Re: Seely's Views 2

From: D. F. Siemens, Jr. <>
Date: Sun Sep 05 2004 - 19:08:22 EDT

Let me try again. I've been pondering how to treat my claim without
getting into problems with contemporary cosmology and physics, which
means putting words into your mouth. I hope what follows comes close.

As I understand you, you want revelation to be strictly accurate but not
necessarily complete. I also think that you consider Genesis 1:1 to
present the start of time, space and matter, what we usually associate
with the Big Bang, but without the recognition in antiquity of a vast
universe. This requires /bara/ to refer to /creatio ex nihilo/. This is
clearly one possibility. However, Hebrew specialists note that the first
words may be translated, "When God began to create ..." Since /bara/ does
not have to refer to an absolute origin, this may mean the shaping of a
chaotic world, which matches the description in verse 2.

I do not know whether those first receiving this revelation, whoever it
may have been, would have understood /creatio ex nihilo/. All I can say
is that the notion was rejected by Greeks and Romans, and seems not to
have been part of the Babylonian mythology. Whatever may have been the
case, the passage is ambiguous--/creatio ex nihilo/ vs forming something
preexistent. How, then, is it strictly accurate? How does it meet the
requirement of divine revelation?

As to what was created or formed, the Hebrew for 'heavens' is dual, which
should specify that there are exactly two. Unless there are two heavens
reasonably distinguishable, one must ask why God did not reform the
language or find other terminology so as to be accurate. So it seems to
me that God accommodated himself to the dual, and that neither of these
verses is unambiguously accurate, expressing THE truth. If there is this
accommodation to language, why is further accommodation ruled out?

I hope in setting up this argument I have not ascribed to you commitments
you do not have. I was trying to make the same point earlier, but
obviously did not succeed.
Received on Sun Sep 5 19:28:16 2004

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