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Creationists’ Successes and Challenges

In the last 20 years creation scientists have overturned 200 years of secular efforts to explain God away. They took Lyell’s uniformitarianism to the cleaners with catastrophism, proving that present geological processes do not explain those of the past. They also show that life’s kinds are vastly complex and purposefully designed, not the result of random evolutionary processes. The creative work of God explains the existence of life. His justice explains the large-scale geological changes of Noah’s Flood. Creation occurred about 8000 years ago and the Flood followed about 2000 years later. The Bible is true. Believers owe a huge debt of gratitude to those who have engaged in this research and reported these findings.

Now God’s people must address a third issue that derails modern man’s search for God. This new topic is human history which until recently was not a critical subject. Now it is the new torpedo to sink the Bible due to the interpretation that Shem’s genealogy dates the Flood around 2500 B.C. when advanced societies were thriving.

Something is wrong. It isn’t archaeology. Neither is it the Bible -- only a misinterpretation of the Bible. Traditionally Bible teachers have added the numbers in Shem’s genealogy of Genesis 11 to determine the date of the Flood. Archbishop James Ussher used this method and concluded the Flood occurred in 2348 B.C. Various corrections to his numbers push the Flood back to around 2500 B.C. But the true date must be earlier, by about 1500 years.

When Scripture is correctly interpreted, it does point to an earlier date, but seeing this takes careful study. On the other hand, a single chapter, Genesis chapter one, spells out in clear speech that God created life and the entire universe in six days. In the same way Noah’s Flood is clearly spelled out in Genesis chapters six through eight. Other portions of Scripture repeat and reaffirm what those passages say.

In contrast with creation and the Flood, Scripture does not summarize human history in a single chapter or even a few. It must be pieced together from hundreds of OT verses and passages. These references come in three categories—uses of kinship terms, genealogies that skip names and specific reports bearing on the history of mankind.

Use of kinship terms. The only way to know how to take such terms as father and son in Scripture is by how Scripture itself uses them. Surprisingly, Scripture uses them in two ways, both the familiar way of a father and his immediate son and in broader senses. For instance, Solomon was an immediate son of David (2 Samuel 12:24). But the very first verse of the New Testament says “Jesus Christ, the son of David.” Clearly Matthew 1:1 uses the term “son” in a wider sense than Solomon being the son of David. How many verses use kinship terms this way? They are so numerous it boggles the mind.

Genealogies that skip names. The above observation leads to this second one. Occasionally genealogies omit names. Where this happens a kinship term is used in a broad sense. A careful look at the purpose of genealogies reveals that most of them have to do with building a nation, not determining who would be the next king or high priest. God promised to make a nation with Abraham’s seed. Identity with Abraham in building that nation then became the primary purpose for genealogical lists.

Because high priests directed the people to God, it was essential to show they related to Abraham. God selected Aaron as the first high priest and declared that all future priests must descend from him. Four times Scripture gives Aaron’s line beginning with Abraham’s great grandson Levi. Each time it is the same: Levi-Kohath-Amram-Aaron. The first three are immediate father-son relationships. But Aaron was born 300 years after Amram’s birth and Amram only lived 137 years, so in that case, Scripture uses the father-son relationship in a broad sense. This list skips 7-11 names between Amram and Aaron. Beyond question, in at least this one instance, a genealogical list omits names.

So far, this author has found 17 genealogies that appear to skip names. These lists can be described as abbreviated or condensed genealogies. David’s list is especially telling. It first appears in Ruth 4:18-22 and follows the pattern of Aaron’s list—three names, then a gap. But because it covers so many years, three more consecutive names are given before a second gap. It concludes with David after a third set of three consecutive names. About 20 names are omitted from that record which is copied in both Matthew and Luke.

While Aaron’s and David’s lists make no difference to dating human history, they include a gap or gaps which Shem’s list also does. Like Aaron’s and David’s lists, Shem’s list begins with three consecutive father-son names (Arpachshad-Shelah-Eber) then skips a whopping 35-55 names and resumes with Peleg. This gap makes a huge difference in dating for it places the Flood nearer 4000 B.C. than 2500 B.C. and supplies ample time for the startup of advanced societies in Mesopotamia and Egypt after the Flood.

Specific reports bearing on human history. By oversimplifying Scripture, some have concluded that the Flood ended most primary earth movements. This forces nearly all of them into the year of the Flood, overlooks later calamities reported in Scripture, and squeezes the Ice Age into the brief time between 2500 B.C. and Abraham. A 4000 B.C. Flood date allows adequate time for post-Flood earth movements and the Ice Age.

A most dramatic earth movement years after the Flood comes with abundant details. The entire nineteenth chapter of Genesis relates how Lot and family fled the opening stages of an earth movement (either the creating or deepening of the Jordan Rift Valley) that turned the Jordan valley paradise into a wasteland and created the Dead Sea.

Job 9:5-6 speaks of God removing mountains, overturning them and shaking the earth out of its place so its pillars tremble. Those were major earth movements long after the Flood. Speakers in the Book of Job made constant reference to super hurricanes (produced by the Ice Age). A model of one such storm unleashed up to 300 inches of rain in 18 days and measured 3000 miles in diameter. As a result, permanent vegetation grew in Arabia and the Sahara. Today, without such rainfall, they are desert.

One dilemma for the view that all major earth movements occurred during the Flood is how the Ark occupants could descend a 16,000-foot mountain. Scripture states the Ark landed on the mountains of Ararat. Greater Ararat is the highest mountain in that range now. If it reached this height by the end of the Flood, it would have been perilous to descend to the plains far below. Further, the party would have needed repeated trips back up to retrieve all that the Ark carried to restart life. It seems more reasonable to search for clues that some or even many major earth movements happened after the Flood—moving continents and raising mountains through catastrophic processes --but with decreasing energy over the next several thousand years until they reached near stasis.

Again, those who have undone uniformitarianism and evolution are to be commended. Now, OT Bible scholars need to assist them by developing a more accurate biblical history of mankind. In doing so each side will help the other in showing the soundness of Scripture.

The above 1250 words summarize the central idea of The Hidden Beauty of Hebrew Genealogies—Harmonizing Old Testament Words and Numbers, which can be downloaded for free as a PDF file at Hebrewgenealogies.com.

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Dave and Debbie Klein
Dave and Debbie Klein
10 de ago. de 2022

That was really helpful.😊


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