Sun | Dec 3, 2023

Genesis intent based on peculiar markers

Published:Saturday | November 19, 2022 | 12:05 AM


Father Sean Major-Campbell, in his column ‘The Essence of the Biblical story’, published in The Sunday Gleaner of August 21, saw/knew too little in his claim that Genesis is a myth. A knowledge of Hebrew would have saved him from that blunder.

The late Oxford University Hebraist James Barr, based on his theological outlook, disagreed with the authorial intent of Genesis 1-2 as history but acknowledged that intent based on the peculiar markers of a historical narrative in Hebrew.

Barr said in 1984: “ … probably, so far as I know, there is no professor of Hebrew or Old Testament at any world-class university who does not believe that the writer(s) of Genesis 1–11 intended to convey to their readers the ideas that creation took place in a series of six days which were the same as the days of 24 hours we now experience ... .”

In his more recent column ‘Exploring Love, relationships in the Bible’ on November 13, my clergy brother was seeing far too much in the text/context of the book of Ruth when he alleged a same-sex relationship between Ruth and Naomi, thus libelling both ladies!