I'm not afraid to say the wine may have had the appearance of age (no, I
don't think the text warrents any interpretation of wine as possibly being
unfermented grapes). But as several others have pointed out, I don't think
this is an appropriate comparison.
I'll just copy of post from a friend of mine for this one: The comparison
here was that abandoning a six-day creation necissitates the abandonment of
the virgin birth:
The comparison is illegitimate, it seems to me, for two reasons.
 We have no evidence for or against the virgin birth or other
miracles one way or the other. On the other hand, we do have a great
deal of evidence that can be read as indicating an old earth.
 The case of miracles and the case of the age of the earth are not
sufficiently analogous to make the comparison. If a scientist rules out
miracles, on the basic of science, it not usually due to evidence against
the occurence of the miracle (unless he was there at the miracle
collecting such evidence). It usually has to do with the unwarranted
Human assumption that our knowledge of the laws of nature shows that such
events that go beyond those laws cannot happen. If a scientist rules
out a young earth, on the basis of science, it is usually a matter of the
best interpretation of the historical evidence for the age of the earth,
given the general coherentist heremeneutical principles that we use in
any interpretive inquiry.
Now, we can ask questions about the assumptions going into that
interpretation. Given two intepretations of the evidence--one based on
the assumption of a 6000 year old earth and one based on the assumption
of an earth of indeterminate age--both interpretations are probably
possible, but most people seem to think the latter interpretation seems
better to embody our general hermeneutical principles, thus rendering it
This is, BTW, basically the same way we interpret anything, including
Scripture. We go to the text and come up with some assumptions based on
our expectations of and questions posed to the text (e.g., Genesis 1 is
talking about six ordinary days). Then we see how well those assumptions
cohere with the rest of the textual (and perhaps other) evidence as we
see that through our expectations and questions. In this process, we
must be open to the text, allowing all and any of our assumptions,
expectations, and questions to be brought up short or to be called into
question themselves. If everything fits into a coherent whole (is
logically consistent, fitting with what we already take to be known, each
piece fitting with each of the others, all falling into systems of mutual
support, etc.), THEN we are satisfied. If such a coherent whole does NOT
emerge (e.g., some passages seem to indicate that the seventh day of
creation included the whole Old Covenant period or that Christ has
brought about a new day of creation), then we may have to rethink our
intial interpretation with new assumptions and open to new possibilities.
Scientific and historical interpretation work in an analogous fashion.
Postdoc, Plant Biology
Southern Illinois University
Joel and Dawn Duff / | ' \ Spell Check?
Carbondale IL 62901 ( ) 0
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