The atheist response to the text of the Bible is based primarily upon the young earth creationist interpretation, which is flawed. If I put myself objectively in the position of the atheist attempting to debunk the Bible I would start with Genesis Chapter 1. The Chapter passed the inspection of this former atheist.

The Hebrew verb consists of two different states. The perfect state indicates an action which is complete, whereas the imperfect state indicates a continuous or incomplete action.

At Genesis 1:1 the word bara, translated as created, is in the perfect state, which means that at this point the creation of the heavens and the Earth were completed. Later, as in verse 16 the Hebrew word asah, translated as made, is used, which is in the imperfect state, indicating continuous action. The heavens and Earth were created in verse 1 and an indeterminate time later they were being prepared for habitation, much the same as a bed is manufactured (complete) and made (continuous) afterwards.

What this means is that the creation was complete even before the six "days" of creation even began, in fact, later verses in the chapter reveal it was more than likely a long time in between Genesis 1:1 and 1:2.

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Pope Paul,

Thanks for the encouragement, but I have found all posters thus far in this thread to be surprisingly civil, perhaps due to my own civility?

There is no such thing as a stupid question, they say.

The Hebrew / Aramaic / Greek are simply the original languages. Of course, it is difficult to translate these into more modern day languages, I suppose, but the translation supplies what we need. The translation itself isn't inspired, the result isn't infallibility, but we have a growing body of manuscripts meticulously copied and even notoriously faulty manuscripts that afford a glimpse into cultural understandings the more reliable ones don't. 

Genesis was written by Moses in 1513 B.C.E. in the wilderness of Sinai. How do I know it's really the word of Jehovah God? Lets say that at this point in this discussion that hasn't been established. In fact, have I said that anywhere here?

RE: 'Genesis was written by Moses in 1513 BCE' - the Jews didn't even develop writing until 1000 BCE, about the same time that they domesticated the camels that Abraham claimed to have in 2000.

Genesis was written by four different groups between 950 BCE and about 550 BCE, then woven together like a patchwork quilt by a redactor in 400 BCE. Moses had nothing to do with it.

RE: "I have found all posters thus far in this thread to be surprisingly civil, perhaps due to my own civility?" - that couldn't be it, Dave, because we remained civil even when you didn't.

- that couldn't be it, Dave, because we remained civil even when you didn't.

Bullshit.

I may have misconstrued most posters' intentions, but still, most posts ignore the advertised topic, which I took to be about debunking Young Earthers. I'll just bow out now and leave best wishes for y'all's successful enlightenment from whatever interactions you pursue. (But thanks for answering my questions, Dave.)

Pope Paul,

I agree, I'm going to have to stick to the topic more. I do hope you contribute.

As I undersdand it, though, he intends to debunk the Young Earthers from the bible not from scientific fact, i.e., to try to show that they are reading the thing wrong in coming up with their 6000 year schema.

The way I see it, the wider the range of interpretations of scripture we can document here, the better we look. Win-win, in a way.

The way I see it, the wider the range of interpretations of scripture we can document here, the better we look. Win-win, in a way.

Excellent! Exactly! Is it not the objective or perhaps even the skeptical scientific approach?

As I undersdand it, though, he intends to debunk the Young Earthers from the bible not from scientific fact, i.e., to try to show that they are reading the thing wrong in coming up with their 6000 year schema.

As well as present the possible alternative which would also debunk the atheist position influenced by the YEC. Reread the OP.

From what I have seen your interpretation of Genesis tracks that of Dr. Hugh Ross (who founded reasons to believe .org).

This is particularly attractive to me as a fiction writer. You know, because of all the stretching to make ideas work.

Lewal,

Perhaps truth is stranger than fiction.

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