Studying Genesis and Revelation in tandem is quite helpful in understanding what everything is all about, and what the Bible truly says about the beginning and the end. I would say, for the most part, I’ve never quite made the proper connections.
These bookends fit together like lock and key. They parallel each other and rhyme, and seem almost mirror images once you lay it all out. Remarkable symmetry.
We started out after Creation in a Utopian paradise. Sin introduced entropy into the world, which increased slowly over time. An easy life of leisure gradually declined into labor and toil, with ever-diminishing returns. Lifespans stretched almost a thousand years for the first 1600 years, until the earth was knocked off its foundations and rapidly fell into chaos and ruin. In the centuries which followed, lifespans declined rapidly over each successive generation, from around 500 years, to 400, to 300, to 200, to less than 150.
Revelation picks up the narrative in the very near future. A fantastic world war ends in ruin and once again knocks the earth off its hinges, bringing an end to another age of mankind, but not the end of the world. After Armageddon, entropy rapidly reverses, and the earth is transformed once more into a Utopian paradise. Lifespans jump back up to several hundreds of years. Wars and diseases cease. Food is plentiful, and poverty non-existent. Governments function without corruption. All news agencies tell the truth. Christ is the king of the earth — no longer an invisible abstraction or a concept to be debated. Yet, even then, in a perfect world with every excuse removed, many will choose to reject the truth and die in their unbelief. And after a thousand years of Utopian paradise, a final world war is waged (Armageddon II). Boom. Creation I ceases, and Creation II begins — and this time, the perfection is eternal.
Interestingly, this world begins and ends in Edenic paradise, both times disrupted by the Great Dragon, the Serpent, as he convinces humanity to join him against the Lord of Creation. And both times — first spiritually, then literally — he is defeated by Christ. Very poetic, I think.
I saw this today in comments on another blog and thought it amazingly accurate:
Christianity was never meant to be a religion. The term, “Christian,” originated from the church of Antioch. The title given by God, in Scripture, is “Saint.”
Those who devote themselves to Him, and reverently take what Jesus did for us on the Cross and through His Resurrection seriously, are manifesting Christ on Earth. This is why Jesus died for us.
As we receive that sacrifice, the Holy Spirit comes within us to testify of Jesus, leading us to God –and through the Holy Spirit we live for God (by loving His Son and thanking Him for this act of Love that reunites us back to Glory).
Not religious, not a member or follower of a group or a “practicing Christian” — but a SAINT. That is the point of it all. To become a Saint.
Call me Saint Quack
Finally, after much suspense, here are the long-awaited answers to the Questions post. Keep in mind that these are definitive, as I am a knower of all things, and that I have done my best, as always, to dumb it down as much as possible (for all you atheists out there).
Why? Why did He do it? What was the purpose in creating what the Bible describes as existence? Was God simply lonely, bored, looking for “motivation” to solve His own existential crisis?
Everything in existence, as we understand it, is a product of creation, with one lone exception — that eternal being we refer to as God, the one with the capital G, who before creation was everything when there was nothing else but God. Time and space, matter and antimatter — all of existence — emanated from His timeless, massless radiance and immeasurable power. Time and space exploded into being, and during an undetermined amount of time, the universe was formed into what we now see.
At some point early in the creative process, God created a hierarchy of hyperdimensional beings we know as angels and a plethora of others referred to as the “Heavenly Hosts,” whose purpose is to maintain and facilitate creation under the direction of the Creator (God’s “yes men”). This set the stage for His ultimate purpose.
The purpose of creation, quite simply, is to provide God with companionship. God, who from the eternal “now” is uniquely alone as the only uncreated, cannot create another exactly like Himself. Previously, I detailed how God may exist as three “separate” entities from the perspective of relativity — inside and outside of time and space, and as the incarnate deity — but these are all forms of the same solitary being. To create something which could fully relate to Him as an equal would require an extraordinary plan.
The plan began by determining the desired outcome — beings who willingly submit their lives to Him in an act of unconditional faith. The ramifications were configured to maximize return — a great multitude to share in an endless adventure beyond imagination. Note — “Heaven” will not be an eternal church service where we do nothing but “worship” and sing hymns to God forever and ever. What we will experience in the hereafter with God will be a sort of continuation of what we already know, except we will be immortal, without malice, amid perfection in a utopian paradise; chief among creation, higher than the angels, on equal footing with the Creator.
Such an outcome does not come cheaply, though the plan provides for maximum return. The first several hundred years ended in almost total ruin, as the initial Earth perished along with all but a handful of all living things. This was known before the plan ever came to fruition, yet the price was acceptable with regard to the ultimate outcome.
I realize many will read this and get all pissy about God laying waste to the world and wiping out millions of destructive heathens. It is not as though this happened suddenly without any warning. This was a series of natural catastrophes which culminated in global destruction. Only one man on the entire planet paid attention to the warning signs and prepared accordingly. The rest just buried their heads in the sand and kept screwing around and blowing each other up. They deserved their fate, and no one should feel sorry for them. Furthermore, just as in the cases of “genocide” later on, none of these people suffered a fate different from anyone else — they died. Everyone in this world dies at some point, and it ain’t always pretty. We live in an excrementally imperfect world. Get over it.
Why? Why did He do it? What was the purpose in creating what the Bible describes as existence? Was God simply lonely, bored, looking for “motivation” to solve His own existential crisis?
We call Him “Creator, God the Father” — because He creates, simply by existing? A timeless, massless radiant light of immeasurable power?
By His “word,” He brought all things into existence — is “His word” the same as His “will”? By what process does He create? Is time required, and if so, how much time? Did He begin creation with an explosion of matter and energy? Did He first wind up the natural order, then create the “egg,” and then let His creation manage itself?
What is “Heaven”? Is “Heaven” part of the natural order, or is it a separate creation? Or is “Heaven” even a creation at all?
Why would a perfect being create an imperfect world? And why would an all-powerful creator choose to make Himself known through the writings of an ancient tribe which existed in such a tiny insignificant speck of history?
Is “God the Father” the same being as “God the Son”? If not, then why does the Bible tell us there is only one God? And then what about “God the Spirit?” If God is all-powerful, why does He need two extra “Gods”? And for that matter, why does He need angels?
Why would an all-powerful all-knowing being create imperfection, and then create rules which require His own humiliation and death, as a sacrifice, in order to prevent His entire creation of humanity from being permanently destroyed — or worse yet, eternally tormented? Why create sentient life, allow for choice, and then punish the “wrong” choices? Is this not tyrannical, egotistical, petty?
Next post: Answers?
Sitting here, as I often do, watching the Science Channel and other Discovery programming, shaking my head. It never ceases to amaze me, the misinformation and falsehoods that passes for fact these days. We are lied to constantly in the name of science, history, biology — yet, we are told that it is tantamount to “child abuse” for any parent to teach children otherwise. Let’s see…
Do I teach my kids that all of life arose spontaneously without any plan or intelligence behind it? No, I do not. That’s ridiculous.
Do I teach my kids that archeologists, paleontologists, anthropologists, and other 20th-century scientists know more about ancient history than the ancient historians? No, I do not. The ancients knew their world better than we ever could.
Do I teach my kids that matter arose from nothing, by pure accident, for no apparent reason? No I do not. That’s idiotic.
Do I teach my kids that dinosaurs lived in an “age of dinosaurs” which died out 65 million years ago, and have never been seen alive by the eyes of man? No, I do not, not with overwhelming evidence suggesting otherwise. We know from The Flintstones that people had dinosaurs as pets!
Do I teach my kids that the universe is held together by “dark matter,” a mysterious unseen force made up to explain the unexplainable? You’ve gotta be kidding me.
I could go on and on with this. The amount of quantifiable hilarity we’re expected to buy into far exceeds anything proposed in all previous ages combined. In fact, I have no doubt the ancients had a far better grasp of reality 3,500 years ago. We have glorified idiotic nonsense as “fact” which makes me want to vomit whenever I hear it.
I suppose I’ll have to spend a few posts going into all this garbage and cutting through the crap. It pisses me off to have to do so, because I have to constantly ask myself, “are we really that stupid???” Collectively, yes, we are. Sadly. Just watch a few minutes of the Science Channel on any given day.
At the apex of our history, everyone believed in the one true Creator and knew the truths of our origin. In time, groups began to fall away and regard the one true Creator as an impersonal force, and consider all of creation as part of the original God (pantheism).
Eventually, some rulers became known as “immortals” and their parents, “gods,” blessed by the one true God, chosen to rule, and the temples they built were embassies of respect to the ruler and to God. People were told that God put Himself into the “gods,” and the new gods were an incarnation of the original God. Over time, God was forgotten and replaced by these man-made gods.
Hinduism considers God to be impersonal but still existing in gods which represent aspects of God. Wicca sees the original Creator as being emptied into creation and ceasing to exist, making humans now the highest form of life. The sons of Cham (Ham) originally taught that God emptied Himself into a few chosen people, gods, to be worshipped. At some level, all of these religions referenced the original Creator God.
As pantheism spread into Canaan, the Canaanites added ancestor worship. Zidon, Canaan’s firstborn son, became the chief deity in the city-state of Zidon. In this land he was the “Baal,” meaning “Lord” in Hebrew. Zidon’s wife was the first “Asharah” or “the princess” in Hebrew (Ha-Sharah). This form of paganism spread across the land of Canaan, in which each tribe adapted the names of their kings for the same pagan deities. (Just to be clear, “Yahweh” was not among these kings.)
And so it was that humanity spread from the Middle East over the face of the earth after the great cataclysm which flooded the earth. The descendants of Cham migrated to the east and to the south, and populated Africa, and India, and China, and the islands in the far east that were in the Indian and the Pacific Oceans. And the descendants of Japeth migrated to the west and to the north, and populated Europe, and the isles to the north, and their descendants the Scythians populated what became known as the land of Russ, and Siberia, and the lands of the north.
And as men traveled they hunted game and gathered the fruit of the land, and as they settled they learned to farm, and began to grow crops, and raised cattle and sheep, and bartered and traded, and these small communities grew into cities, and set down rules of government, and established laws to protect the weak from the strong, and to protect the rights of individuals from the state, and to protect the community from those who would attempt to rise up and usurp the social order for their own selfish ends, so that men might co-exist together in peace, and in harmony, and so that all might have their rights protected and also so that the poor, the aged, the widow, the orphan, the weak and helpless and the stranger might have their needs fulfilled in a just and equitable manner.
And even though men forgot the original revelation given to their father Noah, they still retained much of the wisdom from the past, and from the civilization before the Flood, and the “light that lights every man who comes into the world” still gave men understanding of many of the mysteries of creation, and the image of God, even though corrupted by sin, was still imprinted on the human soul. And men still retained the knowledge of natural law that God had implemented into the creation, and in the east, in the land of Jung Gwo, the Central Country, they called this natural law, and the Way of this law, the Dao, or The Way of Heaven. And men learned how to live according to this natural law, and some who ordered their lives according to it lived to great ages, and they accumulated much knowledge. And there were wise men who kept the wisdom that was handed down to them through the generations from the time of Noah. And the Yellow Emperor was learned in much of this wisdom, and he became the father of Chinese medicine, and taught them of herbs, and of healing, and of the way to balance the forces within the human body so that men might enjoy good health, and live long and fruitful lives.
And in the land of India their sages delved into the mysteries of creation, and sought wisdom, and they recorded this wisdom in their ancient Vedas and Upanishads, and they learned much of God’s moral law for human conduct, and their sages called this law Dharma, and they taught this law to their children, and it was a good law in the beginning, and a noble law, but being removed over the years from the Revelation of their father Noah, they lost site of the original purpose of this law, which was to honor God, and to bring man into fellowship with God, and to help their fellow-man, and they became enamored of temple rites, and ceremonies that God had not instituted, and they began to worship false gods, gods who had not made the heavens and the earth, and they bowed down to idols made of wood, and metal and stone, the work of men’s hands, and as they lost the knowledge of the true God whom Noah, their father had worshiped, the caste system that their ancestors originally established for the division of labor for men to cooperate together, became an ancestral yoke preventing certain classes from enjoying equal rights in society, and from prospering, and the law which was originally meant for man’s weal became a vehicle for the enrichment of a few at the expense of the many.
And so as men wandered over the face of the earth, gradually their understanding of God, and of His righteous judgments and statutes was forgotten, and men ascribed to nature the wondrous works of the Creator, and they ceased to be thankful, and began to live for themselves, and to fulfill their own lusts, and the strong began to oppress the weak, and the rich began to take advantage of the poor, and they began to practice abominable rites, and to commit lewdness and to worship false gods, and demons, and to communicate with spirits of fallen angels, and to attempt to communicate with the dead, and God’s commandment to care for the helpless and the fatherless was forgotten as mankind forgot that all men were created in the image of God, and were loved by Him, and that men should respect the rights of others whom God had created.
And God decided that he would choose one nation through whom He would reveal His Law, the Torah, to the entire human race, and He chose a man to whom He would reveal Himself, through whose seed He would establish this nation, and through this man’s seed all the nations of the earth would eventually be blessed, for through this man’s seed would come not only the Law, but there would also come He who had been promised, a Redeemer, who would lift the curse from mankind that had fallen on them since the beginning….
According to the commonly accepted timeline for Egyptian chronology, much of the Old Testament was off by several hundred years and seems quite historically impossible. Ditto for the historical records of the Hittites. And the Assyrians. And pretty much everyone else in the region whose records are tied to proper dating of the Egyptian dynasties.
I’m no Egyptianolologist or anything, and granted, most of my Ph.D’s are honorary and in fields somewhat distant, but heck, why not just change the damn dynasties around and make it all fit? It’s not like it’s all written in stone or linked to the stars, right? I’m thinking there’s just a little guess-work involved here.
Of course, what I’m about to do here doesn’t count for anything more than another hypothetical, and I’m not going to pretend to be the least bit objective about it. However, if the archaeologists would just do their jobs a little better, I’m thinking they could probably sort this out accordingly. How hard can it be, right?
The way they’ve got it now, they’ve got Moses hittin’ the trail somewhere in the 18th or 19th dynasty or something, with nothing happening because of it. Ten plagues, loss of an army, economic and social collapse — obviously not happening there. The kinds of collapse and ruin we’re looking for happens at the end of the 6th and 12th dynasties. So, duh, that’s probably when it all went down. And it also helps to line up the numbers so that Joseph drops in on Djoser at the start of the Old Kingdom, since Joseph, whom the Bible says brought peace and wholeness between Israel and Egypt, becomes Djoser’s vizier. At peace/wholeness (bashalom / imhotep).
The chart on the left is one possible chronology. There are numerous ways to compile the dynasties to fit what we know about them. The standard chronology lists them successively, even though Egypt was divided into upper and lower geographical zones, and dynasties would have ruled concurrently from these two areas. I think the best discussion I’ve been able to find on the subject comes from Ken Johnson’s Ancient Post-Flood History, which completely contradicts the guesswork of mainstream Egyptologists. A summation of his argument follows hereafter.
If we compare several sources concerning the Dynasties of Egypt’s Old Kingdom (such as the Temple of Seti in Abydos, the Turin Papyri, Egyptian historian Manetho, Jewish sources like the Book of Genesis, the Book of Jasher, the Seder Olam, the Talmud, the Mishna, the Codex Judaica, and others) — we can map Dynasties out with considerable detail.
Menes (Mizriam) is credited with founding Memphis, the capital of the First Dynasty, twelve miles south of modern Cairo. Memphis served as the capital of the First, Fourth, and Sixth dynasties. Elephantine, an island in the Nile River on the border of Egypt and Nubia, was the capital of the Second, Third, and Fifth dynasties. There were always two dynasties ruling at the same time. The First, Fourth, and Sixth dynasties were consecutive and ruled from Memphis. The Second, Third, and Fifth dynasties were consecutive and ruled from Elephantine.
Genesis 10:6 details Mizraim, the son of Cham, founded the nation of Egypt. This would make him the first king of the First Dynasty of Egypt’s Old Kingdom, called Menes in the Egyptian records. Both Genesis 10:13 and Jasher 7:11 record Mizraim’s son, Anom, succeeded the throne. Jasher 14:2 records that Anom’s son, Oswiris, became the third king of the First Dynasty. In time, Anom would be deified and worshiped as the Egyptian god Amon-Ra, and Oswiris, as the god Osiris.
An Assyrian migrated to Egypt and began the Second Dynasty. The Hebrews called his name Rikayn, the Egyptians called him Boethos. There was a great famine during the reign of Uenephes (c. 1925 BCE). This was likely the famine that caused Abraham (who did exist) to migrate to Egypt for three years. Genesis 12 records Abraham moved to Canaan when he was seventy-five years old. Shortly after the move, a severe famine hit Canaan. Abraham went down to Egypt until the famine was over. Looking at Jasher 13.22, 13.5, and 16.22, we have a clear record of Abraham settling in Canaan and the three-year famine occurring during the years around 1900 BCE. This corresponds to an event in the reign of Boethos, when a great chasm opened up at Bubastis and many perished, possibly the cause of the great famine.
In the Third Dynasty, Djoser was the Pharaoh of Joseph’s time. According to Manetho, the seven-year famine occurred in the eighteenth year of the reign of Djoser Teti. Joseph interpreted Pharaoh’s dream of seven years of plenty and seven years of famine, and became Viceroy of Egypt. Genesis 41:45 says Pharaoh renamed Joseph “Zaphnath-Paaneah.” Manetho records a seven-year famine occurred in the eighteenth year of the reign of Djoser. If this seven-year famine is the same as the one Joseph predicted, then the eighteenth year of Djoser was c. 1690 BCE.
The Viceroy of Djoser, Imhotep, designed the step pyramid at Sakkara. On a rock monument at Sehel, an inscription describes how Pharaoh consulted the wise Imhotep about a seven-year famine. In another inscription near the step pyramid, the builder is referred to as Zanakht – similar to Joseph’s Egyptian name Zaphnath-Paaneah as given in Genesis. Both Imhotep and Joseph lived to be one hundred and ten years old. When Imhotep was one hundred years old, his wisdom was tested by new court officials by asking him to create an oasis in the desert, so he engineered a feeder canal from the Nile to his man-made lake. Today in the region of El-Fayoum, southwest of Cairo, remains the man-made fresh water lake called Birqet Qarun, fed by a canal stretching from the Nile to the Basin. The canal is known as Bahr Yousef or the Sea of Joseph. Since this was built during the last ten years of Joseph’s life, that could date Birqet Qarun’s construction between 1625-1615 BCE.
In the Sixth Dynasty, Pepy II would be the Pharaoh that persecuted the Children of Israel. The empire of his son, Neferkare the younger, was destroyed by Moses. The Sixth Dynasty tried to hold on for almost two years after the Exodus. The Fifth Dynasty (Upper Kingdom) remained intact for almost twenty-four years after the Exodus, as a vassel state, before its final fall. The Pharaoh of the Exodus, Adikam, ruled four years, including three years co-ruling with his sick father. Adikam was a dwarf; the Hebrews called him Adikam Ahuz (Ahuz meaning “short” in Hebrew). Adikam’s father, Pharaoh Melol, had leprosy during the last ten years of his life but still ruled a total of ninety-four years. Melol reigned from c. 1572 to 1478 BCE. Joseph reigned from c. 1697 to 1616 BCE. So Melol would be the “Pharaoh who knew not Joseph” who started the heavy persecution of the Israelites. Egyptian records in the Temple of Abydos, the Turin papyrus, and the Egyptian historian Manetho, show that Pharaoh Neferkare Pepi II (also called Phiops II and NetjerKhau) was the longest living Pharaoh in the Old Kingdom, becoming Pharaoh at the age of six and lived to be one hundred years old. His son, Neferkare the Younger, (also called Menthesuphis and Merenre Antiemsaf II) ruled only one year after his father’s death. This exactly matches the description in Jasher.
The Leiden Papyrus, also called the Ippuwer Papyrus or “The admonitions of an Egyptian sage,” is an account of the plagues that destroyed the Sixth Dynasty. 2:5-6 Plague is everywhere. Blood is everywhere. 7:4 He who poured water on the ground; he has captured the stong man in his misery. 2:10 The river is blood. Men shrink from tasting… and thirst for water. 2:10 Gates, columns and walls are consumed by fire. 6:1-4 No fruit or herbs are found… Grain has perished on every side. 9:2-3 The land is not light… 9:8-10 Destruction… the land is in darkness. 2:13 Men are few. He who places his brother in the ground is everywhere. 4:3 The offspring of nobility are laid out on the high ground. 3:3 Gold, bluestone, silver, malichate, carnelian, bronze… are fastened to the necks of female slaves. 7:1 Behold the fire mounted up on high. Its burning goes forth before the enemies of the land.
Jasher 76 and Josephus Ant. 2.10 describe Moses leading an army against the Ethiopians at Elephantine under King Kikianus. The same year that Moses fled Memphis, King Kikianus defeated the uprising of Aram and the Kedemites. Upon his return, Kikianus discovered that the city of Elephantine had been taken over by Balaam and his sons. Kikianus besieged the city for nine years, then died of a disease in 1530 BCE. Moses delivered the city and ruled it for thirty-nine years. The city was then turned over to Menacrus, the son of King Kikianus in 1491 BCE. Moses was eighteen when he left Egypt. He lived ten years in Kikianus’ camp, spent thirty-nine years as the king of Cush (ruling from Elephantine ), then lived thirteen years in Midian, until he led the Exodus at the age of eighty. When Moses killed the Egyptian and fled at age eighteen and became a part of Kikianus’ camp, Cush was controlled by Egypt from Memphis. When Moses became strong enough, the southern Fifth Dynasty kingdom seceded from Egypt. All told, Moses spent eighteen years with Egypt and ten in their army, thirty-nine years as their king, and thirteen years in the wilderness. That leads up to his eightieth year, when he led the Exodus out of Egypt, bringing about the end of the Old Kingdom.
And just like that, you get a square peg into a round hole.
Such information is hardly new and has no more merit in my regard than it did when I compiled a detailed research paper on the matter 23 years ago.
John Zande summed up the basic challenge in a couple of well-written posts over on his blog: if Moses wasn’t the historical person described in Scripture, then Jesus wasn’t the Messianic incarnation of God, and the Bible has no credibility. So, for the Christian, a line should be drawn. The patriarchs must be historical persons who lived during the times described. The genealogies leave no question as to the intended accuracy of the claims.
The prevailing wisdom holds that those “in the know” in the fields of Biblical archaeology and textual criticism, from the leading Rabbis in Israel to all the truly credible field experts, are unanimous in their findings that all evidences contradict the entirety of the Bible. This unanimity and conclusion has remained unchanged from what I can tell for at least half a century. The Bible was pretty much tossed out by the academic world shortly after Darwin published his monkey business, so whatever “findings” to discredit the Scriptures after that were a sort of afterthought.
It makes perfect sense that mainstream archaeologists (and Israeli Rabbis) would be unanimous in their rejection of Biblical historicity. Such is the nature of paradigms. Those whose findings are acceptable, are credible; those whose findings deviate, are not. Since all credible experts support the paradigm, the paradigm is therefore proven to be correct. No one else, therefore, is to be taken seriously. So, if I wanted published and accepted by my peers and wished to make a go of it in the field, then I would reinforce the paradigm. Otherwise, my career would be relegated to the fringes.
A case for accuracy: at least 40 kings can be corroborated by archaeological finds, from ten nations (Egypt, Assyria, Babylon, etc.) whose names are mentioned not only in the Hebrew Masoretic text (the Old Testament), but are also found on monuments of their own time. Thus, we have a good bit with which to reference the Bible. We also have a basis for comparing the Bible to other literature. Of the 40 kings having an archaeological corroboration, every single name is transliterated in the Hebrew Masoretic text exactly as it appears on the archaeological artifact — syllable for syllable, consonant for consonant, every single name. Additionally, we find that the chronological order of these kings is precise. Every name in the Hebrew Masoretic text, some of which go back to the book of Genesis and before the time of Hammurabi, appears in its correct order, with the correct spelling, in the correct time, as attested by the archaeological artifacts and period literature.
To put that in perspective, the librarian of Alexandria, perhaps the greatest scholar of his era (circa 200 BC), listed the names of 38 Egyptian kings. Of these, only three or four are recognizable when compared to their respective archaeological artifacts, though none are exact. This same scholar also made a list of the kings of Assyria. In only one case does the name clearly resemble the name on the artifact, and that name is not spelled correctly. The only way most of the names can be ascertained and then matched up with an artifact is by intrinsic evidence and cross-referencing with other regional literature. And then Ptolemy, who listed 18 kings — not one is spelled correctly, and most are spelled so badly that we wouldn’t make them out at all without intrinsic evidence and cross-referencing.
We find this same pattern in every other piece of literature extant. The scribe of Assurbanipal misspelled his names. The Pseudo-Callisthenes, in their list of the companions of Alexander, whose every name is unrecognizable. Abulfeda, the author of the Arab ante-Islamic history, misspells his names. The same is true of the lists of Manetho, Herodotus, Diodorus Siculus, Africanus, Castor, and so on.
The only historical literature of antiquity that has demonstrated accuracy with regard to archaeological verification is the Hebrew Masoretic text and the Majority Greek text of the New Testament. Nelson Glueck — a preeminent archaeologist in that region — remarked: “It may be stated categorically that no archaeological discovery has ever controverted a biblical reference.” [Rivers in the Desert; History of Neteg] Philadelphia: Jewish Publications Society of America, 1969.
Before getting into the matter of the patriarchs, I thought it worth mentioning in preface. Digging into the world of the ancient Hebrews and the Old Testament text is a complicated matter, but I wanted to go ahead and put it in perspective, stating categorically that the Hebrew scribes were not flippant in what they handed down. I have no doubt they gave no less attention to what these kings said and did. That the Hebrew writers transliterated at least 40 names (that we know of) with such accuracy and conformity to philological principles is proof enough for me, at least, of their thorough scholarship and access to the original sources.
I realize this is not going to win me any credibility with my atheist friends or too many others, but it is what it is, I suppose. Maybe I’m wrong. Maybe not. **shrug**
Turning nothing into everything. In the beginning was The Singularity, a single point of time (at zero point) and space, which was all at once all-encompassing and non-existent, infinitely dense yet technically without mass. A cosmic pustule stuck in the skin separating “existence” from “non-existence.” The singularity, which didn’t exist, exploded, sending massive amounts of matter and energy into existence, causing the beginning of the universe and time, creating all the forces such as gravity and magnetism and electromagnetism.
Where did The Singularity come from, and how did matter form from nothing? Perhaps from the infusion of light and immense heat. We know from particle physics, if we combine matter with anti-matter, it will annihilate each other and yield massive energy (heat) and a pair of photons. Theoretically, time being reversed, the reaction would be reversible. The Singularity, perhaps, formed in negative time.
The source of heat and light: The Scriptures describe God as radiant light, undetectable, immeasurable, timeless, and as far as we can understand, non-existent (non-created); “non-existent” and dwelling in “non-existence” (non-creation) — a being of such intense luminescence, a momentary glance will burn through your retinas and melt your brain.
Perhaps God, by infusing himself into The Singularity, ignited the Big Bang and set creation into motion.
So, why would such an all-powerful creator go through mysterious and enigmatic means to make His existence known? Why give us the “proof” in the form of a book or series of manuscripts, written by men, passed down through the ages in such a way as to call into question how any such process could qualify as “the words of God“? After all, anyone who’s ever lived, as it were, could’ve just as easily written such a fantastical tale, and have it passed down along to us in the form of legend or fable, as “origins of the cosmos.” Why not do something fantastic, like laser-out some indestructible platinum or create a holographic journal, or just pop in now and then to introduce himself physically?
Would people be more inclined to accept Scripture as “God-given” if it was contained in some sort of “magical” form of super-advanced technology? Or would the artifact itself become the primary focus? We have a remarkable tendency to worship “sacred objects,” whether they be “divine” or not. Memorabilia is a hugely lucrative industry. Such artifacts would be fought over and seen as god-like with mystical powers in their own right. Just look at the history of The Shroud of Turin, The Holy Grail, the Ark of the Covenant, and other such relics. We are prone to ascribe sacred power to objects and ignore the message or meaning behind their existence. Or perhaps such an object would become front and center on Ancient Aliens as proof that God is merely an advanced alien who visited in the ancient past.
And as for popping in and showing himself, doing “miracles” to prove he’s god, etc., I would refer you to the cinematic masterpiece, “Star Trek V, The Final Frontier,” where “god” was merely a clever alien with advanced technological powers. A skeptical mind will always believe in a “rational explanation” for every happenstance. I don’t much believe that anyone who genuinely disavows the possibility of the miraculous, will suddenly believe in God just because he shows up and does a few tricks, like healing an amputee or raising someone from the dead. (Someone already tried that once, and not a whole lot of people were all that impressed by it.)
“Proving God” is not within the means of an intellectual exercise, unfortunately. I can point to reason and science to an extent and find enough evidence to my satisfaction, so I have more to go on besides blind faith. Beyond that, our knowledge and scope of reason only go so far. They say God is only for the weak and simple-minded, the only ones dumb enough to believe in God in an age of reason ruled by science. Perhaps they are right. No one’s ever accused me of being all that bright. And I’m perfectly okay with that.
Those who studied history in school might remember a list of names and dates they once had to memorize — the names of emperors and rulers of nations and empires. The context of history has always been established through the studies of individuals, those whose power and influence shaped the world and times in which they lived.
Up through the 1850s, ancient history was clearly delineated from the first humans all the way to present. We knew exactly where we came from and who got us there, from a progression of patriarchs and rulers stretching nearly 6,000 years, as passed down to us by the Egyptians, Hebrews, Babylonians, Greeks, Romans, and Western cultures — detailing the proliferation of the human race from Mesopotamia and the origin of the world’s various nation-states.
And then came Darwin. Within a period of fifty years, the history books completely dismissed everything passed down to us from the previous millenia, and the ancient chronologies were completely disregarded.
The question is, how much do we really know from the physical remains of the ancient past? Can archeology definitively invalidate the historicity of the Biblical records? Does anthropology really prove the human race dates back hundreds of thousands of years? The evidence, as it is presented, is irrefutable and absolute fact, that we began in the trees of ancient Africa over millions of years ago. We have the bones to prove it. We have precise scientific dating techniques. The findings are objective and beyond dispute, proving the mythological nature of Biblical narrative.
And yet… according to Gallup in 2012, almost half of all Americans believe Adam and Eve were real people and human history doesn’t go back beyond 10,000 years:
a plurality of Americans—46 percent, to be exact—believe that God made human beings just as they are today sometime in the last 10,000 years. That number is up from 40 percent in 2011 (which was down from 46 percent in 2006).
The number of people who believe God guided the process of evolution over millions of years fell from 38 percent to 32 percent in the last year; during the same period, the number of people who believe God is a lie and humans came from damn dirty apes fell from 16 percent to 15 percent.
I find this quite surprising, especially considering the amount of ridicule one typically receives for professing such belief. I mean, everyone knows it’s all been proven 100% to be false, right? Our entire educational system is predicated on the established Darwinian paradigm, that we evolved from one-celled organisms over billions of years and are the result of natural selection and random chance. All the truly credible experts of recognized science agree in their rejection of the Biblical account. So how can so many people be so willfully ignorant and stupid???
Maybe it’s not so open and shut as it would seem. No one wants to be perceived as ignorant and be dismissed as a “flat-earth” type of idiotic moron, so very few are willing to reject the status quo publicly. So the prognosticators of the prevailing paradigm assume, from what little resistance they detect, that the overwhelming majority agree with them. This is why, for instance, everyone who professes a belief in the traditional historical order is pretty much dismissed as the only one left in the world who still believes that way — though in truth, in America at least, they’re in plenty of company.
I suppose we would rather trace our history from person to person, rather than bone to bone. From dates and times we can identify with, such as 10,000 years of traceable lineages and civilizations, rather than the incomprehensible eons of millions and billions of years and damn dirty ape ancestors. Who knows?
Thanks for reading.