Is the Holy Bible True and Accurate ?
Recent debates on the Religion page of Ghanaweb concerning the existence of God, gods, deities, and other supernatural entities and phenomena has attracted much attention. It has been interesting to see that due to the anonymity provided by the internet many non-believers, atheists, agnostics, freethinkers etc are also speaking up to put their views across on some of these issues. Believers are quick to advocate for the literal and inerrant accounts given by their holy books, such as the Bible, Qu’ran, Bhagavad Gita etc etc. Christians for example often quote the Holy Bible and its admonitions to counter those, particularly atheists and free thinkers, who ask for evidence. For example the quote from the Book of Psalms 14:1 which says “The fool hath said in his heart: "There is no God"….” Non-believers often counter that for this statement to be of merit one would have to analyze the Bible and demonstrate at least in the majority of cases, the claims of the scripture stand up to the facts and rigorous scrutiny. The purpose of this article and the series of articles to follow conducts a “line item “ review of relevant biblical passages in a rigorous manner to enable Believers and Non-Believers alike see for themselves and make the best judgment on the authenticity of the claims, as well as the factual accuracy of the authors.
This first commentary looks at Genesis Chapter 1, specifically concerning the creation of the universe and the rise of humans.
“001 In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth.”
Comment: Heaven as in heaven where god and the angels reside or heaven as in heavenly bodies aka the outer space, galaxies etc. If it is the former where did he live before he created the heaven where he lives now?
“002 And the earth was without form, and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters.”
Comment: This is interesting. There was no shape or form of the earth we are told there was some waters existing that was deep. How is this possible? Deep implies some pre-existing shape. And so are these waters simply floating around in nothingness?
“003 And God said, Let there be light: and there was light.
004 And God saw the light, that it was good: and God divided the light from the darkness.”
Comment: Light cannot be “divided” from darkness in that sense. Light is experienced when the rays are pointed towards us. Darkness occurs when the light rays are blocked, obscured or pointed in a direction away from our line of view. Day and night occur due to the fact that the earth rotates so that the side facing the light source (the sun) alternates every so number of hours. Other than that there would be no such thing as day and night. This verse is implying somehow light can be gathered held somewhere and separated into groups.
“005 And God called the light Day, and the darkness he called Night. And the evening and the morning were the first day.
006 And God said, Let there be a firmament in the midst of the waters, and let it divide the waters from the waters.”
Comment: The Hebrew word for firmament implies some form of glass or crystalline dome. Therefore if one attempted to leave the earth, one would hit this object and rebound back to the earth surface. So far this has not happened. Humans have left earth atmosphere and travelled to outer space and back as well as countless satellites launched by many countries since 1957 when Sputnik went up. The conclusion is that there is no such thing as a firmament. It is simply not true.
“007 And God made the firmament, and divided the waters which were under the firmament from the waters which were above the firmament: and it was so.”
Comment: Waters above the firmament? What? Which water is this? Today all secondary school students are taught the water cycle. How water exists in solid, liquid, and gaseous state depending on the temperature and how it changes from one form to another. There is no firmament so there is no water above the firmament. If this statement is attempting to explain rainfall then it is wrong. The true account can be obtained by learning about the water cycle.
“008 And God called the firmament Heaven. And the evening and the morning were the second day.”
Comment: So this glass dome structure is now heaven where god lives? Note that it is a capital “H” implying a specific place. Is this author suggesting that rainfall is water sent from Heaven, directly by god by some form of expedited mail order service?
“009 And God said, Let the waters under the heaven be gathered together unto one place, and let the dry land appear: and it was so.
010 And God called the dry land Earth; and the gathering together of the waters called he Seas: and God saw that it was good.”
Comment: Even though no mention of land being created has been mentioned we will grant it is implicit somewhere. So why could we not be simply told that something called gravity combined with different elevations of the land will make waters gather in specific places at lower levels, but I will let that one slide.
“011 And God said, Let the earth bring forth grass, the herb yielding seed, and the fruit tree yielding fruit after his kind, whose seed is in itself, upon the earth: and it was so.
012 And the earth brought forth grass, and herb yielding seed after his kind, and the tree yielding fruit, whose seed was in itself, after his kind: and God saw that it was good.
013 And the evening and the morning were the third day.
014 And God said, Let there be lights in the firmament of the heaven to divide the day from the night; and let them be for signs, and for seasons, and for days, and years:
015 And let them be for lights in the firmament of the heaven to give light upon the earth: and it was so.
016 And God made two great lights; the greater light to rule the day, and the lesser light to rule the night: he made the stars also.
017 And God set them in the firmament of the heaven to give light upon the earth,
018 And to rule over the day and over the night, and to divide the light from the darkness: and God saw that it was good.
019 And the evening and the morning were the fourth day.”
Comment: So these light are embedded in the firmament, a structure that so far we have not seen any evidence for after over 50 years of space travel by humans? And who exactly is to use them for signs and seasons because as of this time there are no humans. Or god and his angels need signs to show them stuff? But we are being told he is the creator and custodian of all knowledge. And why are they called lights? If the objects being mentioned are stars, well stars are clumps of hydrogen and helium gas undergoing thermonuclear reactions to produce various forms of energy, light is just one of them. Or is it the moon? The moon is a light? No, it is not, it produces no light at all, it is a planet-like terrestrial object that simply reflects light back from the nearest light source aka the sun.
“020 And God said, Let the waters bring forth abundantly the moving creature that hath life, and fowl that may fly above the earth in the open firmament of heaven.
021 And God created great whales, and every living creature that moveth, which the waters brought forth abundantly, after their kind, and every winged fowl after his kind: and God saw that it was good.
022 And God blessed them, saying, Be fruitful, and multiply, and fill the waters in the seas, and let fowl multiply in the earth.
023 And the evening and the morning were the fifth day.”
Comment: This statement claims that the first animal life originated from the sea. Now that is correct and consistent with science, but after that the claims go way off target. So the fowls of the air originally flew out of the ocean? Wow, and yet religion and all its institutions reject the theory of evolution calling it unbelievable and yet here we are being told birds were brought forth by the ocean and then flew off to fill the “open firmament.”
“024 And God said, Let the earth bring forth the living creature after his kind, cattle, and creeping thing, and beast of the earth after his kind: and it was so.
025 And God made the beast of the earth after his kind, and cattle after their kind, and every thing that creepeth upon the earth after his kind: and God saw that it was good.”
Comment: So the other animals, cattle etc sprang out of the ground?
“026 And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth.
027 So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them.
028 And God blessed them, and God said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it: and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth.
029 And God said, Behold, I have given you every herb bearing seed, which is upon the face of all the earth, and every tree, in the which is the fruit of a tree yielding seed; to you it shall be for meat.
030 And to every beast of the earth, and to every fowl of the air, and to every thing that creepeth upon the earth, wherein there is life, I have given every green herb for meat: and it was so.
031 And God saw every thing that he had made, and, behold, it was very good. And the evening and the morning were the sixth day.”
Comment: So humans, male and female were created on the sixth day. Note that we are not told how many of them were created on this day, whether it was one each or several each. Also note the sequence of the events so far, from plants to sea creatures to birds that flew out of the sea to occupy the lower firmament, to cattle and creeping creatures, AND THEN finally humans, not a human but both male and female. As we shall see in Genesis chapter 2, a different account is provided.
kwaku ba ©July, 2010