Intelligent Design

A Question for TEs (Theistic Evolutionists)

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Assuming we’re dealing with ‘card-carrying’ Christians, let me pose this question to you: As a Christian, you believe in the Virgin Birth: i.e., that the Blessed Mother of Jesus ‘conceived by the Holy Spirit.’ If this is what you believe, then, knowing as we do that Mary, a woman, would have had ordinary ova with only ‘half’ of the normal genetic information, how did the ‘other half’ come about? That is, ‘where,’ and ‘how,’ did this come about?

I’ll be interested in your answers.

62 Replies to “A Question for TEs (Theistic Evolutionists)

  1. 1
    Acartia_bogart says:

    The mailman?

  2. 2
    PaV says:

    Thank you, Acartia B, for your attempt at blasphemy. What a noble soul you are!

    Tell me, are you a TE? Then why did you post a reply? Simply to insult and defame?

  3. 3
    Charles says:

    Pav:

    You have an implied premise in:

    how did the ‘other half’ come about?

    that is possibly false. You assume that Mary contributed a ‘first half’. Scripture doesn’t actually supply that degree of detail.

    All we are told is that the Holy Spirit caused or created something in Mary. That could have been implantation of a viable, complete zygote or even a partially grown fetus, yes?

    FWIW, I’m not a TE, I’m an Old-Earth Creationist if that affects your view of my answer.

  4. 4
    tjguy says:

    Charles says:

    You have an implied premise in:

    how did the ‘other half’ come about?

    that is possibly false. You assume that Mary contributed a ‘first half’. Scripture doesn’t actually supply that degree of detail.

    Charles, I think Pav has a good point here. Jesus was prophesied to be a descendant of David. This was an important requirement that the Jews took very seriously all thru the ages. Also, I believe this was the whole point of the virgin birth. He had to be made like His brothers in every way in order to redeem them from sin. Heb. 2:10 – 18.

    So I’m gonna agree with Pav on this one. What do you think?

  5. 5
    Mung says:

    He had to be made like His brothers in every way in order to redeem them from sin.

    So all his brothers were virgin-born as well?

  6. 6
    Barb says:

    Reproduction without a male is known as parthenogenesis [Greek, parthenos meaning “maiden” plus “genesis”]. Recently scientists have been experimenting successfully with parthenogenesis in mammals. The Economist of August 1, 1981, reports: “Embryo development in the absence of sperm is the natural means of reproduction in many lower species of animal. . . . Parthenogenesis is being studied using laboratory mice. Several means exist for artificially activating an unfertilised mouse egg.”

    Similarly, Dr. M. B. V. Roberts of Marlborough College, England, writes: “An unfertilized egg was removed from a female rabbit, activated by pricking, and then popped back into the uterus. Hormone treatment had been previously given to the female so that her uterine mucosa was prepared for implantation. Normal development ensued, and a visibly normal offspring was produced.”

    Are we to conclude from this that God induced Mary’s pregnancy in some such way from an unfertilized egg? No. If Mary’s firstborn had received both chromosomes (X) from her, the offspring would of necessity have been female.

    Hence, something more must have been involved in the conception of Jesus. Just what this was the angel explained to Joseph: “That which has been begotten in her is by holy spirit.” (Matthew 1:20) We do not know precisely how this was done. Yet we must admit that if mere man can in a limited way manipulate the fertilization process in the laboratory, surely it is not beyond the power of the Creator and Life-Giver of the universe to do so and to transfer the life-force of his Son from the heavens to the ovum of a virgin girl.

  7. 7
    Acartia_bogart says:

    PaV, there was no attempt at blasphemy. Technically, as an atheist, I am incapable of blasphemy. But I am capable of pointing out the obvious.

    A wife comes home pregnant. Not normally a problem, unless she has never slept with the husband (and what is up with that?).

    We won’t even suggest that “virgin” was a mistranslation of “young woman”

    My point is that what the world needs is a sense of humour. From what I have read about Jesus, he would have laughed at the “mailman” response. But his modern followers seem to have lost that.

  8. 8
    DebianFanatic says:

    I’m not a TE, but …

    1)

    KJV Matt 1:20 But while he thought on these things, behold, the angel of the Lord appeared unto him in a dream, saying, Joseph, thou son of David, fear not to take unto thee Mary thy wife: for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Ghost.

    KJV Luke 2:21 And when eight days were accomplished for the circumcising of the child, his name was called Jesus, which was so named of the angel before he was conceived in the womb.

    If we take the KJV at face-value, it seems from these two passages that Jesus was conceived within Mary’s womb, not outside of it and then implanted into it.

    2)
    It would be good to remember that a human is not simply the combination of the mother’s half of DNA with the father’s half of DNA. The mother contributes the actual soma, the body, the prime cell of the new human, as well as her half of the DNA. The cell is the machinery; the DNA is “just” the programming library that runs the machinery. The programming library is pretty useless without the machinery on which it runs.

    3)
    If Jesus is fully human, it makes sense that he inherited from his human mother his human body/machinery. But at least half of the spirit, and half of the programming (and perhaps an “anti-corruption” gene that over-rides the corruption which the rest of us inherit from Adam, perhaps via the XY chromosome?), he inherited from a non-corrupted genetic donor, i.e. God. This miraculous donation of un-corrupt father-side DNA (and traces of spermatic-head RNA, proteins, etc) material makes Jesus as unique as Adam, who also inherited his DNA directly from God. Thus, as a “Second Adam”, he was in a unique position to make a choice to obey/disobey God without the in-built corruption the rest of us have, putting him in a unique position to be able to pay, with death, for a death-sentence he himself was not owing. In other words, to answer the original question, the second half of Jesus’ DNA came directly from God the Father via miraculous intervention.

  9. 9
    ppolish says:

    De Novo conception:)? I used to consider myself a TE, with the “stuff happens” of Evo driven by God not by Oops.

    These days the evidence is pointing me to ID. Well, Theistic ID.

  10. 10
    buffalo says:

    It was a miracle. Considering God is the author of creation it hardly seems a difficult task. Brothers = cousins.

  11. 11
    Dionisio says:

    PaV

    that the Blessed Mother of Jesus was ‘conceived by the Holy Spirit.’

    who was conceived?

  12. 12
    Charles says:

    tjguy; DebianFanatic;

    I’m going to answer by elaborating on a point raised by DebianFanatic:

    If Jesus Adam is fully human, it makes sense that he inherited from his human mother his human body/machinery.

    Jesus and Adam were both fully human and yet Adam didn’t receive the ‘first half’ of his DNA from a mother’s ovum, did he. Like Adam, Jesus was 100% human and thus qualified as kinsman redeemer for all humanity (however, that’s not say that Adam could have been a sinless sacrifice).

    … This miraculous donation of un-corrupt father-side DNA … material makes Jesus as unique as Adam, who also inherited his DNA directly from God.

    They were both unique, and if Jesus received the ‘first half’ of his DNA from Mary’s ovum, he was arguably more unique than the first Adam, no?

    All I’m pointing out is that scripture seems to allow for Jesus to have been ‘genetically composed’ as was Adam. It’s not the orthodox presumption, agreed, but regardless, as Jesus was born of Mary into Joseph’s house, he descended from David (as foretold of the Messiah) explicitly thru Joseph by both lineage accounts (though arguments have been made that either genealogy is implicitly thru Mary), accepting as we all do that Joseph was not Jesus’ biological father. i.e. Jesus is accepted as descended from David thru Joseph without Joseph’s biological contribution.

    And for Jesus to further be the only begotten of the Father, Son of God, member of the Trinity, involves more than genetic heritage, unlike Adam.

    The creator of the universe, ex nihilo, can create life in the womb, ex nihilo, if He chose. We just haven’t been told to that level of detail what His chosen method was.

  13. 13
    Dionisio says:

    Charles @ 12

    We just haven’t been told to that level of detail what His chosen method was.

    Would our minds be able to understand such detailed explanation that includes supernatural action?

    At least mine wouldn’t.

  14. 14
    ronvanwegen says:

    It might be of interest in this discussion – the Catholic dogma of the Immaculate Conception which, contrary to popular belief, does not refer to the virgin birth but that Mary was herself conceived without sin.

    “In 1854, some four years before the apparitions of Our Lady to young Bernadette [at Lourdes where Mary referred to herself in this way, “I am the Immaculate Conception” – Ed], Pope Pius IX solemnly defined the dogma of the Immaculate Conception, which stated that “the most Blessed Virgin Mary, in the first instant of her conception, by a singular grace and privilege granted by Almighty God, in view of the merits of Jesus Christ, the Savior of the human race, was preserved free from all stain of Original Sin” (Ineffabilis Deus, no. 29). According to this doctrine, Mary was conceived in the state of perfect justice (just as Adam and Eve were created), free from original sin and all its consequences and penalties, in virtue of the redemption won by Jesus Christ on the Cross. In other words, while the rest of humanity benefits from the Cross after the Cross took place on that first Good Friday, it may be said that Mary benefited from the Cross before the Cross took place.”

    http://www.cuf.org/2009/11/the.....an-beings/

    My own take on this is that, “It seems fitting”.

  15. 15
    Dionisio says:

    ronvanwegen @ 14

    Are there biblical references to all the text you quoted?

  16. 16
    tjguy says:

    Mung @ 6

    Since therefore the children share in flesh and blood, he himself likewise partook of the same things, that through death he might destroy the one who has the power of death, that is, the devil, 15 and deliver all those who through fear of death were subject to lifelong slavery. 16 For surely it is not angels that he helps, but he helps the offspring of Abraham. 17 Therefore he had to be made like his brothers in every respect, so that he might become a merciful and faithful high priest in the service of God, to make propitiation for the sins of the people. 18 For because he himself has suffered when tempted, he is able to help those who are being tempted.

    Hebrews 2:14-18

    The point is that he had to become fully human like we are in order to redeem us. He didn’t become an angel so angels cannot be redeemed or saved from sin.

    Of course there are differences between Jesus and mankind. He was also God in human flesh. He never sinned. He had different looks than others. etc etc.

    Understand the point of the passage before making a silly point.

  17. 17
    T_Paz says:

    Virginity of Mary is connected with how Adam and Eve were before original sin.

    The inmaculate conception of Mary is connected with how Adam an Eve were before original sin as well.

    If you don´t know what specifically was the original sin, you will not understand why Mary has to be virgen, and Why if she is virgin, necessarily she is the Inmaculate Conception as well.

    The clue to understand what was specifically the original sin is Genesis 7:

    7 The Lord then said to Noah, “Go into the ark, you and your whole family, because I have found you righteous in this generation. 2 Take with you seven pairs of every kind of clean animal, a male and its mate, and one pair of every kind of unclean animal, a male and its mate, 3 and also seven pairs of every kind of bird, male and female, to keep their various kinds alive throughout the earth. 4 Seven days from now I will send rain on the earth for forty days and forty nights, and I will wipe from the face of the earth every living creature I have made.”

    Clean animals seven pairs. Unclean animals one pair. That is the point.

    The Catholic Church has defined dogmatically which kind of sin was the original sin, but not yet what specifically was.

    The specifity is hidden in the text for a good reason and connected with Apocalypse (and the Antichrist and his strange and unnatural powers). And Biology is connected both with Genesis and Apocalypse.

    Remember that there was a water flood in Genesis, and a fire flood in Apocalypse.

    Same sin, same correction, same new World.

    A traditionalist catholic.

  18. 18
    tjguy says:

    Charles @ 12

    Jesus and Adam were both fully human and yet Adam didn’t receive the ‘first half’ of his DNA from a mother’s ovum, did he. Like Adam, Jesus was 100% human and thus qualified as kinsman redeemer for all humanity (however, that’s not say that Adam could have been a sinless sacrifice).
    ….
    The creator of the universe, ex nihilo, can create life in the womb, ex nihilo, if He chose. We just haven’t been told to that level of detail what His chosen method was.

    Well, no kidding. He had no ancestors so it had to be that way. He didn’t receive any of his DNA from an ancestor. God provided it all. Yes, Adam was 100% human and certainly what you propose IS possible since all things are possible with God, but it doesn’t seem to be what the Bible teaches. That is my point.

    It’s not a matter of what God could or could not do, it is more a matter of what He said He did.
    This is my beef with OECers as well. To make it mean something different than the plain meaning that most people would understand by reading it, I think you have to twist the normal meaning of the words too much. This violates the perspicuity of Scripture in my view.

    But, I can think of more important things to argue about. In the end, I personally believe Pav’s question is a valid one, but I hear what you are saying.

  19. 19
    Charles says:

    tjguy @ 18

    To make it mean something different than the plain meaning that most people would understand by reading it, I think you have to twist the normal meaning of the words too much. This violates the perspicuity of Scripture in my view.

    Were you to read scripture in its original Hebrew & Greek, and divorce yourself from our modern English translations, traditions, and teachings, you would find the “normal [English] meaning” somewhat twists what the Hebrew or Greek text, grammar, and context support. You would also find some ambiguity in the meanings of Hebrew and Greek words, ambiguities that our modern English doesn’t convey.

    I take a very high view of scripture. I believe it to be inspired and inerrant, interpreted literally except where it explicitly declares itself to be metaphore or symbolism. I expect it to be self-consistent and reconcile with everything we know to be actual fact, historically & scientifically. I find it generally does, but not always in modern English, and only to the extent the text actually informs me.

    I personally believe Pav’s question is a valid one

    I thought so too. It was not my intent to curtail comment, but rather open it further.

  20. 20
    Moose Dr says:

    I personally view myself as a theistic evolutionist. I believe that the one thing you must hold to to carry this title is the acceptance of Universal Common Descent. This, not neo-Darwinism, is considered to be “the fact of evolution”. (That said, I hold the UCD view with a much looser hand than all that.)

    This question is no question for me. I believe in miracles. I believe that biological life is as it is because of a gazillion miraculous, inventive events along the way.

    So this question then needs to be put to the theistic Darwinist, not merely the theistic Evolutionists.

  21. 21
    phoodoo says:

    Or maybe there are Gods, but the bible is just another book about man’s ongoing moral curiosity.

    A book by men discussing what they would imagine a God to be like.

  22. 22
    PaV says:

    Acartia_B:

    My point is that what the world needs is a sense of humour. From what I have read about Jesus, he would have laughed at the “mailman” response. But his modern followers seem to have lost that.

    There is a kind of chastened tone in what you’ve written, and I appreciate that; however, the kind of joke you want to make is simply offensive to Christians. We’re dealing with holy and sacred beliefs and realities, and we just don’t joke about these things.

  23. 23
    PaV says:

    Just to add a little something to the discussion, here’s what I had in mind when I posted:

    The TE position is that evolution was guided by God, but that to a very limited degree, if not completely so, there was never any direct intervention by God in genomic development, and that genomic development results rather from the guided use of the genome’s existing and inherent mechanisms (NGE of Shapiro, e.g.). IMO, this argument crumbles when it comes to the Virgin Birth since it is reasonable to assume that entire chromosomes need to be supplied–or else Jesus is not the “Son of God”, but purely the “Son of Mary”, the Virgin who gave birth.

    I didn’t address this conundrum to the broader scientific community since it is steeped in theological language and beliefs. However, for we who see the scientific validity of ID, this consideration should move us in the direction of understanding that if God wants to intervene in a discrete way, He surely can, and has likely done so. Genomic manipulations are not beyond God’s power bring them about. (Although Scripture does not inform us that this is so.)

  24. 24
    Acartia_bogart says:

    PaV:”We’re dealing with holy and sacred beliefs and realities, and we just don’t joke about these things.”

    But, again, that was my point. Are you saying that jokes about religion are forbidden? If there is a God, he obviously gave us a sense of humour for a reason. Probably to allow us to laugh at ourselves when we start taking ourselves too seriously.

    Christians certainly criticize and make fun of other religions and beliefs. And if you accept the creationist claim that Darwinism is nothing but a religion in itself, then Christians definitely make jokes, mock and demean them. If Christians are going to dish it out, why should you expect not to be treated in the same fashion.

  25. 25
    Barb says:

    Acartia_bogart:

    But, again, that was my point. Are you saying that jokes about religion are forbidden?

    Your post didn’t have much of a point. It came across as less humorous and more “oh, look, another atheist Internet troll is here” post.

    If there is a God, he obviously gave us a sense of humour for a reason. Probably to allow us to laugh at ourselves when we start taking ourselves too seriously.

    Absolutely. Now can we make with the atheist jokes?

    Q: Why did the atheist throw her watch out the window?
    A: She wanted to see if it was designed intelligently enough to evolve into a bird.

    Q: What is so ironic about Atheists?
    A: They’re always talking about God.

    Q: Did you hear about the the evangelical atheist?
    A: She went door to door with a book full of blank pages.

    I’ll be here all week, try the veal.

    Christians certainly criticize and make fun of other religions and beliefs.

    And atheists make fun of Christians far more often. Oh, and there is a big difference between an intelligent, honest critique of a religion and making fun of it. I trust you know the difference.

    And if you accept the creationist claim that Darwinism is nothing but a religion in itself, then Christians definitely make jokes, mock and demean them.

    I don’t accept that it’s a religion, but I find it most amusing that its most ardent supporters behave in the same manner as the fundamentalists they deride. Irony is delicious.

    Darwinian evolution has become more an all-encompassing ideology rather than a scientific theory.

    If Christians are going to dish it out, why should you expect not to be treated in the same fashion.

    Because atheists could refuse to behave in the same manner and thus take the moral high ground away from the Christians…oh, wait.

  26. 26
    phoodoo says:

    “We’re dealing with holy and sacred beliefs and realities, and we just don’t joke about these things.”

    Pav,

    I can’t agree with you, when you want to include others in your particular belief about religion. YOU don’t joke about such things perhaps, but who is the WE you are referring to? Religious belief is a personal decision.

    It is your belief that when you read the bible, you are reading a literal story. There is not really any more reason for you to believe this, then there is for someone reading the Vedas to believe the same thing. You could well be offending members of the Hindu religion, when you claim that only your religion is correct.

    I think the inflexibility of such a mindset is one of the great reasons why the science community has worked so tirelessly to form an opposition to what they see as a biblical opposition to science conclusions, rather than a logical one.

    I think your “anti-joke” requirement is as detrimental to the search for honest knowledge, as are the Richard Dawkins and Jerry Coyne censorship views of the world.

  27. 27
    CentralScrutinizer says:

    Pav: We’re dealing with holy and sacred beliefs and realities, and we just don’t joke about these things.

    If the real Creator doesn’t have a sense of humor, then I feel sorry for him/her/them/it/whatever.

  28. 28
    CentralScrutinizer says:

    phoodoo: I think your “anti-joke” requirement is as detrimental to the search for honest knowledge, as are the Richard Dawkins and Jerry Coyne censorship views of the world.

    Right. Over the years I have gotten the sense that the real reason why the Dawkinses and the Coyneses of the world get so bent out of shape when someone pokes their finger into the holes into their beloved Blind Watchmaker Evolutionism is because it is a quasi-religion for them. Most humans (except sociopaths, perhaps) tend to worship something. Nobody likes their beloved idol besmirched and defiled.

  29. 29
    Mung says:

    tjguy:

    Understand the point of the passage before making a silly point.

    Does this mean you’re retracting your silly claim?

    He [Jesus] had to be made like His brothers in every way in order to redeem them from sin.

  30. 30
    Mung says:

    PaV:

    The TE position is that evolution was guided by God, but that to a very limited degree, if not completely so, there was never any direct intervention by God in genomic development, and that genomic development results rather from the guided use of the genome’s existing and inherent mechanisms (NGE of Shapiro, e.g.).

    This is where I have to disagree with you. It is young earth creationism and old earth creationism (progressive creationism) that have God acting at some point in the past and then leaving it up to the machines after that.

    If ID is not a mechanical theory, and both Young Earth Creationism and Old Earth Creationism are, then they are incompatible with ID, in spite of all the “big tent” claims.

    There is a fundamental philosophical difference (not to mention hermeneutical and theological).

    I don’t understand why a theistic evolutionist has to deny miracles. For anyone who has been born again, is there a naturalistic/materialistic/scientific/mechanistic explanation?

  31. 31
    Eric Anderson says:

    PaV:

    IMO, this argument crumbles when it comes to the Virgin Birth since it is reasonable to assume that entire chromosomes need to be supplied–or else Jesus is not the “Son of God”, but purely the “Son of Mary”, the Virgin who gave birth.

    Exactly. The most important aspect of Jesus is that he was not just another human, but the Son of God, God made Flesh.

  32. 32
    Acartia_bogart says:

    Barb, the difference between myself and PaV is that I found your jokes about atheists funny and not offensive. My point still stands. People, regardless of their belief (or lack of belief) should lighten up.

    But I think that your statement that atheists make fun of Christians far more than Christians make fun of atheists is merely a matter of perspective, not fact. This entire web site is riddled with articles and comments ridiculing atheists and “evolutionists”. As are many other religiously based sites. But, to be fair, the reverse is also observed on atheist sites.

  33. 33
    Barb says:

    I think that your statement that atheists make fun of Christians far more than Christians make fun of atheists is merely a matter of perspective, not fact.

    Ever visited some atheist sites?

    This entire web site is riddled with articles and comments ridiculing atheists and “evolutionists”. As are many other religiously based sites. But, to be fair, the reverse is also observed on atheist sites.

    You’re confusing “this entire web site” with “the entire Internet” which is what I was referring to earlier.

  34. 34
    tjguy says:

    Charles says:

    “Were you to read scripture in its original Hebrew & Greek, and divorce yourself from our modern English translations, traditions, and teachings, you would find the “normal [English] meaning” somewhat twists what the Hebrew or Greek text, grammar, and context support. You would also find some ambiguity in the meanings of Hebrew and Greek words, ambiguities that our modern English doesn’t convey.”

    I understand what you are saying. Glad to hear of your high view of Scripture.

    I guess my concern with this paragraph is that you can use that excuse to change the meaning of any passage you want. So while what you say may be true as far as certain passages go, especially with the Hebrew, if you are going to use this to argue your point in this case, then I think you need to show chapter and verse where you find this problem.

    Was there a particular passage I mentioned above that you feel has translation problems and that instead supports your view?

  35. 35
    tjguy says:

    Mung @ 28

    My point Mung, was simply that you need to read the verse in context.

    If you take it out of context, then it becomes easy to misinterpret it and make it say something that the context does not support.

    Cheers!

  36. 36
    tjguy says:

    Mung says:

    “This is where I have to disagree with you. It is young earth creationism and old earth creationism (progressive creationism) that have God acting at some point in the past and then leaving it up to the machines after that.”

    Mung, what is your view?

    Do you believe in a Creator?

    If so, is He still creating or is He allowing life to go on now by itself?

    I think some creationists, whether old or young earth, might say that God is involved in the creation of every new life on the planet. Some believe God’s sovereignty reaches even to what genes each of us inherits. While this is different than His work of creation that ended on day 6, still He is involved in His creation sustaining it and creating new life. I believe the Bible teaches that God makes each of us special and gives us each different gifts and abilities. I guess I’m not comfortable with the view that just says it was all a matter of chance that I came out the way I did.

    Ephesians 2:10
    “For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.”

    Ps. 139:13-16
    “For you formed my inward parts;
    you knitted me together in my mother’s womb.
    14 I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made.[a]
    Wonderful are your works;
    my soul knows it very well.
    15 My frame was not hidden from you,
    when I was being made in secret,
    intricately woven in the depths of the earth.
    16 Your eyes saw my unformed substance;
    in your book were written, every one of them,
    the days that were formed for me,
    when as yet there was none of them.”

    The Psalm is of course a poetic account, but it speaks of God’s active involvement in the creation of each life.

    YECers do believe that after the flood, natural selection, genetic drift, etc. worked together to enable species to adapt to different environments and eventually become new species by shuffling the information already present in the genome. How much God is directly involved in the choice of genes for each animal and plant and insect, etc is difficult to know. He certainly could be involved in it, but it seems like He created them with the ability to adapt and handle environmental changes up to a certain extent.

    But I’m still curious as to your view. Do you think God is directly involved in the creation of each life and leaves nothing to natural processes? You speak as if you disapprove of the idea that, outside of God’s direct intervention, natural processes could have a role in the adaptation of life to new environments.

  37. 37
    Charles says:

    tjguy @ 34

    For all biblical personages (excepting Jesus, Adam & Eve) the Hebrew or Greek words translated as “conceived” presume a female egg fertilized by male sperm, which as we all understand human reproduction, is what happens, naturally. There is no objection to such a presumption in these cases.

    But Jesus didn’t have a human biological father, and so the usual presumption of what “conceived” means might not necessarilly apply.

    Note the nuance in the grammar of various Bible passages wherein the text reads “… the woman | she | mother| conceived …” which are all 2nd person references, but in Mat 1:20 the text reads “for the Child who has been conceived in her” is in the 3rd person, not “Mary conceived” or “she conceived”. The 3rd person reference “has been conceived in her” just strikes me as if Mary had less or little to do with the conception (apologies in advance to Catholics, I mean no offense to Mary)… i.e. Mary didn’t conceive, rather the child was conceived in her.

    As to the Hebrew and Greek words:

    In the OT, the Hebrew H2029 ha?ra?h is generally translated “conceived” which Brown Driver Briggs defines as “to conceive, become pregnant, bear, be with child, be conceived, progenitor”

    In Mat 1:20 “conceived” is from the Greek G1080 “gennao?” which Thayer defines as “of men who fathered children or women who give birth to children”. That would support the view that Jesus was “fathered by” the Holy Spirit, but that doesn’t specifically or explicitly address Mary’s genetic contribution. The parallel passage in Luke 2:21 again uses the 3rd person reference “He was conceived in the womb”, but “conceived” comes from the Greek G4815 “sullambano?” which Thayer defines as “to conceive, of a woman”. The Greek G4815 “sullambano?” is also found in Luk 1:36.

    The Greek G1080 “gennao?” is rendered “fathered” or “begat” throughout the genealogies of Jesus, and is typically translated “born” in other contexts.

    The Greek word that would make your argument for you is the Greek G2845 koite? which can sometimes mean “seed, semen as necessary for conception” but in a reproductive context is only found in Rom 9:10.

    As to your specific question

    Was there a particular passage I mentioned above that you feel has translation problems and that instead supports your view?

    , again it is not so much a translation problem as an absence of detail that Mary’s ovum was fertilized by the Holy Spirit. Had Mat 1:20 used G2845 koite?, we wouldn’t be having this discussion.

    So, unique to the conception of Jesus then, the use of 3rd person references rather than the typical 2nd person plus the use of the Greek G1080 “gennao?” usually meaning “begat” rather than the Greek G2845 koite?, suggest to me personally the mere possibility that Mary might not have contributed an ovum or its fertilization was more than substitution by the Holy Spirit. Then as noted earlier, a comparable avoidance of normal conception or fertilization mechanisms is found in the first Adam, and that Jesus’ status as “son of David” is a legal rather than genetic heritage.

    I’m not arguing I’m right, I’m merely suggesting the text and grammar seem to allow it to be considered, to not rule it out.

    I used the NASB in all the above which the Lockman Foundation describes as relying on the “latest edition of Rudolf Kittel’s BIBLIA HEBRAICA together with the most recent light from lexicography, cognate languages, and the Dead Sea Scrolls.” and “in most instances the 26th edition of Eberhard Nestle’s NOVUM TESTAMENTUM GRAECE”.

    Other translations and other texts will yield slightly different renderings.

  38. 38
    T_Paz says:

    Ok. Check out the apostolic fathers. For example, Saint Gregory of Nissa.

    He said that if our first parents didn´t sin the reproduction in paradise would be spiritual and not by the flesh.

    That is the reason why Mary is Virgin and Inmaculate. She was conceived without sin as Eve before the Fall, in order to give birth Jesus conceived spiritually, because the Holy Spirit is spirit. So 100% DNA of Jesus comes from Mary. So that is the reason catholics affirm Mary is Virgin, before and AFTER the birth of Jesus.

    Sexual reproduction would be thought by God for animals but not for Adam and Eve or their sons.

    In Genesis 7 God differences between clean and unclean animals. How come this differentiation made by God could be possible when the original sin have had consecuences for ALL the animals?

    How does clean and unclean animals mean if Jesus himself in Matthew 15:10-20 and Mark 7,14-20 says implicitly we can eat all kind of animals.

    This differentation in two steps explains what was specifically the original sin. And explains as well why there are two lineages in Genesis. And it explains as well Why there was not incest but at the same time everybody comes from Adam and Eve.

    And it explains as well Why there was not incest, but at the same time it makes possible that everybody comes from Adam and Eve. And moreover, it explains too why death entered the world logically.

    The clue is in the unclean / clean question about the animals. What was specifically the original sin?

    We know there was a sin of proud and disobedience in Adam and Eve but ….. what did they do specifically?

    A traditionalist catholic.

  39. 39
    T_Paz says:

    Ok. Check out the apostolic fathers. For example, Saint Gregory of Nissa.

    He said that if our first parents didn´t sin the reproduction in paradise would be spiritual and not by the flesh.

    That is the reason why Mary is Virgin and Inmaculate. She was conceived without sin as Eve before the Fall, in order to give birth Jesus conceived spiritually, because the Holy Spirit is spirit. So 100% DNA of Jesus comes from Mary. So that is the reason catholics affirm Mary is Virgin, before and AFTER the birth of Jesus.

    Sexual reproduction would be thought by God for animals but not for Adam and Eve or their sons.

    In Genesis 7 God differences between clean and unclean animals. How come this differentiation made by God could be possible when the original sin have had consecuences for ALL the animals?

    How does clean and unclean animals mean if Jesus himself in Matthew 15:10-20 and Mark 7,14-20 says implicitly we can eat all kind of animals.

    This differentation in two steps explains what was specifically the original sin. And explains as well why there are two lineages in Genesis. And it explains as well Why there was not incest but at the same time everybody comes from Adam and Eve.

    And it explains as well Why there was not incest, but at the same time it makes possible that everybody comes from Adam and Eve. And moreover, it explains too why death entered the world logically.

    The clue is in the unclean / clean question about the animals. What was specifically the original sin?

    We know there was a sin of proud and disobedience in Adam and Eve but ….. what did they do specifically?

    A traditionalist catholic.

  40. 40
    CentralScrutinizer says:

    “Sexual reproduction would be thought by God for animals but not for Adam and Eve or their sons.”

    The very first command given to Adam and Eve is to “be fruitful and multiply.” Not one hint in the text itself or anywhere in the Torah or Prophets that this intended as a “spiritual” procreation.

    Apparently, the Catholics felt the need to make Mary out-goddess the other goddesses floating around the first few centuries. From the Hebrew perspective it’s all superstitious, pagan nonsense.

    Sex is good. The Yahweh Elohim made it that way and pronounced it so.

  41. 41
    T_Paz says:

    No.be fruitfull and multiply does not necessarily mean sexual reproduction. Sex is good but was thought only for animals. Think about the clean and unclean animals of Génesis. Why do God differenciate between unclean and clean animals. And of course this is something that relates with biology and the main purpouse of this web.

  42. 42
    PaV says:

    Mung:

    I don’t understand why a theistic evolutionist has to deny miracles. For anyone who has been born again, is there a naturalistic/materialistic/scientific/mechanistic explanation?

    Ken Miller is a TE. Their problem is that they don’t see God intervening into the natural order when needed. Otherwise, I would think they would consider themselves within the ID perspective.

    T_Paz:

    Check out the apostolic fathers. For example, Saint Gregory of Nissa.

    He said that if our first parents didn´t sin the reproduction in paradise would be spiritual and not by the flesh.

    This was St. Gregory of Nyssa’s opinion. I don’t agree with his opinion. But as Christians we must agree that “by the Holy Spirit [Jesus] was incarnate in the Virgin Mary, and became man.”

    If it is all Mary’s chromosomes, then in what way is Jesus the Son of God?

    Finally, that Mary was kept free of the stain of Original Sin was in view of her Virgin Birth, so that as Jesus assumed his humanity, he, too, the NEW ADAM!, would be free of Original Sin.

    Central Scrutinizer:

    Apparently, the Catholics felt the need to make Mary out-goddess the other goddesses floating around the first few centuries. From the Hebrew perspective it’s all superstitious, pagan nonsense.

    I’ll assume that you’re Christian, although your reliance on Yahweh makes me wonder a bit.

    If Mary were a “goddess”, then Jesus would not be the Son of God, but the “Son of a God and Goddess.” Where does our humanity come into the picture? How, then, could we be saved?

    Remember, when you’re speaking of the Blessed Virgin Mary, you’re speaking of the Mother of God, the mother of Jesus, who had him within her womb for nine months, and who cared for him as he grew, who taught him about his Jewish faith, who lived alongside Him for thirty years, who was there, at the foot of the Cross making intercession for all of us. This is Jesus’ mother. Do you think He is indifferent to your attitude towards her? If you do, then you might not be taking Jesus’ sacred humanity into account sufficiently.

  43. 43
    Eric Anderson says:

    PaV @42:

    Finally, that Mary was kept free of the stain of Original Sin was in view of her Virgin Birth, so that as Jesus assumed his humanity, he, too, the NEW ADAM!, would be free of Original Sin.

    Just out of curiosity . . . where is this Immaculate Conception concept taught in scripture?

  44. 44
    CentralScrutinizer says:

    PaV: If Mary were a “goddess”…

    I don’t mean to say that Roman Catholics believe Mary is a goddess. Rather that in order to compete with the pagan religious culture of the day the Roman church felt compelled to up her stock price in the eyes of the acolytes, if you will, to be basically on par, as far as adoration goes, in the eyes of the pagans for the purposes of evangelism. Which, of course, led to Roman Christians ending up giving her “hyper dulia”, as if that isn’t worship in a practical sense. Mary, in effect, became a virtual goddess.

    This is Jesus’ mother. Do you think He is indifferent to your attitude towards her? If you do, then you might not be taking Jesus’ sacred humanity into account sufficiently.

    If an actual Mary existed, I take my hat off to her. But I do not consider the Roman Catholic Mary to be the real Mary.

    But that’s between me and Jesus and Mary. Thanks for your concern.

  45. 45
    T_Paz says:

    If it is all Mary’s chromosomes, then in what way is Jesus the Son of God?
    __________________________________________________

    You don´t know what was specifically the original sin.

    If you know that you would understand that Jesus is Son of God and Son of Man too literally.

    To understand what was specifically the original sin you have to find out why God differenciates between clean and unclean animals in Genesis?

    All is connected with original sin. If you know what was original sin you will discover the following.

    1.-Everybody comes from Adam and Eve but there was not incest at the beginning.

    2.-Why do catholics know that Mary is Virgin before and AFTER the birh of Jesus.

    3.-Why do catholic say that Mary is Inmaculate.

    4.-How enter carnivorism in the world.

    5.-How enter the death in the world.

    6.-What was specifically the prohibition related with the tree of good and evil.

    7.-Why do we find so many “sub-human” species in fossils?

    8.-Who are the Son of Gods and the son of Men?

    9.-Why you have to eat the meat and the blood of Jesus Christ in the mass.

    10.-Why did God destroy the first humankind with a water deluge.

    11.-What does mean that we have been adopted by God.

    12.- The strage sentence in Genesis 6 “When human beings began to increase in number on the earth and daughters were born to them”

    13.-Why did God say in Genesis 6,3 “3 And the Lord said, My spirit shall not always strive with man, for that he also is flesh: yet his days shall be an hundred and twenty years”

    14.-Why there is a fire deluge in the end times.

    And much more things.

    There is one thing – a teological hypothesis- that explains all these things in relation with the original sin.

    That is the reason Why I think I am not wrong because in science the stronger is theory if with the less possible hypothesis you can explain the most of the effects.

    But believe me. To discover that you wil have to start with the clean/unclean animals question.

    It is simple. Why does God differenciate clean and unclean animals? God loves the life and asked Now to keep both kinds alive, but at the same time He asked Noe to introduce 7 pairs of clean animas ( 7, number of perfection as 7 seven was the first week of time) but only one pair for unclean animals.

    How come that could be clean and unclean animals after the original sin?

    Come one. Its a simple question. As catholic I can´t use the tradition or the magysterium but only the Bible to try to show you the secret hidden in Genesis.

    Well, let´s try. Excuse me if I soud provocative but I am spaniard and I do not master the english language.

    Clean and Unclean animals,

    when you have eliminated the impossible, whatever remains, however improbable, must be the truth?

    A traditionalist catholic.

  46. 46
    Mung says:

    tjguy:

    My point Mung, was simply that you need to read the verse in context.

    What verse?

    You wrote:

    He [Jesus] had to be made like His brothers in every way in order to redeem them from sin.

    Were you quoting scripture, or paraphrasing?

    Mung, what is your view?

    Do you believe in a Creator?

    Yes.

    For everything created by God is good, and nothing is to be rejected if it is received with gratitude;

    By faith we understand that the worlds were prepared by the word of God, so that what is seen was not made out of things which are visible.

    For when they maintain this, it escapes their notice that by the word of God the heavens existed long ago and the earth was formed out of water and by water,

    And many others, of course.

    If so, is He still creating or is He allowing life to go on now by itself?

    Is that an either or question? Is one true and the other then necessarily false?

    2 in these last days has spoken to us in His Son, whom He appointed heir of all things, through whom also He made the world. 3 And He is the radiance of His glory and the exact representation of His nature, and upholds all things by the word of His power. When He had made purification of sins, He sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high, 4 having become as much better than the angels, as He has inherited a more excellent name than they.…

    The only sense in which “without God” has any meaning is spiritual.

    Is God still creating in the sense of ex nihilo. Who knows. Let’s say I’m skeptical but open.

    Is God still forming? I think so. Philosophically I refuse to grant an inch of ground to the materialists/atheists/mechanists that they have not legitimately earned.

    Any view that has things “running down” rather than “sustained by God” is deeply suspect, imo.

    That’s just one reason I am so skeptical of the “genetic entropy” argument, among others, that grants to evolutionists their premises.

    Sure, I have disputes with YEC’s, but still…

    God Bless

  47. 47
  48. 48
    tragic mishap says:

    Acartia, I loled.

  49. 49
    Querius says:

    T_Paz@45

    These are all good questions, and their wonderful answers are in the Bible. Sadly, it’s late, I’m dizzy tired, and their are lots of questions . . .

    Notice all the separations in Genesis . . . light from dark, earth from water, clean from unclean, and so on.

    Sorry, I have to get to bed. Maybe tomorrow. 🙂

    -Q

  50. 50
    Axel says:

    Eric Anderson @43:

    One thing that alway amazes me about almost the whole of our Judaeo-Christian scriptures is the laconic, deadpan, one might almost say, stark, style in which it is written.

    In a way, it is just the ‘bare bones’ of narratives, from which it falls to us, Christians, to tease out sometimes the enormous implications, but almost always implications which give life and colour to the scenes and exchanges described.

    For example, there was no way that Jesus was going to discard his mother in the next life as a mere human sister by adoption into the Mystical Body of Christ, who had served her historical purpose as a sort of ‘broodmare’ of Jesus, the God/man.

    Moreover, it is an axiom of the faith that God matches the ends he has in mid with the most fitting means. And since Jesus was without sin, it would have been most fitting for Jesus’ salvific grace to have been applied to her at her conception, in readiness for her divine motherhood.

    Also, the extent of Mary’s suffering while finite, and however deep, an infinity away from her son’s, yet, in comparison with what we are able to suffer it would have been immense, incomparable. I feel sure she would have been tuned in to his beatific mystical experiences, such as his transfiguration and even his resurrection, and just as keenly, his sufferings and agonized forebodings. So, her stature would have had to be immense, unimaginable.

    I also suspect that, unlike we in our most painful crises, she, like her son, knew that his fate was sealed, and prayers would not avail; hey would both have to live through every moment of the long, drawn-out agony of pain, hate-filled, triumphalist mockery and humiliation, without the comfort of prayer-given hope of, at least, palliation.

    http://vaticaninsider.lastampa.....rio-33948/

    I can’t see a ceiling to the stature of Mary, but we know that wherever it rests, it can never approach the infinite stature of God. In one NDE, the person said she was as tall, through his eyes, as the Empire state building, but stretching from one end of the universe to the other, approaching the infinity of her divine Son, would have been as thankless a task as the frog (or should it be a flying fish) trying to reach an island, with each leap half the size of the previous one. Another way of looking at her stature is, ‘How long is a piece of string?’

    The stark narrative of the Annunciation of Jesus’ birth by the Angel Gabriel also invites, even begs, further reflection. He was one of the highest angels and had been made privy to the fact that God was to make one of his human creatures, in their current state, David’s words notwithstanding, CONSIDERABLY lower than the angels, the very mother of God, who was, himself, through her, to be born in time as a human being: true God, but also true man. And Gabriel was to be the messenger, the angel in both senses of the word, of the Annunciation.

    So, it wouldn’t have been just the grand, even possibly blase-sounding, annunciation from on high, as described, but he would have been possibly in greater awe than Mary and Joseph, with his greater knowledge of the whole scenario and God’s purpose at that time. Not to speak of his awe at the sovereignly egregious stature of the young woman who was to become the mother of the incarnate God.

    Nor could he fail to have been in awe of Mary and her role.

    These are just two examples out of innumerable instances of what one might extrapolate from the bare words of the texts of the Bible. Although I am not claiming them as more than examples of plausible, personal musings.

  51. 51
    Axel says:

    To me, Acartia_Bogart’s ‘mailman’ quip came across as a bit gross in the context, and lame in a rather childish way, but not in the least inspired by malice. I grew up an agnostic-Protestant, so I think see where he’s coming from.

    I also noticed in the army that the more childish the joke the greater the kick we got out of it – and I include myself.

    I know AB’s not being criticized for the shallow flippancy of his crack, but personally I think that it cried out not to be taken seriously AT ALL. Others maybe feel that Our Lady’s honour was in some degree at least, besmirched. I’m not saying I’m right. Just that I understand you can say something dumb and inappropriate without malice. And I’m not saying his critics are wrong. It’s a wonderfully rich world we inhabit in so many ways.

  52. 52
    Axel says:

    ‘Nor could he fail to have been in awe of Mary and her role. ‘

    Sorry for the tautology, immediately after the text above it.

  53. 53
    tjguy says:

    Mung writes:

    tjguy:

    My point Mung, was simply that you need to read the verse in context.

    What verse?

    Heb. 2:17

    You wrote:

    He [Jesus] had to be made like His brothers in every way in order to redeem them from sin.

    Were you quoting scripture, or paraphrasing?

    It was a rough paraphrase but I quoted v Heb. 2:14-19 in post 16 above.

    Would I be correct in assuming that you do NOT believe in the virgin birth? Was that the point of your original comment?

    You claim to believe in a Creator and you quoted passages of the Bible. But even though the Bible says He created the heavens and the earth in 6 days and then rested the 7th, you still think He might be creating ex nihilo today? I guess I’m confused about what you do and do not believe in the Bible, but whatever …..

    It’s not worth arguing about.

  54. 54
    Eric Anderson says:

    Axel @50:

    Thanks for your thoughts and the valiant effort to lay out some details. The question of exegesis is a very interesting issue.

    I take it from your discussion that the concept of the Immaculate Conception is in fact not a scriptural concept. Whether the extra-scriptural idea is correct or not is, of course, a matter for separate discussion.

    In a way, it is just the ‘bare bones’ of narratives, from which it falls to us, Christians, to tease out sometimes the enormous implications, but almost always implications which give life and colour to the scenes and exchanges described.

    I think I hear what you’re saying. I suppose on the other side of the coin some would argue that rather than us trying to tease out messages beyond the text, we should in fact refrain from trying to read too much between the lines and should not try too hard to tease out implications (that may or may not be there).

    Please note, I’m not suggesting any kind of literalism or that everything of importance was written and survived down through the ages. Quite the contrary. But some might recommend a certain caution against our tendency to sometimes see more than is there.

  55. 55
    Axel says:

    Absolutely. You make a crucial point. A free-for-all is potentially quite possible, and would, of course, be a sacriligious, not to say, farcical, abomination.

    So, to suggest, as you do, that due humility (understanding one’s limitations) and caution should be exercised, when reading between the lines, at least verges on understatement.

    However, our Christian heritage of such wisdom down the centuries is incredibly rich and compelling. I was quite pleased with myself fairly recently at my interpretation of the Parable of the Unjust Steward, however, and still view it as substantially correct.

    However, I came across another interpretation by a Protestant pastor, I believe, which, while congruent with mine, was significantly more insightful, I thought. I need to find it again, as perhaps through subliminal disappointment/pique, I can no longer remember its purport.

  56. 56
    Axel says:

    Briefly, my interpretation is that it was not even his steward’s shrewdness, as such, that his employer was commending, but, rather, primarily his purposefulness, his whole-heartedness, in knowing what he wanted and ‘going for it’.

    As a businessman, he wanted as his steward another man with business acumen, just as a bank manager doesn’t want to lend money to a painfully honest person who will never make a lot of money for the bank.

    On the contrary, he would far prefer to lend to a businessman ‘who’s been the round the block’ and some; and who looks as if he wouldn’t blench at cutting the odd corner.

    In the same way, Christians should make up their minds and stop havering; know what they want to commit to, and go all out for it. But we don’t. We’re at best in two minds much of the time.

    I’m not making any claims for myself in this regard, but how many Christians do you know who would prefer to be Lazarus, the beggar, to being the rich man at whose gate he used to sit?

    Of course, that is an extreme example, although it evidently wasn’t for Jesus – even though in actual encounters with suffering humanity by way of a particular person, he was the soul of compassion and understanding. Despite the fact that he always seemed to preach to the crowds in terms of fearsome absolutes.

    ‘For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled,’ Jesus declared, on one occasion, yet in effect he threw away the rule book in his exchange with the woman caught in adultery, having seen off her worthy accusers, by suggesting the one without sin should cast the first stone. This, despite, in determining to stone her, they had been acting fully in accordance with the Mosaic Law.

    Jesus then told her he didn’t accuse her either, and to go away and sin no more. No demand for an expression of contrition and declaration of a firm purpose of amendment (I’m not criticizing Catholic practice here).

    The reality is that, knowing what back-sliders we are, he always taught in absolutes, yet, although partly, admittedly because the people had been so ill-served by their religious leaders, he forgave them for their fecklessness – and ours, if it comes to that. I expect Jesus and Joseph would have been bad businessmen, and a pushover as employers of dithering workers. The obverse of the rich man and his dishonest, but very worldly-wise and purposeful steward.

    Those two actually personify the purposefulness of the large corporations, who will stop at nothing to get their way, when baulked – all in the interests of national security, you understand – and their commitment to go to the ends of the earth and spend whatever it takes, to turn a buck or a gazillion.

  57. 57
    Mung says:

    tjguy,

    Sure I accept the virgin birth. What I don’t accept is trying to make more of it than one ought.

    But even though the Bible says He created the heavens and the earth in 6 days and then rested the 7th, you still think He might be creating ex nihilo today?

    So you take the six days to be literal 24 hour days, but the seventh day, the day God rested, is not a literal 24 hour day? How does that work? Different words in the Hebrew?

    And here’s what I wrote, which you seem to have skipped over or misunderstood:

    “Is God still creating in the sense of ex nihilo. Who knows. Let’s say I’m skeptical but open.”

    I don’t know that the ex nihilo creation extends at all past the initial creation. See Gen 2:19 for example.

  58. 58
    Eric Anderson says:

    C’mon, Mung. Why don’t you go all the way! 🙂

    The “ex nihilo” idea isn’t exactly present in the Biblical text anyway. Right at the outset the second verse of Genesis says the earth “was without form and void” but it doesn’t say there was nothing material in existence.

    BTW, good point (and question) with respect to Genesis 2:19.

  59. 59
    Mung says:

    Hi Eric, ok, I will go all the way!

    I am highly skeptical of finding in the Biblical texts ideas that did not arrive on the scene until centuries later. Is “ex nihilo” one of them? I haven’t really studied it enough to say, to be honest.

    But really, would the original author(s) of Genesis even had the language to express the concept? Or is the concept something we are reading back into the text?

    Most Christians accept the idea of progressive revelation. So is it essential to Christian theology to find “ex nihilo” creation mentioned in Gen 1:1?

    I was looking for an online version of the Septuagint. Wanted to see how the text appeared in the Greek.

    And God formed yet farther out of the earth all the wild beasts of the field, and all the birds of the sky

    http://www.ccel.org/bible/brenton/Genesis/2.html

    Septuagint

  60. 60
    Querius says:

    Mung,

    This interlinear version of the Septuagint is terrific. Read about it here:
    http://www.apostolicbible.com/

    It’s word-for-word and includes Strong’s number above each one. I’ve gotten a lot out of it!

    -Q

  61. 61
    kairosfocus says:

    F/N: This text may be appropriate:

    >> Col 1:15 He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation. 16 For by[f] him all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—all things were created through him and for him. 17 And he is before all things, and in him all things hold together. 18 And he is the head of the body, the church. He is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, that in everything he might be preeminent. 19 For in him all the fullness of God was pleased to dwell, 20 and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether on earth or in heaven, making peace by the blood of his cross. [ESV] >>

  62. 62
    Mung says:

    tjguy, You take the six days to be literal 24 hour days, but the seventh day, the day God rested, is not a literal 24 hour day?

    Why not?

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