Creationism, Myths & Catastrophism

Beyond the boundaries of established science an avalanche of exotic ideas compete for our attention. Experts tell us that these ideas should not be permitted to take up the time of working scientists, and for the most part they are surely correct. But what about the gems in the rubble pile? By what ground-rules might we bring extraordinary new possibilities to light?

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Lloyd
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Creationism, Myths & Catastrophism

Unread post by Lloyd » Wed Nov 27, 2019 8:54 am

I met JP on this forum [Ancient Tech]. He's interested in biblical clues that hint of the ancient Saturn configuration. I'm paraphrasing and partially quoting my recent discussion with him. We invite anyone to join this discussion.

_JP: There are many portions of the Scriptures, particularly early portions, that have been routinely misinterpreted due to uniformitarianism. For example, Genesis 1:14 says there were two 'great lights' in the ancient sky. These lights are never identified as the sun and the moon. That is an interpretation foisted on the text from observations of the current sky by all past and present Biblical interpreters. Mention of the 'sun' (shamash) does not occur until Gen 15:12, and the moon (yareach) until Gen 37:9, and in both cases translating them "Saturn" and "Crescent" (following David Talbott's The Saturn Myth, pp.276-280) respectively does little violence to the text, but much violence to the imposition of the modern sky upon the ancients'.

Gen 15:12 is especially interesting, because the verb used there, also in 15:17, "bo", means "to come or come out, or emerge". It literally says in v.12, "It came to pass as shamash (Saturn) was emerging..." and v.17, "When shamash had emerged...". This is exactly in line with Talbott's thesis that ancient Saturn, being fixed in its place at the polar North as it was, "came out/appeared/emerged" at night and "went back/disappeared" during the daytime. A similar phenomenon exists today: compare the brightness of the moon seen during the day, and then compare it to the night (a phenomenon best noticed when moonrise occurs in the hours before sunset so one may watch the moon's 'emerging' brightness). The moon always appears brighter at night, it "comes out" (in brightness) at night, the same way Polestar Saturn did as recorded accurately and faithfully in Genesis 15.

Notice English translations say, "When the sun had set," because they're forcing the modern sky on Abraham's and changing the meaning of "bo" from come (appear) to set (go, disappear) simply because they've started with a faulty assumption about the ancient sky and have no recourse but to force interpretations of the modern sky back on the ancient text. I agree wholeheartedly with Talbott that the Hebrew word shamash came to be used to describe the current sun after the disappearance of Saturn from the sky, hence the perpetual confusion of the two. I surmise, with Velikovsky, that that departure occurred at the time of the Exodus. Thus, I believe Abraham and Joseph very much witnessed Saturn in their ancient sky, not our current sun. All references to shamash after the Exodus of the Hebrews refer to the current sun, not Saturn. [Talbott and Cardona disagree with Velikovsky about Venus etc causing the plagues just before the so-called Exodus. - Lloyd]

_LK: Most Creationists interpret the Bible's mention of the source of the Great Flood being "Fountains of the Great Deep" as the oceans, but Cardona et al say it refers to outer space, i.e. the polar configuration and the BlueLetterBible.org site might give interesting translations of the original Hebrew source of that phrase.

_JP: I think that the deep (Hebrew: tehom; Greek abysos) of Gen 1:2 is space, as you say. This same word is used of the fountains of the great deep in Gen 7:11 speaking of the flood (mayanot tehom rabbah: literally gushing fountains of the great deep). I find it significant that the term 'gushing fountains' is etymogically related to the Hebrew word for eye (ayin), sharing exactly the same root. I believe that the Hebrew language preserves in much of its etymology/roots and word associations fragments of memory of the ancient Saturnian configuration. Why are the words for 'spring' and 'eye' the same (ayin)? Mayanah, the singular form of mayanot of Gen 7:11, is a causative form of the same root: springs caused to gush, or fountains. What have these to do with eyes? I believe the association is because the eye, with its fountain of water (tears), was reminiscent to the Eye of Heaven configuration, with its fountains of waters that destroyed the world in the Deluge.

In terms of resources, I find Jeff Benner's Ancient Hebrew Lexicon one of the best etymological resources available for such studies. Not only does he break down each word in its original ancient Hebrew root, he gives the most mechanical/concrete translations for them. Abstract thought is non-existent in ancient Hebrew and all Hebrew words have concrete meanings. The word tehom (#8415) is actually derived from a family of similar words related to the verb hom, roaring, wild and tumultuous, loud noise, destruction. Even the 'window' in 7:11 (arubbah, #699) is a chimney by which smoke can exit a place. The 'chimneys of heaven' sounds awfully similar to a column of interplanetary plasma carrying an abundance of water from Saturn to Earth at the time of the Deluge. Notice that the word for 'window' (chimney) in Gen 7:11 & 8:2 is a different word to the 'window' Noah opened in the ark (chalon, Gen 8:6, #2474, a word that has to do with the twisting, or boring, of an implement to make a hole in something).

I also use E-Sword as a personal Bible app on my laptop (iPhone edition also available) simply because it is free (although I do donate) and it has all the essential resources I need to undertake my Biblical studies. I also do not need to depend on a website to make notes. Additional resources, such as specialist grammars, lexicon of the Septuagint, Louw-Nida's Semantic Lexicon for the New Testament, and so-on, I have in my personal library or via various smartphone apps.

I'm not even scratching the surface when it comes to the preservation of concepts of the ancient sky preserved down the millenia in the Hebrew language. The ancient Hebrew letters themselves originate from an assortment of celestial imagery, both of the Saturnian configuration and also arc-mode plasmas that were all present in the sky at the time, but that is another thesis I am currently working on in my very limited free time and may, in a few years, find the light of day in a printed book.

_LK: I learned from http://hisholychurch.org/ that there are a lot of different meanings for each word in Hebrew. But I haven't studied Hebrew or Biblical Greek etc in detail, as you apparently have. What you have stated about some Hebrew words is very interesting and I'm sure some of the Thunderbolts team would be interested in discussing or collaborating with you, if you like. I worked with the team a little about ten years ago, but not a lot. I mostly just write independently on their Forum. I met Charles Chandler there in about 2011. He was developing his model at that time and has completed it pretty thoroughly since about 2014, though he continues to improve it. His model is at http://qdl.scs-inc.us/?top=6031 [He's also done interesting research on "Torah Historicity" at http://qdl.scs-inc.us/?top=5675 ]

Mike Fischer is somewhat of a Creationist, I think, but is open to other models. He has an excellent website at http://NewGeology.us where he shows that the continents were formed when a supercontinent was struck by a large asteroid that split it up, causing rapid continental drift a few thousand years ago. John Baumgardner's article on Noah's Flood is also excellent IMO, but his explanation of continental drift is very inferior to Mike Fischer's. John's model has Earth's entire mantle churning to move the continents apart, but Mike's has just the crust moving, i.e. sliding, over the Moho layer below the crust.

_JP: I'm currently doing an in-depth study of "shamash" in the Biblical text and the Hebrew verbs associated with it, especially attempting to answer the question: the Hebrew language has a few different verbs for 'dawn/dusk' or 'rising/setting of the sun'. Why was lavo (bo) used in Gen 15:12 & 17 to describe the sun emerging at night?

Lloyd
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Re: Creationism, Myths & Catastrophism

Unread post by Lloyd » Wed Nov 27, 2019 9:36 am

@JP, there's been quite a bit of discussion of Shamash on this forum. Do a search.

Also, the Catastrophism.com site has a good search engine for Catastrophist literature. Here's the search link for Shamash: http://www.catastrophism.com/intro/sear ... t%5B%5D=-1

This is the search page: http://www.catastrophism.com/intro/sear ... oom_query=

Cardona has done some good research on Shamash, which one or more of the Catastrophism search results show. See http://www.catastrophism.com/intro/sear ... t%5B%5D=-1

This shows 9 issues of Thoth newsletter that mention Shamash:
http://www.catastrophism.com/intro/sear ... t%5B%5D=19

Thoth is online at https://www.saturniancosmology.org/files/thoth/

Lloyd
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Re: Creationism, Myths & Catastrophism

Unread post by Lloyd » Thu Nov 28, 2019 10:14 am

WHICH PLANETOIDS DID WHAT?
(I use the term planetoid to mean any large natural object from outer space.)

The Saturn Theory and the Polar Configuration model are interesting to me, but not my main interest. It's obvious that global cataclysms occurred a few thousand years ago and determining in detail how those events occurred is my main interest. So I want to find out which bodies and events were responsible for which cataclysms.

GREAT FLOOD. John Baumgardner's paper on Noah's Flood does an excellent job explaining how the Great Flood occurred. It must have involved a large body orbiting the Earth for about half a year on an elliptical orbit, so that the body made its closest approach for a few days about once a month. The close approaches raised huge tides that deposited each megasequence of sediments from the seafloor and continental shelf onto the former supercontinent. As the body receded on its orbit the tidal waves diminished and receding flood waters washed away much of the upper layers of the sediments by sheet erosion, except in the many basin areas. The orbiting body made close approaches to Earth about 6 times in all, leaving about 6 megasequences of rock strata on the supercontinent. The supercontinent was then struck by a large asteroid that split it up into continents and moved some of them (i.e. the Americas, Australia, Antarctica etc) a few thousand kilometers away within days (rapid continental drift: See http://NewGeology.us ), which event also formed mountain chains etc.

FLOOD CAUSE? The question is, which body was orbiting the Earth, raising tidal waves about once a month during close approaches? And where did it come from and what happened to it? The first guess would be that it was the Moon that was on an elliptical orbit at that time. The Saturn Theory suggests that the Moon was previously possibly a moon of Saturn and when the Saturn system broke up about 5,000 years ago the Moon was captured by the Earth. Robert Driscoll suggested that the planetoids of the Saturn system may have been on elliptical orbits around the Sun upon the breakup of the Saturn system, but that hydrogen gas H2 in the solar system from a Saturn nova or brown dwarf flare put drag on the planetoids and allowed their orbits to circularize quickly. In the case of the Moon its orbit apparently circularized in 6 months to a year or so. But the Moon isn't the only candidate for the role of the Flood cause. Other bodies in the Saturn system also appear to have made close encounters with the Earth during the breakup, namely Venus, Mars and possibly other bodies. So any of them may have been the orbiting body that caused the Flood. I have a file on Venus as a possible cause of the Great Flood too.

COMPARING THEORIES. As I stated in the Ancient Tech thread, I recently started a study of catastrophist theories at http://futureschool.boards.net/thread/22/theories . I have only started trying to list the main claims of each theory. I hope the study will help determine in some detail what must have happened to cause the global cataclysms a few thousand years ago. I'm comparing some Creationist models as well as secular catastrophist models. I'm open to including any other similar models that anyone may suggest. I may remove some of them, such as Heinsohn's, if they don't seem very relevant. These are on the list so far: Immanuel Velikovsky, Robert Driscoll, Jack Ackerman, Gary Gilligan, Gunnar Heinsohn, Jno Cook, Dwardu Cardona, Oard Creationists, John Baumgardner, Walter Brown, Mike Fischer, Lloyd Kinder (me)

moses
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Re: Creationism, Myths & Catastrophism

Unread post by moses » Thu Nov 28, 2019 7:10 pm

Hi Lloyd,
I think it important to separate Noah's flood from previous events. The production of the sediment ( as the geological column ) was before the ice ages. Sure there was some sediment from Noah's flood but we need to be clear. Indeed Noah's flood may well have been caused by Mars getting in orbit around Earth and also traveling between Venus and Earth. But that had nothing to do with the formation of the geological column.
Cheers,
Mo

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Re: Creationism, Myths & Catastrophism

Unread post by Lloyd » Fri Nov 29, 2019 4:12 pm

Mo, sedimentary rock strata are generally of 3 types, mudstone, limestone, or sandstone, and they're several feet to several hundred feet thick. This is seen in the Grand Canyon. It supposedly took millions of years to deposit each stratum in the Grand Canyon. But how could there have been deposition of only one type of sediment for millions of years, i.e. lime, or mud, or sand? Berthault's experiments showed that all 3 types are sorted by flood waters and deposited at the same time, one layer upon another. So they must have been deposited over short timespans, such as hours, days, or weeks. Also, the upper and lower strata surfaces are generally straight and smooth, showing that there was not enough time for erosion to cut channels before the next layer was deposited. This shows that the Grand Canyon strata must have been deposited all about the same time. Each sequence -- lime, mud and sand -- were deposited altogether, followed a few weeks later by another sequence. And a planetoid orbiting the Earth on an elliptical orbit would have produced tidal waves that produced each sequence like that. After half a year or so the planetoid's orbit must have circularized and stopped causing tidal waves.

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JP Michael
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Re: Creationism, Myths & Catastrophism

Unread post by JP Michael » Fri Nov 29, 2019 5:31 pm

Good points Lloyd. Guy Berthault's Experiments in Stratification remain a mostly ignored set of critical data amongst uniformitarian geologists. If they dared to openly acknowledge that sedimentary strata were deposited horizontally and vertically at the same time, they would not continue to promote their outdated and incorrect 'millions of years' geological layering models. This also has significant implications for fossil ages: fossils in lower strata can be younger than fossils in upper strata, thus throwing the entire fossil-dating paradigm into serious question just as much as the "geological column" is thrown into question. Unfortunately, uniformitarian geology is dedicated to preserving millions of years at any cost, in spite of extensive falsification of Lyell's doctrine of uniformity across the board.

I will point out that creationist geological modelling rejects most hypothesised events prior and subsequent to Noah's Flood; creationists tend to see The Flood as a one-of-a-kind event that was never repeated even on a smaller scale in successive geological epochs as Tas Walker's typical Biblical Geological Model demonstrates:

Image

Creationists thus will tend to reject a-priori any geological modelling that posits:
  • 1. Geological catastrophism prior to the flood. This is because prior to the Flood, there were no significant geology-altering catastrophes according to Biblical chronology. The only geological event preceding the Flood was the creation event itself, which most creationists suppose was the very opposite of a catastrophic event. It was orderly, organised and deemed "very good" at its climax on the 7th day (Gen 1:31). Creationists see chaos, destruction and catastrophe as an antithesis of the declaration that, prior to the Fall, creation was "very good".

    2. Geological catastrophism subsequent to the Flood. This is rejected primarily due to an a-priori assumption of uniformitarian cosmology. Most creationists are either ignorant of or hostile to Saturian Configuration theory/electroplasma universe theory due to existing commitment to cosmological models derived from Einsteinian Relativity. Thus, the general rejection of potential planetary origins of the mechanisms of The Flood means subsequent rejection of post-flood disasters caused by later plasmasheath collisions of Earth-Jupiter, Earth-Venus, Earth-Mars, Earth-Mercury, Earth-Moon or however many other collisions were witnessed by humanity and noted in the mytho-historical record. Such subsequent events could not have happened in most creationist modelling because they are committed, a-priori, to a gravity-model-only uniformitarian sky.
This is a significant error in creationist geological modelling because it gives no place for extraterrestrial agents of chaos (to use Velikovsky's term) as either concrete mechanisms of the Flood, nor as subsequent agents of later catastophes which most creationists will deny ever occured because they pay little to no regard of the whole picture of the mythohistorical record save to prove that there was a global Flood. Creationists do believe in a post-flood Ice Age and have interesting papers on that topic, but that is as far as they go in terms of post-Flood catastrophism. They are generally not at all interested in subsequent global cataclysmic events, which point I feel is a significant hole in their overall geological modelling of Earth history.

Lloyd does rightly note that Baumgartner in particular seems open to the idea (based on the sedimentary geology) of a planetoid on an elliptical orbit around the earth causing successive tidal-waves of global sedimentary deposition. Where I think Baumgartner gets it wrong is that he supposes a planetoid was orbiting around the Earth at the time of the Flood. I think Earth was that 'planetoid', and it was orbiting the flaring proto-sun Saturn as its plasmasheath came into contact with the Sun's. Perhaps it took Baumgartner's six passes of Earth around it's flaring parent star before Earth finally became locked in a fixed position relative to Saturn's south pole (think Shoemaker-Levy 9 when it formed its 'shish-kebob' before collision with Jupiter: that linear formation took time to organise electrically). I posit this occurred at the mid-point of the flood (Gen 8:2-4) when the raging waters were calmed and abatement began.

I further posit, like others before me, that Earth retained this position for some centuries after the Flood, spawning the plethora of 'creation' and polestar/axis mundi myth worldwide before the Saturnian configuration, that 'shish-kabob' of planets, finally broke up and plunged both Earth and the other planets into a period of eccentric orbits that, again, took some centuries of collision and readjustment to finally stabilise to the present system circa ~700 BCE.
Last edited by JP Michael on Fri Nov 29, 2019 5:46 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Creationism, Myths & Catastrophism

Unread post by moses » Fri Nov 29, 2019 5:39 pm

Hi Lloyd,
In our laminated deposition days we saw how many layers of sediment can be formed or deposited at the same time in the one flow. We saw this with the Mount St Helens eruption. Now there was no oceanic flood waters involved in the formation of these St Helens layers so it is easy to consider there may have been little flood waters involved in the formation of the geological column.

Rather a lot of heat might well have been needed. Electrical discharge machining produces such heat. It could also produce flows of material and mixed with oceanic water this looks a good bet for the requirements to produce the geological column. However there is clear evidence of separated events of deposition in the geological column and this suggests orbital involvement.

The real understanding comes with the overall scenario. The creationists try to place all the events on Earth into 6 thousand years. And they do terrific work showing that most things happened quickly rather than the standard slow change. However the 6 thousand year story is a constraint on clear thinking and is not really found in the bible with correct translation and interpretation.

The ice ages are the key. The geological column was definitely formed before the ice ages. And Noah's flood was after the ice ages. Or before and after the Younger Dryas. So definitely more than the one episode of flooding.

Cheers,
Mo

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JP Michael
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Re: Creationism, Myths & Catastrophism

Unread post by JP Michael » Fri Nov 29, 2019 5:54 pm

In creationist modelling, there is only one Ice Age, and that Ice Age was precipitated (literally according to their modelling) by warmer post-Deluge oceans. Sedimentary deposits were logically laid down by the Flood prior to that Ice Age.

I think you hit a good argument with electrical machining, though, Moses, and this is a very significant missing piece of creationist geological modelling. With their a-priori commitment to a uniformitarian sky, this piece will remain missing until creationists address this glaring piece of evidence (a topic I hope to address with a book I am writing on that very issue).

Creationists willingly compartmentalise their thinking to their interpretation of Biblical chronology just as much as uniformitarian geologists compartmentalise theirs. I see more significant problems with old-earth geology (uniformitarian or catastrophist) than with young-earth creationism that justifies the choice of chronology.

Creationists err by supposing only one era of catastrophe, with that point I can most wholeheartedly agree. Whether there was catastrophism prior to The Flood? The only place you can put it in Biblical chronology is Genesis 1:2, and I am not convinced that it either belongs there nor is supported by rigorous exegesis of the Hebrew.

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Brigit Bara
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Re: Creationism, Myths & Catastrophism

Unread post by Brigit Bara » Fri Nov 29, 2019 10:35 pm

by JP Michael » Fri Nov 29, 2019 5:54 pm
Creationists err by supposing only one era of catastrophe, with that point I can most wholeheartedly agree.

Whether there was catastrophism prior to The Flood? The only place you can put it in Biblical chronology is Genesis 1:2, and I am not convinced that it either belongs there nor is supported by rigorous exegesis of the Hebrew.
The words in Genesis 1:1 say, "In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth," and are followed by the words of Genesis 1:2, "And the earth became without form, and void, and darkness was on the face of the deep";
this state does not refer to the earth's fist condition. There was an indefinite interval between the first verse of Genesis and the second.

There are 4 main arguments for this, which I will give in a moment.

I do not normally like to start any internecine skirmishes with other believers on this -- I accept that others may interpret Genesis 1-3 differently than I do. But at the same time, I hope that I can briefly discuss it so that even a casual reader can see that there most certainly is plenty of support in the Biblical Hebrew for the catastrophic gap between G 1:1 and 1:2.

Then, following the destruction of the original creation and the reconstruction of the six days in Genesis, there was next a global flood; then there was a disaster in the building of the Tower of Babel; then there was an event which divided the languages and separated regions of the earth; then, lifespans were shortened, and later, there were several great famines in the Mediterranean during the period of 2000-1750 BC from Abram to Joseph, which may have been the result of the sudden electrical destruction of such places as Santorini; and there was also the catastrophic disappearance of Sodom, Gomorrah, and the other five cities -- the five cities of the plain.

I think JP Michael's criticisms of "creationists" are fair enough. A lot of people down through history have interpreted Genesis using some favored contemporary manmade philosophical system, which later turns out to be completely wrong, and was in fact totally contrary to the true meaning of the words all along (ref: Aristotle, Ptolemy during the Medieval Ages). But the words themselves are preserved and their ultimate unfolding in the subsequent 65 books are what guide the study, along with a dose of humility -- because it is okay to say, "I don't know the answer to that."

I want to say right here that the Bible does not say that God created the sun and moon at the time of the six days of the reformation of the earth, in Genesis. In case it does not come up again, or in case I forget, I want to make clear that Genesis says that God made "two great lights; the greater light to rule the day, and the lesser light to rule the night." The word Shemesh, the sun, does not appear until Genesis chapter 15, and the word Yareach, the moon, does not appear until Genesis chapter 37. I think this leaves room for the views of Velikovsky, that Saturn and another body were the original sources of light on the earth.
“Oh for shame, how these mortals put the blame upon us gods, for they say evils come from us, when it is they rather who by their own recklessness win sorrow beyond what is given…”
~Homer

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JP Michael
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Re: Creationism, Myths & Catastrophism

Unread post by JP Michael » Sat Nov 30, 2019 8:52 am

Brigit Bara wrote:I want to say right here that the Bible does not say that God created the sun and moon at the time of the six days of the reformation of the earth, in Genesis. In case it does not come up again, or in case I forget, I want to make clear that Genesis says that God made "two great lights; the greater light to rule the day, and the lesser light to rule the night." The word Shemesh, the sun, does not appear until Genesis chapter 15, and the word Yareach, the moon, does not appear until Genesis chapter 37. I think this leaves room for the views of Velikovsky, that Saturn and another body were the original sources of light on the earth.
I also made this point as quoted by Lloyd in the first post of this thread, although I think there is much, much more to this in the underlying Hebrew of Genesis 15 and other related passages associated with שמש (shemesh). I am slowly researching this point in depth.
Brigit Bara wrote:I do not normally like to start any internecine skirmishes with other believers on this -- I accept that others may interpret Genesis 1-3 differently than I do. But at the same time, I hope that I can briefly discuss it so that even a casual reader can see that there most certainly is plenty of support in the Biblical Hebrew for the catastrophic gap between G 1:1 and 1:2.
It is fair and reasonable to discuss the matter, because it is rather pertinent to the topic. This precise point has been argued for more than 200 years ever since Thomas Chalmers first set forth his Gap Theory for Genesis 1:1-2 and that millions of years of geological time can be happily deposited there (pun intended!).

Whilst I will not suppose you hold to all or even some of the tenents of traditional Gap Theory (which is also known as Ruin-Reconstruction), eg. old earth uniformitarian geological views, especially considering this is a catastrophist forum, I think it is critical to our understanding of this particular issue that Gap Theory did not exist in any reasonably arguable form by most Christian commentators or exegetes of Scripture until Nicholas Steno's postulations of the principles of stratigraphy (1669) began to influence geological studies in the 18th century. As we know from history, old-earth geology became the vogue and Gap Theory was one of many attempts by 19th century Christianity to 'harmonise' Scripture with the emerging, and soon to become dominant, uniformitarian views of geological science. That Gap Theory ruin-reconstructionism never existed, at least in Christianity, prior to the advent of old-earth geology is a telling element of the hermeneutical angle adopted by its adherents in their interpretive treatment of Genesis 1:1-2.

The second point I wish to highlight is how closely Gap Theory resembles certain Jewish interpreters of Genesis, particularly Rabbi Shlomo Yitchaki (Rashi) and Ibn Ezra. Both interpreted Genesis 1 as a dependent clause with בראשית (bereshith) being in the construct state ("When God began to create... comma, and the earth was/became...) rather than an absolute ("In the beginning God created...full stop. Now the earth was..."). This distinction between construct and absolute paves a path, at least following Jewish exegetical methodologies of Scripture, for a wider view of interpretations of Genesis 1:1-2 that can include ideas of ruin-reconstructionism. For interest, Masoretic scribes accentuate בראשית as an absolute and thus understood it as an independent clause. Whilst the Masoretes were by no means infallable in their vocalisation and accentuation, to understand בראשית as a construct is to do so against their preserved reading of Genesis 1:1. [1]

Additionally, it is also believed in certain schools of Judaism that there were prior creations, destructions and recreations until God finally settled with our current universe as allowed by the above interpretive angle:
  • Rabbi Judah son of Rabbi Simon said: “Let there be evening” is not written here [in Torah], but “And there was evening” [was]; hence we know that a time-order existed before this [world’s creation]. Rabbi Abahu said: This proves that the Holy One, blessed be God, went on creating worlds and destroying them until God created this one, and declared, “This one pleases Me; those did not please Me.” Midrash B’reishit Rabbah 3:8
I have remarked elsewhere of the infiltration, indoctrination and manipulation of the sciences by esoteric elements since 1840 - should it be a surprise to find this aspect of Judaism having emerged in Christian hermeneutical approaches to Genesis 1:1-2 during the same time period? Or that it was permanently enshrined in the Scofield Bible in 1909 amongst an increasingly pro-Zionist dispensational Christian audience? Or that they grew up together with uniformitarian geology, biology and cosmology, the three cornerstones of worldwide indoctrination into esoteric creation mythology? I would never had connected these dots in the past, having once been a pro-Zionist dispensationalist myself (and I intend no disrespect to anyone who is), but I connect them now.

Of course I have more technical objections which are well documented elsewhere, such as the ten major issues of Gap Theory (pp. 56-61), Syntax of Genesis 1:1-2 (see especially the comparison of Gen 1:2 with Jonah 3:3), the waw-disjunctive, the LXX Greek translation of Genesis 1:2 utilising ἦν (was) and not εγένετο (became), and the very thorough treatment of the matter in W.W. Fields' book, Unformed and Unfilled (Burgener, 1997).

The point is very important to iron out completely, because not a few of the non-creationist catastrophists here on these boards (like Moses above) will endeavour to point out cataclysmic events that supposedly occurred prior to Noah's Flood according to their understanding of geological evidences.

Typical creationist reconstructions of Earth geology, especially their focus upon a "very good" creation declaration (Gen 1:31) and no death or suffering prior to God's pronouncement of death in Adam's fall (Gen 3:19; Romans 5:12), simply do not allow the existence of cataclysmic events before Genesis 7 (let alone Genesis 3), especially ones that entombed billions of dead things in the rocks.

[1] Syntax of Genesis 1:1-2

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Brigit Bara
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Re: Creationism, Myths & Catastrophism

Unread post by Brigit Bara » Sat Nov 30, 2019 1:23 pm

Guys I am so so sorry about missing a couple of paragraphs on the thread. Thanks for pointing that out to me.
“Oh for shame, how these mortals put the blame upon us gods, for they say evils come from us, when it is they rather who by their own recklessness win sorrow beyond what is given…”
~Homer

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Brigit Bara
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Re: Creationism, Myths & Catastrophism

Unread post by Brigit Bara » Sat Nov 30, 2019 3:48 pm

JP Michael says,
"This precise point has been argued for more than 200 years ever since Thomas Chalmers first set forth his Gap Theory for Genesis 1:1-2 and that millions of years of geological time can be happily deposited there (pun intended!)."
Absolutely. There was an effort to accommodate uniformatarian models of geology, which is an annoyance I agree. It's not just that millions of years of stratigraphy can be "happily deposited there"; it can also be quite conveniently eroded and vanished where ever needed, as well!

But those arguments hold no importance at all for the purpose of this discussion, and I am really only interested in comparing scripture with scripture in understanding Genesis. Don't get me wrong, I think it is very interesting to listen to what various Rabbis have taught.

After all, Immanuel Velikovsky himself used the Midrashim to develop his startling hypothesis, that Saturn experienced a nova/flare, which deposited salt water on its then-Satellite Earth, and also formed its icy rings. I enjoy the discussion with the traditions -- I even took two years of Hebrew, one year from an Israeli woman, and went overseas to Jerusalem for 2 geology credits and a little shopping. But here I am committed to interpreting scripture with scripture, and I am not willing to entertain the traditions and philosophies of men alongside the Bible. "Beware lest any one cheat you through philosophy and empty deceit, according to the tradition of men, according to the principles of the world..." People say anything, Jew and Gentile alike. That much has never changed. So apart from traditions and philosophies, I believe that the Bible itself makes it plain that there was a catastrophic event between Genesis 1:1 and 2.

Text
In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth. And the earth was without form and void, and darkness was on the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God was hovering over the face of the waters.
Then God said, "Let there be light," and there was light.
“Oh for shame, how these mortals put the blame upon us gods, for they say evils come from us, when it is they rather who by their own recklessness win sorrow beyond what is given…”
~Homer

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Brigit Bara
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Re: Creationism, Myths & Catastrophism

Unread post by Brigit Bara » Sat Nov 30, 2019 5:03 pm

Text
In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth. And the earth was without form and void, and darkness was on the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God was hovering over the face of the waters.
Then God said, "Let there be light," and there was light.

These are the verses under discussion.

First we see that God is spirit, not material, and that through the agency of his Word, through his command, everything was created.

ref:
By the word of the Lord the heavens were made, and all the host of them by the breath of his mouth. He gathers the waters of the sea together as a heap; He lays up the deep in storehouses. Let all the earth fear the Lord, and Let all the inhabitants of the world stand in awe of Him. For He spoke, and it was done; He commanded, and it stood fast. Ps 33

ref:
By faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that things which are seen were not made of things which are visible. Heb 11

In its cultural environment, this directly contradicts all polytheism of the ancient world, because rather than a clash of many gods, there was One God who, through wisdom and intelligence thought of everything, and spoke it into existence. For more modern times, in much the same way that it denies polytheism, it also denies big bang/nebular theory/evolution, which rely solely on the clashing forces of time, chance, darkness and gravity to construct all things -- even life itself, including human beings -- through a chaotic and undirected process.

Genesis 1 also denies materialism, which staunchly refuses to admit the existence of spiritual causes and laws, angels, and God.

Through comparing scripture with scripture, taking statements at their face value when they are not idioms or allegories, this shows all things were created through His forethought, and executed through the power of his deliberate word.

Now the next verse raises a question. Did He make a waste and emptiness, or a vanity and void, as a preliminary condition? "And the earth was without form, and void, and darkness was upon the face of the deep."
“Oh for shame, how these mortals put the blame upon us gods, for they say evils come from us, when it is they rather who by their own recklessness win sorrow beyond what is given…”
~Homer

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JP Michael
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Re: Creationism, Myths & Catastrophism

Unread post by JP Michael » Sat Nov 30, 2019 6:15 pm

Brigit Bara wrote:It's not just that millions of years of stratigraphy can be "happily deposited there"; it can also be quite conveniently eroded and vanished where ever needed, as well!
My point was that old-earth interpretations of Genesis 1:1-2, in addition to ruin-reconstructionism, are themselves new interpretations that do not originate from the text itself, nor via a rigorous exegetical process of comparing scripture with scripture. They originate with considerations external to and imposed upon the text, be it old-earth geology or the exegetical traditions of the Rabbis ("traditions of men") as I attempted to demonstrate above.

In the history of Christian exegesis of this passage, ruin-reconstructionism has never been required (hence its 1,800 year absence) until the advent of old-earth geology. This is very telling to me. To suggest that time can be just as easily removed from as added to the text due to outside considerations simply is not true historically. Standard, 'orthodox' if you will, exegesis of Genesis 1:1-3 and beyond has always upheld a 'young earth' non-reconstructionist view because it had no reasons, internal to the text of Scripture alone, to do otherwise. If there had been, some exegete in the 1,800 year history of Christian interpretation prior to modern geology would have suggested it. Thus, considerations to alter the 'orthodox' interpretation of Genesis 1:1-2 must come from outside, be it Rabbinical traditions or old-earth geology.

I think you would agree that young earth creationism had been the prevailing interpretive paradigm of Christianity from its inception until it was assaulted by old-earth geology (and later Darwinian biology) in the late 18th and early 19th centuries. This resulted in various attempts to harmonise the text with the new 'science', although I believe the text had to be mutilated beyond its usual Hebrew syntax and words like היתה had to be given meanings that the context, both here in Gen 1:2 and elsewhere, eg. Jonah 3:3, simply do not support.

The Scriptures teach:
  • 1. 1656 years, ±9, from Creation to the Flood.
    2. 642 years, ±12, from the Flood until Jacob's sojourn to Egypt.
    3. 430 years in Egypt until the Exodus.
    4. 480 years from Exodus until Solomon's Temple.
    5. 345 years, ±27, from Solomon's Temple to the Exile in Babylon.
Thus from creation to the exile are 3553 years, ±50 years, an error margin of 1.4% which is pretty good, and usually scholars will cross over to established non-biblical chronologies at the Exile although the Bible does provide more chronological clues to get from Exile to Messiah:
  • 6. 70 years of Exile, ending in the first year of Cyrus the Persian (Daniel 9:1-2 cf. Jeremiah 25:12 & Ezra 1:1).
    7. 483 years from the decree to rebuild Jerusalem to Messiah's death (Dan 9:25-26 cf. Nehemiah 2:1-8)
By this point one can transfer safely to the Julian and later Gregorian calendars and get right up to the present day, 6194 years, ±50 years, since creation, an error margin of a measely 0.8%.

Now I will make an important addendum here. It seems clear to me that the actual length of the pre-Flood day and year is difficult to ascertain. Both Exodus 20:11 and 31:17 suggest the length of the days of creation (and following?) were similar to that of the time of the Exodus, else the command to keep Sabbath on the 7th 'day' becomes nonsensical, and this command stems directly from a relationship with God's 6-day creative activity.

Furthermore, as I have remarked elsewhere, 'months' of 30 days seem the norm pre-Flood but there is no way of knowing how many months were in the pre-Flood calendar. It could have been as short as 10 'months' or as long as 12 or more, let alone defining what a pre-Flood 'month' was. Was it a rotation of satellite Earth around its then-parent star, Saturn? Was it a rotational period of one of the greater or lesser lights of Gen 1:14? There is simply no way to know because the primary extant data of the period, the book of Genesis, is rather incomplete in its details.

I would be very interested to read a rebuttal of the detailed objections I hyperlinked in my previous post, especially the use of the waw-disjunctive as a marker of epexegetical commentary as I firmly believe to be the case for Genesis 1:2.
Last edited by JP Michael on Sat Nov 30, 2019 6:23 pm, edited 2 times in total.

Lloyd
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Re: Creationism, Myths & Catastrophism

Unread post by Lloyd » Sat Nov 30, 2019 6:20 pm

Good to see good discussion. I hope it bears much fruit.

"And the earth was without form, and void, and darkness was upon the face of the deep."
Saturnists et al have pointed out that many of those words may mean something much different than what we normally suppose. The Earth may have referred to an apparition, possibly electrified, in the sky. I think Rens van der Sluijs has argued something like that a few years ago in some TPODs. The "deep" apparently referred to the sky, not the oceans. Maybe some of you can clarify what may be the meaning of the "face" of the deep. Was it the Saturn configuration?

I hope we can compare several catastrophist models on some of the more crucial ancient myth themes. Shamash is one term that has been discussed by catastrophists, as I referenced in an earlier post here. If anyone feels that the Bible or Torah is superior to other ancient myths, feel free to hold such a view, but don't expect the rest of us to agree or even listen. Okay?

JP posted right before me, so I didn't get to read his last post yet.

I did now, but I don't have anything to add. What I said above about the Earth and the face of the deep etc already is sufficient reply, I think.
Last edited by Lloyd on Sat Nov 30, 2019 6:45 pm, edited 3 times in total.

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