Monday, December 8, 2008

While we're on science... Bible study tomorrow

Job 38-41
God is the Creator.
He has Sovereign Control over the entire Universe.
He not only observes what is going on, He orchestrates what is going on.
Everything is always under God’s observation and control.

As God talks to Job out of the whirlwind, He reveals that He created the world and that He controls the inner workings of the universe, right down to the weather on earth.

Then God speaks of the wonders of His creation right here on earth, and lists a number of marvelous things He has made, including…
Mountain goats
Wild donkeys
Wild ox
Hawk and Eagle
Behemoth (which I think is the brontosaurus)
Leviathin (which I think is the tyrannosaurus rex, or possibly an ancient and giant Komodo dragon)

The idea here is that if we cannot control the hours of sunlight in a day, or the rain or the snow or the temperature, if we cannot direct the stars or send a flood or lightening, if we cannot even tame a wild mountain goat that God made (much less tyrannosaurus rex), then who are we to question God?

Concerning dinosaurs.

1. God made dinosaurs. We know this because we know that God created everything, and we know that dinosaurs existed because we have found their bones. Thus, God created dinosaurs.

2. Evolutionists claim that dinosaurs never lived on earth at the same time as people did. My answer to that? They are wrong. They are wrong about a lot of things, and they are wrong about that.

Since evolutionists censor every shred of evidence that does not support their case, it is difficult to prove that dinosaurs and people lived at the same time. However, just because we don’t see a lot of fossilized dinosaur bones in the same places as fossilized people’s bones doesn’t prove anything. People and dinosaurs did not probably live all that close to one another, geographically. Do we find a lot of fossilized lion bones around fossilized people’s bones? I would expect not. Does that mean people and lions never lived at the same time? Obviously not. And I know that there are different layers from different ages. What they don't tell you is that human and dinosaur and even all types of plant fossils acutally do exist in the same layers, sometimes actually straddling layers. Evolutionists do not like to confront this evidence. It might prove Noah's flood, or something.

3. Noah took two of every kind of animal on the ark. Genesis 7:14 clearly states that a pair of every kind was included, including every creature that “moves along the ground.” This indicates that dinosaurs would have been among the passengers on the ark. The Bible never says Noah took all fully grown animals. It only says he brought male and female of every kind. Of the biggest and most ferocious animals, it is quite possible (and quite plausible) that Noah took baby males and females.

4. Interestingly, most cultures have an oral tradition that includes a story, “myth” if you will, about a cataclysmic flood. Also very interestingly, most cultures have tales of dragons. It is very possible that tales of dragons are really tales about ancient people’s encounters with dinosaurs. Of course, as oral traditions, the stories were prone to be exaggerated and embellished over time (e.g. giving the dragons magical powers). But it is very interesting that all the way from Japan to Great Britain, there are ancient tales of dragons and dragon slayers.

Most people have never seen a dragon, but everyone has heard of them. Ancient tales telling of a major world flood, tales that have survived throughout history, might just be another hint to us from God that a flood really did happen. Similarly, ancient tales of dragons, tales that have survived over time and throughout numerous cultures, might just indicate that some people at some time came up against a dragon… or a “dinosaur” as the case may be.

5. Some people say, “If God made dinosaurs, then why doesn’t the Bible talk about them?” Well, that is an interesting question. The word dinosaur was coined in 1841 by Sir Richard Owen. It is from Greek word roots meaning “terrible” (deinos) and “lizard” (sauros). Dinosaur means terrible lizard.

A dragon is a terrible lizard, and the Bible mentions dragons. And leviathans. Etymologically, dragon and leviathan both mean giant serpent/sea monster thing. Also very interestingly, the King James Version of the Bible was translated in 1611. Since dinosaur bones were not recognized as being the bones of extinct reptiles until somewhere between 1824 and 1838, and the word “dinosaur” was not coined until 1841, it is not surprising that the translators of the earliest English Bibles, translated some 230 years earlier, did not use the word dinosaur—it would have been impossible. The word did not exist.

The words “behemoth” and “leviathan” are transliterations of Hebrew words of unknown meaning. In other words, in Hebrew, behemoth is behemoth, and leviathan is leviathan. Because the translators did not know the meanings of these words, they just changed the Hebrew letters to English ones so we could read the words as they sound. The question is not so much “Why doesn’t the Bible talk about dinosaurs?” as, “Why don’t modern Bible translators use the word dinosaur when they come to leviathan and behemoth?” The answer is probably that they cannot know for absolute certain that this would be accurate (it is plausible, but not scientifically provable), and to translate as such, they would place themselves, and God’s Word, in a vulnerable position to be ridiculed by evolutionists (who have always been more concerned about obfuscating the existence of God than about accuracy, anyway).

6. Are dinosaurs really extinct? Well, obviously, the really gigantic ones are. But lizards look awfully like dinosaurs, if you ask me. A big lizard reptile and a little lizard reptile are not so different. Obviously the “species” has undergone adaptations. Nobody questions the fact that God created creatures with the ability to adapt. Darwin saw living things adapting and over-interpreted his observations, thinking that they were actually evolving. A species will adapt to weather conditions or a change in habitat, but it will not evolve into a higher species. In fact, a species may adapt back and forth as conditions change back and forth. But it will not evolve into a new species. Hence the fact that we do not see new species evolving all around us today.

The lizards of today are very possibly the dinosaurs of ages past. Some of the lizards of today and very reminiscent of dinosaurs. In 1911, Lieutenant Steyn van Hensbrock, a Dutchman, discovered Komodo dragons on the island of Komodo in Indonesia, and they were named "Komodo dragons" in 1912 (scientists were willing to call them dragons, presumably because everybody knows that dragons are “just pretend”; they were not, apparently, willing to call them dinosaurs, presumably because it would undercut their theory that dinosaurs and humans never co-existed on earth). These creatures are thought to have been discovered as early as the second century AD by the Chinese, and some people think they contributed to the Chinese dragon lore (more on that later).

Komodo dragons are very fast, ferocious and frightening. They grow as long as ten feet, although most are 6-8 feet long. They weigh from 150 to 330 lbs., depending on their age and sex. Their scales contain small pieces of bone, making them effectively armor-plated. They are ferocious predators, hiding quietly and then springing on their victims, which they tear apart with their powerful jaws and many rows of serrated teeth. Their mouths contain up to 80 different strains of terrible bacteria in the saliva, so any prey that gets away initially is doomed to die of a blood infection before much time has lapsed. They can eat up to 80% of their body weight at one sitting, and they can smell prey as far away as five miles. They are also able to climb trees, run at a speed of nearly 20 mph, and swim in the sea, even from island to island. They live in burrows in hot, dry, rocky climates. These creatures sound surprisingly similar to the leviathan God describes in Job 41, although probably a good deal smaller. (I personally wouldn’t even want to meet one of these “mini” leviathans.) I’m not convinced that dinosaurs are as completely extinct as they say.

7. Evolutionists say that dinosaurs have been extinct for 65 million years (such an exact number from those who know so much). However, a Jesuit priest named Athanasius Kircher wrote an account of a dragon slayer who succeeded in killing a dragon near a Swiss village in 1678 (to put this in context, remember that the KJV Bible was translated into King James English in 1611, and dinosaur bones were first identified in 1824). Kircher also described how the dragon lived in underground caves and caverns. He drew pictures of dragons as well, and also drew a small dragon that was said to have been discovered during the time of Pope Gregory the XIII, who died in 1585. The dragon (I imagine it was stuffed or something) was kept in the collection of a naturalist named Ulisse Aldrovandi.

As well as searching the records of medieval Europeans, we can look to the Chinese for information about dragons. Dragons have been a huge part of oriental culture. While in the west dragons were regarded with fear and loathing, in the east dragons were valued for their medicinal powers. (Interestingly, scientists are currently studying the Komodo dragon, trying to figure out how it can be immune to its own bacteria and how we might use that knowledge to protect humans from bacteria.) The Chinese used what they called “dragon” bones, teeth and horns to cure many illnesses and maladies, from heart and liver disease to epilepsy, constipation and bad dreams. The really interesting thing is that Chinese apothecaries (apothecaries were the guys who made the medicine) helped fossil hunters invaluably in later centuries by showing them to fossil sites… dragon bones, dinosaur fossils, is there a difference??

The point is that God knows it all. He knows when He made the dinosaurs, and why, and why He let them die out (or shrink, as the case may be).

If God can make storms, ice-ages, and dinosaurs, if He can order the stars and set constellations in motion, if He can provide or withhold food from the lion, then He can certainly take care of our lives.

When we understand His awesome power and greatness, we will not question Him accusingly. Like Job, we will say, “I am unworthy—how can I reply to you? I put my hand over my mouth. I spoke once, but I have no answer—twice, but I will say no more.” (Job 40:4-5)

" ‘For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,’ declares the Lord, ‘As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.’ " (Isaiah 55:8-9)

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