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Grice’s Maxims Applied to Biblical Interpretation

I posted shortly ago about Grice’s “Maxims of Conversation,” but I wanted to take a brief moment to say that these maxims are not only useful ideas for conversation, but also can be applied to Biblical interpretation.  Take for example the “Maxim of Manner,” which has as a sub-point “be brief (avoid unnecessary wordiness).”  One thing that can be helpful to look for in Biblical interpretation is when an author violates this maxim.  For example, why does the author of Genesis say “the greater light” and “the lesser light” in Genesis 1.16, rather than simply “the sun” and “the moon.”  More words are used than are necessary here.  Of course the author could have just been writing poetically.  Or, perhaps the author was simply a poor writer.  But, I think it has something to do with the demythologizing in Genesis 1 (see HERE along with the comments section).  At any rate, an important question to ask when the maxims of conversation are violated may be whether they are violated for a reason.

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