Truth in the Text Part IX – Digging up the Roots of Your Family Tree

“This is the family tree of the sons of Noah as they developed into nations. From them, nations developed all across the earth after the flood.” (Genesis 10:32).

How far back can you trace your ancestry? Many of us know the countries from which our fore-fathers came, but with little details. We can, however, start from the other end, from the beginning, and get a different perspective of our lineage. The descendants of Noah left nations in their wake that exist today.

To begin, let’s review some World History:

Creation was approximately 6,000 years ago, and from Adam and Eve there were sons and daughters who had children who had more children and more children for the next 2,000 years. Unfortunately, they were a corrupt bunch who chose to ignore God’s warning of impending judgment, so they died in a world-wide flood. The one righteous man, Noah, was spared with his wife, three sons, and their wives.

Shem, Ham, and Japheth, Noah’s boys, had children who had children and once again there was a population of humans on the earth, all living in one region. God told them to fill the earth but they didn’t, so he sent another big judgment. At Babel (in modern-day Iraq) approximately seventy new languages were distributed among them all at once.

Divided by language, people groups began to fill the earth, starting from Mesopotamia, the ‘Cradle of Civilization,’ and radiating outward. Some lived in caves before building settlements. Others built boats and discovered islands. Some crossed land bridges exposed during the Ice Age, and populated to the tip of South America.

Whoa! Are you sticking the Ice Age into world history only 2000 years ago? And how do you explain the different ‘racial’ groups and skin color? Do all the languages of today show common origins or not? Continue reading

Truth in the Text Part VII – Dragons and Dinosaurs

Adam Naming the Animals, a Byzantine fresco

In 1841 Sir Richard Owen coined the term ‘dinosaur,’ meaning ‘terrible lizard’. It was a new word that would eventually cover a whole slew of never-before-seen beasts. At least never before seen to the men of that day. Dinosaurs were extinct, and had been for a long, long, time.

Or had they?

By Sir Owen’s day, no one remembered seeing dinosaurs. There are images of them around the globe however, from centuries before their ‘discovery’.

Check out Genesis Park (www.genesispark.com) for great photos. Dinosaurs appear in pictographs and petroglyphs in Utah, Canada, Zimbabwe, and the Amazon rainforest. They are painted onto pots in South America, carved from jade in China, engraved in slate in Egypt, made into mosaics in Rome, and formed from terra cotta in Turkey. Winged dinosaurs even appear in the cover plate of John Calvin’s commentary on Genesis, from 1578.

Wait! Winged dinosaurs? As in…DRAGONS? Continue reading

Truth in the Text Part VI – Did Giants Really Exist?

If asked to give the name of a Biblical giant, most of us could pull Goliath from our memories, even if never raised in Sunday School singing about David and his five little stones. What about Og? He was a giant. So was Saph. These giants are not so well known. Either are Lahmi  and Ishbi-Benob. But these guys were as real as Goliath, and perhaps even taller.

Were did they come from?  Where did they go? If the Nephilim died out in the Flood of Noah (see part V), where did these giants come from?

I suppose the first question we need to discuss is “Did giants really exist?” The answer is yes. We know they did because God’s Word tells us they did, like the facts surrounding creation and the birth of Jesus and the promises in Paul’s letters. They weren’t the thirty foot monsters of bad movie fame, but there were people groups of greater height and strength than normal.

Let’s look at a few references: Continue reading

Truth in the Text Part IV – How Old are the Dinosaurs?

I promise I’ll write more about dinosaurs soon. For now, let’s talk about how ages are established for their bones. How do we estimate a triceratops skeleton at 68 million years old?

If you remember from Part III, Carbon-14 (C14) dating is only good for dating samples up to about 50,000 years. Dinosaurs are believed to have died out millions of years ago, so routine sampling for Carbon makes no sense to many scientists. After 50,000 -100,000 years, all the Carbon originally in the animal is gone.

These men and women aren’t trying to hide anything by not assessing the C14 levels. Based on their assumptions about the age of the earth (see Truth in the Text Part I), their research methods are sound. They will use a Parent-daughter isotope that decays much slower, allowing ages to be assessed beyond 50,000 years. The Uranium/Potassium isotope is the one of choice, assessing ages into the millions of years. Unfortunately, there isn’t any in the dinosaur bones.

Q: So how do scientists estimate when dinosaurs roamed the earth? Continue reading