Before we resume our scriptural research, a bit of housekeeping is necessary. As an experiment, for several weeks, we have accepted most comments, except for those with obscene, political, or otherwise objectionable content, or those from clearly objectionable sources.
It is clear that many of the comments have been made for reasons unrelated to this site. Beginning on this date, comments which are irrelevant, and those which are not from believable sources will be arbitrarily deleted. Those which are represented as being from names which actually constitute “stealth URL’s” – if they seem to contain legitimate comments – will be edited to remove the “stealth”. Please don’t waste your time or mine by posting self serving, irrelevant comments.
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Our examination of the scriptural account of the original Terra forming of planet earth continues. In this article, we will begin to examine Genesis 2.
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“If you’re a newcomer to this series, you’ve probably landed on the wrong page! Some very controversial concepts have been covered in previous documents. In order to fully understand this series, you should read the articles in sequence. Therefore – Please read our previous posts before continuing with this article.”
We have stated specifically that there is no conflict between accurate understanding of what the Bible actually says and what science has actually observed – that discrepancies result from either misunderstanding / distortion of scripture, or misinterpretation / distortion of observations of physical evidence.
In order to support these assertions, we have begun a careful examination of what scriptures actually state, and of what evidence actually shows. Please notice: as previously stated, assertions / assumptions about what it scriptures say and / or about what science “knows” don’t count. Only literal translations and literal facts are meaningful.
We have previously observed that the Genesis account purports to tell of the creation of the earth and everything on it, all in just six days. It specifically states (repeatedly), “and the evening and the morning were the (insert number) day.” We’ve already noted that most modern folks find this claim unbelievable – yet that’s what the Bible says.
Genesis 2 “wraps up” the initial account of creation. We’ll view it first in our two “standard” reference texts, the King James Version and Young’s Literal Translation.
1 Thus the heavens and the earth were finished, and all the host of them. 2 And on the seventh day God ended his work which he had made; and he rested on the seventh day from all his work which he had made. 3 And God blessed the seventh day, and sanctified it: because that in it he had rested from all his work which God created and made.
Gen 2:1-3 (KJV)
1 And the heavens and the earth are completed, and all their host; 2 and God completeth by the seventh day His work which He hath made, and ceaseth by the seventh day from all His work which He hath made. 3 And God blesseth the seventh day, and sanctifieth it, for in it He hath ceased from all His work which God had prepared for making.
Gen 2:1-3 (YLT)
Just in case you find the language of those texts to be a bit archaic and therefore potentially confusing, we’ll supplement them with a modern translation, the Holman Christian Standard Bible.
1 So the heavens and the earth and everything in them were completed. 2 By the seventh day God completed His work that He had done, and He rested on the seventh day from all His work that He had done. 3 God blessed the seventh day and declared it holy, for on it He rested from His work of creation.
Gen 2:1-3 (HCSB)
That scripture is pretty much self-explanatory, with one additional comment. As we noted in a previous post, scripture does not state that every species was created in those seven days. It does state that every KIND of plant and animal was created, and that each reproduced “after its’ kind”. We noted in Terra Forming the Earth – Day Six(a) (the first “Day Six” article) that the six day process did not instantly produce all of the millions of separate species which are known today. (For example, on day six, God created neither poodles not dachshunds). The following paragraph is borrowed from that posting.
“The creatures which were created on days 5 & 6 were not Millions or Billions of different species, but rather, several thousand “kinds” of creatures, each set of which carried all of the genetic information that would be needed by their descendants to multiply and fill the earth. Tiny changes did occur as they scattered into varied environments, but every example of natural evolution which has ever been documented has been – and always will be – micro-evolution.”
If that paragraph didn’t adequately stir your memory, we recommend that you go back and re-read that entire article.
At this stage, we should point out that chapter and verse divisions are not considered a part of the original inspired document. In fact, these divisions were introduced only a few hundred years ago. While the placement of chapter and verse breaks are not “inspired”, they do serve as useful reference tools. Ideally, chapter 1 should extend through Genesis 2:3.
As we return to our scriptural text, we should take note of the literary technique used by the early authors. Genesis 1 (through 2:3) offers a condensed version of the account. You might accurately describe it as the introduction. At a glance, Chapter two may seem to be the account of a separate event, but that is not a correct understanding. It is rather, a fuller explanation of what was briefly stated in Chapter 1 .
4 These are the generations of the heavens and of the earth when they were created, in the day that the Lord God made the earth and the heavens, 5 And every plant of the field before it was in the earth, and every herb of the field before it grew: for the Lord God had not caused it to rain upon the earth, and there was not a man to till the ground. 6 But there went up a mist from the earth, and watered the whole face of the ground. 7 And the Lord God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul.
Gen 2:4-7 (KJV)
4 These are births of the heavens and of the earth in their being prepared, in the day of Jehovah God’s making earth and heavens; 5 and no shrub of the field is yet in the earth, and no herb of the field yet sprouteth, for Jehovah God hath not rained upon the earth, and a man there is not to serve the ground, 6 and a mist goeth up from the earth, and hath watered the whole face of the ground. 7 And Jehovah God formeth the man—dust from the ground, and breatheth into his nostrils breath of life, and the man becometh a living creature.
Gen 2:4-7 (YLT)
Say – this looks like a good place to consult the HCSB again, doesn’t it?
4 These are the records of the heavens and the earth, concerning their creation at the time that the LORD God made the earth and the heavens. 5 No shrub of the field had yet grown on the land, and no plant of the field had yet sprouted, for the LORD God had not made it rain on the land, and there was no man to work the ground. 6 But water would come out of the ground and water the entire surface of the land. 7 Then the LORD God formed the man out of the dust from the ground and breathed the breath of life into his nostrils, and the man became a living being.
Gen 2:4-7 (HCSB)
Now, before we get carried away and leave it behind, look at that statement about the water cycle. There is good reason to believe that the early earth was very different from the one which we know. Literally all over the earth – including the continent of Antarctica – there is evidence of lush, tropical growth. What does all of that have to do with rain? Today, earth has a few examples of “cloud forest”, such as that found in Costa Rica. In such an environment, rain is unnecessary, due to constant dripping from condensation.
Without going into a lot of technical detail, science generally agrees that there is a practical limit to the size of insects, and that it relates to their relatively inefficient respiratory and circulatory systems. In theory, if the oxygen level in the atmosphere were higher, the practical limit on insect size would be correspondingly greater.
Please allow us to pursue this concept a bit further: If the earth was heavily planted first, with (initially) only few breeding pairs of animals, it seems reasonable that the oxygen concentration in the atmosphere would have been much higher than it is today. Is there any evidence to support such an assertion? Yes! Fossilized dragonflies have been found with wingspan of as much as 35 inches – unheard of in the twenty-first century! The closest living descendant that survives today is found in Costa – Rica, (wingspan 7-1/2 inches). If you want to follow this further, check this URL: http://www.wired.com/wiredscience/2010/11/huge-dragonflies-oxygen/ or maybe this one: http://www.fossilmuseum.net/Fossil_Galleries/Liaoning/Sinaeshcnidia/Sinaeshcnidia.htm
Just a thought – adult dragonflies catch and eat mosquitoes and gnats in flight. What do you suppose the diet of 30” or larger dragonflies was? Could mosquitoes and gnats have been proportionately larger? If so, a walk through a swampy area might have been truly terrifying – or lethal! It’s a good thing that God’s original dietary plan – not just for people, but for animals, as well – was strictly vegetarian! (If you forgot that detail, review the “day 6 e” article.)
Keep this rain cycle note in mind, because we will will be returning for another look at this topic somewhat later!
Getting back to our scripture, “man” is the only creature of which the Bible depicts God being so “personally” involved in creation. Here, (Genesis 2:7) we are told that the Lord God created the man and “breathed into his nostrils the breath of life”. For now, we will introduce – but not develop – a concept, which will be examined in greater detail in a later article. Do you remember the statement, attributed to God, “Let us make man in our image”? We followed that up with a discussion of just what God’s image may be.
Atheists and agnostics claim that “men made their gods in their own image”, and in truth, the images of “gods” produced by most polytheistic religions represent men, women, animals, and monstrous creatures. We saw, though, that the nature of the God of the Bible includes the attribute of being “omnipresent” (meaning that He’s everywhere – at the same time). If God is omnipresent, He must not occupy a body like ours.
The meaning of God’s breathing into man’s nostrils “the breath of life” must relate to that special image of God which is unique to the human race. Science has largely neglected to study – and indeed, it would be very difficult to devise a valid way to study – out of body experiences. Still, such reports are common enough that every human society, past and present, has anecdotal accounts of such events. In many cases, these reports include specific details which can’t be explained by conventional science. On the other hand, if humans have a living “soul” which is not fully dependent upon the body, then we can begin to understand – to explain the unexplainable!
This is one of those topics which is largely ridiculed by those who dominate “science” today. I placed that word within quotation marks for good reason. Much of what masquerades as science actually focuses on preferred evidence, while ignoring and / or hiding facts which are not compatible with preferred “scientific” beliefs.
Scriptures address that topic, as well. Consider the warning given by the great Apostle Paul to a young Greek preacher, Timothy: 20 O Timothy, keep that which is committed to thy trust, avoiding profane [and] vain babblings, and oppositions of science falsely so called:9 21 Which some professing have erred concerning the faith. (1 Timothy 6:20, 21a)
Please notice: That scripture DOES NOT warn against true science, but only against “science falsely so called”. It was a problem some 2,000 years ago when that scripture was written. Unfortunately, it remains a problem today! TRUE SCIENCE NEITHER HIDES, RIDICULES NOR IGNORES RELEVANT DATA! It is actually OK to say, “We don’t yet know the answer” – rather than pretending to know all.
The existence of the human soul is in fact the only possibility which makes any sense of the pervasive belief, found in every human culture, of life after physical death. Is this only a wild fantasy, or does it have a foundation in reality? That’s another topic which we need to investigate – someday.
As usual, we have opened a lot of topics which call for deeper investigation, but this document is becoming too long.
Until next time…