"THE EPISTLE TO THE GALATIANS" Chapter Six OBJECTIVES IN STUDYING THIS CHAPTER 1) To see that liberty in Christ involves responsibility toward others and our own selves 2) To appreciate the principles involved in "sowing" and "reaping", especially as they relate to the flesh and Spirit 3) To understand the importance of becoming "a new creation" in Christ Jesus SUMMARY In this final chapter, Paul reveals that liberty in Christ involves responsibilities. Those who are "spiritual" are to restore those overtaken in trespasses, and all are to bear one another's burden thereby fulfilling the "law of Christ" (1-2). At the same time, each Christian ought to examine himself and seek to bear his own load (3-5). Further responsibilities involve sharing with those who teach, and not growing weary in doing good to all, especially those of the household of faith. As motivation to do good, Paul reminds them of the principles of "sowing" and "reaping", particularly as it relates to the flesh and Spirit (6-10). Paul's concluding remarks include an insight into the motivation behind those seeking to compel circumcision. While such people may seek to glory in the flesh, Paul himself will only glory in the cross of the Lord Jesus Christ (11-14). Summarizing his whole epistle in one verse, Paul reasserts that circumcision is inconsequential, and that in Christ Jesus becoming a new creation is what really matters (15). With a plea for no one to trouble him since he bears in his body the marks of the Lord Jesus, Paul closes this epistle with a prayer of peace, mercy, and grace upon those who walk according to his teaching, and upon the Israel of God (16-18). OUTLINE I. A LIBERTY WITH A SENSE OF RESPONSIBILITY (1-10) A. IN THE MATTER OF BEARING BURDENS (1-5) 1. Be willing to bear one another's burdens (1-2) a. Those who are spiritual ought to restore those overtaken in a trespass (1) b. Bearing one another's burdens fulfills the law of Christ (2) 2. Be willing to bear your own burden (3-4) a. If one thinks himself to be something when he is not, he deceives himself (3) b. Examine your own work, and bear your own load (4) B. IN THE MATTER OF GENEROSITY (6-10) 1. Those who are taught should share in all good things with those who teach (6) 2. Principles governing sowing and reaping (7-9) a. What a man sows, that he will also reap (7) b. Sow to the flesh, and you reap corruption; sow to the Spirit, and you reap everlasting life (8) c. Don't grow weary in doing good, for in due time we shall reap if we do not lose heart (9) 3. Where there is opportunity, do good to all, especially to those of the household of faith (10) II. CONCLUDING REMARKS (11-18) A. A FINAL REBUKE OF THOSE WHO WOULD BIND CIRCUMCISION (11-13) 1. The large letters confirm that Paul has written with his own hands (11) 2. The motivation behind those who compel others to be circumcised (12,13b) a. They desire to make a good showing in the flesh (12a) b. They do not want to suffer persecution for the cross of Christ (12b) c. They wish to glory in your flesh (13b) 3. Those who would bind circumcision do not even keep the Law themselves (13a) B. PAUL'S OWN CONFIDENCE IN THE CROSS OF CHRIST (14-17) 1. God forbid that he might glory in anything other than in the cross of Jesus (14a) 2. For by Christ the world has been crucified to him, and he to the world (14b) 3. In Christ, circumcision is inconsequential; what matters is a new creation (15) 4. For those who abide by this same rule, peace and mercy be upon them, and upon the Israel of God (16) 5. Let no one trouble him, for he bears in his body the marks of the Lord Jesus (17) C. BENEDICTION (18) 1. Directed toward the brethren 2. That the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ be with their spirit REVIEW QUESTIONS FOR THE CHAPTER 1) What are the main points of this chapter? - A liberty with a sense of responsibility (1-10) - Concluding remarks (11-18) 2) What should those who are "spiritual" be willing to do? What attitudes should accompany them in what they do? (1) - Restore those overtaken in a trespass - A spirit of gentleness, and a watchful eye for one's own self 3) How can we fulfill "the law of Christ"? (2) - By bearing one another's burdens 4) What responsibility is placed upon each person? (4) - To bear his or her own load 5) What responsibility does the person taught have toward the one who teaches? (6) - To share in all good things with him 6) What three principles are given by Paul concerning "sowing" and "reaping"? (7-9) - Whatever a man sows, that he will also reap - Sow to the flesh, and you will of the flesh reap corruption; sow to the Spirit, and you will of the Spirit reap everlasting life - Don't grow weary in doing good, for in due time we shall reap if we do not lose heart 7) As we have opportunity, what is our responsibility? (10) - To do good to all, especially to those who are of the household of faith 8) What motivation does Paul ascribe to those who would compel circumcision? (12-13) - They desire to make a good showing in the flesh - That they may not suffer persecution for the cross of Christ - That they may glory in your flesh 9) What was the inconsistency of those compelling circumcision? (13) - They themselves did not keep the Law 10) In what did Paul glory? (14) - The cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom the world had been crucified to him, and he to the world 11) In Christ Jesus, what is it that avails anything? (15) - A new creation 12) Upon whom did Paul pray for peace and mercy? (16) - As many as walk according to the rule that a new creation in Christ is what really matters - The Israel of God 13) Why did Paul ask that no one trouble him? (17) - Because he bore in his body the marks of the Lord Jesus 14) What was Paul's final benediction to the Galatians? (18) - "Brethren, the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with your spirit. Amen."
"THE EPISTLE TO THE GALATIANS" Chapter Five OBJECTIVES IN STUDYING THIS CHAPTER 1) To see that liberty in Christ does not mean license to do whatever we want 2) To understand how one might be separated from Christ, and fall from grace 3) To appreciate the need to walk in the Spirit, and the true evidence of one led by the Spirit SUMMARY With verse one, Paul reaches the climax of this epistle, stating what can properly be called the theme of his letter: "Stand fast therefore in the liberty by which Christ has made us free, and do not be entangled again with a yoke of bondage." He follows with dire warnings about the consequences of seeking to be circumcised and justified by the Law. He then reminds them that the hope of righteousness is for those who through the Spirit eagerly wait for it with a faith working through love (1-6). The next few verses continue with warnings about allowing others to hinder their progress, with Paul's harshest words reserved for those trying to impose circumcision. Yet Paul does not want anyone to think that liberty in Christ means license, and encourages them to use their liberty in order to serve one another in love. The two-fold benefit of this proper use of liberty is that one actually fulfills the Law, and at the same time does not give the flesh an opportunity to cause them to bite and devour one another (7-15). Paul then stresses the need for the Christian to walk in the Spirit so as not to fulfill the lust of the flesh. He describes the enmity between the flesh and the Spirit, explaining why we must bear the fruit of the Spirit instead practicing the works of the flesh. Not only is there no inheritance in the kingdom of God for those engaging in the works of the flesh, but those in Christ have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. Having been made alive in the Spirit, they ought to walk in the Spirit so as not to be conceited, not provoking nor envying one another (16-26). OUTLINE I. A LIBERTY THAT EXCLUDES THE NECESSITY OF CIRCUMCISION (1-6) A. STAND FAST IN THE LIBERTY CHRIST HAS MADE POSSIBLE (1) 1. A call to stand strong in the freedom we now have in Christ (1a) 2. A plea not to be entangled again with a yoke of bondage (1b) B. CIRCUMCISION IS NO LONGER NECESSARY (2-4) 1. If one is circumcised out of a belief it is necessary, Christ will profit you nothing (2) 2. Observing circumcision as a necessity requires keeping the whole law (3) 3. Attempting to be justified by the Law will separate you from Christ and you will thereby fall from grace (4) C. THE BASIS FOR OUR HOPE OF RIGHTEOUSNESS (5-6) 1. Through the Spirit and by faith, we eagerly wait for the hope of righteousness (5) 2. Circumcision is inconsequential; what avails is faith working through love (6) II. A LIBERTY THAT FULFILLS THE LAW (7-15) A. A WARNING ABOUT THOSE WHO WOULD BIND THE LAW (7-12) 1. Despite a good start, they were being hindered and it did not come from God (7-8) 2. Beware of the influence of "a little leaven" (9) 3. Paul is confident the Galatians will come around, and that the Lord will judge the trouble makers (10) 4. A reminder that Paul himself was not preaching circumcision, with a strong condemnation of those who were troubling them (11-12) B. A PROPER USE OUR LIBERTY WILL FULFILL THE LAW (13-15) 1. Use our liberty to serve one another in love, and the Law will be fulfilled (13-14) 2. Abuse your liberty, and it will be an opportunity to consume one another! (13b,15) III. A LIBERTY IN WHICH ONE IS TO BE LED BY THE SPIRIT (16-26) A. WE MUST WALK IN THE SPIRIT (16-18) 1. Only then will we not fulfill the flesh, which is contrary to the Spirit (16-17) 2. If we are led by the Spirit, we are not under the Law (18) B. THE WORKS OF THE FLESH VS. THE FRUIT OF THE SPIRIT (19-23) 1. The works of the flesh... a. Identified by Paul (19-21a) b. Will keep one from inheriting the kingdom of God (21b) 2. The fruit of the Spirit... a. Identified by Paul (22-23a) b. Against which there is no law (23b) C. THOSE WHO ARE CHRIST'S ARE TO WALK IN THE SPIRIT (24-26) 1. For they have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires (24) 2. For they live in the Spirit (25) 3. Therefore they should not be conceited, provoking and envying one another (26) REVIEW QUESTIONS FOR THE CHAPTER 1) What are the main points of this chapter? - A liberty that excludes the necessity of circumcision (1-6) - A liberty that fulfills the Law (7-15) - A liberty in which one is to be led by the Spirit (16-26) 2) What does Paul enjoin which serves as the theme of this epistle? (1) - Stand fast in the liberty in which Christ has made us free 3) What are two consequences of becoming circumcised in order to be saved? (2-3) - Christ will profit you nothing - You become a debtor to keep the whole Law 4) What two things happen when one seeks to be justified by the Law? (4) - You become estranged from Christ - You fall from grace 5) How are we to eagerly wait for the hope of righteousness? (5) - Through the Spirit, by faith 6) What truly avails something in Christ Jesus? (6) - Faith working through love 7) What saying did Paul use to illustrate the danger of the false teachers? (9) - A little leaven leavens the whole lump 8) What did Paul wish those who were so bent on enforcing circumcision would do? (12) - Even cut themselves off 9) What would be a misuse of our liberty in Christ? How should we use it instead? (13) - As an opportunity for the flesh - To serve one another through love 10) What one command fulfills the Law? (14) - You shall love your neighbor as yourself 11) How does a Christian avoid fulfilling the lust of the flesh? (16) - By walking in the Spirit 12) If one is led by the Spirit, what is their relation to the Law? (18) - They are not under the Law 13) List the works of the flesh as described by Paul (19-21) - Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, licentiousness, idolatry, sorcery, hatred, contentions, jealousies, outbursts of wrath, selfish ambitions, dissensions, heresies, envy, murders, drunkenness, revelries, and the like 14) What will be true of those who practice the works of the flesh? (21) - They will not inherit the kingdom of God 15) What elements constitute the fruit of the Spirit? (22-23) - Love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control 16) What have those who are Christ's done? (24) - They have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires 17) If one lives in the Spirit, what is expected of them? (25) - To walk in the Spirit 18) How would people manifest that they are walking in the Spirit? (26) - By not being conceited, nor provoking or envying one another
"THE EPISTLE TO THE GALATIANS" Chapter Four OBJECTIVES IN STUDYING THIS CHAPTER 1) To appreciate the significance and blessedness of receiving the Spirit in our hearts (cf. Jn 7:37-39; Ac 2:38; 5:32; Ro 5:5; 8:11-17; 15:13; 2Co 1:22; 5:5; Ep 1:13-14; 3:16; 4:30) 2) To understand Paul's concern over the Galatians' observance of holy days (cf. Col 2:16-17; Ga 5:4) 3) To comprehend the implications of the allegory of Hagar and Sarah SUMMARY In this chapter Paul continues and concludes his defense of the gospel of justification by faith in Christ, in contrast to seeking justification by the works of the Law. The previous chapter ended with Paul making a practical argument, how that by faith they had become the sons of God, the true seed of Abraham and heirs of the promise, when they put on Christ in baptism. The practical argument continues in the first part of chapter four as Paul describes the condition of those under the Law prior to the coming of Christ. They were "children", and really no different than slaves. But when Christ came, He redeemed those under the Law and made it possible for them to receive the adoption as "sons". A special blessing of this sonship was receiving the Spirit in their hearts, and now they are no longer as a slave but as a son and a heir of God through Christ (1-7). Paul then argues along sentimental lines. After having come to know the true God and being recognized by Him, their observance of holy days is indicative of a desire to return to bondage. That greatly concerns Paul, who would have them become like him. He reminds them of their reception of him in the past, and he hopes that by telling them the truth he has not become their enemy. Wishing he could be with them in person and use a different tone, he feels like a woman going through labor again as he seeks to ensure that Christ is formed in them. All of this because he has doubts about them (8-20). His final argument is an appeal to the Law itself, addressed directly to those who desire to be under it. He reminds them of Abraham's two sons by Sarah and Hagar, and contends there are allegorical implications concerning the two covenants. Hagar, the bondwoman who gave birth to Ishmael, represents the covenant given at Mt. Sinai, and corresponds to physical Jerusalem and the bondage of those under the Law. Sarah, Abraham's wife who gave birth to Isaac, represents the new covenant and corresponds to the heavenly Jerusalem which offers freedom to all who accept it. With a reminder that those born of the Spirit can expect persecution by those born according to the flesh, Paul concludes his defense of the gospel of justification by faith in Christ by proclaiming that those in Christ are of not of the bondwoman but of the free (21-31). OUTLINE I. JUSTIFICATION BY FAITH: THE PRACTICAL ARGUMENT, cont. (1-7) A. THEY HAD BEEN AS CHILDREN, NO DIFFERENT THAN SLAVES (1-3) 1. The illustration of an heir (1-2) a. While a child, is no different than a slave, even though a "master" (1) b. Under guardians and stewards until the time appointed by the father (2) 2. In like manner, they had been as children, in bondage to the elements of the world (3) B. THEY'VE RECEIVED ADOPTION AS SONS, NO LONGER AS SLAVES (4-7) 1. At the right time, God sent His Son, born of woman, born under the Law (4) a. To redeem those under the Law (5a) b. That they might receive the adoptions as sons (5b) 2. Because they are now "sons" (and not just "children")... a. God sent the Spirit into their hearts, crying out "Abba, Father!" (6) b. No longer are they as "slaves", but as "sons", thus heirs of God through Christ (7) II. JUSTIFICATION BY FAITH: THE SENTIMENTAL ARGUMENT (8-20) A. PAUL'S FEAR OVER THEIR CONDITION (8-11) 1. They had come to know God, and to be known by God (8-9a) 2. But they seem to desire to be in bondage again, returning to weak and beggarly elements (9b) 3. Their observance of holy days gives Paul fear that his labor was in vain (10-11) B. THEIR PAST AND PRESENT RELATIONS WITH HIM (12-20) 1. A plea for them to be as he is (12) 2. A reminder of their past relations with him (13-15) a. They had not allowed his physical infirmities to hinder their reception of him and his gospel (13-14) b. They were even willing to pluck out their own eyes for him (15) 3. Has he become their enemy because he tells them the truth? (16) 4. They are being zealously courted by others, but zeal is good only when for the right cause (17-18) 5. He labors over them again, that Christ might be formed in them, wishing he could change his tone, but he has doubts about them (19-20) III. JUSTIFICATION BY FAITH: THE ALLEGORICAL ARGUMENT (21-31) A. AN ALLEGORY FOR THOSE WHO DESIRE TO BE UNDER THE LAW (21-24a) 1. For those who wish to be under the law, will you hear what the law says? (21) 2. For we read Abraham had two sons (22-23) a. One of a bondwoman (Hagar), born according to the flesh (Ishmael) b. The other of a freewoman (Sarah), born through promise (Isaac) 3. These things are symbolic (24a) B. THE TWO COVENANTS (24b-31) 1. The two women represent two covenants (24b-26) a. Hagar represents the covenant from Mount Sinai (the Law), physical Jerusalem, and the bondage shared with her children b. Sarah represents a new covenant from Jerusalem above (spiritual Jerusalem), which offers freedom to all 2. As prophesied, the barren woman (Sarah) would have more children (27) 3. Those under the new covenant are like Isaac, children of promise (28) 4. Those born of the Spirit can expect animosity from those born of the flesh (29) 5. But the Scripture says that the children of the free woman (Sarah, the Jerusalem above) will be the heir (30) 6. We are not children of the bondwoman but of the free (31) REVIEW QUESTIONS FOR THE CHAPTER 1) What are the main points of this chapter? - Justification by faith: The practical argument, continued (1-7) - Justification by faith: The sentimental argument (8-20) - Justification by faith: The allegorical argument (21-31) 2) What is the condition of a child, even though an heir? (1-2) - No different from a slave - Under guardians and stewards until the time appointed by the father 3) What was the condition of those under the Law? (3) - As children, in bondage under the elements of the world 4) When did God send His Son? Why? (4-5) - When the fullness of time had come - To redeem those under the Law, that they might receive the adoption as "sons" 5) As sons of God, what do we receive? What is our condition? (6-7) - The Spirit of His Son into our hearts, crying "Abba, Father!" - No longer a slave, but a "son" and an "heir" of God through Christ 6) What indication was there that the Galatians sought to be in bondage again? (8-10) - Their observance of days, months, seasons, and years 7) What did Paul fear? (11) - That his labor with them had been in vain 8) How had the Galatians received Paul when he first preached the gospel to them? (14) - As an angel of God, even as Christ Jesus Himself 9) What were they apparently willing to do when Paul was with them? (15) - They would have plucked out their own eyes and given them to Paul 10) What concern did Paul have in telling them the truth? (16) - Had he become their enemy? 11) Why did Paul wish he could be with them and change his tone? (20) - He had doubts about them 12) For those who desired to be under the Law, what story from the Law does Paul relate? (21-23) - That of Hagar and Sarah, and their sons 13) What do the two women represent? (24-26) - Two covenants - Hagar represents the covenant given at Mt. Sinai which gives birth to bondage, and relates to physical Jerusalem - Sarah represents the covenant in Christ, corresponding to the Jerusalem above which gives freedom to all 14) How are Christians like Isaac? (28,31) - We are children of promise - We are children of the freewoman, not of the bondwoman who represents the Law
What Good Things Can You Say About Islam?
|by||Dave Miller, Ph.D.|
“There are 1.3 billion Muslims in the world. Islam can’t be all bad. What good things can you say about Islam?”
Truth is not determined by the number of people that accept or reject it. Nor is any religion, ideology, or philosophy totally evil, false, or bad. No doubt Satan himself has some attributes that some may consider “good.” But this observation misses the point. If a religion is false, it must be rejected—even if it possesses some positive qualities. If the central thrust of an ideology is out of harmony with what both the Bible and the American Founders called “true religion” (i.e., Christianity), then ultimately it will be harmful and counterproductive to American civilization. Philosophies and religions impact life and society. If America loses its Christian moorings, dire consequences will follow—consequences that we are even now seeing in the form of increased crime, the breakdown of the home, and the dumbing down of our educational institutions. Christian principles are responsible for elevating America to the envy of the nations of the world. Remove or replace the Christian platform on which the Republic is poised and disastrous results will follow.
Is there some good in Hinduism, Buddhism, and Islam? Certainly. But that is a superfluous observation. The real question is: what has been the impact of those ideologies on the countries where their influence has prevailed? Answer: Poverty is rampant (except where the Western Christian nations have given assistance and technology—such as drilling oil wells), women are abused and mistreated, children are treated as chattel, the lower classes are treated with contempt, etc. Simply look at one of the premiere atheistic nations of the last century—Russia. Look at the most prominent Hindu nation on Earth—India. Consider the Buddhist countries of the world, from Thailand to Cambodia to Vietnam. Examine the premiere Socialist nations from Cuba to Central and South America. Look at the major Islamic nations of the world, from the Middle East to North Africa to Indonesia. Even a cursory examination of the societal conditions that prevail in all these nations causes the traditional American to shrink with horror and disgust, shocked at the extent of man’s inhumanity to man.
In stark contrast, what has been the result of Christianity’s influence on America? Christian influence has been responsible for the abolition of slavery, and the construction of hospitals, children homes, and the benevolent societies of our nation. Christian influence has created an environment that is conducive to human progress. Hence, America excels other nations in a host of categories of human endeavor. Indeed, where else in all of human history has a greater percentage of a nation’s citizenry achieved a higher standard of living? (Most “poor” in America do not even begin to compare with the poor of other nations and history.) America has orchestrated an unprecedented amount of progress—achieving what one author styled a “5,000 year leap” of technological advancement and progress in just 200 years (Skousen, 2006). Only one explanation exists for this extreme disparity: God has blessed America (Psalm 33:12).
Please give sober consideration to the words of Founding Father, Jedidiah Morse (father of Samuel Morse who invented the Morse Code), who cogently articulated the thinking of the Founders and most early Americans regarding the importance of Christianity to America’s survival:
To the kindly influence of Christianity we owe that degree of civil freedom, and political and social happiness which mankind now enjoy. In proportion as the genuine effects of Christianity are diminished in any nation, either through unbelief, or the corruption of its doctrines, or the neglect of its institutions; in the same proportion will the people of that nation recede from the blessings of genuine freedom, and approximate the miseries of complete despotism (1799, p. 14, emp. added).
Whatever “good” might be acknowledged concerning Islam and all other non-Christian religions is, in fact, irrelevant and diverts attention away from the real issue: Is it true, i.e., of divine origin, and if not, what fruit will it produce in a nation? Abundant evidence exists to know the answers to these questions. [NOTE: See the author’s book The Quran Unveiled and DVD on “Islam, the Quran, and New Testament Christianity” at apologeticspress.org].
Morse, Jedidiah (1799), A Sermon, Exhibiting the Present Dangers and Consequent Duties of the Citizens of the United States of America (Hartford, CT: Hudson and Goodwin),http://www.archive.org/details/sermonexhibiting00morsrich.
Skousen, W.C. (2006), The 5000 Year Leap (Malta, ID: National Center for Constitutional Studies).
Does a Personal Response by Paul Disprove Inspiration?
|by||Wayne Jackson, M.A.|
Some have suggested that the Bible contains a lot of trivial information—e.g., Paul’s request that Timothy bring his “cloak” to Rome (2 Timothy 4:13). They say this sort of material argues against the idea of verbal inspiration. Could you comment on this?
What appears to be superficial initially, upon deeper reflection, may contain a rich depository of truth. Consider the following possibilities.
(1) Why did Paul leave his cloak in Troas? Was he forced to flee, and thus had no time to obtain it? Is this another hint of the apostle’s ongoing persecution in his declining years? Perhaps.
(2) This is another commentary on the sacrificial poverty of him who was willing to spend and be spent for the cause of Christ (2 Corinthians 12:15). Think of it—winter approaching (vs. 21), and yet the apostle’s one coat is a thousand miles away! Paul was no stranger to “cold and nakedness” (2 Corinthians 11:27).
(3) Where are the saints in Rome during the time of Paul’s physical need? Where are the enthusiastic Christians who had rushed out of the city years earlier to meet the tireless preacher as he approached the city (Acts 28:15)? Had many of them been scattered by persecution? Had some turned against the apostle (see Philippians 1:15-17)? At Paul’s first defense, no one took his part; all forsook him (vs. 16). And even as this second letter to Timothy was composed, only Luke remained with him (vs.11). People can change; love can wax cold (Matthew 24:12).
(4) The passage is revealing of the fortitude and independence of the magnificent Paul. No word of complaining or whimpering comes from his courageous lips. No brow-beating of neglectful brethren, and no pitiful solicitation from others, is here in evidence. What a man!
Let it never be said that this, or any other passage of Scripture, is meaningless or trite. Such superficial criticisms come only from those who neglect the responsibility of serious investigation. There is not an insignificant sentence in the Sacred Volume.
Cell Nuclei: Anything but Random
|by||Caleb Colley, Ph.D.|
At the heart of biological evolutionary theory is randomness. Evolutionists claim that the human body is the result of random mutations prompted by natural selection. According to the University of California at Berkeley, “The mechanisms of evolution—like natural selection and genetic drift—work with the random variation generated by mutation” (“Mutations...,” n.d.).
However essential a pillar of evolution the random may be, it is antithetical to what we actually observe in nature, even in the basic unit of all living matter—the cell (Aw, 1982, p. 127). New research suggests that the nucleus of a mammal cell is made up of component parts arranged in a pattern which can be predicted statistically (“Scientists Prove...,” 2006). Systems biologists worked with mathematicians to identify, for the first time, “spatial relationships” governing the distribution of an important control protein in the nucleus, in relation to other components within the nuclei of mammal cells (“Scientists Prove...,” 2006).
The study, published in PLoS Computational Biology, reports that, “[i]t is becoming increasingly clear that nuclear macromolecules and macromolecular complexes are compartmentalized through binding interaction into an apparent three-dimensionally ordered structure” (McManus, et al., 2006). The widespread protein CBP acts on certain genes within the cell nucleus, causing them to make specific proteins at different times throughout the life of the cell (“Scientists Prove...”). The scientists developed a probability map for the nucleus and determined that CBP pockets are more likely to be located closest to the gene regions with which they are known to modify (“Scientists Prove...”).
Also, scientists at Purdue University and Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory have created a technique that automatically locates and maps proteins involved in regulated cell behavior (“New Cell Imaging...,” 2006, p. 46). This allows the cancer researcher, for example, to verify the distinction between multiplying cells that are harmless and those that are malignant (4:46).
Perhaps these new advances constitute substantial progress in scientific examination of cellular life, but they certainly are not the first observations of incredibly sophisticated organization in the cell. Indeed, to observe cells at all is to observe strict organization in the human body itself, for the body is composed in a hierarchy of organs, tissues, and cells. And while it may be very useful to try to put things such as DNA and proteins in the perspective of a cell, “the amazing beauty and complexity of a cell is not always easy to grasp because of the very small sizes involved.... Cells have typical radius [sic] of 10 to 30 microns” (one micron equals a millionth of a meter; Baldi, 2001, p., 22).
Cellular divisions of organic matter were identified and given the name “cells” as long ago as 1663 by the English scientist Robert Hooke (Pfeiffer, 1964, p. 9). Although some 17th-century scientists realized how ridiculous it would be to suggest that something as obviously structured as a human body was composed of randomly assembled components, they did not understand fully the complexity of the cell. Ernst Haeckel, the famed proponent of embryonic recapitulation, contended even in 1877: “the cell consists of matter called protoplasm, composed chiefly of carbon, with an admixture of hydrogen, nitrogen and sulphur. These component parts, properly united, produce the soul and body of the animated world, and suitably nursed become man” (as quoted in Eiseley, 1961, p. 346).
By the mid-20th century, technology had opened the eyes of scientists to a deepened examination of the cell’s inner workings:
The microscopic blob of jelly called the cell is a remarkable entity. The most remarkable thing about it is the very fact that it is alive—not with a murky primordial glow, but as fully and vibrantly alive as a tiger or an oak tree. In a remarkable miniaturization of life’s functions, the cell moves, grows, reacts, protects itself and even reproduces. To sustain this varied existence, it utilizes a tightly organized system of parts that is much like a tiny industrial complex. It has a central control point, power plants, internal communications, construction and manufacturing elements (Pfeiffer, 1964, p. 16).
Reports of cellular organization do not surprise creationists, who understand that each cell is built according to fundamental design principles. Considering that even the most minute cell is capable of the five activities of life (metabolism, growth, reproduction, responsiveness, and autonomous movement), it only makes sense that the “brain” of the cell—the nucleus—is organized in a recognizable pattern.
In their cytology textbook, Cell Biology, Roberts, Nowinski, and Saez wrote: “[I]t has been demonstrated that beyond the organization visible with the light microscope are a number of more elementary structures at the macromolecular level that constitute the ‘ultrastructure’ of the cell. We find ourselves in the era of molecular biology...” (1970, p. 3). That was 1970, a few years after the advent of the electron microscope, which made it possible to study intracellular structures and their interrelationship. Scientists consistently have found that different parts of the cell relate to each other. Baldi wrote that the cell structure could be illustrated by a football stadium:
In the stadium, proteins come in many shapes and sizes, but typically have the dimensions of a tennis ball.... [P]roteins are extremely busy in the stadium as they continually bind and interact with each other.... Somehow proteins must find their way to the region of their activity: the football field (nucleus), the rest of the stadium (cytoplasm), the wall around the stadium (membrane), or even the external world in the case of secreted proteins. They are what keeps the stadium functioning, by generating energy, removing waste, exchanging food and other signals with the external world, producing other tennis balls, fighting enemies, and so on.... From time to time, proteins take care of the very complex events by which an entire stadium is precisely duplicated into two stadiums... (2001, pp. 23-24).
Evolutionists believe that the first living cell appeared 3.5 billion years ago and gradually increased in sophistication and organization (Baldi, 2001, p. 25). How and why did it appear? Is it reasonable to assume that the original nucleus, in all its complexity and organization, simply came together for no apparent reason, and then summoned the remaining cellular parts to join in the fight for existence? Is the origin of the cell explicable on strictly natural bases?
Such is illogical for several reasons, not the least of which is the existence of Deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) and its vital role in the nucleus and in the life of the cell. The DNA is a supermodule that carries the coded information for the replication of the cell. It stores coded information in a chemical format and then uses a biologic agent (RNA) to decode and activate it. As Darrel Kautz has stated: “Human technology has not yet advanced to the point of storing information chemically as it is in theDNA module” (1988, p. 45, emp. in orig.; see also Jackson, 1993, pp. 11-12). The DNA regulates life and directs its synthesis (see Thompson, 2003, pp. 78-86).
The DNA, all within the nucleus, stores a tremendous amount of information. If transcribed into English, the DNA in the human genome would fill a 300-volume set of encyclopedias of approximately 2,000 pages each (Baldi, 2001, p. 21). As Jackson concluded, “a programmed message is not self-explanatory in terms of its origin. One must assume that someone wrote the initial program. A program does not write itself! Similarly, it is obvious that someone has programmed the data in the DNA” (1993, p. 11). The cell, with its complex nucleus, could not have developed accidentally.
Furthermore, consider cellular reproduction and the important role of DNA in the process. In mitosis, cell division is “a mathematically precise doubling of the chromosomes and their genes. The two chromosome sets so produced then become separated and become part of two newly formed nuclei” so that “the net result of cell division is the formation of two cells that match each other and the parent cell precisely in their gene contents and that contain approximately equal amounts and types of all other components” (Weisz and Keogh, 1977, pp. 322,325).
We demonstrated that the cell could not have developed accidentally. For the sake of argument, however, suppose that a single cell did “appear.” What then? Evolutionists are burdened to explain how and why the first living cell, 3.5 billion years ago, would have perceived a need to divide itself and reproduce. Evolution quickly becomes a logistical conundrum.
For purposes of research and experimentation, scientists depend on regular patterns at the cellular level. Such is possible only because cells exhibit precise organization. To believe evolution is to believe that the random gave rise to the organized by accident. Such a position is increasingly recognized as irrational in the presence of cellular organization. Sir Fred Hoyle, a prominent British scientist, has argued that the chance of higher life-forms emerging accidentally is comparable to the chance that a Boeing 747 jet could be assembled by a tornado sweeping through a junkyard (1981, 294:105). Thankfully, we have a more sensible explanation: “It is He Who has made us” (Psalm 100:3). God designed the eukaryotic human cell and its nucleus!
Aw, S.E. (1982), Chemical Evolution: An Examination of Current Ideas (San Diego, CA: Master).
Baldi, Pierre (2001), The Shattered Self (Cambridge, MA: MIT).
Eiseley, Loren C. (1961), Darwin’s Century: Evolution and the Men Who Discovered It (Garden City, NY: Anchor).
Hoyle, Fred (1981), “Hoyle on Evolution,” Nature, 294:105, November 12.
Jackson, Wayne (1993), The Human Body—Accident or Design? (Stockton, CA: Courier).
Kautz, Darrel (1988), The Origin of Living Things (Milwaukee, WI: Darrel Kautz).
McManus, Kirk J., et al. “The Transcriptional Regulator CBP Has Defined Spatial Associations with Interphase Nuclei” (2006), PLoS Computational Biology, [On-line], URL:http://compbiol.plosjournals.org/perlserv/?request=get-document&doi=10.1371/ journal.pcbi.0020139.
“Mutations are Random” (no date), University of California at Berkeley, [On-line], URL: http://evolution.berkeley.edu/evosite/evo101/IIIC1aRandom.shtml.
“New Cell Imaging Method Identifies Aggressive Cancer Cells Early” (2006), Bioscience Technology, 4:46-47, April.
Pfeiffer, John (1964), The Cell (New York: Time).
Roberts, E.D.P., Wiktor W. Nowinski, and Francisco A. Saez (1970), Cell Biology (Philadelphia, PA: W.B. Saunders).
“Scientists Prove that Parts of Cell Nuclei are Not Arranged at Random” (2006), Imperial College London, [On-line], URL: http://www3.imperial.ac.uk/newsandeventspggrp/imperialcollege/newssummary/ news_20-10-2006-8-43-24.
Thompson, Bert (2003), The Case for the Existence of God (Montgomery, AL: Apologetics Press).
Weisz, Paul B. and Richard N. Keogh (1977), Elements of Biology (New York: McGraw-Hill).
|by||Eric Lyons, M.Min.|
Near the end of Moses’ life, when the children of Israel were soon to enter the Promised Land, Moses instructed them to teach the younger generation: “And these words which I command you today shall be in your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, when you walk by the way, when you lie down, and when you rise up” (Deuteronomy 6:6-7, emp. added). In this passage, Moses stressed the importance of teaching children continually the words of the Lord. Why is it that we have not followed the example that Moses set for the Israelites? If we love the Lord with all of our heart, soul, and strength (Deuteronomy 6:5; Matthew 22:37), the priorities given 3,500 years ago should not have changed. In the New Testament, Paul instructed Timothy to “give attention to reading, to exhortation, to doctrine” (1 Timothy 4:13). Peter commanded Christians to “always be ready to give a defense to everyone who asks you a reason for the hope that is in you, with meekness and fear” (1 Peter 3:15). The noble Bereans set a worthy example to follow in that they “searched the Scriptures daily” (Acts 17:11). However, it seems that in recent times we have failed to teach our children, and ignorance has become an epidemic.
In their book, The Gospel According to Generation X, David Lewis, Carley Dodd, and Darryl Tippens revealed the results of a survey they conducted in the early 1990s. Four thousand adolescents from churches of Christ throughout the United States were questioned. A number of the statistics were encouraging, however, the responses to some of the questions revealed there is much that young people still need to know. For example, 45% of those surveyed indicated that they either did not believe or did not know whether it is possible for any adult to be saved without being baptized (p. 17). Only 20% of the 4,000 questioned thought that divorce and remarriage for reasons other than fornication would cause all parties involved to be lost (p. 18). Just 19% of those surveyed thought the use of musical instruments during a church service was sinful (p. 18). And finally, of the 4,000 young people polled, 81% indicated that those who have not heard the gospel still have a hope of salvation (p. 18).
Why are we surprised when so many young people never are baptized, or think very little about its necessity if they want to be saved (Mark 16:16)? Why are we shocked when a young adult marries, then divorces and remarries for reasons other than fornication (Matthew 19:1-9)? Why are we surprised when people show little interest in sharing the good news of Jesus? After all, only 19% indicated that one who has not heard about Jesus is lost (2 Thessalonians 1:8-9).
Mothers and fathers cannot rely solely upon the Sunday school instructor to teach children everything thing they need to know about the Bible. Young people never will have a good knowledge of God’s Word if they are taught the Bible for just a few minutes on Sunday mornings and Wednesday nights. They need to hear it on a consistent basis. When you see monkeys at the zoo, take the time to teach your children that they did not evolve from animals. When you take a quarter out of your pocket, show them the image of George Washington and then teach your children that they were created in the image of God (Genesis 1:26-27). When you see a body of water, remind your sons and daughters of the Ethiopian eunuch’s question, “See, here is water. What hinders me from being baptized?” (Acts 8:36).
Religious education should take place in the mornings and in the evenings, inside and outside, while sitting and while walking (Deuteronomy 6:6-9). It is time to confront ignorance “head-on” by giving attention to God’s Word on a daily basis.
Sam Harris, Christ’s Resurrection, and the Nature of Belief
|by||Kyle Butt, M.Div.|
Sam Harris has helped lead the new brigade of militant atheists in their charge against God. His bestseller, The End of Faith, attempts to persuade the reader that all religions, including Christianity, are not only useless, but often quite harmful. In truth, he does an outstanding job showing some of the problems with false religions like Islam, and he also effectively repudiates perversions of Christian doctrine that attempt to pass themselves off as authentic. What he fails to do, however, is accurately assess true, New Testament Christianity, a fault that lies at the heart of much modern, atheistic writing.
As a case in point, Harris asked the question: “What should we believe?” He answered:
We believe most of what we believe about the world because others have told us to.... In fact, the more educated we become, the more our beliefs come to us second hand. A person who believes only those propositions for which he can provide full sensory or theoretical justification will know almost nothing about the world (2004).
Harris then proceeded to discuss how to assess the validity of what we should or should not believe that other people tell us. He gave three sources of information and analyzed the validity of each. First, he proposed the scenario of an anchorman on the evening news claiming that a fire in Colorado had burned 100,000 acres. Second, he listed as a source of information numerous biologists who claim that DNA is the “molecular basis for sexual reproduction.” And the third source of information he listed was the Pope, who claims that Jesus is the Son of God, was born of a virgin, and was resurrected bodily after death.
After some discussion, Harris concluded that the first and second sources of information are reliable and should be trusted, but the third, the Pope, is not. What is interesting about Harris’ discussion is why he concluded that the story about the fire on the evening news is trustworthy. He elaborated:
Given our beliefs about the human mind, the success of our widespread collaboration with other human beings, and the degree to which we all rely on the news, it is scarcely conceivable that a respected television network and a highly paid anchorman are perpetrating a hoax, or that thousands of firefighters, newsmen, and terrified homeowners have mistaken Texas for Colorado. Implicit in such commonsense judgments lurks an understanding of the causal connections between various processes in the world, the likelihood of different outcomes, and the vested interests or lack thereof, of those whose testimony we are considering. What would a professional news anchor stand to gain from lying about a fire in Colorado? We need not go into the details here, if the anchor on the evening news says that there is a fire in Colorado and then shows us images of burning trees, we can be reasonably sure that there really is a fire in Colorado (2004).
It is not surprising that Harris follows this explanation with his statement about mistrusting the words of the Pope pertaining to the resurrection of Christ. In this regard, he is right: the Pope’s “word” on the resurrection is no more authoritative than the word of Sam Harris. But notice the straw man Harris has built. He rightly attacks the false belief of the Pope’s infallibility, but he does not address the real evidence that validates Jesus’ resurrection. Were we to put the evidence for the resurrection beside that of the news story, the resurrection would have unquestionably more “commonsense judgments” to commend it, making it much more “reasonably sure” than a modern news story.
Analyzing the resurrection of Christ in light of Harris’ filter of evidence, it is “scarcely conceivable” that several hundred eyewitnesses (1 Corinthians 15:6) of the resurrected Christ simply concocted the story to further their agenda. What would ordinary fishermen, farmers, or businessmen and women stand to gain from perpetuating such a hoax? The reward for their testimony was that many of them were stoned, killed with the sword, tortured, or imprisoned for nothing more than saying that they knew Jesus came back to life. Thousands of their peers listened with interest to their evidence, assessed the value of the witnesses and other information, such as the empty tomb of Christ, and were forced to conclude that the resurrection had, indeed, occurred (Acts 2:41). Many among the most educated classes, including the priests, who would have had numerous reasons to deny the validity of the evidence, were convinced of the truth of Christ’s resurrection (Acts 6:7). The many “infallible proofs” (Acts 1:3) offered for the resurrection are recorded in the most reliable documents ever to come down to modern man from any historical repository (see Butt, 2004). In fact, so powerful are the various evidences for the resurrection (see Butt, 2002), that, knowing what we know “about the casual connections between various processes” and humanity’s “success of our widespread collaboration with other human beings,” it is inconceivable that the resurrection of Christ is a hoax. The Pope is an easy target. The real evidence for the resurrection is not.
Butt, Kyle (2002), “Jesus Christ—Dead or Alive?” Reason & Revelation, [On-line], URL:http://www.apologeticspress.org/articles/121.
Butt, Kyle (2004), “Archaeology and the New Testament,” Reason & Revelation, [On-line], URL:http://www.apologeticspress.org/articles/2591.
Harris, Sam (2004), The End of Faith (New York: W.W. Norton).
|by||Dewayne Bryant, M.A.|
A fairly common charge against the Bible is that the Patriarchal narratives contain a number of anachronistic details, the domestication of camels being one of them. Based on the findings of two archaeologists at Tel Aviv University, Israel (Sapir-Hen and Ben-Yosef, 2013), a flurry of recent articles have claimed that camels mentioned in the patriarchal narratives constitute an anachronism, and that domesticated camels did not appear in ancient Israel until around the 10th century B.C. It should be quickly pointed out, however, that the archaeologists do not state explicitly their discovery contradicts the Bible. The popular media, however, has done quite a job—perhaps predictably so—in sensationalizing the issue.
The views of camel domestication in the ancient Near East range from the early third millennium B.C. to the ninth century B.C. Those skeptical of the historicity of the biblical narratives generally believe that camels were domesticated far too late to have made an appearance during the time of the patriarchs. Egyptologist Donald Redford states: “[C]amels do not appear in the Near East as domesticated beasts of burden until the ninth century B.C.” (1992, p. 277). Archaeologists Israel Finklestein and Neil Asher Silberman state: “We now know through archaeological research that camels were not domesticates as beasts of burden earlier than the late second millennium and were not widely used in that capacity in the ancient Near East until well after 1000 B.C.E.” (2001, p. 37). Even W.F. Albright, who was a staunch defender of the Bible, stated, “the domestication of the camel cannot antedate the end of the 12th century B.C.” (1951, p. 207).
The later use of camels is well attested. The Assyrian monarch Esarhaddon (681-669 B.C.) mentions kings of Arabia giving him camels to carry water for a military incursion into Egypt in 671 B.C. Likewise, the Black Obelisk of Shalmaneser III (c. 825 B.C.)—which depicts Jehu of Israel giving tribute to the Assyrians—indicates that the Assyrians received “two-humped camels” from Egypt. Furthermore, scholars have long known that merchants preferred camels to donkeys for traversing arid regions in the first millennium. The question is whether any evidence of the domesticated camel exists to support their appearance in the book of Genesis.
EVIDENCE OF CAMEL DOMESTICATION IN THE ANCIENT NEAR EAST
Evidence shows that camels were known as early as the 4th millennium B.C., and domesticated before the beginning of the second. Biblical scholar Joseph Free surveyed the available evidence and concluded that the camel was well known in Egypt from earliest times, as early as the Fourth Dynasty (Free, 1944). Michael Ripinsky notes that excavations carried out over a century ago established the presence of camels in Egypt dating back at least to the First Dynasty (3100-2850 B.C.) with additional evidence indicating they were known in Pre-Dynastic times (prior to 3100 B.C.) (1985, 71:136-137). Although the domestication of the camel may have come much later, it nevertheless preceded the age of the patriarchs.
Ancient texts mention the camel in passing, but do so in ways that indicate they had been domesticated early in Mesopotamian history. A lexical text found at Nippur known as HAR.ra-bullum, alludes to camel milk (Archer, 1970, 127:17). To risk stating the obvious, one does not simply milk a wild animal. Another text from the ancient city of Ugarit mentions the camel “in a list of domesticated animals during the Old Babylonian period (1950-1600)”, suggesting that it, too, was domesticated (Davis, 1986, p. 145). A fodder-list from Alalakh (18th century B.C.) includes the line 1 SA.GAL ANSE.GAM.MAL (269:59), translated as “one (measure of) fodder—camel” (Wiseman, 1959, 13:29; translation in Hamilton 1990, p. 384). Animals in the wild do not need feeding; they forage for themselves.
A cylinder seal from Syria (c. 1800 B.C.) depicts two short figures riding a camel. Gordon and Rendsburg state, “The mention of camels here [in Genesis 24] and elsewhere in the patriarchal narratives often is considered anachronistic. However, the correctness of the Bible is supported by the representation of camel riding on seal cylinders of precisely this period from northern Mesopotamia (1997, p. 121). While the riders on the seal seem to be deities, it nevertheless demonstrates the concept of camel riding (for illustration and discussion, see Gordon, 1939, 6:21; Collon, 2000, Fig. 8).
Numerous discoveries of figurines depicting domesticated camels have been found from a wide range of locations in the ancient world. From the territory of Bactria-Margiana near present-day northern Afghanistan (late 3rd to early 2nd millennium) comes a copper alloy figurine of a camel equipped with a harness, now housed in the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Terracotta models of camel-drawn carts (dating as early as c. 2200 B.C.) have been discovered at the city of Altyn-Depe in present-day Turkmenistan (Kirtcho, 2009, 37:25-33). A bronze figurine of a kneeling camel found in Byblos (19th-18th century B.C) is incomplete, with the hump (and its load) missing. However, the figurine has a slot in its back where the hump could be attached separately. Early in the 20th century, excavations conducted by the British School of Archaeology at Rifeh, Egypt explored a tomb and discovered a pottery figurine of a camel bearing a load of two water jars. Based on the pottery in the tomb, William Flinders Petrie dated it to the Nineteenth Dynasty (c. 1292-1187 B.C.) (Ripinsky, 1985, 71:139-140).
A rock inscription in hieratic (a type of Egyptian script) found near Aswan has an accompanying petroglyph of a man leading a dromedary camel. It is thought to date to the Sixth Dynasty (c. 2345-c. 2181 B.C.; Ripinsky, p. 139). If interpreted correctly, this petroglyph gives evidence of the domestication of the camel in Egypt roughly 2300-2200 B.C., centuries before the patriarchs ever visited. Additional petroglyphs in the Wadi Nasib, Sinai include a depiction of a man leading a dromedary. One author tentatively dates these petroglyphs to 1500 B.C. based on the presence of nearby inscriptions whose dates are known (Younker, 1997).
Finally, a curious piece of evidence comes from the ancient city of Mari. A camel burial (c. 2400-2200 B.C.) was discovered within a house. Ancient people often buried their animals, and this could hardly be explained away as a wild camel wandering into a home and subsequently buried by the occupants.
CAMEL DOMESTICATION AND THE PATRIARCHS
In the final analysis, we can say that the evidence for the domestication of the camel in patriarchal times is clear, but limited. Clear, because the evidence indisputably points to the domestication of the camel very early. Limited, because the camel does not appear to have been widely used, and the few and rather brief allusions to camels in texts seem to mirror the limited role they played in the ancient Near East at that time. As regards the Bible, the evidence suggests that the camel was indeed used for transportation, even if it was not the most popular choice of animals available to ancient travelers and workers.
The Bible records the existence of domesticated camels in the patriarchal narratives, but their footprint is actually quite small. They are listed among the very last items in the total wealth of both Abraham (Genesis 12:16) and Jacob (30:43; 32:7,15). They are mentioned as being used for travel by the patriarchs (Genesis 24:10-64; 31:17,34) and by the Midianites (Genesis 37:25). The Egyptians used them for transport as well (Exodus 9:3). Despite their use for transportation, however, the donkey appears as the favored mode of transportation for the patriarchs. In the ancient Near East as a whole, the same might be said during the early second millennium B.C.—the camel was known and domesticated, but not widely used until later.
Free makes an important observation that applies today just as much as it did a half century ago: “Many who have rejected this reference to Abraham’s camels seem to have assumed something which the text does not state. It should be carefully noted that the biblical reference does not necessarily indicate that the camel was common in Egypt at the time, nor does it evidence that the Egyptians had made any great progress in the breeding and domestication of the camel. It merely says that Abraham had camels” (Free, 3:191). Kitchen sums up the matter: “[T]he camel was for long a marginal beast in most of the historic ancient Near East (including Egypt), but it was not wholly unknown or anachronistic before or during 2000-1100” (2003, 339, italics in orig., emp. added).
Those claiming the absence of domesticated camels during the patriarchal age must deny a wealth of evidence to the contrary. Indeed, the evidence is both early and spread over a large geographical area. It includes figurines, models, petroglyphs, burials, seals, and texts. While some of this evidence is relatively recent, some of it has been known for over a century. Critics often claim that believers refuse to consider any evidence that has a bearing on the validity of their faith. It would appear that in the case of Abraham’s camels, the opposite is true.
Albright, William Foxwell (1951), The Archaeology of Palestine (Baltimore, MD: Penguin Books).
Archer, Gleason (1970). “Old Testament History and Recent Archaeology from Abraham to Moses,” Bibliotheca Sacra, 127:3-25.
Collon, Dominque (2000), “L’animal dans les échanges et les relations diplomatiques,” Les animaux et les hommes dans le monde syro-mésopotamien aux époques historiques, Topoi Supplement 2, Lyon.
Davis, John J. (1986), “The Camel in Biblical Narratives,” in A Tribute to Gleason Archer: Essays on the Old Testament (Chicago, IL: Moody Press), pp. 141-150.
Finkelstein, Israel and Neil Asher Silberman (2001), The Bible Unearthed (New York, NY: The Free Press).
Free, Joseph P. (1944), “Abraham’s Camels.” Journals of Near Eastern Studies, 3:187-193.
Gordon, Cyrus H. (1939), “Western Asiatic Seals in the Walters Art Gallery,” Iraq, 6[1:3-34.
Gordon, Cyrus H. and Gary A. Rendsburg (1997), The Bible and the Ancient Near East (New York, NY: W.W. Norton & Co.), fourth edition.
Hamilton, Victor P. (1990), The Book of Genesis: Chapters 1-17 (Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans).
Kirtcho, L. B. (2009), “The Earliest Wheeled Transport in Southwestern Central Asia: New Finds from Alteyn-Depe,” Archaeology Ethnology and Anthropology of Eurasia, 37:25-33.
Kitchen, Kenneth A. (2003), On the Reliability of the Old Testament (Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans).
Redford, Donald B. (1992), Egypt, Canaan, and Israel in Ancient Times (Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press).
Ripinsky, Michael (1985), “The Camel in Dynastic Egypt,” The Journal of Egyptian Archaeology, 71:134-141.
Sapir-Hen, Lidar and Erez Ben-Yosef (2013), “The Introduction of Domestic Camels to the Southern Levant: Evidence from the Aracah Valley,” Tel Aviv, 40:277-285.
Wiseman, Donald J. (1959), “Ration Lists from Alalakh VII,” Journal of Cuneiform Studies, 13:19-33.
Younker, Randall W. (1997), “Late Bronze Age Camel Petroglyphs in the Wadi Nasib, Sinai,” Near East Archaeological Society Bulletin, 42:47-54.