Category Archives: Bible Evidences

Fulfilled Bible Prophecies?

The Temple at Jerusalem is thrown down stone-by-stone
Bible passage: Matthew 24
Written: between 50-68 AD
Fulfilled: 70 AD

Jesus predicted the destruction of the Temple within the generation of his hearers in approximately 30 AD. This means that the Temple would have had to be destroyed within the lifetimes of at least some of the hearers. Now, the Temple was a massive structure consisting of several buildings built of gigantic building stones. Yet, in 70 AD, that Temple was destroyed thoroughly stone-by-stone because during the attack I mentioned yesterday fires broke out and much of the gold of the Temple artifacts and treasuries melted down into the cracks of the stones. The Romans tore up the entire structure in order to recover that gold. Thus, the exact words of Jesus were precisely fulfilled.

Matthew 24:2 & 2Jesus left the temple and was walking away when his disciples came up to him to call his attention to its buildings. “Do you see all these things?” he asked. “I tell you the truth, not one stone here will be left on another; every one will be thrown down.”

He also gave followers some signs to see as the cue to flee the area. Many believers heeded his warnings and left Jerusalem before the terrible events occurred. Here is just one of many easily verified prophecies.

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God foretells the future of Tyre:

1) Tyre would be attacked by many nations

Bible passage: Ezekiel 26:3
Written: between 587-586 BC
Fulfilled: 573 BC, 332 BC, 1291 AD
In Ezekiel 26:3, the prophet said that Tyre, the Phoenician Empire’s most powerful city, would be attacked by many nations, because of its treatment of Israel. At about the time that Ezekiel delivered this prophecy, Babylon had begun a 13-year attack on Tyre’s mainland. Later, in about 332 BC, Alexander the Great conquered the island of Tyre and brought an end to the Phoenician Empire. Tyre later fell under the rule of the Romans, the Crusaders and the Moslems, who destroyed the city, again, in 1291.

Ezekiel 26:3
therefore this is what the Sovereign Lord says: I am against you, O Tyre, and I will bring many nations against you, like the sea casting up its waves.

2) Tyre’s fortresses would fail

Bible passage: Amos 1:9-10
Written: about 750 BC
Fulfilled: 333-332 BC
In Amos 1:9-10, the prophet said that God would cause Tyre’s protective fortresses to fail, as punishment for the way that Tyre treated Israel. That prophecy was fulfilled in 586-573 BC when Babylonian king Nebuchadnezzar attacked the mainland of Tyre, and in 333-332 BC when Alexander the Great conquered the island of Tyre. Alexander’s army built a land bridge from the mainland to the island so that they could use a battering ram to break through the island’s fortress.

Amos 1:9-10
This is what the Lord says: “For three sins of Tyre, even for four, I will not turn back [my wrath]. Because she sold whole communities of captives to Edom, disregarding a treaty of brotherhood, I will send fire upon the walls of Tyre that will consume her fortresses.”


3) Tyre’s stones, timber and soil would be cast into the sea

Bible passage: Ezekiel 26:12
Written: between 587-586 BC
Fulfilled: 333-332 BC
In Ezekiel 26:12, the prophet said that Tyre’s stones, timber and soil would be thrown into the sea. That probably would have been a fitting description of how Alexander the Great built a land bridge from the mainland to the island of Tyre when he attacked in 333-332 BC. It is believed that he took the rubble from Tyre’s mainland ruins and tossed it – stones, timber and soil – into the sea, to build the land bridge (which is still there).

Ezekiel 26:12
They will plunder your wealth and loot your merchandise; they will break down your walls and demolish your fine houses and throw your stones, timber and rubble into the sea.


4) Tyre would lose its power over the sea

Bible passage: Zechariah 9:3-4
Written: between 520 and 518 BC
Fulfilled: 333-332 BC
In Zechariah 9:3-4, the prophet said that the Phoenician city of Tyre would lose its status as a powerful nation on the Mediterranean Sea. Today there is a city called Tyre that is either on, or near, the original Phoenician site. But this Tyre is a small city in modern-day Lebanon. It is certainly not the powerful nation that it was in the days of Zechariah.

Zechariah 9:3-4
Tyre has built herself a stronghold; she has heaped up silver like dust, and gold like the dirt of the streets.
But the Lord will take away her possessions and destroy her power on the sea, and she will be consumed by fire.

5) Tyre would never again be found
Bible passage: Ezekiel 26:21
Written: between 587-586 BC
Fulfilled: after 332 BC
In Ezekiel 26:21, the prophet said that the Phoenician city of Tyre would be brought to an end and would never again be found. When Alexander the Great destroyed the city in 332 BC, he brought an end to the Phoenician Empire. The Empire was never revived or “found” again. As for the city itself, it has been torn down and built upon by a succession of world powers. Today, finding artifacts from the original Phoenician Tyre is difficult. Many of the original buildings were destroyed by Greeks, Romans, Crusaders and Moslems. According to the Columbia Encyclopedia, Fifth Edition: “The principal ruins of the city today are those of buildings erected by the Crusaders. There are some Greco-Roman remains, but any left by the Phoenicians lie underneath the present town.”

Ezekiel 26:21
I will bring you to a horrible end and you will be no more. You will be sought, but you will never again be found, declares the Sovereign Lord.”

6) Tyre would never be rebuilt
Bible passage: Ezekiel 26:14
Written: between 587-586 BC
Fulfilled: 332 BC
In Ezekiel 26:14, the prophet says the Phoenician city of Tyre would be destroyed and never be rebuilt. This was fulfilled when Alexander the Great conquered Tyre in 332 BC. His conquest brought an end to the Phoenician Empire. The empire never recovered from the attack. And so, it could never rebuild Tyre. Other nations and empires have built cities on or near the original Phoenician site.

Ezekiel 26:14
I will make you a bare rock, and you will become a place to spread fishnets. You will never be rebuilt, for I the Lord have spoken, declares the Sovereign Lord.

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Dr. Hugh Ross writes on this subject:

Fulfilled Prophecy: Evidence for the Reliability of the Bible
by Hugh Ross, Ph.D.

Unique among all books ever written, the Bible accurately foretells specific events-in detail-many years, sometimes centuries, before they occur. Approximately 2500 prophecies appear in the pages of the Bible, about 2000 of which already have been fulfilled to the letter—no errors. (The remaining 500 or so reach into the future and may be seen unfolding as days go by.) Since the probability for any one of these prophecies having been fulfilled by chance averages less than one in ten (figured very conservatively) and since the prophecies are for the most part independent of one another, the odds for all these prophecies having been fulfilled by chance without error is less than one in 10 to the 2000th (that is 1 with 2000 zeros written after it)!

God is not the only one, however, who uses forecasts of future events to get people’s attention. Satan does, too. Through clairvoyants (such as Jeanne Dixon and Edgar Cayce), mediums, spiritists, and others, come remarkable predictions, though rarely with more than about 60 percent accuracy, never with total accuracy. Messages from Satan, furthermore, fail to match the detail of Bible prophecies, nor do they include a call to repentance.

The acid test for identifying a prophet of God is recorded by Moses in Deuteronomy 18:21-22. According to this Bible passage (and others), God’s prophets, as distinct from Satan’s spokesmen, are 100 percent accurate in their predictions. There is no room for error.

As economy does not permit an explanation of all the Biblical prophecies that have been fulfilled, what follows in a discussion of a few that exemplify the high degree of specificity, the range of projection, and/or the “supernature” of the predicted events. Readers are encouraged to select others, as well, and to carefully examine their historicity.

(1) Some time before 500 B.C. the prophet Daniel proclaimed that Israel’s long-awaited Messiah would begin his public ministry 483 years after the issuing of a decree to restore and rebuild Jerusalem (Daniel 9:25-26). He further predicted that the Messiah would be “cut off,” killed, and that this event would take place prior to a second destruction of Jerusalem. Abundant documentation shows that these prophecies were perfectly fulfilled in the life (and crucifixion) of Jesus Christ. The decree regarding the restoration of Jerusalem was issued by Persia’s King Artaxerxes to the Hebrew priest Ezra in 458 B.C., 483 years later the ministry of Jesus Christ began in Galilee. (Remember that due to calendar changes, the date for the start of Christ’s ministry is set by most historians at about 26 A.D. Also note that from 1 B.C. to 1 A.D. is just one year.) Jesus’ crucifixion occurred only a few years later, and about four decades later, in 70 A.D. came the destruction of Jerusalem by Titus.

(Probability of chance fulfillment = 1 in 10 to the 5th.)*

(*The estimates of probability included herein come from a group of secular research scientists. As an example of their method of estimation, consider their calculations for this first prophecy cited:

* Since the Messiah’s ministry could conceivably begin in any one of about 5000 years, there is, then, one chance in about 5000 that his ministry could begin in 26 A.D.
* Since the Messiah is God in human form, the possibility of his being killed is considerably low, say less than one chance in 10.
* Relative to the second destruction of Jerusalem, this execution has roughly an even chance of occurring before or after that event, that is, one chance in 2.

Hence, the probability of chance fulfillment for this prophecy is 1 in 5000 x 10 x 2, which is 1 in 100,000, or 1 in 10 to the 5th.)

(2) In approximately 700 B.C. the prophet Micah named the tiny village of Bethlehem as the birthplace of Israel’s Messiah (Micah 5:2). The fulfillment of this prophecy in the birth of Christ is one of the most widely known and widely celebrated facts in history.

(Probability of chance fulfillment = 1 in 10 to the 5th.)

(3) In the fifth century B.C. a prophet named Zechariah declared that the Messiah would be betrayed for the price of a slave—thirty pieces of silver, according to Jewish law-and also that this money would be used to buy a burial ground for Jerusalem’s poor foreigners (Zechariah 11:12-13). Bible writers and secular historians both record thirty pieces of silver as the sum paid to Judas Iscariot for betraying Jesus, and they indicate that the money went to purchase a “potter’s field,” used—just as predicted—for the burial of poor aliens (Matthew 27:3-10).

(Probability of chance fulfillment = 1 in 10 to the 11th.)

(4) Some 400 years before crucifixion was invented, both Israel’s King David and the prophet Zechariah described the Messiah’s death in words that perfectly depict that mode of execution. Further, they said that the body would be pierced and that none of the bones would be broken, contrary to customary procedure in cases of crucifixion (Psalm 22 and 34:20; Zechariah 12:10). Again, historians and New Testament writers confirm the fulfillment: Jesus of Nazareth died on a Roman cross, and his extraordinarily quick death eliminated the need for the usual breaking of bones. A spear was thrust into his side to verify that he was, indeed, dead.

(Probability of chance fulfillment = 1 in 10 to the 13th.)

(5) The prophet Isaiah foretold that a conqueror named Cyrus would destroy seemingly impregnable Babylon and subdue Egypt along with most of the rest of the known world. This same man, said Isaiah, would decide to let the Jewish exiles in his territory go free without any payment of ransom (Isaiah 44:28; 45:1; and 45:13). Isaiah made this prophecy 150 years before Cyrus was born, 180 years before Cyrus performed any of these feats (and he did, eventually, perform them all), and 80 years before the Jews were taken into exile.

(Probability of chance fulfillment = 1 in 10 to the 15th.)

(6) Mighty Babylon, 196 miles square, was enclosed not only by a moat, but also by a double wall 330 feet high, each part 90 feet thick. It was said by unanimous popular opinion to be indestructible, yet two Bible prophets declared its doom. These prophets further claimed that the ruins would be avoided by travelers, that the city would never again be inhabited, and that its stones would not even be moved for use as building material (Isaiah 13:17-22 and Jeremiah 51:26, 43). Their description is, in fact, the well-documented history of the famous citadel.

(Probability of chance fulfillment = 1 in 10 to the 9th.)

(7) The exact location and construction sequence of Jerusalem’s nine suburbs was predicted by Jeremiah about 2600 years ago. He referred to the time of this building project as “the last days,” that is, the time period of Israel’s second rebirth as a nation in the land of Palestine (Jeremiah 31:38-40). This rebirth became history in 1948, and the construction of the nine suburbs has gone forward precisely in the locations and in the sequence predicted.

(Probability of chance fulfillment = 1 in 10 to the 18th.)

(8) The prophet Moses foretold (with some additions by Jeremiah and Jesus) that the ancient Jewish nation would be conquered twice and that the people would be carried off as slaves each time, first by the Babylonians (for a period of 70 years), and then by a fourth world kingdom (which we know as Rome). The second conqueror, Moses said, would take the Jews captive to Egypt in ships, selling them or giving them away as slaves to all parts of the world. Both of these predictions were fulfilled to the letter, the first in 607 B.C. and the second in 70 A.D. God’s spokesmen said, further, that the Jews would remain scattered throughout the entire world for many generations, but without becoming assimilated by the peoples or of other nations, and that the Jews would one day return to the land of Palestine to re-establish for a second time their nation (Deuteronomy 29; Isaiah 11:11-13; Jeremiah 25:11; Hosea 3:4-5 and Luke 21:23-24).

This prophetic statement sweeps across 3500 years of history to its complete fulfillment—in our lifetime.

(Probability of chance fulfillment = 1 in 10 to the 20th.)

(9) Jeremiah predicted that despite its fertility and despite the accessibility of its water supply, the land of Edom (today a part of Jordan) would become a barren, uninhabited wasteland (Jeremiah 49:15-20; Ezekiel 25:12-14). His description accurately tells the history of that now bleak region.

(Probability of chance fulfillment = 1 in 10 to the 5th.)

(10) Joshua prophesied that Jericho would be rebuilt by one man. He also said that the man’s eldest son would die when the reconstruction began and that his youngest son would die when the work reached completion (Joshua 6:26). About five centuries later this prophecy found its fulfillment in the life and family of a man named Hiel (I Kings 16:33-34).

(Probability of chance fulfillment = 1 in 10 to the 7th).

(11) The day of Elijah’s supernatural departure from Earth was predicted unanimously—and accurately, according to the eye-witness account—by a group of fifty prophets (II Kings 2:3-11).

(Probability of chance fulfillment = 1 in 10 to the 9th).

(12) Jahaziel prophesied that King Jehoshaphat and a tiny band of men would defeat an enormous, well-equipped, well-trained army without even having to fight. Just as predicted, the King and his troops stood looking on as their foes were supernaturally destroyed to the last man (II Chronicles 20).

(Probability of chance fulfillment = 1 in 10 to the 8th).

(13) One prophet of God (unnamed, but probably Shemiah) said that a future king of Judah, named Josiah, would take the bones of all the occultic priests (priests of the “high places”) of Israel’s King Jeroboam and burn them on Jeroboam’s altar (I Kings 13:2 and II Kings 23:15-18). This event occurred approximately 300 years after it was foretold.

(Probability of chance fulfillment = 1 in 10 to the 13th).

Since these thirteen prophecies cover mostly separate and independent events, the probability of chance occurrence for all thirteen is about 1 in 10 to the 138th (138 equals the sum of all the exponents of 10 in the probability estimates above). For the sake of putting the figure into perspective, this probability can be compared to the statistical chance that the second law of thermodynamics will be reversed in a given situation (for example, that a gasoline engine will refrigerate itself during its combustion cycle or that heat will flow from a cold body to a hot body)—that chance = 1 in 10 to the 80th. Stating it simply, based on these thirteen prophecies alone, the Bible record may be said to be vastly more reliable than the second law of thermodynamics. Each reader should feel free to make his own reasonable estimates of probability for the chance fulfillment of the prophecies cited here. In any case, the probabilities deduced still will be absurdly remote…

I could go on and on and on.

“God gave the prophecies, not to gratify men’s curiosity by enabling them to fore know things, but that after they were fulfilled they might be interpreted by the event, and His own providence, not the interpreters, be thereby manifested to the world.”

Sir Isaac Newton (1642 – 1727)

In other words, God has used fulfilled prophecies to show men that He knows the future and has power over it, and the world, and all things. Man then has the choice to believe or not. But fulfilled prophecies are accomplished fact that can be ignored, but not refuted!

(original link)

Are New Testament Books Historically Relevant?

I am not even going to repeat the insistence of modern liberal Bible scholars who propose late dates for New Testament books, including the Gospels, based on hypotheses that are unsupported by any solid factual evidence. I do intend, however, to show that the authors of the New Testament books were contemporaneous with Jesus, some of them knew Him, and all of them wrote the scriptures in the first century AD. Therefore, the Gospels and Acts are faithful and useful historical records that attest to the life of Jesus Christ as an historical figure. I will consider all the books here, especially the Gospels and Acts and most especially the one found at the beginning of the New Testament, Matthew.

First, the early Christian authors were nearly all Jews (Jesus was a Jew, too, by the way) who had followed Christ or became followers of Christ not long after the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus (Like Paul). If any of the New Testament was written after 70 AD the elephant in the room of scripture is the destruction of Jerusalem in the spring of AD 70.

“The destruction of Jerusalem in A.D.70, only five years after our epistle, was the greatest single event of a thousand years, and religiously significant beyond anything else that ever occurred in human history.” (James Burton Coffman, Commentary on James, 1 & 2 Peter, p. 231)

Josephus documented the conflict thoroughly and characterized it as worse than any that had gone before. He stated, “the misfortunes of all men, from the beginning of the world, if they be compared to these of the Jews [at the destruction of Jerusalem], are not so considerable as they were” (Wars , Preface, 4). With the slaughter of over one million people, the cannibalism, the physical destruction of the temple and surrounding buildings, it is understandable that Josephus would have had such an opinion.

The writers, such as John, could not have helped but noted such a destruction, such a blow to the Jewish people, even if he himself was a follower of Christ. Yet not one New Testament author mentions that terrible event and any time a description of Jerusalem is given, or one of the landmarks described, it is in present tense as if the city had remained whole. Before the spring of 70 AD this would have been true. In fact, since the Maccabean revolt had begun in 66 AD and rumors of Roman invasion had started not long thereafter, even the possibility of the destruction of Jerusalem would likely have been mentioned. But not one word on such a subject is found.

Gijs van den Brink on Matthew

“In Matthew 24 we find a second verse that is relevant for our investigation, which even gives evidence for accepting that the gospel was written before 66. This is found in Matthew 24:15-16.

“So when you see standing in the holy place ‘the abomination that causes desolation’, spoken of through the prophet Daniel–let the reader understand–then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains”.

It now becomes impossible to accept that this last phrase ‘flee to the mountains’ was written with reference to actual events, since the mountains of Judea were in fact already in enemy hands at the end of 67 AD (Robinson 1976: 16). Moreover, according to the church father Eusebius (HE III,5.3), the Christians did not flee to the mountains, but left Jerusalem before the outbreak of the war in 66 and went to the town of Pella in the Transjordan. The most simple explanation for all of this is that the exhortations of the Lord Jesus in Matthew 24:16 are prophetic words, written down by Matthew before 66 AD

In closing, we shall discuss a matter that suggests that the gospel was written even before 62. What actually happened in 62? According to Eusebius, James, the brother of Jesus, died as a martyr in that year. As leader of the church of Jerusalem, he was succeeded by Simeon, the son of Clopas, the brother of Joseph (HE III,11; III,23.1-6; IV,22.4). This succession within the family through the line of the father reflects Jewish custom. Clopas, the father of Simeon, also appears in the New Testament as the husband of one of the Marys who stood by the cross (John 19:25). It is natural and most likely to identify this Mary with the one described by Matthew as the ‘mother of James and Joses’ and as ‘the other Mary’ (Matt 27:56, 61; 28:1; Meyer-Bauer 1963: 426). If Matthew had written his gospel after 62, at the very least one would have expected that he, who himself stood in the Palestinian tradition, would have indicated this Mary to be Mary the mother of Simeon. The fact that Matthew does not mention Simeon in connection with this suggests that he has written his gospel before 62 AD. (Robinson 1976: 106).”

CARM.ORG

This site was a find for me, and in reading it I had to revise the earliest possible date of the Book of Acts from around 40 AD to around 55-60 AD due to the established time of Festus as Procurator, as mentioned below. I disagree with their view of the time of John’s writings (which has a great deal to do with eschatology) but otherwise the information is relevant indeed.

When were the gospels written and by whom?

Dating the gospels is very important. If it can be established that the gospels were written early, say before the year 70 A.D., then we would have good reason for believing that they were written by the disciples of Jesus Himself. If they were written by the disciples, then their reliability, authenticity, and accuracy better substantiated. Also, if they were written early, this would mean that there would not have been enough time for myth to creep into the gospel accounts since it was the eyewitnesses to Christ’s life that wrote them. Furthermore, those who were alive at the time of the events could have countered the gospel accounts and since we have no contradictory writings to the gospels, their early authorship as well as apostolic authorship becomes even more critical.

Destruction of the temple in 70 A.D. , Luke and Acts

None of the gospels mention the destruction of the Jewish temple in 70 A.D. This is significant because Jesus had prophesied concerning the temple when He said “As for these things which you are looking at, the days will come in which there will not be left one stone upon another which will not be torn down,” (Luke 21:5, see also Matt. 24:1; Mark 13:1). This prophecy was fulfilled in 70 A.D. when the Romans sacked Jerusalem and burned the temple. The gold in the temple melted down between the stone walls and the Romans took the walls apart, stone by stone, to get the gold. Such an obvious fulfillment of Jesus’ prophecy most likely would have been recorded as such by the gospel writers who were fond of mentioning fulfillment of prophecy if they had been written after 70 A.D. Also, if the gospels were fabrications of mythical events then anything to bolster the Messianic claims — such as the destruction of the temple as Jesus said — would surely have been included. But, it was not included suggesting that the gospels (at least Matthew, Mark, and Luke) were written before 70 A.D.

Similarly, this argument is important when we consider the dating of the book of Acts which was written after the gospel of Luke by Luke himself. Acts is a history of the Christian church right after Jesus’ ascension. Acts also fails to mention the incredibly significant events of 70 A.D. which would have been extremely relevant and prophetically important and garnered inclusion into Acts had it occurred before Acts was written. Remember, Acts is a book of history concerning the Christians and the Jews. The fact that the destruction of Jerusalem and the temple is not recorded is very strong evidence that Acts was written before A.D. 70. If we add to this the fact that acts does not include the accounts of “Nero’s persecution of the Christians in A.D. 64 or the deaths of James (A.D. 62), Paul (A.D. 64), and Peter (A.D. 65),” and we have further evidence that it was written early.

If we look at Acts 1:1-2 it says, “The first account I composed, Theophilus, about all that Jesus began to do and teach, 2 until the day when He was taken up, after He had by the Holy Spirit given orders to the apostles whom He had chosen.” Most scholars affirm that Acts was written by Luke and that Theophilus (Grk. “lover of God”) “may have been Luke’s patron who financed the writing of Luke and Acts.” This means that the gospel of Luke was written before Acts.

“At the earliest, Acts cannot have been written prior to the latest firm chronological marker recorded in the book—Festus’s appointment as procurator (24:27), which, on the basis of independent sources, appears to have occurred between A.D. 55 and 59.”

“It is increasingly admitted that the Logia [Q] was very early, before 50 A.D., and Mark likewise if Luke wrote the Acts while Paul was still alive. Luke’s Gospel comes (Acts 1:1) before the Acts. The date of Acts is still in dispute, but the early date (about A.D. 63) is gaining support constantly.”

For clarity, Q is supposedly one of the source documents used by both Matthew and Luke in writing their gospels. If Q actually existed then that would push the first writings of Christ’s words and deeds back even further lessening the available time for myth to creep in and adding to the validity and accuracy of the gospel accounts. If what is said of Acts is true, this would mean that Luke was written at least before A.D. 63 and possibly before 55 – 59 since Acts is the second in the series of writings by Luke. This means that the gospel of Luke was written within 30 years of Jesus’ death.

Matthew

The early church unanimously held that the gospel of Matthew was the first written gospel and was penned by the apostle of the same name (Matt. 10:2). Lately, the priority of Matthew as the first written gospel has come under suspicion with Mark being considered by many to be the first written gospel. The debate is far from over.

The historian Papias mentions that the gospel of Matthew was originally in Aramaic or Hebrew and attributes the gospel to Matthew the apostle.

“Irenaeus (ca. a.d. 180) continued Papias’s views about Matthew and Mark and added his belief that Luke, the follower of Paul, put down in a book the gospel preached by that apostle, and that John, the Beloved Disciple, published his Gospel while residing in Asia. By the time of Irenaeus, Acts was also linked with Luke, the companion of Paul.”

This would mean that if Matthew did write in Aramaic originally, that he may have used Mark as a map, adding and clarifying certain events as he remembered them. But, this is not known for sure.

The earliest quotation of Matthew is found in Ignatius who died around 115 A.D. Therefore, Matthew was in circulation well before Ignatius came on the scene. The various dates most widely held as possible writing dates of the Gospel are between A.D. 40 – 140. But Ignatius died around 115 A.D. and he quoted Matthew. Therefore Matthew had to be written before he died. Nevertheless, it is generally believed that Matthew was written before A.D. 70 and as early as A.D. 50.

Mark

Mark was not an eyewitness to the events of Jesus’ life. He was a disciple of Peter and undoubtedly it was Peter who informed Mark of the life of Christ and guided him in writing the Gospel known by his name. “Papias claimed that Mark, the Evangelist, who had never heard Christ, was the interpreter of Peter, and that he carefully gave an account of everything he remembered from the preaching of Peter.” Generally, Mark is said to be the earliest gospel with an authorship of between A.D. 55 to A.D. 70.

Luke

Luke was not an eyewitness of the life of Christ. He was a companion of Paul who also was not an eyewitness of Christ’s life. But, both had ample opportunity to meet the disciples who knew Christ and learn the facts not only from them, but from others in the area. Some might consider this damaging to the validity of the gospel, but quite the contrary. Luke was a gentile convert to Christianity who was interested in the facts. He obviously had interviewed the eyewitnesses and written the Gospel account as well as Acts.

“The first account I composed, Theophilus, about all that Jesus began to do and teach, until the day when He was taken up, after He had by the Holy Spirit given orders to the apostles whom He had chosen. To these He also presented Himself alive, after His suffering, by many convincing proofs, appearing to them over a period of forty days, and speaking of the things concerning the kingdom of God,” (Acts 1:1-3).

Notice how Luke speaks of “them,” of those who had personal encounters with Christ. Luke is simply recounting the events from the disciples. Since Luke agrees with Matthew, Mark, and John and since there is no contradictory information coming from any of the disciples stating that Luke was inaccurate, and since Luke has proven to be a very accurate historian, we can conclude that Luke’s account is very accurate.

As far as dating the gospel goes, Luke was written before the book of Acts and Acts does not mention “Nero’s persecution of the Christians in A.D. 64 or the deaths of James (A.D. 62), Paul (A.D. 64), and Peter (A.D. 65).” Therefore, we can conclude that Luke was written before A.D. 62. “Luke’s Gospel comes (Acts 1:1) before the Acts. The date of Acts is still in dispute, but the early date (about A.D. 63) is gaining support constantly.”

John

The writer of the gospel of John was obviously an eyewitness of the events of Christ’s life since he speaks from a perspective of having been there during many of the events of Jesus’ ministry and displays a good knowledge of Israeli geography and customs.

The John Rylands papyrus fragment 52 of John’s gospel dated in the year 135 contains portions of John 18, verses 31-33,37-38. This fragment was found in Egypt and a considerable amount of time is needed for the circulation of the gospel before it reached Egypt. It is the last of the gospels and appears to have been written in the 80’s to 90’s.

Of important note is the lack of mention of the destruction of the Jewish temple in 70 A.D. But this is understandable since John was not focusing on historical events. Instead, he focused on the theological aspect of the person of Christ and listed His miracles and words that affirmed Christ’s deity.

Though there is still some debate on the dates of when the gospels were written, they were most assuredly completed before the close of the first century and written by eyewitnesses or under the direction of eyewitnesses.”

One has to keep in mind that the early church fathers agreed not only that these books were canonical scripture, but agreed to the authorship thereof. It is a fine thing for “scholars” to try to dispute such findings nearly 2,000 years later, but today we don’t have the same information that was available to, say, Origen.

Dr. van den Brink weighs in with some additional thoughts on the authorship of Matthew:

“In his Ecclesiastical History (HE VI, 25.4), Eusebius quoted Origen who wrote, “… first was written that according to Matthew, who was once a tax-collector but afterwards an apostle of Jesus Christ, who published it for those who from Judaism came to believe, composed as it was in the Hebrew language” (tr. Loeb II, 75). Irenaeus wrote, “Now Matthew published among the Hebrews a written gospel also in their own tongue, while Peter and Paul were preaching in Rome and founding the church” (quoted by Eusebius, HE V, 8.2; tr. Loeb I, 455). However, the view that Matthew is the author of this gospel is especially based on a quotation also found with Eusebius (HE, III, 39.16). This quotation originates from Papias, bishop of Hierapolis around 130, and goes as follows, “Matthew collected the oracles in the Hebrew language, and each interpreted them as best as he could” (tr. Loeb I, 297).

First of all, this brings up the question as to what Papias meant with ta logia (literally words, proverbs). Since Schleiermacher many explained the word logia in this passage as ‘sayings’ and believed Papias had refered to a document containing (only) sayings of Jesus. But nowadays there is more or less a scholarly consensus that Papias used the word in the sense of ‘reports’, including quotational elements as well as narrative units. He called his book ‘Investigations of the logia’ (HE III,39.1) and by this Greek expression he meant the canonical gospels, whether they contain sayings or narratives (Reicke 1990: 299). The Church Fathers after him also understood his words in that way.

When we read that Matthew ‘has combined his gospel in the Hebrew language’, another problem emerges: almost all scholars agree that the Gospel of Matthew was written in Greek, and is not likely to be the work of a translator. Therefore, it is assumed that Papias was wrong here, or that a Semitic translation of Matthew’s Greek gospel was in circulation at the time. However, both suppositions lack conclusive evidence. We may just as well assume Matthew wrote both an Aramaic and a Greek gospel. As Davies and Allison (1988: 12) rightly observe, it is not easy to determine whether an ancient text, especially one so clearly bearing the marks of two cultures, as does Matthew, is or is not a translation. They mention the fact that learned Greeks, such as Eusebius, Origen, Clement of Alexandria and Irenaeus, presumably knew the Greek language better than most modern scholars. And they all took canonical Matthew to be the translation of a Semitic original.”

It is very interesting to note that one very significant historical record would be the Jews themselves. The Jewish people were known for keeping careful records and taking note of events of the day. Perhaps no record was more important than the Talmud. This column which appeared in the Kansas City Star (among other publications) sheds additional light here. (all sections in bold enhanced by me)

Support for the Authenticity of Book of Matthew Comes from an Unlikely Place

As reported in the Kansas City Star – Posted on Sat, Jun. 07, 2003 to KansasCity.com

“Buried in ancient texts of Jewish historical works are fragments of evidence that appear to show the first book of the New Testament actually was written by one of Jesus’ apostles.

One of these texts also challenges a long-held assertion that no ancient text except the Bible mentions Jesus’ birth.

Taken together, the information lends support to the claims of some Christian scholars that Matthew actually wrote the Gospel bearing his name, a Gospel that more than the three others emphasized Jesus’ Jewish roots.

“One of the reasons that people have not come to grips with the Jewishness of Jesus is that it makes the accounts of the Gospels plausible,” Craig Blomberg, distinguished professor of New Testament at Denver Theological Seminary, said in an interview this week. “For the Jewish or Christian believer, it helps them better understand who Jesus was, what he stood for and what to do with this Gospel.”

Since the 1800s groups of scholars have argued that Jesus might have been a real person, but that he wasn’t the son of God, that he didn’t perform miracles and that the four Gospels are mostly myths composed by people who assigned to Jesus godlike powers.

More recently the scholarship has taken the form of the Jesus Seminar, a group of about 200 academics who have been studying the Gospels since the mid-1980s. The seminar created a media splash a decade ago when it publicly announced its conclusions that Jesus said only 18 percent of what’s conventionally attributed to him in the New Testament. The Gospels, they concluded, are not historically reliable.

But as scholars of Judaism continue to research the history of early Christianity, they are uncovering evidence that appears to show the Gospels of the New Testament may be more reliable than some thought.

Matthew as parody

In the New Testament, none of the authors of the Gospels identifies himself as the writer. The names — Matthew, Mark, Luke and John — belong to followers of Jesus who early church leaders believe wrote the texts.

Until the 1800s Gospel authorship was rarely, if ever, questioned. Then scholars in Germany shook up conventional belief by questioning the authorship and challenging commonly accepted dates for when the Gospels were written.

One of the first Gospels to be doubted was Matthew. Church tradition said it was written by Matthew, a tax collector who became a disciple of Jesus, a witness to events. Conservative Christian clergy and scholars said they believe the book of Matthew was written between A.D. 40 and 60, within Matthew’s lifetime.

But other scholars concluded the Gospel wasn’t written any earlier than A.D. 85, perhaps as late as A.D. 135, long after Matthew’s death. If the author wasn’t a witness, the thinking goes, the Gospel becomes less credible.

So to scholars the dating is important.

In an essay written for the book Passover and Easter: Origin and History to Modern Times, Israel J. Yuval of Jerusalem’s Hebrew University reported a find in the Talmud that appears to show Matthew could have been written earlier than some scholars contend.

Yuval wrote that a leading rabbinical scholar of the time was “considered to have authored a sophisticated parody of the Gospel according to Matthew.”

The parody, written by a rabbi known as Gamaliel, is believed by some well-respected liberal Christian scholars to have been written about A.D. 73 or earlier.

The fact the parody exists and the date when it was believed to be written “would undercut badly (biblical critics’) claims of a late date of A.D. 85-90 or later,” said Bob Newman, professor of New Testament at Biblical Theological Seminary in Pennsylvania.

“That is very significant and very important,” said Tim Skinner, associate professor of Bible and theology at Luther Rise Seminary in Georgia, because that validates the legitimacy of Matthew’s Gospel…it confirms the truthfulness of the biblical account in Matthew and confirms the truth of what Jesus did.”

Blomberg said a close study of the parody’s wording indicates it was based on an existing text. If that text was Matthew, the Gospel existed much earlier than some scholars believe.
Similarly the earlier the Gospel was written, the more likely eyewitnesses to Jesus’ life would still be alive.

“(Which) would mean that Matthew’s Gospel would be seen by other eyewitnesses who could check and authenticate it,” Blomberg said.

Praise and pronouncements

Among the challenges to Christianity was the charge that Jews had rejected Jesus and that no Jewish leaders or scholars ever accepted Jesus as the Messiah. But even one of the most revered Jewish texts, the Talmud, a collection of rabbinical writings from 100 B.C. to A.D. 500, suggests otherwise.

In the second century A.D., Rabbi Judah Ha Nasi (A.D. 135-200) purged the Mishnah, part of the Talmud, of many references to Christianity and those who adhered to it. But not everything was edited out.

In his classic work, The History of the Talmud, Jewish Talmudic scholar Michael L. Rodkinson wrote: “There were passages in the Mishnayoth concerning Jesus and his teaching…the Messianists…(were) many and considerable persons and in close alliance with their colleagues the Pharisees during the (first) two centuries.”

Those words from the Mishnah appear to correspond to New Testament accounts that many Jews, including Pharisees and “a great company of priests were obedient to the faith” (Acts 6:7).

The Talmud mentions that the Romans hanged Jesus from a tree, while in another text section the Talmud does something done nowhere else but the New Testament — mentions Jesus’ birth.

English scholar R. Travers Herford, in his book Christianity in Talmud and Midrash, wrote that rabbinical writings mention that Jesus’ mother, Mary, was “descended from princes and rulers.”

Despite the noble lineage, Herford noted, the Talmudic text referred to Jesus as “Ben Pandira,” roughly translated as “son of a virgin,” which was considered an epithet.

“While the Jesus Seminar was making radical pronouncements (among them that Jesus was not the Son of God) and courting the media,” Blomberg said, “what is less well-known to the public is the study in which scholars have been growing in their appreciation of Jesus’ Jewish roots.”

He said, “These things have never been presented in any popular forms of consumption to the American public.”

(Neil Altman is a writer who lives in Pennsylvania and specializes in the Dead Sea Scrolls and religion. His others works have appeared The Times of London, the Toronto Star and The Washington Post.

David Crowder, an investigative reporter with the El Paso Times, and Bill Norton, of The Star, contributed to this story.)

A Conclusion

Just as Uniformitarianism and Darwinism got started in the 1800’s, so did the attempt to label the Gospels and Acts with later dates and discredit the authorship thereof. One cannot wonder if perhaps this was another instance of world view fueling the fires rather than an advance in knowledge.

That the Talmud authenticates the birth and life of Jesus Christ is significant because the Jews who did not follow Jesus would not have wished to give Christianity any credit. That the Talmud also validates Matthew as being written by Matthew and having been written certainly earlier than 73 AD discredits the liberal “scholarship” of the last 200 years and presents Matthew as a credible, contemporary, eyewitness account of the ministry of Jesus Christ. It is not just Pliny and Tacitus and Josephus and Origen and Julius Africanus who mention Christ, it is the very people who slew Him and wanted nothing to do with Him. (References to Jesus can also be found in Roman writings that refer to “Chrestus” or His followers.)

I say, therefore, that there is ample historical evidence that Jesus was absolutely a real person and that eyewitness accounts to His ministry do exist.

(original link)

Ancient Genealogies support the Bible and Noahic Flood

It was the 1800’s, a century when both Darwinism and Uniformitarianism would raise their ugly heads and cast ripples, nay, giant waves through the scientific community. Those waves kept going, sweeping into other disciplines such as History and Bible Studies and on until they washed back through the place they had begun, Philosophy. It was a tsunami that has done lasting damage and I am among those who work to repair and rebuild.

Darwinists fear the teaching of Intelligent Design even while loudly crying that it is “not science!” No, it is not their science because it doesn’t fit into a materialist (some say naturalistic – To-may-toe, to-mah-toe) philosophy within which Darwinism must be encased. Darwinism doesn’t play so well when all possibilities are allowed to be considered and Darwinists furiously fight to remain the only players allowed on the field. That way, they always win!

Once historical documents were cast aside or ignored by the powers that be because those documents did not fit the Catholic point of view. These were the days of the Catholic-church-as-totalitarians, days that produced the Inquisition and also, eventually, the pushback of Martin Luther and the Reformation. Yet many old documents remained obscure by omission rather than nonexistence. Later, when Darwinism came into bloom, there came the need to find long ages whenever possible. New textural criticisms of the Bible (the JPED Documentary Hypothesis in particular) arose, not from better information, but because there was a need to find long ages and discount all information that indicated otherwise. Few “theories” are as twisted and unlikely as the JPED and yet it is satisfactory to Darwinists because it casts doubt on the veracity of the book of Genesis.

“The evidence presented here points to the following conclusion: there is much more uniformity and much less fragmentation in the book of Genesis than generally assumed. The standard division of Genesis into J, E, and P strands should be discarded. This method of source criticism is a method of an earlier age, predominantly of the 19th century. If new approaches to the text, such as literary criticism of the type advanced here, deem the Documentary Hypothesis unreasonable and invalid, then source critics will have to rethink earlier conclusions and start anew.” (p. 105 of The Redaction of Genesis by Rendsburg (Eisenbrauns: 1986) as quoted by Glen Miller.

Unfortunately long-agers, there are many other historical records that help prove that the Genesis account is genuine and remarkably accurate. These are records gleaned from different cultures and eras, many by peoples who did not interact and had no knowledge of the records held by others. These are records from all over the globe.

I may have mentioned previously that Noah is recorded in cultures around the globe as the patriarch that built the Ark and was preserved along with family and wildlife in the Noahic Flood. Some of the cultures that have an historical Noah include Hawaii (where he was called Nu-u), the Sudan (Nuh), China (Nu-Wah), the Amazon region (Noa), Phrygia (Noe) and among the Hottentots (Noh and Hiagnoh)(Hat tip to Chris Parker of S8int). But now let us take a closer look at historical records, some of which have been ignored by the Orthodox keepers of the Darwinist flame due to their content, and see what we may see:

Bill Cooper, who spent 25 years in compiling the evidence for his book, After The Flood, and has authored The Table Of Nations (Creation Ex Nihilo Technical Journal) and other reference materials, has compiled a wonderful treasure trove of information from ancient documents and I will be using them during the rest of the post. All quotes below, unless otherwise attributed, are taken from those two sources.

I had previously posted that Manetho had mentioned Peleg and the Tower of Babel in his writings concerning the history of Egypt, and indeed Egyptians did consider themselves the offspring ofCush, the son of Ham, the son of Noah.

“Josephus writes:

‘…time has not at all hurt the name of Chus (i,e. Cush); for the Ethiopians over whom he reigned, are even at this day both by themselves and by all men in Asia, called Chusites’. “


Cooper notes that,“The name of Cush is preserved in Egypt’s hieroglyphic inscriptions as Kush, the name referring to the country that lay between the second and third cataracts of the Nile. This same land was later known as Nubia. Additional confirmation of this location is given in an inscription of Esarhaddon of Assyria (681-668 BC), who tells us that he made himself king of ‘Musur, Patorisi, and Cush. Some assert that the name of Cush was also perpetuated in that of the Babylonian city of Kish, ostensibly one of the earliest cities to be built after the Flood “

A numbered geneological table of descendants of Ham with each number corresponding to a paragraph of historical information is in the Table of Nations.

After the Tower of Babel, the descendants of Ham tended to move South and West, the descendants of Shem remained closer to their original homes and those of Japheth scattered to the East and North. It is my intent to focus on records of the descendants of Japheth, seeing as how both myself and my readers are most likely to have come (primarily) from that branch of the Noah tree.

JAPHETH

The name of Japheth as progenitor is found in many historical geneologies of peoples that have been passed down to us. For the Greeks, he was Iapetos. In Sanskrit (India) Pra-Japati (Father Japheth). The Romans called him Io-Pater or Jove and later of course, Jupiter. He was normally Japheth for Irish-Celtic and Viking lines but in the Saxon tongue it was Sceaf (!).

MIATSO PEOPLE OF CHINA

Edgar Truax translated the geneologies of this people, who had kept the geneologies for thousands of years before coming in contact with a Bible. Consider the line of progression:

Dirt (or “Adam” who was named after the red dirt from which he was formed) is the first man. Just as Genesis says that all other men were descended from Seth, the Miatso call him Se-teh. Other men between Adam and Noah (Nuah to the Miatso) are identifiable in the Genesis account. Unlike the Bible, Noah’s wife is named (Gaw Bo-lu-en).

In Genesis, Noah’s three sons are Ham, Shem and Japheth. In the Miatso account they are Lo Han, Lo Shen and Jah-phu. The Miatso are descended from Jah-phu. It is amazing that the same names are in the cultures so far apart in ways other than geographical. Amazing unless, of course, they are truly historical records.

IRELAND

“The records in which early Irish history is preserved have been masterfully set out and enumerated by Miss Cusack, authoress of The Illustrated History of Ireland, published in 1868 (and from which the above passage is taken). For her history, she drew upon an extensive number of manuscripts, many of which still survive, and are known under such evocative names as The Book of Leinster (written in 1130 AD, and copied from the much older Saltair of Cashel;) The Book of Ballymote (1390 AD;) and the Annals of the Four Masters. But two others received special mention, the Chronicum Scotorum, and the even more important (because earlier) Cin Droma Snechta.

The Cin Droma Snechta is now lost by all accounts, yet its contents were preserved by Keating, the Irish historian who wrote his own History from this and many other early manuscripts in about 1630. (See Bibliography.) The importance of the Cin Droma Snechta lies in the early date of its compilation, concerning which a note in the twelfth-century Book of Leinster tells us:

“Ernin, son of Duach, that is son of the King of Connacht….it was he that collected the Genealogies and Histories of the men of Erinn in one book, that is the Cin Droma Snechta.” 3

The importance of this statement lies in the fact that Duach, Ernin’s father, lived towards the end of the fourth century AD, which places the compilation of the Cin Droma Snechta well before the coming of Christianity to Ireland (and the oft-alleged forgeries of the Christian monks)!”


The Irish records include dates beginning with the creation of the world (Anno Mundi) and record the landing of the first colony on Ireland as 2520 AM. Irish geneologies begin with Noah, through Japheth, through Magog and some 24 generations later produce Riondal. There were several incursions from different groups in the Japheth line, including:

1) PARTHOLAN. The first person to colonize Ireland after the Flood, His people landed in Ireland in the year 1484 BC, Patholan died in 1454 BC, and the entire colony was wiped out by plague 300 years later in 1184 BC.

2)BAATH and JOBHATH. These two names also occur in the earliest portions of the British genealogy where JOBAATH is rendered IOBAATH. An intriguing thought is the possibility that these two names may betray the origins of the European royal blood. The very concept of royalty has long been a mystery, as has the reason why descendants of a certain family have always been set apart from and above the common herd. The royal families of Europe have always been interrelated to a greater or lesser degree throughout history and it seems very likely that the blood-royal began with Baath and Iobaath. The fact that here Baath and Jobaath are depicted as brothers, whereas in British genealogy, they are depicted as father and son, testifies to the distortion these records underwent in transmission. Their historicity, however, is convincingly demonstrated in their appearance in such diverse records as the Irish-Celtic and British.

3) EASRU and SRU. These two names, along with those of Baath and Iobaath, also occur in the earliest portions of the British genealogy where they are rendered IZRAU and EZRA, and again they appear to be the names of important founders of European royalty who lived before the division and dispersal of the various races and tribes of Europe.

4) HEBER and EREMON. The leaders of the Milesian settlement who landed in Ireland in the year 504 BC. From Heber, from whom Ireland derives its name Hibernia, are descended the great southern clans of Ireland, the McCarthy’s and O’Brien’s, and so-on, while from Eremon are descended the northern clans of O’Connor, O’Donnnell and O’Neill.

“The appearance of Magog’s name in the Milesian ancestry is of great significance, for we saw in Part I of our study how Magog was the founder, or co-founder, of the Scythian peoples, and the early Irish chroniclers were emphatic in their claim that the Irish were descended from Scythian stock. This claim is confirmed in many points, not the least of which is the fact that “Scot” and “Scythian” share the same etymological root:

“Scot (is) the same as Sythian in etymology; the root of both is Sct. The Greeks had no c, and would change “t” into “th” making the root “skth,” and by adding a phonetic vowel, we get Skuth-ai (Scythians,) and Skoth-ai (Skoths.) The Welsh disliked “s” at the beginning of a word, and would change it to “ys;” they would also change “c” or “k” to “g,” and “th” to “d;” whence the Welsh root would be “Ysgd,” and Skuth or Skoth would become “ysgod.” Once more, the Saxons would cut off the Welsh “y,” and change the “g” back again to “c,” and the “d” to “t,” converting the Ysgod to Scot.” 10

The early Irish were originally known as Scots, of course, and they were later to leave Ireland and invade and settle the country that still bears their name, displacing and subduing the native Picts in waves and waves of invasion.


“The Books of Genealogies and Pedigrees form a most important element in Irish pagan history. For social and political reasons, the Irish Celt preserved his genealogical tree with scrupulous precision. Property rights and the governing power were transmitted with patriarchal exactitude on strict claims of primogeniture, which could only be refused under certain conditions defined by law…and in obedience to an ancient law, established long before the introduction of Christianity, all the provincial records, as well as those of the various chieftains, were required to be furnished every third year to the convocation at Tara, where they were compared and corrected.”
____________________________________________________________________

BRITISH GENEOLOGIES

“We shall begin this section of our study by considering the work of a British scholar named Nennius. (The term British means he descended from the original peoples who settled in Britain after the Flood. The modern Welsh are descended from that same stock.) Nennius completed his famous work, the Historia Brittonum, towards the very end of the eighth century AD, and his achievement was to gather together, and thus preserve, a whole series of documents and sources that collectively shed much light specially upon the early pagan (i.e. pre-Christian) history of the early Britons. 16 In the preface to his work, he tells us (in Latin) that he is recording certain facts that the British had stupidly thrown away (quae hebitudo gentis Brittaniae deiecertat.)”

British geneologies also begin with Noah and Japheth but it is then that they are descended from Javan, although some intermarriage with the line of Magog is later not uncommon. Several generations later there is Alanus, from whom the Franks, Latins, Albans, British, Bavarians,Vandals,Saxons,Thuringians, Goths,Walagoths,Gepids,Burgundians and Langobards all trace descent.

The British Kings trace their descent from Noah down to the first ruler, Brutus. (He was the first to colonize the British mainland after the Flood, and was Britain’s first king. The land of Britain and its people, the Britons, derived their name from him. His wife, Ignoge, the daughter of a “Greek” king named Pandrasus, was married to Brutus against her will.) The line goes unbroken from Brutus through some well-known kings such as Coel (“Old King Cole”) and Utherpendragon and Arthur (later fictionalized as the Arthur of Camelot and the Knights of the Round Table) and Cadwallader (The son of Cadwallo, he succeeded his father as king. Bede knew him as Cliedvalla, and the Welsh knew him as Cadwaladr. He died in 689 AD.)

Yvor was the last king of pure British blood, taking the rather diminished throne in about 665 AD.

Interestingly, Bill Cooper was able to use five different sources to trace the lineage of the British from Japheth down to Brutus, sources that include Virgil, The Early History of Rome, Geoffrey Monmouth (discounted by modernists due to philosophical reasons primarily) and Nennius.

THE SAXONS

“One of the most remarkable things to be noticed about the Anglo-Saxon genealogies, is that so many have survived. Not only have they endured intact the ravages of some twelve or more centuries of war, worm, damp and decay; they have also survived the ravages of kings whose political interests once lay in the suppression of such records, namely the Vikings, Normans and Plantagenets.”

The Geneologies of the Saxons, Danes, Icelanders and Norwegians all trace their lineage through Woden (Voden, Uuothen, Othin, or Uuoden) who was a descendant of Noa (Noe) and all lines include Fin (Finn). Various sources miss one name here and one there but by combining them the geneology is illustrated and preserved.

All six Saxon houses trace their lineage from Woden (who, like Japheth becoming Jupiter, was turned into a mythical Norse figure as Odin) and that includes the House of Kent.

“The Houses of Wessex (Occidentallium Saxonium;) of Lindsey (Lindis feama;) of Kent (Catwariorum;) of Mercia (Merciorum;) of Northumbria (Northa hymborum;) and of East Anglia (Estranglorum,) are all represented and all are seen to have traced their ancestry directly back to Woden and beyond. Fortunately, Woden’s own ancestry is also shown in various sources, and this goes way back to Noah through Sceaf (of whom more shortly,) thus providing us with an invaluable and unbroken link with the immediate post-Flood era.

The political supremacy of these various Houses fluctuated almost from one decade to the next, and the particular king who at any one time held sway over the others, was accorded the title Bretwalda. The East Anglian king, Redwald, was a particularly famous Bretwalda and it is thought by many that it was his grave that was discovered during the excavations of the Sutton Hoo burial.

Redwald, however, as well as being an East Anglian king, also belonged to the famous clan of the Wuffingas. This name derived from his ancestor Wuffa, and it demonstrates the seriousness with which the early Saxons kept their genealogies. Undoubtedly, Wuffa would in time have been deified as an ancestor, as were other notable founders of clans before him, and it was only the presence of the early medieval Christian Church that prevented this happening in Wuffa’s case. For example, Geat was not only the founder of the Geatingas (Beowulf of epic fame was a Geating,) but he became also one of the major gods or demi-gods of the Saxon pantheon.”


There is more, yes, there is more. The curious reader can begin by clicking on some of the links provided. There will be another installment coming in the next days to continue the presentation of evidence for the geneological records in Genesis and their historical accuracy.

(original link)

WHY’S THE MT. EBAL CURSE TABLET SO IMPORTANT?

Here are the top 3 reasons why this discovery is important.

1. IT WAS DISCOVERED AT MT. EBAL

The tablet was found by sifting through the dump piles of the Mt. Ebal dig site.

The Hebrew inscription reflects the same language found in the bible about what happened at Mt. Ebal when Joshua entered the Promised Land.

He put half the tribes on Mt. Ebal and half on Mt. Gerizim. The tribes on Mount Gerizim declared blessings would come if the nation kept the covenant. The tribes on Mt. Ebal declared curses would come they disobeyed the covenant. This is found in Deut. 27, 28 and Joshua 8.

Not only was it found at Mt. Ebal, but at a location called Joshua’s Altar which is mentioned in Joshua 8.

2. IT’S THE EARLIEST MENTION OF THE NAME OF ISRAEL’S GOD IN HEBREW.

Here’s what the tablet says:

“Cursed, cursed, cursed – cursed by the God YHW.

You will die cursed.

Cursed you will surely die.

Cursed by YHW – cursed, cursed, cursed.”

The pottery found with the tablets can be dated as far back as 1400 BC. If these dates are accurate, this would be the earliest time in history where we see the name YHW in Hebrew outside the Bible.

3. IT PROVES MOSES COULD BE THE AUTHOR OF THE FIRST 5 BOOKS OF THE BIBLE.

Now, if you’ve been following me, you probably already believe the Old Testament is reliable.

So when it says in Deuteronomy 31 Moses wrote down the law, then you believe it.

But liberal critical scholars don’t believe Moses existed. They believe the Jews made up Moses and the Old Testament stories around 586 BC. There’s no way a guy named Moses could have written down the Law they say because Hebrew didn’t exist as a written language yet.

This little tablet delivers a HUGE blow to that theory because it contains a very early form of Hebrew called proto-Hebrew. 

And if the early dates are accurate, it shows that Moses himself could be the author of the Torah just as the Bible describes.

When you put all three points together—it’s location at Mt. Ebal—that it contains the name Yahwew—in the earliest known Hebrew ever discovered—this is a compelling case that the Bible is accurate. And the Exodus and Conquest really did happen as the Bible describes.

FORTHCOMING REPORT

The team reporting the discovery is promising to release a peer-reviewed article by the end of 2022. We will have to wait and see how other archaeologists counter these claims. But it is something to watch for!

BIBLIOGRAPHY

– “ABR Researchers Discover the Oldest Known Proto-Hebrew Inscription Ever Found.” Associates for Biblical Research. Last modified March 24, 2022. Accessed April 2, 2022. https://biblearchaeology.org/current-events-list/4896-abr-researchers-discover-the-oldest-known-proto-hebrew-inscription-ever-found

– Law, Steve. “Hebrew Tablet Deciphered – Mentions Israel’s God.” Patterns of Evidence. Last modified April 1, 2022. Accessed April 2, 2022. https://patternsofevidence.com/2022/04/01/hebrew-tablet-deciphered-mentions-israels-god/

– Oldest Known Proto-Hebrew Inscription From Mount Ebal Discovered. Associates for Biblical Research, 2022. Accessed April 2, 2022. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GUzBXZdpfLo&t=0s

(original link)

The Dead Sea Scrolls Shed Light on the Accuracy of the Bible

Dr. Patrick Zukeran,

Dr. Patrick Zukeran reviews the discovery of and important historical findings from the Dead Sea Scrolls. The texts discovered provide clear evidence as to the accuracy of our version of the Old Testament and the care with which it was preserved.

The Story of the Scrolls

Worship at the sacred Jerusalem Temple had become corrupt, with seemingly little hope for reform. A group of devoted Jews removed themselves from the mainstream and began a monastic life in the Judean desert. Their studies of the Old Testament Scriptures led them to believe that God’s judgment upon Jerusalem was imminent and that the anointed one would return to restore the nation of Israel and purify their worship. Anticipating this moment, the Essenes retreated into the Qumran desert to await the return of their Messiah. This community, which began in the third century B.C., devoted their days to the study and copying of sacred Scripture as well as theological and sectarian works.

As tensions between the Jews and Romans increased, the community hid their valuable scrolls in caves along the Dead Sea to protect them from the invading armies. Their hope was that one day the scrolls would be retrieved and restored to the nation of Israel. In A.D. 70, the Roman general Titus invaded Israel and destroyed the city of Jerusalem along with its treasured Temple. It is at this time that the Qumran community was overrun and occupied by the Roman army. The scrolls remained hidden for the next two thousand years.

In 1947, a Bedouin shepherd named Muhammad (Ahmed el-Dhib) was searching for his lost goat and came upon a small opening of a cave. Thinking that his goat may have fallen into the cave, he threw rocks into the opening. Instead of hearing a startled goat, he heard the shattering of clay pottery. Lowering himself into the cave, he discovered several sealed jars. He opened them hoping to find treasure. To his disappointment, he found them to contain leather scrolls. He collected seven of the best scrolls and left the other fragments scattered on the ground.

Muhammad eventually brought some of the scrolls to a cobbler and antiquities dealer in Bethlehem named Khando. Khando, thinking the scrolls were written in Syriac, brought them to a Syrian Orthodox Archbishop named Mar (Athanasius) Samuel. Mar Samuel recognized that the scrolls were written in Hebrew and suspected they may be very ancient and valuable. He eventually had the scrolls examined by John Trevor at the American School of Oriental Research (ASOR). Trevor contacted the world’s foremost Middle East archaeologist, Dr. William Albright, and together these men confirmed the antiquity of the scrolls and dated them to sometime between the first and second century B.C.

After the initial discovery, archaeologists searched other nearby caves between 1952 and 1956. They found ten other caves that contained thousands of ancient documents as well. One of the greatest treasures of ancient manuscripts had been discovered: the Dead Sea Scrolls.

Date and Contents of the Scrolls

Scholars were anxious to confirm that these Dead Sea Scrolls were the most ancient of all Old Testament manuscripts in the Hebrew language. Three types of dating tools were used: tools from archaeology, from the study of ancient languages, called paleography and orthography, and the carbon-14 dating method. Each can derive accurate results. When all the methods arrive at the same conclusion, there is an increased reliability in the dating.

Archaeologists studied the pottery, coins, graves, and garments at Khirbet Qumran, where the Essenes lived. They arrived at a date ranging from the second century B.C. to the first century A.D. Paleographers studied the style of writing and arrived at dates raging from the third century B.C. to the first century A.D. Scientists, using the radiocarbon dating method, dated the scrolls to range from the fourth century B.C. to the first century A.D. Since all the methods came to a similar conclusion, scholars are very confident in their assigned date for the texts. The scrolls date as early as the third century B.C. to the first century A.D.{1}

Eleven caves were discovered containing nearly 1,100 ancient documents which included several scrolls and more than 100,000 fragments.{2} Fragments from every Old Testament book except for the book of Esther were discovered. Other works included apocryphal books, commentaries, manuals of discipline for the Qumran community, and theological texts. The majority of the texts were written in the Hebrew language, but there were also manuscripts written in Aramaic and Greek.{3}

Among the eleven caves, Cave 1, which was excavated in 1949, and Cave 4, excavated in 1952, proved to be the most productive caves. One of the most significant discoveries was a well-preserved scroll of the entire book of Isaiah.

The famous Copper Scrolls were discovered in Cave 3 in 1952. Unlike most of the scrolls that were written on leather or parchment, these were written on copper and provided directions to sixty-four sites around Jerusalem that were said to contain hidden treasure. So far, no treasure has been found at the sites that have been investigated.

The oldest known piece of biblical Hebrew is a fragment from the book of Samuel discovered in Cave 4, and is dated from the third century B.C.{4} The War Scroll found in Caves 1 and 4 is an eschatological text describing a forty-year war between the Sons of Light and the evil Sons of Darkness. The Temple Scroll discovered in Cave 11 is the largest and describes a future Temple in Jerusalem that will be built at the end of the age.

Indeed, these were the most ancient Hebrew manuscripts of the Old Testament ever found, and their contents would yield valuable insights to our understanding of Judaism and early Christianity.

The Dead Sea Scrolls and the Masoretic Text

The Dead Sea Scrolls play a crucial role in assessing the accurate preservation of the Old Testament. With its hundreds of manuscripts from every book except Esther, detailed comparisons can be made with more recent texts.

The Old Testament that we use today is translated from what is called the Masoretic Text. The Masoretes were Jewish scholars who between A.D. 500 and 950 gave the Old Testament the form that we use today. Until the Dead Sea Scrolls were found in 1947, the oldest Hebrew text of the Old Testament was the Masoretic Aleppo Codex which dates to A.D. 935.{5}

With the discovery of the Dead Sea Scrolls, we now had manuscripts that predated the Masoretic Text by about one thousand years. Scholars were anxious to see how the Dead Sea documents would match up with the Masoretic Text. If a significant amount of differences were found, we could conclude that our Old Testament Text had not been well preserved. Critics, along with religious groups such as Muslims and Mormons, often make the claim that the present day Old Testament has been corrupted and is not well preserved. According to these religious groups, this would explain the contradictions between the Old Testament and their religious teachings.

After years of careful study, it has been concluded that the Dead Sea Scrolls give substantial confirmation that our Old Testament has been accurately preserved. The scrolls were found to be almost identical with the Masoretic text. Hebrew Scholar Millar Burrows writes, “It is a matter of wonder that through something like one thousand years the text underwent so little alteration. As I said in my first article on the scroll, ‘Herein lies its chief importance, supporting the fidelity of the Masoretic tradition.’”{6}

A significant comparison study was conducted with the Isaiah Scroll written around 100 B.C. that was found among the Dead Sea documents and the book of Isaiah found in the Masoretic text. After much research, scholars found that the two texts were practically identical. Most variants were minor spelling differences, and none affected the meaning of the text.

One of the most respected Old Testament scholars, the late Gleason Archer, examined the two Isaiah scrolls found in Cave 1 and wrote, “Even though the two copies of Isaiah discovered in Qumran Cave 1 near the Dead Sea in 1947 were a thousand years earlier than the oldest dated manuscript previously known (A.D. 980), they proved to be word for word identical with our standard Hebrew Bible in more than 95 percent of the text. The five percent of variation consisted chiefly of obvious slips of the pen and variations in spelling.”{7}

Despite the thousand year gap, scholars found the Masoretic Text and Dead Sea Scrolls to be nearly identical. The Dead Sea Scrolls provide valuable evidence that the Old Testament had been accurately and carefully preserved.

The Messianic Prophecies and the Scrolls

One of the evidences used in defending the deity of the Christ is the testimony of prophecy. There are over one hundred prophecies regarding Christ in the Old Testament.{8} These prophecies were made centuries before the birth of Christ and were quite specific in their detail. Skeptics questioned the date of the prophecies and some even charged that they were not recorded until after or at the time of Jesus, and therefore discounted their prophetic nature.

There is strong evidence that the Old Testament canon was completed by 450 B.C. The Greek translation of the Old Testament, the Septuagint, is dated about two hundred fifty years before Christ. The translation process occurred during the reign of Ptolemy Philadelphus who ruled from 285 to 246 B.C.{9} It can be argued that a complete Hebrew text from which this Greek translation would be derived must have existed prior to the third century B.C.

The Dead Sea Scrolls provided further proof that the Old Testament canon existed prior to the third century B.C. Thousands of manuscript fragments from all the Old Testament books except Esther were found predating Christ’s birth, and some date as early as the third century B.C. For example, portions from the book of Samuel date that early, and fragments from Daniel date to the second century B.C.{10} Portions from the twelve Minor Prophets date from 150 B.C to 25 B.C.{11} Since the documents were found to be identical with our Masoretic Text, we can be reasonably sure that our Old Testament is the same one that the Essenes were studying and working from.

One of the most important Dead Sea documents is the Isaiah Scroll. This twenty-four foot long scroll is well preserved and contains the complete book of Isaiah. The scroll is dated 100 B.C. and contains one of the clearest and most detailed prophecies of the Messiah in chapter fifty-three, called the “Suffering Servant.” Although some Jewish scholars teach that this refers to Israel, a careful reading shows that this prophecy can only refer to Christ.

Here are just a few reasons. The suffering servant is called sinless (53:9), he dies and rises from the dead (53:8-10), and he suffers and dies for the sins of the people (53:4-6). These characteristics are not true of the nation of Israel. The Isaiah Scroll gives us a manuscript that predates the birth of Christ by a century and contains many of the most important messianic prophecies about Jesus. Skeptics could no longer contend that portions of the book were written after Christ or that first century insertions were added to the text.

Thus, the Dead Sea Scrolls provide further proof that the Old Testament canon was completed by the third century B.C., and that the prophecies foretold of Christ in the Old Testament predated the birth of Christ.

The Messiah and the Scrolls

What kind of Messiah was expected by first century Jews? Critical scholars allege that the idea of a personal Messiah was a later interpretation made by Christians. Instead, they believe that the Messiah was to be the nation of Israel and represented Jewish nationalism.

The Dead Sea Scrolls, written by Old Testament Jews, reveal the messianic expectations of Jews during the time of Christ. Studies have uncovered several parallels to the messianic hope revealed in the New Testament as well as some significant differences. First, they were expecting a personal Messiah rather than a nation or a sense of nationalism. Second, the Messiah would be a descendant of King David. Third, the Messiah would confirm His claims by performing miracles including the resurrection of the dead. Finally, He would be human and yet possess divine attributes.

A manuscript found in Cave 4 entitled the Messianic Apocalypse, copied in the first century B.C., describes the anticipated ministry of the Messiah:

For He will honor the pious upon the throne of His eternal kingdom, release the captives, open the eyes of the blind, lifting up those who are oppressed… For He shall heal the critically wounded, He shall raise the dead, He shall bring good news to the poor.

This passage sounds very similar to the ministry of Jesus as recorded in the Gospels. In Luke chapter 7:21-22, John the Baptist’s disciples come to Jesus and ask him if He is the Messiah. Jesus responds, “Go tell John what you have seen and heard: the blind receive their sight, the lame walk, the lepers are cleansed, the deaf hear, the dead are raised, the poor have the good news brought to them.”

But, with the similarities there are also differences. Christians have always taught that there is one Messiah while the Essene community believed in two, one an Aaronic or priestly Messiah and the other a Davidic or royal Messiah who leads a war to end the evil age.{12}

The Essenes were also strict on matters of ceremonial purity while Jesus criticized these laws. He socialized with tax collectors and lepers which was considered defiling by the Jews. Jesus taught us to love one’s enemies while the Essenes taught hatred towards theirs. They were strict Sabbatarians, and Jesus often violated this important aspect of the law. The Qumran community rejected the inclusion of women, Gentiles, and sinners, while Christ reached out to these very groups.

The many differences show that the Essenes were not the source of early Christianity as some scholars propose. Rather, Christianity derived its teachings from the Old Testament and the ministry of Jesus.

The Dead Sea Scrolls have proven to be a significant discovery, confirming the accurate preservation of our Old Testament text, the messianic prophecies of Christ, and valuable insight into first century Judaism.

Two Major Prophets and the Dead Sea Scrolls

The Dead Sea Scrolls have been an asset in the debate regarding two major and well disputed books of the Old Testament, Daniel and Isaiah. Conservative scholars maintained that Daniel was written in the sixth century B.C. as the author declares in the first chapter. The New Testament writers treated Daniel as a prophetic book with predictive prophecies. Liberal scholars began teaching in the eighteenth century that it was written in the Maccabean Period or the second century B.C. If they are correct, Daniel would not be a prophetic book that predicted the rise of Persia, Greece, and Rome.

Before the discovery of the scrolls, critical scholars argued that the Aramaic language used in Daniel was from a time no earlier than 167 B.C. during the Maccabean period. Other scholars, such as well-respected archaeologist Kenneth Kitchen, studied Daniel and found that ninety percent of Daniel’s Aramaic vocabulary was used in documents from the fifth century B.C. or earlier.{13} The Dead Sea Scrolls revealed that Kitchen’s conclusion was well founded. The Aramaic language used in the Dead Sea Scrolls proved to be very different from that found in the book of Daniel. Old Testament scholars have concluded that the Aramaic in Daniel is closer to the form used in the fourth and fifth century B.C. than to the second century B.C.

Critical scholars challenged the view that Isaiah was written by a single author. Many contended that the first thirty-nine chapters were written by one author in the eighth century B.C., and the final twenty-six chapters were written in the post-Exilic period. The reason for this is that there are some significant differences in the style and content between the two sections. If this were true, Isaiah’s prophecies of Babylon in the later chapters would not have been predictive prophecies but written after the events occurred.

With the discovery of the Isaiah Scroll at Qumran, scholars on both sides were eager to see if the evidence would favor their position. The Isaiah Scroll revealed no break or demarcation between the two major sections of Isaiah. The scribe was not aware of any change in authorship or division of the book.{14} Ben Sira (second century B.C.), Josephus, and the New Testament writers regarded Isaiah as written by a single author and containing predictive prophecy.{15} The Dead Sea Scrolls added to the case for the unity and prophetic character of Isaiah.

Inventory of the Scrolls

The following is a brief inventory provided by Dr. Gleason Archer of the discoveries made in each of the Dead Sea caves.{16}

Cave 1 was the first cave discovered and excavated in 1949. Among the discoveries was found the Isaiah Scroll containing a well-preserved scroll of the entire book of Isaiah. Fragments were found from the other Old Testament books which included Genesis, Leviticus, Deuteronomy, Judges, Samuel, Ezekiel, and Psalms. Non-biblical books included the Book of Enoch, Sayings of Moses, Book of Jubilee, Book of Noah, Testament of Levi and the Wisdom of Solomon. Fragments from commentaries on Psalms, Micah, and Zephaniah were also discovered.

Cave 2 was excavated in 1952. Hundreds of fragments were discovered, including remains from the Old Testament books of Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, Deuteronomy, Jeremiah, Job, Psalms and Ruth.

Cave 3 was excavated in 1952. Here archaeologists found the famous Copper Scrolls. These scrolls contained directions to sixty-four sites containing hidden treasures located around Jerusalem. So far, no treasure has been found at the sites investigated.

Cave 4, excavated in 1952, proved to be one of the most productive. Thousands of fragments were recovered from nearly four hundred manuscripts. Hundreds of fragments from every Old Testament book were discovered with the exception of the Book of Esther. The fragment from Samuel labeled 4Qsam{17} is believed to be the oldest known piece of biblical Hebrew, dating from the third century B.C. Also found were fragments of commentaries on the Psalms, Isaiah, and Nahum. The entire collection of Cave 4 is believed to represent the scope of the Essene library.

Cave 5 was excavated in 1952 and fragments from some Old Testament books along with the book of Tobit were found.

Cave 6 excavated in 1952 uncovered papyrus fragments of Daniel, 1 and 2 Kings and some other Essene literature.

Caves 7-10 yielded finds of interest for archaeologists but had little relevance for biblical studies.

Cave 11 was excavated in 1956. It exposed well-preserved copies from some of the Psalms, including the apocryphal Psalm 151. In addition, a well-preserved scroll of part of Leviticus was found, and fragments of an Apocalypse of the New Jerusalem, an Aramaic Targum or paraphrase of Job, was also discovered.

Indeed these were the most ancient Hebrew manuscripts of the Old Testament ever found, and their contents would soon reveal insights that would impact Judaism and Christianity.

Notes

1. James Vanderkam and Peter Flint, The Meaning of the Dead Sea Scrolls (San Francisco, CA.: Harper Collins Publishers, 2002), 20-32.
2. Randall Price, The Stones Cry Out (Eugene, OR.: Harvest House Publishers, 1997), 278.
3. Gleason Archer, A Survey of Old Testament Introduction (Chicago, IL.: Moody Press, 1985), 513-517.
4. Vanderkam and Flint, 115.
5. Price, 280.
6. Millar Burrows, The Dead Sea Scrolls (New York: Viking Press, 1955), 304, quoted in Norman Geisler and William Nix, General Introduction to the Bible (Chicago: Moody Press, 1986), 367.
7. Archer, 25.
8. J. Barton Payne, Encyclopedia of Biblical Prophecy (Grand Rapids, MI.: Baker Books, 1984), 665-670.
9. Geisler and Nix, 503-504.
10. Ibid., 137.
11. Ibid., 138-139.
12. Vanderkam and Flint, 265-266.
13. Randall Price, Secrets of the Dead Sea Scrolls (Eugene, OR.: Harvest House, 1996), 162.
14. Ibid., 154-155.
15. Ibid., 156-157.
16. Archer, 513-517.
17. Price, 162.

Bibliography

Archer, Gleason. A Survey of Old Testament Introduction. Chicago: Moody Press, 1985.

Geisler, Norman and William Nix. General Introduction to the Bible. Chicago: Moody Press, 1986.

Payne, J. Barton. Encyclopedia of Biblical Prophecy. Grand Rapids, MI.: Baker Books, 1984.

Price, Randall Price, Secrets of the Dead Sea Scrolls. Eugene, OR.: Harvest House, 1996.

Scanlin, Harold. The Dead Sea Scrolls and Modern Translations of the Old Testament. Wheaton, IL.: Tyndale House Publishers, 1993.

Vanderkam, James and Peter Flint. The Meaning of the Dead Sea Scrolls. San Francisco, CA.: Harper Collins Publishers, 2002.

© 2006 Probe Ministries

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Noah’s Flood and The Epic of Gilgamesh

Harrison Chastain
Kyle Butt, M.Div.

One of the most remarkable and memorable stories in the Bible is that of Noah’s Flood. One man’s righteousness and courage separated him and his family from a vile world of sin. God’s disgust at the world’s wickedness brought about the worldwide Flood in which Noah and the other seven members of his family were the only humans saved, along with representatives of each kind of land-living animal that was alive at the time. This story is so well-known that virtually every children’s Bible story book features a rendition of it, and there are numerous references to it in the New Testament.

As could be expected, some who have read the story in Genesis 6-9 have questioned its validity. How could so many animals fit in the Ark? What would a global Flood even look like? How could the Ark float while being loaded down with so much cargo? Etc. When each of these questions is considered, sufficient answers are available to show that the biblical narrative is both scientifically accurate and historically correct (see Miller, 2014). One challenge that has been repeatedly brought against the biblical account of the Flood is that the author copied the story from previously written material. The most common claim is that the biblical Flood story is a rewrite of an ancient tale from Babylon titled The Epic of Gilgamesh.

The Epic of Gilgamesh is a 2,900-line poem, written on 12 tablets, describing the life of King Gilgamesh and his reign over an area near the perennial powerhouse of Babylon. The tablets date back to about 650 B.C.; and scholars suggest that the material they contain comes from legend and myth that dates back to between 1800-1600 B.C. (Kovacs, 1989, p. xxvi). The 11th tablet of this work contains an account of a massive flood. Supposedly since it predates the biblical account, and is so similar to the story found in the Bible, then the author of Genesis must have copied material from Gilgamesh or its source material. Does this challenge to the biblical record hold up under a thorough investigation? Not at all.

Does the Fact that One Account is First Prove the Later Account is a Copy?

In discussions of this nature, it is often helpful to ask the simple question of what would the situation look like if there really was a global flood that destroyed all but a few people. If those people survived such a flood, what would they have told their descendants? What would have happened in the retelling of the events when their children and grandchildren moved farther away from each other? After such an event, and so many retellings of the story over hundreds of years, would we expect to find differing tales that trace their origins back to the actual event? A brief moment of thought about these questions reveals that if a universal flood occurred, we would expect to find differing stories with (certain similarities) that date hundreds or thousands of years apart, and that arise from various geographical locations and ethnic groups across the globe.

Interestingly, that is exactly what we find. There are over 200 flood legends in different cultures all over the world. For instance, the Aztecs tell of a worldwide flood in which only two people, Coxcox and his wife, survived. Immediately following the flood, giants constructed a pyramid in an attempt to touch the clouds. In China, the legend is told of God sending a messenger to Earth to warn three sons that a flood was coming. The oldest was the only one to heed the warning, and he built a boat. As a result of his hard work he survived the flood. After the flood, the boat landed on a mountain, and the son had three sons that repopulated the earth. These are just two of the numerous flood legends from around the world (see Lyons and Butt, 2003 for more information).

The fact that one of these stories (such as Gilgamesh or various others) was preserved or written down first cannot be used to argue that it is (a) the correct and accurate description of what happened, or (b) the basis for the text of any narrative that was recorded at a later date. To illustrate, suppose that a certain battle occurred in the American Civil War. One soldier who was not there, but heard about it, told his friend. His friend embellished the story as he retold it to many others. One of those to whom he told the story decided to write it down just a few years after the battle occurred. Decades later, however, a young officer who took part in the battle decided to write a history of it. His memory was exceptional and he related the events much more accurately than the story that was being passed around by the soldier who was not even at the battle. If such events are possible, even probable, then we can show that simply because one telling of a historical event predates another does not make it more accurate, and does not mean the later story copied from it in anyway.

How Similar is Gilgamesh to the Genesis Account?

Even though the two accounts of the global Flood have similarities, it is actually quite striking to see the differences that exist between the stories. For instance, Gilgamesh tells of a man named Utnapishtim who, as a result of various gods wanting to destroy all people, was warned to build a boat 120 cubits on four sides by 120 cubits high, making the vessel a giant cube. The boat was finished apparently in five-six days, having six decks, and was loaded with gold, silver, ale, beer, butchered meat, “wine as if it were river water,” and a host of living animals. Just before the boat launched, the god Shamash rained down loaves of bread and wheat from heaven. Utnapishtim and all his family got in the boat, and a massive flood broke apart the Earth and drenched the ground for seven days. When it stopped and Utanapishtim looked out, “all the human beings had turned to clay.” The survivor then waited seven days and sent forth a dove, a swallow, and a raven. The dove and swallow returned, but the raven did not. The survivors then exited the boat and sacrificed to the gods. When the god Enlil saw that humans had survived, he was furious because “no man was to survive the annihilation.” The god Enlil then blessed Utanapishtim and his wife with the ability to be like gods and live an extended life (these details are taken from Kovacs’ translation of the poem, 1989, pp. 99-103).

While the similarities between Gilgamesh and the account of the Flood in Genesis are striking, there are vast differences that the Genesis-copied-Gilgamesh theory does not adequately explain. Why are the number of decks and the dimensions of the Ark different? How does Utnapishtim finish such a massive boat in so brief a time? Why such a large difference in the two accounts between how long the flood lasted (in the Bible Noah and his family don’t exit the Ark for a year, while Utnapishtim seems to spend only two weeks or a little more on the cubical boat). Why doesn’t the Genesis account include the swallow? Why does Gilgamesh say that one of the gods is unaware of the survivors?

The skeptic who insists that Genesis plagiarized Gilgamesh is then obligated to account for the various and serious differences. Once it is admitted, and it must be, that the Genesis account had some other source than Gilgamesh for those differences (i.e. God), then it must be conceded that the Genesis account could also have gotten all the details from that source, including the ones that are similar to the Babylonian poem.

What Would We Expect?

A closer look at The Epic of Gilgamesh presents Gilgamesh as a pagan, idolatrous king who tyrannically imposed his will on the land. One of his laws was to participate in sexual intercourse with every girl in his territory before they were married. This literature is just what one would expect from a society that had departed from the worship of the true God and distorted His Laws as well as an accurate account of the past. When we evaluate the biblical record, we can know that it was penned by Moses (Lyons, et. al., 2003) and is the most historically reliable collection of writings from the ancient world (Butt, 2004). The discovery of The Epic of Gilgamesh and other ancient writings that contain Flood stories does not call the Genesis account into question. On the contrary, it provides evidence that verifies the fact of a global Flood, and is exactly what any person who has given the idea much thought would expect to happen if the Flood were a historic reality.

References

Butt, Kyle (2004), “Archaeology and the Old Testament,” Apologetics Press, https://www.apologeticspress.org/APContent.aspx?category=13&article=1347.

Kovacs, Maureen Gallery (1989), The Epic of Gilgamesh (Standford, CA: Stanford University Press).

Lyons, Eric and A.P. Staff (2003), “Mosaic Authorship of the Pentateuch: Tried and True,” Apologetics Press, https://www.apologeticspress.org/apcontent.aspx?category=13&article=36.

Lyons, Eric and Kyle Butt (2003), “Legends of the Flood,” Apologetics Press, https://apologeticspress.org/apcontent.aspx?category=9&article=64.

Miller, Jeff (2014), “Bill Nye/Ken Ham Debate Review: Tying Up Really Loose Ends, Apologetics Press, https://apologeticspress.org/APContent.aspx?category=9&article=4801.

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Hezekiah Bulla: More Evidence for Bible Inspiration

Kyle Butt, M.Div.

Outspoken unbelievers have attacked the Bible for years. They accuse it of being filled with errors and contradictions. For those who have listened to their accusations, it may come as a surprise to find out that the Bible is the most historically accurate book in the world. There has never been a single legitimate mistake found in its pages. To those who are familiar with the field of archaeology, the Bible’s accuracy comes as no surprise. In fact, over the centuries, thousands of discoveries have come to light that corroborate biblical stories and statements.

An exciting new discovery adds further weight to the case for the Bible’s accuracy and inspiration. In the Old Testament, we read about a king named Hezekiah. Second Kings 18:1 says that Hezekiah was “the son of Ahaz, king of Judah.” On December 2, 2015, a press release from Hebrew University in Jerusalem explained that a small clay seal was discovered near the Temple mount. The text on the seal reads, “Belonging to Hezekiah [son of] Ahaz king of Judah” (Smith, 2015). This seal is called a bulla (bullae is the plural form). Clay bullae like this were used to seal documents. There are other such seals, but this one is the first of an Israelite or Judean king that has been discovered by professional archaeologists in situ (in the location where it was left) (Smith). Dr. Eilat Mazer and her team unearthed the bulla in a garbage heap, along with more than 30 other bullae.

The fact that the Bible is the inspired Word of God has long been a settled question (Butt, 2007). Finds like this one, however, add increasing weight to the ever growing mound of evidence that confirms the divine origin of the glorious book we call the Bible.

References

Butt, Kyle (2007), Behold! The Word of God (Montgomery, AL: Apologetics Press), https://www.apologeticspress.org/pdfs/e-books_pdf/Behold%20the%20Word%20of%20God.pdf.

Smith, Dov (2015), “First Seal Impression of an Israelite or Judean King Ever Exposed in Situ in a Scientific Archaeological Excavation,” PhysOrg, http://phys.org/news/2015-12-israelite-judean-king-exposed-situ.html.

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Babel: More Historical Confirmation of the Bible

Dave Miller, Ph.D. From Issue: R&R – January 2018

The Bible possesses the attributes of divine inspiration with sufficient internal evidence to establish its divine origin. Hence, when it relates a historical incident that occurred thousands of years ago, one would naturally expect that such an incident might well be noted in other historical accounts from antiquity. Of course, one would not expect all, or even many, of the details to match exactly for at least two reasons: (1) the oral transmission of history is inevitably subject to human frailty, including both accuracy of memory and temptation to embellish, and (2) false religion has the tendency to distort and recast history in order to suit its own purposes and achieve its own agenda. An excellent example of these tendencies is seen in the multiplicity of, and variety in, the multitude of accounts of the great Flood of Noah’s day.1 Though they differ widely from culture to culture, country to country, and century to century, nevertheless, they share substantial agreement in too many significant features not to have arisen from the same historically factual event.

Consider another great event whose historicity is set forth in Scripture as factual:

Now the whole earth had one language and one speech. And it came to pass, as they journeyed from the east, that they found a plain in the land of Shinar, and they dwelt there. Then they said to one another, “Come, let us make bricks and bake them thoroughly.” They had brick for stone, and they had asphalt for mortar. And they said, “Come, let us build ourselves a city, and a tower whose top is in the heavens; let us make a name for ourselves, lest we be scattered abroad over the face of the whole earth.” …So the LORD scattered them abroad from there over the face of all the earth, and they ceased building the city. Therefore its name is called Babel, because there the LORD confused the language of all the earth; and from there the LORD scattered them abroad over the face of all the earth (Genesis 11:1-9).

The great Joseon (Chosun) nation was a Korean dynastic kingdom that flourished for five centuries (1392-1897).2 During the 17th century, Korea was largely closed to the West and somewhat of a mystery to Europeans. But for a group of wayfaring Dutchmen on a journey to Japan, that all changed in 1653 when their ship “De Sperwer” (The Sparrowhawk) was shipwrecked on Jeju (formerly Cheju-do) Island off the coast of South Korea. The 36 survivors were taken into custody by the local prefect and, within a year, transferred from the island to the capitol of Seoul on the mainland where they spent the next 12 years. At the end of 13 years, in September 1666, eight survivors managed to escape to Japan. One of those survivors, Hendrick Hamel, spent the ensuing year in Nagasaki writing an account of his observations and experiences in Korea, which was published in 1668 under the title Journal van de Ongeluckige Voyage van ‘t Jacht de Sperwer. In what was essentially the first Western account, Hamel provided the world with a firsthand description of Korean society and culture. Only recently was his account translated accurately by a Dutchman based on the original manuscript.3

Apart from his fascinating assessment of Korean life in the 17th century, Hamel provides a portrait of religious life, including the customs and practices of Confucianism. At one point in his narrative, he makes a passing remark concerning the beliefs held by the Confucian monks: “Many monks believe that long ago all people spoke the same language, but when people built a tower in order to climb into heaven the whole world changed.”4 Keep in mind that Hamel encountered the monks’ belief circa 1660. No one knows for how long this belief was part of the religious traditions of Korea. Hamel claims that “many” of the monks believed the matter, and that the event occurred “long ago.”

Observe that the belief of the non-Christian monks regarding the Tower of Babel contained four salient points that explicitly and directly connect with the biblical account:

  1. The entire world’s population spoke a single language;
  2. The people constructed a tower;
  3. Their stated goal was to climb into heaven;
  4. Their efforts affected the entire world.

All four of these features are included in the biblical record found in Genesis 11:

  1. “[T]he whole earth had one language and one speech” (vs. 1).
  2. “Come, let us build ourselves a city, and a tower” (vs. 4).
  3. “a tower whose top will reach into heaven” (vs. 4, NASB).
  4. “So the LORD scattered them abroad from there over the face of all the earth, and they ceased building the city” (vs. 8).

Christianity and the Bible have nothing to fear from the unbelief, skepticism, and hostility of infidelity. The more information surfaces from history and nature, the more the Bible is confirmed in its uncanny accuracy and supernatural endowment.5

Endnotes

1  See Kyle Butt and Harrison Chastain (2015), “Noah’s Flood and The Epic of Gilgamesh,” Apologetics Press, https://apologeticspress.org/APContent.aspx?category=13&article=5194&topic=100; Eric Lyons and Kyle Butt (2003), “Legends of the Flood,” Apologetics Presshttps://apologeticspress.org/apcontent.aspx?category=9&article=64.

2  The following historical details are gleaned from Gari Ledyard (1971), The Dutch Come to Korea (Seoul, Korea: Royal Asiatic Society); Keith Pratt and Richard Rutt (2013), Korea: A Historical and Cultural Dictionary (London: Routledge).

3  Hendrik Hamel (1668), Hamel’s Journal: And, A Description of the Kingdom of Korea, 1653-1666, trans. Jean-Paul Buys (Seoul, Korea: Royal Asiatic Society, Korea Branch, 1994 edition).

4  Ibid., p. 61.

5  My thanks to Shane Fisher, missionary to Korea, for calling my attention to this  fascinating incident.

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Was the Flood Global? Testimony from Scripture and Science

Jeff Miller, Ph.D. From Issue: R&R – April 2019

Some ask how the Flood of Genesis 6-9 could be a global Flood. There simply is not enough water on the Earth to cover “all the high mountains under the whole heaven…covering them fifteen cubits deep” (Genesis 7:19-20, ESV). After considering such apparent quandaries, many resort to interpreting the Flood of Genesis 6-9 as being, not worldwide, but local in its extent. Is the story of the Flood myth? Was the Flood a local, rather than a global, Flood?

The Testimony of Scripture

First, Scripture simply leaves no room for a local Flood interpretation. Here are eight reasons why:

1. If the Flood was local, why waste several decades building an Ark (5:32; 7:6)? Why not just leave the area?

2. Why bring onto the Ark animals from all over the region if the Flood was local—representatives of “every living thing of all flesh” (6:19)? Since God actually sent the animals to Noah anyway (6:20), why not just send them out of the area instead?

3. How would the Ark be able to stay afloat for several months while the water receded if the Flood was local (8:3)? While the Ark could certainly stay afloat on a large lake for a long span of time, large lakes do not dry up or recede in only one year without catastrophic breaches which do not conform well to the uniformitarian assumption that many local Flood advocates hold. The description in the text seems to imply that the Ark was floating in a receding mass of water so large that it took months for it to drain away. As the Flood waters were receding, Noah sent out birds to determine if the Earth was sufficiently safe and dry to exit the Ark. The dove “found no resting place for the sole of her foot” (8:9), and yet doves will often travel farther than five miles in search of food.1

4. How could the biblical terminology—describing the water as covering “all the high mountains that are under the whole heaven” (7:19, ESV)—be reconciled with a local flood? How could water rise high enough locally to cover mountains if the Flood was not greater in its extent?

5. How could the biblically-stated purpose of destroying man (and beast) from the face of the whole Earth (6:13; 7:4) be accomplished with a local flood? Conservative estimates indicate there could have been 215,000,000 people on the planet by the time of the Flood—given the long life spans of the pre-Flood era, the robustness of the young human genome, and God’s command for humans to be fruitful, multiply, and fill the Earth (Genesis 1:28). Given that large buildings had likely not yet been engineered, such a large population would surely have been spread out a great distance, and yet all humans were killed. Further, Genesis 9:19 indicates that after the Flood, “the whole Earth was populated” through the three sons of Noah who were on the Ark with him—Shem, Ham, and Japheth.

6. God made a promise to man and the creatures of the Earth never to again destroy the Earth with a Flood in the way He had done (9:8-16). If the Flood was local, then God lied, breaking His covenant with man, since local floods occur all the time. A global Flood, however, has never again occurred.

7. Peter used the universal destruction of the Earth in the Flood to describe what judgment day will be like (2 Peter 3:6-7). If the Flood was not universal, then logically, judgment also will not be universal.

8. The Flood was so devastating to the Earth that seedtime, harvest, winter, summer, and even day and night were severely affected for many months (8:22). How could Earth processes have been thus affected if the Flood was merely local?

The Bible is clear: the Noahic Flood was global in its extent.

The Testimony of Science

Science is also clear on the universality of the Flood. A scientific theory is validated through testing its predictions. If a global, rather than a localized, Flood occurred, what would we predict we would find upon examination of the physical evidence? Here are nine scientific evidences that verify global Deluge predictions:

Scientific Evidence #1: Sedimentary Layers across Continents and Even Between Continents

Sedimentary rock is understood typically to be the result of sediment deposited by water. As would be predicted if a global Flood occurred, the bulk of the surface of the Earth is comprised of sedimentary rock. Some 80-90% of the Earth’s surface is covered with sediment or sedimentary rock, as opposed to igneous or metamorphic rocks.2 While in the geologic column the upper layers, known as the Cenozoic strata (often considered post-Flood by Creation geologists), are characterized by geographically localized beds of sedimentary rock, many of the Flood layers (Paleozoic and Mesozoic strata) traverse extensive regions. Paleozoic and Mesozoic strata can often be traced across continents and, in some cases, between continents.

For example, geologists have identified six “megasequences” of sedimentary rock layers at the Grand Canyon that can be followed across North America.3 The chalk beds of the cretaceous period (e.g., the “White Cliffs of Dover”) extend from Ireland through England, across the English channel into Europe, and on down to the middle East, Egypt, and even Kazakhstan.4 Even more notable is the fact that the same chalk beds—found sandwiched between the same strata—are found in the Midwestern USA and in Western Australia.5 Similarly, the Pennsylvanian coal beds of America extend into Britain, Europe, and even further—to the Caspian Sea of Russia.6 Additionally, the distinctly different Permian coal beds of the southern hemisphere extend between Australia, Antarctica, India, South Africa, and South America.7 Such widespread deposition of sediment speaks loudly in support of a global, aqueous event that deposited vast amounts of sediment in a process like none that we witness today.

Scientific Evidence #2: Marine Fossils on Continents and Mountains

If a Flood once covered the Earth, wherein the ocean floor was  broken up and fountains of material were released on the Earth (Genesis 7:11; Proverbs 3:20) followed by all of the Earth’s mountains being covered with water (Genesis 7:19-20; ESV, NIV, RSV, NASB), one would predict marine fossils to be discovered over the entire Earth—on all continents and atop mountains.8 It is no secret that marine fossils are found well above sea level worldwide and at the summits of mountains. Even the tallest mountain range in the world—the mighty Himalayas—hosts marine fossils.9

Continental rock (including that which comprises mountains) and the basaltic rock that comprises the ocean floor are fundamentally different. The rock that raised to form mountains, therefore, was never at the base of the ocean. How, therefore, are the marine fossils found across continents and mountains to be explained? Did the continents “dip” down below sea level several times in the past to allow marine creatures to travel onto continents and be buried in several distinct layers? Since continental rock is less dense, it “floats” in the mantle like a cork—unable to dip in such a way.10 Instead, the ocean had to have risen high enough at some point to flood the continents, bringing with it the marine creatures that are found fossilized across continents—even in what are now mountains.

Scientific Evidence #3: Lack of Erosion (or Rapid Erosion) Between Rock Layers

Uniformitarian geology predicts the gradual deposition and erosion of sediment across the planet over long periods of time—present processes are the key to understanding the past. Uniformitarianism, therefore, would predict the joining surfaces between strata to be rough and uneven, with dips  and plunges. After all, normal terrain has hills, valleys, riverbeds, and other geographic features that detract from smooth, level topography. If the Flood occurred, however, many of the strata found in the Paleozoic and Mesozoic layers were laid down while saturated with water and with little time between their sequential deposition. The joining surfaces of many strata, therefore, would be smooth and flat, with little evidence of erosion. The enormous, beautiful rock outcrops of the Grand Canyon allow visitors to see for themselves the distinctive sedimentary rock layers that characterize the Paleozoic era—what Creation geologists argue is the beginning of the Flood. One characteristic feature of those layers is that the joining surfaces of the layers are generally very smooth, with little evidence of the erosion or deposition processes that should characterize the rock layers if they were formed over long periods of time.9 The evidence indicates that the worldwide sedimentary layers of the geologic column were deposited rapidly in a worldwide aqueous event.

Scientific Evidence #4: Catastrophic Burial

Most living creatures do not fossilize upon dying. In order to fossilize, they must be buried rapidly and sequestered from oxygen which causes the rapid decomposition of soft-bodied animals. Fossilization, therefore, is a rarity, especially for land-dwelling creatures.10 The conditions must be just right. While individual dead carcasses might be envisioned as being covered and preserved from time to time by a localized mudslide or rapid sediment deposition process, non-catastrophic conditions that could kill and preserve the exquisite remains of a larger animal (e.g., a sauropod or large theropod dinosaur) are much more difficult to envision. And yet fossils of dinosaurs that were killed by an aqueous burial event are typical throughout the fossil record—just as the Flood model would predict. For instance, the classic dinosaur death pose—known as the opisthotonic posture—often characterizes dinosaur fossils when the articulated remains of a skeleton are discovered.11 The dinosaur’s head is “thrown back over the body, sometimes almost touching the spine,”12 as if drowning and gasping for air.

Even if localized, non-catastrophic conditions could reasonably explain the preservation of individual enormous creatures, the hundreds of fossil graveyards of the world with numerous preserved fossils at each site, demand catastrophic, aqueous conditions.13 The quick execution and burial of a group of animals is much harder to explain under uniformitarian circumstances, especially when that group of animals is comprised of dinosaurs. Upon close examination, the contemporary explanation of dinosaur graveyards does not hold up. Paleontologists speculate that many dinosaur graveyards are the result of dinosaurs dying during local flood season while crossing a river and being carried to a river bend and successively buried year after year. The physical evidence, however, does not substantiate this idea. In Newcastle, Wyoming, for instance, a dinosaur graveyard of over 5,000 disarticulated dinosaurs has been discovered organized into a graded bone bed. If dinosaur corpses were piling up on a river bend each year and being rapidly buried there, one would expect the bones to be found in a river current orientation with many of the skeletons articulated—the bones found joined together as skeletons or partial skeletons. Instead, the graveyard is comprised of randomly oriented, disarticulated bones. Furthermore, if the dinosaur bones were being deposited upon one another annually, one would predict bone beds at different levels representing successive events. The bones in the dinosaur graveyard, however, are organized in a single, graded bed, with larger bones at the bottom and smaller bones as you move upward—indicating a single, rapid, catastrophic event that was responsible for the destruction, transportation, and burial of the thousands of dinosaurs in the area, including Edmontosaurus, Triceratops, Pachycephalosaurus, and various varieties of Tyrannosaurus.

Many other fossils testify to catastrophic, rather than uniformitarian, flood conditions as predicted by the Flood model. From fossils of Triassic (middle Flood) ichthyosaurs being catastrophically buried while giving birth,14 to Jurassic (late Flood) Aspidorhynchus fish buried with Rhamphorhychus (pterosaur) in its jaws,15 to Eocene (late or soon after Flood) aspiration fossils—fish killed and buried while eating other fish:16 fossils that verify the predictions of the global Flood model abound.

Scientific Evidence #5: “Unearthly” Seismites

A seismite is a special rock layer that forms when an earthquake vibrates a layer of sediment (like sand) that is covered with water—like the soggy sand that is under water along a shoreline. When an earthquake happens, it shakes the soggy sand, and the water within it tries to escape upward from the sand as it settles, like magma from a volcano. If the sand were to dry out after the earthquake and lithify (i.e., turn to stone) and then you cut the sandstone in two and looked at the inside layers, you would see the squiggly lines caused by the movement of the shaken water. These are called fluid avulsion structures, and they are usually only a few centimeters thick today. If the Flood happened, and “all of the fountains of the great deep were broken up” (Genesis 7:11) and “the mountains rose, the valleys sank down” (Psalm 104:8, ESV), in conjunction with water saturated continents, the existence of seismites in the rock layers associated with the Flood would be predicted.

Not only have many such seismites been discovered, but in Lance Creek, Wyoming, dozens of distinct seismite layers have been discovered that are several meters thick, rather than a few centimeters thick like seismites forming today.17 Such abnormal seismites would be termed “unearthly” by geologists, since no known earthly process (i.e., none witnessed today) can account for their formation. These layers have been traced over several miles and are potentially continent wide. This means that (1) the whole area was once covered with massive amounts of water (enough to make several meters of sand soggy); and (2) several major earthquakes happened—dozens of earthquakes so intense that there is no modern reference point to interpret their strength. When comparing modern seismites and their correlated earthquakes with the Lance Creek seismites, one infers that the Lance Creek seismites necessarily were caused by an unknown, abnormal phenomenon—possibly the earthquakes generated by the rapid formation of the Rocky Mountains during the Flood when, for example, the Pacific oceanic plate collided with and subducted beneath the North American plate along the west coast of the United States.

Scientific Evidence #6: Long Distance Sediment Transportation

Sedimentary rock layers are the result of sediment being deposited by water, and in some cases, wind. Rivers, for example, will pick up dirt from their beds and banks, carry them along for a certain distance, gauged by the speed and depth of the river, and re-deposit the sediment, which may eventually become sedimentary rock if the conditions are right. The type of sedimentary rock will be based on the type of material that comprises the rock, and the type of material is based on the source of the sediment that the river is carrying. If a global, rather than merely local, flood occurred, one would predict that enormous amounts of sediment would have been transported great distances, as opposed to the smaller amounts of sediment  that are transported shorter distances today.

Once again, when we examine the physical evidence in the Flood rock layers, we see certain kinds of sedimentary rock whose material source is hundreds and, in some cases, even thousands of miles away. The Coconino Sandstone in the Grand Canyon, with an average thickness greater than the length of a football field and surface area greater than the state of California, can be traced beyond Utah to the north. The source of the Supai Group at the Grand Canyon is postulated to be extremely far from the Grand Canyon, and the source of the Navajo Sandstone of Utah appears to be the Appalachian Mountains of the eastern United States—over 1,800 miles away.18 While the physical evidence is difficult to reconcile using the conventional paradigm of uniformitarianism, it verifies yet another prediction of the global Flood model.

Scientific Evidence #7: Cambrian Explosion

According to Genesis chapter one and following, a few thousand years ago, God directly created all “kinds” of life within four days, not by evolution over four billion years.19 Approximately 1,650 years after that initial Creation, the Flood occurred. If the Flood was, in fact, global in its extent, then it destroyed all birds and land-living creatures that were not on the vessel prepared for the eight survivors of that catastrophic event. Based on that information, Creation geologists can make several scientific predictions. Since the Earth is young and God did not create life through gradual evolution, and since the Flood was apparently the first (and only) major, global catastrophic event on the Earth post-Creation and catastrophic events are generally the cause of fossilization, the following would be predicted: (1) Very few fossils likely would have been formed prior to the Flood; (2) Transitional fossils between major phylogenic groups would be non-existent in the fossil record; (3) Instead, living creatures would appear fully formed, distinct,  and functional the first time they appear in the fossil record; (4) When the global Flood began, we would predict a significant marker in the geologic column that represents the commencement of the worldwide Flood event; (5) We would further predict an explosion of fully formed fossils above that line, worldwide, representing the deaths of living creatures due to mud slides and other fossil-forming processes during the global Flood.

When one examines the fossil record, testing the validity of these global Flood predictions, we find that all five of the predictions are easily verified. One observes beginning at the base of the record, in the Pre-Cambrian layers (i.e., pre-Flood layers), very little is found by way of fossils—namely fully formed stromatolites (predictions 1 and 3). Above the Pre-Cambrian strata, a distinct line is observed that extends across the entire planet, called the “Great Unconformity” (prediction 4).20 That line marks the beginning of the Cambrian strata (i.e., the Flood) and an explosion of fully formed fossils—called the “Cambrian Explosion” by paleontologists (predictions 3 and 5). These fossils appear worldwide in sedimentary rock with absolutely no evolutionary history preserved in the fossil record (prediction 2), and to all intents and purposes, effectively reflect the beginning of the fossil record21—precisely what would be predicted if Creation and the global Flood occurred, and decisively contrary to the conventional evolutionary paradigm. One well-known evolutionary biologist even conceded concerning the fossils of the Cambrian: “It is as though they were just planted there, without any evolutionary history. Needless to say, this appearance of sudden planting has delighted creationists.”22 Even Charles Darwin recognized the Cambrian Explosion as a problem for his theory.23 The Cambrian Explosion not only falsifies evolutionary predictions, but it verifies at least five global Flood predictions.

Scientific Evidence #8: Flood Legends

If the Flood occurred, but was merely local in its extent, one would not expect a record of the limited event to have been passed down in separate societies worldwide. One might expect distinct legends of localized floods to be passed down within separate societies, but they would not show significant similarities if they were describing different events. If the Flood occurred and was global in its extent, however, it would be inconceivable to suppose that stories about such a catastrophic event would not be passed down through the ages to virtually all societies. Since the incident at Babel occurred soon after the Flood (Genesis 11), where God directly created several distinctly different oral languages, but apparently not written languages, stories of the Flood were likely not written down for many years. Instead, they were passed along orally—a medium more prone to inaccuracies in transmission. The event, therefore, would certainly be remembered, but many of the details would not generally be expected to be accurate.24 When comparing separate accounts of the event from different societies, if the details matched precisely, one would suspect collusion at some point between the societies (i.e., that the Flood stories originated from one later source, rather than from the original witnesses). Sure enough, once again, we find decisive evidence from archaeology of hundreds of worldwide, distinct but curiously similar legends of a catastrophic Flood.25 The details do not perfectly match, as predicted, but amazingly match in the essentials, suggesting a true, single event thousands of years ago that affected the whole world rather than a small geographic area.

Scientific Evidence #9: Rapid Deposition of Strata

As discussed earlier, uniformitarianism, the standard assumption used to interpret geologic observations today, would suggest that the sedimentary rock layers of the Earth were deposited gradually over millions of years. One would not expect sediment layers well below the surface to be soft after millions of years, but rather to have been lithified. If a global Flood occurred, then catastrophism, not uniformitarianism, is a better interpretive principle to be used in geology. If a global Flood occurred, then the sedimentary layers of the Paleozoic and Mesozoic layers (i.e., the Flood rock strata) were laid down rapidly—possibly in as little as one year’s time. Many of the strata below the surface at any point during the Flood, therefore, would still be soft—not yet lithified. Which prediction is borne out upon examination of the physical evidence? The global Flood model prediction is verified when we observe tightly folded rock strata, for example, in the Paleozoic Tapeats Sandstone and Muav Limestone of the Grand Canyon.26 Since rocks break, rather than bend, observing several meters of unbroken, tightly folded rock strata implies the layers were not yet rock when they were bent—precisely what would be expected if the global Flood occurred and laid down the worldwide sedimentary layers of the Mesozoic and Paleozoic eras.

Further evidence of the rapid deposition of strata is seen when we observe polystrate fossils. Polystrate fossils are individual fossils that span multiple (“poly”) strata (“strate”), such as fossilized trees and other organisms across the world.27 Surely only fanciful, blind “faith” would lead one to accept the postulate that a tree could remain dead, undecayed, and sticking out of the ground for hundreds of thousands or millions of years while sediment slowly accumulated around the tree, burying it. Polystrate fossils worldwide suggest rapid deposition of the sedimentary rock layers also worldwide.

Where Did the Water Go?

Both science and Scripture support a global Flood, but if the waters of the Flood really did once cover the Earth—even the mountains—where did the water go after the Flood? The water could not have disappeared from the Universe—it must be accounted for, unless God chose to suspend the First Law of Thermodynamics and directly remove the water from the Universe.

The account of the Flood event is certainly laced with God’s supernatural activity. He directly communicated with Noah, informing him how to build the Ark (Genesis 6:14-16), sent the animals to Noah (Genesis 6:20), personally shut the door of the Ark (Genesis 7:16), and apparently initiated the Flood (Genesis 6:17; 7:4,23). The possibility of other supernatural activity on God’s part, therefore, cannot be ignored. However, before assuming “God miraculously did it” as an explanation for everything that we do not know—which could lead to false conclusions, scientific laziness, and a lack of valuable knowledge about the natural realm and God’s amazing glory as reflected therein28—let us consider if there is another plausible explanation as to where the water from the Flood went.

If the entire current Earth’s atmosphere released its water, it would only cover the globe to a depth of about one inch above sea level.29 If all of the present land ice of the Earth melted—including glaciers, ice caps, and ice sheets—it would raise the sea level approximately 230 feet.30 If all of the water within the Earth’s crust was pumped onto the surface of the Earth, it would raise the sea level another 600 feet,31 which is much more significant, but when we consider that many of Earth’s mountains tower over the Earth above 25,000 feet in height, such numbers pale in significance.32 Where is the water from the Flood? Answer: apparently the same place it came from—primarily the oceans (Psalm 104:6-9).

While Scripture does not give many details about what occurred during the Flood, it does provide a few important clues.

  1. When the Flood began, the “fountains of the great deep (i.e., the oceans) were broken up”—all of them (Genesis 7:11; Proverbs 3:20). Such terminology suggests the breakup of the ocean floor and the release of water and magma from below the Earth’s surface onto the ocean floor. Using our knowledge of geology in the 21st century, such terminology suggests plate tectonics (i.e., the breakup and initiation of the movement of the plates that comprise the surface of the Earth) may have been activated at that point.
  2. The breakup of the great deep is mentioned, followed by (i.e., perhaps causing) the opening of the “windows of heaven”—intense rain (Genesis 7:11) for 40 days and nights (7:12).
  3. The waters “increased” (7:17)—“greatly increased” (vs. 18)—prevailing for 150 days (vs. 24)—roughly five months. After that point, “the fountains of the deep and the windows of heaven were also stopped, and the rain from heaven was restrained,” a great wind passed over the Earth, and therefore, the waters began to recede continually (8:1-3) until the Ark came to rest several weeks later (vs. 4).
  4. Psalm 104 (ESV) speaks of Creation and the Flood. Verses 6-9 refer to the Flood33 and tell us that the mountains rose and the valleys sank down during the event. While some higher elevation locations apparently existed prior to the Flood (7:19-20), the taller mountains formed during the Flood.
  5. Psalm 104:9 (ESV) indicates that the geologic activity that ensued in the Flood created a geographic setting that now disallows a global flood to occur again.

Is there physical evidence to support and further explain these statements in Scripture? Undeniably.

When the fountains of the great deep were broken up—apparently commencing plate tectonics34—magma from the mantle would have touched the waters of the ocean, superheating it and blasting it into the atmosphere as superheated vapor, where it came back down as rain. Many of Earth’s divergence zones35 stretch for hundreds of miles at the base of the oceans. Geyser-like activity would have, therefore, created worldwide fountains that drenched the continents with immense amounts of water for possibly weeks (40 days?) until the movement of Earth’s tectonic plates slowed.

We are able to observe today the effects of Earth’s tectonic plates as they move relative to one another, converging and subducting, diverging, and transforming. Most geologic activity on the Earth occurs along the margins of tectonic plates as they move—earthquakes, volcanoes, and mountain building, for example. Subducting plates angle downward, slowly diving into Earth’s mantle and dragging with them the ocean floor. On the rear side of the plate, plate divergence occurs—plates being pulled away from one another—forming gaps between plates, and new material surfaces from the mantle to fill the gaps, replacing the material that has been pulled towards the subduction zone. While plates move on the order of centimeters per year today (forming mountains and volcanoes very slowly), when plate tectonics began (i.e., at the beginning of the Flood), simulations show the rate would have been on the order of meters per second, forming mountains rapidly.36

If tectonic plates have always moved at the same slow rate that they are moving today, the subducting plate material would have heated and reached thermal equilibrium with the mantle material long before reaching the core/mantle boundary in its descent. If the global Flood model is correct, however, and the plates were moving rapidly at the onset of the Flood only a few thousand years ago, immense slabs of colder material from the ocean floor would be predicted to be piled at the core/mantle boundary that has not yet warmed to mantle temperatures. Sure enough, yet another Flood prediction was verified when technology progressed to the point that the Earth’s internal structure could be studied. Colder slabs of material were discovered piled under subduction zones, deep in the mantle in the mid-1990s.37

The new material replacing the cold, dense ocean floor that is pulled towards subduction zones is much hotter, and thus, less dense. The effect is that the new material “floats” higher in the mantle. As the ocean floor was rapidly replaced with new mantle material during the early weeks of the Flood, therefore, more and more of the ocean water was continually being displaced onto the land until the entire ocean floor was replaced. Geologists and geophysicists estimate that, at its peak height, the ocean floor would have been over 3,000 feet higher than its initial level.38 Plate motion would have slowed at that point, allowing the new ocean floor to cool, become denser once again and, therefore, float lower in the mantle—creating the valleys that would allow the Flood waters to return to the oceans. The new height of the mountains and the topography of the ocean floor now prohibit the possibility of the reoccurrence of a global Flood—as Psalm 104:9 implies.

Our ever increasing scientific knowledge continues to provide more and more clues that support and explain the global Deluge of Noah. Whether the Flood water was removed supernaturally or naturally, there is no quandary created for the global Flood model.

Conclusion

The Bible speaks of a major Flood, roughly 1,650 years after Creation. While skeptics scoff at the possibility of a global Flood and many Bible-believers scratch their heads in incredulity at such a prospect, both inspired Scripture and science agree: the Flood occurred—and it was global. Once again, there is no reason to question the validity of Scripture. When one carefully examines the evidence prior to drawing conclusions (1 Thessalonians 5:21), the claims of Scripture are verified, without exception. One need only “be diligent” as an unashamed worker, being careful to correctly handle God’s Word (2 Timothy 2:15).

Does it matter, though, whether or not the global Flood happened? Most certainly. Jesus called the attention of His audience back to the Flood in Matthew 24, warning:

But as the days of Noah were, so also will the coming of the Son of Man be. For as in the days before the flood, they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noah entered the ark, and did not know until the flood came and took them all away, so also will the coming of the Son of Man be (vss. 37-39).

Sadly, mankind has forgotten the message that God’s Flood conveyed.The Flood was a physical depiction of how God feels about sin. The Flood is a reminder about God’s holiness, and the necessity of human repentance and obedience in order to be pleasing to Him. It is a reminder that judgment can always be just around the corner, when we least expect it. In 2 Peter 3:3-6, Peter reminded his audience of the Flood, and then warned:

But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night, in which the heavens will pass away with a great noise, and the elements will melt with fervent heat; both the earth and the works that are in it will be burned up. Therefore, since all these things will be dissolved, what manner of persons ought you to be in holy conduct and godliness (vss. 10-11)?

The global Flood of Noah is a reminder of the global judgment that looms in the future and God’s demand that we live a holy and godly life.

But the Flood is also a reminder of God’s grace. God, through Moses, went out of His way to repeatedly highlight how Noah was different—he consistently obeyed God (Genesis 6:22; 7:5,9,16). The Flood is a reminder that those who obediently submit to God can be saved through water—and receive the benefits of God’s grace—if we will only believe Him. Peter, once again, used the Flood in 1 Peter 3:

[T]he Divine longsuffering waited in the days of Noah, while the ark was being prepared, in which a few, that is, eight souls, were saved through water. There is also an antitype which now saves us—baptism (not the removal of the filth of the flesh, but the answer of a good conscience toward God), through the resurrection of Jesus Christ (vss. 20-21).39

Endnotes

1 Ronnie George (no date), Mourning Doves in Texas, Texas Parks & Wildlife Department, p. 11.

2 Kevin Charles Beck, et al. (2018), “Sedimentary Rock,” Encyclopaedia Britannica On-line, October 16, https://www.britannica.com/science/sedimentary-rock.

3 L.L. Sloss (1963), “Sequences of the Cratonic Interior of North America,” Geological Society of America Bulletin, no. 74, pp. 93-114.

4 D.V. Ager (1973), The Nature of the Stratigraphical Record (London: Macmillan), pp. 1-2.

5 Andrew Snelling (2008), “Transcontinental Rock Layers,” Answers Magazine, July-September, pp. 80-83, https://assets.answersingenesis.org/doc/articles/pdf-versions/flood_evidence_3.pdf.

6 Ager, pp. 6-7.

7 Snelling, p. 82.

8  Note that most of the Earth’s mountains likely were raised late in the Flood, after the fossils therein had already been laid down.

9 J.P. Davidson, W.E. Reed, and P.M. Davis (1997), “The Rise and Fall of Mountain Ranges,” in Exploring Earth: An Introduction to Physical Geology (Upper Saddle River, N.J.: Prentice Hall), pp. 242–247.

10 Andrew Snelling (2007), “High and Dry Sea Creatures,” Answers Magazine, October-December, pp. 81-83, https://answersingenesis.org/fossils/fossil-record/high-dry-sea-creatures/.

9 Steven Austin (1994), Grand Canyon: Monument to Catastrophe (Santee, CA: ICR).

10 “Under What Conditions Do Fossils Form?” (no date), American Geosciences Institute, https://www.americangeosciences.org/education/k5geosource/content/fossils/under-what-conditions-do-fossils-form.

11 “Articulated” means that the dinosaur skeleton is found intact, rather than dismantled with its bones reduced to pieces or missing.

12 Brian Switek (2017), “The Secret of the Dinosaur Death Pose,” Scientific American, March 1, https://blogs.scientificamerican.com/laelaps/the-secret-of-the-dinosaur-death-pose/.

13 David Bottjer, Walter Etter, James Hagadorn, and Carol Tang, eds. (2002), Exceptional Fossil Preservation: A Unique View on the Evolution of Marine Life (New York: Columbia University Press).

14 Christine Dell’Amore (2014), “Oldest Sea Monster Babies Found; Fossil Shows Reptiles Had Live Birth,” National Geogrpahic On-line, February 12, https://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2014/02/140212-sea-monster-ichthyosaur-reptiles-paleontology-science-animals/.

15 Charles Choi (2012), “Caught in the Act: Ancient Armored Fish Downs Flying Reptile,” Live Science On-line, March 9, https://www.livescience.com/18958-armored-fish-attacks-pterosaur.html.

16 L. Grande (1984), “Paleontology of the Green River Formation, with a Review of the Fish Fauna,” Ed. 2, The Geological Survey of Wyoming Bulletin, 63, http://www.fossilmuseum.net/Fossil_Galleries/GreenRiverFish.htm.

17 Andrew Snelling (2017), “When Continents Collide,” Answers Magazine On-line, January 1, https://answersingenesis.org/geology/plate-tectonics/when-continents-collide/.

18 Austin, pp. 35-36; Andrew Snelling (2008), “Sand Transported Cross Country,” Answers Magazine On-line, October 1, https://answersingenesis.org/geology/sedimentation/sand-transported-cross-country/.

19 Eric Lyons (2014), “Creation and the Age of the Earth,” Reason & Revelation, 34[7]:86-94, https://apologeticspress.org/pub_rar/34_7/1407w1.pdf; Jeff Miller (2017), Science vs. Evolution (Montgomery, AL: Apologetics Press), second edition; Jeff Miller (2019), “21 Reasons to Believe the Earth is Young,” Reason & Revelation, 39[1]:2-5,8-11.

20 Austin, pp. 66-67.

21 Stephen J. Gould (1994), “The Evolution of Life on Earth,” Scientific American, 271:86, October.

22 Richard Dawkins (1986), The Blind Watchmaker (New York: W.W. Norton), p. 229.

23 “Discovery Of Giant Roaming Deep Sea Protist Provides New Perspective On Animal Evolution” (2008), UT News, November 20, http://news.utexas.edu/2008/11/20/giant_protist; Daniel Osorio, Jonathan Bacon, and Paul Whitington (1997), “The Evolution of Arthropod Nervous Systems,” American Scientist, 85[3]:244.

24 And one would expect local religious beliefs and superstitions to be interwoven with the historical facts.

25 Eric Lyons and Kyle Butt (2003), “Legends of the Flood,” Apologetics Press, https://apologeticspress.org/apcontent.aspx?category=6&article=64; Duane Gish (1992), Dinosaurs by Design (Green Forest, AR: New Leaf Publishing), p. 74; Robert  Schoch (2003), Voyages of the Pyramid Builders (New York: Jeremy Parcher/Putnam), p. 249; Graham Hancock (1995), Fingerprints of the Gods (New York: Three Rivers Press), p. 190.

26 Andrew Snelling, “Rock Layers Folded, Not Fractured,” Answers 4, No. 2 (April-June 2009):80-83; Morris, pp. 108-113.

27 Michael Oard and Hank Giesecke (2007), “Polystrate Fossils Require Rapid Deposition,” CRS Quarterly, 43[3]:232-240, March; John Morris (2011), The Young Earth (Green Forest, AR: Master Books), pp. 102-105; Andrew Snelling (1995), “The Whale Fossil in Diatomite, Lompoc, California,” Creation Ex Nihilo Technical Journal, 9[2]:244-258.

28 Psalm 19:1; Romans 1:20; Psalm 111:2.

29 “The Water Cycle: Water Storage in the Atmosphere” (2018), United States Geological Survey, https://water.usgs.gov/edu/watercycleatmosphere.html.

30 “Facts About Glaciers” (2018), National Snow & Ice Data Center, https://nsidc.org/cryosphere/glaciers/quickfacts.html.

31 “Deborah Netburn” (2015), “There Are 6 Quintillion Gallons of Water Hiding in the Earth’s Crust,” Los Angeles Times, November 21, https://www.latimes.com/science/sciencenow/la-sci-sn-modern-groundwater-20151116-story.html.

32 Indirect evidence of immense stores of water in the mantle has been recently discovered, although unconfirmed at present [Becky Oskin (2014), “Rare Diamond Confirms That Earth’s Mantle Holds an Ocean’s Worth of Water,” Scientific American On-line, March 12, https://apologetcspress.page.link/ScientificAmericanMarch2014; Andy Coghlan (2017), “There’s as Much Water in Earth’s Mantle as in All the Oceans,” New Scientist On-line, June 7, https://www.newscientist.com/article/2133963-theres-as-much-water-in-earths-mantle-as-in-all-the-oceans/.]

33 Otherwise, if they refer to Creation, then verse nine was violated during the Flood when the water covered the Earth again.

34 Or as Creation scientists call it, Catastrophic Plate Tectonics.

35 I.e., places where tectonic plates are moving apart with new material from the mantle replacing the ocean floor.

36 Steven Austin, John Baumgardner, D. Russell Humphreys, Andrew Snelling, Larry Vardiman, and Kurt Wise (1994), “Catastrophic Plate Tectonics: A Global Flood Model of Earth History,” Proceedings of the Third International Conference on Creationism, ed. R.E. Walsh (Pittsburgh, PA: Creation Science Fellowship), pp. 609-621.

37 S.P. Grand (1994), “Mantle Shear Structure Beneath the Americas and Surrounding Oceans,” Journal of Geophysical Research, 99:11591-11621; J.E. Vidale (1994), “A Snapshot of Whole Mantle Flow,” Nature, 370:16–17.

38 Austin, et al.

39 See Dave Miller (2018), Baptism & the Greek Made Simple (Montgomery, AL: Apologetics Press), pp. 90-94.

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