The reliability of the Genesis Flood account

Recently discovered this guy, Atheist cold case detective turned Christian after applying his trade to investigating the bible.
He is now quite a well rounded apologist, and I find very refreshingly un-religious.

Watch the last 10mins if short on time…

Anyway, this video gets better as it goes, a great intersection of Old testament scripture meshing with modern day science.

Reading Job 38 & 39 afterwards, i do wonder what current biologists make of it? Pretty profound stuff, if not written by God, then who could offer such an extremely well rounded broad of the times?
Its appeals to me as an updated insight of the creation story, with greater insight.

Hi @NTassie. Good to see you posting again.

As you can appreciate lots of folks don’t have the time to watch a 30minute YT video.

Perhaps you could summarise a couple of the key points or things that you took away from the video or post the key quote(s) for us?

These could the act as a spring board for conversation.

Lastly, please don’t put links as the thread topic. That’s a sure fire way to activate the moderators’ :rotating_light: SPAM spidey senses :rotating_light: which might lead to your thread being deleted accidentally!

Thanks in advance.

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No worries, thank you.
Maybe fast forward to the last 10 mins.
Jim focusses on the scriptures that describe visible stars i.e. Orions belt. And compares this with modern observations.
Overall his demonstration is to show that where the bible does include what appears to be ‘scientific’ information, we should expect it to be ‘true’ and correct.
Hes not extrapolating this beyond the given examples. He makes the point early, that the bible is not a scientific manual.

I’ll have to watch the video later on but I can’t imagine they placed anything on it that is a game changer. It’s pretty well established that a global flood has never occurred in human history or even animal history. The Bible definitely makes scientific claims that are not true that almost everyone o OWA. Such as the Bible mentions all virgins will bleed on the first time they have sex and if they don’t then it means they “fornicated” but we know that’s just simply not true.

Those stories of star clusters are interesting and fun to contemplate, but are nowhere scientific, but happen to be roughly analogous in a few ways. In fact, I read where Pleiades will fall apart in about 250 million years. Does that mean God loses his power at that time and becomes unable to control an expanding universe? This guys logic would have you believe that. And with Orion, well, it is a belt. You loosen belts. Stars move. His example lacks impact if you consider as the belt stars drift, so do the other stars, and you no longer have the constellation visible in the same way at all, quite different than Orion loosening his belt.
So, while interesting to consider as we watch the night stars, not really a strong argument for science in scripture, For a better understanding of that topic, I would suggest Denis Lanoureux ‘s book on ancient science and the Bible.
By the way, if looking at stars, in the early night these days you can see Jupiter in the eastern sky with Saturn a bit above in the planetary disc, with Venus in the western sky. Pretty cool. Mars must be hanging out somewhere on the other side of the world.

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Ursa Major will stay pretty intact as constellations go (i.e., it will look reasonably similar in 100,000 years), because all of the bright stars except the end of the tail and one of the stars in the neck were a cluster a few hundreds of millions of years ago, so they are moving similarly around the galaxy.

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So a retired homicide detective is better educated than thousands of Ph.D. geologists in their field?

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What does the video have to do with the flood? Or where is that part?

I think what J. Warner Wallace is doing is reading things into the text that aren’t there. Basically he has the assumption that the Bible has secret modern science in it. He then found a list of common things people argue are advanced scientific revelation and then adds a quote from some scientist to make it sound more academic. Interestingly enough people do the same thing as an apologetic in Islam or certain Hindu sects (i.e. hey look our ancient book seems to be describing something that matches what we now know to be true from modern science- therefore was divinely inspired).

It’s interesting the sorts of things he doesn’t say. Like how the Bible is a thoroughly geocentric book. One of the famous verses that talks about the so called hydrological cycle is in Ecclesiastes 1:7. Yet v4 makes a demonstrably untrue statement if the text is supposed to be describing modern science (the Earth will not last forever) and v5 is also wrong in that it says the sun revolves around the Earth if it is supposed to be describing modern science. Basically passages like these help highlight that people like Wallace or Muslim apologists who do the same are just cherry picking verses and cherry picking something in modern science to “prove” the text was divinely inspired by a deity.

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So true. Eventually all this does is undermine the true divine nature of Bible. We don’t need to ‘prove’ the Bible is a modern scientific textbook for it be divine, neither does it’s lack of modern science disprove a divine authorship.

Sigh… a case of (undoubtedly) good motives, but deployed incorrectly (in my humble opinion).

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What is the true divine nature of [the] Bible? Where is it true and divine?

Taking no risk of repeating myself :slightly_smiling_face:, Dietrich Bonhoeffer says it well (while not ignoring textual criticism):

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Well I went to the 10 minute mark and he was talking about Amos 9:6. Problem is he left out the first half of the verse. In total it says

He claims this describes the hydrological cycle, but it doesn’t. and it also says there is a dome over the earth which we all know is false. So based on this single fact check I wouldn’t waste any more time watching the video. This is a prime example of cherry picking a scripture to match your belief.

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Did he justify Mosaic authorship of the pentateuch or just assume it?

I am not following.

The Bible mentions rocks.
Rocks are real.
Therefore the Bible is accurate when it mentions other things?

This reasoning is about as fallacious as it gets. That one book of the Christian canon gets things right is no guarantee that another gets things right as well. And a flat farther could actually possess some good science about some scientific topics despite being a quack when it comes to the shape and structure of the earth.

The Bible fails and fails time and time gain to possess supernatural knowledge about scientific details of the world. It shows a human face time and time again in this regard and many others. 1 Corinthians 14-16 is as clear as it gets. It is why a famous apologist had to create a whole encyclopedia of Bible difficulties or why evangelicals need something so precise and meticulous as the Chicago statement, or a much better belief in divine accommodation.

It would be great if the Bible fell from heaven and gave all of us supernatural knowledge and infallible theology in every verse. All available evidence seems to indicate this is not how God chose to inspire the Bible. The flood story is based on older mythological flood stories in the area. Moses, if he existed at all, most certainly did not write the Pentateuch. Scripture’s authority lies in its ability to mediate the sacred, serve God’s intended purpose and spread the Gospel.

The Bible got it right.

It is the Discovery Institute and such ilk which got it wrong.

The Bible never describes the earth as a planet or globe. So when the Bible talks of a flood over the whole earth there is no reason to think it is speaking of a flood over the whole planet. In fact the Bible speaks of the earth as a table with four corners – which describes a small section of the planet. So if you really take the Bible at its word rather than altering it to fit anti-science rhetoric, then this is flood over a table shaped section of the planet – a local flood indeed. And collecting the animals in a small area like that to put on a boat might actually make sense whereas collecting animals from all over the planet to put on a boat makes no sense whatsoever.

Oh yes, the Bible got it right.

But the anti-science crowd definitely got it wrong.

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The key points I took from the video and Job:

We are reading ‘arguably’ the oldest historical scriptures, some 4000 years old.

Here we have a very wide range of natural topics from behaviour of cosmos, to ocean depths to details of animals etc. They are aimed to be relevant to Job (not a modern scientist). They are descriptive insights that broadely stack up with todays knowledge.

Who, if not ‘God’ could reasonably have written/presented such an array of insight?

How, in those days, where star/sun worship was the norm, could some ‘other’ human not only have such a wealth of knowledge, but also present it within the context and narrative of the book of Job?

If such a person was about, he/she would surely be incredibly well known?

I found this a good right up:

To quote a quote from it in summary…

. . . Jehovah asks the patriarch a series of questions about the mystery, power, and beneficence of the universe. The queries are designed to show how very little man knows about the things of God’s world. Though the language style is poetic, it is amazing how scientifically precise it is as we are able to compare our modern knowledge with the information of this portion of scripture. We are forced to say, however, that even though our knowledge has increased tremendously since the days of Job, we are far from fathoming the great mysteries posed there.

I understand Jim the sit with OEC btw. I like his stuff as he uses an evidence based approach, combined with deductive reasoning. I suspect scientifically minded folk would relate well to his work…?

Well I think God wrote them. But that is my subjective impression only. There is certainly no way to prove this to others. Certainly many people have no problem whatsoever with thinking people wrote this. Why such different impressions? People understand what is written quite differently – they don’t have to understand it as Wallace has, not even when they are Christian.

For the most part, science found much more interesting questions to ask, which the Bible doesn’t speak about at all.

Other people are more interested in questions about football or music. Just because you think these question or “mysteries” are so great doesn’t mean that other people have to… even if they are Christian frankly.

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Shave at least 1400 years off that as the oral folk tale was written down with rich embellishment during the Exile at the earliest.

Who if not ‘God’? Any of the pre-Socratic philosophers; Democritus gave us atoms just by thinking about it a century or two later. Anaximander, of course, gave us evolution at the same time as the unknown exiled Hebrew genius and friends gave us ‘Job’, or even a century earlier. Further Eastern philosophy than ‘Job’ was deeply embedded in India - Gautama Buddha - and China - Confucius. All of these stood on the shoulders of architectural, engineering, astronomical, cultural giants of prior centuries and millennia.

Not an old cop and the then 81 year old convert to deism Richard Flew and those in Warren’s mid-C20th Bible Belt echo chamber. They, Craig, Plantinga are not in the same county as McGrath, the only iron I’ve seen that sharpens Dawkins.

Anaximander, of course, gave us evolution at the same time as the unknown exiled Hebrew genius and friends gave us ‘Job’

Ok, appreciate your knowledge on early writngs. Just to confirm, are you saying Job was penned by an unknown, exiled Hebrew genius? Then, the mystery remains?

If this is true, again, I am saying they offer far greater insights over broad workings of the world than, well who? How can someone remain so unknown, and, provide such rich insights?

These insights in Job, are only secondary info to the main narrative going on. Why would an ‘unknown genius’ just throw around info like that - combined with poetic elements?

What other writings are truly within comparison?

I think you have offered a broad brush of characters, who may well of offered some solid theories & philosophy in certain areas. Do they really, resonably, stack up to bredth and depth found in Job 38 - 40?

At least as good. We have very little to no idea who wrote any of the OT. Who was ‘Daniel’ for example? Or ‘Jonah’? They are characters in stories of unknown authors. ‘Isaiah’ and the like were schools based on eponymous sources at best. Nearly 1/3rd of the Psalms have unknown authors. Moses himself is also pure myth, let alone the characters in ‘his’ books. What in Job 38-40 can only be explained as supernatural in 550 BCE and not merely literary use by sophisticated, observant men of the time, no more than their Greek, Chinese and Indian contemporaries?

Mid C20th Bible Belt ‘authorities’ and old cops are no substitute for a liberal studies degree.

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Ahh, I see Jim has explored/compared some of this too…

I think the title of his article is VERY important.

“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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