Wednesday, August 9, 2017

Pope Francis: I’m saddened by ‘perfect’ Catholics who despise others


"Pope Francis: I’m saddened by ‘perfect’ Catholics who despise others"Image result for adulterous woman


VATICAN CITY (CNS)—God did not choose perfect people to form his church, but rather sinners who have experienced his love and forgiveness, Pope Francis said.
The Gospel of Luke’s account of Jesus forgiving the sinful woman shows how his actions went against the general mentality of his time, a way of thinking that saw a “clear separation” between the pure and impure, the pope said Aug. 9 during his weekly general audience.
“There were some scribes, those who believed they were perfect,” the pope said. “And I think about so many Catholics who think they are perfect and scorn others. This is sad.”
Continuing his series of audience talks about Christian hope, the pope reflected on Jesus’ “scandalous gesture” of forgiving the sinful woman.
The woman, he said, was one of many poor women who were were visited secretly even by those who denounced them as sinful.
Although Jesus’ love toward the sick and the marginalized “baffles his contemporaries,” it reveals God’s heart as the place where suffering men and women can find love, compassion and healing, Pope Francis said.
“How many people continue today in a wayward life because they find no one willing to look at them in a different way, with the eyes—or better yet—with the heart of God, meaning with hope,” he said. But “Jesus sees the possibility of a resurrection even in those who have made so many wrong choices.”
Oftentimes, the pope continued, Christians become accustomed to having their sins forgiven and receiving God’s unconditional love while forgetting the heavy price Jesus paid by dying on the cross.
By forgiving sinners, Jesus doesn’t seek to free them from a guilty conscience, but rather offers “people who have made mistakes the hope of a new life, a life marked by love,” the pope said.
The church is a people formed “of sinners who have experienced the mercy and forgiveness of God,” Pope Francis said. Christians are “all poor sinners” who need God’s mercy, “which strengthens us and gives us hope.”
….
Taken from: https://www.americamagazine.org/faith/2017/08/09/pope-francis-im-saddened-perfect-catholics-who-despise-others

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Sunday, August 6, 2017

Pope reflects on Transfiguration, summer vacation at Angelus







(Vatican Radio) Pope Francis focused his Angelus reflection on the feast of the Transfiguration of the Lord, which is celebrated each year on 6 August. “The event of the Transfiguration of the Lord,” he said, “offers us a message of hope: it invites us to encounter Jesus, to be at the service of our brothers.”


The disciples’ journey to Mount Tabor, he continued, helps us “to reflect on the importance of detaching ourselves from worldly things, in order to complete our journey to the heights and to contemplate Jesus.” This involves conforming ourselves to Christ’s attitude of "attentive listening and prayer,” which allows us to welcome the Word of God into our lives. Summer time, the Pope said, can be a providential moment to grow in our commitment to seek after and encounter the Lord. “In this period, students are free from their scholastic commitments, and many families take their vacations; it is important that in the period of rest and of detachment from daily occupations, the strength of the body and of the spirit can be restored, deepening the spiritual journey.”


These spiritual heights, though, are not an end in themselves. Following the experience of the Transfiguration, the disciples came down from the mountain with “eyes and hearts transfigured by the experience of the Lord." Pope Francis said that we too can “come down from the mountain, recharged by the power of the divine Spirit, to decide on new steps of authentic conversion, and to constantly bear witness to charity as the law of daily life.” This transfiguration will allow us to be “signs of the life-giving love of God” for all, especially those who suffer.


In the Transfiguration, the Pope said, we hear the voice of the Father saying, “This is My beloved Son. Listen to Him!” Pope Francis encouraged us to look to Mary, “the Virgin of Listening,” and pray that she might help us “to enter into symphony with the Word of God, that Christ might become the light and the guide of our lives.” He concluded his reflection by entrusting everyone’s vacations to God, and by praying for all those who are unable to take vacations, that summer may be for them, too, a time of relaxation, “gladdened by the presence of friends and joyful moments.”

....
Taken from: http://en.radiovaticana.va/news/2017/08/06/pope_reflects_on_transfiguration,_summer_vacation_at_angelus/1329231

Sunday, June 18, 2017

The Bible Illuminates History and Philosophy


Image result for alpha and omega Jesus lord of history

 

Part One:
From Creation to the Flood



by

 

Damien F. Mackey

 

 

 

 

 

“When the Lamb opened the second seal, I heard the second living creature say, ‘Come!’  

Then another horse came out, a fiery red one. Its rider was given power to take peace from the earth and to make people kill each other. To him was given a large sword”.

 

Apocalypse 6:3-4

 

 

  

 

 

 

This new history of the world is dedicated to Jesus Christ, the Lord of History:

 

‘I am the Alpha and the Omega, the First and the Last, the Beginning and the End’.

 

(Revelation 22:13)


 

God and Creation

 

Jesus Christ has revealed God as a Trinity of Persons, a Communion or Family of Love.

According to Pope Francis: Christ “has shown us the face of God, One in substance and Triune in Persons; God is all and only Love, in a subsisting relationship that creates, redeems, and sanctifies all: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.”

The Son of God showed that God first sought us, and revealed that eternal life is precisely “the immeasurable and gratuitous love of the Father that Jesus gave on the Cross, offering his life for our salvation.”

“And this love, by the action of the Holy Spirit, has irradiated a new light upon the earth and in every human heart that welcomes it.”

“May the Virgin Mary help us to enter ever more, with our whole selves, into the trinitarian Communion, to live and bear witness to the love that gives sense to our existence”.

 

The Holy Family, Jesus (in his humanity), Mary and Joseph, is an icon of the Holy Trinity, Joseph reflecting the Father and Mary (the Immaculate Conception) reflecting the Holy Spirit (the uncreated Immaculate Conception).

 

God, who lives beyond time, has made everything that is (John 1:1-2): “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning. Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made”.

God created all ex nihilo, “not out of anything”.

Psalm 33:9: “He spoke, and it was.” That is, its existence depended on his Word; the universe sprang into being at his command; he had only to speak, and it arose in all its grandeur where before there was nothing.

 

I personally do not favour the concept of a Big Bang explosion, but I might be wrong.

Can anything constructive, let alone our glorious cosmos, emerge from an explosion?

Proverbs 8:30 describes Wisdom at play, as beautifully explained here:

 

This song describes the dynamic of authentic play. Play is not wasting time, but

entering into time with fullness of heart. This reflects rejoicing in the birth of each new day, delighting in how we as God’s children co-create with God, bringing forth a world of beauty.

 

 

“Day after day, God’s wisdom at play in the universe,

delighting to be with us, the children of earth”.

 


Wondrous Wisdom, rejoicing in earth’s birth and rebirth:

majestic mountains, rolling hills, roaring waters, flowing streams.

Playful Wisdom, setting out a table of fine food;

with whole grain bread, full-bodied wine, bountiful banquet blessing with joy.

Creative Wisdom, dancing on the edge of chaos;

divine desire dwells deep within, risking passion, daring us to dream.

Gentle Wisdom, calling out with dawns’ first light;

graceful instruction, creative counsel, whispers of wisdom speak softly to our heart.

Radiant Wisdom, sparkling starlight, flame of love,

resplendent as sunlight at mid-day, fields of wildflowers bright and alive.

 

“Gentle Wisdom” – hard to reconcile this with a Big Bang!

We need to learn again how, like Wisdom, to make ‘work’, playful, and not a soul-destroying drudge. God’s universe is intimately known to Him, for He “telleth the number of the stars: and calleth them all by their names” (Psalm 146:4, Douay). He rolled out those mighty luminaries like a child playing with marbles, but all done with a sublime teleological purpose (Genesis 1:14), to “serve as signs to mark sacred times, and days and years”.

Nowhere is this fact better exemplified than in Lieutenant-Colonel G. Mackinlay,’s The Magi: How They Recognised Christ's Star (Hodder and Stoughton, 1908), in which the author demonstrates that the heavenly cycles when properly co-ordinated with the life of Jesus Christ reveal a stupendous witness of sun, moon and stars as appropriately marking sacred times.

 

Those billions of years posited by astronomers and physicists seem to me to be ridiculous and eccentric. Who can reasonably think in terms of such massive numbers?

The solar system is, in my opinion, geocentric.

Anyway, no one can prove this statement to be un-scientific or wrong.

Some qualified scientists, at least, have cast serious doubt upon the supposed ‘vast cosmic ocean of dark energy (matter)’.

 


“Religious circles embraced the idea of an expanding universe because for the universe to be expanding, then at some point in the past it had to originate from a single point, called the “Big Bang”. Indeed, the concept of the Big Bang did not originate with Edwin Hubble himself but was proposed by a Catholic Monk, Georges Lemaître in 1927, two years before Hubble published his observations of the Red Shift.

The “Big Bang” coincided nicely with religious doctrine and just as had been the case with epicycles (and despite the embarrassment thereof) religious institutions sought to encourage this new model of the universe over all others, including the then prevalent “steady state” theory. In 1951 Pope Pius XII declared that Georges Lemaître's work proved the Christian dogma of divine creation of the universe.

Then history repeated itself. Evidence surfaced that the “Big Bang” might not really be a workable theory in the form of General Relativity, and its postulation that super massive objects would have gravity fields so strong that even light could not escape, nor would matter be able to differentiate.

Since the entire universe existing in just one spot would be the most super massive object of all, the universe could not be born”.

 

The science fiction version of cosmology with which scientists must assail us today - with its great galloping galaxies, cosmic vacuum cleaning Black Holes, microwave cooking radiation and Doppelganger (or is that Doppler?) Effect - seems to be entirely lacking in any sort of cogent Divine plan - the true structure of the universe.

It is all yet awaiting, I believe, a wiser interpretation.

There may well be, for example, a cosmic compatibility between the structure of the universe, on the one hand, and, on the other, the Garden of Eden; the Temple in Jerusalem (patterned on the Garden of Eden); and the Tent of Meeting. In the Book of Hebrews, St. Paul tells us that the Tabernacle, and all its services, were patterns of things in the heavens” (Hebrews 9:23). The physical objects associated with the earthly sanctuary were “figures of the true” (Hebrews 9:24) — the “shadow of heavenly things” (Hebrews 8:5).

The Garden of Eden was, like the Temple afterwards, a micro-cosmos.

Dr. Ernest L. Martin’s “The Temple Symbolism in Genesis” is well worth reading in this regard. “Each physical item had its spiritual counterpart in Heaven”.

 

Early Genesis and Toledôt

 

The Triune God is not affected by time.

Genesis 1 has nothing to do with the time taken by God to create the universe – a ridiculous suggestion! So, Creationists and Evolutionists are free to debate the actual age of the earth.

As some have divined, Genesis 1 is (at least in part) a revelation to man of God’s work of creation. Man - and not God, who never tires nor ceases (Isaiah 40:28) - needs to retire in the evening and then to resume again in the morning.

The Six Days (Hexaëmeron) were real, 24-hour days.

 

Key to the structure of the Book of Genesis are the eleven colophon divisions, “These are the generations of …”.

Here is an arrangement of it:

 

  Tablet 
  Starting Verse 
  Ending Verse 
  Owner or  Writer 
 1
 Genesis 1:1
 Genesis 2:4a
  God Himself (?)
 2
 Genesis 2:4b
 Genesis 5:1a
  Adam
 3
 Genesis 5:1b
 Genesis 6:9a
  Noah
 4
 Genesis 6:9b
 Genesis 10:1a
  Shem, Ham & Japheth 
 5
 Genesis 10:1b
 Genesis 11:10a
  Shem
 6
 Genesis 11:10b
 Genesis 11:27a
  Terah
 7
 Genesis 11:27b
 Genesis 25:19a
  Isaac
 8
 Genesis 25:12
 Genesis 25:18
  Ishmael, through Isaac
 9
 Genesis 25:19b
 Genesis 37:2a
  Jacob
 10
 Genesis 36:1
 Genesis 36:43
  Esau, through Jacob
 11
 Genesis 37:2b
 Exodus 1:6
  Jacob’s 12 sons

 

These “generations” (Hebrew: toledôt) constitute the family histories of the various biblical patriarchs leading up to Moses. These (and not the fragmentary and confusing JEDP sources) are the documents upon which Moses drew to compile what we now call the Book of Genesis, of which he was the editor, but not the author.

The first of these toledôt, concluding Genesis 1, indicates this primary part of Genesis to be a “book” (2:4):

 

αυτήThis 3588ηis the 976βίβλοςbook 1078γενέσεωςof the origin 3772ουρανούof heaven 2532καιand 1093γηςearth

 

Moses substantially wrote the remainder of the Pentateuch, as according to tradition.

The Pentateuch would receive further editing, probably by the likes of Samuel, Solomon, Ezra.

 

Location of Paradise and Eden

 

Helpful geographical additions provided by editor Moses (Genesis 2:11-14), to elucidate for his contemporaries what had originally been a very simple account of the hydrography presented in Genesis 2 (Adam’s toledôt), enable us to identify the four rivers apparently originating from a single river in Eden. Clearly, the Tigris and Euphrates are the rivers still known today in Mesopotamia, and the Gihon is the circuitous Blue Nile of Ethiopia.

The Pishon, far more disputed, is presumably also towards the west, for reasons of symmetry. Some would place the Pishon in the region of Saudi Arabia.

These four rivers were still flowing many centuries later, in the days of Sirach, who now also included the Nile and the Jordan (Sirach 24:25-27). {Naturally, with the passing of time, and due to catastrophism and severe tectonic activity - for example, the Noachic Flood and the emergence of the Great Rift Valley - the source, courses and capacities of these primeval rivers would have altered significantly}. 

Throughout this ancient riverine system stretched the well-irrigated Paradise.

The Garden of Eden, where ancient Jerusalem would later be situated, was central to Paradise.

That is why Jerusalem is said in the Scriptures to be at “the centre of the earth” (e.g. Ezekiel 38:12). It also explains why Jesus Christ could pin upon the inhabitants of Jerusalem the murder of Abel, by Cain (cf. Genesis 4:8; Luke 11:51), ‘… from the blood of Abel to the blood of Zechariah, who was killed between the altar and the sanctuary’.    

 

The Creation of Man

 

Since “… our God is in heaven: He hath done all things whatsoever He would” (Psalm 113:11, Douay), the Triune God could have, had he so wished, created humankind by using an evolutionary process, just as he could have formed the universe through the agency of a Bang.

Pope Pius XII (Humani Generis, 1950) did not entirely discount the possibility of man’s having evolved from a lower form, but with an important qualification:

 

36. For these reasons the Teaching Authority of the Church does not forbid that, in conformity with the present state of human sciences and sacred theology, research and discussions, on the part of men experienced in both fields, take place with regard to the doctrine of evolution, in as far as it inquires into the origin of the human body as coming from pre-existent and living matter - for the Catholic faith obliges us to hold that souls are immediately created by God. However, this must be done in such a way that the reasons for both opinions, that is, those favorable and those unfavorable to evolution, be weighed and judged with the necessary seriousness, moderation and measure, and provided that all are prepared to submit to the judgment of the Church, to whom Christ has given the mission of interpreting authentically the Sacred Scriptures and of defending the dogmas of faith.

 

I personally find the theory of evolution to be un-scientific and against common sense.

The most pertinent comment about it, I believe, came from the witty pen of G. K. Chesterton: “The evolutionists seem to know everything about the missing link except the fact that it is missing”. And again: “Anthropologists … have to narrow their minds to the materialistic things that are not notably anthropic. They have to hunt through history and pre-history something which emphatically is not Homo Sapiens, but is always in fact regarded as Simius Insipiens”.

The “Cambrian Explosion”, that sudden appearance in the fossil record of complex animals with mineralized skeletal remains, is one sort of ‘explosion’ that I would accept. And it appears to be disastrous for the theory of evolution, which really likes things to happen very slowly.

 

Whilst, according to Genesis 1:27, “God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them”, the evolutionists promote a bestial origin for humanity. And they pitch back the origins of man with the increasing additions of a zero. Mungo Man (Australia), a relative youngster in the anthropological scheme of things, went from a 60,000 years old estimate to a 40,000 years old estimate in the space of a week.

No one batted an eyelid.

 

Skeletal remains must be force-fitted into a pre-conceived evolutionary matrix.

Those fine Neanderthals, for instance, have apparently been thus ‘doctored’. Dr. Jack Cuozzo, examining the skull of a ‘teenage Neanderthal’ in Germany, ‘found once again that the replica skull on display was made to look apelike, but a color slide purchased at the museum showed that the lower jaw was dislocated, positioned 30mm out of its socket!  This brought the upper jaw 30mm forward, looking more like a muzzle, and very apelike’.

The Neanderthals, who were physically far superior to us, and who lived much longer than we, were the long-lived antediluvian peoples, some of these also continuing on for a time after the Noachic Flood until this Divine decree was fully realised (Genesis 6:4): “Then the Lord said, ‘My Spirit will not contend with humans forever, for they are mortal; their days will be a hundred and twenty years’.”

 

A great ‘sin’ of certain scientists today is to imagine that they are fully equipped and entitled to pontificate philosophically and theologically. Most of them are not qualified to do this. Whilst science and technology have brought immense material benefits to our modern world, philosophy itself does not benefit at all from science speak.

 

We need a return to the pursuit of realism and common sense.

David Collits has well explained it (“Opening up to being – learning to trust ourselves again”):

An air of unreality pervades current day discourse. Focus on identity rights, same-sex ‘marriage’, unisex bathrooms, safe spaces, the mendaciously called ‘Safe Schools’ and so on bespeaks not only a divorce from tradition and custom, but more fundamentally a divorce from reality itself. Something unreal persists in political agitation for a panoply of rights not rooted in human nature or the cosmos itself, and which in fact denies the existence of human nature as such.

Such campaigning is based upon the liberal conceit constitutive of modernity that meaning and identity flows from an ever-expanding assertion of the will and not who we are as human beings. On this view, there is no human nature: I choose, therefore I am. This disconnection from reality is not confined to political issues but permeates our technology-saturated culture. Restoring contact with the real is vital for our culture to convey authentic meaning, as well as how we form our children, use technology and even how we worship.

… the further we are from an unmediated experience of reality, the further we are from God. It is not possible even to think of God philosophically or theologically if one has not first been exposed to the creation that God has put in front of us.

We come to know Being itself through exposure to created being. “The world is charged with the grandeur of God,” so wrote Gerard Manley Hopkins. God, transcendent but immanent to creation, is revealed in the beauty and order of the natural realm perceived in the senses and apprehended in the mind. …. because we are body-soul beings, truth is known to our minds because it is first known to our senses.

Catholicism is not a gnostic religion or philosophy in which knowledge is mediated directly to the mind apart from ‘evil’ matter. Knowledge of God comes first through sensory perception. It is not for nothing that Christ uses parables and lessons based on everyday contact with the earth: the mustard seed and the big tree it becomes, employment in the vineyard, the lilies of the field, the fig tree, the pearl, the field, and so on. Man’s first home was a Garden. The Prince of the Apostles’ occupation was to fish. The Church’s liturgy and sacraments, especially Baptism and the Eucharist, incorporate and elevate basic human and earthly realities: flowing water, bread and wine, oil. Authentic culture arises from liturgical cult fostered on humus, work with the soil that humbles us and can yet be offered to God. Genuine education grows around liturgical cult and is fostered by immersion in the Western canon, whose own roots are in that liturgical culture.

 

Centuries of rapid technological development, and decades of material wealth and relative peace in the West have inured generations of people to the vicissitudes and hardships that have been the common lot of humanity. Underappreciated perhaps is the negative effect that this material wealth has on the capacity for us to perceive created being and through that God himself. Especially is this acute in the case of the millennial generation, about which much has been written, from issues of housing affordability to its members’ apparent sense of entitlement and ‘flakiness’. ….

Ours is a technological age predicated … on the Modernist idea that reality itself is to be rejected and replaced with artificial constructions of our own, not simply technological but philosophical and ethical as well. The eclipse of religion, gender ideology, and the deconstruction of marriage and the family in the West are the end result of centuries of philosophical and cultural unrealism”.

 

Metaphysics, which has been replaced by bankrupt modernism and scientism, sorely needs to be revived. But, this time, metaphysics needs to be firmly established upon biblical (Hebrew) foundations, and not as a product of the ancient pagan Greeks.

 

The Father of Philosophy is God the Father, who created the human mind.

Faith and reason are like two wings on which the human spirit rises to the contemplation of truth; and God has placed in the human heart a desire to know the truth—in a word, to know himself—so that, by knowing and loving God, men and women may also come to the fullness of truth about themselves (cf. Ex 33:18; Ps 27:8-9; 63:2-3; Jn 14:8; 1 Jn 3:2)”, wrote pope John Paul II in his encyclical Fides et Ratio.

 

The Fall

 

The real existence of Adam and Eve, and of Noah (and his posterity), though almost universally doubted today (including some church leaders, it seems), may find a scientific ally in science. Do not geneticists refer to the maternal ancestor of all living humans as “Eve”?

The mitochondrial Eve, they call her, to whom our species is robustly and genetically linked.  

 

The ‘crafty serpent’ in Eden (Genesis 3:1), the Devil, Satan the accuser, the “great, fiery red Dragon” of the Apocalypse (12:3), cunningly masterminded the Fall of Adam and Eve.

Whilst this has been catastrophic for humanity, and for the whole created world, nevertheless, where sin increased, grace abounded all the more” (Roman 5:20). God, as has been famously remarked, is able to take a discordant note (such as the Fall) and write a whole new symphony.

Always a one better than the first.

He may use a ‘rival operation’. Thus the serpent seduced the woman, but now the new Woman, Mary, will crush the serpent’s head.

Saint Louis de Montfort in his Treatise on True Devotion to Mary, wrote of this marvellous cosmic bouleversement:

 

“God has established only one enmity — but it is an irreconcilable one — which will last and even go on increasing to the end of time. That enmity is between Mary, his worthy Mother, and the devil, between the children and the servants of the Blessed Virgin and the children and followers of Lucifer. Thus the most fearful enemy that God has set up against the devil is Mary, his holy Mother. From the time of the earthly paradise, although she existed then only in his mind, he gave her such a hatred for his accursed enemy, such ingenuity in exposing the wickedness of the ancient serpent and such power to defeat, overthrow and crush this proud rebel, that Satan fears her not only more than angels and men but in a certain sense more than God himself”.

 

Revelation 12:1-3: “Now a great sign appeared in heaven: a woman clothed with the sun, with the moon under her feet, and on her head a crown of twelve stars. Then being with child, she cried out in labour and in pain to give birth. And another sign appeared in heaven: behold, a great, fiery red dragon having seven heads and ten horns, and seven diadems on his heads”. 

 

The Triune God, a Family of Love, is the all-seeing Creator.

But, in our age, the Devil is furiously leading a campaign of ‘sin against God’s creation’, particularly against the family. This is the final onslaught.

Such, indeed, was the firm view of Fatima seer, Sister Lucia:

 

“… the final battle between the Lord and the reign of Satan will be about marriage and the family. Don’t be afraid, she added, because anyone who operates for the sanctity of marriage and the family will always be contended and opposed in every way, because this is the decisive issue”. And then she concluded: “However, Our Lady has already crushed its head”.

 

Dr. Ernest L. Martin presented a strong case for the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil in the Garden to have been a fig tree – a view supported by tradition. Commenting on Jesus’s somewhat enigmatic and ‘out of season’ cursing of the barren fig tree (Matthew 21:18-22), Martin wrote (Secret of Golgotha, p. 260):

 

“It [the withered and dead fig tree] signified that NO LONGER would that symbolic tree be in the midst of humanity TO ENCOURAGE MANKIND TO SIN IN THE MANNER OF OUR FIRST PARENTS. But there is even more teaching. It meant that when Christ went to that miraculous tree looking for some figs to eat (like Eve did), CHRIST WOULD NOT FIND ANY WHATSOEVER! This signified that there was NOT going to be a REPETITION of what Eve (and later Adam) did in regard to the fig tree that they partook of. One fig tree [in the Garden of Eden] was the instrument to bring 'sin' into the world, BUT THE SON OF GOD COULD NOT FIND ANY FIGS ON HIS FIG TREE (the miraculous tree on the Mount of Olives that was typical of the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil). Christ cursed THAT symbolic tree at the top of Olivet SO THAT NO MAN WOULD EAT OF IT AGAIN. And to COMPLETE his victory over sin, four days later Christ was going to be SACRIFICED FOR THE SINS OF THE WORLD JUST A FEW YARDS AWAY FROM THIS WITHERED AND DEAD TREE”.

 

That ‘rival operation’ again: Since Satan had used a tree to engineer the Fall, so would God use a Tree to undo Satan’s work. Galatians 4:4-5: “God sent forth his Son, born of woman, born under the law, to redeem those who were under the law, so that we might receive adoption as sons”. And Colossians 2:13-15:

 

“When you were dead in your sins and in the uncircumcision of your flesh, God made you alive with Christ. He forgave us all our sins, having cancelled the charge of our legal indebtedness, which stood against us and condemned us; he has taken it away, nailing it to the cross. And having disarmed the powers and authorities, he made a public spectacle of them, triumphing over them by the Cross”.

 

Christ’s agonising journey to Calvary and to his immolation upon the Cross was, in fact, a triumphal parade, thereby ending the reign of Satan - a foe forever now with ‘a crushed head’.  

 

Dr. Martin’s interpretation of the fig tree might well explain why Adam and Eve sewed fig leaves together to hide their shame immediately after the fruit-eating incident (Genesis 3:7).

 

Adam and Eve were no longer permitted to live in the Garden or to have access to the salutary Tree of Life (Genesis 3:24): “After he drove the man out, he placed on the east side of the Garden of Eden cherubim and a flaming sword flashing back and forth to guard the way to the Tree of Life”.

Although Adam and Eve were cast out of the Garden, they still remained in the territory of Eden. It is important to note that the “Garden” and the country of “Eden” were not synonymous.

The Garden was in Eden.

 

According to some traditions, only Enoch and (later) Melchizedek were ever allowed after that to dwell in the Garden of Eden.

 

City of Cain

 

The next great catastrophe for man, after the Fall, was the first murder, when Cain killed Abel.

Did the goodly Abel, as a Priest, have privileged access, say, once a year, to the Holy of Holies in the Garden of Eden (like the High Priests of the Tent and Temple would have afterwards)?

Cain was allowed to bring his offerings of sin atonement only to the “door” (Genesis 4:7).

It needs to be recalled that the Temple of Yahweh, built by King Solomon, was patterned on the Garden of Eden.

 

Dr. Ernest L. Martin has clarified the approximate geographical location of Cain after his act of fratricide:

 

“Cain was sent into the land of Nod, East of Eden, away from the presence of God. He became cut off from the Eternal. God then gave him a “mark” to show that Cain was not completely forgotten and that a measure of protection would be afforded him and his descendants. Cain became a representative of all Gentiles. They were reckoned as being in Nod (wandering — without a fixed spiritual home). And while they could approach the East entrance to Eden, they could not go in. A barrier was placed around Eden”.

 

We do not need, then, to seek in far away Mesopotamia, for instance, to find the land of Nod, where Cain built the first city, named after his son, Enoch (Genesis 4:16-17).

Some biblically-minded historians have pointed to certain Cain-ite names in the land of Sumer (southern Mesopotamia), such as the famed earliest city of Eridu, strikingly like Irad, the name of Cain’s grandson (Genesis 4:18). It is quite plausible that the Cain-ites, afterwards, may have wandered eastwards, into NE Syria and Sumer, and there built their quite rudimentary ‘cities’, whose sites would have been developed by succeeding generations into more impressive cities, whilst still retaining their original names.

Nor do we need to go to Jericho as a possible dwelling place for Cain and to discover his city. Jericho’s Pre-Pottery Neolithic A (PPNA) level, denoting the first stage in early Levantine Neolithic culture, conventionally dating around 8000 to 7000 B.C., and containing the famous stone Tower of Jericho (almost eight meters high, set against the inner side of the wall) has hopefully been identified by some as Cain’s first city). But PPNA Jericho is far more likely post-diluvian Canaan-ite (cf. Genesis 10:19), rather than antediluvian Cain-ite.

 

The first city that Cain built, named “Enoch”, may simply have been a rather primitive form of enclosure for purposes of protection and as a statement of ownership – hence no longer archaeologically traceable. According to Josephus: “He [Cain] first of all set boundaries about lands: he built a city, and fortified it with walls, and he compelled his family to come together to it; and called that city Enoch, after the name of his eldest son Enoch”.

 

With this first city there began what St. Augustine (City of God) would distinguish as history’s metaphysical bifurcation into two incompatible camps: the City of Men versus the City of God.

The Cain-ites represented the former city and the Seth-ites, for a time at least, the latter.

Cardinal Carlo Caffarra sums up this primeval conflict as it has emerged in the “two cultures” of our own time:

 

“To summarise, this therefore is what is happening in the heart of man: Jesus, the Revelation of the Father, exerts a strong attraction to Himself. Satan works against this, to neutralise the attractive force of the Crucified-Risen One. The force of truth which makes us free acts on the heart of man. It is the Satanic force of the lie which makes slaves of us.

Yet, not being pure spirit, the human person is not solely interiority. Human interiority is expressed and manifested in construction of the society in which he or she lives. Human interiority is expressed and manifested in culture, as an essential dimension of human life as such. Culture is the mode of living which is specifically human.

Given that man is positioned between two opposing forces, the condition in which he finds himself must necessarily give rise to two cultures: the culture of the truth and the culture of the lie.

There is a book in Holy Scripture, the last, the Apocalypse, which describes the final confrontation between the two kingdoms. In this book, the attraction of Christ takes the form of triumph over enemy powers commanded by Satan. It is a triumph which comes after lengthy combat. The first fruits of the victory are the martyrs. “The great Dragon, serpent of the primal age, he whom we call the devil, or Satan, seducer of the whole world, was flung down to earth… But they [= the martyrs] overcame him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of the testimony of their martyrdom” [cfr. Ap. 12, 9.11]”.

 

Tradition has Cain and Abel as twins.

The Seth-ites arose from the man, Seth, who had succeeded the righteous Abel (Genesis 4:25): “And Adam knew his wife again; and she bare a son, and called his name Seth: For God, said she, hath appointed me another seed instead of Abel, whom Cain slew”.

We cannot simply presume, though, that every single Cain-ite was an un-godly person, nor that every single Seth-ite was a godly one.

 

Cain-ites and Seth-ites

 

In terms of technology and warfare, material progress, the Cain-ites were the more memorable. According to Josephus:

 

“… Now Jared [Irad] was the son of Enoch; whose son was Malaliel; whose son was Mathusela; whose son was Lamech; who had seventy-seven children by two wives, Silla and Ada. Of those children by Ada, one was Jabal: he erected tents, and loved the life of a shepherd. But Jubal, who was born of the same mother with him, exercised himself in music; and invented the psaltery and the harp. But Tubal, one of his children by the other wife, exceeded all men in strength, and was very expert and famous in martial performances. He procured what tended to the pleasures of the body by that method; and first of all invented the art of making brass.

 

Considering that animal husbandry (Neolithic) and metallurgy (Chalcolithic) were already in human practice before the Flood, I think that we must accept that the sequence of Stone Ages, Palaeolithic to Chalcolithic, was both an antediluvian, and a post-diluvian, phenomenon.

 

The ancients deified the clever antediluvian Cain-ites. Almost every pagan god arose from this antediluvian period and was later picked up by the Greeks and Romans: Cain was Cronus; Lamech was a Zeus (but, variously, so could Cain be); Tubalcain was Vulcan and his wife was Aphrodite; Naamah, daughter of Lamech, is equivalent to Athena. And so on.

A few, such as Nimrod in his various divine guises, arose post-diluvially.

 

The Seth-ites, on the other hand, were generally the more spiritual line, possessing wisdom and discernment with a profound knowledge of the heavenly bodies, the true structure of things. Josephus, in Antiquities, wrote this of Seth and his progeny:

 

“Now this Seth, when he was brought up, and came to those years in which he could discern what was good, became a virtuous man; and as he was himself of an excellent character, so did he leave children behind him who imitated his virtues.

All these proved to be of good dispositions. They also inhabited the same country without dissensions, and in a happy condition, without any misfortunes falling upon them, till they died. They also were the inventors of that peculiar sort of wisdom which is concerned with the heavenly bodies, and their order”.

 

And further we read of the biblical Seth, according to the traditional accounts of him (http://www.biblicalcyclopedia.com/S/seth-traditions-concerning.html):

 

“There are many traditions concerning Seth (q.v.), not only in Rabbinic, but also in Christian, writings. According to the Rabbinic traditions, Seth was one of the thirteen who came circumcised into the world. The rest were Adam, Enoch, Noah, Shem, Terak, Jacob, Joseph, Moses, Samuel, David, Isaiah, and Jeremiah (Midrash Tillim, fol. 10, col. 2). The book Shene Luchoth says that the soul of the righteous Abel passed into the body of Seth, and afterwards this same soul passed into Moses; thus the law, which was known to Adam and in which Abel had been instructed, was not new to Moses (Eisenmenger, Neuentdecktes Judenthum, 1, 645). Josephus relates that after the things that were to take place had been revealed to Seth how the earth was to be destroyed, first with water and then with fire lest those things which he had discovered should perish from the memory of his posterity, he set up two pillars, one of brick, the other of stone, and he wrote there on all the science he had acquired, hoping that, in the event of the brick pillar perishing by the rain, the stone would endure (Ant. 1, 2). Suidas (s.v. Σήθ) says, “Seth was the son of Adam of him it is said the sons of God went in unto the daughters of men — that is to say, the sons of Seth went in unto the daughters of Cain; for in that age Seth was called God, because he had discovered Hebrew letters and the names of the stars, but especially on account of his great piety, so that he was the first to bear the name of God”. Anastasius Sinaita (q.v.) in his ῾Οδηγός, p. 269 (ed. Gretser. Ingolst. 1606]), says that when God created Adam after his image and likeness, he breathed into him grace and illumination and a ray of the Holy Spirit. But when he sinned this glory left him, and his face became clouded. Then he became the father of Cain and Abel. But afterwards, it is said in Scripture, “he begat a son in his own likeness, after his image, and called his name Seth”, which is not said of Cain and Abel; and this means that Seth was begotten in the likeness of unfallen man, and after the image of Adam in paradise; and he called his name Seth — that is, by interpretation, “resurrection”, because in him he saw the resurrection of his departed beauty and wisdom and glory, and radiance of the Holy Spirit. And all those then living, when they saw how the face of Seth shone with divine light, and heard him speak with divine wisdom, said, “He is God”. Therefore his sons were commonly called the sons of God. That Seth means “resurrection” is also the opinion of Augustine (De Civitate Dei, 15, 17, 18): “Ita Seth, quod interpretatur resurrectio”.”

 

Much has been written, too, about the holy Enoch, the son of Jared (Genesis 5:18).

But, as with Seth, it is impossible at present to separate what may be fact from fiction.

What we can rely on, however, are these brief biblical accounts of him.

“Enoch lived three hundred sixty-five years. Enoch walked with God and he was not for God took him” (Genesis 5:23 and 24).

“By faith, Enoch was taken so he would not see death, and he was not found (on earth) because God translated him. Enoch has the testimony given to him, before his translation he had been well pleasing to God (Hebrews 11:5)”.

“Enoch, the seventh generation from Adam prophesied saying, ‘Behold, the Lord came with ten thousands of His holy ones to execute judgment on all, and to convict all the ungodly of all their works of ungodliness which they have done in an ungodly way, and of all the blasphemous things which ungodly sinners have spoken against Him’.” (Jude 1:14 and 15).

 

To Enoch is commonly attributed an accurate knowledge of the structure of the cosmos and the functioning of the celestial bodies, the stars, a wisdom later bestowed upon King Solomon who was able to testify (Wisdom 7:17-19):

 

“For it is [Wisdom] who gave me unerring knowledge of what exists, to know the structure of the world and the activity of the elements; the beginning and end and middle of times, the alternations of the solstices and the changes of the seasons, the cycles of the year and the constellations of the stars …”.


Even some Seth-ites may have been inducted into the pantheon of the ancient gods.

Holy Enoch, who has also been credited as the first who learned the art of writing (Jubilees 4), is frequently identified with the Egyptian Thoth, scribal god of wisdom, likewise considered to have invented writing. 

And the Egyptians may perhaps have identified Noah as their Nu, or Nun, “the watery one”, the deification of the primordial watery abyss in ancient Egyptian religion.

Whilst the original eight gods of the Egyptian pantheon could have arisen from the eight progenitors who emerged from the Flood (I Peter 3:20). 

 

Tradition has it that Lamech, who was blind, had accidentally killed Cain, and possibly that he had also killed Tubal-cain (Genesis 4:23): ‘I have killed a man for wounding me, a young man for injuring me’.

 

In the course of the centuries, the godly Seth-ite line became corrupted by Cain-ite influence (Genesis 6:1-2, 4): “When human beings began to increase in number on the earth and daughters were born to them, the sons of God saw that the daughters of humans were beautiful, and they married any of them they chose. …. The Nephilim were on the earth in those days—and also afterward—when the sons of God went to the daughters of humans and had children by them. They were the heroes of old, men of renown”.

This highly controversial passage may also have added to it the element of demonic possession (or obsession), as in the case of the demon Asmodeus’s infatuation with the beautiful Sarah (Tobit 3:8). But (as it seems to me), the widespread interpretation of this passage, with fallen angels (i) being designated “the sons of God”, and (ii) procreating with “daughters of humans”, thereby producing the “Nephilim”, is metaphysically quite far-fetched.

 

The world by this time must somewhat have resembled our own, insofar as it was filled with wickedness, corruption and violence. Genesis 6:5: “The Lord saw how great the wickedness of the human race had become on the earth, and that every inclination of the thoughts of the human heart was only evil all the time”.

Genesis 6:11: “Now the earth was corrupt in God’s sight and was full of violence”.

 

Enter the great Noah, “a preacher of righteousness” (2 Peter 2:5).

Genesis 6:6-8: “The Lord regretted that he had made human beings on the earth, and his heart was deeply troubled. So the Lord said, ‘I will wipe from the face of the earth the human race I have created—and with them the animals, the birds and the creatures that move along the ground—for I regret that I have made them’. But Noah found favour in the eyes of the Lord”.

 

Noah was both spiritually just and physically pure. According to Genesis 6:9: “Noah was a just man and perfect in his generations”. The Hebrew word here apparently means “... without blemish as to breed or pedigree”. The explanation for this may be found in Tobit’s advice to his son, Tobias, regarding a right choice of spouse (Tobit 4:12):

 

‘Beware of all whoredom, my son, and chiefly take a wife of the seed of thy fathers, and take not a strange woman to wife, which is not of thy father’s tribe: for we are the children of the prophets, Noe [Noah], Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob: remember, my son, that our fathers from the beginning, even that they all married wives of their own kindred, and were blessed in their children, and their seed shall inherit the land’.

 

Noah, it seems, had not inter-married with the line of Cain.

 

Inevitably Noah, being righteous, was persecuted and had to flee for his life, he and his family. Josephus tells of it in Antiquities (I, 3, 1), when he writes that Noah had tried to turn the sinful people in his day from their gross misconduct: “… but seeing they did not yield to him, but, were slaves to their wicked pleasures, HE WAS AFRAID THEY WOULD KILL HIM, together with his wife and children, and those they had married; So HE DEPARTED OUT OF THAT LAND”.

Some suggest that Noah and his family may have fled to the land of (what we now know as) Egypt, away from (what we now know as) Palestine. If so, then this would be a nice parallel with the Holy Family’s having fled to there from Palestine to escape the wrath of a violent king (Matthew 2:13-15):

 

“When [the wise men] had gone, an angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream. ‘Get up’, he said, ‘take the child and his mother and escape to Egypt. Stay there until I tell you, for Herod is going to search for the child to kill him’. So he got up, took the child and his mother during the night and left for Egypt, where he stayed until the death of Herod. And so was fulfilled what the Lord had said through the prophet: ‘Out of Egypt I called my son’.”

 

Was the persecuting “Herod”, in the case of Noah, the all-dominating Lamech?

 

A possible further clue that Noah had, like Moses, to leave Egypt in order to rescue his people, may stem from the Egyptian tradition that the Flood was proclaimed to the world from Egypt. Moreover, the intentional representation of Moses in the Book of Exodus as “a new Noah” (e.g. the common tebah ark motif rescuing the hero from the water) may be a further indication.

Moses had, of course, led an Exodus out of Egypt.

 

Perhaps even Mount Sinai (Horeb), properly identified as Har Karkom near the Paran desert, may be common to both Noah and Moses.

Did Noah painstakingly, according to the Divine blueprint, build the Ark upon Mount Sinai, just as Moses would do similarly in the case of the Ark of the Covenant?

And is that the reason why Horeb was already known as “the mountain of God” (Exodus 3:1) when Moses first came into that region?

And does all of this explain why Har Karkom (Sinai) has been like “a pre-historic Lourdes” (professor Emmanuel Anati) even from Palaeolithic times, well before Moses, who belonged to the Middle Bronze I Age?

And does this new scenario serve to answer the following queries?

 

“Among the many unsolved problems concerning this holy mountain, one is likely to be the most challenging: Why this mountain? What did people find on this mountain which is not found elsewhere? Similar things may have attracted there the Palaeolithic and BAC [Bronze Age] tribes. Perhaps the material evidence has not yet been found or, if it has, it is not yet understood. After forty years from the first discoveries and after fourteen years of survey, we may not yet have discovered enough details to fully understand this high-place. The mountain is likely hiding still other messages”. (Professor E. Anati, Kar Karkom. The Mountain of God).

 

Professor Anati has had to suffer a certain amount of derision for his view that Har Karkom was the biblical Mountain of God: “May be you should look for Noah’s Ark next”, they said.

Perhaps his critics, in saying this, were closer to the truth than they could have realised!

 

Genesis Flood and the Geological Ages

 

To read the Genesis account of the Flood (toledôt of Noah and of his three sons) superficially, in a modern translation, and without due sensitivity to ancient thinking, is to concoct - as do Creationists - a global Flood, requiring a virtually super-human ship-building Noah and sons.

The same sort of ‘global’ language occurs in other parts of Scripture as well, but these - at least in the cases when they are more geographically specific - do not elicit the same global conclusions. For instance, probably no one presumes that the account of Pentecost in Acts 2, referring to representation “from every nation under heaven”, would include people from the southern hemisphere, for example, such as the aboriginal “nations”. For the text specifies from whence all of these people came (vv. 6-11):

 

“When they heard this sound, a crowd came together in bewilderment, because each one heard their own language being spoken. Utterly amazed, they asked: ‘Aren’t all these who are speaking Galileans? Then how is it that each of us hears them in our native language? Parthians, Medes and Elamites; residents of Mesopotamia, Judea and Cappadocia, Pontus and Asia, Phrygia and Pamphylia, Egypt and the parts of Libya near Cyrene; visitors from Rome … Cretans and Arabs—we hear them declaring the wonders of God in our own tongues!’”

 

When we scrutinise this particular list of “nations”, we find that they basically belong to the riverine world of Genesis 2, Adam’s world, the region known today as “the Fertile Crescent”.

It is hardly the global world that we now inhabit!

And this micro-world of Acts 2 was, I believe, the same approximate world that was inundated by the Genesis Flood, “the world that then was” (2 Peter 3:6).

Thus my geographical model for the Noachic Flood would run a middle course between the two most frequently proposed models for the Flood: namely, a global Flood and one localised to Mesopotamia.

My version is that of a Deluge that was assuredly vast, but by no means global.

 

On some maps (and they tend to vary greatly), the geographical extent that I would accept for the Flood is the approximate region thought to have been inundated by the Great Tethys Sea. It is also the approximate region (again maps vary) inhabited by the Neanderthals.

 

There is a pressing need for a more meaningful and intelligible (than evolutionary-based) grasp of the Universe; of the Geological Ages; of the Stone Ages; and of the Archaeological Ages. The biblical record has already proven to be most helpful for the beginnings of a revision of the Stone Ages, and, even more so, at this stage, of the Archaeological Ages.

This will become apparent as this history progresses.

A revised Abram (Abraham), for instance, will be found to bring into nice convergence the late Stone Ages; the beginning of the Bronze Ages; the commencement of Egyptian dynastic history and its relationship to the Akkadian dynasty. A revised Joseph of Egypt, and Moses, will enable for a far better alignment of - {than according to the artificial Sothic (or Sirius)-based arrangement of Egyptian history} - the so-called Old and Middle Kingdoms of Egypt, these being tied to, respectively, at present, the Early and the Middle Bronze age.

And I hopefully expect that the biblical Noah and the Flood will provide the same service in relation to the excessively vast and unwieldy Geological Ages and the corresponding Ice Ages.

The Ice Ages have proven to be most difficult to accommodate.

 

The tendency of revision seems to be always to lean in the direction of shrinkage.

 

A step in the right direction, of a revised Geological and Ice Ages against the Noachic Flood - which is the scenario that I would envisage - is (I think) the following effort by New Zealander, Terry Lawrence (“Has Velikovsky Correctly Placed the Ice Age?” Chronology and Catastrophism Workshop, May 1988, Number 1, p. 41):

 

“Many times in Worlds in Collision and Earth in Upheaval Dr Velikovsky equates the beginning of the Pleistocene or ice age with the time of the Exodus, circa 1450 BC. On pages 114-126 of Earth in Upheaval he gives a graphic description of what he thinks happened when the ice age began. The description however sounds more like the Noachian Deluge than the Exodus. We can therefore expect Velikovsky to run into problems with his placement of the Noah … Flood and the events of that time. Presumably Velikovsky must place the Deluge in the era prior to the Pleistocene (Glacial Age). A check of the chart on p. l84 of Earth in Upheaval will show this period is known as the Tertiary or “Age of Mammals”. Under the conventional time scale it is allocated 70 million years and is followed by one million years of the ice age and then followed by 30,000 years of the Recent or Holocene Age. This system is greatly overstretched, Velikovsky claims, and does not allow for any great catastrophes.

In order to show that Velikovsky’s placement of the ice age is incorrect we must show that the conventional scheme is also wrong and also have some idea of the time-span Velikovsky allows for the period from the Deluge to the Exodus. The only clue he gives us is found on p. 55 of his article “Seismology, Catastrophe and Chronology” (Kronos VIII:4). Here he notes that Dr Schaeffer has discerned that in the 4th millennium BC the ancient Near East went through great paroxysms before the time of another disaster in the Early Bronze Age (3rd millennium). Velikovsky comments “Schaeffer like myself … arrived at the same number of disturbances … and the same relative dating”. Assuming from this that the disaster before the Early Bronze Age was the Deluge, and placing it in the 4th millennium at 3450 BC then we obtain a figure of 2000 years for the time Velikovsky would have placed between the Deluge and the Exodus.

Pick up a copy of Kummel’s History of the Earth and glance at pp.447-455 and you will see the fallacy of this time-gap. The maps on these pages clearly show that during the Tertiary Age Europe, North Africa and Asia Minor were in a state of complete ruin, being mostly under water. Note in particular the Great Tethys or Central Sea which stretches 9000 miles from Spain to India and is up to 2000 miles wide. On p.453 the map for the Oligocene subdivision of the Tertiary shows that the sea invasion of Europe plainly stops at the boundary of the area covered by the ice age in Scandinavia. This is curious because under the conventional scheme the ice age does not occur for another 23 million years. During the Eocene subdivision of the Tertiary the sea covered the south of England up to a point where the later ice age reached, supposedly 38 million years later.

During the whole period of these disastrous sea invasions and large scale fresh water floodings the northern part of the British Isles along with Scandinavia was not touched. In North America it is a similar story for the Canadian Shield. While the rest of the continent was subject to sea incursions, rain storm flooding in the mid-west and volcanic eruptions in the Rockies and Central America all was tranquil in north-east Canada.

It is absolutely impossible that while the rest of the world was drowning, most of the British Isles, Scandinavia and Canada escaped. There can only be one solution, i.e. the ice age struck these lands at the same time as the Noachian Deluge. Conventional geologists have therefore reconstructed the ages of the past incorrectly by placing too much time between the end of the Tertiary and the ice age. If either follows immediately or happens at the same time as the subdivisions of the Tertiary i.e. the Eocene, Oligocene, Miocene and Pliocene periods are all contemporary with one another). Failing to grasp this, Velikovsky while at least cutting the time period down from millions of years to about 2000, has accordingly overrated the scale of the Exodus catastrophe”.

There is a slim possibility that Velikovsky might place the Flood at the time of the dinosaurs. This can easily be discounted. Stone Age Man could not possibly have survived in a world of flesh-eating dinosaurs like the 18 foot tall Tyrannosaurus Rex. Besides, in Kummel’s book on p. 37 we find a chart that clearly shows the dinosaurs drowned because of massive invasions of shallow seas upon the continents. The actual figures are 75% sea water drownings and 25% continental rain water and river delta drownings. For the Age of Mammals the figures are reversed: 20% are drowned by shallow sea invasions and 80% by lowland continental and upland fresh water. The book of Genesis makes it clear that the Deluge drownings were caused by forty days and nights of rainstorms. Once more this favours the Cenozoic era and not the Mesozoic or Dinosaurian era.

A possible new sequence of the geological ages might be:

 

Cenozoic

Holocene – Neolithic. Bronze, Iron

Pleistocene. Tertiary – Noachian Deluge – many giant forms of today’s mammals become extinct (cf. Genesis 6:4)

Palaeocene – period of change between dinosaurs and mammals

Mesozoic. Palaeozoic – Land and sea creatures of the Dinosaurian era. They are contemporary and not separated by hundreds of millions of years as under the conventional scheme. Mostly destroyed by sea wave invasions caused by comet strikes in the oceans”. [End of quote]

 

Whether or not Lawrence has his model exactly right, I believe that he is on the right track, at least, by his use of the Flood sequence as an aid towards bringing some degree of sensible manageability to the grossly inflated Geological (Ice) Ages.

The Eocene Sea, which professor Anati has found to have only just covered Har Karkom (Mount Sinai), ought to be considered as a hydrographical candidate for the Flood inundation, I suggest, along with the Great Tethys Sea as referred to by Lawrence.

 

Dr. John Osgood, who (to my knowledge) has not ventured into those murky Geological Ages, has undertaken an important revision of the Stone Ages in relation to the Flood, however, identifying the latter’s watery traces in the very regions where I would expect these to appear, in Iraq and the Middle East, Anatolia, Sinai and Egypt – all pointing to, for him, the great Genesis Flood.

 

Whereas conventionally-minded (often evolutionary-minded) geologists, palaeontologists, archaeologists and historians tend to adhere rigidly to an ‘Indian file’, or ‘chest-of-drawers’, kind of linear arrangement – with little or no overlap amidst their neatly filed compartments – revisionist scholars on the other hand, such as Dr. John Osgood, have found that such an arrangement does not always reflect the testimony of the received data, and hence can be quite artificial.

The sciences of physics, astronomy and cosmology could also be thrown in here.

I regard all of this as the result of a Kantian type approach to reality, whether consciously or subconsciously: a super-imposition upon nature, history, archaeology, metaphysics, and so on, of pre-conceived (a priori) mental constructs (laws, theories, mathematics and paradigms), rather than an objective study of reality as it is (Immanuel Kant’s Ding an sich).

For a proper explanation of this, I direct the serious reader to Dr. Gavin Ardley’s supreme book on the philosophy of science: Aquinas and Kant: the foundations of the modern sciences (1950). The common person, being more common-sensible apparently than many a would-be philosopher, rightly believes that our senses enable us to perceive and experience reality. However, according to Kant’s pessimistic epistemology (or theory of knowledge), the noumena, or the basic realities behind all sensory experience, are not knowable, cannot be perceived.

 

Now, speaking of common sense, I would suggest that there had to be more than a mere eight people on board Noah’s Ark. That the “eight people” mentioned in I Peter 3:20 refer to, as said earlier, the eight progenitors of the human race.

We all (including those others ensconced within the Ark) spring from those primeval eight.

This should be genetically demonstrable.

Creationists can do good work here. One of such attempts, Dr. Robert W. Carter’s article, “Adam, Eve and Noah vs Modern Genetics”, includes the following explanation:

 

 

The Flood and genetics


 

Like in the Creation story, there are only a few verses in the Flood account that help us with our model. But as seen before, these verses are profound. About 10 generations after Creation, a severe, short bottleneck occurred in the human population. From untold numbers of people, the entire world population was reduced to eight souls with only three reproducing couples.

So Noah, with his sons, his wife, and his sons’ wives, went into the ark because of the waters of the flood.Gen 7:7

Now the sons of Noah who went out of the ark were Shem, Ham, and Japheth… These three were the sons of Noah, and from these the whole earth was populated.Gen 9:18–19

We can draw many important deductions from these statements. For instance, based on Genesis 7 and 9, how many Y chromosomes were on the Ark? The answer: one. Yes, there were four men, but Noah gave his Y chromosome to each of his sons. Unless there was a mutation (entirely possible), each of the sons carried the exact same Y chromosome. We do not know how much mutation occurred prior to the flood. With the long life spans of the antediluvian patriarchs, it may be reasonable to assume little mutation had taken place, but all of Creation, including the human genome, had been cursed, so it may not be wise to conclude that there was no mutation prior to the Flood. The amount of mutation may be a moot point, however, for, if it occurred, the Flood should have wiped out most traces of it (all of it in the case of the Y chromosome).

How many mitochondrial DNA lineages were on the Ark? The answer: three. Yes, there were four women, but the Bible does not record Noah’s wife as having any children after the Flood (in this case, girl children). And notice the claim in Gen 9:19, “These three were the sons of Noah, and from these the whole earth was populated.” This is a strong indication that Noah’s wife did not contribute anything else to the world’s population.

With no prohibition against sibling marriage, yet,4 one or more of the daughters-in-law may have been her daughter, but this does not change the fact that, at first glance, we expect a maximum of three mitochondrial lineages in the current world population. There is a chance that there will be less, if there was very little mutation before the Flood or if several of the daughters-in-law were closely related. At most, we do not expect more than four.

How many X chromosome lineages were on the Ark? That depends. If you count it all up, you get eight. If, by chance, Noah’s wife passed on the same X chromosome to each of her three sons (25% probability), then there were seven. If Noah had a daughter after the Flood (not expected, but possible), there could be as many as nine X chromosome lineages. Either way, this is a considerable amount of genetic material. And since X chromosomes recombine (in females), we are potentially looking at a huge amount of genetic diversity within the X chromosomes of the world.

Does this fit the evidence? Absolutely! It turns out that Y chromosomes are similar worldwide. According to the evolutionists, no “ancient” (i.e., highly mutated or highly divergent) Y chromosomes have been found.5 This serves as a bit of a puzzle to the evolutionist, and they have had to resort to calling for a higher “reproductive variance” among men than women, high rates of “gene conversion” in the Y chromosome, or perhaps a “selective sweep” that wiped out the other male lines.6 For the biblical model, it is a beautiful correlation and we can take it as is. ….”

 

Our common Noachic origins are also evidenced by the fact that virtually every major nation - and even many small ones - have a Flood legend, more or less like the original biblical account.

The great king Ashurbanipal could boast in ancient times (my emphasis):

‘I Ashurbanipal, within the palace, learned the wisdom of Nebo, the entire art of writing on clay tablets of every kind. I made myself master of the various kinds of writing … I read the beautiful clay tablets from Sumer and the Akkadian writing, which is hard to master. I had the joy of reading inscriptions on stone from the time before the flood.’

Considering that Mesopotamia (situated between the rivers Tigris and Euphrates) frequently experienced local flooding, Ashurbanipal presumably must have intended here not just a flood, but the Flood.

And here this great antiquarian-minded king also testifies of writing before the Flood.

Legend has Ashurbanipal’s grandfather, Sennacherib, king of Assyria, who campaigned in Urartu (see below), collecting and worshipping bitumen-covered wood from the Ark.

 

The Australian aboriginals, too, have their flood legends, with idiosyncratic tribal variations, but generally having the following points in common with the Genesis account:

 

  • The flood was sent to judge wickedness.
  • God sent the flood to drown all the people.
  • It began to rain.
  • All the land was covered.
  • A man and his wife in a boat with an animal.
  • A bird with a leaf in its mouth was the sign of dry land.
  • They landed on a mountain. All other people drowned.
  • There was a sacrifice of blood at the end of the flood.

 

I have often wondered if the famous Rainbow Serpent of aboriginal folklore, associated with the wet season of rains and flood, is simply a distant reminiscence of the Noachic rainbow covenant after the Flood (Genesis 9:13).

 

Noah’s Ark finally landed, not on Mt. Ararat, but “on the mountains of Ararat” (Genesis 8:4).

“Ararat” itself is a more modern term and the true rendering of the word should be “Urartu”, the ancient name for the region of eastern Kurdistan, north of Iraq.

Hence it is a complete waste of time, and sad in fact, for hopeful Ark-eologists to go fossicking about amongst boat-shaped geological features on icy Mount Ararat in search of Noah’s Ark.

 

Rabbinic commentators say that the olive branch that the dove brought to Noah was from the Mount of Olives. It is interesting to note that olive trees thrive only up to the elevation of the Mount of Olives (approximately 800 meters), which was a sign to Noah that the waters had not just receded, but had receded to a particular elevation. Until the Romans besieged the city of Jerusalem in 70 [AD] and cut down most of the trees, the entire mountain was covered with olive trees.

 

  

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