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Genesis 1 and 2 contradictions

JonMilne
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6/3/2013 12:58:35 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
So since Fruitytree and I debated it, I figure we'd discuss the nature of the contradictions and the two evident creation accounts that exist within Genesis 1 and Genesis 2:4 onwards. With Fruitytree's consent as mentioned in the comments, here is the link to the debate: http://www.debate.org... .

Particularly of note is the fact that I quite clearly showed there are problems relating to the fact that Genesis 2:4 is clearly the beginning of a new creation myth, and that in topics like humans, animals, heaven/earth creation, plants, water, trees, and Eden, there are some quite substantial contradictions between the two chapters. I also highlighted the Documentary Hypothesis, which provides the most logical explanation as to why the two chapters differ so greatly.

I'd also like to address Jzyehoshua, who vouched for the tablet theory. I would like to point out this summary on WP which criticises this hypothesis:

"Hamilton does however identify several problems with what he terms the "Wiseman-Harrison approach". Firstly, "in five instances where the formula precedes a genealogy ..., it is difficult not to include the colophon with what follows." Secondly, the approach requires the "unlikely" explanation that "Ishmael was responsible for preserving the history of Abraham", Isaac for Ishmael's history, Esau for Jacob's and Jacob for Esau's. The third problem he identifies is that Genesis is narrative not biographical, as that approach would suggest.[11]

Herbert M. Wolf describes the theory as "an attractive one", but suggests that it has "serious shortcomings". Firstly, he suggests that toledoth almost always fit more naturally with the verses that they precede than with the verses that precede them. Secondly he doubts if Moses would be able to read writing made before the Tower of Babel. Thirdly he also suggests that the pairings of preservers and preserved histories are "unlikely", given the "rivalry and jealousy" involved and the lack of contact between Esau and Jacob.[12] The Bible Knowledge Commentary: Old Testament says that Wiseman's view is "unconvincing" and distinguishes between the Babylonian colophons and the toledoth of Genesis, in that the colophon is a repetition, not a description of contents, the owner named is the current owner, not the original, and the colophons do not use the Akkadian equivalent of the toledoth as part of their formula.[13]"

It's also worth noting as well that without actual real tangible proof of God's existence that would satisfy all the professional magicians, debunkers, and scientists of this world, such a suggestion as made by Jzyehoshua doesn't really have merit.

There's also the whole appeal to the original Hebrew language tactic, which I also explained the problems with.
v3nesl
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6/3/2013 1:38:05 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 6/3/2013 12:58:35 PM, JonMilne wrote:
So since Fruitytree and I debated it, I figure we'd discuss the nature of the contradictions and the two evident creation accounts that exist within Genesis 1 and Genesis 2:4 onwards. With Fruitytree's consent as mentioned in the comments, here is the link to the debate: http://www.debate.org... .

Particularly of note is the fact that I quite clearly showed there are problems relating to the fact that Genesis 2:4 is clearly the beginning of a new creation myth,

It would seem to be from a different source, but that doesn't make it a "new creation myth".

First, the "duh" question: If it was contradictory, why would Moses include it? It's kind of bizarre that some scholars seem to have failed to ask this question.

So, presuming it was intended to be complimentary, what exactly is the problem here? Moses writes a long time after creation, it's hardly surprising he might have referenced or quoted earlier sources. Much like the alleged problems with the gospels, the fact that two sources are not precisely the same actually lends credence to the reports. When people are making things up, they harmonize their accounts.

A final point - the two accounts fit well with a 'gap theory' reading of scripture, I think. That is, that "In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth" stands alone, and then the 6 day creation week is the more recent beginning of our age. In this case the second version is not addressing the original creation of the cosmos at all.

Just thoughts, nothing I'd fight for. What happened happened, and if I don't get it right, history remains exactly the same.
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Wnope
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6/3/2013 1:42:50 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
Egyptians had three cosmologies circling around at the time. Hindus have at least four mutually exclusive creation stories as well.

It's only when you try to impose a literal, inerrant "these words must be here solely to describe what happened in the historical past" interpretation that suddenly the conflict becomes theologically problematic.

Need for historicity is one of the more intellectually devastating western myths regarding religious practice.
v3nesl
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6/3/2013 2:01:27 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 6/3/2013 1:42:50 PM, Wnope wrote:
Egyptians had three cosmologies circling around at the time. Hindus have at least four mutually exclusive creation stories as well.

It's only when you try to impose a literal, inerrant "these words must be here solely to describe what happened in the historical past" interpretation that suddenly the conflict becomes theologically problematic.

Need for historicity is one of the more intellectually devastating western myths regarding religious practice.

But Moses was one guy, writing the Hebrew scriptures. Not the Egyptian myth, for sure, since YHWH had just whipped those god's asses in order to free His people.

The thing is to ask the simple question: "What did the author intend to say?" And it's generally not that hard to figure out.
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drafterman
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6/3/2013 2:10:45 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 6/3/2013 2:01:27 PM, v3nesl wrote:
At 6/3/2013 1:42:50 PM, Wnope wrote:
Egyptians had three cosmologies circling around at the time. Hindus have at least four mutually exclusive creation stories as well.

It's only when you try to impose a literal, inerrant "these words must be here solely to describe what happened in the historical past" interpretation that suddenly the conflict becomes theologically problematic.

Need for historicity is one of the more intellectually devastating western myths regarding religious practice.

But Moses was one guy, writing the Hebrew scriptures. Not the Egyptian myth, for sure, since YHWH had just whipped those god's asses in order to free His people.

The thing is to ask the simple question: "What did the author intend to say?" And it's generally not that hard to figure out.


Which is why there has only ever been one, singular and cohesive Christian denomination that has never disagreed about the interpretation of scripture or come to arms or bloodshed over it.
Wnope
Posts: 6,924
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6/3/2013 2:13:08 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 6/3/2013 2:01:27 PM, v3nesl wrote:
At 6/3/2013 1:42:50 PM, Wnope wrote:
Egyptians had three cosmologies circling around at the time. Hindus have at least four mutually exclusive creation stories as well.

It's only when you try to impose a literal, inerrant "these words must be here solely to describe what happened in the historical past" interpretation that suddenly the conflict becomes theologically problematic.

Need for historicity is one of the more intellectually devastating western myths regarding religious practice.

But Moses was one guy, writing the Hebrew scriptures. Not the Egyptian myth, for sure, since YHWH had just whipped those god's asses in order to free His people.

The thing is to ask the simple question: "What did the author intend to say?" And it's generally not that hard to figure out.

He was writing IN RESPONSE TO Egyptian myth.

Consider the actual time of Moses. The Jews had been slaves under the Egyptians for quite some time. Their understanding of cosmology apart from anything inherited from their forefathers would be grounded in how Egyptians understand it.

If you read Genesis as a sort of didactic "rebuttal" to Egyptian myth, I think you gain much more clarify as to whatever the "author intended."

For instance, a primary difference between Egyptian and Hebrew cosmology had to do with the placement of the sun, whether it was placed inside an air bubble or inside a solid firmament.

The Egyptians argued that God was the sun (for instance, because light comes from the sun) and that the sun moved because God was moving.

Genesis 1 basically presents an enormous "screw you" to that train of thought.

For Hebrews, the sun NOT ONLY is so inferior as to not be responsible for light, but it can only be named as a light relative to God (look it up, the word "sun" NEVER appears in Genesis 1 only "greater light").

The sun moves not because God is the sun itself, but because the sun and stars are inside a firmament below the abode of God (remember, Egyptians thought the sun WAS God).

The major split in cosmologies for the Egyptians was between the creation of "things that aren't alive" and "things that are alive." Stories tended to differ for those.

Go to the apparent "contradictions" in Genesis 1/2 and you'll notice that the "differences" all pertain to creation of living things. IIRC, Genesis 2 never goes against the order of creation for light, earth, firmament, water, etc.
Wnope
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6/3/2013 2:15:20 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
Compare this to Moses saying "Alright, what the Egyptians told you is all nice and dandy, but really we're on a large ball suspended in mid-air, but without the air so you can't actually breath, and you don't fall off even if you're on the bottom with nothing to hold you, and we're hurtling through a void but can't feel it because the acceleration is constant...now who wants to learn how to eat Kosher?"
v3nesl
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6/3/2013 2:21:55 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 6/3/2013 2:13:08 PM, Wnope wrote:
At 6/3/2013 2:01:27 PM, v3nesl wrote:
At 6/3/2013 1:42:50 PM, Wnope wrote:
Egyptians had three cosmologies circling around at the time. Hindus have at least four mutually exclusive creation stories as well.

It's only when you try to impose a literal, inerrant "these words must be here solely to describe what happened in the historical past" interpretation that suddenly the conflict becomes theologically problematic.

Need for historicity is one of the more intellectually devastating western myths regarding religious practice.

But Moses was one guy, writing the Hebrew scriptures. Not the Egyptian myth, for sure, since YHWH had just whipped those god's asses in order to free His people.

The thing is to ask the simple question: "What did the author intend to say?" And it's generally not that hard to figure out.

He was writing IN RESPONSE TO Egyptian myth.


That's reasonable, that this was one of his immediate motivations.

Consider the actual time of Moses. The Jews had been slaves under the Egyptians for quite some time. Their understanding of cosmology apart from anything inherited from their forefathers would be grounded in how Egyptians understand it.


Eh, maybe. I don't see how we can have much idea how well they preserved their traditions. Obviously Moses' parents did a good job preserving it, since he chose his people over the 'winning the lottery' of being found by the princess.

If you read Genesis as a sort of didactic "rebuttal" to Egyptian myth, I think you gain much more clarify as to whatever the "author intended."

For instance, a primary difference between Egyptian and Hebrew cosmology had to do with the placement of the sun, whether it was placed inside an air bubble or inside a solid firmament.

The Egyptians argued that God was the sun (for instance, because light comes from the sun) and that the sun moved because God was moving.

Genesis 1 basically presents an enormous "screw you" to that train of thought.


Indeed. So Moses doesn't care about bubbles or planetary physics, his God is way bigger than such details. You've got to read the text for what it is first of all, that's what I'm saying. The Egyptian stuff may provide enlightening background, but the Genesis account is radically, RADICALLY different from any other ancient mythology. That's fact #1, that's where you have to start - with the text itself.
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v3nesl
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6/3/2013 2:24:59 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 6/3/2013 2:15:20 PM, Wnope wrote:
Compare this to Moses saying "Alright, what the Egyptians told you is all nice and dandy, but really we're on a large ball suspended in mid-air, but without the air so you can't actually breath, and you don't fall off even if you're on the bottom with nothing to hold you, and we're hurtling through a void but can't feel it because the acceleration is constant...now who wants to learn how to eat Kosher?"

Yeah, but you're reading it in a 19th/20th century context. We're all excited about the fact that we figured out orbital mechanics, but that's not what Moses is talking about. It's important that Moses not make blunders on such things, if I want Moses to be inspired, but at the same time, that's not what he's writing about. He's writing about YHWH, identifying Him as the Manufacturer and Owner of the cosmos.
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Wnope
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6/3/2013 2:26:00 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 6/3/2013 2:21:55 PM, v3nesl wrote:
At 6/3/2013 2:13:08 PM, Wnope wrote:
At 6/3/2013 2:01:27 PM, v3nesl wrote:
At 6/3/2013 1:42:50 PM, Wnope wrote:
Egyptians had three cosmologies circling around at the time. Hindus have at least four mutually exclusive creation stories as well.

It's only when you try to impose a literal, inerrant "these words must be here solely to describe what happened in the historical past" interpretation that suddenly the conflict becomes theologically problematic.

Need for historicity is one of the more intellectually devastating western myths regarding religious practice.

But Moses was one guy, writing the Hebrew scriptures. Not the Egyptian myth, for sure, since YHWH had just whipped those god's asses in order to free His people.

The thing is to ask the simple question: "What did the author intend to say?" And it's generally not that hard to figure out.

He was writing IN RESPONSE TO Egyptian myth.


That's reasonable, that this was one of his immediate motivations.

Consider the actual time of Moses. The Jews had been slaves under the Egyptians for quite some time. Their understanding of cosmology apart from anything inherited from their forefathers would be grounded in how Egyptians understand it.


Eh, maybe. I don't see how we can have much idea how well they preserved their traditions. Obviously Moses' parents did a good job preserving it, since he chose his people over the 'winning the lottery' of being found by the princess.

If you read Genesis as a sort of didactic "rebuttal" to Egyptian myth, I think you gain much more clarify as to whatever the "author intended."

For instance, a primary difference between Egyptian and Hebrew cosmology had to do with the placement of the sun, whether it was placed inside an air bubble or inside a solid firmament.

The Egyptians argued that God was the sun (for instance, because light comes from the sun) and that the sun moved because God was moving.

Genesis 1 basically presents an enormous "screw you" to that train of thought.


Indeed. So Moses doesn't care about bubbles or planetary physics, his God is way bigger than such details. You've got to read the text for what it is first of all, that's what I'm saying. The Egyptian stuff may provide enlightening background, but the Genesis account is radically, RADICALLY different from any other ancient mythology. That's fact #1, that's where you have to start - with the text itself.

Right, God's into the bigger details. The text serves to explain religion and God as opposed to dictating what happened yesterday and the day before that.

So why is it necessary that the two creation stories must perfectly align when we see so many examples of religions at the time who had mutually exclusive creation stories?
Wnope
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6/3/2013 2:27:01 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 6/3/2013 2:24:59 PM, v3nesl wrote:
At 6/3/2013 2:15:20 PM, Wnope wrote:
Compare this to Moses saying "Alright, what the Egyptians told you is all nice and dandy, but really we're on a large ball suspended in mid-air, but without the air so you can't actually breath, and you don't fall off even if you're on the bottom with nothing to hold you, and we're hurtling through a void but can't feel it because the acceleration is constant...now who wants to learn how to eat Kosher?"

Yeah, but you're reading it in a 19th/20th century context. We're all excited about the fact that we figured out orbital mechanics, but that's not what Moses is talking about. It's important that Moses not make blunders on such things, if I want Moses to be inspired, but at the same time, that's not what he's writing about. He's writing about YHWH, identifying Him as the Manufacturer and Owner of the cosmos.

I think we're more in agreement than disagreement on this particular point.
v3nesl
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6/3/2013 3:11:52 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 6/3/2013 2:26:00 PM, Wnope wrote:
...

So why is it necessary that the two creation stories must perfectly align when we see so many examples of religions at the time who had mutually exclusive creation stories?

Because you're just making up an equivalence between 'religions at the time' and this document.

Look, I understand not accepting the Bible as God's word and all that, but I don't understand not reading the author for what he wrote. It's a document, it's a text, not some kind of puzzle to play games with.
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medv4380
Posts: 200
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6/3/2013 3:27:38 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
You really should have brought your counter to the "original meaning" argument in Round 3 after she brought it up, and not Round 4 when it became critical for Fruitytree's rebuttal.

The translation issue is a valid issue Hebrews, and Muslims have objected about it before. No matter how good the translator is the translation is limited by the language it is in and the language it is being changed to. This always results in misunderstanding the original intent. There is a proper counter for it, but you didn't do it.

The easiest counter is that all language is a translation. What my words mean are what my words mean to me, but you might understand my words to have a different meaning. The best example I like happens to be my mothers middle name. My grandparents thought that Gay would be an appropriate middle name for a child because, at the time, Gay just meant happy. It never occurred to them that the flamboyantly gay homosexual men would inadvertently change the meaning of gay to a sexual connotation.

However, pro didn't take the easier position ether. It's far easier to show that Gen 1 & 2 aren't in contradiction if you understand them to be figurative. They're really only in contradiction if you take them as literal. There's even a counter to that position as well.

Overall it was too messy on both sides. A better structure would make it easier to read.
medic0506
Posts: 13,450
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6/3/2013 4:37:18 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 6/3/2013 12:58:35 PM, JonMilne wrote:
So since Fruitytree and I debated it, I figure we'd discuss the nature of the contradictions and the two evident creation accounts that exist within Genesis 1 and Genesis 2:4 onwards. With Fruitytree's consent as mentioned in the comments, here is the link to the debate: http://www.debate.org... .

Particularly of note is the fact that I quite clearly showed there are problems relating to the fact that Genesis 2:4 is clearly the beginning of a new creation myth,

It is not the beginning of a new myth, it is simply a more detailed look at creation day 6. Everything else spirals from that misunderstanding. Genesis 1 is just a generic accounting for the basics, and 2 goes into more detail. 2:4 closes out the first chapter, then begins working backwards. Once the purpose of the chapters are properly understood for what they are, there is no contradiction.
bulproof
Posts: 25,309
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6/3/2013 11:39:34 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 6/3/2013 2:01:27 PM, v3nesl wrote:
At 6/3/2013 1:42:50 PM, Wnope wrote:
Egyptians had three cosmologies circling around at the time. Hindus have at least four mutually exclusive creation stories as well.

It's only when you try to impose a literal, inerrant "these words must be here solely to describe what happened in the historical past" interpretation that suddenly the conflict becomes theologically problematic.

Need for historicity is one of the more intellectually devastating western myths regarding religious practice.

But Moses was one guy, writing the Hebrew scriptures. Not the Egyptian myth, for sure, since YHWH had just whipped those god's asses in order to free His people.

The thing is to ask the simple question: "What did the author intend to say?" And it's generally not that hard to figure out.
You understand. I hope. that the oldest known sample of the written Hebrew language is dated 180-200yrs after moses alleged death?
Wnope
Posts: 6,924
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6/4/2013 2:49:13 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 6/3/2013 3:11:52 PM, v3nesl wrote:
At 6/3/2013 2:26:00 PM, Wnope wrote:
...

So why is it necessary that the two creation stories must perfectly align when we see so many examples of religions at the time who had mutually exclusive creation stories?

Because you're just making up an equivalence between 'religions at the time' and this document.

Look, I understand not accepting the Bible as God's word and all that, but I don't understand not reading the author for what he wrote. It's a document, it's a text, not some kind of puzzle to play games with.

If no one at the time had a problem with multiple creation stories in a religion, why should we assume the author had not intended precisely this?

There is a direct contradiction between Genesis 1 and 2 that textually can only be reconciled through the most elegant of mental acrobatics.

The same problem would arise for anything trying to explain an Egyptian cosmology using a single interpretation.

Do you think Egyptians or Hindus who have no qualm with multiple creation stories are simply faking being religious?
JonMilne
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6/4/2013 3:18:25 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 6/3/2013 1:38:05 PM, v3nesl wrote:
At 6/3/2013 12:58:35 PM, JonMilne wrote:
So since Fruitytree and I debated it, I figure we'd discuss the nature of the contradictions and the two evident creation accounts that exist within Genesis 1 and Genesis 2:4 onwards. With Fruitytree's consent as mentioned in the comments, here is the link to the debate: http://www.debate.org... .

Particularly of note is the fact that I quite clearly showed there are problems relating to the fact that Genesis 2:4 is clearly the beginning of a new creation myth,

It would seem to be from a different source, but that doesn't make it a "new creation myth".

First, the "duh" question: If it was contradictory, why would Moses include it? It's kind of bizarre that some scholars seem to have failed to ask this question.

Probably because there needed to be a "Fall" element so that it would provide a marketing hook for getting people to join the religion, y'know what with that whole "You're all dirty sinners and your only salvation is through God" line. Plus, considering that only the most learned people (who tended to be Jewish and then later scholars) would have had access to reading the source material, so it's not like Moses had to worry too much about loads of people reading the material when he could just preach it to them. Beyond that, criticising scripture was considered heresy and punishable by death, so might makes right, I guess.

So, presuming it was intended to be complimentary, what exactly is the problem here? Moses writes a long time after creation, it's hardly surprising he might have referenced or quoted earlier sources. Much like the alleged problems with the gospels, the fact that two sources are not precisely the same actually lends credence to the reports. When people are making things up, they harmonize their accounts.

Try because many Christians either take the Bible at entirely literal value or at the very least consider it inerrant. Forgive me, but on what possible basis, if you presume the events as depicted in the Bible actually happened, do you have to say that one is literal and the other is purely metaphorical? Considering the primitive mindsets involved and Wnope's point about how other religions had multiple creation myths treated as literal, why couldn't the same apply to Judaism/Christianity?

A final point - the two accounts fit well with a 'gap theory' reading of scripture, I think. That is, that "In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth" stands alone, and then the 6 day creation week is the more recent beginning of our age. In this case the second version is not addressing the original creation of the cosmos at all.

Except that it in fact establishes a completely different order of events as to what happened in Genesis 1. I debunked this in the debate.
JonMilne
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6/4/2013 3:22:01 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 6/3/2013 4:37:18 PM, medic0506 wrote:
At 6/3/2013 12:58:35 PM, JonMilne wrote:
So since Fruitytree and I debated it, I figure we'd discuss the nature of the contradictions and the two evident creation accounts that exist within Genesis 1 and Genesis 2:4 onwards. With Fruitytree's consent as mentioned in the comments, here is the link to the debate: http://www.debate.org... .

Particularly of note is the fact that I quite clearly showed there are problems relating to the fact that Genesis 2:4 is clearly the beginning of a new creation myth,

It is not the beginning of a new myth, it is simply a more detailed look at creation day 6. Everything else spirals from that misunderstanding. Genesis 1 is just a generic accounting for the basics, and 2 goes into more detail. 2:4 closes out the first chapter, then begins working backwards. Once the purpose of the chapters are properly understood for what they are, there is no contradiction.

Wrong. A completely different order of events gets established, including insisting that the Earth was completely filled with water in Genesis 1, and yet saying it was completely dry in Genesis 2. That and also plants and animals coming before humans in Genesis 1, and yet man coming before plants and animals in Genesis 2. Indeed, a big part of Genesis 2 involves Adam actually witnessing God creating the animals and Adam proceeding to give names for the animals, something that is completely absent from Genesis 1.
JonMilne
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6/4/2013 3:28:23 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 6/3/2013 1:38:05 PM, v3nesl wrote:
At 6/3/2013 12:58:35 PM, JonMilne wrote:
So since Fruitytree and I debated it, I figure we'd discuss the nature of the contradictions and the two evident creation accounts that exist within Genesis 1 and Genesis 2:4 onwards. With Fruitytree's consent as mentioned in the comments, here is the link to the debate: http://www.debate.org... .

Particularly of note is the fact that I quite clearly showed there are problems relating to the fact that Genesis 2:4 is clearly the beginning of a new creation myth,

It would seem to be from a different source, but that doesn't make it a "new creation myth".

First, the "duh" question: If it was contradictory, why would Moses include it? It's kind of bizarre that some scholars seem to have failed to ask this question.

So, presuming it was intended to be complimentary, what exactly is the problem here? Moses writes a long time after creation, it's hardly surprising he might have referenced or quoted earlier sources. Much like the alleged problems with the gospels, the fact that two sources are not precisely the same actually lends credence to the reports. When people are making things up, they harmonize their accounts.

A final point - the two accounts fit well with a 'gap theory' reading of scripture, I think. That is, that "In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth" stands alone, and then the 6 day creation week is the more recent beginning of our age. In this case the second version is not addressing the original creation of the cosmos at all.

Just thoughts, nothing I'd fight for. What happened happened, and if I don't get it right, history remains exactly the same.

I'll also add as well that if Moses really wrote Genesis 1 and 2, and indeed Genesis in general, then we should expect to see both the first two chapters be entirely consistent, and yet we quite clearly don't.
JonMilne
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6/4/2013 3:33:23 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 6/3/2013 3:27:38 PM, medv4380 wrote:
You really should have brought your counter to the "original meaning" argument in Round 3 after she brought it up, and not Round 4 when it became critical for Fruitytree's rebuttal.

Yeah, I'll admit that much.

The translation issue is a valid issue Hebrews, and Muslims have objected about it before. No matter how good the translator is the translation is limited by the language it is in and the language it is being changed to. This always results in misunderstanding the original intent. There is a proper counter for it, but you didn't do it.

The big problem here is something I already mentioned in the debate. If one assumes the existence of God for a moment, then it shouldn't matter how his chosen holy text gets translated, because if God has all the qualities assigned to him by his defenders, then we should expect to see complete consistency between what we find in Genesis 1 and 2. And yet we quite clearly don't.
Fruitytree
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6/4/2013 3:34:04 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
You are repeating what you said before, it means you are interpreting the verses so that they contradict, this is just so twisted.
Fruitytree
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6/4/2013 3:36:46 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 6/3/2013 4:37:18 PM, medic0506 wrote:
At 6/3/2013 12:58:35 PM, JonMilne wrote:
So since Fruitytree and I debated it, I figure we'd discuss the nature of the contradictions and the two evident creation accounts that exist within Genesis 1 and Genesis 2:4 onwards. With Fruitytree's consent as mentioned in the comments, here is the link to the debate: http://www.debate.org... .

Particularly of note is the fact that I quite clearly showed there are problems relating to the fact that Genesis 2:4 is clearly the beginning of a new creation myth,

It is not the beginning of a new myth, it is simply a more detailed look at creation day 6. Everything else spirals from that misunderstanding. Genesis 1 is just a generic accounting for the basics, and 2 goes into more detail. 2:4 closes out the first chapter, then begins working backwards. Once the purpose of the chapters are properly understood for what they are, there is no contradiction.

Hi Medic, I don't even see why it should be a detailed look at day 6, I see it as something that happened after day 7 independently for the universe creation, which means we have no clue from Genesis, How much time went between the end of creation of the universe, and man first time walking on earth.

Can you please tell me why you believe it's day 6 detailed ?
medic0506
Posts: 13,450
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6/4/2013 5:56:08 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 6/4/2013 3:22:01 AM, JonMilne wrote:
At 6/3/2013 4:37:18 PM, medic0506 wrote:
At 6/3/2013 12:58:35 PM, JonMilne wrote:
So since Fruitytree and I debated it, I figure we'd discuss the nature of the contradictions and the two evident creation accounts that exist within Genesis 1 and Genesis 2:4 onwards. With Fruitytree's consent as mentioned in the comments, here is the link to the debate: http://www.debate.org... .

Particularly of note is the fact that I quite clearly showed there are problems relating to the fact that Genesis 2:4 is clearly the beginning of a new creation myth,

It is not the beginning of a new myth, it is simply a more detailed look at creation day 6. Everything else spirals from that misunderstanding. Genesis 1 is just a generic accounting for the basics, and 2 goes into more detail. 2:4 closes out the first chapter, then begins working backwards. Once the purpose of the chapters are properly understood for what they are, there is no contradiction.

Wrong. A completely different order of events gets established, including insisting that the Earth was completely filled with water in Genesis 1, and yet saying it was completely dry in Genesis 2.

Yes the earth was filled with water, until Genesis 1:9 when dry land appeared. 2:5-6 explain that God had not caused it to rain yet to water the vegetation so a mist went up from the ground. Not new creation, but more detail about what was already established in Gen. 1.

Genesis 2 does not say that "the entire earth was dry". In fact, in 1:10 it differentiates between the dry land and the seas...

"And God called the dry land Earth; and the gathering together of the waters called he Seas: and God saw that it was good."

Yes, the dry land was dry because as it explains, God had not caused rain yet, on the dry land. But it does not say anywhere that the entire earth was dry, as you seem to be saying here.

That and also plants and animals coming before humans in Genesis 1, and yet man coming before plants and animals in Genesis 2. Indeed, a big part of Genesis 2 involves Adam actually witnessing God creating the animals and Adam proceeding to give names for the animals, something that is completely absent from Genesis 1.

Do you realize that beginning in 2:8, it's talking about the creation of the Garden of Eden, and what was created inside the Garden??

In 1 there is no mention of the Garden, or the rivers, or the fact that Adam was created outside the Garden, then placed there, or that Eve was created after Adam was placed in the Garden. There had to have been something different about the Garden, otherwise there would be no need to specifically point it out as being a special place, above the rest of the earth. Therefore, one would expect that there would be vegetation and animals present, that were unique to the Garden, that didn't exist yet outside of it. The last part of chapter 2 is simply describing, in more detail, what happened specifically inside the Garden of Eden, on day 6.

There is no contradiction, or conflicts in the order of events, when you understand what each chapter is actually saying. As FT said in the debate, it is your misunderstanding that is causing the conflict.

Do atheists really think that the author was so stupid that he would start the chapter out saying..."Thus the heavens and the earth were finished, and all the host of them."...and then immediately launch into another, contradictory version of what they already just finished?? Come on, think.
medv4380
Posts: 200
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6/4/2013 9:50:53 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 6/4/2013 3:33:23 AM, JonMilne wrote:
At 6/3/2013 3:27:38 PM, medv4380 wrote:
You really should have brought your counter to the "original meaning" argument in Round 3 after she brought it up, and not Round 4 when it became critical for Fruitytree's rebuttal.

Yeah, I'll admit that much.

The translation issue is a valid issue Hebrews, and Muslims have objected about it before. No matter how good the translator is the translation is limited by the language it is in and the language it is being changed to. This always results in misunderstanding the original intent. There is a proper counter for it, but you didn't do it.

The big problem here is something I already mentioned in the debate. If one assumes the existence of God for a moment, then it shouldn't matter how his chosen holy text gets translated, because if God has all the qualities assigned to him by his defenders, then we should expect to see complete consistency between what we find in Genesis 1 and 2. And yet we quite clearly don't.

You do realize the the simple answer to that is that Jews believe God doesn't want it translated, Muslims believe that God doesn't want it translated, and even the Catholic Church opposed translation because God didn't want it translated. You would have been better off actually countering the translation argument rather than dismissing it. Heck, even a lot of Protestants agree with the translation argument taking away from the meaning, but use an accessibility argument to justify the translation.

You're also assuming that God could have it translated correctly into another language. The problem isn't with God the problem is with the language you're translating to. Lets take Japanese for example. If you asked me what color a Green Plant in a Blue Pot and I say "au" what did I mean? That word happens to be a word English Doesn't have. In general it means blue, but it also means green when referring to living things like plant.

Another example in Hebrew is that they have good words for sphere. Duwr is used for ball, but it also mean circle. The two concepts are mutually exclusive in English, but not in Hebrew.
v3nesl
Posts: 4,505
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6/4/2013 10:20:33 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 6/3/2013 11:39:34 PM, bulproof wrote:
At 6/3/2013 2:01:27 PM, v3nesl wrote:
At 6/3/2013 1:42:50 PM, Wnope wrote:
Egyptians had three cosmologies circling around at the time. Hindus have at least four mutually exclusive creation stories as well.

It's only when you try to impose a literal, inerrant "these words must be here solely to describe what happened in the historical past" interpretation that suddenly the conflict becomes theologically problematic.

Need for historicity is one of the more intellectually devastating western myths regarding religious practice.

But Moses was one guy, writing the Hebrew scriptures. Not the Egyptian myth, for sure, since YHWH had just whipped those god's asses in order to free His people.

The thing is to ask the simple question: "What did the author intend to say?" And it's generally not that hard to figure out.
You understand. I hope. that the oldest known sample of the written Hebrew language is dated 180-200yrs after moses alleged death?

His 'alleged' death? He didn't really die? Cool!

I know what you mean to say, but this is just the kind of 'looking for trouble' pseudo scholarship that I reject. There is no reason to reject a historical, literate Moses, unless you have an a priori objection to Bible truth.
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v3nesl
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6/4/2013 10:30:08 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 6/4/2013 2:49:13 AM, Wnope wrote:
At 6/3/2013 3:11:52 PM, v3nesl wrote:
At 6/3/2013 2:26:00 PM, Wnope wrote:
...

So why is it necessary that the two creation stories must perfectly align when we see so many examples of religions at the time who had mutually exclusive creation stories?

Because you're just making up an equivalence between 'religions at the time' and this document.

Look, I understand not accepting the Bible as God's word and all that, but I don't understand not reading the author for what he wrote. It's a document, it's a text, not some kind of puzzle to play games with.

If no one at the time had a problem with multiple creation stories in a religion, why should we assume the author had not intended precisely this?

There is a direct contradiction between Genesis 1 and 2 that textually can only be reconciled through the most elegant of mental acrobatics.

What's the contradiction? Honest question. I mean, the language about 'no shrub had appeared', it's slightly puzzling, but a contradictory account? I find that pretty extreme. I grant that it may be from a different source, and I grant that it may not, it may simply be Moses taking a breath and jumping into the more specific story of Adam and Eve. I think you're making a mountain out of a molehill.


The same problem would arise for anything trying to explain an Egyptian cosmology using a single interpretation.


Again, there is clearly no second cosmology here. Take a deep breath, man. Somebody was trying to sell a book or get noticed or something, somebody's making way too much of this.



Do you think Egyptians or Hindus who have no qualm with multiple creation stories are simply faking being religious?

You haven't even attempted to tell me why Egyptians or Hindus are relevant to this discussion. I get that the Hebrews had just come from Egypt so some realignment might have been in order, but I just don't see why I should assume other creation stories have ANY relevance. Maybe they do, but you have to establish that relevance, not simply assume it.
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Sidewalker
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6/4/2013 10:31:15 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
The apparent contradictions of Genesis 1 and 2 are a fallacy of misplaced concreteness that results from a category error regarding the relative frames of reference between the two accounts. The so called contradictions are not in the text, they result from reading the text incorrectly.

Genesis 1 and 2 relate the true nature of mankind and poignantly addresses the subject of "knowledge", particularly speaking to the development of the "reflective knowledge" that distinguishes mankind from the rest of the animal kingdom, it is an introduction to the consequences of our having taken that humanizing step. Genesis is an orienting myth that provides us with subjective meaning, it tells us why things are like they are and it positions us within the universe and speaks to our relevance in the grand scheme of things, it"s not intended to convey objective information about scientific facts, it is more about our existence as subjective causal agents with self-awareness, explaining and relating the resultant requirements for conscious and moral decision-making.

To do that it begins by providing external context with a brief description of external reality through a technique of recapitulation that was widely practiced in ancient Semitic cultures. Genesis 1 recapitulates the story of the creation of external reality in only thirty-one sentences and while the Bible is not a science textbook, there is indeed a remarkable correspondence between what science tells us and what Genesis tells us about the creation of physical reality up to the point when mankind emerged.

After providing that brief external context in Genesis 1, the story of internal reality begins with Genesis 2, so Genesis 1 is chronological and Genesis 2 is topical. The transition of the point of view from external to internal reality is an inversion clearly signaled with reversed language ordering (heaven/earth and earth/heaven for instance) and the use of different names for deity, in Genesis 1 the plural form Elohim is used to reference God"s external nature as the power of a mighty creator of the plurality of external reality, Genesis 2 is about internal reality, and the sacred singular name YHVH is used to reference the essential moral, spiritual and singularly personal nature of the internal dimension of deity. In Genesis 1 mankind is the final creation in a chronological series, created in the "image of God" with no further explanation, Genesis 2 references 1 by saying that we were formed from the dust of the ground, and then explains the phrase that we were "made in the image of God". In Genesis 2 mankind is primary in a topical discussion of internal reality, the inverted point of view is now an internal subjective point of view, and therefore necessarily begins with mankind as central. The context has been set, and the story is now about our consciousness, about the unique way that human"s think, and it is told from an internal point of view in a language of images created by the psyche that are psychological, spiritual, and personal, using metaphors of the psyche"s struggle to empower its growth process. Genesis 1 provides the external context for a Genesis 2 discussion about internal reality.

If you understand the relative frames of reference between Genesis 1 and 2, then it becomes apparent that they only appear to be conflicting accounts, instead they are representing two complimentary aspects of the subject/object dichotomy that makes knowledge possible. The Genesis narrative is about the genesis of consciousness, and its intent is to set an explanatory stage for exploring its attendant consequences and associated moral responsibility.
"It is one of the commonest of mistakes to consider that the limit of our power of perception is also the limit of all there is to perceive." " C. W. Leadbeater
v3nesl
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6/4/2013 10:40:13 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 6/4/2013 3:18:25 AM, JonMilne wrote:
At 6/3/2013 1:38:05 PM, v3nesl wrote:
At 6/3/2013 12:58:35 PM, JonMilne wrote:
So since Fruitytree and I debated it, I figure we'd discuss the nature of the contradictions and the two evident creation accounts that exist within Genesis 1 and Genesis 2:4 onwards. With Fruitytree's consent as mentioned in the comments, here is the link to the debate: http://www.debate.org... .

Particularly of note is the fact that I quite clearly showed there are problems relating to the fact that Genesis 2:4 is clearly the beginning of a new creation myth,

It would seem to be from a different source, but that doesn't make it a "new creation myth".

First, the "duh" question: If it was contradictory, why would Moses include it? It's kind of bizarre that some scholars seem to have failed to ask this question.

Probably because there needed to be a "Fall" element so that it would provide a marketing hook for getting people to join the religion, y'know what with that whole "You're all dirty sinners and your only salvation is through God" line. Plus, considering that only the most learned people (who tended to be Jewish and then later scholars) would have had access to reading the source material, so it's not like Moses had to worry too much about loads of people reading the material when he could just preach it to them. Beyond that, criticising scripture was considered heresy and punishable by death, so might makes right, I guess.

The Torah was read to the people. So people not generally being literate doesn't mean they would be unfamiliar with what he wrote.


So, presuming it was intended to be complimentary, what exactly is the problem here? Moses writes a long time after creation, it's hardly surprising he might have referenced or quoted earlier sources. Much like the alleged problems with the gospels, the fact that two sources are not precisely the same actually lends credence to the reports. When people are making things up, they harmonize their accounts.

Try because many Christians either take the Bible at entirely literal value or at the very least consider it inerrant. Forgive me, but on what possible basis, if you presume the events as depicted in the Bible actually happened, do you have to say that one is literal and the other is purely metaphorical?

You mean the gen 1 & 2 accounts? I take them both literally.


Except that it in fact establishes a completely different order of events as to what happened in Genesis 1. I debunked this in the debate.

You know what I think has happened here, I'm getting the little light bulb going off in my head: Some of you were told that it was two conflicting accounts before you had ever just read the text yourself, so it kind of poisoned the well for you. So you read it as two totally different accounts of the same events, and shore nuf - you see major conflicts. But if a person without preconceived notions reads Gen 2, I think most anybody will read it as a much more focused, limited, more specific account of man. It's not retelling the whole creation story, just, like those google map zooms, going from a planetary view down to somewhere around modern day Iraq, the environs of the garden of Eden.
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v3nesl
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6/4/2013 10:41:33 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 6/4/2013 10:31:15 AM, Sidewalker wrote:
The apparent contradictions of Genesis 1 and 2 are a fallacy of misplaced concreteness that results from a category error regarding the relative frames of reference between the two accounts. The so called contradictions are not in the text, they result from reading the text incorrectly.

Yeah, what he said :-) (And medic)
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v3nesl
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6/4/2013 10:54:02 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 6/4/2013 10:31:15 AM, Sidewalker wrote:
...
After providing that brief external context in Genesis 1, the story of internal reality begins with Genesis 2, so Genesis 1 is chronological and Genesis 2 is topical.

Oh, maybe I should have read further and more carefully, lol.

Here's a sort of category error a lot of people make: Assuming that literal and deeper truths have to be mutually exclusive. When I hold a door for my wife I am literally holding a door, but more importantly expressing respect and value. She's plenty strong enough to open her own doors, so the literal meaning is not the main one. But it is a literal reality, me holding a door.

So certainly in Genesis, it's about a lot more than eating unapproved fruit. But it is quite literally about eating from a tree. Why is this important? Because it anchors the Bible in the real world. When you go full metaphorical you end up making the bible in your image instead of being educated by God. And yes, clearly there are passages that are purely figurative, but I'm talking about avoiding the need to avoid literal readings because they require the miraculous.
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