Archive for January, 2013

Does Yom Convey a 24 Hour Day in the Creation Account?

 

In the Bible, the Hebrew word for day is Yom. By looking up the word yom in a concordance you will see that it can have a variety of meanings:  a period of light as contrasted to night, a 24-hour period, time, a specific point of time, or a year.1

As I shared in my last blog (Compromising the Word of God) the meaning of the word yom or “day” is understood by its context. In the Genesis account of creation, God gave us parameters by defining the word day with ‘evening and morning.’  “And the evening and the morning were the first day.” (Gen. 1:5) [Emphasis added]. Every day of creation thereafter – ending with, “And the evening and the morning were the sixth day.” (v. 31) – always use the term “evening and morning.”  Also note that the Genesis creation account always uses a number with the word “day.” (Genesis 1: 5, 8, 13, 19, 23, 31)

Outside Genesis 1, yom is used with a number 359 times, and each time it means an ordinary day.

Outside Genesis 1, yom is used with the word “evening” or “morning” 23 times, and each time it means an ordinary day.

“Evening” and “morning” appear in association, but without yom, 38 times, and each time it means an ordinary day.

Outside of Genesis 1, “night” is used with yom 53 times, and each time it means an ordinary day. Even the usage of the word “light” with yom in this passage determines the meaning as ordinary day.2

The plural of yom can be used to communicate a longer time period, such as “… all the days of Noah.” (Gen. 9:29) However, the plural of yom does not appear in the Genesis 1 creation account. Also, there are words in biblical Hebrew (such as olam or qedem) that could have been used to convey long periods of time, or indefinite time3 … however; none of these words are used in the creation account.

Dr. James Barr (Regius Professor of Hebrew at Oxford University), a skeptic on the historicity of Genesis, had this to say: “So far as I know, there is no professor of Hebrew or Old Testament at any world-class university who does not believe that the writer(s) of Gen. 1-11 intended to convey to their readers the ideas that (a) creation took place in a series of six days which were the same as the days of 24 hours we now experience …” 4

When we look at how the word yom is used in the creation account and its use outside of Genesis 1, it seems clear to me that the days God was describing were literal 24 hour days.

 

Lanny Johnson

1.  Online Bible Edition, Version 4.08.04, Mar. 20, 2011, 10.13, Copyright ©1987-2011, Larry Pierce, 11 Holmwood St., Winterbourne, Ontario, Canada, NOB2VO, Archaeology, Creationism and Science Archaeology, Creation, The New Answers Book, Could God Really Have Created Everything in Six Days?, Ken Ham.

2.  Ibid.

3.  Ibid.

4.  Ibid.

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Evolution and a Matter of Degrees

 

Brrrr… It’s cold here. So far this year, it warmed up once above 30 °F.  One month ago, Mary Jo & I stepped onto an airplane in Mexico saying goodbye to temperatures in the 80’s. About 5 hours later, we landed at home and immediately began a month of saying, “Brrrrrrrr, it’s cold!”

From highs of 85 down to a low of -5 is huge. But it’s a matter of degrees! Dave Harper, the president of our Board, came down recently for our last Board meeting.  The temp was 15 degrees and heading downward. Dave had the gall to say how balmy the temperature was and that it felt like spring time. OK, he lives in Pinedale, Wyoming.  Someone told me the coldest winter they ever experienced was the summer they spent in Pinedale. Yep, it’s a matter of degrees and what you get used to.

One morning in Mexico it was about 70 degrees — to me, quite balmy. However, to the family with the little boy all bundled up in a full snowsuit, 70 felt cold. I thought that family was ready to enter a snowmobile race in the arctic the way they were bundled.

Someone recently posted on Facebook  that it was  a -20 degrees. Wow!  It didn’t seem that cold to me. Maybe, I was starting to get used to cold again. Then I realized  they meant -20 Celcius,  not Fahrenheit. A -20°C is actually -4°F.  Still too cold, but at least I felt warmer. Perhaps, I should consider reporting temperatures in degrees Kelvin, which refers to how many degrees it is above absolute zero. So a  -4°F would be 253°K. It is still the same actual temperature, but I sure could deceive myself into feeling much warmer. In fact, I might even grab my swimsuit to sunbathe in a snow drift! Defining terms is really important.

All of this relates to the evolution debate. We have to define our terms.  Students are taught that evolution is merely change. They even become comfortable with believing that minor degrees of change is actually evolution (such as color variation in moths). In reality, this is nothing more than simple genetic variation in a created kind (such as big dogs and little dogs). We point this out to students who are hot about evolution. It is a matter of the degree of change and type of change, rather than merely change that is important. You might deceive yourself into thinking it is evolution, but minor variation certainly does not explain the broader degree of evolution – how goo changes into you by way of the zoo.

 

Dave Nutting

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Compromising the Word of God

 

In my last blog I showed that to understand all the different meanings of the word UP you needed to know the context, which is derived by the word or words before the word UP. If you take a word out of context, it will have a different meaning.

In the Bible, the Hebrew word for day is Yom. In the creation account, Yom has been taken out of context by those believing that those days are not literal 24 hr. periods.

In the Genesis account of creation it says “And the evening and the morning were the first day.” (Gen. 1:5) [Emphasis added]. Every day of creation week thereafter – always ends with the term “evening and morning.”

I have worked with children and adults for over 20 years, and one of the questions I have asked many of them is, “What is a day?” The three main responses to this question that I hear repeatedly are: “A period of dark and light”, “Morning and night” or “24 hours”. Notice that God gave us parameters (or context) by defining the word day with “evening & morning” … just as we describe a day today – 24 hours.

One of the great problems with adhering to the idea that each of these days were long periods of time – say a thousand or even millions of years – is what do you do with the vast amount of time of dark and vast amount of light that would make up one day? How would the plants that God created on day 3 of creation survive 500 years of darkness (assuming your day is 1000 years) without the Sun, which was not created until day number 4?

To get around this problem (and scripture I might add), progressive creationist Hugh Ross states that the sun, moon and stars were not created on the fourth “day” of Creation. He explains that most of the stars existed long before earth’s creation; approximately 10-15 billion years of stellar evolution occurred prior to the Creation Week.1 Therefore he not only contradicts the days of creation account but also Exodus 20:11, “For in six days the Lord made the heavens and the earth, the sea and all that is in them…”.

“Dr. Ross claims that Genesis 1 describes Creation from the point of view of one standing on the earth; and that the sun, moon and stars did not become visible until the fourth day. He believes the stars were not created instantaneously; rather, they evolved by the physical laws of nature put into place by God.

‘This entire process of stellar evolution is by natural process alone. We do not have to invoke Divine intervention at any stage in the history of the life-cycle of the stars that we observe.’- Hugh Ross” 2 [Emphasis’ added] [Notice that he takes God out of the picture of Creation!]

According to Hugh Ross, the Creation week has taken billions of years. He claims that ‘…each of God’s creation days is several hundred million years long.’ He says earth was created about 4.6 billion years ago, and that some (or all) of the creation days partially overlapped. …” 3

When you begin to take the words of God out of context, you compromise His authority and begin to stand on the words of man … fallible man.

 

Lanny Johnson

  1. https://christiananswers.net/q-eden/edn-c014.html
  2. Ibid
  3. Ibid

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One man’s junk is another man’s treasure!

 

Junk DNA, vestigial DNA, and leftover DNA from our animal ancestors are evidence for evolution… right?  On the contrary!  God doesn’t make junk!  Everything has a function, even though it has been corrupted by Adam’s fall.

Continued research on Junk DNA reveals the complexity of our bodies.  Our bodies are composed of about 100,000 different proteins, but there are only about 20,000 protein-coding gene regions.  How can this be? This is where the Junk DNA comes in.  Both exons (protein coding DNA) and introns (non-coding DNA) work together to make the extra transcripts needed to code all the body’s additional proteins, by splicing and sometimes reassembling RNA.

A quote from the article: “Wang further observes that splicing ‘is a tightly regulated process, and a great number of human diseases are caused by the ‘misregulation’ of splicing in which the gene was not cut and pasted correctly.’ This implies that important protein products are produced by splicing, meaning that the splicing code plays an important functional role in cells.”

No random chance and accident in your genetics!  Everything is designed and planned, but it has been corrupted and this corruption sometimes causes disease and death.  Sounds like I have heard this before.  We had a perfect creation and then came corruption.

 

Rich Stepanek

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Magic-Wand of Naturalism

 

I just read an article about a young man who is campaigning to make sure all schools, including private and Christian schools, that receive any state money such as vouchers, would not be allowed to include creation in science. This person was arguing that only evolution fits the criteria of science: observable, naturalistic, testable, falsifiable, and expandable… which he thinks “is everything that creationism is not.”

Notice that he added and subtracted from the classical criteria of science, which is: Science is observable, testable, repeatable, and falsifiable.

Naturalistic is added: Just by adding that word to a definition of science, he has already defined creation, intelligent design, or anything except atheism, totally out of science. This is a frequent ploy to try to discredit our position and everything we say. Since we are not “naturalistic,” we can’t be scientists and must have a religious bias. That redefinition of science has mainly surfaced in the last 30 years. Today it is regularly used as a bludgeon to keep creation and intelligent design out of the science classroom.

Repeatable is left out. Evidently he is well aware that evolution is not repeatable (but neither is creation), so he left that out. Why? We can’t wait millions of years to see evolution repeat itself.

For the same reason and since no one was around to see it happen, neither cell-man evolution or creation is observable, testable, or even falsifiable.

Expandable is added. I find that interesting since it is not usually mentioned as an earmark of science. However, it is very fitting for evolution since a new fix-it-patch has to be applied to evolutionary theory frequently as new anti-evolution data surfaces. This has been especially true with much of the latest data on the genome project causing evolutionists to scramble faster than someone dodging bullets in a war zone. (See DiscoverCreation.org for those articles.)

By the way, I suggest that all four of the classical tests for science certainly “is everything that evolution is not.”  “Naturalistic” and “expandable” are the only ones he listed that would qualify for what evolution “is” all about. However, even “expandable” would not often be naturalistic, because it frequently takes a “magic wand” to explain the anti-evolution data away.

 

Dave Nutting

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The Context of a Word

 

Below is something I found interesting on the internet years ago. Please read the conclusion at the end to see the point of my sharing this on a blog.

 

This two-letter word in English has more meanings than any other two-letter word, and that word is ‘UP.’  It is listed in the dictionary as an [adv], [prep], [adj], [n] or [v].

It’s easy to understand UP, meaning toward the sky or at the top of the list, but when we awaken in the morning, why do we wake UP?

At a meeting, why does a topic come UP? Why do we speak UP, and why are the officers UP for election and why is it UP to the secretary to write UP a report? We call UP our friends, brighten UP a room, polish UP the silver, warm UP the leftovers and clean UP the kitchen. We lock UP the house and fix UP the old car.

At other times this little word has real special meaning. People stir UP trouble, line UP for tickets, work UP an appetite, and think UP excuses. To be dressed is one thing but to be dressed UP is special.

And this UP is confusing:  A drain must be opened UP because it is stopped UP.

We open UP a store in the morning but we close it UP at night.  We seem to be pretty mixed UP about UP!

To be knowledgeable about the proper uses of UP, look UP the word UP in the dictionary. In a desk-sized dictionary, it takes UP almost 1/4 of the page and can add UP to about thirty definitions.

If you are UP to it, you might try building UP a list of the many ways UP is used. It will take UP a lot of your time, but if you don’t give UP, you may wind UP with a hundred or more.

When it threatens to rain, we say it is clouding UP. When the sun comes out we say it is clearing UP. When it rains, it soaks UP the earth. When it does not rain for awhile, things dry UP. One could go on & on, but I’ll wrap it UP, for now  ……..my time is UP! NowI’ll shut UP about the word UP.

 

Conclusion: As I read this, I realized that to understand all the different meanings of the word UP I had to know the context, which was derived by the word or words before or after the word UP. If you take a word out of context it will have a different meaning.

So why am I making this point? In the Bible the Hebrew word for day is Yom. In the creation account, Yom has been taken out of context by those believing that those days are not literal 24 hr. periods. I will address the problems doing this in my next blog.

 

Lanny Johnson

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Water, Water Everywhere!

 

Water, water everywhere!  New discovery – 100 times more water on the moon than originally thought.  Ice discovered on Mercury.  Comets are made up of water and dirt, and they have layers like an onion… could these layers be sedimentary layers?  Scientists find evidence of a huge deluge on Mars.  Water shooting out of a star! Wow!

And where did all the water on the earth come from when the earth started out as a molten blob of rock?  Some say from comets, but I think the evidence tells us otherwise.

I find all this information interesting in the light of Genesis.  What does Genesis have to do with water?   As I study Genesis chapter one, it seems God made everything out of water.  The earth in Genesis 1:1, 2 was without form and so I do not think God is talking about the earth we inhabit today, because the earth we live on currently has form.  Also in Genesis 1:2, God mentions water and then out of this water He makes the earth we inhabit… along with the stars, planets, moons, etc.  So it is no surprise that scientists find water, water, everywhere!

 

Rich Stepanek

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The Horseshoe Crab – a “Living Fossil”

 

Recently while walking along a Florida beach on the Gulf of Mexico, I found the remains of several horseshoe crabs. I was quite excited, because just a week before I had been able to observe live horseshoe crabs at the Florida Aquarium in Tampa. Here on the beach I had an opportunity to actually hold and study them.

The outer body of the horseshoe crab consists of a hard shell in three sections. The front section protects the soft parts on the underside – the eyes (2 primary compound eyes, and 7 secondary “simple eyes”, 2 of which are on the underside), legs (5 pair used for walking, swimming or moving food into the mouth), pincers, mouth, brain, and heart. The middle section is hinged to the front section and protects the gills and reproductive organs. The third section is the long, straight, rigid tail it uses to flip itself over when turned upside down.

Horseshoe Crab Trivia:

  • It is not a “true crab” (it’s not a crustacean), but an arthropod and is classified with scorpions, spiders, and extinct trilobites.
  • Although they scurry around on the shallow ocean floor, they swim upside down, inclined at about 30° to the horizontal.
  • They find their food (worms, mollusks, crustaceans and small fish) on the soft and sandy or muddy bottom.
  • Rather than hemoglobin in their blood, they have hemocyanin, which contains copper, making their blood blue in color.
  • Their blood contains a protein used to screen drugs and vaccines for contaminants.

 

Evolutionary scientists call the horseshoe crab a “living fossil” because fossils of the horseshoe crab (supposedly 450 million years old) have been found that are identical to the living horseshoe crab we find today. Hmmm?  Supposedly millions upon millions of years of mutations and natural selection and yet there is no evidence for evolutionary change in this critter.

The horseshoe crab is not a unique “living fossil”. We also find hundreds of other animals and plants that have stayed the same over supposed millions of years. A few examples are sharks, crinoids, Wollemi pine trees, ginkgo trees, tuataras, crocodiles, alligators, coelocanth fish, squids, shrimp, chambered nautiloids, brachiopods, clams and dragonflies.

The evidence of “living fossils” shows very little to no change in these living creatures. “Living fossils” make no sense for the evolutionary model or the long ages required for evolution.

 

Lanny Johnson

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Creation in Mexican Drug and Rehab Centers

 

Two of the locations where Mary Jo & I had opportunity to speak while in Mexico last month were at drug and alcohol rehabilitation centers. Both of these facilities were “lock up” facilities, meaning that the people in there were not allowed to leave. These centers were last chance facilities in lieu of actually being put in prison.

In other words, we had a captive audience for the creation and Gospel message. Of course, while we were there, we were also locked in close quarters with them. As some of them looked like pretty rough dudes, we were very happy that the crowd was quite attentive and responded quite well to what we were saying. There was also quite a mixed group from two 10-12 year old boys, several young ladies, and men up to at least 50 years old.

The message we gave was definitely a creation verses evolution message (What’s the Evidence?). It was coupled with the fact that they are not the products of accidents. Instead they are uniquely created in the image of God. Some of these men and women have been told that, or at least have thought, they are worthless. However, they responded well to knowing that they are important to God since they were created by Him. Questions after the presentation continued for quite some time afterwards. One of the men, who was actually originally from California, told me that the presentation was so very important. He said that what I had presented “blew my mind.” The last time I heard that exact phrase used by a participant was many years ago. It was from a “former” atheist who had heard Mary Jo & I speak 7 years prior. The former atheist, who had become a deacon in his church, asked if we knew what we were doing. He then said, “You guys are running around the country blowing people’s minds. (PTL! And Lord, allow us to keep doing that!)

We certainly hope and pray that these men and women who were at these rehabilitation centers, find this material, and a relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ to be a real spiritual “mind-blowing experience” and that they can be set free from their addictions which physically “blow their minds.”

 

Dave Nutting

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Extreme Low Tide on the Gulf Coast

 

Florida Fighting Conch

My wife and I are collectors. We love to collect seashells and fossils. So when we were in Fort Myers Beach, Florida, we hit the beach almost every day looking for new types of seashells we have not found on other beaches in our travels. Early one morning, my wife met another collector who shared that there would be an extremely low tide in two days time.

Because more of the beach is exposed during low tides, we find that is the best time to find shells. What we found during the extreme low tide was absolutely amazing.

We found Florida fighting conchs lying all over the beach … alive. I guess I had always thought they were like snails and just crawled around on the ocean floor, but it turns out they are like clams and live buried in the bottom. During low tides, they dig out of the sand and lie on the top of the sand until the next high tide covers them with water. One of the shells I always like to find are Lettered Olives, and again I thought they just crawled along on the seafloor. But seeing them in action, I learned they are also burrowers.

Sand Crab

The tidal pools left by the very low tide were a wealth of new discoveries. By wading very slowly through the shallow water, we were able to see many sea creatures that you normally don’t get to see during normal tides. We saw 5 different kinds of crabs, sea anemones, sea urchins (disguised with shells and leaves stuck to its spines), sea worms, sea stars, baby flounder, baby sand dollars, and many other sea critters.

On the beach that day was a great diversity of life, yet it was such a small, minute part of God’s overall creation. It brings to mind Psalm 40:15 - Many, O LORD my God, are thy wonderful works which thou hast done, and thy thoughts which are to us-ward: they cannot be reckoned up in order unto thee: if I would declare and speak of them, they are more than can be numbered.

 

Lanny Johnson

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