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Folklore vs. Biblical God
Wednesday, June 08, 2005 - 09:08 AM

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All TopicsWhatever happened to Jewish myths, fiction and parables? In the manner that we speak of indigenous Indian, African, or Greek cultural fables?

Did Israelites have romantic myths, or folklores for that matter? Myths they could enjoy, and entertain without considering it history, or the law of God. If so how would it be next to the Good Book?

Surely these myths would have a "culture conscious" effect on Israelite/Jewish culture and thinking the way other tribes, cultures and nations fables have on theirs to teach, to scare to preach or to guide.

We experience the of the power of myths, spoken through everyday parables, through art-forms, through visual media like films. Their influence can show in our thoughts, and beliefs when we are in the same situation that the myth or fantasy is based. For example when a child is acting in the manner of his father it would be said to him; �like father like son.� Which reflects the mythical parables and famous stories about sons that acted in their father�s footsteps. And because Hollywood is the mouthpiece for myths in our day when we find ourselves in a situation similar to a Hollywood story/plot we say to each other that it �was just like in a film.� The modern teller of fables.

Looking to the Hebrews what effect can we imagine cultural myths, fantasies and folklore had on Jewish, and Israelite thought back then? And how can we suppose the influence would have to the inspired writers of the Bible?

Reading the Bible I gather that Hebrews, Jews had pure traditions. Pure in the sense that almost all aspects of life had laws covering it, as St.Paul points out.
Does this mean Jewish Israelite people were the first or only people on earth to have no culture of thought based on myths, fantasies, folklore and mystical metaphors? Or did God become that metaphor?
That their teachings and understanding of life was based solely on the history and the law which the Bible writers their forefathers taught?

Did God�s involvement with the Israel nation replace for them what every other nation has in folklore, myths, romantic tales, and so on?

This question has weighed on me for some time and it isn�t the easiest task for anyone convicted with the writings of the Bible to communicate without sounding like a heretic or blasphemer. This being the case isn�t it so that anyyone who has ever asked where did the writer of the beginning get there history asking where is the folklore in it?


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Folklore vs. Biblical God | Log-in or register a new user account | 12 Comments
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Re: Folklore vs. Biblical God (Score: 0)
by Anonymous on Jun 10, 2005 - 12:07 PM
These questions are absolutely brilliant. A few random thoughts:

1) There are examples (in this protestant's humble opinion - you're welcome to think different!) of folklore in the Apocrypha, that you might be interested to read. Bel and the Dragon, for instance.

2) The Bible more-or-less refers to other sources which include or may have included folklore. eg Jude alludes to the Book of Enoch, which is interesting reading. The historical books in the OT refer to a string of sources such as the Book of Jashar, the book of the annals of Solomon, the book of the annals of the kings of Israel, the book of the annals of the kings of Judah, and the book of the annals of King David. These may have been pure history, or not - who knows.

3) A more edgy question. Can we see some of the OT as folklore? This doesn't need to mean that it isn't true - we can see God inspiring authors, in the context of a race and culture, to write down folklore as other cultures do, but in this case it could be genuinely speaking about what is truly the case. At any rate, parts of the OT probably *functioned* in the same way as folklore for that society - being passed on from generation to generation, acting as the stories and wisdom which people listen to and live by.

Examples I'm thinking of for 'true folklore' elements might include: the creation narrative, which I think is a symbolic but trustworthy way of talking about what happened; the story of Job; maybe Noah and Jonah; the book of Esther. Then in a possibly different sense, Jesus' parables might take a folklore role for early Christians.

I'm not quite sure what I think about what I've written, but it's a related approach to the one you were asking about above, and both intrigue me. You're asking, "What folklore influenced the authors?" whereas I'm asking, "To what extent are these inspired writings taking the form and function of folklore themselves?" I guess this is similar to when you ask, "Did God�s involvement with the Israel nation replace for them what every other nation has in folklore, myths, romantic tales, and so on?"


Re: Folklore vs. Biblical God (Score: 0)
by Anonymous on Jun 15, 2005 - 11:39 PM
Just a thought I have on culture�s evolving worldviews.

When God (Biblical God), first spoke to the "Father of Nations" Abraham or more importantly "Law-giving" Moses, he wasn't exactly speaking in tongues or an inexplicable language was he?

Doesn't this mean that God did not invent their language that this language he was speaking was influenced outside of him? The language that would later perceive him was shaped outside of his Law?

Isn't language a means of affirming myths, beliefs and ideas to communicate them?

How this comes into the folklore argument is that most languages have a belief system about them to make people of the culture perceive what is what. So the Hebrews must already have had a language then that would mean they already had a belief system?

Now how does this or did this affect or shape the Bible, like the previous poster said; who knows?


Re: Folklore vs. Biblical God (Score: 1)
by Loanredu on Nov 17, 2006 - 08:49 PM

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Re: Folklore vs. Biblical God (Score: 1)
by Loanredu on Nov 17, 2006 - 10:55 PM

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Re: Folklore vs. Biblical God (Score: 1)
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Re: Folklore vs. Biblical God (Score: 1)
by Loanredu on Nov 18, 2006 - 03:03 AM

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Re: Folklore vs. Biblical God (Score: 1)
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Re: Folklore vs. Biblical God (Score: 1)
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