Is the Bible Inspired?

In the thread The Role of Miracles in Judaism and Christianity, Ed Babinski said: “But, concerning the doctrine of biblical inspiration, my questions remain.” Now I won’t presume to know exactly the meaning or nature of his questions, it did make me think about the question of inspiration in Scripture? How would we know it was inspired? As far as I can see, the only way we could possibly know the Scripture was inspired is if it tells us something verifiable. However, I am constantly assured by my accommodationalist friends that nothing verifiable exists in at least early scripture. Below is my case for differing with them and possibly showing some evidence that the Bible was inspired by a God who deals in history. I am going to ask some questions about how pieces of information came to be in the Scripture.

Everyone knows I believe that only geologic event in earth’s history which matches the Biblical description of Noah’s flood was the infilling of the Mediterranean Sea. It lasted a year, would have brought its own mechanism for rain, and covered high mountains (3-4 km high), and land the ark on the mountains of Ararat None of this can be said of the Mesopotamian idea of a flood. But few want to believe that God has worked with humanity that long ago. We want to believe in a Neolithc Adam. Fair enough. However, this strange fact is the first of 3 which all fit together to paint a consistent picture pointing to an old Adam.

But here is the first question. How is it that the Bible’s description of the rivers of Eden matches precisely the geographic lay out of the Eastern Mediterranean just before the infilling of the Mediterranean basin 5.5 myr ago? On this forum I discuss that here. The geologic data from the Eastern Med from this time frame is the source of my claim. I have revised this a bit and will post the revision but don’t want to lengthen this post. Today these rivers empty into different oceans on different continents, yet the Bible says they were all together at Eden and the only time that happened was before the only flood matching Noah’s flood occurred. The only place they were together was where that flood happened! Is this blind chance or inspiration?

Second question. The curses are both effects of having a large head. I have discussed that here on biologos. According to anthropologists, like Dean Falk, the sweat of our brow is a cooling mechanism for our brain, which is too large. Her favorite saying is that the engine can’t get bigger than the cooling mechanism allows. God cursed Adam with sweat of the brow. Neolithic Adam already had a brain as big as ours, and such a curse was meaningless. 1000 generations behind Neolithic Adam had the same brain cooling mechanism. Similarly Eve’s pain in childbirth comes from the infant’s head size which is much larger than that of most primates. Why would God curse Eve with pain in childbirth when 2000 generations of her mothers had that same pain?. So, why is it that the curses point us to a time when Humans had smaller brains, which is consistent with the hominid forms on earth at the time of Eden’ts geography and the only flood fitting Noah’s description? Is this confluence evidence of inspiration. or blind luck?

Last night I was watching The History of Food on Curiosity Stream. It was talking about Australian aboriginal food. The Aborigine said something like, We have been here 50,000 years and have developed our food sources. When did Jesus come? 2000 years ago. When did the Egyptians live? 10,000 years ago. We have been here much longer than that. It was an implied swipe that Jesus and our God are johnny come lately’s.Moving Adam and Eve back to the only time genetics says we could have had an original pair,(also 5.5 myr ago based on age of our oldest genes), makes our God involved with all of our hominid time on earth. Is it blind chance that our oldest genes date from the same time, around 5.5 myr ago(discussed here)?

Here is the full reasoning behind the geologic data which supports the claim that Eden’s river describe a time long ago:

by Glenn R. Morton, March 14, 2020

The rivers of Eden describes the Eastern Mediterranean area as it was 5.5 myr ago. It points to Eden being located in the only place on earth that was flooded with a flood that matches the Biblical description of Noah’s flood. How did that happen? How is that possible? Below, I show how the Bible does match that time frame. It is up to you to decide how this occurred.

Eden is not popular with our theologians anymore. To me, this is a problem in need of solution because I believe Christian theology requires Eden and the events there to be real historical events. Most modern Christians don’t think Eden’s geography is real. And they do so for good reason, today’s geography makes Eden impossible. Eden is reserved for a special castigation and unbelief by our scholars. John Monday writes:

" Some have gone further and claimed the geographical allusion is to a fantasy. For Cassuto, ‘The Garden of Eden according to the Torah was not situated in our world.’ Skinner claimed: ‘it is obvious that a real locality answering the description of Eden exists and has existed nowhere on the face of the earth…(T)he whole representation (is) outside the sphere of real geographic knowledge. In (Genesis 2) 10-14, in short, we have…a semi-mythical geography.’ For Ryle, ‘The account…is irreconcilable with scientific geography.’ Radday believed that Eden is nowhere because of its deliberately tongue-in-cheek fantastic geography. McKenzie asserted that ‘the geography of Eden is altogether unreal; it is a Never-never land.’ Amit held the garden story to be literary utopiansim, that the Garden was ‘never-known,’ with no real location. Burns’ similar view is that the rivers were the entryway into the numinous world. An unusual mixture of views was maintained by Wallace, who held that the inclusion of the Tigris and Euphrates indicated an ‘earthly geographic situation,’ but saw the Eden narrative as constructed from a garden dwelling-of-God motif (with rivers nourishing the earth) combined with a creation motif, both drawing richly from those motifs as found in Ancient Near East mythological literature. " John C. Munday, Jr., "Eden’s Geography Erodes Flood Geology,"Westminster Theological Journal, 58(1996), pp. 123-154,p.128-130

John Worrall, professor of the philosophy of science at the London School of Economics, said:

" There is an enormous difference between myths like the Garden of Eden – so crazy even bishops don’t believe it – and those myths which, as yet, have no evidence to back them up. Camelot falls into this category. " http://detnews.com/1998/accent/9808/20/08200043.htm Link no longer works

So, is the geography of Eden real? I hope to show that it was real, and that geography has changed, and the description of Eden no longer fits today. But it is going to stretch the comfort of many.

I remember as a teen hearing a preacher ask his audience of teens, how many wanted to know God’s will? Nearly all the hands went up. Then he asked, How many of you are willing to do whatever it is he asks? Most hands went down and a few remained up. The preacher then said, “You are the ones who will find his will for your lives.?”.

I think this story also goes for apologetics. Are we willing to go where the data says to go? I think most are not, some go part way and a few might be willing to go all the way. When I was a new christian and was just getting into the creation/evolution area, and sadly becoming a YEC, I knew YEC had problems but felt the theology required a true history from Genesis. I told my best friend of the time, my roommate and eventual best man, that I was going to solve the CE issue. That was a brash brag on the part of a 19 year old. The flood was what intrigued me most because floods leave evidence of themselves. And there is zero evidence of a big flood in Mesopotamia and the YEC global flood wouldn’t work for so many reasons. My search led me eventually to the infilling of the Mediterranean Sea. Such an infilling perfectly fits the description of the flood in the Bible, but few are willing to call it Noah’s flood. Doing so raises questions about farming that far back? And questions about can a primitive hominid really be capable of speech and communion with God? I will address these questions at the bottom of this post. I found a solution that no one likes.

The question I have come to is “How on earth did Genesis 2:8-13 come to describe the geography of the eastern Mediterranean sea bottom, which at the time was dry land during the Messinian Salinity Crisis?” And that location for Eden lies in the only flood in geologic history that is local, and matches precisely the description provided by Genesis 7 and 8.

8 And the LORD God planted a garden eastward in Eden; and there he put the man whom he had formed. 9 And out of the ground made the LORD God to grow every tree that is pleasant to the sight, and good for food; the tree of life also in the midst of the garden, and the tree of knowledge of good and evil. 10 And a river went out of Eden to water the garden; and from thence it was parted, and became into four heads. 11 The name of the first is Pison: that is it which compasseth the whole land of Havilah, where there is gold; 12 And the gold of that land is good: there is bdellium and the onyx stone. 13 And the name of the second river is Gihon: the same is it that compasseth the whole land of Ethiopia. 14 And the name of the third river is Hiddekel: that is it which goeth toward the east of Assyria. And the fourth river is Euphrates. " The Holy Bible: King James Version. (2009). (Electronic Edition of the 1900 Authorized Version., Ge 2:8–14). Bellingham, WA: Logos Research Systems, Inc. (Note, all Bible quotations come from this source)

Six million years ago the strait at Gibraltar closed, cutting the Mediterranean off from its main source of water. In the Mediterranean basin, more water evaporates from it than rivers can supply. Because of this, the entire Mediterranean sea dried up, leaving a few big brinish lakes and the rest was desert or grasslands where the rivers flowed in. Things were very different back then. Let’s take a look.

The first river is the river Pison and it is said to compass the land of Havilah. Genesis 25: says: And they dwelt from Havilah unto Shur, that is before Egypt, as thou goest toward Assyria.

This places Havilah in Arabia or the Sinai. In 2019 Matt and Ryan presented a paper on this question at an AAPG sponsored geological conference.

Yossi Mart and William B.F. Ryan Abstract

“The offshore extension of Afiq Canyon is a deep valley, buried under thick Plio-Quaternary sediments beneath the continental slope off the southern coastal plain of Israel. … Additional valleys of similar dimensions and characteristics to the marine extension of Afiq Canyon occur elsewhere along the continental slope of the entire Levant, suggesting that several rivers of the fluvial system of the Levant, which drained northwestern Arabia to the Mediterranean Sea during the Oligo-Miocene, still prevailed in the Messinian . The Afiq Canyon and its offshore apron as well as equivalents such as the Nahr Menashe fluvial system off Lebanon, imply that the geography of the Levant during late Miocene differed from the present. The Levant Rift could not have been a continuous tectonic depression as it is in the present, but rather a sufficiently disconnected series of grabens that allowed large rivers to still flow in between. The presence of the Afiq apron of substantial volume and with a thickness approaching 200 m along its apex confirms active fluvial systems feeding their bedloads into the Mediterranean as recent as 5 million years ago.” 1

This is the Pison river system and when the Mediterranean was a dry mostly arid land, this river flowed over the present continental shelf and ended up on the former Mediterranean sea bed.

The second river is easy to identify because the only river that encompasses the land of Cush/Ethiopia between the White and Blue Nile tributaries, is the Nile river. During the Messinian Salinity Crisis, the Nile river cut the biggest Grand Canyon that ever existed. It cut over 4000 m into the African granite during this period.

" During the MSC the Nile created an enormous canyon, measured at a depth of more than 4000m below sea level in the offshore area of the delta ." 2

The sands it transported into the Mediterranean are shown on the picture below. The sharp linear cutoff of the yellow Nile sands is due to where the seismic survey stopped:

The southernmost red arrow in the picture above marks where the Pison entered the Mediterranean Sea. That is crooked lines it points to is the Afiq canyon mentioned above. Below is a picture of Afiq canyon from another paper, it is an enlargement and a bit fuzzy but can be read.

We now have two of the Biblical rivers coming together on the floor of the dry Mediterranean basin.

The third river is the Tigris. It is called Hiddekel in Daniel 10:4

" as I was by the side of the great river, which is Hiddekel "

Since the other river is always referred to as the Euphrates, Daniel had to be in the Tigris.

The precise location of this river’s entry into the system is not completely clear. It might have joined the Euphrates onshore. We know that because Arabia was then draining its water into the Mediterranean, the Tigris couldn’t flow south because of topography. It was updip that direction at that time., So, the Tigris is boxed in by the Euphrates draining to the Mediterranean and the Pison draining to the Mediterranean. Logic dictate that this river entered the Mediterranean basin. My current best idea about where it entered that sea, was a data point I once thought was the Euphrates. Just north of the Lebanese/Syrian border a big river entered into the dry Mediterranean sea at that time. Below is the surface slice from 3d seismic showing there is a big river channel entering the Med which I have marked on the picture. The channel is about 3 km wide which means it was a major river. The Green sediment fan shown in the first picture has to be the Euphrates, because it is closest to Turkey where that river is sourced. The Tigris river is sourced further east in Turkey.

The fourth river is the Euphrates, as it is named. It entered the Mediterranean through the province of Hatay, Turkey. The green sands, the Nahr Menashe, shown in the picture below are mostly from the Euphrates river, which even today gets about 62 miles from the Mediterranean coast at just this location. Today uplift along the coast turns the Euphrates away from its closest sea and heads it to the Persian Gulf.

This is because the crash of Africa into Eurasia has changed the tilt of the land since then. But during the Messinian Salinity Crisis, when the Mediterranean was dry, the Great Euphrates dumped its sand in the same place we find the Pison and Nile(Gihon) dumping their sands. The waters of these 3 rivers would have intermingled.

Putting this all together, this is a schematic of what I think the preflood rivers looked like and how they related to each other:

Eden’s geography can be quite real and quite historical. The question is, are you willing to go where the data of geology and the data of the Bible lead?

Now, I have shown that at one time, 5-6 myr ago, the rivers of Eden met on the bottom of the dry Mediterranean basin. I think that is where Eden was. The geography is real, but it isn’t applicable to our time. Geography changes.

So, here is the question, How is it that the Bible mentions these 4 rivers which are impossible to be together today, but which were together 5 myr ago in a basin that experienced the most massive flood every known. That flood would have matched Noah’s flood as described.

  1. Noah’s flood lasted a year. Geological cores from the flood layer show that the filling was extremely rapid–within an inch of sedimentation. Calculations show that it would have taken about a year to refill the Mediterranean 8.4 months to 2 years are recent estimates.

2.That flood would have covered many high mountains within the basin, but whose tops were below sea level. Noah’s flood says the same thing. “Fifteen cubits upward did the waters prevail; and the mountains were covered” Gen 7:20

  1. If you read the word ‘eretz’ as land rather than as planet earth, then Genesis 7:21 is absolutely true:

And all flesh died that moved upon the earth, both of fowl, and of cattle, and of beast, and of every creeping thing that creepeth upon the land, and every man: 22 All in whose nostrils was the breath of life, of all that was in the dry land, died.

  1. Constant rain would occur because the flood waters filling the basin would push moist air up which would cool, condense to clouds and cause long periods of constant rain.

  2. Furthermore, in Gen 6:11, God says he will destroy the ‘eretz’ (land). And God said unto Noah, The end of all flesh is come before me; for the earth is filled with violence through them; and, behold, I will destroy them with the earth. This can’t happen with a global flood; we still have land. It doesn’t happen with a Mesopotamian flood–Mesopotamia is still there. But with a big local flood, like the infilling of the Mediterranean, that land has actually been destroyed. It no longer exists.

To top this off, this time period was when Hominids first appear on earth. This is the only time we could have had a primal pair of Adam and Eve. And this makes people nervous about having Adam be a small brained person. I have a series of posts here which discuss this and other issues.

If you are worried about a small brain being stupid, see my post discussing a normal modern human with a brain the size of an australopithecus.

If you don’t think Adam could have lived that far back, consider the series When Did Adam Live. Since humanity’s oldest genes are 5.5 myr of age, genealogically, this is the only time a primal pair of parents could have existed, see here. Religion goes way back, meaning religion is not a new thing. The curses given to Adam and Eve both involve their brains growing bigger, which implies strongly that Adam and Eve were early hominids. Why would God curse big-brained Neolithic farmers with what they already had?

Objection: Farming The choice of ‘tiller’ for the translation of what Cain did might be unfortunate. The word could be “served” the ground, or ‘worked’ the ground which would not have that connotation of farming. Strong’s says: " AV translates as “serve” 227 times, “do” 15 times, “till” nine times, “servant” five times, “work” five times, “worshippers” five times, “service” four times, “dress” twice, “labour” twice, “ear” twice, " 3 Early hominids used stick to dig up tubors. They were ‘workers’ of the ground, but not ‘tillers’ of the ground. Translators always think in terms of their scenario for the events they are translating. If they are wrong, well, they change what people think. I don’t feel necessarily that this does mean tilling rather than working the ground.

What of Abel keeper of flocks? There are two ways of looking at this. The word keeper can be translated as ‘companion’, so Abel could be a ‘companion of flocks’. Did he consider he owned them? Maybe. Did flock consider itself owned? Maybe not–like my cat does not consider himself owned. Many primitive people follow ‘their’ herds, but their herds are wild. But lets say he did have some captive animals. This might be no more different than the Neanderthals of the Southern Caucasus who clearly had sheep in a closed off box canyon and used them as a food source. The sheep were wild but couldn’t escape.

Now, the word translated as sheep is tson and may mean sheep, goats or cattle. (it also could mean possessions). Now, herders get most of their calories from the flocks and herds they keep. That is why they keep them. But what are we to do when Neanderthals did the same thing in the Caucasus mountains where they obtained 85% of their calories from sheep! 4

At another cave they obtained 60% from sheep and goats.

" Outside the Caucasus, high frequencies of mountain goat in Middle Palaeolithic contexts have been observed in Uzbekistan at Teshik-Tash (Capra sibirica: 1 80% NISP [Gromova 1949]) and Obi-Rakhmat (Capra sibirica: 47.4-66.7% [Wrinn n.d.]), at the Spanish sites of Gabasa 1 (Capra pyrenaica: 33.7-52.2% NISP per layer [Blasco Sancho 1995]) and Axlor (Capra ibex: 25.6% combined ungulate sample [Altuna 1989, 1992]), and at Hortus in southern France (Capra ibex: 75.4% NISP combined sample [de Lumley 1972]). " 5

It seems that Neanderthals had some system which had a similar effect calorically as herders, but they were unlikely herders. Maybe this is something like what Abel had.

Speech I do not believe that it was necessary for Adam to have the same ability in language that we have. There has always been a question in anthropology about whether language areas like Broca’s area developed as speech improved or where they required first. If they were required first the question then becomes what caused them to grow, as useless things until suddenly, they got big enough for language. That seems backward. Broca’s area should have evolved as a response to speech getting better.

I also don’t think it is necessary for the vocal tract to be like ours in order to have a primitive language. Meer cats have vocalizations for aerial attacks by eagles or a terrestrial attack. They don’t have our vocal tract but communicate these things very well. Early humans would have had a slower communication, but it still could have been communication.

When I was a young-earth creationist, I believed that the Bible was historically true and that grounded my faith. When I left it and had no historical anchor for early Genesis, I cursed the day I became a geoscientist. I envied the YEC’s for the certitude they had and I didn’t have certitude. Now that I have found a way to match the Bible historically from Genesis 1 through the Exodus, I have that certitude in Scripture again that I had so long ago. Certitude that they were correct is what powered the disciples. Without that certitude today, the church is weak and adrift.

Now, once again, is it blind chance or divine inspiration that the Bible describes a geography that actually existed 5.5 myr ago? Will you follow the evidence or not?

References

1. http://www.searchanddiscovery.com/documents/2019/51612mart/ndx_mart.pdf

2 .Angelos Mousouliotis et al, " Siliciclastic Deposits of the Messinian Nile Canyon, Herodotus Basin, Eastern Mediterranean", Geoscience Technology Workshop, Exploration and Development of Siliciclastic and Carbonate Reservoirs in the Eastern Mediterranean, Tel Aviv, Israel, February 26-27, 2019http://www.searchanddiscovery.com/abstracts/html/2019/telaviv-90341/abstracts/2019.TelAviv.12.html

3. Strong, J. (1995). Enhanced Strong’s Lexicon. Woodside Bible Fellowship.

4 .Daniel S. Adler, Guy Bar-Oz, Anna Belfer-Cohen, and Ofer Bar-Yosef, Ahead of the Game : Middle and Upper Palaeolithic Hunting Behaviors in the Southern Caucasus ,"" Current Anthropology Volume 47, Number 1, February 2006, p. 91

5 .L.V. Golovanova, et al, ““Mezmaiskaya Cave: A Neanderthal Occupation in the Northern Caucasus,”” Current Anthropology, 40(1999):1:77-86, p. 85

Is the Bible inspired? Yes. How do we know? It was the belief of the early church, handed down to us throughout history and testified to by the followers of God all over the world. What does it mean that it is inspired? In some way, God is the ultimate source of the truth the Bible communicates, and God’s Spirit uses the truth in the Bible to convict, encourage, discipline, transform, guide, instruct, enlighten, and otherwise build up his family over the centuries and in every culture and language where people seek him.

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Well we go back to relativism here. The bible is inspired because my culture says it is. That isn’t data, Christy. Our or their belief is not infallible.

In some way, God is the ultimate source of the truth the Bible communicates, and God’s Spirit uses the truth in the Bible to convict, encourage, discipline, transform, guide, instruct, enlighten, and otherwise build up his family over the centuries and in every culture and language where people seek him.

Bahai say the same about their books. How does one tell the difference?, by just saying our culture/religion is better than theirs?

Your definition of relativism is weird. I’m not talking about my culture, I’m talking about how the confessional Christian religion has always viewed orthodoxy. It’s via the preservation and transmission of apostolic teaching, not every person reading the Bible and seeing what’s “verifiable.” No duh, it’s not data. Data doesn’t constitute or validate Christianity. Yeah, none of our beliefs our infallible. I’m not confused on that point.

I’m perfectly willing to admit “telling the difference” comes down to one’s personal experience and judgment not some kind of empirical rational exercise. And yes, my claim that my religion is better than theirs is my perspective, based on my preferred narrative, and not grounded in some kind of absolute truth I can prove. Welcome to post-modernity. This doesn’t bother me, nor does it mean that no one is right and all truth claims are equal. It just means we can’t know with certainty we are right. I still sleep fine at night.

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But it is a pretty good reason to encourage a wider culture of tolerance towards the practice of different traditions. Not because they’re interchangeable, but because recognizing that there is nothing conclusive to persuade those who practice a different faith, we should want to treat others as we would like to be treated.

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Amen. The heretic Samaritan was Jesus’ example to the Jews of righteousness in following their religious law. We can always learn from people who do not share our worldview.

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I believe the scriptures are inspired by God.

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Christy, I’m going back to the questions I asked. Are you saying this is blind luck? I didn’t write the Bible to say where Havilah or Cush were. I didn’t cause the Mediterranean flood. I take it from your reaction that you think anything really historical is an anathema to Christianity. Therefore, this congruence of events is not due to God but to Blind chance.

Of course we must be kind, charitable etc to other cultures. But if we don’t believe what we spout, do we stand for anything? I really don’t want this thread to go the way of accommodation. I am interested in the answer to the questions I asked. Is that blind chance?

I do too Skov. I think the question is, upon what do we base that belief? Do we base that belief on our belief that it is inspired, or do we base that belief on something more tangible. I must admit I was surprised to find that a river flowed out of Havilah (Arabia}into the Med–ever. And it is there in Scripture. I didn’t cause that, write the Bible or pay someone off to include that info. So, do we think God is capable of actually conveying real information to us like this or not?

Here is a deeper issue. If God can’t convey real historical info to us, upon what basis do we believe that he can convey to us the real metaphysical information about heaven? Again, is it just our belief that he can that makes us believe, or should it be upon something more tangible?

During my days running with the atheists, I learned one thing–they wanted nothing to be observationally real about the Bible and made fun of the fact that there was nothing real historical scienific about it.

And this is why I find most discussions with you to go nowhere.

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It is just a question. Is it that hard to give an answer?

I think linking “verifiability” with inspiration is misguided. Not because historical events in the Bible can’t be verified, but because it isn’t all that special and doesn’t prove God inspired the document.

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I thank you for your answer. See,we did go somewhere. lol

The thing that I find curious about this particular set of facts is that no one could have known of it until 1970 when the first DSDP cores were brought up from he sediments in the Mediterranean. No Hebrew writer could have described where those rivers were anytime in the past 50,000 years until 1970. I find that curious. I know, people are leery of this sort of thing–with good reason, but Ed’s question still deserves an answer if we can give it to him.

I do apologize. I stopped typing and thought I deleted everything and somehow must have hit enter. I thought I was going to have time to reply and then remembered I had to organize my second tool trailer so I’ll edit this comment later.

There is a lot of data here, Gbob…I think it is interesting. Five to six million years?? Lonnnnnnnggggg time ago!! Human memory does not go back that far…but I will take your word for it.

According to some, there is a Persian Oasis at the bottom of the Persian Gulf which was above ground about 12,000 years ago, had all four of those named rivers, plus the subterranean springs of water etc —and all this just before the Urban Revolution and the Agricultural Revolution brought on a new stage in human development and history. Could that be the place the biblical text (early chapters) referred to?

All interesting. But as for the Bible being inspired?

I think this depends on what you mean by that — word for word? that is, dictated by some sort of divine decree? Well, those are weighty subjects.

The text we now have has been handed down for millennia, pretty faithfully copied (see the Dead Sea Scrolls and numerous biblical text scholars’ verdicts on that one) and handled as inspired — for quite a long time.

This may partly be a matter of faith … but also, ultimately, because it has been shown to have historical value. These texts also talked about the coming of One Who would do amazing things and be God Incarnate — and Who, in His time, cited biblical texts as part of His own self-identity and as having heralded His coming. Various ancient verses were interpreted, or seen at that time, as pointing to the coming of Jesus of Nazareth. That, in and of itself, enhances the significance of Hebrew Scripture, at least in the eyes of those who believe these verses spoke of this Messiah — and then assert that He has come and has asserted that He will come again — in judgment next time.

As others have pointed out, the Bible is the only text that, since the time of Aristotle (if not before) maintained that the Universe had a beginning. Turns out, it was right. “Early Scripture” references to situations and names that were known early on – although it would be interesting to ask if the “early” biblical writers would still have known of the Pishon and Gihon rivers — which must have disappeared at some point (but been remembered somehow?). The biblical text also referenced Egyptian customs and place names that at least commend an existence in Egypt for the fledgling Israeli nation — no matter how else others see their early history unfolding.

The biblical text also foresaw a time when a human male would one day come and he/He would be both Messiah and God…and, well, that did happen. (Some would not agree but that really IS another matter.) The word translated “emity” in Gen 3:15 is one used of a situation between individuals, never involving the lower creation, at least according to what I have read. The nature of trade and of early trade routes make it likely that the names and places of Gen 10 were known to Abraham. Assyrian cuneiform in the British Museum support some of Genesis 10. If you want something verifiable, this would be somewhere in the ballpark of that, not to mention ancient cuneiform inscriptions that mention events, people, places from the biblical text.

I could run on with a few other things.

This.

The Bible is ineffably not arcanely inspired.

It could NOT have been passed down by oral tradition. That is what makes this so interesting and curious to me. It also goes against the general view of a dataless early bible.

There is no doubt about that. There are cities on the shallow water shelf off Israel. these are due to sea level fluctuations due to glacial cycles. The 4-5km drop in water level in the Messinian was not per se due to glacial ccyles although they were happening back then.

Yes, the Bible was correct about a Beginning. But many would say that too was a fluke. I don’t think it was. I also think god could have foreseen a day when scientifically minded man would doubt everything. Does God not care for our souls? Leaving us all believing there is no history or data in Scripture means we are all left with needless doubt. I spent 15 years in serious doubt. I hope God loves anyone enough to pull them out of that doubt even if it requires something like this.

My friend, we will of course disagree on this. My guess is if just after you left YEC, you had seen something like this, you might have been more interested. And you might look back now and think glad I didn’t see anything like this. That is ok. As I said yesterday, we took different paths.

“Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone.” -Colossians 4:6

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