[quote=Hesychios]No, I am not saying that.
I am also not saying that they are historical. That is not to say that I think they did not happen, it is to say that you are not going to learn history from these things.
The truth of the raising of Lazarus, or the healing of the paralytic or any of these other marvelous incidents doesn’t make them history. The authors of the Gospels retold them from oral accounts. The order of the incidents is all jumbled up between the various authors, that will tell us two things: they probably are true stories and the people who recorded them for us weren’t attempting to write a biography. They were compiling spiritual snippets for the retelling in Eucharistic celebrations.
Compare that to a family reunion where all the old-timers are telling stories about great-grandfather, now long gone. First one person tells a story and that reminds someone else about another incident. The dates and locations become kind of vague in the retelling and no one is quite sure when the boat sank or when the bear got into the kitchen but everyone knows that the stories are true. That’s not history, but it makes for a delightful evening.
But as far as Genesis goes, it’s better if we recognize right off the bat that the authors were not journalists. They were not writing it all down as witnesses, they were told these stories and wrote them down to save them for us, because the stories had value in and of themselves. There are lessons for us in the stories.
To me, if an event really happened in the past, it’s historical. The fact that God created the universe and the earth and populated it with vegetation and critters, including Adam and Eve (the first couple) is historical. But are all the chronological details of God’s creation process recorded? Obviously not. That’s up to science to figure out if it can. The fact that death came into the world because of Adam and Eve’s sin (original sin) is also historical. The flood is also historical. Are we told every detail? No. But that doesn’t mean the details we are told are not historical. In that respect, Christ’s miracles, since they really happened, are also historical.