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Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Day 42 (True Story)

[My reaction to May 7-9 readings in the One Year Bible.]

Consider the following stories. Jack and the Beanstock, Pecos Bill, Johnny Appleseed, George Washington and the Cherry Tree, Woodstock, Kennedy's "Ich bin ein Berliner," Reagan's "Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall!"

On the one hand, none of these is entirely devoid of myth. They all are cultural stories with morals. They all stand for a larger truth, or perhaps an arguable truth. On the other hand, it is undeniable that the factual basis of these stories varies. Although there would be some disagreement, in general we know which parts of these are factual.

What would be more difficult is to know where the stories of the Trojan Horse or Greek Fire go in this list. I am similarly confused about where to put the story of the birth of Samuel. Link.

2 comments:

Matt Dick said...

It seems to me that the birth of Samuel is telling us an important fact about what it means to bear children and to dedicate oneself to God. I am unsure what that fact is, but it seems important.

I have no idea if the original author thought he was telling us a history or a fable.

Not helpful, I know.

ingisocs

JimII said...

I thought these lines were interesting: Elkanah lay with Hannah his wife, and the LORD remembered her. So in the course of time Hannah conceived and gave birth to a son. She named him Samuel, saying, "Because I asked the LORD for him."

Why point out that Elkanah lay with Hannah? I don't think we get this detail about Sarah & Abraham knocking boots before she conceives Isaac. Ditto for Elizabeth cousin of Mary.