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The Creation Story: Literal, or Figurative?

Discussion in 'Controversial Christian Theology' started by Saint Steven, Apr 22, 2021.

  1. hedrick

    hedrick Senior Veteran Supporter

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    Just because God chose Israel, there is no reason to think that he gave them perfect knowledge of science snd history. In fact there’s lots of reasons to think he didn’t.
     
  2. Confused-by-christianity

    Confused-by-christianity Well-Known Member

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    Only the sith deals in absolutes Steve
     
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  3. Saint Steven

    Saint Steven You can call me Steve Supporter

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    I am only saying that Adam wasn't named in your quotation. That was your point, I believe. Here's one about others named in the NT from Genesis. (Abel)

    Luke 11:50-51 NIV
    Therefore this generation will be held responsible for the blood of all the prophets that has been shed since the beginning of the world, 51 from the blood of Abel to the blood of Zechariah, who was killed between the altar and the sanctuary. Yes, I tell you, this generation will be held responsible for it all.
     
  4. renniks

    renniks Well-Known Member

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    Yeah I wasn't really arguing with you, anyway, but the person who reads genesis non literally. There's too much that's important to theology in the first book.
     
  5. renniks

    renniks Well-Known Member

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    Of course it is. It might have helpful points, but a myth is certainly a made up story. So it's a fabrication.
     
  6. Saint Steven

    Saint Steven You can call me Steve Supporter

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    I was finding humor in the idea that the Bible would be referred to as "... closer to the truth..." than something else. As if the truth is nowhere to be found, especially not in the Bible. But at least it is "... closer to the truth..." than others. By what measure? - lol

    Saint Steven said:
    Wow. Is that what the Bible should be known as? "... closer to the truth..." Nearly dependable? At least half right? More right than wrong? - lol
     
  7. Daniel Marsh

    Daniel Marsh Well-Known Member

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    IMHO,

    - Was the universe created in six literal days?
    God unveiled the story in Seven days.

    - Was Adam the first human, a created being?
    The word Adam means first man, so yes. The authors in the NT thought so.

    - Was Adam created in the image of God, after his likeness? (appearance) The image of God is the spirit in our being.

    - Is the Genesis account literal, or figurative?
    The type of literature type is figurative, story.

    - Was the Genesis account based on an oral tradition? (origins myth)
    The origins myths if there is any similarity was based on Genesis.
    Likely, God revealed the events of Genesis to Moses.

    - In reference to Adam, is the conclusion of the genealogy of Jesus correct?
    There are gaps in the genealogies have gaps.
    “Primeval Chronology” Green, Rev Prof William Henry, Bibliotheca Sacra (April, 1890), pg 285-303
     
  8. Saint Steven

    Saint Steven You can call me Steve Supporter

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    Several scriptures that challenge the figurative reading of Genesis.

    Mark 10:6 NIV
    “But at the beginning of creation God ‘made them male and female.’

    Luke 11:50-51 NIV
    Therefore this generation will be held responsible for the blood of all the prophets that has been shed since the beginning of the world, 51 from the blood of Abel to the blood of Zechariah, who was killed between the altar and the sanctuary. Yes, I tell you, this generation will be held responsible for it all.

    Luke 17:26-27 NIV
    “Just as it was in the days of Noah, so also will it be in the days of the Son of Man. 27 People were eating, drinking, marrying and being given in marriage up to the day Noah entered the ark. Then the flood came and destroyed them all.

    Acts 17:24-27 NIV
    “The God who made the world and everything in it is the Lord of heaven and earth and does not live in temples built by human hands. 25 And he is not served by human hands, as if he needed anything. Rather, he himself gives everyone life and breath and everything else. 26 From one man he made all the nations, that they should inhabit the whole earth; and he marked out their appointed times in history and the boundaries of their lands. 27 God did this so that they would seek him and perhaps reach out for him and find him, though he is not far from any one of us.

    Romans 1:18-20 NIV
    The wrath of God is being revealed from heaven against all the godlessness and wickedness of people, who suppress the truth by their wickedness, 19 since what may be known about God is plain to them, because God has made it plain to them. 20 For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that people are without excuse.

    Romans 5:12 NIV
    Therefore, just as sin entered the world through one man, and death through sin, and in this way death came to all people, because all sinned—

    Romans 8:19-22 NIV
    For the creation waits in eager expectation for the children of God to be revealed. 20 For the creation was subjected to frustration, not by its own choice, but by the will of the one who subjected it, in hope 21 that the creation itself will be liberated from its bondage to decay and brought into the freedom and glory of the children of God.
    22 We know that the whole creation has been groaning as in the pains of childbirth right up to the present time.

    1 Corinthians 15:21-22 NIV
    For since death came through a man, the resurrection of the dead comes also through a man. 22 For as in Adam all die, so in Christ all will be made alive.

    2 Peter 3:5-6 NIV
    But they deliberately forget that long ago by God’s word the heavens came into being and the earth was formed out of water and by water. 6 By these waters also the world of that time was deluged and destroyed.
     
  9. fhansen

    fhansen Oldbie

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    Yes, only the magisterium defines doctrine or dogma but the CCC teaches based on such definitions and in the case of the story of creation the concept that all humans can trace their lineage through to a single pair of parents is Catholic dogma. And this rules out polygenism to the extent that it conflicts with that understanding. If, OTOH, evolution would be incapable of arriving at a being such as ourselves, rational creatures made in the image of God with free will and a soul, then humans would've necessarily resulted from a specific act of God employing existing non-human primates as the material. Then a single pair of ancestors would be possible without regard to polygenism.

    Anyway, if the church turns out to be wrong on this matter it would be much more relevant-and devastating IMO-than the Galileo episode which involved no dogma even as it has rightly or wrongly engaged much popular attention. Time will eventually tell.
     
    Last edited: Apr 23, 2021
  10. hedrick

    hedrick Senior Veteran Supporter

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    As long as you accept dualism, this position is pretty much unfalsifiable. As you mention, you can accept the usual evolutionary model, but say that God added a soul starting with one pair. Since there’s no way to observe a soul or show how it originated, it’s hard to disprove this.

    But even unfalsifiable ideas die when what gave rise to them is no longer believed. The concept of original sin as it developed in the Church isn’t obviously present in Genesis. It’s an inference, but one that almost certainly wouldn’t have developed among people who didn’t consider the account historical. In that respect it’s different from other things we get from the story, such as being made in Gods image, an idea that is quite explicit, and works even if we don’t think creation happened in six days.

    I predict that Catholics will reinterpret the tradition over the course of the next few decades.
     
    Last edited: Apr 23, 2021
  11. Yarddog

    Yarddog Senior Contributor Supporter

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    It's allegorical. It starts with the first day and Jesus Christ coming into the world. "Let there be Light. " And the death of Jesus on the 6th day as his last words according to the Gospel of John were, "It is finished". He then rested on the 7th day.
     
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  12. fhansen

    fhansen Oldbie

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    Yes- or the idea could also turn out to be true.
     
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  13. myst33

    myst33 Well-Known Member

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    Mythology is a prefilozophic, prerational view of the world.

    Its a try to generalize various human and natural phenomena.

    This generalization was done not in abstract, theoretical level as we are used today. But with the use of imagination, personification and symbols.

    The basic theme of myths is a confict between order and chaos, which is also what Gen 1 and 2 are presenting.

    I suspect you use the word "fabrication" meaning something like "lie" or something negative. "Bible cannot have such fabrications". In a degradatory meaning. Thats not the right understanding of ancient myths.
     
    Last edited: Apr 23, 2021
  14. daydreameranastasia

    daydreameranastasia Just a library lady

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    Why does it matter?
    I’m not being facetious or contentious.
    Could it not be both figurative and literal?
    Just the way time is measured compared to modern methods of time measurement is not the same that far back?
    Or that sometimes thinking too much about something is just as bad as thinking too little about something?
    Because when you obsess over every blade of grass, you miss the garden before you eyes.

    God bless.
     
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  15. myst33

    myst33 Well-Known Member

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    God gave us logic to use it, not to break it.

    A colorful picture can contain both black and white colors, but a color cannot be both white and black in the same time and place.
     
  16. Cis.jd

    Cis.jd Well-Known Member

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    This has been discussed as well here, and I will just bring some of the points from that thread here.

    Creationism/Evolution

    Not just that.. but not everyone experiences the same duration of a sunset and sunrise.

    The Bible doesn't say a day is 24 hours long. We know it's 24 hrs because we discovered that.

    People in Northern Alaska experience night for 1608 hours, which is 67 days.. other countries such as Norway experience different lengths of morning and evening. Other planets have different durations in their day. for ex: 1 day in Venus is around 100 days to us.. How does this work in a 6 day creation?

    Also, why stop at the 6 days in terms of literalism.. what about the other part so Genesis such as Gen 3:5.. should this be understood that Jesus will literally bruise satan's head, and that snakes eat dirt?
     
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  17. Jamsie

    Jamsie Well-Known Member Supporter

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    True, and again the Genesis account can be interpreted as a general overview of creation without specific details imposed. It is clear from a considered reading that each day is prompted by "And God said..." that is the all sufficient act (God spoke!) of creation, nothing more is necessary. What follows the command/fiat is parenthetical or simply explanatory. The command imposes no time frame as to completion, other then God's fiat is sufficient to its completion, so we have 6 days without the necessity of being consecutive or of a set time to completion. One is able to interpret the Creation account literally with the understanding that the details and specifics are not set forth...
     
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  18. renniks

    renniks Well-Known Member

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    It can't in a book that is written as history. You have to rip the creation account from the rest of the book, and claim it's poetry and mythology while the rest is written as factual? Does not compute.
     
  19. myst33

    myst33 Well-Known Member

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    Do you have any evidence that ancient people in Mesopotamia wrote history as the boring chain of events and facts?

    There is plenty of evidence otherwise. They liked to make it more interesting, amusing, dramatical. You are reading their writings.
     
  20. renniks

    renniks Well-Known Member

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    Not sure what you are implying. This is the word of God not just any book.
     
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