Tuesday, August 13, 2013


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Thursday, May 16, 2013

A Little About Me and Why I Am Unable to Post

My name is Jessica and I am an undergraduate pursuing a degree in Forensic Science with a minor in Forensic Anthropology.  I am currently home for the summer and do not have the academic books that I had available for me at my university.  Therefore, I am going to postpone the blog posts until I am able to do adequate research.  I will begin posting again at the beginning of September.

Friday, May 3, 2013

Science, the Bible, and Its Critics

The scientific concepts that are present in the Bible that were not conceived yet by scientists of the time is usually interpreted by Christians to show that the authors of the Bible had divine inspiration for their writings.  This is due to the fact that the authors of the Bible knew scientific related concepts before other people of the time knew these concepts.  Non-Christians usually do not follow this interpretation and instead offer a common rebuttal: If the Bible was written by divine inspiration and is the Word of God, then why are their scientific inaccuracies and contradictions in other parts of the Bible?  Some of the parts in the Bible that non-Christians say are inaccuracies are when the Bible uses the term “ends of the earth” and that the Bible talks about a world that does not move (according to “Holes in the Holy Bible”).   Some of the common contradictions that non-Christians present are:  Genesis 1 and Genesis 2 contradicting each other about how many days it took God to create the earth and the universe, and the contradictions in the genealogy of Jesus presented in Matthew and Luke(according to “Some Reasons Why humanists Reject the Bible”). 

Ends of the Earth
“Have you commanded the morning since your days began,
And caused the dawn to know its place,
That it might take hold of the ends of the earth,
And the wicked be shaken out of it?” (Job 38: 12-13 NKJV)

Have you ever tried to hold a ball in your hands?  Do you hold the sides or the extremities of the ball?  The word “Kanaph” is the original Hebrew for the word that has been translated as “ends” (Brown, Briggs, Driver, Gesenius, Robinson & Rödiger, 1906).  This word can also be translated as “extremity” (Brown, Briggs, Driver, Gesenius, Robinson & Rödiger, 1906).  When the Bible says the ends of the earth, I believe that it means the extremities, not the edges like a flat rectangle would have.  Many critics of the Bible state that this points to the earth being flat instead of being a sphere, but this does not line up with other scripture.  In Isaiah 40:22, it says, “It is He who sits above the circle of the earth…” (NKJV).  If the world was flat, God could not sit above the circle of the earth (or the curve of the earth if the original Hebrew is translated differently, as discussed in a past post).  Therefore, I believe that it means the parts of a sphere that God could hold and does not contradict science.

World does not move
“The Lord reigns, He is clothed with majesty;
The Lord is clothed, He has girded Himself with strength.
Surely the world is established, so that it cannot be moved.” (Psalm 93:1 NKJV)

Many critics of the Bible believe this verse means that the earth does not orbit the sun and does not move in space, but this is not what I believe that this verse is saying.  In the original Hebrew, the word for move is “Mowt” (Brown, Briggs, Driver, Gesenius, Robinson & Rödiger, 1906).  This word can also be translated as shake (Brown, Briggs, Driver, Gesenius, Robinson & Rödiger, 1906).  I believe that this verse means that the earth is established in the solar system and that the laws of the earth (such as gravity, thermodynamics, and etc.) cannot be changed.

Genesis 1 and 2
“This is the history of the heavens and the earth when they were created,
in the day that the Lord God made the earth and the heavens” (Genesis 2:4 NKJV)

Many Bible critics believe that this verse contradicts the creation story that is told in the first chapter of Genesis.  As I have said before, the word that is typically translated as day (from Hebrew into English) is the word “Yowm”.  Yomn is the word that is used in this verse as day.  Yomn can also be translated as time.  I believe that this verse talks about the time period in which God made earth, the universe and everything in it.

Genealogy of Jesus

Below is the differing genealogies that are present in Matthew and in Luke:

As you can see, from David down to Jesus is very inconsistent.  Many critics of the Bible use this to show that the Bible contradicts itself.  I believe that there are several explanations to the differing genealogies. 

One possible explanation is due to the Levirate marriage tradition.  In this tradition, if the husband dies and did not have any sons, the husband’s brother could marry his brother’s widow to carry on the deceased husband’s name.  This would mean that Joseph, Jesus’s earthly father, may have had both a biological and legal father.  This would mean that one genealogy could be of Joseph’s biological father while the other genealogy could be of Joseph’s legal father.
Another explanation is that the genealogy of Jesus presented in Matthew follows the genealogy of Joseph and the genealogy of Jesus presented in Luke is the genealogy of Mary.  This would mean that Heli could be Mary’s biological Father and Joseph’s surrogate father.  If Heli did not have any sons, it would be normal custom to make Joseph his heir.

I believe that the Bible is the infallible Word of God and that there are no contradictions to itself or to science.  I believe that the Bible is the truth and that it will stand through the test of time.

Brown, F., Briggs, C. A., Driver, S. R., Gesenius, W., Robinson, E., & Rödiger, E. (1906). The brown-driver-briggs hebrew and english lexicon with an appendix containing the biblical aramaic

“Some Reasons Why Humanists Reject the Bible”.  Assoc., A. H. (n.d.). Retrieved May 3, 2013 from http://www.americanhumanist.org/humanism/Some_Reasons_Why_Humanists_Reject_the_Bible

“The Geneology of Jesus”.  Fairchild, M. (n.d.). Retrieved May, 3, 2012 from http://christianity.about.com/od/biblefactsandlists/a/jesusgenealogy.htm

“The Holes in the Holy Bible”. n.d..  Retrieved May 3, 2013 from

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Updated Posts

I have now updated the previous posts on creationism based on more research.  Enjoy the updated posts!

Monday, April 29, 2013

Scientific Knowledge in the Bible

The Bible mentions many scientific concepts, many of which had not yet been theorized by scientists at the time that the scriptures were written.  In this blog, I will discuss a few of the scientific concepts that I am referring to.  In the next blog entry I will discuss the implications of the Bible showing scientific knowledge before the ideas were theorized by scientists and the common rebuttals to these implications.

The first of these scientific concepts are is that the earth is not flat.  In Isaiah 40:22, it says, “It is He who sits above the circle of the earth…” (NKJV).  Chung, the Hebrew word that is translated in Isaiah 40:22 as circle, can be also be translated as circuit and compass (Brown, Briggs, Driver, Gesenius, Robinson & Rödiger, 1906).  According to dictionary.com, the word compass, in English, means “forming a curve or an arc”.  This indicates that the earth is not flat, but is indeed round.  The Book of Isaiah was written by Isaiah, a prophet who was born somewhere between 770 B.C. and 760 B.C. (Gilbert, 2009, p.100).  The first person outside of the Bible known to have stated that the Earth is not flat, but spherical is Pythagorean (Garwood, 2007, p. 19).   Pythagorean was born in approximately 569 B.C. and died between 500 and 475 B.C. (Douglass, 2005).  He was born almost 200 years after Isaiah was born.  Therefore, Isaiah knew that the earth was not flat many years before the first Greek scientists knew that the earth was a sphere.  This knowledge was most likely of divine origin.

Job 8 compares a plant’s dependence on environmental factors to a man’s dependence on God.  It states that I plant cannot grow without sunlight.  This is a scientific concept way before the times of scientists.  It is hypothesized that Job was written between 1000 and 800 B.C. (Gilbert, 2009, p. 126).  According to the Science Encyclopedia, Jan Ingenhousz (who lived from 1730-1799 A.D.) was the first to hypothesize that plant growth was dependent on light.  This could be evidence of divine origin of the Bible.

The Bible also correctly estimates the number of pi.  This cannot be seen in the English versions of the Bible, but rather it can be seen in the Hebrew version of the Bible.  In 1 King 7:23 (NKJV), the Bible says, “And he made the Sea of cast bronze, ten cubits from one brim to the other; it was completely round. Its height was five cubits, and a line of thirty cubits measured its circumference”, but the numbers are not accurate to the original text as there is a problem within the translation.  In Hebrew, the alphabet has numerical values.  When translated properly into English numbers, the value of pi is 15 times better than the estimated value of pi commonly used in schools (22/7).  For more information about the value of pi in the Bible, please visit this website, where I got my information on this topic.

As you can see, the Bible is accurate on many scientific concepts known today.  Next time I will discuss the implications related to this knowledge.

Brown, F., Briggs, C. A., Driver, S. R., Gesenius, W., Robinson, E., & Rödiger, E. (1906). The brown-driver-briggs hebrew and english lexicon with an appendix containing the biblical aramaic. 

Douglass, C. (2005). Retrieved from http://www.mathopenref.com/pythagoras.html

Garwood, C. (2007). Flat earth: The history of an infamous idea. New York, New York: St. Martin's Press.

Gilbert, C. (2009). A complete introduction to the bible. New York, New York: Paulist Press.

Friday, April 26, 2013

Jesus and Archaeology

Although there is no archaeological evidence directly pointing to the existence of Jesus, there is an abundance of archaeological evidence that relates to the time period that Jesus lived, to people that Jesus encountered while here on earth and also to the early Christian church.  These include the Galilee boat and the ossuary of James (Jesus’s brother).

"Jesus boat"
In 1986, the waters of the Sea of Galilee were at low levels (Currie & Hyslop, 2010, p. 274).  This is when what has been called the Galilee boat (and also known as the “Jesus boat”) was found.  The boat measures 30 feet long and 8 feet wide (Currie & Hyslop, 2010, p. 274).  It is dated back between the last of the 1st century B.C.E. and the middle of 1st century C.E. (Currie & Hyslop, 2010, p. 274).

The ossuary possibly belonging to James, Jesus’s half-brother has also been found (Vergano, 2010).  The limestone box containing human remains has an inscription on the outside that states, “James, son 
of Joseph, brother of Jesus” (Vergano, 2010).  Bone boxes of this sort were used between the years 20 B.C. and 70 A.D.  James died in A.D. 62 (Vergano, 2010).  The inscription seems to be authentic, but it cannot be verified.  There are claims that the “brother of Jesus” part of the inscription could have been forged, but nonetheless it could have belonged to James.
The Possible Ossuary of
James, half-brother of Jesus

Although these two finds do not point to anything concrete, they are appealing.  If the ossuary and its inscription are indeed authentic, this could point to the existence of Jesus.  Although the boat found in the Sea of Galilee was named the “Jesus boat”, this shows that boats existed during that time period that could carry thirteen people, Jesus and his 12 disciples, as occurred several times in the Gospels (Currie & Hyslop, 2010, p. 274).  This both are very interesting finds, although the meaning of these finds are a matter of opinion.

Note:  I will be changing the posting schedule to only twice a week (Mondays and Fridays) in order to allow time for more thorough research.  Also, I will be editing past posts in order to be more thorough on those posts.  Thanks for your understanding.

Currie, R., & Hyslop, S. G. (2010). The letter and the scroll, what archaeology tells us about the bible. Natl Geographic Society.

[Untitled photograph of the possible ossuary of James]. (n.d.). Retrieved April 26, 2013, from http://usatoday30.usatoday.com/tech/science/columnist/vergano/story/2012-03-17/james-ossuary-jesus/53578490/1

[Untitled photograph of the Jesus Boat]. (n.d.). Retrieved April 26, 2013, from                      

Vergano, D. (2012, March 18). 'james ossuary’ verdict adds to burial box furor. Retrieved from http://usatoday30.usatoday.com/tech/science/columnist/vergano/story/2012-03-17/james-ossuary-jesus/53578490/1

Monday, April 22, 2013

Capital Punishment: A Biblical Prospective

The Bible mentions capital punishment for several different crimes a few of which are homicide (Exod. 21:12, Lev. 24:17, and Num. 35:16-34), kidnapping (Exod. 21:16, Deut. 24:7), and human sacrifice (Lev. 20:2-5)1, but do these rules still apply to today’s times?  Should the United States continue allowing capital punishment in certain states?

It has been debated both among Christians and among non-Christians upon whether capital punishment is good or bad.  Upon reading the Bible, this could be interpreted for both sides.  There were a lot of rules for capital punishment in the Old Testament and there are a lot of scripture in the New Testament that could also be seen as promoting capital punishment.  There is also scripture in the New Testament that could be used to say that capital punishment is immoral.  I am going to discuss several of these scripture and tell what I believe each of these scriptures entail.  Since this is a more opinionated discuss on the interpretation of scripture, I will use a variety of sources.

Here is a Christian who supports the death penalty.  These are a lot of the most popular reasons that Christians believe in capital punishment. 

The most popular reason for Christians to believe in the death penalty is Exodus 20:13 which, in the KJV, says, “Thou shalt not kill.”  Most biblical scholars believe that this should instead be interpreted as “thou shall not murder” which is what most modern Bibles state.  Christians that support the death penalty say that it is not murder, but rather is just killing.  According to www.thefreedictionary.com, the definition of murder is “the unlawful killing of one human by another, especially with premeditated malice”.  Whether the act is unlawful depends on whether the act is legal at the time, i.e. whether the death penalty is legal in that state or not.  The phrase “premeditated malice” leads to my conclusion that the death penalty is murder and therefore is spoke against in Exodus 20:13.  The death penalty is premeditated and I also believe that it shows malice because the death penalty is intended for revenge.  It is intended to harm someone because of an act that they committed to someone else.  Therefore, I believe that this scripture does not promote the death penalty, but rather speaks against the death penalty.

Furthermore, Jesus’s nature is forgiving.  Jesus not only supports, but demands forgiveness.  In Matthew 18:21-22 (KJV), the Bible says, “Then Peter came to Him and said, “Lord, how often shall my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? Up to seven times?”  Jesus said to him, “I do not say to you, up to seven times, but up to seventy times seven.”  This states that we should forgive each other when someone sins against us.  In Mark 11:25, Jesus says, ““And whenever you stand praying, if you have anything against anyone, forgive him, that your Father in heaven may also forgive you your trespasses.”  Jesus says that if we do not forgive those that sin against us, God will not forgive us of our sins.  If we kill someone because they have sinned by murdering someone else, how is this showing forgiveness towards that person?  This testimony about why the song “Forgiveness” by Matthew West was written shows how powerful forgiveness can be. (Here is the full story about this testimony.)

There are many other scriptures that may point to capital punishment as being holy, but for the verses that I have shared above, I have decided that the death penalty is immoral.  I think that forgiveness is better than revenge and this is something that I live by.  I believe that there are better ways to protect our society than the death penalty.

A comprehensive list of mentions of capital punishment in the Bible can be seen in “Capital Punishment and the Bible” by G.C. Hanks (2002).