Almost everyone would agree that, taken at face value, a plain, straight-forward reading of Genesis 1-11, without any consideration of external information, indicates that the earth and universe were created in six normal days a few thousand years ago.  Yet, many Christians, including many who hold to the absolute inerrancy of the Bible, do not take it at face value, but rather interpret it in light of the claims of modern scientists that the universe is billions of years old.

If the universe actually was billions of years old, and the face-value teaching of Genesis 1-11 is incorrect, what would this say about the nature of God?  Is God a poor communicator?  If so, then He is not all-powerful and all-knowing.  Did God deliberately misrepresent the facts?  If so, then He is a liar.  Did God communicate the facts correctly, but mankind re-wrote and muddled God’s Word after the fact?  If so, then God was unable to preserve His Word; He is not all-powerful.  If the plain, straight-forward meaning of Genesis 1-11 is not true, then God is not God.

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The problem is, the style, vocabulary, and structure of Genesis 1-11 in the Hebrew is clearly historic narrative. If God never meant Genesis as literal history, then He either deliberately misrepresented the truth by writing Genesis to appear as historic narrative - and is a liar - or, He is not a very good writer - and therefore not omniscient and omnipotent.
It sounds like you're saying God lied, but He knew we'd be smart enough to figure it out.



David Edwards said:
Or maybe God never meant Genesis as literal history. Maybe he thought that by the time humans had developed science, they would have also developed the wisdom to understand why he wrote it the way he did.
If a day in Genesis wasn't literal but millions/billions of years then:

- Moses was on the mountain for 40 million years (Exodus 24:18)
- The children of Isreal rested on the Sabbath day from their works every 7th million years (Exodus 20:11)
- The genealogy of Jesus should read millions/billions of years (Matthew 1:1-17)
- Noah was in the Ark for 40 million years (Genesis 7:4)
- The walls of Jericho fell after the people marched around them for seven million years (Hebrews 11:30)

The above passages makes sense only if the world was created in 6 days. It is only in prophecy that a day means a different length of time. Prophecy streaches a literal day to an earthly year at the maximum (Numbers 14:34) (Daniel 9:24-27), etc.
How about you stop trying to read the mind of God. Rich and Floyd are exactly right.



David Edwards said:
Genesis may be clearly historical narrative to you, but it is clearly mythical to me. How do we decide?

Rich Wendling said:
The problem is, the style, vocabulary, and structure of Genesis 1-11 in the Hebrew is clearly historic narrative. If God never meant Genesis as literal history, then He either deliberately misrepresented the truth by writing Genesis to appear as historic narrative - and is a liar - or, He is not a very good writer - and therefore not omniscient and omnipotent.
It sounds like you're saying God lied, but He knew we'd be smart enough to figure it out.



David Edwards said:
Or maybe God never meant Genesis as literal history. Maybe he thought that by the time humans had developed science, they would have also developed the wisdom to understand why he wrote it the way he did.
David,

He did indicate the criterion that are used to decide: - Style, Vocabulary and Structure - in the original language. If you feel it is mythical/allegorical/parable, please identify the style, vocabulary and structural elements that give you that impression.
Sir,
May be be all this is not the real WORD of "God"
Extend the discuss of the textes from Genesis 1:1-11 t0 1:1-16 and see about Sun and monn created after the light !
How the Sun and the moon ...Stars "dominate or rule" the creation over day and night... to Matthew 2:1-12 about stars and birth of Jesus.... Malachi 4:2 ...winged SunGod or what ? see Deut 17:3-5 and compare it all with attribute of Jesus with the Sun in the NT ? ... "Mother of light"=SunGod=Mary
Yesa-us=Yesaus=Yesus=Jesus... Real name is Pt. Yesa not Yesa "the light"=us = Dei-wos(latin)=Dieu (in french)=light of sky... Saul=Paul=Pol= Apollonius is a Rabbi who distorted the call of Pt. Yesa, peace unto Him... That's why you are wondrering about these textes and the contradictions... If these are WORD OF GOD or NOT
How many logical fallacies can we load into one reply?

Brian, there are plenty of Biblical scholars who would agree with me.

~ Faulty appeal to authority

However, the important point is not how many big guns we can muster to support our arguments.

~ you recognize the fallacy in someone else’s argument, right after you used the same fallacy in yours.

Are you seriously suggesting that any one person's literary interpretation

~ Straw-man: It’s not just one person’s interpretation

of a Bronze age text written in a long-dead language

~ genetic fallacy

should override the combined, unanimous agreement of modern science,

~ Faulty appeal to authority
~ Reification (science can’t agree with anything; it doesn’t have a mind.)

which is backed by a universe full of unequivocal evidence?

~ Question-begging epithet

Plus, the entire response is both a Complex (loaded) Question, and irrelevant to the topic of the thread. And, there are other fallacies I didn't bother to detail.

Do you have any further comments relevant to the original topic of this thread?


David Edwards said:
Brian, there are plenty of Biblical scholars who would agree with me. However, the important point is not how many big guns we can muster to support our arguments. Are you seriously suggesting that any one person's literary interpretation of a Bronze age text written in a long-dead language should overridethe combined, unanimous agreement of modern science, which is backed by a universe full of unequivocal evidence?

Brian Guiley said:
David,

He did indicate the criterion that are used to decide: - Style, Vocabulary and Structure - in the original language. If you feel it is mythical/allegorical/parable, please identify the style, vocabulary and structural elements that give you that impression.
Well, let me see, as this is a document inspired by an all powerful, all knowing, all seeing God and indicated by that inspiration as his difinitive work to mankind. Knowing that "science" changes daily, and is built upon assumption and interpretation of flawed men. Yeah.

By the way, there is not unanimous agreement among scientists, even in the evolutionary camp on what happened, how it happened, or even necessarily that it happend here. Nor is the 'universe' full of 'unequivocal' evidence. You've failed in any discussion you've contributed to to present any such evidence. I would say your discussion of 'evidence' would be the best venue. As this discussion is about interpretation of Genesis 1-11 and it's indications for God's character, I would encourage you to stick with the topic.

David Edwards said:
Brian, there are plenty of Biblical scholars who would agree with me. However, the important point is not how many big guns we can muster to support our arguments. Are you seriously suggesting that any one person's literary interpretation of a Bronze age text written in a long-dead language should overridethe combined, unanimous agreement of modern science, which is backed by a universe full of unequivocal evidence?

Brian Guiley said:
David,

He did indicate the criterion that are used to decide: - Style, Vocabulary and Structure - in the original language. If you feel it is mythical/allegorical/parable, please identify the style, vocabulary and structural elements that give you that impression.
Back to my original question/topic: Is a re-interpretation of Genesis an attack on the character of God?
I agree with your assessments as to what it would mean about God to try and reinterpret Genesis 1 - 11. I don't know if I'd call it an "attack" on His character, as many take on these views to try and preserve their faith while acknowledging that 'science' stands in contrast to the Genesis account. Thanikfully, AIG and ICR (among others) are getting the word out that the Genesis account is not anti-science, but in fact can be understood in light of science. Some, like David seem to think it does not reflect on God's character. Maybe he'll tell us how he aligns the two.

Rich Wendling said:
Back to my original question/topic: Is a re-interpretation of Genesis an attack on the character of God?
I don't know if I'd call it an "attack" on His character, as many take on these views to try and preserve their faith while acknowledging that 'science' stands in contrast to the Genesis account.

I don't think it's a deliberate attack, but more of an unwitting attack. Many well-meaning, sincere Christians think they are honoring God when they re-interpret Genesis to accommodate science. However, when the implications of such an understanding of Genesis are followed to their logical conclusions, they do attack God's very nature and character.

Thanikfully, AIG and ICR (among others) are getting the word out that the Genesis account is not anti-science, but in fact can be understood in light of science.

Actually, I think you have it backwards. AiG and ICR teach that science should be understood in light of the Bible, not vice-versa.
Why do Christians want to compromise God's word with man's ideas? Most "christians" simply believe what they believe because they were raised to believe it. They avoid conflict like the plague and want to blend in with the world as much as possible. Most of them attended secular humanistic/evolutionary indoctrination centers called public schools and most of their churches and pastors never dealt with this topic in any meaningful way. I agree, if Genesis is not literal history, then the Bible is not worth the paper it is printed on and Christianity is a sham as is all religion. Jesus referred to Adam and Eve and Genesis as literal history (Matthew 19:4 et al), so his credibility is on the line as well.
Rich, I stand corrected, and mis-spoke. AIG and ICR do indeed interpret science in light of scripture (amen!). Praise be that they actually take that step though, to show that science itself does not contradict scripture, only the interpretations of men.

Rich Wendling said:
I don't know if I'd call it an "attack" on His character, as many take on these views to try and preserve their faith while acknowledging that 'science' stands in contrast to the Genesis account.

I don't think it's a deliberate attack, but more of an unwitting attack. Many well-meaning, sincere Christians think they are honoring God when they re-interpret Genesis to accommodate science. However, when the implications of such an understanding of Genesis are followed to their logical conclusions, they do attack God's very nature and character.

Thanikfully, AIG and ICR (among others) are getting the word out that the Genesis account is not anti-science, but in fact can be understood in light of science.

Actually, I think you have it backwards. AiG and ICR teach that science should be understood in light of the Bible, not vice-versa.

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