Dr. Ted Hildebrandt, OT History, Lit., and Theology, Lecture 5
© 2012, Dr. Ted Hildebrandt
This is Dr. Ted Hildebrandt in lecture number five, in the course Old Testament History, Literature, and Theology. Today's lecture will be on Genesis chapter one, on verses 1:1 and 1:2, and then, a discussion on the days of Genesis.
A. Quiz Preview [0:0-2:29]
A couple things for next
week. You guys next week are working on guess which book? Exodus. Okay, you
have to read the whole of Exodus, you think? [student: Yes!] See, there's
energy. He's going for the whole thing. Actually, I cut back this year. When
you read Exodus there are only select chapters. It's the first twenty chapters,
Moses and Egypt, you’ve got to read that. But once you get to where the
Tabernacle is, I cut back some of the reading on the Tabernacle because, to be
honest with you, it goes through it twice. Then it's all these details about
how the Tabernacle's built. We're just going to read select chapters of that.
Look in the syllabus; it'll designate which chapters. Then know the stories of
those chapters, and we'll go from there. There'll be an article on “The bloody
bridegroom.” Say “bloody bridegroom” fast, a few times. You'll have questions
on that, when you read that in the text; and so there's an article on that. I
think there's some memory verses too. So it'll be the normal assignment. Know
the stories. No Bible-robics, for Exodus. No Bible-robics, I haven't developed
it yet. I think I may try and develop it for Exodus this year and then there's
your transcriptions. Your transcriptions from your editors should be sent to me
in email form today and then we're through with that. So basically focus on
Exodus. The other thing is the payment for the course materials; some of you
still haven't turned in your money and things. I think tomorrow's the last day
and then it goes up. Please get your payment in to me, either today or I'll be
in my office tomorrow morning from nine until two. Make sure you get it up
there because after tomorrow, it's double. I don't want to be chasing you guys
down so take care of your debts.
B. Review: Inspiration, Canonization, Transmission, Translation [2:30-4:52]
Let's get started. We've got
a lot of material to run through today. We're going to start out with Genesis
1:1 and actually start working with the text today. So far in this class, we've
been talking about inspiration being one hundred percent, God speaks to the
prophets. We talked about canonization, the collection of those books into the
word of God. Then we've talked about transmission that is scribal copying. There's
been some problems there. In translation there's also been some problems. So
inspiration, canonization, transmission, and translation.
Now we're down to Genesis 1:1. So we're going to start today with "In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth." Then we're going to notice what's in verse two, and how Genesis 1:1 connects up with Genesis 1:2. "In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth." Does the Bible agree that there is a beginning? Yes. Some cultures kind of have the earth going over and over again through these cycles. The Bible doesn't do that. Is there a beginning in the Bible and is there an end? Yes. So that means things are moving in a direction. There's a beginning, there's an end; that means there's direction, purpose, meaning, and things like that. It's not just all cycled over and over and over again like the movie Ground Hog’s Day.
So, "In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth." Now, what's the next verse? This is where the tricky part comes in. "And the earth was formless and empty." What is the relationship between this verse and "in the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth"? What is the relationship with that and with "the earth was formless and empty and darkness covered the face of the deep. The spirit of God was hovering over the waters. And then God said, Let there be light and there was light"? So what is the relationship between Genesis 1:1 and 1:2?
There's basically three positions on this. We'll go through those three different ways of taking the relationship of these two verses and see how it affects things. What are the three different ways of looking at this and which views allow for the earth to be billions of years old? Is the earth billions of years old or is the earth only tens of thousands of years old? There's a big debate on how old the earth is. So the connection between these verses will allow for some people to say various options.
C. Genesis 1:1 and
1:2: Gap Theory [4:53-6:50]
Now, this first view is called the “Gap Theory.” This is the “Gap Theory,” it was held by--has anyone ever heard of the Scofield Reference Bible, from Philadelphia? Is anyone from Philadelphia? Scofield Reference Bible, Philadelphia College of the Bible, now called Philadelphia Biblical University, or whatever - had this view. This is the way the Gap Theory reads this: "In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth." So there was an initial “wham bam.” God created stuff. "In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth." “The earth then, became darkness and void, formless and empty.” When God originally made things, did he make them good? There was light, but it then became darkness, formless, and empty. What the Gap Theory suggests is that this is when Satan fell to the earth. Satan is an angel of light who was cast to the earth here in Gen. 1:2. That's why it's a period of darkness and this is when Satan made the dinosaurs. This is where the dinosaurs fit in. Satan is the creator of the dinosaurs, chaos on the earth, and this kind of thing. So in the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth. Then Satan is cast to the earth. Then Satan does his thing on earth. Then what you have after Satan does his thing, God says, “Let there be light” and there's light. Then you have the seven days of creation. But the seven days of creation are really seven days of what? Recreation. For this view, the seven days of creation God is reforming and recreating what Satan had messed up.
So this is called the Gap Theory. Do you see why it's called the Gap Theory? Because you've got God creating here (Gen. 1:1)--there's a gap where Satan comes in and chaos comes in, formless and empty (Gen. 1:2)--and then here God starts up again (Gen. 1:3) with “Let there be light.” So this is verse two, where there's a gap.
D. Analysis of
the Gap Theory [6:51-11:57]
Now there are reasons to support the Gap Theory and let me just run through a few of the reasons here--the pros and cons of the Gap Theory. The Hebrew word hayah, which is the verb “to be” or “to become.” The Hebrew word hayah means “is” or “become.” It can mean either one, and so these people say that hayah means “became.” So the earth became formless and empty. God originally made it good, and then the Earth became [hayah] formless and empty. It became dark. God had originally made it light. He made it and it became. So this word “become” says that Satan came down and perverted what God had originally made. This clarifies - did you ever wonder when Satan went bad? By the way, does Satan show up in Genesis chapter three with the serpent and all that? So he's down on the earth in chapter three, when did he really go bad? So this gives Satan a place then, with this Gap Theory. They’re saying the earth became formless and empty when Satan was cast to earth (Gen. 1:2). He was an angel of light that was cast to earth during this time period. A couple passages people use to support this are Isaiah 14 and Ezekiel 28--they tell us a little about Satan's career. Isaiah 14's very questionable, Ezekiel 28 may have a better shot at it. But to clarify Satan's initial work, to-hu va-vo-hu. This is not tofu, this is to-hu va-vo-hu, and this means “formless and empty.” Basically formless, and I think the King James version says “void,” or something. It’s “formless and empty.” “And the earth became formless and empty,” to-hu va-vo-hu.
The people who hold the Gap Theory jump over to Jeremiah 4:23, and they say, “Hey, there's a statement to-hu va-vo-hu, ‘formless and empty.’” It's used in Jeremiah as a judgment on sin. Therefore it ties in with Satan and a judgment on his sin. It gives the poor dinosaurs that have got to have somewhere to go a place. So this puts them in. Satan does his thing, he makes dinosaurs. Does Satan often duplicate the works of God? So now God's going to create some stuff so Satan tries messing around with making things. They're big and they've got teeth, and eat people. Well actually, there were no people, so that's it.
Now, here are some negative things on the Gap Theory. Jeremiah 4:23 to 4:26, indeed does mention the to-hu va-vo-hu “formless and empty,” but in Jeremiah it's a judgment on sin. But in Genesis 1 is there any mention of sin? Is there any mention of sin in Genesis chapter two? Sin comes in, in Genesis chapter what? 3, with the serpent. So what are these people doing in the Gap Theory, are they reading sin back into that context? Is there any sin in the context of chapters one and two? No. So this is a projection by them taking this back in, and the question is it seems out of context because in Genesis 1 there's no mention of sin. It seems to be dragging something into the context that shouldn't be there. Is Satan the point in Genesis 1 or 2? Is Satan really the point? Is Satan mentioned anywhere? No. Even when he does show up in the guise of a serpent, is he really mentioned as Satan or as a serpent speaking? The serpent. We learn that the old serpent- dragon from the book of Revelation that tells us that the serpent was Satan. But you have to work with that. So Satan is not the point. They put Satan into Genesis 1:2. It just again seems out of context. There's no context for it. The word “became darkness” should be read as all your modern translations do: “was.” “The earth was formless and empty.” The earth did not “become” formless and empty, the earth “was.” “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth, and the earth was formless and empty.”
Now, does that make sense then? Does the Gap Theory allow for an old earth? With the Gap Theory, is it possible Satan was messing around down here for a couple billion years? Yes. So it's possible. The Gap Theory allows for an old earth. Does the Gap Theory actually give a place for the dinosaurs? Yes, it does. So this theory came up in the 1950's or 1960's, and was put out by the Schofield Bible. My Dad held this theory.
E. Genesis 1:1 and 1:2:
Dependent Clause Theory [11:58-13:59]
Now, here's another way to look at the relationship between Genesis 1:1, and Genesis 1:2. Look at how Genesis is translated in some of your translations. I think the old RSV, translates it like this: Genesis 1:1. How does Genesis 1:1 start in your mind? "In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth," right? Here's how some people [RSV] translate that first verse: “When God began to create, the earth was without form and void, and darkness was upon the face of the deep.” Does that change the meaning? “When God began to create, the earth was without form and empty.” Is that different? What does this verse assume? The earth was already there and God came down merely to shape and form the heavens and the earth. Now, by the way, is that different then the way you would normally read that? "In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth." This view is called the Dependence Clause View. What it says is that the first verse is dependent on the second verse. “When God began to create, the earth was without form and empty.” The earth was already there when he began to create. Is that what the Bible is saying? The earth was merely there and God shaped it. So this is the view: “when God began to create the earth, it was without form, and God said, ‘let there be light.’” So this assumes then, what comes before God? The earth is already there. So the heavens and the earth are eternal as is God. God merely shapes the heavens and the earth. This is the view held by this Dependent Clause view.
F. Analysis of the Dependent Clause View [14:00-14:44]
So, to be honest with you, I
have problems with this view. How does that change the meaning of the text?
Well, what it does is it says three things are eternal, not just God. God does
not create the heavens and the earth, it’s not that God speaks and they come
into being. They're already there. God merely shapes and fashions them. So,
this view is quite different.
What are the problems of this view. I think this is what we've been going over here: it says that there are three things that are eternal: matter, energy, and God. God merely works with matter and energy. Matter and energy already existed, and God merely shapes them. I think that's a problem - I don't think that's what the Bible is saying. But that's what the RSV said.
G. Genesis 1:1 and 1:2: Independent Clause View [14:45-20:25]
Now, here is the Independent Clause View. We had the Gap Theory - there's a gap between Genesis 1 and 2, Satan's involved. The Dependent Clause View said that the earth was already there and God just shaped it. It was formless and empty and God just formed and filled it. The Independent Clause View goes like this. There is an initial creation. “In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth.” Wham bam--God creates the heavens and the earth. It's kind of like a summary title, it’s a summary independent clause that summarizes the initial act of creation. “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.” This independent clause stands by itself. The second verse is a negative circumstantial clause. It says, when God created the heavens and the earth, what was it initially like? It was formless, and empty. When God originally made it, did he make it “formless and empty and darkness was over the face of the deep and the spirit of God was hovering over the waters”? Now, when God created the earth, did he made it perfect or did he suddenly just wham bam and everything was there. All the animals were there, did he just goes wham bam and everything was all there? Did he take time to form and fill it? So when he originally made it, it was formless and empty. Then in the seven days of creation, he's going to form it, he's going to shape it, and he's going to fill it. So this is a negative - notice it's a negative thing. He originally made the heavens and the earth, and they were formless and empty. How does he respond to the formlessness and emptiness? He forms it and he fills it. Then the main clause is: "God said, ‘let there be light and there was light," in Genesis 1:3. So then you have the main clause. So this is kind of the flow of it.
You say, “Hildebrandt, you hold this view, why do you hold this view over the other ones?” Well, will writers write with a certain style? Do you have a certain literary style? If I read probably a ten or twenty page document that you wrote, and you handed me another one; would I be able to tell if it was written by you or not written by you? Yes, I think I could tell for a lot of people. Some people not, but I could tell for a lot of people. People write with certain style. Moses then is a classic example of how this works: “in the beginning God created the heavens and the earth, the earth was formless and empty, and then “let there be light and there's light.” So this is an independent clause, a negative circumstantial clause, and then the main clause. That's kind of just the structure of that. Independent Clause View, how does Moses write?
Now, how do I know how Moses writes? I don't know, but I've got the book of Genesis that claims to be written by Moses, so I look at the next chapter. Guess what I find in the next chapter? Starting with verse 4, in the chapter 2, you've got, "This is the account of the heavens and the earth when they were created." It's kind of like a summary statement--"This is the account of the heavens and the earth when they were created." Then what's the next verse say? It says, "When the Lord made the earth and the heavens, there was no shrub in the field (that had yet appeared on the earth), there was no plant in the field, and God had not sent rain." Are all those negative things that God had not yet done? No shrubs, no plants, and no rain. So you get this negative circumstantial clause saying there's no plants, no shrubs, and no rain. It tells you all these negative things that are not there. Then you hit the main clause. The main clause is in chapter 2 verse 7, "The Lord God formed man from the dust of the ground."
How does chapter one differ from chapter two? In chapter one, does God work with the skies, and the separating of the waters above and below? It's about the world, it's about the universe. In chapter two the focus on human beings. So what you've got is this contrast between chapters one (which is the seven days and the creation of the universe) and chapter two. In chapter two, he says, “I'm going to focus on Adam and Eve now,” and so he develops that in more detail. He mentioned Adam and Eve in chapter one but now he goes into more detail how he formed and actually shaped Adam and how he formed Eve.
So this independent clause, negative circumstantial clause, and main clause sequence is that exactly the same structure that he used in chapter one? Yes. So what I'm suggesting is that this structure in chapter two helps us understand how chapter one should be understood. Does that make sense? I'm trying to use Moses to understand Moses. Anyway, that's the methodology I'm trying to use and I think it works pretty well here.
By the way, I should say about the Gap Theory that no one holds the Gap Theory anymore, my dad's dead by the way (I don't say that in a joking manner) but so are most of the people who held the Gap Theory. It's been discredited. There was a guy named Weston Fields, he's a friend of mine, who wrote a two hundred page book that destroyed the Gap Theory. Weston basically put it to rest. Nobody holds that anymore. Also the grammar, it doesn't fit the Hebrew grammar. It contradicts the literary structure that Moses uses and, by the way, it doesn't help us with Satan. Satan isn't in Genesis 1 or 2. Follow the literary patterns.
H. Creation texts
outside of Genesis: Psalm 19 [20:26-21:55]
Now, does creation argue for the existence of God? There are some beautiful passages in the Bible, besides Genesis 1, that talk about creation. I'm going to show you several of them. One of those is chapter nineteen in the book of Psalms. Psalms chapter nineteen goes something like this, it says: "The heavens declare the glory of God. The firmament shows his handiwork. Day after day they pour forth speech; night after night they give knowledge." In other words, the heavens declare the glory of God. If you were like Dr. Perry Philips, who gave that talk on the Big Bang yesterday, he's an astronomer, should you be able to use astronomy to look out into the universe and see the handiwork of God? Does astronomy declare the glory of God? In other words, you have God's word here. This is the Bible. This is God's word. Can we tell something about God from his word? Yes. Is this the most explicit? God has told us what he's like here. Can you also look at God's works and tell something about him? You've got God's word (that's flawless and perfect). You've got his word and through inspiration it was given to the prophets, but you've also got God's work. So God's work is seen in creation, so you can learn something about God from creation. “The heavens declare the glory of God.” So Psalm 19 is helpful on that, in terms of seeing the work of God.
and Miracles [21:56-26:28]
Now, modernity, back in my generation these people basically said the universe is rational and natural; there's no room for God. There's no room for God because everything could be explained by cause and effect. It was a closed system. The universe is a closed system explained by cause and effects. There are no miracles; God cannot act in real space and time. There are no miracles. Miracles cannot exist. Everything is by natural causes and therefore miracles do not exist. Everything follows logical rules of cause and effect, cause and effect, cause and effect, all the way back to the beginning. There is no God at the beginning, there's nothing there. By the way, what's the problem? If you have a miracle, if the Red Sea just separates and people go across is that a natural phenomenon? No. Then you get across and then what happens next? Whoosh, it goes down, and all the Egyptians drown. You say, “hmm, that was pretty lucky.” Or you say, “No, no - water doesn't open up like that.” I've always taught my class, I'm on tape now but I need to do it anyway. You guys are going to go out and get a job someday, and it's really important that you learn certain skills on how to deal with real life besides academics. So I want to teach you about plumbing today. There's two things you need to know and then you can be a plumber. There are two things you need to know. Water flows downhill, and payday's on Friday. Got it? Water flows downhill, and payday's on Friday. We're all Joe-plumbers now. So you can go and say, put in your resume, I'm a plumber. Anyway, I'm joking, but not really.
What I'm trying to say here,
is when water separates with a wall on one side and a wall on the other and
people walk in the middle. You know what I'm saying, water flows downhill.
That's doesn't work. So that's a miracle. It's a miracle. God does that kind
of thing. It's not natural. So the modernist, from the 19th and 20th century
said any miracles in the Bible are mere legends. Any miracles didn't happen
historically. Somebody made them up; they're just mere legends. That was
You guys live in what's called post-modernity. In post-modernity, they come in differently now as everybody has their own story. Question: does your generation believe in miracles? Does your generation believe in things that happen that are spectacular, you see it all the time. So you've seen stuff that's kind of incredible. Miracles don't bother this generation at all. Everybody has their own story, but the story of God is irrelevant to most. God's not a part of my story so then you can ignore him. But the miracle thing is not necessarily fought against in your generation. Your generation can accept miracles as no big deal. By the way, is it a deal? When God does a miracle it is a big deal. Anyway, post-modernity is more fragmented. Modernity everything was logical, it was connected, the closed universe worked like a clock. Your generation, you see nothing works. Right? Oh, that's right, you think I'm talking about the government, you're right? Anyway, you see how a lot of things, how should I say, let me just even go into the families. We just went to my daughter's marriage. I drove over Labor Day weekend out to Ohio to celebrate that with my family. All the kids were there, it was one of the best times of my life, actually. I'll never forget it. She got married. Question: is life chaotic? Life’s chaotic! Yes, it's really chaotic. You know, you're intersecting with families that are all fallen apart. I guarantee that most of you have seen divorces go down in families, infidelity and all sorts of stuff. Life is often upside down. What I'm saying is that's the way the world is today. All this old order of modernity, everything being logically connected gives way to everything's upside down now. Everything's fragmented. Nothing makes sense; it's all broken apart. You’ve just got to grab it where you can.
J. Moses and his sources for Genesis [26:29-28:18]
Where did Moses get his material? When I was younger, I thought God maybe just came down and zapped it into him. Maybe he put a chip in the back of his head - that was the Matrix. We can't really do it. Anyway, just put a chip in the back of his head and downloaded stuff into his brain and I thought this is what happened. Moses writes it down. God says, “berahshet bara’ elohim;” and Moses says, “okay, slow down God, I've got a slow keyboard on my computer here.” He types it up and writes it down. God zaps it into his brain and God spoke to him in words and Moses wrote it down.
By the way, for some of the prophets, did God come down and speak with them and they wrote it down on the spot? Jeremiah did it [Jer 36]. Not only did he do it once, Jeremiah writes it down; and God says, “Okay, Jeremiah, write this stuff down.” First of all, he says, “Jeremiah get a scribe and I'll tell you, you can tell a scribe what to write down.” Jeremiah says, “thus saith the Lord,” he goes to the scribe, and scribe writes it down. He takes it to the king. What does the king do? The king takes the word of God from the scribe, direct from God--he basically rips it up into shreds and burns the whole thing. It's, “holy cow, the word of God just went up in smoke,” right? What's God say? “Jeremiah, come back here.” He basically gets the scribe and he does it again. This time, it's in the king's face. Question: you burn the word of God, what happens to you? Bad things. It's not a good idea. Jeremiah did it and it's in the Bible; you don't want to be that king. So, anyway, the king tried to destroy it. Did Jeremiah dictate that text twice? He dictated it twice and the scribe wrote it down twice. Anyway, sometimes God speaks directly. What I'm trying to say is sometimes God comes down, sometimes he speaks and sometimes it's audible. Sometimes it's inaudible. Some of the guys actually heard it. Sometimes it was in their mind.
K. Enuma Elish and the Gilgamesh Epic [28:19-30:49]
What do you do with this? What
do you do with the Enuma Elish? It's a Babylonian creation account. What do you
do with the Babylonian creation account? By the way, have you ever heard of
this guy, Gilgamesh? Let me just do Gilgamesh first because he's probably more
familiar to you guys. But Gilgamesh, is he before Moses? Many hundreds of years
before Moses. Could he have copied from Moses? No, he's hundreds of years
before Moses. Gilgamesh has Utnapishtim, we'll call him Utnap for short. Utnap
goes out and the gods come before him and he's told to build a boat. So
Utnapishtim builds his boat and by the way all these animals come to the boat.
These animals, plus his family, and plus a whole bunch of other people; they
put him on the boat. He's on the boat for a while; the flood comes, lifts up
the boat, drowns out the people. By the way, in the Gilgamesh epic, why were
the people flooded out, destroyed? Yes, they were too loud. See, you do that
rap music, you see what can happen to you? Alright. Anyway, it was just too
loud--no heavy metal. The gods were just upset that mankind was making too much
noise, so they drown them. So they flood them out. But by the way, when
they're in the boat, as the flood goes down, how does Utnap get off the boat?
Does he send out some birds? Yes. He sends out some birds. So you've got a
guy, builds a boat, gets his family, and the animals on, the boat rises up, the
boat goes down. He sends birds out, and then comes out. Does that sound fairly
familiar? Did Moses know the story of Gilgamesh? Interesting.
Did Moses know the story of Enuma Elish, the creation account that comes from Babylon? Again, it’s from before the time of Moses. You've got a divine spirit and primeval chaos. Light emanates from the gods (plural). Firmament is made, the dry land is made, luminaries are made and notice, man is made last. Then, after that, the gods rested. Does that sound familiar in terms of basic structure? Is it possible then Moses copied the stuff and just forget to put down in a little footnote the Gilgamesh epic and the Enuma Elish? Are there similarities there? Yes, there are.
L. Analysis of Gilgamesh and Enuma Elish [30:50-31:35]
Somebody here has done
some ancient Near Eastern study and you say, “Hildebrandt, you faked them out
because you didn't tell them the real truth. You picked out the content that's
similar and dropped all the stuff that's dissimilar. You know how the gods made
the ancient world? The gods had a war basically and they took one of the gods
and cut her in two and made the earth out of one part of the body and out of the
other part, the sky. Is that a little bit different from the Bible? Yes. All
I'm saying is I've kind of milked this in one direction. These stories are very
different when you actually read them. The Enuma Elish is trying to promote
Marduk the god of Babylon. However, are there similarities? Yes.
M. Explanation of similarities and oral storytelling [31:36-41:43]
Now, does that surprise me? And the answer is: no. We have not talked about and this is really important I'm not going to develop it--I'm going to do a terrible job at this. You need to take a course by Borgman or somebody who develops this more in depth. Originally when people were really, really old before Moses back at 2000 B.C. did a lot of the poetry, did a lot of the legends come down orally? Is oral transmission different than written? Noah gets off the boat. Shem, Ham and Japheth get off the boat; they're his kids. They were on the boat with Noah. Do you think Shem, Ham and Japheth ever told their kids about Grandpa Noah and what happened with all those animals? Yes. So Shem, Ham and Japheth tell their kids. Now, by the way, would their kids be able to go and talk to grandpa Noah and say, “Hey, grandpa Noah, Dad said this. Did it really happen like that?” Would grandpa Noah be able to straighten them out? Okay, did you ever have your grandpa straighten you out? Anyway, what would happen? After three or four generations would the story probably migrate? Would there be differences in the story? What's one of the beautiful things and one of the problems with oral tradition. When oral stuff comes down does it change generation to generation? Let me be more specific. My son gets back from Afghanistan. He's telling oral stories. He just didn't have time to write them down because he was actually getting shot at every single day he went out. So he didn't take the time to write this down. So these are oral traditions. Now he tells them (he's got a brother, Zach, and a couple sisters). We're sitting around the table and he's a wonderful story teller. So he tells a story and all of a sudden everybody is laughing their heads off. The kids leave. Elliot turns now to the old man (me), and his wonderful mother, and question: does he tell us the same story, only he tells it a second time and his parents are almost in tears. Question: was it the same story? Yes, it was the same story. Question: did he leave out some details? Yes, he did. When the kids left…he dropped some stuff on us that just totally blew me away. Question: was it the same story? Yes, it was the same story intended for a different audience.
Can you tell a different story--you know who's great at this? Dr. Graeme Bird here. Did you ever hear him play the piano? You’ve got to take him when you get in his course say, “Hey, Hildebrandt says you've got to play the piano for this class.” He plays jazz. So he'll play the same song, but does he ever play the same song the exact same way? No. He does jazz. So depending on who you are, do you tell the story differently to somebody whose twelve to fourteen, than you do to somebody who's fifty-four to sixty? Do you tell the story differently? When Dr. Bird plays the piano, he'll play it one way and then he'll play the exact same song and you can hear it's the same song, but is it different? It's jazz. So, what I'm saying, in oral tradition do people jazz the story? In other words, you never tell the story exactly the same way. Noah tells it to his kids - well Noah didn't tell it to his kids, his kids were there; but his kids pass the story down. Would you expect the story then to come down in variant forms? I think the Gilgamesh epic is remembering the Noahic flood. Only it's come down orally, so what you have with Moses here, is God comes down and says “Moses. Let me tell you what really happened.” Now you've got it from God coming and saying, “Hey, this is what really happened.” By the way, did the other people who passed the story down did they have the shell of the story? Yes, they did. But they, how should I say this, so God tells Moses what happened.
Therefore, I'm not surprised that there are echoes in other cultures that remember the story of the flood. I'm not surprised. God flooded them out. I would expect other cultures to remember that and pass it down. Now my guess is that they didn't know Jehovah, and what motivated it so they made up what was going on? Was it Baal, you know, flooding out Asherah, what's the deal here? Did the gods fight or what? Does that make sense to you, then? I would expect some of the stories to be similar, and then God gives Moses the revelation from God. That's how we account for Genesis, that's how we account for the similarities, and that's also how we account for the differences.
Now, by the way, is oral tradition beautiful? Yes. In some cultures, they memorize - when you go back to Homer, the Iliad, and the Odyssey. Some of the people in Croatia have twelve hundred lines of poetry memorized and they perform it. Every time they perform it--some of you do theater. When you do theater, have you ever done theater one night, two nights, or three nights? Question is: every night different? Yes. It's the same play, but it's different every night you perform it. There will be something a little different in each oral telling.
You had a question. [student: Yes. So there's a flood, and everything got destroyed so after that point would all the stories be the same?] Yes. Right, so when Noah gives the story to his kids, they saw it. The story's the same. Now his kids come, and I want to say they probably checked back with Grandpa. So the story's probably pretty close. Now they had kids (grandpa dies, and the parents die). Now there's nobody to check the story. So it's like if I told somebody here to say something and you passed it down orally by the time it got through the class it'd be very different than what I originally said. So you know what I'm saying? Orally, the stories change. By the way, what I'm telling you is fact. We know this. We can compare in other cultures, Croatian cultures, the oral things has been checked out and you should just know that. If I started something here and I told them three sentences, and everybody had to repeat those sentences, by the time it got to you, would it be the same or different? It would be different.
[Student: what I'm asking is how long exactly is it between Noah and Moses?] We're talking thousands of years. I mean, Jericho, Joshua fit the battle of Jericho in Jericho there's a humongous tower there. It's from 8,000 B.C. So that means Noah has to come before that, so then you've got 8,000 B.C. down to Moses's 1400 B.C. So you've got at least 7,000 years there. Stories can change a lot in 7,000 years. The Gilgamesh epic, let's say is 2,000 B.C.? So we've got at least 5-7,000 years that it must be told over. My guess is that it was much longer than that. But I can prove - you can't have it any shorter than that, because you've got to account for towers there, the city of Damascus, there's various places that we know. So you know what I'm saying; you've got to give me at least thousands of years.
[Student: about how many years would you estimate between Noah and Moses?] No, I can't do that. Well, let me just tell you theoretically I can't do that. Let me just caution you about something, okay. You know those genealogies in Genesis chapters five and eleven, did you read those? No, don't add those up. Genealogies have holes in them. When it says so and so is the father of - okay, let me just do Matthew, chapter one. Jesus Christ, the son of David, the son of Abraham. Excuse me? Jesus Christ, the son of David (Matthew 1:1). “Jesus Christ, the son of David.” Well you guys know, David's what? Give me a date. Jesus Christ, the son of David--that's a thousand years. Jesus Christ, the son of David, the son of Abraham. Abraham's what? [students: 2,000 years.] So you guys know that! Question: was Jesus Christ the son of David? See, he said, “no.” I say “yes.” You know what “son of” means? “Son of” means “descendant of.” “Son of” doesn't necessarily mean direct descendant. “Father” can mean, well you guys even say it until this day, “our father Abraham.” Well, he's not really your father, is he? But also you see, the point that I'm making? Do you see what I'm saying? Go back into those genealogies in Genesis in chapter five and eleven, I will guarantee you there are holes there, and these guys are living 900 years anyway, and you've got huge gaps. You can't simply add them up. It's impossible. There are holes so I can't give you an estimate. All I know is Moses is about 1400-1200 and I'll tell you Noah has to be before 8,000, because we've got that tower at Jericho. So that's what, almost 6,500 years. Almost 6,500 years and how many generations? I don't know. By the way, it's not just the Tower of Jericho, you're going to have to push it back farther than that too. Good questions, I just don't know the answer.
N. Education of Moses [41:44-43:45]
Was Moses aware of literature like the Giligamesh epic and the Enuma Elish? Well, you say Moses was raised out in the desert, chasing sheep. Moses didn't know this literature because he was Jewish. He couldn't read all this literature anyway because he was Hebrew. Question: was Moses ignorant? Actually, where was Moses trained? Out in the desert with the sheep? [student: Egypt]. Egypt. He was tutored as the Pharaoh's daughter's son. Would he have been trained in the wisdom of Egypt? Were the Egyptians exceedingly a literate and a brilliant culture? And we're talking old Egyptian going back to Ptahotep that goes back to 2800 BC. That's at least 1400 years before Moses. Was there wisdom literature 1400 years before Moses? Yes, there was a whole, Old Egypt, there was Middle Egypt. So there was a huge literary tradition prior to Moses. Would Moses had known about Mesopotamia legends? Was there any trade between Egypt and Mesopotamia? Those are the two big cats, that's what they call the fertile crescent. There was trade going on back and forth all the time. So my guess is Moses knew some of these stories, and may have adapted them, adopted them, and God used Moses to straighten them up. Could Moses have borrowed some of Genesis from some of these sources, from these legends? And the answer is: yes, he could have. Is everything pagan people say wrong? Do the pagan people say some things that are right sometimes? And if they're right, then God can include that in the Bible. Are there some pagan people who speak in the Bible, and speak truth in the Bible? Let me do this. Are there even some donkeys who talk in the Bible and speak the truth? Yes. The donkey speaks the truth in Numbers 22.
O. Toledoth Structure of Genesis [43:46-44:42]
Now, this is the toledot structure of Genesis. This is, I think interesting, but it's interesting from a literary standpoint. Toledot means (it's translated in King James Version, I believe) “these are the generations of.” I think your NIV--if you've got your Bibles you may want to pop them open, as this is fairly interesting to actually look at how your Bibles do this. In Genesis 2:4, you've got one of these toledots, “this is the account of.” “This is the account of the heavens and the earth and the day they were created.” “This is the account of,” and what you find is, there are ten toledots in the book of Genesis. So Genesis is broken up into ten sections based on this phrase “this is the account of.” Is this how Moses breaks his own book up? This is how Moses, writing his book, breaks it up. This is his paragraph divider kind of thing.
P. Chapter divisions in the Bible added ca. 1200 A.D. [44:43-48:13]
By the way, if you went up to Moses and said, “Moses, how many chapters in Genesis?” You guys are smarter than Moses. If you went to Moses and said, “Moses, how many chapter in Genesis? Would Moses know the answer to that question? No, he wouldn't. There were no chapters back when he wrote Genesis. He didn't write in chapters. Your Bible has chapters in it. Do you realize those chapters were added about 1200 AD? Now, by the way, again, I'm standing over here. I'm telling you the truth. There was a bishop - Dr. MacRae was a guy I studied under, some rumors were that he knew this bishop person. But 1200 AD, MacRae always said he was riding on a horse, and sometimes chapter divisions would appear up, and sometime they'd be down there, and sometimes he'd get it right. Are some of the chapter divisions in the wrong place? Let me show you an example from your Bible from Genesis chapters one and two. Look at this, he missed the chapter division. Now by the way, does this mean the Bible made an error or does this mean the bishop in 1200 AD put the chapter division in the wrong place? Now let me prove that to you. Go look at your own Bibles, look at Genesis chapter two. Chapter one is what? The seven days of creation. But the problem is: are there seven days of creation in Genesis chapter one? Where is the seventh day? Is the seventh day in chapter one? No. The seventh day, as it says, “And thus the heavens and the earth were completed, and by the seventh day God had finished the work that he had been doing. So, from the seventh day he rested from all his work.” That's in chapter two. The seventh day is in chapter two. Should the seven days of creation be put together? Yes. By the way, look down to verse 4. Now does your NIV Bible, your NRSV, ESV Bible divide between 2:3 and 2:4? Is there a space there? Some of you are shaking your heads no. Do a lot of your Bibles have a space there? There should be a space there. That's where the chapter division should of been put because of this phrase “this is the account of the heavens and the earth.” This toledot structure is what Moses uses to divide the narrative into his ten sections. This is how Moses divides it. So there should be a little division there.
By the way, do some of you have those mini-Bibles where they put the text on top of the text? So they don't do white space because they're trying to get it really small? So some of them may have scrunched it together, not because they didn't know that the division is in 2:4, but just because they're trying to save space.
So actually go from 2:4 to 5:1. Here you'll see right at the chapter division in chapter five. How does it start out? “This is the written account of Adam's line.” So now you've got the genealogy of Adam coming after that. Go to 6:9, you can see in my NIV it puts the statement off by itself. "This is the account of Noah." So after 6:9, you get a story about Noah and his kids. Then you go over to 10:1, and you'll see the same thing, etc. etc. “This is the account of Shem, Ham and Japheth,” and then it goes on to a genealogy of Shem, Ham, and Japheth. So “this is the account of,” this is how the book of Genesis is structured using this phrase. Moses puts it in ten times and structures his book that way.
Q. Tablet structure of Genesis [48:14-52:35]
Did you notice while you were reading Genesis you get a little bit of history and then it gives you a genealogy? You read the history, and then you hit the genealogy. What do you do? You skip the genealogy. You hit the history, and then you skip the genealogy. Is that how we read as Americans? Were they more into genealogies then we are? So do your grandmothers and grandfathers do the genealogy thing?--so history and genealogy, history and genealogy. See how it oscillates in the text, back and forth between history and genealogy. It turns out somebody has developed a theory based on that fact based on some tablets they dug up.
First of all, what did people write on back then? They wrote on mud tablets in Mesopotamia in particular—mud/clay tablets. So therefore they took a pen or stylus, and they stuck it in the mud and the mud dries. Then you can read it--mud tablets. Are we glad they used mud tablets? What's the problem with paper? Give me paper 500 years old. What's wrong with paper? Paper ain't no more. Now when paper is with moisture what happens? It's goes to nothing; it goes to dust. Back to dust, from dust I came to dust I shall return. What's the deal with tablets? You put the tablets in these boxes, and then you burn the temple down over the tablets. You burn it to the ground. What does that do to the tablets? It fires them! What does that make these tablets? Hard as rock now. Question: do they last forever? We dig them up, 3000 years later and we dig a tablet out. Can we read them? Yes, you all should take Acadian and Ugaritic and you can read the tablets. No, seriously, some people go to the University of Pennsylvania. They lock them down in the basement there for half of their life and after they spend half their life there, they give them a Ph.D. But anyway, these tablets are fired. Do you know how important it is that they wrote on mud for us? We've got these tablets, now, and we can read them after 3000 years.
What's the problem with papyrus and all the paper? The only place where paper is going to make it, like papyrus and that kind of material (they wrote on animal hides also) the only place where's it's going to make it is down in Egypt. Now why does it survive in Egypt? Because Egypt is very very very what? Dry. There's no humidity in the air. It's the Sahara desert, and you know, the Libyans are shooting at them so it makes it even drier. What I'm saying is, it is so dry that Egypt is the only place that papyrus really survives. Did the Egyptians write on rocks and carve stuff on rocks? That's really good for us too, because rocks last a long time. God did some stuff on rocks too with his finger. But anyway, this is how the tablets are structured with this oscillation of history/genealogy back and forth. You get that reflected in the Bible--this history, genealogy, history, genealogy oscillation.
What this guy noticed on some of the tablets that he was reading, that the tablet structure was the front of the tablet and then you have the back of the tablet. And on the front of the tablet he noticed there was a title, a history, a colophon (it was a scribal note saying this tablet's mine), with a genealogy on the back. So a genealogy's on the back and the summary. When it comes into our Bible there should be an oscillation between history and genealogy, history and genealogy; front of the tablet, back of the tablet, front of the tablet, back of the tablet. So therefore what he's saying is: does Moses's style fit the style of writing of that day? Would you expect that? This may be an explanation of the why there is this history-genealogy interchange in Genesis.
Now by the way, do we know this? No, this is some scholar's conjecture. Does it make sense? It makes sense to me, but I'm not saying it's fact. I'm saying it is this guy's conjecture we don't know for sure, but it does seem to make sense. Yes. [student: what's a colophon?] A colophon is a scribal note, you know, say, “I am Shafan, the chief scribe, and this is my tablet” or something like that. Or “this was written for Zimrilin, he was king and he didn't beat me up so I wrote this tablet for him” or something. You know, some little scribal note type of thing. Did Moses use this structure in the writing of Genesis?
R. Hebrew as a Canaanite Dialect [52:36-53:41]
Did Moses use literary patterns from his day? Did Moses use the language of his day? Moses wrote probably in Hebrew, right? What is the Hebrew language? Let me just of kind of be upfront and honest with you on this. Is the Hebrew language a Canaanite dialect? The Hebrew language is just a Canaanite dialect. Where did the Jews get the Hebrew language? They got the Hebrew language when Abraham moved into the land of Canaan. They picked it up there; it was a Canaanite dialect. It was developed about 1800 BC. Abraham picked it up from the Canaanite dialects, and then basically it was passed down and became the Hebrew language but it's originally a Canaanite dialect. Would Abraham have had a Mesopotamian language when he came in from his home in Mesopotamia? Yes. He gets into Canaan, and he adopts a Canaanite dialect which has come to be known as Hebrew, and it comes down to Moses.
S. God communicating in the Language of the People [53:42-56:03]
Now, did Moses write in the language of the people? Yes. Would he write in the style of the people? By the way, are there certain styles of writing that change over a period of time? If you wrote a letter, and you wrote an email, would there be two different styles for how you'd write a letter and an email? When you write on Facebook is that different than when you write an email? If you do a twitter, is that different from when you write on an email? Do we have different styles today? Yes. Would Moses have had different literary styles that he uses? Yes. And I will show you that the book of Deuteronomy is almost in the exact form/shape of a Hittite treaty. The content is different but the form is similar. Is that what we would expect? Moses uses the language of the time, and, he also uses the literary forms of the time. So the style, we'll look at that.
If Moses used the style of writing of his day is it possible he used the content that some of the people of that day held. In other words, for example, did the people in Moses's day hold that the earth was round or flat? Would they hold the earth was flat? [student: because it looks flat.] Yes, because you go out the door here and you see the quad, you know, it's pretty flat. You look around and the earth looks pretty flat. The people in those days would have held that the Earth is flat. By the way is it even possible the Bible could even refer to something like that? Has anybody ever heard of the “four corners of the earth”? It is referred to in the Bible, Isaiah 11:12. “Four corners of the earth,” that means the earth's flat, doesn’t it? Now when you say four corners of the earth, does that mean it's a flat earth? By the way some Christian thought that it's flat because of that passage in Isaiah. Does anyone know what Isaiah means? Does anybody here and now talk about the four corners of the earth? If you said the four corners of the earth today does that mean you think the earth's flat? [student: No.] It's just a literary way of saying the corners of the earth (north, south, east, and west). You're not saying the earth's flat. The Bible's not wrong there, it's just people misunderstood it.
family background [56:04-58:29]
Where did Moses get the language he wrote? When I try to suggest that Abraham and his descendant Jacob picked up the language of Canaan when they're in the land of Canaan, and that was passed down to Moses; wasn’t Moses trained under his own parents? He was trained by Pharaoh's daughter in the wisdom of Egypt but was he first trained by his own parents? Do you remember he was put in a basket and then put down into the Nile River? When Pharaoh's daughter picked him up, she said, “this is a child of the Hebrews.” (I think he was probably circumcised) and so she picked him up. Then what happens is Miriam, Moses's older sister, shows up and says, “Hey, I'm Jewish.” So she gives Moses back to his own sister--older sister, he’s the younger brother. There's something wrong with that, okay. Did your older sister ever boss you around? Anyway, so the older sister takes Moses back, to his own parents. Moses's own parents raise him, or, as my wife would say, “reared him.” So he's raised until he's probably twelve or thirteen into adolescence. When he gets to adolescence, he goes to Pharaoh's daughter. There he gets trained in all the wisdom of Egypt. Would he know how to speak Hebrew fluently? If you get raised in a family until you're 12 years old or so, do you know the language pretty much for the rest of your life? My son-in-law married my daughter is from Taiwan. He was raised in Taiwan until he was twelve. When it comes to English, can he speak English fluently? He still says “sheeps” and “deers.” Not deer, but “deers.” He puts an 's' on the end of everything to make the plural. I mock him because he does that. Actually, he's got on me licked. He took the SAT, the SAT was in English. He missed five points on the SAT. Is the guy pretty bright? Okay, went to Harvard, went to MIT, the guy's very bright. But he still says “sheeps” and he still says “deers,” so we get him for that. But question: does the guy still know Mandarin? He was raised until he was twelve in Taiwan. Does he still know Mandarin fluently? Yes. So what I'm saying, is Moses knew Hebrew in his childhood.
U. Pagans speaking truth and God’s accommodation [58:30-59:26]
Can non-Jewish, non-prophets, pagan people say some things that are true? Yes. If Moses records what those pagan people say, it's still something true. It's in the Bible, then it's still true. So be careful with some of this stuff. Did God accommodate his the truth to express the truth in ways that were in harmony with how ancient man saw things? He accommodated himself in language. So God speaks in Hebrew, and he uses the literary forms of the day. How much did he accommodate himself ? Did God come down and say to Moses: “Moses, you guys think the earth is flat, the earth is not flat, it's round”? Did God ever come down and straighten them out? No, that wasn't the point. God was coming down to tell them about their souls, and about redemption, not about scientific fact. So you've got to take a little break on that stuff.
V. Purposes of Genesis 1 and Hermeneutics [59:27-60:39]
Now, why did Moses include the creation? Why did Moses start out "in the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth." Did Moses write Genesis 1 and 2 to fight against evolutionary theory? Did Moses have a clue about evolutionary theory? No. That's in the 19th and 20th century? So Moses did not write against evolutionary theory. Moses had no clue, nor did any of the people he was addressing know that. Now what I'm working on here is “hermeneutics.” Hermeneutics, does anybody know “hermeneutics”? Hermeneutics is the study of how you interpret the Bible. How do you interpret the Bible? Different people interpret the Bible differently. Hermeneutics is how you interpret. Notice what I'm pushing here. Fight against evolutionary theory - is that our problem fighting the evolutionary theory in our day? Did Moses know about that? I'm trying to get you back into the original intent of the original author. In other words, the Bible is necessarily for me me me me me. We live in a narcissistic culture that says “me me me,” all the time.
W. Original Intent of the original author [60:40-61:49]
What I'm trying to do is get you out of you and look back at how Moses, as a writer, how he originally intended it. What did Moses originally intend? What was the original intent of Moses? So that's my hermeneutic, to try and get back to the original intent of the original writers. Did Moses probably write it as a polemic against polytheism? Were the people back then polytheistic? Many gods, doing all sorts of stuff. So it's possible, does that fit Moses’ intent a lot better than evolution? Yes, because they were struggling with polytheism. So it's possible. He starts out, “No, no it's not Baal and Asherah who went to war, and Baal cut her up. There was one God and he made everything, and how did he make it? He spoke, and things came into being.” So Moses is possibly working against polytheism. I think this is the real point that Moses is dealing with in the book of Genesis. Moses is basically saying Genesis 1 is a doxology. It's for the praise and worship of God. It tells us something about God, his majesty, the greatness and goodness of God in the creation. The greatness and goodness of God in the creation account is what is featured.
view of Creation: Psalm 136 [61:49-62:41]
Now how do I know this is a part of the purpose? I look over to Psalm 136, and Psalms shows us how the Genesis account can be used. Now, I'm going to put this up here, and just see this beautiful psalm. What does this psalm speak of? Psalm 136.
To him who alone does great wonders,
for his loyal love endures forever.
Who by his understanding made the heavens?
for his loyal love endures forever.
Who spread out the earth upon the waters,
for his loyal love endures forever.
Who made the great lights,
for his loyal love endures forever.
The sun to govern the day,
for his loyal love endures forever.
What's the point of this psalm? He looks at creation, and what does he conclude? It's very difficult to catch the main point. What does he conclude? “His loyal love endures forever.”
Y. Integration of Faith and Learning [62:42-65:19]
So in other words, can you look at the creation, and learn something about God? Some of you guys are going into science and some of you gals into science. Should you be able to look into science and should it lead you to the worship of God? Should your study of physics lead you to the worship of God? Should your study of biology lead you to the worship of God? Should chemistry lead you to the worship of God? Is physics only f=ma? Or v=ir? You could say, I know physics or whatever, v=ir. Okay, is that really the essence of it? Or can you see past the formulas to what? You're talking about galaxies, you're talking about what God made. You can see the handiwork of God. So what I'm saying is take the sciences. Yes, learn your formulas; but go beyond the formulas to see the beauty of God in creation in physics, chemistry, biology, whatever.
Here's another approach. These guys are in heaven in the book of Revelation [Rev. 4:11]. And guess what they're doing in heaven? This is what we're going to be doing in heaven. “You are worthy, our Lord and God, to receive” - to receive what? “Glory, honor, and power.” Why is God worthy of receiving glory, honor, and power? “For you created all things, and by your will they were created and have their being." So this beautiful verse, reflects what’s going in heaven.
Does create always mean create out of nothing? There's a Latin term (and I do want you to know this), the Latin term, “create out of nothing,” is to create ex nihilo. Ex - does anybody do Latin anymore? Ex, is “out of,” nihilo, means “nothing.” Does God create out of nothing? Can God create out of nothing? God spoke and it came into being. So God creates –“in the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth.” He creates out of nothing, ex nihilo. Does God always create ex nihilo? Psalm 33:6, is a beautiful verse. "By the word of the Lord were the heavens made, the starry hosts by the breath of his mouth." God spoke and universes came into being. Did God always do it that way though? No. God brought man out of the dust. He shaped man, he created man out of the dust. Did he form man out of nothing? Some women would say, “yes.” Did God form man out of nothing? No, he formed him out of the dust.
and Eve’s names [65:20-68:54]
Now, by the way, because you guys don't know Hebrew, you missed some beautiful plays on words in the book of Genesis. God takes the dust of the ground, and he forms what? What does God call the being he shapes out of the ground, does he calls him a name? He calls him “Adam.” He calls him Adam. What does “adamah” mean? He takes the dust, he shapes it and he calls him “Dusty.” No, this isn't a joke, this is the honest truth! “Adam,” what does “Adam” mean? Adamah means dirt, ground, dust. So he shapes Adam out of the dust and he calls him “Dusty.” That's the truth. Adam's name is a pun on “Dusty.” There's a play on words there and it's beautiful.
By the way, what does he call Eve? Who names Eve? Adam names Eve. When does Adam name Eve? After Adam is told: Adam, you sinned, dust you are “Dusty,” to dust you shall return. The next verse in Gen. 3:20 Adam turns to Eve. She has not been named on the earth so far. He turns to his wife, just after he's been told he's going to have to work his tail off and he's going to end up losing to the dust, he’s not going to win (he's going to become dusty again. He then turns to his wife and says, “you are death woman. Evil woman. Destroyer woman.” What does he name her? He turns to her and he says havah. And you guys know what havah is. You go to a Jewish wedding, they pull out the - oh you guys are under twenty-one, don't do this at a Jewish wedding. Anyway, at a Jewish wedding, they pull out, the things between them, and they say what? Lahayim. Lahayim. You guys know that --you've all seen “Fiddler on the Roof,” right?
By the way, they don't tell you this at Gordon College, but one of the graduation requirements is you have to watch “Fiddler on the Roof,” before you've graduated. I'm not even kidding, I'm serious. If you go across that stage to get your diploma, Dr. Wilson's got one of those air soft guns, if you go across he pops you if you haven't seen “Fiddler on the Roof.” So you've got to see “Fiddler on the Roof.” If you haven't seen “Fiddler on the Roof” you've got to see it. Lahayim! Lahayim!
By the way, what is the root of Lahaym? Havah and lahaym are basically the same word. He turns to his wife and he says what? What does lahayim mean? To life. He turns to this woman, and he calls her havah--you are “the mother of all living.” I'm going to dust, but you are “the mother of all living.” Does this woman bring hope to him that someday the serpent's head is going to be crushed? Where does life come from? Life comes from this woman. So he names her “the living one”—“the mother of all living”--Havah. Does that show a beautiful relationship between Adam and Eve? He doesn't curse her after he's just been cursed. He loves her and sees the hope that comes through her. It is through her seed that redemption will come to all mankind. This woman will bring redemption to all mankind, and he looks at her and says, Havah. You say “Eve,” but I like Havah better.
AA. “Days” of
Genesis 1: Three approaches [68:55-69:36]
Now we've got about ten minutes left, and I want to switch over and switch discussions here to the days of Genesis. I want to go through this fairly rapidly and just hit this because I don't want to linger over this point. The days of Genesis and the creation account--seven days of creation. When was the earth created? What does the Bible say? I've tried to say before that the Bible doesn't tell us how old the earth is. There are three approaches to the days of Genesis 1 and I just want to run through those three approaches. So we'll do the days of Genesis.
AB. 24 hour literal day theory [69:37-73:36]
First of all, some people hold that the days of Genesis are twenty-four hour literal days, twenty-four hours dawn until dusk and evening, a twenty-four period. That is called the “Literal 24 Hour Day Theory.” A lot of the people who hold this are called “Young Earth Creationists.” Young Earth Creationists will hold that is the earth is about twenty thousand years old, something like that--twenty, thirty, forty, or ten thousand years old. So it's called “young earth.” The earth is only about twenty thousand years old. Most of the people who are Young Earth Creationists will hold the actual 24 Hour Day Theory. Basically, what they say is that the word yom, the word yom there is the Hebrew word for “day,” is actually defined in Genesis 1:5 where God says in verse 5, "and God called the light day, and the darkness he called night." So this oscillation between light and darkness, which is a twenty-four day, God defines as yom in Genesis 1:5. It is a twenty-four hour day. It's an oscillation of light and darkness which is a twenty-four hour period. So it's defined for us in Genesis 1.
The Sabbath--how long do you rest on the Sabbath? It also is a twenty-four hour period. Do you celebrate your Sabbath on Saturday? When does the Jewish Shabbat start? Shabbat starts Friday night when the sun goes down. They have Shabbat dinner on Friday night. Then on Saturday, they rest on Saturday. Then when does Shabbat end? [student: Sunday.] No, Saturday night. Okay, it goes from Friday night, after the sun goes down, to Saturday night, when the sun goes down. What do the Jews do Saturday night? Party. You will see in Jerusalem there will be ten thousand Jews, swarming the streets, buying all sorts of stuff, eating pizza (don't order a pepperoni pizza, but just pizza). There's a reason why I said that. Someone ordered one when I was in the store, there must of been two hundred people there and it went silent. The guy ordered a pepperoni pizza. But, you get it. We got out of there. We were obviously Americans, and I knew enough to get out of there when it goes silent like that. But anyway, that's all I'm saying. Shabbat goes down, basically Friday night to Saturday night. Saturday night is usually when they go out and have fun. Is that a twenty-four hour period? The Jewish Shabbat is a literal 24 hour period? Remember what God said in the Ten Commandments? “Remember the Sabbath day to keep it holy.” It's a 24 hour period. Exodus chapter 20 has the Ten Commandments. So again, it is a literal twenty-four hour period.
Here is another argument: day plus a number. Whenever you have day one, day two, day three, it's usually a twenty-four hour period. Whenever the word day is used with a number it's usually a twenty-four hour period in Scripture. In Scripture, there's about four hundred and ninety-nine of those references. I checked them out once upon a time and wrote a paper on that.
The appearance of age. Because the earth is so young, you say, “but the earth looks like it's really, really old.” Dr. Phillips last night was describing galaxies that were ten billion light years away. That light started out from those galaxies ten billion years ago, and now the light we're seeing is really ten billion years old. These people would say, (Young Earth folks) “No, it didn't start ten billion years ago, God made the light already on its way. Adam was made looking like an adult. So the earth has an appearance of age.” That's what the scientists are seeing, God made it with the appearance of age. Does that argument bother anybody that God made the earth with the appearance of age? Does God deceive people? That's an interesting question.
Symbolic Day [73:37-75:23]
Nest is the Symbolic Day theory. This is another way, another type of day. There are people who hold the symbolic day and say the days of Genesis one, two, three, four, five, six, seven days, are not meant to be time. They're meant to be a logical or literary framework that Moses is using to describe the creation. It's a logical or literary framework that Moses is using to describe it. It could be that God came to Moses and said (he's on the Mt. Sinai). “Hey Moses, wake up. Moses, let there be light,” and Moses sees the light. Then Moses goes back to sleep, and the next day God shakes him. “Hey, Moses, wake up,” He says, “Okay, now watch this. Now I'm going to separate the waters above and the waters below.” Moses goes back to sleep, and comes awake on the third day: “Okay, let the land appear.” So, in other words, it's days that God revealed to Moses. It's not days of the actual creation, it's days by when God was revealing it to Moses. Do you see the difference there? So these are what we call “revelational days,” as God took seven days to reveal it to Moses, not that it was originally that way. Here's another way to look at it. This I've often thought this is kind of an interesting way, that God showed Moses seven pictures. Moses is describing, in the first picture, God said let there be light. In the second picture, he separates things, and so on. Moses is shown these pictures, visually, in his head like when the prophets had visions. God is showing him in visions the creation. So Moses describes it as seven days. Perhaps it is a literary framework. Is this more an abstract approach to creation? Yes. The other ones are literal twenty-four hours, this is more abstract; and the symbolic days, Bernard Ramm holds this. Some of the more abstract thinkers hold this.
Here's what Dr. Perry Phillips holds, and this is called “The Day Age Theory.” Perry believes that each one of the days of Genesis are ages, long periods of time. The word yom, in Hebrew, is the word “day.” It has a variety of meanings and is not always twenty-four hours. For example, if I asked you if it was day or night out, what would you say? I've been in this building so long I don't know. If I say it's day or night, how long is “day” in that context? Is day less than twenty-four hours? You say, well we live in New England in December, the day is only five minutes. “Day” as a period of light can vary. Give me twelve hours, for daylight, and twelve hours of night. Then “day” would be shorter than twenty-four hours?
What about the Day of the Lord? How long is the Day of the Lord, the apocalyptic Day of the Lord? It's described in the book of Revelation, the Day of the Lord is a thousand years [Rev 20]. And then if you go over to Psalm 90:4, it says “a day with the Lord is as one thousand years and a thousand years is as a day.” You guys all know that because you've seen Groundhog's Day. A day is as a thousand years. It is the same day, every day after day after day. A day is as a thousand years, a thousand years is as a day. When you're with an infinite eternal God, what's a thousand years? It's nothing. So, “a day” is used for a long period of time.
Here's another one: it's the time of a person's life. If I said to you, “in my father's day,” how long would that be? Would that be about a seventy-six year period from about 1927 to 2004? Okay, so in my father's day, that would be in his life time. “Day” (yom) means many things. It means many things in English, and it means many things in Hebrew. The sun by the way was not made until day four. Are the first three days solar days? They can't be solar days because there's no solar, there's no sun. The sun's gone, the sun doesn't get put in until day four. So the first three days can't be solar days anyway. Now, by the way, does the day age theory allow for billions of years? Yes, it does.
Then this is probably the strongest argument. There's too much work on day six. Can God do stuff instantaneously? But what about man? He forms man out of the dust on the ground on day six, he then brings all the animals to Adam. Does Adam have to name all the animals? Does that take time to name all the animals in the world? Then, by the way, after he names all the animals, Adam has to feel alone. Then, after that, what happens? On that same day, Eve is formed out of the rib of his side. Is that a lot to do in one twenty-four hour day? Now God can create really fast, but does a human being take time? So on day six there's so much.
These are the three approaches. Literal days, day one, day two, day three, where they're actual 24 hour days. These people are Young Earth Creationists, the earth is about twenty thousand years old for them. The Day Age - does this allow for a thirteen point seven billion year old universe that science can largely agree with? Yes. The Big Bang Theory lecture by Perry Phillips I'll have up on the web by Friday. Symbolic days, does this allow for billions of years too? Yes.
Now the question is, and this is the point of all this: How old does the Bible say the earth is? It doesn't say. Is that conjecture on everybody's part? You'll have some Young Earth people, you'll have some Old Earth people, and all I'm saying is: don't fight over these things. The Bible doesn't really say. People hold different opinions, it's okay to hold different opinions on this. Major on the majors, minor on the minors. The date of the earth - we don't know. Scripture doesn't say.
So, take care! We'll see you, Tuesday.
This is Dr. Ted Hildebrandt on lecture five on the course Old Testament History, Literature, and Theology. Today's lecture will be on Genesis chapter one, on verses 1:1 and 1:2, and then a discussion on the days of Genesis. Dr. Ted Hildebrandt.
by Libbi Wilson
Rough edited by Ted Hildebrandt 2