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Posts by Buggman

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  • Weekend Must-Read: Ten Reasons Why I Am No Longer a Leftist

    07/21/2014 8:50:51 AM PDT · 27 of 39
    Buggman to servo1969

    Excellent article. Can’t wait to print it out and go back over it later.

  • Glitch or Censorship? Connecticut school blames software for selective blocking conservative sites.

    07/18/2014 7:51:53 AM PDT · 11 of 19
    Buggman to falcon99

    Yeah, but on the plus side, they’re making this stuff forbidden fruit for a bunch of teenagers. Because that always works.

  • There’s something very ugly in this rage against Israel

    07/18/2014 5:27:42 AM PDT · 17 of 18
    Buggman to servo1969
    Because the very existence of Israel proves that only two religions in the world could possibly be true: Judaism, and the form of Christianity that admits that the Jews are still God's chosen people. To the Muslim, the Sikh, as well as (in the West particularly) the atheist, the agnostic, the New Ager, the Hindu, the neo-pagan, the Luciferian, the Buddhist, the Shintoist, the animist, the shaman, the practitioner of Voodun, and the supracessionist Christian, the very existance of Israel is an intolerable reminder that there is an Eternal God who plainly stated thousands of years ago that He would bring Israel back into the Land where He has placed His holy name . . .

    . . . and that when He did, the time would be short for His final judgment on all mankind.

    Shalom

  • Why is Chuck Norris trending in Argentina? (Chuck Facts Alert)

    07/10/2014 7:14:44 AM PDT · 4 of 13
    Buggman to Salvavida

    Chuck Norris once killed a vampire with a steak. No, I didn’t misspell that.

  • The real reason liberal churches are losing members

    06/27/2014 2:25:22 PM PDT · 23 of 31
    Buggman to Tax-chick
    Christianity doesn't have dietary laws or dress codes, either. Those are easy, legalistic fillers that may let a person evade the complete reformation of your heart, mind, body, and soul that is true Christianity.

    So when God Himself gave dietary laws and dress codes in His Torah, He was giving His people something weak and wicked?

    God gave us rituals and cultural commandments not as a replacement for inner transformation, but as stepping stones for the young and spiritually immature and as a way to bring body, soul, and spirit together. This is why even Christians recognize the New Covenant sacraments of Baptism and Communion to be graces rather than "legalistic fillers," and why most Christians around the world have developed their own traditions and rituals--catechisms, confirmations, hymns, creeds, confessions, and ceremonies.

    Now, I agree that any of these can become a substitute for a true, living, and transforming faith/faithfulness. On the other hand, so can "feel-good faith." The solution is not to avoid them like the plague, but rather to see them as what they are: tools, a means to an end, the end being the true and living Messiah (Rom. 10:4).

    Shalom

  • Why the Arab World is Caught in an Emotional Nakba, and How We Keep it There.

    06/27/2014 8:19:56 AM PDT · 19 of 33
    Buggman to dangerdoc; HiTech RedNeck
    Interesting philosophical inquiry... since the gospel of Jesus Christ solves the problem of being unable to endure a humiliating ordeal, even one that is undeserved, in order to effect a change to the good.

    Christianity is an offense to the concept of honor. Our God, the very God that spoke the world into existence, took on the form of man, lived in that form with all the indignities of flesh then allowed himself to be stripped, beat, mocked then killed hanging on a cross with criminals.

    Exactly. J.P. Holding points out that you really can't understand the Bible unless you understand the honor/shame paradigm. However, it is through the Messiah that God ultimately works the process of breaking down human pride (the craving for worldly honor) and the fear of shame. He did so by taking the same that we rightly feel and placing it all on Yeshua (Jesus) on the Cross, while taking Yeshua's proper honor as the unique Son of God and gifting it to us.

    In addition, I would argue that the giving of the Spirit has transformed society gradually away from honor/shame and to an inner awareness (conscience) of right and wrong. One of the challenges we face today is that we've come to take conscience for granted and don't realize how little a role it plays in most cultures, whether you're talking about Arab culture, Asian culture, or black street culture.

    Shalom

  • Big Bang blunder bursts the multiverse bubble [Exercpt, click link]

    06/17/2014 9:17:12 AM PDT · 25 of 25
    Buggman to schaef21
    Forgot my postscript:

    I hope that I have convinced you that I’ve come by my position in a logical and hermeneutically sound manner.

    I agree that this is not a salvational issue--in that no one's salvation is dependent on their theological position for YEC or OEC. However, I do think that YEC is creating a barrier to the undecided and creates an unnecessary and damaging dichotomy between science and Biblical faith.

    I agree that you are a thoughtful person, and that your decision is logical within the context of the facts you choose to accept. However, you have to simply discard the lion's share of the scientific data and even a portion of the Scriptural data to do so.

    Of course, you'd argue the same about me. :) That's why we're having this conversation.

    Shalom uv'rechah (peace and blessings).

  • Big Bang blunder bursts the multiverse bubble [Exercpt, click link]

    06/17/2014 9:10:57 AM PDT · 24 of 25
    Buggman to schaef21
    A global flood would easily explain this would it not?

    Through soft soils, sure, that's a possibility. Through solid granite? Not so much.

    The main point being made here is that the earth can’t possibly be as old as the evolutionists claim and I believe it systematically does that. The evolutionary trinity is Father Time, Mother Nature and Lady Luck….. None of the three are on their side.

    Heh, I like that; I'll have to steal it. However, there's a difference between our perspectives: You seem to be conceeding that if the universe were billions rather than thousands of years old, "Father Time" at least would be on the evolutionist's side. Is that your intent? I certainly don't think 14 billion years of universal history and a billion of earth's is nearly sufficient enough.

    On the subject of the universe's "clocks," how about if we each pick a couple and kick them around just to keep the conversation focused.

    Mark 10:6-7 . . .

    Let's break the question down a bit: Are Yeshua's words proven false by the fact that man and woman were not created on the first day? Why not?

    I know the standard arguments. Distant Starlight being the main one (old earthers really have the same issue when you consider the Horizon Problem).

    The Horizon Problem is explained easily enough by the Inflation Model, which also solves several other cosmological problems. The athiest is bothered by it because of the energies involved in such an early, radical expansion; the unique nature of the event which seems to have no explanation in our current understanding of physics; and the precision involved in the event's timing and extent. The theist, on the other hand, rejoices at such incongruities, since they point to the Hand of God.

    On the other hand, there is no evidence, either scientifically or theologically, for CDK or "light created in motion" as mechanisms to explain how we can see galaxies millions or billions of light years away. Again, watch the Ross-Faulkner debate and see Faulkner admit that none of the standard mechanisms proposed in the YEC work.

    The only way to hold to YEC is to propose that the Eternal Lawgiver keeps changing the laws of nature in a way that is impossible to detect in order to make the universe lie to us about its age . . . or else, God has simply put us in the Matrix, and everything we think we see is an illusion. That might describe a god, but it certainly does not describe the God of the Bible.

    Shalom

  • Big Bang blunder bursts the multiverse bubble [Exercpt, click link]

    06/12/2014 3:14:08 PM PDT · 20 of 25
    Buggman to schaef21
    Put it this way: If He did, it would not create a problem for my theology. The Bible says only that God created the animals from the dust of the earth, and thanks to the extremely laconic style being used, does not tell us the details of how.

    But having said that, I can state with complete honesty that the science doesn't support evolutionary theory. For example, the genetics quite often fail to match the morphology that paleontologists use to try to trace the evolutionary paths. For another example, genetic load from bad mutations will always drive a more complex species to extinction long before it has a chance to evolve. Ergo, no, I do not believe that God used Darwinian evolution as the means by which He created and developed life.

    Heck, even the evolutionists have long since abandoned Darwinism as being insufficient a mechanism.

    Shalom

  • Big Bang blunder bursts the multiverse bubble [Exercpt, click link]

    06/12/2014 1:40:23 PM PDT · 18 of 25
    Buggman to schaef21; fishtank
    For the life of me I don’t know why some Christians who have a doctrinal disagreement feel the need to insult other followers of Christ…… I’d say that was unbiblical.

    Oh yes, because the Bible contains no examples at all of the positive use of satire, sarcasm, and snark for the sake of driving home a point. And I've directly insulted no one--I have gone after the willful blindness of a doctrinal position that I consider to be actively dangerous to the Body.

    But for the sake of conversation and shalom, I'll tone down the snark, though my final statement was entirely sincere.

    1. It's good that you've read his work. Are you familiar enough with it to be able to know what his answers would be to the article you linked me to? That's not sarcasm; I'm just seeing to what extent I need to present the case.

    2. "For every commentary like that I can find many distinguished theologians who take the other side." Agreed. The reason I point this out is that many on the YEC side like to act as if there's absolutely no reason other than "compromise with the world" for anyone to disagree with them. Heck, Kent Hovind got all of one line into his debate with Ross before subtlely accusing him of worshipping another god, and that accusation came out in full force by the midway point of the debate, much to John Ankerberg's consternation.

    Actually, watching Ross's debates, I have to say that the arguments--and lack thereof--of Hovind, Faulkner, et.al. did more to convince me of the OEC position than those of Dr. Ross!

    My point is this: There are good literalists on all sides of this debate, and it is evident that both YEC and OEC (and the Framework Hypothesis, and Analogical Days) fit within the meaning of the original Biblical Hebrew. I happen to think OEC fits better (if YEC is correct, there's no way to tell how long the first three days were and Adam sure fit a lot of activity into the last few hours of day six), but let's say it was a wash: At that point, shouldn't we be willing to look at outside scientific evidence to break the tie, just like we do with archaeology all the time?

    3. Just as well.

    4. You should watch it. It's long as heck, but it's probably the most gentlemanly debate on this subject I've ever seen. It helps that both men are scholars and colleges and actually behave as brothers in the Messiah should.

    5. It's definitely not everyone's cup of tea, but I find that when looking into this subject, reading exegetical commentaries from before the 1800s is rather fascinating. That's not to say the rabbis are always right, of course, but they certainly weren't tainted by evolution in the 600s when the Talmud was compiled.

    On Dr. Boyd (and I'll read his paper in more detail when I get off from work):

    (1) Absolutely agreed.

    (2) Agreed again.

    (3) Agreed with a caveat: God created heaven and earth in six literal yomim, which may be understood as either "days" or "epochs."

    On your refutations:

    1. Where else does the Bible use the formula V'eyhi 'erev, v'eyhi boqer, yom [number] for you to compare?

    2. That's actually not true (see Hos. 6:1-2), but supposing it was, where else in the Bible would it need to number epochs for you to be able to compare?

    3. Yes, in six yomim. However, the Bible is rife with wordplay (it's one of the defining characteristics of Jewish language and thought). Ergo, there's no problem with the idea that God's point was: "I made the heavens and the earth in six yomim/epochs, therefore you mortals can emulate me by working for six yomim/days."

    As Archer points out, if an eight-day celebration (Feast of Booths) can symbolize forty years in the wilderness, there's no problem with six days symbolizing six epochs.

    4. You might want to check some of the secular science sites on those clocks. They turn out not to be as conclusive as they're made out to be in the YEC community. Moreover, as Faulkner admitted, even though there are some anomalies that might suggest an earth or solar system younger than conventional science suggests, there's absolutely no hard data that would put it at 6-10,000 years.

    I'd also point out that there are formations on the earth that either took millions of years to carve out or else God set up nature to deliberately lie to us. For example, we know how fast a river can erode rock. The Columbia River carves a path right through the Cascadia Mountians. The only way that works, since water obviously doesn't flow uphill, is if the river existed first and carved down through the mountains at the same rate that they rose--which means that the mountains had to rise over millions of years, or else the river would have been dammed.

    That's just one obvious example. There are plenty of others. And the problem gets worse when you start talking about the age of the universe, since the light is coming from so far away.

    Why would a God powerful enough to speak the Universe into existence take billions of years to do so?

    First, a counter-question: Why would a Being who exists completely outside of our time domain care about billions of years?

    Second, an answer: By taking His time, and then creating a universe with consistant laws of physics that include a finite speed of light, God has actually allowed us to observe the entirety of His creative process from the time light first separated from the darkness, giving us enough data to infer the rest. Ditto on using long creative processes on the earth. He's giving us the means to appreciate the amount of care He put into Creation, as well as the information we would need to backwards-engineer it (via the scientific process) to fulfill the command to "subdue" the earth.

    If the earth truly is young and it can eventually be proven… Then the evolutionists and their atheist brothers in arms have nowhere to go.

    And if it isn't and it can't?

    Shalom

  • Big Bang blunder bursts the multiverse bubble [Exercpt, click link]

    06/12/2014 9:35:56 AM PDT · 15 of 25
    Buggman to jonno
    You know, when the Bible speaks almost a dozen times of God stretching out the heavens, you'd think we would all be rejoicing at the discovery of the Big Bang.

    Shalom!

  • Big Bang blunder bursts the multiverse bubble [Exercpt, click link]

    06/12/2014 9:35:03 AM PDT · 14 of 25
    Buggman to schaef21
    I've read it before. My knowledge of the Biblical Hebrew and what Big Bang cosmology actually says (and what it admits are still mysteries) has reached the point where I no longer find it compelling.

    Now let me ask you: Have you read any of Dr. Ross' work explaining why he believes that Big Bang cosmology is consistant with Scripture, or have you only read up on the YEC position? Have you read any of of Gleason Archer's commentary on the Hebrew explaining why Genesis does not require a YEC view to be taken literally, or have you only read the rather uneducated attacks of Hovind and the like? Have you watched the debate between Dr. Ross and Dr. Faulkner (a YEC astronomer) where Faulkner admitted in his own opening statement that there is absolutely no way to reconcile our current knowledge of the record of nature with a universe only 6000 years old? Have you studied the rabbis of the Talmud to find out that they knew 1400 years ago that the sun, moon, and stars were revealed on day 4, but were created in the beginning?

    I've read and watched both sides of the argument for years, and in the end, I find YEC's claims to be untennable Biblically, let alone scientifically.

    We live in a time when science overwhelmingly supports the Biblical idea that God is transcendent, eternal, omnipotent, intelligent and wise beyond comprehension, and very interested in the creation of and maintenance of life--and you YEC's want to throw away all that enormously powerful evidence because you won't accept the simple truth that the Hebrew word yom can mean a long but finite epoch as well as it can a 24-hour day.

    Somewhere, the Devil is laughing and our Father is facepalming.

    Shalom

  • Big Bang blunder bursts the multiverse bubble [Exercpt, click link]

    06/12/2014 8:57:47 AM PDT · 10 of 25
    Buggman to fishtank

    For the life of me, I cannot understand why certain Christians are threatened by the Big Bang. It fits perfectly with a Biblical worldview.

  • God Created Man In His Own Image:

    06/09/2014 1:06:13 PM PDT · 25 of 31
    Buggman to Vinylly
    "In the image of God" does not refer to any particular quality of human beings. It refers to a purpose: To bear the image of God as His appointed rulers in a particular sphere, that being the physical earth (and possibly the physical universe as a whole, but that's speculative).

    See Dr. Michael Heiser's paper on the subject for more details.

    Shalom

  • 'Smoking Gun' Proof of Big Bang Already In Doubt

    06/06/2014 10:02:39 AM PDT · 20 of 25
    Buggman to gunsequalfreedom
    The problem with the Big Bang theory is that it does not mention who lit the fuse that set off the bang.

    That's only partially true. The paper that put Hawking and Penrose in the public eye back in the 70s concluded that if the universe contains mass and if it is governed by the laws of special relativity, then it had to have a cause that is transcendent over matter, energy, space, and time. Hawking has been trying to get out of that bind ever since (ala A Brief History of Time), but that the universe of the big bang requires a transcendent entity is pretty solid physics at this point.

    The only question is whether that Entity is sentient and personal or not. I would argue that the fine-tuning of the universe to make it suitable for life points to a personal, intelligent Creator rather than a blind source or process.

    Ergo, the theist is on pretty solid ground to say that our current understanding of the universe points to the God of the Bible: A transcendent (outside of space), eternal (outside of time) Being of neither energy nor matter, One of virtually infinite power and intellect who is keenly interested in the creation and continuence of life.

    Shalom.

  • Pope, Netanyahu spar over Jesus' native language

    05/27/2014 1:17:50 PM PDT · 92 of 92
    Buggman to Genoa

    Amen.

  • Pope, Netanyahu spar over Jesus' native language

    05/27/2014 10:01:50 AM PDT · 89 of 92
    Buggman to Genoa
    And what God can do once, He can do again. (See the letters to the churches in Revelation.) Therefore, as Paul wrote, "For if God did not spare the natural branches, neither will he spare you" (Rom. 11:21).

    In other words, the Christian who thinks that God set aside Israel cannot logically rest easy in his own salvation.

  • Pope, Netanyahu spar over Jesus' native language

    05/27/2014 9:50:05 AM PDT · 86 of 92
    Buggman to Genoa; Romulus

    Why do you both assume that Yeshua was referring to the Jews in general instead of the Jewish leadership in particular? After all, if the latter is the case, then His very Jewish Apostles would be the “others” given the care of the vineyard.

  • Latest Same-Sex Marriage Rulings Prove That Scalia Was Right

    05/22/2014 7:57:35 AM PDT · 31 of 38
    Buggman to Claud; AppyPappy
    I'm no more compromising on this issue than I am on Islam, but I still recognize the rights of imams to perform marriages within the context of their own religion.

    Short of openly gunning down judges in the streets and engaging in open "asymetrical" warfare, there's no repairing the damage to the Constitution until and unless the consequences of ignoring it and ignoring God's law are allowed to come out in a way that disgusts the vast majority. Even then, you're looking at a generational game rather than an electoral cycle.

    To put it another way, this battle is clearly lost, but that doesn't mean that we stop fighting the war--it just means that we shift to a different site and redevelop our tactics accordingly.

    And I'm aware that sooner or later they're going to try to force pastors and rabbis to perform ceremonies--and when that happens, we need to fight it all the way to the Supreme Court and, should we fail to get redress there, simply refuse. And we must do so without speaking a single word that is not said in love (though satire and parody are still fair game), and constantly praying for our enemies and doing good to those who persecute us. Our society is engineered to root for the underdog and play to the victim, so we're going to have to be victimized for a while before anyone wakes up to it.

    It's happened before, it's happening now, and it will happen again. And the Lord will preserve His remnant of both Jews and Christians, as He always has, until our King comes.

    Shalom

  • Latest Same-Sex Marriage Rulings Prove That Scalia Was Right

    05/22/2014 6:48:04 AM PDT · 23 of 38
    Buggman to mazda77; AppyPappy
    And that's where I think we should shift our stance. At this point, there's nothing we can do to stop the redefinition of marriage in the secular world, so our emphasis need to change to protecting our own legal rights, e.g., not allowing pastors, priests, rabbis, photographers, cake-makers, etc. to be forcibly conscripted into participating in the weddings, or our children to be indoctrinated into their ethos.

    Then sit back and watch the divorce statistics roll in. The cumulative effect will be to remove money from the homosexual community and into the pockets of their divorce lawyers.

    They're unified right now against their perceived enemy. Get out of their way and let the self-destruction of their unity begin.

    And then, as usual, we'll pick up the pieces of civilization and rebuild.

    Shalom

  • The big bang is not a Reason to Believe!

    05/20/2014 10:55:30 AM PDT · 18 of 19
    Buggman to PapaBear3625; Dutchboy88
    The only problem there is Day 4--but what Genesis says is not that the sun, moon, and stars were created on day 4, but that God said, "Let there be . . ." or rather, "Let there appear / manifest . . ."

    When it says, "And God made the greater light . . . the lesser light . . . and the stars also," the word translated "made," y'as, has two significances: First, is is in the imperfect form (the root word is asah) which can indicate a past completed action in a narrative. Ergo, as Gleason Archer points out, it can mean that the stars were made on day 4, but they could also have been made on day 3, day 2, day 1, or in the beginning. That was also the opinion of the rabbis of the Talmud some 1500 years before evolution and Big Bang cosmology were an issue. (The Babylonian Talmud, Hagigah 12a if you want to look it up.)

    Secondly, by using the verb y'as / asah instead of the word yivra' / bara', the Bible is telling us that the sun, moon, stars (and by extension, planets, asteroids, and coments) visible to an ancient Israelite's naked eye were not the first sun, moon, and stars the Eternal One ever created--which is a real exegetical problem for YEC.

    All of this is completely compatible with day-age (old earth) creationism, on the other hand.

    Shalom

  • The big bang is not a Reason to Believe!

    05/20/2014 10:01:05 AM PDT · 11 of 19
    Buggman to fishtank
    Waitaminute, I just realized who the author is. Humphries has a creation model of his own that a) requires universal expansion (so why he's arguing that point I have no idea), and b) unlike RtB's model, he refuses to submit to peer review. See here for more details.

    Shalom

  • The big bang is not a Reason to Believe!

    05/20/2014 9:53:18 AM PDT · 7 of 19
    Buggman to fishtank
    One of the things I appreciate about Reasons to Believe is that they have a "Golden Rule of Debate": "Thou shalt understand thy opponent's position as well as thou wouldst have him understand yours."

    Even a brief perusal of the article--heck, just looking at the chart--shows that CMI has not taken the time to really understand, let alone correctly present, RtB's creation model and their prooftexts (both Biblical and scientific). That is sadly the norm in YEC literature and debate. And that--plus learning more about the Hebrew of the Bible--is why I'm no longer even on the borders of the YEC camp.

    Shalom

  • Where Are The Aliens? How The ‘Great Filter’ Could Affect Tech Advances In Space

    05/19/2014 6:37:55 AM PDT · 74 of 74
    Buggman to qam1
    Actually, we're in a primo position: Close enough in to actually have the material for rocky planets, but far enough out to not be irradiated. Being between the galactic arms keeps us far enough away from potential supernovae that could likewise irradiate us. Being between the arms is likewise the only reason we're even aware of the existence of other galaxies, since it gives us a clear view.

    Pretty much any alien civiliztion would need a piece of real estate like the one we have.

  • Life after email at DoD

    05/13/2014 10:22:14 AM PDT · 15 of 18
    Buggman to SLB
    My guess?

  • The Scholars and the Goddess

    05/12/2014 11:52:52 AM PDT · 7 of 17
    Buggman to ek_hornbeck
  • Creation Conversion: The Turning Point (Dr. Vernon Cupps, PhD)

    05/02/2014 9:17:46 AM PDT · 5 of 11
    Buggman to ThisLittleLightofMine
    Actually, I believe what the Bible says quite well. And it makes two points concerning sin and death:

    1) Death through Adam came to all men--it doesn't say anything about Adam's sin bringing death to animals.

    2) Adam was not intrinsically immortal, or else the Tree of Life had no purpose. Ergo, there was already entropy that could bring about the death of even a sinless lifeform in the world, so God provided an antidote for it. Kangaroos in Austrailia would have a hard time making a regular pilgrimage to Eden to eat of the Tree of Life, so we can infer that even if the world were young and even if Adam had not sinned, there would still have been animal death.

    Simple logic tells me a third point about animal death:

    3) If there was no animal death, there could not be animal reproduction either. If there were, earth's food resources would have been stripped bare within a few centuries, and everything would have died of starvation anyway. Since even before Man was created, God made the animals to "bring forth after their kind," it follows that animal death must have been intended from the beginning.

    Which makes sense. How can the punishment "you shall surely die" mean anything to Adam if there is no such thing as death?

    Moreover, the Bible points to the constancy of the natural laws (i.e., the laws of physics) as evidence of the constancy of the Lawgiver (cf. Jer. 31-33). Every YEC model out there requires some sort of massive discontinuity in the laws of physics in order to explain why we can see anything further than 6000 light years away--and such a confluence of changing natural laws put together that somehow completely negate our ability to detect them.

    As someone else has pointed out, we might as well posit that nothing is real and that God put us in the Matrix.

    If it magnifies God to have an observable universe 30 billion light years across in the spacial dimensions, I fail to see how it diminishes Him to have one 13.8 billion years old in the time dimension. And the more that I've learned about what the actual Hebrew of Genesis says, the more comfortable I am with an old universe and an old earth.

    Shalom

  • The need for loud, swift action in response to John Kerry’s libelous statements about Israel

    04/30/2014 8:49:18 AM PDT · 35 of 35
    Buggman to xzins; NorthMountain
    Any more than Armenians and Assyrians are guilty of sweeping the Holocaust under the rug when they emphasize the Turkish genocide, agreed.

    Shalom

  • The need for loud, swift action in response to John Kerry’s libelous statements about Israel

    04/30/2014 8:29:52 AM PDT · 33 of 35
    Buggman to xzins; NorthMountain
    I would also point out that while Yom HaShoah is primarily focused on the Holocaust as a personal tragedy for the Jewish people, the prayers and exhortations on that day look beyond the Jews to all who are oppressed and murdered because they are different.

    It's actually that impulse to stand up for the oppressed which put the Jews at the forefront of the Civil Rights Movement for blacks in this country, and which has led to most secular Jews leaping on supporting homosexual rights. I of course believe there to be a wide gulf between protecting ethnicities and protecting sexual behavior, but the desire to stand up for the perceived oppressed is a strong one in Jews.

    It's also why Israel hasn't simply waged genocidal war against the Palestinian Arabs and driven them out of the Land, btw.

    Shalom

  • Israel Is 'Destroying' Al-Aqsa Mosque For 'Alleged' Temple

    04/24/2014 9:10:39 AM PDT · 65 of 74
    Buggman to Former Fetus
    By all means. Feel free to email me through my blog if you have any questions. I'm not always quick on the response--I've got a baby and a two year old at home, so there are sometimes delays--but I will get back to you.

    Shalom.

  • Israel Is 'Destroying' Al-Aqsa Mosque For 'Alleged' Temple

    04/24/2014 7:02:42 AM PDT · 60 of 74
    Buggman to Former Fetus
    . . . could the perfect heifer also be a type of Christ?

    Yes.

    First, consider that what we're really talking about here is a cow. Now bulls were sacrificed to cover the sins of a whole nation, so why a cow here? Possibly because a bull is naturally more aggressive, and this ritual requires a peaceful sacrifice.

    Why does it have to be red? Possibly to symbolize that the ultimate sacrifice would become completely bloody rather than simply have its throat slit as is normal for the sacrifices.

    Unlike most sacrifices, this one was not sacrificed in the Temple. It had to be taken outside of the city, just as Yeshua was.

    The whole heifer was burned with ceder wood (used to build the temple; possibly also the type of wood used in the cross), a scarlet thread (which keeps appearing in the Messianic line, as when Rahab used it to mark her house when Jericho fell), and hyssop (used in the Passover; also used to cleanse lepers). So the sacrifice was connected to the temple, as Yeshua refered to His body as a temple (housing the Word of God), is connected to the Davidic line, and is connected to Passover, when Yeshua was sacrificed.

    Both the one conducting the sacrifice and the one gathering the ashes were made unclean. The priests involved were certainly morally unclean, and Joseph of Aramathea and Nicodemus would have become ritually unclean when they gathered the body of Yeshua for honorable burial.

    The ashes had to be stored in a clean place. Yeshua was set in a tomb that had never been used, and therefore was ritually clean.

    The ashes are the only thing that can purify from the ritual uncleanness of contact with death. Yeshua is the only one who can purify us from the uncleanness of the sin which leads to death.

    The cleansing ritual involves two immersions in water treated with the ashes, one on the third day, and one on the seventh. Yeshua rose on the third day, showing that the sacrifice had been accepted. The seventh day could be in reference to the cosmic sabbath (the seventh millennium) or else simply to the complete purification that we will enjoy in the World-to-Come.

    There's probably more, but I'd have to go get my notes to check.

    Note that none of the above takes away from the importance of having an actual red heifer before the temple can be rebuilt, which is itself a pre-requisite to Messiah's return. As you stated, God is also using the very specific nature of the red heifer as a fail-safe to keep the timing of the third temple on His own schedule.

    Shalom

  • Did the Exodus happen?

    04/18/2014 9:33:08 AM PDT · 4 of 44
    Buggman to SeekAndFind
    What people ever made up as ignoble a past as the Torah and the rest of the Hebrew Bible relate about the Jews?

    Exactly. And the only arguments against this people who were so brutally honest about their own history are nothing more than arguments from silence, most of which have been disproven since:

    They told us that there was no evidence that the Hitties ever existed, that the Bible just made them up. Then we found their libraries.

    They told us that Ninevah could not possibly have been as big as the Bible claimed. Then we found the ruins, and it indeed matched the Bible's descriptions--it was just so thoroughly destroyed that it took a long time to find it.

    They claimed that there was no evidence of the Jews living in the Land before the Babylonian exile. Now we've found numerous stellas and seals that prove the opposite--some of them from David's time.

    They told us that Pontius Pilate was never procurer of Judea. Then we found his plaque.

    They told us that Acts was full of historical inaccuracies and must have been written in the 2nd-3rd Centuries. Then Sir William Ramsey actually went to Turkey to do the excavations and found out that Luke got every detail right.

    Every time they attack the Bible's historocity on a particular point, God provides the evidence needed after stringing the skeptics along for a few decades. I predict that He'll do it again now.

  • Was Babylon The Great a Symbolic Name for Jerusalem? Part II: Mother of Harlots and Sins of Sodom.

    04/11/2014 5:40:54 AM PDT · 150 of 172
    Buggman to PhilipFreneau
    Ah, spam-posting. The internet equivalent of just shouting over your opponent.

    Dude, I've got three kids--one twelve, one two, and the other a newborn--a full-time job, and a ministry to occupy my time. If you want to sum all this up--or at least your best arguments--in one post that doesn't reach TL;DR territory, I'll be happy to respond, but my days of this:

    are long over.

    Shalom

  • Was Babylon The Great a Symbolic Name for Jerusalem? Part II: Mother of Harlots and Sins of Sodom.

    04/10/2014 1:54:00 PM PDT · 133 of 172
    Buggman to PhilipFreneau
    Sorta. . . But I don't believe that has anything to do with the matter at hand. The mountains appear to be a symbolic designation for a nation that supports the great city.

    Wheras I believe that John is very specific in stating that the heads symbolize two things, not just one. Otherwise, the reference to "mountains" is superfluous, and I don't believe that there is anything superfluous in the Bible.

    They were Jews scattered in "all" nations of the time, and they had influence.

    "Having influence" and "ruling" are in two completely different categories, so you're either really overreaching to substantiate your thesis, or you have a "Protocols" view of the ancient world.

    It is all subjective!

    So why are you bothering writing this, since it involves an objective truth claim?

    Why should they? Rome was a pagan nation with no ties to the God's covenant.

    Exactly like Babylon. Oh, wait . . .

    There are these undeniable similarities:

    1. Applies equally to Rome, e.g., Paul, possibly Peter, countless others.
    2. Could as easily apply to Rome, depending on your perspective of the scope of the prophecy.
    3. While there is a refernce to "the great city," it does not specify that the city in question is Jerusalem. It could easily refer to Mystery Babylon, aka Rome. You're just assuming.
    4. As was Rome for a time in the early middle ages (at least to the extent that old Babylon was in John's day). And for those of us who subscribe to a futurist interpretation, as it will be again in an ultimate sense.

    Where does the city dominate the Beast?

    The woman "rides" the Beast, putting her in the dominant position just like a man who rides a horse.

    That describes Nero, who ruled over "all the world" at the time, and who murdered and persecuted the early Christians for forty-two months.

    Except for the minor detail that Nero had been dead for some thirty years by the time Revelation was penned. Also, Nero's persecution of the Christians began after the Great Fire in 64 CE and ended with his death almost four years later, so that would be 47 months, not 42.

    Also, Nero didn't make a return from the dead. Nor was he cast alive into Gehenna; he committed (assisted) suicide. Nor did his death bring the Church into a new golden age in which it ruled with the Lamb--things actually went downhill over the next two centuries. Nor did the dead rise. Nor . . . look, anyone reasonable gets the point.

    Was Rome responsible for the blood of the prophets?

    Didn't you just say it was, under Nero? Does Paul count as a prophet in your view?

    So, Jerusalem was collateral damage?

    No. Jerusalem received the full measure of God's wrath against her, as spoken of by the prophets. But just as her previous destruction was at the hands of the capital of the known world six hundred years previously, so was her destruction in 70 and 135 CE. But remember that even though they were the instruments of His judgment against Israel, God in turn judged Ninevah and Babylon with invasion, siege, slavery, and desolation just as He had Jerusalem. Since God does not change, why should we be surprised that He would do the same against Rome?

    And that's my real problem with preterism: It gives us an inconsistant God who cannot be counted on to keep His promises as given or to continue to act the same today as He did yesterday.

    Rome was not responsible for the death of a single prophet: not one.

    I disagree, as would anyone who actually read up on Church history before the Council of Nicea--and given the compromise with the state that happened there, even after.

    Read the text.

    I did. I'm still waiting for you to tell me why everyone who makes their living at sea was mourning the loss of a landlocked city of zero economic importance.

    No it is not.

    It really is. I'm not interested in roaming all over the eschatological map with you right now and think we can keep this conversation focused on a single issue.

    You mean like ignoring the blood of the prophets and saints; or like ignoring the harlotry of Jerusalem that is splattered all over the old testament prophecies?

    I'm not ignoring that at all, though I will ignore your attempt at guilt by association for now. I've simply pointed out why when you take the whole passage in context, there are too many places where it makes no sense to take Jerusalem as Mystery Babylon. If you have two links, but as many or more conflicts, then all must be taken into account.

    Jerusalem:
    - Is landlocked and not on any major trading route.
    - Is a burdensome stone for all the peoples (Zec. 12:3) who claim their moral innocence when they willingly destroy her (Jer. 50:7).
    - Was ruined for her sins against God (Isa. 3, Mic. 3:12), but will be washed clean of her blood-guilt and made holy unto Yhvh (Isa. 4:3-4, Joel 3:17, Zec. 14:21).
    - Is pardoned for her sins after she receives double back for them (Isa. 40:2).
    - God takes vengeance against Babylon and the nations for the destruction of Jerusalem, even though Jerusalem was destroyed for her own sin (Psa. 137:8, Jer. 51:35-36, Zec. 1:18-21).
    - In the Day of the Lord, there will be deliverance in Mt. Zion and Jerusalem (Joel 2:31-32), for God will roar forth from Jerusalem against the nations that come against her (Joel 3:16; Zec. 9:13-15, 12:8-9; 14:2).
    - Is the place where the Lord will set His throne (Isa. 24:23, Jer. 3:17, Luke 1:32-33), and the Gentiles will gather to her to learn the Torah (Mic. 4:2, Zec. 8:22-23) and to keep the Feast of Sukkot (Zec. 14:16).
    - Will no more be called forsaken or desolate, but will be called a Delight and Married (Isa. 62:4, Zec. 14:11).
    - The sound of weeping will no longer be heard in her (Isa. 65:19).

    Mystery Babylon:
    - Is a city accessible from the sea (Rev. 18:17) and her destruction disrupts the whole world’s economy (v. 11).
    - Is beloved by the kings of the earth, who mourn for her passing (Rev. 18:9-10).
    - Will be destroyed by God like Sodom and Gomorrah, never to be rebuilt (Isa. 13:19, Jer. 50:40, Rev. 18:21).
    Receives back double for her sins, but is not pardoned (Rev. 18:6).
    - God takes vengeance against Babylon and the nations for the destruction of Jerusalem, even though Jerusalem was destroyed for her own sin (Psa. 137:8, Jer. 51:35-36, Zec. 1:18-21).
    - Is utterly destroyed during the Day of the Lord (Isa. 13:9, Rev. 16:19).
    Will be inhabited by demons and wild beasts (Rev. 18:2).
    - God calls His people out of her (Rev. 18:4), for she will never be inhabited by man again (Isa. 13:20, Jer. 50:40).
    - The sound of music, craftsmen, millstones, etc. will never be heard in her again (Rev. 18:22).

    Rome matches the allusion to Babylon (the instrument of God's judgment against Israel), the importance to the world's economy described in the prophecy, accessibilty by ships of the sea, ruling over the Beast that represents the Roman Empire, ruling over the kings of the earth, etc. By the time Revelation was penned in 90-96 CE (when John was exiled to Patmos by Domitian), Rome was also guilty of the blood of the prophets and the saints--and would continue to be drunk on the blood of the true saints for centuries to come.

    So what about calling MB a harlot? The funny thing is, the Bible only ascribes the title of Harlot to a city that has known the truth but then apostasized from it for the sake of worldly power: Jerusalem, of course. But also Tyre, who after helping to build Solomon's Temple, turned on Israel to secure her own importance (Eze. 27-28). Likewise Ninevah is called a harlot, but only by Nahum, after she had repented at the preaching of Jonah but then went back to her old ways.

    So what about Rome? A city which would become the capital of Western Christianity for a thousand years, and yet would spill the blood of countless saints in the name of purging heresy. A city in which Church became intermingled with the state, leading to horrendous abuses, including literal harlotry with the priests.

    Yes, from a futurist--or historicist, for that matter--perspective, calling Rome both a harlot and a mother of harlots (her "daughters" being what we call Western Civilization) makes perfect sense, as does the charge of spilling the blood of both prophets and saints. Rome and all her daughters knew the truth--and sacrificed Truth on the altar of worldly wealth and power.

    What does it say about the land distributions in Ezekiel 48? How do you explain a future land distribution to the tribe of Dan?

    I fail to see why the latter is even a problem: There are Danites in Ethiopia today. On the former, either you have to abandon preterism, or you're the one with a problem.

    (On Abel) Jesus explained it.

    So now you explain it. How did Jerusalem kill Abel?

    In regards to the prophecies you cite, I'll again point out that you're going way off topic and into a general attack on futurism rather than proving your own point. But just to give quick answers:

    Mat 16:27-28 - And six days later, Peter, Jacob (James), and John saw Yeshua glorfied as He would be after the Resurrection. (The location of the Transfiguration is important to understanding this, but I don't have time to go into all that right now.) Less than a year later, they saw the coming of the Spirit to bind the 120 to the Kingdom. And sixty years later, John saw a vision of the Second Coming in the Revelation.

    Mat 10:23 - Being that this discourse was apparently repeated at the Olivet Discourse (Mark 13), I would argue that it is a classic example of a near/far prophecy: Near term, the disciples would not run out of places to announce the Gospel before Yeshua (Jesus, if you prefer) came to Jerusalem in His 1st Coming. Far term, they would not run out of places to flee before He returned to resurrect them in His Second Coming.

    Luke 21:32 - "This Generation" can also mean "this people," and I would argue that the latter is its primary meaning. If not, you have a problem, since the final destruction of the city was not accomplished until 135 CE, over a hundred years later.

    Luke 21:22 - "That all things which are written may be fulfilled," not "Fulfilling all the things which are written." Yeshua used similar phrases to speak of His crucifixion, yet even the most rigid preterist correctly understands that there were prophecies yet to be fulfilled after that point.

    Now, how about staying focused?

  • Was Babylon The Great a Symbolic Name for Jerusalem? Part II: Mother of Harlots and Sins of Sodom.

    04/10/2014 6:37:07 AM PDT · 117 of 172
    Buggman to Campion

    Okay, we’ll play this game: List the mountains.

  • Was Babylon The Great a Symbolic Name for Jerusalem? Part II: Mother of Harlots and Sins of Sodom.

    04/10/2014 6:35:57 AM PDT · 116 of 172
    Buggman to PhilipFreneau
    If you insist on applying a literal interpretation to figurative imagery . . .

    John says the heads are both mountains and kings. As far as the alleged distinction between mountains and hills goes, there's not a specific designation to separate "mountain" and "hill" in Greek or Hebrew: The Greek word oros and the Hebrew word har can mean either.

    But even if we ignore John's statement that this city rests on seven hills, the fact is that Jerusalem hasn't sat atop, in a dominant position, over the nations around her since a very brief time in the days of Solomon.

    No one really knows what that means.

    Just to take a guess, it means that the city in question must rule over the kings of the earth--which is to say, over an empire made up of subjugated kingdoms. You know, exactly what the text says.

    This very obvious reading is verified by the city's initial domination over the Beast, symbolic of the Roman Empire, which had absorbed and superceded (per its description in ch 13) the Greeks, the Babylonians, and the Persians. It's also verified by its name: It is compared to Babylon, one-time capital of the known world, just as Rome was the capital of the known world in John's time.

    By naming it Babylon, God is also setting it in opposition to Jerusalem: Just as Babylon was responsible for destroying the temple and the city and exiling the Jewish people. Therefore, Mystery Babylon would be the city on seven hills who ruled over the kings of the earth in John's time, and who was responsible for destroying the temple and the city of Jerusalem, and for sending the Jews again into exile.

    And just as Babylon was eventually cast down in retaliation for the destruction of Jerusalem, so John tells us would Rome be.

    Which brings us back to the obvious candidate which was universally understood to be Mystery Babylon until recently: Rome.

    If you are willing to admit that you spiritualized a "seaport" out of the book that mentions no seaport, I will concede it is relevant.

    So why are those who sail by sea so upset by the destruction of a landlocked city? How did Jerusalem enrich all who trade by sea? Heck, how could they see the smoke of her burning?

    While you are at it, can explain how any creature could remain alive for any length of time after all green grass was burnt up (Rev 8:7.)

    That's completely irrelevant to the topic at hand, and I see no reason to go down that rabbit trail. If you want to debate futurism vs. preterism in general another time, I may be game.

    And why, after a third of all ships were destroyed, and a third of all sea creatures were killed, their loss was not mentioned in any manner in regards to the destruction of Babylon?

    Because those events actually take place before Mystery Babylon's destruction, Revelation not being in strict chronological order.

    That is not true unless Ezekiel was a false prophet (Eze 16:55 KJV.)

    Does your Bible's version of Ezekiel stop at chapter 16? Curious. Mine goes right up to chapter 48.

    Would you care to elaborate on those items already mentioned, such as the blood of the prophets and the harlotry?

    So you're saying that if you find two common points, you can ignore all of the contrary data? Interesting hermeneutic.

    But sure, I'll answer your question if you'll answer this: How was Jerusalem responsible for the blood of the righteous Abel?

  • Was Babylon The Great a Symbolic Name for Jerusalem? Part II: Mother of Harlots and Sins of Sodom.

    04/09/2014 10:01:56 AM PDT · 10 of 172
    Buggman to PhilipFreneau

    Jerusalem isn’t known as the city on seven hills, has never ruled over the kingdoms of the earth, isn’t economically important, isn’t accessible from the sea, and is destined to be rebuilt and glorified rather than destroyed forever so . . . I’m thinking no.

  • Supreme Court declines to hear religious freedom photography case

    04/08/2014 5:36:55 AM PDT · 15 of 26
    Buggman to kevkrom

    That is a very good question. Anyone?

  • Confirmed: Americans Searched Without Warrants

    04/02/2014 12:13:26 PM PDT · 21 of 22
    Buggman to xzins

    I’ve wondered for some time if God intends to use an EMP—whether a deliberate attack or a well-timed X-flare—at just the right time to keep the Adversary from being able to catch everyone in his net.

  • Confirmed: Americans Searched Without Warrants

    04/02/2014 11:14:16 AM PDT · 19 of 22
    Buggman to xzins

    Agreed. And the more you learn about the history of our intelligence agencies, the less you trust any of the alphabet-soup groups.

  • Confirmed: Americans Searched Without Warrants

    04/02/2014 9:21:38 AM PDT · 13 of 22
    Buggman to xzins

    Now, now, this is all just conspiracy nutter nonsense. /sarc

  • The Ark: Could Noah's Tale Be True?

    04/02/2014 5:41:32 AM PDT · 73 of 97
    Buggman to SunkenCiv

    Any oxygen reduction that would prevent the lighting of fires would also prevent Noah from living.

  • The Ark: Could Noah's Tale Be True?

    04/02/2014 5:37:17 AM PDT · 72 of 97
    Buggman to The Antiyuppie

    Unlikely, since then the story would be about how Noah had to slowly migrate uphill a few dozen miles. Almost every culture with a flood legend (and it is nearly a universal story all around the world) speaks of the survivors using a boat of some kind, not walking away from very slowly rising water.

  • Obama dismisses Russia as ‘regional power’ acting out of weakness

    03/25/2014 12:01:13 PM PDT · 2 of 103
    Buggman to mandaladon
    Well, in Obama's defense, he does know all about acting out of weakness.
  • Christians to EU: Israel is Our Safe Haven

    03/25/2014 8:31:42 AM PDT · 13 of 16
    Buggman to dennisw

    Here’s an idea: Every time a Christian group is persecuted in the Middle-east, Israel lets them immigrate and sets them up as a settlement in the West Bank.

  • Whether You Believe in ‘big bang’ theory or creationism, you’ll want to read this…

    03/21/2014 5:27:33 AM PDT · 101 of 102
    Buggman to MHGinTN
    Um the actual command is 'Light be'. There was no qualifier to the command.

    "Light be" would be Hayah 'Or. The verb "be" is in the imperfect form, yihi which can indicate a number of things--future tense, future subjunctive, past perfect, etc.--but which the translators have (rightly, to my mind) put forth as the future imperitive. Yes, it involves interpolating in a few words, but nearly all translation from the Hebrew does, due to the compactness of the language.

    Since you wanted to talk about Hebrew grammar . . . ;)

    For the rest of your post, I don't have a problem with your suppositions, though they are, of course, unprovable. However, I am curious about how you are defining the terms "deep," "earth," and "waters" in the first few days of Creation, and why.

    The simplest answer is, perhaps these other beings lack something God has created in humans, namely the dimensional quality of spirit.

    Possibly. My own take on the UFO phenomina is that it's a combination of our own cutting-edge tech (the Harrier jet used to get reported as a UFO all the time before they declassified it) and the visitations of spiritual entities in the physical realm. Those spiritual entities definitely lack something we have: They aren't native to the physical plane of existence, nor the masters of it; they don't have gender; and they can't reproduce. In fact, I would surmise that of all the beings that bear the image of God, humans are the only ones who can reproduce . . . which is why the spiritual entities are so fascinated by it.

    Time to clock in for work, so until later, Shalom.

  • Greg Laurie on Why Bible Prophecy Makes No Mention of America (premillennial caucus)

    03/20/2014 8:10:23 AM PDT · 5 of 235
    Buggman to xzins

    Where do you think that might be?

  • Whether You Believe in ‘big bang’ theory or creationism, you’ll want to read this…

    03/20/2014 6:38:09 AM PDT · 97 of 102
    Buggman to MHGinTN
    Where did I give any indication that I thought the conversation was blasphemous? I like these kinds of conversations.

    Shalom

  • Whether You Believe in ‘big bang’ theory or creationism, you’ll want to read this…

    03/19/2014 11:07:54 AM PDT · 95 of 102
    Buggman to Tenacious 1
    For that matter, what if gravity as a function of mass is different in every galaxy?

    Then we'd be able to see the galaxies behaving in different ways despite similar masses.

    What you're proposing is not one or two laws of physics being in flux--it's all of them being in flux in such a way that the net effect is exactly zero in terms of stellar luminosity, gravitational attraction, etc. That's not only a gross violation of Occam's Razor, it also makes no sense from a theistic viewpoint: If we believe in One God as both the Creator and the Lawgiver, and we believe that He is unchanging and constant, why would we hypothesize that He is constantly changing the laws of reality in a way that we can't even observe the effects?

    There's a similar problem for those who posit that God created the light of distant stars and galaxies in transit to give the universe an appearance of age: Quite aside from the very obvious question, "Why bother?" that means that nothing outside of 6-10,000 light-years actually exists, and God made the universe to lie to us. That is, when we see the light of a supernova in the next galaxy over, the star it's apparently coming from never existed, and it's all a lie.

    Either way, you end up with a "universe" that is either Lovecraftian or the Matrix, and a God very different from the One who presents Himself in the Bible.

    I don't think God is deceptive. I do think that it's possible to misinterpret both the record of nature and the words of the Bible, but I don't think that the Lawgiver gave us constantly shifting laws just to mess with us.

    Shalom

  • Whether You Believe in ‘big bang’ theory or creationism, you’ll want to read this…

    03/19/2014 8:38:37 AM PDT · 89 of 102
    Buggman to MHGinTN
    Agreed, assuming that "Let there be Light" was spoken at the beginning of the universe. I'm not sure that it was.

    Remember, the ancient Israelites had no idea just how vast and old the universe is. Heck, we didn't even know that there were other galaxies until a century or so ago. Therefore, when Genesis 1:1 says, "In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth," it could be referring to the universe as we know it . . . but it doesn't have to be. To Moses "the heavens and the earth" where the part of the universe visible to his naked eyes, so it could be referring only to our home planet or solar system.

    Alternatively, it could indeed be referring to the whole universe, but verse 2 skips over 13 billion years of cosmic history to focus on what was important to Israel, the creation of the world they actually lived on.

    If this is the case, we note that before day 1 starts, we have an earth covered in a primordial ocean. According to Job 38 (at work so I don't have the exact verse on-hand), this primordial ocean was swaddled in thick clouds. Now, when God says, "Let there be light," the Hebrew is Yihi 'or, with yihi being the imperfect form of the verb hayah. Unlike bara, this verb does not mean that the subject never existed in any form before.

    For example, in the story of Ruth, when Naomi finds out that Boaz looked out for her daughter-in-law, she says, "May he be (yihi) blessed." She's obviously not saying that blessing never existed in the universe before, nor even that Boaz had never been blessed before (he was, after all, a wealthy landowner). She was simply asking that the Lord's blessing be manifest upon Boaz for the good deed he had done.

    In the same way, we can read, "And light was" (veyhi 'or) not to mean that light never existed anywhere in the universe before, but as meaning that God was now parting the enshrouding clouds so that light could manifest on the primordial ocean, thus beginning the process of preparing the heavens (in the sense of the sky or atmosphere) and the earth for life to exist.

    Shalom