Gen. 1-11 -- myth?

Discussion in 'Creation vs. Evolution' started by Administrator2, Jan 1, 2002.

  1. Administrator2

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    [Administrator: This theistic evolution point of view is presented mainly by BWSmith. The theistic evolution point of view in general says that God created the universe and then established the laws to set it going, using evolution as the means by which life happened and spread out on earth. This point of view often is combined with the “JEDP theory” of Genesis, which states that the first eleven chapters of Genesis were written much later, by four different authors, which are identified by the four letters JEDP. In order to hold to the theistic evolutionist point of view, the first eleven chapters of Genesis must be dealt with in a way that denies either their literal meaning or, as in the case below, their reality at all. ]


    BWSMITH
    Real history begins with the patriarchs at the earliest. There is a structural unity within the Yahwist's Gen 1-11 that is not present in the Yahwist's Gen 12-Joshua. There are also no references to figures in Gen 1-11 anywhere in the Torah or the Former Prophets (Josh-2 Kings). There is no E material in Gen 1-11. There are connections between Gen 1-11 and near-eastern myths that are not present in the rest of the Torah (exception: Moses's
    birth). The genealogical figures in Gen 5 & 11 are different for the MT, LXX-A, LXX-V, and SP, indicating that it was a late addition.

    All this points to Gen 1-11 being an addition by the Yahwist to the pre-existing Patriarchal-Conquest Epic that was expanded by the Priestly writer.

    Question for you: How long did Cainan (son of Arphaxad) live before he became the father of Sala? (Check Gen 11 for the answer...)

    There was no special creation, or Garden of Eden, or Cain and Abel, or Jabal or Jubal or Tubal-Cain, no drunk Noah, no sneaky Canaan and no Tower of Babel. All of Gen 1-11 is united thematically before the big break with Gen 12, which points to Joshua (and never points back to the primeval history).

    Fundamentalism is the greatest anti-Christian tool that Satan has ever devised. It keeps Christians' minds off of loving their brothers and forever obsessed with drawing and defending doctrinal lines in the sand against anyone who dares to cross them.


    DHK
    BWS, On what basis do you make the claim that "history begins with Abraham?" To make that claim, as someone has already pointed, out would in effect be calling Christ a liar, for He referred to many of the "historical characters" of Genesis 1 to 11, as real people. He also referred to these books, including Genesis, as the books of Moses. Genesis is an historical book written by Moses through the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, and God inspired him to write in Exodus 20:11 "For in six days the LORD made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in them is, and rested the seventh day: wherefore the LORD blessed the sabbath day, and hallowed it." I simply believe it.

    BWSMITH

    Originally posted by Kiffin:
    The problem with saying that History begins with Abraham is that Paul in the New Testament indicates that Adam and Eve were literal people and not just symbols.

    I think you will agree that Paul wasn't there to witness it, so he is no more authoritative on their historicity than we are. He read the same Genesis text that we read today.


    Jesus indicates that Noah was a literal person also.

    No he doesn't. He talks about the end times in terms of the Noah account, but does not address Noah's historicity.


    How does one deal with the origin of Sin if they deny a literal Adam.
    It is our nature. See Gen 8:21. Sin and death are our created nature, not the result of our or anyone else's choice. Eternal life is a gift from God out of grace through faith in Christ, not "the norm" that we are returning to when we are saved.

    Does not this indicate that one would have to deny inerrancy of Scripture and denial of Total depravity or Original Sin?

    Yes to all the above. There is no original sin, only personal sin. We sin through our free will and Christ's crucifixion atones for our personal sin.


    If the first 3 chapters aren't true, why do we need a saviour?

    Because we are all sinners by our nature. We need a saviour to redeem the sins that are committed by our own hands, not some sin that is "inherited".


    Originally posted by Sage:
    To those who deny creation completely, or even worse the first eleven chapters, you put in jeopardy the entire Bible, for almost every book in the Bible refers to the creation or the first 11 chapters ! Not to mention that Jesus himself refers to the creation of Adam and Eve!

    What does the truth of the entire Bible have to do with the historicity (notice I didn't say truth) of Gen 1-11? Just because it's not literally true doesn't mean it's not symbolically true.


    1. If Evolution is accurate, then there was death occurring for millions of years before Adam and Eve. According to Romans 5:12 "...sin entered the world through one man(Adam)and death through sin..." So if Romans says death did not occur until Adam how could there be death for millions of years before Adam?

    In a nutshell, Paul was wrong in assuming a literal Adam and Eve for the same reasons that most Christians are wrong about it. It's a misinterpretation of a symbolic passage.


    2. If organisms have been evolving for millions of years, there should be literally thousands of intermediate fossils (missing links), yet there are NONE. Why?

    There are tons of intermediate fossils. See the following: Transitional Fossils FAQ http://www.talkorigins.org/faqs/faq-transitional.html


    3. Why are there no intermediate organisms now? Statistically is it possible that just by chance we live in an era that everything is in a "complete" state?

    There is no such thing as absolute "intermediate" or "complete" organisms. We are in a constant state of genetic flux. Technically, everything is "intermediate".


    4. 2 Peter 3:5-6: This is specifically for those who question the first 11 chapters (the flood specifically) of Genesis.

    The author of 2 Peter was not there either.


    5.If you deny the first 11 chapters as literal, than why in Hebrews 11:4-7 does God use three fictitious characters (Abel, Enoch, and Noah) as examples of men of faith, right along with a bunch of men who really existed?

    All of the NT writers are going to believe in a literal Adam and Eve simply because that was the established tradition for hundreds of years, not because they received some divine revelation.


    DHK wrote:
    BWS, On what basis do you make the claim that "history begins with Abraham?"

    Gen 12 begins the complete literary unit of the people and the land that begins with Abraham and ends with Joshua. Gen 1-11 was added later as an addition to the canonical form as an answer to why Abraham was God's elect.


    To make that claim, as someone has already pointed, out would in effect be calling Christ a liar, for He referred to many of the "historical characters" of Genesis 1 to 11, as real people.

    Actually, He never addressed their historicity any more than He addressed the historicity of the Good Samaritan or the Prodigal Son. He refers to them in a way that is consistent with a symbolic interpretation.


    He also referred to these books, including Genesis, as the books of Moses.

    "Moses" was the common name for the Torah. There was nothing revolutionary about Christ referring to them as such.


    Genesis is an historical book written by Moses through the inspiration of the Holy Spirit,

    Genesis is composed of three basic sources: J (9th c.BC), E (8th C. BC) and P (6th c. BC) that themselves are compilations of inherited traditions of unknown origin. Moses wrote the Law itself and the first-person speeches in Deuteronomy at most.


    and God inspired him to write in Exodus 20:11
    "For in six days the LORD made heaven and earth, the sea, and all
    that in them is, and rested the seventh day: wherefore the LORD blessed the sabbath day, and hallowed it."
    I simply believe it.


    And yet, Deut 5 has a completely different explanation for the sabbath. This is because the P writer who wrote Exodus 20 tied the sabbath in directly with Creation, not because God said those very words.


    charlie wrote:
    BWSmith, you could be right about the symbolism of Gen 1-11, but would there not be in the rest of the Bible the defintions of those symbols that are found there? Is there anywhere in the Bible that makes the claim that these chapters are not literal? Are not historical?

    That's the great problem with the Gen 1-11 text. The material itself is apparently based on underlying poetic sources. The Yahwist rewrote the poem in prose and the Priestly writers added a good deal of temporal and genealogical information to the accounts (mostly based on symbolic numerology).

    If we still had the originals in their Psalm-like poetic form, it would be obvious that they were symbolic, but the circles that produced the text we have today have eliminated many of the obvious clues.


    Is the only reason to accept them as symbolic because the the findings of science?

    No. It is only through the combination of three things: 1) the scientific model, 2) the documentary hypotheses of the Torah, and 3) comparative mythology (Sumerian, Babylonian, etc.) that a Christian can simultaneously declare that a) Gen 1-11 is not literal history, and b) history begins with Abraham (Gen 12).

    Through those three, you can understand that 1) the Bible does not represent a scientific "revelation", 2) Gen 1-11 is a completely separate literary unit from Gen 12-on with multiple stages of editing, and 3) nearly all the Gen 1-11 material has a parallel in near-east mythology, while none of the patriarchal material does (with the exception of the weak connection of the Joseph story to the Egyptian "Tale of 2 Brothers").


    HAL PARKER
    First let me come back to the issue of transitional fossils. The TalkOrigins website claims there are plenty of transitional fossils. Well what do some evolution experts say about the fossil record and transitional forms.
    "The oldest truth of paleontology proclaimed that the vast majority of species appear fully formed in the fossil record and do not change substantially during the long period of their later existence. . . . In other words, geologically abrupt appearance followed by subsequent stability."
    Stephen Jay Gould, "Opus 200", Natural History, Vol. 100 (August 1991), p. 14.
    "Most families, orders, classes, and phyla appear rather suddenly in the fossil record, often without anatomically intermediate forms smoothly interlinking evolutionarily derived descendant taxa with their presumed ancestors."
    Eldredge, N., 1989 Macro-Evolutionary Dynamics: Species, Niches, and Adaptive Peaks, McGraw-Hill Publishing Company, New York, p. 22
    "The point emerges that, if we examine the fossil record in detail, whether at the level of orders or of species, we find - over and over again - not gradual evolution, but the sudden explosion of one group at the expense of another."
    Derek W. Ager, "The Nature of the Fossil Record," Proceedings of the British Geological Association, Vol. 87, No. 2 (1976), p. 133.
    You are probably asking, well how can the TalkOrigins website claim so many transitional fossils. Well, let's approach it from another angle.
    Ariel Roth presents an interesting problem for transitional forms in his book, Origins: Linking Science And Scripture. He has a table that is very similar to this:
    Transitional forms claimed between phyla: None
    Transitional forms claimed between classes: A few
    Transitional forms claimed between genera: Many
    Tranistional forms claimed between species: Multitudes
    Evolutionists do not claim to have any transitional forms as fossils between different phyla. But a phylum is just beneath the kingdom in the classification system. If evolution were true, there should be countless transitional forms as fossils between the different phyla.
    Evolutionists claim a few transitional forms between different classes of organisms. Creation scientists have begun to address these.
    They claim many transitional forms between genera and species. This is not a problem for Creationists. These probably represent variation within a kind for most of these fossils. More research is being done with this.
    Finally, I want to say that it is not good science to make a big distinction between theory and fact. The theory of electromagnetism is a good example. Think of all the devices made by man that depended on the theory of electromagnetism to be correct. Your computer is an obvious example. But the theory of electromagnetism is still called a theory. There is not a big difference between a theory and a fact sometimes.


    BWSMITH
    Hal Parker wrote:
    First let me come back to the issue of transitional fossils.

    The details of evolution itself are actually secondary to the issue of Biblical interpretation. Evolution is viable because the Genesis account(s) of Creation do not represent literal history, therefore the question is open as to whether or not evolution might be the scientific answer.


    Charlie wrote:
    BWSmith, I guess that is really my hangup with this evolution/theistic evolution/creation debate. I do believe that God wrote Gen 1-11 and everything up until Revelation 22:21. (Now I also believe that there are theistic evolutionistS who also believe this.)

    Define "wrote". Do you mean divine dictation? What degree of freedom did the writers have in forming their writings?


    I believe God wrote His word to be understood and applied to our lives in a meaningful way.

    To the extent that we go firing science teachers?
    Just because Gen 1-11 is meaningful doesn't mean that it is literal.


    I believe that God has preserved His word for even our generation.

    God's Word doesn't need to be "preserved". God's Word became flesh and the Bible testifies to Him.


    Therefore I have no problem placing my faith completely in the literal account recorded in the Bible from Genesis 1:1 to Revelation 22:21.

    Again, why the necessity of a literal interpretation of 1-11?

    …The actual purpose of Gen 1 is to dispel the myth that nature consists of lots of Gods. The entire account is the declaration that everything in creation is natural, and created by God, and not that they are gods themselves


    ARS
    quote: In a nutshell, Paul was wrong in assuming a literal Adam and Eve for the same reasons that most Christians are wrong about it. It's a misinterpretation of a symbolic passage.

    I cannot believe what I read was correct. I had to reread this to make sure I didn’t miss something. BWSmith, how, as a Christian, can you even speak such blasphemy? With what authority do I say this to you. Let me quote the following verse.

    All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:
    2 Timothy 3;16
    It doesn’t say some, or a few, but ALL. And to say that Paul was wrong is calling God a liar. Or, was Paul wrong when he wrote Timothy as well? And did Christ lie to his apostles when he spoke of the Holy Spirit, the Spirit of Truth?

    But when the Comforter is come, whom I will send unto you from the Father, even the Spirit of truth, which proceedeth from the Father, he shall testify of me:
    John 15; 26[/I]

    Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak: and he will shew you things to come.
    John.16; 13

    Either the whole Bible is the truth or it is all a lie. For one wrong passage nullifies the whole scripture.
    BWSmith, I caution you. I think you need to spend more time in the scripture than in the science books. Also, I do not want you think I am making a judgment upon you. I am simply doing what a Christian is called to do when an affront against God has been made. I do not do this of my own volition but by the authority of God. I do this out of love for you, my fellow Christian, that you may walk with the Lord and not against Him.

    Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine.
    2 Timothy 4; 2

    This witness is true. Wherefore rebuke them sharply, that they may be sound in the faith;
    …These things speak, and exhort, and rebuke with all authority. Let no man despise thee.

    Titus 2; 15

    I pray that you find it in your heart to realize your mistake and you repent.

    [ January 20, 2002: Message edited by: Administrator ]
     
  2. Administrator2

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    SAGE
    Originally posted by BWSmith:
    In a nutshell, Paul was wrong in assuming a literal Adam and Eve for the same reasons that most Christians are wrong about it. It's a misinterpretation of a symbolic passage.

    Does anyone else see a problem with this statement? Do you Mr. Smith, believe that God allowed Paul to write something concerning such an important subject that was false? Not just false but so misleading that it would cause millions of Christians to base much of their doctrine on a false statement?
    Was God not involved with this passage or was He just allowing Paul to write something that was simply not true?


    The author of 2 Peter was not there either.

    The author of 2 Peter WAS there! The author was God.


    All of the NT writers are going to believe in a literal Adam and Eve simply because that was the established tradition for hundreds of years, not because they received some divine revelation.

    2 Timothy 3:16 "All scripture is given by inspiration of God..." The word inspiration here means "God breathed".
    That implies divine revelation to me!
    2 Peter 1:21 "For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost." Again, sounds like divine revelation to me!

    B.W.Smith, just for the record, you do not believe that God directly authored the scripture through men, you do not believe in original sin, you do not believe in creation, you do not believe in the flood, and you think that the first 11 chapters of the Bible are allegorical. Is this correct?
    Do you believe that Jesus really performed miracles, and was born of a virgin, because these things contradict "science" also.


    CHARLIE
    BWSmith, I perceive that the main problem between us is the authority of Scriptures. You have made several comments in this regard. Let me list them for reference:
    I do not want to misunderstand you, but it appears that you do not hold to validity of the Scriptures. If that is the case then you must be clinging to something else as your authority. What is it? Or, maybe, who is it?


    BWSmith wrote:
    It is only through the combination of three things: 1) the scientific model, 2) the documentary hypotheses of the Torah, and 3) comparative mythology (Sumerian, Babylonian, etc.) that a Christian can simultaneously declare that a) Gen 1-11 is not literal history...

    I noticed that nothing is said as to the validity of the Bible. As to the scientific model, which one?
    I am under the assumption that the documentary hypotheses was first proposed by Jean Astruc in 1753. This is a very critical time in the evolutionary view of things. The Bible was being openly challenged, not for its scientific flaws, or historical inaccuracies, but because there was an outright rejection of the God behind the Bible. In other words it was a philosophical rejection of the God of the Bible. I am not sure that linking or quoting others will really do any good.

    If your belief is correct then it is possible that comparative mythology could have influenced the writers, but as you admit it will have to be much, much, later than when it actually claims to be written. There is another view as to the similarities in comparative mythology and that is the belief that the Sumerians, Babylonians, etc., had borrowed from the writings of the Jews, (i.e. the Scriptures). I guess it comes down to where one's faith is resting.



    BWSMITH

    There is nothing blasphemous in suggesting that Paul misinterpreted the historicity of Adam and Eve. Heretical with respect to the orthodox view, yes, but certainly not blasphemous.

    Do you think Paul believed in a flat earth?


    All scripture is given by inspiration of God...It doesn’t say some, or a few, but ALL. And to say that Paul was wrong is calling God a liar.

    Does "all scripture" include the Protestant canon or the Catholic canon? And what does "by inspiration of God" mean? It means exactly what Jeremiah said. Scripture is the word of man trying to express the Word of God that came to them.


    Or, was Paul wrong when he wrote Timothy as well?

    In 1 Tim, Paul quotes Luke's gospel as "scripture" and Luke clearly introduces his gospel as his own work.


    And did Christ lie to his apostles when he spoke of the Holy Spirit, the Spirit of Truth.

    That has nothing to do with the Bible itself.


    Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak: and he will shew you things to come.
    John.16; 13

    Why would the Holy Spirit have revealed something special about the historicity of Adam and Eve?


    Either the whole Bible is the truth or it is all a lie. For one wrong passage nullifies the whole scripture.

    That sir, is a lie. The Bible is the record of revelation of God Himself, but is NOT the revelation itself.


    BWSmith, I caution you. I think you need to spend more time in the scripture than in the science books.

    Amen, but that doesn't mean that we should throw out the science books.

    God allowed the Biblical writers to describe the earth as if it were flat, to the extent that he "misled" the Catholic church to outlaw the discoveries of Galileo. To the extent that we are "misled" by the Bible's teachings on the shape of the earth, so are we misled by an apparent teaching of a historical Gen 1-11, whose historicity is improbable due to the findings of science, Biblical criticism, and comparative mythology.


    B.W.Smith, just for the record, you do not believe that God directly authored the scripture through men, you do not believe in original sin, you do not believe in creation, you do not believe in the flood, and you think that the first 11 chapters of the Bible are allegorical. Is this correct?

    Yes, with the clarification that I don't believe in "special" creation. (I'm a theistic evolutionist, so Creation to me means one "Big Bang" Creation by God from which everything was subsequently formed through natural processes.)


    BWSmith, I perceive that the main problem between us is the authority of Scriptures.

    I wouldn't say that it's the authority of the scriptures as much as it is understanding the nature of the scriptures.


    I do not want to misunderstand you, but it appears that you do not hold to validity of the Scriptures.

    I'm not sure what you mean by "validity". They are the record of revelation of God, the words of man trying to express the Word of God that came to him, but not the Word of God itself.


    I noticed that nothing is said as to the validity of the Bible. As to the scientific model, which one?

    The summation of the astronomical, geological, and biological models as they pertain to origin issues that are addressed in the Bible.


    I am under the assumption that the documentary hypotheses was first proposed by Jean Astruc in 1753.

    Yes, but not expressed in its classical form until Graf-Wellhausen and today not accepted in its pure classical form due to the discovery of the DtrH and an acceptance of the limitations of many textual tools.


    This is a very critical time in the evolutionary view of things. The Bible was being openly challenged, not for its scientific flaws, or historical inaccuracies, but because there was an outright rejection of the God behind the Bible.

    Regardless of the motivations or convictions of those who make discoveries, if evidence is present, it must be dealt with under the guidance of the Holy Spirit.


    If your belief is correct then it is possible that comparative mythology could have influenced the writers, but as you admit it will have to be much, much, later than when it actually claims to be written.

    Because the age of the Sumerian myths in question predate even the time of Abraham, I think even those who hold to Mosaic authorship could conceive of mythical influences.


    There is another view as to the similarities in comparative mythology and that is the belief that the Sumerians, Babylonians, etc., had borrowed from the writings of the Jews, (i.e. the Scriptures). I guess it comes down to where one's faith is resting.

    Or rather, it comes down to the combination of many factors put together and not just comparative mythology in a vacuum. There is no reason why, using CM alone, that one could not conclude that the Sumerians borrowed from the Jews. However, when combined with Biblical criticism and the scientific model, it becomes clear that the reverse has occurred, IMHO.


    DHK
    BWSmith,
    Have you taken a close look at the account of the formation of Eve in Genesis two? The creation of the first man and the first woman were very obviously unique and special creations of God, not to be compared with animals at all but rather to be contrasted with them. To say that Paul was wrong in thinking that they were historical accounts is simply a cop-out. You have no basis for that statement, no proof, it is just a vain imagination of your own thought. If Paul was wrong back it up with Scripture please!!

    The widespread belief that people evolved from apelike ancestors is not only refuted by Scripture but also by all the facts of science. The "missing links" of Darwin's day are still missing today. There have been many fossils of true human beings excavated by anthropologists and paleontologists, and many fossils of true apes. To date, however, neither any living animals nor any fossil remains have ever been found which are intermediate between men and apes.

    The account of the creation of and formation of Eve should put to rest your beliefs about evolution. There is no way at all in which Eve's unique mode of origin can be intrpreted in an evolutionary context. 1Tim 2:13 explicitly declares the historicity of this record "For Adam was first formed, then Eve." This is not evolution; it is not an allegory; it is history. To say anything otherwise is a frank denial of Scripture. Adam was first formed and then Eve is akin to saying that Joshua first took Jericho and then took Ai. Both are historical statements. Are you going to deny the second as well as the first. Abraham had Ishmael first and then Isaac--true or false? Is it historical or allegorical? If one is historical then all are historical. On what basis do you make the claim than Paul's statement is wrong and not historical? On what basis do you make the claim that the Holy Spirit wrongly inspired Paul to make such a claim? Paul continues to say in 1 Cor.11:8 "For the man is not of the woman, but the woman of the man."
    Was he wrong also in this statement? How many verses in your Bible must you tear out because they are wrong? I believe the Bible to be a complete Book, every verse inspired, and every part of the entire Bible inspired of God, nothing lacking.


    BWSMITH

    We are unique and special creations of God, but we were created through evolution.

    Do you think Paul believed in a flat earth? There is no evidence that Paul was drawing on any special revelation at the time. While there was a debate at the time over the interpretation of Gen 1-11 (see Philo of Alexandria), Paul was clearly from the "historical school" through no fault of his own.


    If Paul was wrong back it up with Scripture please!!

    Why would that need to be backed up by scripture?


    The widespread belief that people evolved from apelike ancestors is not only refuted by Scripture but also by all the facts of science.

    Actually, it is special creation that is not supported by the evidence.


    To date, however, neither any living animals nor any fossil remains have ever been found which are intermediate between men and apes.

    Do the australopithecines count?

    The formation of woman from a rib is grounded in a Sumerian pun from the myth "Enki and Ninhursag". "Ti" in Sumerian means a rib (noun) or "make alive" (verb). Nin-Ti was created to heal Enki's rib and subsequently became the "lady of the month". The account of the creation of Eve apparently stems from this play on words.


    "For Adam was first formed, then Eve." This is not evolution; it is not an allegory; it is history. To say anything otherwise is a frank denial of Scripture.

    Fine, it's a "frank denial of Scripture". Paul was wrong to believe in a literal Adam and Eve, just as they were wrong to believe in a flat earth.


    Adam was first formed and then Eve is akin to saying that Joshua first took Jericho and then took Ai. Both are historical statements. Are you going to deny the second as well as the first.

    No, there is no evidence to disprove the Conquest.


    Abraham had Ishmael first and then Isaac--true or false? Is it historical or allegorical?

    Historical.


    If one is historical then all are historical.

    Why does the historicity of the conquest and patriarchal traditions necessarily make a statement about the historicity of Gen 1-11?


    On what basis do you make the claim than Paul's statement is wrong and not historical?

    Apparently, all of Gen 1-11 is not literal history or science, so Paul must have incorrectly followed the traditions of the day and not the Holy Spirit.


    On what basis do you make the claim that the Holy Spirit wrongly inspired Paul to make such a claim?

    The Holy Spirit must not have done so. The teaching that no one is without sin IS inspired, but the extent to which that requires a literal Adam and Eve, it can't be.


    Paul continues to say in 1 Cor.11:8 "For the man is not of the woman, but the woman of the man." Was he wrong also in this statement?

    Yep.


    How many verses in your Bible must you tear out because they are wrong?

    I'm not tearing anything out. I'm interpreting it based on what we know now to be true.


    SAGE
    "created though evolution" Isn't that kind of an contradictory statement? Either God created us, or God created the big bang and the big bang created us. If you believe in evolution, then God was not DIRECTLY involved in our creation.


    Do you think Paul believed in a flat earth?

    Out of curiosity, what are you referring to when you say Paul believed in a flat earth? In Isaiah 40:22 Isaiah refers "the CIRCLE of the earth..." The Hebrew word for circle here means "to encircle, encompass, describe a circle, draw round, make a circle (Qal) to encircle, encompass". Sounds round to me.


    There is no evidence that Paul was drawing on any special revelation at the time.

    Again I refer you to 2Peter 1:21 "For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost."
    According to the Bible Paul was drawing on special revelation.


    Actually, it is special creation that is not supported by the evidence.

    Unless you consider the Bible "evidence".


    Do the australopithecines count?

    There are no australopithecines.
    For more info concerning australopithecines see (www.aig.smartbusiness.org) under the Q/A section.


    The formation of woman from a rib is grounded in a Sumerian pun from the myth "Enki and Ninhursag". "Ti" in Sumerian means a rib (noun) or "make alive" (verb). Nin-Ti was created to heal Enki's rib and subsequently became the "lady of the month". The account of the creation of Eve apparently stems from this play on words.

    HMM...so let me get this straight, the men who wrote the Bible did not get divine revelation from God, but they were inspired by a "Sumerian pun". I think I'll stick with divine inspiration.


    "For Adam was first formed, then Eve." This is not evolution; it is not an allegory; it is history. To say anything otherwise is a frank denial of Scripture.

    --- Fine, it's a "frank denial of Scripture". Paul was wrong to believe in a literal Adam and Eve, just as they were wrong to believe in a flat earth. [/b]

    Do you realize all of the scripture that you nullify with that statement (besides Gen.1-11)?
    1Tim 2:12-13;1Cor.11:9; Rom.1:20;5:12; Mark 10:6;13:19;2Peter 3:4;Rev.3:14.
    Just to name a few!!! There are over 50 verses that refer to the creation specifically, and even more that refer to it indirectly. Jesus Christ (God in flesh) refers to the creation of Adam and Eve in Mark 10:6 .


    Paul must have incorrectly followed the traditions of the day and not the Holy Spirit.

    WOW!!! I hope all you who are reading BWSmith's stuff realize what he is saying. Would I be wrong in saying that this kind of statement is borderline blasphemy?


    Paul continues to say in 1 Cor.11:8 "For the man is not of the woman, but the woman of the man." Was he wrong also in this statement?

    --- Yep.

    Paul's writings are a bulk of the New Testament!! How can we believe any of his writings when so much of it is just plain wrong??
     
  3. Administrator2

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    BWSMITH
    If you believe in evolution, then God was not DIRECTLY involved in our creation.

    Depending on whether "directly" necessitates supernatural intervention for the sake of special creation. However, God planned for us from the beginning of time.


    Jesus Christ(God in flesh)refers to the creation of Adam and Eve in Mark 10:6 "But from the beginning of the creation God made them male and female." Was He wrong also???

    In the beginning God DID create us male and female. Mankind has never been asexual.

    Paul must have incorrectly followed the traditions of the day and not the Holy Spirit.


    WOW!!! I hope all you who are reading BWSmith's stuff realize what he is saying.
    Would I be wrong in saying that this kind of statement is borderline blasphemy?


    Yes, you would.


    Paul's writings are a bulk of the New Testament!! How can we believe any of his writings when so much of it is just plain wrong??

    How is "so much of it just plain wrong"? Did Paul not see Christ on the road to Damascus? Did Christ not reveal the gospel to Paul? Why would Paul be wrong about things pertaining to Christ?
    At the same time, his views on both the shape of the earth and the historicity of Adam and Eve were mainstream Jewish thought. It is a lie to suggest that Paul must be correct about everything he addresses in order to be correct about anything.


    DHK
    I cannot but speak the things which I have seen, and heard, and duly noted down for classification---a good working definition of science. Things which are observed. Science needs an observer. If it cannot be observed it isn't science. Evolution is in the realm of faith and religion, not science. There was no observer to the "Big Bang," but there was to Creation--the Triune Godhead. You put too much blind faith, Mr. Smith, into your myth of evolution, your superstitions of JEDP, and your legends of Sumerian culture. Facts are facts. And facts are observable. Those things which are not observable, but must be taken by faith are outside the realm of science, such as the origin of the earth. You were not there to observe it, neither was any scientist, and therefore it is outside the realm of science. It is a matter of faith--faith in God's Word; His revelation to mankind in which He (Jehovah Himself) declares that all things were created in six days and on the seventh He rested (Ex. 20:11).


    "Why would Paul need to be backed up with Scripture?"

    Paul doesn't need any backing, but you need to back up some of your blasphemous statements with Scripture, which apparently you cannot do. You would rather trust in Sumerian mythology than the Word of God. In effect you call Peter, Paul, and Christ liars for referring to historical figures from the flood and before, as real and genuine people. You come straight out and say, "Paul was wrong." Thus Jesus was wrong to refer to Noah in a historical context--no allegory here--"in the 'days' of Noah." What kind of days did he live in? 24-hour days in which they were eating, drinking and given to marriage. It sounds quite historical to me. Again, with what Scripture do you use to back up your statements to make such outrageous claims that Paul was wrong in 1 Cor. 11:8, etc.?


    Do the australopithicines count?"

    According to anthropologist Richard Leakey, the australopithecus was a "long-armed short-legged knuckle walker." He thus was most likely merely an extinct ape, with an ape-sized brain but with teeth that had a smaller size and somewhat "humanlike" appearance because of his peculiar diet. Furthermore, more recent finds by Dr. Leakey, as well as by Johansen and others, have proved that true humans (with a truly human skull, erect posture, etc.) existed at least as early as Australopithecus, Homo erectus, and all others that had previously been considered candidates for the transition between apes (or apelike creatures) and people. So far as the actual fossil evidence shows, man has always been man and the ape has always been an ape, exactly as the Bible teaches.


    Apparently, all of Gen 1-11 is not literal history or science, so Paul must have incorrectly followed the traditions of the day and not the Holy Spirit.

    Just how far do you take this reasoning. "Paul must have incorrectly followed the traditions of the day and not the Holy Spirit," when it is convenient not to fit into BWSmith's theological scheme of things. Just say that Paul was wrong. What a novel idea. And when I don't like what Jesus teaches, I just say that He is wrong too? Sounds good. Just what would you like to call this new religion? The JW's have been practicing something similar to this for a long time now. Every time they don't understand something (like the trinity) they simply deny it.
    An acceptance of evolution is a denial of creation. A denial of creation is a denial of the Word of God. Creation must be accepted by faith, whether or not you completely understand it.


    BWSMITH
    Has God given you a vision that the rest of us do not have, or are you using the Bible, as I am?

    There doesn't have to be an observer for us to understand that it [The Big Bang] happened. The evidence is there… The TOE [Theory of Evolution] is not a fact, but a theory, and it is the best theory available that supports the evidence.


    It is a matter of faith--faith in God's Word; His revelation to mankind in which He (Jehovah Himself) declares that all things were created in six days and on the seventh He rested (Ex. 20:11).

    Actually, the P writer declared that, not God Himself.


    Paul doesn't need any backing, but you need to back up some of your blasphemous statements with Scripture, which apparently you cannot do.

    Why would I need to back up the non-historicity of Adam and Eve with scripture?


    In effect you call Peter, Paul, and Christ liars for referring to historical figures from the flood and before, as real and genuine people.

    Jesus never said such a thing. Peter and Paul believed was was the common tradition at the time. Does that make them liars?


    You come straight out and say, "Paul was wrong." Thus Jesus was wrong to refer to Noah in a historical context--no allegory here--"in the 'days' of Noah."

    The context was not affirming the historicity of Noah, but the nature of the "last days".

    Why would Paul not have been wrong if there was no literal Adam and Eve? And what does it matter if he was incorrect on their historicity?


    And when I don't like what Jesus teaches, I just say that He is wrong too? Sounds good.

    When have I ever said that Jesus was wrong?


    An acceptance of evolution is a denial of creation. A denial of creation is a denial of the Word of God. Creation must be accepted by faith, whether or not you completely understand it.

    I understand it. God is the Creator and He created the universe and mankind, and He did it through natural processes. What is there not to understand about that?


    MIKAYEHU
    BW, just for the record, aren't you aware that the JEDP theory was abandoned sometime in the 1930's? All the new liberal theories undercut all of its tenets, and conservatives never bought into it in the first place. But, regarding the authors' backgrounds, no they didn't now as much about science as we do today, but I assure you that God did, and whatever the Bible affirms scientifically is inerrant. Rom. 5 demands the historical accuracy of Gen. 1 ff. or we are without a literal Savior.


    BWSMITH
    BW, just for the record, aren't you aware that the JEDP theory was abandoned sometime in the 1930's?
    In it's pure, classical Hexateuch form, yes, based on the discovery of the Deuteronomistic History. However, the notion of three general sources with the labels J, E, and P, is still the accepted norm for the Tetrateuch.

    All the new liberal theories undercut all of its tenets, and conservatives never bought into it in the first place.
    Not all its tenets. Most of its propositions are still intact.

    But, regarding the authors' backgrounds, no they didn't now as much about science as we do today, but I assure you that God did, and whatever the Bible affirms scientifically is inerrant.
    The Bible doesn't claim this. Why should we?

    Rom. 5 demands the historical accuracy of Gen. 1 ff. or we are without a literal Savior.
    Why can Jesus not save us from our sins if we are the product of evolution? Is God not capable of dealing with a world system that is that complex?


    WISDOMHUNTER
    My question to you Mr. Smith is...if God started evolution, how do you explain original sin? If God only started evolution and let everything fall into place by "natural" processes, then he started a bad system. Our world is full of evil. And if this is only a natural selection, then why did Jesus come? What was the purpose of his death/burial/resurection, if there was no original sin?


    BWSMITH
    There is no capital-O original sin, only lowercase-O. We sin because it is our nature (see Gen 8:21), and we are sinners because we sin. We are not sinners because we inherited a sin, but because we inherit a sinful nature.


    If God only started evolution and let everything fall into place by "natural" processes, then he started a bad system.

    By the same logic, if God allows Satan to do bad things to righteous Job, then God is a bad God, right?


    Our world is full of evil. And if this is only a natural selection, then why did Jesus come? What was the purpose of his death/burial/resurection, if there was no original sin?

    To save us from our personal sin, and all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.


    SAGE
    Would he have agreed with the Catholic church that Galileo was incorrect in declaring that the earth was spherical?

    What does this have to do with my question??? I asked where does Paul refer to the earth as flat? And NO, I do not agree with the Catholic church in their decision, but what does that have to do with Paul or the scripture?
    Again, what scripture are you referring to when you say Paul believed in a flat earth?? I do not believe Paul was always right, I believe God is always right, and he wrote(through Paul) the scripture.


    And Gen 1-2 does not constitute physical evidence. It is testimony from non-eyewitnesses of the events described.

    Again, I believe that Paul was writing on behalf of God who was there (John 1:1).
    BWSmith, A few questions:
    1. If we evolved, at what point did we evolve a soul and spirit??
    2. Did the "transitions" before us have a soul??
    3. Will we continue to evolve? If not, why not.
    4. Wouldn't it stand to reason that if there were transitions before humans (cave men), shouldn't there be literally thousands of skeletal remains? Why are they so rare (or none existent as I believe)?
    5. IF there has been life on earth for millions of years, than where are all the bones? Shouldn't there be billions of skeletal remains?


    I have not staked out a position on homosexuality

    Well, God has. Here are some verses to help you out:
    Romans 1:26-28
    Lev. 18:20
    Lev. 20:13
    1Cor. 6:9
    1Tim. 1:10


    I am skeptical of the belief that a large segment of our population would volunteerily choose a life of ridicule and scorn by society

    They are not a "large segment"! Less than 2% (and that is being generous)of the population profess to be gay. Besides our society is more Homosexual friendly, than Christian friendly, just watch T.V. or read up on recent Supreme Court rulings.

    BWSMITH
    Since you [Sage] claimed that I was blasphemous for suggesting that the Bible contains a mix of tradition, I'm demonstrating that the Bible is fairly united in the belief that the earth is flat, which certainly did not come from God.


    1. If we evolved, at what point did we evolve a soul and spirit??

    We didn't evolve a soul. The soul is supernatural. Ultimately, the identity of the person who had the "first soul" is a mystery for which only God has the answer. God has revealed to us that we have souls, but the origin, nature, and number of the souls of others are unknowable (and of no concern to us).
    Man is the focus of all creation and God apparently bestowed souls upon the first people that he considered to be "people".


    2. Did the "transitions" before us have a soul??

    No.


    3. Will we continue to evolve?

    Not in the sense that the rest of nature evolves.


    If not, why not.

    Our intelligence has allowed us to conquer natural selection. We are more in control of our own reproduction. Today, allele frequency is more related to the "artificial selections" created by our world than the forces of nature. That is, undesirable genes (by our standards of preference) are constantly being filtered out.


    4. Wouldn't it stand to reason that if there were transitions before humans (cave men), shouldn't there be literally thousands of skeletal remains? Why are they so rare (or none existent as I believe)?

    It has to do with the fact that fossilization requires a number of conditions to be just right. (We're lucky to have any fossils at all.)


    5. I there has been life on earth for millions of years, than where are all the bones? Shouldn't there be billions of skeletal remains?

    99.9999999% of them were re-absorbed into the biological food chain. Only a tiny fraction managed to avoid this and become fossilized.


    PASTOR LARRY

    Why do you take Gen 12 as the magical starting point of "real history"? There is no difference in the text that would lead one to that position. Yet you have staked your claim right there for some unknown reason.

    The reality is that the J and P flood accounts are figments of imagination. There is no basis in the text for seeing that. You should take the time to read Gleason Archer's Introduction to the Old Testament. It would save you from a lot of the long answered objections you are putting forth here. Those theories have long been discredited by able scholars.

    I am not sure there is much "forgiveness" in the flood account. It is pretty much all judgment, but by your own standard it is merely figurative anyway and there is no logical reason to base a absolute truth about God on a made up story.


    JOHN WELLS
    BW,
    Asking me to validate the 66 books of the canon is another diversion. Since there are about a dozen books in the canon that affirm "the fall of Adam" and it's significance regarding sin, death, salvation, and the gospel, any canon that you would be left with would be worthless!


    BWSMITH
    So Human Evolution is a grand hoax? There is secretly a break in the fossil ages somewhere around 4,004 BC?


    Larry wrote: Word digger and I do not agree. He is a gap theorist I believe. I am not.

    So did mankind appear 6,000 years ago or 6 million years ago, or somewhere in between, based on your view?


    The Egyptians did not live right through a world wide flood which is patently obvious from the text and from history.

    But the Great Pyramid dates to the 26th century BC. How did it survive the flood?


    Denying the historicity of Gen 1-11 is an invalid method of argumentation by your own standard. You are looking for proof. There is no proof that it is poetic, allegorical, or any such thing. It is the pure supposition of your mind.


    The evidence in nature, archaeology, comparative mythology and Biblical criticism provides the necessary proof that Gen 1-11 is not literal history.

    In fact, the NT author's considered it historical. Either they are right or you are. Whose side will you take?

    If Peter and Paul liked to drink Coke, does that mean that Pepsi drinkers are anathema? Opinion is one thing, but authority is another, and the NT writers had no special authority on the historicity of Gen 1-11 over our own.
    There is no evidence of a special revelation regarding anything in Gen 1-11 that they didn't simply receive from the same Bible that we have. Therefore their comments on it are their opinions, but not authoritative over the books themselves.


    Actually, they are probably 360 day years (another fact of historical knowledge, not 355 or 365).

    Whoop de doo.


    Furthermore, yes they are real years. They should likely not be read as complete genealogies. Hebrew genealogies are rarely complete

    So they've never REALLY been intended to be read as complete genealogies; they only appear that way?


    and that is where Ussher (and you) make your mistakes on OT chronology. Cf Matt 1.

    So it's OK for me to say that mankind wasn't around until 6 million years C.E. when we split from the apes?


    The flood did come in the 600th year of Noah's life. But we are not told when the first year is. That is why Ussher's date (and your presumed one) is tenuous at best.

    Why were all the numbers included in the genealogies if they have no connection with reality? At what point do the numbers become real? Abraham? The sojourn? Solomon?


    Why do you take Gen 12 as the magical starting point of "real history"? There is no difference in the text that would lead one to that position. Yet you have staked your claim right there for some unknown reason.

    There's no difference in the late P material (6th c.BC), but a HUGE break in the early J & E material (8th C.BC).


    How do you know what the "actual purpose" is and by what authority do you make such a claim?

    Jesus said so. He related the flood to the last days. That's its real purpose. Should I have looked to a higher authority?


    Every indication in the text is that the "real purpose" was to convey information about history.

    And yet there are those pesky contradictions, like the number of animals taken on board and the date that the earth was dry.


    The reality is that the J and P flood accounts are figments of imagination.

    Or rather, the flood itself is.


    There is no basis in the text for seeing that. You should take the time to read Gleason Archer's Introduction to the Old Testament. It would save you from a lot of the long answered objections you are putting forth here. Those theories have long been discredited by able scholars.

    No they haven't. JEDP is still the standard curriculum for pentateuchal studies in secular universities.
     
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    JOHN WELLS
    BW, So they've never REALLY been intended to be read as complete genealogies; they only appear that way? Why were all the numbers included in the genealogies if they have no connection with reality? At what point do the numbers become real? Abraham? The sojourn? Solomon?

    Here you show your ignorance of the Hebrew culture. It is well documented that they omitted insignificant or questionable ancestors, when recording genealogies.


    The evidence in nature, archaeology, comparative mythology and Biblical criticism provides the necessary proof that Gen 1-11 is not literal history.

    Not so from anything I’ve read and believe, but then my faith doesn’t cave to the naturalistic worldview. I know, you keep trying to separate evolution from naturalism, but the truth of the matter is you can’t. EVOLUTION IS A PRODUCT OF THE NATURALISTIC WORLDVIEW!


    BWSMITH
    Here you show your ignorance of the Hebrew culture. It is well documented that they omitted insignificant or questionable ancestors, when recording genealogies.

    I'm asking you what the numbers DO mean if they are not, as you say, intended to provide a count of years back to the birth of Adam?


    my faith doesn’t cave to the naturalistic worldview.

    Nor does mine or anyone else on this board.


    EVOLUTION IS A PRODUCT OF THE NATURALISTIC WORLDVIEW!

    It's a product of the observations of the world around us. It supports naturalism, but it is not naturalism.


    PASTOR LARRY
    The biblical revelation correlated with scientific data apart from antibiblical presuppositions supports about 8-12,000 years. It could be as high as 50-100,000 years without compromising either the scientific evidence or the biblical data.

    But the Great Pyramid dates to the 26th century BC. How did it survive the flood?

    26th century is about 2700 BC. It was after the flood.


    Opinion is one thing, but authority is another, and the NT writers had no special authority on the historicity of Gen 1-11 over our own. There is no evidence of a special revelation regarding anything in Gen 1-11 that they didn't simply receive from the same Bible that we have. Therefore. their comments on it are their opinions, but not authoritative over the books themselves.

    The evidence for special revelation in the NT: John 16:13 "But when He, the Spirit of truth, comes, He will guide you into all the truth; for He will not speak on His own initiative, but whatever He hears, He will speak; and He will disclose to you what is to come.
    2 Tim 3:16 says that “All Scripture is God-breathed.” I would assume that all means all and since God breathed it and since it is impossible for God to lie, it is accurate. Because you don’t like it does not attribute error to God.
    You would have us believe only some Scripture was God breathed.


    So they've never REALLY been intended to be read as complete genealogies; they only appear that way?

    I don’t know that they appear that way at all.


    Why were all the numbers included in the genealogies if they have no connection with reality? At what point do the numbers become real? Abraham? The sojourn? Solomon?

    You didn’t read very closely. I didn’t say that had no connection with reality. You made that up. I said that they were not necessarily consecutive. You cannot take the years and add them together to come up with a total because Hebrew genealogies are known not to be consecutive as in Matthew 1.


    Jesus said so. He related the flood to the last days. That's its real purpose. Should I have looked to a higher authority?

    So is the last judgment as mythical as the first one was? In order for Christ’s point to make sense, the flood account of Genesis had to be accurate. Peter uses the same argument and calls people who deny the flood “willingly ignorant” (KJV).


    And yet there are those pesky contradictions, like the number of animals taken on board and the date that the earth was dry

    Long ago answered. You of all people should know that the number is no big deal since probably only two of each kind were taken on the ark. The speciation within a kind (e.g., dogs) was post flood with genetic mutation. There is no evidence that any kind ever became another kind (e.g., a fish never became a horse).


    JEDP is still the standard curriculum for pentateuchal studies in secular universities.

    I didn’t argue that it wasn’t being taught. I argued that it had been discredited by able scholars long ago. The JEDP theory could pick apart any modern day document known to be the work of one author because of its presuppositions and faulty methods. By its analogies, I am sure that we could assemble your posts and find the work of 5 or 6 different people. The critical method is faulty and thus leads to faulty conclusions.


    So there's no truth to be found in the Good Samaritan or Prodigal Son?

    Sure there is, but there is a big difference between those two and the flood accounts. Those two claim to be parables; the flood account does not.



    MIKAYEHU
    I'm pretty sure everyone gets a basic view of what is going on here. I said earlier that science, by its very nature, cannot appeal to the supernatural for an explanation. Science must explain everything by natural laws. So, the JEDP hypothesis, which BW has referred to so often, has the same basic flaw. If the supernatural does not exist, then we must explain the Bible by means of purely natural methods. So, the documentary hypothesis (JEDP) attempts to tell us that most (or all) of those prophecies weren't really revelations from God but some unknown redactor's addition centuries after the fact. It attempts to tell us that monotheism wasn't the original religion of mankind (as taught in the Scriptures), but polytheism. The evolution of JEDP is laughable. First we were told that E was prior to J, then, oops, we found out that J is before E (except after P or when making the sound . . . ).
    Then, a man named Kennett came along and told us that E should have been before J all along, yet Pederson tells us that there is no such thing as a distinct J and E. Well, we were also told that E used the name "Elohim" and J used the name "Yahweh"; surely that indicates a different person wrote verse 5 than wrote verse 6 . . . well . . . we thought that until we studied other Semitic languages and all the liberals abandoned that "proof" of various sources. As the 20th century progressed, liberals realized that JEDP was not enough, so along came the sources L, K, S, S2, etc. (sound like the theory of evolution? Oops, a few million years isn't enough, let's make it several billion.). Ah, our everchanging world of science. Form Criticism soon came along and disagreed with the major tenets of Source Criticism (JEDP). Pages can, and have, been written (by both conservatives and liberals) exposing the fallacies of the JEDP theory, but it is enough for me that the Bible teaches Moses wrote the Pentateuch. End of story. Therefore, Gen. 1-11 cannot be amputated from 12 ff.

    So, there is our fundamental difference, BW -- our source of authority. Mine is the Bible (sola scriptura!). I have no fear of facts, for I have found them to be consistent with what Scripture teaches. If science contradicts the "normal" meaning of Scripture, then I chalk that up to human fallibility (how many times have we seen that in the past; just think of the D in JEDP for an example). You, on the other hand, BW, have science and reasoning as your final authority. I think I am correct in saying this, for if science contradicts the Bible, then you explain that as only being J's opinion (well then maybe salvation was only an opinion as well). I hope I have not mistated your positions, BW; I have tried really hard not to. Just one question though. Assume for a second that the Bible does teach a literal creation in six days, how would science prove that to be accurate? Creation is an absolutely impossible conclusion for science. It involves a supernatural act which science can't factor in, so science must be given time to explain the effects of Creation. Science must then have billions of years to allow natural laws to explain what we see today (a.k.a. "evolution").


    BWSMITH
    Mikayehu wrote: So, the JEDP hypothesis, which BW has referred to so often, has the same basic flaw. If the supernatural does not exist, then we must explain the Bible by means of purely natural methods.

    Even though the supernatural DOES exist, it's important that we survey the results of the critical analyses of the Bible.


    So, the documentary hypothesis (JEDP) attempts to tell us that most (or all) of those prophecies weren't really revelations from God but some unknown redactor's addition centuries after the fact.

    Passed down through oral and written traditions, yes. They are not a direct dictation from God.


    It attempts to tell us that monotheism wasn't the original religion of mankind (as taught in the Scriptures), but polytheism.

    Uh, no it doesn't. You're mixing in the history of religions studies with pure 4-source hypotheses.


    The evolution of JEDP is laughable. First we were told ... then ... we found out that ... Then, a man named Kennett came along and told us that ... yet Pederson tells us that ...

    Along the same lines, Isaac Newton told us that light is a particle, but then Young told us that light is a wave, but then Bohr told us it might be both. By your logic, it's safe to assume that light simply doesn't exist. Variance in opinion and evidence is the nature of science and the fact that similar variations occur in Biblical criticism says nothing about its feasibility.


    well . . . we thought that until we studied other Semitic languages and all the liberals abandoned that "proof" of various sources.

    The divine name is still the primary basis for source distinction.


    As the 20th century progressed, liberals realized that JEDP was not enough, so along came the sources L, K, S, S2, etc. (sound like the theory of evolution? Oops, a few million years isn't enough, let's make it several billion.). Ah, our everchanging world of science.

    It has since been concluded that there are limits to how closely one can definitively parse the text into sources.


    Form Criticism soon came along and disagreed with the major tenets of Source Criticism (JEDP). Pages can, and have, been written (by both conservatives and liberals) exposing the fallacies of the JEDP theory, but it is enough for me that the Bible teaches Moses wrote the Pentateuch.

    No it doesn't. It says NO such thing.


    End of story. Therefore, Gen. 1-11 cannot be amputated from 12 ff.

    This is the philosophical equivalent to going back to flat-earth cosmology just because we are finding problems in calculating exactly the precession of the earth's orbit around the sun.


    So, there is our fundamental difference, BW -- our source of authority. Mine is the Bible (sola scriptura!).

    Then you cannot say what the Bible does not say, and the Bible does not claim Mosaic authorship of the Pentateuch.


    You, on the other hand, BW, have science and reasoning as your final authority. I think I am correct in saying this, for if science contradicts the Bible,

    Or rather, your interpretation of the Bible.


    I hope I have not mistated your positions, BW; I have tried really hard not to. Just one question though. Assume for a second that the Bible does teach a literal creation in six days, how would science prove that to be accurate?

    We should see a big cosmic, geological, biological cutoff in the ages of things about 6,000 years ago.


    Creation is an absolutely impossible conclusion for science. It involves a supernatural act which science can't factor in, so science must be given time to explain the effects of Creation.

    Not true. See above. Unless God is covering up his tracks, there should be something detectable around the "short" beginning of time.


    Science must then have billions of years to allow natural laws to explain what we see today (a.k.a. "evolution").

    And why are you so opposed to the idea of billions of years having passed?


    Wells says that Mark 10:6 serves as the Jesus-certified proof that special creation, and not theistic evolution, occurred.
    "But from the beginning of creation, 'God made them male and female.'" Mark 10:6 (RSV)

    I disagree, because in Mark 10:6 the mode of Creation is not the focus of the translated/paraphrased conversation on divorce. Compare with the Matthew 19:4 version to see how variable the phrasing can be:

    "He who made them from the beginning made them male and female." Mat 19:4
    Hence, we can't take Mark's translation/paraphrase as being superior to Matthew's translation/paraphrase of the same thing.

    God made us male and female. He planned this from the beginning and carried it out through evolution.


    B.J. wrote: "And Adam knew his wife again; and she bare a son, and called his name Seth: For God, said she, hath appointed me another seed instead of Abel, whom Cain slew. And to Seth, to him also there was born a son; and he called his name Enos: then began men to call upon the name of the Lord."

    Actually, the use of "God" in the birth of Seth implies that it is from a different source from the "call on the name of the LORD" statement.

    In the Yahwist version of Genesis, Noah was the brother of Jabal, Jubal, Tubal-Cain, and Naamah, and the "call on the name of the LORD" line referred to 1) Lamech's announcement of the birth of Noah and 2) Noah's blessing of Yahweh of Shem.

    Lamech calls on Yahweh when declaring that Noah would comfort them from the ground that Yahweh has cursed. This recalls Eve's declaration of the birth of Cain and contrasts the lack of a call on Yahweh in the birth of Enoch.

    Noah, as the fourth son, is therefore positioned thematically in the tradition of Judah, David, and Solomon as the chosen one of God. Noah, in turn, blesses "the LORD, God of Shem" after the cursing of Canaan. Von Rad implies that the Canaan-Shem story may have originally occurred chronologically before the flood (while Shem and Canaan are unmarried young men living in their father's tent) and Noah's worthiness to enter the ark stemmed from his blessing of Yahweh.

    Comments?


    BARNABAS
    Friend, we are talking about apples and oranges here.

    Originally posted by BWSmith: And of course, Jesus never affirmed that Gen 1-11 was literal science or history.

    I don't know about that. In my Bible there are numerous references to the contrary, but to save time and space let us mention only one.

    1. In Matthew 19:4-8 Jesus is quoting from Genesis 2:24. Would that fall into the first 11 chapters of Genesis?


    BWSMITH
    Yes, but it wouldn't fall under "affirming literal history".
    Every reference in the gospels to Gen 1-11 is an appeal to its theological teaching, and as such, the exegesis is identical to that which I get with my symbolic exegesis. Notice also that we can only deal with the specific subjects that Jesus addresses; we can't parse the Greek words out of context because Jesus didn't say those exact words. He spoke in Aramaic, and what he said was paraphrased by men who almost certainly believed in a literal interpretation as well.

    Nowhere do we see Jesus doing what Paul does when he blatantly rests women covering their heads on a literal Eve and promotes the concept of original sin through a literal Adam. Fortunately, Paul is not Jesus, so he was using the same Bible we use in his assumption of a literal Gen 1-11.


    JOHN WELLS
    That's too weak of an argument to convince me; may be good enough for you, but not me.
    Romans 5:14 seems like an interesting place to go. John MacArthur's notes on that are:

    But even without the law, was universal. All men from Adam to Moses were subject to , not because of their sinful acts against the Mosaic law (which they did not yet have), but because of their own inherited sinful nature. not sinned … likeness … of Adam. Those who had no specific revelation as did Adam (Gen. 2:16, 17) or those who had the Mosaic law (cf. v. 13), but nevertheless sinned against the holiness of God, i.e., those who “sinned without law” (2:12). a type of Him … to come. (NKJV) Both Adam and Christ were similar in that their acts affected many others. This phrase serves as transition from the apostle’s discussion of the transference of Adam’s sin to the crediting of Christ’s righteousness.
    John F. MacArthur, Jr., The MacArthur Study Bible, (Dallas: Word Publishing) 1997.

    It sure appears John MacArthur considers Adam to be just as real as Jesus. "Pattern" or "type" does not suggest fictional at all. There are many real events in the OT that are referred to as "types" of Jesus.


    JOHN WELLS
    ‘If all the animals and man had been evolved in this ascendant manner, then there had been no first parents, no Eden, and no Fall. And if there had been no fall, then the entire historical fabric of Christianity, the story of the first sin and the reason for an atonement, upon which the current teaching based Christian emotion and morality, collapsed like a house of cards.’
    -- Wells, H.G., The outline of history — being a plain history of life and mankind, Cassell & Company Ltd, London, U.K., (the fourth revision), p. 616, 1925.


    Atheist Frank Zindler said,
    'The most devastating thing though that biology did to Christianity was the discovery of biological evolution. Now that we know that Adam and Eve never were real people the central myth of Christianity is destroyed. If there never was an Adam and Eve there never was an original sin. If there never was an original sin there is no need of salvation. If there is no need of salvation there is no need of a saviour. And I submit that puts Jesus, historical or otherwise, into the ranks of the unemployed. I think that evolution is absolutely the death knell of Christianity.

    Even devout athiests know the Bible well enough and recognize the critical Christian dependency on Genesis 1-11!


    PASTOR LARRY
    Do you believe the account of the miracles recorded in Scripture are true accounts of actual events?


    BWSMITH
    Inside or outside Gen 1-11?


    ED
    Jesus’ Warning
    Consider what Jesus said in John 5:
    46 "For if you believed Moses, you would believe Me; for he wrote about Me.
    47 "But if you do not believe his writings, how will you believe My words?"


    What did Moses write about Jesus? In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth by His word. In Genesis we are told that in six days He created all things. In Exodus, Moses again wrote, “For in six days the LORD made the heavens and the earth, the sea, and all that is in them”. How does this mean that Moses writings were about Jesus? Jesus is the word of God. John 1 tells us that in the beginning was the word, Jesus was that word and that word was God. Hebrews 1 tells us that God created the worlds through Jesus Christ. John 1:10 says that Jesus created the world and the world did not know Him. Colossians 1 tells us that by Him, all things were created and all things are held together by His power.

    The first 5 books of the Old Testament are the writings of Moses. Jesus said, that if you believe Moses, you would believe Him. But if you don’t believe Moses’ writings, how can you believe Jesus’ words? To declare creation according to the Bible to be false is to declare the word of God false. 1 John 5 tells us:
    10 He who believes in the Son of God has the witness in himself; he who does not believe God has made Him a liar, because he has not believed the testimony that God has given of His Son.

    Jesus made it clear, if you don’t believe Genesis, you don’t believe the witness of Jesus and you are making Him to be a liar. Colossians 2 gives us another warning:
    8 Beware lest anyone cheat you through philosophy and empty deceit, according to the tradition of men, according to the basic principles of the world, and not according to Christ.
    9 For in Him dwells all the fullness of the Godhead bodily;


    Theistic Evolutionists are allowing world philosophy to cheat them from God’s grace and a faithful inheritance. The Bible says that to have friendship with the world is to be an enemy of God. This is even truer with evolution. People want to be accepted. People want to be affirmed. No one likes to be called un-intellectual or ignorant. But it is ok to be rejected by the world and called names if you are standing on truth. The world chooses evolution, not because of evidence (evolution suppresses rival evidence). The world chooses evolution because it replaces God and undermines morality. If God did not create us, who is to say what is right and wrong? Then the world can also ask, who has the right to define marriage? Who has the right to define when life begins? Who is to say that all human life has value? All of morality finds its roots in Genesis. All of Christianity finds its roots in Genesis. If the first Adam is a fraud, the second Adam (Jesus) is also a fraud. There is no need for redemption through Christ if sin did not come through Adam.

    It is a problem when those claiming to be Christians fear the world more than God. When Christians are ashamed of the Bible because the world ridicules, they can’t stand on its truth. It is a problem when those calling themselves Christians value the praises of the world more than the approval of God. This is the basis of Theistic Evolution. People are seeking to conform to the world’s beliefs. People feel more important when they can side with an evolutionist. This is because they seek self-worth in the world and draw their value from the accolades of others. Those who are faithful find their value in Christ and their accolades will be heard on the last day when Jesus says, “Good and faithful servant”. What reward is there for siding with the world? James 4 says, Adulterers and adulteresses! Do you not know that friendship with the world is enmity with God? Whoever therefore wants to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God.

    You Will Know by the Fruit
    God declared that He will not give His glory to another. How then can we give His glory to evolution? Jesus and the apostles gave us a clear measurement for doctrine. Is Theistic Evolution of God? The Bible says that we will know by the fruit and how it aligns with the revealed word of God. What fruit does theistic evolution produce? As faith in evolution increases, society becomes more alienated from God. Atheism abounds. Carl Sagan once said that the natural conclusion of evolution is atheism. Churches and Christians that believe in evolution are not turning the world upside down for Christ. The opposite is true. Romans 1 concludes our study:
    24 Therefore God also gave them up to uncleanness, in the lusts of their hearts, to dishonor their bodies among themselves,
    25 who exchanged the truth of God for the lie, and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever. Amen.


    Does evolution undermine morality as we seen in verse 24? Do men who believe in evolution worship what is created? Talk to any atheist and see if they don’t worship themselves. Sagan referred to ‘Cosmos’ as his god and even said in His book ‘Cosmos’ that it is more accurate to worship the sun than God. Just a little research and you will see that many leading evolutionists worship creation even though they may not call it worship.

    Evolution is supported by propaganda alone. It does not have the facts. It produces alienation with God. It produces ineffective churches. It pits Christians against the Bible. And Jesus said that if you don’t believe the scriptures, you don’t believe Him. Where do you stand? On scripture or in the world?

    [ January 01, 2002: Message edited by: Administrator ]
     
  5. Administrator2

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    BWSMITH
    I believe what Moses wrote, however, Moses did not write the entire Pentateuch itself.


    PASTOR LARRY
    What do you need clarification about? I worded it as unambiguously as possible. Please clarify what you need clarified. The question is, "Do you believe that the account of miracles in Scripture are accurate descriptions of events that really happened as they are portrayed?"


    BWSMITH
    Are the events in Gen 1-11 literal science and history? No they are not.
    Are the events in the rest of the Bible literal science and history? Some "yes", some "maybe", but only in Gen 1-11 do I feel confident in saying "no".

    The form dictates that the historicity is secondary to the theological message, and in some cases the original contexts are lost and we can't properly judge the intent of the original source.

    Wells, do you believe that the Good Samaritan was a real person? If not, how can you say that the Bible is "true" as you have so eloquently oversimplified?


    JOHN WELLS
    Why did you bring up the "good Samaritan?" I'm waiting for you to address my aforementioned post. Larry's asked you about miracles, and you want to talk about neither.


    BWSMITH
    Since you are unwilling to read my last post, I will repeat:
    "Some "yes", some "maybe", but only in Gen 1-11 do I feel confident in saying "no"."


    JOHN WELLS
    OK . . . Jonah and the whale: yes, no, maybe?


    PASTOR LARRY
    Are the events in Gen 1-11 literal science and history? No they are not.

    Actually, as has been said before, they are literal history and the Hebrew form testifies to that very fact. You have decided the text is not good enough. But we have hashed that out before and there is no need to do it again.


    Are the events in the rest of the Bible literal science and history? Some "yes", some "maybe", but only in Gen 1-11 do I feel confident in saying "no".

    Now I am confused. You say that a miracle in Gen 1-11 is impossible but you allow the possibility of miracles in other places. Why?


    The form dictates that the historicity is secondary to the theological message, and in some cases the original contexts are lost and we can't properly judge the intent of the original source.

    How do you know the original contexts are lost? The only context they have ever been in, as far as we know, is the context they are in now. There is absolutely no evidence that there is any "lost context."

    Do you believe Jesus turned water in wine?
    Do you believe that Jesus raised Lazurus and the widow of Nain's son from the dead?
    Do you believe that Jesus healed leprosy, blindness, lameness, issues of blood, etc.?
    Do you believe that he fed 5000 with five loaves and two fish?
    Do you believe that he rose from the dead?

    BW, this is pretty simple stuff. Your attempt to maintain deniability in this matter is pathetic at best, fraudulent at worst. Pick a side.


    HELEN
    Please keep in mind that EVERY Bible author who considers beginnings references the people and events of Genesis as literally true, as does Jesus Himself. There is no indication anywhere in the Bible, let alone in Genesis, that the first eleven chapters are allegorical or poetic or mythological or legend or what have you.

    It is, in addition, the height of ignorant arrogance to assume man can correct God. He is the One ultimately responsible for His Word and He certainly knows how to communicate plainly and clearly with men. He did this starting in Genesis as far as written communication goes.


    ED
    "Some "yes", some "maybe", but only in Gen 1-11 do I feel confident in saying "no"."

    Why do you stop half-way through creation? What makes days 4-6 true if you are claiming that days 1-3 are false?
    How can anyone say they are confident in denying scripture?


    BWSMITH
    OK . . . Jonah and the whale: yes, no, maybe?

    Maybe.


    Helen wrote: Please keep in mind that EVERY Bible author who considers beginnings references the people and events of Genesis as literally true,

    And yet, they weren't eyewitnesses to those events, and neither were the authors of Genesis itself. Hence, they have no authority to make that judgement.


    as does Jesus Himself.

    No He didn't.


    There is no indication anywhere in the Bible, let alone in Genesis, that the first eleven chapters are allegorical or poetic or mythological or legend or what have you.

    The form is indication enough, and that is verified through the extrabiblical evidence.


    It is, in addition, the height of ignorant arrogance to assume man can correct God.

    No one is correcting God. I am correcting man.


    He is the One ultimately responsible for His Word

    The Word that became flesh, that is. Man is reponsible for the Bible.


    PL wrote: Actually, as has been said before, they are literal history and the Hebrew form testifies to that very fact.

    No it doesn't.


    Now I am confused. You say that a miracle in Gen 1-11 is impossible but you allow the possibility of miracles in other places. Why?

    All miracles are possible, because God can do all things. All miracles in the Bible are officially a "maybe". Faith says that the resurrection of Christ is the one, fundamental miracle that must be a "yes". The Gen 1-11 material is the only material that has been officially disproven on many levels, so it is the only section worthy of a "no".


    How do you know the original contexts are lost? The only context they have ever been in, as far as we know, is the context they are in now. There is absolutely no evidence that there is any "lost context."

    Comparative mythology.


    Do you believe Jesus turned water in wine?
    Do you believe that Jesus raised Lazurus and the widow of Nain's son from the dead?
    Do you believe that Jesus healed leprosy, blindness, lameness, issues of blood, etc.?
    Do you believe that he fed 5000 with five loaves and two fish?


    All of the above: probably.


    Do you believe that he rose from the dead?

    Yes.


    BW, this is pretty simple stuff.

    I agree, as is this entire subject.


    PREACHER
    What about the virgin birth? is that supposed to have happened or not?


    BWSMITH
    Maybe. I would be more inclined to say "yes" if the Masoretic Hebrew Isaiah specifically said "virgin" (like the LXX) and not just "young woman".

    Certainly, there is no reason why Jesus could not have been born of a virgin. However, the NT specifically claims this to be a fulfillment of prophecy that is only in the LXX, and not the original Hebrew, so I wouldn't say that the virgin birth is as absolutely fundamental as the resurrection itself.


    Ed wrote: Why do you stop half-way through creation? What makes days 4-6 true if you are claiming that days 1-3 are false?

    Are you talking to me? None of Gen 1-11 represents literal history. It is the most concise theological statement on the relationship between man and God in the OT, but it is not literal history.


    How can anyone say they are confident in denying scripture?

    Everyone in western civilization except the most right-wing sects of Christianity denies scripture on some level, (from the point of view of the original recipients). It's just that moderates like me are willing to admit that we are doing it.


    JOHN WELLS
    OK . . . Jonah and the whale: yes, no, maybe?

    ---- Maybe.


    Jesus said, “For as Jonah was three days and three nights in the belly of a huge fish, so the Son of Man will be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth. (Mat 12:40 NIV)

    So you doubt Jesus? Again?

    Do you believe Jesus turned water in wine?
    Do you believe that Jesus raised Lazurus and the widow of Nain's son from the dead?
    Do you believe that Jesus healed leprosy, blindness, lameness, issues of blood, etc.?
    Do you believe that he fed 5000 with five loaves and two fish?

    -----All of the above: probably.


    Interesting!


    Do you believe that he rose from the dead?

    -----Yes.


    Why this last one and hesitancy on the others? Again, your ability to pick and choose what you want to believe is true from God’s Word makes your faith extremely hypocritical. If you read Hebrews Chapter 11 Smith, compare this “hall of fame” of faith to your faith. I hope you will introspectively analyze yourself and your faith. You wouldn't feel the need to be a moderate if you weren't trying to serve two masters: God and "The World"/science.


    BWSMITH
    Jesus said, “For as Jonah was three days and three nights in the belly of a huge fish, so the Son of Man will be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth. (Mat 12:40 NIV)

    So you doubt Jesus? Again?


    Funny, I don't see the words "literal" or "history" in that statement. Do you? Or are you still being coached by your 11-year-old daughter...
    ;)


    Do you believe that he rose from the dead?

    ----- Yes.

    ----------- Why this last one and hesitancy on the others?


    Because...
    "if Christ has not been raised, our preaching is useless and so is your faith."
    1 Cor 15:14


    Again, your ability to pick and choose what you want to believe is true from God’s Word makes your faith extremely hypocritical.

    I'm not being hypocritical. I never claimed that all or none was true.


    If you read Hebrews Chapter 11 Smith, compare this “hall of fame” of faith to your faith. I hope you will introspectively analyze yourself and your faith. You wouldn't feel the need to be a moderate if you weren't trying to serve two masters: God and "The World"/science.

    I'm only serving God. If I served science, I would be an atheist.

    You need to choose between your two masters: 1) God and 2) your literalist hermeneutic of the scriptures.


    JOHN WELLS
    I really don't think I need to add anything to your words. They speak for themselves.

    So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them.
    What does it say three times that God created them. This message does not imply that God created raw materials and 17 billion years later aided by evolution man came along. To make some other meaning than what this literally says, or to claim a communication error between God and the author who wrote it is to deny the sovereignty of God.


    BWSMITH
    The message does not imply that God created raw materials and 17 billion years later aided by evolution man came along.

    And why would it imply that? No one in the 6th c. BC knew anything about evolution.


    To make some other meaning than what this literally says, or to claim a communication error between God and the author who wrote it

    I suppose the "God-phone" wasn't running too clear that day, was it?


    ...is to deny the sovereignty of God.

    To declare that God is only capable of creating a universe through means other than what we observe in nature is to deny the sovereignty of God.

    [ January 01, 2002: Message edited by: Administrator ]
     
  6. Administrator2

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    PASTOR LARRY
    BW,
    It is interesting to me that you can say "yes" to the resurrecton while saying "probably" to other miracles of Jesus that also involved supernatural intervention in the time-space continuum. The same book (that you question) tells us of both. It tells of both with equal authority and with no indication that there is any difference between the two. Yet you have imposed your own understanding on it to say "probably" on some and "yes" on only one. You have also denied the miracle of creation performed by Jesus Christ.

    You ask Wells if Christianity is another all faith/no reason religion. Yet you have no reason behind your arbitrary assertions of what is right and wrong. Your position is internally incoherent and without any objective basis for its validity. In philosophy and logic, you cannot simply pick and choose what you want to believe and still expect to keep your system coherent. The other religions you mention fail because of internal incoherency, the same reason that will be the ultimate failure of yours. You have no rational basis whatsoever for your faith.

    To get a little more specific, do you believe the story recorded in Mark 2:1-12 is literally true as it is recorded in that text?


    FLYFREE432
    Will we do better by putting our faith in decades of human research and reasoning which remains imperfect and flawed or do we put our faith in the Word of God? Perfect and unchanged for thousands of years.

    The Bible says that the heavens and earth were created in six days. . .now if I let that speak to my heart without analyzing it and tearing it to shreds and putting it back together- what does it say but that God created the heavens and earth in six days?


    JOHN WELLS
    Jesus said, “For as Jonah was three days and three nights in the belly of a huge fish, so the Son of Man will be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth. (Mat 12:40 NIV)
    So you doubt Jesus? Again?

    Smith: Funny, I don't see the words "literal" or "history" in that statement. Do you?


    Did it occur to you that there were eye-witness accounts of the sailors who threw Jonah into the ocean? Did it occur to you that there were eye-witnesses who saw him preaching in Nineveh afterwards? You said you believe that Jesus rose from the dead. Show me the words "literal" or "history" in the gospel accounts of that. There were eye-witnesses that saw Jesus "succumb" on the cross. There were eye-witnesses that saw Jesus after He had risen. But nobody saw Him rise and remove His grave clothes, just like nobody saw the whale swallow Jonah. The scripture verse uses the two events as self-validating: a "true/true" not a "false/true" comparison. Why is it you believe one and not the other?


    BWSMITH
    PL wrote: BW, It is interesting to me that you can say "yes" to the resurrecton while saying "probably" to other miracles of Jesus that also involved supernatural intervention in the time-space continuum.

    I never said miracles couldn't happen. All things are possible with God.


    The same book (that you question) tells us of both.

    The resurrection is a fundamental of the faith, while other miracles are not, although they probably happened.


    It tells of both with equal authority and with no indication that there is any difference between the two.

    Of course. The gospel writers believed that all the miracles they reported really happened.


    Yet you have imposed your own understanding on it to say "probably" on some and "yes" on only one.

    The resurrection is the one miracle that is essential.


    You have also denied the miracle of creation performed by Jesus Christ.

    No I haven't. God is Creator of the universe and Jesus is God.


    You have no reason behind your arbitrary assertions of what is right and wrong.

    My assertions aren't arbitrary.


    Your position is internally incoherent and without any objective basis for its validity.

    Tell it to Paul. He's the one who said that the resurrection was essential.


    In philosophy and logic, you cannot simply pick and choose what you want to believe and still expect to keep your system coherent.

    I agree.


    You have no rational basis whatsoever for your faith.

    No one who believes in inerrancy has the right to accuse anyone who does not of being irrational. Unfaithful perhaps, but not irrational.


    To get a little more specific, do you believe the story recorded in Mark 2:1-12 is literally true as it is recorded in that text?

    Probably.


    flyfree wrote: Will we do better by putting our faith in decades of human research and reasoning which remains imperfect and flawed or do we put our faith in the Word of God? Perfect and unchanged for thousands of years.

    I put my faith in both. They do not conflict.


    The Bible says that the heavens and earth were created in six days. . .now if I let that speak to my heart without analyzing it and tearing it to shreds and putting it back together- what does it say but that God created the heavens and earth in six days?

    Fine. How do we harmonize that with scientific data that says that the universe is 13 billion years old?


    Wells wrote: Did it occur to you that there were eye-witness accounts of the sailors who threw Jonah into the ocean?

    What were their names? Who wrote the book of Jonah? Did he consult this eyewitness testimony? If so, how do you know?


    Did it occur to you that there were eye-witnesses who saw him preaching in Nineveh afterwards?

    What were their names? How does all this eyewitness testimony fit into the compilation of the book?


    You said you believe that Jesus rose from the dead.

    I do.


    Show me the words "literal" or "history" in the gospel accounts of that.

    They aren't there.


    There were eye-witnesses that saw Jesus "succumb" on the cross.

    Yep, and we know exactly who they were. You can't say that for the Jonah account.


    There were eye-witnesses that saw Jesus after He had risen.

    Yep.


    But nobody saw Him rise and remove His grave clothes,

    Unless you believe the apocryphal Gospel of Peter...
    ;)


    just like nobody saw the whale swallow Jonah.

    Jonah did.


    The scripture verse uses the two events as self-validating: a "true/true" not a "false/true" comparison. Why is it you believe one and not the other?

    "apples/oranges"


    JOHN WELLS John Wells
    I think you've said enough that I need not add a thing!


    HELEN
    BW Smith made some very interesting comments. Please note:

    1. "I'm only serving God. If I served science, I would be an atheist."

    Compare this with the following in his response to flyfree

    2. "flyfree wrote: Will we do better by putting our faith in decades of human research and reasoning which remains imperfect and flawed or do we put our faith in the Word of God? Perfect and unchanged for thousands of years.

    BW responded: I put my faith in both. They do not conflict.

    flyfree: The Bible says that the heavens and earth were created in six days. . .now if I let that speak to my heart without analyzing it and tearing it to shreds and putting it back together- what does it say but that God created the heavens and earth in six days?

    BW: Fine. How do we harmonize that with scientific data that says that the universe is 13 billion years old? "



    BW may claim to be serving God, but when push comes to shove regarding 'science' and the Bible, he goes with science, which he describes as atheistic. Interesting…

    In the meantime, a couple of points:

    1. Jonah was not the only person to be swallowed by a large fish and then vomited out alive. Legends coming out of the South Seas have several stories of similar incidents. Even when the mythological elements are removed from the stories, this event stands. It seems that there have been incidents of this nature occurring through time -- at least before.
    2. The book of Jonah was considered factual at the time it was written and accepted by the Hebrews. Now one has to choose: were the ancient Hebrews too dumb to know any better or was this something they knew could actually happen? Please keep in mind that these people have been known historically for their literacy and intelligence and that their country was for thousands of years at the center of a number of trade routes. They knew the sea.

    Now, as far as science saying the universe is 13 billion years old. First of all, on this one, the age jumps around from 10 to 18 billion years even among evolutionists, and with an error bar like that just about anything is possible! But the reasons they are presuming an old universe are 1. to give time for evolution; 2. the redshift is interpreted as an expanding universe sign and this in conjunction with light travel time would demand an old universe. However:

    1. Evolution does not have enough time even with that many billion years. Here is why. Evolutionists estimate that it took one billion years for the first unicellular organism (however it got here) to mutate enough to become a multicellular organism. If we look at a simple unicellular organism today, such as E.coli, we find it has a 20 minute generation time. A generation time for a one-celled organism is from the beginning of the new cell to the time when a new cell is produced by it. So from the time a mature E.coli begins to divide until its daughter cells begin themselves to divide, there is only 20 minutes. Generation times for more complex animals are longer, with humans being in the neighborhood of 14 years. Apes are about 10 years. A lot of animals breed seasonally and mature in a year, giving them a generation time of one year. OK. Let's give that first unicellular organism one hour for a generation time. That is three times as long as E.coli, so that is generous. That means there will be 24 linear generations in a day, 8,760 in a year, and, thus, 8,760,000,000,000 generations before that first cell became multicellular.

    If we consider the number of mutations it would take to get a fish out of that first multicellular critter, and then a man out of a fish, evolution just ran out of time no matter if the universe was double its presumed age and the earth had been here the entire time!

    2. If the redshift were actually indicative of an expanding universe, then the measurements would show a smooth transition from one to another. But that is not what happens. Tifft (and then Guthrie and Napier, who tried to disprove him and ended up agreeing with him) demonstrated that the redshift measurements take small jumps -- they are quantized. If the universe were expanding, these quantum jumps would not be seen.

    Now we all know that the universe shows signs of having expanded. In fact God says that in the Bible. "I stretched out the heavens". You will find that phrase a number of times between Isaiah 40-48. But always the verb is in the past completed tense. Thus, both biblically and using honest astronomy, we do not have evidence of an expanding universe, but of a static one which was once expanded. This is starting to become discussed in journals like Astrophysics. The creation physicist/astronomer Barry Setterfield has this subject of the redshift as the main theme of his current paper which is undergoing peer review.

    3. Light speed is not a constant. This, also, is being discussed more and more openly in the mainstream journals. Again, Barry Setterfield, a biblical creationist, has been way ahead of the secular scientists here, having been working on this since 1980 with a major paper out in 1987. I have worked as Barry's editor for the past few years and have also had a chance to see emails he is receiving from physicists around the world. He is starting to attract enormous attention, as he is the only one who is actually working with the data instead of simply flying with theories. His beginning webpage is at www.setterfield.org

    So, while those who believe without having seen are indeed blessed, there is now something to see. There are strong indications straight from verifiable data astronomically that we are living in an extraordinarily young universe. For those who have seen the criticism of Barry's work on Talk Origins, please be aware of his response at www.trueorigin.org (go down to where you see the section "Creationists answer their critics")

    Genesis 1 tells us creation is young. The early church knew that. Science is beginning to catch up, but you can be sure they will NEVER admit to the obvious conclusion to the data they are collecting. Too much is at stake…
     
  7. Administrator2

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    PASTOR LARRY
    BW, It is interesting that once again you show you have no consistent, coherent thought process to your theology. I will only hit the highlights here to save time and space.

    The resurrection is a fundamental of the faith, while other miracles are not, although they probably happened. … The gospel writers believed that all the miracles they reported really happened.

    First, how do you know that the resurrection is a “fundamental of the faith”? Perhaps that is a part of Scripture that you take literally when it is clearly intended to be spiritual or allegorical. It perhaps is only parabolic. The point is, in your system, you have no way to tell the difference.

    Second, how do you know that the resurrection is a definite “yes” when the writers may have only thought that it was true like they thought the other miracles were true. Perhaps Paul only thought it was true and it really wasn’t. What is the basis on which you say some are “probable” and only one is “definite”? To call it a fundamental of the faith depends on the inerrancy of revelation. After all, perhaps the writers were as mistaken on the fundamentals of the faith as they were on creation. How do you know that they weren’t?

    If it weren’t for the inerrancy of Scripture, you cannot even say that the resurrection is a fundamental of the faith. We know it is a fundamental from Scripture, but consider your own thought process on creationism. To you, the evidence clearly points away from special creation even though God said it happened in 6 days (as you admitted). Therefore you reject the miracle of special creation in favor of the “evidence” that contradicts it. You argue that the evidence is so overwhelming that we must reject it as purely allegorical. Let’s then consider the resurrection by that same standard. Any resurrection of a literally dead person is clearly outside the bounds of what we observe in science and nature. It is contradictory to everything we know about death. It is contradictory to everything God has revealed through general revelation about the finality of death. Yet you accept it in spite of the mounds of evidence against it. The fact is that there is far less evidence for the resurrection than there is for six day creation.

    In other words, you deny that for which there is ample evidence and you accept that for which there is none.
    That is illogical and incoherent.


    No one who believes in inerrancy has the right to accuse anyone who does not of being irrational.
    Unfaithful perhaps, but not irrational.


    Inerrancy is the result of rational faith in the promises of God. Belief in God and his revelation is far from irrational. Your system of belief cannot say for sure which part of the Bible is true and which part is not. You have picked the sections you like and denied those with which you are uncomfortable. As was demonstrated in the earlier discussion on higher criticism, you freely admitted your agreement with those who pick and choose according to what seems to make sense to them.


    PL: To get a little more specific, do you believe the story recorded in Mark 2:1-12 is literally true as it is recorded in that text?

    -----BW: Probably.


    I picked this one on purpose because it is the miracle that specifically testifies to the deity of Christ. The Pharisees rightly said that only God can forgive sin. Christ said, In order that you may know that I have the power to forgive sin (thus claiming his deity) I say to you pick up your bed and walk. If this is only “probably” true, then Christ is only “probably” God.
     

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