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Thread: Genesis 1:16 - Explicitly stated metaphor?

  1. #1
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    Genesis 1:16 - Explicitly stated metaphor?

    Quote Originally Posted by Genesis 1:14-19
    14 Then God said, “Let there be lights in the firmament of the heavens to divide the day from the night; and let them be for signs and seasons, and for days and years; 15 and let them be for lights in the firmament of the heavens to give light on the earth”; and it was so. 16 Then God made two great lights: the greater light to rule the day, and the lesser light to rule the night. He made the stars also. 17 God set them in the firmament of the heavens to give light on the earth, 18 and to rule over the day and over the night, and to divide the light from the darkness. And God saw that it was good. 19 So the evening and the morning were the fourth day.
    In stating here that the Sun and the Moon are "two great lights" is God explicitly saying to us that His account of creation is to be taken as metaphorical? It goes without saying that He knew full well we would learn for ourselves that the moon is not "a light", it's apparent glow merely a reflection of the sun, so is this His pointer to us that we aren't to take Genesis literally?
    Plenty of discussion please
    Call to Me and I will answer you, and will tell you great and hidden things that you have not known. Jeremiah 33:3
    You put the stars in the sky and you know them by name, You see the depths of my heart and You love me the same, You are amazing, God.
    I do not 'hope' I am saved and I do not 'think' I am saved, I know it with an absolute conviction. I know that I am saved just as I know that I think and I know that I feel. I am purchased and sealed, His possession.

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    What is a light? Does it have to create illumination from energy? Some animals create illumination, are they lights?

    Either way it is a good word study, this should be interesting!

    I believe the entire Bible is black and white (unless you use a rainbow Bible) and I take it as it's written. God is not a God of confusion. It would have been really hard for folks back then to understand the universe. Maybe God knew we would figure out that you have to give babies milk before meat.

  3. #3
    Quote Originally Posted by ImmenseDisciple View Post
    In stating here that the Sun and the Moon are "two great lights" is God explicitly saying to us that His account of creation is to be taken as metaphorical? It goes without saying that He knew full well we would learn for ourselves that the moon is not "a light", it's apparent glow merely a reflection of the sun, so is this His pointer to us that we aren't to take Genesis literally?
    Plenty of discussion please
    This is a argument used by evolutionists to prove the bible is not inspired and there is no God... you can claim otherwise but that is in fact were it originated, actually an atheistic doubt.

    First of all for those of you who believe in evolution and still claim to believe in the Bible I pray you are delivered... the Bible is quite clear "God created" - what part of created don't you understand? Also if we evolved during the "creation" process explain to me the part where God puts Adam to sleep to take his bone to make Eve... this doesn't fit in and if Adam had been evolving this would be literally millions of years later...

    Genesis is quite clear on how God created things... we have no reason and no authority to interpret it otherwise.

    About the lights... even educated people of this day and age use the word "light" to refer to what is in fact reflected light and which in and of itself does not produce light... if God was symbolizing something here pray tell what would it be? Also when God uses symbolism he doesn't have literal correlation... in other words if these are symbolic then why is there a LITERAL moon and sun? What exactly do you suppose these are symbolizing?
    This argument makes very little sense to me.

    Keep in mind that evolution was created by the devil, when it started(it was very possible compared to what they knew at that time) Christians wouldn't dream of believing that baloney... now in a day and age when most of the evolutionistic theory has been proven wrong by science itself... it is now creeping into the church. My God said He created the earth, that is good enough for me.

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    I find this whole idea extremely tenuous. Your metaphor idea breaks down completely because we know the sun is an actual light and it is included with the moon as one of the "great lights". So to be consistent in your case, the sun must also be a metaphor. God through Moses is simply trying to convey the idea that there are two great lights in the sky and the fact that one is a source of light and the other merely a reflector of light is irrelevant.

    If we are honest we all know what God is trying to convey in Genesis through a natural or normal reading of the text (which is an historical narrative meant to be taken literally). It's only evolutionary and old-earth bias that compels people to reinterpret Genesis because the 'scientists' must be right. But of course the issue of origins is not a scientific one at all in the empirical sense, since it cannot be tested, rather it is a worldview through which everything must be filtered, including the Word of God it seems (Surely the Bible is our final authority not man).

    So how much of Genesis is metaphoric/symbolic and how much is literal? Sure you can pick and choose and make it fit the prevailing scientific paradigm of the day, but where do you stop?

    Cheers
    Leigh
    Last edited by TEITZY; Jan 10th 2008 at 04:35 AM.

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    God created the moon to be a light, and through sheer Genious it is a light.

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    I still am not convinced that believing in evolutiuon means you can't also believe that the Bible is the inerrant word of God. There are metphors all over the Bible just like this one. I believe that the Bible's purpose is to bring people to God, not to satisfy our scientific curiosity. The creation story is vague for a reason. We are not suppose to study it for clues to 'how' exactly it all came together, we are to study it to get clues as to 'why' it all came together. I don't understand what the 'how' has to do with anything. It came together through God's word. Whether of not it came together in an instant, or over billions of years really doesn't concern me. What does concern me is that no matter how it came together, it came together by His power.

    Like, the way Christians interpreted prophesy 1000 years ago is not the exact way it is interpreted today. There are events that have taken place in the last 1000, even in the last 100 years, and inventions...do you think 1000 years ago they had anny idea of what some of the prophesy about flying scorpions with loud wings meant?...and the fire from the sky and all that stuff, but now with the technology we have we can make more sense of it or at least consider that it might be nuclear weapons and military helicopters etc. These things have given us cause to go back and rethink some long held ideas about scripture. This same thing could happen with what we learn about scientifically. I for one am not afraid of science, God wants us to study his creation. It is natural to think that we have all the information we need at this point, but every generation from the beginning has thought that, and every generation has been wrong. I don't know why we would expect to be any different. I don't know how the two(creation and evolution)are connected, or even if they are, but to shut it off as a possibility could prevent us from seeing some unbelievable, magnificent aspect of Gods power and glory that we haven't yet discovered.

    And the idea that you can't belilve in the Bible and Jesus Christ and think that maybe someday that evelutionary science could find it's place, to me is not right.

    my $.02

  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by Gulah Papyrus View Post
    I still am not convinced that believing in evolutiuon means you can't also believe that the Bible is the inerrant word of God. There are metphors all over the Bible just like this one. I believe that the Bible's purpose is to bring people to God, not to satisfy our scientific curiosity. The creation story is vague for a reason. We are not suppose to study it for clues to 'how' exactly it all came together, we are to study it to get clues as to 'why' it all came together. I don't understand what the 'how' has to do with anything. It came together through God's word. Whether of not it came together in an instant, or over billions of years really doesn't concern me. What does concern me is that no matter how it came together, it came together by His power.
    The bible doesn't teach it so to believe it you have to "tweak" the bible to make it say what you understand or believe it to say... the Bible says clearly God "created", He doesn't say God "set in motion", or God "began", He said God "created" and always adds with "it was so"... there is an instant action after His words... there is no room in the creation account for evolution... one of the most prominent evolutionists scoffed at the idea of Christians believing in evolution and stated something like "the theory of evolution and Christianity combined are an oxi-moron." you can find it by doing a search on google for something like "quotes by evolutionists" or something like that.



    Quote Originally Posted by Gulah Papyrus View Post
    And the idea that you can't belilve in the Bible and Jesus Christ and think that maybe someday that evelutionary science could find it's place, to me is not right.

    my $.02
    Someday? Evolution has lost so much of its "probability" that science is actually looking for another theory to take its place... not kidding, do the research... there is so much we have learned over the past 100, even 50 years that even devout Atheists are beginning to say "hey this couldn't have just evolved, its too precise..."

    Study the eye, it is one of the most compelling arguments against evolution... and your argument probably would be "but God can do anything" - exactly so why do you need to come up with an evolution theory for him to have used which is not presented in the creation account in the bible?

    Evolution and Christianity are complete opposites... anyone who has studied them both will agree... if we doubt the creation account it can lead to other serious doubts, was there really a flood? How far do you take it?

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    Quote Originally Posted by fightingfalcon View Post
    The bible doesn't teach it so to believe it you have to "tweak" the bible to make it say what you understand or believe it to say... the Bible says clearly God "created", He doesn't say God "set in motion", or God "began",
    Sure it does. "In the beginning..."

    The word 'creation' isn't necessarily subject to any time frame, at least not according to Websters.

    Who is this Prominant evolutionist? Darwin was a Christian. Most of the early evolutionists were Christians. It wasn't until the Atheists got ahold of Darwins theory that it started to become one against the other. The early communist Atheists loved 'evolution' because if they could use Darwin to prove that there is no God then the poeple would turn to Government.

    I have done lots of research which is why I have gone from discounting science to wondering if it is totally necessary.

    I'm sorry to bring it up, I know it is a very touchy subject, but the things I have learned over the last year have caused me to re-examine it.

    Do you believe that the universe is only 6000 years old? If it is then why would God leave so much evidence to the contrary, and if you say it is to test our faith...well, I will have no comment.

  9. #9
    Zorgblar Guest
    Quote Originally Posted by fightingfalcon View Post
    This is a argument used by evolutionists to prove the bible is not inspired and there is no God... you can claim otherwise but that is in fact were it originated, actually an atheistic doubt.

    First of all for those of you who believe in evolution and still claim to believe in the Bible I pray you are delivered... the Bible is quite clear "God created" - what part of created don't you understand? Also if we evolved during the "creation" process explain to me the part where God puts Adam to sleep to take his bone to make Eve... this doesn't fit in and if Adam had been evolving this would be literally millions of years later...

    Genesis is quite clear on how God created things... we have no reason and no authority to interpret it otherwise.

    About the lights... even educated people of this day and age use the word "light" to refer to what is in fact reflected light and which in and of itself does not produce light... if God was symbolizing something here pray tell what would it be? Also when God uses symbolism he doesn't have literal correlation... in other words if these are symbolic then why is there a LITERAL moon and sun? What exactly do you suppose these are symbolizing?
    This argument makes very little sense to me.

    Keep in mind that evolution was created by the devil, when it started(it was very possible compared to what they knew at that time) Christians wouldn't dream of believing that baloney... now in a day and age when most of the evolutionistic theory has been proven wrong by science itself... it is now creeping into the church. My God said He created the earth, that is good enough for me.
    You claim that evolution was created by man correct?But in truth this is wrong evoltion was created by MAN.Have you ever heard of a man named charles darwin?He's the one who thought this up not the devil.

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    maw-ore', meh-o-raw'

    The word from which our term "meteor" derives. That is to say, not "light" as in radiance, but light as an instrument which gives light - a lamp, a candle, for example. Objects which reflect light, like the moon, are also "light bearers", instruments of light, and not light itself.

    The word for pure light, brilliancy, is "owr", and this is the light that God created in the beginning. "In the beginning was light". However, the two great "lights" could be translated, "two great lamps." There is no English to describe this distinction clearly, but it was very obvious to the first readers.

    Therefore, there is no contradiction with the moon being referred to as a "light", since it is a light bearer, giver, one that reflects, as is the sun. True light is greater than either, and it is only in the Bible that the order of creation shows heavenly luminaries being created AFTER the beginning... which modern scientists now accept.
    Please could everyone pray for Mieke and Charles.

    My testimony http://bibleforums.org/forum/showthr...ight=testimony

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    Nice post Daughther, I think you brought some true "light" into the discussion.

    Note for Zorgblar, Darwin only studied and wrote a book of evolution. It was not his original idea. I truly believe there is more to the world around us than we can see and there is one that is way smarter than I that just roams around coming up with ways to hurt the kingdom.

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    My thinking is that God told the story of creation in terms His audience could understand. His audience are people from some 5000 years ago. There was no science, no scientific method, and no technology. People had a vague understanding of only the small part of the earth they were in, of fire, water, air, light, dark, pinpoints of light in the sky, and the Moon. That’s about it.

    Suppose for example the “Big Bang” were true and God wanted to describe it.

    “Well folks, one day there was nothing, then there was this big explosion…”

    “Uh, God, I have a question. What’s an explosion?”
    No one has seen or heard an explosion. How would one describe it? Just as John in Revelation, has no concept of bombs dropped from a plane, but describes gigantic hailstones weighing hundreds of pounds each.

    So God gives them as good a description as He can so that they understand and focus on the really important key points without becoming a mass of confusion. Those being: God created the heavens and the earth, and it was good. God created Man in His image, and this was good too. Mankind was created with purpose, and with free will to love and obey God. Then Satan entered the world and screwed everything up, which was not so good. And the rest is history.

    I just don’t get hung up on these details. I figure science will eventually figure out enough of the story that we can see why God chose the description He gave.
    In Christ,

    -- Rev

    “To preserve the government we must also preserve morals. Morality rests on religion; if you destroy the foundation, the superstructure must fall. When the public mind becomes vitiated and corrupt, laws are a nullity and constitutions are waste paper.” – Daniel Webster, 4th of July, 1800, Oration at Hanover, N.H.

  13. #13
    Originally posted by ImmenseDisciple
    In stating here that the Sun and the Moon are "two great lights" is God explicitly saying to us that His account of creation is to be taken as metaphorical? It goes without saying that He knew full well we would learn for ourselves that the moon is not "a light", it's apparent glow merely a reflection of the sun, so is this His pointer to us that we aren't to take Genesis literally?
    You have brought this up in an interesting way. I would rather argue that a good reading of the text forces us to see the words in light of the ancient near eastern context. We have to understand how the Jews would have read this. If you read the text, the purpose of the light seems to be to delineate seasons. This would have been very important to an agricultural society and would have been very important because God stands over this creation as God of the sun, the moon, and the seasons. They needed to know that God would be with them.

    Originally Posted by Buckshot
    I believe the entire Bible is black and white (unless you use a rainbow Bible) and I take it as it's written. God is not a God of confusion. It would have been really hard for folks back then to understand the universe. Maybe God knew we would figure out that you have to give babies milk before meat.
    1. What do you mean the bible is "black and white?"
    2. What do you mean you "take it as written?"
    3. What do you mean God is not a God of confusion (before answering do a search for the thread on this scripture)?
    4. What do you mean by your last sentence?

    You basically said nothing in your post because you were not clear in defining your terms. I have no idea how to respond to them.

    Originally Posted by FightingFalcon
    This is a argument used by evolutionists to prove the bible is not inspired and there is no God... you can claim otherwise but that is in fact were it originated, actually an atheistic doubt.
    I'm tired of arguing about this on the board, but this is simply not true. There are many types of evolution, types of evolutionists, and YOU would not like being lumped into one general category of Christian.

  14. #14
    Quote Originally Posted by Gulah Papyrus View Post
    Sure it does. "In the beginning..."

    The word 'creation' isn't necessarily subject to any time frame, at least not according to Websters.
    No it does not... the Bible says "created"... you can claim it "could have happened" but there remains the FACT that the Bible NOWHERE supports it... this leads us back to the same question, why would an all-powerful God need to use evolution when He could just as easily(HE DID) create the earth... this is a ploy of the devil to discount the power of God and degrade it by using evolution...

    When the disciples and Christ were on the ship and He was sleeping... did God use evolution our "natural process" to stop the winds and forces? NO he used His voice... evolution has no place in the bible, you can claim it but i'd rather follow what the Bible says... when Christ comes He isn't going to say, "Sorry Randy, we can't take you to heaven... you believed in Creation, you believed that when I said in the Bible I created, you took that literally and believed that I actually created the Earth..."

    That will not happen, yet the bible curses those who should tamper with the Bible and ADD or SUBTRACT from it... if its not there don't try and warp it into being there... the bible said

    "And the LORD God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul."

    The original word here is yatser which is "to mold" as in a potter... this is a physical interaction between the creator and the created... this word proves it. The bible says "He formed him our of the dust" - no room for evolution here... read on:

    "and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul"

    Notice that he BECAME a living soul... if this was evolutionary process he would have started as a micro-nothingness and over millions of years became a human BUT he would still have been breathing... evolution and the bible contradict each other, they are like day and night...

    Read this article:
    http://www.answersingenesis.org/docs/4005.asp

    The idea that humans evolved is absurd and most evolutionists now days know it... even though some will never admit it...

    "Question is: Can you tell me anything you know about evolution, any one thing, any one thing that is true? I tried that question on the geology staff at the Field Museum of Natural History and the only answer I got was silence. I tried it on the members of the Evolutionary Morphology Seminar in the University of Chicago, a very prestigious body of evolutionists, and all I got there was silence for a long time and eventually one person said, 'I do know one thing - it ought not to be taught in high school.'"
    -Dr. Colin Patterson (Senior Paleontologist, British Museum of Natural History, leading cladistic taxonomist), Keynote address at the American Museum of Natural History, New York City, November 5, 1981.

    "I myself am convinced that the theory of evolution, especially the extent to which it's been applied, will be one of the great jokes in the history books of the future. Posterity will marvel that so very flimsy and dubious an hypothesis could be accepted with the incredible credulity that it has."
    -Malcolm Muggeridge (world famous journalist and philosopher), Pascal Lectures, University of Waterloo, Ontario, Canada.


    Do these quotes proof evolution is wrong? No but they prove that many scientific minds, geniuses through the ages who had studied evolution BELIEVING it have turned against it... it proves that those who have studied it thoroughly, if they are honest conclude there is actually very little evidence to support evolution.. and if you really knew how much evidence for creation has been found by these scientists and IGNORED because it does not fit with their views, it would utterly blow your mind away.
    Having said this I should also mention that there are creationists scientists(not all, but some unfortunately) will find data which appears to support evolution and they also hide as it doesn't fit into the creation account... both these are wrong and it is the reason that evolution has existed so long, if scientists presented all the facts there would be no doubt that evolution is the biggest baloney that ever has surfaced...

    But to say that evolution has so much proof is an utter contradiction to science... it isn't there.



    Quote Originally Posted by Gulah Papyrus View Post
    Do you believe that the universe is only 6000 years old? If it is then why would God leave so much evidence to the contrary, and if you say it is to test our faith...well, I will have no comment.
    So much evidence? Where have you been?


    And for those of you who claim Darwin created the theory... study the era of Darwin, study all of the satanic theories and ideas which arose from that time period, if it doesn't convince you evolution is of the devil than I don't think anything will... I know a number of hardened evolutionists have been convicted by this very fact.

    I believe this is the mp3 on it:
    http://www.audioverse.org/displayrec...tFromTheAbyss/

    Listen to it, it will amaze you I think

  15. #15
    Quote Originally Posted by coldfire136 View Post
    I'm tired of arguing about this on the board, but this is simply not true. There are many types of evolution, types of evolutionists, and YOU would not like being lumped into one general category of Christian.
    You can argue many evolutionistic points with me and have a chance but not on this one... I know the background of this argument and it was created by an evolutionist/atheist and is used by them frequently to call the bible incompetent, contradictive and say it cannot be trusted and ultimately to say there is no God... I have argued with many evolutionists, I am not saying I am good at it but I do know this point is true...

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