You say that the literal translation makes the most sense, yet you say that there are things about it that make no sense. Well here is my suggestion. I am a literalist… I believe what the Bible says about creation – literal. 6 days. But read your Bible about the creation of the “sky.” God separated the waters from the waters. It doesn’t say that he created mists, or clouds from the waters to make up the sky… it says he separated the water from the water. In fact, wind, rain, and rainbows are not mentioned anywhere in the Bible until the flood… so what if the atmosphere was different in the original times? What if there was literally a solid water “layer” above the sky…. this would create an atmosphere like a green-house effect on earth… therefore totally changing the oxygen and most importantly CARBON levels in the air… which would totally ruin all “carbon-dating” tests prior to the flood… which would then in effect also explain why people lived longer prior to the flood. Not only were we closer to perfection then… but there was probably better levels of oxygen in the air… and oxygen is known to have healing properties (especially O3). Just a thought to consider…
Thank you for reading and writing.
I am very familiar with the Canopy Hypothesis you describe. I even accepted and taught it for several years. While definitely still around, it has fallen into disfavor in many creationist circles for two primary reasons.
The first is biblical. The description of Day Two in Genesis describes the separation of the waters and that God placed an expanse in the midst of the waters. This has usually been interpreted as the atmosphere. However, on Day Four, God places the sun, moon, and stars in this same expanse.
The second involves the inherent instability of any water vapor canopy above the earth’s atmosphere. So far calculations show that it would require a miracle of constant intervention to keep it in place until the flood. There is also a difficult problem with the condensation of the canopy into water droplets to fall as rain for forty days and nights. This would release a tremendous amount of heat that would cause additional problems.
Hope this helps.