…and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I now live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me (Galatians 2:20)
“Yet not I.” That is to say, not in mine own person, nor in mine own substance. Here he plainly showeth by what means he liveth; and he teacheth what true Christian righteousness is, namely, that righteousness whereby Christ liveth in us, and not that which is in our own person. And here Christ and my conscience must become one body, so that nothing remain in my sight but Christ crucified, and raised from the dead. But if I behold myself only, and set Christ aside, I am gone. For Christ being lost, there is no counsel nor succour, but certain desperation and destruction must follow.
This post [from top-to-bottom] deals with the “Identity Crisis” in unsaved [and saved] communities. Pastor Caleb Kaltenbach speaks to this crisis from a more personal experience[s]:
The following story starts will quote first Breitbart, following it will be a portion of an article (and audio) from an NPR piece.
(Breitbart) National Public Radio aired a remarkable interview on Sunday’s Weekend Edition with Allan Edwards, a Presbyterian pastor who is gay, yet lives a heterosexual life. Torn between his sexuality and his faith, he chose his faith–without trying to “convert” his attraction to men, and without trying to change his religion to fit his personal preferences. The conversation between NPR’s Weekend Edition and Edwards–and his wife–sheds light on an often overlooked constituency in the debate over gay marriage.
Edwards explains that he began to realize he was attracted to men during his teenage years, at the same time he was active in his church youth movement. He realized immediately that there was a conflict between his sexuality and his faith, and tried to find a justification in the Bible for living a gay life as a Christian. He could not, he says–and so he chose to live a heterosexual life, in accordance with the teachings of his church. He does not deny his gay sexuality, but does not act on those feelings, he says.
In that way, Edwards says, he is no different than anyone else. Everyone, he says, experiences some kinds of forbidden desire, or a sense of discontentment with their lives, and they have to adjust their behavior to their values and goals. He and his wife have a sexual relationship, despite his attraction to men, and they are expecting their first child. He is reluctant to judge others, but when pressed by Montaigne, says that he believes those who try to adjust Christianity to accept same-sex marriage are “in error.”
He acknowledges that others might call his lifestyle one of suppression–one that is doomed to divorce or suicide. He disagrees, and says that his relationship with God comes before other parts of his identity, including his sexuality….
How did this young man come to find his identity within the Christian faith? Simple, if Jesus is who He claims to be, then he [pastor Edwards… and we/us] should believe what Jesus believes. Simple:
...The Traded Life
Allan Edwards is the pastor of Kiski Valley Presbyterian Church in western Pennsylvania, a congregation of the Presbyterian Church in America. He’s attracted to men, but considers acting on that attraction a sin. Accordingly, Edwards has chosen not to act on it.
“I think we all have part of our desires that we choose not to act on, right?” he says. “So for me, it’s not just that the religion was important to me, but communion with a God who loves me, who accepts me right where I am.”
Where he is now is married. He and his wife, Leanne Edwards, are joyfully expecting a baby in July.
He didn’t understand how he could resolve his feelings, he says, and had little support from his friends. “I didn’t know anyone else who experienced same-sex attractions, so I didn’t talk about it much at all,” Allan says.
But at a small, Christian liberal arts college, he did start talking.
“My expectation was, if I started talking to other guys about this, I’m going to get ostracized and lambasted,” Allan says. “I actually had the exact opposite experience … I actually was received with a lot of love, grace, charity: some confusion, but openness to dialogue.”
Allan considered following a Christian denomination that accepts gay relationships, but his interpretation of the Bible wouldn’t allow it, he says.
“I studied different methods of reading the scripture and it all came down to this: Jesus accepts the rest of the scripture as divined from God,” he says. “So if Jesus is who he says he is, then we kind of have to believe what he believes.”
In other words, Christ’s claims and later His backing his claim with the Resurrection should make any one WANT to thank his/her creator by worshiping Him in obedience for the work done for each of us on Calvary. Pastor Edwards is building riches in his heavenly home in his obedience.
Wesley Hill, who is a scholar of New Testament studies and happens to be an openly gay Christian. He says the Bible makes it clear that marriage is between one man and one woman. And so, subjects himself to the will of the Lamb… not subjecting the Lamb to his will:
Now… I would be remiss to note as well that there are many people who once were gay, but through Christ’s redeeming power they no longer identify as homosexual. There is a play list of some testimony in this regard at Theology, Philosophy and Science’s YouTube Channel: Ex-Gay People.
The above testimonies and viewpoints add to a previous upload of mine a while back with three church leaders talking about this same-sex attraction but duty to God ~ and it is this duty to God that gives a new identity (a “new man” if you will):
The three men in the above interview (see below) have a powerful testimony to God working in their lives. They take Scripture serious and share their struggles openly and honestly in this interview by Justin Brierley of Premier Christian Radio for his show, “Unbelievable” (http://tinyurl.com/d2sgjrz). This interview and some other recent insights via Stand to Reason and Girls Just Wanna Have Guns, has me evolving and honing my apologetic on this more and more (See #4 of my cumulative case: http://tinyurl.com/acqhcfv).
▼ Sean Doherty is associate minister at St Francis, Dalgarno Way in London and teaches theology at St Mellitus College; ▼ Sam Allberry is associate minister at St Mary’s Church, Maidenhead; ▼ Ed Shaw is part of the leadership of Emmanuel Church, Bristol.
This is the larger interview of which I isolated Sean Doherty’s portion here.
And Savi Hensman of the Lesbian and Gay Christian Movement and Anglican blogger Peter Ould debate the issues in the interview.
Here I am adding a video by First Things, and it is a short talk about a woman who is gay but has chosen to live towards truth. While I am not a Catholic, I am an admirer of people who sacrifice for the faith:
Eve Tushnet is a lesbian and celibate Catholic freelance writer. She studied philosophy at Yale University, where she was received into the Catholic Church in 1998. She writes from D.C., and has been published in (among others) Commonweal, First Things, The National Catholic Register, National Review, and The Washington Blade. Eve blogs at Patheos.com.
And one of the most important presentations delineating the issue of “can a Christian be a homosexual?” is by Dr. William Lane Craig (see also his article, “Christian Homosexuals?“):
(I am changing some of my “Pages” to “Posts,” so some of this info is older to my site)
This will be a response to the “shellfish” mantra. These two challenges are from a much larger conversation in a private group on Facebook with a large group of gay or either homosexual behavior supporting friends and family.
I will deal with the above in a couple ways. Firstly, the entirety of Leviticus was not written for everyone.
Let me repeat that, the entirety of Leviticus was not written for everyone.
There are parts that speak to the Jewish nation of the day (the Hebraic peoples), and other commands that included more than just the Jewish nation. The Moral versus the dietary and ritual laws.
We know this because God says, “Speak to the sons of Israel saying…” He gives instructions to the Israelites, not to the rest of the nations.
✂ *SNIP* ✂
Here is a list of instances when the occurrence of the phrase “Speak to the Sons of Israel saying…” is found in Leviticus, the book under consideration.
Lev. 4:2, atonement for unintentional sins Lev. 7:23, don’t eat fat from ox, sheep, or goat Lev. 7:29, procedures for peace offering to the Lord Lev. 11:2, list of animals the Israelites may eat Lev. 12:2, uncleanness after giving birth Lev. 23:24, rest on 1st day of 7th month Lev. 23:34, Feast of Booths on 15th day of 7th month Lev. 24:15, the one cursing God will bear his sin
So, we can see a host of things that dealt only with Israel.
However, there are abominations that did not apply only to Israel, but to everyone else also. Again, let’s look at Leviticus.
✞ Lev. 18:22-30, “You shall not lie with a male as one lies with a female; it is an abomination. Also you shall not have intercourse with any animal to be defiled with it, nor shall any woman stand before an animal to mate with it; it is a perversion. Do not defile yourselves by any of these things; FOR BY ALL THESE THE NATIONS WHICH I AM CASTING OUT BEFORE YOU HAVE BECOME DEFILED ‘For the land has become defiled, therefore I have visited its punishment upon it, so the land has spewed out its inhabitants. But as for you, you are to keep My statutes and My judgments, and SHALL NOT DO ANY OF THESE ABOMINATIONS, NEITHER THE NATIVE, NOR THE ALIEN WHO SOJOURNS AMONG YOU (FOR THE MEN OF THE LAND WHO HAVE BEEN BEFORE YOU HAVE DONE ALL THESE ABOMINATIONS, and the land has become defiled); so that the land may not spew you out, should you defile it, as it has SPEWED OUT THE NATION WHICH HAS BEEN BEFORE YOU. ‘For whoever does any of these abominations, those persons who do so shall be cut off from among their people. ‘Thus YOU ARE TO KEEP MY CHARGE, THAT YOU DO NOT PRACTICE ANY OF THE ABOMINABLE CUSTOMS WHICH HAVE BEEN PRACTICED BEFORE YOU, so as not to defile yourselves with them; I am the Lord your God.’”
What abominations is Lev. 18:22-30 speaking of? Contextually, chapter 17 is about blood atonement procedures, so that is for Israel, not for everyone. In Chapter 18 God says to Israel, “You shall not do what is done in the land of Egypt where you lived, nor are you to do what is done in the land of Canaan where I am bringing you,” (Lev. 18:3). So, now instead of it applying only to Israel, God mentions things that are done by Egypt and the land of Canaan. What were the things those nations did? The chapter contains the following.
Lev. 18:6-18, don’t uncover the nakedness of various relatives. Lev. 18:19, don’t have sexual relations with woman on her period Lev. 18:20, don’t have intercourse with your neighbor’s wife Lev. 18:21, don’t offer children to Molech Lev. 18:22, don’t lie with a male as with a female Lev. 18:23 don’t have intercourse with animals.
The next day, as they were traveling and nearing the city, Peter went up to pray on the housetop about noon. Then he became hungry and wanted to eat, but while they were preparing something, he went into a visionary state. He saw heaven opened and an object that resembled a large sheet coming down, being lowered by its four corners to the earth. In it were all the four-footed animals and reptiles of the earth, and the birds of the sky. Then a voice said to him, “Get up, Peter; kill and eat!” “No, Lord!” Peter said. “For I have never eaten anything common and ritually unclean!” Again, a second time, a voice said to him, “What God has made clean, you must not call common.” This happened three times, and then the object was taken up into heaven.
While Peter was deeply perplexed about what the vision he had seen might mean, the men who had been sent by Cornelius, having asked directions to Simon’s house, stood at the gate. They called out, asking if Simon, who was also named Peter, was lodging there. While Peter was thinking about the vision, the Spirit told him, “Three men are here looking for you. Get up, go downstairs, and accompany them with no doubts at all, because I have sent them.” Then Peter went down to the men and said, “Here I am, the one you’re looking for. What is the reason you’re here?” They said, “Cornelius, a centurion, an upright and God-fearing man, who has a good reputation with the whole Jewish nation, was divinely directed by a holy angel to call you to his house and to hear a message from you.” Peter then invited them in and gave them lodging. The next day he got up and set out with them, and some of the brothers from Joppa went with him.
The edict against the ethnic/religious Jew (“the sons of Israel”) was lifted in this verse. So contrary to the horrible arguments often made by Skeptics of the Christian faith, You, G.C., should not use the same horrible exegesis that non-believers use. The same can be said regarding arguments for same-sex marriage needing to be made well. (Per Mr. Blatt, whom I agree with on this point — that is, a coherent reasonable case needs to be made for same-sex marriage. A case that isn’t arbitrary, like liberals tend towards.) So to do hermeneutics need to be used well in the Christians life. No matter where it leads you (often times it leads ALL OF US to face our sins and sinful nature, right?).
Here are the very next words/list out of G.C.’s mouth [keyboard]:
You see, G.C. (as well as E.M.) do not want to accept what the Bible says at face value.
They have no need for ways to approach ancient texts to allow personal opinion and deconstructionism (progressive values) to be set aside and create a model for all people to equally and fairly come to these texts to get the most truth from them.
I explain this well in another post where the Bible is attacked and the people doing so are the literalists/legalists, similar to G.C. and Others.
They are the absolutists.
Conservative Christian and Jews are not the Biblical literalists as these skeptics define it (wrongly, creating a straw-man)… even though we are painted as such.
In other words, they incorporate what they deny, while applying straw-man positions to our side, its very convoluted on their part and why progressives typically think these attacks are acceptable.
A final word from Dr. Copan, that also touches a bit on the salvonic history involved in this discussion, that is often overlooked by the skeptics. He makes a point also about the wooden interpretation of the pharisees and has to point out that these topics (divorce, slavery, and the like) are not ideals from God but Him dealing with man’s “hardness of heart.”
…Jesus’s approach reminds us that there’s a multilevel ethic that cautions against a monolithic, single-level ethic that simply “parks” at Deuteronomy 24 and doesn’t consider the redemptive component of this legislation. The certificate of divorce was to protect the wife, who would, by necessity, have to remarry to come under the shelter of a husband to escape poverty and shame. This law took into consideration the well-being of the wife. So when Jesus spoke to the Pharisees, their wooden interpretation made it difficult to see that Moses’s words didn’t represent an absolute ethic. (Keep in mind that God’s commands involving divorce—and even slavery—are given not as ideals, but because of the hardness of human hearts [Matt. 19:81.) These Pharisees approached Scripture in a way that made it virtually impossible for them to see any further, as Jesus pointed out—to see that there was an even greater good of sacrificially serving in the kingdom by forgoing the joys and benefits of marriage (Matt. 19:10-12).
So as we look at many of these Levitical laws, we must appreciate them in their historical context, as God’s temporary provision, but also look at the underlying spirit and movement across the sweep of salvation history. As we do so, we see that the movement of Scripture consistently prohibits homosexual activity (for example), on the one hand. However, the movement of Scripture consistently affirms the full humanity of slaves (e.g., Job 31:13-15), eventually encouraging slaves to pursue their freedom (1 Cor. 7:21). As we noted earlier, slavery wasn’t commanded but permitted (as was divorce) because of the hardness of human hearts. Homosexuality is a different matter. New Testament scholar R. T. France writes that direct references to homosexual activity in Scripture are “uniformly hostile”; homosexual behavior—so common in surrounding cultures (ancient Near Eastern/Greco-Roman)—was “simply alien to the Jewish and Christian ethos.” Note too that acts—rather than mere inclinations/tendencies (whether homosexual or heterosexual)—are judged to be immoral and worthy of censure in Scripture.
So it’s wrongheaded to claim that homosexual acts were “just cultural” or simply “on the same level” as the kosher or clothing laws that God gave to help set Israel apart from its pagan neighbors. Levitical law also prohibits adultery, bestiality, murder, and theft, and surely these go far beyond the temporary prohibitions of eating shrimp or pork!
One last small dialogue from the larger strain. E.M. mentioned the following:
“Jesus never mentions homosexuality in the bible.”
To which I quoted Scripture (not to mention Jesus was heavily involved in writing Leviticus! Just Sayin’). I respond:
You are wrong E.M., Jesus specifically mentions the ideal (Matthew 19:4-6) I have continuously spoken to above.
He answered, “Haven’t you read in your Bible that the Creator originally made man and woman for each other, male and female? And because of this, a man leaves father and mother and is firmly bonded to his wife, becoming one flesh—no longer two bodies but one. Because God created this organic union of the two sexes, no one should desecrate his art by cutting them apart.” (The [“Dummy”] Message Bible ~ Red is Jesus)
You can read more about how to approach text in ways any deep-thinking literary critic is trained to as well as the person seeking truth. Obviously G.C. rejects portions of Scripture to embolden his view how he views man’s nature and his own standing before God. He fashions God and His Holy Spirit to fit his conception. Not based on deep study, but of psychological wants and needs. You can click through to my other post. I caution you however, this is a step those interested in truth should take. Those not interested in literary criticism, history, hermeneutics, and the like, shouldn’t take.
These are three books I recommend to the serious student:
I am catching up with some older audio… this caller thoughtfully challenges Dennis Prager on his stance regarding slavery and America’s Founders. I LOVED the reference to Noah, and Prager caused me to make a note in my study Bible. Great response to say the leasy. One can see my main page on my site about this: “U.S. RACIAL HISTORY“
Leviticus 19:28 states: “You shall not make any cuts in your body for the dead, nor make any tattoo marks on yourselves…” (NASB). Is this a forbiddance of getting a tattoo? Or was this written for a specific people, in a specific time, with a specific example in mind (God’s mind). Lets see what some commentators have to say on what this example would be that caused God to forbid marking or engraving on one’s body.
Matthew Henry’s Commentary: v. 28“They shall make cuts or prints in their flesh for the dead; for the heathen did so to pacify the infernal deities…”
New Bible Commentary: vv. 29-31 “The main focus of this section is to exclude rites and practices associated with pagan, Canaanite religion, particularly those which were physically or morally disfiguring. Abuse of the body in the name of religion is a wide spread human aberration…”
The International Bible Commentary: v. 28 “Cutting the flesh was a feature of the worship of Melqart (Baal in Old Testament)…. There are various explanations of this self-disfigurement which have been advanced: to provide blood for a departed spirit, to render mourners unrecognizable to departed spirits, to drive away the spirits by the life-force resident in the blood, and so on…”
The point here is that if one were to interpret this in a wooden literal sense that applies to today’s tattooing of the body for non-religious purposes, then one would apply verse 27 to getting “bowl-cuts.” For we read: “You shall not round off the side-growth of your heads, nor harm the edges of your beard” (NASB).
Matthew Henry Commentary: “Those that worshipped the hosts of heaven, in honor of them, cut their hair so that their heads might resemble the celestial globe; but, as the custom was foolish in itself, so being done with respect to their false gods, it was idolatrous.”
Yes, Matthew Henry just called the bowl-cut“foolish,” but when done for religious purposes, it is wrong. As with the tattoo, if done for spiritual purposes, it is forbidden. If done for personal reasons, I see no harm. If I am wrong, I suspect that when one receives their glorified body, it will be washed clean with the blood of Christ. Because only then will we be perfect, the creation God originally intended.
I see no clear precedence in the Bible for not getting a tattoo if done for non-religious purposes. If one were to interpret this as following the law, a maelstrom would soon follow; not to mention the book of Galatians being thrown out the window.
I have been reading over PSALM 145 a few times… meditating on the Song calling us to action, to praise of our Lord, and the like. Verse 10 stood out a bit to me, I will explain. But first, here are a few different versions of the same verse:
All your works shall give thanks to you, O Lord, and all your saints shall bless you! (ESV)
All You have made will thank You, Lord; the godly will praise You. (HCSB)
All Your works shall give thanks to You, O Lord, And Your godly ones shall bless You. (NASB)
All creation will thank you, and your loyal people will praise you. (CEV)
All Your works shall praise You, O Lord, and Your godly ones shall bless You. (MEV)
I noticed a split here… almost a change in “who” was being spoken of here. The first section included ALL of creation… everything in it. The second section of that verse seem to delineate a separated people. In supporting the idea that this first part is speaking to every being within creation (even creation “itself”) is again noted at the very end of the Psalms:
Let everything that breathes praise the Lord. Hallelujah! (CSB)
Everything that breathes are not regenerated. This includes, in my thinking, even the unregenerate — since the breath. I started to think of verses such as Revelation 5:13; Isaiah 45:23-24; Philippians 2:10-11, and the like. Of course we are all familiar with this Philippians verse:
“so that at the name of Jesus EVERY KNEE WILL BOW, of those who are in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and that every tongue will confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father” (NASB).
Here is some in-depth commentary on this verse:
Ultimately, every creature in the universe will acknowledge who Jesus is. Two concerns must be discussed: the meaning of “at the name of Jesus” and the description of which persons acknowledge him. The phrase “at the name of Jesus” may mean that he is the object of worship, that he is the medium of worship,165 or that he provides the occasion and focus of worship. The context clearly reveals that Jesus is to be the object of worship, as the name “Lord” and his exalted position indicate. That rules out Jesus as a medium of worship, but more may be required by this expression. In fact, more is intended. Wherever Jesus’ name (and character) has authority, he will be worshiped. Since he is authoritative everywhere, as the next phrase indicates, he will be worshiped everywhere. The emphasis of this text, however, is not directly on the worship of Jesus. The language is that of triumph. The bending of the knee was a posture of submission, as was confessing “Jesus Christ is Lord.” The hymn, therefore, speaks to Jesus as the conqueror of all and should be seen as parallel to such texts as 1 Cor 15:24–28. Thus the hymn points out that everyone will acknowledge the position of Jesus in the universe.
The second concern of this first purpose clause is the persons who submit to Jesus’ lordship. The text states, “in heaven and on earth and under the earth.” The meaning of the text is that it is the knees of beings located in these places. Paul could and did use personification to speak of the relation of inanimate objects to Christ (Rom 8:19–22), but this context is confined to persons. Jesus’ lordship encompasses spiritual beings (those of “heaven”—good or evil), living human beings (those of “earth”), and dead persons as well (“under the earth”). Thus the hymn includes every conceivable habitation of personal beings.
The second purpose statement is that “every tongue will confess that Jesus Christ is Lord.” In a parallelism typical of poetry, both the universal nature of Jesus’ lordship and the acknowledgment of it are reemphasized. “Every tongue” includes the same beings as “every knee” which bows. The confession “Jesus Christ is Lord” encapsulates this aspect of the Christian faith and may well have been the earliest Christian confession.
Honoring Jesus in this way fulfills God’s plan. He elevated Jesus to the position of lordship (v. 9), and the confession is “to the glory of God the Father.” There is perfect unity in the Godhead. The actions of Jesus in his exaltation bring glory to the Father. Thus the Father honors the Son, and the Son honors the Father. In this dynamic, both display selflessness, and both receive honor.
This is an eschatological picture. The hymn brings the future into view by describing the culmination of history, when all persons will acknowledge Jesus’ lordship. No evidence states that such acknowledgment will bring salvation, however. That must be cared for in the present, before Jesus conquers his enemies. The church bears witness to Jesus’ lordship by confessing to the world “Jesus Christ is Lord” and offering salvation to those who accept that confession and make it the central part of their lives (Rom 10:9–10). Paul recognized, therefore, that some people will voluntarily accept the reality that Jesus is Lord and participate in his reign of glory. Others will deny that lordship and, in the end, be conquered by the Lord himself. For them, it will be too late to participate in the glory, and they will be destined to the punishment appropriate for those who resist the Lord.
Richard R. Melick, Philippians, Colossians, Philemon, vol. 32, The New American Commentary (Nashville: Broadman & Holman Publishers, 1991), 107–108.
Likewise, I was drawn to REVELATION 5:13 as connected to this Psalms and it’s future ruminations:
Then I heard every creature which is in heaven and on the earth and under the earth and in the sea, and all that are in them, saying:
“To Him who sits on the throne and to the Lamb be blessing and honor and glory and power, forever and ever!”
This verse drips with this distinction I noted in Psalm 145:10. Here are a [more than] few commentaries on Revelation 5:13 —
This movement is extraordinary. Joining the host of heaven apparently are all the beings created by God, including not just humans but other forms of life as well. Conceivably, this chorus of glory to the Lamb even includes those who are perishing, since, after all, Paul has promised that “every knee should bow … and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father” (Phil 2:10–11). Redemption has no specific mention in this final chorus, simply the worthiness of the Lamb to receive praise, honor, glory, and power, and his worthiness to receive this forever.
Paige Patterson, Revelation, ed. E. Ray Clendenen, vol. 39, The New American Commentary (Nashville, TN: B&H, 2012), 175.
Animals, birds and fish join with humanity in a great act of divine worship. Even the underworld, the abode of the dead and dwelling-place of evil, is involved. Clearly this vision does not reflect present reality from John’s perspective, for rebellion and injustice still exist in God’s world. Rather we catch a glimpse here of what creation was intended for, and what can be in God’s great plan, on earth, as it is in heaven.
Ian Boxall, The Revelation of Saint John, Black’s New Testament Commentary (London: Continuum, 2006), 102.
On that day every creature including the unsaved (cf. Phil 2:9–11)—will give the Father and the Son the glory they deserve.
Robert Vacendak, “The Revelation of Jesus Christ,” in The Grace New Testament Commentary, ed. Robert N. Wilkin (Denton, TX: Grace Evangelical Society, 2010), 1275.
Loud sevenfold praise for the Lamb spills over from the heavenly throne room and is joined by every creature … on the earth … under the earth … in the sea, as is seen in Pss. 148 and 150. Blessing and honor and glory and power: From the vantage point of heaven, these verses look forward to the climactic point when “every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord” (Phil. 2:11).
Earl D. Radmacher, Ronald Barclay Allen, and H. Wayne House, Nelson’s New Illustrated Bible Commentary (Nashville: T. Nelson Publishers, 1999), 1743.
The entire created order now joins in the mighty chorus—everything in heaven, on earth, under the earth, and in the sea—in adoration of both God and the Lamb together (5:13)
Walter A. Elwell, “Revelation,” in Evangelical Commentary on the Bible, vol. 3, Baker Reference Library (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Book House, 1995), 1209.
Now the music becomes a diapason, a full, deep burst of harmonious song. Every creature … in heaven and on the earth joins in heaping eternal blessing and honor and glory and power on God the Father and on the Lamb.
This verse parallels Philippians 2:10 and 11, which insists that every knee will bow at the name of Jesus and every tongue confess Him Lord. No single, specific time is mentioned, but it will obviously be after the saved are raised to everlasting life and then after the unsaved are raised to everlasting judgment. Believers will have already acknowledged Jesus as Lord; unbelievers will then be compelled to honor Him. Universal homage to the Father and the Son is an assured fact.
William MacDonald, Believer’s Bible Commentary: Old and New Testaments, ed. Arthur Farstad (Nashville: Thomas Nelson, 1995), 2363.
The universality of Christ’s work calls for this universal praise.
Robert B. Hughes and J. Carl Laney, Tyndale Concise Bible Commentary, The Tyndale Reference Library (Wheaton, IL: Tyndale House Publishers, 2001), 741.
All animated creation now joins in the ascription of praise. Those under the earth are probably the “spirits in prison” of 1 Pet. 3:19, though Vitringa understands the expression to be used of the devils “who unwillingly obey Christ,” and even declare his glory, as in Mark 1:24, “I know thee who then art, the Holy One of God.” The sea is meant literally; the apostle’s object being to include all animated beings wheresoever existing. It has been remarked that St. John’s exile at Patmos would render him familiar with the appearance of the sea, and account for its frequent use in the Apocalypse, both literally and symbolically. The things on the sea would signify, not merely ships with their inhabitants, but also those animals in the sea which are known to men by dwelling near the surface. “All things that are in them” serves to render emphatic the universality of the description, as in Exod. 20:11 and Ps. 146:6, “The Lord made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in them is.”
H.D.M. Spence-Jones, ed., Revelation, The Pulpit Commentary (London; New York: Funk & Wagnalls Company, 1909), 167.
Just try to imagine such singing. This, of course, means all intelligent life in the universe. In the strictest sense, this cannot happen until the final consummation (Phil. 2:10–11). However, in many places John’s visions record events yet future, so we should not be troubled by this anticipation of the Son’s universal worship. Note also the extreme chronological sweep of the throne room worship scene developed in chapters 4 and 5:
✧ The worship of the Almighty by the living creatures and the elders has been going on since their creation eons ago. ✧ The worship of the Lamb by the heavenly court and all the angels has occurred—at least in this manner—since he was slain. ✧ The worship of both the Almighty and the Lamb by all the universe’s creatures has yet to become a reality.
Kendell H. Easley, Revelation, vol. 12, Holman New Testament Commentary (Nashville, TN: Broadman & Holman Publishers, 1998), 96.
This scene anticipates the universal acclamation to be offered at the consummation of all things. If it represents universal praise in an absolute sense, then it issues not only from God’s willing subjects but also from his opponents, who will be forced into submission (as in Phil. 2:10–11; Col. 1:20). Rev. 5:9–12 and 5:13 are good examples respectively of the “already” and “not yet” time reference of chs. 4–5 in particular and of the Apocalypse in general.
G.K. Beale, The Book of Revelation: A Commentary on the Greek Text, New International Greek Testament Commentary (Grand Rapids, MI; Carlisle, Cumbria: W.B. Eerdmans; Paternoster Press, 1999), 365.
This documentary abounds with compelling testimonies by house church missionaries. Their dedication, suffering, faithfulness, and thanksgiving is producing an unprecedented multiplication of Chinese Christians every day. Discover the similarity of the early church in the Book of Acts of rapid multiplication of Christians by disciples making disciples.
ACTS 2:42-47 ~ They spent their time in learning from the apostles, taking part in the fellowship, and sharing in the fellowship meals and the prayers. Many miracles and wonders were being done through the apostles, and everyone was filled with awe. All the believers continued together in close fellowship and shared their belongings with one another. They would sell their property and possessions, and distribute the money among all, according to what each one needed. Day after day they met as a group in the Temple, and they had their meals together in their homes, eating with glad and humble hearts, praising God, and enjoying the good will of all the people. And every day the Lord added to their group those who were being saved.
Church at the Cross, Grapevine (2016) – Many people claim that the Bible is merely a human book, irrelevant, full of errors, and unreliable as an authoritative source of truth for all people. But, what does the evidence suggest? Can we trust the Bible? Speaker: Dr. Dan Wallace (author and Sr. Professor of New Testament Studies, Dallas Theological Seminary).
Two things struck me about these videos that a city-boy like me can now apply more vividly the application of some of these verses herein that many “salt-of-the-earth” folks already know well. These two things are that they literally know their masters voice… AND they also know they are going to be nourished. Wow… these verses come to life for me… enjoy
“I assure you: Anyone who doesn’t enter the sheep pen by the door but climbs in some other way, is a thief and a robber. The one who enters by the door is the shepherd of the sheep. The doorkeeper opens it for him, and the sheep hear his voice. He calls his own sheep by name and leads them out. When he has brought all his own outside, he goes ahead of them. The sheep follow him because they recognize his voice. They will never follow a stranger; instead they will run away from him, because they don’t recognize the voice of strangers.”
Jesus gave them this illustration, but they did not understand what He was telling them.
So Jesus said again, “I assure you: I am the door of the sheep. All who came before Me are thieves and robbers, but the sheep didn’t listen to them. I am the door. If anyone enters by Me, he will be saved and will come in and go out and find pasture.
A thief comes only to steal and to kill and to destroy. I have come so that they may have life and have it in abundance. I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep. The hired man, since he is not the shepherd and doesn’t own the sheep, leaves them and runs away when he sees a wolf coming. The wolf then snatches and scatters them. This happens because he is a hired man and doesn’t care about the sheep. I am the good shepherd.
I know My own sheep, and they know Me, as the Father knows Me, and I know the Father. I lay down My life for the sheep. But I have other sheep that are not of this fold; I must bring them also, and they will listen to My voice. Then there will be one flock, one shepherd. This is why the Father loves Me, because I am laying down My life so I may take it up again. No one takes it from Me, but I lay it down on My own. I have the right to lay it down, and I have the right to take it up again. I have received this command from My Father.”
Again a division took place among the Jews because of these words. Many of them were saying, “He has a demon and He’s crazy! Why do you listen to Him?” Others were saying, “These aren’t the words of someone demon-possessed. Can a demon open the eyes of the blind?”
When they found Him on the other side of the sea, they said to Him, “Rabbi, when did You get here?” Jesus answered, “I assure you: You are looking for Me, not because you saw the signs, but because you ate the loaves and were filled. Don’t work for the food that perishes but for the food that lasts for eternal life, which the Son of Man will give you, because God the Father has set His seal of approval on Him.”
“What can we do to perform the works of God?” they asked. Jesus replied, “This is the work of God—that you believe in the One He has sent.”
“What sign then are You going to do so we may see and believe You?” they asked. “What are You going to perform? Our fathers ate the manna in the wilderness, just as it is written: He gave them bread from heaven to eat.” Jesus said to them, “I assure you: Moses didn’t give you the bread from heaven, but My Father gives you the real bread from heaven.For the bread of God is the One who comes down from heaven and gives life to the world.” Then they said, “Sir, give us this bread always!”
“I am the bread of life,” Jesus told them. “No one who comes to Me will ever be hungry, and no one who believes in Me will ever be thirsty again.But as I told you, you’ve seen Me, and yet you do not believe.Everyone the Father gives Me will come to Me, and the one who comes to Me I will never cast out. For I have come down from heaven, not to do My will, but the will of Him who sent Me.This is the will of Him who sent Me: that I should lose none of those He has given Me but should raise them up on the last day.For this is the will of My Father: that everyone who sees the Son and believes in Him may have eternal life, and I will raise him up on the last day.”
Therefore the Jews started complaining about Him because He said, “I am the bread that came down from heaven.”They were saying, “Isn’t this Jesus the son of Joseph, whose father and mother we know? How can He now say, ‘I have come down from heaven’?” Jesus answered them, “Stop complaining among yourselves.No one can come to Me unless the Father who sent Me draws him, and I will raise him up on the last day.It is written in the Prophets: And they will all be taught by God.Everyone who has listened to and learned from the Father comes to Me —not that anyone has seen the Father except the One who is from God. He has seen the Father. I assure you: Anyone who believes has eternal life.I am the bread of life.Your fathers ate the manna in the wilderness, and they died.This is the bread that comes down from heaven so that anyone may eat of it and not die.I am the living bread that came down from heaven. If anyone eats of this bread he will live forever. The bread that I will give for the life of the world is My flesh.”
At that, the Jews argued among themselves, “How can this man give us His flesh to eat?” So Jesus said to them, “I assure you: Unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink His blood, you do not have life in yourselves.Anyone who eats My flesh and drinks My blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up on the last day,because My flesh is real food and My blood is real drink.The one who eats My flesh and drinks My blood lives in Me, and I in him.Just as the living Father sent Me and I live because of the Father, so the one who feeds on Me will live because of Me.This is the bread that came down from heaven; it is not like the manna your fathers ate—and they died. The one who eats this bread will live forever.”
I have updated the “Triceratops Horn” section, as, the Los Angeles County Superior Court Ruled against California State University Northridge (CSUN) in favor of Dr. Mak Armitage.
This will be an update to previous posts on this .com and my previous blog (BlogSpot). It will serve as a part-two-of-a-two-part discussion to young earth views that deals with evidences of mankind throughout all geological ages. While this is far from an in-depth excoriation of the evidences, it is a good introduction to some of them. I do not start off or bring up young earth creationism typically. Typically I will lead off with talking about theistic evidences [MACRO evidences for God] that assume a mainstream assumption about the age of the cosmos/earth. But the below evidences can be incorporated into a response when challenged about the topic. (See also: “Two Ways to Look At Origins;” and, “Reason and Faith.”)
As usual, all graphics are linked for further resource hunting. One may wish to visit my post on Archaeology and the Bible, which includes some responses to skeptics from a decade[+] ago.
+900yr-old Carving In the Ta Prohm Temple of Angkor Wat
This was part of a larger post/blog I did entitled, “Dinosaurs, the Bible, and Creation Proofs.” After a discussion with a fellow believer I wanted to get this video isolated here and it is included in my “Must See Videos” section in the left-hand column. With that small intro, here it is:
The above videos are one OF MANY evidences that humankind at one point may have seen dinosaurs… more evidence exists that just what I am providing here, but the above is one of the clearest examples of not just ancients finding bones, but see skin, muscle, and eyes of a stegosaurus.
Tyrannosaurus (T-Rex) Blood Cells & Protein
By using immunological tests, Gerard Muyzer of Leiden University in the Netherlands, isolated samples from some fresh T-Rex bone that had a specific bone protein (osteocalcin) in them. These proteins, reported in Geology magazine (Oct. 1992), are very unstable, and cannot last for very many years once the creature who carries them dies [perm-a-freeze cannot account for the longevity evolution gives to these proteins]. The photo [right] is a newer find where malleable flesh and intact blood cells are throughout. H/t to The Pearcey Report for this story from WND that keeps evolving:
Paleontologist Mary Schweitzer of North Carolina State University first claimed to have isolated soft tissues and collagen from a Tyrannosaurus rex leg bone several years ago.
But because the leg was broken during excavation, the evidence was damaged and could never be independently confirmed. (And evidence keeps amassing to support their claims as Nature discusses.)
Schweitzer then examined a more pristine leg of a plant-eating hadrosaur excavated from sandstone and found even better samples of soft tissue, according to the report.
“Our findings demonstrated that it did contain basement membrane matrix,” said Lewis Cantley, chief of the division of signal transduction at Beth Israel Deaconess, and a co-author on the Science study. Basement membranes, which degrade and regenerate during development and wound repair, comprise a continuous extracellular matrix that links endothelial, epithelial, muscle, or neuronal cells and their adjacent stroma.
In situ mass spectrometery independently verified amino acids in dinosaur tissues, including the collagen signature amino acid, hydroxylated proline.
While scientists previously questioned the possibility that soft tissue could survive tens of millions of years of fossilization, few seem to be questioning their assumptions that dinosaurs actually went extinct 65 million years ago.
Young earth proponents see something entirely different in the findings. As one creationist noted: “There’s no way this blood could be 80 million years old. The evolutionists are just saying so because they cannot bear the thought of recent dinosaurs causing their millions of years scenario to come crashing down. Without the millions of years, Darwinism is dead, dead, dead.”
The evidence that hemoglobin has indeed survived in this dinosaur bone (which casts immense doubt upon the ‘millions of years’ idea) is, to date, as follows:
The tissue was coloured reddish brown, the colour of hemoglobin, as was liquid extracted from the dinosaur tissue.
Hemoglobin contains heme units. Chemical signatures unique to heme were found in the specimens when certain wavelengths of laser light were applied.
Because it contains iron, heme reacts to magnetic fields differently from other proteins—extracts from this specimen reacted in the same way as modem heme compounds.
To ensure that the samples had not been contaminated with certain bacteria which have heme (but never the protein hemoglobin), extracts of the dinosaur fossil were injected over several weeks into rats. If there was even a minute amount of hemoglobin present in the T. Rex sample, the rats’ immune system should build up detectable antibodies against this compound. This is exactly what happened in carefully controlled experiments.
(Above graphic) The numbers in the “( )” represent millions of years, so “(10)” would mean 10-million years old. And again, the labs that do this for the dinosaur bones cannot re-calibrate their machines off of a slug because all similar non-mineralized bones have C14 in them (take note I included the non-creationist reference at the bottom of the small quote to point out that the scientific community is finding this troubling):
The consistent failure of carbon dating facilities to find carbon-dead samples to serve as baselines highlights the regularity with which they have detected measurable amounts of radiocarbon in samples from Phanerozoic settings (Nadeau et al., 2001). Simply put, carbonaceous materials from any portion of the geologic column deposited millions of years ago should, with the exception of rare instances of contami¬nation, contain zero “C atoms. This reasonable assumption follows from the half-life of “C, which places a time limit on its duration of about 100,000 years until the number of “C atoms become too few to detect with accelerator mass spectrometry (AMS) (Hebert, 2013).
 Nadeau, M.-J., P.M. Grootes, A. Voelker, F. Bruhn, A. Duhr, and A. Oriwall. 2001. Carbonate ‘4C background: does it have multiple personalities? Radiocarbon 43:2A, 169-176.
What happens when you publish a peer-reviewed paper that states inconvenient facts against Darwinism? Better yet, photos (see near bottom, click to enlarge) that cast doubt on prevailing paradigms.
You get fired.
…UPDATE (Oct 1st, 2016)
Just to recap this case before the good news:
…In February 2013, he published his findings in Acta Histochemica, a journal of cell and tissue research (M. H. Armitage and K. L. Anderson Acta Histochem. 115, 603–608; 2013). Two weeks later, he was fired from his job at California State University, Northridge (CSUN), where he managed the biology department’s electron and confocal microscopy suite.
Now he is embroiled in a long-shot legal fight to get his job back. In July, his lawyers filed a wrongful-termination suit claiming that religious intolerance motivated the dismissal: as a young-Earth creationist, Armitage says that finding soft tissue in the fossil supports his belief that such specimens date to the time of the biblical flood, which he puts at about 4,000 years ago.
The suit alleges that faculty members hostile to Armitage had him fired because they could not stand working with a creationist who had been published in a legitimate scientific journal. He and his attorneys at the Pacific Justice Institute, a conservative legal organization based in Sacramento, California, that focuses on religious and family issues, have repeatedly made that claim in the press. But specialists in US labour law suggest that his claim of religious intolerance might have difficulty standing up if the case goes to trial.
In recent years, a schoolteacher, academic and NASA employee who were creationists have claimed that they were fired unjustly for their religious beliefs. (None were reinstated.) But what makes this case different is that Armitage managed to survive for years in a mainstream academic institution and to publish research in a respected peer-reviewed journal….
Well, the court ruled in Dr. Armitage’s favor (Dr. Armitage posted this video Oct 1st, 2016):
The Los Angeles County Superior Court Ruled against California State University for wrongfully terminating microscopy laboratory director Mark Armitage in Spring of 2013. The judge found that they discriminated against Armitage’s religion after he published his findings of soft tissues he found in a Triceratops horn from Montana. The university chose to settle out of court rather than to appear in court for a jury trial.
BACK TO ORIGINAL POST…
Mark Hollis Armitage Kevin Lee Anderson
Department of Biology, California State University, 18111 Nordhoff Street, Northridge, CA 91330-8303, USA
Soft fibrillar bone tissues were obtained from a supraorbital horn of Triceratops horridus collected at the Hell Creek Formation in Montana, USA. Soft material was present in pre and post-decalcified bone. Horn material yielded numerous small sheets of lamellar bone matrix. This matrix possessed visible microstructures consistent with lamellar bone osteocytes. Some sheets of soft tissue had multiple layers of intact tissues with osteocyte-like structures featuring filipodial-like interconnections and secondary branching. Both oblate and stellate types of osteocyte-like cells were present in sheets of soft tissues and exhibited organelle-like microstructures. SEM analysis yielded osteocyte-like cells featuring filipodial extensions of 18–20 μm in length. Filipodial extensions were delicate and showed no evidence of any permineralization or crystallization artifact and therefore were interpreted to be soft. This is the first report of sheets of soft tissues from Triceratops horn bearing layers of osteocytes, and extends the range and type of dinosaur specimens known to contain non-fossilized material in bone matrix.
….In 2005, Dr. Mary Schweitzer of North Carolina State University published a ground breaking discovery (see article 1). She and her team of researchers dissected a fossilized Tyrannosaurusrex femur to find inexplicably preserved bone marrow. Two things made this unearthing astounding. First, if the fossils are really millions of years old, they should be completely fossilized by now. Fossilization is the process in which original boney material is replaced by hard minerals. However, in this case, the soft inner parts of the bone were found unfossilized with intact bone marrow. The marrow consisted of soft tissues and intact blood vessels that maintained their elasticity. This is incredible! How could soft, stretchy tissues be preserved in dinosaur remains that evolutionists claim are no younger than 65 million years old? Even in the best state of bone preservation, the soft inner parts should have completely rotted away long ago.
Dr. Schweitzer’s breakthrough publication almost a decade ago has set the stage for additional investigations by many other scientists (see article 2, 3, 4). Since then, the discovery of soft tissues in dinosaur bones has become fairly common (even among different dinosaur species) demonstrating these are not just rare exceptions or anomalies. The latest dinosaur soft tissue finding was a Triceratops specimen found at the Hell Creek formation of Montana by well-published microscopist and former instructor at California State University, Mark Armitage and his colleague Dr. Kevin Anderson of Arkansas State University (see article 5). Their analysis of a Triceratops’ horn showed that it contained original bone, soft tissue, and even complete and exquisitely preserved “bone-building” cells called osteocytes.
As in the case of Schweitzer’s T. rex fossil (see article 1) and other dinosaur soft tissue discoveries like it (see article 2, 3, 4), all the original tissue, both hard and soft, should have wholly disappeared, due either to decay, or to mineral replacement if these bones were millions of years old. The original bone has, however, been preserved down to the most minute detail, as has the soft tissue running through it, including intact blood vessels. As with Dr. Schweitzer’s findings, these tissues were elastic and flexible. Armitage’s research produced breath-taking high resolution micrographs of osteocytes—the tiny cells which, when living, repair and maintain the bone. These detailed micrographs are comparable to those taken of modern bones. (Permission to display published photographs is pending).
Regrettably, those whose worldview requires that dinosaurs lived millions of years are very eager to dismiss the evidence of soft dinosaur tissue (see article 6), but the evidence is now coming from many different scientists (see above links), who are studying a diversity of dinosaurs bones, and publishing in numerous, prestigious scientific journals. Even more disturbing than the attempts to dismiss or discredit the work of these researchers, some of these people are lashing out at the scientists who are making these discoveries. We are very saddened and disturbed to report that Mark Armitage was fired from his position at California State University just days after his paper was published on line. Please pray for Mr. Armitage….
Most complete new giant dinosaur found in Patagonia
RIO DE JANEIRO (Reuters) – Brazilian and Argentine paleontologists have discovered the largely complete fossil of a new species of giant dinosaur that roamed what is now northern Patagonia about 80 million years ago.
The herbivorous Futalognkosaurus dukei measured an estimated 105 feet to 112 feet from head to tail and was as high as a four-storey building. It is one of the three biggest dinosaurs yet found in the world.
The find pointed to a new lineage of titanosaurs, with particularly bulky necks, he said.
“Its neck was very big in diameter, strong and huge.”
Fossilized remains of an ecosystem from the same Late Cretaceous age, including well-preserved leaves and fish, were also found. The description was published in the latest issue of the annals of the Brazilian Academy of Sciences.
“The accumulation of fish and leaf fossils, as well as other dinosaurs around the find, is just something fantastic. Leaves and dinosaurs together is a great rarity,” he told Reuters. “It’s like a whole lost world for us.”
He was referring to “The Lost World” by Arthur Conan Doyle, a classic tale set in a remote part of South America where a scientific expedition finds dinosaurs still roaming an isolated plateau.
Some of the leaves made part of the diet of the titanosaur and other specimens found there. The researchers said the fossilized ecosystem pointed to a warm and humid climate in Patagonia, which had forests during the Late Cretaceous period. The area is steppe-like now and almost bare of vegetation.
Researchers believe the carcass of the giant dinosaur, which died of unknown causes, its flesh devoured by predators, was washed into a nearby slow-flowing river, where it created a barrier, accumulating bones and leaves in its structure for many years until all became fossilized.
A fossil of a carnivorous theropod Megaraptor found at the site contained a complete and articulated arm with very large sickle-shaped claws. Previously, similar fragmented bones were interpreted as a foot, researchers said.
The joint Argentine-Brazilian project also works in the Brazilian state of Mato Grosso, where Kellner said an important find has been made but would be revealed at a later date.
Desert-like areas in Argentina are good for preserving fossils, while they are more difficult to find in the wetter soil in Brazil.
There are a few things I take issue with here, but they are minor. Every fossil find involves a river or a local FLOOD. I just love it as a Young Earth Creationist (YEC) to hear this because it confirms in a major way historical and Biblical accounts of a FLOOD. Again, ALL the fossils found are in flood deposits. Okay, let play a game. The game is “Pin the Tail on the Donkey.”
Except we don’t have a donkey, but I’m sure you can figure it out. We have three creatures needing a tail:
Of course, you are probably wondering why I am displaying these comical pictures, and what — if anything — these pictures have to do with dinosaurs and the Bible! Let me explain. The ancient record of a man named Job is found in the Bible. It goes back to a time over 2,000 years before Christ. The fascinating story of Job is one of the oldest pieces of literature on earth. It was written down just a few hundred years after the flood of Noah’s time. In the 40th chapter of Job’s account, we see the record of the Creator Himself speaking to job. He is drawing Job’s attention to one of the wonders of the creation. Let’s read it.
“Look now at the behemoth, which I made along with you…” (verse 15)
Behemoth in the Hebrew simply means large beast. Most bibles have a marginal note by this verse explaining that this creature was most likely an elephant or hippopotamus (half of the above drawings explained!). God is saying to Job, “take a good look at this creature. I am going to demonstrate something to you.”
“He eats Grass like an ox.” (Verse 15) The animal must be a vegetarian, but it’s likely larger than an ox.
“See now, the strength is in his hips [or loins].” (Verse 16) This critter must have powerful legs. So it could be an elephant.
“His power is in his stomach muscles.” (Verse 16) He apparently has a massive mid-section. If that was all we had to go on we could rightly assume Job may very well be looking at a hippo. But let’s read on.
“He moves his tail like a cedar.” (Verse 17) ……
Now we have a problem (and the answer to the drawings above). Have you noticed something distinctive about cedar trees?
They are big aren’t they? Now have you seen a tail of an elephant or a hippo? It doesn’t seem that a cedar tree is a very appropriate analogy does it. Let’s re-read – and finish – the verses of study.
Now, I know you are thinking to yourself, “Flood!? Noah!? Bible!? Dinosaurs and man co-existing is outrages by evolutionary terms, I mean, dinosaurs died out at least 64 million years ago! And man didn’t show up on the evolutionary scene till about 1 to 4 million years ago (depending on what evolutionary tree you accept).” Yes, I know this sounds incredible, but some amazing items from history and archaeology are mounting the evidence against this belief that man and dino are separated by massive amounts of time and geological layers. [As hinted at above and below.]
Job 40: 15-24 (KJV)
Genus Name: Seismosaurus (“earth shaker lizard”) Type Species: * S. hallorum (Gillette, 1991) Length: about 120 feet (37 meters) Weight: 30-70 tons Time: 155-145 million years ago (Late Jurassic) [Debatable] Place: New Mexico Diet: plant-eater (herbivore)
15 Behold now behemoth [large beast], which I made with thee [all animals and Adam and Eve were created on the sixth day]; he eateth grass as an ox [vegetarian]. 16 Lo now, his strength [is] in his loins [large, powerful legs], and his force [is] in the navel of his belly [large mid-section.]
17 He moveth his tail like a cedar [huge tail]: the sinews of his stones are wrapped together. 18 His bones [are as] strong pieces of brass [big bones]; his bones [are] like bars of iron [again, big bones]. 19 He [is] the chief of the ways of God [largest or mightiest creation]: he that made him can make his sword to approach unto him [only God can kill him]. 20 Surely the mountains bring him forth food, where all the beasts of the field play. 21 He lieth under the shady trees, in the covert of the reed, and fens [we have all seen drawings of these beasts halfway in the water with their head up eating the vegetation on the sides of the banks]. 22 The shady trees cover him [with] their shadow; the willows of the brook compass him about [again, in a swamp, or the like]. 23 Behold, he drinketh up a river, [and] hasteth not: he trusteth that he can draw up Jordan into his mouth [the NASB says in v. 23: “if a river rages, he is not alarmed. He is confidant, though the Jordan rushes to his mouth”]. 24 He taketh it with his eyes: [his] nose pierceth through snares [you cannot catch him].
Here is a paraphrase/adaptation of the above verse:
Although the monstrous creature was obviously a vegetarian, its size was overwhelming. Its hips were built to withstand the enormous force of each pounding step and its midsection was a mass of muscle. Its gigantic tail extended far behind, not unlike a giant cedar tree swaying behind his body. Its bones were built like steel girders with ribs like iron bars to support his enormous weight. Surely this was the greatest among the creatures ever to roam the swamps and rivers of the earth. (Creation.com)
Fresh Duckbill Dinosaur Bones
Newest Discover of soft-dinosaur bones found (click to enlarge):
Actually, soft bones coming from these areas in Alaska are nothing new… but since the famous T-Rex find, it has become kosher to admit them.
Most people think that all known dinosaur bones are fossils, and that this proves dinosaurs died out millions of years ago. Yet “fresh”, unfossilized, dinosaur bones have been found, suggesting that dinosaurs might have lived recently.
In northwestern Alaska in 1961 a geologist found a bed of dinosaur bones in unpermineralized (“unfossilized”) condition. In another case, a young Inuit (Canadian Eskimo) who was working with scientists from Newfoundland’s Memorial University in 1987 on Bylot Island found part of a lower jaw of a duckbill dinosaur. It too was in fresh condition. Here is a portion of an article on this:
The lady was highly skeptical. This guide, who moments before had been discussing animal ecology and evolution, found when confronted with news of the new discovery—that she simply could not believe it. She could not accept that fresh (not permineralized, meaning unfossilized) dinosaur bones had been found in Alaska. Such bones could never have lasted 70 million years, she said.
Unlikely or not, it is a fact that such bones have been found. However, whether they could have lasted in that condition more than a few thousand years is a matter which demands attention.
In 1987, while working with scientists from Memorial University (Newfoundland, Canada) on Bylot Island, just east of the northern tip of Baffin Island, a young Inuit (Canadian Eskimo) picked up a bone fragment. It was identified within days as part of the lower jaw of a duckbill dinosaur and proclaimed to the world as such.1
The story was different however in north-western Alaska. In 1961 a petroleum geologist discovered a large, half-metre-thick bone bed. As the bones were fresh, not permineralized, he assumed that these were recent bison bones. It took 20 years for scientists to recognize duckbill dinosaur bones in this deposit as well as the bones of horned dinosaurs, and large and small carnivorous dinosaurs. Presently William A. Clemens and other scientists from the University of California at Berkeley and the University of Alaska are quarrying the bone bed.2….
1.Accounts of this appeared in the popular press, such as in the Edmonton Journal, October 26, 1987, a few months after the event, and in Saturday Night (a monthly magazine of analysis of current events) in August 1989, Vol.104 No.8, pp.16-19.
2.An initial announcement was printed in l985 in Geological Society of America abstract programs Vol.17, p.548. Already in press at that time was an article describing the site and the condition of the bones (Kyle L. Davies, ‘Duck-bill Dinosaurs (Hadrosauridae, Ornithischia) from the North Slope of Alaska’, Journal of Paleontology, Vol.61 No.1, pp.198-200.
The journal Science on December 24, 1993 (pages 2020–2023) reported on the amazing preservation of the bones of a young duckbill dinosaur found in Montana. Under a microscope, the fine structure of the bones was seen to have been preserved to such an extent that cell characteristics could be compared with cells of chicken bone. Claudia Barreto and others said, “In the dinosaur specimens, the same high degree of structural resolution can be seen as in modern specimens.” Even the calcium and phosphorus ratios were comparable. In other words, these appeared to be fresh bones, not fossilized — even though they are claimed to be more than 70 million years old.
Such findings cast serious doubt on the millions of years claimed for the dinosaurs.
Michael Cremo’s Take
A lot of UFO enthusiasts have latched onto Michael’s work. He is of Hindu influence and mentions that the Vedas mention that civilization has been on earth for millions of years. So, a young-earth creationists will look at the same evidence as Dr. Cremo and use IT to bolster the idea that all the animals of the earth were created by the sixth-day of Creation. Here is a short interview of Dr. Cremo on the matter. One should know he is the author of “Forbidden Archaeology“
So, we know — essentially — that Michael Cremo is a new ager… but, we can use the same evidence to show that: “yes, the young earth creationist viewpoint is concurrent with archaeological finds showing that the Hebrew Scripture is correct — man and dinosaur co-existed.” I combined two parts into one video showing an example of one of the oldest evidences of man living in the Cambrian age. As mentioned before, some take the same evidence as examples of the earth being visited by aliens. A great clip either way to show that current theories are off by millions of years:
The Bell Tomb
One of the best sites to follow up on the below are here. So what is the Bell Tomb? Apologetic Press explains a bit:
Yet, consider, for example, the evidence provided by the Bell tomb engravings. In far northern England, near the Scottish border, lies the village of Carlisle. A city with a turbulent history, the Romans built a wall through it, the Vikings invaded it, and the Scots and English fought over it for many years. Located in this English village is the medieval-period Carlisle Cathedral which was founded in A.D. 1122 by King Henry I (“Visit Cumbria…,” n.d.).
On February 11, 1478, Richard Bell was elected Bishop of the Carlisle Cathedral, and served some 17 years before resigning on September 4, 1495. He died in 1496 at the age of 86 and,in keeping with British custom, was buried beneath the floor in the cathedral’s choir (Priory and Raines, p. xxviii). The tomb is now covered by a carpet, to prevent any further effacing of the engravings caused by the human foot traffic of many centuries.
The monumental slab is beautifully inlaid with brass, including the facade of the cathedral in outline relief above and to each side of a solid image of the bishop himself, coupled with a solid strip of brass beneath the bishop. The following image is taken from Hutchinson’s 1794 volume The History of the County of Cumberland (p. 602b)…
A narrow strip of brass (9½ feet long) that runs around the outer edge of the tomb cover slab bears Latin words translated:
Here lies the Reverend Father Richard Bell sometime Bishop of Carlisle who departed from this life the twenty-forth [sic] day, in the year of the Lord. Among all the faithful departed through the mercy of God may he rest in perpetual peace. Amen (Weston, p. 62).
Interspersed among these Latin words are engravings of a human face, the trinity, and some 18 animals—a veritable “zoo.” Look carefully at these most intriguing engravings…
Here is the portion of interest to a-holes like myself:
At a site that responds to critics about the Delk Track, we get a bit of a background of the print:
In July of 2000, Alvis Delk was wandering through the Paluxy river, in Glen Rose, Texas, when he flipped over a slab of rock which contained a pristine fossil dinosaur track. These tracks are common in the area, and he took it home for a keepsake.
It sat in his living room for eight years.
Sadly, in 2007, he had a bad accident which left him hospitalized for quite some time. When he got home, he needed money to pay off his medical bills, and began to clean off the dinosaur track in hopes that he could perhaps fetch a few hundred dollars for it.
This is when he discovered that was also a fossil human footprint in the rock, still covered under dried clay.
This find has profound ramifications for the Creation/Evolution debate. Evolutionary scholars have admitted that if dinosaurs and humans lived together in the past, then this completely destroys the theory of evolution.
The slab was purchased by the Creation Evidence Museum of Glen Rose, Texas. It was photographed and documented by David Lines, and molded by Dough Harris, Daniel Elif, and myself.
There has been fraud to come out of this area, but the track in question has been Cat-Scanned, unlike the other instances of fraud:
…In August 2008 the granddaughter of one of the townsfolk who first sold the footprints admitted that her grandfather had carved the human footprints as a means of making money during the depression. No one was surprised. (Update: to be fair, Morris was aware in the 1970s that forgeries had been made by a local trickster. Surprisingly, that did not cause him to question the entire enterprise, or the veracity of eyewitness testimony.)
What is fascinating about this story is that he did not carve the tracks, only the prints that were sold. Creationists were so biased by their perspective that the carved prints tricked them into believing that what they were seeing in the river bed, even though some of the prints were outlandishly large, had to be human….
So this is why the Delk Track stands out. Here is a short video explaining the track:
And the bias of these kind of prints is shown in the assumptions made by evolutionists themselves. One main one being with the Laetoli Footprints… which is: if you remove the evolutionary assumptions, there is very little reason to think that the footprints were made by any creature other than man. And this is the whole idea of this post. One site makes these points:
Even Mary Leakey and her team were amazed “at how very human they were” (Ancestral Passions, p. 486).
Tim White, who was involved in excavating the prints, said:
“They are like modern human footprints. If one were left in the sand of a California beach today, and a four-year-old were asked what it was, he would instantly say that someone had walked there. He wouldn’t be able to tell it from a hundred other prints on the beach, nor would you. The external morphology is the same. There is a well-shaped modern heel with a strong arch and a good ball of the foot in front of it. The big toe is straight in line. It doesn’t stick out to the side like an ape toe, or like the big toe in so many drawings you see of Australopithecines in books” (Johanson and Edey, Lucy: The Beginnings of Humankind, p. 250).
Melvin Lubenow says:
“Interpreting the Laetoli footprints is not a question of scholarship; it is a question of logic and the basic rules of evidence. We know what the human foot looks like. There is no evidence that any other creature, past or present, had a foot exactly like the human foot. We also know what human footprints look like. But we will never know for sure what australopithecine footprints look like, because there is no way of associating ‘beyond reasonable doubt’ those extinct creatures with any fossil we might discover” (Bones of Contention, p. 331).
Russell Tuttle of the University of Chicago did an extensive study of habitually unshod people in the mountains of Peru to use in comparison with the Laetoli footprints. He argued that they “resemble those of habitually unshod modern humans” (“The Pitted Pattern of Laetoli Feet,” Natural History, March 1990).
Dr. Duane Gish observes that since footprints of antelopes, pigs, giraffes, elephants, rhinos, hares, ostriches, and other non-extinct animals were also found at Laetoli, that there is no reason to think that the prints were that of anything other than modern man. “In artists’ conceptions of the scene, we see pictures of giraffes for the giraffe footprints, elephants for the elephant footprints, ostriches for the ostrich footprints, etc. And–humans for the human footprints? Oh, no! Occupying the human footprints we see a sub-human creature, half-ape and half-man. While evolutionists concede that a giraffe must have made the giraffe prints, an elephant must have made the elephant prints, etc., their preconceived ideas about evolution and the age of these formations do not allow them to concede that a human made the human prints. Creationists, accepting the plain facts as revealed by the empirical scientific evidence, believe that the prints were made by modern man–Homo sapiens” (The Fossils Still Say No, p. 276).
Two VERY quick bios of the prints are as follows. Keep in mind the only proof that this was not man making the print is an artistic drawing:
In 1978, a team led by Mary Leakey discovered a series of footprints in Tanzania. These are known as the Laetoli footprints. According to many researchers, these footprints are identical to those made by humans. Paleoanthropologist, Donald Johanson stated, ‘Make no mistake about it, they are like modern human footprints’.
Why is it, then, that most scientists reject the idea that humans made these footprints? To understand this odd situation, it’s important to realize that evolutionists think that the footprints were made in mud 3.6 million years ago. Therefore, according to such evolutionary ideas, humans weren’t around then, so the footprints can’t be human! But if a human didn’t make the footprints, who or what did? A Scientific American article acknowledges that this is still an ‘unsolved mystery’ . However, I can’t help but feel it’s a mystery of their own making, caused by their evolutionary thinking, instead of taking the Bible’s history seriously.
This second video is by Dr. Marc Surtees who has a degree in Applied Biology and a PhD in Zoology.
Radioactive Dating Introduction
And here are, for the curious, a great presentation (which I broke up into each assumption for ease of consumption) dealing with dating methods and there problems for dating the earth in long ages:
Intro: What Is Radioactive Dating & Its Assumptions?
Evidence 1: Challenging Assumptions In Radioactive Decay Rate
Evidence 2: Challenging Assumptions In Radioactive Decay Rate
Evidence 3: Challenging Assumptions In Radioactive Decay Rate
Evidence 4: Challenging Assumptions In Radioactive Decay Rate
Evidence 5: Challenging Assumptions In Radioactive Decay Rate
Just A Couple Documentaries
One of my favorite short documentaries about Geology (below). Guy Berthault discusses some evidences from deep sea drilling, deposits at the mouths of rivers, and work done in concert with hydrologists at the Colorado State University hydraulics laboratory at Fort Collins.
I highly recommend watching these two short videos:
“Guy Berthault uses laboratory and sediment flume experiments to test accepted principles for the formation of strata. He shows, using easy to follow computer animation, that in moving currents several of the basic principles of stratigraphy do not apply. These principles, including the principles of superposition and continuity, are applicable only in calm water. He applies flume experiments to the real world of strata, mainly the formation of the layers in the Grand Canyon. Long periods of time are not required to deposit a sequence of strata in a moving current, and multiple beds can be deposited simultaneously, especially as a result of changing current speeds. His results have profound implications for the geological column and the interpretation of fossil sequences.”
I had a wonderful conversation with a very nice fellow at Starbucks (I will simply refer to him at times as John D.). The encounter started because of the book I was reading and an unsolicited question about it. It was only AFTER the conversation that I noted why question about the book was asked. The book was “Undeniable: How Biology Confirms Our Intuition That Life Is Designed.” (Watch the author speak about the book HERE.) After the conversation had concluded, I realized what drew John D. into engaging me. During the conversation, as you will see, he intimated that he was a lawyer. Hence, the large title that drew him in is “Undeniable.”
Light conversation took place about the book, mainly because I am just beginning the book and do not know the content well enough yet to discuss it specifically. I did steer the conversation towards DNA just a tad — with Stephen Meyer’s book in mind.
For the reader of this post, keep in mind that while I did not go in-depth into the discussion of DNA that immediately follows, I did reference briefly the aspects of information being separate from the means of transmission [matter]:
Evolutionary biologist George Williams observed: “Evolutionary biologists have failed to realize that they work with two more or less incommensurable domains: that of information and that of matter…. The gene is a package of information, not an object. The pattern of base pairs in a DNA molecule specifies the gene. But the DNA molecule is the medium, it’s not the message…. These two domains will never be brought together in any kind of the sense usually implied by the term ‘reductionism. Information doesn’t have mass or charge or length in millimeters. Likewise, matter doesn’t have bytes…. This dearth of shared descriptors makes matter and information two separate domains of existence, which have to be discussed separately, in their own terms.”
As the information theorist Hubert Yockey observes, the “genetic code is constructed to confront and solve the problems of communication and recording by the same principles found . . . in modern communication and computer codes.” Yockey notes that “the technology of information theory and coding theory has been in place in biology for at least 3.85 billion years,” or from the time that life first originated on earth. What should we make of this fact? How did the information in life first arise?
Codes are not matter and they’re not energy. Codes don’t come from matter, nor do they come from energy. Codes are information, and information is in a category by itself.
A great example is a newspaper. If you read an article on a topic that is information being passed on to you by another intelligence. The modern roadblock for today’s naturalist is the problem of looking at the molecules that make up the ink printed page stores information via the 26 letters of the alphabet as somehow related to the origin of the information being passed on. The problem is that the newspaper is merely the mediu, for the information. Like a Compact Disc is for music. The CD is merely the medium to carry the information. The
The next question is, how much information can the DNA molecule hold?
a) A pinhead made of DNA: Let us imagine we had enough DNA to fill the volume of a pinhead with a diameter of 2 mm. How many paperbacks (each with 189 pages as in [G19]) could be represented by the information held in that amount of DNA? Answer: about 25 trillion. That would be a pile of these paperback books approximately 920 times the distance from the earth to the moon (384,000 km). In 2011, if we were to equally distribute these paperbacks amongst the approximately 6.93 billion people on Earth, every person would receive about 3,600 copies.
b) Drawing a wire: Now let us stretch the material of the 2 mm diameter pinhead into a wire of the same thickness as the DNA molecule (2 x 10-6 mm). How long would this wire be? Unbelievably, it would stretch 33 times around the equator, which has a circumference of 24,860 miles (40,000 km).
c) One thousandth of a gram of DNA: If we were to take a milligram (1 mg = 10-3 g) of a (double helix) strand of DNA material, it would almost stretch from the earth to the moon!
(Click to enlarge)
Dr. George Church, a pioneering molecular geneticist at Harvard/MIT, informed us in a Sciencexpress article in August of 2012, that the digital-information storage capacity of DNA is “very dense.” How dense? One gram of DNA can store 455 exabytes of information. For those readers like myself whose eyes glaze over as soon as computer nerds start talking about bytes and RAM’s I will put it in simple layman’s terms. One gram of DNA – the weight of two Tylenol – can store the same amount of digitally encoded information as a hundred billion DVD’s. Yes, you read correctly, I said a hundredbillion DVD’s. Every single piece of information that exists on the Earth today; from every single library, from every single data base, from every single computer, could be stored in one beaker of DNA. This is the same DNA/Genetic Information/Self-Replication System that exists in humans and in bacteria (which are the simplest living organisms that exist today and have ever been known to exist). In short, our DNA-based genetic code, the universal system for all life on our planet, is the most efficient and sophisticated digital information storage, retrieval, and translation system known to man.
I will repeat a line from the above graphic description:
“This particularly ingenious storage method reaches the limit of physical possibility.”
Let me give you another example of the same sort of reasoning. Imagine that you have just finished reading a fabulous novel. Wanting to read another book like it, you exclaim to a friend, “Wow! That was quite a book. I wonder where I can get a bottle of that ink?” Of course not! You wouldn’t give the ink and paper credit for writing the book. You’d praise the author, and look for another book by the same writer. By some twist of logic, though, many who read the fabulous DNA script want to give credit to the “ink (DNA base code) and paper (proteins)” for composing the code. In a novel, the ink and paper are merely the means the author uses to express his or her thoughts. In the genetic code, the DNA bases and proteins are merely the means God uses to express His thoughts.
Human DNA is like a computer program but far, far more advanced than any software ever created.
Information is information, neither matter nor energy. No materialism that fails to take account of this can survive the present day. – Norbert Weiner, MIT Mathematician and Father of Cybernetics
 This is a fuller quote adapted from two sources: Donald E. Johnson, Probability’s Nature and Nature’s Probability : A Call to Scientific Integrity (Charleston, SC: Booksurge Publishing, 2009), 44; Stephen C. Meyer, Signature in the Cell: DNA and the Evidence for Intelligent Design (New York, NY: Harper One, 2009), 17.
 Meyer, ibid.
Perry Marshall, Evolution 2.0: Breaking the Deadlock Between Darwin and Design (Dallas, TX: Benbella Books, 2016), 187.
 The graphic to the right of the footnote is from, Werner Gitt, In the Beginning Was Information (Bielefeld, Germany: Christliche Literatur-Verbreitung, 1997), 86.
 Werner Gitt, Without Excuse (Atlanta, GA: Creation Book Publishers, 2011), 288 (graph from p. 286).
BTW, Without Excuse is an updated edition of the book in footnote number four.
Moshe Averick, Atheistic Science is Rapidly Sinking in the Quicksand, algemeiner.
 Gary Parker, 1.3 The Origin of Life: DNA and Protein, AiG.
 Bill Gates, The Road Ahead (New York, NY: Penguin Group, 1995), 188.
 Stan Lennard, So Easy a Caveman Could Do It?, RtB.
After relaying the basics of information and DNA, I then went through what I have memorized quite well — here are the bullet points:
Albert Einstein developed his general theory of relativity in 1915;
Around the same time evidence of an expanding universe was being presented to the American Astronomical Society by Vesto Slipher;
In the 1920s using Einstein’s theory, a Russian mathematician (Alexander Friedman) and the Belgium astronomer (George Lemaitre) predicted the universe was expanding;
In 1929, Hubble discovered evidence confirming earlier work on the Red-Light shift showing that galaxies are moving away from us;
In the 1940’s, George Gamow predicted a particular temperature to the universe if the Big Bang happened;
In 1965, two scientists (Arno Penzias and Robert Woodrow Wilson) discovered the universe’s background radiation — and it was only about 3.7 degrees above absolute zero.
I mentioned that this information from science supports the Hebrew Scripture’s account of creation ex nihilo [from nothing], whereas, all the other writings from the Egyptians, Sumerian, Greeks, as well as all the major religious texts all posit an eternal universe or matter in some form or another. I relayed this quote roughly, noting Dr. Wilson’s participation in the Big-Bang becoming a widely accepted:
“Certainly there was something that set it all off. Certainly, if you are religious, I can’t think of a better theory of the origin of the universe to match with Genesis.” ~ Robert Wilson: is an American astronomer, 1978 Nobel laureate in physics, who with Arno Allan Penzias discovered in 1964 the cosmic microwave background radiation.
John D. then steered the conversation towards other matters, giving me some biographical information about himself. He mentioned he was a lawyer. I gave him my card to my site and explained that if you hover over “Home” with your mouse (at the top of my site), to click on “Recommended Reads.” I pulled this page up on my phone and mentioned these top four books are by lawyers or people specialized in evidence… the parameters of which courts use as acceptable. I pointed to the Simon Greenleaf book, and started to explain his background to him…
… I noted that Simon Greenleaf wrote what was a first in American history, giving our court system a 3-volume set on what “is” evidence, thus, divorcing us from the British concepts of what courts should and should not accept as evidence. His work, “A Treatise on the Law of Evidence. 3 Vols.,” is considered a classic of American jurisprudence and is still used in law-schools today as part of the history of law. I included a bit more biographical info before getting to the main part of the point. I mentioned Dr. Greenleaf was an atheist (really I should have said agnostic) as well as a Jew who was skeptical of the Resurrection of Jesus. Continuing I said that Simon Greenleaf took his knowledge of what makes good evidence to respond to a challenge by a student in regards to applying the rules of evidence to the Gospels to prove-or-disprove the Resurrection. After about two-years, Dr. Greenleaf became a Christian and wrote his book, “Testimony of the Evangelists.“
Simon Greenleaf died October 6, 1853. Born of Jewish descent on December 5, 1783, Greenleaf was an agnostic, some say atheist, who believed the resurrection of Jesus Christ was either a hoax or a myth. No stranger to truth, and to the proof of the truth, Greenleaf was a principal founder of the Harvard Law School and a world-renowned expert on evidence. Challenged by one of his students one day to “consider the evidence” for the Resurrection of Jesus Christ, Greenleaf set out to disprove it, but ended up concluding that the Resurrection of Jesus Christ was indeed fact, not fiction. Being a man of conviction and reason, and in accordance with his conclusions, Greenleaf converted from Agnosticism to Christianity. His life and works went on to inspire such scholars as John Warwick Montgomery, Josh McDowell, Ross Clifford and Lee Strobel…. (Biographical Info)
It was when I finished that part of our discussion that he mentioned he was Jewish. “Awesome, I am glad I focused in on Simon Greenleaf then,” I thought to myself. John D. then segued by stating that as a lawyer he would never introduce such hearsay/shabby evidence as what the Old Testament affords people, mentioning specifically the old testament not pre-dating the Dead Sea Scrolls in any written form (they date around 200 B.C. or younger. I did not bring up an earlier example (by 400-years) of a partial scroll of Numbers, instead, I wanted to bring into his court room he was apparently running something along the same lines. Or this recent tech advance allowing the reading of a 2,000 year-old scroll:
Nearly half a century ago, archaeologists found a charred ancient scroll in the ark of a synagogue on the western shore of the Dead Sea. The lump of carbonized parchment could not be opened or read. Its curators did nothing but conserve it, hoping that new technology might one day emerge to make the scroll legible. Just such a technology has now been perfected by computer scientists at the University of Kentucky. Working with biblical scholars in Jerusalem, they have used a computer to unfurl a digital image of the scroll.
So neat! What does the text say?
It turns out to hold a fragment identical to the Masoretic text of the Hebrew Bible and, at nearly 2,000 years old, is the earliest instance of the text. … The scroll’s content, the first two chapters of the Book of Leviticus, has consonants — early Hebrew texts didn’t specify vowels — that are identical to those of the Masoretic text, the authoritative version of the Hebrew Bible and the one often used as the basis for translations of the Old Testament in Protestant Bibles.
So the authoritative 1000 year old Masoretic text is identical to this 2000 year old text found and examined by computer? Those tenth century monks who precisely copied and instituted rules for further copying so as to ensure perfection of the texts is proved 100% reliable by computer forensics in this millennial age? Even more neat!
“We have never found something as striking as this,” Dr. Tov said. “This is the earliest evidence of the exact form of the medieval text,” he said, referring to the Masoretic text.
It is striking, that a 2000 year old text from Leviticus is exact as to the Masoretic texts copied in 1000 AD! So thrilling…
I mentioned that in the Dead Sea Scrolls was an intact copy of Isaiah. At the time the oldest manuscript the Church had was dated at A.D. 980. When the Dead Sea Scrolls were found we had a copy dated to 125 B.C. — that is just about 1,100 years apart. Only one single word was added to the text that was likewise previously confirmed by the LXX.
The word “light”
He will see it[a] out of His anguish, and He will be satisfied with His knowledge. My righteous Servant will justify many, and He will carry their iniquities.
Here we see the ending paragraphs giving an overview of the issue in the excellent book by Dr.’s Geisler and Nix:
With the discovery of the Dead Sea Scrolls, scholars have Hebrew manuscripts one thousand years earlier than the great Masoretic Text manuscripts, enabling them to check on the fidelity of the Hebrew text. The result of comparative studies reveals that there is a word-for-word identity in more than 95 percent of the cases, and the 5 percent variation consists mostly of slips of the pen and spelling. To be specific, the Isaiah scroll (1Q Isa) from Qumran led the Revised Standard Version translators to make only thirteen changes from the Masoretic Text; eight of those were known from ancient versions, and few of them were significant. More specifically, of the 166 Hebrew words in Isaiah 53 only seventeen Hebrew letters in 1Q Isb differ from the Masoretic Text. Ten letters are a matter of spelling, four are stylistic changes, and the other three compose the word for “light” (add in v. 11), which does not affect the meaning greatly. Furthermore that word is also found in that verse in the LXX and 1Q Isa.
The [many] thousands of Hebrew manuscripts, with their confirmation by the LXX and the Samaritan Pentateuch, and the numerous other crosschecks from outside and inside the text provide overwhelming support for the reliability of the Old Testament text. Hence, it is appropriate to conclude with Sir Frederic Kenyon’s statement, “The Christian can take the whole Bible in his hand and say without fear or hesitation that he holds in it the true word of God, handed down without essential loss from generation to generation throughout the centuries.”
Norman Geisler and William Nix, A General Interdiction to the Bible (Chicago, IL: Moody, 1986), 382.
I mentioned that in our case the court would not worry about the amount of years between the two documents, rather they would show precedence that very little has changed between the two. So In a court all that would matter to the jury is how these texts are transmitted and if this transmission is done well/accurately. John D. even mentioned the telephone game where one kid whispers into another kids ear… and by the end of circle you are left with something different. I would note as politely as possible that that analogy is a non-sequitur, and leave it at that.
(By the way, introducing Detective Wallace’s work always allows me to give my testimony. While I was one of the early inmates to super-max here in my town, he connected with that in that before it officially opened, he got to tour the facility.)
The odd thing is — at least to me — is that he made a comment about hearsay testimony after I mentioned J. Warner Wallace’sBOOK and discussed some of his biographical background. John D. mentioned that to bring into to court a person that hadn’t had a police officer immediately (or very close to the event) write down the witness’ description of events that the testimony would be thrown out.
I was shocked.
So I brought up a hypothetical crime done in a neighborhood where people typically keep silent, whether out of fear, culture, whatever. Lets say it was a murder. Some months later [even years] some witnesses start coming forward… four of them, and described the events. Each a little different because of recollection, vantage point, their demeanor, and the like. But the witnesses describe something that fit well with the forensic evidence. I was politely blunt with John when I said of course you could easily get a conviction of this murderer. He agreed, mentioning circumstantial evidence. Which is really what we are talking about.
My friends started showing up for the Bible study I was early for… but John had to tell me a story about Jewish tradition and children. “Seders” was the topic and children were the true scribes of tradition. Which is partially true… that is how the Jewish tradition and culture has lasted for all this time – memorization and habit. I even write that Christians should take their Gospel studies as seriously. He discussed how innocent children are not knowing how to even lie to about 4-years old. I did not interrupt him, even though the Bible (see “A”) and studies of children (see “B”) show this not to be the case, I wanted him to say what he needed to say.
Before I said my final statements… as he wanted to get his coffee and go (we had talked almost half-an-hour). I simply reiterated his statement to me near the beginning of the conversation that he had yet to see evidence that he would make him consider or take the Bible seriously (a rough recap of his statement). I got him to admit that he hasn’t gone out of his way to do so, and that if I got him a single book — if he would take it as a gift and consider reading it when he has the time.
To which he agreed.
I then concluded with my final thoughts to close us out. I mainly went over the conversation in bullet point form; mentioning of the evidences we discussed (scientific evidences as well as manuscript evidences) which I added go a long way to build a case for the Bible and the Judeo-Christian faith. I then pointed him back to what he wanted. That is, he shared a colloquial story from his family (which is fine), but his lovely “story” about the innocence of children and their faithful transmission of tradition was no part of what a court would accept.
At that he went his way. John is a regular and I look forward to future discussions with him if he wishes. But more than that, even though I am using a pseudo name for him PLEASE PRAY that the Holy Spirit quicken his heart to His truths. As he reads the book I got him pray that he follows some of the references/resources to further look into the claims of this Jesus.
I hope as well me adding to the conversation and linking out to other resources is a help for your future conversations.
…The total depravity of man is seen throughout the Bible. Man’s heart is “deceitful and desperately wicked” (Jeremiah 17:9). The Bible also teaches us that man is born dead in transgression and sin (Psalm 51:5, Psalm 58:3, Ephesians 2:1-5). The Bible teaches that because unregenerate man is “dead in transgressions” (Ephesians 2:5), he is held captive by a love for sin (John 3:19; John 8:34) so that he will not seek God (Romans 3:10-11) because he loves the darkness (John 3:19) and does not understand the things of God (1 Corinthians 2:14). Therefore, men suppress the truth of God in unrighteousness (Romans 1:18) and continue to willfully live in sin. Because they are totally depraved, this sinful lifestyle seems right to men (Proverbs 14:12) so they reject the gospel of Christ as foolishness (1 Corinthians 1:18) and their mind is “hostile toward God; for it does not subject itself to the law of God, for it is unable to do so” (Romans 8:7).
The Apostle Paul summarizes the total depravity of man in Romans 3:9-18. He begins this passage by saying that “both Jews and Greeks are all under sin.” Simply put, this means that man is under the control of sin or is controlled by his sin nature (his natural tendency to sin)…
Whether lying about raiding the biscuit tin or denying they broke a toy, all children try to mislead their parents at some time. Yet it now appears that babies learn to deceive from a far younger age than anyone previously suspected.
Behavioural experts have found that infants begin to lie from as young as six months. Simple fibs help to train them for more complex deceptions in later life.
Until now, psychologists had thought the developing brains were not capable of the difficult art of lying until four years old.
Following studies of more than 50 children and interviews with parents, Dr Vasudevi Reddy, of the University of Portsmouth’s psychology department, says she has identified seven categories of deception used between six months and three-years-old.
Infants quickly learnt that using tactics such as fake crying and pretend laughing could win them attention. By eight months, more difficult deceptions became apparent, such as concealing forbidden activities or trying to distract parents’ attention.
By the age of two, toddlers could use far more devious techniques, such as bluffing when threatened with a punishment.
Dr Reddy said: “Fake crying is one of the earliest forms of deception to emerge, and infants use it to get attention even though nothing is wrong. You can tell, as they will then pause while they wait to hear if their mother is responding, before crying again.
“It demonstrates they’re clearly able to distinguish that what they are doing will have an effect. This is essentially all adults do when they tell lies, except in adults it becomes more morally loaded.”…
The Book of Leviticus in the Bible was probably the first recording of laws concerning public health. The Hebrew people were told to practice personal hygiene by washing and keeping clean. They were also instructed to bury their waste material away from their campsites, to isolate those who were sick, and to burn soiled dressings. They were prohibited from eating animals that had died of natural causes. The procedure for killing an animal was clearly described, and the edible parts were designated.
Gwendolyn R.W. Burton and Paul G. Engelkirk, Microbiology for the Health Sciences, 6th Edition (New York, NY: Lippincott, Williams & Wilkins, 2000), 9.