Volume 92, Issue 82

Thursday, March 4, 1999


OPINIONS

Reinforcing affiliate attitudes

Less Mac complications

Don't rely on the word of the Bible

Don't rely on the word of the Bible

By Warren Flood
Gazette Staff

So, you want to be a better Christian? Step one: study and learn your Bible. Step two: send me 10 per cent of your paycheque. Ready? Let's begin our first Bible lesson "in the beginning...." (All quotes from The New American Bible, though any old Scripture will do.)

The first story of creation, Genesis 1:1-2:4, has God creating vegetation on the third day (1:11), water and air creatures on the fifth day (1:20), and land creatures early on the sixth (1:24); after which God uttered "Let us make man in our image, after our likeness." (1:26). Okay, let us recap: God created, in order: 1) vegetation, 2) living creatures, 3) man. So far, so good. Keep this up and you'll be one hell of a Christian in no time.

The second story of creation, Genesis 2:5-2:25, starts off: "as yet there was no field shrub on earth and no grass... the Lord God formed man out of the clay of the ground and blew into his nostrils the breath of life.... then the Lord God planted a garden in Eden... made various trees grow... the Lord God formed out of the ground various wild animals and various birds of the air...." Still with me? Good. Another recap, again in order: God created 1) man, 2) vegetation, 3) living creatures.

Okay, time to compare notes. Uh oh, Jesus Christ, what the hell? When did God create man? First? Last? The two versions of creation contradict each other!

These conflicting myths serve as a reminder that the Bible can not to be taken literally. It lacks coherence and unity and therefore is not an acceptable basis for actual truth. Biblical terms are poetic, eloquent and approximate, not specific, exacting or absolute. Biblical accounts are not factual – they're not even probable. We learn this from the Bible itself.

So when next engaged in intelligent discussion, don't make an ass of yourself by basing your arguments on faith or the Bible. God gave you a brain, so use it and learn to think for yourself. At least that's what the Bible tells you to do!


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Copyright The Gazette 1999