GENESIS: Literal or Parable?
Many Protestants (Non-Catholics from this point forward) believe that Genesis is the literal description of 7 days cut into 24 hour chunks of time when the universe was created. This troubles me because we know that God knows no time. To put God into the constraints of our reality is very odd. We know we exist in His world, not Him in our false sense of understanding.
Also many Non-Catholics discount the big bang or the evolution of animals. I think this comes from an utter-distaste for science. Instead of believing that science and religion are separate let us instead let them compliment each other. God created the universe, this we know, but how? Here comes the big bang theory! May this not be the actions with which God used to create the limitless of our reality? Then we come into the belief that Man all of a sudden POOF! came to be here as he is now. I listen to radio preachers that suggest that the World is only 6,000 years old. Even discounting the errors in carbon dating, we still are very much beyond the point of thousands of years in age.
My question is always what is wrong with the belief? To me sitting and watching humans walk by in of itself is a miracle. Think for just a moment. The probability that a single sperm finds an egg is very, very low. The probability that we have 2 eye balls and 10 fingers is also pretty far fetched. The fact that there are dogs and cats is amazing. I think that theistic evolution is simply an awe of God. The fact that my Lord took a single cell and shaped it into the person I am today is infinitely joyous. To believe that God is incapable of that is just as hard for me to swallow. In all of this the Church doesn’t have an exact stance. The Church doesn’t discount either view since we are just simply humans. The only thing the Church lays down specifically is that if the Big Bang was God’s way of creating the universe; then we must give credit to the Lord. The only being capable of creating something from nothing is God.
For scripture support of this view look here:
Genesis 2:4 – This is the account of the heavens and the earth when they were created, in the day that the LORD God made earth and heaven.
The key here is the word “day.” When the translation was performed day was chosen to describe the Hebrew word of “yom.” The Hebrew word yom often is a description of time not tied to 24 hours. In English day means 24. In Hebrew it is simply a description of an indefinite amount of time and not to literal days. In this case, God’s time. If God exists out of time, what does yom mean to Him? :)
Genesis 1:11 – “…let the earth bring forth…”
POOF! Things didn’t just start. It was brought forth from the earth (this is said 3 times in the first chapter of Genesis)
2 Peter 3:8 – ” But do not ignore this one fact, beloved, that with the Lord one day is like a thousand years and a thousand years like one day…”
I think this pretty much reinforces my view of Genesis being a parable. We can’t fit God into the constraints of our time.
Psalm 90:4 – “A thousand years are to You like a yesterday which has passed…”