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Intelligent Design, the best explanation of Origins » Young and old earth Creationism » Is the Genesis account of literal 6 days just a myth ?

Is the Genesis account of literal 6 days just a myth ?

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Is the Genesis account of literal 6 days just a myth ?


It was not around 200 BC that the greek established the earth was a sphere. The ANE people view of the cosmos reflects a geo-centric universe with a flat earth. An earth that is immovable, set on foundations, flat and round in shape and surrounded by a circonferential sea and with a firmament above

Ancient Hebrew cosmology is full of subtleties that often go unnoticed by the contemporary reader 2
Jul 07, 2016
In a nutshell, ancient Hebrew cosmology, as found in the Old Testament, considers the world in which we live a relatively flat disk, covered by a dome. Something like a gigantic cake stand covered with one of those classic glass domes, if you will.

As you can see in the diagram included, below the disk you would find the Sheol (that is, the place of the dead, but not necessarily Hell; actually, this Sheol is a bit more like what the Greeks called Hades) and the so-called “deep waters”, the “waters underneath” or, even more dramatically, “the great deep.”

Now above the dome, in the “outside” of the dome (who’d say?) you’d find even more water. You guessed it right: those are the “upper waters” and, above them, the “high heaven” or the “heaven of heavens”, where God Himself dwells, as can be seen in the graphic.

Conceptions of Heaven and Earth. 1
As in the Bible, so also in the Talmud, heaven and earth designate the two borders of the universe. The former is a hollow sphere covering the earth. It consists, according to one authority, of a strong and firm plate two or three fingers in thickness, always lustrous and never tarnishing. Another tannaitic authority estimates the diameter of this plate as one-sixth of the sun's diurnal journey; whileanother, a Babylonian, estimates it at 1,000 parasangs. According to others, the diameter of the firmament is equal to the distance covered in 50 or 500 years; and this is true also of the earth and the large sea ("Tehom") upon which it rests (Yer. Ber. i. 2c; Targ. Yer. Gen. i. 6). The distance of the firmament from the earth is a journey of 500 years—a distance equivalent to the diameter of the firmament, through which the sun must saw its way in order to become visible (Yer. Ber. i. 2c, bot.; Pes. 94a). The firmament, according to some, consists of fire and water, and, according to others, of water only; while the stars consist of fire (Yer. R. H. ii. 58a). East and west are at least as far removed from each other as is the firmament from the earth (Tamid. 32a). Heaven and earth "kiss each other" at the horizon; and between the water above and that below there are but two or three fingerbreadths (Gen. R. ii. 4; Tosef., Ḥag. ii. 5). The earth rests upon water and is encompassed by it. According to other conceptions the earth is supported by one, seven, or twelve pillars. These rest upon water, the water upon mountains, the mountains upon the wind, and the wind upon the storm (Ḥag. 12b; Yer. Ḥag. ii. 77a). The nations of antiquity generally believed that the earth was a disk floating on water. There is also mentioned the terrestrial globe, "kaddur," though it may also be translated as "disk." When Alexander the Great attempted to ascend to heaven he rose even higher and higher, until the earth appeared as a globe and the sea as a tray (Yer. 'Ab. Zarah iii. 42c, bot.). The earth is divided into three parts, viz., habitable land, desert, and sea.

The Dome
Raqia comes from the Hebrew verb raqa, which means "beat," "stamp," "beat out" and "spread out." Occurring 11 times in the Old Testament, raqa has the meaning to "stamp one's feet" (twice), stamp something with the feet (once), spreading metal (four times), spreading out the earth (three times), and spreading the sky or the clouds (once).9 So, the verb raqa does not necessarily refer to the beating out of a solid object, but to a spreading out process, whether the object be solid or not.

It matters little what may be the literal meaning of the word translated "firmament." Although regarded generally among the Jews as signifying a solid firmament, it is far from certain that Moses, who was versed in all Egyptian learning, so considered it. 4

Serge Poirier why did ancient people up to the 1600s, including Luther and his contemporaries, believe there was a firmament, i.e. a solid dome?
If the word raqia (we will leave the normal usage of the word in ANW context if you want) derives its meaning from the verb “raqa”, what else but a solid object (normally metal in those days) were they trying to spread out by beating/hammering it up?  I am not trying to take away the integrity of scriptures but want to point out that there might be a better way to deal with this mater without being literal. The Bible is not a book of science as concordists want to make it. At best, it can only provide metaphysical boundaries to science

Gen 1 is a theological/polemical statement on creation couched in ancient cosmology format in light of ANE polytheistic context. It is also spoken in a 6+1 weekly framework.

It is not because Genesis 1 speak of a dome that I take Genesis 1 as a theological statement (not a figurative statement) rather than a literal chronological, scientific, material statement. The dome issue is one issue. And the literary genre combined with ANE cultural context is another issue. Therefore, the dome issue and the genre& cultural issues are 2 different issues.

The dome speaks to or reflect the science of the day and this has implications for the nature of scriptures, hermeneutics and the concept of inerrancy (and BTW, I do hold to inerrancy) as I was suggesting in our meeting with Jeshua and yes, it was for you). The Bible speaks from a geo-centric perspective. The nature of scripture is geo-centric among other features.

Genesis 1 is a new theology of creation for an ancient near eastern (ANE) polytheistic context, the true and revealed one as opposed to the pagan ones. More precisely, it is a theological statement on creation, with a polemical purpose, couched in ancient cosmology format in light of an ANE contest. A Cosmological statement was a common thing in an ANE culture. It is the preface to the worldview of an ANE culture like Genesis 1 is the preface to the book of Genesis. You cannot read Gen 1 and ignore the other ANE creation accounts and their similarities but also differences to Gen 1. They are relevant to the interpretation of Gen 1. And you cannot argue they came after Gen. 1

The first chapter of Genesis is very rich in meaning. It contains at least 3 movements or strata of meaning. First, a movement towards order where God is the one who create and order a chaotic cosmos as per Gen 1 v.2 (the earth was formless and empty,v.2 is often ignored and people jumps directly to the days ) an ANE common concept. In very short, God defines 3 spheres of existence and fill them outs, and at the same time, resolves the issues of v.2. The 6 days serve only as a literary framework for creation, not a factual chronology. These days are analogical days (or God’s days, not earthly days). How can they be since the sun is not created until day 4? Again a polemical statement.

Then you have a movement to the apex of creation from day 1 to day 6 ending with the creation of the apex of God’s handiwork. Then you have a 6+1 movement to create a timeframe for man’s activities, 6 days of work and I day of rest and provide an etymology for Sabbath. We are only touching the surface here...And I am sure that there is more, like the cosmic temple view that add most likely another movement or strata of meaning that escape us for not being sensitive to the ANE concept.

All these 3-4 movements are not new concepts in OT scholarships and they are not mutually exclusive. and it is all about theology, not science.

But it is it in a nutshell at the moment. Gen 1 is meta-physical statement to the Israelite worldview stating in part that the forces of nature are not personified deities or under the control of “specialized” gods but created and under the one true God who happens to be the God of the Israelites.

When taken in this way, there is no conflict with science except maybe with human origins and evolutions, but no view is perfect. However, avoiding conflict with science is not the purpose or motivation to hold this view. It is more from the study of literary genre, the ANE cultural context and theology that I hold this view. I must admit that the issue of the firmament launched a deep reflection on the subject and an understanding reframing as to understand how an inerrant scripture can speak of a dome when we know it does not exist.

Here is an excellent reference on creation. I did not read all of it but the portions I did read were excellent in terms of explaining the context. Hyers interprets the biblical account in light of its relationship to its culture, context, and purpose. (see link)
I hope you would not mind to have your view challenged and expanded in a very diplomatic manner by the author and pick up the read. It is an excellent ressource
Rules of interpretations (ignore these…and missed the point of the message…See my evaluation of YEC consideration of these rules; final score 11/2 )
1. Author’s intent & purpose (YEC, not fully)
2. Audience’s concern (YEC, not so much)
3. Cultural and historical context (YEC, not at all)
4. Rules of hermeneutics
a. Literary genre (YEC; not at all)
b. Grammar (YEC: yes)
c. Etc.
After I re-read what I wrote yesterday I felt I did not do justice to the some of the stuff I tried to convey, (for instance, the creation is/days are organized logically & topically not historically in order to address the 3 problems of v.2 darkness, watery deep and formlessness. See the picture attached in the next post) but anyway…

The Meaning of Creation: Genesis and Modern Science

I agree, the days of Genesis 1 are “24 hours days”, not ages. It is an exegetical fallacy to import a possible meaning of the word Yom (“age” in this case) in a context that does not demand it even if the meaning is part of the semantic field. As you explains, the grammatical details & the refrain (evening & morning) demands the days are 24 hours days.
However, that being said, I don’t think the days are historical or factual. Bear with me. You asked in another post to state my view again in a nutshell. So, I will cover again what I said yesterday and address the Exodus question also. I am only repeating to recap everything and make sure I am clear although English is a second language to me.

1. Creation is presented in a logical & topical order in relationship to the 3 problems described in v.2, i.e. the primordial state of the earth, and in relationship to the overall theological message and God’s creative action.

2. The days are not factual or literal but a literary feature. Creation did not happen in time & space in 6 literal days. The days/week of creation only serves as a literary framework or vehicle for the message, that’s it. The acts of creations are historical but not the week of creation. In other words, creation happens but we don’t know how in reality, apart from the message vehicle, maybe via ages, I don’t know. The geological columns seems to indicate creation took place in phases/ages.

3. The days are again also not literal or earthly days but analogical days. The days are not earthly days in time and space due to what was explained above. Moreover, without the sun present between day 1-3, we cannot have any earthly days, as we know them. Augustine spoke about the difficulty in understanding of the days as regular days. However, the days or the week is analogical to our days. They are God’s day or week of creation and are analogical to man’s workdays. God presents creation as if he is a workman or journeyman going through his work days or week creating (Jack Collins)

4. Relationship to Ex. 20: 9-11. My understanding is still in process with this passage. However, you can make sense of the fact that Ex. is “refereeing to the pattern set in Genesis, i.e. the pattern of God’s laboring for six days and resting on the 7th day”. A pattern/cycle to be observed by Israel. (WL Craig)
The genre of Gen 1 is an ancient cosmological account or statement
The account is theological, not historical. Gen 1 is an “exalted prose” (Jack Collins), not pure prose, neither Hebrew poetry. It is some kind of a hybrid. It contains rhythms, refrain, and a repetitive pattern which indicate the literary features of the account rather than the “literal” feature of the account

Günter Bechly  Concerning the flat earth issue I think that the case for the Bible teaching a flat earth just like all other contemporary ANE cultures is very well established by OT scholars like John Walton, Paul Seely, and Michael Heiser. This obvious interpretation is only rejected because people know through the external evidence from science that this Biblical cosmology is simply wrong. The ancient authors of the Bible just did not know better, and God did not care to update their cosmology but to teach them spiritual lessons. As Galileo famously said: the Bible does not teach how the heavens go but how to go to heaven!

Interpreting Genesis One 5
Much of the controversy arises from a misunderstanding of what the Genesis account of creation intends to teach. What message was it meant to convey to ancient Israelites in their struggle against the pagan mythologies of the surrounding countries? How does that meaning apply in a post-Christian culture whose gods and values infiltrate even the church?  

Although it has no trace of rhetoric, the passage does use figurative language for describing God's activity: anthropomorphisms which represent God as if he were a human being-speaking and seeing, working and resting. Yet a conclusion that Genesis 1 is semipoetic and has figurative language by no means determines the main question--the connection of the narrative with actual events.

Approach to Genesis 
An interpretation of Genesis 1 must deal with three elements: 

- historical context
- literary genre 
- textual content

Many commentaries skip lightly over the first two in an eagerness to grasp the meaning of today. As a result, their interpretations at critical points would hardly have been intelligible to ancient Israel, much less equip God's people to resist the influence of pagan mythologies. Therefore, we will adhere to the following principle: What the author meant then determines what the message means now. 

Historical Context
What was the situation of the Israelites who received the message of Genesis, especially their cultural and religious environment? The answer to that question depends to a large extent on certain assumptions about the authorship and date of the document. Two main approaches have dominated the interpretation of Genesis during the last century. The style of Genesis 1 is remarkable for its simplicity, its economy of language. Yet to ask whether it is prose
or poetry is a serious oversimplification. Although we do not find here the synonymous parallelism and rhythms of Hebrew, poetry, the passage has a number of alliterations. The prominence of repetition and of its corollary, silence, brings the writing close to poetry; its movement toward, a climax places it in the order of prose. Sometimes called a "hymn," it appears to be a unique blend of prose and poetry.

Although it has no trace of rhetoric, the passage does use figurative language for describing God's activity: anthropomorphisms which represent God as if he were a human being-speaking and seeing, working and resting. Yet a conclusion that Genesis 1 is semi poetic and has figurative language by no means determines the main question--the connection of the narrative with actual events.

Once for all we need to get rid of the deep-seated feeling that figurative speech is inferior to literal language, as if it were somewhat less worthy of God. The Hebrew language is rich in figures of speech. Scripture abounds with symbols and metaphors which the Holy Spirit has used to convey powerfully and clearly the message he intended. What would be left of Psalm 23, for example, if it were stripped of its figurative language? Further, we must give up the false antithesis that prose is fact while poetry is fiction (prose = literal = fact, and poetry = figurative = fiction). Indeed, prose writing often has figures of speech and can recount a legend or parable as well as history; by the same token, poetry may have little if any figurative language and narrate actual events. The prophets, for example, recalled past facts and predicted future events with a welter of symbols and images as well as literal description. (See Ezekiel 16 and 22 for two versions of the same events.) Jesus summarized centuries of Hebrew history in his parable of the wicked tenants (Mt. 21:33-41). Good biblical interpretation recognizes and appreciates this marvelous and effective variety of literary expression. 

Genesis 1 appears to be a narrative of past events, an account of God's creative words and acts. Its figurative language is largely limited to anthropomorphisms. (For a highly imaginative and figurative account of creation, read Job 38:4-11.) The text does not have the earmarks of a parable, a short allegorical story designed to teach a truth or moral lesson. That genre generally deals with human events and often starts with a formula like "There was a man who had two sons" in Jesus' parable of the prodigal son (Lk. 15:11-31). Genesis 1 is "historical" in the sense of relating events that actually occurred. Modern historians distinguish between "history," which began with the invention of writing or the advent of city life, and "prehistory."2

The writer's use of the significant numbers 3, 7 and 10 also highlights the careful construction of the creation account. It starts with three problem elements (formless earth, darkness and watery deep) which are dealt with in two sets of three days; the verb "create" is used at three points in the narrative, the third time thrice. Both the completion formula, "and it was so," and the divine approval, "God saw that it was good," appear seven times. The phrase "God said," the verb "make" and the formula "according to its/their kind" appear ten times. In both its overall structure and use of numbers the writer paid as much attention to the form as to the content of the narrative, a fact which suggests mature meditation. The historico-artistic interpretation of Genesis 1 does justice to its literary craftsmanship, the general biblical perspective on natural events and the view of creation expressed by other writers in both Old and New Testaments. 

Interpretation of Genesis 1 
The third step, after determining the historical context and literary genre, is to discover what this account of creation means to the first readers. Although a thorough exegesis cannot be done in a few pages, we can note the narrative's development and the meaning of several key words. The Bible's opening statement may be taken as either the beginning of God's creative activity or a summary of the account that follows. Either way, the "beginning" includes not only the material universe but also time itself. Since all of our thought and action occurs within a time scale of past/present/future, we find it difficult if not impossible to conceive of timelessness. Yet as Augustine observed many centuries ago, God created not in time but with time.

And God said, "Let there be light," and there was light .... And there was evening, and there was morning-the first day. (vv. 3-5) Here is the first of eight creative commands distributed over six days. A major focus of the narrative is the word of God: God "speaks" and it is done. The Hebrew amar has a variety of meanings.8 Its use in Genesis 1 emphasizes God's creative command, his pledge to sustain the creation and his revelation as the Creator (this theme is echoed in Psalm 148:5 and Hebrews 11:3). The words leave no room for the divine emanation and struggle so prominent in pagan religions. Nevertheless there has been too much emphasis on God's creating simply by command. Only verses 3 and 9 report creation by word alone; the other six occurrences include both a word and an act of some kind, indicated by verbs such as make, separate and set. 

And God said, "Let there be an expanse between the waters to separate water from water.". .. And there was evening, and there was morning-the second day. (vv. 6-8 ) 
An expanse or firmament separates the waters below (the seas and underground springs) from those above in the clouds which provide rain. Unlike the first day, the creative command here is followed by an action: "So God made the expanse and separated the water under the expanse from the water above it. And it was so" (v. 7). That combination of word and act also occurs on the fourth day: "God made two great lights ... made the stars ... set them in the expanse of the sky" (vv. 16-17); and on the fifth day, "God created the great creatures of the sea ... "(v. 21). The wording for the sixth day is unusual in that God commands himself, so to speak, and then does it: "Then God said, ‘Let us make man'. .. So God created- man. .. "(vv. 26-27). This variety of wording for the eight creative events/ processes should caution against an attempt to formulate one basic procedure or mechanism for the creation. 

The Creation Days 
Much controversy over the interpretation of Genesis focuses on the meaning of the word day. Many commentaries wade into that question first and soon bog down in a hermeneutical quagmire. First one's perspective on the chapter should be defined. Since no one is completely objective, it is not a question of whether we have an interpretive model but which one we are using. 

The comparative religion approach views Genesis 1 as the work of an unknown author long after Moses, and considers its creation account as being similar to the primitive stories in other Semitic religions. 
The concordist model assumes a harmony between the Genesis 1 and scientific accounts of creation, and seeks to demonstrate the Bible's scientific accuracy. 
The historical-cultural approach views the narrative as given by Moses to Israel in the wilderness, and tries to discover what the message meant then without any attempt to harmonize it with either past or present scientific theories.

Throughout the Old Testament the word "day" (yom) is used in a variety of ways. Usually meaning a "day" of the week, the word can also mean "time" (Gen. 4:3), a specific "period" or "era" (Is. 2:12; 4:2), or a "season" (Josh. 24:7). We have already noted the literary symmetry of eight creative words linked to six days, which occur in two parallel sets of three. The six days mark the development from a dark, formless, empty and lifeless earth to one that is lighted, shaped and filled with teeming varieties of life, culminating in the creation of man and woman. The author's purpose--teaching about God and his creation in order to counteract the pagan myths of neighboring countries--has become clear in our exposition of Genesis 1

Israel's God is the all-powerful Creator of heaven and earth. His world is orderly and consistent. Man and woman are the culmination of creation, made in the image of God, to enjoy and be responsible for their stewardship of the earth. The literary genre is a semi-poetic narrative cast in a historico-artistic framework consisting of two parallel triads. On this interpretation, it is no problem that the creation of the sun, necessary for an earth clothed with vegetation on the third day, should he linked with the fourth day. Instead of turning hermeneutical handsprings to explain that supposed difficulty, we simply note that in view of the author's purpose the question is irrelevant. The account does not follow the chronological sequence assumed by concordist views. The meaning of the word day must be determined (like any other word with several meanings) by the context and usage of the author. A plain reading of the text, with its recurring phrase of evening and morning, indicates a solar day of twenty-four hours. That would have been clear to Moses and his first readers. The context gives no connotation of an era or geological age. Creation is pictured in six familiar periods followed by a seventh for rest, corresponding to the days of the week as Israel knew them. But the question still remains whether the format is figurative or literal, that is, an analogy of God's creative activity or a chronological account of how many hours He worked. 

God is a spirit whom no one can see, whose thoughts and ways are higher than ours. So (apart from the Incarnation) we can know him only through analogy, "a partial similarity between like features of two things, on which a comparison may be based." In the Bible, the human person is the central model used to reveal God's relationship and actions in history. God is pictured as seeing, speaking and hearing like a person even though he doesn't have eyes, lips or ears. Those figures of speech (anthropomorphisms) assure us that God is at least personal and can be known in an intimate relationship. (Science also uses analogies; for example, a billiard-ball model in physics helps us understand the behavior of gas molecules which we cannot see.)

The human model appears throughout Genesis 1, The writer also links God's creative activity to six days, marked by evening and morning, and followed by a day of rest. In the light of the other analogies, why should it be considered necessary to take this part of the account literally, as if God actually worked for six days (or epochs) and then rested? Biblical interpretation should not suddenly change hermeneutical horses in the middle of the exegetical stream. 

A stringent literalism disregards the analogical medium of revelation about creation, raising meaningless questions about God's working schedule. For example, did he labor around the clock or intermittently on twelve-hour days? If God created light instantaneously, was the first day then mostly one of rest like the seventh? How will the plant and animal reproductive processes he constituted on succeeding days fit so neatly into that schedule? The fact that the text speaks of twenty-four-hour days does not require that they be considered the actual duration of God's creative activity. Even on a human level, when we report the significant achievements of someone in a position of power, the length of the working day is generally irrelevant. For example, a historian might write, "President Roosevelt decided to build the atomic bomb and President Truman ordered its use to destroy Hiroshima and Nagasaki to end the war with Japan. Two days radically changed the entire character of modern warfare." The exact details of how and when the commands were implemented over years or weeks are unimportant to the main concern of who and why, and what resulted.

Preoccupation with how long it took God to create the world, in days or epochs, deflects attention from the main point of Genesis 1. Such "scientific" concerns run interpretation onto a siding, away from the main track of God's revelation. Once we get past arguments over the length of the days, we can see the intended meaning of these days for Israel. First, their significance lies not in identity, a one-to-one correlation with God's creative activity, but in an analogy that provides a model for human work. The pattern of six plus one, work plus rest on the seventh day, highlights the sabbath. In doing so, it emphasizes the uniqueness of humanity. Made in the image of God, and given rule over the world, man and woman are the crown of creation. They rest from their labor on the sabbath, which is grounded in the creation (Gen. 2:2, Ex 20:11). 

Tthe fact that the day in Genesis 1 has its ordinary work-a-day meaning, and does not refer to an epoch of some kind, makes possible the metaphor of God's creative activity as a model for human work of six days followed by sabbath rest. Linking God's creative activity to days of the week serves as another element in the antipagan polemic. “By stretching the creation events over the course of a series of days the sharpest possible line has been drawn between this account and every form of mythical thinking. It is history that is here reported--once for all and of irrevocable finality in its results.”12 Genesis 1 contrasts sharply with the cyclical, recurring creations described by Israel's pagan neighbors.

Conservative concentration on implications for science misses its intended meaning.

Israel at Mount Sinai 
Genesis 1 achieves a radical and comprehensive affirmation of monotheism versus every kind of false religion (polytheism, idolatry, animism, pantheism and syncretism); superstition (astrology and magic); and philosophy (materialism, ethical dualism, naturalism and nihilism). That is a remarkable achievement for so short an account (about 900 words) written in everyday language and understood by people in a variety of cultures for more than three thousand years. Each day of creation aims at two kinds of gods in the pantheons of the time: gods of light and darkness; sky and sea; earth and vegetation; sun, moon and stars; creatures in sea and air; domestic and wild animals; and finally human rulers. Though no human beings are divine, all--from pharaohs to slaves--are made in the image of God and share in the commission to be stewards of the earth. For Israel those were life-and-death issues of daily existence. 

God's people do not need to know the how of creation, but they desperately need to know the Creator. 

Their God, who has brought them into covenant relationship with himself, is no less than the Creator and Controller of the world. He is not like the many pagan gods who must struggle for a period of time in their creative activity. He is stronger than all the powers that stand between his people and the Promised Land, the only One worthy of their worship and total commitment. Creation is the ground of Israel's hope for preservation as God's chosen people. For them, the doctrine of creation is not so much a cosmogony as a confession of faith repeatedly expressed in psalms and prophecies throughout the Old Testament.

Genesis 1 prepared the way for our age by its own program of demythologizing. By purging the cosmic order of all gods and goddesses, the Genesis creation account "de-divinized" nature. 

The universe has no divine regions or beings who need to be feared or placated. Israel's intensely monotheistic faith thoroughly demythologized the natural world, making way for a science that can probe and study every part of the universe without fearing either trespass or retribution. That does not mean that nature is secular and no longer sacred. It is still God's creation, declared to be good, preserved by his power and intended for his glory. The disappearance of mythical scenes and polytheistic intrigues clears the stage for the great drama of redemption and the new creation in Christ.

Before 1750 it was generally held that God created the world in six twenty-four-hour days, although some early church fathers like Augustine viewed them allegorically. Archbishop Ussher around 1650 even calculated the date of creation to be 4004 B.C. But as the science of geology matured in the 1800' s, many were shocked to discover that the earth was millions of years old. Since modern science had gained so much prestige, many interpreters strove to retain credibility for the Bible by attempting to demonstrate its scientific accuracy. Therefore, a variety of concordistic (harmonizing) views were proposed to correlate biblical teaching with current scientific theories. For example, "flood geology" attempted to account for fossil discoveries through the catastrophe of a universal flood. When new geological discoveries questioned that view, it was replaced by the "restitution" or "gap" theory popularized by a Scottish clergyman, Thomas Chalmers, in 1804. According to that view a catastrophe occurred between Genesis 1:1 and 1:2 to allow the necessary time for the geological formations to develop. Eventually it became necessary to assume a series of catastrophies or floods to account for newer scientific findings. Although such theories accounted for the time that science required, they could not explain the sequence of the geological record. The "day-age" interpretation considered the Genesis days to be metaphorical for geological ages. That view was advocated by influential North American geologists J. W. Dawson and James Dana as well as many theologians. The Genesis days were then correlated, more or less accurately, with the proposed epochs. Another version retained literal twenty-four-hour days of creative activity, but separated them by geological epochs. The above views, with varying degrees of credibility, have in common three major problems. First, they attempt to find answers to questions the text does not address, about the how or the mechanism of natural forces. (To see how inappropriate such an approach is, consider its opposite: suppose one tried to derive information about the meaning and purpose of life from a technical treatise on astronomy in which the author had no intention of revealing his philosophy.) 

The biblical accounts of creation do not provide scientific data or descriptions. 

John Calvin emphasized that point: "The Holy Spirit had no intention to teach astronomy.... He made use by Moses and the other prophets of the popular language that none might shelter himself under the pretext of obscurity." Adapting Calvin's principle to the present we can affirm, The Holy Spirit had no intention of teaching geology and biology.” Second, not only do the concordistic views strain Genesis by importing concepts foreign to the text, but any apparent success in harmonizing the message with "modern science" guarantees a failure when current scientific theory is revised or discarded. During the last two centuries, that pattern has been evident in the continual efforts of harmonizers to keep abreast of rapidly changing scientific views. The credibility of the Bible is not enhanced by thrusting it into the scramble of catch-up in a game it was never intended to play. What is the point of trying to correlate the ultimate truths of Scripture with the ever-changing theories of science? No wonder that when those theories go out of date, in the minds of many people the Bible joins them in gathering dust on the shelf. Third, any extent to which Genesis teaches modern scientific concepts would have made its message unintelligible to its first readers, and to most of the people who have lived during the last three thousand years. Even in our own century, what percent of the people understand the abstract language of science? And of those who do, how many use it in the communications of daily life with which the biblical writers are primarily concerned?

If one wishes to argue for deeper meanings and mysteries in scripture, they are certainly there. But they are not scientific in character. They are theological and spiritual 6

The literary framework hypothesis.
In this interpretation the 1st chapter is a poem that displays didactic parallelism. Thus the purpose is to give an allegorical message as to the philosophical differences with pantheism.
"Probably, so far as I know, there is no professor of Hebrew or Old Testament at any world-class university who does not believe that the writer(s) of Genesis 1–11 intended to convey to their readers the ideas that:
"creation took place in a series of six days which were the same as the days of 24 hours we now experience
the figures contained in the Genesis genealogies provided by simple addition a chronology from the beginning of the world up to later stages in the biblical story
Noah’s flood was understood to be world-wide and extinguish all human and animal life except for those in the ark."James Barr, Oriel Professor of the interpretation of the Holy Scripture, Oxford University, England, in a letter to David C.C. Watson, 23 April 1984

The Confessions of a Disappointed Young-Earther

·         In the Beginning... We Misunderstood: Interpreting Genesis 1 in Its Original Context
·         How to Read Genesis (How to Read Series) (How to Read Series How to Read)
·         Reading Genesis 1-2: An Evangelical Conversation
·         In the Beginning: The Opening Chapters of Genesis
·         The Meaning of Creation: Genesis and Modern Science


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Answers from a young earth perspective:

Why it is certain genesis teaches creationism literally

Is there convincing scientific and historical evidence that a literal interpretation of Genesis 1-11 is a factual record of historical events? a moderated internet debate

Why Genesis 1 is essential

(BHS) Biblical Historical Science links

The Gods of the Ancient Near East
So when skeptics try to dismiss the Biblical account because the ANE cultures did not think that way and try to interpret the Bible to fit ANE understanding, they have not fully researched the case. The Bible does not teach nor support the way of thinking of any of the ANE cultures. That is part of why the Law was written, so Israel would be separated from these ANE cultures. That is another reason why they were told to fully drive out the inhabitants of other nations, so the ANE cultures would not influence them. God was mad at Israel when they asked for a king, because they wanted to have a ruler that was not God, and they wanted to be like the other ANE cultures. Our God is not like the ANE gods. The culture he established was not like the ANE cultures. The history is not like the ANE myths. It all stands out to be separated from the rest so with any honest investigation, no confusion could be made between our God and his Word and with any of the other legends.

David Hitzfelder  Exactly what sense does would it make for God to replace the myths of pagan religions with another myth???


Claim: " I dont see what is untrue in Genesis 1 if not taken literally ". The claim that God created in six real normal days, and then rested.

then: " science teaches the earth is not 6000 years! "

So the whole exercise and gymnastics to remove Genesis from a literal historical context, and send it to orbit of " allegory" and " myth ', and that Genesis just teaches spiritual truth, is, because Science first. - Not !!

I put my faith in the word and author of the universe FIRST, might science adapt to it !! If science disagrees, scientists are not doing their job and science up to the task. Once they are in accordance with a literal Genesis, i buy their account !!

So - am overall not convinced that your view is sound. Namely that the only goal by God of the Genesis account was to teach theological and spiritual truth, but not astronomy, biology, and geology, and that  Genesis is just a " myth", or allegorical, and the days are not " real " normal days. If that were so, we are granted to believe anything on the matter, left alone by God of pursuing an understanding of who we are, where we came from, and how. Fundamental questions, which only the author of the universe and life can answer with absolute certainty and truthfulness would remain unanswered.

Why would he not have told us real facts, but an allegorical "myth"? One more besides the ones already extant amongst the surrounding ANE people? Just not to make its message unintelligible to its first readers? Why would they not have had the intellectual ability to understand any account, just not in scientific terms? Seem not to be a good reason to me.

Furthermore, that opens a wormhole of any kind of interpretation, assertions,  and diverging understandings of origins. Exodus 20.11 reaffirms literal 6 days. According to Jesus, Adam and Eve were historical figures, the first human beings made adult, at the sixth day of creation.

It matters little what may be the literal meaning of the word translated "firmament." Although regarded generally among the Jews as signifying a solid firmament, it is far from certain that Moses, who was versed in all Egyptian learning, so considered it.

If the Jews up to a certain time had a poor or false understanding of the shape of the earth, the Bible cannot be blamed, nor did that any harm to them. As God wanted a progression of revelation of spiritual truth, he intended that it would also be so in terms of scientific inquiry and understanding. He handed it over to us to discover his amazing creation in a gradual manner.

i am coming out more convinced and motivated to hold to the view, that the Bible teaches a literal six day creation, a few thousand years back.


The Book of Genesis Dr. Arnold G. Fruchtenbaum, page 73 

One more point needs to be discussed before dealing with the actual six days of creation relative to the Hebrew word for “day,” which is yom. People who want to fit Genesis 1 into evolutionary and geological theories try to claim that the word yom does not have to mean twenty-four hours but could mean a longer period of time, even millions of years. Now it is true that when the word yom is used by itself it could mean a longer period of time (though no example exists where it means millions of years). For example, the Day of Jehovah is a period of seven years. However, whenever the word is used with a number or numeral, it always means twenty-four hours. Throughout Genesis 1, each time the word day is found; it is used with a numeral: day one, day two, etc. This alone shows that the days of Genesis are twenty-four hour days. However, there is more: Not only is the word day followed by a numeral, it is also followed by the phrase evening and morning, and this phrase again limits it to twenty-four hours. Furthermore, the Sabbath law, as given to Israel in the Law of Moses, is based upon the six days of creation and the seventh day of rest. These laws would become meaningless if these were not twenty-four hour days. Finally, with the fourth day, there is the mention of days, years, signs, and seasons, showing that already within Genesis 1 there is the normal system of time in operation. These terms also would become meaningless if these were not normal twenty-four hour days. By itself, Genesis 1:2 says nothing insofar as it being an old earth or a young earth, and the evidence for one or the other must be based on arguments outside this verse. However, the six days of creation were literal twenty-four hour days.


Faulkner, Universe by design, page 104
Another approach to the creation account that is gaining ground in conservative circles is sometimes called the framework hypothesis. Noting the subtle poetic aspects of the creation account, proponents of this idea argue that the creation account is primarily poetry. This theory is fraught with problems as well. First, this is a very new idea. With no real precedent in church history, one must question its legitimacy. As with the day-age theory, it is doubtful that anyone would think of this interpretation without the scientific pronouncements of origins. Another problem is the question of where does poetry end and the history begin? Were Noah and Abraham real people? Was the Tower of Babel a real event? If Noah was fictional but Abraham was real, where are the contextual reasons for such a claim? Most proponents of the framework hypothesis doubt the historicity of Adam and Noah. If this is true, then what are we to make of numerous New Testament references to both men, such as the words of Jesus in Matthew 24:38, Paul in 1 Corinthians 15, or Peter in 2 Peter 3? The framework hypothesis overlooks the possibility that the creation account is history told with flair. It can be both poetry and history. Exodus 20:11 is even a larger problem with the framework hypothesis than with the day-age theory. If the six days of creation is merely a poetic device, then how could the Lord hold His people accountable to the very literal demands of the Sabbath and six-day workweek? If the model was poetry, could not the ancient Hebrews have interpreted at least this one commandment as poetry as well?

Those who accept the big bang and make it part of their Christian apologetics are guilty of interpreting the Bible in terms of current science. This is a very dangerous precedent. However this sort of attitude is not new. For instance, the translators of the Greek Septuagint (LXX) rendered the  word raqia as stereoma, which Jerome followed as firmamentum in the Latin Vulgate, which in the AV (authorized, or King James Version) was transliterated as firmament. This is a terrible translation, and many modern translations break from this to render raqia as expanse. The word stereoma conveys the meaning of something hard, such as the crystalline spheres of ancient Greek cosmology upon which the stars were implanted. Thus, the translators of the LXX incorporated the current cosmology of their day into their translation. This is very similar to those who wed the big bang to the Genesis creation account today. Other examples of reading current science into the Bible include secular chronologies of history that have caused some Christians to reinterpret biblical chronologies to fit. These attempts include a late date for the Exodus around 1200 b.c., about two centuries later than biblical chronologies will allow. Today there are other pressures bearing on biblical interpretations as well. Very questionable (but politically correct) studies have suggested that homosexuality is innate, that is, homosexuals have no choice in the matter. This does not square with the biblical injunctions against homosexuality. Unfortunately there are those who wish to reinterpret the Bible in the light of all new findings or latest fads of science, all the while claiming that this is what the Bible taught all along. It is imperative that Bible-believing Christians take a right approach to the Bible and science. The Bible is either true or it is not. If it is true, then it is always true. On the other hand science is a very changeable thing. Most theories from a century ago have been replaced or heavily modified. It is very arrogant to think that only now have we really discovered the truth of physical reality. It is tempting to wed the Bible to our current understanding of the natural world, but that would be interpreting the perfect and unchangeable in light of the imperfect and changeable. Why would any Christian want to do that?


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The Bible Teaches That the Heavens Were a Solid Dome, Embedded with Stars ?

Genesis 1:8 says that God Himself defines what the raqia is, saying "God called the expanse heaven." So, the so-called firmament is nothing more than heaven itself and does not comprise a separate structure. This fact is further emphasized in Genesis 1:20, where God says, "... let birds fly above the earth in the open expanse of the heavens."10 Obviously, birds cannot fly through a solid structure, clearly indicating that raqia is not a solid object.

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3 The Book of Jubilee on Tue 8 May 2018 - 1:33


The Book of Jubilee

The Chinese Han that has an accurate account of Genesis in their culture ( if you have not watched yet this youtube video:  watch it, its well worth it, mention details, that are not contained in Genesis, the books of Moses, but the Book of Jubilee. It strengthens in my view quite a bit more a literal interpretation of Genesis, as historical facts, not allegorically, or a myth.  

Wike writes about it:

Jubilees cover much of the same ground as Genesis, but often with additional detail, and addressing Moses in the second person as the entire history of creation, and of Israel up to that point, is recounted in divisions of 49 years each, or "Jubilees". The elapsed time from the creation, up to Moses receiving the scriptures upon Sinai during the Exodus, is calculated as fifty Jubilees, less the 40 years still to be spent wandering in the desert before entering Canaan – or 2,410 years.

Four classes of angels are mentioned: angels of the presence, angels of sanctifications, guardian angels over individuals, and angels presiding over the phenomena of nature. Enoch was the first man initiated by the angels in the art of writing, and wrote down, accordingly, all the secrets of astronomy, of chronology, and of the world's epochs

Jubilees make an incestuous reference regarding the son of Adam and Eve, Cain, and his wife. In chapter iv (1–12) (Cain and Abel), it mentions that Cain took his sister Awan to be his wife and Enoch was their child. It also mentions that Seth (the third son of Adam and Eve) married his sister Azura

According to this book, Hebrew is the language of Heaven, and was originally spoken by all creatures in the Garden, animals and man; however, the animals lost their power of speech when Adam and Eve were expelled. Following the Deluge, the earth was apportioned into three divisions for the three sons of Noah, and his sixteen grandsons. After the destruction of the Tower of Babel, their families were scattered to their respective allotments, and Hebrew was forgotten, until Abraham was taught it by the angels.

The Book of Jubilees, or the Little Genesis, is mentioned by name continually in the writings of the early Fathers, and by a succession of authors reaching to Theodorus Metochita (A.D.1332). Allusions to information contained therein, without actual naming of the origin of the statements, are very numerous, particularly in the Byzantine chroniclers, so that the work was well and widely known up to the middle of the fourteenth century; but from that time the original has been entirely lost. For four hundred years nothing but a few scattered fragments was known to exist.

As additions to the inspired account may be mentioned such particulars as these: Adam took five days to name all the animals which came unto him, and having seen them all, found none like himself, which could be a helpmate for him (chap. iii.); as soon as Eve had eaten of the fruit, she was ashamed, and made herself a garment of fig leaves; Adam was seven years in the garden of Eden, where he guarded the ground from birds and beasts, collected and stored the fruits, "dressed and kept it;" in the days of Jared the angels came down to earth to teach men righteousness (chap. iv.); Adam was the first who was buried in the earth; Cain met with his death by the fall of his house, a just retribution, that he who had slain his brother with a stone should himself be killed by a stone; the three sons of Noah built three towns on Mount Lubar, the part of Ararat on which the ark grounded, and where Noah was afterwards buried (chap. vii.). To these may be added the prolix account of Noah's distribution of the earth among his sons, and the curse laid on either who sought to take any portion which had not fallen to his share (chap. ix.); the statement about the position of the Tower of Babel, that it stood between the territory of Assyria and Babylon in the land of Shinar, and that the asphalt used in its construction was brought from the sea and the springs in Shinar;

You can download the book here, for free:

It begins on page 96.

Last edited by Admin on Mon 16 Jul 2018 - 1:11; edited 1 time in total

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4 Answer to WLC on Mon 16 Jul 2018 - 1:10


Answer to WLC

" The question of the historical Adam is a multi-faceted problem "
It is a problem for whom questions the historicity of the Genesis account of origins. It was a non-issue for Jesus and Paul.

" Vital to this question is understanding exactly what the Bible requires us to believe about the historical Adam. the contribution of Old Testament and New Testament scholars is absolutely vital ".
Why are we not simply to believe their historicity and trust what principally Christ said?

" For example, one of the Old Testament scholars discussed the genre of literature represented by Genesis 1-11. "
I have discussed this topic exhaustively at my FB timeline, and as a result, concluded:

Is the Genesis account of literal 6 days just a myth ?

Why would God not have revealed and told us real facts, but an allegorical "myth"? One more besides the ones already extant amongst the surrounding Ancient Near Eastern people? Just to make its message intelligible to its first readers? Why would they not have had the intellectual ability to understand a narrative of real facts and events, just not in scientific terms?  Furthermore, that opens a wormhole of any kind of interpretation, assertions,  and diverging understandings of origins. Exodus 20.11 reaffirms literal 6 days. According to Jesus, Adam and Eve were historical figures, the first human beings made adult, on the sixth day of creation.

" The doctrine of the imputation of Adam’s sin to us is not one that is clearly attested biblically. "

Psalm 58:3 King James Version (KJV)
3 The wicked are estranged from the womb: they go astray as soon as they be born, speaking lies.
The idea that we all inherited Adam’s sin in some sense is necessary, because it means that all humans have the same problem—and that Jesus is equally the Saviour of all people. In fact, “The doctrine of original sin directly affects what it means to say that Jesus is Savior” (p. 223). If the Fall was not a historical event that corrupted the human race, Jesus becomes more like an example or a teacher, not a Saviour in the sense of reversing the Curse.

" the central theological issue raised by the historical Adam will be, not original sin or the Fall, but rather biblical inspiration and authority. Can we in a scientific age trust what the Bible teaches? "
Agreed, that is a contemporary issue: What is more trustworthy: The Bible, or secular science claims? After studying the issue, my conclusion is, Genesis is best interpreted by a literal six-day creation. Are we going to re-interpret it in order to fit to what science says, or shall we trust God and his word, and put it first? Hard issues which have made the belief of a young earth, like the starlight problem, are being solved:

The starlight distance - a problem for a young universe interpretation ?

The book of Jubilee also strenghtens the view of a literal interpretation:

Jubilees make an incestuous reference regarding the son of Adam and Eve, Cain, and his wife. In chapter iv (1–12) (Cain and Abel), it mentions that Cain took his sister Awan to be his wife and Enoch was their child. It also mentions that Seth (the third son of Adam and Eve) married his sister Azura

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