Biblical and Scientific Shortcomings of Flood Geology, Part 2

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September 8, 2012 Tags: Earth, Universe & Time

Today's entry was written by Gregg Davidson and Ken Wolgemuth. Please note the views expressed here are those of the author, not necessarily of The BioLogos Foundation. You can read more about what we believe here.

Biblical and Scientific Shortcomings of Flood Geology, Part 2

This is the second in a four part series taken from Gregg Davidson and Ken Wolgemuth's scholarly essay "Christian Geologists on Noah’s Flood: Biblical and Scientific Shortcomings of Flood Geology".

As prefaced in Part 1 , our primary interest in this blog series is the widely promulgated notion that the Flood can account for the earth’s complex geology. Flood Geology derives from a belief that Genesis teaches that the world is very young – less than 10,000 years. To explain the vast thicknesses and incredible complexity of the earth’s sedimentary deposits within a short history, it is argued that the Flood must have been both global and violent. Flood Geology is thus synonymous with belief in a young earth. It is our conviction that this position is unreasonable from both a biblical and scientific perspective.

From a biblical perspective, Young-Earth/Flood-Geology advocates consistently argue that “the plain reading of Scripture,” with six literal 24 days is the only interpretation of Genesis that is free of textual and theological problems. All other approaches are claimed to require hermeneutical manipulations that ultimately undermine the simple and clear message of the Bible. Nothing could be farther from the truth. In fact, conservative Biblical scholars (the group of theologians who believe the book to be genuinely God’s Word) debate how Genesis 1 and 2 should be understood, independent of any scientific challenge. Some indeed insist that a word-literal rendering is best, while others have argued that the construction of the text, while not typical poetry, nonetheless bears evidence of literary tools designed to emphasize God’s creative activity and providence, not days and a specific sequence of events.2

Literary Devices in the Bible

One reason that theologians think to look for literary devices is that there are internal textual problems if insisting that Genesis opens with plain historical narrative. Three examples follow.

  1. Light and dark are separated twice. Light is first separated from darkness in Day 1, then again in Day 4 with the creation of the sun, moon and stars – “God made them … to govern the day and the night, and to separate the light from the darkness” (Gen 1:18). A forced word-literal interpretation here suggests that God's first attempt failed, and he had to try a different approach.
  2. Evening and morning are declared for three days without a sun. Evening and morning have meaning only in the context of the earth rotating about its axis adjacent to the sun. Without a fixed light source, there is no evening or morning. To say God himself was the source of light is insufficient, for this would require that God was “off” prior to Day 1, and that he was fixed in one position and not omnipresent until Day 4. The standard reply is that this is an expression of a 24 hour day as it would be observed for the rest of time. Which is to say, a figurative interpretation is called upon to support a literal interpretation.
  3. In Genesis 1, all animals were created before Adam, but in Genesis 2, many of the animals were created after God saw that Adam needed a helper (Gen 2:18-20). Many English Bibles fix this problem by translating the Hebrew word for “created” as “had created,” but justification for the “had” is based wholly on an assumed intention of the writer.

None of these observations mean that the creation story is not true; they simply indicate that a word-literal interpretation is not likely to be the most appropriate. More importantly, any impression given by the Church that belief in a young earth is synonymous with being a Christian is entirely unjustified, and in fact, does little more than create a stumbling block to faith in Christ.

It is readily acknowledged here that there are many other Scriptural issues that are important to consider when contemplating the best understanding of Creation and Noah’s Flood. Because these cannot be adequately addressed in a short (or even long) blog series, readers are encouraged to refer to When Faith and Science Collide: A Biblical Approach to Evaluating Evolution and the Age of the Earth by G.R. Davidson.

Willingness to consider the evidence

So what about the scientific perspective? What does God’s natural creation reveal about its history? Before launching into a discussion of evidence, it is important to clarify the debate. The contention between geologists and Flood Geology advocates is not about natural vs. supernatural mechanisms. The underlying assumption throughout all Flood Geology arguments is that natural mechanisms occurring during and after the Flood can account for the majority of the sedimentary rocks that we find on the earth. It is this assumption that is the basis for claiming that scientific studies can be undertaken to find support for a global, catastrophic flood. The question before us, therefore, is what is actually revealed by studies of the earth's layers? Do they speak to a global deluge and recent age, or to a more complex and ancient history?

Flood Geology proponents would have us believe that there is extensive evidence for a violent, earth-wide flood that is apparent if one is willing to consider the possibility. As Christian geologists, we have no philosophical objection to a cataclysmic event of divine origin, and have long been willing to consider evidence of such an event. What we have observed, however, is that evidence for Flood Geology is largely, if not entirely, non-existent. Given the placement and character of sedimentary deposits currently on earth, deposition by a single flood is not only implausible, but utterly impossible unless God temporarily suspended His natural laws in order to establish layers and fossil beds that would subsequently communicate a story vastly different than what actually happened.

To relate the evidence effectively, we will consider three examples in Part 3, and a fourth, more extended example in the final post.

Notes

1. Henri Blocker, In the Beginning, InterVaristy Press, 1984; Meredith Kline, Space and time in the Genesis cosmogony, Perspectives on Science and Christian Faith, 1996, 48:2-15; C. John Collins, Genesis 1-4: A Linguistic, Literary, and Theological Commentary, P&R Publishing Company, 2006.


Dr. Gregg Davidson is chair of the Department of Geology and Geological Engineering at the University of Mississippi and conducts original research in geochemistry and hydrogeology, often employing radiometric dating methods to determine the age of groundwater and sediments. In 2009 he published a book about his keen interest in integrating a lifetime of studying geology with his firm conviction about the infallibility of God’s Word, When Faith & Science Collide – A Biblical Approach to Evaluating Evolution and the Age of the Earth.
Dr. Ken Wolgemuth is an Adjunct Professor at the University of Tulsa and a Petroleum Consultant teaching short courses on petroleum geology and “Geology for the Non-Geologist.” Over the last 10 years, he has developed a keen interest in sharing the geology of God’s Creation with Christians in churches and seminaries.

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PNG - #72610

September 10th 2012

In the Note, it should be Henri Blocher, not Blocker.


Mark Glaab - #72617

September 10th 2012

I am a Pastor and new on the site.

Has anyone commented on the Ten Commandments, the fourth command?

Exo 31:16  Therefore the children of Israel shall keep the Sabbath, to observe the Sabbath throughout their generations as a perpetual covenant.
Exo 31:17  It is a sign between Me and the children of Israel forever; for in six days the LORD made the heavens and the earth, and on the seventh day He rested and was refreshed.’ ”

This seems to confirm 6 day creation to me. I am not a scientist but I am a preacher and I feel the “re-interpreted” 6 day explanation does not work for me very well when you get past Genesis. If the Sabbath is not based on actual days, it no longer makes sense and I would not have even the faintest idea how to present the fourth commandment based on a age, especially since God was refreshed after a day of rest.

Adam and Noah are mentioned in many places in scripture, as are Abel, Enoch and Noah.

Do the people at BioLogos treat these as real people or some kind of allegory?
It is hard for me, as a Pastor, to ignore the passages others may feel free to skip. Noah, Abel and Enoch are listed as heroes of faith in Hebrews 11. If these people were not real, I may as well pack in my Bible.

Any thoughts? Are these people considered real?

As for a local flood, it is hard to reconcile this covenant (one of several biblical covenants) with a local flood.

Gen 9:11 Thus I establish My covenant with you: Never again shall all flesh be cut off by the waters of the flood; never again shall there be a flood to destroy the earth.” There have been many local floods since Genesis, making God’s covenant to never make a local flood again false. Only a global flood makes sense.

This is a difficult site to reconcile the scripture with.

Rev. Mark Glaab
Canada


wesseldawn - #72740

September 13th 2012

Mark,

The Hebrews could not enter God’s rest because of unbelief, yet we know that they did possess the land…so then the land flowing with milk and honey could not have been the land (of Israel) itself!

And I am cone to deliver them out of the hand of the Egyptians, and to bring them up out of that land unto a good land and a large, unto a land flowing with milk and honey... (Exo. 3:8, 3:17, 13:5, 33:3, etc.)

His eyes shall be red with wine, and his teeth white with milk. (Genesis 49:12)

I am come into my garden, my sister, my spouse: I have gathered my myrrh with my spice; I have eaten my honeycomb with my honey; I have drunk my wine with my milk...( Song of Solomon 5:1, see also 5:12, Isaiah 55:1, etc.)

And paradise is between corruptibilityy and incorruptibility. And two springs come out which send forth honey and milk, and their springs send forth oil and wine.” (Book of the Secrets of Enoch: Chapter III, see also Rev. 6:6)

...the Lord rests when goes up into paradise... (Book of Enoch, Chapter VIII)

Therefore, Paradise/Garden of Eden is God’s Sabbath rest, a land flowing with milk and honey.

You might want to read Missing Pieces of the Bible: Lost Books Fill-in the Blanks REVISED EDITION


Mark Glaab - #72622

September 10th 2012

 I have been reflecting on the concept of a local flood instead of a global flood, espoused by some on this site. This is proposed to be what the scripture actually teaches, not a global flood, to enact judgment on the wicked living around Noah’s community. Here is what I am hearing so tell me if I am wrong.

 God thought that Noah’s neighbors were fairly wicked so He told Noah to plan for the judgment to come on the people and all animal life in his vicinity(local flood). To rescue Noah and representative animals, God told Noah to build a huge Ark. Why get Noah to move when you can get him to spend years making a huge boat? Of course, animals living in other districts look silly so Noah should build an ark to rescue the animals in his district, because they are better and don’t look as silly (local flood, local animals). God brought the local animals, two by two of every kind to the ark instead of just leading them out of the district. The ark was perhaps a shorter walk.

  Now an ark the size of Noah’s was “way huge” for a family of eight plus two by two representatives of local herds, but hey, big is beautiful and it would leave room for a soccer field in the middle!(Over 100,000sq ft, about 569 modern railroad cars)  (Now this is overkill for a local flood, if needed at all)

  Next began the local flood, killing all Noah’s neighbors and the farms, lifting the ark higher than the highest local mountain where people played “capture the flag”. People living just over the hill were astonished to watch God’s judgment on the people over the ridge. Noah and his family sat in the ark for months of constant stink, rocking, storm and flood. Neighbors over the hill watched in shock at the storms from their porches.

  After months, the ark, which had been lumbering in an endless circle around the middle of the lake instead of floating across to land (local flood), finally saw the tops of the local hill. After 40 more days Noah opened the ark for a raven, which was not very awake because it was not able to see the land on the other side of the lake. Next Noah let out a dove which eventually found the other land. The people who watched the dove come in from sea to grab an olive branch thought it was cute.

 Finally after many months in the ark, God let Noah and the animals free again on dry ground, to eventually mingle with the neighbors and animals which were a little further distance away and safe. They badly wanted to hear Noah’s story and ask him why he did not just walk over to their community, instead of spending many months in a smelly ark full of noisy animals.

 God was nice about it though and made a covenant with Noah and the survivors of the flood. It is probably almost worthless. (promise for no more local floods)

 Gen 9:9 “And as for Me, behold, I establish My covenant with you and with your descendants after you,Gen 9:10 and with every living creature that is with you: the birds, the cattle, and every beast of the earth with you, of all that go out of the ark, every beast of the earth.Gen 9:11 Thus I establish My covenant with you: Never again shall all flesh be cut off by the waters of the flood; never again shall there be a flood to destroy the earth.”

 

I guess the covenant did not apply to Noah’s friends who lived a distance away nor with the animals that did not require the ark since they also lived further away. No covenant for them!

 Gen 9:12 And God said: “This is the sign of the covenant which I make between Me and you, and every living creature that is with you, for perpetual generations:Gen 9:13 I set My rainbow in the cloud, and it shall be for the sign of the covenant between Me and the earth.
Gen 9:14 It shall be, when I bring a cloud over the earth, that the rainbow shall be seen in the cloud;
Gen 9:15 and I will remember My covenant which is between Me and you and every living creature of all flesh; the waters shall never again become a flood to destroy all flesh.

Of course God did not really mean between Him and “earth” and “every living creature” or “all flesh”, He really meant that He would never flood a district again. (Local Flood, I think)

God lied! (We still get local floods)

 I don’t mean to appear rude but what am I missing? Am I getting your proposition of a local flood right?

 The local flood scenario is not very credible when I think about it from any scriptural angle.

Rev Mark Glaab
Canada


D.U. Litz - #72623

September 10th 2012

Do you really think the theological point of the flood story was to destroy the physical earth? You admitted in your own proposal that’s not entirely the point. To the ancient world all the earth was what they knew of. I’m sure you know this. Were they aware of the America’s?

There is no way a global flood happened, even if you think that was the point. Its been shown scientifically impossible over and over. Only the Answers in Genesis still defends that.

God didn’t lie, he achieved his purpose regardless of the authors point of view (ancient and limited) .

You can disagree with accommodationist hermeneutics,  but its still sound. Your issue seems hermeneutically


Paul Seely - #72627

September 10th 2012

Mark Glaab,

I believe you are correct that the Bible is not describing a local flood. At the same time there are good archaeological reasons for believing the biblical account and its Mesopotamian counterpart are based on the same actual local flood, which occurred ca. 2900 BC in southern Mesopotamia. See my short paper at http://biologos.org/blog/the-flood-not-global-barely-local-mostly-theological-ii  People in Mesopotamia believed that this local flood had destroyed all of mankind, and that the reason it was sent by the gods was because humans were making so much noise on earth that the top god in their pantheon could not sleep. The biblical author assumed the basic Mesopotamian flood story was true, but revised the theology to agree with the revelation he had about the true nature of God. The biblical author also correlated the flood account with the creation account in Genesis 1.

In both Genesis 1 and the Flood account, the “science” is the science of the times. it agrees very closely with ancient Near Eastern “science” but not with modern science. The popular but unbiblical view that the science in the Bible must agree with modern science can only be upheld in one of two ways: Either take the Bible out of context and rewrite it so that it agrees with modern science, or take the scientific data out of context and rewrite it so that it agrees with the Bible. The better way is to accept the Bible as it is, accept modern science as it is, and recognize that God as a Father spoke to his ancient Israelite children in terms of their understanding of the natural world.

 


Mark Glaab - #72639

September 11th 2012

Paul Seely:

Well, that clears that up.

“The biblical author assumed the basic Mesopotamian flood story was true, but revised the theology to agree with the revelation he had about the true nature of God.”

It WAS a global flood, just one that did not really happen. The author, who Moses then repeated, took an old story and embellished it, then lied outright about a covenant with God resulting.

Paul, as a Pastor, I want you to know the domino effect your explanation has. Not only did Moses convey this account to us, Moses received trhe law at God’s own hand, written in stone by God’s own finger. So Moses, who talked with God, got the law right but got our Genesis wrong.

Jesus told people  “If you believed Moses you would believe me,; for he wrote about me” John 5:46. So Jesus thinks we should believe Moses, though Moses was mistaken. Of course, the fourth commandment that Moses received for God includes this.

Exo 31:17  It is a sign between Me and the children of Israel forever; for in six days the LORD made the heavens and the earth, and on the seventh day He rested and was refreshed.’ “

This is a problem because either Moses exaggerated again or God based a commandment on a misinterpretation of Genesis 1. How many times was Moses wrong?

Of course, Jesus not only believed Moses, He met with him on the mount of transfiguration. Jesus also talked about the flood, as did Peter.So Jesus, Peter, the author of Hebrews and others are all believeing an exaggerated story.

Noah is honored in Hebrews 11 along with Abel and Enoch. Unfortunate if these people are not real or their stories are exaggerations and misinterpretations.

According to you, all these quotes and references to Moses, Noah and the flood, including the quotes from Jesus himself, are based on a local flood story that was exaggerated.

According to you, God was telling the local, ancient people of the origins of the human race from an assortment of exaggerated stories instead of giving all humanity the true history for us all plus God’s interaction with these people. Are you serious?

If I thought for a moment that you were correct, and that Jesus, Paul, Peter, Moses and prophets were trusting in exaggerated mesopotanian stories, I would drop my Bible and walk out of my church.

Of course , I won’t do that because I don’t believe you or your “academic” sources. However, what of the other young people who believe you? How long will they put any faith in any part of scripture?

What you just did to the Word is more than “an interpretation”. You just falsified huge portions and and called into question any confidence one can have in Jesus and other Biblical writers.

As I said, I don’t believe you. If you are right, even Jesus cannot be trusted. Only the leading athiest, humanist academics are getting it right and scripture is based on myths! Do you have any facts that would cause us to believe scripture at all or do academics trump scripture and turn it to fables that would cause us ull to walk out of Church?

From my point of view, as a Minister, I could not even begin teaching from the Scriptures you describe. Jesus is heavily mixed up in Moses, Genesis and the flood.

I would like a reply because, if you believe what you do, why would you even pretend to believe any scripture or believe anything Jesus said?

Rev. Mark Glaab

Canada


D.U. Litz - #72649

September 11th 2012

Are you saying ” the law “,  I.e. the rituals and such the Bible says were given “to Moses on Sinai, include Genesis and every narrative in the first 5 books?

And if your an inerrantist the accommodation approach doesn’t undermine authority or anything. If what the Bible is requiring us to accept is not ancient science, then we aren’t required to accept it. Accommodationism can reject the ancient science faithfully because it’s not a requirement or the point.

The flood still happened. But was described from a limited perspective.

The Bible has many areas that mention something that we are not to defend.

Joshua said the sun stood still in the sky. Does his ancient cosmology view mean nothing happened? No.


D.U. Litz - #72652

September 11th 2012

Also, though I do not know Seely ‘s thoughts on the matter, no one said Moses was “wrong “.

A lot of your questions on the Genesis one stuff and what is meant when God “made ” the earth can be answered in John H. Walton’s book Genesis One as Ancient Cosmology


Mark Glaab - #72657

September 11th 2012

DU

My one point was the fourth commandment and that it has the six day creation.

Exo 31:17  It is a sign between Me and the children of Israel forever; for in six days the LORD made the heavens and the earth, and on the seventh day He rested and was refreshed.’ “

I assume you also reject the six days, even though God Himsalf wrote the six days in the tables of stone.If Moses got this wrong, what else did he mess up on?

As for the rest of Moses words, yes, I was referring to Genesis. Moses gave us Genesis, even if he only transmitted to us what He knew from ancestors. That makes Moses wrong on Genesis along with, Jesus, Paul, Peter, Ezekiel and every Biblical author who took it literally. If Gen 1-11 is inaccurate, what else was?

This is not complicated. When, you tell us that Genesis is not real, but merely exaggerated stories, we cannot BUT doubt those who also believe it and quote it as history. If Jesus and everyone else quoted Genesis but were, in point of fact, believing an exaggeration of a real story, why should I trust anything they say? It is a simple point.

However, I believe Jesus when He said He is the way, the truth and the life so If Jesus trusted Geneis and Moses, I trust Jesus over your sources!

Rev. Mark


D.U. Litz - #72707

September 12th 2012

“…fourth commandment that has the six day creation…”

I agree. You have to look at the context of the fourth commandment, what it’s saying and implying, and how that refers back to the “work” that was made in Genesis One. this is why I suggested john Walton’s book. I agree with you on the six day creation. It’s there. I’m following you one hundred percent.

Difference where you might disagree is that I understand the six day creation as functional creation (not material, material is a modern ontology). This aligns with all other ancient near eastern notions-of which ancient Israel is a part of-and genesis one depicts God setting up the cosmos functionally. It’s difficult for me to get an ex nihilo ontology unless you are assuming an English only rendering of the word “create.” What’s more is that this isn’t a demotion of the text to ancient near eastern concepts; it’s a biblically led decision.

You have a lot of traditional assumptions about Genesis One (and the exodus verses) that are partly correct, but need more digging. Before you dismiss any of this out of hand, I recommend reading John Walton’s book. He leaves no Hebrew word untouched, and it’s very informative. He doesn’t bend or dismiss anything to try and make it different; he takes the text at face value.

So no I do not reject the six days (I do not necessarily see them as metaphor either)

And I do not agree that Genesis, or pieces of the narratives in the first 5 books were “the law” given to Moses on Sinai. THE LAW was given on Sinai. Just because many have traditionally held the 5 books as “the law” doesn’t mean they are “the law that was given.” What about genesis is law? What about many of the narratives-that were taking place during and after the law was given on Sinai-are law? This isn’t some heretical idea, its simple logic. Furthermore there are verses all throughout the first five books, which I’m sure you’re aware, that couldn’t have been written until David’s time, like when Genesis says “at that time there was no king in Israel.”

Yes NT writers-including Jesus- refer to “the law and the prophets,” “books of Moses,” “If you believe Moses.” I agree these are referring to Moses. I do not see how this is a wholesale required endorsement of the first five books and their narratives being considered “the law.” What were they supposed to say “the law, the narratives that surround it, and the prophets?” there is nothing convincing in the new testament that makes me think the narratives during and after Sinai (including Moses death) were given to Moses as something that encompassed “the law.” It doesn’t make biblical sense.  How can the law be narratives, and how can narratives happening after Sinai be given on Sinai? You can believe it does, but it’s certainly not an inspiration or inerrancy issue to think otherwise.

I believe it’s likely the books were assembled, with the actual law that was literally given, in the monarchy period (other say exilic, but I’m not sure about that). I am biblically, not any other reason, led to this conclusion. This doesn’t hurt inspiration or inerrancy in my eyes because I do not know who the chronicler or writer of kings or Samuel is either.

I take Genesis 1-11 as accurately as any other NT writer did. No one ever said it was inaccurate in what was being portrayed. I believe a flood happened. It’s just local given the audiences limited view. This isn’t an exaggeration on their part because their intention wasn’t to exaggerate. Their view was limited. There is a difference. It did happen just as the NT suggests.


D.U. Litz - #72708

September 12th 2012

The only “inaccurate” information is the assumption of ancient science by the authors. But if the text is not upholding or affirming it, it’s irrelevant. This is exegesis, what is the text saying and not saying. This is hardly a novel concept as exegetes have to do this all the time. Another example is a moral one: Lots daughters seduce him into sleeping with them and they each become important nations. The text, try as you might, says no moral deciding factor on what happened. It’s silent. It doesn’t endorse the moral act or reject it as wrong. But it was immoral was it not? But the text doesn’t take a stance. This means it purpose wasn’t to judge this incorrect moral act, it was something else.

Again with the example of Joshua, the point of the text was not to confirm Joshua’s misunderstanding of where the sun was physically located in the sky; it was to show God did a miracle. When Jesus says “go to the ends of the earth.” His point isn’t “there are ends of the earth,” it’s “go preach the gospel.” Jesus communicated in ways they understood. What a revelation it would have been to ancient Rome for Jesus to say “cover the globe-because actually you guys know it’s spherical with other continents-and preach the gospel.”  But that wasn’t the point. looking for correct science is your concern not the texts, and that’s the point.

“This isn’t complicated…”

It is sometimes. Some bible books are complicated, are they not? I think someone can read through Genesis unaided and get the basics of it. But when it comes to requiring that genesis say this or that, you are dealing with an ancient text. It doesn’t get a pass on being ancient just because it’s inspired. People are capable of thinking differently-not wrong-but differently in different time periods.

Other books that are not simple would include Isaiah, Ezekiel, Romans, and Revelation. Genesis isn’t out of this category because no one has traditionally seen it as complicated. It has complexities to it that are ancient, to ignore it seems irresponsible to me.

“…when you tell us Genesis is not real…”

I never said that. I’m with you on this one. I think you have a lot of assumptions on what I believe and they are wrong.

I do think in some cases that Ancient historiography (i.e. Genesis) can use ancient notions of the genre. For instance there is metaphor in some places; there are parallelisms, chiasm, and other literary structures not taken literally. But these do not mean its all allegory and non historical.

I trust Jesus too. Again I think you assume what I believe. No one said Jesus was wrong.

Look a lot of this discussion seems to come down to hermeneutics. It’s not about Jesus or the NT writers being wrong or not, or inspiration and inerrancy being threatened. You do not agree with an accomodationist hermeneutic (there are varying degrees of accomodationists). You’re entitled to that. But don’t act like I am unreasonable. My conclusions and assumptions about the bible are because I have tried my best to follow the very historical grammatical method that has always been used. I’m not taking god out of the text, I’m not debunking it,  I’m taking it at face value. If you disagree with my face value interpretation, give me reason why I shouldn’t understand god as a god who meets us (and ancient Israel) where they are at.

I appreciate the concern. While you might not think so, I have the same concerns you do about taking the text in a direction it doesn’t belong. Just please do not assume anyone who accepts evolution is doing it to compromise. And do not assume you know what I think about Genesis or the bible.

See this is the problem. I think so many pastors seem to have misinformation about any Christian who accepts evolution, and that misinformation gets carried on to the lay people. There is good reason, there are a lot of out there scholars. But those out there people are hardly representative of everyone. There is such a thing as a theologically conservative Christian who accepts evolution. I’m tired of being misrepresented and lumped in as a heretic of some  sort.


PNG - #72628

September 10th 2012

Over 100 comments disappeared from this post. Was there some reason for that?


D.U. Litz - #72650

September 11th 2012

I noticed that too


wesseldawn - #72734

September 13th 2012

I have also wondered about other comments disappearing on other posts!!


Francis - #72631

September 10th 2012

Mark Glaab,

Thanks for your comments about Noah and the flood.

You are a breath of badly needed fresh air here.


Paul Seely - #72680

September 12th 2012

Mark Glaab,

I am not saying, “It WAS a global flood. . . .”  I said the Bible is not describing a local flood, like just Mesopotamia. I did not say (and the Bible does not say) Noah’s flood was global. The Old Testament nowhere says or even implies that the earth is a globe. People in Old Testament times believed the earth was circular but fundamentally flat.  The OT sometimes implies that the earth is flat (see my paper, “The geographical meaning of ‘earth’ and ‘seas’ in Gen 1:10,” Westminster Theological Journal 59 (1997) 231-55 [http://faculty.gordon.edu/hu/bi/Ted_Hildebrandt/OTeSources/01-Genesis/Text/Articles-Books/Seely_EarthSeas_WTJ.htm) but never that it is a globe. Speaking of a global flood involves reading modern science into the Bible. If you go by the Bible alone, you would have to say the earth is flat.

Do you believe Moses? Moses said in Leviticus 11:6, “ and the hare, for it chews the cud:” The Hebrew text is more technically accurate: it says the hare “brings back up the cud” (from the stomach to the mouth to rechew it). Do you believe the hare chews the cud?

Do you believe Jesus? He said (Mark 4:31 NKJ), “It is like a mustard seed which, when it is sown on the ground, is smaller than all the seeds on earth;.” Do you believe the mustard seed is smaller than all other seeds on earth?”

The point is that the Bible is not a divine revelation of science. Its purposes, as 2Tim 3:16 lays them out, are all spiritual or theological. Because God did not choose to give us a revelation of science, the writers of Scripture were locked up to using the science of the day whenever they spoke on scientific matters.

If you tell your young people God did not intend the Bible to be a guide to science, but it is reliable for the spiritual lessons it teaches, there will be little reason for them to leave the church. But if you tell them it is reliable for scientific matters, that Genesis 1-11 is reliable science and history, you better pray they never study the Bible in context or get a scientific education. Because if they study the Bible in its historical context, they will know the science in the Bible comes from the ancient Near East. If they study anthropology, they will know the first human was not a clay doll formed ca. 4000 BC. If they study geology, they will know the earth did not begin covered with an ocean but rather began too hot to have an ocean for millions of years. If they study biology they will know the first animals did not come up out the earth like plants (Gen 1:24). If they study astronomy they will know the sky is not solid, and there is no ocean above the sky and the stars. If they study glaciology or archaeology, they will know the earth and humans are far older than 6000 years. And then they will leave the church. They will not leave because they found out what the Bible really says or how much data supports and confirms modern science, but because they were taught to trust a false human tradition in place of biblical Christianity, and when that false tradition failed they had nowhere else to go.  

 

 

 

 


Francis - #72699

September 12th 2012

Paul Seely,

“The point is that the Bible is not a divine revelation of science … Its purposes …are all spiritual or theological…if you tell them it is reliable for scientific matters, that Genesis 1-11 is reliable science and history, you better pray they never study the Bible in context or get a scientific education…”

Would you say the Bible is being all spiritual/theological OR being reliably historical in the genealogies of Genesis 4, Genesis 5, Genesis 11, Matthew 1 and Luke 3?


HornSpiel - #72712

September 12th 2012

Paul Seely,

Well put. I might add that for the Jews of the 1st century, the historicity of the  Bible was not the point, it was the sacredness of the narratives. The persons and events were more than history because they were intended by God to convey spiritual truths.

So did all Jews believe they were literally true? I think perhaps not. Take for instance the account of Joshua’s long day.  

So the sun stood still, and the moon stopped, Until the nation avenged themselves of their enemies. Is it not written in the book of Jashar? And the sun stopped in the middle of the sky and did not hasten to go down for about a whole day. There was no day like that before it or after it, when the LORD listened to the voice of a man; for the LORD fought for Israel.   Joshua 10:13-14

This story is unusual in two ways. First the reference, I would say disclaimer, to the book of Jashar. This phrase has implications not only for the historicity and reliability of the report, but to the authorship of the account—it probably wasn’t Joshua.

So if the source is questionable, why is it in the Bible? Because of the second unusual aspect: Most incidents in Joshua are simply reported, this story has a commentary. The theological point  is that the LORD does listen to and answer the prayers of a righteous man like Joshua. The report that the sun stood still powerfully makes that point so it is included.

This is just one piece of internal evidence that historical analysis is not the proper biblical way to interpret the Bible. I could also cite some of Paul’s interesting allegorical images, or even Jesus’ reinterpretations of the Torah. One needs to recognize that in interpretation of divine inspiration, it is primarily the theological truths that matter. Human error and ignorace are part of what make the Bible, the Logos,  both divine and human.

Except for Moses’ Law, the majority of the Bible is clearly in the words of its human authors. No claim to direct dictation is made. These human fingerprints are actually what make me believe and trust the Bible—in contrast to certain other “sacred” texts reportedly dictated directly to certain known human authors. In those cases the clear distortions and fabrications they contain do call their divine inspiration into question.


Paul Seely - #72715

September 13th 2012

Francis,

There are archaeological and other reasons for believing that the genealogies in Genesis 1-11, like most of the other allegedly historical records in those chapters, are not historically reliable. They may include some information that is historically true, but we have no way of knowing what it is. What we can know is that some parts are not historically true. Although Adam is accepted as the first man both in the OT and in the NT, there is abundant evidence that 4000 BC or even 10,000 BC is way to late for anyone to be the first man.

The genealogies in Gen 10 and 11 trace the descendants of the three sons of Noah, from whom, according to Gen 9:19, “the whole earth was populated.” Yet those genealogy make no reference to the inhabitants of Japan, where the Jomon culture continued from ca. 10,000 BC to the time of Christ. Nor do they make any mention of the Native Americans, whose various cultures go back to nearly 20,000 BC. Nor do they mention the Australian aboriginals who, archaeology and genetics show go back in an unbroken line to at least 40,000 years ago. The biblical genealogies, in fact, as Genesis 10 shows, only cover the greater Near East, which the biblical writer thought of as “the whole earth.” They thus fall well short of giving us a reliable history of mankind either before or after the Flood. There is no reason, however, for rejecting the fundamental historicity of the NT genealogies from Abraham on.

The theological import of the genealogies in Genesis 4, 5 and 11 is the implicit statement that God takes a special interest in humans, which is a correction of the Babylonian idea that man is only an afterthought in creation. Where ANE genealogies similar to Gen 4 and 5 are only given for kings, Gen 4 and 5 show God’s interest in the common man. This thelogical import is confirmed in the rest of the Bible and especially in the NT.

Beyond that I would say with Titus 3:9, “But avoid foolish questions, and genealogies, and contentions, and strivings about the law; for they are unprofitable and vain.”


D.U. Litz - #72739

September 13th 2012

Seely,

I wanted to say I’m a huge fan. I’ve read many of your articles and their great. I about lost it when I saw you post on here

I had an observation/question though.

I am a young student and I have a lot to learn. But it seems like it’s not necessary to dismiss the Opening chapters as unhistorical.

For instance if the ancient Israelites had a limited view of the world’s population, could not the genealogies still be true even though there were other people groups. Accomodationism would have us only apply the narrative or genealogy to the limited view-which is all they were talking about.

I tend to not reject the testimony unless something actually proves it false. I developed this approach from reading Provan, Long, and Longman;s Biblical history of Israel. They tend to not say that the biblical record is “proven,” but it isn’t “disproven” either. They don’t touch the first 11 chapters though

thanks


Joriss - #72719

September 13th 2012

Hornspiel,

“So if the source is questionable, why is it in the Bible? Because of the second unusual aspect: Most incidents in Joshua are simply reported, this story has a commentary. The theological point  is that the LORD does listen to and answer the prayers of a righteous man like Joshua. The report that the sun stood still powerfully makes that point so it is included”.

So to  make the theological point that the Lord does listen and answers the prayers of a righteous man, a PHANTASTIC MIRACULOUS UNREAL EXAGGERATION is inserted?? I think nothing could be more theo-illogical! It would just work the other way round. If the history of the OT is that fallible, why would the prophecies of the OT be true? Prophecies are often found in the OT intertwined with history. So if the history is mixed with phantasy, why not the prophecies. How do we know Jesus is the prophesied king and messiah?
Could He not just be a miracleman that had supernatural power, even to raise from the dead, without being the so called Christ of the - unreliable - Scriptures of the Old Testament?
That Jesus was to be born in Bethlehem,  could that not be a phantasy of the prophet, just like the sun standing still?
That He would make us free by taking the penalty for our sins, could’t that be wishful thinking of Isaiah?
The way you so easily dismiss this texts won’t encourage me to believe that you have the right attitude towards Scriptures, and make me also supicious about the way you look at the first chapters of Genesis. This is not meant personally, but how can we trust TE’s?


HornSpiel - #72909

September 18th 2012

Joriss,

You say 

So to make the theological point that the Lord does listen and answers the prayers of a righteous man, a PHANTASTIC MIRACULOUS UNREAL EXAGGERATION is inserted?? 

Your use of uppercase is revealing. Yes to you, and to most of us, the idea that the sun would stop in the sky is unreal and necessarily miraculous. This is because we know this would involve stopping then starting the earth in in orbit around the sun.

Whoever put that bit into Joshua, however did not know that. In fact he believed quite confidently that the sun was moving and the earth was still. He had no notion of the distances and speeds involved, much less the physics. For him such a report, though unusual, did not strain credibility. 

Again I point to the text itself indicating the separate source, the book of Jasper. This indicates the report was not part of the primary source material for Joshua. Could the report have come from interpreting in a literal manner something in the Book of Jasper intended as figurative? Or perhaps it was a report of the people themselves who experienced that day as being twice as long as a normal day.

There is good research out there, and I have experienced it myself, that in certain unusual circumstances time seems to dilate. http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/extreme-fear/201003/how-the-brain-stops-time Since the people themselves did not have other ways of measuring time than the sun itself how could they really differentiate between a real lengthening of the day and the psychological experience of time dilation?

Now none of this negates the reality that the Lord was listening to and answering Joshua’s prayers. Nor that the people experienced what felt like a long day. God used real humans to write the Scriptures. I believe finding human fingerprints in the text does not make the texts less sacred or authoritative in the truths they were intended to convey


Joriss - #72982

September 21st 2012

Hornspiel,
Sorry, I overlooked your response to my latest post.
I cite you:

“You say
So to make the theological point that the Lord does listen and answers the prayers of a righteous man, a PHANTASTIC MIRACULOUS UNREAL EXAGGERATION is inserted??

“Your use of uppercase is revealing. Yes to you, and to most of us, the idea that the sun would stop in the sky is unreal and necessarily miraculous.”

My use of uppercase has a total different reason and meaning. It is to express my amazement about the very idea that God would allow such a marvellous hearing of prayer to be written in the bible as a unique recorded event, to emphasize his greatness and truthfulness and that he hears the prayer of the righteous and then…..it is not true?? It is not real?? That’s why I used capital characters.

And what about the shadow that went back on the steps with Hizkia and Isaiah? Could only if the earth stood still and turned a little in the opposite direction. That is still more miraculous than a standstill. Do you believe that happened?

What is the big difference for God
between having the earth stand still in it’s orbit around the sun, or doing the same with an electron in it’s orbit around a hydrogen nucleus?

What is the difference between this and creating the food for more than 5000 people, done by Jesus?
The authors of the gospel didn’t know what the implications were for physical laws, just in the same way the author of the book of  Joshua didn’ know what astronomic laws and  laws of physics were involved in the sun standing still.
Making food for over 5000 people, which need, let’s say 2000 kilo food=2 x 106 grams needs a very large amount of energy. I am not a scientist, but I know E = mc2.
So the energy needed for making 2000 kg matter is: (2 x 106) x (3 x 108)2 = 1.8 x 1023 joules.
I’ve been taught that 1 joule is the force of one normal beat of a hammer. So in making this food by a miracle the energy of 180.000.000.000.000.000.000.000 hammer beats were involved. I don’t know how much energy was needed to make the earth stand still one day and have it start over again? More? Less? Does it matter? If God can “play” in such a way with his creation, as He did in multiplying food for the people, what would be the “extra”, scientifically spoken, of stopping the spinning of the earth for a while? Yes, without people and atmosphere being scattered around in space by the sudden stop, even without them noticing it?
Do you believe the miraculous food multiplying? If yes, I see no reason whatsoever to doubt the miraculous standstill of the sun. If no, well, from what point of view is the bible authorative according to you?
Another remark about Joshua and the sun:I cite:
“This story is unusual in two ways. First the reference, I would say disclaimer, to the book of Jashar. This phrase has implications not only for the historicity and reliability of the report, but to the authorship of the account—it probably wasn’t Joshua.

So if the source is questionable, why is it in the Bible? Because of the second unusual aspect: Most incidents in Joshua are simply reported, this story has a commentary. The theological point  is that the LORD does listen to and answer the prayers of a righteous man like Joshua. The report that the sun stood still powerfully makes that point so it is included.”


Jashar, the Hebrew word is translated “upright” as well in e.g. Job 1. So the reference to this book may very well be understood as a reinforcement of the things that are written, in this sense: Perhaps  you can hardly believe that this really happen  ed, well know you can trust it, it is written in the very book of the upright! And that there is a commentary in the heart of this story, is so logical: Joshua or whoever the author is, could impossibly avoid to tell this,  or just tell the fact, and just continue his story, ofcourse not. He takes his time to express his wonder about the great God hearing a righteous, but such a fragile being as a man.
I think the separation between “theological” and “historical” is false in this case. And in many other cases. The theological point is that God DID it, not that “God did it, so to say”.
I know time can “dilute” in special circumstances. But here is said that the sun stayed in the middle of the heavens, about a whole day. So that is much too long to be a “dilution”.




Joriss - #72990

September 21st 2012

“dilution” must be “dilation”.


HornSpiel - #73121

September 26th 2012

Jorris,

Thanks for your response. Let’s say we can agree to disagree on the interpretation of this passage, which I cited as an example of how the Jews themselves read and understood their sacred texts. I used this as internal evidence that the Jews did not use a literalistic approach like many Evangelical fundamentalists do today. this of course relates to the subject of the post which is about the proper interpretation of the flood narrative.

I guess my commitment to both the book of God’s Words and Works forced me to reexamine my presuppositions on the proper way to interpret scripture—along with the proper way to interpret scientific statements. I could not maintain my integrity as a faithful Christian by ignoring or whitewashing facts that to me are undeniable.

I am comforted  by the fact that I have been guided on this path by several faithful Christian scientists. The honesty and faith of the BioLogos staff and contributors is evident to me. This movement to reclaim intellectual integrity of Evangelicalism is really refreshing to me and, I feel, opens the way to a much more fruitful witness to the world.


Mark Glaab - #72721

September 13th 2012

The replies I received all pointed to a local flood, From there it gets murky. Some claimed the local flood story was embellished while others felt it was an “accurate description” of a local flood in “their language” which only sounds global.

The ark, which was unnecessary is still a true story, even though it never happened that way. God’s covenant to Noah still true, even though it is not really true globally. Etc. You people trist more scripture that the JW’s, Mormons and all other cults combined. Even gay thrologians only re-write a few small passages and events to justify their cause.

You claim the bible is accurate in the six day creation description when God gave Moses the fourth Commandment, it’s just that it did not happen that way in six days. You claim Adam and Eve were real so Jesus discussing them (or the flood) was not inaccurate, it’s just that there was either no real Adam or Eve or they were not alone. The flood was only local, but Peter discussing it as global not wrong either. I feel like I just got bounced around in a beach ball.

Included in all this is the appropriate amount is snicking because I took scripture at face value. Yet I am left holding a contradictory bag from your site that I could never teach from. Since I don’t attend university, I am supposed to just take your word for it that the Bible is true, just not tue as we think. You have no idea how convoluted your own answers are or how much you contradict each other or other articles on this site.

I am a Minister of he Gospel and will one day stand before God to give account for what I teach. I would be afraid to treat scripture or the people and accounts contained in it the way you in this site treat them. You honour Noah with your lips but your heart is far from him. I will not be accepting your interpretations of Genesis or any other part of scripture.

This site is not serious about truth and you do not respect scripture. The site is here for one reason, to defend evolution. I will have no part of it!

I will waste no more of my time here.

Goodbye.

REv. Mark Glaab


D.U. Litz - #72738

September 13th 2012

i saw some jabs at my comments. You still misrepresent me, and disagreed without even trying to understand my views.

furthermore people disagree. Your one that does as well. your idea’s arent right by default. you haven’t defended them and assumed a lot.

Thanks anyways.


PNG - #72757

September 13th 2012

This site is serious about truth. I think I can guess at what the writers would say when I say that evidence is relevant to the truth. If you think evidence is irrelevant to the truth, then of course it makes sense to just ignore it.


Brigid - #73349

October 4th 2012

Rev. Mark Glabb ,

I’m very glad to see a pastor refusing to compromise scripture to conform to evolutionary interpretations. As a Christian who always felt conflicted by what the Bible clearly says in Genesis etc. and evolution I was thankful to find http://www.creation.com . Although ridiculed by many evolution believing Christians it’s a great resource of articles written mostly by phd scientists and biblical scholars who show very sound reasoning and scientific proficiency as well as wisdom. I would recommend the site to anyone seriously looking for answers on how to reconcile what the bible says happened with geological, biological evidence etc. The important thing as they say is how that evidence is INTERPRETED, and many current scientists including Christians simply accept evolution and long ages because they assume it has been more or less proven by evidence or shown to be extremely well substanstiated which it hasn’t. You are right to trust that as the Bible is God’s Word He would not have false descriptions of events such as the flood, whilst the bible was not meant to teach science, we need to be able to trust in what it clearly states happened as otherwise how can it be the inerrant Word of God? It’s very encouraging to hear a pastor stand up for the clear teaching of the bible despite efforts to twist it’s meaning to conform to the modern evolutionary understanding, as I know there is great pressure on ministers to take the view of evolutionists, especially in the UK where I live. It’s a big issue for churches as many people loose their faith through pastors teaching a compromised position, and then rationally they can’t see how to defend the bible as inerrant. I pray God strengthens you mentally to keep defending the bible and give sound answers to questions, and as I mentioned the Creation site is excellent for giving you the tools for this with downloadable leaflets and books, dvds etc. God bless you in your ministry.


D.U. Litz - #73352

October 4th 2012

Stop accusing and demonizing people who disagree with your camp as compromisers. Its a useless rhetorical device to belittle others views as unholy, and put yours on a pedestal

When a global flood is not necessary to promote a YEC scientific agenda, you can start calling others compromisers. Until then stay on point anstop using empty rhetoric

Even I disagree with much on this site, but I respect those that they are not compromising

And as if I, or others on this site, are not trying to defend the Bible? Give me a break

Stop placing your views, even if you think they are correct, on a pedestal

 


wesseldawn - #72736

September 13th 2012

A global flood has most certainly been ruled out by geologists and a localised flood does not make sense from the narrative. Could it be that the old ideas are wrong?

Many of you are scientists. If you were working on a project and the data clearly showed your line of thought was incorrect, wouldn’t you scrap those ideas and start over?

We know that God is unerring, as the Bible (being inspired by Him) would also be, so have you ever considered that you must be missing something!!


Francis - #72749

September 13th 2012

Paul Seely,

“Although Adam is accepted as the first man both in the OT and in the NT, there is abundant evidence that 4000 BC or even 10,000 BC is way to late for anyone to be the first man.”

I didn’t say anything about the first man. I asked whether the genealogies were reliably historical. Are you saying the genealogies going from Adam forward are not true?

 

“Beyond that I would say with Titus 3:9, “But avoid foolish questions, and genealogies, and contentions, and strivings about the law; for they are unprofitable and vain.””

So, Paul was advocating that we avoid certain parts (i.e. the genealogies) of the Gospels of Matthew and Luke?

I take the genealogies at face value.

I avoided “foolish questions” and “contentions” about the genealogies.

You didn’t.


Paul Seely - #72766

September 13th 2012

D.U. Litz (thank you for your interest) and Francis

You are both asking, Can we accept the genealogies in Genesis 1-11 as historically reliable? There are many facets to this issue that would go beyond the nature of a blog, so I cannot answer in as much detail as I would like, but here are some considerations. We have no extra-biblical data specifically regarding the people in these genealogies, either to confirm or deny the biblical account. But there are some things that are relevant. Gen 1-11 is set off from Gen 12 on by the fact that it reflects old Babylonian traditions, whereas the stories of the patriarchs appear to be family oral traditions. The Creation, Flood, and Tower of Babel stories do not agree with what we find in archaeology and other scientific studies. Since these major reports are not historically trustworthy, we have reason to be skeptical about lesser items like the genealogies in Gen 1-11.

 Looking more directly at the genealogies, they at least raise questions about their historicity. The one in Gen 5 has 10 links, which is like the Sumerian king list. This suggests conformity to a literary pattern rather than an interest in pure historicity.  The 365 years of Enoch stands out from the others, and matches the length of a year. Does this reflect actual history or numerology? Since Adam is the first person to be named in Gen 5, he has an important place as the founder of the line, but he is set forth as the first human being, which cannot be historically true. That raises questions about the other details. According to the genealogy in Gen 5, the Flood occurs ca. 2365 BC, but archaeology would date it between 3000 and 2800 BC.  Again one would question the reliability of the account. It may be that the genealogy of Shem in Gen 11 is more reliable than the one in Gen 5 at least as it gets near to Abraham. There are reasons to question the historicity of the genealogies in Gen 1-11,  but in the end I see no way to prove reliability or unreliability. I think we can only make educated guesses.

 


D.U. Litz - #72767

September 14th 2012

Thanks

I’dlike to dig into this stuff more and research before deciding . As I said I just tend to accept Biblical testimony unless something else actually proves a negative


I haven’t read a lot about the geneology stuff though. In Waltons commentary I think he also shows one of the geneologies has 70 names -the number of Israelite elders. So the number systems are something to take into account.  But even then I wouldn’t say they are “unhistorical “...maybe just served a different than wooden purpose.

But I still have a lot to learn

Something to think on tbough

Thanks again


Francis - #72790

September 14th 2012

This comment was posted earlier but then disappeared for some reason. I’m reposting:

Paul Seely,

“There are archaeological and other reasons for believing that the genealogies in Genesis 1-11, like most of the other allegedly historical records in those chapters, are not historically reliable… we have reason to be skeptical …”

Supposed reasons for believing and for skepticism, but not historical/scientific evidence for proving. Some people have supposed reasons for being skeptical of the trustworthiness of the Bible and of Christianity. Even some with a “scientific education”.

 

“We have no extra-biblical data specifically regarding the people in these genealogies, either to confirm or deny the biblical account.”

So, you don’t believe given Bible verses unless you can confirm them by extra-biblical data which you approve of? Do you believe in Mary’s virginal conception of Jesus?

 

After all this, you say “but in the end I see no way to prove reliability or unreliability. I think we can only make educated guesses.”

Frankly, sir, I find this shameful. Despite admitting of “no way to prove reliability or unreliability”, you attempt to cast doubt on the truth of Scripture based on “educated guesses.”

It’s worse than shameful.

Why don’t you re-read Titus 3, verse 9?

I’ll end with verse 10:

“As for a man who is factious, after admonishing him once or twice, have nothing more to do with him”


Eddie - #72957

September 20th 2012

“As for a man who is factious, after admonishing him once or twice, have nothing more to do with him”

Presumably Francis wants us to apply this Biblical advice.  I therefore infer that he wishes anyone here who has admonished him once or twice to cease replying to him.  I’ve already followed this advice.  I recommend that all others do the same. 


Paul Seely - #72796

September 15th 2012

Is Matthew’s genealogy reliable accurate history? He says in 1:17, “So ALL the generations from Abraham to David are fourteen generations, from David until the captivity in Babylon are fourteen generations, and from the captivity in Babylon until the Christ are fourteen generations. Note that in addition to saying “all” he says, “from David until the captivity in Babylon are fourteen generations.” He may have liked the number 14 because the numerical value of the name David is 14, and the fact that Jesus was the son of David is very important. Whatever reason he had for saying, fourteen, it is not because there really were fourteen generations in the real history of the line of Jesus between David and the captivity. If you look in 1 Chron 3:11, 12, you will see that Matthew left out 3 generations. There were really 17 generations between David and the captivity. So, Matthew did not give us ALL the generations, and historically there were  17 generations between David and the captivity not 14.  


Francis - #72810

September 15th 2012

Paul Seely,

One may quibble about what appears to be literary license taken by Matthew (i.e. emphasis of the number fourteen), but one may not quibble - at least I don’t think a real Christian may quibble - that Matthew and the author of 1 Chronicles 3 are noting real, historical persons. Sections of the Bible contain real history. That includes Adam and Eve. And you can rely on that.

If I say so-and-so hit three homeruns yesterday, but fail to mention he also struck out twice, am I not making a historically reliable statement about the three homeruns?

I’d bet even money you have issues with the size of the mustard seed, as well.


Eddie - #73875

October 23rd 2012

“If I say so-and-so hit three homeruns yesterday, but fail to mention he also struck out twice, am I not making a historically reliable statement about the three homeruns?”

Yes, but if you say “so-and-so hit three home runs yesterday, and these were ALL the at-bats of so-and-so,” you are making a historically false statement.

And of course “literary license” will not solve the problem of the discrepancy between the genealogies of Matthew and Luke; unless “literary license” allows for “free invention.”


Francis - #72969

September 20th 2012

“Presumably Francis wants us to apply this Biblical advice. I therefore infer that he wishes anyone here who has admonished him once or twice to cease replying to him. I’ve already followed this advice.” – pope Eddie, phd

If only that were true.

But then, maybe you’ll actually keep your word this time. I hope so.


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