Saturday, 31 August 2013

Cosmogony

Book of Genesis, Hainanese Bible.
Book of Genesis, Hainanese Bible. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Cosmogony: the study of the origin and development of the universe or of a particular system in the universe, such as the solar system + a theory of such an origin or evolution.

One hundred years ago, CC Walker wrote, in response to a correspondent who believed that a literal reading of the Bible obliged a believer to reject the idea of a spherical earth:

'Moses’ testimony was given to Israel in what might be called the infancy of the world, when men did not know the extent of the earth, let alone that of the sun, moon, and stars. And, as we believe, it was given (by God through Moses), not so much to instruct Israel in cosmogony in detail, as to impress upon them the idea that The Most High God is the Possessor of Heaven and Earth (Gen. 14:22)."

CC Walker's comment that Genesis was written not to instruct Israel about cosmology in detail, but to teach them that God - and not the surrounding deities - was creator looks positively prescient when we look at what contemporary OT scholarship is saying about the creation narratives. Take the time to look at John Walton's presentation:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FY4nKNrEZaI
Genesis 1 in Ancient Eyes - John Walton
www.youtube.com

the audio gets much better around 13 minutes in download the ppt presentation (6mb) here... http://m...
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