Re: Gen 1 and Concordism

From: Howard J. Van Till (
Date: Thu Feb 21 2002 - 16:13:38 EST

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    I had suggested:

    >>1. Review the many messages that have been posted lately either defending
    >>or criticizing various specific attempts to find a concord between Genesis
    >>1-3, treated as a chronicle of what-happened-and-when in the creation's
    >>formational history (YEC/OEC), and the current empirically-informed
    >>scientific reconstruction of that history.

    Jan de Koning <> responded:

    > Make that at least Gen. 1-11, Howard, as you know. I cannot see how you
    > can see three chapters only, while the difficulties exist in all the first
    > eleven chapters.

    I agree. I'm not sure why I called attention only to 1-3 in the earlier

    > Even more, my uncle, Koning, in his book on the
    > El-Amarna tablets and the Old Testament, goes further and shows that there
    > are difficulties with the numbers (etc.) in all the early books of the Bible.
    > He proposes solutions which i do not find convincing, but the difficulties
    > remain.

    In the modern Western world we ordinarily presume that numbers are the
    result of counting things (days, years, warriors, etc.). Ancient Near
    Eastern cultures (the historical & cultural setting of the biblical text),
    on the other hand, used numbers also (perhaps mostly) for their symbolic
    value. If we are not acquainted with that deep tradition of using numbers
    symbolically, and use those symbolic numbers as is they were the results of
    counting (as is commonly done in biblical concordism) ...... great confusion
    is likely to follow.

    Howard Van Till

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