Thursday, June 28, 2012

Dr Fretheim says, "A remarkable number of Hebrew words are used with reference to creation, with God as subject...The sheer number of words indicates that Israel's thought about creation was wide-ranging and complex." (p.1)

It would probably be interesting to know what concept Israelites have the most words for. Consider all the names for God.

Years ago, I found a book for kids about the seven Inuit words for snow. Apparently there are more: nouns, verbs - often describing or implying all the nuances that go with such an important presence in the far north. Contrast that to the number of words for snow in native Hawaiian or Caribbean languages. There were so many kinds of snow, context, detail that they needed more words to tell one another what they meant!

I once read somewhere that conquerors will often take away a conquered country's language and require them to learn the language, customs, and stories of the conquorer - to give up not just control of their land but their very identity .

People who speak different languages think differently. I read an article that a girl wrote for a children's magazine years ago. She grew up speaking (if I remember right) four languages. She found that when she thought about ____she used ___ language because of what that particular language allowed her to express.

Who knew! It's just interesting. Such is the beginning of the discussion about our relational Creator and his creation.

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