You are hereBeyond Creation Science: How Preterism Refutes a Global Flood and Impacts the Genesis Debate – Part 4

Beyond Creation Science: How Preterism Refutes a Global Flood and Impacts the Genesis Debate – Part 4

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By MiddleKnowledge - Posted on 19 January 2006

by Timothy P. Martin
How Old-earth Creationism Prepares Christians for Preterism

Preterists should be aware of the significant development of the old-earth creationist movement among Christian conservatives. Understood broadly, old-earth creationism encompasses those committed to the “Day-Age” approach to the Genesis creation account as well as the broader “Intelligent Design” movement. Most advocates of the “Framework Theory” of the creation account in Genesis also fall under the label of old-earth creationism. “Progressive Creationism” is another popular title. We’ll examine the various old-earth creationist views in part 2 of this book. However, they all agree in rejecting a global flood interpretation of Genesis 6-9.How Old-earth Creationism Prepares Christians for Preterism

Preterists should be aware of the significant development of the old-earth creationist movement among Christian conservatives. Understood broadly, old-earth creationism encompasses those committed to the “Day-Age” approach to the Genesis creation account as well as the broader “Intelligent Design” movement. Most advocates of the “Framework Theory” of the creation account in Genesis also fall under the label of old-earth creationism. “Progressive Creationism” is another popular title. We’ll examine the various old-earth creationist views in part 2 of this book. However, they all agree in rejecting a global flood interpretation of Genesis 6-9.This common thread in old-earth creationism has tremendous implications for the debate over eschatology among old-earth creationists. As a regional flood view is accepted among Christians in the future for various reasons, a great opportunity for the widespread acceptance of preterism awaits.

A Biblical Comparison: The Language of the Flood and New Testament Prophecy

This book focuses on the preterist implications for our interpretation of the Genesis flood. I argue that preterists who are consistent in their hermeneutic approach to Scripture will abandon a global reading of the flood and the Creation Science movement in the end. The language of the Genesis flood is essentially the same type of language we find in New Testament prophecy. The theology of the New Testament also explicitly compares the flood and the coming of Christ in judgment. A regional understanding of New Testament prophecy implies a regional understanding of the Genesis flood.

The main points of this book can be made in reverse to old-earth creationists The link works both ways. Just as a regional understanding of New Testament prophetic events implies a regional interpretation of events in the flood account, so accepting a regional flood implies a regional understanding of New Testament prophetic texts.

Old-earth creationists see the events in the Genesis flood account as regional, even with what appears to be a global description from a surface reading in modern English. When it comes to New Testament prophecy, however, they tend to forget their hermeneutic principles back in Genesis 6-9. They simply revert to a literal hermeneutic to understand the Olivet Discourse, 2 Peter 3, and the book of Revelation. They teach all these texts speak of global events to come at the end of the world. A great example is how old-earth creationists interpret Revelation 1:7-9:

Look, he is coming with the clouds, and every eye will see him, even those who pierced him; and all the peoples of the earth will mourn because of him. So shall it be! Amen.

Old-earth creationists lapse into the same basic arguments Creation Scientists use back in Genesis 7 for a global flood. They argue this passage (as well as other New Testament prophetic texts) references global events to come at the end of history with the return of Christ. They often ignore or redefine the time statements because of this global language in New Testament prophetic texts. The irony is many who advocate a local flood place New Testament prophecy in the future because of the “global” language it contains!

Preterists are in position to show these old-earth creationists that the language of Revelation 1 is very similar to the flood account in Genesis. The Greek word translated for “earth” is actually “ge.” This is the Greek equivalent to the Hebrew word “erets” back in the flood account. In fact, the Septuagint (Greek translation of the Old Testament) uses “ge” exclusively throughout the flood account. Old-earth creationists switch from a non-global reading of “earth” in Genesis 6-9 to a global reading of “earth” in Revelation without comment or explanation. They do this because of their default commitment to futurism.

Old-earth creationism’s bizarre hermeneutic does not end there. Old-earth creationists argue that Revelation 1 speaks of events that will be seen around the world. They believe that “every eye will see him” means everyone on planet earth will witness his coming. This line of reasoning is not essentially different than the Creation Science argument for a global flood back in Genesis. Creation Scientists claim that when the water covered “all the high mountains” it means the water covered every mountain on planet earth.[1] It is quite strange to watch old-earth creationists revert to a surface literal hermeneutic in the New Testament to defend their global-futurism.

I believe it is time for preterists to ask old-earth creationists to defend their inconsistent hermeneutic approach to Scripture. I believe old-earth creationists should logically become preterist in their approach to New Testament prophecy, given their approach to the flood of Genesis 6-9.

A Biblical Comparison: The Flood, Christ’s Coming, and Judgment

Preterism is the right eschatology for old-earth creationists for another reason as well. The strongest biblical argument in Creation Science literature, besides a “literal English” interpretation of the Genesis flood account, is based on the repeated parallel between the flood, coming of Christ, and judgment. This parallel and comparison is plain in these passages:

As it was in the days of Noah, so it will be at the coming of the Son of Man. For in the days before the flood, people were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, up to the day Noah entered the ark; and they knew nothing about what would happen until the flood came and took them all away. That is how it will be at the coming of the Son of Man. Two men will be in the field; one will be taken and the other left. Two women will be grinding with a hand mill; one will be taken and the other left. Matthew 24:37-41.

By these waters also the world of that time was deluged and destroyed. By the same word the present heavens and earth are reserved for fire, being kept for the day of judgment and destruction of ungodly men. 2 Peter 3:6-7.

Advocates of Creation Science develop a strong argument from the biblical comparison. They point out that if you believe these passages, referencing the coming of Christ and judgment, refer to global events which come at the end of the world, then logically, you should believe the Genesis flood account refers to global events as well. To not read the Genesis flood account globally, Creation Science advocates argue, would violate the clear parallel and comparison both Jesus and Peter make between the flood, Christ’s coming, and judgment. In other words, if planet earth is destroyed by fire at Christ’ coming, then planet earth was destroyed by a flood in the days of Noah. This oft-repeated argument in Creation Science literature convinces many global-futurists that there is no other option than a worldwide flood in Genesis.

I have searched old-earth creationist books which touch on the scope of the flood to see how they deal with this common argument in Creation Science literature. Nearly every old-earth creationist book I investigated simply ignored the issue of the repeated New Testament comparison of flood and fire. Those that mentioned the passages do not deal with the comparison so obvious in the text.

Bernard Ramm’s classic text, The Christian View of Science and Scripture makes no reference whatsoever to the flood parallel in Matthew 24:37-41; 2 Peter 3:8-9; or Luke 17:26-27. Neither does Don Stoner in his book, A New Look at an Old Earth: Resolving the Conflict Between the Bible & Science. David A Young makes no mention of these passages in his book, Christianity and the Age of the Earth. Even Dr. Hugh Ross avoids those texts in Creation and Time: A Biblical and Scientific Perspective on the Creation-Date Controversy.

The reason old-earth creationists avoid those texts seems obvious. They are problem texts for those who want to have it both ways: a regional interpretation of the Genesis flood and a global interpretation of New Testament prophetic texts. Creation Science advocates are more consistent than old-earth creationists. They understand that if planet earth is destroyed by fire on the day of judgment or in conjunction with Christ’s coming, then planet earth was destroyed by a flood in the days of Noah. The Bible explicitly compares these events.

Bible vs. Science

Because old-earth creationists remain committed to futurism, old-earth creationists cannot handle this biblical argument. Old-earth creationists usually concentrate on emphasizing the scientific case for an old earth to convince Christians of their position. This inevitably leads to the charge from Creation Scientists that old-earth creationists care more about science than what the Bible says. The accusations usually appear similar to these:

[I]t is only evangelicals (and a few conservatives in other branches of the Church) who have a problem with Genesis 1. It is only among evangelicals that we find a concerted attempt to find a way to harmonize Genesis 1 with the evanescent opinions of modern science.[2]

Not until certain theories in modern geology, biology, paleontology, anthropology, and physics, gained wide acceptance in various Western intellectual communities in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries did debates about the Genesis days begin to roil the Church… Regrettably, many of these recent innovations have flowed from evangelical pens more interested in conforming to the ideas of passing scientific trends than in defending classical orthodoxy.[3]

Those dedicated to Creation Science usually get the moral high ground in this argument, because most agree that the Bible trumps current scientific theory. However, old-earth creationists do hold the Bible in high respect. They do believe that what they see in the physical world around them is consistent with what the Bible teaches. What will old-earth creationists do when they realize that preterism refutes a global flood by using Scripture? The New Testament parallels between the flood and the coming of Christ and judgment are only a problem for a local flood advocate if he holds a global-futurist view of New Testament prophecy.

A New Audience for Preterism

This situation creates a huge opportunity for preterists to make inroads with those convinced of old-earth creationism. Few preterists have ever thought how old-earth creationism prepares Christians to accept preterism. This is a new frontier when it comes to preterist apologetics. Old-earth creationism is an audience ripe for a preterist harvest. I believe old-earth creationists will sense their inconsistency if they are pressed on the issue of their self-contradictory hermeneutic and failure to deal with the biblical parallels to the flood in the New Testament. Since they have already committed to a local flood against the claims of the Creation Scientists, the choice is clear. They should embrace preterism.

Preterists should point out how the traditional argument for a local flood is an argument for possibility only. Old-earth creationists make the biblical case for a local flood by examining the language of the flood account: words and phrases such as “earth,” “under heaven,” and “face of the earth.” This examination of the biblical text makes a local reading of the flood account possible only. It cannot give a firm statement for a local flood.

Old earth creationists subvert their own arguments back in Genesis by maintaining their global futurism in relation to New Testament prophetic texts. When it comes to the New Testament examples of that same type of global language they tend to agree with Creation Science proponents. They believe that global language as it reads on the surface in modern English implies global physical events. Old-earth creationists remain unaware of how preterism enhances the biblical defense of their position of a local flood.

Preterism offers old-earth creationists an air-tight response the young-earth creationist’s charge that they care more for science than they care about the Bible. Preterism holds out the explanation which makes sense and shows how the Bible teaches a non-global flood. The Bible does harmonize the evidence scientists see for a local flood. Consider again that important passage at the beginning of this book.

Just as it was in the days of Noah, so also will it be in the days of the Son of Man. People were eating, drinking, marrying and being given in marriage up to the day Noah entered the ark. Then the flood came and destroyed them all. It was the same in the days of Lot. People were eating and drinking, buying and selling, planting and building. But the day Lot left Sodom, fire and sulfur rained down from heaven and destroyed them all. It will be just like this on the day the Son of Man is revealed. Luke 17:26-30. [4]

If all three judgments are explicitly compared, then shouldn’t all three be understood as non-global in scope?

Global flood advocates must teach that the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah was not like the Genesis flood in physical detail. Old-earth creationists get two out of three correct by rejecting a global flood, yet holding to global futurism regarding the coming of Christ. Only preterists are in a position to remain true to the biblical comparison between the physical events of the flood of Noah’s day, the judgment of Sodom and Gomorrah, and the coming of Christ in A.D. 70.

Preterism adds to the traditional arguments for a local flood in Genesis. Because preterism closes the door on a global reading of the Genesis flood, preterism should logically become old-earth creationism’s best friend. Once these biblical issues become common knowledge, I believe multitudes within the old-earth creationist movement will naturally accept preterism. They will come to see that their old-earth creationist beliefs about the Genesis flood prepared them for a preterist approach to New Testament prophecy.

Church History and the Question of Heresy

Old-earth creationism prepares Christians for preterism in another way as well. Old-earth creationism makes a distinct break with the traditional teaching of Church history on the age of the earth and universe. Young-earth creationists often point out how Church history is on their side when it comes to the debate over the age of the earth. James Jordan writes:

It is a fact that before the modern era, nobody in the history of the church for over three thousand years ever questioned the chronology of the Bible, and only a tiny handful ever questioned that the six days of Genesis 1 were ordinary 24-hour-type days. The few who did question the six days of Genesis 1 did so for philosophical and not scientific reasons. Even so, no one suggested God took a vast amount of time. Augustine thought the six days were instantaneous. All accepted the biblical chronology and calculated the age of the earth from it.[5]

What James Jordan says is not in dispute from old-earth creationists. One old-earth creationist writes:

It cannot be denied, in spite of frequent interpretations of Genesis that departed from the rigidly literal, that the almost universal view of the Christian world until the eighteenth century was that the Earth was only a few thousand years old. Not until the development of modern scientific investigation of the Earth itself would this view be called into question within the church.

This puts old-earth creationists in a similar situation preterists find themselves in today.[6] Old-earth creationism fights to defend the progress they believe can be demonstrated by sound scientific investigation. They often fight against the charge of heresy in the Genesis debate in much the same way preterists must deal with heresy headhunters in the debate over eschatology.

Old-earth creationists cannot legitimately use the majority’s acceptance of futurism in church history as an argument against preterism. To do so would logically invalidate old-earth creationism! I should add that this similarity between preterism and old-earth creationism in relation to traditional views has implications for how preterists respond to old-earth creationist claims as well. Preterists who dismiss old-earth claims because the history of the church has not clearly taught an old earth risk hypocrisy in the matter. Preterists, of all people, do not have the easy way out many others choose when faced with both biblical and scientific evidence for a local flood.

Both preterists and old-earth creationists accept theological paradigms which allow for progress. Old-earth creationists accept progress when it comes to the Genesis debate. Preterists accept progress when it comes to the debate over biblical eschatology by acknowledging the substantial or total fulfillment of New Testament prophecy. This puts both old-earth creationists and preterists in the same boat when it comes to inflexible traditionalism.

Old-earth creationism prepares Christians to accept preterism. Those dedicated to old-earth creationism will find that preterism enhances the biblical argument for a non-global flood.. In Appendix 4, we’ll examine another area of a symbiotic relationship between preterism and old-earth creationism – our time perspective. For now it is enough to show what great potential exists for the spread of preterism among those who call themselves old-earth creationists.

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] The Hebrew word for “mountains” in Genesis 7:19 is “har” (Strong’s Concordance number 2022). It is predominantly translated as “hills” throughout the Old Testament.

[2] James B. Jordan, Creation in Six Days: A Defense of the Traditional Reading of Genesis One (Moscow, ID: Canon Press) p. 22.

[3] J. Ligon Duncan III & David W. Hall, The Genesis Debate: Three Views on the Days of Creation, ed. by David G. Hagopian (Mission Viejo: Crux Press, 2001), p. 22, 60-61.

[4] Peter draws the same comparison as Jesus in 2 Peter 2:5-9.

[5] James B. Jordan, Creation in Six Days: A Defense of the Traditional Reading of Genesis One (Moscow, ID: Canon Press) p. 17-18.

[6] Both preterists and old-earth creationists claim some historical precedent in Church history. Old-earth creationists point to non-literal readings of the Genesis creation account that go back millennia in Church history. See Hugh Ross, Creation and Time: A Biblical and Scientific Perspective on the Creation-Date Controversy (Colorado Springs: Navpress, 1994), pp 16-24. Preterist claim historical precedent throughout Church history for their understanding the Olivet Discourse as fulfilled in A.D. 70. See Gary DeMar and Francis X. Gumerlock, The Early Church and the “End of the World”: The Past Fulfillment of Matthew 24 (Powder Springs, GA: American Vision, 2005).

valensname's picture

Tim,

Assume for a moment that the flood was actually global in scope. What language would the author have used to indicate this?

Glenn

MiddleKnowledge's picture

Glenn,

I think my book addresses this already. Let me reference Gleason Archer from "A Survey of Old Testament Introduction" (Chicago: Moody Press, 1974), p. 210:

"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."

Glenn, don't you think it strange that the Hebrew word "tebel" is not used if the flood was global? Why would the author speak about global events and not use the most universal term available in the Hebrew language?

Blessings,

Tim Martin
www.truthinliving.org

valensname's picture

Tim,

Yes you had mentioned this in Part 2 and I also quoted from someone:

http://www.grisda.org/origins/02077.htm

A quote from above link:
"The question has been raised why the Genesis flood story does not employ the Hebrew term tebel (47) which means "dry land" (48) or "world" (49) in the sense of "continents" (50). This term appears 39 times in the Old Testament (51) but never in Genesis or the other books of Moses. The reason why this term is not employed lies in the fact that tebel appears only in poetic texts whereas the flood narrative is prose. Therefore the lack of this universalistic term of the flood narrative does in no sense imply a non-universalistic meaning for the term "earth." This argument from silence which does not even consider the contextual and poetic usage of a term is best to be dispensed with."

Also I have read arguements back and forth on this word. Some say the word never refers to anything planet wide or the Bible doesn't for that matter. And they seem to say the better English word is world.

And in my BDB Hebrew Lexicon the most common term for earth Strong's #776 even seems to have the meaning "whole earth". Which seems to say that that word can mean planetwide.

So from my limited knowledge of Hebrew, I don't see how the one word switch would have made the Genesis account sound more global.

I was just thinking it would have to be more than a one word switch.

Thanks for the reply.
Glenn

MiddleKnowledge's picture

Glenn,

Thank you for your constructive criticisms. They help me understand how things might be explained better in my ongoing revision. I appreciate your effort and time in bringing them forward.

It appears to me that no matter my response, you have made up your mind about the issue. My response, at this point, is more for those reading our dialogue with an open mind. I hope you continue to read the upcoming new sections.

The exegesis of the passage is fairly straightforward, but depends on the hermeneutic approach. My exegesis would be as simple as this. A big flood happened. It killed many people. It destroyed both plant and animal life. That is what the passage says. All conservatives agree that this is what happened according to the text.

Now, how big was this flood? What does "all" or "every" mean in the passage? That depends on our reading of the language in the account such as "earth," "under heaven," and "face of the earth." These terms are what separate a local view from a global view. Every book I have ever seen argue for a global flood, argues primarily from these terms and phrases.

Literal futurists demand these terms must be interpreted by a "literal English" method. Others say these terms have to be compared to how the same language and terminology we find in the rest of Scripture. Clearly, the Bible uses this language routinely in regional ways, especially as preterists who read the same "global" language in New Testament prophecy which is now history from our point of view.

I cannot see how our hermeneutic must radically change from Genesis 6-9 to New Testament prophetic passages such as the Olivet Discourse and the book of Revelation. It is not merely because the same terms and phrases are used. It is because the terms and phrases are used for the SAME FUNCTION as in other parts of the Bible. Notice Luke 21:35. When Jesus says the tribulation "will come upon the face of the whole earth" he is giving a clear statement as to the scope of the tribulation, just as the "face of the earth" in Genesis denotes the scope of the event. The language is not just similar, it is being used to accomplish the same prupose in both accounts.

Also consider that Jesus is not using apocalyptic hyperbole in this particular verse; He is plain, serious, and direct with his audience. There is no apocalyptic symbolism with this verse at all. You might call Luke's account an historical narrative of Jesus' Olivet sermon. When Jesus says "the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light; the stars will fall from the sky, and heavenly bodies will be shaken" then we can assume hyperbolic apocalyptic symbolism (because of similar biblical usage elsewhere). But there is no hyperbolic apocalyptic symbolism in Luke 21:35.

Furthermore, we cannot apply a different hermeneutic to prophecy, as preterists, because the event Jesus spoke of as coming "upon all those who live on the face of the earth" is HISTORY now as surely as it was PROPHECY then. Therefore, the "face of the earth" in historical detail = regional events. (Of course, this argument won't work for futurists.)

I think the comparison between flood and parousia is much broader than you do. In Luke 17 the comparison includes Sodom next to the flood next to the coming of the Son of Man. 2 Peter 3 makes the same comparison, flood with fire, without mention of "suddeness" at all. The "world" of Noah's day is paralleled to the "world" of Peter's day.

Your question about the inclusion of animals and plants is interesting. We see this same comparison in various places in the book of Revelation which talks about a portion of the "earth's" grass and trees being destroyed (Rev. 8:7). We also see that a portion of the beasts of the "earth" were killed (Rev. 6:11). The severity increases as we move further into the book. These things are all connected, indirectly, to the text of the Genesis flood. I would submit that is why the comparison is often drawn between the flood and the coming of Christ at the end of the age on multiple occasions in the New Testament.

I am no expert in Hebrew, but I quote the late Gleason Archer. He was a renowned Hebrew scholar and advocate of a local flood. He is not the only well-known Hebrew scholar who advocates a local flood.

It is my opinion that the comparison Creation Science futurists make from the passage is warranted by those texts. But if they are unwarranted, think about what you are admitting. You are stating outright that their hermeneutical principles are flawed. To which I say, "See!" If their hermeneutical principles are flawed, why do you trust their interpretation in Genesis 6-9? By saying they commit hermeneutical errors you have destroyed their credibility for interpreting the Genesis flood passage. It seems to me you are picking and choosing your interpretation based on what you already believe.

In closing, I will let the reader of the New Testament decide for himself if the Genesis flood account and New Testament prophetic passages are parallel passages. I hope the audience at Planetpreterist has been challenged and stimulated by the articles I have presented.

Blessings,

Tim Martin
www.truthinliving.org

valensname's picture

Tim,

I know there are twelve or more posts to go but are you going to do a full exegesis of the Flood account in Genesis? or are you referring out to Hebrew commentators? My point here is that you seem to be doing what many do when they approach the Bible. Instead of dealing with the immediate context and first understanding it from the original audience's point of view, you are instead interpreting it from your point of view or pulling in outside passages, in my opinion, to force a preconceived view onto it. It seems you are reading Genesis more from what does it mean to me now that I understanding a fullfilled eschatology than first understanding the immediate context of the Flood. From what has been presented so far, it seems to me that how you have presented your material is similiar to futuristic eschatology that change the clear meaning of the time statements. You seem to be forcing a view back into the text.

Yes I believe a global=global hermeneutic is flawed but you seem to be imploying the same hermeneutic as well. I still see the entire planet as being affected by the flood as well the entire planet affected by the Parousia. The flood had/has consequences for all mankind as well as the Parousia had/has consequences for all mankind. The world was changed.

Thank you for taking the time to respond to comments. It is not that I've made up my mind regarding this issue and am camping out. Yes I do hold to my current understanding. But you have not, to me, made a convincing argument, yet.

Glenn

MiddleKnowledge's picture

Thanks for your comments. I appreciate your patience as the material is released a bit at a time.

Blessings,

Tim Martin

valensname's picture

Does your book at all interpret the full context of the Genesis flood to show how the context is suppose to reflect a regional (however one defines it) flood? It seems to me that your whole major approach to interpreting Genesis is flawed. You see a parallel between the Genesis account of the flood and NT passages that, how I read it, does not exist.

Assuming that a regional flood view is correct. You don’t start with the context of Genesis but have gone to other Scripture to interpret the Flood. This is not proper exegesis. Since you are writing a book length defense of a local/regional flood view of Genesis why do you not start with the context in Genesis with your interpretation?

You have not gone into the context of Genesis and interpreted it as local in the complete context. You go to other places a word is used and say, “see this is local” so therefore the flood account has to be local - not proper hermeneutics. You even in part 2 use the phrase “historical narrative” for the flood but you compare words and terms to prophecy. This, in my understanding, is not proper hermeneutics.

You are arguing that because the events of the Parousia in this realm (planet Earth; physical plane of existence) occurred in Palestine and in the Roman world – regional, then the flood account in Genesis must also be regional. But, in my view, you fail to understand the comparison Christ makes in the NT to the flood in Genesis. It is not a physical comparison at all. He’s talking about how both caught people off guard, although both had been warned. Both of the worlds (all mankind were evil; the Jewish world’s time had come) were destroyed. In both cases the planet was not destroyed. In both cases, God created a new world. Your comparisons are not sound. I also addressed this in my reply to Part 3. The point Jesus is making is not global/regional but the unbelieving being caught unaware like a thief in the night. And again what about some being left in the NT prophecy but all men, animals and birds being destroyed in the Flood?

You are ignoring context. You seem to be arguing for a hermeneutic where all language is to be interpreted no matter what its context or its literary genre.

Regarding your comments regarding Modern English, Where is the Hebrew? You seem to imply the English is what is wrong so where is the Hebrew? And what is your background in Hebrew? Quote some references that point out the Hebrew in Genesis suggests a regional flood. You are speaking as an expert but don’t back it up.

Just because futuristic eschatology may argue that since the Genesis flood was global in a physically manner than the prophetic events in the NT have to be global in a physical manner as well doesn’t make it proper exegesis. That also is a flawed hermeneutic. You are using their same flawed hermeneutic. In my view, it is improper hermeneutics as well as reversing it to if the physical events of prophecy in the NT were regional then the Genesis flood event has to be regional as well. That hermeneutic is flawed and both don’t take into account immediate context among other things.

Let us see the verse-by-verse comparisons like Preterists have used to show parallel passages, which is correct hermeneutics in comparing prophecy texts. The Genesis flood account and NT and OT prophecies concerning the last days time period are not parallel passages. The hermeneutic principal you are basing global=global or regional=regional is flawed

Glenn

JL's picture

Glenn,

Everybody knows what the English says. You know what the Hebrew says. You are convinced that the only way to read the Hebrew is as a global flood. No amount of exegesis will convince you otherwise. Gleason Archer and Norman Giesler are well known, and I believe they could both be classed as Hebrew experts. They believe Genesis reads quite naturally as a local flood.

The issue is not the text, but the hermeneutic used to interpret the text. Everything else is confusion. You have said that history and prophecy require different methods of interpretation, that is, different hermeneutics. I only know two hermeneutics. There is Milton Terry's literalism. And there is dispensational literalism.

Archer and Giesler used Milton Terry's hermeneutic on Genesis and got a local flood. We (you, me, Tim, and Milton Terry) use Milton Terry's hermeneutic on New Testament prophecy and get a local judgment.

Archer and Gleason used dispensational literalism on NT prophecy and got a global judgment. You use dispensational literalism on Genesis and get a global flood.

The local/global difference is not a function of the text, it is a function of the hermeneutic applied to the text.

Tim and I believe the same hermeneutic should be applied to all Scripture. You disagree. Apparently, Archer and Gleason agree with you in principle but make the opposite choice. If you 3 experts can't agree, what hope do Tim or I have?

You need to demonstrate that Archer and Gleason were in error for applying the two hermeneutics in reverse of what you believe is proper. And you need to supply a method for determining which Scripture gets which hermeneutic.

Until then, you need to understand that your disagreement with Tim is at the most fundamental level. Until you use a consistent hermeneutic for both ends of Scripture, you can't see what Tim sees.

JL

Blessings,

JL Vaughn
Beyond Creation Science

valensname's picture

JL,

"No amount of exegesis will convince you otherwise."

With all due respect, exegesis is what convinced me in a fullfilled view of eschatology. Keeping things in context, looking up words and comparing contexts, time statements, etc...

I believe Tim's hermeneutic is flawed and he is adopting a flawed Creation Science heremeneutic to argue for a local flood view.

There are others who have addressed the same method Tim's explaination of words and terms (he mentioned this word at the end of Part 2) such as:

http://www.grisda.org/origins/02077.htm

A quote from above link:
"The question has been raised why the Genesis flood story does not employ the Hebrew term tebel (47) which means "dry land" (48) or "world" (49) in the sense of "continents" (50). This term appears 39 times in the Old Testament (51) but never in Genesis or the other books of Moses. The reason why this term is not employed lies in the fact that tebel appears only in poetic texts whereas the flood narrative is prose. Therefore the lack of this universalistic term of the flood narrative does in no sense imply a non-universalistic meaning for the term "earth." This argument from silence which does not even consider the contextual and poetic usage of a term is best to be dispensed with."

Every local flood view I have read, I have by no means read all of them, none of them start with the context of Genesis. Tim does not either. This raises the question of why not? I've seen Preterists point this out repeatedly to futuristic eschatology holders of not staying with the context. And what I have said about parallel passages... Don Preston has done an excellent job of comparing prophecy texts,with charts, parallel passages - why cannot this be done with Genesis to support a local view then? I don't beleive they can and to do so is employing what I see as a flawed hermeneutic.

I believe I see how Tim is seeing his interpretation. But again, I don't see the justification of allowing the events of the Parousia to dictate the events of the Flood.

The point I am trying to make is I see Tim as not sticking to context but using other Scripture to force an interpretation on the Genesis text.

Thank you for your comments.
Glenn

JL's picture

Glenn,

What parallel passages? The only parallel passages are comparisons of the flood to the second coming. Like 2 Peter 3:6-7, or 2 Peter 2:4-10. What effort will it take to sweep those aside the way you've done with Luke 17?

You also continue to ask for comments on audience relevance? We don't know who wrote it? When? Or to who?

My best guess is that Noah wrote the first part of the account on clay tablets in Akkadian pictograph cunneiform and Shem continued it. They did it sometime during or shortly after the events. Shem was Noah's audience. I have pointed out some internal evidence in the structure to support this claim. Audience relevance? To document and remember an event they had all experienced.

However, others will point to what I'd call copyist's notes and claim the passage was written around 600 BC. They'd claim that the audience was exiled Judah. Audience relevance, to tie Noah to the Sumerian hero Gilgamesh.

I know you don't accept either of those sources. You believe Moses wrote it. Your only evidence is tradition. Tradition won't tell you when Moses wrote, not to who. You can't discuss audience relevance without that information.

Look at New Testament prophecy. The audience, and therefore, audience relevance is different if you assume it something was written pre-AD 70 vs. post-AD 70. A few years makes all the difference in the world.

If Moses wrote Genesis, he could have written it while he was the son of pharoah's daughter, while in Midian, while plaguing Egypt, while travelling to or near Sinai, early in the wandering, in the midst of the wandering, or on the way to the Jordan river. At each of these points in time, the audience, and therefore, the audience relevance was greatly changed.

The author of the article you referenced makes the claim that "a universal catastrophe" is the traditional understanding and that the local flood understanding is recent and comes from evolutionism. He starts out with a false premise. A local flood has been the primary Jewish understanding from the time of Christ through the middle ages. The Christian understanding through that period is ambiguous. It was only after the complete adoption of a Ptolomaeic Cosmology (that is, the acceptance of the latest science), around the time of Thomas Aquinas, that a global flood became "tradition." And it was the work of 19th century missionaries in China as much as anything else that was the death of this "tradition." (My daughter is an authority on this. It is one of the side issues in her graduate work. The missionaries recognized that the great antiquity of the Chinese culture precluded a recent global flood.)

Thank-you for the link. I now understand what you are asking. An exegesis of the type in that link is beyond my capability. However, Tim has refuted some of the points in that article back in Part 2. I think I can refute all but the most specific points the article made. I will take a stab at it.

JL

Blessings,

JL Vaughn
Beyond Creation Science

valensname's picture

JL,

I don't see how audience relevance of who it was written too is that big of an issue with The Law (first 5 books). Wasn't it written to the Jews and in the time of Joshua at least? All this about Noah writing it etc...I don't get into. I believe it is inspired Holy Scipture and written to a Jewish audience for sure in Joshua's lifetime.

I'm not really concerned about what the traditional view of the Genesis flood is. I do my best to not follow tradations but have been raised and firmly believe in reading and understanding the Sciptures for oneself. I am striving to stay on task to what Tim is saying only.

My point in the link was that that writer deals with the terms and word use as Tim does. Not a global acceptance of all he says. Sorry for the confusion there.

No offense to your daughter or the Chinese, but I don't believe their culture pre-dates the Genesis Flood. Then again I don't believe man has been around for millions of years either.

I am striving to keep an open mind. I respect what others who hold a fulfilled eschatology say but that doesn't mean I agree with them.

Glenn

JL's picture

Glenn,

Would you be kind enough to explain why you believe Genesis was written by Moses?

JL

Blessings,

JL Vaughn
Beyond Creation Science

valensname's picture

JL,

You already know tradition and the Gospels repeatedly say Moses said, commanded, etc...

But my point is The Law (first 5 books) were given by God to the Jewish people. I just beleive it was inspired and don't concern myself with the concepts of oral tradition, written before etc...that just seems to me to be intellectual educuated theological gooblygook. The Bible was written to the common man in everyday language.

Hope this explains some.
Glenn

JL's picture

And again please. What parallel passages?

JL

Blessings,

JL Vaughn
Beyond Creation Science

valensname's picture

JL,

Have some patience please.

"So please explain how audience relevance requires a global flood."

I don't think I ever said requires a global flood. I was saying that Genesis was written to the Jews and I'd say in the lifetime of Joshua and by Moses. Not that Moses had all this oral tradition or other writings to pull from but was guided by the Holy Spirit what to write. And I was saying that those Jews I'd say would not have gotten a regional flood view from it. Plus they wouldn't have had the NT to import back into Genesis.

"And again please. What parallel passages?"

About Moses writing the Law...how many places in the NT do I need to quote from when Jesus says what did Moses command you? But I don't want to argue who wrote Genesis with you. The Law was written to the Jews and Jews of that Joshua era. Exactly when it was recorded we don't know. Unlike the Flood which Genesis says specifically.

The point I was making is you can't make parallel passages to interpret the Flood account like one can compare Mat 24 with Luke 17, 21, Mark 13, Revelation, Joel, etc...

I don't buy into the regional flood concept. I will continue reading Tim's posts and will do further study but I have yet to see anything to convince me of a regional flood. As Tim has said he can't prove it. My point about parallel passages is also that there is no overwhelming hints at a regional flood, in my opinion, from the text, unlike the overwhelming passages in the Bible indicating a Jesus generation Parousia etc..

What I do find disturbing is the linking of the idea that for one to hold a "preterist" view of eschatology then one naturally should have a regional flood view and apparently an old Earth view as well.

Glenn

JL's picture

Glenn,

"Let us see the verse-by-verse comparisons like Preterists have used to show parallel passages ..."

Where in Scripture can we find these parallel passages? They don't exist. There is no way to do verse-by-verse comparisons with parallel passages because their are no such passages.

All that can be done is to show how specific phrases in the flood account are used elsewhere. Tim did some of that in Part 2, which you never bothered to comment on other than your link to Hasel.

However, Hasel is less than convincing. He pretends that everyone agrees that certain usages are "universal" and uses that to "prove" that the same usage in the flood account implies that the flood is "universal." Examples where these phrases obviously not universal are either conspicuously absent or mishandled.

What you find disturbing, I find quite comfortable. (But then I find 3-page equations to be quite comfortable also and most mathematicians I know find that disturbing.)

JL

Blessings,

JL Vaughn
Beyond Creation Science

valensname's picture

JL,

My intent in posting comments to Tim is basically just to offer what comments I'd be writing in the book as I read through it. I'm not seeking to debate global vs. regional. Obviously we both hold the views we do at the moment and especially in written form, one never comments enough on certain areas to suit the other.

Again I don't find Tim's line of reasoning or use of Scipture to be convincing.

Glenn

JL's picture

Glenn,

You said you don't follow tradition. Yet that's the answer you give here.

I can't find any place in the Gospels that says or implies Moses wrote Genesis. Where did I miss it?

Preterists also are real big on internal evidence. There is no internal evidence that Moses had anything to do with it. Parts of Genesis claim to be separate written accounts from the time of the events. If Moses wrote it, it's awfully naive of you to assume that Moses' sources don't play a role in what was conveyed.

As for your claim of common man and everyday language. Isn't that what dispies say about the Olivett discourse and Revelation? Nothing in this world is written for the universal common man in the universal everyday language. My grandparents language often made no sense to me. And we all supposedly spoke English.

If I grant your tradition. Assume Moses wrote it to the slaves in Egypt. Every year, the Nile floods. It covers all the earth with life-giving water and new fertile mud. Life not death is the audience relevance.

Assume Moses wrote it to the Sinai party-animals. God will continue to destroy the wicked by flood, but the covenant people will be saved from it.

Assume Moses wrote it to the desert wanderers. God sure kept his promise. This time he's destroying the covenant people by fire.

Neither of these three audiences, all of whom were the same people, whould have any reason to see Noah's flood as global. They can apply the non-global lesson directly to their own life.

So please explain how audience relevance requires a global flood.

JL

Blessings,

JL Vaughn
Beyond Creation Science

MiddleKnowledge's picture

Glenn,

I understand your complaint. The next edition will address the items you have pointed out more thoroughly in the early chapters.

I speak a lot more about the text of Genesis 6-9 in upcoming articles, so your complaint, at this point, is premature. I have posted only 4 parts so far, with at least 12 more to go. Believe you me. I am not afraid to dive into Genesis 6-9.

One note that I think you should consider is the implication of applying different hermeneutical standards to "prophetic texts" as compared to "historical narrative texts."

One of your objections is the language in each has to be understood differently based on its genre. Differences in genre are real in biblical texts. With that I agree. However, even different genres have to communicate with one another in a hermeneutic sense. I believe that is a fundamental tenet of preterist hermeneutics. Let me explain why.

Take my example from Luke 21:35 and Jesus' statement about the tribulation to come "upon all those who live on the face of the earth." You claimed that because this is in a prophetic text it means something different than when the same phrase appears in the Genesis flood account (historical narrative genre).

You need to stop and think about what this means if you are right. That same passage in Luke 21, records Jesus saying, "I tell you the truth, this generation will certainly not pass away until all these things have happened" Luke 21:32.

By setting up a dichotomy between the Olivet discourse (prophetic genre) and the Genesis flood passage (historical narrative) you have confirmed the futurist argument that "generation" may mean something very different in the Olivet discourse as it does elsewhere in Scripture.

You have lapsed into a futurist hermeneutic to defend a global flood interpretation in Genesis. If the tribulation which historically came upon "all who live on the face of the earth" does not relate to the "face of the earth" language in Genesis 6-9, then the word "generation" in Luke 21:32 does not relate to similar usages across the Bible (in historical narrative).

You have refuted a prime argument for preterism in order to defend a global interpretation of the Genesis flood.

Please consider this.

Tim Martin
www.truthinliving.org

valensname's picture

Tim,

In other words, stay quiet until all the posts are in? :-)

I don't agree on the comparision of the Luke 17, 22, Matt 24, Mark 13 passages verses the Genesis account. I see the NT, specifically linking those prophecies with Jerusalem etc. While Genesis while using the terms land, heaven, etc...don't put qualifiers on it. While in other places in Genesis it does, for example "the land of Nod."

I look forward to reading the coming posts.

Glenn

MiddleKnowledge's picture

Glenn,

I was thinking more about discussing the content of the current article. You're still arguing about part 2 and 3.

Tim Martin
www.truthinliving.org

valensname's picture

Tim,

I don't know what else to say regarding this post.

I still believe you are importing meaning back into the Genesis account. I don't see the Gospel accounts reference to the Genesis warrant reading a regional flood into Genesis. And the 2 Peter 3 and Revelation use of heavens and land is not refering to the physical creation, so I don't see how one can apply them to the Genesis account either.

I look forward to reading the expostion on the Genesis account. Do the futher posts deal with common sense questions from one who holds a global flood view? - how regional, was all mankind destroyed in the Flood, was all animal life, promise of no more flood, why build ark in the first place since regional, etc...things like that?

You have got me to thinking.
Glenn

MiddleKnowledge's picture

Yes,

I deal with objections in a couple of weeks.

Blessings,

Tim Martin
www.truthinliving.org

Paige's picture

Glenn,

I don't wish to speak for Tim. Here is some of what I have personally found for comparisons (I use caps only for emphasis):

Gen.7:19, "And the waters prevailed exceedingly upon the earth [erets]; and all the high hills, that were UNDER THE WHOLE HEAVEN, were covered."

Sounds universal. Compare it to Duet. 2:25, "This day I will begin to put the dread of thee and the fear of thee upon the nations THAT ARE UNDER THE WHOLE HEAVEN, who shall hear report of thee, and shall tremble, and be in anguish because of thee."

It is very clear that the nations under the whole heaven God refers to were specifically the Canaanite tribes in one small part of the world.

Duet. 1:28, "'Where can we go up? Our brethren have discouraged our hearts, saying, "The people are greater than we; the cities are great and FORTIFIED UP TO HEAVEN; moreover we have seen the sons of the Anakim there."'" (Also Duet.9:1 repeats the phrase) There are other places in the OT that use the phrase "The end of heaven" to designate a country beyond the distant horizon, but I wanted to stick w/the Pentateuch for the purpose of the parallel passage comparison.

The use of the word heaven is also limited by the context. Also consider Gen.8:13, "...that the waters were dried up from off the earth [erets];..." If this is being used in the sense of the entire globe, 71% of the earths surface is water, so this would include a drying up of the oceans.

Another consideration: Gen.8:1, "...And God made a wind to pass over the earth, and the waters subsided."

A wind passing over water picks up moisture, forms clouds which move w/the wind to drop rain in other areas. If the entire globe was covered in water those clouds would have been dumping water on top of water. The water level would have remained unchanged.

These are just a few things I considered when I changed my mind about the flood. I'm sure that Tim's articles will probably cover the same topics more in-depth later on.

Paige

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