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Allegory/Symbolism in Genesis 1

Derf

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Thus, we can understand that, conversely, if there is no separation between light and darkness, that light must have been everywhere, filling the universe, where there was no shadow, no darkness, because darkness disappears when light is present.
I've been thinking about this some more. The biblical account of"Let theire be light" aligns with the current secular theory of the photon phase of the Big Bang. Separation of light from darkness requires more than just objects to block the light. It requires the light to only come from some locations, not all locations.
A thought just occurred to me. What if this meant that photons originally could have passed through matter, and the "separation" would be God making it so that light couldn't pass through matter, "dividing" it like placing a rock in front of a flashlight?
If the locations of light were far enough away from each other, it would work similarly to what we see now, but without distinct bodies of light. And the earth, spinning close to one of those bodies (not yet localized enough to be the Sun) would experience evening and morning periods before the sun became a distinct entity (remember, there were photons and light before the sun).
The universe already existed, all God would have to do is make it so that objects created shadows, and they would be what "divides" the light, separating light from darkness.
You can see that something more is needed, because the shadow of the earth ("evening") wouldn't happen if the light still came from everywhere.

You might remember a song by Don Francisco, "He's Alive", in which Jesus first appears to Peter after the resurrection, with the line "Light that came from everywhere drove shadows from the room."
 
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Sherman

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Ok, so you mean the Bible was in error saying the earth at this time was without form? It was already an opaque spherical object?
Please say on topic - the topic of this thread is whether Genesis is an allegory or not. If you can't stay on topic, then it is time to remove you from the thread.
 

Idolater

"Lahey, I live in a tent!"
Asked and answered.
Saying it doesn't make it so. Is God literally, wooden, the Logos? Is He literally, wooden, love? Spirit?
The context determines it. Not just the context of the specific verse but of the whole bible as well.
Evasive. The Logos, Love, Spirit. Literal, wooden; or figurative, allegory and or symbol?
God did not create Himself but God did created light, Idolater. Light, unlike space and time, is a physical thing that exists in the physical/created universe. If God were the sort of light that you see with your eyes then there would have been no need for Him to say, "Let there be light." God, very simply, is not electromagnetic radiation!

Genesis 1:3 Then God said, “Let there be light”; and there was light.​
Time is assumed by all verbs, it's part of what makes a verb, grammatically. It presupposes time. Verbs grammatically indicate change over time. If the word does not indicate change over time then it's a copula, a different grammatical thing than a verb.
 

Clete

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Clete, I have a backlog of posts in this thread that I hope to find time for soon. Several times by chance I have seen recent posts to me that I responded quickly to, posts after this one from you. So I have you in the queue, but I don’t have a good feel for how long it might take me to get caught up.
Been there!

As to your mention of “one additional chance … will be ignored”, you need to understand that I pay little attention to such ultimatums.
Irrelevant. It was a statement of fact. You can pay as little or as much attention to it as you choose. The point is that I will not waste time with people who refuse to answer direct questions with substantive answers. I was simply telling you that you have a choice. You can be substantive or ignored. I prefer the former, but am not going to spend any more time begging you to stop whining like a child.

I essentially said much the same to RD, though I have interacted briefly with him since. If indeed you choose to ignore me, then go for it, and I wish you well.
I said the post would be ignored. You haven't been nearly the waste of time it takes to land you on my ignore list yet.

I still appreciate when you have been polite and constructive in explaining your positions, including when you are responding to others. And if I feel you are remiss in a point you are making, I may point that out. You may ignore me, but even though the posts in these threads may be person-to-person, the audience that reads them is not just you and me.
I'm as patient as the day is long with people who are trying to be substantive. My last few posts here have been primarily aimed at determining whether your belly-aching is a result of a more or less emotional reaction or if its because you've just got nothing of substance to offer. I gave you PLENTY of reason to freak out and blow a gasket and thus prove that you're a fool. You didn't freak out and blow a gasket and so that's very promising. I understand that this website can be annoying and infuriating. Believe me, there's not many here who have gotten more angry more often than I have so I totally get it. When you get it into your head that someone is being dismissive, it can really grind hard on the nerves. The test though is whether one can pull themselves out of it and regain their composure, which you seem to have been able to do. Props for that!


Incidentally, you can just forget about everything else I've said and just answer the question about to what extent you believe God authored Genesis in patricular and, by extension, the entire bible generally.

I'll look forward to your response.
 

Clete

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Saying it doesn't make it so. Is God literally, wooden, the Logos? Is He literally, wooden, love? Spirit?
All my posts are still here for the entire world to read, Idolater. I've not only already answered this question, in principle, I just got through answering it again!

Evasive. The Logos, Love, Spirit. Literal, wooden; or figurative, allegory and or symbol?
Asked and answered!

I EXPLICITLY stated, "God is the Logos, not a light bulb!"

That, I'm pretty sure, is a verbatim quote from not three posts ago in this conversation!

Time is assumed by all verbs, it's part of what makes a verb, grammatically. It presupposes time. Verbs grammatically indicate change over time. If the word does not indicate change over time then it's a copula, a different grammatical thing than a verb.
This doesn't just apply to verbs but also to adverbs and probably other grammatical constructs as well. Which is one of the reasons we can know that "outside (adverb) of time" is a fantasy. All such statements are self-contradictory and contradictions do not exist in reality.
 

redfern

Active member
Been there!
....

I'm as patient as the day is long with people who are trying to be substantive. My last few posts here have been primarily aimed at determining whether your belly-aching is a result of a more or less emotional reaction or if its because you've just got nothing of substance to offer. I gave you PLENTY of reason to freak out and blow a gasket and thus prove that you're a fool. You didn't freak out and blow a gasket and so that's very promising. I understand that this website can be annoying and infuriating. Believe me, there's not many here who have gotten more angry more often than I have so I totally get it. When you get it into your head that someone is being dismissive, it can really grind hard on the nerves. The test though is whether one can pull themselves out of it and regain their composure, which you seem to have been able to do. Props for that!

Incidentally, you can just forget about everything else I've said and just answer the question about to what extent you believe God authored Genesis in patricular and, by extension, the entire bible generally.

I'll look forward to your response.
Clete, Based on the warning from Sherman that I stick to the defined subject matter for this thread, my authoring further posts that do not specifically deal with allegories or symbols in Genesis 1 may precipitate my having to vacate the thread. Some of the posts I had hoped to respond to have some excellent content, but any meaningful reply from me would not be focused on either symbology or allegorical content.

From the first I have tried to be consistent in saying that I find the early verses of Genesis to be scientifically problematic. But I am fully willing to overlook that if in fact those verses are only symbolic, since science does not place constraints on symbolic meanings. But in over 300 posts I have yet to see anyone plainly say those verses are symbolic, and here are the underlying meanings.

It would be presumptuous for me dream up possible allegorical (or symbolic) meanings, when none of the defenders have done so. So my only comment on the allegories involved necessarily is that there are no clear allegorical meanings. Which from my stance leaves me with verses that are neither symbolic nor supported scientifically. We might debate (and have debated) whether science does conflict, but that has been deemed as being off the subject.

The second rule for this forum that long ago annabenedetti mentioned is “2. No calling the biblical accounts a fable - fairy tale ect.” Notice the offense of holding an account to not be true applies to not only the Bible as a book, but forbids casting doubt on individual accounts within the Bible (think “creation account”). So I am left with the option of either denying what I believe to be credible science, or leaving not just this thread, but the entire “Creation Science” portion of TOL.

I again appreciate your unusually perceptive replies, and again wish you well. But since the “Science” in these “Creation Science” forums is a different critter than the science I am immersed in my professional life, and the rules pretty well muzzle me, I see no benefit to anyone in my continued presence under the thumb of the TOL autocracy. I wish you well.
 

Idolater

"Lahey, I live in a tent!"
Clete, Based on the warning from Sherman that I stick to the defined subject matter for this thread, my authoring further posts that do not specifically deal with allegories or symbols in Genesis 1 may precipitate my having to vacate the thread. Some of the posts I had hoped to respond to have some excellent content, but any meaningful reply from me would not be focused on either symbology or allegorical content.

From the first I have tried to be consistent in saying that I find the early verses of Genesis to be scientifically problematic. But I am fully willing to overlook that if in fact those verses are only symbolic, since science does not place constraints on symbolic meanings. But in over 300 posts I have yet to see anyone plainly say those verses are symbolic, and here are the underlying meanings.

It would be presumptuous for me dream up possible allegorical (or symbolic) meanings, when none of the defenders have done so. So my only comment on the allegories involved necessarily is that there are no clear allegorical meanings. Which from my stance leaves me with verses that are neither symbolic nor supported scientifically. We might debate (and have debated) whether science does conflict, but that has been deemed as being off the subject.

The second rule for this forum that long ago annabenedetti mentioned is “2. No calling the biblical accounts a fable - fairy tale ect.” Notice the offense of holding an account to not be true applies to not only the Bible as a book, but forbids casting doubt on individual accounts within the Bible (think “creation account”). So I am left with the option of either denying what I believe to be credible science, or leaving not just this thread, but the entire “Creation Science” portion of TOL.

I again appreciate your unusually perceptive replies, and again wish you well. But since the

... “Science” in these “Creation Science” forums is a different critter than the science I am immersed in my professional life, and the rules pretty well muzzle me, I see no benefit to anyone in my continued presence under the thumb of the TOL autocracy. I wish you well.
There's no problem in believing in six days as regards your science, unless your science is antagonistic toward logic.

I hold to the literal, wooden view of Genesis, but I also can entertain ideas, without in any way compromising my position. The idea is only a proposition, a proposal. It will be tested against evidence, and certain evidence can contradict, deny, disprove it, and positively.

My reputation gives me this freedom, the reputation for upholding the Sacred Scripture. Witness my introduction of the Eucharist and the Real Presence, earlier in this thread, when I corresponded with Anna, another Catholic about it. I take the Bible wooden, literal.

Nothing stops me from thinking that Genesis is simply a pre-Aristotelian attempt at categorizing terms. As such it could be called "Logic" instead of "Genesis." Look up Aristotle and categories (or praedicament).
 

JudgeRightly

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Clete, Based on the warning from Sherman that I stick to the defined subject matter for this thread, my authoring further posts that do not specifically deal with allegories or symbols in Genesis 1 may precipitate my having to vacate the thread.

We don't mind a bit of wiggle room in the discussion. The problem is that you were getting too far off topic.

Clete's question is definitely related to the topic, so feel free to answer it.

Some of the posts I had hoped to respond to have some excellent content, but any meaningful reply from me would not be focused on either symbology or allegorical content.

You can always start a new thread (I think... not sure the requirements for new members to be able to start new threads. @Sherman could answer that better than I could.)

From the first I have tried to be consistent in saying that I find the early verses of Genesis to be scientifically problematic.

Why?

Problematic for whom?

Because I don't find it problematic at all.

But I am fully willing to overlook that if in fact those verses are only symbolic, since science does not place constraints on symbolic meanings.

What if Genesis ISN'T symbolic though, but an actual record of history, and the "science" is wrong?

What then?

But in over 300 posts I have yet to see anyone plainly say those verses are symbolic, and here are the underlying meanings.

Anna tried to avoid doing so, but considering what she posted, she thinks it's allegory/symbolism, despite not answering the OP.

It would be presumptuous for me dream up possible allegorical (or symbolic) meanings, when none of the defenders have done so.

But you're at least willing to consider it allegorical or symbolic, despite not knowing exactly what such is referring to.

Why is that more logical to you?

So my only comment on the allegories involved necessarily is that there are no clear allegorical meanings.

In which case, why consider the passage to be allegorical at all?

Why does Genesis 1 HAVE to be allegorical?

Which from my stance leaves me with verses that are neither symbolic nor supported scientifically.

No, that would be begging the question, specifically in that you assume that they are not supported scientifically.

What if they are, but you've only been paying attention to one side of the argument, not even aware of the other side's position?

We might debate (and have debated) whether science does conflict, but that has been deemed as being off the subject.

Not quite. The discussion was moving towards the CMB, which isn't quite on topic enough for this discussion.

The second rule for this forum that long ago annabenedetti mentioned is “2. No calling the biblical accounts a fable - fairy tale ect.”

To which I pointed out that calling Genesis 1 figurative/allegorical/symbolic doesn't fall into that category.

Notice the offense of holding an account to not be true applies to not only the Bible as a book, but forbids casting doubt on individual accounts within the Bible (think “creation account”). So I am left with the option of either denying what I believe to be credible science, or leaving not just this thread, but the entire “Creation Science” portion of TOL.

Except that you're missing the third option, which is exactly what this thread is about, which is the assertion that Genesis 1 is not literal, but figurative.

It's not "whether Genesis 1 is true or not, it's whether it's figurative or litral. See the difference?

I again appreciate your unusually perceptive replies, and again wish you well. But since the “Science” in these “Creation Science” forums is a different critter than the science I am immersed in my professional life, and the rules pretty well muzzle me, I see no benefit to anyone in my continued presence under the thumb of the TOL autocrac.. I wish you well.

Science is just science. What youo're referring to are a specific group's of scientists interpretations of the evidence, not science itself.

I strongly recommend you check out this thread for a discussion of the evidence, or any of the other Hydroplate Theory threads.
 

Clete

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Clete, Based on the warning from Sherman that I stick to the defined subject matter for this thread, my authoring further posts that do not specifically deal with allegories or symbols in Genesis 1 may precipitate my having to vacate the thread. Some of the posts I had hoped to respond to have some excellent content, but any meaningful reply from me would not be focused on either symbology or allegorical content.

From the first I have tried to be consistent in saying that I find the early verses of Genesis to be scientifically problematic. But I am fully willing to overlook that if in fact those verses are only symbolic, since science does not place constraints on symbolic meanings. But in over 300 posts I have yet to see anyone plainly say those verses are symbolic, and here are the underlying meanings.

It would be presumptuous for me dream up possible allegorical (or symbolic) meanings, when none of the defenders have done so. So my only comment on the allegories involved necessarily is that there are no clear allegorical meanings. Which from my stance leaves me with verses that are neither symbolic nor supported scientifically. We might debate (and have debated) whether science does conflict, but that has been deemed as being off the subject.

The second rule for this forum that long ago annabenedetti mentioned is “2. No calling the biblical accounts a fable - fairy tale ect.” Notice the offense of holding an account to not be true applies to not only the Bible as a book, but forbids casting doubt on individual accounts within the Bible (think “creation account”). So I am left with the option of either denying what I believe to be credible science, or leaving not just this thread, but the entire “Creation Science” portion of TOL.

I again appreciate your unusually perceptive replies, and again wish you well. But since the “Science” in these “Creation Science” forums is a different critter than the science I am immersed in my professional life, and the rules pretty well muzzle me, I see no benefit to anyone in my continued presence under the thumb of the TOL autocracy. I wish you well.
Blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah. Good grief! You aren't going to start crying are you?

No one is going to ban you for answering a direct question about whether you believe that God authored the bible. If He didn't who gives a damn whether it's allegorical or not?

By the way, there isn't a committee of TOL lawyers reviewing your posts to see whether each post follows each rule to the letter. Basically, all you really have to do is remember that you're on a Christian website and so blatant disrespect directed at God or to Christian scripture isn't going to be tolerated - DUH!. The problem of "calling the biblical accounts a fable - fairy tale ect.” has to do with being flippant and disrespectful. Making an argument, however, is an entirely different thing. There have been multiple threads on this website about whether or not the bible is God's word and the whole premise of the website is, at bottom, about whether the bible is true! The point being, if you would simply stop acting like a scared rat and spending so much time worrying about getting banned and simply decide to make an actual argument, you wouldn't have to even know what the rules are! It's really, really simple...

  • Stay on topic as best you can. (Everyone know that rabbit trails happen!)
  • If a rabbit trail ends up taking over the whole thread, start a new thread.
  • Make an actual argument.
  • Ask pertinent questions.
  • Answer pertinent question directly.
  • Be substantive and respectful and you'll get as much in return from those here who are worth interacting with.
  • When you find someone who refuses to be substantive and respectful, ignore them and move on.

Now, I ask you again. Do you believe that God had anything to do with authoring Genesis and if so, what?

Also, because of what you said in the last post, I need to ask you something else. And this is a real question. It isn't an insult or a backhanded accusation. It's a question....
Are you a Christian? That is, do you believe that God became a man and died for the sin that you're guilty of committing and then rose from the dead? A simply yes or no will do here. It's important because, if you're not, it would change the whole context of the discussion.

Clete

P.S. This post started with redfern being worried about being forced to vacant the thread and ended with what sounded like he's just going to leave the whole website, in which case, why would he be worried about getting kicked off the thread? In other words, it sort of seems like he was just looking for an excuse to bow out. IF this guy vanishes, it'll just be proof that he had nothing of any substance to offer at all and that he simply believes whatever he wants to believe. What it is that makes people who call themselves Christian trust atheistic science over God's word, I will never know.
 

Sherman

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You are free to open a new thread on your topic @redfern .
 

annabenedetti

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But in over 300 posts I have yet to see anyone plainly say those verses are symbolic, and here are the underlying meanings.

Anna tried to avoid doing so, but considering what she posted, she thinks it's allegory/symbolism, despite not answering the OP.

I've already said it represents a passage of time not limited to a day. It's allegory arising from the Jewish concept of a day beginning with evening, which is why they mark the beginning of Sabbath at evening time. There was no concept of a clock, no concept of a new day starting at midnight. The allegory is about time before God's creation, and then after.

Why does it have to be a literal day? All in God's time, not ours.

Psalm 90:4: A thousand years in your sight
are like a day that has just gone by

To give just one example: the six days of creation culminating in the Sabbath on the seventh day symbolize how God guided the development of the world stage by stage according to a well-thought-out plan. The process is described as taking place over a period of seven days because seven was regarded in the ancient world as the number of perfection and seven days were regarded as the ideal length of a process. The unit of "seven days" is more a statement about the perfection of the process than a chronological statistic.

Thus a literal reading of the Bible, on which "creation science" implicitly insists, misses the point of the Bible itself, which seems uninterested in literal interpretation. Like poetry and certain kinds of prose, which sometimes speak in metaphors and symbols, the Bible as a whole does not intend these stories to be taken literally.

 

Right Divider

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Clete, Based on the warning from Sherman that I stick to the defined subject matter for this thread, my authoring further posts that do not specifically deal with allegories or symbols in Genesis 1 may precipitate my having to vacate the thread. Some of the posts I had hoped to respond to have some excellent content, but any meaningful reply from me would not be focused on either symbology or allegorical content.
Start a new thread. It's not hard.
I again appreciate your unusually perceptive replies, and again wish you well. But since the “Science” in these “Creation Science” forums is a different critter than the science I am immersed in my professional life, and the rules pretty well muzzle me, I see no benefit to anyone in my continued presence under the thumb of the TOL autocracy. I wish you well.
The "science" that you've been immersed in contains a lot of falsehoods and misconceptions.
Science is science and Creation Science is no different.
 

redfern

Active member
You are free to open a new thread on your topic @redfern .
I thank you for the offer, Sherman. But the overarching rules here at TOL impose limitation on my side which have no counterparts on the YEC side. As several recent posts show, blatant denigration of important aspects of science raises nary a whisper of reprimand, but blatant denigration of important aspects of Christian belief will not be tolerated. Hardly a level playing field.

I have been moderately surprised that my intended valediction seems to have been answered with replies that have an “Aww, come on back” flavor to them. So I will defer to your judgement, Sherman, as to this response to your offer: There are still a few loose ends that I would like permission to respond to. But very little of my responses will be directly on the subject matter that RD asked the thread to focus on. This proposed final (yes, really final) set of replies would be presented with a level of respect that has not been the norm for many posts in this thread, but my final replies will deal with issues similar to those I have already raised in this thread. Until such a time as I see a message from you giving me permission to respond to prior posts as described, I will resume sauntering back to the lab.
 

Right Divider

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I thank you for the offer, Sherman. But the overarching rules here at TOL impose limitation on my side which have no counterparts on the YEC side. As several recent posts show, blatant denigration of important aspects of science raises nary a whisper of reprimand, but blatant denigration of important aspects of Christian belief will not be tolerated. Hardly a level playing field.
There is NO bias against REAL science here on TOL. Go ahead and attempt to discuss facts and we'll join you.
Please feel free to demonstrate this "blatant denigration of important aspects of science". I'd love to see that.
Start a thread. Start several threads.
I have been moderately surprised that my intended valediction seems to have been answered with replies that have an “Aww, come on back” flavor to them. So I will defer to your judgement, Sherman, as to this response to your offer: There are still a few loose ends that I would like permission to respond to. But very little of my responses will be directly on the subject matter that RD asked the thread to focus on.
That's why I keep asking you to start a new thread with the topic of your choice (as opposed to continuing OFF the topic of this thread).
 

Clete

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I thank you for the offer, Sherman. But the overarching rules here at TOL impose limitation on my side which have no counterparts on the YEC side. As several recent posts show, blatant denigration of important aspects of science raises nary a whisper of reprimand, but blatant denigration of important aspects of Christian belief will not be tolerated. Hardly a level playing field.

I have been moderately surprised that my intended valediction seems to have been answered with replies that have an “Aww, come on back” flavor to them. So I will defer to your judgement, Sherman, as to this response to your offer: There are still a few loose ends that I would like permission to respond to. But very little of my responses will be directly on the subject matter that RD asked the thread to focus on. This proposed final (yes, really final) set of replies would be presented with a level of respect that has not been the norm for many posts in this thread, but my final replies will deal with issues similar to those I have already raised in this thread. Until such a time as I see a message from you giving me permission to respond to prior posts as described, I will resume sauntering back to the lab.
Oh, for crying out loud! Just leave already. Go find someone who will coddle you and rock you sleep so you can stop crying. Maybe they'll carry you to a bed with little bars around it lest you fall out and hurt yourself.
 
In Genesis 1, Instead of God saying, "...the first day" He instead said, "So the evening and the morning were the first day."

Why do you think He added the words evening and morning?
Because darkness preceded the light.
“And God said let there be light”

Before the light was darkness, so the evening precedes the morning.

Only we think the day starts at sunrise…. But creation began in the darkness with the formation of the waters…
 
I've been thinking about this some more. The biblical account of"Let theire be light" aligns with the current secular theory of the photon phase of the Big Bang. Separation of light from darkness requires more than just objects to block the light. It requires the light to only come from some locations, not all locations.

If the locations of light were far enough away from each other, it would work similarly to what we see now, but without distinct bodies of light. And the earth, spinning close to one of those bodies (not yet localized enough to be the Sun) would experience evening and morning periods before the sun became a distinct entity (remember, there were photons and light before the sun).

You can see that something more is needed, because the shadow of the earth ("evening") wouldn't happen if the light still came from everywhere.

You might remember a song by Don Francisco, "He's Alive", in which Jesus first appears to Peter after the resurrection, with the line "Light that came from everywhere drove shadows from the room."
Or you could take it to mean that Jesus was being literal when he said he was the light of the world, the firstborn of all creation.
 
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