Over the past two weeks the Dispensational Publishing House Blog published a two-part article on what the Bible reveals about the global and catastrophic Flood of Noah’s time.
What Does the Text Actually Teach?
What Actually Happened at the Flood?
The blog features a variety of authors on this topic and you will find all of them thought-provoking and stimulating to read. God not only dedicates nearly four chapters in Genesis to this key world event, but also speaks of it throughout both Old and New Testaments.
Isn’t it amazing how truth attracts falsehood and how enemies of truth will even manufacture a falsehood as their weak attempt to battle truth? Jesus pointed to the source of such falsification when He said that Satan was “a liar and the father of lies” (John 8:44). Yes, Satan was and is the archenemy of divine truth. Indeed, Satan used every possible falsehood and slander against Jesus, who, as He said, is “the way, the truth, and the life” (John 14:6). Long before Jesus, Solomon confirmed that “An evildoer listens to wicked lips; a liar pays attention to a destructive tongue” (Proverbs 17:4). So it remains true to this very day. When someone speaks truth, you can bank on it that a liar will arise to speak against it–even if he has to make up his own “facts” and twist what the truth-sayer actually said. The liar’s purpose is destruction and his tongue and pen are dedicated to destruction, even by means of false accusations.
A very recent example of twisting another’s words and then creating a slanderous lie was brought to my attention today. It evokes a terrible disappointment. No, I’m not talking about all the mud-slinging taking place in the American political scene. Instead, I’m speaking about an example of slander, of twisting the truth, among so-called evangelicals. A blog entitled “Theology for the Church” posted a false accusation against Ken Ham and Answers in Genesis today–the day after Resurrection Sunday! The writer claims that “Ken Ham Embraces Evolution.” Anyone who knows anything at all about Ken Ham and Answers in Genesis will recognize the blatant falsehood immediately. The writer appeals to “Reimagining Ark Animals” by Tim Chaffey and Michael Belknap published in AiG’s Answer 11, no. 1 (January-March 2016): 56-62.
Reading the article in the Answers magazine and the “Theology for the Church” blog, note the following:
Falsehood vs. Truth
- Blog: “Ken Ham Embraces Evolution.” vs. Answers: Ken Ham does not embrace evolution!
- Blog: The Answers article argues for macro-evolution. vs. Answers: No mention of macro-evolution at all–the article is about speciation.
- Blog: Answers in Genesis has embraced macro-evolution. vs. Answers: Answers in Genesis does not embrace macro-evolution!
- Blog: Answers in Genesis acknowledges that the fossil record gives evidence of transitional life forms. vs. Answers: No mention of fossil evidence for transitional life forms.
It is a very sad thing when someone claiming to be an evangelical decides to manufacture and publish a deliberate falsehood. The blog’s author knows full well that what he claims is totally and undeniably false. The writer misrepresents the position of Answers in Genesis and Ken Ham, because he cannot find any legitimate, honest way of battling the truth.
For the 2012 National Meetings of the Evangelical Theological Society I presented a paper providing what I believe to be a biblical contribution to the topic of environmental ethics. Coming on the heels of Earth’s greatest destructive event (the Flood), God’s covenant with Noah provides a window on God’s intent for the restored creation as well as how mankind should rule over it and use it.
The Noahic Covenant’s Impact on Caring for Creation
Starting in Job 33, Elihu, the youngest of Job’s friends, addresses Job, Eliphaz, Zophar, and Bildad regarding their erroneous views about God’s character and Job’s problems. As he makes his case, Elihu expresses himself with words and phrases, concepts and imagery that appear to echo the early chapters of Genesis. If the Book of Job was written close to the time of the events it depicts, it comes from the era of the Patriarchs (Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob), 2100-1800 B.C. That placement means that the Book of Job predates Moses’ writing of Genesis (1445-1400 B.C.). Elihu’s echoes of the early chapters of Genesis might testify to a pre-Mosaic oral tradition or perhaps the existence in the patriarchal period of a written text of at least the creation narrative, if not all of Genesis 1-11. Moses might have used that document to compile his book, in much the same way that Luke used extant written and oral sources to compile his gospel.
Let’s look at some of the parallels between Elihu and Genesis in order to examine the nature of these echoes:
- Job 33:4 (“the breath of the Almighty gives me life” NASU) and Genesis 2:7 (“breathed into his nostrils the breath of life”) — Both speak of the “breath” (נשמה, nśmh) of God producing life for a human being.
- Job 33:6 (“I too have been formed [קרץ, qrṣ] out of the clay [חמר, ḥmr]”) and Genesis 2:7 (“Then the Lord God formed [ישר, yṣr] man of dust [עפר, ʽpr] of the ground”) — Different vocabulary, but identical imagery.
- Job 34:13 (“the whole world”) and Genesis 1:1 — Psalm 19:4[Heb. 5] uses the same word for “world” (תבל, tbl) and the same verb “placed” (שים, śym) for placing the sun in the created order of the universe. We might also compare the vocabulary and imagery of Proverbs 8:26.
- Job 34:14–15 and Genesis 2:7 and 3:19—Again, the topic is God’s “breath” (נשמה, nśmh) and the creation of human life. This time, however, the phraseology is very striking in a seemingly direct allusion to Genesis 3:19:
Job 34:15 “And man would return to dust” – ואדם על¯עפר ישוב – w’dm ‘l-‘pr yšwb
Gen 3:19 “And to dust you shall return” – ואל¯עפר שובת – w’l-‘pr šwbt
These types of parallels or echoes occur outside Elihu’s speech in other Joban texts–especially in the speech of God reporting His appearance (theophany) in chapters 38-41. Such echoes demonstrate:
- The unity of biblical revelation regarding creation.
- The biblical writers’ and speakers’ literal interpretation of Genesis 1-3.
- The ancientness of the revelation concerning creation–most likely predating Moses’ penning of Genesis.