20 December, 2018

15. The Gospel in the Stars

15. The Gospel in the Stars



Let there be lights in the expanse of the heavens to separate the day from the night. 
And let them be for signs and for seasons... 
—Genesis 1:14

God's entire story of redemption is summed up in one chapter in the Bible, and I bet you'll never guess which one.  In fact, I will gift you a copy of Unbreakable Vow (sequel to Primordium) if you can tell me which chapter. Simply email me at redemptionchapter [at] blogginghisstory [dot] com with 2 words in the subject line—the book of the bible and the chapter number.

Lamps vs Deities

One of the interesting non-parallels in the Genesis account of creation vs other creation accounts (Sumerian, Babylonian, Egyptian, etc.), is the sun and moon are not named. In ancient pagan cultures, the sun and moon were deities. Even today, our sun's unofficial name is Sol, as in the Roman sun god, Sol, the equivalent of the Greek sun god Helios. But the writer of the first toledoth (or Moses as a polemic) merely refers to them as lamps.

Gospel in the Stars

That aside, there is also this idea of the gospel in the stars, or a Christian Zodiac. This theory purports that the original understanding of the constellations pointed to Christ and the gospel message.

Examples:

Aries: The Lamb of God

Leo: The Lion of Judah


Bethany Blankley, a biblical literacy advocate, wrote a series of articles on this subject, which you can read at The Original Christian Zodiac.

Not every Christian agrees with the theory. Note, it's not that they find the concept pagan or immoral, they just don't believe there is any historical merit.  For more on that point of view, see Is There a Christian Zodiac?

Personally, I have no opinion on either theory. But it is interesting to note that in the Babylonian Hymn to Shamash, the sun god (Shamash) is also the god of divination. And, "the Hebrew word used for 'sign' has a cognate in Akkadian that is used for omens."1

So I await your emails on the Chapter That Will Not Be Named hinted at earlier in this post. 😜


1The IVP Bible Background Commentary: Old Testament
Photo Credit: Pixabay

17 December, 2018

14. Rodinia and Panthalassa

14. Rodinia and Panthalassa



"Let the waters under the heavens be gathered together into one place, 
and let the dry land appear.” 
—Genesis 1:9

On Day Two, God created Earth's atmosphere, and on Day Three the super-continent, Rodinia, rose up out of the solitary ocean. (Sadly, the oceanic floor of Panthalassa, aka the proto-Pacific, no longer exists. More on that in another post.)

According to both ASA and Creationist scientists, our modern continents are made out of pieces from the original earth (before continental drift). These core pieces are called cratons.

North America holds one of the largest cratons.


Cratons can be described as:
  1. shields—in which the basement rock crops out at the surface
  2. platforms—in which the basement is overlaid by sediments and sedimentary rock. 
In North America, there is an exposed portion of the craton called the Canadian Shield. It may not be the most interesting vacation spot ever, but I would still find it fascinating to actually touch it. 




Photo Credit: Public Domain and Creative Commons



16 December, 2018

14. The Dome and Genesis Cosmology, part 2


14. The Dome and Genesis Cosmology, part 2



And God said, "Let there be a dome..."
—Genesis 1:6a

In our last post, we talked about Tillett's supposition that the Bible is 100% scientifically accurate by modern 21st century standards. The main problem with such a supposition is that it becomes the linchpin for the Judaeo-Christian faith. Meaning, the Bible is now dependent on the supposition being true, and if the supposition is proven false, then the Bible has proven to be myth and God doesn't really exist.

So what if the ancient people (including Moses or Adam) thought the sky was a dome?

What's the big deal, anyway?

My second guessBecause "Then God said, "Let there be a dome.."?

The Heberw word for dome= raqiya: the visible arch of the sky.

In other words, this is a hotter-than-Gehenna point of contention because if God called it a dome then it wasn't really God, it was Moses/Adam claiming to be writing for God, which means there might not even be a God, because if there is a God he didn't create a flat earth and dome sky, so now the whole Bible can be proven false once-and-for all, hallelujah, we are free from religion, bring on the sex, drugs, and rock-n-roll!?!?!

Wow...that's a lot to read into, "Then God said, 'Let there be a dome....'

According to Dictionary.com

   Sky, noun, plural skies.
  1. the region of the clouds or the upper air; the upper atmosphere of the earth.
  2. the heavens or firmament, appearing as a great arch or vault.
So, if Genesis 6:1 had used a word that fit definition 1, God exists.
But, since Genesis 6:1 used a word that fits definition 2, God doesn't exist.



(I know, I used that clip twice. It's just so darn fitting.)

But let's back up a sec. (If you are not familiar with the Bible, the rest of this post may not make sense. However...future posts will cover all this, so you can either come back, or try to follow along as best you can).

Moses spoke Hebrew, i.e., he wrote Genesis in Hebrew.

The Jews spoke Hebrew.  The Jews, descended from Abraham, who lived 400+ years prior to Moses.

This is English 400 years ago:
Now the ferpent was moze fubtill then any beaft of the field, which the LORD God had made, and he faid vnto the woman, Yea, hath God said, Ye fhall not eat of euery tree of the garden?—Genesis 3:1
Let's call Abraham's language paleo-Hebrew (because that's what scholars call it).

Abraham descended from a man named Heber. Heber lived through the Tower of Babel, the era where we all spoke one mother tongue and experienced the explosion of languages.

Heber was a descendant of Shem (son of Noah, survivor of the flood). Heber spoke Hebrew.
Sargon the Great was a descendant of Shem. Sargon spoke Akkadian.
Asshur was a descendant of Shem. Asshur spoke Assyrian.

So just using these 3 as examples, we have 3 different languages stemming from Shem.

Let's pretend that Shem spoke Hebrew, meaning, let's pretend that Heber's language didn't change at the Tower of Babel (we've no idea if it did or didn't). There's about 1000 years between the Flood and Moses.

This is English 1000 years ago:
Eac swylce seo næddre wæs geapre ðonne ealle ða oðre nytenu ðe God geworhte ofer eorðan. And seo næddre cwæð to ðam wife: "Hwi forbead God eow ðæt ge ne æton of ælcon treowe binnan Paradisum?" —Genesis 3:1
So...let's call Shem's language proto-paleo-Hebrew (becuase it just sounds cool), and let's just pretend that there was no change in the langue between him and and Adam (despite the 1500+ years between them, making 2500 years between Adam and Moses, because I don't have 2500 year old English to show as an example).

Adam (or Enoch) wrote Genesis 6:1 in proto-paleo-Hebrew.

Heber (or Abraham) translated it into paleo-Hebrew.

Moses translated it into Hebrew.

In other words, when Hebrew-speaking Moses compiled Genesis from Heber's paleo-Hebrew copy of Adam's original proto-paleo-Hebrew toledoth, he chose the common Hebrew word for the "visible arch of the sky" when translating "Then God said, 'Let there be ________ "

That's a lot of presupposing, doncha think?

Did you realize the English language had changed that much in 1000 years?
Shareth thy thoughts on the
Blogging His St'ry Facebook page.

Photo Credit: Leaders of Israel Cosmology: Public Domain / Emperor's New Groove: Fair Use / Good Omens: Fair Use / Moses by André Santana from Pixabay

Some Christian scholars believe the Hebrew word raqiya (visible arch of the sky) does not demand a "dome" translation. You can read about that here and here. I personally have no opinion either way; I don't think God's existence or the accuracy of Creation depends on semantics.

13. The Dome and Genesis Cosmology, part 1


13. The Dome and Genesis Cosmology, part 1



And God said, “Let there be a dome in the midst of the waters, and let it separate the waters from the waters.” So God made the dome and separated the waters that were under the dome from the waters that were above the dome. And it was so. God called the dome Sky.
—Genesis 1:6-8

According to the Jewish Encyclopedia, the sky, the abode of the stars, is described as a “rakia”; that is, a rigid, broad, solid plate possessing a certain thickness.[1] Many scholars believe that cosmology in ancient cultures (including Israel's) is accurately reflected in the picture above: a flat earth with a dome "sky," the underworld located underground (hence, it's name), and water (or ice) above our solar system.

Strangely enough, this is a hotter-than-Gehenna topic.

Why?

My first guessbecause this:
"The Holy Spirit so dominated and guided the minds and pens of those who wrote (the Bible) as to make their writings free from mistakes of any and all kinds, whether it be mistakes of history or chronology or botany or biology or astronomy, or mistakes as to moral and spiritual truth pertaining to God or man, in time or eternity." Wilbur F. Tillett, The Abingdon Bible Commentary.
Wow.

If you haven't read Heremeneutics 1.0 yet, now would be a good time. If you have, what can you discern from the above?

Yup. Eisegesis.

For those not familiar with exegesis, it is basically a presupposition, a belief you already hold to be true. But a supposition is not a fact.

While Tillet was alive, he likely believed 2 Timothy 3:16-17 was his go-to verse to support his supposition (if you read Heremeneutics 5.0, you'll remember that every Protestant believes Scripture supports their supposition, despite the overwhelming number of opposing Protestant doctrines). 
All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work. —2 Timothy 3:16-17 
So the million dollar question is: What did Paul, a 2nd Temple Jewish Rabbi, mean when he penned these verses? Did he mean that all Scripture was useful for teaching botany, biology, and astronomy? That the Genesis account of creation conformed to 21st century post-Enlightenment standards?

Let's combine Tillet's supposition and 2 Timothy 3:16-17 (in bold), with additional text to make it flow in parenthesis:

All scripture is God-breathed, (which means that) the Holy Spirit so dominated and guided the minds and pens of those who wrote the Bible as to make their writings free from mistakes of any and all kinds, so that it is useful for teaching history (and) chronology (and) botany (and) biology (and) astronomy, (and for) rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness (all) moral and spiritual truth pertaining to God or man, in time or eternity, so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.



So...do you think that's what Paul meant?

In the context of 2nd Temple Judaism and the 1st Century culture, is it possible that Paul more likely  meant something like this?

All scripture is God-breathed, so that it is useful for teaching moral and spiritual truth pertaining to God or man, in time or eternity, (and) rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.

Tillet's presupposition forces a 21st century, post-Enlightenment definition onto a 2000-year-old text that was written with the express purpose of saving your soul, not to teach you scientifically accurate cosmology (like we know what that is anyway, just ask Pluto).

The Holy Spirit didn't give a flip whether Moses believed the earth was flat or the sky was a dome as long as he believed it was created by God, that it didn't pop into existence without a first cause, and that it wasn't birthed by a primordial sea god or goddess.

What is your opinion on Tillet's commentaryTruth or Supposition?
Share your thoughts on the
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Photo Credit: Michael Paukner © All Rights Reserved / Emperor's New Groove: Fair Use

15 December, 2018

12. Time


12. Time


And God separated the light from the darkness. 
God called the light Day, and the darkness he called Night. 
And there was evening and there was morning, the first day.
—Genesis 1:4b, 5

Beyond the issue of First Cause (i.e. who or what pressed the primeval Hadrian collider button), there is the issue of time.

More importantly to our discussion is the creation of time and/or the answer to the question, when did time begin?

According to the more popular Big Bang theory, after the ion collision, the universe needed billions of years to cool in order for matter to form.
About 380,000 years after the Big Bang, matter cooled enough for electrons to combine with nuclei to form neutral atoms. This phase is known as 'recombination,' and the absorption of free electrons caused the universe to become transparent. The light that was unleashed at this time is detectable today in the form of radiation from the cosmic microwave background[1]. 
So was the ion collision "Let there be light" or the "recombination" phase?

Could it have been both?

In other words, the wind of God in Gen 2:1 creates a vortex that sets up the conditions necessary for the ion collision. God says "Let there be light" which in effect depresses the collider button. There is light, then there is cooling of matter (which we would measure by billions of years because we are INSIDE time and measuring it by current Time standards, but at the time of Gen 1:3, God is OUTSIDE of Time).

No, I'm not getting all sci-fi on you.

Seriously, what do you need to measure time in days? You need a rotating sphere. And localized light.

The first day does not begin until Gen 1:4 when the light is separated from the darkness. Because only when light is separated (localized?) can it measure time.

Is there any indication that the "Let there be light" command was given after the "big bang"?

Actually, there is. At least, such an interpretation does not contradict the text.

Young's Literal Translation (which translates the Hebrew tenses as it was written) reads like this:
In the beginning of God's preparing the heavens and the earth -- the earth had existed waste and void, and darkness is on the face of the deep, and the Spirit of God fluttering on the face of the waters...
So,  without contradicting the Biblical text, it is possible (though not necessary*) that at the start of the creating process, the wind of God ignited the ion collider, the universe exploded into existence, and in a timeless state cooled until matter was formed, some of which condensed into a rotating sphere...at which point God localized/separated light from the darkness, and the first 24-hour period began, initiating Day 1.

*"Not necessary" because there is actually another ASA variation of the Big Bang known as the Inflation Theory, which proposes that the universe developed and matured very quickly within minutes.

Science is forever changing, altering, and tweaking their theories, so I'm not particularly dogmatic about either one. A brand new theory could be proposed tomorrow, or in 10 years, after more technological advances are made.

But whatever theory is the correct one, if we ever figure that out, it won't contradict the text. We just need to remember to allow the text the room to speak.

Do you believe a future variation of the Big Bang theory could line up with Biblical cosmology? Why or why not?
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[1]Chow, Denise. 2011. The Universe: Big Bang to Now in 10 Easy Steps. Retrieved https://www.space.com/13320-big-bang-universe-10-steps-explainer.html

Photo Credit: Feature Photo by PIRO4D from Pixabay / Pixabay / Pixabay

13 December, 2018

11. Let There Be Light and the Heavy Ion Collider


11. Let There Be Light and the Heavy Ion Collider



"Let there be light..."
—Gen 1:3

With those four words, Eternity Past fades into obscurity, and the Anno Mundi* (Latin for In the Year of the World) Epoch begins.

Years ago, I saw a bumper sticker that read: I believe in the Big Bang. God said it, and BANG it happened. I always liked that because I felt it helped bridge the so-called gap between science and religion.

Why "so-called"?

Since the ASA believes science = natural laws and forces only, it is an oxymoron to be a scientist who believes in both natural and supernatural forces.

By the ASA's own definition, the scientific method must be observable and repeatable. Thus, ASA scientists denounce Creation scientists and deem Creation Science a pseudoscience, and any adherents are ignorant and absurd, if not downright idiotic, because they resolve "to describe natural history in terms of scientifically untestable supernatural causes.

Think about that.

If something is not observable, repeatable, and testable, it's not science.

Do we observe something coming from nothing?

Can we test something coming from nothing?

Can we repeat something come from nothing?

The long answer? No.

Thus, by default, ASA Cosmology is just as much a pseudoscience as Creation Science.

Creation scientists didn't observe God create the world.

ASA scientists didn't observe a random explosion called the Big Bang.

Neither group of scientists can repeat the creation of a universe.

So just for a moment, let's discard the "observable, repeatable, and testable" method when it comes to cosmology...this is where the Ion Collider comes in. (I know, I'm having a geekfest here, but this is really cool!) The Heavy Ion Collider is the largest machine in the world; it is contained in a circular tunnel, with a circumference of 17 miles, at a depth ranging from 164 to 574 ft underground.


According to a ridiculously convoluted and nearly unpronounceable paper written by ASA scientists and published in the journal Physical Review Letters, the conditions of the early universe were biased toward creating something out of nothing, because "for every 10 billion anti-particles, there were 10 billion particles — plus one." The plus one, they've dubbed the “God particle” which "allows for the existence of pretty much everything else in the universe."

Did you get that?

The universe was biased to create something out of nothing because there was an uneven number of particles. I mean, come on, everyone knows if you have an even number of particles you can't get something out of nothing. But, obviously, if you have a uneven number, it's a whole different story.

Right.

And that still doesn't explain where the 10 billion particles came from, but we'll ignore that.

Anyway...back to the good stuff: When particles and anti-particles collide, they create a flash of light (hmmm), and with the "God-particle" such a collision caused the universe to come into being.


CERN physicists collided heavy ions to free quarks, recreating (repeating) hypothetical conditions that existed in the universe just after the Big Bang. For the sake of argument, let's say the only difference between the popping into existence of the universe at the Big Bang and the popping into existence at the command "Let there be light" is the random chance of the primordial Hadron ion collider button depressing itself vs God pressed the primordial Hadron ion collider button.

The science is the same whether you are a ASA or Creationist scientist. It's just a matter of First Cause: God, or the 10 billionth and one (10,000,000,001) particle.


The above gif and the first post photo above inspired the idea of the Prince jumping into the matrix (ionized by the Holy Spirit's hovering over the face of the deep) in Primoridum. And in the video above (@ 0:12 seconds), the ions collide with the Prince at the very moment God says, "Let there be light."  


*Anno Mundi was the original calendar era before BC / Before Christ and AD  / Anno Domini (Latin for In the Year of our Lord), which is slowly being replaced by the ASA's BCE / Before the Common Era and CE / Common Era. Based on the biblical accounts of the creation of the world and subsequent history, Anno Mundi was used by the Eastern churches (Greek Orthodox, Russian Orthodox, etc) all the way through 1728, and is used by the Jewish people to this day. The Western Church (Catholics and by-default Protestants) never embraced it. They instead used the Anno Domini (in the Year of our Lord) devised in 525, though it was not widely used until after 800. (In CoT, Anno Mundi is the dating used by Gavriel in his reports and summary logs).

Photo Credit:  Matthieu Pangea © Used with Permission. / GIF Photobucket:Shareware / Ion Collider

Washington Post: Scientists may have solved mystery of matter’s origin

Physical Review Letters: Postinflationary Higgs Relaxation and the Origin of Matter-Antimatter Asymmetry Alexander Kusenko, Lauren Pearce, and Louis Yang Phys. Rev. Lett. 114, 061302 – Published 11 February 2015

10 December, 2018

10. In the Beginning, Nothing became Something.


10. In the Beginning, Nothing became Something.



"In the beginning, God..." 
—Gen 1:1

Aha! We arrive at the beginning...probably where most of you assumed this journey would start. A new Epoch, Time itself, is about to begin, but more on that in our next post. First, the war, and the battle of the worldviews.

The ASA would have you to believe that:

science = natural / random chance
religion = supernatural / design, and thus a designer


If the above formula is correct, then yes, there is a gap, because the above is a conflicting worldview; i.e., they can't both be right. Obviously, the ASA's natural explanation of the origins of the universe will automatically conflict with any supernatural explanation.

But is the above formula correct?

The Battle of the Worldviews.

#1: ASA Worldview/Bias held by ASA scientists (geologists, physicists, astronomers, etc., who believe in natural forces only): God does not exist. / Only natural laws and forces operate in the world.

#2: Christian Worldview/Bias held by Creation scientists (geologists, physicists, and astronomers, etc., who believe in both natural and supernatural forces): God does exist. / Both natural and supernatural forces operate in the world.

Ever play Monopoly, the real estate trading game made by Parker Brothers? Remember all the little tokens — the automobile, the thimble, the little hat, and the little shoe? Imagine a discussion between Little Hat and Little Shoe, who are faithfully going around the Monopoly board for the umpteenth time.

As Little Hat passes a hotel belonging to one of his opponents, he says to Little Shoe: "Say ... do you believe in Parker?"

Little Shoe looks at him quizzically. Little Hat explains: "You know—look over there, on the side of the board. It says in big black letters, 'Made by Parker Brothers.' So, do you believe in that? Do you believe in Parker?" Little Shoe replies: "'Yes, I suppose I do. What about you?"

So Little Hat responds, with an air of weary frustration: "Look, I've been around here a long time. Every week, I pass 'GO,' and I collect my $200. I've been to Tennessee Avenue, St. James Place, Boardwalk, you name it. I've seen it all. Heck, I've even been to jail. And I'll tell you something. I ain't never seen Parker. This whole time, I've just never bumped into him. So no, I don't believe in Parker. I'm a Parker atheist."

If you could interject at this point in the conversation, what would you say to Little Hat? You'd say: "My dear Little Hat, you're looking for Parker in all the wrong places. Parker doesn't live on the board. He made the board!"

The maker of a system doesn't live inside that system. As creator, you interact with the system that you made: you make the rules (the natural laws and forces that operate the world) by which the system functions. And you can override them. Little shoe and Little Hat would call that supernatural. But to you, the creator, that is natural. It is the system, the world of Little Shoe and Little Hat, that is sub-natural.

To help drive home this point, the 'sub-natural world' is precisely what Lucifer and his minions calls the earth in CoT.


Hands and World / Galaxy Creative Commons / Monopoly Gameboard Public Domain / Monopoly Hat and Shoe

Monopoly Analogy taken from The Exodus You Almost Passed Over by Rabbi David Fohrman, pages 54-56.

07 December, 2018

9. Genesis is Toledoths


9. Genesis is Toledoths



This is the written record
of the generations of Adam. 
—Genesis 5:1 

Aha! We are finally in Genesis. But wait, we’re starting with Genesis 2:4, not Genesis 1:1??? And Tole-colo what???

The History channel and most “Biblical” documentaries hold to the ASA’s method of Bible study. So you’ve likely heard that Moses, the “author” of Genesis, borrowed from Sumerian and Babylonian creation and flood myths when writing Genesis. You may have even heard of the J-E-P-D theory (that four different authors complied the first few books of Genesis traditionally attributed to Moses).

In the last post, we talked about myth versus history. And we ended with questioning how one would go about determining the original account. That’s where the Toledoth comes in.

In Hebrew, Genesis 2:4a reads “This is the toledoth of the creation of the Heavens and the Earth.” Toledoth can be translated generations, book, record, or account.

Genesis is a collection of these Toledoths…nine to be exact.

As cuneiform (wedge-shaped symbols) is one of the earliest systems of writing, it was likely the writing system employed by Noah and his sons, as well as their ancestors (Adam, Seth, Enoch). Thus their toledoths would have been recorded in this style—cuneiform written with a stylus on clay tablets which were then baked.


If this is the case, if Adam wrote Genesis 2 and Noah and/or Shem wrote Genesis 6-9 and so forth in cuneiform on clay tablets, then these passages should bear similarities to Sumerian cuneiform tablets. Right?

That’s where the colophons come in.

Colophons are devices located at the end of a manuscript, containing information about the manuscript, including the composition’s title, the scribe’s the date and location,etc., such as "this has been the history/book/genealogy of..." The Epic of Gilgamesh has a colophon. So does the Epic of Paradise. And many other Sumerian texts.**


If Moses was writing Genesis without any outside sources, there would be no reason to keep interrupting the narrative flow of the text to insert “this is the book/record of so-and-so.” The colophons are historical evidence that Moses compiled Genesis by copying the detailed and accurate recorded history that his eye witness ancestors had kept (ancient records were HIGHLY prized in those days, like a driver’s license or birth certificate today).

Swordcraft Tip:

In whatever color you've designated for archaeology (or just a general color if you don't have a particular color for archaeology), highlight the Genesis toledoths: Gen 2:4a, Gen 5:1a, Gen 6:9a, Gen 10:1a, Gen 10:32, Gen 11:10a, Gen 11:27a, Gen 25:19, and Gen 37:2a. (Be sure not to highlight Gen 2:4b as we will be discussing that portion of the verse in another post.)

Photo Credit: history clock / cuneiform tablet and tablets (public domain) / LOTR 

06 December, 2018

8. Genesis is Myth


8. Genesis is Myth


Every word of God proves true; he is a shield to those who take refuge in him. Do not add to his words, lest he rebuke you and you be found a liar. 
—Proverbs 30:5-6


"The story of Christ is simply a true myth: a myth that really happened."

These words were written by J. R. R. Tolkien (author of the Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings) in a letter he wrote to his good friend C. S. Lewis (author of The Chronicles of Narnia).

According to the dictionary, Myth is: a traditional story, especially one concerning the early history of a people or explaining some natural or social phenomenon, and typically involving supernatural beings or events.

By that definition, myth is interconnected with history. But wait. History is fact and myth is fiction, right?

According to the historical theory of myth, myths are distorted accounts of historical events. So the original historical event is true, and then each culture that experiences that historical event endeavors to pass on that history to its descendants in a narrative that incorporates the social order and values of that culture.


This understanding of myth as history dates back to ancient times (the days when the Greek gods of Percy Jackson were worshiped).

But today we “know” myth is fiction, so what happened?

The ASA.

The foundational premise of the ASA is the assumption that anything that involves the supernatural is automatically fiction.

According to Encyclopedia Britannica, “there is no attempt to justify mythic narratives or even to render them plausible. Every myth presents itself as an authoritative, factual account, no matter how much the narrated events are at variance with natural law ordinary experience.” (Emphasis mine)

So, by the ASA’s standards, because the Bible includes events that are at variance with natural law and ordinary experience, it is automatically fiction; relegated to myth. Its historicity is denied, and the only value it possesses is as literature.


And since the Bible has proven itself to be myth, there is no reason to study it for plausibility or truth, even if evidence supports its claims. Any such evidence must be vehemently refuted, debunked, or denied.

But what if the ASA is wrong? What if there was a historical event that precedes these myths? How do we determine which culture’s narrative of events is an account of the actual historical account?

The next post (and the rest of this first segment) addresses just that.

While you wait, check out this awesome clip from ETWN’s portraying a debate between C.S. Lewis and J.R.R. Tolkien on whether or not myths are lies. This debate was ultimately instrumental in C.S. Lewis's conversion to Christianity.(FYI: CS Lewis liked to be called Jack.)


Swordcraft Tips: Highlight Proverbs 30:5-6 in your designated spiritual warfare color.

Photo Credit:  Tolkien and Lewis movie poster /  Greek Gods

05 December, 2018

7. Genesis is Poetry


7. Genesis is Poetry



For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, 
so that people are without excuse.
—Romans 1:20

The ASA (Agenda of Secular Academia) has been circulating the "Genesis is poetry" rumor for nearly a century.

(Even Christian theologians and apologists have been recruited into the ASA...another reason to remember that the ASA is a weapon of the enemy, not the enemy itself…though admittedly it’s easy to forget this due to the vehemence of their attacks against any who would disagree with them).

The “logical” conclusion is, of course, that poetry is fiction; thus, the Creation account in Genesis is fiction.

Say you wrote a poem about something you experienced—bullying or abuse, the death of a friend or loved one. Because you wrote about that experience as poetry, it automatically isn’t true?

Obviously. Not.

So the ASA’s assumption that poetry automatically = fiction is not valid. It’s not even logical.

But here’s the real kicker.

Genesis isn’t even Hebrew poetry.


The creation accounts in chapters 1 and 2 are written as historical narrative. But the ASA assumes you will blindly believe whatever they say.

How do I know it’s not poetry?

Because linguists (experts in languages) have examined the differences between Hebrew poetry and Hebrew narrative.

Sentences, regardless of language, can be broken down into three main parts: Subject (S), Verb (V), and Object (O). Interestingly enough, these parts can be in various orders.



Yoda:
Powerful (O) you (S) have become (V) 

Japanese:
You (S) powerful (O) have become (V)

English & Hebrew Poetry:
You (S) have become (V) powerful (O) 

Hebrew Narrative:
Have become (V) you (S) powerful (O)

So how are the Genesis Creation accounts written?

In the beginning, created (V) God (S) the heavens and the earth (O).

This is the verb(V) subject(S) object(O) of Hebrew Narrative, not the (S), (V), (O) of Hebrew poetry.

It's that simple.

And now you're in the know.

For examples of Hebrew poetic accounts of Creation, see Psalm chapters 8, 19, 29, 65, 104, and 139.



Swordcraft Tips:

Label Psalm chapters 8, 19, 29, 65, 104, and 139 and/ or list them in the margin of Genesis chapter 1 as examples of Hebrew poetry.

Write in the margin of Genesis chapter 1: Hebrew narrative = (V), (S), (O). In the beginning, created (V) God (S) the heavens and the earth (O).

Highlight Romans 1:20 in your designated Spiritual Warfare color.

Interested in learning more? Check out these links:
Linguistics, Genesis, and Evolution 
Genesis Is History, Not Poetry: Exposing Hidden Assumptions about What Hebrew Poetry Is and Is Not 
Is Genesis poetry / figurative, a theological argument (polemic) and thus not history?
Creation Psalms and What They Teach

Photo Credits: Prototype CreationYoda by Fathead / Genesis page / Torah Scroll

28 November, 2018

6. Heaven's Bestiary


6. Heaven's Bestiary


The Bible (and thus The Chronicles of Time) has an amazing bestiary. Most of these creatures are mentioned only in the Apocalypse of John (Revelation), but some are mentioned in the Old Testament as well.

1) Four Living Creatures—in the Bible, these creatures make an appearance in God's throne room, though in CoT they are gargoyle-like creatures that guard the throne room doors.


2) Horses of Fire—in 2 Kings, these are the mounts the angels ride. In CoT, they are not actually made of fire, but have coats of metallic amber with golden manes and tails that give the impression of flaming horses, especially when in motion. They also have a shimmering aura so to a mortal, they would appear to be like fire even when standing still. They also have wings, since they fly from heaven to earth and back again.


3) White Horse—the Bible says Jesus makes his return on a white horse, Again, since this horse flies from heaven to earth, in CoT, it is a pegasus. Actually, I made it a unicorn, as the unicorn has been a symbol of Christ since the early church. 4th century theologian Basil of Caesarea wrote, "Christ is the power of God, therefore He is called the Unicorn on the ground that He has one horn, that is, one common power with the Father." (Exegetic Homilies). Ambrose, bishop of Milan, said, "Who then is this unicorn but the only-begotten Son of God?" (Patrologia Latina). And Tertullian called the unicorn a symbol of Christ (Adversus Marcionem 3.18).


4) Chimera—while these lion-headed, serpent-tailed horses (who breathe fire) are unnamed in the Bible, I chose to use the closest mythological nomenclature. In the last post, I mentioned that the Bible speaks of four angels chained beneath the Euphrates River who lead an army of theses creatures during the apocalypse. (There's more to it than that, but then I'd be giving away spoilers). In CoT, the demons ride these creatures, and the venom from the serpent's fangs is toxic to angels.

Photo Credit: Throne Room Invitation. Copyright fenrysk-art. Used with Permission.
Other Photo Credits: Public Domain / Creative Commons / Copyright JC Lamont


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26 November, 2018

5. The Angel Armies


5. The Angel Armies



"Where were you when I laid the earth’s foundation … and all the angels shouted for joy?"
—Job 38:4, 7


Since the Bible states that the angels were witnesses to the creation, many Bible scholars assume they were created outside of time (before Day One). The Hebrew word for angel is Malak (the term I use for angels in CoT), which means messenger.

Over 200 times throughout the Bible, God is referred to as Yehovah tsaba', often translated "the Lord of hosts." According to Blue Letter Bible, hosts means: army, war, warfare, host of organised army. So Eugene Patterson's translation of the Bible, The Message, is spot on when it translates Yehovah tsaba' as God of the Angel Armies, a phrase in the popular CCM song:

Whom Shall I Fear? by Chris Tomlin
I know who goes before me
I know who stands behind
The God of Angel Armies
Is always by my side

The one who reigns forever
He is a friend of mine
The God of Angel Armies
Is always by my side.

A few decades ago, angles were portrayed as little babies with wings. Today, angels are often portrayed as fierce warriors. And while this is a definite improvement, some of them are still not what we normally envision.

Biblical Classes of Angels:

1) Cherubim—examples include Lucifer, the two angels who guarded the entrance to the garden in Eden, and likely it is they that make up the armies as Michael and his angels fight Lucifer and his angels.

2) Seraphim—they possess 3 sets of wings and sing to God in the throne room (in CoT, these are female, though the Bible implies all angels are genderless).

3) "Locusts"—since the description of these locusts resembles that of winged centaurs with scorpion tails that is how I portray them in CoT.
4) Ophanim—though described in Ezekiel as the wheels of God's chariot, they are actual beings in the Book of Enoch (a book not recognized as scripture, but none the less a text held in high esteem by scripture writers, including Jesus' own brother, Jude, who quotes it in the Bible). The Bible tells us there are four angels from an unknown class chained beneath the Euphrates, so in CoT, I have deemed these four from the class of Ophanim.

No reason is given for this unusual punishment, but the Bible does tell us they lead an army of creatures which resemble a cross between the chimera and the manticore of mythology. More on them on our next post.

Photo Credit: 7 Angels: Adobe Stock / Chris Tomlin / Centaur © JC Lamont


Are you familiar with the song, Whom Shall I Fear?
Has this post (or reading Primordium) changed your perspective of the title, God of Angel Armies?
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22 November, 2018

2. The Eternality of God


2. The Eternality of God


So by now you may have given up on this study ever starting with Genesis, or even John 1:1, as both passages that start with "In the beginning..."

But "In the beginning..." means at the beginning, as in the commencement of Creation / the beginning of Time.

What we have been discussing is before the beginning.
Before Creation. Before Time.

Eternity does not have a beginning.

There are three phases in God's redemptive plan: Eternity Past. Time. Eternity Future.

Physicists usually define Time by its measurement. And most physicists agree that time had a beginning. Indeed, according to the prevailing cosmological model, time itself began as part of the entire universe.

So Time began at the beginning of the universe (measurement by "evening and morning, the first day" Gen 1:3), and it will end with the passing away of this world (Revelation 21:1), and the creation of the new world which will not have a sun, and thus no measurement (Revelation 22:5).

So what existed before Time? What existed in eternity past?

The Father Isaiah 57:15 and Psalm 93:2

"For thus says the One who is high and lifted up, who inhabits eternity, whose name is Holy: I dwell in the high and holy place." (ESV)

"Your throne was established long ago; you are from all eternity." (NIV)
"Your throne, O LORD, has been firm from the beginning, and you existed before time began." (Good News Translation)

The Son Colossians 1:17a and Micah 5:2b

"He is before all things." (ESV)
"He existed before anything else." (NLT)

"...[One] whose origins are of old, from the days of eternity." (Berean Bible)
"...[One] whose goings forth have been from of old, from everlasting." (King James Version)
"...His origin is from antiquity, from eternity." (Holman)

You are probably more familiar with the first half of Micah 5:2, quoted by Matthew about Jesus' birth, and slapped onto millions of Christmas cards each year: "But [from] you, O Bethlehem, shall come forth for me one who is to be ruler in Israel whose origins are of old, from the days of eternity."

Why didn't Matthew quote the whole verse? I have no idea (though of course the Bible wasn't broken into verses in those days, but still...). That verse is certainly the end all of the idea that Jesus' existence began in a stable (or in Nazareth within his mother's womb).

The Spirit Hebrews 9:14

"How much more, then, will the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself unblemished to God, cleanse our consciences from acts that lead to death, so that we may serve the living God!"

For those of you who write in your Bible, these are some great verses to highlight or make notes for in the margins.

Swordcraft Tip: In the color you designated for Eternity, highlight Isaiah 57:15, Psalm 93:2, Colossians 1:17a, Micah 5:2b, and Hebrews 9:14.

Image Copyright © JC Lamont

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21 November, 2018

4. The Book of Life


4. The Book of Life


"The book of life written before time . . ." — Apocalypse 17:8

Yup. We're still in Revelation. Pretty cool, right?

Revelation says the book belongs to the Lamb who was slain. In other words, Jesus, or as I like to call him in CoT, the Prince.

While the Bible says the book of life was written before the Creation of the world, it does not say what it is was written in.

In CoT, I have the Prince write it in blood.

(Can anyone guess where the blood came from? Yea, it's a bit macabre. But it also seemed to fit the overall Biblical idea that blood is the highest form of payment one could offer.)

Think about that for a second: He wrote your name.

Yes, you. Whether you are an agnostic, Muslim, Jew, Christian, or even atheist, he wrote your name.

(Gasp! She's a universalist. Heretic!)

No worries, dear reader. Check out Exodus 32:33.

“Whoever has sinned against me, I will blot out of my book." —God.

So before the beginning of time, every name of every person who would ever live was in that book. But at some point, likely upon death, names get blotted out. Of course, everyone sins, which would seem to imply everyone's name was blotted out, but since we know some names survive (cuz those who do get VIP access to the Prince's kingdom for eternity, Rev 21:27), it's not quite that cut and dried.

But anyway...

Assuming you are alive as you read this (unless there's Wi-fi in the Netherworld), your name is in there. He wants you to be a part of his future kingdom. It's up to you if you want that too.

The Prince wrote your name.

Art by Caleb Havertape. © Copyright JC Lamont.


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20 November, 2018

3. The Lamb who was Slain


3. The Lamb who was Slain



"I saw a Lamb...as though it had been slain, with seven horns and with seven eyes...slain from the foundation of the world." —Apocalypse 5:6, 13:8

Why does a chronological Bible study start with the last book of the Bible?

Strange as it may seem, it is the Bible that is not chronological (that's why there are so many Chronological Bibles on the market). However, even those—as far as I know—don't start in Revelation (a.k.a Apocalypse) with the Lamb slain before the foundation of the world.

But that is precisely where His story begins, and thus it is where this blog (and The Chronicles of Time) starts.

So who killed the lamb?

Well, who killed Jesus?

Roman soldiers? The Jews? Pilate? Caiaphas and the rest of the Sanhedrin?

Nope.

According to the Bible, Jesus was killed by his Father.

Bluntly put, God killed him.

"God did not spare his own Son but gave him up [to be killed]." (Romans 8:32). As the International Standard Version puts it, "[God] did not spare his own Son, but offered him as a sacrifice for all of us."

"This Jesus [was] delivered up according to the definite plan and foreknowledge of God." (Acts 2:23).

"We esteemed him stricken, smitten by God. . . . It was the will of Jehovah* to crush him; he (his Father) has put him to grief." (Isaiah 53:4, 10).

"God put [him] forward as a propitiation by his blood."  (Romans 3:25)

The image of the lamb, by the way, is from the Redemption Trading Card game, a simpler version of Magic: The Gathering. I don't know of any other Christian TCG, and it's pretty cool in its own right. I have several decks, and hope to one day have every single expansion pack. Check it out at Three Lions Gaming.

*Anytime you see LORD in the Old Testament, it is in place of the sacred name (YHWH, aka Yahweh, aka Jehovah). Jehovah, while not the closest to the actual name (which is technically unknown as Hebrew has no vowels), is my preferrence, thus the one I use here. In the CoT series, I use a fictional variant spelling, Jehuva).

Photo Credit: Three Lions Gaming: Redemption TCG

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19 November, 2018

1. I Am Who I Am


1. I Am Who I Am



creative commons

"I am who I am."
—Exodus 3:14

The transliteration is ’ehyeh ’ăšer ’ehyeh.

There are 3 main schools of thought on the correct translation:
  1. I am who am
  2. I will be what I will be.
  3. I am the Being One / the Uncreated Self-existent One.
I personally believe #3 is the most accurate interpretation. However, I must admit, I find the following alternative by professor Christine Hayes quite intriguing:

"Some have argued that the name Yahweh expresses the quality of being, an active, dynamic being...who brings things into being, whether it’s a cosmos from chaos, or now a new nation from a band of runaway slaves. But it could well be that this is simply God’s way of not answering Moses’ question...I’ve often wondered if we’re to read this differently: Who am I? I am who I am, and never you mind."  Descriptions of God in the Bible

After all, when Jacob asks with whom he is wrestling, the reply is "What is that to you?" (Genesis 32:29)

When Moses informs the figure in the pillar of light that they've reached a dead end, blocked by the Red/Reed Sea with an enemy army approaching, the answer is, "Why do you come crying to me?" (Exodus 14:15)

And when Joshua asks, Are you on our side or the enemies side? the reply is, "Neither." (Joshua 5:14)

I am reminded of this scene from The Last Jedi:


Whatever I expected Luke's response to be at seeing his old light saber again, it was certainly not tossing it off a cliff. And I'm sure Jacob, Moses, and Joshua were not expecting the answers God gave them in the above examples.

So as you join me on this journey through His Story, expect the unexpected.

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Photo Credit: Throne by Adobe Stock / Last Jedi 

31 October, 2018

0. The Ineffable Plan (& How this Blog Works)


0. The Ineffable Plan



"The time has come for the illumination of the mysterious Great Plan that the High God has kept secret from the unseen rulers of the celestial realm."

The above is an except* from a letter sent to the inhabitants of an ancient city dedicated to the Greek goddess, Artemis. It was written around 62 AD by a Rabbi named Sha'ul.

So just what is the Great Plan of God?

Aziraphale and Crowley, the angel and demon from Good Omens, discuss just that in the opening of the first episode.
Crowley: Makes you wonder what God’s really planning.
Aziraphale: Best not to speculate. It’s all part of the Great Plan. It’s not for us to understand. It’s ineffable.
Crowley (incredulous): The Great Plan’s ineffable?
Aziraphale: Exactly. It is beyond understanding. And incapable of being put into words.
If Rabbi Sha'ul is correct, and I dare say he is, the Great Plan had been kept secret from the demons (and possibly even the angels) for several millennia.

But that secret has since been illuminated to mortals.

This blog is a chronological journey through the Bible that reveals the Great Plan, a study focusing on the spiritual warfare aspect of the scriptures, and the modern reader's place in that war.

So if you're up for an adventure, check out the following links that will help you gear up, because we're about to rip the lid off the mysterious Great Plan.

Why? Because War. 

Who It's For

How It Works

What You'll Need


Photo Credit: Good Omens Media Poster (Amazon Prime)
*Ephesians 3:9-10, Paraphr.
2022: