Why the Watchtower Society Interprets Genesis Non-Literally
yes, a well-deserved bttt
In the beginning AlanF and Leolaia set us straight as to our origins....
The bible is very earth-centric. If it were god-inspired, it would have been a heck of a lot more scientifically correct. I mean, come on, if god were directing the writing of it, it would have been obscenely valuable to the scientific community and saved us years of research. Instead, years of scientific research have shown many embarrassing errors in the bible.
And yet I love how they quote the "circle of the earth" scripture and try to say how much ahead of its time the bible was.
I thank you for your research.
Here is another twist to this. Maybe God used the theory of special relativity to put the earth into a time warp where time itself ran much slower than usual. So Joshua would have felt that the sun was standing still when in fact it was the earth's time frame that had slowed down. This would have avoided the messy reality of actually stoppiing the solar system.
Isaiah 40: 22 He sits enthroned above the circle of the earth, and its people are like grasshoppers. He stretches out the heavens like a canopy, and spreads them out like a tent to live in.
How does this scripture prove the Earth is a sphere? It doesn't.
Thanks, from this lurker and occasional poster.
Another inconsistency with their interpretation strategy (if you can call it that), is that they will often say the bible is written from a human's perspective.
From Alan's post
Moses wrote his account in Hebrew, and he wrote it from the perspective of a person standing on the surface of the earth. These two facts, combined with the knowledge that the universe existed before the beginning of the creative periods, or "days," help to defuse much of the controversy surrounding the creation account.
*** w75 3/1 p. 147 The Bible—Written by Men but Still God’s Message ***
22 If the human element were completely lacking from the Bible, we might also have great difficulty in grasping its message. It might be hard to see how we, as imperfect humans, could possibly gain an approved standing with the Creator. For example, if the record merely told us that ‘God is merciful,’ this would not be enough in order for us to understand just what this means. We humans need to have such matters expressed to us in ways that we can grasp. Being written by men, the Bible provides concrete illustrations from real life, presenting them from the human perspective. It tells us of humans who, although knowing God’s law, succumbed to weaknesses and became guilty of serious transgressions, the accounts at times giving us persons’ own words as to how they felt and reacted. At the same time we learn to what extent they were shown mercy.
Do you know any human that has said, "Wow, what a long day at work, I didn't think I was going to get through all 7000 years!"
The idea of 7000 years for one creative day, we are told by the WTS, is not from a human perspective, but from God's perspective.
But what indication is given by Moses that he means "day" iny other way but literal ( or from a human perspective)?
See Leo's post
Young-earth creationism was a hot political topic in Russell's time. I don't know much about the early history of the WTS, but I suspect Russell was not involved in that issue because it is of interest to the religious right, not to an Armageddon time-calculator like him.
If so, then the non-literal reading of Genesis 1 was just a way to dodge the issue. That way, the WTS could proudly point to its rejection of literal creationism and say: See, how reasonable we are?
Am I wrong?
Hey where's turdwitness! He's missing!
Not wishing to throw too many spanners into this debate as I think it is generally valid (basically private interpretations of the bible is what is taught in every church and those private interpretations will pick whatever route they can to avoid falling foul of current science) but...
1/ Calling the creative periods literal 24 hour days and then hitting fundamentalists with a strawman isn't fair since we all know that with current scientific understanding the 24 hour day is the time it takes for one complete rotation of the earth during its orbit around the sun - since the order of creation didn't introduce the sun till halfway through it is not correct to say that our current order of time must be applied to the earth. Time is dependent on the reference point of the observer and I see no evidence that the authour of Genesis was watching from the point of the earth.
2/ When God reveals information on such a scale He very rarely reveals it literally , in general its all metaphorical and designed to teach a truth rather than to fulfill modern day reporting standards (for example the dream of the different kingdoms of the earth.) I cannot think that the vision of the creation of the earth was anything different - God wasn't providing a handbook on how to organise a world for future geologists - had he done so I suspect this would have contravened the provisions of faith (i.e. we would be forced to believe and would therefore be under utter condemnation for even a single doubting voice - this way at least God can tell us a lot of info but none of it forces belief and therefore we return by faith.)
3/ Thirdwitness has done a sterling job defending beliefs that are incorrect (I read the whole 607 thread and I was amazed at the abuse third and scholar received and yet they stayed to fight) and persecuting them probably does more to strengthen erroneous beliefs than simply discussing the current facts. Had I been partial to the 607 idea I would have found much meat in thirds words and too much vitriol clouding the excellent research that explodes the clever arguments for 607.