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1
The Revelation / Re: To Him That Overcometh!
« on: April 25, 2019, 09:02:32 PM »

Are we to believe that Jesus Christ, our God and Saviour, waited over 30 years to present himself as a slain lamb worthy to open a sealed book? 

Or, is the lamb in Rev 5 someone else, perhaps the one who overcame and was to receive the promises Jesus gave in the letters to the churches?  Remember, Jesus said that He, himself, had already overcome, and was looking for (even hoping for) someone else to overcome:

"To him that overcometh will I grant to sit with me in my throne, even as I also overcame, and am set down with my Father in his throne." -- Rev 3:21 KJV


There is a new video on this topic at:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5yC2EoEGl20&list=PLrCQerz2L0If_VT4tw73RjhG5tBjdZfZy&index=3

Check it out.

Dan

2

On the same subject, this is a great sermon on the age of the earth by Dr. Albert Mohler, Jr., President of the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary:



Dan


3

I was listening to the BRT playlist of Dr. Terry Mortensen (PhD, History of Geology), when I recalled your conversation about seminaries teaching evolution. The lecture, titled "Millions of Years", provides a history of the transformation of traditional Christian doctrine into conformity with the doctrines of mere men. The lecture is in two parts.


I just realized the lecture is in three parts.  I listened to the first two over and over again -- pausing to take notes -- and never got around to the next video.  It is mostly a short Q&A (10:22):



This is the entire playlist by Dr. Mortenson:


Dan







4

LXX, thank you. Did you know there are seminaries that teach evolution?



Faith, it may be worse than you think.


Faith & LXX, I was listening to the BRT playlist of Dr. Terry Mortensen (PhD, History of Geology), when I recalled your conversation about seminaries teaching evolution. The lecture, titled "Millions of Years", provides a history of the transformation of traditional Christian doctrine into conformity with the doctrines of mere men. The lecture is in two parts. Check it out:





Dan

5
On the Keeping of Easter
From the Letter of the Emperor to all those not present at the Council.
(Found in Eusebius, Vita Const., Lib. iii., 18–20.)

When the question relative to the sacred festival of Easter arose, it was universally thought that it would be convenient that all should keep the feast on one day; for what could be more beautiful and more desirable, than to see this festival, through which we receive the hope of immortality, celebrated by all with one accord, and in the same manner? It was declared to be particularly unworthy for this, the holiest of all festivals, to follow the custom [the calculation] of the Jews, who had soiled their hands with the most fearful of crimes, and whose minds were blinded. In rejecting their custom, we may transmit to our descendants the legitimate mode of celebrating Easter, which we have observed from the time of the Saviour's Passion to the present day [according to the day of the week]. We ought not, therefore, to have anything in common with the Jews, for the Saviour has shown us another way; our worship follows a more legitimate and more convenient course (the order of the days of the week); and consequently, in unanimously adopting this mode, we desire, dearest brethren, to separate ourselves from the detestable company of the Jews, for it is truly shameful for us to hear them boast that without their direction we could not keep this feast. How can they be in the right, they who, after the death of the Saviour, have no longer been led by reason but by wild violence, as their delusion may urge them? They do not possess the truth in this Easter question; for, in their blindness and repugnance to all improvements, they frequently celebrate two passovers in the same year. We could not imitate those who are openly in error. How, then, could we follow these Jews, who are most certainly blinded by error? for to celebrate the passover twice in one year is totally inadmissible. But even if this were not so, it would still be your duty not to tarnish your soul by communications with such wicked people [the Jews]. Besides, consider well, that in such an important matter, and on a subject of such great solemnity, there ought not to be any division. Our Saviour has left us only one festal day of our redemption, that is to say, of his holy passion, and he desired [to establish] only one Catholic Church. Think, then, how unseemly it is, that on the same day some should be fasting whilst others are seated at a banquet; and that after Easter, some should be rejoicing at feasts, whilst others are still observing a strict fast. For this reason, a Divine Providence wills that this custom should be rectified and regulated in a uniform way; and everyone, I hope, will agree upon this point. As, on the one hand, it is our duty not to have anything in common with the murderers of our Lord; and as, on the other, the custom now followed by the Churches of the West, of the South, and of the North, and by some of those of the East, is the most acceptable, it has appeared good to all; and I have been guarantee for your consent, that you would accept it with joy, as it is followed at Rome, in Africa, in all Italy, Egypt, Spain, Gaul, Britain, Libya, in all Achaia, and in the dioceses of Asia, of Pontus, and Cilicia. You should consider not only that the number of churches in these provinces make a majority, but also that it is right to demand what our reason approves, and that we should have nothing in common with the Jews. To sum up in few words: By the unanimous judgment of all, it has been decided that the most holy festival of Easter should be everywhere celebrated on one and the same day, and it is not seemly that in so holy a thing there should be any division. As this is the state of the case, accept joyfully the divine favour, and this truly divine command; for all which takes place in assemblies of the bishops ought to be regarded as proceeding from the will of God. Make known to your brethren what has been decreed, keep this most holy day according to the prescribed mode; we can thus celebrate this holy Easter day at the same time, if it is granted me, as I desire, to unite myself with you; we can rejoice together, seeing that the divine power has made use of our instrumentality for destroying the evil designs of the devil, and thus causing faith, peace, and unity to flourish amongst us. May God graciously protect you, my beloved brethren.

[Source: Philip Schaff, Constantine Letter On the Keeping of Easter, "Nicene and Post-Nicene Fathers Ser 2 Vol 14." Charles Scribner's Sons, 1916, p.54]

Dan

6
The Exodus / Re: The 430-Year Sojourn
« on: June 22, 2018, 01:59:52 PM »

That would make Joshua about 38 when he fought the Amaleks, and not much younger when they departed Egypt.  Therefore, at best Joshua had 73 years remaining, when you need at least 80.

But that is a really good theory, so maybe we are overlooking something else


That should be worth a few extra years.


Thanks, fellows.  I will rewrite it before I post it to the BRT website.

Dan

7
The Exodus / The 430-Year Sojourn
« on: June 20, 2018, 06:43:46 PM »
The 430-year sojourn of Israel, mentioned in Exodus 12:40-41, is a topic of intense debate. The topic begins in the days of Abraham with this promise:

"And [the Lord] said unto Abram, Know of a surety that thy seed shall be a stranger in a land that is not theirs, and shall serve them; and they shall afflict them four hundred years; And also that nation, whom they shall serve, will I judge: and afterward shall they [thy seed] come out with great substance. And thou shalt go to thy fathers in peace; thou shalt be buried in a good old age. But in the fourth generation they [thy seed] shall come hither again: for the iniquity of the Amorites is not yet full." -- Gen 15:13-16 KJV

As you can see, it is not so much about Israel, as it is about the seed of Abraham, which began with Isaac. Abraham was promised that his seed would be released from servitude in the fourth generation, and would come out with great substance.


So, when was the fourth generation?  Recall that the sons of Moses were with him and his wife in Egypt:

"And Moses took his wife and his sons, and set them upon an ass, and he returned to the land of Egypt: and Moses took the rod of God in his hand." -- Exo 4:20 KJV

Kohath [Moses's grandfather] came into Egypt with his father, Levi:

"And these are the names of the children of Israel, which came into Egypt, Jacob and his sons: Reuben, Jacob's firstborn . . . And the sons of Levi; Gershon, Kohath, and Merari." -- Gen 46:8,11 KJV

And if we count back four generations from the time Moses led the children of Israel back to Canaan, we have:
  • Moses's children
  • Moses
  • Amram
  • Kohath
Therefore, it appears the children of Moses were of the fourth generation.


We know the age of Moses at the Exodus was 80; and we know the lifespans of his ancestors:

"And the sons of Kohath; Amram, and Izhar, and Hebron, and Uzziel: and the years of the life of Kohath were an hundred thirty and three years." -- Exo 6:18 KJV

"And Amram took him Jochebed his father's sister to wife; and she bare him Aaron and Moses: and the years of the life of Amram were an hundred and thirty and seven years." -- Exo 6:20 KJV

"And Moses was fourscore years old, and Aaron fourscore and three years old, when they spake unto Pharaoh." -- Exo 7:7 KJV

If we assume Kohath begat Amram immediately prior to his death at age 133; and Amram begat Moses immediately prior to his death at age 137; and Moses was 80 at the Exodus, the maximum time Israel could have been in Egypt was 133 + 137 + 80 = 350 years. We can also assume that Kohath and Amram did not wait until they were on their deathbeds to have children; so the time in Egypt was more likely less than 250 years.

We also know that Jacob was 130 when he entered Egypt:

"And Jacob said unto Pharaoh, The days of the years of my pilgrimage [sojourn] are an hundred and thirty years: few and evil have the days of the years of my life been, and have not attained unto the days of the years of the life of my fathers in the days of their pilgrimage." -- Gen 47:9 KJV

"And Jacob said to Pharao, The days of the years of my life, wherein I sojourn, are a hundred and thirty years; few and evil have been the days of the years of my life, they have not attained to the days of the life of my fathers, in which days they sojourned." -- Gen 47:9 LXX

And we know that Jacob was born no more than 85 years after the covenant:

"So Abram departed, as the Lord had spoken unto him; and Lot went with him: and Abram was seventy and five years old when he departed out of Haran." -- Gen 12:4 KJV

"And Abraham was an hundred years old, when his son Isaac was born unto him." -- Gen 21:5 KJV

"And after that came his brother out, and his hand took hold on Esau's heel; and his name was called Jacob: and Isaac was threescore years old when she bare them." -- Gen 25:26 KJV

Therefore, from the Abrahamic covenant to Jacob's entry into Egypt was no more than 85 + 130 = 215 years, and, as aforementioned, Israel's time in Egypt was likely to be less than 250 years. That total of less than 465 years is consistent with these statements:

"Now the sojourning of the children of Israel, who dwelt in Egypt, was four hundred and thirty years. And it came to pass at the end of the four hundred and thirty years, even the selfsame day it came to pass, that all the hosts of the Lord went out from the land of Egypt." -- Exo 12:40-41 KJV

"And the sojourning of the children of Israel, while they sojourned in the land of Egypt and the land of Chanaan, was four hundred and thirty years. And it came to pass after the four hundred and thirty years, all the forces of the Lord came forth out of the land of Egypt by night." -- Exo 12:40-41 LXX

"Now to Abraham and his seed were the promises made. He saith not, And to seeds, as of many; but as of one, And to thy seed, which is Christ. And this I say, that the covenant, that was confirmed before of God in Christ, the law, which was four hundred and thirty years after, cannot disannul, that it should make the promise of none effect." -- Gal 3:16-17 KJV

No matter how I dissect the Exo 12:41 and Galatians statements, I see the children of Israel coming out of Egypt and receiving the Law 430 years after the covenant; and I see no other covenant in that time frame than the one made with Abraham. 


But there is a problem with the Exodus 12:40 statement. Verse 40 refers to the children of Israel -- the children of Jacob, not the seed of Abraham. So, are there two overlapping 430 year periods?

There are other translations that could include Jacob, rather than only his descendants, such as:
 
"The time that the people of Israel lived in Egypt was 430 years." -- Exo 12:40 ESV

"The time that the Israelites lived in Egypt was 430 years." -- Exo 12:40 HCSB

Assuming Jacob was intended to be considered along with his descendants, we know from previous passages that he was  born no more than 85 years after the covenant. We also know from the following passages that Israel received all the land promises prior to Joshua's death, which meant the time of the sojourn was over:

"And the Lord gave unto Israel all the land which he sware to give unto their fathers; and they possessed it, and dwelt therein. And the Lord gave them rest round about, according to all that he sware unto their fathers: and there stood not a man of all their enemies before them; the Lord delivered all their enemies into their hand. There failed not ought of any good thing which the Lord had spoken unto the house of Israel; all came to pass." -- Jos 21:43-45 KJV

"And, behold, this day I [Joshua] am going the way of all the earth: and ye know in all your hearts and in all your souls, that not one thing hath failed of all the good things which the Lord your God spake concerning you; all are come to pass unto you, and not one thing hath failed thereof." -- Jos 23:14 KJV

Joshua was 110 when he died:

"And it came to pass after these things, that Joshua the son of Nun, the servant of the Lord, died, being an hundred and ten years old." -- Jos 24:29 KJV

But Joshua was apparently a young man and a warrior before Israel received the Law:

"And Moses said unto Joshua, Choose us out men, and go out, fight with Amalek: to morrow I will stand on the top of the hill with the rod of God in mine hand." -- Exo 17:9 KJV

"And the Lord spake unto Moses face to face, as a man speaketh unto his friend. And he turned again into the camp: but his servant Joshua, the son of Nun, a young man, departed not out of the tabernacle." -- Exo 33:11 KJV

If we assume Joshua was 25-30 years old when he fought the Amaleks, there would be another 80-85 years until his death, which was also the time Israel received the last of the promised land. That accounts for the 80-85 years from the time of the covenant until the birth of Jacob, which is consistent with Paul's statement to the Galatians and Exo 12:41, though they are referring to different time frames.  This may help explain that statement:

  • Covenant to Jacob's birth = 85 years
  • Exodus to Joshua's death = 85 years
  • Exo 12:40 - Jacob's birth to Joshua's death = 430 years
  • Exo 12:41 - Covenant to Exodus = 430 years

So, what about this Exodus quote by Stephen?

"And God spake on this wise, That his seed should sojourn in a strange land; and that they should bring them into bondage, and entreat them evil four hundred years." -- Acts 7:6 KJV

"And he said unto Abram, Know of a surety that thy seed shall be a stranger in a land that is not theirs, and shall serve them; and they shall afflict them four hundred years;" -- Gen 15:13 KJV

"And it was said to Abram, Thou shalt surely know that thy seed shall be a sojourner in a land not their own, and they shall enslave them, and afflict them, and humble them four hundred years." -- Gen 15:13 LXX

The only interpretation of the 400 years that is consistent with the 430 years is the time from the birth of Isaac until the Exodus, which is roughly the time the seed of Abraham were enslaved, humbled, and afflicted in a land not their own, but not necessarily at the same time.

As aforementioned, Jacob, upon meeting the Pharaoh, said that all the days of his life had been evil.  So, it is reasonable to assume that Israel was afflicted prior to entering Egypt for the 130 years of Jacob + the 60 years of Isaac prior to Jacob's birth, which can be subtracted from the 400 years normally assumed to be the time in Egypt, to give a time in Egypt of about 210 years, which is consistent with previous estimations of less than 250 years.

This promise from Genesis 15 was also fulfilled at the time of the Exodus:

"And also that nation, whom they shall serve, will I judge: and afterward shall they come out with great substance." -- Gen 15:14 KJV

"And the children of Israel did according to the word of Moses; and they borrowed of the Egyptians jewels of silver, and jewels of gold, and raiment: And the Lord gave the people favour in the sight of the Egyptians, so that they lent unto them such things as they required. And they spoiled the Egyptians." -- Exo 12:35-36 KJV

After the Exodus, Abraham's seed were subject only to God until they received the land promises.


In summary, Paul, writing by the inspiration of God, confirmed the words of both the Hebrew and Greek testaments for the time in Egypt when he declared that the time from the giving of the Covenant to Abraham, to the giving of the Law to Moses, was 430 years.  Stephen, speaking also under the inspiration of God, was referring to the 400 years from the birth of Isaac, the seed of Abraham, until the Exodus.  And finally, Moses, in Exodus 12:40, was referring to the 430 years from the birth of Jacob until time Israel received the promised land around the time of the death of Joshua

Dan

8

I still cannot resolve the ancestry of Moses when combined with the statement by Paul in Galatians, who was obviously quoting from the Septuagint. When I weigh the DSS and LXX, I have to ask myself: which was first?

The bottom line is, we do not have the 1st Chronicles 6th chapter scrolls, that I am aware of; and there is nothing in the other scrolls, or the scripture, that clearly adds more generations to the ancestry of Moses.

As it stands now, we have:

"The sons of Levi; Gershon, Kohath, and Merari. And the sons of Kohath; Amram, Izhar, and Hebron, and Uzziel. And the children of Amram; Aaron, and Moses, and Miriam. The sons also of Aaron; Nadab, and Abihu, Eleazar, and Ithamar." -- 1Chr 6:1-3 KJV

Since Kohath went into Egypt with Jacob, that would require Kohath and Amran to have lived a very long time, and/or to have had their children at very old ages.

What am I missing?


I have been pondering this since it was last discussed in the "Where Is Biblical Sodom" forum thread, during which Ron added this analysis:


This seems to be the key passage in Ron's analysis:

"And he said unto Abram, Know of a surety that thy seed shall be a stranger in a land that is not theirs, and shall serve them; and they shall afflict them four hundred years; And also that nation, whom they shall serve, will I judge: and afterward shall they [thy seed] come out with great substance. And thou shalt go to thy fathers in peace; thou shalt be buried in a good old age. But in the fourth generation they [thy seed] shall come hither again: for the iniquity of the Amorites is not yet full." -- Gen 15:13-16 KJV

As you can see, it is not so much about Israel, as it is about the seed of Abraham, which began with Isaac. Abraham was promised that his seed would be released from servitude in the fourth generation, and would come out with great substance.

I will be starting a new topic for further discussion on "The Exodus" board, titled "The 430 Year Sojourn".

Dan

9

Dan, that is a good analysis by Dr. Petrovich; but I cannot resolve the conflicts caused by the ancestry of Moses as pointed out in this video by Nathan Hoffman:


LXX, check out this analysis of Exo 12:40 by Dr. Petrovich:


The DSS reads:

"Now the time that the children of Israel lived in the land of Egypt was four hundred thirty years." - Exo 12:40 DSS


Dan



10

Dan, that is a good analysis by Dr. Petrovich; but I cannot resolve the conflicts caused by the ancestry of Moses as pointed out in this video by Nathan Hoffman:


LXX,

Thanks for the reminder.  I mentioned the Moses ancestry conflict in this post:


Search for the words "Wood's source" (without double-quotes), then read on from there.

Dan





11
Dr. Douglas Petrovich, in a "Is Genesis History" lecture titled "Introduction to Biblical Archaeology", presents an analysis of the biblical timeline based partially on archaeological discoveries, and partially on a reevaluation of key biblical passages:


His findings place the date of the flood at 3108 BC, a few years after our Septuagint (LXX) Timeline of 3135; but he places the birth of Abraham about 200 years earlier than the LXX at 2166 vs 1962. Yet, his Exodus date or 1446 BC, falls back into the ballpark of the LXX 1457 date. One of his interpretive keys is choosing the 430 year sojourn in Egypt from the MT, rather than the 430 years for both Canaan and Egypt as implied in the Septuagint and Galatians. His justification for choosing that  sojourn time can be found here:


It also appears he uses the century-smaller MT begat ages for Arphaxad to Terah, for example:

"And Peleg lived thirty years, and begat Reu:" -- Gen 11:18 MT (KJV)

"And Phaleg lived and hundred and thirty years, and begot Ragau." -- Gen 11:18 LXX

His overall analysis appears quite plausible.  Check it out and see what you think.

Dr. Petrovich received a PhD from the University of Toronto in Syro-Palestinian archaeology, with minors in ancient Egyptian language, and ancient Near Eastern religions. 

Dan

12
Noah's Flood / Re: Who are the Sons of God in Genesis 6?
« on: June 09, 2018, 09:08:34 PM »
I found another article on the Sons of God of Genesis 6; this one by archaeologist Dr. Douglas Petrovich, who some of you may recognize from the "Is Genesis History" lecture series:


His interpretation, which is similar to those by Dr. Heiser and David Curtis, appears to be hermeneutically sound.

Dan

I forgot to mention: Dr. Petrovich makes a remarkable statement about 1 Pet 3:19,

"This interpretation fits perfectly with the spirits to whom Jesus—while “in spirit” himself—made a proclamation (1 Pet 3:19) while in the center of the earth after his death on the cross (Eph 4:8–10), spirits who were disobedient in the days of Noah (1 Pet 3:20), when they attempted to corrupt the godly line that would lead to Jesus, which effectually would have prevented his sacrificial death for the redemption of mankind. The verb behind Jesus’s proclamation is ἐκήρυξεν, which was used for the making of a public announcement, not εὐαγγελίζω, which was used for the preaching of the good news of the gospel and is the only one of the two verbs that was a call for the repentance of sinners.
 
 Therefore, the purpose of Jesus’s proclamation was to announce to these evil angels from Noah’s day, who were held in special bondage, that their attempt to prevent Christ’s purely human lineage and his sacrificial death on the cross had failed completely. His just-completed death was the final nail that was driven into the coffin of their botched attempt to thwart the redemptive plan of God. Moreover, 2 Peter 2:4 clearly states that angels (i.e. these very evil angels who had attempted to prevent the purely-human line to extend from Adam to Jesus) were cast into tartaros (not hell, which is the lake of fire) and committed to pits of darkness, reserved for judgment. The act of committing these evil angels to pits of darkness within the earth was connected expressly to God’s preservation of Noah when the flood was used to judge all of humanity on earth (2 Pet 2:5), including Seth’s line." [Douglas Petrovich, "Identifying the "Sons of God" in Genesis 6:1–7." 2016]

Dan

13
Noah's Flood / Re: Who are the Sons of God in Genesis 6?
« on: June 09, 2018, 09:01:28 PM »
I found another article on the Sons of God of Genesis 6; this one by archaeologist Dr. Douglas Petrovich, who some of you may recognize from the "Is Genesis History" lecture series:


His interpretation, which is similar to those by Dr. Heiser and David Curtis, appears to be hermeneutically sound.

Dan



14

The presence of thin, flat coal seam benches (thin mud layering between coal seams), as shown below, rules out the possibility that coal was formed in a swampy environment over millions of years, as speculated by old-earthers and as taught to our children as fact:

I don't understand that part, Dan.
Brenda

The video lecture by Dr. Wise, titled, "70 Minutes to Understand the Fossil Record", contains a long segment on coal and coal seams at:


His narrative on coal seam benches begins here:


I found that to be a fascinating presentation by Dr. Wise.

Dan

15
From Twenty-One Reasons Noah’s Worldwide Flood Never Happened: the 11th reason:

"If all limestones were deposited by Noah’s flood during a giant tsunami, then all limestone layers should show evidence of fossils being jumbled by rushing water. This is not the case. The presence of Silurian limestone layers that are older than the Redwall limestone occur with consistent sequences at constant thicknesses over hundreds of square miles in Illinois, Iowa, and Wisconsin, and they lack any fossils in a jumbled array. These consistent thicknesses indicate that these limestone layers could not have been deposited by a tsunami, and these layers could only have been formed in quiet water by slow chemical precipitation of the calcium carbonate during tens of thousands of years. Thus, the limestones around the world, alleged to be deposited by Noah’s flood, were not deposited by a rush of flood water in a tsunami in less than one year. Many other examples occur in sedimentary rocks around the world where fossils of communities of many different marine animals are totally undisturbed (Senter 2011; Collins 2015a; 2017)."

Major problems with the anti-Moses, old-earth hypothesis of slow sedimentary deposition over long periods of time include bioturbation (mixing by boring animals), folding of the layers, and the lack of erosion.

For example, virtually everywhere you look, the sedimentary rock layers are flat with no erosion or bioturbation:






Multiple flat layers folded without breaking, which implies they were still plastic when the geological upheavals occurred:






In response to Dr. Collins straw-man argument that the flood model claims "all limestones were deposited by Noah’s flood during a giant tsunami", one could assume Collins has never studied the flood model, has never heard of megasequences, and is clueless about how sedimentary layering is actually formed.

I have learned over the years that it is virtually impossible to learn the flood model from old-earther's. Therefore, let us hear Christian geologist Dr. Kurt Wise (PhD Harvard) explain flood-layering in his lecture titled "90 Minutes of Evidence for the Global Flood". Topics include:


2) The  direction of paleocurrents as determined from cross-bedding
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=882fmumdm9A&list=PLEVsU6O-XMpEhuWJDZeYEH5RJpIjOwGju&index=12&t=32m20s






Other serious contradictions to the old-earth hypothesis are the characteristics of coal seams and the presence of coal seam benches.  Coal seams are virtually flat, top and bottom, as shown here:






The presence of thin, flat coal seam benches (thin mud layering between coal seams), as shown below, rules out the possibility that coal was formed in a swampy environment over millions of years, as speculated by old-earthers and as taught to our children as fact:






Additionally, the presence of polystrate (upright) fossilized trees projecting upward through "millions of years" of sediment layers (even through multiple coals seams), renders the geological timeline as little more than a joke, or a bad dream:






Dan


16

From Twenty-One Reasons Noah’s Worldwide Flood Never Happened: the 10th reason:

"The Redwall limestone in the Grand Canyon contains billions and billions of jumbled sea lily (crinoid) fossils in multiple layers, and such marine animals would have had to grow on stalks on the ocean floor and cover the whole Earth at space intervals of one foot apart if all were alive at the same time during Noah’s flood. That distribution and abundance is extremely unlikely in less than one year’s time. Moreover, there would have been the need for already available, precipitated, calcium carbonate crystals somewhere to be carried into the Grand Canyon area to be deposited as limestone to host these fossils. This seems highly unlikely because the source of the calcium requires long periods (tens of thousands of years) of chemical weathering of calcium-bearing rocks, such as basalt lava flows, to produce such a large volume of limestone that extends, not only in the Grand Canyon, but also in the Redwall limestone across most of western and central United States in buried sedimentary layers (Collins 2015a; Hill et al. 2016)."

Evolutionists love to play the "numbers game", and especially with numbers that are impossible to prove, such as "billions and billions of crinoid fossils in the Grand Canyon", as Dr. Collins touts. That does serve the purpose of detracting from the real issue, which is how those fragile, broken crinoids ended up there in the first place. 

Creation scientists, on the other hand, do not seem to be concerned about those numbers since they know the sea was swarming with life prior to the flood (Gen 1:22).  Rather they tend to focus on the evidence of rapid deposition of sediment (for example, by a catastrophic flood) that fossilized those broken critters prior to decomposition.

Dr. Steven A. Austin, PhD Geology, Penn State University, has this to say about Redwall Limestone crinoids:

"Evidence of rapid deposition and burial of fossils is found in the Redwall Limestone. Along the Colorado River at Nautiloid Canyon, just north of Grand Canyon, the Redwall Limestone contains large fossils of nautiloids—"squid like" marine animals that possessed a straight shell, sometimes over two feet long. The long, slender shells of numerous nautiloids, in Nautiloid Canyon, have a dominant orientation, indicating that current was operating, as "fine grained" lime mud accumulated.13

"Not all limestones of Grand Canyon are fine grained. Some contain coarse, broken fossil debris, which appears to have been sorted by strong currents. The Redwall Limestone contains coarse, circular disks (columnals) from the stems of crinoids—marine animals which lived in a cup, or head, attached to the stem. Evidently, water currents winnowed the finer sediment away, leaving a "hash" of crinoid debris. Occasionally, the heads of crinoids are found embedded in the coarse, circular disks. Sometimes these occur in deposits of inclined bedding (cross beds), which imply strong currents. Because modern crinoid heads in today's ocean are susceptible to rapid breakdown when these organisms die,14 we conclude that rapid burial is needed to produce fossil crinoid heads.

"Evidence of current transport of lime sediment is provided by quartz sand grains, which are found embedded in the fine-grained matrix of many limestones. These quartz sand grains are common in the Kaibab Limestone of Grand Canyon. They are even known in the Redwall Limestone. Because the quartz sand grains cannot be precipitated from seawater, they must have been transported from some other location. Any water current fast enough to move sand grains would be able to move lime mud, as well. These quartz sand grains argue that the Kaibab Limestone was accumulated from sediment which had been transported by moving water, not simply deposited from a slow, steady rain of carbonate mud in a calm and placid sea."

[Steven A. Austin, "Were Grand Canyon Limestones Deposited by Calm and Placid Seas?". Institute for Creation Research, 1990]

Refs cited:

13. Observation of Steven A. Austin in Nautiloid Canyon, April 1989.


For the record, Dr. Austin has performed extensive research over the decades inside the Grand Canyon, and in particular on the Redwall Limestone.

Dan



17

From Twenty-One Reasons Noah’s Worldwide Flood Never Happened: the 9th reason:

"None of the sedimentary rocks in the Grand Canyon contains fossilized pollen grains that are produced by grasses, pines, and flowering trees and plants, whereas these same rocks in the canyon contain only spores of algae, ferns, moss, and fungi. A worldwide flood would be expected to mix these tiny structures if all were alive at the same time of Noah’s flood, and this mixing did not occur. How can a rush of water in a tsunami sort out and separate such tiny reproductive structures from each other? (Hill et al. 2016)."

If pollen is found in the lower strata, the evolution model falls apart. Several researchers claim it has been found, but evolutionists refuse to accept it.

Dr. Don Batten, PhD Plant Physiology, Univ. of Sydney, has these comments on Genesis-era pollen:

"Researchers have reported finding several types of pollen from flowering plants in ‘dinosaur rock’ (Middle Triassic).1 On the evolutionary timeline this puts the origin of flowering plants ‘100 million years earlier’ than previously accepted. Although such extensions in fossil ranges happen quite often, this one negates a long-held dogma of the evolutionary storyline. That is because these fossils would mean that flowering plants were present even at the beginning of the supposed dinosaur era… one finds pollen all the way down in Precambrian strata (supposedly more than a billion years before dinosaurs!).3 Pollen, and many other fossils dramatically ‘out of place’ in relation to evolution’s supposed ‘timeline’, present a major problem to defenders of Darwin’s ideas. [Don Batten, "Pollen problem".  Creation Ministries International, 2014]

Dr. Emil Silvestru, PhD Geology, Univ of Cluj, Romania, suggests a coverup of pollen discoveries:

"Microfossils have been reported from the Roraima Formation (RF) in British Guiana as early as 1964,5 soon after its Paleoproterozoic age was ‘established’. They were described as sponge spicules and possible remnants of foraminifera and radiolaria. The previous year well-preserved pollen and spores were found in rocks from Cero Venamo (composed of the same RF rocks) by botanist Dunsterville. His discovery was treated with suspicion, given the Precambrian age for the formation. Then in 1966, Stainforth 6 announced the discovery of pollen and spores (henceforth called ‘microfossils’) in the same formation at Paruima. The microfossil assemblage is described as different from the present local floral association and is most likely ‘Tertiary’ (Stainforth mentions some authors who place it in the Miocene). Although no palynological inventory is presented, angiosperm pollen must be included. I have not been able to identify a single palynological study published on this topic, and this strongly suggests a reluctance on the part of the scientific establishment to get involved in topics challenging evolutionary dogma." [Emil Silvestru, "The evolutionary paradox of the Roraima pollen of South America is still not solved". Creation Ministries International, 2012]

Dr. Carl Wieland, MD, Adelaide University, states CMI researchers have found pollen in the Grand Canyon:

"From the nine samples taken (three from each formation), 43 slides were made. Sixteen of these showed the pollen of seed plants and/or cells of cryptograms (spore-bearing plants; a fern, moss or fungus is a cryptogram). Identification was assisted by the independent assessments of a professional palynologist (someone who studies pollen) who did not know that the specimens came from ‘Precambrian’ rock. The accompanying photo shows just one of the finds. Interestingly, all the pollen was found in the Hakatai Shale specimens. One would expect air-borne contamination to have an equal chance of contaminating specimens from all three layers." [Carl Wieland, "Fossil pollen in Grand Canyon overturns plant evolution". Creation Ministries International, 1989]

Refs cited:

1. Hochuli, P. and Feist-Burkhardt, S., "Angiosperm-like pollen and Afropollis from the Middle Triassic (Anisian) of the Germanic Basin (Northern Switzerland)", Frontiers in Plant Science, 1 October 2013"


5. Bailey, P.B.H., "Possible microfossils found in the Roraima Formation in British Guiana", Nature 202:384, 25 April 1964.

Dan



18

From Twenty-One Reasons Noah’s Worldwide Flood Never Happened: the 8th reason:

"Up to 4,590-foot thicknesses of radiolarians occur on the Pacific Ocean floor. Radiolarians are tiny marine organisms with silica skeletons; they contain chloroplasts and must float near the ocean surface to obtain sunlight. The rate at which dead radiolarians settle to the bottom of the ocean is too slow for that thickness and number of radiolarians to accumulate in the 4,500 years since Noah’s flood. Although radiolarians are not found in the sedimentary rocks of the Grand Canyon, fossilized radiolarians are common in sedimentary layers in other parts of the world of the same geologic age, and each of these layers contains distinctly different radiolarian species that are among more than 4,000 different species that have been identified. Chaotic rushing waters of a tsunami in Noah’s flood would have been unable to sort out these different species in different geologic ages from those living early in the flood to those created late in the flood (Collins 2015a)."

Dr. Collins applies the uniformitarian model in assuming the rate of radiolarian settling in the past is the same as today's rate. This is geologist Michael J. Oard with alternatives that challenge Collins' assumption:

"A few comments made by Racki and Cordey and Pettijohn on the origin of bedded chert and radiolarian chert offer a basis for an alternative hypothesis of catastrophic formation during the Genesis Flood. Pettijohn remarked that many scientists believe bedded chert was directly precipitated from silica-supersaturated water and that the radiolarians in the chert are incidental. Moreover, Racki and Cordey suggest that volcanic and hydrothermal processes may have quickly increased the silica content of the water. The silica concentration of hydrothermal water can be over a thousand times that of ambient seawater.

"So a Flood scenario can be envisioned in which volcanic/hydrothermal processes added great quantities of hot, silica-rich fluid to the water. The additional silica would sometimes cause a huge radiolarian bloom, depending upon whether live radiolaria were floating above the silica rich waters.

"Changes in temperature or chemistry of the water could force the rapid precipitation of silica over a local or regional scale, sometimes with radiolarian organisms within the precipitate."

[Michael J. Oard, "The Uniformitarian Mystery of Radiolarian Chert". Creation Ministries International, 2002]

Refs cited:

Racki & Cordey, Radiolarian palaeoecology and radiolarites: is the present the key to the past?, Earth-Science Reviews 52:83–120, 2000

Pettijohn, F.J., Sedimentary Rocks, 3rd Edition, Harper and Row, New York, 1975.


Dan


19
From Twenty-One Reasons Noah’s Worldwide Flood Never Happened: the 7th reason:

" The White Cliffs of Dover on the eastern coast of England consist of chalk layers, up to 350 feet thick, that are composed of fossilized coccoliths (a kind of algae), and these layers are the same age as the sedimentary rocks that overlie giant cross-bedded sandstones in Zion National Park. Therefore, they were supposedly also deposited by Noah’s flood. But coccoliths are very tiny and have chloroplasts that require sunlight and must float close to the ocean surface to get energy from the sun. Because of this, all of them could not have been living at the same time to depths of 350 feet in the one year in which the flood is said to have occurred because that many organisms in the water at the same time would have blocked out the sun from organisms below the near-surface (Collins 2015a)."

There are several competing theories on the formation of thick chalk/carbonate layers; but I go with algae/bacteria bloom theory. This is Dr. Andrew Snelling, PhD Geology, Univ. of Sydney:

"... even today coccolith accumulation is not steady-state but highly episodic, for under the right conditions significant increases in the concentrations of these marine microorganisms can occur, as in plankton ‘blooms’ and red tides. For example, there are intense blooms of coccoliths that cause ‘white water’ situations because of the coccolith concentrations, and during bloom periods in the waters near Jamaica microorganism numbers have been reported as increasing from 100,000 per litre to 10 million per litre of ocean water. The reasons for these blooms are poorly understood, but suggestions include turbulence of the sea, wind, decaying fish, nutrients from freshwater inflow and upwelling, and temperature.

"Without a doubt, all of these stated conditions would have been generated during the catastrophic global upheaval of the Flood, and thus rapid production of carbonate skeletons by foraminifera and coccolithophores would be possible. Thermodynamic considerations would definitely not prevent a much larger biomass such as this being produced, since Schadewald who raised this as a ‘problem’ is clearly wrong. It has been reported that oceanic productivity 5–10 times greater than the present could be supported by the available sunlight, and it is nutrient availability (especially nitrogen) that is the limiting factor. Furthermore, present levels of solar ultraviolet radiation inhibit marine planktonic productivity...

"Quite clearly, under cataclysmic Flood conditions, including torrential rain, sea turbulence, decaying fish and other organic matter, and the violent volcanic eruptions associated with the ‘fountains of the deep’, explosive blooms on a large and repetitive scale in the oceans are realistically conceivable, so that the production of the necessary quantities of calcareous ooze to produce the chalk beds in the geological record in a short space of time at the close of the Flood is also realistically conceivable. Violent volcanic eruptions would have produced copious quantities of dust and steam, and the possible different mix of gases than in the present atmosphere could have reduced ultraviolet radiation levels. However, in the closing stages of the Flood the clearing and settling of this debris would have allowed increasing levels of sunlight to penetrate to the oceans.

"Ocean water temperatures would have been higher at the close of the Flood because of the heat released during the cataclysm, for example, from volcanic and magmatic activity, and the latent heat from condensation of water. Such higher temperatures have been verified by evolutionists from their own studies of these rocks and deep-sea sediments, and would have also been conducive to these explosive blooms of foraminifera and coccolithophores. Furthermore, the same volcanic activity would have potentially released copious quantities of nutrients into the ocean waters, as well as prodigious amounts of the CO2 that is so necessary for the production of the calcium carbonate by these microorganisms. Even today the volcanic output of CO2 has been estimated at about 6.6 million tonnes per year, while calculations based on past eruptions and the most recent volcanic deposits in the rock record suggest as much as a staggering 44 billion tonnes of CO2 have been added to the atmosphere and oceans in the recent past (that is, in the most recent part of the post-Flood era)."

[Andrew A. Snelling, "Can Flood Geology Explain Thick Chalk Beds?". Creation Ministries International, 1994]

Dr. Kurt Wise, PhD Geology, Harvard, also supports the "algae bloom" theory, as explained in this video lecture segment. He specifically mentions algae blooms as the possible cause of thick chalk layers at about the 1:10:02 mark:


Dan




20
From Twenty-One Reasons Noah’s Worldwide Flood Never Happened: the 5th and 6th reasons:

"Raindrop prints occur in many places around the world, which could not have been formed or preserved if the muds (now in shales) containing these prints were deposited under water during Noah’s flood (Senter 2011; Hill et al. 2016)."

"Nests of dinosaur eggs are found in several places around the world, and it is illogical that dinosaurs could have had enough time to create these nests and lay their eggs while they were fleeing from rising waters to reach higher ground (Senter 2011; Hill et al. 2016)."

These "reasons" by Dr. Collins border on childishness. No serious geologist would even pretend those "reasons" either prove or disprove the flood model. But for the sake of argument, below are two responses by flood geologists:

"Many argue that fossil animal tracks, burrows, and nests indicate long periods of time of sedimentation. However, these and other ephemeral features can be explained as products of the early phases of the Flood. These features could have formed in areas where sedimentation was rapid and heavy, and where abrupt changes in base level (whether from eustatic change or tectonism) would have exposed an extensive flat bedding surface. For example, dinosaur tracks, nests, and eggs are often seen as arguments that surrounding rocks were not produced during the Flood. But if sedimentation was ongoing, newly deposited sediments could have served as substrate for animal tracks. With more sedimentation, multiple layers of track-bearing rocks would have quickly accumulated. These briefly exposed diluvial sediments would be ideal environments to preserve ephemeral traces like tracks, as well as nests, eggs, and scavenged carcasses. At the same time burrowing organisms would have been active, introducing more conventional trace fossils. Other exotic features, such as mudcracks and raindrop imprints, could have been preserved in the same way." [Reed & Oard, "Three Early Arguments for Deep Time - Part III: The Geognostic Pile". Creation Ministries International, 2012]

"This brings up the question of how tracks, raindrop impressions and other special features that indicate exposed land could have been formed on Flood sediments early in the Flood. I believe it is the same principle that can account for dinosaur tracks, eggs and unique features of some bonebeds in the Rocky Mountain region and the high plains, which I previously reported. In areas of rapid sedimentation, the distance between the water surface and the bottom will become less and less. Then fluctuating sea level at numerous temporal scales would briefly expose the newly-deposited Flood sediments during a relative drop in local or regional sea level. There are at least four reasons why sea level would fluctuate during the early part of the Flood: (1) tectonics, (2) tsunamis, (3) tides on a mostly flooded Earth and (4) the dynamics of shallow Flood currents, less than 1,000 metres deep, on submerged continents at least 2,500 kilometres wide." [Michael J. Oard, "Response to the post-Flood lake model for the Green River Formation". by Michael J. Oard." Creation Ministries International, 2006]

Dan


21

From Twenty-One Reasons Noah’s Worldwide Flood Never Happened: the 4th reason:

"Fossilized mud cracks occur in the Cambrian Tapeats Formation on top of the Precambrian Vishnu schist at the bottom of the canyon and indicate that drying conditions existed during the alleged worldwide Noah’s flood, and these drying conditions occurred at the very beginning of this supposed flood. Although mud cracks can also form in mud under water by compression that squeezes out water from the mud, such compression is not likely to occur during a flood. Moreover, fossilized mud cracks are found in other formations that were supposedly deposited during Noah’s flood, and these mud cracks occur in red shales that coexist with salt and gypsum layers. Therefore, these mud cracks were likely formed in deltaic mud flats that were exposed to the atmosphere where their iron-bearing minerals reacted with oxygen in the air to form red hematite (Collins 2006; Senter 2011; Hill et al. 2016)."

This article by William A. Hoesch, M.S., titled, Mudcracks and the flood, explains that mud cracks, or "shrinkage" cracks, while not fully understood, can occur under three conditions:

1. In the open atmosphere ("sub-aerial")
2. Underwater (sub-aqueous)
3. While buried (sub-stratal)

He concluded by explaining, "Mud cracks provide no evidence of 'droughts' during the Flood."

John Woodmorappe, in a book review of one of the references cited by Collins, titled,"The Grand Canyon in the thralls of shallow, doctrinaire uniformitarianism: A review of The Grand Canyon: Monument to an Ancient Earth (Hill et al. 2016)", wrote,

"The authors trot out the old argument that mud cracks, in the fossil record, are conclusive evidence of long-duration subaerial exposure, and that they are distinguishable from syneresis (subaqueous shrinkage) cracks. They are not. Recent research confirms earlier studies that demonstrate that there is no clear-cut morphological distinction between subaerial desiccation cracks and syneresis (subaqueous) cracks."

The other Collins' "mudcrack" reference is this article by Phil Senter, writing for the anti-creationist site, NCSE:


Woodmorappe cited this secular article by Kilibarda &  Doffin:


My comment. Collins, Hill et al., and Senter assume those were atmospheric mud cracks; but the same cracking occurs underwater when the sediment shrinks. Since the process is not completely understood, this appears to have been an attempt by Collins to muddy the waters.  Collins' careful choice of the words, "these mud cracks were likely formed in deltaic mud flats that were exposed to the atmosphere", provides him the kind of "out" typically found near the bottom of a NYT or WP hit piece.

Dan


22

From Twenty-One Reasons Noah’s Worldwide Flood Never Happened: the 3rd reason:

"Sand dunes with giant cross bedding occur in the Mesozoic rocks in Zion National Park and are further evidence that desert conditions occurred at the time of the supposed flood (Senter 2011; Collins 2017)."

Sand dunes also form underwater, as witnessed in many areas, including those in San Francisco Bay near the Golden Gate Bridge.

This article by Dr. Tas Walker discusses the historical debate, the nature of cross-bedding, and a sandstone formation that contains ancient water channels:


However, it was research by creation scientist Leonard Brand (PhD Biology, Cornell University) on footprints in the Coconino Sandstone of the Grand Canyon that is difficult for old-earther's to scientifically refute:


Another good article on the Coconino Sandstone, by geologists Dr. Andrew Snelling and Dr. Steven Austin, includes a discussion of Dr. Brand's research:


Dan



23
From Twenty-One Reasons Noah’s Worldwide Flood Never Happened: the 2nd reason:

"Salt and gypsum deposits, more than 200 feet thick, occur in the Paradox Formation in Utah just 200 miles north of the Grand Canyon, and these deposits are the same age as the Supai rocks in the Grand Canyon that were supposedly also deposited by Noah’s flood. Similar salt deposits, up to 3,000 feet thick, exist in various places on all continents and in layers of all geologic ages, and these deposits can only be produced by evaporation of sea water. Such evaporation could not have happened in repeated intervals in the midst of the forty days and forty nights of raining and during the supposed continuous deposition of sedimentary rocks by a worldwide flood and in which the only drying and evaporation is said to have occurred at the end of the flood (Collins 2006; 2009; 2012; Hill et al. 2016)."

That is a ridiculous claim, but common among those who reject the biblical narrative. Salt deposits are generally far too uncontaminated to have been produced over millions of years of evaporation. These articles by Stef J. Heerema explain the origin of salt formations:


A theistic evolutionist named Kevin Nelstead critiqued and attempted to refute Stef's research, here:


Stef rebutted Kevin's critique, here:


Stef also has a short video lecture on the igneous origin of salt formations at:



Dan

24

Dan, I read the 21 reasons in the article. Why are they poorly-researched?


Brenda, let's begin with the 1st "reason".  Dr. Collins wrote:

"The stair-stepped appearance of erosion of sedimentary rocks in the Grand Canyon with sandstones and limestones forming cliffs and shales forming gentle slopes cannot happen if all these rocks were deposited in less than one year. If the Grand Canyon had been carved soon after these rocks were deposited by a worldwide flood, they would not have had time to harden into solid rock and would have been saturated with water. Therefore, the sandstones and limestones would have slumped during the carving of the canyon and would not have formed cliffs (Hill et al. 2016)."

As you can see he bases his "reason" on the assertion that the sediment would not have time to harden before the receding flood waters cut the canyon.  Let's assume the canyon was cut by the receding flood waters, as some geologists speculate, rather than by a flood of water from a massive lake (left by the flood or melting ice) when its natural dam burst, as other geologists speculate.

This first article mentions ongoing PhD thesis research on "microbial biocement" at Murdock University:


This is the actual 2004 PhD thesis on "microbial biocement":


This is a 2009 report on scientists at the same Murdock University developing a method for rapid hardening of sand layers, even to the point of resembling marble:


Those three references are cited in this 2009 article by Dr. David Catchpoole:


There is ample evidence of carbonate-forming bacteria at the time the strata was deposited.

One other point: fossilization is a tedious process which requires the organism to be quickly buried to prevent it from being destroyed by bacteria and/or scavengers. Any notion that a fossilized layer formed over long periods of time is unscientific.


A linked article by Dr. Tas Walker cites similar research using natural chemical cement:



When I get time I will tackle the others; or perhaps some of the other creationists on this board can rebut some of them.

Dan


25

This post is in response to an April 10, 2018 article by Dr. Michael Heiser, titled, "How To Argue From the Biblical Text for a Local-Regional Flood Instead of a Global Flood". His article links to a poorly-researched article by retired geologist Dr. Lorence G. Collins, titled, "Twenty-One Reasons Noah’s Worldwide Flood Never Happened".

This post will consider only arguments from the Genesis flood story, and leave the many arguments from other parts of the Bible to others.  It begins:


1.  Man had become very wicked:

"And God saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually. And it repented the Lord that he had made man on the earth, and it grieved him at his heart." -- Gen 6:5-6 KJV

2. The earth was filled with violence, and all flesh had corrupted it's way:

"The earth also was corrupt before God, and the earth was filled with violence. And God looked upon the earth, and, behold, it was corrupt; for all flesh had corrupted his way upon the earth." -- Gen 6:11-12 KJV

3. God said he would destroy all flesh on the earth (but Noah found grace):

"And the Lord said, I will destroy man whom I have created from the face of the earth; both man, and beast, and the creeping thing, and the fowls of the air; for it repenteth me that I have made them." -- Gen 6:7 KJV

"And God said unto Noah, The end of all flesh is come before me; for the earth is filled with violence through them; and, behold, I will destroy them with the earth." -- Gen 6:13 KJV

"And, behold, I, even I, do bring a flood of waters upon the earth, to destroy all flesh, wherein is the breath of life, from under heaven; and every thing that is in the earth shall die." -- Gen 6:17 KJV

4.  God told Noah to build a huge ark, rather than flee to high mountains in neighboring areas until the flood waters subsided:

"Make thee an ark of gopher wood; rooms shalt thou make in the ark, and shalt pitch it within and without with pitch. And this is the fashion which thou shalt make it of: The length of the ark shall be three hundred cubits, the breadth of it fifty cubits, and the height of it thirty cubits." -- Gen 6:14-15 KJV

5.  God said the flood would destroy all flesh, except for Noah's family and representative animal kinds.  The animal kinds to be saved included birds, which surely could have survived a local flood:

"But with thee will I establish my covenant; and thou shalt come into the ark, thou, and thy sons, and thy wife, and thy sons' wives with thee. And of every living thing of all flesh, two of every sort shalt thou bring into the ark, to keep them alive with thee; they shall be male and female. Of fowls after their kind, and of cattle after their kind, of every creeping thing of the earth after his kind, two of every sort shall come unto thee, to keep them alive. And take thou unto thee of all food that is eaten, and thou shalt gather it to thee; and it shall be for food for thee, and for them." -- Gen 6:18-21 KJV

6.  The water rose until it covered all the high hills and mountains:

"And the waters prevailed exceedingly upon the earth; and all the high hills, that were under the whole heaven, were covered. Fifteen cubits upward did the waters prevail; and the mountains were covered." -- Gen 7:19-20 KJV

7.  All flesh died upon the earth:

"And all flesh died that moved upon the earth, both of fowl, and of cattle, and of beast, and of every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth, and every man: All in whose nostrils was the breath of life, of all that was in the dry land, died. And every living substance was destroyed which was upon the face of the ground, both man, and cattle, and the creeping things, and the fowl of the heaven; and they were destroyed from the earth: and Noah only remained alive, and they that were with him in the ark." -- Gen 7:21-23 KJV

8.  The water remained upon the earth for nearly a year:

"In the six hundredth year of Noah's life, in the second month, the seventeenth day of the month, the same day were all the fountains of the great deep broken up, and the windows of heaven were opened." -- Gen 7:11 KJV

"And the waters prevailed upon the earth an hundred and fifty days. And God remembered Noah, and every living thing, and all the cattle that was with him in the ark: and God made a wind to pass over the earth, and the waters assuaged; The fountains also of the deep and the windows of heaven were stopped, and the rain from heaven was restrained;" -- Gen 7:24, 8:1-2 KJV

"And it came to pass in the six hundredth and first year, in the first month, the first day of the month, the waters were dried up from off the earth: and Noah removed the covering of the ark, and looked, and, behold, the face of the ground was dry." -- Gen 8:13 KJV

9.  God promised to never again destroy the earth with a flood:

"And I will establish my covenant with you, neither shall all flesh be cut off any more by the waters of a flood; neither shall there any more be a flood to destroy the earth." -- Gen 9:11 KJV


Now, in the above narrative and biblical passages, replace "flood" and "water(s)" with "local flood" and "local flood water(s)", respectively, and see if it still makes sense.

Dan





26
The Revelation / Re: To Him That Overcometh!
« on: May 25, 2018, 08:51:08 PM »
This is another prophecy that has been puzzling me for a long time:

"And the angel which I saw stand upon the sea and upon the earth lifted up his hand to heaven, And sware by him that liveth for ever and ever, who created heaven, and the things that therein are, and the earth, and the things that therein are, and the sea, and the things which are therein, that there should be time no longer: But in the days of the voice of the seventh angel, when he shall begin to sound, the mystery of God should be finished, as he hath declared to his servants the prophets." -- Rev 10:5-7 KJV

"And the seventh angel sounded; and there were great voices in heaven, saying, The kingdoms of this world are become the kingdoms of our Lord, and of his Christ; and he shall reign for ever and ever . . . And the nations were angry, and thy wrath is come, and the time of the dead, that they should be judged, and that thou shouldest give reward unto thy servants the prophets, and to the saints, and them that fear thy name, small and great; and shouldest destroy them which destroy the earth." -- Rev 11:15,18 KJV

Is the mystery of God finished?

Dan

27
The Revelation / Re: To Him That Overcometh!
« on: May 18, 2018, 07:40:43 AM »

J.S. Russell: "It is therefore not unwarrantable to apply these expressions, lofty as they are, to the faithful disciples of Christ."


I would like to add that, in other sections, Russell discusses in some detail the heavenly Jerusalem of Galatians 4 -- the Church -- as being our mother.

Dan


28
The Revelation / Re: To Him That Overcometh!
« on: May 18, 2018, 07:28:54 AM »

Do you have any idea who he is?


I am still not certain, but James Stuart Russell, undoubtedly one of the most objective biblical commentators ever, presents the case for the disciples, or for those disciples in Jerusalem:

"The real difficulties of apocalyptic exposition now begin. We seem to pass into a different region, where all is visionary and symbolical. The prophet is summoned by the trumpet-voice, which had previously spoken to him, to ascend into heaven, there to be shown 'the things which must take place hereafter' [after these] (chap. iv. 1)." [James Stuart Russell, "The Parousia." Daldy, Isbister & Co., 1st Ed, 1878, Rev 4:1, p.385]


"It is not surprising that this representation of the woman who brings forth a man child destined to rule all the nations, who is caught up to God and to His throne, etc., should at the first view suggest the Virgin Mother and her Son, who was no sooner born than He was persecuted by the murderous jealousy of Herod, 'who sought the young child to destroy him;' and who ascended to the throne of God. Nevertheless, such an interpretation at once breaks down, being wholly incompatible with the subsequent representations in the vision. There is nothing in the history of Mary corresponding to the persecution of the woman by the dragon; to her flight into the wilderness after the ascension of her Son; to the flood of water cast out by the serpent to destroy her; and to the war made upon 'the remnant of her seed.'


There is another objection which is fatal to this interpretation. It is outside the bounds which the Apocalypse itself expressly draws around its scene and time of action. It is not among the things 'which must shortly come to pass.' If we were taken back to look at symbolical representations of the birth of Christ, we should not be upon apocalyptic ground. To leave this ground is to travel out of the record, to forsake the terra firma of historical fact, and to launch out upon a shoreless sea of conjecture, without a compass or a guiding star.

We have no difficulty, therefore, in accepting the common opinion that the woman clothed with the sun is representative of the Christian church. But his alone is too vague a statement. It is the persecuted church, the apostolic church, the church of Judea, that is here symbolised. That is to say, it is the Hebrew-Christian church in the closing days of the Jewish age.

The emblems with which the woman is adorned will not seem incongruous or extravagant when we remember the lofty language in which the prophet Isaiah addresses Israel: 'Arise, shine, for thy light is come, and the glory of the Lord is risen upon thee,' etc. (Isa. lx.) That the apostolic church should be resplendent as the sun, that the moon should be beneath her feet, is only in keeping with all that is spoken in the New Testament of the dignity and glory of the bride of Christ.

But that which identifies the woman in the vision as the Hebrew-Christian church is the crown of twelve stars upon her head. That this is emblematic of the twelve tribes of the children of Israel seems beyond question; and it therefore fixes the reference of the vision to the church of Judea." [Ibid. Rev 12:5, pp.449-50]


"Alford1 affirms that 'the man child is the Lord Jesus Christ, and none other.' He further says that 'the exigencies of this passage require that the birth should be understood literally and historically of that birth of which all Christians know.' And yet he holds that the mother is 'the church;' that 'the Blessed Virgin cannot possibly be intended.' These two suppositions are incompatible, and mutually destructive. It seems indeed natural at first sight to assume that Christ must be intended, but further consideration will show that it cannot be so. The church is never said to be the mother of Christ, nor Christ to be the Son of the church. The church is the bride, the wife, the body, the house of Christ, but never the mother. Christ is the King, the Head, the Husband of the church, but never the Son or Child. He is the Son of God, and the Son of man; but never the Son of the church. There would be an incongruity and impropriety in such a figure from which the sense of fitness revolts.

We believe the key to this symbol is to be found in the sixty-sixth chapter of Isaiah, which is the original source from which the figures are derived. Jerusalem is there represented as a woman in travail, who is delivered of a man child [vers. 7, 8]: 'Before she travailed, she brought forth; before her pain came, she was delivered of a man child. Who hath heard such a thing? who hath seen such things? Shall the earth be made to bring forth in one day? or shall a nation be born at once? for as soon as Zion travailed, she brought forth her children.' It is impossible to believe that the resemblance between these passages is merely casual; and we are therefore greatly assisted in the interpretation of the vision by the analogous representations in the prophecy. As the man child, or the children of Zion, in the prophecy, signify the faithful in the land, or in Jerusalem, so the man child born of the persecuted woman in the Apocalypse denotes the faithful disciples of Christ in Judea, or even in Jerusalem itself. This explanation harmonises the seeming incongruities of the passage, and gives an intelligible and reasonable sense to the whole representation. The Hebrew-Christian church is personified as the persecuted parent of a persecuted offspring; she gives birth to a man child, but a man child that is also a nation, according to the words of the prophet. This man child is destined 'to rule the nations with a rod of iron, and is caught up unto God, and to his throne.' These are statements which seem to many only applicable to the Son of God Himself; but they are in truth affirmed in the Apocalypse to be the privilege and reward of every faithful disciple: 'To him that overcometh will I give power over the nations, and he shall rule them with a rod of iron' (chap. ii. 26, 27); 'To him that overcometh will I grant to sit with me in my throne' (chap. iii. 21). It is therefore not unwarrantable to apply these expressions, lofty as they are, to the faithful disciples of Christ." [Ibid. pp.451-52]
 

That is a most plausible interpretation; but even that breaks down amidst all the pronouns of the first person. Therefore, I am still looking.

Dan


1 "All Scripture analogy and that of this book itself (cf. ch. xix. 15) requires that these words should be understood of our incarnate Lord, and of no other. Any system seems to me convicted of error, which is compelled to interpret the words otherwise." [Henry Alford, "The Greek Testament Vol IV - Hebrews to Revelation." Longmans, Green and Co, 5th Ed, 1903, p.250]



29
The Revelation / Re: To Him That Overcometh!
« on: May 16, 2018, 10:13:59 AM »
I found another distinction between Jesus and the "Lamb that overcame". This is the Lamb that overcame:

"And one of the elders saith unto me, Weep not: behold, the Lion of the tribe of Judah, the Root of David, hath prevailed to open the book, and to loose the seven seals thereof. And I beheld, and, lo, in the midst of the throne and of the four beasts, and in the midst of the elders, stood a Lamb as it had been slain, having seven horns and seven eyes, which are the seven Spirits of God sent forth into all the earth. And he came and took the book out of the right hand of him that sat upon the throne." -- Rev 5:5-7 KJV

This is Jesus who was already seated on the throne with the Father when the Lamb showed up (Rev 3:21):

"I Jesus have sent mine angel to testify unto you these things in the churches. I am the root and the offspring of David, and the bright and morning star." -- Rev 22:16 KJV

Do you see the difference?  Judah is the root of David, and Jesus is the root of David, and of Judah; but the Lamb is the Lion of the tribe of Judah. That is, the Lamb is of the tribe of Judah, but he is not the root of David.

Dan



30
The Revelation / Re: To Him That Overcometh!
« on: April 20, 2018, 11:44:52 PM »

That is amazing! I have read many books and commentaries on the Revelation, and I cannot recall anyone mentioning this. The lamb was always presented as Jesus.

Thank you so much for this board.  I have learned a great deal


Welcome to the forum, Ben. We are looking forward to your contribution.

Dan


31
The Bible Study Video Series can be accessed here:


Dan

32

LXX, thank you. Did you know there are seminaries that teach evolution?

Yes. At one time I thought evolution and the Word of God were compatible. No more.

Faith & LXX, check out this link that talks about theistic evolution:

https://isgenesishistory.com/theistic-evolution-college-students-ark/?mc_cid=0399bd75dd&mc_eid=6d624a2f86

Dan



33
Evolution / Re: Haeckel's Embryos
« on: February 04, 2018, 08:11:12 AM »

The author, Robert J. Richards, claims Haeckel was not attempting to defraud.  I have Haeckel's books, but I don't know enough about embryology to know the difference.

In any case, if Richards is correct, does that mean the evolutionism book pushers are the ones who have been defrauding us (rather than Haeckel)?


Old Icons Die Hard!  In the following video, Dr. Jonathan Wells, an embryologist with a PhD in Molecular Biology from U.C. Berkeley, and author of Icons of Evolution: Science or Myth?, depicts Haeckel's Embryos as one of the false Icons of Evolution (he mentions the Miller & Levine book):


Watch until the 39:08 mark for the entire segment.


This next video is a presentation on Dr. Well's book Zombie Science: More Icons of Evolution, which is an update on the continued use of Haeckel's Embryos to promote Darwinism:



In both videos, at the 31:21 and 24:42 marks, respectively, a quote was attributed to Darwin, Origin, 1859, which I could not find in that edition, nor in the 1861 3rd edition, though there are other statements promoting embryonic similarities. However, I did find the exact quote in the 1871 edition.  The second quote (following "This is") is from a letter to Asa Gray dated September 10, 1860, and is an exact quote.


In the following article, Dr. Wells analyzes a poorly researched critique on this subject by the so-called National Center for Science Education (NCSE):


Dan


34
Evolution / Haeckel's Embryos
« on: February 03, 2018, 08:17:14 PM »
I recently read an April 2015 article by Casey Luskin that claims Haeckel's fradulent embryo drawings were still found in Biology textbooks. This is the link to the article:


This is truly astonishing since, according to Dr. jonathan Wells, Haeckel's embryos have been known to be fraudulent for over a century:

"Haeckel's embryos seem to provide such powerful evidence for Darwin's theory that some version of them can be found almost every modern textbook dealing with evolution. Yet biologists have known for over a century that Haeckel faked his drawings; vertebrate embryos never look as similar as he made them out to be. Furthermore, the stage Haeckel labeled the"first" is actually midway through development; the similarities he exaggerated are preceded by striking differences in earlier stages of development. Although you might never know it from reading biology textbooks, Darwin's "strongest single class of facts" is a classic example of how evidence can be twisted to fit a theory."[Jonathan Wells, Haeckel's Embryos, "Icons of Evolution." Regnery Publishing, Inc., 2002, Chap 5, pp. 82-83]

Your input will be appreciated.

Dan

35
Intelligent Design / The "Bush of LIfe"
« on: January 27, 2018, 01:32:05 PM »

I just stumbled on this debate where biogenetist Dr. J. Craig Venter schooled atheist Dr. Richard Dawkins on the fictional evolutionary icon called the "tree of life" by labeling it appropriately as a "bush of life":


Notice Dawkins' astonishment that Venter would question the existence of the cherished "tree of life" icon. Listen until 11:50 for the complete segment. It ends on a very funny and revealing note.

For the record, the "tree of life" in biblical terms is the spiritual tree that heals the nations, once Satan and his worthless minions are defeated:

"And he shewed me a pure river of water of life, clear as crystal, proceeding out of the throne of God and of the Lamb. In the midst of the street of it, and on either side of the river, was there the tree of life, which bare twelve manner of fruits, and yielded her fruit every month: and the leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations." -- Rev 22:1 - 2 KJV

Another good discussion begins later at 26:12.


Dan

36
The Revelation / Re: To Him That Overcometh!
« on: January 26, 2018, 08:14:40 AM »

Dan, who do you think this is?

"For with stammering lips and another tongue will he speak to this people. To whom he said, This is the rest wherewith ye may cause the weary to rest; and this is the refreshing: yet they would not hear." -- Isa 28:11-12 KJV


It doesn't sound like Jesus since he spake with authority (Mat 7:29). Yet, a few verses later is the prophecy of Christ as the chief cornerstone (vs. 16), sandwiched between warnings to the leadership of Jerusalem.  The LXX and ESV refers to "they", rather than "he":

"by reason of the contemptuous words of the lips, by means of another language: for they shall speak to this people, saying to them, This is the rest to him that is hungry, and this is the calamity: but they would not hear." -- Isa 28:11-12 LXX

"For by people of strange lips and with a foreign tongue the LORD will speak to this people, to whom he has said, 'This is rest; give rest to the weary; and this is repose'; yet they would not hear." -- Isa 28:11-12 ESV

Therefore, that may be referring to the disciples speaking in tongues on the day of Pentecost, since vs. 16 refers to the resurrection of Christ a few months earlier:

"Therefore thus saith the Lord, even the Lord, Behold, I lay for the foundations of Sion a costly stone, a choice, a corner-stone, a precious stone, for its foundations; and he that believes on him shall by no means be ashamed." -- Isa 28:16 LXX

But frankly I don't understand it.

Dan



37
The Revelation / Re: To Him That Overcometh!
« on: January 21, 2018, 01:31:33 PM »

The angel of the Lord said he was coming quickly but not necessarily the things mentioned by the other angels. I just got around to learning this book and now I have to relearn it. :)


Brenda,

I now think of the Revelation like the prophecies of Isaiah which jump around from one future event (and time frame) to another: from the assault on Jerusalem by Rezin the king of Syria and Pekah king of the northern tribes of Israel; to the anointing of Cyrus the Persian at the end of the Babylonian captivity; to the arrival of Christ and new Jerusalem; to the destruction of earthly Jerusalem; and to many events in between.  The same for the prophecy of Jeremiah.  The Revelation of Jesus Christ was not much of a revelation if it was merely a rehash of old testament prophecies.

Dan

38
The Revelation / Re: To Him That Overcometh!
« on: January 20, 2018, 07:57:03 PM »

I don't understand.


Brenda, refer back to my Reply #8.  Notice that the Lord sent his angel (his Spirit in his "glorified body", if you will) to tell John the things that are shortly to come to pass. Jesus clarifies that point in Rev 22:16, that the angel was indeed "His" angel. Another (everyday) angel in Rev 22:6 (not the angel of the Lord) confirmed that the angel of the Lord was sent to show the servants what must shortly be done.

But that was not true of the other (everyday) angels, nor of any of the visions John saw. In other words, the only things that we are guaranteed were to shortly to come to past in the first century were those things mentioned in the epistles to the seven churches.  The other prophecies may or may not have been shortly fulfilled.

How do we tell the angel of the Lord from a run-of-the-mill angel? Maybe this way. First, the angel of the Lord:

"And when I saw him, I fell at his feet as dead. And he laid his right hand upon me, saying unto me, Fear not; I am the first and the last: I am he that liveth, and was dead; and, behold, I am alive for evermore, Amen; and have the keys of hell and of death." -- Rev 1:17-18 KJV

A run-of-the-mill angel will tell you not to worship him.  He will say he is a fellowservant, an instrument, or something to let you know he is NOT to be worshiped: 

"And I John saw these things, and heard them. And when I had heard and seen, I fell down to worship before the feet of the angel which shewed me these things. Then saith he unto me, See thou do it not: for I am thy fellowservant, and of thy brethren the prophets, and of them which keep the sayings of this book: worship God." -- Rev 22:8-9 KJV

"And I fell at his feet to worship him. And he said unto me, See thou do it not: I am thy fellowservant, and of thy brethren that have the testimony of Jesus: worship God: for the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy." -- Rev 19:10 KJV

Does that make sense?

Dan

39
The Revelation / Re: To Him That Overcometh!
« on: January 20, 2018, 04:42:21 PM »
Okay, see if this makes sense:

1.  Jesus sent his angel to show his servants things which must shortly come to pass (Rev 1:10, 22:6)

2.  His angel was sent to testify the things in the churches (Rev 22:16).

What else did His angel tell us was to shortly come to pass?

Dan


40
The Gospels / Re: Was John Killed Before AD 70?
« on: January 20, 2018, 12:39:40 PM »

This statement by Jesus indicates James and John would be martyred:


George, I would appreciate some feedback on this post:

http://forum.bibleresearchtools.com/index.php?topic=27.msg321#msg321

Dan

41
The Life of Christ / Re: Not Taste of Death
« on: January 20, 2018, 12:36:01 PM »

Many who claim to be partial preterists deny a first-century 2nd coming due to creedal constraints, or, for the same reason, admit he came but deny it was the "real" second coming.


Rev, I would appreciate some feedback on this post:

http://forum.bibleresearchtools.com/index.php?topic=27.msg321#msg321

Dan

42
The Life of Christ / Re: Not Taste of Death
« on: January 20, 2018, 12:34:11 PM »

Read this post by Dan and see if you still have a problem:


LXX, I would appreciate some feedback on this post:

http://forum.bibleresearchtools.com/index.php?topic=27.msg321#msg321

Dan

43
The Revelation / Re: To Him That Overcometh!
« on: January 20, 2018, 12:31:38 PM »

I just realized something that may change my entire understanding of the Revelation.  Tell me what you think of these passages:

"The Revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave unto him, to shew unto his servants things which must shortly come to pass; and he sent and signified it by his angel unto his servant John:" -- Rev 1:1 KJV

"And when I saw him, I fell at his feet as dead. And he laid his right hand upon me, saying unto me, Fear not; I am the first and the last: I am he that liveth, and was dead; and, behold, I am alive for evermore, Amen; and have the keys of hell and of death. Write the things which thou hast seen, and the things which are, and the things which shall be hereafter; The mystery of the seven stars which thou sawest in my right hand, and the seven golden candlesticks. The seven stars are the angels of the seven churches: and the seven candlesticks which thou sawest are the seven churches. Unto the angel of the church of Ephesus write; These things saith he that holdeth the seven stars in his right hand, who walketh in the midst of the seven golden candlesticks;" -- Rev 1:17-20, 2:1 KJV

"And he saith unto me, Write, Blessed are they which are called unto the marriage supper of the Lamb. And he saith unto me, These are the true sayings of God. And I fell at his feet to worship him. And he said unto me, See thou do it not: I am thy fellowservant, and of thy brethren that have the testimony of Jesus: worship God: for the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy." -- Rev 19:9-10 KJV

"And he said unto me, These sayings are faithful and true: and the Lord God of the holy prophets sent his angel to shew unto his servants the things which must shortly be done. Behold, I come quickly: blessed is he that keepeth the sayings of the prophecy of this book. And I John saw these things, and heard them. And when I had heard and seen, I fell down to worship before the feet of the angel which shewed me these things. Then saith he unto me, See thou do it not: for I am thy fellowservant, and of thy brethren the prophets, and of them which keep the sayings of this book: worship God." -- Rev 22:6-9 KJV

"I Jesus have sent mine angel to testify unto you these things in the churches. I am the root and the offspring of David, and the bright and morning star." -- Rev 22:16 KJV

Dan

44
The Revelation / The Great Woman of Revelation 12
« on: January 20, 2018, 11:56:53 AM »
The Great Woman of Revelation 12

The Woman in Revelation 12 is symbolic of heavenly Jerusalem, which is the Church, as established by the faithful children of Israel:

"And there appeared a great wonder in heaven; a woman clothed with the sun, and the moon under her feet, and upon her head a crown of twelve stars: And she being with child cried, travailing in birth, and pained to be delivered . . . And she brought forth a man child, who was to rule all nations with a rod of iron: and her child was caught up unto God, and to his throne." -- Rev 12:1-2,5 KJV

Recall this prophecy by Isaiah, and the fulfillment in Christ:

"And if the Lord of Sabaoth had not left us a seed, we should have been as Sodom, and we should have been made like Gomorrha." -- Isa 1:9 LXX 1851

"And as Esaias said before, Except the Lord of Sabaoth had left us a seed, we had been as Sodoma, and been made like unto Gomorrha." -- Rom 9:29 KJV

Isaiah also foretold the salvation of a remnant of Israel:

"And though the people of Israel be as the sand of the sea, a remnant of them shall be saved." -- Isa 10:22 LXX 1851

"Esaias also crieth concerning Israel, Though the number of the children of Israel be as the sand of the sea, a remnant shall be saved:" -- Rom 9:27 KJV

As aforementioned, they -- the remnant of the children of Israel -- established the Church for the Lord, which is the "mother of us all":

"For it is written, that Abraham had two sons, the one by a bondmaid, the other by a freewoman. But he who was of the bondwoman was born after the flesh; but he of the freewoman was by promise. Which things are an allegory: for these are the two covenants; the one from the mount Sinai, which gendereth to bondage, which is Agar. For this Agar is mount Sinai in Arabia, and answereth to Jerusalem which now is, and is in bondage with her children. But Jerusalem which is above is free, which is the mother of us all." -- Gal 4:22-26 KJV

They were able to establish the church in spite of the persecution by their fellow Jews:

"Now we, brethren, as Isaac was, are the children of promise. But as then he that was born after the flesh persecuted him that was born after the Spirit, even so it is now. Nevertheless what saith the scripture? Cast out the bondwoman and her son: for the son of the bondwoman shall not be heir with the son of the freewoman." -- Gal 4:28-30 KJV

"For ye, brethren, became followers of the churches of God which in Judaea are in Christ Jesus: for ye also have suffered like things of your own countrymen, even as they have of the Jews: Who both killed the Lord Jesus, and their own prophets, and have persecuted us; and they please not God, and are contrary to all men:" -- 1Th 2:14-15 KJV

Revelation 12 also speaks of that persecution.

"And the dragon was wroth with the woman, and went to make war with the remnant of her seed, which keep the commandments of God, and have the testimony of Jesus Christ." -- Rev 12:17 KJV

Dan


45
Archaeology / Re: Where is Biblical Sodom?
« on: January 19, 2018, 11:32:02 AM »

While reading the references I couldn't help but notice this statement by Wood:

"Collins begins by stating, “Sodom and Gomorrah, Admah and Zeboiim almost never appear on Bible maps” (2007: 70), and “even conservative Bible maps don’t include them [Sodom and Gomorrah]” (2007: 73). These statements are quite inaccurate. In reviewing eight Bible atlases published since 1997 that cover the period of the Patriarchs, seven locate the Cities of the Plain south of the Dead Sea.1 The eighth (Team Media 1998) offers no suggestion as to their location."


What do you think?


Thanks, George. I anticipated someone would comment on that statement by Wood. Collins was none to happy about such a "low blow":

"This tack by Wood reveals the very reason that it was unfair and imbalanced for Bible and Spade to place his scholarly article against my lay-oriented treatment of the subject. Many may read this and think that Wood has caught me being “inaccurate,” but the fact is that my statement is perfectly accurate, and based on a large number of lectures11 where I have asked the following question to tens of thousands of Bible-carrying people: “Does anyone have a map in his or her Bible that includes Sodom and Gomorrah?” Only one person has ever said Yes, and then he qualified it by saying, “But it has a question mark next to it.” Note that I did not say, “…never appear in Bible atlases.” I clearly said, “…almost never appear on Bible maps.” (Most people do not carry Bible atlases to church!)

"But, in fact, most Bible atlases do not include Sodom and Gomorrah on maps depicting known sites of the Patriarchal Period, and if they do, they appear with question marks, or are by some means classified as unidentified. Some of them may talk about a possible location for the Cities of the Plain, but most still do not place them on a map as identified sites. The most scholarly Bible atlas published recently is The Sacred Bridge, edited by A. F. Rainey and R. S. Notley12 (noted by Wood), but it does not present Sodom and Gomorrah as identified sites on any of its maps of the Patriarchal Period. They are merely placed in a box, designating speculation, and on two different maps they float from one side of the Dead Sea to the other (generally in the traditional southern Dead Sea region), but never are they set in the area of Bab edh-Dhra and Numeira. (One might be interested to know that in my recent interactions with Professor Rainey regarding the location of Sodom, he tended to agree more with the northern view as I have argued it.13)

"But just for the record, here are a few more to add to the list.14 The Standard Bible Atlas (2006) does not place Sodom and Gomorrah on any of its maps; neither does the Moody Atlas of the Bible (1985), the Rose Book of Bible Charts, Maps and Timelines (2005), the Tubingen Bible Atlas (2001), nor the Holy Land Satellite Atlas (2 vols.; 1999). The IVP Atlas of Bible History (2006) has Sodom and Gomorrah on a map, but with a question mark (and not in the location of Bab edh-Dhra, Wood’s Sodom), as does The HarperCollins Concise Atlas of the Bible (2006). The New Bible Atlas (1994) has them on a small map suggestive of Kedorlaomer’s campaign (Gen 14), but not on its larger map of “known sites” of the Patriarchal Period. The Holman Bible Atlas (1998) lists Sodom and Gomorrah with the qualifier “possible location,” but not in the area of Bab edh-Dhra. The old classic Westminster Historical Atlas to the Bible (1956-74), compiled by none other than W. F. Albright and G. E. Wright, puts Sodom and Gomorrah under the waters at the southern end of the Dead Sea, but not at Bab edh-Dhra and Numeira, because Albright knew those southern Dead Sea sites were abandoned long before the time of Abram and Lot.

"So, as far as Bible atlases are concerned, we can safely say that while some include them and some do not, not a single one locates Sodom and Gomorrah with any degree of confidence, and most atlases that do list them (always indicated as speculative) do not place them in the area of Bab edh-Dhra, as Wood theorizes. In my mind, the map issue simply reinforces that fact that the location of Sodom remains an unknown quantity for the vast majority of scholars."

[Steven Collins, "A Response to Bryant G. Woods Critique of Collins Northern Sodom Theory." 2007, p.4-5]


Dan


46
The Revelation / Re: To Him That Overcometh!
« on: January 18, 2018, 08:01:55 AM »

Dan, if this is not Jesus who do you think it is?


I don't know who it is. God had already given the Revelation to Jesus:

"The Revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave unto him, to shew unto his servants things which must shortly come to pass; and he sent and signified it by his angel unto his servant John:" -- Rev 1:1 KJV

Jesus was already sitting on the throne:

"To him that overcometh will I grant to sit with me in my throne, even as I also overcame, and am set down with my Father in his throne." -- Rev 3:21 KJV

The "Lamb", in the midst of the throne, takes what appears to be the book of the Revelation, or maybe the New Testament, out of Jesus's right hand:

"And I saw in the right hand of him that sat on the throne a book written within and on the backside, sealed with seven seals . . . And I wept much, because no man was found worthy to open and to read the book, neither to look thereon. And one of the elders saith unto me, Weep not: behold, the Lion of the tribe of Judah, the Root of David, hath prevailed to open the book, and to loose the seven seals thereof . . . And [the Lamb] came and took the book out of the right hand of him that sat upon the throne." -- Rev 5:1,4-5,7 KJV


At one time I believed that John was writing about a past event; but there is nothing in the language that justifies that interpretation:

"Write the things which thou hast seen, and the things which are, and the things which shall be hereafter;" -- Rev 1:19 KJV

"Therefore write the things which you have seen, and the things which are, and the things which will take place after these things." -- Rev 1:19 NASB

1) What had John seen? 

He saw the angel of the Lord, which he described.

2) What are "the things which are"? 

The things described in verse 20 -- the seven churches of Asia.

3) What are "the things which shall be hereafter"?

The things which take place after the epistles to the churches, beginning in chapter 4.

"Come up hither, and I will shew thee things which must be hereafter." -- Rev 4:1 KJV

I don't see any wiggle room.


There is one additional thing I have thought of, which may or may not make any sense; but the seven Spirits may be the messages to the seven churches. John had mentioned them early on:

"John to the seven churches which are in Asia: Grace be unto you, and peace, from him which is, and which was, and which is to come; and from the seven Spirits which are before his throne;" -- Rev 1:4 KJV

The importance of hearing the Spirit was repeated seven times in chapters 2 and 3:

"He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches"

The seven Spirits before the throne were repeated in the vision of the future:

"And out of the throne proceeded lightnings and thunderings and voices: and there were seven lamps of fire burning before the throne, which are the seven Spirits of God." -- Rev 4:5 KJV

The Lamb had the seven Spirits:

"And I beheld, and, lo, in the midst of the throne and of the four beasts, and in the midst of the elders, stood a Lamb as it had been slain, having seven horns and seven eyes, which are the seven Spirits of God sent forth into all the earth." -- Rev 5:6 KJV

In other words, it appears the Lamb was the only one who heard the Spirit(s), and, therefore, he was the only one who "overcame".

Dan

47
Archaeology / Where is Biblical Sodom?
« on: January 17, 2018, 08:56:23 PM »
Where is Biblical Sodom?

For more than a century -- since at least as far back as the days of the 1851 expedition to the holy land by Louis de Saulcy -- archaeologists have tended to concentrate the search for Sodom in the Dead Sea area. That began to change in 2002 when Dr. Steven Collins revealed potential evidence for a different location of Sodom, called Tall el-Hammam, in the Jordan River Valley north of the Dead Sea[1].

As many of you are aware (those who have visited the Bible Research Tools website), a video playlist by archaeologist Collins on his research at Jordan's Tall el-Hammam has been a fixture of the Biblical Archaeology page since its inception:


A recent article by Bible History Daily titled "Where Is Sodom?" highlights the work of Dr. Collins, including some of the many challenges by fellow scholars.


The Biblical Timeline

The biggest challenge to Dr. Collins' claim seems to be based on his timeline, which places the destruction of Sodom as much as 200 years later the long-held consensus.

A modern-day biblical archaeologist, Dr. Bryant Wood of the Associates of Biblical Research, who promotes a southern Dead Sea location, challenges Collins' position in part on the basis of the biblical interpretation of the time of Israel's sojourn in Egypt[2]:

"[Paul J.] Ray has carefully reviewed all of the pertinent evidence regarding the Sojourn and concludes: "the various lines of evidence would seem to indicate that the 430 years should be taken at face value for the Israelite sojourn in Egypt" (2004: 42; 2007: 94)."[3]

Wood explains:

"Starting with the date of the Exodus at 1446 BC (Wood 2005) [4] and a Sojourn of 430 years, a straightforward reading of the chronological data in the Old Testament yields dates for Abraham of 2166–1991 BC, with the destruction of the Cities of the Plain occurring in 2067 BC (Walton 1978: 40) [5], at the end of the Early Bronze (EB) period. Collins, however, lowers this date by 215 years to 1852 BC in the Middle Bronze I period. Since Middle Bronze Age pottery was found at Tall el-Hammam, Collins concludes that it must be Sodom (2007: 75)[6]"

A potential flaw in Wood's interpretation is his reliance on the unreliable Hebrew Masoretic Text for dating the sojourn. The Apostle Paul, who tended to rely on the Greek Septuagint text (the LXX), and/or more ancient Hebrew manuscripts, gave us a timeline of 430 years from the Abrahamic Covenant to the Sinaitic Covenant:

"And this I say, that the covenant, that was confirmed before of God in Christ, the law, which was four hundred and thirty years after, cannot disannul, that it should make the promise of none effect." -- Gal 3:17 KJV

The LXX seems to confirm Paul's timeline:

"And the sojourning of the children of Israel, while they sojourned in the land of Egypt and the land of Chanaan, was four hundred and thirty years." -- Exo 12:40 LXX

The ancient Jewish historian, Flavius Josephus, gave a similar timeline:

"They [Israel] left Egypt in the month Xanthicus, on the fifteenth day of the lunar month; four hundred and thirty years after our forefather Abraham came into Canaan, but two hundred and fifteen years only after Jacob removed into Egypt. It was the eightieth year of the age of Moses, and of that of Aaron three more. They also carried out the bones of Joesph with them, as he had charged his sons to do."[7]


Wood's source relies on extra-biblical assumptions to arrive at a 400 year Egyptian oppression:

"The name Amram of [Exo.6] vs. 20 may be a conflation of the name of the Amram who was the head of one of the third-generation families of Levi, with the name of a later Amram who was the father of Moses and Aaron. There was a tendency among the Levites to name their sons after their forefathers (cf. 1 Chr 6:7–13; Lk 1:5, 59–61). Thus, several generations appear to have been telescoped here, with Amram, the father of Moses and Aaron, probably being at least the grandson of the original Amram, if not even a later descendant."[3]

However, the author of 1st Chronicles provides no support, since the lineage of Levi was still intact in the days of David:

"The sons of Levi: Gedson, Caath, and Merari. And the sons of Caath; Ambram, and Issaar, Chebron, and Oziel. And the sons of Ambram; Aaron, and Moses, and Mariam: and the sons of Aaron; Nadab, and Abiud, Eleazar, and Ithamar." -- 1Chr 6:1-3 LXX

"And David divided them into daily courses, for the sons of Levi, for Gedson, Caath, and Merari . . . The sons of Caath; Ambram, Isaar, Chebron, Oziel, four . . . The sons of Ambram; Aaron and Moses: and Aaron was appointed for the consecration of the most holy things, he and his sons for ever, to burn incense before the Lord, to minister and bless in his name for ever." -- 1Chr 23:6,12,13 LXX


The Calculation

A simple calculation of the birth dates reveals the LXX to contain the more realistic timeline. Start with Levi, who lived 137 years:

"And these are the names of the sons of Levi according to their kindreds, Gedson, Caath, and Merari; and the years of the life of Levi were a hundred and thirty-seven." -- Exo 6:16 LXX

His son Caath (Kohath) lived 133 years:

"And the sons of Caath, Ambram and Issaar, Chebron, and Oziel; and the years of the life of Caath were a hundred and thirty-three years." -- Exo 6:17-18 LXX

And his son Ambram (Amram), Moses' father, lived 132 years:

"And Ambram took to wife Jochabed the daughter of his father’s brother, and she bore to him both Aaron and Moses, and Mariam their sister: and the years of the life of Ambram were a hundred and thirty-two years." -- Exo 6:20 LXX

Moses was 80 when he departed Egypt with the children of Israel:

"And Moses was eighty years old, and Aaron his brother was eighty-three years old, when he spoke to Pharao." -- Exo 7:7 LXX

So, from Levi's birth to the Exodus was a maximum of (137+134+132+80=) 484 years. That assumes that each of Moses' ancestors, beginning at Levi, had sons on or about the day of their death, which is not likely.

But there is another factor to consider. Levi's son, Caath, was already alive when the Israelites departed for Egypt:

"And these are the names of the sons of Israel that went into Egypt with their father Jacob—Jacob and his sons. The first-born of Jacob, Ruben. . . And the sons of Levi; Gerson, Cath, and Merari." -- Gen 46:8, 11 LXX

Thus, we can remove Levi from the timeline, and simply sum the three descendants to yield (134+132+80=) 346 years as the maximum possible time of the Israelites in Egypt.

Of course, a logical assumption would be the fathers of Moses had their children at younger ages; and, even better, we can simply believe the Apostle Paul:

"And this I say, that the covenant, that was confirmed before of God in Christ, the law, which was four hundred and thirty years after, cannot disannul, that it should make the promise of none effect." -- Gal 3:17 KJV

For additional information, see the Youtube video titled "How Long Were The Israelites In Egypt?" at:



The Biblical Location of Sodom

So, what about Dr. Collins' claim that the Tall el-Hammam location is based on the scripture? We know that Abraham had built an altar on a mountain between Bethel and Ai:

"And he went to the place whence he came, into the wilderness as far as Baethel, as far as the place where his tent was before, between Baethel and Aggai (Bethel and Ai), to the place of the altar, which he built there at first, and Abram there called on the name of the Lord. And Lot who went out with Abram had sheep, and oxen, and tents." -- Gen 13:3-5 LXX

The scholarly consensus seems to be that Bethel and Ai were located north of Jerusalem, and due west of the Jordan River valley. We know that Jeroboam, the first king of the northern tribes, built an altar at a place called Bethel, rendering it unlikely to be located in Judah:

"And Jeroboam ordained a feast in the eighth month, on the fifteenth day of the month, like unto the feast that is in Judah, and he offered upon the altar. So did he in Bethel, sacrificing unto the calves that he had made: and he placed in Bethel the priests of the high places which he had made." -- 1Kin 12:32 KJV

Joshua implied Bethel and Ai to be near Jericho, which is located in the Jordan River valley north of the Dead Sea, and across the river from the Tall el-Hammam dig site:

"And Joshua sent men from Jericho to Ai, which is beside Bethaven, on the east of Bethel, and spake unto them, saying, Go up and view the country. And the men went up and viewed Ai." -- Jos 7:2 KJV

The scripture indicates, from the location of Abram's altar between Bethel and Ai, that Lot traveled east to a watered country round around Jordan:

"And Lot having lifted up his eyes, observed all the country round about Jordan, that it was all watered, before God overthrew Sodom and Gomorrha, as the garden of the Lord, and as the land of Egypt, until thou come to Zogora. And Lot chose for himself all the country round Jordan, and Lot went from the east, and they were separated each from his brother. And Abram dwelt in the land of Chanaan." -- Gen 13:10-11 LXX

That is the way Collins interpreted the text, according to Wood:

"Collins’ main evidence for locating Sodom north of the Dead Sea is found in Genesis 13. There we have the account of Lot choosing the Cities of the Plain (kikkar) as the area where he would pasture his flocks. Collins interprets the location of the event as “the environs of Bethel/Ai” (2007: 71). Thus, when Lot “set out toward the east” (Gn 13:11), he would have traveled to the area of the southern Jordan Valley just north of the Dead Sea."[2]

Wood disputes Collins' interpretation, but provides no biblical evidence to the contrary. Rather he tends to rely on his interpretation of archaeological data and the Masorete timeline.

The scripture offers no other clues, from the time Abram and Lot arrived in the region of the altar in Genesis 13:3-4, until Lot departed from Abram (vs. 11).  At that time, Abram pitched his tent toward Sodom (vs. 12). There is no mention of Abram departing from the area until verse 18, when he departed for Hebron.


Other Resources

For additional information on the dig at Tall el-Hammam, see Dr. Steven Collins' video playlist at:


or visit:


Dan


Footnotes:

[1] Collins, Steven 2002 – The Geography of the Cities of the Plain, Biblical Research Bulletin, Trinity Southwest University, Vol. II, No. I

[2] Wood, Bryant G. 2016 - Locating Sodom: A Critique of the Northern Proposal, Associates of Biblical Research. Reprinted from Bible and Spade 20-2 (2007): 78–84.

[3] Ray, Paul J. Jr. 2007 - The Duration of the Israelite Sojourn in Egypt. Reprinted from Bible and Spade 17 (2004): 33–44.

[4] Wood, Bryant G. 2005 - The Rise and Fall of the 13th-Century Exodus-Conquest Theory. Journal of the Evangelical Theological Society 48: 475–89.

[5] Walton, John H. 1978 - Chronological and Background Charts of the Old Testament. Grand Rapids MI: Zondervan. [Wood: "The birth of Isaac was announced by the Lord as being “about this time next year” (Gn 18:14). Since Isaac was bom in 2066 BC (Walton 1978: 40), the destruction of the Cities of the Plain occurred one year earlier in 2067 BC."]

[6] Collins, Steven. 2007 - Sodom: The Discovery of a Lost City. Bible and Spade 20: 70–77

[7] Flavius Josephus, The Complete Works: Antiquities of the Jews. Christian Classics Ethereal Library, 1934, Book II.15.2, p.148

48
The Life of Christ / Re: Not Taste of Death
« on: January 13, 2018, 09:51:24 AM »

I knew I would forget something. The page number is 374.  I'm fixing it on my first post.


I omitted an entire generation in the timeline I posted, Brenda (I fixed it).

Thanks for the footnotes. They are good ones.

Dan

49
The Life of Christ / Re: Not Taste of Death
« on: January 11, 2018, 09:16:21 AM »

Are you a preterist, Dan?


Welcome to the forum, Jackie!

Am I a preterist?  It depends on who you ask. Preterists label me a futurist or partial-futurist, and futurists label me a preterist or partial-preterist.  LOL! 

Frankly, I do not know the best label. I tend to follow the scripture wherever it leads me, and I am not afraid of God's Word, that is, I am not afraid to learn something new. I guess that makes me a Berean.

I am not a full preterist, if that is the intent of your question. I believe Satan and his minions are alive and well, and are currently flooding the world's airways, schools, political arenas, entertainment, and even church buildings and ministries with lies and deceits, either intentionally or out of ignorance.

I tend to believe full-futurists (e.g., premillenialists) and full-preterists (e.g., covenant eschatologists) are two sides of the same coin. Both tend to cause followers to take their eye off the ball. However, I believe the doctrine that most undermines the Word of God is that which teaches this earth will be destroyed, and even more so, the doctrine that teaches, when the going gets tough Christians will be "whisked away" from it all (e.g., "Why worry?  We are going to be Raptured!"). That kind of complacency (or, self-centeredness) plays right into the hands of Satan, and has done perhaps as much or more damage to western civilization than the Satanic teaching of evolution.

Dan


50
The Life of Christ / Not Taste of Death
« on: January 10, 2018, 03:27:49 PM »

Not Taste of Death

Jesus said that some of those in one of his audiences would "not taste of death" until they see him coming in his kingdom with his angels; and then he would judge every man according to his works:

"For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: and whosoever will lose his life for my sake shall find it. For what is a man profited, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul? For the Son of man shall come in the glory of his Fatherwith his angels; and then he shall reward every man according to his works. Verily I say unto you, There be some standing here, which shall not taste of death, till they see the Son of man coming in his kingdom." -- Mat 16:25-28 KJV

He warned the same audience to not be ashamed of him and his words, or he would be ashamed of them when he returned:

"Whosoever therefore shall be ashamed of me and of my words in this adulterous and sinful generation; of him also shall the Son of man be ashamed, when he cometh in the glory of his Father with the holy angels. And he said unto them, Verily I say unto you, That there be some of them that stand here, which shall not taste of death, till they have seen the kingdom of God come with power." -- Mar 8:38, 9:1 KJV

"For whosoever shall be ashamed of me and of my words, of him shall the Son of man be ashamed, when he shall come in his own glory, and in his Father's, and of the holy angels. But I tell you of a truth, there be some standing here, which shall not taste of death, till they see the kingdom of God." -- Luk 9:26-27 KJV

That seems straightforward enough. But many, if not most biblical scholars reject a literal interpretation of "not taste of death". Some explain it away as a reference to the upcoming transfiguration (a week later), even though there is no mention of angels nor of judgment (Matt 16:25) at the transfiguration. To get around that inconsistency, many will claim the two verses are separate prophecies, even though there is nothing grammatical to warrant such a claim.

This article will examine supporting scripture for a literal interpretation.


Judgment According to Works

The necessity of doing good works is mentioned many times. For example, David said the Lord would judge every man according to his works:

"and mercy is thine, O Lord; for thou wilt recompense every one according to his works." -- Ps 62:12 LXX

Jesus confirmed in his Revelation that he would "come quickly" and judge every man according to their works:

"And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened: and another book was opened, which is the book of life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works . . . And, behold, I come quickly; and my reward is with me, to give every man according as his work shall be." -- Rev 20:12, 22:12 KJV

In the Gospel of John, Jesus rebuked the works of unfaithful Jews in the harshest manner, labeling them as children of the devil:

"They answered and said unto him, Abraham is our father. Jesus saith unto them, If ye were Abraham's children, ye would do the works of Abraham . . . Ye are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and abode not in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own: for he is a liar, and the father of it." -- John 8:39,44 KJV


Perverse Generation

Jesus was not very pleased with his generation of Israelites, calling them a "perverse generation".

"Then Jesus answered and said, O faithless and perverse generation, how long shall I be with you? how long shall I suffer you? bring him hither to me." -- Mat 17:17 KJV

Moses foretold a perverse generation that would arise in the latter days:

""For I know that after my death ye will utterly transgress, and turn aside out of the way which I have commanded you; and evils shall come upon you in the latter days, because ye will do evil before the Lord, to provoke him to anger by the works of your hands . . . They have sinned, not pleasing him; spotted children, a froward and perverse generation." -- Deu 31:29, 32:5 LXX

Until the arrival of Jesus, that term – perverse generation – was used only by Moses.


Blood of Servants

Moses also said that in those "latter days" the Lord would avenge the blood of his sons [MT: blood of servants]:

"Rejoice, ye heavens, with him, and let all the angels of God worship him; rejoice ye Gentiles, with his people, and let all the sons of God strengthen themselves in him; for he will avenge the blood of his sons, and he will render vengeance, and recompense justice to his enemies, and will reward them that hate him; and the Lord shall purge the land of his people." -- Deu 32:43 LXX

Jesus said the blood of the prophets (which includes his and his disciples' blood) would be avenged on his own wicked generation.  He also declared that a prophet could not perish out of Jerusalem:

"Truly ye bear witness that ye allow the deeds of your fathers: for they indeed killed them, and ye build their sepulchres. Therefore also said the wisdom of God, I will send them prophets and apostles, and some of them they shall slay and persecute: That the blood of all the prophets, which was shed from the foundation of the world, may be required of this generation; From the blood of Abel unto the blood of Zacharias which perished between the altar and the temple: verily I say unto you, It shall be required of this generation . . . Nevertheless I must walk to day, and to morrow, and the day following: for it cannot be that a prophet perish out of Jerusalem." -- Luk 11:48-51, 13:33 KJV

Jesus also said in his Revelation that the blood of prophets, saints, apostles, and servants would be avenged on Babylon the Great, the Mother of Harlots:

"And upon her forehead was a name written, Mystery, Babylon The Great, The Mother Of Harlots And Abominations Of The Earth. And I saw the woman drunken with the blood of the saints, and with the blood of the martyrs of Jesus: and when I saw her, I wondered with great admiration . . . Rejoice over her, thou heaven, and ye holy apostles and prophets; for God hath avenged you on her . . . And in her was found the blood of prophets, and of saints, and of all that were slain upon the earth . . . For true and righteous are his judgments: for he hath judged the great whore, which did corrupt the earth with her fornication, and hath avenged the blood of his servants at her hand." -- Rev 17:5-6, 18:20,24, 19:2 KJV

The commonality of the blood of prophets, along with the requirement that a prophet cannot perish out of Jerusalem, makes it virtually impossible that Babylon the Great was any city other than first century Jerusalem.


The Olivet Discourse

Jesus told four of his disciples they would be killed, and he told all his disciples that they would not have gone over the cities of Israel before he returned:

"And as he sat upon the mount of Olives over against the temple, Peter and James and John and Andrew asked him privately, Tell us, when shall these things be? and what shall be the sign when all these things shall be fulfilled . . . And ye shall be hated of all men for my name's sake: but he that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved." -- Mar 13:3-4,13 KJV

"Then shall they deliver you up to be afflicted, and shall kill you: and ye shall be hated of all nations for my name's sake . . . And ye shall be hated of all men for my name's sake: but he that endureth to the end shall be saved. But when they persecute you in this city, flee ye into another: for verily I say unto you, Ye shall not have gone over the cities of Israel, till the Son of man be come." -- Mat 24:9, 10:22-23 KJV

He also told the disciples they would be killed before the current generation was finished:

"Verily I say unto you, This generation shall not pass, till all these things be fulfilled." -- Mat 24:34 KJV


Coming In Clouds

Jesus said he would come in the clouds of heaven, and send his angels to gather his elect, before his generation and the generation of his disciples was fulfilled:

"Immediately after the tribulation of those days shall the sun be darkened, and the moon shall not give her light, and the stars shall fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens shall be shaken: And then shall appear the sign of the Son of man in heaven: and then shall all the tribes of the earth mourn, and they shall see the Son of man coming in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory. And he shall send his angels with a great sound of a trumpet, and they shall gather together his elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other . . . Verily I say unto you, This generation shall not pass, till all these things be fulfilled." -- Mat 24:29-31,34 KJV

"But in those days, after that tribulation, the sun shall be darkened, and the moon shall not give her light, And the stars of heaven shall fall, and the powers that are in heaven shall be shaken. And then shall they see the Son of man coming in the clouds with great power and glory. And then shall he send his angels, and shall gather together his elect from the four winds, from the uttermost part of the earth to the uttermost part of heaven . . . Verily I say unto you, that this generation shall not pass, till all these things be done." -- Mar 13:24-27,30 KJV

During that same generation, Jesus said Jerusalem would be surrounded by armies:

"And when ye shall see Jerusalem compassed with armies, then know that the desolation thereof is nigh. Then let them which are in Judaea flee to the mountains; and let them which are in the midst of it depart out; and let not them that are in the countries enter thereinto. For these be the days of vengeance, that all things which are written may be fulfilled. But woe unto them that are with child, and to them that give suck, in those days! for there shall be great distress in the land, and wrath upon this people . . . And then shall they see the Son of man coming in a cloud with power and great glory. And when these things begin to come to pass, then look up, and lift up your heads; for your redemption draweth nigh . . . So likewise ye, when ye see these things come to pass, know ye that the kingdom of God is nigh at hand. Verily I say unto you, This generation shall not pass away, till all be fulfilled." -- Luk 21:20-23, 27-28, 31-32 KJV

That was fulfilled in A.D. 66 when the Roman armies of Cestius Gallus surrounded Jerusalem, before departing for unknown reasons, giving Christians time to flee Judaea:

"There may another very important, and very providential, reason be here assigned for this strange and foolish retreat of Cestius; which, if Josephus had been now a Christian, he might probably have taken notice of also; and that is, the affording the Jewish Christians in the city an opportunity of calling to mind the prediction and caution given them by Christ about thirty-three years and a half before, that 'when they should see the abomination of desolation' [the idolatrous Roman armies, with the images of their idols in their ensigns, ready to lay Jerusalem desolate] 'stand where it ought not;' or, 'in the holy place;' or, 'when they should see Jerusalem any one instance of a more unpolitic, but more providential, compassed with armies;' they should then 'flee to the mound conduct than this retreat of Cestius visible during this whole rains.' By complying with which those Jewish Christians fled the siege of Jerusalem; which yet was providentially such a 'great to the mountains of Perea, and escaped this destruction. See tribulation, as had not been from the beginning of the world to that time; no, Lit. Accompl. of Proph. p. 69, 70. Nor was there, perhaps, nor ever should be " [Josephus, Flavius, "The Complete Works: Wars of the Jews." Christian Classics Ethereal Library, 1934, Book II.19.6, fn704, pp.1270-71]

The presence of Roman armies on Judean soil was considered an abomination to the point that at an earlier date a Roman general, Vitellius, redirected his armies around Judaea, rather than through it:

"So Vitellius prepared to make war with Aretas, having with him two legions of armed men; he also took with him all those of light armature, and of the horsemen which belonged to them, and were drawn out of those kingdoms which were under the Romans, and made haste for Petra, and came to Ptolemais. But as [Vitellius] was marching very busily, and leading his army through Judea, the principal [Jews] met him, and desired that he would not thus march through their land; for that the laws of their country would not permit them to overlook those images [eagles] which were brought into it, of which there were a great many in their ensigns; so he was persuaded by what they said, and changed that resolution of his which he had before taken in this matter. Whereupon he ordered the army to march along the great plain, while he himself, with Herod the tetrarch and his friends, went up to Jerusalem to offer sacrifice to God, an ancient festival of the Jews being then just approaching;" [William Whiston, Antiquities of the Jews, "The Works of Flavius Josephus Vol 3." George Bell& Sons, 1889, Book XVIII.5.3, Mat 24:15, pp.284-85]

Therefore this . . .

"When ye therefore shall see the abomination of desolation, spoken of by Daniel the prophet, stand in the holy place, (whoso readeth, let him understand:) Then let them which be in Judaea flee into the mountains:" -- Mat 24:15-16 KJV

Equals this . . .

"And when ye shall see Jerusalem compassed with armies, then know that the desolation thereof is nigh. Then let them which are in Judaea flee to the mountains" -- Luk 21:20-21 KJV

Daniel wrote of the abomination of desolation, here:

"And from the time that the daily sacrifice shall be taken away, and the abomination that maketh desolate set up, there shall be a thousand two hundred and ninety days." -- Dan 12:11 KJV

The daily sacrifice was taken away in 66 AD, a few months prior to the arrival of the armies of Cestius, and approximately 3 1/2 years before Titus arrived with his troops in February 70 AD:

"And at this time it was that some of those that principally excited the people to go to war made an assault upon a certain fortress called Masada. They took it by treachery, and slew the Romans that were there, and put others of their own party to keep it. At the same time Eleazar, the son of Ananias the high priest, a very bold youth, who was at that time governor of the temple, persuaded those that officiated in the Divine service to receive no gift or sacrifice for any foreigner. And this was the true beginning of our war with the Romans; for they rejected the sacrifice of Caesar on this account; and when many of the high priests and principal men besought them not to omit the sacrifice, which it was customary for them to offer for their princes, they would not be prevailed upon." [Flavius Josephus, "The Complete Works." Christian Classics Ethereal Library, 1934, Book II.17.2, p.1257]

The abomination of desolation was also mentioned in this passage (annotated) which points to Christ using the armies of Titus to destroy the city and sanctuary:

"And after the sixty-two weeks, the anointed one [Christ] shall be destroyed [cut-off, crucified], and there is no judgment in him: and he [Christ] shall destroy the city [Jerusalem] and the sanctuary [Temple] with the prince [Titus] that is coming: they [the city and temple] shall be cut off with a flood [of Roman soldiers], and to the end of the war which is rapidly completed he [Christ] shall appoint the city to desolations [even the country side was stripped of its trees]. And he [Christ] shall confirm the covenant with many for one week: and in the midst of the week he[Christ] shall cause the sacrifice and the oblation to cease, and for the overspreading of abominations he [Christ] shall make it desolate, even until the consummation, and that determined shall be poured upon the desolate." -- Dan 9:26-27 LXX


What about the so-called Rapture?

For those who believe the gathering of the elect in the Olivet Discourse is separate from the "rapture" of 1 Thessalonians 4, please make note that Paul was using personal pronouns:

"For this we say unto you by the word of the Lord, that we which are alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord shall not prevent them which are asleep. For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord." -- 1Th 4:15-17 KJV

The grammar indicates Paul was not writing about us, but about himself and the first-century Thessalonians.  Projecting the fulfillment of that prophecy far into the future is exegetically untenable.

Dan


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