Moses and Genesis—a critic responds

Moses and Genesis—a critic responds


Friday, December 20, 2013

DOES GENESIS HOLD UP UNDER CRITIC’S SCRUTINY?
23 September 2005

This is a request for a reader, “AM”, to answer a criticism from an antibiblical product of liberal theology, “G”. The Religious Studies departments of secular universities almost always work hard to undermine biblical authority. For example, we have encountered an atheist called Professor Almond, who is head of the Religion Department at the University of Queensland (a bit like putting Dracula in charge of the blood bank!).

The methodology of liberals is to proclaim premises as conclusions. That is, they claim that their scholarly research has shown that the miraculous events of the Bible did not occur. In reality, their research began with the assumption that miracles do not occur, so it would have been a miracle if they had concluded otherwise.

This time we have a guest response from James Patrick Holding of Tekton Apologetics Ministries.

 


Hi,

I have been having an email debate with well read pluralist for a few months now and I asked him to critique Russell Grigg’s article Did Moses really write Genesis and his reply was well beyond my ability to respond (I am only a recent convert). Is it possible for someone (maybe even Russell Grigg) to help me answer his critique? I have added it below: Hi [AM], I am replying without the history as it becomes too lengthy. First I will reply re the [CMI] article. I found it a bizzare [sic] article, but not surprised.

This “bizarre” article has received warm praise from Orthodox Jewish scholars, but would appear bizarre to those indoctrinated by liberal theology.

Read the rest of this article on Creation.com!

How did Jesus Christ understand Genesis? (Part 4)

How did Jesus Christ understand Genesis? (Part 4)


Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Christ and His Use of Genesis

In John 10:34–35 Jesus defended His claim to deity by quoting from Psalm 82:6 and then asserting that “Scripture cannot be broken.” That is, the Bible is faithful, reliable, and truthful. The Scriptures cannot be contradicted or confounded. In Luke 24:25–27 Jesus rebuked His disciples for not believing all that the prophets have spoken (which He equates with “all the Scriptures”). So in Jesus’s view, all Scripture is trustworthy and should be believed.

Another way that Jesus revealed His complete trust in the Scriptures was by treating as historical fact the accounts in the Old Testament, which most contemporary people think are unbelievable mythology. These historical accounts include Adam and Eve as the first married couple (Matthew 19:3–6, Mark 10:3–9), Abel as the first prophet who was martyred (Luke 11:50–51), Noah and the Flood (Matthew 24:38–39), the experiences of Lot and his wife (Luke 17:28–32), the judgment of Sodom and Gomorrah (Matthew 10:15), Moses and the serpent in the wilderness wanderings after the exodus from Egypt (John 3:14), Moses and the manna from heaven (John 6:32–33, 49), the miracles of Elijah (Luke 4:25– 27), and Jonah in the big fish (Matthew 12:40–41). As Wenham has compellingly argued,8 Jesus did not allegorize these accounts but took them as straightforward history, describing events that actually happened, just as the Old Testament describes. Jesus used these accounts to teach His disciples that the events of His own death, resurrection, and Second Coming would likewise certainly happen in time-space reality. Jesus also indicated that the Scriptures are essentially perspicuous (or clear): 11 times the gospel writers record Him saying, “Have you not read . . . ?”9 And 30 times He defended His teaching by saying “It is written.”10 He rebuked His listeners for not understanding and believing what the text plainly says.

Read the rest of this article on AnswersInGenesis.org!

How did New Testament authors understand Genesis? (Part 3)

How did New Testament authors understand Genesis? (Part 3)


Monday, December 16, 2013

New Testament Authors’ View of Genesis

“Did Bible Authors Believe in a Literal Genesis?” pt. 3, by Dr. Terry Mortenson

The New Testament has many more explicit references to the early chapters of Genesis.

The genealogies of Jesus presented in Matthew 1:1–17 and Luke 3:23–38 show that Genesis 1–11 is historical narrative. These genealogies must all be equally historical or else we must conclude that Jesus was descended from a myth and therefore He would not have been a real human being and therefore not our Savior and Lord.5

Paul built his doctrine of sin and salvation on the fact that sin and death entered the world through Adam. Jesus, as the Last Adam, came into the world to bring righteousness and life to people and to undo the damaging work of the first Adam (Romans 5:12–19; 1 Corinthians 15:21–22, 45–47). Paul affirmed that the serpent deceived Eve, not Adam (2 Corinthians 11:3; 1 Timothy 2:13–14). He took Genesis 1–2 literally by affirming that Adam was created first and Eve was made from the body of Adam (1 Corinthians 11:8–9). In Romans 1:20, Paul indicated that people have seen the evidence of God’s existence and some of His attributes since the creation of the world.6 This means that Paul believed that man was right there at the beginning of history, not billions of years after the beginning.

Read the rest of this article on AnswersInGenesis.org!

How did Old Testament authors understand Genesis? (Part 2)

How did Old Testament authors understand Genesis? (Part 2)


Friday, December 13, 2013

Old Testament Authors and Their Use of Genesis

“Did Bible Authors Believe in a Literal Genesis?” pt. 2, by Dr. Terry Mortenson

When we turn to other Old Testament authors, there are only a few references to Genesis 1–11. But they all treat those chapters as literal history.

The Jews were very careful about genealogies. For example, in Nehemiah 7:61–64 the people who wanted to serve in the rebuilt temple needed to prove that they were descended from the priestly line of Aaron. Those who could not prove this could not serve as priests. First Chronicles 1–8 gives a long series of genealogies all the way back to Adam. Chapter 1 (verses 1–28) has no missing or added names in the genealogical links from Adam to Abraham, compared to Genesis 5 and Genesis 11. The author(s) of 1 Chronicles obviously took these genealogies as historically accurate.

Outside of Genesis 6–11, Psalm 29:10 contains the only other use of the Hebrew word mabbul (translated “flood”). God literally sat as King at the global Flood of Noah. If that event was not historical, the statement in this verse would have no real force and the promise of verse 11 will give little comfort to God’s people.

Read the rest of this article on AnswersInGenesis.org!

Was Genesis 1-11 meant to be taken literally?

Was Genesis 1-11 meant to be taken literally?


Thursday, December 12, 2013

DID BIBLE AUTHORS BELIEVE IN A LITERAL GENESIS?

By Dr. Terry Mortenson on April 24, 2013

Anyone who has read the Bible very much will recognize that there are different kinds of literature in the Old and New Testaments. There are parables, poetry, prophetic visions, dreams, epistles, proverbs, and historical narrative, with the majority being the latter. So, how should we interpret Genesis 1–11? Is it history? Is it mythology? Is it symbolic poetry? Is it allegory? Is it a parable? Is it a prophetic vision? Is it a mixture of these kinds of literature or some kind of unique genre? And does it really matter anyway?

We will come back to the last question later, but suffice it to say here that the correct conclusion on genre of literature is foundational to the question of the correct interpretation. If we interpret something literally that the author intended to be understood figuratively, then we will misunderstand the text. When Jesus said “I am the door” (John 10:9), He did not mean that He was made of wood with hinges attached to His side. Conversely, if we interpret something figuratively that the author intended to be taken literally, we will err. When Jesus said, “The Son of Man is about to be betrayed into the hands of men, and they will kill Him, and the third day He will be raised up” (Matthew 17:22–23), He clearly meant it just as literally as if I said to my wife, “Margie, I’m going to fill up the gas tank with gas and will be back in a few minutes.”

There are many lines of evidence we could consider to determine the genre of Genesis 1–11, such as the internal evidence within the Book of Genesis and how the Church has viewed these chapters throughout church history. But in this chapter we want to answer the question, “How did the other biblical authors (besides Moses, who wrote Genesis) and Jesus interpret them?” From my reading and experience it appears that most people who consider the question of how to interpret the early chapters of Genesis have never asked, much less answered, that question.

Read the rest of this article on AnswersInGenesis.com!