August wrote:How long is the 7th day?
Am I missing something, why are we still
in the 7th day of God's creation?
Did God start creating again? Also, we read in Heb 3 & 4 of His rest.
A couple things.
- Why do you feel God would need to "dumb it down" for ancient man? From what I've read, ancient man might not have been as technologically sophisticated but he sure was as emotionally intelligent as modern man.
Not only that but ancient man lived to 900 years old. Even their concept of time was somewhat different to ours.
It is not a question of dumbing it down, but making it relevant to the time and culture in which the was to be understood. The concept of cosmology was different at that time, as can be seen from the writings contemporary with Genesis. If we are to interpret Scripture, we should try and also understand the surrounding culture of the time period. At the time, the Genesis account was "competing" with the creation accounts from several other groups, like the Babylonians, Assyrians and Mesopotamians, and had to be put in terms that took that into account. It is a recognition of the common conceptual worldview of the time, which is a tool to help us understand the context better.
- Do you find the idea of a 6 day creation too immense, perhaps stretching even the scope of God and so would prefer to reduce it to a period that seems more "acceptable"?
Not at all. It is totally conceivable. I just don't believe that creation is what happened in the 6 days, it happened before that. The 6 days describes how God ordered the universe into His cosmic temple.
- If we are to interpret the first 2 or so chapters as a story, where do we stop. Could the fall of man; the flood; the Tower of Babel; Ten Commandments not also just be stories?
It is not too hard to distinguish literary genres for what you mention, so no need to invoke a slippery slope fallacy here. To insist on a totally literal reading for the first two chapters does create some difficulties as well, so we have to be cautious about how we approach it.
The majority of the Old Testament is a factual account of human history. From about Genesis 4 onward it provides a detailed account of human history. This continues throughout, even through the New Testament. When Jesus spoke in parables, we knew when he was doing so.
I suppose the first few chapters could simply be a story used to convey those events in a more comprehensible format, but to me it requires a whole different interpretation.
There is prophesy, poetry, hyperbole, allegory and many other literary forms ingrained in Scripture, as part of the bigger history of redemption. What are your suggested standards for interpretation? How do you propose to distinguish between the different forms?
The typical best practice approach for Biblical exegesis consists of 6 elements: Historical context, Literary form, Grammatical analysis, Lexical elements, Discourse/Argument and Theological message. This can also be summarized as Setting, Structure, Syntax, Semantics, Summation and Significance. Unless we use all of the tools at our disposal, we won't necessarily understand what is intended or how it was understood in a cultural environment other than ourselves.