Category The First Six Days

Did Ancient Jews Believe in Evolution or in the Gap Theory?

Accordingly Moses says, That in just six days the world, and all that is therein, was made.  (Josephus Antiquities Book 1, Chapter 1)

Just how did ancient Bible commentators understood those six days to mean when they opened up to Genesis 1 and 2.  Did they see extremely long indefinite periods of time? Did they see a gap between Genesis 1:1 and 1:2? Did they see evolution in any form?  Or did they see regular, twenty-four-hour days?   The fact is that all of the ancient Jewish/Hebrew interpreters thought that the Bible and Genesis 1 in particular should be interpreted as six literal days. They believed the age of the earth to be less than six thousand years old.

The Use of Ancient Interpreters

The point of view of ancient interpreters and commentators is very relevant to us because we know that they were in no way influenced by the teachings of Darwinian evolution, which requires billions of years to occur.  The ancient perspective has already been exploited by those seeking to establish that Scripture actually teaches that the earth and the universe are incredibly old.  Perhaps the most prominent of the Progressive Creation perspective is Dr. Hugh Ross.  While we do not wish to question his sincerity nor his belief in the God of the Bible, his interpretation of these ancient commentators is in need of serious review.  Ross states in his book The Fingerprint of God:

Many of the early Church Fathers and other biblical scholars interpret the creation days of Genesis 1 as long periods of time. The list includes the Jewish historian Josephus (1st century); Irenaeus, bishop of Lyons, apologist and martyr (2nd century); Origen, who rebutted heathen attacks on Christian doctrine (3rd century); Basil (4th century); Augustine (5th century); and, later, Aquinas (13th century), to name a few. The significance of this list lies not only in the prominence of these individuals as biblical scholars, defenders of the faith, and pillars of the early church (except Josephus), but also in that their scriptural views cannot be said to have been shaped to accommodate secular opinion. Astronomical, paleontological, and geological evidences for the antiquity of the universe, of the earth, and of life did not come forth until the nineteenth century.  (Ross 1991: 141)

Ross’s list of ancient biblical scholars is at first impressive.  But when we begin to study his sources in depth, we find that, at the very least, Ross has not been diligent in his investigation.  Reality is simply not as he states it.  The claim that many of these ancient interpreters believed the creation days to be longer than 24 hours is later parroted by an advocate of Progressive Creation who states:

Dr. Hugh Ross documents in detail what first century Jewish scholars and the early Christian Church Fathers said regarding their interpretation of creation chronology (see Chapter 2, pages 16-24). Many early Church Fathers expressed no opinion on the subject of creation days, since it is a peripheral issue in Christianity. However, Jewish scholars who discussed creation chronology include Philo and Josephus, while Christian fathers include Justin Martyr, Irenaeus, Hippolytus (through writings of Ambrose), Clement, Origen, Lactantius, Victorinus, Methodius, Augustine, Eusebius, Basil, and Ambrose. Among this group, all but one believed that the creation days were longer than 24 hours. The evidence presented in Creation and Time is both overwhelming and well documented (all references are given). (Deem 2006a)

Again, we are not questioning whether Dr. Ross and others of the Progressive Creation position are sincere and hold the God of the Bible in high esteem.  It is their scholarship that is in question.  The truth is the ancient Jewish commentators believed the heavens and earth were created in six, literal days.

Targumim

A very important source to consider when addressing the issue of how ancient interpreters understood the Bible are the Targumim.  Targumim (Targum is singular) are the Aramaic translations of the Old Testament Scriptures.  They were for the most part written both in and outside of Israel a few centuries after the time of Jesus.  They were written either for those Jews who had lost Hebrew as their mother tongue because of living outside of Israel for so long or for those living in Israel after the time of the Second Jewish Revolt (135 AD) when Hebrew truly started to die out.[1]  Those Jews were no longer comfortable reading the Scriptures solely in Hebrew, but needed the help of a translation as they read along in the original Hebrew.  However, the Targumim were much more than merely word for word translations.  They were running commentaries on the Scriptures filled with typical Jewish interpretations.  The Hebrew text of the Bible was always considered sacred by the Jews, and therefore, it was to be approached with great care.  The text was never to be touched.  Because the Targumim were in Aramaic and not Hebrew, there was no risk that the commentaries might be mistaken for the actual words of the Bible itself.

 

Targum Onkelos

Targum Onkelos, translates Genesis 1:1 very literally: “In the first times the Lord created the heavens and the earth.  And the earth was waste and empty, and darkness was upon the face of the abyss.”  In fact, the entire chapter of Targum Onkelos of Genesis 1 shows no indication whatsoever that the translator/commentator was persuaded that the six days of Genesis were to be taken in any way but literally.  Conversely, the translator actually places a comment in chapter 3 regarding the curse put on the serpent and the promised savior.

 

And I will put enmity between thee and between the woman, and between thy son and her son.  He will remember thee, what thou didst to him (at) from the beginning, and thou shalt be observant unto him at the end. (Emphasis mine)

 

Notice that here the targumist defines when the time of this occurred – “from the beginning.”  Although this doesn’t prove that the six days in Genesis were truly literal, it does demonstrate that an ancient interpreter understood them as being literal since the time of the fall happened in the beginning, not some millions or billions of years after the initial act of creation.

 

Targumim Jonathan

Targum Jonathan[2] in translating Genesis 2:3 (which is really the end of chapter 1 and is an unfortunate and mistaken chapter break) adds a reason which goes beyond the original text by adding the words “the days of the week.”

 

And the creatures of the heavens and earth, and all the hosts of them, were completed. And the Lord had finished by the Seventh Day the work which He had wrought, […] And the Lord blessed the Seventh Day more than all the days of the week, and sanctified it, because in it He rested from all His works which the Lord had created and had willed to make. (Emphasis mine)

 

The words “the days of the week” demonstrate that the Targumist also understood the first through sixth days in Genesis 1 to be

Get all facts in the book.

Get all facts in the book.

“the days of the week” and the seventh to be the final day of that week.  What did he have in mind when he added that comment that is not found in the Hebrew Scriptures?  Did his belief that the seventh was blessed more than all the other days of the week actually mean that the last age or era of time was better than the rest?  Or did he think that days of the week meant Sunday, Monday, Tuesday, etc. (or as it would be in Hebrew First Day, Second Day, Third Day etc.)?  If we consider what God declared to Moses via the Targumim as we did in the Hebrew Bible, then the conclusion of six, literal days becomes very difficult to circumvent.

 

For in six days the Lord created the heavens, and the earth, and the sea, and whatever is therein, and rested on the seventh day: therefore the Lord hath blessed the day of Shabbatha and sanctified it. (Targum Jonathan, Exodus 20:11)

This is again reiterated in the same Targum in Exodus 31:15 and 17:

 

Six days ye shall do work; but the seventh day is Sabbath, the holy Sabbath before the Lord […] For in six days the Lord created and perfected the heavens and the earth; and in the seventh day He rested and refreshed.  (Emphasis mine)

 

The Targum of Onkelos confirms again that the commonly accepted time frame for the creation of the heavens and the earth was but a mere six, literal days.  There is no intimation that those days somehow really meant long, indefinite ages of perhaps billions of years.

 

For in six days the Lord made the heavens and the earth, the seas and all that is in them, and rested on the seventh day; wherefore the Lord blessed the day of Shabbatha, and sanctified it. (Targum Onkelos, Exodus 20:11 emphasis mine)

 

Six days shalt thou do work, and the seventh day is Sabbath, the Holy Sabbath before the Lord […] for in six days the Lord made the heavens and the earth; and in the seventh day rested and was refreshed.  (Targum Onkelos Exodus 31: 15, 17 emphasis mine)

 

These passages are some of the clearest passages in the Bible regarding the time God took to create everything and yet there isn’t even a minor hint that those time frames mean anything other than what we can take at face value.  Although the Targumim are not listed among the ancient Jewish writers cited by Dr. Ross and others, they are certainly an important source, and one of the primary sources when wanting to know about common Jewish thought just before and after the time of Christ.

To be continued…

 To read the complete work, get The First Six Days by Douglas Hamp

[1] For a detailed explanation of the language of Israel in the first century, see Hamp (2005) Discovering the Language of Jesus Calvary Publishing, Santa Ana.

[2] Also known as Pseudo Jonathan.

 

The Origin of the Universe: Created or Evolved?

The question of the origin of the universe is one that most of us will contemplate some time in life, for in it are contained the other big questions in life: Where did this world, solar system, galaxy and universe come from?  How did we all end up here on this planet called earth?  Once we understand our origins, we will also yearn to know who we are.  Do we have a purpose on this planet?  Or is our existence just random and without meaning and once we die, is that the end or is there life after death?  There are essentially two answers, generally speaking: one answer posits that we, all living beings and the entire universe, are the results of many fortuitous God created the universechance[i] occurrences.  Going back far enough, we arrive at a time or point or singularity, as it were, when all that is was contained in a dot[ii], no bigger than one on this page, which then exploded without any outside influence.  And from that explosion were formed stars, galaxies, planets, and even space itself.  Then life spontaneously generated and evolved over billions of years until finally you and I came along.[iii]

The Bible clearly states that God created all that is by design and intent and that the history of that creation can be found in the pages of His revelation to us, especially in the first two chapters of the book of Genesis.  Regrettably, many churches and pastors have completely abdicated their responsibility to teach the Bible accurately and have subscribed to the evolutionary view and have made the Bible read like a myth as evidenced in the Clergy Letter Project.

Michael Zimmerman, Founder of Clergy Letter Project

Many of the beloved stories found in the Bible – the Creation, Adam and Eve, Noah and the ark – convey timeless truths about God, human beings, and the proper relationship between Creator and creation […] Religious truth is of a different order from scientific truth. Its purpose is not to convey scientific information but to transform hearts.[iv]

This excerpt, from the Clergy Letter Project, encapsulates the sentiment of many people when it comes to the areas of the Bible that touch upon areas of science.  If natural (atheistic) science claims something, then the Bible must necessarily take a back seat to it.  The faulty reasoning of the above statement needs to be exposed for the lie that it is.  We see from internal evidence of the Bible itself, from external evidence – what others thought about it – and also from some evidence that contradicts the evolutionary paradigm, that the biblical creation account is accurate and true.  It is not just a beloved story that teaches us religious truth but is true in all that it says.

The question of our study is essentially: did God create in a literal six days (plus the day He rested) as a simple reading of Genesis would suggest, or did God in fact work through the process of evolution over a period of some fifteen billion years?  This split in understanding has unfortunately turned into a debate where there are very sincere people on both sides of the issue.  I have a friend who believes that God worked through the process of evolution and thus, rather than believing that each of the days described in Genesis refers to a literal day of 24-hours, or one revolution of the earth about its axis, he is convinced that those were long periods of time during which the slow process of evolution was being directed by God.  He and I both love God

Evolution weekend

and believe that the Bible is God’s revelation to mankind even though we diametrically disagree on this point.

The question of how long God took to create all that exists undoubtedly stands at the heart of the creationism debate and hence the issue at hand is whether the biblical creation took place over a period of approximately 15 billion years or just six days.  Since there are people who love God on both sides of this issue, we need not judge their devotion to God, but simply examine the Bible and supporting texts to come to the best possible understanding of just how long it took God to create all that is.  Of course the question arises: couldn’t God have created the universe by way of evolution?  Couldn’t He have used the slow physical changes as described in evolution to finally get to us and the world as we know it?  Obviously, the answer is yes!  God could have, but the ultimate question before us is this: did He?  Does the Bible, actually teach that He created over billions of years?  We seek no other matter: did God, as recorded in the Bible, create all that exists in six literal days thousands of years ago? Or did God create over six day-ages in which billions of years passed?

There is a plethora of excellent books and articles written on the subject of the science of the Bible’s creation account.  Many publications in the fields of physics, geology, biology, chemistry, mathematics and even law have superbly demonstrated that the Bible’s cosmology is not only plausible, but is even a better model of origins than evolution from a strictly scientific point of view.  My

The First Six Days

The First Six Days

goal is not to prove the Bible right and evolution wrong from a scientific point of view since I am not a scientist. I encourage the reader to examine the recommended resources and bibliography for a more thorough investigation of the scientific data.  I have focused my investigation primarily on examining supporting biblical texts to observe what the original languages and grammar yield as well as what ancient Jewish and Christian interpreters believed the Bible to say regarding how long those six days were.  The truth is that God created in six, literal days only several thousand years ago, and therefore we see three criteria fulfilled:

  1. According to the Bible, the creation days were normal and literal days
  2. The overwhelming majority of ancient Jewish and Christian interpreters believed the days were literal and hence thought that the earth was young
  3. Archaeological confirmation of biblical account

If we are going to claim that the Bible is, in fact, God’s revelation to mankind, then we must be open to letting it guide us to certain conclusions whether those agree with the evolutionary model or not.

 


[i] Dr. Stan Sholar notes, “there are some hybrid concepts of this dichotomy here where God created things as a big bang but it evolved within the 6 day framework and satisfied the literal words in the Bible more or less.  This sort of manipulation of time and physics is a necessary part of the current big bang hypothesis also as they have had to impose an expansionary period where things happened faster than the speed of light, leading either to breaking Einstein’s hypothesis, or else there was a growth of space which made the time seem to be superluminal when it actually was not.  There are always those who say that big bang supports Genesis as a creation from nothing, since even the original dot could have been created.” (Dr Sholar, personal communication, September 21, 2006)

[ii] Some would even suggest that the dot was in fact nothing – and that nothing exploded into something.

[iii] In the twentieth century, the first version of the ‘big bang’ as the explosion of a ‘primeval atom’ was put forward by Abbé Georges-Henri Lemaître in 1931. Lemaître postulated that the universe originated as a single particle of vast energy but with near-zero radius. (Grigg 1993)

[iv] The Clergy Letter Project 2004

 

Do We Need to Interpret the Creation Account Literally?

Does it really matter what one believes about God’s creation?  Whether we believe in a literal view of Genesis or that God used evolution; who really cares?  There are many reasons that deem this question to be extremely important.

God’s Word is Above His Name

First of all, the Psalmist declares that “I will worship toward Your holy temple, and praise Your name for Your loving kindness and Your truth; For You have magnified Your word above all Your name” (Psalm 138:2 emphasis mine).  God’s has magnified His word, (the Bible [i]) above His name.  In Isaiah 40:8 we read, “The grass withers, the flower fades, but the word of our God stands Interpret God's Word Literallyforever.” Thus, God is very concerned about the reputation of His word.  And if the Bible is from God, then, logically, it should be accurate and faithful in all that it says.  Consequently, we read that “Every word of God is pure; He is a shield to those who put their trust in Him.  Do not add to His words, lest He rebuke you, and you be found a liar” (Proverbs 30:5, 6).  We want to neither add to nor subtract from His words since no true follower of God wants to be found a liar by God.  It follows then that six, literal days or fifteen billion years of creation are two radically different claims.  These are so dissimilar to one another that it certainly could be asserted as adding to or subtracting from His words depending which is in fact correct.

Genesis is Foundational

Secondly, Genesis chapters 1-11 are the foundation of our worldview.  Where we start often determines where we end up.  If we interpret those six days to mean simply six days, then we have an easy path for the remainder of the Bible – what it says is what it means.  However, if we start down the path that the Scriptures do not say what they actually mean – that there is a buried allegorical meaning that must be mined out of them to truly get to the real meaning, then we will find ourselves not really ever absolutely sure what the Bible means.  Since looking for the underlying meaning so much depends on the cleverness of the interpreter rather than on the evidence of archeology, history, biblical grammar, philology and comparative linguistics, the interpretation becomes very Genesis is Foundationalsubjective and fuzzy.  If the Bible cannot be trusted regarding our origin, how can we trust it regarding our destiny?  If six days really means something else, then how do we know that Jesus’ statement “no one comes to the Father, but by Me” (John 14:6) doesn’t also mean something else?  Or how do we know that “he who believes in Me, though he may die, shall live” (John 11:25) doesn’t mean something different?  If Genesis, the foundation of our origin, where God created man and man disobeyed God and fell, is not accurate or trustworthy, then how do we know that anything else in Scripture truly is?  How then do we know that the promises of Heaven are true?

The Origin of Marriage

Consider some of the foundational teachings that originate in those first 11 chapters of Genesis.  The first description of marriage is found in Genesis 2:24, “Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and they shall become one flesh.”  If Adam and Eve were not really our first

parents and God didn’t really form them as stated in Genesis, then do we really become one flesh?  We are left without a clear precedent for marriage.  Jesus certainly invoked the first marriage account as a defense against those trying to justify divorce.  “And Jesus answered and said to them, ‘…Because of the hardness of your heart He wrote you this precept.  But from the beginning of the creation, God made them male and female.’” (Mark 10:5-8).  He then added, “so then they are no longer two, but one flesh.”  The fact that Jesus said “from the beginning…” proves (if we take Him literally) that He clearly claimed Adam and Eve to have been created in the

beginning not billions of years later as predicated by evolution.

The Origin of Sin and Death

Genesis chapter three offers us an insider’s view into how sin, death, and suffering came into the world as a result of the disobedience of Adam and Eve (whom Jesus stated were created in the beginning) to God’s commandment.  If we spiritualize this chapter of the Bible, then what is the historical foundation of our sin-filled world?  How do we account for death if Adam and Eve were merely allegorical or symbolic figures who never actually walked this earth and disobeyed their Maker?  However, if we use the simple method of literal interpretation, then understanding becomes very easy.  Understanding Genesis chapter three literally seems to be what Paul did in Origin of Death Found in GenesisRomans:

Therefore, just as through one man sin entered the world, and death through sin, and thus death spread to all men, because all sinned…nevertheless death reigned from Adam to Moses, even over those who had not sinned according to the likeness of the transgression of Adam, who is a type of Him who was to come.  (Romans 5:12-14)

Paul states that Adam sinned and so through him, one man, sin spread to all.  He also mentions that Adam is a type of Him who was to come.  By saying that Adam is a type in no way is he suggesting that Adam was not a real person; rather Adam was the first of a kind, that is (sinful) humanity, and so too Jesus was the first of a kind (humanity holy and without sin).  In verse 17 Paul says, “For if by the one man’s offense death reigned through the one, much more those who receive abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness will reign in life through the One, Jesus Christ.”  Because Paul contrasts Adam with Jesus and since he unquestionably believed Jesus to be a real, historical person, then we can safely conclude that Paul also believed Adam to be a real, historical person.

The Promise of the Redeemer

Jesus the Redeemer of the WorldThe importance of the book of Genesis as being a trustworthy and true account of historical and actual events is hopefully evident.  Not only does it contain the true history of man’s fall, but also the promise of the coming redeemer.  In Genesis 3:15 God promised that someday, one of Eve’s offspring would come and make right and annul the effects of their disobedience.  “And I will put enmity between you [the Serpent] and the woman, and between your seed and her Seed; He shall bruise your head, and you shall bruise His heel.”  Ancient Jewish interpretation [ii] of this verse likewise understands the verse to be a promise of the coming Messiah and His remedy for man.  To dismiss the creation and fall of man as figurative and not literal is to undermine the very heart of the Bible’s message of the coming redeemer.

Taking the Genesis creation account literally is extremely important and the evolutionists know it which is why the American Atheist Magazine spells it out in case there was any doubt.

“Christianity has fought, still fights, and will continue to fight science to the desperate end over evolution, because evolution destroys utterly and finally the very reason Jesus’ earthly life was supposedly made necessary. Destroy Adam and Eve and the original sin, and in the rubble you will find the sorry remains of the Son of God. If Jesus was not the redeemer who died for our sins, and this is what evolution means, then Christianity is nothing.” [iii]


[i] I believe the Bible is a faithful and reliable historical document inspired by God.  There are numerous excellent books and websites on the subject, which demonstrate the accuracy of the Bible.  Visit  christiananswers.net/ for general questions and answersingenesis.com for answers to many Bible and science questions.

[ii] “And I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between the seed of thy son, and the seed of her sons…Nevertheless for them there shall be a medicine, but for thee there will be no medicine; and they shall make a remedy for the heel in the days of the King Meshiha. [Messiah]” (Targum Jonathan, Genesis 3:15)

[iii] – R. Bozarth 1979: 30, “The Meaning of Evolution” American Atheist Magazine, (emphasis mine)

Could God Really Create in Just Six Days? (Part 2 of 3: Geological Evidence)

The Rocks Speak

Radiometric Dating

Radiometric Dating

The other seemingly unsolvable enigma is that of radiometric dating of rocks yielding ages billions of years old. According to the popular definition of Wikipedia, “radiometric dating is a technique used to date materials based on a knowledge of the decay rates of naturally occurring isotopes, and the current abundances” (Wikipedia Radiometric Dating 2006). Since these decay rates occur extremely slowly, it is believed that the material being dated is of great antiquity. There are inherent problems involved with this method, thus not making it a failsafe method of dating rocks.[1] The work on Polonium radiohalos by Dr. Gentry and the work on Zircon crystals by the RATE team strongly challenge the accepted assumptions involved with radiometric dating. In fact, their independent research has yielded some “rock solid” evidence that the earth is not billions of years old but only several thousand.

Order The First Six Days Here

Polonium Radiohalos

Beginning in 1987, nuclear physicist Dr. Robert Gentry began examining discolorations in minerals. He has since examined over 100,000 of these “radiohalos” found in rocks making his work the foundation of polonium halo research. He describes these “radiohalos:” “Etched within earth’s foundation rocks (the granites) are beautiful microspheres of coloration, halos, produced by the radioactive decay of primordial polonium, which is known to have only a fleeting existence” (www.halos.com/index.htm).

An example analogous to Alka-Seltzer is given demonstrating the fleeting life of the radioactive polonium. It is this moment in which the radiohalos can be captured that yields proof to them having cooled instantaneously (during time of the flood according to the RATE team, see below) rather than the supposed slow cooling of the earth suggested by evolution.

polonium radiohalos

polonium radiohalos

A speck of polonium in molten rock can be compared to an Alka-Seltzer dropped into a glass of water. The beginning of effervescence is equated to the moment that polonium atoms began to emit radioactive particles. In molten rock the traces of those radioactive particles would disappear as quickly as the Alka-Seltzer bubbles in water. But if the water were instantly frozen, the bubbles would be preserved. Likewise, polonium halos could have formed only if the rapidly “effervescing” specks of polonium had been instantly encased in solid rock.

An exceedingly large number of polonium halos are embedded in granites around the world. Just as frozen Alka-Seltzer bubbles would be clear evidence of the quick-freezing of the water, so are these many polonium halos undeniable evidence that a sea of primordial matter quickly “froze” into solid granite. The occurrence of these polonium halos, then, distinctly implies that our earth was formed in a very short time, in complete harmony with the biblical record of creation (www.halos.com/index.htm).

Radioisotopes and the Age of the Earth

An eight-year study began in 1997 that involved seven scientists with the primary goal of clarifying the chronology of the earth by studying, in particular, the properties of zircon crystals, (similar to the work of Dr. Gentry with polonium). The research has now culminated in evidence strongly indicating that the earth is young. The seven scientists gave their research effort the acronym RATE, which stands for Radioisotopes and the Age of The Earth. The findings of their research are available in a two-volume set Radioisotopes and the Age of the Earth, in a layman’s version (book and DVD) called Thousands Not Billions by Dr. Don DeYoung who offers a partial summary of their research:

RATE research obtained some of the first high-precision data on helium diffusion in zircon. A theoretical model based on this data gives an age for the earth of about 6,000 years. The presence of helium in zircons is a serious challenge to the concept of deep time. The helium also represents compelling evidence of accelerated nuclear decay in the past (DeYoung 2005: 176).

These and many more resources demonstrating that the apparent Achilles’ heel of the Young Earth Creation model is not a fatal blow are available at the Institute for Creation Research’s website (icr.org).

The findings of Dr. Gentry on polonium radiohalos and the RATE team on zircon crystals provide compelling evidence based on thorough investigation, experimentation, and observation that the earth is not billions of years old, but is rather approximately six thousand years old, thus implying that the creation week was six literal days.

The Grand Canyon and Mount St. Helens: Keys to Geology

Strata of Grand Canyon

Strata of Grand Canyon Photo Anna Hamp

The Grand Canyon is certainly one of the earth’s most amazing places. It leaves us in awe of its size and beauty. There are, however, many questions that are raised in relation to it. The most central questions are how did it form and how long did the process take? The answer lies in looking primarily at the canyon walls. There are hundreds of thousands and even millions of layers also known as strata. These layers, when looking from the side, look like many pieces of cardboard stacked upon another. The accepted geological explanation for these strata is that each layer represents an annual or few years’ cycle of deposition of minerals. Then the Colorado River (at its current rate) cut through the canyon exposing the strata that had already been laid down.

Therefore it is believed that since there are millions of strata, it must have taken hundreds of thousands or millions of years to form. Could there be, however, another plausible explanation for the almost innumerable layers?

 

Cataclysmic Change

 

On May 18, 1980, scientists and tourists from all over the world witnessed an event that would provide a much better and almost inescapable model than the standard uniformitarianism model. In that year, Mount St. Helens in the state of Washington erupted so violently that it lost over 1,300 feet of elevation and the entire inside of the mountain fell down the face of the mountain depositing the sediment in the valley below. Trees for miles north of the mountain were leveled and burned. The beauty of the mountain and lake below was altered forever. However, the event that would ultimately challenge the slow gradual change model of the Grand Canyon did not occur until two years later when, in the winter of 1982, another eruption occurred. At that time, due to the accumulation of snow on the mountain, when the eruption occurred, the massive amount of snow almost instantly turned into water and began rushing down the mountain. The huge surge of water carved a canyon ¼ the size of the Grand Canyon.

The Canyon Formed Quickly

 

What is so astounding, however, is that the canyon took only several hours to a few days to be formed. The power of the water quickly cut through the sediment that had been laid down two years prior in the first eruption (an event that occurred over a period of a few hours.) The walls of this mini Grand Canyon exposed almost identical stratification as found in the Grand Canyon. If both the strata from the deposition of the sediment and the deep cutting of a canyon (even through solid rock) can be formed in as little as a few hours, then how do we know that the stratification of the Grand Canyon is not also the product of massive sediment depositions left behind

Little Grand Canyon, Mount St. Helens (photgraph by Douglas Hamp)

Little Grand Canyon, Mount St. Helens (photgraph by Douglas Hamp)

from a worldwide flood and the cutting of the canyon is not also an enormous release of water which happened shortly after? Austin notes:

The small creeks which flow through the headwaters of the Toutle River today might seem, by present appearances, to have carved these canyons very slowly over a long time period, except for the fact that the erosion was observed to have occurred rapidly! (Austin 1986: 3).

Footprints in the Ash

Drs. John Morris and Steven Austin have written a book, Footprints in the Ash, that deals at length with the overwhelming evidence. The book shows that formation of the Grand Canyon could have occurred quickly as a result of a worldwide flood rather than over millions of years just as things happened quickly on a smaller scale at Mount St. Helens. The evidence of Mount St. Helens provides a better and more consistent model of the age of the earth as being young, which, as we have seen, is the only acceptable conclusion one may come to from reading the Scriptures.

Go to part one here.

Go to part three here.


[1] For detailed results on the dating of a rock of known age, see: answersingenesis.org/creation/v23/i3/radiodating.asp.

Could God Really Create in Just Six Days? (Part 3 of 3: The Fossil Record)

The Testimony of the Fossil Record

Charles Lyell predecesor to Darwin

Charles Lyell

One final area to consider is the fossil record because it is considered to be proof positive of an old earth and the transitional forms needed to support the model of molecule-to-man evolution. Just as the traditional interpretation of stratification at the Grand Canyon, which indicates millions of years of age, is not necessarily the best interpretation of the data when compared with the Little Grand Canyon at Mount St. Helens, which happened very quickly, so too the traditional interpretation of the geological column as representing millions of years is to be questioned. The geological column is the supposed order of evolutionary life forms as recorded in the fossils found in sedimentary rocks. James Hutton in Theory of the Earth (1795) and Charles Lyell in Principles of Geology (1830) popularized the idea that the earth was hundreds of thousands and perhaps millions of years old based on the study of sedimentary rocks.

As fossils were found in those rocks, the fossils were claimed to have a similar age to the rocks. The geological column was a major source of inspiration and basis for Charles Darwin in the development of his evolutionary hypothesis. Though no “missing links” had been found in his day, he remained hopeful that the fossil record would eventually yield the intermediary fossils so badly needed to support his model. Nevertheless, he notes the conspicuous lack of evidence for his model:

The number of intermediate varieties which have formerly existed on earth must be truly enormous. Why then is not every geological formation and every stratum full of such intermediate links? Geology assuredly does not reveal any such finely graduated organic chain; and this, perhaps, is the most obvious and gravest objection which can be urged against my theory” (Darwin 1902 edition, emphasis mine).

About 150 years have passed from when Darwin penned that statement, and unquestionably, millions of fossils have been found, but none of them are “missing links” needed to substantiate his ideas. This is not only according to young-earth arguments (consistent with six literal days of creation), but also according to numerous evolutionists. The geological column, drawn in detailed tables in text books, is the basis of the dating of the evolutionary stages. Ironically, this column, which is at the heart of the evolutionary time-scale, is merely a construct, a mental abstraction (Encyclopedia Britannica 1985: 779). Derek Ager, past president of the British Geological Association notes: “Nowhere in the world is the record, or even part of it, anywhere near complete” (Ager 1993: 14). The geological column is the primary way by which fossils and rocks are dated. When a fossil is found, the rocks around it are checked to determine the age of the fossil and vice versa, when a particular rock is found, it is compared to the surrounding fossils to determine its age.

This type of circular reasoning is noted by several evolutionists. J. E. O’Rourke, in the American Journal of Science states: “The rocks do date the fossils, but the fossils date the rocks more accurately” (O’Rourke, Volume 276: 51). R. H. Rastal of Cambridge plainly acknowledges, “It cannot be denied that from a strictly philosophical standpoint geologists are here arguing in a circle.” He then further defines what he means by circularity: ”The succession of organisms has been determined by a study of their remains embedded in the rocks, and the relative ages of the rocks are determined by the organisms that they contain” (Encyclopedia Britannica 1976: 168). Another evolutionist, Tom Kemp of Oxford, also is aware of the circular reasoning involved in the dating of the geological column. He states: “A circular argument arises: Interpret the fossil record in the terms of a particular theory of evolution, inspect the interpretation, and note that it confirms the theory” (Kemp 1985: 67). D. B. Kitts of the University of Oklahoma stated regarding the circular foundation of the geological column in Evolution, Volume 28: “But the danger of circularity is still present. The temporal ordering of biological events beyond the local section may critically involve paleontological correlation [the geological column]” (Kitts 1974: 466). Kitts goes on to say “for almost all contemporary paleontologists it [the geological column] rests upon the acceptance of the evolutionary hypothesis” (ibid). There are many more evolutionists that have made similar statements that are beyond the scope of this chapter to cover. Nevertheless, notice that accepting the geological column rests on the acceptance of evolution and in turn evolution is confirmed by the geological column. All of the evolutionists here agree that using the rocks to date the fossils and also using the fossils to date the rocks is circular reasoning. If one of the keystones upon which the supposed millions and billions of years of evolution is built is faulty, (due to the fallacy of circular reasoning) then the fossil record is not a valid objection to a literal six-day creation.

Six Days Are Enough

We asked whether six days were enough for all the events of creation to occur in light of perhaps the greatest objections to a literal, six-day creation. Though we only scratched the surface of enormous areas of study, we did see that there are excellent answers available. It is possible from a physics standpoint for the earth to be young and for the light from the edge of the universe fifteen billion light years away to have arrived in the span of six earth days. Likewise, the study of polonium “radiohalos” and zircon crystals provides weighty evidence that traditional methods of dating the rocks of the earth may be faulty. The data actually seem to confirm an earth of approximately six thousand years. We also saw that when the Grand Canyon is compared to the Little Grand Canyon at Mt St Helens, Washington, which is known to have formed rapidly, then millions of years are not required. In fact, the evidence points to the Grand Canyon having formed quickly from a cataclysmic event, such as a cataclysmic flood. Lastly we saw that, according to evolutionists, the way in which fossils and rocks are dated is by circular reasoning. While these may not be the ultimate solutions to the four big “scientific” objections to a literal, six-day creation, they do sufficiently demonstrate that excellent answers exist. Thus we can affirm that the Bible is reliable in all that it records, especially regarding creation.



[1] For detailed results on the dating of a rock of known age, see: answersingenesis.org/creation/v23/i3/radiodating.asp.

God Created in Six Literal Days; He Did Not Use Evolution (Video)

 

If God really created via evolution then why does God say that He created everything in only six days? Are those days literal days or are they really indefinite periods of time as Progressive Creationism claims? We know dinosaurs were real; when did God create them if He created in six, literal days only thousands of years ago. The answers to these questions are plainly laid out in Scripture. Ancient commentators, both Jewish and Christian, all agreed that the Bible taught a literal, six day creation only thousands of years ago.


Douglas Hamp’s work The First Six Days is a much needed contribution to settle the question of days or ages. As a Hebrew language specialist trained at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, he demonstrates convincingly from the pages of Scripture that the days of the Genesis creation account are literal days. He also carefully clarifies some misrepresentations of what day means in Hebrew. This is followed up by a stimulating review of the literal, six-day position held by ancient Jewish and Christian interpreters as well as

The First Six Days: Confronting the God-Plus-Evolution Myth

The First Six Days: Confronting the God-Plus-Evolution Myth

archaeological corroboration of the biblical record.”

– Dr. John Morris, President Institute for Creation Research

Old Earth Creationists Concede God Created in Six Literal Days in Debate (Audio)

The question of whether God created in literal twenty-four hours days or over eons of time has big ramifications. I appeared on Young Earth Creationism, literal twenty-four hoursApologetics.com’s nightly show spring 2011 to defend the young earth position and the literal interpretation of the Scripture. Toward the end of the debate even our old-earth brothers conceded that looking at just the biblical evidence one has to come to a position that God created in six literal days and rested on the seventh.

The following excerpt is from the apologetics.com’s website:

The apologetics we are most familiar with is an engagement with the things that would stand against the Biblical faith, like Atheism, other religions or philosophies. But there is a sense in which apologetics is part of our sanctification and the edification of the Church, these are the “in-house” discussions. Matters within the family of faith that we hope to iron out between us. Some of these in-house kinds of discussions include Calvinism or Arminianism, Eschatology, Presuppositional or Evidential apologetic approaches, Baptism of Children, Wine or Grape Juice…

Of these, none requires as much care as the question of origins. Partly because it affects other doctrines and partly because it affects some of our interactions with the world.

Young Earth and Old Earth creationists share a single minded dedication to the truth of the Bible, and a deep desire to understand God’s revelation about where everything comes from. Staff apologists, Lindsay Brooks and Sam Welbaum are accompanied by Elder Seth Stark of Communion Presbyterian Church of Irvine and by Author of “The First Six Days” Douglas Hamp to try to come to terms with what the Bible teaches on origins. Is the world 6-10 thousand years old, or much older?

The Day God Created Dinosaurs

According to evolutionary time scales, the dinosaurs lived hundreds of millions of years ago and died out about 65 million years ago.  Holding to a literal interpretation of Genesis and accepting the record of the dinosaurs, however, would seem to be diametrically opposed. Therefore what are we to do with the dinosaurs if we also hold to a literal, six-day creation only several thousand years ago?

 

Dinosaurs Were Real

Some believers in the inerrancy of the Bible have simply dismissed the dinosaurs as having never existed almost as a knee-jerk-reaction to the controversy concerning the supposed missing links of human ancestry.[i]  The collection of dinosaur bones, however, is a completely different question from that of man’s supposed early ancestors, and hence their existence should not be in question.

 

The number of dinosaur bones that has been discovered is staggering.  They have been found all over the world in large quantities, and sometimes entire skeletons have been found intact.  There should be no doubt among young earth creationists that dinosaurs were real creatures that existed in great quantities in the past.  The big question at hand is: when did they exist?  The Bible-believing adherents of an old earth see the reality of dinosaurs as one more reason that evolutionary timescales must be true and must have taken place over millions of years.  Indeed, we have been told so many times that dinosaurs died out around 65 millions years ago, that men and dinosaurs never coexisted, and that holding to a literal creation of six, 24-hour days of creation a few thousand years ago would seem to pose some problems.  It is only a problem, however, until we realize that the Bible actually speaks of dinosaurs being created during the first six days and coexisting with men.

 

Where Are the Dinosaurs in the Bible?

So just where in the Bible are dinosaurs mentioned?  The word dinosaur, per se, is never mentioned in the Bible.  The word was not coined until 1841, twenty years after a British doctor, Dr. Mantell, discovered some teeth and bones in a quarry.  They were so different from the bones and teeth of known lizards that they were eventually given a new name by another British scientist, Dr. Owen, who called them dinosaurs, meaning terrible lizards.  Given that the name itself was not coined until the 1800’s, we would not expect to find it in the Bible as such.  But that does not mean that the Bible doesn’t mention them by another name.

 

There are, in fact, dozens of verses that speak of dinosaurs sometimes as actual living physical creatures and sometimes as either physical or symbolic creatures.[ii]  We will look at the three main words in Hebrew, תנינם tanninim, בהמות behemoth, and לויתן Leviathan, which designate dinosaurs of various types.  Though there are other words such as Rahab and nahash, which some people suggest refer to dinosaurs, their designation as dinosaurs is speculative.  Therefore, we will focus on the large number of strong examples that we already have to work with.

Tanninim

The first word, tanninim, is found in Genesis 1:21, the fifth day of creation: “So God created great sea creatures [תנינם tanninim] and every living thing that moves, with which the waters abounded, according to their kind, and every winged bird according to its kind. And God saw that it was good.”  The word tanninim appears 27 times in the Hebrew Old Testament, 21 of which have been translated as dragon (or dragons) in the King James Version (KJV), three times as serpent (and serpents), once as monster, and twice as whale (and whales).[iii]  Thus, we don’t actually see the word dinosaur written in the text of an English Bible, but it is lying below the surface in the original language.  Just how are we to understand this word though?  Is this word referring to great whales as the KJV translates it here or as great sea creatures or great sea monsters as we see in other versions?  Is it simply understood in a generic sense of a big creature or more specifically as a dinosaur-dragon-type creature?

 

The Origin of the Word

The origin of the word is not absolutely certain.  The most accepted Hebrew lexicon, Brown Driver Briggs, suggests the following meanings: 1) dragon, serpent, sea monster 1a) dragon or dinosaur 1b) sea or river monster 1c) serpent, venomous snake, though it suggests that tanninim may be related to a more primitive root of tan meaning to howl, and hence, by implication, jackal.  This latter suggestion is questioned by many scholars due to linguistic considerations.  The Dictionary of Deities and Demons in the Bible states regarding the origin of this word:

 

AARTUN has revived the proposal […] that Tannin is derived from a geminate root TNN, “to smoke, ascension of smoke”, leading to the Ugaritic “the dragon, (sea) monster, snake (stretching out/moving forward like smoke).” (Van Der Toorn et al 1999: 834)

 

Three Root Letters

Semitic languages are fascinating in that (almost) every word consists of three root letters that serve as the foundation of the word.  By adding prefixes, suffixes, and changing the vowels, the application (and implication) of the word changes, but the essential meaning remains the same.  This idea can be seen in English, although it is still slightly different, in some words like save, savior, and salvation.  These three words are all related with the common meaning of save, though they obviously have different roles.

 

In Hebrew and all Semitic languages, there are three principal letters which give a word its essential meaning.  tanninim consists of the three-root letters tav, nun, nun or TNN.  Just as there are Spanish, French, and Italian words that are practically the same (such as gato, chat, and gatto, respectively meaning cat), the same is true of Semitic languages where a word in one language can be almost identical to that in another language.  Thus, to find that the root TNN appears with a similar meaning in an ancient language called Ugaritic, which was spoken around approximately 1400 B.C. in what is today Lebanon, greatly helps us narrow down the search for the meaning.

 

According to R. E. Whitaker, A Concordance of the Ugaritic Literature, the word appears eight times (Whitaker 1972: 619).  Six of those are couched in mythological texts, and three of those are concerning tunnanu, the great sea monsters.  J.C.L. Gibson translates a particular text as “In the sea are Arsh and the dragon” (Gibson 1977: 81).  The Dictionary of Deities and Demons in the Bible notes that the ideogram, which is a type of written picture, for tunnanu, is that of a snake (Van Der Toorn et al 1999: 835).  Thus comparing the Hebrew word tanninim with the Ugaritic, we find that the word was indeed related to a creature, though associated with the Ugaritic gods, that was, nonetheless, a type of aquatic dragon which may have also breathed fire.

 

Dragons in the Septuagint

We should also consider the testimony of the Septuagint, which is the Greek translation of the Hebrew Scriptures done in approximately 270 B.C. by Alexandrian Jews.  Therein we can gain an insight into an ancient understanding of the word.  The Septuagint translates the word in Genesis 1:21 as κητη (kete) which means monster.  However, the majority of the occurrences of the word tanninim are translated as δρaκων (drakon), which is the origin of the English word dragon.  There are many references to dragons in Greek literature.  They were snake-like monsters (though often with feet) that were guardians of important places; they were not merely whales.  Hence, the Greek translation of the word points in the direction that this class of creatures that God created on the fifth day was indeed a dragon or, in modern language, a type of  sea “dinosaur”[iv].

Behemoth

The next word is behemoth found in Job 40:15.  Behemoth is the plural of the feminine noun behema, which simply means beast.  It is curious to note here that behemoth, though plural, takes a singular and masculine verb (in Hebrew the number and gender of nouns and verbs must agree) thereby signifying not beasts, but a specific type of creature.  Thus, the word behemoth here is not just a plural form, but a completely different creature or beast.

 

God’s Description of Behemoth

In this passage, God comes, per Job’s request, to testify that He is altogether above man’s understanding and challenges Job to consider His creations, “Look now at the behemoth, which I made along with you…” (Job 40:15)  Notice how God declares that He made the behemoth along with Job.  But even more importantly is the command “look now” – a clear statement that this creature was created at the same time and apparently lived contemporarily with Job, or he would not have had a clue what God was talking about and certainly would not have been able to “look” at what God was talking about.[v]  God then lists many of the attributes of this creature that we will look at to get the best picture possible of what kind of animal this truly was.

 

Look now at the behemoth, which I made along with you;

He eats grass like an ox.

See now, his strength is in his hips,

And his power is in his stomach muscles.

He moves his tail like a cedar;

The sinews of his thighs are tightly knit.

His bones are like beams of bronze,

His ribs like bars of iron.

He is the first of the ways of God;

Only He who made him can bring near His sword.

Surely the mountains yield food for him,

And all the beasts of the field play there.

He lies under the lotus trees,

In a covert of reeds and marsh.

The lotus trees cover him with their shade;

The willows by the brook surround him.

Indeed the river may rage,

Yet he is not disturbed;

He is confident, though the Jordan gushes into his mouth,

Though he takes it in his eyes,

Or one pierces his nose with a snare. (Job 40:15-24, emphasis mine)

 

God says that “He eats grass like an ox.”  To say that the creature is like an ox in the food it eats means that it is not an ox, but rather it is only similar in the way that they both eat grass.  There have been three main explanations as to what known animal this could be: elephant, crocodile, or hippopotamus.  Both elephants and hippos are known to eat grass, while crocodiles, on the other hand, eat only meat (frogs, insects, or larger animals), but never grass.  We can safely conclude that this creature is not a crocodile just from its diet.

 

Elephant or Hippo?

Could it be either an elephant or a hippo?  Thomas Aquinas, a Catholic theologian of the 13th century, suggested that behemoth is in fact an elephant (Jackson 2005).  This animal could possibly be an elephant in that they both eat grass, but what about the other characteristics?  Do they really fit those of an elephant?  “See now, his strength is in his hips, And his power is in his stomach muscles” (Job 40:16).  The strength of an elephant is in its trunk, shoulders, and head.  Its hips and stomach, though not weak compared to ours, are certainly not its outstanding characteristics.  God then continues describing the animal, “He moves his tail like a cedar…” (Job 40:17).

 

Just how big is a cedar tree?  According to one source, a Lebanon cedar tree (assuming that is what Job would have

Cedar of Lebanon

understood) typically grows to around 81 feet tall and 112 inches (9.33 ft) in diameter.  The tail of an adult male elephant measures between seven to ten inches at the widest part! [vi]  And just what would it be like to wag a tail that is like a cedar?  Obviously, anything that got in its path would experience serious devastation.  Getting in the path of an elephant’s tail might not smell great, but it probably would not do much harm.  What can be said about the tail of an elephant is equally true of a hippopotamus – the tail is little more than a fly swatter!

 

It’s a Tail and Nothing Else

Some have tried to suggest that the Hebrew word זנב (zanav tail) should in fact be translated as the male genital instead.  This theory is nothing more than an attempt to draw attention away from the true issue that in this text the tail of this creature does not fit that of any normal everyday kind of creature.  Zanav is used eleven times in the Hebrew Bible including this passage in Job.  Every occurrence outside of Job refers to a tail whether it be an animal’s literal tail or a figurative usage of what comes after and not before.  Several of those times[vii] the word is further defined by the contrast with the head, leaving little doubt that a tail, and not a sexual organ, is being referred to.

 

The Bones

Next God states what his bones are like.  To take this passage literally means that we understand that the text suggests that the bones are like bronze and iron, although they are not made of those actual materials.  Care must be given not to overlook those small but important words that allow us to interpret literally.  Nevertheless, the picture is given that the bones of this creature were of immense strength implying that the creature itself was extremely big to need such strong bones.  Although one could argue that elephants and hippos possess such strong bones, it would fit well in describing the strength of dinosaur bones, too.  In fact, considering that “the weight of Brachiosaurus, the largest plant-eating dinosaur, is 50 metric tons” according to the Indian Institute of Astrophysics website, which is 49.2 English tons, its bones would have to be extremely strong.  An adult, male, African elephant, the largest of all elephants, weighs in at 6.8 tons.  While we should certainly not want it to step on our feet, it is much, much lighter than the heaviest of dinosaurs.  The Brachiosaurus is seven times heavier than the elephant.  The implications of such enormous size are summarized as follows:

 

Galileo was the first to address the problem of support faced by land animals in the early 1600s. He theorized about the relation of size to strength and structure. Consider two animals of different sizes that are geometrically similar. If the larger is twice as long as the smaller animal, it is also twice as wide and twice as high. The larger creature outweighs its smaller counterpart eight times. Although the volume is eight times larger, the strength of its legs increases only by a factor of four. Thus, eight times the weight would have to be carried by only four times the bone strength. If an animal becomes progressively bigger without changing its shape, it must eventually reach a size at which it is incapable of supporting itself.  (Indian Institute of Astrophysics 2006)

 

While the above explanation does not consider the elephant and the Brachiosaurus specifically, the principle holds true that the bones of the dinosaur would have needed to be extremely strong to support such an enormous creature.  Thus, the Bible’s description of the bones being like bronze and iron is in no way an exaggeration if the animal were indeed a large dinosaur such as the Brachiosaurus.  In fact, it would seem that no other creature except such a giant would merit the description of having bones like bronze and iron.

Leviathan

After questioning Job about his knowledge of Behemoth, God then continues to challenge him regarding another creature, whose description has caused many to dismiss it as purely myth.  The Dictionary of Deities and Demons in the Bible states, “Obviously the author of Job 41 had access to some animal mythological literature relating to the Egyptian tradition” (Van Der Toorn et al 1999: 513).  The author matter-of-factly states that the biblical writer, whom I believe to be Job, borrowed the tradition from another culture.  The author of the dictionary has effectively declared that it was not God who spoke those words to Job, but rather some unknown author who was inspired by another culture.

 

A Dragon/Snake-Like Creature

A root similar to Leviathan is found in an Ugaritic text[viii]litanu whose etymology is thought to be either “the twisting one (cf. Arabic lawiya) or the wreath-like, the circular (cf. Heb liwya), both possibilities pointing to an original concept of Leviathan as a snake-like being” (Van Der Toorn et al 1999: 511).  Other than this connection, no other supporting evidence is given to substantiate the claim that Job, or whoever is believed to have written the biblical book of Job, borrowed the idea from others rather than being told divinely from God Himself.  Most Ugaritic texts are from the 15th century B.C., although many believe that the book of Job is much older than that.  Granted, the date of Job is controversial and not altogether certain.  However, if the early date of Job is accepted, then it is at least possible that the account in Job is the original, while the Ugaritic account is merely a distortion of it.  Although we may not be able to prove conclusively which account is older, we can look at the Bible’s own description of this amazing creature.

 

God’s Description of Leviathan

We are told in Isaiah 27:1 that at that point God will “punish Leviathan the fleeing serpent, Leviathan that twisted serpent; and He will slay the reptile that is in the sea.”  Due to the end times nature of this passage, it cannot be ruled out that this may be metaphorical language referring to Satan who is called the dragon of old in Revelation 12:9.  On the other hand, we are told specifically that the creature lives in the sea and is some type of twisting serpent-like creature as we saw in the Ugaritic text.

 

Psalms 104:26, 27 provides an important naturalistic description of Leviathan indicating that it was a real, historical creature as far as the Bible is concerned.  “There the ships sail about; There is that Leviathan which You have made to play there.  These all wait for You, that You may give them their food in due season.”  The fact that Leviathan lives where the ships sail and is listed with the innumerable teeming things which live in the sea (Psalms 104:25) strongly demonstrates that, whatever it was, it was one of the many creatures that God made.  The detailed description of Leviathan is given in Job 41 where God challenges Job if he is able to contend with Leviathan, with the implication that God alone is able.

 

Can you draw out Leviathan with a hook,

Or snare his tongue with a line which you lower?

Can you put a reed through his nose,

Or pierce his jaw with a hook?

Will he make many supplications to you?

Will he speak softly to you?

Will he make a covenant with you?

Will you take him as a servant forever?

Will you play with him as with a bird,

Or will you leash him for your maidens?

Will your companions make a banquet of him?

Will they apportion him among the merchants?  (Job 41:1-6)

 

Not an Ordinary Creature!

God is stating in unambiguous terms that this creature is no ordinary creature.  He is not some animal that one can tame like the other animals and is not one that is taken as food for a banquet (verse 6).  God then goes on to describe how this creature is practically invincible because no spear can pierce him and his entire body is covered with a type of armor impenetrable to man’s weapons.

 

Can you fill his skin with harpoons,

Or his head with fishing spears?

Lay your hand on him;

Remember the battle–  never do it again!

Indeed, any hope of overcoming him is false;

Shall one not be overwhelmed at the sight of him?

No one is so fierce that he would dare stir him up.

(Job 41:7-10)

 

Invincible

The description that God gives of this creature is remarkable.  There is no known animal on the entire earth that was so fierce that man could not conquer it.  God declares that because no one would dare stir Leviathan up that there was no one who was able to stand against God.  No elephant, hippopotamus, crocodile, or any other creature is invincible to man.  Although many men may die fighting, given enough spears and men, every creature would eventually fall at the hands of men — with the exception of one.  This creature can be conquered by God alone.  God continues describing Leviathan.

 

“I will not conceal his limbs,

His mighty power, or his graceful proportions.

Who can remove his outer coat?

Who can approach him with a double bridle?

Who can open the doors of his face,

With his terrible teeth all around?

His rows of scales are his pride,

Shut up tightly as with a seal;

One is so near another

That no air can come between them;

They are joined one to another,

They stick together and cannot be parted. (Job 41:12-17)

 

 

Some remarkable traits of Leviathan are his terrible teeth, true of the crocodile but certainly not of the elephant or hippopotamus.  The teeth is where the similarity to the crocodile ends, however, for Leviathan has an outer coat which none can remove and has rows of scales which no air can come between nor can they be parted.  It is true that crocodiles have a hard and scaly backside, but their belly is soft and vulnerable.  In verse 30 we are told that his undersides are sharp and that he leaves marks in the mire – characteristics hardly true of the crocodile.

 

Fire Breathing

What is truly shocking about Leviathan is that God states that he breathed fire.

 

His sneezings flash forth light,

And his eyes are like the eyelids of the morning.

Out of his mouth go burning lights;

Sparks of fire shoot out.

Smoke goes out of his nostrils,

As from a boiling pot and burning rushes.

His breath kindles coals,

And a flame goes out of his mouth. (Job 41:18-21)

 

I admit that when I first contemplated the thought of a fire-breathing dragon as actually being real, I was skeptical.  But then I began to consider it and eventually came to the conclusion: why not?  After all, Fireflies (One of God’s Amazing Creatures) are tiny creatures that produce something inside of them that produces light as do numerous bioluminescent marine animals including the electric eel.  Certainly an amazing creature is the bombardier beetle, which, when being attacked by a predator, can release chemicals in its rear to provide about 70 quick explosions which are fatal to other insects.  Thus, if a little beetle is able to  create an explosion from its tiny body, who is to say that dinosaurs might not also have been able to breathe fire?  Perhaps the legends of fire-breathing dragons from all over the world actually hold some validity.

 

A Shining Wake

God then finishes by giving some other characteristics of Leviathan that separate him from all other creatures, especially any of the animals living today.  He could swim so rapidly and above the surface of the water that he left a shining wake making people think that the “deep had white hair”!  In God’s words, there is nothing like him on earth and so “…he is king over all the children of pride” (verse 34):

 

Strength dwells in his neck,

And sorrow dances before him.

The folds of his flesh are joined together;

They are firm on him and cannot be moved.

His heart is as hard as stone,

Even as hard as the lower millstone.

When he raises himself up, the mighty are afraid;

Because of his crashings they are beside themselves.

Though the sword reaches him, it cannot avail;

Nor does spear, dart, or javelin.

He regards iron as straw,

And bronze as rotten wood.

The arrow cannot make him flee;

Slingstones become like stubble to him.

Darts are regarded as straw;

He laughs at the threat of javelins.

His undersides are like sharp potsherds;

He spreads pointed marks in the mire.

He makes the deep boil like a pot;

He makes the sea like a pot of ointment.

He leaves a shining wake behind him;

One would think the deep had white hair.

On earth there is nothing like him,

Which is made without fear.

He beholds every high thing;

He is king over all the children of pride.” (Job 41:22 – 34)

 

Impenetrable Armor

Anna Gosline, writing for the NewScientist.com news service, writes about the amazing body armor of one type of dinosaur known as Ankylosaurs, which, though it is not to be equated with Leviathan, does provide an excellent example of what these impenetrable scales may have been like – pointing to the veracity of the account in Job 41.

 

An in-depth study of dinosaur armor has revealed an unexpected new level of strength, with some plates having a weave of fibers resembling today’s bulletproof fabrics. The likely strength of such plates makes the dinosaurs studied – ankylosaurs – perhaps the best – protected creatures to have ever stalked the Earth […] Ankylosaurs were massive herbivores that grew up to 10 meters in length during the late Jurassic and Cretaceous periods. The coin-sized plates sported by the ankylosaurs fully covered their back, neck, head and even protected their eyes […] They had sets of structural fibers running parallel and perpendicular to the surface, and then further sets at 45° to each of these axes, providing strength in all directions. The fibers of the bulletproof fabric Kevlar are similarly arranged. (Gosline 2004)

 

Where is the proof?

So the Bible does in fact claim that men and dinosaurs once lived together.  However, there is still so much research regarding dinosaurs and so many experts attest that they died out about 65 million years ago.  If the dinosaurs really did exist with men as the Bible claims, shouldn’t we see some proof of that other than mere oral accounts that many believe are suspect to exaggeration and mythologizing?  Wouldn’t we expect to see some hard facts substantiating men and dinosaurs living together?

Soft Tissue and Red Blood Cells

The evidence that men and dinosaurs coexisted not millions of years ago but only thousands of years ago lies right in front of

T-Rex Soft Tissue

our faces, but out of fear, most refuse to see.  The evidence of Job and the description of two dinosaurs is evidence not to be lightly brushed off; nevertheless, it remains invisible to many.  The discovery of soft tissue complete with blood vessels in dinosaur bones should be just such evidence that should make people reconsider their paradigm.  Dr. Schweitzer, who made the discovery, even suggested, “We may not really know as much about how fossils are preserved as we think” (Peake 2005).  Dr. Carl Wieland remarks regarding the discovery:

One description of a portion of the tissue was that it is “flexible and resilient and when stretched returns to its original shape”. Dr. Schweitzer…has been cited as saying that the blood vessels were flexible, and that in some instances, one could squeeze out their contents. Furthermore, she said, “The microstructures that look like cells are preserved in every way.” She also is reported as commenting that “preservation of this extent, where you still have this flexibility and transparency, has never been seen in a dinosaur before.”

 

The reason that this possibility has long been overlooked seems obvious: the overriding belief in “millions of years”. The long-age paradigm (dominant belief system) blinded researchers to the possibility, as it were. It is inconceivable that such things should be preserved for (in this case) “70 million years”.

 

Unfortunately, the long-age paradigm is so dominant that facts alone will not readily overturn it. As philosopher of science Thomas Kuhn pointed out, what generally happens when a discovery contradicts a paradigm is that the paradigm is not discarded but modified, usually by making secondary assumptions, to accommodate the new evidence.

That’s just what appears to have happened in this case. When Schweitzer first found what appeared to be blood cells in a T. Rex specimen, she said, “It was exactly like looking at a slice of modern bone. But, of course, I couldn’t believe it. I said to the lab technician: “The bones, after all, are 65 million years old. How could blood cells survive that long?’” Notice that her first reaction was to question the evidence, not the paradigm. (Wieland 2005, emphasis mine)

Dinosaur tissue is an amazing challenge to the old-earth paradigm, but it still doesn’t prove that men and dinosaurs coexisted as the Bible clearly claims.  However, evidence that men and dinosaurs lived together in the past does exist and is available for scrutiny for all who are willing to reconsider the paradigm.  Let’s now consider some archaeological evidence that men and dinosaurs lived together.



[i] A plethora of excellent research has been done in this area demonstrating conclusively that many of the supposed transitional forms were hoaxes, fanciful reconstructions based on pigs’ teeth, merely extinct apes, or just humans – none of which is the missing evolutionary link between men and the imagined ancestor.  Marvin Lubenow’s Bones of Contention is a scholarly, yet very readable, creationist assessment of human fossils.  Mr. Lubenow systematically demonstrates that the bones in question are not the transitional forms the paleontologists have been telling us for so many years.

[ii] See Jeffrey Harrison’s article Dinosaurs and the Bible (2006), for a detailed listing of over forty verses dealing either directly or indirectly with dinosaurs. www.totheends.com/dino.html

[iii]King James Concordance (electronic version: The Word Bible Software): Total KJV Total of occurrences 27 of the root תּנּים / תּנּין tannin / tannim: dragons 15: Deu 32:33, Job 30:29, Psa 44:19, Psa 74:13, Psa 148:7, Isa 13:22, Isa 34:13, Isa 35:7, Isa 43:20, Jer 9:11, Jer 10:22, Jer 14:6, Jer 49:33, Jer 51:37, Mic 1:8

dragon 6: Psa 91:13 (2), Isa 27:1, Isa 51:9, Jer 51:34, Eze 29:3

serpent 2: Exo 7:9-10; monsters 1: Lam 4:3; serpents 1: Exo 7:12; whale 1: Job 7:12; whales 1: Gen1:21

[iv] Dave Wright notes “The sea creatures, like the plesiosaur, are not actually considered dinosaurs. The term “dinosaur” is used to refer to those that live on land. Therefore, dinosaurs were land animals that were created on day six.”  (Dave Wright, Answers In Genesis staff, personal communication, June 9, 2007)

[v] Dr. Sholar notes “when He says, ‘Look now at the behemoth..’ this speaks strongly to me of coexistence.  If it was extinct, however, the ‘look now’ makes no sense for he would not have had any historical record of it.” (Sholar, personal communication September 21, 2006)

[vi] Cedars of Lebanon. Retrieved August 8, 2006, from

www.mcforest.sailorsite.net/ListTest.html

[vii]Exodus 4:4, Deuteronomy 28:13, Deuteronomy 28:44, Judges 15:4, Isa_19:14-15

[viii] KTU 1.5 I:1 27