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Author Topic: BIBLE QUESTIONS  (Read 31958 times)
Joe Sperling
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« Reply #30 on: June 05, 2007, 12:12:59 am »

Tom---

I was digging through a box of old books and found a copy of Hugh Ross's book "The Genesis Question"--I had forgotten that I purchased this a few years back. I read a little and was surprised because I thought that he had espoused the "Gap Theory" in his books, but that is not the case.

He did however, make the statement that much confusion arises due to people viewing Genesis 1:1 from the vantage of space, and then keeping that vantage point for Genesis 1:2. He points out that Genesis 1:1 is indeed a view of the earth from the vantage point of space, but that 1:2 immediately begins a narrative from the surface of the earth. This really does seem to make a lot of sense. He explains that the sun and the moon were actually already in place BEFORE the third day, as the words "and God created a greater light and a lesser light to DIVIDE the light from the darkness", which is done when God says "Let there be light" on the first day. When it states that God created TWO LIGHTS it is not necessarily saying that happened on the fourth day at all.

The six day creationists, who believe in literal days, do have a problem with Hugh Ross though. You would have to believe that many plants and animals lived and died before man fell---and this does not fit into a theology that everything was perfect before man's fall and death did not exist. Therefore dinosaurs could not have lived and died before Adam was created, etc.

But I do find it to be a very interesting and enlightening book, as I have all of Mr. Ross's books. Those who oppose his books state that they lead away from faith, but I find just the opposite---they seem to abound with the wonder of God and how science is actually getting closer and closer to having to admit that there is a Creator at work in the Universe! Whether scientists will ever make that assertion is doubtful, but science, rather than disproving God, is actually making it harder and harder not to believe in Him.

--Joe
« Last Edit: June 05, 2007, 12:14:42 am by Joe Sperling » Logged
Oscar
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« Reply #31 on: June 06, 2007, 02:46:33 am »

Tom---

I was digging through a box of old books and found a copy of Hugh Ross's book "The Genesis Question"--I had forgotten that I purchased this a few years back. I read a little and was surprised because I thought that he had espoused the "Gap Theory" in his books, but that is not the case.

He did however, make the statement that much confusion arises due to people viewing Genesis 1:1 from the vantage of space, and then keeping that vantage point for Genesis 1:2. He points out that Genesis 1:1 is indeed a view of the earth from the vantage point of space, but that 1:2 immediately begins a narrative from the surface of the earth. This really does seem to make a lot of sense. He explains that the sun and the moon were actually already in place BEFORE the third day, as the words "and God created a greater light and a lesser light to DIVIDE the light from the darkness", which is done when God says "Let there be light" on the first day. When it states that God created TWO LIGHTS it is not necessarily saying that happened on the fourth day at all.
Joe,

One of the problems with the reading of Genesis 1 that seems to clearly teach 6 day creationism is that we know that the ancient near eastern cultures knew quite a bit about astronomy.  The length of the year had been calculated to a very accurate factor before 2000BC.  In addition, imagine the members of a pastoral/agriculture not knowing that you need the sun's light to grow plants. 

Another factor is that in Gen. 1:16 where our English translations say, "And God made two great lights...", the Hebrew says God had made two great lights.  This means that the Sun and Moon could have been created as far back as verse1.
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The six day creationists, who believe in literal days, do have a problem with Hugh Ross though. You would have to believe that many plants and animals lived and died before man fell---and this does not fit into a theology that everything was perfect before man's fall and death did not exist. Therefore dinosaurs could not have lived and died before Adam was created, etc.

Actually, the passage does not say that the creation was perfect before the fall.  Although the six day creationists labor mightily to support this claim, Hebrew has a word for perfect but it was not used by the author.  Instead, he said, "very good".  Perfect can mean something like "as good as it could possibly be".  Very good means something more like, "suited to its purpose".

In addition, the evidence that there was no death before the fall, is very weak.  The fall produced consequences in the fertility of the earth, and in childbirth.  That is all it says!  Many attempt to claim that Romans 8:18-23 speaks of the results of the fall...but the fall is not mentioned at all.  Instead, it speaks of the creation.  Many Bible scholars understand the decay mentioned in vs 20-21 as the entropic principle present in all matter.

Most advocates of no death before the fall point out that Romans 5:12 says that sin entered the world and death is the result of this.  However, it speaks specifically of death through sin, which spread to all men.  It doesn't say: a. all death is caused by sin. b. penguins die as a result of men's sin.

Sometimes folks point out Genesis 1:29-30 and then argue that all animals were vegetarians because there was no death.  When I encounter this, I just ask them "What did sharks eat?"  Then I ask, "How do you account for carniverous animals?"  What usually follows is a lengthy explanation of what sounds pretty much like evolution, but is not really evolution. This is argued on the basis of absolutely no biblical or scientific evidence at all.
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But I do find it to be a very interesting and enlightening book, as I have all of Mr. Ross's books. Those who oppose his books state that they lead away from faith, but I find just the opposite---they seem to abound with the wonder of God and how science is actually getting closer and closer to having to admit that there is a Creator at work in the Universe! Whether scientists will ever make that assertion is doubtful, but science, rather than disproving God, is actually making it harder and harder not to believe in Him.

--Joe

If you were ever around RTB headquarters or at one of their events so that you could see the people that support the organization you would easily see just how many folks agree with you.  They constantly receive letters thanking them for helping people with science/technical educations unite their heads and their hearts.

Blessings,

Tom Maddux
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Joe Sperling
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« Reply #32 on: June 06, 2007, 04:20:37 am »

Tom---

Thanks for the input. One thing I find fascinating about Hugh Ross's book is his contention that through
the millions of years that the earth was being formed, God was preparing it for the arrival of mankind. One may wonder "Why would God create dinosaurs and then allow them to all die off? What was their purpose? Was God experimenting, or maybe 'make a mistake' and change his mind about what he had created?"

But when we realize that it took millions of years to prepare the topsoil, to create natural gas and fossil fuels, to prepare the air as it is today to sustain mankind, it may be that the dinosaurs were created for the very purpose of sustaining an ecosystem at that time that would one day provide all the needs for man at a future time. Is it pure coincidence that oil is one of the major needs today, which would not even be here had there not been an ecosystem which produced those fossil fuels?

God can do anything, and He could create the world in a moment of time---but it appears that it was His will to create the world through millions of years of change, slowly preparing the earth for the time when man would come upon the scene. I still can't understand why some believers think it unbiblical to believe that God may have used millions if not billions of years to put into place this world we live upon.

And in God's eyes those billions of years may only be a start. It's exciting to think that man's appearance upon this earth may only be the beginning of a New Creation God is just starting to put into place. we measure God's creation by days. He used 6 of them and rested on the seventh. But we all know that days are parts of weeks, which are parts of months, which are parts of years, which are parts of centuries, which are parts of millenium and so on and so on. The seven days of creation may be just a start of something so fantastic and incredible we cannot fathom it!! What if God had years (in his way of looking at things) of creation days left? That's a pretty awesome thought actually.  Our Bible ends talking about eternity and the "ages of ages"---who knows what God has planned?
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tenderhearted
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« Reply #33 on: July 24, 2007, 02:29:23 am »

 Smiley

My ladies Bible Study Group.

Has just started studying James, last week.

Since it was written by James, to the Jewish-Christians
who were facing persecution of their faith.

Do you believe that in some time in the nearest future, CHristians in North America will face that time of persecution that the early christians face.

Would you be able to face it with joy.
I was going to say, can you face the testing of your faith with joy, then I remember the history, why this BB exists.

Lenore
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tenderhearted
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« Reply #34 on: July 26, 2007, 12:00:28 am »

TOPIC:  BOOK OF JAMES, CHAPTER ONE, VERSE 1 TO 16

SUBTOPIC:  TRIALS AND TEMPTATIONS.

QUESTION:
  'WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN TRIALS AND TEMPTATIONS"


Our ladies group were digging really deep, to understand the difference.  A word study will be done this week, and taken back to answer next week.

ANY IDEAS?

Lenore
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outdeep
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« Reply #35 on: July 26, 2007, 01:12:28 am »

According to the dictionary:

trial is affliction or trouble
temptation is an enticement or allurement.

They are two different words that mean two completely different things.  I don't think you have to dig too deep on that.
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VanillaWafer
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« Reply #36 on: July 31, 2007, 07:28:09 am »

Temptations can easily become trials if they aren't dealt with quickly and effectively. (The tiniest, "harmless" of temptations can lead to the largest trials 0 just ask Odysseus!)

What's great about the book of James is that it's all about tests. The more in-depth you study it, the more you'll realize just how good of a "test-taker" you are.

If any of you have earned straight As on all the tests that James doles out, please don't tell me ... just hand over your study notes!

Vanilla Wafer
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Joe Sperling
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« Reply #37 on: August 08, 2007, 02:04:43 am »

Six days do your work, but on the seventh day do not work, so that your ox and your donkey may rest and the slave born in your household, and the alien as well, may be refreshed.

Exodus 23:12

I have been trying very hard to apply this verse to my life, but find it very difficult. Most of the
verse I can accomodate, but the part about the alien being refreshed is the hardest to follow, because
I wear an aluminum foil head covering to keep aliens from getting close enough to probe me.
Have you ever been able to refresh any aliens by not working on Saturday?
« Last Edit: August 08, 2007, 03:41:34 am by Joe Sperling » Logged
Joe Sperling
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« Reply #38 on: August 30, 2007, 08:06:16 pm »

I was reading Matt. 16 last night and read these verses:

 
In coming to the other side of the sea,  the disciples had forgotten to bring bread.
 
Jesus said to them, "Look out, and beware of the leaven  of the Pharisees and Sadducees."
 
 They concluded among themselves, saying, "It is because we have brought no bread."
 
When Jesus became aware of this he said, "You of little faith, why do you conclude among yourselves that it is because you have no bread?
 
Do you not yet understand, and do you not remember the five loaves for the five thousand, and how many wicker baskets you took up?
 
Or the seven loaves for the four thousand, and how many baskets you took up?

 
How do you not comprehend that I was not speaking to you about bread? Beware of the leaven of the Pharisees and Sadducees."
 
Then they understood  that he was not telling them to beware of the leaven of bread, but of the teaching of the Pharisees and Sadducees. (Matt. 16: 5-12)

It's interesting to note:

5000 people---5 loaves, 2 fishes----12 baskets left over
4000 people---7 loaves, "a few fish"--7 baskets left over

Jesus then clearly asks the disciples above, after warning them about the "leaven of the Pharisees and Sadducees" to consider how many loaves there were and how many baskets were taken up. This is no issue of crucial importance, but has anyone heard a good explanation for the math involved in the two miracles of feeding the multitude, and why there would be less baskets for the 4000 even though there were more loaves?  By the way--the feeding of the 5000 is the only miracle before the resurrection which is listed in all (4) Gospels.  The feeding of the 4000 is listed only in Matthew and Mark.

I'm sure there is a very real and clear meaning to these miracles and the numbers involved or Jesus would not have asked his disciples to consider it so seriously. Has anyone heard a good explanation for the variance in the two miracles?  Just curious---as always  Cheesy

Thanks, Joe
« Last Edit: August 30, 2007, 08:15:31 pm by Joe Sperling » Logged
Oscar
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« Reply #39 on: August 30, 2007, 11:06:27 pm »

Joe,

I have no idea about any significant meaning in the amount of leftover bread.

But since the miracles that Christ did were primarily intended to be confirming signs of his identity as the messiah, it seems to me that he is rebuking them for not understanding who he is.

The Saducees denied the supernatural and said that miracles didn't happen.  The Pharisees said that God only worked within the narrow limits of the Jewish rabbinic laws and traditions. Jesus seems to be telling them to open their eyes and see beyond the common presuppositions of their society. 

Tom Maddux
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Joe Sperling
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« Reply #40 on: August 31, 2007, 12:17:09 am »

Tom----

Thanks for the response, and I believe you are right. But there seems to be more to what the Lord asks though. He doesn't just ask them to remember in a general manner the miracles with the bread---he asks more specifically:

"Do you not yet understand, and do you not remember the five loaves for the five thousand, and how many wicker baskets you took up?  
Or the seven loaves for the four thousand, and how many baskets you took up? " (Matt. 16)

As we know very well, God does not put anything in his Word by chance or for a passing reason. He is specifically asking them to remember the amount of the people involved, and the amount of baskets that were taken up afterwards.  It's almost as specific as when Peter throws his net to the other side of the boat and his net almost breaks----the Bible says there were 153 fish exactly (John 21:11). There is a reason for the 153 fish (I don't know what it is--there were 7 disciples fishing though--we are told this also in the narrative).  So, there must also be a specific reason why there were 5 loaves and 2 fishes and 12 baskets left over, and 7 loaves and "a few" fishes, and 7 baskets left over.

Being the curious person that I am, it is hard for me to read past this without wanting to know  Grin  ---I do believe there is a "general" answer to why he asks the disciples to remember the amount of baskets, but I also believe there must also be a "specific" reason he asked this of them also.

--Joe   P.S. for some interesting stuff on the number 153 (pretty fishy if you ask me  Grin) check this out: http://www.shyamsundergupta.com/c153.htm
« Last Edit: August 31, 2007, 12:39:07 am by Joe Sperling » Logged
Oscar
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« Reply #41 on: September 03, 2007, 10:38:27 pm »

Joe,

In reality, what you are doing here is that you are reading the Bible in reverse.  The more important question is "What is the context in which these statements are found?" 

The passage tells us Jesus's purpose.  Matt. 16:12, "Then they understood that He did not say to beware of the leaven of bread, but of the teaching of the Pharisees and the Saducees."  The disciples thought he was talking about the bread.  He told them that they were wrong.

Both the Pharisees and the Sadducees had missed the point of who Jesus really was.  In Matt. Chapter 15 he disuputes with the Pharisees, then performs attesting miracles of healing and provision.  That is why we are told that he fed the 4000.

In chapter 16 he continues his dispute with the Pharisees, who have been joined by the Saducees.  Then he warns his disciples against their teachings.  They were prone to focus on the details of scripture and then render long, detailed interpretations while missing the point.

Notice that Matthew has arranged this passage to make the point "unmissable".  In verses 13-20 the identity of Jesus as the Christ, (the annointed, ie, Messiah), is openly declared.

The general rule is that the details are there to support and clarify the main point, not the other way around.

Blessings,

Tom Maddux
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Joe Sperling
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« Reply #42 on: September 05, 2007, 12:34:56 am »

Tom---

Point well taken---I understand what you are saying. There is a strong general teaching of avoiding
the leaven of the Pharisees and the Sadducees. There is also a teaching (which is shown in John 6) that many of the people were following Jesus simply because he could provide bread, rather than listening to what he was saying, and taking note of what he was doing. But I also believe that there is a special teaching involved with the number of people, number of loaves, and number of baskets that were left over.  I don't believe that is there by chance.  Sure, we can read right by it and get the general, strong teaching that Jesus is conveying. But I truly believe there is more there.

For example (as mentioned before), the general context of John 21 is that the apostles went fishing, threw the net into the water on the other side of the boat at Christ's command, and caught so many fish that the net almost broke.  We learn from this that the Lord is the Lord, and if we simply obey him and do what he says, we will be fruitful---whereas if we try to "fish" by our own intelligence we will come up empty every time. Jesus ALWAYS knows where the fish are!! Grin   HOWEVER, within the same "context" we are told that "7" disciples went fishing (the Holy Spirit counts them for us at the beginning of the chapter). Then we are told that they caught "153 large fish in all".  This is in addition to the general "context" of the narrative---it is a teaching within the general teaching that begs explanation.

I do not believe that the Holy Spirit told us there were 7 fishing, and that they caught 153 fish exactly, for no reason. There is a reason for it. I'm not sure what it is  Cheesy, but I know that the Holy Spirit did not use those numbers for us to ignore.  I believe the same applies with the feeding of the 5000 and 4000, the number of loaves and fishes used, and the number of baskets taken up afterwards.  There is a general teaching there of avoiding the leaven of the Pharisees and Sadducees, but there is also a symbolic, or even mathematical reason for the numeric quantities---or the Holy Spirit would not have been so detailed about it.

So, I agree with you, but I also disagree   Grin    --Joe
« Last Edit: September 05, 2007, 12:38:40 am by Joe Sperling » Logged
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