Posted by: BibleScienceGuy | June 22, 2016

What Was Adam’s Tree of Life?

(2 Minute Read)

20140926LookForwardHeaven

The Tree of Life was a tree that Yahweh Himself caused to grow in the middle of the Garden of Eden, along with the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil (Genesis 2:9).

Eating the fruit of the Tree of Life would apparently enable one to live forever. After Adam and Eve sinned, God drove them out of the Garden to prevent their eating from the Tree of Life and living forever (Genesis 3:22).

Eating from the Tree of Life would have resulted in Adam and Eve living eternally in a condition of sin and degradation. But Yahweh had a much, much better long-term plan that would eventually fix Adam’s trouble. This plan involved an enemy — Death. Adam and his progeny would die, but Yahweh planned redemption through Jesus Christ and a new uncursed heavens and earth with the Tree of Life.

What Happened to the Tree of Life?

Adam and Eve are the only humans who ever saw the Tree of Life. No one else ever saw it, because after the pair was banished, cherubim guarded the Garden of Eden and prevented access to it (Genesis 3:24).

Noah’s Flood probably destroyed the Garden of Eden and all it contained. The Tree of Life may have died out by the time of the Flood. But if the Tree of Life or an offspring were still extant in the Garden, the Flood would have certainly washed it away.

But some day man will again have access to the Tree of Life. Jesus Christ promised,
He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. To him who overcomes, I will grant to eat of the tree of life which is in the Paradise of God.” (Revelation 2:7)

Then he showed me a river of the water of life, clear as crystal, coming from the throne of God and of the Lamb, in the middle of its street. On either side of the river was the tree of life, bearing twelve kinds of fruit, yielding its fruit every month; and the leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations. (Revelation 22:1-2)

Many explorers have searched for a Fountain of Youth whose waters would restore health and youth. It’s another version of looking for Eternal Life or the Tree of Life. What is the only way to get to the Tree of Life? It can only be reached through the Son of God, Jesus of Nazareth, the Second Adam, Who said,
“I am the way, the truth and the life.” (John 14:6)

Questions to Ponder
  1. Suppose you could eat from the Tree of Life and live forever. What would you like to do in your second hundred years?
  2. What represents a longing for eternity in your life?
  3. Share your thoughts on these questions in the comments below. It could encourage or help another reader.

Soli Deo Gloria.

This is the 31st of a series of weekly blog articles on Adam.
Read the prequels:
1. Was Adam in the Garden of Eden?
2. Did Moses Believe in Adam?
3. Did Jesus Believe in Adam?
4. Did Paul Believe in Adam?
5. Does Belief in Adam Matter?
6. Adam and Puppies
7. Why Did Adam Sin?
8. What Should Adam Have Done?
9. What Did Adam Cause?
10. What Was Adam’s Forbidden Fruit?
11. How Long Was Adam in Eden?
12. Was Adam’s Garden of Eden Real?
13. Christmas & Adam
(with videos)
14. Where Was Adam’s Garden of Eden?
15. Did Adam Wear Clothes in Eden?
16. Was Adam Backward or Brilliant?
(with video)
17. Who Was Mrs. Adam?
18. Adam’s Dream Girl
19. Adam’s Prolific Princess
20. Adam’s Problematic Princess
21. How Many Children Did Adam Have?
22. Whom Did Adam’s Sons Marry?
23. Did Adam Ride a Unicorn?
24. How Long Did Adam Live?
25. Did Adam Swat Mosquitoes in Eden?
26. Did Adam’s Garden Have a Talking Snake?
27. Why Should Adam’s Sin Affect Me?
28. Did Roses Have Thorns in Adam’s Garden?
29. Adam the Image-Bearer & Harambe the Gorilla
30. Did Adam Ever Return to Eden?

Read the sequels:
32. Will Adam be in Heaven? …coming soon…
33. Adam and the Gospel

Bible-Science Guy logo

Subscribe – Don’t miss future blog posts!
Click the sidebar’s “SUBSCRIBE” button to follow the
Bible-Science Guy Blog. You’ll automatically receive
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©William T. Pelletier, Ph.D.
“contending earnestly for the faith”
“destroying speculations against the knowledge of God”
“for the defense of the gospel”
(Jude 1:3; 2 Cor 10:5; Phil 1:16)
Wednesday June 22, 2016 A.D.

The Lord God commanded the man, saying, “From any tree of the garden you may eat freely; but from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat from it you will surely die.”
Now the serpent was more crafty than any beast of the field which the Lord God had made. And he said to the woman, “Indeed, has God said, ‘You shall not eat from any tree of the garden’?” The woman said to the serpent, “From the fruit of the trees of the garden we may eat; but from the fruit of the tree which is in the middle of the garden, God has said, ‘You shall not eat from it or touch it, or you will die.’” The serpent said to the woman, “You surely will not die! For God knows that in the day you eat from it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.” When the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was a delight to the eyes, and that the tree was desirable to make one wise, she took from its fruit and ate; and she gave also to her husband with her, and he ate.
(Genesis 2:16; 3:1-6 NASB)

Posted by: BibleScienceGuy | June 15, 2016

Did Adam Ever Return to Eden?

(2 Minute Read)

After Eden 20060515-ParadiseTwice

No! Adam never returned to the Garden of Eden. The Lord God drove Adam and Eve out of the garden to prevent their eating from the Tree of Life in the midst of the garden. This would have caused them to live forever in their sinful condition. (Genesis 3:22-24)

Imagine how bad things would get if men’s earthly lives went on forever, compounding their evil year after year. Even with lifespans of only 900 years, men’s evil grew so extreme that eventually God had to destroy mankind with a worldwide flood. He started over with Noah who alone He found righteous.
Then the Lord saw that the wickedness of man was great on the earth, and that every intent of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually. … But Noah found favor in the eyes of the Lord. (Genesis 6:5,8)

God stationed the cherubim with the flaming sword at the Garden of Eden to guard the way to the Tree of Life and prevent men from eating its “live-forever” fruit. (Genesis 3:22-24)

So Adam never went back into the Garden of Eden, because the vigilant cherubim prevented access to it.

Will Adam Ever Return to Eden?

No, because the Garden of Eden no longer exists. If still extant in Noah’s day, it would have been destroyed by the worldwide flood some 700 years after Adam died.

Noah’s Flood destroyed the entire world that then was, including all the technology man had developed over the first 1656 years of human history.
Know this first of all, that in the last days mockers will come with their mocking, following after their own lusts, and saying, “Where is the promise of His coming? For ever since the fathers fell asleep, all continues just as it was from the beginning of creation.” For when they maintain this, it escapes their notice that by the word of God the heavens existed long ago and the earth was formed out of water and by water, through which the world at that time was destroyed, being flooded with water. (2 Peter 3:3-6 NASB)

Promised Restoration

But some day Adam may return to Edenic conditions on earth some day, because the Creation will eventually be restored to its Edenic, pre-sin state.

Therefore repent and return, so that your sins may be wiped away, in order that times of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord; and that He may send Jesus, the Christ appointed for you, whom heaven must receive until the period of restoration of all things about which God spoke by the mouth of His holy prophets from ancient time. (Acts 3:19-21 NASB)

Eventually death will be abolished and all will be restored to the original Edenic condition — there will no longer be any death, mourning, crying, or pain (Revelation 21:4; 1 Corinthians 15:22-26).

Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth; for the first heaven and the first earth passed away, and there is no longer any sea. And I saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, made ready as a bride adorned for her husband. And I heard a loud voice from the throne, saying, “Behold, the tabernacle of God is among men, and He will dwell among them, and they shall be His people, and God Himself will be among them, and He will wipe away every tear from their eyes; and there will no longer be any death; there will no longer be any mourning, or crying, or pain; the first things have passed away.” And He who sits on the throne said, “Behold, I am making all things new.” And He said, “Write, for these words are faithful and true.” (Revelation 21:1-5 NASB).

Questions to Ponder
  1. Suppose men today could live for hundreds of years. Would the typical man become progressively more wicked or more honorable? Would he grow in grace or evil?
  2. What do you think Adam missed most about the Garden of Eden?
  3. Share your thoughts on these questions in the comments below. It could encourage or help another reader.

Soli Deo Gloria.

This is the 30th of a series of weekly blog articles on Adam.
Read the prequels:
1. Was Adam in the Garden of Eden?
2. Did Moses Believe in Adam?
3. Did Jesus Believe in Adam?
4. Did Paul Believe in Adam?
5. Does Belief in Adam Matter?
6. Adam and Puppies
7. Why Did Adam Sin?
8. What Should Adam Have Done?
9. What Did Adam Cause?
10. What Was Adam’s Forbidden Fruit?
11. How Long Was Adam in Eden?
12. Was Adam’s Garden of Eden Real?
13. Christmas & Adam
(with videos)
14. Where Was Adam’s Garden of Eden?
15. Did Adam Wear Clothes in Eden?
16. Was Adam Backward or Brilliant?
(with video)
17. Who Was Mrs. Adam?
18. Adam’s Dream Girl
19. Adam’s Prolific Princess
20. Adam’s Problematic Princess
21. How Many Children Did Adam Have?
22. Whom Did Adam’s Sons Marry?
23. Did Adam Ride a Unicorn?
24. How Long Did Adam Live?
25. Did Adam Swat Mosquitoes in Eden?
26. Did Adam’s Garden Have a Talking Snake?
27. Why Should Adam’s Sin Affect Me?
28. Did Roses Have Thorns in Adam’s Garden?
29. Adam the Image-Bearer & Harambe the Gorilla

Read the sequels:
31. What Was Adam’s Tree of Life?
32. Will Adam be in Heaven?
…coming soon…
33. Adam and the Gospel

Bible-Science Guy logo

Subscribe – Don’t miss future blog posts!
Click the sidebar’s “SUBSCRIBE” button to follow the
Bible-Science Guy Blog. You’ll automatically receive
new posts free by email. Click SUBSCRIBE NOW!

©William T. Pelletier, Ph.D.
“contending earnestly for the faith”
“destroying speculations against the knowledge of God”
“for the defense of the gospel”
(Jude 1:3; 2 Cor 10:5; Phil 1:16)
Wednesday June 15, 2016 A.D.

Then the Lord God said, “Behold, the man has become like one of Us, knowing good and evil; and now, he might stretch out his hand, and take also from the tree of life, and eat, and live forever” — therefore the Lord God sent him out from the garden of Eden, to cultivate the ground from which he was taken. So He drove the man out; and at the east of the garden of Eden He stationed the cherubim and the flaming sword which turned every direction to guard the way to the tree of life. (Genesis 3:22-24 NASB)

Posted by: BibleScienceGuy | June 8, 2016

Adam the Image-Bearer & Harambe the Gorilla

(5 Minute Read)
What is the fundamental difference between an ape and a human?

Evolutionists proclaim that humans and apes both evolved from a common ancestor. If that were true, then there is no more difference in value between humans and apes than between monkeys and apes.

Harambe the Gorilla

Recently Cincinnati zoo-keepers shot and killed their 17-year-old silverback gorilla Harambe to save the life of a 4-year-old boy who had fallen into the gorilla enclosure.

Here is a 6-minute video on the event from ABC’s Good Morning America. It includes clips of the gorilla dragging the boy through the moat.

 
Widespread outrage over the killing generated hundreds of thousands of petition signatures calling for “Justice for Harambe” and numerous “Gorilla Lives Matter” protests. The zoo defended killing Harambe because a child’s life was in danger.

This outrage and protest over the death of Harambe is based on the evolutionist notion that animal life and human life are equivalent, that they are of equal value. For many people, the evolutionary denial of the Creator leads them to value the life of a gorilla more than the life of a little boy made in the image of God. Such a conclusion should cause one to question the evolutionary presupposition upon which it is based.

In a USA TODAY account of the incident, the reporter opined,
“The world prematurely lost a magnificent creature, a member of a species that’s among our nearest relatives in the animal kingdom. Anyone who has spent time at the zoo’s gorilla exhibit understands that they are imbued with intelligence and emotions not unlike our own … let’s pause to be thankful that the child is OK and to truly mourn the loss of another life, not so different from a human one.” [my emphasis]

Is this evolutionary perspective truly the case…that the life of a gorilla is “not so different” from the life of a human … that gorillas are our near “relatives” with similar “intelligence and emotions”?

No, this perspective is not true, not even close! It is sad that we live in a broken world due to Adam’s sin, so that the gorilla had to be killed to ensure the boy’s safety. But the life of the boy is worth incomparably more than the life of the gorilla!

Why is this the case? Scripture gives the answer.

Scripture says that Yahweh created man in His own image, according to His likeness:
Then God said, “Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness; and let them rule over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the sky and over the cattle and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.” God created man in His own image, in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them. (Genesis 1:26-27 NASB)

The Hebrew word used here for man is אדם, transliterated adam. The word means “man” or “mankind” or the name “Adam,” depending on context. Here it means mankind. All people are image-bearers, although the image has been marred and defaced by sin.

After Eden 092InGodsImage

The Image of God

What does it mean for mankind to be created in the image of God, according to His likeness? Scripture never defines this phrase, but here is what I think “created in the image of God, according to His likeness” entails.

Colloquially, it would mean man looks like God. Man was made to be “like God” in various ways. Made in God’s image and according to His likeness means there are similarities between man and God. In what ways is man like God? How is man similar to God? There are several aspects of this.

1. The Lord God walked in the Garden of Eden with Adam and Eve in the cool of the day (Genesis 3:8). This was the Creator, the Son of God, the second person of the Trinity, Jesus of Nazareth, the Christ.
He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation. For by Him all things were created, both in the heavens and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—all things have been created through Him and for Him. (Colossians 1:15-16 NASB)

The Creator must have had a body in order to walk in the garden with Adam. His walking made a sound that Adam heard. Adam was modeled after this Son of God to look like Him and resemble Him physically and spiritually.

2. Adam would have “looked like God” because God imbued Adam with some of His own characteristics. Abilities and attributes such as language, reasoning and logical thinking, grace, mercy, love, and forgiveness show that man is “like God” in some ways.

The image of God in man includes man’s moral
nature
. Man reflects God’s moral character
because God’s moral law is written on his heart
by the Creator.

3. “Made according to His likeness” suggests that man would be able to relate to His Maker. He would be able to love, commune with, and worship God. Animals cannot do this.

4. Possibly the most significant “likeness” to God is man’s moral nature. Man reflects God’s moral character because God’s moral law is written on his heart (Romans 2:15) by the Creator. Because man is made in God’s image, man can make moral choices for right or wrong. Because man is “created in the image of God, according to His likeness” man is called to make these moral choices as God would; that is, because man is made in the image of God, he is to be holy as God is holy (1 Peter 1:14-16).

Adam was the pristine Image-bearer made in the image of God according to His likeness without fault or blemish. We have little idea of how fantastic the original Adam was physically and mentally (see Was Adam Backward or Brilliant?). The difference between Adam (before the image was marred by sin) and any man today is probably at least as great as the difference between a typical man today and someone with severe mental and physical disabilities. Before sin, Adam’s mental and physical capabilities as the Image-bearer surely dwarfed any human excellence we see today. Adam was superlative beyond our imagining, because he was the original, undefiled Image-bearer.

Harambe

Harambe
(Photo: Jeff McCurry/Cincinnati Zoo)

Humans Superior to Animals

Even after Adam’s sin, man is still made in the image of God (Genesis 9:5-6). This is one primary reason why humans are superior to animals: we are made in God’s image according to His likeness (Imago Dei); animals are not.

Secondly, Yahweh gave mankind dominion over animals:
Then God said, “Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness; and let them rule over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the sky and over the cattle and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.” God created man in His own image, in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them. God blessed them; and God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the earth, and subdue it; and rule over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the sky and over every living thing that moves on the earth.” (Genesis 1:26-28 NASB)

Then after Noah’s Flood, God repeated this mandate:
The fear of you and the terror of you will be on every beast of the earth and on every bird of the sky; with everything that creeps on the ground, and all the fish of the sea, into your hand they are given. Every moving thing that is alive shall be food for you; I give all to you, as I gave the green plant. (Genesis 9:2-3 NASB)

Finally, another indication of the value of people over animals is that Jesus Christ died to save people from sin and death. He did not die for any animals.

Because mankind is made in the image of God according to His likeness, and because the Son of God died for men, and because God gave man dominion over animals, it is therefore right to sacrifice the life of an animal to save a human.

Questions to Ponder
  1. As a driver, have you ever endangered passengers’ lives to avoid hitting a squirrel in the road?
  2. If an unbeliever brings up Harambe’s death, how could you respect his compassionate concern while redirecting the conversation to spiritual truths?
  3. Share your thoughts on these questions in the comments below. It could encourage or help another reader.

Soli Deo Gloria.

This is the 29th of a series of weekly blog articles on Adam.
Read the prequels:
1. Was Adam in the Garden of Eden?
2. Did Moses Believe in Adam?
3. Did Jesus Believe in Adam?
4. Did Paul Believe in Adam?
5. Does Belief in Adam Matter?
6. Adam and Puppies
7. Why Did Adam Sin?
8. What Should Adam Have Done?
9. What Did Adam Cause?
10. What Was Adam’s Forbidden Fruit?
11. How Long Was Adam in Eden?
12. Was Adam’s Garden of Eden Real?
13. Christmas & Adam
(with videos)
14. Where Was Adam’s Garden of Eden?
15. Did Adam Wear Clothes in Eden?
16. Was Adam Backward or Brilliant?
(with video)
17. Who Was Mrs. Adam?
18. Adam’s Dream Girl
19. Adam’s Prolific Princess
20. Adam’s Problematic Princess
21. How Many Children Did Adam Have?
22. Whom Did Adam’s Sons Marry?
23. Did Adam Ride a Unicorn?
24. How Long Did Adam Live?
25. Did Adam Swat Mosquitoes in Eden?
26. Did Adam’s Garden Have a Talking Snake?
27. Why Should Adam’s Sin Affect Me?
28. Did Roses Have Thorns in Adam’s Garden?

Read the sequels:
30. Did Adam Ever Return to Eden?
31. What Was Adam’s Tree of Life?

Bible-Science Guy logo

Subscribe – Don’t miss future blog posts!
Click the sidebar’s “SUBSCRIBE” button to follow the
Bible-Science Guy Blog. You’ll automatically receive
new posts free by email. Click SUBSCRIBE NOW!

©William T. Pelletier, Ph.D.
“contending earnestly for the faith”
“destroying speculations against the knowledge of God”
“for the defense of the gospel”
(Jude 1:3; 2 Cor 10:5; Phil 1:16)
Wednesday June 8, 2016 A.D.

The Lord God commanded the man, saying, “From any tree of the garden you may eat freely; but from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat from it you will surely die.”
Now the serpent was more crafty than any beast of the field which the Lord God had made. And he said to the woman, “Indeed, has God said, ‘You shall not eat from any tree of the garden’?” The woman said to the serpent, “From the fruit of the trees of the garden we may eat; but from the fruit of the tree which is in the middle of the garden, God has said, ‘You shall not eat from it or touch it, or you will die.’” The serpent said to the woman, “You surely will not die! For God knows that in the day you eat from it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.” When the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was a delight to the eyes, and that the tree was desirable to make one wise, she took from its fruit and ate; and she gave also to her husband with her, and he ate.
(Genesis 2:16; 3:1-6)

Posted by: BibleScienceGuy | June 1, 2016

Did Roses Have Thorns in Adam’s Garden?

s for $4.07

(4 Minute Read)

After Eden 20030728-2-FoundOne

Roses are spectacular flowers with a fragrant aroma. In addition to their aesthetic value, roses are used in perfumes, cosmetics, and medicines. Rose hips, the fruit of the rose plant, are very high in vitamin C; they are used to make jellies, syrup, soup, and tea.

But gardeners know roses can be hazardous, because thorns draw blood!

Planted by God, the Garden of Eden was the most beautiful of all gardens — full of beautiful flowers and delicious fruit. Yahweh gave Adam the job of tending this exquisite garden. (Genesis 2:8, 15)

Did Adam prick his fingers with thorns as he cultivated roses in the Garden of Eden?

No! Adam did not prick his fingers on thorns in the Garden of Eden, because thorns came only after he sinned.

Rose Thorns

Thorns on a Rose Bush

Thorns were part of God’s Curse on Creation for Adam’s sin. Yahweh told Adam,
“Because you have listened to the voice of your wife, and have eaten from the tree about which I commanded you, saying, ‘You shall not eat from it’;
Cursed is the ground because of you;
In toil you will eat of it
All the days of your life.
Both thorns and thistles it shall grow for you;
And you will eat the plants of the field.”

(Genesis 3:17-18 NASB)

Therefore, roses did not have thorns in the Garden of Eden before Adam sinned.

Roses did have thorns in subsequent gardens Adam planted and tended after Yahweh sent him out of the Garden of Eden. These thorns were the result of Yahweh’s curse on the ground because of Adam’s sin.

Fossil Thorns

Fossil thorns have been found in Devonian layers of the geologic column. Evolutionary interpretations of the fossil record claim the Devonian period was around 400 million years ago.

But thorns resulted from Yahweh’s Curse after Adam sinned. Therefore the existence of fossil thorns indicates the geological layers in which the fossil thorns occurred were laid down after Adam’s sin. This means the layers of the geologic record can be no more than 6,000 years old, not hundreds of millions of years old as evolutionists claim.

The fossil graveyard exists throughout most of the world. In addition to thorns, the fossil record also has examples of diseases like arthritis, gout, rickets, malaria, and cancer. There are fossils as well of animals eating other animals. All this happened only after Adam’s sin. Therefore the fossil record and the geologic layers in which it is found can only be thousands of years old. Most of the fossil record was laid down by the worldwide flood of Noah’s day approximately 4500 years ago.

Moses’ Burning Bush — A Thorn Bush!

When Stephen presented his defense to the Jews prior to being stoned to death, he referred to Moses’ Burning Bush as a thorn bush:
“After forty years had passed, an angel appeared to him in the wilderness of Mount Sinai, in the flame of a burning thorn bush. When Moses saw it, he marveled at the sight; and as he approached to look more closely, there came the voice of the Lord: ‘I am the God of your fathers, the God of Abraham and Isaac and Jacob.’ Moses shook with fear and would not venture to look. But the Lord said to him, ‘Take off the sandals from your feet, for the place on which you are standing is holy ground. I have certainly seen the oppression of My people in Egypt and have heard their groans, and I have come down to rescue them; come now, and I will send you to Egypt.’ This Moses whom they disowned, saying, ‘Who made you a ruler and a judge?’ is the one whom God sent to be both a ruler and a deliverer with the help of the angel who appeared to him in the thorn bush.” (Acts 7:30-35 NASB)

The Greek word Stephen used for “thorn bush” is βάτος (batos, Strong’s G942). It means a thorn, brier, or bramble bush. Jesus Himself also used the same word batos (thorn bush) in Mark 12:26 and Luke 20:37 for Moses’ burning bush.

The Hebrew word used for the burning bush in Exodus 3:2-6 is סְנֶה (cĕnah, Strong’s H5572). It means “thorn bush” and comes from a root word meaning “to prick.”

Thus both the Hebrew word cĕnah and the Greek word batos used by Moses, Jesus, and Stephen for the burning bush in Exodus, Mark, Luke, and Acts mean thorn bush.

It’s fascinating that when the time was fulfilled for Yahweh to rescue the Hebrews from the oppression of Egyptian slavery, He chose to contact Moses from within a thorn bush. Thorns picture the curse of sin, so this event points to Yahweh taking the consequences of sin (thorns) upon Himself in order to deliver His people from bondage.

Crown Of Thorns

Crown of Thorns

Three Gospel authors report that the Roman soldiers placed a crown of thorns on Jesus’ head (Matthew 27:27-31; Mark 15:16-20; John 19:1-5).
The soldiers took Him away into the palace (that is, the Praetorium), and they called together the whole Roman cohort. They dressed Him up in purple, and after twisting a crown of thorns, they put it on Him; and they began to acclaim Him, “Hail, King of the Jews!” They kept beating His head with a reed, and spitting on Him, and kneeling and bowing before Him. (Mark 15:16-19 NASB)

Notice that after placing the crown of thorns on Christ’s head, the Roman soldiers kept beating His head with a reed, thereby increasing the torment of the thorns.

It is ironic that the sinless Jesus suffered under a crown of sin-caused thorns. Thorns resulted from Adam’s sin, and in paying the price for sin to redeem mankind, Jesus took on a crown of thorns.

The thorns which Yahweh inflicted on Adam and his progeny as punishment for sin, He also inflicted on the Messiah as part of His suffering for sin.

The next time you feel the prick and pain of a thorn, remind yourself of these three world-changing events:
1. Adam’s disobedience in the Garden of Eden
2. Yahweh’s Curse on Creation punishing Adam
3. The Messiah’s suffering for man’s sin

Most importantly, let thorn pricks remind you of the pain of sin and its marring of God’s “very good” creation. Let thorns remind you of the overwhelming grace of God which provides a solution to Adam’s problem of sin and death through the redeeming death and resurrection of Jesus of Nazareth.

Rose Bouquet

Questions to Ponder
  1. Do roses enrich your life? Do you use any products or fragrances from roses?
  2. Yahweh gave the Apostle Paul a “thorn in the flesh” to keep him from exalting himself (2 Corinthians 12:7). Do you have a “thorn” which keeps you humble?
  3. Share your thoughts on these questions in the comments below. It could encourage or help another reader.

Fossil thorn reference: Wilson Stewart and Gar Rothwell, Paleobotany and the Evolution of Plants, Cambridge University Press, 1993, pp. 172–176.

Soli Deo Gloria.

This is the 28th of a series of weekly blog articles on Adam.
Read the prequels:
1. Was Adam in the Garden of Eden?
2. Did Moses Believe in Adam?
3. Did Jesus Believe in Adam?
4. Did Paul Believe in Adam?
5. Does Belief in Adam Matter?
6. Adam and Puppies
7. Why Did Adam Sin?
8. What Should Adam Have Done?
9. What Did Adam Cause?
10. What Was Adam’s Forbidden Fruit?
11. How Long Was Adam in Eden?
12. Was Adam’s Garden of Eden Real?
13. Christmas & Adam
(with videos)
14. Where Was Adam’s Garden of Eden?
15. Did Adam Wear Clothes in Eden?
16. Was Adam Backward or Brilliant?
(with video)
17. Who Was Mrs. Adam?
18. Adam’s Dream Girl
19. Adam’s Prolific Princess
20. Adam’s Problematic Princess
21. How Many Children Did Adam Have?
22. Whom Did Adam’s Sons Marry?
23. Did Adam Ride a Unicorn?
24. How Long Did Adam Live?
25. Did Adam Swat Mosquitoes in Eden?
26. Did Adam’s Garden Have a Talking Snake?
27. Why Should Adam’s Sin Affect Me?

Read the sequels:
29. Adam the Image-Bearer & Harambe the Gorilla
30. Did Adam Ever Return to Eden?
31. What Was Adam’s Tree of Life?

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©William T. Pelletier, Ph.D.
“contending earnestly for the faith”
“destroying speculations against the knowledge of God”
“for the defense of the gospel”
(Jude 1:3; 2 Cor 10:5; Phil 1:16)
Wednesday June 1, 2016 A.D.

The Lord God commanded the man, saying, “From any tree of the garden you may eat freely; but from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat from it you will surely die.”
Now the serpent was more crafty than any beast of the field which the Lord God had made. And he said to the woman, “Indeed, has God said, ‘You shall not eat from any tree of the garden’?” The woman said to the serpent, “From the fruit of the trees of the garden we may eat; but from the fruit of the tree which is in the middle of the garden, God has said, ‘You shall not eat from it or touch it, or you will die.’” The serpent said to the woman, “You surely will not die! For God knows that in the day you eat from it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.” When the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was a delight to the eyes, and that the tree was desirable to make one wise, she took from its fruit and ate; and she gave also to her husband with her, and he ate.
(Genesis 2:16; 3:1-6)

Posted by: BibleScienceGuy | May 25, 2016

Why Should Adam’s Sin Affect Me?

(3 Minute Read)

After Eden 20050131-BrokenWorld

People sometimes feel sympathy for Adam and Eve because they lost the idyllic Garden of Eden simply for the mistake of eating a piece of forbidden fruit.

Many think Adam’s action has nothing to do with them. They ask, “Why should Adam’s sin impact me?” How could it be fair for Adam’s mistake to affect me?

God embodies Justice in His own holy and exalted nature; He Himself is the eternal essence of what is right and just and fair. But beyond the logical contradiction of questioning one of the Almighty One’s edicts, whether it is fair or not is beside the point. The reality is that we all live in a world broken by Adam’s sin. All the ill effects everyone experiences in life stem from Adam’s disobedience in the Garden of Eden.

The reason why Adam’s sin affects me is that Yahweh created mankind as a race. We are all descendants of Adam and Eve. We are all genetically connected to Adam. When Adam sinned, all of Creation fell with him. All of Adam’s descendants inherited his fallen sin nature.

Adam was the representative head of the human race. He acted and chose for all of us. All humans, except for Jesus of Nazareth, are born with a sin nature inherited from Adam.

Even today we have political representatives who make decisions and choices which alter the destiny of the whole population of a country and sometimes the world. Parents’ decisions affect their children and grandchildren and subsequent generations for good or ill. Adam’s decision to eat the Forbidden Fruit has impacted everyone.

The Apostle Paul explained it this way:
Therefore, just as through one man sin entered into the world, and death through sin, and so death spread to all men, because all sinned — for until the Law sin was in the world, but sin is not imputed when there is no law. Nevertheless death reigned from Adam until Moses, even over those who had not sinned in the likeness of the offense of Adam, who is a type of Him who was to come. (Romans 5:12-14 NASB)

After Eden 20070122-PainfulPerspective

Just as we fell into sin and death along with Adam, we can be raised to new life with the Second Adam. Just as we died with the first Adam, so we can live with the Second Adam.
So then as through one transgression there resulted condemnation to all men, even so through one act of righteousness there resulted justification of life to all men. For as through the one man’s disobedience the many were made sinners, even so through the obedience of the One the many will be made righteous. (Romans 5:18-19 NASB)

Scripture teaches that Jesus of Nazareth, the Second Adam, was conceived within His mother Mary by the Holy Spirit without a human father. It was a virginal conception. Joseph kept Mary a virgin until after Christ’s birth, so He was literally born of a virgin. (Matthew 1:18-25; Luke 1:26-38)

The stunning significance of the Virgin Birth is that Divinity took on humanity. God and man joined in Jesus Christ, the Second Person of the Godhead. Jesus became fully human while remaining fully divine.
In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God…The Word became flesh, and dwelt among us; we beheld His glory, glory as of the only begotten from the Father (John 1:1, 14).

Salvation and the Virgin Birth are closely connected. Jesus had to be human and sinless to die in man’s place and pay the penalty for man’s sin. A natural son of Joseph and Mary would have been an ordinary sinful human, inheriting a sin nature from Adam. Thus a natural son could not have been a Redeemer.

The stunning significance of the Virgin Birth is that
Divinity took on humanity. God and man joined in
Jesus Christ, so that Jesus became fully human
while remaining fully divine.

Is the sin nature passed through the male alone and not through the female? Scripture does not answer this question, but if true, this would explain the necessity for a virgin birth. For Jesus to be human, divine, and sin-free, the Virgin Birth was essential.

We can’t do anything about being children of Adam. Adam sinned and all of us have inherited his sin nature. We all begin life dead in sin with a proclivity to sin. But God Himself did do something about it.

But God, being rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, even when we were dead in our transgressions, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved), and raised us up with Him, and seated us with Him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, so that in the ages to come He might show the surpassing riches of His grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; not as a result of works, so that no one may boast. For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand so that we would walk in them. (Ephesians 2:4-10 NASB)

Thanks be to God!

Questions to Ponder
  1. Do you think you could have done better than Adam in resisting temptation in the Garden of Eden?
  2. Would you have been a better representative than Adam for the human race?
  3. Share your thoughts on these questions in the comments below. It could encourage or help another reader.

Soli Deo Gloria.

This is the 27th of a series of weekly blog articles on Adam.
Read the prequels:
1. Was Adam in the Garden of Eden?
2. Did Moses Believe in Adam?
3. Did Jesus Believe in Adam?
4. Did Paul Believe in Adam?
5. Does Belief in Adam Matter?
6. Adam and Puppies
7. Why Did Adam Sin?
8. What Should Adam Have Done?
9. What Did Adam Cause?
10. What Was Adam’s Forbidden Fruit?
11. How Long Was Adam in Eden?
12. Was Adam’s Garden of Eden Real?
13. Christmas & Adam
(with videos)
14. Where Was Adam’s Garden of Eden?
15. Did Adam Wear Clothes in Eden?
16. Was Adam Backward or Brilliant?
(with video)
17. Who Was Mrs. Adam?
18. Adam’s Dream Girl
19. Adam’s Prolific Princess
20. Adam’s Problematic Princess
21. How Many Children Did Adam Have?
22. Whom Did Adam’s Sons Marry?
23. Did Adam Ride a Unicorn?
24. How Long Did Adam Live?
25. Did Adam Swat Mosquitoes in Eden?
26. Did Adam’s Garden Have a Talking Snake?

Read the sequels:
28. Did Roses Have Thorns in Adam’s Garden?
29. Adam the Image-Bearer & Harambe the Gorilla
30. Did Adam Ever Return to Eden?
31. What Was Adam’s Tree of Life?

Bible-Science Guy logo

Subscribe – Don’t miss future blog posts!
Click the sidebar’s “SUBSCRIBE” button to follow the
Bible-Science Guy Blog. You’ll automatically receive
new posts free by email. Click SUBSCRIBE NOW!

©William T. Pelletier, Ph.D.
“contending earnestly for the faith”
“destroying speculations against the knowledge of God”
“for the defense of the gospel”
(Jude 1:3; 2 Cor 10:5; Phil 1:16)
Wednesday May 25, 2016 A.D.

The Lord God commanded the man, saying, “From any tree of the garden you may eat freely; but from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat from it you will surely die.”
Now the serpent was more crafty than any beast of the field which the Lord God had made. And he said to the woman, “Indeed, has God said, ‘You shall not eat from any tree of the garden’?” The woman said to the serpent, “From the fruit of the trees of the garden we may eat; but from the fruit of the tree which is in the middle of the garden, God has said, ‘You shall not eat from it or touch it, or you will die.’” The serpent said to the woman, “You surely will not die! For God knows that in the day you eat from it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.” When the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was a delight to the eyes, and that the tree was desirable to make one wise, she took from its fruit and ate; and she gave also to her husband with her, and he ate.
(Genesis 2:16; 3:1-6)

Posted by: BibleScienceGuy | May 18, 2016

Did Adam’s Garden Have a Talking Snake?

(3 Minute Read)

EveSnake

Genesis reports that a snake talked to Eve in the Garden of Eden and enticed her to eat the Forbidden Fruit from the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil.

Why would Eve listen to a talking snake, and even be persuaded by it? Wouldn’t she be shocked by a snake speaking to her?

People often scoff at the notion of a talking snake or a snake that walked upright. Is it ridiculous to believe this? Or is it a perfectly sane position to hold? Is the Talking Snake of the Garden of Eden simply a myth? Is it a primitive fable ancient man formulated to explain the origin of evil?

Indeed, something about the Talking Snake of the Garden of Eden is absurd! I’m convinced that what is absurd is not to believe in Eden’s Talking Snake!

First, nobody knows what Eden was like before sin. For all we know, most animals spoke. We have the reliable witness of Yahweh and Adam as to what happened in Eden recorded in Genesis. Just because we don’t see talking snakes today in our post-Curse world does not mean they were not in Eden. It’s rather arrogant to doubt the Genesis testimony.

Second, Eve would not have been shocked by a Talking Snake, and the Genesis account does not indicate any surprise on Eve’s part. This might have surprised her only if her experience had been solely of non-talking snakes. But this encounter likely occurred within a few weeks of Creation when everything Eve was seeing was new to her anyway.

After Eden VeryGoodOleDays

God Himself spoke directly to the snake expecting it to understand (Genesis 3:14-15). He cursed the snake and gave the first prophecy of the coming Redeemer Who would fix Adam’s problem.

God’s curse brought vast changes throughout Creation. This included physical changes in human bodies (increased pain in childbirth), physical changes in vegetation (thorns and thistles sprang up, toilsome farming), and physical changes in animals (snakes on their bellies, attack and defense functions). Loss of speech by animals could have been one of the lost capabilities, especially since the snake used speech to deceive Eve.

Examples of Talking Animals

Around 1400 BC, Balaam’s donkey conversed with the prophet Balaam (Numbers 22:22-35). In fact, Moses reported that the Lord opened the mouth of the donkey and she reasoned with Balaam as she protested Balaam’s treatment of her! She could even count! The donkey had the physical equipment for speech and the mental capacity for intelligent conversation with humans. This capability was blocked till God “unblocked” her mouth. This may be true of most animals; their inability to speak may be a result of Yahweh’s curse on creation.

Even today, parrots are examples of animals that can talk.

Did Eden’s Talking Snake Have Legs?

Nobody knows whether Eden’s Talking Snake had legs. He was cursed more than every beast of the field and condemned to go on his belly, so it seems that prior to tempting Eve he had some form of upright locomotion. Otherwise one cannot see much meaning to God’s curse.

Maybe the snake was able to hold himself erect with only a portion of his tail on the ground acting as a “foot.” Or maybe he had legs which were removed as punishment.

The BibleScienceGuy wrestles a 12-ft, 50-lb live python.

The BibleScienceGuy wrestles a 12-ft,
50-lb live python. It did not talk
and did not stand erect.

Who Was the Talking Snake?

I believe the crafty Talking Snake of Eden was a real talking snake that Satan used as an instrument to attack mankind, the apex of God’s Creation. Satan is not mentioned in Genesis, but the New Testament makes clear the identification of Satan with the serpent.

Jesus alludes to the lying presence of Satan at the beginning in a debate with the Jews:
You are of your father the devil, and you want to do the desires of your father. He was a murderer from the beginning, and does not stand in the truth because there is no truth in him. Whenever he speaks a lie, he speaks from his own nature, for he is a liar and the father of lies. (John 8:44 NASB)

Three times in Revelation Satan is identified as a serpent (Revelation 12:9; 12:15; 20:2):
The serpent of old who is called the Devil and Satan, who deceives the whole world.

The Apostle Paul even refers to the literal snake that deceived Eve:
But I am afraid that, as the serpent deceived Eve by his craftiness, your minds will be led astray from the simplicity and purity of devotion to Christ. (2 Corinthians 11:3 NASB)

Thus the identification of the Talking Snake in the Garden of Eden with Satan cannot be denied.

Significance of Eden’s Talking Snake

The Apostle Paul warns his readers not to be deceived and led astray as the Serpent deceived Eve (2 Corinthians 11:3). What was the crux of how the Serpent deceived Eve? The Serpent challenged Eve to doubt and disbelieve God’s Word by first questioning and then denying what God had said:
Now the serpent was more crafty than any beast of the field which the Lord God had made. And he said to the woman, “Indeed, has God said, ‘You shall not eat from any tree of the garden’?” … The serpent said to the woman, “You surely will not die! (Genesis 3:1,4 NASB)

Doubting the existence of Eden’s Talking Snake is a first step in doubting God’s Word. Beware!

Questions to Ponder
  1. What is the main objection that people have to believing in the Talking Snake of Eden?
  2. Is it possible that the world was different in the distant past from the way it is now? Is there physical evidence to indicate this?
  3. Share your thoughts on these questions in the comments below. It could encourage or help another reader.

Soli Deo Gloria.

This is the 26th of a series of weekly blog articles on Adam.
Read the prequels:
1. Was Adam in the Garden of Eden?
2. Did Moses Believe in Adam?
3. Did Jesus Believe in Adam?
4. Did Paul Believe in Adam?
5. Does Belief in Adam Matter?
6. Adam and Puppies
7. Why Did Adam Sin?
8. What Should Adam Have Done?
9. What Did Adam Cause?
10. What Was Adam’s Forbidden Fruit?
11. How Long Was Adam in Eden?
12. Was Adam’s Garden of Eden Real?
13. Christmas & Adam
(with videos)
14. Where Was Adam’s Garden of Eden?
15. Did Adam Wear Clothes in Eden?
16. Was Adam Backward or Brilliant?
(with video)
17. Who Was Mrs. Adam?
18. Adam’s Dream Girl
19. Adam’s Prolific Princess
20. Adam’s Problematic Princess
21. How Many Children Did Adam Have?
22. Whom Did Adam’s Sons Marry?
23. Did Adam Ride a Unicorn?
24. How Long Did Adam Live?
25. Did Adam Swat Mosquitoes in Eden?

Read the sequels:
27. Why Should Adam’s Sin Affect Me?
28. Did Roses Have Thorns in Adam’s Garden?
29. Adam the Image-Bearer & Harambe the Gorilla
30. Did Adam Ever Return to Eden?
31. What Was Adam’s Tree of Life?

Bible-Science Guy logo

Subscribe – Don’t miss future blog posts!
Click the sidebar’s “SUBSCRIBE” button to follow the
Bible-Science Guy Blog. You’ll automatically receive
new posts free by email. Click SUBSCRIBE NOW!

©William T. Pelletier, Ph.D.
“contending earnestly for the faith”
“destroying speculations against the knowledge of God”
“for the defense of the gospel”
(Jude 1:3; 2 Cor 10:5; Phil 1:16)
Wednesday May 18, 2016 A.D.

The Lord God commanded the man, saying, “From any tree of the garden you may eat freely; but from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat from it you will surely die.”
Now the serpent was more crafty than any beast of the field which the Lord God had made. And he said to the woman, “Indeed, has God said, ‘You shall not eat from any tree of the garden’?” The woman said to the serpent, “From the fruit of the trees of the garden we may eat; but from the fruit of the tree which is in the middle of the garden, God has said, ‘You shall not eat from it or touch it, or you will die.’” The serpent said to the woman, “You surely will not die! For God knows that in the day you eat from it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.” When the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was a delight to the eyes, and that the tree was desirable to make one wise, she took from its fruit and ate; and she gave also to her husband with her, and he ate.
(Genesis 2:16; 3:1-6)

Posted by: BibleScienceGuy | May 11, 2016

Kepler’s Complaint

(6 Minute Read)
Kepler

Kepler

Woof! Woof! This is Kepler again, Master’s Jack Russell terrier. I’m writing another article for Master’s blog.

Master is the BibleScienceGuy, and he said I could write an article to explain my complaint to his readers. Maybe you all can intercede for me and help Master see my point of view.

My new buddy Henry whom we adopted last Christmas doesn’t feel as strongly about the situation as I do. He’s just glad to have a warm place to sleep, two good squares a day, and treats.

My basic complaint is that Master and Missus do not treat me as an equal member of the family. Let me flood you with examples of how Master and Missus treat me differently.

My Top Ten Complaints

1. Yesterday Missus gave Master a home-baked butterscotch chip cookie treat. She did not make him Sit or Lie Down or Wait or Shake Hands in order to get the cookie. She just gave it to him! Later she gave him a plateful of treat cookies. That never happens with me. I have to work for every little treat morsel, one at a time.

Henry and I wait to go outside

Henry & I wait for Master’s OK to go outside

2. When it’s time to go outside we have to Sit and Wait while Master attaches leashes or tethers to our collars. Then with the door open and smelling all the new outdoor smells, we have to Wait till Master gives the Okay.

But Master does not make Missus Wait at the open door. When they go somewhere, he lets her walk right out the door without doing a Wait. And he doesn’t even put a leash on her! All he does is take her hand. Then when she comes home, she just walks in! She doesn’t have to Wait, or jump up and down at the closed door like I do.

I have to just Sit and Wait far too much. What’s the point? I don’t get anything done with a Sit and Wait. I don’t ever see Master make Missus Sit and Wait. Why does he make me do it?

3. When it’s time to eat, Master makes me Sit in my Spot and Wait while he fixes my food. Then I have to Wait with the aroma from my bowl filling my nose until Master thanks God for my food. Even before the prayer, sometimes I have to Wait for 5 minutes while he fiddles around. Then as soon as he says “Amen!” I leap for my bowl and gobble it down.

But Missus does not make Master Sit in his Spot while she fixes his food. She lets him walk around and do things. And when she gives it to him, she lets him pray and eat right away. She doesn’t make him Wait like I have to.

Master makes me eat on the floor. I want to eat on the table in order to help myself to all Missus’ savory dishes as Master does.

Missus keeps lots of good stuff in the frig. If Master would permit me, I could feed myself and Henry from the frig, and he wouldn’t have to fix our meals. Master and Missus get in the frig whenever they want — why can’t I?

The Creator made each creature,
from amoeba to man, for its own
place and purpose in Creation.

4. I lo-o-o-ve Kleenex, napkins, and tissues — clean or used. Master and Missus always punish me when I get one. They put me on my back, grip me with claw hands, scold me, and exile me to my crate with a blanket covering it. I hate the punishment! But when I see a tissue or napkin, I think to myself, “I’ll take the punishment,” and I grab it.

It’s not fair to punish me, because I see Master and Missus get a napkin or Kleenex whenever they want. Of course they don’t stuff it into their mouth, chew it up, and swallow it. Mmmm … they don’t know what they’re missing.

5. I don’t like it that Master and Missus ignore my whines, cries, and howls. Sometimes when camping, they leave me in my crate inside the camper while they do things without me. I do my best to let them know I want to be with them by crying, whining, and howling. Other times they leave me tethered outside when they are inside. I want to be inside with them and urgently let them know. Then when I’m inside, I want to go back outside. I want them to let me in and out all day long. My motto is “What’s next?”

I like the couch!

I like the couch—even with a cover on it!

6. Missus does not allow me to get on the couch unless invited. I have to Sit and Wait and Ask. But Master just Sits down whenever he wants! He never even asks Missus like I have to do.

Actually I have thought about this one, and I think I know the reason. Master does not jump onto the couch with his feet like I do. But my paws are clean. I always lick them clean after I come in the house.

Master makes me sleep on the floor. I want to sleep in his bed. He lets Missus sleep in the bed with him — why not me?

7. When Master takes me for a walk, he makes me walk calmly by his side. Pulling on the leash to investigate or smell something is a No-No. Last weekend’s campground was overrun with squirrels. I was literally quivering with urgency to chase them and bite their sassy necks. But Master would not let me bark at them or chase them. Doesn’t Master know that God made me to bark at squirrels and chase them? But Master said my walks with him are not the time for this.

But Master lets Missus do whatever she wants on our walks. She doesn’t have to walk quietly by his side without checking things out. She gets to smell the flowers, check the mailbox, comment on architectures and landscaping.

I love to go into stores like PetSmart to meet dogs and smell things. Master makes me walk right at his heel. But he lets Missus wander around the store by herself. Master walks too slowly — I want to explore the store, meet dogs and people, and smell food by myself without having to drag him along with me.

Henry & I share the doll bed

Henry & I share the doll bed

8. Missus treats me like a baby, even though I’m two years old. She found an old doll bed and thought it would keep Henry and me off the cold ground around the campfire. She stuffed both of us in it at once and prattled on about how cute it was. I didn’t see anything cute about it, but I realized in 3 seconds that treats come for staying in the bed. Eventually we settled on Henry lying in the doll bed and me in Missus’ lap.

9. Can someone please tell Master that God made dogs to bark? I get so tired of hearing the Quiet and No Bark commands. Master gives them to Henry and me many times every day! He says we need to learn self-control! But I never hear him give the Quiet or No Bark command to Missus! And sometimes she talks and laughs a lot! Shouldn’t she have to learn self-control? But Master seems to like it.

I want to bark at dogs and people passing by our campsite. I hear Missus call out greetings to passing campers. Why can’t I bark to passing dogs and greet them?

Master thinks I bark too much. But I’m going to do it anyway.

10. Master and Missus always send me outside to do my business, even in the snow, rain, wind, and cold! But they get to do their business in the warm, dry house. Not fair!

Thus my basic complaint is that Master and Missus do not treat me as an equal member of the family. Don’t misunderstand me — I don’t want to leave Master and Missus. I just want things to be equitable. They treat me like a dog! Yeah, yeah, I know. But still…

Kepler

Kepler

Master’s Answer

I have explained my complaints to Master, but he just tells me,
“You’re a dog, not a boy. Deal with it.”
I do not smell any compassion in him or willingness to negotiate on this.

Master said the bumper stickers that I see saying “Dogs Are People Too!” are wrong.

I have even heard people say (Out Loud in public!!!), “Cats are people too.” Now I know for absolute certain that cats are not people. No way!!! But I kind of like the “Dogs” bumper sticker!

Master said I shouldn’t build my worldview on bumper sticker philosophies. He said I should build my worldview on what the Creator says is true: the Bible.

Despite the bumper sticker claim, Master said, “Dogs are not people.” He said only people are created in God’s image and dogs are not, so the two are totally different.

Master says the Creator made each creature, from amoeba to man, for its own place and purpose in Creation. He says my place is to be a dog, even though I am a very smart dog. He says I bring glory to my Creator just by being a dog and exercising my capabilities to serve my Master and Missus as best I can — because this is what my Creator created me to be and to do. Master says the Creator is the Big Boss and what He says and ordains is final.

Master says that the Creator gave Master the right and responsibility through Master’s father Adam to rule over me, which includes making me Sit and Wait, even when I want to run and jump.
Then God said, “Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness; and let them rule over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the sky and over the cattle and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.” God created man in His own image, in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them. God blessed them; and God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the earth, and subdue it; and rule over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the sky and over every living thing that moves on the earth.” (Genesis 1:26-28 NASB)

Master showed me the above verse which he called the “Dominion Mandate.” I barked, “I don’t like that.” Master said that was because his father Adam sinned and the Creator cursed all of creation as reported in Genesis 3:14-19. The Apostle Paul describes it this way:
For the creation was subjected to futility, not willingly, but because of Him who subjected it, in hope that the creation itself also will be set free from its slavery to corruption into the freedom of the glory of the children of God. For we know that the whole creation groans and suffers the pains of childbirth together until now. (Romans 8:20-22 NASB)

Don’t build your worldview on bumper
sticker philosophies. Build it on what
the Creator says is true: the Bible.

Master says the reason I sometimes resist his orders and choose my own way is due to his father Adam. Master says my first father, the first dog, felt the same way. After the curse, he sometimes didn’t like to do what Adam told him to do either.

I asked Master if he knew the name of Adam’s Jack Russell terrier. He said Adam did not have a Jack Russell. I was very surprised, because Jack Russell terriers are the best dogs, and I figured the Creator would have started Adam with the best dog.

I asked Master what breed of dog Adam had. He said the Creator made for Adam both the father and the mother of all dogs. He said those original dogs were Kinardlies. That’s because you can hardly tell what type of dog they were. I had to chortle over that one. Jack Russell terriers have always liked puns.

Master makes me sleep on the floor

Master makes me sleep on the floor!

I wish I had been in the Garden of Eden with Adam. I would have barked at that wicked Serpent and kept him away from Eve. I am so quick that if the Serpent got too close to Eve, I would be chomping on him faster than the light going off when you flip the switch. I wonder what Adam’s Kinardly was doing when the Serpent got to Eve…probably sleeping!

Master laughed and said he appreciated my good intentions, but the Creator’s plan of Creation, Sin, and Salvation had all been ordained before the foundation of the world, and nothing I could have done would have altered it. Nevertheless, I would have liked to try to help Adam and Eve.

Okay. I’m done. I need to complete today’s To Do List by checking the basement again for mice and squirrels. Two months ago I helped trap a squirrel in the basement, so now everyday I check the basement five times hoping to find another. It’s part of my daily To Do List.

Till next time, Woof! Woof!

Questions to Ponder
  1. Do you think dogs should be treated like people? Why or why not?
  2. Every creature glorifies its Creator. How do your pets glorify the Creator?
  3. Share your thoughts on these questions in the comments below. It could encourage or help another reader.

Soli Deo Gloria.

This is the twelfth article in a series of blog posts on our Jack Russell terrier Kepler.
Read the prequels:
1. Why I Named Our Puppy “Kepler”
2. Kepler’s Kind
3. Kepler’s Lopsided Trade
4. Kepler’s Amazing Nose
5. Kepler’s Business Card
6. Kepler & the Psycho Squirrel
(with video)
7. Taunting Kepler
8. Adam and Puppies
9. Who Taught Kepler?
10. Kepler Gets a Buddy
(with video)
11. Kepler Chases a Squirrel

Read the sequel:
13. Kepler’s To Do Listcoming eventually

Bible-Science Guy logo

Subscribe – Don’t miss future blog posts!
Click the sidebar’s “SUBSCRIBE” button to follow the
Bible-Science Guy Blog. You’ll automatically receive
new posts free by email. Click SUBSCRIBE NOW!

©William T. Pelletier, Ph.D.
“contending earnestly for the faith”
“destroying speculations against the knowledge of God”
“for the defense of the gospel”
(Jude 1:3; 2 Cor 10:5; Phil 1:16)
Wednesday May 11, 2016 A.D.

But now ask the beasts, and let them teach you;
And the birds of the heavens, and let them tell you.
Or speak to the earth, and let it teach you;
And let the fish of the sea declare to you.
Who among all these does not know
That the hand of the LORD has done this,
In whose hand is the life of every living thing,
And the breath of all mankind?
(Job 12:7-10)

Posted by: BibleScienceGuy | May 4, 2016

Did Adam Swat Mosquitoes in Eden?

(4 Minute Read)

20000117-NewFallenWorld

Did bees, wasps, hornets, mosquitoes, scorpions, flies, ticks, and ants sting and bite Adam in the Garden of Eden?
Did dogs and snakes bite him in Eden?
Did Adam smash wasps and hornets in that Garden?
Did he squash ants in the Garden of Eden before sin entered the world through his disobedience?
Did he swat mosquitoes in Eden?

Such questions are often asked rhetorically about Adam with the assumed and expected answer, “Of course he did.”

But you won’t get that answer from me!

These questions are usually posed in order to claim that of course there was death before sin. The aim is to set up the evolutionist argument that the earth’s biosphere developed over long ages of time.

Adam would not have killed insects in the Garden of Eden before sin, because death, including animal death, is a consequence of sin, not a precursor to sin. Death was not part of Yahweh’s original “very good” creation. Moreover, there would have been no motivation to kill, since pre-Fall insects would not have pestered Adam. This is a clear deduction from Scripture:
God saw all that He had made, and behold, it was very good. And there was evening and there was morning, the sixth day. (Genesis 1:31 NASB).

A “very good” creation would not include death, because death is an enemy and a destroyer (1 Corinthians 15:26). The Creator who cares for and feeds the birds of the air who neither sow nor reap would not term suffering and death “very good” (Matthew 6:26).

Nor would a “very good” creation include insects plaguing man, the crown of God’s creation. In the Garden of Eden, mosquitoes were not the annoying pests that they are today.

Adam did not kill insects in the Garden of Eden
before sin, because death, including animal death,
is a consequence of sin, not a precursor to sin.

The current brokenness of all of creation is the result of the curse Yahweh pronounced because of Adam’s sin (Genesis 3:14-19). This curse caused death and the twisting and perversion that we see throughout creation, including needing to kill biting mosquitoes.
For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory that is to be revealed to us. For the anxious longing of the creation waits eagerly for the revealing of the sons of God. For the creation was subjected to futility, not willingly, but because of Him who subjected it, in hope that the creation itself also will be set free from its slavery to corruption into the freedom of the glory of the children of God. For we know that the whole creation groans and suffers the pains of childbirth together until now. And not only this, but also we ourselves, having the first fruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting eagerly for our adoption as sons, the redemption of our body. (Romans 8:18-23 NASB)

After Eden 20030728-2-FoundOne

Mosquito Bites Are Adam’s Fault

So why are mosquitoes pests today? It is Adam’s fault.

After Adam sinned, Yahweh cursed all of creation. This curse physically changed many things. The ground no longer brought forth only good crops, but now weeds, thorns, and thistles proliferated. Childbirth for women became much more painful. Snakes no longer traveled upright but were condemned to go on their belly. (Genesis 3:14-19)

Yahweh also put enmity between men and snakes. Later after the Flood He changed the brains of animals so that they would fear humans (Genesis 3:15; 9:2).

We know very little about what animals were like before Adam’s Fall. One thing we do know is that Creation has been severely distorted by God’s Curse as a result of Adam’s sin. (Romans 8:20-22) But nobody knows how much things changed compared to before the Fall. The full extent of the effects of the Fall and Yahweh’s subsequent curse is unknown.

Thus we have no certain information about what mosquitoes were like before the fall, but I suspect mosquitoes were changed from a benign insect into a pest when Yahweh cursed all of creation because of Adam’s sin. Before the Fall, mosquitoes were a beneficial part of Yahweh’s very good ecosystem. Since then they have become the World’s Most Dangerous Creature through transmitting deadly diseases such as malaria, encephalitis, dengue fever, and the dreaded Zika virus.

Even today many mosquito species do not suck blood. They feed on plant nectar and are active in pollinating plants. Pollination was probably a function of the very good mosquitoes that Yahweh originally created.

After Eden 20070122-PainfulPerspective

Promised Restoration

To understand what Eden was like before Adam sinned, it may help to look at the end of time when all has been restored to perfection. Eventually death will be abolished and all will be restored to the original Edenic condition — there will no longer be any death, mourning, crying, or pain (Revelation 21:4).

Therefore repent and return, so that your sins may be wiped away, in order that times of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord; and that He may send Jesus, the Christ appointed for you, whom heaven must receive until the period of restoration of all things about which God spoke by the mouth of His holy prophets from ancient time. (Acts 3:19-21 NASB)

For as in Adam all die, so also in Christ all will be made alive. But each in his own order: Christ the first fruits, after that those who are Christ’s at His coming, then comes the end, when He hands over the kingdom to the God and Father, when He has abolished all rule and all authority and power. For He must reign until He has put all His enemies under His feet. The last enemy that will be abolished is death. (1 Corinthians 15:22-26 NASB)

Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth; for the first heaven and the first earth passed away, and there is no longer any sea. And I saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, made ready as a bride adorned for her husband. And I heard a loud voice from the throne, saying, “Behold, the tabernacle of God is among men, and He will dwell among them, and they shall be His people, and God Himself will be among them, and He will wipe away every tear from their eyes; and there will no longer be any death; there will no longer be any mourning, or crying, or pain; the first things have passed away.” And He who sits on the throne said, “Behold, I am making all things new.” And He said, “Write, for these words are faithful and true.” (Revelation 21:1-5 NASB).

And the wolf will dwell with the lamb,
And the leopard will lie down with the young goat,
And the calf and the young lion and the fatling together;
And a little boy will lead them.
Also the cow and the bear will graze,
Their young will lie down together,
And the lion will eat straw like the ox.
The nursing child will play by the hole of the cobra,
And the weaned child will put his hand on the viper’s den.
They will not hurt or destroy in all My holy mountain,
For the earth will be full of the knowledge of the Lord
As the waters cover the sea.
(Isaiah 11:6-9 NASB)

Thus in the new heaven and new earth there will be no human or animal death, no human or animal conflict. Since this is a restoration, there would have been no human or animal death in the original creation.

Mosquito Biting

Whose fault is the Zika virus?

Did Adam Swat Mosquitoes in Eden?

No, Adam did not swat mosquitoes in Eden. He did not smash wasps and hornets in Eden. He did not squash ants in the Garden of Eden before sin entered the world through his disobedience of eating the Forbidden Fruit. Yes, he did do all this after he left Eden.

The next time you swat a mosquito, let it remind you of the universe-wide consequences of Adam’s sin and the good news of the Gospel which fixes Adam’s mistake.

For more about mosquitoes than you would ever want to know, see these BibleScienceGuy articles:
Mosquito Blitzkrieg
Mosquito: World’s Deadliest Creature
Mosquito Mechanics
Were Mosquitoes in the Garden of Eden?

Questions to Ponder
  1. Even in a sin-cursed, mosquito-infested world, God causes all things to work together for good (Romans 8:28). What other mosquito-like annoyance is buzzing around your life for which you can trust God?
  2. In your experience, what works best to repel mosquitoes?
  3. Share your thoughts on these questions in the comments below. It could encourage or help another reader.

Soli Deo Gloria.

This is the 25th of a series of weekly blog articles on Adam.
Read the prequels:
1. Was Adam in the Garden of Eden?
2. Did Moses Believe in Adam?
3. Did Jesus Believe in Adam?
4. Did Paul Believe in Adam?
5. Does Belief in Adam Matter?
6. Adam and Puppies
7. Why Did Adam Sin?
8. What Should Adam Have Done?
9. What Did Adam Cause?
10. What Was Adam’s Forbidden Fruit?
11. How Long Was Adam in Eden?
12. Was Adam’s Garden of Eden Real?
13. Christmas & Adam
(with videos)
14. Where Was Adam’s Garden of Eden?
15. Did Adam Wear Clothes in Eden?
16. Was Adam Backward or Brilliant?
(with video)
17. Who Was Mrs. Adam?
18. Adam’s Dream Girl
19. Adam’s Prolific Princess
20. Adam’s Problematic Princess
21. How Many Children Did Adam Have?
22. Whom Did Adam’s Sons Marry?
23. Did Adam Ride a Unicorn?
24. How Long Did Adam Live?

Read the sequels:
26. Did Adam’s Garden Have a Talking Snake?
27. Why Should Adam’s Sin Affect Me?
28. Did Roses Have Thorns in Adam’s Garden?
29. Adam the Image-Bearer & Harambe the Gorilla
30. Did Adam Ever Return to Eden?
31. What Was Adam’s Tree of Life?

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Subscribe – Don’t miss future blog posts!
Click the sidebar’s “SUBSCRIBE” button to follow the
Bible-Science Guy Blog. You’ll automatically receive
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©William T. Pelletier, Ph.D.
“contending earnestly for the faith”
“destroying speculations against the knowledge of God”
“for the defense of the gospel”
(Jude 1:3; 2 Cor 10:5; Phil 1:16)
Wednesday May 4, 2016 A.D.

The Lord God commanded the man, saying, “From any tree of the garden you may eat freely; but from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat from it you will surely die.”
Now the serpent was more crafty than any beast of the field which the Lord God had made. And he said to the woman, “Indeed, has God said, ‘You shall not eat from any tree of the garden’?” The woman said to the serpent, “From the fruit of the trees of the garden we may eat; but from the fruit of the tree which is in the middle of the garden, God has said, ‘You shall not eat from it or touch it, or you will die.’” The serpent said to the woman, “You surely will not die! For God knows that in the day you eat from it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.” When the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was a delight to the eyes, and that the tree was desirable to make one wise, she took from its fruit and ate; and she gave also to her husband with her, and he ate.
(Genesis 2:16; 3:1-6)

Posted by: BibleScienceGuy | April 27, 2016

How Long Did Adam Live?

(4 Minute Read)

After Eden 20050926-WarningSigns

Adam lived for 930 years, to within about a century of Noah’s birth (Genesis 5:3-5).

How is it possible to live for more than 900 years?

Before the Flood, the young earth was a very different place. It is impossible to know what the environment was like then.

Perhaps “the waters above the expanse” (Genesis 1:7) significantly blocked cosmic radiation, now a major contributor to senescence. Nobody knows how God modified human biochemistry to gradually shorten life spans when executing the judgment of death for sin incurred by Adam.

Early in human history, long lifespans let men accumulate individual knowledge for centuries. The snowballing effect helped jump-start civilization.

We usually underestimate ancient man. He was smarter, stronger, and probably bigger than men today. Less genetic deterioration had accumulated in these men than in men today. See Was Adam Backward or Brilliant?

If you trust Jesus of Nazareth for eternal life,
you should also believe in Adam’s 930-year
lifespan. The same Bible teaches both.

Even after Noah’s Flood, men still possessed much of the vigor of early man. For example, the average lifespan of the post-Flood patriarchs from Shem to Peleg was 435 years. These patriarchs were contemporary with those who built the Tower of Babel.

Men yearn for a “fountain of youth” to extend life. But with long life spans, wickedness tends to dominate goodness. For a documented historical example, consider the sin-soaked pre-Flood world when Noah alone was righteous (Genesis 6).

Evil had almost stamped out righteousness, and probably would have succeeded had it not been for the intervening judgment of God via the worldwide Flood. Thus it is not necessarily better for men to live longer. The shorter life spans God eventually imposed do limit the cumulative effects of sin.

After Eden Methuselah New Year

Adam was not the only man who lived for over 900 years. Genesis reports 900-year lifespans for most of the antediluvian patriarchs. The records show that Adam to Abraham covered about 2,000 years. Abraham to Christ was about 2,000 years. Adding 2,000 years from Christ to the present totals about 6,000 years since creation.

If you cannot trust the Bible for simple historical information like ages, how can you trust it for reliable information about the far more complex issue of rescue from sin and death?

Thus if you trust Jesus of Nazareth for eternal life, you should also believe in Adam’s 930-year lifespan, even if it seems outlandishly long and impossible.
The same Bible teaches both.

Why Didn’t Adam Die the Day He Ate the Forbidden Fruit?

Why did Adam live to age 930? Didn’t God promise he would die the day he ate the Forbidden Fruit?
The Lord God commanded the man, saying, “From any tree of the garden you may eat freely; but from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat from it you will surely die.” (Genesis 2:16-17 NASB)

This translation (New American Standard Bible) certainly makes it sound as if God said that Adam would die the same day he ate the Forbidden Fruit. But Adam did not die that day. Here are 50 English versions of Genesis 2:17, and most of them give the same impression.

This usual interpretation of this passage presents a problem. Supposedly God told Adam he would die the very same day he ate the Forbidden Fruit. Yet Adam did not die. He lived to age 930.

Why didn’t Adam and Eve die
the day they ate the Forbidden Fruit?

What is the solution to this apparent contradiction? Was God was mistaken? Or is the usual interpretation of God’s warning in Genesis 2:16-17 incorrect.

I believe the usual understanding of God’s warning is incorrect due to a faulty translation of the passage. Although most English translations sound like God warns Adam that he will die the same day he eats from tree of the knowledge of good and evil, some translations express the warning differently. These translations of Genesis 2:17 convey the understanding that death was not necessarily immediate:

After Eden 20060515-ParadiseTwice

These translations do not specify that the day of Adam’s death will be the same as the day he eats the Forbidden Fruit. They say that death is certain, but the time till death is unspecified. This fits with what actually occurred.

The 1898 Young’s Literal Translation by Robert Young is a very literal translation. It preserves the tense and word usage of the original Hebrew and Greek. This is the same Robert Young who compiled Young’s Analytical Concordance. Here is Young’s Literal Translation of the passage:
And Jehovah God layeth a charge on the man, saying, “Of every tree of the garden eating thou dost eat; and of the tree of knowledge of good and evil, thou dost not eat of it, for in the day of thine eating of it — dying thou dost die.”
(Genesis 2:16-17 YLT)

The literal translation of the Hebrew מ֥וֹת תָּמֽוּת׃, transliterated tāmūṯ mōwṯ, is “dying die.” That is, in the day you eat the Forbidden Fruit, you will begin dying and will surely die (eventually). The repetitive use of these forms of the Hebrew verb מוּת, transliterated muth meaning “to die” (Strong’s H4191), in Hebrew indicates intensity and continuity; it’s a continuing process resulting in certain death. But it does not require death the same day the death process begins.

The Hebrew word בְּי֛וֹם, transliterated bəyôm, means “in the day.” It’s a form of yôm, the usual Hebrew word י֔וֹם for a regular day (Strong’s H3117). But bəyôm can mean either a regular day or an indefinite period of time; it is often therefore translated “when” if a time period other than a single day is in view (see for example Genesis 2:4; 35:3; Leviticus 14:57; Numbers 3:1; 7:10,84; Joshua 14:11; 2 Samuel 22:1,19; Psalm 20:1). In Genesis 2:17 it should be understood as an indefinite period of time instead of as the specific day Adam ate the Forbidden Fruit.

Thus I believe the proper understanding of the Hebrew of Genesis 2:16-17 is
From the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day (indefinite period of time) you eat from it, dying you shall die.
God was warning Adam that eating the Forbidden Fruit would begin an irrevocable, progressive dying process that would culminate in physical death, returning to dust out of which he was made (Genesis 3:19).

When Adam ate the Forbidden Fruit the death process began. Spiritually he died right away as indicated by Adam and Eve realizing they were naked, feeling ashamed, and hiding themselves from the Lord when He came to visit them that evening. Their perfect fellowship with the Creator had been broken by their sin of disobedience. They were dead in their sin, although not yet dead physically (Ephesians 2:1-2). Adam died physically at age 930.

Questions to Ponder
  1. Suppose you could live for 200 years. What would you hope to accomplish in your second 100 years?
  2. How would what you learned in your first 100 years contribute to the accomplishment of your goals for the second hundred years?
  3. Share your thoughts on these questions in the comments below. It could encourage or help another reader.

Soli Deo Gloria.

This is the 24th of a series of weekly blog articles on Adam.
Read the prequels:
1. Was Adam in the Garden of Eden?
2. Did Moses Believe in Adam?
3. Did Jesus Believe in Adam?
4. Did Paul Believe in Adam?
5. Does Belief in Adam Matter?
6. Adam and Puppies
7. Why Did Adam Sin?
8. What Should Adam Have Done?
9. What Did Adam Cause?
10. What Was Adam’s Forbidden Fruit?
11. How Long Was Adam in Eden?
12. Was Adam’s Garden of Eden Real?
13. Christmas & Adam
(with videos)
14. Where Was Adam’s Garden of Eden?
15. Did Adam Wear Clothes in Eden?
16. Was Adam Backward or Brilliant?
(with video)
17. Who Was Mrs. Adam?
18. Adam’s Dream Girl
19. Adam’s Prolific Princess
20. Adam’s Problematic Princess
21. How Many Children Did Adam Have?
22. Whom Did Adam’s Sons Marry?
23. Did Adam Ride a Unicorn?

Read the sequels:
25. Did Adam Swat Mosquitoes in Eden?
26. Did Adam’s Garden Have a Talking Snake?
27. Why Should Adam’s Sin Affect Me?
28. Did Roses Have Thorns in Adam’s Garden?
29. Adam the Image-Bearer & Harambe the Gorilla
30. Did Adam Ever Return to Eden?
31. What Was Adam’s Tree of Life?

Bible-Science Guy logo

Subscribe – Don’t miss future blog posts!
Click the sidebar’s “SUBSCRIBE” button to follow the
Bible-Science Guy Blog. You’ll automatically receive
new posts free by email. Click SUBSCRIBE NOW!

©William T. Pelletier, Ph.D.
“contending earnestly for the faith”
“destroying speculations against the knowledge of God”
“for the defense of the gospel”
(Jude 1:3; 2 Cor 10:5; Phil 1:16)
Wednesday April 27, 2016 A.D.

The Lord God commanded the man, saying, “From any tree of the garden you may eat freely; but from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat from it you will surely die.”
Now the serpent was more crafty than any beast of the field which the Lord God had made. And he said to the woman, “Indeed, has God said, ‘You shall not eat from any tree of the garden’?” The woman said to the serpent, “From the fruit of the trees of the garden we may eat; but from the fruit of the tree which is in the middle of the garden, God has said, ‘You shall not eat from it or touch it, or you will die.’” The serpent said to the woman, “You surely will not die! For God knows that in the day you eat from it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.” When the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was a delight to the eyes, and that the tree was desirable to make one wise, she took from its fruit and ate; and she gave also to her husband with her, and he ate.
(Genesis 2:16; 3:1-6)

Posted by: BibleScienceGuy | April 20, 2016

Did Adam Ride a Unicorn?

(4 Minute Read)

Unicorns

Bible mockers have long derided Scripture for references to unicorns. They chortle with condescending glee over the presence of unicorns in the Bible.

They think that the inclusion of an “obviously mythical” animal like a unicorn means that the whole Bible is therefore a myth and not to be trusted.

Is this mockery well-founded? Is it impossible that unicorns might really have existed? Could Adam have seen them, named them, tamed them, and even ridden them?

It turns out that the unicorn issue is not a Bible-killer after all. The beasts of myth and fantasy that are called unicorns today are not the unicorns of the Bible.

Historical References to Unicorns

First of all, if one decides to dismiss the Bible because some translations mention unicorns, then one must also dismiss works of ancient history which scholars almost uniformly accept. The Encyclopedia Britannica reports that ancient Greeks writing on nature, including Ctesias, Strabo, and Aelian, all describe the unicorn as a real animal. So did the Roman authors Pliny the Younger and Tertullian. Should these writers be dismissed? To be consistent, if one dismisses the Bible because of unicorns, then one would also have to discount the reliability of these Greek and Roman authors.

Italian merchant traveler Marco Polo (1254–1324) reported seeing unicorns on his travels in Sumatra (Indonesia):

“They have wild elephants and plenty of unicorns, which are scarcely smaller than elephants. They have the hair of a buffalo and feet like an elephant’s. They have a single large black horn in the middle of the forehead . . . They have a head like a wild boar’s . . . They spend their time by preference wallowing in mud and slime. They are very ugly brutes to look at.”
(Marco Polo: The Travels, translated by Ronald Latham, Penguin, 1958, p. 253)

Unicorns in the Bible

The Hebrew word that the King James Version translates as unicorn is רְאֵם, transliterated rĕ’em. It appears nine times in the KJV. In addition, Luther’s 1534 German Bible and the Greek Septuagint (2nd century BC) both translate the Hebrew word rĕ’em with words meaning “one-horned animal” or unicorn. The Latin Vulgate of around 400 AD sometimes translates rĕ’em as unicorn and sometimes as rhinoceros.

However, most modern versions translate rĕ’em as wild ox. A few versions use wild bull, buffalo, and even rhinoceros.

It’s significant that the 70 Hebrew scholars who translated the Hebrew Bible into Greek in the 2nd century BC chose to translate rĕ’em by monokerōtos, literally one horn or unicorn. These Hebrew scholars were probably the best equipped of anyone to know what the Hebrew word rĕ’em meant. Their translation into Greek influenced the King James translators to use unicorn for rĕ’em, meaning a one-horned animal.

Thus unicorn seems to be a good translation for the Hebrew rĕ’em. But all that unicorn means is “one-horned animal.” What kind of animal was the Biblical rĕ’em? Was it the mythical horse-like animal with a long pointed horn on its forehead that the word connotes today? Or was it some other kind of one-horned animal?

To answer this question one must look at the context of the word as it is used in the Bible.

Here are the Old Testament verses that mention the rĕ’em animal (unicorn or wild ox): Numbers 23:22; 24:8; Deuteronomy 33:17; Job 39:9–10; Psalm 22:21; 29:6; 92:10; Isaiah 34:7.

In the popular imagination the unicorn is a mythical horse-like animal with a single sharp-pointed horn protruding from its forehead. But that’s not the rĕ’em (unicorn or wild ox) of the Bible. The Biblical references indicate an animal of great power and strength with a wild, untamed nature. It is not even clear from the verses that the rĕ’em was one-horned, although that may be indicated by Psalm 92:10, but not necessarily. For example, Yahweh says this to Job about the rĕ’em (unicorn or wild ox):
“Will the wild ox [rĕ’em] consent to serve you,
Or will he spend the night at your manger?
Can you bind the wild ox [rĕ’em] in a furrow with ropes,
Or will he harrow the valleys after you?
Will you trust him because his strength is great
And leave your labor to him?
Will you have faith in him that he will return your grain
And gather it from your threshing floor?”
(Job 39:9-12 NASB)

Whatever the rĕ’em animal of the Bible was, it is clear from the context of the Biblical references that a real animal is in view by the Biblical authors. It is not an imaginary creature. The book of Job refers to the rĕ’em as a real animal in the midst of a list of other well-known animals: lion, raven, goat, deer, donkey, ostrich, horse, hawk, and eagle (Job 38:39-39:30).

The Biblical unicorn (rĕ’em) was real!
It was not an imaginary creature.

In this list of familiar animals, Yahweh highlights to Job impressive characteristics that He has placed in each of these animals that He created. His point was to demonstrate to Job that Almighty God is far above man in wisdom, power, and ability. If one of the animals in the list were imaginary, like the rĕ’em, then the argument would lose its force. In fact, Job himself would have to be familiar with the rĕ’em for Yahweh’s illustrative example to be effective. Obviously Yahweh did not think the rĕ’em (wild ox or unicorn) was imaginary, and neither did Job.

Possible Biblical Unicorn Animals

Just because an animal is not familiar to man today does not mean it never existed. Fossil evidence sometimes reveals the past existence of unknown animals. In fact, this is true of the unicorn. A unicorn is simply a single-horned animal. Scientists now confirm they existed based on fossil evidence that has been discovered.

Even today, one species of rhinoceros can be called a unicorn, because it is a one-horned animal. In fact, back in the early 1800s the one-horned rhinoceros was called a unicorn in Webster’s 1828 Dictionary, and the two-horned rhinoceros was called a bicornis.

The article ‘Unicorns’ And Humans Once Walked The Earth Together…Sort Of from the Huffington Post (03/29/2016) reports the discovery of fossil “unicorns” in Kazakhstan. This fossil, Elasmotherium sibiricum, also called the “Siberian unicorn,” was a massive rhino-like creature 6 feet tall, 15 feet long, and weighing 9,000 pounds with a 7-foot long horn.

Elasmotherium Heinrich Harder (1858-1935)

Elasmotherium
This could be the Biblical rĕ’em (unicorn or wild ox)
Artistic reconstruction by Heinrich Harder (1858-1935) circa 1920

So what animal was the rĕ’em, the Biblical unicorn? It could have been the Elasmotherium, the extinct giant rhinoceros. Or it could have been the present-day one-horned rhinoceros. Or it could have been one of the one-horned dinosaurs.

Those who mock the Bible for using unicorn to translate rĕ’em, have in mind the fanciful modern romanticized unicorn. Such a creature may not have existed, but it has no relation to the unicorn of the King James Bible. It has no relation to the rhinoceros-like wild animal that seems to be a good description of what the Bible means by rĕ’em.

It is not valid to apply today’s meaning of unicorn to the word unicorn in the 17th century King James translation. Words change meaning over time.

Did Adam Ride a Unicorn?

Since the rĕ’em was a real animal, it is certain that Adam saw it. In fact, he would have named it in the Garden of Eden on Creation Day Six (Genesis 2:19-20).

Did he ride it? I think it’s possible that Adam took a ride on a unicorn in the Garden of Eden before he sinned, before all of creation was cursed and turned topsy-turvy. I think it is unlikely that Adam rode the Biblical unicorn after he was expelled from Eden, because the Bible indicates the animal was untameable (Job 39:9-12). So whether Adam rode a unicorn or not, we do not know. Put this on your list of questions to ask if you see Adam in heaven.

Questions to Ponder
  1. If the Bible mentions an unknown animal for which there is no external evidence, should people accept that it once existed?
  2. Why do you think the unicorn has spawned such imagination and speculation?
  3. Share your thoughts on these questions in the comments below. It could encourage or help another reader.

Soli Deo Gloria.

This is the 23rd of a series of weekly blog articles on Adam.
Read the prequels:
1. Was Adam in the Garden of Eden?
2. Did Moses Believe in Adam?
3. Did Jesus Believe in Adam?
4. Did Paul Believe in Adam?
5. Does Belief in Adam Matter?
6. Adam and Puppies
7. Why Did Adam Sin?
8. What Should Adam Have Done?
9. What Did Adam Cause?
10. What Was Adam’s Forbidden Fruit?
11. How Long Was Adam in Eden?
12. Was Adam’s Garden of Eden Real?
13. Christmas & Adam
(with videos)
14. Where Was Adam’s Garden of Eden?
15. Did Adam Wear Clothes in Eden?
16. Was Adam Backward or Brilliant?
(with video)
17. Who Was Mrs. Adam?
18. Adam’s Dream Girl
19. Adam’s Prolific Princess
20. Adam’s Problematic Princess
21. How Many Children Did Adam Have?
22. Whom Did Adam’s Sons Marry?

Read the sequels:
24. How Long Did Adam Live?
25. Did Adam Swat Mosquitoes in Eden?
26. Did Adam’s Garden Have a Talking Snake?
27. Why Should Adam’s Sin Affect Me?
28. Did Roses Have Thorns in Adam’s Garden?
29. Adam the Image-Bearer & Harambe the Gorilla
30. Did Adam Ever Return to Eden?
31. What Was Adam’s Tree of Life?

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©William T. Pelletier, Ph.D.
“contending earnestly for the faith”
“destroying speculations against the knowledge of God”
“for the defense of the gospel”
(Jude 1:3; 2 Cor 10:5; Phil 1:16)
Wednesday April 20, 2016 A.D.

The Lord God commanded the man, saying, “From any tree of the garden you may eat freely; but from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat from it you will surely die.”
Now the serpent was more crafty than any beast of the field which the Lord God had made. And he said to the woman, “Indeed, has God said, ‘You shall not eat from any tree of the garden’?” The woman said to the serpent, “From the fruit of the trees of the garden we may eat; but from the fruit of the tree which is in the middle of the garden, God has said, ‘You shall not eat from it or touch it, or you will die.’” The serpent said to the woman, “You surely will not die! For God knows that in the day you eat from it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.” When the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was a delight to the eyes, and that the tree was desirable to make one wise, she took from its fruit and ate; and she gave also to her husband with her, and he ate.
(Genesis 2:16; 3:1-6)

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