All posts by Douglas Ell

Big Lies

There are lies, damn lies, and Big Lies. By “Big Lies” I mean lies so evil they change the course of civilization. Big Lies must be carefully spun, as a famous person once explained:

[I]n the big lie there is always a certain force of credibility; because the broad masses of a nation are always more easily corrupted in the deeper strata of their emotional nature than consciously or voluntarily; and thus in the primitive simplicity of their minds they more readily fall victims to the big lie than the small lie, since they themselves often tell small lies in little matters but would be ashamed to resort to large-scale falsehoods. It would never come into their heads to fabricate colossal untruths, and they would not believe that others could have the imprudence to distort the truth so infamously. Even though the facts which prove this to be so may be brought clearly to their minds, they will still doubt and waver and will continue to think that there may be some other explanation.

You need to start with a kernel of credibility, and then spin a lie so outlandish people will not believe it could be false. If you do this right, they will continue to believe the lie even when facts are “brought clearly to their minds, they will still doubt and waver and will continue to think that there may be some other explanation.” I find this quote brilliant. The author is Adolf Hitler.

At the intersection of science and religion, I see three Big Lies. The greatest is you can get advanced technology by chance. This is the Darwinian delusion, the modern version of which is that, through random mistakes in DNA coding, through mutations, you repeatedly get new, fantastically advanced technology, like eyes, navigation by the earth’s magnetic field, even the human brain. The kernel of credibility here is that yes it is theoretically possible to randomly generate a piece of new working code, just as it is theoretically possible for the same person to win every mega lottery year after year. Even though simple math shows this ridiculously unlikely, even though it seems obvious that when you insert random typos in a book it is not likely to transform into a better book, even though all the computer simulations show this process does not generate new technology, even though the transitional forms predicted by this model do not appear in the fossil record, even though every scientist today is aware that the Darwinian mechanism cannot generate new technology, still the Big Lie persists. It has been proclaimed so loudly for so long that though facts have “been brought clearly to their minds,” people still “doubt and waiver” and continue to think Darwinism must be true.

The second Big Lie is like the first – science and religion are in conflict. This builds on the first lie. It argues that, since Darwin has replaced God in the design of living creatures, there is no need of God in other areas of science. There is an invented nonsense theory that a universe can be created from nothing without God. There is an invented nonsense theory that the laws and constants of physics can be perfectly designed without God. There is an arrogant refusal to admit life could not have started without God. My book – Counting To God – exposes these and other lies that science is contrary to religion. I believe my book is a scientific proof of the existence of God, in the sense that, if we can know anything from science, then science tells us God exists.

The third Big Lie follows from the first two. It is that those who believe in God must do so on blind faith, without facts. The first Big Lie claims God didn’t create living creatures, the second Big Lie extends the first to claim that you don’t need God for any of the wonders of creation, and the third Big Lie asserts God is unnecessary, a concept invented by ignorant people.

Hitler’s Big Lies – such as racial superiority and the legitimacy of German aggression – led to the deaths of perhaps 20 million people, including at least 6 million Jews. Hitler’s Big Lies spawned a worldwide conflagration. Yet I believe the three Big Lies at the intersection of science and religion are worse. They have corrupted for over a century, and have lured billions into hopeless lives. Depression, suicide, and drug/alcohol abuse are at all-time highs, especially among the young.

For a Big Lie to corrupt, people have to want to believe it’s true. Hitler’s lies were embraced by a population who wanted to avenge the first World War, who wanted to believe in racial superiority. Today many people don’t want there to be a God. They don’t want moral rules, limits on what they should do or say, and they certainly don’t want to get out of bed and go to worship. Many people will tell you that, even if the existence of God were an absolutely proven scientific fact (which to me it is), they would still “continue to think that there may be some other explanation.”

Friends don’t let friends be Atheists. Let us fight the Big Lies together, and defeat the Atheist paradigm of a hopeless world. Tell people science reveals God. Share the truth.

Thanks for reading.

Doug Ell

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 Laws of Physics

Atheists believe there is no evidence of supernatural creation. At a dinner a few years ago a Harvard professor told me “I do not believe the laws of physics can be violated.. He didn’t realize that his system of belief fails when closely examined.

We will skip over here how one can have laws without a lawmaker. Where do the laws of physics come from. We will also skip over the fantastic fine-tuning of the laws of physics. It is accepted fact that the universe is fine-tuned almost beyond comprehension, beyond picking one special marble out of a pile of marbles millions of light years high. The existence of natural laws and the fine-tuning of those laws are both powerful evidence of God (see Chapters 7 and 8 of Counting To God). But we will skip over these for now, because the laws of physics themselves reveal God.

Perhaps the most fundamental of those laws are the laws of Thermodynamics. The First Law of Thermodynamics is that matter/energy cannot be created or destroyed. Einstein showed us how they are related (E=mc2). In a sense, matter is frozen energy, and a very small amount of matter melts into an enormous amount of energy (think atomic explosion). If the First Law of Thermodynamics cannot be violated, matter/energy have always existed, and the universe has existed forever.

This contradicts the Second Law of Thermodynamics, which is that the universe is running out of useable energy. Everything eventually breaks down and decays. All systems go from order to disorder. The universe has not existed forever, because, if it had, everything today would be lifeless and static. There is no way around this problem. The “quantum egg” theory, that our universe popped out of a quantum field, fails because if the past were infinite the “egg” would have “cracked” an infinite time ago, and again today the universe would be lifeless.

How can we reconcile the First and Second Laws. There had to be an event outside the laws of physics. Genesis tells us God created the heavens and the earth. There is no better explanation, no better way to reconcile the First and Second Laws. The multiverse theory, that our universe popped out of another universe, cannot be tested (and is therefore unscientific by definition), and the infinite multiverse was disproved by the Borg-Guth-Vilenkin Singularity Theorem (the universe had to have a beginning).

If that weren’t enough evidence for God in the laws of physics, there is even a scientific experiment that violates the known laws of physics. It’s called “quantum entanglement,” where two particles, or even bundles of atoms, are “entangled” so that a change in one instantaneously affects the other. Instant effects over distances (it’s been tested up to 88 miles apart, see pages 188 and 189 of Counting To God)) violate General Relativity. General Relativity tells us that effects cannot travel faster than the speed of light. Quantum entanglement violates General Relativity, and proves there is something outside of space and time.

When I pointed out to the Harvard professor that quantum entanglement violated the laws of physics, he was taken back, and sheepishly suggested that we need a better definition of time. If that strikes you as a feeble cop-out, you’re not alone. At the same time he is claiming the laws of physics cannot be violated, he is admitting he doesn’t understand the laws of physics.

The laws of physics reveal the existence of God.

Thanks for reading. My health is starting to improve, and I hope to post more often.

Doug Ell

Aliens and Demons

I am excited to share powerful evidence for the truth of the Bible. Until a few weeks ago, I did not know this evidence existed.

Our culture is fascinated with aliens, beings who may come from or live on other worlds. Many successful movies – Avatar, Star Wars, etc. – feature aliens. There is even a religion (Scientology) where aliens play a key role. In one poll 80% believed the government is hiding aliens or proof of them, and 50% believed alien abductions are real.

If you know me at all, you know I like facts. What are the facts? Reports of UFOs – unidentified flying objects – date back to ancient times. They were reported by the Romans, have been seen by many in recent decades, and have been detected by radar. Although the majority of sightings can ultimately be explained – Venus is a common culprit – there is overwhelming evidence some UFO sightings are real. Their movements often defy the laws of physics.

There is also overwhelming evidence that something about “alien abductions” is real. Whatever happened, or didn’t happen, many of the victims are horribly traumatized, similar to battlefield victims. Some have scratches or bruises. The stories have common features – the “classic abduction syndrome” involves a capture, an examination with crude medical equipment, a conference with aliens, a tour of some sort of ship, and meetings with beings who either claim to be religious leaders or tell the person abducted that he or she has been “chosen” to spread a religious message. There are hundreds of thousands of alien abduction stories; one poll estimated 4 million people have been abducted. The victims usually claim they have been sexually abused and tormented.

What’s going on? A new movie – Alien Intrusion: Unmasking a Deception – offers answers. This award-winning film was in theatres and is now available on DVD. Once you start watching this movie, it is hard to stop. The movie suggests these “aliens” are demons posing as extraterrestrials. They are spiritual beings from a spiritual dimension, who have the ability to enter our reality. They are deceptive, lying beings.

Consider this astonishing fact – these beings retreat at the name of Jesus. One victim being tortured asked Jesus for help, and the beings screamed in pain. There are hundreds of testimonies like this. There is no other known way to end an abduction experience, or to get these demonic visitations to stop. The rescue by Jesus has been discussed at UFO conferences. This is powerful. If these “aliens” really were from another star system, why would they care in the slightest when the name of a supposedly long-dead religious leader is mentioned? Also, as the film notes, how credible is it to believe that thousands of extraterrestrials would fly millions or billions of light years simply to teach New Age philosophy, deny Christianity, and support the occult? And, if they really were aliens, don’t you think one person at least would have brought back a towel from the washroom?

Researchers have found that true believers are immune from these “alien” abductions. But only “walk-the-walk” Christians, not people who profess to be Christians but don’t really have faith in Jesus.

Here’s another interesting fact: Over the years, these beings have changed where they claim to come from. In the 1950’s, they usually claimed to come from Venus or Mars or Saturn. Science now tells us those planets are generally barren, and certainly contain no major civilizations. Now these beings claim to be from a different star system or galaxy. However, the laws of physics prohibit faster-than-light travel, and the time and energy required to travel from even the closest star systems is staggering. The stars are just too far apart; the nearest one is over 20 trillion miles away. There are no aliens out there; over the last 50 years at least 60 scientific projects have tried to detect alien signals, and all have failed.

Why are some people abducted and others not? It may depend in part on how willing they are to believe in occult phenomena. UFO devotees are easy prey. Ouija boards, Tarot cards, and voodoo dolls can also open a door to terror.

As the film notes, we need to wake up to the spiritual reality that is going on all around us. There is a battle for human souls. Evil is real, and there are demonic forces at work. I am sure that this nonsense theory of advanced technology from chance events, Darwin’s mathematically ridiculous goo-to-you-via-the-zoo theory of evolution, has succeeded in part because of demonic deceptions.

We have only one hope:

This Jesus is the stone that was rejected by you, the builders, which has become the cornerstone. And there is salvation in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved.

Acts 4:11-12.

Why do “aliens” scream in pain at the name of Jesus? Think about it.

Doug Ell

The Language of Plants

Where does human language come from? There is no known mechanism as to how human speech “evolved.” No theories are supported by evidence. Even noted linguist Noam Chomsky admits that there is no clear path for the “evolution” of human speech.

What about animals? Many species have intricate systems of communication. Blue whales, the largest animals on Earth, sing songs that travel hundreds of miles. Bees use a “wiggle dance” to tell other bees where to find nectar. The dances are complex, and various wiggles tell other bees how far and in what direction. Somehow, without attending a single dance class, the bees know how to do and understand precise dances that give three dimensional directions. It strikes me as ridiculous to claim that these and hundreds of other animal “languages” were developed through any step-by-step process of trial and error, of keeping the best mistakes.

Language is a subject Darwinian evolutionists prefer to ignore. Do you really think blue whales got together to decide what their songs mean? That bees sat around and agreed that shaking the thorax means the nectar is south? We have left plausibility far behind.

And then there is communication between plants. Yes plants! Some plants, when attacked, give off signals that tell other plants to create chemicals to discourage attacking animals. Plant communication was laughed at when first discovered, but dozens of rigorous scientific studies reveal a hidden world of communication, and there is much more to be learned. I don’t see how any rational person could claim plant communication “evolved.” We are talking about organisms without brains and generally without the capacity to move. Note that the plant being eaten gains no evolutionary advantage by warning other plants.

For plants to communicate, both plants have to know that a certain signal, chemical or other, means that certain steps should be taken. You need that agreement, and you need mechanisms to send and receive the signals – for humans, vocal cords and ears. Then you need the ability to take action – for the plants, increase production of compounds designed to discourage predators. The system is obviously irreducibly complex; if you take away any of the parts the system no longer works. The pieces could not have separately “evolved.”

Only God could have designed human eyes, ears, and vocal cords, and given us the gift of language. Only God could have designed communication systems for animals, and for plants.

And so I ask you to use your gift of language, your ability to communicate through speech, writing, and actions, to spread the good news of modern science. As I have noted in post after post, modern science absolutely reveals the existence of God. Together we can spread a message of hope, and defeat the Atheist claim that we are chemical scum, and the universe is a meaningless place. Those who deny obvious facts are without excuse. As St. Paul wrote two thousand years ago:

For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who by their unrighteousness suppress the truth. For what can be known about God is plain to them, because God has shown it to them. For his invisible attributes, namely, his eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly perceived, ever since the creation of the world, in the things that have been made. So they are without excuse.

Romans 1:18-20 (emphasis added).

I think God made systems that allow plants to communicate to reveal his power and glory. When you look closely at “the things that have been made,” you see God.

Thanks for reading. I’ve been dealing with medical issues that have slowed me and my posts down. But the science of God and creation keeps growing, and I have much more to share.

Doug Ell

Caesar Proclaimed the Resurrection

My last post was prompted by an article from the Associates for Biblical Research. While poking around their website, I learned an astonishing fact.

In the late 1800’s, a French collector acquired an ancient stone from Nazareth. The stone, now in the Louvre in Paris, is a marble tablet about 24 inches by 15 inches. It contains an edict by Emperor Claudius (AD 41-54) ordering the death penalty for stealing bodies from Jewish tombs. Bodies?. Grave robbers steal valuables, not bodies. Why would stealing bodies from Jewish tombs, a pathetically trivial subject for the Empire, merit an imperial decree?

Below I quote the Book of Matthew. This comes immediately after the death of Jesus on the cross:

The next day, the one after Preparation Day, the chief priests and the Pharisees went to Pilate. “Sir,” they said, “we remember that while he was still alive that deceiver said, ‘After three days I will rise again.’ So give the order for the tomb to be made secure until the third day. Otherwise, his disciples may come and steal the body and tell the people that he has been raised from the dead. This last deception will be worse than the first.”
“Take a guard,” Pilate answered. “Go, make the tomb as secure as you know how.”
So they went and made the tomb secure by putting a seal on the stone and posting the guard.

The scene is set. Jesus is dead. Powerful Jewish leaders, the chief Priests and Pharisees, post their top guards and make the “tomb as secure as [they] know how.”

Now back to Matthew.

After the Sabbath, at dawn on the first day of the week, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary went to look at the tomb. There was a violent earthquake, for an angel of the Lord came down from heaven and, going to the tomb, rolled back the stone and sat on it. His appearance was like lightning, and his clothes were white as snow. The guards were so afraid of him that they shook and became like dead men. The angel said to the women, “Do not be afraid, for I know that you are looking for Jesus, who was crucified. He is not here; he has risen, just as he said. Come and see the place where he lay.”

This is the key event of the Christian faith. Jesus is risen. Matthew tells us the cover-up began immediately.

While the women were on their way, some of the guards went into the city and reported to the chief priests everything that had happened. When the chief priests had met with the elders and devised a plan, they gave the soldiers a large sum of money, telling them, “You are to say, ‘His disciples came during the night and stole him away while we were asleep.’ If this report gets to the governor, we will satisfy him and keep you out of trouble.” So the soldiers took the money and did as they were instructed. And this story has been widely circulated among the Jews to this very day.

That’s the cover-up. Tell everyone a totally disorganized group of backwoods, uneducated disciples came in while the elite guards were sleeping, and not only were able to unseal a large stone but, even more amazing, were able to do it without waking the guards. Not a believable cover-up story, but that is the best they could come up with. The empty tomb was on public display; they couldn’t deny that.

As the Book of Ecclesiastes says, “there is nothing new under the sun.” Government propaganda lies are not new. Almost two thousand years ago, the Emperor of Rome, then the most powerful person in the world, tried to prop up this absurd story that uneducated peasants snuck by an elite guard and opened a sealed tomb while the guards were sleeping! Emperor Claudius probably issued the edict when he took control in 41 AD, at the request of his childhood friend, Jewish King Herod Agrippa I. That’s just eight years after the Resurrection. The authorities wanted to control the situation. Tensions between the Romans and the Jews were high, partly because just before his death Caligula (whose assassination brought Claudius to power) had ordered that his statute be placed in the Temple in Jerusalem. Also, the news of Jesus’s Resurrection had spread, Jesus had appeared to hundreds of people (500 at one time, according to St. Paul), and the Romans and Jewish leaders were trying to control what they perceived as a serious political threat. No doubt as news of the Resurrection spread travelers came to Nazareth to learn more about Jesus.

The cover-up continues to this day. Notoriously anti-God Wikipedia writes. “As the original location of the stone is unknown, no clear argument can be made for the stone to be a Roman response to the empty tomb story.” Seriously? They can’t figure out the argument? What else could the Roman edict be about? And exactly what difference does it make what spot in or near Nazareth the stone originally occupied? Nazareth was an absolute no place in the Roman Empire, a small backward town on the wrong side of the tracks. To find an edict from a Roman Emperor anywhere in the vicinity, with a message so clearly aimed at denying the Resurrection, is astonishing.

The Resurrection is the most documented event in the ancient world. It changed the world more than any other event. As Billy Graham said: “There is more evidence that Jesus rose from the dead than there is that Julius Caesar ever lived.” Without the Resurrection, there is no reason why all (but one) of his disciples chose to suffer a brutal death rather than deny Jesus. No one dies for a lie. There is no other explanation for the growth of the Christian church.

Even Caesar proclaimed the Resurrection! He affirmed the most important event in history. He just didn’t mean to do it.

Thanks for reading.

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