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Archive for April, 2012

If you do a computer search on the genealogical – genetical terms used in this post, you’ll most likely find information that’s about as clear as mud. This is one of those times when it would be handy to have a team of totally unbiased scientists to interpret the data. You can get a good idea from the internet about how garbled things are behind the scenes. I always feel like something needs to be investigated further when it is that muddled at the surface.

One of the evidences for a relatively young earth is our population. If man has been around as long as evolutionists desire to believe, today’s population level would have been reached long ago. We can see how our numbers have grown in the past century in spite of countless wars, natural disasters, and every conceivable form of population control. Also, a computer analysis of genetic data shows that the “most recent common ancestor” (MRCA) of all living humans lived within the last 5,000 years (some studies 2,000 – 5,000 years).

The “identical ancestors point” (different from MRCA) for Homo sapiens is given as 5,000 – 15,000 years ago. Altogether, this becomes a huge body of evidence for a “recent” creation. Evolutionists interpret all evidence from their point of view of course, and the writers of everything that I studied about this were careful to toss in an evolutionary sales pitch. If enough people repeat something enough times with enough authority, it can be made to sound more certain. That’s the success story of evolution.

Numbers from various studies differ (though not astronomically), and can be interpreted to separate “Y- chromosomal Adam” and “Mitochondrial Eve” by several thousand years (Geneticists couldn’t resist the temptation to call them Adam and Eve). Separating Adam from Eve seems to be a high priority. I’ve seen dates for Mitochondrial Eve ranging between 100,000 and 200,000 years ago.

Dates for Y-chromosomal Adam were originally estimated at between 27,000, and 270,000, but more recently between 35,000, and 89,000 years ago. I think that these dates given for Adam and Eve are the most subjective components of this information.

What we have is genetic data saying that within the last few thousand years, all living human beings descended from one man, and one woman. I understand how the data can be interpreted to separate them in time, but I don’t see anything proving this. The dates of 2,000 – 5,000 for our most recent common ancestor (MRCA) are obviously too recent, and therefore must be evidence of a “bottleneck” in the population.

An event such as Noah’s flood would have produced such an effect. Some have written specifically against such a notion, but the only reason I see for not thinking there was a bottleneck is because someone says so. “Because I say so,” is not a scientific reason, even when it comes from the mouth of a scientist.

The “Identical ancestors point” for Homo sapiens is roughly within the time frame given for the creation of man in the Script (the Bible). Scientifically, the Script should be taken much more seriously, but I don’t foresee that happening before the actual return of the Lord.

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The genealogies of the Bible, with few exceptions, give the male lineage of fathers, stepfathers, father-in-laws, and grandfathers. I think that giving the name of only males, rather than both parents, is mainly for the purpose of simplification. Other reasons may lie behind the scenes in the actual physics of reproduction.

God is certainly not chauvinistic, and names of mothers are sometimes given for particular reasons (Tamar, Rahab, Ruth, Bathsheba). This methodology makes special situations such as that of Mary, the virgin mother of Jesus, more conspicuous. The genealogies of the Bible are continued in the New Testament by Matthew and Luke where they lead to Jesus.

Most interpreters believe the genealogy in Matthew 1:1-16, is that of Joseph, the stepfather of Jesus. This genealogy was probably given to establish Jesus as a legal heir of King David on the side of the stepfather Joseph. Mary was also descended from King David (Luke 3:23-38), so Pilate was correct when he posted a sign on the cross of Jesus identifying him as the “King of the Jews.”

Luke gives us the genealogy of Mary, and follows the genealogical patterns of the day by beginning with the name of Joseph, her husband. Then comes Mary’s father (the father-in-law of Joseph), then her grandfather, and so on.

In Luke’s genealogy, the word son is actually used only one time in verse 3:23-38. I think it’s significant that this genealogy is given immediately following the declaration of God in 3:22, that Jesus is his “beloved son.” Most English Bible translations then insert the word “son,” many times in Luke 3:23-38. Some print the word “son” in italics to indicate that it isn’t part of the original manuscript. For instance, the actual wording of Luke 3:38 is, “of Enos, of Seth, of Adam, of God,” and doesn’t have the word “son” before each name.

While God is, in a sense, the father of all mankind, Jesus is his “only begotten son” (John 3:16). In the genealogy given by Luke, and counting Adam as the first generation, Jesus is the seventy-seventh generation. I think that Luke recorded the complete human genealogy of Jesus (more about this later).

Though Jesus was human, I think it’s correct to say that he was a human much as man would have been before the fall. There would have been no mutations in the portion of his DNA inherited from the father (God). Mary had a paternal lineage, but the mechanism of heredity doesn’t function the same with the mother as with the father.

Besides simply fulfilling prophecy, there could also have been a scientific reason for Jesus to have been born of a virgin, though I don’t have any idea at this time what it might have been. At every unusual turn of the Script, there is usually some underlying scientific, or psychological truth. Often there is knowledge behind it that the people of that day could not have understood naturally.

Being a human much as man would have been before the fall, I don’t think Jesus would ever have died naturally. Most Christians would probably agree with that, but maybe they “might not know” about my next statement. It is possible that if Adam had not followed Eve’s example and eaten the forbidden fruit, the genetic damage that causes death might not have been able to pass to their offspring.

The contribution of the male parent to the human autosome and allosome makes that statement theoretically possible. “Autosomal” DNA is inherited from both parents, “Mitochondrial” DNA from the mother alone, and Y-chromosomal DNA from the father alone. I think it is important that a scientific mechanism “just happens” to exist for Jesus to be physically different from us; to actually be a new kind of man as 1st. Corinthians 15:21-26, and 15:45-53 tell us.

Hebrews 4:15, tells us that Jesus was tempted as we are, yet without sin, so there wasn’t only an inherited difference, but he also made the right moral decisions at every twist and turn. He didn’t fall as did Adam and Eve. The only sin that afflicted Jesus was our sin. Our family tree is his cross.

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Throughout the Script, there’s use of symbolism relating to trees. I’ve already written about the Tree of Knowledge which represents the sum of all possible knowledge, whether true or false, good or evil. It is certainly a tree you could get lost in. I’ve also written about the Tree of Life, which is related in biblical symbolism to the cross of Jesus (Ref. The Tree of Life in my February 2012 archives).

Modern man continues to build upon the symbolism. Evolutionism borrowed the term “Tree of Life,” to represent the imaginary transformation of one form of life into another. Evolutionists strive to control education (The Tree of Knowledge) in order to affect what most of earth’s inhabitants believe. Evolutionary thinking is one of the most effective tools of modern social engineering.

The idea of a genealogical Family Tree also has its origins in the Bible. Here and there among the leaves of the Script, you can gather information on the family tree of man. When studied along with data from other histories, the origins of certain groups of people can be traced.

The primary purpose of biblical genealogy is to give us the bloodline of the “Seed” of the woman (Genesis 3:15), who will crush the head of the serpent. The family tree of the Messiah begins in Genesis. A branch of the biblical genealogies continues until the “righteous Branch” of such passages as Isaiah 11:1-9, and Jeremiah 23:5, is identified. I pray to write more on that later. Other genealogies branch off, and are terminated after giving us a bit of information.

If God had directly created multiple human families, mankind would have been even more divided than ever. Acts 17:26 says that God made “…of one blood all nations of men…” Rather than give us more fuel for prejudice, God made a single man, and then a woman from the rib of the man. Over time, they had many sons and daughters (Genesis 5:4).

One of these daughters, or grand-daughters, became Cain’s wife. The same thing is true of Seth, a younger son of Adam and Eve. At that time in history, it was the only way for the family of man to continue. For the children of such unions, a undegenerated gene pool with few mutations would have provided greater protection from birth defects than today. I have a copy of “The Revised and Expanded Answers Book,” from the Answers in Genesis organization. The Answers Book series gives a pretty good answer to doubts about where Cain’s wife came from, and such common questions. Laws were later given prohibiting marriage between close family members (Leviticus 18:6).

By the way, geneticists have named the direct ancestors of all living people today, “Mitochondrial Eve,” and “Y-Chromosome Adam.” Evolutionary geneticists quickly stress that this Adam and Eve didn’t necessarily live at the same time, and that they themselves descended from earlier people. I intend to write more about this Adam and Eve later. I think they are the Adam and Eve of the Bible, and that there were no earlier people. It’s wise to remember that the weaknesses of the theory of evolution lie hidden in its complexity. The devil is in the details, as the saying goes. Much evolutionary teaching is intentionally made complex.

Atheists love to single the Bible out, and condemn its early families for incestuous marriages, but many tribes of people continue some such practices even today. Promiscuity also makes it possible for brothers and sisters to meet without knowing one another. There are cases where couples have married and formed families only to later find that they were siblings. I once asked a co-worker how many children he had, and his answer was that he didn’t know. He had relationships with multiple women, some of them in situations where he didn’t know whether he had fathered children or not. Such things are more common than you might think.

Modern genetic practices that assist in the  conception of children add to the confusion. They also make it possible for brother and sister to meet without knowing they are siblings. Medical tests prior to marriage would catch many “mistakes,” but couples don’t necessarily wait for marriage to have sexual relations. Also, the civil procedures of marriage are followed less and less as time goes on. What a tangled web we weave!

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Cain created his own destiny. He complained about banishment, but we aren’t told that he showed any remorse for killing Abel. He had seen the way Abel died, and he feared that someone could do the same to him, so God put some sort of mark upon him as a warning.

The word that’s translated as “mark” in Genesis 4:15, is “owth.” Our word “oath,” is derived from this. An “et,” which is a similar word, is a stylus, or pen.” The mark of Cain was like having an oath of God in writing. It would have reminded others that God has promised justice, but that man must sometimes wait for it.

Cain didn’t receive capital punishment for what he did. He had to live with himself many years before his own body returned to dust. Then, the final judgement is beyond that. The only promise of escape that we have is if we “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ.”

Today, we can only speculate about what the mark of Cain actually was. I suspect that it was some sort of mark on his face. The speculations of some people reveal nothing more than underlying prejudices. The people of Cain’s time would have recognized the mark, but I would be wary of being dogmatic about it today. It marked Cain as a specific individual, so it doesn’t make sense that it would have been passed on to his descendants. Besides that, all of Cain’s descendants later perished in Noah’s flood, unless either Noah, or his sons had married into that family.

Down through history, many have taken something from the Bible and tried to make it into something that it is not. Some have tried to use the Bible to promote bigotry and prejudice. Anyone who does that sort of thing is no more their brother’s keeper than was Cain.

The Bible teaches that we are all descendents of Adam and Eve. None of us have “evolved,” as some try to claim. Cain is representative of the family of man, and the death of Abel is symbolic of that of Christ. The Lord knows what it’s like to suffer injustice. God will someday deal with all injustice, but that is after his offers of amnesty have all been spurned.

One of the greatest sayings in the Script is in James 2:13, “Mercy triumphs over judgement.” There is little that can be restored by judgement. Mercy and forgiveness can reconcile us to each other, and to God. That doesn’t mean there is no price to pay, but that ultimately the price has been paid.

We call the Friday that precedes Easter, Good Friday (See part one of “the Dawn of the Rising Son” in my April 2011 archives). It was good for us, though horrible for him. The outcome will yet be in his favor, since he wanted so desperately to save as many of us as possible.

Good Friday doesn’t always fall on the day before Passover, due to both observances being based upon separate Lunar calculations. Both are observed the same weekend this year which makes it special, because both events are about the “Passover Lamb.” Cain crossed some invisible line, and from all we know, it was the point of no return for him. He rejected the offer of the Lamb (Jesus), which is the only offer that God can accept. It is God offering himself to us, and for us.

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The way we face is the way we go. I noticed soon after I began driving, that if I looked at something off to one side, I would tend to veer in that direction. In Genesis 4:14, Cain speaks as if he is being driven away to be hidden from the face of God, but Cain was already gone. He had turned away from God long before. When there is an emotional distance between people, every meeting can push you farther apart. That is true even when one person desperately wants to hold onto the other. Face to face can get uncomfortably close to “heart to heart.”

The story of Cain parallels that of man. It is the story of God calling man to turn. He has called us to seek his face (Psalm 27:8). All through the Script, there is a play upon words that emphasizes the meaning of its passages. It’s impossible to grasp them all. They have actually become part of the framework of language.

The Hebrew word “Panah,” means “to turn.” It is very similar to the word “Paneh,” meaning “face,” which is sometimes translated as “open.” (Note: Many Hebrew words have various spellings, and attempts to transliterate Hebrew words using English letters also compounds the spelling difficulties) Our English word “pan,” which Webster’s says is slang for “face,” probably came about because a pan of water, or its own reflective surface, can serve as a mirror.

Our faces should mirror the love of God, but what is seen so much of the time is a mask. God doesn’t want to see only a superficial civility. He wants to see people seeking him, “…with open face beholding as in a glass the true appearance of the Lord (Jesus)…” God wants to see us coming closer, and beginning to look more like Jesus.

That quote is from 2nd. Corinthians 3:18 in the King James Version of the Script, except I changed the word “glory” to “true appearance.” I did that because the word “glory,” translated from the Greek word “doxa,” has itself become paradoxically like a veil over the face. Earlier in that chapter (3:14), it is said that the “…veil is done away in Christ.”

If you want to see God, don’t look at me, or anyone other than Jesus, and especially see him on the cross. It is in his death that the veil separating man from God is torn away (Mark 15:38). All the evil of this world distorts the face of God. It can make him look like something that he is not. The darkness isn’t a reflection of God, but of our own souls. If you want to see God, there is only one who is the mirror image of him.

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