The 24 hour "evening and mornings" ??? (Peter)

Ian Hutchesson mc2499 at
Wed Aug 30 11:14:42 EDT 2000

At 17.40 29/08/00 +0100, Peter Kirk wrote:
>your return seems to have put you into a surprising
>role of defending six-day creationism, though I am sure you don't believe
>that yourself.

I'm a literalist when it comes to dealing with texts (a la Liz). What my
beliefs are have little impact on how the writer writes the text.

>> Going back to the text of Genesis 1, what is there in the particular text
>> which suggests that the writer was dealing with anything other than a 24
>> hour day?
>> He writes of God working during the day, then evening comes, then morning
>> and the day is finished. Each day is illustrated that way. What is there in
>> the text which suggests that "evening" and "morning" here refer to anything
>> other than aspects of a 24 hour period?
>PK: Good point, I accept. But surely the author would have seen the tension
>of counting days before the creation of the sun, and that could be an
>indication that he thought it was obvious that he would not be taken

Why? What in the text could possibly make you conclude thus?

>Also, how anthropomorphic a view of God did he have? Would he
>have thought of God as working a literal six day week, like a man, or would
>he have thought of six periods of creative activity parallelling, but not in
>a literal sense, the six day week? We cannot tell. But surely either is a

First you need to supply a hint of an indication that the writer could
possibly have considered anything other than a six day week.

>> Each of the terms has a normal clear simple significance. (And I commend
>> Peter Kirk for his attempt to read a parallelism in Is 61:2, though he
>> himself points out the flaw in his attempt: 'the parallel between "favour"
>> and "vengeance" seems odd.' There is nothing to suggest that "year" is
>> paralleled with "day": these are in fact two separate proclamations [in a
>> list of things that the writer has been appointed to do] vaguely related by
>> subject matter as other verses in the passage are.)
>PK: But did you look up the other references I quoted? In Isaiah 34:8 the
>parallel is much closer, 

Do you consider in the following verse (34:9) that streams and soil mean
the same thing because they are in apparent parallel? You can however see
the relationship between pitch and sulphur, just as you can between
vengeance and vindication.

>and I am sure that any analyst of Hebrew poetry
>(anyone out there to disprove that?) would read that verse as synonymous
>parallelism with an extension to the thought in the second line (I forget
>the technical term for that).
>> When God says to man that he shall eat of of the tree "all the days of your
>> life" (kl ymy xyyk), Gen3:17, does this imply anything other than each and
>> every 24 hour period?
>PK: Yes, of course! "All the days of x's life" is a standard formula for
>"the whole of x's life", with no focus on the individual days. 

Your modern understanding doesn't change the literal significance of the

>Although in
>practice the man probably did eat somethng every day, I don't believe this
>expression is intended to mean that he would never fast or go hungry, rather
>that the curse would last until the end of his life. 

What would make you think that all that was a consideration of the writer?

>Also, isn't it the
>ground that man will eat from, not the tree, from which he is banished?

Yes, you're right.


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