From Mark Copeland... "THE HOLY SPIRIT OF GOD" The Promise Of The Holy Spirit

                        "THE HOLY SPIRIT OF GOD"

                     The Promise Of The Holy Spirit


1. In our previous lesson we surveyed the work of the Holy Spirit in
   regards to...
   a. Creation
   b. Revelation
   c. Confirmation
   d. Regeneration
   e. Sanctification

2. It is evident that the Holy Spirit has been at work throughout...
   a. The history of mankind
   b. The redemption of mankind

3. Of special interest is the working of the Holy Spirit in the life of
   a Christian...
   a. An area of study in which many have questions
   b. An area in which there is great diversity of views

[A good place to begin might be the promise of the Holy Spirit.  Long
before Jesus came, God began making promises about the Spirit ...]


      1. Recorded in Joel 2:28-32 (ca. 800 B.C.)
      2. The elements of this prophecy included:
         a. The Spirit being poured out on all flesh - Joel 2:28
         b. Sons and daughters of Israel prophesying , and Israel's
            young and old men seeing visions and dreaming dreams (note
            "your") - Joel 2:28
         c. God's Spirit being poured out upon His menservants and
            maidservants (including Gentiles?) and their prophesying
            - Joel 2:29
      3. This prophecy began to be fulfilled on the Day of Pentecost
         after the Ascension of Christ
         a. When the Holy Spirit came upon the apostles in Jerusalem 
            - Ac 2:1-4
         b. Who enabled them to speak in foreign languages - Ac 2:4-13
         c. Note that Peter ties the events of that day with Joel's
            prophecy  - Ac 2:15-21
      -- It will be necessary to consider other passages to determine
         the full extent of the nature of this outpouring of the Spirit
         and its ramifications for today

      1. One recorded in Isa 44:3-5 (ca. 750 B.C.)
      2. Elements of this prophecy include:
         a. God pouring His Spirit upon Israel's descendants - Isa 44:3
         b. Connecting the promise of the Spirit with the figure of
            water given to him who is thirsty - cf. Jn 7:37-39
      3. Another prophecy that might relate to the promise of the Spirit
         - Isa 32:15-17
         a. Found in a section that appears to have Messianic
            implications - cf. Isa 32:1
         b. The result of this pouring of the Spirit:  justice,
            righteousness, and peace - cf. Ro 14:17

      1. One recorded in Ezek 36:26-27
      2. Elements of this prophecy:
         a. God promises to put His Spirit "within you" (an indwelling)
         b. It will cause (enable) one to walk in His statutes and keep
            His judgments - cf. Ro 8:11-13; Ep 3:16
      3. Another prophecy that might relate to the promise of the Spirit
         - Ezek 39:29
         a. A prophecy that looks beyond the captivity and restoration
            of Israel
         b. One that might not have been fulfilled until the coming of
            the Messiah

      1. Recorded in Zech 12:10
      2. Elements of this prophecy:
         a. The Spirit of grace and supplication to be poured out on the
            inhabitants of Jerusalem
         b. Prompting people to look upon Jesus whom they have pierced,
            and mourn because of Him - cf. Ac 2:32-37

[Whether the prophecies of Ezekiel and Zechariah have reference to a
promise that would be fulfilled in the age of the Messiah may be
questionable, but certainly the prophecy of Joel and Isaiah demonstrate
that God promised an "outpouring" of the Spirit in a special way.  We
now consider...]


      1. He spoke of One coming who would "baptize you with the Holy
         Spirit" - Mt 3:11; Mk 1:7-8; Lk 3:16; Jn 1:33
      2. While he himself administered a baptism in water, there was One
         coming who would be the administrator of a baptism with the
         Holy Spirit
      3. The promise was made to large crowds; only in its fulfillment
         can we determine its full extent
         a. We know that it is somehow tied to the events of Pentecost
            in Ac 2:1-4
         b. Because of Jesus' comments in Ac 1:4-5

      1. The Spirit would be given to those who ask the Heavenly Father
         - Lk 11:13
      2. The Spirit would be given as "living water" to all those who
         thirst and come to Him in faith, and drink - Jn 7:37-39
         a. Might this "living water" be "the gift of God" Jesus alluded
            to earlier? - cf. Jn 4:10-14
         b. Note again the comparison of the Spirit to water in Isaiah's
            prophecy - Isa 44:3
      3. To His apostles, Jesus promised the "Spirit of truth" who
         a. Be a Helper, and abide with them - Jn 14:16-17
         b. Bring to their remembrance all things Jesus taught them 
            - Jn 14:26
         c. Bear witness of Christ, together with the apostles - Jn 15:
         d. Convict the world of sin, righteousness, and judgment 
            - Jn 16:7-11
         e. Guide the apostles unto all the truth, including things to
            come - Jn 16:12-13
         f. Glorify Jesus, by taking of what is His and declaring it to
            them - Jn 16:14
      4. Jesus told His apostles to wait in Jerusalem until they
         received the "Promise of the Father" - Lk 24:49; Ac 1:4-5
         a. Which He clearly connects to the baptism of the Spirit
            spoken of by John
         b. In which they (the apostles) would receive power, and be
            eyewitnesses - Ac 1:8

      1. On Pentecost, Peter ties the outpouring of the Spirit to the
         prophecy of Joel - Ac 2:14-16
      2. Then, in the course of his sermon, Peter...
         a. Speaks of the outpouring of the Spirit as a promise Jesus
            received from the Father - Ac 2:33; cf. Ac 1:4-5
         b. Offers the gift of the Spirit to all who repent and are
            baptized - Ac 2:38
         c. Says the promise is to them and others - Ac 2:39
            1) What promise does Peter have in mind?
            2) What promise would have immediately come to mind to his
            3) Would it not have been the promise he just alluded to?
               a) The promise received by Christ, and now poured out by
                  Christ - Ac 2:33
               b) I.e., the Spirit which Jesus Himself promised to
                  believers - cf. Jn 7:37-39
               c) "That we are right in referring the word promise, in
                  this sentence, to the promise of the Holy Spirit just
                  made by Peter, is evident from the fact that this is
                  the only promise made in the immediate context." 
                  - J. W. McGarvey
               d) "For the promise... - Of pardon, and the gift of the
                  Spirit." - B. W. Johnson
               e) "Acts 2:39 shows that the gift of the Holy Spirit is
                  to all, Jews and Gentiles, who accept that call of
                  God." - David Lipscomb


1. In this study we have seen the following...
   a. Old Testament prophets promised a special dispensation of the
      Spirit to come
      1) One that would include the manifestation of special gifts
      2) One that would enable the people of God to keep His will
   b. John and Jesus promised a baptism of the Spirit, administered 
      by Jesus
   c. Peter in his first gospel sermon...
      1) Proclaims this promise to be fulfilled with the outpouring of
         the Spirit - Ac 2:16,33
      2) Appears to offer the Spirit as a gift to all who obey the
         gospel - Ac 2:38-39

2. This naturally raises several questions...
   a. Does this mean the baptism of the Holy Spirit is for us today?
   b. What exactly is the baptism of the Holy Spirit?
   -- Questions I shall attempt to address in our next study

In view of the promises made concerning the Spirit, we should not be
surprised to read of the work of the Spirit in the life of the
Christian.  Of course, the challenge will be to discern exactly what the
Bible reveals, and not read into the Scriptures any preconceived ideas
regarding His work...

Executable Outlines, Copyright © Mark A. Copeland, 2011

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True Science Is the Christian's Friend by Michael G. Houts, Ph.D.


True Science Is the Christian's Friend

[EDITOR’S NOTE: The following article was written by A.P. auxiliary staff scientist Dr. Houts, who holds a Ph.D. in Nuclear Engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). Dr. Houts has received numerous awards, including a NASA Certificate of Appreciation for Exceptional Leadership. His professional activities include serving as Chairman of the Symposium on Space Nuclear Power and Propulsion. Dr. Houts spent 11 years at Los Alamos National Laboratory, serving in various positions including Team Leader for Criticality, Reactor, and Radiation Physics and Deputy Group Leader for a 70-person Nuclear Design and Risk Analysis Group. He presently serves as the Nuclear Research Manager for NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center. The opinions expressed are his own and not necessarily those of NASA.]
“Idle babble and contradictions of what is falsely called knowledge” (1 Timothy 6:20) have led people astray since the beginning of time. An excellent 21st-century example is the theory of evolution, which in essence claims that the Universe and everything in it somehow made itself. Ironically, despite overwhelming evidence to the contrary, adherents to the theory are fond of claiming that evolution is somehow “scientific,” and that modern society should accept it as fact. Their egregious misuse of the term “science” has made many Christians suspicious of the word. In the context of evolution, the word “science” often has nothing to do with the objective search for knowledge and everything to do with attempting to promote a contemporary false religion.

The Bible clearly teaches that God created the heavens and the Earth a few thousand years ago, in six literal days. An effective way to cast doubt on the Bible is to claim “science” has shown  that a straightforward reading of the Bible cannot be trusted, and that the Bible must be continually re-interpreted by specialists to ensure that it matches contemporary human wisdom. If society can be convinced to view the Bible in that manner, then the Bible loses all significance. Biblical teaching will be accepted when it agrees with personal opinion and rejected when it does not. Paul’s words to Timothy certainly ring true: “For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine, but according to their own desires, because they have itching ears, they will heap up for themselves teachers; and they will turn their ears away from the truth, and be turned aside to fables” (2 Timothy 4:3-4, emp. added).

False “knowledge” is continually used to attack the Bible. However, even a cursory examination shows that true science repeatedly confirms the Bible. Rather than being suspicious of “science,” Christians can view true science as another tool God provides to help lead people to Christ. True science is the friend of the Christian and the enemy of the atheist.

Spontaneous Generation

Where would the spontaneous generation debate be if it were not for true science? Spontaneous generation (otherwise known as “abiogenesis” or “biopoesis”) is a fundamental tenet of evolution and other atheistic religions. Rather than acknowledging that God created all life, adherents to spontaneous generation claim that life was somehow able to make itself from inanimate matter.

Centuries before the birth of Christ, Greek “knowledge” insisted that spontaneous generation routinely occurred, and that for many species it was the norm rather than the exception (Balme, 1962). Analogous to what unfortunately still occurs today, many professed Bible believers tried to incorporate this “knowledge” into the biblical Creation account. They vigorously defended the distorted position even when secular opposition arose. For example, when Sir Thomas Browne appeared to question spontaneous generation in his work “Pseudodoxia Epidemica,” the response from Alexander Ross (vicar of St. Mary’s Church in the Isle of Wight and author of The First and Second Book of Questions and Answers upon the Book of Genesis) was quick and to the point: “To question this [the spontaneous generation of various insects and animals—MH], is to question Reason, Sense, and Experience” (Ross, 1652).

After centuries of false secular teaching in this area, true science finally advanced to the point where arguments in favor of spontaneous generation could be put to rest. From 1859 to 1861, Louis Pasteur performed a series of experiments to show that life does not spontaneously arise from non-life, but only comes from pre-existing life. His experiments were conclusive, yet until 1876, he was opposed by several prominent scientists, including Félix Archimède Pouchet, Director of the Museum of Natural History in Rouen, France (Gillen, 2008). In an attempt to retain or add credibility to the idea of spontaneous generation, disciples of evolution also began claiming they had discovered incredibly simple life forms. For example, German scientist Ernst Haeckel (“Darwin’s Bulldog on the Continent”) declared that he had discovered “Monera”—
organisms which are, in fact, not composed of any organs at all, but consist entirely of shapeless, simple, homogenous matter. The entire body of one of these Monera, during life, is nothing more than a shapeless, mobile, little lump of mucus or slime, consisting of an albuminous combination of carbon. Simpler or more imperfect organisms we cannot possibly conceive (Haeckel, 1876, 1:184).
In his book, Haeckel spoke of Monera as if their existence was an established fact. He claimed to have made “complete observations on the natural history” of Monera, even including drawings of Monera, and noting that other famous scientists (e.g., Huxley) had also discovered Monera (1:184).

Evidence that showed “Monera” to be lifeless, inorganic compounds was available as early as 1875. In that year it was determined that alleged “Monera” were nothing more than amorphous gypsum, precipitated out of sea-water by alcohol (Grigg, 1996). However, even with clear refutation from true, operational science, “Monera” continued to be presented as fact for over 50 years by atheists seeking to support evolution-based religions.

From the late 1800s through the present day, scientific evidence against the idea of spontaneous generation has accumulated at a tremendous rate. While many hoped the Miller-Urey experiment of 1952 would spark belief in evolution, most objective observers noted that the mixture of chemicals created (including ~2% racemic amino acids) was not significantly closer to life than the original chemical reactants themselves. Intense efforts in biological research have since shown that the simplest life form is still vastly more complex than anything humans have ever been able to create. Even given the world’s brightest Ph.D.s, incredibly sophisticated laboratories, and virtually unlimited funding, no one has ever come close to making life from non-life. Claiming that life could spontaneously arise from non-life is now known to be much less credible than claiming a space shuttle could randomly assemble and launch itself.

Advances in true science have shown belief in spontaneous generation to be absurd, and informed evolutionists are very uncomfortable defending that foundational aspect of their religion. When forced, evolutionists are reduced to making statements such as “we know life spontaneously arose from non-life, we’re just not sure exactly how.” Such statements are analogous to saying “we know that gravity pushes, we’re just not sure exactly how.” Everything we know from true, operational science tells us that gravitypulls. While a person may choose to believe that gravity pushes, true science is against him. Likewise, everything we know from true, operational science tells us that life comes only from pre-existing life, and that spontaneous generation (life arising from non-life) does not occur. While a person may choose to believe in spontaneous generation for religious reasons, true science is against him. Belief that life on Earth is the result of spontaneous generation is an affront, not only to the Bible, but to everything God has enabled us to learn from true, operational science.

Vestigial Organs and Structures

True science has proven to be the Christian’s friend in the area of vestigial organs and structures as well. A typical definition of a “vestigial structure” is a “structure that is remnant of an organism’s evolutionary past and has no function; from the Latin vestigium, meaning footprint” (Johnson, 1998, p. 868). Throughout the 20th century, the idea of vestigial organs and structures was used to promote belief in evolution. The idea was that humans carry around numerous “useless body parts” (Selim, 2004) that developed in our evolutionary ancestors, but are no longer useful or needed. Proponents initially claimed there were 186 such organs and structures, and that these “mere vestiges” were “inexplicable by the doctrine of special creation” (Wiedersheim, 1895 p. 3). In talking about vestigial structures, Charles Darwin stated: “[F]ar from presenting a strange difficulty, as they assuredly do on the old doctrine of creation, [vestigial organs—MH] might even have been anticipated in accordance with the views [of evolution—MH] here explained” (1859, p. 350).

Much to the chagrin of evolutionists, as science advanced, vestigial structures were removed from Weidersheim’s list one-by-one. Today, functions have been found for all of the proposed 186 “vestigial” structures. Rather than providing support for evolution, the vestigial structures argument was merely an example of scientific ignorance (and atheistic arrogance) being used to promote a false religion.

Perhaps the most well-known “vestigial” structure was the vermiform appendix. Until late in the 20th century, there were no clearly identified functions for the appendix. In addition, it was established long ago that rupturing the appendix can result in a life-threatening infection. The combination of ignorance regarding function and the severity of acute appendicitis led many to regard the appendix as worse than useless. Evolutionists seized on that opinion to declare the appendix a vestigial organ, evidence (in their eyes) that their theory was true. Recent advances in biology, however, have identified numerous functions for the vermiform appendix, especially in early childhood. For example, researchers quoted in New Scientist note the following:
Although it used to be believed that the appendix had no function and was an evolutionary relic, this is no longer thought to be true. Its greatest importance is the immunological function it provides in the developing embryo, but it continues to function even in the adult.... The function of the appendix appears to be to expose circulating immune cells to antigens from the bacteria and other organisms living in your gut. That helps your immune system to tell friend from foe and stops it from launching damaging attacks on bacteria that happily co-exist with you. By the time you are an adult, it seems your immune system has already learned to cope with the foreign substances in the gastrointestinal tract, so your appendix is no longer important. But defects in the appendix and other immune sampling areas may be involved in autoimmune diseases and intestine inflammation (“The Last Word,” 2003, 177[2381]:65).
The same article notes that during fetal development, endocrine (hormone-producing) cells appear in the appendix. These cells produce peptide hormones that control various biological mechanisms (p. 65).

Other structures previously considered “vestigial” include the plica semilunaris, human hair, tonsils, the coccyx, the thymus gland, the pineal gland, and others. Important functions have been identified for each of these structures as well. Although now abandoned by many evolutionists, the argument that vestigial structures provide evidence for evolution is still mentioned in many textbooks and the popular media (e.g., Selim, 2004). An analogous argument flared up in the late 1990s, when evolutionists claimed that significant portions of human DNA are “junk” left over from our evolutionary past (Kuska, 1998). As our knowledge of DNA increased, that argument quickly faded. Although we still have much to unravel about how DNA works, we now know that sections of DNA called “junk” just a few years ago have many important functions (see Brooks, 2010, 30[10]:73-76).

Ironically, even if they had been real, vestigial structures would have been consistent with the Creation account. There have been over 6,000 years of natural selection and genetic degradation since Adam sinned. It is expected that many of our organs may not function as well as they did at the original perfect Creation. It is also possible that some functions may have been lost completely. [NOTE: An excellent summary of the “Vestigial Structures” argument is given in Bergman and Howe, 1990]. As in all other areas, true science related to “vestigial structures” supports the biblical account and refutes evolutionary theory.

Diversity of Life on Earth

In the 1800s, humans had no knowledge of how physical characteristics were passed from one generation to the next, or of how changes in characteristics could occur from one generation to the next. One popular theory was promoted by Jean Lamarck, who proposed a theory of biological evolution over long ages by means of the inheritance of acquired characteristics (Lamarck, 1809). Lamarck gives several examples in his book, including the “fact” that giraffes became tall by continually stretching to reach leaves and then passing any increase in height to the next generation (p. 122). Charles Darwin supported a variety of potential options, including natural selection, pangenesis (similar to Lamarck’s beliefs), and sexual selection.

The 20th century marked the discovery of DNA and the associated cellular machinery that makes DNA an incredibly sophisticated and efficient information storage system. We now know that the DNA of Adam and Eve was easily capable of containing all of the information needed to code for every diverse, physical characteristic that we see in humans today. Since Adam sinned, DNA has been affected by mutations and natural selection, but still contains a vast amount of diverse information. The diversity of life on Earth is well-explained by the effects of natural selection and mutations acting on the wealth of information present in the original created “kinds” (Genesis 1:25).

In the study of life’s diversity, true science has once again proven to be the friend of the Christian and the enemy of the evolutionist. The difficulty for evolutionists is not only that they must believe in spontaneous generation (which science has shown impossible), they must also find a mechanism through which unfathomable amounts of genetic information could be added to the organism that somehow created itself. Thousands of mutations (the mechanism evolutionists propose for adding genetic information) have been studied, yet scientists have not found even a single one that added information to the genome (e.g., Lowe and Scherer, 1997). While evolutionists often like to focus discussions on mutations, natural selection, and variation within a kind (points on which evolutionists and biblical creationists agree), those processes cannot explain the creation of new genetic information and do nothing to help resolve this additional fundamental flaw in the theory of evolution.

To fend off critical analysis of this issue, evolutionists typically use a “bait and switch” technique in which they redefine evolution to mean any kind of change. They then go on to say that because we see changes in life, evolution is proven true. They have even created a term (“microevolution”) to describe the changes in life that we see today, with the desired inference that lots of “microevolution” (variation within a kind) could somehow lead to “macroevolution” (creation of completely new kinds).

The deceptiveness of this tactic is that microevolution is at best neutral, and most often actually results in a loss of genetic information. There have been no observed cases of microevolution increasing genetic information. From a “molecules to man” standpoint, microevolution thus either leads nowhere, or actually moves in the opposite direction from that required for “macroevolution.” Microevolution does not lead to creation of completely new kinds; in reality, it leads to extinction.

The microevolution deception is prevalent in most biology textbooks. For instance, Johnson (1998) gives several “examples” of evolution, including Peppered Moths (no new genetic information), Darwin’s finches (no new genetic information), and bacteria “evolving” resistance to antibiotics (no new genetic information or a loss of genetic information). None of the examples given in Johnson (or any other biology textbook) have anything to do with molecules-to-man evolution, and many of the examples actually show the opposite of evolution (i.e., a loss of genetic information).

For evolutionists, the search for even a single example of information being added to the genome has become much like their search for a significant, defensible “missing link.” The insinuation is that if an example of genetic information being added can be found, evolution will be proven true. However, that “logic” is like claiming a plane that can gain one foot of altitude for every 1,000 feet it loses is somehow proven flight worthy. Information theory also confirms the overwhelming loss of genetic information expected from random mutations, even with the mitigating effects of natural selection (Gitt, 1997).

Current Topics

Evolutionist Richard Lewontin is famous for his attempts to equate atheism with science. For example, in 1997 he stated: “We take the side of science in spite of the patent absurdity of some of its constructs, in spite of its failure to fulfill many of its extravagant promises of health and life, in spite of the tolerance of the scientific community for unsubstantiated just-so stories...” (Lewontin, 1997, p. 31, italics in orig.). There is nothing patently absurd about true science. The idea that scientists must tolerate “unsubstantiated just-so-stories” is due solely to the unscientific mandate to protect the prevailing false religion of atheism’s theory of evolution. Society’s acceptance of that idea has likely done more to dissuade top students from pursuing degrees in certain scientific fields than any other single factor.

Fortunately, even secular scientists and members of the secular media are beginning to recognize the problem and are becoming less tolerant of the many “unsubstantiated just-so stories” put forth to promote evolution. For example, beginning May 16, 2009, a barrage of press releases proclaimed that world-renowned scientists were about to reveal a revolutionary scientific find that would “change everything.” The well orchestrated campaign was intended to create a level of anticipation that would keep people glued to the news as details emerged. In the end, the find (“Ida”) turned out to be nothing more than a well-preserved fossil (95% complete, including fossilized fur and more) about the size of a raccoon, including a long tail. The fossil did not resemble a human skeleton, but looked very similar to a 21st-century lemur. The two main differences (lack of a “grooming claw” and a “toothcomb”) were minor and easily explained by variation within a kind (see Lyons and Butt, 2009).

While any well-preserved fossil is of interest, the real breakthrough related to “Ida” was the reaction of a subset of the secular media to the extreme hype surrounding the find. For example, on May 19, 2009,Time/CNN ran an article titled “Ida: Humankind’s Earliest Ancestor! (Not Really).” The article noted that “[f]rom the beginning, Ida’s unveiling has been a master class in ballyhoo.” The article further stated:
The press releases were followed by an international press conference at the American Museum of Natural History in New York City, the publication of a book, The Link: Uncovering Our Earliest Ancestor (Little, Brown), an ABC News exclusive and on May 25 a prime-time television special on the History Channel. Of the avalanche of media-related promotion, Jorn Hurum, a Norwegian paleontologist involved in Ida’s discovery, told the New York Times, “Any pop band is doing the same thing” (Lemonick, 2009).
In the case of “Ida,” a handful of media outlets appeared to draw the line on how far they would go to help evolutionists sensationalize evolutionary claims. The media was even willing to point out that “renowned scientists” associated with “Ida” saw nothing wrong with promoting themselves in ways similar to modern pop bands. While not yet the norm, the reaction of some in the secular media to “Ida” was a positive sign.

Another indication that some in the media (and many scientists) have become less tolerant of “unsubstantiated just-so stories” occurred just last month. On December 2, 2010, an astrobiology news conference was held at NASA Headquarters that received intense national and international media coverage before, during, and after the event. The conference focused on a strain of the Halomonadaceaebacteria called GFAJ-1 that lives in the high arsenic environment of Mono Lake, California. Extravagant claims were made during the conference, such as: “This is the equivalent of finding that Horta,” in reference to the silicon-based life form featured in an episode of the original “Star Trek” series (Sheridan, 2010).

While much of the secular media played along with the “alien life has been found” theme (and the underlying theme that evolution must be easier than we thought), a significant subset gave a more balanced report. Major news outlets began releasing quotes from scientists who were openly skeptical about the conclusions presented at the news conference. For example, Rosie Redfield (director of a microbiology research lab at the University of British Columbia) was quoted as saying, “I don’t know whether the authors are just bad scientists or whether they’re unscrupulously pushing NASA’s ‘There’s life in outer space!’ agenda” (Sheridan). Many of Redfield’s technical criticisms of the research are summarized in her statement: “There’s a difference between controls done to genuinely test your hypothesis and those done when you just want to show that your hypothesis is true. The authors have done some of the latter, but not the former” (Sheridan).

Other scientists expressed similar concerns. For example, John Roth (University of California at Davis) noted: “I suspect that NASA may be so desperate for a positive story that they didn’t look for any serious advice from DNA or even microbiology people” (Sheridan). When the individuals at the news conference refused to respond to criticism, Jonathan Eisen (evolutionary biologist at the University of California at Davis) noted: “If they say they will not address the responses except in journals, that is absurd. They carried out science by press release and press conference. Whether they were right or not in their claims, they are now hypocritical if they say that the only response should be in the scientific literature” (Zimmer, 2010).

Despite the excitement, it is also important to note that the GFAJ-1 discovery did absolutely nothing to change the impossible odds against spontaneous generation. The find merely accelerated the circular reasoning of evolutionists. In their minds, since they “know” that life must have somehow made itself, any evidence of distinctly different life forms must be interpreted to mean that life made itself twice! Centuries oftrue science have shown that the only reasonable explanation for life is that it was created, and that life in the natural world only comes from pre-existing life.

True Science and the Age of the Universe

Additional examples of true scientists being willing to challenge “unsubstantiated just-so stories” are found in areas related to estimating the age of the Universe and the Earth. Although the age of the Universe does not affect the viability of evolution (evolution does not work, regardless of the age of the Universe) the topic is very important for shaping society’s view of the Bible.

As an aside, what if there really were billions of years for life to evolve? Evolutionists have answered that question themselves. For example, in his book Communication with Extraterrestrial Intelligence, Carl Sagan noted that the chance of even a single simple protein forming (still very far from “life”) is roughly 1 in 1 followed by 130 zeroes, i.e., 1 in 10130 (Sagan, et al., 1973, p. 46). Sagan then states: “[I]t is clear that one could randomly assemble all the elementary particles in the universe a billion times a second for the age of the universe and never get this protein” (p. 46). Ironically, on the same page, Sagan further states: “There is no doubt about the fact of evolution, but there are still sizeable questions on the mechanics of the evolutionary process.” Sizeable questions, indeed! Showing a theory to be mathematically impossible, while simultaneously claiming it to be fact, is not scientific.

The famous British astronomer Sir Frederick Hoyle performed a similar calculation, showing that the chances of just the proteins in a simple amoeba spontaneously forming to be 1 in 1 followed by 40,000 zeroes, i.e., 1 in 1040,000. However, rather than attempting to claim evolution was still somehow “fact,” Hoyle developed an alternative theory, claiming that aliens were responsible for putting life on Earth, and for millions of years since, those aliens have been directing our evolutionary progress (Hoyle, et al., 1984). While popular in some circles, Hoyle’s theory still fails to answer fundamental questions, such as “where, then, did the aliens come from?”

If the age of the Universe does not affect the viability of evolution, should Christians simply twist Scripture to accommodate whatever age an evolutionist desires? The Bible provides answers. First Peter 3:14-15 states: “But even if you should suffer for the sake of righteousness, you are blessed. And do not fear their intimidation, and do not be troubled, but sanctify Christ as Lord in your hearts, always being ready to make a defense to everyone who asks you to give an account for the hope that is in you, yet with gentleness and reverence” (NASB, emp. added). So in the first place, Christians must not be intimidated by evolutionists, and should be prepared to provide a defense against evolution and any other false teaching.

Second, Christians must not distort Scripture in an attempt to find a position of compromise with evolutionists. Peter warned against mishandling the Scriptures, saying, “in which are some things hard to understand, which untaught and unstable people twist to their own destruction, as they do also the rest of the Scriptures” (2 Peter 3:16). This is an extremely important point, in that many sincere individuals who generally believe the Bible also feel strongly that Christians must continually “interpret” the Bible to keep it consistent with contemporary “science.” Some go so far as to believe that evolutionists are so convincing that we must provide our children with compromise positions or our children will lose their faith. Proverbs 14:12 applies: “There is a way that seems right to a man, but its end is the way of death.”

Third, the New Testament warns us that even members of the church will be led astray and begin promoting false teachings. Paul warned the elders of Ephesus, saying, “For I know this, that after my departure savage wolves will come in among you, not sparing the flock. Also from among yourselves men will rise up, speaking perverse things, to draw away the disciples after themselves” (Acts 20:29-30). Indeed, many professed Christians have written papers or entire books denying the Creation account, or attempting to distort the straightforward teaching of the Bible, to accommodate the theory of evolution. Some of these false teachers continue to draw significant followings, leading many astray (see, for example, the review of Clayton in Jackson and Thompson, 1992). Christians should guard themselves against this danger and be unwilling to twist Scripture regardless of the prominence of the speaker. “Test all things; hold fast what is good” (1 Thessalonians 5:21).

It is hard to imagine how God could have made it any clearer that He created the Universe in six literal days a few thousand years ago, and that the Flood described in Genesis 6-9 covered the entire Earth. Given the weakness of current atheistic theories, it is also hard to imagine why some professed Christians feel compelled to distort Scripture in an attempt to accommodate a 13.7 billion year old Universe and some type of non-global flood. If “science” proves we have no free will, should the Bible be “interpreted” to say that criminals are not responsible for their actions? “Science” has already proven that resurrection from the dead is impossible—should we interpret the Bible accordingly? Where do the compromises stop?
As in all other areas, true science is the Christian’s friend when discussing the age of the Universe. For example, advances in true science enabled astronomical observations that cast doubt on the Big Bang theory. In response, supporters of the “Big Bang” created a series of fudge factors (e.g., Dark Energy, Dark Matter, Dark Flow, Dark Light, etc.) that can be used as needed to pretend that the “Big Bang” is somehow valid. To make the theory work, these fudge factors are now said to make up 96% of the Universe! (See Houts, 2007, p. 92).

This desperate attempt to salvage the “Big Bang” has not gone unnoticed by other secular scientists, who have gone so far as to sign a petition suggesting that objective discussion of the “Big Bang” and the development of alternative theories be allowed. Their full petition is available at “cosmologystatement.org,” but two particularly telling paragraphs read as follows:
1. The big bang today relies on a growing number of hypothetical entities, things that we have never observed—inflation, dark matter and dark energy are the most prominent examples. Without them, there would be a fatal contradiction between the observations made by astronomers and the predictions of the big bang theory. In no other field of physics would this continual recourse to new hypothetical objects be accepted as a way of bridging the gap between theory and observation. It would, at the least, raise serious questions about the validity of the underlying theory (emp. added);
2. What is more, the big bang theory can boast of no quantitative predictions that have subsequently been validated by observation. The successes claimed by the theory’s supporters consist of its ability to retrospectively fit observations with a steadily increasing array of adjustable parameters, just as the old Earth-centered cosmology of Ptolemy needed layer upon layer of epicycles.
The petition signers go on to note that “the big bang is not the only framework available for understanding the history of the universe.” While they may have other atheistic theories in mind, there are also biblically consistent frameworks for interpreting the evidence we see in light of a Creation that is a few thousand years old.

Another important observation is that rigid adherence to atheistic principles often squelches potentially significant research. For example, consider the August, 2009 paper published in the Proceedings of the National Academies of Science and quoted in the popular press, including USA Today (Vergano, 2009):
Mathematicians have come up with an answer Monday for the mystery of  ‘dark energy’ tearing the universe apart at an accelerating rate. It ain’t there. Blake Temple and Joel Smoller suggest that “expanding waves” from the Big Bang “are propelling the trillions of galaxies filling the universe apart.... Dark energy is an illusion if their equations are right.” However, “the only problem is that for the equations to work, we must be ‘literally at the center of the universe...’” says physicist Lawrence Krauss of Arizona State University in Tempe. I think this is plausible mathematics, but it doesn’t seem physically relevant.
Science News publicized an analogous article from Physical Review Letters in 2008, stating:
If Earth and its environs are centered in a vast, billion-light-year-long bubble, relatively free of matter, in turn surrounded by a massive, dense shell of material, then gravity’s tug would cause galaxies inside the void to hurtle toward the spherical concentration of mass, say theorists Robert Caldwell of Dartmouth College and Albert Stebbins of the Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory in Batavia, Ill. That process would mimic the action of dark energy—a local observer would be tricked into thinking that the universe’s expansion is accelerating (Cowen).
The article further notes: “But that scenario violates the Copernican principle, a notion near and dear to the hearts of physicists and cosmologists, including Caldwell and Stebbins” (Cowen).

Both models eliminate the need for “Dark Energy,” the fudge factor that accounts for 73% of the Universe according to the traditional Big Bang theory. However, neither model has been seriously pursued because both violate the arbitrary assumption that the Earth cannot be in a special location (e.g., “Copernican principle”). Many cosmologists feel (rightly) that a special location would imply the existence of God.

But what if the Earth is in a special location? The secular models described in the Proceedings of the National Academies of Science and Physical Review Letters actually correspond quite well with the biblically consistent models proposed by Russ Humphreys and others, especially when the potential effects of gravitational time dilation are taken into account (Humphreys, 1994). These models explain how stars that are billions of light years distant can be seen from an Earth that is 6,000 years old, all based on a straightforward reading of the Bible.

Related to the age of the Earth, considerable evidence exists that radioactive decay rates were different in the past (DeYoung, 2005). Recent true science also suggests that radioactive decay rates (typically assumed to be constant) can change due to causes that are not yet fully understood. For example, in August of 2010, a team of scientists from Purdue and Stanford universities announced that the decay of radioactive isotopes fluctuates in sync with the rotation of the Sun’s core. The team has published a series of articles in Astroparticle PhysicsNuclear Instruments and Methods in Physics Research, and Space Science Reviews. Although the measured change in decay rate is small (~0.1%), the fact that change occurs at all is extremely significant. Team member Jere Jenkins noted: “[W]hat we’re suggesting is that something that can’t interact with anything is changing something that can’t be changed” (Gardner, 2010).

Scientists have also discovered that changes in radioactive decay rates can be induced. For example, the June 8, 2009 CERN Courier noted:
It is a common belief that radioactive decay rates are unchanged by external conditions, despite many examples of small shifts (particularly involving external pressure and K-capture decays) being well documented and understood. However, Fabio Cardone of the Institute per lo Studio dei Materiali Nanostrutturati in Rome and colleagues have shown a dramatic increase–by a factor of 10,000–in the decay rate of thorium-228 in water as a result of ultrasonic cavitation. Exactly what the physics is and whether or not this sort of effect can be scaled up into a technology for nuclear waste treatment remain open issues (Reucroft and Swain, 2009).
Most available dating methods indicate a young (i.e., few-thousand-year-old) Earth (cf. Humphreys, 2005). The modern foundation for claiming an old (i.e., 4.54-billion-year) Earth is radiometric dating and the assumption that radioactive decay rates have always been constant. Biblically consistent models typically assume accelerated radioactive decay during Creation week and/or the Flood. The fact that fluctuations in radioactive decay rates are observed even today indicates that God designed nuclei such that changes in radioactive decay can occur, giving the potential for greatly accelerated radioactive decay under certain conditions. Technical concerns with biblically consistent models are also being addressed by modern science. For example, a change in decay rate would also change the amount of energy released per decay, potentially resolving the concern that the Earth could overheat during a time of greatly accelerated radioactive decay.

To be clear, the “Big Bang” and the assumption of constant radioactive decay rates still dominate the thinking of cosmologists and other secular scientists. However, ongoing advances in true science are making it easier and easier for Christians to challenge those assumptions, even from a purely technical standpoint.


Bible-believing Christians are often portrayed as scientifically ignorant or anti-science. This portrayal is perpetuated, not only by the secular world, but by individuals who profess a belief in God but are willing to reject a straightforward reading of the Bible in order to accommodate contemporary human wisdom. Christians can inadvertently reinforce this “anti-science” stereotype if they do not distinguish between the statements of scientists and the statements of atheists who happen to have scientific credentials.
“Sanctify them by Your truth. Your word is truth” (John 17:17). Throughout the ages true science has repeatedly confirmed Christ’s words. True science is the Christian’s friend, and the enemy of the evolutionist.


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Brooks, Will (2010), “Footprints of NONSentient Design Inside the Human Genome,” Reason & Revelation, 30[10]:73-76, October, http://www.apologeticspress.org/articles/240441.

Cowen, Ron (2008), “A Special Place,” Science News, 7[173]:18, June.

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DeYoung, Don (2005), Thousands...Not Billions (Green Forest, AZ: Master Books).

Gardner, Elizabeth (2010), “Purdue-Stanford Team Finds Radioactive Decay Rates Vary With the Sun’s Rotation,” Purdue University News Service, http://www.purdue.edu/newsroom/research/2010/100830FischbachJenkinsDec.html.

Gillen, Alan (2008), “Louis Pasteur’s Views on Creation, Evolution, and the Genesis of Germs,” Answers Research Journal, 1:43-52.

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The Biblical View of Women by Kyle Butt, M.A.


The Biblical View of Women

It has become increasingly popular in our secular culture to caustically criticize God, the Bible, and the Christian religion. Many best-selling books by high-profile atheistic writers are filled with accusations against God and alleged reasons why Christianity cannot be the true religion devised by a moral God. One reason commonly given by the skeptical community for its rejection of the Bible and Christianity is the way that women are purportedly viewed in the Scriptures. According to these secular apologists, the Bible writers viewed women as inferior creatures who are less valuable than men and do not deserve to be treated with respect and dignity.
Evangelist-turned-skeptic, Charles Templeton, summarized this view well when he wrote, “The Bible is a book by and for men. The women in it are secondary creatures and usually inferior” (1996, p. 177). In addition, the God of the Bible and various Bible writers are accused of hating women. In his book, The God Delusion, Richard Dawkins stated that the God of the Bible is “misogynistic” (2006, p. 31). Dan Barker made a similar assertion when he wrote: “Although the bible is neither antiabortion nor pro-family, it does provide modern antiabortionists with a biblical basis for the real motivation behind their views: the bible is not pro-life, but it is anti-woman. A patriarchal system cannot stand women who are free” (1992, p. 212, italics in orig.). Famed skeptic Christopher Hitchens wrote:
A consistent proof that religion is man-made and anthropomorphic can also be found in the fact that it is usually “man” made, in the sense of masculine, as well…. The Old Testament, as Christians condescendingly call it, has woman cloned from man for his use and comfort. The New Testament has Saint Paul expressing both fear and contempt for the female (2007, p. 54).
Is it true that the biblical treatment of women presents an immoral code of ethics and falsifies the idea that the Bible was inspired by a perfectly moral Creator? Certainly not. In fact, just the opposite is the case. The Bible’s treatment of women is in perfect accord with truth and legitimate moral teaching. The accusations leveled against the Bible in this regard are vacuous and cannot be used in any legitimate way to militate against either the morality of God or the inspiration of the Bible. On the contrary, it is the teachings and logical implications of atheistic evolution that cannot hold up under the scrutiny of reason.


Atheistic Darwinism is plagued by a host of problems regarding morality. In fact, it has been conclusively demonstrated that without a belief in God, concepts such as good and evil, moral and immoral, have no meaning (see Butt, 2008). Only a supernatural, moral Creator can explain the very existence of morality in man. Therefore, any attempt to question the morality of the God of the Bible based on atheistic ideas is fraught with error and self-contradiction from its inception.
Furthermore, the logical implications of Darwinism lead the honest thinker to the conclusion that equality for all humans is illusory. Not only did Charles Darwin admit that Darwinian evolution implies that certain races of people are inferior to others, with equal candor he concluded that women are inferior to men as well (see Lyons and Butt, 2009). In his monumental work, The Descent of Man, Darwin wrote:
The chief distinction in the intellectual powers of the two sexes is shown by man’s attaining to a higher eminence, in whatever he takes up, than can woman—whether requiring deep thought, reason, or imagination, or merely the use of the senses and hands.... [T]he average of mental power in man must be above that of woman.... [M]an has ultimately become superior to woman (1871, pp. 873-874, emp. added).
According to Darwin, males had evolved to a higher level than females. As evidence of his conclusion, he simply stated that males “attain to a higher eminence” in everything that they take up when compared to females. Using this line of reasoning, it would be impossible to condemn men for treating women as inferior, because, if men have the mental or physical ability to treat women as inferior, it must mean that men are stronger or more fit to survive and rule. It is ironic that the atheistic community, which is so enamored with Darwin, is suggesting that the Bible’s view of women is immoral. In reality, if their view of atheistic evolution is true, then all male-dominated societies are such because males are more able to dominate. And since survival of the fittest is desired, one must conclude that a male dominated society, in which women are viewed as inferior to men (as Darwin put it), must be at least one very prevalent natural order of things.  Even if the skeptical community is right concerning its accusations about the Bible’s “mistreatment” of women (which it is not), how could the Bible be accused of maintaining an immoral stance, when that stance coincides perfectly with the Darwinian view of the “natural order of things?” In truth, those who propound atheism and Darwinian ideals have a much more thorny problem with the logical implications of their ideas as they relate to women, than those who teach that the Bible is the inspired Word of a perfectly moral God.


When they use the treatment of women in their attack on the integrity of the Bible, most skeptics make blanket statements about the Bible’s position, without presenting anything resembling a balanced handling of the topic. For instance, Templeton wrote: “Women were associated with evil and weakness. Indeed, Israelite males sometimes thanked God in the synagogue that they had not been born women” (1996, p. 184).
Such generalized statements are designed to appeal to the emotions of a 21st-century audience, but they simply do not accurately represent the true sentiments behind the biblical texts. For instance, using the type of reasoning in which we cherry-pick verses without adequate explanation, we could say that men are treated unfairly in the Bible because husbands are told that they must be willing to give their lives for their wives, while the wives are never commanded to make such a sacrifice (Ephesians 5:25). In addition, we could accuse the Bible of mistreating males, because, throughout its pages, men are told they must work to provide food for their entire households, while women are not held to such a standard (Genesis 3:17-19; 1 Timothy 5:8). Such indiscriminate statements should be viewed by the honest observer as suspect, and a more complete and accurate picture of the biblical view of women should be sought.
Upon closer inspection, it becomes clear that both the Old and New Testaments present a picture of woman that appraises her worth as equal to that of the man. While it is the case that the Bible presentsdifferent roles for men and women, it is not the case that men are valued more than women. A look at various biblical passages confirms this truth.

Wisdom as the Portrait of a Woman

The book of Proverbs, written primarily by King Solomon, is a literary genre known as Wisdom literature. The main theme of the book is the concept of wisdom. The writer stated: “Wisdom is the principal thing; therefore get wisdom” (4:7). To further stress the importance and value of wisdom, he penned: “For wisdom is better than rubies, and all the things one may desire cannot be compared with her” (8:11). Building on the idea of the immeasurable value of wisdom, the writer of the book of Job stated: “But where can wisdom be found? It cannot be purchased for gold, nor can silver be weighed for its price. It cannot be valued in the gold of Ophir, in precious onyx or sapphire…for the price of wisdom is above rubies…. Nor can it be valued in pure gold” (28:12-19). It is clear that the Bible writers viewed wisdom as a personality trait of inestimable value.
What picture, then, was used to personify this trait of such value? Throughout the book of Proverbs, the idea of wisdom is personified by a woman. The text reads: “Wisdom has built her house” (9:1); “Does not wisdom cry out, and understanding lift up her voice? She takes her stand on the top of the high hill” (8:1-2). The most illustrative picture of the virtue of wisdom that the Proverbs writer could conjure was that of a woman (Willis, 1993, p. 37). How then can the Bible writers be so misrepresented as to suggest that they did not value women, when wisdom, which is “the principle thing” according to Proverbs, is portrayed as a woman? Additionally, the Proverbs writer stated, “A gracious woman retains honor” (11:16). The inspired writer also included a lengthy section (31:10-31) in which he extolled the worth of a virtuous woman who is clothed in “strength and honor,” who “opens her mouth with wisdom, and on her tongue is the law of kindness. She watches over the ways of her household.” Needless to say, you do not hear these passages about wisdom personified as a woman and the value of virtuous women in the jaded rants of the modern skeptic.

God’s Attitude Toward His People as Illustrated with Traits of a Woman

While it is true that God does not have a specific gender as humans do (see Thompson, 2000), it is the case that God sometimes illustrates some of His personality traits by comparing them to personality traits possessed by certain categories of people. For instance, it is a well-known fact that the God of the Bible often compares the love that He has for His created humans with the love that a father has for his biological children (1 John 3:1-2). If the God of the Bible were truly sexist, it would be obvious that comparisons between God and any human being would be confined to the masculine gender. A truly sexist god would never compare Himself to a woman.
Yet the Bible records instances in whichthe God of Heaven compares traits that He possesses to similar traits found in women. For instance, John Willis noted: “A most compelling piece of evidence that OT writers had a high regard for women is that they describe God as a mother” (1993, pp. 37-39). Willis then mentioned at least three passages as examples, including Isaiah 66:12—“For thus says the Lord…. As one whom his mother comforts, so I will comfort you; and you shall be comforted in Jerusalem.”
Furthermore, if it truly were the case that the apostle Paul was a misogynist, was afraid of women, and had contempt for them, it would be unreasonable to imagine him comparing himself to a woman. Yet in 1 Thessalonians 2:7 he wrote: “But we were gentle among you, just as a nursing mother cherishes her own children. So affectionately longing for you.” Surely a misogynistic man who is “afraid” of women would never describe himself in such feminine terms. Such examples as these bring to light the fallacious idea that the Bible writers hated women or viewed them as inferior to men.

Women Made in the Image of God

Many skeptics insinuate that the creation of Eve from Adam’s rib to be a helper for man manifests a view that woman is less valuable or inferior to man. Recall the claim of Hitchens when he wrote: “The Old Testament, as Christians condescendingly call it, has woman cloned from man for his use and comfort” (2007, p. 54). Supposedly, the fact that Eve was Adam’s helper somehow “proves” inferiority.
The problem with this line of reasoning is at least two-fold. First, it completely ignores the stress that the Bible places on women being made in God’s image exactly like man. Genesis 1:27 states: “So God created man in His own image; in the image of God He created him, male and female he created them.” Contrary to many religious groups and male chauvinist thinkers, from the very first chapter, the Bible insists that both male and female were made in God’s image, and both deserve to be treated with the dignity that is inherent in that composition.
So what of the word “helper”? Is it true that a “helper” implies that the person he or she is helping is viewed as superior or of greater worth? Such an incorrect position is impossible to maintain in light of the clear biblical teaching regarding those who help others. For example, in John 15:26, Jesus explains that the Holy Spirit was going to visit the apostles after His resurrection. He stated: “But when the Helper comes, whom I will send to you from the Father, the Spirit of truth who proceeds from the Father, He will testify of Me.” Using the skeptic’s reasoning, we would be forced to conclude that the Holy Spirit is inferior to the apostles, since He is referred to as “the Helper.” Such a conclusion is obviously absurd. [NOTE: It is understood that the skeptic will not concur that there even is a Holy Spirit. This example, however, is used only to show that the Bible consistently maintains a picture of “helpers” and “helping” that in no way insinuates inferiority or less value.]
In Philippians 4:3, Paul urged the receiver of his epistle to “help these women who labored with me in the gospel.” Did that mean Paul viewed the one who received his letter as inferior to those women with whom he had labored? Not in any way. Furthermore, Jesus Christ Himself stated that He came into this world not “to be served, but to serve” (Mark 10:45). Would that imply that since He was “serving” or “helping” mankind, He was inferior in some way to humans? Certainly not. The concept of “helping” or “serving” carries with it no inherent meaning of inferiority.

Many Examples of Worthy Women in the Bible

In an attempt to bolster their misrepresentation of the biblical view of women, skeptics often “count noses” and insist that far too much biblical “press” is given to narratives whose central figures are men, while not enough time is given to women. In addition, many in the skeptical community insist that if God truly viewed women as equal, they would have been granted equal positions of leadership in both Old Testament times and in the ministry of Jesus. Dan Barker stated: “Jesus upheld the Old Testament view of women. Not a single woman was chosen to be among the 12 disciples or to sit at the Last Supper” (2008, p. 179).
Such statements are plagued with dishonest selectivity. When the entire biblical picture is viewed objectively, it is easily seen that women in both the Old and New Testaments played vital, powerful roles in God’s plans for the national rule of Israel, and for the spiritual Kingdom established by Jesus Christ. And, while space is lacking in this article to adequately list and describe each of these women, a few of the most notable will be addressed.
The fact that women attained prominent, powerful positions in Israel militates strongly against the skeptic’s accusation that the biblical view of women is sexist. For instance, the book of Judges relates the story of Deborah, a prophetess and the recognized judge and ruler of the Israelite nation during her lifetime (Judges 4:4). A close look at the narrative shows that Deborah was the woman who commissioned Barak, a man, to lead the Israelites in battle against the foreign forces. When the time came for action to be taken, it was Deborah who said to Barak: “Up! For this is the day in which the Lord has delivered Sisera into your hand. Has not the Lord gone out before you?” (Judges 4:14). After the battle was won, and Sisera, the opposing general, was killed by a woman named Jael, Deborah and Barak composed and sang a victory hymn. Throughout the hymn, Deborah is mentioned as the leader of Israel who, with Barak’s help, defeated Sisera and Jabin. The text says: “Village life ceased, it ceased in Israel, until I, Deborah, arose, arose a mother in Israel” (Judges 5:7). “And the princes of Issachar were with Deborah” (5:15).
Using the skeptic’s logic, should we conclude that the Bible views all men as inferior to women since Deborah was a female leader of Israel at the time? Should we conclude that since Deborah’s story is recorded in a book that claims inspiration, such a claim is negated because, based on the Deborah narrative, whoever wrote the Bible hates men, shows contempt for them, and treats them as less valuable than women? Such reasoning is obviously flawed.
Once it is shown that the story of Deborah exalts women to an equal position with men, however, the skeptic is forced to back peddle and attempt another tactic. While it cannot be denied that the story of Deborah manifests an exalted view of women, the skeptic contends that such stories are few and far between. If God and the Bible really viewed women as equal in worth to men, then the Bible would have just as many stories about women rulers and leaders as it has about men.
This faulty assertion can be answered in two ways. First, how many examples would the Bible need to provide of the Gospel being preached to Ethiopians to prove that the Bible writers considered them just as valuable as Jews, and just as viable candidates to hear the Gospel? Would anyone contend that in order for the God of the Bible to be vindicated of bigotry against Ethiopians, the text must contain just as many conversion stories about Ethiopians as it does about Jews? Certainly not. When the book of Acts records that Phillip the evangelist delivered the Gospel to Candace’s Ethiopian treasurer (8:26-40), that one example is sufficient to provide evidence that all Ethiopians are just as valuable to God as all Jews, Arabians, or Egyptians.
Furthermore, let us apply the skeptic’s reasoning to a brief history of the United States of America. Were we to attempt to relate the history of our country, spending our time dealing with the Presidency, how many stories about women would we be able to include who have ascended to the presidency? To date, our nation has inaugurated 44 presidents, and not a single one of them has been a woman. Using the skeptic’s accusations as a springboard, should we insist that the ancient nation of Israel had a more “enlightened” and elevated view of women than does the United States in the 21st century? Moreover, would we despise and accuse of sexism those history writers who spent the majority of their texts focusing on the men who held the office of President? Such thinking flies in the face of common sense and could only be concocted by those who refuse to deal honestly with actual history and the biblical text.
Huldah, the Prophetess
Second Kings 22 records the life and reign of Josiah, the righteous king of Judah. In the course of his attempts to eradicate idolatry from Judah, he made a focused effort to repair the temple of God that had fallen into a state of disrepair. He commissioned Hilkiah, the high priest, to collect money to be used to clean out and repair the temple. During Hilkiah’s labors to revamp the temple, he stumbled across a copy of the book of the Law of Moses. Having read it, he sent it to Josiah, who listened to the words of the Law and was heartsick because the nation of Israel had wandered so far from God’s commands. Josiah commanded Hilkiah and several of the other religious leaders to “go, inquire of the Lord for me, for the people and for all Judah, concerning the words of this book that has been found” (2 Kings 22:13). The text then states: “So Hilkiah the priest, Ahikam, Achbor, Shaphan, and Asaiah went to Huldah the prophetess, the wife of Shallum the son of Tikvah, the son of Harhas, keeper of the wardrobe. (She dwelt in Jerusalem in the Second Quarter.) And they spoke with her” (22:14). After speaking with her, Huldah delivered a message from God to Josiah through these officials.
Not only did these leaders in Israel seek out a woman prophetess, though she was married, there is no indication that the advice or counsel of her husband was sought. The envoy journeyed to a woman’s house to hear a message that the Lord related to a woman. Also notice that Josiah was recognized as one of the greatest rulers that Judah ever had, yet this  passage shows that he sought the counsel of a woman of God. Here again, the narrative about Huldah undermines the skeptics’ assertion that the Bible views women as inferior.
Various Women in the Bible
Much could be said concerning women of prominence in the Bible, such as Esther, about whom an entire book is written. She ascended to the queenly throne of Persia and heroically saved her people. A lengthy section relating the selfless sacrifice of Ruth for her mother-in-law (Naomi) would further undercut the skeptics’ argument, especially in light of the fact that Ruth is listed in the genealogy of Christ as the great grandmother of David. Moreover, the faith of Hannah and her prayer for, and subsequent birth of, Samuel, one of the greatest prophets to ever live in Israel, would go far to put to silence the skeptics’ assertion that women are viewed as inferior by the Bible writers. Attention could be directed to Lydia, the seller of purple whom Paul and his companions found praying by the riverside, or Priscilla, who helped her husband Aquila teach the eloquent Apollos the Gospel of Christ  (Acts 18:26). Additional information refuting the skeptics’ claim could include the faith of Jochebed, or the leadership skills and prophesying of Miriam, or the courage of Rahab, or the faithfulness of Jesus’ mother Mary, or the good deeds of Dorcas. One wonders how many examples of women in exalted positions the skeptical community would need in order to be satisfied that the biblical treatment of women is not sexist. Unfortunately, no matter how many examples are given, the skeptical answer about this and so many other things is, “Just a few more than we have.” In reality, the biblical examples of how the God of the Bible views women are more than sufficient to refute the tenuous complaints of the naysayers.

Numbering, Genealogies, and Traveling Groups

Certain practical matters must be properly considered in order to achieve an accurate picture of the biblical view of women. Some people who read the biblical text are struck by the fact that some of the genealogies only include the names of the men in the family. As Templeton wrote: “In the long list of Adam’s descendants over the hundreds of years that intervened before the Great Flood, not one female is so much as named” (1996, p. 178, italics in orig.). Furthermore, it is often the case that, when counting or listing the numbers of people involved, the Bible generally only counts the males. These instances have been viewed as sexist and discriminatory against women.
Upon further inspection, it becomes apparent that such accusations fail to take into account certain practical aspects and the cultural context. For example, Templeton mentioned the genealogy in Genesis five as an example of a “sexist” view, but he failed to mention the genealogy of Jesus Christ that is listed in Matthew 1:1-17 in which the women Tamar, Rahab, Ruth, and Mary are mentioned. Additionally, the text states: “And Jacob begot Joseph the husband of Mary, of whom was born Jesus who is called Christ” (1:16, emp. added). The prepositional phrase “of whom” relates back to Mary, thus indicating that Jesus was the biological son of Mary. Would it be proper to use this genealogy to insist that God has a lower view of men, since the text specifically mentions that the Christ descended biologically from a woman? No. And neither can the “male genealogy” idea be used to sustain the false accusation that the Bible views women as inferior. Add to that the fact that even today in 21st century America, the majority of wives assume their husbands’ last names and daughters assume their fathers’ last names, and are thus recorded in modern genealogical records [such as Annaka Harris, the wife of Sam Harris, or Juliet Emma Dawkins, daughter of Richard Dawkins (Periera, n.d.)], and the skeptics’ charge becomes manifestly erroneous.
In a similar vein, biblical numbers often only included the men. For instance, Numbers 1:2 states: “Take a census of all the congregation of the children of Israel, by their families, by their fathers’ houses, according to the number of names, every male individually” (emp. added). Is this numbering an example of biblical sexism, or evidence that the Bible writers thought women of so little value they did not need to number them? Not in any way. The simple, practical aspect of this numbering system had only to do with able-bodied men who went out to war. As the text explains: “according to the number of names, every male individually, from twenty years old and above, all who were able to go to war”(1:20, emp. added). In the same way that we could not use such numbering systems to insist that the God of the Bible, or the Bible writers, devalued children under 20, or old men past the age of battle strength, we could not use this method of numbering to disparage the biblical writers’ view of women. And, while the skeptic might attempt to argue that it was sexist for women to be excluded from military service in Bible times, a simple response could be that it was unfair to men to force them to be numbered for military service, while women were exempt from such. Would it be fair to state that since men were “serving” their women by providing military protection, their “service” shows they were inferior? To ask is to answer.
Other practical matters, including such simple concepts as travel and sleeping arrangements, must be factored into this discussion. For example, Dan Barker was quoted earlier in this article as saying: “Jesus upheld the Old Testament view of women. Not a single woman was chosen to be among the 12 disciples or to sit at the Last Supper” (2008, p. 179). While this statement is true, the skeptic Charles Templeton offers an extremely plausible reason for this:
The New Testament frequently reveals Jesus’ concern for women…. There were no women in Jesus’ band of apostles, but there would have been compelling reasons for this. Jesus and the disciples travelled frequently, often daily, invariably on foot. Often they slept out in the open. In the circumstances it would have been impossible—and potentially scandalous—for a woman to be a part of that male group (1996, pp. 184-185, emp. added).
Even a cursory consideration of certain practical matters that relate to numbering, genealogies, and travel arrangements serves to defeat the skeptics’ claim that the Bible devalues women.

Was Jesus Rude to Women?

Those who are antagonistic to the Bible sometimes accuse Jesus of being rude to others, especially his own mother. Christopher Hitchens quipped: “Jesus makes large claims for his heavenly father but never mentions that his mother is or was a virgin, and is repeatedly very rude and coarse to her when she makes an appearance, as Jewish mothers will, to ask to see how he is getting on” (2007, p. 116, emp. added). Richard Dawkins commented in a similar vein: “Jesus’ family values, it has to be admitted, were not such as one might wish to focus on. He was short, to the point of brusqueness, with his own mother” (2006, p. 250, emp. added).
A more thorough analysis, however, reveals that what these writers are attempting to label as rudeness was nothing of the sort. In his article, “How Rude!?”, Eric Lyons effectively demonstrated that the way Jesus addressed His mother was neither rude, nor disrespectful (2004). Jesus’ statements in response to His mother are in perfect accord with the biblical injunction to honor one’s parents. Only a misunderstanding of the original languages and phrases used, and a cynical approach to the text, could lead a person to accuse Jesus of rudeness in these instances. His statements to His mother coincide completely with the fact that the Bible’s overall treatment of women presents them as neither inferior nor superior to men, but as equals.


The apostle Paul is often demonized as a woman-hater who feared the opposite sex and held them in contempt. The skeptical attitude toward Paul is summed up well in Templeton’s statement: “To judge by his epistles, the apostle Paul was a confirmed misogynist” (1996, p. 185). Such statements conveniently overlook one of the boldest statements of gender and race equality in all religious literature. In Galatians 3:28, Paul wrote: “There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus” (emp. added). About this verse, Jan Faver Hailey wrote: “Common exegesis understands Paul here to be advocating that access to God is open to all through faith in Christ, without regard to race, social standing, or gender” (1993, p. 132, emp. added). To insist that Paul was a misogynist in light of his statement in Galatians 3:28 runs counter to evidence-based reasoning.
So why do some aver that Paul hated women, even with Galatians 3:28 in view? The main reason for this assertion is that Paul consistently maintained that, while men and women are equal in God’s sight, they have been given different duties and roles. The skeptical community mistakenly equates the concept ofdifferent roles, with the idea of different status. As Templeton wrote: “In his first letter to the church at Corinth, Paul states unequivocally that men and women have a different status before God” (1996, p. 186, emp. added). Allegedly, since Paul instructs men to be elders (Titus 1:5-9), and to lead publically in worship (1 Corinthians 14:34-35; 1 Timothy 2:8-15), and husbands to be the “head” of their homes (Ephesians 5:22-24), then he must view women as less able, less valuable, or inferior to men. [NOTE: See Jackson, 2010 and Miller, 2005 for biblical expositions of these verses.]
Is it true that since the Bible assigns different roles to the different sexes, their status or worth must be unequal? Certainly not. In Titus 3:1, Paul explained to Titus that Christians were supposed to be subject to rulers and authorities and to obey the government (see also Romans 13). From that statement, is it correct to conclude that Paul views all those in governmental positions to be of more value than Christians? Does this passage imply that, because Christians are to obey other humans who are in governmental positions, Paul sees those in governmental positions as mentally, physically, or spiritually superior to Christians? Not in any way. The mere fact that Christians are to obey those in the government says nothing about the spiritual status or value of either party. It only addresses different roles that each party plays.
Again, in 1 Timothy 6:2, Paul instructs Christian servants to be obedient to their own masters. Does this imply that Paul believed masters to be superior, or to be of more inherent worth than servants? No. It simply shows a difference in roles, not of status. Logically speaking, different roles can never be used to support an accusation that such roles necessitate different value or status.
Furthermore, while the skeptic is quick to seize on Paul’s ordination of men as elders and leaders in their homes, those skeptics neglect to include the responsibilities involved in such roles. Husbands are called upon to give their lives for their wives (Ephesians 5:25), physically provide food, shelter, and clothing for their families (1 Timothy 5:8), and to love their wives as much as they love themselves (Ephesians 5:25). While much is said about the “unfairness” of Paul’s instructions, it is productive to ask who would get the last spot on a life boat if a Christian husband and wife were on a sinking ship? The Christian husband gives himself for his wife in such instances. Is that fair that he is called upon to accept the sacrificial role of giving himself for his wife? Is she more valuable than he because God calls upon him to protect and cherish her and die for her if necessary? No. It is simply a difference in assigned roles, not in status or worth.


The militant skeptical community incessantly attempts to discredit the Bible and the God Who is represented in its pages. One line of reasoning used in their efforts is to demand that the Bible presents a sexist picture of men and women, in which God and the Bible writers place more value on men, and view women as inferior and of less inherent worth. This accusation falls apart, however, when the entirety of the text is considered. Careful study reveals that Bible writers personified and illustrated such invaluable attributes as wisdom in the form of a woman. God himself compares traits that He possesses to similar traits found in women. Both the Old and New Testaments are filled with narratives lauding the actions of faithful, powerful women. The apostle Paul, who is often accused of misogyny, makes one of the boldest statements of gender equality ever recorded in religious literature. And the misguided attempt to discredit Paul by claiming that different gender roles in his epistles prove he valued women less cannot honestly or reasonably be sustained. In truth, the Bible presents the clearest picture of gender equity, value, and inherent worth ever recorded in either ancient or modern literature. The status of women in the Holy Scriptures, not only is not a challenge to its divine inspiration, but the biblical treatment of women actually provides another piece of evidence for the Bible’s perfection and inspiration.


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Barker, Dan (2008), godless (Berkeley, CA: Ulysses Press).
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Miller, Dave (2005), “Female Leadership in the Church,” http://www.apologeticspress.org/articles/2694 .
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Templeton, Charles (1996), Farewell to God (Ontario, Canada: McClelland and Stewart).
Thompson, Bert (2000), “Is God Male?” http://www.apologeticspress.org/articles/162.
Willis, John T (1993), “Women in the Old Testament,” Essays on Women in Earliest Christianity Volume 1, ed. Carroll Osburn (Joplin, MO: College Press).