Written by: Thomas Bailey, CMI-Canada
Article source: creation.com

Michael F. wrote in with several questions/objections about the Bible and God’s character:

The main points of duplicity ( plagiarism) in the bible are,

1. The Flood Myth in the bible was copied roughly 500 years later, from that of Gilgamesh

2. Peter sinking in the water, as he attempts to walk on water as Christ did, is copied from Buddha 600 years earlier.

Also,

A. Why is there no reference to Neanderthals in the bible?

B. Why did your god not rescue a single person of the 6 million of HIS CHOSEN PEOPLE from the Nazis, when he had 6 YEARS, almost 2,200 DAYS, over 50,000 HOURS, 3 MILLION MINUTES to do so.

That was SIX YEARS of waiting for your god to arrive…but of course, he did nothing, because HE doesn’t exist.

C. Where was your god when I prayed for my only brother Steve, my only sister Debbie, for our Mom, my mom’s brother and for my 2 cousins to all be saved from ALS disease.

D. Revelation 6:13 ESV

“And the stars of the sky fell to the earth as the fig tree sheds its winter fruit when shaken by a gale.”

The dude who wrote this passage didn’t even know what stars are, or your god did not understand what stars are ( which is a Whole different topic).

Since our Sun, a star, is 1,000,000,000 time larger than Earth, and millions of degrees hotter, how could millions of those stars be brought to Earth???

There is so much more nonsense in the bible, but with all due respect, I’ve no more time to discuss such dribble.

Regards,
Michael.

 

CMI-Canada’s Thomas Bailey responds,

Hi Michael,

Thank you for writing in. From the tone and content of your email, I’m not sure if you are actually looking for answers or simply want to raise objections. It would appear that you haven’t observed our feedback rules by searching our website for information before writing. However, I will respond to each of your questions/points in order. My responses are interspersed below in green:

The main points of duplicity ( plagiarism) in the bible are,

1. The Flood Myth in the bible was copied roughly 500 years later, from that of Gilgamesh

We’ve already dealt with this objection here: Noah’s Flood and the Gilgamesh Epic.

2. Peter sinking in the water, as he attempts to walk on water as Christ did, is copied from Buddha 600 years earlier.

Once again, the superficial similarity is not enough to claim the gospel writers borrowed the ‘walking on water’ idea from Buddhism. And although Buddha lived in the sixth century BC, the earliest account of his life wasn’t written until the second century AD, well after the gospels were written and being circulated widely in the early church. If anything, the ‘copying’ may have been the other way around, as in the case of flood legends. See Copycat copout: Jesus was not made up from pagan myths , which deals with this and several other ‘copycat’ theories. For more on the authenticity of the New Testament and when the gospels were written, see How did we get the Bible? or the booklet How Did We Get Our Bible?: And is it the Word of God? .

Also,

A. Why is there no reference to Neanderthals in the bible?

For the same reason there’s no mention of Americans or British. The term ‘Neandertal Man’ didn’t exist until 1856, when it was used to describe a set of bones found in the Neander Valley (‘tal’ or ‘thal’) that were thought by evolutionists to represent a pre-human hominid. But if you were to search the word ‘Neanderthal’ on our website, you would see that Neandertals were merely one group of post-Flood humans. The more paleontologists have learned about Neandertals since 1856, the more evidence there is that they were Homo Sapiens. DNA studies even show that they interbred with modern humans. You can find a number of articles about Neandertals at Anthropology and Apemen Questions and Answers. For example, Neandertal Man – the changing picture provides a good overview. If you really want to dig into the topic of what the fossil record shows (and doesn’t show) about human ancestry, I recommend Contested Bones by Rupe and Sanford.

B. Why did your god not rescue a single person of the 6 million of HIS CHOSEN PEOPLE from the Nazis, when he had 6 YEARS, almost 2,200 DAYS, over 50,000 HOURS, 3 MILLION MINUTES to do so.

That was SIX YEARS of waiting for your god to arrive…but of course, he did nothing, because HE doesn’t exist.

You’ve asked this question previously and were referred to the comprehensive article, Why would a loving God allow death and suffering? (written by a man of Jewish heritage, by the way), which explains from a biblical perspective why a sovereign God allows bad things to happen. You can find several more articles on the subject at: Death and Suffering Questions and Answers. But why single out the Jews for special treatment, compared to the many others in history who have suffered; including another ~14 million non-Jews who were also killed at the hands of the Nazis? Nowhere in Scripture does God promise to protect the entire nation of Israel from suffering or calamity in perpetuity. Read the Old Testament and see the number of times God allowed the rebellious and idolatrous nation of Israel to suffer, but He always saved a remnant. By contrast, both Jews and Christians are given ample warning that we can expect persecution in the world. We are also given a clear demonstration of God’s love and undeserved grace through the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ, culminating in an eternity free from all death, pain, suffering, etc. On the other hand, if there is no God, then we really have no objective reason to judge anything as ‘good’ or ‘bad’. See Why did God choose just Israel? for more on what it really means to be God’s ‘chosen’ people. See also The Fall and the existence of other religions.

C. Where was your god when I prayed for my only brother Steve, my only sister Debbie, for our Mom, my mom’s brother and for my 2 cousins to all be saved from ALS disease.

D. Revelation 6:13 ESV

“And the stars of the sky fell to the earth as the fig tree sheds its winter fruit when shaken by a gale.”

The dude who wrote this passage didn’t even know what stars are, or your god did not understand what stars are ( which is a Whole different topic).

Since our Sun, a star,

is 1,000,000,000 time larger than Earth, and millions of degrees hotter, how could millions of those stars be brought to Earth???

The Greek word used in Revelation 6:13 and elsewhere is ‘asteres’, which is where we get the word ‘asteroid’. It’s the same word used to describe the ‘star’ that the magi followed to find baby Jesus (Matthew 2:2), for angels in Revelation 1:16, and for other astronomical objects. It’s important to note that “the dude who wrote this passage” (the apostle John) was not the first to use this phrase. Jesus describes the same event in Matthew 24:29-30 as among the last signs immediately before His return. We can see this event prophesied in Isaiah 13:9-13 as well. Jesus, the Creator (see John 1:1-3) describes this as a future event, not a parable or something symbolic. Since He would certainly know the difference between the sun and other stars (as we use the term) and an asteroid/meteor—it’s likely that these passages are referring to a massive asteroid shower bigger than has ever occurred in history; thus showing God’s power over the entire natural order.

Likewise, in Genesis 1:16, the Hebrew word translated as ‘star’ is ‘kobab’, meaning any small bright heavenly object. This would include meteors and planets, as well as distant ‘stars’. In the language of the observer (and the Bible was written to be understood from human perspective), the actual size and properties of an astronomical object are irrelevant. Even today, scientists use the term ‘falling stars’ to refer to meteorites. Also, meteorologists regularly refer to ‘sunrise’ and ‘sunset’, even though they know perfectly well it’s the earth moving in relation to the Sun, not the other way around. So, there’s nothing inaccurate or deceptive here at all. What is of more concern is the notion that we somehow understand the cosmos better than God. The following article about stars gives an excellent overview of the vastness of our universe, as you have alluded, and how it testifies to the power and majesty of our Creator.

There is so much more nonsense in the bible, but with all due respect, I’ve no more time to discuss such dribble.

Regards,
Michael.

That’s unfortunate, since the Bible, once properly studied and understood within context, genre, and original audience, is an incredibly cohesive narrative of world history from beginning to end. It was written over the course of about 1600 years by 40 different authors from different backgrounds. Yet it is intricately cross-referenced to an extent that defies human efforts at fabrication. Here is a chart that illustrates this. The Bible has been shown to be historically and prophetically accurate to the extent that it makes more sense that it is “breathed out by God” (2 Timothy 3:16) rather than man. While CMI’s main focus is on origins, we do occasionally address other topics, such as alleged errors or contradictions in the Bible. Here is an example of such an article. I invite you to continue to explore the Word of God and feel free to ask further questions. But do please observe our feedback rules by searching our website for relevant articles before submitting a question or comment.

Thomas Bailey,
CMI-Canada


Michael F. replied,

Thanks very much Thomas.

My dear mother, my dear sister, my dear uncle and one cousin were believers ( 4 of the 6) and were all ignored.

ALS is a Brutal disease that slowly suffocates the suffer, and I have witnessed all those family members slowly die that way, while their brains stayed fully intact, alerting them of every failure of their bodies…six times.

Thanks for you other explanations…I shall consider them.

Best regards,
Michael F.
Hi Michael,

Thank you for sharing. Once again, I am very sorry to hear of the loss of your loved ones. Though it may seem of little comfort at present, I do believe that those who put their faith in Jesus are now present with Him (2 Corinthians 5:1-8) and after the resurrection, will live eternally with God in “a new heaven and a new earth” (Revelation 21:12 Peter 3:13) where there will be no more pain, suffering, or death (Revelation 21:4). Jesus himself said he would prepare a place for his followers (John 14:1-3). See also 1 Cor 15: 50-56.

On that note, I feel I should clarify something a little further in regard to what I shared about Revelation 6:13. The explanation I gave you for the ‘stars’ mentioned in Revelation 6:13 is actually just one of several interpretations theologians have put forward over the years. Others include:

  1. that it’s apocalyptic or otherwise figurative language;
  2. that the ‘stars’ symbolize something else, such as angels, pagan gods, or even earthly kings;
  3. that the event is described from the point of view of the observer witnessing the destruction of the current fallen world (see 2 Peter 3:10-13).

One thing theologians do agree on is that there will be an end to the current universe, and that there will be resurrection and judgement of mankind followed by the restoration of a world without pain, suffering, or death.

This is the stance CMI takes on end times without aligning with any one particular view. Our ministry is about upholding the authority of Scripture, with a particular focus on origins. As such, we limit our discussion of end times to how it fits with the overall narrative of Scripture (ie Creation, Fall, Redemption, and Restoration). We emphasize that there will be a restoration of the ‘very good’ world (Genesis 1:31) God created before it was marred by sin. We need to understand God’s original creation in order to fully appreciate the restoration of such a world and the hope that it brings (Romans 8:18-22).

As such, we uphold a plain historical-narrative reading of Genesis 1-11, as opposed to other interpretations that try to add millions of years and/or evolution to the Bible. There are a number of reasons why this is important. For example, deep time undermines the Gospel and the authority of God’s Word. But also, if God created a world with millions of years of bloodshed, disease, and death at the beginning, what reason would we have to believe that the ‘new heavens and new earth’ will be any different?

You may wonder why CMI doesn’t take a particular position on end times, but we insist on a particular interpretation of Genesis. That’s because the various interpretations of end times within the church all pre-suppose that the Bible is the Word of God and therefore authoritative. By contrast, interpretations of Genesis that add millions of years to the Bible are not based on Scripture. Rather, they come from outside ideas about history which stem from naturalism (ie no God). In other words, mainstream interpretations of scientific evidence become more authoritative than God’s Word, so the Bible then has to be reinterpreted to allow room for extra-biblical ideas. So end times interpretations and creation are not in the same category.

I’m sure you weren’t expecting another lengthy response, but I felt it would be useful to give some further explanation. I hope this information will be helpful to you.

Thomas Bailey,
CMI-Canada


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