Tag Archives: flood

Is Genesis History?

If you follow my posts, you probably know I love the new scientific evidence for the literal truth of the Book of Genesis – a real Adam and Eve, a real Noah, and a real Flood.

In January, I gave two 45-minute talks on “Is Genesis History?” You can view them here: http://trinityvero.org/is-genesis-history.

I discussed scientific flaws in the “old-earth” paradigm, and did my best to summarize the overwhelming new DNA, geological, and astronomical evidence. I also explained why I believe this issue is important to Christians.

I hope you enjoy the videos. I would appreciate feedback – what you like, what you don’t like or follow, what I could do better. I hope to speak on this subject in other places, and would appreciate suggestions on forums.

Modern science reveals God and the truth of the Bible. I urge you to share the good news. Together, we can bring hope and defeat the Atheist paradigm of a meaningless universe.

Thanks for reading.

Doug Ell

All The Writers

Flavius Josephus was an exceptional man. He lead a rebellion against Rome, yet convinced the Romans to let him live, and became the historian for General (and later Emperor) Vespasian. He was known for his intellect. Joseph Scaliger, one of the most brilliant and critical reviewers of history to ever live, a man who reconciled ancient calendars and histories, wrote:

Josephus is the most diligent and the greatest lover of truth of all writers; nor are we afraid to affirm of him, that it is more safe to believe, not only as to the affairs of the Jews, but also as to those that are foreign to them, than all the Greek and Latin writers; and this, because his fidelity and his compass of learning are everywhere conspicuous.

Josephus’ most famous work is The Antiquities of the Jews, which he wrote in his later years, when he was the Emperor’s historian. Antiquities is a history of the Jewish people. It follows the Old Testament, but with many added details. For example, after a description of the Flood, and Noah’s Ark coming to rest, Josephus writes: “The Armenians call this place (Apobaterion) The Place of Descent; for the ark being saved in that place, its remains are shown there by the inhabitants to this day.”

That is an astonishing statement—the name of the place where the Ark came to rest, and the claim that remains were still present. But I am even more astonished by Josephus’ next paragraph:

Now all the writers of barbarian histories make mention of this flood and of the ark; among them is Berosus the Chaledean; for when he is describing the circumstances of the flood, he goes on thus: — “It is said there is still some part of this ship in Armenia, at the mountain of the Cordyaeans; and that some people carry off pieces of the bitumen, which they take away, and use chiefly as amulets for the averting of mischiefs.” Hieronymus the Egyptian, also, who wrote the Phoenician Antiquities, and Mnaseas, and a great many more, make mention of the same. Nay, Nicolaus of Damascus, in his ninety-sixth book, hath a particular relation about them, where he speaks thus: — “There is a great mountain in Armenia …”

The emphasis above is mine—all the writers. Josephus had access to all books in all libraries in the Roman Empire. These are non-Jewish historians, and he doesn’t just claim that some of them refer to Noah’s Flood and the Ark, he claims all of them do. He names prominent historians. Nicolaus of Damascus was the tutor of the children of Mark Anthony and Cleopatra; he wrote 144 books, almost all of which are now lost.

Few today, even religious people, accept the Flood of Noah. The unanimous testimony of all the ancient writers is ignored. The silent testimony of the geological record—of sedimentary rock (rock created from watery deposits) on every continent, often miles deep—is ignored. We are told that those layers of rock in the Grand Canyon were laid down tens or even millions of years apart—even though there is no erosion or plant debris between them.

But let’s get back to Josephus, and his statement that “all the writers” of ancient histories refer to the Flood? What are we to make of that? Why would Josephus lie? Why would he make up something? Why would the even more ancient historians he notes make up details about the Flood?

To a historian, credibility and accuracy are important, perhaps everything. I see no reason why Josephus would lie, nor do I see any reason why other ancient historians would lie. How can our modern world ignore Josephus, and ignore all the other writers of ancient histories?

The Flood was a real event, and Genesis records the true history of humanity.

Thanks for reading.

How Do You Get An Ice Age?

Here’s a fact that may surprise you: secular scientists have no good explanation for the ice age. They have theories, but none work. “It’s a killer,” says one scientist. “It’s maddening,” adds another.

The most common theory, the one you’ll probably find if you look it up, is the astronomical (or Milankovitch) theory. It is that a very slow and very slight change in the Earth’s orbit dramatically changed the climate on Earth. In the 1970s scientists measured chemical variations in layers of deep arctic ice, assigned dates to those layers, and claimed the dates matched astronomical cycles. Under this theory there were about 50 ice ages in the last 2.5 million years, with the most recent peaking around 20,000 years ago.

Jake Herbert, a scientist with the Institute for Creation Research, has written several articles in Acts and Facts that destroy this theory. (I lean on his articles heavily in this post, and if you haven’t yet subscribed to that wonderful (and free!) magazine, I encourage you to do so at icr.org.) Herbert notes that the dates scientists now ascribe to those chemical variations no longer match the astronomical cycles. In other words, the calendar foundation of the astronomical theory has been ripped out from under it.

Herbert notes a second problem – even if the cycles still matched, why did the climate change so severely? Noted astronomer Fred Hoyle mocked the astronomical theory:

If I were to assert that a glacial condition could be induced in a room liberally supplied during winter with charged night storage heaters simply by taking an ice cube into the room, the proposition would be no more unlikely than the Milankovitch theory.

The heavens operate like a precise clock. Computers today can model the distance of the Earth from the Sun going back thousands or (using secular deep-time assumptions) even millions of years. They find no significant deviation.

I think most scientists are willing to overlook the mismatch in the cycles, and the failure of computers to simulate an ice age, because they have no better hypothesis. But here’s a fact that kills all astronomical theories. None of them can explain ice miles thick.

The glaciers were two miles or higher in many places, including much of North America. The seas worldwide dropped almost 400 feet. No theory based solely on decreasing sunlight can explain this. If the Earth simply got colder, evaporation would slow, and snowfall would subside. You don’t get ice two miles high. So how do you get an ice age?

The answer is in the Bible. The Bible tells us there was a great Flood, the Flood of Noah, thousands of years ago (I like the estimate of 3300 BC for the Flood). Genesis 7:11 tells us “the fountains of the great deep burst forth.” I think this refers to both volcanoes and underground oceans. The whole Earth was flooded, and tsunamis wiped out all land life not in the Ark. Continents crashed into each other like freight trains, and the collisions built the mountains we see today. Particles from smoldering volcanoes blocked sunlight for perhaps three to five hundred years, and hot lava heated the oceans worldwide to a warm bath. You had reduced sunlight and warm water for hundreds of years. Think of a giant El Niño. Hundreds of years of reduced sunlight and warm oceans are the only explanation for ice two miles high.

The Flood was a real event. In my post Memories of the Flood, I describe the flood memories of cultures worldwide, from the jungles of Indonesia to Hawaii to the deep Amazon. How did ancient Hawaiians get the name of Noah right and know that he and his three sons built an ark? You think the Hebrews sent them a letter?

In his most recent article in the November issue of Acts and Facts, Herbert notes that the Biblical model solves another major mystery – the existence and then disappearance of millions of wooly mammoths in Siberia. He points out the strong evidence that large numbers of mammoths lived in Siberia during the Ice Age, and notes that winters in Siberia today are far too cold (Minus 40 Fahrenheit is common) for these animals. Herbert states that the only logical theory is that Siberia’s climate was more temperate during the Ice Age, which is what we would expect from warm oceans without Arctic ice. Herbert notes that the coastal lowlands of Siberia were never covered by ice, even though secular ice age models predict they would have been. Finally, Herbert points out that the Biblical model tells us why the mammoths went extinct. When the arctic ocean finally did freeze over, and the moderating influence of warm sea air was no more, the climate changed quickly. The Biblical model predicts that colder high-latitude temperatures, combined with a dryer climate at the end of the Ice Age, would have resulted in enormous dust storms, which buried the mammoths alive. Herbert notes that many mammoth carcasses are found in frozen hills of wind-blown silt.

How do you get an Ice Age? If you look to the word of God, to the Bible, you will find the answer.

Thanks for reading. Please spread the good news of modern science. Together we can change the world.

Doug Ell

The Old Testament and the Chronology Back to Adam

I recently learned there are different versions of the Old Testament. One is the Masoretic Text, or MT. The MT was put into its present form in the 10th century by Talmudic scholars. Another version is the Septaugint, which means 70 in Latin, also known as the LXX. The LXX was created much earlier, perhaps around 250 BC by Hebrew scholars at the request of King Ptolemy II of Egypt. It is the first translation of the Bible, and is written in Greek.

Opinions differ on which is more reliable. The Orthodox Church leans toward the LXX. The New Testament contains quotes from the LXX. However, some believe the LXX omits parts of the books of Job and Jeremiah. The Old Testament in today’s Christian Bible is a translation of the MT.

The two versions have different chronologies going back to Adam. For the most part, the list of patriarchs is the same. For the most part, the life spans of the patriarchs are the same. The key difference is in “begetting” ages, the time elapsed from one generation to another. For example, in the LXX Seth is born when Adam is 230, and Adam lives another 700 years after Seth’s birth, for a total of 930 years. In the MT Seth is born when Adam is 130, and Adam lives another 800 years after Seth’s birth, again for a total of 930 years. If it were just Adam, you might think this a simple mistake. However, this exact 100-year difference in the space between generations appears for 12 patriarchs (six before the Flood, six after), and, in the case of Nahor, Abraham’s grandfather, there is a difference of 50 years. This is no accident. Someone or some group deliberately either added 1250 years to the time going back to Adam, or shortened that time by 1250 years.

Scholars have debated which chronology is accurate for two thousand years. Most ancient Christian scholars argued for the originality of the LXX’s primeval chronology, and that consensus lasted over 14 centuries until the Reformation.

The Winter 2018 issue of Bible and Spade, the magazine of Associates for Biblical Research, contains an excellent article on this conundrum by Henry B. Smith Jr. He concludes “the MT’s primeval chronology was deliberately reduced in the second century AD by 1250 years.”

Why? Smith provides a motive. Around 150 BC, an unknown author deceptively claiming to be Moses penned the Book of Jubilees. In Hebrew tradition a jubilee is a period of 49 years. Jubilees rewrites Biblical history into periods of 49 years. In Jubilees, Joshua enters and conquers Canaan on the 50th Jubilee since creation, or exactly 2450 years after creation. To make this work, the author had to do some serious cutting, and slashed 1250 years off the begetting ages.

Jubilees claimed to be a new revelation, originally written ages before on “heavenly tablets” that pre-dated the Torah. Jubilees was extremely popular, and considered authoritative in some early traditions. Smith suggests Jubilees induced Hebrew scholars to adopt lower begetting ages.

Jubilees proposed lower begetting ages than found in the LXX, and the MT authors ultimately adopted many of them. For the first five patriarchs, from Adam to Mahalalel, the MT slices exactly 100 years off the begetting age, as was done in Jubilees. However, for three of the next four patriarchs –Jared, Methuselah, and Lamech – the begetting ages were not reduced. Why not? Smith suggests that the authors of the MT realized that these additional reductions would result in patriarchs (other than Noah and his sons) living beyond the Flood.

One of Smith’s most compelling arguments is that the longer chronology in the LXX is affirmed by at least four independent ancient works. One of these is Antiquities of the Jews by Flavius Josephus, who was a very careful historian. Smith writes: “All reliable external witnesses before AD 100 outside rabbinic influence unanimously testify to the longer chronology.”

This is deep subject, and I can offer only a glimpse of the issues and arguments. I have brutally oversimplified. There are many issues in the chronology back to Adam. However, the 1250-year difference in the begetting ages between the MT and the LXX is the most important. Some try to discredit the LXX, because in some later copies Methuselah lives beyond the Flood, but that has been shown to be a copying error from early versions.

Associates for Biblical Research uses archeology to confirm the biblical record. Smith’s article is important because under the MT chronology there isn’t enough time. If the Flood occurred around 2500 BC, as some might place it based on the MT, many of the dates established by archeological findings and historical records don’t work well. Smith dates the Flood at 3298 BC, and Creation at 5554 BC. These dates leave adequate time for repopulation after the Flood, the Tower of Babel, and the spread of humanity.

I must note I find this post disturbing. I am suggesting the Bible in your house is not completely accurate. I don’t like that, and it doesn’t feel right. I am not telling you what to believe. My goal is to give you facts you may not be aware of, and let you decide.

This post doesn’t contradict in any way the enormous evidence of modern science that the universe and life were designed. This post doesn’t contradict in any way the overwhelming scientific evidence the Earth is young. In past posts I have touched on some of that, such as dinosaur “soft tissue,” Flood memories in societies around the world, and strong DNA evidence. With the LXX chronology, we get times that agree with the archeological and historical evidence.

Thanks for reading.

Doug Ell

The Institute for Creation Research

Thursday I was privileged to spend a few fantastic hours at the Institute for Creation Research (ICR). I visited with staff and scientists at their Dallas campus, and previewed the Discovery Center. When finished, hopefully next year, it will feature a state-of-the-art planetarium, animatronic dinosaurs (imagine a flying pterosaur swooping down!), fossils, a model of Noah’s Ark, geological evidence of the Flood, and so much more.

I met many of their distinguished scientists, dedicated and humble people who spurned more lucrative positions to confirm God’s word. Their powerful intellect was matched only by their passion. We shared the wonder of some of my favorite subjects, like the DNA evidence of recent creation and a real Adam and Eve, the mind-blowing technology of life, multiple discoveries disproving the Big Bang theory (spiral galaxies, absence of anti-matter, blue stars, double stars, comets, and heavy elements, to name just a few), and the evidence for a single ice age.

If want to know the literal truth of Genesis, read their publications, and, when it is finished, get yourself to Dallas and the Discovery Center. ICR offers a fire hose of evidence. An easy way to start is by signing up for their free monthly magazine, Acts and Facts, which is available here.

One of their favorite subjects, one we came back to again and again, is dinosaurs. They noted the term “dinosaur” is relatively new; before that they were called dragons. I saw an enormous fossil head of a 35-foot-long sea monster that was instantly buried during the Flood. I saw fossils with authentic, preserved dinosaur proteins, tested by a secular lab to be just thousands of years old. The worldwide discoveries of dinosaur “soft tissue,” original blood in some cases, shatter the secular myth of an old Earth.

ICR needs funds to complete their Discovery Center. I invite you to join the cause and be part of this exciting project. You can donate here.

Let us thank God for the Institute for Creation Research. They are a beacon of hope in our confused world.

Thanks for reading.

Doug

Memories of the Flood

I think, overall, it was mostly two things in high school that pushed me towards Atheism. First was the Miller-Urey experiment. When I read (falsely) that life could have arisen by chance, I began to think science and religion were in conflict. (For a detailed explanation of why life could not have arisen by chance, see Chapter 10 of Counting To God.) Second was the Genesis account of Noah and the flood.

The flood story seemed crazy. A global flood covers the highest mountains? Noah and three sons are warned and build a large boat, an ark? Land animals of every kind come two-by-two onto the boat, and stay on it for months? Noah sends a dove out to see if the land is dry? The animals repopulate the Earth, and all people are descended from the sons of Noah and their wives?

I had many questions, and no one to talk to. I thought that, if the flood story wasn’t true, why should I believe other parts of the Bible? Perhaps nothing in the Bible has been attacked as strongly as the flood story of God’s judgment. It is rejected by most secular scientists. It is often mocked.

I am now absolutely convinced, for many reasons, that it is true. I was astonished, blown away, to learn there more than 500 different memories of the flood. In at least 300 of them, it is clear the flood is global. This from the NW Creation Network:

Native global flood stories are documented as history or legend in almost every region on earth. Old world missionaries reported their amazement at finding remote tribes already possessing legends with tremendous similarities to the Bible’s accounts of the worldwide flood …. Ancient civilizations such as (China, Babylonia, Wales, Russia, India, America, Hawaii, Scandinavia, Sumatra, Peru, and Polynesia) all have their own versions of a giant flood.

These flood tales are frequently linked by common elements that parallel the Biblical account including the warning of the coming flood, the construction of a boat in advance, the storage of animals, the inclusion of family, and the release of birds to determine if the water level had subsided.

Ken Ham is the founder of Answers in Genesis and the Ark Encounter in Williamstown, Kentucky, which features a full scale replica of the Ark. He writes:

I met two missionaries who visited the Creation Museum while on furlough from their missions work. They are missionaries who are the first contact with certain tribes in the Amazon. At the time, they were the first in contact with two different tribes. I asked if those tribes had a flood or creation legend. They said the tribes did and they even had a legend where the languages split apart too!

(The splitting of languages is a memory of the Tower of Babel.)

Flood memories can be found on many websites. Parallels to the Bible are stunning. Hawaiians have a memory of a time when the world became a wicked place, and only one good man, Nu-u, was left. Nu-u built a great canoe with a house on it and filled it with animals, and only Nu-u and his family were saved. Chinese have a memory that Fuhi, his wife, three sons, and three daughters escaped a great flood and were the only people alive on Earth. Ancient Babylonians have a memory in the Epic of Gilgamesh, stone tablets discovered in 1853 that mirror many features of the flood story in the Bible, including sending out a dove to see if the waters had receded.

When you read these stories, you know they are based on real events. You just know. Unrelated tribes and cultures from around the world could not possibly have this memory if the flood did not occur. Differences in the details of the flood stories are exactly what you would expect when cultures pass down memories for thousands of years. Associates for Biblical Research date the flood at around 3000 BC.

Imagine a world that was much flatter. Imagine that world rocked by enormous volcanos as the “fountains of the great deep burst forth.” (Genesis 7:11). The fountains may have included water from underground oceans in addition to massive amounts of lava. Huge tsunamis washed over the entire Earth, and the volcanic activity and rapidly shifting tectonic plates created the mountains we see today, either during the flood or shortly after.

I recommend Ken Ham’s easy-to-read book: A Flood of Evidence. He provides solid answers to the most common questions and objections. He notes the many flaws and inconsistencies of radioactive dating. All fossils, coal, and diamonds contain Carbon 14, an isotope with a half-life of 5,000 years, which could not possibly be detected if those items were more than 100,000 years old. Fossils, coal, and diamonds cannot be millions of years old!

The flood of Noah explains a great deal. It explains why sedimentary rocks and fossils are found all over the world. It explains the Ice Age. You don’t get an ice age if the Earth just gets colder; there isn’t enough moisture to build sheets of ice miles high. You need warm oceans for evaporation and cool summers so the snow doesn’t melt. After the flood, perhaps for centuries, the oceans were warmed by volcanic activity but the summers were cool because of volcanic dust.

As I noted in an earlier post, human DNA provides strong evidence that all men are descended from Noah. Here’s two other items. First, if humanity is tens of thousands of years old, why don’t we find stories of people who lived more than 5,000 years ago? Second, if the layers of rock in the Grand Canyon were laid down over tens of millions of years, why are they so level with no sign of erosion?

Jesus spoke of the flood, and compared it to his second coming:

For as were the days of Noah, so will be the coming of the Son of Man. For as in those days before the flood they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day when Noah entered the ark, and they were unaware until the flood came and swept them all away, so will be the coming of the Son of Man.

Matthew 24: 38-39. The flood is noted in the letters of St. Paul and St. Peter. Peter predicted that “scoffers will come.” “For they deliberately overlook this fact … that the world that then existed was deluged with water and perished.” 2 Peter 3:4-6.

I never ask you to believe despite the evidence. I ask you to believe because of the evidence.

Thanks for reading. Please ask others to consider the truth. It could change their life.