I have been reading THE GENESIS QUESTION by Hugh Ross, an interesting book that addresses problems people have with the book of Genesis. He tries to use science to explain why God and the Bible are true. I gather that he is an old earth believer, and a pre-millinialist as he references the future rein of Christ. I find the book a bit of a touh read because of his wording, but he does raise some good points about issues dividing scientists and religious people. He goes into the history of the science-Christian divide and explains things from both viewpoints.
One thing I have noticed is that no matter who I am reading, whether old earth or new earth believer, they all want to argue that the Nephilim in Genesis were the result of human and angel matins. I have trouble with that idea, for one thing I’m not sure either angels or demons have sex or the need for it. I have always believed they were just men regarded as heroes in their time.
I’ve never been totally interested in studies on creation or age of the earth, because to me it is not so important. The Bible does not say you will be lost if you believe the earth is a billion years old nor saved if you believe it is 6,000 years old. Salvation is dependant on your relationship with Christ and living the Christian life as best one can and obeying the Lord’s commands.
It is my intent to do a chapter by Chapter study of Ross’s book. Dr. Hugh Ross has a Bachellor of Science degree in physics from the University of British Columbia. He also has a master of science and doctorate degrees in astronomy from the University of Toronto. He has also served as a minister of evangelism at the Sierra Madre Congregational Church.He directs the Reasons To Believe Institute founded to research and proclaim the factual basis for faith in God and the Bible.
The GENESIS QUESTION was published in 1998 by Navpress.
A Personal Journey
He begins by exploring his reasons for addressing the topic, to examine the problems people have with the Genesis creation story. He quotes the Apostle Paul’s ad ice to test everything and see what holds water and what does not. He believes the first 11 chapters of Genesis can be tested scientifically and proven accurate.
“In the physics of the universe I saw harmony and consistency, perfection, freedom from contradiction, a pervading beauty and an elegance of design.” – Hugh Ross, p.11.
BIBLE STUDIES: MATT 24: 15-35
Matthew advised: “Whoever reads, let him understand.”
Among images: “Abomination of Desolation” – Daniel 12:11;11:31
Referred to ANTIOCHUS EPIPHENES who reportedly entered the temple and placed his idol there. He also pillages and looted the temple.
Used in Matt. as a precursor to what happens when the messiah comes and the Jewish Age ends. Nothing was rebuilt after second destruction (77a.d.)
This time the Abomination of desolation was the Romans.
- 19-perilous difficulty of travel, horrible treatment of peoples. Josephus records terrible treatment of women and other carnage.
- 21 – worse than ever before or since
- 22 – also II Cor. 2- false signs.
Many people think refers to final coming of Christ, but still talking about destruction of Jerusalem.
- 34 also Mark 9:1
- 28 – eagles represent Romans, whose banner was an eagle.
Luke 21: 20 spoke of the Roman armies surrounding Jerusalem.
- 29 apocolyptic language referring to a great tragedy. Symbolism used elsewhere in the Bible.
- 30/Mark 14:52
Many premillinialists believe these verses refer to the final coming of Christ and a kingdom yet to come. They believe this has not yet been fulfilled.
Before 1900 all Bible scholars agreed these passages referred to the destruction of Jerusalem.
Key terms used in these verses used elsewhere in the Bible. Such terms include: “Lord resting on clouds.”
Jer. 4:13 – Juda, like clouds of horses swifter than eagles
Is. 13:9, 34:4 – similar language referring fall of Babylon
Ezekiel 32 – Egypt
All use similar or same language referring to a time of great catastrophy. Not literal. All judgement language
Regards to judgment on Jerusalem. Jesus’ comments similar to what Old Testament writings said foreign armies would do to Israel/Judah. Indicates God used foreign armies to punish disobedience.
Nero sent Vespatian to quell a Jewish uprising, he killed, burnt and pillages. Pushed to Jerusalem, the walled city, at Passover. During Passover Jews from all around the world had come to celebrate at Jerusalem.
Nero died and Vespatian was recalled to replace him. Titus was sent to finish what the Roman general had started. Titus arrived the first day of Passover. The siege lasted 134 days or 3-4 months.
The Romans killed 1.3 million Jews in the purge, many died at the hands of their fellows and because the zealots refused to let anyone leave the city and killed whoever tried.
The zealots still expected the Christ to come and rescue them.
According to historical sources Titus tried to be merciful and fair and that he was heartbroken at what happened to Jerusalem.
While the Romans treated those who successfully deserted, rumors spread that they had ingested gold and silver and the mercenaries hired by Rome, ripped open many stomachs to retrieve the gold and silver.
The Temple, where zealots holed up in a final desperate act, was destroyed.
While Josephus mentions nothing about followers of Christ in these writings, some sources indicate they had fled and survived.
All family records were kept in the Temple and were destroyed. No one of the Jewish line would be able to trace their ancestry to show what tribe they descended from.
Matt. 26:64 – “You have said so,” Jesus replied. “But I say to all of you: From now on you will see the Son of Man sitting at the right hand of the Mighty One and coming on the clouds of heaven” referring to destruction of Jerusalem.
Matt. 24:34: Truly I tell you, this generation will certainly not pass away until all these things have happened.
Pre-Millinialists believe referring to as yet time, but context does not fit. About taking of Jerusalem which happened during that generation.
- 29-31 regards destruction Jerusalem
- 35 Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will never pass away.
Three questions were posed in these verses:
- when these things would happen
- signs of Christ’s coming
- end of the age while they had believed it was the end of the world, this was because they could not conceive of the temple being destroyed as Christ had said. It was actually a reference to the end of the Jewish age.
24:36 – But about that day or hour no one knows, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father.
24:37-38: “But as the days of Noah were, so also will the coming of the Son of Man be. “For as in the days before the flood, they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noah entered the ark,”
II Peter 3 – simile of Noah
Contradicts the idea of wars and rumors of war, people just lived their lives.
I Thess. 5 when men say peace and safety –
Matt 24: 40, 41 – used by some when talking about the rapture. One taken, anther left behind.
However, more like the parable of the 10 virgins, some taken and some left
II Peter 3:9 God is long suffering and not willing that any should perish
Luke 18:8 will still be saved people but Gospel will have stopped growing.