I believe there is good evidence for an air burst that destroyed Sodom. The Bible just has the date wrong by (I think) a few hundred years.
What’s an air burst?
In this case an icy comet or meteor that vaporizes with a tremendous explosion. Think of the Tunguska event.
Dr. Steven Collins has a book out that is quite interesting to read.
Discovering the City of Sodom: The Fascinating, True Account of the Discovery of the Old Testament’s Most Infamous City
That airburst caused rock to melt and they calculate that it required a temperature of ,8000-12,000 C for a few milliseconds.
When I was growing up, intelligent, well informed scholars thought Sodom was a stupid mythological just so story. From my blog:
“During the last semester of my senior year in undergrad, I had to take 13 hours to graduate. I was taking some really rough physics courses as part of my degree that semester which required taking most of the Master’s level courses, just so my degree would read, Bachelors of Science in Physics rather than just Bachelors of Science. Stupidly I had thought that would make a difference to someone. I needed a pud course. I took a easy humanities requirement, Old Testament Survey. This was at Oklahoma University, so it wasn’t like we had someone who believed any of the stuff in the Bible teaching the course. I remember well, how the professor ridiculed and mocked the story of Lot’s wife as a just-so story, a story to explain the natural occurrence of salt in the Dead Sea area. Being a new Christian at the time, I didn’t like the way the prof ridiculed everything in the Bible but I had no answer to how Sodom happened.” http://themigrantmind.blogspot.com/2019/06/pillar-of-salt-is-it-real.html
That temperature, the pressure wave in the dead sea provides a perfectly sound scientific answer for the Lot’s wife story.
The problem is we still have 'well informed, intelligent" (WII) scholars who won’t accept that story as real–although are likely getting fewer in number.
Here is the problem. These WII scholars know the Bible is false and that is their starting point. Even while knowing of the statue of a Semitic man in a multicolored cloak, found in a pyramidal grave with 11 other Semitic graves in the back yard of a Palace with two rows of 12 pillars, at Avaris by Manfred Bietak in 1986, scholars have remained in denial that this could be Joseph’s palace. Such ignoring of the data in favor of a view that makes the Bible wrong amazes me. Unwilling to make a correction and say that the Ramses theory of the exodus is wrong, they cling to the idea that it is the Bible that is wrong. And if one places the Exodus at Ramses time, then there is no evidence of the exodus. Moving it back 200 years to fit the time of this palace, suddenly there is all sorts of evidence for the exodus including the fall of the walls of Jericho.
If Sodom and the Exodus can be true, why not some of the other stuff, like the Flood? I have shown here a flood (not at the time people prefer), which matches exactly the biblical description. Lasted around a year, covered high mountains,caused massive rains, destroyed the land (and it is still destroyed–it wasn’t destroyed and then recovered). But even showing that this story of the Bible could be true doesn’t move anyone. People prefer to have a mythological Bible. That is my take on the state of affairs. I don’t care what the justification is for wanting a mythological bible, it is still yielding to the concept that the Bible is false rather than looking for a way for it to be actually true… My most favorite reason is below because it is so weak
The bible wasn’t meant to teach us history. That certainly was the attitude of my 1972 OT survey teacher and at that time there was no evidence of the events of Sodom–it was mythology. Besides, no one ever tells my where or who they received the information that the Bible was not meant to teach us anything about nature/history or have any science content. It is as if these people have received a divine revelation from God which revealed his intentions to them but they don’t want to say it.
Some say there isn’t any ‘secret’ information in the Bible. Thus God would not have inspired a writer with such knowledge that they couldn’t have known at the time. Really? Isn’t prophecy of Jesus’ advent ‘secret’ knowledge to the Jews? Again, who told them that God would not engage in this behavior of revealing information early? What about the fact that the description of Eden in Gen 2:8-14 exactly describes the geography of the world at the only time in earth history those four rivers could have interacted. It is geological fact that they did interact on the Mediterranean floor long ago. Is this blind coincidence, an example of us monkey’s typing gibberish long enough we finally get something right? Or is this a case of that secret knowledge everyone knows can’t exist?
Edited to add. The Bible says Havilah was located in Arabia: 1 sam 15:7 Havilah until thou comest to Shur, that is over against Egypt. The last time Arabia was tilted so as to allow the waters to drain off into the Mediterranean was about 5 myr ago. Thus, Havilah is a real key to understanding when Eden occurred. From the Oligocene until the earliest Pliocene, Arabia drained a big river into the Med. After that time, the land tilted to where it drains into the Indian Ocean.
Is it coincidence that this Edenic site is situated in a deep basin which is the only place that geologically/scientifically can match the strange hydrology described in Genesis 2?
And is it further coincidence that this Edenic site is the only place on earth that experienced a flood matching the Biblical description of Noah’s Flood? The biggest problem for any of the candidates for the flood is that none of them can last a year and none of them can cover high mountains in a local setting. The Messinian flood can do that.
At least with Sodom it has now moved from mythological to real history during my life time. I have provided a pathway for all the other earlier Biblical stories to become real as well. Maybe it is peer pressure that keeps people from accepting new ideas. Even as adults we will look at our neighbor and go “Are you buying this nonsene?”. One doesn’t ask such a question unless one is at least tempted. If one isn’t tempted one says, 'this is nonsense".
Believing the Bible tells us real history is as out of fashion every bit as much as top hats, and hooped skirts. Our scientific colleagues look down on us if we support the reality of the Bible. No doubt a few of my former colleagues when they find out what I am now up to will think I have gone barking mad. But are we seeking the favor of men or of God?(Galatians 1) I can tell you from my terminal cancer perspective, almost all of what I did previously in my life isn’t of much value spiritually. It won’t matter a whit to God. What will matter is what we did to make God acceptable to our world. Telling everyone that story after story in what is called God’s Word, is myth, allegory, or Neolithic nonsense, does not make our God more acceptable to our world.
Sadly, Christianity is so used to losing the intellectual battles we have fought over the past 2 centuries that we have surrendered to the biblical criticism (most of which came from Atheists) and accepted their assumptions as necessary. The Bible is true history, or at least there is a way it can be true history if only we would not worry about what our colleagues thought about us.
I want to add something about the claim that God doesn’t reveal advanced knowledge My son is a pastor in our little town and he just posted an incredible example of advanced knowledge–He posted on his facebook page:
*But he was pierced for our transgressions, *
he was crushed for our iniquities; *
the punishment that brought us peace was upon him, *
and by his wounds we are healed. *
6 We all, like sheep, have gone astray, *
each of us has turned to his own way; *
and the LORD has laid on him *
the iniquity of us all.*
The Holy Bible: New International Version. (1984). (Is 53:5–6). Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan.
We know that Isaiah was written long before Jesus came. Yet that is exactly what happened. By his wounds we are healed.
He was pierced. in the side
v. 7, he was silent—Mark 15:5, Jesus exersized his right to not reply to the accusers. lol
v. 9 headed for the grave of the wicked, but put in a rich man’s grave.
v. 10 though the LORD makes his life a guilt offering, which is the heart of Christian faith!
If God gives no advanced information, then this has nothing to do with a major religion which arose almost 700 years later.
May we remember what our Lord went through on this Good Friday so long ago when nothing at all looked good
Riiiiight. God the Pathologically Righteous strikes again.
I know that much of what I’m about to say may appear irrelevant and thus needless for this discussion. But it is meant to help us into the place our minds need to be for the best possible understanding of the scriptures discussed here.
Who do we trust to reveal vital Biblical knowledge to us?
Is Genesis only a metaphor? Is it an explanation by people of their time or by God through people in touch with Him that He entrusted to pass it to us? Is the math we learn in math books from fallible people or is it revealed by those in touch with nature that discovered its truths? Ohm’s law was in effect long before G. S. Ohm was born.
Regardless how we may see it, I only know that as you indicated, chapters 1-11 contain the baseline of knowledge of who we are, why we are here, why we are in the mess we are in, where we are going, and inform us of the true and living God of which there’s no other despite the fact that fallen man worships multitudes of gods they invented. This informative material is no allegory.
Why do we die, wear clothes, marry, etc? What was given us to eat? Why a 7 day week? Why the sexes? Why does a human mother suffers pain in childbirth and mother elephant doesn’t even though a baby elephant is much larger than a human baby?
Is there a need to think that we should receive explanations for these things in allegories instead of the real reasons?
The knowledge we gain in the first book of the Bible is vital for what we need to do during our lifetime before the exit of which there’s no return. Without this knowledge the vital gospel of Jesus would be meaningless.
Although Genesis and the rest of the Bible contains much that we need help in understanding including that which appear to be in conflict, there are reliable sources of material to clear up the difficult passages, But are we able the separate the good from the bad? Which do we trust? Are you familiar with sights like AnswersinGenesis.org and Creation.com? These are excellent for clearing conflicts.
However, the main purpose of Genesis and the rest of the Bible is to inform us of our status and need to come face to face with the reality of our fallen nature and honestly confess it to the true God that created us to be responsible beings that the Bible informed us of. Have we not all committed wrong such as lying etc. that broke our fellowship with God that we are informed of and thus created all the underlying shame and fears that are eating us?
Restored fellowship with God (from the new birth) that’s the fruit of this confession rises us to the supernatural level where we are able see vital truth beyond the understanding of the natural mind. That which comes from the “horse’s (God’s) mouth” clears up much that tend to drive us into drawn out debates. The resulting cleared mind clears up much confusion.
Genesis provides us with the needed knowledge of God that’s the author of our liberty and freedom.
Although some of my thoughts expressed may have been a little bit off topic, I hope they were helpful for better handling of the knowledge discussed here.
I hope that these few words should be helpful.
Please remember that Paul’s (then Saul’s) life was of little good to God prior to his conversion.
I repeat my question in my last post : who do we trust to reveal vital Biblical knowledge to us? Such is especially important to you as a terminal cancer patient as you indicated.
True science and the Bible goes hand in hand like close brothers.
What good is food that’s thrown up because it’s not digested properly? Was it prepared properly? Did it become toxic for any reason? Is the recipient fit for its consumption? Poison in food may be one possible reason the body may become unfit for its consumption. I am much afraid for the souls of those that undermine vital Biblical knowledge like the professor you spoke of that does severe disservice to you as well as himself.
Is the food you eat a myth? Neither is Biblical food for the soul a myth. I personally testify this.
I hope you read my last post to Johnthemethodist that contains vital information that should also be of much help. As taste buds and teeth are needed to fill oneself to satisfy his hunger, so is a pure heart and prayer needed for proper consumption and digestion of the spiritual food the Bible provides.
The eternal new birth awaits you. I hope and pray that God will connect you to the right people that will properly prepare the vital Biblical meal for you without destroying its nutrients. . .
You will love the peace only the word of God can provide.
Thank you Earl. God has been very good to me in this cancer. I was told I would likely be dead by 2005, then by 2013, then by 2019, and now by July. lol Yesterday my oncologist called me ‘patient special’ because I was still standing after all these years.
You are absolutely correct here. I have regained my certitude that the Bible and Christianity is true. It gives me much peace. It took my a life time to get here and God has shown me so many things in how to match Scripture and science in the last few months. It has been a shower of blessings.
I am not worried or concerned about my upcoming death. I have a purpose to my remaining time. My concern is now to use the time I have left to impact this world. To get Christianity out of the 2 option rut of YEC or accommodation. To show Christians that we don’t have to surrender to atheist criticisms which they say shows the falsity of Scripture and opt for accommodation. We no longer have to be the losers in this intellectual battle we have fought over the past 2 centuries since evolution came to the fore. That is now my goal.
There will be no book on this idea other than what I have already published. There will be no academic articles on my views because they are so different as to be totally unpublishable in ‘reputable’ journals. I know that…I emailed a early Genesis expert at Logos about my views and got no reply. Doubtless he thought I was a crank. And there will be no book tours from me, no radio interviews or speaking invitations from churches. I can’t travel even if we weren’t locked down. There will be no institute or organization like ICR or ASA advocating this view. Time for that is long passed me by. All I can do is sit at my computer and type like a wild monkey. That is my only way to impact this world.
I know most won’t like my views and will be skeptical of them. But as of right now, unless they pick my science apart (which I think is going to be very hard for someone to do), they can no longer say that there is no way for the bible to be historically true, so therefore, God accommodated his message to Neolithic mythology. There is now another way to view Scripture as actual history. The decision between history and accommodationalism no longer lies only in the false dichotomy of either YEC or accommodation only, Now my views present a third option.
One can say that one doesn’t believe it happened the way I have laid out; that my views are so unlikely as to be unbelievable. Fair enough! I know my geology and science are sound, but even I can’t say categorically that Adam and Eve were there in the basin. What I can say is that if there is any place in the world that can match the Biblical description from Eden to the Flood, this is the place. While we can’t have utter certitude that the Biblical events occurred there, we can say that it is possible that it happened this way. What we can’t say is that it is absolutely impossible for it to have happened the way I have outlined. And if we can’t say that then there is a hard choice people have to make.
People get mad at me for saying “some people prefer a false Bible”. Given the logical coherence of my views, and the solid science therein, everyone now has a conscious choice to make, which now involves choosing between a historical bible or a historically false accommodatinalist Bible. If one chooses accommodationalism, it seems to me, that therefore it says one does prefer a false Bible, because there is now a viable scientific alternative.
Martin, something struck me the other day about this argument that I had never noticed. This is not a gotcha questions, I am truly curious about how one would answer what I am about to ask.
Some background. The argument leading to the above statement seems to assume that a righteous God wouldn’t zap a town of sinners–i.e. cause evil natural catastrophes. I have always had a different view of God’s relationship to evil. So I don’t share the assumptions in so many criticisms of things like this which is 'Why would a loving god allow…" fill in the blank.
The thing that struck me last night as I went to sleep is how similar the basis of your statement is to the YEC argument against evolution. Henry Morris writes:
“At the same time, creationists argue that a divine Creator would never invent such a cruel and inefficient process as evolution to ‘create’ man, if He is really the God of love and power the Bible represents him to be.” ~ Henry M. Morris, The Troubled Waters of Evolution, (San Diego: CreationLife Publishers, 1974), p. 11
It seems to me that both arguments are based upon what each writer thinks a loving God would not do. How would you respond to this analogy–I really am interested in your answer because it goes to the heart of the problem of evil in the presence of a loving God. This issue has bothered mankind for millennia.
It’s interesting that some accommodationists will endorse the historicity of Sodom with the air burst explanation.
One more thing that I believe plays a role I. Showing it’s mythological nature is how Cain’s descendants are not associated with ages, let alone extended lives, while Seth’s are. I feel that contributes to the mythological aspect that following gods leads to long days and eternal life.
Quite possibly Skov, but while I have no explanation for those high lifespans and likely never will, As Jesus indicated to Peter in this passage—
“Then Peter, turning about, seeth the disciple whom Jesus loved following; which also leaned on his breast at supper, and said, Lord, which is he that betrayeth thee? 21 Peter seeing him saith to Jesus, Lord, and what shall this man do? 22 Jesus saith unto him, If I will that he tarry till I come, what is that to thee? follow thou me.” The Holy Bible: King James Version. (2009). (Electronic Edition of the 1900 Authorized Version., Jn 21:20–22). Bellingham, WA: Logos Research Systems, Inc.
If God wants a person to live a 1000 years, my bet is, he would live 1000 years. God seems to have wanted me to live for 15 years past my first prediction of my death by 2005. NO ONE would have bet on my odds to still be here. My oncologists can’t explain why I am still alive, which is my contact with science on my life span. I have lived past 3 prognostications of my death so far–working on my fourth proclamaition of doom which will be July 7, 2020. lol. Yeah, I expect to go this fall, but not before breaking their six months–I feel no worse now than I did in January.
Well I definitely hope that you’re able to beat it or at least continue to grow in peace over it.
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