Paul's Passing Thoughts

Genesis Genealogical Trivia Tidbits

Posted in Uncategorized by Andy Young, PPT contributing editor on May 8, 2018

Originally published February 8, 2017

The genealogies recorded in Genesis and in various other places in the Bible are easy to regard as mundane in comparison to other passages of scripture. Reading through verse after verse of “so and so begat such and such” becomes tedious, and it isn’t all that unreasonable that most people simply skip over those verses in their Bible reading. Or when they do read them it is just a formality, and no careful consideration is really given to the words on the page.

I don’t remember what prompted me to do it, but as I was reading through the genealogies in Genesis 5 one day several years ago, it occurred to me that all these numbers and ages might be easier to follow if I organized them into a chart. So I created an Excel spreadsheet, and with the help of a few formulas I was able to easily come up with the following table.

biblical-geneology-table

Let me point out that the Bible does not record the specific year in which these men were born and when they died. All it gives is the number of years they lived and how old they were when they “begat” their son for the next generation. But if we use Creation as our starting point, with the use of Excel formulas it is very easy to derive a number of years from Creation when a person was born and when he died.

As I was making this table, I began to see some interesting correlations and relationships that aren’t apparent when you’re just reading words. In order to help these relationships be more evident I created a graph to translate the lives of these men and their relationship to each other into a timeline of sorts.

biblical-geneology-graph

Here are some of the more interesting observations I have made looking at these two graphics.

  • There are 8 generations who were living during Adam’s lifetime.  If you consider the way that history was passed down from generation to generation in the oral tradition, this means that for 800 years, these 8 generations had direct access to an accurate oral account of Creation from the first human being to ever walk the earth! Think of the bedtime stories Adam could have told to his great, great, great, great, great, great grandchildren!!!
  • Lamech, the son of Methusela, died 4 years before his father.
  • We will easily recall Methusela as being the oldest man in history as a part of our genus of Bible trivia, but how many of us realize that he died in the same year as The Great Flood? Here are some other questions to ponder. Did he die just before the flood? Or was he one of the countless hundreds of thousands (millions?) to perish in unbelief? How truly tragic that would have been considering he probably knew Adam personally!
  • Enoch was taken to heaven at the tender young age of 365.  He has the shortest lifespan of any man prior to the Flood that is recorded in scripture.
  • The Great Flood occurred 1,556 years after Creation.
  • 1,556 years of history are recorded in a mere seven chapters of the Bible. Think about how much more there was that is not recorded. Think about how much God has preserved!
  • Arphaxad, the son of Shem, would have been born in the same year as the flood. Since the Bible clearly states that 8 people were saved in the Ark, it is very likely that Arphaxad was born (and possibly even conceived) while Noah and his family were still on the Ark.
  • If we exclude Enoch, the average lifespan of the men recorded who lived prior to the Flood was 912 years. Following the flood, the average lifespan of the next four is 483 years, and it drops to 206 after that. What factors contributed to this rapid drop in longevity? Were there certain environmental changes as a direct result of the Flood?
  • Abram (Abraham) was born while Noah still lived, and he was about 60 when Noah died.
  • Including Abram there are 10 generations who lived during Noah’s lifetime following the flood.
  • Again, given the oral tradition and even considering the confounding of languages at Babel and the resulting dispersal of the world’s populace, these 10 generations would still have a very close and accurate account of the Flood.

What observation were you able to make?

~ Andy

Genesis Genealogical Trivia Tidbits

Posted in Uncategorized by Andy Young, PPT contributing editor on February 8, 2017

The genealogies recorded in Genesis and in various other places in the Bible are easy to regard as mundane in comparison to other passages of scripture. Reading through verse after verse of “so and so begat such and such” becomes tedious, and it isn’t all that unreasonable that most people simply skip over those verses in their Bible reading. Or when they do read them it is just a formality, and no careful consideration is really given to the words on the page.

I don’t remember what prompted me to do it, but as I was reading through the genealogies in Genesis 5 one day several years ago, it occurred to me that all these numbers and ages might be easier to follow if I organized them into a chart. So I created an Excel spreadsheet, and with the help of a few formulas I was able to easily come up with the following table.

biblical-geneology-table

Let me point out that the Bible does not record the specific year in which these men were born and when they died. All it gives is the number of years they lived and how old they were when they “begat” their son for the next generation. But if we use Creation as our starting point, with the use of Excel formulas it is very easy to derive a number of years from Creation when a person was born and when he died.

As I was making this table, I began to see some interesting correlations and relationships that aren’t apparent when you’re just reading words. In order to help these relationships be more evident I created a graph to translate the lives of these men and their relationship to each other into a timeline of sorts.

biblical-geneology-graph

Here are some of the more interesting observations I have made looking at these two graphics.

  • There are 8 generations who were living during Adam’s lifetime.  If you consider the way that history was passed down from generation to generation in the oral tradition, this means that for 800 years, these 8 generations had direct access to an accurate oral account of Creation from the first human being to ever walk the earth! Think of the bedtime stories Adam could have told to his great, great, great, great, great, great grandchildren!!!
  • Lamech, the son of Methusela, died 4 years before his father.
  • We will easily recall Methusela as being the oldest man in history as a part of our genus of Bible trivia, but how many of us realize that he died in the same year as The Great Flood? Here are some other questions to ponder. Did he die just before the flood? Or was he one of the countless hundreds of thousands (millions?) to perish in unbelief? How truly tragic that would have been considering he probably knew Adam personally!
  • Enoch was taken to heaven at the tender young age of 365.  He has the shortest lifespan of any man prior to the Flood that is recorded in scripture.
  • The Great Flood occurred 1,556 years after Creation.
  • 1,556 years of history are recorded in a mere seven chapters of the Bible. Think about how much more there was that is not recorded. Think about how much God has preserved!
  • Arphaxad, the son of Shem, would have been born in the same year as the flood. Since the Bible clearly states that 8 people were saved in the Ark, it is very likely that Arphaxad was born (and possibly even conceived) while Noah and his family were still on the Ark.
  • If we exclude Enoch, the average lifespan of the men recorded who lived prior to the Flood was 912 years. Following the flood, the average lifespan of the next four is 483 years, and it drops to 206 after that. What factors contributed to this rapid drop in longevity? Were there certain environmental changes as a direct result of the Flood?
  • Abram (Abraham) was born while Noah still lived, and he was about 60 when Noah died.
  • Including Abram there are 10 generations who lived during Noah’s lifetime following the flood.
  • Again, given the oral tradition and even considering the confounding of languages at Babel and the resulting dispersal of the world’s populace, these 10 generations would still have a very close and accurate account of the Flood.

What observation were you able to make?

~ Andy

Freedom Road: Part 1; Genesis 1:1-5

Posted in Uncategorized by Paul M. Dohse Sr. on January 11, 2012

“This is very uncharacteristic of how men write and contains concepts that men could never invent.”

 

A hermeneutic is a method of interpretation. For God’s child, His intended hermeneutic for us is demonstrated in the very first sentences of Scripture. “In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth.” Statement of fact, no explanation, no apologetics to make the case. The very first sentence in the Bible is authoritative and assumes superintention for the rest of the book.

Secondly, its truth is plainly stated, and separated from God’s mystery. God’s servant is to carefully observe the details and draw truth accordingly without presuming anything. We also see another interpretive tool meant for God’s people that excludes the necessity of knowing what the Hebrew word for “day” means: “And there was evening and there was morning, the first day.” So, “day” here obviously means one solar day. Therefore, God’s word is to be interpreted literally and taken at face value. God also elaborates and confirms the literal meaning.

God is glorified when His children use the brains they are given. There are going to be truths that are difficult to understand. But God never intended His word to be overly difficult to understand, and certainly, God’s children are not to be dependent on scholars. This is clear from Acts 17:11 where we have the Bereans confirming the teachings of one of the greatest Bible scholars of all time, the apostle Paul. What about allegory, symbolism, and parables in the Bible? How do we know when to apply those principles to interpretation? Well, the Bible usually tells us when that’s the case. It is my contention that the Bible contains its own rules for interpretation. For instance, in Galatians 4:24 we read, “Now this may be interpreted allegorically: these women are two covenants. One is from Mount Sinai, bearing children for slavery; she is Hagar.” In Matthew chapter 13 we read the following:

Then he left the crowds and went into the house. And his disciples came to him, saying, “Explain to us the parable of the weeds of the field.” 37 He answered, “The one who sows the good seed is the Son of Man. 38 The field is the world, and the good seed is the sons of the kingdom. The weeds are the sons of the evil one, 39 and the enemy who sowed them is the devil. The harvest is the end of the age, and the reapers are angels. 40 Just as the weeds are gathered and burned with fire, so will it be at the end of the age.

Regardless of the fact that our Lord explains this parable in no uncertain terms, various contrary interpretations abound from the supposed scholars of our day.  And even in regard to the complexity of the book of Revelation, our Lord gives clear methods of interpretation and interpretive keys:

19 Write therefore the things that you have seen, those that are and those that are to take place after this. 20 As for the mystery of the seven stars that you saw in my right hand, and the seven golden lampstands, the seven stars are the angels of the seven churches, and the seven lampstands are the seven churches (Rev. 1:19,20).

And angels as well….

6 And I saw the woman, drunk with the blood of the saints, the blood of the martyrs of Jesus. When I saw her, I marveled greatly. 7 But the angel said to me, “Why do you marvel? I will tell you the mystery of the woman, and of the beast with seven heads and ten horns that carries her (Rev. 17:6,7).

Regardless of clear interpretation from our Lord and holy angels, the Gnostics and self-aggrandizing academiacs  of this day defile our sanctification with their arrogant musings. Some, like Francis Chan, describe us as “clay vessels struggling to describe this vast treasure.” Hardly. Our Lord wants us to understand—that’s important to Him. He wants us to be free with the truth found in the perfect law of liberty (John 8:32, James 1:25).

Everywhere throughout the Scriptures, they teach us how to interpret them. Matthew 4:4 teaches us that in some way, ALL Scripture contributes to our spiritual growth. 2Timothy 3:16,17 teaches this as well. To the contrary, many in our day have bought into the idea that the study of last things (eschatology) is “less relevant” than “the gospel” and is “secondary truth.” Yet, Paul said that those who have hope in regard to eschatological truth “purify themselves” and “comfort one another” (1John 3:2,3; 1Thess. 5:11).

Yet another example among many is the unique hermeneutic laid forth by the Holy Spirit for Christ’s Sermon on the Mount. It states that Christ “opened His mouth [perhaps an illusion to Matthew 4:4] and taught them, saying….”  What does it mean when you are being taught? When you go into any kind of classroom for the purpose of being taught,  and that is the goal, all things needed to accomplish that goal are assumed. His audience for that sermon was, for the most part, the uneducated peasants of that day. And they were “taught”—past tense. The Sermon on the Mount is to be taken literally, and at face value. Trust me, these people knew nothing of New Covenant Theology; or for that matter, the vileness of it all, or anything regarding deep theological matters of interpretation. The hermeneutic for that sermon was common sense, period.

Furthermore, because the Bible interprets itself, another big question is solved; especially in regard to new believers: “Where is the best place to start?” Answer: “In the beginning.” Because the Bible interprets itself, a study of the book of Genesis will also cover the rest of the Bible. When I was a new believer, other Christians chuckled at the fact that I didn’t follow the usual churchy cliché of “starting in the book of John because it is about the gospel.” ALWAYS counsel a new believer to start in the beginning, and then take the opportunity to disciple by showing how the old interprets the new and vice versa. And where do we get that? Again, from the Bible itself (Matthew 13:16,17, 51,52; 1Peter 1:10-12). In Matthew 13:51,52, Jesus, while stating that what He was saying at that time was the new—was also stating that the old was necessary also. What is more obvious than the fact that the book of Revelation cannot be fully interpreted without many Old Testament books; particularly, Daniel and Ezekiel. And for that matter, Genesis as well. This is why theologies such as New Covenant Theology cannot withstand biblical hermeneutics. It also reveals how teachings like Geerhardus Vos’ “Biblical Theology” were forged with the very fires of hell.

With this in mind, let us look at Genesis 1:1-5:

1 In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth. 2 The earth was without form and void, and darkness was over the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God was hovering over the face of the waters. 3 And God said, “Let there be light,” and there was light. 4 And God saw that the light was good. And God separated the light from the darkness. 5 God called the light Day, and the darkness he called Night. And there was evening and there was morning, the first day.

If one listens to the theological Timothy Learys of our day, these first verses are supposedly about the gospel. Go figure. Anybody see “gospel” here? Supposedly, God created the earth as a chaotic void (representative of man and his devices) so He could then bring forth light in the midst of  “chaos” as a way to “show forth the gospel.” Anybody see “chaos” here? Since when does dark  + void + water = chaos?

If people would just shut up and listen to the Holy Spirit, something astounding is going on here. In the beginning, God created the Earth, and the following verses are what He created first. So what do we have? Thus far: darkness, and water, in a void and without a form, and then God adds light. So what we have now is darkness and light as one (what in the world would that look like?!), suspended in a void with a body of water that has one side (“the face of the deep” [probably all of the water that is now on the Earth]). This isn’t a picture of man, this is God’s majesty and mystery on display. How can light and darkness be one and the same? Add this gargantuan mass of water with a surface, and without form elsewhere, and what you have is a spectacle that cannot be recreated in any kind of illustration. In addition, God offers no explanation for this, but rather states it as fact. This is very uncharacteristic of how men write and contains concepts that men could never invent.  Note verse four: “And God saw that the light was good. And God separated the light from the darkness.” Obviously, if the light and darkness were not one, He wouldn’t have separated them. One can create all kinds of theories about what God was supposedly symbolizing in these verses, but I assume the light and the darkness being one causes most of the models (if not all of them) to break down on that point. One wonders if that was intentional on God’s part.

Such was the first day of creation. The first five verses create many questions that only God can answer. Did He create darkness in the first day? It would seem so, because He gives both  light and darkness their names in verse 5. Was water already present before the creation of the earth? Perhaps, we have no indication here that water was created. But if light and darkness were created, does that mean there was no light and darkness before the creation of the Earth? And what in the world do the two look like as one?

Yes, the wonderment of our great Father. We stand in awe of Him, do we not?

How ironic that those who approach the Bible literally are often accused of being “overly simplistic.” Really? Seeing these verses as gospel seems more simplistic to me, if not downright silly. Not only that, please do not mess up my present condition of being awestruck by God’s majesty with another boring 7-11 praise song. That’s seven verses about the gospel repeated eleven times.

paul

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