The genre of Genesis 1

Discussion in 'Science' started by Mercury, May 24, 2005.

  1. Mercury

    Mercury
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    There are many reasons within Scripture to take Genesis 1 as something other than historical narrative. I do not believe that it is necessary to take it as literal history in order to value it or claim it is true. All Scripture, whether Genesis, Psalms, Acts or Revelation, is inspired by God and useful for equipping God's followers for every good work. God chose to inspire parables, proverbs and songs as well as history. In order to take any portion of Scripture seriously, one needs to understand what kind of writing it is.

    Here are some of the reasons why I feel Genesis 1 is not intended to be a historical record. By that, I mean that while it recounts a true event (the creation of "the heavens and the earth"), it does so in a form that is not a blow-by-blow account of what a witness would have physically seen.

    1. If it is a historical narrative and Genesis 2:4-25 is also a historical narrative, they do not fit together easily. It is possible to make them fit by adding a lot of details not specified in the text, but the plain reading of both contradicts. The first account starts with primordial waters overwhelming an earth that is "formless and void" (Gen. 1:1-2) while the second starts with primordial ground in need of rain (Gen. 2:4-5). The first puts man's creation at the end while the second has man created first before the plants have grown or animals have been formed (unless you read it from the NIV, which tries to smooth over the difference with the animals; this is clearer in more word-for-word translations such as the NASB, KJV, NKJV or ESV). In the first God tells the humans to rule over the other creatures and subdue the earth; in the second man is placed in the garden to "work it and take care of it". The first portrays God creating mainly by speaking; the second has God forming Adam from dust and breathing life into him. Similarly, the first portrays God (Elohim, the Hebrew generic name for God) as above his creation while in the second God (Yahweh, the Hebrew personal name for God) walks in the garden with Adam and Eve.

    Some Christians say that Genesis 1 describes the creation of plants and animals in general while Genesis 2 only describes the plants and animals in Eden. Others think Genesis 1 describes the creation of all plants and animals, but they didn't sprout or grow until after man was formed in Genesis 2. Others think Genesis 2 constantly jumps around chronologically as it describes various events. Others, like me, take the plain reading of the text and its different order when compared with Genesis 2 as an indication that one or the other -- or both -- of the accounts is not intended to be historical.

    2. Days 1 and 4 describe the same one-time event. The separation of light (called day) from darkness (called night) is first recorded in vv.4-5, and then is recapitulated in vv.14,18. Both days specifically mention the separation of day from night, light from darkness. This separation could only have occurred once, unless one wants to speculate that it somehow didn't "stick" the first time and had to be redone three days later. But if this event only happened once, why is it recorded on two separate days? It's a strong clue that the days of Genesis 1 are not intended to give chronological, historical information.

    3. The New Testament interprets the seventh day as longer than 24 hours.
    In verses 4-5, the author goes directly from quoting Genesis 2:2 to quoting Psalm 95:11 which talks about God's rest. The implication is that God's rest after creation is the same rest we can enter (if we don't fall short of it).

    Also, note the last part of verse 3 which I bolded above: God's work has been finished since the creation of the world. In other words, even if one believes the world is only 6,000 years old, that means God's rest has been going on for 6,000 years now! When Exodus 20:11 explains the Sabbath command by saying "For in six days the LORD made the heavens and the earth, the sea, and all that is in them, but he rested on the seventh day", we know from this passage in Hebrews 4 that "he rested on the seventh day" refers to a rest of at least 6,000 years (and in my view, a much longer time). The symbol of God's rest is a day (the Sabbath) but the reality is much more. In another sense the reality is also less, since God does not rest by ceasing all activity. Both the idea of God physically resting and the duration of his rest are symbolic ways to get across a deeper truth.

    4. The framework of days serves another purpose aside from historical record. As mentioned above, it also sets the framework for the Hebrew work week and Sabbath. This answers the question of what purpose the creation days would serve if they are not historical. It also answers why God is described as resting on the Sabbath day -- even as being "refreshed" according to Exodus 31:17. God's creation and rest are described in a framework of days that model how humans are to work and rest.

    5. It reads unlike any historical record in the Bible. As far as I know, there is no historical record in the Bible that is neatly divided into days with a repeated refrain after each day (such as "and there was evening and there was morning, the ___ day"). Even the crucial events of Jesus' death and resurrection are not recounted this way. Even Genesis 2:4 and on do not read as poetic and structured as Genesis 1. It has more in common with some of the psalms than with strictly historical books like Acts.

    6. The days contain an obvious literary structure. The structure is that the first three days correspond to the second set of three days. Light (day 1) matches with luminaries (day 4). The firmament dividing the waters is formed (day 2) and then filled with fish and birds (day 5). Dry land arises and is covered with vegetation (day 3) and this land is filled with land animals and humans (day 6).

    The symmetry of this structure breaks down if other things are added that were also created by God, such as bacteria, seaweed, other planets and moons, hell, angels, and the abode of the angels. The symmetry is only present based on the select items the author chose to include. If the symmetry was present when absolutely everything was included, then it would be plausible to say that God actually created this way. But why would God create in a way that only has symmetry when certain items are left out? It seems obvious that the symmetry is there because of the way the author divided creation into days, and not because of following a historical order.

    There are other descriptions of creation in the Bible that leave out the framework of days, such as Psalm 104. A speech attributed to God himself describes creation in Job 38. Proverbs 8:22-29 gives another brief account of creation. What all creation accounts in the Bible have in common is that they use evocative, non-literal language. That seems to be God's chosen method in revealing details that are beyond our present understanding, whether it's a description of creation, heaven, or the nature of God himself.

    7. It is completely compatible with the science of its time. Nowhere in the account does God reveal a physical detail that wasn't already known. The account doesn't, for instance, reveal how insignificant the size of the earth is compared to the stars. It doesn't reveal that the earth moves around the sun. While the account does not teach a flat earth, its imagery is completely compatible with a flat earth. In particular, the idea of a firmament (something solid) to hold back the waters above is consistent with ancient Mesopotamian cosmology. If the purpose of Genesis 1 was to reveal the actual history and science of our world's beginning, it is incredible that details like these were overlooked.

    On the other hand, if the purpose was to reveal that God and God alone made everything other than God that exists, then Genesis 1 would be a powerful way to describe that. Rather than revealing the mysteries of nature, it uses terminology that the first audience would understand and we can still understand today. And, of course, we are made in God's image with a mandate to tend and subdue the rest of creation. That mandate implies that we are to learn about creation, just as a king needs to learn about his kingdom before he can rule it properly. Genesis 1 is not written in a form that historically answers the "how" and "when" questions about creation. They are among the many questions God has allowed us to explore on our own with the abilities he's given us.
     
  2. Paul of Eugene

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    Great post!
     
  3. Gup20

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    Mercury -

    I truly appreciate your approach. The debate should ALWAYS center on and come out of a reading of scripture. Lets delve into your post and see what we can find.

    This is erroneous. Chapter 1 is an overview of creation. Chapter 2 is a more specific description from day 6 onward. We know that Genesis 1:1 through Genesis 2:3 describe an overview of the creation week. We know this because of the inclusive AND statements of every verse following the statement "in the beginning God created... and ... and .... and" which extends the time period known as "the beginning" from Genesis 1:1 to Genesis 2:3. We know from Gen 2:1 that this is so because it says "Thus the heavens and earth were finished...". Genesis 2:3 states "God rested from all He created and made" which completes the conditions of "in the beginning, God created..." stated in Genesis 1:1. Moreover Gen 2:4 states:

    Gen 2:4 These [are] the generations of the heavens and of the earth when they were created, in the day that the LORD God made the earth and the heavens,

    Therefore Genesis chapter 2 is not a separate creation, but begins a more descriptive modification of what has already been established in Genesis 1. In modern vernacular "God created man on day 6, then rested on day 7. On day 6, man was created ... here is what happened from that point on". It describes in Gen 2:5, for example, how plants had already been created by this time - and were living and growing despite having never been "watered" by rain, nor anyone to till the ground or plant seeds. This verse re-affirms the order (plants before man), time, and special nature of the creation. We know from verse 1 that man was created on day 6. Gen 2:7 describes the nature of that creation on day 6. Notice that verse 4 does not start out "This is the story of...". It begins precisely "These are the generations of...". It is distinctly historical record, not story, parable, or fable. It is to say "Here is the official record of" rather than "once upon a time". Notice that each of the subsequent genealogies start in this manner:

    Gen 5:1 This [is] the book of the generations of Adam. In the day that God created man, in the likeness of God made he him;
    Gen 5:2 Male and female created he them; and blessed them, and called their name Adam, in the day when they were created.
    Gen 5:3 And Adam lived an hundred and thirty years, and begat [a son] in his own likeness, after his image; and called his name Seth:
    Gen 5:4 And the days of Adam after he had begotten Seth were eight hundred years: and he begat sons and daughters:
    Gen 5:5 And all the days that Adam lived were nine hundred and thirty years: and he died.
    Gen 5:6 And Seth lived an hundred and five years, and begat Enos:
    Gen 5:7 And Seth lived after he begat Enos eight hundred and seven years, and begat sons and daughters:

    etc, etc

    Gen 10:1 Now these [are] the generations of the sons of Noah, Shem, Ham, and Japheth: and unto them were sons born after the flood.
    Gen 10:2 The sons of Japheth; Gomer, and Magog, and Madai, and Javan, and Tubal, and Meshech, and Tiras.
    Gen 10:3 And the sons of Gomer; Ashkenaz, and Riphath, and Togarmah.
    Gen 10:4 And the sons of Javan; Elishah, and Tarshish, Kittim, and Dodanim.
    Gen 10:5 By these were the isles of the Gentiles divided in their lands; every one after his tongue, after their families, in their nations.
    Gen 10:6 And the sons of Ham; Cush, and Mizraim, and Phut, and Canaan.
    Gen 10:7 And the sons of Cush; Seba, and Havilah, and Sabtah, and Raamah, and Sabtecha: and the sons of Raamah; Sheba, and Dedan.

    etc, etc

    Gen 11:10 These [are] the generations of Shem: Shem [was] an hundred years old, and begat Arphaxad two years after the flood:
    Gen 11:11 And Shem lived after he begat Arphaxad five hundred years, and begat sons and daughters.
    Gen 11:12 And Arphaxad lived five and thirty years, and begat Salah:
    Gen 11:13 And Arphaxad lived after he begat Salah four hundred and three years, and begat sons and daughters.

    So clearly, we have an established, repeated, demonstrated means of earmarking the official historical record by the phrase "these are the generations". Moreover, what fable, or allegory goes into thousands of years of generations with such detailed lines of lineage? It's not an aspect of story telling it is an aspect of recording actual history.

    (ref)Moreover, you can break the Bible down into 7 varieties of writing:

    1. Poetry - such as psalms
    2. Parables - such as the ones Jesus gave
    3. Prophecy - Isaiah, Daniel, Revelation
    4. Letters - New Testament epistles
    5. Biography - the gospels
    6. Autobiography/Testimony - Acts which was written by Luke narrating Paul's conversion
    7. Authentic historical facts - as in 1 and 2 Kings

    http://www.answersingenesis.org/creation/v16/i1/genesis.asp This AiG article goes in depth demonstrating each style of writing and comparing it to Genesis. In summation of the article (which you should all read) I will say that it quite definitively shows that Genesis is of the style of authentic historical facts.

    Again, this is an erroneous statement. First lets show the blatantly obvious:

    Gen 2:5 And every plant of the field before it was in the earth, and every herb of the field before it grew: for the LORD God had not caused it to rain upon the earth, and [there was] not a man to till the ground.
    Gen 2:6 But there went up a mist from the earth, and watered the whole face of the ground.
    Gen 2:7 And the LORD God formed man [of] the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul.

    Genesis 2:5 & 6 describes plants being present (and growing) PRIOR to the creation of man. This is entirely consistent with Genesis 1. Genesis 2 doesn't specifically say that all cattle and fowl were created before or after man. It specifically states that all land animals were formed from the dust of the earth (notice it doesn't say from migrating sea creatures). It specifically states that they were brought before Adam to be named. As you may or may not know, Hebrew doesn't exactly have the same punctuation as English. If you read verse 2 within the context of verse 1, with proper exegesis, you already know the order - that isn't what's being described here. For example it doesn't say "God created man... then God created birds". It says that God formed man from the dust of the earth, and that God formed animals from the dust of the earth. It says that God brought the animals to Adam to name.

    Gen 2:19 And out of the ground the LORD God formed every beast of the field, and every fowl of the air; and brought [them] unto Adam to see what he would call them: and whatsoever Adam called every living creature, that [was] the name thereof.
    Gen 2:20 And Adam gave names to all cattle, and to the fowl of the air, and to every beast of the field; but for Adam there was not found an help meet for him.

    Even IF this describes God creating a creature right in front of Adam then having him name them (which it may or may not say) how does that undo what was done in Chapter 1? Chapter 1 would certainly still have happened exactly as it is written. Lets say for the sake of argument that verse 2 does indicate that God formed these creatures in front of Adam. How does that change anything? You still have a world full of creatures already. God creates birds on day 5. Does that mean he can't form another bird from the dust on day 6 for this naming event? Moreover, we have an indication from the scripture that the animals were created at another time and place and then God BROUGHT them to Adam to name on day 6.

    Gen 2:19 And out of the ground the LORD God formed every beast of the field, and every fowl of the air; and brought [them] unto Adam to see what he would call them: and whatsoever Adam called every living creature, that [was] the name thereof.

    I have yet to see any real contradictions. Everything you have stated so far are not contradictory when you look at them in scripture. For example as a contradiction you list: The first portrays God creating mainly by speaking; the second has God forming Adam from dust and breathing life into him. However, we can see by looking at the scripture that God created everything by speaking (And God Said let there be light). We see that man was formed FROM the dust (not from another creature). We see that God breathed life into him. So here we were created by the voice of God, from the dust of the earth, and been given nephesh chayyah (soulish) life by God. This is not at all contradictory, but rather a fuller, more informative history. The details given support the original statement in it's original meaning. For example, that we came from dust (and not evolved from another creature) gives significant support to the original statement that we were created directly by the Word of God (with intention) and not by random processes indirectly though the nature God created.

    Therefore your notion that there is a contradiction and some parts can be dismissed is rejected. There is one congruent historical record listed by overview, then detail. We see the same historical pattern in other parts of the Word considered authentic history. For example:

    1Ch 9:39 And Ner begat Kish; and Kish begat Saul; and Saul begat Jonathan, and Malchishua, and Abinadab, and Eshbaal.
    1Ch 9:40 And the son of Jonathan [was] Meribbaal: and Meribbaal begat Micah.
    1Ch 9:41 And the sons of Micah [were], Pithon, and Melech, and Tahrea, [and Ahaz].

    Then in chapter 10:

    1Ch 10:1 Now the Philistines fought against Israel; and the men of Israel fled from before the Philistines, and fell down slain in mount Gilboa.
    1Ch 10:2 And the Philistines followed hard after Saul, and after his sons; and the Philistines slew Jonathan, and Abinadab, and Malchishua, the sons of Saul.
    1Ch 10:3 And the battle went sore against Saul, and the archers hit him, and he was wounded of the archers.
    1Ch 10:4 Then said Saul to his armourbearer, Draw thy sword, and thrust me through therewith; lest these uncircumcised come and abuse me. But his armourbearer would not; for he was sore afraid. So Saul took a sword, and fell upon it.

    Chapter 9 gives a more overall historical view while chapter 10 then goes into historical detail of a specific part of the overall historical record. Both are historical. They do not cancel each other out, but one describes the other in more detail than the overview allowed for.

    Lets first list the scripture:

    Gen 1:2 And the earth was without form, and void; and darkness [was] upon the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters.
    3 And God said, Let there be light: and there was light.
    4 And God saw the light, that [it was] good: and God divided the light from the darkness.
    5 And God called the light Day, and the darkness he called Night. And the evening and the morning were the first day.

    14 And God said, Let there be lights in the firmament of the heaven to divide the day from the night; and let them be for signs, and for seasons, and for days, and years:

    18 And to rule over the day and over the night, and to divide the light from the darkness: and God saw that [it was] good.

    So we know there was planet earth created without form, and in darkness. The God created light. He did not create the Sun, but light. For the first time in creation, there was not only darkness, but also light. Then God separated light from darkness. What is necessary for this on planet earth? For this, the light must be in a fixed orientation relative to the earth. If you look at Einstein's theories they give us not only the mathematical possibilities for black holes, but also for white holes. A white hole is a black hole in reverse. Instead of dark and "sucking in matter, gravity, and light - you have nothing but light that ejects matter and energy as the event horizon expands. Essentially, you have light everywhere simultaneously at the beginning of a white hole, and as it "ages" that light is ejected as matter. If there were suddenly light everywhere when God said "let there be light", then God separated the light from darkness, it would seem, then, that God was rendering the light to a specific place relative to the earth instead of everywhere simultaneously. We can't say for sure cause we weren't there to observe it. For now we must be content that there was suddenly light everywhere simultaneously (where there had been darkness) then God separated them - assumably by fixing the light in it's place relative to earth (perhaps a white hole close enough to be seen from earth?). So then, God called the places where there was light day, and the places where there was darkness night. So then we can see at this point - from the perspective of earth (which had been formless and void until this point) - that there was now a fixed point where the light God created was located creating light on one side of the earth and darkness on the other. Perhaps the process of separating the light from the darkness is just a matter of giving form to the earth (since that was the context of the previous verse) relative to a fixed light source. The Word doesn't exactly say how, but it just says that at this point IT WAS. Now that there was light and dark we can have evening and morning (clearly this implies some kind of rotation). Things are now formed and moving.

    God continues his creative work with plants and such. Then on day 4 he replaces the light source He created on day 1 with the Sun, Moon, and stars. Their purpose is to be for signs and for seasons. Notice God doesn't re-divide light from darkness, but simply substitutes the sun and moon as representatives of their respective time zones (day and night). The Sun, then, becomes the light source that is dividing the day from the night, rather than whatever light source was used for days 1-3. The Bible is not describing the same event in two different ways... it is describing an event, then a modification of that event. It describes the creation of a light source, then the replacement of that light source being our sun. Again, it is a building up (or addition) of information upon what has already been said, not a replacement to what was already said.

    Lets view the verses in question:

    Hebrews 4:1-6

    Hbr 4:1 Let us therefore fear, lest, a promise being left [us] of entering into his rest, any of you should seem to come short of it.
    2 For unto us was the gospel preached, as well as unto them: but the word preached did not profit them, not being mixed with faith in them that heard [it].
    3 For we which have believed do enter into rest, as he said, As I have sworn in my wrath, if they shall enter into my rest: although the works were finished from the foundation of the world.
    4 For he spake in a certain place of the seventh [day] on this wise, And God did rest the seventh day from all his works.
    5 And in this [place] again, If they shall enter into my rest.
    6 Seeing therefore it remaineth that some must enter therein, and they to whom it was first preached entered not in because of unbelief:

    Lets take a look at this. The context of this in chapter 3 is summed up well by this: Hbr 3:12 Take heed, brethren, lest there be in any of you an evil heart of unbelief, in departing from the living God.

    So then, 4:1 says "Therefore, don't be left behind because of your unbelief - don't' fall short." Verse 2 says "the gospel was preached". The Gospel means the good news of Jesus' resurrection. This was good news because Adam sinned and we all fell short of the glory of God in Adam (Rom 5:12). For there to be good news, there must be a current state of "bad news". For redemption, there must first be loss. Verse 2 continues that the preaching did not cause faith in Jesus, so they are not 'saved' from The Fall as those who believe are. Verse 3 continues that those who believe do enter into the rest of God (as a result of Jesus' redemption at calvary - aka Good news). The rest he is speaking of is because Jesus died on the cross for us. We must believe this to be saved. Verse 4 describes what that rest is like. It's like the paradise at the end of the 7th day of creation. He shows us the parallel between the creative work of God during creation, and the rest of God on the 7th day. Verse 5 is the key. I don't know what translation you are using in your quotation of the verse, but KJV says "Hbr 4:5 And in this [place] again, If they shall enter into my rest. 6 Seeing therefore it remaineth that some must enter therein, and they to whom it was first preached entered not in because of unbelief:" It basically says "We can be in that place again like we were at the end of creation - before the fall - before sin - if we only believe in Jesus and enter into the rest that his sacrifice has provided for us".

    I see no indication whatsoever that the 7th day of creation was longer than 24 hours. I see that things can be in rest like they were on that day again sometime... but nothing to indicate the day lasted longer than a normal day. It's like me saying "I wish everything could be as great as they were on my 10th birthday". I am talking about a specific day that has come and gone, and how wonderful it was. I am talking about my desire for things to be as they were on that day.... not that the day never ended.
     
  4. Gup20

    Gup20
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    Let me ask you a question. Lets say your father makes a promise to another man and then goes back on his word. Has he made two offenses or one? I would say two - he has broken his word with the other person, and set a bad example for his child. Does the fact that we can say that there is a 2nd reason for him fulfilling his word (in providing a good example to his child) nullify the effect of the first? Is the broken promise nullified as though it had never happened in the light that fulfilling it sets a good example to the child? Of course it does not. Your reasoning is severely flawed. Do you agree that God is all-knowing and all-powerful (omniscient and omnipotent)? Do you agree that God could have created the whole of creation in the blink of an eye - instantly - if he wanted to? I think you would agree that he could have. Why didn't He? Because He is giving us an indication of what is to come perhaps? He is setting a good example perhaps? Does any of this nullify his actions? No. Are they interesting and should be studied with a bent toward understanding? Yes. Does the fact that it has a dual meaning nullify one of the meanings? Absolutely not.

    BTW - our workweek of 7 days relies totally upon scripture. There is no time based function for the week. For example, the month is the amount of time for the moon to circle the earth. The year is the amount of time for the earth to circle the sun. The day is the amount of time for the earth to make one rotation - but what is the week? It is from God and creation. We are following the example set before us by our creator.

    Actually, I have already shown you that it does indeed read like many other historical records. For example:

    Gen 2:4 These [are] the generations of the heavens and of the earth when they were created, in the day that the LORD God made the earth and the heavens,
    Gen 5:1 This [is] the book of the generations of Adam. In the day that God created man, in the likeness of God made he him;
    Gen 10:1 Now these [are] the generations of the sons of Noah, Shem, Ham, and Japheth: and unto them were sons born after the flood.
    Gen 11:10 These [are] the generations of Shem: Shem [was] an hundred years old, and begat Arphaxad two years after the flood:

    As far as repeated refrains, the Jewish historical record has many repeated refrains. I just gave you one example, here is more:

    2Ki 12:1 In the seventh year of Jehu Jehoash began to reign; and forty years reigned he in Jerusalem. And his mother's name [was] Zibiah of Beersheba.
    2Ki 13:1 In the three and twentieth year of Joash the son of Ahaziah king of Judah Jehoahaz the son of Jehu began to reign over Israel in Samaria, [and reigned] seventeen years.
    2Ki 13:10 In the thirty and seventh year of Joash king of Judah began Jehoash the son of Jehoahaz to reign over Israel in Samaria, [and reigned] sixteen years.
    2Ki 14:2 He was twenty and five years old when he began to reign, and reigned twenty and nine years in Jerusalem. And his mother's name [was] Jehoaddan of Jerusalem.

    Clearly historical record keeping followed a regular set of rules. The same terms were used repeatedly because they specified exactly what the author intended to convey. Had God NOT used the specific language of "evening, morning, number, day" for each day of creation, the intended meaning of day could have been construed to mean anything other than a 24 hour day. Genesis 1 is written so that there is no possible alternative regarding the time scale of the creation week. It was a literal week.

    Yes they do... the structure of authentic history. In fact, the verses leave little wiggle room (especially on the meaning of day) and convey without doubt the intended meaning of the author. For example, in verse 1:20-21:

    Gen 1:20 And God said, Let the waters bring forth abundantly the moving creature that hath life, and fowl [that] may fly above the earth in the open firmament of heaven.
    21 And God created great whales, and every living creature that moveth, which the waters brought forth abundantly, after their kind, and every winged fowl after his kind: and God saw that [it was] good.

    God says he created the life in the water, then gives whales as examples of what kind of life specifically He meant (a fully formed creature, not some primordial single celled ancestor). God says he created land animals and then gives cattle as an example. Again - He is being specific that not only did he created all life in that category, but he created them fully formed... not some ancestrial or primordial version that would later become the real thing. The language is very specific to include these examples - I think just for our benefit to know that theories like evolution are not what he was alluding to, but rather He meant exactly what He said.

    There is no need to include a description of every thing created. One only needs to describe a realm (land, sea, air, for example) and perhaps one example and say "all of this category were created this day". Remember, Genesis 1 is a "big picture" chapter. It gives us an overview of the whole of the creation week. It doesn't tell us every detail of creation, but hits the highlights that are important.

    Beyond that, I don't see a lot of symmetry. For example:

    Day 1 = 4 verses
    Day 2 = 3 verses
    Day 3 = 5 verses
    Day 4 = 6 verses
    Day 5 = 4 verses
    Day 6 = 8 verses
    Day 7 = 2 verses

    There really is no symmetry or pattern to that. God spends time on what He wants without regard to symmetry. For example, we are all pretty aware that life in the sea has far more species and is far more vast than the number of animals on earth, yet God spends just 4 verses on sea creatures and birds and 8 on land animals and two human beings.

    You have me a little confused as to the relevance and accuracy here. So you are saying that it was scientifically viable for God to create the universe from nothing with His voice? It was scientifically viable for God to use a rib and create another person?

    BTW - did you know the rib is the only bone you can remove and it will grow back? It's true. If you remove the whole rib, but leave the membrane, the rib will grow back completely. It's the only bone that will do that. Makes you wonder if it's not loaded with stem cells or something eh?

    It does reveal the purpose of the stars in the rest of the universe, however. The Bible says they are for:
    Gen 1:14 And God said, Let there be lights in the firmament of the heaven to divide the day from the night; and let them be for signs, and for seasons, and for days, and years:

    Wow neato. Interesting that humanists (aka evolutionists) are bent on trying to demonstrate life outside earth. They want everyone to believe that we aren't unique in all of God's creation as the Bible suggests. They wish that there is life outside earth. But the Bible says the other stars are for seasons and signs, not for life. Take a look at the electromagnetic spectrum sometime. You will go from radio waves to gamma rays with all this forms of energy along the spectrum. Pretty much nothing gets through our atmosphere between those two extremes. Light, however, which is smack in the middle of the range of spectrum comes through the atmosphere, just as the Bible predicts.

    It reveals there is movement, however, but does not describe the nature of the movement.

    I thoroughly appreciate your point of view here. I have been round and round with Paul of Eugene on that issue. You are correct - however I would add that what is written in the Word is also compatible with a spherical earth. In cases like that where there is no clear explicit meaning we should use logic, reason, and observation. Moreover there are indications that they knew the earth is a circle:

    Isa 40:22 [It is] he that sitteth upon the circle of the earth, and the inhabitants thereof [are] as grasshoppers; that stretcheth out the heavens as a curtain, and spreadeth them out as a tent to dwell in:

    In looking at the moon, and the sun, it would be clear they knew the earth was round. In that they lived in a 3 dimensional world one might think they would understand things in 3 dimensions.

    It seems to be enough for creationists. It's not enough for evolutionists because they don't accept the whole scripture. For example, one might think that God created (ala big bang) but that nature took over from there. They wouldn't be taking the whole scripture that describes how animals came to be, birds came to be, fish came to be, man came to be. They wouldn't be taking into consideration the flood and how all that was before was destroyed. They wouldn't take into consideration a perfect world created without sin or death. The world is currently marred by sin and therefore death - but there was no sin (and therefore no death) before Adam - Romans 5:12 is clear on that. As is Gen 2:17, and 3:19.

    I like the quote by Scriptural Geologist Granville Penn (1761–1844):

    To assume arbitrarily, a priori, that God created the matter of this globe in the most imperfect state to which the gross imagination of man can contrive to reduce it, which it effectually does, by reducing the creative Fiat to the mere production of an amorphous elementary mass; and then to pretend, that His intelligence and wisdom are to be collected from certain hypothetical occult laws, by which that mass worked itself into perfection of figure and arrangement after innumerable ages; would tend to lessen our sense either of the divine wisdom or power, did not the supposition recoil with tremendous reaction upon the supposers, and convict them of the clumsiest irrationality. The supposition, is totally arbitrary; and not only arbitrary, viciously arbitrary; because, it is totally unnecessary, and therefore betrays a vice of choice. For, the laws of matter could not have worked perfection in the mass which the Creator is thus supposed to have formed imperfect, unless by a power imparted by Himself who established the laws. And, if He could thus produce perfection mediately, through their operation, He could produce it immediately, without their operation. Why, then, wantonly and viciously, without a pretence of authority, choose the supposition of their mediation? It is entirely a decision of choice and preference, that is, of the will; for, the reason is no party in it, neither urging, suggesting, encouraging, or in any way aiding or abetting the decision, but, on the contrary, positively denying and condemning it. The vast length of time, which this sinistrous choice is necessarily obliged to call in for its own defence, could only be requisite to the Creator for overcoming difficulties obstructing the perfecting process; it therefore chooses to suppose, that He created obstructions in matter, to resist and retard the perfecting of the work which He designed; whilst at the same time he might have perfected it without any resistance at all, by His own Creative Act … To suppose then, a priori, and without the slightest motive prompted by reason, that His wisdom willed, at the same time, both the formation of a perfect work, and a series of resistances to obstruct and delay that perfect work, argues a gross defect of intelligence somewhere; either in the Creator or in the supposer; and I leave it to this science, to determine the alternative.

    Moreover, why would God use death, disease, struggle, suffering to accomplish his Perfect will in the earth? This is what evolution is - survival of the fittest. The Bible makes clear God does not work that way - and tells us DON'T EVEN SAY THAT HE DOES:

    Jam 1:13 Let no man say when he is tempted, I am tempted of God: for God cannot be tempted with evil, neither tempteth he any man:

    Jhn 10:10 The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have [it] more abundantly.

    Deu 30:19 I call heaven and earth to record this day against you, [that] I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing: therefore choose life, that both thou and thy seed may live:

    Hbr 2:14 Forasmuch then as the children are partakers of flesh and blood, he also himself likewise took part of the same; that through death he might destroy him that had the power of death, that is, the devil;
    15 And deliver them who through fear of death were all their lifetime subject to bondage.

    The character of God is clearly defined by scripture. The role of Satan is also clearly defined. God would not use evil to bring about something which he calls "very good". At each stage of creation God calls His creation Very Good. This would certainly NOT have included death and suffering. That came after sin.

    Rom 6:23 For the wages of sin [is] death; but the gift of God [is] eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.
    Rom 5:12 Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned:
     
  5. Mercury

    Mercury
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    How on earth do you get that from that verse?

    Genesis 2:5-7: "When no bush of the field was yet in the land and no small plant of the field had yet sprung up -- for the LORD God had not caused it to rain on the land, and there was no man to work the ground, and a mist was going up from the land and was watering the whole face of the ground -- then the LORD God formed the man of dust from the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living creature."

    Are you suggesting that the plants God created three days earlier had not yet grown? How do you reconcile that with the fact that God not only created vegetation on day three, but he "saw that it was good"? Was there anything to see, or would the plants not sprout -- not even be put "in the land" -- for another few days yet?

    Genesis 2:18-19: "Then the LORD God said, 'It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him a helper fit for him.' So out of the ground the LORD God formed every beast of the field and every bird of the heavens and brought them to the man to see what he would call them. And whatever the man called every living creature, that was its name."

    You can claim that the account isn't in order and here digresses to describe something that happened earlier, but the plain reading is that "every beast of the field and every bird of the heavens" was formed after Adam and before Eve. If it wasn't for Genesis 1, I'm sure you'd be adamant that those who claimed differently were ignoring the plain meaning of Scripture. I haven't discounted the fact that many people can find creative ways to reconcile the two accounts, but on their plain reading, they contradict. The inspired author does nothing to assuage these problems: it's almost as if they weren't a concern to him -- as if taking the accounts so literalistically was missing the point.

    No, it says the Lord formed man... and the Lord planted a garden... and the Lord placed the man into the garden... and the Lord caused every tree to grow... and the Lord said "It is not good for the man to be alone"... and the Lord formed every beast... and Adam named them... and Adam did not find a helper... and the Lord put Adam in a sleep and formed Eve. If you read Genesis 2 in Young's Literal Translation or an interlinear you will see all those "and"s.

    Basically, your interpretation that the animals were formed earlier is using even weaker logic than some use to claim the stars were formed before day 4. It ignores the "and"s that give the events in the narrative an order.

    Earlier, you stated that in Genesis 1, the "and"s are very important. For some reason you ignore that every verse of Genesis 2:5-25 aside from 11 and 24 starts with "and". Where the author digresses from a sequential order to describe the garden, he clearly indicates this by repeating the same event (Genesis 2:8,15). The forming of animals after Adam does not contain any such hints of an alternate order.

    It merely shows that one or both of the accounts is not giving a strictly literal, historical description of events. If it did, the order would be the same in both.

    Also, you are showing how difficult it is even for you to take the text literally. You've decided to defend two different literal readings because you can't decide which one is more likely.

    Genesis 1:14: "And God said, 'Let there be lights in the expanse of the heavens to separate the day from the night....' "

    This seems to contradict what you said. Their purpose was to separate day from night. Also, nowhere does the account say that any light source needed to be replaced or was defective and in need of a substitute. To the contrary, the light source of day 1 was declared by God to be "good".

    No, it doesn't say what the rest is like. It says what the rest is. It is a rest that started when God's work of creation ended -- and the author quotes Genesis 2:2 to describe this rest that we can still enter today (if we don't fall short of it).

    Faulty analogy. A better one would be to say that if Jesus says that the bread of the Lord's Supper is his body that is broken for us, does that mean Jesus broke his word if it's really just bread that symbolizes Jesus' body? There are two questions involved in analyzing this. The first is whether Jesus intended for us to take his statement literally, just as in Genesis 1, the question is whether the days are meant to be taken literally. In both cases, I do not think that was intended. The second question is, if it's not literal, what does it mean? The answer is that the bread still symbolizes Jesus' broken body, and the days still symbolize God's work in creation and God's ongoing rest that we can enter.

    Yes. In fact, that's the way I think God did create the universe. It happened in an instant and has been actively sustained by God in the 13.7 billion years since.

    None of your examples are anything like Genesis 1. The closest parallel is probably the seals of Revelation 6 (including the seventh seal being a special case just as the seventh day is special), or the trumpets and vials from later chapters. Interestingly, there is also much discussion about how literal and sequential those particular judgements are. I find it compelling that God chose to inspire a similar type of narrative both to describe the creation of the world and the de-creation of the world.

    Gup, that's laughable. If you divided a person in half horizontally at the waist, you wouldn't much symmetry either, but if you divide a person vertically, it is obvious. The fact that you can find ways that Genesis 1 isn't symmetrical is inconsequential. The fact remains that if you divide it properly, there is symmetry. Days 1 and 4, 2 and 5, and 3 and 6 relate to each other, and practically every commentary on Genesis points this out.

    Even if you take the account completely literally, God removed more than a rib. Adam says that Eve was "bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh" (Genesis 2:23). The Hebrew word translated as "rib" can also mean side. Note that it says that after God removed the rib or side he "closed up its place with flesh" (Genesis 2:21). If you take this entirely literally, then the reason Adam healed is not because of the inherent properties of ribs, but because God performed another miracle to mend the wound. Ironically, you are here trying to appeal to a naturalistic explanation for something that is clearly described as an act of God.

    So, you mean that the Bible predicted that we would see stars -- and we do! Amazing! How could any human living before we had the ability to analyze the electromagnetic spectrum have ever come to such a conclusion?

    Oh, maybe they looked up at night.

    It does not indicate movement of the earth. Day and night can be just as easily explained by a moving light source as by a moving planet.

    Another really poor attempt to insert modern science into the Bible. The ancients did think the earth (dry ground) was roughly circular. They thought it was surrounded by water. If you live in a flat area, just go into a field and look all around you. The horizon makes a circle.

    Now, if Isaiah had talked about the "ball" of the earth, you may be on to something. Isaiah used the word "ball" elsewhere (see Isaiah 22:18). The fact that he instead chose to use a word that fit perfectly with the idea of a flat earth is strong evidence against your interpretation. If God really revealed something new about the shape of the earth to Isaiah, would he have Isaiah record it in a way that was completely ambiguous?

    And, if you're willing to take this verse as evidence of a spherical earth, does that mean you take Job 38:12-14 and Daniel 4:10-11 as evidence of a flat earth? Or, do you just dismiss the verses that disagree with your own world-view as being "figurative"?

    How is that different from the young-earth belief that God created in six days and then nature took over from there? As a YEC, do you believe that Adam was a creation of God but you are a creation of nature?

    By contrast, I believe God is still very active in creation. I am a creation of God, as are the birds outside my window and the grass below. That doesn't mean there aren't natural explanations for how God creates. The initial moment of creation was entirely supernatural because at that point nothing natural existed. Since that time, God has been sustaining the natural order he made and intervening in it as he chooses.

    There's a [separate thread] about whether the death of Romans 5 includes animal death. It's a thread you quickly lost interest in. If you are now interested in furthering that discussion, there are a number of outstanding questions left for you to answer there. Answering them would be more useful than copy-and-pasting arguments you've already made that have already been refuted.
     
  6. Mercury

    Mercury
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    At first I couldn't understand what you were thinking here (see my response above), but now I think I do. I think it's the older English of the KJV that is throwing you off, or perhaps you aren't understanding the meaning of the word "before" in this context. By rearranging the words to modernize the grammar, it should be clearer:
    Of course, if you read it in a newer translation (NKJV, NASB, ESV, etc.) this would also be made clear. This verse most definitely is not saying that plants were already growing. It is saying the exact opposite: it is describing a time before the plants of the field were even in the earth.
     
  7. Mercury

    Mercury
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    Last post for now. Don't worry Gup, the total length of my responses are still less than yours, so hopefully this won't be too overwhelming to respond to. ;)

    I didn't mean to skip this question. As you know, and as I've told you repeatedly, I affirm that God is omniscient and omnipotent.

    God can do whatever he wants. What you've described is very close to the day-age theory that people like Hugh Ross support. He also thinks that God's creative activity on each day/age only introduces a new type of creation, and then God can create more of that type throughout the remaining days/ages. So, plants could continue to be created through days 4-6, and birds and fish through day 6. The theory's not my cup of tea, but it's popular with OECs.

    Personally, I think that according to Genesis 1, the plants were all created on day 3, the birds and fish all created on day 5, and the land animals and humans all created on day 6. And then, in Genesis 2, the order is given as man, trees, beasts, and finally Eve. Just like when we see a different order to Jesus' temptation (Matthew 4:1-11; Luke 4:1-13), this shows that we shouldn't put too much weight into the orders shown, since conveying that information obviously wasn't the point. That should in no way shed doubt on the historical facts that Jesus was tempted by Satan and God created the heavens and the earth.

    Lots of extra-biblical speculation here. It's only by reading the science you accept into the Bible that you come to the conclusion that the light source must be fixed while the earth moves. Just going by the text, it would be just as reasonable to say that the earth was fixed and the light source moved. Why is it so necessary for you to read your modern science into the Bible? Do you think the authors of Scripture were only inspired if God gave them special knowledge of all the science you accept and clandestinely inserted it into their writings, just waiting for you to discover it?

    Do you see what you've done here? You've just undermined much of the basis for a literal day. Instead of it being day and then night, you're claiming that it was always day and night at different locations on earth. I think you are wrong and it actually is talking about a consecutive day and night, since I believe the days within the account are certainly normal days described from an ancient mindset (just as sheep within a parable are normal sheep, even if outside the parable they refer to people). It's rather amusing that I'm the one that is constantly appealing to a literal interpretation of Genesis.

    I realize that I dismissed this hastily in my first post (I was trying to be brief), so I'll explain my dismissal here. The problem is that you haven't found an account that uses a repeated refrain, but rather a common phrase used to introduce a number of accounts. If you could find one account on one subject that used a similar refrain repeatedly, you'd have something. And, you can find exactly that in Revelation 6:
    </font>
    1. Revelation 6:1: "Now I watched when the Lamb opened one of the seven seals, and I heard one of the four living creatures say with a voice like thunder, 'Come!' "</font>
    2. Revelation 6:3: "When he opened the second seal, I heard the second living creature say, 'Come!' "</font>
    3. Revelation 6:5a: "When he opened the third seal, I heard the third living creature say, 'Come!' "</font>
    4. Revelation 6:7: "When he opened the fourth seal, I heard the voice of the fourth living creature say, 'Come!' "</font>
    5. Revelation 6:9: "When he opened the fifth seal, I saw under the altar the souls of those who had been slain for the word of God and for the witness they had borne."</font>
    6. Revelation 6:12: "When he opened the sixth seal, I looked, and behold, there was a great earthquake..."</font>
    7. Revelation 8:1: "When the Lamb opened the seventh seal, there was silence in heaven for about half an hour."</font>
    Seals five through seven diverge a bit from the format, and the seventh seal is set apart from the rest, but the pattern is undeniable. And, contrary to your claims, a pattern like this does not accentuate the historicity of the account, but rather makes it more likely that the vision is being presented in a literary form. (Indeed, many think that the seals overlap with the events described by the trumpets as well as Jesus' more prosaic description in Matthew 24.) Certainly it still reveals truth and is inspired Scripture, but Revelation 6 and Genesis 1 do not read like a history book -- or like Acts or I-II Kings.

    This is an amazing claim. Are you really saying that Genesis 1 is more clear about literal days than the days between Jesus' death and resurrection? Of course, we don't have anything like the repeated refrain to delineate those days. According to what you've said above, that means the days between Jesus' death and resurrection could be construed as something other than 24-hour days. I've certainly seen a lot of debate over which day Jesus was buried and rose again, but I've never seen someone claim that it took thousands or billions of years!

    So, contrary to your expectations, it appears that the wording in Genesis 1 did not stave off debate about the nature of the days, and the wording in the Gospels has avoided any serious debate about the length of the days they describe.

    I'll end with this quote, since it's a sentence we can both agree on. [​IMG]
     
  8. Gup20

    Gup20
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    Wow... what translation are you using? I use KJV - here it is:

    Gen 2:4 These [are] the generations of the heavens and of the earth when they were created, in the day that the LORD God made the earth and the heavens,
    5 And every plant of the field before it was in the earth, and every herb of the field before it grew: for the LORD God had not caused it to rain upon the earth, and [there was] not a man to till the ground.
    6 But there went up a mist from the earth, and watered the whole face of the ground.

    Lets break down the sentence structure, shall we?

    These are the generations of the heavens & earth when they were created - this is active statement
    every plant of the field before it was in the earth - this is subjective to the active statement
    every herb of the field before it grew - this is subjective to the active statement
    for the LORD God had not caused it to rain upon the earth, and [there was] not a man to till the ground - this modifies the subjects
    6 But there went up a mist from the earth, and watered the whole face of the ground. - this defines the modification

    Remember, this does not replace chapter 1, it modifies or builds upon it. Everything in chapter 1 should now be part of your assumptive reasoning. You cannot "cultivate a field" without seeds... you cannot have seeds without plants (as God says he created fully formed plants and herbs in Chapter 1). Moreover, rain was not needed to grow a field of crops because of the mist that went up from the ground. So the verses rightly describe a time when no planting of a field was necessary, not cultivation of that field, nor rain to grow crops from that field - yet the plants were there.

    Not at all - I am suggesting God made everything fully formed - even in the process of bearing seed:

    Gen 1:11 And God said, Let the earth bring forth grass, the herb yielding seed, [and] the fruit tree yielding fruit after his kind, whose seed [is] in itself, upon the earth: and it was so.
    12 And the earth brought forth grass, [and] herb yielding seed after his kind, and the tree yielding fruit, whose seed [was] in itself, after his kind: and God saw that [it was] good.

    I am suggesting that this is already established as fact, therefore Gen 2:4-6 should be read within that assumptive framework. You are suggesting that Gen 2:5 is suggesting that no plants had been created yet. However, rightly interpreted we can see that no FIELDS or CULTIVATION was required for the abundance that was already present. It doesn't say "every plant on earth", it says "every plant of the field". The Hebrew word used is sadeh which translates as cultivated field. Just as no rain was required because of the mist that went up (the definition of the modifications to the subjects), no cultivation, or planting was required for abundant plant life to be present. It is VERY important that you understand the reason for plant life as well:

    Gen 1:29 And God said, Behold, I have given you every herb bearing seed, which [is] upon the face of all the earth, and every tree, in the which [is] the fruit of a tree yielding seed; to you it shall be for meat.
    30 And to every beast of the earth, and to every fowl of the air, and to every thing that creepeth upon the earth, wherein [there is] life, [I have given] every green herb for meat: and it was so.

    Add this to your assumptive framework as well for digesting Genesis 2:4-6. It re-enforces the idea that plants were created to be food. Therefore, there was no need to plant fields and cultivate them as God had already taken care of their needs.

    You know... you're partially right here, Mercury. I was certainly wrong in claiming there wasn't an order. A straight forward reading does indicate order. I think you have really hit upon the answer, though. In your post you backed up to the prior verse (the context) and it says:

    Gen 2:18 And the LORD God said, [It is] not good that the man should be alone; I will make him an help meet for him.

    It is clear that this was indeed a separate process of creating than that of creating the bulk of animals all together (yet still on day 6 of creation). God went through a process of creating animals for Adam to name and choose a help meet. When Adam could find none, God put him to sleep and created Eve out of his rib. Perhaps the dog came in a close 2nd (man's best friend and all that). As with the previous, we need to remember that Genesis 1 our assumptive framework - which means animals created first. This is demonstrated by Gen 1:26 -

    Gen 1:26 And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth.

    So indeed the animals were created before man. However, the animals God created in Gen 2:19 were creations meant to be 'help meets' for Adam. SO the specific order of day 6 is: Animals, man, help meet (potentials, then finally Eve). God was sure to use the same 'material' for creating the potential help meets as he did in the original creation of animals earlier in the day.

    You know the Lord is showing me many things in His Word as I study to answer you. One of the things He brought to my attention is that there was a reason God took Eve from Adam's rib rather than creating a 2nd human from scratch. Then, there is one human race. Eve was, in essence, a clone of Adam (but female). This is why Eve's sin did not bring immediate realization of nakedness in Chapter 3 - but rather only after Adam sinned did death come. So all of humanity is truly 'one race'. See - Genesis has the foundational answer to end racism as well.

    Indeed. We must also remember that Chapter 2 does not negate chapter 1 - it builds upon it. Therefore we can see that God created all the animals, then God created man, then created animals specifically as potentials for a help meet and brought them to Adam to be named - but no help meet was found. So God created Eve from Adam's rib to be the help meet.

    Indeed I did. I apologize for being inconsistent and confusing. This is one reason I appreciate a debate about the scriptures... it really, really helps to focus and find the 'right answer' and refine my own interpretation to specifics. However, I think I have come upon a solid conclusion - indeed there is order and sequence. Indeed there was a separate creative process on day 6 to find a help meet (which came after the initial creation of both animals and man).

    Within the interpretation you helped me to come to, I think we can see a contiguous, congruent, exegetically sound (and logically reasonable) chronology of events which show Chapters 1 & 2 in harmony.

    Let me ask the $1 million question - Had light already been separated from darkness?

    Gen 1:4 And God saw the light, that [it was] good: and God divided the light from the darkness.
    Gen 1:14 And God said, Let there be lights in the firmament of the heaven to divide the day from the night; and let them be for signs, and for seasons, and for days, and years:

    Indeed you are correct, their purpose was to separate light from darkness. However, this had already been accomplished. So we can see that their purpose was to assume these responsibilities, not perform the initial separating.

    Hbr 4:4 For he spake in a certain place of the seventh [day] on this wise, And God did rest the seventh day from all his works.
    5 And in this [place] again, If they shall enter into my rest.

    From Hebrew hermeneutics we know that days are literal when accompanied by a modifier like a number. Whether or not God is still resting as he did on the 7th day of creation is not the point you were trying to make. You were trying to assert that the 7th DAY itself had not ceased - that it was longer than 24 hours. By the only possible explanation of the word "day" in that context, this is a wrong assertion. Now if we want to talk about the rest lasting and lasting... fine - but the wording is quite clear on the use of the word day. You are applying the description of the rest to the meaning of the word day which is a complete error. The word rest has no function to modify the word day in that manner.

    I couldn't agree more! The author's intention is first and foremost to proper exegesis. Clearly, the word day (yom) can mean nothing other than an ordinary day because of the context in Genesis 1.

    In the case of Jesus' supper, we see that He states they do this "in remembrance of Him" - ceremony implies symbolism rather than literal transubstantiation. In the case of Genesis, we know that any time YOM is used with the modifier of evening, morning, or a number it always means a literal 24 hour day. In every case we have evening, morning, number, day - so there can be no doubt that it's literal days. Moreover, it fits the style of authentic history and DOES NOT fit the styles of Hebrew poetry, parables, prophecy, letters, biography, or autobiography [ref].

    Well which is it? You said you believe God created universe in it's entirety (whole means including people, animals, etc) in the blink of an eye, then you said it took him 13.7 billion years to create. The two halves of that statement are contradictory. If anything the Bible demonstrates that God didn't rest from creating until after man was here on earth - therefore according to your own belief system God must have taken 13.7 billion years to create, and used death, disease, struggle, pain, suffering, to accomplish that creation. Moreover, according to your view God created both a means to create and a means to disrupt and impede that creation at once. That makes no logical sense.

    Only because they describe natural events rather than supernatural - that's really the only difference. The style is the same.

    You know I saw something funny on TV the other day. This guy was on a fishing trip chartered by some other guys who didn't' speak English. Every time the English speaking guy said something the guides didn't understand the guides just smiled and laughed as though he just told a funny joke. In my experience the argument "that's laughable" only comes out when the one arguing doesn't have any thing valid or substantial to say. It's a rhetorical argument that means nothing. It's ad hominem at worst, and ridiculously lacking at best.

    Unless you can show that the symmetry matches with the Hebrew styles of poetry, parables, prophecy, letters, biography, or autobiography then symmetry is irrelevant. I could just as well show how Chronicles and Kings are symmetrical. Every king has a successor, every king has a son, every king has a period of time known as their reign. Yet this symmetry isn't enough to categorize it as anything but authentic history because it doesn't match any other form of Hebrew writing. http://www.answersingenesis.org/creation/v16/i1/genesis.asp

    It's just another example from modern science that supports the literal history in Genesis.
     
  9. Gup20

    Gup20
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    I can think of 13.7 billion reasons - for starters. The Bible paints a clear picture that the earth was created in six literal days and on the 7th God rested. To my knowledge the Bible doesn't indicate that God has "started up again" - therefore nature takes it course. Since that nature now includes sin and death, that is the direction of all things - to move from life to death. To decay and de-construct. To wear out. To diminish. Isn't there a law of thermodynamics that is similar to this? Gary Parker (PhD in Biology) has said "Death is the triumph of chemistry over biology. When our cells start doing what comes natural to their bonds, death and decay is the result. Biological life exerts a force over these to keep from them dissolving and doing what comes 'naturally' ".

    No, I am a direct of Adam's special creation:

    Gen 1:28 And God blessed them, and God said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it: and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth.

    I would agree with this part of your statement. I would also add that part of that sustaining power was withdrawn because of sin. God did not author death - but death is NATURAL without His sustaining power. We can see examples of what happens when God holds things up entirely with his sustaining power - we see that the Israelites shoes didn't wear out for 40 years, and there was no one sick or feeble person among them when they left Egypt. We see that Shadrach, Meshack, and Abednigo were not consumed by the fire, and neither was there even the smell of smoke in their clothes.

    As I previously stated in another thread, my posts are thorough and longer than the rest of the posts combined. I don't' see how "I quickly lost interest" is remotely true.

    Ah - your fallacious attacks had a purpose. Perhaps simply inviting me to revisit the thread and answer the questions would have been more appropriate, honest, and direct.

    Perhaps it's close to Hugh Ross who knows. I doubt Hugh Ross claims it was 7 literal days, or that this additional creative event for finding a help meet happened within the literal 24 hours of day 6.

    What if He wanted to create the earth in 7 literal days ~ 6000 years ago, destroy it with a global flood because of sin, and then send his son to die for us 2000 years ago - could God have done that?

    You are making the mistake of assuming that Genesis 2 negates Genesis 1 - like it's some kind of either or - like they are describing the same exact events. In fact, they form a perfect, harmonious picture. Genesis 1 is the overview, Genesis 2 is a detailed view of day 6 (after the creation of animals and man) onward.

    Indeed... the model is incomplete because the Biblical text does not give us the details - only what overall happened. What isn't specified in the Bible is speculation and should be treated as speculation.

    Again, I don't disagree with you. That's probably why I started the description with "assumably".

    What a fantastic question, my evolutionist friend. Do you have any answer? Personally I believe the Bible exactly as written... I don't need ANY scientific reasons to believe the earth was created in 7 literal days just 6000 years ago. I find science fascinating, and it's always fun to understand the details God left out of the Bible. It is our mandate to subdue the earth and have dominion (science implied in that mandate) and to always be ready to give an answer for the hope that is within us. It is FOR YOUR SAKE, Mercury, and the sake of others who have been duped into disbelieving God's word because of evolution that we look for scientific support for scripture. The quickest way to undermine scripture is to convince someone it isn't truth.

    No, I think they wrote what they were inspired to write regardless of whether or not they understood it's scientific implications or not.

    The basis for the literal day is a fixed light source relative to the earth, and the rotation of the earth. A "day" is one rotation of the earth on it's axis. How do we know a day has passed? You oscillate light and darkness with a fixed light source relative to your position. It not only supports my position, but strengthens it.

    Actually, God created light and then separated that light from the darkness. There was darkness, God said "let there be light" and there WAS light. Then the light and dark were SEPARATED. Meaning it was only dark. Then God created light and it was only light. Then God separated the two and it was then possible to be light or dark. If they are separated, that means we can have light and dark - not only one or the other. But take a look at this. So the first day came to an end because of "evening" and the subsequent morning. (notice evening came first)

    Gen 1:5 And God called the light Day, and the darkness he called Night. And the evening and the morning were the first day.

    This supports the assumption that when God created light there was light everywhere. Then upon separating them, the day was finished as soon as the "dark" rolled around, or that the light was oriented to it's "place", and as soon as the part that was in the light came into darkness, the day was completed.

    Err... where did I say the days were not literal days? I have been saying that they are literal all along, and most evolutionists have argued with me (including you). You are constantly appealing to a literal interpretation? If so you would be agreeing with me, and disbelieving evolution and Old Earth.

    What I was showing you was that, in fact, it fits the style of an oft repeated phrase in a historical account. The chronology is the same in each instance of the work being done during the day, then evening comes, nothing is done during the night, and then morning comes and the next day begins. This chronology is consistent and needs to be stated outright in each instance (as each is a different day). It's like a security guard going through a checklist "checked flood 2... checked floor 3... checked main hall..." It's a sequential, chronological, record of the event in which nothing but the event occurred - in the case of Genesis 1, the passing of one day to another with no work being done at night on each day of creation.
     
  10. Gup20

    Gup20
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    Genesis is written in Hebrew. Revelation is written in Greek.

    For one thing, again, you are talking about Hebrew and Greek - hard to compare. Moreover, the Gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John are 4 eye witness, accounts. We know from the context of all 4 of them (Greek hermeneutics) that they refer to literal days. Genesis is also an eye witness account. However, God is NOT limited to the same strict meaning of day as a man would be. Therefore, assumptions regarding the content based upon who the author is are different. It is for this reason that it must be demonstrated in more precise language in Genesis with Evening, Morning, number.

    Yes, interesting how the Word of God (eye witness account) is questioned while the word of man (Matt, Mark, Luke, John) is not. I too have never seen the meaning of these days questioned. Moreover we don't question how long the Israelites marched around Jericho (was it 7 million years, or 7 literal days?). The only place in the Scripture where it is questioned is in Genesis, and ONLY because of the mind of man (humanism, atheism, and theories such as evolution) has decided to question it's straight forward meaning.

    I think we probably agree on a lot more than you think. However, let me point out that according to evolution MOST of "creation" happened millions of years before man even existed. Therefore "observation" would have been impossible. Even according to the Bible, everything but Woman was created before man, therefore we needed to have the details of this unobserved time period laid out by the one eye witness willing to tell us the truth about it.

    Observation of fossils, for example, is not scientific observation, it is forensic observation (extrapolating probabilities rather than observing actualities). For example, in a court room, we can use forensic clues to figure out of there is probability, but that doesn't necessarily mean that is what happened. It is only accurate if the data used to calculate the probability is COMPLETE and accurate. Then, you still can't know for absolute certainty without an eye witness. God is our eye witness and his testimony is listed in Genesis 1.
     
  11. Mercury

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    I generally quote the ESV. I'm fine with any translation, though, as long as a person doesn't claim it is inerrant or supercedes the Greek and Hebrew.

    ---

    The rest of this post is going to focus on a single issue: the differences between Genesis 1 and 2. I'll try to get to the remainder of your posts later when I have more time.

    Many seem to think that the two accounts must reconcile into a single historical record at all costs in order to preserve the Bible's truthfulness. I don't. I think they are separate precisely because they describe something beyond human imagination, and God chose to get across the truth of this event through two pictures using human imagery. Neither one is rote history. They are not intended to be forced together into something that is rote history. Instead, they each convey important concepts about creation that a single literal picture could not contain because they are paradoxes to our limited human understanding.

    For instance, did God create the birds by speaking or by actually forming them from the ground? Genesis 1 says the former and Genesis 2 says the latter. Put them together literally, and you end up with God's speech being no more than God talking to himself, and after talking, he gets down and actually does it. (Or, using Gup's newest approach, you can separate the two events and say God created all the birds by speaking and then later created all the birds from the ground.) But if we don't focus on reducing the imagery to historical facts, we can affirm both that God spoke the world into existence and that life is formed by God from the elements of the earth and sea. As to how it fits together, that's for us to discover, since God has not told us. That's a much better approach than thinking God has told us this and trying to find the answer between the lines of Genesis.

    This is not just an issue for creation. God uses the same approach for everything else revealed in the Bible that goes beyond the natural, including descriptions of heaven and hell, descriptions of God's nature, how God "changes" his mind in response to human action, the ways the persons of the Trinity interact. When the New Testament describes how Jesus' crucifixion saves us from our sins, the writers use many pictures: how Jesus is like the bronze serpent, how he's the ultimate sin offering, the passover lamb, the Second Adam, the High Priest, offering both a ransom and making atonement. Or, compare the multitude of illustrations Jesus uses to describe the kingdom of heaven. Trying to combine all the pictures together into a literal description we can comprehend is futile: the whole reason God gives us many pictures is that the reality behind the pictures is beyond our understanding! God is condescending to us.

    The creation of the universe is also beyond our understanding. We've been given the God-given abilities and mandate to explore creation and learn about it, but we're not going to ever know the precise mechanics of it this side of eternity. To reduce the pictures of creation in the Bible to descriptions of those mechanics is to miss their purpose.

    You seem to be saying that "plant of the field" and "herb of the field" describe the location of the plant or herb, not its nature. In other words, the kinds of plants and herbs that would later be cultivated already existed at this point according to you because they were created three days earlier.

    However, the text provides evidence that this is not so. Genesis 2:19-20 describes the formation of "beasts of the field". They are beasts of the field because of what they are, not where they are. They do not become beasts of the field when God brings them to a field by Adam, but rather are formed as beasts of the field and then brought to Adam.

    So, you are still left with a contradiction here. Either the plants, herbs and beasts that would later be raised by man existed prior to man, as Genesis 1 says, or the plants and herbs that would later be cultivated did not exist yet at the time when man was formed, as Genesis 2 says. It doesn't work to say they existed but weren't yet cultivated, because from looking at the beasts of the field we can see that "of the field" describes the kind, not the location.

    That is backwards from what the text says. It says these plants didn't exist because there was no rain and no man. You say these plants existed in spite of there not being rain or a man.

    In other words, rather than looking at the evidence that Genesis 1 and 2 are not meant to be combined into a single historical narrative, you assume that it's impossible for them to be anything other than historical records and so they must be made to fit together. You use this assumption as evidence they are historical records that fit together. Your "assumptive framework" is the reason for your conclusion and the reason you cannot see any other conclusion -- even when you change your mind about how to arrive at it.

    I just want to make sure I understand you. On day five God created "every winged fowl after his kind" (Genesis 1:21). On day six, after forming Adam, "the LORD God formed every beast of the field, and every fowl of the air" (Genesis 2:19). These, according to you, are two separate events, and do not in any way contradict. God created all the birds on day 5 and then created all the birds again near the end of day 6. Am I understanding you correctly?

    Expanding to encompass day 5, your order seems to be: all fish, all birds, all land animals, man, some more land animals, all birds (again), Eve.

    That's getting a bit tortured. And, all these games you play are just to maintain that Genesis 1 and 2 can't possibly be anything other than two fragments of a history that must clearly fit together.

    Where is your evidence for this assertion? How do you know God didn't reveal creation to the author of Genesis 1 in a vision much the way he revealed the Apocalypse in a vision to John?
     
  12. Gup20

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    At all costs makes it sound like it's difficult to do so, or that you have to bend rules or go out of your way. In fact, I think it's pretty straight forward. If you were reading any other literal historical account laid out in this way, you wouldn't be confused. Your initial problem is that you ASSUME that it is not literal history. You don't take what is stated literally. When you do, everything is quite well laid out, organized, and harmonious. For example, since you do not take chapter 1 as having literally happened, you see chapter 2 (which you also don't think literally happened) and imagine some conflict. Since both didn't happen (in your mind) you can insert one OR the other without damage to your thought process. You imagine they both describe starting from time 0 forward. However, you must realize that Chapter 1 is time 0 to time [day6], chapter 2 is time [day6] onward. In fact, if you take chapter 1 as literal history, then apply chapter 2 as literal history, the two are complimentary.

    There is no need to force them together. A straight forward reading puts Genesis 2 starting at day6. We know from chapter 1 that God created man and animals on day 6, and the chapter begins it's historical record keeping with "These are the generations of" and then "and the Lord God formed man...". We know from Chapter 1 the time to use for that event is day 6, therefore the two make a perfectly congruous record of events with specific time indexes. Any confusion here is fabricated with the intention of ignoring the straight forward literal reading of Genesis 1 & 2.

    Again, you are making the assumption that Genesis 1 and Genesis 2 share the same time indexes. In fact, they do not. Genesis 1 starts at day 0, and Genesis 2 starts at day 6.

    Gen 1:20 And God said, Let the waters bring forth abundantly the moving creature that hath life, and fowl [that] may fly above the earth in the open firmament of heaven.

    Gen 2:18 And the LORD God said, [It is] not good that the man should be alone; I will make him an help meet for him.
    19 And out of the ground the LORD God formed every beast of the field, and every fowl of the air; and brought [them] unto Adam to see what he would call them: and whatsoever Adam called every living creature, that [was] the name thereof.

    But it's an interesting observation of scripture you have made. Indeed the first was created by speaking, the 2nd was formed from the dust. It begs the question, however, why would God need to re-create (by speaking) something that already exists? He wouldn't. He wouldn't need to "call into existence" birds because they already existed. He might form one specifically for Adam, however. It confirms and strengthens the notion that birds already existed so there was no need to call something into existence - just work with what you already have made. God calls our bodies dust (Gen 3:19). It seems to make sense that Genesis 2 confirms - because of the language of 'forming from the dust' rather than speaking to create - that these creatures had already been spoken into existence previously.

    Then again, the word for formed is past tense. It most certainly could be referring to the previous creative process, and not introducing any new creation at all. It may simply be stating that they had previously been formed (at an earlier time) and they were brought to Adam to name (at the current time). So all this talk about 2 different creations may simply be an interesting detour from a proper exegesis.

    Have you not read Genesis 3?

    Gen 3:17 And unto Adam he said, Because thou hast hearkened unto the voice of thy wife, and hast eaten of the tree, of which I commanded thee, saying, Thou shalt not eat of it: cursed [is] the ground for thy sake; in sorrow shalt thou eat [of] it all the days of thy life;
    18 Thorns also and thistles shall it bring forth to thee; and thou shalt eat the herb of the field;
    19 In the sweat of thy face shalt thou eat bread, till thou return unto the ground; for out of it wast thou taken: for dust thou [art], and unto dust shalt thou return.

    God cursed the ground at Adam's fall. Now, work is required to prepare and cultivate ground. The implication here is that this was not the case prior to the fall, or just after creation. This fits perfectly with a literal reading of Genesis 2. Man's participation was not required prior to the fall to cultivate the land. It grew without any effort or manipulation by man.

    We can see from Genesis 1 that the plants were created by the time man was created. We can see by Genesis 2 that rain was not needed because of the mist that went up. We can see from Genesis 3 that man was not needed to cultivate the ground prior to the fall. Therefore within this context we can see clearly that the verses indicate the plants grew without these post-fall necessities.

    No, in other words instead of looking for reasons to ignore and dismiss Genesis as literal, look at how well a straight forward literal reading makes sense of everything. All of your manufactured contradictions and fabricated confusion melts away and the scripture forms a perfect, congruent picture that is easy to follow when you read it in a straight forward, literal manner.

    I don't read the Bible looking for what I can disagree with, or looking for evidence that it's not true. I take the whole scripture by faith to BE true absolutely. That is the difference between us. And it is your belief in evolution that has undermined your ability to see the scripture in such an absolute way. Today it is Genesis - what's next? The Gospels? After all - how can someone be raised from the dead or have eternal life - we can't observe that in science, so it must be non-literal imagery, right? And what of the next Generation who takes even more liberties with your disbelief. While you may be ok with that door slightly cracked open, the next generation will only push that door open further and further until it's wide open and you have a situation like the Church of England - which is for the most part dead. Compromising the integrity/veracity of scripture leads only to more compromise. Even the Pope Benedict recognizes that.

    Gen 2:19 And out of the ground the LORD God formed every beast of the field, and every fowl of the air; and brought [them] unto Adam to see what he would call them: and whatsoever Adam called every living creature, that [was] the name thereof.

    I dunno - maybe, maybe not. There are other possibilities and I guess I am not fully convinced one way or another. For example, the punctuation could be different - it could be two independent statements. God having formed everything of the dust and God having brought them to Adam could be different days - it's not necessarily all one moment. Also, the verb "formed" is in the Hebrew past tense... so it's possible that it's talking about the animals God had already formed. Or it could be that God formed specific animals he thought might be good helpers to Adam. Any of these fit within a congruent literal interpretation. As you mentioned, there is a distinction between speaking to create and forming from existing material. I wouldn't say they are "created" when trying to find Adam a helper... they have already been created on the previous day. I would say more precisely they are brought. Additionally, we don't know how many of each animal came into existence when God created them during the creation week. One might assume at least 2 of each. It's doubtful that God brought every member of each species, but one of each kind to be named. Your post implies that God created thousands of creatures on day 5, then re-created thousands of those same creatures on day 6 - I doubt that's what is being said. Even IF God formed one of each to bring to Adam in a separate creation process on day 6, it would have been ONE of each. Someone who knows Hebrew much better than I would have to tell us if the verse left room (which I think it does) for the possibility that the forming and the bringing happened at two different times, and that them being formed is more a description of what is brought than a statement of what is done in that moment.

    Looking at everything I would say it's most likely that formed is past tense for the day they were formed according to Genesis 1. Of course, I am still just "thinking out loud" following each course through logically - as I said I am not fully convinced either way.

    Indeed it seems to be. I should probably get off that fence, eh?

    For one thing, God claims it (by such phrases as "These are the generations of the heaven and earth") giving a distinct historical tone. Moreover, the vision of John was prophecy of what was to come. Any attempt to tell us how we got here is actually history, so it has an exact and actual (having already happened a specific way) way in which it happened.
     
  13. Mercury

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    Again, I'll group this by topic.


    About Genesis 1 and 2:
    At all costs makes it sound like it's difficult to do so, or that you have to bend rules or go out of your way. In fact, I think it's pretty straight forward.</font>[/QUOTE]Yes, I do think it is difficult to do so. I think you know this yourself since you've been struggling to reconcile the two in this thread. You started with one idea with another idea as a backup, then you switched to a different idea I suggested that you claimed was "clear" from the text, then you went back to being on the fence. If any one of your approaches were free of problems, you would not still be on the fence.

    Basically, you've discovered the same thing I discovered: reconciling the two is really hard to do. They are written in a way that provides no help to those who try to fit them together -- no statements about the second just being about the sixth day, no statements that it started at a time when most of creation was finished, and no statements about the order in the second not being sequential. Those who try to thread the two together are left on their own, without any help from the text.

    No. I approached the text believing it was literal history. When I began to really study Genesis 1-2, I held to the gap theory and thought Genesis was entirely historical. It was the text itself that changed my mind, and I outlined some of those reasons in my opening post.

    So would you follow this through consistently and claim that God spoke people into existence (Genesis 1:26-27) prior to forming Adam from dust (Genesis 2:7)?

    I have a different way of reconciling God speaking things into existence and God forming them: both are pictures of how nothing exists apart from God's plan; everything that exists is God's creation. God ordained my existence (Psalm 139:16) and knit me together (Psalm 139:13). This does not contradict biology unless one adopts a woodenly literalistic hermeneutic.

    So, you are willing to allow your ideas to override Genesis 2:4-5 where it says there were not yet any plants or herbs of the field because there wasn't rain or a man to till the ground. Instead, you claim these plants existed in spite of there being no rain and no man, because that's the only way you can see to line it up with Genesis 1. (And as an aside, Adam was commanded to work and tend the garden before the Fall in Genesis 2:15, so there's no need to claim Genesis 3 contradicts with Genesis 2:5's statement that those plants depended on man.)

    I won't give my own opinion on this. I leave it up to each reader to determine for themselves whether Gup has actually presented a "straight forward literal reading" that "makes sense of everything" and "melts away" confusion to form a "perfect, congruent picture that is easy to follow".


    About biblical interpretation and authority:
    Do you mean that you take the whole of Scripture by faith to be literal and historical? If so, that's indeed a difference between us. But, you've pointed out elsewhere that you do realize that not all Scripture is historical record. You're aware that it contains songs, parables, evocative prophecies, visions, non-literal descriptions and figures of speech. Based on that, you seem to be saying that you take the whole of Scripture by faith to be true, regardless of what kind of writing it is. And on that, we agree.

    I became convinced that Genesis 1 was not intended to be a literal historical account long before I considered evolution to be a possibility.

    The literalness of the days of Genesis 1 were questioned going back at least as far as Augustine. 1600 years later they are still questioned by both conservative and liberal Christians. This is hardly the beginning of the slippery slope you present it to be.

    Why would you limit what is possible to what we can observe through science? I certainly don't. None of my reasons for taking the days of Genesis 1 as a literary framework were based on our science; my last point in the opening post (#7) only stated that it is presented in terms that are compatible with the accepted physical world-view at the time it was written (of course it is completely incompatible with the spiritual world-view of the time).

    You still can't separate your own interpretation from "the integrity/veracity of scripture". Scripture has integrity and veracity whether or not my ideas are correct. If I'm wrong, I don't claim that proves the Bible is wrong. That is a difference between us.

    I am approaching this subject similar to a discussion over whether the story of the Good Samaritan is historical or a parable. Evidence could be presented to indicate either way, and conclusions could be drawn, but whether or not the story is historical, it is still Scripture and still is a potentially life-changing message inspired by God.

    Now Genesis 1 certainly isn't a parable -- whether the account is a literal historical record or not, it is undisputed among Christians that it describes a real event: the creation of the heavens and the earth. Just as I wouldn't doubt whether Jesus was tempted by Satan based on uncertainty about the order of his temptation, I also don't doubt that God created the universe based on uncertainty about exactly how and when he did that.

    Gup, you feel strongly that Genesis 1 is a historical record. That's fine, but please don't attempt to wager the veracity of God's word on whether or not you're right.

    Finally, answering my question about how you know Genesis 1 was an eyewitness account from God:
    That phrase is only present at the beginning of the second account in Genesis 2. The Genesis 1 account does not contain it. If anything, that is evidence that the second account is more likely to be intended as history than the first.

    God could reveal the future as clearly as he could reveal the past, but he appears to use more poetic methods to do both. The historical accounts we have in the Bible come from events that were witnessed by humans, and it is on the basis of their witness that we are to take them as historical (see Luke 1:1-4; John 21:24). There is no reason from the text to believe that Genesis 1 was God's eyewitness account passed down to Moses. It could be a vision or some other method of God inspiring a human author. As such, there is no more reason to read it as providing literal, sequential details than there is to read Revelation 6 as providing literal, sequential details. The tribulation does not depend on literal seals and creation does not depend on literal days.
     
  14. Mercury

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    The separation of light and darkness on days 1 and 4:
    Gup, we both agree that this happened on day 1. The question is why it is also described as happening on day 4. I say it is because the days are not outlining an actual historical order. You say that the second separation isn't really a separation because "this had already been accomplished." In other words, you are assuming that the days must be literal history in order to prove they are literal history.


    The seventh day and God's ongoing rest:
    Once again, because you believe the days are literal 24 hour days based on other reasons, you dismiss the reason that has been presented. You don't seem willing to discuss the reasons on their own grounds. "The day can't be longer because the day can't be longer!"

    And sheep are literal when accompanied by phrases like "shepherd", "wolf", "flock" and "sheep pen". However, that does not mean that the actual sheep within the picture provided in John 10:11-16 don't really represent something other than sheep in the interpretation of the picture, such as people. Similarly, the days of Genesis 1 are literal within the account, but the whole account uses the days to represent something else: God's creative act and God's rest. God condescends to relate these things in a template that humans can imitate, and by so doing remember who God is and what he has done.

    Except of course for the fact that the day represents the rest. That is why the Sabbath was so important. It symbolizes God's rest that we can enter. If you look into this, the seriousness of Sabbath-keeping in the Old Testament suddenly makes a lot more sense.


    On whether God is still creating:
    I believe God created the universe with everything necessary for it to develop. It did not contain people and animals from the beginning, but God is still the creator of people and animals. This is no more inconsistent than a YEC who claims that God is their creator even though they were formed thousands of years after when they believe creation ended.

    The deistic perspective is that God created and left. Neither of us accepts that. God created and is now in his rest, but he's still active in creating in other ways. You think God's initial creation was the six day period. I think it was the moment of creation. Either way, we both believe (I hope) that God continues to be active in sustaining creation and bringing about life and other aspects of nature today.

    No, God created the heavens and earth in no time at all, but he has continued to care about and look after his creation for the 13.7 billion years since. As for God allowing animal death, there's a very quiet thread devoted to discussing that issue in depth. There are a number of problems with your interpretation that you have not yet dealt with there.


    On literary symmetry:
    I did not say "that's laughable" as an argument. My argument followed that statement. You chose to discuss that statement and ignore my substantive response that followed. I still do think it is laughable that you attempted to dismiss the symmetry between days 1/4, 2/5 and 3/6 by pointing out that the days don't contain a symmetric number of verses. Even aside from the fact that I was pointing out symmetry in the described actions, not the length of the descriptions, you're also well aware that verse divisions are relatively modern and not part of what we consider inspired Scripture.

    Okay. First, to recap Genesis 1. It has seven days, broken into two groups of three capped by a special day at the end. If the two groups of three days (days 1-3 and 4-6) are placed side by side, days 1/4, 2/5 and 3/6 correspond to each other.
    </font>
    • Days 1 and 4: light; luminaries</font>
    • Days 2 and 5: firmament to divide waters; firmament and waters below filled with fish and birds</font>
    • Days 3 and 6: dry ground with vegetation; dry ground filled with land animals and humans</font>
    • Day 7: God enters his rest (no ending to this day is indicated)</font>
    Note that the first three days describe the forming of the environment and the second three days fill that environment with creatures: the lights to "rule" day and night, the animals and humans. Also, note that days 2 and 5 contain a realm with two parts (firmament and waters) and so it is filled with two sets of creatures (fish and birds).

    Now, take a look at a comparable example (also written in Hebrew):
    Note the symmetry. Each couplet begins with "I beheld". The first section describes the formlessness of three realms fit into two couplets. The earth and the heavens are combined in the first couplet; the mountains and hills make the second. The second section describes how the living things filling with those realms were removed. The earth as a whole is associated with man, who has dominion over the entire earth (Genesis 1:26). The birds are associated with the heavens (Genesis 1:20). Mountains and hills are specially associated with vegetation even though it is found throughout the earth (Deuteronomy 33:14-16), and so are cities, especially Jerusalem which the prophecy is about.

    So, treating the two halves of the first couplet as separate items to make it more obvious, we get the following symmetry (see numbers in quotation above):
    </font>
    1. Formless earth -&gt; no man</font>
    2. Dark heavens -&gt; birds fled</font>
    3. Quaking mountains and hills -&gt; no vegetation or cities</font>
    Obviously this passage borrows heavily from Genesis 1 and 2. But, the symmetry I've outlined here does not exist because it is copying Genesis 1. It chooses different elements to focus on, but divides them into a similar pattern. First the realms, then the occupants of those realms, with a correspondence between each realm and occupant. Certainly it's not exactly the same, but it shows that this type of symmetry is used elsewhere in the Bible.

    I've also already mentioned Revelation 6 as a New Testament example. The opening of the seals is quite similar to the days of Genesis. While the correspondence between seals 1/4, 2/5 and 3/6 is strained, the overall structure of six seals followed by a special seal is obvious:
    </font>
    • Seals 1 and 4: conquest; death</font>
    • Seals 2 and 5: removal of peace; saints cry out for vengeance</font>
    • Seals 3 and 6: destruction of food sources and famine; de-creation imagery (sun darkens, stars fall, sky rolled up, earthquakes, etc.)</font>
    • Seal 7: Silence in heaven (leading into the seven trumpets)</font>
    Another similarity between Genesis 1 and Revelation 6 is how both show actions in heaven followed by results on earth. God speaks and this brings light, form and inhabitants; the Lamb opens the seals and they bring darkness, chaos and desolation.

    Ah, but since those are historical accounts, the details get messy. Not all kings are succeeded by their son, there are overlaps in the reigns, the kingdom splits, etc. It's far more like history, and far less like Genesis 1.
     
  15. Gup20

    Gup20
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    Actually I was too empathetic to your point of view. I was trying to consider it from your point of reason. As was demonstrated it is not logical from that point of view (the view that the two chapters describe something separate). As I stated repeatedly, your error is in the assumption that the 2nd chapter negates the first.

    I checked with AiG on the issue and here is what they had to say:

    Notice that point 1 is exactly what I have been saying all along - that the two chapters are complimentary and not mutually exclusive. The only way these make sense is the most straight forward reading - that chapter 1 is the assumptive framework within which chapter 2 operates, and that chapter 2 expounds upon chapter 1.

    I apologize for 'thinking out loud'. However, I was merely trying to consider the issue from your point of view. What we have both discovered is that your reasoning is flawed. You cannot discard chapter 1 in reading chapter 2. You must read chapter 2 with the presumption that chapter 1 is true, literal, and had happened exactly as it was written. Assuming they are 'two accounts' is improper. It is one account - chapter 2 is simply a more detailed look at the specifics of chapter 1. It's like reading two accounts of the same stories about Jesus in Matthew or Mark. They both describe the same literal event, but from a different perspective and with different highlighted details.

    Now that we have seen that chapters 1 and 2 can be perfectly harmonious, are you willing to change your view to YEC?

    Following through your line of reasoning (which is what I was working on there) you come to inconsistencies which much be met with assumptions. Instead, I should have questioned your original assumption - as that is where your reasoning was flawed.

    You continue to operate under the assumption that chapter 2 negates chapter 1. When you accept chapter 1 (and indeed the whole of scripture) you can see this makes sense within the context. Look carefully Merc - does it say "there was not any plants or herbs"? I don't think so... here is why:

    Gen 2:4 These [are] the generations of the heavens and of the earth when they were created, in the day that the LORD God made the earth and the heavens,
    5 And every plant of the field before it was in the earth, and every herb of the field before it grew: for the LORD God had not caused it to rain upon the earth, and [there was] not a man to till the ground.
    6 But there went up a mist from the earth, and watered the whole face of the ground.

    Jewish verbs have two tenses - passive and causal. One form is "allow" and one is "cause".

    verse 4 begins a defining the subject: These are the generations of the heaven and earth
    verse 5 begins by modifying the subject to include plants and herbs: and the every plant of the field, and every herb of the field
    Notice 'of the field' gives the implication of cultivated fields - which is to say 'plants for food'
    the verb in verse 5 describes the action of the subject: before it grew
    This verb is the QAL form, which is the "causal" form.
    verse 5 continues describing the verb: for the Lord had not caused it to rain, and there was not a man to till the ground

    If you just stop here, you might think that it describes that plants for food had not grown yet because there was a man to till the ground, and there had not been any rain. But verse 6 changes that.

    verse 6 reverses the verse 5 description: but there went up a mist and watered the ground

    So the full statement in English (and modern vernacular) would be: These are the generations of the heaven and earth. All the food man would need grew from the ground even though it had never been watered by rain, or tilled by man because God caused a mist to come up from the ground. This basically describes a world that was fully ready and waiting to be a paradise for man.

    You have basically predetermined that you would accept an evolutionary world view rather than the scripture. You then set about creating a straw man of Genesis that is not straight forward, nor does it even make logical sense. However, a straight forward reading of the scripture (aka Genesis 1, then Genesis 2) makes perfect sense. We have already been told that plants came before man literally days beforehand. So in our reading of chapter 2, why would we entertain any thing that contradicts that? We wouldn't ... we would keep reading till what was written came to something that made sense out of it. Such as, for example, that there was not a man to till the ground made no difference because God caused it to happen without those things (which is the point of verse 6). You basically invented a contradiction that simply doesn't exist because you failed to read it completely or in context.

    No, that's not what I mean...

    See, I knew you didn't think that I meant the whole of scripture is literal. In fact, I continue to post the AiG article on the different types of writing in scripture. It shows quite clearly and decisively that Genesis is INTENDED as authentic history, so I take it literally - as the text indicates it should be taken. Hermeneutics is all about letting the Bible interpret the Bible.
     
  16. Gup20

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    And what gave you that impression? Can you show me the verse where it says "Genesis isn't literal"? Because that impression doesn't come from scripture alone. You know, evolution wasn't even scientifically considered until ~ 200 years ago. All scientific progress to that point was done by YEC's. Why? Because any reasonable person who takes JUST scripture (without outside influence) comes to a YE conclusion.

    I can point to quite a few verses that show Genesis as literal. For example:

    Mat 19:4 And he answered and said unto them, Have ye not read, that he which made [them] at the beginning made them male and female,
    2Pe 3:5 For this they willingly are ignorant of, that by the word of God the heavens were of old, and the earth standing out of the water and in the water:
    2Pe 3:6 Whereby the world that then was, being overflowed with water, perished:

    Here Jesus and Peter both refer to Genesis as literal, authentic history.

    I take the word of Jesus and Peter over the word of Augustine. Their words were inspired and pure. Which chapter of the Bible did Augustine write? None of the Bible authors were confused about the literalness of Genesis.

    That's point I wanted to make by the rhetorical question. There is nothing whatsoever in scripture to support evolution or millions of years... therefore these ideas are outside of scirpture - from another source.

    Yet I have shown you point by point why your interpretation is wrong. Moreover, I believe that your reasoning is the strawman argument of someone already convinced of an alternative.

    This is a direct contradiction to the first half of your statement. First, you argue that God should not be limited by "what we observe"... then you state that it is limited by "the physical world view at the time". Clearly, your points are indeed derived by extra-scriptural sources. If you go just off of what the scripture states, you don't get millions of years or evolution.

    Your fallacy is that there are two separate accounts. There is, in fact, only one account with various levels of detail.

    It's not really about what God "could have done". It's about "What did God say He did". We could speculate all day about what God could have done. Fortuneately, the Bible says what God did do.

    Bible = Word of God. Genesis 1 = story of creation. Genesis 1 = part of the Bible. Therefore, the story of creation in the Bible is God's Word. Since the Bible states that God created man, no man was there to observe creation. Because the Bible is God's word, and God is the only witness to the formation of the universe, and the Bible describes a step by step narrative of how the universe and earth came to be, logically - and from the text - we can see that Genesis 1 is God's eyewitness account of creation.

    Jhn 1:1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.
    2Ti 3:16 All scripture [is] given by inspiration of God, and [is] profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:

    Easy - it was already separated. The sun replaced the original light source as a 'sign' for day in that separation. Clearly, we don't have 2 light sources strong enough to give day to the earth. The Bible describes that

    Gen 1:14 And God said, Let there be lights in the firmament of the heaven to divide the day from the night; and let them be for signs, and for seasons, and for days, and years:

    Science corroborates this verse, in fact. Almost the entire electromagnetic spectrum is blocked by the earth's atmosphere. Everything that is, except for visible light spectrum. Visible light is in the middle of the spectrum. Everything on each immediate side of the visible light in the electromagnetic spectrum is blocked by the atmosphere... but visible light comes right through!

    YOM is an ordinary day because of it's context in the verse. YOM is used over 400 times in scripture in combination with a number. In all cases, it means a literal, ordinary day. Moreover, our workweek is based upon that week. The whole concept of the Sabbath in the Law is based on that concept. If your interpretation is correct, we should work for six days and then take an indefinite vacation for the rest of our lives. Within the context of scripture, it just doesn't make sense.

    Like I said... your interpretation would mean that the Sabbath day lasts continuously, and that is clearly not the intended meaning, accepted meaning, or any thing other than wishful thinking.

    I believe God created the universe and all life on earth in six days culminating in the creation of man on day six. I believe that Noah and his family were the only ones saved from a global flood that wiped out every land animal and person on earth who was not on the Ark. I can give inspired scriptural Word of God to back up my beliefs... that can you show from Scripture to support millions of years or evolution? I don't see anywhere in the Bible where the idea that God created the world and 'let it develop naturally'. As a matter of fact, this concept was refuted by Paul in scripture:

    Rom 1:20 For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, [even] his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse:
    21 Because that, when they knew God, they glorified [him] not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened.
    22 Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools,
    23 And changed the glory of the uncorruptible God into an image made like to corruptible man, and to birds, and fourfooted beasts, and creeping things.
    24 Wherefore God also gave them up to uncleanness through the lusts of their own hearts, to dishonour their own bodies between themselves:
    25 Who changed the truth of God into a lie, and worshipped and served the creature more than the Creator, who is blessed for ever. Amen.

    God created this world by supernatural means... the Bible describes that clearly. It was the voice of God directly, not the creation of God indirectly that created all life on earth.

    You really contradicted yourself here, Merc. How can you say that God is resting, but then say that creation is continuing, and pretend that this doesn't mean God is not performing the creation. Clearly, you have assigned the role of God the Creator to his creation. Sounds like changed the glory of the uncorruptible God into an image made like to corruptible man, and to birds, and fourfooted beasts, and creeping things. to me. Basically, you give credit due God, whom you say has rested from his creating, to the creation itself - birds, beasts, and man. Yet that is exactly what evolutionists supposed. That information has arisen Moreover, the Bible is clear that God started resting after the creation of man... not before. This is yet more indication that people and animals were directly created during "active creation" before God rested.
     
  17. Mercury

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    It appears that Gup is now changing his tune once more. I was wondering what would happen if I let out enough rope about how to fit Genesis 1 and 2 together. Gup seems to have grabbed the rope, formed a noose, and stuck his head in it. But, now he's having second thoughts and seems to think I'm to blame for his predicament. Yes, I did provide the rope. That much I admit. But, let's look at how Gup tries to rewrite history -- even the short history of this thread!

    When Gup tried to "consider it from [my] point of reason" he said, "You know... you're partially right here, Mercury. I was certainly wrong in claiming there wasn't an order. A straight forward reading does indicate order. I think you have really hit upon the answer, though." He hardly seemed to be merely considering things from my point of view. And, once he realized the order in the Genesis 2 account, his contortions of the text to make it fit with Genesis 1 became more and more severe.

    Following through your line of reasoning (which is what I was working on there) you come to inconsistencies which much be met with assumptions. Instead, I should have questioned your original assumption - as that is where your reasoning was flawed.</font>[/QUOTE]Instead of questioning my point about the different ways God's creative activity is shown, Gup initially embraced it as his own. He said, "But it's an interesting observation of scripture you have made. Indeed the first was created by speaking, the 2nd was formed from the dust." After I suggested it, it seemed to be the plain, straight-forward reading to him. Until, of course, I pointed out the rather large problems that causes to a literal, historical reading. Then, all of a sudden, the reasoning was flawed. Why didn't he determine whether or not the reasoning was sound before he embraced it? Why only check when he found that it contradicts with what he wants to believe?

    Another interesting backpedal is about whether or not there's one creation account or two in the first two chapters of Genesis:

    It's one account, just like the two accounts of Matthew and Mark? Gup can't even keep it straight within a single paragraph. There is obviously a division at Genesis 2:4. It contains the toledoth formula ("these are the generations") that Gup earlier pointed out as an account marker in Genesis. Now, he's trying to argue the opposite -- that the toledoth means nothing and both chapters together make a single unit. When one is forced to argue two opposite positions depending on the context, it's a pretty good sign that one needs to step away a bit to reexamine one's claims.

    Anyway, I'll refrain from handing Gup any more rope. Now that he's brought AiG into this, with their own (different) reconciliation of the two accounts, I think he's tied up enough as it is. I do want to revisit one last reconciliation attempt, though:

    If we stop right there (at Genesis 2:5), it says that not only were these plants not growing, but they weren't even in the ground. And, it says that this is because there was no rain and no man. When it later describes the mist and the creation of man, this does not magically change the earlier verses to now say the opposite. The text describes no plants because of two problems, fixes the two problems, and then God plants a garden. Perfectly reasonable without needing to claim that verse 5 actually means the opposite of what it says.

    Also, keep in mind that the word for the mist in verse 6 only appears one other place in the Bible, and in that place it is describing rain (Job 36:27). It is likely that verse 6 describes how the problem of no rain for the plants was solved. Verse 7 certainly describes how the problem of no man to till the ground was solved.

    Let me provide my own loose paraphrase: This is how the world came to be prepared at the time when Yahweh made it. There was no agriculture because Yahweh had not caused it to rain yet and there was no person to work the ground. Then Yahweh made a mist that fell as rain and watered the whole earth. Then Yahweh formed a man from the ground and breathed into him life. Then Yahweh planted a garden in Eden, and placed the man there.

    The difference between our paraphrases is that mine doesn't require verse 5 to mean the opposite of what it says.

    Gup, I've already told you that I came to my conclusions on Genesis 1 before I considered evolution to be a possibility. I recommend reading The Genesis Debate: three views on the days of creation, edited by David Hagopian. All the contributors to the book affirm inerrancy and don't accept evolution, and yet three perspectives are presented: the 24-hour view, the day-age view, and the framework view. My view is a form of the framework view. There are many people who hold this view based solely on the text, even if they don't accept things like evolution. You would be better equipped to argue against this view if you better understood people's reasons for accepting it rather than attributing false motives to them.

    Exactly. And that's why the statement of yours I was referring to was false. Both of us treat all of Scripture as being "true absolutely", as long as "true absolutely" doesn't mean entirely literal and historical. So, contrary to your assertion, this is not an area where you have the higher ground. Our main difference in this thread is whether Genesis 1 is intended as literal history, not whether the Bible contains things that are not literal history.

    You can continue to take Scripture as AiG tells you to take Scripture, and I will continue to interpret it based on what Scripture says for itself. Based on your last batch of responses, and how you avoid responding to things AiG doesn't have an answer for, I get the impression that you spend more time reading AiG than Genesis. I encourage you to change that. Compare my claims with the Bible, not with a web site.
     
  18. Mercury

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    Can you show me the verse where it says "some of the psalms aren't literal"? If not, then obviously you're requiring a different standard of proof for me than you require for yourself.

    Already refuted many times. Augustine did not believe in literal 24-hour creation days and he lived long before there was any scientific reason to believe otherwise. He's just the most prominent example; many followed in his footsteps.

    I believe people were made male and female from the beginning too. I just don't think that beginning was the beginning of the earth, or the beginning of the universe. You have no basis for asserting that this beginning was the absolute beginning rather than the beginning of people. You're reading into the text what you want to be there.

    As for the 2 Peter verses, a local but universal flood (killing all people) would match that as well. It would cause the "world that then was" to indeed perish. Obviously this doesn't refer to the entire planet earth, since that still exists and did not perish in the flood.

    I take Jesus and Peter over Augustine too. However, you made a false claim that I disproved by pointing to Augustine. You claimed that it was only recently that the days of Genesis 1 have been taken as something other than literal days; that the door to such a non-literal view was just now being cracked open.

    None were confused, no. The author of Hebrews took the seventh day as still going on today (Hebrews 4:1-7), although you've tried to explain away the clear meaning of those verses. Since the seventh day is more than a day, it's reasonable to believe the same thing about the six days that precede it.

    I haven't been arguing that evolution or millions of years are in the Bible. They're as absent as ex nihilo creation in Genesis (since things are formed from pre-existing matter such as waters and ground) and a 6,000 year-old earth. (I believe in ex nihilo creation of the universe based on Hebrews 11:3 and logic -- not because I've managed to shoehorn it into Genesis.) Scripture also doesn't support a spherical earth or a solar system. Those are also ideas from another source, but like evolution and billions of years, that other source is reality. Reality properly interpreted will not contradict God's revelation properly interpreted, because God is the author of all truth.

    No, you've rarely got further than the second point. When you do, your refutations seem a bit half-hearted, such as discounting symmetry in the creation days because the verse counts (!?) are asymmetrical. When you asked for similar examples elsewhere in the Bible, I presented them, and you ignored them.

    This is a direct contradiction to the first half of your statement. First, you argue that God should not be limited by "what we observe"... then you state that it is limited by "the physical world view at the time".</font>[/QUOTE]Where's the contradiction? The first half of your statement talks about God and the second half talks about "it", so you realize that I wasn't talking about the same thing in both cases. You're trying a little sleight-of-hand here to make it seem as though I said something I didn't say.

    This borders on bibliolatry. Jesus is the Word of God. The Bible is a vessel for God's word. It is not the entirety of God's word, nor is it equal to Jesus.

    God has many ways of revealing things that no human witnessed. Jesus revealed to John events that had not yet taken place. Jesus didn't reveal it to John in the form of a historical account, and there's no reason to believe God has done so in revealing the creation of the universe. The seals, trumpets and vials of Revelation all occur step by step as well, but that does not mean they are strictly consecutive or strictly history-written-in-advance. There were also no human witnesses of Jesus' temptation, and interestingly enough, the two gospels use a different order for the temptations -- a clue that once again we're not getting chronological history. God seems to have chosen other methods than didactic history to reveal events that no human has (yet) witnessed.
     
  19. Mercury

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    Continuing...

    I hope you realize that the Word is not Scripture. Jesus was with God and was God from the beginning. Scripture is given by inspiration of God and is profitable for our use. It is a mistake tantamount to idolatry to apply the characteristics of one to the other. Scripture is not God. Jesus is.

    An extra-biblical assertion. What was wrong with the first light source? It was declared to be "good", so why replace it less than 72 hours later? Even most light bulbs are made to last longer than that.

    Wow, how could anyone ever know that visible light gets through the atmosphere to earth's surface? If every person was born blind prior to our own generation, you might indeed have a good point here.

    Most people accept that the exodus occurred before Genesis was written. Even if Moses wrote Genesis-Deuteronomy directly, it is likely that he did so during the 40 years of wandering which was after the exodus. In other words, Genesis 1 memorializes the Sabbath command that had already been given and was already being observed.

    Further, when the Decalogue is recounted in Deuteronomy 5, the Sabbath command is given with a wholly different explanation: "You shall remember that you were a slave in the land of Egypt, and the LORD your God brought you out from there with a mighty hand and an outstretched arm. Therefore the LORD your God commanded you to keep the Sabbath day" (Deuteronomy 5:15).

    All this shows is that Exodus 20:11 was not written by the finger of God on the stone tablets (since Deuteronomy 5:22 says that aside from what is listed God "added no more"). It is still Scripture, but it came later, perhaps as an inspired commentary on the Sabbath command by Moses. There is far more justification for saying Genesis 1 is based on the Sabbath and the Law than to say that the Sabbath is based on creation as described in Genesis 1.

    Of course that doesn't make sense; nobody but you is claiming such a thing. A symbol does not equal what it represents. If Jesus says that the communion bread is his body, and he means this symbolically, that does not mean we eat Jesus' flesh when we partake. The symbol is less than what it points to. Similarly, the Sabbath is less than God's rest. The work week is less than God's act of creation.

    Also, I do not take the six days as 24-hour days either, as I think you're aware. All seven days are normal days within the account, but as Hebrews 4 shows, they point to things that are much more than days. The first six point to God's work in creation and the seventh points to God's rest that we can still enter today. Since the seventh is not bound by a literal day, there's no reason to believe the other six are either.

    God's rest is still ongoing. The Sabbath occurs once a week. You need to understand that a symbol does not equate exactly with what it represents; if it did, there would be no need for a symbol.

    Your error is in believing that only YECs accept this. I believe God created the heavens and the earth by supernatural means as well. Everything natural ultimately came about through God's supernatural power.

    Here you contradict the AiG response you quoted earlier. Let me refresh your memory:
    Note what they're saying: God speaking things into existence doesn't rule out preexisting material and doesn't necessitate that things pop into existence instantaneously. Of course, the same principle AiG uses to reconcile Genesis 2 with Genesis 1 can also be used to reconcile Scripture with nature. The existence of natural processes that describe how something happens does not rule out God's involvement. God speaks and nature responds -- but it responds according to the way God designed it to respond.

    You answer the question yourself just a few sentences later:
    Here you speak of a period of "active creation", which implies that since then God has been passively creating while he rests. See, you know the way out of the contradiction yourself. If you're going to claim I'm contradicting myself, it's best to first determine whether or not your own view requires the same "contradiction".

    Anyway, I think we've pretty much exhausted the Genesis 1/2 comparisons. I'd be interested to see what you come up with to write off the similarities between Genesis 1 and Jeremiah 4:23-26 and parts of Revelation.
     
  20. Gup20

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    This wouldn't be the first time you have accused me of "idolizing the Bible". Of course God's Word is not simply text on a piece of paper - it is a thought, and a will, and an idea, and a representation of a person. In the same way that God is love, God and His Word (the scriptures) are one. The scripture is the Word of God - and therefore an extension of the Father. Not the materials (paper, ink, glue, etc), but the Word itself... the ideas, concepts, and truth. The Bible expresses God to us. I have no notion that the Bible is God, or that it has the power of God - I am simply stating that it has substance in reality. Just as God said "let there be light" and there was light, the Bible is a record of that Word. It is of God, from God, and in it's original form it is as pure as if God himself had just said it.

    2Ti 3:16 All scripture [is] given by inspiration of God, and [is] profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:
    Psa 119:140 Thy word [is] very pure: therefore thy servant loveth it.
    Pro 30:5 Every word of God [is] pure: he [is] a shield unto them that put their trust in him.

    An extra-biblical assertion. What was wrong with the first light source? It was declared to be "good", so why replace it less than 72 hours later? Even most light bulbs are made to last longer than that.</font>[/QUOTE]Gen 1:3 And God said, Let there be light: and there was light.
    4 And God saw the light, that [it was] good: and God divided the light from the darkness.
    5 And God called the light Day, and the darkness he called Night. And the evening and the morning were the first day.

    14 And God said, Let there be lights in the firmament of the heaven to divide the day from the night; and let them be for signs, and for seasons, and for days, and years:
    15 And let them be for lights in the firmament of the heaven to give light upon the earth: and it was so.
    16 And God made two great lights; the greater light to rule the day, and the lesser light to rule the night: [he made] the stars also.
    17 And God set them in the firmament of the heaven to give light upon the earth,
    18 And to rule over the day and over the night, and to divide the light from the darkness: and God saw that [it was] good.
    19 And the evening and the morning were the fourth day.

    God doesn't describe the nature or scope of the first light. He does describe the nature and scope of the sun on day 4, however.

    The point is that visible light is in the middle of the electromagnetic spectrum, and everything on either side of it gets blocked. Science corroborates scripture here - which is as it should be. You should never start with science and introduce it into the Bible... you start with the Bible as absolute and build your science out of it, not into it.

    Would you like me to buy you a Bible? I can only assume you don't have access to one.

    Exd 20:9 Six days shalt thou labour, and do all thy work:
    10 But the seventh day [is] the sabbath of the LORD thy God: [in it] thou shalt not do any work, thou, nor thy son, nor thy daughter, thy manservant, nor thy maidservant, nor thy cattle, nor thy stranger that [is] within thy gates:
    11 For [in] six days the LORD made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in them [is], and rested the seventh day: wherefore the LORD blessed the sabbath day, and hallowed it.

    No where else in scripture does it give a purpose for the holy Sabbath. It is part of the 10 commandments - which is the law of Moses and the covenant between God and the Jews. In light of Genesis, we can see that this is the purpose of the Sabbath commandment. We can see that it is a recognition of God's sovereignty as our creator - recognition Adam and Eve wavered in causing sin and death to occur on the earth. It was their humanistic disobedience to God that lead to The Fall. Submitting to Him and His Word and His Authority (as Adam and Eve failed to do) was part of the Old Testament covenant. Jesus was the fulfillment of that covenant. He is connected here again to Genesis. How do we know that Genesis is true? Because We believe that Jesus came as fulfillment to the Old Testament. His arrival is proof of the literal Genesis.

    Genesis is explicitly clear that it is a 24 hour "normal" day. Furthermore, Exodus 20 makes it clear as well.

    The context of the days in Genesis 1 leaves nothing to chance. It is absolutely clear that there is no other meaning for YOM than to mean an ordinary day. Furthermore, let’s look at what Genesis 2 says about the 7th day of rest:

    Gen 2:2 And on the seventh day God ended his work which he had made; and he rested on the seventh day from all his work which he had made.
    3 And God blessed the seventh day, and sanctified it: because that in it he had rested from all his work which God created and made.

    First of all, it says the "Work was ended" on day 7. It says God rested on day 7 from his work. SO what work is it talking about? The work of creating the universe. It says God himself blessed and sanctified it (made it a holy day) because it was on the 7th day that He started or entered into rest. The verse puts no limitation upon God's rest lasting only one day. The verse only says when the rest began, not how long it endured.

    Hebrews 4 does indicate God is still at that rest. It doesn't mean that day 7 has never ended. Like I said, the word rest has no function to modify the word day in that manner. The day was any ordinary day. It would be like saying that "on June 11th, 2005 I became a homeowner". If I remain a homeowner for the rest of my life, does that mean that it is always June 11th, 2005? Absolutely not! To think so would be ridiculous!

    So then what implications can we draw from Hebrews 4? Indeed it does say that God is still at rest - the rest he began on Day 7 of creation - immediately after creating all life on earth. The implication we can draw is that "creation" is not continuing today. God's creative Work has not been taking place since day 7 of creation. Which means directly after creating man, God stopped his creation work. This is devastating to evolution. After all, don't we see new species being created every day? Don't we see new mutations leading to new creatures? Don't evolutionists make all this observation of evolution in progress? Well, unfortunately, MERC, God stopped creating a long time ago, and he is still at rest. So that means all the 'creatures' on earth and all the 'new species' are not new creations. They are subdivisions of existing creations. Indeed there is nothing new under the sun.

    Ecc 1:9 The thing that hath been, it [is that] which shall be; and that which is done [is] that which shall be done: and [there is] no new [thing] under the sun.

    You can't have it both ways and be consistent, MERCURY. You have argued that God started creation and let Nature take over evolving life into what we see today. You have attributed that creative process to "God creating". But if you are consistent, you must see that God left off His work of creating after he created mankind. Therefore, if Genesis is some allegorical representation of evolution, it would STILL be an unobservable remnant of history, as God stopped after man showed up. But that's not what evolution claims - it claims to be able to actively observe creation because it predicts and espouses that it is still taking place. This contradicts scripture even more than the first statement. Both of them are fatally flawed, however. Both of them attribute death, pain, suffering, and evil to the character of God. If God created nature to create man through death, struggle, disease, etc, and called that Very Good then the Bible's description of God's character is a farse. Moreover, those things are still continuing today - if those are the creative processes which brought us here, it would contradict Genesis 2 and Hebrews 4. Whichever way one looks at evolution, it can be seen almost in it's entirety to be contrary to scripture.

    I agree. However, that doesn't mean the day is ongoing. The day ended 24 hours after the end of day 6. However the rest which was entered into on that day continues. What we see now is the result of sin and death operating in the earth. If God is at rest, then what we observe today is not His creative power. That is what we observe today... information loosing processes.

    No... God has been sustaining all things since he rested - nothing new has been created. Sin and death have been working to destroy them. Sin and death (corruption) will continue it's work until God cleanes the earth with fire. This is why we can see so many information loosing mechanisms and no information gaining ones. The diversity we see today is based on the material that was created in the beginning being shuffled and expressed through isolation.
     

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