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Medieval Ballad vs. Modern Interpretation in Get Up and Bar the Door

Medieval Ballad vs. Modern Interpretation in Get Up and Bar the Door

An often used literary form in Medieval English literature was the folk ballad, an example of which is “Get Up and Bar the Door.” A typical ballad is humorous, its author is unknown, and it focuses on one subject. This subject and the events of the story are conveyed both by the words written and those implied. The implied thoughts are conveyed and emphasized using a variety of literary techniques such as symbolism, repetition, and rhyme. The anonymous author of “Get Up and Bar the Door” tells his story make use of these and other literary techniques.

The basic conflict in this ballad is one if not widely used, easily recognized: man vs. woman, or more specifically, husband vs. wife, a battle of the wills. The setting of this story is mid-November, in the home of a man and his wife, most likely of the lower two-thrids of society, since the wife must do her own housework. The wind is blowing and coming in through the door, and the man, in the typical male fashion, tells his wife to shut the door. She repl…

Flood of Epic of Gilgamesh and Book of Genesis of the Holy Bible

The Flood of Gilgamesh and Genesis

The Epic of Gilgamesh records a story of a world-wide flood and pre-dates Genesis. So some claim that this invalidates the Genesis record. But P.J. Wiseman presents an interesting theory in this regard in his book Ancient Records and the Structure of Genesis (New York: Thomas Nelson, 1985).

He believes that Moses did not write Genesis but rather translated it from ancient stone tablets written in Cuneiform script. The tablets each would have been originally written by eye-witnesses of the particular events, or those who received their information from eye-witnesses.

He breaks Genesis into parts according to the phrase “These are the generations” (KJV; “This is the history” – NKJV; “This the account” – NASB; NIV; Gen 2:4; 5:1; 6:9; 10:1; 11:10; 11:27; 25:12,9; 36:1,9; 37:2).

He compares the use of this phrase and the structure of each section to the stone tablets written in cuneiform script. Many of these tablets have been discovered and they date to the third millenium BC.

Wiseman’s theory is that Genesis is translated from individual tablets which would have contained the material before each occurrence of the above phrase. So the narratives of the creation of the universe (Gen 1) and of the Garden of Eden (Gen 2) would have been written on one tablet by Adam as these events were revealed to him by the only Eye-witness of the events, God Himself.

The narratives of the Fall and subsequent events would have been written on another tablet by Adam as an eye-witness of the events. Adam then passed each of these tablets on to his descendant Seth. Seth then recorded the events of Gen 5 and passed the tablets to his descendant Noah.

Noah then recorded the events of Gen 6-9 and passed the tablets to his descendant Shem, and so one until Joseph. Joseph then recorded the final chapters of Genesis and placed all of the tablets in the library of the pharaohs. Moses then, while in pharaoh’s court, would have had access to these tablets. He then translated them into his native Hebrew.

The above theory “fits” with various evidences in the Scriptures. For instance, it would explain such passages as Exod 6:3: “I appeared to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob, as God Almighty, but by My name, LORD [YHWH], I was not known to them.”

But the Tetragrammaton appears in Genesis, making for an apparent contradiction.

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