What if Genesis was a Creation Myth?
Today for April’s Synchroblog several bloggers are posting on the question “What if some or all of the Bible narrative is not necessarily true history, but is myth of one sort or another?” This video post is my contribution. Scroll down to the bottom of this post for a list of other contributors.
Evangelical author Peter Enns has recently suggested we interpret the early parts of Genesis not as literal history but as the unique style of writing of a creation myth. This leaves room for evolution to have taken place.
We often use the word myth in a dismissive way implying that a story is a hoax. But scholars have understood for some time that a creation myth can be allegorical truth. This is an issue of interpretation of the Bible not a question of its reliability.
Where does creation myth become actual history? Genesis 11 perhaps? But what to make of the genealogies that go all the way back to Adam? I don’t know.
I’m a lot less comfortable with the idea that the later Bible stories are mythological. If I came to believe that I might feel more at home in a more liberal church. If we took this idea to its extreme then Jesus death and resurrection would not be historical fact. What would be left of the Christian faith and even the Church?
Doubting the historical accuracy of the Bible could destroy our faith. But for each part of the Bible we do need to understand the style of writing. Is it history, poetry or allegory?
I’ve no problem with the idea that God may have used evolution to create us. I believe that if we interpret the Bible correctly it doesn’t have to be at odds with science.
I wonder what you think of this.
Below is the infographic Is The Theory of Evolution True? courtesy of Visual.ly showing some of the history and current state of the creation-evolution debate.
Further reading on Peter Enns
Other posts from this month’s synchroblog
- K.W. Leslie – When People Believe Christianity Is A Myth
- Jeremy Myers – What If The Bible Is a Myth?
- Bud Brown – What if Paul was wrong about the life of Christ living in me?
- Chris Jefferies – What If … Creation Was A Myth?
- Paul W. Meier – Is The Bible A Myth?
- damannwrite – The Bible As A Source of Wisdom
- Phil Lancaster – What If the Bible Were A Myth
- Carol Kuniholm – What If Newness Was The Norm
- Liz Dyer – Penultimate Truth
- Glenn Hagar – Myths in the Bible? So What?