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Old 10-03-2013, 11:41 AM   #21
semiopen
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After my post yesterday, where I posted the LBGT link, I think the OP (perhaps unwittingly) is referring mostly to attitudes about homosexuality.
Did not even cross my mind. I was coming from the angle of YEC contradicting science, especially geology and evolutionary theory, and how some people claim that this is some new phenomenon, and that medieval Christian peasants did not think Noah's flood was literally true.
I hate being right all the time, but the attitude on homosexuality is the only thing I can think of that is "worse" now than it was in the good old days.
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Old 10-03-2013, 11:50 AM   #22
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People of antiquity were able to distinguish fact from fiction.
The average person 500 to 2800 years ago, as compared to the average person now, when we have universal compulsory education, for all sexes, printed media, mass media, world wide web... and still they have problems distinguishing a mythological story from actual biology, today. You really believe that? We know we're smarter than people 90 years ago when they had some of the items I just enumerated, only 90 years! Aristotle himself subscribed to idiotic ideas which would have been easily disproven by simple observation, yet people kept on believing these things.
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Old 10-03-2013, 01:21 PM   #23
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In terms of modern categories, Ancient Christians were usually inerrantists, they believed that the Bible rightly interpreted was entirely true. They were generally not literalists in the sense of believing that the right interpretation of a Bible passage is almost always obvious. Literalism in this sense is a development within certain forms of Protestantism.

Andrew Criddle
It may be the case that I did not use the correct terms, but I see literalism used to denote the idea that the stories in the OT are historical facts. If that's still too fuzzy, use Noah's flood as an example. Some liberal Christians keep making the claim that the idea of an actual, literal worldwide flood survived by only those in Noah's ark is a new phenomenon in Christianity, that it appeared as a backlash against the Enlightenment and therefore, presumably, the average Christian before, say, 1700 would not have denounced time-traveler-me to the authorities as an atheist if I told him I don't believe Noah's flood actually happened.
I agree that most Ancient Christians believed in a world wide flood. That is distinct from treating the first chapter of Genesis literally which many Ancient Christians did not.

(Your original post was about YEC which does involve a very literal understanding of Genesis 1.)

Andrew Criddle
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Old 10-03-2013, 03:20 PM   #24
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In terms of modern categories, Ancient Christians were usually inerrantists, they believed that the Bible rightly interpreted was entirely true. They were generally not literalists in the sense of believing that the right interpretation of a Bible passage is almost always obvious. Literalism in this sense is a development within certain forms of Protestantism.
I think Andrew is correct.

Here is an example which may be of interest:

From Augustine, De genesi ad litteram (On Genesis, [interpreted] literally), book 2, chapter 9 (tr. J.H.Taylor, 1982):

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It is frequently asked what our belief must be about the form and shape of heaven according to Sacred Scripture. Many scholars engaged in lengthy discussions on these matter, but the sacred writers with their deeper wisdom have omitted them. Such subjects are of no profit for those who seek beatitude, and, what is worse, they take up precious time that ought to be given to what is spiritually beneficial. What concern is it of mine whether heaven is a sphere and the earth is enclosed by it and suspended in the middle of the universe, or whether heaven like a disk above the earth covers it on one side?

But the credibility of Scripture is at stake, and as I have indicated more than once, there is danger that a man uninstructed in divine revelation, discovering something in Scripture or hearing from it something that seems to be at variance with the knowledge that he has acquired, may resolutely withhold his assent in other matters where Scripture presents useful admonitions, narratives, or declarations. Hence, I must say briefly that in the matter of the shape of heaven the sacred writers knew the truth, but that the Spirit of God, who spoke through them, did not wish to teach men these facts that would be of no avail to their salvation.
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Old 10-03-2013, 03:27 PM   #25
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We know we're smarter than people 90 years ago
These must be the words of a very young man, I think. Friend, do not presume that people who lived in previous centuries were idiots. Some were uneducated, as some are now. The proportion of either is unimportant; but the maximum intelligence is probably rather constant.

Consider: I believe that there were stupid people in 1923, and we have copious evidence of even greater stupidity in 2013. But I presume, in saying "we" are smarter than people of 1923, we do not have Albert Einstein in mind? :-)

And ... bear in mind that some of the readers of this forum are retired. That is, they were born more than 60 years ago. They might just possibly have definite opinions on just how smart men in the age of Bush and Obama might really be, compared to those in previous generations.

Never be confused by the ability of the Japanese to manufacture pretty toys. It has no bearing on the question. Technology may progress, while society does the reverse. It did in late Roman times.

All the best,

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Old 10-03-2013, 03:33 PM   #26
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Friend, do not presume that people who lived in previous centuries were idiots
I did not say that.

Furthermore, I am not talking about people who now are 90 y.o. I'm referencing studies at the beginning of the 20th century with people who were adults at that time. Read closely.
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Old 10-03-2013, 07:52 PM   #27
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I agree that most Ancient Christians believed in a world wide flood. That is distinct from treating the first chapter of Genesis literally which many Ancient Christians did not.

(Your original post was about YEC which does involve a very literal understanding of Genesis 1.)

Andrew Criddle
Again, your claim is completely fallacious. How can you make such blatant erroneous statements when you have full knowledge of the NT and writings of the Church?

This is unacceptable.

The 1st chapter of Genesis MUST be regarded as literal history for the Jesus story to be accepted as true in antiquity by Christians.

Jesus was the Logos of God, the Creator.

It is documented that Ancient Christians and Jews literally believed the first chapter of Genesis.

Josephus "Antiquities of the Jews 1.1
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1. In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth. ............... Accordingly Moses says, That in just six days the world, and all that is therein, was made.

And that the seventh day was a rest, and a release from the labor of such operations; whence it is that we Celebrate a rest from our labors on that day, and call it the Sabbath, which word denotes rest in the Hebrew tongue.
Justin's Dialogue with Trypho LXXXIV
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.... Eve was made from one of Adam's ribs, and as all living beings were created in the beginning by the word of God.
Tertullian's Against Marcion
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it is clear to us that our God is no otherwise existent, than as having been the Creator of this universe of ours.
Origen's De Principiis
Quote:
4. The particular points clearly delivered in the teaching of the apostles are as follow:—

First, That there is one God, who created and arranged all things, and who, when nothing existed, called all things into being— God from the first creation and foundation of the world— the God of all just men, of Adam, Abel, Seth, Enos, Enoch, Noe, Sere, Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, the twelve patriarchs, Moses, and the prophets...
John 1.1-3
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1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2 He was in the beginning with God. 3 All things came into being through Him, and apart from Him nothing came into being that has come into being..
I find that some here are just stiffling any progress on this forum with known absurd fallacies.

It is well known and documented for hundreds of years that the Jesus cult of Christians believed in the LITERAL Creation of mankind by God, Jesus the Logos.

Colossians 1:16 NAS
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For by Him all things were created, both in the heavens and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities -all things have been created through Him and for Him.
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Old 10-03-2013, 09:11 PM   #28
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Dating creation is a nicely comprehensive article. I've also found Beliefs in the Earth's age, Estimates of the age of the earth

Before modern times, most Christian and Jewish theologians used dates obtained by adding up the begots in the Old Testament / Tanakh. That document is somewhat ambiguous, so one has to use various hypotheses to fill in the gaps. Furthermore, there are some discrepancies in numerical values between the two major versions of that document: the Septuagint and the Masoretic text.

Masoretic: ~ 4000 BCE
Septuagint: ~ 5500 BCE

There are various others, like Alfonso X in the 13th cy., who proposed 6984 BCE and 6484 BCE.

St. Augustine, often cited as rejecting literalism, also believed that the Universe was young. In City of God, Bk. 18, Chap. 40, "About the Most Mendacious Vanity of the Egyptians, in Which They Ascribe to Their Science an Antiquity of a Hundred Thousand Years.":

" For as it is not yet six thousand years since the first man, who is called Adam, ..."


Young-earthism wasn't exactly declared heresy over all those centuries.
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Old 10-03-2013, 10:07 PM   #29
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Every Christian writer that mentioned the Creation story claimed God literally created the world and its content.

Genesis was used as an historical document by Jews and Jesus cult Christians.

This is Theophilus of Antioch, a Christian writer who used Genesis and the Bible to show the time that elapsed since God Created Adam.

Theophilus' 'To Autolycus'
Quote:
And that we may give a more accurate exhibition of eras and dates, we will, God helping us, now give an account not only of the dates after the deluge, but also of those before it, so as to reckon the whole number of all the years, as far as possible; tracing up to the very beginning of the creation of the world, which Moses the servant of God recorded through the Holy Spirit.

For having first spoken of what concerned the creation and genesis of the world, and of the first man, and all that happened after in the order of events, he signified also the years that elapsed before the deluge.

And I pray for favour from the only God, that I may accurately speak the whole truth according to His will, that you and every one who reads this work may be guided by His truth and favour.

I will then begin first with the recorded genealogies, and I begin my narration with the first man.


Adam lived till he begat a son, 230 years.

And his son Seth, 205. And his son Enos, 190. And his son Cainan, 170. And his son Mahaleel, 165. And his son Jared, 162. And his son Enoch, 165. And his son Methuselah, 167. And his son Lamech, 188. And Lamech's son was Noah, of whom we have spoken above, who begat Shem when 500 years old. During Noah's life, in his 600th year, the flood came.

The total number of years, therefore, till the flood, was 2242.
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Old 10-03-2013, 11:27 PM   #30
Roger Pearse
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I did not say that. ... Read closely.
You certainly can ignore what I said if you prefer.

All the best,

Roger Pearse
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