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Friday, May 16, 2008

to versify or not

Quote from a review of the RATE project report v. 2

Chapter 9 summarizes the results of the new topic added late in the RATE project—the grammatical analysis of poetic and historical texts by Steven Boyd. In analyzing poetic and historical texts, he found that historical texts predominantly use the preterite verb form (one type out of four), while poetic texts hardly use it at all. Boyd’s analysis and research are superb; the difference between historical narrative and poetic texts is stark. Genesis 1–2:3 uses predominantly preterite verbs. So the probability that these verses are historical narrative is in the neighbourhood of 99.99%. Genesis is real history, intended to be read as real history! A larger glossary would have been helpful, since Boyd uses many Hebrew grammatical terms that would be unfamiliar to non-Hebraists.