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An Exhaustive Inventory of New Testament Imagery20130711_08425991

An Exhaustive Inventory of New Testament Imagery20130711_08425991

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Published by David F Maas
Dr. David F. Maas uses the Boulding -Bois System Models to analyze the metaphors and imagery of the New Testament
Dr. David F. Maas uses the Boulding -Bois System Models to analyze the metaphors and imagery of the New Testament

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Published by: David F Maas on Jul 11, 2013
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10/16/2013

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An Exhaustive Inventory of
NEW TESTAMENT IMAGERY
by
DAVID
F.
MAAS,
Ed.D
1993
 
INTRODUCTION
Youholdinyour handsaunique volume,asexhaustiveas aconcordanceand as
thorough as a
dictionary,
yet
different
because
of its
systematic
arrangement and its
user-
friendly
method
of
exposition.
It is in no way a
replication
of
Bullinger's volume
Figure
of
Speech
in the
Bible,
but a
totally
different
system
of
classification
and
explication.The basic organizational scheme is one I was originally exposed to 23 years ago whenI was recovering
from
injuries
sustained in an automobile accident. I read with great interest
J. S.
Bois'
The Art
of
Awareness
and
Kenneth
Boulding's
The
Image.
I was
particularlyfascinated by how Bois had systematically categorized Boulding's images into sevenprogressive system-models which
he
termed standardized analogies.
These
seven mental
models,
which
are
placed
on a
continuum
from
simple
tocomplex,
reflect
a
progressive
sophistication in the development of root metaphors. The seven
Boulding-Bois
system-models provide an excellent logical framework upon which to construct a taxonomy ofimagery. The Bois models could also absorb or subsume many of the partially
effective
metaphor classifications systems based upon typesoftransferandimage content
area.
Usingthe Boulding-Bois system-models, the types of transfer such as inanimate-animate, static-
dynamic,
human-animal, and material-immaterial
would
be placed in a logical progressiveorder
on a
more encompassing continuum.
The
diverse content areas
~
such
as
mineralworld,
plant
world, animal world,
and man and his
activities
~
would
be
arranged
according
to a logical progressive scheme
from
simple to complex.System-model one in the Boulding-Bois hierarchy is the framework or static structure.
At
this level
the
image used
for
comparison
has no
moving parts. Metaphors
on the
framework
level of thehierarchy
reflect only
the
form
of aphenomenon,and do notdescribe its
functioning.
The image evoked by a
framework
model would be that of a solid,permanent object such
as a
mountain,
a
town,
or a
continent. Biblical metaphors
at
level
one compare God as a
rock (Psalm
62:2),
Christ
as a
rock
(I
Corinthians
10:4)
or the
people
in
theCorinthian congregationasGod's
field
or
God's
building(ICorinthians 3:9).
 
Bible
Imagery
Level
two of the
Boulding-Bois
hierarchy
of
system models
is
that
of the
mechanism
reified
as a
clock.
With
this image,
the
interdependent moving parts
are
added
to the
framework
model. The parts that make up the whole are not studied separately, but mustbe shown to work interdependently. In the static structure, the building blocks
metaphorically
are
spatially
related,
but the
functioning
of the
unit
is not yet
illustrated.
Each cog, axle, or gear must contribute to the workings of the whole unit. The abstractnotion of action and reaction, cause and
effect,
or checks and balances, can be
described
as
well
as reinforced by the mechanism (or clockwork) metaphor. Clockwork images haveinterdependent moving parts
which
function
on a cyclical, repeatable schedule. Biblicalimagesatleveltwowouldbe the
circularity
of the rivers and
wind
describedin
Ecclesiastes
1:6-7
and the
circuit
of the sun in
Psalm 19:6.Level threeon theBoulding-Bois hierarchyofsystem modelsis theself-regulating,
equilibrium-maintaining, homeostatic-maintaining
image
reified
in a
thermostat.
The
thermostathasbothan
effector
tosendoutsignals
with
acontrol mechanismtokeepthe
unit
running at a steady predetermined level. The homeostatic mechanism reacts to positive
and
negative
feedback
and
makes adjustments accordingly. Biblical images
onlevel
three
depict losing and regaining balance (Psalm
73:18),
going astray but receiving a coursecorrection (Psalm
119:67),
and maintaining stability in prayer (James
1:6-8).
Level
four
on the
Boulding-Bois hierarchy
is the
cell.
The
cell analogue
is the
first
andmost basicof all
living
images. Every component whichtheprevious models contained,
including
having form,
interdependentparts,
and the
homeostatic
control
mechanisms
is
also
apparent in the cell. The unique
feature which
the cell adds to the previous analogues isthe capacity for self-maintenance and self-reproduction. While the mechanistic analogue hasto be maintained by something external to
itself,
the cell contains within itself a plan forsurvival. Unlike the mechanical models that can be wound up or
down,
the living cell isnever at rest
until
death overtakes it.The cell is able to ingest, digest, and eliminate
foreign
substances (which it mustselectively discern as nutritive),
transforming
these raw materials into itself. Bouldingdescribesthecellas abasic open system
"which
maintains itselfin themidstof astreamofthrough-put." The open system draws foreign substances to its structure. Biblical images
n

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