Re: [asa] A few literal problems in Genesis

From: George Murphy <gmurphy@raex.com>
Date: Sat Mar 29 2008 - 20:12:38 EDT

I don't recognize the initial quote as mine. Nevertheless, let me comment on Gen.2:5. It is not just KJV & NIV but the Septuagint, Vulgate, Luther, Douai-Rheims-Challoner, Goodspeed, Moffat, Beck, RSV, NRSV, NEB, TEV & CEV which all render this with a simple past or a perfect tense.

Maybe they all did this "out of ignorance." (& in most of those cases cases ignorance independent of the ignorance of other versions. I.e., the translators were making an effort to avoid just "following along" other versions.) But maybe concordists need to awaken from their dogmatic slumbers.

It's true that a Hebrew verb form taken in isolation doesn't have an intrinsic temporal sense. But in context, & especially in a sequence with other verbs, the temporal referent may be clear.

Shalom
George
http://web.raex.com/~gmurphy/
  ----- Original Message -----
  From: Dick Fischer
  To: ASA
  Sent: Saturday, March 29, 2008 12:33 PM
  Subject: RE: [asa] A few literal problems in Genesis

  George (I think) wrote:

   

>>This reference is not from Genesis 1, but from the time after God placed Adam in the garden (2:15). In verse 19, "God formed every beast of the field". That could be interpreted "God formed every beast that was in the field" in the sense that it was a duplication process. It is unlikely that every beast for all the Earth suddenly were made "out of the ground", else there would be no ground left to have a garden. Only replications were necessary for the purpose that seemed obviously intended -- the allowance of Adam to name them.<<

   

  One of the questions I get asked is why the reversal of the order of creation between animals then man in Genesis 1 and man then animals in Genesis 2. In my view, the Genesis 2 narrative pertains to Adam specifically not to generic mankind and the emphasis is on Adam giving names to the animals that had been formed by God. Keep in mind there is no verb tense in Hebrew. Past and past perfect tenses were applied by translators according to what they thought was appropriate and unfortunately what they thought occasionally was wrong. In Genesis 2:5 the King James translators decided that God "had not caused it to rain upon the earth," where they could have said God "did not cause it to rain upon the [land]." The NIV out of ignorance followed along: "Lord God had not sent rain on the earth ."

   

  Now in Genesis 2:19, the KJV translators chose a simple past tense where a past perfect tense would have worked better and was chosen for the NIV. The sense of the verse is that Adam gave names to some animals God had formed previously, not like in the young-earth scenario where Adam had to complete the task of naming every animal on earth on the first day of his creation, and God was popping animals out of the ground like machine gun rounds so that turtles and snails had to gallop past Adam like cheetahs and gazelles while Adam chanted out names like a Tennessee auctioneer. The "straight forward" reading, of course.

   

  Dick Fischer. author, lecturer

  Historical Genesis from Adam to Abraham

  www.historicalgenesis.com

   

  -----Original Message-----
  From: asa-owner@lists.calvin.edu [mailto:asa-owner@lists.calvin.edu] On Behalf Of George Cooper
  Sent: Wednesday, March 26, 2008 6:57 PM
  To: asa@calvin.edu
  Subject: [asa] A few literal problems in Genesis

   

   

  As one of the few literalist here, and one wanting to learn, even if it is iron on wood, please tolerate my unorthodox literal view.

   

  Jon,

   

  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.

   

  This reference is not from Genesis 1, but from the time after God placed Adam in the garden (2:15). In verse 19, "God formed every beast of the field". That could be interpreted "God formed every beast that was in the field" in the sense that it was a duplication process. It is unlikely that every beast for all the Earth suddenly were made "out of the ground", else there would be no ground left to have a garden. Only replications were necessary for the purpose that seemed obviously intended -- the allowance of Adam to name them.

   

  I disagree with those that view that Chapter 2 is to be taken as an enhancement to the day 6 account, or a greater level of differentiation. I take Chapter 2 as a separate and important event for mankind, since a "living soul" (KJV) was given to a very special man.

   

  Since there was no mention of the formation of things "out of the ground" in chapter 1, then a broader view that allows for an evolutionary process may be warranted.

   

  .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?

   

  Agreed. But, if our observer is simply giving an account of mankind's presence to establish God as the responsible Creator, then a 6th day mankind evolutionary view, along with a specific creation account for Adam and Eve, doesn't seem that illogical. The necessary molecular and neurological components necessary to create an Adam from scratch that would make him compatible for our planet would be available in any of the evolved homo sapiens already in existence.

   

  Perhaps, when the evolutionary process reaches such a level as the early homo sapiens, then credit is given to the one person who made it possible - God. Further, such species could be candidates for eternal life. That would be a very, very special event, one worth establishing in a special chapter, too.

   

  That may sound a little radical, but I predicted, through a crude math extrapolation, that we would discover 62 new exoplanets last year. I missed it by one; there were 61 new ones. The rate of exoplanets discovery is not linear. It seems clear the universe will have trillions of planets. This does not diminish God's glory, of course, but should magnify it for our own eyes to see and admire.

   

  [While we are on the subject of exoplanets, take a look at this story I just read while typing here. http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/03/080326123135.htm

   

  It shows a dark spot in the insert image that represents the likely formation area of a protoplanet within the star's accretion disk. Is it not plausible for an ancient observer to see such a region and describe it as "without form and void"? This is the first image of its kind that I've seen, though I am not an astronomer, nor heavily active in this field.]

   

  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.

   

  I think others have addressed this well enough. Only one is seen at night, and it is 2000 times brighter than Venus (the second brightest object in the sky) and 30,000x brighter than the brightest star, Sirius. The Moon rules, as kids might say today. Since everyone knew in those days the Moon's pattern, no further elaboration about it would be necessary in the passage. Their own rulers roamed around, too, no doubt.

   

   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 emission of light into darkness creates the division. Recall that there was first darkness." and darkness was on the face of the deep". Space is both deep and dark. Only light changes that view. It is also seen in our shadows where the division from light and dark are obvious. It is the light that creates the division, and only the Moon and Sun create these personal light/dark divisions, excluding some nit-pickin' wimpy exceptions.

   

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Received on Sat Mar 29 20:15:34 2008

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