My apologies for not getting back to you earlier. I completely forgot that I had a discussion going in this thread. So first, let me say that the author of Genesis almost certainly believed that what he was writing actually happened. He also almost certainly understood the poetic implications of the text. Perhaps he thought of it in the same way as American's view the poem "Paul Revere's Ride" - a poetic interpretation of real events. Because of these poetic devices, the author also would have understood that far more important than outlining the origin of our universe was the theological implications of who God is, and what his relationship to humanity meant. But I will agree that the author did believe it happened as written.
However, this does not then logically follow that other events such as the resurrection can also be interpreted metaphorically. The author of Genesis was compiling hundreds (perhaps even thousands) of years of oral tradition. The poetic nature attests to this oral tradition, whether those who heard itbelieved it or not. The resurrection account has no such problem. It existed as an oral creed earlier than 35 AD, and committed to paper only a few short decades later, still within the lifetime of the alleged event itself. As such, it does not bear any poetic markers that would imply a figurative interpretation. Furthermore, at least one of the authors (Paul) makes the declaration that Jesus appeared before him post-mortem. Again there is no indication that Paul meant this in a figurative sense, but rather a very real and literal sense.
Therefore we cannot simply say "resurrection is impossible therefore Jesus' resurrection must be figurative". We can say Creation in Genesis bears poetic markers. Before science observed evolution there was no reason not to think the Creation account was accurate. Afterwards, there's no reason to think that evolution is incompatible with God. But we cannot do the same with the resurrection. It is described as a literal event. You either accept it as true, or the authors were wrong/mistaken/misinformed/lying/etc. There is zero scope for figurative explanations.
Again, apologies for the lateness of replying. I hope this is of help to explain my position better
Pa, except- according to Modern Scholarship- Genesis(1-3) Priestly doctrine is not understood as a literal creation story of how the world came to be, Genesis 1 contains priestly knowledge in its purest form. What the Priestly doctrine is trying to point out is the importance of the Sabbath, it is being taught that the Sabbath has existed since the beginning of time; therefore, G-d created the Sabbath for a day of rest and so you should too (type of thing) according to modern scholars that is the whole point of Chapter 1 in Genesis.
Modern scholarship would then connect(infer) That Paul being Jewish before he created Christianity suggests fairly consistently and confidently that he would of known that Genesis 1 was used as a priestly text to teach the purpose of the Sabbath.
Just a (respectful) suggestion, in the end it is your call of course. You could purchase the book How to Read the Bible by James Kugel. It is the "go to" for how modern biblical scholars interpret the OT. It will give guidelines of how to apply understandings in a way that match the scholars..
Edited by Sherapy, 14 September 2013 - 06:03 PM.