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Can Creation according to Genesis be honestly taught as Science

Discussion in 'Other Christian Denominations' started by Chemnitz, Sep 26, 2005.

  1. Chemnitz

    Chemnitz New Member

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    Helen, what exactly do you mean by first person accounts? I ask this because from a grammatical standpoint they are written from the third person.
     
  2. Gold Dragon

    Gold Dragon Well-Known Member

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    Are you sure you want to stand on such statements? Here is the end of each account you mentioned.

    All quotations from NASB


    Gen 5:1a This is the book of the generations of Adam.

    Gen 5:32 Noah was five hundred years old, and Noah became the father of Shem, Ham, and Japheth.


    Gen 6:9a These are the records of the generations of Noah.

    Gen 6:22 Thus Noah did; according to all that God had commanded him, so he did.


    Gen 7:1 Now these are the records of the generations of Shem, Ham, and Japheth, the sons of Noah; and sons were born to them after the flood.

    Gen 7:32 These are the families of the sons of Noah, according to their genealogies, by their nations; and out of these the nations were separated on the earth after the flood.


    Gen 11:10a These are the records of the generations of Shem.

    Gen 11:26 Terah lived seventy years, and became the father of Abram, Nahor and Haran.


    Gen 11:27a Now these are the records of the generations of Terah.

    Gen 11:32 The days of Terah were two hundred and five years; and Terah died in Haran.


    While it should be noted that the commonality between all these sections is that they are geneologies and that the statement "These are the records/book/account of ..." is a common Jewish structure for geneologies.

    Helen, could you please describe what is being "signed off" on and who is doing the "signing off" in each passage?
     
  3. Doubting Thomas

    Doubting Thomas Active Member

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    I believe she's refering to the phrase: "these are the generations of (so-and-so)". The idea is that the sections were "written" by the respective so-and-so. If indeed this is the case, it still looks like the authors in question, though eyewitnesses (so to speak) were writing in the third person. Sorta like me saying: "Last week Doubting Thomas went to the ball game"--I'm referring to myself in the third person, but I'm describing what I did.
     
  4. Gold Dragon

    Gold Dragon Well-Known Member

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    If this were the case, then many of these fellows wrote about their deaths and some wrote about their descendents after their deaths.
     
  5. Gold Dragon

    Gold Dragon Well-Known Member

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    A few corrections to my quotes.

    Verse 6:9a is actually a concluding verse to an account that begins in

    Gen 6:1 Now it came about, when men began to multiply on the face of the land, and daughters were born to them, that the sons of God saw that the daughters of men were beautiful; F88 and they took wives for themselves, whomever they chose.

    Typo. These should be Gen 10:1 and Gen 10:32.
     
  6. Doubting Thomas

    Doubting Thomas Active Member

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    If this were the case, then many of these fellows wrote about their deaths and some wrote about their descendents after their deaths. </font>[/QUOTE]I believe it rather refers to the preceding section...a signature if you will. I used to know some of the technical arguments for this view but they escape me now.
     
  7. Gold Dragon

    Gold Dragon Well-Known Member

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    The Hebrew word translated as "generations" in the NASB and KJV and "account" in the NIV clearly has an implication towards the descendants and geneologies found after these verses.
     
  8. Doubting Thomas

    Doubting Thomas Active Member

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    The Hebrew word translated as "generations" in the NASB and KJV and "account" in the NIV clearly has an implication towards the descendants and geneologies found after these verses. </font>[/QUOTE]I'm not saying I agree with that view, I'm just describing what I've read before. Of course if the Hebrew word is supposed to mean "account" then that could be sufficiently ambiguous to allow for reference to the preceding or subsequent section. But I agree with you; "generations" seems to refer more to the geneologies found in the subsequent verses. (By "it" in the phrase "I believe it rather refers" above, I meant that particular idea/view, not necessarily the word for "generations" itself.) But again, I'm no Hebrew scholar. :cool:
     
  9. Gold Dragon

    Gold Dragon Well-Known Member

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    The Hebrew word translated as "generations" in the NASB and KJV and "account" in the NIV clearly has an implication towards the descendants and geneologies found after these verses. </font>[/QUOTE]I'm not saying I agree with that view, I'm just describing what I've read before. Of course if the Hebrew word is supposed to mean "account" then that could be sufficiently ambiguous to allow for reference to the preceding or subsequent section. But I agree with you; "generations" seems to refer more to the geneologies found in the subsequent verses. (By "it" in the phrase "I believe it rather refers" above, I meant that particular idea/view, not necessarily the word for "generations" itself.) But again, I'm no Hebrew scholar. :cool: </font>[/QUOTE]Agreed.
     
  10. Helen

    Helen <img src =/Helen2.gif>

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    Gold Dragon, the point Wiseman and many others now have made is that the earliest tablets found have the author's name AFTER what is written, not before. The following will take two posts, as I recall, and I beg your indulgence, but here is what I have on this. I wrote the following to a young lady who emailed me asking about a Bible study done by JW's and why Genesis appeared to have two different creation accounts. Following posts will have material from other Old Testament scholars regarding the Tablet Hypothesis:

    See also Curt Sewell's article at http://ldolphin.org/tablethy.html


    Also below is a scanned article regarding the subject.


    QUESTION: if creationism is true, why are there two distinct accounts of creation in Genesis?

    RESPONSE:

    It is often claimed that there are two different versions of creation -- one in Genesis 1 and one in Genesis 2. A number of people seem to think that, but if you understand something about the ancient manuscripts and just what is happening in those two chapters, I think you will find they are telling the same story from two different points of view. There is an interesting indication of this, called the "toledoth."

    The toledoth was the ancient way of "signing" a clay tablet. It indicated who the author was. Understanding this, there are indications of nine (possibly 10) authors (one being a group of authors: Noah's sons) for Genesis. The order of tablets is also indicated by repeating phrases. The repeating phrases are found at the beginnings of some of the tablets and the toledoths are put in as colophons, or endpieces to each tablet. Let's start through the book and see what happens.

    Obviously, the first tablet starts with the first line in the Bible:

    Gen. 1:1 -- "In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth." This account continues until Genesis 2:4a. That verse states, "This is the account of the heavens and the earth when they were created." This is the ONLY toledoth without a name attached. Every other tablet was "signed" by name or names, as an eyewitness account by the person writing it. So who would have been responsible for that first tablet? There was only one eyewitness to creation, and that was God Himself. If the rule for the other tolodoths/colophons holds, then God either authored Genesis 1:1 - 2:4a Himself or inspired another writer to put it down.

    The name for God in the first tablet is Elohim. This is an interesting word for God to use, as it is a plural word. But it is not a simple plural, denoting more than one. It is a specific plural denoting three or more. The word for "two only" is "eloh." Thus, in Genesis 1:1, 1:2, and 1:26-27, we have at least indications of the Trinity. The Bible later fleshes this out.

    Genesis 2:4b begins tablet 2 by referring to Genesis 1:1: -- "When the LORD God made the earth and the heavens...." This is not saying that all of creation took only one day instead of six, but is rather an indication of where the narrative takes up regarding the second tablet. In the second tablet the name for God is different. It is not changed, however, as the "Elohim" is still there. Now we have "LORD" added. "LORD" is the translation of the Hebrew Tetragrammaton, YHWH, the unpronounceable name of God. This was the Hebrew covenant name for God. Here the two names used together make a firm identification, as in other places in the OT, that this is the One and Only God. There is no mixup of identities.

    The second tablet ends at Genesis 5:1a -- "This is the written account of Adam's line." This eyewitness account, therefore, lays claim to being written, not spoken, by Adam himself. It is his memories. His death is listed immediately after.

    If you understand that Genesis 2 is Adam's view of what happened, it all falls into place. God's account was a general overview giving some
    pertinent details, but always from an overarching point of view. It is sort of like the beginning of the musical "The Sound of Music," if you have ever seen it. The very first camera shots are fantastic panoramas of the Austrian Alps. Then, at the beginning of the story itself, the camera closes in tightly on one small hill in those mountains, where Maria is, and the opening song, the title song of the show, begins.

    Genesis 1 and 2 are like that. The "God's-eye-view" is the sweeping picture of Genesis 1. Genesis 2 begins with the creation of man, with the parenthetic of verses 5 and 6 interrupting the narrative of that
    Creation (these two verses may have been added by Moses, as there are several times when we see what appear to be editorial comments in Genesis). Where Genesis 1 informs us that man is a new creation (the third time only that "bara" is used in Genesis 1, indicating something made from nothing), because he is made a spirit being -- in the image of God. In Genesis 2, Adam informs us that our bodies are made from the same elements as the dust of the earth, or from the dust of the earth. This is a bit of science not known for thousands of years: we are made of the same elements as the earth itself. But Adam knew it.

    The first "bara" in Genesis 1 is in the first verse, when time, space, and mass are all created from nothing. Everything else is formed or made after that (the verb "asah" is used, in juxtaposition to "bara"). The second time "bara" is used is when the animals are created. They are listed in Genesis 6 and 7 as having the "breath of life." This is the Hebrew indication of a soul, and is the word “nephesh”, which is also translated in other parts of the Bible as ‘heart’. This was a new thing -- something new made from nothing. You will find that Adam includes this part of creation in his account of man: he not only had a body made of the elements of the earth, but a soul, or life breathed into him by God Himself.

    Thus we have man as a tripartate being: body, soul, and spirit. Animals have body and soul. Plants, rocks, the sun, dirt, etc., only have "body", or mass. Plants are not considered alive in the same way that animals are Biblically, by the way. You will never read anywhere in the Bible of a tree being "killed." One of the things that we have to remember when reading the Bible is that our definitions of things in biology are not necessarily the same as God's definitions. And we cannot call Him wrong because He does not agree with us!

    Back to Genesis 2. The correct verb usage in verse 8 translates into "had planted" -- in other words, the LORD had planted the garden previous to putting man there. As Adam recounts the first day of his life, he tells about God's indication that it was not good for him to be alone. First, though, the animals are brought to him (and, again, the verb in v.19 should be translated "had formed" as the tense is one of the completed past). The animals are brought to Adam not by our "species", remember, but by kind. There were fewer of those. Adam,
    remembering God's words about a helper, remembers his findings: "but for Adam no suitable helper was found."

    Then woman is taken from man. Although God has recounted the creation of man and woman in a couple of verses in Genesis 1, Adam's memories are different. He remembers his reaction. And he remembers God's words. Chapter two (and the chapter separations are entirely modern and were not there for several thousand years) closes with the memory of life before sin. Chapters three and four continue from Adam's hand. He recounted that fall, and what happened to their sons. And he witnesses the horror of the first murder and compares it to Lamech's casual attitude about murder at the end of chapter 4.

    I have often wondered at Adam's pain in seeing what had happened to the world because of sin. He and Eve would have been the only ones who knew. The eyewitness account we have is from him in Genesis 2-5:1a, where he signs off.

    To continue, briefly, with the toledoths, you will find the third one signed by Noah in Genesis 6:9a. The narrative is immediately taken up by his sons, as signed in 10:1. The dispersion and Shem's Table of Nations is signed by him in Gen. 11:10a. Terah's family tree is listed by him in Genesis 11:10b - 27a. Isaac's biography of Abraham, with Ishmael's family tree as an appendix is in Genesis 11:27b to 25:19a.

    Jacob's biography of Isaac and his descendants follows, and includes Jacob's autobiography with Esau's family trees in two appendices in Genesis 25:19b to 37:2a. Finally, Moses' biography of Joseph and his brothers closes out Genesis. It is fairly easy to see which is written by Moses because of the Egyptian styling of the words and phrases. This also gives us a clue regarding some of his editorial comments.

    Now, if you check you will be able to see where each tablet begins very
    easily. There are "codes" which are not secret at all, but were intended to be clearly seen. Here is as clear as I can make it:

    Tablet 1: Gen. 1:1 ("In the beginning, God created the heavens and the
    earth.")
    Toledoth as a colophon: Gen. 2:4a ("This is the account of the heavens and the earth when they were created."
    Eyewitness author: God

    Tablet 2: Beginning line (2:4b), referring back to Gen. 1:1 ("When the LORD God made the earth and the heavens...")
    Toledoth as a colophon: Gen. 5:1a ("This is the written account of Adam's line.")
    Eyewitness author: Adam

    Tablet 3: Beginning line (5:1b), referring back to Gen. 2:4b ("When God created man, he made him in the likeness of God.") Immediately following this is the first list of generations, beginning with the death of Adam.
    Toledoth as a colophon: Gen. 6:9a ("This is the account of Noah.")
    Eyewitness author: Noah

    Tablet 4: Beginning line (6:9b), referring immediately to the previous
    author (as the list of generations had also referred to Adam, but via his death) -- "Noah was a righteous man, blameless among the people of his time, and he walked with God."
    Toledoth as a colophon: Gen. 10:1 ("This is the account of Shem, Ham, and Japheth, Noah's sons, who themselves had sons after the flood.")
    Eyewitness authors: Shem, Ham and Japheth

    Tablet 5: Begins with the generations after the flood. This is referred to as the Table of Nations and is considered, archaeologically, to be the most accurate record known of the genetic trees of the original groups of people in the world.
    Toledoth as a colophon: Gen. 11:10a ("This is the account of Shem.")
    Eyewitness author: Shem

    Tablet 6: Begins the next list of generations, starting, as did Genesis 5, with the death of the previous author.
    Toledoth: 11:27a ("This is the account of Terah.")
    Eyewitness author: Terah

    Tablet 7: Begins with the account of generations after Terah and includes Terah's migration with his family, out of Ur.
    Toledoth as a colophon: Gen. 25:19a ("This is the account of Abraham's son Isaac.")
    Eyewitness author: Isaac. The toledoth at verse 12, by Ishmael, identifies his contribution and is listed at the beginning of his section of Isaac's tablet to avoid the confusion of two toledoths at the end. It is considered an appendix to Isaac's narrative.

    Tablet 8: Begins with a short account of generations, as was the custom, and is Jacob's biography of Isaac and his descendants, including Jacob's own autobiography, with Esau's own family trees as an appendix.
    Toledoth: Gen. 37:2a ("This is the account of Jacob.") Again the toledoth regarding Esau's line in Gen. 36:1 has been placed at the beginning to avoid the confusion of two toledoths next to each other in the colophon position.
    Eyewitness author: Jacob

    Tablet 9: The rest of Genesis is attributed directly to Moses. I think perhaps Moses combined Joseph's own account with the rest of the story as it was known, simply because we have large quoted sections which only Joseph would have known. There is, however, no toledoth here, indicating that the author was not finished. So we presume that Moses wrote a good section of it at the least. This also explains how the material ended up in Moses’ hands, for it had been written successively by ancestral authors and passed down in the Hebrew family. When Moses assumed leadership, he would have been in control of these tablets.

    The presence of the toledoth in the colophon position tells us something else: the tablets from which Genesis was collated were as ancient as the most ancient of known writings from the earliest Middle East civilizations. We find this positioning of the "title and author" at the end of a tablet only in the earliest known writings.

    I don't know who wrote the following, but I think it sums it up nicely:
    "The liberal idea that these records were first put into writing hundreds of years after the times of Solomon simply is fallacious. The Bible's own claims about early writings should be taken at face value, and the archaeological evidence endorses that. In fact, if it were not for the spiritual implications, there should be no question about believing in these records as coming from the times of man's earliest history. They involved eye-witness, factual recording, but they also involved Divine inspiration: they were and are part of the inspired Word of God."

    I hope that helps

    I might also mention that to consider Genesis 1 and 2 to be conflicting
    stories is to call the Jewish people very stupid. But they considered them to be part of one inspired Scripture which was not self-contradictory.

    If Genesis, the beginning and foundation of the Bible, is not true as it stands, why should anything else in the edifice of the Bible, which is built on it, be true? As the foundation stands or falls, so does the rest of the building.

    References:

    Dr. Charles V. Taylor, The Oldest Book in the World, 1984, Assembly Press, Queensland, AU ISBN 0-9590260-0-2 chapt. 2, pp. 16-23
    he references P.J. Wiseman, 1936, New Discoveries in Bablyonia about Genesis; and Wiseman, 1948, Creation Revealed in Six Days, both published by Marshall, Morgan and Scott; London.

    (bio on Taylor: Dr. Charles Taylor, (http://www.sfs.nphil.uni-tuebingen.de/linguist/issues/6/6-1370.html; http://ldolphin.org/gaptheory.html) author of "The Oldest Book in the World", (1984, Assembly Press, Queensland), with a masters in applied linguistics and a Ph.D. in central African languages. A fellow of the Institute of Linguistics. English language consultant for Australian-Asian Universities Cooperation Scheme; Coordinator of Applied Linguistics courses at the University of Sydney; visiting professor at the University of Michigan; author of several academic books on language, including, from what I understand, a recent one, "Rewriting Bible History." http://www.pastornet.net.au/renewal/journal11/11h.htm; http://www.pastornet.net.au/renewal/journal10/i-taylor.html;
    http://www.answersingenesis.org/docs/3569.asp;
    http://www.answersingenesis.org/home/area/magazines/docs/v13n2_comp.asp, etc.)

    Dr. Clifford Wilson, Visual Highlights of the Bible. vol 1, Pacific Christian Ministries, Victoria, AU, 1993 ISBN 1-86349-005-1
    pp. 12-13

    from the Society for Interdisciplinary Studies "Workshop", 1987 no.1, pp. 11-17, "A Critical Reappraisal of the Book of Genesis" (part 1) by Damien Mackey, Frank Calneggia, and Paul Money.

    from the Society for Interdisciplinary Studies "Workshop," 1987, (copyright 1988) no 2, pp. 3-11, "A Critical Reappraisal of the Book of Genesis [II]" same authors.
     
  11. Helen

    Helen <img src =/Helen2.gif>

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    Here is what R. K. Harrison has to say on the subject of the possible source documents of Genesis:
    THE BOOK OF GENESIS: A. NAME AND OUTLINE

    While Genesis is an anonymous work, as are the other four books of the Pentateuch, its attributive author is Moses. However, to what extent he wrote any of its contents, with the possible exception of all or part of the Joseph narratives, is unknown. In attributing Mosaic authorship to the Pentateuch as a whole, conservative scholars have pointed out that the Torah in its entirety must not necessarily be assumed to have been the work of his own bands, any more than any of the stelae of antiquity were the product of direct activity on the part of their attributive authors. Some writers, such as Young, have not precluded the possibility that the writer drew on earlier written sources, but in general the ascription of Mosaicity to the Pentateuch implies its historicity and its formulation by Moses under divine inspiration, with the supposition that later editors may have revised the contents somewhat in accord with the traditions of the ancient Near Eastern scribes.

    The Jews designated Genesis according to its initial word, bereshith which is almost always incorrectly translated in English by the phrase "In the beginning." In Talmudic times the work was known as the "Book of the Creation of the World," while the English title "Genesis" was actually derived from the LXX rendering of Genesis 2:4a, "This is the book of the geneseos of heaven and earth," and from the subsequent headings (Gen. 5:1; 6:9; 10:1; 11:10; 11:27; 25:12; 25:19; 36:1; 36:9; and 37:2), the nature of which will be dealt with shortly.

    On the basis of the extant Hebrew text the book can be analyzed as follows:

    I. Prehistory: the Creation Record, 1: 1-2:3
    II The Story of Man, 2:4-11:26
    III. The Choice of Abraham, 11:27-23:20
    IV The Choice of Isaac, 24:1-26:35
    V. The Choice of Jacob, 27:1-36:43
    VI. The Choice of Judah; the Joseph Narratives, 37:1-50:26

    B. Toledot AND THE ORIGINS OF GENESIS

    According to the Graf-Wellhausen documentary hypothesis of Pentateuchal origins, Genesis assumed its present form through various editorial processes that saw a combination of elements of J, E, and P sources into a continuous document. In the view of those who advocate the "traditio-historical" approach to the problem of Pentateuchal compilation, Genesis arose through the preservation of "cycles of tradition" that grew up in various areas in oral form. These "traditions" developed around focal events such as the Passover and other similar occurrences significant for the religious life of the nation and found expression in the rituals and liturgies of the Israelites. In the more moderate forms of both these views there is no necessary attempt to deny historicity to the material involved, even though most of the scholars who support these approaches would prefer to attribute general rather than specific historicity to the subject matter.

    The present writer does not support either of these positions, and prefers to examine the problem of the compilation of Genesis against a background of ancient Near Eastern literary activity. It should be observed as a general principle that there may well be quite a number of sources designated in the Old Testament writings which have not actually been recognized as such by most modern scholars. Genesis appears to be a case in point, with the clue to the underlying sources being provided, not by the incidence of the divine names or the presence of supposed duplicate narratives, but by the phrase translated "these are the generations of," an expression that has perplexed a great many scholars, and regarded by the exponents of the classic documentary theory as a characteristic of the Priestly Code.

    In order to appreciate the significance of the Hebrew term toledot, it will be necessary to examine briefly the nature and format of cuneiform communications in the ancient world. Clay was the preferred material upon which the wedge-shaped symbols were impressed, and the resultant tablets, which could contain a wide range of literary material, varied in size and shape from a tiny square to a large cylinder. The general style of a tablet furnished some indication as to its contents; and as far as single tablets were concerned the material communicated usually consisted of letters, contracts, invoices, business correspondence, genealogical tables, and the like. Generally speaking individual tablets were not made too large, partly because of the sheer weight of the clay and more particularly because a large tablet would be more likely to break than a smaller one.

    It was the normal practice in Near Eastern antiquity for single communications of this kind to commence with some sort of title, followed by the body of the text, and then a colophon, which would sometimes contain, among other things, a hint as to the identity of the scribe or owner of the tablet and the date when the tablet was written. The imprint of a button or cylinder seal upon the clay tablet helped to identify the owner of the communication. If a more lengthy communication required more than one tablet, the proper sequence of the series was preserved by a system of titles, catch-lines, and numbering. The title was normally taken from the opening words of the tablet, and these were frequently repeated at the end of each subsequent tablet, being followed by the serial number of that particular tablet. The catch-line attempted to insure the continuity of the narrative by repeating the first few words of the following tablet at the end of the previous tablet, so that, if a series of tablets became disarranged, there could be no doubt as to which word or words were to be read immediately after the conclusion of a tablet. This practice is still followed in some modern legal documents, and occurs also in the Hebrew Bible, where on the bottom left-half margin the first word or two of the following page is to be found.

    The colophon, which concluded the individual tablet or the series, normally contained the name of the scribe or the owner of the tablet, as has been remarked above, and frequently it also included some attempt at dating. In addition, it often embodied the title given to the narrative, and if the tablet was part of a series it furnished the serial number and a statement as to whether the tablet did or did not conclude the series.

    That the expression "these are the generations of" is a distinguishing phrase of Genesis has long been recognized by adherents of the Graf-Wellhausen theory, as well as by more conservative scholars. S. R. Driver affirms that,

    "Šthe narrative of Genesis is cast into a framework, or scheme, marked by the recurring formula "these are the generations (lit. begettings) of"Šthe center narrative as we now possess it is accommodated to it."

    While Ryle could state that the phrase bore a close relation to the structure of the Priestly Code in Genesis, he rejected the subdivision of the book on the basis of this formula, although on entirely subjective grounds. Other commentators of widely varying schools of thought, however, divided Genesis up into sections that commenced with the phrase.

    But while scholars were agreed as to the importance of the express they appear to have misunderstood entirely both its usage and significance for the literary origins of Genesis. The reason for this is quite simple, for as Wiseman has pointed out, many of the sections in Genes commence, as is frequently the case in ancient documents, with genealogy. This practice led scholars to associate the phrase "these are the generations of" with the genealogical list in those cases where such register of individuals followed; hence they assumed, quite without warrant, that the phrase was being employed as a preface or introduction. Thus Driver could consider it as belonging properly to a genealogical system, implying that the person to whose name it was prefixed was of sufficient importance as to make a break in the genealogical series. For Driver it also indicated that the person named, along with descendants, would form the subject of discussion in the ensuing section until another name was reached that could be considered prominent enough to form the commencement of a new passage.
    This assertion, however, is completely contrary to the facts, for examination of the evidence in relation to the latter part of the statement would indicate that Abraham, the most prominent person in Genesis, ought certainly to have been named in connection with phrase under discussion. Yet curiously enough, while other lesser individuals were mentioned in the various records in this manner, there is not one instance where the phrase "these are the generations of Abraham" occurs in the Hebrew text. Furthermore, the phrase does not by any means always belong to a genealogical list, since in certain cases there is no addendum of such tabular material.

    What is evident, however, is that the principal facts concerning individual involved have been recorded before the incidence of phrase in question, and that they are not recorded after its occurrence. Thus when the expression "These are the generations of Adam" (Gen. 5:1) occurs, nothing more is stated about Adam apart from a mention his age at death. Again, the record that follows the sentence "These the generations of Isaac" (Gen. 25:19) is not so much a history of Isaac, son of Abraham, as a chronicle of events that occurred in the lives of Jacob and Esau. Still further, after the phrase "These are the generations of Jacob" (Gen. 37:2), the narrative deals with the story of Joseph, mentions Jacob only in a rather incidental manner as the unfolding the events warranted. This peculiarity has been a source of people and embarrassment to the vast majority of commentators schooled in critical methods of Graf, Kuenen, and Wellhausen, and in view of fact that the phrase quite clearly does not constitute an introduction preface to the history of a person, as is commonly imagined, it is of some importance to determine its precise meaning.
    The Hebrew for "generations" in the expression under discussion is toledot, and not the ordinary Hebrew word dor, which is translated "generations" over one hundred and twenty times in the older English versions. Dor corresponds to the word "generations" as implied by common English usage, and can refer to a past (Isa. 51:9) or future (Exod. 3:15) period, a class of people (Deut. 32:5), or to the heirs of a covenant (Gen. 17:7, 9). Toledot occurs ten times in Genesis in such a manner as to lend itself to the division of the material associated with it into eleven sections, each being styled "the generations ofŠ" it also occurs in isolation from a stereotyped phrase in Genesis 10:32; 25:13; 36:9 and elsewhere in the Old Testament.
    The word originated in the Hebrew root yalad, "to bear," "to beget," which doubtless accounts for the English rendering "generation." But from the time of the Hebrew lexicographer Gesenius it has been apparent from Old Testament usages of the word that it means a "history," narrative," or "genealogical record" of a family or some other such social unit. As has been observed above, the LXX has rendered the term by geneseos, and it is of some interest to the Christian student to note that the expression "biblos geneseos Iesou Christous," "the book of the genealogy of Jesus Christ" in Matthew 1:1 reflects closely the Hebrew phrase. "book of the genealogy of Adam" in Genesis 5:1. The Hebrew word was used regularly for the collection of Jewish traditions concerning the life of Jesus, and in modern times it has formed part of the title of Yehezkel Kaufmann's eight-volume history of Israelite religion.

    Thus the term toldeot is used to describe history, and more particularly in Genesis, at all events, of family history in its origins. Quite clearly, therefore, the phrase "these are the generations of" points back to the beginnings of the family history, and not forward to its later development through a line of descendants. In this connection it is of some interest to note that the phrase that occurs in Genesis 2:4 obviously points back to the narrative of the creation of the cosmos contained in the preceding chapter. It could not refer to the narrative that follows, since that section contains no reference whatever to the creation of the heavens. As Wiseman has commented, the phrase is only appropriate as a concluding sentence, so that most commentators, notwithstanding their usual interpretation of the phrase, made the story of creation terminate with it. Had they but perceived that all such sections of Genesis conclude with this formula, they would have possessed the key to the composition of the book. As it was, the majority of scholars found themselves in serious methodological difficulties in their assumption that the expression "these are the generations of" was employed in all the remaining instances as an initial, rather than a terminal phrase.

    On only two occasions in Genesis does a genealogical list follow the expression in the absence of intervening words, and yet here both lists are quite complete even without its use. While the formula is not necessarily connected with a genealogical table, in almost every instance a list of immediate descendants is given before the phrase occurs in Hebrew text. It is therefore obvious that the formula did not constitute preamble to a genealogical table, but that it was in fact an ending such a list. Notice should also be taken of the mention of sepher translated "book," in Genesis 5:1, where the reference can only be to a written "record" on a clay tablet, and also of the LXX version of Genesis 2: which reads, "This is the book of the origins of the heavens and the earth."

    A final point in connection with the significance of is that in least some cases the person mentioned in connection with the phrase might well have been the owner, or possibly the writer, of the tablet question, if Mesopotamian scribal practices are actually in evidence in the manner suggested. Thus in Genesis 6:9, the phrase "These are the generations of Noah" does not necessarily mean "This is the history involving Noah," since it is primarily the succeeding section that describes the activities of this individual. Instead, the expression could be interpreted as meaning "This is the history written (or possessed) by Noah," which once more would be in full accord with ancient Near Eastern literary practices. Again, in Genesis 10:1, the mention of sons of Noah implies that the preceding record of family history was their possession, a practice that can be documented extensively from family archives recovered from Nuzu, Mari, and elsewhere in ancient Mesopotamia.

    In Genesis 11:27, the reference to the "generations of Terah" contains little information about that individual except that he was the son Nahor. Quite evidently it was intended to indicate that Terah either wrote, or else had compiled for him, the list of his ancestors found verses 10 to 27. The excavations at Mari have shown the extent to which genealogical tables were treasured in antiquity as a means of establishing pedigree and for other social purposes, so that there is nothing inherently impossible in the action of Terah in this regard.
    C. THE SOURCES OF THE BOOK

    The foregoing discussion can be summarized, therefore, by stating that the term toldedot can be held to indicate the presence of a colophon in text, and to constitute part of the concluding sentence of each section thereby pointing back to a narrative already recorded. Accordingly it is eminently possible to regard its incidence as indicating the presence o genuine Biblical source in the text. It is not by any means accidental that much of the material in which the phrase under consideration occurs was either of Mesopotamian provenance or was written under the influence of Mesopotamian culture. Accordingly the present writer feels justified in following Wiseman in the assertion that Genesis contains in the first thirty-six chapters a series of tablets whose contents were linked together to form a roughly chronological account of primeval and patriarchal life written from the standpoint of a Mesopotamian cultural milieu.

    1. The Eleven Tablets. Such a view is based upon the conviction that this approach alone does the fullest justice to the literary phenomena of much of Genesis, particularly in the light of what is now known regarding the antiquity of writing, the diverse nature of literary communications in the Near East during the second millennium B.C., and the special characteristics of contemporary scribal techniques. The tablets that may be isolated will be seen to have a title, a residuum of textual matter, and a colophon, along with certain additional features to be noted subsequently. The sources can be described briefly as follows:

    Tablet 1: Gen. 1: 1-2:4. The origins of the cosmos
    Tablet 2: Gen. 2:5-5:2. The origins of mankind
    Tablet 3: Gen. 5:3-6:9a. The histories of Noah
    Tablet 4: Gen. 6:9b-10:1. The histories of the sons of Noah
    Tablet 5: Gen. 10:2-11:10a. The histories of Shem
    Tablet 6: Gen. 11: 10b- 11: 27a. The histories of Terah
    Tablet 7: Gen. 11:27b-25:12. The histories of Ishmael
    Tablet 8: Gen. 25:13-25:19a. The histories of Isaac
    Tablet 9: Gen. 25:19b-36:1. The histories of Esau
    Tablet 10: Gen. 36:2-36:9. The histories of Esau
    Tablet 11: Gen. 36:10-37:2. The histories of Jacob

    Apart from Tablets one and two, which deal with the origins of the cosmos and mankind respectively, and do not contain proper names in their colophons, there appears to be no event recorded in which the person or persons named could not have written either from personal knowledge or from other reliable sources. Furthermore, where individuals are mentioned by name in the colophons, the history recorded in the various sections isolated above and identified with suggested tablets ceases in all instances prior to the death of the person named at the conclusion of the tablet. The present writer is of the opinion that the foregoing classification of material represents the genuine literary sources underlying the first thirty-six chapters of Genesis.

    On closer examination the first postulated tablet (Gen. 1:1-2:4) bears the title "God created the cosmos," interpreting the phrase "the heavens and the earth" as a merismus form, and this title is repeated in the colophon (Gen. 2:4). There is no series number associated with the latter; the colophon contains no personal or other names, and there is no catch-line linking it with the second suggested tablet (Gen. 2:5-5:2), which deals with the origins of mankind. The abruptness of the transition from Genesis 2:4 to the following verse might indicate that the original title of the second proposed tablet bad either been lost in antiquity, or else had been deliberately removed in process of editing. Be that as it may, the colophon of this source contained no proper name and no evidence of ownership. It is just Possible that the scribe who wrote the tablet attempted to convey the antiquity of his material by using the phrase, "in the day that God created mankind" (Gen. 5:1), a circumstance that may also be true for the expression "when they were created" in Genesis 2:4 . In the light of the critical theories common in an earlier generation, which repeatedly asserted the influence of Mesopotamian traditions over those of the Hebrews, it is significant to note that more recent appraisals now limit this as far as the material covered by the first two tablets is concerned to a possible three points, including the initial waters and the divine respite after the creation of man.

    Tablet three, as isolated above (Gen. 5:3-6:9a), bears the title "And man," narrates his descent, and mentions Noah, who is named in the colophon (Gen. 6:9a), perhaps in his capacity as owner of the source The title of Tablet four (Gen. 6:9b-10:1) is "Shem, Ham and Japheth,' and the text deals with the Flood and its aftermath. This material is terminated by the colophon in Genesis 10:1, where the allusion to the period " after the Flood" may perhaps constitute a scribal attempt a dating. The title of the tablet, it will be noted, is repeated in the colophon. Tablet five (Gen. 10:2-11:10a), is apparently entitled "The sons of Japheth," and deals with the Table of Nations and the Babe incident. It is concluded by the colophon, "These are the generations of Shem."

    Tablet six (Gen. 11:10b-11:27a) is comparatively brief, and is entitled simply "Shem." It contains the genealogical list of Terah, an mentions his death, along with the fact that Nahor lived on until Abraham was seventy-five years old. If the reference in Genesis 11:26, which recorded the age of Terah, was actually a scribal attempt at dating, the according to the Samaritan Pentateuch it was written just one year after the last chronological event mentioned in it, namely the death of Nahor. The repetition of "Abram, Nahor, and Haran" before and after the colophon formula indicates that the phrase constitutes a catch-line, and conforms to the usual scribal procedure of repeating the first words of the subsequent tablet after the last line of its precursor.

    Tablets six and seven are thus linked in series, with the latter (Gen. 11:27b-25:12) forming a lengthy account of the life of Abraham and concluding with his death. The title of the tablet is apparently "Abram, Nahor, and Haran," and the text can presumably be dated by the reference to Isaac dwelling at Beer-lahai-roi (Gen. 25:11). These family histories were evidently in the possession of Ishmael, brother of Isaac, and seem to be closely linked with the brief contents of Tablet eight (Gen. 25:13-25:19a), as indicated by the colophon. The events recorded in Tablets seven and eight ceased just prior to the death of Isaac, who was mentioned either as the possible writer or else as the owner of the tablets. He survived Ishmael by some fifty-seven years, according to the text, and presumably came into possession of the family records on the death of his brother.

    The title of Tablet nine (Gen. 25:19b-36:1) is apparently "Abraham begat Isaac," and the narrative content deals at length with the relationship between Jacob and Esau, and with subsequent events in the life of Jacob up to the death of Isaac. Possibly the reference to his interment constitutes a scribal attempt at dating, but whether this was actually the case or not, the histories were clearly of Edomite origin, as the explanatory gloss in Genesis 36:1 would indicate. Tablet nine was followed closely by Tablet ten (Gen. 36:2-36:9), a fragmentary record also from Edomite sources and dealing with the descent of Esau. There is little doubt that Pfeiffer was correct in postulating the existence of a "South" or "Seir" source in Genesis," but owing to his improper methodological approach to the literary problems of Genesis he was only able to isolate a few relevant fragments, and he included in his S1 and S2 much that had no connection whatever with Mount Seir.
    Quite evidently Tablets nine and ten belonged to such a "source," as did the final text, Tablet eleven (Gen. 36:10-37:2), part of which Pfeiffer attributed to S. Genesis 36:31, placed at the commencement of a list of Edomite kings, is obviously a post-Mosaic editorial or scribal comment. It could only have been written at a time when Israel had a king, since it is not a theoretical anticipation of the possibility of kingship, as in Deuteronomy 17:14ff, but evidently originates in the reality of an Israelite kingdom. As such it may well represent editorial activity on the part of the prophet Samuel. Immediately before the colophon in Genesis 37:2 is the statement that Jacob was living in the land of Canaan, and this can be taken as evidence for the time and place of the composition of Tablet eleven. Within a few years Jacob had moved into the land of Egypt, but this reference points to his place of abode when his historical record was closed. Jacob bad obviously returned to the south country and taken up his residence in Hebron, where his father Isaac was living.

    It can hardly be mere coincidence that the material discussed so far has been preserved in so characteristically an ancient Near East fashion. As with all similar ancient literature, these tablets constitute highly valuable sources for the delineation of patriarchal origins, and it i a testimony to their antiquity and to the esteem in which they were held that they have survived in the Hebrew text in something which in al probability approximates to their original form, a circumstance that makes it possible for them to be recovered by means of the application of an accredited methodology. Precisely who was responsible for editing this material is, of course, unknown, but since another such tablet can be recovered from the text of Numbers (perhaps Num. 1:1-3:1), it seem legitimate to suppose that the redactional activity was by and large the work of Moses.
    In view of the overwhelming support given by Near Eastern literary traditions for the recovery of such clearly indicated underlying sources, it can only be a matter of considerable regret that some eminent orientalists have refused to follow the course indicated by the facts in their translations of Genesis. Thus T. J. Meek rendered toledot in Genesis 2: by the expression, "the following are the origins of the heavens," thus completely misunderstanding the significance of the original. In the same manner E. A. Speiser treated the colophon of Genesis 5:1 as though it were a heading. While this may have been due in part in his translation to sheer considerations of format, it still remains the case that the reader would have no inkling whatever of the real character of the constituent source, being invited instead to relate the composition o Genesis to the outworn traditions of the literary-critical school. Like other thoroughgoing advocates of the Wellhausenian position, Speiser could hardly be expected to adopt a format that would belie his convictions with regard to the origin and nature of the Pentateuchal writings Meek, however, was in an entirely different category, since he consistently professed independence of any given literary-analytical scheme. It can only be concluded, therefore, that be was either unaware of the significance of the evidence, or else that he, like many other scholars, refused to go where the facts of the matter led.

    2. The Joseph narratives. The remainder of Genesis deals with the Joseph narratives (Gen. 37:2b-50:26), the Egyptian background of which has been so well attested by scholars as to make further comment unnecessary. Most probably this material was still in oral form when Moses was alive, and it may be that it was he who reduced it to writing in magnificent literary Hebrew. Quite possibly Moses was responsible for substituting leather for the Amarna Age tablet-form vehicle of communication.16 In this general connection it should be noted that whereas in certain instances in the Pentateuch Moses was directed to inscribe the divine revelation upon durable material such as stone (Exod. 34:28), it is probable that the more durable leather came to be employed at this period by the Hebrews as writing material in general preference to papyrus, used extensively in all periods of Egyptian history. Quite aside from the Jewish tradition that the Torah should always be written upon leather, since this was apparently the original material vehicle of its transmission, the passage in Numbers 5:23f. only makes the fullest sense if leather was the material which the people were using at that time.

    If it is correct to assume that the major part of Genesis was transmitted by means of cuneiform tablets, it is comparatively easy to imagine the process by which it was ultimately compiled, given the existence of a Joseph story comparable to the Tale of Sinuhe, whether it was a written Egyptian document or an oral Hebrew tradition." A person such as Moses would have been eminently suited to the task o' assembling ancient records and transcribing them in edited form as a continuous record on a leather or papyrus roll. Given this basic-document, it would be well within the realm of possibility to envisage the activity of later generations in matters of textual revision, the incorporating of marginal comments, or the bringing up to date of certain chronological material (e.g. Gen. 36). For while it is important to affirm the general literary fixity of the material as a whole, it is also necessary to allow sufficient freedom for accredited scribal activity to operate in a customary manner at later stages, in consonance with the traditions evident in ancient Near Eastern literary sources.

    There can be no real question as to the immense antiquity of the source material that is to be found in Genesis. Evidence for this includes the large number of Babylonian words that occur in the earlier part of the book, the topographical references, such as those relating to Sodom and Gomorrah (Gen. 10:19),19 and the number of glosses required to bring ancient names up to date (e.g. Gen. 14:2, 3, 7, 8, 15, 17; 16:14; 23:2; 35:19). Primitive geographical expressions such as the "south country" (Gen. 20:1; 24:62) and the "east country" (Gen. 25:6), which were used in the days of Abraham, never recurred in the Old Testament narratives as a description of the countries adjoining the south and east of Palestine, since these regions subsequently acquired familiar an well-defined designations. Archaeological discoveries at Mari, Nuz Boghazk6y, and elsewhere have been of particular value in furnish in abundant literary materials for an understanding of the narratives concerning the Hebrew patriarchs and the conditions of life that existed i Palestine and Egypt during the Amarna Age and the Hyksos periods .

    By definition Genesis is the Book of Origins, the great introduction to the drama of human redemption. The prologue is cast in universal term suitable to the subject-matter, and depicts the creative activity of God fashioning the cosmos and placing man upon the earth. The universality of sin is depicted, along with the fact that, as rebellion against God, it must always stand under divine judgment, a situation exemplified by the account of the Deluge. The rise of Abraham, the first of the two major emphases of the Pentateuchal writings, is associated with covenantal relationships, and the stage is thus set for the occurrence of the second great concern of the Torah, namely the deliverance of Israel from Egypt in the dramatic event of the Exodus.
    --R. K. Harrison, Prof. of Old Testament, Wycliffe College, University of Toronto, Introduction to the Old Testament, Eerdsmans, 1969. pp542-553.
     
  12. Helen

    Helen <img src =/Helen2.gif>

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    Oswald T. Allis of Princeton and later Westminster Theological Seminary
    in "The Five Books of Moses" Presbyterian & Reformed (1964) did a
    pretty good number on JEDP. The following might sounds a bit familiar!:

    "WE HAVE PREFERRED to call the theory which we have been
    examining the Development Hypothesis, rather than to use the
    name "historical" which many of its advocates prefer. The aim of
    the historian should be to present actual facts in such a way that
    they will appear in true perspective and correct relation to other
    facts. That it is the aim of the advocates of the Graf-Wellhausen
    hypothesis to do this, need not be called in question. But, as we
    have endeavored to show, their treatment of the available facts is so
    dominated by a theory the correctness of which they hold to be
    proved and the acceptance of which they consider to be the badge
    of true scholarship and a truly scientific spirit, that this tendency or
    bias must be taken account of in appraising their methods and
    conclusions. It is significant that the rise of this new and
    revolutionary theory followed closely upon the publication of
    Darwin's Origin of Species (1859), which gave such encouragement
    and impetus to all theories of development. But its roots are to be
    traced farther back, to the Hegelian philosophy and the positivism
    of Comte, to a theory of development which whether idealistic or
    materialistic is "naturalistic" because it tends directly to the denial
    of that supernaturalism which is so prominent and distinctive a
    feature of the Bible. Even a cursory examination of the literature of
    the higher criticism makes it clear that it has been increasingly
    dominated by three great principles of evolutionary theory: (1) that
    development is the explanation of all phenomena, (2) that this
    development results from forces latent in man without any
    supernatural assistance, and (3) that the "comparative" method,
    which uses a naturalistic yardstick, must determine the nature and
    rate of this development." (Allis O.T., "The Five Books of Moses,"
    1964, pp.259-260)

    The best evidence to my mind against over-elaborate source-theories in Genesis
    at least s P.J. Wiseman's pointing out that Genesis contains easily recognisable
    evidence even in English translations of what its underlying sources were, in the
    oft-repeated phrase "these are the generations of..." which have the same form
    as the footer (or header) inscriptions on ancient eastern clay tablets.

    Another conservative OT scholar R.K. Harrison, took up Wiseman's insight
    and wrote:

    "According to the Graf-Wellhausen documentary hypothesis of
    Pentateuchal origins, Genesis assumed its present form through
    various editorial processes that saw a combination of elements of J.
    E, and E sources into a continuous document. ... The present writer
    does not support ... [this] positions, and prefers to examine the
    problem of the compilation of Genesis against a background of
    ancient Near Eastern literary activity. It should be observed as a
    general principle that there may well be quite a number of sources
    designated in the Old Testament writings which have not actually
    been recognized as such by most modern scholars. Genesis appears
    to be a case in point, with the clue to the underlying sources being
    provided, not by the incidence of the divine names or the presence
    of supposed duplicate narratives, but by the phrase translated "these
    are the generations of," ..." (Harrison R.K., "Introduction to the
    Old Testament," Tyndale Press, 1970, p.543)

    and

    "The foregoing discussion can be summarized, therefore, by stating
    that the term [towledah] can be held to indicate the presence of a
    colophon in the text, and to constitute part of the concluding
    sentence of each section, thereby pointing back to a narrative
    already recorded. Accordingly it is eminently possible to regard its
    incidence as indicating the presence of a genuine Biblical source in
    the text.... Accordingly the present writer feels justified in following
    Wiseman in the assertion that Genesis contains in the first thirty-six
    chapters a series of tablets whose contents were linked together to
    form a roughly chronological account of primeval and patriarchal
    life written from the standpoint of a Mesopotamian cultural milieu.:

    1. The Eleven Tablets. Such a view is based upon the conviction
    that this approach alone does the fullest justice to the literary
    phenomena of much of Genesis, particularly in the light of what is
    now known regarding the antiquity of writing, the diverse nature of
    literary communications in the Near East during the second
    millennium B.C., and the special characteristics of contemporary
    scribal techniques. The tablets that may be isolated will be seen to
    have a title, a residuum of textual matter, and a colophon, along
    with certain additional features to be noted subsequently. The
    sources can be described briefly as follows:


    Tablet 1: Gen. 1:1-2:4. The origins of the cosmos
    Tablet 2: Gen. 2 :5-5:2. The origins of mankind
    Tablet 3: Gen. 5: 3-6:9a. The histories of Noah
    Tablet 4: Gen. 6:9b-10:1. The histories of the sons of Noah
    Tablet 5: Gen. 10:2-11:10a. The histories of Shem
    Tablet 6: Gen. 11:10b-11:27a. The histories of Terah
    Tablet 7: Gen. 11 :27b-25:12. The histories of Ishmael
    Tablet 8: Gen. 25:13-25:19a. The histories of Isaac
    Tablet 9: Gen. 25:19b-36:1. The histories of Esau
    Tablet 10: Gen. 36:2-36:9. The histories of Esau
    Tablet 11: Gen. 36:10-37:2. The histories of Jacob

    ...The present writer is of the opinion that the foregoing
    classification of material represents the genuine literary sources
    underlying the first thirty-six chapters of Genesis." (Harrison R.K.,
    1970, pp.547-548)
     
  13. Gold Dragon

    Gold Dragon Well-Known Member

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    While I'm sure Wiseman has some good points(which I don't plan to read 3000 words to discover), I prefer to the let the biblical text speak for itself. I enjoy reading extrabiblical interpretation to see what interpretational possibilities are out there, but in the end, the bible is my authority.
     
  14. Gold Dragon

    Gold Dragon Well-Known Member

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    A lot of your points depend on the function of the hebrew word toledot/toledoth which is the word generations being discussed.

    I found this book by Barry Bandstra.

     
  15. Scott J

    Scott J Active Member
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    The genesis account does not fit the definition of Science. Evolutionary theory does fit the definition of science as it is a theory that appears to fit the existing observational data that have been collected through various means.</font>[/QUOTE] Sorry. But this is where you derail. Evolution is not being observed.

    There are a whole host of explanations including those consistent with Genesis 1 creationism that can be conformed to the "observational data". All it takes is a good imagination and the willingness to revise any part of your theory that is proven to be categorically untrue.
    Except for the part about it not being observed but rather being the assumptions of naturalists about what would have been observed if someone had been alive to observe it.
    No. We would be better off reclassifying the study of origins whether biblical, evolutionary, or whatever as "philosophy" since all of them are based ultimately on presuppositions and not observation.

    Neither creation nor evolution are "unproveable", therefore by the standard insisted upon by evolutionists themselves neither are rightly "science".

    Certainly science can support or oppose a philosophy... but philosophical assumptions cannot be considered a legitimate foundation much less a limiting factor for "science".

    Science should simply follow where the evidence and experimentation lead. It should not make arbitrary assumptions about what "cannot be true".
     
  16. Joseph_Botwinick

    Joseph_Botwinick <img src=/532.jpg>Banned

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    But, from a theological perspective, they were also written from a first person perspective since it is the Word of God.

    Joseph Botwinick
     
  17. Scott J

    Scott J Active Member
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    Electrons now exist. Tests can be run that consistently point to this being true. No test can ever be devised that demonstrates that evolution ever happened. Not directly nor indirectly.
     
  18. Scott J

    Scott J Active Member
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    Yes. And if a trustworthy relative like a mother told you that she saw the tree being planted the day JFK was shot... and the rings suggested that the tree was 70 years old, would you assume that your mother was lying or actually meant something else? ... or would you suspect that there were problems with the way you were interpretting the evidence?

    With all due respect to your mother, her memory, observation, and ability to express herself exactly as intended pale in comparison to God.
     
  19. Scott J

    Scott J Active Member
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    Exactly, no one was around to witness the events first person or to hear God say that and record it in the third person.
    </font>[/QUOTE]Moses said it... after having spent significant time in the direct presence of God receiving revelation. It is amusing that some say God would tell Moses the truth about the Law and prophecy but not about creation.

    Moreover, none of our evolutionist friends who demand an answer for every question has attempted to answer why God would make up a fairy tale/allegory to deliver to His followers rather than simply leaving it ambiguous.

    Do you really think they would have been less impressed with "Long before I brought man as a living soul upon the earth, I created..."

    God never had to be specific to impress those people. You argue that we must understand the intent. The intent doesn't require the words "day", "morning", or "evening".

    In fact, evolution could be described in ways that would be far more impressive to the primitive mind than Genesis 1.
     
  20. Helen

    Helen <img src =/Helen2.gif>

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    </font>[/QUOTE]The point is that the earliest tablets we have from the Middle East all show the toledoth at the end of the tablet, not at the beginning. This is exactly what we see in Genesis.

    Just believe the Bible. Fine. It presents itself as a series of eyewitness accounts in Genesis. It should be accepted or rejected on its own terms. Those are its terms.
     
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