Gimme that Old Pharisee Religion

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Georgia State Rep. Ben Bridges of Cleveland, home of Cabbage Patch dolls and Babyland General Hospital, is a vocal critic of evolution. This former barber and captain in the state patrol has twice (1999 and 2005) introduced legislation to include non-existent evidence against evolution in public schools—one of the teach-the-controversy laws that the Discovery Institute is so fond of these days. In 2005, Georgia Citizens for Integrity in Science Education testified against his bill, causing Bridges to remark that he could have gotten “experts” as well, if he’d known that GCISE was going to be there. Earlier this week, we learned the type of “experts” that Bridges relies on.

On Feb. 9, Texas State Rep. Warren Chisum, the second most powerful member, sent a memo from Bridges to every member of the Texas House of Representatives. This memo advertised a model bill and called for the end of “tax-supported evolution science” because it “is derived concept-for-concept from Rabbinic writings on the mystic ‘holy book’ kabbala dating back at least two millennia”. Talk about bringing the crazy—but wait there’s more. Bridges’s memo invites lawmakers to visit FixedEarth.com, the “non-moving Earth & anti-evolution web page of the Fair Education Foundation, Inc.” Yeap, you read that right, Fixed—WTF—Earth.com.

So what is the connection between FixedEarth.com and Ben Bridges? FixedEarth.com is run by one of Bridges’s friends, Marshall Hall of Cornelia, and it would appear that Hall is the “expert” behind Bridges’s anti-evolution legislation in Georgia. Two years ago, while GCISE was testifying against HB 179, Bridges remarked that had he know that the university folks were going to be there, he’d have brought his own experts. Can you imagine the sound of everyone’s jaw hitting to floor if Hall got up and began to talk about he used to be “indoctrinated by the contra-scientific nonsense of Darwinism and Copernicanism (not mention Marxism, Freudianism, Saganism, and the like)”? Creationists are crazy, but we’re not usually prepared for them to be that crazy. If you are too crazy for Answers In Genesis, then there is a room for you at the “State Lunatic, Idiot, and Epileptic Asylum” in Milledgeville.

Needless to say, blaming evolution on a Jewish conspiracy might go well with the cross-burning, tinfoil-hat wearing crowd, but is not going to play well with most of middle America. Chisum and Bridges have been back peddling ever since Texas journalists discovered the Bridges-Chisum-Hall memo.

On Feb. 14, the Dallas Morning News quoted Chisum as dismissing his actions as “a courtesy to a member of the Georgia legislature”, but advocating that schools “ought to teach creation as well as the fact of evolution”.

On Feb. 15, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution quoted Bridges as denying any involvement in the memo: “I did not put it out nor did I know it was going out. … I’m not defending it or taking up for it.” However, the AJC also reported that Hall got approval from Bridges to distribute the memo under his name to “lawmakers in several states, including Texas, California, New York, Illinois, Pennsylvania and Ohio”.

Not surprisingly, the Anti-Defamation League has publically blasted the Bridges-Chisum-Hall memo as bordering on antisemitism. They have demanded a public apology from the lawmakers involved. According to Feb 17’s New York Times, Chisum has issued one: “I sincerely regret that I did not take the time to carefully review these materials and recognize that I may have hurt or offended some groups including some of my dear friends.”

Wait, Chisum sent around the memo saying that he “greatly appreciate[d] [Bridges’s] information on this important topic”, but didn’t carefully review the materials? Why is someone with such poor reading comprehension skills tasked with managing a state as big as Texas? Are anti-intellectuals like Chisum sent to Austin to balance out the ivory tower of UT? What Texas needs is not another anti-evolution bill, but a bill that would give politicians the Bridges-Chisum-Hall test. If the politician actually believes that there is any merit to the rantings of a fixed-earth creationist, then he fails the test, is declared legally stupid, and required to stay five counties away from any child.

And finally, the Bridges-Chisum-Hall memo is an advertisement for a model anti-evolution bill that can be found on Hall’s FixedEarth.com. Given all the negative publicity that the memo has generated, we probably shouldn’t expect the model bill to be introduced anytime soon. This doesn’t mean that it won’t be introduced sometime in the future. Below is the text of the memo as transcribed by me from a scan. All emphasis is original, and I’ve redacted the contact information.

February 9, 2007

To: All House Members

From: Representative Warren Chisum

Subject: Tax-supported “Evolution science”

Members,

I am distributing the following information to all House Members on behalf of Representative Ben Bridges of the Georgia House of Representatives. I am acquainted with Representative Bridges through my work as Chair of the NCSL Agriculture, Environmental and Energy Committee, and greatly appreciate his information on this important topic.

Regards,

[signature] Warren Chisum

[next page]

MEMO FROM: Representative Ben Bridges

RE: Tax-supported “evolution science” now unlawful under the U.S. Constitution

Greetings. As Georgia’s 5th term State Representative from the 10th District, I, like others, have made several attempts to challenge the evolution monopoly in the schools. These attempts have all have [sic] been in vain for basically the same reason you and I and all others have encountered. Whether the challenge has come from BOE members or Legislators, the Courts have ruled that “creation science” (& “ID”) has a religious agenda and thus is in violation of the “Establishment Clause” of the U.S. Constitution. “Evolution science”, on the other hand, has been viewed by the Courts as “secular science” with no religious agenda and therefore has been deemed lawful under the Constitution.

All of that can now be changed! Indisputable evidence—long hidden but now available to everyone—demonstrates conclusively that so-called “secular evolution science” is the Big-Bang 15-billion-year alternate “creation scenario” of the Pharisee Religion. This scenario is derived concept-for-concept from Rabbinic writings in the mystic “holy book” Kabbala dating back at least two millennia. Evidence in the URLs below show conclusively that “evolution science” has a very specific religious agenda and (as with “creation science”) cannot legally be taught in taxpayer supported schools according to the Constitution.

This first link gives the purpose of the Bill in a generic form useful to other Legislators & BOE members: http://www.fixedearth.com/HB%20179%[…]%20MODEL.htm (2 pp.)

The second link provides the court cases and Kabbala-related evidence to support the Bill: http://www.fixedearth.com/HB%20179%[…]EVIDENCE.htm (7 pp)

This third link is optional. It is included it supply more evidence for those who want it. http://www.fixedearth.com/HB%20179%[…]ADDENDUM.htm (9 pp)

I hope you will join with me in presenting a Bill with this same content in your state. It will WIN in the Courts! Together we can stop the misuse of billions in taxes now funding a deception that is causing incalculable harm to every student and every truth-loving citizen. (The solution for future science instruction after evolution is expelled from the schools is also contained in the HB 179 links.) Feel free to copy and forward this memo to others you know.

Please direct all supportive calls and emails to: Marshall Hall. Pres. The Fair Education Foundation, Inc. 1-706-XXX-XXXX - [Enable javascript to see this email address.].

Wow, that sure was convincing!

80 Comments

Their next step will be to find and pay some people somewhere, perhaps in the Third World, who will swear that Darwin’s ouevre is their Sacred Text, and thus evolution is a religion.

I would like to thank the Pharisees from giving us such great scientific discoveries as theory of evolution and the Big Bang. Just wish they had come out with it earlier.

This is so cool, it escaped my notice that Pharisees were involved in the moving earth conspiracy, as well as everything else.

hmm… A creationist using references for support that they haven’t read themselves.…. This has never happened before, it isn’t happening now, and it will never happen again.…

Unless of course, a creationist opens his or her mouth, then it is bound to happen again.

Funny that all this time I’ve been mocking Creationists with “next you’ll be ‘skeptical’ that the earth revolves around the sun.” I’m always a bit uneasy when it gets this difficult to distinguish parody from reality. If I was activly plotting to make Creationists look like backwater hicks and completely ignorant fools who shouldn’t be trusted anywhere near policy decisions, I would never have thought of something this brazen. Are we sure fixedearth.com isn’t a satire site, like landoverbaptist.org? I’m reluctant to think that I’ve overestimated Creationists, but this seems more bizarre than even stuff I’ve seen from ICR.

http://www.fixedearth.com/ is too bad to be a parody. If you haven’t actually looked at it, you should.

Actually, this stuff has to be read to be believed. The parallels with some aspect of the ID movement are startling. For instance, take a look at http://www.fixedearth.com/Evol.is%2[…]Doctrine.htm.

From fixedearth.com:

Indeed, by the late ‘80’s and early ‘90’s a new theory which essentially replaces Darwinism was being entertained and has now become the theory of choice for all evolution-based musings. Astonishingly, no one seems to question how this new theory “coincidentally” fits with and strengthens the Big Bang Paradigm so perfectly! This new theory—labeled “Panspermia” by the Buddhist Wickramasinghe and Agnostic Hoyle—declares that the first life on earth was initiated by bacterium nourished inside of and spread around the universe by Comets, and that each alleged evolutionary advance has also come from outer space.

So now Hoyle wasn’t an anti evolutionist. He was part of the kabbalistic conspiracy working to support the Big Bang theory, which he frequently rejected. WTF!

I’ve just spent some time reading this site and am stunned that anyone cunning enough to get elected to a state legislature could be taken in by this anti semitic garbage.

Borderline anti-semitism nothing; this is blatant, in-your-face “Protocols of the Elders of Zion” caliber anti-semitism. Chisum and Bridges are disgraces to the offices they hold and should both resign immediately; to distribute a memo promoting the web-site of a fixed-earth, anti-semitic raving madman demonstrates that neither of them are fit to be dogcatchers, much less legislators.

The real fun thing is that these christian apologists base their attack on evolution on jewish apologists attempts to reconcile their religious texts with science.

And since they base their claims on old science, they are falsified: “15.3 billion years”, “between 14 and 16 billion years” and “15 ¾ billion years” vs 13.7 +0.1/-0.2 billion years for the Lambda-CDM model.

IIRC older data sets often suggested something just above 15 billion years. Imagine that, the jewish apologists correctly predicted that! I am pretty sure they now ‘correctly predict’ 13.7 billion years instead. :-)

These types of cdesign proponentsists do more for the cause of science than they realize. Oh and they should take off their tin-foil hats before making public appearances.

This has been going around the blogs for about a week now. I must admit it sends me into uproarous laughter each time. These are the very people who claim that we need to treat their ideas with respect. Oh now wait right there I have a whole bucket of respect here.… Ahh well no I guess not, it is a bucket full of piss and really that is all their ideas are worth. We need to loudly and frequently mock these IDiots.

The Kabbalistic Pharisitic Big Bang Gang. It has a nice jingle to it.

JamesR wrote

… it is a bucket full of piss and really that is all their ideas are worth.

Actually, though it’s lost much of it’s worth to progress, and presumably, inflation, once upon a time a bucket of piss was quite valuable.

In some places, buckets were left in public areas and citizens were expected to do their civic duty by contributing what they could rather than wastefully leaving it on the back wall. Especially prized was the first production run of the morning, since it was the most concentrated.

In case you’re wondering, it was used as a source of ammonia and urea for the manufacture of gunpowder and leather.

A bucket of spit, on the other hand…

1. As a secular humanist Jew and Cohenim, all I can say is… you are welcome.

2. So according to the nutballs, was Darwin Jewish? An elder of zion? I guess the beard is confusing. I always thought he was Amish.

3. Seriously, is this a post-Dover opening salvo in a (not so) new tactic to get evolution (I mean evilution; that is Jewlution) out of the schools… after Dover, by claiming that evolution is also a religion?

Jokes aside, I have to say that this may be an indication that “Evolution is religion” IS about the only tactic left for the ID/Creationist groups to use. This guy may just be ahead of the curve in trying it.

Certainly we hear plenty of claim that Darwin requires as much faith as religion, is treated religiously, etc.

“This scenario is derived concept-for-concept from Rabbinic writings in the mystic “holy book” Kabbala dating back at least two millennia.”

There is no such “holy book” nor did Kabbalah exist prior to about 500 years ago when De Leon disseminated the founding work of the Kabbalah movement known as the Zohar.

Just another example of Christian ignorance about Judaism, on top of mistranslating and grotesquely distorting the Hebrew Bible to make it conflict with science. Disgusting!

WOW!

Carol has some kinda radar up.

haven’t seen you around here in a while, and I just recently (an hour ago) mentioned you over on pharyngula, and BANG, here you are.

could you do me a favor?

they didn’t believe me when I tried to explain the philosophy behind the hyena/zebra thing.

could you explain that whole thing again so I have it fresh in mind?

seriously, I don’t want to be misinterpreting your arguments.

thanks

As has been pointed out elsewhere, Creationists condemning evolution and the big bang as the work of Jewish Kabbalists, while they themselves subscribe to the Jewish myth of creation described in Genesis, is as ironic as it gets.

Carol: Please, please, please, give us, in English, just a few verses of the ‘correct’ version of the Bible. Feel free to use as many footnotes as you consider necessary to get over all the nuances that are missed in other translations.

For those not familiar with her, Carol pops by every now and then to insist that there is one ‘true’ version of the Bible in which nothing contradicts modern science, but she never does us the courtesy of providing an example and contrasting it with any other translation.

… but then you wouldn’t buy the book. Duh.

Richard wrote:

“For those not familiar with her, Carol pops by every now and then to insist that there is one ‘true’ version of the Bible in which nothing contradicts modern science, but she never does us the courtesy of providing an example and contrasting it with any other translation.”

I see two blatant falsehoods in your statement. They are:

(1) I have done you the courtesy of providing MANY examples and have debated them extensively here. Usually, after you folks lose the argument, I am told to take it elsewhere.

(2) I don’t “insist” that there is one true version of the Bible, I just remind folks that there is only one Hebrew Bible extant today and it ought not be translated sloppily and incompetently.

What I have stated, and nothing I ever encountered here has remotely persuaded me otherwise, is that the Hebrew Bible can be interpreted literally and yet not confict with science so long as it is understood and translated accurately and correctly.

(3)

carol; about the zebra/hyena thing?

indulge me?

many are curious.

Can anyone give me a link to an example of a ‘correct’ translation of part of the Bible provided by Carol? Preferably one that does not conflict with science where most translations show a conflict. All I remember has been lengthy arguments on whether a certain word meant ‘servant’ or whether the concept of ‘slave’ was also included and such like issues.

Can anyone give me a link to an example of a ‘correct’ translation of part of the Bible provided by Carol?

why, that’s a perfect question for Carol, since she seems convinced she has done that very thing many times and we just ignored it.

(hint: she didn’t, and we haven’t)

prediction:

you are about to hear about Judah Landa.

Richard,

Well, why don’t we start with you telling us what the very first verse in the Hebrew Bible, correctly translated, states?

If you think it states “In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth”, think again!

What more need I say? The very first verse is incorrect!

For more examples go check the archives here. You will discover that, contrary to TJM’s remark “she did, and we have” in spades.

TJM,

I checked Pharyngula and you certainly mangled my position beyond recognition. But since you are not sincerely interested in considering opposing views, I am not in the mood to get into the zebra/hyena matter here where it does not belong.

Carol said:

What I have stated, and nothing I ever encountered here has remotely persuaded me otherwise, is that the Hebrew Bible can be interpreted literally and yet not confict with science so long as it is understood and translated accurately and correctly.

This is a blatant dodge, akin to “I can do anything, but only when you aren’t looking”. It is a way of shifting the debate into an arena where most people cannot get at the data, ie, most people can’t read Hebrew.

The notion that all those highly motivated, highly learned scholars, over all these hundreds of years, managed to mistranslate the most read book on the planet (or at least the most owned), is preposterous on its face without a mountain of evidence. Writing a “proper” translation, submitting it to a review of Hebrew scholars, and making it publicly available, would be a good start. Otherwise, you sound like you’ve got a room up the hall from the guy who thinks Einstein was a dunce.

Far more likely, what we have here is a basically flawed logical progression as follows: The original Bible has no errors. This Bible I hold in my hand, which has been translated into English, contains statements that run contrary to scientific knowledge. Therefore this Bible was mistranslated.

I checked Pharyngula and you certainly mangled my position beyond recognition.

well you had your chance to restate it, but since you asked so nicely, I’ll go ahead tommorrow and dig up EXACTLY what you said, just so you can see just how “wrong” I got it.

boy, you sure like to set yourself up.

For more examples go check the archives here.

It was a simple request, Carol, and yet you STILL are unable to produce even one example, without quoting from Judah Landa’s book, can you.

search the archives???

why? can’t you just whip out a specific example?

oh and a hint for you:

If you think it states “In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth”, think again!

think again, this doesn’t answer his question.

go figure.

Mark P wrote:

“The notion that all those highly motivated, highly learned scholars, over all these hundreds of years, managed to mistranslate the most read book on the planet (or at least the most owned), is preposterous on its face without a mountain of evidence. Writing a “proper” translation, submitting it to a review of Hebrew scholars, and making it publicly available, would be a good start.”

Hey, we have been through all these arguments before, many times. I am not the one making the claim for the first time, I am merely the messenger bringing you the bad (or good) news. Jewish Hebrew scholars, whose native language was Hebrew and whose expertise is unquestionable and unimpeachable, have been commenting on the Hebrew Bible for centuries and millennia before King James’ “scholars” were running around in diapers learning English as their first language.

The great commentator Rashi, who lived some 900 years ago, makes it abundantly clear that the first verse does NOT state what the KJV says it does. This is all out there, it has been submitted time and again for centuries, it is very publicly available, all YOU need do is make the effort with an open mind to look.

Besides, I KNOW Hebrew and I KNOW how terrible the KJV and its successor translations are. They even contain entire phrases that are not in the text (such as “He made the stars also”). I cannot help it if YOU don’t know Hebrew. But YOU can help it. It just happens to be the language of the Bible and the others are all translations, some even translations of other translations.

And if you refuse to rectify the problem of your ignorance, you ought to stop pontificating about matters you know nothing about.

Our sages have identified four levels of understanding of the Bible. (1)PISHAT - the simple meaning of the words, even a child should be able to wrap his mind around it, (2) REMEZ - literally “hints”, allegories, metaphors, parables, messages between the lines, (3) DIRUSH - derived learning via homily, textual analysis and exegesis, and (4) SOHD - hidden secrets that must be dug up with effort, not readily available to all.

This is a very nice breakdown; PISHAT, as you define, is the only literal level; also, by definition, it is accessible to everyone. Which means that your literal interpretation is as useful as a child’s, or about as useful as any semi-competent English translation. So I see no reason why you should knock our literal reading of the Bible, gotten from reasonable translations.

(And how is this not proof of the ambiguity of the Bible? Multiple, significant levels of interpretation are simply not plausible in an unambiguous document.

Posted by carol clouser on February 22, 2007 8:51 PM (e)

(3) No. The Hebrew VI-HANACHASH refers to “the cunning one”, an evil person in the garden who was jealous of the prominence of Adam and Eve and sought their downfall. The Bible chooses this term for “cunning one” over other possibilities as a play on words according to the principle of AL SHAIM HA-ATID, on the basis of the future, which was that this cunning person lost the ability to walk upright and became serpent-like. This too is a Talmudic rule employed widely in Bible study.

Well this is where the Bible confuses me. If God is omniscient/omnipotent and omnibenevolent AND God made everything, where did this “cunning one” come from? It is a logical absurdity that God is all-powerful and all-knowing and disappointed by man’s actions.

Our sages have identified four levels of understanding of the Bible. (1)PISHAT - the simple meaning of the words, even a child should be able to wrap his mind around it, (2) REMEZ - literally “hints”, allegories, metaphors, parables, messages between the lines, (3) DIRUSH - derived learning via homily, textual analysis and exegesis, and (4) SOHD - hidden secrets that must be dug up with effort, not readily available to all.

And understanding the Bible on any of these levels does NOT demand re-wording it to avoid contradicting science. Because, as I have repeatedly said and you have repeatedly ignored, that’s not what the Bible is about. If, for example, the Bible mentions “the ends of the Earth,” then it’s spiritual truth, or lack thereof, is entierly independent of the fact that the Earth does not have “ends.”

If I made a metaphorical statement, about a non-scientific subject, such as “We must hunt terrorists to the ends of the Earth,” and you insisted on re-wording it to avoid conflict with known literal science, I would point out that you were changing the subject and refusing to address the point I was trying to make. This is what you are doing with regard to the Bible.

Stephen Elliott wrote:

“Well this is where the Bible confuses me. If God is omniscient/omnipotent and omnibenevolent AND God made everything, where did this “cunning one” come from? It is a logical absurdity that God is all-powerful and all-knowing and disappointed by man’s actions.”

Hello Stephen, it has been awhile since I last saw you here.

You are created in God’s image, meaning you are free to do good or evil, as you please. You can even easily convince yourself that there is no God. As the great Psalmist says, “and you have made him (humans) a little lower than God.” This is the way God wants it and all are free to take advantage of it. This also allows for the “cunning one” as well as Stalin or Hitler.

This is one of the most entertaining threads on PT!

Go at it!

Keep me laughing, Carol C.!

Hello again Carol, I haven’t posted here for some time now. It was your behaviour that prompted me to do so.

You are being very unfair. You are stating things such as “your interpretation is wrong” while not stating your position at all. Why should anyone take the time to learn Hebrew to interpret the bible against an unstated opinion?

You would then be free to state “that is the wrong interpretation” or “that is not what I meant”.

Not very nice behaviour Carol.

Regards, Steve E

Stephen wrote:

“It was your behaviour that prompted me to do so. You are being very unfair. You are stating things such as “your interpretation is wrong” while not stating your position at all.”

I am sorry you feel that way. I always thought you were one of the nicer folks around here. I thought I have repeatedly stated my position on many subjects in great detail. I certainly am not consciously holding anything back. Indeed I have engaged in extensive debates while being invited to go elsewhere. Surely you must have noticed that.

Where would you like further elaboration?

I hate to interrupt, but did anyone else notice that on the fixed earth page that states “Evolutionism is a religious doctrine.” they site 24 sources to support their arguments and almost half of them come from their own website.

http://www.fixedearth.com/Evol.is%2[…]Doctrine.htm

They are obviously the foremost authority on the subject since they call on their own literature to support their own arguments. How moronic.

It’s not like we haven’t had this “discussion” with the Clouserbot dozens of times over the last couple of years.

one wonders at what point folks here will finally conclude that it’s just as pointless as “debating” AFDave over in the ATBC area.

In fact, those that have should at least be seeing the similarities.

OTOH, it doesn’t stop folks from using Davey as a whipping boy, either.

*shrug*

Carol, now I really want to know something about the so called PISHAT level of understanding, based on things you’ve said: 1) It is the only literal level at which the Bible can be understood, and 2) It’s accessible by anyone, including any child who knows Hebrew. Then why do you insist that other people’s literal interpretations are wrong, if they were based on a semi-competent English translation?

This seems to me to obviously contradict pretty much everything you’ve said about a literal reading of the Hebrew Bible. Or, at least, should show that your interpretation at this level is no better than mine, even though I have to rely on a translation.

GuyeFaux wrote:

“Then why do you insist that other people’s literal interpretations are wrong, if they were based on a semi-competent English translation?”

I really don’t know what you are talking about. Look, Hebrew is a language with words that have meaning and rules that dictate how words are put together into sentences. Yes, some words have multiple meanings, as do words in other languages. So there are correct and incorrect translations. It is as simple as that. Yes cannot mean no. BERAISHIT means “In the beginning of”, not “in the beginning”. VI-ET HA-KOCHAVIM means “and the stars”, not “He made the stars also”. And so on and on and on. The KJV contains some 200 poor and wrong translations in the first eleven chapters of Genesis alone (the story of creation).

Carol C. — And got it completely wrong regarding Jonah and the Whale? Ha!

The KJV contains some 200 poor and wrong translations in the first eleven chapters of Genesis alone (the story of creation).

I understand your point about the KJV. I’m not talking about the KJV.

I’m merely pointing out that, in a semi-competent translation (or Hebrew), it’s strongly indicated (certainly to a child’s understanding) that the world was literally created in 7 days. And, since there are no other literal levels of understanding, you cannot argue that your literal interpretation (which doesn’t claim that the world was created in 7 days) is somehow better.

Carol C. — Jonah and the Whale?

GuyeFaux wrote:

“I’m merely pointing out that, in a semi-competent translation (or Hebrew), it’s strongly indicated (certainly to a child’s understanding) that the world was literally created in 7 days. And, since there are no other literal levels of understanding, you cannot argue that your literal interpretation (which doesn’t claim that the world was created in 7 days) is somehow better.”

Well, the word YOHM is one of those Hebrew words with multiple meanings, all of them literal. They are all standard definitions of the word YOHM, so appear in any quality dictionary of ancient Hebrew, and are so employed all over the Hebrew Bible. (The three are - period of daylight, period of 24 hours, and era.) The question therefore is which of the three was the intent of the author assuming he was devinely inspired. Considering that in two other verses in very close proximity to the beginning of Genesis and within the context of the story of creation the word YOHM is used in the sense of era (at least that is certainly the far more likely intended meaning), I conclude that the era interpretation in the beginning of Genesis is just as likely, if not more so, as the 24 hour interpretation.

David,

What about Jonah and the Whale?

David,

What about Jonah and the Whale?

Well, the word YOHM is one of those Hebrew words with multiple meanings, all of them literal. They are all standard definitions of the word YOHM, so appear in any quality dictionary of ancient Hebrew, and are so employed all over the Hebrew Bible. (The three are - period of daylight, period of 24 hours, and era.)

Upon your urging, I re-read an English translation of Genesis, with Rashi’s comments. There’s naught in there about eras, but a whole lot of

There was evening and there was morning, a second day.

Remember, PISHAT should mean the same thing to a child as it does to you and me. So your scholarly wisdom about context is irrelevant when it comes to a literal interpretation. Rashi seems to agree.

Carol C. — You are claiming that the bible never contradicts physical reality, it is just poor translations that make it seem so.

So, how about Jonah and the Whale?

David,

I still don’t know why you latched on to Jonah, when there are plenty of “unreal” events in the main body of the Bible (the Pentateuch). And I never claimed that the Bible does not contain stories of miracles. It certainly does, although Jonah is likely not one of them (there is evidence that Jonal is a parable written by one of the later preachers).

What I claim, and I don’t see why folks here have a hard time getting this straight, is that modern science does not necessarily contradict the Bible. Miracles are not precluded by science, science makes no comment on them nor is it within its perview to make such comments. But evolution does contradict the proposition that the first homo sapien appeared intact a few thousand years ago. Do you see the difference?

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This page contains a single entry by Reed A. Cartwright published on February 18, 2007 11:50 AM.

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