Bravo, Roger. We must not lose sight of what we really mean when we call ourselves Christian. In my view, we should acknowledge the fact that the authors of Genesis (and other books of the O.T.) were people of great intellect, and God chose to reveal to them as much of His nature as their experiences on this earth had prepared them for. This initial covenant was sufficient to guide the Israelites to lead better lives (as a nation) than the heathen peoples surrounding them. However, as we Christians believe, the implications of that first covenant were not clearly understood--or sufficiently taken to heart, and thus a _New Covenant_ was required, one in which "the Word was made flesh and dwelt among us."Jesus himself was careful NOT to imply that his gospel was meant to replace the O.T. But is it possible to over-emphasize its relevance to modern times?
I greatly admire O.T. scholars, such as Richard Wright, whose studies give us the best perspective possible of what the original text must have meant to the original readers. But, for whatever good effect it had, the O.T. still fell short--at least in the eyes of Christians--and it necessitated Jesus' mission and his suffering to set us straight.
IMHO the materialistic society in which we now live poses moral problems inconceivable to our forebears who made the earlier covenants with God. Sure, the basic core principles remain, but in determining how they actually apply we could use some new revelation. Studies on how many times 'yom' was used and in what context may be of intellectual interest, but of far greater importance is to guide bioethicists in how much freedom should be allowed to scientists using CRISPR-C9, for example, in altering the human genome to cure disease (e.g. such as cancer or Huntington's). How should humankind avoid the danger expressed as: "The road to Hell is paved with good intentions." Personally I believe God has invited humans to become co-creators with Him, at least in the spiritual realm, the Noosphere. But I am truly frightened that we will 'screw up' in doing so in the Biosphere.