More objections from adherents of Biblical literalist creationism to my recent posts on the subject have been coming in. Some are thoughtful and raise subtle distinctions. As a Facebook friend writes:
I just wanted to register the fact, without rancor, that I am a “naive Biblical literalist” myself. As a matter of fact, it sort of sounds like a lot of Jews are too. And there’s a difference between “Biblical literalism” and “sola scriptura” or “soul compentency” or Scottish common sense philosophy (or “any milkmaid could understand it perfectly”).
Did not the Lubavitcher Rebbe insist on the “literalness” of the creation account in Genesis? In fact, didn’t he insist that the sun moves around the earth?
As a Gentile who has had a long interest in the Jewish Scriptures, who has visited Israel, and loves the Jewish people and supports Israel in whatever small capacity I am able, I found your article very interesting.
I’ve always assumed that Genesis is recording real history from the time I was first taught the stories as a young boy. I always accepted that G-d is real, that He speaks to people, has a plan for this world and made a promise to Abraham that is irrevocable. I guess that is why I also support the creationist position but I notice that you say that is a naïve position. So, I am very interested to understand how the Jewish rabbis interpret Genesis and what I should be thinking about this issue. If Genesis is not literal, does that mean that we should no longer consider Noah, Abraham, Isaac, Jacob or Joseph as historic figures (forgive me if I spelt them wrong)? Does that mean that G-d’s promise to Abraham never happened and the Jewish people never entered Egypt? I’m interested to understand.