on confusing interpretation of the Bible with the Bible

Ron is asking me what this means.  This is my reply.  Feel free to add or correct my answer respectfully:

Ron,

Basically it just means treating an interpretation of the Bible (or a Bible passage – in this case the creation narratives (Gen 1-11)) as though it were somehow infallible (that interpretation couldn’t possibly be wrong no matter what) – when in reality because of our fallibility as humans, no one person’s interpretation of a particular Bible passage is infallible (necessarily), only the Bible is infallible.

We also have to remember too the Bible is not God and God is not the Bible – only God is God and the Bible represents his written word to us, but it isn’t God, so we should not worship the Bible (or overly exalt a particular interpretation), we should only worship God alone. I know this sounds ludicrous but it does happen.

I say this because when someone treats a particular interpretation of a Bible passage as somehow infallible, that is akin to worshiping the Bible (also referred to as idolatrizing the Bible, when an idol is something that is set up against the knowledge of God – and sadly enough, some people do interact with the Bible in a fashion that keeps them from knowing God on a personal level (though they may know tonsabout him – they don’t really know him. And in the case of this discussion on the Genesis  creation narrative, such a thing can and has happened to YEC’ers or OEC’ers – it is also a trait of many in fundamentalist circles (though certainly not all).

This is primarily why how Ken Ham has been going about castigating myself and the AG for their position on the doctrine of creation is extremely concerning, if not dangerous, and needs to be corrected or altogether avoided.

I hope that helps some.

note: the bolded parts are merely for emphasis and to highlight key statements.

comments are now closed. thanks for the interaction.
ps, it seems that Theologian and Church Historian Roger Olsen has similar feelings as what I posted here.

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32 responses to “on confusing interpretation of the Bible with the Bible

  1. What happens if a good friend, who cares about you and is very honest, tells you something? You believe him, right? What happens if someone else, who you don’t know well, so you don’t really know their character, tells you something that conflicts with what your friend said? Do you just assume your friend didn’t really mean what you had thought he said? Do you look for another interpretation for what your friend meant? Normally, people will give a good friend the benefit of the doubt.

    Is God’s Word so different that the words of a trusted friend? You mentioned earlier that you don’t accept the chronologies in the Bible as really chronologies, and are seeking a different understanding, because they are at odds with the Egyptian chronologies. Shouldn’t it be the Egyptian chronologies you ask questions about, rather than changing your mind about what the trusted friend was saying?

  2. Jean:
    (I’m not speaking for Bryan, only for myself)

    It’s not about distrusting what the Bible says. You (and most YEC’s) throw this around along with the “caving in to secularism” stuff and I really have to wonder if you just aren’t really trying to hear what those of us on the other side of the issue are saying. No doubt there are some who let go of a “literal” interpretation of Genesis 1 to 3 because they feel pressure from Biology, etc.. As for Ross’s “day-age” or whatever interpretation…well, I think its fairly obvious that he IS taking that interpretation in order to be more in line with modern science. But it has been my experience that most who hold to some sort of “framework” or poetic view of Genesis 1 (as I do) do so based on the text. That is certainly the case for me. In fact every time this sort of thing comes up, I go back to the text to check my interpretation and to be honest I just don’t see how your side thinks your reading is the best one.

    I don’t care to argue that point, really, as it never really gets anywhere, and I know next to nothing about the science of it. Actually, I have found some of your comments on the scientific side of the question to be really interesting, and I thank you for them. But I just really have trouble with this constant YEC mantra that anything other your interpretation is “not straightforward” or somehow a distortion of the text. By all means argue your side if you feel that strongly about it, but I am asking you please to show a little more respect for myself (as well as JI Packer, John Stott, Douglas Stuart, Bruce Waltke… etc) and take our word that there are textual reasons for takign a non-literal view here.

    • Justin K :
      No doubt there are some who let go of a “literal” interpretation of Genesis 1 to 3 because they feel pressure from Biology, etc.. As for Ross’s “day-age” or whatever interpretation…well, I think its fairly obvious that he IS taking that interpretation in order to be more in line with modern science.

      Thanks Justin! One question, how do we and in this particular case, how did you conclude your statement ‘I think its fairly obvious that he IS taking that interpretation in order to be more in line with modern science’? (Dont worry, it’s not a trick question)

    • Justin K.,

      You have correctly discerned that my comments were directed more towards Brian. He recognizes the conflict, but has chosen to resolve it in the opposite way I did.

      I am not certain why you feel I showed disrespect to the theologians you mentioned. (I am a scientist and I try to be concise, but my posts are still long. Perhaps I seem excessively blunt.) I have the google books version of Waltke and O’Conner An Introduction to Biblical Hebrew Syntax still bookmarked on my browser. Clearly I do think I can learn from Waltke. My comments towards Hodge, who I quoted earlier, were intended to be respectful even though I was disagreeing with him on one particular point. Since the quote was from a systematic theology book from the late 1800s, it would be naïve to think that theologians today would not be influenced by these types of ideas and other thoughts in current culture. If a person were to adopt a view because it was taught by a respected theologian, they could miss the fact that the view may have been influenced by secular thinking.

      I admit to knowing very little about the framework hypothesis. I’ve seen it pointed out that days 1 and 3 have similarities; i.e. the creation of light and the creation of heavenly bodies to shine light, respectively. A similarly situation exists with days 2 and 4; 3 and 6. No problem there. If I understand Fr. Robert correctly, a framework approach does not necessarily (probably depending on the version) exclude the straight forward reading of this text. So, the issue is whether one chooses to see a framework that is at odds with the historical presentation of the text as a whole. If so, I’m certain that one can trace the thinking back to the influence of secularists. BTW, I have seen some of the textual arguments on both sides. I also have been reading my Bible for 3 decades. I do not find the arguments against a straight forward (historical) reading of Genesis strong.

      On a personal note: I have noticed that transformation in my life has been directly related to accepting God’s Word in a straight forward fashion. Before I was a teen, I lived for two years with my grandparents. My grandmother had lived through the Depression and taught me a lot about hard work and savings, most of which was good. After I began attending church and reading my Bible regularly as a teen, I often found myself challenged by the Bible. The passage of the widow giving her last two coins was especially confrontational (Mark 12: 41-44; Luke 21:1-4). I believed her actions were stupid; Christ was remarking on it favorably! I needed that confrontation from God’s Word to change my view of money and help me trust God in the area of giving. God’s Word is true and is inherently confrontational to wrong beliefs in all areas of culture. If we interpret it in ways where it loses its clarity, we lose its power because we don’t believe it as we should.

      • Jean:
        We can disagree on this. 😉 I hope I didn’t offend you or anything. I think the disrespect is when you insist on tracing any other interpretation back to some sort of secularism. I mean, all I can do is say that I really don’t think that is the case with the scholars I mentioned, or myself. There is a constant problem with assigning motive here, but, again, I don’t see that changing.

      • Thank you Justin! Lol! I didn’t except such a detailed answer. However I think that answer to my question was more that you based your conclusion on rational reasoning and logic. I’ll answer your questions 1 at a time!

        Justin K :
        1: How one would do that without positing some sort of light source other than the sun capable of producing “evening and morning” (which not only seems silly, but also isn’t mentioned anywhere in the text), AGAINST the text of the fourth day is at pains to say that the sun and moon are there “to divide the say and the night”.

        1 John 1:5 “This is the message we have heard from him and declare to you: God is light; in him there is no darkness at all.” We are under the assumption that light must come from a source and because our senses perceive the sun, therefore light can only come from the sun. What is going to happen in Heaven: “The city does not need the sun or the moon to shine on it,” (Revelation 21:23)? ”for the glory of God gives it light, and the Lamb is its lamp.” Im not advocating this to mean the some day there will be a ‘physical heaven’!
        Why can’t God be this light in Genesis 1:3? Is it impossible for Him? What a beautiful message that not only is God the creator of light but also in the theological sense “You are the light of the world.” (Matthew 5:14). This also demonstrates that God is not bound by our defined laws of physics. Robert E. Grossmann noted “That God created light before the light-bearing or reflecting bodies is clear from the text. That certain people have problems believing this demonstrates not that there is something wrong with the text or with its compatibility with the laws of physics.” God created the sun, moon, stars for a purpose “to divide the day from the night” “ for signs and seasons, and for days and years” (is this literal seasons, days, years not ages) “give light on the earth” “rule the day” “rule the night” “divide the light from the darkness”. To say that there was light from a source other than the sun before the sun was made is biblically reasonable just as believing any other miracles following Genesis’s such as the Israelites crossing the Red Sea, Jonah inside a large fish, the virgin birth of Christ or Christ’s resurrection. I think 1 thing we tend to forget is that the use of science somehow needs to make sense of creation instead of thinking the use of science, the laws we have from physics, gravity, etc, actually come from God. He is the source of all what governs our universe!

  3. Ron:
    I guess I should clarify that a little bit. I don’t see any reason in the text of Genesis 1 to see the days as being long ages of time, as I think Hugh Ross wants to say they are. I also don’t see how they can be taken as “solar” (and notice how I have to put that in quotes) days, being that the sun itself didn’t exist until the fourth day. Now, if one wants to take a “literal” interpretation of Genesis 1 as a week of 24 hour days, I guess that’s ok, but I just really don’t see:

    1: How one would do that without positing some sort of light source other than the sun capable of producing “evening and morning” (which not only seems silly, but also isn’t mentioned anywhere in the text), AGAINST the text of the fourth day is at pains to say that the sun and moon are there “to divide the say and the night”.

    2: WHY one would want to insist on that sort of interpretation when there is a clear parallelism between the days, which matches up with the first three forming and the second three filling, the poetic language (not to mention the straight out poetry on day six), the repetition, etc, which all honestly seem to be pointing (STRONGLY) to…

    a non “literal” interpretation.

    Again, I don’t hold it against anyone who doesn’t agree, and I don’t care to argue about it, but a “framework” reading just seems to me to be the mosy honest to the text. I take comfort that most evangelical OT scholars appear to be in agreement, as did Origen, Augustine, etc.

    Not forcing my view on anyone, but these are TEXTUAL & EXEGETICAL reasons, not scientific. Thats really my only point.

    I’ll stop now 😉

    • Oops! Replied to the wrong post.

      Thank you Justin! Lol! I didn’t except such a detailed answer. However I think that answer to my question was more that you based your conclusion on rational reasoning and logic. I’ll answer your questions 1 at a time!

      Justin K :
      1: How one would do that without positing some sort of light source other than the sun capable of producing “evening and morning” (which not only seems silly, but also isn’t mentioned anywhere in the text), AGAINST the text of the fourth day is at pains to say that the sun and moon are there “to divide the say and the night”.

      1 John 1:5 “This is the message we have heard from him and declare to you: God is light; in him there is no darkness at all.” We are under the assumption that light must come from a source and because our senses perceive the sun, therefore light can only come from the sun. What is going to happen in Heaven: “The city does not need the sun or the moon to shine on it,” (Revelation 21:23)? ”for the glory of God gives it light, and the Lamb is its lamp.” Im not advocating this to mean the some day there will be a ‘physical heaven’!
      Why can’t God be this light in Genesis 1:3? Is it impossible for Him? What a beautiful message that not only is God the creator of light but also in the theological sense “You are the light of the world.” (Matthew 5:14). This also demonstrates that God is not bound by our defined laws of physics. Robert E. Grossmann noted “That God created light before the light-bearing or reflecting bodies is clear from the text. That certain people have problems believing this demonstrates not that there is something wrong with the text or with its compatibility with the laws of physics.” God created the sun, moon, stars for a purpose “to divide the day from the night” “ for signs and seasons, and for days and years” (is this literal seasons, days, years not ages) “give light on the earth” “rule the day” “rule the night” “divide the light from the darkness”. To say that there was light from a source other than the sun before the sun was made is biblically reasonable just as believing any other miracles following Genesis’s such as the Israelites crossing the Red Sea, Jonah inside a large fish, the virgin birth of Christ or Christ’s resurrection. I think 1 thing we tend to forget is that the use of science somehow needs to make sense of creation instead of thinking the use of science, the laws we have from physics, gravity, etc, actually come from God. He is the source of all what governs our universe!

    • Justin,

      I see a secular influence here:

      Justin K :
      Ron:
      I also don’t see how they can be taken as “solar” (and notice how I have to put that in quotes) days, being that the sun itself didn’t exist until the fourth day. … How one would do that without positing some sort of light source other than the sun capable of producing “evening and morning” (which not only seems silly, but also isn’t mentioned anywhere in the text), AGAINST the text of the fourth day is at pains to say that the sun and moon are there “to divide the say and the night”.

      Underlying assumption: light cannot exist without a physical source such as the sun.

      The text clearly says God created light; the context implies it was visible light; the text gives no hint at a physical source as the sun was not created yet.

      I cannot scientifically explain how there can be days, with light/dark cycles without a physical source such as the sun. I also cannot scientifically explain how the heavens, earth, sun, stars, life, etc. could be created. I cannot scientifically explain how water can be turned to wine (without being used to growing grapes first), how a virgin could conceive a child (apart from modern AI/embryo transfer technology) or how someone could rise from the dead. If I re-interpret the Bible to fit my understanding of what is scientifically possible, all these things described in historical passages are in jeopardy. It is logically inconsistent to say it is OK in in Genesis 1-11, but I won’t do it elsewhere.

      2: WHY one would want to insist on that sort of interpretation when there is a clear parallelism between the days, which matches up with the first three forming and the second three filling, the poetic language (not to mention the straight out poetry on day six), the repetition, etc, which all honestly seem to be pointing (STRONGLY) to…

      One can notice the parallel between days 1-3 and 4-6 without saying day one is the same as day 4 (I think I got the numbers right this time). Genesis has a few poetical portions (NIV Study Bible notes identified 1:27 as the first occurrence of poetry), however, it is written overall as historical prose (waw consecutive and all that). That is why YECs take it that way. There is nothing wrong with noticing parallels and analogies unless one does it in a way that undermines the straight forward reading of the text. The claim that day 1 is day 4 is outright bizarre, especially since days 2 and 3 are described in between them. I consider it tampering with the text based on the assumption stated earlier. It gives a very strange work week as I consider Monday the same day as Thursday.

      Justin, you did not offend me. I have been around science and I have heard the arguments of skeptics. This is why I can identify comments that are identical to those of the atheists or are in direct response to the attacks of atheists. Theologians may be very godly, worthy or our respect, and good to learn from, but they are also human and fallible. Your notion that they are somehow immune to the comments of skeptics is not realistic. “Caving in” was not the term I used, but I certainly clearly see the influence.

      I do not considering disagreeing with someone a sign of disrespect. In fact, I have been blessed many times by a friend who has taken the time to discuss details with me so I could understand where my ideas were a bit off. When that was done, it actually strengthened the bonds of friendship. Disagreement is fine; I just need it to be clear.

      • And maybe one day I’ll learn how to get the quotes right. Sorry about the format above. Hopefully you can tell what is my quote of Justin and what are my comments. I have no idea how Ron’s name got in there.

      • Jean:
        There is no underlying assumption that light cant exist without the sun. The text itself says that there was “day and night”, evening and morning, evening and morning, evening and morning, three times before there was sun and moon, which are explicitly said to be the dividers of day and night. That “day and night”, “evening and morning” implies sunrise and sunset is not secular assumption, its what the text says. That in itself seems to be pushing the reader towards a non-literal interpretation.

        Also, the argument isn’t that day 1 and day 4 are the same…I’m not sure what you’re getting at there. The argument is that this is a literary framework, or a picture, and is intended to be taken figuratively. The fact that the first 3 days (and the seventh) and don’t make sense as any sort of “day” like we could ever experience is one (not the only) pointers to that. They make perfect sense if the passage isn’t meant to be taken as a literal week of days, That’s the only point, really.

        If you think that your interpretation is going more with the grain of what the text is saying by assuming that there were some sort of non-solar days and nights without a sun or moon, then that’s fine, but I don’t know how you can claim to be taking the text in a straightforward or simple way at this point. All I can say is that I have honestly weighed your interpretation with a figurative one, and it seems like the figurative one just makes more sense. You have obviously come to a different conclusion and that’s fine with me.

  4. here is a response I got from a friend via email:

    The meaning of day is complex. If one wants to, one can see several other options– day has several meanings in Genesis 1. Which one to take? Day is light (as opposed to night); yet evening and morning is one day–where is the night? Further, “day” in 2:4 is used to cover the seven days of Gen 1. If day is literal in Gen 1, than we have a contradiction with 2:4.

    The ancients had no sense of time as modernists do. We forget that watches and electric clocks did not exist.

    The text itself gives us clues about how to understand itself.

    “Literal” is itself tricky–what does not mean? Perhaps a better word to use would be not literal but “meaning”?

    • Yes, day does have different meanings! It is not uncommon for words to have different meanings however it is context that determines meaning doesn’t it? There are many words that we can use but what I find silly is that no where in the rest of the Bible do we contest whether day meaning day, only in Genesis 1 and 2. Why?
      This article was posted as a response to the ‘day’ question.
      http://www.gotquestions.org/Genesis-days.html
      Let me know what you think, if it makes sense or not.
      Genesis 2:4 “in the day that the LORD God” clearly points to a different meaning than evening, morning, day over and over. Can’t just narrow it to only 1 word!
      And what does evening mean otherwise? Isn’t evening when darkness falls, when it gets dark, evening? Genesis 1:5 “the darkness He called Night”. Why read more into this than needed?

      • My reply above is in reference to that article Ron – the use and meaning of day is more complex than the article talks about thus the comment “if one wants to one can see several other options…” and as noted the use of day in 2:4 stands in contradiction to a literal sense of Day in chap one. Maybe we disagree on this but that is what I am offering to you.

        Also, I have been thinking about the verse in John you keep quoting about believing Moses and the Prophets. I am not sure it means you say it means. It seems Jesus is not referring to specific details of everything Moses wrote about such as the creation narratives) but primarily those things Moses wrote about in reference to the coming of the Messiah, one “like” Moses, yet greater than Moses – who is/was Jesus – so if they didn’t believe what Moses said about Messiah, how would the believe Jesus was He? Does that make sense? This is not to deny the veracity of creation event, but to put forth the meaning of that verse as Jesus was probably meaning it to mean.

        Finally something I want to put forth for further support in seeing a literary approach to the creation narrative, John 1:1-18 is really in essence John reinterpreting Genesis 1 in the light of the coming of Christ (the use of beginning in both text have the same sense as “the” beginning of creation – the prologue of John is not a literal deal though it is describing in theological fashion the coming of Jesus into the world, and to establish Jesus as the divine Son of God (and that he is God, though not the Father) in a different approach than the synoptic gospels, John goes back to the beginning of creation to establish Jesus’ divinity. Yet we know the passage isn’t literal in a literal sense, rather a theological description of a historical event. So I think Gen 1 is done in much the same manner as John 1. Just some thoughts.

  5. Ron, you also asked about my mention of chaos in verse two – I was being more theological. The waters and sea and darkness in the Bible typically represent chaos and lack of order/structure, etc – in God speaking let their be light it is his first act of redemption in the creation to bring about order and structure, even functionality to the creation – in some ways Revelation 21:1 serves as an inclusio to the biblical story of God redeeming the entire creation when we see in the new heavens and the new earth there is no longer any “sea” or chaos as God has now fully redeemed all of creation. It’s pretty awesome to think about really. I hope that helps some. To me this makes the theology and story of the creation narratives much more rich than simply focusing on science issues.

    • Brian,

      Doesn’t redemption include the concept of buying something back? I see the bringing order out of chaos in Genesis 1. I see God’s power, for sure. I do not see the “returning of order to something that was brought into chaos” in Genesis though. Is this what you mean? If so, where is the history to suggest that order pre-existed chaos. Please clarify.

      BTW, I can see redemption in Rev 21:1, because there was a pre-existing creation (the one we are in now). That passage also refers to our current heaven and earth (which includes seas) as the first.

  6. I would ask that we not use the term “infallible” when describing the Bible. “Infallible” means the inability to make a mistake or to teach error, referring to the actions of an actor–a living agent. It never applies to an inanimate object.

    The proper term to use, when we are saying that the Bible contains no error, is “inerrant.” From the earliest days of the Church, the fathers taught that everything the Bible asserts (properly understood, of course) is true and therefore without error. Even Jesus himself gave His solemn witness to the integrity of the sacred books (John 10:35).

  7. Brian :
    My reply above is in reference to that article Ron – the use and meaning of day is more complex than the article talks about thus the comment “if one wants to one can see several other options…” and as noted the use of day in 2:4 stands in contradiction to a literal sense of Day in chap one. Maybe we disagree on this but that is what I am offering to you.

    I think that is that dilemma, that ‘there has to be more, something deeper, more complex’ philosophy, not that there is anything wrong with that. I do it as well but what is inconsistent is that no where else in the rest of the Bible do we question the word ‘day’. Why not? Why only in Genesis 1,2? That doensn’t make sense to me and the article explained it very well imo (lol). I can’t see the contradiction to 2:4 because back in my parents day, they had no trouble understanding the meaning of day as we do to-day. The phrase ‘In the day’ appears 110 times in the NKJ but only in 2:4 do we have trouble understanding what it means!? This is my dilemma as it seems inconsistent when determining all the other ‘day and ‘In the day’ meanings.
    Another reason to consider! If day 1 and day 4 are parallel therefore happened at the same time, where did the sun, moon, stars reside if the firmament was not created until day 2 (v6, v8 ”God called the firmament Heaven”)?

    Also, I have been thinking about the verse in John you keep quoting about believing Moses and the Prophets. I am not sure it means you say it means. It seems Jesus is not referring to specific details of everything Moses wrote about such as the creation narratives) but primarily those things Moses wrote about in reference to the coming of the Messiah, one “like” Moses, yet greater than Moses – who is/was Jesus – so if they didn’t believe what Moses said about Messiah, how would the believe Jesus was He? Does that make sense? This is not to deny the veracity of creation event, but to put forth the meaning of that verse as Jesus was probably meaning it to mean.

    Yes, that does make sense however back in Jesus day (sorry), did not the scholars of the day (oops) not regard, shall we call it the first 4 books of the Bible, as written/documented by Moses? Another thought that if Jesus was referring to ‘like’ Moses, what did He mean by prophets? ‘Like’ prophets? Just some thoughts as well.

    Brian :
    Finally something I want to put forth for further support in seeing a literary approach to the creation narrative, John 1:1-18 is really in essence John reinterpreting Genesis 1 in the light of the coming of Christ (the use of beginning in both text have the same sense as “the” beginning of creation – the prologue of John is not a literal deal though it is describing in theological fashion the coming of Jesus into the world, and to establish Jesus as the divine Son of God (and that he is God, though not the Father) in a different approach than the synoptic gospels, John goes back to the beginning of creation to establish Jesus’ divinity. Yet we know the passage isn’t literal in a literal sense, rather a theological description of a historical event. So I think Gen 1 is done in much the same manner as John 1. Just some thoughts.

    That is something to reflect about but not definite or concrete in swaying either or.

  8. Brian,

    You stated above: “… the use of day in 2:4 stands in contradiction to a literal sense of Day in chap one.”

    Yom in Genesis 2:4 has the preposition “b” attached (b’yom). “In the day” is a Hebrew idiom for “when”, which is why NIV and ESV (and likely other) translators translate it as such. Thus, the way yom appears here in Hebrew makes it obvious that it is used differently than earlier. There is no contradiction.

    The word day in English and yom in Hebrew otherwise are remarkable similar in semantic range. Context generally makes it very clear which meaning is meant. A literal “24 hour” day is by far the most common in both languages and works quite well in Genesis 1.

  9. Re #14

    Justin,

    Thanks for taking the time to try to explain things to me. You said: “The text itself says that there was “day and night”, evening and morning, evening and morning, evening and morning, three times before there was sun and moon …”

    Amen! So far so good. The lights created on day 4 were made to divide day and night, among other things. After this, you lose me.

    In Genesis, evening and morning is tied to dark/light cycles, not the sun (Gen 1:5). Only after the sun was created would there be a SUNrise and SUNset. It still sounds like you have essentially the same assumption: dark/light cycles that can be considered days (as in 1:5) cannot occur without the sun. Your reason seems to be that this is outside human experience, which of course it is. Scripture does hint at a future time when light will no longer be associated with sun or moon (Rev 21:23-24).

    I don’t understand why day seven is describing something humans could not experience (and in fact, Adam and Eve did). Isn’t this the whole idea behind the Sabbath. i.e. man should rest from his work as God rested from His creating? Doesn’t the Sabbath presume a literal week of creation?

    Exodus 20:11 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.

    This will probably sound really stupid, but if Genesis 1 is to be taken figuratively, how did we get a literal sun, moon, stars, etc?

    Generally, when something in Scripture is to be taken figuratively there are more obvious clues (similes use “like” or “as”; metaphors often include explanations as in Gen 41:25-26 or Ezek 37:11; both are more common in poetry or prophetic literature). What might not be obvious in an English translation is the fact that Genesis 1 has the hallmarks of historical narrative (the waw consecutive is an important issue; it would be good to try to understand it). So you have the same problem here as you would have if you were trying to convince me that David and Goliath was intended to be taken figuratively. It isn’t written that way.

    Anyhow, thanks again for putting the time into explaining things, even if I don’t seem to get it.

  10. Pingback: Brian’s right – The Interpretation of the Bible is NOT Scripture | The Church of Jesus Christ

  11. Jean:
    Forgive me if I’m being dense, but it sounds like you are saying that the first three days AREN’T literal days. On what basis would they be? It seems like you are redefining words here to suit your interpretation. Of course, I assume that there can’t be “days” or “evenings and mornings” without a sun. So does everybody else (I thought) and so did ancient Hebrews. You don’t have to take my word for it, the text of day 4 tells you that. I think we are at a stopping point here, because I am just not willing to redefine “day”, “evening”, and “morning” to mean something other than what the words actually mean (I don’t mean that as an insult) in order to sustain an interpretation which seems to me to be neither “literal” or “straightforward”. I wouldn’t even know how to envision a “week” of this sort.

    I do appreciate you taking the time to explain where you’re coming from. I’ll chew on it.

    If you don’t mind me asking, what field of science are you in? That’s not a trick question or anything.

  12. Yes,I agree we are at a stopping point here – I have appreciated the interactions and sharing of viewpoints – many are worthy of consideration. Please know I am not necessarily an OEC person or even a creation science person though my backyard give much more support to a younger earth than many suppose – but I want to understand the creation narratives just like everyone else – and at this point, yeah, I refuse to take a position and will leave it open. I know many will have a serious problem with that but that will have be between you and God, not you and I. Blessings.

    The comments are now closed.

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  14. Pingback: Morning links (9/20) « scientia et sapientia

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