Re: [asa] A few literal problems in Genesis

From: <philtill@aol.com>
Date: Tue Mar 11 2008 - 18:26:27 EDT

It's an analogy to kings ruling over their kingdoms:? while the moon certainly goes into the day for half of each month (as the ancients were fully aware), it doesn't "rule" over the day since it is not as bright as the sun and the sun always exists in the day-side of the sky.? The moon "rules" over the night when it is present, but it can be absent from the night for half the month like a ruler can be absent from his kingdom.

The writer was mainly interested in assigning mankind's role as regent over God's creation.? Man can rule over the animals in the sea, air, and land, but we cannot rule over the heavens since they are out of our reach.? This shows mankind's fundamental limitation since we are bound to earth, unlike God.? The sun and moon were poetically asigned the role of ruling over those domains to emphasize that man does not rule over the heavens.? It's not too helpful to read too much into this.? The two great lights don't play the exact same role of rulership over the skies as mankind does over the fish, birds, and land animals.? In the heavens the "rule" of the two great lights just means that they are?dominant in providing the most light;? with the sea, sky and hearth the "rule" of mankind means that we can?be dominant by naming, taming, killing, eating, and raising animals, etc.? So both kinds of rulership imply dominance of some type; but the type of dominance is different in each c
 ase.? The two types of dominance are poetically analogous and thus they both represent the moral responsibility that comes from being God's regents in the respective domains.

I think it's wrong to make more out of it than this.? Within this framework, it's perfectly correct to say the Moon rules (dominates) the night (by being the one object that can make the most light in the night sky), even though it is not always in the night.

Phil

-----Original Message-----
From: Jon Tandy <tandyland@earthlink.net>
To: 'ASA list' <asa@calvin.edu>
Sent: Tue, 11 Mar 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).

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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?

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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.?

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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.

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Jon Tandy

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Received on Tue Mar 11 18:27:20 2008

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