There are "difficulties" and misunderstandings about a lot of Bible verses, and some of the most complex and interesting of these are in Genesis.
2:2- Were the "days" and "nights" referred to during creation literal 24-hour periods? There is evidence both for and against the idea that these days were meant to be interpreted as 24-hour periods of time. First of all, there is no contradiction between the Bible and fact; it is a contradiction about the scientific evidence and/or the interpretation of scripture. The evidence of the Earth being billions of years old agrees completely if one interprets the "days" referenced to be longer periods of time than a simple 24 hours. So, either most scientists are wrong about the age of the Earth or SOME Biblical commentators are incorrect in their interpretation when they insist the days of creation were 24-hour periods with no gaps before, during, or after. (Evidence for the different interpretations of the meaning of the word "day" are available in multiple commentaries, study books, internet pages, and Bibles. I won't belabor the issue by re-hashing all of the quotes on both sides of the issue.)
2:8- Was Eden a real location on Earth? See "Eden" entry under Dictionary & Facts section of the website (Eden is located on the "Places" page).
2:17- God states "the moment you eat from it you are surely doomed to die." Why, then, didn't Adam immediately die? Various explanations include: From the moment he took the first bite, the endless, happy existence he was going to have in Eden vanished and the fact that he would eventually die became a reality. Hence, he began to physically die. Adam "died" spiritually, that is, he was separated from God from the moment he ate of the fruit.
2:19- The order of creation: animals, man, then man naming the animals, seems to be different in chapters 1 and 2. Chapter 1 gives a strict chronological explanation of creation. Chapter 2 covers the story in general, with the focus being on God bringing the animals (which he had previously created) to Adam to be named.
Jennifer Becker Landsberger
Who am I? Freelance writer (magazines, websites, & copywriting), Catholic, military wife, and Mensan. Double Bachelor's in History & Psychology.
Witnessing by charity and love are above all. Studying the Bible and beyond helps me on this quest. Feel free to join my walk into the Bible.
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~~~Prayer before Writing-
Oh creator of the universe, who has set the stars in the heavens and causes the sun to rise and set, shed the light of your wisdom into the darkness of my mind. Fill my thoughts with a loving knowledge of you, that I may bring you like to others. Just as you can make even babies speak your truth, instruct my tongue and guide my pen to convey the wonderful glory of the Gospel. Make my intellect sharp, my memory clear, and my words eloquent, so that I may faithfully interpret the mysteries what you have revealed.
To my readers & fellow writers,
1. I will pray that God's grace helps illuminate all of our interactions- both those of simple reading and more active conversations.
2. I will communicate with you respectfully and civilly. These are (rightly) issues which we feel passionate about. But even in disagreements, I will respect you fellow "seekers of truth."
3. I will not fall into negative behavior or words, such as insinuations, exaggerations, blames, or personal attacks. I respectfully ask you to do the same.
4. I will pray we will all find the truth and strive to fulfill the two greatest commandments: "You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind, and with all your strength.’ The second is this: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no other commandment greater than these." (Mark 12:30-31)
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Sites I Recommend
Biblical Evidence for Catholicism by Dave Armstrong