quote:Whoever wrote these separate accounts should have put more thought into it. Elementary school kids could have done a better job of making a harmonious account of creation, to think that someone with a godlike intellect was inspiring this book is absurd in my opinion.
When scientists (not priests) first theorized how and in what order things came into being they put their conclusions down in some form.
A few hundred years later some scientists also theorize how and in what order things came into being and put their conclusions down in some form. They may or may not have read the earlier conclusions.
This process continues over the years.
If we take that first writing and then compare it with a theory from a few hundred years ago and we find they differ in their conclusions, do we say that those two writings contradict each other?
Scripture is like Newton’s third law of motion—for every action there is an equal and opposite reaction. In other words, for every biblical directive that exists, there is another scriptural mandate challenging it. -- Carlene Cross in “The Bible and Newton’s Third Law of Motion”
quote:We do, if both writings are held to be infallibly true.
So the person or persons asserting that both writings are correct are the ones who have to account for the contradictions they assert are both true.
quote:Changing theories is certainly a valid explanation for why the difference should exist at all. But if both versions are said to be infallible, and yet they suggest a different order of events, then they are contradictory.
I don't really understand why they need the entire work to be infallible. Different writers, different time frames, and different needs. I would find it more interesting to see if the same author contradicts himself.Scripture is like Newton’s third law of motion—for every action there is an equal and opposite reaction. In other words, for every biblical directive that exists, there is another scriptural mandate challenging it. -- Carlene Cross in “The Bible and Newton’s Third Law of Motion”
I'm not sure about those who need to reconcile the books of the Bible, since they were specific to their time and audience.
The Genesis 2 creation story was written first by the J writer and the Genesis 1 creation story was written considerably later by the Priestly writer. In the J story God is very personal, but in the later P story God is more cosmic, distant. I see it as a natural progression as civilization develops. From a tribal God to a national God.
Genesis 7:17 (how long was the flood?) And the flood was forty days upon the earth Genesis 7:24 And the waters prevailed upon the earth an hundred and fifty days. Genesis 8:3 And the waters returned from off the earth continually: and after the end of the one hundred and fifty days the waters were abated.
Genesis 7:17 is the J writer and Genesis 7:24 and 8:3 are the Priestly writer. So the Priestly writer at least is consistent about the length of the flood.
Genesis 8:13 In the first month, the first day of the month, the waters were dried up from off the earth. Genesis 8:14 And in the second month, on the seven and twentieth day of the month, was the earth dried.
These verses are both from the Priestly writing, but I don't see the contradiction. The first one says the waters were dried up off the earth and the second says the earth was dried. I think the first refers to when the water was all gone and the second refers to when the earth was finally dry.
The author isn't contradicting himself in these two verses.
quote:Genesis 11:1 (There is only one language) And the whole earth was of one language, and of one speech. Genesis 11:6 And the LORD said, Behold, the people is one, and they have all one language Genesis 10:5 (There are multiple languages) By these were the isles of the Gentiles divided in their lands, every one after his tongue. Genesis 10:20 These are the sons of Ham, after their families, after their tongues. Genesis 10:31 These are the sons of Shem, after their families, after their tongues.
The verses in Genesis 11 is the earlier J writer and the verses in Genesis 10 is the later Priestly writer.
The J writing was the Tower of Babel story and the P writing was just a list of descendants. There isn't a P version to the Babel story. The Redactor definitely didn't pay attention to consistency.
Genesis 19:13 (Was sodom and Gomorrah destroyed by angels or the Lord?) For we will destroy this place, because the cry of them is waxen great before the face of the LORD; and the LORD hath sent us to destroy it. Genesis 19:24 The LORD rained upon Sodom and upon Gomorrah brimstone and fire from the LORD out of heaven.
Both of these are from the J story. While the sentences seem to be contradictory, I don't think they are given the whole story starting in chapter 18. The story isn't as consistent as we would like them today, but this came from a time of tribal storytelling.
quote:Genesis 26:34 (Who was Bashemath's father?) And Esau was forty years old when he took to wife Judith the daughter of Beeri the Hittite, and Bashemath the daughter of Elon the Hittite. Genesis 36:2-3 Esau took his wives of the daughters of Canaan; Adah, the daughter of Elon the Hittite, and ... Bashemath Ishmael's daughter.
These are both from the P writer. If there was something in the original writing that clarified the difference, it is lost now.
quote:Genesis 28:5 (Who was Laban's father?) And Isaac sent away Jacob: and he went to Padanaram unto Laban the son of Bethuel the Syrian. Genesis 29:5 And he said unto them, Know ye Laban the son of Nahor?
28:5 is the Priestly writer and 29:5 is the J writer. We may never know which one is correct.Scripture is like Newton’s third law of motion—for every action there is an equal and opposite reaction. In other words, for every biblical directive that exists, there is another scriptural mandate challenging it. -- Carlene Cross in “The Bible and Newton’s Third Law of Motion”