Guest Post: The Biblical Heavens and Earth (Part 1 of 3)


A couple weeks ago, Steve, who regularly comments here, left a comment regarding “the heavens and earth” spoken of so often in Scripture. He pointed out the relationship between Genesis 1, Jeremiah 4:23-26, and Matthew 24:35. I was intrigued by the little bit that he said, and our brief exchange led to Steve agreeing to send me his thoughts on the subject to be posted. I appreciate Steve taking the time to do this. Here is part 1 of 3:

“In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.” Well, that certainly sounds simple enough. At first glance, Genesis 1 seems straight forward. But appearances can sometimes be deceiving. Upon closer examination, there are a number of oddities about the creation account. Why does God create light, days, and nights several days before He creates the sun, moon, and stars in order to establish days and nights? If the light on day one is sunlight, wouldn’t it have made more sense to make the sun first? If the light was not sunlight, then what light is it, and where is it now? For that matter, how does it make sense to make plants before making the sun? And why does creation begin with an ocean of water? It doesn’t say God created these waters; they just seem to already be there. And why is the account in Genesis 1 so different from Genesis 2? These are some of the questions I’ve pondered for a long time. Perhaps you have, too.

I would like to thank Adam Maarschalk for allowing me to share this study on his Pursuing Truth blog. This is the first post in a three part series on the biblical heavens & earth, and in particular, how this affects our understanding of the new heavens & earth and eschatology (the study of last things). The posts in this study reflect no one’s beliefs but my own.

To avoid possible confusion, let me make a few statements upfront about my beliefs. I believe the Bible is the divinely inspired Word of God. I believe in the future Second Coming, when Christ will return in the flesh on the last day and raise/transform the bodies of everyone who has ever lived, making us immortal and forever abolishing physical death. I believe the new heavens & earth is a present reality here on the earth, and was established in 70 AD.

Taking a scientific approach to the creation of the heavens & earth

Since many readers will undoubtedly find the conclusions of this study unusual, allow me to explain how I reached my present conclusions. I first began to read and seriously study the Bible as an adult. My first major area of study was Christian evidences – is the Bible true? Because if the Bible isn’t true, then who cares what it says? Naturally, this led to the study of the creation account in Genesis, especially in regards to science. What does it say about the age of the earth, and what about evolution? I did not even consider non-scientific interpretations because #1 it seemed to plainly be speaking of a step-by-step, scientific process of creation, and #2 I assumed all non-scientific interpretations were the domain of liberals who didn’t really believe the Bible.

It is possible to read Genesis 1 with an old earth interpretation, and while it comes close to approximating the views of modern science, it was never a perfect fit. And the more one interpreted it in conformity with modern science, the more forced the interpretation sounded. On the other hand, the young earth reading of Genesis 1 seemed more natural, but it was incompatible with modern science, and it did not explain the peculiarities within the text.

Houston, we have a problem

At this point, I reached an impasse – I was dissatisfied with both the old earth and new earth interpretations, and yet I couldn’t see it any other way. I kept thinking, “If only I could understand it the way the Jews did in the days of Moses…” But how would they have understood it? They certainly wouldn’t have read it in view of evolution or the controversy over the age of the earth!

I got the feeling I was missing a key piece of the puzzle, and if I could just find that missing piece, the creation account would suddenly make sense, or at least make more sense. But I had no idea what that missing piece was. After several years of study with little to show for it, I threw my hands up in frustration and put aside the study of creation. Until…

A paradigm shift

One day I was in the Bible section of a library looking for something to read. One of the books caught my eye, a book on Genesis. The book was Genesis Unbound, by a Dr. John Sailhamer. Skimming the back cover, I came across one of the most ridiculous interpretations of creation I had ever heard – that the first two chapters of Genesis are not really about the creation of the universe. Ha, what a joke! So I checked it out on a lark for the entertainment value. I couldn’t wait to go home and see how he would try to argue such an absurd interpretation.

But when I started to read the book, the joke was on me. Here was a serious book, written by a serious scholar, who took the Bible seriously, and he made sense. Instead of reading the Genesis creation in view of modern science, which was entirely foreign to the original context, he read it in view of the rest of the Hebrew Scriptures. Whoa, Nelly! To quote a Third Day song, this new approach “hit me like a bomb.”

I had always wondered at the first chapter of the Bible being about science, when the rest of the book was not at all about science. Now it made sense – the beginning of the Bible wasn’t about science, either.

Hit by another bomb

Genesis Unbound dropped another bomb into my lap by pointing out Jeremiah 4:23-26. If that passage doesn’t ring a bell, do yourself a favor and go read it right now. No really, I’ll wait. :^) There is an undeniable connection between this passage and Genesis 1, and yet this passage is not talking about the destruction of the universe but Jerusalem’s destruction by the Babylonians (more on this in part two of this series).

I don’t think Dr. Sailhamer understood the full significance of Jeremiah 4:23-26. In retrospect, I suppose it was because his views on eschatology prevented him from seeing it. At this point having yet to do a serious study of eschatology, I had no such blinders. This passage not only greatly affected my understanding of the Genesis creation, it would also have a major influence years later when I began my study on Revelation and eschatology (especially Matthew 24:34-35). Despite having major differences with it, Genesis Unbound was clearly a step in the right direction.

The end of the age of science

But let’s get back to the question, how would the ancient Jews in the time of Moses have understood the creation account? How would the Apostles have understood it? Paul H. Seely wrote a series of articles on how the ancients viewed the earth, sky, and seas, and compares it to how the Bible describes these things. The articles can be found here:

http://faculty.gordon.edu/hu/bi/ted_hildebrandt/OTeSources/01-Genesis/Text/Articles-Books/Seely-Firmament-WTJ.htm

http://www.thedivinecouncil.com/seelypt2.pdf

http://faculty.gordon.edu/hu/bi/ted_hildebrandt/OTeSources/01-Genesis/Text/Articles-Books/Seely_EarthSeas_WTJ.htm

To summarize the articles, as they are quite lengthy (but well worth your time to read in full), the ancient Israelites believed the earth was a flat circle, the sky was a solid, upside down bowl, and there were two oceans, one above the solid sky, and one that was below and encircled the earth. This was not only the view of the ancient Jews, but it was also the common Christian view held for the bulk of Church history.

So when we read Genesis 1 in view of a spherical planet orbiting the sun, an infinitesimal speck in a vast universe, and a Heaven that lies beyond the boundaries of our material universe, we are reading Genesis 1 out of context. To put it bluntly, we are reading it all wrong.

The solid sky

Many years ago, I recall reading a debate between a conservative Christian and an atheist over whether or not Genesis 1 spoke of a solid sky, the “firmament.” Since at this point I was already convinced the Bible was true (based on the historical evidence for the resurrection of Christ, the fulfilled prophecies in Christ, the kalam cosmological argument, etc.), and I knew that the solid sky was false, I didn’t pay much attention to the actual arguments. I “knew” the arguments for the firmament were false because they had to be false, and that was that. Now that I no longer had such a simple view of creation, I was free to examine the arguments in the historical and grammatical context of the Bible and go wherever the evidence led. And that led to a solid sky.

Young earth creationists (YECs hereafter) often accuse others of reading their views of science into the Bible, but they do the very same thing. The ultimate argument even YECs make against understanding the sky of Genesis 1 as a solid firmament is because it is scientifically not so. But if we follow the YEC’s advice and go with a simple, literal reading of creation, we find a solid sky.

On day two, God creates an “expanse” or “firmament,” depending on your translation. The correct translation is “firmament,” but for the sake of argument let us go with “expanse” for now. This expanse separates the body of water into two bodies of water, one above the expanse, and one below the expanse. The waters above the expanse are commonly believed to be the clouds, or the atmosphere, or a water canopy (how some YECs explain Noah’s flood). But we shall see this is not correct.

On day four, God creates the sun, moon and stars, and they are placed “in the expanse” (Gen. 1:14). But remember, the waters above are “above the expanse” (Gen. 1:7). The water above is the same as the water on the earth, as they were once one body of water, and now this water is above the sun, moon, and stars. Which scientifically doesn’t make sense. I understand some may want to read it another way, or may feel they need to read it some other way, but this is what the text says. At the end of the day, we will either respect the Bible and submit to what it says, or we will submit the Bible to what we say. There is nothing in the historical context, or the text itself, that would justify reading multiple firmaments. In my view, this refutes the young earth, old earth, and any other scientific interpretation of creation.

Corroborating the solid sky

There are any number of biblical passages that reaffirm this interpretation of Genesis 1. Here, we will look at but a few that are consistent with this understanding.

The Bible depicts not only an ocean above the firmament, but this is also the location of Heaven, where the throne of God is. The firmament is seen as being made of a solid glass or crystal, hence God is seated above the crystal sea (Exo. 24:10, Eze. 1:22-26, Rev. 4:5-6 & 15:2). Proverbs 8:28 tells us that when God created the skies above, He made them “firm.” Although the firmament was solid, there were gates in it so people and angels (and water, in the case of Gen. 7:11 & 8:2) could pass through.

The premise behind building the tower of Babel (which means “gate of God”) appears to be if they built a tower tall enough, they would be able to reach the firmament and break into Heaven itself. This is also assumed in the divinely inspired dream God gave to Jacob in Genesis 28:12-17, the famous ladder/stairway to Heaven. Again, the thinking here is that if one had a ladder or stairway tall enough, one could climb all the way up to the very “gate of heaven,” and enter into Heaven itself.

In 2 Corinthians 12:2, Paul speaks of being taken “up to the third heaven.” He wasn’t sure if it literally happened, or was just a vision, but he obviously believed it could have been a literal event. In the mind of the ancients, the first heaven was the near sky where the birds and clouds were. The second heaven was the higher sky up to the firmament, which included the sun, moon, and stars. And above that was the Heaven of God. So the way to get to Heaven, in their thinking, was to go straight up and through the firmament. Which is exactly how Jesus is depicted as ascending into Heaven in Acts 1:9-11. And when Jesus returns at the Second Coming, He will descend from Heaven into our clouds in the very same way (1 Thess. 4:16-17).

The impact on inspiration

All of this is not a problem for the more liberal minded among us, but what about those of us who consider ourselves (as I do) Bible conservatives, one who believes in God, believes the Bible is true, and takes the Bible seriously? It should first be noted that inspiration was never as simple as it first seems. Divine inspiration did not rule out the need for consulting other sources (Luke 1:3-4), and obviously did not grant omniscience (1 Cor. 1:16). Even Jesus, during His human life on earth, did not make use of His divine omniscience (Matt. 24:36).

Take Jesus’ ascension into Heaven as described in Acts 1:9-11. Even the most steadfast YEC knows that if you board a rocket in Jerusalem and blast off, when you reach the clouds, you ain’t gonna see Jesus. If you continue to go up, you’ll eventually break through the atmosphere into outer space. And guess what? You still ain’t gonna see Jesus. Because we know what the ancients didn’t – that Heaven isn’t up there. Heaven must be in some other realm altogether. And presumably the only way to get from here to there is to be miraculously teleported into Heaven.

So the only way to go to Heaven is to go “POOF!” And yet, Jesus didn’t go to Heaven that way, He instead went up into Heaven. Which is interesting, seeing as how Jesus was the Creator of the universe, and that He was from Heaven, so we know He was under no confusion as to the layout of things. Instead of going POOF, He deliberately goes up in conformity with their preconceived notions of the universe and Heaven. Jesus does not bother to explain to the Apostles, “Now you probably expect me to go up into Heaven, but that is based upon a scientifically inaccurate view of the universe and the location of Heaven.” Regardless of how we think Jesus should have done it, that is the fact of the matter.

So for those of us who respect the Bible, we should acknowledge the fact that God revealed Himself through the scientific views the ancients already had, even if they were inaccurate. Why didn’t God bother to correct the Bible’s human authors about the shape of the earth, or the nature of the sky, or the location of Heaven? For those of us today with a modern scientific perspective, that would provide further evidence for the inspiration of Scripture, but perhaps it would have provided (the appearance of) evidence against the inspiration of Scripture for all of those who don’t have access to modern science. Which would include everyone for thousands of years, and even many Christians today who still do not have access to modern science. It is important to remember the Bible wasn’t written solely for our generation or for our part of the world.

Also, God apparently used their beliefs to teach certain spiritual truths. God used their belief that Heaven was literally above the earth to teach that Heaven is on a higher plane, that is, a higher moral plane. This also reinforces a major point that God Himself is on a higher moral plane than any man, “For My thoughts are not your thoughts, nor are your ways My ways… For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are My ways higher than your ways and My thoughts than your thoughts” (Isa. 55:8-9) and “No one is good except God alone” (Mark 10:18). If we aspire to go to Heaven, we must repent and purify ourselves, and be purified by God, hence the transformation of our mortal natural bodies into immortal spiritual bodies at the resurrection (1 Cor. 15:44-53).

Summary

The goal of this first post in this series has been to show the need to rethink the biblical heavens & earth. In part two, we will examine what the biblical heavens & earth actually is, and in part three, the new heavens & earth.

————————————————————————-

Steve is a teacher and a preacher in the Churches of Christ.

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17 thoughts on “Guest Post: The Biblical Heavens and Earth (Part 1 of 3)

  1. Very fascinating. I look forward to the other posts.

    I very much agree that the Hebrew word for “expanse” (raqia) was referring to a solid object. Here is a link to a very well researched and written website. It posits a specific flood theory, the Hydroplate Theory, based on the Hebrew and Greek of various texts, especially Genesis 1.

    http://www.creationscience.com

    It’s an excellent website and by far the most likely YEC interpretation. Part I gives information supporting a young Earth and universe. Part II presents the Hydroplate Theory. Part III is a FAQ about related questions, often about Scripture.

    Here’s a link that describes in detail the Hebrew of Genesis 1. It gives great information on why the word raqia originally referred to a solid object. Regardless of if you agree with anything else, it is great support for your thesis.

    http://www.creationscience.com/onlinebook/FAQ34.html

    Here’s a link comparing his flood model with Scripture to see how compatible they are.

    http://www.creationscience.com/onlinebook/FAQ217.html#wp9498683

    Here’s a link giving additional information on what the Hebrew of Genesis and the Greek of 2nd Peter may have implied about creation.

    http://www.creationscience.com/onlinebook/FAQ27.html#wp7166701

    Please let me know if any of you get a chance to look at this and what you think. Once again, great stuff from this post. It’s interesting and a different view than I’ve looked into to date.

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    • Hello Nathan,

      I hope to have the second post finished very soon, and I hope you will find it useful in your own study of the Bible. Many of these points will be addressed in the next two posts, but I wanted to quickly address a few things.

      I looked over the creationscience site you provided, but like all YEC interpretations, I believe it is based on a serious flaw. The flaw is interpreting creation in harmony with modern science, whereas the approach I advocate is to interpret creation in harmony with the rest of the Bible. I believe the YEC approach, the global flood, and so forth, are not compatible with what the Bible says not only in Genesis, but throughout the Scriptures.

      The creationscience site says there were no natural disasters before the sin of Adam, because then creation would no longer have been “good.” The word translated as “good” in Genesis 1 is the same word in Gen. 3:6, “When the woman saw that the tree was good for food…” “Good” here does not mean good in contrast to evil, but good in the sense of being pleasant and well-suited to man. Gen. 1 is about God making the heavens & earth suitable and pleasant for man – so everything is created for his well-being, and the man is created last. Gen. 2 teaches the same thing, but in a different way. In the second account, man is created first, and then everything is created for him for his welfare.

      Another issue is equating suffering with evil. Suffering is never pleasant, but it is not inherently evil. Hebrews 5:8 tells us Jesus “learned obedience from the things which He suffered.” Learning obedience is a good thing, so in that sense, suffering was good.

      If suffering = evil, then suffering should be avoided at all costs. But this is not what the Bible teaches. Instead, the Bible teaches evil should be avoided at all costs, even if it causes you to suffer.

      Many (but not all) YEC interpretations say there was no death before the sin of Adam, in part based on reading Rom. 5:12. (Rom. 5 in context is not about Adam, but about the resurrection.) But what would have happened if Adam had accidentally stepped on an ant? Would the ant have gone squish or not?

      But physical death was built into creation, as seen in the fact that sexual reproduction was present in both animals and man prior to Adam’s sin. What is the point of sexual reproduction? It is due to the mortality of the flesh. This is why there is no more sexual reproduction or marriage in the age of resurrection (Luke 20:34-36). “The sons of this age marry and are given in marriage, but those who are considered worthy to attain to that age and the resurrection from the dead, neither marry nor are given in marriage; FOR THEY CANNOT EVEN DIE ANYMORE…” There is no more marriage because at the resurrection, the mortal bodies are made immortal (1 Cor. 15:54), thus negating the point of the one flesh relationship. But Adam was clearly created mortal (Gen. 3:22-23).

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      • Hi. I gave the second article a read and it’s certainly worthwhile and interesting. I’ve already seen from study that the phrase “the heavens and the earth” often referred to things other than creation as you have posited. Yours is among the better and more succinct summaries I’ve seen of this view. The main thing is that I agree with your conclusion, even if not completely with your premise. Also keep in mind that one of my links gives good information about how the firmament was understood as a solid object to the Hebrews through the first century, so it’s still interesting and helpful regardless of your opinion about the flood of Noah’s day.

        As to your response about creation, those are some fair points. I’m not as keen on debating as I used to be. I simply prefer to offer input and receive it and let it go on as long as it’s useful. Therefore I don’t plan on continuing this discussion unless you would like to as well. I have a few more thoughts to offer though.

        The thing with the YEC / OEC (or Evolution, Theistic Evolution, etc…) debate is that all positions start with assumptions and end with faith. We weren’t there and can’t prove it either way.

        The basic YEC assumption that God gave us Genesis 1-11 to give humanity an account of our origins. It’s likely that He phrased it on multiple levels. It’s poetic and symbolic enough to have potent meaning to a supposedly pre-scientific mindset (another assumption) and yet potentially scientifically accurate enough to give even modern scientists a good explanation of our origins. As I see it, a literal interpretation of Genesis 1-11 and a symbolic interpretation of later usages of the term “the heavens and the earth” (with support from Isaiah and Jeremiah) are not mutually exclusive.

        The essential assumption behind evolution is uniformitarianism. It is the assumption that all events on Earth, such as natural disasters and conditions, have always occurred at basically the same frequency and intensity. To possibly oversimplify for purposes of this discussion, it means the denial of the possibility of a global flood. As I see it, all OEC views borrow this assumption, whether they’re aware of it or not. I don’t see this as a fair assumption. There is more than enough water on Earth for the entire surface to be covered if the topography was smoother.

        My main point is that all views on creation, evolution, and the age of the Earth and universe are unprovable and require assumptions. Evolution and the geological timescales are by no means scientifically proven. Radiometric dating, for instance, assumes that we know:

        1. The initial parent-daughter ratio in the specimen being dated.
        2. The decay rate hasn’t changed.
        3. No significant contamination (adding and/or removing of the parent and/or daughter elements) has occurred.

        There’s no way of proving these assumptions and they have been shown to be quite unreliable. For instance, the decay rate has been shown to be able to increase by over a billion-fold in certain circumstances. There’s truly no scientific reason that a recent global flood couldn’t have occurred. The mechanism and effects of the Hydroplate Theory are quite plausible and match well with current scientific observations. It’s an entirely different debate as to whether this is what the Bible claims. It shouldn’t be ruled out primarily on scientific grounds, since it can’t be.

        Regardless, I certainly respect your views on the Bible and they make a good deal of sense. I’ve simply endeavored to provide a different view for consideration. I hope your study continues to go well. I look forward to your next post.

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      • Nathan, I don’t believe all scientific views are equal.

        About the age of the earth, geologists reached a consensus that the earth had to be much older than just a few thousand years, and they did this whole decades before there even was a theory of evolution. And they didn’t reach that conclusion to undermine faith in the Bible, as they sometimes included a section showing how their findings could be harmonized with the Bible. This consensus isn’t based on a few, interrelated methods. There are multiple independent lines of evidence that indicate the earth is very old.

        But I haven’t studied science in years, and science isn’t my area of interest anyway. I am content to discuss things on Bible terms. If we take the YEC view that Noah’s flood came from scientific sources, such as storm clouds and underground springs, and that the flood literally covered the entire planet, then we run into a serious Bible problem. Genesis describes how God gets rid of the flood waters – by sending a wind.

        A wind would do nothing to dissipate a global flood (but it would make perfect sense if it was a local flood). This is why YECs typically suppose that with the flood, there was a rise in the mountains and all kinds of major tectonic activity during this time. But the Bible says nothing about this in the Genesis account. This is why YECs will grab other passages out of their context, and claim that they teach tectonic activity during the flood.

        Please understand I have no reason to be opposed to a recent creation or a global flood. It wouldn’t harm me in the least if someone could make a solid argument for such things. But I simply go where the evidence points, both biblical and scientific.

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  2. E se a expansão ou firmamento for do tamanho daquilo que chamamos de universo em vez de apenas o espaço compreendido entre nosso “chão” e a atmosfera? Este artigo assume alguns entendimentos a partir da ciência que podem conduzir a interpretações erradas tanto quanto a YEC. Quando olhamos para o “céu” vemos o sol, a lua e as estrelas. E se as águas acima do firmamento estão colocadas no “fim do universo” então termos o sol, a lua e as estrelas colocados no firmamento corresponde exatamente ao que está escrito!!! Abraços fraternos!

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    • Google Translate (from Portuguese to English) says:

      “And if expansion or firmament is the size of what we call the universe rather than just the space between our “floor” and the atmosphere? This article assumes some understanding from science that can lead to misinterpretation as the YEC. When we look at the “heaven” we see the sun, moon and stars. And the waters above the firmament are placed on the “end of the universe” then under the sun, the moon and the stars in the firmament placed exactly matches what is written! Fraternal hugs!”

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  3. And if expansion or firmament called heaven have their extension from the land to the “end of the universe” instead of being understood as extending from the floor to our atmosphere? Like YEC seeks to harmonize science with the Biblical account, this paper assumes the veracity of science in order to say, contradicting scientific evidence, the record of Scripture in Genesis says nothing about the planet and the physical universe. If we fix the “waters above the firmament” in “at the ends of the universe” then the biblical record about the sun, moon and stars in the firmament placed not generate any contradiction. By the way, science has ever proposed that the universe is infinite? If yes, what is there in ends? Fraternal hugs! Pardon my English … is the google translator …

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    • Hello Anderson Loureiro, if I understand your point correctly, you are asking “Isn’t it possible the firmament could be the at edge of our universe, with the water beyond that?”

      Keep in mind that the flood waters of Noah came from the waters above the firmament. If those waters were beyond space, how would these waters fall down to the land? The simplest view is that the firmament was a belief based upon the appearance of things to the naked eye.

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  4. in Portuguese…
    o texto bíblico não diz que as águas vieram de cima do firmamento. Ele diz que abriram-se as portas do grande abismo. Aliás, gostaria de saber o que é esse grande abismo? E onde ficam as janelas do céu? No julgamento de Sodoma e Gomorra caiu fogo do céu. Caiu fogo do firmamento?

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    • Using an internet translator, I get:

      “The biblical text does not say that the water came from above the firmament. He says that opened the doors of the great abyss. In fact, I would like to know what is this great abyss? AND where are the windows of heaven? In the judgment of Sodom and Gomorrah fire fell from heaven. Fire fell from the firmament?”

      The Bible says “the fountains of the great deep burst open, and the floodgates of the sky were opened” (Gen. 7:11). So the flood comes from the waters below and the waters above, which in context refers to the waters above and below the firmament (Gen. 1:7).

      In their way of thinking, the earth was a flat circle that floated upon the great abyss. The sea not only surrounded the earth, it was under the earth, too. The windows of heaven are the gates within the firmament that allowed things to pass through from one side to the other.

      “Firmament” is a different word than “heaven,” so Gen. 19:24 doesn’t say the fire fell from the “firmament,” but from “heaven,” although it is possible this was implied (see Rev. 15:2, where the sea of glass is mixed with fire). The point of it coming from heaven is that this isn’t some random act of nature, but a judgment that comes from God Himself.

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  5. Great thoughts! That Jeremiah passage was an ‘aha!’ moment.
    Two things: you provide three links in a row to articles; the last two take me to the same place.
    Secondly, this type of reasoning, while perhaps correct, reminds me of something an SDA told me last month. He said that early man didn’t know that there were more than two genders, but now we know through science that there are many, many genders. So if we take this idea (that God uses their beliefs to teach certain spiritual truths) to its logical end, what are we really left with? Do we take our “scientific knowledge” and inject it into Biblical texts? When God said “male” and “female”, He was just humouring them and their ignorance?
    I’m not trying to be argumentative. I enjoyed the article.

    Like

    • Hello Grace Receiver, I do not believe we should read our modern scientific knowledge into the Bible. Rather, we should always read the Bible in its context.

      Regarding genders, there have only ever been two genders of humanity: male and female (a tiny fraction of humanity is born gender ambiguous, but that is due to abnormalities and does not constitute other genders).

      Since posting this series of articles, I have continued to study and learn much regarding the creation accounts, its proper context, meaning, and how it relates to the Biblical doctrine of resurrection (the resurrection of our mortal bodies, Romans 8:11). In fact, the creation account is the basis for all of the Bible’s teachings on marriage, divorce, remarriage, as well as gender and gender roles.

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  6. Thank you.
    I agree with you when you say that the Bible states only two genders. I agree that there are only two genders.
    My concern was that he used the exact same argument that you did. (God used their beliefs to teach them certain spiritual truths.) Why can you apply this understanding to the creation account, but not to genders?
    I wish that I could have refuted him better than I did.

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    • It comes down to context. There are contextual clues within the Bible that indicate the Genesis creation account isn’t teaching science (such as Jer. 4:23-26). The Bible simply doesn’t teach science.

      But the Bible does teach a lot about gender and the proper relationship between male and female (marriage, divorce, gender roles, etc.). It is true, the Bible uses gender to teach on the resurrection of the dead (Jesus and Paul base their resurrection teaching on the creation account of Adam and Eve), but the Bible speaks directly to the subject of gender itself. A lot.

      I’m not sure how someone believes science teaches there are “many, many genders.” I would question their connection with reality, so I don’t think it matters what you would have said to them. =)

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