Black as Evil

Stephen Hodge s.hodge at PADMACHOLING.FREESERVE.CO.UK
Sat Nov 25 20:15:15 EST 2000


Steve Farmer wrote:

> The early Yahwist (Y) strata of Genesis, on the
> other hand, contain some of the oldest materials in the
> Torah/Pentateuch, going back quite a few centuries earlier.
The chapter of Genesis that Ganesan mentions belongs to the E source
rather than the J (not Y, by the way) source.   Also the
Graf-Wellhausen theory has been extensively refined over the past
100 years and further sources for Genesis have been tentatively
identified apart from J and E (Elohist), such as the L (Lay)
source, the S (Seir) source, the K (Kenite) source.  A common G
(Gundlage) source for both J and E has also been suggested.   The
whole of Genesis and the other four books of the Torah seem to be a
composite mosaic of compilations, additions, redactions from which it
would perhaps be difficult to draw any firm conclusions about the
dating of light/dark symbolism -- one cannot guarantee that the older
layers are free from editorial emendations or insertions so while I do
not necessarily endorse Ganesan's suggestions, I think they cannot be
entirely dismissed out of hand though I think that Genesis 1 does not
warrant a light = good / dark = bad classification.   Nevertheless,
just a few lines above the passage Ganesan mentions about God "seeing
that the light was good", there is mention of the "spirit of God".
Most biblical scholars accept that this a Persian Zoroastrian epithet
that has been inserted here so even the early E source has been
edited.

> I know a lot of people who are scared of the dark.
> Do you know anyone scared of the light?

Abinos ?  Vampires ?

But I wonder if there is any correlation between colours for
mourning -- many cultures use white for mourning rather than black so
it would be interesting to note whether they consider black to be
negative or positive in other contexts.

Best wishes,
Stephen Hodge



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