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Creation 6 day literal? Or Not

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  • Originally posted by rogue06 View Post
    Hmm. I may be wrong but I thought that this was the first time I brought it up which if correct would hardly make it something I'm constantly insisting on. And I just wanted to make that point since it seems that many tend to conflate comments like that with agreement. In my personal experience such remarks are almost always followed with a "but."
    Yeah, you also mentioned it in post #269 ("but it seems that Augustine is discussing the 'praiseworthy attempt' by a 'certain commentator' there"). I found that a little strange, because in my post #257 I specifically point out that Augustine finds the view "praiseworthy". So, assuming you thought I thought otherwise, I attempted to reassure you that I understood that Augustine only found it "praise-worthy", and that it was not necessarily his view on the matter in post #274. But then you restated in post #275, "just because he calls it a 'praiseworthy attempt' doesn't mean that he agrees with it". I just found it odd that after already acknowledging that it was not necessarily a view that Augustine himself held, you'd make a point of it again.

    That's the part I'm not sure of. I used to have several books which were stored in the basement over at a friend's house who died a couple years ago. When I finally got a chance to retrieve them then had been ruined by flooding when they were moved to a less safe place by his widow.
    That sucks! I lost some valuable albums that way. I also lost a number of books through loaning them to people. I don't do that anymore.

    The last time I actually referenced them directly was with a "debate" with a rather unstable character who posted for awhile before the crash under the name of "becca." I got the quote at that time. And yes Aquinas does, IIRC, quote that line in his "Summa Theologica" (becca actually called it an atheistic source ).
    Ok

    I definitely remember the first quote from my research from a few years back. IIRC, he asked whether "the firmament that is called heaven" was different from the firmament that God created on the second day which at least suggests that he thought there was different firmaments. #@&%#$ 2013 crash of Tweb.
    Hmm. Well I'll keep looking.

    It definitely seems that Basil thought that the firmament was in some way a real -- physical -- thing rather than metaphorical.
    Yep. But it is interesting to note that that was one view held by people in the early church.

    Comment


    • Originally posted by Adrift View Post
      Yeah, you also mentioned it in post #269 ("but it seems that Augustine is discussing the 'praiseworthy attempt' by a 'certain commentator' there"). I found that a little strange, because in my post #257 I specifically point out that Augustine finds the view "praiseworthy". So, assuming you thought I thought otherwise, I attempted to reassure you that I understood that Augustine only found it "praise-worthy", and that it was not necessarily his view on the matter in post #274. But then you restated in post #275, "just because he calls it a 'praiseworthy attempt' doesn't mean that he agrees with it". I just found it odd that after already acknowledging that it was not necessarily a view that Augustine himself held, you'd make a point of it again.
      Hmm. My first mention was meant as being merely descriptive (how Augustine described him) not that I was saying that Augustine might not have agreed with that assessment. That's why I was confused when you said it was something that I "constantly insist[ed] upon."

      Originally posted by Adrift View Post
      That sucks! I lost some valuable albums that way. I also lost a number of books through loaning them to people. I don't do that anymore.
      Same here including irreplaceable versions of movies. One was a VHS tape that I broke the tab out so it couldn't be recorded over and the idiot actually stuck a piece of cardboard in the hole and taped it in place so that he could record a sitcom over it while he went to dinner. To this day he still doesn't understand why I won't loan him anything any more.

      Originally posted by Adrift View Post
      Hmm. Well I'll keep looking.
      Looking over a book online called "Science and Eastern Orthodoxy: From the Greek Fathers to the Age of Globalization (Medicine, Science, and Religion in Historical Context)" by Efthymios Nicolaidis (translated by Susan Emanuel) that seems to be muddying things more than helping.

      Source: The Separation of the Waters and the Ninth Celestial Sphere


      The sentence in Genesis, "and God said 'Let there be a firmament in the midst of the waters, and let it separate the waters from the waters'" (1:6) caused great difficulty for theologians who were expert in the Hellenic world system, for it brought a new and inexplicable element into their astronomy. This account of creation, along with the passage in the Psalms about "the heavens of heavens," would entail a multiplicity of spheres above that of the fixed stars, which would characterize the cosmology of the Middle Ages.

      According to Basil, the firmament is a different sphere from this one, constructed at the moment of Creation for the purpose of separating the created world from God's world. The firmament is a sphere created below the sphere de-limiting the cosmos, and it is identified with the sphere of fixed stars; it is made up of a more solid matter (hence its name), and its purpose is to contain the heavenly waters of which the Bible speaks. The latter are of the same nature as earthly waters and have no allegorical meaning: “We have also some argument concerning the division of the waters with those writers of the Church who, on a pretext of the spiritual sense and more sublime concepts, have recourse to allegories, saying that spiritual and incorporeal powers are signified figuratively by the waters. ... Dismissing such explanations as dream interpretations and old women's tales, let us consider water as water.

      Basil believed that God constructed the firmament just below the sphere delimiting the universe so that it could hold back the celestial waters that (obeying the laws of Aristotelian physics) tend to move toward the center of the universe. He said that this heaven, whose internal side is spherical, is not the same as its external side, in the manner of the stone vaults of baths, whose roof presents a flat exterior surface in order to maintain the water. Several commentators have noticed this “puerile” explanation—what is striking is that, in order to explain how the water is maintained above the firmament, he did not use the argument of symmetry that he had already employed to explain the central place of the earth. Nor did he worry about the question—though well discussed in antiquity—of the speed of the sphere of the “fixed” (an enormous sphere making one revolution per day, it would need to have a very great linear velocity). Basil excluded the known elements from comprising the solid matter of this firmament and elucidated the question by declaring that "we have been taught by the Scripture to permit our mind to invent no fantasy beyond the knowledge that has been granted it."

      © Copyright Original Source



      That description of a firmament that is spherical on the bottom and designed to hold water at the top (IIRC described as concave) definitely rings a bell.

      Originally posted by Adrift View Post
      Yep. But it is interesting to note that that was one view held by people in the early church.
      Again when I researched this a few years ago I couldn't find anyone who didn't see it as a physical barrier (although it appears that Basil might have been familiar with some). Among those who said it was solid are Theophilus of Antioch (d.185); Clement of Alexandria (d.215); Origen (d.253); Novatian (d.258); Hilary of Poitiers (d.368); Athanasius (d.373); Basil the Great (d.379); Cyril of Jerusalem (d.386); Diodore, Bishop of Tarsus (d.394); Ambrose (d.397); John Chrysostom (d.407); Severian, Bishop of Gabala (d.408); Augustine (d.430); Cosmas Indicopleustes (6th cent.); John Philoponus (a.k.a., John the Grammarian of Alexandria) (d. 570); Isidore, bishop of Seville (d.636); Venerable Bede (d. 735); Robert Grosseteste, Bishop of Lincoln (d. 1253); Thomas Aquinas (d. 1274) all either explicitly or implicitly stated that the firmament was a solid, physical structure. The same with such books like "Apostolic Constitutions" (or "Constitution of the Holy Apostles"), Book of Enoch, Book of Baruch, Genesis Rabbah and the pseudo-Clementine "Recognitions."

      Martin Luther was probably the last great theologian to accept a watery, solid firmament above the clouds and sky.


      frontispiece from Martin Luther’s
      translation of the Bible (solid firmament)

      None of this means that this view was the correct one but rather it is the result of an overly literal translation of the text.

      And while today we translate the Hebrew word raqia as meaning "expanse" it needs to be understood that for many centuries the word was thought to mean something solid. If we ignore this then the writings and beliefs of early theologians becomes unintelligible, and a good deal of the symbolic significance of medieval architecture, art and literature is lost. For example, the belief in the concept of a solid firmament was illustrated and reinforced by the tradition of incorporating the firmament in a background arc or border in medieval paintings beyond which God and the angels dwelt.

      I'm always still in trouble again

      "You're by far the worst poster on TWeb" and "TWeb's biggest liar" --starlight (the guy who says Stalin was a right-winger)
      "Overall I would rate the withdrawal from Afghanistan as by far the best thing Biden's done" --Starlight
      "Of course, human life begins at fertilization that’s not the argument." --Tassman

      Comment


      • Originally posted by rogue06 View Post
        Looking over a book online called "Science and Eastern Orthodoxy: From the Greek Fathers to the Age of Globalization (Medicine, Science, and Religion in Historical Context)" by Efthymios Nicolaidis (translated by Susan Emanuel) that seems to be muddying things more than helping.

        Source: The Separation of the Waters and the Ninth Celestial Sphere


        The sentence in Genesis, "and God said 'Let there be a firmament in the midst of the waters, and let it separate the waters from the waters'" (1:6) caused great difficulty for theologians who were expert in the Hellenic world system, for it brought a new and inexplicable element into their astronomy. This account of creation, along with the passage in the Psalms about "the heavens of heavens," would entail a multiplicity of spheres above that of the fixed stars, which would characterize the cosmology of the Middle Ages.

        According to Basil, the firmament is a different sphere from this one, constructed at the moment of Creation for the purpose of separating the created world from God's world. The firmament is a sphere created below the sphere de-limiting the cosmos, and it is identified with the sphere of fixed stars; it is made up of a more solid matter (hence its name), and its purpose is to contain the heavenly waters of which the Bible speaks. The latter are of the same nature as earthly waters and have no allegorical meaning: “We have also some argument concerning the division of the waters with those writers of the Church who, on a pretext of the spiritual sense and more sublime concepts, have recourse to allegories, saying that spiritual and incorporeal powers are signified figuratively by the waters. ... Dismissing such explanations as dream interpretations and old women's tales, let us consider water as water.

        Basil believed that God constructed the firmament just below the sphere delimiting the universe so that it could hold back the celestial waters that (obeying the laws of Aristotelian physics) tend to move toward the center of the universe. He said that this heaven, whose internal side is spherical, is not the same as its external side, in the manner of the stone vaults of baths, whose roof presents a flat exterior surface in order to maintain the water. Several commentators have noticed this “puerile” explanation—what is striking is that, in order to explain how the water is maintained above the firmament, he did not use the argument of symmetry that he had already employed to explain the central place of the earth. Nor did he worry about the question—though well discussed in antiquity—of the speed of the sphere of the “fixed” (an enormous sphere making one revolution per day, it would need to have a very great linear velocity). Basil excluded the known elements from comprising the solid matter of this firmament and elucidated the question by declaring that "we have been taught by the Scripture to permit our mind to invent no fantasy beyond the knowledge that has been granted it."

        © Copyright Original Source



        That description of a firmament that is spherical on the bottom and designed to hold water at the top (IIRC described as concave) definitely rings a bell.
        Yeah, that's an interesting reading of Basil, but as you say, it seems to muddy more than clarify.

        Again when I researched this a few years ago I couldn't find anyone who didn't see it as a physical barrier (although it appears that Basil might have been familiar with some). Among those who said it was solid are Theophilus of Antioch (d.185); Clement of Alexandria (d.215); Origen (d.253); Novatian (d.258); Hilary of Poitiers (d.368); Athanasius (d.373); Basil the Great (d.379); Cyril of Jerusalem (d.386); Diodore, Bishop of Tarsus (d.394); Ambrose (d.397); John Chrysostom (d.407); Severian, Bishop of Gabala (d.408); Augustine (d.430); Cosmas Indicopleustes (6th cent.); John Philoponus (a.k.a., John the Grammarian of Alexandria) (d. 570); Isidore, bishop of Seville (d.636); Venerable Bede (d. 735); Robert Grosseteste, Bishop of Lincoln (d. 1253); Thomas Aquinas (d. 1274) all either explicitly or implicitly stated that the firmament was a solid, physical structure. The same with such books like "Apostolic Constitutions" (or "Constitution of the Holy Apostles"), Book of Enoch, Book of Baruch, Genesis Rabbah and the pseudo-Clementine "Recognitions."

        Martin Luther was probably the last great theologian to accept a watery, solid firmament above the clouds and sky.
        Oh, I'm well aware that the solid firmament view was very popular among early Christian writers. I'm surprised you find it needful to remind me of that. I thought it was fairly obvious.

        Interesting that you chose an image from good ol' Ed Babinski's website.

        None of this means that this view was the correct one but rather it is the result of an overly literal translation of the text.
        Obviously.

        And while today we translate the Hebrew word raqia as meaning "expanse" it needs to be understood that for many centuries the word was thought to mean something solid. If we ignore this then the writings and beliefs of early theologians becomes unintelligible, and a good deal of the symbolic significance of medieval architecture, art and literature is lost. For example, the belief in the concept of a solid firmament was illustrated and reinforced by the tradition of incorporating the firmament in a background arc or border in medieval paintings beyond which God and the angels dwelt.
        Again, this seems all relatively obvious to me, and to anyone who's ever had even a remote interest in the subject. As I mentioned before, from the tone of your posts here, I can't help but think that you don't want anyone in the early church to have understood the firmament to mean anything but that it was a solid dome. As though finding a writer or hearing of those who held the view that the firmament was imperceptible or metaphorical would hurt your own view on subject somehow. I hope I'm misreading you.

        I mentioned in my blog post that the people I've run across who seemed most against a non-solid understanding of the word "firmament" (whether in the original, or by the early church commentators) were, oddly, Christians.

        Source: http://lexiconangelos.blogspot.com/2012/07/not-so-firm-ament.html

        I finally learned from one of these believers that the reason he was so hostile to an open interpretation of Genesis (that allowed even the translation of firmamentum as "expanse"), was because he once went through a period of heavy doubt in his Christian walk attempting to harmonize a literal interpretation of scripture with modern science. He found that by consigning the creation narrative to divinely inspired myth, and taking aim at any view that he felt offered (in his opinion) an edge to a more literal reading, he could resolve that dissonance, and carry on being a Christian.
        This is surely a wrong-headed approach, and seems to me intellectually dishonest. The honest approach is, as Sailhamer pointed out, to figure out what the Biblical view itself is, and go from there.

        © Copyright Original Source

        Comment


        • Originally posted by jordanriver View Post
          (I know red is supposed to be Jesus' words' color, but Russians always make me think of red)
          Are you saying Jesus shouldn't be associated with red, the most awesomest colour in the multiverse?!

          Okay, I'm converting to atheism now.
          Last edited by Duragizer; 03-07-2015, 10:17 PM.
          "When the Western world accepted Christianity, Caesar conquered; and the received text of Western theology was edited by his lawyers…. The brief Galilean vision of humility flickered throughout the ages, uncertainly…. But the deeper idolatry, of the fashioning of God in the image of the Egyptian, Persian, and Roman imperial rulers, was retained. The Church gave unto God the attributes which belonged exclusively to Caesar."

          — Alfred North Whitehead

          Comment


          • Originally posted by Adrift View Post



            Interesting that you chose an image from good ol' Ed Babinski's website.
            Never noticed that until you mentioned it. I got it from Google images.


            Does this source make it better for you?

            Originally posted by Adrift View Post
            Again, this seems all relatively obvious to me, and to anyone who's ever had even a remote interest in the subject. As I mentioned before, from the tone of your posts here, I can't help but think that you don't want anyone in the early church to have understood the firmament to mean anything but that it was a solid dome.
            Hardly. It's just as I've said that I never found an example of anyone describing it as an expanse or even something non-physical for the first millennium and even awhile longer than that. I believe that was merely a faulty interpretation in that the text could be understood that way. Still my curiosity has been piqued by Basil's reference to some claiming that the waters were metaphorical since this may finally lead me to what I have been unable to find

            I'm always still in trouble again

            "You're by far the worst poster on TWeb" and "TWeb's biggest liar" --starlight (the guy who says Stalin was a right-winger)
            "Overall I would rate the withdrawal from Afghanistan as by far the best thing Biden's done" --Starlight
            "Of course, human life begins at fertilization that’s not the argument." --Tassman

            Comment


            • Originally posted by rogue06 View Post
              Never noticed that until you mentioned it. I got it from Google images.

              Does this source make it better for you?
              It doesn't really matter that much to me. Like I said, just thought it was interesting.

              Hardly. It's just as I've said that I never found an example of anyone describing it as an expanse or even something non-physical for the first millennium and even awhile longer than that. I believe that was merely a faulty interpretation in that the text could be understood that way. Still my curiosity has been piqued by Basil's reference to some claiming that the waters were metaphorical since this may finally lead me to what I have been unable to find

              Comment


              • Originally posted by Duragizer View Post
                Are you saying Jesus shouldn't be associated with red, the most awesomest colour in the multiverse?!

                Okay, I'm converting to atheism now.
                Me too, and I'm serious. And you can thank the fundy idiots on TWeb (Adrift, JordanFluss, Jorhund, Cerebrum, ...) for me not wanting to be associated with these "literalist" jerks in anyway.

                They're all hypocrites who want to read some form of modern science into ancient texts would have meant nothing to them.

                Shameful scumbags all...

                K54

                Comment


                • Originally posted by klaus54 View Post
                  Me too, and I'm serious. And you can thank the fundy idiots on TWeb (Adrift, JordanFluss, Jorhund, Cerebrum, ...) for me not wanting to be associated with these "literalist" jerks in anyway.

                  They're all hypocrites who want to read some form of modern science into ancient texts would have meant nothing to them.

                  Shameful scumbags all...

                  K54
                  Really?

                  I'm always still in trouble again

                  "You're by far the worst poster on TWeb" and "TWeb's biggest liar" --starlight (the guy who says Stalin was a right-winger)
                  "Overall I would rate the withdrawal from Afghanistan as by far the best thing Biden's done" --Starlight
                  "Of course, human life begins at fertilization that’s not the argument." --Tassman

                  Comment


                  • Yes.

                    I don't believe in a god who would have anything to do with these hypocritical ignorant scum.

                    K54

                    Comment


                    • Originally posted by klaus54 View Post
                      Yes.

                      I don't believe in a god who would have anything to do with these hypocritical ignorant scum.

                      K54


                      You do realize that you come as a bit emotionally unhinged whenever you speak of biblical literalists, right?


                      ETA: And thank God that God doesn't think like you do, or there would be a lot more people cut off from salvation than there currently are. You do realize that those who God wants nothing to do with only have only place to go after the last judgement according to the bible, and that it certainly isn't going to be heaven?
                      Last edited by JonathanL; 03-07-2015, 10:53 PM.
                      ~Formerly known as Chrawnus~

                      Comment


                      • Originally posted by klaus54 View Post
                        Me too, and I'm serious. And you can thank the fundy idiots on TWeb (Adrift, JordanFluss, Jorhund, Cerebrum, ...) for me not wanting to be associated with these "literalist" jerks in anyway.

                        They're all hypocrites who want to read some form of modern science into ancient texts would have meant nothing to them.

                        Shameful scumbags all...

                        K54
                        Originally posted by klaus54 View Post
                        Yes.

                        I don't believe in a god who would have anything to do with these hypocritical ignorant scum.

                        K54
                        Uh. Okaay. I don't know you, and I don't think I've replied to your posts on this forum more than a couple times ever. Don't think I've engaged with you at all in this thread. I'm an Old Earth creationist, who is perfectly fine with Darwinian evolution. Whatever issues you have with God or scripture, they certainly don't have to do with me, or, likely, anyone else on this website.

                        Comment


                        • Originally posted by klaus54 View Post
                          Yes.

                          I don't believe in a god who would have anything to do with these hypocritical ignorant scum.

                          K54
                          I'm glad that I believe in a God that still accepts hypocrites.
                          "I am not angered that the Moral Majority boys campaign against abortion. I am angry when the same men who say, "Save OUR children" bellow "Build more and bigger bombers." That's right! Blast the children in other nations into eternity, or limbless misery as they lay crippled from "OUR" bombers! This does not jell." - Leonard Ravenhill

                          Comment


                          • Originally posted by KingsGambit View Post
                            I'm glad that I believe in a God that still accepts hypocrites.
                            Me too, but I'm slightly curious what he finds hypocritical.

                            Comment


                            • Originally posted by Chrawnus View Post


                              You do realize that you come as a bit emotionally unhinged whenever you speak of biblical literalists, right?


                              ETA: And thank God that God doesn't think like you do, or there would be a lot more people cut off from salvation than there currently are. You do realize that those who God wants nothing to do with only have only place to go after the last judgement according to the bible, and that it certainly isn't going to be heaven?
                              Yes, because they're dead wrong and an embarrassment to Christendom.

                              Fools all -- including you.

                              K54

                              Comment


                              • Originally posted by Adrift View Post
                                Me too, but I'm slightly curious what he finds hypocritical.
                                I made it eminently clear, Jerk.

                                YECs and other anti-science types who feel the need to force modern science into 4000 year old stories which just turns intelligent people away from the faith they purport to believe.

                                K54

                                Comment

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