The Biblical use of the Hebrew word min (‘kind’) and also its usage in post-Biblical Hebrew suggest that the word min is most likely a word of biological origin. Words historically connected with min in other languages and the way min was translated in early Bible translations may also be used to understand its meaning.
The key question, however, that creationists need to consider is not just what min means, but whether when it is used the life-form that it follows is said to occur in one min or many. Whereas one would probably think from previous creationist research, such as that by Jones, that min is a word that denotes a constant taxonomic level, this view cannot yet be substantiated. Thus in using the term ‘baramin’ to represent the concept of ‘created kind’, baraminologists should not understand themselves to be making a statement about the meaning of the Hebrew word min.
The Hebrew word translated ‘kind’ in the phrase “after his kind” (for example, Genesis 1:11 KJV) is min.This word is also the second component of the modern term baramin (‘created kind’). In investigating the criteria by which baramins are identified it is appropriate to begin with a Biblical and linguistic study of min, to see if such a study provides us with any information about the nature of baramins.
Previous investigation of the word min has been carried out by creationists1–3 and non-creationists,4 some of whom are writing within secular academia.5,6 Payne7 and Jones8 investigated the derivation and meaning of the word min in the Bible. Jones9 further sought to use the lists of clean and unclean animals in Leviticus and Deuteronomy to identify the min. A more recent approach by Seely10 has attempted to elucidate the term min by an anthropological survey of how ‘proto-scientific’ peoples categorise life-forms. This is considered by Seely to be the most likely indicator of what was meant by the original author of Genesis. He concludes that min could mean anything from phylum to species. His approach is new, and though critical of creationism, may contain anthropological insights into classification in non-western cultures which can be used by creationists. Beauchamp11 is particularly useful in discussing the usage of min in a linguistic way
Here a fresh analysis of min is made, considering its use in Old Testament and post-Old Testament Hebrew, its etymology, and the way it was translated by ancient versions of the Bible….
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