about-bg about-bg

Watch/Listen

Creation Matters: That, Not How

• Greg Boyd

In this exploration of the Genesis 1 creation story and the young earth theory of creation, Greg presents three reasons why he believes that Genesis 1 was not intended to be taken as a literal account, but rather a narrative to express important truths about who the early Jews were and who their God was. Further, whether you believe in the young earth theory or evolution or some other view, the important thing that we all can agree on is simply the fact THAT God created the world and all life – not HOW he did so.

Show Extended Summary Hide Extended Summary

In 1925, the Scopes trial in Tennessee brought to light the existing split between those who view the Bible as a literal account of history, vs those who believe in evolution. Many evangelicals hold that you cannot believe in both science and the Bible at once. This has resulted in a belief for many that Christianity is antithetical to science as a whole. This is a problem because it causes many young people, who have respect for science, to leave religion behind.

Greg lays out three reasons why he beliefs that Genesis 1 is not meant to be taken literally. He presented these just as informational and hopefully persuasive, but not as a statement of what Woodland Hills believes or favors. WHC does not embrace any particular view on this subject.

Greg’s three primary reasons for believing that Genesis 1 is not intended to be read literally are as follows:

1) The word used in Genesis 1 for day in Hebrew is “yom,” but this word refers to an undefined period of time. It sometimes means season or an epoch. (see Prov 25:13)

Also, Genesis 1:14 describes 6 days during which God created various facets of the world. But the sun and moon were not created until the 4th day. They are the way in which we keep track of time, therefore it would be logically impossible to define a day before the sun existed. Gen 1:14 also states that part of the reason he created the sun and moon was to give signs to mark days and years, indicating that there was a need for a way to track the passage of time.

2) There are passages in the Bible that simply cannot be taken literally. John Calvin said that when God speaks to people, he does so in “baby talk.” This is consistent with many other places in the Bible where we see God meeting us where we are at, using the language and imagery that are within our vocabulary and understanding.

For example, 1 Samuel 2:8 states that the earth was held up by pillars; Psalms 104:3,5 that the heavens are stretched out like a tent; Job 37:18 that the sky is hard like a mirror and Genesis 1:7 indicates that a “vault” holds up the water in the sky, and Job 38:22 says that is where God keeps “storehouses” of rain and snow, and in Genesis 7:11 when it rains it’s because God opens the windows.

Clearly there were ways in which people thought the world worked which were not scientifically accurate, but God used them when speaking to us because that is simply where we were at, and he was using our vocabulary to make a larger point.

3) Creation stories for Ancient Near East cultures were not intended to answer scientific questions, but rather they were intended to answer larger questions about the identity of the community, such as Who are we? What is our purpose? Who do we worship? and Who can we trust to protect us?

There are several other creation stories in the neighboring cultures, the Sumarian account is in Enuma Elish and the Babylonian account is found in the Epic of Gilgamesh.

As we study these other stories, we see many similarities to the creation story in Genesis. For example they have a similar poetic structure, there is a flood narrative with an ark that is used to spare humanity, and a 7 day creation story, even with the sun and moon being created on the 4th day. It is no accident that these same features are found in the Jewish creation story as well.

Ancient Israel used similar story lines in its creation narrative. But they changed some key aspects in order to draw a contrast, to express unique points about their identity and what sets them apart from neighboring cultures of the time.

In Enuma Elish, a primarily good god Marduk was created by the god Ea to fight an evil god Tiamat for control of the world. Tiamat was the god of the abyss, and analogous to “the deep” of Genesis and other chaotic water symbolism in the Old Testament. From Tiamat’s remains, Marduk created humans to be his slaves. On a regular basis they believed he must be kept happy with sacrifices which were seen as “feeding” him, to help ensure protection during war.

For the ancient Jews, rather than there being a god of the sun and a god of the moon, the one true God simply spoke the sun and moon into being. And he was not created; he always was. And he does not create humans to be his slaves, but rather created them in his image, male and female with equal dignity. They did not “feed” him, but rather he provided food for them. These differences from the surrounding culture’s creation stories expressed profound differences in who the ancient Jews believed they were, and who they believed their God was.

The important thing to be taken away from this discussion is that the intent of the book of Genesis was not to explain scientific facts, but simply to declare a truth. We may disagree in our speculations about HOW God created the world, because the Bible was never intended to explain that. What matters is that as Christians we all agree THAT he did, and why he did, and that is enough to unite us.

Hide Extended Summary

Topics: Conflict, Controversial Issues, Creation


Downloads & Resources

Audio File
Video File
Study guide (opens new window)
Slides
Transcript
Creation & Evolution Perspectives handout


Focus Scripture:

  • Genesis 1

    1 In the beginning when God created the heavens and the earth, 2 the earth was a formless void and darkness covered the face of the deep, while a wind from God swept over the face of the waters. 3 Then God said, “Let there be light”; and there was light. 4 And God saw that the light was good; and God separated the light from the darkness. 5 God called the light Day, and the darkness he called Night. And there was evening and there was morning, the first day.

    6 And God said, “Let there be a dome in the midst of the waters, and let it separate the waters from the waters.” 7 So God made the dome and separated the waters that were under the dome from the waters that were above the dome. And it was so. 8 God called the dome Sky. And there was evening and there was morning, the second day.

    9 And God said, “Let the waters under the sky be gathered together into one place, and let the dry land appear.” And it was so. 10 God called the dry land Earth, and the waters that were gathered together he called Seas. And God saw that it was good. 11 Then God said, “Let the earth put forth vegetation: plants yielding seed, and fruit trees of every kind on earth that bear fruit with the seed in it.” And it was so. 12 The earth brought forth vegetation: plants yielding seed of every kind, and trees of every kind bearing fruit with the seed in it. And God saw that it was good. 13 And there was evening and there was morning, the third day.

    14 And God said, “Let there be lights in the dome of the sky to separate the day from the night; and let them be for signs and for seasons and for days and years, 15 and let them be lights in the dome of the sky to give light upon the earth.” And it was so. 16 God made the two great lights—the greater light to rule the day and the lesser light to rule the night—and the stars. 17 God set them in the dome of the sky to give light upon the earth, 18 to rule over the day and over the night, and to separate the light from the darkness. And God saw that it was good. 19 And there was evening and there was morning, the fourth day.

    20 And God said, “Let the waters bring forth swarms of living creatures, and let birds fly above the earth across the dome of the sky.” 21 So God created the great sea monsters and every living creature that moves, of every kind, with which the waters swarm, and every winged bird of every kind. And God saw that it was good. 22 God blessed them, saying, “Be fruitful and multiply and fill the waters in the seas, and let birds multiply on the earth.” 23 And there was evening and there was morning, the fifth day.

    24 And God said, “Let the earth bring forth living creatures of every kind: cattle and creeping things and wild animals of the earth of every kind.” And it was so. 25 God made the wild animals of the earth of every kind, and the cattle of every kind, and everything that creeps upon the ground of every kind. And God saw that it was good.

    26 Then God said, “Let us make humankind in our image, according to our likeness; and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the birds of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the wild animals of the earth, and over every creeping thing that creeps upon the earth.”

    27 So God created humankind in his image,

    in the image of God he created them;

    male and female he created them.

    28 God blessed them, and God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the earth and subdue it; and have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the air and over every living thing that moves upon the earth.” 29 God said, “See, I have given you every plant yielding seed that is upon the face of all the earth, and every tree with seed in its fruit; you shall have them for food. 30 And to every beast of the earth, and to every bird of the air, and to everything that creeps on the earth, everything that has the breath of life, I have given every green plant for food.” And it was so. 31 God saw everything that he had made, and indeed, it was very good. And there was evening and there was morning, the sixth day.

Subscribe to Podcast Buy Media

15 thoughts on “Creation Matters: That, Not How

    Tom says: Tuesday May 12, 2015 at 11:39 am

    This has (and still is) been a conflicting issue for me. Having a scientific background with a Catholic upbringing, this topic was a deciding factor in walking away from organized religion in my 20’s. The Evolution Vs Christianity topic is polarizing when looked at through the lenses of How instead of Why; and a Versus instead of a symbiotic relationship. When we begin to understand there isn’t a need to have them combat each other, we can again start to see God’s true nature as a graceful force. I’ve been listening to this podcast for about a year now. Greg has truly helped me unveil the welcoming hand of God that’s been sitting in front of my eyes my entire life. In doing so, the meanings of belief and faith have transformed into a powerful force in my life.

    Reply
    Tracy Grant says: Thursday May 14, 2015 at 8:30 pm

    Really interesting. Have just finished reading John H Walton’s book The Lost world of Genesis, and Greg’s sermon was similar in quite a few areas Walton’s book leads us back to the Ancient Near East and how they would have understood the language. He believes Genesis deals with ‘functions’ as the Hebrews saw things in how they functioned, not the material form. If Genesis is viewed from this perspective, it makes SENSE. I would love Greg to read the book and see what he thinks as I would think he would find it really great too. It explains the whole thing when God created light – in its functional form it was the beginning of time. It just makes it far easier to understand all those hard bits that don’t make sense. Love to hear if he’s read it already or his take on the ‘functions’ aspect. Great sermon though, always come away feeling ‘filled up’ after Greg’s sermons. 🙂

    Reply
    Peter says: Friday May 15, 2015 at 3:07 am

    Having regard to the Reflective Questions for this topic and, as Greg indicated at the beginning of this message, there are various views on the first chapters of Genesis with WHC not taking a particular view on the process of creation but nonetheless believing the Creation is a work of God. As Tracy indicates above, Professor Walton has a unique view on this matter that is very persuasive (at least for me) which effectively sidelines the need for a young earth theory. This view also opens up a lot more ‘doors’ into the Genesis account and the larger narrative of God’s actions through history leading to Eden 2.0 (or Eden 1.0 renewed) in Revelation with the new Heaven and new Earth.

    Apart from reading Professor Walton’s books as Tracy indicates there also is a presentation done by him on YouTube for those seeking a wider understanding,

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EUb9P5HXueo

    Reply
    M85 says: Friday May 15, 2015 at 11:59 pm

    I generally take Genesis 1-2 quite literally, without necessarily being a young earth creationist, the Bible doesn’t really make sense for me otherwise.

    Reply
    Dave Pritchard says: Saturday May 16, 2015 at 1:48 am

    “Parashat Bereshit”

    As it’s sometimes called represents our emergence into and expulsion from from “Gan Eydan”. A perfect idyllic existence where man was immune from the problems we experience in todays world. He freely ate from the “Tree of Life” and rested under its shade – Immortality seemed secure. But in an ever-expanding cosmos, no appetite is satiated for long. Wanton disregard for that sustenance lead to our bodily ejection and spiritual dislodgment.

    Now paradoxically, humanity expends enormous amounts of physical and mental resources attempting to return to that “pristine state” through the application of science and technology; attempting to eliminate personal frustrations and suffering, while simultaneously avoiding “The” very relationship that is necessarily essential to ever going back.

    Christians often argue vociferously about our “Origins” and how the various models enliven and decipher scripture; or vice-versa. The beauty of Genesis One though comes to its fruition at the start of Genesis Two, where the “Shabbat” is first introduced – to cease from work, to take a day of rest and reflection – to build a relationship and Covenant with our God.

    There’s an interesting insight within the classic rabbinic interpretation where Genesis 1:1 – בְּרֵאשִׁית, בָּרָא אֱלֹהִים (“bereishit bara Elohim”) – in the beginning God Created, starts with the Hebrew letter “bet”. Because the letter “bet “ is closed at the sides but open in front, the tradition goes that one is not permitted to investigate what is above and what is below, what is before and what is behind.

    [Similarly, linking it to Deuteronomy 4:32 – “Ask not of the days past, which were before you, since the day that God created man upon the earth,” teaches that one may speculate from the day that days were created, but one should not speculate on what was before that. And one may investigate from one end of heaven to the other, but one should not investigate what was before this world].

    I’m not a particular fan of “Gematria” but according to some it does provide convincing evidence of the Bible’s divine authorship – ‘just the first seven words of the Hebrew Bible are all it takes to affirm that God is the Creator.’ In the Jewish tradition, the letters of the Hebrew alphabet are the building blocks of creation, and the Torah is the blueprint.

    So although Young Earth Creationists have geophysical and cosmological hurdles to overcome when taking a literalist view, likewise; Theistic Evolutionists may have textual insights and spiritual analogs that they may miss when superimposing or integrating their view of the Bereshit.

    Reply
      John says: Tuesday January 2, 2018 at 2:00 pm

      Theistic evolutionists have the huge hurdle of death to overcome. Evolution requires death prior to man’s existence . In Genesis 1:1 there is no death. God did not create death. Death defines sin and sin defines salvation. Theistic evolution is not a functional Biblical model.

      Reply
    Dave Pritchard says: Saturday May 16, 2015 at 2:02 am

    Also very interesting –

    The mystery of the Alpha and Omega in the Bible’s first …
    http://www.creationmoments.com/…/mystery-alpha-and-omega-bibles-first-ver...

    Reply
    Dave Pritchard says: Saturday May 16, 2015 at 5:43 am

    Sorry Folks – That’s “ask now” in Deuteronomy 4:32 and for for some reason the link above is bad – just try Googling the top line and it should get you there!

    one of these days I might get it right………

    Reply
    P V Vorpahl, DVM says: Saturday May 16, 2015 at 3:18 pm

    The origin of life and speciation did not arise spontaneously on planet Earth. Spark discharges and UV light on pond scum might produce amino acids, but not DNA. The arrival and comlexity of living things lies outside of positivism.

    Reply
    Wes Johnson says: Monday May 18, 2015 at 12:10 pm

    I have been watching this debate for many years, and I often feel compelled to support Young Earth Creationist empirical scientific claims simply because I often see them dismissed out-of-hand due to their first assumptions. So I wonder about Dr. Boyd’s statement about the second law of thermodynamics – entropy – and why the YEC thinking may be in error. Do YEC folks do good science or not? Are their research papers even allowed to see the light of day or fair peer review?

    Is anyone familiar with Barry Setterfield? He is a smart physicist who has proposed a cosmology which is either too slick or ahead of its time, but his science seems to explain in technical terms why the atomic clock raced wildly at the initial “stretching out ” of the cosmos and why it is slower now. It raises the point that present processes work the same, but some of the inputs to those process were unique at the initial inception of all things.

    As Dr. Boyd said, Christians should love science. But are they doing good science? This is a key to good apologetic dialogue. It seems to me that the particulars of Genesis 1 have their place, but having Christians perceived as doing good science would be invaluable.

    Reply
    Denley says: Thursday May 21, 2015 at 9:12 pm

    I thought Greg’s message was good but I have similar thoughts that I shared a some weeks about The Song of Creation sermon by Vanessa. My main challenge is making the Genesis 1 account ahistorical and rendering it purely poetry. I would argue the Genesis 1 account is history in poetic form. In other words, it is a genre of its own that spans both sides: prose and poetry, which supercedes our conceptual categories. Moses or the writer’s account (as Vanessa mentions in her sermon) seems to blend both history from God/Elohim’s perspective more theo-centric with poetry as mnemonic for an oral culture during ancient times. This is compared or contrasted to Genesis 2 where the creation story is from Adam’s perspective, anthro-centric.

    I cannot deny the poetic form as it is structured in the original Hebrew for Genesis 1; but God seems to refer to the Genesis 1 days quite often in the Exodus passage as some kind of literal time for Him beyond human reasoning/experience. I share Exodus 31:17 as an example:

    “It is a sign for ever between me and the people of Israel that in six days the Lord made heaven and earth, and on the seventh day he rested and was refreshed.”

    This is the Lord speaking to Moses saying use Genesis 1 as an archetype for work and rest. I suppose it is an experience that God has undergone in His renovation of the Earth to make it as His temple. (The temple thought comes from N.T. Wright, which I will touch upon below.) Otherwise, how else would God tell Israel that He worked 6 days and rested for 1 day and they, Israel, should do the same? If the Genesis 1 account is just poetry, how does God draw this logical parallel if it had no basis in reality – probably a more profound reality within God the Spirit? Even in the New Testament, the writer in Hebrews says in 4:3b-4:

    “…although his works were finished from the foundation of the world. For he has somewhere spoken of the seventh day in this way: “And God rested on the seventh day from all his works.”

    Saying this, I think the days in Genesis are experienced from God’s perspective, in eternity time, in the Spirit, so to speak. The days are sequenced as He sees fit as the Lord God of time. Jesus re-emphasized this fact in the Gospel as being the Lord of the Sabbath.

    We as humans are made in His image-likeness and are called to mirror God’s work pattern. But are God-days equivalent to human-days like human years versus dog years? I cannot say that is so, and it’s probably best not to be dogmatic on that part where many Fundamentals like to plant their flag on the literalness of 6 human-day creation. I believe that’s why Peter wrote what he did about one day is thousand years and a thousand years are like a day to the Lord (2 Peter 3:8). We can’t be overly scientific on that point. The point is God created all things out of nothing and worked in sequence to build a temple where He can dwell.

    As for the Temple thought, Earth as God’s temple is the place where God would dwell. Not a temple made by Human hands like Solomon or Herod created and was destroyed or other pagan-religions would create as a way to penetrate the Heavens like the Tower of Babel, but the Earth is itself as the temple, which is epitomized or summed in the incarnation of Jesus as the very Holy of Holies of God and the place where God truly tabernacles with humanity as noted in John’s Gospel. (As Paul says to the Colossians in 2:9, Jesus Christ is the fullness of the Godhead in bodily form.) When God finished his abode, His home, the Earth then He rested.

    This is significant because of the Sabbath. Israel was taught to create temples for gods in Egypt with no rest in their building. Now God was showing Israel and now us a way of working and resting in a memorable fashion through poetry. Revelation 21 and 22 re-emphasizes this idea of the Earth of being God’s temple. Of course, the work of the cross is Jesus resting from building the human temple of God when He ascended to the Father. We now can enter God’s eternal rest through Jesus’ humanity and look forward a renewed Earth to match.

    However we slice it, Genesis 1 is such a profound mystery of deity history that is beyond human history; but nevertheless, it is history that is more real than any other history we can ever imagine. Genesis 1 seems to be the Lord’s history of work/rest and not ours.

    I appreciate Greg’s message for letting us think deeper on this subject.

    Reply
    williamb says: Thursday May 21, 2015 at 10:27 pm

    I think this is a case of Greg wanting to embrace the world and ‘science’ and let everyone know how intellectually hip he is. Sorry you can not read Genesis 1-3 and believe the world was not created in 6 days. There is nothing in there that points to ape men or any kind of biblical/evolutionary blending. Greg wants to argue the ancient texts but how are these not corruptions of the true account from God? I work at a company where we operated a certain way for years. After awhile this became corrupted and we finally put into writing how things work. So does this mean we didn’t operate a certain way prior to putting things in writing?

    How Greg do you explain Exodus 20:11? Is this another case of using the word Yom the wrong way? Once again I read this and it says GOD CREATED THE WORLD IN 6 DAYS.

    If the earth took 50 hours to rotate from point to point that would be a day. It is not the sun or moon but the rotation of the earth that determines a day. It is clear that God provided the light in the creation story.

    Yes Genesis is history and I can tell by the language. Same way if someone says to you, “man it is like an oven outside.” Do you really think it is 350 degrees?!!! Not hard to distinguish from poetry and history.

    Now in the Bible when Adam says “bone of my bones flesh of my flesh” who is speaking? Is this some ape man who God has selected to be the ancestor of man? When could he throw a curveball much less a spear? When Jesus talks about man and woman created “from the beginning” what beginning is he talking about? In Luke 11:51 who is this Abel Christ speaks of? Again in Hebrews 4 verse 4 the author speaks of 7 days. Hebrews 11:3-4 once again Cain and Abel where is it again we first encounter them?

    Greg if you want to be the hipcat pastor embracing science you are going to have to answer the science behind the resurrection. How do you crucify a man dead entomb Him 3 days and he rises again? Where is the science??? Where does the Old Testament become history? The flood? You must go with science there. Couldn’t be a worldwide flood. Parting of the Red Sea? Come on must of been the Reed Sea and just a swamp. Manna from heaven? Ha! In Romans one man brought sin into the world and one man saved it. Must be 2 different Hebrew words for man there. Since Genesis is just a fairy tale?

    You talk a good game about not voting and not being of this world but in the end you are just like the rest a slave to your intellectualism.

    I suppose AiG and ICR, the scientists that work there are all mis-guided in their 6 day belief.

    Your hipness is hamstringing you.

    Reply
    Tım Brinley says: Friday May 22, 2015 at 3:39 pm

    The superficial and out of hand rejection of Genesis 1 and for that matter 1-11 out of hand by Dr Boyd is to me much more disingenuous than any poorly founded arguments I have heard made by old Earth Creationists or Theistic Evolutionists. The argument starts with the supposed primitive mind of Hebrew slaves in Egypt and the idea that the creation story starts with Moses. A much more faithful understanding and one that fits the universal origins back to Noah and therefore up to Noah of a creation story tradition. That the Israelites in the wilderness or in exile found themselves in need of guidance in sorting out a creation myth among myths seems to be the presumed starting point. But what if the story was well known by the faithful and preserved in the books of the generations, as Genesis is organized. Why could these original stories have been preserved and transmitted in their original forms as we have traditionally held.

    Dr Boyd’s “illustrations” of why Genesis doesn’t speak well for it’s own apparent assertion to be history because of obvious contradictions in its detail is so similar to the shallow thinking of “learned” atheists that it makes him appear guilty by association:

    The days of Genesis 1 by any straightforward reading with evening and morning are clear solar days. The fact the sun is not made to shine has been explained as he surely knows as set to begin shining on the 4th day. If the earth was not already rotating and not in some sense heated from the sun it would have already been an ice ball in the first three days. The rotation of the earth is what creates day and night and the possibility of life under natural circumstances. Even this day one of the very arguable explanations of light in the universe has the heavens and it’s elements being stretched out from one point. The nature of the atmosphere as a relatively hard surface for intruding objects is a fact of scientific observation that protects us immeasureably as by comparison the moon and it’s riddled surface. The pillars of the earth need not be considered some unscientific anachronism but as often is found with science, rather a lost or yet undiscovered insight. How does water under great pressure get to the tops of very high mountains. Is there not even today great remaining reservoirs of water under the earth’s surface?
    Consider http://www.icr.org/article/fountains-deep/ for a beginning of this very interesting topic. The apostle Peter claiming guidance by the Holy Spirit in 2 Peter 3 speaks of scoffers who willingly ignore the truth of a world formed of water and destroyed by water. My concern would be with Dr. Boyd not being found among these with his glib dismissal of the Biblical account of origins.

    He can lightly dispense with the detail of Genesis if that will ingratiate him to the intellectual nomenclature that his writings imitate, but truth is, a true atheist is never much impressed by the tactical “compromises” of the believer. He sees the end game clearly. The club of skepticism guards its door carefully with condescension and the loftiness of “credentials”. But observation based science and gospel centered theology say, “Let God be found true and every man a liar.” The most repeated phrasing in Genesis 1 besides “and there was evening and there was morning” is, and God saw what He had made and “it was good”. It was good and very good. The evolutionary conjectural explanation of origins says that through natural selection, failure to survive through every sort of corruption, failure, suffering, and mass extinction, life miraculously and with the greatest of improbability, even heroically managed to progress through millions and even billions of tragic even ill fated beginnings to progress and prosper until God could say “good enough!, and agree to breath His spirit into two hominids (Neanderthal or homo erectus) and named Adam and his sister hominid, not made out of Adam’s rib ( call it Moses’ fib?) the ones made in His image. You see Greg and all of your ilk, with Evolution, and particularly “Theistic”
    Evolution you not only undermine scripture but you pervert the gospel, which says man was made upright, good, u corrupted, and in his rebellion, yours and mine sin entered the world, and death through sin. A gospel which says that the Creator purposefully submitted an entire creation, not yet so affected to slavery to corruption, in hope of the day when he would free the entire creation from that slavery into the freedom of the glory of the sons of God. Theistic evolution, no matter how enlightened or progressive it appears or feels, makes no friends with atheists attempting to explain our origins without God, nor with the lost left without hope, nor with the Creator, Judge of the heavens and the earth, with whose Gospel of hope you have tampered. Respectfully and urgently I hope you will reconsider.

    (Written lying on my back in a cave in Cappadocia after an early morning hovering over the plain of Cappadocia in a hot air balloon). Please excuse any impertinence and know I wish your very best and for those who follow you here. My email is tbrinley@gmail.com and my travel company is CCASTravel.

    The post right above my entry is just a case in point of how compromise will get more demand for compromise. Hipsters are the least accepting lot, just as the ones crying for tolerance are intensely intolerant of the intolerant

    Reply
    John says: Saturday May 30, 2015 at 8:50 pm

    Dude… Boyd, thank you for all of your references and taking the approach that you did. The complexity behind interpreting biblical text when considering the pre-existing/surrounding cultures is astounding. THERE IS SOOOOO MUCH to be taken from other creation stories that can be used in a comparative fashion when addressing the lenses through which accurate interpretations can need be viewed.

    Under the theme of conceptual metaphors remaining congruent, I’d argue that the separation of the waters is to be interpreted as relating to spirit/life in various forms.. Which doesn’t necessarily have to always pertain to the divine or to man…. but can also be interpreted as belonging to means of interactions/chemistry and/or relationships/physics or even cultures/religions. This then relating to the creation process and order through a medium for propagation.

    The various authors with in the cannon did not adhere to a strict/rigorous metaphoric script. Rather it was a poetry often times unto its own volition that borrowed from one another.

    It’s difficult to fully convey my point here due to the intricacies of the subject. I guess I’d just like to say….

    Keep an open mind, knowing is only half the battle, faith and its purpose is the other half that leads us to the kingdom. I fall under the assumption that 99.99999% of the interpretations regarding biblical texts that are given are far from the intended by the authors. I often only suggest one chapter… Matthew 7

    Remember the kids show ‘School House Rock’

    “24 “Therefore everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock. 25 The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house; yet it did not fall, because it had its foundation on the rock. 26 But everyone who hears these words of mine and does not put them into practice is like a foolish man who built his house on sand. 27 The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell with a great crash.”

    28 When Jesus had finished saying these things, the crowds were amazed at his teaching, 29 because he taught as one who had authority, and not as their teachers of the law.”

    again…. School House Rock 😛

    Reply
    Benjamin Bellemare says: Friday February 12, 2016 at 10:39 pm

    John chapter 1:
    1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2 He was with God in the beginning. 3 Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made.

    Hebrews 11
    3 By faith we understand that the worlds were prepared by the word of God, so that what is seen was not made out of things which are visible.

    Genesis 1:
    1 In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. 2 Now the earth was formless and empty, darkness was over the surface of the deep, and the Spirit of God was hovering over the waters.
    3 And God said, “Let there be light,” and there was light.

    God created the world by His word

    Reply

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

*

*

 

testimonial-icon

"We just started attending last summer and we love it! This past weekend the music was so beautiful, I felt the Holy Spirit there and wept the entire time. And then the message on relationships spoke right to my own struggles. God is here."

– Nicole