Re: Inerrancy

Dick Fischer (
Thu, 06 Jun 1996 23:56:21 -0500

Jan wrote:

>my experiences since highschool and at the university, it is very, very
>dangerous to try to read "scientific" data out of the bible, especially out of
>Genesis 1-11. The type of literature is different from a historical text,
as is
>already clear from the order of creating in Gen.1.

I don't think the order of creation is very far off the fossil record. And
there is a danger in setting up our interpretation of the fossil record, which
is a theory after all, as a yardstick with which to judge the Genesis narrative.

>If you want to read it
>literally, it is easy to point to contradictions between Gen.1 and 2. If
>treated as a "historical" text in talking with students, you do more harm than
>good, especially if they are taught by completely secular, unbelieving
>scientists, at a secular university.

It may be possible to explain differences between Gen. 1 and 2 in other ways
rather than to simply call them "contradictions." I'll offer one. Some of
the guys may have better ideas.

The order of creation in Genesis 1 places animals before Adam, and in Genesis
2 the order is reversed. But Gen. 1 may be the grand scale, while Gen. 2
to the confines of Eden. Bara, the word for create, is applied to sea life
and flying creatures, probably "insects" not "fowls" (Gen. 1:20). The word for
create doesn't appear again until Gen. 1:27 when God creates Adam. In between
is asah in Hebrew which can mean "made," "permit," "allow to function."

Bara is not found in Genesis 2. The animals formed "out of the ground" may be
a subset of animals God already created in Gen. 1, but these may have been
for Adam's local habitat, and these are the animals Noah was to save.

It's only a suggestion.

Dick Fischer
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