Genesis 1 depicts the reality of which the Ancient Near Eastern cosmogonies, such as the Epic of Atrahasis (pictured), are corruptions.

Do they prove Genesis 1 should not be interpreted as reliable history? Plus a comment on the Hebrew word bara.

J.C. from Australia writes, with Dr Carl Wieland’s comments interspersed:

Not an Enquiry, just an observation that so much effort to refute the atheists seems to me to be a bit unnecessary. Dawkins and others of his ilk really speak for a very small sector of society and pose no real threat to faith in our society. Perhaps you should not dignify him with acknowledgement that he is in town.

Actually, atheism is rapidly on the rise, all around the world. I agree that the bulk of people are apathetic about all manner of issues, but that is not a worry for those of Dawkins’ ilk. They don’t really care about ‘faith’ in the vague sense, but a strong commitment to the infinite-personal God of Abraham stirs up all manner of emotion. And Dawkins’ books aim to convince people that the Bible is not trustworthy.

On another matter, I just want to comment that your assertion in the section “What we believe” that the biblical evidence suggests a young age for the rise of man on earth is only applicable when one reads the text literally and with an Ancient Near East cosmology.

That is a common mantra, but doesn’t fly if one is honest with the literary evidence and applies the normal historical-grammatical rules of exegesis. If in fact Genesis is metaphor, then Jesus Christ Himself, in addition to the OT writers, was misled. The little booklet 15 Reasons to Take Genesis as History is an important read in this, and can be digested in one sitting. However, I have found that most people who repeat that sort of mantra are not interested in the facts of biblical exegesis, and take comfort in the fact that this mechanism of evading logical consistency, etc. is shared by so many who also want to keep hold of some vague ‘faith’ while not opposing the ‘scientific consensus’….

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