Category Archives: Genesis 1

JPS Torah Commentary: Genesis

“The mystery of divine creativity is, of course, ultimately unknowable. The Genesis narrative does not seek to make intelligible what is beyond human ken. To draw upon human language to explain that which is outside any model of human experience is inevitably to confront the inescapable limitations of any attempt to give verbal expression to this subject. For this reason alone, the narrative in its external form must reflect the time and place of its composition. Thus it directs us to take account of the characteristic modes of literary expression current in ancient Israel. It forces us to realize that a literalistic approach to the text must inevitably confuse idiom with idea, symbol with reality. The result would be to obscure the enduring meaning of that text.

The biblical Creation narrative is a document of faith. It is a quest for meaning and a statement of a religious position. It enunciates the fundamental postulates of the religion of Israel, the central ideas and concepts that animate the whole of biblical literature. Its quintessential teaching is that the universe is wholly the purposeful product of divine intelligence, that is, of the one self-sufficient, self-existing God, who is a transcendent Being outside of nature and who is sovereign over space and time.”
Sarna, N. M. (1989). Genesis (pp. 2–4). Philadelphia: Jewish Publication Society.

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The enigma of creation – a new book

Enigma of CreationBro Rick Bower has written a new and interesting book.  The introduction reads – “In recent years, few topics have generated more interest and prompted more debate across the broad spectrum of Christian denominations, than that of the Biblical creation texts. And in particular, the text of Genesis 1 has played a controversial role. So then, the goal of this work is only to encourage a deeper and more sensitive approach to the creation text of Genesis 1. This approach must necessarily incorporate the ancient perspectives of the original, Biblical audience, as well as the spiritual aspects of the text which are explicitly revealed to us.”

As he says in the book’s preface

“The goal of this work is not dogma. And yet the evidence is presented in such a way, so that all of it can be accounted for in any conclusions which the reader may reach. Of course, I offer my own conclusions for consideration. Ultimately, the goal of this work is only to encourage a deeper and more sensitive approach to the creation text of Genesis 1. To that end, I pray that this work strengthens your faith in God, and His Son, as much as it has mine.”

Bro Rick Bower’s work can be purchased on Lulu here

 

Reading Genesis 1 literally

Creationists claim to read Genesis literally. This indeed is one of the proclamations made in the IEAC Reaffirmation Statement which says in its background that the various signatories “accept the creation record as literal in its details”.  This is a fine sounding declaration.  We thought we would align Genesis 1 in the KJV with the old earth creation model promoted by The Lampstand Magazine (a promoter of the Reaffirmation Statement).  Lots of words had to be deleted or added.  Be warned you might be upset.  The intention is not to upset but rather demonstrate the old earth creation view is NOT a literal reading.  Neither is the young earth creationist view, as should also be evidence from the below. Continue reading

By One Man – a misleading incomplete picture of Christadelphian positions

In May 2017 bro Colin Byrnes (a rightly well-regarded individual), published a document called “By One Man”.  The document was largely in response to a presentation at the 2016 Australian Conference which demonstrated a wide range of views have been accepted in the community on Genesis 1-3 (note that presentation specifically stayed away from EC as requested by the conference organisers). Continue reading

Vegetarianism and Creation

We received the following question from a reader and brother.  Rather than lose the question in a mess of other discussions we thought it worth a special response.  While the question may have been raised before it pretty much escaped our notice.  The question was:

Dear COD

I have tried to show throughout this book that we must let the Bible speak for itself. We must not twist it, to make it mean what we think it ought to have said. We must let it make its own message clear to us.”[1] 

I did ask the question on another post about how an EC would interpret the verses that appear to identify a change in diet, to becoming carnivores, before/after the flood. The language appears quite clear to me. Perhaps this provides an opportunity to answer that question?” Continue reading

CC Walker Christadelphian Magazine Editor

CC Walker pointed out problems with a literal Genesis reading

Bro CC Walker, editor of the Christadelphian Magazine after Robert Roberts, Wrote a series of articles in the magazine in 1910.  Commenting on Genesis 1 he observed the evidence did not support a young earth and strangely there was no evidence of the cessation and restart of life 6,000 years ago which is what a literal reading of Genesis 1 requires.  He reminds us that Genesis 1 is not teaching us science and our interpretation of it could be adjusted by further scientific discoveries.  Walker was no fan of evolution but would be shunned by creationists today. Continue reading

3 models to interpret creation

The first two chapters of Genesis present an intriguing dilemma: two individual creation accounts with strikingly different features, which appear to contradict each other (Bosman 2004, p.43). A survey of three interpretative models – historical, polemical, and theological – will demonstrate the importance of contextualising Genesis. When returned to its original socio-historical setting, the creation narrative develops new meaning and a clearer purpose emerges. Continue reading