Sunday, August 4, 2013

Bereshiyth ... Genesis ... My View of "And God said.."

4 August 2013: Taking another break from the Global SITREP series to go back to the Bereshiyth, the Genesis, the "In the beginning..." when God said and spoke all of creation into existence. 

Right up front I will say that my view of "And God said..." is one that is not confined to six literal 24-hour days of Creation.  I, as one of His created, have absolutely no business placing the eternal and omnipotent God into a 144-hour box as some brethren view the creation narrative given to us by our Creator through Moses and the Apostle John.  

I do not accept that our omnipotent God needed a humanly relative 24-hour first day of evening and morning to speak 'owr, light, into existence across the vast formless void and expanse of the tĕhowm, the deep, to see that it was good, and then to separate it from the choshek, the non-Heavenly darkness of the abyss (where Abaddon/Apollyon and his host are at this time).

When I read Genesis 2:4 it became clear that towlĕdah, literally multiple generations of time were involved in the entire Genesis narrative of creation. The word towlĕdah literally defines how the Hebrew word yowm is to be interpreted within and throughout the thirty-one verses of the creation narrative.

Put another way, the Bible informs us that there are two paradigms for reckoning time, God's time paradigm which is absolutely limitless to infinity, and the human time paradigm which is based upon the rotation of the earth in orbit around our sun.

Question: In which of these two time paradigms was God operating prior to the creation of the our solar system's sun?

I hold this view as being very consistent with understanding the Word of God as a literal narrative of His Creation which occurred according to His spoken Word over epochs of time as humankind now understands time.

7 comments:

Sean Osborne said...

Given the uncompromising, derogatory and exclusionary views of some brethren (i.e. Rapture Forums) regarding the interpretation of the Bereshiyth narrative, I thought it wise to post my view for all to understand clearly.

Contrary to views of the intolerant websites and forums, I will not exclude focused Young Earth Creationist views from being expressed in the comments section of this post topic should any be made, nor will I thump my Bible that their view is inconsistent with the Word of God.

They are my brothers and sisters in Christ and I will treat their views with the respect that they deserve.

Sean Osborne said...

Anon asked:

"So why exactly did God speak creation into existence over the course of six "days" and rest on the seventh "day"?"

A very good question.

Besides the fact that the length of each day during the Creation "week" is irrelevant, there is no apparent answer that meets any Biblical standard.

For example, a God-ordained year is 360 days.

Or put another way, a God-ordained year is the period of time during which one orbit of the sun is accomplished. The duration of that orbit is 12 months of 30 days each.

360 days does NOT divide evenly by 7 days, so the assertion made by some that God created for six days and rested on the seventh as an example of how mankind should labor/rest during a year is patently ridiculous, roll-on-the-floor laughable in fact.

God spoke creation into existence and then halted His creative actions because it was His sovereign will to do so. Period.

And God DID NOT rest on the seventh day, He simply stopped creating.

His work was good and it was finished. The creation was complete the seven "days" of undetermined duration.

Hence the number seven is symbolic of Divine completion and perfection.

Sean Osborne said...

Question: "What are the differences between a Young Earth Christian and an Old Earth Christian?"

Speaking only from my own perspective, the only difference between these two believing Christians is how they understand the length of the "yowm" that transpired during Genesis 1:1-19, or "the first day... the second say... the third day... the fourth day."

The length of those four "yowm" determine the process by creation occurred after God spoke the created thing into existence, and He spoke many things into existence prior to speaking the "greater light" of our solar system into existence by which mankind can reckon a literal 24-hour day.

Those four "evening and morning" were "yown's" from our Eternal LORD God's perspective, not from mankind's perspective, the first of whom had not even been spoken into existence from the dust of the Earth yet.

Now, to expand this further...

The Old Earth Creationist recognizes that the Earth was created prior to the creation of our solar system's sun, and before the creation of our orbiting moon.

Thus the Earth was not created dependent in a situation where it was dependent upon the Sun for biological life to exist upon it, but upon the spoken creation Word of God. ((This condition is exactly the same as will exist after the Millennial Reign of Jesus Christ on the New Heaven and New Earth. There will be no sun and there will be no sea either.))

There was no sun on the third day yet the dry land was commanded by the spoken Word to bring forth grasses, seeding herbs and fruiting plants and trees.

Again, in my experience, the Young earth Creationist does not even consider these things, but the understanding of them all boils down to how one understands the creation that occurred between the first day and the fourth day.

On the fifth day there was a sun about which the earth orbited and by which a literal 24-hour day can be reckoned. Only after the sun was spoken into existence did God determine the conditions were "good" for the creation of the large forms of biological life - which began in the sea (there was just one sea and one land (eretz/Earth) - Bereshiyth - In the beginning. These creatures were followed by the dry land animals and by the creation of Adam, the first man.

And we haven't even gotten to the fact that all of this creation of life did not require and rain as we know it to sustain the creation, but reading on into Genesis 2 will provide that information.

The YEC and the OEC both view the rest of the Bible in exactly the same way, as the inerrant Word of God.

Anonymous said...

A book called (I think) Genesis and the Big Bang shares your theory. I wonder if God did not already have the sun and moon made, and then, on their day, put them in the sky by opening up thick clouds, making them visible.

Sean Osborne said...

Anon wrote:

"A book called (I think) Genesis and the Big Bang shares your theory."

Anon,

While that's not the only book on the subject, yes, you are absolutely correct, nuclear physicist, Orthodox Jew and Hebrew language scholar Dr. Gerald L. Schroeder Ph.D. wrote a hardcover book called Genesis and the Big Bang: The Discovery Of Harmony Between Modern Science And The Bible that was published in 1990.

I saw Dr. Schroeder on the late-and dearly beloved Brother Zola Levitt's TV program just after the publication of this book which basically was the my introduction to the this interpretation of Bereshiyth/Genesis. Zola Levitt hosted Dr. Schroeder on his program several times, one of which was just Dr. Schroeder in his trademark light-blue button collar shirt speaking with a chalkboard for illustrating his key points. One of the best TV shows on Creation I have ever seen.

All three of Dr. Schroeder's books (as their DVD versions) are in my library. They are essential in my opinion.

Anon wrote:

" I wonder if God did not already have the sun and moon made, and then, on their day, put them in the sky by opening up thick clouds, making them visible."

Does the Bible say this, or is the mind of a created human being adding something to what the Word of God literally tells us about the Creation?

The answer is completely obvious, the Bible does not say this, therefore we absolutely cannot presuppose some idea into this text of the Bible any more than we can presuppose an idea into any other text of the Bible. It is as simple as that, especially if we are to take the Word of God literally. And I do take the Word of God very literally.

Now aside from this fact, and just for the sake of reinforcing my point...

Who would the sun and the moon, created by the Word (Jesus Christ), have been hidden from in your theory?

The angels? There were no other sentient beings in existence to hide anything from. Even Lucifer hadn't rebelled against God when the Creation was occurring.
So there is no purpose to "hiding' the sun and the moon.

The text of Genesis 1:14-19 clearly tells us that God created by His spoken Word (Jesus Christ) in the firmament of the heaven the sun and the moon and that their purpose was for "signs, and for seasons, and for days, and years."

I have placed this created purpose of the sun and moon in bold for a specific reason.

The Word of God declares in Genesis 1:14 that a literal 24 hour day FOR THE EARTH was created on this day of creation, THE FOURTH DAY of creation; that the sun and the moon were created for the accurate counting of earthly days and years.

This is the key sentence that Young Earth Creationists, in my opinion, willingly ignore, and which makes it crystal clear that until this day was completed (evening and morning, the fourth day) that the scale of time on which all of the Creation of the preceding days WERE NOT relative to a literal 24 hour day, but that they were days relative to the eternal God on a scale as expressed in the Bible by the Apostle Peter in 2 Peter 3:8.

This passage of also tells us something else which science gets wrong. At the same time as God made our sun and our moon He made the stars (Hebrew: kowkab also. The sun, the moon and all the stars are the same age because they were all created on the fourth day of creation. There are eleven references within the text of the Word of God that tell us he stretched these heavens out and that the entire universe is maintained by the Word of Jesus Christ.

TP said...

From August Rosado and Dr. Reagan:

"If the plain sense makes sense, don't look for any other sense, or you will end up with nonsense."

The verse talks about the seventh day being rest. Why exactly would we believe anything else?

Sean Osborne said...

TP,

I agree completely, the plain sense of Genesis 1:1-31 and Genesis 2:1-7, with respect to the meaning of "yom" as defined by Genesis 1:14. is all the sense that is required to understand that two different paradigms of time are inherent to the Creation.

Genesis 2:2 reads:

"And on the seventh day God ended his work which he had made; and he rested (shabath) on the seventh day from all his work which he had made."

Just because the English-language Bible transliterates the Hebrew word shabath as "rest" does not mean that "rest" is the only meaning for this Hebrew word.

This word also literally means to cease or desist from doing something, i.e. that God ceased speaking Creation into existence, that God desisted from speaking Creation into existence.

This is the literal meaning of shabath in the context of Genesis 2:2 and the whole of the creation narrative.

So as you point out, why indeed would anyone believe anything other than that on the seventh day God simply ceased His speaking of Creation into existence?

Our omnipotent God has no requirement to rest as you or I do, He is all powerful, omnipotent. God spoke all of Creation into existence, and then He simply stopped speaking Creation into existence because He determined in His Sovereignty that there was nothing left that He wanted to create.

God saw that His Creation was good to that point, and He then stopped any further Creation.