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If The Bible Is True Then Why Is It Incoherent ? "Logic Please "
04-15-2017, 10:16 PM
Post: #1
If The Bible Is True Then Why Is It Incoherent ? "Logic Please "
God creates light and separates light from darkness, and day from night, on the first day. Yet he didn't make the light producing objects (the sun and the stars) until the fourth day (1:14-19). And how could there be "the evening and the morning" on the first day if there was no sun to mark them? 1:3-5

"He rested."
Even God gets tired sometimes. 2:2

"The tree of life ... and the tree of knowledge of good and evil."
God created two magic trees: the tree of life and the tree of knowledge. Eat from the first, and you live forever (3:22); eat from the second and you'll die the same day (2:17). (Or that's what God said, anyway. Adam ate from the tree of knowledge and lived for another 930 years or so (5:5). But he never got a chance to eat from the tree of life. God prevented him from eating from the tree of life before Adam could eat from the tree, become a god, and live forever.) 2:9
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04-16-2017, 02:53 AM (This post was last modified: 04-16-2017 02:53 AM by shiverleaf15.)
Post: #2
RE: If The Bible Is True Then Why Is It Incoherent ? "Logic Please "
If answers were given to you, I guarantee you would say we are reading into the text, or that we are being dishonest with it, or that we lack proof that we are right.

So are you interested to know why Christians like myself feel there's no incoherence in these examples (mind you: different Christians will answer very very differently)?

Or are you hoping we can change your opinion by dishing out additional "proofs" that we are right about the above?

The latter, I do not promise we can deliver. But we should be able to do the former. I'm just bothered that people who ask these questions often do little strawman dances where they act like the two questions are the same so that if we answer the first we are told we haven't satisfied the second as if that made our first answers void and null.

"To yield and give way to our passions is the lowest slavery, even as to rule over them is the only liberty." -Justin Martyr
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04-16-2017, 07:36 AM
Post: #3
RE: If The Bible Is True Then Why Is It Incoherent ? "Logic Please "
This is a repeat of an earlier post that went nowhere except to incite a certain literalist against me who did not read past the first sentence of the third paragraph. Try try again.



Resolving the apparent discrepancy in when the Sun was created in the Genesis 1 story requires understanding the overall purpose of that passage. Here is my take on the meaning of the first creation story in Genesis (Gen 1:1 – Gen 2:3). I am not a believer, but unless one insists on a strictly literal interpretation of Genesis 1, I see no obstacle to faith in this. The ideas presented below are not original but come from more sources than I care to track down.

An important concept that will be elaborated later is that the ‘days’ of Genesis are not 24 hour days or geologic eras or any kind of consecutive time periods. The ‘days’ organized in the form of a Hebrew week are a framework on which to hang a description of how God created order from chaos.

The Genesis 1 story was intended as an antithesis to the Babylonian creation myth (Enuma Elish) that the Hebrews were exposed to during the Babylonian Exile. By creating a story that linked into aspects of the Babylonian myths but redirecting them to reflect Hebrew theological values, the new story would serve to supplant the old one and bring thinking back to Hebrew values. Genesis 1 was not intended to be either literal or metaphorical. It is intentionally mythical in form because it is replacing a myth. These days, the word ‘myth’ is nearly synonymous with ‘falsehood’. But originally a myth was a story of a sacred nature embodying the beliefs and values of a culture. And that is what Genesis 1 is all about.

Enuma Elish
The Enuma Elish was rooted in the reality of Mesopotamian geography. The plain was flooded every year and the waters driven back by the winds. The mixing of salt and fresh water leaves silt behind, which is what Mesopotamia consists of. In the Enuma Elish, this is how the world and the gods were created from primordial chaos, symbolized as formless water, a long and complex story. The cycle of flood and dry land was symbolized by the chief god Marduk battling and eventually winning out over Tiamat, the goddess of chaos, another long and complex story. The Babylonian pantheon was chock full of gods. Those gods who sided with Tiamat in the battle were enslaved but were freed when Marduk decided to create mankind to take their place as servants of the gods. Marduk then became chief god and organized a hierarchy of the other gods under him. Implicit in all this is that the Babylonian government is a reflection of the celestial pantheon and that citizens were servants of the state. Annual religious rites symbolically re-enacted the victory of Marduk over Tiamat, ensuring that chaos (flooding) would always lose out and the continuing authority of Marduk (as embodied in the state) would also be reinforced.

Genesis 1

Genesis begins with a major break from the Enuma Elish. Gen. 1:1 In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. No plethora of gods doing battle. One God who is responsible for making everything. But immediately there is a reference back to the Enuma Elish. Gen 1:2 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. Before God acted there was primordial chaos symbolized as formless water. But it is not a deity in itself but merely what was before God worked his will on it.

The creation of order from chaos is seen as a set of separations.

Light is separated from darkness. The light does not emanate from any source other than the command of God – Let there be light. Chaos is depicted as dark, there being nothing to distinguish. Light allows form to be perceived.

Water above and water below are separated. Chaos (water) is itself split, leaving a space between for something new. Recall the two kinds of water, salt and fresh, in the Enuma Elish. But rather than the creation of Mesopotamia by the mingling of waters, a place for all the world is made by separating the waters. The Hebrew God is the God of the whole world.

The water below is separated into land and seas. The familiar world is emerging. There are now places.

The places are populated. Plants on dry land. Lights in the sky for day and night. Fish in the sea and birds in the air. Animals on the land. And mankind. No afterthought to relieve the defeated gods of their labors but made in the very image of God and given authority over all other creatures, the apex of creation.

And when the work is done, God rests. No need to re-enact the creation. God is supreme and chaos is defeated permanently. And no need to submit to Babylonian authority anymore. The Exile is ended and the Hebrews are returned to their land. Hebrew theology and values have supplanted Babylonian ones. The replacement is structured in terms of the familiar Hebrew week, six days of work, one of rest. Any memory of the Babylonian mythology will be redirected into Hebrew ways.

We cannot solve our problems with the same thinking we used when we created them.
- Albert Einstein
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