From: Jan de Koning (
Date: Thu May 02 2002 - 16:30:54 EDT

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    Many times the last few weeks I see the word "truth", or "true" being used,
    usually without any reference to the sense the word is being used. That
    means that, probably, the modern sense of "truth" is meant. But is it the
    biblical sense of "truth"? In English, the word has the same stem as
    'troth" = "faithfulness", thus the meaning is not necessarily the same as
    what we mean by (scientific) "truth".

    It strikes me, that in many postings not enough attention is paid to the
    fact that the early chapters of Genesis (1 - 11) were written in the first
    place for a people who had no idea about scientific "truth." That means
    that using Gen. 1 - 11 to obtain "scientific truth" means using the Bible
    for non-biblical ideas. Of course, God did not tell people who were
    nomads, whose knowledge of history was mainly through hearing stories from
    parents, "scientifically verifyable" history. Also, as was pointed out,
    "yom" does not necessarily mean "day", nor does "day", even in our time,
    always mean "24 hours." My uncle showed in his study about the El Amarna
    tablets and the OT (in Dutch, published in 1942), that numbers in the early
    books of the Bible do not make sense in a modern sense. To illustrate that
    he took the size of Jericho when Israel invaded Canaan. That size is
    available through the excavations. He compared it with the number of men
    that had to walk each day around the city, and the seventh day seven
    times. That is clearly impossible, if we take the modern sense of the
    numbers used. Even when we replace "thousand" by "clan" it appears to be
    impossible. My uncle had no explanation. Also, has anyone ever seriously
    considered the animals, large and small, in the ark, and said that it was
    possible. To me it is clear that the writer of Genesis (maybe using other
    stories going around in the Near East) is saying in these chapters, that
    there is only one God, and you, people of God, must serve Him. These other
    so-called Gods in the stories you heard around you, have proven to be no-gods.

    Add to that Gen.1 is probably written as a song praising God for His
    creation. And the following chapters are written to show that a creation
    without wanting to serve the Maker of it all does not make sense, and is
    sin. A sin which mankind since its very beginning committed. And still
    commit. After all, don't we still think: "See the great empire WE, Modern
    Man, created in the 20th century." And God says: "You think, that you
    created? I will show you that there are things you have not even thought of."

    I enjoyed the discussion, which showed that there are many things in
    creation, which we don't know, and for which we do not have a generally
    acceptable explanation.

    Jan de Koning

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