Analysis of Hovind-Jones debate “Is evolution compatible with the Bible?” January 1, 2019

Analysis of the Hovind-Jones debate (Is evolution compatible with the Bible) on January 1, 2019

Michael Jones of Inspiring Philosophy interprets the days of Genesis 1 as part of a seven-day inauguration of the universe by God, whereby He sets everything into their proper function. God stepped into a chaotic universe, and made order out of it. You claim that Genesis 1 states that when God had started creating things (b’reshit), he set everything in the universe into its proper function (barah).

I cross-checked Genesis 1:1 with Exodus 20:11, which reads in English as follows: For in six days the Lord made the heavens and the earth, the sea, and all that is in them, and rested the seventh day. Therefore, the Lord blessed the Sabbath day and hallowed it. It is interesting to note here that the verb denoted here in bold is not barah (which Jones claims does not mean to create), but asah, which means to make. Hebrew verbs can take up multiple meanings, and depend on context. Thus, Hovind’s interpretation is correct.

Let us look at Genesis 1 in Hebrew: B’reshit barah Elohim et shamayim v’et ha’aretz. I contend that this sentence does indeed mean that in the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. Let us look at the word b’reshit. Jones claims that since the word lacks the definite article, thereby it means “in the time”, when God was creating the heavens and the earth, which does not mean an absolute beginning.

I still disagree. In Hebrew based on context sometimes the definite article may be missing from in front of a word, yet it may still denote a definite subject. I contend that b’reshit still means in the beginning, the absolute beginning. This is because Hebrew, as opposed to English not an analytic type of language. In English we have to declare the definite or indefinite article in order to exactly define a noun or a word. But Hebrew is a different language where this is not necessarily so. There are other languages where not putting the definite article still denotes a definite noun.

Hungarian is such a language. In Hungarian, Genesis 1:1 reads: Kezdetben teremtette Isten a mennyet és a földet. Literally: Beginning.in created God the heaven and the earth. Hungarian even has a -t suffix after nouns which, similar to Hebrew, denote that a noun is an object, like how in Hebrew the word et points to a noun which is an object. Hungarian and Hebrew bear uncanny similarities with one another.

Furthermore, another main problem I have with Jones’ argumentation is this: the title of the debate was Is evolution compatible with the Bible? I noticed that Jones avoided addressing the question. But this was the whole point of the debate. To me it seems that Jones took pains to disprove the young-earth six-day literal interpretation of Genesis. Now, that is one thing, and Jones did try to argue for this, but didn’t follow through in actually demonstrating that biological evolution, however generally defined, is compatible with the Bible.

One must agree, that in a general sense, evolution is, quite simply put, descent via modification. That means that if you have a long chain of organisms, A1, A2, A3, … Bn-2, Bn-1, Bn, where A denotes a species of one kind, and B a species of another kind, there will be somewhere in the middle of this chain a pair of individuals Am-B1 such that A begets B. Thus, we have an instance where kind begets non-kind, however, this contradicts Genesis 1 which states that fruits, grasses, birds and sea creatures all multiply according to their kind. Hovind did demonstrate that what evolution says and what Genesis 1 are in contradiction with each other. Jones ceded this point, thus Hovind won the debate.

Another passage from Scripture also proves this point even further. According to 1Corinthians 15:38-39, “But God gives it a body as He pleases, and to each seed its own body. All flesh is not the same flesh, but there is one kind of flesh of men, another flesh of animals, another of fish, and another of birds.”

This means that all biological beings did not originate from the same original primordial cell billions of years ago. This means that God created different kinds of animals, fish and birds, with its own body, its own flesh. These kinds are separate from one another. Furthermore, God defined, created each body as He pleases, not according to a blind, materialistic process. How can you square an ongoing materialistic evolutionary process with creation within a set time-frame? Evolution is ongoing even now, yet God finished creating the universe in the past. Even Jones’ position claims that God first created, then inaugurated. It is clearly a contradiction.

Another major point that needs to be mentioned is that to me it seems that Jones was trying to demonstrate that God created chaos, at least in the very beginning, and that death and suffering were present in God’s good creation. But God is a God of love and of life, not of death. If death is natural, do you think that people will pass away and die in heaven? Is this a prospect one should be looking forward to? Did God really create the chaotic universe, which was without form and void? Is God sloppy? God’s work reflects upon His character. No, God is not sloppy, but then this implies that God did not create the universe, and therefore we’d be left with a dualist view of the world at best (where God and the devil are co-equal with each other, a rather horrible prospect), materialism at worst.

Because of these considerations there had to be a literal, physical fall into sin, which explains the origin of suffering and death, which is the reason Jesus came to earth, to save us from our sins.

The debate’s Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/events/279783962679208/permalink/281918972465707/

A spiritual message from the book of Numbers

Numbers 21:4-9

And they journeyed from mount Hor by the way of the Red sea, to compass the land of Edom: and the soul of the people was much discouraged because of the way. And the people spake against God, and against Moses, Wherefore have ye brought us up out of Egypt to die in the wilderness? for there is no bread, neither is there any water; and our soul loatheth this light bread. And the Lord sent fiery serpents among the people,and they bit the people; and much people of Israel died. Therefore the people came to Moses, and said, We have sinned, for we have spoken against the Lord,and against thee; pray unto the Lord, that he take away the serpents from us.And Moses prayed for the people. And the Lord said unto Moses, Make thee a fiery serpent, and set it upon a pole: and it shall come to pass, that everyone that is bitten, when he looketh upon it, shall live. And Moses made a serpent of brass, and put it upon a pole, and it came to pass, that if a serpent had bitten any man, when he beheld the serpent of brass, he lived.

Many times in the book of Numbers we read about the complaints and the murmurings of the Israelites against Moses and God. As we can see here, they long to go back to Egypt, where they had food and drink enough to be satisfied. Instead, they are thirsting and hungering as they follow Moses through the wilderness. Some speak up against Moses and against God. They are discontent, they do not believe that God can provide for them. They have forgotten that in Egypt they were slaves and an oppressed people. They do not look upon the fact that God is leading them to Canaan, the Promised Land, a land flowing with milk and honey.

Therefore, the Lord sends fiery  snakes upon the people, who bite them and injure them greatly. This causes their murmuring to abate, and they repent. Moses makes a serpent of brass, and whoever looks upon it will be healed of their sin. All they have to do is merely look upon the serpent and they shall be healed. (they merely looked upon the serpent not to as an aid in remembering any one person like in Roman Catholic theology) Likewise, in the Gospel, all you have to do is look upon Christ, and you shall be saved. The story of the fiery serpent has a parallel in John 3:14-16:

“And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of man be lifted up: That whosoever believeth in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life. For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life.”

Let us remember, when Jesus says:“Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart:and ye shall find rest unto your souls.” (Matthew 11:28-29)

What does this mean for us? We are the church which wanders in the wilderness. Though we may be oppressed,marginalized, mocked by every television show out there, and not have the niceties of the world, still, we have the Lord, Who is our greatest resource.He provides for us and gives us what we need, and lets us not be tempted more than what we can bear. God brought us out of sin (out of Egypt), and is leading us into His Kingdom (symbolized by Canaan). He has chosen us to be His people.He will be our God, and we shall be His people, and He will walk among us, even if it be by His Holy spirit here on earth.

Therefore let our souls not be troubled but let us have faith and take strength to walk the good walk with the Lord. Amen.