Posted by: BibleScienceGuy | February 15, 2017

Science in the Bible – Ocean Reservoirs

(2 Minute Read)

littlefloods20040802-2

Scrambling to avert catastrophic loss of Northern California’s prized Oroville Reservoir, officials today are feverishly analyzing every option. But this vast storage lake is just a puddle compared to massive water reservoirs that the Bible reveals exist underground!

In the six hundredth year of Noah’s life, in the second month, on the seventeenth day of the month, on the same day all the fountains of the great deep burst open, and the floodgates of the sky were opened. (Genesis 7:11)

But God remembered Noah and all the beasts and all the cattle that were with him in the ark; and God caused a wind to pass over the earth, and the water subsided. Also the fountains of the deep and the floodgates of the sky were closed, and the rain from the sky was restrained. (Genesis 8:1-2)

When Yahweh asked Job a series of unanswerable questions to demonstrate His sovereignty and to teach Job humility and faith, He asked Job about the “springs in the sea.”
“Have you entered into the springs of the sea,
Or walked in the recesses of the deep?”
(Job 38:16)

Genesis and the Apostle Peter both refer to the earth being made out of water and by water:
In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. The earth was formless and void, and darkness was over the surface of the deep, and the Spirit of God was moving over the surface of the waters. (Genesis 1:1-2)
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 3:5-6)

These verses from Genesis, Job, and 2 Peter point to the existence of subterranean springs and reservoirs of water. It’s indicative of the Bible’s divine origin. How could Job have known about springs of water in the depths of the sea? Never had he walked the ocean floor to see them, as Yahweh’s rhetorical question indicates.

Explorers, researchers, and scientists today use technology and great ingenuity to explore the ocean depths. They have discovered hydrothermal vents (hot springs) at the bottom of the oceans that support diverse forms of life that were previously unknown. Yet Yahweh told Job about the ocean springs 4,000 years ago. How could Job have written about springs in the ocean, unless Yahweh actually told him, as Job reports?

One source of the water for Noah’s Flood was the fountains of the great deep burst open. This means there was a huge subterranean reservoir of water that burst forth to flood the world. But the reservoirs were not exhausted, for the post-Flood book of Job mentions springs of the sea which must be fed by reservoirs of water.

underwatercoralreef

Have scientists discovered such reservoirs? Yes!

In recent years scientists have discovered “underground oceans” several miles beneath the earth’s surface. A June 2014 press release from Northwestern University, New evidence for oceans of water deep in the Earth, announced the discovery of huge subterranean reservoirs of water.

Scientists at Northwestern University and the University of New Mexico published these findings in the journal Science in the article Dehydration melting at the top of the lower mantle.

The researchers say the underground reservoirs lie between 255 and 410 miles beneath the earth’s surface. They think the reservoirs dwarf earth’s oceans.

These discoveries are consistent with the Bible’s indication of waters below the surface of the earth. The recently discovered water reservoirs could be left over from the fountains of the great deep that flooded the earth in Noah’s day.

Modern discoveries of springs in the oceans and huge water reservoirs beneath the earth’s surface were long preceded by the Bible’s references to these waters. Although the Bible is not primarily a science textbook, it does contain many scientific truths like these and those mentioned in this Science in the Bible series, truths that long pre-date their discovery by today’s scientists. This is strong evidence of divine authorship.

Questions to Ponder
  1. What are some practical ramifications of oceans having deep springs and reservoirs?
  2. Why don’t we hear more about the unusual life forms Yahweh created on Day Five to live at hydrothermal vents in the ocean?
  3. Share your thoughts on these questions in the comments below. It could encourage or help another reader.

Soli Deo Gloria.

This is the fourth in the Science in the Bible series of blog posts. While there is much science connected with Creation and Noah’s Flood, this series will focus on lesser known scientific truths that were alluded to in the Bible long before they were known to scientists.
Read the prequels:
1. Science in the Bible – Blood
2. Science in the Bible – Ocean Currents
3. Science in the Bible – Undersea Mountains

Read the sequel:
5. Science in the Bible – Medicine coming soon…

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Subscribe – Don’t miss future blog posts!
Click the sidebar’s “SUBSCRIBE” button to follow the
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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 February 15, 2017 A.D.

Thy word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path. (Psalm 119:105)

Posted by: BibleScienceGuy | February 8, 2017

Is Genesis History? The Movie

(4 Minute Read. With video.)

isgenesishistoryposter

What really happened
In the beginning“?

Did God create the world in six days, or did it take billions of years?
How did the vast diversity of plants and animals originate?
Did Man descend from apes, or was he created in the image of God?
Was there a real Adam and Eve?
Was there a global flood that destroyed the world, or is that a myth?
Why do we have so many different languages?
In short,
Is Genesis really true?
Is Genesis historically accurate?

A new documentary film investigates these vital questions. Theaters nationwide will show
Is Genesis History?
on Thursday, February 23, 2017.

The most attacked book of the Bible has always been Genesis. Today the assaults come from skeptics and liberals as well as from within the church. The Book of Genesis is bombarded with unrelenting skepticism, derision, and scorn. Even among evangelical Christians, Genesis is now a hotly debated, highly controversial book.

The documentary, Is Genesis History?, is a comprehensive investigation into the scientific and historical evidence pertaining to the historicity of Genesis. Via interviews with renowned, respected researchers, the film presents a case that Genesis provides a true account of man’s history from the Beginning.

Is Genesis History? examines two competing views of history, two paradigms. A paradigm is a framework or model or belief system within which evidence is interpreted. The Conventional Paradigm postulates natural processes with no designer operating across billions and billions of years. The Biblical Paradigm accepts Genesis as true history describing the activity of an Intelligent Creator.

This is not Science vs. Religion. It’s not two views of science. It’s two competing views of history. Proponents of each view interpret differently the same evidence from the real world.

Does it matter whether or not one accepts Genesis as history? Yes, because this choice of paradigm determines one’s view on the origins of the universe, life, mankind, sin, and even something as prosaic as geological formations.

I watched a pre-release cut of the movie and found it very interesting and enjoyable. It contains a great deal of excellent content presented in a clear, straightforward, easily understandable manner.

Here is the official trailer for the movie.

The film answers the question, “Is Genesis History?,” with a resounding “Yes!” through interviews with over a dozen Ph.D. experts in geology, philosophy, Hebrew, biology, microbiology, marine biology, paleontology, taphonomy (study of fossilization), astronomy, archaeology, and theology. The lineup of scholars interviewed is deep with academic credentials. Innovative sketches and diagrams illuminate the scholars’ points.

A variety of intriguing settings and locations serve as backdrops for the interviews; this includes museums, zoos, marine parks, fossil digs, the Grand Canyon, and Mount St. Helens.

andersonmeme

Here are some insightful snippets from the scholarly experts interviewed in the film:

​”Time is not a magic wand that solves all the geologic problems of the world.”
Regarding the Grand Canyon,
“It’s not a little water and a lot of time. It’s a LOT of water and a little time.”
– Dr. Steve Austin, Geologist

“We have a witness to those events, and we have to take that into consideration when we’re evaluating the data.”

“All the world’s greatest Hebraists affirm that Genesis 1 is not poetry; it’s narrative. That means you should understand the words in the normal way.”
“In the Flood account, the Hebrew word kol (כֹּל, Strong’s H3606) meaning all occurs 35 times.”
“The Biblical text is not compatible with the standard conventional paradigm.”
– Dr. Steven Boyd, Hebraist

“We cannot use present day rates to understand how quickly and how majestically in terms of scale the geologic formations accumulated.”
“The present is not the key to the past, because the past holds massive catastrophic events that are not going on today.”
“There is much evidence for catastrophic events that are not going on today. We have an open system, so dating methods cannot give us dependable dates for rocks. The ‘clocks’ are not reliable.”
“Localized sedimentation does not produce the vast unified layers, large extents reaching over thousands of square miles, with no evidence of erosion.”
“There is evidence of very rapid formation and deposition of geologic layers, in some places a matter of hours.”
“Cross-beds also indicate very rapid deposition.”
– Dr. Andrew Snelling, Geologist

cartermeme

“It’s an error to take the present processes and just extend them all the way back.”
– Dr. Kurt Wise, Paleontologist

“Abundant marine fossils and large sea dinosaur fossils are distributed over all continents. What force has the power and ferocity to drag them onto land?”
“Track ways preserved show death in a moment, and the next layer deposited very, very quickly.”
– Dr. Marcus Ross, Paleontologist

“Tissue, cells, collagen found in triceratops horn. That breaks down. No biological basis for how it could survive 60 million years.”
“Clearly soft tissue is in violation of the dating process. It challenges the entire dating process.”
“Evidence is rejected, thrown out because it doesn’t fit their [evolutionary] paradigm.”
– Dr. Kevin Anderson, Microbiologist

“Life is so complex that small [evolutionary] changes cannot account for it.”
“When I’m looking at the world, it’s fitting in with what I read about God and about Creation in the Bible. I don’t have a gigantic scientific conflict.”
– Dr. Rob Carter, Marine Biologist

“We’re seeing design in the very fundamental physics of the world around us.”
“Interpret the universe in terms of Genesis, not the other way around.”
– Dr. Danny Faulkner, Astronomer

“Nothing in the world makes sense
except in the light of Genesis.”
Dr. Del Tackett, host of Is Genesis History?

The film’s host is Dr. Del Tackett. He created The Truth Project, a nationwide project for Focus on the Family to teach the Biblical worldview to Christians. Tackett says, “It is hard to imagine anything more important for the Christian, especially in the times in which we live, than to stand firmly upon a solid Biblical worldview foundation … one that provides a comprehensive and systematic understanding of every area of life and reality.”

Tackett poses to the film’s experts many of the exact challenges that we often hear thrown at us in attempts to subvert Scripture’s plain account. Each time, the interviewed scientist’s response is calm and confident and understandable to an ordinary person.

This film will be an eye-opening experience, especially for skeptics and unbelievers who have scientific issues with the Biblical record. The film’s noted scientists put many of the usual concerns to rest. It’s encouraging to know that many respected scholars affirm Genesis to be factually accurate.

faulknermeme

Over 700 theaters are showing the film on Thursday, February 23. Click Is Genesis History? to buy tickets and find a theater showing the film near you. Following the film, an on-screen panel of scientists and theologians will discuss with Tackett the impact of Genesis on Christians today.

Is Genesis History? is produced by Compass Cinema and distributed by Fathom Events. Producer and director Thomas Purifoy said, “Faith isn’t a leap in the dark; it’s an assurance and trust based on real actions by a powerful God that happen in actual history.”

Purifoy explained, “This film started from a conversation with my 10-year-old daughter about science, history and the Bible. She wanted to know how the things in the world are explained by what she reads in the Bible. Her questions led me down a lot of different paths where I heard and saw some amazing things. I tried to put as many of them as I could into the documentary.”

If the film does well enough, there may be encore showings as happened with Patterns of Evidence two years ago, but it’s not guaranteed. The film will be released on DVD 45 days after theater showings.

Questions to Ponder
  1. When skeptics dismiss Genesis because it conflicts with our culture’s prevailing thought patterns, how would you answer them?
  2. What questions do you need answered to convince you that Genesis is true history?
  3. Share your thoughts on these questions in the comments below. It could encourage or help another reader.

Soli Deo Gloria.

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Subscribe – Don’t miss future blog posts!
Click the sidebar’s “SUBSCRIBE” button to follow the
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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 February 8, 2017 A.D.

For in six days the Lord made the heavens and the earth, the sea and all that is in them, and rested on the seventh day; therefore the Lord blessed the sabbath day and made it holy. (Exodus 20:11)

Posted by: BibleScienceGuy | February 1, 2017

Science in the Bible – Undersea Mountains

(3 Minute Read)

After Eden jonah

Did you know that there are mountains on the sea floor?

Mountains and mid-oceanic ridges under the ocean began to be mapped in the 1950s. Modern nautical charts show them clearly. But their existence was alluded to in the Bible thousands of years earlier, in the Old Testament book of Jonah.

Jonah tells his riveting, almost incredible experience in only 48 verses divided into four chapters. He reports spending three days and three nights inside a great fish! Jonah had been running from Yahweh’s orders to go to Nineveh in Assyria and warn of judgment.

By God’s sovereign appointment, this rebellious prophet was disciplined by a raging storm and then saved by a ravenous fish in order to bring revival to the sin-soaked city of Nineveh. Jonah’s preaching spurred Nineveh to believe in “the Lord God of heaven who made the sea and the dry land” (Jonah 1:9; 3:5-9).

Many scoff at the book of Jonah. They ask how Jonah could breathe, eat, drink, and sleep inside a sea monster? How could he avoid being digested until regurgitated alive? Are we supposed to think this really happened?

An intriguing detail in Jonah’s prayer from inside the great fish adds credibility to Jonah’s account. In his prayer he recounted his experience of being cast into the sea:
“For You had cast me into the deep,
Into the heart of the seas,
And the current engulfed me.
All Your breakers and billows passed over me. …
Water encompassed me to the point of death.
The great deep engulfed me,
Weeds were wrapped around my head.
I descended to the roots of the mountains.
(Jonah 2:3,5,6)

shark

Jonah almost drowned in the depths of the sea before the Lord appointed a great fish to swallow Jonah, and Jonah was in the stomach of the fish three days and three nights (Jonah 1:17). In his prayer Jonah mentions descending to the roots of the mountains in the sea.

How did Jonah know about mountains in the sea? Normally no one would know in Jonah’s day that coastal mountain ranges extend below water to the sea floor. There were no submarines in Jonah’s day to discover that the Mediterranean Sea is full of underwater mountains. According to Jonah’s prayer, he learned about the mountains on the sea floor through personal experience. The God-breathed Scriptures report mountains in the depths of the sea long before today’s scientists discovered them.

What Did Jesus Think about Jonah?

This record of Jonah being swallowed by a great fish is one of the most doubted of the Old Testament’s historical accounts. Apart from Genesis, the Old Testament account most scoffed at is the book of Jonah. Many skeptics consider the entire book mythical, heaping it with ridicule and scorn.

But Jesus believed it! Eight hundred years later, Jesus used Jonah’s experience to illustrate His death and resurrection (Matthew 12:38-41).

To Jesus the book of Jonah was literally true. He grounded vital instruction about His death and resurrection on Jonah:
For just as Jonah was three days and three nights in the belly of the sea monster, so shall the Son of Man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth. The men of Nineveh will stand up with this generation at the judgment, and will condemn it, because they repented at the preaching of Jonah; and behold, something greater than Jonah is here. (Matthew 12:40-41)

Jesus used the verbal equals sign “just as…so shall” to equate Jonah’s “three days and three nights in the belly of the sea monster” with His own “three days and three nights in the heart of the earth.

underwatercoralreef

If Jonah is fictional, then according to Christ’s own words, so would be His burial and resurrection. If the burial and resurrection are factual, then Jonah also is factual. Jesus obviously believed Jonah was genuine history.

Jesus said that the Ninevites (undoubtedly historical) would condemn His generation (obviously historical) at the future judgment (a real event). Ninevites would condemn because they actually repented in history due to Jonah’s preaching. Therefore Jonah and his preaching really happened. Likewise the events that produced the preaching (God’s command, violent storm, gulping fish) really happened.

Many argue that Jonah was only figurative. But Jesus said of Himself, “One greater than Jonah is here.” It would mean little for Jesus to claim to be greater than a Jonah who never existed. (Matthew 12:41)

Jesus used Jonah to teach the crux of His mission: His own death and resurrection. How significant that Jesus used some of the “hardest to believe” accounts in Scripture — Creation, Noah’s Flood, Sodom and Gomorrah, Bronze Serpent, Jonah — to undergird explanations of salvation, marriage, eternal judgment, and future events. The “most difficult” Scriptures carry Jesus’ full endorsement.

Jesus affirmed the literal truth of Jonah,
using it to explain a proof of His identity.

Scripture documents the miracles of Jonah. They present no difficulty for the omnificent Ruler of the universe. To challenge Jonah is to impugn the power of God. To challenge Jonah is to assault the veracity of Scripture. Jesus confirmed Jonah and the Resurrection as equally factual. His followers must embrace His view as their own.

When men demanded miraculous proof of His claims, Jesus said only one sign would be given, “the sign of the prophet Jonah,” that is, the Resurrection (Matthew 12:38-39). Jesus showcased the book of Jonah as real history portraying His own death, burial, and resurrection. The best-documented event of history, the Resurrection, still proves Jesus’ identity as God (Romans 1:4).

Did Jesus Know about Undersea Mountains?

Even as a man He certainly did. Jesus knew the book of Jonah, and He believed it. Therefore, since Jonah reported seeing undersea mountains, Jesus would have known about them.

Questions to Ponder
  1. Why do skeptics want so badly to discredit the book of Jonah?
  2. Are you prepared to defend the historical reality of Jonah and his record?
  3. Share your thoughts on these questions in the comments below. It could encourage or help another reader.

Soli Deo Gloria.

This is the third in the Science in the Bible series of blog posts. While there is much science connected with Creation and Noah’s Flood, this series will focus on lesser known scientific truths that were alluded to in the Bible long before they were known to scientists.
Read the prequels:
1. Science in the Bible – Blood
2. Science in the Bible – Ocean Currents

Read the sequel:
4. Science in the Bible – Ocean Reservoirs

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 February 1, 2017 A.D.

Then some of the scribes and Pharisees said to Him, “Teacher, we want to see a sign from You.” But He answered and said to them, “An evil and adulterous generation craves for a sign; and yet no sign will be given to it but the sign of Jonah the prophet; for just as Jonah was three days and three nights in the belly of the sea monster, so shall the Son of Man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth. The men of Nineveh will stand up with this generation at the judgment, and will condemn it because they repented at the preaching of Jonah; and behold, something greater than Jonah is here. (Matthew 12:38-41)

Posted by: BibleScienceGuy | January 25, 2017

Make America Great Again

(2 Minute Read. With videos.)
President Donald Trump

President Donald J. Trump

We have a new President of the United States of America — Donald J. Trump (1946- ) is the country’s 45th president.

On January 20, 2017, President Trump delivered an inspiring inaugural address full of hope for the future and casting a vision to unify our divided nation.

He announced the new vision that will guide his administration: America First! He said, “At the bedrock of our politics will be a total allegiance to the United States of America, and through our loyalty to our country, we will rediscover our loyalty to each other. When you open your heart to patriotism, there is no room for prejudice. The Bible tells us how good and pleasant it is when God’s people live together in unity.”

President Trump asserted, “We will seek friendship and goodwill with the nations of the world, but we do so with the understanding that it is the right of all nations to put their own interests first. We do not seek to impose our way of life on anyone, but rather to let it shine as an example.”

He promised to bring back jobs, wealth, borders, and dreams. He promised to rebuild America’s infrastructure and get people off welfare and back to work. He promised to “eradicate radical Islamic terrorism from the face of the Earth.” He said, “A new national pride will stir ourselves, lift our sights, and heal our divisions.”

President Trump noted that we all “are infused with the breath of life by the same Almighty Creator,” regardless of our background. He said, “…whether we are black or brown or white, we all bleed the same red blood of patriots. We all enjoy the same glorious freedoms, and we all salute the same great American flag.”

President Trump closed with, “Together, we will make America strong again. We will make America wealthy again. We will make America proud again. We will make America safe again. And yes, together we will make America great again. Thank you. God bless you. And God bless America.”

Click Trump’s Inaugural Address to read the full text of his speech on the Whitehouse website. Here is a video of Donald Trump’s swearing in as President of the United States by Chief Justice John Roberts, followed by Trump’s 16-minute inaugural address.


 
Even if President Trump is able to do only half of what he outlined, he will go down in history as a great President.

How to Make America Great Again

Making America Great Again will require hard work by President Trump, his staff and appointees, Congress, courts, and the American people. Old policies need to be reversed and new ones instituted.

But that won’t be enough. Even more fundamental change is needed to Make America Great Again.

The Bible gives guidance on what makes a nation great.
Blessed is the nation whose God is the LORD. (Psalm 33:12)
Righteousness exalts a nation, but sin is a disgrace to any people. (Proverbs 14:34)

The solution prescribed by Moses 3500 years ago will still work today:
Return to the Lord your God and obey Him with all your heart and soul according to all that I command you today, you and your sons, then the Lord your God will restore you. (Deuteronomy 30:2-3)

Likewise, the Lord promised King Solomon of Israel,
If My people who are called by My name humble themselves and pray and seek My face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, will forgive their sin and will heal their land. (2 Chronicles 7:14)

In sum, for America to become great again, Americans need to
Seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness. (Matthew 6:33)

How Can You and I Help Make America Great Again?

In addition to individually heeding Scripture, we need to pray for President Trump and governmental leaders at all levels as the Apostle Paul instructs:
First of all, then, I urge that entreaties and prayers, petitions and thanksgivings, be made on behalf of all men, for kings and all who are in authority, so that we may lead a tranquil and quiet life in all godliness and dignity. This is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Savior, who desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth. For there is one God, and one mediator also between God and men, the man Christ Jesus, who gave Himself as a ransom for all . . . Therefore I want the men in every place to pray, lifting up holy hands, without wrath and dissension.
(1 Timothy 2:1-6,8)

Franklin Graham based his inaugural blessing and prayer on this 1 Timothy 2 passage. Graham heads the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association and was one of six clergy members who prayed and read Scripture at the inauguration. Here is a video clip (1:37) of Graham’s remarks at the Presidential Inauguration:
 

Questions to Ponder
  1. Will you pledge to pray regularly for President Trump?
  2. How can your conversation be uplifting when in discussions about our new President?
  3. Share your thoughts on these questions in the comments below. It could encourage or help another reader.

Soli Deo Gloria.

Bible-Science Guy logo

Subscribe – Don’t miss future blog posts!
Click the sidebar’s “SUBSCRIBE” button to follow the
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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 January 25, 2017 A.D.

Thy word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path. (Psalm 119:105)

Posted by: BibleScienceGuy | January 18, 2017

Science in the Bible – Ocean Currents

(3 Minute Read)
Matthew Fontaine Maury monument in Richmond, Virginia

Matthew Fontaine Maury
Pathfinder of the Seas
Monument in Richmond, Virginia
(His right hand holds a pen & compass;
his left his Wind and Current Chart.
A Bible is beside his left foot.)

Have you ever heard a Bible verse that so consumed your mind and heart that it drove your thoughts, actions, and pursuits for years upon end?

One of the Psalms contains a phrase that seized an already-successful man’s attention and dramatically influenced the course of his scientific life.

Whatever passes through the paths of the seas. (Psalm 8:8)

This is the Bible phrase that prompted the Father of Oceanography to begin a search for paths in the ocean.

King David of Israel wrote Psalm 8 by Yahweh’s inspiration 3,000 years ago. Yet the “paths of the seas” he mentioned have only been known by modern peoples for two centuries.

The “paths of the seas” were discovered by Matthew Fontaine Maury (1806-1873), the Father of Oceanography.

Maury was a US naval officer whose attention was arrested by the phrase “paths of the seas” upon hearing Psalm 8 read aloud. He vowed to find these “paths of the seas.”

The story is told in the booklet A Brief Sketch of the Work of Matthew Fontaine Maury, authored by Maury’s son, Richard Launcelot Maury:

At one time, when Commodore Maury was very sick, he asked one of his daughters to get the Bible and read to him. She chose Psalm 8, the eighth verse of which speaks of “whatsoever walketh through the paths of the sea.” He repeated, “The paths of the sea, the paths of the sea. If God says the paths of the sea, they are there, and if I ever get out of this bed I will find them.”

Maury studied navigation, meteorology, winds, and currents. He pored over thousands of ships’ logs and charts. His 1847 Wind and Current Chart of the North Atlantic greatly reduced the lengths of ocean voyages by showing how to take advantage of ocean currents and winds. He shortened sailing time to California by thirty days, to Australia by twenty, and to Brazil by ten. His system of recording oceanographic current and wind data was used worldwide to develop charts for major trade routes.

Maury said this about ocean currents:

“There are rivers in the sea. They are of such magnitude that the mightiest streams of the land are rivulets compared to them. They are either of warm or cold water, while their banks and beds are water of the opposite temperature. For thousands of miles they move through their liquid channels unmixed with the confining waters. They are the horizontal movements called currents. The mariner can sometimes detect them by the different color of their stream, while, if they give no such visible sign of their existence, he can trace them by testing their temperature with his thermometer. There is an equatorial current sweeping from east to west all along on either side of the equator, and well nigh encircling the globe. There are polar currents setting from the polar regions toward the equator; and there are return currents setting from the equator toward the poles.”
(John W. Wayland, The Pathfinder of the Seas, The Life of Matthew Fontaine Maury, 1930, p.81)

Maury’s lifelong effort at charting wind and ocean currents to find the most efficient paths for ships to follow earned him the sobriquet “Pathfinder of the Seas.”

In 1855 Maury published Physical Geography of the Sea, the first exhaustive treatise on oceanography. In it he wrote,

“I have always found in my scientific studies, that, when I could get the Bible to say anything on the subject it afforded me a firm platform to stand upon, and a round in the ladder by which I could safely ascend. As our knowledge of nature and her laws has increased, so has our knowledge of many passages of the Bible improved. The Bible called the earth ‘the round world,’ yet for ages it was the most damnable heresy for Christian men to say that the world is round; and, finally, sailors circumnavigated the globe, and proved the Bible to be right, and saved Christian men of science from the stake. And as for the general system of circulation which I have been so long endeavoring to describe, the Bible tells it all in a single sentence: ‘The wind goeth toward the South and returneth again to his circuits.'”

In Matthew Maury’s speech at the laying of the cornerstone for East Tennessee University on November 30, 1860 he said,

“I have been blamed by men of science, both in this country and in England, for quoting the Bible in confirmation of the doctrines of physical geography. The Bible, they say, was not written for scientific purposes, and is therefore of no authority in matters of science. I beg pardon! The Bible is authority for everything it touches.

What would you think of the historian who should refuse to consult the historical records of the Bible, because the Bible was not written for the purposes of history?

The Bible is true and science is true, and therefore each, if truly read, but proves the truth of the other. The agents in the physical economy of our planet are ministers of Him who made both it and the Bible.

The records which He has chosen to make through the agency of these ministers of His upon the crust of the earth are as true as the records which by the hands of His prophets and servants, He has been pleased to make in the Book of Life…

They are both true; and when your men of science, with vain and hasty conceit, announce the discovery of disagreement between them, rely upon it, the fault is not with the witness of His records, but with the worm who essays to interpret evidence which he does not understand.”

Maury memorial at Goshen Pass overlooking the Maury River

Maury memorial at Goshen Pass
overlooking the Maury River in VA

Clued in by the words of Psalm 8, Matthew Maury discovered the paths of the seas by mapping the major wind and ocean currents around the world. This benefited commerce and ocean-going ships all over the world.

Matthew Maury was a scientist who believed in the literal truth of the Bible. He believed in the harmony of Scripture and science and applied it to benefit all of mankind.

One of the monuments in Maury’s honor in Virginia (pictured here) is inscribed in part with these words:

Matthew Fontaine Maury
Pathfinder of the Seas
The genius who first snatched
from ocean and atmosphere
the secret of their laws.
His inspiration Holy Writ

Questions to Ponder
  1. If a statue were to be erected in your honor, what three objects would a sculptor show as characteristic of your life?
  2. Is Scripture as essential to your life as it evidently was to Matthew Maury?
  3. Share your thoughts on these questions in the comments below. It could encourage or help another reader.

Soli Deo Gloria.

This is the second in the Science in the Bible series of blog posts. While there is much science connected with Creation and Noah’s Flood, this series will focus on lesser known scientific truths that were alluded to in the Bible long before they were known to scientists.
Read the prequel:
1. Science in the Bible – Blood

Read the sequel:
3. Science in the Bible – Undersea Mountains

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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 January 18, 2017 A.D.

Thy word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path. (Psalm 119:105)


Posted by: BibleScienceGuy | January 11, 2017

Science in the Bible – Blood

(3 Minute Read)

After Eden 424lookingfortruth

For the life of the flesh is in the blood.

Forty-five hundred years ago after the Great Flood, Yahweh told this to Noah when He gave Noah permission to eat meat (Genesis 9:3-4).

Thirty-five hundred years ago Moses recorded these words of Yahweh for the Israelites (Leviticus 17:10-14; Deuteronomy 12:23).

Yet this Biblical truth was either ignored or not understood by men of science and medicine for thousands of years. Eventually, around 1620 the English physician and creationist scientist William Harvey (1578–1657) discovered the circulation of blood pumped throughout the body by the heart. Blood maintains and supports life by carrying nutrients to every cell of the body and taking away wastes. In this way the life of the flesh is in the blood.

Even as few as 200 years ago this Biblical truth was ignored when it was common to try to heal people by draining their blood. Barbers, identified by their red-and-white-striped poles, were the usual operators. Bloodletting is an ancient practice, going back well over 2,000 years to ancient Greece.

A famous example of bloodletting is George Washington. He was bled to death by his doctors in 1799 at age 67 after catching a cold from inspecting his farm in a snowstorm. The average adult body contains 160-170 ounces of blood. Yet over the course of 10 hours preceding Washington’s death, 125 ounces of his blood were withdrawn.
(Vadakan, Vibul V. “A Physician Looks At The Death of Washington“. The Early America Review. Winter–Spring 2005.)

When you lose your blood, you lose your life, in accord with the Biblical truth, “the life of the flesh is in the blood.” Too bad President Washington’s doctors paid no attention to this. Moses made this very clear by recording these words of Yahweh 3500 years ago:

“And any man from the house of Israel, or from the aliens who sojourn among them, who eats any blood, I will set My face against that person who eats blood and will cut him off from among his people. For the life of the flesh is in the blood, and I have given it to you on the altar to make atonement for your souls; for it is the blood by reason of the life that makes atonement. Therefore I said to the sons of Israel, ‘No person among you may eat blood, nor may any alien who sojourns among you eat blood.’ So when any man from the sons of Israel, or from the aliens who sojourn among them, in hunting catches a beast or a bird which may be eaten, he shall pour out its blood and cover it with earth. For as for the life of all flesh, its blood is identified with its life. Therefore I said to the sons of Israel, ‘You are not to eat the blood of any flesh, for the life of all flesh is its blood; whoever eats it shall be cut off.’” (Leviticus 17:10-14 NASB)

Yahweh instructed the Israelites not to eat blood because blood is special, as the life of flesh is in its blood. This is why the Bible teaches that man is redeemed and forgiven through the blood of Jesus Christ (Colossians 1:13-14). Scripture tells us that the Messiah “made peace through the blood of His cross” (Colossians 1:20) and that we are now “justified by His blood” (Romans 5:9). The blood of Jesus, His life, was the price for man’s salvation.

The truth about blood being the life of flesh has been in the Bible since around 1500 BC, yet science is late to the table on understanding this.

Blood is fundamental for life. It reaches every cell via an extensive microscopic capillary network. The combined length end-to-end of an adult’s blood vessels is about 100,000 miles. This is about four times the circumference of the earth.

The heart pumps about 100,000 times a day to send blood with oxygen, minerals, vitamins, and nutrients through the capillaries to each cell and carry away waste products. It pumps about 80,000,000 gallons in a lifetime. What man-made pump could deliver this level of performance? Is it reasonable to believe it could have “evolved” as a result of accidental mutations?

Your liver chemically monitors and adjusts components of your blood moment by moment within very narrow limits to keep it in proper condition for its work. For example, blood acidity is constantly adjusted to within one part in a hundred million.

Blood is a great gift from the Creator to sustain life. It performs a multitude of highly complex functions. For example, one of its very complicated functions is clotting. The blood clots upon exposure outside the body, but remains liquid inside the body when things are working properly. The clotting cascade (a series of chemical processes in which each step of the process depends on the preceding one) consists of over 100 steps, with more being discovered regularly. The removal or failure of only one of the steps or components would dynamite the entire cascade. A clot would not form and blood would run out of the body ending in loss of life.

How could a mindless, error-driven, evolutionary process develop the clotting cascade when it has to be fully functioning from the beginning to work at all? Did evolution develop the entire circulatory-respiratory heart-lung system which has to work perfectly from the beginning to sustain life? The answer is obvious. A super-intelligent Creator put man together working perfectly in finished form in the beginning.

Questions to Ponder
  1. Can you think of other practical implications of “the life is in the blood“?
  2. What are other examples of “science in the Bible” that precede knowledge by scientists?
  3. Share your thoughts on these questions in the comments below. It could encourage or help another reader.

Soli Deo Gloria.

This begins a Science in the Bible series of blog posts. While there is much science connected with Creation and Noah’s Flood, this series will focus on lesser known scientific truths that were alluded to in the Bible long before they were known to scientists.
Read the sequel:
2. Science in the Bible – Ocean Currents

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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 January 11, 2017 A.D.

Thy word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path. (Psalm 119:105)

Posted by: BibleScienceGuy | January 4, 2017

I’ve Got a Secret

(2 Minute Read)

After Eden Eve, mother of all living

Recently a re-broadcast of an episode of the TV game show I’ve Got a Secret from October 29, 1962 featured contestant Roy Davis appearing with his great-grandson who was five years old.

The remarkable twist for this show’s “secret” was that the man also brought his grandson, age five, and his own son who was likewise age five. Could the panel figure out that Roy Davis had a son, a grandson, and a great-grandson — all of whom were the same age?

At first this seems astonishing. Is it possible for a man to have a son, a grandson, and a great-grandson all of whom are simultaneously five years old? How could this be? (Keep reading to find out.)

This situation was intriguing for a popular TV show in 1962, because in modern times it is a rare and unusual occurrence.

But before Noah’s Flood this would not have made the cut for an antediluvian I’ve Got a Secret show. It would have had no entertainment value, because it would have been a common occurrence. Men commonly lived for 900 years before the Flood and sired children for hundreds of years.

In Genesis 5 the record of the antediluvian patriarchs gives ages of men at the birth of one of their sons, not necessarily the oldest or the youngest. These ages ranged from 65 to 500 and averaged 155. The pre-Flood patriarchs were continuing to beget children at much greater ages than when men sire children today. It would not have been at all uncommon for a man to beget sons at the same time older sons and grandsons and great-grandsons were also begetting children.

Take Adam, the father of mankind, as an example.

The Bible names only three of Adam and Eve’s children. Cain and Abel were probably the first two (Genesis 4:1-2). Their son Seth was born when Adam and Eve were 130 years old (Genesis 4:25; 5:3).

It is likely there were many sons and daughters born to Adam and Eve both before and after Seth, because the first recorded command God gave to Adam and Eve was “Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the earth” (Genesis 1:28). Genesis 5:4 explicitly says that Adam begat other sons and daughters in addition to Seth.

Here is a hypothetical chart showing how multiple generations of Adam’s descendants could all plausibly be age 5 simultaneously. It also shows how game show contestant Roy Davis could have had three generations of descendants simultaneously aged 5 by the time Davis was 65 years old.

Adam’s Age Event
20 Adam begets son A
40 Adam begets son B
Adam’s son A at age 20 begets son AA
45 Birthday: Adam’s son B & his grandson AA are both 5 years old
60 Adam begets son C
Adam’s son A at age 40 begets son AB
Adam’s grandson AA at age 20 begets son AAA
65 Birthday: Adam’s son C & his grandson AB & his great-grandson AAA are all 5 years old

 

Here are five generations.

Here are five generations,
from Baby to Great-great-grandmother

Clearly this pattern could have continued, so the pre-Flood patriarchs could have had many generations of descendants all aged 5 simultaneously.

If Adam had a child every two years, he could have had 65 children by the time Seth was born. Many of those children could have been married and having children of their own who were also having children of their own by the time of Seth’s birth.

Genesis does not record the number of Adam’s children. But he could have had hundreds of kids since the patriarchs were capable of begetting children at least up to age 500. If Adam had a child every 2 or 3 years to age 600 (about 2/3 of his 930-year lifespan), he could easily have had well over 200 children. If Adam continued having children throughout his life, as men today can do, he could have had close to 500 children.

Adam probably sired hundreds of children!

The Old Testament does record some large numbers of children for several men.

One of the judges of Israel some 2,000 years after Adam’s death was Gideon (aka Jerubbaal), son of Joash. Gideon had at least 72 sons by his wives and concubines (Judges 7:1; 8:29-32; 9:4-5, 16-19). Several hundred years later, King Rehoboam of Judah fathered 28 sons and 60 daughters for a total of 88 children (2 Chronicles 11:21). King Ahab of Israel had 70 sons some 2500 years after Adam (2 Kings 10:1). Assuming Gideon and Ahab had about as many daughters as sons, this means each had close to 150 children in a normal lifespan thousands of years after Adam.

Thus it is very possible, and I think highly likely, that Adam sired hundreds of children during his lifetime. Exactly how many we do not know, because the Bible does not tell us. He certainly could have had many generations of descendants of the same age, even many more than game show contestant Roy Davis.

Questions to Ponder
  1. Have you heard skeptics dismiss other elements in the Biblical record because they differ from present-day culture?
  2. What family patterns today would be incomprehensible to antediluvians?
  3. Share your thoughts on these questions in the comments below. It could encourage or help another reader.

Soli Deo Gloria.

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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 January 4, 2017 A.D.

When Adam had lived one hundred and thirty years, he became the father of a son in his own likeness, according to his image, and named him Seth. Then the days of Adam after he became the father of Seth were eight hundred years, and he had other sons and daughters. So all the days that Adam lived were nine hundred and thirty years, and he died. (Genesis 5:3-5)

Posted by: BibleScienceGuy | December 31, 2016

Best of 2016

(4 Minute Read)

bestof2016

It’s the last day of 2016, and this is the 52nd and last weekly blog post of the year. I hope that the Bible-Science Guy Blog has informed, challenged, and perhaps even stirred you in 2016.

I used this picture of one of my roaring campfires from this fall to highlight the Best of 2016, because most of this year’s blog posts were written in close proximity to a campfire. We camped more during 2016 (over 100 days) than in any previous year. Camping is so much fun that I sometimes wonder how people ever got started living in houses.

Here are some of the statistical highlights for this year’s blog. Don’t miss the recap below of the Best Bible-Science Guy Articles from 2016.

In 2016, 66,072 distinct readers from 182 countries viewed this blog 105,156 times. This is a 20% increase in distinct readers and an 18% increase in views over 2015. And that does not count all the blog subscribers who read the blog posts by email. This year the blog followers have increased by over 100 to reach 1,713 blog followers at year’s end.

The top ten countries in descending order of total views in 2016 were USA (78,971 views), Canada, UK, Australia, India, South Africa, Philippines, Germany, Malaysia, and Norway (579 views).

Sunday was the most popular day of the week to read the blog in 2016 with 17% of the blog views occurring on that day. This means viewership is probably fairly evenly spread throughout the week, since an equal distribution of views throughout the week would have 14.3% per day of the week. October was the busiest month with 9,750 views.

Click 2016 Bible-Science Guy Articles for a list of the 52 new articles posted on the Bible-Science Guy Blog in 2016. Additionally, 46 blog articles from 2008 were migrated from a defunct previous host to BibleScienceGuy.wordpress.com.

The Bible-Science Guy Blog started in October 2007. It now comprises 518 posts, 87 newspaper articles, and 10 tab pages for a total of 615 items. During 2016, 611 of these items were viewed at least once. Over the life of the blog, 177,258 different visitors have viewed the blog 347,498 times.

The five articles with the most views during 2016 were all published in prior years. Of the 140 articles with 100 or more views during 2016, only 27 were published in 2016. This illustrates the continuing relevance of the Bible-Science Guy blog articles.

Here are the Top Five articles with the most views during 2016:

How Many Died in Noah’s Flood? (Jun 18, 2014) – 24,731 views.
Tower of Babel – What Did It Look Like? (Mar 20, 2013) – 6,649 views.
Tower of Babel – Where? (Mar 13, 2013) – 5,583 views.
Could Noah Fill the Earth? (May 28, 2014) – 4,717 views.
Tower of Babel – When? (Apr 3, 2013) – 2,946 views.

 

The Best Bible-Science Guy Articles from 2016

Here are my choices for the best Bible-Science Guy Blog posts from 2016, listed in order of publication date. I chose the posts I liked best — the ones I found most interesting, most important, or best written. I included those that accumulated the most views or stimulated the most comments.

After Eden 20120120AdamTest

Where Was Adam’s Garden of Eden? (Jan 6)
Genesis is a hotly debated book. For a decade or so Genesis has been under a new assault. The claim is that Adam never existed. According to those who imagine that mankind evolved over millions of years, Adam and Eve are mythical and have no place in human history. Does the historical existence of Adam matter? Was there a real Garden of Eden? What does the Bible teach about Adam? This is one of a series of 42 articles on Adam that I began in Sept 2015 in which I discuss such questions. This Where? article on the Garden of Eden was the second-most viewed 2016 blog post this year. Other intriguing questions covered this year include:
Was Adam Backward or Brilliant? (with video)
Adam’s Dream Girl
How Many Children Did Adam Have?
Whom Did Adam’s Sons Marry?
Did Adam’s Garden Have a Talking Snake?
Why Should Adam’s Sin Affect Me?
Did Roses Have Thorns in Adam’s Garden?
Adam the Image-Bearer & Harambe the Gorilla (with video)
Did Adam Know Earth Is Round?
Did Jesus Say When Adam Was Created?
Did Adam See Dinosaurs?
Could Adam Read & Write?
Did God Use Evolution to Make Adam?
Adam and the Gospel (with video)

Risen Clavius Lucius

Risen, the Movie (Feb 24) (with video)
The body of Jesus Christ is missing from its tomb after the Crucifixion. Where is it? This mystery is the heart of the movie Risen — an investigation into the disappearance of Christ’s body by a high-ranking Roman tribune. This post reviews one of the best Bible movies I’ve ever seen while presenting a cogent defense of the Resurrection of Jesus of Nazareth. This was the most-viewed 2016 blog post this year.

What If the Bible Is True? (Mar 2)
This post featured a guest contributor who responded to a column by a philosophy professor titled Life from an Atheist’s Perspective that appeared in the Colorado Springs Gazette. The essay answering the professor was a beautiful dismantling of the atheist position using logic, analysis, and philosophy.
This blog post generated the most comments of any 2016 blog post. There is a lot of good material in the comment section as well, as people argue back and forth.

What I Fear (Mar 23)
What phobias do you have? I do not have any phobias except one — theophobia, fear of God! I fear Yahweh, the Almighty Creator God of the Bible. This article explains why.

Kepler

Kepler

Kepler’s Complaint (May 11)
This is a blog written by our Jack Russell terrier Kepler. He feels like his Master and Missus do not treat him as an equal member of the family. He gives examples of how he is treated like a dog. Kepler believes the bumper sticker he sees that reads “Dogs Are People Too.” Sometimes he has trouble accepting his place in the created order of things. The Creator made each creature, from amoeba to man, for its own purpose and place in Creation.

Big Dipper — Clock in the Sky (Sept 21)
The Big Dipper reflects the Creator’s glory as it fulfills the purpose for which He created it — measuring the passage of time. This post explains how to tell time at night from the position of the Big Dipper relative to the North Pole.

Orion's Belt

Orion’s Belt

Orion & the Pleiades Speak Truth (Nov 23)
The grandeur of Orion and the sparkling beauty of the Pleiades point to a Maker, to One who made heaven and earth. He is the One who announced to Job that Orion’s stars are “bound” but those of the Pleiades are “loosed” long before the astronomers of today discovered it.

The Milky Way (Dec 14)
No matter how far out into the universe man peers, he sees order and structures of increasing complexity and magnitude. From where did it all come? Who designed it all? Who made this huge expanse of space in which the galaxies swim? Who made all the stars? Who organized them into more than two trillion galaxies? Who arranged the clusters, superclusters, sheets, and walls of galaxies? Who hung the Milky Way galaxy with more than 100 billion stars on nothing in space? Who placed numerous galaxies in orbit around the Milky Way? The vast immeasurable extent of the universe, the incomprehensibly enormous energy of innumerable stars … these far surpass the human mind’s ability to comprehend them. They speak of the glory, majesty, and power of their Creator.

After Eden Word Became Flesh

Genealogies of Jesus (Dec 21) (with video)
Both Matthew and Luke recorded genealogies of Jesus. But they give different fathers and ancestors for Joseph, the husband of Mary and adoptive father of Jesus. How can the discrepancies between them be resolved? Why do the genealogies matter? What is their significance?

 

Questions to Ponder
  1. Which is your favorite of all the 2016 Bible-Science Guy Articles? Why?
    (It does not have to be one from this Best of 2016 list.)
  2. Which do you think is the best article to share with unbelievers to stimulate their consideration of Jesus of Nazareth?
  3. Which do you think is the best article to share with believers to spur them to honor, worship, and glorify the Creator?
  4. What topics would you like to see addressed in 2017?
  5. Share your thoughts on these questions in the comments below. It could encourage or help another reader.

Soli Deo Gloria.

Peruse the other Best of Bible-Science Guy lists:
Top Ten Bible-Science Guy Blog Posts 2007-2012
Best of 2013
Best of 2014
Best of 2015

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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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)
Saturday December 31, 2016 A.D.

For in six days the LORD made the heavens and the earth, the sea and all that is in them, and rested on the seventh day; therefore the LORD blessed the sabbath day and made it holy. (Exodus 20:11)

Posted by: BibleScienceGuy | December 21, 2016

Genealogies of Jesus

(5 Minute Read)

After Eden Word Became Flesh

Since we celebrate the birth of Jesus on December 25, it’s intriguing to look into His genealogies at this time. The Gospels of Matthew and Luke each contain genealogical records for Jesus.

Matthew traces the genealogy of Jesus from Abraham to Joseph, the husband of Mary by whom Jesus was born (Matthew 1:1-16).

Luke gives the genealogy of Jesus from Adam to Joseph, the adoptive father of Jesus (Luke 3:23-38).

Problem

The two genealogies listing the ancestors of Jesus’ adoptive father Joseph are not the same! They are very different from King David to Joseph.

Matthew traces the line of descent through King David’s son Solomon, whereas Luke traces it through David’s son Nathan. Matthew says Joseph’s father was Jacob. Luke says Joseph was the son of Eli (Heli in KJV).

Is this an error in the Bible? How can Mary’s husband Joseph have two distinct fathers, Jacob and Eli?

The usual explanation is that Matthew records Joseph’s genealogy and Luke records Mary’s. The claim is that Joseph’s father Eli in Luke’s genealogy is actually the father of Mary, so he is Joseph’s father-in-law.

Jesus genealogy chart

Genealogies of Jesus
The chart shows the lines given by Matthew and Luke, with the exception that Mary
(shown on the chart) is not listed by Luke. Also, Jeconiah should only appear once in
Matthew’s line, and the shared names in the two lines, Shealtiel and Zerubbabel,
are most likely different people in each line.
(Click to enlarge. Image from creation.com by Caleb Salisbury.)

Usual Explanation Is Not Satisfactory

I do not find this a satisfactory explanation. The obvious interpretation of Luke’s words is that Joseph is the son of Eli. There is no indication in the passage that Joseph is not the son of Eli, but rather is married to the daughter of Eli. If Joseph was only the son-in-law of Eli, why didn’t Luke say “Jesus the son of Mary, the daughter of Eli, the son of Matthat, …”?

Moreover, none of the church fathers proposed this solution. Even though today it is almost universally believed that Luke’s genealogy is that of Mary, the history of this idea does not go back to the early centuries of the church. It was first proposed by archaeologist, historian, and scholar Annius of Viterbo (1432-1502) and only began to gain adherents in the sixteenth century.

The Jews were fanatical record keepers, especially with respect to genealogy. Jesus’ disciple Matthew the tax collector would have been a meticulous record keeper. Luke was a physician and a careful historian, as his Book of Acts shows. Moreover, Luke says he “investigated everything carefully from the beginning” so that his readers would “know the exact truth” about the things of Jesus (Luke 1:3-4). Both Matthew and Luke would have recognized and respected accurate records. Both men would have made sure the genealogical records they placed in their gospels were correct.

Thus I believe that both Matthew and Luke recorded accurate genealogies of Jesus through his adoptive father Joseph.

But how can this be when Jesus’ adoptive father Joseph has two different fathers in the two genealogies, and those two different fathers themselves have very different lineages?

Is Jacob the father of Joseph or is Eli his father? Or are Jacob and Eli the same person?

Jacob and Eli are not the same person, because they have different fathers, different grandfathers, different great-grandfathers, etc. Jacob’s father was Matthan, son of Eleazar. Eli’s father was Matthat son of Levi.

So how can Joseph have two different fathers and two different lines of genealogical descent?

eusebiusecclesiasticalhistory

Background of the Solution

The essence of the explanation I will describe here comes from Eusebius (AD 260/265 – 339/340), the Greek Bishop of Caesarea in Roman Palestine. He was a Biblical scholar and is recognized as the Father of Church History. He chronicled the first three centuries of the church from Christ to Constantine in Ecclesiastical History.

Eusebius explains the seeming conflict between Matthew’s and Luke’s genealogies in Book 1 of Ecclesiastical History in Chapter 7, titled “The Alleged Discrepancy in the Gospels in Regard to the Genealogy of Christ.”

Eusebius cites as his source a letter from Julius Africanus to Aristides which says this genealogical history came from the Desposyni, descendants of the brothers of Jesus. Julius Africanus is sometimes honored as the father of Christian chronography. Little of his work survives except for extensive quotations by Eusebius. Aristides was a 2nd-century Athenian Christian who wrote a defense of the Christian faith that Eusebius mentions.

Solution

The key to the solution is the Jewish law of levirate marriage given in Deuteronomy 25:5-6:
When brothers live together and one of them dies and has no son, the wife of the deceased shall not be married outside the family to a strange man. Her husband’s brother shall go in to her and take her to himself as wife and perform the duty of a husband’s brother to her. It shall be that the firstborn whom she bears shall assume the name of his dead brother, so that his name will not be blotted out from Israel.

Levirate marriage is thus a marriage in which the brother of a man who dies without a son must marry his brother’s widow in order to beget a son for his brother who will be deemed the son of his brother.

The account in Genesis 38:6-11 of Judah’s son Onan whose older brother Er had died is an example of this custom that is codified in the law of Deuteronomy 25:5-6.
Then Judah said to Onan, “Go in to your brother’s wife, and perform your duty as a brother-in-law to her, and raise up offspring for your brother.” Onan knew that the offspring would not be his; so when he went in to his brother’s wife, he wasted his seed on the ground in order not to give offspring to his brother. (Genesis 38:8-9 NASB)

Onan refused to have a child with his brother’s widow, because he knew the child would be recognized as his brother’s son, not his own son. The “legal” genealogy for this child would be through Er and not through Onan, even though the biological genealogy would be through Onan. Thus this child would have had two legitimate genealogies. This example illustrates what could have happened with Joseph, the husband of Mary.

After Eden Fathers Day

This is how the Matthew genealogy
…Matthan->Jacob->Joseph->Jesus
and the Luke genealogy
…Matthat->Eli->Joseph->Jesus
can be resolved based on the Hebrew practice of levirate marriage according to Eusebius’ report which was based on historical records available to him:

  1. Matthan, a descendant of King David’s son Solomon, married a woman that tradition names as Estha. Matthan begot Jacob by Estha. Matthan is the grandfather of Joseph, Mary’s husband, per Matthew.
  2. Matthan died.
  3. Matthat, a descendant of King David’s son Nathan, married Estha the widow and begot Eli. Matthat is the grandfather of Joseph, Mary’s husband, per Luke.
  4. Thus Jacob and Eli were half-brothers with the same mother (Estha) but different fathers (Matthan and Matthat, respectively).
  5. Eli married but died without a son.
  6. Eli’s half-brother Jacob married Eli’s widow according to the levirate law of Deuteronomy 25:5-6 to raise up a son for his half-brother Eli. Jacob begot Joseph.
  7. Legally Joseph was the son of the dead brother Eli according to the levirate law. (Luke’s genealogy)
  8. But Joseph was also the natural born son of Jacob. (Matthew’s genealogy)
Conclusion

Matthew gives the biological genealogy through Joseph’s natural father Jacob. Luke gives the legal genealogy through Joseph’s legal father Eli. Both genealogies are correct.

In the time frame of Jesus’ day, the levirate law of marriage and descent that may seem so complicated today would be a daily familiarity. Many people would have this kind of dual family tree. In New Testament times, a person encountering two genealogies for Jesus would understand their harmony as natural and ordinary. The explanation would not seem intricate and difficult as it may to a reader today.

What is the significance of the genealogies? The significance is that the genealogies root Jesus of Nazareth in space and time. The genealogies are evidence that Jesus, son of Mary and adopted son of Joseph the carpenter, was a real man who lived and died on this earth 2,000 years ago in the land of Israel.

Who today can trace their genealogy back for 4,000 years over 75 generations? Who else can trace their genealogy back to Adam, the father of the human race?

Nobody makes up one genealogy, much less two of them, for a mythical being. Myths do not have such extensive genealogies in such well-evidenced historical documents. Only real people have and record detailed genealogies. These ancient lists of names include famous personages who are acknowledged as historical like King David of Israel and Abraham the father of the Jewish people. The genealogies confirm Jesus of Nazareth as a real person! This is why the genealogies of Jesus are so important.

Questions to Ponder
  1. Do you know anyone who has two sets of paternal grandparents (via a father and a step-father)? Do you think this now-common phenomenon might seem peculiar in Jesus’ day?
  2. What benefit is it to a follower of Christ to ponder difficult Scripture passages?
  3. Share your thoughts on these questions in the comments below. It could encourage or help another reader.

Christmas Blessings!

May all my readers enjoy a blessed Christmas season this year as we celebrate the birth of our Creator who came to rescue us from eternal death and save us from our sins.

Here’s a 2-minute YouTube Christmas video from Living Waters on the meaning and reason for Christmas:

Soli Deo Gloria.

Read previous blog articles on the genealogy of Jesus:
16. Age of the Earth—Luke’s Testimony
17. Age of the Earth—Luke & Cainan Puzzle
18. Age of the Earth—Luke & Cainan Explanation
The Curse of Jeconiah

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Click the sidebar’s “SUBSCRIBE” button to follow the
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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 December 21, 2016 A.D.

The unfolding of Thy words gives light. It gives understanding to the simple.
The sum of Thy word is truth, and every one of Thy righteous ordinances is everlasting.

(Psalm 119:130,160 NASB)

Posted by: BibleScienceGuy | December 14, 2016

The Milky Way

(4 Minute Read)

milkywaybar

Milky Way is the name of a very yummy candy bar. It is chocolate-malt nougat topped with caramel and smothered in milk chocolate. It’s very difficult to say “No, thank you” when offered a Milky Way.

The Milky Way candy bar was created in 1923 and named after a well-known milkshake which was itself named after the subject of this article.

Milky Way is also the name of the galaxy in which we live. A galaxy is a gravitationally-bound island of stars orbiting the stars’ center of mass. Our galaxy’s name comes from its hazy, milky glow as it arcs across the night sky. The individual stars that contribute to the milky glow cannot be distinguished with the naked eye.

As far as we know, Galileo was the first post-Flood astronomer to resolve the milky glow of the Milky Way galaxy into individual stars with his telescope in 1610. As late as 1920 astronomers generally thought the Milky Way contained all the stars of the universe.

Today astronomers think the Milky Way is a barred spiral galaxy that contains 100–400 billion (100,000,000,000-400,000,000,000) stars and is 100,000–180,000 light-years across. Earth is about 27,000 light-years from the Milky Way’s galactic center, on the inner edge of the spiral arm called the Orion Arm.

To get a feel for how big the Milky Way is, imagine a scale model of the solar system that is one foot in diameter. The sun would be smaller than a period with the earth an eighth of an inch away. The nearest star would be about 2/3 of a mile away. The Milky Way would be larger than the Pacific Ocean!

Galaxies

Today we know the Milky Way is only one of many galaxies of stars, some smaller, others much bigger. Galaxies range in size from dwarf galaxies with “only” a few billion (2-3,000,000,000) stars to giant galaxies with one hundred trillion (100,000,000,000,000) stars.

The largest known galaxy in the universe is the yellow-red elliptical galaxy IC 1101. It lies one billion light-years away and is six million light-years across. It contains 100 trillion stars. Comparing IC 1101 with the Milky Way, IC 1101 is 60 times as large with 1,000 times as many stars.

Hold a grain of sand up to the night sky.
The part of the sky blocked out by that
grain of sand has over 10,000 galaxies.

If there are many galaxies in the night sky, how many is many? If you hold up a grain of sand to the sky, the part of the sky blocked out by the grain of sand has over 10,000 galaxies. Recent results from October 2016 based on observations with the Hubble space telescope show at least two trillion (2,000,000,000) galaxies in the observable universe. The Creator God alone knows how many are in the unobservable universe.

Who made all these stars? The Genesis account of Creation says of God, “He made the stars also” on Creation Day Four (Genesis 1:16).
How many stars did God make? A 2010 estimate reported
300 sextillion = 3 × 1023 = 300,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 stars in the observable universe. The Creator God alone knows how many are in the unobservable universe.

Andromeda Galaxy

Andromeda Galaxy
A spiral galaxy with a trillion stars
about 2.5 million light-years away.

Galaxies are gravitationally associated in groups, clusters, and superclusters. Superclusters lie in enormous sheets separated by huge vast voids.

The Milky Way is part of a group or cluster of at least 54 galaxies called the Local Group. The Milky Way is the second-largest galaxy in the Local Group after the Andromeda Galaxy.

In the Local Group, the Milky Way has at least 15 satellite galaxies that orbit it. Three of these satellite galaxies are the Large Magellanic Cloud, the Small Magellanic Cloud, and the Sagittarius Dwarf Galaxy.

The Andromeda Galaxy is the closest major galaxy to the Milky Way, lying 2,500,000 light-years from Earth. It has more than twice as many stars as the Milky Way and is more than 220,000 LY in diameter. Observations with the Spitzer Space Telescope in 2006 showed Andromeda has one trillion (1,000,000,000,000) stars.

Spiral Galaxies

Andromeda is a spiral galaxy. A spiral galaxy is disk-shaped with a central bulge. Spiral arms extend from the central bulge to the outer edge. The arms are regions that appear to have greater numbers of stars.

Astronomers think the Milky Way is a spiral galaxy, but we don’t know for sure because we are on the inside looking out. We can’t see the structure of the Milky Way from outside like we can with Andromeda.

Spiral galaxies are a thorn in the side of evolutionary astronomers. As spiral galaxies rotate, the inner regions rotate much faster than the outer regions. Thus the spiral becomes tighter and tighter. After a few hundred million years the spiral structure would be gone. But supposedly, galaxies are billions and billions of years old! Spiral galaxies give the lie to this claim. They cannot possibly be billions of years old. But they could be 6,000 years old, as the Bible reports.

20020520-StarWars

Superclusters of Galaxies

The Milky Way is part of the Virgo Supercluster, also called the Local Supercluster. This supercluster contains the Virgo Cluster and the Local Group along with at least 100 other galaxy clusters. The Virgo Supercluster is one of about 10 million galaxy superclusters in the observable universe.

The Virgo Supercluster is a lobe of a cluster of galaxy superclusters named Laniakea. This Hawaiian name means “immense heaven” from lani for “heaven” and akea for “immeasurable”.

The Laniakea Supercluster contains 300 to 500 galaxy clusters. It may include many more in the region obscured by the Milky Way. The Laniakea Supercluster comprises over 100,000 galaxies.

Neighboring galaxy superclusters near Laniakea include the Shapley Supercluster, Hercules Supercluster, and Coma Supercluster. The Great Wall is an immense galaxy superstructure that contains the superclusters Hercules, Coma and Leo. Laniakea and the Great Wall are the largest known structures in the universe. But I am confident larger structures and more organization will someday be discovered. I will not be surprised to learn that either Laniakea or the Great Wall is simply a filament of a far larger structure.

Sombrero Galaxy

Sombrero Galaxy
Sombrero’s bulging glow of light comes from 800 Billion stars. Its unusually large bulge
and dust ring suggest its name. Sombrero is 31 million light-years away in the
constellation Virgo and is 50,000 light-years across. The dots of light are not stars but thousands of other galaxies, including a pair of twin galaxies at the bottom at 7 o’clock.

Who Did It?

No matter how far out into the universe man peers, he sees order and structures of increasing complexity and magnitude. From where did it all come? Who designed it all? Who made this huge expanse of space in which the galaxies swim? Who made all the stars? Who organized them into so many galaxies? Who arranged the clusters, superclusters, sheets, and walls of galaxies?

Who hung the Milky Way on nothing in space? Who placed numerous galaxies in orbit around the Milky Way?

To say it all “just happened” is to wimp out on answering these questions.

The answer is that Yahweh, the Almighty Creator God of the Bible, made the universe and all that we see in it.

The vast immeasurable extent of the universe, the incomprehensibly enormous energy of innumerable stars … these far surpass the human mind’s ability to comprehend them. They speak of the glory, majesty, and power of their Creator.

O Lord, our Lord,
How majestic is Your name in all the earth,
Who have displayed Your splendor above the heavens!
When I consider Your heavens, the work of Your fingers,
The moon and the stars, which You have ordained;
What is man that You take thought of him,
And the son of man that You care for him?
(Psalm 8:1,3-4)

The dependable regularity of the Big Dipper, the grandeur of Orion, the sparkling beauty of the Pleiades, the galaxies orbiting the Milky Way, and the innumerable stars of the Milky Way … all these point to a Maker, to One who made heaven and earth (Isaiah 37:16).

The majesty of the stars alone should compel men to seek the Creator and Savior before it is too late and judgment comes. It is a terrifying thing to fall into the hands of the living God. (Hebrews 10:31 NASB)

Questions to Ponder
  1. What aspect of God’s creative work in making the stars, galaxies, and space is most awe-inspiring to you?
  2. What concrete step can help remind you to keep giving our awesome Creator worship and praise?
  3. Share your thoughts on these questions in the comments below. It could encourage or help another reader.

The Heavens Declare the Glory of God. (Psalm 19:1 KJV)
Soli Deo Gloria.

Read the prequels on astronomy:
He Made the Stars Also
Naming the Stars
Big Dipper — Clock in the Sky
The Hunter and Seven Sisters
Orion & the Pleiades Speak Truth

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Subscribe – Don’t miss future blog posts!
Click the sidebar’s “SUBSCRIBE” button to follow the
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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 December 14, 2016 A.D.

Lift up your eyes on high and see who has created these stars, the One who leads forth their host by number, He calls them all by name. Because of the greatness of His might and the strength of His power not one of them is missing. (Isaiah 40:26 NASB)

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