Creation 2.0: The Creation as Temple of God

Lately, I’ve seen several scholars refer to the fact that the Creation is pictured as God’s Temple in Genesis 1 — which is hardly obvious. I thought I’d go looking to see what the scholars are referring to.

A helpful introduction to the subject is Genesis 1 as Temple Text in the Context of Ancient Cosmology, by John H. Walton.

The cosmos is portrayed in the ancient world and in the Bible as a temple, and temples are designed to be micro-models of the cosmos. Temples are built in the ancient world for the gods to rest in, which does not refer to relaxing, but to enjoying and maintaining security and order. With the mention of God’s rest on day seven, we can see that Genesis 1 is also thinking about the cosmos as a temple. God is creating his dwelling place, putting people into it as his images (representatives), and taking up his place at the helm to maintain the order he has established.

Imagine a pagan temple of the ancient near east. It would be a microcosm of the entire cosmos as viewed by that pagan religion. God’s temple is the entirety of the cosmos!

When a pagan temple is completed, the idol is placed — literally “rested” — in the Temple so the worshipers can come worship. God rested himself in the cosmos once he completed it. He did not so much retire to heaven as he filled the new creation with his presence.

Compare David’s description of God “resting” in the Temple in Psalm 132 –

Let us go to his dwelling place
Let us worship at his footstool—
“Arise, O Lord, and come to your resting place,
You and the ark of your might.”

For the Lord has chosen Zion
He has desired it for his dwelling:
“This is my resting place for ever and ever
Here I will sit enthroned, for I have desired it.”

But just as the pagans needed an image of their god, to draw worshipers toward the “real” god behind the image, God placed men and women on earth as his image — not to be worshiped, of course, but to show the true character and nature of God, so that the presence of his images would draw others toward the worship of the One True God who is represented by his images.

Why no graven image of God? Because we are the images!

In the ancient world temple dedications were often seven days in duration. During those seven days,the functions of the temple would be proclaimed, the furniture and functionaries would be installed, the priests would take up their role and at the end, the deity would enter and take up his rest.

Ernest Martin explains,

In the Garden our first parents were able to talk face to face with God. But note an important point. They only had conversations with Him at certain times of the day. They did not see Him on all occasions. It was “in the cool of the day” that they came into “the presence of the Lord” (Genesis 3:8). The expressions “cool of the day” and “the presence of the Lord” were a part of temple language. 7 “The cool of the day” was the period when the Sun got lower in the sky and the cool sea breezes normally swept over the Palestinian region. This was the time of the evening sacrifice (1 Kings 18:36; Daniel 9:21) — about three in the afternoon. This was the time when the animals were being regularly sacrificed (and also in the morning about nine o’clock). At these times the people were then reckoned as being “in the presence of God” (2 Chronicles 20:19). …

John Walton points out how the Tabernacle and Temple represent the cosmos, God’s true temple –

In the biblical text the description of the tabernacle and temple contain many transparent connections to the cosmos.  This connection was explicitly recognized as early as the second century A.D. in the writings of the Jewish historian Josephus, who says of the tabernacle: “every one of these objects is intended to recall and represent the universe”.

In the outer courtyard were various representations of cosmic geography.  Most important are the water basin, which I Kings 7:23-26 designates “sea”, and the bronze pillars, described in 1 Kings 7:15-22, which perhaps represented the pillars of the earth.  The horizontal axis in the temple was arranged in the same order as the vertical axis in the cosmos.

From the courtyard, which contained the elements outside the organized cosmos (cosmic waters and the pillars of the earth), on would move into the organized cosmos as he entered the antechamber.  Here were the Menorah (lampstand), the Table of Bread, and the incense altar.  In the Pentateuch’s description of the tabernacle, the lamp and its olive oil are provided for “light” (especially Ex. 35:14; Num. 4:9). This word for light is the same word used to describe the celestial bodies in day four (rather than calling them the sun and moon).  As the menorah represented the light provided by God, the “Bread of the Presence” (Ex. 25:30) represented food provided by God. The altar of incense provided a sweet-smelling cloud across the face of the veil that separated the two chambers.

If we transpose from the horizontal axis to the vertical, the veil separated the earthly sphere, with its functions, from the heavenly sphere, where God dwells.  This latter was represented in the holy of holies, where the footstool of the throne of God (the ark) was placed.

Interesting, isn’t it? Walton lays out the theory in great detail in the scholarly Genesis 1 as Ancient Cosmology and also in the more popularly written The Lost World of Genesis One: Ancient Cosmology and the Origins Debate. (He also addresses Young Earth Creationism, but that is quite far removed from today’s discussion.)

If Walton (and many others) is right, then Adam and Eve were in fact the priests in God’s cosmic temple. And, indeed,

John Sailhamer has argued that it is not coincidental that the two verbs “to work it” and “to care for it” used in Gen 2:15 are the same verbs as those used in reference to the service of the priests in the temple.

And we have to notice that God said regarding Israel –

(Exo 19:4-6 ESV)  4 “You yourselves have seen what I did to the Egyptians, and how I bore you on eagles’ wings and brought you to myself.  5 Now therefore, if you will indeed obey my voice and keep my covenant, you shall be my treasured possession among all peoples, for all the earth is mine; 6 and you shall be to me a kingdom of priests and a holy nation. These are the words that you shall speak to the people of Israel.”

God’s purpose in Israel was to form a “kingdom of priests.” Isaiah picks up the theme –

(Isa 61:6 ESV)  6 but you shall be called the priests of the LORD; they shall speak of you as the ministers of our God; you shall eat the wealth of the nations, and in their glory you shall boast.

This purpose was, of course, realized in the Kingdom –

(1Pe 2:9 ESV)  9 But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for his own possession, that you may proclaim the excellencies of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light.

(Rev 1:5b-6 ESV)  To him who loves us and has freed us from our sins by his blood  6 and made us a kingdom, priests to his God and Father, to him be glory and dominion forever and ever. Amen.

That’s a theme you don’t hear much in church. Yes, we’re the “priesthood of believers” and therefore may read the Bible for ourselves and all that — which is true but not really the point.

Rather, the point is that we Christians are to serve God in the same fashion as priests in the ancient temples. That’s our job. What do priests do?

Well, they instruct in the Scriptures, they help others to offer sacrifices, they offer sacrifices for themselves and for others, they accept offerings to God, they care for those in need, they do the things necessary to bring God’s forgiveness to others. Indeed, they declare the formerly unclean clean. They are God’s representatives to the people. … It’s a big deal.

You see, being a part of the priesthood of believers is not about acquiring privileges and rights so much as a role in life, a place in the world, a purpose to serve.

Thus, we have these dual images — they don’t compete so much as inform and form each other. We are both images of God and priests of God. We serve as priests, in part, by being like God. And, in part, we are like God by serving as priests. After all, the priests are often merely acting as God’s agents, being his human hands to do his work in this world.

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76 Responses to Creation 2.0: The Creation as Temple of God

  1. Pastor Mike says:

    This may be a bit of a tangent on your subject, but please allow this distinction regarding the priesthood of believers. I have a sense that we misinterpret the concept of the priesthood of believers to mean that all of us can be our own priest, but I’m not so sure that such an interpretation is true to the doctrine. Rather, I believe it suggests that I need not go to the church’s official clergy, but anyone can serve as a priest (a mediator of God’s grace?) for another.
    Very few of us experience God’s grace outside of the careful prayer and prayerful conversation of another of His saints called to that moment on our behalf. Just a thought.

  2. Pastor Mike says:

    This may be a bit of a tangent on your subject, but please consider this distinction regarding the priesthood of believers. I have a sense that we misinterpret the concept of the priesthood of believers to mean that all of us can be our own priest, but I’m not so sure that such an interpretation is true to the doctrine. Rather, I believe it suggests that I need not go to the church’s official clergy, but anyone can serve as a priest (a mediator of God’s grace?) for another.
    Very few of us experience God’s grace outside of the careful prayer and prayerful conversation of another of His saints called to that moment on our behalf. Just a thought.

  3. You might be interested in a new book by Adam Johnson (his recently published dissertation) God’s Being in Reconciliation: The Theological Basis of the Unity and Diversity of the Atonement in the Theology of Karl Barth. The kindle edition is not too pricey.

  4. Jerry says:

    Kinda makes our usual approaches seem rather shallow, doesn’t it?

  5. eric says:

    I wonder in this line of thinking if the veil represents the divide that exist between what is spiritual and what is physical. Maybe the veil being torn not only symbolized the Holy Spirit’s coming but also is a symbol of a promise to remove the veil that exist between the spiritual and the physical.

  6. Zach says:

    How does this effect how we view the garden of eden if adam and eve were priests in God’s cosmic temple? I always pictuted it like a garden/forrest. But could it be rather than that be the entire world and when they were kicked out the world went from a state of perfection to a state of imperfection or am i reading to much into this interpretation?

  7. Perhaps one could compare the expulsion from Eden to a priest becoming “unclean” and no longer being allowed to enter the Holy of Holies until he was purified. It was mentioned at a local meeting the other night that one might see the role of the cherubim at Eden not just to bar the way until we were cleansed, but also to mark the way to return once we were cleansed….

  8. JLVaughn says:

    Zach,

    What this means is Adam was likely some sort of priest king in an already populated world. It would suggest that sin was in the world, but sin was not imputed, where there is no law. That is, Rom. 5:12-13, likely refers to the garden (or possibly pre-garden), rather than Sinai.

    Jer. 4:22-23 tells us something interesting about God’s people. They were good at sin, because they had forgotten the law. This state of God’s people was referred to as, ” I beheld the earth, and, lo, it was without form, and void; and the heavens, and they had no light.” This is precisely the state we find in Gen. 1:2.

    In Jer. 4, the solution was judgment. In Gen. 1:2, the solution was giving “light,” that is, giving them the law so they would not be ignorant and would not sin in ignorance.

    This covenant paradigm is very different from what churches have taught for the last 50 years. The standard modern view is to make Genesis as prehistory, as told to us by the fathers of young-earth creationism, Whitcomb and Morris. Some then accept this Whitcomb and Morris view without question and others reject the Bible because the W&M explanation of creation is simply ludicrous.

    In contrast, the covenant paradigm makes Adam the head of the old covenant, some 2000 years before Moses. The entire story is placed in history. It is the story of the creation of a people, God’s people. Those who were supposed to be a priestly nation to the peoples around them.

  9. Alabama John says:

    Sure would make archaeology and the bible jive wouldn’t it.
    Always wondered about our answer to those “others” they married.

  10. JKratt says:

    JL, Zach, Alabama, Jay:

    This is my first time posting here but I’ve been reading for a long time. This topic of Genesis and priesthood is a very important one for me, one who made the transition from legalistic CoC to progressive CoC in the last 3 or 4 years. I’ve been old earth creationist for at least 5 years (convicted; leaning that way for several years before), and more recently exploring the covenant perspective of Genesis rather than literal. It’s been a hard struggle to fellowship with those in more traditional (conservative) churches who believe their interpretation of Genesis is correct and all others who disagree are damned to hell, when in fact all they know is what they regurgitate from the preacher and fake-scientist who just regurgitate the same basic things taught by W&M as JL said.

    But regardless of where one finds themselves, I think progressive churches are slowly starting to accept those of their flock who are old-earth and even theistic evolutionist. Now I know that wasn’t the point of Jay’s post but rather to look at the idea of atonement through the priesthood of Adam (which is great!). There are lots of folks out there on other boards who are discussing this topic and I’m glad it’s finally made its way on a CoC blog.

    JL, that connection with Romans 5 and Jeremiah 4 is awesome. Thanks for sharing! Obviously the world was already populated since Cain found a wife in the city-state of Nod to the east. Yet Cain was “cast of the face of the earth” (not planet Earth, but land; the Hebrew is eretz for “land”) meaning that Cain was removed from the covenant “land” given to Adam and his family to serve as priests. This foreshadows that the apostate Jews and Pharisees in Jesus’ day who murdered their brothers the Christians and were removed from the “face of the earth” like Cain in the AD70 destruction of Jerusalem. There’s also parallels throughout the rest of the OT regarding this story, beginning with the next example of the local covenant flood on the “land” which removed the covenant apostate from the line of Seth (Genesis 5 sets up Genesis 6) in a divine judgment. God was continually retelling the same story over and over (Exodus, Babylon) to point them (and us) to Christ.

    I highly recommend Peter Enns’ “Genesis for Normal People” in addition to John Walton’s “The Lost World of Genesis 1″ to introduce people to these concepts. Then when it really starts to get interesting is when you start connecting the dots throughout the Bible including and especially in Revelation.

  11. Norton says:

    Reaction to Catholic doctrine and practice has made Protestants uncomfortable with the whole idea of priesthood. We interpret the passages from the NT that Jay has noted as metaphors, and don’t quite know what to do with such passages as John 20:23, I John 5:16, and James 5:15.

  12. Alabama John says:

    JKratt,
    The saddest part is more members of the church of Christ do not believe what is preached about creation and the age of the earth than preachers think. So many are remaining in the conservative sect waiting on someone older to die before they make the change to the progressives to keep from hurting them.
    Conservative preachers seeing them with open bibles do not realize they are not following along, but reading a chosen lesson to themselves and tuning him out.
    I look forward to more of your thoughts and postings.

  13. JKratt says:

    Thanks John. :)

    Another book I highly recommend is “Through New Eyes” by James Jordan. It is available online for free in pdf form, here: http://www.biblicalhorizons.com/pdf/jjne.pdf

  14. JKratt says:

    Also I should add that Jordan is YEC but even still he has some great insights. I just think he misses the full ANE picture of Genesis that Walton and Enns gets. But I just blend the best of all the scholars to see what I can make stick.

  15. Alabama John says:

    Speaking of the best of us scholars, please remind me what YEC and ANE stand for. LOL

  16. Zach says:

    I never grew up in a church that discussed anything like young earth creationism so the whole idea seems about as riduculous to me as im sure anything else sounds to those Alabama John is talking about and theres still plenty in genesis to reconcile with–eg how much of the world was already populated.

  17. JKratt says:

    Alabama,
    YEC = young earth creationism
    ANE = ancient near east
    ;-)

    JK

  18. JLVaughn says:

    John,

    YEC – Young Earth Creationist or Creationism.

    ANE – Ancient Near East.

    The Modern YEC movement traces to Ellen G. White of the Seventh Day Adventists through George McCready Price directly to John Whitcomb and Henry Morris. W&M wrote a book in 1961 that heavily plagiarized Price. If they had given Price proper credit, I doubt YEC would have ever gotten off the ground, let alone taken over our churches.

    ANE refers to the nations of Sumer, Akkad, and Elam from around 4000 BC, when Sumer’s accountants invented the first written accounting styles, until the time of the fall of Persia to Alexander the Great.

  19. JLVaughn says:

    Zach,

    Anthropology tells us that except for Antarctica, a few other smaller inhospitable places, and the Hawaiian Islands, essentially all of the land mass of Planet Earth was populated by 9000 BC and likely before 13,000 BC.

    If Adam was the literal first human being, he lived 200,000 years ago and we would have forgotten his name. If Adam lived 5000-6000 years ago, in Sumer, his name could very well have been written down and bee remembered. But if that were true, then he wouldn’t have been the very first human being. However, he could have been what Paul called “the first Adam,” in contrast or comparison to Christ who was “the last Adam.”

  20. Pastor Mike says:

    Or perhaps he was the first human, and God told Moses his name when He gave Moses the history of Creation.

  21. JLVaughn says:

    Mike,

    That’s the traditional view. But the text doesn’t say, “And the Lord God told Moses to write this history. Thus saith the Lord, ‘In the beginning, …’”

    And frankly, it doesn’t fit God’s or Moses’ style. God’s own standard for us to determine what is truth is the testimony of multiple witnesses. The author of the text was a human witness. Moses was not a witness.

    I much prefer Wiseman’s hypothesis, Gen. 1-11 was written by a series of human witnesses in ancient Sumer’s pictograph. http://www.amazon.com/Ancient-records-structure-Genesis-literary/dp/0840775024/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1344129295&sr=8-1&keywords=wiseman+genesis The names of these authors are given in the text of Genesis in the Sumerian style. John Walton disagrees with me but every one of Walton’s objections was presaged and answered by Wiseman.

  22. laymond says:

    I would never disagree with John “Boy” Walton.

  23. Alabama John says:

    There is another way to look at it and God made the earth looking as old as he wanted to have it.
    Could He of done that?
    Well, he did make Adam and Eve as grown humans. Had too as they had no mother or father. Interestingly, they were the only humans to not have a belly button.

  24. eric says:

    On the line of weather Adam was the first human some interpret the text of Adam being taken from the dust as Adam being taken from the Earth. I’m to understand the words were the same. I really don’t know because I’m no expert, but it would make sense. Adam may have been an animal coexisting with others like himself and God took Him and breathed the Spirit into him making him the first human made in God’s image. Interestingly you would have a world where there were humans with the Spirit and those without. This would have ended with the flood if not before due to some other event. Something interesting to think about and it helps if you don’t think you have it all figured out. I know I don’t!

  25. JLVaughn says:

    John, It is a bit unsettling to some of us to think that God created the physical universe only 6000 years ago, yet made it so that every test of age we can devise says billions of years for the earth and the universe, millions of years for the animals, and 200 thousand years for the first appearance of thousands, not merely two, but thousands of humans. If Gen. 1 describes the creation of the physical universe only 6000 years ago, yet every test devised disagrees, somebody is fooling somebody.

    That the land is wet, yet too dry to grow plants, that the plants were created first, yet none of these plants were planted should also give us pause.

    Eric, I find it quite interesting that the Hebrew of Gen. 2 does not say “there was no man to till the earth,” but actually says, “there was no Adam to till the earth.” The first Adam was “made” from the earth to till the earth. The last Adam was “made” to harvest the earth. “The fields are white with harvest.”

    It is also interesting that Jesus had to breath life into His disciples. John 20:22. Does that mean all men in Gen. had this breath of life? Or just Adam?

  26. Alabama John says:

    JL, I understand where you are coming from and this has been a point of confusion and arguing for a long time. Interesting to talk about though. I enjoy hearing your thoughts.

    At the Smithsonian, observing the famous painting of Eve, she did have a navel. That is important as that showed the artist of that time believed she was born of woman and not created grown by God.

    Really though, does it matter in how we live, obey, and seek our being in heaven?

  27. Alabama John says:

    JL, I think the amount of time many believe true came from the lineage and names of men and the exact number of years until they begot the next man in line from Adam to the flood in Genesis 5.
    It is interesting to see how many generations lived at the same time. Today its picture taking time when we have five generations. They had many more than that. Makes a good chart. Also interesting Methuselah died the same year as the flood, hopefully not hanging onto the Ark.
    Then the recorded lineage from the flood forward.
    Many civilizations have traced their lineage back further than 6ooo years and they are not mentioned in the Bible.
    If all was written the world could not hold the books. Somethings we are not to know til later.

  28. eric says:

    JL Vaughn

    Actually if I’m not mistaken the Earth was commanded to bring forth plant and animal life. Which could leave room to speculate that the earth was created with that ability and that plants and animals did not have to be created and placed or planted it was already written into the earths creation.
    I think it might be easy to see who is fooling who if you look up at the stars and wonder how light that is millions of light years away are visible a mere 6000 years into creation. The only odd explanation I’ve heard for this is that light traveled faster back then, and why that may be possible it sounds a little like grasping at straws. Keep in mind we know now that time exist only where matter is present and the earth wasn’t even there on the first day. So the first day must have been in relation to the universe as a whole. Which would relatively speaking be 8 billion years in 1 earth day. That is if the big bang theory is correct. Which things point that way since the universe is expanding. All this to say I want to keep an open mind about what scripture does say while not being stuck to interpretations that many time read things into scripture that aren’t there. I believe Adam could have been formed from dirt or taken from the earth and changed. It doesn’t really matter. The fact remains those who called on the name of God in Gen. must of had a spiritual side. We do find fossils of other human like creatures having existed. I like to think about these things and I see you do to. So happy hunting.

  29. laymond says:

    JEHOVAH-MACCADDESHEM…….Exodus 31:13
    meaning “The Lord thy sanctifier”

    JEHOVAH-ROHI……Psalm 23:1
    meaning “The Lord my shepherd”

    JEHOVAH-SHAMMAH…….Ezekiel 48:35
    meaning “The Lord who is present”

    JEHOVAH-RAPHA………Exodus 15:26
    meaning “The Lord our healer”

    JEHOVAH-TSIDKENU……Jeremiah 23:6
    meaning “The Lord our righteousness”

    JEHOVAH-JIREH………Genesis 22:13-14
    meaning “The Lord will provide”

    JEHOVAH-NISSI………Exodus 17:15
    meaning “The Lord our banner”

    JEHOVAH-SHALOM……..Judges 6:24
    meaning “The Lord is peace”

    JEHOVAH-GMOLAH……..Jeremiah 51:6
    meaning “The God of Recompense”

    EL-ELYON…………..Genesis 14:17-20,Isaiah 14:13-14
    meaning “The most high God

    EL-ROI…………….Genesis 16:13
    meaning “The strong one who sees”

    EL-SHADDAI…………Genesis 17:1, Psalm 91:1
    meaning “The God of the mountains or God Almighty”

    EL-OLAM……………Isaiah 40:28-31
    meaning “The everlasting God”

  30. JLVaughn says:

    John, It does matter a lot to many people. Sadly, many turn from Christ because they had been taught that Adam was the first human being, then find out that civilization itself is a bit older than Adam and the world was fully populated. That is, they become convinced that their parents, preachers, and Bible School teachers are fools for passing down falsehoods.

    If you read the Septuagint, you’ll find that Methusdaleh died 18 years after the Flood.

    Eric, What the article above, John Walton, myself, and others are suggesting is not that the first day of creation was billions of years away, but that Biblical creation is not the creation of the physical universe. Instead it is a temple dedication of God’s temple, a temple that had already been built.

    Adam was made the priest of this temple.

    Walton believes this temple is the already existing physical universe. I believe this temple was God’s old covenant people. Either way, we are both saying that Genesis 1 “creation,” whatever it was, occurred around 6000 years ago, in the area we now call ancient Sumer, right about the time ancient Sumer became the world’s first literate civilization.

    If this is true, then Genesis has no relation to the creation of the physical universe, the planet earth, the plants, trees, animals, or the origin of mankind. That doesn’t necessarily mean evolution or special creation is true. It means Scripture doesn’t address the issue. This is a very different way of looking at Genesis creation. Far more profoundly different than arguing young-earth creation vs. gap theory vs. old earth/progressive creation vs. theistic evolution vs. random evolution. All of those are physical creation views. These old views tell us that God was building his temple.

    What is being suggested here is something totally different. God’s temple has already been built. It is time to have the temple dedication ceremony. In the beginning (of the ceremony), God made a covenant (Hebrew bara is the verb form of berith translated covenant) with The Heavens and The Earth (common ancient name for the main parts of the temple).

    This is a rather simple concept, but it is so foreign to our way of thinking, that it is difficult to see. I hope I’ve made the idea clear.

  31. Alabama John says:

    JL, Using the Bible Genesis 5 to add up the time and his age when he died, he died the same year as the flood. No mention of Methuselah being one of those specified on the ark.

  32. Larry Cheek says:

    JLVaughn;
    You said; “Eric, I find it quite interesting that the Hebrew of Gen. 2 does not say “there was no man to till the earth,” but actually says, “there was no Adam to till the earth.” The first Adam was “made” from the earth to till the earth. The last Adam was “made” to harvest the earth. “The fields are white with harvest.”
    Just where did you find this about Adam? You can see that its not found among the following translations from E-sword. You surly must identify your source and allow us to compare the validity of it against such a large amount of scriptures that say exactly the opposite of your statement. The following is Gen 2:5 the only place in Gen 2 containing the words of your statement.

    (ASV) And no plant of the field was yet in the earth, and no herb of the field had yet sprung up; for Jehovah God had not caused it to rain upon the earth: and there was not a man to till the ground;

    (BBE) In the day when the Lord God made earth and heaven there were no plants of the field on the earth, and no grass had come up: for the Lord God had not sent rain on the earth and there was no man to do work on the land.

    (Brenton) and every herb of the field before it was on the earth, and all the grass of the field before it sprang up, for God had not rained on the earth, and there was not a man to cultivate it.

    (CEV) no grass or plants were growing anywhere. God had not yet sent any rain, and there was no one to work the land.

    (DRB) And every plant of the field before it sprung up in the earth, and every herb of the ground before it grew: for the Lord God had not rained upon the earth; and there was not a man to till the earth.

    (ERV) This was before there were plants on the earth. Nothing was growing in the fields because the LORD God had not yet made it rain on the earth, and there was no one to care for the plants.

    (ESV) When no bush of the field was yet in the land and no small plant of the field had yet sprung up—for the LORD God had not caused it to rain on the land, and there was no man to work the ground,

    (GNB) there were no plants on the earth and no seeds had sprouted, because he had not sent any rain, and there was no one to cultivate the land;

    (GW) Wild bushes and plants were not on the earth yet because the LORD God hadn’t sent rain on the earth. Also, there was no one to farm the land.

    (ISV) no shrubs had yet grown in the meadows of the earth and no vegetation had sprouted, because the LORD God had not sent rain on the earth and there were no human beings to work the ground.

    (JPS) No shrub of the field was yet in the earth, and no herb of the field had yet sprung up; for the LORD God had not caused it to rain upon the earth, and there was not a man to till the ground;

    (KJV) And every plant of the field before it was in the earth, and every herb of the field before it grew: for the LORD God had not caused it to rain upon the earth, and there was not a man to till the ground.

    (KJV+) And everyH3605 plantH7880 of the fieldH7704 beforeH2962 it wasH1961 in the earth,H776 and everyH3605 herbH6212 of the fieldH7704 beforeH2962 it grew:H6779 forH3588 the LORDH3068 GodH430 had notH3808 caused it to rainH4305 uponH5921 the earth,H776 and there was notH369 a manH120 to tillH5647 (H853) the ground.H127

    (LBLA) Y aún no había ningún arbusto del campo en la tierra, ni había aún brotado ninguna planta del campo, porque el SEÑOR Dios no había enviado lluvia sobre la tierra, ni había hombre para labrar la tierra.

    (LITV) And every shrub of the field was not yet on the earth, and every plant of the field had not yet sprung up; for Jehovah God had not sent rain on the earth, and there was no man to till the ground.

    (LXX+) καιG2532 CONJ πανG3956 A-ASN χλωρονG5515 A-ASN αγρουG68 N-GSM προG4253 PREP τουG3588 T-GSN γενεσθαιG1096 V-AMN επιG1909 PREP τηςG3588 T-GSF γηςG1065 N-GSF καιG2532 CONJ πανταG3956 A-ASM χορτονG5528 N-ASM αγρουG68 N-GSM προG4253 PREP τουG3588 T-GSN ανατειλαιG393 V-AAN ουG3364 ADV γαρG1063 PRT εβρεξενG1026 V-AAI-3S οG3588 T-NSM θεοςG2316 N-NSM επιG1909 PREP τηνG3588 T-ASF γηνG1065 N-ASF καιG2532 CONJ ανθρωποςG444 N-NSM ουκG3364 ADV ηνG1510 V-IAI-3S εργαζεσθαιG2038 V-PMN τηνG3588 T-ASF γηνG1065 N-ASF

    (MKJV) And every shrub of the field was not yet on the earth, and every plant of the field had not yet sprung up, for Jehovah God had not caused it to rain upon the earth, and there was no man to till the ground.

    (NBLH) Aún no había ningún arbusto del campo en la tierra, ni había aún brotado ninguna planta del campo, porque el SEÑOR Dios no había enviado lluvia sobre la tierra, ni había hombre para labrar la tierra.

    (RV) And no plant of the field was yet in the earth, and no herb of the field had yet sprung up: for the LORD God had not caused it to rain upon the earth, and there was not a man to till the ground;

    (YLT) and no shrub of the field is yet in the earth, and no herb of the field yet sprouteth, for Jehovah God hath not rained upon the earth, and a man there is not to serve the ground,

    You also said;
    “John, It does matter a lot to many people. Sadly, many turn from Christ because they had been taught that Adam was the first human being, then find out that civilization itself is a bit older than Adam and the world was fully populated. That is, they become convinced that their parents, preachers, and Bible School teachers are fools for passing down falsehoods.
    Satan’s total goal is exactly what you have just stated, his goals are also empowered by God. Notice how.
    God even tells the reason this could happen.

    (2 Th 2:9 KJV) Even him, whose coming is after the working of Satan with all power and signs and lying wonders, 10 And with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish; because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved. 11 And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie: 12 That they all might be damned who believed not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness.
    (2 Th 2:9 NIV) The coming of the lawless one will be in accordance with the work of Satan displayed in all kinds of counterfeit miracles, signs and wonders, 10 and in every sort of evil that deceives those who are perishing. They perish because they refused to love the truth and so be saved. 11 For this reason God sends them a powerful delusion so that they will believe the lie 12 and so that all will be condemned who have not believed the truth but have delighted in wickedness.
    (2 Th 2:9 NRSV) The coming of the lawless one is apparent in the working of Satan, who uses all power, signs, lying wonders, 10 and every kind of wicked deception for those who are perishing, because they refused to love the truth and so be saved. 11 For this reason God sends them a powerful delusion, leading them to believe what is false, 12 so that all who have not believed the truth but took pleasure in unrighteousness will be condemned.
    God can produce any deception that man can go searching for (remember seek an ye shall find). If you chose to seek out information that will disprove God’s word he promises to provide that information, evidence or whatever that man can dream up. All because, as he stated you chose to believe a lie provided by Satan. This is the exact parallel of the event between Satan and Eve.

    Another example could be witchcraft. Is it real or just spooky? If you go looking would you find it? Let’s let him answer.
    (Exo 22:18 KJV) Thou shalt not suffer a witch to live.
    (Deu 18:10 KJV) There shall not be found among you any one that maketh his son or his daughter to pass through the fire, or that useth divination, or an observer of times, or an enchanter, or a witch,
    (1 Sam 15:23 KJV) For rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft, and stubbornness is as iniquity and idolatry. Because thou hast rejected the word of the LORD, he hath also rejected thee from being king.
    (2 Ki 9:22 KJV) And it came to pass, when Joram saw Jehu, that he said, Is it peace, Jehu? And he answered, What peace, so long as the whoredoms of thy mother Jezebel and her witchcrafts are so many?
    (2 Chr 33:6 KJV) And he caused his children to pass through the fire in the valley of the son of Hinnom: also he observed times, and used enchantments, and used witchcraft, and dealt with a familiar spirit, and with wizards: he wrought much evil in the sight of the LORD, to provoke him to anger.
    (Micah 5:12 KJV) And I will cut off witchcrafts out of thine hand; and thou shalt have no more soothsayers:
    (Nahum 3:4 KJV) Because of the multitude of the whoredoms of the wellfavoured harlot, the mistress of witchcrafts, that selleth nations through her whoredoms, and families through her witchcrafts.
    (Gal 5:19 KJV) Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these; Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness, 20 Idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies, 21 Envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings, and such like: of the which I tell you before, as I have also told you in time past, that they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God.

  33. JLVaughn says:

    John,

    The various ancient versions of Genesis have different ages for the patriarchs in Genesis 5.

    There is no mention of Cain’s descendants being in the ark, yet they appear later in Scripture, as do the Nephilim. No need to be on the ark to survive a flood. All you need to do is be someplace else. That’s how Genesis says Cain did it.

  34. aBasnar says:

    The different versions of the ages in the patriarchs indeed do show that there is a difficult manuscript situation, but to conclude from the fact that e.g. in the LXX Metusalah lived longer than the flood there were safe places outside the ark, contradicts the whole account of the flood plus NT references such as 1Pe 3:21. The Nephilim having been one of the main reasons for the flood, but Gen 6:4 surprizingly tells us that the mingling of angels with duaghters of men took place after the flood as well. There were Nephilim in Canaan as the 12 scouts reported back to the frightened Israelites in the desert. Until the times of David there were families of Giants living among the Philistines. None of these were descendants of flood survivers, because the mingling went on – though on a much smaller scale – after the flood. In Dan 2:43 we read of a mingling with the seed of men again (although it is not revealed who is mingling with us) during the last days.

    Anyway, that’s off topic.

    Alexander

  35. JLVaughn says:

    Mr. Basner,

    For the record, Methuselah in the LXX is not a reason I typically give for a local flood. I have plenty of reasons, from Scripture for a local/regional Flood. The primary reason being my home schooled, teenaged daughters know Scripture better than I ever did, and Scripture does not say what you and I were taught that it said.

    Your misreference of 1 Pet. 3:21 does nothing to show that only 8 people survived the flood.

    Please explain Gen. 46:27. How many went down to Egypt? The verse says seventy. What happened to their servants? Were they left behind to starve? No. Thousands went down to Egypt.

    Please reread Gen. 6:4. The Nephilim are not the reason for the flood, nor are they the offspring of sons of God and the daughters of Adam. The Nephilim were on the earth at the time the sons of God and the daughters of Adam were giving birth to the mighty. The Nephilim were also on the earth afterwards. Please parse the passage carefully.

    As I said, Gen says quite plainly to those who carefully read that Cain’s descendants survived the Flood by being someplace else. Cain was driven from the face of the earth. The Flood destroyed the face of the earth.

    Cain’s genealogy mentions a future for Cain’s descendants. The Flood is part of Seth’s genealogy. The Flood was a judgment primarily against the descendants of Seth.

    I believe Dan. 2:43 refers to Israel declaring, “We have no king but Caesar,” and has nothing to do with the sons of God marrying the daughters of Adam.

  36. laymond says:

    I believe Paul addressed this.

    1Ti 1:4 Neither give heed to fables and endless genealogies, which minister questions, rather than godly edifying which is in faith: [so do].
    1Ti 4:7 But refuse profane and old wives’ fables, and exercise thyself [rather] unto godliness.
    2Ti 4:4 And they shall turn away [their] ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables.
    Tts 1:14 Not giving heed to Jewish fables, and commandments of men, that turn from the truth.
    2Pe 1:16 For we have not followed cunningly devised fables, when we made known unto you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but were eyewitnesses of his majesty.

  37. JKratt says:

    laymond,

    Actually I don’t think that what what Paul was addressing at all. That’s not even in the context, and I highly doubt the principle at work for Timothy should be applied to this discussion. In my experience, it’s easier for the religious elite to dismiss any view or exegesis of Scripture that is counter to theirs than to present a biblical case for a young earth, global flood and immenent rapture (the three views are intricately related), and it’s very easy to dismiss the scientist who has through much work determined that the flood was regional not global, even if they have faith in Jesus.

    This is why I said I am hopeful that things are changing among the progressives, that they can sit and be quiet and listen to those who have studied (since in my experience most progressives spend more time eating food than studying their bibles – not a demeaning statement , just my observation from 3 years of fellowshiping with them). This issue is important because the witness of the Earth screams out regional flood and old Earth, but the most Christians are told from their preacher or teacher, through their mistranslated Bibles, that not only are such views wrong (and that would include the creation as a temple view), but in some churches they aren’t even Christian! Where’s the “One in Jesus” in that? The result of NOT having this discussion is, churches are chasing away the best and brightest especially the young people who take up science as a career, who sit in CoC services and say, “my eyes do not see what my ears are hearing.” I’d say this discussion is anything but “fables and endless genealogies.” It is the very future of a dying church brand.

  38. Alabama John says:

    JK, what is your belief of how and where the first humans showed up on this earth?

  39. JLVaughn says:

    John,

    “Where the Bible speaks; we speak; where the Bible is silent, we are silent.”

    The point of Walton’s book, please read the original post, is that the Bible doesn’t discuss “how and where the first humans showed up on this earth.”

    Are you willing to seriously consider Walton’s point? Or does this issue determine who you will fellowship with?

  40. aBasnar says:

    @ JLVaughn

    First We usually don’t “Mister” each other in this Blog, but call each other brothers (thus using the 1st name).

    Second: Your post is full of assumptions and inferences I cannot see in the text. For starters: Tell me, how you conclude from Gen 46:27 that more than 70 (LXX: 72) went doen to egypt. Were slaves no persons? You state it as it qwere an obvious fct, but I can’t conclude “thousands” from the written record.

    Alexander

  41. Alabama John says:

    JL,
    You would be amazed at who all I have and still fellowship with. The unbelievable part is that they will fellowship me. I’ve never believed folks will just hunt you up begging to be talked to and discussed with and follow your every word. And even worse, follow you or go to hell.

  42. JLVaughn says:

    Sorry Alexander, for some reason I didn’t notice your sign-off until later.

    How many fighting men did Abraham have, that were born in his household? That implies a similar number of women for wives for these fighting men, parents, children, disabled, and possibly numerous men not trained to fight. Gary North’s analysis in The Dominion Covenant http://www.garynorth.com/freebooks/sidefrm3.htm suggests a minimum of 3000 people in Abraham’s household.

    In Gen. 32, we see that Jacob had “oxen, donkeys, flocks, and male and female servants,” which he divided into two companies. Regardless of what the number was, far more than 70 went down to Egypt, but only 70 were considered worth counting.

    Similarly, only 8 of those in the ark were considered worth counting. We have no way of knowing how many servants Noah had in his household, but they to would have been on the ark.

  43. JLVaughn says:

    John,

    Typically, when I am asked the question you asked Jerel, it is a pretext for the questioner to dismiss me as an atheist and an evolutionist. I’m neither. Sorry to have been so suspicious.

  44. JLVaughn says:

    Larry,

    There are two Hebrew words translated man, “Adam” http://www.blueletterbible.org/lang/lexicon/lexicon.cfm?Strongs=H120&t=KJV and “ish” http://www.blueletterbible.org/lang/lexicon/lexicon.cfm?Strongs=H376&t=KJV . The translators have assumed they both mean the same thing. However, the words are used differently, suggesting that is not the case.

  45. JLVaughn says:

    Alexander,

    Sorry for the wrong reference for Gary North. His book, Moses and Pharoah, pg 19. Same link. http://www.garynorth.com/freebooks/sidefrm3.htm or just download the 18MB PDF http://www.garynorth.com/freebooks/docs/pdf/moses_and_pharaoh.pdf

  46. R.J. says:

    I believe Dr. Walter Brown has the most compelling evidence for a global flood, young Earth, and recent Universe…

    In The Beginning

    On a related note, he believes that the firmament isn’t the sky but the ground. Separating the waters above(the seas) from the waters below(subterranean oceans). Before the fall, God’s habitation was with man(=heaven). The firmament had many lush subterranean caverns in additions to the surface. As soon as sin entered the world, God’s firmament(dwelling) was removed from man.

  47. R.J. says:

    He also postulates the Hydroplate theory to explain the global flood. He shows that the subterranean waters burst forth at God’s beckoning and subsequent friction cased by sliding plates melted the inner core into what is today called hot magma.

  48. JLVaughn says:

    RJ, I used to be a Young-Earth Creationist. Then I read Brown’s book and checked his math. I found it compelling, or rather anti-compelling.

  49. aBasnar says:

    JLVaughn

    OK, this link works, thank you. I’m not sure whether it is fruitful to discuss such numbers, but let me just give you my view:

    How many fighting men did Abraham have, that were born in his household? That implies a similar number of women for wives for these fighting men, parents, children, disabled, and possibly numerous men not trained to fight. Gary North’s analysis in The Dominion Covenant http://www.garynorth.com/freebooks/sidefrm3.htm suggests a minimum of 3000 people in Abraham’s household.

    Well, he suggests and it might be a good guess. But normally, when we speak of about 2 million Israelites who left Egypt, we come to this estimate from 600.000 men that were numbered. So we only multiply with the factor three here. North makes 3000 out 318 – I think this is an exaggeration.

    In Gen. 32, we see that Jacob had “oxen, donkeys, flocks, and male and female servants,” which he divided into two companies. Regardless of what the number was, far more than 70 went down to Egypt, but only 70 were considered worth counting.

    Yes, but in Gen 32 no exact numbers are given, so again we guess and speculate here. His immediate family consisted of his wives and twelve sons, who were still very young. What I thought, when you said: “No. Thousands went down to Egypt.” I remembered that Jacob left home with nothing but what he wore. All of Isaacs earthly goods were passed on to Esau which made him wealthy and mighty – Jacob had nothing but the blessing. And it stayed that way for another 14 years, when slowly he began working for a family as a hired worker.

    And then I read, and lt me follow the LXX since this is confirmed in the NT, of 75 people. The text explicitly counts the names (I know you know that):

    Gen 46:5 And Jacob rose up from the well of the oath; and the sons of Israel took up their father, and the baggage, and their wives on the waggons, which Joseph sent to take them.
    Gen 46:6 And they took up their goods, and all their property, which they had gotten in the land of Chanaan; they came into the land of Egypt, Jacob, and all his seed with him.
    Gen 46:7 The sons, and the sons of his sons with him; his daughters, and the daughters of his daughters; and he brought all his seed into Egypt.
    Gen 46:8 And these are the names of the sons of Israel that went into Egypt with their father Jacob–Jacob and his sons. The first-born of Jacob, Ruben.
    Gen 46:9 And the sons of Ruben; Enoch, and Phallus, Asron, and Charmi.
    Gen 46:10 and the sons of Symeon; Jemuel, and Jamin, and Aod, and Achin, and Saar, and Saul, the son of a Chananitish woman.
    Gen 46:11 And the sons of Levi; Gerson, Cath, and Merari.
    Gen 46:12 And the sons of Judas; Er, and Aunan, and Selom, and Phares, and Zara: and Er and Aunan died in the land of Chanaan.
    Gen 46:13 And the sons of Phares were Esron, and Jemuel. And the sons of Issachar; Thola, and Phua, and Asum, and Sambran.
    Gen 46:14 And the sons of Zabulun, Sered, and Allon, and Achoel.
    Gen 46:15 These are the sons of Lea, which she bore to Jacob in Mesopotamia of Syria, and Dina his daughter; all the souls, sons and daughters, thirty-three.
    Gen 46:16 And the sons of Gad; Saphon, and Angis, and Sannis, and Thasoban, and Aedis, and Aroedis, and Areelis.
    Gen 46:17 And the sons of Aser; Jemna, Jessua, and Jeul, and Baria, and Sara their sister. And the sons of Baria; Chobor, and Melchiil.
    Gen 46:18 These are the sons of Zelpha, which Laban gave to his daughter Lea, who bore these to Jacob, sixteen souls.
    Gen 46:19 And the sons of Rachel, the wife of Jacob; Joseph, and Benjamin.
    Gen 46:20 And there were sons born to Joseph in the land of Egypt, whom Aseneth, the daughter of Petephres, priest of Heliopolis, bore to him, even Manasses and Ephraim. And there were sons born to Manasses, which the Syrian concubine bore to him, even Machir. And Machir begot Galaad. And the sons of Ephraim, the brother of Manasses; Sutalaam, and Taam. And the sons of Sutalaam; Edom.
    Gen 46:21 and the sons of Benjamin; Bala, and Bochor, and Asbel. And the sons of Bala were Gera, and Noeman, and Anchis, and Ros, and Mamphim. And Gera begot Arad.
    Gen 46:22 These are the sons of Rachel, which she bore to Jacob; all the souls eighteen.
    Gen 46:23 And the sons of Dan; Asom.
    Gen 46:24 And the sons of Nephthalim; Asiel, and Goni, and Issaar, and Sollem.
    Gen 46:25 These are the sons of Balla, whom Laban gave to his daughter Rachel, who bore these to Jacob; all the souls, seven.
    Gen 46:26 And all the souls that came with Jacob into Egypt, who came out of his loins, besides the wives of the sons of Jacob, even all the souls were sixty-six.
    Gen 46:27 And the sons of Joseph, who were born to him in the land of Egypt, were nine souls; all the souls of the house of Jacob who came with Joseph into Egypt, were seventy-five souls.

    Again – except Dina – only the male members of the houshold were counted. Interstingly, though not counted, two female handmaids were mentioned: Balla and Zelpha. How can one estimate the number of servants? It seems to me that there were not that many, especially since Jacob had to start from nothing unlike Abraham who left Ur and later Haran as a wealthy man to begin with. I would not go beyond 200 or 250 people (factor 3 again).

    I cannot read scripture and go beyond it, saying: “75? No there must have been thousands!” or: “6000 years? No the earth is millions of years old!” Doing this places human intellect and (sceptical) reasoning, scholarly guesses above the Word of God. It’s a strange way of working for God when we start ammending what He has revealed to us. I simply cannot do this. Knowing, this could lead to an endless debate, I think we should spare our time for more fruitful topics.

    Alexander

  50. JMF says:

    JKratt and JLVaughn:

    First, I think you for coming here and offering some challenging thoughts that I’ve never heard/considered before! Nothing excites me more than an viewpoint unique to what I’ve always understood.

    That said, I have a rather random question for either/both you. Say I accept your thoughts on these topics (temple, creation, Adam, etc.) — does any of this effect the way you view the environment and/or animals? For whatever reason, after reading both of your thoughts, this was the thing I was curious about.

    Thanks for any thoughts you have.

  51. JLVaughn says:

    JMF,

    Yes it does. In Matt. 5:18, Jesus promised, “Until heaven and earth pass away, not one jot nor one tittle of the law would pass away.” If you’ve paid attention to the Young-Earth Creationists, you’ve seen they point to the connection between the Sabbath Law and Genesis creation. They use this connection to “prove” 24-hour days.

    There’s a problem though. YECs don’t obey the Sabbath Law. Their very actions prove that heaven and earth have indeed passed away. The Genesis 1 creation, whatever it was, is no more.

    In the New Testament, we have numerous promises concerning the passing away of the old or first heaven and first earth. These are fulfilled. We are in the “new” heaven and “new” earth. Eden has been “restored” and it takes work, real work, to keep it.

    The lion God made, the lion that Adam named, “does violence,” is still the formidable and dangerous beast that it was when Adam named it in the Garden. God didn’t make a tame, toothless, grass-eating lion. Nor did Adam’s sin create a sinful, lost lion. The lion of Judah was compared to the dangerous, meat eating, death dealing, and ferocious lion that God made and Adam named. God is proud of his handiwork, and he has made us responsible for it.

    God took his time to lovingly create this physical world around us. He is not about to destroy it as many Christians imagine. We are not short-timers here. Working to improve our environment and our lot in life is not, as some say, “polishing brass on a sinking ship.”

  52. aBasnar says:

    Where lies the origin of death?
    Why and when did death enter creation?

    Alexander

  53. JLVaughn says:

    Alexander,

    Death entered creation due to Adam’s sin. Same words for the Temple creation paradigm as for the Physical creation paradigm.

    The meaning of those words is the issue. In the Temple creation paradigm, the death is with respect to the temple/covenant.

    Before the Fall, Adam named the lion, “does violence,” and the eagle, “tears flesh.” God told Job the He made the ostrich stupid, so that her eggs got crushed in the sand. Physical death surely existed before Adam’s Fall.

    Adam was told, “On the day you eat, you will surely die.” Adam died on that very day. All through the New Testament, we are told that Adam’s sin death requires “the standing again of the dead” to overcome it. (Larry, look up anastasis in a Greek dictionary.)

    In contrast, Abel died a physical death before Adam did. The New Testament never says Abel’s death will be undone, rather it promises vengeance for Abel’s death.

    Sin death requires resurrection (standing again, not hiding). Some physical death requires vengeance. Physical death does not require resurrection.

  54. aBasnar says:

    I don’t agree: Adam did NOT die the day he ate, but he was separated from the tree of life which resulted in the process of dying. It is about a physical death – I can, to some degree, understand that maybe animals were excluded from the tree of life from the beginning. But humans were meant to live forvere – given they continually eat from the tree of life (a type of Christ BTW). So – at least for humans – physical death entered our story with Adam.

    Alexander

  55. eric says:

    I have to admit I have very little faith that we are living in the promised new heaven and earth. A place where there are no tears and everyone has bodies like Christ and the dead have risen. To think we are currently in that age is to overlook some pretty important scripture. Gen. and Physics have much in common and that’s why I personally lean toward what we would consider an old creation story being told by God in Gen. Gerold Schroder a PhD in physics from MIT wrote about this. I have no problem with the Universe being a temple. It is written that creation displays God’s glory, and temples are meant to display the glory of the god it is built for. In that sense creation and you and I are meant to be temples. Places to worship and glorify God. I have faith that there will be a time when no pain and no tears remain in the new heaven and the new earth. I don’t think that time has come.

  56. JLVaughn says:

    Alexander, Eric,

    The OP is about a different way of looking at Genesis. Genesis as temple dedication, not physical creation. If Genesis 1 is a temple dedication, then it is not the creation of the physical universe. Necessarily then, Genesis would not address the things you have been taught that it addresses. Necessarily then, all these details you are asking about, all the questions you are asking, are frankly irrelevant to Scripture, if temple dedication is correct.

    Contrary to Henry Morris’ oft repeated claim, Scripture wasn’t given to us to answer where the geologic column came from.

    Scripture was given to tell the history of one family and how the rest of us were grafted into that family 2000 years ago and are being grafted into that family today. Everything is told with respect to that family. This is the view the OP wishes to discuss.

    It bothers me not that you have never heard of this view before. Few have. But to judge this view as wrong because it is different from what you’ve heard before? Why not learn the view first?

  57. Alabama John says:

    JL,
    The one family as an example of their being Gods chosen has been around a long time.
    While great things were happening all around them and great civilizations building unbelievable cities and structures had an education we cannot understand to this day.
    This was happening all over the world while the ones God chose were goat and sheep herders.
    Even Goliath came from a civilization far more educated than David. God chose them for several reasons and one being they were so behind in education if they beat the others that were far more superior, God had to be with them and the ones beaten obviously did not have the real God.
    Would of not been near as good of a lesson to all around if God had chosen the strongest, smartest, most educated.

  58. JKratt says:

    Eric, and others,

    God said “in the day you eat you will surely die.” Satan said, “you will not surely die.” What you said above is what Satan said, not what God said. You are changing meanings of “in that day.” What’s interesting is, in the same “day” that they ate, that God told them they would die, their eyes were opened. Did their eyes open that very moment, in the twinkling of an eye, or did it take another 900 years? In the same “day” that they ate, they hid and were ashamed. In the same “day” that they ate, they were cast from the garden and cheribum with flaming swords were placed guarding the way (which were above the mercy seat in the MHP where only the high priest could enter – a figure of heaven itself per Heb 9 – and were also on the veil guarding the way into the MHP). Jesus came to repair, to restore, the ministry of death (old covenant death and separation) that Adam brought. You say it hasn’t happened yet because people still die phyiscally. I say it has happened because scripture says it has happened (or more technically that it was about to happen at the end of the age that was upon them in the NT), and that we are back in the garden in Christ today through the cross (back in perfect fellowship, in time, on Earth, in a body, not awaiting further redemption but already perfectly redeemed by grace through faith). There are much books and writing on this, but in my experience view are really “grace minded” and open minded enough to actually pursue this.

    Isaiah promised a new heavens and new earth to Israel, at the time when Jerusalem would be defeated by the sword and God would call his people by a new name. Read all of Isaiah 65-66. The promise of a new H&E was Israel’s promise. Is Israel still waiting for this today? Or are you suggesting that Peter and John were changing the meaning of the covenantal transformation that Isaiah saw? Would it surprise you to learn that Revelation is undoing everything that Genesis brought in, only that it was to happen very soon, in that generation when all the blood shed on earth since Abel was avenged (Matt 23, Rev 18)?

    Here is a recent article on the nature of Adam’s death from Biologos. http://biologos.org/blog/the-questions-update-did-death-occur-before-the-fall
    I believe the author is mistaken in his view on 1 Cor 15 and how this relates to this subject, but at least his does a good job showing that there are alternative viewpoints on this.

    One final thought. In my experience, and I am a former preacher and a current teacher at a large progressive CoC, it’s not people like us who are dogmatic or pushing this down other people’s throats, it’s the traditionalists who judge and condemn their own who don’t believe in YEC or in a literal hermenuetic of the bible. We are anathama, yet we sit among you and fellowship with you. We are told we are wrong, that we don’t believe the bible, yet when we provide scripture for our understanding people resort not to scripture but to their emotional feelings. So much for “speaking where the bible speaks.” It’s fine enough to sit lofty above the legalists and believe that women’s roles should be expanded and instrumental music be accepted, but how dare anyone suggest that Genesis isn’t really talking about physical creation! My oh my how the church is still evolving to not be judgmental of their own.

  59. JKratt says:

    BTW I don’t mean that to come across as terse. These formats are hard to discuss. I was trying to be short and direct and not too long-winded.

    Alabama John, you asked what I believe about the origins of man. I believe the Hebrew bible speaks as though it is already common knowledge that God of course is the creator of both man and the universe. But the bible isn’t about how God did that. It’s about relationship with him all pointing to his Son Jesus. This is very freeing because it means I can accept the OEC, YEC and theistic evolutionist who all believe in Christ and follow him. It’s a wolf and lamb sitting together kind of thing. ;-)

  60. JKratt says:

    I hit send before I was done. Sorry.

    If the bible isn’t about scientific origins but about covenantal origins, then I am free to use the creation as God gave us as a witness about him and about us. If creation reveals an old earth, or a regional flood, then it isn’t counter to the bible because the bible isn’t about material origins or geology (and the technical Hebrew in Genesis actually supports this view too). I believe the bible presents a mortal Adam pulled from humanity using ANE language that was poetic and apocalyptic, to describe covenantal origins. Archeology presents man living on Earth for a hundred thousand years before the time of Adam. Physical death existed well before Adam. Every global flood argument by PhD Christians has been overturned a dozen times each by Christian and non-Christian PhD’s alike. I’m free to accept the same evidence by the same scientific methods that brought us the TV and sending man to the moon. But all that is a distraction from the real story which is the redemption we now have in the cross.

    The problem I have is, the message of a not-yet arrived new H&E, and death still being victorious over man, presents Christ and the cross as weak and ineffectual. Even worse, it presents the dealing with sin and fellowship that we now have as less important than fixing physical matter. As if physical death could really separate us from God. God could raise up children of God from these rocks before Christ even died and rose again! Somehow I think we’ve GROSSLY missed the true picture of redemption of the cross.

    I’m traveling for work and in hotels so I may not be responding for a while.

    Blessings. :)

  61. eric says:

    J L Vaughn

    Believe me I understand you have a different view and I don’t have a problem with that I often have a different view of things than others. Many times I’m wrong so don’t let it bother you in the least. I understand you believe or think it possible that Gen. speaks of a temple dedication. I see things in Gen. that are physics terms like the light being separated from the darkness. That in physics is known as the time when the universe had expanded to a point that the gravity would be weak enough to release light photons from matter. Things like that may be coincidental though I find it unlikely. There is the possibility that God did both at the same time. A temple dedication and created the heavens and the earth. It is also possible that He related both in one book. He is after all God. He invented multitasking.

  62. JMF says:

    JKratt and/or JLVaughn –

    It seems you guys both argue from the same perspective so I direct these questions to either of you.

    1) Based on the concepts you’ve proposed, how does this affect the tradition view of afterlife?

    2) @JLVaughn — does the book on your website mainly focus on these specifics (flood, Adam, etc.) or does it bring all of this into your view of a complete theology? In other words, does your book describe how covenant creation reshapes our view of the cross, atonement, afterlife, the church, etc.?

  63. eric says:

    JKratt

    You seem to have an open mind and I thank you for your service to Christ. I think I have an open mind and would love to learn your view as I get more time to do so. Please allow me time. I work 60hrs a week in the summer and find little time to study right now and the format tends to move too quickly to properly educate myself on every topic before commenting. The Bible says God created the heavens and the earth and it relates a six day time frame. I believe it. I believe the days were on a universal clock taking into account the matter present and the rate the universe was expanding. Much of this has been proven by the US Air Force using aircraft and atomic clocks. Gen. is very accurate as to the age of the universe. And as far as weather or not we are in the new earth you may be right. I have read many things that are interesting on that subject. Though I have some problems with some of the scriptures I think are in conflict with that thought. As for Adam dieing on that day he very much died that day. He was separated from God spiritually. It was not a physical death Christ sweated blood over it was having God turn is back on Him. Without God very existence is hell. No peace, no love, no joy, no life. No I think he died that day, he hid from God. He hid from God. Something died that day. Maybe we think life is existence. The Bible speaks of life as Jesus(I’m the way the truth and the life). Adam was no longer a Jesus, he was just a man.

  64. JLVaughn says:

    JMF,

    The book, Beyond Creation Science, focuses mostly (Chapters 1-18) on what you have called “the specifics.” At the time, my coauthor was not willing to go as far as I was on some of these specifics. His basic view was to try to avoid writing anything he feared we might have to retract. (I think we both agree that we succeeded on that score.)

    Chapter 19 covers the epistemology we tried to consistently use throughout the book. (Does any other book do this?)

    Chapters 20-21 gives a start into how Covenant Creation shapes these other issues. These other issues are more introspective in nature and require careful thought from what then was a completely new perspective. Again, caution reigned.

    I hope that helps.

  65. JLVaughn says:

    JMF,

    “1) Based on the concepts you’ve proposed, how does this affect the tradition view of afterlife?”

    Most, possibly all, of the Scripture used to describe the afterlife actually describes the here-and-now from the covenant perspective. God’s people (us) are no longer at enmity with God and everything is just peachy-keen. As every Orthodox priest has recited weekly for 1600 years, “You brought us into being out of nothing, and when we fell, You raised us up again. You did not cease doing everything until You led us to heaven and granted us Your kingdom to come.” http://www.ocf.org/OrthodoxPage/liturgy/liturgy.html We have been raised. We are in heaven now. We have life eternal now. Though I am not Orthodox, I do agree with those words.

    Just as there are differences among those who hold other views, there are differences among those who hold our view.

    For example, I was raised in the instrumental Christian Churches and Churches of Christ. Our view of baptism: All baptism is for remission of sins. It doesn’t matter what foolish words some baptist preacher might say. The non-institutional CoCs generally won’t accept my baptism because the church that baptized me accepts Baptists. The right words were said, but that still isn’t good enough. The so-called “liberal” non-instrumental Church of Christ in my area wouldn’t tell me if they would accept my baptism. Which view is correct? Is it really a salvation issue? (Rhetorical Question Alert.)

  66. JLVaughn says:

    Eric,

    Yes, that hiding from God was Adam’s “death.” The resurrection, “standing again of the dead” is the undoing of that hiding, of that death.

  67. Larry Cheek says:

    JLVaughn:
    When you make this statement, “Yes, that hiding from God was Adam’s “death.” The resurrection, “standing again of the dead” is the undoing of that hiding, of that death.”
    It becomes apparent that you are not understanding the death of Adam at all. The death that you are relating to even as you state, “standing again of the dead”, is a physical body. The definition of death that Adam experienced is clearly the Spirit, the physical body of Adam did not die that day, God does not lie , and his words did not fail that day. Adam and Eve still lived in the physical world. But, the Spirit died just as God had promised. This same Spirit was what Jesus spoke of as in the future, He promised it’s return to those that obeyed and were born again. His communication with Nicodemus was an explanation of how the Spirit would be renewed into a living man. Man has a major problem understanding that there is supposed to be a Spirit that God gave to man in the beginning living inside this physical body, God’s design.
    Adam and Eve were responsible through their actions for the Spirit to be separated from them (death). All mankind follows the exact pattern that Adam did when they chose to not obey God’s commands. Christ is responsible for the availability for the Spirit to be made alive again in man by man’s actions of obeying, the opposite of what Adam did. Christ said that action would be a born again new life (Spirit) not physical. This obedience is not a purchase it is a gift, because no man has any means worthy of the purchase. The price was and still is beyond the capability of any living man. Christ was the only man that ever lived that was worthy of the purchase, He used his all to pay the price, to redeem what man had lost. Until man can understand the two fold being that man was in the beginning, he will stay confused as he reads God’s Words.

  68. JLVaughn says:

    No Larry,

    “It becomes apparent that you are not understanding the death of Adam at all.”

    It is apparent that I have a different understanding than yours. It is not at all apparent that I do not understand.

    In 1 Cor. 6, Paul uses bodies plural and equates them to members. These bodies are the physical bodies you speak of.

    In 1 Cor. 12, the body singular has many members. This body is the corporate body, the church.

    1 Cor. 13 & 14 deal with the church, that same corporate body singular that was discussed in 1 Cor. 12.

    In 1 Cor 15, Paul uses body singular, not plural. This singular body not the plural bodies of 1 Cor. 6, but the singular body of 1 Cor. 12, the church is the entity which experiences “the standing again of the dead (plural).”

    Paul writes of that body being sown in the same context with Adam. That sowing is Adam’s death. As you said, “The definition of death that Adam experienced is clearly the Spirit.” And that is the same death the body singular stood again from in Christ, the last Adam.

    It may be true that I don’t understand the passage. However, that you are either ignorant of or have ignored the problem of number makes it certain you have not understood the passage.

    One body with many members was sown. One body with many members was to stand again. The one body is the church, the body and bride of Christ.

    Blessings,

  69. Larry Cheek says:

    JLVaughn:
    I have read your comments about Adams death and all of the references that you have provided. But, there is absolutely no references to a “standing again” or “stood again” in the scriptures, in fact, those two group of words are never used together in all of scriptures. Yet, you have ascribed a concept them that you suggest a reader of the scriptures should understand.
    You have stated, “One body with many members was sown. One body with many members was to stand again. The one body is the church, the body and bride of Christ.”
    This (One body with many members was sown.) as I understand what you are trying to say is in reference to Adams death. The sown equals the death. The standing again would be, resurrection from that death. Yet, the phrase “one body” was never used in scripture to apply to Adam, or his death, the phrase is only found in the New Testament and is used exclusively as the union of the born again of the Spirit into one body that is called the church. The Church was not and is not the body, the body is the saved that have been called out from among the world who are called the church by name. There were a huge number of mankind that had life like Adam that died between the time of Adams life and Christ, but scriptures never refer to those men as “one body” as you do. Where do you find the authority to state concepts that God has not reviled in his Word.

  70. JLVaughn says:

    Larry,

    Stand again is used together in the Greek. It is one word in Greek, anastasis. I gave you the literal phrase. Here it is in context.

    http://www.studylight.org/isb/bible.cgi?query=1co+15%3A13&section=0&it=kjv&oq=1%2520cor%252015&ot=bhs&nt=na&new=1&nb=1co&ng=15&ncc=15

    15:13
    But if there be (5748) no resurrection of the dead, then is Christ not risen (5769) :

    ei de anastasiv nekrwn ouk estin, (5748) oude Xristov eghgertai; (5769)

    Do you see “anastasiv” in the Greek text? Here’s the link to Strongs. http://www.studylight.org/isb/view.cgi?number=386

    Please notice, anastasis. Ever here of an anabaptist? They were accused of rebaptizing or baptizing again. The prefix “ana” means re- or again. “Stasis” is Greek for standing.

    As for one body, Paul is my warrant. Quit looking all over the bible and look at 1 Cor. 15, where I directed you.

    42 So also is the resurrection of the dead. The body is sown in corruption, it is raised in incorruption. 43 It is sown in dishonor, it is raised in glory. It is sown in weakness, it is raised in power. 44 It is sown a natural body, it is raised a spiritual body. There is a natural body, and there is a spiritual body. 45 And so it is written, “The first man Adam became a living being.” The last Adam became a life-giving spirit.

    The (one) body sown in corruption, dishonor, weakness, is a natural body, associated with Adam. The (one) body raised in incorruption, honor, and power is a spiritual body associated with Christ, and we have been specifically told that it is the body of Christ the church. By analogy, the body that was sown, was the body of Adam, the old covenant body.

  71. Larry Cheek says:

    JLVaughn:
    I have fulfilled my point that I was intending to direct you to, you create confusion within those that you attempt to teach if you don’t use the same terms in your explanations that are used in the scriptures. When someone reads your comments and attempts to test it by the scriptures as all men are admonished to do, and the words that you used were not what was translated by the translators of multiple translations of the scriptures, and that individual finds it necessary to consult a word definition dictionary of another language that is unknown to them, you will hinder the communication process. Actually, I believe that most individuals would just write your comments off rather than (even if they have the ability) to research to identify how your message could mean the same as the words they find in the scriptures. Notice, I also can check Strong’s, Thayers and many others, and can see where you arrived with your message.
    386. anastasis, an-as’-tas-is; from G450; a standing up again, i.e. (lit.) a resurrection from death (individual, gen. or by impl. [its author]), or (fig.) a (moral) recovery (of spiritual truth):–raised to life again, resurrection, rise from the dead, that should rise, rising again.
    But, Ill also tell you that before researching this the message as you originally stated it appeared to me as if you saw this as a physical body “standing again” rather than the Spirit, that was dead in sin being made alive again. I really have never seen a “standing” Spirit. Of course I have never seen a Spirit, we can observe actions of men that display different kinds of spirits living within them, many do not even remotely identify with a Christ like or Godly attitude. But, standing or lying down does not convey the same meaning to me that is related by the statements “dead or resurrected” concerning a Spirit. I wonder how those not even familiar with the scriptures that we are to teach could relate to these terms? Maybe, even I can learn to spend much more time attempting to decipher what someone actually means underneath the surface before exposing my lack of multiple language studies.
    Thanks for the responses that guided me more in depth study, hopefully I can learn to be able to explain to someone else that may be confused.

  72. JLVaughn says:

    Larry,

    I can’t help that the translators have mistranslated certain words to accord with their assumed doctrines.

    It appears that you still don’t understand what I’ve written. I said nothing about a physical body standing again or any Spirit standing again. I’m sorry. It wasn’t my intention to make this difficult.

  73. Larry Cheek says:

    JLVaughn:
    You stated:
    The (one) body sown in corruption, dishonor, weakness, is a natural body, associated with Adam. The (one) body raised in incorruption, honor, and power is a spiritual body associated with Christ, and we have been specifically told that it is the body of Christ the church. By analogy, the body that was sown, was the body of Adam, the old covenant body.

    (1 Cor 15:42 NIV) So will it be with the resurrection of the dead. The body that is sown is perishable, it is raised imperishable; 43 it is sown in dishonor, it is raised in glory; it is sown in weakness, it is raised in power; 44 it is sown a natural body, it is raised a spiritual body. If there is a natural body, there is also a spiritual body. 45 So it is written: “The first man Adam became a living being” ; the last Adam, a life-giving spirit. 46 The spiritual did not come first, but the natural, and after that the spiritual.
    47 The first man was of the dust of the earth, the second man from heaven. 48 As was the earthly man, so are those who are of the earth; and as is the man from heaven, so also are those who are of heaven. 49 And just as we have borne the likeness of the earthly man, so shall we bear the likeness of the man from heaven. 50 I declare to you, brothers, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God, nor does the perishable inherit the imperishable. 51 Listen, I tell you a mystery: We will not all sleep, but we will all be changed– 52 in a flash, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, the dead will be raised imperishable, and we will be changed. 53 For the perishable must clothe itself with the imperishable, and the mortal with immortality.
    I have a huge problem interjecting this communication into references to the covenants. This complete text is explaining the position of man, singular, there is no reference to multiple men in a body.
    Notice; “By analogy, the body that was sown, was the body of Adam, the old covenant body.” The Old Covenant was not sown. What was sown was the death of Adams spirit, that died when he disobeyed God. Which is the Spirit that is resurrected by Christ, when an individual is born again. Those that are born again are added to the church, but the church was not dead and resurrected.

  74. JLVaughn says:

    Larry,

    I quoted the text. You quoted the text. No Spirit was sown. A body was sown. No Spirit was raised.; A body was raised. You aren’t even trying to get the text right.

    In Cor. 12, the body was the church with many members. I gave you the reference. It is a corporate body, many people in one body. “The dead” that you have quoted here is a Greek plural adjective. The singular body consists of many dead ones, of many members. It is still a corporate body.

    You read my words as badly as you do Scripture. I never wrote that the church was dead, nor that those born again were not added to the church. I wrote that the church died. The body of Adam, the corporate, old covenant Israel was sown. The body of Christ, the corporate, new covenant Israel, the Church was what “stood again.”

    You’ve said it again, because you disagree with me, I am wrong. No, you are wrong because you have ignored the Paul’s careful use of singular and plural. I have carefully considered that. My explanation of the text matches Paul’s use of singular and plural.

  75. Larry Cheek says:

    JLVaughn:
    I am still addressing the problem you have stated, “I wrote that the church died. The body of Adam, the corporate, old covenant Israel was sown. The body of Christ, the corporate, new covenant Israel, the Church was what “stood again.”
    There is no message in scripture that will support that, the church, or the old covenant died, it did not, Adam’s spirit died. Israel of the old covenant was promised a messiah (savior) he arrived and they as a nation they refused to accept him, but a remnant of Israel did accept him and those followers of the messiah fulfilled the prophesy of the savior being promised to Israel. The messiah (Christ) then established the church made up of those that obeyed him. The church was not dead to be resurrected, or as you prefer “stood again”, for it to have fulfilled your concept it would have been dead. In fact, to stand again cannot refer to a death or sowing of the old covenant, else what stood again could only have been the old covenant. When something or someone dies, if it is resurrected (standing again) it would have to be the exact thing that died.
    That is true of Adam’s spirit, it died and when it was resurrected (born again) it was the exact same Spirit that had died. This is the exact same concept yet today, the spirit that you were given at birth, died just like Adam’s did when you became a sinner, and when you commit your life to Christ in obedience the spirit that is born again is the same one that you had previously, was dead and resurrected, it could be said if you wish that, it stands again.

  76. JLVaughn says:

    Larry,

    Please look again at the whole quote, “I never wrote that the church was dead, nor that those born again were not added to the church. I wrote that the church died.”

    I have a typo. Scratch the sentence, “I wrote that the church died.” Then please reread what I wrote.

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