The purpose of this study is to help folks learn how to explore the layers of scripture and how to do so by adding to basic study methods how symbols, name meanings, colors, numbers and Hebrew Letter pictograph (the Otiot) meanings add to the text.
In this, I have found that no human being alone could have put this book, the bible together, as stamped within its pages is God’s fingerprint. The Bible is indeed divinely inspired by God using different people throughout the history of the bible in ways that are truly astounding.
I am posting from the - Do YECs accept "ordinary days"? – so you can gain an introduction. Serval members understand this method of study, such as Malz, and feel free to respond. I will be asking questions as this will be interactive and you will have to do homework i.e. research as wel God along.
So for Nessa and Story and others interested here goes:
Look up what Light and darkness represents in the bible, Use the internet or study guides.
B. W. wrote:One thing about the ancient Hebrew language and culture that often is neglected is the use of symbols, signs, and cycles. In the Genesis chapter one account of creation the symbolism for light is often overshadow by simplistic western literalism.
Light's symbolism is defined by the context which it is found in the text. The basic symbolism for light denotes intelligence, wisdom, knowledge, that adheres to truth. It denotes soundness, wholeness, a perfecting plan based on the exercise of intelligence, wisdom, knowledge, that adheres to truth to reach a final goal with righteousness, mercy, and equity truthfully exposed.
Now read Genesis 1:1-5, In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. 2 The earth was formless and void, and darkness was over the surface of the deep, and the Spirit of God was moving over the surface of the waters. 3 Then God said, "Let there be light"; and there was light. 4 God saw that the light was good; and God separated the light from the darkness. 5 God called the light day, and the darkness He called night. And there was evening and there was morning, one day. NASB
Likewise darkness has symbolism as well to meaning the opposite of light as shown as an absence of exercise of intelligence, wisdom, knowledge that adheres to truth needed to reach a final goal which is attained by the exercise of righteousness, mercy and equity truthfully allowed to bloom. Also in other contexts, darkness represents ignorance, sin, death, rebellion, hopelessness, lovelessness, and faithlessness.
In Genesis chapter one, darkness has more to do with the context of creation before rebellion, therefore, it is in reference to an absence of exercise of intelligence, wisdom, knowledge, that adheres to truth needed to reach a final goal attained by the exercise of righteousness, mercy, and equity truthfully allowed to bloom. It is simple absence of anything existing outside of God's own existence. God created Ex Nihilo, period, is simply established in the first five verses.
Therefore, Light in verse three is in reference to exercise of intelligence, wisdom, knowledge, that adheres to truth. Now in John 1:1-4 Jesus is identified as the Logos of God. Logos in Greek means the expression of intelligence, wisdom, and knowledge. Col 1:16,17; Heb 1:2,3, Heb 1:10,11,12 all express that Jesus - the Logos of God created. Jesus also mentioned that he is the light of the world. Jesus is the expression of God's wisdom that created as Proverbs 3:19,20 reveals the Trinity of the Godhead involved in creation: Son founded creation with wisdom, the Holy Spirit established it, through the fathers' intimate vast knowledge of all things.
There is plenty of evidence that Light mentioned in Gen 1:3 is not a physical light but rather God's expression intelligence, wisdom, knowledge, that adheres to truth to reach a final goal which is attained by the exercise of righteousness, mercy and equity truthfully allowed to bloom. Even Gen 1:31 alludes to this symbolism of light.
Now notice Gen 1:5-25 progression of creation by keeping this symbolism in mind and what do you see? I see God creating order out of an expanse of nothingness, which separates order out from the dark night of nothingness - no love, no hope, no faith, no intelligence or wisdom expressed just nothingness... outside of God... for lack of a better human way to wrap your mind around this. God self sufficient within himself is bursting forth a creation and order by which he expresses himself (note Rev 4:11 KJV).
Now comes Genesis 1:14 where you actually have physical light made to separate psychical darkness and the beginning of the 24 hour day as we know it began. The days mentioned in creation can mean an indefinite period of time. There is no way we can really know the length of the Days of creation created in the timelessness of eternity. Moses was expressing symbolism in the creation account so future generations would seek and find their creator and the purpose God has for them actualized. Moses met the preincarnate Jesus and these words he used are expression of Gods' wisdom to us concerning creation as it only pertains to us according to God's timetable of intelligence, wisdom, knowledge that adheres to truth needed to reach His final goal which is attained by the exercise of His righteousness, mercy and equity truthfully allowed to bloom. Now read Rev 21:1.
Often we human beings can be so literal that we miss hearing the truth the Holy Spirit teaches from the bible and get stuck on stupid. How long will it take for intelligence, wisdom, knowledge, righteousness, mercy and equity to be truthfully allowed to bloom in the human mind?
Copyright 2015 material
B W Melvin
Philip wrote:B.W., I agree with the many possibilities within what you've written, within how SCRIPTURE is written. The problem is when someone wants to get exceptionally dogmatic about this issue and so they simply slam the door on the wider range of reasonable possibilities the text presents. And, FAR worse, when some would assert that only those holding to the literalist point of view are sincerely trying to take Scripture seriously/that it is God given, and that those taking a more symbolic, day/age or some hybrid of these are refusing to accept God's word is true and perfectly clear regarding this issue. That's just not true! Far too many evangelical scholars have read this in differing ways. As Norman Geisler has said, he's been studying this issue for over 50 years and the definitive understanding (young or old) remains elusive to him. I can guarantee people like Norm Geisler take Scripture exceptionally seriously. He's basically agnostic on the issue but leans toward an old earth view. One reason is that he takes science, not as simply a man-made endeavor, but understandings and abilities that are God-given and that are unique to the only creatures created in His image. Combining what he sees as God given with the OTHER important witness of God (The Creation) that is natural to apply our God-given abilities to ponder, Geisler takes all of these things very seriously.
Kurieuo wrote:B.W., I tend to believe there a multiple layers to Scripture.
Possibly, it comes from the particular Christian upbringing and environment I was raised within where the Bible was often treating as the living Word of God, with an emphasis on the text being alive. It is interesting how many people who become Christian report prior to their conversion the Bible was so dead, stagnant and boring and then after coming to Christ it became so alive and meanings previously missed so easily seen.
So I am personally quite open to deeper theological reflections. You get this in theology journals tool; new and interesting insights into Scripture that a surface level would never produce, but do in fact start to sound quite convincing once a case is made. Perhaps this is to a degree the Holy Spirit inspiring new and meaningful insights for people, to those who also see them, to be be encouraged and nourished by.
Your theological reflection here, at first made me pause. Then, as you fleshed it out, it's like, "yeah, I can see how you'd arrive at that insight." Obviously, lots of support for the idea. And you know, God in his infinite wisdom, why can't there be these types of insights into what I've come to accept as not just Scripture but the living word of God which people until this day are still uncovering meaning from.
That said, there is much to be said for "single meaning" and perhaps what you'd associate as being "western literalism." I don't believe we'd be honest if we fully discarded a main central reading of Scripture and then the last thing we want is to throw Scripture into some relativistic post-modern heap that is devoid of any true meaning or content. There are some atrocious "readings" or "insights" out there that are just plain wrong.
So, for me, I see there a main trunk growing up which to me represents a "single meaning" and what you might say is an over literalisation of the text. This forms the central core of Scripture is could be like the Day-Age interpretation and YEC interpretations. And then, there are additional insights. For example, I'm fond of some ideas found in the Framework hypothesis. I don't mind your insight here. And then the Sabbatical insights that I draw out in my own interpretation -- I don't know if you read it, but I'm starting to think it's not so much a position but more of a framework if you will that literalists can flesh out details on.
Now around this "trunk" you have all these different vibrant strands like glowing vines that are deeper insights jammed pack full of meaning. You know, some people might expect a book inspired and authored by God to glow and have some magical aura. I don't see the glow in the literal physical book, but rather in the words and deeper meanings that can be drawn out, and continue to be drawn out. It's like an infinite book of wisdom. And that to me, resonates with me as radiating divine authenticity.