• 博客等级:
  • 博客积分:0
  • 博客访问:15,718
  • 关注人气:2
  • 获赠金笔:0支
  • 赠出金笔:0支
  • 荣誉徽章:
正文 字体大小:

Genesis1:1–2:3 (1)下

(2006-12-19 12:42:49)

Genesis1:1–2:3 <wbr>(1)下

Genesis 1:1–2:3 (1) [译文] 下
Beyond this, there is the overall structure of the passage built upon the opening two adjectives, which describe the initially created-but-not-yet-refined earth as both “formless” and “void.” Following that de????ion of the setting, the rest of the account is showing how, over the first three days, the problem of the earth's formlessness is solved as God shapes the creation, and how, over the next three days (and perhaps beginning on the third day, if you count the plants), the earth’s emptiness is replaced by the various created things that God places in the newly shaped regions.


Another way of seeing this same thing is to look at the relationship between the days and the obvious structuring taking place there. For example, the first day corresponds to the fourth day, the second day corresponds to fifth day, and the third day corresponds to sixth day. On day one you have the creation of the entities of light and darkness, and then on day four the creation of heavenly bodies like the sun and moon that relate directly to that. On day two you have the creation of the sky and seas, and on day five the population of the skies and seas with fish and birds. On day three you have the creation of dry land, and on day six you see the creation of the animals and the people that will inhabit the dry land.

The seventh day is a day of rest from all this creative activity. But it too adds to the overall structured nature of the account. It also makes it clear that, among other things, Israel’s Sabbatarian practices were grounded on the very order of creation itself. We’ll look more closely at that later.

But the thing to see at this point is simply the highly structured nature of the form and content of this prologue, including the high degree of repetition of key words and phrases throughout. This is history, but it’s not typical history. It’s not a “Just the facts, ma’am” kind of history.
到此为止,我们该看到的只是这个开场白的形式与内容,和高度有结构的本质,包括一些重要字、词高度的重复。这是历史,但不是典型的历史。它不是“只要事实,女士”(Just the facts, ma’am)一类的历史。

So, again, when you look at the prologue as a whole and ask, “What is it that we have here, and how does it relate to that which follows?” what you see is that it is an account that accomplishes a number of purposes all at once:

1. It shows the power and superiority of Israel’s Creator God over all other alleged pagan gods.
2. It shows a great deal of literary structuring, including a strong element of linguistic features based upon the number seven. In so doing, it sends the strong message of the perfection of God’s creative work, and makes the section more memorable.
3. It shows a lot of structure just in terms of its ideas and content, and arranges these in a way that facilitates the remembering and retention of the things written here.
1. 它显示以色列的创造者的权能和优越性,超乎其他异教所谓的神祗。
2. 它显示出很多的文学结构,包括根据数字七,一个很强的语言特征的元素。因为如此,它传道出一个很强的信息,有关上帝创造工作的完美,也使整个段落容易记住。
3. 它在概念和内容上显出许多的结构,并且经过妥善安排,帮助所写下来的东西容易记忆和保存。

And all of this leads me to conclude that one of the main features of this account, and one of the reasons it has been so highly structured, is to make it a fairly memorable and "transferable" or “portable” story. Having a format which made the creation story — and the message of the creation story — more memorable and portable was important precisely because of the crucial, foundational significance of this account. It would be a highly useful thing for the people of Israel, especially at this point in their history.
I remember a rhyme my mother taught me years ago, which I cannot recall all of, but enough of it has always stayed with me to fulfill its purpose. It goes something like this:

"Thirty days hath September, April, June and November. All the rest have 31 except … February, and it’s a silly month anyway…"

Now, the purpose of that little rhyme was to help me to remember the number of days in the different months. And in order for the device to work, in order to make it rhyme and thus more easily memorized, it actually presents the months out of sequence. To put it another way, it dischronologizes them — not to mislead me, but to serve its intended purpose, to function as a memorable device for recalling the number of days in the months. But if I had taken my mother's rhyme and tried to use it as the basis for ordering the months on a calendar, then I would have been misusing my mother's rhyme. I would have been reading it wrongly, and using it for a purpose other than that for which it was intended.

In a similar fashion, if the purpose of the Genesis prologue was to communicate the perfection and fullness of God's creation, the superiority and uniqueness of God over against other false gods, and the wisdom and orderliness and breadth of his creation — and not to provide a scientific or chronological portrait — then we misuse and misread the prologue when we force it into that mold.

Even further, when we do these sorts of things, we create a perspective that does not easily mesh with Genesis 2:5-17. In that section, you have an account that explains how and why things did or did not happen when they did according to providence. And, along with that, you have a different sequence of events in several places. Now, admittedly, there are ways to interpret these texts that harmonize the two sequences. There is a scholar named John Currid who handles this fairly well. But even allowing for the possibility of these interpretations (which are not convincing in my estimation), these interpretations do not deal with the providential explanation that underlies the account, and that Meredith Kline has discussed so well.
更有甚者,当我们这样作的时候,我们创造了一个不容易与创世记2:5-17契合的观点。在那个段落中,我们有一个记载是解释事情的确按照上帝的护理(providence),为何和如何发生或没有发生。同时,在许多地方,事件也有不同的顺序。那么,无可厚非的,为了使这两个次序能吻合,对这些经文就有很多不同的解释。有一个名为克里(John Currid)的学者把这个问题处理得相当好。但是即使承认这些解释的可能性(就我的判断并没有说服力),这些解释并没有处理落在这些纪录背后的上帝护理的解释。在这点上克莱恩(Meredith Kline)讨论得很好。

Let me illustrate what I am getting at. Genesis 2:5-7 re-describes the creation of man, and provides more detail than we saw in chapter 1. In setting the scene for this creation of man, the passage says that this happened at a time when “no bush of the field was yet in the land and no small plant of the field had yet sprung up.” Now, on the surface, this seems to contradict what happened on day three in the prologue where God caused the earth to sprout plants and fruit trees to cover the earth with vegetation.

In an attempt to reconcile these two passages, some scholars suggest that the plants that were created in Genesis 1 were wild plants and trees that reproduce on their own. They argue that Genesis 1 describes plants and trees that spread their own seed without any outside help. By contrast, the plants described in chapter 2 do not spring up by themselves. Rather, they are crops, like corn and wheat, plants that require special care and outside help, and which do not as easily or naturally reproduce themselves.

Now, that is, admittedly, a clever explanation, but it ignores one essential fact: the explanation that chapter 2 provides for these plants not yet appearing in the field at the time before the man was created. That explanation is found in Genesis 2:5: “for the Lord God had not caused it to rain.”

If Genesis 1 is only talking about certain kinds of plants, and Genesis 2 is talking about entirely different kinds of plants, then the reason given in Genesis 2:5 doesn’t make sense. Because if the reason there were no crops is because there was no rain, then that fact would also have prevented their being any other plants. Do you see what I’m saying? The distinction between the kinds of plants being created may solve one problem, but it ignores another and more significant one: the providential foundation that lies behind Genesis 2.

And so, at the end of the day, you have something of a conundrum, trying to reconcile and harmonize two passages that, on the surface at least, do not easily go together. However, this reality highlights perhaps the most significant fact about these passages, which can, in spite of its significance, be easily missed: These two passages appear side-by-side, back-to-back.

Now, this may seem fairly unimportant, but as I’ve already suggested, it may be the most important fact of all. In other words, we have here two accounts of the creation, from different perspectives and with differing emphases. And yet the author, who certainly understood these stories better than we do, placed them together. He apparently saw no contradictions between them, no reason to edit one account or the other, and no reason to smooth over the two into a more blended whole. He kept them as they are, and this fact speaks volumes. It forces us to wrestle with these texts until we see through the author’s eyes, understanding how these two accounts work together.

At present there are two main options within the Reformed camp, and this is what we have been discussing here. The one view sees both accounts as being the same with regard to their literality and purpose, with both intending to show the proper ordering and sequence of the creation. It assumes that we are meant to look for all kinds of historical and scientific detail in our reading.
The other main view is that the two passages are not the same. Yes, they are talking about the same things. They are both factual; they both convey true history. But the primary concern is not found in the details of sequencing and order. Instead it is found in the overall message and structure. The author did not intend to teach his original audience about the sequence of creation. Instead, in the opening account he subjugated some of the chronological details in order to create a more poetic structure that made the account memorable, portable, transferable, and (dare I say?) catechetical. This served a vital pedagogical function. And pedagogy was imminently practical in ancient times. After all, the Hebrew people at large had to remember everything — they had no pocket Old Testaments to consult.

And so, again, let me be clear: This opening account of the creation is a true accounting of God, who did create the world, who did so in a wise, magnificent, supernatural and natural, orderly fashion, who then populated that world with creatures. Further this same God in the course of that creation made two people – Adam and Eve — and placed them in a real garden and gave them a real commission and a real prohibition to live by. As such, Genesis is certainly a true accounting; it is not some sort of myth, or flight of fancy, or fiction.

The prologue to Genesis is a historical account, but it is a poetically historical account whose impact is not to be felt so much in the individual sequence of its days but in the overall message of the creation week. And the message of the week, as a whole, is this: At the center of God’s purposeful, all-powerful, creative work are two people who are privileged to be, and commissioned to live, as Images of God, filling the creation with others who bear God’s likeness and managing God’s creation on his behalf and for his glory.


阅读 评论 收藏 转载 喜欢 打印举报/Report
  • 评论加载中,请稍候...




    新浪BLOG意见反馈留言板 电话:4000520066 提示音后按1键(按当地市话标准计费) 欢迎批评指正

    新浪简介 | About Sina | 广告服务 | 联系我们 | 招聘信息 | 网站律师 | SINA English | 会员注册 | 产品答疑

    新浪公司 版权所有