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Author Topic:   Hyperbole in the Bible
purpledawn
Member (Idle past 1688 days)
Posts: 4453
From: Indiana
Joined: 04-25-2004


Message 16 of 124 (639767)
11-03-2011 6:13 PM
Reply to: Message 15 by PaulK
11-03-2011 2:09 PM


Re: Hyperbole in the Bible
quote:
Rather YOU should support your claim that the flood story is hyperbolic.

Noah was 600 years old.
All mankind's thoughts were only evil continually.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 15 by PaulK, posted 11-03-2011 2:09 PM PaulK has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 17 by PaulK, posted 11-03-2011 6:27 PM purpledawn has responded

  
PaulK
Member
Posts: 15328
Joined: 01-10-2003
Member Rating: 2.7


Message 17 of 124 (639769)
11-03-2011 6:27 PM
Reply to: Message 16 by purpledawn
11-03-2011 6:13 PM


Re: Hyperbole in the Bible
quote:

Noah was 600 years old.

On what basis do you conclude that that is hyperbole ? Given the number of differing implausible ages in the pre-Flood patriarchs is it not likely that this is a mythic/legendary element ?

quote:

All mankind's thoughts were only evil continually.

That seems to be a simplified and not entirely accurate paraphrase:


Then the LORD saw that the wickedness of man was great on the earth, and that every intent of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually.

(Genesis 6:5, NASB)

So, it seems that you can only come up with two incidental details - and one of them requires the very consideration of genre that you want to rule out as irrelevant (and with that consideration it is likely that your assessment is wrong !).

I think that my point is made.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 16 by purpledawn, posted 11-03-2011 6:13 PM purpledawn has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 18 by purpledawn, posted 11-03-2011 6:58 PM PaulK has responded

    
purpledawn
Member (Idle past 1688 days)
Posts: 4453
From: Indiana
Joined: 04-25-2004


Message 18 of 124 (639773)
11-03-2011 6:58 PM
Reply to: Message 17 by PaulK
11-03-2011 6:27 PM


Re: Hyperbole in the Bible
quote:
On what basis do you conclude that that is hyperbole ? Given the number of differing implausible ages in the pre-Flood patriarchs is it not likely that this is a mythic/legendary element ?
Per Friedman's Documentary Hypothesis, the Redactor put in the exaggerated ages. If you feel that it is not hyperbole, then make your case.

Exaggerated Ages
Professor Bruce Vawtner in A Path Through Genesis, suggests that "Both the Hebrews and Sumerians/Babylonians knew that many more than ten generations had elapsed during these periods. To bridge over the enormous gaps in time, therefore, both of them assigned tremendous ages to the few names that they possessed. While the Babylonians simply set down astronomical figures, none of them under twenty thousand years, the Hebrew author has been comparatively moderate, and above all, he made his ten generations serve a religious purpose."

quote:
So, it seems that you can only come up with two incidental details - and one of them requires the very consideration of genre that you want to rule out as irrelevant (and with that consideration it is likely that your assessment is wrong !).

I think that my point is made.


I have no idea what your point is concerning hyperbole. You haven't made any argument or presented any position concerning hyperbole in the Bible. I'm not going to comb the story for you. Absolutes tend to be exaggerations. If you disagree, then present your argument. If you disagree that a verse presented is hyperbole, then present your argument.
This message is a reply to:
 Message 17 by PaulK, posted 11-03-2011 6:27 PM PaulK has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 19 by PaulK, posted 11-03-2011 7:12 PM purpledawn has responded

  
PaulK
Member
Posts: 15328
Joined: 01-10-2003
Member Rating: 2.7


Message 19 of 124 (639775)
11-03-2011 7:12 PM
Reply to: Message 18 by purpledawn
11-03-2011 6:58 PM


Re: Hyperbole in the Bible
quote:

Per Friedman's Documentary Hypothesis, the Redactor put in the exaggerated ages. If you feel that it is not hyperbole, then make your case.

Remember that it is you who insists that this is hyperbole, so it is for you to make the case. If all you have is a "suggestion" that the great ages were assigned to "fill up" the periods that the authors knew to have passed - without any evidence offered - I don't see much of a case. Why can it not be, for instance, a "Golden Age" view, where the distant past was far better than the present day, a view reflected in the stories told, and people simply lived longer ?

quote:

I have no idea what your point is concerning hyperbole

My point is simple. Simply assuming that the Bible is basically an accurate historical text and that anything that seems obviously exaggerated is hyperbole is a crude approach, which seems driven by apologetic considerations rather than any serious attempt to understand the text.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 18 by purpledawn, posted 11-03-2011 6:58 PM purpledawn has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 20 by purpledawn, posted 11-03-2011 8:18 PM PaulK has responded

    
purpledawn
Member (Idle past 1688 days)
Posts: 4453
From: Indiana
Joined: 04-25-2004


Message 20 of 124 (639783)
11-03-2011 8:18 PM
Reply to: Message 19 by PaulK
11-03-2011 7:12 PM


Re: Hyperbole in the Bible
You seem to be creating an absolute position for me that I didn't present. I didn't insist the ages were hyperbole. I presented what I would consider to be hyperbole. People do not live to be 600 years old. It is an exaggeration to fill in a gap. If the redactor added the ages, they weren't part of the older story and looking at the legends of the same story, the ages didn't continue. He exaggerated the ages for a reason or affect. Why woulldn't that be a hyperbole.

quote:
My point is simple. Simply assuming that the Bible is basically an accurate historical text and that anything that seems obviously exaggerated is hyperbole is a crude approach, which seems driven by apologetic considerations rather than any serious attempt to understand the text.
That's why I'm confused. I haven't assumed any of the stories are basically accurate historical texts.

Hyperbole is commonly used in fiction, drama, poetry, and common speech.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 19 by PaulK, posted 11-03-2011 7:12 PM PaulK has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 21 by PaulK, posted 11-04-2011 3:03 AM purpledawn has responded

  
PaulK
Member
Posts: 15328
Joined: 01-10-2003
Member Rating: 2.7


Message 21 of 124 (639808)
11-04-2011 3:03 AM
Reply to: Message 20 by purpledawn
11-03-2011 8:18 PM


Re: Hyperbole in the Bible
quote:

You seem to be creating an absolute position for me that I didn't present.

On the contrary, in the OP you claimed:


The flood story is a good example of exaggeration with the use of the words everything and all.

The fact that you are refusing to support this assertion doesn't mean that you never made it.

quote:

I didn't insist the ages were hyperbole.

I didn't see any indication of uncertainty when you presented it as an example of hyperbole. The more so since you chose it as (presumably) one of the two clearest examples of hyperbole in the entire story!

quote:

People do not live to be 600 years old.

In reality, no. But this is why we must consider genre. Yet, you presented it as a definite example of hyperbole that could be identified without considering genre (Message 16)

quote:

It is an exaggeration to fill in a gap. If the redactor added the ages, they weren't part of the older story and looking at the legends of the same story, the ages didn't continue. He exaggerated the ages for a reason or affect. Why woulldn't that be a hyperbole.

I've already presented one alternative. But filling a gap is not the same as hyperbole, and even that is only a suggestion. We can say that the ages are not a standard figure used as an exaggeration (e.g. "He's, like, a hundred years old!") or even schematic ages like the 40 year periods in Moses' life, so simple hyperbole is not the explanation. We can see that we are dealing with mythical or legendary figures so that we cannot trust the constraints of reality to apply. We can see that the age is not unique to Noah and applies to many patriarchs before and after the Flood - admittedly diminishing after the Flood, but still continuing. The "filling in gaps" explanation has more merit than simply assuming hyperbole, but it still seems to be a strange thing to do.

quote:

That's why I'm confused. I haven't assumed any of the stories are basically accurate historical texts.

Yet you assume that Noah's age is hyperbole simply because in reality Noah could not be that old. You described the extent of the Flood as a definite example of hyperbole without giving any better reason. You don't want to consider the possibility that the stories are myth or legend or even fiction.

quote:

Hyperbole is commonly used in fiction, drama, poetry, and common speech.

Which is not a position I am arguing against. However we cannot use the fact that many genres use hyperbole to jump to the conclusion that we cannot consider genre when identifying hyperbole. Noahs's age is a clear example of this.

Edited by PaulK, : No reason given.

Edited by PaulK, : No reason given.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 20 by purpledawn, posted 11-03-2011 8:18 PM purpledawn has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 22 by purpledawn, posted 11-04-2011 7:24 AM PaulK has responded

    
purpledawn
Member (Idle past 1688 days)
Posts: 4453
From: Indiana
Joined: 04-25-2004


Message 22 of 124 (639815)
11-04-2011 7:24 AM
Reply to: Message 21 by PaulK
11-04-2011 3:03 AM


Re: Hyperbole in the Bible
quote:
I've already presented one alternative. But filling a gap is not the same as hyperbole, and even that is only a suggestion. We can say that the ages are not a standard figure used as an exaggeration (e.g. "He's, like, a hundred years old!") or even schematic ages like the 40 year periods in Moses' life, so simple hyperbole is not the explanation. We can see that we are dealing with mythical or legendary figures so that we cannot trust the constraints of reality to apply. We can see that the age is not unique to Noah and applies to many patriarchs before and after the Flood - admittedly diminishing after the Flood, but still continuing. The "filling in gaps" explanation has more merit than simply assuming hyperbole, but it still seems to be a strange thing to do.
Was that so difficult? You present why you disagree and I can decide whether to rethink my position. I can agree that even though the ages are exaggerated for whatever purpose, they aren't written in a distinctive hyperbolic fashion. So they probably aren't truly hyperbole. I'm not using the ages to explain anything. I'm looking at possible hyperbole in the Bible.

quote:
You don't want to consider the possibility that the stories are myth or legend or even fiction.
Again you are incorrect. I don't want this thread to be about proving (notice the word proving) that the stories are fact or fiction. Do you understand yet? IMO, it doesn't matter when it comes to hyperbole. If you disagree that a given verse is hyperbole, then present your counter argument based on whatever reason you have. If it is because of genre, then present your reasoning.

If we read the Bible stories just like any other writing, can we see hyperbole?


This message is a reply to:
 Message 21 by PaulK, posted 11-04-2011 3:03 AM PaulK has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 23 by PaulK, posted 11-04-2011 8:50 AM purpledawn has responded

  
PaulK
Member
Posts: 15328
Joined: 01-10-2003
Member Rating: 2.7


Message 23 of 124 (639818)
11-04-2011 8:50 AM
Reply to: Message 22 by purpledawn
11-04-2011 7:24 AM


Re: Hyperbole in the Bible
quote:

Was that so difficult? You present why you disagree and I can decide whether to rethink my position

The difficulty is in getting you to recognise that this is not a one-sided duty that applies to me and not to you. The fact that your attempts to support one of your new assertions was hopelessly bad and easily refuted does not in any way excuse you from the need to provide support for your original assertion. Which you have been evading throughout this discussion.

quote:

Again you are incorrect. I don't want this thread to be about proving (notice the word proving) that the stories are fact or fiction. Do you understand yet?

I understand that your objection was wrong. I never said anything about proving the story to be fact or fiction at all, all I asked you to do was to support the assumptions underlying your assessment of the text as hyperbolic in the OP. Which you refused to do, and still refuse to do. There is no real doubt that the story as we have it now is largely fiction anyway - a combination of two differing stories, both derived from older sources, which are more different still. So it seems that the objection is thoroughly bogus - and served to shut down a discussion you obviously want to avoid.

quote:

IMO, it doesn't matter when it comes to hyperbole.

It's already been proven that my actual concern for genre DOES matter, so your opinion is either wrong or completely irrelevant.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 22 by purpledawn, posted 11-04-2011 7:24 AM purpledawn has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 24 by purpledawn, posted 11-04-2011 9:58 AM PaulK has responded

    
purpledawn
Member (Idle past 1688 days)
Posts: 4453
From: Indiana
Joined: 04-25-2004


Message 24 of 124 (639820)
11-04-2011 9:58 AM
Reply to: Message 23 by PaulK
11-04-2011 8:50 AM


I'm Clueless
I really have no clue what you want, so I'm going to stop trying.
We are obviously looking at this issue differently.
This message is a reply to:
 Message 23 by PaulK, posted 11-04-2011 8:50 AM PaulK has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 25 by GDR, posted 11-04-2011 10:16 AM purpledawn has responded
 Message 31 by PaulK, posted 11-04-2011 2:58 PM purpledawn has responded

  
GDR
Member
Posts: 4911
From: Sidney, BC, Canada
Joined: 05-22-2005
Member Rating: 1.5


Message 25 of 124 (639821)
11-04-2011 10:16 AM
Reply to: Message 24 by purpledawn
11-04-2011 9:58 AM


Re: I'm Clueless
Hi PD

Let me try and explain what I think Paul means. Here is a quote from your OP.

quote:
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.

You used this as an example of hyperbole. It is hyperbole if Josiah really was an actual king. (I'm not disputing that by the way.) If however Josiah never existed then it isn't hyperbole but fiction.

In looking at the flood strory, it would seem to me that that the Biblical account in order to be hyperbole would mean that it had to be based on an actual flood of some kind, even if it was just a local flood. If there was no flood at all then the story isn't an example of hyperbole but simply fiction or allegory.

Cheers


Everybody is entitled to my opinion. :)

This message is a reply to:
 Message 24 by purpledawn, posted 11-04-2011 9:58 AM purpledawn has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 26 by purpledawn, posted 11-04-2011 12:39 PM GDR has responded
 Message 27 by NoNukes, posted 11-04-2011 12:48 PM GDR has responded

    
purpledawn
Member (Idle past 1688 days)
Posts: 4453
From: Indiana
Joined: 04-25-2004


(1)
Message 26 of 124 (639842)
11-04-2011 12:39 PM
Reply to: Message 25 by GDR
11-04-2011 10:16 AM


Re: I'm Clueless
Hyperbole is used in drama, fiction, poetry, and common speech.

Hyperbole in Moby-Dick by Herman Melville
“Next morning the not-yet-subsided sea rolled in long slow billows of mighty bulk, and striving in the Pequod’s gurgling track, pushed her on like giants’ palms outspread. The strong unstaggering breeze abounded so, that sky and air seemed vast outbellying sails; the whole world boomed before the wind.”

Hyperbole in To Kill A Mockingbird by Harper Lee
“A day was twenty-four hours long but seemed longer. There was no hurry, for there was nowhere to go, nothing to buy and no money to buy it with, nothing to see outside the boundaries of Maycomb County.”

I don't see that fiction negates the use of hyperbole.

So these are non-Biblical examples.

It is all about exaggeration! I can give you a trillion examples...
It is going to take a b'zillion years to get through Medical School.
I ate the whole cow.
He's 900 years old.
I'm as hungry as a horse.
I'm so hungry, I can eat a horse.

My backpack weighs a ton.
It took forever to get to the beach.
That dog is so ugly, it fell off the ugly tree and hit every branch.

Literary Terms
Genes: a literary species or form, e.g., tragedy, epic, comedy, novel, essay, biography, lyric poem.

Literal language means exactly what it says; a rose is the physical flower. Figurative language changes the literal meaning, to make a meaning fresh or clearer, to express complexity, to capture a physical or sensory effect, or to extend meaning. Figurative language is also called figures of speech. The most common figures of speech are these:
...
hyperbole: exaggeration, often extravagant; it may be used for serious or for comic effect.
...

So I'm still clueless as to why hyperbole supposedly can't be in a fictional story if that is the point.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 25 by GDR, posted 11-04-2011 10:16 AM GDR has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 28 by Wounded King, posted 11-04-2011 12:50 PM purpledawn has not yet responded
 Message 29 by GDR, posted 11-04-2011 2:34 PM purpledawn has responded

  
NoNukes
Inactive Member


Message 27 of 124 (639844)
11-04-2011 12:48 PM
Reply to: Message 25 by GDR
11-04-2011 10:16 AM


Re: I'm Clueless
GDR writes:

quote:
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.

You used this as an example of hyperbole. It is hyperbole if Josiah really was an actual king. (I'm not disputing that by the way.) If however Josiah never existed then it isn't hyperbole but fiction.

Your example may miss the mark. We might still recognize the verse as exaggeration if within the story we can see that Josiah was not quite as committed to the Lord as the verse indicates.

On the other hand, with Noah's age, I don't see any indication in the story that Noah failed to live to 600. Unless an appropriate Noah existed and had a lengthy lifespan that was significantly less than 600 years, then I don't see any basis for calling his age hyperbole.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 25 by GDR, posted 11-04-2011 10:16 AM GDR has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 30 by GDR, posted 11-04-2011 2:37 PM NoNukes has acknowledged this reply

  
Wounded King
Member (Idle past 2326 days)
Posts: 4149
From: Edinburgh, Scotland
Joined: 04-09-2003


(1)
Message 28 of 124 (639845)
11-04-2011 12:50 PM
Reply to: Message 26 by purpledawn
11-04-2011 12:39 PM


Re: I'm Clueless
I like this game, I'd add another from fiction which actually explicitly acknowledges its hyperbolic nature (with a bit of paradox thrown in) ...

It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of Light, it was the season of Darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair, we had everything before us, we had nothing before us, we were all going direct to heaven, we were all going direct the other way - in short, the period was so far like the present period, that some of its noisiest authorities insisted on its being received, for good or for evil, in the superlative degree of comparison only.
Charles Dickens, A Tale of Two Cities

TTFN,

WK


This message is a reply to:
 Message 26 by purpledawn, posted 11-04-2011 12:39 PM purpledawn has not yet responded

    
GDR
Member
Posts: 4911
From: Sidney, BC, Canada
Joined: 05-22-2005
Member Rating: 1.5


Message 29 of 124 (639872)
11-04-2011 2:34 PM
Reply to: Message 26 by purpledawn
11-04-2011 12:39 PM


Re: I'm Clueless
purpledawn writes:

I don't see that fiction negates the use of hyperbole.

So these are non-Biblical examples.

It is all about exaggeration! I can give you a trillion examples...
It is going to take a b'zillion years to get through Medical School.
I ate the whole cow.
He's 900 years old.
I'm as hungry as a horse.
I'm so hungry, I can eat a horse.
My backpack weighs a ton.
It took forever to get to the beach.
That dog is so ugly, it fell off the ugly tree and hit every branch.

Definition

quote:
hy•per•bo•le/hîˈpərbəlç/
Noun: Exaggerated statements or claims not meant to be taken literally.

Synonyms: exaggeration - hyperbola - overstatement


I don't understand how you can exaggerate fiction. In all of your examples you have taken a truth and exaggerated them.

For example when you say your backpack weighs a ton you are taken a non-fictional situation, which is that the back pack is heavy and exaggerating it.

Fiction is just what it is; it can't be exaggerated or minimized.


Everybody is entitled to my opinion. :)

This message is a reply to:
 Message 26 by purpledawn, posted 11-04-2011 12:39 PM purpledawn has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 32 by purpledawn, posted 11-04-2011 5:51 PM GDR has not yet responded

    
GDR
Member
Posts: 4911
From: Sidney, BC, Canada
Joined: 05-22-2005
Member Rating: 1.5


Message 30 of 124 (639875)
11-04-2011 2:37 PM
Reply to: Message 27 by NoNukes
11-04-2011 12:48 PM


Re: I'm Clueless
NoNukes writes:

Your example may miss the mark. We might still recognize the verse as exaggeration if within the story we can see that Josiah was not quite as committed to the Lord as the verse indicates.

That was the point that I was trying to make although obviously not that effectively.

NoNukes writes:

On the other hand, with Noah's age, I don't see any indication in the story that Noah failed to live to 600. Unless an appropriate Noah existed and had a lengthy lifespan that was significantly less than 600 years, then I don't see any basis for calling his age hyperbole.

Exactly


Everybody is entitled to my opinion. :)

This message is a reply to:
 Message 27 by NoNukes, posted 11-04-2011 12:48 PM NoNukes has acknowledged this reply

    
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