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Is the creation story in Geneses a literal or figurative story?

Discussion in 'Creation & Theistic Evolution' started by biblestudy123, Feb 12, 2007.

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  1. biblestudy123

    biblestudy123 Member

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    Is the creation story in Geneses a literal or figurative story with many deep and important messages?
     
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  2. Ave Maria

    Ave Maria Ave Maria Gratia Plena

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    Its a figurative story with many deep and important messages.
     
  3. JuJube

    JuJube Regular Member

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    Literal story with many deep and important messages....Hey, btw, they've found Noahs ark.
     
  4. Myriah

    Myriah I love you, O Lord, my strength (Ps 18)

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    They did? Do you have a website with pictures regarding Noah's Ark?

    As far as the creation account, I think only God knows how he created everything.

    However, I do believe there was a literal Adam and Eve, and that sin came into the world through their disobedience.
     
  5. jds1977

    jds1977 Regular Member

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    It depends on what worldview you start off with. If you believe the authority and accuracy of scriptures, then you'll accept genesis as being a literal account. If you start w/ the assumption that evolution is how we got here, you'll probably see it as figurative. The linguistic style of Gen. 1 is written as a narrative and not poetic. Even Jesus and the apostles validated its historicity. So, then you're faced w/...do I believe the bible or man's theories?
     
  6. intricatic

    intricatic ...a dinosaur... or something...

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    Both. It's an entirely literal story with figurative implications that play out throughout the Bible.
     
  7. elsbeth

    elsbeth Out of my mind...back in 5 Minutes.

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    I believe it is figurative. But I don't see why it makes so much difference to many people. Either way the spiritual truth is the same: God created us, we turned away from Him and were disobedient. How do I know this is true?
    I knoe we rebelled because we are not born in touch with God. I know He made us because when we find Him it is so much a "coming home" to what we have always needed, even if we didn't know it.
     
  8. Zimfan

    Zimfan Well-Known Member

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    :sorry: Which one, the one in Chapter 1, or in Chapter 2?
     
  9. intricatic

    intricatic ...a dinosaur... or something...

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    Both; you know, the one that offers a brief overview and the other that goes into more detail than the other. ;)
     
  10. Zimfan

    Zimfan Well-Known Member

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    You mean the one that lays things out a certain way and the one that appears to contradict it in places? :)

    P.S. The key word here is appears, of course. I'm not pretending that I know their are irreconciable differences in the two accounts, but they there are a few points in them that appear difficult explain.
     
  11. intricatic

    intricatic ...a dinosaur... or something...

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    It takes a certain reading to come to that conclusion. The idea is identical in both; one elaborates the other and the two are incredibly simple to harmonize. The first story is not a detailed account, but a brief overview of the creation story while the second elaborates key segments of the first. Remember; these were both supposedly written by the same person. I somehow doubt he/she was that dense as to just 'forget' about the first account when writing the second. ;)
     
  12. savedandhappy1

    savedandhappy1 Senior Veteran

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    I was looking to see if anymore information was out there on the fact they think the Ark is in Iran, when this thought came to mind.

    We/Christian go by faith not by site, right? I know that has to do with us not being here when Jesus was, but would the finding of the ARK not count also? If they really found the ARK would that change us from faith to sight, because it would prove and important story in the Bible?

    I'm just wondering, I hadn't ever thought of it this way until today. What do you all think?
     
  13. intricatic

    intricatic ...a dinosaur... or something...

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    I don't understand this distinction between faith and site. :scratch:

    What does 'site' refer to?
     
  14. manchambo

    manchambo Well-Known Member

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    So you're saying the first one is like a synopsis, or executive summary.

    If one were to think seriously, for any significant period of time, about the literal-or-not status of a synopsis, they would likely lose all faith in their heretofore pat assumptions about what is literal and what is figurative. They might also need counseling.
     
  15. intricatic

    intricatic ...a dinosaur... or something...

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    So you're saying that looking at a piece of text that contains summary information that leads to a more detailed account of a thing, one would become insane? Or do you mean specifically with this account?
     
  16. savedandhappy1

    savedandhappy1 Senior Veteran

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    First it refer to me being in a hurry and misspelling it. Sorry, I meant sight.​


    I was referring to the verses that tell how Jesus told the disciples that because they see Him they believe, yet we believe by faith because we have not seen Him.​
     
  17. manchambo

    manchambo Well-Known Member

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    I said making a decision about whether the synopsis, as compared with the actual account, was literal or not (assuming of course that the actual account is literal) could very likely lead to insanity. It would least lead one to question the concreteness of their assumptions about what is an is not "literal."

    To just scratch the surface of the issue, let me pose two fairly simple questions: (1) How do know that the text is not literally reporting that certain things happened twice, where they are reported both in a synopsis and the body. (2) If the body contains a perfect literal account, how does the synopsis, which uses different words, relate to the perfect account. Is it imcomplete? Imperfect? Incorrect? A lie?
     
  18. intricatic

    intricatic ...a dinosaur... or something...

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    The form of the writing takes a certain style, in the same sense that the genealogies in the gospels take a certain form - they all report different things, but they also fit perfectly the form that genealogies took in Hebrew culture. The same is true of Genesis. This book was not written in English, to an American audience, but many fail to take that into consideration when reading it.


    The second problem lies in the definition of 'literal'. When one says 'the bible is literally true', this does not mean the same thing as if one were to say '2+2=4 is literally true' - one is mathematic precision, the other is speaking linguistically - "Both of these newspapers are literally true" would fit the same idea, though both newspapers might report different aspects of a single story, and may come to different conclusions about different parts, both could potentially be true depending on the context. This could also be an untrue statement if the content of the stories were at odds with one another on the same facts, but one must first determine whether the facts are actually in conflict or not.

    When speaking about Genesis, as I pointed out earlier, it's important to make a distinction between an English reading and a reading that takes into consideration the Hebrew method of narrative when discussing stories such as this. The two things are very different because the language itself is very different.

    In summary, to look at Genesis requires a much more complex formal analysis in order to come to any conclusion about the literal veracity of any given story. Is this summary literally true of what I stated so far, or is it literally false?
     
  19. intricatic

    intricatic ...a dinosaur... or something...

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    Ahhh.... no worries. :)

    In that case, no, it's not at odds with faith as we would not literally see Jesus before us, nor would it be conducive to faith - in other words, we wouldn't believe in Jesus any more or less because of Noah, but we would believe in Genesis more as a result of a finding such as the ark.
     
  20. savedandhappy1

    savedandhappy1 Senior Veteran

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    Thanks!!!
     
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