Skip to comments.Vanity: Genesis As Science, Chapter 1
Posted on 03/18/2012 6:38:49 PM PDT by EnglishCon
A few people asked me to write this, after a couple of comments I made on another thread. The first few chapters of Genesis are, with minimal mental gymnastics, a clear and accurate statement of science, as we understand it today.
I am not talking from any particular creed here. Though a Catholic, (and without any authority!), I am from a background of a devout Protestant and much less devout Jewish culture who is, like many people, simply looking for answers. My training was as a Biochemist, at a time when we were first starting to map the genome. So, feel free to take this with a grain of salt, or a bargeload. This is not doctrine. Not meant to persuade or compell people to my views. Heck, I am still working out my views! My faith is solid. So is, to me, the evidence.
It is simply to analyse Genesis under the same scientific method that nuclear physics is examined. I will, for clarity, be using the King James Bible, available on-line at http://etext.virginia.edu/toc/modeng/public/KjvGene.html, as it is the version most people both know and accept. I will be simplifying some concepts - not losing the core concept, but trying to make them accessible. And please forgive me for any formatting screw-ups, I am more used to writing and passing things on to editors!
1: In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth. 2: And the earth was without form, and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters. 3: And God said, Let there be light: and there was light. 4: And God saw the light, that it was good: and God divided the light from the darkness. 5: And God called the light Day, and the darkness he called Night. And the evening and the morning were the first day.
Verse 3 is the core of the story here. "Let there be light." According to current cosmological theories, roughly 13.7 billion years ago, there was nothing at all. Without form and void in truth - there was no space, no time, nothing. Then that nothngness exploded. Why? We haven't got a clue. While we know it happened since the universe's background microwave radiation hum confirms that, We don't know why. We can never know why. Yet we know that the dark, formless universe exploded for no reason, creating it, and by extension us. We are told why, the word was spoken, and the universe in all it's glory was created.
6: And God said, Let there be a firmament in the midst of the waters, and let it divide the waters from the waters. 7: And God made the firmament, and divided the waters which were under the firmament from the waters which were above the firmament: and it was so. 8: And God called the firmament Heaven. And the evening and the morning were the second day.
Stars don't come from nothing. Nor do planets. We can see the slow, steady aggregation of gases into stars. We have pictures, again testifying to the glory of God. Stars form from clouds of hydrogen gas. The heavier elements get spun out and away from the protostar. Eventually, the star's gravitational field gets strong enough to light the star. It is another flare of light, with the sudden solar wind forcing the light gases well out and starting random aggregations of heavier elements spinning and collecting. Getting bigger while orbiting the star. Outer planets catch a lot of the gas blasted away when the star ignites. Inner planets are looking at the heavier stuff that doesn't shift much under light pressure.
9: And God said, Let the waters under the heaven be gathered together unto one place, and let the dry land appear: and it was so. 10: And God called the dry land Earth; and the gathering together of the waters called he Seas: and God saw that it was good. 11: And God said, Let the earth bring forth grass, the herb yielding seed, and the fruit tree yielding fruit after his kind, whose seed is in itself, upon the earth: and it was so. 12: And the earth brought forth grass, and herb yielding seed after his kind, and the tree yielding fruit, whose seed was in itself, after his kind: and God saw that it was good. 13: And the evening and the morning were the third day.
This is a twofer. A spinning ball of molten rock eventually cools down, though it keeps on spinning. There is water there. It can't escape, gravity is too strong. Something that hydrogen can do, water can not. It simply stays in the air as vapor, until the surface temperature cools to a level where it can condense and land. Then, of course, it finds the lowest level it can. You know the phrase "Water finds it's own level."
Our original atmosphere was totally unbreathable. That is in the rock record, not a guess. A mix of Nitrogen, Carbon Dioxide and Methane, a teeny bit of sulfur, with a tiny bit of Hydrogen and a mass of water vapor thrown in. Genesis mentions the seas for a reason. All life comes from the sea. The first life to creep out of the sea and onto the shore was plants.
14: And God said, Let there be lights in the firmament of the heaven to divide the day from the night; and let them be for signs, and for seasons, and for days, and years: 15: And let them be for lights in the firmament of the heaven to give light upon the earth: and it was so. 16: And God made two great lights; the greater light to rule the day, and the lesser light to rule the night: he made the stars also. 17: And God set them in the firmament of the heaven to give light upon the earth, 18: And to rule over the day and over the night, and to divide the light from the darkness: and God saw that it was good. 19: And the evening and the morning were the fourth day.
OK, for this one I have to hit more rogue science than accepted science. I apologise for that. Roughly 3 billion years ago, after photosynthesis started, we got hit, hard. A huge blast of molten rock headed into orbit from the Pacific Basin like a homesick meteor and aggregated around our satellite. It is slightly rogue, but we know that lunar rock and Earth rock are identical. We have been there and checked. The rocks are identical.
20: And God said, Let the waters bring forth abundantly the moving creature that hath life, and fowl that may fly above the earth in the open firmament of heaven. 21: And God created great whales, and every living creature that moveth, which the waters brought forth abundantly, after their kind, and every winged fowl after his kind: and God saw that it was good. 22: And God blessed them, saying, Be fruitful, and multiply, and fill the waters in the seas, and let fowl multiply in the earth. 23: And the evening and the morning were the fifth day.
Every last living organism comes from the sea. Our blood chemistry proves it conclusively. Whether iron based or copper/magnesium based, if I take 10cc of blood from you, I can guarantee that the salt proportion is identical to the sea a couple of billion years or so ago. Again, there is no guess work involved, we have seas that have been dry for that long for comparison of the proportions. God is here clearly stating that we came from the sea. No get outs, no do overs. We even, if you want to be slightly fanciful, have a nod to dinosaurs. After all, they, or at least some of them, eventually became winged fowl.
24: And God said, Let the earth bring forth the living creature after his kind, cattle, and creeping thing, and beast of the earth after his kind: and it was so. 25: And God made the beast of the earth after his kind, and cattle after their kind, and every thing that creepeth upon the earth after his kind: and God saw that it was good. 26: And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth. 27: So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them. 28: And God blessed them, and God said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it: and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth. 29: And God said, Behold, I have given you every herb bearing seed, which is upon the face of all the earth, and every tree, in the which is the fruit of a tree yielding seed; to you it shall be for meat. 30: And to every beast of the earth, and to every fowl of the air, and to every thing that creepeth upon the earth, wherein there is life, I have given every green herb for meat: and it was so. 31: And God saw every thing that he had made, and, behold, it was very good. And the evening and the morning were the sixth day.
This is the difficult one. One that I have problems with, since evolution and this statement of the Word seem at first glance to be at odds. So I am going to repeat something. Forgive me for stretching slightly to make a point.
We don't breathe water. Yet we came from the sea - that is from both the Word itself and the evidence as we understand it. We see random action. He does not. By definition God gets no surprises, he sees the consequences of everything. As a side note, that must be boring. Never a single surprise unless you deliberately don't look. No wonder he gave us free will! (Sure, I know. Putting human motivations and limitations on the Lord is demeaning. It is also tempting.)
Still, look at the order we are given. Fish, Fowl, every other living thing third. The classic chain of evolution. Plants first and so basic that they are every living thing's meat. Without plants, we simply die. Fish to reptiles/amphibians. Reptiles to birds and mammals. Mammals to primacy under God.
This was fun to write. Difficult, as I am more a biosciences person than a physicist, but fun. If there is sufficient interest I will do the same for Genesis 2.
Once more, I want to repeat. I don't seek converts to my viewpoint. How can one do so, when their viewpoint is "This makes sense but I am guessing the mind of the unknowable here." If you firmly believe that the world was created 6000 years ago as it is, may His peace and blessing be upon you, and I apologise for wasting your time. Part of this is seeking to explain things to myself.
Yet I want to pre-emptively defend myself from some of the more common comments, as I am not a total fool. The universe, and all that is in it, works through fixed and immutable laws, as far as we are aware. Shift the numeric value of any major constant by under 1% and we are a dust of sub atomic particles. The presence of constants themselves are profound indicators of the creator. One of my professors, way back when university was a place to learn and not an indoctrination center, said the mere fact that universal constants exist is one of the strongest arguments for God.
By their works shall you know them. We are told that. By the Lord's works shall you know him. He laid out, in terms a person who has never heard of an electron or the speed of light or Planck's constant can understand, where we came from and how.
Thank you for reading. May he bless and uplift us all.
There is no doubt in my mind God can do anything or everything. However, since He took the specific steps to have Moses call and number these days of creation, and 'days' later have Peter instruct His method of time keeping I will accept what He had Written.
I’ll take them in order, and without prejudice.
1. Does God live in this Universe or outside of it?
My understanding is that no creator can live inside of his creation, or at least not for long. This is based on an, admittedly, faulty analogy. I find myself personifying the One when I think about this. Something I need to think more on, as I refuse to reduce Him to my level. Forgive me for a fuzzy answer on this.
2. What role does perspective play in understanding Genesis?
I teach my grandkids about the universe. The youngest is 4 and wouldn’t know an electron from a plum. He has no more idea of the elegance of the Aufbau principle than he does of the golden mean. I do think perspective and modern thought has much to give to bible study. We have a real drive to understand the glory of creation.
3. You have noted Gods signature in everything from the laws of physics to the microwave buzzes of the universe. How powerful is God?
God is all. One of the things that makes me laugh sometimes is talking to atheiests who demand I provide proof of God. (Not that I am saying you are - but it is the sort of question I get!) He shows his work absolutely everywhere. For a mysterious God, he is singularly bad at hiding his handiwork!
4. What does Hebrews 11:1 mean?
“Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.”
It is one of the most beautiful yet terrifying phrases in the bible. To borrow a phrase from a heretic - “Yet still, it moves.”
The deeper you dig into the works of the Lord - creation itself, whether on a macro scale or just confined to this one fairly insignificant planet - the more you see the perfection of God.
Yet, you neither want nor deserve generalities. I can only give you my personal take on that line:
God gave me a brain and an intense curiosity about the universe. I was blessed to be born into a time when many questions about how the universe works have been answered, and more are being answered all the time.
Not definitively, of course. Science does not do that. It is a human construct - possibly the only one we have ever done that can and will (reluctantly) admit it was wrong.
My faith is that God exists. He created all. He sent his only Son to die for our sins. The cynic in me says he did that because Heaven was empty and Hell was opening an annex. He also provided the Word, which is not merely inerrant, but totally accurate, if we are willing to examine it.
I may not worship him as you do (I am Catholic. Most people I discuss things with are not, so I am calling the percentages here). But make no mistake. The Lord God is our creator, our refuge and our destiny. And should you ever need a reminder of His glory, go outside at night and just look up.
Blessings to you and yours.
It actually plots as a nice curve if you use a logarythmic (sp? a word I always have problems with) scale.
My understanding - somewhat at variance with our priest - is that the term day corresponds to an action. Not 24 hours. Sort of like working for 2 hours one day and 20 hours the next.
Yet, our Lord exists outside time. Which I suppose means that everything is simply “now” to Him.
The whole idea of an Intelligent Designer is a modern preconception,
Agreed. The growing body of scientific knowledge forced a rethinking of preconceptions by which Genesis had previously been interpreted.
piously meant, Im sure, but entirely absent from a plain reading of Genesis.
I would disagree because inherent in the account is something every creative person understands and that is that you do not begin with the next phase of a project until design criteria for the present phase have been met.
In the Genesis account, God did not begin the next phase of creation until after he recognized the phase he was working on was complete and to his satisfaction... "And God saw that it was good". He knew what the desired objective was but needed some time to get there and only after recognizing that "it was good" did he begin the next phase.
The formula, Let the earth bring forth is repeated wrt the animals, but in that case it is added, And God made the beast of the earth ... where this is not said of the grass and other plants. Isnt this an indication of the lesser status of plants?
Yes. I would agree.
Doesnt this distinction fall afoul of our modern conception of the unity of DNA based life forms?
I don't see how it does but I don't claim anything beyond a layman's understanding of DNA.
Basically, plant life is a lesser (in complexity) life form and would have evolved first.
Moses sure seemed to think they were regular 24 hour days. Ex 20:8
Let's get something straight. Science is perfectly competent to discover and comment on the world before it--the world that exists today. It is not competent to comment on a world and/or situations totally unlike the world we have today. This includes not only cosmogony, but the world as it operated originally before the sin of Adam.
The first eleven chapters of Genesis are theology and history--not biology, not physics, not chemistry. Science is not competent to comment on cosmogony (the process and events that brought our present world into being). The "laws of nature" cannot be invoked here because the laws of nature did not exist. Anyone who believes in a single miracle--be it the talking donkey, the floating ax, the virgin birth, the resurrection, the liquifaction of the blood of St. Januarius, or the "miracle of the sun" in 1917--has forfeited the right to invoke the "uniformity of nature" as an excuse to retroject current conditions into the actual events of creation. Those who persist in doing so are guilty of both hypocrisy and internal inconsistency.
There is one and only one reason for treating the literal truth of the first eleven chapters of Genesis differently from everything else: a sociological prejudice against "trailer trash," with whom this particular section of the Bible is commonly associated. That is it. That is all.
People who reject the very concept of the supernatural--total atheists, materialists, and naturalists--are perfectly logical to reject the first eleven chapters of Genesis. Anyone who accepts a single miracle elsewhere does not.
I note that EnglishCon apparently doesn't believe in his religion's dogma of the "fall of man," since according to his uniformitarian cosmogony there was never a paradise to fall from . . . and certainly no original immortality for a fictitious Adam and Eve!
Once again, here is an article by Hugh Owen illustrating the absurd internal contradictions of cosmogonic uniformitarianism by people who otherwise set "nature" aside for numerous miracles. I doubt it will be read this time either.
Finally, let me state something that almost all chr*stians seem to be totally ignorant of. While there is certainly much mystery and many esoteric secrets with regard to the Creation which are hidden from the vast majority of us, there are and always have been those who have an authentic knowledge of these great mysteries. There is an unbroken line of great sages who have received this knowledge in an unbroken line. Those privileged few who have received this knowledge are not going to broadcast it (since it is forbidden to expound it before more than two people). All the hot air and all the ink spilled by everyone else on this subject is mere speculation--legitimate in the case of naturalists, hypocritical and inconsistent in the case of everyone else. In the meantime we may rest assured that, whatever these great mysteries might be, the first eleven chapters of Genesis are inerrant history written by G-d Himself and dictated to Moses letter-for-letter, just like the rest of the Torah.
Do we know?
Et tu, salvation?
And the mask comes off.
I imagine it went something like ‘And I formed man, and all other living things, from minute particles (atoms) too small for the eye to see, and absent the life that I gave to it - it will return to those minute particles.’
“Yeah, I’m gonna put down that you created us all from “dust” and to “dust” we will return.”
Thank you so much for posting that link! I find it VERY useful, and have saved it in my personal archives. bttt
I note that EnglishCon apparently doesn’t believe in his religion’s dogma of the “fall of man,” since according to his uniformitarian cosmogony there was never a paradise to fall from . . . and certainly no original immortality for a fictitious Adam and Eve!
Science has the duty to examine everything. While “without faith we do not find God,” learning of his glory first hand is a joy. There is a reason that some 70% of scientists (talking the hard sciences here, not the fuzzy ones) have a firm belief in God. They see his works all around them. For engineers it is 7%.
I stopped at the end of Genesis 1, as given by the linked version of the KJV, or this would be a record breakingly long vanity, and I ain’t THAT vain! Commenting on all the first 11 chapters of Genesis in one post would be painful to read and even more difficult to discuss!
Working on Genesis 2 now. Much more difficult, as some of the theories involved are contentious. And yes, I firmly believe in the doctrine of the fall, and the evidence, biological, social and indeed physical is there.
Thank you for that. I will lean harder on that aspect for Genesis 2. Maybe, eventually, will re-write this one to expand and include more detail.
It is something, as I said, that pulled me back to God. Had the usual phase in my late teens where I did not believe. Was proudly (and aggressively) atheist.
I wasn’t intentionally ignoring you. You posted several links that I had to read, digest and, in a couple of cases, pray on. I thank you for the links. Pretty much killed half a day that should have been spent working, but it was worth it!
Hard science is rarely provisional, but it depends on existing knowlege. A poster upthread (courtesy pinged) is a Ph.D in semiconductors - those things may as well be magic to me by my understanding of how they work, since the only thing I know about them is n-p-n and p-n-p junctions, and that is hazy.
Sure, the whole idea of causality is having some problems at the moment (heck, it gives me a headache trying to follow the arguments), and for things you can’t see your are working through inference and inspiration more than observation, but that is no huge problem.
I read your link. If people take the time to read something I write and bother to reply, I owe them the courtesy to read what they link.
The official Church stance on evolution has, if you will forgive the pun, evolved. http://www.lastseminary.com/genesis-modern-science/Evolutionary%20Creation.pdf is a good summary of the position that
“Today, the Church’s unofficial position is an example of theistic evolution, also known as evolutionary creation, stating that faith and scientific findings regarding human evolution are not in conflict, though humans are regarded as a special creation, and that the existence of God is required to explain both monogenism and the spiritual component of human origins. Moreover, the Church teaches that the process of evolution is a planned and purpose-driven natural process, actively guided by God.”
Gahh! I hate it when I hit post instead of preview!
Sorry, to continue:
Physical and biological processes are pretty well understood on the macro level now. We even know there are things we can never know - things that will forever be solely known by God.
Evolution has a mass of evidence for it. There is also a mass of evidence that it proceeds as God himself directs, even for the minor species.
Yet some things cannot be explained by evolution on it’s own. The soul, for example. Why do I have one and my cat (an extraordinarily affectionate beast) does not?
The timeline itself. 3 billion years is a long time, but simply not long enough for evolution to produce the diversity we have today without a few nudges.
Heck, life itself, that conversion of inanimate chemicals into something that eats, grows and breeds is simply impossible without God.
Creation has it’s problems too.
Extinctions, for one. We have living organisms that have been unchanged for millions of years. We have ones that simply no longer exist. Ones we have records of as having existed and simply disappeared.
As I said in the post. I have no interest in changing minds. That is not my job, or my desire. I found some interesting correllations between the Word and what we think we know.
Your thesis confuses me.
On one hand you state that you’re drawing a scientific understanding of creation from Scripture.
On the other hand, you discard what Scripture says and instead regurgitate evolutionary theory and timelines.
I sincerely don’t know what you’re trying to say.
Let me step back and ask a couple of questions. Did Adam have a father, or was he created by God and in His image from the dust? Did death exist before sin? These questions become very problematic if you don’t take Scripture at face value.
On one hand you state that youre drawing a scientific understanding of creation from Scripture.
Other way around. Scripture clearly states, from thousands of years ago, the understanding we have of the universe now. It is phrased in a way a non-technical society can understand, but it is there.
Let me step back and ask a couple of questions. Did Adam have a father, or was he created by God and in His image from the dust?
Not done Genesis 2 yet. Working on it, and I will, again, be referencing the King James Version. Sorry if that seems a bit of a cop out at the moment, but I don’t particularly like releasing a post before it is ready.
Did death exist before sin?
It did. Why should it not? We all have our allotted term. we are told that. Everything dies in the end - even stars and rocks.
These questions become very problematic if you dont take Scripture at face value.
I find no real problem with these. Scripture tells us the truth. The evidence of the world shows that it is right. Some people need evidence. While I admire immensely people who simply believe, I am more the proverbial guy from Missouri. “Show me.”
Now God may have pulled the biggest practical joke on us of all time. I find that something I cannot believe. He is the Way, the TRUTH and the Life. He’d not lie.
I'm interested in your reasoning from Scripture on this. In its simplest form "The wages of sin is death". So how could death exist before sin? Romans 5:12-21 also speaks of sin and death. Sin came into the world by one man. Sin was not in the world at creation. Sin came from outside the world. Sin caused death to enter the race. And both SIN and DEATH came by ADAM'S TRANSGRESSION OF GEN. 2:17.
Just curious as to why you believe death existed before sin? THere would be no reason for death.
I’ll have a go! Please note, I am terrible at remembering scripture.
Physical death has always existed. You eventually just lay your body down and move on. They wear out, even with the best care - anyone over 50 can confirm that! We are told our time - 3 score years and 10, and it is again accurate. Impressivly so for a culture that tended to die of old age in their 50s. Sure, some go over, some die earlier. The average though, with a good diet and modern medicine is around 70. (Men die a little younger - no nagged to death jokes please!)
There was a study of the body, purely on engineering principles that found the human spine will degrade to total uselessness in 200 years of use. Knees go out much sooner, about 120. Even the replacement of cells wears out over time.
Yet, we are promised eternal life, and God does not lie. That is my fixed thing here - God does not lie, he cannot.
“The wages of sin is death” to me means if you sin, don’t trust in the Lord and don’t repent, your chances of eternal life go down the tubes because you reject the freely given gift.
The body is not the person. We are admonished on that. The soul is the person. (Please, don’t ask me what a soul is, I have NO idea! That is an area where I trust the Word - I have to.)
Since sin arrived with the first person and before he died, we can’t know. Animals, so I am told, do not go to heaven. Not keen on that idea, but it is something I must accept.
The Bible does flat out tell us in several places that physical lifespans, at least for some, were not as they are now. Reports of people living 400 years, 700 years, for example. That, I must accept. It is in the book. Then again, I know people who are fit and vigorous at over 100 years old, and people who died of old age diseases in their early 20s.
Still working on this aspect - understanding the Word is a journey that is life long - but that is my take.
You wrote, “Some people need evidence.” I’m the same way.
You wrote, “God may have pulled the biggest practical joke on us of all time.” I’m not following you. What would the “joke” be? That He really did create “all this” in less than a week?
From your response, I take it that you don’t believe there was an Adam. And that there wasn’t an Eve. And that there’s no “Original Sin.” And that Scripture prophesies that the serpent’s head will be crushed by Jesus. And that God did not clothe Adam and Eve in animal skins. And that there’s consequently no need for a “Second Adam.”
Christian doctrine becomes very convoluted if you don’t accept some foundational things about creation and our place in it.
Two things to ponder as you continue going through Genesis:
1) Was Adam created with the appearance of age?
2) How much water is stored within the mantle of the earth? Is it more or less than all the water in the oceans?
People haven’t always lived a mere 70-ish years. There was a time when people lived hundreds of years.
Two questions to ponder, regarding lifespan:
1) What significant event took place the year 969-year-old Methuselah died?
2) Prior to that event, people lived hundreds of years. Following that event, people gradually came to live fewer and fewer years. Did that “event” change the environment in such a way that humans just weren’t able to live as long as before?
EnglishCon — there’s a lot in Scripture. A lot that can be missed by digging deep into secular evolutionary theories, rather than digging deep into God’s Word and creation. It really is fascinating how it all comes together to support what it plainly says.
Indeed. For example, Noah's name has a numerical value of 58, and Noah died when Abraham was 58 years old. Similarly, the numerical value of "Shem" is 340, and the Haflagah (scattering of the nations at Babel) took place 340 years after the Flood.
All human history falls within the lifespans of seven men: Adam, Methuselah, Shem, Jacob, Amram, 'Achiyyah HaShiloni, and Elijah (who is still alive).
Of course, Protestants don't get it right either.
Gotta be divisive, hm? You can't simply affirm Scripture. Nice.
Kabbalah and reincarnation???? Really???
Yeah, this Protestant refuses to "get" it, thank you very much. This does explain quite a bit about where you are coming from these many years. The Bible doesn't teach that reincarnation happens, but that a man lives once and then after wards faces judgment. The Messiah HAS already come as the suffering servant/the lamb of God of Isaiah and he WILL come again in glory as the triumphant King of Kings to set up his earthly kingdom.
For those interested in what ZC may be talking about, read http://www.tzfat-kabbalah.org/whatis.asp?p=699:
From this day on, you must reveal yourself and tell the world what I have taught you Achiya Shiloni told his student. Rabbi Israel Baal Shem Tov was in shock and deeply sorrowed. He was experienced in the practice of the hidden righteous and the kabbalists who acted in Europe in small groups, in great modesty. The concept of revelation was foreign to him and alien to the ways of the hidden kabbalists. Achiya HaShiloni revealed to his student that his soul was the reincarnation of the Jew who had lived in Tzfat in the late 16th century, whose soul had come back to earth for the purpose of revealing and being revealed. When the Baal Shem Tov heard about the origin of his soul and its special mission in the world, he accepted the task and began revealing and disseminating the teachings of Hassidism, which exposed and discovers the inner dimensions of the Kabbalah and the secrets of the Torah.
The Rise of the Soul
Thirteen years later, on the Eve of Rosh Hashanah, the Baal Shem Tov was granted a special rising of the soul, in which his soul reached the hall of the Messiah in the supreme worlds. Seeing great joy there, he asked the Messiah when he would come, the Messiah replied, When your springs are disseminated, when your teachings and secrets are revealed to the entire world. The story of the origin of the soul of the Baal Shem Tov in the Tzfat Jew of the 16th century and its reincarnation in the world, and the story of the rising of the soul, is told by the Baal Shem Tov himself in his letters, which were widely publicized and printed in several books
And in v. 2 the "was" = "existed" cannot be linguistically twisted to mean "became" = "the result of a process"?? Worth pondering on -- eh?
Yes. The Law of Double Reference.
Sorry for the delay in responding, first work got in the way and even I sleep sometimes! Bit tired and groggy still (no longer allowed to drink coffee, so waking is a chore some mornings!), so, once more, please forgive any formatting errors or misunderstandings.
You wrote, God may have pulled the biggest practical joke on us of all time. Im not following you. What would the joke be? That He really did create all this in less than a week?
Let us say, for a second, that the universe and all that was in it were created in 6 24 hour periods, about 6000 years ago, with a rest of 24 hours before God created man. Sure, He could certainly do so. He is, after all, the Creator.
Yet why does all the evidence we can find - millions of man years of work by the most gifted minds - show everything as much, much older? Would the Lord headfake us like that? Plant false clues to lead us astray? I just can’t see that.
Sure, he has been known to be evasive from time to time - “I am who I am” springs to mind - but I can’t think of a single instance when either God himself or our Saviour lied.
“From your response, I take it that you dont believe there was an Adam.”
No where have I said that, or indeed implied it. The fall is a fundamental part of the creed, one I believe with all my heart. I just wish to discuss that in the next chapter.
Your responses, and others, are REALLY helping with Genesis 2, showing me areas I still need to examine.
Thank you for that! Some, I honestly doubt I’ll be able to answer. No one person can comprehend everything, but the research is fascinating in its own right.
Arghh! Sorry friend, I thought I HAD replied to you! Let me do so now.
“Your entire note makes Genesis verse 1 a lie.
If Genesis verse 1 is a lie, the account of creation is a lie.”
Could you expand on this please? I THINK I know what you mean, but want to be 100% sure. I am not quite sure how my post makes Genesis 1 a lie. It points out some interesting congruences between the Word and reality as we see it.
I like your phrasing of the alternatives - by man came death or by death came man - elegant.
But, respectfully, it is not an either/or proposition to me. I firmly believe it is both. Skipping Adam for a second - he is, by definition, a special case - Where did you come from. Or I?
Not the flesh and bone part, any reasonably aware 7 year old knows that, but the part of you that IS you? The bit that both sees and can create beauty, loves without lust, and can wrap itself in the Lord like the child of a loving parent is wrapped in a blanket?
All the good bits, in other words. The bits that seperate you from the beasts of the field. Again, this is more a topic for Genesis 2, but I owe you for failing to respond to you earlier.
Sadly, you are one of the few. Search Bible: http://www.peacebyjesus.com/RC-Stats_vs._Evang.html
The question is, how could this be allowed without an EPA impact study? Just imagine if creation was a gov. project. Today’s gov. would have joined men with men, among other things.
The wages of sin is death. And Jesus promised eternal life. Was it eternal life only in this world? Was it that sin was death only in this world?
You're welcome. I kind of had an inkling you might find them "worth it". :) I know exactly what you mean about having to spend time digesting what you were reading, because when I first ran across his blog several years ago, my first reaction was, "whoa". :) He is Robert W. Godwin, Ph.D, (forensic clinical psychologist) who blogs as, "Gagdad Bob". Now I read his blog every day.
You wrote: "....and for things you cant see your are working through inference and inspiration more than observation, but that is no huge problem."
I agree. Per "Gagdad":
"Intellectual intuition (nous) involves the direct perception of Truth. Logic (dianoia), on the other hand, is merely a mental operation that can lead to true or false conclusions, depending upon the data provided it. Logic is particularly useless -- even dangerous -- without the a priori intuition of Truth, without which logic alone eventually leads one over the abyss.
"The most important truths are indeed "self evident," that is, evident to the higher self. .....
"The scientific plane discloses relative truths that provide causal explanations for various material processes. As such, science is obviously entirely appropriate for the horizontal plane to which it is addressed. But religious truths do not have to do with horizontal causation, or only secondarily. Rather, they are intended to provide the higher mind with a means to realize vertical truth (and virtue). There is nothing that can be provided by mere logic alone that can help one ascend this vertical hierarchy. .............
"... the deep structure of the Left may be traced all the way back to the first appearance of humanity in its horizontal maninfestation. It is not so much that relativism is incorrect as such. Obviously, our own existence proves that relativism is real, otherwise there would only be God. But by the same token, relativism cannot be absolute. Rather, the absolute is precisely that which makes hierarchical relativity possible to begin with. By definition, there is no such thing as an incomplete hierarchy. To paraphrase Richard Weaver, if a series is hierarchically ordered it is conditioned from top to bottom and so cannot be infinite. If it is infinite, it cannot be conditioned top to bottom, and there is no higher or lower -- only Hegel's "bad infinite," or the black night ....
"Our existence proves beyond the doubt of a shadow that we inhabit a hierarchical cosmos with degrees of being -- atoms, molecules, cells, animals, Man. Man is an arrow that points beyond himself to his source above, not below or behind.
"Certain things are known; other things have to be thought about. Some of the things we know we don't think we know because we think about them. Yet they are there in front of us and if we didn't consider them separate from ourselves and worthy of thinking about, we would know them for what they are.... The feeling of losing yourself is often the feeling of remembering yourself -- you are losing your personality and gaining your center....
"Our society has chosen its priorities quite clearly: surfaces. So it is no surprise that centers hold no interest. And yet, whether there is interest or not, the lie of the surfaces... is a lie.... Thus we have lost the knowledge of 'wholes.' We can 'think about' and 'talk about' wholes, but we do not know them. As a result, much of our world has been destroyed by... the lack of intuitive knowledge of centers.... Science is a view from exactly one perspective.... its discoveries are discrete and always relate to the world as defined by science.... But only knowledge of centers (or Center) will fix the core of our world... " --Keith Jarrett, Changeless
Studying the use of Hebrew words can actually be quite technical, but it is liberals who play word games in insisting firmament refers to a solid or semisolid domed sky, as the Hebrew word for “firmament” is not precise, and unlike what “firm” conveys, it can easily convey a non-solid realm, as in “Praise ye the Lord. Praise God in his sanctuary: praise him in the firmament of his power.” (Ps. 150:1)
And likewise it can refer to something rather ethereal above, and which in Genesis 1 divides the solid earth from the expanse above, and in which bird fly, and stars exist and move . (Gn. 1:6-20; Jdg. 5:20) And which is over the heads of creatures. (Exek. 1:22-26)
And as often seen in Hebrew poetic parallelization (chiasmus), in which a truth is repeated using different words having the same meaning (as in Ps. 119:105), firmament in Psalms 19:1 can refer to the heavens: “The heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament sheweth his handywork. “ (Psalms 19:1)
However, due to my past experiences with you and comrades (http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/news/2562273/posts?q=1&;page=51, etc.) in which objective explanations are utterly refused if they militate against atheistic anti-Bible assertions which they evidence they are determined to hold to, i will just leave you 3 links to sites which do more of that regarding this area in more detail: http://www.answersingenesis.org/articles/tj/v13/n2/firmament http://christianthinktank.com/gilgymess.html http://www.tektonics.org/af/babgenesis.html
Hm. I sincerely mean nothing personal, but maybe you shouldn't be formulating such strong views about creation if you've got the fundamentals so wrong. The Creator did not rest before making Man.
If you affirm at some time in your theory that God created Adam from the dust, then I have to ask: Did God create him with the appearance of age? If so, was that somehow deceptive? Was he leading anyone astray by creating him with the appearance of age? Was Adam's having been created with the appearance of age a "headfake"? Did God create anything else with the appearance of age, as He did with Adam, and Eve?
You're right that God has never lied. But He has "deceived" people, in a sense. Jesus spoke in parables in order that some might understand, and others not understand (see Matthew 13).
Or consider Luke 24, where Jesus makes that He's unaware of the crucifixion, and then in verse 28 Jesus acts as though He's going to the next village, when all along He knew He'd be going with the two disciples to Emmaus.
Anyway, I just don't see how you'll be able to affirm Adam and "the fall," while at the same time affirming evolution. I just do not see how it can be done.
Methuselah knew Adam, Shem was Methuselah's great-grandson, Jacob studied under Shem, Amram was born when Jacob was still alive, 'Achiyyah was born while Amram was still alive, 'Achiyyah lived hundreds of years and passed his prophetic mission on to Elijah, and Elijah has never died (he was taken to Heaven while still alive).
Is there something in this defense of the truth of the literal interpretation of the lifespans in the Torah that offends you? Perhaps you don't believe Methuselah actually lived 969 years, or that Elijah was translated while still alive? You must be a liberal.
As for "Protestants not getting it," I stand by that comment. Protestants think that J*sus predicted that the historical church would morph into a monstrosity and that "true chr*stianity" would have to be "restored" at a later date (by Luther, or Calvin, or Knox, or the Anabaptists, or the Baptists, or Wesley, or George Fox, or the Campbells, or Joseph Smith, or C.T. Russell, or George Went Hensley, or Zola Levitt, or . . .
This is all nonsense. Chr*stianity is a false religion and cannot be "restored." The ancient liturgical churches and the "restored" Protestant churches are all wrong.
When I mentioned the fact that Protestants don't get it either, what I specifically had in mind was the fact that Israel was in Egypt for a grand total of 210 years--not 400 or 430 years. The Torah says that Israel would live in a land "not theirs" for 400 years. This 400 year period began with the birth of Isaac in 2048. The 430 years began with the "covenant between the parts" in 2018.
Although I usually defend Protestants on this forum (for the simple reason that Fundamentalist Protestants realize that if G-d said something happened, then it happened), they are 100% wrong in believing that the Bible is self-interpreting. There is an authentic oral interpretive tradition--just not the one the liturgical chr*stians are always going on about.
The Written Torah consists only of a string of consonants. There are no vowels and no punctuation. The vowels and punctuation come from the authentic oral interpretive tradition, without which no translation of the Hebrew Bible would be possible. Every translation of the Hebrew Bible (including the Septuagint, the Vulgate, the Peshitta', and the KJV) depends on the correctness of the Oral Tradition in preserving the vowels and punctuation.
Moreover, it is the Oral Torah which prescribes how the Written Torah is to be written down by Scribes so that it is an authentic reproduction of the letters dictated by G-d A-mighty to Moses over three thousand years ago. Without the rules and regulations of the Oral Torah the Written Torah would not have survived the decay of the first scrolls written by Moses.
I realize that Protestants feel they have to believe in the absolute clarity of scripture. However, this is a dogma with no foundation whatsoever. The Catholics are right in pointing out that Protestantism is a babel of multitudinous self-contradicting doctrines and Protestants (who supposedly believe in "Bible only" are both silly and inconsistent in appealing to the "holy spirit" as an explanation of how they can interpret it without recourse of an authentic oral interpretive tradition. Protestants feel they have to believe this because they think the Bible was addressed to all mankind so that the milkmaid of nine can read it and be "saved." But chr*stian "salvation" is not the purpose of the Hebrew Bible and it was not addressed to the world--it was addressed to Israel. It is their peculiar inheritance, their jewel and their glory. To see it as something written so nine year old milkmaids could read it and be "saved" is pure unadulterated anachronism, as well as fantasy.
Furthermore, Protestantism contains at its very core a contradiction: on the one hand, Protestants claim to believe that G-d wrote the Bible. On the other, they believe a translation is sufficient. If G-d wrote the Bible in Hebrew (and a few passages in Aramaic), then by definition it can never be adequately translated. Translations give only the general idea (and the surface at that), not the very letters and words which G-d dictated to Moses. Furthermore the sizes, shapes, numerical values, and names of the letters are completely lost in any translation, and these are all loaded with meaning.
To conclude, contrary to your silly assertion, boatbums, I wrote not one single solitary word about "reincarnation." I merely defended the inerrant factual accuracy of the TaNa"KH in its assertions that the early generations lived exactly as long as written and that Elijah was translated and is still alive today in Heaven--exactly as the TaNa"KH says.
However, I can't close this post without dealing with the issue of gilgul neshamot (what you call "reincarnation"). "Reincarnation" simply means the reinsertion of a soul into a body. This is what will happen at the Resurrection of the Dead. What you mean to condemn, I am sure, is the transmigration of souls.
Some sages have been opposed to a belief in gilgul neshamot (such as Saadia Gaon) while others, such as RaMBa"N and the 'AriZa"L have believed in it (generally it seems it is opposed by rationalists and believed in by mystics). I know of no body in Orthodox Judaism that is competent to excommunicate anyone for not believing in it and as far as I know, there is no formal absolute obligation to do so. However, most Orthodox Jews today (especially the more mystically minded, as opposed to the rationalists) do believe in it. I am not competent to judge either side. Please recall that your view of the afterlife comes from the "new testament," since the Hebrew Bible is silent on this topic (except at a very deep, esoteric level). Your worldview of individual souls in need of personal salvation will not allow you believe in gilgul neshamot. The Jewish worldview does not come from the "new testament" and therefore have no problem with it, provided it is correctly understood.
Although there is a very shallow similarity between gilgul haneshamot and various hindu, b*ddhist, and other eastern doctrines, the similarity is only apparent. The mixture of Torah with foreign religions (including eastern and "new age" beliefs) is a forbidden mixture. But the fact that some eastern religions have a distorted understanding of the concept doesn't negate it any more than chr*stianity's flawed understanding of G-d makes the concept of G-d un-kosher.
I know ahead of time that you won't accept any of this, but that's the way it is.
You wrote: “...The body is not the person. We are admonished on that. The soul is the person. (Please, dont ask me what a soul is, I have NO idea! That is an area where I trust the Word - I have to.)”
Re “bodies”, “souls” and “persons”:
I don’t know if you’ve had the time to read it yet, but here are some excerpts from The_Reader_David’s very valuable link in post # 39 above -(forgive the length :):
THE SIX DAWNS
Author: Alexander Kalomiros First edition in Greek: 1993 First edition in English: 1997, in the “Ark”Translated in English by George Gabriel (1997)Copyright: George Gabriel, 1997
Very carefully clear your minds of all Western conceptions, whether they are theological,philosophical, or scientific. You must forget what is taught [about creation] in your public schools and also your reaction to this teaching. All of it is conditioned by human reason andspeculation and has as a background a Roman Catholic rationalistic mentality which was also inherited by Protestants. It has infected many “Orthodox” minds as well.
The first chapter of Genesis is the narrative about a sequence of events that took place through the word and acts of God. God spoke and creatures came into being. How? It is a mystery. In any case,creation did not come into being instantly, but followed a sequence of manifestations, a -development over six different “days”. What shall we call this progress of creation in time, if not evolution?St. Gregory of Nyssa is very clear on this: “Man was made last, after the plants andanimals, because nature follows a path that gradually leads to perfection...Thus, nature — I mean the various properties of life — makes an ascent as if by steps, from the smallest forms to perfection... The Lawgiver sees a necessary sequence of order for the last to be perfect”.Even if evolutionists today are atheists and they believe in blind and accidental evolution without God’s will and action, we should not reject evolution itself. Evolution was taught thousands of years ago by
Genesis and explained by the holy Fathers centuries before Darwin. God created the universe in time and with a path from the simplest to the more complex, finishing with His perfect creature: man—perfect because of His image in man, as we shall see, and not because of man’s material nature. ......
.....How did He save us from returning to non-existence, to which we should return as creaturely beings made from nothing? Naturally, those who argue for two different natures in man would have to say the Word of God took only the common nature of man, the flesh. And He did not take the other, the unique nature of each of us, since it had no need of salvation, of resurrection, of being made incorruptible, because it was eternal and incorruptible in itself. In other words,they would say the Word of God took the bodily human nature since it had need of resurrection and of being made incorruptible, but He did not take on the soul since it is divine, and only the divine nature is immortal and incorruptible.A variation of this heretical view of man and the Incarnation of God is the theory of Makrakis regarding a triple nature of man. According to him, man does not have two, butthree natures: the body, the soul, and the spirit. Being creatures, both the body and the soulare corruptible and mortal, but the spirit is divine since it is part of the Holy Spirit.Essentially, both versions of this heresy argue that man is partly mortal and partly divine.And both versions are clear examples of rationalism and scholasticism that are totally aliento the Christian faith. And both versions try to comprehend man while ignoring a realitythat is essentially unknown to paganism: the reality of the person.
7. The person
The person is not a nature. God is one nature in three persons. The nature of God is common to the three persons. Each of the three persons, however, is unique.The fact that God created man “in the image of God” implies, among other things, that in man, as in God, the same distinction exists between nature and persons.
And like God, man is one in his nature, but many in persons.
What makes us all human is our nature which is common to all of us. What makes each of us a unique and unrepeatable being is our person. We have seen what our nature comes from and how it was created.
Our person, however, is a mystery. Although it is something we experience daily in ourselves and in the people around us, it is a totally intangible mystery. In essence, what makes us human, different beings from the animals, is the existence of our person. The person exists only in reason-endowed beings: in God and in the image of God—in men and angels. Animals do not have a person; they have a nature only. .....
Our person is not what is called the soul, for we humans are not the only ones who have a soul. All animals and all plants have a soul. Soul means life. Whatever has life has a soul. Life and soul have identical meanings. What, then, is the person? ......
....The person is what remains of man after death. It is what connects him with the new nature that he will acquire in the resurrection. It is what bridges the old body of corruptibility with the new body of incorruptibility and makes both the old and the new body the body of the same unrepeatable man.
Perhaps an example from the material world will help us with an insight into the incomprehensible mystery we are speaking about. There are many materials in nature. When they come in contact with fire, some of them burn, some of them harden, some of them melt and dissolve. But some, even though they are of a nature altogether different from fire,are constituted in such a way that when they come in contact with fire they too become fire.One such material is iron. Away from fire, iron is a material like many other materials. But when it comes in contact with fire it becomes red hot, it glows, radiates, and heats without ever ceasing to be in its essence iron. The fire does not give it a second nature, but it gives it properties that its nature does not have. Iron is constituted in such a way that it is receptive to the properties of fire and becomes itself fire as long as it is in contact with the fire.Man too is something like this. He has properties that he got because the Word of God became man and took our nature upon Himself. The Incarnation of the Word of God acts in the nature of man and makes him a person. The breath of the Holy Spirit acts upon the person because it is able to receive the Holy Spirit, and man becomes a living soul.”And God formed man of the dust of the earth, and He blew the breath of life into his face, and man became a living soul”. In his nature man is dust of the earth. He has personhood because it is God’s will for him to be in His image, and He became man for him.Upon that personhood God blew the breath of life, the grace of the Holy Spirit. And man became a living soul in the same way that iron is receptive of fire and, when it comes into contact with fire, it too becomes radiant from the energy of the fire.
8. The confusion
The confusion that exists about the subject of the soul has its roots in paganism. Basically, Christianity expressed itself and spoke to the world in the Greek language. But the Greek language, like all other languages that Christians used, except for Hebrew, is a language of pagan origin that was Christianized. The words remained the same, but they took on new meaning. Among the pagan words that took on another meaning in Christianity was the word “soul”. This word took on two different meanings in Christian literature. The first one is the meaning used in the Holy Scripture: soul equals life. “Whosoever will save his life shall lose it; but whosoever shall lose his life for My sake and the Gospel’s the same shall save it”.
The second meaning with which this word was used by the Christianized, former pagan world, that is, by the Christians from the nations, is that soul equals person. The idea of the person was not at all familiar to the pagan world. The pagans did not know what person means since, for them, God is creation, He is the universe; God is Pan (Gr. all that exists).
But this Pan of pagan pantheism is personless.
For pagans the ultimate destiny and perfection is for them to become identical with the personless Pan. The person,for them, the individual soul, is a lesser state that must be transcended. Universality requires all things to lose their distinctiveness.
For Christians, however, the meaning of the person is the most basic concept in our faith. We have not known God as a nature, but as a Person.
A nature is manifested and exists in the person. To us the nature of God, however, is inaccessible, unapproachable, but we have known and experienced the Person of God because He willed to come in our midst with our nature. God has revealed that our persons are images of His Person, capable of being”partakers of His divine nature” (2Pe.1:4).
And since they are images of His Person, they can receive the fire of the divine nature and become themselves fire, without being fire by nature.
But since the concept of the person, which was of such critical importance to the Christians, was unfamiliar, the properties that belong to the person were assigned to the familiar word “soul”.
And “soul” was used to express the meaning of person. But the word “soul” did not cease to be burdened with its old pagan meaning of a second nature, a spiritual nature of man.
The person is a mystery: the mystery of the divine seal upon the earthen human nature. The mysteries are not familiar to man. But the pagan meaning of the soul held no mystery: a different nature is intertwined and coexists with material nature.
It is the spirit that becomes intertwined with matter. The body dies and the material nature dissolves, but the spirit remains as a second, independent nature. These are very easy things for the rationalistic mind to grasp. Thus, for some Christians the meaning of the word soul slowly regained the ancient pagan meaning, and man, at least in the people’s mind, became compounded of two natures.
In this way, a spiritual nature of its own was imputed to the personality of man that remains after the body has dissolved. This means, of course, a clear return to paganism.
In this conception, man’s person is preserved after death because it has its own independent existence and nature, and not because it remains “in the hand of God”, in the knowledge of God which is true existence and is also completely dependent on God.
An immortality of this kind, therefore, would be of the same nature as the immortality of God. And even if it were believed to be given by God, in the final analysis, it would be self-sufficient and independent. God, of course, could have given such an immortality outright; it would have been a gift from God by grace. But if it were given, from that moment man would have perceived it as his own natural possession, in other words, as a second nature in man. Thus,he would believe he is compounded of two natures, of mortal matter and immortal spirit.
(Let us not even discuss the fact that there are many people who argue passionately and fanatically that the soul is immortal by nature and not by grace.) The source of our immortality is the Resurrection of Christ. Christ raised our earthen nature and made it incorruptible. There is no other source of immortality except the Resurrection since there is no second nature in man.
What we call immortality of the soul is nothing but the identity of the human person sustained in God. Our person is the same in both the state of corruptibility and the state of incorruptibility, before the Resurrection and after. In what we call the soul’s “life after death” there is no dimension of time since, after death and the dissolution of the body, our persons are “in the hand of God”,and in God time does not exist.
After death, souls do not live another autonomous life, since they are not natures but persons. Their life and existence is God, the prototype of the seal that is called the “person”.
Because people cannot comprehend such mysteries, it is easy to slip into pagan rationalism. In the time up to the general Resurrection, souls after death do not live in a bodiless state as if they are spiritual natures that have been separated from their bodies. A time period of this kind exists only for the living, for the natural world, of which one dimension is time.
The state of death has never been described by the Church, because it is not a state that is a natural state and describable. It is the preservation of the person and the subsistence of our being in God.
Whatever is in God is outside of nature and indescribable. The souls have no direct contact at all with the living; they neither perceive nor sense the world and the flow of time. .....They do not have self-existence of their own. Nevertheless, the dead exist and live, not in time and not by nature, but by God.
Whatever anyone may grasp of these truths, so be it.
The mystery of the distinction between nature and person is the most basic one in our faith. We do not comprehend the mysteries, but we live them. .....Our nature is material and earthen, as is the entire nature of creatures.
Our persons are the divine seal upon this earthen nature; they are the effect of an event on our nature, the event of the Incarnation of the Word. The Incarnation of the Word added the impress of the Person of the Word upon our nature and made man the image of God. It is the person that makes us humans; it is the person that bridges our pre-resurrection corruptible nature with the incorruptible nature that the Resurrection shall give us.
That resurrected nature already exists in the Person of Christ. Whatever it is that we are, we are it in Christ. We can escape the confusion of what man is only if we understand that Christ is the very root of our being and the foundation of our existence.
9. The breath of life
“......Many explain that when the Bible says, ‘God breathed the breath of life into the face of Adam the first-created, who was created by Him from the dust of the earth,’ it must mean that till then there was neither human soul nor spirit in Adam, but only the flesh created from the dust of the earth. This interpretation is wrong, for the Lord made Adam from the dust of the earth with the constitution which our dear little father, the holy Apostle Paul describes: ‘May your whole spirit and soul and body be preserved blameless unto the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ’. (1 Thes.5:23)” And all these parts of our nature were created from the dust of the earth, and Adam was not created dead, but an active living being like all the other animate creatures of God living on earth.
The point is that if God had not breathed afterwards into his face, this breath of life (that is, the grace of our Lord God the Holy Spirit, Who proceeds from the Father and rests in the Son and is sent into the world for the Son’s sake), Adam would have remained without having within him the Holy Spirit, Who raises him to Godlike dignity.However perfect he had been created and superior to all other creatures of God, as the crown of creation on earth, he would have been just like all the other creatures which,though they have a body, soul, and spirit, each according to its kind, yet have not the Holy Spirit within them.”But when the Lord God breathed the breath of life into Adam’s face, then, according to Moses’ word, ‘Adam became a living soul’ (Gen.2:7)....
Before he received the breath of God, Adam was a living creature like all the other animals on earth, with all of his physical characteristics, having a spirit,soul, brain, heart, just as all animals have, each according to its species. ...
“..... The “breath” of God does not have a natural or biological meaning; it is not one of the natural elements in man. Rather, it is the uncreated energy of the Holy Spirit, given to man by Christ.The breath of God, the uncreated energy of the Holy Spirit, is the same as that which is implanted as a seed in Christians....What really makes man different from the other animals is the fact that, in contrast to the animals, he has the ability to receive the energy of the Holy Spirit. What gives man this ability is not his biological superiority, and it is not the superiority of his brain. The ability of man to receive the energy of the Holy Spirit, if he wishes, is not given to him by anything natural. It is given to him by the fact that he is created in the image of God (Gen. 1:27), in other words, he is a person (Gen. 2:7).”And God formed man of the dust of the earth, and He blew the breath of life into his face, and man became a living soul”. Here the Holy Scripture gives us three ontological truths about man: l. In his makeup man is dust. 2. The breath from God was given to what He called “his face”. [In the Greek Septuagint O.T., the word for “face” also means”person”.] 3. The breath was the “breath of life” that made man a “living soul”. In other words, man, like all creatures, is dust; however, he has a face upon which God blew the”breath of life” that made him a “living soul”.In order to better understand the distinction between just soul and living soul, we need to recall what Christ said to the man who wished to follow Him, but asked if he may first go to bury his deceased father. Christ said, “Let the dead bury their dead”. (Mt.8:22) What is clear is that the Lord considers as dead all those who do not have a living communion with God, regardless of whether they are biologically alive or dead. All are essentially dead,except that those who are biologically alive are able to bury those who are biologically dead.Consequently, what makes man truly alive, what makes him a living soul, is something not found in all men. It is something given only to those who are disposed to accepting it, to those who freely wish it. It is not a natural component of man like the soul; rather, it is a divine gift and energy beyond nature: the gift and uncreated energy of the grace of the Holy Spirit. The acquisition of this gift of the Holy Spirit is the purpose of our life, as St. Seraphimso vividly taught Motovilov, his student. This is what we were created for, and it is to it that we are invited. ...
Adam is neither the biological nor the historical forefather of mankind, but the first-made ontologically, not only of mankind, but of all creation. He is the root of the universe we see and know today. He is the man chosen by God to recapitulate in his person all of creation as God had formed it.....
....With Adam and Eve begins the history of Israel, the history of the people who knewGod, amidst all the nations of the world that did not know Him. Adam is not only the firstman who knew Christ, the first who was essentially a faithful Christian, he is the first andfurthest forefather of Christ and the beginning of His genealogy in the flesh and in time.
As we already said in the beginning, the book of Genesis is divided into two units. The first unit (Chapter One and verses 1-3 of Chapter Two) is about the creation of the world and all of mankind.
The second unit (the remainder of the book from the fourth verse of Chapter Two to the end) is nothing but the history of those people to whom God revealed Himself who knew God and who sinned and repented before God. It is the history of Adam and his descendants. .....
“And God said, Let us make man in our image and likeness...And God made man; in the image of God He made him”. God wants man to be His image and likeness, but as we have seen, He made man only in His image.
He left the likeness to our own preference. All are “in the image of God”, but not all are “in the likeness”, except those who desire it. We all have the ability to accept the Holy Spirit, but not all of us wish to have the Comforter dwell in us.This is the difference between the image and likeness. The image is given to our nature because of the Incarnation of the Son and Word of God. The likeness relates to our person and is dependent on our personal freedom. ....”
The question is, how could this be allowed without an EPA impact study? Just imagine if creation was a gov. project. Todays gov. would have joined men with men, among other things.
Does it make me a bad person that your comment had me howling with laughter? Thank you for that!
You’d be surprised how well certain things match up to Adam and the Fall. I certainly am!
One comment though:
“Hm. I sincerely mean nothing personal, but maybe you shouldn’t be formulating such strong views about creation if you’ve got the fundamentals so wrong. The Creator did not rest before making Man.”
The Word is inerrant, we both agree on that. Which means to me that the verses are in the order they are in for a reason. The second verse of Genesis 2 deals with the seventh day. Man doesn’t get a mention until verse 7. It is actually an important part of the thesis for Genesis 2, so please don’t tell me I got a bad copy of the KJV!
Once more, many thanks. Your questions, insights and patience is helping immensely!
@The_Reader_David - I see I forgot to thank you for your link. My apologies. It is fascinating, even on a skim read (Hey, blame Matchett-PI, he dropped an addictive blog on me!)
@Matchett-PI - Once more, thank you! One of the reasons I am doing this is there is such a close correlation between Genesis and what we think we know.
To risk some ire from people, Genesis 1 is the way you would explain our modern creation understanding to a 4 year old.
Not disrepecting the Word, but I think of it as trying to explain TV or nuclear fusion to William Shakespeare. He wouldn’t have the concepts to begin to comprehend. Explain long enough, he’ll get the idea, then put it into words of beauty.
Hm. I say this entirely without malice, but I’m losing respect for your scholarship.
Scripture is clear that Adam was created on the 6th day (see Gen. 1:27 and 31), and that only AFTER that did the Creator rest (see Gen. 2:2).
It is commonly understood that Genesis 1 gives a quick overview of the first week of creation, and that Genesis 2, starting with verse 4, goes back and provides a more detailed narrative, focusing on the events of the 6th day.
I appreciate your wrestling with what Scripture has to say about creation, EnglishCon, but I think you should spend more time really studying it. Such careless reading results in some pretty silly heresy (e.g., believing that Man was created some time after the 7th day of creation).
So, I take it you refuse to read either my own points or the article I linked out of either fear or some goofy "principal."
Anyone who can accept the literal lifespans in Genesis 1-11 as you claim to do can accept the first three chapters of Genesis as theology/history. Contemporary science has no more business pontificating on cosmogony than it does on what is in Heaven.
I know the evo/atheists like to argue that science disproves the Bible but really what can be said more accurately is that science does NOT disprove the Bible.
Gen 1:1 In the beginning.....
There was a beginning supported by the Big Bang Theory and Einsteins equations and Hubbles observations.
Gen 1:2 The earth was formless and void,...
Supported by the solar nebula theory and the proto earth.
Gen 1:20 Let the waters teem with swarms of living creatures,
Scientists say that life arose in the seas.
Gen 1:24 Let the earth bring forth living creatures after their kind...
Gen 2:7 Then the LORD God formed man of dust from the ground,
Shaped from clay [origin of life]
Scientists have concluded that clay was necessary for the formation of life.
Eccles 1:6 Blowing toward the south, Then turning toward the north, The wind continues swirling along; And on its circular courses the wind returns.
Scripture describes the circulating system of winds.
Eccles 1:7 All the rivers flow into the sea, Yet the sea is not full. To the place where the rivers flow, There they flow again.
The Bible also describes the water cycle.
Lev 17:10-12 `And any man from the house of Israel, or from the aliens who sojourn among them, who eats any blood, I will set My face against that person who eats blood and will cut him off from among his people. `For the life of the flesh is in the blood, and I have given it to you on the altar to make atonement for your souls; for it is the blood by reason of the life that makes atonement. Therefore I said to the sons of Israel, `No person among you may eat blood, nor may any alien who sojourns among you eat blood.
Blood is necessary for life. The life is in the blood.
Isa 40:22 It is He who sits above the circle of the earth, And its inhabitants are like grasshoppers, Who stretches out the heavens like a curtain And spreads them out like a tent to dwell in.
Job 9:5,8 It is God who removes the mountains, they know not how, When He overturns them in His anger; 8.Who alone stretches out the heavens And tramples down the waves of the sea;
Earth is round. Could also refer to the orbit of the earth as seen from space. Also, in those verses, the expansion of the universe.
Col 1:15-17 He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation. For by Him all things were created, both in the heavens and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authoritiesall things have been created through Him and for Him. He is before all things, and in Him all things hold together.
All things are being held together; gravitation, strong and weak nuclear forces, magnetism.
The very idea of the big bang is implausible.
If the entire mass of a supergiant star that goes supernova is so great that when it collapses on itself it forms a black hole so that even light cannot escape its gravitational pull, what do scientists do with singularly, which contained the mass of the ENTIRE universe, not just one star?
How do they even dare to say that at some point, it just *let go* and expanded in a trillion trillionth of a second to fill all known space, without any outside impetus?
How could the gravitational attraction of that much mass EVER let anything go?
In Genesis, God takes credit for creation and explains it in a manner suitable for a primitive people to understand. Exactly how he did it, he doesn't say. If he did say, there wouldn't be enough space on earth for all the hard disks needed to contain a precise description of creation.
Considering how concise the creation account and other places in Scripture where God deals with scientific type information is and the level at which He speaks so that any can understand it, it is remarkably accurate.
You would be considered bad for sure due to your “unenlightened” disagreement with the New World Order, which the enlightened elite want to create.
Note: the original “occupy movement” was that of the devil seeking to occupy the throne of God (the administration building), by (like the old protesters) climbing up to authority some other way than that of principled moral worthiness, supposing that God should “share the wealth.”
And which victim-entitlement mentality he worked to instill in Eve in the Garden, that she was being treated unfairly by having to pay back her student loan, er., i mean not having the wealth of knowledge that God has, and thus she should engage in a form of civil disobedience.
CNN can only wish the they there, but such are trying to make up for lost time in fostering this victim-entitlement mentality (the insidious nature of which i know tell well myself) - to the tune of “sympathy for the devil.”
Thank you, as always! You have a gift for scripture that I envy (and enjoy and benefit from!) immensely.
Regarding the Big Bang, I have seen some attempts to get around the problem you describe.
1/ Black holes degrade over time. They stress the fabric of space hard enough that new atoms (or at least quarks) pop into existance along the edge and some escape while others fall in. This reduces the energy and mass of the black hole. There is a tiny bit of evidence for this - not much, but would make the Big Bang more of a a Slow Hiss.
2/ When a black hole gets massive enough, it creates a new universe and the material streams out as an explosion. It is a neat way of getting around the problem of 1 second before, as there wasn’t a second before. The monobloc was in a completely different universe until it broke through and exploded. Sounds strange, but the multiple universe hypothesis is well respected.
3/ It was triggered by something, either some condition we simply cannot understand, or the Word. Which we also cannot understand.
Number 1 does not really fit the scriptures. 2 and 3 both do. 3 is the easiest option to accept in accordance with the Word, but for our Lord, who is by definition outside of time and space, 2 is equally possible.
FRiend, I am already on several watch lists for simply believing in God and posting here ;)
Both no-nos as far as our revered leaders are concerned. I do thank you for the smile - your posts always make me either smile or laugh. The Occupy analogy is wonderful - wonder if that is why Hieronymus Bosch ALWAYS included a devil or demon taking a number 2!
Very nice post. The Genesis account has a beautiful elegance as well it should.
Thank you so much for those beautiful Scriptures and your insights, dear sister in Christ
The big bang is nonsense, there is zero evidence to support it, since everything is moving away from our location in all directions at about the same velocity. That makes the big bang impossible.
I was merely responding to your mention of Achiya HaShiloni. I had not heard the name before so I looked it up and found the reference to him in the link I gave. In it it said this about that person:
The article then went on to describe this teacher, HaShiloni, as the one who taught Elijah the prophet and then several thousand years later is teaching Baal Shem Tov explaining to him that he was a reincarnation of another Kabbalah prophet, etc., etc. That was the ONLY reason why I brought it up and did couch my words with you "may" be speaking of this. I am relieved to read you do not believe in reincarnation, since the Bible is against such notions. I happen to agree with you about the literal view of Genesis including the lifespans. I also believe that Elijah never died but was taken to be with God and I also believe he will return to earth during a time of great tribulation for the Jewish nation to lead them to the Messiah - who is Jesus - and who will return as conquering King at the end of the seven year period of the Tribulation. So, NO, I am not a liberal, thank you very much!
As for "Protestants not getting it," I stand by that comment. Protestants think that J*sus predicted that the historical church would morph into a monstrosity and that "true chr*stianity" would have to be "restored" at a later date (by Luther, or Calvin, or Knox, or the Anabaptists, or the Baptists, or Wesley, or George Fox, or the Campbells, or Joseph Smith, or C.T. Russell, or George Went Hensley, or Zola Levitt, or . . .
I was with you until you dropped this meshugas about what you believe "Protestants" do not "get". I have no idea where you got the idea that Protestants think that J*sus predicted that the historical church would morph into a monstrosity and that "true chr*stianity" would have to be "restored" at a later date. In fact, that doesn't even make any sense. Jesus established a BODY of believers and that body continues to grow with every person who receives Jesus Christ as Savior, believing in him who was God incarnate and who saves us from the penalty of our sins. Just as the High Priest offered a sacrifice once a year into the Holy of Holies at Yom Kippur, Jesus Christ is that once for all sacrifice, the Lamb of God, who would once for ALL make a sacrifice for sin for all that would believe in Him. This Body of Christ, AKA the Bride of Christ, will be with Jesus for eternity in Heaven.
This is all nonsense. Chr*stianity is a false religion and cannot be "restored." The ancient liturgical churches and the "restored" Protestant churches are all wrong.
Christianity is NOT a false religion, though perhaps there are some denominations that call themselves "Christians" that most certainly ARE. The TRUE Christianity has NEVER needed to be "restored" because it has never stopped existing - God reserves a remnant, just as He always has - that have not bowed the knee to false gods. I get it that you do not believe Jesus is the Messiah - I believe you are wrong - but one day you WILL know that he is who HE said he is and you will bow your knee to him and confess that He is Lord to the glory of God the Father. I pray that you open your eyes to this while you still can. I know that Jesus IS the Messiah, God with us, because of the Old Testament and I am a "by faith child of Abraham", grafted into the vine. We, you and I, are "adopted" siblings and I pray that, one day, we will rejoice together in the presence of our great God and King. I wish you peace!