The Consistences in Treating Genesis 1 as Theological and the Resurrection as Historical

Wb, a good friend, has made another post on this subject, saying that it is inconsistent to treat Genesis 1 as a theological text while treating the resurrection of Christ as something historical. (Mine are here, here, here, and here)

Let me cut to the chase.

First, by taking a purely ‘historical-contextual-grammatical hermeneutic’ in the Old Testament, we could not find Christ. Unless you, like the Apostles and Christ Himself, theologize the Old Testament, Christ will remain hidden and the New Testament disjointed.

Second, as I stated in a post earlier, Paul theologized the Old Testament stories – and indeed, did so many times as did the author of Hebrews. Did they take these things as historical fact? I would assume so as they certainly presented it as such. Yet, Paul took the very historical example of Abraham, Sarah and Hagar to present a theological truth:

Tell me, you who want to live under the law, do you know what the law actually says?

The Scriptures say that Abraham had two sons, one from his slave-wife and one from his freeborn wife. The son of the slave-wife was born in a human attempt to bring about the fulfillment of God’s promise. But the son of the freeborn wife was born as God’s own fulfillment of his promise. These two women serve as an illustration of God’s two covenants. The first woman, Hagar, represents Mount Sinai where people received the law that enslaved them. And now Jerusalem is just like Mount Sinai in Arabia, because she and her children live in slavery to the law. But the other woman, Sarah, represents the heavenly Jerusalem. She is the free woman, and she is our mother.

As Isaiah said, “Rejoice, O childless woman, you who have never given birth! Break into a joyful shout, you who have never been in labor! For the desolate woman now has more children than the woman who lives with her husband!” And you, dear brothers and sisters, are children of the promise, just like Isaac. But you are now being persecuted by those who want you to keep the law, just as Ishmael, the child born by human effort, persecuted Isaac, the child born by the power of the Spirit.

But what do the Scriptures say about that? “Get rid of the slave and her son, for the son of the slave woman will not share the inheritance with the free woman’s son.” So, dear brothers and sisters, we are not children of the slave woman; we are children of the free woman. (Gal 4:21-31 NLT)

Was Paul’s primary view of Abraham as something historical? No. Paul’s primary usage of the Old Testament was theological. The bible is a grand narrative, building up itself, and Paul saw that.

If we take a look at Hebrews, we find the same thing. The Old Testament wasn’t mined for historical fact, but for the theological truth of Christ and the Church. Examine Matthew, who said that the things Christ did ‘completed’ the words of the prophets. The Incarnated Word of God incarnated the Scriptures. Were they historical? Sure, but what did the New Testament writers see first? The Theological. Bare in mind, that theologizing something is not spiritualizing something. Paul’s use of ‘illustration’ in Galations is hardly close to Origen’s use of allegory 150 years later.

First, did Paul theologize the Resurrection of Christ?

Well then, should we keep on sinning so that God can show us more and more of his wonderful grace?

Of course not! Since we have died to sin, how can we continue to live in it? Or have you forgotten that when we were joined with Christ Jesus in baptism, we joined him in his death? For we died and were buried with Christ by baptism. And just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glorious power of the Father, now we also may live new lives.

Since we have been united with him in his death, we will also be raised to life as he was. We know that our old sinful selves were crucified with Christ so that sin might lose its power in our lives. We are no longer slaves to sin. For when we died with Christ we were set free from the power of sin. And since we died with Christ, we know we will also live with him.

We are sure of this because Christ was raised from the dead, and he will never die again. Death no longer has any power over him. (Rom 6:1-9 NLT)

Of course he did! Did he have to prove the Resurrection or keep in it as a historical fact? No. Many times through Scripture, the Resurrection of Christ is seen as the deeply theological truth that because He rose again, we will too, which, by the way, was part of Paul’s previous religious community. Further, the Resurrection of Christ is cast into the light of the Church – we are the Body of Christ; we have a new life; we are a new creation; we have been raised to walk in the newness of life.

Step back for a moment. Take the Resurrection of Christ. Is it a historical event? Certainly. Does it tell us more than just the Son of God rising from the Dead? Sure it does, as I have previously explained. But is it a modern day, every present, event in which the Church partakes daily? Hourly? Individually? Corporately? It is indeed.

Did Creation happen historically? Of course, but is there more to it than that? Yes! Is creation on going? What of the Eighth day? If you consign biblical history to history, you faith is history. But, if you can glean daily, and live hourly these things afresh, then it is a living faith more valuable than any translation or interpretation.

What would be inconsistent with New Testament teaching is to only assume that historical events are purely as such.

Regarding whether or not Christ took the Genesis account as historical fact, I don’t think that it is fair to say that He did, as I have shown previously, as His use of Genesis 1 is limited to one verse in which He extols a great theological concept. The same with Moses, actually:

For in six days the LORD made the heavens, the earth, the sea, and everything in them; but on the seventh day he rested. That is why the LORD blessed the Sabbath day and set it apart as holy. (Exo 20:11 NLT)

Moses is saying the same thing which I state –  God did it, but the reason that He did is more important.

Further, Wb quotes from Rick, who solidifies my point on this issue:

Kudos to those who can (inconsistently) hold to such views and maintain their faith in the historicity of the life, death and resurrection of Christ Jesus and see this same essential belief as non-essential regarding the very creation of the world and the fall into sin.  If the “meaning” is all that matters and not the “fact” or historicity of an event then why do they still hold to such concerning Jesus?  Because this is considered essential to faith in the revelation given.

Arrogant much, Rick? It is this view point that concerns me – that people who believe in a literal, scientific Genesis One, belittles the faith of those who see it something much, much more. Instead of seeing that Christian liberty tends to allow a certain amount of things to be discussed, Rick has taken the step of calling into the question the validity of a person’s faith who sees the bible as something more than a historical record. Further, Rick seems to misunderstand ‘myth,’ but I suspect, that he could careless.

Creation is not a ‘foundational’ doctrine, Rick. As a matter of fact, no where in the Scriptures is the need to believe in Creation, the Fall, and human origins called a foundational doctrine. How presumptuous we are when we declared ‘foundational’ beliefs. Did Christ preach creation or human origins? Did Paul? Did Paul preach that one has to maintain a certain viewpoint on Genesis in order to be saved? No. What did Christ preach? Repentance of Sins. And and Paul? Christ and Him crucified.

What a disgusting viewpoint, Rick. I would suggest that Rick try a little humility.

Here is a little secret – when you look in Leviticus, and you look at the plan of the Tabernacle, and you find Christ, you have theologized it. When you look in Hosea 11 and find Christ, like Matthew did, you just theologized it. Are you assuming that it is a historical fact? I would assume you are. What is the most important part of Scripture? It is Christ and as the Living Word of God, He taught us how to look at the Text. Look at His examples.

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53 Replies to “The Consistences in Treating Genesis 1 as Theological and the Resurrection as Historical”

  1. Not to put too fine a point on it, but Jesus’ resurrection was witnessed, and those witnesses wrote accounts.

    Not so with Creation.

    Sure, God might have explained it all to him … but, why? That doesn’t seem to have been His purpose.

    I’m more or less neutral on the literalism of Genesis 1 … because it isn’t a foundational doctrine. God was in control of creation, however it was done. Now, we can move on to something that matters. I do like the image that Adam and Eve were each made individually, while the rest of life was made in bulk. It shows a kind of custom-made, loving creation process. But again, that doesn’t require that God did it exactly as was written.

    To be honest, this looks like a great reason for Christians to fight amongst ourselves over trivia while leaving the rest of the world to wallow in ignorance. While Rick is making up reasons to challenge the faith of anyone who disagrees with him, we could go out to reach out to people who don’t know about Salvation and forgiveness.

    Just a wacky thought I had …

    1. You can keep your wacky thoughts to yourself! 🙂

      I had not thought about that aspect of the Resurrection, but you do throw a nice kink into the chain of thought.

      I think that the Resurrection is the foundational doctrine, upon which we find that Paul agrees in 1st Corinthians 15.12-18. Was it Creation and human origins that the Apostles preached? Hardly. It was the Resurrection of Christ which means the remission of sins, etc..

  2. Joel,

    Um… I think you’re being a bit sensitive.

    I dont think there was a challenge to anyone’s faith. I think the consistency is being challenged.

    And Wickle, no, this is not a big deal in the scope of things. But if we can “theologize” away Genesis 1, what makes us thing we can’t “theologize” any historical theological event in scripture? What prevents us from making it all allegory or “spiritual”? If the events happened, then we should treat them as such.

    Joel, whether something in scripture points to a future event or not does not change whether it is historical fact, and neither does it change whether it is a theological truth as well. It CAN be all those (the idea of a type in scripture would qualify for this). And I disagree that the hermeneutic will prevent one from finding theological truths.

    And whether someone’s primary purpose in referencing something is to make the point that it was historic or to use it in a theological treatment does not change the fact that they referenced it as history. That’s the whole point.

    You wrote,

    Did Creation happen historically? Of course, but is there more to it than that? Yes!

    I dont think Rick nor I would disagree with this. I’m simply saying we dont have to ignore the history when reading the text. We can embrace it and use its practicality to make theological points.

    Joel, I realize you do not know me too well, but you and I have spoken on a few theological issues, so let me ask you: do you think I’m missing any/much that you see by not thinking whether something is factual or not is important?

    What would be inconsistent with New Testament teaching is to only assume that historical events are purely as such.

    And as far as I know, NO ONE has said that they are purely historic. That is a strawman argument. Whether to use text to make a theological statement is a different issue from whether said text is historical fact.

    It is this view point that concerns me – that people who believe in a literal, scientific Genesis One, belittles the faith of those who see it something much, much more

    First, I dont think either of us were belittling anyone at all, let alone their faith. There was recognition of the irony in the inconsistency of the position of treating one thing as fact and theological and the other thing as only theological. I personally find it inconsistent to claim one supernatural thing God said happened to be merely a story with theological truth only when another supernatural thing God said happened is fact and theological.

    1. Wb,

      Rick is questioning the faith of those who see no need in taking Genesis 1 as historical but see the Resurrection as something historical. I am sensitive to the fact that he is creating unbiblical demands on believers which is not found in Scripture. Can you back up his statement that human origins is a foundational doctrine? I noticed that for his foundational doctrines, I didn’t find Christ.

      You are putting words in my mouth, again. I am not saying that we ‘theologize’ away Genesis 1, or allegorize or spiritualize Scripture. I am saying that the the greater purpose of Genesis 1 is not a historical fact, but a theological one.

      To your first question. Yes, I do. I think that in seeing it primary as a historical fact, you make it extremely literal, so much so that you have said ‘if one part of the bible isn’t true,’ and so forth. We can debate ‘truth’ of historical events, such as hyperbole but in the end, if you say something is hyperbole, and I stand say this:

      No, Christ said that we must hate our parents, and if that it isn’t true, than nothing in the bible is true

      Where in is my faith? In Christ? Or in my own understanding?

      Further, especially for such a time as this, I think it is important that we realize the theological truths of Scripture, especially in such cases as Genesis 1. That should be our focus. Now, that is my opinion, and I realize that. I see the world in much the same way it was in other epochs – believers doubting the uniqueness of our God and so forth.

      What is a straw man is the consistent application of thoughts used against unbelievers to what I am saying. Have I ever said that I am allegorizing or spiritualizing or that I deny the historicality of the events? And yet, I see arguments about people who do such things. What is true about my statement is that the New Testament writers never witnessed to the historicality of the events, but daily ministered to the theological truths. Their primary goal was not to defend the historical reality of the Old Testament stories, but to use them for a theological purpose for the Church.

      I never said that you were belittling anyone and I regret if you think I meant you. Knowing you a little bit, I know that you are beyond that. I do think Rick is, however.

      Wb, on your last paragraph –

      As WKen pointed out, God didn’t say the Resurrection happened. The Apostles Did. Eyewitnesses did. And even then, it was theologized.

      What we have to understand is that God didn’t reveal to Moses everything – or else, Christ. Yet, what He did reveal to Moses was a pattern of heavenly things for the earthly use:

      Now the main point in what has been said is this: we have such a high priest, who has taken His seat at the right hand of the throne of the Majesty in the heavens, a minister in the sanctuary, and in the true tabernacle, which the Lord pitched, not man. For every high priest is appointed to offer both gifts and sacrifices; hence it is necessary that this high priest also have something to offer. Now if He were on earth, He would not be a priest at all, since there are those who offer the gifts according to the Law; who serve a copy and shadow of the heavenly things, just as Moses was warned by God when he was about to erect the tabernacle; for, “See,” He says, “that you make all things according to the pattern which was shown you on the mountain.” (Heb 8:1-5 NAS)

      God gave Moses the plans of the tabernacle, and that tabernacle is an earthly thing, and yet, it is a pattern of what is in Heaven. Is the historical tabernacle something we should be concerned with? No. Yes. Because we know that by examining the earthly, we are told more assuredly about the heavenly. By examining the earthly account of what God told Moses, we can dig into the purposes for the reason it was written and without question the faith or creating perceived inconsistencies in another.

      As the New Testament writers teach us, the historical is assumed, but the theological aspects are the most important.

      Wb, can you offer any time in the New Testament where the debate was more about the historical event than what it meant to the Church?

    2. W,
      The Scripture is often not “consistent”, at least in the sense of it’s mystery. We cannot see the Scripture often in some refined dogma, we must work that out ourselves in the Church. But the Creation of God really is part of the ongoing mystery of God, I have noted no one replied to the Text of St. Paul in 2 Cor. 4: 6, indeed a very “mystical” text. Which is followed again by some very profound interior and spiritual/mystical/theological texts in 2 Cor. 4:7-12.

      But overall Joel’s points about the “theology” of the Old and New Testaments, and with St. Paul, the first great “theologian” have been laid. The Scripture is it’s own “theological” argument for Paul.

      1. Fr. R.,

        I didn’t know the text needed a response. 🙂

        I love the theological use of the historical truths found in the Old Testament.

        I don’t know I understand what you mean by “Scripture is often not “consistent”, at least in the sense of it’s mystery.”

        Again, for me the issue is not whether there are theological truths in the text – of course there are. And those are extremely important. But I don’t want to loose the historicity inherent in the text – when many would say the historicity is unimportant (on which point I would disagree).

  3. Joel,

    Sigh… the difficulties of communicating via posts can not be overstated.

    This is why I think you are being sensitive.

    I DID NOT say YOU theologize anything away. I said,

    if we can “theologize” away Genesis 1, what makes us thin[k] we can’t “theologize” any historical theological event in scripture? What prevents us from making it all allegory or “spiritual”?”

    It was a general “we”. The idea being that by ignoring the facts, we remove the ability from some to trust that God wrote the scriptures. In the next comment I made I specifically stated I do not find you inconsistent in this area.

    Now as to whether I am missing something, I again think we have a misunderstanding. 🙂 What theological truth have I missed because I think scripture is a historical book which can be trusted in its details (including facts) and used to teach about God? Yes, I see it first as a historical text, but I am not ignoring any of the spiritual truths. I am simply trying to ensure that I am not missing any of the historical truths also.

    My stating that ‘if one part of the bible isn’t true,’ etc is a debate tool to show that if something appears to be literal and one ignores its historicity because it is supernatural, then it is inconsistent and dangerous.

    Another point of misunderstanding is what is meant by “literal” or “normal” interpretation. Part of the historical, contextual, grammatical hermeneutic is to handle things like Christ saying that we must “hate our parents”, or “cut off your hand”, without actually considering them as literal commands. Taking something as it is meant by the divine and human authors is part of the historical, contextual, grammatical hermeneutic – be it hyperbole, a play on words, literally, prophetically, theologically, etc (and in some cases more than one way of being understood was the intention).

    You wrote, “I think it is important that we realize the theological truths of Scripture, especially in such cases as Genesis 1.”

    I agree with that statement. But we should not ignore the historical truth of it while focusing on the theological truth.

    Thanks for the apology. I wasn’t insulted. I siomply thought there was a misunderstanding. I think you are making the same misunderstanding about Rick Wadholm.

    Now concerning the virgin birth and resurrection being more reliable as historical fact than Genesis 1: None of us were not there at the virgin birth or the resurrection. Someone said those events occurred because God told them it happened and/or they saw Christ after the burial (depending on which event we are speaking about). Someone wrote about it. “Somehow” (and yes, I know the process, I just dont want to get into that here) we have managed to keep copies of the documents where those events were written about. People who deny the historicity of Genesis 1 but embrace the virgin birth and the resurrection as historical fact seem to be saying the virgin birth and the resurrection are more trustworthy as historical fact because people said it happened. So what makes God (who told us how creation occurred) less trustworthy than men? If men can say something, they can lie. So what makes the apostles more trustworthy than Moses, who was told by God how the origins of the universe, the world, and mankind? Now, I do NOT think you or WKen believe the apostles are more trustworthy than God Himself. Those are rhetorical questions to make a point. My point being that if the apostles can be trusted (who were told about the virgin birth and in one instance was told about the resurrection in a vision or visitation by Christ), then surely so can God. If God can be as trusted or more trusted than the apostles, then what makes us doubt the historicity of Genesis 1? That’s all I’m saying.

    You wrote, “What we have to understand is that God didn’t reveal to Moses everything – or else, Christ. Yet, what He did reveal to Moses was a pattern of heavenly things for the earthly use.”

    I agree. But you and I both believe what He DID reveal to us is accurate. I’m only saying we should not ignore that accuracy in our rush to focus on the theological truths in scripture.

    This quote from Rick’s post ( http://wadholm.blogspot.com/2010/01/myth-and-meaning-that-wont-last.html ) specifically does NOT call into question the faith of those who deny the historicity of Genesis. Also, the list of foundational doctrinal statements is not a complete list – it is specifically a list of doctrine whose basis can be (and have by some) dismissed as not historical. His concern is whether the theological meaning will hold firm for people once the teachers begin to deny the historicity of the Bible.

    While I would never say that anyone who denies the clear statements of Genesis as referring to historical events (albeit events of great meaning) cannot be saved…but if such foundational doctrines as creation, the imaging of God, human origins, and the beginning of sin and death can be dismissed as simply meaningful (i.e. “myth”) and not historical, then where will that leave those who follow in our footsteps and no longer care to hold to other “meaningful” events as indeed historical (i.e., the birth, life, death and resurrection of Jesus). Will such “meaning” last in the face of rejecting the historicity of the events?

    As for your last question, “Wb, can you offer any time in the New Testament where the debate was more about the historical event than what it mean to the Church?”

    No, because as you pointed out, the historicity was assumed. But in today’s world, EVERYTHING about God and the Bible is questioned. For this reason, realizing the historicity of the text can strengthen the faith of people, as well as teach us about God.

    1. Wb, to let everyone know, we have talked otherwise, but I wanted to clear up a few things.

      Most noticeably, the idea that the confusion over the consistency of Genesis and the Virgin Birth/Resurrection issue. People knew the Virgin Birth happened and that the Resurrection happened. I’m not sure your point here, but to me, it doesn’t make much sense.

      Accurate doesn’t mean complete.

      As I stated privately, I feel, and others feel, that Rick was questioning the ability to hold faith if you belief differently than he.

      For others who may read –

      I assume the historical events, whether or not I understand them as written or not. My main concern is to develop the truth of Christ in Scripture, as I assume Scripture is inspired. If the faith of people is built upon the correctness of Scripture, it is my concern – and my witness – that if they find something which shows that Scripture is incorrect, they loose faith easily and never regain it. If we focus on the in Scripture it is my believe that we follow along with what we have presented to us in Scripture.

      1. Joel,

        In regards to the historicity of the virgin birth and the resurrection vs the creation being trustworthy, I suppose you might want to ask Janessa to interpret for you. 🙂 But seriously, my point is that those who trust the historicity of the virgin birth and the resurrection are trusting men. God is certainly more trustworthy than men, so why would they not want to trust the historicity of the creation story, when it is God who told it to us?

        Yes, I agree that accurate does not mean complete.

        Yes, you assume the historical events. But not everyone does, and this is why I don’t want the historical to be ignored. As I’ve said privately, some people can’t trust God without being able to trust the scriptures are accurate and reliable. If it can be shown to be reliable, it makes it easier for these people to come to faith.

        My main concern is to grow disciples – this means evangelism and training people about who God is, what God has done, what God will do, what God wants from us and for us. I do this, in part, by using the Bible and what it teaches. Part of this means teaching people how God is loving and powerful and trustworthy enough to have written the Bible is such a way that it trustworthy in its source and in what it states, when properly understood. This includes ensuring people know that if they come across something that seems to invalidate their understanding of the text, then they need to adjust their understanding of the text rather than believe it can not be trusted.

        1. Wb, here is the point with the virgin birth and the Resurrection.

          First, the Virgin Birth had to happen as did the Resurrection for Christianity to hold any weight. Further, the community of the Church is built around the Resurrection because of eyewitnesses to that event. The Old Testament is not built around Creation. There were no eyewitnesses to the actual event, unlike the Resurrection. The Resurrection, we know, happened, and happened exactly as one would expect. It is a required belief, as a matter of fact.

          Something I thought about last night – if people don’t trust God, it doesn’t matter what the Scriptures say or how we defend them on one point or another. Yet, if people do trust God, if they find errors after errors in Scripture, nothing will shake them. Why? Because God opens the eyes of the blind to Him.

  4. Joel,

    First, I have to disagree that the Old Testament is not built around creation. From my perspective, the entire Bible is built upon the foundation that there is only one God who is powerful enough to have created the universe, the world, and mankind, who is holy and can not be around someone who sins, who desires to be in a relationship with us and so allows us the freedom to choose to sin or not, and who loves us enough to have provided a remedy for those who choose to sin. So yes, I think the Bible is totally dependent upon the creation story (including Genesis 1-3).

    Second, My issue is not with whether the virgin birth or the resurrection happened, of course they did (although I would never have expected it to occur, unless I was able to trust God to begin with – which returns us to being able to trust what is written in the Bible). And I realize that there were no witnesses to the creation other than God. But that’s my point – people who reject the historicity of the creation can trust the testimony of men regarding the virgin birth and resurrection but not the testimony of God regarding the creation. I think that is sad.

    Third, you are right – it is GOD who calls and who provides faith. If you will recall, we both said that yesterday (or maybe the day before) – boy, getting old is affecting your memories. 🙂 And it is GOD will maintains our faith. But I think He does so in different ways for different people. Some people need to be able to rely upon what is written in the Bible is actually the word of God – others do not. I think it behooves (love that word) us to treat scripture as the authors intended, historical truths with theological import.

    1. Wb,

      You may disagree, but in the end, you are wrong, badly, badly wrong 🙂 The Jews, and indeed, the Scriptures and even the Creation account testify that the Old Testament is centered around a people. That’s the things about perspectives and presuppositions. Reading Jewish literature, including Scripture, one comes away with the fact that everything was created for Israel.

      The thing with your perspective on the inconsistency, so called, is that you are dealing with two very different things. One is something told, another is witnessed. No one is distrusting anything. Even if you ultimately reject a literal understanding of Genesis 1, etc… doesn’t mean that you necessary reject God or the inspiration of Scripture. God did tell Moses, but did He tell him everything, completely? No.

      Yes, I do agree what we should treat Scripture as intended by the authors, but also by God as revealed in Christ, which is the point of this discussion on Genesis 1. Was it intended as a scientific testimony? A test of faith? Or a theological mystery (NT meaning of that word)?

      For me, it is a theological mystery made know by our faith.

  5. Joel, I’ve spoken with you. I do not believe you really think the Bible is centrally about people, and only peripherally about God. Yes, Jews might think everything was for them (they were chosen, after all), but its clear that ALL nations would be blessed through the faith of Abraham – so it was not about them. The entire Bible is the history of GOD’s interaction with mankind through the lens of one group of people. Its about God’s faithfulness, regardless of man’s unfaithfulness. Its about God’s love, regardless of man’s selfishness. Its about God’s steadfastness, regardless of man’s rebellion. Its about God’s attributes and actions much more than it is about the Jews – even though they are key characters in the story.

    All the events in the Bible were witnessed – some by God alone and some by man and God. Why is it that people have less difficulty trusting what man said they saw than what God said HE saw? What makes GOD’s witness less trustworthy in people’s eyes than man’s witness? THAT is my point. I’m not saying by any means that if we reject a literal/historical understanding of Genesis that we necessarily reject God or the inspiration of Scripture. But I think rejecting it makes it much easier to reject anything else in the Bible – to being able to pick and choose which were true/trustworthy and not. And I never said Moses was told everything. We weren’t told everything about the resurrection either, just that Jesus was dead for three days and nights and rose again. But some would want to reject even that, even though men witnessed it. My point is, we need to trust GOD, rather than men. If GOD said He did it in a certain time and way, then He can be trusted to have told us the truth, just as if the apostles (mere men) tell us they saw something they can be trusted to tell us the truth.

    I think the point of Gensis 1 was to teach us who God is by showing what God had done – to show His power, ability, orderliness, transcendence, immanence, etc. – by showing God did create and make everything in a pattern in a set time period. I think the historical and theological are intertwined. These truths was later used to show the reasons for different things in the Old and New Testaments.

    1. No, I don’t think that the bible only has God as a periphery, but God’s interaction with Humanity is front and center, and thus, it is about a people – God’s people, which God has redeemed. So, all other things fall to the way side. From the very start in Genesis, God moves through a person to a people to a tribe to a family and to a Person in which God’s redemptive strategy is seen. God’s focus is not on Himself, but on His people and His plan of redemption (although I suspect we are splitting hairs, maybe)

      Wb, I think we are talking about each other on the issue of taking the Resurrection as historical fact because it was witnesses by men and inspired by the same Spirit which inspired Moses to write down what God said. One is a clearly historical event, while the other might be a summary out of time. We have four books centered around the life of Christ and a large portion of that focusing in on the ‘Jesus Hour’ and then the entire early Church focused on the Resurrection. Yet, creation is rarely mentioned outside of Genesis 1, except to showcase the Justice of God.

      Your last paragraph – See, I think that is only a part of the scope of Genesis 1.

  6. “although I suspect we are splitting hairs”

    Yeah, I think we are in essential agreement about what the Bible is and who its about and why it was written, with possibly different emphasis at different times.

    This statement makes it seem people need wiggle room to be able to interpret God, but in fact opens the text to different interpretations rather than simply taking God at face value: “the other might be a summary out of time.”

    That desire for wiggle room on how to interpret the scripture has only come up since since Darwin and the advent of naturalistic science being put on an equal or higher level of trust compared to what God has said. To me, it shows a distrust of the supernatural. Just as I think believing the witness of people over the witness of God shows a distrust of the supernatural.

    1. I don’t think it has arrived at the onset of the Darwinian science. I mean, look what Calvin did.

      But, Wb, no one is taking the word of man over the word of God. What I am saying is that a witnessed account of the Resurrection took place, which was central to Christianity where as God told about – did not give explicit detail – to Moses. We know that God does give explicit instruction when it suits Him, and sometimes not. Further, I can say that His ways are not our ways, and to take the bible as a flat document destroys the ability to contextualize things.

      1. We dont have all the details of the resurrection either. We just know people said it happened. But some people take it at face value that it happened as specified, while not taking the creation happened as specified at face value.

        1. Oh, Wb, we have more than that. We have generational confirmation that it happened. We have eyewitnesses, such as Matthew and John, who saw Christ die, buried, and walking again, and wrote books about it. Then we have Luke and Paul who both spoke with people who saw the Resurrected Christ.

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