Should genesis be taken literally?

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#1
Do you take genesis literally ? I noticed most people are selective about what to take literally from it. And it's kind of understandable, there are some tough pills to swallow in it if we take everything literally. If we take all of it as allegory it kind of become confusing and raises even more questions. Usually Bible is quite clear about itself. There is dreams, visions ,interpretations, parables, prophecies. And there is history scrupulous with dates and chronology... However genesis is mysterious and and doesn't hint too much or even leaves some details out of story on purpose . So how you approach it and how you decide ? Some usually arguable topics i can think off the top of my head...I don't need specific answers about those, sure insights are welcome but i posted them just to help visualize and remember :)
Seven days
Eden
Trees and apples
Snake and his seed
Angels having sex with humans
Giants
Two or more of every kind on earth in boat
Tower of babel
Sodom and Gomorrah
 





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#6
That ark couldn't possibly contain every 2 of each species on Earth. There are millions of species, and couldn't possibly fit in a boat, not to mention the logistical nightmare of putting them all in there as well as the food. Also some species would just eat each other and mess up the whole thing.
 





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#7
That ark couldn't possibly contain every 2 of each species on Earth. There are millions of species, and couldn't possibly fit in a boat, not to mention the logistical nightmare of putting them all in there as well as the food. Also some species would just eat each other and mess up the whole thing.
I kind of have to trust that the one who created everything is able to organize his creation for a bit of a cruise. Also, it's entirely feasible that two of everything would have fit into the ark as it's described in the Bible.

How did Noah fit all the animals on the Ark?
 





mecca

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#11
Ehh that is one opinion. You are entitled to it, but what is the hidden meaning you ascribe to it, after your lengthy study?
It's an obvious allegory, it would not make sense if it was literal. We know it's about how God created the universe and how humans "fell" but nothing in it is literal, it's purely spiritual and metaphysical, you can take a lot of meanings out of it. You don't have to agree.
 





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#12
Yes - I take the Bible as I find it.

Jesus refers to the literal events of Genesis as history, not just as allegory. I'm with Him - He was there!!!

John 1

1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.

2 The same was in the beginning with God.

3 All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made.

4 In him was life; and the life was the light of men.

5 And the light shineth in darkness; and the darkness comprehended it not.
 





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#13
No...And an example would be that plants were created before the Sun in the story! Not possible! Plants need photosynthesis to exist! Its obvious from just reading the thing that the author knew little about the world around him.
 





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#14
A scientific theory is an idea that can explain things that scientists have observed. Scientists use a theory to make predictions. Scientists accept the theory if the predictions are correct. If the predictions are not correct, the theory will be changed to fit the new evidence'.

A question on a school exercise my daughter was set described three groups of opinion on origins of the Earth.

"Creationists explain the Earth according to their religious ideas. Most of these ideas say that the Earth was created in only a few days. This would mean that the rocks on the earth should be about the same age."

Catastrophists think mountains and other features were all caused by sudden catastrophes such as earthquakes or volcanos.

Uniformitarians think that the same processes we see today, such as weathering or erosion have always happened. They say that these very slow processes are responsible for the features on the earth.

In considering which is the correct view we have to consider if there is any difference between 'scientific' and 'true' and what 'religious' actually means.

A simple thought experiment may help to explain this...

Picture a three men visiting an empty house and finding a bath full of water. Being a scientists, and with some time to spare, they start to wonder how long the bath has been there. The plug is in and the water is cold. No help there then! Next one notices that the tap is dripping. Taking out a test tube and a timer he works out the rate at which the tap is dripping. After a couple of minutes with his calculator he pronounces confidently that the bath took six weeks to fill up.

While the first scientist has been working this out the second one notices a large bucket in the corner of the bathroom. He suggests that maybe someone might have used the bucket to pour some water into the bath. If that were true all of the first scientists calculations would be wrong. This causes an almighty argument!!! The guys just can't see eye to eye but in the end they reluctantly agree that perhaps they both might be right.

The third scientist has been keeping quiet during the argument. Once things had quieted down a bit he asks the other two if they had considered the idea that the owner had filled the bath then left the house. Gales of laughter erupt from the other two! They quickly point out that his view is untestable, unrepeatable and therefore, quite frankly, unscientific. The third man throws up his hands in exasperation but can't argue with their logic.

On the way out of the house they notice a CCTV camera and computer set up and to settle the argument once and for all. Hitting rewind on the recording a figure pops in and out with the bucket three times. The second scientist smiles to himself. There is a very long pause then in reverse another figure is seen filling the bath.

In our story the first and second men can claim a scientific approach. The third hasn't a leg to stand on apart from common sense. It is possible that the bath could have been filled by buckets or drips but in the end it was the combination of the three events that led to the full bath. Perhaps the example above helps to illustrate the scope and limitation of the scientific method in finding out what is true.

In old seafaring days, when the map makers reached the limits of their exploration they would write 'here be dragons' on the map. At least they had enough humility to admit the limits of their knowledge.

With our study of the earth, we can observe uniform processes and see evidence of catastrophes. There is nothing wrong with the study of either but if both were established to be true, that in no way means that the Earth and indeed the universe could not have been created in the past as a one time event. It just means that we are unable to investigate that type of event in the same way as we can the other two. If that means it is a 'religious' view, so be it, but no more so than our third scientist in the story.
 





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#15
That ark couldn't possibly contain every 2 of each species on Earth. There are millions of species, and couldn't possibly fit in a boat, not to mention the logistical nightmare of putting them all in there as well as the food. Also some species would just eat each other and mess up the whole thing.
Im pretty sure it was a logistical nightmare, but guys had lifespan of thousand year, how much knowledge and experience you can gather compared to our mere 80 years... building that ark took about 80 years. Loading it took a week , it doesn't mention how much time took all other preparations...There are some interesting theories about that time. One of most debatable and hard to believe that it was age of high technology, meaning higher when we have now...If that was true, also having in mind that they had help and guidance from God...
Best movie about ark + all mathematical calculations...
 





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#16
No...And an example would be that plants were created before the Sun in the story! Not possible! Plants need photosynthesis to exist! Its obvious from just reading the thing that the author knew little about the world around him.
Plants also need rain now, yet there was no rain before flood. Fact that genesis lacks explanations doesn't make it untrue...
 





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#17
Plants also need rain now, yet there was no rain before flood. Fact that genesis lacks explanations doesn't make it untrue...
Genesis 2?

5And every plant of the field before it was in the earth, and every herb of the field before it grew: for the LORD God had not caused it to rain upon the earth, and there was not a man to till the ground. 6But there went up a mist from the earth, and watered the whole face of the ground.

Think about how well plants can grow in a greenhouse, with optimal pressure of gasses and when watered with a mist. Under these conditions they grow far better than in a garden. The fossil record shows far larger and more luxuriant vegetation than we have now, something entirely in line with the Biblical account imo.
 





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#18
It's an obvious allegory, it would not make sense if it was literal. We know it's about how God created the universe and how humans "fell" but nothing in it is literal, it's purely spiritual and metaphysical, you can take a lot of meanings out of it. You don't have to agree.
So where allegory starts and where it ends ? Im sure as a muslim you wouldn't like to exclude story of Abraham as allegory :) But if some part of genesis is allegory, we should have a way to conclude where it's starts and where it ends, because our subjective opinion about what sounds believable and what doesn't is hardly an argument...
 





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#19
Genesis 2?

5And every plant of the field before it was in the earth, and every herb of the field before it grew: for the LORD God had not caused it to rain upon the earth, and there was not a man to till the ground. 6But there went up a mist from the earth, and watered the whole face of the ground.

Think about how well plants can grow in a greenhouse, with optimal pressure of gasses and when watered with a mist. Under these conditions they grow far better than in a garden. The fossil record shows far larger and more luxuriant vegetation than we have now, something entirely in line with the Biblical account imo.
Yup genesis 2 from where else lol :)
Also it is said everything back than was much bigger than now. Would love to see that world. If you think about it God does everything perfectly, so how beautiful earth must have been, first humans probably looked like Greek sculptures too. What we have now is genetic waste...
 





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#20
Yup genesis 2 from where else lol :)
Also it is said everything back than was much bigger than now. Would love to see that world. If you think about it God does everything perfectly, so how beautiful earth must have been, first humans probably looked like Greek sculptures too. What we have now is genetic waste...
...and how beautiful the new heavens and new earth will one day be?!