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Q: AiG teaches that we must take Genesis as written, but should we take the whole Bible literally?
Evolutionist quote of the week
“Further, it is affirmed that the New Testament presupposes the historical exactness of the Old Testament; that the points of contact of ‘sacred’ and ’profane’ history are innumerable; and that the demonstrations of the falsity of the Hebrew records, especially in regard to those narratives which are assumed to be true in the New Testament, would be fatal to Christian theology.”
– Thomas H. Huxley, Science And Hebrew Tradition Essays, pp. 206, 207, 1897.
A: We’ve got to be very careful here. It’s true, for example, that Jesus quoted from Genesis when he talked about the foundation of marriage. Thus, he took Genesis literally. Paul quoted from Genesis when writing about the first man and the Last Adam, so he accepted Genesis literally, too.
We can accept a literal Genesis because it was written as typical Jewish “historical narrative.” But there are other passages that aren’t meant to be taken literally, such as those in the book of Psalms. We know the psalms are poetic songs.
So we should take the Bible the way it was meant to be taken. Some of the literature was obviously written to express things symbolically and the Bible explains this to the reader. For instance, when Jesus spoke in parables, He told us they were stories and He explained their meaning. You really can’t go wrong if you take any part of the Bible in a straightforward or “natural” way (i.e., according to the way it was written). Because Genesis was written as literal history, we take it as literal history.
To read more on principles of biblical interpretation and hermeneutics, see Should Genesis be taken literally?
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This week on www.AnswersInGenesis.org …
April 17: Fact versus fiction: the recent Ethiopian fossils
April 18: The UK media buzzes about creation
April 19: How low can you go?
April 20: One-of-a-kind creationist school launches online master’s program
April 20: Frozen in Time, appendix 3: The elephant kind
April 21: Does this evolutionary claim have any legs?
April 21: Feedback: Are we “children of God’s divine evolution”?
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