Pharaoh’s Magicians:Evolution, The Bible, and Modern Gnosticism

What is Hairesis?

Pharaoh’s Magicians: Evolution, The Bible and Modern Gnosticism

Gregory C. Benoit

Foreword

“People today tend to think of Gnosticism—-when they think of it at all—as an outdated heresy which flourished in the first two centuries AD. But this notion is grossly inaccurate on two levels: first, the heresy is far more ancient than the first century; it was actually invented by the serpent in the Garden of Eden at the very beginning of time. Second, Gnosticism is far from outdated or old-fashioned; it is alive and thriving in the world today, and its false teachings have polluted the theology of the church. The one thing that Christians today do understand correctly about Gnosticism is that it is a heresy. What is less understood is that it is a heresy which is being embraced and taught by the leading Bible scholars and teachers of our day, and as such it needs to be purged out.

This book began when I was preparing a series of sermons on the book of Genesis. In all innocence, I purchased copies of the most influential commentaries on Genesis: Gordon Wenham’s Word Biblical Commentary on Genesis (Thomas Nelson), and Victor P. Hamilton’s New International Commentary on the Old Testament : The Book of Genesis (Eerdmans). I was taken aback to discover that both of these commentaries attempt to rewrite the first three chapters of Genesis in order to accommodate the religion of evolution —-so I purchased other commentaries from other series by other authors —- only to discover that they too, had adulterated God’s Word in an attempt to force evolution into the text.

It is important to understand that evolution is a religion. It is a faith-based teaching on the origins of the human race, one cannot ever be proven anymore than the one can hope to conclusively prove that Genesis 1 is a literal record of the truth. One believes in evolution by placing one’s faith in the teachings and claims of modern science, despite the widely held notion that science is proven fact which requires no act of faith.

It is a religion in the sense that whoever or whatever created mankind is mankind’s God. One’s creator has the final authority over one’s life and destiny. If God created man as described in Genesis 1, then He is the final authority over mankind’s destiny. If mankind evolved, then that final authority belongs to Death, as death is the driving force behind the myth of evolution.

This book addresses both evolution and Gnosticism, as evolution is a modern permutation of that ancient heresy—-but it does not address any scientific claims or pseudo- evidence. This book is concerned only with what the Bible teaches on the subject of man’s origins, and therefore it will address only what the Bible says. The premise of this approach is simple: one’s belief concerning the origins of the human race are based upon faith; no empirical evidence can ever be produced to conclusively prove one view over another. One is free to place one’s faith in the teachings of men, which we commonly refer to as “science;” one is free to place one’s faith in the teachings of the Bible as the final Word of God; but one is not free to claim that the Bible endorses the false religions of the world.

This book will demonstrate that last statement, that the Bible does not and cannot be made to endorse the Gnostic teachings of evolution.”

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Going to order this book. Thanks for sharing, Kelli

Excerpts from the studylight.org links:

From Pt 1:

. The subject of heresy can extend to any Christian teaching, even to misrepresentations about the history of the Bible. A “sect” or a “faction” (αἵρεσις) is a group made up of people who hold the same personal choices of belief. These people separate themselves from the rest of the Body of Christ with the philosophy that their personal choices of belief are right and that everyone else is wrong. However, when examined in the light of Scripture, their belief choices are seen to be aberrant from Biblically established truth.

From Pt 2:

Heresy has been in the Church since its birth, described in Acts Chapter 2. It was a continual struggle for young pastors such as Timothy and Titus. It continues to plague the Church especially in this present age of technology when believers are exposed to myriads of teachings from various information sources. Technology is not inherently bad, but this information highway brings a tremendous influence to bear on young, un-established believers who lack the “tools” and the understanding of Scripture to be able to check what they are hearing and reading. Instead, many believers try to “sense” if something is right or not, believing that what seems logical or right must be true. However, this is not how God establishes His truth. His truth is established through His Son and this Truth has been faithfully recorded in Scripture.

From Pt 3:

Primarily, false teaching, or heresy, is born out of personal choice and belief. The subject of heresy can extend to any Christian teaching, even to misrepresentations about the history of the Bible. A “sect” or a “faction” (αἵρεσις) is a group made up of people who hold the same personal choices of belief. These people separate themselves from the rest of the Body of Christ with the philosophy that their personal choices of belief are right and that everyone else is wrong. However, when examined in the light of Scripture, their belief choices are seen to be aberrant from Biblically established truth.

I’m sorry Kelli, but that is clueless nonsense.

Evolution is not a faith-based religion; it is an evidence-based theory. It has proven to be very successful at explaining vast swathes of evidence that we see in nature down to a very fine level of detail. It has a strong track record of making precise, testable predictions. It has significant and valuable commercial and practical real-world applications in everything from oil exploration to conservation, medical research, and even computer science and software engineering. It is studied extensively in laboratories, in the field, and in computer models and simulations.

There’s one thing that every YEC preacher, evangelist and theologian needs to understand before trying to challenge “the teachings and claims of modern science.” You need to know what you are talking about first. You need to understand the basics of what science is, how it works, why it claims the things that it claims, and what exactly you need to do if you want to challenge those claims. Because otherwise you’ll just end up coming across as clueless and ignorant at best, and dishonest at worst.

People such as Gregory C. Benoit need to start here:

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Oh dear. This is another good example of what I consider to be the incredible arrogance of many evangelical Christians.

From the first chapter:

Or put another way: All those scientists and their careful measurements of the natural world. All those predictions that led to new discoveries and technologies that benefit mankind, psh! I can dismiss all of that by faith. Take that scientists!

It is a very dangerous argument to teach people they can dismiss things by faith like this. The same argument has been used recently against things like climate change, COVID-19 precautions/vaccines, mental health/psychiatry, etc. My etc. is doing a lot of work in that sentence.

I’m sorry you all, and I’m not saying you dismiss scientists on all these issues, but many people use the exact same argument that this author is using and you are endorsing… And this can far too many times directly lead to human suffering and death.

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This has always been the claim of die-hard Evolutionists. However, the available evidence does not support the extended so-called “TOE”. There is a point when evidence stops a “Faith”, for want of a better term takes over. he “belief” that time will achieve the changes involved is pure faith.
There are three types of lies: Lies, damned lies, and statistics. Ultimately TOE relies on statistics to fulfill its claims.
There are certain rules and limitations built into the Evolutionary process. I know many will claim this false, but unless one deviation can change a reptile into a mammal with no intermediary (possible) then TOE is doomed to failure. The two types of life are as incompatible as a petrol engine is to a diesel. There are similarities in form and function but the make up and parts are completely different. And no monotreme will suffice. Monotremes are warm blooded.

Richard

No, Richard. It has been the claim of people who need to understand and apply the theory of evolution correctly in order to do their jobs properly. People such as petroleum geologists. Virologists. Epidemiologists. Cancer researchers. And anyone working in data science, machine learning, or artificial intelligence.

Look, if you are going to attempt to challenge the theory of evolution, or indeed any other scientific theory, as I said you need to go about it the right way. Start by reading the article that I linked to above in my response to @Kelli on how to challenge a scientific theory.

Of course they will tell you that it is false. They will tell you that it is false because you are not trying to challenge what the theory of evolution actually says in reality, but a straw man cartoon caricature of it. The theory of evolution tells us that mammals and reptiles diverged from a common ancestor via millions of small changes over the course of millions of generations. No evolutionary biologist teaches anywhere that a reptile can give birth to a mammal via a single large change in the course of a single generation, much less turn into one overnight without giving birth to anything.

Basically, he’s another of those people who think that they know more about science than “secular scientists” despite the fact that they haven’t set foot in a laboratory since they finished compulsory science education at age sixteen. And as a result just end up debunking straw man cartoon caricatures of it that bear no resemblance whatsoever to anything that actually gets taught about it in schools or universities.

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Hebrews 11:3

Through faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that things which are seen were not made of things which do appear.

Hebrews 11:4

By faith Abel offered unto God a more excellent sacrifice than Cain, by which he obtained witness that he was righteous, God testifying of his gifts: and by it he being dead yet speaketh.

Hebrews 11:5

By faith Enoch was translated that he should not see death; and was not found, because God had translated him: for before his translation he had this testimony, that he pleased God.

Hebrews 11:6

But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.

Hebrews 11:7

By Faith Noah, being warned of God of things not seen as yet, moved with fear, prepared an ark to the saving of his house; by the which he condemned the world, and became heir of the righteousness which is by faith.

Hebrews 11:8

By Faith Abraham, when he was called to go out into a place which he should after receive for an inheritance, obeyed; and he went out, not knowing whither he went.

Hebrews 11:9

By faith he sojourned in the land of promise, as in a strange country, dwelling in tabernacles with Isaac and Jacob, the heirs with him of the same promise:

Hebrews 11:11

Through faith also Sara herself received strength to conceive seed, and was delivered of a child when she was past age, because she judged him faithful who had promised.

Hebrews 11:17

By faith Abraham, when he was tried, offered up Isaac: and he that had received the promises offered up his only begotten son,

Hebrews 11:20

By faith Isaac blessed Jacob and Esau concerning things to come.

Hebrews 11:21

By faith Jacob, when he was a dying, blessed both the sons of Joseph; and worshipped, leaning upon the top of his staff.

Hebrews 11:22

By faith Joseph, when he died, made mention of the departing of the children of Israel; and gave commandment concerning his bones.

Hebrews 11:23

By faith Moses, when he was born, was hid three months of his parents, because they saw he was a proper child; and they were not afraid of the king’s commandment.

Hebrews 11:24

By Faith Moses, when he was come to years, refused to be called the son of Pharaoh’s daughter;

Hebrews 11:27

By faith he forsook Egypt, not fearing the wrath of the king: for he endured, as seeing him who is invisible.

Hebrews 11:28

Through faith he kept the passover, and the sprinkling of blood, lest he that destroyed the firstborn should touch them.

Hebrews 11:29

By faith they passed through the Red sea as by dry land: which the Egyptians assaying to do were drowned.

Hebrews 11:30

By faith the walls of Jericho fell down, after they were compassed about seven days.

Hebrews 11:31

By faith the harlot Rahab perished not with them that believed not, when she had received the spies with peace.

Are you going by science and not by the faith of Christ?

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Hebrews 11:1:

Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see.

Faith is believing what you do not see, Kelli. It is not denying what you do see. That is lying.

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That is a false dichotomy. Trusting God does not have to mean trusting science less – it’s not a zero-sum game where any trust for one means taking it away from the other. We can place ultimate faith in God and still trust that the natural laws God made in the world around us were not put there to deceive us.

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That is how it was taught in my days at school. I wonder how far back your common ancestry goes? Amphibians, Reptiles, Mammals? Fish? Birds from Reptiles? (same problems).
At what point does the creative process start? Single cell?
The timeline seems to change at a whim. Monotremes have gained a certain popularity along with Marsupials as some sort of ancient throwbacks.
I will admit my knowledge of TOE is not up to date but the basics have not changed, neither has the scope of the Evolutionary Process. And it is that scope I have always challenged, and always been told “Anything is possible given enough time”, And that is just wishful thinking.
Missing links do not exist. Some things are beyond the scope of the Basic Evolutionary process.

Richard

Kelli,
They do not understand that there are two different faiths at work

Thanks for posting these studies Shannon. :+1:t2:

Yes, there are two different faiths, one is human and the other is of God

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No. it’s delusional. Nobody is lying. And nobody can help their epistemology apart from those that seek to refine it rationally.

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Medicine is based in the teachings and claims of modern science - no different. The power outlets in your home are based in the teachings and claims of modern science - although toasters and such are not in the Bible. Like other applications of science which are now part of your daily life, evolution is based in testing and evidence. We have just witnessed two years of Covid-19 variants. Do you have verses for that? Evolution is accepted with a massive body of incontrovertible evidence gained over generations of scientists including Christians. Your theology may be orthodox, but by demanding the right to deny reality, sociologically that has the makings of a cult.

Vertebrates all.

We do not have a lot of direct evidence there.

On the contrary, evolution is severely constrained, in that it must work with and adapt from existing biology. There are no blank paper new model roll-outs. As well, adaptation is to ecological niches such as may be available. All this is consistent with the fossil record and existing biodiversity.

By definition. However, there are many links which have been discovered.

But for @Kelli and @Shannon, all of this is beneath piety. They have their systematic theology and proof texts.

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Seriously? Who taught you evolution at school?

No, it changes in response to the discovery of new evidence and the development of new techniques to study it better.

Nothing in science changes “on a whim.” Science has rules, and the consensus only changes in very controlled ways in accordance with those rules, and only as evidence demands. To say that anything in science “seems to change on a whim” either tells me that you haven’t a clue how science works and what scientists actually do, or else you are getting into some pretty heavy-duty conspiracy theorising.

@Shannon and @Kelli,

Here’s the deal. Go and get university degrees in science if you haven’t already done so. Preferably geology or evolutionary biology, but any of the natural sciences will do.

Then – and this is even more important – go and spend a couple of decades putting what you have learned into practice in careers where getting it wrong would get you fired, get you sued, drive your employer out of business, or kill people. Such as, for example, oil exploration, or virology, or epidemiology, or cancer research, or artificial intelligence, or machine learning, or data science.

Because if you don’t have that level of hands-on, professional experience, it is the height of arrogance and judgmentalism to make snide, passive-aggressive remarks such as “they do not understand that there are two different faiths at work” against your brothers and sisters in Christ who do.

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Then it logically follows that gravity is a religion, if you understand the evidence.

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I said it elsewhere recently, but it bears repeating here, especially for those who are self-righteous:

Hmmm,
Whose faith do they believe it to be who moved Noah to build the Ark?

Abraham, Sarah, Enoch, Abel, Isaac, Jacob, Joseph, Moses, Rahab, etc…from the Hebrews 11 verses?

What faith was Thomas going by when he did not believe Jesus was Messiah unless he saw with his own two eyes and put his fingers in His wounds where the nails pierced His hands and His side?

I guess you are at a loss for words and cannot reply, and are just avoiding the truth.
 

“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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