Jesus literally interpreted and endorsed some of the “hardest to believe” accounts in the Old Testament like Noah’s Flood, Sodom and Gomorrah, Manna, Bronze Serpent, Jonah and the big fish. He even based vital teaching about His deity, His death and resurrection, salvation, the final judgment, and human marriage on literal interpretations of Old Testament accounts.
If Jesus interpreted the miracles of the Old Testament literally, isn’t it reasonable to conclude that He also accepted the genealogical and chronological data of the Old Testament and interpreted it literally?
Which is harder to believe, that Jonah was swallowed at sea by a great fish and regurgitated alive three days later, or that Mahalalel begat (fathered) Jared at age 65 and lived 830 more years to age 895? Jesus based the validity of His resurrection on the literal validity of Jonah’s experience when He said, “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. (Matthew 12:40)
If Jesus believed Jonah’s record, as He assuredly did since He based His Resurrection teaching on it, would He not also have believed Moses’ record of Mahalalel? Most definitely!
Jesus called several disciples fools for being slow to believe “all that the prophets have spoken” when they were wondering at reports of the Resurrection (Luke 24:25-27). Beginning with Moses and all the prophets He explained to them the things concerning Himself in all the Scriptures (Luke 24:27). Obviously, He interpreted the Old Testament Scriptures about His suffering and Resurrection literally, because He was literally crucified and literally raised from the dead. Jesus clearly expected people to accept the plain literal meaning of the text and called them fools if they did not.
What would Jesus call people today who argue against a literal understanding of Genesis?
Soli Deo Gloria.
This is the fifth in a series of blog posts on the Age of the Earth.
Read the prequels:
1. How Old Is the Earth?
2. Why Is the Age of the Earth Important?
3. Earth: Young or Old?
4. Age of the Earth—Jesus’ View
Read the sequel:
6. Age of the Earth—What Did Jesus Say?
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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)
Monday June 16, 2008 A.D.
By the word of the LORD the heavens were made, and by the breath of His mouth all their host. He gathers the waters of the sea together as a heap; He lays up the deeps in storehouses. Let all the earth fear the LORD. Let all the inhabitants of the world stand in awe of Him. For He spoke, and it was done; He commanded, and it stood fast. (Psalm 33:6-9)