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Author Topic:   Contradictions: Hint that Genesis 1 and 2 are Allegorical
Member (Idle past 459 days)
Posts: 9069
From: god's waiting room
Joined: 05-21-2004

Message 31 of 112 (737719)
09-28-2014 11:16 PM
Reply to: Message 30 by PaulGL
09-28-2014 5:38 PM

you are replying to a thread that is 11 years old.
"PaulGL" writes:

Any apparent discrepancy is due to one of three things: A. Unjustified, inductive extrapolations of scientific findings. B. Incorrect, dogmatic (present on both sides of the E. vs. C. issue) interpretations of either secular or scriptural evidence.

actually, you will find that it is the apologetic interpretations that are incorrect and dogmatic. they seek to justify science and the bible against each other.

the person (or more likely, committee) that wrote genesis 1 had no knowledge of the universe in modern scientific ways, and this much is evident from the writing alone. they get the most fundamental basic descriptions of cosmology incorrect, from the very beginning. they describe a primordial chaos consisting of water, out of which a flat earth and a solid domed heaven are made. these are not meant to be allegorical; they aren't symbolic of anything. they are plain descriptions of the way that every ancient near eastern person thought of the universe in the bronze and iron ages, consistent across many cultures.

genesis 1 serves primarily two functions:

  1. as an etiology for the practice of shabbat, and
  2. to erase J's earlier creation myth which was deemed heretical
we know about the earlier version because part of it is still present in genesis (chapters 2-4), and because other books (psalm 74, job) reference events that seem to be from the missing section, which are (again) concordant with other ancient near eastern mythology.

J's version seems to have been heretical in its assertions that yahweh had an opponent he had to defeat at the dawn of time, in the dragon leviathan (and perhaps, as in the baal cycle, the dragon first defeated him), and in the assertions that yahweh lied, and that yahweh's creation was flawed. the P version, found in genesis 1, and cutting right to genesis 5, skips all of the strife found in J. and the places where they overlap highlight the differences very strongly:

instead of man being created alone, and that being "not good", and yahweh failing to make man a mate, and then the woman being portrayed as better than the man in some ways and punished to subservience, they are created side-by-side. instead of stealing "knowledge" (which has definite sexual connotations in biblical hebrew), they are commanded to procreate. instead of a murdered son and an exiled son, and a third son to replace those two, P skips right to seth. so too P glosses over the parts we know about the missing section. dragons are mentioned in verse 21, but there is no battle.

the second major concern is the etiological function of genesis 1. it is not so much about creation of the world, as it is about the demarcation of time. it is the etiology for night and day (in that order, comprising the jewish day which begins at sundown), it is the etiology for the week, and it is the etiology for shabbat. those etiologies make zero sense if they are using the words differently than they are clearly defining them. shabbat was a relatively new practice that P was concerned with more than some other sources were. P is also the timekeeper of the torah; the authors of all the genealogies. so genesis 1 is about time. playing fast and loose with the time is to have completely missed the point.

but these are things you have to actually study the text, and the texts of the surrounding nations, to understand.

C. Lack of evidence in critical, specific areas for the purpose of preserving free will. Example: IF science ascertained factually that there was no fossil record prior to 6,000 years ago (i. e.: Adam and Eve, the human race magically and instantaneously appeared) don't you realize that this would be such prima facie evidence of direct Divine intervention that it would interfere with free will?

no, doesn't follow.

there is plenty of evidence for evolution, common ancestry, an old earth, global climate change, that we went to the moon, the holocaust, etc. yet there are people who deny all those things. evidence of divine intervention would simply be evidence of divine intervention, and would not invalidate free will. if free will is even a thing to begin with.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 30 by PaulGL, posted 09-28-2014 5:38 PM PaulGL has not yet responded

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