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 Post subject: Early Chapters of Genesis
PostPosted: Sat Jul 10, 2021 6:59 am 
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Hi again,

I've heard from a few sources that the early chapters of Genesis (typically referring to chapters 1-11) are figurative.
As in, they detail real events (like creation, the fall etc.) but in figurative language.
They are apparently a different genre when comparing it to the rest of the book of Genesis.

While they do seem a little different compared to when you read Abraham's story onwards, how is that determined?
First of all, is that a common view of the early chapters of Genesis? Either today or with the early Church Fathers?
Secondly, if that view is reasonable to hold, again, how can we determine what is 'figurative' and what is taken for what we read?

Just seems to me that if we can determine parts of a book are a different genre, we can determine the same for other books to?

Cheers all.


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 Post subject: Re: Early Chapters of Genesis
PostPosted: Sat Jul 10, 2021 10:31 am 
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Who is "we?"

Protestants (some of them) believe every man interprets the Bible for himself. Catholics believe that authority is reserved to the Church.


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 Post subject: Re: Early Chapters of Genesis
PostPosted: Sat Jul 10, 2021 11:13 am 
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https://sqpn.com/2020/09/does-the-bible ... n-science/


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 Post subject: Re: Early Chapters of Genesis
PostPosted: Sat Jul 10, 2021 4:44 pm 
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Of course, I'll point out that a certain Bishop wrote an article attacking Creationism, and assured us the Earth is 14 Billion years old.

If he'd just typed into his search engine "how old is the earth?" that would have brought him to the NASA website -- where the would have told him the earth is 4.54 billion years old (+/- .05 billion.)

The irony is, in this corner we have the most radical Creationist in the world, foaming at the mouth and demanding we believe the earth is about 6,000 years old.

And in the other corner we have a Catholic Bishop telling us it's 14 billion years old. And he's wrong by twice as much.


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 Post subject: Re: Early Chapters of Genesis
PostPosted: Sat Jul 10, 2021 5:47 pm 
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There is also another related question: WHY is the age of the Earth so long compared to the age of mankind? I think to let natural processes, which work slowly usually, to record some events. Modern science tells us, for instance, that dinosaurs, which were large animals, were killed by an asteroid. What does it signify? I think it may signify that large human organisations do not necessarily teach the truth. On the one hand, there is, for instance, Roman Catholic Church, which is large organisation, and for another hand, there is Orthodox Church, a smaller one. Which of them is true? We can learn from the story of dinosaurs that «the biggest» does not necessarily implies «the best». Because humans, smaller beings, are alive, whereas dinosaurs, large ones, became extinct.


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 Post subject: Re: Early Chapters of Genesis
PostPosted: Sat Jul 10, 2021 8:28 pm 
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Quote:
I think it may signify that large human organisations do not necessarily teach the truth. On the one hand, there is, for instance, Roman Catholic Church, which is large organisation, and for another hand, there is Orthodox Church, a smaller one. Which of them is true? We can learn from the story of dinosaurs that «the biggest» does not necessarily implies «the best». Because humans, smaller beings, are alive, whereas dinosaurs, large ones, became extinct.

This may be the most absurd thing I've read since LetsObeyChrist stopped posting here.


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 Post subject: Re: Early Chapters of Genesis
PostPosted: Sat Jul 10, 2021 10:55 pm 
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Vern Humphrey wrote:
Who is "we?"

Protestants (some of them) believe every man interprets the Bible for himself. Catholics believe that authority is reserved to the Church.


Yes I mean Church, not you and I individually. Was asking, is that a common or acceptable view of the early chapters of Genesis?
If so, what is the criteria to determine that only the early chapters were the figurative ones for example?
This isn't just a question on creation but also Noah, genealogy of the patriarchs with people living hundreds of years, tower of Babel etc.

Again, reading Genesis, I suppose I can see a slight shift in the ways other chapters are written sure, but why is the 'figurative cut-off' not earlier/later?


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 Post subject: Re: Early Chapters of Genesis
PostPosted: Sun Jul 11, 2021 7:26 am 
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Vadim wrote:
There is also another related question: WHY is the age of the Earth so long compared to the age of mankind? I think to let natural processes, which work slowly usually, to record some events. Modern science tells us, for instance, that dinosaurs, which were large animals, were killed by an asteroid. What does it signify? I think it may signify that large human organizations do not necessarily teach the truth. On the one hand, there is, for instance, Roman Catholic Church, which is a large organization, and on other hand, there is Orthodox Church, a smaller one. Which of them is true? We can learn from the story of dinosaurs that «the biggest» does not necessarily imply «the best». Because humans, smaller beings, are alive, whereas dinosaurs, large ones, became extinct.


Is this actually a serious argument?


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 Post subject: Re: Early Chapters of Genesis
PostPosted: Wed Jul 14, 2021 10:00 am 
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On the other hand, passenger pigeons are extinct, and humans are not. But humans are much larger than passenger pigeons. Therefore, we can learn from this that bigger implies best. QED.


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 Post subject: Re: Early Chapters of Genesis
PostPosted: Wed Jul 14, 2021 3:41 pm 
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gmor8802 wrote:
Vern Humphrey wrote:
Who is "we?"

Protestants (some of them) believe every man interprets the Bible for himself. Catholics believe that authority is reserved to the Church.


Yes I mean Church, not you and I individually. Was asking, is that a common or acceptable view of the early chapters of Genesis?
If so, what is the criteria to determine that only the early chapters were the figurative ones for example?
This isn't just a question on creation but also Noah, genealogy of the patriarchs with people living hundreds of years, tower of Babel etc.

Again, reading Genesis, I suppose I can see a slight shift in the ways other chapters are written sure, but why is the 'figurative cut-off' not earlier/later?


First of all, we are not prohibited from taking the Bible literally -- although the Church has a strong preference for the 'scientific" approach.

Secondly, we are required to accept the bible as true "in so far as the inspired writer's intentions." Genesis is not a text on astronomy, it is the story of God's relationship to man, and that is the lesson we are to take from it.

Genesis was composed orally, and recited around the campfire, generation after generation, and it bears the marks of oral composition. It was adapted to the level of understanding of the audience. The version we have is a compilation of several stories on different matters. Later books, however, are coherent narratives, and we treat them differently.


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 Post subject: Re: Early Chapters of Genesis
PostPosted: Thu Jul 15, 2021 9:14 am 
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Vern Humphrey wrote:
gmor8802 wrote:
Vern Humphrey wrote:
Who is "we?"

Protestants (some of them) believe every man interprets the Bible for himself. Catholics believe that authority is reserved to the Church.


Yes I mean Church, not you and I individually. Was asking, is that a common or acceptable view of the early chapters of Genesis?
If so, what is the criteria to determine that only the early chapters were the figurative ones for example?
This isn't just a question on creation but also Noah, genealogy of the patriarchs with people living hundreds of years, tower of Babel etc.

Again, reading Genesis, I suppose I can see a slight shift in the ways other chapters are written sure, but why is the 'figurative cut-off' not earlier/later?


First of all, we are not prohibited from taking the Bible literally -- although the Church has a strong preference for the 'scientific" approach.

Secondly, we are required to accept the bible as true "in so far as the inspired writer's intentions." Genesis is not a text on astronomy, it is the story of God's relationship to man, and that is the lesson we are to take from it.

Genesis was composed orally, and recited around the campfire, generation after generation, and it bears the marks of oral composition. It was adapted to the level of understanding of the audience. The version we have is a compilation of several stories on different matters. Later books, however, are coherent narratives, and we treat them differently.


Agreed though, what I've seen is that there are viewpoints which treat only the early chapters of Genesis that way.
The rest of the book (pretty much from Abraham onwards) is viewed as a coherent narrative.

Was curious as to why. I don't think we treat any other book of the Bible that way do we?
Closest I can think is people interpret Revelation in different ways at different chapters and points in the book.


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