MemberJune 20, 2021 at 9:36 pm
Tonight I was reading from Psalm 77. I find it interesting that, generations later, the Red Sea miracle is described in very graphic language by Asaph in verses 16-20. I realize critics would call this “poetic” language, but I tend to be persuaded that this is described from hearing the experience passed down rather than just poetry.
I welcome others to site here, in this discussion, additional scripture passages that describe the Red Sea miracle for more descriptive detail. How fascinating!!!
MemberJune 21, 2021 at 4:06 am
Hi Michele. In another discussion about the Red Sea crossing https://historicalfaithsociety.com/forums/discussion/the-miraculous-sea-crossing/#post-57712 I have made the case that there is a divide between the prosaic (narrative) accounts of the Red Sea crossing and the poetic (interpretive) accounts. Bible readers have commonly conflated these two genres, supposing that the poetic descriptions are ‘scientific’ observations of what happened. I don’t think they, especially in light of the difference in style and detail. The poets and prophets lived long after the events, as you note, so they were not there to record what actually happened. Thus, their representations tend to exaggeration and fancy relative to the narrative accounts which are more modest and naturalistic in their descriptions. Whatever kind of crossing miracle we have come to believe, this is still demonstrably the case… that the most dramatic details are in the poetic versions. Joshua and Rahab (who was not there but was contemporary) describe the sea as ‘dried up’ (biblical quotes in the other thread).
MemberJune 23, 2021 at 6:52 am
Thank you for your reply and noting the discussion on this platform about narrative vs. poetic writings in the Bible. That is helpful for me.
Before I signed on here today, I was thinking about scientific perspective and scientific approach as opposed to faith. Faith is the evidence of things not seen, according to the Bible. Science seeks evidence that can only be seen. So, I realized that the two are at the opposite ends of the spectrum, and I stand at the faith end of the spectrum. For me, as a member of this society, “Historical faith” indicates faith that has stood over time as evidence of things not seen.
I am so thankful for the narrative and the poetic writings in the Bible, and the words of the Lord to the nation of Israel “to teach” the Passover and the wonders of our God to your children. The Passover Seder is obedience to God, and those poetic writings are also obedience to God. Otherwise, I would never know the historical wonder of God. The LORD GOD parted waters for them on two occasions, and if I include Elijah/Elisha’s mantle then three occasions, so, I tend to think of the poetic writings as each unique perspective of the Red Sea miracle experience passed down with the goal being, “believe and trust in God”.
In my perspective, there is no such thing as “science” for proof of a miracle. A miracle is exponentially beyond scientific proof because it is beyond the natural – supernatural. A miracle requires absolute faith, whether historical or experienced personally “in the now”. So, I fail to see how God can be exaggerated in any historical telling of a miracle. God’s words to the father of faith, Abraham, were “Is anything too hard for the LORD?” (Genesis 18:14 NKJV)
MemberJune 21, 2021 at 6:56 pm
I went back and read the Psalm you are talking about and I believe in experiences passed down through generations, I am part Choctaw Indian and story’s get told over and over and some of them even get embellished and written over time but I have to believe that the main idea of these story’s is to leave a record to the next generation, Isn’t that what we do even now? Everyone wants to leave a piece of themselves behind when they are gone, so they are remembered. It’s human nature. I am not a scholar or philosopher, I believe and was taught to keep things simple, the Bible is not that complicated if we use it in geographical, and archaeological context. I will get back to this discussion soon. Thanks
MemberJune 23, 2021 at 7:10 am
Thank you for responding. I too believe that the core of telling historical events over generations is to know that the event happened and to gain wisdom or to be stirred up in faith. Of course, there is the negative side of that, which rears its ugly head through superstitions, fears and such.
However, the biblical accounts, especially in the Psalms, of being freed from Egyptian slavery by the “hand of God” through miraculous events, and being supernaturally protected in Goshen by God through most of the plagues happening around them had to be amazing evidence of God whom we cannot see. And I am so thankful that God instructed them “to teach” these things to the children throughout the generations. I am so glad that God desires FAITH above science. (Luke 18:8 – …Nevertheless, when the Son of Man comes, will He really find faith on the earth? NKJV)
I am descended from Cherokee and Seminole, and I have learned that the family historians are to be respected and treasured in their gift to tell the history. Thank you for sharing that cultural perspective.
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