<< Paul wrote:
>Assuming Gen 1 is written from the point of view of a person on earth, Gen
>1:1-5 specifies that there was no differentiation between Day and Night, no
>Light alternating with Darkness, that could be discerned by a person on
>until Day 1. So, in Gen 1:2, when an ocean covers the earth, dated c. 3.5 to
>4.0 billion years ago, it was totally dark on the earth. This is c.
>500,000,000 years after sunlight appears. From what I have read, by that
>(after the earth cooled enough to have an ocean) the earth was no longer in
>total darkness. However, astrophysics-geology is not my field and I would
>like to be corrected if I am wrong about that. If there is reason to believe
>that the earth was still shrouded in total darkness when the first ocean
>appeared on earth, I will concede that the concordist interpretation fits
>facts of natural science up to v. 5.
>So, do you have some documentation to sustain your position? Or, Howard or
>some other person in the respective field, can you (I had to say it)
ASAer John Wiester knows this stuff. Could somebody ask him to contribute
on this point? >>
John's book advocates a day-age concordism; so, he makes an iffy authority
for a question like this. But, until we can find a less biased voice, I will
send this problem on to John and report back.
<<If the Hebrews thought the firmament was solid while we know it is not, or
if they thought the earth was flat while we know it to be round, or if they
thought the sun rises in the East and sets in the West while we know the
earth revolves on its axis creating the illusion, or any thing else they
thought out of scientific ignorance, does that give us license to say the
Genesis narrative is factually incorrect, or historically flawed?
We know far more about the sun, earth, moon, stars, firmament, and
everything else, than they did. I don't think that changes anything. If
they thought the moon was made out of cream cheese it would only impact the
credibility of Scripture negatively if it was so stated. A "solid
firmament" or a "flat earth," or a "cream-cheese moon," if so stated, would
be wrong. But a firmament they thought was solid where we know it to be
otherwise should make no difference, in my estimation. That said though, I
really can't believe they were that stupid.>>
Ignorance is not the same thing as stupidity. All pre-scientific peoples,
some of whom were clearly quite bright, believed the sky was solid, why
should the Hebrews be any different? But, the more important issue here is
that you cannot separate their beliefs from their writings. The meanings of
words are integrally tied to the historical-cultural concepts held by the
writer and his first readers.
That Gen 1:6-9 is not talking about a modern concept is evident in that the
firmament which is called Heaven(s) is used to divide the primaeval sea into
two parts, one part of which, ostensibly half, goes above the firmament. The
sun, moon and stars, however, go below the firmament, below the sea above the
firmament. Yet this sea comes down in part during the Flood. This concept of
a firmament above the sun, moon and stars with a sea even further above which
can come down to earth as rain is clearly an ancient concept that cannot be
assimilated into modern cosmology.
That the firmament must be defined as solid follows from the fact that all
pre-scientific peoples believed it was solid, that this was the scientific
view of the day, that the firmament in Ezek 1 (which is the only biblical
passage that defines the nature of a firmament) is understood to be solid by
all commentators, that the Church historically understood it to be solid, and
that there is no evidence of any kind that the word refers to something
non-solid. There is no Akkadian cognate to the Hebrew word for firmament, but
the firmament in Gen was named shamayim, which is directly cognate to the
Akkadian shama'u; and the shama'u is specifically described in Akkadian
documents as being made of stone.
<<>DF: We heartily agree on the "Mesopotamian background" of the Genesis
> account. Do we agree on the Mesopotamian background of the physical
> events, i.e.: Adam and Eve, the garden of Eden, the Genesis flood, and the
> tower of Babel?
Ahh, I like agreement, don't you?>>
Perhaps your greatest achievement was being (as far as I can tell) the first
Evangelical to identify the Flood of Noah with the Mesopotamian flood of c.
2900 B.C. Carol Hill has since reiterated this position, and I obviously
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