Genesis 1 - Literal or not??

Discussion in '2004 Archive' started by Charles Meadows, Jul 12, 2004.

  1. Charles Meadows

    Charles Meadows
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    In thread on "errors" we kept hitting on Old earth vs young earth creation. Can Christians hold an old earth view while still maintaining biblical inerrrancy?

    My answer would be yes.

    Any thoughts...
     
  2. Jeff Weaver

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    I would agree.
     
  3. JonC

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    While that is not my view, my answer would also be yes.

    They could maintain biblical inerrancy by considering much of Genesis to be figurative.

    For example: Many Christians believe that the flood didn't cover the earth, but that they were refering to the known land at that time and acomplishing the same thing. (Not my view either)

    I choose a literal interpertation. But I wouldn't doubt the salvation of those who don't.
     
  4. Grasshopper

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  5. Marcia

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    To answer the thread's question:
    I believe that Genesis 1 is a literal account. It differs from the creation myths of pagan religions in giving a very straigthforward account of creation with no fantastical elements.

    The language and context of Gen 1 is narrative. If it is symbolic or metaphor, then it leaves itself open to almost any interpretation one chooses. It's interesting to me that a lot of cults read Genesis symbolically (Rev Moon's Unification Church) or read things into it (Christian Identity [white supremacists]) so that they can base their theology on it.

    Also, God says in Ex 20:11:
    Here God clearly says He made the world in 6 days. Surely He did not expect the people who heard this to understand it as a metaphor or to mean ages (nor in the Genesis account). God would be misleading people, imo, if he says "six days" to people that will take it that way when he really means six ages, or six million years, or whatever. I know "day" is not always literally a 24 hour day, but in these contexts, it clearly seems to be meant literally and I think people reading or hearing this from God would take it literally. When "day" is not a literal day, it is clear from the context.

    Also, Adam is referred to in the NT in several places as a real person. Not sure if this is an issue, but thought I would mention it.
     
  6. Artimaeus

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    No. If Genesis 1-11 doesn't mean what it says then why bother with the rest of the book.
     
  7. Bro Tony

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    I would have to agree. In the context found in Genesis it must be noted that the Scripture does not just say God did something on each day. It says after telling what God did on a certain day, "that the morning and the evening were _______day". This clearly in context is referring to a 24 hour day.

    Bro Tony
     
  8. Watchman

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    No. If Genesis 1-11 doesn't mean what it says then why bother with the rest of the book. </font>[/QUOTE]Exactly! [​IMG]
     
  9. Bro Tony

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    Opps--I got the order wrong, "the evening and the morning were _____ day"

    Man am I embarrased :eek: I know that never happens to anyone else ;)

    Bro Tony
     
  10. Lacy Evans

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    I believe in a literal 6-day re-creation. So I am young earth and old earth.

    See Christian Geology Ministry @ http://www.kjvbible.org/
    for articles on this (modified gap) position.

    Lacy
     
  11. aefting

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    Yes, I believe that is possible. However, I don't believe you can do it using a Biblically consistent hermeneutic.

    Andy
     
  12. Charles Meadows

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    it is symbolic or metaphor, then it leaves itself open to almost any interpretation one chooses.

    There are not many who would say it is either symbolic or metaphoric. As Bruce Waltke points out that would be unlikely indeed.

    What many will assert is that the creation account was a story meant to show Israel that YHWH was the sole creator. By recounting the story this Moses showed the Israelites that YHWH was above the creation myths and "gods" of the other near eastern nations. As such the account DOES NOT INTEND to address at all the actual biological origin of the earth - being theological and not geological! [​IMG]
     
  13. KeithS

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    And the Gospel account of the resurrection is a "story" meant to show we can all overcome adversity in our lives. It is not intended to be a biological or physiological treatise on rising from the dead - since that is obviously impossible it must be a theological discussion. We are of all men most sad. :(
     
  14. HankD

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    Well, that depends I have have no problem at all with Christians who hold to an old earth (geological ages) BEFORE the 6 literal days of creation.

    But to include millions of years of evolution in the 6 days of creation?

    No, many try to hold to both (creative evolution) but so far all I have seen are rationlizations to defend a world-view.

    Many of these are sincere but wrong in my view.

    However and FWIW, if their Christology is correct and they bear a clear witness of salvation, they are brethren and I have no problem to fellowship with them.

    HankD
     
  15. Pastor Larry

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    I would say it is inconsistent at best. It is definitely a stretch of "inerrant" to maintain both, given the clarity of the language used, and the testimony of the rest of Scripture.
     
  16. Charles Meadows

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    Keith,

    "And the Gospel account of the resurrection is a "story" meant to show we can all overcome adversity in our lives. It is not intended to be a biological or physiological treatise on rising from the dead - since that is obviously impossible it must be a theological discussion. We are of all men most sad."

    Interesting observation - but not really consistent with the OEC argument. The NT was clearly written, in a Greco-Roman milieu, as a tool of witness. Very clearly it is attempting to state in no uncertain terms that Jesus rose.

    The Pentateuch was written 2000 years earlier in a culture much different than that of the NT.

    These two are apples and oranges.

    And by the way the evidence we have DOES suggest that Christ did indeed rise from the dead. ;)
     
  17. menageriekeeper

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    Okay I have to give my two cents.

    There is more than one time gap in the creation story.

    The first gap is what happened to the earth before God decided to make it as it is now. The Bible only says that it was without form and void. It doesn't say that it wasn't here.

    The second gap is between the seven day creation and the actual planting of the garden of Eden. No where does the Bible say that this was all accomplished within the first seven days. We only assume that the male and female spoken of in Genesis 1:26-30 are the same as the man and woman spoken of in Gen. 27-25.

    The thing that leads me to believe that they are different creations is that when Cain was marked by God he was worried about how other people would react to his mark. He wasn't worried about how his brothers and sisters would react because at the time he didn't have any. He had just murdered his only brother. So where did these people come from if not the creation of Gen 1:27?

    The third gap that I can see is that of the time spent in the Garden by Adam and Eve. The Bible doesn't tell us how long they were actually living in the garden. It could have been centuries for all we know. We don't know that the counting of Adams years of life included the time spent in the garden. We presume it does, but again we don't know it. It could be that the counting started when thier eyes were opened to sin. It could be that it was counted from the time they were driven out of the garden.

    Personally I believe that Adam was the 'test case' for all humanity. I believe he was made special for his time in the Garden. On his shoulders rested the responsibility to chose obidience to God over obidience to self. And God made it easy for him. God showed Adam the full glory of creation. He planted a garden full of the best the earth had. He made a special birds and animals and passed them in front of Adam just to see what Adam would call them. He even created a woman specially for Adam. Better yet Adam enjoyed the actual presence of the Lord. In spite of all that Adam still sinned(doesn't matter what the extenuating circumstances were). Oops kinda got off subject a little.

    I don't believe that the rest of the world was put on hold during this time. I believe in the rest of the world human culture was continuing on.

    Then when Adam did sin a whole lot of creation changed. We don't know if these changes occured instantly or if they took some time to change. So that make the fourth gap in the story. We know that before sin all animals were vegetarian and so was man. After sin that all changed. How long did it take?

    Hence there is a lot of time unaccounted for within Genesis. More than enough to support either theory.

    We need to remember that the creation story is a spiritual lesson not necessarily a history lesson. I also think that it is something that we have to take on faith. God created the heaven and the earth. The hows and whys of creation don't really matter when it comes to our souls.
     
  18. Askjo

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    What was the first creation before re-creation?
     
  19. LarryN

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    My short answer: Yes.
     
  20. Lacy Evans

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    What was the first creation before re-creation? </font>[/QUOTE]Most refer to it as the "Luciferian earth". It is hinted at in Ezekiel 28 starting about verse 12 and again in 2 Pet 3: 5-7. I cannot be dogmatic about what the pre-adamic world was like. But the KJV does say "replenish" (Gen 1:28). That is enough for me. I'm just an ignorant hayseed who believes what it says.

    Lacy

    PS. Check out the site Askjo, it's pretty good.
     

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