Re: St. Basil's 400AD view of the Days of proclamation
Tue, 17 Aug 1999 16:02:58 EDT

Glenn wrote,

<< So what Capron noticed was that God never actually created anything in
Genesis 1. All God did was make statements. Nothing but statements. The
writer, who lived after creation was a finished product tells us what
happened in the WRITER'S past. There is absolutely NO indication of WHEN
God actually created the universe.

THere is no statement: "Let there be light IMMEDIATELY!"

There is no statement: "Let there be light INSTANTANEOUSLY!"

There is not statement: "Let there be light IMMEDIATELY AFTER I CEASE THIS

The assumption of command-fulfillment is just that. An assumption!!!!!!!
One that we have lived with too long. One that we have come to accept

To the writer, the creation WAS a fait accompli. But that doesn't mean

It is not just an assumption that after God spoke, the fulfillment
immediately occurred, or at the very least immediately began the processes
which eventuated in the production of the various parts of the universe, and
eventuated in them rather soon after the word was spoken.

Psalm 33 comments on God's speaking into existence various parts of the
universe in Gen 1. Having referred to parts of the creation (Psalm 33:6,7),
Psalm 33 then says, "Let all the earth fear Jehovah: Let all the inhabitants
of the world stand in awe of him. For he spake, and it was done; He
commanded, and it stood fast." In the context of the power of ancient Near
Eastern kings, no one reading these words would have thought that a long time
intervened between the heavenly King's speaking, and the doing of his will.
The fear and awe of Jehovah which is enjoined is contingent upon the heavenly
King's word being fulfilled at once. In its historical context, no one would
suppose a King's word took a long time to be fulfilled and especially if it
was to induce fear and awe. Psalm 148:5 is similar.

There is an interesting parallel in the NT: Matt 21:19 And seeing a fig tree
by the way side, he came to it, and found nothing thereon, but leaves only;
and HE SAITH UNTO IT, LET THERE BE no fruit from thee henceforward for ever.
And IMMEDIATELY the fig tree withered away. And when the disciples saw it,
they marvelled, saying, How did the fig tree immediately wither away?

Also, in spite of Basil, who is not a clear witness to your position, the
Church both Christian and Jewish understood the results of God's speaking in
Gen 1 to have followed immediately. It is the historical understanding of
the Church which drives me to identify the genre of Gen 1-11 as fundamentally
historical, or in Wenham's words, "proto-historical." I cannot, therefore,
with any consistency reject the historical interpretation of the Church with
regard to the immediacy of creation following God's speaking, especially
since I do not see your reinterpretation being supported by anything in the
text, parallel passages, or the historical context.

Nevertheless, it seems legitimate, if one so desires, to hold that the
commands only initiated processes which eventuated in the formation of the
material world. In the Markan account of the fig tree, the disciples do not
notice the withering away until the next day. That is rather immediate; but,
it is not instantaneous.

But, much more importantly, I cannot see any great value in this
reinterpretation of the days of Genesis. For even if you can thereby
rearrange the fulfillment of the events, the fulfillments entailing as they
do the making of a rock-solid sky, setting an ocean above it which can pour
down and flood the earth, having the earth arise out of an ocean, and then
having the flat earth float on top of the waters (a fact which is seen more
clearly later in the OT) will never be harmonizable with modern science
anyway. The fact that the days are out of order geologically is minor
compared to a solid sky with an ocean above it threatening to flood the
earth. Or do the geological problems loom much larger to a geologist. :-)

Paul S.