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2016-01-23 Slides - Classical Genesis One

  1. 1. February 28, 2016 Genesis One: Narrative History by Frank DeRemer PhD@MIT “Programming Linguistics” 1969-1982 Professor of Computer & Information Science, UCSC 1979-1999 Co-Founder & CEO, MetaWare Incorporated, Santa Cruz, CA 1999-2005 Sold company to ARC International, London, UK E/I
  2. 2. 2006-now Website: References herein: …/Content/… So, e.g., …/1yrGenesis.pdf = Part of my on-line, one-year, chronological Bible E/I
  3. 3. Affirm Some Walton Statements Authority of the Bible: vested in human authors to express God’s purposes For us but not to us: what did it mean to the original audience/author The message transcends culture but is culture-bound, to a degree Ps 139:13 – natural cause does not remove God God designed and implemented it all The Bible is not a scientific revelation (but it is a revelation of history) (Origins is not science, it is history) E/I
  4. 4. Affirm Some Walton Statements Communication in the realm of the familiar (phenomenological language) Be careful about scientific claims of the Bible (but not the historical claims) My Thesis Walton offers us a false dichotomy Genesis One is about BOTH material creation AND higher/deeper concepts Job 38-41 E/I
  5. 5. Who authored Genesis (One)? Easy answer: Moses Why? “The Book of Moses” (Pentateuch) referred to five times 2Ch 25:4, 2Ch 35:12, Ezr 6:18, Ne 13:1, Mk 12:26 First 4: “the Law”, last: burning-bush (Exodus) More nuanced than that re Genesis? NT: 9x “(the law of) Moses & the prophets” E/I NT: 34x “Moses said” refer to Exo-Deut, but NONE to Genesis; three => not Moses
  6. 6. Who authored the Bible? 1st approximation: OT – prophets, NT – apostles (foundation of Church: Eph 2:20) NT letters: apostles wrote to people they knew NT gospels: Mt, Jn – apostles; Mk – Peter; Lk, Acts – careful interviewer of eyewitnesses OT: major & minor prophets; Ps – David was a prophet (plus others); Pr, SoS, Eccl – king OT: Sam & Kings – prophet & court recorders; Chr – priest Ezra; Ezr, Neh – eyewitnesses OT: Ruth – Boaz? Esther – Mordecai? Joshua, Job OT: Ex-Deut – eyewitness Moses (but not Gen.) E/I
  7. 7. Discernable pattern? Source of authority Yes: God used (careful interviewers of) eyewitnesses, compiler-editors of such. First step as unbeliever/doubter: recognize Bible is a string of eyewitness reports proven over & over again by archeology & other ancient writings. Authority: first as eyewitness history, then spiritual. Perhaps Moses compiled & edited Genesis rather than authoring it? Any internal evidence of such? Yes, structure and “toledoths” (cf. paper) E/I
  8. 8. Structure of Genesis E/I …/StructureToledothsSources-of-Genesis.pdf [Also at]
  9. 9. Toledoths of Genesis “These are the generations/records/history of <Person’s_Name>.” (Subject/author) There are eleven (+2) – eleven sections, but not one-to-one: some begin, some end, some transition, some absent; even Ishmael, Esau. (Not the oversimplifications of other scholars.) But the first is the most interesting [Gen 2:4]: NOT “This is the record of the heavens and the earth.” Hermeneutics: keep reading E/I
  10. 10. Genesis 2:4 This is the record of [an inverse parallelism:] the heavens and | the earth | | when they were created, | | in the day that YHWH God made | the earth and the heavens. <Person’s_Name>: at the focus of the IP. A stylistic way both to state the Author and to act as a bridge to the next story. (Also, Flood, Numbers, …) [BTW, this makes it correlate a little with poetry, but narrative uses chiasms too.] E/I
  11. 11. Confirmations that God Himself was the author of Chapters 1-2 E/I 1 Corinthians 6:15-16 Paul: Do you not know that your bodies are members of Christ? Shall I then take the members of Christ and make them members of a harlot? Certainly not! 16 Or do you not know that he who is joined to a harlot is one body with her? For “the two”, He [God] says, “shall become one flesh.” [Ge 2:24b] [implying that God Himself narrated Ge 2.]
  12. 12. Confirmations that God Himself was the author of Chapters 1-2 E/I Hebrews 4:3-4 Luke(?): For we who have believed do enter that rest, as He [God] has said: “So I swore in My wrath, ‘They shall not enter My rest,’” [Ps 95:11] although the works were finished from the foundation of the world. [Ge 1] 4 For He [God (Author of the creation account)] has spoken in a certain place of the seventh [7th ] day in this way: “And God rested on the seventh [7th ] day from all His works”; [Ge 2:2b]
  13. 13. Matthew 19:4-6 Jesus (G as NH): And He answered and said to them, “Have you not read that He who made them at the beginning [when? Ge 1:1] ‘made them male and female ’, 5 [Ge 1:26a, 1:27b] and [He who made them] said, [Ge 2:24] ‘For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh’? So then, they are no longer two but one flesh. Therefore what God has joined together, let not man separate.” [God Himself: Narrator of Genesis 2.] E/I
  14. 14. Tablet theory (toledoths as citations) Patriarchs recorded their own histories and passed them on to their progeny on tablets. Moses received, compiled, and (lightly) edited them to form Genesis. No one can (dis)prove any theory of sources, short of unearthing originals. IMHO, most God-honoring and likely scenario, consistent with the rest, viz. straightforward narration by eyewitnesses. (cf. details in my paper) Exegesis: add diffs Adam2Abram = ~2,000 years E/I
  15. 15. So far… Faulty premise: Moses authored Genesis to his ANE audience, subtly encoded Faulty analysis: toledoth usage/meaning, esp. 1st Faulty result: G1 doesn’t mean what it says Instead: God declaring the cosmos 2b His temple Is 66:1 YHWH: Hs are My throne; E is My footstool. NT: God narrated G1-2 (Moses not likely to rewrite) Coming: Could Walton be a victim of our own modern cultural river (MCR)? N. T. Wright, YouTube, Adam & Eve endorsement, strawman: if all G1 teaches is 6 days, it is flat E/I
  16. 16. Genesis One What is it about? 2:1-4 3x: His work of creating &making the cosmos Ex 20:11 His work ~ our work, rest (doing, not declaring) What kind of language does it use? Simple, familiar, narrative, phenomenological: day, night, evening, morning, (look up into the) heavens, (standing on the) dirt/land, seas, plants, fruit, seeds, lights in the heavens, swimmers, flyers, land animals, kinds (10x re 4x), humans, food. God created, made, said – yes, declared. Prima fascia evidence. Exegesis, not eisegesis. Plain to people of all times & all cultures, esp. A&E. E/I
  17. 17. Confirmations Genesis One Parallels study: Ps 104, Job 38:1-12, Pr 8:22-30, etc. Cf. …/6dayCreation.pdf Scripture interpreting Scripture. Computer analysis: Historical narrative, not poetry: 97% vs 40%. BTW It refutes (theistic) evolution on at least 20 points. […/DidMosesAuthorGenesis.pdf] G1 refutes all wrong ideas of origins of all time, because it is the historical truth. E/I
  18. 18. The Ancient Audience Who needed Genesis One first? Imagine Adam & Eve waking up: “Wow, what is this place? How did it and I get here? Who am I? Why am I here?” Gospel: God made this place, He owns me, I owe Him. (Expanded after our rebellion: He redeemed me, I owe Him big-time: obey His commands.) [Not the sales-pitch “gospel” of m. evangelicalism.] [Not me-centered, but denying self, Him-centered.] E/I [I am fortunate to be on His team!]
  19. 19. What is the message of Genesis One? What’s happening/what’s going on? (Gordon Fee) YA poor Jew crucified/God redeeming the world (Universal: real events as the basis of spiritual truths) Genesis One The cosmos being created and made, day by day / God was establishing a habitat for humanity, each made in His image(1:26-27), each 2b a dwelling for Him (Jn 15), together His Kingdom of priests (Ex 19 & 2Co 6:16) E/I [H&E not His dwelling, house]
  20. 20. What was happening? Construction of a grand, glorious creation telling of an awesome God (Ps 19:1) The heavens declare the glory of God; His handiwork is displayed in the expanse. [Hardly “flat”.] What was going on? Beginning a big, hairy, audacious goal for Himself: The Father & his family in a family business, King & Kingdom (“sons” in His image); Invitation to join this grand enterprise: the gospel. [Hardly “flat”.] E/I
  21. 21. Pictures of Galaxies here? E/I
  22. 22. The Bible The most reliable sequence of ancient eyewitness reports in existence! Faith: to see it that way! Especially Genesis One, by God Himself: creating stuff & energizing it (D1) spreading it all over the universe (D2) fashioning the surface of Earth (D3) igniting the stars (D4) making swimmers and flyers (D5) making animals & man (D6) plus granting food & dominion (invitation) [cf. …/Days1-4new.pdf & at] E/I
  23. 23. The failure of other understandings of Genesis Christians of the first 1800 years? Correct understanding only in the last 200 years? Or the last 20? Did Jews misunderstand it for 3300 yrs? No 2: the gap theory, the day-age theory, theistic evolution, …, progressive creation, cosmic days, analogical days, soft gap theory, cosmic temple. IMHO, exegesis is bad or non-existent in all those Johnny-come-lately theories. Good exegetical approach => a better viewpoint? So far, sadly lacking. Standard is high! MCR? E/I
  24. 24. Our Modern Cultural River We worship sports stars, Hollywood celebrities, presidents, scientists and science, etc. Idols. MCR misconceptions applied to the Bible: Cain’s wife & city, name animals & on the ark, dust, earth, lights not objects, ages, races, ... Why are folks working so hard to find an alternative interpretation? Intimidation by our idols? HoCs? No reason other than our MCR to question Genesis One as Narrative History. Walton’s concern: some reject the gospel: “science” My concern: some reject rewritten Bible: “believers” E/I
  25. 25. The failure of the cosmic temple Would God leave the first 2500 years of humanity without a (written) witness, esp. A&E? Passed down orally, then “encoded” by Moses in cultural baggage of his time? No other NH passage means other than it sounds. The Bible does not contain “codes”. It is perspicuous, with some education & digging. But we must do exegesis, not eisegesis: Be Bereans: Learn how to think, not what to think ... about the Bible. E/I
  26. 26. The failure … Just as futurism pastes so many newspaper headlines on Rev that you can’t read the text (helicopters, tanks, nukes, embedded microchips, etc.) so TE & PC paste so many Pop Sci headlines on Genesis One that you can’t read the text & Walton pastes so many ANE “headlines” on Genesis One that you can’t read the text (Does he even have the right CR? Pagans?) The essence of eisegesis. E/I
  27. 27. Only the classical interpretation is … …consistent with the Bible as eyewitness reports from which comes its authority. …consistent with the Bible as r. history (happening) on which are based its spiritual lessons (going on) …consistent with the Bible being perspicuous, with only minor needs to know cultural baggage. …amenable to standard exegetical, hermeneutic tools: analyze the text, not over-pastings. …time-tested and true, IMHO. [No 2 can be true.] E/I Our standing with God is not determined by our opinions, but I want to be as Berean as possible. BTW, true science (AOT pop science) is unsettled as to the age of the universe.
  28. 28. Learning Opportunities/References Steve Gregg’s radio program & website lectures, Bible teaching, verse-by-verse & topical, radio program live & archives, or KKMC 880 AM or KFIA 710 AM: 2-3 PM workdays Teaching how to think critically about the Bible, rather than indoctrinating listeners. Dr. Jonathan Sarfati’s books, “Refuting Evolution” and “Refuting Compromise”,, – a treasure trove of resources (FREE) E/I
  29. 29. I did not present the following slides • For your own further study
  30. 30. Some of Terah’s family tree Terah (11:26) (wife1) (wife2) (20:12) Abra(ha)m Nahor Haran Sarah (wife1) <––––––––––|–––––––––––––– V ––––––––––––––+ . | (wife) <–––––––– Milcah, (11:29) | V Iscah, (11:29) | Bethuel Lot (11:27) V (24:29) V ... V (22:23) V ... V Isaac Laban Rebekah D1… D2 (19:37-38) | (wife) V (w/dad) V V (w/dad) (wife) <–––––|––––|–––––––+ (24:67) Moab Ben-Ammi V V V Jacob Leah Rachel (wife1) <––––+ | (29:23) (wife2) <–––––––––+ (29:28) E/I All > 2,000 years after Adam/Cain
  31. 31. The 20 Conflicts: NH vs E, TE, PC E/I
  32. 32. More Conflicts: NH vs E, TE, PC E/I
  33. 33. Evolution Seeks to explain all: cosmos, rock layers, lifelessness to life, species, increase of information, design, races, sociology, languages, psychology, religion… Not science, but history: not repeatable, not falsifiable As such, it is not science but a religion, a godless “creation” story at the heart of our MCR So, why would we want to compromise with it? Why pervert our God-given creation acct. to fit? Are we not called to stand firm in our cultural river? Not to float downstream? E/I
  34. 34. Structure of Genesis First-_week First Family, Adam2Noah Flood, Division, Cause, Shem2Terah, Abraham (I) Isaac Jacob Joseph Eleven major themes, with minor themes embedded …/StructureToledothsSources-of-Genesis.pdf [Also at] E/I
  35. 35. Galileo All Over Again? He was labelled a heretic for suggesting that the Earth revolves around the sun. After all, the Bible says “the sun rises” & “the sun sets” Solution: better exegesis – the language is phenomenological, not literal, how it looks If the Earth is, in fact, old, there must be a better way to exegete Genesis One. But science has not proven the Earth isold. And no exegetical error has been identified. E/I Until then, I am all ears!
  36. 36. Title Box1 Box2 Box3 Box4 Box5 E/I
  37. 37. Our Modern Cultural River xxx xxx xxx Changing paradigms is not easy. Example: dinosaur soft tissue. xxx E/I