Things that are not in the Bible: ‘In the creation account, God creates Adam and Eve, the world and everything in it in six days.’

Dan Gilgoff, religion reporter for CNN, unfortunately has reason yet again to be reporting on “creationism.”

As part of this report, Gilgoff recites a common bit of boilerplate about what creationists believe. It’s a helpful summary of those beliefs, but it also includes one common, but still indefensible, error that would be easily corrected by anyone actually bothering to read the first two chapters of the book of Genesis.

This is a pet peeve of mine, and it may seem like a minor point,* but it actually turns out to be rather important, contributing to all sorts of other mistakes based on this one.

Here’s Gilgoff. I’ve put the false sentence in bold:

Most creationists believe in the account of the origins of the world as told in the Book of Genesis, the first book of the Bible.

In the creation account, God creates Adam and Eve, the world and everything in it in six days.

For Christians who read the Genesis account literally, or authoritatively as they would say, the six days in the account are literal 24-hour periods and leave no room for evolution. Young Earth creationists use this construct and biblical genealogies to determine the age of the Earth and typically come up with 6,000 to 10,000 years.

No. Adam and Eve are not part of the story of God creating “the world and everything in it in six days.” The book of Genesis does not say that “Adam and Eve” were created on the sixth day.

The first chapter of Genesis tells a six-day creation story and Adam and Eve do not appear in it. The second chapter of Genesis tells a one-day creation story and Adam and Eve are characters in that second, separate story.

This is not complicated. Bibles are not hard to find, and Genesis is not hard to find in those Bibles. And yet, over and over, we hear this same assertion repeated — that God created “Adam and Eve” on “the sixth day.”

Wrong story. Different story. Genesis simply does not say that. It doesn’t matter if you claim to read Genesis “literally” or historically, or allegorically, or mythically, or theologically — it does not say that.

Here is what the first story in the first chapter of Genesis says happened on the sixth day of the six-day creation it describes:

This is not a scene from Genesis 1.

Then God said, “Let us make humankind in our image, according to our likeness; and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the birds of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the wild animals of the earth, and over every creeping thing that creeps upon the earth.”

So God created humankind in his image, in the image of God he created them; male and female he created them.

God blessed them, and God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the earth and subdue it; and have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the air and over every living thing that moves upon the earth.” God said, “See, I have given you every plant yielding seed that is upon the face of all the earth, and every tree with seed in its fruit; you shall have them for food. And to every beast of the earth, and to every bird of the air, and to everything that creeps on the earth, everything that has the breath of life, I have given every green plant for food.”

And it was so. God saw everything that he had made, and indeed, it was very good. And there was evening and there was morning, the sixth day.

Thus the heavens and the earth were finished, and all their multitude.

Aaand scene. End of story. No Adam. No Eve. In the first story and the first chapter in Genesis, God creates “humankind” on the sixth day of creation. Humankind was created “male and female” and is spoken of as plural throughout this story, but the story never says that only two humans were created on the sixth day. (Two doesn’t seem like much of a multitude.)

That same word for humankind — adam — reappears in the second story that begins in the second chapter, but there it appears as a proper noun, as the name of an individual character, Adam. In our English translations of Genesis, that Hebrew word adam is always translated into English in the first story — “humankind,” or “mankind,” or “man” — because there it is plural and clearly not an individual’s name or a proper noun. In the second story, however, the word is presented differently. It is capitalized and left untranslated to indicate that here — unlike in the first story — it is being used as the name of a single individual.

The same word is translated differently because it has a different meaning. It has a different meaning because it is being used differently in a different story.

Now, the creationists whom Gilgoff otherwise describes accurately go to great lengths to argue that the second creation story in Genesis is not a different story, but merely the same story told — inexplicably — a second time in different words. They twist themselves in knots to harmonize the two stories, blurring the stark differences in time and sequence. The question they never seem able to answer is, if these two stories were meant to be harmonized, then why didn’t the writer(s) of Genesis harmonize them? Or, at least, why didn’t the writer(s) make the two stories harmonize-able?

Why does Genesis give us two stories instead of one? For creationists, the answer seems to be that it’s for the same reason that God hid all those fossils in the Burgess Shale — to test our faith.

I don’t think that’s right. We have been given two stories. One tells us about God’s creation of humankind, spoken into being on the sixth day as the capstone of the creation of this world. The other tells us about God’s creation of Mr. Humankind, hand-shaped out of the dust on the first day as the cornerstone of the creation of this world. Two different stories with two different agendas — two different lessons. Pretending otherwise is likely to lead to getting both of those lessons wrong.

I don’t think this is splitting hairs. I think this matters in all the ways that Mr. Humankind — Adam — has come to matter for Christians thinking about everything from redemption to human rights.

In the documentary Hellbound, Ken Miller has a frustrating but revealing discussion with a couple of folks from the infamously hateful Westboro Baptist Church. Miller says something about humans being made “in the image of God” and Westboro Guy cuts him off. Westboro Guy says no, only Adam was created in the image of God. Everyone else, he says, is created in the image of Adam. And thus, WG explains, it’s perfectly cool to hate everyone else.

Westboro’s perverse theology has far, far more wrong with it than just that it fails to distinguish between the stories in Genesis 1 and in Genesis 2. But that confusion plays a role in their larger confusion.

I think it plays a role in a lot of larger confusions.

- – - – - – - – - – - -

* Especially since Gilgoff’s report is about a U.S. Congressman, Rep. Paul Broun, Republican of Georgia, who sits on the House committee for science and technology. This man — a public official who oversees science policy for a nation of more than 300 million people, said this:

All that stuff I was taught about evolution and embryology and the Big Bang Theory, all that is lies straight from the pit of Hell. And it’s lies to try to keep me and all the folks who were taught that from understanding that they need a savior. You see, there are a lot of scientific data that I’ve found out as a scientist that actually show that this is really a young Earth. I don’t believe that the Earth’s but about 9,000 years old. I believe it was created in six days as we know them. That’s what the Bible says.

Paul Broun believes in a global conspiracy of smart people determined to keep people like him from Jesus. Or something. All he’s really sure of is that the earth is younger than Jericho and that scientists are evil people.

TPM’s Benjy Sarlin first publicized this story: “Rep. Paul Broun (R-GA): Evolution, Big Bang ‘Lies Straight From The Pit Of Hell’.” Wonkette’s Doktor Zoom chimed in with commentary that gives Broun all the respect he deserves. And then various people who respect either religion or science (or both) piled on with condemnations of Broun’s ignorant disregard for truth, fact, God, the Bible, literacy, intelligence, the physical world, etc.

Here are some of my favorite responses:

 

  • http://dumas1.livejournal.com/ Winter

    As a resident of Broun’s district (used to be, I think; I’m not in it on the new map), I’d like to apologize and also say I never voted for him. Some days I think Georgians elect Congresscritters on the basis of who we want out of town for a few  years. This is just plain embarrassing.

  • markedward

    Obviously the Westboro group doesn’t know a thing about ‘love’, but one must ask, Does the epistle of James not appear in their Bible? He says that all people are ‘made in the likeness of God’, which is a clear application of Genesis 1′s ‘image of God’ speech to all of humanity, and not just Adam. Maybe I’ve already answered my own question, though. If they can’t find ‘love’ in the Bible, they’re obviously not going to find that obscure verse in James.

  • guestPoster

    You know, assuming god exists (which is a huge assumption), and exists as a being that enjoys testing people without providing a syllabus or grading key (another huge assumption) I sometimes wonder if it isn’t the BIBLE that was left behind to test faith.  I mean, here you’ve got this diety, powerful enough to do anything and everything.  And then he created man with these crazy big brain things, smart enough to understand lots and lots.

    …and then he leaves behind this book of easily contradicted ‘facts’, many contradicted by the book itself.  And, we are told, he gives us an option: believe science, or believe the book.

    So why is it always the scientific discoveries that we are told were left behind to test us?  Why doesn’t anyone ever consider that the bible itself is the test?  That god is waiting for us to collectively realize, and admit, that parts are good, parts are bad, but it’s just a story like any other?  I mean, really…  he, in his infinite wisdom, was smart enough to let evolution do all the heavy lifting for him.  Do we really think he’d seed an entire cosmos with fake bones, fake rocks, fake gravitons and black holes and fake carbon radioisotopes, and that he’d have to fake each and every one himself, when instead he could just take a few milliseconds to write a fake account into a book and let us propagate it ourselves?

    Put another way: if suicide is one of the greatest of sins, because it throws in god’s face the gift of life we were granted, isn’t intentional anti-science the same, for throwing into god’s face the gift of intellect we were granted, and choosing to go through life believing that reality is a farce?

  • AnonymousSam

    These same people argue that when the verse says we are all God’s children, the Bible actually means that God’s chosen are all God’s children. The rest? We belong to Satan.

  • http://twitter.com/shutsumon Becka Sutton

     (spelling nitpick) It’s deity not diety. Please get it right (/spelling nitpick)

    Sorry that particular mispelling drives me up the wall.

  • wendy

    So why is it always the scientific discoveries that we are told were left behind to test us?  Why doesn’t anyone ever consider that the bible itself is the test?  That god is waiting for us to collectively realize, and admit, that parts are good, parts are bad, but it’s just a story like any other? 

    According to my Rabbi, the Torah is a reading comprehension test. “Metaphor is not a modern invention.”

    (Our Sunday school classroom had photos of Einstein and Moshe Dayan on the wall, right next to the drawings of Hillel, Akiva, Maimonedes and Spinoza and posters of the Chagall stained glass. Apparently equal in what they can teach us of  how to worship.)

  • ReverendRef

    We have been given two stories. One tells us about God’s creation of
    humankind, spoken into being on the sixth day as the capstone of the
    creation of this world. The other tells us about God’s creation of Mr.
    Humankind, hand-shaped out of the dust on the first day as the
    cornerstone of the creation of this world.

    I generally don’t disagree with Fred, but I need to here:  creation of Mr.
    Humankind

    God created adam . . . earth creature . . . human.  I’m not so sure you can call that first human Mr. Humankind.  In order to define ON, we need OFF.  In order to define IN, we need OUT.  In order to define HOT, we need COLD.  In order to define MR, or MALE, we need MRS or FEMALE.  If we understand it was a HUMAN that was created, and that male and female came later, then we will better understand that males and females really are equal.  That old argument that MAN was created before WOMAN needs to go.

    And those two creation stories?  It helps to understand their point of view (which, of course, goes against the creationists blind harmonization).  That first story, Gen. 1:1 – 2:4 is a story of the exile.  The world seemed to be crashing down around them, everything was in chaos.  This creation story brings order to chaos and shows that God is in charge.

    The second story, Gen. 2:4b – 25 is a story of the monarchy.  The people need to trust the king, and they must not disobey the king.  Since God is the ultimate king, we need to trust God and not disobey.  Because when we disobey, look what happens.

    And now I’m off to a football game where I get to tell the kids, “Don’t disobey the man in the white hat.”

  • Joshua

    But not equal in what they can teach us about hair care!

  • Joshua

    Seeing as Adam was created before the domesticated animals in Gen 2, but humanity was created after in Gen 1, clearly Adam was a neanderthal.

    As proof, we have apparently still got some Neanderthal genes floating around, clearly showing one of our initial ancestors was Homo neanderthalensis, and the other Homo sapiens!

    And they rode around on velociraptors. One for each foot.

  • CharityB

    I honestly don’t think that they read the Bible that often. I mean, I’m not trying to make a No True Christian argument here — I just don’t think that they would have time to familiarize themselves with every verse or even the general content of each chapter. 

  • http://jdm314.livejournal.com/ Mad Latinist

    > And they rode around on velociraptors. One for each foot.

    “Tell ye the daughter of Sion, Behold, thy King cometh unto thee, meek, and sitting upon a dinonychus, and a velociraptor the sister of Dinonychys.”

  • LL

    The thing about the magical, mystical creation stories of pretty much every religion is that they’re boring. Real creation (abetted by evolution) is a more interesting story than the ones created by every religion put together. Supposedly, humanity came within a few thousand individuals of becoming extinct. THAT would be an interesting story, how we kept from dying out entirely, but unfortunately, we’ll never know for sure how that went down. 

  • Herman Cummings

    The are no “Creation account” in Genesis.  The first chapter is about the history of Earth, conveyed by six visions of six days, each in a different week, and each week in a different time period.  To understand, you must see the PowerPoint presentation named the “Observations of Moses”.

    Herman Cummings
    ephraim7@aol.com

  • Carstonio

    I thought creationists were claiming that the two stories were merely the first and second part of whole story of creation. It’s been a while since I’ve seen the first volume of Arthur Maxwell’s Bible Story series for kids, but I remember Maxwell presenting creation that way.

  • Matri

    I thought creationists were claiming that the two stories were merely the first and second part of whole story of creation.

    Which makes completely zero sense if you look at it that way.

    Part 1: Build a house from scratch in Lot 124 by drilling foundation then pouring cement.

    Part 2: With the house completed in Lot 124, build a house from scratch in Lot 124 by pouring cement then drilling foundation.

    Not a typo, that’s exactly what the creationists mean by that.

  • http://profiles.google.com/marc.k.mielke Marc Mielke

    I love your last paragraph, but IIRC the reason suicide is a such a sin was actually a workaround for the fact that if they didn’t outright ban suicide, it became the logical response to their theology and they were losing too many people.

    (In general, most people’s lives were total and utter shit, and heaven sounded far more appealing. Plus, if you’ve lived a blameless life, better to off yourself before you screw it all up.)

  • Mark Z.

    Moses had PowerPoint?

  • http://twitter.com/mcclure111 mcc

    As Ronald Reagan said, the eight most terrifying words in the English language are, “To understand, you must see the PowerPoint presentation”.

    “The question they never seem able to answer is, if these two stories were meant to be harmonized, then why didn’t the writer(s) of Genesis harmonize them? Or, at least, why didn’t the writer(s) make the two stories harmonize-able? Why does Genesis give us two stories instead of one?”

    While we’re stating the obvious, the documentary hypothesis of the Torah has a perfectly sensible explanation for these same questions: There are two stories because *these are two different stories*, coming out of two different traditions within the same religion. At some point whoever first set the Pentateuch to writing– knowing some tribes used one version of the story and some tribes used the other– rather than attempting to rewrite the thing to “harmonize” it simply included both one after the other, similar to how the Council of Trent, given several gospel stories, simply included all four one after the other. This possibility of course won’t seem like a very satisfying explanation to someone deadset on treating the bible as being a recording of literally true events, but it does mean an interpretation that would be very satisfying to biologists: The book of Genesis was not designed, but rather evolved.

  • JustoneK

    Okay where is this one velociraptor per foot thing coming from?  I feel I’m missing a funny reference.

  • Herman Cummings

    The two chapters are not linked.  They are two different time periods.  The first chapter is actually six different time periods.  Chapter two begins the origin of modern mankind.

    Accept the fact that you can’t understand 4 billion years of history, without someone to explain it to you.  Otherwise, you are 1) speaking from ignorance, and 2) asking ill-advised questions.

    Herman

  • P J Evans

    Accept the fact that you can’t understand 4 billion years of history,
    without someone to explain it to you.  Otherwise, you are 1) speaking
    from ignorance, and 2) asking ill-advised questions.

    The third possibility is that you’re posting nonsense.

  • Tricksterson

    Works for me.

  • Tricksterson

    Not if he was referring to the god of sensible eating.

  • SilverSurfer

    While I agree that Genesis 1 and Genesis 2 are two different stories, I have to disagree with the premise presented in this article (concerning when the book says “adam” and “eve” were created). The text was written in Hebrew, not English. We all know that. However, in the first chapter, the word is NOT for mankind/humankind. It is the word “adam”. This Hebrew word comes from the word “adamah”, meaning earth or red earth. Thus, “adam” was made from the “adamah”. In Genesis 1:27, for example, it says that “god” created “ha’adam” in his image. The “ha” beginning serves like our English “the”. “adam” is in the singular. This then is “the man”. Therefore, this cannot be referring to “mankind” or “human kind”, but to one, singular person, a man.

    Your premise is incorrect and partly because you seem to be basing it on an English translation instead of seeing what was said in the original language.

  • Tricksterson

    Maybe the mankind in the first creation were Neanderthals?

  • http://apocalypsereview.wordpress.com/ Invisible Neutrino

    I can’t read Hebrew; is there anyone with an interlinear who can transliterate into the Latin alphabet what the actual phrases are?

  • http://snarkthebold.blogspot.com/ Edo

    I
    love your last paragraph, but IIRC the reason suicide is a such a sin
    was actually a workaround for the fact that if they didn’t outright ban
    suicide, it became the logical response to their theology and they were
    losing too many people.

    (In general, most people’s lives back then were total and utter shit,
    and heaven sounded far more appealing. Plus, if you’ve lived a
    blameless life, better to off yourself before you screw it all up.)

    This is so wrong I don’t know where to begin.

    First off, we’re talking about Christianity, which celebrates its martyrs (and, for the first 1500 years at least, universally celebrated its ascetics, no matter how outré.) We’re talking about “the blood of the martyrs is the seed of the Church” Christianity. Secondly, “heaven” wasn’t the draw of the Christian afterlife for quite some time (which is why the historic creeds specifically have those bits about, you know, the Resurrection of the Dead and the World to Come.)

    Thirdly, and most importantly, even Christians didn’t pretend they lived blameless lives unless they’d just been baptized (which was a once-only affair.) If you were worried about the state of your soul, the logical response was to stay a lifelong catechumen, and never get baptized until you were on your deathbed.

  • http://dpolicar.livejournal.com/ Dave

     

    I can’t read Hebrew; is there anyone with an interlinear who can
    transliterate into the Latin alphabet what the actual phrases are?

    I don’t have an interlinear, but my grade-school Hebrew suffices for transliteration:

    Gen 1:27… “וַיִּבְרָא אֱלֹהִים אֶת-הָאָדָם בְּצַלְמוֹ, בְּצֶלֶם אֱלֹהִים בָּרָא אֹתוֹ:  זָכָר וּנְקֵבָה, בָּרָא אֹתָם”
    Transliterated into Latin alphabet: “vayibro elohim et-haodom bzalmo, bzelem elohim boro ato: zoHor oon’kibo, boro otom.” (I’m using “H” to represent the hard “h” that doesn’t really exist in English.)

    Gen 2:7… ” וַיִּיצֶר יְהוָה אֱלֹהִים אֶת-הָאָדָם, עָפָר מִן-הָאֲדָמָה, וַיִּפַּח
    בְּאַפָּיו, נִשְׁמַת חַיִּים; וַיְהִי הָאָדָם, לְנֶפֶשׁ חַיָּה”
    Transliterated into Latin alphabet: “vayitzer YHWH elohim et-haodom, ofor min-h’adomoh, vayipaH b’apoyv, nishmas Hayim; vayihi haodom, l’nefesh Hayoh” (I’m using YHWH to represent the Tetragrammaton, aka “Yahweh,” which is traditionally pronounced “adonoy,” though that pronunciation is in no way related to the written letters. If I were to transliterate the text with the diacritical marks given here, it would be “y’voh”)

    Caveat: I might be mish-mashing Sephardic and Ashkenazi dialects here (I was raised in the former and went to school in the latter and sometimes get them confused).

    It may or may not be worth pointing out that the diacritical marks, which convey the vowel sounds, do not appear in the original Scriptures. I have absolutely no idea how anyone claims to know what they initially were.
     

  • http://dpolicar.livejournal.com/ Dave

    Adding to this… the phrase “וַיִּיצֶר יְהוָה אֱלֹהִים אֶת-הָאָדָם עָפָר מִן-הָאֲדָמָה” from Gen 2:7, translated as literally as I can manage it, is “andיְהוָה lords form the אָדָם, dust from the earth.”

    “אֱלֹהִים” is grammatically plural, hence “lords” here, but is conventionally treated (and translated) as singular, I assume for theological reasons related to monotheism. “אָדָם” is grammatically singular.

    “אָדָם” and “אֲדָמָה” (“earth,” here) share a root. “אָדָם” is one of several words traditionally translated as “man”. (“איש” is more common.)

    And as I’ve noted elsewhere, the convention of translating this stuff into the past tense in English is just convention; there’s no analogous tense in Hebrew.

    Perhaps more relevantly… 1:27 says of  “בָּרָא אֹתוֹ” (“creates him”)and “בָּרָא אֹתָם” (“creates them”) without any intervening text to suggest a different object (roughly “in God’s image [no-subject] creates him; male and female [no-subject] creates them.” By normal grammatical standards this is simply incoherent.

  • http://blog.trenchcoatsoft.com Ross

     When I was very small and trying to piece together the biblical account of creation with what I’d learned about dinosaurs and the FLintstones and evolution, my mom helpfully explained to me that cavemen evolved from apes, then God created adam and eve, and their sons interbred with the cavemen, which is how the only two humans at the beginning of the story could have three children, all of them sons, and there still end up being a human race.

    What’s weird now is the realization that she’d basically (rot13) nagvpvcngrq gur frevrf svanyr bs Onggyrfgne Tnynpgvpn ol nobhg 27 lrnef

  • stly92

     This is interesting because I was having a conversation about this with my brother last month.

    You know how fred, in his left behind posts, says that in order to get the timeline of the end of the world that lahaye and jenkins does, you have to skip around and cobble together different Bible verses into a context they were never meant to have? Well, in order to get what most conservative Christians consider “the creation account,” you have to do the same thing, in smaller scale, with the first two chapters of Genesis.

    I worked it out. It goes like this:

    first, you read Genesis 1:1-23. 
    Then you skip to Genesis 2:7-25 (Note, be careful with verse 19, where it says that God made the birds with the animals of the field. That happened on the 5th day, this is the sixth day, so ignore that part.)
    Then you skip back to Genesis 1:29-31,  and continue through Genesis 2:1-3,
    Then Skip to Genesis Chapter 3.

    Yeah, not exactly the most intuitive way to read the first two chapters. And also notice some verses from Chapters 1 and 2 were left out entirely in that reading. Those verses, particularly 2:4-6, make it impossible to read this as “one harmonious story.”

  • P J Evans

    I’m using YHWH to represent the Tetragrammaton, aka “Yahweh,” which is
    traditionally pronounced “adonoy,” though that pronunciation is in no
    way related to the written letters. If I were to transliterate the text
    with the diacritical marks given here, it would be “y’voh”

    The explanation I met for this is that the vowel marks tell you whether you’re going to say ‘elohim’ or ‘adonai’ when you see the Tetragrammaton.

  • Baby_Raptor

    Why? Because you say so? Or because you assume that, since you can’t understand it and must cling to the bible, nobody can? 

    It’s really egotistical and assholic to claim that people are stupid simply because they don’t fit your chosen narrative. If you wish to be taken seriously and respected, you should try and not do that. 

  • http://dpolicar.livejournal.com/ Dave

    The explanation I met for this is that the vowel marks tell you whether
    you’re going to say ‘elohim’ or ‘adonai’ when you see the Tetragrammaton

    That’s a new one on me; I’ve only ever heard ‘elohim’ pronounced when reading “אֱלֹהִים” (which sounds like that in an unproblematic way), and only ever heard “יְהוָה” pronounced as ‘adonoy’ (or ‘adoshem’ if in a nonliturgical context, but that is an intentional ‘mispronunciation’, akin to the tradition of ‘misspelling’ God as G-d).

    (I should perhaps note explicitly here that distinctions between “adonoi,” “adonai”, etc. are not at all meaningful, just matters of dialect and transliteration choices.)

  • Paul A Norman

    “apparently still got some Neanderthal genes floating around” – check out the science on that – the sample collection and processing in all cases so far is an unbelievable mess – no real “Neanderthal genes” showable at all.

  • http://ifindaudio.blogspot.com/2009/10/fractal.html Murfyn

    Alan Dundes’ “Holy Writ As Oral Lit” discusses the idea that many of the stories in the Bible are presented in several forms because the stories were originally of the oral tradition, and when they were written down, the main variants (so to speak) were all kept.  And why shouldn’t they be?
    for some comments on the book:http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/723884.Holy_Writ_as_Oral_Lit

  • http://jdm314.livejournal.com/ Mad Latinist

    It is misleading to call אֱלֹהִים “grammatically plural,” because even though it is morphologically plural, it takes a singular verb—notice וַיִּבְרָא and בָּרָא, rather than ויבראו and בראו, which would be required if אֱלֹהִים were truly plural.

    > “אָדָם” is one of several words traditionally translated as “man”. (“איש” is more common.)

    אָדָם ˀadam means “man” in the now deprecated sense of “human; humankind.” אִיש ˀīš means “man” as opposed to “woman” or “boy.” גֶבֶר gɛbhɛr (which for our purposes you may pronounce géver) means “man” in the most positive sense (i.e. brave, strong, etc.) (Interestingly, the feminine form of that last word, גברת, is now used for “mrs.” in Modern Hebrew)  

  • Lee B.

    What?  That was jokingly presented as a “modern synthesis” of creationism and evolution in the comedy book Science Made Stupid, but I never thought anybody actually believed it.

  • http://www.facebook.com/jrandyowens Randy Owens

    I was wondering, about that grammatically/morpholigically plural form that seems to be “lords”, was that perhaps something like the royal “we”, or many languages’ formal second person forms that are like a plural in some way?  As a form of respect for the [Ll]ord(s) in question?

  • http://dpolicar.livejournal.com/ Dave

    It
    is misleading to call אֱלֹהִים “grammatically plural,” because even
    though it is morphologically plural, it takes a singular verb—notice
    וַיִּבְרָא and בָּרָא, rather than ויבראו and בראו, which would be
    required if אֱלֹהִים were truly plural.

    (nods) You are entirely correct; I apologize for the misleading phrasing. Thanks for clarifying.

    I am, incidentally, delighted to find someone else picking up the Hebrew torch here; my grade-school Yeshiva education has serious limits!

  • http://jdm314.livejournal.com/ Mad Latinist

    @facebook-1792515490:disqus : This is how I take it, and I believe that is the traditional understanding.

    Compare also בהמות “behemoth,” with is at least etymologically the plural of בהמה “cattle.”

  • christopher_young

    Isn’t intentional anti-science the same, for throwing into god’s face the gift of intellect we were granted, and choosing to go through life believing that reality is a farce?

    As Christians have understood for 1600 years or more. Saint Augustine:

    It not infrequently happens that something about the earth, about the sky, about other elements of this world, about the motion and rotation or even the magnitude and distances of the stars, about definite eclipses of the sun and moon, about the passage of years and seasons, about the nature of animals, of fruits, of stones, and of other such things, may be known with the greatest certainty by reasoning or by experience, even by one who is not a Christian. It is too disgraceful and ruinous, though, and greatly to be avoided, that he [the non-Christian] should hear a Christian speaking so idiotically on these matters, and as if in accord with Christian writings, that he might say that he could scarcely keep from laughing when he saw how totally in error they are. In view of this and in keeping it in mind constantly while dealing with the book of Genesis, I have, insofar as I was able, explained in detail and set forth for consideration the meanings of obscure passages, taking care not to affirm rashly some one meaning to the prejudice of another and perhaps better explanation.

    The Blessed African Doctor  came back to this point a few times, but that quote can be lifted from Wikipedia, and I’m feeling lazy

  • Shirley Phelps-Roper

    Westboro Guy – his name is Jonathan Phelps – reported this verse:  Ge 5:3  And Adam lived an hundred and thirty years, and begat a son in his own likeness, after his image; and called his name Seth:

    There are three words translated men in the Bible, Jonathan was discussing with the man ISH or God’s man. Seth is in the line of Christ, and he was a servant of God, like Abel. If you would like to know what Jonathan Phelps was discussing with the man, ASK HIM. On the other hand, you can do what you rebels love to do, toss up a straw man and then beat the crap out of that straw man. 

    At the end of the day, all your blather and hopes of catching us in error, won’t change Leviticus 18:22; Genesis 19; Judges 19-21; Romans 1; Romans 9-11; Jude 7; 2 Peter 2-3; Amos 4:11 and so much more on the subject that is bringing Doomed USA to her knees OR slow her gallop to her final destruction, because God hates fags and God will NOT HAVE fag marriage.  He made that clear when he destroyed the antediluvian world. Christ warned, when you do that again, you will know that the end is near.  So Westboro Guys and Gals all say with one voice, at the top of our lungs, GET ER DONE!!  Doomed american leads the global charge for same-sex marriage, GET ER DONE!! 

    Your friends at Westboro Baptist Church, by Shirley Phelps-Roper, thankful servant of God, in these last minutes of the last hours of the last days of all!!

  • JustoneK

    well, I’m convinced.

  • NoDoubtAboutIt

    Wow!  An actual anti-American terrorist posting here!  How thrilling!  Do be sure to wash “down there” more thoroughly next time, though.  The stench permeates the internet.   See you in hell!

  • http://mordicai.livejournal.com Mordicai

    The best analogy to this is…well, comic books!  Origin stories being retold over & over (with minor or major tweaks) is how those myth grow & evolve.  Same thing here.

  • Jenora Feuer

     

    Doomed american leads the global charge for same-sex marriage…

    Argentina, Belgium, Canada, Denmark, Iceland, Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Spain, South Africa, and Sweden would all like to have a word with you about ‘leading the global charge’.

  • christopher_young

    in these last minutes of the last hours of the last days of all!!

    If you really believe that, if you really think it’s remotely likely, why are you spending your time commenting on blogs?

  • Carstonio

     I have a very strong suspicion that for Fred Phelps, there’s only a small step from “Vengeance is mine, sayeth the Lord” to believing that said lord would work that vengeance through him. I’m mildly surprised that he hasn’t tried to murder anyone he sees who he believes to be gay.

  • http://twitter.com/mcclure111 mcc

    Hi Shirley. Welcome to Slacktivist, and happy National Coming Out Day.


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