Going To The Source

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Job 38:2-4

Postby Azarel » Thu Dec 11, 2008 7:50 am

Well to stay on topic from the original post, the process one has to take in order to go to the source of the bible to find out whether the source is truthful you have to search for the source.

In that search you are faced with the choices of, accepting that physically, the books in the bible were written by various humans who are no longer here physically to ask whether what they wrote is true.

But if going further in your search results in wondering whether God really inspired/dictated the bible, then you're faced with the choice of leaping from the physical, empirical evidence possibilities to more spiritual, revelatory possibilities long enough to see the bible as true accounts of history and observation as true or not.

In this search for God, you will have to at least conceive the possibility of Him really being around somewhere to ask the validity of the bible. A question said ernestly along the lines of, "God, I doubt you exist, I doubt you wrote the bible, but if you do exist, and are truthful, show me in a new way that I can rely on what the bible says".

Think of it as an experiment, but one you want answers to. Unlike most scientists, you have no budget or resources to lose by trying. I'm not sure what process you'd use to ensure a fair test, but I'll leave that to you to decide.

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Re: Job 38:2-4

Postby starfox » Thu Dec 11, 2008 9:54 am

Well to stay on topic from the original post, the process one has to take in order to go to the source of the bible to find out whether the source is truthful you have to search for the source.

In that search you are faced with the choices of, accepting that physically, the books in the bible were written by various humans who are no longer here physically to ask whether what they wrote is true.
Supposing Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John were still alive today, and you asked them, "Is what you wrote true?" would you believe them? How do you know they're not lying? You need an independent source of confirmation.
But if going further in your search results in wondering whether God really inspired/dictated the bible, then you're faced with the choice of leaping from the physical, empirical evidence possibilities to more spiritual, revelatory possibilities long enough to see the bible as true accounts of history and observation as true or not.
This is a mighty run-on here. I can't quite tease out what you're trying to get at.
In this search for God, you will have to at least conceive the possibility of Him really being around somewhere to ask the validity of the bible. A question said earnestly along the lines of, "God, I doubt you exist, I doubt you wrote the bible, but if you do exist, and are truthful, show me in a new way that I can rely on what the bible says".

Think of it as an experiment, but one you want answers to. Unlike most scientists, you have no budget or resources to lose by trying. I'm not sure what process you'd use to ensure a fair test, but I'll leave that to you to decide.
As I said before, I acknowledge the possibility of god's existence. To deny this would be irrational. I want answers to every experiment I do.

The problem with this experiment is it has to be repeatable. Every experiment does, or it won't hold water. Even if god did say to me, "yeah, I did it," how do I know I heard him right? How do I know I wasn't hallucinating? As I said before, humans are easy to fool.

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Revelation 7:17

Postby Azarel » Thu Dec 11, 2008 11:57 am

Once again Starfox, thank you for correcting my spelling, it really lends so much to our conversations, I am as you point out, a complete moron. :roll:

As for your love of repeatable experiments, are you telling after plucking up the courage to pray once, you wouldn't pray twice, or a third time to make sure you heard right?

Even I, as someone who acknowledges he is talking to a stickler for precision and empirical evidence, know I am repeating myself but not yet bored of it. The God I believe exists would also not get tired of answering your experimental prayer/question, and considering you acknowledge the possibility of God's existence I am trying to convey to you a very common avenue of pursuit that requires almost no effort to investigate.

I encourage you to try, I would be interested in your findings. You want answers for every experiment you do so from that statement am I to understand that you regularly do experiments of this nature?

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Postby lyons24000 » Thu Dec 11, 2008 12:54 pm

Think of the Judge Gideon in the book of Judges. The Midianites have taken over the Israelites and so an angel comes to Gideon and says that God has chosen him to release the Israelites from bondage.
"Later Jehovah’s angel came and sat under the big tree that was in Ophah, which belonged to Joash the Abiezrite, while Gideon his son was beating out wheat in the wine press so as to get it quickly out of the sight of Midian. Then Jehovah’s angel appeared to him and said to him: 'Jehovah is with you, you valiant, mighty one.'"-Judges 6:11-12
Gideon had God's assurance that He was with him. For what? Gideon was to become the general of the Israelite army and lead them to victory against the Midianites. (Judges 6:14-16) Well, God's assurance wasn't enough for Gideon. He needed more. So he put a test to God, saying:
"Then Gideon said to the true God: 'If you are saving Israel by means of me, just as you have promised, here I am keeping a fleece of wool exposed on the threshing floor. If dew comes to be on the fleece alone but on all the earth there is dryness, then I must know that you will save Israel by means of me, just as you have promised.' And it turned out to be that way. When he rose up early the next day and wrung the fleece, he got to drain off enough dew from the fleece to fill a large banquet bowl with water.-Judges 6:36-38
Was that enough for Gideon? God sent an angel to speak to him for assurance then He performed a miracle for Gideon. No. That wasn't enough.
"However, Gid´e·on said to the true God: 'Do not let your anger blaze against me, but let me speak just once more. Let me, please, make a test only once more with the fleece. Let, please, dryness occur to the fleece alone, and upon all the earth let there come to be dew.' So God did that way on that night; and dryness came to be on the fleece alone, and upon all the earth dew occurred."-Judges 6:39-40
After this test Gideon had enough. He knew that God was with him.

Why did I include this? Azarel said that if you pray to God for assurance that the Bible is real, He will answer. And if you want more assurance, He is patient with you "because he does not desire any to be destroyed but desires all to attain to repentence." (2 Peter 3:9) He wants you to believe in Him and His Word.-John 17:17; 2 Timothy 3:16-17

The Bible repeatedly mentions that when we pray to God, He hears us and answers if we ask something according to His will. (1 John 5:14) Talk to God in prayer over and over and over again and He will answer. He wants to know if you truly want the answer. He knows your heart better then you do. If you really want it, He will give it to you.
"This must be the end, then."-MorningLightMountain, Judas Unchained

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Postby jotabe » Thu Dec 11, 2008 3:04 pm

But God only answers to prayers made with Faith, and he certainly doesn't reply in a physical way, with voice.

And certainly he won't reply only to satisfy anyone's scientific curiosity.
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Postby lyons24000 » Thu Dec 11, 2008 3:12 pm

But God only answers to prayers made with Faith, and he certainly doesn't reply in a physical way, with voice.

And certainly he won't reply only to satisfy anyone's scientific curiosity.
You're right, Jota. That is why I wrote this:
Talk to God in prayer over and over and over again and He will answer. He wants to know if you truly want the answer. He knows your heart better then you do. If you really want it, He will give it to you.
"This must be the end, then."-MorningLightMountain, Judas Unchained

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Postby jotabe » Thu Dec 11, 2008 3:32 pm

Thankfully God, loving as he is, endowed us with a reason to look for answers by ourselves. It would be strange if he rather have us not use it.
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Postby lyons24000 » Thu Dec 11, 2008 9:47 pm

And that is what my PM to Starfox was all about, Jota.
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Postby Syphon the Sun » Fri Dec 12, 2008 2:30 pm

Sorry I haven't been paying much attention to this.

Azarel, your insistance that we haven't read the bible is more than a little ridiculous. We're not repeating comedians' stand-up routines (I've never even heard a comedian talk about inconsistencies between the Bible and history/science in a routine, as that'd be pretty poor comedy). We're trying to actually, you know, discuss something.

Now, you're a newbie, so you really don't know that much about those of us posting in this thread and how extensively we have studied the bible, religious scholars, philosophy, science, etc., (jota, welcome back: it's bc), but making your silly assumptions as one of the first things you do: not a good plan.

Also, as someone who, you know, has been paid for his work as a historian, your commonplace claim that history is written only by the victors is so outrageously untrue that anyone who has spent a second in a serious history program would have a heart attack if someone tried to pass that off.


lyons24000, either your history of Isaiah is lacking, or you're intentionally misleading the readers, here. There is a strong break between chapters 39 and 40, with most hebrew scholars believing the latter part was added post-exile. Also, you're simply ignoring the fact that a spherical earth as a model had been believed by several early greek philosophers (you know, the ones Pythagoras relied upon) and by the fifth century BC, no respectable Greek writer thought otherwise. (This would be around the same time that the latter part of Isaiah was written.)


I was going to write on the whole evolution bit, but jota is covering it pretty well, and it would be wasted, anyway, because Az said this:
I believe the Bible is the truth. I dont have proof, but I'm fine with that.
Which is totally fine. Often, my instincts tell me things I don't have proof for at the time. Really, that's totally okay. You can believe anything you want to believe.

The thing is: don't expect to be taken seriously by other people, especially when you're trying to tell them why you're right. That's what people care about: not that you believe something, but that you're trying to persuade others to believe it without any evidence.
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Postby Azarel » Fri Dec 12, 2008 3:08 pm

My assumptions regarding forum members are wrong in as mush as I shouldn't be making assumptions about them. So for that I stand corrected.

I would also say, don't be put off by my beliefs and refrain from stating your findings on evolution or any other subject. Regardless of grammatical or research errors, I am also after a discussion.

I would however, point out that your previous comment about 'countless contradictions to known history' to be a little or possibly alot exaggerated. It was this comment I was replying to at the time.

In the interest of discussion, perhaps you could outline some of these contradictions you claimed were 'countless'.

I have also stated that I need to develop a new way to debate/argue a point above.

- - -

In addition, I will add that I have read the bible, some parts, many times over, and I have spent alot of time reflecting on what I have read. Also before I really came back to my faith and left the crap in my life behind, I spent a year reading about dozens of creation accounts, evolution, theistic evolution, progessive evolution and intelligent design. I also read about islam, sikhism, daoism, and also multiple denominations of the Church and also Judaism.

Even though I had a year long cram session of almost every theory going, I still found myself unconvinced of anything but what the bible stated.

I'll tell you this also, when I make time to pray, I get answers, and see things happen that are inline with my prayers. The answers don't come straight away, but that doesn't mean (to me anyhow) that they are less meant for me.

My life is better with God in it and that is proveable.

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Re: Revelation 7:17

Postby starfox » Fri Dec 12, 2008 3:36 pm

I encourage you to try, I would be interested in your findings. You want answers for every experiment you do so from that statement am I to understand that you regularly do experiments of this nature?
How does that even follow? You said,
Think of it as an experiment, but one you want answers to.
Why would I run an experiment I didn't want to find out the answer to?


Lyons, proof of the bible's veracity has to come from sources other than the bible. Pretend I set up a website that tries to get you to download nasty viruses. Of course I'm going to say you won't get viruses, so you can't really trust me, can you? If the bible is true, it will say so. If the bible is not true, it will still say it is true.

@ Jota, gee, that's kind of convenient. It lacks any verifiable physical manifestation. Here's a question: I tell you my car exists. However, you can't see it, feel it, hear it, or detect it in any way. Also, it doesn't interact with anything else, so other cars can be taking up the same space as my car. Does my car exist?

Boy, I'm digging myself quite a hole if I ever want E L to talk to me again, aren't I?
Last edited by starfox on Sat Dec 13, 2008 10:17 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Postby Eaquae Legit » Fri Dec 12, 2008 7:01 pm

Not really. I'm just busy a lot, and mostly lurk. I've been reading, but I was only prompted to reply when you misspelled my name. ;) Psst.... There's no underscore.

Really, there hasn't been much for me to add. I'm a happy fan of evolution, and I think "pray harder," while well-intentioned, is a bit arrogant to say.

I like evolution because I quite like the scientific method and value it. The mechanics of the universe's being is a scientific question. The question of "why" is different matter, and that's where religion comes in. I don't see how science and religion need to conflict. *shrug*

Azarael, do you have no sense of how small you make God? I personally find redshift, gamma-ray bursts, genetic heritage, porphyritic intrusions, and carbon radiation to be far more glorious and beautiful than I do the idea that it all poofed into being. Instead of a $5.99 paint-by-numbers, I have a Monet. The world is wild and messy and wonderful.

Yeah, I've read the Bible. I take it seriously - and as literally as you do. From your tone, I'm guessing you're a Protestant of some sort. What makes you take "7 days" more literally than "This is my body. This is my blood."? Be honest and admit you don't take the whole thing literally. To do so would make life unlivable.

I prayed and God told me evolution was right.* What makes you right and me wrong?

As the song goes, Dude, humans wrote the Bible. God wrote the freaking rocks. I know when the two conflict who I'll trust.



* This is a rhetorical point.
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Postby Gravity Defier » Fri Dec 12, 2008 7:29 pm

God wrote the freaking rocks.
That must make for some pretty heavy reading material...

(argh, that was terrible, I'm sorry and I'm definitely leaving this thread.)
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Postby lyons24000 » Fri Dec 12, 2008 8:38 pm

lyons24000, either your history of Isaiah is lacking, or you're intentionally misleading the readers, here. There is a strong break between chapters 39 and 40, with most hebrew scholars believing the latter part was added post-exile. Also, you're simply ignoring the fact that a spherical earth as a model had been believed by several early greek philosophers (you know, the ones Pythagoras relied upon) and by the fifth century BC, no respectable Greek writer thought otherwise. (This would be around the same time that the latter part of Isaiah was written.)
"The scholars say it so it must be true. Boo-yah! You got punk'd!"

Just because some Hebrew scholars say differently doesn't mean anything. And my "history of Isaiah" is not lacking and I am not intentionally misleading the readers here. I know all about the "Second Isaiah" theory. And I also know that I don't believe that it was written by another person pretending to be Isaiah. Although I don't have my books and things with me at the moment (I'm at work) I have happened to study that. In my studying of the subject I am definitely aware that Isaiah 1-39 and Isaiah 40-66 were both written by the same person.

And also, Hellenism had not really reached Israel by the time Isaiah was written because Isaiah was written around 740 B.C.E. Over a century before Babylon became the world power, over two hundred years before the rise of the Persian empire and about two hundred years after that, the fall of the Persian empire to Macedonia. That is when Judaism was affected by Greek culture, around 330 B.C.E. The Greek belief that the earth was a sphere would not have been a very well-known belief in a small, insignificant, Middle-Eastern country like Israel even if the "Second Isaiah" theory was true.
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Postby Azarel » Sat Dec 13, 2008 8:34 am

Starfox, in my density, I am just smart enough to realise you don't want a conversation/discussion on this topic anymore, you'd rather point out each and every grammatical error I make, regardless of the words I used actually being YOUR OWN that I quoted without using the [ quote ] feature.

Well done, your english, even if you're American, Dutch or Igbo, is vastly superior to mine, give your self a goldfish sir, you've won a hollow prize of internet futility!

- -

E L...

I am protestant, in as much as my family were when I was growing up and went to their Baptist churches. That was my introduction into Christianity yes.

Over the years I have taken issue with some Catholic teachings, however, this is how I see the Eucharist...

When Jesus made Berakhot over the bread and the wine, it was bread and wine because he at the time was physically there, so I believe the 'first communion' was less as the Catholic sees it today. On the same token I believe in a God SO BIG that he can be everywhere so there is nothing stopping me from believing that it is exactly like that, becuase afterall, he did say 'This is my Body...this is my blood' and I say, Amen.

But how I personaly see the first communion is that Jesus, in His infinite wisdom took perhaps 2 of the most commonly consumed items and in saying 'Do this in memory of me' not only meant 'every time you consume bread and wine' but also bread and wine are something jewish culture would less likely run out of and therefore they would be able to 'remember' quite often.

As for creation, I again believe that God is SO BIG that he does not need a contingency plan of accidents and to my mind, evolution gives him FAR less credit than deserves. I don't dispute that creation can adapt to its surroundings and new situations, but I dont for one second believe living things changed into other living things of different composition.

Many creationists might consider the creation story to be 'in six days' and I'm glad you mentioned '7 days' in your post because...

- In the first three verses, there is no mention nor measure of time.
- Once LIFE on earth is created, time is measured in morning and evenings, which as we all know, form days which we all agree are periods of 24 hours. Eons do not have mornings and evenings, days of the week do.
- In the 7day creation account of life on earth, the thing to think about is not how QUICK God created life, but why did it take him so long!? If you think of water into wine, or bringing a big fish to swallow Jonah, or raising and growing (to a size large enough to provide shade for Jonah in the sun) a Castor-Bean plant and then a worm to kill it off in one day, then why would God spend an unecessarily long time (for him) to poof all this...?

It was a designed plan to provide us the model for our life, the week of the human, 6 days working, and a 7th holy day for resting and not working. This by the way is how I live my life, and it is NOT unlivable. It was designed for me and it works for me.

Also as I'm engaged to a Catholic woman, I figure my issues are falling by the wayside.

But I agree that science and religion should not argue and somehow come together but when people choose to continue or discontinue believing in God, then things get a little difficult.

And frankly, I accept DNA to be exactly the 'paint by numbers' approach God took, and what a masterpiece it is, next to that, monet was a talentless hack.

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Postby starfox » Sat Dec 13, 2008 10:17 am

Starfox, in my density, I am just smart enough to realise you don't want a conversation/discussion on this topic anymore, you'd rather point out each and every grammatical error I make, regardless of the words I used actually being YOUR OWN that I quoted without using the [ quote ] feature.
What are you talking about? I quoted you. I didn't correct anything. Did you forget what you wrote? What I was saying was this
I want answers to every experiment I do.
Does not imply this
am I to understand that you regularly do experiments of this nature?
Does having your spelling errors corrected bother you that much? So much you ignore my point?

@ Eaquae Legit: I stand corrected. ^_~

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Postby Slim » Sat Dec 13, 2008 1:55 pm

So, if we assume God exists, and the Bible was inspired by him, but we want to know if what he is saying is right? In the Scriptures, there are several times that He tells us how. Matt. 16:13-17 tells us that truth about God must come from God. I'm really glad that someone finally mentioned that we need to go to the source. (in a topic with that title, no less.) Ah, but what if He is lying to us? That's what you really want to know, right?

In John 7:17 Jesus says, "If any man will do his will, he shall know of the doctrine, whether it be of God, or whether I speak of myself." To apply this to your situation, I think it is safe to say it is the same as saying "if you do what he says, we can know if what he says is good or not."

Does going to church, reading the scriptures, praying, not using profanity, keeping law of chastity -- do these things bring greater peace in life? Greater Joy?

Treat it as an experiment if you like, but keep in mind that this is like asking -- "Do you love your significant other?" We can't use our protractors to solve this one either.

I'm not sure why evolution got brought up, but it's hardly worth arguing over. Personally, right now, I don't believe in evolution. But if it turns out that that is how God created plants and animals, I'm not going to be upset. It is Satan that wants us to fight. I just recommend that we all try and see it from the other's point of view and realize that people are not insane for having an opinion different than your own.
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Postby jotabe » Sun Dec 14, 2008 9:49 am

So, if we assume God exists, and the Bible was inspired by him, but we want to know if what he is saying is right? In the Scriptures, there are several times that He tells us how. Matt. 16:13-17 tells us that truth about God must come from God. I'm really glad that someone finally mentioned that we need to go to the source. (in a topic with that title, no less.) Ah, but what if He is lying to us? That's what you really want to know, right?

In John 7:17 Jesus says, "If any man will do his will, he shall know of the doctrine, whether it be of God, or whether I speak of myself." To apply this to your situation, I think it is safe to say it is the same as saying "if you do what he says, we can know if what he says is good or not."
Do you see the problem here? The hypothesis, the test method, the truth condition... all come from the Bible, so you still need to believe the Bible is true before accepting any of those. It's circular.

Personally, right now, I don't believe in evolution.
Here we agree. I don't believe in evolution.
I just recommend that we all try and see it from the other's point of view and realize that people are not insane for having an opinion different than your own.
It's not having an oppinion different to my own. It's making incorrect statements. You aren't insane for making incorrect statements, you are just wrong. It isn't a sin to be wrong, it just means you don't have enough data or your method to draw conclusions is not good enough.
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Re: Going To The Source

Postby elfprince13 » Sun Dec 14, 2008 12:32 pm

Here is something I've always wondered. Let's assume for the moment that the bible is actually inspired by God. Many of the claims about God, such as his omnibenevolence, omnipotence, etc., as well as how things happened in Heaven before the Fall, all that is God claiming these things. How do we know God is being truthful about all these things? "Because He says so" doesn't seem like a very convincing argument to me.
this is an interesting question, and seems to have been misinterpreted by everyone else in the discussion, since you're asking not if the Bible is really God-inspired, but rather, if it is God-inspired, how do we know God is telling the truth? In general I'd say the historical accuracy of the parts of the Bible we CAN check up on can be used as evidence to vouch for the accuracy of the portions of the Bible we *can't* check up on, and by extension the truthfulness of God's message to us. One example of this, which I don't think has been touched on yet (every seems to be arguing for either the literal English interpretation of Genesis, or for a completely un-divinely-guided creation), is the fact that Old Creationism (based on the interpretation of the Hebrew word "yom" meaning any period of time, rather than a single day) checks out perfectly with the "scientific" account of the universe's history? and why shouldn't it? According the Bible, the God who inspired Genesis to be written is the God who set in place the laws of physics. It makes perfect sense to me that he should follow his own rules in the construction of a universe that must also abide by them. And many of the laws he gave to the Israelites are seemingly bizarre when looked at through the lens of morality, make perfect sense when looked at with a modern understanding of diseases and hygiene as a way for God to protect his chosen people from harm. While I'd never be so bold as to claim that this is somehow "proof" of Christianity (faith has to come in somewhere), the more I study it, the more convincing I find the evidence. It's only in the last few weeks that I made the connection of Wave-Particle Duality (this is a sci-fi centered forum, you guys know something about quantum mechanics, right?) as an analogy for the seeming paradoxes of the Trinity, and of Jesus as someone who was both fully Divine and fully Human.
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Re: Going To The Source

Postby starfox » Sun Dec 14, 2008 12:50 pm

In general I'd say the historical accuracy of the parts of the Bible we CAN check up on can be used as evidence to vouch for the accuracy of the portions of the Bible we *can't* check up on, and by extension the truthfulness of God's message to us.
This isn't necessarily true. If the parts we can check are true, the other parts still may or may not be. Similarly, if the parts we can check are false, the other parts may still be true. We have no way to know, if we can't check.
One example of this, which I don't think has been touched on yet (every seems to be arguing for either the literal English interpretation of Genesis, or for a completely un-divinely-guided creation), is the fact that Old Creationism (based on the interpretation of the Hebrew word "yom" meaning any period of time, rather than a single day) checks out perfectly with the "scientific" account of the universe's history?
Unfortunately, it doesn't. An example: mammals have been around since the late triassic, or about 200 million years ago. The first birds are only about 150 million years old.

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Re: Going To The Source

Postby elfprince13 » Sun Dec 14, 2008 2:38 pm

This isn't necessarily true. If the parts we can check are true, the other parts still may or may not be. Similarly, if the parts we can check are false, the other parts may still be true. We have no way to know, if we can't check.
as I said, evidence, not proof, if someone has a history of truthfulness, you don't suddenly accuse them of lying without a reason.
Unfortunately, it doesn't. An example: mammals have been around since the late triassic, or about 200 million years ago. The first birds are only about 150 million years old.
Genesis 1:2: there is nothing except God, creation is "formless and void"
Genesis 1:3-5: the Big Bang followed by stars and galaxies beginning to form. Light separating from dark.
Genesis 6-8: Earth forms, though still very young, presumably still a molten surface it refers to waters below as well as above (be aware that the Israelites associated waters with any void)
Genesis 9-10: the crust forms, we get some continents and the oceans
Genesis 11-19: photosynthesis kicks in and starts cleaning CO2 from the atmosphere. for the first time Earth's atmosphere is clear enough that an observer on the surface would be able to discern individual sources of light (sun, moon, stars) as opposed to a general hazy light.
Genesis 20-23: sea life is a check at least. The lack of birds is concerning, though I suppose one interpretation would be that since dinosaurs are thought to be birds ancestors this passage is at least somewhat accurate. or it could be talking about flying things that weren't birds.
Genesis 20-25: yay mammals
Genesis 26-28: and finally us. I'd like to point out that a lot of Christians use this passage as an excuse to exploit our natural resources, but the word used to talk about our authority over the Earth is the same word used to describe the model of authority God has over us, one of love and careful treatmentl
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Postby jotabe » Sun Dec 14, 2008 4:31 pm

While i agree with your interpretation, the looseness of how things are told in the Genesis, within that interpretation, is a clear reason of why we can't take everything the Bible says at face value. Literally. Why we can take the Bible as a book of natural history, or a scientific book.

What the bible says must be rationalized, and found out the context, and explained, to find the truth about it.
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Postby lyons24000 » Sun Dec 14, 2008 4:57 pm

Jota, you make the Bible so complicated.

"For God is not a God of confusion but of peace."-1 Corinthians 14:33

And that interpretation is not valid when held up against the Biblical text.
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Postby jotabe » Sun Dec 14, 2008 5:09 pm

Jota, you make the Bible so complicated.

"For God is not a God of confusion but of peace."-1 Corinthians 14:33

And that interpretation is not valid when held up against the Biblical text.
It wasn't me who wrote the Bible, lol. I didn't make it complicated.
It was the people who wrote the Bible who decided to include a Genesis book according to the current "knowledge" they had by then about how the world had come to be.

Edit: Btw, rereading your quote, i remembered "because i didn't come here to bring peace, but the sword". ;) See? i didn't make it complicated!
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Postby elfprince13 » Sun Dec 14, 2008 5:17 pm

And that interpretation is not valid when held up against the Biblical text.
actually it is, read moar hebrew.
"The day-age (progressive) creation account is non-literal and contradicts the clear teaching of Genesis." I hear or see this complaint quite often, although the statement is incorrect regarding both accusations. I take all of the biblical creation accounts literally. Nothing is symbolic. The Hebrew word yom1 has three literal meanings - a 12-hour period of time (sunrise to sunset), a 24-hour period of time from sunset to sunset (the Hebrew day), and an indefinite period of time. The day-age interpretation of Genesis does not require the use of symbolism to explain the creation account.
While i agree with your interpretation, the looseness of how things are told in the Genesis, within that interpretation, is a clear reason of why we can't take everything the Bible says at face value. Literally. Why we can take the Bible as a book of natural history, or a scientific book.
I don't think its loose at all, I think it was a story meant for an ancient culture who had NO understanding of science. And even so, it's STILL factually accurate once you abandon the confusing English translation. The fact that the original authors of Genesis wrote a more accurate account of creation then anyone who has translated the Bible to English in the last 500 years, is to me a testament to God's power.
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Postby lyons24000 » Sun Dec 14, 2008 9:55 pm

Your "God and Science" website is run by Richard Deem. Let us see about him. This is from his own website.
Richard Deem earned his bachelor of science degree in biological sciences at the University of Southern California. He received his master of science degree in microbiology from California State University, Los Angeles, and has been working in basic science research since 1976.
While this is a smart man and I agree on his interpretation of the Hebrew word for "day" actually corresponding to the meaning "era" instead of a literal 24-hour day, I cannot agree that this is a basis for believing in evolution. He makes the statement:
"Many events in the creation account of the Bible have been intentionally left out (unicellular life forms, dinosaurs, etc.), I believe."


I also cannot understand why he makes himself an authority on interpretation of the Bible. He is not an authority on Hebrew or Biblical studies and is not as valid a source as you made him out to be. He is just some scientist trying to marry his beliefs in evolution and his beliefs in God's Word.
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Postby elfprince13 » Sun Dec 14, 2008 11:03 pm

While this is a smart man and I agree on his interpretation of the Hebrew word for "day" actually corresponding to the meaning "era" instead of a literal 24-hour day, I cannot agree that this is a basis for believing in evolution.
I wasn't arguing for evolution, I'm still undecided on that particular issue. I was arguing on the cosmological scale of the big bang and planetary formation, which is why starfox initially threw me for a bit of loop with his pointer about birds. I'm a physics person, not a bio person, and I hadn't looked as closely at that side of things as I should have.
He is not an authority on Hebrew or Biblical studies and is not as valid a source as you made him out to be. He is just some scientist trying to marry his beliefs in evolution and his beliefs in God's Word.
he's no "authority" but he's also not the only one advocating old-earth creationism, he was simply the most readily available resource when I was searching for a reference on the word Yom. I've talked to astrophysics Ph.D's, pastors, and professors of biblical studies who are support this belief. And I've read of at least a couple highly educated individuals who argue that guided (not random) evolution is the mechanism through which God created our current biodiversity, but as I said, I'm a physics guy, not a biology guy, so I'm not as up to date on the arguments for "creative evolution."
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Postby Azarel » Tue Dec 16, 2008 6:21 am

I will not try to convince people that "Yom" has only one meaning, I don't argue with the three different usages on the word Yom today, and will even accept that today's usage of the word "Yom" is the same as the usage at the time when Genesis was written but I offer this example again...

Each 'day' of creation ends with the statement:
"...There was EVENING and there was MORNING, the [insert number here] day..." (This is taken from the Tanakh, which have a paperback copy of in front of me, not a protestant or Catholic bible)

So although Elfprince's points are fair, I can't overlook the specific words here.

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Postby lyons24000 » Tue Dec 16, 2008 7:59 am

Azarel,

The Bible specifies that all six creative "days" have ended. However, this statement is not made regarding the seventh "day" on which God rested, leaving us with the conclusion that it is still continuing. Further evidence for the continuation of the seventh "day" is found in the book of Hebrews, where Paul says in Hebrews 4:1-11 that the seventh "day" is still going on.

"For in one place he said of the seventh day as follows: 'And God rested on the seventh day from all his works,' and again in this place [Psalm 95:11], 'They shall not enter into my rest.'"-Hebrews 4:4-5

Furthermore, the entire period of the six "days" in the preparation of the planet is summed up as follows at Genesis 2:4: "This is a history of the heavens and the earth in the time of their being created, in the day that Jehovah God made earth and heaven."

How long was this day in which "God made earth and heaven?" Well, if you remember, before the six creative "days" God had already made the heavens and the earth. (Genesis 1:1-2) So, this "day" proceeded from the time that God began the "heavens and the earth" mentioned at Genesis 1:1 and continued until the day he finished. All of this coincides with the scientifically accurate view that the earth and universe is millions and billions of years old, respectively.

Now, I know that this does not answer the "evening...morning, a [first, second, third, forth, fifth, sixth] day" but perhaps that was added to show to us humans that the prior day ended and a new one began. Even so, you do not have to take that statement about evening and morning literally. If you don't take it literally, it doesn't contradict the Bible.
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Postby elfprince13 » Tue Dec 16, 2008 10:24 am

i'd be interested to see if the words translated as evening and morning are actually the Hebrew words for evening and morning, or if they just mean "the beginning and end of a Yom"
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Postby Azarel » Wed Dec 17, 2008 10:33 am

Good points Lyons, I'm not entirely sold on it but it's a good point. :)

Elfp... So would I :)

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Postby elfprince13 » Wed Dec 17, 2008 2:40 pm

Good points Lyons, I'm not entirely sold on it but it's a good point. :)
my issue with the seventh day not being over yet is that it means God is still resting and not actively engaged in shaping his creation.
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Postby lyons24000 » Wed Dec 17, 2008 10:22 pm

my issue with the seventh day not being over yet is that it means God is still resting and not actively engaged in shaping his creation.
It doesn't say that He isn't involved. If you read the Bible, God is very active throughout. No, God is resting from creation.

Genesis 2:2-"And by the seventh day God came to the completion of His work that He had made, and he proceeded to rest on the seventh day from all His work that He had made."

So, no. God is not "resting" from any activity whatsoever. Don't worry about it! :D
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Postby Taalcon » Fri Jan 09, 2009 10:24 am

Here is something I've always wondered. Let's assume for the moment that the bible is actually inspired by God. Many of the claims about God, such as his omnibenevolence, omnipotence, etc., as well as how things happened in Heaven before the Fall, all that is God claiming these things. How do we know God is being truthful about all these things? "Because He says so" doesn't seem like a very convincing argument to me.
I make a significant distinction between 'evidences' and 'proofs'. The way I understand and use the word, Proofs cannot be (reasonably) debated. Evidences can be. Evidences can also point to falsehoods.

To individuals, there can be experiences that fall under the category of proofs and experiences. Personal experiences, especially spiritual experiences, cannot reasonably be debated.

I have yet to see any 'evidence', physical, historical, or otherwise, that I feel comfortable declaring as 'proof' of the veracity of the scriptures. Evidences are all over the place. Many are highly convincing.

But what what I believe they are designed to do is to convince one to the point where they are willing to try out the practical teachings (and 'spiritual tests') contained in the scriptural records (AKA, an act of faith).

In my experience, physical and circumstantial evidences have led me to act out in faith, which have been confirmed by additional spiritual evidences and proofs.

I will never argue that one can prove the veracity of the teachings of the Scriptures 100% through empirical scientific/archeological evidence. It was never intended to be that way. However, I don't believe true science will ever contradict with correct interpretations of Scripture.

The scripture has been stated before, but It's value cannot be underestimated. Jesus stated, "If any man will do his will, [referring to what he has just taught] he shall know of the doctrine, whether it be of God, or whether I speak of myself. "(John 7:17)

I appreciate the bold testimony of one servant of the Lord, when confronted by an individual attempting to use logic, powerful speaking skills, and flattery to disprove his belief in Christ, "And he had hope to shake me from the faith, notwithstanding the many revelations and the many things which I had seen concerning these things...And also, I had heard the voice of the Lord speaking unto me in very word, from time to time; wherefore, I could not be shaken. " (Jacob 7:5)

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Postby elfprince13 » Mon Apr 06, 2009 1:33 pm

So another interesting tidbit I found out today. The Genesis account of creation actually uses to different words with slightly different meanings when talking about God's creation. "barah" (used to describe the creation of the universe, and in a couple other instances) means a creation of something completely new (what a lot of people would call "miraculous creation"), versus "asah" which implies God creating something through natural proceses, and this is used, for example, when talking about Earth being separated from the void and given a shape, and when God commands the land to bring forth life.




also, Taalcon: evidences vs proofs are the difference between inductive and deductive reasoning, and sadly most people don't know the difference.
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