Friday, July 31, 2015

Henry Lee Poe On Why Young Earth Creationism is Not Biblically Supportable

Last year Henry Lee Poe wrote a paper for the American Scientific Affiliation publication Perspectives on Science and Christian Faith called The English Bible and The days of creation: When traditional conflicts with text.  In it, he notes that, while “enormous energy” has been spent on how the Hebrew word yom should be translated, this misses another very important point: the historical addition of the definite article “The” to the opening passages of Genesis. He writes:
In the Hebrew text of Genesis, the days of creation occur sequentially, but not necessarily as consecutive days. January 1 and February 1 come sequentially, but not consecutively because other days intervene between the two days. It is even possible that the fourth day is intentionally placed out of order chronologically. Instead of describing the first act of creation as happening on “the first day,” Genesis states that it happened “one day.” The action does not occur on the first day. It happens one day. A cardinal rather than an ordinal numeral is used.
He uses an example of this to illustrate why this is so important for understanding the creation story in Genesis:
One day I was born.
A second day I started preaching.
A third day I started being married to Mary Anne
A fourth day I started being a father to Rebecca
and then to Mary Ellen.
A fifth day I started living in Minnesota.
The sixth day I started working at Union.
The seventh day I die.
The second part of the article is a fascinating study in how the definite article “The” got into the passages in the first place, showing up in the Wycliffe Bible, in 1394.

Given this, he argues, that the text allows, and even supports vast periods of time for the creation process, in direct contradiction to the young earth view.  It certainly does not support one week of 24-hour days. 

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