Monday, May 29, 2006

A Closer Look at Genesis

The latest addition to my site is a file entitled "A Closer Look at Genesis 1-25." I review many of the problems with the book of Genesis, and demonstrate that the problems with the Bible go far beyond a few scattered verses.

6 comments:

SpeirM said...

It isn't the literalists who I find most exasperating. Maybe I'm the crazy one, but I have to think that, deep down, most of them realize Genesis isn't to be believed. Little by little, over time, they'll come around, even if it takes a few generations. You can't breathe long with your head stuck in the ground.

But I've had on-line debates with adherents of the so-called "framework hypothesis." Now there's a tar baby you want to leave alone! What's obvious to me is that they begin with the desperately held view that Genesis is somehow correct ("true, but not factual," I was told. [Cue the rolling eyes.]) Then they set out to find some way to interpret it such that it's God's Word, even though not literally true. A simple paradigm shift fixes it all up nicely: it's allegory. Worse, they continue on and insist that anyone who truly understands these things will see it as an obviously allegory. It's filled with hints to that effect, they say.

I say these "hints" are something quite else: they're mistakes. To me, the far more parsimonious explanation is that they're the etiological musings of primitives trying to make sense of the world. They only become hints at allegory because believers won't let that poor old dead horse alone. Genesis couldn't be mistaken, they're sure, so it must be written in a elevated style that takes a keen eye and an advanced understanding to make sense of.

Well, you really can't go much further than that. In the final analysis, the framework hypothesis rests upon the foundation of faith. (One FH opponent even admitted as much--quite unabashedly. I gave him high marks for honesty.) And there's generally no arguing somebody out of that. FH is engineered to be invulnerable to disproof. You'll pull your hair out arguing with these folks.

Anonymous said...

Quote from your, "A Closer Look at Genesis" article:
"Genesis also says the sun, moon, and stars were created after plants."

I checked Bible on the web and noticed that Genesis 1:3 that God created light. And it was only in Genesis 1:11 that he made plants.

Care to explain more?

Thanks.

Jul Nee

Anonymous said...

Hi again..
I've just finished reading the your article..:)
I'm particularly enlightened with the story about Abraham. haha..

Jul Nee

Merle Hertzler said...

It is true that Genesis says there was light at 1:3, but the sun, moon and stars weren't created before 1:14-16. Now how there could be light before there were stars I don't know, but that is another question. The big problem is that plants are created in verse 11, but the sun wasn't created until verse 16.

Anonymous said...

Ooh.. just re-read Genesis 1 again and even more confused.. haha..
first God already created light for day and darkness for night(Genesis 1:5) then he created two great lights (Genesis 1:16). Hmmm.... I really wonder how light came about when there are no sun or stars yet... Hehehehe... could it be from a giant torchlight that God held while he is doing his "science" project? But that would mean God also has a God that created Him first.. hahaha.. it will be never-ending..

Jul Nee

SpeirM said...

When I was a Christian and taught the Bible I used to say that when God said "Let there be light," he was only inventing the concept of light, much like an inventor can be said to have invented a thing even while it is only on paper. That's a rather tortured explanation, of course.

And it still doesn't address the problem Merle brought up. Without the Sun and stars, the temperature on the Earth's surface would be very near absolute zero. I don't care if a creation day was 24 hours or 24 seconds, nothing would have survived.