BIBLE: Inaccurate History

David Campbell (
Mon, 3 Mar 1997 18:32:33 -0500

On an earlier thread of "hasn't all this been discussed already in the 1800's:
" would be most natural to understand the word in its ordinary sense;
but if that sense brings the Mosaic account into conflict with facts, and
another sense avoids such conflict, then it is obligatory on us to adopt
that other" -Charles Hodge, Systematic Theology, 1:570-571. 1871-3.
Given the unlikelihood of a 3-4000 year old account conforming to our
modern Western ideas of historical reporting and difficulties in
harmonizing Gen. 1 and 2 as literalistic accounts, it seems reasonable to
suppose that not all of these chapters consist of journalistic accounts.
External evidence indicates that the six day framework is not
[pre]historically true if interpreted as sequential 24 hour days, so there
must be some component of figurative writing, vagueness in the original,
etc. overlooked by this interpretation if the Bible is true. Also, there
is no other canonical passage [accepting Luther's exegetical approach to II
Esdras] that clarifies the issue of the six "days"-the explanation of "Keep
the sabbath holy" alludes to these days, but days frequently symbolize
longer time periods.

David Campbell