I have not had the time to follow much of this discussion. So, if what I am
about to ask has already been asked and discussed, please forgive me.
I have heard it said that, in order to properly understand how God intended
for Genesis chapter one to be understood, we must keep in mind how the words
which were there used were most commonly used and understood at the time they
were written. But isn't it possible that God deliberately chose to use the
words which appear in Gen.1 for a dual purpose? Isn't it possible that He
deliberately chose to use Hebrew words with broad enough meanings to permit
Gen. 1 to be understood in a "poetic" way by the ancient Hebrews, and then
later on be understood in a scientifically accurate way by modern people
possessing a knowledge of earth's history?
For instance, God could have deliberately chosen to use the Hebrew word "yom"
to describe the creative time periods in Gen. 1 so they could be understood
in a poetic way, simply as ordinary "days" by the ancient Hebrews, and then
later on be understood in a scientifically accurate way, as "ages" by modern
people possessing a knowledge of earth's history. And God could have
deliberately chosen to use the Hebrew verb "asa" in Gen. 1:16, in reference
to the sun, moon, and stars being "made" on the fourth day, since "asa" does
not connote "the absolute newness of the object" that has been made, as does
the Hebrew verb "bara" used elsewhere in Genesis chapter one, but primarily
connotes "the fashioning of" preexisting materials. (see Theological Wordbook
of the Old Testament, by Harris, Archer & Waltke, 1980, Vol.2, pg. 701) Thus
by God inspiring the writer of Gen. 1 to use the Hebrew word "asa" there, He
may have been deliberately allowing the ancient Hebrews to understand His
creative activities on the fourth day in a poetic way and also allowing us
today to understand Gen. 1 in a scientifically accurate way, that God then
caused the already existing sun, moon and stars to then become visible from
earth's surface for the first time.
Does someone here see a problem with the idea that God might have
deliberately chosen to use words with dual meanings in Gen. 1 to allow Gen. 1
to be understood in different ways by people living at far different times?
After all, the Bible was not written just for the ancient Hebrews. It was
also written to serve as God's word to men today.
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