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Georges Cuvier And The Use Of Scripture In Geology

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Chapter Summary

This chapter describes how Georges Cuvier employed the Bible in his geology. It explores three claims. These are: that Cuvier treated the Bible as any other book; that Cuvier used the documentary hypothesis of higher Bible criticism, and that Cuvier tried to separate professional geology from scriptural or flood geology and did not use Bible passages as justification for scientific knowledge. The chapter theses are: (i) that Cuvier treated the Bible as a book with divine authority; (ii) that he did not accept higher biblical criticism, and (iii) that he used Bible texts in geology as well as in natural history and history of civilization, but that he was not a scriptural geologist because his usage was qualified by Augustine?s principle of accommodation. Cuvier?s assessment of knowledge about ancient civilizations excludes the historical books in the Old Testament such as the Pentateuch, Kings, and Chronicles.

Keywords: Augustine; Bible; Chronicles; geology; Georges Cuvier; Kings; Pentateuch



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