Why Bother Being a YEC? Part 1: Aged Days and Some Significant Gaps

Last week I explained what it means to be a YEC and how you can be a YEC without giving up science. However a larger question remains; why would anyone bother becoming a YEC at all? It certainly would be easier not to be one. Young Earth Creationism carries a lot of social stigma along with it, even among Christians. Also, though it is very possible to be a YEC and believe in science it is certainly not the easiest position to take. Why not just accept what most scientists say about the age of the Earth and evolution? Plenty of famous and productive Christians have without compromising their faith. So why bother?

In the last two posts on this subject I have been trying to speak to everyone, from Christians, to atheists, to Buddhists, to agnostics. However when it comes to answering this question I’m afraid what I have to say will likely only be relevant to Christians. As far as I can tell there is no particularly good reason for an atheist to become a YEC other than the fact that I believe it is true. Because the creation of this world (whichever way it happened) was an event in the unobserved past I can’t exactly perform some experiment or find some evidence that would definitively prove to you that the Earth is only thousands of years old, just as you could not definitively prove the opposite to me. Members of a few other religions might have theological reasons to believe in a young Earth, but the arguments I am about to make have no relevance to their own beliefs. I can’t even make a case for why a Muslim or a Jew should be a YEC, even though we share the same scriptures when it comes to creation. That’s because my primary arguments have to do with Jesus himself. If you are not a Christian then perhaps you will find these next two posts entertaining. If you are a Christian then I hope that you will consider my words and decide for yourselves whether they have merit.

Let’s begin.

For Christians the idea of all life evolving from a single life form and the Earth being billions of years old (for the sake of saving space, I’m just going to refer to this idea as Evolutionary Theory, though as I said in my last post YECs believe in evolution also) contains a problem within it. That problem is that Genesis claims that the Earth is only thousands of years old and that all life was created in an advanced state over a period of six days. There are three general approaches to solving this problem. The first is to reject Evolutionary Theory as being false and to believe that the Genesis account is true; this is the Young Earth Creationist approach. The second is to reject Genesis as being an accurate account of history and to accept Evolutionary Theory as being true; the only difference is that you believe that God started Evolution on its course, and has been watching over and guiding its progress. We’ll call this approach Theistic Evolution. The third approach is a mixture of the previous two–namely attempting to interpret Genesis in such a way that it is still a true account of creation but also does not disagree with Evolution Theory. We’ll call this approach Compromise. Let’s take closer look at it.

The Compromise approach takes on many names and is fairly popular in Christian circles. At its most basic and un-reflected upon form it’s just a general idea that the Bible is true but Evolution is true as well, and they’re sure it all works out somehow. If it comes up in conversation you’ll likely hear phrases such as “God works in mysterious ways”, “Who are we to say how it happened? God can do anything.”, and “I can’t wait until we get to Heaven and can ask God how it happened.” Still it would be extremely unfair to paint everyone who holds the Compromise approach in this same light. Some have really thought about it, and have come up with some solutions to the apparent inconsistency between Genesis and Evolutionary Theory. One solution is the Day Age Theory which states that each “day” of creation was actually a period of millions and millions of years. Each creation day is just a period of time in which God, through evolution, created higher and higher forms of life. Others hold to the Gap Theory which says that there are large gaps of millions or billions of years between certain parts of the creation account. Where those gaps are depends on whether you believe in Pre-time Gap, Ruin-Reconstruction Gap, Modified Gap, Soft Gap, or Late Gap. I’m not going to go into all of them here, but you can look them up if you’re interested. Historically the most popular Gap Theory has been Ruin-Reconstruction. This theory puts a gap of billions of years between the first two verses of Genesis, which I will quote here. “In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth (Genesis 1:1). And the earth was without form, and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters (Genesis 1:2).” The idea is that the first verse depicts God creating all the heavens and the Earth. Then life, under God’s watchful eye, evolved on Earth. Billions and billions of years past while life developed, and the different geological epochs played themselves out on the Earth. Life evolved through the invertebrates, the dinosaurs, the first mammals, and finally to the pre-humans apes. Then Satan rebelled against God, there was war in heaven, and all life was wiped out in a terrible catastrophe. After that verse two happens, and the rest of Genesis follows it. God recreates everything in six days and history goes on.

So those are the Compromise positions in a nutshell. Unfortunately they both have some big problems.

Let’s look at Day Age Theory first. As a reminder, Day Age believers say that each day of creation was actually a period of millions of years. That would be fine and dandy except that the theory still fails to bring Genesis and Evolutionary Theory into harmony. The problem is the order of creation. Genesis says that Earth was created before the sun or the stars, the oceans before the land, fruit trees before animals, marine mammals before land mammals, and birds before land reptiles. Evolutionary theory states that the stars and sun were created before the Earth, land before the oceans, animals before fruit trees, land mammals before marine mammals, and land reptiles before birds. So even if each day really represented a period of millions of years in which the life forms created evolved they would still be all out of order and unable to mesh with Evolutionary theory. Some Day Age proponents have tried to fix this by claiming that the “days” overlapped in time. Unfortunately in order to have the “days” get anywhere close to matching Evolutionary theory you have to stretch them or condense them in ridiculously arbitrary ways; for example, Day Five (in which all oceanic life is created) would have to stretch from Day Two through day Six and Day Three would extend from Day Two to Day Five. And what do you do about the stars, which aren’t supposed to be created until Day Four and Evolutionary Theory would place as being older than the Earth, which is created on Day 1? It’s at this point that you start to ask yourself why you’re bothering with this at all. You might as well just give up and join the Theistic Evolutionists and say that Genesis is not a true account of creation, or join the YECs and say that Evolutionary Theory is incorrect. Continuing to try to make the two systems work together by rejiggering the numbers will never work in any meaningful way.

So what about Gap theory? Well, quite frankly, I think the problems with it are self-explanatory. Namely that there is absolutely nothing in scripture that would lead someone to the conclusion that the vast majority of Earth’s history occurred between verses 1 and 2. Nowhere is there any indication that this is so. If you can put such a large gap there then you can just as easily put them anywhere. Why stop at Evolutionary theory? We could make Christianity compatible with so many world religions using gaps! Why we could say that all the stuff recorded in the Hindu holy texts occurred between the first and second verses of Job, and then shove some Greek mythology into Leviticus while we’re at it. It’s entirely arbitrary. Beyond that it suffers from the same problem of Day Age Theory; namely, the problem of the sun and stars being created on Day Four of creation, a creation that supposedly happened after billions of years of life on Earth. Why did God wait so long to create the sun and stars, if that’s the case? Did the Earth just float through a black void for 4 billion plus years? Was it warmed and lit by some mysterious unknown force? Or did the sun and stars exist and just get wiped out completely with everything else? How big was this catastrophe anyway?

Maybe if you work hard you can find a way to make these Compromise theories work, by why bother? Why not just join the Theistic Evolutionists or the YECs? I mean from the secular point of view you aren’t winning any points. Who is really impressed by these theories anyway? Scientists who hold to Evolutionary Theory and Theistic Evolutionists are going to find your position as ridiculous as they find the YECs, and vice versa. By trying to make such completely opposing views of Earth’s origins conform to each other they end up failing to be true to Genesis or Evolutionary Theory.

So it comes down to the other two approaches. Either Theistic Evolution is correct, and Genesis is not meant to be a true account of history, or the Young Earth Creationists are correct and Evolutionary Theory is wrong. I’ll talk about that on Wednesday, and get to the crux of why I bother with being a YEC.


About Mark Hamilton

I am, in no particular order, a nerd, an aspiring writer, a Christian, an aspiring filmmaker, an avid reader, a male, a YEC, a GM, and a twenty something. I like learning how things are made, finding out how to do things from scratch, and I you can find more of my writing at thepagenebula.wordpress.com

Posted on November 12, 2012, in Apologetics, Christianity, Young Earth Creationism. Bookmark the permalink. 30 Comments.

  1. That one guy in Mexico

    What I want to hear is your take on how we can see distant stars if they were created on the fourth day. Could the earth have been created in an isolated bubble of space-time exactly four light-days in radius?

  2. Well, guy in Mexico, that is a good question. It seems possible to me that this could be the case (if I understand what you’re saying at all). Still I have to admit that the problem of distant starlight is the one that bothers me the most. There are some possible solutions to the problem, however. The primary thing to remember from scripture is that God made the stars to “serve as signs to mark sacred times, and days and years, and let them be lights in the vault of the sky to give light on the earth” (Genesis 1:14-15). In order for the stars to perform their purpose they would have to be visable from Earth. So God must have used some method to bring their light to us. A “space time bubble” is one theory. Another is that our Galaxy may sit at the center of a huge cluster of galaxies, and if this is so the gravity produced by all this mass (which would have been even more significant in the past, as the universe has expanded since creation) could have caused a time dilation effect.

    It’s also important to know that naturalistic scientists also have a problem when it comes to light travel time: the Horizon Problem.

  3. The YEC worldview is largely based upon Genesis. The Pentateuch has been shown to be fiction. Thus, your position is untenable.

    • Please explain, elaborate, or reference your sources.

      • Why? If you had any intellectual integrity you would search for your self, your whole world view depends on it and I am not going to bother with anyone who considers YEC the last word.

      • Well apparently you are bothering with me. You did come here and leave a comment, after all. You can’t act surprised when you show up and make audacious claims without providing support that I might ask you to show your sources.

        As for my intellectual integrity, I did take the liberty of searching for myself. What I found was a great deal of debate about authorship, historicity, and interpretation. It seems that a lot of people believe a great many things. What I didn’t find was anyone stating that the Pentateuch “has been shown to be fiction.” I don’t even know how a historian could do such a thing, given what I know about how history works. I could see a historian saying that the Pentateuch is probably unreliable, or likely myth, but I don’t know how they could claim that they have shown that it is fiction.

        So please contribute something to the discussion besides insults and claims. If you find that you’re incapable then don’t bother leaving more comments, as I’ll just delete them.

  4. Prof Ze’ev Herzog, Prof, Israel Finkelstein, and any number of archaeologists have stated the Exodus is fiction.
    I estimate that you are reasonably intelligent enough to put two and two together and extrapolate from here, yes?

    • Well Prof. Lawrence H. Schiffman, Dr. David Lewis, Egyptologist Ahmed Osman, and archeologists David Rohl and Peter James disagree. The primary conflict seems to be as follows: skeptics like Finkelstein and Herzog date the Exodus to around 1300 BC and find that the Egyptian records of that period lack any reference to the Jews. However this dating is in contention, with many scholars arguing that the Exodus, if it occurred, would have happened circa 1450 BC. That’s just one part of the argument, but the point is that there is an argument, and reasonable and informed people can come to the conclusion that the Exodus may have happened.

      • Schiffmman is a specialist in the Dead Sea Scrolls.

        I could find no reference that Osman is an archaeologist. Do you have one, please?

        Rohl seems to be in a similar vein as Osman, his hypothesis about the flood and Eden have no peer recognition as far as I could ascertain.
        James is another.

        Even if we were to accept the Exodus did occur only then do your problems begin.
        Logistics for one thing, and of course, the nonsense of the biblical accounts concerning the miracles etc.

        And if it occurred around 1450? Then What? Now you are faced with a whole different set of problems as this date does not tie in with biblical accounts and timelines, does it?

        And how would you account for the Egyptian occupation?

        but the point is that there is an argument, and reasonable and informed people can come to the conclusion that the Exodus may have happened.

        Well, let’s be honest, those you have listed can only be considered reasonable in a similar vein as Albright was regarding biblical archaeology.

        I feel you are going to have to a lot better than this , Mark, before your argument gains any respect and doesn’t come across as apologetic.

      • Here’s Osman’s Wikipedia page. He has a masters degree in Egyptology, and has written several books on the subject of the chronology of ancient Egypt.


        And yes, Schiffman is an a professor who specializes in the dead sea scrolls. Is he not allowed to have informed opinions on the history of the people who wrote those scrolls? Is he disqualified somehow? Is his field not archeology?

        As far as Osman, I didn’t reference him in regards to his theories on Eden but rather in regards to his “New Chronology” which, while unconventional, has it’s supporters and adherents among archeologists and Egyptologists.

        And if the Exodus occurred in the 15th century then it lines up much better with our current knowledge of ancient Egypt, in particular with the recorded exodus of the Hyksos people from Egypt.

        And there are others (like archaeologists Anson Rainey, Bryant Wood, John Bimson, and Randall Price) who are critical of the theory that the Exodus could not have occurred. My point is that you asserted that Exodus has been definitively shown to be a complete fiction. It was implied that this had been proven so conclusively that I should abandon my faith based on that evidence alone. I don’t believe this is the case. It seems to me, based on the evidence at hand, that a reasonable person can believe that the Exodus could have happened; especially in light of the fact that many highly educated individuals who have been trained in archeology and Egyptology believe similarly.

  5. Sorry, I missed this comment. Yes, the Wiki link was the one I read. I apologies, it did state he has a Master in Egyptology.
    Sadly some of his other theories are so far out ther I am surprised that even you countenance them.
    If you accept his Egyptology creds. then why not accept his views on Jesus and Joshua?
    He doesn’t strike mas a reliable scholar, and certainly most of his peers seem to consider he is not even worth considering.
    So from a general scholarly perspective, he would not be counted among those worth a second glance.

    The point is, while there are others that are critical of Finkelstein, Herzog etc, the overriding consensus is that it is all fiction. And this includes Rabbis and quite a number of Christians.

    As far as I have been able to ascertain the dissenting voices all have a religious inclination.

    Certainly, there is not a scrap of archaeological info to defend the Exodus – and boy oh boy have they searched, so I would be interested on what grounds you consider the Exodus an historical event?

    And if it occurred in the 15th century then just who was the Pharaoh?

    • I have yet to see proof that the “overriding consensus is that it is all fiction”. What would constitute an overriding consensus? 60%? 80%? How would we even find out if we had one? Does someone do a regular survey asking scholars what they believe on the subject?

      But for my purposes, this is moot. I’ve pointed out many sholars who disagree with the position that Exodus is merely fiction. They are intelligent people who are involved in the field. Because of this, and other things, I believe it’s not at all impossible to be a reasonable, educated person and to come to the conclusion that the Exodus isn’t fictional.

      • Sadly, intelligence is no respecter of religious of cultural indoctrination, which we are all at risk from an early age.
        Many brilliant minds are still able to compartmentalize religion.and function normally.
        If either of us was swapped at birth with Muslim parents we would have grown up believing whole-heartedly in Mohammed and Islam.

        Your acceptance of the Exodus is based on what archaeological evidence?
        This is the question I pose.
        If the likes of Finkelstein etc ( the consensus) have been unable to show any evidence, including settlement patterns and any evidence of conquest, let alone the demographic issues, where do you think those that consider the Exodus historical fact derive their evidence from?

        John Zande has recently completed a number of excellent posts on this issue and has recently wound up a project that entailed communicating with a large number of Israeli archaeologists and Rabbis.
        Would you be interested in reading the posts? I will supply links if you wish?

      • You can give me links if you like, but I’m quite familiar with his posts. And you can claim if you like that all intellectuals who disagree with your position do so out of indoctrination, but that’s all it remains: a claim. I could argue that you and Finkelstein have been culturaly indoctrinated against the idea that the Exodus could have happened. Neither claim gets us much of anywhere.

      • Right there, is where the intransigence lies.
        Sadly, your bedrock is faith. Mine is evidence.
        Archaeological investigation has been conducted in the Sinai etc for decades.
        Not a single shred of evidence has ever been produced. Not one piece.
        And it is not as if the Israelis have no vested interest, now is it?
        If all but ultra orthodox Rabbis also concur with the Finkelstein view ( which is the consensus by miles) and it is taught in state schools across the board as myth do you not believe it is time to declare this game over?

        It does not necessarily preclude a god, but is does cast huge doubt upon a revealed god.
        Surely you would want to know the truth?
        How, under the circumstances do you assuage doubt?

      • I disagree that there hasn’t been a shred of evidence. For example, this link certianly makes a fair try at gathering the evidence in favor of an Exodus. You can disagree with his conclusions and interpretations, but it still more than a “shred” of evidence.


        I don’t put much trust in archeology, to be honest. Theories are constantly overturned, and all we have to work with is buried remnants. It isn’t like the boiling point of water, for example. If we had an argument about that we could go and test it. But archeologists will dig up a pot and argue for decades about where exactly it came from and at what time. Logic and my own life experiences have convinced me to a high degree that the Christian God exists, and that much if not all of scripture has it’s orgins in Him. So when archeologists quibble, I naturally put my bets on the side that favors the scriptures. If it turns out I’m wrong I will not be too disappointed.

        Now your own life experiences, and your won philosophy, have led you to believe that the idea of miracles and actually believing such old texts is ridiculous. Naturally you side with those who believe the text is a myth. I can’t blame you for that: we should choose the side that makes the most logical sense to us. The simple fact is that I don’t believe in God based on archeological proofs, but rather on experience backed up by logical proofs.

      • While the link you offer provides some fascinating info it doesn’t address all of the argument.
        And this is not the main thrust of Finkelstein;s argument either, although he does agree with the consensus of Egyptologists.
        Finkelstein’s archaeology focused largely on the Sinai and Israel as I initially stated, taking into consideration the places mentioned in the Exodus account.
        There is no evidence whatsoever to suggest any settlement, temporary or otherwise.
        There is no evidence to suggest a major conquest.
        aside from the fact that the whole area was under Egyptian control and passage would have been well nigh impossible.
        And how did they wrest control from the Egyptians?

        There are no records of Hebrew slaves.
        The simple demographics of such a population move would have left the country bereft of up to 30% of its population.An untenable situation that would have likely caused economic collapse.
        No such evidence is reflected in Egyptian records.

        One of the things those that dismiss the views of Finkelstein Herzog and more pointedly, almost all mainstream Rabbis is motivation.

        The Moses story is crucial to the foundation of Judaism so why would they wish to rubbish thousands of years of history?
        To confine their ‘birthright’ to the scrapheap of myth?

        On the face of it, they have the most to lose.
        And it isn’t as if they have not looked for evidence of the ”Title Deeds” to the Promised Land as they were Promised by Yahweh.
        And yet they have found nothing.
        Why would they admit to this if it were not true?
        Why not merely say they don’t know?
        Are you suggesting a conspiracy?
        So why, in your view, would they deny the very bedrock of their culture?

        I can’t blame you for that: we should choose the side that makes the most logical sense to us

        I prefer to follow where evidence leads and leave supernatural stuff at the door.
        A literal reading of the bible is nonsensical simply because much of it can be demonstrated to be fallacious.
        That Moses wrote the Pentateuch for example.
        A ridiculous and wholly untrue assertion.
        To suggest otherwise clearly shows a level of inculcation that sadly ( in this day and age) attracts ridicule, and it is blatantly irresponsible to teach this to children and is nothing more than telling lies.

      • I disagree that such things can be demonstrated to be fallacious. An absence of evidence is not evidence of absence neccesarily, and without a time machine to directly observe the period in question these things can’t be “demonstrated” one way or another.

        Also I find your statement about your preference to “follow where the evidence leads and leave supernatural stuff at the door” to be interesting. What if evidence led to a supernatural conclusion? Why does following the evidence neccesitate ruling out the supernatural from the onset?

        It’s funny that you bring up Moses writing the Pentateuch, for example. I don’t particularly care either way, but I see no reason that Moses couldn’t have been the author. People may disagree but, again, without a time machine we can’t definitively demonstrate one way or the other. All we can do is theorize, and we take our own worldviews and preconceptions with us when we do so.

  6. I disagree that such things can be demonstrated to be fallacious. An absence of evidence is not evidence of absence necessarily, and without a time machine to directly observe the period in question these things can’t be “demonstrated” one way or another.

    If there is no evidence whatsoever to even hint at what you believe concerning the exodus then what do you base this belief upon?
    The bible?
    Much of this can be demonstrated to be fallacious ( and it can) why would you still believe?
    Are you not a seeker of truth, or have you already decided what it is and refuse to re-examine your belief ?

    Also I find your statement about your preference to “follow where the evidence leads and leave supernatural stuff at the door” to be interesting. What if evidence led to a supernatural conclusion? Why does following the evidence necessitate ruling out the supernatural from the onset?

    No evidence has ever led to a supernatural conclusion. Furthermore, as we are discussing claimed past supernatural events then one can safely conclude that up to now the evidence presented clearly rules out the supernatural. If one were to dispute this then one might as well conclude that Santa Claus could well be real, especially as there is evidence that the cherry and the mince pie are consumed.

    It’s funny that you bring up Moses writing the Pentateuch, for example. I don’t particularly care either way, but I see no reason that Moses couldn’t have been the author. People may disagree but, again, without a time machine we can’t definitively demonstrate one way or the other. All we can do is theorize, and we take our own worldviews and preconceptions with us when we do so.

    Sadly, we now reach a point where your inculcated intransigence rears it’s ugly head once again.
    To suggest that Moses was the author, whether you care or not, is indicative that you really , don’t care about evidence as you have already decided that whatever evidence is presented you will simply dismiss it should it conflict with your preconceived worldview.
    This is the difference between us.
    Your response also has a slightly condescending air about it.
    It is fruitless to mention the obvious reasons why Moses was not the author of the Pentateuch ( and your tone suggests that you already know ) and one can only draw the conclusion that you are not, in fact , interested in the truth.
    This does not mean you are not entitled to your opinion, of course not, as are we all, but we are not entitled to our own facts.

    • I’m pretty interested in truth, I just find your confidence astounding. You claim that the Bible can be demonstrated to be fallacious, which I find to be an incredible statement. How would you even do such a thing? I’m fascinated, and since you claim you can do it, please, do so.

      Also you state the no evidence has ever led to a supernatural conclusion. How do you know that? Take this anecdote, for example. My grandmother told me how an angel came to her and told her that her recently born son was dead. She had finished going through labor a few hours before, and had twins, one boy and one girl. She was in a hospital room alone, recovering, when this being of light came to her and told her that her son was dead. A few minutes later my grandfather came into the room to tell her the bad news: her son really was dead. Now there are several different conclusions we can take from this evidence: either an angel (or some other supernatural entity) really did come to her, or she was hallucinating and just happened to come up with an idea that was correct, or she is a liar, etc. What reason do you have to believe that the supernatural explanation must not be true? It seems to me that you dismiss supernatural explanations out of hand; after all, I imagine that you would be far more likely to believe that my grandmother was a liar or crazy than an angel actually visited her, but mostly because you don’t believe angels exist. I know my grandmother, and she has no history of mental illness and wouldn’t lie to save her own life.

      Finally, I like how you can’t be bothered to explain the “obvious” reasons why Moses couldn’t be the author of the Pentateuch.

      • Finally, I like how you can’t be bothered to explain the “obvious” reasons why Moses couldn’t be the author of the Pentateuch.

        Sorry, I presumed you would have known the obvious reasons why he couldn’t have been the author.
        Every interested party I have ever come across who has read the bible properly knows the reasons.
        You are the first who has hinted you are ignorant of the reasons.
        So let me make sure. Are you telling me you do not know, or have not heard any reasons why? If so I will most certainly explain. Be happy to, in fact,and this will be a perfect example of the fallacious nature of the bible, as well.

        I will address the rest of the comment tomorrow, it is very late down here.

      • The simple fact is that no, I can’t say off the top of my head why Moses couldn’t be the author of the Pentatuech. As I said, its no real problem if he isn’t. But I couldn’t say why.

      • I find this disappointing, Mark, especially as you are a writer.

        You are obviously aware of the term ”written in the third person.”

        Without trying to be condescending in the least may I suggest you have a quick flit through the Pentateuch?

        Or simply have a squizz at the first few verses of Deuteronomy.

  7. or….

    “So Moses the servant of the lord died and He (i.e. God) buried Him and there arose not a prophet since in Israel like unto Moses.” (Deuteronomy 34:5-10)

    • I can’t think of anyone who has ever claimed that Moses wrote that section. I certianly don’t. And I’m afraid I don’t know enough about the literature or recorded history of people from that place and that time period to be able to discern whether a person writing in the third person would be normal or very strange.

      • So you are not, in point of fact, saying the Pentateuch was written by Moses, because it is largely written in the third person.
        This is what you are telling me?

      • No, I’m saying that the fact that it was written in the third person doesn’t tell us anything unless we know whether that was normal or abnormal for the time period.

      • So why would he write in the third person, unless he was writing fiction?

        You are a writer, you know the rules. Why are you behaving so obtusely?.
        Furthermore who wrote the parts after his death?

        Are you going to exercise critical thought or continue to trot out the apologetic, literalist line?

      • I’m excercising critical thought. I think it’s you who is failing to get my point.

        I am a writer, But I’m not a ancient Israelite, or even an ancient Middle Easterner. I have no idea what their writing conventions were like, or what was normal for them. Because of this I can’t say whether writing about yourself in the third person would be odd or perfectly normal. Even today I can imagine someone writing about themselves in the third person if they were trying to lay down an impersonal history that they just happened to be a part of. I don’t think the concept of a first person narrative even developed until around St. Augustine’s time.

        As far as who wrote the parts after his death, I’d imagine it would be Aaron, or Joshua, or even just a scribe or assistant. It’s not exactly a smoking gun right there.

  8. http://people.opposingviews.com/jews-believe-wrote-bible-6068.html

    Distinctions among Hebrew Bible authors were painstakingly analyzed over the past several centuries. But in 2011, Israeli researchers created a computer algorithm that was able to perform the same type of analysis in minutes. Though it made some corrections to what scholars generally accepted about who wrote which passages, the computer program reached essentially the same conclusion as the scholars: The Bible was the work of many human writers, each with his own point of view. That human beings wrote the Hebrew Bible is generally accepted as fact today. But the question of whether the words of the book are also the words of God channeled through human hands remains a question of faith.

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