“Look! I am about to cover the earth with a flood that will destroy every living thing that breathes. Everything on earth will die” (Genesis 6:17).
Was the Flood a localized disaster or a worldwide destruction of all human and animal life?
Many geologists and Christian scholars do not believe there was a single universal flood of history, yet acknowledge that there were many devastating local floods in earth’s history. On the other hand, there are geologists and Christian scholars who contend that only a worldwide flood could account for the earth’s sedimentary layers and the fossils that have been formed.
The Scripture states that “all the underground waters erupted from the earth, and the rain fell in mighty torrents from the sky…Finally, the water covered even the highest mountains on the earth, rising more than twenty-two feet above the highest peaks” (Genesis 7:11,19-20). This passage can be interpreted at least two ways. One is that the Flood covered the highest mountains of Planet Earth. This interpretation comes from translating the Hebrew word erets as “earth” or “world,” meaning worldwide. However, erets can also be translated as “country” and “land,” which refer to limited land areas. So scholars have differed on the extensiveness of the Flood.
Some point to the Psalms as another indication that the Flood was not global. The psalmist describes the third day of creation, when God separated the land from the sea:
At your command, the water fled; at the sound of your thunder, it hurried away. Mountains rose and valleys sank to the level you decreed. Then you set a boundary for the seas, so they would never again cover the earth (Psalm 104:7-9).
“Lamech married two women. The first was named Adah, and the second was named Zillah” (Genesis 4:19).
Scripture does teach us what is right and wrong (2 Timothy 3:16). But the Bible is also the history of people and a nation. It records wars, murder, rape, incest, and a host of other tragic events but does not in every case specifically point out the error and sin. It does, however, in most cases, explain the negative consequences of these actions.
Lamech, the seventh from Adam in the line of Cain, is the first recorded polygamist. His life, however, was marked by murder, rebellion, and defiance. It is clear Lamech was not honoring God’s design for marriage as stated in Genesis 2:24. Later God would record his views on the importance of men being married to one woman (the wife of their youth) in Proverbs 5:18-19, Malachi 2:14-15, Mark 10:2-8, and 1 Corinthians 7:2-10.
In the moral law God did forbid polygamy. “While your wife is living, do not marry her sister [literally, “a woman to her sister”] and have sexual relations with her, for they would be rivals” (Leviticus 18:18). The Hebrew text uses the phrase “a woman to her sister” and “a man to his brother” numerous times. This is not referring to a literal sister or brother. Rather in this passage it is like saying “do not take a wife in addition to the one you already have.”
By: Sean McDowell|Published Date: February 24, 2014
The 39 books of the Old Testament were written to and about the children of Israel, or the Jewish nation. Some critics charge that writers of the New Testament twist Old Testament passages and take them out of context to make them fit their views of Jesus and his teachings. What are these purported distortions that critics refer to?
Matthew quotes Isaiah 7 and declares that it was prophesied Jesus was to be born of a virgin and would be called Immanuel (Matthew 7:14). Critics point out that a full reading of chapter 7 of Isaiah shows it is more likely referring to the birth of Hezekiah, who became a godly king of Israel.
Hosea the prophet says when Israel was a child, God loved him and “called my son out of Egypt” (Hosea 11:1). We all know that God did in fact call his people out of Egypt. Yet Matthew says this was a prophecy about Joseph and Mary taking Jesus to Egypt and their later return. They did this to escape Herod’s decree to kill all the newborn Jewish males in Bethlehem.
And then the critics say that Matthew quotes Jeremiah about Rachel weeping over her dead children. Yet the New Testament writer claims this was referring to first-century mothers weeping after Herod ordered the infant boys in Bethlehem to be killed.
Writers of the New Testament are accused of twisting and taking Old Testament passages like this out of context to teach their brand of Christianity. The writers of the Gospels and epistles seem to take liberties with the Old Testament text in order to establish a whole new religion of their own. Is this true?