Genesis 1:14 - what does it indicate?

The Lord God set the sun, moon, and stars within the firmament.
In other words, the entire visible universe was closer to the surface of the earth than tomorrow’s ordained rainfall. Yet Creation, as we enjoy its breadth and depth today, and it does not lie, reveals Planet Earth as a sphere rotating on a skewed axis rushing through vast emptiness to get all the way around the nearest star once a year, dragging our moon along with it.
Conclusion - Genesis is theology.
Corollary - obsessing of the trappings of STORY that deliver profound self-revelation of the Lord God is flawed in several ways:
(1) It hides the glory of GOD’s Creation.
(2) It distracts those reading the Word from its meaning, i.e. its theology.
(3) It offends the sensibilities of those who might find their way to Christ, by the conflicts it accepts as “not in conflict with God’s Truth.”
(4) It strides up to the Word of the Lord God and demands that the Word support a literal reading, when such is plainly not the case.
(5) It sets pious students of the Word of the Lord God on a collision course with fact.

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I’m trying to follow you here. Are you saying that because the entire visible universe wasn’t literally right above the surface of the Earth and that’s what the text of Genesis seems to literally say, the text is therefore a theological statement and doesn’t necessarily have to do with a material or scientific creation?

I agree. I don’t think it’s making scientific statements either but is using myth to make theological ones.

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Yes - Genesis is not fact. It is story, and it delivers divine, perfect, holy theology in story form.
Going deeper, we have prior pagan notions of heavens and earth that featured a hard dome, within which lights crossed the sky. Earth was flat and motionless. Waters underlay the whole; Earth stood on pillars that supported it above the waters of the deep.
Modern clarity into Creation points out that God’s ways are utterly beyond human reckoning; we know what Creation is, but haven’t the smallest clue as to the sentient uncaused first cause, which we know as the Lord God, and what could unfold to us the manner of the perfect design of a universe capable of produce First Life.
Story was, and still is, a common method of conveying complex ideas by using commonplace tokens. Adam, Eve, etc. up to and including the Tower of Babel are story. They provide a structure we can use to "understand what is. Genesis provides context - an intentional, almighty, and holy God who caused us to exist. The Genesis stories convey that idea and do so in a matter that was consistent with the “rules on the ground” at the time the Spirit communicated it (orally) to Abram’s tribe.

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it is really unfortunate when individuals and organisations attempt to use very poor understanding of scripture to discount the creation narrative.

Firmament does not mean our atmosphere in this context. If you look at other translations (such as ESV) the term used is “expanse of the heavens”. The Vulgate describes it as the "firmament of the Heavens…clearly this is not referring to our atmosphere!

I have said this before on these forums…however its a consistent ignorance on purpose by evolutionists…God spoke with Moses face to face…do you honestly believe that in that scenario God would tell Moses porkies? Absolutely not.

Either believe that a man who spoke with God directly has relayed to us exactly what God told him, or give up on there even being a God!

Finally, print out a copty of the 4th commandment, and stick it to the back of your toilet door.

11 For in six days the LORD made the heavens and the earth and the sea and all that is in them, but on the seventh day He rested. Therefore the LORD blessed the Sabbath day and set it apart as holy.

That should remind you each day why the 4th commandment is so important to salvation…especially when read alongside Revelation 14:12

“12Here is a call for the perseverance of the saints who keep the commandments of God and the faith of Jesus”
Revelation 14 BSB

There are two creation narratives in Genesis. Which one do you believe?

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The difficulty in “understanding” is whether or not our choice to read Genesis as fact passes the test.
It fails.
Genesis uses story to convey the self-revelation of the Lord God.
Interposing “discount the creation narrative” as somehow connected to understanding the real Creation is also a choice. Proper understanding of the theology in that wonderful Book requires one to discount the clothing on the actors and the furniture on stage, then listen to wisdom greater than Shakespeare’s.
Here is theology shining through: And the Lord God said, “Let there be light.”
Here is theology shining through: The Lord God looked upon it, and it was good.
Creation is good in ways incomprehensible to someone who insists that the materials on the stage are divine - the truly divine content gets lost.
Here we have a proudly authoritarian voice shaming those who observe the awe and mystery of an ancient Creation, using “evolutionist” as a cubby-hole pejorative. It would be equal to use the term “factist” because evolution is fact
Pretending that Genesis is fact flies in the face of the waters of the Flood lying above “the expanse” while the visible universe passes within that same expanse. Then to wave the 4th commandment as a breastplate of righteous armor merely condemns the waver of it.
“Consistent ignorance” thrown as an epithet works here as a suppressed confession.

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Good reference. Doubtless the individual has a handwave for that one.

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Genesis places the waters of the Flood above the “expanse” a.k.a. firmament. It was rigid, thus to support the vast waters of the Flood, while the visible universe passed across the sky within it.

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  • Genesis 1:14 - what does it indicate?
  • That you’re reading the beginning of the Hebrew Bible?

Not just Hebrew Torah but also Christian Bible. Chapter 1 verses 14-16 show that God placed the lights crossing the sky “in the firmament” and the waters of the Flood above it.
This era has been grooming itself as fact-based, beginning 250 years ago with the birth of scientific inquiry. People today converse in facts first, and significance only as a consequence of all the facts.
Genesis literalists operate on the same facts-first basis, but begin with Genesis as fact. It was not ever fact.
Demanding that God’s Word to the tribe of Abram/Abraham support a reading consistent with modern expectations has gone “a bridge too far.” Genesis teaches. The need for material fact to accompany wisdom and theology looks like readers commanding the writer to have written with their mind set firmly in place.
The writer, God, knows what needed to be said, and said it.
Today the listener needs to pay greater reverence to God than to demand that God’s word be factual according to our tastes.

Although I am sure one could still try to argue that Genesis 1 is describing a literal six-day creation, I would say that the ambiguities in the Genesis text (e.g., a day/night cycle existing before the sun was created), the clear references to an ancient cosmology (e.g., the firmament and the primordial cosmic waters), and the disparate views of early Christian writers (e.g., Saint Augustine’s non-literal interpretation of Genesis 1) all would suggest that the interpretation of Genesis 1 is not an open and shut case. Genesis 1 could be literal, but it is not at all required for Christian orthodoxy. It is only required that you believe that God was somehow involved. Although I disagree with a literal six-day creation, I think that a literal six-day creation is still exegetically valid. It is just not the best interpretation based on what we now know from general revelation.

P.S. Out of curiosity, is the message at the end supposed to say “This topic will close 7 days after the last reply” or is the “10 years” intentional?

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There is no way Genesis 1 can be literal. Read just the first sixteen verses, and observe that God separated the waters into three parts, and placed one part above the expanse of the sky, or the firmament. By the end of this set of verses we see God placing sun, moon, and stars within the firmament, hence beneath the waters of the Flood.
Yet Creation as we see it today has Earth as a sphere rotating on a skewed axis, rushing through vast emptiness to get all the way around the nearest star once a year, with the moon tagging along.

  • In my Bible, Genesis 1:14 comes after Genesis 1:11-13.
  • In Genesis 1:11-13, my Bible reads:
    • 11 Then God said, “Let the earth sprout vegetation, plants yielding seed, and fruit trees on the earth bearing fruit after their kind with seed in them”; and it was so. 12 The earth brought forth vegetation, plants yielding seed after their kind, and trees bearing fruit with seed in them, after their kind; and God saw that it was good. 13 There was evening and there was morning, a third day.
  • In Genesis 1:14, my Bible reads:
    • 14 Then God said, “Let there be lights in the expanse of the heavens to separate the day from the night, and let them be for signs and for seasons and for days and years; 15 and let them be for lights in the expanse of the heavens to give light on the earth”; and it was so. 16 God made the two great lights, the greater light to govern the day, and the lesser to govern the night; He made the stars also. 17 God placed them in the expanse of the heavens to give light on the earth, 18 and to govern the day and the night, and to separate the light from the darkness; and God saw that it was good. 19 There was evening and there was morning, a fourth day.
  • The essence of both portions above is that God created vegetation, seed-bearing trees, and seed-bearing fruit trees before He created the Sun, Moon, and stars.
  • Which ought to make some people rethink their commitment to using Genesis 1 as a science textbook. What kind of seed-bearing trees and seed-bearing fruit trees grow without the Sun, unless, of course, the YEC-cers are correct and one day is 24 hours long, in which case the seed-bearing trees and the seed-bearing fruit trees could theoretically survive a day without the Sun.
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Yes - also note that birds precede animals on the land. The fossil record points out that birds are a recent adaptation of feathered dinosaurs,

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How does Genesis or any of the TaNaKh reveal God in Christ?

Genesis 3:15 is taken as a promise to break the serpent’s head, at the cost of a bruised heel. the end of Isaiah 52 and most of Isaiah 53 are very pointed (and very rationalized-away by Rabbis) but Genesis itself focuses Abram/Abraham’s tribe on the Lord God.

Well, Augustine wrote of how the ark that carried Noah above the flood was a symbol of salvation and Christ. Ten Ways Noah’s Ark Prefigured the Church

Gen. 3:15 is typical of non-apostolic Christians reading Jesus in to the OT at any price.

Isaiah 52:14 is also read in to by non-apostolic Christians, there is nothing to indicate that Jesus had His face smashed in and ripped off in the Gospels.

Isaiah 53 has the closest fit, made in Acts 8:30-34.

Jesus Himself read Himself into the OT. He was wrong by modern criteria for the right reason if He was God incarnate.

Re Gen. 3:15 - no argument. The inference is only perceivable via “informed hindsight.”
Isaiah 52:14 - Jesus’ face was so battered he could not be recognized as human - close enough?
Thank you for the references. After reading the four gospel narratives of Jesus’ trial and crucifixion I found no reference to a beating sufficient to disfigure his face. But smashed in and ripped off? That’s hard to extract from Isaiah 52:14. Matthew relates that a staff handed to Jesus was then used to batter his head.
Thank you for the references.

“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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