*Here's an example (among many) of their (forgive the word) "logic":
"Genesis 2:4-26, Is the story of the generations of the Heavens and of the earth in Hebrew poetical form using repeated introversion. The creation story is in Genesis 1:1. The purpose of Genesis is not intended to deal with everything God created but how it was destroyed in Genesis 1:2, and recreated in 1:2-31."
Well, now, let us ponder this for a bit: Are they trying to admit that GOD DIDN'T WRITE GENESIS?...SHAME ON THEM!!! They seem to be saying that it was written by Hebrews whom God permitted to write in POETICAL FORM and PURPOSELY GET IT WRONG? ...And, by the way, who is this AUTHORITY WHO DEIGNS TO say that the creation story is ONLY in Genesis 1, and who is it who hold themselves up to assert what is the purpose of Genesis? Well, the answer is pretty clear. It's some fundamentalist theologian whose explanations begin with NEEDING a plenary interpretation and, of course, to do this they MUST ADD, INVENT, ATTEMPT TO EXPLAIN AWAY what (in another moment they will claim is WHOLLY WRITTEN BY GOD!) Well, by god, they need to read on.
AND, they'll have to do better than that. If we allow them to select a "truth", we must think God permitted contradictions in Genesis where we must blame it on Hebrew poets. In other words, they want to have it both ways: God wrote the infallible Bible, and those damned Hebrew poets got it wrong; but they wrote it in poetic form, which keeps it from being a contradiction. Right. By the way, let's look at the word "introversion" ... I think they are mis-using the word: an introversion is a looking inward or upon itself, and a psychological introversion is clinical shyness. In either case "repeated introversion" in poetry (you may take it from someone who has written much poetry) simply means "turning inward more than once". Umm. Wrong word, I think. Puzzling, at the very least, unless they are borrowing someone else's term here (which I do suspect). However, if not, then is the meaning that the Hebrews were allowed by God to contradict by poetically and repeatedly using subjective or "inward" and "obscure" phrases?
No, all of their apologetics are merely APOLOGIES for Biblical contradictions: explanations that are tortured at best and fall into one or more of the following categories:
1. It is to be taken as a metaphor.
2. There is more to it, if not in this verse or Biblical location, then we can find it by looking elsewhere. . . in another Biblical text.
3. It can only be understood in context.
4. There was probably just a copying or writing error. i.e. "Hebrew poets", etc.
5. Since God can perform miracles, this is merely another example of a miracle.
6. God works in mysterious ways, and we can't understand all of the reasons . . .
7. Writers were inspired by God to write his perfect truth.
Well, now, let's have a look at these explanations:
1. "It is to be taken as a metaphor" In other words, what is written is not really what is meant. The only problem with this excuse is that, bottom line, it becomes the GOSPEL according to YOU. SINCE YOU decide what ISN'T to be taken literally and the absolute WORD OF GOD, what we see is it begins to just happen to conform with the particular thing the "interpreter" happens to want to be TRUE???
2. "There was more there than...." This is used when one verse says "there was [a]" and another says "there was [b]," so it's YOU who decides there was "a" AND "b"--which is said nowhere This seems to make you happy, since it doesn't say there WASN'T "a+b." But it ALSO doesn't say there was "a+b+little green martians." AND, it doesn't say there was SANTA CLAUS. But your logic makes about as much sense. This is often the same convoluted logic that insists THIS is the ONLY possible interpretation.
3. "There's more to it and you can find the meaning by looking elsewhere in the Bible" This "apology" comes from the same crowd that likes to push TOTALLY OUT OF CONTEXT extracted verses that support their particular view. Often it is just one of the verses in the contradictory set that is suppose to be taken as THE TRUTH. If you add more to it, for example the following verse or chapter, it it suddenly becomes "out of context."
4. "There was probably just a copying/writing error by the writers or poets" NO KIDDING???!!! This is sometimes called a "transcription error," as in where one number was meant and an incorrect one was copied down. Or that what was "quoted" wasn't really what was said, but just what the author thought was said when he thought it was said. Sure sounds like the interpreter believes him/her self to have mind-reading skills here. [BUT, ISN'T IT THE SAME THING AS SAYING THE BIBLE IS IN ERROR???]
5. "It's an example of one of God's miracles." Naturally. NOW, why didn't I think of that???!!! That is why it is stated as fact. The infallible Word of God is a series of contradictions that are miracles instead.
6. "God works in mysterious ways and we can't always understand the why's or how's." What a useful dodge when the interpreter doesn't understand the conflict between what the Bible SAYS and what the Bible says, suddenly it is because it is mysterious.
7. "Biblical writers were inspired by God to write his perfect truth." Then why didn't they do it? Was there some "interference" with the transmission? Some hang-ups? Despite how it is interpreted, some GLARING contradictions are certainly there.
For you Biblical scholars, read on, McDuff!
HERE ARE SOME OF THE THINGS THAT PEOPLE IN THE TIME OF THE WRITINGS OF THE BIBLE BELIEVED ABOUT THE EARTH, etc.
They believed in The Vault of Heaven.
Check your Hebrew translations: The vault of heaven is a crucial concept. The word "firmament" appears in the King James version of the Old Testament 17 times; HOWEVER, in each case it is translated from the Hebrew word raqiya, the definition of which "the visible vault of the sky." The word raqiya is derived from riqqua, literally meaning "beaten out." In ancient times, brass objects were at times beaten into shape on an anvil. A good craftsman could beat a lump of cast brass into a thin bowl. Realizing this, then, Elihu asks Job, "Can you beat out [raqa] the vault of the skies, as He does, hard as a mirror of cast metal (Job 37:18)?"
It becomes quite clear that Elihu's question shows that the Hebrews considered the vault of heaven to be a solid, physical object. Admittedly, such a huge "brass" (or made of any material) dome would be a tremendous feat of engineering (big enough for the entire NFL, with space left over, right?). But, the Hebrews (and supposedly Yahweh Himself) evidently thought of it exactly that way: an enormous DOME, as we see in the following five scriptures:
Job 9:8, "...who by himself spread out the heavens [shamayim]..."
Psalm 19:1, "The heavens [shamayim] tell out the glory of God, the vault of heaven [raqiya] reveals his handiwork."
Psalm 102:25, "...the heavens [shamayim] were thy handiwork."
Isaiah 45:12, "I, with my own hands, stretched out the heavens [shamayim] and caused all their host to shine..."
Isaiah 48:13, "...with my right hand I formed the expanse of the sky [shamayim]..."
If these verses are about a mere metaphor of a vault, there is certainly NO indication to be found anywhere in the text.. The word Shamayim comes from the root word shameh, meaning to be lofty. So It literally it means way up high in the sky. Other passages complete the picture of the sky as a lofty, physical dome. God "sits throned on the vaulted roof of earth [chuwg], whose inhabitants are like grasshoppers. He stretches out the skies [shamayim] like a curtain, he spreads them out like a tent to live in...[Isaiah 40:22]." Chuwg literally means "circle" or "encompassed." By extension, it can mean roundness, as in a rounded dome or vault. Job 22:14 says God "walks to and fro on the vault of heaven [chuwg]." In both verses, the use of chuwg implies a physical object, on which one can sit and walk. Likewise, the context in both cases requires elevation. In Isaiah, the elevation causes the people below to look small as grasshoppers. Ok, now, for all you Google-Earth puter people out there (as well as for anyone who has ever flown in a plane), let's just think about the "grasshoppers" analogy. Umm... certainly seems as though this was a clear break-down in understanding of how the vantage point up among the sattelites, or planets or stars (or even at 10,000 feet) would look. In Job, God's eyes must penetrate the clouds to view the doings of humans below. Elevation is also implied by Job 22:12: "Surely God is at the zenith of the heavens [shamayim] and looks down on all the stars, high as they are."
This picture of the cosmos is reinforced by Ezekiel's vision. We find the Hebrew word raqiya five times in Ezekiel. Four usages are in Ezekiel 1:22-26 and another in Ezekiel 10:1. But, for each case, when you "sense out" the context, you discover the meaning is a literal vault or dome. The vault appears above the "living creatures" and glitters "like a sheet of ice." Above the vault is a throne of sapphire (or lapis lazuli). Seated on the throne is "a form in human likeness," (a "human-like God) with the added quality of being radiant and "like the appearance of the glory of the Lord." In short, Ezekiel saw a vision of God sitting throned on the vault of heaven, as described in Isaiah 40:22.
SO IT'S ALL HEBREW POETRY? MAN! THERE WERE A LOT OF POETS IN CHARGE OF WRITING THE BIBLE!!! Now, as I think about it al, I do have to wonder with the throngs of THOUSANDS of people Jesus evidently contacted (preached to), NOT TO MENTION ALL THOSE MIRACLES, (AND SINCE THE ROMANS WERE NOT SHY ABOUT WRITING about WHAT THEY SAW AND, especially, WHAT THEY WERE IMPRESSED WITH), why aren't there any on the spot, EYE-WITNESS WRITTEN accounts of Jesus' life AND actions. Maybe I'm too much a product of the CNN "generation", but really it does put me to wonder.
In any case, of course, For you FUNDAMENTALISTS out there, you are welcome to whatever daily "walk with God" you require; It is my fervent wish for you that SOMEDAY after this life you'll walk with your "guy" God on the vault of chuwg. And as you do so, cast your eyes down upon all of the grasshoppers down here. As I said in another piece I wrote, If and when I can contemplate the existence of GOD (which is by no means all the time), the ONLY way it makes sense to me is to think of some "FORCE" that is infinitely infinite.
But the Bible? No, it LOSES MUCH in the translation.
And, by the way, if your thinking is as cluttered, grammatically erroneous and muddy and filled with misspellings and SIMPLE THOUGHTLESS PARROTTING OF WHAT YOU HAVE BEEN TOLD, repleat with no original thinking, as are MOST of the responses I've seen, please don't bother sending them to me. They do help to make my case. But they certainly are a waste of time.