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Old 08-13-2006, 01:37 PM
smadewell smadewell is offline
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Exclamation Creation vs. Evolution....

I heard a lecture by Dr. Roy Blizzard many years back regarding the flexibility of the Hebrew text of Genesis. He demonstrated that the Genesis account was a simple narrative and shouldn't be treated as a science book, but the Hebrew words used and the order in which things came into being meshed with what the Evolunists say happened. I can't remember everything he said, but here's my own spin on this approach. The bottom line is that this controversy and debate between "Intelligent Design" (i.e., Creationism's new PC label) and Evolution can be resolved if one reads the Genesis text as an aggadhic account of the order in which things came into being, while allowing for some flexibility in translating the Hebrew into English.
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Old 08-13-2006, 01:40 PM
smadewell smadewell is offline
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Thumbs up The First Eon of Genesis....

The First Eon of Genesis....

Let me try and break this material down by examining the Hebrew text of Genesis, okay?

We read that in the beginning ELOHIM (i.e., the plural form of the Hebrew word meaning "power") fashioned (bara), not created ex nihilo (out of nothing), the heavens (expanses) and the earth (eretz = matter).

We further read that this matter (eretz) was without form and unfilled. Darkness (choshek) was on the surface of an abyss (tehom). The Hebrew word tehom is used of "waves" and poetically of the sound these "waves" make. It can also allude to a "deep hollow" or a "large quantity of water," probably because "deep hollows" was where the ancient Nomads of the Middle East often found water, eh?

Dare we read "heavens" (plural) as including or alluding to the multiverse (i.e., layers of expanses)...? The Hebrew word is certainly flexible enough to support that interpretation. Why? Because this narrative is a Jewish aggadah and it's perfectly acceptable in Judaism for an aggadhic tale to be interpreted in more than one way! More on this latter....

The Hebrew word for "earth" (eretz) is not limited to terra firma or this particular planet. It is flexible enough to mean "matter," like dirt or soil of which there is more than one kind, no? Let's not be so quick to force a single interpretation upon these Hebrew words.

The Hebrew word for "darkness" (choshek) is pretty cut and dry. However, we're not limited here to reading this word as merely alluding to the dark void of space. One might read this as an allusion to Dark Matter and/or Dark Energy Again, let's not be so quick to force a single interpretation upon these Hebrew words.

In like fashion, the word "abyss" (tehom) could be taken as alluding to the waves of background radition in the universe or the particles of H2O present in the universe or the expanse of the universe itself.

Notice that all these things are already present and all that the Genesis account is saying here is that "powers" (ELOHIM) took these primordial elements, if you will, and through whatever mechanism or process gave them form.

This interpretation would also allow for the Steady State Theory or Quasi-Steady State Cosmology or just about anything else you want to throw out there. Why? Because of the flexibility of the Hebrew words and the simplicity of the aggadhic narrative.

Where is this in conflict with the various scientific theories being advanced? All I'm saying is that the Hebrew words used here in Genesis, which lack the ability to express scientific notions, are vague, ambiguous and flexible enough to jive with whatever science has to say about the early formation of our universe.

cont. The First Eon of Genesis....

The Genesis text states that the Spirit of ELOHIM (lit. "wind of powers") brooded over the face (surface) of the waves of the abyss (tehom) of the universe.

What was the result of this "Wind of Powers" brooding upon these waves? Perhaps this caused the Big Bang or one of the other theories. What the Hebrew text tells us is that the "powers" (ELOHIM) said, "Let there be light and there was light."

The Hebrew word used here for "light" is "or," which lacks a locative Hebrew letter "mem," which in Hebrew would fix a "source" and "location" for this light. So, the text could be talking about "luminescence" as opposed to "incandescence." This "luminescence" would have stood in contrast to the darkness (choshek).

Either way, and whatever new theories scientists are advancing these days, we're pobably talking about the evening (dark beginning) of the pre-Hadean cosmos and the morning (bright ending) of the Hadean Eon (etc), during which time our solar system was being formed (bara), etc.

This more or less concludes the First Eon (yom) in the Hebrew text of Genesis. Let's keep in mind that the Hebrew word yom can mean a "24-hour solar day," but it's also used for "an inclusive period of time (during which something happens)," "an age or eon (during which something happens)," "time itself" and "eternity," etc., etc., etc.

So why does the text say "evening and morning"...? In Judaism, each new day begins in the evening (rather than 2400 HRS or 12 AM). Why? Probably because we're conceived in the darkness of the womb and are born into the light of the world. Therefore, a Dark Period (evening) is seen as the beginning and a Dawning Period (morning) is seen as the beginning of the end, so to speak. Take for example the Dark Age giving way to the Age of Enlightenment. Same idea.... Evening and morning.... See? We need to view this material from a Semitic POV.

Yes, there's going to be some overlapping of the various geological ages with the so-called "creative days," which are merely periods during which things took form (bara).

What the Genesis text is calling ELOHIM literally means POWERS. This could simply be an allusion to whatever First Cause initially started this cosmic ball rolling. In other words, this could be an Intelligent Designer or it could be a nebulous, amorphous spermatic force. The Genesis text is an aggadhic narrative of the order in which things came into being and took form. So far, there's no real conflict with the Hebrew text and what science is advancing.

There's no reason to get all and over this material.

Yes, I know that for both the Church and its detractors that's a horrible proposition to even begin to contemplate. Heaven forbid that people should even try to think outside of their dogmatic or scientific box, eh?
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Last edited by smadewell; 08-15-2006 at 04:53 AM.
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Old 08-13-2006, 01:50 PM
smadewell smadewell is offline
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Thumbs up The Second Eon of Genesis....

The Second Eon of Genesis....

Initially molten, the outer layer of the planet cooled, resulting in the solid crust. Outgassing and volcanic activity produced the primordial atmosphere; condensing water vapor, augmented by ice delivered by comets, produced the oceans.*

The Hebrew text of Genesis simply states that during the Second Eon there were waters above an expanse and waters below said expanse. There was a dark beginning and a bright ending to this geological period, just as the human fetus grows in darkness and is born into the light.

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Old 08-13-2006, 11:12 PM
smadewell smadewell is offline
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Thumbs up The Third Eon of Genesis....

The Third Eon of Genesis....

Now we get to the point where the dry land is present and the waters below the expanse of heaven have formed into seas. This can support Neal Adams' Growing Earth Theory (see his video here) or it can support the Pangea Theory, which Neal Adams addresses here.

And since we're just talking about the "dry materials/minerals" and "water" in the dark beginning of this Third Eon, then we could just as easily be talking about the Theory of Chemosynthesis, no?

Either way what the Hebrew text of Genesis says appears next is primitive plant life, which follows an evolutionary path. First in the order of appearance are the "first sprouts" (deshe), which is a word used to describe the "clothing of a meadow," so we could be talking about something as simple as algae and primitive mosses (et al), but deshe is not mature grass (chatzir)! The text specifically says deshe (first sprouts) and not chatzir (mature grass). So, the first order of flora on the Earth and in its seas at this early stage in the game of life are not as complex as the flora of the Poaceae Family and were probably limited to non-vascular plants. (Cf. Primitive Plants: Mosses, Ferns, and Allies).



Next, the Hebrew text of Genesis says, "spermatophytes" (eseb) come on the scene, that is to say, "primitive seed producing flora" evolve. The word eseb would include vascular plants, which could include spore-bearing vascular plants, in as much as this too is a type of seeding.

Next, the ENGLISH text of Genesis says, "fruit trees" come on the scene, but the Hebrew text says, "etz peri asah peri," which means "woodiness having the ability to produce offspring." I say "woodiness", because the word etz is related to a staff and also a bone. So, the text isn't necessarily talking about something as complex as an oak tree or an orange tree. A primitive stalk like plant that is porous like a bone and has the ability to produce offspring might be the extent of these so-called "fruit trees."

The Hebrew text is vague and ambiguous enough to allow for the development of primitive algae to more complex structures without the need for us to force a "grass, herbs and fruit trees" interpretation upon the words used in these verses from the Book of Genesis. The Hebrew text could simply be alluding to the development of primitive water and land flora, which marked the bright ending of this Third Eon.
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Old 08-13-2006, 11:14 PM
smadewell smadewell is offline
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Thumbs up Q&A - The First Eon of Genesis....

Q&A - The First Eon of Genesis....

Quote:
Originally Posted by Maddy
Eretz= dry material; maybe just matter?
Works for me!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Maddy
Darkness (dark matter?); in context of the understanding of dark matter (with consideration to scalar fields and Higgs field stuff in quantum) this would be a weird statement (translation) of the Genesis creation account for me, I have to think on this a bit.
Could just be visible darkness, which of course is strewn with invisible "light waves", as far as the human eye is concerned. Is a completely dark room really "dark"...? At any rate, "dark matter" was just one possibility I'm throwing out there. I'm not married to any of this.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Maddy
What’s the Hebrew here for this ‘watery particles of the abyss’ that you are referring to here?
"And the earth was without form, and void; and darkness [was] upon the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters" - Gen. 1:2
The Hebrew word translated here as "deep" is actually tehom, which basically means "waves" (and poetically it's used of the sound generated by their crashing) or "a great deal of water". I'm calling it "the watery elements within the abyss of space" for the sake of keeping it simple. In other words, the "H20-ness" as opposed to the "non-H20 matter" of the universe. However, one could run with the "waves" interpretation and extrapolate all kinds of possibilities, eh?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Maddy
‘Spirit of the Divine’; I would tend think of this more in terms of forces; gravity, electromagnetic, et al.
Well, that interpretation gains even more credence if we assume that the Spirit of YHVH is the "force" that bands all things together. How so? Because it is written, "Giving thanks unto the Father - I'm snipping here Paul's parenthetical clutter - for by Him were all things created ... and He is before all things, and by Him all things consist (sunistao)" - Col 1:12a, 16a, 17. The Greek word sunistao can mean "band together". If we apply this to an atom, then what is it that holds an atom together? Is that "force" the essence of what the Spirit of YHVH is? Who knows?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Maddy
This is kind of ‘screwy’ dilemma for me. Light is part of the electromagnetic spectrum (radiation); generally in Science light is referred to at the visible spectrum. Now since there is no ‘creature’ around to see this maybe it’s not light as we define it. Maybe there is no word in Hebrew that could understand or distinguish the difference between the visible aspect of electromagnetic radiation and that which is not visible. I have no clue what they mean by ‘light’ for this type of translation in terms of Science and their ‘model’ doesn’t work here for me unless I think of ‘luminescence’ not as just specifically visible light but rather electromagnetic radiation as a whole and that still seems a bit weird in order of ‘creation’ depicted in the Bible.

ANOTHER DISCLAIMER: It is Sunday morning here, sorry for any spelling/grammar errors and unclear thought; there is never enough coffee to counteract Sunday morning ‘laziness’ for me.
Okay, so let's just say that "At first the totality of the multiverse was set into motion and began to take form as a result of the First Eon in which luminescence (radiation?) permeated the pre-existent 'waves' of material present within our universe." I think the Hebrew text is flexible enough to support that translation. Don't you just love aggadah?

And yes, I do recognize that other cultures have "Creation Myths" that could likewise be bent to mesh with what science says about this topic. Of course, my friends in the lunatic fringe would say this is because an ancient race of ET/Aliens gave us this information.

I lean more toward our ancestors making best guesses that arose for observations of the natural world and the established "pecking order" within it. Cue Elton John and Tim Rice's "The Circle of Life."
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Old 08-13-2006, 11:44 PM
smadewell smadewell is offline
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Lightbulb The Fourth Eon of Genesis....

The Fourth Eon of Genesis....

The Fourth Eon of Genesis is pretty cut and dry. The blanket of "greenhouse" mists that covered the planet dissipates and the lights (ma'or) are appointed (asah) to exercise their jurisdiction (mem'shalah) in the heavens. The Hebrew word asah has been translated into English as "made," but it means "appointed," because these heavenly lights would have been formed (bara) much earlier than this Fourth Eon.

All that's being said in the Hebrew text is that these lights are now able to directly exercise their influence on the planet's surface, because the blanket of "greenhouse" mists have dissipated and these lights are now visible in the heavens. In other words, these lights can now serve as a distinct mark (ot) in the heavens and can exercise dominion over the seasons, the times (yom) and the years. Again, there was a dark beginning and a bright ending to this Fourth Eon and the stage was set for life to explode onto the scene.
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Last edited by smadewell; 08-14-2006 at 01:58 AM.
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Old 08-14-2006, 01:55 AM
smadewell smadewell is offline
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The Fifth Eon of Genesis....

The Fifth Eon of Genesis....

"Let the waters bring forth abundantly the sheretz nefesh chayah" - Gen. 1:20a.

The Hebrew word sheretz can allude to any swarming aquatic creature or an insect or a reptile or an animal or a quadruped. The Hebrew word nefesh means a soul (i.e., the pysche; the mind), but it's also used of any creature, because each creature has a mind. The Hebrew word for "life" appears here in the feminine form (chayah), which might be alluding to life that procreates via asexual reproduction or sexual reproduction wherein the female brings forth life.

Either way, the important thing here is to note that the waters are bringing forth this abundance of life, which is exactly where science says life began.

"Let the waters bring forth abundantly ... winged creatures winging (oph y'ofayph) over the earth on the face of the heavens" - Gen. 1:20b.

The Hebrew word oph can mean any winged thing from an insect to a bird to a bat. All we're talking about here is a "flying creature." Again, these too can trace their origins back to the waters.

This Fifth Eon would probably include the later Precambrian Period right on through to the Carboniferous Period.

"And ELOHIM formed (bara) the great crocodiles (ha-taninim ha-gadolim)" - Gen. 1:21a.

Thus begins the Permian Period and the appearance of the Terrible Lizards (i.e., dinosaurs), etc.

"And ELOHIM formed (bara) ... all living creatures that creep, which swarmed the waters according to its kind, and every winged winger (lit. winged creature with a wing tip) according to its kind" - Gen. 1:21b.

This takes us from the Permian Period through the Triassic Period, the Jurassic Period and right on into the Cretaceous Period.

"And God blessed them, saying, Be fruitful, and multiply, and fill the waters in the seas, and let the winged multiply in the earth" - Gen 1:22.

And thus ends the Fifth Eon with its dark beginning and bright ending.
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Old 08-14-2006, 02:07 AM
smadewell smadewell is offline
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Cool

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tiberius
Well, let's revise the Bible, Smade has discovered the truth....
How 'bout we just stop reading the Bible in English and read it in Hebrew instead. Now there's a thought!

Of course, the problem with that is the .

Notice you don't see Rabbis demanding that Creationism be taught in public schools. Why? Because most know that there's no conflict with the aggadhic tale of Genesis and the order in which science tells us life arose on Earth.

CENTRAL CONFERENCE OF AMERICAN RABBIS - On Creationism in School Textbooks
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Old 08-17-2006, 06:26 AM
smadewell smadewell is offline
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You guess every wonder why this aggadhic narrative was squeezed into a mere 7 days? Ah, who cares.... I've had the wind knocked out of my sails over at the Bible Thumpers vs. Bible Bashers forum ... er hu ... I mean the Creationism vs. Evolution forum. Pfft. Same old story. No one wants to read this stuff from a Jewish POV let alone be bothered by the historical development behind it. :sigh:
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