From Jim McGuiggan... GOD'S KINGDOM AND MAN'S


The Kingdom of God & the Kingdom of Man
There is no reason to believe that the ethnic divisions of humanity are anything other than the gracious will of God working itself out in the genetic possibilities he gifted his creatures with.
Nor it is necessary to believe that the existence of governmental structures would have been offensive to God if they had been acting in loving submission and faithfulness as stewards of the sovereign Lord. It isn't authority in itself that God is offended by. (Perhaps this is usefully illustrated in the establishment of governing structures within Israel. People exercising authority over and for others as ministers of God is no sinful rebellion and, in any case, some sort of governing structure would be expected to exist even in a world completely obedient to God. Think of parental authority.)
But the (continuing) 'Fall' gave a complexion and character to those structures that would otherwise have been harmless, perhaps even completely beneficial. As it turned out, human sinfulness resulted in kingdoms and states that were alienated from God and corrupted by sin.
Be sure to see Colossians 1:15-16 along with 2:15. In 1:15-16 God through the one we know as Jesus created the powers and structures and yet in 2:15 God has to disarm/strip those very powers and structures. They became corrupt and corrupting. They needed to be given into the hands of the glorified Jesus and under his "new management" these powers are reconciled to God [see Colossians 1:19-20].
Daniel sees the kingdoms of the world as rising out of the chaotic sea a symbol for the nations in their power-struggles with one another. He describes them as 'beasts' that rise out of the sea and in this way speaks of their cruelty and irrationality. They are also said to arise 'out of the earth' which tells us they are not the 'kingdom of heaven'. So, their rise from the sea, their bestial character and their earthly origin set them all in contrast to the kingdom of God.
However, Daniel tells us that the winds of heaven are at work on the chaotic seas and this contributes to what arises from the sea [cf. Isaiah 17:12-13]. Numerous biblical texts speak of the invisible work of the Spirit of God under the figure of the wind from heaven [cf. Ezekiel 37:1-13]. In Genesis we have the Spirit of God moving on the face of the waters to fulfill the purposes of God (there is only one Hebrew word for wind and spirit).
So while it is true that nations make their own contributions to the rise of their kingdoms on earth, the sovereign Lord is at work using their will to fulfill his own purposes. The earthly kingdoms rise and remain or pass away as a result of the work of the God who governs the universe and uses the plans of men to further his own.
The reign of God, then, is not like the relationship between a chess player and the mindless, passive pawns on the board. Whatever model we use to describe the governance of God it must take into account both the elements we've mentioned—human choices meeting divine sovereignty.
Zedekiah of Judah called a summit of nations (Jeremiah 27:1-7) and it was at the summit that Jeremiah announced God's reign over the nations which would be seen through his 'servant,' Nebuchadnezzar. The psalms are filled with the claim that God's kingdom extends over all the kingdoms of the world. See Psalms 2, 47 and 67 as a few examples among many.
These kingdoms are used and commissioned by God to dispense 'creation goods' to the humanity he will not abandon. Creation goods would include things like societal peace, justice, food, shelter and clothing. Their function is to keep down anarchy and to be 'servants of God to do good' (Romans 13:1-7) by restraining societal wickedness.
These truths come to us from many scriptures. Paul would have Christians pray for kings and all who are in authority that peace might exist so that the gospel would have free movement and he calls on them to recognize the authorities as God's servant to do them good (1 Timothy 2:1-4).
Genesis tells us that 'the cries' that have gone up from the earth regarding Sodom were so bad that he had to come down to check them out (18:20-21). The Genesis text and Ezekiel's elaboration on it shows that God expected Sodom to administer justice and care for the needy. When they didn't do it, he brought them under judgment.
The early chapters of Exodus show that Israel's 'cries' go up to God on account of Egyptian oppression of these aliens. The word 'cry' is seen as a technical expression meaning a legal appeal (note the work of David Daube in his The Exodus Pattern in the Bible). In structuring the covenantal law, God calls on Israel to be righteous and to treat people with a glad-hearted justice remembering how they had been treated in Egypt. If they oppressed the needy and vulnerable, God said he would hear their 'cry' and would hold Israel accountable.
Nebuchadnezzar had a dream that tormented him and when he asked Daniel to interpret it, Daniel told him it was a warning that he must turn from his wickedness by doing what is right and 'being kind to the oppressed'. It's clear that Nebuchadnezzar forgot that it was God who gave him his kingdom and that he was to be God's servant and faithful steward of the creation goods put under his power.
So we see that these 'alien governments' are not only under God's control, they are subject to God's moral law. God holds them responsible for not practicing justice and righteousness and when he does, he may chastise them or remove them entirely.
The guiding principles of these fallen powers is enlightened self-interest. To gain their position of power they often provide the basic needs of the people under them but when they are 'fully in control' the power often corrupts them. But even though the powers serve themselves, it's normal enough for them to provide those things that God is pleased to give the people. Their self-interest serves God's purposes.
A man who creates a masterpiece, driven by his jealousy of another, still produces a masterpiece. A judge, for prudential reasons, may deliver a righteous verdict even while wishing he could pervert the course of justice, but it's still a righteous verdict. A preacher who preaches Christ out of envy still at least preaches Christ (Philipians 1). A government, for reasons of self-interest, promotes and provides creation 'goods' nevertheless provides creation goods and in this respect does the will of God. The motive may be unacceptable but the goods get to the needy which is what God wills and executes through the leaders. In this, Daniel or a Christian can cooperate while yet following a different purpose and agenda arising from different motivation.
Joseph, a part of the elect Abrahamic community, is able to work with the Egyptian state to provide for the citizens (and the other needy nations) the creation 'goods' that God wished for them. The means and methods of accomplishing this (when not distorted by power-broking and injustice) are in accord with the methods reflected in the 'wisdom' strand of biblical literature (say, Proverbs) and which wasn't confined to the elect community (cf. Jethro's advice to Moses in Exodus 18).
The OT community parallels the NT one today in this respect, despite variations of form and confession: They were communities created by God as over against other human structures. The governmental structures around Israel were under moral law to God but not under covenantal law to God (their Master Stories weren't the same, nor were their promises or ordinances, etc., etc). Because God wished to bless all nations with creation goods as well as redemption goods and because Israel couldn't get these creation goods to the world, God allowed, even required and enabled, the national structures to provide those creation goods even though they did not acknowledge him. It wasn't Israel's calling to provide creation goods for the world though they were to be a vehicle of creation goods to all the needy with whom they came in contact. [People who think that God's People are to offer nothing but religious truth while fellow-humans all around them and within the Church's reach are hungry, unemployed, homeless and suchpeople who think that haven't heard the voice of the God who gives sunshine and rain and fruitful seasons and gladness of heart to the evil as well as the good [see the Sermon on the Mount along with Acts 14:15-17; 17:24-25].
When Daniel interprets the judgment dream for Nebuchadnezzar in Daniel 4 he makes it clear that the Babylonian is under God's sovereignty and that God holds him accountable for the way in which he uses the power God has given him. 4:27 offers the king this advice: '...atone for your sins with righteousness, and your iniquities with mercy to the oppressed...' It's clear from this text and the ensuing judgment that God expected this non-Israelite king to practice social righteousness and justice. The fact that God held him accountable for not practicing social justice and righteousness shows that the king could and should do it. Outsiders can and should practice a 'justice' and 'righteousness' which receives approval from God. (Outsiders were able to recognize and approve of the good life lived by the Christians Peter addressed in 1 Peter 3:2 and see Matthew 5.16.)
Ezekiel reflecting back on the conditions that led to the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah insists that part of the reason for their fall was 'she and her daughters had pride, excess of food, and prosperous ease, but they did not aid the poor and needy...' (16:49-50). In Genesis 18 the cry that was rising heavenward from Sodom and Gomorrah was the cries of the oppressed poor and needy. Here again we see that these governments were held accountable by God for not providing creation goods to those over whom God gave them authority and power.
It's not only permissible but given the opportunity, it may well be the obligation of Christians to assist governments to provide creation goods for the poor and needy and the voiceless. (Not every way of doing this is wise and some ways of doing it would be a violation of the Christian's conscience and those issues would need to be worked with.)
The People of God do and value many of the same things that outsiders do and value. The reasons for doing and valuing these things are sometimes shared. This is partly explained because God's love and truth has been spread abroad throughout the earth from the beginning through prophets and priests, parents and families. And where this love and truth is not suppressed in unrighteousness we see its influence on outsiders (see texts such as Romans 2:14-15; Acts 14:15-17).
Despite sharing many truths in common and having been shaped by many expressions of God's love along with those of the Abrahamic community, this is still a world in need of redemption through reconciliation with God. This is part of the reason for saying that the 'People of God' are peculiar and have peculiar reasons for the kind of life they live. These people of God have a peculiar history which includes special contact with God in both event and instruction. Their life then reflects a special ordering which no outsider can embrace or claim as his/hers. This life as the People of God rises out of God's purposes and creation; it rises out of some destiny-shaping experiences with God. This life is not simply about the kind of things the People of God do, it's about what has happened to them and what they have become as a consequence of what has happened to them.
But what does it matter why people do 'good' things? Surely the only thing that matters is that people aren't mistreated, that the good things of life are shared and that oppression and injustice are eradicated as far as that is possible? It matters to God! And as a consequence it matters to his People. To achieve his ultimate purpose (life in fellowship with him for humans) God will tolerate less than his enthronement in human hearts, but he cannot desire less or work toward less than that. (God will certainly tolerate an anti-God government's provision of his creation goods to the needyhe uses his enemies to fulfill his good will. And he will not only hold them responsible for their rejection of him, he will also hold them responsible for not providing for the needy if that's the case.)
This is why the righteousness of the People of God is immediately and inextricably linked with their theology and their Lord. Others may claim a 'rational' or 'natural' ethic, the People of God can't. Others may see themselves as self-providers of justice and righteousness, the People of God can't. Where God is dismissed as irrelevant to ethics or human societal blessing, Genesis 11 is back with a vengeance. But the 'Elect People' exist (in part) because Genesis 11 is intolerable. If Genesis 11 or the Ur from which Abraham was isolated were adequate or acceptable, the Abrahamic community would not have been created!
While they share a host of things in common with other humans because they share humanity, the People of God exist not because they have a common humanity, but because they have been called 'out of' the rest of humanity to bear witness to humanity about truth and realities from which humanity in general is in full flight. This is why the People of God practice peculiar ordinances; ordinances that mean nothing to those outside the Community; ordinances that retell and keep in memory the peculiar experiences they have had with God and ordinances that proclaim the coming full accomplishment of God's over-arching purpose for humanity.
The 'elect community' sees these kingdoms of the world from a number of perspectives. They see them:
As 'fallen structures' which exist in a state of rebellion against God and therefore not the kingdom of God;
As states that exist because of the will of men and which arise out of the chaos and conflict of nations;
As kingdoms which arise due to God's control of the nations' personal agendas;
As 'God's servant to do you good';
As states that are answerable to God not only for their rebellion against him as 'alien powers' but for the abuse of power in the specific areas mentioned above,that is, they are capable of practicing a social justice and righteousness which has God's (limited) approval
As powers to be resisted in appropriate circumstances;
As powers to be aided and supported when they act as God's instruments to provide creation blessings for the people.
It's clear from a study of the Bible that human governments are seen in various lights depending on the circumstances prevailing. The notion that we can go to any one text (or set of texts) for an exhaustive treatment of governments and how Christians should respond to them is a mistake. New sets of circumstances will require the biblically-shaped believers to work out new responses to existing governments.
©2004 Jim McGuiggan. All materials are free to be copied and used as long as money is not being made.
Many thanks to brother Ed Healy, for allowing me to post from his website, theabidingword.com.

The Non-Crucified Non-Saviors of the World by Dewayne Bryant, M.A.


The Non-Crucified Non-Saviors of the World

by Dewayne Bryant, M.A.

Today the church finds itself bombarded with all kinds of criticism. One of these is the notion that Christianity owes its origins to pagan religions. One particularly troubling issue for some Christians is the massive amount of misinformation circulating on the Internet concerning the various “crucified saviors” of the world. Jesus is claimed to be no different than dozens of other saviors who were crucified for the sins of mankind, and later resurrected. If this were true, then Jesus would be merely a Johnny-come-lately to the religious scene, no different and no more authoritative than Zeus, Odin, or Thor.
The nineteenth century was the seedbed of comparative religion, which sought to analyze and discover the connections between various world religions. Critics in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries were guilty of glossing over important differences for the sake of making connections between different religious traditions, including Christianity. Usually these connections were highly dubious in nature, and no real scholar uses this approach today. While it can be shown that some ancient pagan religions migrated, developed, and influenced others over time, Christianity is a different matter altogether.
Critics today—who almost universally have no training in ancient religion, philosophy, or languages—can be quite adamant that Christianity plagiarized ancient mythology when constructing the Bible and its supposed mythological traditions about Jesus. This idea is found in documentaries such as Bill Maher’s Religulous, Brian Flemming’s The God Who Wasn’t There, Peter Joseph’s Zeitgeist, the Movie, as well as in publications such as those by Dorothy M. Murdock’s The Sons of GodThe Christ Conspiracy, and Christ in Egypt: The Horus-Jesus Connection. All of these promote the idea of the “mythic Christ.”
Where did the idea of the mythic Christ originate? Much of it began in the writings of two amateur Egyptologists named Godfrey Higgins (1772-1833) and Gerald Massey (1829-1907). Both wrote extensively on the idea of the mythic Christ. They claimed one parallel after another between the Bible and pagan mythology, making it appear as if the biblical writers borrowed stories wholesale from ancient tales. Almost all scholars today recognize that this approach is fundamentally flawed. For nearly all of the supposed parallels these two men discovered, scholars today say without hesitation that no genetic connection exists between the Bible and the myths these two men examined.
Neither Higgins nor Massey was a scholar or academician, and both were self-taught religious enthusiasts (this generally holds true for all proponents of the Christ myth theory). More importantly, neither is remembered in the history of scholarship today. Writers such as Dorothy Murdock—a vocal proponent of the Christ myth theory—laments that these supposed intellectual titans have been forgotten. She heaps effusive praise upon Massey in particular (2009, pp. 13-26), calling him a “pioneer.” In truth, neither one of them had any ideas worth remembering. They are virtually unknown in modern Egyptology.
The work of Higgins and Massey was picked up and continued most famously by Kersey Graves, who authored the book The World’s Sixteen Crucified Saviors (1919). This woefully outdated book is still standard reading for militant atheists. Unfortunately, Graves’ fans do not appear to realize that his book was based on the work of our two error-prone amateurs. To make matters worse, Graves did not appear to consult the original myths himself. It appears that he may have even falsified some of his work. In all of the cases of his “crucified saviors,” unlike Jesus, none were actually crucified, and none of them died salvific deaths, that is in behalf of the salvation of others. Indeed, some of them never died.
The chart below gives the names of the gods that Graves and others traditionally claim were crucified saviors. The problems become apparent rather quickly:
Adonis dies when he is gored by a bull on a hunting trip.
In a moment of madness, Attis commits suicide by emasculating himself.
The text is unclear, but it appears Baal is slain in personal battle with Mot, the Canaanite god of death. 
Bacchus is the Roman equivalent of Dionysus, whose body is almost completely devoured by the Titans, who leave only his heart.
In the Norse myths, Balder is invincible to all known objects, except for mistletoe. One of the gods’ pastimes is throwing objects at Balder, who cannot be harmed. Loki crafts a magical spear from this plant and tricks the god Hodur into throwing it at Balder, killing him.
Supposedly a Japanese figure. Either Graves had a bad source, or he simply invented the name, as no figure with this name exists in Far Eastern literature. It may be that he meant to say “Beddou,” who is a Japanese figure some have equated with the Buddha. Regardless, there is no record of the crucifixion of this individual, if he even existed in any of the literature.
This is uncertain, but appears to be the name of the Buddha in some places in the Far East. The literature states that the Buddha died at 80 of a natural illness, though some say he was poisoned. Either way, he never died on a cross, and Buddhism has no need of a personal savior, anyway.
The Greek god of wine and the grapevine had a tough childhood. When an infant, the Titans devour his body, leaving only his heart behind. He is later reborn.
Hercules dies when he is burned alive on a funeral pyre. 
Hermes never dies in the Greek myths.
Horus never dies in the Egyptian myths.
Krishna is mortally wounded when a hunter accidentally shoots him in the heel with an arrow.
Mithras does not die in the Persian myths.
In one account, Orpheus is torn apart by Maenads, the female followers of Dionysus, for failing to honor their master. In other accounts he either commits suicide or is struck by one of Zeus’ lightning bolts.
Osiris is killed when his brother Seth drowns him in the Nile. Seth later recovers the body and dismembers it.
Originally called Dumuzi by the Sumerians, Tammuz is taken to the underworld when his lover, Inanna, is given a deal where she can be released if she finds a substitute. She is enraged that Tammuz is not mourning her death, so she chooses him to take her place in the realm of the dead. There is no mention of crucifixion.
Thor dies in Ragnarok, the final battle that will end the world, when he is bitten by a giant serpent.
According to one ancient source, Zoroaster was murdered while at an altar.
Upon even a cursory inspection, it becomes clear that none of the so-called “crucified saviors” were actually crucified. Indeed, none of them are saviors, dying for the sins of humanity. Self-sacrifice was not involved. Instead, many did not die at all, or died an accidental death, or were murdered. Worse yet, none of them resurrected from a tomb. A few of the divine figures on the list were revived (or deified), but in a different manner than the Christian concept of resurrection. In short, this list consists purely of non-crucified non-saviors. Why are these connections made if they never truly existed? In short, it is due to careless research and preconceived biases that are immune to evidence.
While the idea of the pagan or mythic Christ draws from a variety of ancient mythologies, it is heavily influenced by Egyptian mythology, perhaps because the early proponents of this theory worked primarily with myths from Egypt. They also made connections based on preposterously thin evidence. Some examples of the typical connections include the following from Gerald Massey’s book Historical Jesus and the Mythical Christ:
  • Jesus’ casting of a group of demons  calling themselves “Legion” into a group of pigs, which is equated with a story in which Horus turns someone into a pig (1996, pp. 62-63).
  • Jesus and Horus are each claimed to have had two mothers—two Marys for Jesus, and the goddesses Isis and Nephthys for Horus (p. 118).
  • Herod the Great, despite being a well-known figure to historians, is equated with Herrut, the Typhonian Serpent (p. 95).
In their book Unmasking the Pagan Christ, Porter and Bedard summarize Massey’s position this way:
[H]is conclusions rely on exaggerations and forced parallels that too often used later interpretations o the Gospels, rather than the primary texts themselves. To make matters worse, Massey cites numerous parallels without any indication of the original references in the Egyptian texts. Massey also begins the practice…of describing Egyptian myths with biblical language in an attempt to find a causal link (Porter and Bedard 2006, p. 30).
If the idea of a “crucified savior” had been as common as the critics allege, then it would not have been included among the criticisms leveled against the early Christians. The apostle Paul stated that the cross was a stumbling block to the Greeks (1 Corinthians 1:23), which would have been quite strange if the Greeks recognized any of the so-called “crucified saviors” mentioned by Graves and others. Justin Martyr admitted that preaching a crucified Christ appeared to be madness: “[The opponents of the church] say that our madness lies in the fact that we put a crucified man in second place to the unchangeable and eternal God, the creator of the world” (Apology I, 13.4). If everyone had crucified gods, then they would not have criticized the Christians for having one, too.
The picture that quickly emerges when looking at the original sources is one of exceedingly poor research on the part of the critics. It is one thing to make an honest mistake, but their litany of errors is academically unacceptable. At times, even other skeptics and atheists chide their fellow unbelievers for their careless work. Writing a review of Zeitgeist, the Movie in the magazine Skeptical Inquirer, leading skeptic Tim Callahan is highly critical of the “sloppy assumptions” in the documentary, concluding, “Zeitgeist is The Da Vinci Code on steroids” (Callahan, 2009, p. 67).
Some of this sloppy work includes failing to cite sources properly. Graves was not the only one guilty of failing to cite his sources or inventing material out of whole cloth. Of the pseudo-scholars in the 19thand early 20th century who promoted the Christy myth theory, apologist J.P. Holding says,
Kersey Graves…assures the reader that he has before him plenty of original documentation for his claims of crucifixion parallels, but…doesn’t have room to include any. And this is the rule, not the exception. Lundy, Higgins, Inman, Graves, Doane, etc., they all claim they have read or heard this or that, but none of them can site [sic]a single source document (Holding, 2008, p. 376, italics in orig.).
Because of its manifold problems, the idea of the mythic Christ is difficult even for many atheists to swallow. On the anti-Christian Web site Infidels.org, historian and atheist Richard Carrier lists ten major problems with Graves’ work, the last of which is that “Graves’ scholarship is obsolete, having been vastly improved upon by new methods, materials, discoveries, and textual criticism in the century since he worked” (Carrier, 2003). Scholars see Graves’ work as worthless. Critics find it absolutely indispensible, perhaps because there are no scholarly treatments that agree with their presuppositions.
The Christ myth theory has not been answered by many scholars, simply because they choose not to waste their time debunking fringe theories. Experts are usually preoccupied with teaching and research, with a few of them engaged in archaeology and other academic pursuits as well. This leaves little time for answering the preposterous claims of the “Christ mythers.” (In personal e-mails to three leading New Testament scholars, each noted that the Christ myth theory holds no place of respect in modern scholarship. Ben Witherington III of Asbury Theological Seminary said, “[T]his whole discussion is considered beyond the pale and beyond belief, even with liberals.” When asked whether the paucity of scholarly material on the pagan Christ was because scholars do not waste their time on “crackpot theories,” Darrell Bock of Dallas Theological Seminary said, “I think you have got the reason you cannot find stuff.” Thomas Schreiner of the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary confessed, “I do not know anything about this issue…. I am tempted to think it is the lunatic fringe.” The issue is so intellectually bankrupt that liberal scholarship does not endorse it, and other scholars may not even be familiar with it).
Critics will always “discover” parallels between Christianity and pagan religions in the attempt to make believers look foolish. Ironically, this quest only demonstrates their own academic shortcomings. Time and time again Christianity demonstrates its uniqueness among the world religions. It is the hallmark of truth for a world in desperate need of history’s one and only crucified Savior.  


Callahan, Tim (2009), “Greatest Story Ever Garbled: A Critique of ‘The Greatest Story Ever Told’—Part I of the Internet Film Zeitgeist,” Skeptic, 15[1]:61-67.
Carrier, Richard (2003), “Kersey Graves and the World’s Sixteen Crucified Saviors,” http://www.infidels.org/library/modern/richard_carrier/graves.html.
Graves, Kersey (1919), The World’s Sixteen Crucified Saviors or Christianity Before Christ (New York: Peter Eckler Publishing), sixth edition.
Holding, James P. (2008), Shattering the Christ Myth: Did Jesus Not Exist? (Maitland, FL: Xulon Press).
Massey, Gerald (1996), Historical Jesus and the Mythical Christ (Whitefish, MT: Kessenger).
Murdock, Dorothy M. (2009), Christ in Egypt: The Horus-Jesus Connection (Seattle, WA: Stellar House).
Porter, Stanley E. and Stephen J. Bedard (2006), Unmasking the Pagan Christ (Toronto, ON: Clements Publishing).

From Mark Copeland... The Case For Six Literal 24 Hour Days

                        "THE CASE FOR CREATION"

                 The Case For Six Literal 24 Hour Days


1. I believe it fair to say that any casual, first-time reader of
   a. Will conclude it teaches all things were created in six days
   b. That those days were six literal 24 hour days

2. The popularity of the theory of evolution has led many to...
   a. Discount any literal interpretation of Genesis 1
   b. Seek biblical support for a less literal understanding of the       days of creation

[On the other hand, there are good reasons to take the Genesis account at face value, for both biblical and scientific reasons.  From a biblical perspective, let's consider some...]


      1. Lexicographers consistently cite the enumerated days of Genesis 1:1-31 as examples of a solar day 
         - Robert V. McCabe, A Defense Of Literal Days In The Creation Week
      2. The following examples were offered by McCabe (plus one that I found):
         a. The Dictionary Of Classical Hebrew - Clines
         b. A Hebrew And English Lexicon Of The Old Testament - Brown,Driver, Briggs
         c. The Hebrew and Aramaic Lexicon of the Old Testament
            - Baumgartner, Stamm
         d. Theological Dictionary of the Old Testament - Saeboe
         e. New International Dictionary of Old Testament Theology and
            Exegesis - Verhoef
         f. Dictionary Of Biblical Languages With Semantic Domains:
            Hebrew (Old Testament) - Swanson
      -- These lexicons and dictionaries cite the days of creation as
         literal 24 hour days

      1. "When yôm is used in the singular and is not part of a compound
         grammatical construction, it is consistently used in reference
         to a literal day of 24 hours or to the daytime portion of a
         literal day." - McCabe, ibid.
      2. "The extended, non-literal meanings of the term yôm are always
         found in connection with prepositions, prepositional phrases
         with a verb, compound constructions, formulas, technical
         expressions, genitive combinations, construct phrases, and the
         like. In other words, extended, non-literal meanings of this
         Hebrew term have special linguistic and contextual connections
         which indicate clearly that a non-literal meaning is intended.
         If such special linguistic connections are absent, the term yôm
         does not have an extended, non-literal meaning; it has its
         normal meaning of a literal day of 24-hours." - Gerhard F.
         Hasel, as quoted by McCabe
      -- The semantic use of the singular suggests a literal day

      1. "When each day of the creation week is summarized, the singular
         'day' is modified by a numerical qualifier, 'first day' (v.5),
         'second day (v.8), and sequentially continuing to the 'sixth
         day' (vv. 13, 19, 24,  31)." - McCabe, ibid.
      2. "When yôm is qualified by a number, it is almost invariably
         used in a literal sense." - ibid.
      -- The numeric qualifiers suggest a literal day

      1. "The sequential use of the ordinal  numbers "first" through
         "sixth" for each day of the creation week, followed by the
         "seventh day" indicates a chronological progression of days."
         - E. J. Young, as referenced by McCabe
      2. "What seems of significance is the sequential emphasis of the
         numerals 1-7 without any break or temporal interruption. This
         seven-day schema, the schema of the week of six workdays
         followed by 'the seventh day' as rest day, interlinks the
         creation "days" as normal days in a consecutive and non-
         interrupted sequence." - Hasel, ibid.
      -- The sequential numbering suggests a literal day

      1. "So the evening and the morning were the ____ day." - Gen 1:5,8,13,19,23,31
      2. "Whether 'evening' and 'morning' are used together in a context
         with yôm (19 times beyond the 6 uses in Genesis 1) or they are
         used without yôm (38 times), they are used consistently in
         reference to literal days." - McCabe, ibid.
      -- The use of morning and evening suggest a literal day

      1. Problem one
         a. Fruit trees and seed-bearing plants were created on the third day - Gen 1:11-12
         b. Much vegetation requires insects for pollination
         c. Insects were not created until the sixth day - Gen 1:24-25
         d. It would be impossible for many plants to survive long
            periods without insects
         e. "A symbiotic relationship between plants and animals is
            coordinate with literal and successive days in Genesis 1,
            but this would not be the case if the days refer to extended
            periods." - McCabe, ibid.
      2. Problem two
         a. "If days are figurative and if there is any consistency in
            interpretation, then there must extended periods of light
            corresponding to 'morning' and of darkness corresponding to'evening.'" - ibid.
         b. "This would guarantee that both plant and animal life would
            be unable to survive." - ibid.
      -- The sequence of events suggest a literal day

      1. In the Old Testament
         a. "There are two passages, dealing with regulations for the
            observance of the Sabbath that cogently reinforce a literal
            interpretation of the days in the creation week." - McCabe,ibid.
         b. "These passages are Exo 20:8-11 and Exo 31:14-17." - ibid.
         c. "According to these two texts, the references to the
            creation week are not analogous - man's rest is not simply
            like God's rest on the seventh day - instead, man is to
            imitate the divine Exemplar. Since God worked for six days
            and rested on the seventh, the nation of Israel must follow his example." - ibid.
      2. In the New Testament
         1. The origin of man and marriage was "from the beginning of the creation"
            a. Man was created male and female "from the beginning" - Mk 10:6; cf. Gen 1:27
            b. The institution of marriage soon followed - Mk 10:7-8;cf. Gen 2:20-24
            c. If it was ages after "the beginning of creation", this
               would not be true
         2. Death and corruption was a consequence of Adam's sin
            a. By man came death, in Adam all die - Gen 2:17; cf. 1Co 15:21-22
            b. By man's sin, the earth was cursed - Gen 3:17; cf. Ro 8:20-22
            c. If the "days" of Genesis 1 are long periods of time,
               death and corruption occurred long before Adam
      -- The scriptural considerations suggest the Genesis account should be taken literally

[Such are some of the Biblical or scriptural reasons for taking Genesis
1-2 at face value.  It is certainly not an exhaustive treatment of the
subject.  For more information, including resources that subscribe to a
literal view of the days of Creation from a scientific perspective, here are some...]


      1. A Defense Of Literal Days In The Creation Week - Robert V.
         McCabe, Professor of Old Testament at Detroit Baptist Theological Seminary
      2. Creation Days And Orthodox Jewish Tradition - Paul-James Griffiths
      3. A Summary Of Evidence For Literal 24-Hr Creation Days In
         Genesis 1 - Andrew S. Kulikovsky
      4. The Days Of Creation:  A Semantic Approach - James Stambaugh
      5. Studies About The Days Of Genesis 1 - David E. Pratte
      -- These resources argue that the case for six literal 24 hour
         days is biblically sound

      1. Institute For Creation Research - Henry M. Morris, Duane Gish
      2. Answers In Genesis - Ken Ham
      3. The Creation Research Society
      4. Creation Ministries International
      5. Bible.ca's Scientific Evidence For Creation - Don Patton, Steve Rudd
      6. A List Of Over 175 Scientists - who accept the biblical account of Creation
      -- These resources argue that the case for six literal 24 hour
         days is scientifically sound


1. Before rejecting that God created all things in six literal 24 hours
   days, one should ask...
   a. Is it consistent in regards to Hebrew syntax as found in the Bible?
   b. Is it in harmony with the rest of the biblical record?
   -- For those who accept the Bible as the Word of God, such concerns
      should be paramount

2. One should also ask...
   a. Must we force our view of Genesis 1 to fit popular evolutionary thinking?
   b. Is it scientifically necessary to do so?
   -- Has the theory of evolution been proven as it relates to origins?

To help answer the latter questions, our next two lessons will focus on
problems with the theory of evolution...

Executable Outlines, Copyright © Mark A. Copeland, 2011

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From Gary.... Bible Reading March 2

Bible Reading  

March 2

The World English Bible

Mar. 1
Exodus 11

Exo 11:1 Yahweh said to Moses, "Yet one plague more will I bring on Pharaoh, and on Egypt; afterwards he will let you go. When he lets you go, he will surely thrust you out altogether.
Exo 11:2 Speak now in the ears of the people, and let them ask every man of his neighbor, and every woman of her neighbor, jewels of silver, and jewels of gold."
Exo 11:3 Yahweh gave the people favor in the sight of the Egyptians. Moreover the man Moses was very great in the land of Egypt, in the sight of Pharaoh's servants, and in the sight of the people.
Exo 11:4 Moses said, "This is what Yahweh says: 'About midnight I will go out into the midst of Egypt,
Exo 11:5 and all the firstborn in the land of Egypt shall die, from the firstborn of Pharaoh who sits on his throne, even to the firstborn of the female servant who is behind the mill; and all the firstborn of livestock.
Exo 11:6 There shall be a great cry throughout all the land of Egypt, such as there has not been, nor shall be any more.
Exo 11:7 But against any of the children of Israel a dog won't even bark or move its tongue, against man or animal; that you may know that Yahweh makes a distinction between the Egyptians and Israel.
Exo 11:8 All these your servants shall come down to me, and bow down themselves to me, saying, "Get out, with all the people who follow you;" and after that I will go out.' " He went out from Pharaoh in hot anger.
Exo 11:9 Yahweh said to Moses, "Pharaoh won't listen to you, that my wonders may be multiplied in the land of Egypt."
Exo 11:10 Moses and Aaron did all these wonders before Pharaoh, and Yahweh hardened Pharaoh's heart, and he didn't let the children of Israel go out of his land.

Mar. 2
Exodus 12

Exo 12:1 Yahweh spoke to Moses and Aaron in the land of Egypt, saying,
Exo 12:2 "This month shall be to you the beginning of months. It shall be the first month of the year to you.
Exo 12:3 Speak to all the congregation of Israel, saying, 'On the tenth day of this month, they shall take to them every man a lamb, according to their fathers' houses, a lamb for a household;
Exo 12:4 and if the household is too little for a lamb, then he and his neighbor next to his house shall take one according to the number of the souls; according to what everyone can eat you shall make your count for the lamb.
Exo 12:5 Your lamb shall be without blemish, a male a year old. You shall take it from the sheep, or from the goats:
Exo 12:6 and you shall keep it until the fourteenth day of the same month; and the whole assembly of the congregation of Israel shall kill it at evening.
Exo 12:7 They shall take some of the blood, and put it on the two doorposts and on the lintel, on the houses in which they shall eat it.
Exo 12:8 They shall eat the flesh in that night, roasted with fire, and unleavened bread. They shall eat it with bitter herbs.
Exo 12:9 Don't eat it raw, nor boiled at all with water, but roasted with fire; with its head, its legs and its inner parts.
Exo 12:10 You shall let nothing of it remain until the morning; but that which remains of it until the morning you shall burn with fire.
Exo 12:11 This is how you shall eat it: with your waist girded, your shoes on your feet, and your staff in your hand; and you shall eat it in haste: it is Yahweh's Passover.
Exo 12:12 For I will go through the land of Egypt in that night, and will strike all the firstborn in the land of Egypt, both man and animal. Against all the gods of Egypt I will execute judgments: I am Yahweh.
Exo 12:13 The blood shall be to you for a token on the houses where you are: and when I see the blood, I will pass over you, and there shall no plague be on you to destroy you, when I strike the land of Egypt.
Exo 12:14 This day shall be to you for a memorial, and you shall keep it a feast to Yahweh: throughout your generations you shall keep it a feast by an ordinance forever.
Exo 12:15 " 'Seven days you shall eat unleavened bread; even the first day you shall put away yeast out of your houses, for whoever eats leavened bread from the first day until the seventh day, that soul shall be cut off from Israel.
Exo 12:16 In the first day there shall be to you a holy convocation, and in the seventh day a holy convocation; no manner of work shall be done in them, except that which every man must eat, that only may be done by you.
Exo 12:17 You shall observe the feast of unleavened bread; for in this same day have I brought your armies out of the land of Egypt: therefore you shall observe this day throughout your generations by an ordinance forever.
Exo 12:18 In the first month, on the fourteenth day of the month at evening, you shall eat unleavened bread, until the twenty first day of the month at evening.
Exo 12:19 Seven days shall there be no yeast found in your houses, for whoever eats that which is leavened, that soul shall be cut off from the congregation of Israel, whether he be a foreigner, or one who is born in the land.
Exo 12:20 You shall eat nothing leavened. In all your habitations you shall eat unleavened bread.' "
Exo 12:21 Then Moses called for all the elders of Israel, and said to them, "Draw out, and take lambs according to your families, and kill the Passover.
Exo 12:22 You shall take a bunch of hyssop, and dip it in the blood that is in the basin, and strike the lintel and the two doorposts with the blood that is in the basin; and none of you shall go out of the door of his house until the morning.
Exo 12:23 For Yahweh will pass through to strike the Egyptians; and when he sees the blood on the lintel, and on the two doorposts, Yahweh will pass over the door, and will not allow the destroyer to come in to your houses to strike you.
Exo 12:24 You shall observe this thing for an ordinance to you and to your sons forever.
Exo 12:25 It shall happen when you have come to the land which Yahweh will give you, according as he has promised, that you shall keep this service.
Exo 12:26 It will happen, when your children ask you, 'What do you mean by this service?'
Exo 12:27 that you shall say, 'It is the sacrifice of Yahweh's Passover, who passed over the houses of the children of Israel in Egypt, when he struck the Egyptians, and spared our houses.' " The people bowed their heads and worshiped.
Exo 12:28 The children of Israel went and did so; as Yahweh had commanded Moses and Aaron, so they did.
Exo 12:29 It happened at midnight, that Yahweh struck all the firstborn in the land of Egypt, from the firstborn of Pharaoh who sat on his throne to the firstborn of the captive who was in the dungeon; and all the firstborn of livestock.
Exo 12:30 Pharaoh rose up in the night, he, and all his servants, and all the Egyptians; and there was a great cry in Egypt, for there was not a house where there was not one dead.
Exo 12:31 He called for Moses and Aaron by night, and said, "Rise up, get out from among my people, both you and the children of Israel; and go, serve Yahweh, as you have said!
Exo 12:32 Take both your flocks and your herds, as you have said, and be gone; and bless me also!"
Exo 12:33 The Egyptians were urgent with the people, to send them out of the land in haste, for they said, "We are all dead men."
Exo 12:34 The people took their dough before it was leavened, their kneading troughs being bound up in their clothes on their shoulders.
Exo 12:35 The children of Israel did according to the word of Moses; and they asked of the Egyptians jewels of silver, and jewels of gold, and clothing.
Exo 12:36 Yahweh gave the people favor in the sight of the Egyptians, so that they let them have what they asked. They despoiled the Egyptians.
Exo 12:37 The children of Israel traveled from Rameses to Succoth, about six hundred thousand on foot who were men, besides children.
Exo 12:38 A mixed multitude went up also with them, with flocks, herds, and even very much livestock.
Exo 12:39 They baked unleavened cakes of the dough which they brought forth out of Egypt; for it wasn't leavened, because they were thrust out of Egypt, and couldn't wait, neither had they prepared for themselves any food.
Exo 12:40 Now the time that the children of Israel lived in Egypt was four hundred thirty years.
Exo 12:41 It happened at the end of four hundred thirty years, even the same day it happened, that all the armies of Yahweh went out from the land of Egypt.
Exo 12:42 It is a night to be much observed to Yahweh for bringing them out from the land of Egypt. This is that night of Yahweh, to be much observed of all the children of Israel throughout their generations.
Exo 12:43 Yahweh said to Moses and Aaron, "This is the ordinance of the Passover. There shall no foreigner eat of it,
Exo 12:44 but every man's servant who is bought for money, when you have circumcised him, then shall he eat of it.
Exo 12:45 A foreigner and a hired servant shall not eat of it.
Exo 12:46 In one house shall it be eaten; you shall not carry forth anything of the flesh abroad out of the house; neither shall you break a bone of it.
Exo 12:47 All the congregation of Israel shall keep it.
Exo 12:48 When a stranger shall live as a foreigner with you, and will keep the Passover to Yahweh, let all his males be circumcised, and then let him come near and keep it; and he shall be as one who is born in the land: but no uncircumcised person shall eat of it.
Exo 12:49 One law shall be to him who is born at home, and to the stranger who lives as a foreigner among you."
Exo 12:50 All the children of Israel did so. As Yahweh commanded Moses and Aaron, so they did.

Exo 12:51 It happened the same day, that Yahweh brought the children of Israel out of the land of Egypt by their armies.

Mar. 1, 2
Mark 3

Mar 3:1 He entered again into the synagogue, and there was a man there who had his hand withered.
Mar 3:2 They watched him, whether he would heal him on the Sabbath day, that they might accuse him.
Mar 3:3 He said to the man who had his hand withered, "Stand up."
Mar 3:4 He said to them, "Is it lawful on the Sabbath day to do good, or to do harm? To save a life, or to kill?" But they were silent.
Mar 3:5 When he had looked around at them with anger, being grieved at the hardening of their hearts, he said to the man, "Stretch out your hand." He stretched it out, and his hand was restored as healthy as the other.
Mar 3:6 The Pharisees went out, and immediately conspired with the Herodians against him, how they might destroy him.
Mar 3:7 Jesus withdrew to the sea with his disciples, and a great multitude followed him from Galilee, from Judea,
Mar 3:8 from Jerusalem, from Idumaea, beyond the Jordan, and those from around Tyre and Sidon. A great multitude, hearing what great things he did, came to him.
Mar 3:9 He spoke to his disciples that a little boat should stay near him because of the crowd, so that they wouldn't press on him.
Mar 3:10 For he had healed many, so that as many as had diseases pressed on him that they might touch him.
Mar 3:11 The unclean spirits, whenever they saw him, fell down before him, and cried, "You are the Son of God!"
Mar 3:12 He sternly warned them that they should not make him known.
Mar 3:13 He went up into the mountain, and called to himself those whom he wanted, and they went to him.
Mar 3:14 He appointed twelve, that they might be with him, and that he might send them out to preach,
Mar 3:15 and to have authority to heal sicknesses and to cast out demons:
Mar 3:16 Simon, to whom he gave the name Peter;
Mar 3:17 James the son of Zebedee; John, the brother of James, and he surnamed them Boanerges, which means, Sons of Thunder;
Mar 3:18 Andrew; Philip; Bartholomew; Matthew; Thomas; James, the son of Alphaeus; Thaddaeus; Simon the Zealot;
Mar 3:19 and Judas Iscariot, who also betrayed him. He came into a house.
Mar 3:20 The multitude came together again, so that they could not so much as eat bread.
Mar 3:21 When his friends heard it, they went out to seize him: for they said, "He is insane."
Mar 3:22 The scribes who came down from Jerusalem said, "He has Beelzebul," and, "By the prince of the demons he casts out the demons."
Mar 3:23 He summoned them, and said to them in parables, "How can Satan cast out Satan?
Mar 3:24 If a kingdom is divided against itself, that kingdom cannot stand.
Mar 3:25 If a house is divided against itself, that house cannot stand.
Mar 3:26 If Satan has risen up against himself, and is divided, he can't stand, but has an end.
Mar 3:27 But no one can enter into the house of the strong man to plunder, unless he first binds the strong man; and then he will plunder his house.
Mar 3:28 Most certainly I tell you, all sins of the descendants of man will be forgiven, including their blasphemies with which they may blaspheme;
Mar 3:29 but whoever may blaspheme against the Holy Spirit never has forgiveness, but is guilty of an eternal sin"
Mar 3:30 -because they said, "He has an unclean spirit."
Mar 3:31 His mother and his brothers came, and standing outside, they sent to him, calling him.
Mar 3:32 A multitude was sitting around him, and they told him, "Behold, your mother, your brothers, and your sisters are outside looking for you."
Mar 3:33 He answered them, "Who are my mother and my brothers?"
Mar 3:34 Looking around at those who sat around him, he said, "Behold, my mother and my brothers!
Mar 3:35 For whoever does the will of God, the same is my brother, and my sister, and mother."