Never the twain shall meet meaning in bible

'Never the twain shall meet' - the meaning and origin of this phrase

never the twain shall meet meaning in bible

Never the twain shall meet definition is - —used to say that two things, places, etc ., are very different and can never be brought together or made similar. How to. The word “twain” derives from the [amazon_link id=”″ target=” _blank” ]Old English[/amazon_link] word twegen, simply meaning “the number two. Science and Religion: Never the Twain Shall Meet Religion seeks meaning and the answer to “why” the world is as we know it, based on the . If the bible is a flawed interpretation of god's will, then the conclusions about.

Most of my observations concern the pre-Dtr story. Harper and Row, The Bible and Western Tradition Berkeley: University of California Press, This content downloaded from In evaluating the David stories, Alter notes, "Nevertheless, these stories are not, strict ly speaking, historiography, but rather the imaginative reenactment of history by a gifted writer who organizes his materials along certain the made biases and according to his own remarkable intuition of the psy chology of the characters" p.

never the twain shall meet meaning in bible

This sharply contrasts with some Bib lical scholars who see these stories as the beginning of historiography in ancient Israel. Their relationship to tradition ap proximates that of Shakespeare writing Henry V; he needed to portray the general outlines of Henry's life accurately, but could fill in the details creatively pp. Alter's analysis of the Ehud story p.

Alter briefly alludes to a similarity between the Ehud story and p. In all this, as I have said, it is quite possible that the writer faithfully represents the historical data without addition or substantive em bellishment.

The of the narrative, however It is perhaps less historicized fiction than fictionalized history — history in which the feeling and the mean of events are realized the technical resourc ing concretely through es of prose fiction.

Alter's general thesis is similar to that of the philosopher of history of Factual Hayden White. In an essay entitled "The Fictions Represen tation,"9 White notes: Essays in Cultural Criticism Baltimore: In addition, in my view, the techniques or strategies that they use in the composition of their discourses can be shown to be substantially the same, how ever different they may appear on a surface, or dictional, level of their texts.

There is, however, a significant difference between White and Alter: White emphasizes that various historians use rhetorical devices or take rhetorical stances to accomplish specific goals or to advocate specific ide ologies, while Alter focuses on the literary devices themselves.

Alter in The Art of Biblical Narrative has not extensively explored this dimension, although he on occasion speaks of the balance between the "moral-theological or national-historical" purpose of the authors and the "exercise of pleasur able invention for its own sake" pp.

However, even though Al ter explicitly acknowledges the ancient context of the Bible, his analysis is largely literary-aesthetic. I would like to suggest the need for supple menting Alter's way of viewing texts with a literary-historical or literary ideological analysis, which is more anchored in ancient Israel. Ktav, This opposition between literature and the really serious things collapses the moment we realize that it is the exception in any cul ture for literary invention to be a purely aesthetic activity.

never the twain shall meet meaning in bible

Writers put together words in a certain pleasing order partly because the order pleases but also, very often, because the order them helps refine meanings, make meanings more memorable, more satisfy ingly complex, so that what is well wrought in language can pow erfully engage the world of events, values, human and divine ends pp.

Thus, although Alter in his works both on general literature and on Biblical literature explicitly ac knowledges the importance of the historical contexts of literary works, he usually does not apply this principle in his detailed analysis of Biblical units.

Furthermore, Alter's suggestion that there is little evidence that Bib lical authors were bound to earlier traditions p.

This is certainly not the case with Chronicles, which should have found a place in a book whose title suggests that it covers the range of Biblical material. Simon and Shuster, Much of the non-synoptic material in Chronicles shows little of the artistic merit which Alter has discovered elsewhere in the Bible; perhaps this explains the omission.

However, see now Rodney K. Duke, The Persuasive Appeal of the Chronicler: Almond,which advocates that Chronicles is of literary merit. This raises the pos sibility that the sources of the Deuteronomistic History, which are not available to us, might be related to Dtr in the same way that Dtr is related to Chronicles.

If this is the case, then the Biblical historiographical texts are much more bound to traditions than Alter claims. I am not asserting that this indeed is the case, merely that the dependence on tradition cannot be quickly discounted by emphasizing the original, creative as pect of the Israelite historiographers.

Alter's interpretation of the Ehud pericope presents certain prob lems. He has outlined the literary devices that he, as a twentieth-century literary critic, has seen, but has not shown the plausibility that an ancient Israelite might have understood the text's literary underpinnings in a similar way.

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Alter has only briefly dealt with this issue e. Finally, to the extent that Alter's observations satire be corrob concerning may orated, he has not paid sufficient attention to the social setting of the genre.

His interpretation remains literary-aesthetic, and although in his books he says that the literary-aesthetic goals often function in tandem with social, political or theological goals, he does not attempt to show in this particular instance in detail what these have been. This might omission is especially glaring because social setting is especially impor tant for understanding the "satire," in contrast to other genre genres such as "fairy tale.

His definition of history is based on intentionality; in Halpern's own words: As readers, we iden tify what is historiography and what is not based on our perception of the author's relationship to the evidence" p. True history is typified by its "antiquarian interest" passimand should be contrasted with ro mance, which contains elaborations "unnecessary to the presentation of a reconstruction from the evidence" p.

Phrased differently, the central issue is, "did the narrator have reason to believe what he or she wrote Method in Biblical Study Philadelphia: Westminster,esp. Over half of this is comprised of an exposition of the realia be hind the text, including several pages on the significance of Ehud's left handedness Judg 3: Halpern's remaining substantial argu ment concerns that he calls "The Genre of the Story" pp. Here, Halpern notes the story's p.

His central contention here is that the story as we have it is from an "oral recension" p. In the hands of a professional storyteller, however, Ehud's exploits would have spilled over the present fifteen verses of prose, and furnished the stuff of an evening's entertainment, a drama. This is the source on which the author in Judges 3: What we have in Judges 3 is a boiled-down version of a long-transmitted escapade. He argues for his case by analogy with the stories of David as an outlaw, claiming that the story in Judges is similar to 2 Sam He concludes his discussion of the similarities by noting p.

The oral version of the Ehud episode, then, has its home probably in the premonarchic or early monarchic era of Israel's history. Like the notes about David's heroes, the version is the fossil of literary a literary tradition. The history eschatology, mystery of the is to communicate the reconstruction of events. His definition focuses on elaborations that are "unnecessary". How may we now determine which these are?

In addition,how can we possibly know whether the author was working from sources or thought what he or she was writing was true? The case of the Chronicler is instructive here; there are still many places where it is seriously debated whether or not he is basing his narrative on sourc es and believed that what he wrote actually happened.

It is unfortunate that Halpern nowhere extensively discusses Chronicles, even though it might have provided instructive models for exploring Dtr. Moreover, an author need not have a single attitude toward all of his or her sources, so one may not generalize from a small number of Dtr texts to the corpus as a whole, as Halpern has done. Finally, in his revised statement concerning the "intentional fallacy," W. Wimsatt claims, "The design or the intention of the author is neither available nor desirable as a standard forjudging either the meaning or the value of a work of literary art.

Halpern is clearly aware of some of these problems, and suggests that p. Much of Halpern's explication of the Ehud story involved recon structing the realia behind the text. But what does this reconstruction of the realia prove? One could imagine such arguments being used in an earlier era, when scholars such as W.

Science and Religion: Never the Twain Shall Meet

Albright based the historical reliability of a passage to some extent on its plausibility or reasonable ness,23 but this seems not to be Halpern's purpose. Halpern himself states pp. A Fallacy Revisited," p.

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Edinburgh University Press, University of Kentucky Press,3— The entire volume edited by Newton-de Molina contains useful perspectives on the problems of literary intentionality. Greenwood Press, For the use of the term "history" within Biblical see scholarship, Geller, op. But accurately Harry Lime is not a historical figure; he is at best a pastiche of other figures.

Ehud's name, all scholars concur, was received with the tradition and 1 Chron. Judges 3 derives from sources. Throughout, it presents only data that the oral story and his general knowledge licensed the historian to reconstruct.

However, the "argument and evidence" adduced have no bearing on the issue at hand — how does the palace construction or the likelihood that Benjaminites formed a class of left-handed warriors suggest that the author actually believed what he wrote?

The value of the evidence of 1 Chronicles 7: Certainly this, and the other fact to which Halpern alludes, that the name Ehud is only used in this context and is possibly of uncertain etymology,25 do not bear on the issue of whether the author believed he was writing history or romance.

The hero's name, his depiction as a left-handed warrior, and the palace structure do not aid in determining the genre of the story.

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Halpern's contentions concerning the genre of this story are also section 2 Sam problematic. First, it is difficult to compare the four-verse to the Ehud a cursory of the two shows Second, Halpern's reconstruction assumes certain points which we know little or nothing about. How did the Israelite storytellers tell their stories?

Were they pro lix or brief? Was there only one style of storytelling? What are the hall marks of Israelite oral versus written traditions? Given the paucity of Saul Lieberman, Volume,Volume, ed. Jewish Theological Seminary, A Comparative 25 Jeananne D. Sheffield Academic Press, Halpern's specific arguments flounder, and to the extent that they supported his conclu sion that "The point of the story is to communicate the reconstruction of events," this too is in doubt. The evidence available cannot support the contention that Judg 3: How many we anchor specific literary readings within an ancient Israelite context?

To what extent are modern genre labels appropriate to and helpful for the explication of Biblical texts? Is there any way that the historical and literary approaches to a Biblical text may be combined? Alter concludes his book p. The rest of this paper will attempt to address these issues. Many of Alter's insights concerning the literary underpinnings of the story can probably be substantiated, especially by adducing stylistic cri teria which he has chosen not to address.

Alter's claim concerning the sacrificial undertones in Eglon's name can be substantiated from elsewhere in the story. Brill, Fur thermore, in v. Furthermore, the 'formulaic' ending in v. Anderson, Sacrifices and Offerings in Ancient Israel: Studies in Their Social and Political Importance. Scholars Press, Society of Biblical Literature, Exum, Amit, however, is more in the religious interested rather than the specifically sacrificial undertones.

Kohlhammer, University of Wisconsin Press, McGraw Hill,— BDB 4g and 34 Contrast, e. On the phallic use of T, cf. BDBT This content downloaded from It is quite possible that the choice to break with the typical pattern and to insert T was informed by an awareness that at one level the chapter is depicting the sexual subju gation of the Moabites to the Israelites.

All of these suggestions, which extend and defend Alter's observations, are based on stylistic factors, which Alter had not outlined. It is full of scatological and sexual refer ences at the enemy's expense.

But what is the purpose of these devices? It is only possible to investigate this issue after examining the historical relationship between Moab and Israel. The story itself contains no hint of its time of composition. Most schol ars would agree, however, that the Book of Judges was redacted at the latest in the early exilic period, though some of its traditions are earlier. The vast majority of evidence suggests a hostile relationship between the neighbors.

This is reflected in many of stories. For types example, the story of Moab's birth Gen According to "historical texts," the Moabites were vassals already at the time of David 2 Sam 8: Brill, le. Unlike scientific claims, beliefs cannot be arbitrated to determine which is valid because there is no objective basis on which to compare one set of beliefs to another. Those two world views are not closer than we think; they are as far apart as could possibly be imagined.

Religion and science are incompatible at every level. The two seek different answers to separate questions using fundamentally and inherently incompatible methods. Nothing can truly bring the two together without sacrificing intellectual honesty.

For centuries people have attempted in vain to reconcile faith and reason. The Pontifical Academy of Sciences was founded in by the Vatican to promote scientific progress compatible with the Church's teachings. Here on the pages of the Huffington Post, Jeffrey Small argued that science and religion have common ground. Others writing for the Post make similar appeals, including the most recent by Tegmark. Jonathan Dudley claims the Christian faith requires accepting evolution.

Dudley says that "Christians must accept sound science, not because they don't believe God created the world, but precisely because they do.

I am unaware of any irreconcilable conflict between scientific knowledge about evolution and the idea of a creator God; why couldn't God have used the mechanism of evolution to create? It is not possible. As science explains ever-more complex natural phenomena, the need to invoke god to understand daily events and the physical world diminishes. God becomes confined to "gaps" in scientific knowledge, diminishing in stature with each great advance of human knowledge.

Forget not that for years the faithful were told that god made earth the center of the universe, and that the sun orbited our planet. People were burned alive for questioning this orthodoxy. The "god of the gaps" has become an increasingly trivial figure as science narrows the space in which the ignorance that supports god can thrive.

The proper response to the overwhelming evidence for evolution is to accept that the ideas of religion have failed, rather than to try desperately to bridge an ever-widening chasm. God has been reduced to what Stephen Hawking and Richard Dawkins don't know.

Science can tell us that the Earth rotates counterclockwise if we're looking down on the North Pole from space. No purpose exists in that fact. The "why" here answers a mechanical question based on history; that particular direction of rotation is a consequence of how the original gases and debris were orbiting the sun prior to coalescing into our planet. Religion might ask "why" God had a yen for counterclockwise, but that question is outside the realm of and irrelevant to the science in question, if such a question is valid at all.

Those who attempt to reconcile religion and faith often appeal to two ideas: Let's tackle the first one first. Morality, Religion and Science Science can postulate and study the hypothesis that morals are not derived from religion, nor god's grant of free will, but instead arise from inherent characteristics embedded in human nature as a consequence of our sociality. What we view as moral behaviors -- kindness, reciprocity, honesty, respect for others -- are social norms that evolved in the context of a highly social animal living in large groups.

The evolution of these social norms enabled a feeble creature to overcome physical limitations through effective cooperation. Perhaps morality is a biological necessity and a consequence of human development. Perhaps religion has masked and corrupted these natural characteristics with a false morality that converts intrinsic human benevolence and generosity into cheap commodities to be purchased with coupons for heaven.

Good behavior is not encouraged as a means of advancing our humanity, but instead is enforced with threats of eternal damnation. One prominent characteristic of human beings is sociality. Functioning as a group in many circumstances conveys significant advantages on members of the group. Associated with sociality is altruism, which is sacrificial behavior that in some way promotes the propagation of the genes of the altruistic individual, usually by aiding the survival of a close relative sharing some common genetic stock.

The ultimate altruistic behavior would be dying for the sake of another's survival. An uncle getting in harm's way to protect a nephew is an example. Social cooperation and altruism are significant factors in the success of our species, a fact that underlines the biological basis for a natural morality as a defining and adaptive human characteristic.

In contrast, a religious code of ethics based on personal reward for behaving morally or eternal punishment for not doing so leads to a flawed morality with long-term and serious consequences for humankind.

Many of society's ills, including violent intolerance of our fellow humans, result to a considerable degree from religious morality based on fear of the unknown and hopes for immortality. Behaving morally for no reward and in no fear of punishment, but because we have the capability of being moral creatures, is one of the traits that can define humanity. Pursuit of such a natural ethic is a means of augmenting what is good in humans and minimizing elements of our darker side.

Christianity has had a year run to prove itself an effective means of teaching morality. The experiment has failed. We need another approach. We can choose a path unique to humans by elevating ourselves above the common fate of other species.

We can choose a natural ethic. Those who do embrace a natural ethic will find a certain satisfaction derived from knowing one's place in the universe. Amazing clarity is achieved in realizing that life is not controlled by some unseen and mysterious god, but by an individual's power to make decisions, and a personal choice to be moral.

There is tremendous joy in understanding that purpose and meaning in life are self-derived, and that these precious commodities are not some gift from above that can be taken away arbitrarily by a wrathful deity working in mysterious ways. With a natural ethic we are the masters of our own fate. Nothing is more powerful, or more satisfying. Perhaps theses idea are wrong; time, advances in knowledge and further investigation may eventually tell. But the same cannot be said for religious claims about morality.

Those cannot be investigated. For those who believe that morality is derived from god, there are no further investigations to the question. And therein we find the biggest and most obvious irreconcilable difference between faith and reason.

Science and Fallibility We are told that since science and faith are both fallible, both are equally valid approaches to understanding the world and ourselves.

Here is what Jeffrey Small says about this: Many scientists initially resisted Copernicus, Kepler and Galileo because they presented a new paradigm of the universe. What this proves is that over time, science is self-correcting while faith is not. While we all know now, due to science, that the earth orbits the sun, the Church is still fighting the battle with Galileo.