Interpretation & Meaning in Genesis + Sabbath

(Phil) #122

Agree to some extent, but at least in part the Torah was penned in reaction to the circumstances of the people in exile or leaving exile. They had been immersed in a foreign culture with foreign religions for generations, and it was important to their identity to solidify their theology and differentiate it from the culture they were living in. Thus, the stories they were told of the gods and their actions in the Epic of Gilgamesh were retold to reflect the nature and actions of the true and living God.

(Tim) #123

The Babylonian exile was only 75 years, and around 580 BC. The #1 best seller at that time was the Epic of Gilgamesh. The Enuma Elish was an older document by over 1000 years. The Enuma Elish was already spread around the whole ANE, while the Hebrews were on vacation in Egypt. Before the conquest of Canaan, Marduk had already evolved to Asher for the Assyrians, and Bel of the Canaanites. So while Moses was getting the Torah from God would have been a more probable time of Babylonian influence except for the fact, the Hebrews had just been exposed to the Egyptian gods for 400 years. Abraham already denounced the Enuma Elish and left Ur for Canaan. And in 600 BC the Babylonians were going on about a Flood and characters that would have come from the Hebrew writings and had little to do with a 1000 year old tale that Hebrews resisted since Abraham.

(Earl L Dunn) #124

Hello Oliver,

Christianity is an offspring of Judaism. Think of it as a caterpillar that became a butterfly.

Islam, even though borrowing some things from the Judo-Christian faith, is its own independent religion of itself having no relation to Judaism. It started around 600 AD and contains teachings diametrically opposed to Biblical teachings. Think of it as a different insect altogether.

Jesus was not influenced by Buddhism. As written,

“For I have not spoken of myself; but the Father which sent me, he gave me a commandment, what I should say, and what I should speak (John 12:49).”


(Mitchell W McKain) #125

The works of Homer are earlier and more widely read. Though perhaps they hadn’t been brought to the area you speak of until Alexander the Great in the 4th century BC.

Some might say a toxic butterfly considering what it has done, especially to the Jewish people.

(Earl L Dunn) #126

Hello Mitch

The toxicity is not of the Christian faith, but of human error namely “replacement theology” where some unfortunately believe that the church replaced the Jews to the point that the Jews should be totally discarded like a dead battery. Their logic is that the Jews should be punished because they crucified Jesus.

But the truth is that we all collectively crucified Jesus and are guilty.

Was it not prophesied in the Bible that God would make the Jews jealous of the Gentiles and later return to them? (Romans 10:19 and Romans 11:1)

The Jews are yet a blessed people and much good is done to the Jews by Christians as Jews yet bless us.

There are Messianic Jews and Much yet awaits the Jews by God’s promise.


Knowledge has placed us in the predicament we now find ourselves. Human ingenuity has caused the environmental destruction we now witness.

The exhaust of the prior technology to today’s automobile was easily detected with the nose and was solid and had to be collected. Today’s technology in this case is a great blessing!


(Mitchell W McKain) #127

I will certainly agree that the toxicity is not to be found in Jesus. However, a lot of Christians have equated “Christian faith” with entitlement and that is a toxic butterfly indeed.

Even then it is simply a poor excuse for indulging greed, resentment and an appetite for rape and torture.

Absolutely! And there lies the contradiction with any sort of entitlement whatsoever!

And yet reality is that the Jews have been so superior in intelligence and other gifts that they have inspired more jealousy among the Gentile Christians, whose behavior has given them more reason to feel contempt than anything else.

6 million Jews were the sacrificial lambs for that change in attitude. Indeed you could say they took up the cross and followed Jesus in that way. And after all that is how the Jews have always understood the suffering servant passages of Isaiah, referring to their people rather than to a messiah. (And you can compare that to the 2 million Christians martyred by the Roman empire, if you like)

(Earl L Dunn) #128

Hello Mitch

The excessive entitlement attitude problem occurs across the spectrum of sinful humanity. Such unfortunately creeps into the minds of some believers also.

Even if we Christians should be seen as persecutors of the Jews, are we the only ones? Persecution of Jews and Christians yet continue to this day from all kinds of groups and more Christians were persecuted the 20th century than the previous ages combined.

What is a Christian but a follower of Jesus? Have we Christians not been warned of persecution? But any that erroneously persecute Jews have removed themselves from the category of followers of Jesus only to make themselves no better than the Pharisees that Jesus condemned. It’s unfortunate that too many Christians tend to be seen only as members of denominational groups speaking lots of dogma minus grace.

The Biblical gospel with all of its precious treasures is yet available despite the embarrassments. What shall you and I do with it? Should we allow misuse of the gospel to cause us to miss out on the great things God has that awaits us? Should mankind miss out on the unique things you and I would have to offer as His followers? Do the presence of drunk drivers on the road make us drunk drivers also? I don’t think so.


(Earl L Dunn) #129

Hello Jammycakes,

But doesn’t radiometric dating has limitations. Doesn’t proper calibration of instruments carry us only so far? Do counting tree rings always give true age in years? What about false readings caused by rapid changes in climate within a year? Does calibration of instruments assure consistency of sample readings over large amounts of time? Have you been involved in the measuring process yourself to assure me that the measurements are as easy as it sounds?

I mentioned the source.

Thank you! Even though I gave you several links you desire, you have only intensified my desire for you to see the video because all of the things you mentioned were explained in it. Another video that came to mind is about the Missoula flood.

I’ll give the name of the DVD only so that you will know my source. .Take it or leave it:

The Grand Canyon, The Puzzle on the Plateau by Mike Snavely

You may find it broadcast on the TV channel at this link:

  • *-- *

Mitch, Are you still there?


(Mitchell W McKain) #130

More than that to be sure. Those who claim to follow Jesus include the Muslims.

We fight against the abuses and distortions is what we do. It is certainly what I will do. I am a Christian because I see value in Christianity despite how it has been used. But some things have to change. The opposition to scientific discovery is one of them. Entitlement is another.

(James McKay) #131

Thanks for the links. I’ve looked at some of them; I’ll give some comments on one of them in particular below.

However, if you want me to watch a video, regardless of its contents, you must either (a) provide a link direct to the video itself (not just to the home page of a site that I have to search to find it), summarise its contents, and provide timestamps to the key points, or (b) send me a free copy and pay me £50/hour for my time watching it and fact checking it afterwards.

I hope you get my point here. This isn’t about what you’re claiming about the age of the earth or evolution; this is about communicating your position in a form that is clear, concise, and easy to fact-check. Videos are time consuming to watch, you can’t skip past bits with which you are familiar, and they throw up barriers to fact-checking them because you can’t copy and paste from them into Google.

Yes, radiometric dating does have its limitations. But these limitations are measured and expressed as error bars. And the error bars are far, far, far, far, far, far too small to justify claims that it could be so out of whack that it consistently fails to distinguish between thousands and billions.

Also, we are not just talking about “rapid changes in climate within a year.” We are talking about accelerated nuclear decay on a scale that would have raised the Earth’s temperature to 22,000°C if it had any basis in reality. This was the admission of the young-earth PhDs themselves.

This article in particular makes three claims, all of which are untrue. Taking them in order:

Assumption 1. Conditions at time zero.

There are radiometric techniques such as isochron dating which do not make this assumption.

Furthermore, in other cases, such as zircon crystals, the conditions at time zero are not mere assumptions but direct consequences of the chemical and crystallographic properties of the minerals being studied. Zircon crystals, for example, cannot contain lead when they are formed, and they cannot be contaminated by it either. To get lead into a zircon crystal by any route other than radioactive decay, the laws of chemistry, crystallography and probably even Euclidean geometry would have to have been different in the past in ways that would have prevented the zircons from even forming in the first place.

Assumption 2. No contamination.

Isochron dating does not make this assumption either. (The article claims that it does, but this is not true.) On the contrary, it comes with a test for contamination: a contaminated sample would not give a straight line on the graph. Furthermore, in the case of zircon, no contamination is not an assumption either, but a direct consequence of its physical, chemical and crystallographic properties.

They cite some anomalous results. What they do not tell you is that anomalous results such as these are the exception, not the rule, and usually occur for well understood reasons. About 90-95% of the time, there is no discordance and nothing unusual. This would certainly not be the case if radiometric dating were so out of whack that it consistently failed to distinguish between thousands and billions.

Assumption 3. Constant Decay Rate.

I’m sorry, but accelerated nuclear decay is science fiction. If nuclear decay rates really had been faster in the past, and certainly on the scale that they are claiming, they would have released enough heat to raise the temperature of the Earth to 22,000°C. And that was their own admission.

The claim that they have found evidence for such accelerated nuclear decay is untrue. It is based on a single study of just five sets of zircon crystals from a single borehole in New Mexico. The study itself was very shoddily conducted, and included numerous examples of incorrect assumptions, fudged data and hand-waving. To give just one example out of many, they changed a set of results from a previous study by a factor of ten to account for “typographical errors” without giving any evidence that the figures in question were in error in the first place. One simply does not do that. The correct procedure in such cases would be to discard the results in question and re-do the original experiment.

Yes, I know. But I was asking rhetorical questions making a point that the source simply does not respect the basic rules and principles of mathematics and measurement, and that it appeals to absurd new laws of fantasy physics that would have vaporised the Earth if they had any basis in reality.

(James McKay) #132

On another note, I’ve taken a look at this article, and all that I can say is that I find it very difficult to see how it could account for the tight meandering shape of Horseshoe Bend as it claims. All it does is hand-wave about following a “pre-existing meandering shape” and then claim that massive torrents of fast-flowing water would have preserved and amplified that meandering shape from gentle undulations in the landscape into a mile deep canyon. That sounds extremely far fetched to me. Massive torrents of fast flowing water draining away simply do not do that. Carve a canyon? Unlikely enough as it is. Carve tight meanders? In your dreams.


And all the while laying down the sedimentary layers that the torrent is carving.

As I understand it the physics of the river flow are what determine the meandering. As defined in this paper for example.

(James McKay) #134

Well yes, precisely.

CMI need to present the results of an actual experiment or computer model demonstrating their proposed torrents producing the meandering shapes. They mention some experiment or other, but there is no mention whatsoever that it reproduces that specific feature.

(Earl L Dunn) #135

Hello Mitch,

May I ask how do I as a Christian need to be changed by your scientific action? Have I asked you to entitle me to money? Is it not God that gives scientists wisdom and guide them toward making discoveries of which we are all thankful? How do I oppose that?
Does God work against Himself by the hands of (good) scientists? What abuses and distortions am I guilty of that you are working against? I need to know!

Who is the prime example of Christian behavior that you follow as your model? If other than Jesus, can anyone even call himself a Christian? Is Jesus guilty of the abuses and distortions?

I only know that Jesus had much to do for humanity during His day and the same is true with the body of Christ this day. Is it not? Only you know the unique talent God gave you in your work as a scientist. Is He directing you in the use of it toward humanity? Remember what Jesus said He could do with Peter and the other fishermen? Humanity will be happy when you through Jesus give what you have to offer.

Was Jesus at a disadvantage during His day because of the lack of today’s science? Or what?

If God willing, I will speak to you tomorrow, Jammycakes.


(Mitchell W McKain) #136

May I ask you why you are making everything about you? Are you defending entitlement and the opposition to scientific discovery?


I already said He was not.

You may equate Christianity with “the body of Christ,” but I do not.

I have little doubt that Jesus was handicapped by all the misunderstandings people had in all sorts of things, science included. You can only change people incrementally. You have start with where they are at and nudge them in the right direction.

(Earl L Dunn) #137

Hello Jammycakes,

OK. here’s the link to the video. Take it or leave it:That’s the best I can do because I found little of all that it contains in other places.

My purpose is only for you to see the whole story so that you would have all of the pieces of the puzzle and thus attain the valuable knowledge that’s meant to bring peace by settling our differences. Isn’t the attainment of knowledge pleasurable?

But since this seems arduous, maybe I should also ask you for a favor. Will you please invite me to your next birthday party with the intention of my enjoyment so that I would demand that you pay me(!!!) for the arduous time I spend to eat the ice cream and cake and for the time I spend to do research to make sure you bought a trusted brand of ice cream? Please?

As for the rest of your posts, I only know that truth (Isn’t God Truth?) that genuine science reveals tends to unite instead of divide. But we yet argue?

With the underlying topic of our discussion other than geology, maybe it will help to look from a practical standpoint. Do you or any of you other guys own a fine automobiles such as a Corvette, Porsche, or a Lamborghini? When you drive a car of that nature, is it only the material assembled with nuts and bolts that you enjoy or is it also the intangibles the builder placed into the car? Isn’t it his vision brought to reality by his placing his heart, soul, and all of his ingenuity into making the car as pleasurable as possible for you to drive? Isn’t it he to whom you in your heart give respect and thanks for that fine machine?

That’s the way I enjoy the earth, the universe, and all within. Despite the fall, my enjoyment of the beauty around us is based on my appreciation of the Builder whose word of mouth can bring about things quickly! Isn’t it best to enjoy it that way?

But what would you think of someone that would devalue your car in his mind by thinking that it came about without purposeful intelligence and would mindlessly put dings into it with his “scientific” hammer? Based on the new tolerance, you would tolerate him, wouldn’t you?

The video I speak of is only one bit of material that help make us aware of the mighty hand of God in the things around us despite the fall instead of shutting God and His truth out. Who or what may we glorify for the beauty and complexity around us other than a Person–the Person of God that endowed us with our rights? Huh?

Take it or leave it. Bye.

For you, mitchellmckain,

Why not if I am also one of those “bad guys” you are talking about? May I please defend myself by saying that I’m not head strong for entitlements and not against scientific discovery? I love science!

Thanks four your saying that your prime example is Jesus and that Jesus is good.

That’s your view. But if not the body of those that gave themselves to Jesus to be His followers, then what group should we consider as His body? Are you saying that you are a Christian and yet not part of His body? Hmmmm.

It’s true that people handicap Jesus’ act of blessing them by straying away from His words of knowledge and biting His hand that feeds.

But I thought that only Jesus changes people that came to Him by the preaching of the gospel (Romans 10:14). Didn’t He instruct us to make an about face from our erroneous ways to be transformed (Romans 12:2) for Him to provide the light to guide us?

We Christians are not a people that made life-long new-years resolutions to be broken the next day, but a people that turned from our erroneous ways (died to them) to walk in His light and the new life He gives us.

DUH. What kind of science are you using to do a “better” job than Jesus in transforming people? Should I come to the conclusion that you are also using “science” to do a better job than Jeremiah in warning people up to this day of their wrongs? Hmmm.


(Mitchell W McKain) #138

Is that also how you will respond if I say rape and murder is bad?

So not head strong for entitlement but you still feel a need to defend an attitude of entitlement? So that is why you didn’t simply agree with me that we should oppose this attitude? You think being Christian entitles you to something? What? You think it entitles you to rule the world or do you think it entitles you to go to heaven? Just what sort of entitlement do you feel a need to defend exactly?

Why thank me for that? You are not Jesus.

Yeah it is my view that the “body of Christ” is not the same as Christianity or group of churches. The body of Christ is something that has Jesus as its head and in control. And so when Christianity does all kinds of evil things like indulgences, crusades, the inquisition, torturing and slaughtering Jews and other people, executing people like Joan of Arc claiming they are witches, bringing back slavery worse than ever before and using the Bible to justify it, then practicing racism with the same justifications, then no I don’t think that is something which demonstrates Jesus being the head and in control – not at all.

I am saying it is for Jesus and Jesus alone to say who is part of His body.

I bet you do at that. But that is not what Romans 10:14 says at all.

Shall I not rightly ask… “How are people to be healed if they do not go to the doctor?” This is a perfectly reasonable thing to ask. But this is NOT at all equivalent to saying… “Only people who go to a doctor can be healed?” Not even a doctor would be that stupid to equate these two things.

Indeed He did. But nowhere did Jesus ever say… now that you believe the right things you take my place as the savior of the world to speak for me with all my authority. To be sure Jesus calls us to take up a cross and follow because becoming a Christian is the beginning of a journey not to lead but to follow.

And remember Jesus words in Matthew 19: 25 When the disciples heard this they were greatly astonished, saying “Who then can be saved?” 26 But Jesus looked at them and said to them, “with non-Christians this is impossible, but with Christians all things are possible.”

Wait… No. Something is wrong there. That is NOT what it says in Matthew 19. Let’s try it again…

25 When the disciples heard this they were greatly astonished, saying “Who then can be saved?” 26 But Jesus looked at them and said to them, "with men this is impossible, but with God all things are possible."

That’s right! It is God not Christians who can save. We are but blind guides, Christians included… Christians especially… Christians at least should know that they are blind guides and that salvation comes from God alone.

Thank you for this demonstration of the absurdity to which people go setting up science in opposition to religion. Science makes no effort what so ever to transform people. That is not what science is about. Science is about investigating the answers to questions about the natural world and what the laws of nature can explain. But some really deranged so called Xtians imagine that this is what Christianity and the Bible is about. Have they lost interest in transforming people? Or maybe they just want to distract people from the fact that rather than changing people they are simply gathering power by selling entitlement like the indulgences the Catholic church used at one time.

(James McKay) #139

Earl, that is not a link to the video itself. It is a link to an online shop selling the video. And where is your summary with timestamps?

I don’t think you’ve understood my point here Earl. I am not dismissing what you have to say out of hand because “presuppositions”. I am merely asking you to present your position in a readily accessible format that does not throw up unnecessary barriers towards assessing and fact-checking it.

In any case, your claim that you “found little of all that it contains in other places” sounds extremely implausible to me. Answers in Genesis, the Institute for Creation Research, and Creation Ministries International each have hundreds of articles discussing the Grand Canyon. Articles that are freely available online, in text format, that I can skim over, focus on the important parts, copy and paste into Google, and so on. In fact, you’ve linked to some of them yourself. Are you able to explain exactly what significant information your video contains that these other articles do not? Because if you can’t, then there’s no point whatsoever in expecting me – or indeed, anyone else – to fork out $15 + postage for a video and then spend two hours watching it.

Well thanks for the offer of your services, Earl, but at this point in time I don’t have any need for a professional ice cream and cake researcher. If I did, however, I would be more than willing to consider your application on its merits and negotiate an appropriate fee.

The rest of my posts boil down to one simple point. Make sure that your facts are straight. Nothing more, nothing less. Yes, unity is important, but it is not a substitute for factual accuracy.


Explanation you are looking for

(James McKay) #141

Thanks. @Ecerotops - that’s the kind of format that I’m looking for. Text-based, therefore easier to scan, easier to zoom in and out, easier to search, easier to fact check. Videos just don’t give you that.

Personally though, I’d be very surprised if the lake breach hypothesis stood up to scrutiny – I’d have thought you’d need a LOT more water than that to carve something the size of the Grand Canyon through hard rock. For comparison, the Strait of Gibraltar is believed to have been formed 5.33 million years ago by a similar kind of breach in an event known as the Zanclean Flood. The Strait of Gibraltar is just a fraction of the size of the Grand Canyon (a third of the depth and a tenth of the length), and the Mediterranean has about 300 times the volume of the lakes being proposed here.

In any case, nothing that has been said so far addresses the point I made on March 25th. Specifically: channels carved by floods or lake breaches do not meander in tight, horseshoe bends.