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:
How was Adam Made In God’s Image? …coming soon…
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 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?
How was Adam Made In God’s Image?
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 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?

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 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)

Posted by: BibleScienceGuy | April 13, 2016

Whom Did Adam’s Sons Marry?

(4 Minute Read)

After Eden 063 Cains Wife

Skeptics frequently gloat over a question they think discredits Genesis:
Where did Cain get his wife?

The question regarding whom Adam’s son Cain married seems difficult for some because of an evolutionary mindset. Actually, from a Biblical worldview, it’s easy to answer.

This very question flummoxed the former Secretary of State and three-time presidential candidate William Jennings Bryan, who was unprepared at the 1925 Scopes Trial. Defense attorney Clarence Darrow goaded prosecutor Bryan into taking the witness stand to testify as a Bible expert.

Darrow: Did you ever discover where Cain got his wife?
Bryan: No, sir. I leave the agnostics to hunt for her.
Darrow: The Bible says he’s got one doesn’t it? Were there other people on earth at that time?
Bryan: I cannot say.
Darrow: You cannot say. Did that ever enter your consideration?
Bryan: Never bothered me.
Darrow: There were no others recorded, but Cain got a wife.
Bryan: That is what the Bible says.
Darrow: Where she came from you do not know.

Bryan was a Christian celebrity, a national figure who averaged 200 speeches yearly as the nation’s premier anti-evolution crusader. He blanketed the nation with his syndicated column, “Weekly Bible Talks.” His Bible class in a Miami park numbered 5,000 weekly. Bryan’s 1924 Nashville lecture, “Is the Bible True?” was distributed nationwide. Bryan volunteered for the Scopes Trial to defend a principle he had championed for years.

Darrow made Bryan look foolish with his question about Cain’s wife and other similar questions. The public, listening to the trial’s nationwide radio broadcast and reading transcripts telegraphed worldwide, heard Bryan’s weak responses. They concluded that Genesis couldn’t be defended. In the popular view, Biblical credibility was damaged and Christianity was impugned when evolutionist Darrow confounded Bible-champion Bryan. Where Cain got his wife has been vexing Christians ever since.

Jesus’ reply to the Sadducees fits this situation perfectly:
Is this not the reason you are mistaken, that you do not understand the Scriptures, or the power of God?” (Mark 12:24)

So where did Cain get his wife? Before using Scriptural clues to answer this question, we’ll consider some wrong answers.

Where Did Cain NOT Get His Wife?

Some argue that Cain’s wife came from another already existing race. They claim Genesis 1 and Genesis 2 are contradictory accounts of man’s creation. To resolve this they posit the creation of a different human race in Genesis 1 before God created Adam and Eve in Genesis 2. They suggest this pre-Adamic race produced Cain’s wife.

This is not true. First, Genesis 1 and Genesis 2 are not contradictory. Genesis 1 gives an overview of Creation Week. Genesis 2 focuses on man’s creation on Day 6, fleshing out the preceding overview.

Jesus Himself substantiated the harmony of these two chapters. When questioned about marriage, He applied quotations from both Genesis 1 and Genesis 2 to the first man and woman, thereby confirming the chapters’ harmony (Matthew 19:4-5). Jesus knew both passages, yet He saw no contradiction, for He used both together. Jesus attested that both chapters speak of Adam and Eve.

Second, Jesus declared that the first marriage occurred at the Beginning (Mark 10:6). His statement allows no window of time for a pre-Adamic race. From that first marriage, Jesus derived a marriage standard which He applied to all Adam’s offspring. Jesus’ words show He believed everyone descended from Adam.

Third, when Adam looked for a wife among the animals, no suitable helpmate was found (Genesis 2:18-20). No human female existed; thus no other race could have existed. Yahweh then created Eve who was the mother of all living (Genesis 3:20). Therefore all humans descended from Eve, including Cain’s wife.

After Eden 20041025-2MrsNo-name

Scripture explicitly says,
He made from one, every nation of mankind to live on all the face of the earth (Acts 17:26). Each person all over the globe descends from Adam. In the beginning there was only one man Adam and one woman Eve. There was no pre-Adamic race. Mankind is a single race, and Cain’s wife belonged to that race.

Another argument points out that Cain was afraid of being killed when God exiled him for murdering Abel (Genesis 4:13-14). They say this indicates the existence of a substantial human population whom Cain feared. Allegedly this population came from somewhere besides Adam and Eve; supposedly Cain found his wife there.

First, such speculation contradicts Scripture’s clear teaching that all men descended from Adam.

Second, Adam and Eve were 130 years old at Seth’s birth (Genesis 5:3). Eve identified Seth as the replacement for the murdered Abel. Well over 100 years could have elapsed from Cain’s birth to Abel’s death – plenty of time for Adam and Eve to produce many descendants, including women for Cain to marry.

Third, Cain’s fears of revenge are accounted for by Abel’s close friends and allies among his brothers and other relatives.

Where Did Cain Get His Wife?

What is known of Mrs. Cain Adamson? Besides her name, almost nothing. Yet she sparks more speculation than any other Bible woman. Who was she?

Genesis 5:4 gives a clue to the answer:
Then the days of Adam after he became the father of Seth were eight hundred years, and he had other sons and daughters.

Adam and Eve had many sons and daughters as they obeyed God’s command to be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth (Genesis 1:27-28). Adam lived to age 930, so he could have had hundreds of sons and daughters.

Many sons married sisters and other sons married nieces or grand-nieces to begin filling the earth. How else could two people carry out God’s command, “Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the earth” (Genesis 1:28)? If brothers had not married sisters, mankind would have died out in one generation.

20000501CainsWifeAnswer

Thus Cain’s wife was one of his sisters, or possibly a niece.

This is not as strange as one might think. I married a relative. Everybody does. There is nobody else to marry.

All humans today are related, because we all have common ancestors. Everyone descended from Noah’s three sons, either Japheth or Shem or Ham (Genesis 9:18-19). Thus our nearest common ancestors are Mr. & Mrs. Noah. Adam through Noah comprises 10 men, all of whom along with their wives and their wives’ ancestors are common ancestors. Thus all alive today have dozens of common ancestors from Mr. and Mrs. Noah back to Adam and Eve.

Gene Pool

Today boys are repulsed by the idea of marrying their sisters. Cain did not have that option. No one existed for him to marry except sisters or nieces.

There was no reason for Cain to feel reluctant to marry one of his sisters. Cain and his siblings were first-generation offspring of Adam and Eve. Even for generations thereafter the gene pool was relatively clean. Enough harmful genetic errors had not accumulated to make marrying close relatives unwise. This developed as the consequences of sin compounded over the years.

Today degeneration of the gene pool has intensified; marriage between close relatives now risks severe problems in the offspring when identical defective genes occur in both closely related parents.

Adam’s sons married their relatives —
sisters, nieces, grandnieces, etc.

Restrictions against marrying close relatives did not exist until the time of Moses, 2500 years after Creation. In early generations the restriction was unnecessary. Adam himself married a closer relation than anyone else ever has, for Eve was bone of his bones and flesh of his flesh (Genesis 2:23). Eve was practically a clone of Adam, having been made from his rib. Noah’s grandchildren married siblings or cousins. Abraham and Isaac each married close relatives.

Whom Did Adam’s Sons Marry?

Certainly in the first generation after Adam, some of the brothers needed to marry sisters to continue the race. Other brothers could have married nieces or grandnieces. Adam’s daughters-in-law were his daughters, granddaughters, and great-granddaughters.

The Creator established marriage; therefore, His Word is the defining standard for marriage. Those who reject Scripture’s authority have abandoned the basis for judging what is legitimate in marriage. Thus they have no grounds for criticizing Cain and his brothers for marrying sisters and nieces.

Questions to Ponder
  1. If you had been on the witness stand at the 1925 Scopes Trial, how would you have answered Clarence Darrow’s question, “Where did Cain get his wife?”
  2. What other questions do skeptics use in trying to discredit Scripture? Are you prepared to answer them (1 Peter 3:15)?
  3. Share your thoughts on these questions in the comments below. It could encourage or help another reader.

Soli Deo Gloria.

This is the 22nd 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?

Read the sequels:
23. Did Adam Ride a Unicorn?
24. How Long Did Adam Live?
25. Did Adam Swat Mosquitoes in Eden?

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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 April 13, 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 6, 2016

How Many Children Did Adam Have?

(2 Minute Read)

After Eden Eve, mother of all living

Most people, when asked about the children of Adam and Eve, can think of no more than two, if that many. Is this correct? Did Adam and Eve only have two kids? What’s a reasonable guess about the size of Adam’s and Eve’s immediate family? How many children did they have?

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).

Genesis 5:4 explicitly says that Adam begat other sons and daughters. This means that in addition to Seth, Adam had at least two sons and two daughters for at least a total of five children.

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).

If Adam and Eve had a child every two years, they 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 by the time of Seth’s birth. In fact, Seth probably didn’t need to marry a sister. He could have married a sister or a niece or a great-niece to bear his son Enosh and his other sons and daughters (Genesis 5:7).

The age at which each of the first ten patriarchs sired a named son ranged from 65 for Mahalalel to 500 for Noah. This named son was not necessarily the oldest or the youngest. Seth, for example, had at least 2 older brothers, Cain and Abel.

The average age of the ten Genesis 5 patriarchs at which the named son was born was 155. The pre-Flood patriarchs were continuing to beget children at much greater ages than men sire children today.

Genesis does not record the number of Adam’s children, so we do not know. 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.

It is very possible that
Adam sired hundreds of children!

The Jewish historian Josephus of the first century A.D. cites an “old tradition” that Adam and Eve had 56 children — 33 sons and 23 daughters.
(Flavius Josephus, Antiquities of the Jews, Book 1, Chapter 2, Paragraph 2, Endnote 8.)

Josephus also reports that Lamech had 77 children by two wives. Lamech was the sixth generation after Adam through Cain; this was a different Lamech from the father of Noah through Cain’s brother Seth (Genesis 4:17-19).
(Flavius Josephus, Antiquities of the Jews, Book 1, Chapter 2, Paragraph 2.)

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.

Soli Deo Gloria.

This is the 21st of a series of blog articles on Adam, the father of the human race.
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

Read the sequels:
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?

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 April 6, 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 | March 30, 2016

Adam’s Problematic Princess

(4 Minute Read)

After Eden 20041101 Adam Big Trouble

Yahweh’s gift of Eve to Adam as his wife and the mother of the human race was a Huge Blessing, but she was also a Huge Problem.

Every one of the world’s global problems, all our national problems, and each person’s individual problems, all result from Adam’s choice to eat the Forbidden Fruit. But what led Adam to make this disastrous choice? It was Adam’s Problematic Princess! Adam “listened to the voice of [his] wife” and ate the Forbidden Fruit.

Yahweh rebuked 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. …” (Genesis 3:17 NASB)

Yahweh scolded Adam for listening to the voice of his wife over the word of his Creator. She persuaded him to eat the Forbidden Fruit and disobey God. This caused a HUGE PROBLEM.

Apparently Eve used words of persuasion to entice Adam to eat the Forbidden Fruit.

The fruit of the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil did not tempt Adam, and Satan did not tempt Adam. But Adam succumbed to temptation from his problematic princess who was herself deceived by Satan.

Was Eating the Forbidden Fruit Adam’s First Sin?

It seems that Adam’s initial sin came before he ate the Forbidden Fruit. Listening to his wife’s counsel to ignore Yahweh’s command was a sin for which Yahweh rebuked him. A subsequent sin was his internal decision to eat the Forbidden Fruit. These internal sins of attitude and thinking culminated in the act of disobedience to eat the Forbidden Fruit.

Isn’t this the way sin always occurs? Sins of thought and sins of the will always precede the outward act of sin.

In listening to his wife, Adam sinned by abdicating the leadership position in which God had placed him. Eve was designed and given to Adam as his helper, not his leader:
Then the Lord God said, “It is not good for the man to be alone; I will make him a helper suitable for him.” (Genesis 2:18 NASB)

What should Adam have done?

Genesis seems to indicate that Adam was present when Eve ate the Forbidden Fruit:
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 3:6 NASB)

After Eden 20030728-2-FoundOne

Instead of watching Eve eat and then heeding her persuasive words to eat himself, Adam should have physically intervened to stop Eve from eating, reminding her of Yahweh’s orders:

“STOP Eve, STOP! I told you the Creator commanded us not to eat from that tree on pain of death!”

If Adam could not stop Eve from eating the Forbidden Fruit, then he should have resisted her enticingly persuasive words and instead interceded with the Creator on her behalf:

“Lord, I specifically instructed the woman You gave me not to eat from the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil in the middle of the Garden. But she has disobeyed and eaten, and I couldn’t stop her. What shall we do with her? I beg you to forgive her, and I ask that her life be spared. I love her and don’t want to lose her. What can You do?”

It might have been possible for Adam to “undo” Eve’s disobedience through an act of obedience and faith, by obeying God and refusing to eat the forbidden fruit. Just as the Second Adam’s act of obedience resulted in life to all his spiritual progeny, so the First Adam might have been able to save Eve and the entire human race through an act of faith and obedience.
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)

Adam had to choose between obeying Yahweh’s command or heeding the words of his gorgeous, curvaceous wife. Adam did not choose wisely. All his offspring have suffered as a result of his sin.

How Was Eve Deceived?

The serpent deceived Eve:
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’?” … Then the Lord God said to the woman, “What is this you have done?” And the woman said, “The serpent deceived me, and I ate.” (Genesis 3:1,13 NASB)

Eve knew God’s command, given to Adam before she was created. The serpent deceived Eve by first questioning God’s command and then denying it. (Genesis 3:1-4)

Why did the serpent approach Eve instead of Adam, the leader of the couple? Probably because he correctly discerned that Eve was more easily deceived than Adam (1 Timothy 2:14). In general, women are more emotional, sensitive, and feelings-oriented than men, and thus are more easily led astray through appeals to their feelings. The serpent appealed to Eve’s desire to be wise like God. He reached Eve through the visual appeal of the tree’s fruit.

How can you avoid being deceived like Eve?
Study, believe, and obey Scripture
from Genesis to Revelation.

There is no indication that Eve ran through an analytical evaluation of the consequences of disobeying God and eating the Forbidden Fruit. She did report the death consequence to the serpent, but immediately accepted his denial of that truth. And then she acted on her feelings in response to the appeal of the Forbidden Fruit.

But Adam sinned knowingly; he was not deceived (1 Timothy 2:14). The entire human race fell when Adam sinned, not when Eve disobeyed. (Romans 5:12; 1 Corinthians 15:21-22)

Because Satan deceived Eve (but not Adam) and because Adam was created first, Paul forbids women to teach men or to have authority over men in the church. Apparently women by created nature are more vulnerable to spiritual deception (1 Timothy 2:11-14; 3:15). Instead, Scripture instructs women to teach younger women and children (Titus 2:3-5; Proverbs 1:8).

It is vital to heed Paul’s warning not to let our minds be led astray the way Eve was deceived by Satan (2 Corinthians 11:3). Many allow their minds to be corrupted exactly as Eve did through questioning and denying God’s Word. Today many doubt or deny the reliability and authority of Genesis. Since Genesis is the foundation for Scripture, doubting Genesis logically calls into question the entire Bible.

How can you avoid being deceived like Eve? Study, believe, and obey Scripture from Genesis to Revelation. Pray to Yahweh as Jesus taught us to pray:
Lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil. For Thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever. Amen. (Matthew 6:13 NASB)

Questions to Ponder
  1. In what area are you vulnerable to Satan’s temptations? Where will he attack you?
  2. What will you do to avoid being deceived as Eve was?
  3. Share your thoughts on these questions in the comments below. It could encourage or help another reader.

Soli Deo Gloria.

This is the 20th article in a weekly series 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

Read the sequels:
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?

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 March 30, 2016 A.D.

Then the Lord God said, “It is not good for the man to be alone; I will make him a helper suitable for him.” Out of the ground the Lord God formed every beast of the field and every bird of the sky, and brought them to the man to see what he would call them; and whatever the man called a living creature, that was its name. And the man gave names to all the cattle, and to the birds of the sky, and to every beast of the field, but for Adam there was not found a helper suitable for him. So the LORD God caused a deep sleep to fall upon the man, and he slept; then He took one of his ribs, and closed up the flesh at that place. And the LORD God fashioned into a woman the rib which He had taken from the man, and brought her to the man. And the man said, “This is now bone of my bones, and flesh of my flesh; she shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of Man.” For this cause a man shall leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave to his wife; and they shall become one flesh….Now the man called his wife’s name Eve, because she was the mother of all the living. (Genesis 2:18-24; 3:20 NASB)

Posted by: BibleScienceGuy | March 23, 2016

What I Fear

(2 Minute Read)
Andromeda Galaxy

Andromeda Galaxy
A spiral galaxy with a trillion stars
about 2.5 million light-years away.
Andromeda is more than 220,000 LY
in diameter. (Click image to enlarge.)

Do you have any phobias? A phobia is a fear of something.

The word is often misused to mean hatred of something. In today’s culture wars over immigration and marriage, people are often accused of being xenophobes or homophobes to mean they hate foreigners or hate homosexuals. But this is not the correct meaning. A xenophobe is one who fears (not hates) foreigners; a homophobe is one who fears (not hates) homosexuals. Christians who hate the practice of homosexuality because God calls it sin do not hate or fear the sinners who practice it.

So 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.

Theophobia

I fear the God whose first recorded words were
Let there be light.”
And there was light
. (Genesis 1:3 NASB)
Yahweh created energy from nothing! Can you do that? Can anybody you know do that?

All our energy derives from the sun. Yahweh created the sun, along with all the stars, on Creation Day 4 (Genesis 1:16). Such a stupendous creation of energy beyond calculation is fearfully awesome.

I fear the God who 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)
By the word of the Lord the heavens were made,
And by the breath of His mouth all their host.
For He spoke, and it was done;
He commanded, and it stood fast.
(Psalm 33:6,9 NASB)
(See He Made the Stars Also and Naming the Stars.)

I fear the God who measured the waters in the hollow of His hand, and marked off the heavens by the span, and calculated the dust of the earth by the measure, and weighed the mountains in a balance and the hills in a pair of scales. (Isaiah 40:12 NASB)

I fear the God who cursed all of creation, because His man creature ate a piece of forbidden fruit. (Genesis 3:14-19; Romans 8:20-22)

After Eden 20140314-1JudgmentCall

I fear the God who destroyed the “very good” world He had made, because mankind had filled it with violence and wickedness. That God destroyed trillions of His creatures with a worldwide flood. Only 8 people survived to repopulate the earth.
(Genesis 1:31; 2 Peter 3:5-6; Gen 6:1-9:19)

I fear the God who destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah with fire and brimstone for their “exceedingly grave” wickedness.
(Genesis 18:16-19:29)

I fear the God for whom the nations are like a drop from a bucket, and are regarded as a speck of dust on the scales. All the nations are as nothing before Him; they are regarded by Him as less than nothing and meaningless. He it is who reduces rulers to nothing, who makes the judges of the earth meaningless. Scarcely have they been planted, scarcely have they been sown, scarcely has their stock taken root in the earth, but He merely blows on them, and they wither, and the storm carries them away like stubble.
(Isaiah 40:15, 17, 23-24 NASB)

I fear the God who hardened Pharaoh’s heart and destroyed Egypt with ten plagues (Exodus 7-12):
Then the Lord said to Moses, “…I will harden Pharaoh’s heart that I may multiply My signs and My wonders in the land of Egypt. When Pharaoh does not listen to you, then I will lay My hand on Egypt and bring out My hosts, My people the sons of Israel, from the land of Egypt by great judgments. (Exodus 7:1,3-4 NASB)
Moses and Aaron performed all these wonders before Pharaoh; yet the Lord hardened Pharaoh’s heart, and he did not let the sons of Israel go out of his land. (Exodus 11:10 NASB)
Pharaoh’s servants said to him, “How long will this man [Moses] be a snare to us? Let the men go, that they may serve the Lord their God. Do you not realize that Egypt is destroyed?” (Exodus 10:7 NASB)
Now it came about at midnight that the Lord struck all the firstborn in the land of Egypt, from the firstborn of Pharaoh who sat on his throne to the firstborn of the captive who was in the dungeon, and all the firstborn of cattle. Pharaoh arose in the night, he and all his servants and all the Egyptians, and there was a great cry in Egypt, for there was no home where there was not someone dead. (Exodus 12:29-30 NASB)

I fear the God who can destroy both body and soul in hell (Matthew 10:28).
Jesus said, “Do not be afraid of those who kill the body and after that have no more that they can do. But I will warn you whom to fear: fear the One who, after He has killed, has authority to cast into hell; yes, I tell you, fear Him!” (Luke 12:4-5 NASB)

I fear the God who said, “You shall be holy, for I am holy,” — because I am not holy. (Leviticus 11:44-45; 19:2; 20:7; 1 Peter 1:14-17)

I fear the God of whom it is said:
The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge;
Fools despise wisdom and instruction.
(Proverbs 1:7 NASB)
The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom,
And the knowledge of the Holy One is understanding.
(Proverbs 9:10 NASB)
Blessed are those who fear the Lord,
Who find great delight in His commands.
(Psalm 112:1 NASB)

I fear the God who raised Jesus of Nazareth from the dead and seated Him at His right hand in the heavens.

I fear the God who is the Judge of all the earth.

I fear the God who will someday destroy the earth by fire:
But the day of the Lord will come like a thief, in which the heavens will pass away with a roar and the elements will be destroyed with intense heat, and the earth and its works will be burned up. Since all these things are to be destroyed in this way, what sort of people ought you to be in holy conduct and godliness, looking for and hastening the coming of the day of God, because of which the heavens will be destroyed by burning, and the elements will melt with intense heat! (2 Peter 3:10-12 NASB)

I fear the God of whom it is commanded:
Let all the earth fear the Lord;
Let all the inhabitants of the world stand in awe of Him.
(Psalm 33:8 NASB)

After Eden 20140718RestInPeace

Good News

During this Resurrection Week when we commemorate the atoning death of Jesus of Nazareth and His resurrection from the grave, I am especially grateful for this fearful God’s Gospel of Salvation.

I am thankful to Yahweh for creating me. I am thankful for His everlasting loving kindness. I am thankful for His infinite mercy which saved me from eternal damnation.
The lovingkindness of the Lord is from everlasting to everlasting on those who fear Him, and His righteousness to children’s children. (Psalm 103:17 NASB)

Sinners like me and you can be saved from hell by the grace of God through faith in the Son of God — the crucified, buried, and resurrected Jesus of Nazareth.

Jesus defeated sin at the Cross. He defeated death by His Resurrection. Instead of hell, sinners can enjoy peace with God in heaven. Hallelujah!

Questions to Ponder
  1. How do you demonstrate fear of Yahweh?
  2. How will you honor the Creator on Resurrection Day this Sunday?
  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 March 23, 2016 A.D.

Do not fear those who kill the body but are unable to kill the soul; but rather fear Him who is able to destroy both soul and body in hell. (Matthew 10:28 NASB)

Posted by: BibleScienceGuy | March 16, 2016

Kepler Chases a Squirrel

(4 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 tell about my latest squirrel hunt in which I “went crazy.”

We don’t know how, but a squirrel got in our basement last week. Missus heard it running on the ducts and knocking over boxes.

I knew it was there, but Master and Missus wouldn’t let me in the basement. I scratched at the basement door, whined, and begged.

Squirrel Hunt

Finally Master decided I might be able to help. He opened the door and said “Wait.” But I zipped right down the stairs anyway. I hated to disobey Master, but I just had to get that squirrel. Master always makes me wait for a signal to leave my crate, to eat, and to go outside. But this time I couldn’t wait for his signal. There was no time to be lost in going after the squirrel.

It was a big brownish gray squirrel. It was in the joists and on the duct work. I told Squirrel very firmly and authoritatively to get down, but he ignored my repeated commands.

Master and Missus came down to see what was going on. From a duct, Squirrel jumped onto Master’s back, then onto some boxes, and then back onto a joist where I couldn’t reach him. I was frantic to get him. I was beginning to lose control in my excited chase.

With Squirrel jumping from box to box to ducts, then onto Master’s back (that really incensed me), then to boxes to joists — with me in hot pursuit, the scene in our basement looked something like this YouTube clip from the Christmas Vacation movie in which a squirrel rides into the house concealed within a Christmas tree. Later a large Rottweiler dog chases the squirrel through the house destroying everything in their path.


 
Soon Missus stopped the chase. She said, “That’s enough.” (I’m not sure, but I think Master would have let me keep going.) Missus caught me and carried me upstairs. She baited our Havahart live animal trap with peanut butter and put it in the basement.

I begged and begged to go down to the basement to check on things, but Master and Missus kept the door shut. How I wanted to catch Squirrel for them!

Around noon the next day Missus checked the trap — still empty. Soon Master let me go down to accelerate the process. I chased Squirrel right into the trap! Wham! The trap door slammed shut before I could get my jaws inside!

Then things got wild. I completely lost it trying to get at Squirrel inside the metal cage. I raced around and around the trap, attacking it from every angle and shoving it all over the basement floor.

Inside the trap, Squirrel was trying his best to get out. I broke a toenail on the trap, and the nail started bleeding profusely. I spread blood all over the floor. I did not bark, because I wanted to get Squirrel before Master came, but I was panting so heavily that Master heard me from upstairs.

I glorify my Creator by doing very well
what He well-designed me to do
— catching squirrels!

Missus came down, saw the blood, and ran back upstairs. She told Master, “Kepler got the squirrel. There’s blood all over. I’m scared.”

The last time I caught a squirrel or a chipmunk, I broke their necks immediately, and there wasn’t a drop of blood with either. Missus was concerned Squirrel had hurt me. Ha Ha Ha. As if! Squirrel had other things on his mind with me snapping right behind him.

Master came down, saw the squirrel in the trap, and told Missus it was okay. He tried to stop me from attacking the trap but failed. I was wild, crazy-excited, and intent on getting Squirrel! I wanted to bite his neck and shake him! He had no business being in our basement!

Missus carried me upstairs and put me in my crate to calm down. Master and Missus were very proud of me. They told me what a great job I did. I panted rapidly for 15 minutes before I finally settled down.

It was the eve of my two-year-old birthday, and Master had promised me a sausage dinner, but I totally forgot about sausage in my excitement. Squirrel meat — that’s all I wanted. This was the most fun I’ve had since a year ago when I caught a squirrel upstairs (see Master’s report Kepler & the Psycho Squirrel).

There is nothing like chasing and killing squirrels! I recommend this to all readers of Master’s blog. It’s very good cardio-vascular exercise and provides protein for the table.

Now I have a new item on my daily To Do List: Check Basement. It’s so stimulating to run around and sniff the lingering squirrel smells. I check all the basement rooms thoroughly several times daily. I keep hoping another squirrel will get in again — or at least a chipmunk or mouse.

Kepler's New Buddy

My Buddy Henry

My Buddy Henry

My new buddy Henry whom we adopted last Christmas came down several times to see what the excitement was all about and to check on what I was doing. But it didn’t interest him for some inexplicable reason, and he always went back upstairs.

Henry is a Silky Terrier built to hunt rodents, so his lack of interest astonished me — Lieutenant Henry is Captain Kepler’s right-paw-dog on the Backyard Squirrel Patrol. We both love to chase squirrels and chipmunks in Master’s backyard.

The day after I “caught” the basement squirrel, Henry almost got his own squirrel in our backyard. Henry stayed outside when Missus let me in, sitting very quietly by the Squirrel Tree — immobile for almost an hour. Eventually a big black squirrel ventured down, and Henry took off after him like a line drive off a baseball bat. He almost got him, but his tether brought him up short. I felt bad for him when he told me what happened.

People React When I Glorify My Creator

Some people are horrified when they hear about my exploits. I hear them rebuke Master for teaching me to hunt squirrels or for letting me chase them.

Others ask, “Who taught Kepler how to catch squirrels?”
“Why does he chase squirrels?”
“Look how fast he is! Where did Kepler get his speed and lightning reflexes?”

Eric Liddell at the British Empire versus United States of America (Relays) meet held at Stamford Bridge, London on Sat 19 July 1924

Eric Liddell
Running anchor leg of 4 × 400m
relay race, British Empire vs USA.
Liddell’s team beat the gold-medal
winning USA Olympic team.
(London, Sat 19 July 1924)

Master did not teach me how to catch squirrels. I just know. I run very fast, because my Creator made me fast.

Master’s hero, 1924 Olympic champion and world record setter Eric Liddell, said this:
“I believe God made me for a purpose, but He also made me fast! And when I run, I feel His pleasure.”

Even though I’m just a little dog, I feel the same way as Mr. Liddell did.

I hear Master tell people, “The Creator built these capabilities into Kepler’s DNA. Imagine the complexity of that coding job! No human has any idea how to write that code in the DNA. This points to the wisdom, power, and grandeur of the Creator.” (Romans 1:19-20)

Master says it would be wrong to prevent me from chasing squirrels, because that’s one way I glorify my Creator — by doing very well what He well-designed me to do.

Master says just as it would be wrong to keep a scientist from doing research or to keep a musician from playing music or to keep a baseball player from playing baseball, so it would be wrong to keep me from chasing squirrels. Our Creator gave us all different abilities, and we glorify Him by using what He gave us as best we can. We all glorify the Creator by doing very well what He well-designed us to do.

Okay. I’m done. I need to check the basement.

Oh, one more thing. Do you know what Master and Missus did with Squirrel? They drove 4 miles away and let Squirrel go free. I could hardly believe it!

Questions to Ponder
  1. Every creature glorifies its Creator. How do your pets glorify the Creator?
  2. Have you felt the exhilaration of watching someone do just what they were created to do? Describe the occasion.
  3. Share your thoughts on these questions in the comments below. It could encourage or help another reader.

Soli Deo Gloria.

Read the prequels on our puppy Kepler:
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)

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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 March 16, 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 | March 9, 2016

Adam’s Prolific Princess

(2 Minute Read)

20060717LinesOfAdam

Mrs. Adam was the first wife and the first mother. Adam named her Eve because she was the mother of all the living (Genesis 3:20).

Today many people ridicule the Biblical assertion that all humans (trillions of them) have descended from a single woman (Eve) who lived only six thousand years ago. But over the last few decades geneticists have found supporting evidence.

Results of scientific research on mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) now support this Biblical truth that there is a single mother of the human race. Inherited only from the mother, mtDNA is found outside the cell nucleus in the mitochondria organelles, the power plants of cells.

Mitochondrial genes (mtDNA) and nuclear genes (DNA) are inherited differently. When a sperm fertilizes an egg, the sperm nucleus and the egg nucleus both contribute genetic material (DNA) equally to the nucleus of the zygote. But the zygote’s mitochondrial DNA comes from the egg, because the sperm’s mitochondria are destroyed after entering the egg, leaving only the egg’s mitochondria. Mitochondria are inherited solely through the mother, not the father.

All mtDNA today comes from a single female which scientists have nicknamed Eve. This does not constitute proof of a single female ancestor, but only that no female lines now exist except Eve’s. This is consistent with the Biblical record, and evolutionary theory does not predict it.

Today mitochondrial genes are very similar with little diversity. This means little time has elapsed for mtDNA mutations to occur. This suggests that mitochondrial Eve lived not long ago; how long ago is under dispute.

The mtDNA mutation rate is the rate at which copying mistakes occur. Estimating the mtDNA mutation rate (using evolutionary assumptions), scientists once conjectured this ancestral Eve lived 200,000 years ago. Later studies showed much higher mutation rates (as much as 20-fold faster than expected) with correspondingly younger ages for Eve.

Was there was a first woman (Eve)
about 6,000 years ago? Some scientific
research supports this Biblical truth.

A review of the data in the prestigious journal Science said Eve would be only 6,000 years old based on these re-calibrated mtDNA mutation rates:

“Evolutionists are most concerned about the effect of a faster mutation rate. For example, researchers have calculated that “mitochondrial Eve”–the woman whose mtDNA was ancestral to that in all living people–lived 100,000 to 200,000 years ago in Africa. Using the new clock, she would be a mere 6000 years old.”
(Gibbons, Ann. “Calibrating the Mitochondrial Clock.” Science 279.5347, January 2, 1998. p 28–29.)

This is again consistent with Scripture but contrary to evolutionary predictions. Other scientists have disputed these results arguing for ages ranging from 99,000 to 200,000 years ago for mitochondrial Eve.

Scientists may settle on different ages for mitochondrial Eve, depending on the evolution model used and many assumptions. But regardless of the age, it is clear that all human evidence found by scientists points to descent from a single woman.

According to Genesis this first woman is Eve, the wife of Adam. According to Biblical chronology and some scientific research, Eve lived about 6,000 years ago.

Questions to Ponder
  1. Why does scientific evidence for a single 6,000-year-old female ancestor get so little publicity?
  2. Do you think evolutionists are troubled by inconsistencies such as mitochondrial DNA?
  3. Share your thoughts on these questions in the comments below. It could encourage or help another reader.

Soli Deo Gloria.

This is the 19th article in a weekly series 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

Read the sequels:
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?

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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 March 9, 2016 A.D.

Then the Lord God said, “It is not good for the man to be alone; I will make him a helper suitable for him.” Out of the ground the Lord God formed every beast of the field and every bird of the sky, and brought them to the man to see what he would call them; and whatever the man called a living creature, that was its name. And the man gave names to all the cattle, and to the birds of the sky, and to every beast of the field, but for Adam there was not found a helper suitable for him. So the LORD God caused a deep sleep to fall upon the man, and he slept; then He took one of his ribs, and closed up the flesh at that place. And the LORD God fashioned into a woman the rib which He had taken from the man, and brought her to the man. And the man said, “This is now bone of my bones, and flesh of my flesh; she shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of Man.” For this cause a man shall leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave to his wife; and they shall become one flesh….Now the man called his wife’s name Eve, because she was the mother of all the living. (Genesis 2:18-24; 3:20 NASB)

Posted by: BibleScienceGuy | March 2, 2016

What If the Bible Is True?

(5 Minute Read)
The Battle is not over evidence but over the interpretation of evidence.

The battle is not over evidence.
The battle is over the interpretation of evidence.
Worldviews drive interpretations. Thus conflicts
need to be resolved at the worldview level.

Today’s blog article features a guest essay by Rick Walton, a clear-thinking Colorado friend of 30 years.

The impetus for Rick’s essay was a guest column in The Gazette of Colorado Springs on February 11: Life from an Atheist’s Perspective.

Larimore Nicholl, Emeritus Professor of Philosophy at Colorado State University, Pueblo, authored the column.

Early in his column Nicholl challenges the Christian position:

“Even children have difficulty believing the wild and outlandish stories contained in the ancient holy books like the Bible … How can they [people] believe that the cosmos was created by a supernatural, anthropological God who swooped down from the sky, picked up some dirt, and magically made the first human? Then took a rib out of him and made the first woman? How can even children believe that a man lived for a while in the stomach of a large fish, then came out alive? Or that two of every living thing could fit into a ship of any size at all?”

Possibly Nicholl overlooked that Jesus believed what the Old Testament teaches about these things, and very few would dispute His philosophical expertise. Jesus refers to Creation, Adam and Eve, Jonah and the great fish, and Noah, among other OT people and events. (See for example Mark 10:6-9; Matthew 12:38-41; Luke 17:26-27 and Did Jesus Believe in Adam?)

Nicholl says Christians “Cling to their own Bible and God as absolute, never justifying why they pick one holy book or one god over the others.” Nicholl goes on to attempt to justify his position as an atheist. His arguments are weak and poorly grounded — far less than what I would expect from a university philosophy professor. It made me wonder how he taught students to analyze and evaluate philosophical arguments.

My friend Rick Walton responded to Nicholl’s column with his What If? essay in which he justifies the Christian position and challenges Nicholl to rethink his own position. Rick is a graduate of the US Air Force Academy, an Air Force Major (ret’d), and a retired American Airlines captain. He also has a Master’s degree in Apologetics from Biola University.

Rick submitted his answer to Nicholl’s column to The Gazette. But as of press time for this blog it has not been published. I hope the editor is someone with some depth who can recognize the value of a thoughtful, logical, and irenic reply to Nicholl’s column, especially since Nicholl presents a viewpoint contrary to what a large segment of the population believes about essential matters.

Here is Rick’s essay answering Professor Nicholl.

What If?
By Rick Walton
Feb 29, 2016

 
I must confess that my initial reaction to Professor Nicholl’s column, “Life from an Atheist’s Perspective,” was irritation at his shallow and trite treatment of such momentous issues. Following that was only sadness for him. “Emeritus” – nearly at the end of his career and life and yet still blind and indifferent. Have science and incredulity “eclipsed” belief in God? I think not.

I believe that God, by a process not yet clear to any of us, created the universe and everything in it. Certainly that is the biblical claim but what of science? Current cosmogony – the Standard Model (Big Bang) – holds that our universe – space, matter, and time – came into existence from nothing at a finite time in the past. As one Christian apologist has noted, “A Big Bang needs a Big Banger.” Whatever produced space, matter, and time would necessarily be spaceless, immaterial, and timeless. As the source of the universe it would most likely be outside it, outside the natural world – Super-natural. It is doubtful to me that “the natural forces of astrophysics” could produce the cosmos because there was nothing upon which the forces could act prior to the Big Bang. Either our universe came from something or it came from nothing. I think the universe came from Something; I would presume the Professor would think it came from nothing. Who has the more difficult to believe story?

Similarly, the universe seems to be strangely fine-tuned to produce or allow for stars, planets, and life. Scientists have identified at least several dozen physical constants that had to be “just so” or nothing significant would exist. Some materialists deny fine-tuning (anti-science), or resort to multiverse theories (with no evidence), or claim that we are “just lucky” (incomprehensibly improbable), or like Hume claim that it must be so or we wouldn’t be having this conversation (unjustifiably incurious). I think the Creator wisely prepared the universe for life; what is the materialist’s explanation of fine-tuning?

Life – what about that? The professor claims that we were made by the natural forces of genetics. The genetic code of even the simplest creature is a vast storehouse of information. What is its source? Modern information science holds that information comes only from intelligence. Evolutionary biology, disregarding this science, claims that the genetic code came about by an unguided process. Where should my incredulity fall, upon the science-denying claims of the evolutionists, or an intelligent Source? Philosopher Alvin Plantinga has, persuasively to me, argued that presuming naturalism and evolution to be true leads one to the inability to rationally believe anything. Brains evolved for survival and reproduction may not be any good at all in evaluating propositional truth so that one is not justified believing anything, including naturalism or evolution. Here again, who is it who is following myth?

Mid-way through his essay the professor quotes philosopher Bertrand Russell and his faith-destroying question, “Who created God?” Really? By definition God, if He exists, is an uncreated being – that’s the “God job description.” Russell’s question is nearly a category error, along the lines of “How much does the color blue weigh?” Let’s rephrase Russell’s question: “Who created the being who is by definition, uncreated?” Nonsense, even in the hands of experienced philosophers, is still nonsense.

Is morality derived merely from practical necessity as the professor claims? His offered ideas of Utilitarianism, Rationalism, etc., prompt the question, “Sez who?” We humans seem to feel a sense of moral obligation, why? Who made these rules and why should I be obligated to follow them? When I break a moral principle and feel guilty afterward, to whom am I accountable? A divine Law-giver explains my sentiments very well; all the God-denying alternatives only lead one to subjective morality with which I may or may not feel obliged to comply. Whose explanation satisfies?

Nonsense, even in the hands of experienced
philosophers, is still nonsense.

What if? What if the biblical story was true? What would that look like from overhead? It would begin with a trinitarian God existing timelessly and in perfect communion and love. Out of that happiness arose a desire to create beings with whom the love could be shared. For those creatures to exercise and experience that love, they would necessarily have to be free. Granting freedom involves risk. What if the Creator knew in advance that his free creatures would rebel and spurn his love? What if he lovingly created anyway? Following the rebellion the Creator initiated his rescue plan. The biblical record, in just its third chapter, reveals God immediately, yet somewhat cryptically, disclosing the solution He would bring about. The “seed of the woman” would crush the head of the serpent. We typically think of, and the biblical writers most assuredly wrote of, “seed” in terms of the man. Here we have one born only of a woman, a virgin birth. From the onset of man’s worst problem, God began to prepare for someone very special to come and solve it. This prediction was repeated again nearly 800 years before Jesus when Isaiah wrote that a virgin would bear a son and he would be called Immanuel, which means “God with us.” Many other predictions and preparations followed so that the man Jesus came in a particular way at a particular time to a very particular setting. His coming is referred to as the Incarnation, God taking flesh.

Though he seemed to his hearers just a man, Jesus made the outrageous claim that He was also God. He asserted that each person’s eternal destiny depended on what he or she believed about him. And critically, he asserted that God would vindicate his claims by raising him from the dead. For this apparent blasphemy of claiming to be God, the Jewish leaders got Jesus crucified by the Romans. Strong historical evidence indicates that Jesus’ resurrection from the dead is exactly what followed. The revelation of Jesus as God, confirmed by his resurrection, rocked his disciples and the world. Things have not been the same since.

Jesus is the unique individual of history. He had to be a human to bear the penalty humans deserved. But he also had to be God for it to contingently (one must believe) apply to all humans. [Jesus also had to be God for it to apply to all humans who choose to believe.] He had to live a sinless life or his death would have only paid for his own sin. By both pedigree (God and man) and performance (perfect life, death, and resurrection), Jesus did what no other could do. He solved our sin problem so that we could have peace with God. This is the gospel, the good news. What if this story is actually true? I accept this story primarily because it is the best explanation of reality I have found.

Will this satisfy the professor as justification for my choosing this particular God and holy book over the alternatives? I hope so and I hope he will rethink his own views. The stakes are high. As 17th century philosopher and scientist Blaise Pascal observed, “I should be much more afraid of being mistaken and then finding out that Christianity is true than of being mistaken in believing it to be true.”

Comments

Paragraph Five in Rick’s essay is a masterful answer to the “Who created God?” question — clear, down-to-earth, and understandable by anyone. And I loved the paragraph’s concluding sentence, which applies quite well to much of Nicholl’s article:
Nonsense, even in the hands of experienced philosophers, is still nonsense.

Many people revere Bertrand Russell as a philosopher. But his question “Who created God?” shows that his thinking skills were handcuffed by his worldview. And I don’t believe Russell stopped believing in God when he heard that question, as Nicholl reports him saying. Russell had already refused to believe. That question was just a catchy, convenient excuse for him.

And it’s a catchy, convenient excuse for many today. It’s sad that even professional philosphers cannot think past that question and see that it’s vacuous.

I very much liked Rick’s penetrating questions scattered throughout the essay. Most paragraphs even ended with a question designed to stimulate thought.

The Gazette published a good response to Nicholl’s column on February 14 by Jerry Fogltance, a retired Air Force chaplain and lieutenant colonel. Here is Col. Fogltance’s reply to Prof. Nicholl: Disputing the Claims of Atheism.

What If the Bible Is True?

C. S. Lewis spoke to the issue of whether one’s belief is true:

“But supposing one believed and was wrong after all? Why, then you would have paid the universe a compliment it doesn’t deserve. Your error would even so be more interesting and important than the reality. And yet how could that be? How could an idiotic universe have produced creatures whose mere dreams are so much stronger, better, subtler than itself?”
(C. S. Lewis letter to Sheldon Vanauken (23 Dec 1950), quoted in A Severe Mercy, 1989, p.92).

If the Bible is not true, then it does not matter what one believes. Whether one is an atheist or Christian is irrelevant.

If the Bible is true, then it matters a great deal what one believes. Atheists end up in Hell and Christians in Heaven. That’s an enormous difference.

Choose wisely!

Questions to Ponder
  1. What if the Bible is true, but you don’t believe it? What are the consequences for you?
  2. What if the Bible is false, but you believe it to be true? What are the consequences for you?
  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 March 2, 2016 A.D.

“Ah Lord GOD! Behold, Thou hast made the heavens and the earth by Thy great power and by Thine outstretched arm! Nothing is too difficult for Thee.” (Jeremiah 32:17)

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