Archive for literal

Some brief difficulties in forcing Genesis 1 to be read literally

Posted in Genesis with tags , , , , , , , , on October 25, 2008 by airtightnoodle

There are certain issues that arise when attempting to read Genesis 1 literally.  Now, let’s be clear…with God all things are possible.  Could God have created in six literal days using nothing but His words?  Sure.  But, let’s explore these briefly just for the fun of it:

Day 3–man, those plants are fertile!

Then God said, “Let the land produce vegetation: seed-bearing plants and trees on the land that bear fruit with seed in it, according to their various kinds.” And it was so. The land produced vegetation: plants bearing seed according to their kinds and trees bearing fruit with seed in it according to their kinds. And God saw that it was good. And there was evening, and there was morning—the third day.

The Hebrew word “zera” is used for “seed” here.  This word is often translated as “descendants”.  The text implies that on day 3 plants sprouted, grew to maturity, and then also produced descendants that same day.

Day 6–No wonder Adam needed to model God’s seventh day of rest after this!

God creates animals, man, brings the animals to Adam for him to name according to Genesis 2, and then creates woman.  Phew!  That sounds like quite a day.  Adam would have had to name many, many, many organisms or at least many “types” of organisms.

Some creationists will argue that this really would not have taken so long because Adam was only naming “kinds” of animals (fish, dog, cat, bird, etc.).  Let’s look at the text of Genesis 2:

Now the LORD God had formed out of the ground all the beasts of the field and all the birds of the air. He brought them to the man to see what he would name them; and whatever the man called each living creature, that was its name. So the man gave names to all the livestock, the birds of the air and all the beasts of the field. 

It is doubtful, naturally, that Adam was giving a name to each cow, each fish, each bird, and so on.  “I name thee Bessie, and thee Belle, and thee Milky…”  The text says Adam gave names to the birds of the air, livestock, and beasts.  Even if he was only naming “kinds” of these organisms, there would still be many “kinds” of birds, many “kinds” of beasts, and so on.  This is also ignoring the fact that we do not really know what is meant by a “kind” (is it something along the lines of a taxonomic family, order, phylum, class, or something else entirely), and we also can’t even conceive of how many “kinds” this would be anyway since some of the organisms alive at the time of Adam would now be extinct!

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Genesis–a literal historical account of creation?

Posted in Evolution, Genesis with tags , , , , , , , , on June 15, 2008 by airtightnoodle

One of the most contentious topics between religion and science centers around the biblical story of creation as told in Genesis. Those who accept evolutionary theory as valid, whether religious or not, can clearly not accept the story of Genesis in literal terms.

So–is the creation story in Genesis even meant to be taken literally?

What do you think? Add your thoughts in the comments section. I plan on sharing some of my own thoughts in the upcoming week or so.

*Update 7-9-08: Obviously it is taking me much more than a week to share my own thoughts on this subject, but I truly do have a draft written up and saved.  Other things just keep coming up.  You know how it is.  In the meantime, I have another post with some thoughts on Genesis here.