1. Melbourne, Australia
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    14 Sep '06 01:20
    Just reading some other posts in other threads and it got me thinking.
    An old-Earth creationist suggestion is:

    The six days of creation were not actually six lots of 24 hour long days - that is, the days were much longer.

    But, the Jewish and later Christian traditions, use the genesis story as a basis for the construction of their week.
    Six days of work and whatever and then on the seventh day - rest and prayer and religious reflection stuff.

    But, if the days in Genesis were much longer - why use standard days as a basis for the way we live.

    Alternatively, if we use standard days as the length, the idea of longer days in Genesis is nonsensical.

    Any thoughts?
  2. Territories Unknown
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    14 Sep '06 01:33
    Originally posted by amannion
    Just reading some other posts in other threads and it got me thinking.
    An old-Earth creationist suggestion is:

    The six days of creation were not actually six lots of 24 hour long days - that is, the days were much longer.

    But, the Jewish and later Christian traditions, use the genesis story as a basis for the construction of their week.
    Six days of ...[text shortened]... standard days as the length, the idea of longer days in Genesis is nonsensical.

    Any thoughts?
    And the evening and the morning was the sixth day.
  3. Melbourne, Australia
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    14 Sep '06 01:39
    Originally posted by FreakyKBH
    And the evening and the morning was the sixth day.
    What you talking 'bout Freaky?
  4. Hmmm . . .
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    14 Sep '06 01:491 edit
    Originally posted by amannion
    Just reading some other posts in other threads and it got me thinking.
    An old-Earth creationist suggestion is:

    The six days of creation were not actually six lots of 24 hour long days - that is, the days were much longer.

    But, the Jewish and later Christian traditions, use the genesis story as a basis for the construction of their week.
    Six days of ...[text shortened]... standard days as the length, the idea of longer days in Genesis is nonsensical.

    Any thoughts?
    Amannion,

    I apologize in advance for a shameless cut ‘n’ paste from my own previous posts (and likely a slapdash one at that), but I have debated this kind of thing till I’m blue in the face, and just don’t want to anymore—so I’ll just shamelessly expose/impose my thinking, and have done at that (those people, such as Freaky, with whom I have been through this before in detail, know where I come from, and I know where they come from; we recognize some validity in each other’s arguments, and we have by and large reached a friendly impasse).

    ________________________________

    yom does not mean “day.” Yom can mean day, a number of days, year, a period of time. The reason ithis is a pet peeve with me is that people keep taking a word in another language, translating it into a single-word “equivalent” in English—and the saying that’s what it “means.” yom means yom. When the rabbis read yom, they do not translate it as “day,” but see all the possible meanings (okay, including but not limited to “day” ).

    ....

    Note that yom in Genesis 1:5 is used twice: Once just to mean a period of daylight—or, more precisely, light itself : “And called elohim to-light (l’or), yom.” That is surely a figurative statement. The second time, it says: “And there was evening and there was morning, one yom.” This is highly and beautifully poetic, and can refer to the first cycle of existence being one in which the very cycle of time begins. (Again, I do not take this as a refutation of scientific theories—simply a poetic rendering.) It is fundamentally about rhythms and cycles in time. It isn’t science or history or a logical proposition—it’s poetry

    ....

    I don’t take the Genesis “record” as a—well, as a record. I think that is an error. I take it as a very rich story attempting to point to existential realities beyond itself (and our everyday perceptions), and which has a “moral” point.

    Unless you want to do some latter-day Protestant biblical literalism here, then yes, it is either metaphorical (or perhaps more properly allegorical), or represents the worldview of the writers at the time. I think the notion of trying to apply the Genesis account as “natural science” or natural history was entirely foreign to the writers. And I think it is a mistake today to treat the text that way. I don’t know when literalistic/historicistic—as opposed to poetic and mythological—reading came to be assumed to be somehow “normative” (that is, in the sense of being the one against which all other readings must be defended), but I am convinced it was not the viewpoint of the ancients, nor is it the viewpoint of rabbinical Judaism today.

    _______________________________

    I can’t resist reposting this, again just to give some flavor:

    One Shabbos afternoon, Reb Reuven called me into is study. He was sitting behind his desk and motioned me to take the chair across from him. A volume of the Zohar was lying open in front of him.

    “Do you know what the Zohar is?” he asked.

    “Of course,” I said. “It is a mystical commentary on Torah written by Moshe deLeon, a thirteenth century Spanish kabbalist who....”

    “Nonsense!” he yelled at me, half rising out of his chair. “The Zohar isn’t just a commentary; it’s a Torah all by itself. It is a new Torah, a new telling of the last Torah. You do know what Torah is, don’t you?”

    Suspecting that I didn’t, and afraid to invoke his wrath a second time, I waited silently, certain that he would answer his own question. I was not disappointed.

    “Torah is story. God is story. Israel is story. You, my university-educated soon-to-be a liberal pain in the ass rabbi, are a story. We are all stories! We are all Torahs!...Listen, Rami,” Reuven said in a softer voice. “Torah starts with the word b’reisheet,* ‘Once upon a time!’”

    —Rabbi Rami Shapiro, Hasidic Tales

    * Conventionally translated “in the beginning” or “with beginning.”

    ________________________________

    I think we do well to remember that “once upon a time” when we read the stories in the Hebrew scriptures.

    Be well.
  5. Standard memberWulebgr
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    14 Sep '06 01:54
    Originally posted by vistesd
    —it’s [b]poetry
    [/b]
    Well said.

    A word to the wise is sufficient.
  6. Melbourne, Australia
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    14 Sep '06 02:35
    Originally posted by vistesd
    Amannion,

    I apologize in advance for a shameless cut ‘n’ paste from my own previous posts (and likely a slapdash one at that), but I have debated this kind of thing till I’m blue in the face, and just don’t want to anymore—so I’ll just shamelessly expose/impose my thinking, and have done at that (those people, such as Freaky, with whom I have been through ...[text shortened]... remember that “once upon a time” when we read the stories in the Hebrew scriptures.

    Be well.
    Yes, very nice and all that, but sort of missing my point.
    It doesn't matter what the original words meant - the basis of the working week is built around this, and evolves (at least, so we're told) from the Genesis account.
    To use this literally, is to require days of 24 hours - incompatible with an old-earth creationism.
    To not use it literally, suggests that the standard week of work and rest day has no basis in the genesis framework.
  7. Hmmm . . .
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    14 Sep '06 02:55
    Originally posted by amannion
    Yes, very nice and all that, but sort of missing my point.
    It doesn't matter what the original words meant - the basis of the working week is built around this, and evolves (at least, so we're told) from the Genesis account.
    To use this literally, is to require days of 24 hours - incompatible with an old-earth creationism.
    To not use it literally, suggests that the standard week of work and rest day has no basis in the genesis framework.
    Okay. I misunderstood. Sorry again.
  8. Earth Prime
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    14 Sep '06 03:06
    Originally posted by vistesd
    Yom can mean day, a number of days, year, a period of time. ... When the rabbis read yom, they do not translate it as “day,” but see all the possible meanings (okay, including but not limited to “day” ).
    If the word in the original doesn't always mean 'day', why does every english translation use that word?
  9. Lisbon
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    14 Sep '06 03:19
    Originally posted by amannion
    Yes, very nice and all that, but sort of missing my point.
    It doesn't matter what the original words meant - the basis of the working week is built around this, and evolves (at least, so we're told) from the Genesis account.
    To use this literally, is to require days of 24 hours - incompatible with an old-earth creationism.
    To not use it literally, suggests that the standard week of work and rest day has no basis in the genesis framework.
    Hi everyone,

    amannion, it seems that this time I tend to agree with you.

    I think the Bible is talking about 24 hour (or close to that) days.

    Notice the following verse:

    Genesis 1:14 And God said, Let there be lights in the firmament of heaven to divide the day from the night; and let them be for signs, and for seasons, and for days and years:

    A day is completed when the earth rotates once over its axis.
    A month (lunar) is completed when the moon completes an orbit around the earth.
    A year is completed when the earth completes an orbit around the sun.

    The moon and the sun (and other celestial bodies ?) are therefore, signs for seasons and for days and years.

    So, good question, where does the seven day week come from?
    There is no celestial cycle with a 7 day duration, at least that I'm aware of.

    If the Bible tells that the world was created in six days and God rested during the seventh, that's where our week comes from.

    Please notice the following... when God gave Moses the ten commandments this is what He said:

    Exodus 20
    8 Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy.
    9 Six days shalt thou labor, and do all thy work;
    10 but the seventh day is a sabbath unto Jehovah thy God: in it thou shalt not do any work, thou, nor thy son, nor thy daughter, thy man-servant, nor thy maid-servant, nor thy cattle, nor thy stranger that is within thy gates:
    11 for in six days Jehovah made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in them is, and rested the seventh day: wherefore Jehovah blessed the sabbath day, and hallowed it.


    In verse 11 does the first part of it (six days) refer to long periods of time, while the second (seventh day) refer to a literal day (Saturday/Sabbath)?

    Most unlikely in my opinion; the context is as close as can be, so both "days" must refer to the same period of time (24 hours or 23 and whatever).

    The Israelites acknowledged this seventh day as being a literal day, so...

    Regards
  10. Hmmm . . .
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    14 Sep '06 03:281 edit
    Originally posted by Coconut
    If the word in the original doesn't always mean 'day', why does every english translation use that word?
    Several possibilities—

    (1) That’s simply the problem of translation, trying to select from the alternatives a single-word in the new language. There is a story that when Martin Buber and Franz Rosenzweig (sp?) translated the Torah into German, they tried to avoid that problem—with the result that the translation was many times longer than the original.

    (2) “Day” makes sense in the poetic construct of the verses in question. But a native Hebrew reader would not restrict herself to that single-meaning, as they would not be translating.

    (3) The theological considerations of the translator.

    (4) Translators tend, at least to some extent, to follow one another.

    An example, the name of God in the Torah is YHVH, which is difficult to translate, but roughly means something like “the one that is.” It’s an archaic verbal form. When Jews, at some point (about the time of Ezra, I think) decided that the name was too holy to speak aloud (the pronunciation is lost today), they substituted Adonai—sir or lord—in liturgical readings. Non-liturgically, they use other substitutions, most notably Hashem, the “name.” Out of respect for that, most (though not all) English translations use the word “LORD.” But that word is not in the original, nor in Torah scrolls today. It is a translation convention.

    The main point of my digression is that a Hebrew speaker does not have to translate, and has all the meanings at once. And traditional Jewish exegesis explores all of those meanings, and even expansions of them.

    Another, non-controversial, example: The word shalom is generally translated as “peace,” and that is one of its layers of meaning. It also means harmony, health well-being—and other meanings by associated based on the Hebrew root-system. When Hebrew speaker greets another with “Shalom,” they hear all those meanings wrapped up into one. But that would be a translator’s nightmare.

    EDIT: I see xpo’s on board here. He and I had a good discussion on this the other night—and I think we agree to disagree. 🙂
  11. Lisbon
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    14 Sep '06 03:40
    Originally posted by vistesd
    Several possibilities—

    (1) That’s simply the problem of translation, trying to select from the alternatives a single-word in the new language. There is a story that when Martin Buber and Franz Rosenzweig (sp?) translated the Torah into German, they tried to avoid that problem—with the result that the translation was many times longer than the original. ...[text shortened]... re. He and I had a good discussion on this the other night—and I think we agree to disagree. 🙂
    Hi vistesd 🙂

    I apologise for not having answered/commented your posts. I've been kind of busy.

    I saw you were around and since amannion's question was interesting too, I took the chance to give my point of view about one of our subjects of discussion.

    And yes, we agree to disagree 🙂

    Take care
  12. Hmmm . . .
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    14 Sep '06 04:02
    Originally posted by xpoferens
    Hi vistesd 🙂

    I apologise for not having answered/commented your posts. I've been kind of busy.

    I saw you were around and since amannion's question was interesting too, I took the chance to give my point of view about one of our subjects of discussion.

    And yes, we agree to disagree 🙂

    Take care
    No apologies necessary. It was very enjoyable. I'm packing it in for the day. Be well. 🙂
  13. Melbourne, Australia
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    14 Sep '06 04:07
    Originally posted by xpoferens
    Hi everyone,

    amannion, it seems that this time I tend to agree with you.

    I think the Bible is talking about 24 hour (or close to that) days.

    Notice the following verse:

    Genesis 1:14 And God said, Let there be lights in the firmament of heaven to divide the day from the night; and let them be for signs, and for seasons, and for days and years:
    ...[text shortened]... r).

    The Israelites acknowledged this seventh day as being a literal day, so...

    Regards
    This is an interesting question:

    are there in fact any 7 day cycles in nature?

    I can't think of any, although that doesn't mean much.
    I'm guessing that a seven day cycle was for some reason the cycle of choice for the people living in the Middle east at that time.
    Writing the Genesis account with this cycle intact would then make sense.

    But still, the question remains. Why 7 days?
    Interesting.
  14. Lisbon
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    14 Sep '06 04:26
    Originally posted by amannion
    This is an interesting question:

    are there in fact any 7 day cycles in nature?

    I can't think of any, although that doesn't mean much.
    I'm guessing that a seven day cycle was for some reason the cycle of choice for the people living in the Middle east at that time.
    Writing the Genesis account with this cycle intact would then make sense.

    But still, the question remains. Why 7 days?
    Interesting.
    "for some reason the cycle of choice for the people living in the Middle east at that time."

    Quite frankly, I think the reason is before your eyes.

    "Writing the Genesis account with this cycle intact would then make sense."

    Naturally.

    In my humble opinion, if you interpret the days in Genesis 1 as literal days, no question remains, since in seven (six) days everything was created.

    Take care
  15. Joined
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    14 Sep '06 08:35
    Numbers within the Biblical text may or may not have literal meanings but they are definatly symbolic. The number six, for example, is known as the number of man. After all, man was created on the sixth day. The number has come to mean imperfection/rebellion/disobedience, hence the evil number 666 in Revelation. The number 7, on the other hand, has come to mean perfection and completion, hence the completion of a week ending on the 7th day. Sin is referred to as "missing the mark" or "fallling short of the mark" much like the number 6 in relation to falling short of the number 7 by one number. The number 7 is also the most common number used in Biblical prophesy.
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