the principle of Jesus? style: ?The greatest clearness in the smallest compass.? Hence Scripture uses the phrases of common life rather than scientific terminology. Thus the language of appearance is probably used in <010719>Genesis 7:19 ? ?all the high mountains that were under the whole heaven were covered? ? such would be the appearance, even if the deluge were local instead of universal; in <061012>Joshua 10:12, 13 ? ?and the sun stood still? ? such would be the appearance, even if the sun?s rays were merely refracted so as preternaturally to lengthen the day; in
<199301> Psalm 93:1 ? ?The world also is established, that it cannot be moved? ? such is the appearance, even though the earth turns on its axis and moves round the sun. In narrative, to substitute for ?sunset? some scientific description would divert attention from the main subject. Would it be preferable, in the Old Testament, if we should read: ?When the revolution of the earth upon its axis caused the rays of the solar luminary to impinge horizontally upon the retina. Isaac went out to meditate?
( <012463>Genesis 24:63)? ?Le secret d?ennuyer est de tout dire.? Charles Dickens, in his American Notes, 72, describes a prairie sunset: ?The decline of day here was very gorgeous, tinging the firmament deeply with red and gold, up to the very keystone of the arch above us? (quoted by Hovey, Manual of Christian Theology, 97). Did Dickens therefore believe the firmament to be a piece of solid masonry?
Canon Driver rejects the Bible story of creation because the distinctions made by modern science cannot be found in the primitive Hebrew. He thinks the fluid state of the earth?s substance should have been called ?surging chaos,? instead of ?waters? ( <010102>Genesis 1:2). ?An admirable phrase for modern and cultivated minds,? replies Mr. Gladstone, ?but a phrase that would have left the pupils of the Mosaic writer in exactly the condition out of which it was his purpose to bring them, namely, a state of utter ignorance and darkness, with possibly a little ripple of bewilderment to boot?; see Sunday School Times. April 26, 1890. The fallacy of holding that Scripture gives in detail all the facts connected with a historical narrative has led to many curious arguments. The Gregorian Calendar which makes the year begin in January was opposed by representing that Eve was tempted at the outset by an apple, which was possible only in case the year began in September; see Thayer, Change of Attitude towards the Bible, 46.
(b) It is not necessary to a proper view of inspiration to suppose that the human authors of Scripture had in mind the proper scientific interpretation of the natural events they recorded.
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