Saturday, 7 March 2009

Bullying the bible

i found this great youtube channel which is going through the bible pulling it to pieces.

10 comments:

johnny said...

Hi Mike,

I've watched the first two videos. He hasn't pulled anything apart. He has given standard layperson objections that have been addressed over the centuries.

Are there any points that you think the 'bully' made that are particularly weighty?

johnny

johnny said...

p.s.

I'm not trying to be dismissive. It's just that i'm not sure where to start... some of the things the 'bully' says, you might also see as ignorant or incorrect or presupposed.

johnny

sir-Think-A-Lot said...

I'm going to do a running commentary:

For starters, the whole 'day/night/evening/morning were before the sun' thing is part of the reason I think we need to be careful about insisting that the first chapter of Genesis HAS to refer to 24 hour days.

Sir-Think-A-Lot said...

Second comment: "The sun is in our atmosphere" is an incredibly strained interpertaion to say the least.

johnny said...

nah, i don't think so STAL. If God defined the terms (and according to Gen 1:5, He did. And God called the light Day, and the darkness he called Night. And the evening and the morning were the first day.

The Gen 1:14-18 account of Day 4 (aside from creating the sun, moon, stars) explains that God assigned them to light/darkness-day/night.

I think that the order that differs from what science claims, is a good indicator that the creation account was meant to convey literal six consecutive days (i.e. plants [a day] before the sun. Not millions of years after. Light before sun, moon, stars [yes, before anyone accuses me, i do understand that the moon only reflects light] ). And since we believe that God inspired the Bible, it would seem to me that He inspired the message that it conveys.

If God had intended for the meaning to be taken metaphorically, to mean long periods of time, that are contrary to the order given in Genesis 1, do we think it should read differently?... i mean, shouldn't day 4 (sun etc) be before day 1 (light)... or at least not be called 'Day one'?
As Christians studying the Bible, we look at what the words mean (i.e. yom = day or age or etc.). If we aren't supposed to take day 1,2,3,4... literally in order, then why worry about the nuances of any of the words used in the Word of God? Yes, i'm aware that many manners of language are used through out, that are not meant to be taken literally, but in all the cases i can think of, there is reasonable indication in the context that says, "hey, figure of speech, dude". I just don't see it in chapter one of Genesis... not even in chapter two, although there is a change up on focus.
The only reason i see for a possibility for not being literal in understanding Gen 1 is that science presently is contrary to it, but science would also be contrary to three guys not burning up in a fire and ax heads floating out of a stream and water changing to wine and fleece not getting soaked one night and only the fleece getting wet the next night and waters rising up on both sides for His people to walk across on DRY land and only the first born egyptians (man and beast) being killed by God's angels and a woman turning to a pillar of salt and on and on.
God is the one telling us of all these things.



Sorry STAL, once i started, i got carried away.

johnny

johnny said...

Yes, i agree that that is straining the interpretation.

johnny

Sir-Think-A-Lot said...

If God had intended for the meaning to be taken metaphorically, to mean long periods of time, that are contrary to the order given in Genesis 1, do we think it should read differently?... i mean, shouldn't day 4 (sun etc) be before day 1 (light)... or at least not be called 'Day one'?

I dont think its necessary. For starters the word 'Yom' doesnt necessarly mean 'day' anyway.

But there are other considerations to take into account anyway. The Hebrews had no conception of a 'day' a 24 hour period, to them 'day' was the time the sun was out(even today we use the word that way, but the ancient Hebrews had no conception of a 'day' any other way). Even the '24-hour' conception comes from the movement of earth reletive to sun. Bottom line if there was no sun in the earliest verses its extremely unlikely that its referring to a 24-hour period. And its not likely anyway since the Hebrews had no conception of day that way.

Furthermore, the first few verses are explict that the 'days' are NOT measured by the sun, but by 'light.' They dont explictly say where that light came from, but my own belief is that it came from God himself.

All in all theres no good reason to believe that the opening chapters of Genesis are refering to 24-hour periods. Or any sort of period measured by the sun. Although theres no reason to assume(aside from the evidence of the universe itself), its refering to a longer period of time either.

but science would also be contrary to three guys not burning up in a fire and ax heads floating out of a stream and water changing to wine and fleece not getting soaked one night and only the fleece getting wet the next night and waters rising up on both sides for His people to walk across on DRY land and only the first born egyptians (man and beast) being killed by God's angels and a woman turning to a pillar of salt and on and on.

Actually Johnny, science isnt contrary to these things. Although a great many SCIENTISTS are.

johnny said...

I dont think its necessary. For starters the word 'Yom' doesnt necessarly mean 'day' anyway.

yom is not the only textual clue. Ordered days, evening and morning, the Sabboth, the textual order of plants prior to the existence of the sun to give warmth and energy, the earth before the sun, etc.

But there are other considerations to take into account anyway. The Hebrews had no conception of a 'day' a 24 hour period, to them 'day' was the time the sun was out(even today we use the word that way, but the ancient Hebrews had no conception of a 'day' any other way).

So, if we are following that same usage, then the time that is called day in Gen is only about 12 hours... this hurts more than helps the long time period position... which is to say, that the ancient Hebrews did have a concept of the time inbetween days, therefore, although not spelled out, there was at least a rudimentary understanding of a normal day that we measure to be about 24 hours. Not to mention that the text says, "and there was evening and morning, day x". If the argument against Genesis' "yom" is primarily resting on "day can't exist before the sun exists, because it's relative", then that position also needs to explain the usage of "evening and morning" without relative reference to the sun.

Also, we measure the time since the big bang etc. in (billions of years). To use the long ages logic that is used against the creation account in Genesis, where is the sun and earth to have a reference to 'year'?

If God is the ultimate author of Scripture, then during these first days, there was no one but God as a witness.... Hebrew people, let alone the language, had not yet been "invented" by God, so what the Hebrews understand or did not understand in these opening chapters is moot, however, there is this...

"Exo 20:11 For in six days the LORD made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in them is, and rested the seventh day: wherefore the LORD blessed the sabbath day, and hallowed it."

Are we to believe that the Hebrews didn't know how to count the days between the Sabbath?

Even the '24-hour' conception comes from the movement of earth reletive to sun.

No, this simply is not true. The text does not say '24-hours', but it does say, "And God called the light Day, and the darkness he called Night. And the evening and the morning were the first day."


According to the text, was it man (sometime after the sun was created-- and the creation of man, for that matter) or God who defined the word 'yom'?
And right after (textually speaking, of course) defining the terms (day, night), what else is said?... "billions and billions of evenings and mornings were the first day"?

Bottom line if there was no sun in the earliest verses its extremely unlikely that its referring to a 24-hour period.

Again, who defined the terms? Man or God?

And its not likely anyway since the Hebrews had no conception of day that way.

Were the Hebrews witnesses? Where did the human authors get their information in order to write the account?

Furthermore, the first few verses are explict that the 'days' are NOT measured by the sun, but by 'light.'

Evening and morning are what the days are measured by... God called the light 'day' and the darkness 'night'.

They dont explictly say where that light came from, but my own belief is that it came from God himself.

Agreed.

All in all theres no good reason to believe that the opening chapters of Genesis are refering to 24-hour periods.

All in all, there is no good reason to think that they were anything but 6 normal, consectutive, 24 hour periods.

Or any sort of period measured by the sun.

We are able to say, "14.5 billion years ago"... this is using the sun as a reference, even though science of today would say that the big bang happened way before the sun existed.. that means solar years prior to the sun.... just like 'evening and morning' prior to the sun.

Although theres no reason to assume(aside from the evidence of the universe itself),its refering to a longer period of time either.

I'm not questioning the evidence... neither are you.

I'm questioning the interpretation of that evidence... you are too.

What's really going on here is what you and i consider as the weightier evidence. I'm looking at understanding the world in light of Scriptural evidence, and it appears as though you are looking at the general revelation in order to understand Special revelation.


Actually Johnny, science isnt contrary to these things. Although a great many SCIENTISTS are.

Sorry, my use of 'science' was including those that do science.

But, how many of these things would be thought to be repeatable?

Especially the fleece (since many of the others have had people try to find a natural/normal explanation)...

"Jdg 6:36 And Gideon said unto God, If thou wilt save Israel by mine hand, as thou hast said,
Jdg 6:37 Behold, I will put a fleece of wool in the floor; and if the dew be on the fleece only, and it be dry upon all the earth beside, then shall I know that thou wilt save Israel by mine hand, as thou hast said.
Jdg 6:38 And it was so: for he rose up early on the morrow, and thrust the fleece together, and wrung the dew out of the fleece, a bowl full of water.
Jdg 6:39 And Gideon said unto God, Let not thine anger be hot against me and I will speak but this once: let me prove, I pray thee, but this once with the fleece; let it now be dry only upon the fleece, and upon all the ground let there be dew.
Jdg 6:40 And God did so that night: for it was dry upon the fleece only, and there was dew on all the ground."

Sorry, i had it backwards in the earlier post... but the point stands, even in Gideon's mind... without God's help both the fleece and the ground would be just as dry or wet. It was contrary to what science (scientists inclusive) would find.

johnny

FiFi said...

but science would also be contrary to three guys not burning up in a fire and ax heads floating out of a stream and water changing to wine and fleece not getting soaked one night and only the fleece getting wet the next night and waters rising up on both sides for "His people to walk across on DRY land and only the first born egyptians (man and beast) being killed by God's angels and a woman turning to a pillar of salt and on and on.

Actually Johnny, science isnt contrary to these things. Although a great many SCIENTISTS are."

Go on then, explain how, scientifically, these things are possible.

And do try to write something that makes sense!

johnny said...

FiFi,

you said, "Go on then, explain how, scientifically, these things are possible.

And do try to write something that makes sense!


I'm thinking that STAL meant two things. First, that if these things happened, then science would look for a natural explaination... i.e. science is just a tool to investigate things.

Second, philosophically (per David Hume), miracles are not impossible (although-- still according to Hume, if i remember correctly-- so rare that it is the least possible explanation).

If i'm wrong, STAL, correct me.

johnny