Wednesday, June 12, 2019

The Days of Genesis One

Since we are bombarded at every turn with assertions of evolution and millions of years as a fact, many Christians try to reconcile the days of Creation with long periods of time. Expressions like, "Well I think the days are God's days, and we can't know how long they really are!" Some are sidewinders who know precisely what is going on and deliberately corrupt God's Word.

The days of creation are confusing to people who do not accept what the Bible actually says. Day means day. If God wanted us to think he meant long ages, there were other words he could have used.
Background image credit: freestocks.org / Joanna Malinowska
To be blunt, it doesn't matter what you or I think. The important thing is what God said in Scripture, and that too many professing Christians are uninformed about the Bible they claim to believe — especially at the foundation, the first chapter of Genesis. Some misquote 2 Peter 3:8, "One day is like a thousand years", which does not help much because it would make creation week six thousand years long, unhelpful for deep time. Also, the verse cancels this idea out, "...and a thousand years like one day". Read the context, people.

"Evening and morning, one day...evening and morning, the second (third, fourth, fifth, sixth) day." God defined yom (יוֹם) as day. A child or anyone else who has been uncorrupted by secularism can plainly see that day means literal day. To get millions or billions of years out of Genesis, you must perform eisegesis and put them into it first. For them, God cannot preserve his Word or make it understandable — or they are unwilling to believe it.



There are compromisers who adamantly refuse to let a day in Genesis 1 be an actual day. Biblical scholars (even those who do not believe the plain meaning of the text) know that yom means day. It is interesting that Bible-deniers circle the wagons to defend against logic and scholarship, trying to take word and force it to mean long ages. They ignorie the fact that if God had wanted us to think the creation days were long ages, there were other Hebrew words he could have used! (They also ignore Exodus 20:11 and 31:17, and essentially call Jesus, Paul, Peter and others erroneous or even liars.) Let's be honest about what the text actually says and perform serious exegesis.
Were the days of Creation Week of 24 hours duration or were they long periods of time? This article will discuss the Hebrew ‘time’ words which the author had available to him and what meaning he intended to convey by his choice of the specific words he used.
I hope you will read the rest of this important article and even save it for reference. To continue, click on "How long were the days of Genesis 1?" I also recommend "Genesis and the Character of God".

Wednesday, June 5, 2019

Gopher Wood and Noah's Ark

Something that has puzzled readers of the sixth chapter of Genesis is the use of the term gopher wood. Footnotes often say that the "Hebrew term is uncertain", and Bible translations differ —

"I know what that means, Cowboy Bob! Noah commanded his sons, "Shem, you gopher water, Ham can gopher more pitch, and Japheth can gopher wood".


No.

Anyway, Bible translations differ. Many use the term gopher wood, and using the translations in my copy of theWord Bible Software, Coverdale (1535,) Geneva (1587), and Tyndale (1526) translated it as pine. The NIV translates it as cypress and adds the "uncertain" reference. The KJV, NKJV, NASB, HCSB, ESV, WEB all render the term as gopher wood.


Noah built the Ark out of gopher wood. What was it? The answer may not be what you would expect, and has biblical implications as well as science.
Credit: Wikimedia Commons / Cimerondagert (CC by-SA 4.0)
An excellent possibility is that God was not specifying a particular tree that has disappeared since then, but that Noah was to use hardwood. Getting into the Hebrew language, we see the root word that is used with brimstone, which is now called sulfur. This makes the plant material strong. The Ark, the wood, the pitch used to coat it all foreshadow the work of Jesus Christ. We can gain not only construction insight here, but also some theological principles!
Scientific facts can sometimes yield surprising biblical insight. For example, lignins make hardwood trees hard. They are a complex group of organic compounds found in the cell walls of plants that give structural rigidity to the plants’ overall growth and architecture. One type of plant lignin contains sulphur, while the other is sulphur-free. It’s the sulphur-bearing lignins that form the fundamental structural basis of all hardwood trees used for lumber products.

This botanical fact casts an interesting theological light on Genesis 6:14, where God instructs Noah to build a large ship. The Ark allowed him and his family (eight people total) and various representatives of the animal kingdom to survive the impending global Flood and repopulate the earth. Specifically, Noah is commanded, “Make yourself an ark of gopher wood.”
To read the rest of the article, click on "Scientific and Biblical Truth Converge for Gopher Wood".

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