Today we find ourselves living in a fast-paced technical and scientific world. It is a world in which knowledge is becoming an essential part of living. Knowledge, accompanied by skill, is becoming part of even having a job. They say that employment prospects for a person without any skills are becoming remote.
And yet, for all the emphasis placed on learning, little emphasis is being placed on the need for any religious knowledge-such is labelled as 'superstition', and is to be scorned.
As scientific knowledge is increased, so is the amount of evidence that shows that there is an all-encompassing design behind what exists in nature today. With some things, design is acknowledged and appreciated. For instance, it is widely credited that we would not have digital watches today, was it not for the technology required for putting satellites into orbit around the earth. The watches were a small part of the design involved in such a technology.
But when it comes to naturally occurring things, the fact that everything is so carefully designed to fit in with the things associated around that object is all but ignored. The nearest one gets to it today is the concept of 'Mother Earth', where the overall design is put down to the ability of the conditions around the planet itself to control the design of the things that are on it.
But what has all this to do with the Book of Genesis? What place has the ancient Biblical book got to do with modern science of today, or even with religion in today's world? If we look around us and ask a few questions of scientists or theologians, we would find that either group to the first book of the Bible pays very scant attention.
The reason is two-fold. One is that very many scientists do not accept that there is a God, as this would amount, in their eyes, to accepting a non-provable superstition. The second reason is that many theologians today do not accept that God wrote, through inspiration, the Book of Genesis. So with those two reasons, the book of Genesis is left to gather dust. To many, the book lacks credibility.
But this results in an appalling situation: for if the book of Genesis was inspired by God, then people are turning their back on what not only is a book of religious explanation, but also of scientific explanation. In fact, as we look at a few points today, we shall see that the inspirer of the book of Genesis was really a genius!
If we were to read a book, then it would be logical to read that book commencing at the first chapter, with the plot developing as we continue reading from chapter to chapter. There would only be two exceptions to this rule. The first would be if the book were a dictionary or an encyclopaedia, (and the Bible is clearly not this type of book). The second would be if the book were a selection of independent stories (and again this does not apply to the Bible, for is evident that it has a number of common themes that go right through the whole book). So then, it would be logical to assume, that like any other book, the Bible should be studied by reading progressively through it, and particularly with the first book. The fact that most church people ignore the book of Genesis contributes to their misunderstanding of what the Bible is all about. And the failure of scientists to read the book of Genesis results in their failure to understand what is the true basis of science.
The Bible record begins with these words from the book of Genesis:
"In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth." Genesis 1:1
It does not state that there was a "Big Bang". Neither, these days, do all scientists; because the evidence gained from orbiting satellites does not support such a theory. But they have no other theory, so the Big Bang is continuing to be promoted as fact, though there is no evidence to support it, but evidence to the contrary to deny it. For there would still be "hot-spots" abounding in space, yet the background radiation of the universe is uniform and constant. Listen to some words of Sir Fred Hoyle, outstanding astronomer and cosmologist:
"As a result of all this, the main efforts of investigators have been in papering over holes in the big bang theory, to build up an idea that has become ever more complex and cumbersome… I have little hesitation in saying that a sickly pall now hangs over the big bang theory. When a pattern of facts become set against a theory, experience shows that the theory rarely recovers." "The Big Bang Under Attack", Science Digest, Vol. 92, May 1984, p84.
But the Bible is not silent on how the universe, including our Solar System and planet earth was created.
"By faith we understand that the universe was formed at God's command, so what is seen was not made out of what was visible." Heb. 11:3
What is meant by this verse? Some say that it teaches that the universe was made out of nothing-ex nihilo-that God simply created it when nothing had ever existed before. But the passage does not say that: it merely says that we could not see the things out of which the universe was created. In other words, the original material was invisible. How could this be?
A German-born physicist, Albert Einstein (1879-1955) expressed an idea that mass and energy were inter-related. This was expressed in his now-famous equation:
E = mc
(Energy equals mass multiplied by the square of the velocity of light)
This was dramatically confirmed with the development of the nuclear bomb, in which a very small mass is converted into a vast release of energy. But the equation infers that the situation is reversible, and that energy can be converted to mass. One of the greatest sources of energy today is light, and 99.999% of this comes from the sun. Light is the principal form of energy, and can be converted into mass. The equation shows that energy can neither be created nor destroyed. It can be converted in the form it takes, but it cannot be lost from the system.
John wrote in his first letter,
"This then is the message which we have heard of him, and declare unto you, that God is light, and in him is no darkness at all." 1 John 1:5
This is undoubtedly figurative language, but we can see a fuller meaning in defining God as a Being who is total energy, and is a total power source.
Keep this in mind as we turn back to look at the third verse of the first chapter of Genesis, where we read,
"And God said, 'Let there be light,' and there was light."
There was a starting date for the universe we see about us, but there was no starting date for the energy that has forever been present. The total energy that is in the universe has never changed in level, and never will. God changed its form when He converted light energy into mass. He created what we see from things that we cannot see.
And what animal forms did he create? Quoting from the KJV we have,
"And God said, 'Let the waters bring forth abundantly the moving creature that hath life, and the fowl that may fly above the earth in the open firmament of heaven. And God created great whales, and every living creature that moveth, which the waters brought forth abundantly, after their kind, and every winged fowl after his kind: and God saw that it was good." Genesis 1:20,21
Considering the time of the translation, the translators did a very reasonable job of expressing the idiom of the Hebrew in terms familiar to the people of their day. There are, however two or three words that could be discussed. Take, for instance, the word translated 'fowl'. It is not the normal word used to cover birds, such as those that tweet around the neighbourhood. It actually means 'wings', or 'flying wings', and in this respect it did sometimes refer to birds by extension. The word translated in this passage as 'fly' is from basically the same Hebrew word. And so we have 'flying wings that may fly' above the earth.
And the 'whales' was a good effort at translating the Hebrew term 'tanniyn', though it is translated elsewhere in the KJV by such terms as dragon (8), serpent (3), whale (2), and sea monster (1). The NASB translation refers to the 'tanniyn' as 'great sea monsters'. So what does the word itself mean? A 'long drawn out thing'.
One further word should be considered in its original meaning. Look at the phrase "every living creature that moveth." The meaning of the Hebrew is "to glide about, to glide swiftly", and although used to denote the movement of lizards, crabs, and snakes, it has special application to aquatic (amphibious) reptiles.
Now, what does that tell us about these two verses in Genesis? Why did the inspirer of the writer's pen avoid using the common term for "birds"? Why did he avoid using the common term for "fish"?
Today we live in a period of time when the explanation is rather obvious. You may already have some thoughts in mind. Especially so in these times, when the world is mesmerised by the topic of dinosaurs.
What are 'flying things that may fly', if they are not birds. Science today has given us the answer in a number of species: archaeopteryx (a sort of bird-lizard combination), thepterodactyl (flying lizard),Pterosaur and Pteranodon. The latter was a flying reptile that had a wingspan of over eight metres. So we can see that the description of "winged things that fly" was appropriate!
Then what of the "great sea monsters"? Consider two of them, Plesiosaurusand Brontosaurus. Both admirably fit the Genesis description of marine or amphibious reptiles that "glide swiftly" in water.
But does this mean that Genesis supports the theory of evolution, or that creation was hundreds of millions of years ago? Aren't we being told that the dinosaurs became extinct 65 million years ago? Aren't we told that a great meteor impact destroyed the dinosaur dynasty that had lasted for about 100 million years?
Yes! We are told these things. But there are other things that we are not told. For instance, that there are fossilised dinosaur foot prints overprinting human footprints on the Palaxy River bed in the USA. Nor are we told any more about the 10m long Plesiosaurus that was dredged up by a Japanese fishing boat, the Zuiyo Maru, near Oamaru, New Zealand, in early 1977. A photograph of it was published in local newspapers at the time, and is reproduced below.
It was also reported in a scientific journal, Oceans, November 1977, pp 56-59. But, apart from those reports, the world has been kept ignorant of its findings. Why? Because the scientists say that it has been at least 45 million years since they roamed the earth and its oceans. To admit that such a creature was found as recently as 1977 in New Zealand waters would be incompatible with evolution, and catastrophic to their theories. Yet a Plesiosaurus was dredged up in 1977. So important was this discovery that the Japanese used the plesiosaur on a postage stamp issued that same year.
What about the dinosaur tracks that are found the world over on flood-plain sediments, lake sediments, shoreline systems, and dune-like formations? How recent were dinosaurs? Again, the Bible tells us. Let us turn to the Book of Job. Firstly, from Job 40, let us look at the animal described in verses 15-24.
The writer calls the animal 'behemoth', and it means 'a large, great beast'. This animal is sometimes taken to be an elephant, sometimes taken to be a bullock, and most frequently taken to be a hippopotamus. Reading the first five verses of the description, we have:
15 "Look at the behemoth, which I made along with you and which feeds on grass like an ox. 16 What strength he has in his loins, what power in the muscles of his belly! 17 His tail sways like a cedar; the sinews of his thighs are close-knit. 18 His bones are tubes of bronze, his limbs like rods of iron. 19 He ranks first among the works of God, yet his Maker can approach him with his sword.
In the description, it is twice noted that the creature was an ancient creature, from the very beginning.
* "behemoth, which I made along with you" in verse 15, and, * "He ranks first among the works of God" - where 'first' means 'the first of its kind (with regard to time)'
Of all the animals, the hippopotamus is closest, with one obvious lack-it doesn't have a tail that can swing like a cedar. But what about tyrannosaurus? Can you imagine anyone else except its creator approaching him, or as Job records (verse 19): "He ranks first among the works of God, yet his Maker can approach him with his sword."
Let's move on to the next chapter, which describes an animal that is called a "leviathan". Leviathan has been frequently identified with the crocodile. The Hebrew word for leviathan means an animal 'wreathed, twisted in folds', and covers 'a serpent of a larger kind', or a 'very large aquatic creature'.
Remember that it is the Creator who is describing the animal, and he is doing so in order that Job realises the punity of his being. So when He asks in the first two verses, 1 "Can you pull in the leviathan with a fishhook or tie down his tongue with a rope?
2 Can you put a cord through his nose or pierce his jaw with a hook",
He is obviously expecting "No!" for an answer. So that rules out the crocodile for consideration.
Let's look at some further verses:
5 Can you make a pet of him like a bird or put him on a leash for your girls? 7 Can you fill his hide with harpoons or his head with fishing spears? 8 If you lay a hand on him, you will remember the struggle and never do it again! 9 Any hope of subduing him is false; the mere sight of him is over-powering. 10 No one is fierce enough to rouse him. Who then is able to stand against me? 13 Who can strip off his outer coat? Who would approach him with a bridle? 15 His back has rows of shields tightly sealed together; 16 Each is so close to the next that no air can pass between. 17 They are joined fast to one another; they cling together and cannot be parted. 18 His snorting throws out flashes of light; his eyes are like the rays of dawn. 19 Firebrands stream from his mouth; sparks of fire shoot out. 20 Smoke pours from his nostrils as from a boiling pot over a fire of reeds. 21 His breath sets coals ablaze, and flames dart from his mouth. 23 The folds of his flesh are tightly joined; they are firm and immovable. 24 His chest is hard as rock, hard as a lower millstone. 26 The sword that reaches him has no effect, nor does the spear or the dart or the javelin. 27 Iron he treats like straw and bronze like rotten wood. 28 Arrows do not make him flee; slingstones are like chaff to him. 29 A club seems to him but a piece of straw; he laughs at the rattling of the lance. 30 His undersides are jagged potsherds, leaving a trail in the mud like a threshing sledge.
Never again will I curse the ground because of man, even though every inclination of his heart is evil from childhood. And never again will I destroy all living creatures, as I have done.
As long as the earth endures, seedtime and harvest, cold and heat, summer and winter, day and night will never cease." Gen 8:21,22
What two animals was God describing to Job? We cannot be sure, but they would not appear to be one's that we have around today. The descriptions simply do not fit today's animals.
But Job must have known them; else he would not have appreciated the message. So did Job know dinosaurs?
I believe he did. And the fact that Job was not the only person to have seen dinosaurs is evidenced by one of the illustrations-the one that comes closest to the illustration of Job 41 is one that never had Job 41 in mind. The adjacent sketch is of 'St George and the dragon'. Let me ask you a question: if dinosaurs have only been discovered in modern times, how on earth did the legend of St George and the Dragon come about? I would put it to you, that like almost all legends, they are based on some ancient truth that has been distorted as it has been handed down by word of mouth for century after century. People on earth, in distant times were familiar with dinosaurs. They kept drawings of them, and legend grew up about them. I believe that dinosaurs were on the ark and survived the flood. Job was the earliest book after the flood, and so it would be a natural place to find reference to them. They were still in mind when the Psalmist David wrote (ca. B.C.1000-950), and at the time when Isaiah wrote (B.C.740-681).
Herodotus, a respected Greek historian and explorer (ca B.C.460), reported seeing small flying reptiles in Egypt. They had snake-like bodies and bat-like wings. Aristotle, a Greek philosopher (B.C.384-322), also recorded that similar birds were known in neighbouring Ethiopia.
Natives in northern Zimbabwe reported a strange flying animal-a ruddy coloured animal with bare bat-like wings with 1.5-2 metre wingspan resembling a pterodactyl, in the huge dense area called the Jiunda Swamp. They called the 'bird' a kongamato.
The Bible effectively states that dinosaurs were present on the fifth day of Creation, and therefore would exist alongside man on the sixth day. One type was still one around and alive not long before 1977. They could still exist in the incredible depths of the ocean, or in the impenetrable rain forest areas.
But dinosaurs overall were certainly faced with an abrupt ending. The fossils are indisputable evidence that they principally met their end in a sedimentary period-the flood of Noah. Some survived the ark, but died later, presumably because of a radical change of climate.
What wiped out the dinosaurs is a puzzle to the evolutionists-all disappearing dramatically-the large as well as the small. And another thing happened just as abruptly, yet evolutionists keep quiet about it because they have no explanation. The vegetation also changed abruptly at the time the dinosaurs disappeared-from one type to another; a new and totally different form, without a trace of anything between.
Substantial sized trees have been found fossilised the world over that do not have any annular rings. What does that mean? It means that those trees grew under conditions that didn't have any seasonal variation affecting growth. The growth was uniform throughout the year, year after year, year after year. Scientists admit that there must have been a time when the earth was season-free.
The genius behind Genesis recognised this when he inspired the author of Genesis to write what he did. The early chapters of Genesis relate that, following a time when mankind had degenerated to a level that the Creator could no longer condone what was happening, He sent a Flood to destroy mankind and animals, except for representative species.
Sure, this doesn't say that seasons never existed before the flood, but it is the first mention of seasons in the Bible record. Why were they not mentioned earlier? I believe it was because they never existed. Let us go back to the second chapter of Genesis, which reviews the creation period of chapter one, but details it in respect to how it affected man.
"When the LORD God made the earth and the heavens, no shrub of the field had yet appeared on the earth and plant of the field had yet sprung up; the LORD God had not sent rain on the earth and there was no man to work the ground, but streams came up from the earth and watered the whole surface of the ground."
Let me draw your attention once again to that statement on rainfall: 'the LORD God had not sent rain on the earth.' If you read Genesis carefully, you will note that rain is not mentioned at all until the Flood. The KJV refers to a "mist from the earth, and watered the whole face of the ground." The NASB translation echoes the same thought.
"But a mist used to rise from the earth and water the surface of the ground."
For the word 'mist' the NASB margin notes that a 'flow' watered the 'face' of the ground. The word is used only twice in the Bible, and it means to exhale a vapour, and suggests that the water percolated from below the soil surface, or came up by capillary action, to keep the surface perpetually moist. Now, with this situation in mind, let us look at the chapter 38 of Job, which deals with the creation period, and which in fact, provides a more detailed account than does Genesis.
"Where were you when I laid the earth's foundation? Tell me if you understand. … Who shut up the seas behind doors when it burst forth from the womb, when I made the clouds its garment and wrapped it in thick darkness, when I set limits for it and said, 'This far you may come and no farther…'
The description of the clouds being like a garment covering the earth is reinforced with thick darkness its swaddling band-a bandage fully enclosing what is within it. This is first mentioned in Genesis 1:6:
"And God said, 'Let there be an expanse between the waters to separate water from water'. So God made the expanse and separated the water under the expanse from the water above it. And it was so. God called the expanse, 'sky'."
So the swaddling band was a layer of water above the sky. We know from scientific principle, that such a situation would cause the earth to experience a very, very, uniform climate-seasons would be non-existent, and humidity would be maintained perpetually at 100% near or at ground level. These are ideal conditions for tropical plant growth, and annular rings would be non-existent. This accords exactly with the evidence from the past available today, in the tremendous proliferation of plant growth of a luxuriant nature some time back in the earth's history.
The flood also explains why this type of afforestation came to an abrupt halt, for at the beginning of the Flood the Genius of Genesis had Moses write:
"In the six hundredth year of Noah's life, on the seventeenth day of the second month-on that day all the springs of the deep burst forth, and the floodgates of heaven were opened. And the rain fell on the earth for forty days and forty nights."
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