May 9, 2010

Parallelism: The Nexus

Parallelism in Hebrew poetry points to similar qualities or sameness in meaning between two or more lines of poetry. There is no better place to show this example than in Genesis and the Bible's first use of it.

Genesis 1:27

(line 1) So God created man in his own image,
(line 2) In the image of God he created him;
(line 3) Male and female he created them.

Line one (1) introduces the the poem (lines 2 & 3).
The word "them" (line 3) defines "him" (line 2)
The word "created" is essentially the same in (line 1 & 3)

The latter defines the former and makes it meaningful because they run in parallel. In other words, humanness is corporate in the human species both male and female. It is not the male alone that is referred to when it is said God created man in His own image. The image of God is shared corporately between man and woman (Williams 92).

Man and woman compliment one another they do not supplement one another. Its kind of like two parallel lines...hmmmm

I do not believe it is any accident that this is the first use of Hebrew poetry in the Bible. A passage about the parallelism of male/female human existence in relation to God's image. Considering that a marriage between a man and a woman is an inkling of what it is like between Jesus Christ and the Church and between the persons of the Godhead (Father, Son, Holy Spirit). It is an extremely appropriate nexus for the first usage.

Tamquam Alter Idem: As if another/second self.

Williams, William C. . "Chapter 2: In The Beginning." They Spoke from God: A Survey of the Old Testament. Springfield: Logion Press/Gospel Pub. House, 2003. 92. Print.

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