When does it become anti-Semitic to treat Genesis 1 as a Western-style history?

The Creation stained glass window at St. Matth...

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I love the way that Young Earth Creationists add things to Scripture. Granted, this is an ‘old post’ (from December, totally last year) but I noticed it because Ham mentioned it on Facebook recently. Anyway… first, read Dr. McGrath’s post here (and his editorial here)…. Ham then writes, in part,

Second, the above chart is inconsistent with the text of Genesis 1:1–2:3. Water was not created on the second day, but the first. Genesis 1:2 states, “The Spirit of God was hovering over the face of the waters.” This occurred prior to the creation of light on the first day. So perhaps days 1 and 5 should be viewed as parallel. Another problem with this chart is that the “heavenly light-bearers” of day 4 were placed in the “heavens” of day 2 (Genesis 1:14). This is problematic for the Framework advocate who believes days one and four are the same event viewed from different perspectives, because this must have occurred prior to the event described in days 2 and 5. How could the stars be placed in something that did not exist yet?

First… note the sly way which they deflect. The chart that they mention actually says seas… something that Genesis does say was named in the so-called Creation week. But, oddly enough, they allow that Genesis 1 doesn’t tell the full story, and yet, they’ll insist that Genesis 1 tells the, um, whole story. So now, water was created on the first day, and yet, we don’t have a record of this… As a matter of fact, the waters pre-existed God’s movement upon them. We know what those waters are, but I doubt that Ham and others like the actual explanation. Also, we don’t have the record of angels or a whole host of other things which existed before Genesis 1, but I guess that doesn’t matter either…

Their other argument is a rather ethnocentric one. I don’t think Genesis 1 is pure Hebrew poetry, but even if it was pure historical narrative ANE historical narrative is not the same idea of history as we have developed in the last few centuries in the West. Instead, Historical Narrative is more often legend, myth, and hyperbolic twistings than ‘facts’ which can be footnoted. Our modern idea of history was not taken from the Hebrews, or from Christian tradition as a matter of fact. If anything, our current notion of History is contrary to Christian Tradition in that it leaves no room for God’s hand, myth, or interpretation. Taking Genesis 1 as a modern, Western, Historical narrative, is to use the Enlightenment further to promote deism. I worry for Ken Ham and others who would seek to abuse Scripture in such a way as to continue to place God into our box. Further, I would say that it is almost anti-Semitic to suggest that unless the Hebrews wrote like David McCullough then it is absurd or somehow false. Yup, Ken Ham is a radical liberal anti-Semite.

Oh, and it’s a bit hypocritical to pick and choose what scholars you give credit too… But, then again, this is considered somehow the thing to do… to pick only those scholars which support your thesis. No challenges. No examinations. Just defense.

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Post By Joel L. Watts (10,125 Posts)

Joel L. Watts holds a Masters of Arts from United Theological Seminary with a focus in literary and rhetorical criticism of the New Testament. He is currently a Ph.D. student at the University of the Free State, analyzing Paul’s model of atonement in Galatians. He is the author of Mimetic Criticism of the Gospel of Mark: Introduction and Commentary (Wipf and Stock, 2013), a co-editor and contributor to From Fear to Faith: Stories of Hitting Spiritual Walls (Energion, 2013), and Praying in God's Theater, Meditations on the Book of Revelation (Wipf and Stock, 2014).

Website: → Unsettled Christianity

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