“Sing unto God, ye kingdoms of the earth; O sing praises unto the Lord; Selah: To him that rideth upon the heavens of heavens, which were of old; lo, he doth send out his voice, and that a mighty voice.”
One recent supposed evangelical commentator on Genesis begins his work by saying: “If we accept Genesis 1 as ancient cosmology, then we need to interpret it as ancient cosmology rather than translate it into modern cosmology. If we try to turn it into modern cosmology, we are making the text say something that it never said.” Thus, he lays the foundation for claiming, irrationally, that those of us who take the text seriously are, in fact, not taking the text seriously!
So what do they mean by an ancient cosmology? They mean a cosmology developed by people from an ancient time.
Their presupposition is that Genesis was developed by people who lived in the Ancient Near East, whose experience was ancient. The commentator explains: “They did not know that stars were suns; they did not know that the earth was spherical and moving through space; they did not know that the sun was much further away than the moon… And God did not think it important to revise their thinking.”
So, in a sense, it is God’s fault that our views on Genesis are so confused! However, this mention of God shows how false their presuppositions are. Their starting point is that Genesis is not scientific and was written by people. Our starting point is that Genesis was inspired by God, who has given us the only eye-witness account there is of how the universe began. And He decided the best words to use to explain this to us. Author: Paul F. Taylor
Thank You, Lord God, Ancient of Days, that You have made Your word plain. Help us to see through the wiles of men who would hide Your words. Amen.
Ref: Walton, J.H. (2009), The Lost World of Genesis One (Downers Grove, IL: IVP), pp. 16-17. Image: Adobe Stock Images, licensed to author.