ab initio a question of its righteousness and falsity.For instance, when the Bible speaks of events which took place prior to when the world itself began (when no man could digest possibly existed to entertain a record of them), a favored attempt to show that they argon actually fables translates to saying they are simply products of sympathetic predilection. And if this is the case, it follows thus that the undefiled Bible itself rests on a questionable foundation. Hence oer the years, several scholars have invested a bang-up deal of time and effort on this quest. Before we proceed, it is important to bear in school principal that at the heart of this contest lies the eaning and design of the end point legend.What is novel? And what constitutes a romance? What is Myth? Etymologically, the English watch reciprocation fiction comes from the Greek mythos. In wee Greek mythos meant word, speech, design it was more or less synonymous with epos (word, speech, subject matter), and close in import to countersign (account, talk) myth is narration, tale-telling. Gradually it came to be used as a technical foul experimental condit ion for an entertaining tale, the truth of which was perplexing or unwarranted. From the time of Plato onward, mythos then became a agate lineing term for logos (i. e. the rational, responsible for(p) account).To this day, whenever the word myth is used, there is an underlining determination to consider that which it refers to as fanaticism. As B. Batto observes, the dispraise of myth as ethnical superstition and therefore false and incompatible with Christian dogma remained the characteristic Christian side until the modern period and is still the public in some circles. Initial ending No Myths in the Bible ground on the above, it becomes clear that with this taking into custody of the term myth, the Bible contains no myths since it has no pagan superstitions incompatible with Christian dogma.Now it becomes thriving to see how stories as such as the Enuma Elish, Altrahasis or even the various African traditional stories of creation, etc could best be expound as myt hs. In line with this, the word myth came to be defined as stories virtually the gods (a translation which was popularised by the Grimm Brothers) thereby distinguishing the Bible narratives out as non-myths. Since the Bible is fundamentally mo nonheistic it cannot possibly contain any myth as myths essentially refer to stories about several gods. next this same principle, in his Introduction To The Old volition, Wermer H.Schmidt, goes further to explain that the Old Testament based on its conception of God uses the language of myth in bounteous expression to its faith and it in fact borrows from surrounding cultures a number of fabulous motifs and bits of mythic stories but it does not itself discipline any myths. In other words, the Genesis accounts of creation for instance whole borrowed sealed mythical motifs from those of the old-fashioned Near eastern United States but do not in themselves constitute any myth. The Evolution of importation and the Possibility of Myth in the Bible From the foregoing, it appears our case has been solved already.Just as we have sh experience, the meaning of the term myth step by step evolved from its simple understanding as a narration to later conduct a negative connotation as false tale. At this point it was very easy to distinguish what could count as true (believable) and what should be dumped as myth (entertainment). However the trouble began when the term myth came to be positively re-defined with time.The Italian philosopher Vico posited that myth came from within mans own deepest inner nature utilise the imagination rather than reason the first men gave true even if non-rational and pre-scientific answers to the original sympathetic dilemmas. German scholar David Friedrich Strauss (180874) working in the main on the New Testament using the theory of Euphemism reached quite shocking conclusions that hatful of the O. T and N. T narratives such as the nascence and conception of Jesus were not his torically true, even if as mythical materials they did offer a deeper kind of gay truth. His book Life of Jesus (1835), though had immediately rendered him famous eventually, led to the end of his academic career as many couldnt accept his opinions.Nonetheless with a growing body of research and findings in Biblical archaeology which seemed to support Strauss, there arose some tension towards the end of the nineteenth Century with receivedize to the continued defence reaction of myths in the Bible. Scholars after Strauss such as Hermann Gunkel, insisted that myths are stories about the gods and that for a story of the gods at least two gods are essential but since OT from its beginning tended toward monotheism, the Bible contains no complete myths.With time, scholars outside the nation of scriptural studies dismissed this definition of myth as inadequate, overly narrow, and apologetic. In other words, as the meaning of myth gradually evolved from the negative to the positive conception of myth as deep truth, (that is the profound symbolism of realities which transcend human capacity to circumnavigate and express in ordinary language but which are profoundly true and paradigmatic for authentic life), scholars such as Rudolf Bultmann (18841976) instantly propelled by the historico-critical method acting soon began to associate the term myth with certain key biblical mysteries.For Bultmann, the term myth assumed a much broader definition as one of the ways in which any culture objectifies and symbolizes its entire worldview. With such a broad understanding of myth, it was impossible to deny that much biblical narrative is inherently mythological. In this cypher G. H. Davies in 1956 defined myth as a way of thinking and imagining about the divine and not necessarily about the gods such that myth can also occur in monotheistic religions. interest this trend of plan, John L.McKenzie SJ in his Dictionary of the Bible (1976), came to the conclusion tha t when we compare the thought processes of the OT with the processes of Semitc myth, we observe that the OT rejects all elements which are out of character with the God whom they knew. But what they knew of God could be expressed only through and through symbolic form and concrete cosmic event, and the relations of God with the world and with man were perceived and expressed through the same patterns and processes which elsewhere we call mythical. In this same line of thought came more recent scholars such as B. S.Childs as healthy as F. M. Cross. Today scholars believe that in Israel, no less than in Ancient Near East generally, mythopoeism (myth-making) constituted one of the basic modes of speculation about the origin of the world and the place of human kind. Reflecting personally on the above, I have come to realise that the logical argument about myth in the Bible, (a reckon which had initially beingness sparked off by those movements who claimed that the basis of truth is historical verifiability) over the years now became a debate about the meaning of the word myth.As such, scholars delved into the issue over the years failing to realise that those who began the debate had in mind a conception that whatsoever fails the test of historical validation is untrue and as such should be considered as a myth. Scholars jumped into the debate without first realising the mistake of these movements. Historical verifiability is not the only criterion for truth.If for instance as at when I was born, nobody took records of my birth and it so happened that all my entire generation, my parents my siblings and everybody around me then all at once died, the fact that I have no historical poof of my birth does not mean I wasnt born at all. Hence the real error wasnt about the definition of the term myth but the misconception that whatever is pre-history is false. No wonder, as long as myth remained in its original conception as false tale, the Bible was bighearted of myths but the moment the definition of myth shifted into the more positive light as deep truths, the same Bible suddenly became full of myths.What we should bear in mind is that when this debate began the concept of myth was basically negative. (Recall that from Plato, myth was seen as a contrast for logos). And as long as the debate continues, the definition ought to remain the same. Even to this day, as long as we continue to regard the word myth as a false narrative, then the Bible contains no myths the Genesis accounts of creation are not myths but pure realities, truths although not historical, not scientific, not mathematical, but theological.

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