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Author Topic: Understanding Genesis  (Read 9983 times)

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Understanding Genesis
« on: January 25, 2011, 10:08:55 PM »


First of all thank you for ALL of your articles! I began reading your articles when I was 18 in 2008. I'm 21 now. I hope to meet you in person at a future conference (lord willing), if He gives you the strength and health.

On Youtube I posted a comment about how 'yom' in Genesis 1 represents an "Extended Period of Time." The next day an atheist replied to my comment. I found out that he was a former Christian who got a Biology degree and subsequently became an atheist because he says there is too much evidence for "evolution". Here is his (Ricks) reply below if you have the time. I'm Jake from Baytown, Texas.

Dear Jack:  I'll make a few short comments to this man's understanding of Genesis one and two:

"The Creation Myth in Genesis I is scientifically refuted because:

1. It wrongly states that plants - including angiosperms - existed before any animals whatsoever. Science has shown that angiosperms are the last of the major plant groups to evolve, and appeared about 200 million to 140 million years ago. That is hundreds of millions of years after the first animals. In fact, not even looking at the the first animals, the Cambrian "explosion" started some 530 million years: that some 350 million years before angiosperms.

And since the order is wrong, people can play with the length of a "day" of Creation all they want and they won't be able to save this part of the Bible from science.
RAY COMMENTS:  Wrong.  Genesis one does NOT state that "angiosperms (or plants that are today classified in that category) -- existed before any animals whatsoever."  His assumption is based on the spurious King James translation: "And it was so" (Gen. 1:11).  The Hebrew reads: "...and it did come to pass so," or "and it came to be so."  Clearly it doesn't say that it "WAS" (passed tense) so at that moment, but rather this was the start of vegetation which continued then for millions of years.  Yes, all of these creations "did come to pass so," over a long period of time.  These were not 24-hour time periods as young earth creationists falsely assume.

2. It wrongly states that birds appeared before land animals. Science has shown that to be wrong. Using Archaeopteryx as a stand in for the first bird, birds appear about 150 million years ago. But the first land animals - even if we ignore the earlier arthropods and stick to just vertebrates - appear some 360 million years ago.

And again, since the order is backwards, it doesn't matter if a "day" of Creation is 24 hours, 1000 years, 1 million years, or a billion years, this part of the bible is still refuted by science.

RAY'S COMMENT:  Wrong.  Genesis one does NOT say "birds."  The King James has "fowls," which are birds, but the Hebrew word used here is "oph"  (Dr. Strong's # 5775 which comes from #5774 and is defined as "covered with feathers, or rather covering with wings").  Yes, fowls are "ophs," but not all ophs are fowl or birds.  Notice that Dr. Strong's definition says that this word "rather" means "covering with wings," rather than "covered with feathers."  Only one time out of thirty some times this word is used in the O.T. does it refer to fowl rather than to something that flies or the act of flying.  Birds are not "covered with wings," but flying insects have four wings rather than just two as birds have.  Flies have two functional wings, but they have two homologous appendages which may have been another set of wings in the past.

The Concordant Literal Old Testament translates this word "oph" as "winged flyer," for that is what they were.

Likewise, contrary to popular belief, Genesis one does not speak of the creation of fish.   God did not tell the waters to bring forth "fish," but rather "moving [living] creatures" [Heb: sherets], but this was on the 5th day time period.  It was later, after the creation of mankind in verse 26 (millions of years after) that God makes the declaration to the humans that they should "...have dominion over the FISH of the sea."  Fish in this verse is not the "sherets" of verse 20, but rather the Hebrew is "dagah," which does mean "fish."

3. It wrongly states that the sun formed at the same time as the first stars ... both of which occurred after plants appeared. Science has shown that the sun formed about 4.5 billion years ago, but that the first stars formed some 9 BILLION years before that! And of course, both the first stars and the sun existed billions of years before the first angiosperms appeared.

RAY'S COMMENT:  Wrong again.  It does not say that the sun was "formed" on the fourth yom (time period--yom means time, not day) period. It is just stated that there were to be lights in the firmament to shine on the earth.  They were created back in verse 1, but now they are shining through the dense clouds and chaos which surrounded the earth for millions of years before the atmosphere was cleared enough for these lights to shine through to the surface of the earth.  King James says, "And God made two great lights..."  But that is not the proper tense in the Hebrew Manuscripts.  It should read:  "And God HAD MADE..."  That is, He "had [already] made" these lights.  Yes, of course, He made them back in verse one before He even began to fashion the earth suitable to be inhabited.

Those are 3 solid scientific refutations of the Creation Myth in Genesis I. There are less clear cut ones.

4. The Bible writers had a view of the universe where the earth was almost the entire universe; other than it, there were some pinpoints of light -- what we know know to be massive stars, trillions upon trillions of miles away -- stuck in a solid firmament above the earth, and a large light (sun) and a small light (moon). Other than that, there was just water: water below the earth and water above the solid firmament, held up by the firmament. This firmament was a solid, hemispherical dome that arches over the flat earth's surface, and it had windows in it that could be opened to let the waters it help up fall to the earth as rain ... or a flood. The earth was a disc: flat and circular. It rested upon pillars and could not be moved.

RAY'S COMMENT:  Well that's just utter nonsense.  The Bible says no such thing.  The Bible writers knew that the earth was an sphere, and that the stars and heavens were massive.

This of course is alsowhat other scientifically ignorant cultures believed, but now science has shown us how silly that picture of the universe is.

5. There are discrepancies among the two Creation accounts.

The order of creation of Genesis I is:
plants, animals, and then both man and woman at the same time

The order of creation of Genesis II is:
man, plants, animals, and finally woman

RAY'S COMMENT:  Chapter two does not contradict chapter one. The order in chapter one is plants, animals, and then humanity.  Is this not the order found in the geologic table?  Chapter two does not recount the creation of humanity, but rather the creation of Adam and Eve.  In Genesis 1:26 God "made" [Heb: 'asah'] male and female. In Gen. 2:6 God "formed" [Heb: 'yatsar'] Adam--two difference Hebrew words: two different formations.  Notice that it doesn't say in chapter 2 verse 3 that there was no man on earth at this time, but rather that there was "no man to till the ground."  There were men, but they were hunters/gatherers, not farmers.  God is now going to make a more advance human to cultivate and farm the land. 

The phrase "dress it and keep it" in verse 15, is "tend and cultivate." God is teaching Adam to be a farmer. When in doubt, read a proper translation.  God did not create the animals AFTER He created Adam. Notice a proper translation from the Concordant Literal Old Testament: "And furthermore, Ieu Alueim ['the Lord God'] HAVING FORMED [yes, having ALREADY formed, millions of years in the past] all field life and every flyer of the heavens."  God is bringing to Adam the Animal species which He had already created millions of years in the past, to have Adam give names to them.  This obviously took years.  Some, such as the dinosaurs (the reptilian 'tannyin, tannyim,' of Gen. 1:21 had already been extinct for many millions of years. These were decidedly not, "great whales," as the King James erroneously translates it).

It was from this first group of humanity that Cain apparently got his wife, cities were built, etc.

Chapter two does not cover the creation of plant life. That began hundreds of millions of years earlier.  What God is doing in Chapter two is He is planting a garden for the man to cultivate, farm, and harvest. The word "planted" in Gen. 2:8 is from the Hebrew meaning "to sprout." God "sprouted" newly planted trees, etc.  They were mere buds, which would require years to produce fruit to eat. What was Adam expected to eat until these trees matured?

The reason for the discrepancy? There are two different creation myths in Genesis, written by different authors.

RAY'S COMMENT:  There is no proof of this theory.

Genesis 1: P Source
a. Story calls God Elohim throughout: 35 times. God never called YHWH in the story.
b. Order of Creation: plants, animals, and then man & woman together
c. God creates a firmament in the sky separating waters above it from waters below it
d. God does not talk to humans
e. God does not take a stroll in the garden
f. No magical trees, dirt-man, rib-woman, talking 'snake', or cursed fruit

RAY'S COMMENT:  There is no reason to assume these are different renditions of the same creation events.

Genesis 2-3: J Source
a. Story calls God YHWH throughout: 11 times in chapter 2 and 9 times in chapter 3. God never called just Elohim in the story.

RAY'S COMMENT:  So what?  How does that prove two different writers?  The Creator is also referred to as Elohim fourteen times in chapter two (three more times than YHWH)--so what?  And Elohim is used thirteen times more in chapter 3.

b. Order or Creation: man, plants, animals, and finally woman
c. No mention of God creating a firmament
d. God talks to Adam and to Eve
e. God takes a stroll in the garden
f. Two magical trees, a dirt-man, a rib-woman, a talking 'snake', and cursed fruit" End of Quote.

RAY'S COMMENT:  Chapter 2 also neglects to say that God "Created the heavens and the earth."  Maybe that is because in Chapter 2 verse 1 it says, "Thus the heavens and the earth WERE FINISHED..." !!

I don't mind answer things like this once and awhile, but I really, really, don't have the time.

God be with you,



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