Re: [asa] A few literal problems in Genesis

From: Randy Isaac <>
Date: Tue Mar 11 2008 - 10:46:52 EDT

MessageI think this has been discussed in this forum before, but John Walton's insight from ANE civilization is helpful on this point. I recently listened again to the talk he gave at Wheaton College in 2003. It's available at
He emphasizes the concepts of purpose, function, and functionaries in Gen. 1, seeing the first three days as God's command over time, weather, and vegetation, respectively. The last three days describe the functionaries of those domains. He also discusses this further in his NIV application commentary on Genesis.

  ----- Original Message -----
  From: Jon Tandy
  To: 'ASA list'
  Sent: Tuesday, March 11, 2008 8:49 AM
  Subject: [asa] A few literal problems in Genesis

  In the last few days I've pondered a few points about Genesis 1 and 2 that I don't recall reading about in other discussions (although I'm sure they must have been somewhere).

  First, I was pondering the statement that the animals and Adam were created "out of the dust of the ground". I realize that some have inferred that this statement could include evolution, as the earth itself is what produces the variety of creatures. I think this is a tenuous conclusion when taken as a "concordist" interpretation, but it does make for an interesting rhetorical argument. However, if this is taken as a potentially straightforward description of evolution producing man from the ground (from common, existing structures), then for consistency what would the creation of Eve be taken to mean scientifically, as being from Adam's rib? In other words, for those who take the one statement as a scientific inference of Adam's evolution, how can they apply consistent interpretation when it comes to Eve's creation as a scientific event?

  Second, the sun and moon were made to "divide the day from the night", with the sun to rule over the day, and the moon to rule over the night. If this was so (according to a "literal" interpretation), then why do we see the moon come out in the daytime and disappear at night sometimes? It seems that if this verse were to be taken literally, the moon has ceased functioning according to its created purpose, which was to rule over the night.

  Also, since God divided the light from the darkness in Gen 1:4, why did it need to be divided again in verse 14 by the sun and moon? How do the sun and moon divide the light from darkness, since both of them cast light on the earth (the moon for at least most of the month)? The only thing I can think is that dividing the light from darkness in verse 14 means to divide the day from night (sun=day, moon=night), which goes back to my previous paragraph about why are the moon and the sun sometimes out during the day -- that is, if all this is to be taken in a strictly "literal" 20th century cosmology. For me, this all contributes toward showing why a framework or some other interpretation is more plausible.

  Jon Tandy

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Received on Tue Mar 11 10:47:49 2008

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