Re: Apologists and other salesmen

John Misasi (
Wed, 30 Oct 1996 16:52:14 -0500 (EST)

> >A few weeks ago I told an atheist why I believed it was important for early
> >Genesis to be historically correct. I wrote:
> >>GM>If the Bible is nothing
> >>>but a nonhistorical set of nomad myths, which are objectively false, then
> >>>why bother with christianity.
> This stems from the fallacy of considering the Bible as a book rather than as a
> library. There are all kinds of books in a library; if we find a book of
> mythology in the library, does this mean that the history books are suspect?
>Christianity is not founded on a literal interpretation of Genesis, it is
>founded on the Resurrection.

While i agree Christianity is not based on the literal interpretation of
Genesis, you must be careful when you are claiming to understand which
sections of the bible are to be read as fiction and which sections are to
be read as non-fiction. I would say that the majority of the bible is
not fiction, and where it is fiction it is in the form of allogory or
parable, that is to be used for the teaching of God's people. If Genesis
1-5 are supposed to be allogorical then what are we to learn? We learn
that some men have a tendency to sin and that God punishes them for it.
But, how does that affect me, where is the concept of original sin (the concept that
we are in need of salvation because of the the original sin). If genesis
1-5 are a myth then the need for salvation comes into question.
Barring Roman 3:23 (for all have sinned...), i could grow up perfect
without need the need for salvation.
I would suggest another hypothesis, which i mentioned about a
month or so ago, and that is that maybe genesis 1:2 through chapter 2
is not discussing the creation of the earth, but the creation of the
promised land. This is the hypothesis written about in John
Sailhamer's book, 'Genesis Unbound'. His argument essentially says
both sides YEC and OEC are wrong to espouse beliefs that Genesis 1 and
2 have anything to so with creation of the Universe (with the exception
of Genesis 1:1). That they are actually the description of God's creation
of the promised land and the first people he placed in it. He argues
that we must not forget the first five books are meant to be read
together and that they eaach focus on different aspects of Jewish history
and that the role of genesis is to set up the peoples expulsion from the
promised land, its subsequent promise to the jewish people and how they
ended up in eygpt. (I know that i am not doing his book justice, i am
paraphrasing it from my memory).

We must therefore be very careful in deciding which books are to
be placed in the fiction section, because if we place Genesis 1-5 in the
fiction section, all of Genesis should be in te fiction section, as well
as the rest of the Pentetauch. And i don't think that we would ever mean to
say that the first five books of the bible are merely fictional
childrens stories.

John Misasi

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