Sunday, May 07, 2006

An Interesting Discussion

(from a thread on NS)

The_8th_Ace: i think that the story of Adam and Eve is likely a story that simply teaches fundamental truths. The story's purpose is to convey the importance and truth of sin in its traditions, regardless of historical accuracy. The events in Adam and Eve's story may or may not have actually happened; but either way the meaning behind the story is still incredibly important.


Yours trully: the trouble with that interpretation of events for genesis is that it was not written in any style that would have led anyone to believe this wasn't meant to be taken literally.

once you start interpreting genesis as something that didn't necessarily happen, but as long as the teaching is important it doesn't matter, then you have to reevaluate your view on the whole Bible, because genesis doesn't stray in literary style from the rest of the old testament.

if you choose to interpret genesis as the only explanation that people could come up with at the time to explain how we came to be and that only the teaching is important, you are forced to then question the actuality of moses speaking to God (after all, genesis is supposedly the first book of the Pentateuch, when God talked directly to Moses in Sinai), because why would God NOT tell his chosen dude exactly how he did things so as to not blow his mind? Moses was speaking to God, that's about as mind-blowing as things get.

So if you are forced to abandon that Moses actually talked to God, then you are firstly abandoning any kind of accuracy/validity for the Bible AND casting doubt on God himself if you so believe in him. Because once you decide that genesis is an allegory, or a simple religious teaching, then the Bible is no longer the word of God but relegated to simple religious teaching written by flawed men to promote a set of morals (however right they may be) and is therefore not something i would trust.

Moreover, assuming that genesis is not a literal account of the creation of the world as told by God, then who are we, 2000 years later, to claim that Jesus performed miracles, claimed to be the son of God, was crucified and rose again, all to save us from our sins? that might as well be the interpretation of crazed people of someone getting the flu and being healed the same day as seeing a supposed prophet.

Basically, if you do not trust the historical accuracy of the Bible in its first book, you leave it open to reinterpretation everywhere else. All validity of the Bible as the word of God is therefore thrown out the window.

If genesis is an allegory, the rest of the Bible might as well be, and we have no reason to believe any of it.

you could still follow Jesus' supposed teachings, and you would lead a good life, but your God never spoke to man, and never revealed any truth, and never did anything for you, because nothing about the Bible is certain. a sad faith is what that is.

when it comes to us evolving from apes and Adam and Eve being the first over the hump, well, you could say that, as long as you don't believe what genesis said, which is dangerous, as i pointed out.

beyond the fact that the evolutionary tree up to us from an ape is shady at best, with the fossil record being so inconclusive (don't be fooled... scientists cannot know for certain if we descended from any of the missing links, as they could have been any type of ape and have no linkage to us), to believe that we descended from apes and try to get that to fit with the biblical account could be considered somewhat heretic, as you have to say that well, the Bible isn't in fact authoritative at all, seeing as we can interpret it as we want to fit what the world believes.

this is a dangerous practice. again, once you start accommodating your beliefs in regards to science when the bible clearly states otherwise is dangerous, as you then have no more foot to stand on for your beliefs.

science and religion ARE compatible. i think it is so extremely cool to find out how DNA works, because i see the art and design in it, i see the Lord in his creation.

However, the scientific world view and the christian world view are NOT compatible. One sees pseudo science, such as the evolutionary theory (yeah, it ain't no scientific theory, as you cannot reproduce macro evolution in any amount of experiments and it cannot be disproved (a reproach to us creationists) because a fossil could supposedly always be found and it takes millions of years etc...) as fact, the other sees a book believed to be the Divine Inspiration of God as fact.

once the facts of the Bible are reinterpreted, you are no longer believing what the Bible says, your faith is lost and you are only a few inches from complete disproof of your logical integrity. either you believe what is written as fact, or you don't. you cannot have it both ways on matters such as these.

i can’t read Hebrew, so I unfortunately cannot read nor understand the original Genesis manuscript, but do think that it was written in a style that would lead people to believe it’s not to be taken literally. The book starts off with the creation story we all know - God created the universe in six days, rested on the seventh. But Genesis 2:4 to 2:25 describes a second creation story, in conflict with the first one. those simple conflicting stories in the first couple pages of the Bible lead me to believe that Genesis is not to be taken literally.

I liken God and Moses’s conversation on Sinai (although more and more biblical scholars believe Genesis and the rest of the Pentateuch had more than one author) to a parent describing pregnancy and birth to a very little kid. The parent will probably tell the kid something about the baby growing inside the mommy’s tummy after the mommy and daddy get married. This story isn’t scientifically very accurate, but if the parent were to elaborate more on the specifics of pregnancy and birth, the little kid wouldn’t be able to understand it. In the same way, if God had told Moses about protons and neutrons reacting to form hydrogen isotopes over thousands of years in the creation of the universe, the science would’ve gone over Moses’s head.

I must agree, if you do not trust the historical accuracy of the Bible’s first book, you definitely leave the rest open to reinterpretation. personally, i’m glad the Bible has been interpreted dozens of times over the years; i really don’t feel like learning ancient Hebrew just to read the Bible. we can’t pretend that our modern Bible is a direct perfect translation of the original texts. On a related note, the fact of the matter is that the inclusion of many of the books in the New Testament came down to very close votes at the Councils of Nicea. Along with dozens of gospels and many other books, most of Paul's letters were decided to be a little to heretical for the Bible. The early Christians were pretty divided about which books were “true interpretations of divine inspiration.”

I’m not trying to argue the composition of the books in the Bible, but trying to say that it may be dangerous to assume that the Bible should be taken as literal, historical, and scientific texts. It seems wise to research and carefully consider different interpretations of Biblical truths.



"i can’t read Hebrew, so I unfortunately cannot read nor understand the original Genesis manuscript, but do think that it was written in a style that would lead people to believe it’s not to be taken literally. The book starts off with the creation story we all know - God created the universe in six days, rested on the seventh. But Genesis 2:4 to 2:25 describes a second creation story, in conflict with the first one. those simple conflicting stories in the first couple pages of the Bible lead me to believe that Genesis is not to be taken literally."

ive heard that before, but i do not really see how the passage is in conflict with the first one.
when we have "Now the LORD God had formed out of the ground all the beasts of the field and all the birds of the air. He brought them to the man to see what he would name them; and whatever the man called each living creature, that was its name" in the second passage, it doesn't imply that man was already created before God created the animals, it implies that they already were created, and that he brought them to adam. sortof like "hmm, i need some food. Now that i have already made food, i will eat it".

The part about plants can be confusing. it says in the genesis 1 account that plants were created on the third day. in genesis two it says "and no shrub of the field had yet appeared on the earth and no plant of the field had yet sprung up, for the LORD God had not sent rain on the earth". This seems contradictory, but if you look closely: the plants of the field, as in plants that need to be cultivated. this is in no way opposed to "Let the land produce vegetation: seed-bearing plants and trees on the land that bear fruit with seed in it, according to their various kinds." in genesis 1. it just says that wheat and corn needed man to make it ideally, perfectly.

the genesis two account is more of an in depth look at man being created and the happenings of the 6th day, and isn't contradictory to the genesis one account.

as for youranalogy, that is an interesting one... i need to look into it.

i would say that God claiming he created everything when he let a blind and random chance process "create" for him is kind of surprising. evolution is not what God would have used, as the end product would not account for such diversity and complexity in nature.
why would God have not told Moses: hey, i set forth a creation process that took a bunch of time to make you, and here we are". Mind = not blown, and he is teling the truth as much as parents are when they explain the birds and the bees (unless you involve evil mister stork)

i cannot read Hebrew, but i have read about the old testament, and Genesis is not likened to anything but a historical text. there is some contest about Job apparently, but not of Genesis as a fairy tale.

the different interpretations of the Bible do not change on the major issues, at leass not in the early church, which are creation, Jesus being the son of God and his Death/Resurrection.

A good book on the Bible and its origins is "Evidence that demands a verdict" by Josh McDowell.

the books of the Bible SHOULD be taken as a literal historical text, especially when it comes to genealogy in it.
The Bible is not written as a scientific text, it doesn't touch on science i daresay. But science only shows what we know. Science is seeing, recording, testing. it deals not with the unconcrete (hence macro-evolution = joke). What science sees is the creation of God, as far as im conscerned. It tries to prove how non life made life, and this is where the bible steps in and says God created life.

to be continued, perhaps.

1 Comments:

Blogger trenchcoatsparrow said...

What I don't get is why some people find it so necessary to mold evolutionist theory to fit the Genesis story and vice versa. You need to make a decision between the two, or you show your own indecisiveness about who and what you want to follow.

Evolution is the foundational myth of modern times, just like the Greeks had their "and Zeus created man" story.

1:18 PM  

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