Category Archives: The Bible
Was King David Forgiven of His Adultery?
King David was one of the greatest leaders in all of Israel’s history. He contributed more to Old Testament worship than any other individual and his influence is still felt in the New Testament church today. David is known for great victories, like defeating Goliath, bringing the Ark of the Covenant back to Jerusalem and securing Israel against her enemies. However, David is also known for some colossal failures. Most notably, David committed adultery with Bathsheba and ordered the death of her husband.
The Bible says in several places that sin will not go unpunished. For example, Proverbs 6:29 says that the man who commits adultery will not escape without punishment. In Exodus 34:7 God tells Moses He will “by no means clear the guilty.” The book of Numbers describes the sacrifices for unintentional sins, but then says the person who sins knowingly and willfully will be cut off from Israel. “His guilt shall be upon him.” (Number 15:31)
King David suffered terrible consequences for his adultery and murder. The son born of his adulterous union died in infancy because of David’s sin. David’s family suffered for many years because of David’s sin. One of David’s sons led a rebellion that caused David to flee Jerusalem and started a civil war in Israel. David, his family and the entire nation suffered because of David’s sin. The terrible things David suffered suggest he was not forgiven for his adultery.
Yet, even though he sinned greatly David continued to write Scripture. The majority of the Psalms of David were written after he committed adultery and murder. At his death David was called “the anointed of the God of Jacob and the sweet Psalmist of Israel.” (2 Samuel 23:1) David had an incredible relationship with God after his terrible sin. This suggests he was forgiven for his adultery. Was David forgiven of his adultery and murder or not?
David suffered terrible consequences of his sin during his life. However, earthly consequences of sin are not the same as God’s eternal punishment. The wages of sin is not a bad life, but eternal death. (Romans 6:23) Those who are the children of God, as David was, will be chastened by God to bring them to repentance and to show God’s holiness. They will endure earthly punishment for severe sin but will not suffer God’s eternal wrath. On the other hand, those who are not the children of God often escape any severe earthly consequences of their sin, but they never escape God’s eternal wrath. The punishment David suffered should not cause any one to doubt he was the child of God. Instead, his punishment is confirmation he was the child of God. (Hebrews 12:5-8)
God’s forgiveness of David shows that forgiveness is never based upon the merit or deeds of the person. Forgiveness is always the gift of God freely given to those who trust Him for forgiveness. An adulterer and murderer who brought great shame on the name of God and did great harm to the innocent people he was supposed to protect was completely forgiven of all his sin. David was not forgiven because of any good things he had done. Romans 4 uses David as an example of salvation by faith apart from works. “But to him who does not work but believe on Him who justifies the ungodly, his faith is accounted for righteousness, just as David also describes the blessedness of the man to whom God imputes righteousness apart from works.” (Romans 4:5-6) David proves that salvation is not earned, but given.
God’s salvation does not give people what they deserve. God forgives men by giving to Jesus what He did not deserve, death, so sinners could be given what they do not deserve, life. No one deserves to go to heaven, therefore, salvation is entirely and always a gift of the grace of God completely apart from the deeds of the person. If you believe Jesus as your Savior your sin will be forgiven and you will have eternal life, no matter what you have done.
Does the Bible say anything about Pangea?
Pangea is the name given to the super continent believed to be the single landmass from which the present day continents broke apart. Evolutionary science says Pangea existed two to three hundred million years ago. The continental plates slowly drifted apart and into their present positions. As they continue to move they will eventually bump into each other to form a new super continent.
The existence of Pangea seems plausible to those who look at the map and imagine the continents as pieces of a puzzle. The American continents appear like they would fit snugly into contours of the African and European continents. If the Bible is true one would expect to find in it some mention of a fact as significant as the existence of an original supercontinent. Does the Bible say anything about Pangea?
First, the Bible can be true and not mention the original shape of Earth’s landmasses. The Bible does not claim to speak about every subject known to man. Much that is of great importance to humans is not addressed in the Bible. Scripture does not teach basic mathematics. The Bible counts, but it says nothing about the relationship of Pi to the circumference of a circle or about the principles of Pythagoreans theorem. These are incredibly significant facts used in many professions and that affect the construction of many structures. Also, huge portions of natural history are ignored by the Bible. Though Scripture speaks of ants, locusts, goats and badgers, the Bible says nothing about kangaroos, armadillos, monkeys or dolphins. The list of important things the Bible does not talk about is much larger than the Bible itself. However, the Bible makes no claims to be the source of knowledge about every thing in this world. The Bible claims to tell everything people need to know about how to be right with God and how to live in the way God requires. The Bible can be true and also be silent on many things of importance to humans.
Second, the Bible does speak of an event which suggests how a super continent could have existed in the beginning and how the continents could have moved to their present location. Scripture does not say God created the world with one, massive super continent, but Genesis 6 through 9 describes a worldwide flood which could have broken that continent into several pieces.
The Bible says that during the flood the fountains of the great deeps were opened up. (Genesis 7:11) Some creation scientists speculate those fountains were underground reservoirs of water which pushed through the earth’s surface and began to push the continental plates apart. The movement of water from under the ground and the pressure of the water pushing through the cracks in the crust combined to speed up the movement of the continents. This drift would have continued during the flood and gradually slowed down after the flood waters were gone.
To be clear, the Bible does not describe Pangea or the spread of the continents. The Bible says the fountains of the great deep were opened up. From that statement some creation scientists have deduced a possible explanation for continental drift and the break up of the single super continent. Though the Bible does not answer all our geological questions, Scripture does tell us everything we need to know about salvation, eternal life and how to please God with your life. Everything the Bible tells us is important and trustworthy, even if it doesn’t tell us everything we want to know.
Does the Bible teach that the Earth is flat?
A surprising development in recent years has been the increase of people who believe the Earth is flat. Flat Earthers believe the earth is not a globe, but is a large flat disk. The North Pole is at the center of this disk and Antarctica is an ice barrier on the outer edge of the disk of Earth. Those who have seen the famous “Blue Marble” picture of the Earth, or any other satellite imagery of our planet, may be baffled by the belief that Earth is flat.
Flat Earth beliefs are not limited to Christians, though a large number of professing Christians can be found among flat Earth proponents. However, belief in a flat Earth cannot be equated with any form of Biblical literalism, fundamentalism, Christianity or any other specific religious group. No major Christian denomination, church or organization affirms the Earth is flat. Despite this, many proponents of a flat Earth attempt to show that the Bible teaches the Earth is flat.
The Bible does not teach that the Earth is flat. Those who claim it does make a series of reading errors that cause them to misunderstand certain passages of Scripture. The great majority of the proof texts used by proponents of a flat Earth are Biblical poetry, most frequently from the books of Job, Psalms and Isaiah. Hebrew poetry is a highly descriptive form of literature which uses striking images to make a point. The imagery is never the point of the passage, but is the tool used to make the point. The Bible does not contain any passage which intends to describe the geometry of the Earth. Every passage used as evidence for a flat Earth is a passage discussing something else. To make a passage about the shape of the earth is to misread the text. When Isaiah 40:22 describes God as “He who sits above the circle of the earth” it is doing so using poetic language. This same verse compares the heavens to a curtain and to a tent. This is clearly figurative language intended to describe the greatness of God, not the shape or nature of the universe.
Other passages used by proponents of a flat Earth misunderstand the words of the passage. For example, the King James Version says in Job 37:10, “the breadth of the waters is straitened.” From that verse flat Earth proponents argue that if the waters are straitened, not curved, then Earth must be flat. The Old English word straitened does not mean “straight”, but “to make narrow.” In other words, Job 37 is declaring God’s power to make wide waters narrower. Job 37:10 does not teach that the oceans are a flat surface which can be measured by a straight line. Additionally, Flat Earth proponents insist the Bible’s frequent use of “the face of the earth” means the Earth has a geometrically flat surface like a plane. This assertion is patently false. Though the English word “face” is used at times to refer to a geometric face, like the side of a cube, the original Hebrew word does not mean “flat plane.” The face of the earth is simply the surface of the Earth, the visible area exposed to view. To insist otherwise is to introduce a geometrical concept not present in the Old Testament word.
Flat Earth proponents also fail to take into consideration the use of idioms in Scripture. For example, an English idiom says something occurs, “Once in a blue moon.” Native English speakers understand this phrase to mean an event is rare. No one intends to say that on incredibly infrequent occasions the moon’s color changes to blue. Idiom’s are not intended to communicate historical or scientific details. The Biblical use of idioms like “four corners of the earth” or “the ends of the earth” is no more intended to communicate a fact of geography than “once in a blue moon” is intended to communicate a fact of selenography.
A proper understanding of the types of literature used in the Bible and the meaning of it’s words shows the Bible does not teach the Earth is flat. Flat Earth teaching is not just a harmless fad. Those who teach something contrary to the clear teaching of the Bible are false teachers. Flat Earth proponents may not be denying the gospel of salvation by faith in Jesus alone, but one must be careful of their teaching. Some make the shape of the Earth the most important truth and refuse to attend any church which does not affirm a flat Earth. Some create division in churches over this issue. All proponents of a flat Earth misuse of the Word of God in such a way that it gives the enemies of God opportunity to mock Him. Their poor handling of Scripture may also teach others to interpret the Bible as badly as they do and cause many to misunderstand Scripture. Flat Earth advocates tell lies about God (1 Corinthians 15:15) by declaring He said something which He did not say.
Did Noah take dinosaurs on the ark with him?
Genesis 6 tells the story of Noah building a massive ship, filling it with animals and then surviving a year long, world destroying flood. When the flood ended, Noah, his family and all the animals left the ark. The world was repopulated by these refugees who were saved from the flood. All people and land animals alive today trace their lineage back to the flood’s ark borne survivors.
The Biblical account of the flood has prompted some to wonder about dinosaurs. Were dinosaurs on the ark? If dinosaurs survived the flood, why are none left alive today? If Noah did take dinosaurs on the ark, how did he fit all those massive animals on one ship?
The Bible gives a clear answer to the first question. Yes, dinosaurs were on the ark. In Genesis 6:19-20 God said, “And of every living thing of all flesh you shall bring two of every sort into the ark, to keep them alive with you; they shall be male and female . . . two of every kind will come to you to keep them alive.” Then Genesis 7:13-15 says, “Noah … entered the ark . . . and every beast after its kind . . . went into the ark to Noah, two by two, of all flesh in which is the breath of life.” The Bible says two of every kind of air breathing, land animals went onto the ark with Noah. This means dinosaurs were on the ark with Noah.
Which raises the question of how Noah was able to fit all the animals on the ark. Some dinosaurs were massive and only one pair would have filled a large portion of the space available on the ark. However, not all the dinosaurs were huge. Most animals, including dinosaurs, are fairly small. The size of the average dinosaur was closer to that of a sheep than of a school bus.
Furthermore, Noah had no reason to bring fully grown animals onto the ark. He could have filled the ship with adolescents. Younger animals would have taken up less room than full grown adult and would have been able to bear more children after the flood. Extremely large animals require several years to reach full size. For example, an elephant requires at least 15 years to reach full size. Even fast growing animals like cows usually require a couple years to reach full size. Noah could have taken on board juvenile animals that were large enough to be independent of their parents, but were not yet fully grown. This simple solution would have provided ample room for all the animals to fit on the ark.
If Noah took dinosaurs on the ark, then why are none left today? That question is best answered by asking another question. Why aren’t there any giant sloths, wooly mammoths or short faced bears left today? They went extinct. The causes of dinosaur extinction are unknown. Various ideas have been suggested by creation scientists, including a dramatic change of the environment after the flood or over hunting by humans. Whatever happened to the dinosaurs after the flood, the Biblical account of the flood is a reliable record. Noah brought dinosaurs onto the ark.
Did Adam and Eve Really Exist?
Are there any lost gospels?
The archaeological efforts of the 19th and early 20th century resulted in the discovery of many ancient texts discussing the life of Jesus and the first century church. These texts have been called the “lost gospels.” Some of them were truly lost for hundreds of years and have only recently been rediscovered. Another set of books are mentioned in ancient writings but no copies of them exist today. These writings are truly lost. The big question is not if ancient writings about Jesus have been lost or recently rediscovered. The big question is if these writings are gospels.
What is meant by gospels are authoritative, Scriptural records of the life of Jesus. For something to be truly Scriptural it must be inspired by God. Those writings which are truly God’s Word bear certain marks. The Word of God is true, accurate and does not contradict any other portion of God’s Word. Do the lost gospels bear the evidences of being God’s Word?
Some of the rediscovered writings were written within one hundred years of the life of Jesus. Some possibly earlier. Their closeness to the life of Jesus makes them worth considering as credible witnesses of Him. Over a dozen known, early works claim to give additional information about the life of Jesus. Certainly the Bible does not tell everything about the life of Jesus. Scripture tells us it left things out. “And there also many other things that Jesus did.” (John 21:25) Most of Jesus’ life is not recorded in the Bible. Aside from His birth and a short episode when He was twelve, the Bible says nothing about the first 30 years of Jesus’ life. The other writings claim to fill in those gaps.
These “lost” writings may present new information about the life of Jesus, but they are not gospels. They were not treasured by the church or accepted as Scripture. They were rejected by the early church. These lost writings were rejected because they were not written by an apostle. In many cases the author is not known. One key standard for determining if a book is truly from God is if it was written under the direction of a prophet or an apostle. (Ephesians 2:20; 2 Peter 1:21)
The lost gospels were rejected because they contain information that contradicts the known Scriptures. Most of them teach a theology called gnosticism. Gnosticism was a heresy that crept into the church soon after the resurrection of Jesus. Gnosticism taught that the Christian makes spiritual progress by receiving sudden revelation of new truths directly into the person’s spirit. According to gnosticism salvation is gained as the person escapes the physical realm by the increase of knowledge. The gnostic gospels teach a view of the world and salvation that is directly opposed to the teachings of the Bible. In gnosticism, Jesus is not sufficient to save the person from sin. In gnosticism, Jesus is not the eternal God who created all things. The “lost” gospels were rejected because they teach false doctrine. As a result, they were never accepted by the church as truly the Word of God.
The gospels in the Bible are included because they are God’s Word. No other Scriptural gospels exist. God promised to protect and preserve His Word. (Psalm 119:89-91) The church rightly expects God’s Word to always be available to the church. No portion of it will be lost for a significant period of time. Four gospels are included in the New Testament. These same gospels have been recognized as Biblical since the earliest days of the church. The books in the Bible have been preserved by God as His true Word written by holy men of God who wrote as they were directed by the Holy Spirit. (2 Peter 1:21) No lost gospels exist. Only rejected gospels.
Is There Any Evidence for Noah’s Flood?
Beginning in the sixth chapter of Genesis, the first book of the Bible, Scripture tells about a great flood which destroyed the whole world and about a man who built a ship in which he and all kinds of animals were saved from destruction. The claim of an globe covering flood is incredible. Nothing remotely close to it has been recorded at any other time in human history. The most destructive floods in recent history have covered 100,000 square miles of land. The flood of Noah’s day covered the earth, nearly 197 million square miles. Is there any proof today to support the Biblical claim of a global flood?
The first challenge regarding proofs of the flood is one of interpretation. The facts of certain things are undeniable, but the explanation of those facts is subject to debate. For example, the rocks on the top of Mt. Everest are filled with fossils of animals found in the ocean. How did those dead animals travel over 30,000 feet to the top of Mt. Everest? The answer of many scientists is that the top of Mt. Everest was at one time on the bottom of the ocean, but when the continents bonked into each other the floor of the ocean was pushed u. The scientists who believe in Noah’s flood say those fossils were deposited on top of Mt. Everest by flood waters. This is not meant to say, nor do most flood geologists believe, the earth was covered with enough water to cover Mt. Everest as it stands today. Before the flood the mountains were much smaller than they are now. As the flood came to its end the movement of the earth’s crust formed the mountains by the collision of continents and the uplifting of mountains.
This article will discuss two pieces of evidence for the flood evident in the world today. First, the presence of global sedimentary layers. Sediment is the dirt and debris carried in water. Anyone who does much boating on a river is familiar with how water carries sand and then deposits it when the current slows down to form sandbars. Fossil layers are rock strata formed in definable layers by water depositing smaller grains of material. Look at the wall of a limestone quarry and the rock will be marked by clearly visible horizontal lines made by the deposition of those rocks. The same thing happened on a much larger scale which formed the rock layers that are the basis of the geologic ages. The geologic column is made up almost entirely of sedimentary rocks. That means most of the fossil layers were were laid down by water. The geologic column is made up of layers that cover huge portions of the world. The same layers of rock found in America are also found in the Middle East. For those layers to cover such large portions of the earth there had to be a massive body of water that laid down the sediment on an international scale.
A second evidence for the flood is bent rocks. Rock is too brittle to bend. However, there are two circumstances where rock can bend. Superheated rock on the verge of melting will bend, kind of like lava. Rock will also bend while it is being formed in water. When rock is like wet clay it will bend. When it dries out it becomes rock hard. Bent rocks can be found all over the world. Drive through a mountainous section of America and bent strata will be evident where the roads were cut through the hillsides.
Can it be determined if the rocks were bent when hot or wet? Yes, it can. Rocks heated enough to bend will show changes in their structure that makes it apparent they were superheated. Geologists have determined most of the bent rocks seen today show no signs of being heated. Therefore, they were bent while still wet and soft. The widespread nature of soft, wet rocks speaks to a widespread event which formed these rocks and which kept them saturated while the mountains were forming. Such an event could only be a flood which covered major portions of the earth.
These and other evidences show Noah’s flood to be a plausible explanation for the world we see around us. The Biblical description of the flood provides a reasonable explanation for many of the features found on the earth today. The only eyewitness testimony of Noah’s flood is recorded in the Bible. The wise will believe it.
Why are there so many different interpretations of the Bible?
Why did God command Israel to destroy the Canaanites?
Some of the more troubling passages in the Old Testament are God’s commands to Israel to completely destroy the Canaanite nations. In Deuteronomy 7:2 God commands, “And when the LORD thy God shall deliver them before thee; thou shalt smite them, and utterly destroy them; thou shalt make no covenant with them, nor shew mercy unto them.” God gave no exceptions. The Israelites were not to allow the Canaanites to stay in the land. They were not to make treaties with them or make them their servants. They were to drive them completely out of the region. If a nation waged this kind of war today their actions would be called war crimes and genocide. A previous article discussed the justice of God in condemning the Canaanties and why the Israelite’s actions were not criminal or immoral. Why did God condemn the Canaanites? What did they do that was so bad?
The Bible points to several reasons for God’s command to destroy the Canaanites. In Genesis 15 God told Abraham his descendants would not be given the land of Canaan for four hundred years because “the iniquity of the Amorites is not yet full.” God’s command to annihilate the Canaanites is directly related to their sins. The destruction of the Canaanites was the just judgment of God on them for their wickedness.
What sins did the Canaanites commit? The Bible’s describes the Canaanites as irrepresible idolaters. The idolatry of the Canaanites was of the grossest kind and involved frequent child sacrifices. (Leviticus 18:21) For example, the Canaanites offered their children to Molech. The idols of Molech were often formed in the shape of a bull with a hollow interior. The statue was heated with fire. Parents would place their child inside the idol, burning the child to death. Child sacrifice appears to have been a regular feature of Canaanite idolatry. The idolatry of the Canaanites also involved ritual fornication and prostitution. Baal was a fertility god who the Canaanites believed needed to be awakened by the sexual activity of his worshipers. These vile practices attempted to make fornication and prostitution sacred. The Canaanite religion was immoral and violent. God judged them through Israel for their depraved worship of false gods.
God’s displacement of Canaan for Israel was also merciful. He drove out the Canaanites so the worship of His name would be at the center of the world and all the world would know He is God. God chose Israel so the entire world would know Him. God brought Israel out of Egypt and into Canaan so the entire world would know His power. (Joshua 4:24) In 2 Kings 8 King Solomon declared that the whole world would hear of God’s great name. In His wisdom, justice and mercy, God judged Canaan for their sin and placed His people in a central location so the world would know that He is God.