Instigator / Pro

The Bible Created Western Civilization Part 1: Humanity, Rationality and Technology

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Philosophy
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Two weeks
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Two weeks
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Description
When I say that the Bible shaped Western Civilization I mean by its literal interpretation. For many reasons I consider that the Catholic interpretation is based on man's opinion that twists God's Word to fit its own belief system. This isn't a debate on religion or different religious denominations. I believe Western Civilization began when man began to interpret the Scriptures as written, because the Bible could finally be read by the common man who could see that the Catholic Church had replaced man's authority over God's authority. The Bible is the foundation for Western Civilization.
Round 1
Published:
Humanity
     In the past and even in the present there are many places without a concept of human dignity. From cultures that had child sacrifice, to Greek infanticide, to the French Revolution, to Nazi Germany and Communist countries and even abortion and euthanasia or dowry deaths in India (whether by extortion or letting second daughters starve to death) and even mass shootings we are seeing the value of humans decline rapidly. Why is this? I postulate that it is because we are leaving the reason for the greatness Western Civilization and are coming to the point of losing it forever.

     Even though Europe was "Christian" before AD 1500, it was steeped in three different beliefs. That of paganism (worship of saints and angels replacing demigods and ghosts) by the uneducated, Greco-Roman cosmology (the belief that everything, even God is bound by the Cosmos) by the scholars and fatalism which was brought over to Europe by Muslims. These beliefs created a view of "Man" as helpless, caught in the cycle of the Cosmos from which he could not escape.
     Circa the 1500s a new viewpoint of man that was based on the Bible came on the scene, it was called...nominalism. This view said that man had been created in the image and likeness of God (Genesis 1:27), therefore man had dignity. 
     Plato had taught that Ideas were the reality in life and what was material was only a shadow in the Ideas world. This worldview implied that man didn't create things, but copied them from Ideas.
     Nominalists rejected this Greek philosophy and embraced Genesis 1:1 where God created everything. To them God didn't make copied from a Idea world, but He created ex nihilo. The doctrine of creation says that God does not belong to the material nor Idea world, but is separate and free from preexisting ideas, logic and order.
The Renaissance humanists believed the Bible and concluded that since man was a special creation of God (in His image and likeness) then man can also be free as God is free.

     Some of these Renaissance men were Coluccio Salutati, Lorenzo Valla and Pico Della Mirandola. Salutati opposed Islamic fatalism saying that God was free. He accepted Augustine's writings on man's free will.1 Valla also published a work on the matter of man's free will due to God's freedom and though Mirandola forgot to emphasize man's fallen intellect because of sin he still argued that man had free will because He was created by a God Who was not subject to a Cosmos. Mirandola wrote a commentary on Genesis and even wrote, "Therefore, let us fear, love and venerate Him in whom, as Paul said, are all created things both visible and invisible, who is the beginning in whom God made heaven and earth, that is Christ...Therefore let us form not stellar images in metals but the image of the Word of God in our souls."2

     There would also be no dignity in man if it wasn't for God's incarnation. A belief in creation isn't the only thing needed for man's dignity. If you look at Islam one finds that even though they believed man was created by God, human dignity was not even thought of. Islam and Judaism do not believe that God can become man for to them that would be taking aways God's dignity. However, and the Renaissance man believed this, this would put God in a box and would not make God a free Being. The Renaissance man believed that God was beyond human logic and to go beyond logic to see what God had done in becoming a man to save humankind.
     Because of the incarnation, man could be saved and become a son and daughter of God making humans more dignified and greater than even the angels. Trinkaus wrote that Petrarch used the incarnation of God to explain how man was in misery and despair by looking at his natural self, but the incarnation bridged the gap between man and God.
     The Greek and Roman writers, in ancient times, believed that man could never reach God, however, the incarnation brought God to men. God descending to man allowed man to ascend up to God. Petrarch wrote, Surely our God has come to us so that we might go to Him, and that same God of our interacted with humanity when He lived among us, 'showing himself like a man in appearance.'...What an indescribable sacrament! To what higher end was humanity able to be raised than that a human being, consisting of a rational soul and human flesh, a human being, exposed to mortal accidents, dangers and needs, in brief, a true and perfect man, inexplicably assumed into one person with the Word, the Son of God,  consubstantial with the Father and co-eternal with Him. To what higher end was humanity able to be raised than that this perfect man would join two natures in Himself by a wondrous union of totally disparate elements?"3

Rationality

     The Greek word logos led to a Greek respect for a logic that was transcendent and as long as it stayed that way the mind was able to be cultivated. The book From Word to Silence, by Raoul Mortley, shows how the Greeks, using the idea of logos began with pre-Socratic thinkers. He makes it clear that Sophists began entering politics and used logic to manipulate politics causing the people to distrust logic and begin to believe that no one could really know the truth. If logos can be manipulated and used by both debaters, then it cannot be transcendent. This increased skepticism and almost wiped out the word logos.4 This led to Greeks believing in myths and superstition. Without a rational God who can tell man what is truth led the Greeks to give up the concept of logos and made them skeptical of putting their faith in reason.
     A Jew by the name of Philo saved the word logos from the Greeks, mainly because he recognized that according to the Bible logos is a part of the nature and being of God. Enter the Apostle John who famously said in his book, "In the beginning was the Word [logos] and Word was with God and the Word was God...And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us and we have seen His glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth." John had actually seen the Word (Jesus) in person witnessing Jesus' miracles, death on the cross for sins and resurrection to defeat death and make eternal life possible for man. For John logos was not an abstract concept, but was something that he had seen and touched. John had recorded Jesus saying, "I am the truth." And Jesus had even told Pilate, "For this purpose was I born and for this purpose I have come into the world-to bear witness to the truth." We can know the truth because God is Truth and He speaks to us rationally in His Word (logos) which makes rationality significant for man. This belief saved Europe from Gnosticism.
     After John, Augustine, Boethius and John of Damascus preserved logic and laid the foundation for Western Civilization's intellectual powers. All these men believed that biblical Christianity was a religion of rationality.
     Then, all of a sudden, the Church closed the Bible (logos) to the people and logic slid back into gnosticism and wasn't unleashed again until the Bible was translated into the tongue of the common man. This can be seen in the contrast between Catholic countries compared with Protestant countries who prospered intellectually because the people in Protestant countries were able to interpret the Bible using logic.
     One of the fruits of the Biblical view of logic was technology.

Technology

     Ernst Benz said in his book Fondamenti Chistiani della Tecnica Occidentale, " Christian beliefs provided the rational and faith for western technology." Why did Christians pioneer technological creativity? Because of their belief in a God who is separate and above the Cosmos who Created all things. They believed that matter was created for spiritual purposes. The Bible taught man that the world was made by an Intelligent Craftsman that they could imitate by being craftsmen themselves, that they should become great artisans because of it, to follow God's logic to be able to use the the physical things for good and to use time wisely.
     While Buddhist monks begged for bread, Christian monks had to work for their bread. So, since neither could have a wife to grind their wheat for them to make bread, the Buddhists begged for bread while the monks worked for their (as most other cultures taught). Christian monks knew that God wanted them to pray, but they also knew that God worked and so to work was to imitate God. However, since prayer was essential, they began to develop ways to make work less, so they could pray more.
     While the monasteries eventually fell into the Greco-Roman philosophy, they originally were filled with men who really did study the Bible in a literal sense and rejected the idea that work was only for those of a lower class. Two monks, Theophilus and Hugh, are the first who actually wrote about mechanics and they did so by rejecting the Greco-Roman based theology of the Latin Church and picking up the Bible to read it for themselves.


2. Quoted by Trinkaus in his book In Our Image and Likeness
3. De Otio Religioso by Francesco Petrarca
4. From Word to Silence by Raoul Mortley
Published:
THBT: The BIBLE CREATED WESTERN CIVILIZATION: HUMANITY, RATIONALITY and TECHNOLOGY


DEFINITIONS:

The BIBLE [noun] is "a collection of sacred texts or scriptures. Varying parts of the Bible are considered to be a product of divine inspiration and a record of the relationship between God and humans by Christians, Jews, Samaritans, and Rastafari. The Bible appears in the form of an anthology, compiling texts of a variety of forms that are all linked by the belief that they collectively contain the word of God. These texts include theologically-embellished historical accounts, hymns, allegorical erotica, parables, and didactic letters." [1]

CREATED is simple past and past participle of
CREATE [transitive verb] is "to bring into existence" [2]

WESTERN CIVILIZATION [noun] (also Western culture, Occidental culture, the Western world, Western society, and European civilization) is "the heritage of social norms, ethical values, traditional customs, belief systems, political systems, artifacts and technologies that originated in or are associated with Europe. Western culture is most strongly influenced by the Judeo-Christian and Greco-Roman cultures.

Ancient Greece is considered the birthplace of many elements of Western culture, including the development of a democratic system of government and major advances in philosophy, science and mathematics. The expansion of Greek culture into the Hellenistic world of the eastern Mediterranean led to a synthesis between Greek and Near-Eastern cultures, and major advances in literature, engineering, and science, and provided the culture for the expansion of early Christianity and the Greek New Testament.  This period overlapped with and was followed by Rome, which made key contributions in law, government, engineering and political organization. The concept of a "West" dates back to the Roman Empire, where there was a cultural divide between the Greek East and Latin West, a divide that later continued in Medieval Europe between the Catholic Latin Church west and the "Greek" Eastern Orthodox east.

Western culture is characterized by a host of artistic, philosophic, literary and legal themes and traditions. Christianity, including the Roman Catholic Church, Protestantism, the Eastern Orthodox Church, and Oriental Orthodoxy, has played a prominent role in the shaping of Western civilization since at least the 4th century, as did Judaism.  A cornerstone of Western thought, beginning in ancient Greece and continuing through the Middle Ages and Renaissance, is the idea of rationalism in various spheres of life developed by Hellenistic philosophy, scholasticism and humanism. The Catholic Church was for centuries at the center of the development of the values, ideas, science, laws and institutions which constitute Western civilization.  Empiricism later gave rise to the scientific method, the scientific revolution, and the Age of Enlightenment.
" [3]

[NOTE:  CON has included a long version of the the definition to demonstrate the degree to which PRO's apparent definition of Western Civilization differs from the traditional encyclopedic definition.  CON has bolded a few examples of direct contradiction between PRO's as yet unregistered but clearly entirely personal definition of Western Civilization and the conventional textbook definition.]


HUMANITY [noun] is "mankind; human beings as a group." [4]


RATIONALITY [noun] is "the quality or state of being rational; due exercise of reason; reasonableness" [5]


TECHNOLOGY [noun] is "the organization of knowledge for practical purposes" [6]

DIGNITY [noun] is "the right of a person to be valued and respected for their own sake, and to be treated ethically. It is of significance in morality, ethics, law and politics as an extension of the Enlightenment-era concepts of inherent, inalienable rights."[7]


BURDEN of PROOF:


Wikipedia advises:

"When two parties are in a discussion and one makes a claim that the other disputes, the one who makes the claim typically has a burden of proof to justify or substantiate that claim especially when it challenges a perceived status quo.... the standard for evidence to meet the burden of proof is usually determined by context and community standards and conventions." [8]

CON interprets PRO's thesis to mean that the entire heritage of European social norms, ethical values, traditional customs, belief systems, political systems, artifacts and technologies originates only after  the widespread availability of vernacular translations of the Bible and the advent of the Protestant Reformation in 1517.  In order to achieve this burden, PRO must necessarily redefine the traditional meaning of" Western Civilization" to exclude the contributions of non-Protestant people and non-Protestant events. Since such redefinition is only warranted by manifest religious chauvinism, PRO's thesis must fail.

CON 1.1

P1: An act cannot create its own precedent.
P2: Western Civilization is defined as originating in the 5th-century BC (Classical Greece) and conceptualized by Diocletian's division of Empire beginning in 285 CE
C1: Therefore, neither the printing of vernacular Bibles beginning in 1466 CE nor the Protestant Reformation beginning in 1517 CE can be properly understood
to have created a Western Civilization that began 2000 years prior
  • ex.  The first voyage by Columbus to the Americas was an incredibly influential event in the course of Western Civilization, shaping the destinies of many Western peoples ever since.  Nevertheless, the first voyage by Columbus to the Americas cannot be properly understood to have created Western Civilization.
  • ex. The printing of the  King James Version of the Bible was an incredibly influential event in the history of English-speaking peoples but that Bible was created by, for, and within the context of Western Civilization.  Christianity, the Vulgate Bible, the English language, and the printing press were all well-established elements of Western Civilization prior to and necessary for the development of the KJV Bible.  To say that the KJV Bible (or any other contemporary translation) created Western Civilization is more hyperbolic and less rational than to claim that "the KJV Bible created English" or that "the KJV Bible created the printing press."
COUNTER 1.1
DESCRIPTION

  • For many reasons I consider that the Catholic interpretation is based on man's opinion that twists God's Word to fit its own belief system
    • OBJECTION:  The Catholic interpretation is the predominant interpretation of the Bible in Western Civilization.
      • For a thousand years, from 500 CE to 1500 CE, the Catholic Church was the defining institution of Western Civilization:
        • "After the fall of the Roman Empire in the 5th century, there emerged no single powerful secular government in the West. There was however a central ecclesiastical power in Rome, the Catholic Church. In this power vacuum, the Church rose to become the dominant power in the West. The Church started expanding in the beginning 10th century, and as secular kingdoms gained power at the same time, there naturally arose the conditions for a power struggle between Church and Kingdom over ultimate authority."
        • "In essence, the earliest vision of Christendom was a vision of a Christian theocracy, a government founded upon and upholding Christian values, whose institutions are spread through and over with Christian doctrine. In this period, members of the Christian clergy wield political authority. The specific relationship between the political leaders and the clergy varied but, in theory, the national and political divisions were at times subsumed under the leadership of the Catholic Church as an institution. This model of Church-State relations was accepted by various Church leaders and political leaders in European history." [9]
      • The majority of all Christians are Catholic:
        • "About half  (50.1%) are Catholic. Protestants, broadly defined, make up 37%. Orthodox Christians comprise 12% of Christians worldwide. Other Christians, such as Mormons and Jehovah’s Witnesses, make up the remaining 1% of the global Christian population." [10]
        • 76.2% of Europe identifies as Christian (includes 35% of European Christians who are Eastern Orthodox, 46% of European Christians are Roman Catholic, 18% of European Christians are Protestant.) [11]
      • More than any other religious tradition, the Catholic interpretation is the mainstream interpretation of the Bible by Western Civilization.  PRO may not credit the influence of vernacular Protestant interpretations on Western Civilization while excluding the far more ancient and deeply rooted influence of the Catholic Vulgate.
      • The Protestant Reformation cannot be understood absent the dominant influence and culture of the Roman Catholic Church in Europe.
        • The "protest" in Protestant is in reaction to Catholic tradition.
        • The "reform" in Reformation is in reaction to Catholic tradition.
This isn't a debate on religion or different religious denominations.
    • OBJECTION:  This statement directly contradicts the sentence immediately before it,
      • "For many reasons I consider that the Catholic interpretation is based on man's opinion that twists God's Word to fit its own belief system."
        • and the sentence immediately after,
      • "I believe Western Civilization began when man began to interpret the Scriptures as written, because the Bible could finally be read by the common man who could see that the Catholic Church had replaced man's authority over God's authority."
        • PRO's directive that this debate is not about different religious denominations is undermined by PRO's manifest preference for some denominations and exclusion of other denominations.
COUNTER 1.2
HUMANITY

P1: Human dignity is one element of Western Civilization
P2: The concept of human dignity is instituted by Nominalism based on vernacular interpretations of the Bible.
C1: Therefore, the vernacular, Protestant Bible [after 1500 CE] is the foundation for Western Civilization.
  • Human dignity is an inalienable right of all humans neither exclusive or particular to Western Civilization.
    • PRO suggests the absence of infanticide as one hallmark of human dignity.
      • CON challenges PRO to name any culture that has eliminated infanticide.
    • PRO identifies the French Revolution and Nazi Germany as two cultures that devalued human dignity although these are both cultures fall well within the traditions of Western Civilization, after 1500 CE and within the context of available vernacular Bibles.
    • Beyond the Holocaust and the guillotine, we should note that two of the most spectacular examples of genocide are roughly contemporary with the advent of vernacular translations of the bible: 
      • the mass extinction of the indigenous peoples of the Americas, and
        • the African-American slave trade.
    • Furthermore, the promulgation of Protestantism across Europe was itself spectacularly bereft of human dignity.
      • The Siege of Munster is one of the bloodier examples, including forced re-baptisms, mass forced remarriages to Anabaptist leaders, forced public nudity and the slow death by starvation of most of the city's women and children forced outside of the city's walls. [12]
      • The Thirty Years' War is often named as the deadliest war in human history, killing more than a third of all Germans- 8 out of 20 million. [13]
  • The concept of Nominalism predates the Bible in Western Civilization: [14]
    • "The first philosophers to explicitly describe nominalist arguments were the Stoics, especially Chrysippus"
      • "[Stoics] have often been presented as the first nominalists, rejecting the existence of universal concepts altogether. ... For Chrysippus there are no universal entities, whether they be conceived as substantial Platonic Forms or in some other manner." [15]
  • Coluccio Salutati, Lorenzo Valla and Pico Della Mirandola were all Italian, Roman Catholic (perhaps heretical by varying degrees) philosophers writing in Latin and sourcing the Latin Vulgate Bible before 1500.  Valla was a Catholic priest.  All three are fine examples of Western philosophers which disproves PRO's assertion that Western Civilization begins after 1500 with vernacular, Protestant translations of the Bible. [16] [17] [18]
COUNTER 1.3
RATIONALITY

P1: Reason is one element of Western Civilization
P2: The Bible identifies a Greek word meaning "reason" as part of the nature and being of God
C1: Therefore, the vernacular, Protestant Bible [after 1500 CE]  is the foundation for Western Civilization.
  • PRO identifies the source of the word logos used in the sense of 'reason, rationality' as Ancient Greek, pre-Socratic, in fact.  Socrates was born in 470 BC. [19] 
    • "The oldest extant copy of a complete Bible is an early 4th-century parchment book preserved in the Vatican Library, and it is known as the Codex Vaticanus[20] [21] The oldest copy of the Tanakh in Hebrew and Aramaic dates from the 10th century CE. The oldest copy of a complete Latin (Vulgate) Bible is the Codex Amiatinus, dating from the 8th century."
    • PRO's argument depends heavily on proof that these pillars of Western Civilization start after 1500 CE, after the printing of vernacular Bibles.
      • Nevertheless PRO has credibly shown in R1 that the idea of rationality was not created after 1500 but likely 2000 years before that in classical Greece before Socrates.
        • PRO's own evidence disproves PRO's claim.
      • PRO identifies St. Augustine as "preserv[ing] logic and la[ying] the foundation for Western Civilization's intellectual powers."  If Augustine [13 November 354 – 28 August 430 CE] has logic (logos) a thousand years before Guttenberg, how can PRO's argument be that printing vernacular Bibles brought logic (logos) to Western Civilization after 1500 CE?  [22]
COUNTER 1.4
TECHNOLOGY

P1: Technology is one element of Western Civilization
P2: The Bible taught man that the world was made by an Intelligent Craftsman
C1: Therefore, the vernacular, Protestant Bible [after 1500 CE]  is the foundation for Western Civilization.
  • Non-sequitur
    • PRO should establish how merely telling people God is a craftsman is sufficient inspire technological creativity [P2].

  • PRO argues:
    • "Why did Christians pioneer technological creativity?"
      • The Ancient Mesopotamians and Ancient Egyptians had plenty of technological creativity, didn't they?
        • Khufu's ship is one of the oldest, largest and best-preserved vessels from antiquity. It measures 43.6 m (143 ft) long and 5.9 m (19.5 ft) wide. It was thus identified as the world's oldest intact ship and has been described as "a masterpiece of woodcraft" that could sail today if put into water, lake and river. However, the vessel may not have been designed for sailing, as there is no rigging, or for paddling, as there is no room.
        • Khufu's ship dates from about  2500 BC and is an example of technological creativity.
        • What is PRO's basis for claiming Christianity pioneered technological creativity?
  • PRO argues
    • "Two monks, Theophilus and Hugh, are the first who actually wrote about mechanics."
    • Please document this claim with dates and names of works.
    • In any case, classical mechanics originates with Aristotle: [23]
      • "Some Greek philosophers of antiquity, among them Aristotle, founder of Aristotelian physics, may have been the first to maintain the idea that "everything happens for a reason" and that theoretical principles can assist in the understanding of nature. While to a modern reader, many of these preserved ideas come forth as eminently reasonable, there is a conspicuous lack of both mathematical theory and controlled experiment, as we know it. These later became decisive factors in forming modern science, and their early application came to be known as classical mechanics."
      • Aristotle lived from 384 – 322 BC, 1800 years before PRO and some centuries, at least, before Christian monks of any kind.  [24]
    • OBJECTION:
      • PRO promised:
        • "This isn't a debate on religion or different religious denominations."
      • but PRO argues:

        • "While Buddhist monks begged for bread, Christian monks had to work for their bread."
      • PRO is clearly arguing from religious preference here.
      • PRO ought not to argue that because some Buddhist traditions rely on community donations, therefore Buddhist monks don't work.
        • "Because of local conditions of geography and climate, as well as local attitudes towards begging, monks generally do not make begging rounds in China, Korea, Vietnam, and many parts of Japan. Instead, monasteries receive donations of bulk food (such as rice) and funds for the purchase of food that is then stored and prepared at the monastery. Many monks and nuns are vegetarians and, after Baizhang Huaihai, many monks farm food to eat; some work or sell." [25]
SUMMARY 1

P1: PRO argues: Human dignity (Nominalism), rationality (logos), and technology (classical mechanics) are necessary and sufficient to demonstrate the creation of Western Civilization.
P2: CON has shown that:  Human dignity (Nominalism), rationality (logos), and technology (classical mechanics) all have their origins in Classical Greece.
C1: Therefore, PRO must find that Classical Greece (and not Gutenberg or the Protestant Reformation) is the foundation for Western Civilization.


CON looks forward to PRO's R2


SOURCES

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Added:
--> @BiblicalChristian101
one-track mind. In a circle.
#14
Added:
--> @fauxlaw
Then I guess according to you and these Hebrew scholars the Jews should not have a day of rest every weekend they need to keep working until they reach 7 million years.
Instigator
#13
Added:
--> @BiblicalChristian101
I reviewed the list of the potentates of Creation.com. Funny thing; a variety of lettered science scholars, theologians, engineers and the like, all acceptable and outstanding in their fields, but not a scholarly Hebrew linguist, of ancient Hebrew in particular, among them. Simply said, I would expect a scholar in chemistry to teach me the rudiments, and more, of my elementary chemistry set, but his opinion on carpentry might be a stretch. It is hardly an acceptable conclusion that you meet one scholar, you've met them all.
Soooo, a chemist who tells me yom can only be interpreted as a singular, 24-hour day [particularly when he then acknowledges that the "day" may only interpret as the daylight hours of the day [therefore, around 12 hours], but NOT that it may be interpreted as a longer period... Well... not so much my cup of tea in the matters of proof.
So I turn to my Hebrew dictionary [ancient, that is... yes, I have one. If you hadn't noticed, I am also fluent in old kingdom Egyptian hieroglyphs - I'm that brain dead], and find concurrence in an ancient Hebrew website, and they tell me yom is interpreted as a day as described by Creation.com, but also as an undetermined length of time, I'll agree with these separate agreeing experts, esp when in the Egyptian, the concept of "day" can extend to infinity, particularly with the combined glyph of a mouth [a pointed oval], an arm [an arm from elbow to hand] and the sun sign [a circle with a dot in middle] as signifying "day", along with the added determinative sitting god sign [signifying Ra, the sun god] implies infinity. The Hebrew site: https://www.ancient-hebrew.org/definition/day.htm
#12
Added:
--> @fauxlaw
I forgot to cite my source for the below argument. https://creation.com/yom-not-an-eon
Instigator
#11
Added:
--> @fauxlaw
Again, you are making God a liar by saying we cannot have His word when He promised to preserve His Word. If His Word is fallible then we cannot trust Him for anything and He might as well not exist.
Also: For flowers to continue to exist after day 3, they would have to be pollinated for seed production. But how would that have happened if bees and other pollinators were created a couple of ‘long periods’ after the flowers? Yet it is no problem for flowers to survive for a couple of days without being visited by their pollinators. Likewise, plants and flowers can survive a night without the sun, but not ‘long periods’ of time.
Ordinal numbers (second, third, fourth, etc.) accompanying days two to six indicate 24-hour periods (actually, the cardinal number is used in Genesis 1:5: literally “one day”, although usually translated “first day”). Nobody questions the meaning of yôm in similarly structured passages in the rest of the Bible (e.g. Numbers 7).
Evening and/or morning accompanying the days means they each had a start and a finish. The word “evening” occurs 49 times and the word “morning” 187 times, always in the literal sense.1 “Evening” plus “morning” without “day”, 38 times outside Genesis 1—always conveys a normal-length day. “Evening” plus “morning” with “day”, 23 times outside Genesis 1—always conveys normal-length days.
Yes, it can mean a long period, but it does not carry this meaning in Genesis 1:1–2:3. Day (Earth’s rotation), month (Moon’s orbit around Earth) and year (Earth’s orbit around the Sun) are precise time intervals defined by motions of the celestial bodies; not so the pattern of a week, which only comes from the Bible. This is not just the inspired Word of God, but the inscribed Word of God (see Exodus 31:18).
Yes, it can, but not in Genesis 1 without ignoring the context. Nobody would suggest we should work 6,000 years (or six long periods of time) before we get a day of rest:
“ … for this is a sign between me and you throughout your generations … Six days shall work be done, but the seventh day is a Sabbath of solemn rest … It is a sign forever between me and the people of Israel that in six days the Lord made heaven and earth, and on the seventh day he rested and was refreshed” (Exodus 31:13, 15, 17; emphases added. See also Exodus 20:8–10).
As Martin Luther once said, “But, if you cannot understand how this could have been done in six days, then grant the Holy Spirit the honour of being more learned than you are. For you are to deal with Scripture in such a way that you bear in mind that God Himself says what is written. But since God is speaking it is not fitting for you to want only to turn His Word in the direction you wish to go.”
Instigator
#10
Added:
--> @BiblicalChristian101
What kind of Christian am I that says that God is a liar? Explanation, pls. Wherein have I said that God is a liar? In no wise.
Understand, my friend, that our English translation of the Holy Bible dates from the 16th century [the Tyndale Bible], just a few years following even the latest texts of antiquity of Greek and Hebrew; let alone the original texts, which we do not have in any event. It is not likely that the 16th century efforts are direct translations from any original texts, but rather, generations of texts in between them and the originals. Each iteration has possible errors in transcription.
You know the children's' game of a number of children in a line or circle, and one whispers a short phrase to an adjoining child, and the second child repeats it to a third, and so on. The last child then reports the phrase heard so all may hear. Is the last always a direct duplicate of the first? Even if writing the phrase, and having each child re-write it for the next, the last written phrase is likely to not duplicate the first. Spelling, punctuation, interpretation, all feed errors, and errors propagate. Even adults playing either version of the game make errors. So do scribes of religious texts. Add the complexity of translating from one language to another, compounded to a third language, and so on; they compound exponentially in difficulty. So, let's not quibble about the definition of "days." Get over it. God does not lie, but people do, intentionally, or not.
#9
Added:
--> @fauxlaw
What kind of Christian are you that says that God is a liar?
Instigator
#8
Added:
--> @BiblicalChristian101
And, so, I must ask: Are you a Christian, or a Jew? Do you follow the Christian faith, or Judaism? Exodus, relative to law, indeed the entirety of the Old Testament, is Judaic Law, often called Mosaic law, because it was he who launched it. The New Testament, called such because it is descriptive of new law, fulfilled Mosaic Law.
"The Law," as understood by Judaism, is more than just the 10 commandments of Exodus. Indeed, a full read of Exodus beyond the 20th chapter reveals more than strictly "the ten commandments." Ancient Jews considered the entirely of the Pentateuch, the five books of Moses, as "The Law." In later years, Judaism accepted not just the Pentateuch, but "The Prophets" - the later books of the prophets, Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel, etc, as "The Law." AS a whole it cmprised not just 10, but over 600 commandments. However, by the early first century, "The Law" was dwindled to acceptance of just Mosaic Law of the Pentatech again. So, when Jesus taught concepts outside of Mosaic Law, they rebelled against him. For example, while "The Law" taught that the act of adultery was a sin [Exodus 20: 14], Jesus taught that the very thought if the act, looking upon a woman in lust was as if committing it [Matthew 5: 28] Consider Matthew 5: 17: "Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am come not to destroy but to fulfill." Jesus is declaring that the Prophets are to be accepted, which the Pharisees and scribes had dismissed. And, "For I say into you, That unless your righteousness shall exceed that of the scribes and Pharisees, ye shall in no case enter the kingdom of heaven." [Matthew 5: 20] In Jesus Christ, not in the Law of Moses, or the Prophets added to it, is the fulfillment, by righteousness to the Law as decreed by Jesus Christ, which is greater than "The Law" of all the Old Testament, of the kingdom of heaven. It requires more than devotion to 600 commandments. It requires a broken heart and a contrite spirit, being poor in spirit, mourning, meekness, hunger and thirst after righteousness, merciful, pure in heart, peacemakers, persecuted for righteousness, love your enemies. More than that, even. I am not belittling the Jews, here. I'm only saying they do not yet accept the fulfillment of Jesus Christ. However, in many respects, they are more dedicated than a lot of Christians in following their law, and blessed are they for it.
So, I ask again, are you a Jew, adhering only to the Law of Moses, or are you a Christian, adhere, in addition to that Law, the Law of Jesus Christ, which expects more of the the worship of the Sabbath than "six days shalt thou labor..." etc.
Yet, here you are, hung up on counting days. What the hell does it matter? Excuse my French, but when you have a law to seek righteousness, why is it important to know whether it took six days or 600 million years, or more, or less, to create heaven and earth? Why nitpick over THAT?What a nonsense hang-up!!!
#7
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--> @fauxlaw
Hmmmm. That is not what Exodus 20:11 says for the reason He made the Sabbath, but if you are going to play games I will explain it.
8. "Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy." Easy, the Sabbath day is holy, we should remember it.
9 "Six days shalt thou labour, and do all thy work:" Easy, work six days.
10 "But the seventh day is the sabbath of the Lord thy God: in it thou shalt not do any work, thou, nor thy son, nor thy daughter, thy manservant, nor thy maidservant, nor thy cattle, nor thy stranger that is within thy gates:" Nobody will work on the Sabbath, easy, right?
11 For in six days the Lord made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in them is, and rested the seventh day: wherefore the Lord blessed the sabbath day, and hallowed it.
Now, this verse destroys the gap theory. God made the heaven, earth, sea and everything on and in them and rested the seventh. Does it say For in 6 million years God made...and the rested on the seventh millionth year? If day really means a million years then I guess he is requiring the Jews to work six million years and then rest for another million, just like he took millions of years to make everything and then he rested for a million years.
Instigator
#6
Added:
--> @BiblicalChristian101
Because taking an occasional step away from the labors of the world is good for:
- extended longevity
- refreshment
- variety of activity
- a period of reflection
- an opportunity to acknowledge that a greater power is at hand to bless, encourage, comfort, and instruct
#5
Added:
--> @fauxlaw
You are not getting what I am saying. Why did God say that Man had to work for six days and rest on the sabbath?
Instigator
#4
Added:
--> @BiblicalChristian101
There's a lesson to be learned here regarding the sabbath. No, the intent of Exodus 20: was not to impose a hard ratio. The entire content of Mark 2: deals with how a man ought to comport himself in the week and on the sabbath, and the true purpose of the sabbath. The Pharisees and scribes vexed him by pointed questions to capture Jesus in a sabbatical conundrum. He replied, first, that "I came not to call the righteous, but the sinner to repentance." [Mark 2: 17]. Vexed further by them, he replied, "The sabbath was made for man, not man for the sabbath." [Mark 2: 27]
But what has proper honor of the sabbath have to do with Western Civilization? The former is is a concept that is ubiquitous.
#3
Added:
--> @fauxlaw
Exodus 20:8-11 So the Jews were to work for seven long periods of millions of years and then take a million year rest?
Instigator
#2
Added:
--> @BiblicalChristian101
"I believe Western Civilization began when man began to interpret the Scriptures as written"
Nice wish balloon, but the birth of Western Civilization is rendered just a little earlier than Gutenberg, to at least ancient Greece, but really to Mesopotamia, and ancient Egypt - at about 3,000 B.C.E. Your version suffers a phenomenon known as "Eurocentrism," the belief that "the West" began in Europe. By the way, as a Christian, I am not so naive as to believe that God's creation began at ~4000 B.C.E., and that His creation was accomplished in 6 days. Same Eurocentric nonsense. Explain, otherwise, the gaps in genealogical time just in Genesis, let alone in later books. Helps to read the volume cover to cover. I have - in four languages. Oh yeah, there's that translation thing that gets in the way... such as the ancient Hebrew "day" is more correctly translated as a "period;" a non-specific duration.
#1
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