Can anyone disprove my understanding of a literal Genesis?

Okay. I challenge that the earth and all plant and animal life as we know it came to be in six calendar days. This is demonstrably false given the piles of evidence that say otherwise in every major field of science including astrophysics, biology, geology, and cosmology. But I’m not going prove it to you. If you care to learn about it, there are bazillions of resources out there. Creation science isn’t science.

“If …then the Bible can’t be accepted as fact.” That’s a false choice. Some people here would say they believe in inerrancy, others wouldn’t. You can accept inerrancy and still claim the Bible doesn’t teach science.

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There’s a multitude of good reasons for that, both scriptural and scientific.

Your are to be commended for inviting a challenge to your understanding of the Genesis account - an all-too-rare acknowledgment that there may be a difference between scriptures themselves, and your understanding of them. It is indeed your understanding of scripture that many here deem not only fallible, but fallen, in terms of truth and accuracy. And we (I include myself) see ourselves as not challenging scriptures so much as challenging you. But (perhaps the occasional sarcastic edge aside - I hope we can graciously absorb any such prophetic sharpness at least as much as it may get dished out here) we should nonetheless rise above mockery. Feel free to hold us to this. The pursuit of truth that you and so many of us should celebrate as a common goal is a high calling, and I think the Lord expects no lesser ambition of us, sinful creatures as we are.

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Can anyone disprove that the universe was created this morning?

Very little can be disproven. So more people are interested in what is reasonable to believe, consistent with all evidence. It is more meaningful to live according to an understanding which takes all our memories and the evidence seriously.

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We all know it was created last Thursday. :wink:

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It does bring up the interesting question of why did God take 6 days to create all creation then stop to rest?
Is he not all powerful? The question becomes not why so short a time but rather why so long? I have heard it said Augustine held all was created instantly, but spread out for illustrative purposes.

Regarding inerrancy, I am not sure what you are looking for, but there is a wide variety of views here on that subject, as there are in Christianity in general. There are a few threads on the forum on that subject. A lot depends on how it is defined.

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Reb:

Welcome to the forum. I strongly believe in a literal interpretation of the Bible. After years of study, I arrived at the following logic associated with Genesis. All scripture must be interpreted in the content of all scripture, nothing can be interpreted on its own.

First in terms of the number of days, it is true that the Hebrew word “yom” can refer to short or long periods of time. The terms “in that day” or the “day of the Lord” refer to long periods of time. However, every time the word “yom” is used with an ordinal number, it refers to a short period of time. I believe that creation was revealed to an individual (either Moses or kept alive via oral tradition until codified by Moses) over a 7 day period, similar to The Revelation was revealed to John. It is amazing to me that creation begins with “Let there be light” and this was documented thousand of years ago, when for a long time after the Big Bang, all matter was in the form of subatomic particles and all energy was in the form of protons. The individual to which creation was revealed had to put creation in the terms they knew, which explains some similarities between this creation account and Ancient Near East creation myth.
With regard to the creation of Adam and the Garden, there are clear discrepancies in the creation sequence. Note that no sea life was created in the Garden account. In the Garden account, the sun, moon stars and the earth have already been created. It is clear to me from scripture (writing of Paul) that through one man all have spiritual death and through on man all have spiritual life, so as Jesus was a real man, so too would Adam have been a real man. I don’t see how you can argue that Adam was made directly by God because of the very plain text in Genesis and in Luke, Adam is referred to as the “son of God”.

There is a clear pattern in the genealogies in the Old Testament, the line or lines leading to the Messiah are always given after the line or lines not leading to the Messiah with one exception, Adam. The first creation account closes with the phase “These are the generations of the heavens and the earth” using the same Hebrew word for generations as in many of the genealogies. I believe the first creation account describes the line not leading to the Messiah, and the Garden account shows the start of the line leading to the Messiah.

With Genesis 1 and 2 being sequential, there is no conflict with evolution.

I agree with all of this. It would seem that Adam was created on day 6 with a group of humans both male and female though. It does not seem like he was a descendant of humans that came first. There had to be some time between day 6 of creation and the advent of the Garden. It does not seem that God would rush things, but neither would he have to wait billions of years. God does not wait though. Creation being good and mature, not needing long periods of time. In Hebrew theology though, they thought God did have to keep making and destroying life on earth. That is not in the Bible though. Human interpretation then, just seems similiar to now. They did have secular friends and enemies, whose purpose in life was to explain the natural world around them.

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I’m sorry, I won’t be able to continue until Saturday afternoon. I’m in hospice with IPF and have a weird schedule of days when the meds have up and alert. I hate it when someone stops answering without an explanation, but while I’ve started a response, I simply ran out of time… and I also got caught in the guilty pleased of listening to one of my favorite books, “Have Spacesuit will Travel” on Audible. I’ll be back Saturday evening.

I’m sorry to hear that! And now I would soften my words from before - even if disagreement persists. Take whatever time you need to get to replies. And enjoy that book!

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As an aside, I’m having some difficulty understanding how this forum works. Until I get it figured out I’ll start my post with a reference to the post I’m responding.

In this case Mervin

I do appreciate honest discussion, I have no problem with any attack on my arguments or positions. I will not attack anyone personally, and I won’t respond to personal attacks. It’s the difference between “your idea is as nutty as an old fashioned fruit cake (regrettably the last ones of those I got was lacking in nuts) and “you are nuts” a tiny difference but I think important.

Of course I recognize that my explanation of the creation story is based on my understanding of scripture. However, it on the vein of those who who try to harmonize Genesis with what science has discovered. For example some have said, “a day for God could be a billion of our years.” I believe I seen valid arguments based on science against that and every other explanation I’ve encountered. I’m certainly not asking anyone to accept my explanation, what I would like see is why, based on everything we’ve learned through science, my explanation is flawed. I fully understand that each Christian has an made an accommodation with the creation story. Personally I think it takes more faith to believe in random chance than intelligent design, but again that isn’t part of my brief. If I’m correct, my explanation would stand equal to the “Big Bang” or any other theory.

Again I apologize that I may not get to all the post until Monday. I was a bit worn out by attending a wonderful service for a very dear friend, a 96 year old WWII vet. One of the greatest of that generation. If you’re inclined I would ask prayers for Col Dan Henshaw’s family.

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Actually I have it on great authority that the universe was created sometime on December 5, 1948. The mechanics of that creation remain a great mystery since also dead certain that I’ve never been able to visualize that couple engaging in… never mind, even the thought is bothersome.

I am so-inclined. Thanks for sharing, and consider those prayers lifted up.

While I maintain a position that involves recognition of the difference between what scripture affirms, and what you or I understand it to affirm, I again would soften (even deny) any implication found in my words that suggest I think you are wrong about everything! (or that I am right about everything). It sounds like we agree on this and are both doing the best we can to stand behind our opinions, or change them as necessary. One way in which my opinion has changed is that I too (with you) now cast a suspicious eye at the “1 day can equal gazillions of years” formula. And it isn’t science so much that ignites my suspicions (though it may have had a hand in when I first gave those formulas some initial credence). But now from my exposure here to people smarter than I am about scriptures and understanding them and their context rightly, I’m now with you that a day means a day. Because that is what it would have meant in their cultures and times. Yes, I also believe that the earth is older than 4 billion years too - I just don’t try to force room for that concept into a text where it doesn’t belong and would not have been received or understood. So we perhaps still disagree there. And that is fine; I’m not here (I hope none of us are here) to unsettle your faith as you’ve received it. If you have Christ as the cornerstone of your foundation, then we are children of God together, faults, wrong opinions and all.

If there are any specific questions you have about the mechanics of working this forum, feel free to ask.

[added edit; you can edit your own past posts by clicking the pencil icon at the bottom of said post. As I did just now to this post to add some clarification above.]

To quote and tag another’s post, simply select the text you want to import and hit the gray quote button that appears. To direct your reply to a particular user type @ and then the user name and select it from the dropdown menu that appears. This sends a notification to them that you have interacted with them.

It is called arbitrariness. The world and those in the church is rife in it. If you apply a non-literal interpretation (not to be confused with wooden literal-ism) to Genesis, then that should apply to ALL of scripture as well. But Christians reveal their inconsistency when scriptural interpretation collides with their presuppositions.

They can believe what they want, but one thing is clear, is that they are inconsistent when interpreting scripture.

Mr Panub, thanks for your thoughts. How do you interact with someone from another faith and holy book tradition who claims presupposition with regard to science? Do you use science to disagree? What do you say if they would protest that science is fallible? Thanks.

Please explain how you reach this conclusion. The Bible has many genres, and many literary devices are used to communicate truth. Even if you accept a literal interpretation of Genesis, must you then accept all scripture as literal? Is Genesis the one book that dictates how you must read all others? Perhaps you are just saying, “If Genesis isn’t literal, then nothing is literal.” ??? Explain please.

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Yes. The Hebrew word “yom” usually translated as “day” in English translations of the Bible (especially the first chapter of Genesis) is actually a very general term for a “period of time”. (As when, for example, we use phrases like “back in the day” or “in that day and age”. If you read Genesis this way, instead of getting the creation of the world in seven 24-hour days, you get a more sensible (to my mind) creation of the universe in seven “ages” (including geological ages for the development of life, etc.) And, in any case, the Hebrew scriptures were never intended to be read literally this way anyway. Much of it is a symbolic narrative whose real meaning lies beneath the literal surface. And the Bible certainly was never intended to be a science textbook…

I know this is a popular contention on certain old earth websites, but it isn’t really backed up by linguistics. Hebrew scholars pretty much agree that in Genesis 1, yom means day, the normal kind. It’s a different construction when it is used idiomatically. See John H. Walton, The Lost World of Genesis One (Downers Grove: InterVarsity Press, 2009), 90-91.

Decisions about whether or not a passage should be interpreted figuratively are discourse level decisions and do not come down the semantics of individual words.

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I wasn’t basing my interpretation of Genesis on that single word. Merely using It to support the more basic point that Genesis is a symbolic not a literal narrative. This view is also supported by reams of objective Biblical scholarship and interpretation. (As opposed, for example, to Bible-thumping fundie preachers.) You’re arguing that’s it’s supposed to be read as a science textbook? The science of the Earth’s and the universe’s evolution over billions of years is a recent development during the past couple of centuries. It’s completely ridiculous to interpret writings millennia old as having any bearing at all on these relatively recent discoveries.

No, not at all. I think it is a figurative text, I just think that the argument that we know it is a figurative text because of the meaning of the word day is very flawed. It’s a figurative text even if ‘day’ means a normal day.

“Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone.” -Colossians 4:6

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