Back up at 5 today. It really feels good. Miles Van Pelt is fantastic as well. Though we certainly have our disagreements, he is a masterful teacher and really seeks to own the language. In my mind he demolished the argument that the waw conversive determines the type of literature or the genre. This is unfortunate because I used the argument, but at the same time it is helpful to know not to make it again.
This got me thinking about the whole question of genre. I’m not so sure that the genre determines something like the historicity, nor am I sure that ancient Hebrews separated genre the same way we did. When you get into things like “semi-poetic” or “poetic narrative,” you’re really on thin ice. The history of English literature shows that poems were taken historically, though perhaps understood to be fiction like King Arthur or Beowulf, and historical narratives (Robinson Crusoe) could be wholly fictional. The question of genre does not determine how we should understand Genesis by itself, and it certainly doesn’t answer a question like “Are these days literal and historic days?” That, it seems to me, is a thoroughly unHebrew question.
And after class I had enough time to catch a TiVo’d Colbert report. I thought it was brilliant.