Friday, June 21, 2019

Primeval ice

1 In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth. 2 The earth was without form and void, and darkness was over the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God was hovering over the face of the waters.

3 And God said, “Let there be light,” and there was light. 4 And God saw that the light was good. And God separated the light from the darkness. 5 God called the light Day, and the darkness he called Night. And there was evening and there was morning, the first day. (Gen 1:1-5).

Progressive/secular Bible scholars think v2 alludes to a preexistent primordial ocean. But is that consistent with what ancient people were in a position to know? What state does water take in the absent of sunlight? Ice. Denizens in the Middle East knew from personal experience that desert temperatures plummet after dark. They were acquainted with hail and snow. They knew about icy mountains. 

Ice wasn't a foreign substance to them. And the relationship between sunlight and heat wasn't a foreign concept to them.

So, from a natural standpoint, if water preexisted sunlight, that wouldn't be a primeval ocean. That wouldn't be liquid, but solid. 

Of course, from a supernatural standpoint, God doesn't need sunlight to have liquified H2O. And even humans can melt ice with fire. But my immediate point is that the mythological conception which some Bible scholars impute to ancient Near Eastern writers doesn't mesh with what they knew about the world, if they gave it much thought. 

To be sure, many people are thoughtless. However, there are always some observant, reflective people who do think things through. So this is another example where desk-bound Bible scholar makes questionable assumptions about the ancient mindset. Modern scholars don't think about these things because they don't live off the land. They don't have to be keen observers of nature to survive. They are cocooned from the harsh elements by modern technology. But ancient people had to be highly attentive to the workings of nature to survive. 

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