Cargill on the ‘Worldwide’ Flood
Recently, I offered the literary “untwining” of the Flood narratives in Genesis 6-9. While there were many comments on the post I was hoping that at least one of you would have commented on the pdfs of the P and J narrative! Alas… wasted time.
Anyways, Dr. Cargill has done me better (like that’s hard!) offering literary insights and scientific observations on the Flood narratives.
Seriously, click the link and read his article.
Also understand that the “slippery slope” claim of “all of the Bible is true or none of it is true” is simply an unnecessary rhetorical device designed to keep readers from doing precisely what scholars do every day: analyze each claim in the Bible on a case-by-case basis. It is not necessary to accept an “all or none” stance towards the Bible…
It is time for Christians to admit that some of the stories in Israel’s primordial history are not historical. It is ok to concede that these stories were crafted in a pre-scientific period and were designed to offer ethical answers to questions of why and not questions of how. Christians and Jews must concede that the Bible can still be “inspired” without being historically or scientifically “inerrant.” As the early church father Origen explained regarding the preservation of empirical truth within problematic documents edited by human hands, “the spiritual truth was often preserved, as one might say, in material falsehood.” Simply because a factual error exists in the text of the Bible does not mean that an ethical truth or principal cannot still be conveyed. It is time for Christians to concede that “inspiration” does not equal “inerrancy,” and that “biblical” does not equal “historical” or even “factual.” Some claims like the flood and the six-day creation are neither historical nor factual; they were written to communicate in an pre-scientific literary form that god is responsible for the earth.
Good stuff Bob, but: this. 😉