From: Lawrence Johnston (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Date: Tue May 13 2003 - 11:01:47 EDT
Gary Collins wrote:
> Oh, dear, it seems like I should be burned at the stake.
LJ: No, no. Throw down those matches
> Perhaps the author should read something like 'In the Beginning'
> by Henri Blocher. He shows that purely from scriptural considerations
> (before bringing in science) there is ample evidence to suggest that
> that much or all in the early chapters of Genesis might best be
> understood in a figurative sense.
LJ: Let me add, that I have profited a lot also from Blocher's
book, which provides the perspective of a scholar of Northwest
Semitic literature of 2000 BC. He says that the literature of
Moses' era was very sophisticated, with perhaps even more
categories of literary genre than in the present day. He says
that the elaborate structure of Genesis 1 into days, with the
repeated formulae "And God said Let there be. . . ." "And God saw
that it was good" and the "Evening and the morning were the Nth
Day" would preclude the interpretation that he was writing
straight historical narrative.
As I recall, Blocher concludes that Moses is placing the events
of creation in a set of six pigeon-holes which are arranged in a
logical order, but that the logic is not chronological, as a
literal view would assume, but has the following logic:
First the preparation of habitats for the creatures to come, and
then the creation of the creatures themselves: The sun, moon and
stars are created and placed in their habitats, the heavens, and
then the biological creatures, culminating in Man.
Gary, I'm not sure about what you mean by the term "Figurative",
but I take Blocher to be saying that he regards the creation
items as real events, recounted in a logical, non-chronological
Incidentally, I first heard of Blocher from John Stott, in his
book "Evangelical Essentials" (Intervarsity Press) which commends
Blocher. Stott is also a good scholar, and a great read.
Blessings, Larry Johnston
"He has made everything beautiful in its time.
He has also set eternity in the hearts of men"
- - Ecclesiastes 3:11, NIV trans
Lawrence H. Johnston home: 917 E. 8th st.
professor of physics, emeritus Moscow, Id 83843
University of Idaho (208) 882-2765
Fellow of the American Physical Society
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