[quote="Gricken, post:1, topic:313794"]
Hello! I've surfed this site for about a year and a half now, but I finally made an account today. Mostly so I can ask this question.
So I had an argument with a friend of mine (He's non denominational) Over taking the Genesis story of creation literally. I gave him many standard reasons not to. But his claim (And, consequently,what his pastor told him) is that in Hebrew, having a number next to the word for "day" meant it was a literal day, and therefore god created the world in 7 literal days. Meaning our planet can not be millions or billions of years old.
Well something about that smelled fishy. But all I could get out of him after that was that his translation was what the bible literally says so he must be right. (wasn't even going to touch on "what the bible literally says" But I digress) So I want to know if what he said about the Hebrew language was correct, and other arguments to use against him. Thank you all in advance for charitable responses! :D
Like the whole Bible, Genesis is history but not scientific history. This does not mean that it is myth or fable, but that its style is often poetic and that its content is selective. The author is like a photographer who points his camera only at the subjects that are important for his purposes, from his point of view. The purpose of the Divine Author of vthe Bible, the Holy Spirit, is to tell us about God and His acts of “Salvation History”.
Did God use evolution? He may have. Genesis is not a science text, so it does not tell us how so much as why. But there are hints. Only three times in the creation account is "bara" used: for the creation of matter (I:I), life (I:2I) and humanity (I:27). The other times, God said, "let the waters bring forth..." or "let the earth bring forth...." that is, for most of His acts of "creation", He made rather than created.
For example, He used the pre-existing material of "the dust of the earth to make man. Was that an ape body? Perhaps. Why not? Our 'image of God" distinctiveness, our personality, is grounded in the soul, not in the body. We are "rational animals". God is not an animal.
Catholics have seldom had the difficulties and embarrassments many Protestants have had about creation vs. evolution. Ever since Augustine they have interpreted Genesis' "days" non literally. (The Hebrew word there, yom, is often used non-quantitatively in Scripture.) Purposes not clocks, measure God's time.
KREEFT "You Can Understand the Bible"