Share 0
Share
A- A A+

Article from:

Journal of Creation  Volume 28Issue 2 Cover

Journal of Creation 28(2):69–74
August 2014

Free Email News
The Genesis Account
by Jonathan Sarfati

US $35.00
View Item
The Case for Creation, 3 DVD set


US $30.00
View Item
The Christian Roots of Science


US $10.00
View Item
Let the Earth Bring Forth


US $5.00
View Item
Six Days ... Really?


US $10.00
View Item
How Did We Get Our Bible?
by Lita Cosner, Gary Bates

US $2.00
View Item
The Battle for the Beginning
by John MacArthur

US $10.00
View Item
One Human Family
by Dr Carl Wieland

US $19.00
View Item
One Human Family
by Dr Carl Wieland

US $10.00
View Item
The Creation Answers Book
by Various

US $9.00
View Item
The Creation Answers Book
by Various

US $10.00
View Item

Exploring Intelligent Design language in Genesis 2 and Acts 17—yatsar and poieō

by 

This paper will examine two examples of design language in the Bible. One is from the Hebrew Old Testament yatsar יצַָר (Genesis 2:7), the other from the Greek New Testament poieō ποιέω (Acts 17:24-29). This shows that Scripture does speak of God as a craftsman, perhaps as the potter of Adam in Genesis 2, and the author of life in Acts 17. The account of Genesis 2 then asserts a discontinuity between Adam and the animals that is a problem for theistic evolution. But Scripture is careful not to separate divine intention from divine action, as Intelligent Design arguments sometimes appear to do. A brief analysis of Paul’s speech in Athens also helps to develop a biblically based apologetic. Paul’s desire to challenge idolatry mirrored Isaiah’s concern, and his approach balanced negative analogical reasoning with positive attributes of God’s character.


Bible

This paper will look at two examples of design language in the Old and New Testaments that speak of God’s creative activity in terms of human craftsmanship. Given the approach of the Intelligent Design movement, which seeks to find evidence of divine intention as opposed to divine action or consideration of biblical timescales,1 it is necessary to consider how Scripture handles design language. So this study may offer some insight for understanding the validity of Intelligent Design arguments. It will be shown that some support may be gathered from Scripture, but care needs to taken not to separate too strongly design from the act of creation because of a holistic approach to creation found in Scripture. First for consideration is the Hebrew word yatsar (Hebrew יצַָר), used for the formation of Adam.2 This will be traced from the Genesis account of creation in the Hebrew Masoretic text, and then look at how it is translated into the Greek of the Septuagint (LXX). On occasions this is translated poieō (Greek ποιέω), but it is noted that poieō is also a valid translation of bara. The second consideration will be given to how Paul uses poieō in the Greek New Testament in Acts 17 and Romans 1, and this may offer useful insights for approaches to Christian apologetics.

Yatsar in Genesis and the Old Testament

In the second chapter of Genesis God is described as forming (Hebrew yatsar יצַָר) man from the dust of the earth (Genesis 2:7).

“The Lord God formed (yatsar יצַָר) the man from the dust of the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living being.”
potter
Figure 1. The Hebrew word yatsar speaks metaphorically and analogically of God as the potter of Adam, but also asserts the literal creation of the first man from the dust of the earth.

The same word, yatsar, is incidentally used for the creation of the animals and birds in Genesis 2:19-20, with Adam given the task of naming his fellow creatures. The metaphor used in Genesis 2 for the creation of Adam, then, might appear to be one of God acting as a potter, where the imagery is that of God taking raw matter from the earth and shaping man directly from the ground and giving him the breath of life. Unger and White point out that yatsar is a technical Hebrew term used in the pottery trade (figure 1), although it does have other related uses.3 It does however present an intriguing possibility for understanding God’s creation of Adam. But even if the potter metaphor is difficult to establish conclusively in this passage, the word yatsar still speaks of God in terms of the master craftsman, forming Adam from the dust of the ground. This section will now consider the strength of the potter metaphor in Genesis 2.4

In the wider Old Testament passages the verb yatsar is sometimes specifically used to refer to the work of a potter in relation to God’s activity in shaping and forming the people of Israel. It appears as a noun to refer to the pottery of Israel that had been formed by God in Isaiah 29:16 (also Jeremiah 18:4-6) and God is often described as the one forming Israel throughout Isaiah (27:11, 44:2, 44:25, 45: 9-11, 49:5, 64:8). The feared sea monster was formed to play in the ocean (Ps. 104:26).5

Also in Isaiah (44:9-12) the word yatsar is used to describe the activity of those who form idols; it is used for the work of an ironsmith who fashions, by cutting and hammering, a piece of hot metal into a shape believed suitable for worship. Yatsar also specifically refers to God’s purposeful intention (Isaiah 22:11; 46:11), and in 2 Kings 19:25 it is used to refer to God’s action in ‘planning’ the fate of fortified cities.5 In Genesis 6:5 the word is used to describe the evil ‘imagination’ of human beings who plan wrongdoing, and in Psalm 94:20 where evil rulers are said to “frameth mischief by a law” (KJV).6 It may then on occasions speak primarily of divine intention, as opposed to divine action, but not always. However, it may appear difficult establishing a potter metaphor in the Genesis 2 passage purely on a study of the language because the word yatsar can be used in a number of different ways; instead consideration of the context is necessary.

There are also other words used in the Genesis account for creation. The word bara means to make or create and is used specifically with God as the subject. It mostly refers to the act of creation out of nothing (ex nihilo) where God is able to bring things directly into existence. Other words used for creation have both God and human beings as their subjects; for instance, asah is commonly used as a verb in the Old Testament as a word meaning to make, or do. It is sometimes used as a synonym when in conjunction with bara. It is though a more general word than bara and often has human agents as its subject. In Genesis 1:7 asah is used to refer to the making of the firmament raqiya.7

It is necessary now to consider whether the formation of Adam from the dust of the ground should be read literally. When read in this way it speaks of a direct act by God with a discontinuity between Adam and the other animals, which goes against the position of theistic evolutionists who seek to maintain biological continuity; i.e. Alexander’s belief that Adam was a federal head as Homo divinus called out from other early Homo sapiens.8 But if formed from the ground, then Adam could not have had parents, as theistic evolution requires. Walton also believes that mention of the formation of Adam from the dust of the ground in Genesis 2 should be read as archetypal and not as prototypal of humanity.9 That is, Adam is seen as just a representative of other people alive at the time, and the dust refers to Adam’s mortality, and not to material substance. He thinks the passage is therefore using functional language about human frailty and not speaking materially about a literal creation. This position holds that Adam may have had a human mother and father and there is no material discontinuity as suggested by a literal reading of the text.10 However, the language of God as a potter, forming Adam from precreated matter through the application of divine intention and divine action, would break down if that were so.

Alexander and Walton’s position raises many theological difficulties as discussed in the creationist literature; for instance, the fact that death would have existed before Adam’s sin and what that means for the Gospel.11 There is insufficient space to go over all that material here, but just to note that the traditional position has read this passage literally, with Adam formed de novo (newly, at once) as even theistic evolutionists such as Lamoureux have acknowledged.12 Irenaeus, for instance, spoke of Adam as the ‘protoplast’ of humanity, ‘the first-formed,’ out of virgin soil; and it followed that Jesus also needed to be born without a human father in a virgin’s womb in order to act as the last Adam.13 Furthermore, a phenomenological reading, favoured by Lamoureux, would render a non-literal reading untenable. The simple statement that “for dust you are and to dust you shall return” (Genesis 3:19) is a literal statement based upon the original creation of Adam from the dust of the ground. Yes, people die functionally, but they also die literally; in the same way Adam was created functionally, but also formed literally. While the language may be phenomenological in some sense as Lamoureux suggests, the Genesis creation account is really written from God’s perspective; the traditional Hebrew reading has, for instance, considered that the Torah was dictated to Moses directly where God spoke “face to face, clearly and not in riddles” (Numbers 12:8).

So, there are good reasons to read the text of Genesis 2 literally where the creation of Adam by God involved real intention and real activity. There is the intimation that use of the word yatsar goes beyond metaphor and is more akin to analogy where the difference is one of scale between the human potter and the divine creator of mankind; that it is univocal language as opposed to equivocation. God literally formed Adam from the dust of the ground. However, a metaphor remains because clearly God did not create Adam in the same way a potter shapes a pot from clay placed on a wheel. God did not literally sit at a potter’s wheel to form Adam with his hands, but he took dust and used it to form the shape and person of Adam, in whatever way a spiritual being creates materially.

The word yatsar also has another meaning relating to the pressures and stress of human existence; for instance, being in distress and the stress and suffering experienced in life.14 Walton uses this fact to build his own case for a functional creation account; he comments, for instance, that yatsar need not refer to a ‘sculpting process’ involving matter, but it has wider meanings involving human experience.15 However, I think his priority is wrong here as he is perhaps reading the prophets back into Moses. The metaphor for God’s work as a potter in shaping individuals, and the nation of Israel, arises from the original creation of Adam that then speaks symbolically and perhaps prophetically of God’s dealing with people and the nation. There are symbolic messages throughout Scripture that reveal theological truths about God’s dealing with Israel and humanity, and this is often focussed upon the Messiah, as Augustine and Irenaeus for instance believed. But it is symbolism that is grounded first in real people and events. Consider, for instance, the call of Abraham to sacrifice Isaac, and then the release from this call with the divine provision of a ram, this representative of the sacrificial work of Jesus many centuries later.

Hamilton has also questioned the strength of the potter metaphor in Genesis 2. He has suggested that the metaphor of a potter is not a direct one, and is dependent upon the context of the passage because of the various ways yatsar may be used. The reason given is that the word used for dust is aphar עָפָר in Genesis 2:7 and not the more usual Hebrew word for clay, which he points out16 is chomer רחֹ֫מֶ. A potter metaphor, for instance, appears in Isaiah 64:8, where God is the potter who formed (yatsar) Israel out of clay (chomer). Walton also suggests that clay would be a more likely ingredient for the formation of Adam. This is because dust, as a dry, loose, and lifeless material, is difficult to mould.15

In response, it is relevant to note that the word aphar is sometimes used in the Old Testament to refer to dry dust, sometimes to clods of earth, and even in places to wet plaster (Lev. 14:42).17 But this on its own doesn’t explain why the passage of Genesis 2:7 refers to dust and not to clay if the potter metaphor is appropriate. But in support of use of the word aphar in relation to the potter metaphor, Augustine, in the City of God18 has provided a further possible understanding. He offers an explanation, which he claims arises from others, based upon the linkage between verse 6 and 7. In verse 6 a mist is said to have arisen that watered the land, and then God took the wet aphar (or mud) to form Adam. If that is a correct interpretation, then we may see the formation of Adam involved water and dust as opposed to dry dust alone. Dry dust is of course very difficult to mould into anything as Walton notes. On the other hand, clay is a mixture of water and dry earth, and the Genesis 2 account perhaps emphasizes these raw materials as opposed to the chomer mixture. This gives one possible explanation why dust is referred to in the passage and not directly to clay, and offers support to the potter metaphor. The notion of creation out of the dust of the ground also speaks of Adam’s/mankind’s frailty in life, and therefore to spiritual dependency upon God.

So, there would appear to be a metaphor of God as a craftsman in the word yatsar in the Genesis 2 account, and, from the contextual evidence, it may speak metaphorically and analogically of God as a potter who shaped the human form. In this shaping there is the formation of a higher level of order out of the basic chemical matter found in the ground; the material first created out of nothing. There is also the implication that in moulding and framing the form of man there is the application of planning and purpose as well as the art of the craft itself. So there is something of the concept of design in the word yatsar, but it is not just in a scientific sense, but also in a sense of the work of an artist. However, care does need to be taken not to separate the concept of design from the physical act of creation because of the scriptural approach to creation, which is holistic.

Translation of yatsar in the Greek Old Testament (LXX) and New Testament

It is necessary now to consider how the Hebrew word yatsar translates from the Old Testament into the New. As noted, the word bara is used in Genesis 1, and throughout Scripture, to refer to God’s activity as the creator, often referring to creation through the spoken divine word.19 Yatsar on the other hand is considered less sacred and is used for both God’s activity and that of man. In the Septuagint (LXX) bara is translated using the Greek verb poieō (Greek ποιέω, in English = to do, to make) in Genesis 1:1. The word yatsar in Genesis 2 is translated using the Greek word plassō (Greek πλάσσω), meaning to form, mould, or shape, as an artist working in clay in Genesis 2:7.20 This is also how it is used by Paul in 1 Tim. 2:13 in reference to the creation of Adam (i.e. Greek πρῶτος ἐπλάσθη). Another Greek word for art or skill is techne (Greek τέχνη), but this usually refers to a human art, craft, or trade (in the same way we use the English word ‘technology’).

However, the LXX is not consistent in use of words in translation, and in Isaiah (44:2, 44:3, 44:28) yatsar is translated using the Greek poieō. In the LXX epoiēsen (Greek ἐποίησεν) is used in Isaiah 40:19 in relation to man-made idols; in Isaiah 44:2 in relation to the formation of Israel, and epoiēso (Greek ἐποιήσω) in Isaiah 44:3; and epoiēsei (Greek ποιήσει) is used in Isaiah 44:28 in relation to the rebuilding of Jerusalem and the Temple. But importantly in Isaiah 42:5 bara is translated as epoiēsas (Greek ποιήσας) with reference to the creation of the heavens and earth. So we find that the Greek word poieō is used to translate both bara and yatsar in the LXX, and this usage carries over into the New Testament.

So how is poieō used in the Greek language? As a verb it means to make or do, whether for mundane tasks or for special tasks such as writing or poetry; as poiēma it is used as a noun to refer to the product or thing that is made; as poiēsis it refers to the action, as in a performance or deed, and as poiētēs refers to the one who makes, performs, or does, but more specifically to a poet. Paul in fact uses the language of divine workmanship in his preaching and teaching; the two most notable places are recorded in Acts 17:16-34 and in Romans 1:19-23.21 In Romans 1:20 we find the word poiēmasin (Greek ποιήμασιν) referring to “what has been made”. Vine notes that Paul used poieō to refer to an action that was ‘complete in itself’ as a way of expressing ‘thoughts and feelings’; thus the creation was seen as a completed act that expressed thought and intention.22 The Greek word poieō then is used to translate both bara and yatsar and has varied meanings in Greek; from the mundane to the poetic. So, on its own there is difficulty in saying much more about the translation of yatsar into Greek. But in order to attempt to understand how Paul used the word poieō, an acceptable translation of both yatsar and bara, it is relevant to consider the context in his preaching to the Greeks in Athens.

Paul’s speech in Athens and poieō

paul-preaching
Figure 2. St Paul Preaching in Athens by Raphael (1515). Paul’s speech, recorded in Acts 17:16–34, gives lessons to Christians in how to present the Gospel to modern society with its Greek influence.

Luke records in Acts 17:16-34 that Paul was deeply troubled by the idolatry evident in Athens. He was then challenged by the Epicurean and Stoic philosophers to present the case for the gospel message at the Areopagus on Mars Hill, (figure 2). Luke’s account is clearly a distillation of a longer speech, and as Paul was stopped by his hearers after mentioning the Resurrection it may be questioned whether the speech was finished. However, it is possible to get a feel for Paul’s style in this passage and the fact that the Resurrection is mentioned suggests he did in fact preach the full gospel in Athens. Dibelius, though, suggests that the speech was unusually Hellenistic for Paul, and questions whether it is authentic, perhaps being an elaboration on the part of Luke.23 However, Paul was quite happy to shape his preaching to the audience by becoming ‘all things to all men’ for the sake of the Gospel (1 Cor. 9:19-23), and Bruce points out that the Hellenized apology need not have compromised his Christian faith.24 Marshall also suggests that Dibelius’s view is in fact too extreme and dismissive in rejecting the accuracy of the account.25 While Paul moulds his speech to the Greek mindset, he presents a message of material discontinuity in relation to the creation and Resurrection that would have challenged the Greek ways of thinking.26 So, creation, including Adam, did not arise through self-generation from lower life-forms, as the works of Homer suggested; rather, the whole of creation owes its existence to a special act of the divine will.

The basis for Paul’s speech appears to correspond with passages in the Old Testament book of Isaiah concerning the foolishness of idolatry, for instance Isaiah 44:6-20. Fudge points out that there is a stronger link between Acts 17:24-25 and Isaiah 42:5-6 with a quote used from the LXX.27

“This is what God the Lord says—the Creator (Greek ὁ θεὸς ὁ ποιήσας) of the heavens, who stretches them out, who spreads out the earth with all that springs from it, who gives breath to its people, and life to those who walk on it:” (Isaiah 42:5).
“The God who made (Greek ὁ θεὸς ὁ ποιήσας) the world and everything in it is the Lord of heaven and earth … because he himself gives all men life and breath and everything else” (Acts 17:24-25).

Paul’s quotation of the Isaiah passage correlates with his own stated commission that he was called as a “light to the gentiles” (Acts 13:47); a verse taken from Isaiah 42:6. Thus there is a link between Paul’s earlier calling and the Athenian speech, as Fudge notes. So, there appears to be awareness in Paul’s mind that in preaching to the Athenians he is fulfilling his calling to enlighten the Gentiles and lead them out of idolatry. The chapters of Isaiah 42-49 also speak of the person and servanthood of the coming Messiah, and Isaiah goes on to speak of the futility of worshipping idols made by human hands (44:12-13).

Acts 17 may also have some similarity with the Book of Wisdom (13:1-5), which again speaks against idolatry and emphasizes the greatness and beauty of God through analogical reasoning and apophatic or negative theology, as Pelikan suggests—“For by the greatness of the beauty, and of the creature, the creator of them may be seen, so as to be known thereby” (Wisdom 13:5).28 God is presented here as so much greater than the works of human art and design. But in this Wisdom passage the Creator is described as the workmaster; (Greek technίtin τεχνίτην) (v. 1) and creator (Greek ktismάton κτισμάτων) (v. 5), but poieō does not seem to be used in these few verses.

The speech in Acts 17 seems to be structured as an appeal to the pantheistic Stoics, and a challenge to the atheistic Epicureans, by utilizing an apologetic the Stoics would have had some affinity for, and the Epicureans would understand. Paul quoted, for instance, from two Greek poets; Epimenides in Cretica (about 600 BC), “In him we live and move and have our being”, and Aratus (315-240 BC) in Phaenomena, “We are his offspring” (Acts 17:28).29,25 The Epicureans may have shared Paul’s dislike for superstitious idolatry, while the Stoics believed in a pantheistic divine agent as the logos spermatikos. The fact that Athens was full of idols troubled Paul. However, he praised the men of Athens for their measure of religion, but noted that it was in ignorance, and that they did not go far enough in acknowledging the one true and living God.30 Pagan Greek thought was dualistic and tended to be escapist, being focused upon the next life with less concern for the present, which is why they objected so strongly to the idea of a physical resurrection of the dead as Paul had preached. Why, they thought, would anyone want to come back into this world of suffering?

While the speech refers to Greek literature, as noted there are also themes that are consistent with the Old Testament, particularly Paul’s desire to challenge idolatry that mirrored Isaiah’s concern. Dibelius notes that Paul’s use of poieō in Acts 17 refers to the act of creating and follows the LXX that often translates the Hebrew word bara as poieō (Genesis 1:1, 27, 31).31 This is a perfectly valid comment, especially in light of Paul’s use of the creation quotation from Isaiah 42:5 in the Athenian speech (in Acts 17:24), which does precisely that, but as noted it is also evident that the speech has some correlation with other parts of Isaiah that raise concerns against idolatry and translate yatsar as poieō. There is evidently a degree of fluidity in how poieō is used in translation in the LXX for both bara and yatsar.

In the Athens speech Paul seems to emphasize the language of poetry and workmanship by comparing analogically the works of mankind with that of God, but also highlights the relational aspect with mankind identified as ‘God’s offspring’. God may then be known as father as a positive cataphatic approach to apologetics that balances the apophatic analogy that can elevate God so high that he becomes unknowable.32 Referring to God as the author or poet of life is also consistent with aspects of the creation account where God is presented as speaking life into existence. To highlight the analogy between human poetry and the divine author of life, it is worth now looking at how poieō is used in the text of Acts 17.

“[24] The God who made [poiēsas and cheiropoiētois] the world and everything in it is the Lord of heaven and earth and does not live in temples built by hands [xeiropoiētois χειροποιήτοις].
[25] And he is not served by human hands, as if he needed anything, because he himself gives all men life and breath and everything else.
[26] From one man [of one blood ἐξ ἑνὸς αἵματός]33 he made [epoiēsen ἐποίησέν] every nation of men, that they should inhabit the whole earth; and he determined the times set for them and the exact places where they should live.
[27] God did this so that men would seek him and perhaps reach out for him and find him, though he is not far from each one of us.
[28] ‘For in him we live and move and have our being.’ As some of your own poets [poiētōn ποιητῶν] have said, ‘We are his offspring.’
[29] Therefore since we are God’s offspring, we should not think that the divine being is like gold or silver or stone—an image made by man’s design [technēs τέχνης] and skill” (Acts 17:24-29).

When reading this speech with consideration of the Greek it is possible to get a feel for the idea that God’s workmanship in creation is a form of poetry—God as the author of life, and this is something beyond human skill or trade. In Paul’s mind there is something more sacred about the creation than the work of human crafts. God is also seen as the performer of the formed creation, which points to direct divine activity in creation, as opposed to the claims of those who hold that God must act indirectly through natural processes. In the context outlined in the passage, there is a comparison between the work of human poets and the divine poetry of life, but God’s handiwork is considered far greater.

From this there is an allusion to another aspect; that is, who can rightly claim that the work of Greek authors and poets might have arisen by accident? The Epicureans, like their modern Darwinian counterparts, held that life arose through chaotic forces involving random movement of atoms. But Paul’s analogy between human poetry and the divine authorship of life points to the necessity of intention and action of a divine agent, especially given the much greater complexity of organic life, and the presence of rational human beings who can write poetry. And this mirrors Isaiah’s point that it is pure folly to worship images formed by human hands because the one who forms must be greater than that which is formed (see Isaiah 44:9-20). But also Paul presents God in a relational way; someone we may come to know as father. There are lessons in Paul’s speech for Christians seeking to respond to New Age pagans and atheists.

But are there lessons for Christian approaches to Intelligent Design? In Genesis the word yatsar seems to be a metaphor for God as a craftsman, and arguably the notion of God as the potter of Adam. Later yatsar was translated in the LXX and New Testament using a number of different Greek words, one being poieō, which, when read in context, can be used as a metaphor for God as a poet. But it is also true that poieō can have more mundane meanings. It is also a valid translation for bara and formed the basis for use of poieō in Acts 17:24. Yatsar and poieō both infer divine intention, but still retain the notion of the physical formation of life. While there is a place for comparing aspects of creation to God’s design, these can only be incomplete metaphors for God’s greater and holistic work in creating life. Paul does seem to emphasize divine intention by using the word poieō, but in this there is also the implication of divine action in creation. We do need to be careful not to separate too strongly the two aspects of creation; that is the mental thought processes and the physical work of shaping and forming as the work of a potter, or the author of life.

Summary

This paper has highlighted the way in which the Hebrew word yatsar has been used in the Old Testament, translated on occasions into the Greek of the LXX as poieō, and then used in the New Testament, although bara is primarily translated as poieō in the Greek version of the Old Testament.

When we turn to the New Testament, it is evident that Paul’s speech to the Athenians compared God’s workmanship in creation with human craftsmanship as part of his apologetic strategy. In other words, just as a finished poem is an expression of the human mind, so also is the created order a finished expression of the mind of God. Who, for instance, would say that a poem could arise through purely random processes apart from mental input? Paul’s apologetic does seem to have an artistic dimension, but he appears to have inferred the need to account for mental causation and information in terms of a mind, instead of merely giving an explanation for physical causation.

So how does this relate to our apologetic work? On occasions Scripture speaks metaphorically and analogically of God as the potter of mankind, as the author of life, or as a divine poet. There is an artistic dimension that needs to be addressed in our work, which goes beyond rational arguments about the physical mechanisms of creation. Furthermore, it is evident that an accessible Gospel presentation to modern Greeks (i.e. New Age pagans and atheists) needs to start in creation, and while God may be presented as the author or poet of life, it is necessary to highlight the positive relational aspect with God revealed as father.

We can see as well in the language used in Genesis 2 that there is a discontinuity implicit in the Hebraic account of the creation of Adam from the rest of creation. This discontinuity is evident in the teaching of Paul, who saw human life stem from one man (for instance Acts 17:26), as did early Christian theologians such as Irenaeus, who saw Adam as the protoplast or prototype of human kind and not an archetype. The Apostles and many of the Church Fathers found it necessary to challenge Greek idolatrous ways of thinking present in the world that came against the Church and identifiable in the modern idea of evolution.

Related Articles

Further Reading

References and notes

  1. For instance; Behe, M., The Edge of Evolution: The Search for the Limits of Darwinism, Free Press, New York, p. 166, 2007. Return to text
  2. The following dictionaries have been used: Strong, J., ‘New Strong’s Concise Dictionary of the Words in the Hebrew Bible (HB), and New Strong’s Concise Dictionary of the Words in the Greek Testament (GT), in The New Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance of the Bible, Thomas Nelson, Nashville, TN, 1995; Unger M.F. and White, W., ‘Nelson’s Expository Dictionary of the Old Testament; in Vine, W.E., Unger, M.F. and White, W. (Eds.), Vine’s Complete Expository Dictionary of Old and New Testament Words, Thomas Nelson, Nashville, TN, 1985; Vine, W.E, ‘An Expository Dictionary of New Testament Words; in Vine, W.E., Unger, M.F. and White, W. (Eds.), Vine’s Complete Expository Dictionary of Old and New Testament Words, Thomas Nelson, Nashville, TN, 1985. Return to text
  3. Unger and White, ref. 2, p. 86. Return to text
  4. There is another metaphor in the passage of Genesis 2, that of God as the gardener bringing forth plants and establishing the Garden of Eden. Return to text
  5. Unger and White, ref. 2, pp. 86–87. Return to text
  6. Strong, ref. 2, pp. 476, 646. Return to text.
  7. Unger and White, ref. 2, pp. 51-52; Strong, ref. 2a, pp. 32, 111. Return to text
  8. Alexander, D.A., Creation or Evolution: Do We Have to Choose?, Monarch, Oxford, p. 237, 2008. Return to text
  9. Walton, J.H., The Lost World of Genesis One, InterVarsity Press, Downers Grove, IL, pp. 69-71, 2009. Return to text
  10. Walton, J.H., An Historical Adam: Archetypal Creation View; in: Barrett, M. and Caneday, A. (Eds.), Four Views on the Historical Adam, Zondervan, pp. 90-93, 2013. Return to text
  11. Statham, D., Dubious and dangerous exposition, A review of The Lost World of Genesis One: Ancient Cosmology and the Origins Debate by John H. Walton, J. Creation 24(3):24-26, 2010; creation.com/genlostworld. Return to text
  12. Lamoureux, D., Response from the Evolutionary View, to Walton’s chapter ‘An Historical Adam: Archetypal Creation View’; in: Barrett, M. and Caneday, A. (Eds.), Four Views on the Historical Adam, Zondervan, 2010. Return to text
  13. Irenaeus, Against Heresies, Book III 21:10. Return to text
  14. See, for instance, Strong, HB 3334. Return to text
  15. Walton, ref. 10, p. 92. Return to text
  16. Hamilton, V.P., The New International Commentary on the Old Testament: The Book of Genesis Chapters 1–17, William B. Eerdmans, Grand Rapids, MI, p.156, 1990; aphar Strong HB6083, chomer Strong HB2563. Return to text
  17. Unger and White, ref. 2, pp. 63–64. Return to text
  18. Augustine, The City of God, Book XIII, ch. 24. Return to text
  19. Unger and White, ref. 2, pp. 51–52. Return to text
  20. Vine, ref. 2, p. 252. Return to text
  21. Vine, ref. 2, p. 386. Return to text
  22. Vine, ref. 2, p. 179. Return to text
  23. Dibelius, M., Studies in the Acts of the Apostles, Greeven, H., (Ed.), Ling, M. (transl.), 1st English edn, SCM Press Ltd, London, pp. 26-83, 1956. Return to text
  24. Bruce, F.F., The Book of Acts, Revised Edition, Eerdman, Grand Rapids, MI, pp. 341-343, 1988. Return to text
  25. Marshall, I.H., The Acts of the Apostles: An Introduction and Commentary, InterVarsity Press, Leicester, pp. 281-283, 1980. Return to text
  26. Charles, J.D., The Unformed Conscience of Evangelicalism, InterVarsity Press, Downers Grove, IL, pp. 151-155, 2002. Return to text
  27. Fudge, E., Paul’s Apostolic Self-Consciousness at Athens, J. Evangelical Theological Society 14:193-198, 1971. See also Isaiah 44:6-7 “Israel’s King and Redeemer, the Lord Almighty: I am the first and I am the last; apart from me there is no God. Who then is like me? Let him proclaim it. Let him declare and lay out before me what has happened since I established my ancient people … ” Return to text
  28. Pelikan, J., Brazos Theological Commentary on the Douay-Rheims Bible, Bible-Acts, Brazos Press, Grand Rapids, MI, Pelikan, J, Acts-Brazos theological commentary on the Bible, Brazos Press: Grand Rapids, 2005, pp. 192–196 Wisdom 13:5 is from the, 2005Wisdom 13:5 is from the. The Wisdom passage is taken from the Douay-Rheims translation. Return to text
  29. From the text notes to Acts 17:28 in the NIV (1987) Study Bible. Return to text
  30. Marshall, ref. 25, pp. 281–289. Return to text
  31. Dibelius, ref. 23, p. 35. Return to text
  32. Pelikan, ref. 28, pp. 192–196. Return to text
  33. Not all manuscripts have αἵματός ‘blood’, as Vine, ref. 2, p. 71, for instance, points out. Return to text

Give $5 for 5. Although this article may have only taken 5 minutes to read, it could have taken over 5 hours to write. Consider a $5 donation to support our ministry efforts. Support this site

Comments closed
Article closed for commenting.
Only available for 14 days from appearance on front page.
A reader’s comment
Dale S., United States, 22 April 2016

Brother Andrew, thanks for posting such a well written article that supports the integrity of God's Word. It was very helpful to understand better the use and meaning of "yetsar" and "poieo." Keep writing for the kingdom of Christ.

Copied to clipboard
10617
Product added to cart.
Click store to checkout.
In your shopping cart

Remove All Products in Cart
Go to store and Checkout
Go to store
Total price does not include shipping costs. Prices subject to change in accordance with your country’s store.