Sunday, January 3, 2010

How technical....?

Today, my church started the "Bible in 90 days" challenge, and having never actually made it through the whole book, I decided I'll give it a try. We were encouraged to all read the same version, so all have a common starting point, so I pulled out my old (and rather beat up) NIV Quest Study Bible ('94 edition!) I got in middle school and opened up to Genesis 1. I don't remember seeing this before, but found the following blurb at the bottom of the first page:
How technical is this description of creation? (chs. 1-2)
While the "days" of creation could be either a figure of speech or literal 24-hour periods, this passage is nevertheless an orderly narration of what took place. It tells us that there is intelligence, meaning and purpose behind all existence. In other words, the word of God is seen in the method of creation as well as the source of creation (Psalm 33:6,9; Heb. 11:3). Yet human beings have been given the privilege to explore, through scientific investigation, how God may have engineered these events, and how long he took [emphasis added]. Most understand the six days of creation to represent long periods of time simply because 24-hour days were not created until the fourth day. Actually, the word day is used in chs. 1-2 in three distinct ways: (1) as approximately 12 hours of daylight (1:5); (2) as 24 hours (1:14) and (3) as a period of time involving, at the very minimum, the whole creative activity from day one to day seven (see 2:4, where the word that is translated when is the same word that is elsewhere translated day)....
While the "orderly narration" phrase could be interpreted in a couple ways, judging by what follows I think the writers had in mind an "organized" narration, not one "in order" of how it happened. Nice to see this in a pretty common young adult bible - especially one printed 16 years ago.

I like the line I've italicized - it is indeed a privilege to be able to study the wonderful works of nature, especially for the Christian who can fully appreciate their value as part of God's creation.

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