I am one of those who thinks that The Cosmic Temple Inaguration view of Genesis 1 is correct. This view of Genesis 1 is most commonly assosiated with Professor John Walton of Wheaton College. He has written both an academic level and a popular level book defending this view with the former being titled “Genesis 1 As Ancient Cosmology” and the latter being titled “The Lost World Of Genesis One”. Professor Walton maintains that we should read Genesis 1 as an ancient text. We should read it the way the original author and audience understood it and not through our modern western scientific presuppositions, as views such as the Young Earth Creationist’s Callendar Day view and the Old Earth Creationist’s “Day-Age” view frequently do. To try to connect statements like “In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth” to something like The Big Bang is not to read meaning out of the text at all, but to read meaning into it. John Walton’s view contends that Genesis 1 is not about a scientific account of material origins, but rather, that it’s about functional origins. To put it another way; Genesis 1 is not about God physically manufacturing the stars, the sun and moon, the animals, etc. but rather it’s about God assigning functions to these things. Walton examines a plethora of Ancient Near Eastern (ANE) creation myths to show that people of that time didn’t really care about how or when God or the gods created everything, but rather, why. Walton does this examination of ANE creation myths to show that in their minds, something did not exist unless something had a function in an ordered system. To “create” something was to give something a function in an ordered system, and ergo, to bring it into existence. But Walton doesn’t merely look at creation texts outside The Bible. He also looks at Genesis 1 itself to see whether it follows the ANE function-only pattern. Through text based arguments the probability of which was already bolstered by the ANE cultural background, Walton concludes that Genesis 1 is not about material origins, but about functional origins. Walton also presents arguments which show that Genesis 1 has God inagurating the universe as His cosmic temple.
The reader is invited to read Walton’s works for a full defense. But for the record, I also defend this view in significant depth in my essay; “Genesis 1: Functional Creation, Temple Inauguraton, and Anti-Pagan Polemics”.
In this article, I will interact with criticisms of this view lodged against it by Jaques B Doukhan in his paper “Review Of John H Walton’s Genesis One As Ancient Cosmology”.
First Argument: ANE Creation Myths Are Myths. Genesis 1 Is Not.
Jaques B. Doukhan starts off his critique by acknowledging that a functional emphasis is present in the Ancient Near Eastern creation accounts. He goes on, however, to argue that Genesis 1 does not follow suit. He writes:
“However, just because the functional nature of creation is emphasized in these ancient Near Eastern texts, it does not mean that this property is also necessary for the interpretation of the Genesis text. Functionality pertains to the specifically mythological nature of these texts and does not apply to the specifically historical and antimythological nature of Genesis 1. When the Egyptian view of creation is described as an unfolding process—that is, a becoming (hprw) and hence functional process—it is due to its mythological nature. Creation is here described as a becoming from the gods. It is because the gods of the ancient Near Eastern world are inside the cosmos and not outside of it that creation is viewed here as a function. Since the gods identify with the functions of the cosmos (e.g., sun, moon, water, heaven, and earth), they are divine. Thus these creation accounts will be concerned with functional activity. Not only is the notion that the creation of humans was primarily for serving the gods a foreign idea, but it is, in fact, contrary to the biblical paradigm that suggests the opposite. God created humans not for the function of serving him and giving him food, but on the contrary that he may serve them and give them food (Gen 1:29-30).”
His contention seems to be that because Genesis 1 is divinely inspired and these Ancient Near Eastern creation myths are not, it therefore cannot be doing the same things these other texts are doing. The Enuma Ellish is myth, Genesis is not. He also argues that the polytheistic gods of Israel’s neighbors were inside the cosmos and ergo, that’s why the texts describe them as merely assigning functions.
First, Doukhan seems to have the idea that a functional view cannot be established from within the biblical text itself. He seems to think it has to be determined from the ANE Material. Yet as I have written elsewhere, the ANE material only serves to bolster the probability of the functional origins interpretation. It does not determine it. See my article “Response To Tsumura On ‘Genesis One As Ancient Cosmology'” After all, as John Walton put it in another book, titled “The Lost World Of The Flood”, sometimes in the river of ideas, Israel went with the flow and at other times, they departed from the ideological norm. See Longman III, Tremper; Walton, John H.. The Lost World of the Flood: Mythology, Theology, and the Deluge Debate (p. 6). InterVarsity Press. Kindle Edition. In order to know when they shared ideas and when they departed, one needs to do more than look at the ANE material alone. One needs to look at the biblical text as well.
When one does this, one finds a functional origins view in the text. I’d like to speedrun through the list of arguments for why maintaining both material and functional creation is problematic.
Day 1 – Light and darkness are created. Neither were material on an ancient understanding. Their separation indicates that it was time that was created. Time is not material.
Day 2 – If God materially made something, you are committed to solid dome sky All of this information can be checked out in Kyle Greenwood’s book “Scripture and Cosmology: Reading the Bible Between the Ancient World and Modern Science,” Part 1 of Greenwood’s book walks … Continue reading or to inserting modern meteorology into the text (an act of concordism). Concordism is the view that The Bible and Science are in concord with each other, hence the name. However, if that’s all the term meant, then there wouldn’t be a problem. There is a sense … Continue reading If committing yourself to bad science or eisegeted science are not options you find tenable (and they shouldn’t be), then your other options are just to concede the argument or to say that God didn’t really make the sky!
Day 3 – Seeing the creation of vegetation as function only is contingent on establishing function only of the rest of the chapter. So…
Day 4 – Sun, moon, and stars. Not material on ANE understanding. Functions most explicit here than anyway (i.e they are for signs, seasons, days, and years – timekeeping). It’s true there could be different astrological understandings throughout the ANE, but I doubt anyone believed they were big gas balls. Twinkling inanimate lights that aren’t material in some cases, gods or other spiritual beings in others.
So if you maintain a material and functional view of ontology/creation, you are at least committed to saying God didn’t make anything on 3 of the 6 days! Four depending on where you fall on the sky trichotomy. However, I’ll concede that a material view is more plausible for the animals and humans on days 5 and 6. Like Day 3, I think establishing that only functions are being created on these days is contingent on the rest of the exegetical case for Genesis 1. In any case, we must ask; what kind of material creation account doesn’t have anything material being made during half of the week?
So, even without the ANE creation myths, we can still make a case for the functional origins view. True, we need some insight from the ANE to know how the viewed things like light, the sky, and so on in order to run the arguments I just ran, but once you’ve got that, you’re off and running!
Secondly, I don’t find the argument from transcendence that compelling. First, why should the gods of Israel’s neighbors being inside the cosmos compel a functional origins perspective? Couldn’t a god inside of space and time make something ex nihilo or ex materia, physically manufacturing something that wasn’t there before? On the contrary, why could not Yahweh who transcends all simply assign something a function? It should be remembered that biblical theology dictates that God and matter are not co-eternal. God did physically make all things (John 1:1-3, Colossians 1:15-16, Hebrews 11:3), it’s just that Walton and I maintain that Genesis 1 is not saying that. I don’t see why a god whos is inside of space and time would compel the view that all he can do is assign a function, nor God transcending space and time means that He must be physically manufacturing things in addition to assigning the function. It just doesn’t follow.
Thirdly, Doukhan wrote “Functionality pertains to the specifically mythological nature of these texts and does not apply to the specifically historical and antimythological nature of Genesis 1.” It’s clear that he’s one who views Genesis 1-11 as literal history of the same kind as Genesis 12 and beyond, or 1 Samuel, or the gospels. Yet, I think a good case can be made that Genesis 1-11 belongs to the literary genre known as “Mytho History”. Dr. William Lane Craig made a huge splash in the Evangelical world defending this in his book “The Quest For The Historical Adam”. Now, Mytho History is neither pure myth (read: fiction or legend), but neither is it literal history. Mytho-History recounts things that really took place, but employs mythological imagery and fantastical elements for symbolic and theological purposes. So, for example, there really was an Adam and Eve, there was a real abode where they lived and met with Yahweh their Creator, and there was a real enemy of God who duped them into rebellion. But were Adam and Eve homo sapiens? Were there real miraculous trees that had the ability to convey immortality and the knowledge of good and evil? Was the enemy of God a talking snake? Or, if you got in a time machine and traveled back to the event, would you see a seraph (a 6 winged divine being with a snake for a head) tempting a male and female homo heidelbergensus to do….something God told them not to do, which may or may not be symbolized in the account as eating from a miraculous tree? “Although I must restrain myself from unpacking his full argument since it would take us too far afield of our purpose, specialists on ancient Israel’s divine beings, especially Heiser, have … Continue reading
Mytho-History is not full blown myth. The very term should give it away. Mytho-HISTORY. I affirm a real flesh and blood Adam in a real garden of Eden some time ago. There was a real fall instigated by a serpentine divine being. See Michael S’ Heiser’s extended discussion on the nature of Eden’s Serpent in his book “The Unseen Realm: Recovering The Supernatural Worldview Of The Bible”, Chapter … Continue reading
Mythic elements would be things like the description of their formation from dust and side (common ANE motifs for human origins) and the two mystical trees. See my essay “Genesis 2 & 3: Adam And Eve as Archetypes, Priests In The Garden Of Eden, and The Fall” — … Continue reading Also common motifs in ANE myth. Though the trees stood for really real things the historical Adam had to choose between.
Second Argument: Counter Examples Show The Bible Talks About Material Creation
“In his systematic treatment of Genesis 1, Walton supports his thesis of function in a number of ways. I will now critique them:
1. Genesis 1:1 and bara’ (“create”). The assumption that the verb bara’ (“create”) does not imply the creation of material objects is highly subjective as it stumbles on the evidence found throughout the OT: heavens and earth (Gen 1:1), creatures of the sea (Gen 1:21), people (Gen 1:27), pure heart (Ps 51:2), you (Isa 43:1), cloud of smoke (Isa 4:5), starry host (Gen 1:14), ends of the earth (Job 28:24), wind (Job 28:24), and covenant people (Deut 32:6) are in their respective contexts material realities. The reference to the Piel form to justify the idea of separation (Gen 1:4, 7) hardly holds as this verb may rather belong to another root than the one used in the Qal and the Nifal.”
First, some of the things he thinks are material weren’t in ANE thought. They didn’t know that the celestial bodies created in Genesis 1:14 were giant burning balls of gas lightyears away. They weren’t aware of photons and wave particles, so the idea of the light created on Day 1 would not have been the creation of anything material for them. And the pure heart which is referenced in Psalm 51:2 refers to a state of mind. The heart was physical even in their understanding back then, but the context of this verse shows that David is not referring to the physical organ itself, but what that organ regulated; thoughts and emotions. “Heart” was being used metonymously to refer to David’s mindset. David was, in other words, saying, “God, give me a more moral mindset, a mindset fixed on obeying you rather than gratifying my sinful desires.” The “covenant people” of Deuteronomy 32:6 also doesn’t seem like a good analogy. Although the members comprising a group are certainly concrete objects consisting of material, the group itself isn’t. The group itself is an abstract concept.
Secondly, even when the text does refer to material objects, that does not necessarily mean that material origins are in view. If Walton and I are right that the ancients would not have considered something as properly existing unless it had function in an ordered system, then if something has material composition but is useless, then it doesn’t really exist. If you give that useless material thing a function, then you’ve brought it into existence. If celestial bodies served no purpose for humanity prior to God assigning them a purpose, then they did not exist and by giving them a function, God creates them…even if they had material being before. So when the text says that God “bara”‘d the plants, the animals, and humans, even though these are all material (even by ANE understanding), that mere fact alone cannot determine whether the text has functional origins or material origins in view.
Third Argument: Nothing Suggests Tohu Wabohu Refers To Lack Of Order
“2. Genesis 1:2 and the precosmic condition. Nothing in the text or in the semantic baggage suggests that the expression tohu wabohu refers, as Walton contends, to the state of disorganization and lack of function of the world. Instead, it describes a state of emptiness, as suggested through the onomatopoeia and ontological negativity, and, as also suggested by its associations with the words ’ayn (“not”) (Isa 45:19; Jer 4:23) and ’efes (“nothing”) (Isa 40:17) and its Genesis 2 parallel section, the second creation story, with the words ’ayn(“not”) (Gen 2:5) and terem (“before, not yet”) (Gen 2:5).”
One problem with this argument is that it utterly ignores all of the time “Tohu” is used in The Bible to refer to a lack of function, not a lack of material. For examples, in 1 Samuel 12:1, “tohu” is descriptive of idols who can accomplish nothing. But the idols certainly had physical form! Graven images were certainly not formless! Or consider Deuteronomy 32:10 where “Tohu” is used of the desertland. It’s used in parallel to wildness described by howling. Deserts and Wildernesses are not lacking material form! In Isaiah, “Tohu” is used to refer to worthless and useless things over and over. It’s used to describe desolate settlements (24:10), the nations (40:17), those who make idols (44:9), and what God created the universe to not be (45:28).
In many of these, not all, but in many of them, it is used to refer to something that clearly has material form and yet is still considered “tohu”. Thus, “formless” as a translation would not be fitting in these instances.
Walton is not arguing that Tohu or even the phrase “Tohu wa bohu” can never refer to lack of material, just that it often doesn’t. It’s often used for something that has no functon. This gives us somewhat of a probability judgment when we return to Genesis 1:2.
A second problem is the lack of the ANE cultural context with regards to the sea. Although Walton doesn’t, I hold that Genesis 1:1 is a dependent clause, hence God’s first creative act wouldn’t come until 2 verses later, and ergo the account begins with no material. This also strengthens the functional understanding of tohu wa bohu. The sea in ANE understanding was a chaotic place, and gods like Marduk and Baal had to defeat a sea dragon in order to conquer chaos and introduce order to the cosmos. Scholars refer to this battle for creation as “chaoscompf” See, for example, this video made by Old Testament scholar Ben Stanhope; “Why Leviathan Isn’t A Dinosaur”, See also Brian Godawa’s book “Leviathan and Behemoth: Giant … Continue reading
Levithan isn’t present in Genesis 1:2 (albeit he is present in passages such as Psalm 74), but Leviathan’s domain certainly is. It is my contention that the author of Genesis wanted to allude to a chaoscomf without actually including one. Hence he mentions The Holy Spirit hovering over the sea waters without a battle. This was likely a polemical purpose. That is to say, the author of Genesis wanted to show the supremacy of Yahweh over Israel’s neighbors. It would be like if you wanted to hype up a friend’s boxing skills by saying that he entered the ring to fight the reigning champ, but your friend was so intimidating that the boxing champ decided to call in sick. He was essentially saying “Yahweh is so sovereign and so powerful, all he has to do to defeat Leviathan is enter the ring! He doesn’t even need to fight! Leviathan threw in the towel before the bell even rang!”
Fourth Argument: Function Depends On The Reality Of Matter. So God Had to Have Made The Material Before Assigning The Function.
“3. Days 1-3 and “day” and “night.” The creation of “day” and “night” (functions), following the creation of light (not a function) shows that the creation of function is subsequent to the creation of a material entity. In addition, that the firmament (raqi‘ ) is described in the functional terms of separation does not necessarily mean that the function was created rather than the matter. This sequence suggests instead that here again function is subsequent to matter, for function depends on the reality of matter. Ironically, while Walton notes the parallel between the separating function of the Hebrew raqi‘ (“firmament”) and the function of the Egyptian god of the air, Shu, who separates the earth from the sky,15 he still maintains the critical view that the ancient Israelites understood the raqi‘ as a solid material. Walton is somehow aware of this contradiction since, in the light of this parallel, he immediately warns “against a view that is too material.”
\\”Days 1-3 and “day” and “night.” The creation of “day” and “night” (functions), following the creation of light (not a function) shows that the creation of function is subsequent to the creation of a material entity.”\\ – Yes, light is not a function in and of itself, but its necessary for the function that is indeed created on Day 1; time. Time is a function. Time flows, the day/night cycle progresses, so that we humans can live a healthy life. I’m sure many of us have heard of how hard it is for people in Alaska to not succumb to depression after months of darkness, and how they have to black out their houses so they can sleep during the many months of daylight. Day/Night cycles serve humanity well and in those few places on the globe where people don’t have that, it can cause problems. Not insurmountable problems (otherwise I’m sure everyone would have left long ago), but problems nonetheless. Day 4 comes and we are explicitly told that the sun, moon and stars serve as signs to mark seasons, days, and years and to provide light on the earth.
Day 1 has two things no one in the ancient world would have thought were physical (light and darkness) and these two things are two composites that make up one function; time. Honestly, to point out that the composites of the function are not functions themselves doesn’t really accomplish anything.
Doukhan goes on to write “In addition, that the firmament (raqi‘ ) is described in the functional terms of separation does not necessarily mean that the function was created rather than the matter. This sequence suggests instead that here again function is subsequent to matter, for function depends on the reality of matter.” –
Yes, for something to have material composition is logically prior to having a function. Yet something can have material being and yet not have a function, and ergo not “exist” in the ancient mindset. If God’s inauguration of His temple took place over 7 days after billions of years (or however long you think it took) of material manufacturing, then things had material composition chronologically prior to them having a function for humanity. The suns were not serving as signs, seasons, days, and years because there weren’t any people around yet to keep the time. Sure, you can say animals care about this as some migrate based on time, seasons, days, and years, some mate at a certain time of year, etc. But even if you include non-rational animals here, you still have two whole days before any sentient life was around who needed to know whether it was night or day. Now, the detractor might ask “Well, isn’t that a problem for your function only view too?” Only if you think the days are sequential. My view incorporates The Framework Hypothesis.
And again, if Doukhan insists on Genesis 1 being about material, he’s forced into an unpleasant trichotomy when it comes to the creation of the sky;
(1) Eisegete modern meteorology about water molecules into the text,
(2) Say God made a solid dome that holds back cosmic waters, or
(3) Maintain that ANE peoples didn’t hold to any firm firmament and assert that God didn’t actually make the sky.
Fifth Argument: The Hebrew Word For “Good” Menas More Than The Idea Of Efficiency. The Word Can Also Mean “Beautiful”.
“Genesis 1 and “it was good.” The Hebrew word for “good” (tov) means more than the idea of efficiency, as argued by Walton. The word tov also includes the idea of aesthetic, that is, “beautiful,” which better fits the regular context of “God saw” (Gen 1:1, 4, 10, 12, 18, 21, 25, 31). It thus implies a visible material reality and not just the invisible operation that “the cosmos functioned well.”
Does Jaques B Doukhan think that John Walton and those of us who agree with his interpretation think Genesis 1 has God creating some ethereal ghostly world? Here again, he displays the fallacy of thinking that if what is said to be created is composed of material, therefore the fact that the text says “God created X” means the text is about material origins, not functional origins (or at least material in addition to functional origins). That just doesn’t follow. Doukhan is attacking a straw man. So, the fact that “God saw” what he had made says nothing about whether this is a material origins account or a functional origins account.
Moreover, the fact that it can refer to beauty or even morality doesn’t really tell us that that’s what it means here. It isn’t good word study to take a word, realize it can have more than one definition, and then apply the one that you like. Walton explicitly criticized this (rightly) when it came to the Day-Age view. See Walton, John H.. The Lost World of Genesis One: 2 (The Lost World Series) (pp. 91-92). InterVarsity Press. Kindle Edition. The fact that it can mean long time periods doesn’t mean it does. Likewise that “tov” can carry with it aesthetic or even moral meaning doesn’t mean that that word is being used in any way to convey anything more than functional efficacy in this text. We need to look at the context that the word is used in to come to that conclusion.
This isn’t a “very good” response. See what I did there?
Sixth Argument: When Function Is Explicitly Stated, This rules Out A Functional Meaning Elsewhere When It’s Not Explicit (?)
“5. Days 4-6 and time. On the fourth day of creation week the account introduces the function of time before the reference to the celestial bodies, thereby suggesting that here the idea of function may be its main focus since it implies that the celestial bodies already exist. This interpretation does not, however, support Walton’s thesis that the creation account is all about function. The fact that the idea of function is clearly intended here and explicitly indicated suggests instead that when function is not intended, such an interpretation is not justified
their material constitution in the parallel text of creation (Gen 2:7), excludes the possibility defended by Walton that only their spiritual function, the imago Dei, was meant. Such a dualist interpretation would not only contradict the plain sense of the account, which implies the creation of physical organs with their functions of eating and reproducing, it would also be completely at odds with the general monistic views of the Hebrew Scriptures. Walton is correct in his observation that the imago Dei does not contain “divine ingredients,” an idea characteristic of Near Eastern mythological views of ex-divino creations. The nonbiological connection with the deity does not exclude, however, the material presence of physical elements and does not constitute, therefore, a serious and convincing argument on behalf of the spiritual functionality of the imago Dei.”
Am I understanding him correctly? Is Doukhan seriously suggesting that when the function is explicitly stated, this rules out a functional meaning elsewhere when it’s not so explicit? If so, that just doesn’t follow. While functions aren’t nearly as explicit everywhere in the text, I would maintain that they are implicit.
And again, we find this idea that if what is spoken of is physical, then material origins has to be in view. I’ve already explained why that’s a non sequitur.
I would also disagree that Genesis 2 is a parallel account to Genesis 1 if by that, he means the idea that Genesis 2 is just a more drawn out account of Genesis 1’s 6th creation day. I think a good case can be made that Genesis 2 is sequentially after Genesis 1. Moreover, a good argument can be made that the dust and side ingredients have symbolic archetypal significance rather than being literal descriptions of how God materially brought Adam and Eve into existence (i.e Adam made of dust means Adam was made mortal, Eve made from Adam’s side means Eve was created Adam’s equal. All men are mortal, all women are equal to men.). Walton defends this hypothesis in The Lost World Of Adam and Eve. I also defend this in my essay “Genesis 2 & 3: Adam and Eve As Archetypes, Priests In The Garden Of Eden, and The Fall”
Seventh Argument: Rest Is Not Engagement In Activity, Contra Walton (???)
“6. Day 7. Walton’s thesis that God’s rest on the seventh-day Sabbath of creation does not mean “rest,” but, on the contrary, “an act of engagement,”implicitly questions the validity of resting on the seventh-day Sabbath and stumbles on the common-sense and plain meaning of the word “rest” associated with the Sabbath. God’s injunction to humans to “rest,” that is, to disengage from activity, is a clear indication of the meaning of “rest” here intended for the Sabbath of God. Even if “rest” is incompatible with the divine nature, the fact that God enters into human “space” pertains to his will and capacity of incarnation in order to meet humans where they are. God’s rest in Genesis 2 is also fundamentally different from that of the gods in other Near Eastern texts. While in the biblical account God rests because he “ended His work” (Gen 2:2), the Egyptian and Mesopotamian gods do not rest, but, on the contrary, begin to rule the world, which is interpreted by Walton as the work of creation. Walton’s identification of the gods’ settling into the temple to rest is also problematic, since the word “rest” is never used to characterize this divine settling in Genesis 2. Instead, this stage is described as the beginning of the gods’ activities. The ancient Near Eastern cosmos becomes functional after the rest,19 while in Genesis 1 the world is made functional before the Sabbath rest (a point that Walton consistently makes). Note also that the gods’ rest is only achieved when humans are created for the purpose of working for them,20 while in the biblical story God rests after he created humans. Not to mention the anachronism, Walton associates the Sabbath rest in Genesis 1 with the creation described in Genesis 2,21 which belongs rather to the sixth day when God creates humans and animals and then plants a garden.”
I’m not sure what Jaques B. Doukhan is trying to argue against, which may be an indication that he’s attacking another straw man. I do not recall Walton defending the notion of God’s “rest” being the “engagement of activity”. That seems to be the exact opposite of what it means to rest. What I do recall is Walton saying that God takes up his rest in the cosmic temple to begin governing it. While that is work, it isn’t the work of creation. It was the work of creation that God ceased doing when He took up His rest, not work altogether. In John 5 when Jesus’ opponents accused him of working on the sabbath and thus, breaking the law, Jesus came back with “My Father is always at work to this very day and I am working too.” (John 5:17, NIV).
In his book, Walton likened God’s coming to rest in His temple and taking up rule to the president coming to rest in the White House. This means more than kicking off his shoes and taking a nap in the Lincoln Bedroom. The hard work, the stress, and the business of the the election is over. Now he can get down to the work of running the country. ibid, page 75 Likewise, the hard work of bringing order to the cosmos is over at the end of Genesis 1, and starting with Genesis 2, he can begin what N.T Wright likes to call “the human project” which was sadly quickly “put on hold” due to sin which would come in chapter 3. It’s still work in some sense, but it’s not the work of creation. Yet this seems to be the kind of work Doukhan says God does not do when he writes “While in the biblical account God rests because he “ended His work” (Gen 2:2), the Egyptian and Mesopotamian gods do not rest, but, on the contrary, begin to rule the world, which is interpreted by Walton as the work of creation.”
Another puzzling statement from Doukhan is “Walton’s identification of the gods’ settling into the temple to rest is also problematic, since the word “rest” is never used to characterize this divine settling in Genesis 2.”
I do not think Jaques B Doukhan has suceeded in refuting The Cosmic Temple Inauguration view of Genesis 1.
|↑1||See my article “Response To Tsumura On ‘Genesis One As Ancient Cosmology'”|
|↑2||See Longman III, Tremper; Walton, John H.. The Lost World of the Flood: Mythology, Theology, and the Deluge Debate (p. 6). InterVarsity Press. Kindle Edition.|
|↑3||All of this information can be checked out in Kyle Greenwood’s book “Scripture and Cosmology: Reading the Bible Between the Ancient World and Modern Science,” Part 1 of Greenwood’s book walks through each “tier” of the ancient universe, from heaven to earth to sea to underworld. He presents historical and archaeological evidence from the world of the Bible—the “Ancient Near East”—and shows how this cosmology influenced the biblical writers. This ancient understanding of the cosmos is not only talked about in “Scripture and Cosmology: Reading the Bible Between the Ancient World and Modern Science,” by Kyle Greenwood, but also in “The Lost World Of Genesis One, Ancient Cosmology and The Origins Debate” by John Walton, “Genesis 1 As Ancient Cosmology” by John Walton, “The Firmament and The Waters Above”, by Seely P, in the Westminister Theological Journal, 54, 1992, pages 31-46, and “The Unseen Realm: Recovering The Supernatural Worldview Of The Bible” by Michael S. Heiser. There are also many BioLogos blog posts on Ancient Near Eastern cosmology at BioLogos.org such as “Ancient Science In The Bible” by Denis Lamoreux, and “The Firmament Of Genesis 1 Is Solid, But That’s Not The Point.” by Peter Enns. Click the hyperlinks to read those blog posts. These men are highly qualified to speak on this issue. Kyle Greenwood’s author information on Amazon says “Kyle Greenwood formerly taught Old Testament and Hebrew at Colorado Christian University, and is currently an associated faculty of Old Testament at Denver Seminary. He is an active member of several professional societies, including Society of Biblical Literature, Institute for Biblical Studies, and American Scientific Affiliation.” John Walton is an Old Testament professor at Wheaton College. And Michael S. Heiser’s author information on Amazon says that Heiser “is a scholar in the fields of biblical studies and the ancient Near East. He is Scholar-in-Residence at Logos Bible Software. Mike earned his Ph.D. in Hebrew Bible and Semitic Languages at the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 2004. He also earned an M.A. in the same field at Wisconsin, along with an M.A. in Ancient History from the University of Pennsylvania (major fields: Ancient Israel and Egyptology).”|
|↑4||Concordism is the view that The Bible and Science are in concord with each other, hence the name. However, if that’s all the term meant, then there wouldn’t be a problem. There is a sense in which all Christians are concordists. Denis Alexander differentiates between three types of concordism; Type A, Type B, and Type C. See his article “The Various Meanings Of Concordism” on BioLogos.org. —https://biologos.org/articles/the-various-meanings-of-concordism. I would fall under Type C. Types A and B are what Walton argues we should reject, and I agree with him. Type A essentially extracts scientific information from biblical passages such as descriptions of God “stretching out the heavens like a tent”. Some Type A Concordists will take verses like that and say “The Bible talked about the expansion of the universe thousands of years in advance.” Type B concordists will take Isaiah 40:22 which says that God “sits above the circle of the earth” and argue that The Bible taught the Earth was round in a time when everyone thought it was flat. Or they’ll take Job 26:7 which says God “hangs the Earth on nothing” and envision this to mean the globe floating through space.|
|↑5||“Although I must restrain myself from unpacking his full argument since it would take us too far afield of our purpose, specialists on ancient Israel’s divine beings, especially Heiser, have argued from passages like Genesis 3, Isaiah 14, and Ezekiel 28 that Lucifer should be categorized as a seraph throne guardian. Lucifer’s classification classification as a serpentine seraph would suggests that there are deep and clever literary associations at play with how the Genesis author parallels Eden’s villain with a natural snake. Contrary to those who mock the Bible as infantile for containing a “talking snake,” linguistic and cultural contextual analysis of the image of the serpent demonstrates the profound literary and cultural sophistication of the biblical author for including it. Considering the serpent was originally a member of God’s divine entourage and was an intelligent being possessing speech like the seraphim in Isaiah 6, there was likely nothing abnormal with Eve conversing with it in the story because she had often presumably seen the serpent immortals coming and going on the mountain regularly. But this traitor concealed in his heart a plan for corrupting God’s adored new imagers. At his encouragement, the man and woman broke the divine law, and so, they had to be expelled from the sacred mountain and the loyal members of the assembly. They were cut off from the Tree of Life which was the antidote granting them and their offspring immortality, and they lost the immediate presence of God in the inner sanctum of his temple—Eden.” – Stanhope, Ben. (Mis)interpreting Genesis: How the Creation Museum Misunderstands the Ancient Near Eastern Context of the Bible (pp. 106-107). Scarab Press. Kindle Edition.|
|↑6||See Michael S’ Heiser’s extended discussion on the nature of Eden’s Serpent in his book “The Unseen Realm: Recovering The Supernatural Worldview Of The Bible”, Chapter 10, Lexham Press, 2019|
|↑7||See my essay “Genesis 2 & 3: Adam And Eve as Archetypes, Priests In The Garden Of Eden, and The Fall” — https://cerebralfaith.net/genesis-2-3-adam-and-eve-as-archetypes-priests-in-the-garden-of-eden-and-the-fall/|
|↑8||See, for example, this video made by Old Testament scholar Ben Stanhope; “Why Leviathan Isn’t A Dinosaur”, See also Brian Godawa’s book “Leviathan and Behemoth: Giant Chaos Monsters In The Bible”, Warrior Poet Publishing, 2022|
|↑9||See Walton, John H.. The Lost World of Genesis One: 2 (The Lost World Series) (pp. 91-92). InterVarsity Press. Kindle Edition.|
|↑10||ibid, page 75|