Most helpful critical review
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Review of the review
on June 19, 2010
Based upon the author's review of his own work (Author Rodney Whitefield; reviewer R Whitefield publisher) I have no intention of reading this book. But for those who are considering reading it, I ask you to first consider the following:
Normally when one offers a preview of an argument that they intend to use, they offer up examples of their strongest points, but what Whitefield offers up are trivial straw men; easily blown away by the slightest breeze of reasoned thought. For example:
1. Genesis One does not say that the Earth is "young," i.e., about 10,000 years old.
Of course it doesn't, but no one claims that it does. The methodology used to determine the Biblical age of the earth is to tally up the ages given at various points in the Old Testament until they overlap other known dates; such as Nebuchadnezzar's Babylon. The first of those genealogies does not occur until Genesis chapter 5, where we get approximately 1600 years from Adam to the son's of Noah.
2. The translation chosen for the Hebrew word "yom" is shown to not determine the age of the Earth, or the age of the universe. It is also shown that the time between the first "And God said" of Genesis 1:3 and the completion stated in Genesis 2:1 is not limited to 144 hours. An interval of 144 hours (six 24-hour days) is not a required consequence of interpreting the creative "yom" as six 24-hour days. When this fact is understood, many of the often encountered arguments are found to be pointless exercises.
Actually, the word 'yom' behaves about the same way as the English word 'day.' Yes, yom can mean a broad period of time or a calendar day or when the sun is in the sky, just as the word day. But when you attach numbers or times of you eliminate the broad and indefinite period of time definition. 'Back in my day we didn't have a machine to do that,' suggests a time of years. 'Since we didn't have a machine, it took us five days to do it,' can only mean 120 hours or significant samples thereof. In like regard, the use of evening and morning as well as a numerical count limits the meaning of 'yom' to 24 hours or a portion thereof.
And as for his arguments about the size of the Biblical Hebrew vocabulary, it is spurious. Sure, the average collegiate dictionary defines about 160,000 words, but how many of them do you use? On average; 25,000. How many words does it take to have a comfortable fluency in English? About 10,000. Mister Whitefield's review consists of a mere 633 words and about 200 unique words, so do we disregard it because it uses such an infinitesimally small sample of a dictionary? Of course not! He uses sufficient words to say what he wants to say. In like regard, Genesis chapter 1 manages to convey what it needs to through the use of fewer than 100 words.