Sent to "The Star, Johannesburg" on Sat 02/10/2010 22:14, Published Tue Oct 5 2010, except for the sentence in blue.
We have a nice crop of responses to my letter of Sept 27 2010 criticising the Bible. How sad that the critics appear not to have read the "Good Book" itself!
Jaco Bruwer (Sept 29, "There's no reason to trash biblical explanation") and Niki Christie (Sept 30, "Being sure of what we hope for") imply that the "days" referred to in the Creation Myth are not 24-hour days but "ages".
Please read Genesis 1: It says the world was created in literal, 24-hour days, made clear by repeating "and there was evening, and there was morning" for each day. Why evening first? Because in those days (and still in Jewish tradition), the day was taken to start at sunset.
Daniel Spangenberg (Sept 29, "Confusing personal view with fact") can observe for himself that the earth did NOT arise in 144 hours by looking at geological processes, the speed of formation of elements in stars, and other natural phenomena. These have convinced scientists that the six-day creation story is just a myth. This is scientific fact, not just my opinion.
Jaco Bruwer agrees, saying "the earth's atmosphere cleaned up over millions of years".
Niki Christie says that it all has to start somewhere.
In a paragraph edited out of my original letter, I pre-empted this by saying: "If some god were the creator, who created the god? If that god was always there, why not cut out the middleman and accept that the universe itself was always there? The simpler explanation is the most likely, by Occam's Razor."
If Niki Christie would like examples of contradictions in the Bible, she should compare the two creation sequences in Genesis 1 and 2, and the differing stories in Matthew and Luke about the birth of Jesus and particularly their radically conflicting genealogies of Jesus. I can expand on this in a later letter.
My point is that the Bible is not true. Hence it is not possible that it is the work of a truthful divine creator.
Conclusion: The Bible is fiction steeped in the mythology of its time. It is no more reliable a handbook –on god or anything else– than Grimm's Fairy Tales.