Very good to stretch ourselves and look hard at how the biblical writers viewed reality.
As to time, it is clear from the bible itself and from much cultural material of the time that they didn’t think of time as we do. Genealogies had nearly nothing to do with time, and everything to do with the pedigree of the owner of the writing, or the object of the writing, or perhaps the author.
Chapter 5 of Mark Harris’s book The Nature of Creation: Examining the Bible and Science looks at the biblical framework of creation. The concern is not so much the act of creation, but the way in which the bible’s authors talk about the nature of creation, especially time and space and the theological significance of this discussion. The challenge is to try, as much as we are able, to project ourselves back some two to three or four thousand years and imagine how the ancient Near Eastern audience pictured creation and God’s relationship to creation. Harris starts with two ideas that should guide the approach to scientific topics – including time and space – in the Bible.
First, we need to move away from a neat division between natural and supernatural. The Israelites certainly knew that there were a range of normal, regular processes in the world. However, they…
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