Is Genesis 1 & 2 Historical Narrative?

Steven Boyd's research suggests that this is the case. Here's a description of chapter 9 of his latest book:

"Chapter 9 summarizes the results of the new topic added late in the RATE project—the grammatical analysis of poetic and historical texts by Steven Boyd. In analyzing poetic and historical texts, he found that historical texts predominantly use the preterite verb form (one type out of four), while poetic texts hardly use it at all. Boyd’s analysis and research are superb; the difference between historical narrative and poetic texts is stark. Genesis 1–2:3 uses predominantly preterite verbs. So the probability that these verses are historical narrative is in the neighbourhood of 99.99%. Genesis is real history, intended to be read as real history! A larger glossary would have been helpful, since Boyd uses many Hebrew grammatical terms that would be unfamiliar to non-Hebraists."

1 comment:

  1. The most that can show is that the authors thought of themselves as writing historical narrative.

    I wonder about even that conclusion on this basis, however, since it gives only two options, "poetry" and "history". But what about Nathan's parable, for instance? What verb forms are used there? It is a narrative, a story with events rather than poetry, but that doesn't make it history, a story about events that actually happened.

    In short, from the little information you shared, it sounds like this study oversimplifies things by allowing for only two categories. But I'd love to hear more if that's not the case!