Categories
Biblical doctrines hermeneutics

What day of the week was Jesus’ crucifixion?

I have heard it said many times that Jesus could not have been crucified on a Friday particularly if He was resurrected on the following Sunday. The following scripture is often quoted in support of this claim.

Matthew 12:40 (KJV) For as Jonas was three days and three nights in the whale’s belly; so shall the Son of man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth.

The logic is that if we count three full 24 hour day/night cycles, and given that He rose on a Sunday morning, He would have to have had died on the Thursday morning prior. Remember the Jewish counting of a 24-hour day starts at sundown and ends at the following sundown. That means that a Friday (the Preparation Day for the weekly Sabbath) starts at sundown Thursday and ends at sundown Friday when the Sabbath begins.

Categories
astronomy Cosmology Creation/evolution hermeneutics Physics

New cosmologies converge on the ASC model

— a review of two cosmology papers presented at the International Conference on Creationism in 2018  (to be published in Journal of Creation)

Introduction

In 2001 Jason Lisle (under the pen name Robert Newton) introduced the idea of Anisotropic Synchrony Convention (ASC) into the discussion amongst biblical creationists to solve the starlight travel-time problem.1 The ASC is a convention on clock synchronisation, or put another way, the conventionality of the simultaneity of distant events in spacetime.

This topic is relevant to the discussion of the creation of the stars in the universe on Day 4 of Creation week 6 thousand years ago. The ASC posits that an event occurs when an Earth observer sees, or could have seen, the event happen. And Lisle proposed that the ASC is the language used in the Bible. As such it leads to the initial simultaneous2 creation of all stars in the universe on Day 4, where, in principle, the event is timestamped3 as occurring when the starlight from all stars arrived on Earth for the first time. This means there is no light travel-time problem because the events were seen to occur (on Earth) simultaneously (or at least, within the period of one Earth day, that is, on Day 4). Therefore, there is no light travel-time problem.

In 2010 Lisle strengthened his original arguments with a discussion of the past light cone and Special Relativity.4 In that paper he introduced the ASC model, a model that uses the ASC. And his ASC model makes testable predictions.5

Lisle also carried further the notion of the one-way speed of light. Since the one-way speed of light cannot be measured it really has no physical meaning in the universe.6 Thus there is a free choice. And by Lisle’s choice of the ASC it follows that the incoming speed of light is infinite, and thus the outgoing speed must be ½ c (where c ≡ 299 792 458 m/s is the canonical isotropic—i.e. two-way—speed of light that we are very familiar with).7

Many people, biblical creationists included, have expressed disbelief, concern, and other emotions over the concept of the one-way speed of light being any different from the usually assumed isotropic speed c. Nevertheless it is important to note that concepts around the one-way speed of light are based on real physics.

The choice of a timing convention in no way affects any underlying physics. The physics is always the same no matter what convention one may choose.8 Einstein chose a value of the clock synchronisation parameter, known as the Reichenbach synchronization parameter (ε), in his equations for Special Relativity that defines the one-way speed of light as being equal to the two-way speed.9 Any value for the parameter ε between 0 and 1 may be chosen. Nature itself does not choose, nor impose any requirement on its value within this domain. The parameter represents our free choice of a timing convention. Hence we are free to choose any value of the Reichenbach synchronisation parameter ε, provided it is between 0 and 1. Einstein chose ε = ½ (ESC) and Lisle chose ε = 1 (ASC). Choosing a value for this parameter is in no way dissimilar to a choice of a different coordinate system. And regardless of which coordinate system one may choose the underlying physics is unaffected. What is different is only how we represent the physics in the different coordinate system. The equations of motion may be more complex in one coordinate system than in another but in all cases the physics is unaffected.10

Thus no amount of appealing to Maxwell’s equations (derived pre-Einstein)11 or any other well-known physics can refute the notion of free choice for the one-way speed of light, or more precisely, the conventionality thesis of distant simultaneity.

Categories
hermeneutics Uncategorized

Interesting monthly stats

On this site the current highest trending article for views is my story on my battle with h. pylori infection. See graph below.

You will notice that there has been a monthly increase in the number of views. This is really amazing, and now it is getting more that 1100 views/month.

The second highest article averages around 500 views/month and has been fairly constant for the past year. See graph below.

That article is about the fact that the Bible describes the planet earth hanging on nothing and that it is a globe, not flat as many foolish Christians nowadays assert.

Categories
Bible prophecy Biblical doctrines hermeneutics

Does Isaiah 65:17-25 refer to an earthly Millennium rule of Christ on Earth?

I have been told by many Bible commentators that the passage in Isaiah 65:17-25 refers to a Millennium period on Earth when Christ rules the nations directly before the Final Judgement of all men. They say that this is a period when nothing shall kill or hurt on Earth in the animal of human realms because God will directly be ruling the earth. Satan will be bound and have no influence on humans or the animal kingdom. Often the picture is shown of a lion and lamb sitting together. It portrays the idea of the Garden of Eden before the Curse.

lion lamb

I believed this idea for a long time. But is that really what these verses refer to? I held that view when I believed in the futurist eschatological view that the thousand-year period in Revelation chapter 20 was a reference to some sort of millennial rule of Christ on Earth before His Final Judgement on the unsaved. I no longer believe such ideas.

Now I believe the (so-called) Millennium is symbolic of the Church age — the period of time beginning with the Lord Jesus Christ and His work on the Cross and ending with the Final Judgement called the Great White Throne Judgement (Revelation 20:11-13). There are no others but the saved (in the new heaven and new earth) and the damned (sent to Hell). All are judged at the Great White Throne of God.

Now let’s look at these verses.

Categories
Bible prophecy Book of Revelation Church History hermeneutics The Papacy

Martin Lloyd-Jones on the book of Revelation

Some years ago I abandoned my former belief in the Futurist eschatology that most of the evangelical churches believe today. That was what is called the pre-millennial return of Christ and where the 70th ‘week’ of Daniel is pushed off into the distant future. I believed that as I was first taught that as a babe in Christ. But 35 + years later I really started to doubt it, and by about 2013 I discarded it entirely. Instead I studied the Historical interpretation, which seemed to be much better.

I began to accept the Historical: Continuing interpretation, but have to admit that it has its drawbacks. It needs a detailed knowledge of history for one thing, which the average believer does not have. Some of the key time line seems to not match, especially after Napoleon. (This interpretation is what the SDA church promotes).

I never believed in the alleged secret Rapture (also called the pre-Tribulation Rapture), but even the pre-millennial return of Christ has multiple returns of Christ before the Great White Throne Judgement (of Revelation chapter 20).

Anyway the Futurist doctrine was developed in the 17th century by a Jesuit, Ribera and later another Jesuit, Bellamine. It is obvious that this was an attempt to get the protestant churches eyes off the papacy, since the Reformers believed the papacy was the AntiChrist. After 1830 the teaching was added to by John N Darby, who promoted it into the evangelical churches. Nowadays it is widely believed.

Recently I have been listening to sermons by Dr Martin Lloyd-Jones on the books of Daniel and Revelation. As a result, I have now learned that even the Preterist interpretation–that all prophecy was fulfilled by the close of the 4th century–was also developed by a Jesuit in 1603. You gotta admire the Jesuits’ efforts to overturn the Reformation. I have also learned that there are 3 forms of the Historical interpretation.

  1. Historical: Precis (which the Reformers largely believed) – a summary (not detailed) of events from St John’s time to the present. Hence it does not include all events in detail.
  2. Historical: Continuing — a detailed description of historical events that have happened from Christ to the New Heaven and Earth. This requires almost a continuous timeline from Revelation chap 4 through to chap 22. But many times the descriptions hearken back to what appear to be earlier events. Chapter 12 starts with Christ’s first Advent again.
  3. Historical: Spiritual — a spiritual principles behind the battles and events encountered by Christians through all ages from Christ until the final Judgement, but not that each description in the book of Revelation applies to only one event. Similarly to the 7 churches described in Chapters 2 and 3 applying to many different churches through the ages, also the descriptions in the prophecies could apply to many different agents, battles and events. The spiritual forces, like Satan are clearly identified, which act through many earthly agents.

Dr Martin Lloyd-Jones explains these in the following lectures and gives criticism as he sees it. He promotes Historical: Spiritual as the best interpretation.

In this blog you’ll find many Bible studies that follow the Historical: Continuing interpretation. I still believe a lot of it may be correct but many events could be explained by the same symbolic descriptions in the book of the Revelation. This much better the supports the notion that God gave the final revelations to the Apostle John for the benefit of all believers throughout all ages.

I strongly recommend you take the time to listen to what he teaches. See below.

Categories
Creation/evolution hermeneutics

Dr Martyn Lloyd-Jones on Romans 8:18-23

For the past 6 months I have been battling various health issues. The major one has been gastritis caused by a helicobacter pylori (h. pylori) bacterial infection in my stomach causing stomach erosions, much pain, loss of appetite, nausea and many other symptoms. This has been a difficult time of ups and downs in my health and I have not been able to research or write much on creation based issues. I have not yet got an ‘all-clear’ on the eradication of the bugs but I am hoping for that very soon, Lord willing!

During this time I have listened to many very good sermons (really Bible studies) by Dr Martyn Lloyd-Jones (which may be found at mljtrust.org).

The following three sermons cover the very important creation relevant verses found in Romans 8:18-23


Creation Delivered

Important deductions about evolution; the creation’s hope of deliverance; the grounds of this hope; the glory of Christ; of His people and of creation.


Paradise Regained

Sermon #3176
.

The manifestation of the sons of God; the glorification of the body; physical and spiritual perfection; our reserved inheritance; the creation’s share in our glory; Paradise regained.


Death and Heaven

The eternal state and the millennium; death and heaven; glorified bodies on a glorified earth; Satan’s final defeat; effects on our outlook in this world; groaning and waiting.

Categories
Biblical doctrines hermeneutics

Is the name ‘Yeshua’ written over a hundred times in the OT?

An article was sent to me, by a friend, where the author claims that Jesus’s name in Hebrew — Yeshua — is written over a hundred times in the OT. I have reproduced the article entirely below (blue indented text) with some comments following.


YESHUA IN THE TANAKH

(The Name of JESUS in the Old Testament)

Arthur E. Glass

In dealing with my Jewish brethren for the past many years in Canada, the United States, Argentina and Uruguay. I had one great difficulty, and it was this: My Jewish people would always fling at me this challenging question, “If Jesus is our Messiah, and the whole Old Testament is about Him, how come His name is never mentioned in It even once?

   I could never answer it satisfactorily to their way of thinking, and I admit I often wondered why His name was not actually written in the Old Bible.  Oh, yes, I could show them His divine titles  in Isaiah 7:14, 9:6 and Jeremiah 23:5,6, and even the word MESSIAH in several places; but the Hebrew name that would be equal to Jesus, that I could not show.  Then one day the Holy Spirit opened my eyes, and I just shouted.  There was the very NAME, Jesus, found in the Old Testament about 100 times all the way from GENESIS to HABAKKUK!  Yes, the very word – the very NAME – that the angel Gabriel used in Luke 1:31 when he told Mary about the Son she was to have.  “Where do we find that NAME?” you ask.  Here it is, friend: Every time the Old Testament uses the word SALVATION (especially with the Hebrew suffix meaning “my,” thy,” or “his”), with very few exceptions (when the word is impersonal), it is the very same word, YESHUA (Jesus), used in Matthew 1:21. Let us remember that the angel who spoke to Mary and the angel who spoke to Joseph in his dream did not speak in English, Latin, or Greek, but in Hebrew; and neither were Mary or Joseph slow to grasp the meaning and significance of the NAME of this divine Son and its relation to His character and His work of salvation.  For in the Old Testament all great characters were given names with a specific and significant meaning.

Categories
astronomy Cosmology Creation/evolution hermeneutics Physics

Lecture: A biblical creationist cosmogony in Japan

An illustrated lecture I presented on March 19th, 2017, at Saidaiji Christian Church in Okayama, Japan. It was translated into Japanese by Mr Toru Yasui. The lecture covers the issue of the need to assume a worldview before we can interpret any observational data from the cosmos. Two worldviews are contrasted: The biblical creation worldview and the pagan big bang worldview. Biblical creation cosmogonies are explained and how they provide an answer to how we see distant starlight, from galaxies billions of light-years distant, in a 6000 year old universe. Running time 1 hour 14 minutes.

Recommended Reading

Categories
astronomy Cosmology hermeneutics Physics

More on our eternal universe

Journal of Creation Volume 31 Issue 1 2017

In Our eternal universe I laid out the biblical and scientific case for an eternal created universe sustained by the Creator.  That article was published in the Journal of Creation 30(3):104–109, December 2016, which has a wider readership than here, my personal web/blog site. And it attracted some comments via Letters to the Editor.

The ‘standard’ biblical creationist view has been that at the New Heaven and New Earth stage at some point in the future God wipes out the whole starry heavens and recreates a new universe of stars and galaxies. I am convinced the Creator will renovate the earth and its atmospheric heavens in that event but what do the scriptures really tell us?

Below I reproduce the letters arguing against my hypothesis and my responses.

Letter I

J. Creation 31(1) page 41 and page 42

Letter II

J. Creation 31(1) page 43 and page 44

After you have read both sides of the debate I welcome your comments below.

Related Reading

Categories
Cosmology God's sovereignty hermeneutics

The coming new heaven and new earth

A study on 2 Peter 3 verses 10 – 18

This is the final part of a 3 part study. Part I and Part II are found here. I ended the last study of this chapter (in part II) with verse 10.

2 Peter 3:10 But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night; in the which the heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat, the earth also and the works that are therein shall be burned up.

It is worth repeating here that I do not believe that the phrase “the heavens shall pass away” describes the destruction of the starry heavens (all the stars and galaxies in the cosmos), but instead, at most, it describes a renovation of the earth and its atmospheric heavens, at the time Christ returns in judgment and to govern the earth. Read Do the heavens literally pass away or don’t they? and Scientific evidences in the Bible: Information or misinformation?

It seems to be the eschatological position of many biblical creationists that this verse means the destruction of the entire known Universe and that all the heavenly bodies will all be burned up in the final judgment. Then God will re-create an entirely new universe. However the destruction of the starry heavens I argue (as put here) is not necessarily required by the texts. Certainly a new heaven and new earth must mean God re-creates the environment of Earth and brings His heavenly city into the picture, providing real physical heavenly mansions for us all who believe. But that re-creation need not extend beyond our solar system. This is further evidenced by the idea that the Universe may be, in fact, eternal. God introduces His sustaining power to maintain it forever. Thus is not the result of an eternal big bang universe that had no Creator, not the result of the quantum fluctuation of a meta-stable false vacuum, but an eternal Universe sustained by the Creator Himself. So at some stage God reverses entropic decay in the Universe and maintains it forever.

The concept of literal restoration of the perfect creation on Earth and its environment is not incompatible with the biblical creationist message that is illustrated in the figure above. God initially literally created a perfect physical world/universe sustained by His power. But at Adam’s sin God cursed the creation bringing about various difficulties (to say the least) upon mankind and all living species on the planet. The greatest of these difficulties was death, spiritual death followed by physical death.

The death of humans and all living sentient beings has little bearing on the “life cycle” of stars and galaxies, which are little more than an arrangement of hot gases. So it is ill-advised to speak of the death of stars resulting from the Curse. Thus to suggest that supernovae only occurred post-Fall is grossly in error. They are the result of normal operational physics and I believe have little bearing on, or relation to, man’s actions. Whereas the Fall was the direct result of a man’s action to disobey the Living God. As a result we all inherited Adam’s sin. And thus we are in need of a Saviour.

The Universe though is a creation of God, for His own glory (Psalm 19:1). We have evidence in the scriptures supporting the idea that God will maintain the Universe (the Sun, moon and stars) forever. Psalms 148:3-6 and 89:37.