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Is there duplicity in the Bible?

Published: 18 April 2020 (GMT+10)
book-question-2

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 !x# ! 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 !x# ! ALS disease.

And here, I’m guessing, is the crux of the matter. You sound as though you are bitter and angry at God for not healing your family. I am very sorry to hear about the affliction of your loved ones, and I certainly don’t want to belittle their suffering or yours. Every human being endures suffering of some description; some more than others, and it causes all of us to question, ‘why’. All I can say is that the God of the Bible offers hope for restoration of all that is good, and an end to suffering; if not in this earthly life, then in eternity for those who trust in Him (Romans 8:18-25). And while He promises to help us through hard times, He does not promise to take away every hardship. You’re not the first person to pray for something and not receive the result you wanted. The apostle Paul prayed to have an affliction taken away, but God’s answer was ‘my grace is sufficient for you’(2 Corinthians 12:7-10). He even allowed His own Son, who was without sin, to suffer and die in order to save all humanity from destruction, inasmuch as we are willing to put our faith in Him (John 3:16). Jesus Himself prayed to avoid going to the cross but ultimately submitted to the will of the Father (Mark 14:32-36). Yes, God still does miracles, but not on demand. He alone is sovereign and He alone sees the bigger picture that none of us can fully understand. That may sound trite, but I would submit that despite whatever you’re feeling, it’s foolish to give up on God simply because He doesn’t operate according to your will or because we can’t fully know the overall picture. Oddly enough, God may have a purpose for the ALS in your family (Romans 8:28). I don’t know any of the family members you have mentioned, so I don’t know if they have faith in God; and you have not specified if any of them have died. My prayer is that each of them has, or will, put their trust in Jesus, “for there is no other name under given among men by which we must be saved” (Acts 4:12). And for you as well.

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.

Sincerely,

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 21:1, 2 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


Helpful Resources

How Did We Get Our Bible?
by Lita Cosner, Gary Bates
US $3.50
Soft Cover
Contested Bones
by Christopher Rupe, Dr. John Sanford
US $29.00
Soft Cover
Creation, Fall, Restoration
by Andrew S Kulikovsky
US $24.00
Soft Cover
Christianity for Skeptics
by Drs Steve Kumar, Jonathan D Sarfati
US $17.00
Soft Cover
Beyond the Shadows
by Dr Carl Wieland
US $10.00
Soft Cover
The Genesis Account
by Jonathan Sarfati
US $39.00
Hard Cover
Refuting Compromise, updated & expanded
by Dr Jonathan Sarfati
US $17.00
Soft Cover

Readers’ comments

Michael B.
A passage that has pressed me onward through many hard times in life comes from a conversation between Jesus and His disciples when the calling on their lives got hard to understand:
"Then Jesus said to the twelve, “Do you also want to go away?”
But Simon Peter answered Him, “Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life. Also we have come to believe and know that You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.” John 6:67-69

Praying for Michael that faith, comfort, and peace in and with God would be his through Jesus our Lord.
Your Brother in Christ,
another Michael
Steve B.
Hi Michael, I could make a lengthy response about my father's passing back in 2000 but all that detail is not the important thing here. When dad died I did not question God about why He didn't allow him to live longer, I thanked God for the years He allowed us to have together. If not for God dad would have died 30 plus years earlier, God knew I needed him to help me to become who I am today, so realizing this I could only be thankful. God reminded me that He gives and takes away on a time table that is to our benefit and understanding.this I couldn't do anything else but thank Him for meeting my needs. Dad had some desires he greatly want and those were met also. Look back on the lives of your loved ones and I'm sure you will see that God has blessed you through each one and the reason I'm so sure of this is because you prayed for them.
Thank you Thomas for you kind and thoughtful words answering Micheal.
Michael D.
Michael, I feel your pain. My best friend, who was instrumental in me coming to faith in Christ when we were both in our early twenties, died of Non Hodgkins Lymphoma when he was only 27. Of course it was difficult for me, but here I am more than 3 decades later still trying to follow Jesus. I know my friend died peacefully with a smile on his face. Jesus promised us "These things have I spoken unto you that in Me you may have peace. In the world you shall have tribulation but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world" JN 16:33 He never promised us a problem free, pain free life.(Unlike some "prosperity gospel" preachers try to do) He promised us peace and hope and grace to overcome, and because he lives, we shall live also. Imagine what kind of followers Jesus would have if he automatically answered all of our prayers the way we wanted them? We would be a bunch of self serving spoiled children who treat him like some kind of a heavenly ATM machine. God is not an ATM machine. He is a Father who longs for a redeemed relationship with us his lost children, and Jesus, his Son, was willing to die in our place to offer that to us. And because we, his children, suffer the pains and diseases that others who don't know him also suffer, we are able to comfort others with the comfort we also receive from God. 2nd Corinthians 1:4. And the greatest comfort is to know that his Word is Truth, as CMI boldly proclaims, and that includes the truth of the New Heavens and New Earth where we will live in his presence, and pain and tears and death will be washed away. Praying for you brother. (see Revelation 21-22)(yet another Michael)
John P.
Thanks for a great article, Thomas, and your response to Michael F.I must say personally I've never doubted or blamed God for anything,Understanding Adam brought all this on us through his rebellion against God at the Fall, when Adam and Eve thought they could be gods themselves has satisfied me as an explanation. I've had dad, an aunty, a cousin and an uncle die of cancer and several other cousins and all my other uncles and aunties except one elderly uncle have also passed on. My mum reached 94.I know I'll catch up with them again too.One cousin died in a mental institution of a drug overdose in the 1970s.I suffered sexual abuse in boarding at a Christian college from fellow students and other experiences during my life as well. I had to force myself to talk to people after leaving college. I have had PTSD and depression as well. I could write a book.The point is we are in a spiritual battle but Jesus has already won the victory on the cross. God is bigger than the universe and we are in His loving Hands. He has always provided for me, even in little things, and despite our problems our cup of blessing runs over.. Always.
Thomas Bailey
Thanks for sharing that testimony, John.
David R.
A very touching and well thought response to Michael’s letter. My prayers go out for Michael’s obvious pain and anger and that he will ultimately find true peace with the Lord Jesus.

One minor correction to Michael’s ‘star’ objection that I would also like to point out is in regards to his quotation of the sun’s size versus the earth’s as ‘1,000,000,000 (one billion) times bigger’. With the sun’s equatorial diameter at approximately 864k miles and the earth’s at about 7926 miles, that translates to about a 109/1 sun vs earth diameter ratio. Since as spheres, they are both obviously three dimensional, that would mean that the sun is actually 109*(3) times larger than the earth, which is just under 1,300,000 (1.3 million) times greater in volumetric size, not one billion times bigger.
Thomas Bailey
Hi David, Thanks for the clarification, and we would agree with those calculations. See /the-sun-our-special-star. Given the tone of Michael's letter, though, I don't think he was as concerned with mathematical accuracy as with trying to make a point. :)
Terry D P.
Re: ”That was SIX YEARS of waiting for your god to arrive…but of course, he did nothing, because HE doesn’t exist.”

 God told Abraham that his descendants would spend 400 years in slavery, before bringing them back to inherit the land of Canaan (now Israel). And Jesus, aka God in human form, himself prophesied:
“They [Jews] will fall at the sword’s point; they will be carried captive into all countries; and Jerusalem will
be trampled down by foreigners until their day has run its course.—Lk§21:24”

 God does what he wants, without waiting for our advice as to whether he exists.
Jordan C.
May God continue to bless you Thomas Bailey for your appropriate words to those that ask.
Virginia S.
Thank you so much for sharing the inquiry from Michael and looking past the tone of his first letter. Your deeply thoughtful response was compassionate and informative and you were able to capture Michael’s humanity as a person (flawed like all of us) and reach him where he was at that moment. Michael I will say this to you. We live in a fallen world filled with suffering and perceived injustice. God does have everything in control. I have lost many loved ones to disease, and self destruction but somehow God always provided comfort and a path back-this is shown over and over in the scriptures. I rely on the thoughtful research provided by this organization and I am thankful that somehow God directed you to them for answers to your questions. Your questions were certainly worth asking and I trust you (like me) will have learned from them. You sound like a very sensitive person who is in pain from the losses in your life. Please continue to seek God and ask the questions on your heart. God will direct the rest. Scripture promises when we seek Him- He draws near to us. Thank you again for the questions. Thank you to CMI for the answers.
Caleb W.
Thanks, Mr. Bailey, for the response! I'll just reiterate that I'm not necessarily taking issue with anything you said, just emphasizing that eschatology is important. Just because this creation ministry is not taking a stance on the issue does not justify us as individuals ignoring it completely.

It is important for us to interpret all of Scripture, including Revelation, in a way that (if not always strictly literal) is based on what the passage was most likely written to communicate. Unfortunately, many of the idealistic interpretations are wildly imaginative, and really just based on the interpreters' fancies. This borders dangerously on eisegesis. Furthermore, it's not so much what they're basing their interpretation on as the whole method of interpretation that can be dangerous. Creationists reject the framework hypothesis because it takes Genesis figuratively when it is written as historical narrative. The same principle applies here.

So, I'm not saying that nonliteral interpretations are necessarily unbiblical; merely that we should strive to take the most straightforward interpretation (which may or may not be strictly literal). Even creationists should know what they believe in this area.

I don't want to start a big debate or get off-topic; just exhort others that we should be dedicated to rightly dividing the whole Word, from Genesis to Revelation. Thanks again for your patience!
Thomas Bailey
Please understand, we've never said eschatology isn't important. And we would certainly agree with using a proper hermeneutic in reading Scripture. Our understanding of Genesis comes from a plain reading of Scripture.(ie red poetry as poetry, parable as parable, historical narrative as historical narrative, etc.) as opposed to a fully literal(or literalistic) interpretation. See /why-do-you-take-the-bible-literally. Yes, all Christians, including creationists,do need to know what they believe about eschatology, as with many other doctrines(including those that are the subject of much debate within the church). At CMI, various views of eschatology are represented amongst those who work here; without the need for all of us to align with the same interpretation. I think you and I are largely in agreement about interpreting Scripture. Keep in mind that, with regard to Revelation, even "what the passage was most likely written to communicate" has long been debated in the church. See the following article, which outlines the basics of end times theology that we at CMI (and I think most Christians) agree upon, and why we don't align with any particular view: /end-times.
David E.
Thomas,
I so enjoy your video casts with Richard Fangrad, thank you. I want to thank you for your measured response to Michael. A few years ago, Lita Costner responded in like manner to an equally venomous letter from an obviously gay writer. She was exactly like you, factual, measured, biblically correct, but mostly she was non-judgemental. I fell in love with CMI after that, and this response just makes me respect you all even more. I research most everything I read for research and I have never found a mistake in CMI information. About a month ago I read an article by a Christian author mentioning almost as an after thought, that satan fell before creation. I know this ins't correct because of the sequence I learned from CMI, (the God of creation wouldn't have included satan in the pronouncement that everything was Very Good) and clipped a paragraph from on of your articles and emailed it to the author. The author responded that after checking a couple of resources that agreement was found by that person and that person stated "I stand corrected." I used the approach modeled after Lita, and now modeled by you. We all need to learn to use this non-confrontational humble approach. I believe you will be rewarded in Heaven for starting the process of Michael's salvation.
Blessings to you
Dave Everett
Thomas Bailey
Thank you for your encouraging words, Dave. I'm so glad we've been of help to you and the author you mentioned.
Frank D.
Falling stars is a standard bit of apocalyptic imagery. We see similar imagery in the judgements on Ninevah, Babylon, 6th century Jerusalem, etc. The falling stars in Revelation should be understood in the same light.
Thomas Bailey
Yes, one of the points made in the second part of the article.
Everett C.
I was saved in 1991 when I was 39 years old as a result of discovering scientific creation when my BS in geology had caused me to finally realize that I didn't believe the Bible. I'm praying for Michael!
Richard P.
Thanks for a very worthwhile writeup, Thomas.

Just one small correction: the Hebrew word for "star" should be transliterated as 'kokab,' not as 'kobab' (in the second last paragraph of your first response).
Thomas Bailey
Must've been a typo, as it was in fact 'kokab' in my source material. Thanks for pointing that out!
Noellene C.
Thankyou to Thomas Bailey (CMI Canada) for his gentle and comprehensive reply to Michael F. Many would relate to his anger and despair due to the suffering and death of his family. I learned much from your reply Thomas and not just the Biblical facts. You went the extra step for him and showed love and patience. We can all take a lesson from this. Blessings to you Thomas in the work you do and to Michael that he will see the way that brings peace. With love Noellene
Thomas C.
Thomas Bailey- your responses were excellent and well offered to Michael and almost every other person who has the blessing if living through this precarious life and its many events and circumstances.

Couple of thoughts for Michael to reflect upon that the open doors of your responses provided as well founded starting points for his own search for answers-if he actually intends to find them:
Why is angry at God whom he says he does not believe in?
God created a good world and the opportunity for good life here...He did not cause these to fail or Fall. People blame God for what humanity has done to itself and against Him...and the extrapolated outcomes of our original failed responses to what He created and provided.
He might consider working within his own life that God still provides to him to fight for others and himself towards increasing goodness and life instead of adding to the negatives through misdirected anger and despite.
From this Michael might consider the other greater part - how many has God saved or salvaged from certain destruction caused by all those things we call evil or that are effects and outcomes of human sin, those continued "chain reactions," effects, motions and forces that God did not cause by the faults and failures of humanity or natural forces.
All of Michael's anger, pain, doubt and mis-directed or mis-founded perspectives could be helped, healed and put on a new and constructive path if he were to consider the good in things and humanity that God has done instead of what humanity and also fallen natural forces have done to ruin it.
We continue to pray for Michael in the hope that God and Christ will open his eyes to see.
Last item, there is indeed a scriptural reference that describes what we today would call neandrathalls.
Thomas Bailey
Hi Thomas, Thank you for your thoughts. I particularly appreciate when you said, "People blame God for what humanity has done to itself and against Him". Hard to see when one is in the midst of adversity, but on the grand scale of things, very true. I am curious to know what scripture you believe refers to Neanderthals.
Miss Yvonne R.
My brother John experienced melanoma. He was given treatment that was not sufficient. GOD revealed to me that John would be healed. When I visited John in hospital in 1985, I told him that I am now a Christian to which he responded with a rude remark. I sat in the bedside chair for a few minutes. Upon rising, John looked at me with a distinctly different expression on his face. The expression was such that in those few minutes, I realised GOD by HIS grace worked a miracle in my brother's understanding. GOD had removed all the wrong understandings that develop between brothers and sisters when there is a lack of communication. I embraced my brother for the first time ever. I told him to be the best he could be. Eight days later John died. I pleaded with GOD saying "You promised me healing for my brother" GOD responded by saying "I have given your brother more than you prayed for - I have given your brother eternal life". GOD knew my brother to be a victim due to our father not developing a father son relationship with John. John realised all that he never understood in his life of 39 years. Praise be to GOD. May Michael see through the Eyes of GOD and so be enlightened as to why GOD chose to take his family to be with HIM for eternity.
Caleb W.
Hi, a few comments on the second section. I understand why you avoid eschatology, and I think that's perfectly valid for a creation ministry. However, I do think our position on Revelation is very important.

You stated that all of the interpretations within the church are based in the Bible, and that may be true most of the time. However, it seems to me that Revelation *is* written in the style of a factual account (except when it is specifically designated as symbolic). It seems that the main reason many reject this is not so much that it's hard to understand as hard to believe. I would say there are some similarities to the creation-evolution debate here.

I would also submit that many of the "old-earth" creationists would also claim that the Bible is their ultimate authority, and they're simply trying to interpret it in light of the science. I disagree with this, but I think it may indicate the same attitude when it comes to end-times interpretations. You're right that creation and eschatology are not the same, but I don't think that's good reason to ignore the latter. I'm not trying to criticize any of your interpretations, merely pointing out that our interpretation of Revelation *is* important. Thanks for your time, and the great job you did on this article.
Thomas Bailey
The various interpretations I listed was not intended to be exhaustive or even a 'shortlist' of preferences. So, without agreeing or disagreeing with your interpretation, I would agree that Revelation is important, but we've already explained why we don't take a particular position on end times. And again, I would assert that the two subjects do differ because of how the interpretations are made. Even in your example, you've referred to style (or genre) gleaned from the text itself (exegesis). In the case of old-earth interpretations, a different genre (than what is understood from a plain reading of the text) needs to be imposed on the text in order to allow for ideas coming from outside of Scripture(eisegesis). I'm not aware of any particular interpretation of Revelation that is based on extra-biblical ideas.
Lee W.
I’m embarrassed to admit that I’ve routinely discarded your regular emails with barely a glance, and I consider myself a follower of Christ.
However, this one grabbed my attention from both the questions and responses.
I now have a guide to go read all the articles using the links that were provided, many that I should already taken the time to examine.
Thank you for the work you do and all the amazing resources that are here for us. I will never again rush through your emails when they show up in my inbox.
I stopped to pray for Michael F. as I was reading the article. May God use your reply to change his heart. God bless you Thomas and the rest of the staff at CMI.
Thomas Bailey
Well, we do have just over 12,000 articles on the website now, so there's lots of material to dig into! Enjoy! And thanks for your encouragement.
John C.
I'm especially pleased that this encounter led to more of a conversation (which apparently bore some fruit, if only to calm Michael a bit). Thomas Bailey is to be commended on pursuing his obvious goal of helping to heal a wounded spirit, rather than (as I might have done) escaping into an argument in defense of creationism.
Thomas Bailey
Hi John, Thanks for the encouragement. One of the key verses we use at CMI is 1 Peter 3:15, with respect to 'giving an answer, As believers, and apologists, we do need to be always mindful of using "gentleness and respect" when doing so. I'm as tempted as anyone to try to 'win the argument' when the goal is to 'win the soul'. I'm sorry to say, a further response from Michael F.(not included in the article) revealed that he still had a long way to go to get past his anger and bitterness toward God, and I responded again as best I could. Pray that God will soften his heart.
Frank G.
The difference in tone between Michael's first and second letters brought tears to my eyes. My prayer for today is to be able to respond to people with the kind of gentleness and effectiveness that Thomas does here.
Michael S.
What a kind and compassionate response. So thoughtfully written by Thomas B. Thank you, and thanks for sharing this dear reader’s inquiry. How very informative.
Deon B.
Hi Michael - Regarding the question of "Why GOD", I would like to share the following with you. My wife from my first marriage suffered very severely from depression, and one Sunday in April 1993, a few hours after our family attended our weekly church service, she committed suicide.My eldest son(38) died on Christmas day 2010 - complications of HIV and much suffering. He came to believe in Jesus as his savior a few weeks before he passed away - his testimony a few days before he died: Ps 139 v 16. My second son(37), diabetic since his forth year, died Apr. 12 2019 because of kidney failure.
As a believer I never needed to ask GOD "Why", knowing that he is in control. I worked through my losses with my Lord, all the while being drawn close and closer to my Redeemer. This is not to show how good I am, but to show how great our GOD is to comfort his children. Yes, I miss all of them and sometimes have to wipe away a tear, but I know That He loves me.
I sincerely hope that this will bring some comfort to you and that you will come to believe that GOD is in control, no matter what happens
Thomas Bailey
Hi Deon, What a great testimony! Thank you for sharing.
Ashley H.
I thoroughly enjoyed this article: well written, explanatory with love and kindness. God's Love to Michael and to Thomas.
Ramón G.
The sequence of analysis with which Miguel's intervention was approached seemed extraordinary to me.
The experience he had to go through was not easy. I remember that a friend fervently prayed to God for her dying daughter, then 17 years old she prayed again because she could no longer bear it, she had given herself up to drug addiction, and many degenerate things. Only God sees the generality of things, as is well explained in this article.
thank you very much!
Jeff K.
Thank you for presenting this letter and your response. I appreciated very much the pain and anger in Michael's letter, and also the sensitivity in your reply.
I am sure many others are also praying for Michael through this hurtful time.
God bless you both.
Leopold H.
On the topic of the supposed copying of the walking on water story from Buddha, have you encountered British astronomer John Bentley and his analysis of Hindu astronomy? He shows that the Hindus made up the story of Krishna well after Christ, but backdated it, and it can be shown roughly when they did this by comparing the positions of the stars where they were supposed to be at Krishna's birth, and calculating their real positions using modern, accurate astronomical calculations. By adjusting the starting point until the error is zero, one can deduce when the fallacy was invented. So much for Christians borrowing the idea of Christ from Krishna.
Thomas Bailey
Hi Leopold. I'm not familiar with John Bentley's work (nor have I studied much astronomy), so I can't comment on his claim, one way or the other. What I do know is that the supposed similarity between the birth of Christ and the birth of Krisha is superficial at best. Lita Cosner dealt with this briefly in the following article: /pagan-copycat-thesis-refuted. In it, she writes, "Krishna’s ‘miraculous conception’ is his mom being impregnated by ‘mental transmission’ from his completely human father. No wise men or stars that I was able to find. Rulers trying to kill babies that might grow up to threaten them is a common theme. No shepherds that I can find..." Whether there was a deliberate attempt to backdate the story of Krishna or not, it's clear that skeptics will gladly use superficial similarities between the Bible and non-Christian mythologies in an attempt to discredit Christianity. But those claims fall far short.

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