Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Taking the Bible literally

Check out this interesting answer on Yedda

Yedda – People. Sharing. Knowledge.Bush and Religion

The issue that needs to be mentioned here is the question of how we understand the Bible. When someone says to me, “I take the Bible literally, “I always ask them what they mean by that statement. Do you mean that you take a particular English translation and how you interpret it to be true? That is not taking the Bible literally. This has led to bizarre interpretations of Revelation and Daniel---including the whole “Left Behind” scenario. Taking the Bible literally means that you look at who wrote it, to whom, and why. If the book is poetry, you do not interpret it as you would a book on history.

Taking Genesis literally leads to total agreement with the evidence. The writer of Genesis leads to total agreement with the evidence. The writer of Genesis uses the Hebrew bara meaning to create miraculously in verse one to refer to the cosmos and the earth. The word bara which refers to something only God can do is not used again in Genesis until reference is made to life in verse 21. In the meantime the Hebrew word asah is used referring to a natural process---something that is made. This means the Sun and the Moon are created in verse one, but in verses 14-19 they are shaped or molded or changed. Taking Genesis literally means understanding that two different things are involved. These same two words are used in describing man with bara being used in reference to man’s spiritual makeup in verses 26, while in Genesis 2:7 the word used in referring to man’s body is yatshir, a word that refers to something a potter would do with clay. The Bible in Genesis 2:3 tells us that God both created and made where both bara and asah are used.

This literalness removes all the problems people have with the scientific integrity of the Genesis account. The light in verse three is coming from what was created in verse one, and the Sun and the Moon are a part of that. Being able to determine “signs, seasons, days and years” becomes possible in verses 14-19 on the fourth day by a change that God makes. The animals of the creation week are all identified, and all of them are animals Moses knew. Kanaph in Hebrew in verse 20-21 refers to birds like the chickens Moses knew.
Behemoth in verses 24-25 refers to cows and other ungulates that Moses knew. Remes refers to animals the Jews could eat according to Genesis 9:1-3 and this must refer to smaller mammals like sheep and goats. Attempting to force dinosaurs, platypuses, bats, and viruses into these words is to not take the Genesis account literally. What is happening is that people are twisting and distorting the Bible to fit what their denomination teaches instead of listening to what God says.

So Genesis 1:1 describes a prehistory, a time undated and without chronology. At the end of it there is a creation that includes everything we see through our telescopes, our microscopes, and in the fossil record. The Bible summarizes what has been done without giving detailed explanations that we would not understand and that are not germane to its message. It has been said that the Bible tells us how to go to heaven, not how the heavens go; and that is absolutely true. Genesis 1 tells us that God is the Creator. It gives a sequence in which God created all we see. How much time is involved in all of this is not given, nor are all the mechanisms involved. Certainly natural processes operate today, because they have been designed to accommodate life in a changing environment. Evolutionary theories and the naturalistic philosophies on which they are founded may contrast the Bible, but the fact of change does not.  (Ref: John Clayton,  www.doesgodexist.org )

Topics:  , ,

Answered by DonColeCartoons on December 15, 2008

View the entire discussion on YeddaYedda – People. Sharing. Knowledge.

No comments:

Post a Comment