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Scripture Authorized at Mt. Sinai & the Six Day Creation PDF Print E-mail

I have some theological and exegetical reasons for believing a literal six day creation, though I do not state that I know how old the earth is, and have even toyed with the gap theory before. Someone pointed out to me one time that the first words of the Bible ever penned may likely have been those in Exodus 20:1ff and not Genesis 1:1ff, for it was at Mt. Sinai that God introduced himself for the first time to the people of Israel, an introduction revealing his true name "Yahweh" ("I am Yahweh your Elohim"), and would have been the most likely event in Moses' (the author's) life to initiate the need for writing down what God spoke. Thus with the introduction at Sinai burned into their memory, when reading the opening lines of Genesis this "Elohim" (which is a non-specific title that could apply to any god or gods) needed no introduction because all Israel already knew who Elohaynu ("Your God") was referring to after their encounter with Yahweh left them shaken to the very core of their being - because of their awesome and terrifying encounter of the God of the universe in too-close quarters (Deuteronomy 18:16). It was at Mt. Sinai that God not only authorized Scripture (and wrote the Ten Commandments himself) but also foretold Christ's coming as "another prophet" like Moses. It was a seminal event in history. 

Where did Moses get the idea, much less the authorization, to pen the Pentateuch if not at Sinai, where God actually directly commanded him to write down His words? Sinai was truly the birth of a nation, the Scriptures, and the future hope for mankind. And amidst that grandiose backdrop Yahweh rather matter-of-factly says in the Ten Commandments themselves that He created the heavens and the earth in six days (Exodus 20:11), which is not in a metaphorical or narrative context. It is spoken in an apodictic law context coming directly from the law giver. In that context understanding yom (yamim = days) as a literal 24 hour day is the only natural sense in which to take the reference, just like the words in the rest of the decalogue (some of which have explications beyond the brief phrase "you shall/shall not..."). If you were to have heard Yahweh first speak those words at Sinai you would have come away with the impression of a literal six day creation and then later read Moses' writing in Genesis 1 I believe the same belief and understanding of the sense of the words would have been applied with little hesitation or reluctance.

I think we should understand Genesis 1:1ff in view of Exodus 20:11, and not necessarily the other way around. Most people never consider this, although it makes a lot of sense in my view. Where did Moses hear the details that God created the heavens and earth in six days? Sinai, from the very mouth of Yahweh. We take even the number for granted in the account. Why six? Why not one, two, or nine? The details were specific, and Yahweh communicated it verbally (a rare instance of verbal inspiration and utterance directly from Yahweh) in Exodus 20:11.

Also theologically we are required to understand Adam and Eve as being created as fully mature beings since the story presents them as adults who h
ad no prior "growth" from an infant stage (thus no need for long passages of time), which is why theistic evolution is unnecessary and unwarranted based on the text itself. People want to lay as much emphasis on genre as they can in order to allegorize it, but other references to the same event (even by the same author) elsewhere (like in Exodus 20:11; 31:17) make us consider the raw facts of creation stated across many genres, including ones which cannot be allegorized (law codes).

When it comes down to it, it is a hermeneutics issue. When science is taken from outside the Bible and inserted into a reading you are not wrestling with the text itself but your attempt to reconcile the text with something you think it should match with outside of it - and which it perhaps does not even directly address. Internal evidence such as I mentioned above relies much more on the text itself, and it is indeed relevant that the facts of creation are not told in Genesis 1 & 2 alone, and there is not necessarily a good reason to hold Genesis 1 & 2 over and above the other mentions of creation in the Pentateuch. These are just some thoughts to take into consideration when thinking about the creation story in Scripture.


 
 
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