Interpreting Genesis 1: Who’s the Literalist Now?

Posted By on September 12, 2012

I appreciated this post from James McGrath, whose short essay was stimulated by Robin Parry’s post, to whom James directs his readers. The issue is how “literal creationists” are actually only selective literalists (or, as I would call them, “inconsistent literalists”). If one was truly consistent in interpreting the creation description in Genesis 1 at face value (along with other creation descriptions in both testaments), you’d come out with a round, flat earth, complete with solid dome over the earth, and earth supported by pillars, with Sheol underneath, etc. But creationists who claim the literal mantel don’t do that, since the results are clearly non-scientific.My view, as readers know, is that we ought to simply let the text say what it says, and let it be what it is. It was God’s choice to prompt people living millennia ago to produce this thing we call the Bible, and so we dishonor it when we impose our own interpretive context on it. Our modern evangelical contexts are alien to the Bible. Frankly, any context other than the context in which the biblical writers were moved to write is foreign to the Bible.

So, who’s the literalist now?

I’ve pointed out this inconsistency before in, for example, my online lecture about Genesis and it’s pre-scientific cosmology. What Genesis describes is consistent with all other ancient Near Eastern creation models, and shares the vocabulary and motifs of those other pre-scientific cosmologies. Not a surprise, given God’s own choices about when to produce the material and who would do that. If God’s point had been to give us scientific precision, he would have done so (and we’d probably not understand it, unless we want to presume our own knowledge of the created world has pretty much solved everything and answered all the questions — in which case you must be doing your science reading in popular magazines). The point is no one alive today could handle all the detail known to the mind of God — and the same goes for the second millennium B.C. writer. But the fact that we don’t have this sort of indecipherable item informs us that such wasn’t the goal of inspiration, and so the “scientific details” cannot be viewed as the truth claim/assertion God meant to be communicated to posterity. As such, it is unreasonable to define inerrancy / errancy by such criteria. That would be like deciding if a new house was constructed to code based on whether you liked its color scheme. And poking fun at the Bible’s cosmology makes about as much sense as getting mad at your cat for not being a dog — why get irritated at something for not being what it was never intended to be? Where’s the intellectual integrity in that? (And does that have any greater intellectual integrity than inconsistent literalism?) The point is that the trustworthiness of Scripture ought to be based on the coherence of its truth claims — the points of intentionGod had in mind when he moved human writers to write it in the first place.

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44 Responses to “Interpreting Genesis 1: Who’s the Literalist Now?”

  1. Jason Leonard says:

    I’m mostly in agreement with your 2nd paragraph there and the overall point you’re making, but some aspects of what you claim to be “ancient cosmology” are questionable. JP Holding has done a great job analyzing these criticisms and I’d be interested in what responses anyone might have.

    As an example, “Earth” as a planet is a fairly modern idea. So when people say “flat earth”, they’re right – most of the land (ground, “earth”) they were looking at was flat.

    Also, I think the “circle” (round) issue also better fit a correspondence to do with marking boundaries for the land.

    His full analysis on each of these concepts is at http://www.tektonics.org/af/earthshape.html

    So far, I don’t see what he’s missing but I cannot claim to have exhausted all the literature on the subject (only to have obsessed over the Hebrew Bible)

    • MSH says:

      The comparative material is straightforward. I guess I’d like to see evidence of modern cosmology in the Hebrew Bible.

      • Richard Brown says:

        “Modern” is still [STILL] out of date. We still to this day have textbooks hanging on that present the ‘ever expanding balloon” model of the Universe, when that has been decisively disproven by good data showing the U to have the shape of most galaxies/systems: a rotating spiral with radiating arms and a bulbous center. The science that gets airplay in the modern world is not the same as your textbook definition of “science”

      • Malkiyahu says:

        I guess I’d like to see evidence that most Ancient Near Easterners actually believed in a round flat earth with a dome over it. Because I don’t see the use of certain terms as indicating such ridiculous beliefs.

        So they used the word for kidney to refer to matters of conscience. Does that mean that most people actually believed the physical kidney did that? I don’t buy it. We use words like “heart” and “head” in the same ways, and we know it’s just language. So an ancient Babylonian writer uses a word for a dome over the earth. That doesn’t mean he actually believed there was a physical dome there.

        So is there anything in the comparative material that will settle this for me? I don’t buy the argument that the ancient Israelites believed this stuff because their neighbors did. Two reasons: (1) I don’t buy the argument that they believed it because they used those words. Everyone uses words metaphorically, without referring to the literal reality; and (2) I don’t believe that their neighbors believed this stuff. Why? Because they used those words?

        It seems to me to just be a matter of modern scholarship claiming that ancient people believed something that most ancient people would actually laugh at because the modern scholars don’t fully understand the ancients’ metaphorical ways of speaking. What evidence is there that shows otherwise? In other words, what is the evidence that most Ancient Near Easterners believed this stuff literally and not metaphorically? Because it really, really seems to me to just be modern stupidity attributing ridiculous beliefs to ancients based on misunderstanding their language, or maybe attributing the beliefs of a few (there are always idiots, after all) to all the ancients (who may have used the same language but meant it metaphorically).

        • MSH says:

          Sure – watch my video lecture on this; I go through all the verses. It has nothing to do with modern scholarship — it’s ancient stuff.

          http://vimeo.com/16031751

          And your note about “metaphor” is the point of my post — people want literal until it conflicts with the version of creationism they want — then they turn to metaphor — so who’s the literalist now? I’m arguing for *consistent* literalism.

        • Susan Burns says:

          The words they use are not metaphors. As ancients evolved a self-conscious awareness their understanding of the physical world improved. Their words were modified to reflect their new understanding but they retained the remnant of their primitive past. Does God actually smell the aroma of sacrifice? There was a period of time when people thought that he did. He even preferred meat over grain. Their anthromoporphic descriptions acurately described their understanding at that time. As language became more complex, our understanding of God evolved.

          • MSH says:

            I’m thinking you contradicted yourself here — that you didn’t want the word “not” in the first sentence. God doesn’t actually smell since he has no olfactory glands … and so that must be “metaphorical” (perhaps you’re quibbling about metaphor and anthropomorphism not being synonyms, but I never said they were).

            I’m not sure what it is you’re really getting at.

      • O Normann Sæterlid says:

        Micheal.
        Thank you so much for your wonderful work.

        Here is a central issue and dilemma I always come across with 6 literal day creationists.

        And you need to improve me if I am wrong in my assumptions here.

        Erev is translated evening and Boker – morning.

        Erev and Boker as I have been thought is a concept between order/complete/clear and obscure/not clear/dark not a naming of evening and morning as we would think of it. but more like processes:

        Erev means “obscuration, mixture” (increasing entropy); when encroaching darkness began to deny the ability to discern forms, shapes, and identities; hence “twilight”; the time of approaching darkness (Prov 7:9; Jer 6:4).Sunset; marking the duration of impurity: when a ceremonially unclean person became clean again (Lev 15); the beginning of the Hebrew day

        Boker means “becoming discernable, distinguishable, visible”; perception of order; relief of obscurity (decreasing entropy); attendant ability to begin to discern forms, shapes, and distinct identities; breaking forth of light; revealing; hence: dawn; morning (Gen 19:27; Kgs 19:9). It is significant that on the 7th day, when the creation is complete, there is no more “erev” or “boker.” There seems to be a close coupling between the spiritual and physical world prior to the fall: Heb 11:3; Rom 8:19-23; Ps 102:25-27; Prov 16:33; Eph 1:11; Heb 1:2-3; Col 1:16,17. Onkelos Translation of 1:31: “…it was a unified order.”

        In Christ

        • O Normann Sæterlid says:

          How did my question end up HERE ?????

        • MSH says:

          I wouldn’t say these words *mean* the things you list out, but some of those conceptions are *associated* with the term (like nowadays – certain conceptions — often used in advertising — come to mind at a phrase like “the night” – but the noun itself doesn’t *mean* any of them).

          And I’d agree that evening and morning is a merism.

  2. Stephen Patrick says:

    Hi Michael.

    You’re one of the few pointing out the correct way to view and read the OT. Or the NT. Imagine someone 2000 years from now trying to decipher teenager slang without the cultural setting and influences of that past. Impossible. Thanks for the Naked Bible. Great reading.
    Steve

    • Mary Nye says:

      I’m living now and don’t understand much of the language of my grandchildren; sometimes even the language of my children. I guess there is an exponential issue when it comes to the speed that change is taking place, but there were always changes of some sort (location, urban/rural/power structures, etc.) Since not all of us are scholars, nor can we stay current with every debate, it is difficult to know where to land. Guess I’ll just keep flying till I ‘fly away like a bird’.

  3. Patrick says:

    I’m just now finishing, “In The Beginning, We Misunderstood”.

    Good book for the layman. Takes a comparative textual angle as opposed to a word study/linguistic view that Walton took with similar results.

    It’s almost amazing how similar the verbiage is to the Egyptian cosmologies.

    The author takes the view that Moses was converting Jews away from the pagan think and denigrating the capabilities of the “Egyptian gods” they had grown used to in Egypt into a proper view of Yahweh’s abilities/sovereignty while utilizing the “creational thinking” the audience would have been familiar with. Makes imminent sense to me.

    Also inadvertently lends some credence to the idea Jews spent a while in Egypt.

    • MSH says:

      what would be controversial about the Jews being in Egypt? The OT and NT have them there 400 years. I’m guessing I’m missing something in his presentation.

      • str says:

        Mike,

        I suppose Patrick was referring to the view of those that think that the Israelites never went to Egypt, never stayed there, that there was no Exodus etc.

        I don’t see the merit in this view either but some do hold it.

  4. Patrick says:

    The fact that the Israeli cosmology mimics the Egyptian one to a large extent just seems to lend credence to the idea the Jews were in Egypt and learned it there is all.

    I have no doubt they were there myself, but, folks often say there is no evidence of it and things like this are evidence of it to an extent, IMO.

    • MSH says:

      Understood; Genesis 1 actually contains polemic material that subverts both the major Babylonian creation story, which glorifies Marduk (ca. 6th century Babylon – interestingly the time of the exile and, in most scholars’ views, the time the text was edited to its final form) and the Egyptian creation story of Ptah creating with the spoken word (the Memphite Theology, which is from the Shabaka Stone, also dating to the same time period). It’s pretty obvious that Genesis 1 is designed as a theological statement/corrective, not a scientific treatise.

      • blop2008 says:

        The way you explained it here in this comment is very luminous. I evidently remember learning both ANE creation accounts at Memra, but dont remember reading that both coincide with the 6th century Israelite exile, and that the text was edited into a finalized form at that time.

      • Hanan says:

        Regarding Geneis 1 being a polemic. If this is true, did the Israelites actively believe that it was solely polemic, or did they believe it was actually true? For example, if we look at Proverbs 8, we can clearly see creation language being used. Proverbs 8 is not a polemic work. This leads me to suspect that Genesis 1 is first and foremost an Israelite account of how the world was created. The polemic nature is secondary.

        As a side note, if Genesis was only written during the exilic period and influenced by Babylon, then what did Israelites think of creation prior to them going into exile? Every ancient people had their own version. So what was theirs?

  5. Patrick says:

    Michael,

    Agreed, the statements are theological and not science. Sooner all the church gets that idea down, sooner we stop claiming the earth is real young and looking silly.

    In the book I read, it noted the Canaanite cosmology was not as well known as these other 2, so it’s difficult to know whether Genesis also is operating as a foil against their cosmology or not.

    • MSH says:

      Scholars tend to see a Canaanite “direction” in tehom (other than Babylonian for that word). This is because “tehom” is not precisely in accord with “tiamat” in terms of Semitic etymology. However, if tehom corresponds to Canaanite taham (the primeval deep), then Canaanite thinking would be in view. Outside Genesis, of course, you have the creation texts that describe combat with a sea monster (e.g., Psalm 74:12-19 – Yamm / Leviathan are right out of Canaanite material, so in terms of biblical theology more broadly speaking, there is a “Canaanite creation polemic” present).

      • DT says:

        It’s stuff like what you have here in the comments that makes me wish there was a tape recorder running on you at all times. There have been several moments in your presentations or comments where you mention something in passing that was HUGE to me, and it indicates just how differently a scholar who is also a rigorously logical thinker sees the text.

      • Susan Burns says:

        Budge translates the Egyptian word tehem as water. Everyone agrees that tehom and Tihama are derived from a common word.The Tihama is a lowland plain occupying a narrow strip of land along the eastern shore of the Red Sea. A geographical feature that runs parallel to the Tihamah is a fracture zone trough created by the spreading of seafloor plates. The flat plain of the Tihamah extends to the edge of this chasm but with a shallow reef border. The Tihamah trough is part of the most prominent topographic feature on the planet – the Mid Oceanic Ridge. The mid-oceanic ridge is deeper than the Grand Canyon. It is the youngest fracture zone on the planet and the only one visible above water. It occurs at the junction of the Red Sea, the Gulf of Aden and the Tihamah trough. Rabbi Akiva describes tohu as a green line that encompasses the earth. The Mid Oceanic Ridge does, indeed, encircle the earth.
        Many of the earth’s largest sea creatures travel the deep trough of the Mid Oceanic Ridge. Although the Red Sea is very narrow, its deep trough is connected to the depths of the world’s oceans. Whale sharks are often encountered by scuba divers. Even snorklers confined to the shallow reef can peer over the edge of the chasm and watch in amazement as the leviathan appears from the bottomless deep.

        I have more information about this region and how accurate the ancients were in their descriptions.

        • MSH says:

          Please don’t use Budge. He gets laughed at by Egyptologists and basically every other specialist in any language he tackled. Yes, I know that’s unfair of scholars, but it’s the truth. Budge can’t help that he died and now his understanding of words and these languages has been surpassed. I don’t dislike him; I just thought you should know what scholars think.

          Everyone doesn’t “know” tehom and tihama have a common (now missing?) parent word. At best this is assumed on the basis of some sort of proto-Semitic language that doesn’t actually exist (proto-Semitic is a hypothetical construct used by Semitic philologists — there are no actual examples of it). The rest of your discussion is abstracted to the point of not being useful (that sounds harsh, but isn’t meant to be — I meant it isn’t needed for discussing the word and doesn’t help).

  6. benkeshet says:

    b”h

    I saw your video and was a bit surprised that you rely so heavily on Job for statements about cosmological belief, and take Job 37:18 as an example of belief in a literal dome. If so, you should at least deal with these two verses and show how Job is different:

    Deuteronomy 28:23 And the heavens over your head shall be bronze, and the earth under you shall be iron.

    Leviticus 26:19 and I will break the pride of your power, and I will make your heavens like iron and your earth like bronze.

    best.

  7. benkeshet says:

    b”h

    Personally I agree with the basic premise that the Bible was never intended to teach Newtonian mechanics or quantum physics. The only reason I’m inclined to persist on this issue is because you said above Mike that you “appreciated” a post from James McGrath, who wrote of YECs,

    “And so their stance is one of deceit, hypocrisy and pandering.”

    I wouldn’t care what anyone calls me, but wow, with a broad stroke of a wide brush McGrath insults and misrepresents PhDs in science and Scripture who do not find the Standard Models convincing, yet do find Scripture evidence speaking in terms of relatively recent creation.

    Your argument of “inconsistent literalism” is why I raised the question of Deuteronomy 28:23 and Leviticus 26:19 vis--vis Job 37:18.

    If Job purportedly speaks literally of a pre-scientific view he held, then why not conclude that the Israelites literally believed their sins would cause the sky to turn to iron or bronze? But no one, you included, believes the passages in question in Deuteronomy or Leviticus are to be taken literally. Perhaps then the book of Job, as well, uses literary devices which were not intended as literal ANE cosmology. Chapter 37 of Job reads that way to me anyway. Whatever. No one believes the ancients knew of a literal, sentient female entity called “Hokhmah” that people and Deity could commune with, as described in Proverbs 8-9. Everyone believes the ancients had their literary genius, including the use of personification, and they used it from within their theocentric worldview to describe lots of different things, including personal acquisition of wisdom.

    Yet it is clear the ancients could write in prosaic literality on stupendous miracles. In fact two styles of writing are found in Exodus chapter 14 and chapter 15, both describing the purportedly literal and miraculous passing of the Israelites through the Yam Suf and the Egyptians being drowned. Chapter 14 is prosaic while the following chapter is a short Hebrew hymn. They definitely read differently, even though both describe a literal miraculous Exodus from Egypt. So it is not impossible to believe that the Almighty’s creation work could have been described both in epic terminology in some places, as well as prosaic literality in others.

    IMHO Exodus 20:8-11, i.e. the giving of the Ten Commandments, should start the creation question and precede discussion of Genesis 1-3. If the theophany at Mt Sinai really did include the audible giving of the Ten Commandments, then the Almighty gave the seven day creation paradigm directly to Israel in terms that Israel would have understood as literal days. One can admit that none of the Ten Commandments read like epic poetry. They are prosaic and simple.

    Remember the Sabbath day by keeping it holy. Six days you shall labor and do all your work, but the seventh day is a sabbath to the LORD your God. … For in six days the LORD made the heavens and the earth, the sea, and all that is in them, but he rested on the seventh day. Therefore the LORD blessed the Sabbath day and made it holy.”

    It is interesting that the Almighty blessed the Shabbat and sanctified it to distinguish it from HIS creation work. The Israelites were to emulate their G-d by observing a similar pattern. While the Israelites may have been pre-scientific, hopefully the educated elders preserved their understanding of the Almighty’s word to them. The Almighty “could” have created in six days, or sixty zillion aeons. It appears the Israelites believed it was six days of the kind that they were familiar with, and that they would rest on the seventh, as had the Almighty. Genesis 1-3 would then be considered something of a commentary on this commandment in Exodus. Anyone who doesn’t like the recent creation narrative can’t blame the Bible. It just is what it is, cf. Exodus 3:14.

    Best.

    • MSH says:

      Well, I don’t have to appreciate everything in the post. You’ve over-read that. I can appreciate the efforts of the NY city police force, but that doesn’t mean when they break the rules I’m happy. Examples could be multiplied quite a bit.

    • Hanan says:

      Benkeshet said:

      “If the theophany at Mt Sinai really did include the audible giving of the Ten Commandments, then the Almighty gave the seven day creation paradigm directly to Israel in terms that Israel would have understood as literal days.”

      I hope you are still reading this Benkeshet, but Mike and I have been having a little disagreement about the implication of this.

      A) If God DID actually say that, than God is a liar. The text specifically says that God gave X because of Y. Now, we know Y is not correct, so that means he lied. [afteralll would it make sense to give a commandment to observe a Passover that never actually happened?]

      ]B) The other problem is also simple. If Genesis 1 is influenced by Israelis stay in Babylon, how could God have given that justification centuries earlier at Sinai? Putting on my “skeptical cap” can one assume then, that God never gave that commandment?

      • MSH says:

        Why are there differences in the law between exodus and deuteronomy then? Did God forget what he said? Did someone feel at liberty to change the dictation? You’d have a sabbath without dictation. I see no reason that you need it.

        God decides when to prompt people to write and where (and why). Those decisions are up to God. And when God does that, it means people write from a specific context for specific reasons, and communicate ideas in specific ways in light of their circumstances. Your Babylon question feels like you presume that isn’t the case.

  8. roberterasmus says:

    benkeshet,

    I love the It appears the Israelites believed it was six days of the kind that they were familiar with; this is ca se voit. But is it so with us modern Westerner Bible readers just what the days were to them. Im not inviting anyone down the road where we discuss the day of the Lord or suchlike terms (nor the nuanced evening and morning days in Genesis; they were what they were) and Im not much interested in what science does or does not tell us about an ancient earth/ universe. I, like Michael, have training in Northwest Semitic Philology (U of C under Dennis Pardee) and used to believe in a young earth. But most of my training has been in reading what is written (it used to be the art of theology, BTW). In the context which is presented (Exodus 20: 8-11; with specifics in verse 11) you (and other Evangelicals (Im assuming you are, as I am, an evangelical?)) do not first and foremost read the text; the underlying text.

    The author is relating the Genesis story yet most English translations do not get it right in verse 11. The in six days is not IN the text (even though we see the LXX being interpretational by adding the preposition). The text says for six days (no in in there) the Lord made/did the heavens the earth AND THE SEA. The ancients concept of God working on the cosmic ocean is rarely (if ever) discussed as part of the supposed six days of creation week. The author of Genesis 1: 6-8 does, however, as the activity of day second. And this is not to discount the existence of the sea already in verse 2, but to note that in the Exodus context we merely have a mention of the activities during the six days (and seventh of course). God did all this work; it doesnt say he created it all in the six days.

    IMHO it is a similar cognitive dissonance and failure to read the words and the earth in verse 2 of Genesis 1. While understanding with Waltke (and Michael and others) that verse 2 is not subsequent to verse 1 (because of the vav copulative) we still have to deal with the actual presence of the earth in verse 2 and not try to create it again in verses 3-31. The three (3) circumstantial clauses of verse 2 express (as Bruce said way back in 1946) circumstances concomitant to the principal statement (verse 1). Young states it this way, Grammatically, it is not to be construed with the preceding, but with what follows. Nevertheless, by its introductory words, and the earth, it does take up the thought of the first verse. It does this, however, by way of exclusion. No longer is our thought to rest upon the heaven and the earth, the entirety of created phenomena, but merely upon the earth. (Edward J. Young, Studies in Genesis One, page 30, 31.)

    RE

  9. shaun says:

    You mention a few ANE parallels from time to time. It would be cool if you did a post where you laid all the important ANE creation parallels on the table.

    I know you have recommended resources for that. But I think it would be really helpful to get that material out in the open, and in one place on your blog. Nothing is more helpfull for lay people when trying to wake them up to the fact that the OT is part of a larger literary world.

  10. Anonymous says:

    @MHS

    “Well, I dont have to appreciate everything in the post. Youve over-read that.”

    Glad to read you’ve clarified this, which initially perhaps was not as well explained as it might have been…

    @Robert Erasmus

    “But is it so with us modern Westerner Bible readers just what the days were to them.”

    IMHO this statement demands critical justification. Is there no boundary to language? Have worshippers of the Creator – Israelite, Jewish and Christian – from Sinai to Archbishop Ussher – failed to understand what is written or not? Or does the pre-scientific Bible fail to properly represent a modern “scientlifically literate” view of the universe’s origins? If you are able to impose a view of “day” on Scripture because of science, then language has lost significance. IMHO it is not possible to find a place for the long ages of modern science in Genesis 1-3 or Exodus 20 and that requires some sort of recognition and accomodation. That is, if you find modern science’s extrapolations backward into a presumed “deep past” convincing.

    “The in six days is not IN the text”

    Regarding “sheshet yamim” you are certainly correct that there is no preposition “in” in the Hebrew. I simply snagged an online English version and pasted it in. The “sheshet yamim” of creation in v 10 are meant to refer back to the “sheshet yamim” in v 8 in which Israelites do their work.

    Nevertheless, it is clear that ancient editors have had a hand in updating/redacting the Pentateuch. If so, it seems reasonable to suppose that Genesis 1-3 and Exodus 20:8-11 were compared. Of note, Genesis 2:1-3 describes the finishing of the creation. There we read that the Creator rested on the seventh day – ki bo shabbat mikol melakhto asher bara elohim la’asot . Here we find three terms for creative work from which he rested: melakha, bara, asah. So I don’t find the use of asah in Exodus 20 surprising or contradictory.

    Best wishes.

    • MSH says:

      yes; if modern intepreters, Jewish or not, have failed to see that Genesis 1 is a clean, crisp, well-crafted example of ANE cosmology in concert with the features of other ANE cosmologies, then they got it wrong. It matters not what “yom” means. What matters is the context of the literature in literary and worldview terms.

      To interpret it any other way is to interpret it in a foreign context, not its own context.

  11. Jorge says:

    Hi Mike, I appreciate the work you do and am always excited to see your views, which to me hold some wheight and I agree with you that the Genesis 1 account does come from and portray the ANE cosmology, of which the Israelites were a part. But there is question that I would ask?

    Can the text not be read in the light of modern science as well, does the text in any way contradict what we know of the development and formation of the universe, this solar system and the planet Earth?

    I have studied this issue for a number of years and not found it to contradict anything we currently understand of these issues, the only point is that the text be allowed to speak for itself rather than also imposing even the view of ANE cosmology onto it.

    While as a scholar this abandonment of the ANE context is not permitted, the text can and does speak for itself beyond that ancient context.

    You can state that it is inconsistent literalism, but the other side of the coin is that the text is also from God and applies to all people of all ages, included our scientifically inclined society.

    Just my two cents worth, which I’m sure you will disagree with, but otherwise you are doing a terrific job and I have learnt alot from you.

    • MSH says:

      Thanks, and I do disagree :-)

      Modern science has to be forced into the text. It’s also quite inconsistent to argue for modern physics for example, and then have God not telling people about germs, blood types, bacteria, crop rotation, etc. – all life-saving points of knowledge. (God: “I’ll tell them enough modern science so they can combat Darwin and unbelieving astrophysicists, but I won’t tell them anything that would save lives”). Just makes no sense at all.

      • Jorge says:

        Well the way I would describe it is that God showed the whole process to the writer of the text, from the big bang, to the galactic and solar formation of our own solar system and how God then took one planet and populated it, it is an amazing coincidence that the lines themselves mostly portray this imagery even though in poetic form…

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