Feedback archiveFeedback 2004

Literal vs plain interpretation

Young Earth Creationism depends upon a particular understanding of Genesis, without which YEC cannot be sustained.

Exactly—we take it as it is written. When one takes the Bible plainly/straightforwardly, they read metaphors as metaphors, poetry as poetry, literal history as literal history, etc. Genesis is written as literal history as it would be a sin to take it otherwise. Please see

Yet YEC cannot be reconciled with the Bible.

How so?

YEC imposes a modern scientific cosmology on the Bible,

What cosmology are you talking about—the Hartnett model, Humphreys model, etc.? Please see

Also, how are these being imposed on the Bible? Each of these models was born out of the Bible since they used the Bible as their starting point, thus not being imposed.

denying that the earth has a giant dome over it to keep out enormous volumns [sic] of water as a consistent literalistic understanding of Gen 1

First, cosmology deals with the vast reaches of space and is not limited to our earth’s atmosphere as you suggest. We long ago answered that nonsensical charge at Is the raqiya‘ (‘firmament’) a solid dome? Equivocal language in the cosmology of Genesis 1 and the Old Testament. If you had followed the feedback rules, you would have found this article before pushing these long-discredited arguments at us.

Second, there was the alleged canopy model which is stricken with problems and we advise against using. Please see

Third, if you are referring to the expanse in Genesis 1:6 (‘And God said, “Let there be an expanse between the waters to separate water from water.”’) where the waters were separated, then surely you read that the stars are in this expanse in Genesis 1:14–18.

So for your logic to hold water, do you honestly think that the stars are located in the earth’s atmosphere?

must assert (the same water that helped flood the earth when holes in the dome were opened in Gen 7).

No, the ‘windows of heaven’ opened every time it rained extraordinarily. Nowadays, it rains cats and dogs instead.

Please see

It creates contradictions between Gen 1 and Gen 2, which do not exist when the Bible is understood without the imposition of literalism upon it.

How so? Please see

It denies that the earth is supported by pillars as a literal 1 Sam must assert, also the corners and edges of the earth as found in Job, Eze, Isa, and Rev.

Once again, you fail to realize that we don’t take the Bible literally. We take it plainly. Also please see

It denies that the sun moves around the earth as in Ecc.

By your logic, you must think the bulk of people in the world think the sun revolves around the earth. The world, even today, still uses the terms sunrise and sunset. Again this is solved when you realize that we are not hyper-literalists and abide by standard hermeneutics. Please see

It ignores the indications in the early chapters of Gen that the text is not meant to be understood in a literalistic/scientific way.

Prove it. How can you say the God who created science is not smart enough to say something that is scientific? Do you realize what you are saying? You are saying that fallible imperfect men know more about science than an all-knowing God who created it. You are also saying that all the New Testament writers misunderstood it as well, because they treated Genesis 1–11 as straightforward history.

Honestly, if you believe that God created the universe (Genesis 1:1), then why can’t you believe everything else He said in Genesis? That is the issue. You would rather trust fallible men over a perfect God (also God eye-witnessed His creation taking place and man didn’t). I sincerely don’t have that kind of faith in men. Besides, God says it is better to trust in Him than in men (Psalm 118:8). Also God says

See to it that no one takes you captive through hollow and deceptive philosophy, which depends on human tradition and the basic principles of this world rather than on Christ.’ Colossians 2:8
It claims that its understanding of Gen 1–3 is obvious to anyone not taken in by evolutionary theory, but ignores ancient Christian commentary (Origen) and Rabbinical traditions (who was Lillith?)

So you think commentaries are inspired? Where is Lillith in the Bible? Again, you are trusting fallible men’s sources over a perfect God’s Word. And although Origen allegorized lots of the Bible, he explicitly taught that the earth was less than 10,000 years old.1

that show that this view was not universally accepted even in ancient times.

God’s Word has rarely in history been universally accepted. And I would expect this because we are living in a sin-cursed world and people are fallible. But God isn’t.

I know there has been a lot of stone-throwing on both sides, but given that there are good reasons to doubt a literal understanding of Genesis,

Such as?

I with [sic] that YECs would stop claiming that interpreting Gen differently to them is the same thing as doubting its truth.
Joel Rothman

I don’t know why you have an issue with us. The Bible tells us how to interpret it. If you don’t adhere to it, then you have an issue with the Bible itself. That is between you and God.

You can either trust a perfect God or continue to trust fallible men. I want to encourage you to stop taking man’s views to the Bible and start learning from the Bible. God is all-knowing and always tells the truth. This includes Genesis 1. I pray this helps.


  1. Sarfati, J., Refuting Compromise, Master Books, Green Forest, pp. 117–118, 2004. Return to text.

‘Coming to grips’

The idea of a young earth and literal interpretation of Genesis was THE KEY that opened my mind and my heart (in 1981) to accept everything else the Holy Spirit has now been able to teach me through the Bible and wonderful servants of The Lord, such as the people at Answers in Genesis. Coming to grips with a believable Genesis lifted a veil from my eyes so I could see the true condition of this world and my self. Baptised, raised, and confirmed in a compromising church, God seemed uninvolved, unimportant, even capricious. But now, words fail me to describe how seriously I take God’s word and I couldn’t in this lifetime recount the miracles that I now can see and thank God for. Thank you for continuing in this work.
Don Nygren

Helpful Resources

The Genesis Account
by Jonathan Sarfati
US $39.00
Hard cover
Refuting Compromise
by Dr Jonathan Sarfati
US $12.00
Soft cover
15 Reasons to Take Genesis as History
by Dr Don Batten, Dr Jonathan D Sarfati
US $4.00
Six-Day Creation
by Robert Gurney
US $8.00
Soft cover