Hey, wait a minute… (atheist Bible study, Genesis 2:2)

By the seventh day God had finished the work he had been doing; so on the seventh day he rested from all his work.

-Genesis 2:2 (NIV)

Christian fundamentalists take Genesis literally. In fact, they take Genesis so literally that they deny any and all evidence for anything that contradicts their hyper-literal interpretation, including well established scientific facts like the age of the Earth, and evolution.

Genesis 2:2 says God rested from the work of creation. But an omnipotent God wouldn’t need to rest, so this clearly can’t mean what it literally says. I’ve heard a couple explanations for this.

Having grown up Seventh-Day Adventist, with the seventh day Sabbath being one of the most important “pillars” of belief, that was clearly God giving an example. Of course he didn’t need to rest, but he was showing us what we should do. So that one verse is metaphorical. Apparently Genesis must be taken hyper-literally when talking about creation, but when it gets inconvenient, it’s suddenly metaphorical.

The other common explanation I’ve heard is that “rest” (originally “shabat” in Hebrew) is a mistranslation. The ancient Hebrew language used to write parts of the Bible (along with Aramaic and Greek) had fewer words than modern languages, so the meanings of words back then were less precise in many cases. One of the definitions of the original Hebrew word was simply “to cease or to stop”. So God didn’t rest because he was tired, he just stopped creating because he was done.

Furthermore, while the Bible says “the evening and the morning were the 1st [etc] day”, the Bible says no such thing about the seventh day. The seventh “day” is still going on. We’ll set aside the problem of an omniscient God allowing such a mistake in his perfect book.

Again, how the hell have they determined that the “days” of creation were absolutely literal 24 hour days? It seems to be very important to them, since it factors in to calculations to conclude that the Earth is 6,000 years old. But of course when it gets to the seventh “day”, that goes out the window. Go figure.

So why do they hold so tightly to literal 24 hour days for creation, but suddenly for the seventh “day”, it becomes not an actual “day”? Sure seems like a whole lot of people believing what they really want to be true, and explaining away any problems.

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2 thoughts on “Hey, wait a minute… (atheist Bible study, Genesis 2:2)

  1. Sabbath is a day for you to do what you want other than work. No doubt God could figure out something to do. It does not mean sleep. Though that is allowed for us who need it.

    I believe in the bible but many verses are suspect. Many were added by the Catholic Church when they had total control of it in the first 300 or so years after Christ. The New Testament most likely the entire Book of Revelations was just added.

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