I would say that the author in this case was not a biologist and was
unconcerned about such things as how many legs an insect had, or whether a
bat was a bird or flying mammal. His concern was telling the ordinary person
of his time which animals were clean, and which unclean. Even today, many
laymen in modern society would not know if a bat was a bird, or the true
number of legs on insects. You don't need to be stupid not to know things
outside your experience, or area of expertise.
From: gordon brown [mailto:gbrown@euclid.Colorado.EDU]
Sent: Sunday, June 30, 2002 8:27 PM
To: Shuan Rose
Subject: Re: sciDocument.rtf
Rather than assuming that the authors of the Bible were so incredibly
stupid that they were unable to do such simple things as distinguishing
bats from birds or counting the number of legs on insects, wouldn't it be
better to assume that they were reasonably intelligent individuals and use
their statements as clues as to what such words and phrases meant to them?
For example, the word `oph also occurs in the passage in Leviticus 11
about insects. A word that can be used to refer to birds, bats, and
insects might be a word for flying creatures.
Department of Mathematics
University of Colorado
Boulder, CO 80309-0395
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