Just because we named our planet Earth, doesn't mean the ancient writers were referring to the planet when they used the word we translate as earth
I can accept all that. But at worst that simply means that modern Bibles are bad translations in that one regard. After all, the actual Genesis stories were written a considerable period before the sixteenth century.
So how does any of that invalidate the Flood story or the Creation story?
No. It's not. - Sixteenth Century clerics knew about the Americas but they did not believe Copernicus. They did not believe earth is a planet.
True, but misleading. The Sixteenth Century clerics certainly had access to knowledge of the size and shape of earth. But Earth was not considered to be a planet solely because the earth was considered the center of the universe.
That particular bit of ignorance does not impact the flood story or much else described in the Bible.
rior to the 13th century, the Christian church denied that Earth is a globe. Consequently it would have denied a global flood. The scripture certainly does not suggest a global flood. If the authors had intended such a thing there were a number of words by which that reality might be expressed - the most likely among them being the word "ball."
This argument is bad on several levels.
First, I note that you've shifted the goal posts from the 16th century to the 13th.
Second, if the authors thought that the earth was flat, then they might still have considered the flood to be worldwide. They just would not have used the word "global".
Third, if the ancients had no concept that the world was spherical, then we wouldn't have expected them to use words like ball.
Edited by NoNukes, : Goofy apostrophe that does not belong. other minor corrections
The English word earth does not carry those added meanings. Other than being the name of our planet, it pretty much refers to ground or soil. This is more in line with the Hebrew word adamah.
quote:earth O.E. eorþe "ground, soil, dry land," also used (along with middangeard) for "the (material) world" (as opposed to the heavens or the underworld), from P.Gmc. *ertho (cf. O.Fris. erthe "earth," O.S. ertha, O.N. jörð, M.Du. eerde, Du. aarde, O.H.G. erda, Ger. Erde, Goth. airþa), from PIE base *er- "earth, ground" (cf. M.Ir. -ert "earth").
According to the etymology you posted, the word earth could be used to refer to "the material world" or Middangeard which is in keeping with a world encompassing concept.
I think the fact that earth was not known to be a planet is a red herring. Planets were those star-like things in the sky that wandered relative the vast background of regular stars. The Earth could not be a planet because it was the observation point.
I don't know what view of the earth's size and shape the Hebrews had, but the Greeks understood the size and shape of the Earth at the time of Eratosthenes, who died around 200 BC.
From the KJV Genesis 7:4
quote:For yet seven days, and I will cause it to rain upon the earth forty days and forty nights; and every living substance that I have made will I destroy from off the face of the earth.
Destroying every living substance made by God from the face of the earth sounds like a world wide flood to me. If "earth" can have imply both local and world-wide, I think it would be logical to use the more encompassing word here.
Except that the world (planetary) encompassing concept is not a meaning of erets or adamah. Those are the words that are being translated. Just because one meaning of earth fits the bill, doesn't mean they all do.
Okay. I think in your previous post, you did remark about the meanings of the English words "land" and "earth", and that your argument was about those words. But I can agree that an argument based on erets or adamah is more appropriate. I know nothing of Hebrew.
Made by that god. Why would a writer make the distinction if they believed that the god in the story had created all living things?
If I reviewed some substantial work that you had authored, would I find that you had removed all redundancies from your work?
If in fact erets and adamah do not express universality, then some other words would be helpful in expressing that concept. So if your argument about erets and adamah are correct, then something else is needed to make the 7:3 and 7:4 talk about a world wide flood.
Are you suggesting that the Bible does not say that God created every living thing? That not even Genesis 1 and 2 are about the entire earth? I'd need some convincing on that.
That is a curiously vague and oddly worded statement. Obviously we shouldn't expect reference to lands that the storyteller had no idea of.
Actually, we might have expected some cryptic hint about this if God was actually dictating the flood story to Moses.
Your own argument elsewhere that the flood story makes universal claims which you believe should be taken as hyperbole tends to support the first alternative implicitly concedes that a literal reading indicates a universal Flood.
I don't think you are using a useful definition of the term 'literal'. A literal reading of a text would not require word for word translations of idiom or even hyperbole.
Of course that doesn't prove Flood story isn't intended to be global.
This summer as I was traveling through the Richmond VA area to ferry my daughter to a basketball tournament, I was unable to find a radio channel carrying my usual music or talk, so I treated myself to some American Family Radio. Apparently AFR is some kind of YEC family values version of NPR, but without any apparent obligation to deal in facts.
On one segment, a host took on the task of debunking an atheist's attack on the flood story in the Bible by showing that the flood story could have been local, thus removing one of the atheist's reason to disbelieve. As you might expect, the host felt it necessary to ladle out several minutes of disclaimers to let the listeners know that he was only playing devil's advocate. The flood was real and global.
As I recall, the main argument was that essentially the same words and phrases that 'appeared' to describe the whole earth in Genesis were used in other places in the Bible, in situations where the context made it clear that the scope was local rather than global. I believe the text in Isaiah 24 was one of the examples given, but I may be wrong about that.
I didn't personally find the argument very convincing, because the other example cases did include clear contextual hints.
Then another segment featured a constitutional law 'expert' (hawking a book of course) who claimed that liberal Justices were interpreting the constitution in such a way as to steal our rights. Apparently the expert wasn't too concerned about the conservative Justices' crabbed readings of portions of the 1st, 4th, and 5th amendments. The expert, when attempting to name the 9 Justices listed four liberal Justices who had never deliberated together, and failed to name Rader Ginsburg. (Yeah, I know there has been a bit of turnover, but still ...)
The next segment dealt with Congress' failure to take our country back from Obama by not extending the debt limit.
Once they started weighing in on how the 1830s were the most free and democratic period in American history (all based on Alexis de Tocqueville's book. As if...) while ranting against diversity I figured I had heard enough code words. I plugged in my iPod to my trusty radio transmitter and left the world of AFR.
I use the words local, regional, and known lands to differentiate from planetary. From now on I will just use the word local.
I've always thought that referring to a planetary flood was distracting, but not for the reasons you give. Planetary carries a connotation of a relationship between earth and the rest of the cosmos, and at least some of the argument here and in other threads has dealt with whether the ancients knew understood Earth to be a planet in the same way Mars is a planet.
Anyway, I'm happy to dispose of word "planet" for this discussion.
But that said, when you use the term local for the purposes of this discussion, and contend that the Bible authors were describing a local flood, the implication is that the authors knew of non-local places that were not being flooded. If the authors knew not of such other places, or had any hint that they existed, then the authors were referring to a world wide flood and not a local one. It's just that they believed the world was rather tiny.
So show me where I have been confusing and where I seem to "look" as though I want to exclude the possibility of a complete flood, which I assume you mean a complete flood of the non-planetary world. We must be precise.
If it helps to have a data point, I'm certainly confused. I have no idea what point you are making.
You appear to believe that there were some lands that the Bible authors knew about that were not flooded, but you don't seem to place much urgency in talking about them. If this thread never gets to the point of discussing that, I don't see the need in posting any kind of summary.
My impression is that you have some reasons for reading the Bible the way you do, and that you believe those reasons to be objective. But you haven't given anything like an objective reason. It appears to me that you've already decided that the flood was local and that you are simply providing rationalization for what you already believe. Curiously enough, this sounds like something ICANT said a while back.
Concerning the use of eretz and adamah in the flood story, I'm debating whether the text presents a flood that covers the planet as opposed to a flood that doesn't cover the planet?
I'm confused because if the above statement was really what this thread was about it should have ended in one post. Nobody disputes the idea that the authors did not consider the earth a planet. Thus even a story about an all encompassing flood would not be about a flooded planet.
However our agreement with the above did not end the thread, and you continued to treat other words (e.g. global, world-wide) that describe an all encompassing flood as if their authors had used the word planet.