- Literary devices.
theme refers to the central, deeper meaning of a written work. Writers typically will convey the theme of their work, and allow the reader to perceive and interpret it, rather than overtly or directly state the theme. As readers infer, reflect, and analyze a literary theme, they develop a greater understanding of the work itself and can apply this understanding beyond the literary work as a means of grasping a better sense of the world. Theme is often what creates a memorable and significant experience of a literary work for the reader.
If we are going to understand how the massive amount of information documented over thousands of years by multiple authors in different cultures documented in the Bible applies to us in our day and time, we must understand basic literature construction.
The theme of the Bible is “the establishment of the kingdom of God”.
The theme is recognizable despite the change of scenery and actors by the repetition of key ideas and forces driving the plot forward to the climax and conclusion.
The plot of the accounts in the Bible is rebellion against Creator / YHVH / LORD
The Singularity is “light [energy], and in him is no darkness at all.” (I John 1:5).
- “In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth.
- And the earth was without form, and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep.” (Genesis 1:1-2)
So Darkness is the opposite of Light, characterized by destructive forces opposing God’s life-giving work.
it is a complete mystery. But it is an important mystery…The rest – everything on Earth, everything ever observed with all of our instruments, all normal matter – adds up to less than 5% of the universe…
We are much more certain what dark matter is not than we are what it is. First, it is dark, meaning that it is not…visible…Second, it is not in the form of…normal matter…Third, dark matter is not antimatter, because we do not see the unique gamma rays that are produced when antimatter annihilates with matter. Finally, we can rule out large galaxy-sized black holes…
The nights of creation week can be envisioned as something like the London Blitz.
“thou hast heard, O my soul, the sound of the trumpet, the alarm of war. Destruction upon destruction is cried; for the whole land is spoiled…I beheld the earth, and, lo, it was without form, and void; and the heavens, and they had no light.” I beheld the mountains, and, lo, they trembled, and all the hills moved I beheld, and, lo, there was no man [ha Adam, referring to human], and all the birds of the heavens were fled. I beheld, and, lo, the fruitful place was a wilderness,” (Jeremiah 4:4-26)
This passage has been used by supporters of the gap theory to support their position…that this must refer to some cataclysm that overcame the world after Genesis 1:1. However, context is the key to understanding. Jeremiah 4 describes the impending destruction of Judah because of Judah’s disbelief.
This analysis is so focused on denying long ages for the earth that it ignores the fundamental construction of every literary work
Sometimes it can be difficult to determine the difference between the theme and subject matter of a literary work. They are both closely related to each other; however, the subject matter is the topic that is overtly addressed and presented by the writer whereas the theme is the meaning or underlying message that is imparted through the writing.
The subject matter of a written work is what the text is about and is, typically, clearly indicated by the writer.
The theme of a literary work reflects why it was written and what the author hopes to convey on a deeper level to the reader without direct statements. A reader may infer and a writer may imply a theme within a literary work. However, the subject matter of a literary work is not inferred by the reader or implied by the writer; it is overtly stated and understood.
The difference between the subject matter of Genesis 1 and Jeremiah 4 is:
- the Singularity’s Creation and salvaging of the universe after rebellion by his celestial offspring
- “These are the generations of the heavens and of the earth when they were created, in the day that the LORD God made the earth and the heavens” (Genesis 2:1-4)
- Whoa! There’s a clue! Generation = “a form, type, class, etc., of objects existing at the same time and…developed from a common model or ancestor“
- and the Singularity Creator’s offer of salvation from destruction due to rebellion by his human offspring.
- “If thou wilt return, O Israel, saith the LORD, return unto me: and if thou wilt put away thine abominations out of my sight, then shalt thou not remove…lest my fury come forth like fire, and burn that none can quench it, because of the evil of your doings…Blow ye the trumpet in the land: cry, gather together, and say, Assemble yourselves…Set up the standard toward Zion: retire, stay not: for I will bring evil from the north, and a great destruction…The lion is come up from his thicket, and the destroyer…he is gone forth from his place to make thy land desolate…without an inhabitant…watchers come from a far country, and give out their voice...because she hath been rebellious against me, saith the LORD…Thy way and thy doings have procured these things unto thee…my people is foolish, they have not known me; they are sottish children / sons of God / angels and human and they have none understanding: they are wise to do evil, but to do good they have no knowledge.” (Jeremiah 4:16-25)
In both cases God was drive out by his own people who replace him with a false god of light and life.
“For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.” (Ephesians 6:12)
The power of light and life being opposed by the power of darkness and death shouldn’t even need explanation. This is not at all unique to creation.
- the Singularity’s Creation and salvaging of the universe after rebellion by his celestial offspring
Do you want to be on the winning side? Join God who fights back and triumphs!
“He [God] is wise in heart, and mighty in strength: who hath hardened himself against him, and hath prospered? Which removeth the mountains, and they know not: which overturneth them in his anger. Which shaketh the earth out of her place, and the pillars thereof tremble. Which commandeth the sun, and it riseth not; and sealeth up the stars.” (Job 9:3-7)
For thus saith the LORD / I AM / Creator…Seek ye me, and ye shall live…Seek him that…turneth the shadow of death into the morning…The LORD / YHVH is his name.” (Amos 5:4-8)
What is God’s weapon? The same unique power that formed the universe in the first place. His word.
“So shall my word be that goeth forth out of my mouth: it shall not return unto me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper in the thing whereto I sent it.” (Isaiah 55:11)
“Heaven and earth shall pass away, but my [the Savior’s] words shall not pass away.” (Matthew 24:35)
“this voice / Word which came from heaven we heard, when we were with him in the holy mount. We have also a more sure word of prophecy / what is guaranteed to happen; whereunto ye do well that ye take heed, as unto a light that shineth in a dark place, until the day dawn, and the day star arise in your hearts:” (I Peter 1:18-20)
“And I saw heaven opened, and behold a white horse; and he that sat upon him was called Faithful and True, and in righteousness he doth judge and make war…and his name is called The Word of God. And the armies which were in heaven followed him upon white horses, clothed in fine linen, white and clean. And out of his mouth goeth a sharp sword [think sonic weapon], that with it he should smite the nations…
And he hath on his vesture and on his thigh a name written, King Of Kings, And Lord Of Lords…And I saw the beast, and the kings of the earth, and their armies, gathered together to make war against him that sat on the horse, and against his army. And the beast was taken, and with him the false prophet that wrought miracles before him, with which he deceived them that had received the mark of the beast, and them that worshipped his image. These both were cast alive into a lake of fire burning with brimstone. And the remnant were slain with the sword of him that sat upon the horse, which sword [weapon] proceeded out of his mouth” (Revelation 9:11-21)
The voice that thundered the universe into being – the real Big Bang – is the same voice that shouts his troops to follow him into battle to end the rebellion.
Studying the Bible is not just a matter of cultural-religious identity, or living right, or solving problems. It is a matter of life and death for humanity! Whose side will you be on? The word of truth, or the lie of the adversary?
Those pictures of blonde Jesus in a snow-white robe cuddling a lamb and petting children? He had one garment he wore day and night, sweating while striding through dust and dung for 3 1/2 years. As a Nazarene he hadn’t ever cut his long hair and beard.
You’d get a more accurate picture visualizing a desert nomad, or closer to home, a mentally ill homeless man.
Our placid lives and sanitized Sunday school stories have failed to give us a proper understanding of the Bible. It helps to put biblical words into suitable graphics. It’s rough, it’s tough, it’s dirty and bloody. It’s the true Game of Thrones.
“The night is far spent, the day is at hand: let us therefore cast off the works of darkness, and let us put on the armour of light. Let us walk [live our lives] honestly, as in the day...” (Romans 13:12-13)
LIGHT IS LIFE, DARK IS DEATH :
AN ANCIENT GREEK AND INDO-EUROPEAN METAPHOR
In many ancient Indo-European languages there is a great number of metaphorical and euphemistic expressions referring to the phenomenon of death and dying. Many of these metaphors are the result of tabus, and others have various origins in the different imageries that the Indo-European peoples head built around the idea of death, the concept of afterlife, and related beliefs….
Light in general and sun-light in particular enjoy some of the most prominent and most powerful symbolisms in many cultures. Sun is the heavenly light that man sees from the very beginning, indeed it is the stuff of life, what keeps life on earth…In Indo-European the sun and sun-light occupies prime position, the highest seat in the pantheon and religious imagery, an idea which is reflected in the name of the prime god Zeus (e.g. Gk. Ζευς, Skt. dydus, Lat. Iu(p)piter, etc., all from IE *dyeus ‘heavenly light, day light’). Many myths and many types of symbolism are associated with the sun and the heavenly light, many praises have been devoted to this primary natural phenomenon, and its magic and power have been immortalized in literature, art, and philosophy. It is, therefore, understandable to find close associations of light with life and life-source, and its lack with death, absence of life, and misfortune. Life, like truth, shines in the bright sun-light, while the opposite finds expression in darkness, in misty and foggy environments…
Light is a cosmic power, but also the power of life…
Thus, we have the death of a man as deep darkness, or seen as a cloud or mist that casts a veil of darkness over
In Homer…we find, among others, the following euphemistic and metaphorical expressions associating death with darkness or removal from light:
darkness covered his eyes (II. 4.461)
dark night covered his eyes (II. 5.659)
hated darkness seized him (II. 5.47)
to leave the light of the sun (II. 18.11)
the dark cloud of death encompassed them (Od. 4.180)
We see in John…Greek pagan concepts and philosophies as a tool for communicating Jesus as the Logos to a Christianized Gentile audience…Heraclitus of Ephesus used the word Logos around 500 BCE to describe his concept of the regularity with which the universe seemed to operate. The universe was a divine machine and Heraclitus credited the Logos (literally the reason) as the ultimate rationale which secretly operated the universe and the heavens above. [Emphases added.]
The Logos was…responsible for keeping the ratio of all things in proportion, much like the balance of Eastern yin (dark) and yang (light). The cult of Hermes made use of this to describe their Hermetic corpus written about in the Poimandres:
“The [Poimandres] writer fell into a deep and heavy trance, in which there appeared to him a being who introduced himself as Poimandres (Shepherd of Men), “the Mind of Authority.” Poimandres then shows the mystic a vision, in which he sees a great light and a great darkness, respectively reality and matter. From the light comes “a Holy Logos,” …the “shining Son of God,” who proceeds from Mind itself…”
By the beginning of the Common Era, the Logos was a deeply felt and intricate part of Greek thought…It was well established that the Logos was a divinely felt presence of God, but no philosopher could find a more practical implementation for how the Logos actually mattered to humans and their lives. The man who would provide this meaning and give personified substance to the Logos at the beginning of the Common Era was Philo.
Philo of Alexandria (30 BCE – 45 CE)…was a Jew of the dispersion, and observed the mitzvot [religious rites like Passover], yet like a lot of cosmopolitan Alexandrians of the time, worshipped the Greek gods too. Philo believed that the two worlds were not irreconcilable and the Logos was his attempt at melding Yahwism with the Greek vision of God…[who]believed that God was inherently “unknowable.” He was beyond human understanding and all attempts to describe God would end in failure. However…If one could achieve the Hermetic level of mystical awareness as chronicled in the Poimandres, one will be able to experience God.
Yahweh, however, was much different in that he was easily accessible and constantly busied himself with the details of everyday Jewish life…Yahweh was the opposite of the philosophic construct of the Greek Unknowable; he was nearby and could be reached easily just by calling out to him.
Philo’s work bridged this gap, postulating an ousia of God, or a singular essence, which is the unknowable, and an energeiai (energy) / Spiritwhich was the very thoughts of God. God’s energy could interact and touch the lives of mortals despite the remote ousia which was inaccessible to man…The Logos was a mediator for God; making it possible to realize the energy of God, and thus, by extension, the impossible ousia of God Himself…
Philo’s Word was extremely popular among Jews and non-Jews alike, successfully splitting God into multiple personifications that pagan worshippers would later refine further from Bi- to Trinitarian concepts that we are familiar with today. We first see the application of the philosophy of the Logos in the prologue of the Gospel of John which begins by proclaiming Philo’s triumph:
“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God …. The same was in the beginning with God … and the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father [God]…” (John 1:1-14)
John has promulgated the Logos in a radically new way…