• Biblical Studies,  Theology

    Thinking About Genesis 1-2, Part 3

    Part 3: The Days in Genesis 1 Do Not Have a Literal Function, but a Literary Function In my my last post, I argued that a literalistic reading of the creation story in Gen 1 contradicts the creation story of Gen 2. To alleviate the tension between these two creation stories, I suggested in that post that we need to understand the “days” of Gen 1 literarily, not literally. In this post, I will point out what many scholars have noticed, namely, that there are strong clues within the literary structure of Gen 1 that reasonably lead us to believe the “days” are functioning in a (somewhat) poetic manner. By attending to…

  • Biblical Studies,  Theology

    Thinking About Genesis 1-2, Part 2

    Part 2: When Genesis 1 is read as a literal, historical sequence of events, then it contradicts Genesis 2. In my last post, I argued that it is not necessary to understand “day” as a literal, 24-hour day. I showed that it is possible to understand the “days” of Genesis 1 in a non-literal way. As we saw, the Hebrew word yom could be understood in a number of ways: as a 24-hour day, as a reference to daylight hours, as an unspecified amount of time, or in a literary and proverbial way. What I want to show in the next two posts is that a non-literal reading of Gen 1…

  • Biblical Studies,  Blog,  Theology

    Thinking About Genesis 1-2: Introduction

    In today’s ideological climate, some sectors of both modern science and evangelicalism commune with each other about like oil and water. In other words, they don’t. When it comes to substantive issues, scientists and evangelicals have been known to disagree (to put the matter gently). Because both sides tend to have certain adherents who choose to drink from the well of various enlightenment assumptions, the “science side” and the “religious side” often find it difficult to reconcile their respective beliefs. This strain is especially pronounced for evangelical scientists. Often, they feel the need to choose between either (a) remaining true to the empirical data they work with or (b) believing…