The Bible Is Just A Book Of Fairy Tales And Myth

Skeptics find any way they can to dismiss the Bible as authoritative by any means they can.  Claiming it is just a collection of fairy tales, myths and legend is one of the more casual (and uninformed) ways to disregard the Bible.  It is particularly flippant and seems to be based solely on the presupposition of philosophical naturalism (See: The Impossibility Of Miracles), not because text suggests it.

I see a couple of issues with this complaint against biblical authority.  By filtering the Bible purely naturalistic worldview is a philosophical presupposition, not a line of rebuttal or argumentation.  This comparison is nefariously void of any tangible evidence.  The line of reasoning is roughly: Fairy Tales and Myths contain supernatural events.  The Bible contains supernatural events.  Therefore the Bible, Fairy Tales, and Myths for all intents and purposes the same.  This is akin to saying: Witness statements from murder scenes contain details similar to crime dramas on television, therefore witness statements and crime dramas are basically the same.  The problem is the Bible doesn’t read like a Fairy Tale or Myth.  Save for Revelation, it reads like a historical narrative which includes miraculous happenings.

What I find most amusing is how critics of the Bible’s authors accuse them of being scientifically ignorant and prone to being easily duped into believing in Divine interventions by phenomena they can’t explain.  How is it these supposed fools have themselves duped billions of people over the millenia with their Myths?  I compare it with those who claimed former president George W. Bush — who graduated from both Yale and Harvard — was all but diagnosed as mentally retarded, but was somehow able to fool the entire world — and a large number of Democrats — that Iraq was hiding WMDs (and if you’re into conspiracies, he was able to pull off the largest ongoing cover-up by orchestrating the attacks on September 11th.).

Attributing the Bible with Fairy Tale and Mythic status belies a bias against the supernatural which permeates so deeply into one’s worldview that you cannot even refrain from imposing your naturalistic paradigm in your investigation of historical claims.  Just because the Bible records events which your worldview dismisses as impossible doesn’t make it false.  And the Bible’s authors were either feeble-minded superstitious goddidits, or they were mastermind’s able to trick billions of people who believe it represents accurate theological, moral, and historical accounts (who also would have to be even more feeble-minded than the authors).  This is one of those objections I find difficult to take seriously, and it makes it harder to take seriously the person who offers it.

Comments

  1. I think you’re projecting. Your presupposition of a supernatural/divine world, and specifically the accuracy of the Bible causes you to accept it as Gospel, so to speak.

    We don’t accept science because we have a preference for philosophical naturalism. We accept science because it works. Rockets, cell phones, MRI machines, and computers work because science works.

    The Bible is not a fairy tale because it claims to have miracles. It is a fairy tale because it reliably contradicts other sources of knowledge, be it other fairy tales like the Qu’ran and the Bhagavad Gita, or because it contradicts archeological, geological, and cosmological observations of the world around us.

    The authors wrote out things that were perfectly plausible to bronze-age middle-eastern tribesmen. Then Constantine adopted Christianity as a state religion and human development stagnated for 1000 years. Of many options, he picked one that seemed to be coalescing. One powerful God was an innovation in a world of many tiny gods. A billion Hindus and a billion Muslims don’t prove those beliefs, and I know you’re smart enough not to give an Ad Populum argument. Populations have historically been subjugated by Christianity through the cultural genocide of tribal minorities by technologically and economically advanced missionaries – South America, North America, Africa – or the power of government-directed religion – Middle East and Europe. It has certainly not be by the force of argumentation and popular support. That would be the advance of secular democracies that have supplanted those government-directed religious societies.

    But the point here is that the Bible is a book of fairy tales because it doesn’t match the reality we see around us, not because of any predetermined notion. You’re just projecting your blind faith and dogma on freethinkers.

    • So because we don’t see perpetual miracles in the present means there were none in the past?

      The fact that you reject miracles because we see none today is imposing your presupposition. Especially since miracles weren’t performed as parlor tricks, they had specific religious contextual purposes. If those purposes aren’t required today I.e. God’s word has been previously confirmed through those recorded miracles, they wouldn’t be necessary.

      So you are basically talking out of both sides of your mouth. On one side you say you don’t reject the bible because it contains miracles, and on the other you say you don’t trust the bible because it contains miracles and since we don’t see them today, therefore those didn’t happen either.

  2. Jason,
    You write “We don’t accept science because we have a preference for philosophical naturalism. We accept science because it works.”

    The problem with this argument is that exactly the same thing can be said of Christianity. My beliefs in the Christian faith are actually strengthened by the fact that “it works” in my life and in the lives of others around me. To me, that is strong evidence that this God you deny actually exists and is still active in the world today.

    You also write: “It is a fairy tale because it reliably contradicts…archeological, geological, and cosmological observations of the world around us.”

    I’d like to see a list of those contradictions. Please avoid using Genesis. Many (maybe most) Christians and Jews view the first parts of Genesis as theological teaching, not historical narrative. As far as I’ve found in my research, the New Testament is incredibly supported by modern archaeology. In fact, a well known archaeologist (Sir William Ramsey) actually converted to Christianity after setting out to show that Acts was inaccurate based on archaeology. He concluded that Luke (the author of Acts) ranked among the greatest historians of the Roman era and that his writings were entirely accurate in-so-far as archaeology can verify.

  3. I’ll even accept claims of contradictions for Genesis. And, no, “most” Christians do NOT think Genesis is anything but historical. Surveys have proved that too often (as has my personal experience with all the Christians I have known over the decades). But the Christians who don’t accept is as historical have been indoctrinated by the school systems and the media to accept evolutionism. I don’t know how most Jews (i.e., Jews who practice their faith) accept Genesis as true because I haven’t seen any stats on them

  4. Marshall Art says:

    I, too, am keen to see the absolute evidence that contradicts the Bible. Jason has offered the Great Flood as an example of something that has been proven to not have happened. But as I recall (he can correct me if I’m mistaken) that he rests on the notion that lack of evidence compels the rational to conclude such things did not happen. He claims science confirms the earth is older than the Bible suggests, but many believers do not take the Genesis description as a scientific one, and he places faith in the absolute certainty he believes science provides. More precisely, his faith is that science is such that it is not limited by man’s natural limitations and thus can be relied upon as “Gospel” truth.

    To illustrate what I mean, I am of the position that it is entirely possible that the consequence of the Creation Event is such that man-made devices and man’s limited intellectual abilities cannot help but perceive the aftermath of the Event in such a manner that it appears to have taken longer than it actually did. This is not to mean that God purposely meant to create all things with this consequence, but only that it is the consequence of His action. I do not put forth this possibility as anything more than that (only a possibility), but do put it forth as a counter to the arrogance inherent in the presumption that man is so great as to know with certainty anything regarding a time so long ago and an event that can’t be duplicated.

  5. Actually, the proof of a worldwide flood is everywhere. “Billions of dead things, buried in rock layers laid down by water, all over the earth.”

    Russell Humphreys, a YEC astrophysicist, as well as astrophysicist Jason Lisle have done some interesting studies to demonstrate how the universe could have taken millions of years to develop in regards to “earth time” with time not being created yet; a white hole event horizon crossing earth starts day one – and other models as well:
    http://www.answersingenesis.org/articles/1998/01/21/review-relative-cosmology
    http://www.answersingenesis.org/articles/arj/v3/n1/anisotropic-synchrony-convention
    http://www.answersingenesis.org/articles/2010/10/01/is-god-deceiving-us
    http://www.answersingenesis.org/articles/arj/v4/n1/distant-starlight-cosmology
    http://www.answersingenesis.org/articles/cm/v17/n1/cosmic-breakthrough
    http://www.answersingenesis.org/articles/tj/v15/n1/starlight

    Many other articles are also available at this site.

    When the Bible says God created in six literal 24 hr days, there is no reason to doubt.

  6. Glen, I’ll respectfully disagree. I’ll have a look through some of those articles, but to me there seems no reason to doubt the findings of modern science (as determined by men of all faiths – including Christians) that the universe is ~7 billion years old and that evolution (more or less) brought life from a primitive state to the life-forms we see today. I see no philosophical contradiction between this and my Christian faith. God is the author of it all – the “natural” and the “supernatural”. I’m a biochemist – I understand a fair bit about how genetics points strongly towards evolution. God gave us marvelous minds to investigate His creation. He also gave us marvelous minds that allow us to interprit meaning from stories and ideas. When Jesus says “I am the door”, we know immediately what he means. He doesn’t mean that he is a piece of wood with hinges. Likewise, when we read in Genesis “Let the land produce vegetation” (PRIOR to his creation of the sun!) we can easily infer that there may have been some “grand plan” that was executed over milinea using the very laws that God authored.

    I’m happy to entertain the idea that the earth was made in 7 days. But it must be consistent with the observations that we make in science. From what I’ve see to-date, it isn’t.

    • Tumeyn

      It depends on what you mean by “days”. Have you seen my post on the creation days of Genesis? Under the Christianity tab, “The Days Of Old”.

    • tumeyn,

      Modern science has not shown what you claim, and the numbers of people believing something does not prove it to be true. There is nothing about science which points to evolution – only the bias interpreting the data. Genesis was meant from the very beginning to be history, and Jews and Christians throughout the centuries believed and understood it that way. Since God can create, why can he not create plants prior to creating the sun? God is the sustainer, not the sun. There is nothing about science which is NOT consistent with 7-day creation – literal 24-hr days.

      There is nothing in Genesis which reads as myth or epic – it all reads as history. The only “figurative” places are prophecies, and we interpret genre as it is for correct understanding. Dan’s typical liberal claims notwithstanding.

  7. John…

    The problem is the Bible doesn’t read like a Fairy Tale or Myth.

    Well, that would be a matter of opinion, wouldn’t it?

    First of all, I would agree that it does not read like a fairy tale. According to Wiki…

    a fairy tale is a type of short story that typically features folkloric fantasy characters, such as fairies, goblins, elves, trolls, dwarves, giants, mermaids, or gnomes, and usually magic or enchantments.

    The bible contains none of that. Someone referring to the Bible as “fairy tales” is being flippant and casual in their reference.

    On the other hand, there are at least parts of Genesis that DO read like a myth and/or epic writing style.

    Additionally, the real world evidence shows that this was simply the style of storytelling for that time period. Nearly all of the early/pre-historic stories that we have from ~6000-1000 BC are told in mythic and/or epic style. That is, they reference real-world peoples and events, but also include fanciful and miraculous elements.

    So, given the real world evidence that some of the Genesis stories come from a time when all other storytelling was mythic (or do you suspect that other Creation stories were fact-based and that other early histories were fact-based?) and appear to be told in a manner like those other stories from that same period, why would we suspect that they are not mythic/epic? Does either logic or the Bible itself suggest we must read them as literal modern-type histories?

    I’d say, No.

  8. The reason most people believe the myths is that they are told them when they are young children (when you’ll believe anything). Then they never have these ideas challenged and hence they believe. However, I think I lot less than the billions you mentioned wholeheartedly believe the stories. I think a significant proportion of religious people view stories such as Jonah living inside a whale as only stories.

    • Robert,
      The only reason anyone believes in evolutionism is because they have been indoctrinated in it since they entered public school, as well as by every newspaper and magazine and TV programs, let alone by the stuff posted in all the National Parks. No alternative view is permitted, a policy which by itself shows evolutionists are afraid to allow examination of their philosophies for fear of being shown to be wrong!

  9. Glenn, Find anyone but Creationist frauds at Answers in Genesis to corroborate those findings. NOTHING Answers In Genesis prints is credible because they have already said that they will reject anything that doesn’t fit with their preconceptions.

    But don’t take my word for it. Take their word for it:
    http://www.answersingenesis.org/about/faith
    “By definition, no apparent, perceived or claimed evidence in any field, including history and chronology, can be valid if it contradicts the scriptural record. ”
    The rest of the document expands on their view of reality and their intention to deny or lie to protect their beliefs.

    • Jason,
      Ah, so if people disagree with your bias, they are frauds! These people have the same degrees as the evolutionists, do the same research, etc, yet they are frauds because they don’t accept the lie of evolution.

      There is much documentation that evolutionists working to date things will throw out all data that doesn’t come close to what they want.

      Now, what is wrong with someone rejecting material that has a bias vs factual data when that bias is against their bias? Evolutionists refuse to look at anything by creationists or ID proponents. So your point is, “it’s okay for evolutionists to do that, but creationists are dishonest when they do it”

      Typical.

    • Jason

      Let me split hairs if I may. I also think no discovery of Archaeology, astronomy, physics, biology, etc can contradict Scripture. But it also relies on your understanding of Scripture is correct also.

  10. Tumeyn – kudos for accepting evidence.
    One correction – the universe is 13.7B years old, not 7B years old.
    FYI – http://map.gsfc.nasa.gov/universe/uni_age.html

  11. Glenn – THEY say they will reject information that conflicts with their bias. I’m not rejecting their data. They say they’ll reject anything that doesn’t fit their preconceived notions, so that makes them frauds. Their words; not mine.

    It is nonsense to say evolutionists/scientists don’t review creationist claims since 1) creationists get most their data from real scientists and 2) scientists do look at creationists’ interpretation of data and either fill in the blanks or show the error of their logic or even agree depending on what’s appropriate.

    Scientists are perfectly happy to review and respond, in detail, creationist claims. Here you go – http://talkorigins.org/origins/faqs-qa.html
    Read it and then try to find Christians who can support your faith while still allowing you to open your eyes and understand the world around you. There are bunches and bunches of them who, in the face of a conflict between scripture and science, accept the proven science and simply assume they misunderstand something about scripture. That’s not the ideal approach but it’s better than trying perpetuate your own ignorance about the world.

    • Jason,

      Yeh, they are honest and evolutionist aren’t. They know the Bible is the truth against which all other things must be weighed. Evolutionists interpret all the data by THEIR preconceived notions and claim they don’t – they are the real frauds.

      Now you made the “no true Scotsman” fallacy by saying creationists are not real scientists. Sorry pal, but most of the big scientific discoveries throughout history have been made by creationists.

      Looking at the site you linked to I see the standard equivocation in the use of the term “evolution,” as they switch back and forth from what is macro to micro but they don’t identify it as such. And I see the typical speculations and assumptions being palmed off as “truth” with no factual data to support it. After reading a page or two, I saw the same tripe I used to seeing from atheists and evolutionists. There is nothing in real science that contradicts the Scripture; only the biased interpretations of the data.

  12. Glenn – you don’t understand ‘no true scotsman’. I said it was made by ‘real scientists’. I didn’t say no true scientist would support creationism.Francis Collins, shining star of creationism, is a true scientist and a creationist. Isaac Newton was certainly a scientist and a Christian apologist.

    There is no ‘micro’ and ‘macro’ evolution. That distinction is a nonsense creationist argument. I relates roughly with ‘speciation’ but we’ve seen new species develop and creationists simply ignore that evidence or redefine what they mean by macroevolution.

    What you felt reading those few FAQs was the quaking of your preconceived notions. Every creationist argument is received on its merits and crushed under the weight of the evidence for evolution. You have a tailbone to remind you evolution happens. You can see when you… well, I wouldn’t want to break any rules of etiquette.

    The real problem you have is that there are no secular creationists. There are only religious people who then decide to reject science. There are loads and loads of religious people who accept evolution.

    “Evolutionists interpret all the data by THEIR preconceived notions and claim they don’t” This is something you say, but if it were true, we wouldn’t have Evolutionary Development theory. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Evolutionary_developmental_biology) If science never learned more we would still have just natural selection or creationism. Evolutionary theory started with natural selection but over time has incorporated genetics, memetics, and phenotypes, among other things, that have improved the theory by incorporating new discoveries. Those are referred to collectively as Evolutionary Development Theory, and Modern Synthesis was before it. The theory grows to incorporate more and more findings that area all consistent and form a more cohesive and consistent body of science.

    And you forget that evolution itself won over previous hypotheses like creation and spontaneous generation. Science consider and rejected concepts like irreducible complexity and Entropy challenges. Darwin, for example, had to overcome his faith-based biases to lay out his idea of natural selection. Good for him. Maybe you can live up to his standard.

    • Jason,

      by stating that Creationists get their information from “real scientists,” the implication is that they are not real scientists. Perhaps you should say “other” scientists to show that they are on equal footing as far as actual science goes.

      The distinction of “macro” vs “micro” evolution came about, in my understanding, because evolutionists abuse the word evolution. They use in the macro sense, which means species change into other species and everything originated from the same life form, but then they turn around and use it for what is better described as adaptation – changes within a species. We have all seen micro-evolution, and it is even used for hybridizing and breeding – always within species. But you will never see even in fossils any example of one creature turning into another creature. Fruit flies which are genetically manipulated will develop all sorts of mutations, but they never change from anything but fruit flies. To extrapolate data from intra-species adaptation and genetic mutations and claim that process can then change one species into another is nothing more than an illogical assumption proclaimed as scientific fact.

      What I felt reading those FAQs was the insanity and incredulity of the same tired lies and arguments which have been refuted ad nauseum. There is no weight of evidence for evolution because there is NO evidence for evolution. Your canard about the “tailbone” proves the point – you want it to be evolution so it is evolution. It has the important function of being an anchor point for muscles forming the pelvic diaphragm.

      Just because an idea became predominant over another idea, that doesn’t mean it is correct – it merely means more people were deceived! Darwin was looking for a way to do without God, by the way. He was not a Christian. The whole Evolutionary Development Theory is based on speculation and assumptions with no data to support it.

  13. Glenn…

    There is nothing in Genesis which reads as myth or epic – it all reads as history.

    Says who? Who gets to decide for everyone else whether a text does or doesn’t appear to be mythic or epic in style?

    To me, at least, they certainly read as if written in an epic/mythic style. And, given that this was HOW storytelling was done by everyone else in the time, and given that the Bible doesn’t teach that it must be taken as literal history of the modern style (which didn’t even begin to exist until ~500 BC), I just see no biblical or rational reason to impose a modernist reading on these ancient texts.

    They make great and logical and moral sense when taken as their apparent style (epic/mythic), but make the rest of the Bible fall apart if you try to impose a modernist reading on them.

    • Dan

      It sounds to me like you’re advocating that the individual reading is what determines what a passage really means, and not what the author intended. A relativistic approach to reading the bible doesn’t give it more meaning, it gives it no meaning.

    • Dan Trabue, you comments are worthless because you don’t accept the Bible as written in any part, and twist it to suit your liberal theology. You are not worth correcting because you never accept correction, having been demonstrated to be a complete fool on blog after blog. This is my only response to you. I don’t bother with heretics such as you.

  14. Do we know what the author intended?

    I’m saying that if something was written in a specific time period and IN that time period, texts/stories were all written in a particular style and
    IF the texts in question appear to match that style,
    Then it seems reasonable to presume they were written in that style.

    The Genesis stories do not match the style or time period of fairy tales. Thus, there is no reason to presume that they are fairy tales.

    The Genesis stories DO match the style and time period for mythic/epic storytelling. Thus, there is reason to presume they were written in that style.

    Glenn asserted, “They are not” when I suggested they were written in that style. I just asked, “Who gets to decide?” They sure seem to be written in that style to me and many others – and not just because of miraculous accounts, but because of improbable accounts, IF taken as literal history.

    The tale of how the tiger got its stripes appears to be told in a mythic style, it comes from a time and culture when they told stories in a mythic style and if we tried to take it literally, it defies probability, thus it seems clearly to be a myth.

    I assume you agree.

    If so, why would you agree with the tiger tale but not even consider the Creation story in Genesis to be that style?

  15. John…

    How many extant texts do we have from 3500 or so years ago?

    I don’t know. How many?

    Glenn…

    you comments are worthless because you don’t accept the Bible as written in any part…

    Yeah, yeah, we get it. You don’t like me. But ad hom attacks and ignoring questions does nothing to make you seem like a stable discussion partner, my friend.

    I get that it’s much easier to demonize than to answer the simple, rational question I asked of you (presumably because the answer only undermines your position), but I think it’s time to put away childish things and have adult conversations if you want to talk with the adults.

    • Dan

      If you’re going to say the genesis creation account is identical in genre to ALL writing of the time, I.e., story telling/mythology, then there must be many writings from that time to get an accurate comparison. Unless you are embellishing in order to justify your departure from traditional interpretation.

      So please point me to the written texts which are extant from the same time period as Genesis/Pentateuch. Which museum are they in and what do they say?

    • Dan,
      You have been identified as a fool and as a heretic. Those are factual identifications and not ad hominem attacks. When will learn the difference!

  16. Most scholars say that “modern history” told as we understand it today did not begin until ~500 BC – 500 AD. Most scholars point to the extant texts for support. We’ve done this before, haven’t we? Are you not familiar with the research on this point?

    All the ancient storytelling literature (there are some ancient “bookkeeping” sorts of writing, but those are basically lists, not stories) which I know of are written in an epic or mythic style. If you can produce ONE SINGLE example of an ancient text NOT written in an apparently mythic style, then do so. I’d be honestly interested to read it.

    Given that, what rational reason would I have for ignoring the dominant understanding of the evidence as it exists?

    Glenn, you used the word “factual” above. I don’t think that word means what you think it means…

    Again, why not just discuss things like a rational adult and end this childish ad hom attack? You don’t like me, get over it. You don’t have to like me.

    What of MY ARGUMENT?

  17. Glenn, Not sure why, but I’m answering more than I normally would. I thought it would be interesting to see what the liars over at AIG are saying in your “Genesis 1 is literal” link.
    They list an introduction that said, “My college recently hosted a conference on an Evangelical reading of Genesis 1–3… What surprised me most in all this was the difficulty we had in finding one single nationally known Old Testament scholar who would support a traditional, plain-language reading of Genesis 1–2.” Ok. so far, we find that even fundamentalist Christians disagree with AIG.
    In response to this rejection of AiG dogma even by Christian scholars, the author, One Dr. Jud Davis, a PhD in Biblical Studies, presents seven reasons to accept a literal Genesis reading and young earth creationism.
    1 & 2. Jesus and the Bible said so. Obviously this first has no value whatsoever as science.
    3 & 4. It’s always been that way. In his words: “Plain-Language Reading is the Traditional View”. This is an appeal to authority/tradition and is simply a logical fallacy or maybe a scolding of lax fundamentalists. How Christians should read the Bible is something Christians can sort out.
    5 & 6. Theistic evolution and old-earth creationism don’t fit the Bible. Again, that’s between ya’ll. Personally, I would agree with this, but I’m not Christian, so I’ll defer to Christians.
    7. He refers to scientists who “affirm the possibility of young earth creationism.” Certainly. Some do. But here (http://ncse.com/taking-action/list-steves) are 1221 doctoral-level scientists in relevant fields who unequivocally affirm evolution. My list doesn’t make it true any more than his list does. But the AiG list (http://www.answersingenesis.org/home/area/bios/#presentsci) has 191 people, requiring only a Master’s degree in basically any field. 1221 expert Steves versus 191 of almost anyone.

    “It is clear that for those who wish for the Scripture to be the first guide in understanding cosmology, the best interpretation of the intent of the text is 24-hour day, young-earth creationism.”

    So I thought this might be some support for evolution, but I see its an document for Christians meant to scold old-earth creationists into being young-earth creationists. In the end, it just falls back on the AiG mantra, ‘if you want to believe in the Bible, then reject any contrary facts’.

    • Jason,
      the point of the AIG article is that there is no reason to not read Genesis as literal history except for reasons of bias. Your bias for the unscientific evolution philosophy prevents you from considering as historical that which was plainly meant as historical. And yet you and your ilk continue to denigrate AIG and YEC believers for THEIR bias. I’d say that is rank hypocrisy!
      I don’t care if a million “experts” believe in evolution – that doesn’t make it true. There is not one scientific fact to prove evolution – NOT ONE!

  18. Marshall Art says:

    While John waits in vain for Dan T to produce anything to support his claim, I ask Jason to present an example to support this: “but we’ve seen new species develop”. I’m serious. I’m unaware of any new species developing in the last century or so. What was it before? Or from what absolutely different species did it evolve? Are you sure you don’t mean “breed”?

    Back to Dan,

    How do you know that all the alleged examples that are similar in style are not copying the style of the OT? How do you know they are not trying to emulate the OT in order to gain credibility? Which current history books demand that the reader take the contents as factual history, apart from having “history” in its title (if it is there) or within its pages (if it is there)? Or do you mean “literal” history, and if so, which current books say that? You’ve never explained how the early books of the OT differ in style from the later books in that period your scholars believe “actual” history recording began. Please explain.

  19. I’ll help Dan out on this one: The Enuma Elis. Certainly it reads as myth or legend. Thought to date from ~1000-2000BC.

    While I’m certainly in support of theistic-evolution, I too would like to see this evidence from Jason for a new species developing. I think that there is loads of circumstancial evidence for evolution, but survival of the fittest and point-mutations just don’t seem to be a adequate mechanisms to explain the diversity of life we see today and the stability of present-day genomes within species. I almost lean towards some sort of “progressive creation” sort of model.

  20. [This portion deleted by blog author]

    You are the one holding to the rogue theory outside of mainstream scholarly thought (that some ancient texts were not told in the style of the day – which scholars agree was NOT modern history – which scholars agree didn’t begin until somewhere around 500 BC – but mythic or epic in nature), I would think it would be on you to support the rogue theory.

    How do you know that all the alleged examples that are similar in style are not copying the style of the OT?

    Fun, interesting, strange theories, Marshall. Do you have even one scholarly source to support it? Or are you just spitballing there?

    If I get a chance, I’ll look up for you some of the mainstream scholarly thoughts on ancient texts, but I’m busy right now. And besides, I’m pretty sure we’ve gone through this before.

    • Dan

      Do you try to turn every post’s discussion to samesex marriage? I’m guessing it is because you have been called out for making erroneous assertions that Genesis is identical in form to all the other writings of the same period and yet you admitted you didnt know of any, cant name any, and havent produced any support for your claim whatsoever. Now you are going to inject samesex marriage, why? I’m deleting that part out of your comment.

      I also find it funny how Marshall offered a similar thought to yours by suggesting that the other creation accounts mimic the OT and you demand evidence, but I have asked you for evidence for your claim and you have come up empty. As for going through this before, you have NEVER provided ancient Genesis era literature to support your “all other texts” claim. But for someone who laments that this has been done before, you dont mind repeatedly asking what you have done to aggrivate me so much about you. You rehash it every time asking for what it is because you truly dont know. You are a mess.

      All your comments will be moderated until you support with all the texts, meaning multiple that are mythic stories from the Genesis era 2500-4000 BC

  21. The earliest known text is the Epic of Gilgamesh. It is written in the epic style, according to most scholars.

    Do you doubt that?

    Here is a list of some of the earliest known texts. Read and learn.

  22. John, I’m not an ancient text scholar, I just know what I’ve read. I don’t know these things off the top of my head. You can look some of these things up yourself, you know?

    Again, you are the one making claims counter to conventional wisdom/scholarship. I would say it falls on you to make your case.

    Nonetheless…

    Gilgamesh was written, supposedly, somewhere between 2750-2500 BC.

    Genesis and the Pentateuch, by comparison, are suspected to have been written about 500-600 BC. Or, compiled, at least, from various oral traditions.

    Other estimates show Genesis being written about 1400 BC.

    • Oh good Dan, you said modern style historical reporting started around 500 BC, which is where you said Genesis was written. I guess I do have good reason to read it as history according to your argument. And by the way, don’t tell me to look this stuff up, you’re the one making the claims here, that’s your job.

    • And since you said genesis is the same as ALL the ancient literature, I expect to see at least one more source and not just one, unless you’re admitting you oversold your case.

  23. Marshall Art says:

    “Fun, interesting, strange theories, Marshall. Do you have even one scholarly source to support it? Or are you just spitballing there?”

    It is a logical question based on your own illogical presumptions. Demonstrate that your scholars can dispute this notion in any way. Said another way, you and your scholars have fun, interesting and strange theories about Genesis being the same as all other “histories”. Do they know with absolute certainty that all meant to accomplish the same thing in the same way? You default to conjecture and put it forth as fact without any evidence of it being so. Typical. More so is your demand for what you yourself do not and cannot provide.

  24. Well, I’ve got to agree with Dan a bit on this one. The first 11 chapters of Genesis reads like some sort of epic tale. I don’t doubt that there is truth in it and that the events are historical, but I do STRONGLY doubt that the events took place exactly as they are written. Beginning in Chapter 12 of Genesis, however, the book begins to read more like a historical narrative that we are used to reading. Many, many Christian commentators have noted the same thing. Here’s a commentary by Tim Keller about the creation story in Genesis and the historicity of Adam and Eve.
    http://biologos.org/uploads/projects/Keller_white_paper.pdf

    Note that the giant of evangelical Christianity, C.S.Lewis, did not believe in a historical Adam and Eve. If it is good enough for him, it is good enough for me. I’m happy to entertain alternative theories, but the weight of the evidence for a very old earth (and very old human species) is just too significant to take groups like AIG seriously.

    As a Christian, the attention that this issue gets is very disturbing. The issue has made Christians the laughing-stock of the intellectual community and has driven many people away from the faith. Frankly, if I was convinced that this issue (7-day creation) were central to the Christian faith, I would probably end up leaving Christianity for some other faith. A 7-day creation, a worldwide flood with 2 of every animal on a small boat, the entire world descended from 2 individuals ~4000 years ago in the Euphrates valley. It just doesn’t add up with what we observe about the world today. Making this issue a central part of the Christian faith is making a mockery of the intellect that God gave us and is driving people away from the faith.

    • Tumeyn,
      It’s interesting how the unbelievers and liberal Christians choose the parts they disagree with in Genesis as the ones to claim as epic or myth. The entire book reads the same way, yet bias has to find some sort of difference to describe the creation and the flood when compared to the rest of the book, not because there IS a difference, but because they can’t accept the story.

      Keller is not totally fundamental, and in fact is getting more and more criticism from his own ranks. I could not recommend him as a teacher for many reasons that have nothing to do with this topic, so it doesn’t surprise me he would have a low view of parts of Scripture. He is part of the heretical and compromising Biologos group, which has an extremely low view of Scripture.

      Keller’s paper presents that false dichotomy of religion vs science. Christianity and its worldview is why we even have science to start with! And the whole issue of evolutionism vs creationism is NOT about science, rather it is about worldview. Evolutionism has no science to back it up – just speculations and assumptions.

      We don’t say people who believe in God can’t believe in evolution. What we say is that evolution is incompatible with true science and what God has told us about himself. A God who has to use millions of years of mistakes and death and disease is certainly not the all-powerful God of the Bible.

      Oh, and C.S. Lewis was not even close to being an evangelical. He was a Roman Catholic mystic and had a lot of aberrant and even heretical beliefs. Citing him just demonstrates that you have no idea what an evangelical is!

      There is NOT evidence for humans or animals before 6000 to 10000 years ago – None, nada. There is a lot of speculation and assumption built on bias, but no evidence. Your lack of knowledge of the Bible is plain, your low view of Scripture is plain. Jesus cited the FLOOD and Adam and Eve as literal, historical people and events, as did writers of the N.T. (Paul and Peter). I guess that makes them liars, and then Jesus could not be God – because God doesn’t lie.

  25. C.S. Lewis not an evangelical? Wow – that’s news to me. I’ve spent the last 35 years of my life in fairly conservative churches (S. Baptist, PCA, Assembl of God, etc) and C.S. Lewis has been practically considered a saint. His writings are viewed as almost a close second to those of the Apostle Paul!

    I completely disagree about the entire Bible appearing as legend. Read Genesis 1-20 in a single sitting. There is a distinct difference in the writing style of Genesis 1-11 vrs 12-20. Here’s just a few examples:

    Giants (“Nephilim”) roaming the earth (Gen 6:4)
    Men typically living to be 600-900 years old (throughout – but stops at Gen 12)
    Talking serpants (Gen 3)
    Magic Trees (Gen 2)
    A very weird explanation for rainbows (Gen 8)
    God appearing to be scared of humans (Gen 11:6-7)
    A very weird explanation for languages (Gen 11:9)
    Angels marrying humans (Gen 6:2)
    A worldwide flood (Gen 6)
    The entire WORLDWIDE population of animals coming ~4000 years ago from 100 or so animals on a mid-sized boat.

    Then, beginning in Genesis 12, we have history that is much more typical of what we are familiar with.

    Say what you want about CS Lewis and Tim Keller. It’s clear to me that God has used those two men in AMAZING ways to reach sceptics and intellectuals. Those two men have absolutely revolutionized my faith. Frankly, I would likely have no faith today if it weren’t for them.

    • Tumeyn,

      The fact that Lewis was a Romanist is the first line of evidence that he wasn’t evangelical. Lewis had a lot of excellent apologetic teachings, but the fact remains that he was outside of the stream of evangelicalism.

      So there were Nephilim (giants) and that makes it myth? If you read the context it is because it is because they were the products of demonic beings intermarrying with humans (this is the original identity of the Nephilim as the Jews wrote about it – and this in itself can be a whole other discussion.) The great Flood and all the conditions of the earth afterwards is what led to life spans slowing getting shorter – man was designed to live forever, as we will in eternity. The serpent itself wasn’t talking, rather it was Satan’s use of the serpent, and some scholars believe it wasn’t a serpent at all, but that it was just satan (the word means “shining one”). The tree wasn’t “magic” – duh, God uses miracles throughout Scripture, and He created everything; if he wanted the tree to have certain properties, he is certainly capable of making it that way (the tree shows up in Revelation). So you call it a “weird explanation” that God gives it as a sign, but would you consider the reason for circumcision to be “weird”? God appears afraid of humans?!?!? You demonstrate that you can’t understand plainly written text; the original command was for them to populate the world and yet they were remaining in one area; God didn’t want this area to be the only place humans were and so he confounded their language so they could no longer work together. Your description of the animals and the Ark also demonstrate you lack of understanding. What do you do, visit the atheist talking points sites? God didn’t use Keller and Lewis to “revolutionize” your faith. False teachings only “revolutionize” faith against true biblical teachings. If your faith is based on false teachings, it is easily swayed with every whim of doctrine. Perhaps you should seek more solid teachers.

  26. Glenn – I’m perfectly happy to read Genesis as literal history. If I do that, I find it to be wrong. It conflicts with all the other things we know from geology, cosmology, and biology. Whoever wrote that that as literal history was simply wrong.
    Many Christians read it as allegory or an epic tail or whatever, but that’s between ya’ll.
    What you’re asking though is that I read it as history AND believe it. More specifically, I should read it and the take all other evidence and chuck it out the window if it doesn’t agree. But when I take all the evidence, Biblical and extra-Biblical, and weigh them all equally, I find a 13.7B year old universe and a 4.5B year-old Earth governed by quantum mechanics and evolution and such. And I find nothing but some fairy tales in an old book… I mean a perfectly valid collection of writings supporting a 7-day creation and and an Adam and Eve story.
    But yeah… I can accept that it was written as literal history or as an epic tale. Neither approach makes the story fit with other observed evidence or peer reviewed theory.

    • Jason,

      Um, no the Bible does NOT conflict with any of those sciences. It only conflicts with biased interpretations of the data. I gave links to theories which have been studies which can explain apparent age of the universe (created prior to earth time being created – after all, time is part of creation). And there is not one iota of factual evidence for evolution. And plenty of “peer reviewed” study has verified that. But these scientists aren’t considered “peers” to you because they don’t agree with evolutionism. The whole universe screams “DESIGN” and yet you pretend it all came about by chance. You need a lot more faith than I do.

  27. Dan, Marshall, etc.
    Thanks for asking
    Recent speciation: http://www.talkorigins.org/faqs/speciation.html
    http://www.talkorigins.org/faqs/speciation.html
    http://www.nature.com/hdy/journal/v101/n2/abs/hdy200840a.html
    etc: http://lmgtfy.com/?q=recent+speciation

    You’ll find a long list of reputable publications and references to studies published in scholarly journals. This whole question of new species developing is just willful ignorance on the part of creationists. It’s not like I’m sitting on one shining example or dog breeds or even Darwin’s finches. Lots of new species are observed, certainly in microbes and yeast and plants, but also to a great extent in larger animals. You can continue to deny the facts, but don’t say you weren’t shown.

  28. Marshall Art says:

    Jason-You seem to ignore the flaw in your reasoning. What you have is no more than the appearance of an older universe, but no facts whatsoever. I don’t have a huge problem with those who take this appearance and with it decide it is too compelling to deny. But in presuming that a fact has been established as a result, one must also deny that holes exist in that belief that science is unable (at least so far) to fill.

    I see the issue has possessed of great difficulty in resolving what seems to be conflicts between Scripture’s recording of events, and mankind’s attempts at discovering how things came to be. As impressed as I am with the accomplishments of mankind throughout history, I do not regard mankind in the least bit infallible. Thus, to put so much faith in what you believe is absolute proof that Scripture got it wrong presumes too much about the ability of man. What’s more, I think it is pretty obvious that it means as much, if not more, to those who put that faith in science that it be true and accurate, than the Genesis story being true means to Christians who believe it is accurate. That is it seems plain that you need it to be true.

  29. Glen,
    Each of us has to look at God’s revelation, as we see it, and determine Truth to the best of our ability. God didn’t had down the Bible to us in a simple format complete with definitions and footnotes. We all have to “consult” other sources of revelation (the created world, the testimony of other Christians, our conscience) in order to best determine what the meaning of scripture is. I’m a chemist by training and my daily work is steeped in the scientific method. When scientists say the earth is 4.5 billion years old and that life has evolved over time, I have a pretty good understanding both of the science behind those assertions and the scientific process that brought those ideas to fruition. On the other hand, I have very little idea what Moses had in mind when he was writing the early chapters of Genesis. I have to use the mind and experience that God gave me to make sense of the world as I see it.

    I take much comfort in the example Jesus set in the Gospels. It wasn’t the people with the best grasp of theology that were forgiven and healed. He didn’t spend his time with those that had all the answers. It was those that threw themselves at Jesus’s feet in faith – in spite of their questions and confusion. I can do no other than that.

    Jesus actually reserved his harshest critisism for those that claimed to have everything figured out. I have no dought that some (or much) of my theology is completely wrong. Fortunately, salvation isn’t a theological formula to be solved – it’s a relationship to be had. I tinker with theology as best I can, but I daily get on my knees and ask God to show himself to me. This is the world as I see it.

    • Tumeyn,
      While the earth and universe may be even billions of years old by earth time, since time wasn’t created until day one, evolution is impossible, not only because God told us he created man, but also because it has never been proven to have taken place – as well as being mathematically impossible!

      Again, if God didn’t create Adam and Eve as the first of mankind, then the Jesus you believe in could not be God because he would be telling a lie when he discusses them. And so would Paul. You can’t have it both ways, unless you can live with contradictions.

  30. Great post!!

  31. There is no greater collection of books that result in the Bible’s ancient texts, and it’s prophecies are proven 2nd to none ongoing! Time itself proves it’s legitimacy – there is no comparison to any other historical account ever written – so to compare it to fairy tales is simply willful ignorance^ Honest study & research starting by court of law standards of evidence for the life, death & resurrection of Jesus Christ stands true by the greatest minds the world has ever known. A good place to start this proof is with Dr. Simon Greenleaf. Considered to be one of the greatest legal minds in history. Absolute truth along with science before, during and after to this day! Simply seek, and ye shall find. GLWT^^^^ C+

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