RE: Reasons to reject concordism in Genesis 1

From: Shuan Rose (
Date: Thu May 30 2002 - 13:56:19 EDT

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    I would reject the idea that the Bible was written deliberately to confuse
    people. I would say that there are things in the Bible that are confusing to
    those who are committed to a particular type of interpretation. (A
    literalist is confused by the idea that writer of Genesis 1 conceives of the
    sky as a dome. But that means that he should reconsider his literalism, not
    that the Bible is meant to confuse). Then there a few passages that are just
    confusing, period(Eg, Gen 6;1-4).
    but this is because we lack knowledge of the context.
    However, I believe that the Bible is in principle comprehensible.

    -----Original Message-----
    From: []On
    Behalf Of
    Sent: Wednesday, May 29, 2002 10:50 PM
    Subject: Re: Reasons to reject concordism in Genesis 1

    I wrote: 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?"

    J Burgeson replied: I suppose that is a possibility. If true, it would imply
    that he had in mind to deliberately confuse us. That, too, is a possibility,
    but one which I don't think is worth while following.

    Cut me a break. The Bible contains many passages which were, in the opinion
    of many Bible scholars, clearly intended by God to be understood at
    times in different ways. Have you heard of "types" and "antitypes"? Have you
    heard of "primary" and "secondary" fulfillment's of prophecy?

    But putting such things aside, the simple truth of the matter is that strong
    evidence indicates that the Bible was, in fact, deliberately written in a
    that would at times confuse many of its readers. Though you say that
    possibility is one which you
    don't think is worth while considering.

    The fact that the Bible contains many apparent "contradictions" is one
    example. When I first got on the Net I had many E mail conversations with
    Bible critics. They would usually first present me with two or three
    so-called "Bible contradictions." They would tell me that if I could help
    them resolve those few "contradictions" then they might be able to seriously
    consider what the Bible has to say about Jesus Christ. But after I clearly
    showed them that the "Bible contradictions" they had presented me were
    not contradictions at all they only threw more of such "contradictions" at
    me. And so it went.

    The real question for Christians seems to be, "If the Bible is really the
    word of God why is it so filled with things for critics to criticize and
    Christians themselves to have trouble with?" To find the answer to this
    question it helps if we understand that Jesus Christ Himself is the God of
    the Bible. He is not just the God of the New Testament but He was in fact
    also the great "I Am" of the Old Testament.(John 8:58)

    How does that help us answer this question? Let's remember how Jesus taught.
    Mark tells us that whenever Jesus spoke to crowds of people which contained
    both His friends and His enemies, "He did not say anything to them without
    using a parable. But when he was alone with his own disciples he explained
    everything. " (Mark 4:34) Why did Jesus speak in parables? Why did He go to
    all the trouble of telling such often hard to understand stories to crowds
    which gathered to hear Him speak? Was the purpose of the parables to help
    who listened to Jesus come to clearly understand the deep things of God? No,
    it was not. In fact often Jesus' purpose in speaking the way that He did was
    just the opposite. Jesus told His disciples, "The knowledge of the secrets
    the kingdom of God has been given to you, but to others I speak in parables,
    so that though seeing they may not see and though hearing they may not
    understand." (Luke 8:10, see also Mt. 13:10-15)

    Jesus understood that many of His listeners had hearts hardened against Him,
    and from such people, through the use of parables, He deliberately withheld
    "the knowledge of the secrets of the kingdom of God." He did so by
    incorporating into those parables elements which He knew His enemies would
    find fault with and the spiritually lazy would end up stumbling over.

    Now, remember our Lord is the same "yesterday, today and forever," is He
    Is it any wonder then that He caused the Bible to be written in the same way
    that He, as Jesus Christ, spoke to audiences which contained both His
    and His enemies? Remember, He did so in a way that would give His enemies
    opportunity to find fault, the spiritually lazy opportunity to stumble and
    His true disciples opportunity to gain "the knowledge of the secrets of the
    kingdom of God." And the Bible's audience is made up of the same kinds of
    people who listened to Jesus' parables, is it not? And since the entire
    was inspired by the speaker of those parables, doesn't it make sense that
    entire Bible was written in the same way that those parables were spoken? In
    a way that would give God's enemies opportunity to find fault, spiritually
    lazy people opportunity to stumble and the pure of heart opportunity to
    "the secrets of the kingdom of God."

    So, while God's enemies are spending their time criticizing the Bible, and
    the spiritually lazy stumble over some of its more difficult passages,
    than spending the time in study and prayer required to understand them,
    friends are being helped by His Holy Spirit to understand "the secrets of
    kingdom of God."

    By the way, several of Christ's parables were clearly designed to teach on
    more than one level. The idea that the Author of those parables could have
    also intended for Gen. 1 to teach in much the same way, to me, seems not
    reasonable but quite likely.


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