Okay, here I go again.  I’m just posting part of what I’ve written, but this is the most interesting stuff IMO.  Once again, prior communications are indented.

but as for the tree of knowledge of good and bad, you must not eat of it; for as soon as you eat of it, you shall die.

“As soon as?” Well, in my version (and three others I’ve checked) it says “in the day” you eat of it you will surely die. Yes, that could be taken to mean “that very day, your heart will stop beating.” It seems, though, that if God meant that they would die that very day, that he might have used the emphatic “selfsame day” that is used in Gen. 7:13 and Gen. 17:23, or at least “that day” which is used many times also. I can’t find another spot where that word is used by itself (without this or that attached to it) that it means “immediately.”  Since God did not strike them dead immediately, He obviously didn’t mean that particular day. God does not lie. Num 23:19 God is not a man, that he should lie; neither the son of man, that he should repent: hath he said, and shall he not do it? or hath he spoken, and shall he not make it good?

“The day” in that verse could also mean “the time” or “then” as it does in Gen 6:4 There were giants in the earth in those days. The same word is also used many times to show the length of a man’s life, as in Gen 9:29 And all the days of Noah were nine hundred and fifty years.

And actually, I do think it means literal physical death. I think it means, “When you eat it, you’re done for. You’re no longer immortal.” Before they ate it, they weren’t going to die. Afterward, they WERE going to die. The literal words on the page are the Truth of the matter. Yes.

(going into conjecture here, and it has nothing to do with interpretation of the Word—just an aside.) My personal opinion is that God allowed the effects of the Tree of Life fruit they had been eating to delay their deaths. That also would give a natural explanation for why people lived so very long those first few generations—a carryover of those effects. Then they gradually wore off (evolved?) and life spans became shorter and then stayed relatively constant since then. There’s nowhere that it says all that in Scripture, as far as I know, but it makes sense to me.

a Truth can be transmitted to us independent of the literal words on the page

Oh, yes, absolutely! This happens often through the Holy Spirit, which indwells every believer!

My response to all your philosophical wanderings (Descartes, etc) is that I trust God infinitely more than I trust my senses. My senses lie. Optical illusions, phantom smells, ringing in my ears, the “pinpricks” that I experience when feeling is returning to frozen fingers—all those things are sensory tricks. There is no outward influence that is causing them. My “initial leap of faith” is to believe in God—not my senses.

The first account says explicitly that plant life had sprouted before mankind was created. The second account says explicitly that plant life had not yet sprouted when mankind was created. There is only one possible conclusion

Well, shoot. Once again, I came up with a different conclusion than you did. My Bible shows Gen 2:5 as a continuation of the sentence begun in the previous verse. Here’s the whole thing.

These are the generations of the heavens and of the earth when they were created, in the day that the LORD God made the earth and the heavens,

And every plant of the field before it was in the earth, and every herb of the field before it grew: for the LORD God had not caused it to rain upon the earth, and there was not a man to till the ground. Gen 2:4-5

So I’m not really seeing the conflict. The Lord made the earth, the heavens and the plants and herbs—he made them in their full-grown form before they actually grew there. No , they hadn’t sprouted, but they were there!  Their seeds weren’t yet in the earth, but they were on the earth.  Fairly straightforward, I think. There is no “when” on the beginning of verse 5. What version of the Scripture are you using?

among that frustrating group of people who are deceived by themselves for no apparent reason despite their minds being agile enough to do some real good in the world if only they were put to use. So we’re even, eh? 8^)

We’re definitely even, LOL! That’s very well put, and expresses exactly what I feel about you!

Evolutionary theory is simply a fruit of the human mind


The church is cleaned, but I have about fifty people coming over tonight to bake unleavened bread, so I really need to get some bathrooms cleaned and floors swept.  God bless, all~


About dayuntoday

I'm a wonderer. I spend a lot of time mulling, pondering, and cogitating. This is just a place to park some of those thoughts.
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4 Responses to

  1. jcl1 says:

    Some thoughts.
    Let me say first that I realize debating at this level of detail usually turns people off as being a waste of time and too argumentative. In case anybody is thinking that, I disagree. I doubt anybody truly gets anything communicated or resolved without going into the minutiae.
    That said, the things happening in Genesis, though they’re not a matter of anybody dying for being wrong, nor does our haggling over the specifics change what actually happened, are worth looking into if we’re going to understand the Bible one way or another.
    Homefire, your take on the plants scenario is a creative theory. I don’t know how most plants would survive without a root system, but it’s arguable that plants developed differently back then than now. Just so you get the chance, though, here’s another theory I’ve heard (and obviously, since I’m passing it on, I consider it a good option):
    That Genesis 1 and Genesis 2 are actually two different Creation accounts. You’ve heard of the J-E-P-D-R theory of the development of the Old Testament canon? (There’s a name for this theory; I forget what it is right now). The idea is that nobody was playing Josephus to the early days, that the OT wasn’t actually written down until the days of King Solomon or later, prior to which, everything was transmitted by oral tradition and by the time of which, there were a couple different versions circulating depending on whether you were from the North or the South (Israel or Judah). The scholars figure there were two main traditions – the J source, wherein God was referred to as “Yahweh” (Jehovah in German), the E source, wherein God was referred to as “Elohim,” the P source, the unknown priest who recorded/assembled Israelite history with a concern for the priestly take on things, and the D source, or the Deuteronomistic, who was kind of a recapper. You’ll notice in the stories of the kings, there are sometimes varying accounts between Samuel, Kings, and Chronicles about the same stories? The idea is that the P source wanted to emphasize one thing, the D source another. The R would be the Redactor, or the guy in charge of compiling it all into one written deal.
    Now, if you were writing down the histories of your people, and the Southern folks say that the North started the War Between the States because they wanted to butt into the states’ sovereign business, and the Northern folks say the South started the Civil War because they were violating basic human rights, which one would you record? If you sympathize with one side over the other, you’d probably pick the one you preferred. Or, if you were trying to be objective about it, or just be as thorough as possible, you’d include both. So let’s be the Redactor of the OT. If you have the Northerners saying that God created the world in the order of: light/dark, sky/seas, dry land, planets, birds/fish, plants, animals/mankind; and you have the Southerners saying that God created the world in the order of: earth/heavens, water (streams), man, garden (plants), animals, woman: how would you write it?
    Yes, I’ve heard the idea that chapter 2 is an elucidation of chapter 1 – like, it goes back and starts coloring in the lines of what had already been sketched, but you have to realize a couple things.
    First of all, the chapter divisions aren’t the story divisions. The first 2 verses of chapter 2 are finishing the story of chapter 1: “Thus, the heavens and the earth were completed in all their vast array… and God rested… The End.” Then verse 3 starts off all over again: “This is the account of the heavens and the earth when they were created:” (or, Once upon a time, a long time ago…) Their wording, taken literally, gives good reason to say they’re two separate accounts.
    Secondly, chapter 2 does change the order of chapter 1. In chapter 1, water is predominant. It’s everywhere. In chapter 2, there’s barely any. In chapter 1, man is created last. In chapter 2, man is created before the garden or the animals. In chapter 1, man and woman are created simultaneously. In chapter 2, man is created first and woman is drawn out of him a significant amount of time later.
    They could be broad/fine accounts of the same story. But they could also be two different versions.
    The question is, does having two differing versions destroy the credibility of the Bible?
    It does if one sees the point of the Creation story as settling once for all exactly how/in what order God created everything. It does not if one sees the point as being that Yahweh/Elohim is responsible for the world, not other gods. It does not if one sees the point as being that instead of the world being formed from chaos and hopelessly bound to its forces, it was formed by God in the face of chaos and that chaos is controlled by Him.
    Something interesting: water represented both life and death to the ancient peoples. Obviously, you couldn’t survive without water (hence, the divinization of sources which provided safe water), but the sea was terrifying. From the standpoint of a person back then, who had no knowledge of the sea with which to understand it, no way to defend against it, and no way to really utilize it either, it was chaos and evil personified. The Canaanites had in their set of gods Lotan, who was the sea serpent or dragon and represented the mass destructive power of the sea, and who was the pet of Yaw, the god of chaos. The Babylonians had Marduk slaying Tiamat, the goddess of chaos/sea monster there. In the middle of a world where people feared the sea and the power of death and destruction and darkness, what does Genesis declare?
    In the beginning God created… now darkness was over the surface of the deep
    . Water was there. Chaos was there. Darkness was there. But what was also there? and the spirit of God was hovering over the waters. In the middle of those things which humans had the most cause to fear, God was there. God was not absent. Further, what does God do first? Exercises control over the darkness. And the very next thing He does is exercise control over the water. What does this say to a people in the times of early Israel? It doesn’t say, “Unlike what you’ve heard in school, this is the timeline of the world.” It says, “Unlike the other gods, your God is not afraid or impotent or able to be defeated. Your God not only takes on the powers of evil, He controls them. There is no need to fear.”
    Same message when God is talking in Job. He talks about Leviathan, right? The Hebrew equivalent of Lotan. Picture this thing. It’s powerful, it’s evil, it controls the ocean depths, fishermen are at its mercy, coast-dwellers are at its mercy, when you die you are dragged to the watery depths and faced with the worst nightmare imaginable. It’s a monster to the highest degree that human imaginations can create monsters. And God plays with it! He wades into the Nile, hooks it by the gills, and carries it home for dinner. Do you see the picture? Do you see it how the people back then would have seen it?
    There’s a Jewish tradition that in the last days, God will get rid of the chaos monster Leviathan for good. Not only will He, but He’ll cook him up and serve him to all the people at the great banquet.
    I have found that standing in the shoes (or non-shoes) of the people who the Bible was first written to/for gives it a vastly different perspective than mine today, 5,000 years past. Taking the Bible literally only works so far as you share the same culture. Take the phrase “hanging chad.” People in America know what that means. People 2000 years from now, presuming they have the same language or can figure out ours, would probably assume that we were talking about killing some guy by lynching him. That would be literal. That would be face value. But humans don’t talk perfectly literally.
    It would be fun to come up with a dozen other examples of nonliteral speech from our time and culture, but the longer the comment, the less chance of its clarity and/or potency. I hope it’s helpful for being able to see other options, other possibilities.
    (Perhaps another, more direct, response later….)

  2. homefire says:

    I didn’t say they didn’t have roots.  I said they hadn’t sprouted, that their seed wasn’t in the earth.  As for the rest…interesting.  Have to thinka bout it when I have more time and am not so tired.

  3. Confanity says:

    ““As soon as?” Well, in my version (and three others I’ve checked) it says “in the day” you eat of it you will surely die.”-You go into great depth on this, and it’s very commendable, except that as Jen pointed out, the Hebrew for the phrase is “Hayom.” This means “today.” You can’t quibble your way out of “today” meaning “today” just because it’s not as emphatic as “this very day today before tomorrow comes” or some such. This is exactly why one’s handle on the Bible isn’t firm unless one can fluently read ancient Hebrew. ^_^ Now, you can ask the Jewish Publication Society why they rendered it the way they did. I simply presume that the relevant scholars knew more about ancient Hebrew idiom than I do.”He obviously didn’t mean that particular day. God does not lie.”-Thus, the use of the word “today” cannot be read literally! See? 8^)”And actually, I do think it means literal physical death. I think it means, “When you eat it, you’re done for. You’re no longer immortal.”-But a loss of immortality isn’t the same as physical death. When you die, you’ve stopped. You’ve passed on! You are no more! You ‘ave ceased to be! You’ve expired and gone to meet your maker! You’re a stiff! Bereft of life, you rest in peace! If you weren’t nailed to the perch you’d be pushing up the daisies! Your metabolic processes are now ‘istory! You’re off the twig! You’ve kicked the bucket, shuffled off your mortal coil, run down the curtain and joined the bleedin’ choir invisibile! YOU ARE AN EX-PARROT!![takes a deep breath] In short, you are interpreting the word “death” instead of taking its literal meaning. And since the whole point of the example was not to argue about that example but to show that a literal reading is impossible and interpretation must occur, I’m satisfied. 8^)”There’s nowhere that it says all that in Scripture, as far as I know, but it makes sense to me.”-Excellent; another departure from a literal reading of the Bible. Now all we need is for you to read until macroevolution makes sense to you too, and the debate will be resolved. 8^D”There is no outward influence that is causing them. My “initial leap of faith” is to believe in God—not my senses.”-This is putting Descartes before the horse (sorry; couldn’t resist), since without your senses you could never have heard about God, and never read the Bible. ^_^About the plants: The first selection says “Let the earth sprout vegetation… And it was so.” The second says “…and no grasses of the field had yet sprouted”…” Can’t get much plainer than that.”There is no “when” on the beginning of verse 5. “-Obviously, I beg to differ. Maybe Jen can pull out her dozen translations again. 8^)”What version of the Scripture are you using?”-I guess you hadn’t read yet when you wrote this, but by now you must be aware that I use the JPS translation. Naturally, I consider this more accurate than any Christian version, especially versions like the King James that were written with an eye toward the English-speaking ear, so to speak, more than to accuracy.” ‘Evolutionary theory is simply a fruit of the human mind’AMEN!!!!”-I hope you didn’t read “simply” as “merely.” ^_^; Keep in mind that without your mind (and a fully bipedal posture, and a sparse growth of body hair) you’d just be a monkey. A soulful monkey, perhaps, so to speak, if you believe that human souls are superior to animal ones… but a monkey nonetheless.To Jen: [applauds]

  4. girlquirk says:

    you and confanity are both silly. neither of you are really going to agree with one another. two too stubborns.

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