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Author Topic:   Hyperbole in the Bible
NoNukes
Member
Posts: 10126
From: Central NC USA
Joined: 08-13-2010
Member Rating: 1.7


Message 106 of 124 (640778)
11-13-2011 4:50 AM
Reply to: Message 105 by Jon
11-13-2011 2:30 AM


Re: Still Clueless
I just gave you the method.
This message is a reply to:
 Message 105 by Jon, posted 11-13-2011 2:30 AM Jon has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 109 by Jon, posted 11-13-2011 11:50 AM NoNukes has responded

    
purpledawn
Member (Idle past 1073 days)
Posts: 4453
From: Indiana
Joined: 04-25-2004


(1)
Message 107 of 124 (640782)
11-13-2011 5:44 AM
Reply to: Message 104 by Bailey
11-12-2011 5:27 PM


Exaggeration vs hyperbole
I am so overwhemed by the wealth of information you have bestowed upon me. If you had provided any more I might have actually learned something.

Although they are synonyms, there apparently is a difference that college people are loathe to share.

So with the help of my trusty internet and waning comprehension skills, I found that basically (this means I'm not going to give a dissertaion with slides to cover every minute detail concerning the differences. I'm just covering what I see as the funamenital nature of the beast.) the difference is that the exaggeration used in an exaggeration is not beyond possibility, but in hyperbole it is beyond possibility.

Examples:
I'm so hungry I could eat a dozen eggs. (This is in the realm of the possible.)
I'm so hungry I could eat a horse. (Impossible.)

Unfortunately, no matter how hard I looked, I could not find anything that confirms that irony and/or humor is a necessary factor for identification in either one or in one but not the other.

So given that basic difference (and I'm sure I'm wrong), IMO, the universal negatives fall in the category of impossible. Never before, never again.

The verses may not contain irony, but then neither did my examples.

The verses may not contain humor, but not all hyperbole does.

Charlie gazed hopelessly at the endless pile of bills stretching across the counter.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 104 by Bailey, posted 11-12-2011 5:27 PM Bailey has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 108 by NoNukes, posted 11-13-2011 11:31 AM purpledawn has responded
 Message 114 by Bailey, posted 11-13-2011 5:54 PM purpledawn has acknowledged this reply

  
NoNukes
Member
Posts: 10126
From: Central NC USA
Joined: 08-13-2010
Member Rating: 1.7


Message 108 of 124 (640798)
11-13-2011 11:31 AM
Reply to: Message 107 by purpledawn
11-13-2011 5:44 AM


Re: Exaggeration vs hyperbole
purpledawn writes:

I'm just covering what I see as the funamenital nature of the beast.) the difference is that the exaggeration used in an exaggeration is not beyond possibility, but in hyperbole it is beyond possibility.

Nonsense. Your research was a complete waste of time. I don't want to know the details. You may have found some buffoon who had that stuff on his web site, but you might as well have been reading about General Relativity on Conservapedia.

Would it not be hyperbole if I said that "I was hungry enough to eat a live frog?" Is that feat impossible or merely so ridiculously improbable and difficult to believe, that few would take it literally?

From Hyperbole in English: A Corpus-based Study of Exaggeration By Claudia Claridge (Emphasis and typos added by me)

quote:
Hyperboles involving extremes are the most obvious to recognise (often without or with only minimal context) and perhaps the most frequent, but hyperbole can use any part of the scale in order to express something bigger, more, etc., than is the case,as long as the contrast between what is and the stated point is significant, i.e., large enough... It is impossible to fix a general lower limit for hyperbole

I'll admit that I didn't read much of Bailey's post, and it is possible that I missed some sarcasm. If so, I apologize in advance for being an osmium head.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 107 by purpledawn, posted 11-13-2011 5:44 AM purpledawn has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 111 by purpledawn, posted 11-13-2011 1:38 PM NoNukes has responded

    
Jon
Inactive Member


Message 109 of 124 (640802)
11-13-2011 11:50 AM
Reply to: Message 106 by NoNukes
11-13-2011 4:50 AM


Re: Still Clueless
I just gave you the method.

You gave me no such thing. You merely told me all of the things we might look at to help us decide whether a particular line of text is figurative or not...

... upon seeing it of course.

Or to put it another way, if I had no idea what figurative language was, your 'method' wouldn't help me understand it in any way whatsoever.

Jon


Love your enemies!

This message is a reply to:
 Message 106 by NoNukes, posted 11-13-2011 4:50 AM NoNukes has responded

Replies to this message:
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NoNukes
Member
Posts: 10126
From: Central NC USA
Joined: 08-13-2010
Member Rating: 1.7


Message 110 of 124 (640812)
11-13-2011 1:14 PM
Reply to: Message 109 by Jon
11-13-2011 11:50 AM


Re: Still Clueless
Or to put it another way, if I had no idea what figurative language was, your 'method' wouldn't help me understand it in any way whatsoever.

Just because the method can often be applied by inspection does not mean that were using Justice Stewart's "I know it when I" see it standard. But yes, actually seeing the language is part of the method, but so is a bit of analysis.

Figurative language is merely language that is not intended to be taken literally. I described two methods for identifying figurative language. 1) Comparing the literal meaning of the words with the context. 2) Identifying idioms commonly in use by the writers. You may or may not be able to perform those two steps by mere inspection.

My proposition is that using those two methods catches the vast majority of literary devices used in the Bible. There will be some false negatives and false positives, but the method is fairly reliable, which is all that I promised.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 109 by Jon, posted 11-13-2011 11:50 AM Jon has not yet responded

    
purpledawn
Member (Idle past 1073 days)
Posts: 4453
From: Indiana
Joined: 04-25-2004


(1)
Message 111 of 124 (640815)
11-13-2011 1:38 PM
Reply to: Message 108 by NoNukes
11-13-2011 11:31 AM


Re: Exaggeration vs hyperbole
Yes, I read that, (wish I could read the whole thing) but Bailey claims otherwise and doesn't and won't provide any support. That's all I could find on the possible difference between exaggeration and hyperbole.

As for eating a live frog, it falls in the realm of the possible and there are people who eat live frogs.

Whether it is an exaggeration or not would probably depend on the audience. Whether it is hyperbole or "just" exaggeration seems to depend on one's source for literary information.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 108 by NoNukes, posted 11-13-2011 11:31 AM NoNukes has responded

Replies to this message:
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NoNukes
Member
Posts: 10126
From: Central NC USA
Joined: 08-13-2010
Member Rating: 1.7


Message 112 of 124 (640818)
11-13-2011 2:04 PM
Reply to: Message 111 by purpledawn
11-13-2011 1:38 PM


Re: Exaggeration vs hyperbole
Whether it is an exaggeration or not would probably depend on the audience.

Wrong. Whether or not eating a live frog is understood to be an exaggeration depends on the audience. But whether or not the speaker was exaggerating depends only on the speaker's intent. For some audiences it may be necessary to use a particular inedible/venomous species of frog.

Is the distinction between hypebole and exaggeration really all that important?

Edited by NoNukes, : No reason given.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 111 by purpledawn, posted 11-13-2011 1:38 PM purpledawn has not yet responded

Replies to this message:
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Bailey
Member (Idle past 1986 days)
Posts: 574
From: Earth
Joined: 08-24-2003


Message 113 of 124 (640837)
11-13-2011 4:37 PM
Reply to: Message 111 by purpledawn
11-13-2011 1:38 PM


Re: Exaggeration vs hyperbole
Yes, I read that, (wish I could read the whole thing) but Bailey claims otherwise and doesn't and won't ..

Tsk, tsk - shame on you

Please don't bear false witness sista dawn, it's not becoming ..

One Love


I'm not here to mock or condemn what you believe, tho my intentions are no less than to tickle your thinker.
If those in first century CE had known what these words mean ... 'I want and desire mercy, not sacrifice'
They surely would not have murdered the innocent; why trust what I say, when you can learn for yourself?
Think for yourself.

Mercy Trumps Judgement,
Love Weary


This message is a reply to:
 Message 111 by purpledawn, posted 11-13-2011 1:38 PM purpledawn has acknowledged this reply

  
Bailey
Member (Idle past 1986 days)
Posts: 574
From: Earth
Joined: 08-24-2003


Message 114 of 124 (640845)
11-13-2011 5:54 PM
Reply to: Message 107 by purpledawn
11-13-2011 5:44 AM


Re: Exaggeration vs hyperbole
Take me with a grain of salt pd - you should kno I luv ya by now.

I am so overwhemed by the wealth of information you have bestowed upon me. If you had provided any more I might have actually learned something.

Although they are synonyms, there apparently is a difference that college people are loathe to share.

So with the help of my trusty internet and waning comprehension skills, I found that basically (this means I'm not going to give a dissertaion with slides to cover every minute detail concerning the differences. I'm just covering what I see as the funamenital nature of the beast.)

Oh jeez - get down from that stauros, there's no need to crucify yourself; you know Im a full blown metard. That said - I wasnt trying to teach (as I often drink from your cup), but rather to maintain objectivity. In the end, theres only one teacher.

Perhaps I was holding your feet a bit too close to the flames. My apology is forthcoming, as I'm a bit much at times

Also, lemme be fair - I understand the terms exaggeration, hyperbole and overstatement are often used interchangeably.

I just dont perceive (from my end) how refusing to draw any distinction lends the debate an assist in this instance.

the difference is that the exaggeration used in an exaggeration is not beyond possibility, but in hyperbole it is beyond possibility.

Examples:
I'm so hungry I could eat a dozen eggs. (This is in the realm of the possible.)
I'm so hungry I could eat a horse. (Impossible.)

Unfortunately, no matter how hard I looked, I could not find anything that confirms that irony and/or humor is a necessary factor for identification in either one or in one but not the other.

Now, no one stated humor and/or irony must be developed in the expression in order to constitute hyperbole, so please, give that one a rest. In good faith, Ill establish my position one more time to clarify ..

Exaggerations are not defined by contradiction, irony and/or humor, etc., but rather simple overstatements.

Hyperbole is often comprised, and defined, by one of these dynamics through the vehicle of exaggeration.

I noted weve no contradiction, humor, irony, etc., nor any evidence (i.e. effect) for hyperbole from you. My hope was you might establish an obvious intentional effect being developed through the exaggeration. And it still is.

I never stated hyperbole cannot exist without one of the three present. They were presented as familiar examples of what hyperbole is commonly known to produce as an intended discourse goal; to be sure, others exist.

I'm not gonna shoot myself in the foot in the middle of a debate listing them though lol

I continued noting the examples you provide don't obviously convey any of the intended discourse goals hyperbole is known to commonly produce (i.e. contradiction, humor, irony, etc.), which we're familiar with.

Hyperbole is most frequently intentional and obvious exaggeration employed for effect.

And so, if contradiction, humor, irony, etc., arent the obviously intended effect, what is?

Universal negatives produce absolutes, but they themselves don't seem to be an effect.

And so, it seems, you wouldnt tell me.

So given that basic difference (and I'm sure I'm wrong), IMO, the universal negatives fall in the category of impossible. Never before, never again.

An issue I see is somethings are unique and uncomparable to what comes before and after, rendering uni neg's 'possible'.

Anyway, in the end, I disagree with your conclusion, although I appreciate your position and the effort youve put into it.

Generally, I consider hyperbole to be something which may be difficult to take literally. It appears the examples in our Kings booklets may easily be when we consider the author to be stating each king as one of a kind as we've agreed.

As an example, is this hyperbole:

quote:
The four corners of Mount Rushmore laid the foundation of hope in the Lord, the God of America, there was not one like it among all the mountains of earth, either before it or after it.

In providing this example, I'm not suggesting hyperbole can never be taken literally, but rather it is exaggeration for effect.

As such, there should be an obvious intentional effect visible with the kings, so what's the effect of the exaggeration?

Besides fruitful debate

One Love


I'm not here to mock or condemn what you believe, tho my intentions are no less than to tickle your thinker.
If those in first century CE had known what these words mean ... 'I want and desire mercy, not sacrifice'
They surely would not have murdered the innocent; why trust what I say, when you can learn for yourself?
Think for yourself.

Mercy Trumps Judgement,
Love Weary


This message is a reply to:
 Message 107 by purpledawn, posted 11-13-2011 5:44 AM purpledawn has acknowledged this reply

  
Bailey
Member (Idle past 1986 days)
Posts: 574
From: Earth
Joined: 08-24-2003


Message 115 of 124 (640848)
11-13-2011 6:11 PM
Reply to: Message 112 by NoNukes
11-13-2011 2:04 PM


Re: Exaggeration vs hyperbole
Is the distinction between hypebole and exaggeration really all that important?

Perhaps as a matter of debate and semantics, but otherwise I think not. To defend allegations of biblical contradiction, it seems one can suggest equally whether exaggeration or hyperbole is at play lending an appearance of mutual exclusivity.

One Love


I'm not here to mock or condemn what you believe, tho my intentions are no less than to tickle your thinker.
If those in first century CE had known what these words mean ... 'I want and desire mercy, not sacrifice'
They surely would not have murdered the innocent; why trust what I say, when you can learn for yourself?
Think for yourself.

Mercy Trumps Judgement,
Love Weary


This message is a reply to:
 Message 112 by NoNukes, posted 11-13-2011 2:04 PM NoNukes has acknowledged this reply

  
whytera 
Suspended Junior Member (Idle past 2123 days)
Posts: 3
Joined: 11-25-2011


Message 116 of 124 (642045)
11-25-2011 1:51 AM


Spam
Time to invoke the 300+ message closing rule.
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zyy.com supports spam.

Edited by Adminnemooseus, : Change subtitle, nuke links, add message.


    
purpledawn
Member (Idle past 1073 days)
Posts: 4453
From: Indiana
Joined: 04-25-2004


Message 118 of 124 (647566)
01-10-2012 10:49 AM


How to Understand Literary Devices
Understanding literary devices requires using your imagination to seeing something from the perspective of the author. To understand literal language, imagination is not necessary; you can simply look up the dictionary definition. Literary devices, however, require your brain to do work -- to figure out connections and recognize patterns.

How to Understand Literary Devices

1. Study the definitions of major literary devices.
2-4. Basically practice creating literary devices and practice finding literary devices within literature.

Hyperbole
A hyperbole is a literary device wherein the author uses specific words and phrases that exaggerate and overemphasize the basic crux of the statement in order to produce a grander, more noticeable effect. The purpose of hyperbole is to create a larger-than-life effect and overly stress a specific point. Such sentences usually convey an action or sentiment that is generally not practically/ realistically possible or plausible but helps emphasize an emotion.

My position in this thread is that the Bible contains many literary devices and hyperbole is one of them. There **may** be instances where verses are presented as contradictions or inconsistencies that really **may** not be contradictions or inconsistencies due to unrecognized hyperbole.

From the OP: Many times we have examined the accuracy and inerrancy of Bible passages, but how many were simply exaggerations? Although I dislike apologetics, I would like to look at various passages considered **by some** to be contradictions or absolute statements and **see if** hyperbole comes into play.

While Matthew 23:24 has not been presented as contradicting anything, it is a good example of a hyperbole. The last sentence is an idiom.

You blind guides! You strain out a gnat but swallow a camel.

An idiom is an expression whose meaning is known only through common use. The meaning must be learned.

Metaphor refers to a specific type of literary device.

A metaphor is a literary figure of speech that uses an image, story or tangible thing to represent a less tangible thing or some intangible quality or idea; e.g., "Her eyes were glistening jewels."

and it can cover several literary devices.

Metaphor may also be used for any rhetorical figures of speech that achieve their effects via association, comparison or resemblance. In this broader sense, antithesis, hyperbole, metonymy and simile would all be considered types of metaphor.

Now we look at the sentence: You strain out a gnat but swallow a camel.

In the idiom the gnat is not being compared to the camel and therefore not a metaphor by the first definition. The gnat and camel are exaggerations of size. As a hyperbole it falls under the term metaphor by the second definition.

When using the word metaphor, one needs to be specific about the definition being used.

Now in 2 Kings, 18:5 and 23:25 are considered **by some** (I didn't say me) to be contradictions because mutually exclusive statements are made, so both statements cannot be true. Both kings cannot be like no other. (Although, I would say no one is ever exactly like anyone else.)

2 Kings 18:5 - Hezekiah trusted in the LORD, the God of Israel. There was no one like him among all the kings of Judah, either before him or after him.

2 Kings 23:25 - Neither before nor after Josiah was there a king like him who turned to the LORD as he did--with all his heart and with all his soul and with all his strength, in accordance with all the Law of Moses.

Never before and never again, but we see on the chart of Kings of Judah that before them King Asa did what was right in the eyes of the LORD and whose heart was fully committed to the LORD all his life. 1 Kings 15:11 & 14. We see other kings who did right also.

Now after Josiah there wasn't anyone who did right and then the kingdom ended, so no more kings; but there were good kings before him.

Not really sure why anyone would consider these to be contradictions since people are unique even when doing the same job. I still feel these verses are just saying these two were considered great kings even among those who were good kings.

Here is another instance considered to be an inconsistency by **some**. We see the use of absolutes again. All the Amalekites totally destroyed.

1 Samuel 15:8
He took Agag king of the Amalekites alive, and all his people he totally destroyed with the sword.

1 Samuel 27:8-9
Now David and his men went up and raided the Geshurites, the Girzites and the Amalekites. (From ancient times these peoples had lived in the land extending to Shur and Egypt.) Whenever David attacked an area, he did not leave a man or woman alive, but took sheep and cattle, donkeys and camels, and clothes.

1 Samuel 30:17
David fought them from dusk until the evening of the next day, and none of them got away, except four hundred young men who rode off on camels and fled.

For a group that had supposedly been totally destroyed, our characters aren't surprised that they keep showing up. The last instance they used an absolute with an exception.

Since the characters aren't surprised that the Amalekites are still around, I would say that hyperbole does come into play here for the first verse or they didn't take a good body count. In the second one, David could have been dealing with small villages.

Given the times, I don't really see an inconsistency with the stories.


Replies to this message:
 Message 119 by NoNukes, posted 01-10-2012 12:22 PM purpledawn has not yet responded

  
NoNukes
Member
Posts: 10126
From: Central NC USA
Joined: 08-13-2010
Member Rating: 1.7


Message 119 of 124 (647588)
01-10-2012 12:22 PM
Reply to: Message 118 by purpledawn
01-10-2012 10:49 AM


Re: How to Understand Literary Devices
quote:
Metaphor may also be used for any rhetorical figures of speech that achieve their effects via association, comparison or resemblance. In this broader sense, antithesis, hyperbole, metonymy and simile would all be considered types of metaphor.

I have to take a nit picking issue with the above statement. Simile is defined in a way that it is completely distinct in form from metaphor. I have no problem with using metaphor in the broader sense used here, but when we do so, we should be aware that using this broader definition to refute earlier arguments that metaphor, exaggeration, and hyperbole are all metaphors is equivocation.

Although I dislike apologetics..

Apologetics has a negative connotation only because of a fairly recent attempts to pass off creation science and intelligent design as real science. But every person who believes that a miracle as described in the Bible literally occurred must use apologetics when defending his belief.

Since the characters aren't surprised that the Amalekites are still around, I would say that hyperbole does come into play here for the first verse or they didn't take a good body count.

Or maybe the encounter involved some/most but not all of the Amelekites on earth. I don't see how we can apply your principle to this particular text until we rule out at least the most likely possibilities that the text is literal true.


Under a government which imprisons any unjustly, the true place for a just man is also in prison. The proper place to-day, the only place which Massachusetts has provided for her freer and less desponding spirits, is in her prisons, to be put out and locked out of the State by her own act, as they have already put themselves out by their principles. Thoreau: Civil Disobedience (1846)

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 Message 118 by purpledawn, posted 01-10-2012 10:49 AM purpledawn has not yet responded

    
hugenot
Junior Member (Idle past 2032 days)
Posts: 7
From: palm beach gardnes, fl
Joined: 02-13-2012


Message 120 of 124 (652482)
02-13-2012 10:28 PM
Reply to: Message 1 by purpledawn
10-31-2011 8:08 AM


It is quite biased because you say you don't see a difference from near eastern writings. This is implying that you come to the Bible with a preconceived idea that the Bible is not from God already!
The Bible can only be understood when we firt pray before we read it!
Without this it is impossible to understand the bible, and it is even dangerous because someone who is unlearned can twist the Scriptures to his own destruction!
God spoke in the Bible, how can a human being tell God how He should write His book!
Can a human improve on the Bible?
Who ever proved the Bible wrong? No one
The Bible speaks mostly of God's love for you, and God choose to reveal Himself to men in a secret manner, to developp their faith.
God could have chosen to appear on Earth every week, so that everyone would have believed on Him.
But people's faith would not have been exercised this way!
Jesus loves you, believe His Word and thou shalt be saved!
http://www.bible-tube.com/jesus.php

Edited by hugenot, : No reason given.

Edited by Admin, : Disable the link.


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jar
Member
Posts: 29804
From: Texas!!
Joined: 04-20-2004
Member Rating: 1.5


Message 121 of 124 (652484)
02-13-2012 10:46 PM
Reply to: Message 120 by hugenot
02-13-2012 10:28 PM


Excuse me but of course the Bible is a human book, in fact there is not even such a thing as "The Bible" or even a single list of what books should be included in the anthology of anthologies generically called a "Bible". To claim otherwise is simply refuted by all of the evidence present.

But perhaps you are simply another hit-n-run poster and uninterested in truth or facts.


Anyone so limited that they can only spell a word one way is severely handicapped!

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