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Author Topic:   Genesis: is it to be taken literally?
Proboscis
Inactive Member


Message 1 of 301 (106357)
05-07-2004 4:23 PM


Hey I was wondering what all you thought about Genesis, especially those who are Christians. I just thought I'd toss that out there. To the Christians in here, Do you take Genesis literally, or do you think it is figurative? If you think it is symbolic, how do you know what is symbolic and what isn't?

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AdminNosy
Administrator
Posts: 4754
From: Vancouver, BC, Canada
Joined: 11-11-2003


Message 2 of 301 (106362)
05-07-2004 4:38 PM


Thread moved here from the Proposed New Topics forum.

Brian
Member (Idle past 4445 days)
Posts: 4659
From: Scotland
Joined: 10-22-2002


Message 3 of 301 (106383)
05-07-2004 5:21 PM
Reply to: Message 1 by Proboscis
05-07-2004 4:23 PM


Care to be more specific?
Hi,
Could you clarify what you mean by your topic title?
Do you mean the entire Book of Genesis or only parts of it, if only parts then what part(s)?
I am guessing that you mean the two creation myths, but I could be wrong, so what exactly is it that you wish to discuss?
Cheers.
Brian.

This message is a reply to:
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Replies to this message:
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jar
Member
Posts: 33957
From: Texas!!
Joined: 04-20-2004


Message 4 of 301 (106397)
05-07-2004 5:45 PM
Reply to: Message 1 by Proboscis
05-07-2004 4:23 PM


IMHO there is very little in the Bible ...
that should be taken literally.
In fact, a literal interpretation of the Bible seems to go against everything in how Jesus and the others seemed to teach. If you look, time after time, Jesus uses Parable to teach a message. When he talks about the Faithful Servant (Luke 12:35-40) it doesn't really matter if the story is true or if he just made it up. The point is what can be learned from the story.
Genesis is the same. It is an attempt to explain a world view as well as possible, with the observations available at the time and in terms and language that could be understood by the audience at the time.
Please remember, almost any theory or deduction that works is worthwhile. As an example, the Ptolemaic view of the Universe was a great theory. For over a thousand years it explained the observations, and it was useful in making predictions that were later verified.
It was only when new data was gathered that necessary to toss the Ptolemaic System out and substitute the Copernican view.
Euclidian Geometry is another example. It works great for day to day stuff, but fails when applied to very large scale. For that, you need Non-Euclidian Geometry.
So the stories in Genesis were fine at the time they were developed. But as more knowledge is gained, they need to be placed aside, not forgotten, but superceeded.

Aslan is not a Tame Lion

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Cold Foreign Object 
Suspended Member (Idle past 2534 days)
Posts: 3417
Joined: 11-21-2003


Message 5 of 301 (106417)
05-07-2004 6:37 PM
Reply to: Message 1 by Proboscis
05-07-2004 4:23 PM


Literalism is the invented slur intended to eviscerate Genesis of meaning. This was done, in part, as a reaction to the nonsense of YEC. Let me ask rhetorically: Since when does Genesis not mean what it says or say what it means ? What basis is there, from Genesis, or anywhere in the Bible to conclude that it doesn't mean what it says ? There isn't any, it just that certains do not like what it says so they change it or the way it should be understood.
Genesis means what it says and says what it means UNLESS there is symbolism, typology, analogy, or parable being clearly employed.

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Buzsaw
Inactive Member


Message 6 of 301 (106471)
05-07-2004 9:08 PM


I take it literally and it does not say that the earth, sun, moon and stars nor the rest of the universe was created some 6000 years ago. Genesis 1:1 simply states that when the heavens and the earth were created, God did it. It goes on from there to state how God via the Holy Spirit organized the earth, created the sun, moon and an undetermined number of "stars." On days five and six he creates man and the other creatures. Not until day five does the Biblical account require a 24 hour day if taken absolutely literally as I do.
I believe everything from day five on is about 6000 years old. Everything on the first four days have an undetermined age which only God knows.

Replies to this message:
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Darwin Storm
Inactive Member


Message 7 of 301 (106473)
05-07-2004 9:20 PM
Reply to: Message 6 by Buzsaw
05-07-2004 9:08 PM


Buzsaw, as personal belief, there is nothing wrong with your viewpoint. However, isn't it contradictory to use the term day to mean two differnt things in Genesis 1, even though there is no reason to do so other than personal interpretation? It seems to indicate that your viewpoint isn't truly "literal", and that you have no problem at least intreprating some of the of the bible to match other personal viewpoints.

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Cold Foreign Object 
Suspended Member (Idle past 2534 days)
Posts: 3417
Joined: 11-21-2003


Message 8 of 301 (106485)
05-07-2004 9:56 PM
Reply to: Message 6 by Buzsaw
05-07-2004 9:08 PM


Buz, there are eons and eons of time between 1:1 and 1:2.
1:2 : "and the Earth became a waste and a desolation"
I believe Lucifer and his crowd caused much of the waste.
Point being, YEC is nonsense.

This message is a reply to:
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Mission for Truth
Inactive Member


Message 9 of 301 (106487)
05-07-2004 10:01 PM


say again?
quote:
Buz, there are eons and eons of time between 1:1 and 1:2.
1:2 : "and the Earth became a waste and a desolation"
Where is this exactly?

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mike the wiz
Member
Posts: 4721
From: u.k
Joined: 05-24-2003


Message 10 of 301 (106488)
05-07-2004 10:04 PM
Reply to: Message 7 by Darwin Storm
05-07-2004 9:20 PM


In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth.
You see, that's all it says. It doesn't actually say what amount of time that took. I think Buzsaw is simply using "day" as for when it is apropriate to use it as 24 hours. Since there was no sun untill day 4 (I think) - God's "days" are infact unknowable.
YEC's usually say that you can't use the scripture, "A day to the Lord is as a thousand years, and a thousand years as a day" (similar words) - because "yom" means 24 hours. I disagree that that is of any major importance, because the sun wasn't actually there one the first day.
BUT, what this means is that God is not under "time". Therefore, his day could also be the same as a million years - or a billion. Also - how long did the earth and heavens stand there? - it doesn't say. It does say he divided the light from the darkness and called the light "day" and the darkness "night". But maybe the "first day" is the first day of God's work, not the first day of the heaven and earth being complete. Because day is only relevant to God's day - as the sun was not made yet and so our days were not in existence. I think I probably agree with Buzsaw. You see, I am not certain about how "literal" to take it - but I think the 6 thousand years idea is relatively new - and the Genesis account has been around a lot longer than the recent "must be 6000 years" idea..

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Replies to this message:
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jar
Member
Posts: 33957
From: Texas!!
Joined: 04-20-2004


Message 11 of 301 (106492)
05-07-2004 10:08 PM
Reply to: Message 10 by mike the wiz
05-07-2004 10:04 PM


Well, the sun was certainly there before the earth. And 8 minutes after the sun first turned on, the light was at the orbit of the earth.

Aslan is not a Tame Lion

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Replies to this message:
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mike the wiz
Member
Posts: 4721
From: u.k
Joined: 05-24-2003


Message 12 of 301 (106494)
05-07-2004 10:12 PM
Reply to: Message 11 by jar
05-07-2004 10:08 PM


Not in Genesis.

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Cold Foreign Object 
Suspended Member (Idle past 2534 days)
Posts: 3417
Joined: 11-21-2003


Message 13 of 301 (106495)
05-07-2004 10:13 PM
Reply to: Message 9 by Mission for Truth
05-07-2004 10:01 PM


Re: say again?
Sorry, the 1:2 quote is the literal hebrew reading for that verse according to Dr. Gene Scott Ph.D. Stanford University

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jar
Member
Posts: 33957
From: Texas!!
Joined: 04-20-2004


Message 14 of 301 (106496)
05-07-2004 10:14 PM
Reply to: Message 12 by mike the wiz
05-07-2004 10:12 PM


Reason one that it cannot be taken literally.
What came next?

Aslan is not a Tame Lion

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almeyda
Inactive Member


Message 15 of 301 (106508)
05-08-2004 12:28 AM


...
I take Genesis literally. 7-24hr days. Earth only 6-10,000yrs old.

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