You are hereBeyond Creation Science: How Preterism Refutes a Global Flood and Impacts the Genesis Debate – Part 2

Beyond Creation Science: How Preterism Refutes a Global Flood and Impacts the Genesis Debate – Part 2

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By MiddleKnowledge - Posted on 06 January 2006

by Timothy P. Martin
It’s easy to overlook the importance of basic hermeneutic principles in any theological discussion. Most disagreements come when two people with different hermeneutic systems look at a text of Scripture and come to different conclusions. The differences do not come from the text itself. Both people read the same text. The differences come from the principles used to understand the text.It’s easy to overlook the importance of basic hermeneutic principles in any theological discussion. Most disagreements come when two people with different hermeneutic systems look at a text of Scripture and come to different conclusions. The differences do not come from the text itself. Both people read the same text. The differences come from the principles used to understand the text.
What is true of differences between individuals is also true of differences between entire theological systems. The debate among rival theological systems, at root, is about hermeneutics, principles of biblical interpretation. For example, a covenantal approach relies on what is known as the grammatico-historical method. Dispensationalism, on the other hand, operates by the method known as literalism. Covenant thinking rests on the belief that it is essential to interpret Scripture in light of other Scripture, always allowing the New Testament to interpret the Old Testament. Dispensationalism stresses the Bible must be read literally at all points possible. In the words of Charles Ryrie, “Dispensationalists claim that their principle of hermeneutics is that of literal interpretation.”[1] Ken Ham, a leading Creation Scientist, echoes this hermeneutic method when he says, “I take the Bible literally unless it is obviously symbolic. Even where it is symbolic, the words and phrases used have a literal basis.”[2] This literalist method can be shown to be problematic, but it is the heart, or engine that drives the train of dispensationalism. Just as a covenantal approach more compatible with preterism is powered by the belief we must interpret Scripture in light of Scripture.

A Troubling Fact

It is no secret that every leading writer for the Creation Science movement supports some version of eschatological futurism. Thoughtful preterists should ask why this connection to futurism, mainly of the dispensational variety, is uniform across the ranks of leading Creation Scientists. In fact, given the fundamental difference between preterism and dispensational futurism, it is odd preterists support the Creation Science movement. Is the error of Creation Science isolated to a single branch of theology named eschatology? How can they be correct in Genesis, yet so wrong when it comes to Matthew 24 and the entire book of Revelation?

A quick look at how Creation Scientists argue for a global flood reveals how they employ a dispensational hermeneutic from the very beginning. In their foundational book, The Genesis Flood: The Biblical Record and Its Scientific Implications, John Whitcomb, Jr. and Henry Morris begin by emphasizing a particular hermeneutic. I quote from the foreword:

The reader who desires to accept the Biblical account literally and without reservation will discover that the authors have shown such a position to be supported by excellent proof and sound interpretation... I would suggest that the skeptical reader, in like fashion, before he dismisses the Biblical-literal viewpoint of this book as unworthy of notice, should at least give it a careful reading... If a worldwide flood actually destroyed the entire antediluvian human population, as well as all land animals, except those preserved in a special Ark constructed by Noah (as a plain reading of the Biblical record would lead one to believe), then its historical and scientific implications are tremendous. [emphasis mine][3]

The fact that Morris and Whitcomb start with a hermeneutic of literalism does not, by itself, prove their view wrong. We know, for example, that even a covenantal hermeneutic leads to physical literalism when appropriate. This is determined by the immediate context of a passage as well as how that passage fits into the wider context of Scripture. For example, a covenant approach demands the literal, physical, sacrificial death of Christ on the cross as a sacrifice for sin. Covenant thinking teaches the literal, physical, bodily resurrection of Jesus. There is no need to overreact to the bad habit of literalism with the opposite bad habit of over-spiritualism. Scripture interprets Scripture.

No one involved in this debate over a proper reading of the flood denies there is literal history in the Genesis flood account. The question is not if there was a literal, historical person named Noah and a great flood. There certainly was a physical-literal flood and a physical-literal man named Noah. The real question Morris and Whitcomb ignore, because of their dispensational bias, is whether or not a scientific-literal reading of Genesis 6-9 in regard to the global language is appropriate. The troubling fact is the Creation Science movement is based on a belief supported exclusively by the dispensational-literal hermeneutic of futurism. Preterists should ask themselves an important question when they investigate Creation Science claims about the biblical account of the flood. Does global language in the Bible always indicate universal or worldwide events?

Covenantal Exegesis of Genesis 7

Those committed to the grammatico-historical hermeneutic of a covenantal approach should find the fundamental assertion of the Creation Scientists, as it stands, simplistic and inadequate. When it comes to Genesis 7 it is certainly possible that the text teaches a global flood. It is obvious from a surface reading. But preterists must first ask some deeper questions before he grants that conclusion. I would suggest they must consider how these same phrases, terms and Hebrew idioms are used in other parts of Scripture. If they are truly committed to the principle of interpreting Scripture in light of Scripture, there is more work to do than merely assume that the language of the Genesis flood requires global events from a surface reading in modern English.

The flood may be global if these same constructs support that conclusion as used elsewhere in Scripture. It is also possible the flood may not be global in physical detail if these same constructs are used elsewhere in cases we know were regional. In other words, if we are self-consciously covenantal, we will not first ask, “What is the literal meaning of this text?” nor “What does science say about a global flood?” We will first say, “Let’s examine these same constructs as used elsewhere in the Bible and interpret this Scripture in light of the rest of Scripture.”

For forty days the flood kept coming on the earth, and as the waters increased they lifted the ark high above the earth. The waters rose and increased greatly on the earth, and the ark floated on the surface of the water. They rose greatly on the earth, and all the high mountains under the entire heavens were covered. The waters rose and covered the mountains to a depth of more than twenty feet. Every living thing that moved on the earth perished - birds, livestock, wild animals, all the creatures that swarm over the earth, and all mankind. Everything on dry land that had the breath of life in its nostrils died. Every living thing on the face of the earth was wiped out; men and animals and the creatures that move along the ground and the birds of the air were wiped from the earth. Only Noah was left, and those with him in the ark. The waters flooded the earth for a hundred and fifty days. Genesis 7:17-23.

The Problem of Global Language Which Isn’t Global

“Earth”

The Hebrew word translated as “earth” in this passage is “erets.”[4] Many overlook the fact this word carries no inherent global, spherical connotation from the Hebrew. “Erets” is translated as “land” in the Old Testament over a thousand times. It is also repeatedly translated as “country” and “ground.”

One example of how the word “erets” often works in the Old Testament occurs only a couple of chapters after the account of the flood. Genesis 12:1 reads, “The Lord said to Abram, ‘Leave your country, your people, and your father’s household and go to the land I will show you.’” Translators have smoothed this passage for English readers. In the Hebrew it literally reads, ‘Leave your [erets]... and go to the [erets] I will show you.’ Clearly, we shouldn’t believe Abraham was to leave planet earth and go somewhere else though this generally fits with dispensational futurism. This passage only shows “land,” “country,” and “earth,” are all interchangeable translations for the Hebrew term “erets.”

Another example occurs during the plagues on Egypt in Exodus 9:33b, (NKJV), “... the rain was not poured out on the earth.” The same Hebrew word, erets, is used in that passage as Genesis 7:10, “And rain fell on the earth for forty days and forty nights.” The word for “earth” in the Genesis account is identical to the Exodus example. I will point out a surface reading of the flood account is substantially changed for the modern English reader by replacing “earth” with “land,” “country,” or even “ground.”

The first problem with reading the flood as a global cataclysm is the many places in the Hebrew Scriptures where the language of the entire earth was included or all men are included in things which we know were not global.

Consider these examples. Ezra 1:2 says, “This is what Cyrus king of Persia says, ‘The LORD, the God of heaven, has given me all the kingdoms of the earth.’” Are we to suspect that the kingdom of Cyrus was global? No, the term “earth” is used in a regional way. Another passage is Habakkuk 1:6 which reads, “I [God] am raising up the Babylonians, that ruthless and impetuous people, who sweep across the whole earth to seize dwelling places not their own.” The consistent literalist has a real problem with this text. Archaeology teaches Babylonia was a regional power. Their conquests did not cover the entire globe, even though the Bible speaks “globally” of the empire. The same use of global terms to describe events within limited contexts can be seen in this example:

See how the waters are rising in the north; they will become an overflowing torrent. They will overflow the land [erets] and everything in it, the towns and those who live in them. The people will cry out; all who dwell in the land [erets] will wail. Jeremiah 47:2.

The Hebrew language of this passage is the same as the language of Genesis 7. It could also be rendered, “They will overflow the earth and everything in it... all who dwell in the earth will wail.” In this passage, the prophet is referring to the regional destruction of the Philistines – it has nothing to do with the earth as a globe. Likewise, the term “earth” in Genesis 7 should not mindlessly be read as the globe. Those who approach the account in this fashion only demonstrate their unfamiliarity with the Hebrew origins of the Old Testament.[5]

As we move from the Hebrew of the Old Testament to the Greek of the New Testament we see there is no essential change in the communication of the biblical authors. The same biblical method of using global language in reference to regional events continues in the New Testament. Consider Matthew 24:14. It says, “And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in the whole world as a testimony to all nations, and then the end will come” We know this was fulfilled in the first century,[6] but this does not mean the Christian gospel went to every part of the globe. It is another example of global language in our Bible which simply isn’t global in a scientifically precise, modern sense.

Luke 2:2 is even more explicit, “In those days Caesar Augustus issued a decree that a census should be taken of the entire Roman world.” Translators of the NIV took the liberty to insert the word “Roman” to qualify the word “world.” A more precise translation would read, “In those days Caesar Augustus issued a decree that a census should be taken of the entire world.” What is interesting is that Luke would categorize the Roman Empire, a regional power, as the entire world. Another similar example is listed in Acts 11:28. It says, “One of them, named Agabus, stood up and through the Spirit predicted that a severe famine would spread over the entire Roman world.” Again, the word “Roman” is not in the Greek text. Luke could naturally associate a specific region as the “world.”

Consider how James speaks about the drought in Israel during Elijah’s day:

Elias was a man subject to like passions as we are, and he prayed earnestly that it might not rain: and it rained not on the earth by the space of three years and six months. And he prayed again, and the heaven gave rain, and the earth brought forth her fruit. James 5:17-18, (KJV).

A literalistic, surface reading would demand a disastrous global drought which should be evident across the world in all cultures contemporary to the time of King Ahab in Israel. However, I would suggest it would be a stretch to argue dogmatically from James’ statement that there must have been drought across the entire globe for three and a half years in Elijah’s day. Likewise, it is just as much of a stretch in Genesis to dogmatically demand that when we read “rain fell on the earth forty days and forty nights” that what the text is communicating is a global rain event which lasted more than a month.

Another New Testament example of global language used in a local or regional way is Romans 1:8. Paul writes, “First, I thank my God through Jesus Christ for all of you, because your faith is being reported all over the world.” Should we imply from this the gospel had gone to every part of the globe, and every continent in the first century? The consistent literalist must, but the text only shows how biblical writers will commonly use global language (as it reads in English translations) for things that aren’t global in a scientific sense.

A further point to consider is this. All these examples of global language are within a historical narrative. That demonstrates clearly that the global language in the term “earth” in Genesis 7 does not have to be interpreted globally by virtue of its own literal meaning in modern English.

Under Heaven

In all fairness, Creation Scientists do recognize the terms “earth” or “world” don’t necessarily imply the globe. For example, Morris and Whitcomb quote this explanation by Herbert C. Leupold:

Yet since ‘all’ is known to be used in a relative sense, the writer removes all possible ambiguity by adding the phrase, ‘under all the heavens.’ A double ‘all’ (kol) cannot allow for so relative a sense. It almost constitutes a Hebrew superlative.[7]

Morris and Whitcomb offer their own explanation of this issue:

For example, when we read in Genesis 41:57 that ‘all countries came into Egypt to buy grain,’ we are not to interpret this as meaning that people from America and Australia came to Egypt for grain. And thus, by the same token, the statement of Genesis 7:19, that ‘all the high mountains that were under the whole heaven were covered,’ may be interpreted as referring to only some high mountains under part of the heavens.[8]

This analysis seems to lead us back to belief in a global flood. The problem is Morris and Whitcomb have simply repeated their dispensational hermeneutic. They assume, by virtue of its own literal meaning in English, the phrase “under the whole heaven” requires a global conclusion. The question is never asked where else in the Bible this phraseology is used. It never dawns on Morris and Whitcomb to interpret even this phrase in light of other Scripture. They simply dismiss the objection with trite sarcasm.

This is inadequate for those committed to a biblically informed hermeneutic. There are many other places in Scripture where the phrase “under heaven” occurs. Some of them must be understood as global in a theological sense. Job 28:24 for example, “For [God] views the ends of the earth and sees everything under the heavens.” Also, Acts 4:12, “Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to men by which we must be saved.”

Acts 4:12 is often recited as gospel proclamation. Few understand Peter’s statement in terms of the experience of Peter’s immediate audience. Peter’s phrase is a redirection of a common Roman phrase used in many Roman legal documents of the time. Peter’s phrase is similar to “Salvation is found in no one else for there is no other name under heaven by which men may be saved than Caesar Augustus.” Understood in its context, Peter’s statement was a radical pronouncement of the kingship of Christ[9] to the Jewish leaders who accepted the imperial claims of Rome in exchange for their authority in Judea.

While both these examples of this phrase are global in a complete sense, at least by theological extension, the phrase is often used where the referent is clearly not global. Deuteronomy 2:25 promises Israel, “This very day I will begin to put the terror and fear of you on all the nations under heaven. They will hear reports of you and will tremble and be in anguish because of you.” This is not referring to all nations living on the globe in a scientific precisionist modern sense, but to the nations of the region of Canaan who would have actually been threatened by the Israelite conquest.

One explanation of this text in relation to the Genesis flood is:

[T]he phrase “under the whole heaven,” cannot be taken in its literal sense, but must be understood with limitation; and there are various other passages of Scripture in which the same universal term is used with a restricted signification. See instances in Deut. ii. 25, where a promise is made that the fear of the Jews would be put “upon the nations that are under the whole heaven;” but on comparing this with ch. xi. 25, which lays their “fear” and “dread” “upon all the land” that they should “tread upon,” it will be seen – what needs no proof – that the statement applied only to the people of Canaan and the neighbouring nations.”[10]

As we move from the Hebrew of the Old Testament to the Greek of the New Testament we see, again, there is no essential change in the communication of the biblical authors. The same non-global use of the phrase “under heaven” is seen in Acts 2:5. “Now there were staying in Jerusalem God-fearing Jews from every nation under heaven.” Does this language demand a global reading as the Creation Scientist demands in the case of the same language in the flood account? Were there American-Indian Jews represented at Jerusalem at Pentecost? African Pygmy Jews? Australian Aboriginal Jews? These civilizations all existed at the time of the writing of Acts. They are all “under heaven” in the sense Creation Scientists take it to mean in Genesis 7.

If we believe that the language of Genesis 7 requires a global conclusion, should we not also understand Acts 2:5 the same way? If not, why the inconsistency? They both use the same “under heaven” language. They both come from historical narrative. These questions reveal the perennial weakness in the dispensational-literal hermeneutic. Literalists tend to be selective. Those who require a global reading of the flood because of that language should apply their hermeneutic consistently.

A final example in the New Testament is Colossians 1:23, “This is the gospel you heard and that has been proclaimed [past tense] to every creature under heaven....” This refers to the region of the then-known world, not every creature or every man in the entire globe. The Bible uses “under heaven” language routinely in a geographically limited sense.

“Face of the Earth”

Some may see the logic of reading the term “earth” and “under heaven” language in a non-global way by comparison with other biblical use, but what about the third construct in Genesis 7? Surely, the phrase “Every living thing on the face of the earth was wiped out” can’t be understood in a geographically limited sense, right?

This language occurs regularly in the Bible. English translations sometimes render it in a form which hides the basic similarities so obvious in the Hebrew, which is unfortunate. Many readers of the English Bible would be surprised if they saw how often these phrases occur in original biblical texts, particularly in cases which are obviously not global.

The Bible uses this language in a regional way even before the account of the flood. The NKJV presents Genesis 4:14 as, “Surely, You have driven me out this day from the face of the ground [lit. earth – erets].” This quote from Cain refers not to the earth as a globe, but to a regional area of land. Cain was removed from a certain geographical region, not the earth as a globe.

Another example is a famine which is described in familiar terms. The NKJV renders Genesis 41:56, “The famine was over all the face of the earth....” Was this a global famine?

By the implications of Creation Science logic, another global calamity occurs in Exodus when Moses says to Pharoah:

Or else, if you refuse to let My people go, behold, tomorrow I will bring locusts into your territory. And they shall cover the face of the earth so that no one will be able to see the earth... For they covered the face of the whole earth, so that the land [lit. earth – erets] was darkened. Exodus 10:4-5, 15, (NKJV).

Another interesting use of the phrase from Genesis 7 occurs in the account of Balaam and Balak. Balak complains to the prophet, “Look, a people has come from Egypt. See, they cover the face of the earth, and are settling next to me” Numbers 22:5, (NKJV). Did the Israelite population cover the globe?

The construct also appears in the Old Testament prophets. Speaking of the Israelites, Ezekiel says, “My sheep wandered through all the mountains, and on every high hill; yes, My flock was scattered over the whole face of the earth” Ezekiel 34:6, (NKJV). The absurdity of a global reading is apparent.

Daniel 8:5 from the King James reads, “And as I was considering, behold, a he goat came from the west on the face of the whole earth, and touched not the ground....” The goat in Daniel’s vision refers to the kingdom of Greece according to Daniel 8:21. Greece, however, never spanned the entire globe.

The most explicit use of flood language in a geographically limited context occurs in the book of Zephaniah:

“I will sweep away everything from the face of the earth,” declares the Lord. “I will sweep away both men and animals: I will sweep away the birds of the air and the fish of the sea. The wicked will have only heaps of rubble when I cut off man from the face of the earth,” declares the Lord. “I will stretch out my hand against Judah and against all who live in Jerusalem. Zephaniah 1:2-3.

Within the context of Zephaniah it is clear the prophet is not referring to a global judgment. He is using global language identical to Genesis 7 in reference to the coming regional destruction of Judah in 586 B.C. If proponents of a global flood were consistent, they would teach global destruction must have accompanied the destruction of Jerusalem in 586 B.C. It is impossible to overlook the linguistic similarities to the Genesis flood. Zephaniah raises a real problem for proponents of a global flood. How can the prophet use that language in the context of local judgment, when the language itself requires a global reading in Genesis 7?

Advocates of a global flood have only one way to avoid the obvious implication of this passage. They arbitrarily declare the referent of Zephaniah 1:2-3 to have nothing historically to do with the destruction of Judah. Evangelical scholars, Kenneth L. Barker and John R. Kohlenberger III, give this explanation:

Before focusing attention on Judah, Zephaniah issues a general warning of coming destruction in broad terminology. God is judge of the whole world, and especially his people, Judah. The expression “face of the earth,” used of the great Flood of Noah’s time (Ge. 6:7; 7:4), refers to more than just a local land, unless a specific limitation is added. [emphasis mine][11]

This desperate approach handcuffs the text in order to protect a prior belief. The authors intuitively understand that if this language can be used in a local way, then the global flood doctrine is in jeopardy. But their arbitrary method still doesn’t work. Universal destruction language is not limited to verses 2 and 3. The chapter ends with more universal language:

Neither their silver nor their gold will be able to save them on the day of the LORD’s wrath. In the fire of his jealousy the whole world will be consumed, for he will make a sudden end of all who live in the earth. Zephaniah 1:18.

Zephaniah’s prophecy gives us the antecedent for an important concept developed more in the New Testament. His proclamation of “global” destruction by fire in reference to the destruction of Jerusalem[12] is renewed by the Apostle Peter in 2 Peter 3. We’ll examine 2 Peter 3 closely later, but it seems clear that Peter draws from the prophecy of Zephaniah in his writing.

What all these biblical examples prove is that there is no biblical warrant to assume the language of Genesis 7 is global by virtue of its own literal meaning in English. This alone should give pause to any who are willing to break fellowship over the issue of the scope of the Genesis flood. Perhaps Gleason Archer, the renowned conservative Hebrew scholar, best sums up the textual defense of a regional flood view by saying:

In explanation of this assertion [that the flood was regional, not global – T.M.] it needs to be pointed out that the Hebrew ‘eres, translated consistently as “earth” in our English Bibles, is also the word for “land” (e.g. the land of Israel, the land of Egypt). There is another term, tebel, which means the whole expanse of the earth, or the earth as a whole. Nowhere does tebel occur in this account, but only ‘eres, in all the statements which sound quite universal in the English Bible.[13]

While there are good textual reasons to reconsider a global reading of the flood, what has been shown so far will hardly convince die-hard preterist proponents of Creation Science to switch to a regional flood view. The next chapter will explain, theologically, why those committed to preterism should not read the language of Genesis 7 globally, but rather, regionally.

To be continued…

Copyright 2005 by Timothy P. Martin. All rights reserved. Reprinted by Permission

[This book will be available through the Planetpreterist bookstore]

[1]Charles C. Ryrie, Dispensationalism Today (Chicago: Moody Press, 1965), p. 86.

[2]Ken Ham, The Lie: Evolution (El Cajon: Creation-Life Publishers, 1987), p. 80.

[3]John C. Whitcomb, Jr. & Henry M. Morris, The Genesis Flood: The Biblical Record and Its Scientific Implications (Grand Rapids: Baker Book House, 1961), pp. xvi, xvii, xix.

[4]Strong’s Concordance, number 776.

[5]Henry Morris demonstrates this problem in his book, Scientific Creationism. On p. 252 he writes, “It almost seems frivolous to try to show that the Bible teaches a worldwide flood. The fact is so obvious in the mere reading of Genesis 6-9 and one who does not see it there will hardly be influenced by other reasoning.”

[6]See Matt. 24:34; Col. 1:6, 23; 1 Tim. 3:16.

[7]John C. Whitcomb, Jr. & Henry M. Morris, The Genesis Flood, p. 2.

[8]Ibid., p. 56.

[9] See also Acts 17:7

[10] Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary: Three Volume Set (Hendrickson Publishers: Peabody, MA, 1997), vol. 1, p. 96-97.

[11]Kenneth L Barker and John R. Kohlenberger III, Zondervan NIV Bible Commentary (Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1994), vol.1, p. 1502.

[12]See also Zephaniah 3:8.

[13]Gleason Archer, A Survey of Old Testament Introduction (Chicago: Moody Press, 1974), p. 210. [Archer’s quote references the same “erets” even though there is a slight variation in English spelling.]

MiddleKnowledge's picture

Glenn,

Thanks for your comments. They are thought provoking.

I agree with your emphasis on how the New Testament handles things will be crucial in our understanding of the rest of the Bible.

I will also agree with you that 2 Peter is one of the clearest places in the New Testament when it comes to the flood. (The others are Matthew 24 and Luke 17.) Peter parallels Noah's world with Peter's current world. This seems to indicate that Peter's comparison is referencing covenantal worlds, not geophysical worlds. We know this as preterists, because Peter's geophysical world was not destroyed in A.D. 70.

As far as the spiritual effects of the events, yes, I agree with you there is a *sense* in which the event was global. We notice after the flood that God makes a covenant with Noah. This is a new creation in God's economy, and therefore universal.

I would argue that something similar took place with the giving of the law at Sinai. From that point on all men who lived in the globe related to God in covenant through the Law. Yet, again, the events surrounding the Exodus and giving of the law were not connected to "global" physical events. We can see global spiritual transition within regional physical events. It actually happens a lot in the Bible. That is not a problem biblically, then with the flood of Noah.

I think covenant transition is the point Peter makes. When his "world" is destroyed the new covenant will be manifested to all believers. This is global in a spiritual *sense*. However we know that it did not take place attached to global physical events in A.D. 70. Since the flood and parousia are compared I can see no logical reason why the global spiritual events in Genesis 9 need to involve global physical events at all. If it did then Noah's flood would be different in physical nature than the parousia and end of the age in A.D. 70, therefore violating the biblical comparison. More on this in a bit.

I will point out that your assumption that the flood must wipe out all sinful men does not prove a global flood by itself. There are local flood advocates who also teach an anthropologically global flood. They include Dr. Hugh Ross of Reasons to Believe and Arthur Custance in his book "The Flood: Local or Global?" Both would agree with you that all sinful men were destroyed by the flood, but both also teach a non-global flood since ostensibly men did not live in every part of the world by that time. Do you think the flood would need to be global if all men lived in the same region at the time? Think about the story of Babel which follows directly after the flood.

I personally go a different way than either of these two local flood advocates. I will deal with your objection that "only Noah and 7 others survived" at length in Part 6. It is enough for now that your assumption of all evil men being wiped out by the flood cannot prove a global flood all by itself.

I think there is a very good reason preterists should re-think a global flood. I'll get to this in future posts but think of it this way.

I will point out to preterists that if the flood was a globally catastrophic event in physical detail, then that would make it a radically different event in physical magnitude than the coming of Christ in A.D. 70. Should preterists admit that the flood of Noah far exceeded the coming of Christ in the magnitude of physical events? It would seem that preterists who hold to a global flood not only invalidate the biblical comparison between flood and fire, but turn the biblical order of judgment upside down. The final judgment and coming of Christ was less significant in physical detail than the judgment in the days of Noah!

Glenn, do you think the flood was more magnificent in physical detail than the coming of Christ in A.D. 70?

Blessings,

Tim Martin
www.truthinliving.org

valensname's picture

Tim,

If I understand your question correctly, "Glenn, do you think the flood was more magnificent in physical detail than the coming of Christ in A.D. 70?" I'd say well yes the Genesis flood was more of a physical event in terms of what it did to the planet Earth than the Parousia did to the planet in AD 70. The Flood affected all those physically alive at that time, which I have no idea how many that was. And then the changes made to the planet have affected everyone who has lived since. The Parousia affected everyone who had ever lived or who will every live.

I'm not sure I understand your point in the second to the last paragraph. From a physical perspective, the Cross was very minor - one man daying on a cross out of the thousands that had but its spiritual significance was beyond comparision. I don't see how the fire would have to be greater physically than the flood or there is a problem with one's view of the flood.

I see there is now a third post.
Glenn

MiddleKnowledge's picture

Glenn,

Thanks for answering my question. Perhaps my third post will explain the issues better for you.

You don't find it odd that the judgment in Genesis 6-9 was much more magnificent in physical detail than the coming of Christ at the end of the ages? I find that odd, especially given the same language and explicit comparison in the New Testament.

When you say "The Flood affected all those physically alive at that time... The Parousia affected everyone who had ever lived or who ever will live" you seem to be equivocating between physical events and spiritual realities. Do you understand my explanation that spiritually global transitions can occur within limited physical events in Biblical history?

The cross is irrelevant to our discussion because it is not a judgment that is explicitly compared to other judgments as the flood and parousia are in the New Testament.

I probably need to clarify one more thing. I am NOT saying the fire is greater physically than the flood. I am saying the flood and fire are comparable, both spiritually and physically.

Spiritually there is a new covenant after the flood. This applies to all men as did the introduction of the Mosaic covenant. This is where we agree on a global interpretation. Physically the events are similar in scope and magnitude. This is where we disagree on a global interpretation. Your claim is the flood involved global physical events and the parousia involved regional physical events.

But if they weren't comparable in both physical and spiritual ways, then I can't see how Peter and Jesus can compare them. What you are saying is they are really very different in physical detail. It seems to me you violate the biblical comparison by holding both a global flood and regional parousia. Do you see what I mean?

Tim Martin
www.truthinliving.org

valensname's picture

Tim,

Yes I am seeing your point, but I don't agree on your application. One I see as historical language (Noah was a literal man) and the other I see as prophecy (physical language used to describe spiritual realities/events).

Glenn

MiddleKnowledge's picture

Glenn,

Very well. Though we disagree we both understand each other. This is progress.

By the way, I think Noah was a literal man, too. We agree on that one.

Tim Martin
www.truthinlivin.org

valensname's picture

Tim,

I agree and you have pointed out well that what can be understood as global language (earth, under heaven, face of the earth) are not used that way throughout the bible. I believe the context clearly shows them to be local or pertaining to a certain people or nation. I don’t agree with your consistency application though. I still see that as arguing backwards, not letting Scripture interpret Scripture. In other words just because in one place it is used locally doesn’t mean that it can only be used locally. You have stated that in some cases it is global and in some it is not. I agree about Scripture interpreting Scripture but I feel more confident when the NT comments specifically about something in the OT.

The most clear place that the NT comments about the Genesis flood is 2 Peter. But does not Peter use the word “world” there? Surely you will agree that the world of evil (either global or non-global) was destroyed by water? The earth or land (either way global or non-global) was altered/changed by water but the planet Earth nor the non-global land was not destroyed. The world that then was was altered, just as the world that determines man’s salvation was changed with the new heavens and land at the Parousia. There was a spritual reason for the Genesis flood (evilness of man) that had physical consequences. Likewise the old heavens and land of the old covenant brought in the new but there were also physical changes as well. And each of them brought about global changes for all men everywhere for all time. The Genesis flood changed that world forever and the change in heavens and land/world at the Parousia made worldwide changes.

The point I’m trying to make here is that Genesis states that all men had turned to evil except Noah and his family. So then the entire world of evil men was destroyed in the Genesis flood. The NT states that all have sinned or thus all men have been evil, except for Christ. Then I believe that ever man (all humans) that was alive at the time of the Genesis flood had to have perished. I can’t see how one can allow for anyone besides Noah and his family surviving the Genesis flood. Now if in order to destroy all men it could have been done without it being global, I suppose that could have been the case. Although the context of the Genesis flood (and other reasons), in my view, supports a global event not a non-global.

If I may ask, who do you believe died with the Genesis flood? Was it all men, all human beings that were alive then except for Noah and his family? I don’t recall you commenting but I do know that JL and Ed have stated that there were “others - Ishites” and the “giants” who survived or were not even affected by the Genesis flood.

Glenn

valensname's picture

Tim,

I've been re-reading the two posts and before making specific comments about its contents I'd like to know what audience you are writing to?

First what are you referring to by the term "Creation Science?" Are you saying those who hold to a 24 hour 6 day creation and global flood? Or are you saying those that hold 24/global plus any futuristic eschatology? Or are you saying 24/global plus only dispensational eschatology? or?

What is your intended audience for your book -24/global with fulfilled eschatology (preterist, covenant eschatology, transmill, etc..)?

Thanks,
Glenn

MiddleKnowledge's picture

Glenn,

You might want to wait for more material to be presented before you post a response. I have a lot of material to go. Just a thought.

To answer your question, I consider Creation Science as equivalent to young-earth creationism. This is generally understood as a 24 hour, 6 day creationism, and a global flood in Genesis. Major player are ICR (Institute for Creation Research), AIG (Answers in Genesis), and Kent Hovind's (Dr. Dino) Creation Science Evangelism. Forgive me if I left anyone out.

All of these examples within the Creation Science movement are futurists of some sort. Most are dispensational premillenial. I've heard that Ken Ham (AIG) might be a partial-preterist of some sort, but everything I've seen of his in print shows him to be a clear literal, global-futurist on Matthew 24, 2 Peter 3 and Revelation. I do not believe the global-futurism (of any variety) of Creation Science advocates can be separated from their views of New Testament prophecy. Of course, that is the main theme of my book.

There are a few who hold to 24 hour, 6 day creationism who accept an old-earth (John Sailhammer would be one example. I believe he rejects a global flood.)

As far as the audience for my book. The answer is Yes, yes, yes. My introduction states clearly who is my intended audience. "My argument is simple. It is time for those committed to a general preterist understanding of Matthew 24, 2 Peter 3, and Revelation to think through the logical implications of their beliefs as they relate to the rest of the Bible." You will find that on p. 6.

I have added some material in a new ongoing revision which will speak directly to an old-earth creationist audience. I am finding some OEC advocates have gotten a lot out of my book. I'll explain the implications of this in a future segment titled something to the effect "How Old-earth Creationism Prepares Christians for Preterism."

Hope that helps,

Tim Martin
www.truthinliving.org

valensname's picture

Tim,

Thank you. Yes that helps. I'll go ahead and post a response, I just want to specifically respond to your points better than the more general way I have already done.

I'm a 24/global accomplished salvation holder myself. Previously was 24/global amil. but had never heard of ICR, AIG, etc...before I had come to hold the 24/global belief.

I take it the new book will be much longer than the older editon at your website?

Glenn

MiddleKnowledge's picture

Glenn,

Your post explains a lot to me. If you use arguments Creation Scientists have developed over the last 40 years, I'll let you know. If you use arguments that are foreign to Creation Science they will probably be foreign to me. How does that sound?

As far as the book goes, it will be longer. How much longer is still being worked out.

Stay tuned.

Tim Martin
www.truthinliving.org

valensname's picture

Tim,

Sounds good. I'd like to make one overview comment before getting into some specifics later.

When reading through both posts, there are places where the tone, to me, comes across as somewhat arrogant and condescending. For example, you somewhat imply that those who hold to global flood “follow” others instead of studying for themselves. And you use phrases such as “die-hard preterists,” “own sides,” “mindlessly be read” and “few examine results.” Also you come across as being a Hebrew scholar and others who hold a global flood view don’t even bother to look in the Hebrew, although you make no Hebrew book or text references, except for the Archer quote (which I will comment on later). In my opinion your tone in places turns me off and I would think turn other readers off as well. I only mention this because when I have presented some of my own writings to minister friends of mine with graduate degrees they point out that my writings sometimes come across with a negative or arrogant tone too.

I'm sure your intentions are not to have this type of tone, but I believe there are places that come across that way and will turn off the reader to your presentation.

Glenn

MiddleKnowledge's picture

Glenn,

Thanks for your honesty. I will take your comments under consideration as I continue in my revision.

Tim Martin
www.truthinlivin.org

mrfullpreterist's picture

Tim,

What does "...nor will I again destroy every living thing as I have done" mean? In essence it would seem that your position would make this read, "...nor will I again destroy every living thing in any given region as I have done." But the fact of the matter is that since the flood event God has sent destruction upon whole areas and regions and wiped out every living thing that was there. In doing so did He not keep His promise? The only way it makes sense is if the flood was global. Otherwise this promise doesn't have any meaning or truth to it. Do you see what I'm getting at here?

I'm interested in your thoughts on this.

Rob Statzer

mrFOOLpreterist FKA as mrfullpreterist

Still searching to understand the Truth.

JL's picture

Rob,

I haven't talked to Tim on this subject yet, so I don't know what he'd say. But here's my take on it.

Paul said the gospel had been preached to "every living thing." Gen. promises that the next time "every living thing" is destroyed, it will be by fire. Preterists generally assume that's a reference to Jerusalem, AD 70. Therefore, letting Scripture interpret Scripture, I'd say, "every living thing" means "the majority of the covenant people."

I just went through the Hebrew using http://www.studylight.org/isb/bible.cgi?section=0&sr=0&it=kjv&query=all&... .

First thing I noticed is the English uses 3 times as many words. There's a lot of interpretation going on. Second, I can't find "all" in the Hebrew. The translators put it in.

So it doesn't matter what kind of flood. By the standard dispensational interpretation, God is not allowed to kill anyone or destroy anything with a flood. By your standard, this promise still doesn't have any meaning or truth to it.

The translation of Gen. 1-11, is 2/3rds speculation and interpretation. Only 1/3rd is actual translation. On top of that we tend to add more speculation and interpretation. Twelve Hebrew words becomes 35 English words, becomes whole books that have forgotten the Hebrew altogether.

JL

Blessings,

JL Vaughn
Beyond Creation Science

valensname's picture

JL,

I'm working on a new reponse to Tim two posts and will submit it later. However, one "weakness" if I may...Tim says things about the Hebrew being this or that and you did as well...what are your backgrounds in studying the language? Tim doesn't references any Hebrew text or cite any in the reference list. If you are comparing the English with the Hebrew, my interlinear, Green's, I'd say you are exaggerating a bit about the adding of words. I prefer the KJV3 or LITV myself.

Glenn

JL's picture

Glenn,

I can look up Strong's numbers plus a bit more. I didn't have a Hebrew Bible with me. I counted Strong's numbers from that online interlinear.

Looking at my Hebrew Bible, I count 20 Hebrew words and "all" in 3 of them. I'll have to look for a better online interlinear.

Sorry. Please disregard my second argument.

JL

Blessings,

JL Vaughn
Beyond Creation Science

MiddleKnowledge's picture

Rob,

There are quite a few assumptions in your question. Also, I believe there is more in the text you quote from that further explains what God means in his promise. For now, all I am going to say is read the whole text.

Part 7 will deal with this objection a non-global flood in depth along with a few others. First things first.

Tim Martin
www.truthinliving.org

Sam's picture

Creation "science" has always interested me. I am not an "empiricist" so science could never, ever tell me "what really happened". Science is based on induction, and to state an inductive conclusion as a "fact" is a fallacy. That being said, Mr. Martin has raised valid points concerning this issue (not only in the preterist world, but in the Evangelical world). I think, from one standpoint, it can be important to see that God wiped out all of humanity except Noah, and yet, we find "the Sin" once again spreading through Noah and his family. To me, this would illustrate a very powerful point: Even if God were to destroy every human being except for the "righteous", the Sin would STILL find its way, and therefore wiping out humanity is NOT the solution. Getting rid of your enemies is not the solution...salvation through Jesus is the solution. God has chosen, then, to wipe out humanity (in Adam) by incorporating them into Christ. I am not convinced, either, that preterist "local" hermeneutics of A.D. 70 are to be read back into the narrative prose of the Noachian story. Noah may well have been global to some extent, and the destruction of the spiritual "world" against God was global as well, annhilating the real source of man's dilemma: The Sin, The Law, and The Death. In other words, God's destruction of the "present evil age" was global...so why can't the parallel of Noah's flood equally be global? The first was "according to the flesh" (God wiped out flesh), the second "according to the Spirt" (God wiped out the "enemies that stand against us in heavenly places"). Just some thoughts.

Samuel Frost

MiddleKnowledge's picture

Sam,

Could you clarify something for me? When you say it may be important that only Noah lived beyond the flood, are you impying that Noah is, in essence, a new Adam on planet earth? I just want to make sure I understand what you are saying here. Biblically speaking, then, there are three "Adams" in the Bible? They would be Adam, Noah and Christ. Sort of a "trinity" of Adams. Am I understanding you correctly?

Secondly, you say that both the flood and destruction of the spiritual world are perhaps global, one "after the flesh" and the other "according to the Spirit." If this is true, how is it possible that the destruction "according to the spirit" would involve such remarkably physical events as we see surrounding A.D. 70? Usually that biblical pattern keeps physical reality and spiritual reality distinct to draw a tight comparison.

One example would be the land of promise. The land of promise "after the flesh" is the land given to Israel "after the flesh". The true land of promise "according to the spirit" is our rest in Christ of salvation. There is no attachment to tangible land in that comparison on the "according to the spirit" side of the comparison.

Help me if I am missing something, but your suggestion seems to violate the biblical pattern of comparison "after the flesh" and "according to the spirit" because what ocurred "according to the spirit" in A.D. 70 involved many physical, fleshly events.

It also seems biblically clear that the Genesis flood included spiritual events even though it was ostensibly "after the flesh." Noah seems to have a new "covenant" world after the flood just as God's people have a new "covenant" world after the parousia. It seems this is the clear point of the New Testament parallel. But if the subject is new "covenant" worlds then the subject is not planet earth at all, right?

Thanks again for your thoughts,

Tim Martin
www.truthinlivin.org

MiddleKnowledge's picture

Sam,

I am glad that you agree with me in rejecting the Creation Science paradigm as a fallacy. They, of course, teach precisely that the science tells them exactly what happened. It appears to me you reject Creation Science as a form of empiricism. I reject it on other grounds. We both agree that the paradigm of Creation Science has fatal flaws.

I will think more about your argument for the possibility of a physically global flood in Genesis. What I can see very clearly is that this argument is totally different than any Creation Science argument that I have ever seen. Therefore, it is outside the technical scope of my work at this time.

I will think about this approach and might have more to say about it at a later time. Thanks for your input. It is helpful,

Tim Martin
www.truthinliving.org

Virgil's picture

Sam, THAT is the bottom line of end-time arguments in favor of a physical destruction of the world. You nailed it! An end of the physical creation will not mean an end to sin. The problem is of spiritual nature and Christ has effectively dealt with it. That is where Preterism affects our understanding of the world today and of end-times in general.

valensname's picture

Tim,

I only see you pointing out that certain phrases refer to regional not global in other places in the OT and NT. And thus those same phrases could be regional in Genesis regarding the flood. However, I have yet to see you go into the full text and from the entire context make an argument that it was only a local flood. I see you saying the phrases or words don’t have a global meaning so thus the flood can’t be global. I hope the following parts go into more detail of the entire text. In other words point out why the entire context points to a local flood only. And I hope Parts 3, 4 etc…are more affirmative and not a backlash towards creation science etc. And are the later seactions going to deal with Genesis 1 and 2 as well?

If I may ask, from a practical standpoint…if the waters did cover the mountains in that region then how could that high of water only be regional in that part of the planet? In other words, for the level of water to be that high I’d think it would have to be global. So for a regional flood with that high water level, where did the Flood stop? Did it only cover the middle east area? Continue on to Europe, Asia? How regional was it? Where is the geology today or the evidence of history that shows some type of bowl or depression the planet would have to have made for all that water to be contained regionally? Or for mountains to have be around to hold back the water from other parts of the planet? Or for a deep valley or something to stop the water?

Glenn

MiddleKnowledge's picture

Glenn,

The reason I am pointing out these phrases and words is because they are the HEART of the textual argument for a global flood in Creation Science literature. If these constructs fail to demand a global interpretation, then the whole textual argument from Genesis 6-9 fail to be proven. I would encourage you to read exactly how Creation Scientists make the biblical case for a global flood. My presentation is contingent on their own approach. I show it is a function of their dispensational-literal hermeneutic.

There are some other biblical arguments in Creation Science literature. A big one comes from a combination of Matthew 24 and 2 Peter 3. We'll get to those as well.

There are few objections they throw at non-global readings. I get to those shortly.

Also, the word for "mountain" in the account is "har." Also translated predominantly as "hills" throughout the OT. I get to that one a little later.

Please keep in mind that my work is aimed at refuting Creation Science claims.

Blessings,

Tim Martin

valensname's picture

Tim states, "Please keep in mind that my work is aimed at refuting Creation Science claims."

Okay, why post it here then? I thought but I guess wrong that you are trying to make a case that if one is a preterest then one would naturally accept a local flood, Ishites/Adamites, etc...

I prefer pure exegetical work if you are trying to convince me of a "different" teaching.

Is the origins book all there is out there for, the Ishites/Adamites is what is really getting to me?

Thank you.
Glenn

Ed's picture

Glenn,
JL was the one who spoke of Fisher's book. It was not Fisher's book that convinced me, and I am certain that Fisher's book had nothing to do with Tim's coming to these conclusions either.

One thing that has been very frustrating here at Planet Preterist is the tendency for some people to think that just because several of us have an agreement on something (e.g., an old earth) that we all agree on every point, and that we came to that conclusion in the same way. That is NOT the case.

As davo and I have differing views on infinite/fulfilled grace (which is one reason that we have different names for such), so I believe Tim, JL, and I have differing views on the old earth theory.

What I am asking that you do is when asking Tim a question, keep it to what Tim has shared. Don't let JL speak for Tim, nor for me, nor should Tim or I speak for JL, and I should not speak for JL or Tim (although I have spoken for JL in the past to defend him, not to explain what he believed). If you can just deal with Tim's conclusions, it would be much easier for you to follow Tim's logic. Don't confuse comment that I make, or that JL makes with what Tim believes.

I will say though, that Tim, JL, and I, to the best of my knowledge all believe that it was a local flood. I believe so for geological reasons, as does JL, I think. Tim believes for hermeneutical reasons - but perhaps not for those reasons only.

Tim and I have had our disagreements in the past, but one thing I know for sure - Tim Martin is rock solid when it comes to hermeneutics. He is consistent, and he is intelligent. You may not agree with him, but you can never say that he hasn't studied hard and long on a subject before putting something like this forth. I have great respect for Tim. And I think he is right on concerning this issue. I know that doesn't carry a lot of weight with you, but I'm just trying to give you my perspective on Tim - agree or disagree, you have got to respect his passion and his committment to finding the truth.

In Christ's grace,

ed

ed

Papa is especially fond of us

valensname's picture

ed,

Yes I agree and will strive to keep the questions geared to the right person.

My main question is directed toward JL as if memory serves correctly posted about the Ishites/Adamites. That's what I have the most questions about.

Glenn

JL's picture

Glenn,

Maybe I should not have confused the issues Tim is speaking to. I'm sorry for any problems I've caused.

I have dozens of books on the issue. Only two speak in detail about the people involved. Fischer's book and Ryan & Pitman's book, "Noah's Flood." (I think Ryan & Pitman have the wrong flood, but it's still an important book on an important flood.)

Fischer's book and Young's book, "The Biblical Flood," covers the geography questions you asked in your first comment.

Ryan & Pitman dismiss Fischer's flood as "a levy break." But their Flood is prehistoric.

Young discounts Fischer's flood because it did not destroy the city of Uruk (which also goes by Unuk and Enoch) nor did it destroy the cities in upper Mesopotamia.

Nobody has found a "pre-historic" flood that could be called Hugh Ross' Flood.

And there is no evidence for a global YEC flood.

In all history, Fischer's Flood and Ryan & Pitman's Flood are the only two candidates for important floods. No geologist has found any other. Both of these are widely accepted as playing a significant role in human history.

Blessings,

JL Vaughn
Beyond Creation Science

valensname's picture

JL,

Thanks for the references. I found the books at Amazon and will look into them. But all the names of who's flood is what is getting confusing. Probably better to keep it to the biblical text.

I don't see from the text where any other people or cities survived the flood?

I'd like to know how 40 days of constant raining would have been local?

I just don't see from the text where one gets the local flood idea from. Yes I see the references to certain words (heaven, land) can be local from their use in the Bible, but to backwards apply them I don't see that as proper interpretation principals. And just because the world/heavens and land that was burned up in 2 Peter 3 was local why does that make the world the was destroyed in the flood just local? It seems clear to me from the text that ALL mankind was evil, thus the entire world of evil men - the entire planet/global was destroyed with the flood. I can't see these other supposed people "Ishites" not being evil.

One of the reasons I'm discussing this is I'm a parent/school teacher...How in the world you going to explain this to a child? I don't see how you guys are coming up with this, much less explain it to children.

Glenn

Ed's picture

Glenn,
back to that site that I recommended to you:

www.answersincreation.org

There is a link there for Homeschool lessons. In it there is a PowerPoint presentation that gives a brief overview of Genesis 1 from an old earth perspective. You may not agree with it, but perhaps if you showed this and one from ICR to the children (how old are they?), perhaps they can make up their own mind.

If they are young children, they don't need to know much more than "In the beginning God made the heavens and the earth." The rest can be taught by Usborne books - although they include evolution in some parts of their texts (not many, but they can be edited out). The rest of Usborne's stuff is quite excellent. Many homeschoolers are using it with disclaimers about the evolution part - unless they are advocates of Theistic evolution, then they incorporate it.

One thought though: why is it so important that we "reconcile" the texts? Why not teach our kids that God made everything, as the scriptures say, but that the science seems to show that the earth is quite old. You could then interject your opinion, as opinion, that (as AJ has proposed) the Lord made the universe MATURE (with the light from distant stars already on its way). But you could also tell your children that there are good Christian men who believe that the earth and universe were formed by the Lord over millions of years. Let them do the scientific study as they grow older and come to their own conclusions. Belief in an old earth does NOT cause them to lose their salvation. I hope you agree.

In Him,

ed

ed

Papa is especially fond of us

valensname's picture

Ed,

My students are high school students but I teach math, they just bring things up from time to time and we have the luxury sometimes of talking about things.

Why important to reconcile the texts? Isn't that what preterists have been trying to do with eschatology? Does science really show that the Earth is old? Or is it the scientific community's current understanding suggest that it is old? I tell my students not to put full stock into what scientists say, they cannot explain why/how a magnet sticks to a frig, nor why Jupiter has different climate moons close in the same orbit - can't explain things in our little solar system. They can't explain much of anything and love to though billions of years around like nothing - if my math students gave answers like that they would fail!

I guess you are trying to say belief in old/young Earth is not a "salvation" issue? I don't buy into the "salvation" issue idea. An infinite God wrote a finite book for us, which I believe main purpose is to document salvation history, thus all of it is important for salvation. But no I don't believe in withdrawing fellowship etc... from someone who holds to an old Earth or anything.

It seems to me believing in a local flood and a separate creation of people way before Adam/Eve causes lots of problems. I can't see how the Bible would ignore this other creation, not talk about their sin - when it seems pretty clear to me that it states Adam was the first man, brought death, through him all die etc... They would have sinned too, right? Why then doesn't it say Adam was the first man to sin coventally or something if there are two creation acts of man?

I'm going to go back and re-read Tim's two posts and then consider making specific comments regarding what he wrote.

Glenn

JL's picture

Glenn,

You are a mathematician. If you've go an equation that works, you've got your explanation. That's how I work. There's a great little book called, The Fire in the Equations written by Stephen Hawking's ghost writer. You might enjoy it also.

Consider this.

The YEC/dispies see both ends of the Bible as global. They require a young earth that won't last much longer.

Almost all OECs are dispies. They see Genesis as local and Revelation as global. To them, God went to a lot of effort over 15 billion years to create a universe, just so he can destroy it when Jesus returns very soon now. Think what the discussion going the other way looks like. Tim and I have recently been involved in just such a discussion on a private OEC forum. We got called heretics and our response was edited out by the moderator.

Almost all preterists are YECs. You see Revelation as local and Genesis as global. Exactly the reverse of the OECs. God hurriedly built a universe for people to populate for a long time to come.

Those few of us who are OEC preterists see a universe that God took 15 billion years to create, and he plans to use it for His glory for billions more. There are so few of us. This position is so new to us.

It's taken 40 years for preterism to get to this point. We don't have a consenus yet if "everything" means "everything" or just "almost everything." We're just discovering that the early church was far mor preterist (or should I say confused) than was widely believed even only 10 years ago.

It's taken OEC 30 years to get to this point. The major OEC organization, Reasons to Believe, has placed "creedal" barriers to investigating the full ramifications of OEC.

In 2000, there were only 2 of us. Tim and I didn't even know each other existed. We were both working Ed from opposite ends. None of us has yet met face to face. Except for Tim's book (which is far from breaking even) we haven't asked anyone for a cent. Please forgive us for 1) not having very many answers yet, 2) for being so excited about having something that makes sense about both ends of the Bible, and 3) having very little agreement about the details between the three of us. And most of all, please forgive us for not starting a "ministry" to push our "agenda."

Take care,

JL

Blessings,

JL Vaughn
Beyond Creation Science

MiddleKnowledge's picture

Glenn,

The above post about sums it up. Believe you me. I and a few others are working hard on this issue and there is much progress going on behind the scenes. As JL said, we are taking this issue not only to preterists, but also to old-earth creationists as an argument for preterism from their own presuppositions in Genesis 6-9.

The initial response has been breathtaking. I have one nationally known OEC writer who has contacted me and essentially said that he has been wandering away from dispensationalism for years. He read my book. He liked it. He said it has given him a big push in the direction of preterism. He is now investigating preterism because of his OEC beliefs. He is not the only nationally known OEC advocate who is investigating preterism after reading my book.

What we are seeing is my book's main arguments work well in reverse, too. We can argue for preterism from OEC, non-global readings of the flood. I hope you can see the potential here. There is an audience out there, OEC, who in many ways are set up to accept preterism. No preterist I know of has even thought about targeting this audience.

It will take time for you to see some of the progress we have already made on the issue. But I want to post the material slowly so that many people here at PP can digest the material and ask important questions along the way.

I would also add to JL's post that there were two other preterists who saw these implications by 2000. Both are mentioned in the front of my book. One was my former pastor, Max Sotak, another was a preterist who used to hang out quite a bit here, Marcus Booker. They both lent a great deal of intellectual aid to this project.

As a professional scientist himself, Jeff has adopted this project and collaborated with my work, day in and day out. Much of this material has been enhanced by his scientific expertise. (You would find Jeff's professional work in the field of astronomy fascinating if you were to investigate it.) Jeff's daughters, Jennifer, Victoria and Rebecca, are all English whizzes who have enhanced the presentation immensely, as well.

All we ask is to consider the material. I know it is a big challenge to anyone dedicated to young-earth creationism. I know this because I was a young-earth creationist die-hard at one time as well. Ponder deeply the issues we are raising. Thanks for your time,

Tim Martin
www.truthinliving.org

JL's picture

Glenn,

My 5 little children never had a problem with it.

Tell your children that you don't know. You're only as old as father Abraham, and you didn't listen to your elders any better than they do.

Whatever you tell them, you'll have to change your story later anyway. The best thing to do is not get your interpretation of Scripture confused with Scripture itself.

I can't prove Fischer's Flood was or was not Noah's. I can't prove Ryan & Pitman's Flood was or was not Noah's. But I know which floods each was discussing. Halley's Bible Handbook identifies Fischer's Flood as Noah's Flood. Is Halley right?

If I attach a flood to an author who writes about it, it's unambiguous which flood I'm talking about. If I talk about a flood that's been identified in geology and call it Noah's Flood, I might be making a grave mistake.

Start with Cain. Cain was driven from "the face of the earth." Noah's Flood destroyed "the face of the earth." Same place. If you are going to be consistent, this phrase that's translated "the face of the earth" must be limited. Von Dankiken excepted, everybody believes Cain walked away and left "the face of the earth" under his own power.

As for the Ishites, I never said they weren't evil. Cain was afraid they kill him, remember?

JL

Blessings,

JL Vaughn
Beyond Creation Science

valensname's picture

If I may ask, if Adam/Eve are a separate creation what are the origins of the Ishites? It seems like if all the Adamites (I forget who said this) died with Jesus' generation, then we today are all Ishites. What is our origin story? How do you answer the age old question - where do I come from?

If the Ishites were indeed evil as Cain was afraid of them (I'm just assuming they exist here:-) why were they then not included in the all evil men that were wiped out in the flood?

Thanks,
Glenn

JL's picture

Glenn,

I don't know. A special creation down in Eithopia 200,000 years ago? The Bible doesn't say much accept that Job was one of them and that they were well spread out by the time of Adam.

They weren't the covenant people. Those awful Romans weren't wiped out in AD 70 either.

JL

Blessings,

JL Vaughn
Beyond Creation Science

valensname's picture

JL,

From the Bible where do you get that Job was one of them? Where is the time of the events of Job to have taken place from the Scriptures?

Glenn

JL's picture

Glenn,

The Hebrew version of Job calls Job an Ishite (Job 1:1).

As to when Job lived, the Hebrew Bible doesn't say. The Septuagint (Greek Bible) seems to place Job in Edom sometime around the time of Moses or the Judges (1400 BC to 1000 BC), but that's subject to interpretation.

The detail in the text indicates it was committed to writing near or after the time of Abraham. (2100 to 700 BC.)

I believe the book of Job was written by either Job or someone who knew him. This assumption places Job between 2100 BC and 700 BC.

However, I can't disprove oral tradition or the hypothesis that God dictated the story to someone long after it happenned. Either of those hypotheses could push Job back to before the time of Noah.

Blessings,

JL Vaughn
Beyond Creation Science

valensname's picture

JL,

I don't have my Hebrew at the moment but is the Hebrew word for man in Job 1:1 aw-dawm (strong's 120) or eesh (#376)? I asked you before about how you are saying the word in English "man" has different Hebrew words and that is the distinction but my looking up the Hebrew I don't see that as being a case for the Ishite/Adamite difference. I'd like to hear more about this word usage difference please.

Again, you are not making a theological/origins answer based on Hebrew word use are you? I'll go looking but what is Hebrew/Jewish teaching on creation/origins? Does it support the Ishite/Adamite separate origins?

Glenn

JL's picture

Glenn,

#376, it's used twice.

Hebrew has so few words. The words typically have much broader meanings than in English. Yet there are two words for man. Doesn't that cause you to wonder?

My lexicon does not discuss any distinction. Again, Fischer is my only source.

Again, you are not making a theological/origins answer based on Hebrew word use are you?

I'm not sure what you are asking. Occassionally, Scripture makes a distinction between the two words. Therefore the words are different.

I'll go looking but what is Hebrew/Jewish teaching on creation/origins?

The day Adam was created is the first day of the calendar. Before that, the days were innumerable.

Does it support the Ishite/Adamite separate origins?

Not in those terms. Some have believed that you and I are dogs and our earliest ancestors were dogs. They believed that they descended from Adam but you and I didn't.

Blessings,

JL Vaughn
Beyond Creation Science

JL's picture

Glenn,

Tim is arguing for a hermeneutic, not an interpretation.

Apply the dispy hermeneutic to Genesis, you get a global Flood. Apply the preterist hermeneutic to Genesis, you get a local Flood.

You should be asking, "Which hermeneutic is correct?," not "Which interpretation is correct?" Hermeneutic first. Interpretation later.

JL

Blessings,

JL Vaughn
Beyond Creation Science

valensname's picture

JL,

I was trying to point that out. My reading of the post does suggest to me an incorrect hermeneutic. I took from it that he was arguing the phrases and words are not used globally other places so thus the flood couldn't be global. I agree those words and phrases could be used that way but the context to me doesn't suggest a local flood at all. To me the hermeneutic employed in the post is like saying all places the word parousia is used in the NT is only referring to Jesus' which is not true, the context bears that out. What about the entire context not just how heaven, land, etc...are used?

And can we just stop the Creation Science view or the Dispensation view anti- rhetoric. Let's hear more of an affirmation. That's doing was detractors of covenant eschatology have been doing for years, saying what it can't mean but very little affirming their position.

I'm not really trying to argue that I disagree with your postion of a local flood so much as trying to understand where you are coming from, its consistancy, and does it make any sense biblically.

Glenn

Virgil's picture

Glenn,

If we are speculating, then why can't we speculate that perhaps Noah was surrounded by mountains, creating a perfect environment for a local flood?

Also, one question that so far no global flood backer was able to answer was my question regarding the Nephilim. In Genesis 6 we see the Nephilim on the earth BEFORE the flood. In Numbers 13, we are told that the Israel spies saw the Nephilim again in Cannan. Can someone please explain how the Nephilim and their unique descendants survived the flood if only Noah and his family supposedly lived and if the flood was universal?

valensname's picture

Virgil,

I was thinking I'd get God held back the waters like He did at the Red Sea. :-) I see global as not speculation. If you claim local than please define it, be specific. Global is well, planet wide.

About the Nephilim/giants...my answer is just genetics/dna coding. Why today is there a 7 foot basketball player and also much shorter men? God apparently made us with dna that could produce taller people. Goliath was a "giant" in David's day. Why couldn't the dna still have been present in Noah's family? And I thought from the previous post that the Cannanites were decendents of Noah - "Adamites", atleast that's how I read the genelogy in Genesis not some "Ishite" group. I agree alot with the latest articles in Biblical Worldview Magazine on the Nephilim.

I really don't see how one comes up with this Adamite/Ishite view. Not arguing if it is correct, I don't even see how one can come up with it? And I don't see how preterism refutes a global flood. Please help me understand your position and what it is based on.

Glenn

Virgil's picture

The Nephilim were a genetic variation in humans dna? I really doubt that. First of all, the Nephilim were not fully human according to Genesis....they were the results of aberrant relationships.

Also please read the whole passage in Numbers 13. The Nephilim were not some "race" of people...they are presented as the sons of Anak...descendents of the Nephilim, not descendants of Noah:

"There we saw the Nephilim, the sons of Anak, who come of the Nephilim"

They were clearly descendants of Anak, not of Noah. Did Anak survive the flood?

valensname's picture

Virgil,

I think you need to read the text of Genesis 6 more clearly. The giants were there before the daughters of men and the sons of God had unions - they weren't a result of it.

"The giants were in the earth in those days, and even afterwards when the sons of God came into the daughters of men, and they bore to them..."

The text says the giants were there before the union and also after. That's all, not that they were the result of the union.

I don't read anywhere in the biblical text that suggests this human race created apart from Adam and Eve. Only place that even hints is the murder's words, Cain's.

I'd think if God had made man - Ishites or whatever you call them apart from those descended from Adam and Eve, that He would have mentioned it more and atleast more clearly. I guess Eve being the mother of all living means, what?

I sorry but this concept that God made some "other" human beings, it seems the concept is they were made fully formed as well but how many years before Adam, sounds alot like making up people and reminds me of Mormonism. Surely if God had created a separate group of beings on our planet He would have written more about it and made a clearer distinction between this so called Ishites and Adamites. I don't even see how you guys are coming up with people apart from those descended from Adam and Eve and then Noah and his family. Why is that being so hard to explain? Preterists have written volumes on why the Parousia occurred in 70, so where is the theology on this separate race of beings apart from Adam? So what there were tall people around then (Deut 9:2) that's no reason to what I'd say is invent a separtate creation of people apart from Adam and Eve.

Please read Genesis 6 again, the Nephililm were not from a union of daughters of men and sons of God. Again I refer to Biblical Worldview , November 2005 issue.

I'll look and see how much the text traces the descendants of Anak. But I've never noticed any generation lists ever not being of Adam.

Glenn

JL's picture

Angels keep having sex with humans. Look at the monsters on your average pro. baketball or football team. There's no other explanation possible? :)

Blessings,

JL Vaughn
Beyond Creation Science

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