By Herbert Chanan Brichto
This can be the sequel to the author's iconoclastic Toward a Grammar of Biblical Poetics (Oxford, 1992), within which Brichto argues for the classy wholeness of the Hebrew Bible, and the consistency of Scripture's preachment on God, nature, and the human condition--in direct competition to present resource feedback, which continues that inconsistencies in the textual content aid an atomistic studying of a number of authors.
In The Names of God, Brichto brings us his "poetic" interpreting of Scripture to the publication of Genesis. utilizing modern tools and insights of literary feedback, he examines one of many nice inconsistencies inside Genesis that experience resulted in the supposition of a number of authors--the collection of phrases or names for the Deity, between them Yahweh and Elohim--and makes an attempt to teach the appropriateness of definite of those names to the tales within which they seem. He additionally appears at numerous different facts inside Genesis akin to genealogies, eponyms, and chronologies, and exhibits that their poetical function--their style, ingenuity, and ingenious whimsy--is important to the constitution of the textual content as an entire. find a harmony during this range of fabrics, Brichto makes a powerful case for the textual content because the creative success of a unmarried author.
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Additional info for The Names of God: Poetic Readings in Biblical Beginnings
A specific (proper) name for a peoples god (such as El, Shaddai, YHWIT), presupposing the (assumed) existence of many gods, must be chronologically prior 10 the common-noun-become-propcr-noun (Elohim/ Uod). If the foregoing is clear to us, it must have been equally clear to the authors and editors oi the texts from which we draw this conclusion. We must thereiore look for a literary explanation of the apparent contradictions, inconsistencies, superfluities, and non-sequiturs in the information provided by our texts as to these two names.
El, hä'el, El Elyon, Elyon, Shaddai, Elöh 1 ) that were not first introduced to Moses. A poetical address to t h e names of Scripture s Deity, granting that t h e books of t h e Hebrew Bible are the result ot an editorial process that brought together t h e products of at least three centuries ( Amos-Malachi, c. 7 6 0 - 4 6 0 ) , would nevertheless assume an essentially stable and developed monotheism for that entire period. Hence, it would see in Y H W H and Elôhïm two proper names for Israels Deity; one, Israel s label for its national Deity, who is also the O n e Deity of Creation and History, nature and h u m a n k i n d (like Marduk and Assur in t h e creation theologies of Babylon and Assyria); the other, the transformation of a c o m m o n n o u n into a proper n a m e expressive of the idea that, the c o m m o n n o u n having but one member, that n o u n is more a particular t h a n a genus.
We thus have eleven instances in which the biblical narrator has various personae (God himself, God's angel, Eve, Noah, Abraham, Sarah), disposing of the name YHWH, T h e divine personae do this in dialogue with humans, and the humans themselves in all spontaneity, and all ot these instances, before the time of its first introduction to Moses, We could go on now to present our solution to this T H E N A M E S OF GOD •־j glaring poetical difficulty. But in the interest oi preparing our readers for our suggestion, it will be helpful to make something of a detour: to examine the unique p h e n o m e n o n — u n i q u e to Scripture, unknown in (he world's literature or religious traditions—of a proper name that is never pronounced, indeed unpronounceable, because it is writ ten in.