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Comments

Sarah

Facinating stuff

p.s. that link isn't working

Mike

Dory:

Good post, as usual. Here's my take of the whole creation squabble, for what it's worth:

The problem with most proponents of the gap theory is that they put the gap in the wrong place. The sequence for them is Creation-Gap-Adam. Some put the gap in a different place but, and this is where I part company with them, all understand Gen 1.1 to refer to original creation.

I don't, and neither do a lot of Old Testament scholars (e.g., Waltke) nor many Jewish rabbis. The original creation, I believe, occurred before Gen 1.1; the gap occurs before the record of the Bible begins and Gen 1.1 is a title for what follows. Gen 1.2 begins by describing the condition of the earth when God began to redeem the original creation: it was under judgment. Yahweh then begins to separate the bad from the good, making an inhabitable place for Adam and Eve.

This allows for a period prior to this present ordering of creation, a time when Satan fell, dinosaurs roamed, tectonic plates shifted, etc. The scientific "necessities" are not determinative for me; rather, it is statements such as made by Jesus in Jn 8.44 where He says Satan was a liar from the beginning. The beginning? Beginning of what? Not original creation, since he was created by God. So it may be a reference to the beginning of this order as we now know it.

It is speculation, but I think the earth was judged when Satan fell. It is now his domain; it is not unreasonable to think it was his domain then, too. When he was judged, his domain was judged along with him. Thus the cataclysmic events that resulted in the state of the earth as depicted in Gen 1.2: formless and void, a phrase used elsewhere to describe the aftermath of God's judgment.

Sir Robert Anderson wrote along these lines more than a century ago. One of the beauties of truth, of course, is that is does not change over time.

TheBloke...IntheOuter

I was writing a response, but my clumsy hands were all over the touchpad of my laptop and I inevitably closed the window too quickly... so now I will have to recreate my commments...

I was thinking along the lines that God could have created all creatures with mortality as part of their design because of Adam's sin. Ok, this is different from the received version, but I believe there is no specific Scriptures that says God created creatures immortal. The only clue was the "good" and "very good" announced by God in Gen 1. Theologians extrapolated that pronouncement to mean that all creation was created incorruptible and that corruptible was introduced at the time of the Fall.

While corruptible was introduced as a result of the Fall, it may not be necessarily be at the time of the Fall. This way of thinking squares with God's timelessness and one clue of this can also be found in the Romans 5 passage you quoted. The legal basis of the death judgment for sin didn't come until thousands of years later. If the legal basis could be given later, why not the creation be prior to the occurence of the event, since God is timeless?

Perhaps the answer might be found somewhere in between God's timelessness, Mike's response, and the fact that the Scriptures are given as a record of, and for, human relationship with God.

Alnot

I was wondering why some PETA types where so crazy when they find out somebody is wearing furs. Just another sign of rebellion.

Jolle

Nice way to put it. I have some remarks though on the death of animals :

God made Adam after his creation (immortal), but nowhere is mentioned that he did the same for the animals. This simple biblical truth can very well explain why we would find dead animals even from a period where Adam should still be immortal.

It is plain easy : if God created this world, especially if He did it the Genesis-way, death of animals is inevitable. Otherwise there would be no composting bacteriae, no carnivores, no parasites, no virusses, etc. There would simply be no circle of life. Or else He would have created a whole new world when Adam fell. And that is something not mentioned in the Bible, so up for discussion ;-)

kind regards.

Martin LaBar

Good point. However, not everybody believes that scripture rules out death before the Fall. See "Creation Essentials, Creation Non-Essentials, Part 1: Death Before the Fall," at Link for one such Bible-based argument against your position.

Dory

Hey! This is beginning to sound like a good debate topic! Any takers for either side? (I can't debate as I have to moderate.)

A couple quick points, because I only have a moment this morning: Decomposition would still be taking place because of the need to break down plant life and animal waste. So there would have been a decomposition cycle anyway. I am assuming here that "death" in the sense it is used in Romans, as death entering the world after the Fall would not include plant life. I see some others here are assuming it doesn't include animals. Interesting.

There is no indication of carnivorous diet prior to the Flood for either man or animals. Certainly God had not given men permission to eat meat before then. On animals Scriptures are silent, and I do not think we can assume one way or the other. Many creation scientists think animals were vegetarian, too. There is some fossil record support for this, even in cases such as T. rex. (AIG has more on that.)

I assume the Fall was very soon after the Creation. Adam and Eve had not yet conceived a child, for one thing. Hey, in a perfect world they'd be getting right on that, eh? So any "imbalance" in the life cycles would only have to be around for a few days at most.

Sarah of WA

For Christians I, too, this this is the most relevant thing. The correlation between Adam and Christ -- from one man sin entering the world. and through sin, death. And with one man, life being given again.

As for putting a gap before Gen 1:1 -- the only way to make that work is to also ignore what the Bible says

"2The earth was barren, with no form of life;"
Very early on, before the creation of any animal whatsoever, there is talk of separating firmanent above from firmanent below, separating land from water, etc. And then creation of plants. Then light. Then water and flying animals. Then land animals, and humans. If you have plants before Gen 1:1 -- then what is this creation of plants talked about in Gen 1:11 (oh, btw, BEFORE he created the sun, etc)

As for the whole "there had to be death for the world to work" -- why the assumption that the world has ALWAYS worked the way it works today? Before the flood, there was no rain, yet somehow plants grew and the ecology they had then worked as well (if not better. Before the Flood people seem to have lived to MUCH more advanced ages)

Dory: I'm with you that plants are not alive in the same way animals and humans are. In the sacrificial laws, it makes clear that life is in the blood (that's why they could not eat the blood but it had to be drained out) -- and plants don't have blood.

I believe the thought of animals originally being herbivores and not eating each other comes from 1. The definition of death as removing of life, and figuring that means animals as well and 2. The prophecy that in the future, after the return of christ, these animals will lie down with each other, not eat each other. "And the cow and the bear shall feed; their young ones shall lie down together: and the lion shall eat straw like the ox."
Oh and maybe Genesis 1:29-30 "And God said, See, I have given you every plant yielding seed that is on the face of all the land and every tree with seed in its fruit; you shall have them for food. 30And to all the animals on the earth and to every bird of the air and to everything that creeps on the ground--to everything in which there is the breath of life--I have given every green plant for food. And it was so."

Phil Aldridge

I've never considered the idea of "Death Entered Through Adam" to refer to physical deaths of all beings.

We know spiritual death entered through the Fall. We know Adam, Eve and all the rest of us were denied a portion of the tree of life. Beyond that, I think it is speculation to assume that nothing died prior to the fall.

I would ask where many of our old fossils came from. If we must interpret Genesis in a strictly literal sense, we ought not be finding fossils older than 6,000-10,000 years old. Yet we have many.

Personally, I don't think we lose anything if Genesis 1-Genesis 3 or so is allegory or epic folklore. We still have a people who need Jesus, we still have promise of Eternal Life and reunion with God later, we lose nothing if we take Genesis less than 100% literal.

mmyates

Phil, I have to respectfully disagree with your view that we don't have to see Genesis as literal. (But I also don't make one's view on creation a test of true faith in coming to Christ.) I have a strong conviction that scripture is 100% the actual, true, and God inspired record of how this world was created and why man is in the condition he is and has been ever since. Now we mortals try to wrestle the 'facts', as we see them today, to try to explain how-it-all-happened-back-then in order to help us 'accept' the scriptures better. I think that faith plays a large part in this debate. God gave us enough for faith, but not enough to really know in scientific terms how everything was done from Gen 1:1 to the flood of Noah. Even the account was written long after it all happened; so no eye witnesses other than God. This world is what it is today because of Adam's sin and the aftermath of the flood. (Here I raise another debate, oh well.) Man will be debating all of this when Jesus returns for the church. Man wants a 'reasonable' understanding of creation to fit within the 'facts' as we think we know them. Some day He will explain it all. I find that those who question the creation account also question many other parts of God's Word. May God grant us faith in abundance.

Steve

A quick couple of thoughts.

The gap theory is definitely a minority view but it is plausible. It also helps make sense of many things that are later revealed in Scripture.

One example is the existence of angels. No where in the Genesis 1-3 creation story is the actual creation of angels mentioned. Yet they exist as mentioned in Genesis 3:24.

We also learn of the "sons of God" in Genesis 6 who are taken by most scholars as angelic beings. The creation of these beings is also not mentioned in the Genesis creation account.

When were these beings created? Were they created?

Arnie

I am not sure we can say that "death" in the passage cited refers to physical death but instead to our spiritual death. God told Adam if he ate of the fruit in that day he would surely die. Well, Adam did not drop dead on the spot when he ate the fruit. Was God wrong? No, God was referring to Adam's spiritual death not his physical death. Before this incident Adam walked with God but as a result of his disobedience and sin that intimate fellowship was broken and resulted in spiritual death. Likewise the statement Paul makes that death came into the world because of Adam's sin does not necessarily refer to physical death but again to spiritual death and the horrid seperation from God that mankind now suffers from.

Arnie

I am not sure we can say that "death" in the passage cited refers to physical death but instead to our spiritual death. God told Adam if he ate of the fruit in that day he would surely die. Well, Adam did not drop dead on the spot when he ate the fruit. Was God wrong? No, God was referring to Adam's spiritual death not his physical death. Before this incident Adam walked with God but as a result of his disobedience and sin that intimate fellowship was broken and resulted in spiritual death. Likewise the statement Paul makes that death came into the world because of Adam's sin does not necessarily refer to physical death but again to spiritual death and the horrid seperation from God that mankind now suffers from.

Ed Darrell

Doesn't God's handiwork count for anything?

Darwin, and others before and after him, merely reported on what they found in God's creation. Those reports are consistent over time, so it is not an issue of interpretation.

If what creation manifests is false, what does that say about God?

Creationism was falsified by good people of the church in the early 19th century. Why should we quibble now?

DaveScot

Neo-Darwinian theory isn't really a theory. It's a narrative.

The bottom line remains that no living thing has ever been observed to reproduce anything but its own kind.

Luke Rook

The Bible does not give any indication that the animals were immortal though. It is hard to imagine dinosaurs that don't rip each other to shreds! Otherwise, I have been thinking a lot about this lately and welcome anyone to share their ideas by clicking on my name and reading an article I posted and sending me email with their advice and input. Though I have been going to church and a Christian all my life, I am just beginning to study apologetics, and it is all new and exciting to me.

Lisa Nicodemus Lyons

This has been a very interesting discussion. There is one thing I would like to add. We must always keep in mind what the original language actually says and means. Regarding Genesis 2:17, where God says, "In the day you eat of it, you will surely die," do we take the English words "in the day that you eat of it" and "you shall surely die" as 21st century English-speakers would interpret it? Is it not better to find out exactly what the Hebrew says?

In the Hebrew text, the word "the" and "that" (in THE day THAT you eat of it) do not exist. A better translation of the Hebrew is found in the NIV: "WHEN you eat of it..."

Now for the phrase "you shall surely die." Here again, the Hebrew is a bit different. A better translation is "dying, you shall die."

Therefore, a more correct understanding of Genesis 2:17 comes when you put these phrases together: when you eat of it, dying you shall die. Such a translation removes any argument over Adam having to die that very day, or if the text meant physical or spiritual death.

In debating Scripture, always defer to the original language.

John Hext-Fremlin

The Gap Theory

Did as HLH sugests the dinosaurs die in the supposed gap of Genesis one verse one and one verse Two

HLH (Author of comendium of world history sugests that the mammoths &c were destroyed in the flood with an ice age perhaps coursed by the "Fall" and Cain's Farming Tribulations.

However I sugest the Ice age was coursed by the flood with the breakup of the water vapour cannopy immediately after the flood in 2347 BC with an Ice Plannet fly by at the time of Babel dumping it's Ice at the poles.


I sugest that the babel incident was in 2191 BC till the time of the Exodus in 1491 BC. This would allow just over 700 yrs for a post flood Rapid Ice Age.

I further think it is possible that the Neanderthal/Nephilim are both pre and post flood.

For more information on this and other subjects please visit my website at www.johnhextfremlin.com

Marguerite

Great article, just what I wanted to find.

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