1. Joined
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    28 Nov '05 01:371 edit
    Hi... I've finally decided to try and read (and understand) the Bible, who knows I may become a convert, or it may not affect me. Problems I've had in the past are that there seem to be so many inconsistencies. It may well be a case of my (mis)interpreation, which is why I'm throwing this open to you lot. 🙂

    Genesis

    1:21 And God created great whales, and every living creature that moveth, which the waters brought forth abundantly, after their kind, and every winged fowl after his kind: and God saw that it was good.

    1:22 And God blessed them, saying, Be fruitful, and multiply, and fill the waters in the seas, and let fowl multiply in the earth.

    1:23 And the evening and the morning were the fifth day.

    1:24 And God said, Let the earth bring forth the living creature after his kind, cattle, and creeping thing, and beast of the earth after his kind: and it was so.

    1:25 And God made the beast of the earth after his kind, and cattle after their kind, and every thing that creepeth upon the earth after his kind: and God saw that it was good.

    1:26 And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth.

    1:27 So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them.

    1:28 And God blessed them, and God said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it: and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth.


    OK, so I take it from this that God created ALL living creatures BEFORE he created human beings.


    2:7 And the LORD God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul.

    ...

    2:19 And out of the ground the LORD God formed every beast of the field, and every fowl of the air; and brought them unto Adam to see what he would call them: and whatsoever Adam called every living creature, that was the name thereof.

    2:20 And Adam gave names to all cattle, and to the fowl of the air, and to every beast of the field; but for Adam there was not found an help meet for him.

    2:21 And the LORD God caused a deep sleep to fall upon Adam, and he slept: and he took one of his ribs, and closed up the flesh instead thereof;

    2:22 And the rib, which the LORD God had taken from man, made he a woman, and brought her unto the man.


    You may see my problem here. In Genesis Chapter 2, it clearly states that God created Adam, THEN he created the "beasts of the field and the fowl of the air", THEN he created Eve. This seems to be a contradiction of Chapter One, which suggests that all the animals were created first, THEN people were created.

    I'm not at all well versed in Scripture but know that some of you RHPers are... however I am reasonably intelligent, but appear to be missing something here. Is it a problem in translation from the original Hebrew/Aramaic/Greek? Is it a problem with my lack of understanding of Scripture?

    Can anyone address this explicit issue for me?

    Many thanks

    Incidentally the version I'm reading is a Modern English Translation (I think... don't have it immediately to hand)... the quotes are copied and pasted from an online KJV.
  2. Standard memberWulebgr
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    28 Nov '05 01:53
    The Pentateuch, of which Genesis is the first book, is a compilation of four distinct oral traditions. The accounts of each tradition offers distinctly different but not incompatible myths. The contradictions that you perceive are a problem only if you attempt to understand the Bible literally. These stories are myths, in that they offer important foundational truths about life and spirituality, but cannot be accepted as materially accurate accounts of events (a point of view, it should be noted, would have been incomprehensible to the scribes that wrote down the ancient Hebrew oral traditions).
  3. Hmmm . . .
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    28 Nov '05 02:07
    Originally posted by Wulebgr
    The Pentateuch, of which Genesis is the first book, is a compilation of four distinct oral traditions. The accounts of each tradition offers distinctly different but not incompatible myths. The contradictions that you perceive are a problem only if you attempt to understand the Bible literally. These stories are myths, in that they offer important foundation ...[text shortened]... d have been incomprehensible to the scribes that wrote down the ancient Hebrew oral traditions).
    Yep. And in preserving the four different streams, the redactors sometimes simply wove them together through the same narrative fabric.
  4. Joined
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    28 Nov '05 02:101 edit
    Originally posted by Wulebgr
    The Pentateuch, of which Genesis is the first book, is a compilation of four distinct oral traditions. The accounts of each tradition offers distinctly different but not incompatible myths. The contradictions that you perceive are a problem only if you attempt to understand the Bible literally. These stories are myths, in that they offer important foundation ...[text shortened]... d have been incomprehensible to the scribes that wrote down the ancient Hebrew oral traditions).
    Well I have never previously believed in a purely literal interpretation of the Bible, but some people do and are insistent that it is the only way to interpret the Bible... hence I'm trying to read and understand it from that point of view.

    So I'm still stuck!
  5. Standard memberXanthosNZ
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    28 Nov '05 02:15
    Originally posted by PawnCurry
    Well I have never previously believed in a purely literal interpretation of the Bible, but some people do and are insistent that it is the only way to interpret the Bible... hence I'm trying to read and understand it from that point of view.

    So I'm still stuck!
    What you can take from this is the very small minority of people that view the bible as completely literal are stupid. The earth is not 5000 years old. It was not created in 6 days.
  6. Joined
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    28 Nov '05 02:21
    Originally posted by XanthosNZ
    What you can take from this is the very small minority of people that view the bible as completely literal are stupid. The earth is not 5000 years old. It was not created in 6 days.
    Well I can't believe that they are ALL stupid - after all my girlfriend also believes in Creationism and the literal interpretation, and I KNOW she's intelligent.

    So there must be SOME kind of explanation for the apparent inconsistency I've already found just two chapters into Genesis. (I can't be the FIRST person to have spotted this...)
  7. Standard memberRemoved
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    28 Nov '05 02:43
    I believe in a literal interpretation as much as possible. What is being asked here is simple. It is late for me and I don't have much time, but briefly, there is a figure involved here. I don't recall the name, but it is used in other books as well. In Genesis 1 the story is told as an overview, and in chapter 2 more detail is given.
    The same can be said of 1st and 2nd Kings as well as both Chronicles.
    Have to go....will try and get back tomorrow.🙂
  8. Subscribersonhouse
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    28 Nov '05 02:59
    Originally posted by PawnCurry
    Hi... I've finally decided to try and read (and understand) the Bible, who knows I may become a convert, or it may not affect me. Problems I've had in the past are that there seem to be so many inconsistencies. It may well be a case of my (mis)interpreation, which is why I'm throwing this open to you lot. 🙂

    [b]Genesis

    1:21 And God created great w ...[text shortened]... k... don't have it immediately to hand)... the quotes are copied and pasted from an online KJV.
    What they are doing is re-interpreting the 7 day creation story a whole
    lot older than the bible, the Zorastrians made that one at least 700
    years before the bible was written and they have texts that survive
    to this day that have been translated so don't get your hopes up
    you are reading anything but a plagerized legend.
    I saw with my own eyes on rock carvings at the Cairo museum in
    Egypt the 7 day creation myth and it is if anything, older than the
    Zorastrian one. I also heard one of the bible thumpers here say
    Well so what if it was handed down and the christians made it their
    own story, doesn't mean its wrong.....
  9. Cosmos
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    28 Nov '05 03:00
    The only problem with Genesis is that they lost their musical creativity when Phil 'Crafty Cockney' Collins stole the band from Peter Gabriel.
  10. Standard memberXanthosNZ
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    28 Nov '05 03:29
    Originally posted by PawnCurry
    Well I can't believe that they are ALL stupid - after all my girlfriend also believes in Creationism and the literal interpretation, and I KNOW she's intelligent.

    So there must be SOME kind of explanation for the apparent inconsistency I've already found just two chapters into Genesis. (I can't be the FIRST person to have spotted this...)
    If your girlfriend believes that the earth is a few thousand years old then she is at best hopelessly ignorant of anything scientific.
  11. Joined
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    28 Nov '05 05:09
    Originally posted by XanthosNZ
    If your girlfriend believes that the earth is a few thousand years old then she is at best hopelessly ignorant of anything scientific.
    No, she just has more faith in God (specifically the Bible) than in science to explain our origins.

    I believe there is room for both... see djbecker's thread re the Big Bang.
  12. Cape Town
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    28 Nov '05 07:50
    Originally posted by XanthosNZ
    If your girlfriend believes that the earth is a few thousand years old then she is at best hopelessly ignorant of anything scientific.
    Your girlfriend is not hopelessly ignorant but has chosen to ignore anything that contradicts her beliefs. This is a common phenomena even amoung intellectuals. If you wish to take the bible litterally then you must take the same stance rather than trying to understand it. However a strict interpretation of the Bible is not a requirement for being a Christian. It also requires denying the true origins of most of the text in the Bible. If you have a need for logic in your faith then why not try the Quoran as it is much more self-consistent due to being written over a much shorter period of time.
  13. Standard memberKellyJay
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    28 Nov '05 07:58
    Originally posted by twhitehead
    Your girlfriend is not hopelessly ignorant but has chosen to ignore anything that contradicts her beliefs. This is a common phenomena even amoung intellectuals. If you wish to take the bible litterally then you must take the same stance rather than trying to understand it. However a strict interpretation of the Bible is not a requirement for being a Chris ...[text shortened]... oran as it is much more self-consistent due to being written over a much shorter period of time.
    Yea, there is a lot of that going around...ignoring what contradicts
    people's beliefs, or believing what they think is true is a fact, and
    not just a another matter of faith.
    Kelly
  14. Standard memberBosse de Nage
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    28 Nov '05 09:41
    Originally posted by Wulebgr
    The Pentateuch, of which Genesis is the first book, is a compilation of four distinct oral traditions.
    I'd be very interested to hear more about these four traditions. Also, wasn't some mythological material cut from the tradition at some point? (I'm thinking about Lilith).
  15. Standard memberDavid C
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    28 Nov '05 10:01
    Originally posted by Bosse de Nage
    I'd be very interested to hear more about these four traditions. Also, wasn't some mythological material cut from the tradition at some point? (I'm thinking about Lilith).
    Seconded. Lilith...she was a hottie, wasn't she? An interesting Wiki article. Although, I'm sure there's no correlation between the Akkadian/Babylonian version, and that of the xtian bible. Mere happenstance.
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