What does Genesis One literally say?

Discussion in 'Creation vs. Evolution' started by Paul of Eugene, May 30, 2003.

  1. Paul of Eugene

    Paul of Eugene
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Oct 30, 2001
    Messages:
    2,782
    Likes Received:
    0
    One of the points we here over and over again by those who oppose the consideration of the theory of evolution on biblical grounds is that we are constrained by the literal interpretation of the Genesis account. I thought therefore it would be good to set forth just what the literal account in Genesis actually is, and show that hardly anybody feels constrained to accept it today, because it calls for a pre-Copernican view of the way the cosmos was created and a pre-Darwinian view of the way life was created.

    There was nothing, and then God created the formless and void earth; we are also introduced to the waters. Note the first reference is to the heavens and the earth, and then the next reference is to the waters only. Where is the earth? Not specified. The waters, however, are to be identified at this stage with the heavens. There isn't anything else. There is nothing really to distinguish location; there is only the water. Water, of course, is shapeless and adapts itself to whatever shape it's container has. Before there is anything to give it shape, all is undefined.

    Here nothing is done to the earth or the water; instead, we simply have the creation of light. It is light alone, no source is created; the source is God Himself. We also have the first day taking place; the Hebrews always counted the beginning of the darkness as the beginning of a day and this they trace back to this very beginning narration of the creation itself.

    Here we have a seperation of the waters. The waters are seperated between that are below the firmament and those that are above the expanse. The expanse is a solid dome that creates a space where there isn't any water. It is our sky. The light comes again, just as before, divinely created by God for the occasion as before. The fact that it is solid is shown first from the derivation of the word and second by how it functions to hold back the water above it. It is pictured as capable of having "windows" in it in later references. The waters above the dome continue to be identified with the heavens that are the abode of God.

    On the third day, we have form finally given to the earth. The location of the earth turns out to be under the dome of the sky. God causes dry land to finally appear under the expanse, and sets boundaries for where the seas and land shall be. All the plants are caused to grow out of the ground. There is no real problem about light without the sun, because God is still simply causing the light to come on schedule by His direct action. At this time, now, we have the waters under the earth, the earth, the great dome of the sky providing the space for dry land to exist, and the waters that are above the earth. And vegetation. Concerning the earth, Peter wrote:

    In Peter's interpretation of this day, it would appear that the very water itself is what became dry land in this process.

    Now we have the lights put into the expanse of the sky. The two great lights, which are the sun and moon of course; and also the stars. These lights now take over the formation of night and day. Seasons are also announced, although of course we'll have to wait for a whole year to unfold to see the seasons come and go in their turns.

    There is an obvious parallel between day one and day four. Day one saw the creation of light; day four sees the creation of the objects that now give us light.

    It is unfortunate to see some who claim to be literal interpreters of the Bible spoil the beautiful symmetries here by insisting that some stars were created back on day one. That would be impossible anyway since there was no firmamant to even hold the stars until day two.

    And on day five, the pattern continues. Where day two saw the separation of the waters below from the waters above, day four sees the waters populated. The space created by the raising up of the expanse is also filled with flying creatures.

    The final day of creation sees the land - that same land that on day three was made solid and of definate form - even with its living creatures as well. And then we have the culmination of the creation, still in the same day:

    Man is created, the last of the animals, the only one made in God's own image. God pronounces it all very good. Nothing eats meat yet. That doesn't happen until after the flood of Noah.

    On the seventh day God rests from His labors. The day is blessed because it gave God rest.


    Now this is the literal story of creation from Genesis. As for the literal statements concerning the nature of space, nobody believes that part is literally true today. We find ourselves unable to believe there is a solid dome over our heads that holds back the waters above. We find ourselves unable to believe that the bottom of the dome, which would have to be a disk shape, is all there is of the earth. We find ourselves unable to believe that the earth is suspended over waters under the earth. The biblical writers believed all that to be literally true:

    In addition to the biblical references cited there are extra-biblical writings that describe the world and universe along that line, enough to confirm what the ancients believed. We have the book of Enoch, for example, which was lost in the original text, but we have the syriac translation and a web search will get you an english translation of that. The Apochraphal book of 2 Esdras chapter 6 summarizes creation consistently with the literal interpretation as we outlined it here.

    But today, we do not believe there is a solid dome over our heads that holds back the waters above the expanse of the sky. We do not believe the sun and moon and stars are luminaries stuck on the underside of said dome. We believe that instead of being a flat disk shape under a dome the earth is a sphere. We believe that the Sun and Stars are great spheres in their own rights. We have all left off from believing the literal story of Genesis.

    Is this narrative from Genesis that we no longer literally believe worthless? Something to be tossed aside, with no lesson for us today? God forbid! Today we call the writing inspired. We take from it the lesson that God is creator of all. We take from it that God has a plan. We take from it that we are created in the image of God. All this we are assured in our hearts to be true by the Spirit of God as we read, even as we realize the cosmology is a pre-scientific cosmology, and cannot possibly be literally true.
     
  2. A_Christian

    A_Christian
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    May 14, 2003
    Messages:
    922
    Likes Received:
    0
    Od course there was not a solid dome over anyones
    head. It was a canopy of moisture that acted as
    a sun screen and enabled the earth to be a
    greenhouse. Everyone knows that it never even
    rained prior to the Biblical FLOOD according to
    both Testaments.

    The book of Enoch was never considered the Word
    of GOD. I just thought you might not know that.
     
  3. Baptist Believer

    Baptist Believer
    Expand Collapse
    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jun 20, 2002
    Messages:
    6,652
    Likes Received:
    188
    References?

    I've heard that before but I haven't been able to locate the reference(s).
     
  4. Paul of Eugene

    Paul of Eugene
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Oct 30, 2001
    Messages:
    2,782
    Likes Received:
    0
    The vapor canopy theory has a major drawback. Pure water vapor is also known as steam. Nobody knows how to have all that up there in sufficient quantities to do what you say without parboiling every animal and plant on earth.

    I do not cite the book of Enoch as being an authority on anything but as an example of how the creation narrative of Genesis was understood in the days it was written.
     
  5. A_Christian

    A_Christian
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    May 14, 2003
    Messages:
    922
    Likes Received:
    0
  6. Johnv

    Johnv
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Oct 24, 2001
    Messages:
    21,321
    Likes Received:
    0
    What???? Where does it say this??? If it never rained, then what was the source of rivers???
     
  7. Paul of Eugene

    Paul of Eugene
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Oct 30, 2001
    Messages:
    2,782
    Likes Received:
    0
    OK so the great mystery remains.. Why do folks hardly feel its worth commenting when we depart from the literal description of Genesis One in terms of dispensing with a dome over our heads and making the sun no longer the greatest light of all and so forth but - we get all hot and bothered about deep time and evolution? What makes one so much more easy to accept than the other?
     
  8. A_Christian

    A_Christian
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    May 14, 2003
    Messages:
    922
    Likes Received:
    0
    Johnv:

    What don't you get. Genesis 2:6 says that a
    mist went up from the ground. There were obviously subterranean springs. Please see
    Genesis 7:11 ...all the fountains of the great
    deep broken up,... The entire Bible is a
    complete fabric that is woven together. You
    must be willing to accept (and read) ALL of it or you miss the program...
     
  9. Meatros

    Meatros
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Apr 30, 2003
    Messages:
    414
    Likes Received:
    0
    Why do you assume this A_Christian? What is your answer on the Apocrapha? Why must all of it be accepted or none?

    Are you aware of logical fallacies? What you would be currently committing is the either or fallacy.

    For example: I do not accept that certain bugs have four legs, or that mixed fabrics are an abomination, I doubt you do either.
     
  10. john6:63

    john6:63
    Expand Collapse
    Banned

    Joined:
    May 2, 2003
    Messages:
    886
    Likes Received:
    0
    A_Christain

    Johnvs’ “Precise Parallel Text Between Science and Gods Words” says otherwise. Some have an extremely hard and difficult time comprehending Gods word. This is why Jesus spoke in parables so that His disciples could better understand. How much easier could the Holy Sprit have made Genesis, when He associates the word day with evening and morning to mean 7 literal days! So they will turn to secular man for his explanation, instead of consulting with the Author in prayer.

    I have a friend who believes in God and that He even created the earth and heavens in 6 24-hr literal days. Why I ask? B/c that’s what the Bible says. He replies. The kicker is, he’s not saved. Why? Because he thinks it is medically impossible for Jesus to have been raised from the dead! He says it’s a “leap of faith” that he’s not willing to take at the moment.

    How can someone believe in a literal 7-day creation, but not a resurrection or believe in a resurrection, but not a literal 7-day creation, when the Holy Scriptures plainly states the two is beyond me!
     
  11. Meatros

    Meatros
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Apr 30, 2003
    Messages:
    414
    Likes Received:
    0
    Well I'd argue that your comparison is unfair. I mean, all the evidence we have points to an old earth. Jesus also never said "in order to be saved you have to believe the earth is young". Unless you can point to the specific verse, and please no twisted interpretations.
     
  12. john6:63

    john6:63
    Expand Collapse
    Banned

    Joined:
    May 2, 2003
    Messages:
    886
    Likes Received:
    0
    Christ doesn’t say anywhere that one has to believe in a young earth in order to be saved. The point I made was simple or I thought. I find it rather sad when one will believe parts of the Bible as fact; especially the part concerning salvation, but write off the other parts as folklore or impossibilities, b/c science says so. Well the same scientists that say the God couldn’t have created in 6 literal days also say that bringing one back from the dead 3 days later is impossible.
     
  13. Meatros

    Meatros
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Apr 30, 2003
    Messages:
    414
    Likes Received:
    0
    Again this is totally your assertion, as I do not believe this. This is an example as to why Jesus teaches us not to judge. You assume I write it off as folklore or worthless.

    Are you actually asserting that the sky is heaven?
     
  14. john6:63

    john6:63
    Expand Collapse
    Banned

    Joined:
    May 2, 2003
    Messages:
    886
    Likes Received:
    0
    Yep.

    Sorry, I edited my previous post and was going to post the flood issue on another thread, but since we’re on the subject.

    Genesis 7:18-19 “And the waters prevailed, and were increased greatly upon the earth; and the ark went upon the face of the waters. And the waters prevailed exceedingly upon the earth; and all the high hills, that were under the whole heaven, were covered.” Come on, how can one not take this as a literal global flood? My pastor always says that if you don’t understand a passage or in particular a parable, to re-read and re-read the passage.

    “under the whole heaven, were covered” doesn’t the “whole heaven” encompass the entire earth? While I served in the US Navy we’d sail halfway around the earth and every time I looked up, there were the heavens.

    Do I consider the shy the heavens? Yep.

    I’m starting to believe that you’ve never read Genesis.

    Genesis 1:6-8 “:And God said, Let there be a firmament in the midst of the waters, and let it divide the waters from the waters. And God made the firmament, and divided the waters which were under the firmament from the waters which were above the firmament: and it was so. And God called the firmament Heaven. And the evening and the morning were the second day.”

    The word Heaven has 3 meanings:
    1.The heavens, which refers to where God lives
    2. The heavens, which refers to everything in the universe;
    3. The local heavens, or the sky.
    One only has to “read” (there’s that word again) the passage to determine which Heaven is being referred to. A quick look at the context (i.e. the words which precede and follow heavens) gives us the clues we need. I learned this in Sunday school, not science class!
    Notice also how the Holy Sprit links “day” with “evening” and “morning.” This is really difficult for you huh?
     
  15. Meatros

    Meatros
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Apr 30, 2003
    Messages:
    414
    Likes Received:
    0
    You already believe a load of nonsense about me, you might as well include that in there too.

    You seem content with creating a strawman out of my position then going on to ridicule it. Must make you feel quite righteous.

    Are you implying I said otherwise? You have gone on a rant just because I said: "Are you actually asserting that the sky is heaven?"

    Take a step back and look at what you wrote. Now compare how much of what you wrote actually deals with my question. Most of it is attacks at my knowledge of Genesis, attacks toward what my question apparently implied to you, and the rest. All I asked was "Are you actually asserting that the sky is heaven?"

    You take this as an opportunity to taunt me and to try to plaster me with an 'incompetent' label.
     
  16. Paul of Eugene

    Paul of Eugene
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Oct 30, 2001
    Messages:
    2,782
    Likes Received:
    0
    I'm with you on this one. What strange thought processes go on in his head to think that way?

    Now I believe in Jesus as my Savior, because not only does the Bible tell me so, but also God has affirmed in my heart that's the way to go. He hasn't complained to me about accepting evidence that the world is old. But I recognize there's those who go with the literal interpretation part way (Not the whole way - that's the point of this thread!) - but this guy? (sigh)
     
  17. john6:63

    john6:63
    Expand Collapse
    Banned

    Joined:
    May 2, 2003
    Messages:
    886
    Likes Received:
    0
    You asked the question and I answered it. Along with why I believe it to be so.
     
  18. Meatros

    Meatros
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Apr 30, 2003
    Messages:
    414
    Likes Received:
    0
    You asked the question and I answered it. Along with why I believe it to be so. </font>[/QUOTE]I see, so insulting me is included in your belief? So are you a recent convert to Christianity or did you know me before I joined this site?
     
  19. john6:63

    john6:63
    Expand Collapse
    Banned

    Joined:
    May 2, 2003
    Messages:
    886
    Likes Received:
    0
    (John 5:45-47) “Do not think that I will accuse you to the Father: there is one that accuseth you, even Moses, in whom ye trust. For had ye believed Moses, ye would have believed me: for he wrote of me. But if ye believe not his writings, how shall ye believe my words?” In this passage, Jesus makes it clear that one must believe what Moses wrote.

    Therefore in (Exodus 20:11) “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.” Would we agree that this is the basis of our 7 day week. Work 6 days and rest on day 7?

    A ruler of a synagogue must, for he firmly believed what Moses had written. (Luke 13:14) “And the ruler of the synagogue answered with indignation, because that Jesus had healed on the sabbath day, and said unto the people, There are six days in which men ought to work: in them therefore come and be healed, and not on the sabbath day.
     
  20. Meatros

    Meatros
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Apr 30, 2003
    Messages:
    414
    Likes Received:
    0
    So now you are going to totally ignore the implied insults?

    It's alright to imply that I'm a dullard because of a string of illogical conclusions that you jumped to, is that what you are saying?
     

Share This Page

Loading...