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Thursday, January 17, 2008

When is a Frame a Work?

In the framework theory of interpretation of Genesis 1, Kline, amongst others, thinks that there is a systematic correspondence bewteen days 1-3 and days 4-6 as a pair of triads. Not so, as the diagram below shows.

Answer: when it is made up!

3 comments:

Critias said...

Kline's framework would seem to miss the fact, pretty obvious one, at that, that days 1,2 and 4 deal with 'big structure' items, and days 3, 5 and 6 with filling the earth for habitation. The 6 day sequence is two overlapping phases, that pivot about the interchanged days 4 and 3. But its pretty amusing that he's missed some basic items in the text!!

Ktisophilos said...

Dr Wayne Grudem elaborated more on the contrived nature of Kline's parallels in his book Systematic Theology, p. 302 (Grand Rapids, MI, USA: Zondervan, 1994):

‘First, the proposed correspondence between the days of creation is not nearly as exact as its advocates have supposed. The sun, moon, and stars created on the fourth day as “lights in the firmament of the heavens” (Gen.1:14) are placed not in any space created on Day 1 but in the “firmament”… that was created on the second day. In fact, the correspondence in language is quite explicit: this “firmament” is not mentioned at all on Day 1 but five times on day 2 (Gen.1:6–8) and three times on Day 4 (Gen.1:14–19). Of course Day 4 also has correspondences with Day 1 (in terms of day and night, light and darkness), but if we say that the second three days show the creation of things to fill the forms or spaces created on the first three days (or to rule the kingdoms as Kline says), then Day 4 overlaps at least as much with Day 2 as it does with Day 1.

‘Moreover, the parallel between Days 2 and 5 is not exact, because in some ways the preparation of a space for the fish and birds of Day 5 does not come in Day 2 but in Day 3. It is not until Day 3 that God gathers the waters together and calls them “seas” (Gen.1:10), and on Day 5 the fish are commanded to “fill the waters in the seas” (Gen.1:22). Again in verses 26 and 28 the fish are called “fish of the sea”, giving repeated emphasis to the fact that the sphere the fish inhabit was specifically formed on Day 3. Thus, the fish formed on Day 5 seem to belong much more to the place prepared for them on Day 3 than to the widely dispersed waters below the firmament on Day 2. Establishing a parallel between Day 2 and Day 5 faces further difficulties in that nothing is created on Day 5 to inhabit the “waters above the firmament”, and the flying things created on this day (the Hebrew word would include flying insects as well as birds) not only fly in the sky created on Day 2, but also live and multiply on the “earth” or “dry land” created on Day 3. (Note God’s command on Day 5: “Let birds multiply on the earth” [Gen.1:22].)

‘Finally, the parallel between Days 3 and 6 is not precise, for nothing is created on Day 6 to fill the seas that were gathered together on Day 3. With all of these points of imprecise correspondence and overlapping between places and things created to fill them, the supposed literary ‘framework,’ while having an initial appearance of neatness, turns out to be less and less convincing upon closer reading of the text.’

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