Ancient History, History, Theology, Things We Shouldn't Discuss, Videos

The Creation Story of Genesis 1 as a “Temple Image”?

Out of Ur recently posted this video of Peter Enns asking readers’ questions to N.T. Wright. It is not secret that I find Wright a very thought provoking writer and thinker, so I was intrigued to hear what he had to say.

I’m not completely convinced that Wright gets everything right (sorry, unavoidable pun) but I did find his shifting of the focus from literal vs. metaphorical to concrete vs. abstract to be worthwhile, and I do agree with him that we need to do our reading of the Scriptures on a case by case basis. Particularly, it is more important that we delve into the original intention (I call it the original matrix) rather than oversimplify with blanket interpretational schemes.

What did you think?

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5 thoughts on “The Creation Story of Genesis 1 as a “Temple Image”?”

  1. This has been an area of discussion in a variety of blog circles lately. Personally, I find understanding Genesis 1 against the backdrop of the ANE culture to add considerable theological depth. There is a fairly recent, and widely publicized scholarly work on understanding Gen 1 as the temple image entitled “The Lost World of Genesis One: Ancient Cosmology and the Origins Debate” by John Walton. It is a fascinating treatise and, while I don’t agree on all of his conclusions, it has some deep scholarship and some profound theological insights.

    1. You’d have to hunt around for it.

      Basically, Wright’s point is that the problem is that things meant to be taken both literally and allegorically can be written to demonstrate either a concrete truth or an abstract truth, and that every text has to be taken by itself. He argues that at its core the literal vs. allegorical argument is a false dichotomy created by the insufficiency of our language.

      On second thought, maybe you should hit a Starbucks and stream it.

  2. It was interesting. For me, the best way to interpret the Bible, which is God’s book,
    is to find how he says to do it…:) Men can say what they want to but the Lord alone is the revealer of truth…
    He says:
    Numbers 23:19 KJV — God is not a man, that he should lie; neither the son of man, that he should repent: hath he said, and shall he not do it? or hath he spoken, and shall he not make it good?
    Joshua 21:45 KJV — There failed not ought of any good thing which the LORD had spoken unto the house of Israel; all came to pass.
    Isaiah 45:19 KJV — I have not spoken in secret, in a dark place of the earth: I said not unto the seed of Jacob, Seek ye me in vain: I the LORD speak righteousness, I declare things that are right.

    2 Samuel 22:31 KJV — As for God, his way is perfect; the word of the LORD is tried: he is a buckler to all them that trust in him.

    Hosea 12:10 KJV — I have also spoken by the prophets, and I have multiplied visions, and used similitudes, by the ministry of the prophets.

    Isaiah 28:10 KJV — For precept must be upon precept, precept upon precept; line upon line, line upon line; here a little, and there a little:

    2 Peter 1:21 KJV — For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost.
    Also Paul our apostle prays for us…
    Ephesians 1:17 KJV — That the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give unto you the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of him:

    We need to believe what we read. The Bible is not hard to read, but we need to believe.

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