So much has been written by creationists and intelligent design proponents about the origin and complexity of single-celled organisms that one might assume the Bible was filled with references to them. But while the Bible does mention the creation of trees, birds, fish, snakes, livestock, wild animals, and humans, it is mysteriously silent on the subject of microbial life. Considering the importance of microbes, and the fact that the majority of all life on earth is microbial, why would God forgo mentioning them?
Most Christians are content to assume that God created microbes, even if he didn’t mention them, and some go so far as to say the Bible contains hints of God’s knowledge of microbes.
Nonbelievers, on the other hand, are more likely to argue that the Bible’s authors didn’t mention them because they are simply too small to be seen.
But before we get ahead of ourselves, let’s take a quick moment to meditate on the magnificence of microbes.
Meditating on the Magnificence of Microbes
Microbes are living things that cannot be seen without the aid of a microscope. Some microbes are unicellular, meaning they are made up of just one cell, while others are multi-cellular, being made up of many cells.
Since their discovery in 1665, microbes have been found living almost everywhere: from 36,000 feet below sea level in the deepest ocean trenches, to 33,000 feet up in the atmosphere. They are found covering the ocean floor, under the ocean floor, feeding on soil in open meadows, on forest floors, deep inside dark caves, in oil buried far below the earth’s surface, in toxic waters, and even in lakes buried miles under frozen Antarctic ice. They are also found living in, on, and around every species of animal.
Microbes are also very tenacious. Deinococcus radiodurans, for example, can survive freezing temperatures, acids, dehydration, high doses of radiation, and a vacuum. Some microbes may even be able to lay dormant for millions of years before being raised from the dead (and we thought three days was impressive!). All of this raises some serious questions about whether or not life hitched a ride to earth from somewhere else.
Microbes are also incredibly adaptable. Bacteria are some of the fastest reproducing organisms in the world, with some reproducing as often as every ten minutes! This exponential growth allows for plenty of opportunity for genetic drift.
Bacteria can also share genetic insights through transformation (taking in DNA from their surroundings), transduction (taking in DNA through viruses), and conjugation (joining with another bacterium to exchange DNA). All of this helps to support rapid adaptation and evolution, like the kind we see with antibiotic resistant bacteria, or bacteria like Ideonella sakaiensis, which has already developed a two-step process for breaking down and consuming plastic, a substance that didn’t even exist 70 years ago.
And all this change results in a lot of diversity. On the tree of life, bacteria make up the majority of life’s branches. There are so many different kinds of bacteria that one study identified over 20,000 different kinds in a single liter (about a quart) of seawater.
Getting a bit more personal, you are carrying around several pounds of bacteria inside and outside your body. In fact, for every one of your own cells, you have about 10 bacterial cells. Luckily, 95% of them are harmless, and many are even helpful, but some can cause disease.
We humans also shed bacteria like it’s going out of style. Researchers have found that after just an hour of use, public restrooms had “500,000 bacterial cells per square inch on the bathroom surfaces, on average.” (Ew.)
Microbes from a Natural Worldview
It’s amazing to consider how something so small can actually be alive. Microbes are so tiny, and yet they are fully self-contained living things — able to consume, reproduce, and thrive.
It’s also amazing to consider how you and I, and all other living things, are made up of individual cells, most of which still share DNA and processes in common with other single-celled organisms. In fact, you and I start off not as humans, but as a microscopic organism, formed from the union of two cells (an ovum and a sperm). These cells unite to share genetic information, and then they divide, and continue dividing, until they form something greater than the sum of their parts. We are humans, but we are also a massive colony of cells, working together for mutual benefit.
From a purely natural perspective, it makes sense that these unicellular “building blocks” should be the first forms of life to emerge on earth, and it should come as no surprise that the oldest known fossils are of cyanobacteria, dating back about 3.5 billion years.
The earliest unicellular organisms had billions of years to make copies of themselves, hone their skills, diversify, and work their way into every earthly niche. These organisms gradually became masters at reproducing, adapting, and sharing genetic advantages.
Eventually, one or more genetic mutations led to a formula for the multi-cellular organism, and this new union proved to be so beneficial that it led to an explosion in multi-cellular life.
Our world soon became overrun with increasingly complex multi-cellular organisms, most of which were still microscopic. Take the humble dust mite, for example, who grazes your pillow like a microscopic cow, feeding on discarded skin cells. These microscopic arachnids even share some physical similarities with their much larger cousins, but they are still too small to see with the naked eye.
In short, from a natural perspective, we begin with a planet filled with single-celled organisms that reproduce exponentially and adapt quickly. One or more stumbles upon a formula for multi-cellular unions, which proves to be advantageous, and leads to microscopic “animals,” which leads to an evolutionary arms race, with larger and larger animals.
But the Bible tells a very different story.
Microbes from a Biblical Worldview
According to Genesis (and creationists), God created plants, trees, vegetation, fish, birds, livestock, and humans all in their present form. God never mentions creating microbes, but some creationists speculate that God formed them for the purpose of supporting larger forms of life.
Did God share “Insider Information” about Microbes?
In the absence of any mention of microbes, some Christians have claimed that we can infer God had knowledge of microbes based on some of his commands.
They say his knowledge of microbes is evident in his instructions to quarantine individuals with certain skin diseases (Leviticus 13), and in his instructions to bathe or wash clothing under certain conditions, such as after being sick (Leviticus 15:13), or after having an abnormal bodily discharge (Leviticus 15:1-15). There was even a tradition among elders to wash their hands before breaking bread (Matthew 15:2).
But do these statements add up to proof that God had an insider’s knowledge of microbes?
As previously discussed, revealing “insider information” could be an excellent way for God to prove he was the creator. If God did create microbes, only he would’ve been able to describe them long before the invention of the microscope.
However, just as with prophecy, it’s possible to read “insider information” into sources where it was never truly intended. Thus, any claims of insider information should be so specific that they are beyond reproach, so much so that the source is given unanimous credit for its discovery. There should be no possibility of coincidence or potential for observation; we should not have to read any of our own assumptions into the text, and the information should not contradict itself elsewhere.
That said, I can think of many reasons to be skeptical of this particular claim.
Microbes, Menstrual Cycles, and “Minuet Creatures”
First, it’s troubling that these commands are offered without even acknowledging the creation or existence of microbes. Because of this, it’s not clear how much the Bible’s authors knew, and we certainly can’t credit the Bible with the discovery of microbes with so much missing information.
Second, we must read into the text that God is giving these commands for the purpose of combating the spread of disease. God does not expressly say this, he only says he wants his people to remain “ceremonially clean.” But there were many things God considered unclean:
Speak to Aaron, saying, ‘None of your offspring throughout their generations who has a blemish may approach to offer the bread of his God. For no one who has a blemish shall draw near, a man blind or lame, or one who has a mutilated face or a limb too long, or a man who has an injured foot or an injured hand, or a hunchback or a dwarf or a man with a defect in his sight or an itching disease or scabs or crushed testicles.’ Leviticus 21:17-23
From skin diseases to dwarfism, God considered any injury or imperfection “unclean,” regardless of whether or not it was contagious. God’s concerns reside with visible abnormalities, not with controlling the spread of pathogens.
Third, if God were truly concerned with the spread of disease, why did he only ask for people with certain skin diseases to be quarantined? Why not quarantine other highly-contagious diseases?
Similarly, why didn’t God stress far more effective ways of inhibiting the spread of disease? Such as regular hand washing, or covering one’s mouth when they cough? Surely such advice would’ve prevented the spread of disease far better than, say, a command to wash one’s clothing after touching a woman on her period (Lev. 15:19-21). (Fun fact: women also had to sacrifice two birds to “atone” for their monthly discharge [Lev. 15:28-30].)
Fourth, believers may be cherry-picking only commands which turned out to be beneficial, whilst ignoring those that would’ve had little or no impact, or may have even assisted in the spread of disease. For example, we could just as easily cite God’s command for some pregnant women to drink water mixed with dirt taken from the floor (Numbers 5:16-22); or God’s command to dip a live bird in blood, and splatter it on those who’d recently recovered (Leviticus 14:1-32), or his recommendation to go about placing hands on people who are sick (and possibly contagious [Mark 16:17-18]).
Fifth, God expresses conflicting information about how microbes and diseases spread. While the Bible does mention things like yeast and mold, it fails to identify them as living organisms. And surprisingly, God indicates that he is the cause of household mold (Leviticus 14:34), rather than revealing that it is caused by tiny living things that grow in dark, moist areas.
Similarly, God stresses that he is the one who causes someone to have a disease (Genesis 12:17; Exodus 9:14; Leviticus 26:16; Deuteronomy 7:15, 28:21-22, 28:60, 29:22; 2 Chronicles 21:18; Psalm 106:15; Isaiah 10:16). If God wants you to have a disease, he gives it to you! There is no indication that you can accidentally pick it up from contact with tiny living organisms.
Sixth, both humans and animals enjoy being clean, and are naturally repulsed by things that have the appearance of sickness or disease (an instinct which, no doubt, helps us to remain healthy and select healthy mates). There’s nothing particularly insightful about wanting others to wash up after being sick, or after having an abnormal discharge. If a friend comes to your house covered in vomit, pus, and blood (“Rough night, mate?”), it doesn’t take a genius to figure out why you might want him to wash up.
Seventh, while the Bible does state that elders would wash their hands before eating, it also states that this was done purely for ceremonial reasons (Mark 7:3). And strangely, while Jesus doesn’t mention hand washing, he does command his followers to wash their feet (John 13:14). In fact, when Peter asks about hand washing, Jesus replies, “Those who have had a bath need only to wash their feet; their whole body is clean” (John 13:8-10). Because Jesus was literally washing their feet at the time, we can assume he did not feel literal hand washing to be of any importance.
Eighth, if we insist these “revelations” are evidence of divine inspiration about microbes, what do we do with better examples found outside the Bible? For example, consider Roman scholar Marcus Terentius Varro, who wrote the following in his book On Agriculture (just prior to the time of Christ):
Precautions must also be taken in the neighborhood of swamps, both for the reasons given, and because there are bred certain minute creatures which cannot be seen by the eyes, which float in the air and enter the body through the mouth and nose and there cause serious diseases.
About the same time in history that Jesus was curing illness by casting evil spirits into pigs, and recommending healing through prayer, Varro was delivering surprisingly accurate information about the dangers of microscopic pathogens. Varro proposed that not only were there living things too small to be seen, but that they could enter the body through the nose and mouth, and cause disease.
If we consider what the Bible infers about microbes to be amazing, then what Varro has revealed is miraculous. But if Varro was not divinely inspired, then we must admit that such revelations can come about by other means, such as keen observation, coincidence, or just dumb luck.
(Some believers might be tempted to suggest Varro’s insights were demonically inspired, but this seems unlikely, considering: 1) Varro did not claim to be speaking for his gods’, 2) Varro wasn’t attempting to convert anyone, 3) no one would’ve been able to prove his claims for another 1,900 years, and 4) by that time, all of his gods would be written off as mythological.)
And finally, anyone can read these kinds of “divine insights” into any religious text. For example, Muslims point out that the Qur’an says:
Exalted is He who created all pairs – from what the earth grows and from themselves and from that which they do not know.
— Qur’an 36:36
And [He created] the horses, mules and donkeys for you to ride and [as] adornment. And He creates that which you do not know.
— Qur’an 16:8
Say, [O Muhammad], “Invoke those you claim [as deities] besides Allah .” They do not possess an atom’s [particle’s, cell’s] weight [of ability] in the heavens or on the earth …
— Qur’an 34:22
The first two passages refer to unknown kinds of animals, perhaps those living in far-off lands. (The idea that they are microscopic must be read into the text.)
The last passage describes a minuscule measure of something. (The idea that it is describing living things must be read into the text.)
While these verses aren’t even related, Muslims waste no time in concluding:
Fourteen centuries ago, the Qur’an indicated the existence of living things beyond those which can be seen with the naked eye.
The Holy Quran had established a well-defined concept of microbiology.
Does the Qur’an really contain “insider information” about microbes? Or have these Muslims read these “revelations” into the text to support their own presuppositions?
Ultimately, it would be next to impossible to prove that God didn’t create microbes, just as it would be nearly impossible to prove Varro’s gods didn’t create microbes (though Varro certainly seemed to be more aware of them!). So why bother raising the question?
While it’s true that the “absence of evidence is not evidence of absence” (i.e. just because God doesn’t mention microbes, it doesn’t prove he didn’t create them), I think a strong case can be made for “evidence of ignorance.”
God is not just some tight-lipped bloke who chose to forego a few details. If God is aware of microbes, and he surely is, then he has purposefully chosen to dispense inadequate information (and sometimes misinformation) over useful information. For example, he takes time to encourage his followers to wash their clothes after touching a woman on her period, but does not take the time to mention that diseases can be spread through blood-sucking parasites. Or he takes time to encourage foot washing, whilst ignoring, and even downplaying, the importance of hand washing.
Moreover, God does not appear to have a firm grasp upon how his own creation works. He doesn’t understand what causes mold to grow or how diseases spread (he says he causes them); he recommends touching the sick (but not washing your hands afterwards); he orders pregnant women to drink dirt taken from the floor, and asks that people be cleansed with animal blood. His knowledge is even outdone by the likes of Varro.
If God had truly inspired the Bible, he could’ve easily acknowledged the existence of microorganisms. He could’ve been the first to reveal that the entire earth is covered with them, or the first to declare that all animals are made of individual cells. He could’ve detailed the important roles that microorganisms play, and warned us about pathogens and parasites, and taught us the importance of proper hygiene. He could’ve told us why we should cover open wounds, and why we should cover our mouths when we cough, and he could’ve set us on the path to discovering antibiotics. He could’ve taught us how to protect ourselves from plagues, so that future followers could proclaim, “God knew parasites could carry disease-causing microbes! And he loved us so much he warned us in advance!”
Instead of warning us, God chose to remain silent about the creation and purpose of harmful microbes, like those that cause cholera or tuberculosis. He doesn’t tell us why he created the Streptococcus pyogenes that cause strep throat, or Staphylococcus aureus, which causes staph infections. He doesn’t reveal why he created amoebas like Naegleria fowleri, which travel up the nostrils to feast on human brains, or Necrotizing fasciitis, which feasts on human flesh (for the love of God, don’t Google it!). And he doesn’t tell us why he created Yersinia pestis, the infamous bacteria responsible for the worst epidemics in history, killing well over 100,000,000 men, women, and children.
Instead of teaching us how to prevent these horrible diseases, God’s advice is to lay hands on the sick, and he promises they will recover. But did they? Hundreds of millions of grieving parents, children, husbands and wives could attest to the fact that their prayers yielded nothing, and they watched their loved ones suffer and die, without explanation. Would it have been that difficult for God to show a little mercy, by providing even slightly better information about microbes? If Varro can do it, why not the “real” God?
The other possibility, of course, is that God does not exist, or that he did not inspire the Bible. If this is the case, then the Bible’s authors would’ve been clueless about microbes, and how diseases spread, and this certainly appears to be the case.
Your research and logic on all of these topics astounds me. Thanks for sharing.
I’m amazed by the thoroughness of your research into both the weird and complex world of microbes, and the biblical references with all the arbitrary advice on uncleanliness, and lack of detail to affirm that God created the microbes, and the bible writers were enlightened enough to reveal it to the rest of humanity. Well done!
Peace and love to all,
Another brilliant application of Occam’s Razor. Thanks 500q. Let the Christian interpretive footwork begin…
6 months in between questions, and this is the best you could come up with? really? Those people couldn’t even keep two simple rules straight; 1) to love God with you whole body, mind and soul, and 2) do unto others, as you would have them do unto you, so He expanded it to 10 commandments to no avail. Don’t you think; knowing this, that an all knowing God would be aware that this would be information waayyy above their intellect??…when it would be another 1600 years, before they were discovered.
Both of our theories are equally plausible, and both are trying too hard. I am disappointed in the pitiful effort you are putting into what was cause for rigorous consideration…at the rate you are going, Jesus Christ will have returned already.
I put a lot of work into it, so I’m happy with it. 😉
I refuse to believe that God withheld this advice because the people of the time were intellectually incapable of understanding instructions such as, “Wash your hands before you eat,” or “Cover your mouth when coughing,” or “Beware of blood-sucking parasites, as they can spread of disease.” But even if they were, those who did heed these warnings would’ve been spared much suffering, and later generations would have evidence of “insider information.”
As for Jesus return, that should’ve occurred long ago (see question #64).
As it is your website, and I am merely the one perusing it…you should be proud of it. Of all the questions, that raise doubt in my mind, verily verily I say unto you, that the existence of microorganisms never even once crossed it.
p.s. I’ve always assumed, that it was the result of eating some under-cooked pork, is where the Abrahamic religons got their paranoia of pigs. In that case; I guess you’re right, had God simply explained to Moses or one of the prophets, to be sure and cook pork well done…life could have been a lot simpler 🙂
Evidence that Bible is God’s word:
1. The Earth hangs in space.
He spreads out the northern skies over empty space; he suspends the earth over nothing. Job 26:7
2. Earth is circular.
He sits enthroned above the circle of the earth, and its people are like grasshoppers.
1. See question #15.
2. The Hebrew word Chuwg means a flat-circle like a coin. The Hebrew word for a sphere like a ball is Dur. God was wrong about the shape of the earth.
Similarly, one could pluck a few sentences from Varro’s works and insist he too was inspired by his gods.
If you use that passage for job as literal then you have to use all the others as literal, which is that the earth is on pillars and it has 4 corners and or has “ends”.
Secondly he says it is a circle. A circle is a 2 dimensional object. He did not say it was a sphere. Saying he sits “above” the earth could be seen as the earth is viewed as a flat circle. How else could he be above? Which way is above?
The ancients believed the world to be a flat circle enclosed in a firmament. This is evident in the fact that the OT writers borrowed heavily from the popular Hellenistic hypothesis of the time, which say the same exact thing. Any scholar will tell you something along these lines.
1. It doesn’t “hang” on anything.
2. Stand on a plain (like a desert) and rotate around 360 degrees. The horizon seems to extend for an equal amount in all directions, doesn’t it? That suggests a circle and could easily be discerned by men. BTW, the Earth is a sphere (well, sphere-like). Also, people aren’t like grasshoppers.
I think that the lack of knowledge of the natural world by people who lived say 6,000 years age had a significant bearing on their superstitious beliefs and their propensity to believe in a pantheon of Gods. Lack of knowledge is not the same as lack of intelligence and the Israelites showed sufficient sophistication to formulate 613 commandments! A list is given in the link below:
Notice commandment number 3 under the heading: The Worship of Yahweh –
“Love Yahweh with all your heart, soul, and might.” (Deuteronomy 6:5)
and commandment number 13 under the heading: Our Duties to Our Fellow Man –
“Love your neighbor, whether a brother or an enemy, as yourself.” (Leviticus 19:18)
The above are referred to as the Great Commandments that Christ alluded to.
The Israelites were able to formulate in writing not two commandments, nor ten, but 613!
God is said to have inspired the scriptural writings. Was God spelling it out to His chosen people because of their failure to follow a fewer number of commandments, or, does this show them to have a level of sophistication that should enable them to follow sensible rules to avoid infections?
The question of the shape of the earth is referenced biblically but requires some interpretation –
Biblical scholars have explained which scriptural passages should be taken literally and which should be taken allegorically, so it’s not necessary to place the same rule on all passages.
An important question to answer is why there are so many significant contradictions between biblical passages. Why were the Israelites commanded not to kill (or murder) and yet Leviticus 20 identifies commandments for which execution is the punishment, if they were broken. Often this was done publicly and involved other Israelites stoning those who broke the commandments, as described in Leviticus 20 –
To carry out the punishments meant breaking the sixth of The Ten Commandments Saying that the blood would be on the heads of those who broke the commandments is a poor excuse!
Peace and love to all,
It’s funny how I miss things even though I re-read what I’ve typed before I submit my posts, but I’ve noticed other contributors do this too, and we are all human.
I did not make it clear that I’m aware of many apparent contradictions between biblical texts, but I chose to identify the one I consider to be most important – sanctioned execution in contravention of the sixth of the Ten Commandments:
6. Thou shalt not kill. (KJV)
6. You shall not murder. (ESV)
At the time Leviticus 20 was available to the Israelites, they and foreigners who lived with them, would be executed if they broke the commandments, as the law prescribed:
In the recent past, many countries reserved the Death Penalty only for first degree murder, considered a Capital Offence, but the trend has been to abolish it, not least because of the possibility of executing innocent people. There is so much information on the net I’ve included just one link here that I found agreed with my feelings and views:
Another point I forgot to make in my last post is that IF we assume that the universe was created, then the consistency we find when we follow scientific methods suggest that these methods reveal more about natural phenomena and life, including microorganisms, than what the “inspired writers” were able to reveal to us.
We should not be surprised by this as several millennia passed before a lot of the revelations were actually written down. Also, revelations from an uncreated Being to its creatures could be difficult to put into words that express the true meaning of the revelations. Even if this was done successfully, how do the rest of us interpret them correctly, as we did not receive the revelations?
It should have been helpful if the Creator had given the recipients of His revelations the means to write them down at the time, and in more than one language for corroboration, and to ease the burden on translators later on. Use of the more common languages, as well as Hebrew and Aramaic, would have helped us with revelations from the Torah. Quite what the Israelites would have made of this foreign writing is a matter of speculation, but He could have instructed them to keep the manuscripts for the future.
Peace and love to all,
I’ve heard so many of these different quotes from believers, like the one about the bible knowing that the Earth was round and hung on nothing. Believers are great at parroting without doing their own research. My wife is a Christian, and I go to church with her, and I hear the pastor constantly say things that contradict the real world, but everyone believes him, because he’s the authority, and then they go around parroting his statements. Last Sunday, for example, he said that evolution is something that the scientists gave up on, and that most of them don’t believe the theory anymore because it couldn’t withstand many different questions. I’m sure he didn’t get that info from a scientist, as 99.99% of scientists have firm certainty in evolution… just as strong as their certainty that the Earth orbits the sun. They are close to 100% certain of this because of the overwhelming evidence from fossil dating, phylogenetic trees derived from DNA sequencing, homology, similarities in living things by region, etc.
Agreed. What’s interesting to me is that most believers will agree that science was right on the earth being round, but then will deny subsequent scientific discoveries, like Evolution. It’s as if they’re saying ‘I accept the round earth thing, but that would be my limit’……..
Well, my two pence answer is simple, and I can only quote what the Lord told those guys On the Road to Emmaus
“He said to them, “How foolish you are, and how slow to believe all that the prophets have spoken! Did not the Messiah have to suffer these things and then enter his glory?” And beginning with Moses and all the Prophets, he explained to them what was said in all the Scriptures concerning himself.”
It would be the same for anybody looking for “Too Much Information” from the bible.
My Friend, the bible has one purpose and One purpose ALONE.
And that purpose, is the Message of Salvation of Man. So, if you keep looking for some other message,(like microbes, finches, and……. barnacles) do not blame anybody if you do not find it.
Sorry you got disappointing. Its not there, and never intended.
Thank you for your contribution, and I’m sure it’s worth more than “two pence.”
I’m not sure how many people would agree with your view that the Bible was written for one purpose: to convey “the Message of Salvation of Man.” God’s chosen people, the Israelites, are still awaiting the arrival of the Messiah, and their prophets were directly involved with God and caused the writing of 39 books of The Torah (Old Testament)!
Should we write those books off? If the answer is “No,” and you consider those books, and the 27 books of the New Testament, as important revelations from God, then it would be more helpful, if you tried to answer questions posed on forums more fully.
Have you read the comments from other contributors?
Peace and love to all,
The Bible says men will have dominion over all things that crawl. Microorganisms have killed 100,000,000 men (and pardon me, women and children) throughout the world, and continue to do so. Men ( and pardon me again, women and children) clearly have not had dominion here. This, and many other contradictions and absurdities suggest the Bible was terrestrially authored, not divinely inspired. That would make ‘the Message’ unreliable, no more reliable than any other work of mythology.
Your says that
“God’s chosen people, the Israelits , are still awaiting the arrival of the Messiah, and their prophets were directly involved with God and caused the writing of 39 books of The Torah
God’s chosen what!!!? Hah! My Friend there are no “chosen” people by God.
“Yahweh says this; “A curse on any man who puts his trust in man, who relies on things of flesh, whose heart turns away from Yahweh. He is like a dry shrub in the wasteland, if good comes, he has no eyes for it. He settles in patched places in the wilderness, a salt land, uninhabited” Jeremiah 17: 5-6.
I do not see how a God who, with apparently great indignation proclaimed this through His prophets, can go ahead and trust ANY man, or groups of men for anything.
God has chosen Himself. Wake up and smell the coffee!
“ it would be more helpful, if you tried to answer questions posed on forums more fully.”
Fully as in?
The answer is still VERY SIMPLE. Chose yourself to chose God. END OF THE STORY. Gday
It seems that I may have over-thought the Bible. Apparently, all we have to do is to choose God. Why then do we need the Bible? I know a lot of people who are good in nature but cannot connect with the intricacies of the Bible.
As for the question of which race God may have chosen for His Son to be born into, well, the following link may be useful to those of you who care to read it –
As for me, I consider myself as unclassified as to the question of God. He is described as being: omnipotent, omniscient, omnipresent, omnibenevolent, infinite, and the Creator of all things and all life etc.
I think that some of the attributes are not clearly evident. as we live in a troubled world instead of a harmonious one. Epicurus, (341 -270 BC), put it this way –
“Is God willing to prevent evil, but not able? Then he is not omnipotent. Is he able, but not willing? Then he is malevolent. Is he both able, and willing? Then whence cometh evil? Is he neither able nor willing? Then why call him God?”
Epicurus may have over-simplified the problem of God and evil co-existing, but people who select passages of the Bible to make their points are also over-simplifying, since we can find other passages that suggest the opposite point of view.
Peace, respect and love to all,
(Q)”It seems that I may have over-thought the Bible. Apparently, all we have to do is to choose God. Why then do we need the Bible?”
(A) We need the bible because Revelation of God is continuous.
“ I have more to say to you. More than you can bear now. But when He, the Spirit of Truth comes, he will lead you to complete Truth “John 16:12-13.
(Q) As for the question of which race God may have chosen for His Son to be born into, well, the following link may be useful to those of you who care to read it –
(A) God chooses those who chose Him, It’s a Quid-Pro-Quo . So, in as much as one would wish to thing that there are some “chosen” people, they are ONLY chosen, is God is also their choice. “Come now, let us talk this over’, says Yahweh. ‘Though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be a white as snow; though they are red as crimson, they shall be like wool. If you are willing to obey, you shall eat the good things of the earth. But if you refuse and rebel, the sword shall eat you instead-for Yahweh’s mouth has spoken’ Isaiah 1:18-20 But if you insist on “choosiness” you are entitled to your opinion.
(Q) I think that some of the attributes are not clearly evident. as we live in a troubled world instead of a harmonious one. Epicurus, (341 -270 BC), put it this way –
“Is God willing to prevent evil, but not able? Then he is not omnipotent.
(A) God is willing and He is able. Man is Warned that he faces Hell if he continues to sin.
” Then, the Son of Man, will send His angels, and will gather, out of his kingdom, all the things that provoke offense, and all who do evil, and throw them in the brazing furnace, where there will be weeping and grinding of teeth” Mathew 13: 41-42
(Q)Is he able, but not willing? Then he is malevolent. Is he both able, and willing? Then whence cometh evil?
(A) “Meanwhile, let the sinner go on sinning, and the unclean continue to be unclean; let those who do good, continue to do good, and those who are holy continue to be holy. Very soon, now, I shall be with you, again, bringing the reward to be given to every man, according to what he deserves. I, am the Alpha, and the Omega, the First, and the Last, the Beginning and the End. Happy are those who will have washed their robes clean, so that they will have the right to feed on the tree of Life, and come through the gates into the city” Revelation 22:11-13
(Q) Is he neither able nor willing? Then why call him God?”
(A) “I am Yahweh, there no other savior but me. It is I who has spoken, have saved, have made other proclamations, not any stranger amongst you. You are my witnesses-Its Yahweh who speaks-and I, I am your God, I am He from eternity. No one can deliver from my hands. I act and no one can reverse it” Isaiah 43:14-15
So, there. You may chose to accept it as it is.
And this, people, is what we respectfully call circular reasoning.
God’s supposed revelations come from the bible. How do we know it’s from the one true God? Because the authors of the bible were inspired by God.
And how do we know that? Because it’s God’s revelation.
Thank you BIGFOOT! You finally gave a fuller account of yourself – why you chose God. Also, you’ve given Biblical references as to why other people should choose God, mainly, if we don’t, we are condemned to Hell and if we do, we may be deemed worthy of Heaven, eventually.
As for the original question of why the Bible does not acknowledge microorganisms, you seem sufficiently knowledgeable about the Bible to give a better answer than you given have so far. It seems to me that the continuous revelation of God’s work comes through science! We cannot deny the age of the universe (about 13.8 billion years), nor the existence of microorganisms, visible under microscopes.
Peace and love to all,
“As for the original question of why the Bible does not acknowledge microorganisms, you seem sufficiently knowledgeable about the Bible to give a better answer than you given have so far.”
All knowledge, eventually as we will find out, (those who will be there) leads to the fuller knowledge of God. For your information, it’s God, who has taught us all the knowledge that we now have which has enabled us to prevent the many maladies that are brought by these microbes.
You cannot argue that, (and it is self-evident) in no History was the human race as populous as it is today, thanks to ingenuity, medical discoveries, (which I believe man would like to think that he figured “all alone”) but that is a story for another day. Others may query why we still have “suffering”. But of course they do not want to answer for their part in evil creation. Sorry, digress.
You talk of “Micro-organism” Tell me, do you really think that the guys living in the time when the bible was written would have understand what “micro-organisms” are? If we are still grappling with what The Leviathan was, how could anybody living in the time of the Hebrew Tribe understand what for example is a “bacteria Flagellum”? And for what use, would have been such knowledge?
After Yahweh explained himself as asked Job and his friends questions, did they answer back? No, because they were just astonished. Such knowledge merely astonishes, and it does not enlighten. As for acknowledgement, I’d guess that the Psalmist has done enough when he has acknowledged; “ He is the Maker of heaven and earth, the sea, and everything in them– he remains faithful forever” Psalms 146:6
For God to have revealed such knowledge (of Micro-Organisms) to anybody at that time, would have been no less than for example telling a Micro-Biologist to give some primitive tribes deep in the Himalayan Mountains, a lesson in “ The Mapping of the Human Genome” It does not make sense. Meaning that that knowledge “of Micro-organisms” was not necessary because it did not make sense; and God is a Reasonable God.
Thank you BIGFOOT! Your last post showed a lot more maturity than your first and second posts. It is good that we humans have the capacity to improve.
You made a good point when you wrote that God chooses those who choose Him. I thought the same thing about the Israelites as you did, but that’s not how it’s conveyed in scriptures.
As for the microbes, God is omnipotent – He can teach us anything He wants to despite our limitations. Since you think all knowledge is from God, then He told us about the microbes through people like the Roman scholar Marcus Terentius Varro, as explained by 500Q!
I think you are imposing arbitrary limits both on God’s ability to give information and the ability of the people of the time to understand it –
“Tell me, do you really think that the guys living in the time when the bible was written would have understand what “micro-organisms” are?”
When do you think the Bible was written? The link below may be helpful to you –
Below is an extract from it –
1,400 BC: The first written Word of God: The Ten Commandments delivered to Moses.
500 BC: Completion of All Original Hebrew Manuscripts which make up The 39 Books of the Old Testament.
This means that The Ten Commandments were written in the Bronze Age and the 39 Books of the Torah were completed in the Iron Age. A link below indicates civilizations as early as 8000 BC
I think you are mistaken to think that God could not impart knowledge of microorganisms to the people who wrote the scriptures at the time and it’s strange that God should reveal it to Varro instead. Such knowledge empowers people to reduce the incidence and spread of infections.
Maybe we shall all be there for the fuller knowledge of God! Below is a link to a topic on “God is Love.” I hope you take the trouble to read it and note the Biblical references connected to it –
Peace and love to all,
“But that’s not how it’s conveyed in scriptures.”
The issue of “convey” is rather “personal” and “subjective” We always tend to interpret the “truth” to suit our own opinions. But opinions remain opinions. So, if Yahweh said :
“ Are not you and the Cushites all the same to me, Children of Israel?-Declares Yahweh. Did I who brought Israel up from Egypt bring the Philistines from Caphtor, and the Aramaeans from Kir? Now my eye are turned on the sinful kingdom, to wipe it off the face of the earth. Yet I shall not destroy the House of Jacob completely- Its Yahweh who speaks’ Amos 9: 7-8
And then Moses tells the Israelites
“ Be in fact sure, then, that it is not for any goodness of yours, that Yahweh gives you this rich land to possess, for you are a headstrong people” Deuteronomy 9; 1-6
To me, this means that Israelites were not in anyway special (unless the unreservedly followed Yahweh’s commands) which they sis not-hence removing their “specialness” but as I said, “convey” is subjective.
“As for the microbes, God is omnipotent – He can teach us anything He wants to despite our limitations.”
Well, give Him credit for what he has done, ever since our ancestor used to accuse the sick of being “bewitched” We still have many of us believing in multitude of “gods”
“I think you are imposing arbitrary limits both on God’s ability to give information and the ability of the people of the time to understand it”
I am not imposing arbitrariness or limits. Limits exists. I did not place them there. There are limits to what Man can know “at once” for to me, all knowledge is God. It follows the logic of God being Omnipresent, Omniscience and Omnipotent. The limits exists because God is in heaven, Man is on earth. And these two Realms are different. God is always teaching Man about Himself so that Man may find His way back home-in heaven where he belongs. Because Heaven and Earth are difference, God cannot impose all knowledge on Man, because it would be an overdose! So, God gives Man, knowledge it small doses.
Man, conscious-wise has been a toddler for most of the time he has been on earth. Its only for the last 500 years that he has been able to understand his surrounding and himself. So, just they way you never expect anything serious from a toddler, the same with God.
Well to start, I don’t declare to have all the answers and you have presented some very good questions. I know that Leviticus is the doubter’s favorite book and won’t pretend I have all the answers. Nor will I pretend I still don’t have some doubts about God’s existence and goodness. I also don’t claim to know something you do not. But ultimately the message remains consistent, Love God with all your strength, love others as much as you love yourself, and forgive each other. For example, doubter will criticize “Eye for an Eye” rule made by God in Exodus. However, if the rule being followed by society before that was “head for an eye”, you see the message is the same throughout…forgive.
I do have significantly more doubts about Naturalism though and I believe the Bible and everything in it. God, Jesus, Holy Spirit, Satan, Heaven and Hell. Understand that claim and please don’t mistake me to be cherry picking or ignoring anything in particular. I don’t understand the motivation behind all the specific rules in the first five books of the Bible.
Your argument here is stating that because God wasn’t clear enough when it was stated in Genesis that He created everything that lives on land, everything that lives in the water, and everything that fly’s around in the air. In other words, why wasn’t the time taken to explain this includes things that aren’t visible unless you have a microscope? Genesis 1:11, God says he created all vegetation. Orchid Trees have seeds that cannot be examined without lab equipment yet no special mention of it. So it is consistent when God says he created all living things that it is also referring to things that cannot be seen with the human eye.
Genesis 1 could be (and should be) interpreted that God created every living thing on earth. Next, consider all target audiences of the Bible. God, like any great mathematician, has presented you the equation in its simplest form so that you and the people thousands of years ago could understand it (even today, there are people on this earth who don’t know what microbiology is or what a microscope is). Then consider all the generations, ideologies, empires, and beliefs that have tried to thwart these claims and which are here now, in the present, being debated. Finally, if your claims here are true, and there is no God, why can’t everyone be convinced of this truth? What purpose does free will have in this survival among the fittest?
This is what you are asking me to believe:
God does not exist. However, at some point in time, in order for life to continue to exist, the idea of God needed to exist. Thus, since life still does exist, the idea of God still exists and we are unable to determine if in the future life will be able to exist without the idea of God.
Insider Information Argument:
You are making the assumption that God was concerned with receiving credit for supplying the insider information and that is where your mistake lies in this argument. Your presumption about insider information is inaccurate. There are a lot of Wall Street men in jail at this very moment that would disagree heavily with your stance on insider information. The Bible and God himself are very clear not everyone who hears and sees will understand. So your depiction here is actually in line with what should be expected according to the Bible.
Eye witness testimonies vouched and some even died to convince others that Jesus Christ died and rose from the dead three days later and you are trying to convince me that “Some microbes may even be able to lay dormant for millions of years before being raised from the dead” because two scientist made this claim keeping in mind one of the two scientist’s was testifying about himself?! You are an individual of great faith but I am not and that seems ludicrous to me.
And even still you ask me to believe in a community that is divided among itself. If there are 80 naturalistic scientists on this planet then I can almost say without doubt there are 80 different theories about everything and anything.
Are these claims of naturalism coming from the same scientific community who froze Jewish people to death so there would be a greater understanding of hypothermia? Or are they coming from the scientific community who genetically modified fruit fly’s to have eyes instead of legs and wings? Or maybe they are coming from the scientific community who cannot even cure warts or understand why cats purr. This is not some holier than thou Christian rant telling you how sinful science is and how perfect religion is. This is nothing more than an observation from a sinful 26 year old man who has seen facts presented in the name of science go wildly unchecked regardless of how immoral and detestable it is. A 26 year old who needs hope because this world and all the science within it have given him none. A 26 year old who is a son of The King by the grace of Jesus.
Why didn’t God give us the information clearly and indisputably?
Why did the world give safe haven to Nazi researchers?
Maybe it is because man leaves nothing but suffering, death and destruction behind in his wake, and the harm of not being aware was less than the harm that will come from being aware.
Peace and Blessings
You seem to have very misunderstood notions of what the scientific method is even about. Have scientists created interesting things, such as the fruit flies with eyes for legs, and made strange experiments, some of them very unethical, over the course of its run? Yes. Does this mean we shouldn’t trust science? No.
Your claim that if we were to get 80 naturalistic scientists in a room that we would get 80 different theories is false. All of them, including many Christians mind you, would accept the overwhelming evidence of Evolutionary Theory. It’s a fact that you, Joe, are simply an intelligent species of bipedal primate with superstitious leanings, and there’s no getting around that. All of those scientists would accept the Theory of Gravitational pull. All of them would accept the Big Bang Theory. All of them would accept Atomic Theory, and the Germ Theory of disease. You seem to have a very distrusting view of naturalistic science that can only be spawned by the likes of pseudo scientific creationists and intelligent design advocates.
Your comment was very passionate and earnest, but to a skeptic who properly understands the scope and influence of academic science, and how it practically breeds naturalists from its ranks, your comments appear to be nothing more than misplaced criticisms of misplaced notions of not just methodological naturalism, but the history of science itself. It’s easy to cherry pick individual circumstances which would make science look bad to an amateur, but to anybody else you would appear to be doing just that: cherry picking, and ignoring the vast number of times that science has indisputably succeeded in not only making your life better, but in explaining our deepest questions of where we come from and our place in the universe; whether you like the answers or not.
I mean this politely, but if it is your view that the book of Genesis allows for the best explanation of the complexity and diversity of life, than you really do have a lot of ground to cover. 26 years is pretty young, but by the time you’ve married and had a family, it makes it that much harder to question your most cherished notions about reality (and you do seem to have views that fly in the face of everything science has shown us). The time to read and learn is right now.
You write very well and I’m not opposing you at all.
If fundamentalists want to cherry pick what the consider as unethical in the sphere of science, then we who have retained our ability to think rationally can do the same with apparent contradictions from the Bible.
I have used capital letters at the beginning of all words relating to God and the Bible out of respect for those who deem it proper to do so in a piece I posted on another website and I’ve copied it below –
Killing the sinners and Leviticus 20
I consider the Bible to be shockingly flaky; not solid at all. It appears to me that many Protestant Christians, since the Reformation, have substituted the Bible as a thing to be worshipped, in place of the Pope – the ultimate authority for Roman Catholic Christians. I consider it to be dishonest to rationalise the errors and contradictions between scriptural passages as ‘our’ problem, our inability to understand God.
Naturally, if you start by believing that the Bible is inerrant in its entirety, that it is God’s written word, you will inevitably fall into the trap of deliberate misinterpretation of ‘problem’ passages. Any contradictions that I point out can be easily rationalised, if you start off with that notion, without any reasonable doubt. This is a natural human tendency to defend what we believe, so I don’t know if any good will come of my pointing any contradictions.
God describing Himself as, “I AM”, is hardly revealing. Descartes said more in his famous sentence explained in the extract below –
Cogito ergo sum[a] is a Latin philosophical proposition by René Descartes usually translated into English as “I think, therefore I am”. The phrase originally appeared in French as je pense, donc je suis in his Discourse on the Method, so as to reach a wider audience than Latin would have allowed.  It appeared in Latin in his later Principles of Philosophy. As Descartes explained, “[W]e cannot doubt of our existence while we doubt ….” A fuller form, dubito, ergo cogito, ergo sum (“I doubt, therefore I think, therefore I am”), [b] aptly captures Descartes’ intent.
It would seem, then, that Descartes was better able to explain the self-awareness of our individual existences than God could reveal something of His Own nature. Our ability to ‘doubt’ is an essential quality of human existence; something to be treasured, not shelved, even when we consider the nature of God and what has He really revealed to us, if anything? Bible readers need to examine the Biblical passages carefully and honestly, if they are serious about their desire to understand God and the purpose of their earthly existences.
I’m prepared to highlight one area I consider to be a serious problem within the Bible and how readers respond to it will influence whether I reveal other problems. The sixth of The Ten Commandments makes it clear that we should not kill. However, several passages of the Bible instructed the Israelites to kill those who broke the Law! Mostly, this is dealt with in Leviticus 20 and a link is included below for your consideration –
Below is an extract of just one of the many laws for which execution applied when it was broken –
9 For every one that curseth his father or his mother shall be surely put to death: he hath cursed his father or his mother; his blood shall be upon him.
Have you noticed how the last six words absolve the executors of the crime of murder by stating, “his blood shall be upon him”? In other words, it was his fault we had to kill him. This is a rationalisation, and I would suggest that this prescription for dealing with the offence was humanly conceived, and not dictated by God to Moses, as the supposed writer of Leviticus.
Below is a link to a website that really does away with rational and ethical thinking and explains the rationale behind this extreme method of dealing with law breakers –
The writer is quite eloquent and persuasive, but the fact remains that in order to execute the offenders, the executors had to break the sixth commandment, “Thou shalt not kill.” But the writer rationalises this wrongful act by saying that they were ‘co-participants’ with God, so that’s alright then.
I consider that the work was written by an ‘apologetic’. You would think that as God ‘chose’ His people, the Israelites, that they would obey Him out of love and devotion, but it seems that this was either absent in them, or they were naturally such a licentious race that they needed Capital Punishment to ensure that they kept God’s laws! This may explain why the writer wrote this –
“When God made certain sins crimes as well, the Israelites were strongly motivated to obey God’s laws and to avoid sin.”
My own feeling, as a man of sensitivity, is that if I was placed in the position of one of the executors, I would experience revulsion at having to stone one of my fellow tribesman, or his slave, or his wife for committing adultery. I have never killed anyone, nor have I caused physical harm to anyone, except when I was at school, and only in self-defence.
We may not like to describe God as ‘Omni’ this or ‘Omni’ that, but to be worthy of regard as the Supreme Being, He surely could have caused the death of those who failed to keep the laws, with His Own Hand? Perhaps, a sudden, lethal heart attack or stroke, would have been more judicious than requiring His chosen people to be ’co-participants’ in the executions? I think the people would have had the intelligence to see that God was taking the lives of the people who sinned against Him, especially if God took the lives of the transgressors while the sins were in progress, or very soon after. This would have obviated the need to be ‘co-participants’ with God in the killing of sinners.
The contradiction then, that remains unexplained without the use of rationalisations, is, that in order to limit the sins of the Israelites, they were, in my view, required to sin, by killing the sinners!
Those who consider that the Bible contains revelations from God should consider why contradictions like the one I’ve highlighted are included in it, while the existence of microorganisms, and other scientific facts, are not?
It would appear that if God exists, we learn more about Him through science, than we can ever learn from the scriptures, written in the Iron Age, much of which falls several millennia later than the lives of the prophets, to whom God is said to have given the revelations!
Peace to all,
29th September, 2016
you say that “God describing Himself as, “I AM”, is hardly revealing.”
Actually it is EVERYTHING! If God had not revealed himself as “I Am” we would all have been lost of his knowledge.
Think about it this way, God claims that he is “I am”
What is this nature, and what does it tell us about God? Precisely that “I am” is a Divine” attribute. Before God became Man, He was “I Am” Yahweh……I am that I am
Then, the prophets claimed that Yahweh will appear to Man, and His name will be unique.
“And Yahweh will be King of the whole World. When that day comes, Yahweh will be unique, and His Name unique” Zechariah” 14:9-10.
And this Unique Name is Yahweh-Is-Salvation……Ya-ho-shua………..JESUS!
I AM, is DIVINE attribute.
And you know what, Man, is the Image and likeness of God. Meaning that Man, is I am, the Image of I am
And EVERY MAN, before he gives his name, which differentiates him from other men, you know what, he acknowledges his own divinity!! He declares, his “I am”ness. “I am……George” I am…………………..Dinoconstant” …..I am……….Bigfoot………“I am, is the Image of I am. Man, is God differentiated as His Image and Likeness.
So, when you state that when God revealed himself as “I am” that this is hardly revealing, my friend its everything.
Well done BIGFOOT!
I knew some one would come to God’s aid to explain what He meant when, as it is ascribed to Exodus 3:14, He spoke to Moses telling him to tell the Israelites that it was ” I AM”, who spoke to him. Below is an extract from Exodus 3 that puts it into context –
Moses at the Burning Bush
…13Then Moses said to God, “Behold, I am going to the sons of Israel, and I will say to them, ‘The God of your fathers has sent me to you.’ Now they may say to me, ‘What is His name?’ What shall I say to them?” 14God said to Moses, “I AM WHO I AM”; and He said, “Thus you shall say to the sons of Israel, I AM has sent me to you.'” 15God, furthermore, said to Moses, “Thus you shall say to the sons of Israel, ‘The LORD, the God of your fathers, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob, has sent me to you.’ This is My name forever, and this is My memorial-name to all generations.…
Why didn’t He tell Moses to say that it was Yahweh who spoke to him?
We use the words “I am” to introduce some information, like, “I am a sixty-six year old man,” or, “I am a man and my name is Dinos.” Do you see the difference?
You don’t need to defend God; since He is Omnipotent, He can defend Himself.
I noticed how you avoided answering my thornier question of how the Capital Punishment for the crimes detailed in Leviticus 20 were in direct contravention of the sixth commandment “Thou shalt not kill.”
BIGFOOT, my friend, you have put too much store on a rather flaky book of books and have under-valued the good we reaped and the true knowledge we have gained from science and technology. Let’s not forget we would not be having this dialogue without it.
(the names given to me by my parents)
The Hebrew verb רצח (r-ṣ-ḥ, also transliterated retzach, ratzákh, ratsakh etc.) is the word in the original text that is translated as “murder” or “kill”, but it has a wider range of meanings, generally describing destructive activity, including meanings “to break, to dash to pieces” as well as “to slay, kill, murder”.
According to the Priestly Code of the Book of Numbers, killing anyone outside the context of war with a weapon, or in unarmed combat, is considered retzach, but if the killing is accidental, the accused must not leave the city, or he will be considered guilty of intentional murder. The Bible never uses the word retzach in conjunction with war.
The act of slaying itself, regardless of questions of bloodguilt, is expressed with the verb n-k-h “to strike, smite, hit, beat, slay, kill”. This verb is used of both an Egyptian slaying an Israelite slave and of Moses slaying the Egyptian in retaliation in Exodus 2:11-12. The Covenant Code and Holiness Code both prescribe the death penalty for people that commit n-k-h.
The commandment against murder can be viewed as a legal issue governing human relationships, noting that the first four commandments relate strongly to man’s duty to God and that the latter six commandments describe duties toward humans. The commandment against murder can also be viewed as based in respect for God himself. Since man is made in God’s image, the shedding of innocent blood is viewed as a direct offense against God. “The voice of your brother’s blood is crying to me from the ground. And now you are cursed from the ground, which has opened its mouth to receive your brother’s blood from your hand.” Genesis 4:10-11 (ESV)
The Genesis narrative also portrays the prohibition of shedding innocent blood as an important aspect of God’s covenant with Noah.
Whoever sheds the blood of man, by man shall his blood be shed, for God made man in his own image.
— Genesis 9:6 (ESV)
The Torah portrays murder as a capital crime and describes a number of details in the moral understanding and legal implementation of consequences. The Priestly Code allowed the victim’s next of kin (avenger of blood) exact retribution on the suspect; but the accused could seek sanctuary in a city of refuge. The right of the avenger of blood to such revenge ceased, upon the death of the person who was the Jewish High Priest at the time of the crime
Another verb meaning “to kill, slay, murder, destroy, ruin” is h-r-g, used of Cain slaying Abel in Genesis 4:8. When Cain is driven into exile, complaining that “every one that findeth me shall slay me” in Genesis 4:14, he again uses this verb (h-r-g). Eliezer Segal observes that the Septuagint uses the term harag, and that Augustine of Hippo recognized that this did not extend to wars or capital punishment. Most subsequent translations follow Jerome’s Vulgate. while Jerome had access to Jewish scholars, “even the Jewish translators were not unanimous in maintaining a consistent distinctions between the various Hebrew roots.” Jerome’s choice of the word occidere (to kill) reflects the broader range of meanings.
In a more modern analysis, Wilma Ann Bailey also finds a broader application of the word retzach.
Justified killing: due consequence for crime
The Torah and Hebrew Bible made clear distinctions between the shedding of innocent blood versus killing as the due consequence of a crime. A number of sins were considered to be worthy of the death penalty including murder, incest, bearing false witness on a capital charge, adultery, idolatry, having sexual relations with a member of the same sex, etc.
For example, the Exodus narrative describes the people as having turned to idolatry with the golden calf while Moses was on the mountain receiving the law from God. When Moses came down, he commanded the Levites to take up the sword against their brothers and companions and neighbors. The Levites obeyed and killed about three thousand men who had sinned in worship of the golden calf. As a result, Moses said that the Levites had received a blessing that day at the cost of son and brother. On a separate occasion, a blasphemer was stoned to death because he blasphemed the name of the LORD with a curse.
The Hebrew Bible has many other examples of sinners being put to death as due consequence for crimes. Achan is put to death by Joshua because he caused defeat of Israel’s army by taking some of the plunder and hiding it in his tent. David ordered that an Amalekite be put to death because he claimed to have killed King Saul. Following the advice of his father, Solomon ordered that Joab be killed:
Strike him down and bury him, and so clear me and my father’s house of the guilt of the innocent blood that Joab shed. The LORD will repay him for the blood he shed, because without the knowledge of my father David he attacked two men and killed them with the sword. Both of them—Abner son of Ner, commander of Israel’s army, and Amasa son of Jether, commander of Judah’s army—were better men and more upright than he. May the guilt of their blood rest on the head of Joab and his descendants forever. But on David and his descendants, his house and his throne, may there be the LORD’s peace forever.
— 1 Kings 2:31-33 (NIV)
The biblical refrain for those justly executed as due punishment for crimes is that “their blood will be on their own heads.” This expresses the idea that those guilty of certain actions have brought the shedding of blood upon themselves, and those carrying out due punishment do not bear bloodguilt.
Is this the same Joe who published the thing about fruit flies above? If so, I wrote a rebuttal and didn’t see a response. I only saw copied and pasted Wikipedia quotes in response to someone else regarding biblical interpretations and definitions, which doesn’t interest me in the slightest.
My hope is that you have applied more honest skepticism to your claims in the interim.
Dinos, you state;
“I noticed how you avoided answering my thornier question of how the Capital Punishment for the crimes detailed in Leviticus 20 were in direct contravention of the sixth commandment “Thou shalt not kill.”
How can I, How could I? I was merely explaining something that may help you understand my answer to that “thornier” question. You need to understand the basics first. As I said, “I am” is a Divine attribute of God, which evidently he shares with Man, since as I have pointed out, before Man gives his name that differentiates him from other men, he declares his Divinity. He says, “I am”
So, from the stand point that God is Holy, and he knows that there is no other God but He, to the extent that, before he appeared to us as Man-Jesus-Ye-ho-shua, Yahweh did not know himself as “Man” I.e in flesh. “ And the Word was made flesh, and he lived amongst us.” John 1: 14-15. So, in order to honor his holiness, Yahweh accepted responsibility for all creation, good and evil, until he appeared as Man, and accused man of creating evil.
He asked them; “What Father amongst you would hand his son a stone when he asks for bread.? Or hand him a snake instead of fish? Or hand him a scorpion if he asks for an egg? IF YOU THEN WHO ARE EVIL know how to give your children what is good, how much more, will the heavenly father give the Holy Spirit, to those who ask him?” Luke 11:11-13 So Man, is Evil, while God, is Good.
You say that “We use the words “I am” to introduce some information, like, “I am a sixty-six year old man,” or, “I am a man and my name is Dinos.” Do you see the difference?
You are right, “ I am” is anticipatory term, which infers some expected information. “ I am” is a “Creatively Subjective” term. And I want to tell you, that as far as I am concerned, “I am” is the nature of God, as “The Creatively Subjective, Holy Spirit of God” Its one of the Trinity attributes of God. The Three Persons in the Trinity who is God. (That, is a story for another day)
You ask why “Leviticus 20” and the command of “Thou shalt not kill”
My friend, let us not go “Sherry picking” Let us read the whole passage.
“The LORD said to Moses, “Say to the Israelites: ‘Any Israelite or any foreigner residing in Israel who sacrifices any of his children to Molek is to be put to death. The members of the community are to stone him. I myself will set my face against him and will cut him off from his people; for by sacrificing his children to Molek, he has defiled my sanctuary and profaned my holy name.” “I myself”
So, you get it? If you watched the Movie “A Few Good Men” This should not be too difficult for you. Any Soldier, who under his Officer’s command commits a crime, the officer who commanded the soldier to commit the crime is held responsible.
Israelite’s were under the Command of Lord Yahweh. And that is why, in all instances that Israelite s are directed to commit an atrocity by Yahweh, the Lord Himself exonerates the Israelite’s from the Crime. In this case, Lord Yahweh categorically accepts responsibility by stating “I myself will set my face against him and will cut him off from his people; for by sacrificing his children to Molek, he has defiled my sanctuary and profaned my holy name.”
Yahweh ordered “Code Red”
So, my friend the book of books is not after all, “flaky”
Read it with an open mind and you will be surprised.
If you were God, would you do anything differently? Would you maybe kill the sinners on your own without having other men do it? That would surely be more convincing that you exist, rather than always making someone do things for you.
“If you were God, would you do anything differently? Would you maybe kill the sinners on your own without having other men do it? That would surely be more convincing that you exist, rather than always making someone do things for you”
Well, well, well “If I were God”
Well, I do not know whether you have a Son, but I do. And there times when I disciplined him for mistakes, and times when I lectured him, and other times I just stared at him, and it was just as good. So, just as we fathers deal differently with our Sons, so does God. The issue is God teaching Man how to behave like an intelligent Spirit.
“If I were God”
Just supposing you were God, and not Man. A Spirit, differentiated from Man, who is a Spirit in Flesh. And you know that there is no other god but yourself. But you are not Man. It means that you would know how to be God, but since you are not Man, you would not know what it is to be “human” You are Spirit. So, since you do not know what it is to be human, you can only relate to Man, as Spirit, not Spirit in flesh. This, is what happened in the Old Testament. God was Spirit, Yahweh, and he did not know what it was to be human.
You talk about killing. You know, for Man, killing is one of the Most vicious, horrifying, cruel, dastardly, despicable, act that is perpetrated by Man. And to Man, death is final. You die, end of the Story. So, for a man to see God involved in this act is the most contradictory nature he can ever fathom of God. How can God allow murder, How can an Almighty God go further and let other men do his “Dirty” work?!
Well, God, is the Living God. So, he does not exit for one moment to the other like Men. To God, “Death” is merely a sleep like state. That’s why we find in the Old Testament, God referred to the end of the Patriarchs as “Going to sleep with the fathers” ” And now, you will soon be sleeping with your fathers. This people will start playing harlot, following the alien gods of the land they are invading” Deuteronomy 31:16-17.
So, as horrifying as it is for Man, death is a trivia issue to God. Its like when you tell your Son when he does wrong “You are grounded, go to your room…this minute!”
BUT. Do not get me wrong, this sleep like state we call death, can only be executed by God. Man, has no authority to put his fellow Man to “Sleep” unless categorically authorized by God. So, when you ask why God would not God kill sinners on his own without having other men do it for him, you are missing the point.
(1) Putting men to death is God’s authority whether he does it on his own, (Numbers 16:32 ) or He commands his savants to do it for him.
(2) When He appears as Man, he now could related to men, just like other Man. Despite being God Almighty, He assumed the nature of the least of all, so that none would claim to be so low, that God cannot reach him. And He let himself to be crucified, and suffer a horrible death, so that none would say that he experienced a worse treatment on earth different from what God suffered. That he suffered more than God. And he left a warning everyone to love One another, and to pray for those who persecute others. Why, because he came carrying another form of punishment for sinners-“Second Death”
That, is the reason why he warned his listeners not to be too bothered about those who persecute the body, but rather, to fear Him who, even after putting a body to death, he still can put the soul to another form of death; ; “ Do not be afraid of those who kill the body, but cannot kill the soul; fear him, rather, who can destroy the body, and the soul in hell” Mathew 10:26-27 So………there. He kills sinners on his own. He does not need anybody to do it for him.
But that does not mean that men do not kill one another, torture one another, mime one another, to the extent that many a man think that they have the power of life and death over others. This is merely an illusion, which Man comes to recognize too late.
“If I were God” this would make sense to me………….it does.
I have only just come across this blog and I do not have the energy or time to trawl through every comment, so if my thought has been presented, I apologise.
Imagine, if you can, how many cells make up your body. Then multiply that by ten and you will arrive at the number of microbes that inhabit your body, inside and out. Most are in the lower gut and they are responsible for keeping us alive, preparing food, fighting invaders, and so on. The average person has some 2 to 3 kilos of these microbes in their gut.
Rather than they being our microbes, we are their human.
By examining these, it is possible to see the evolutionary development and trace that person’s early origins, as each person’s flora is unique. Some people have members in their microbiome that are only seen in the depths of the ocean.
They inhabit every part of our being and have evolved along with us. They are responsible for our moods; even our mind is held captive to them.
hi. its been months since your last post. hope u will continue. u should turn it to a book or a documentary series
Hi nar, thanks for noticing. 😉
Still working on the next question (as time allows) and moderating the other comments on a daily basis.
I rather prefer the written/online format compared to books or videos, as it allows for changes and corrections to be made more readily. But maybe… someday.
The combined authors of the bible are merely reflecting the ignorance that was so pervasive at the time concerning the observable natural world. The bible is often credited with being the inerrant “word of God”, but this is observably false just by reading the bible. God knows all that is and will ever be, supposedly, but God knew nothing about a lot of things. Learning is a constant process. When we are ignorant about something, it means that we are uninformed about it. When we say that we “know” about something, it usually means that we have acquired information about it enough to remove some of our ignorance towards it. It’s not always a done deal at this point, however. We say we “know” based on what information we have CURRENTLY acquired. If we acquire even more information and then discover that what we thought we knew about something was not accurate, it is then revealed that we were still ignorant, at least to a certain degree. For example: Men once thought that when meat spoiled, it automatically became maggots. That thought was so prevalent for the time that men would claim that they “knew” spoiled meat became maggots. Through science, experimentation, and discovery, we now “know” that flies place eggs on meat , which hatch into maggots, which then morph into adult flies. Ignorant nomads wrote the bible and knew very little of the workings of the natural world. Whether God himself wrote the bible or directed the ignorant of the day to write it is irrelevant because no matter who wrote it, all parties involved were IGNORANT.
Very interesting. By the way I spotted a typo – it’s “roles” not “rolls”
I am married into a Christian family….. every question so far just confirms the questions I’ve always had and makes it harder to not find Christians to be ignorant, stubborn, and mostly blind to the truth. it’s rather embarrassing to see a bunch of grown adults praising something they can’t see believing somebody can walk on water, be brought back to life, can but won’t kill the devil, but then they say Wizards are silly so that seems perfectly logical
Hi 500. Getting close to a year now since the world’s best blog was updated….. trust you’re ok.
Geez, has it been that long already?! Time flies.
But thanks for checking in on me. I’ve just been busy with other projects this past year, but life is good. Should be done with “Is God… Evil?” any day now!
Huh………Sure you want to ask this? Bring it on!!
Consider it brought. 😉