One of the grave problems of Bible interpretation is the fact that most readers are not reading the Bible in the languages in which it was written. The difficulty of understanding the intent of a scriptural statement is compounded by the fact that, as one is reading his New Testament in English or in any other modern language, he is reading a translation attempt to convey the original that often is sullied by the translator's theological presuppositions. Thus the reader, while trusting the Biblical text that he is reading, unwittingly is misled by the translator or translators who, intentionally or unintentionally, have misrepresented the intent of the original language. Thus the problem of the student of Scripture, longing to know the mind of God that has been revealed in Scripture, is compounded by the fact that a translator translates only as accurately as his theology is accurate. His translation also is only is accurate in so far as he accurately grasps the implications and overtones of the grammar and syntax of the language that he is translating. As a result, where the translators/translators' theology is inaccurate, the resulting translation fails to convey to the readers that which was intended by our Lord in His revelation.
An excellent example of the tragedies that can result of translators' failure to grasp the implications of another language is found at the end of the Second World War. After the United States had dropped the first atomic bomb on Hiroshima, Japan, the Japanese wrote a very formal acceptance of the fact that the war in the Pacific had come to an end with the defeat of the Japanese Army and Navy. In other words, "We give up!" But the American translators were not able to grasp the very stilted language in which the surrender document was written. As a result, the second terrible atomic bomb was dropped upon the city of Nagasaki, resulting in the deaths of thousands of people instantly or after an agonizing life as the result of radiation.
A CRUCIAL ILLUSTRATION OF THE IMPORTANCE OF CONTEXT
But to return to the problem that we face in reading a modern or near medieval translation, the fact is that many English words often translate a single Greek word that in turn has its message meaning origin in an Old Testament word. This is true of the name of our Savior "Jesus." This word is an English transliteration of the Greek word, Iesou. This in turn is a compounded word that is derived from two Hebrew words. In order that the English reader may understand the implications of this, it is necessary to divide the Greek/English word into its two meaning elements. Ie- (Je-) is an abbreviation of the great covenant name, Yhwh. This name, poorly transliterated as Jehovah in several translations of the Old Testament, is a name that is based on the Hebrew root hyh, "to be, to exist." That root properly can be translated in many ways into English, depending upon the whether the Hebrew "perfect tense," the "imperfect tense" or in one of the derived participle or the basic infinitive form. Even then a grasp of the flow of the context in which the verb form is found can modify the meaning greatly. For example, the so called "perfect tense" that looks at single, completed action can be used in a context that is past, present or future, or even previous past, previous present and previous future. Any one of these temporal elements may show up in a specific use of the perfect tense form of hyh, depending entirely upon the context in which it is found. Indeed, the Hebrew language often assumes this verb form in a stative situation, allowing it to be supplied by the reader. A somewhat similar problem exists where the imperfect tense of the verb hyh is used. The reader must recognize that the imperfect form of the verb conveys movement or process in distinction from the perfect form of the verb. And he must recognize from the context that the movement or process may be being initiated, flowing along or even consummated in distinction from the simple future meaning that usually is given to the imperfect verb hyh , and very often correctly.
But to return to the consideration of the name "Jesus" and its derivation, it appears that the Hebrew name for the Eternal Lord, Yhwh, is built upon the so called "imperfect tense, third masculine singular form yhyh." In different contexts this verb form can mean anything from "it began to be," "it was" (looking at the continuing existence), and "it came to be." It is not surprising to hear in John's gospel often repeating the Greek Eimi, the equivalent of 'Ehyeh, the first person form of the Hebrew imperfect verb, hyh. In repeatedly using this form, Christ was directing the consideration of His listeners to the evidence shown in His great signs that He was indeed the Eternal Lord having come in flesh into the presence of mankind. In the same way the name that was given to Him in His humanity by the Angel through Joseph points to His deity.
The second part of the name Iesou, "Jesus," is derived from the Hebrew verb yshah. This is a verb that points to deliverance of some kind. The nature of that deliverance and the specific meaning a use of this verb depends upon the context in which it is found. It may simply may mean a physical deliverance from a danger. Or in another context the reader (and translator) must recognize that the context requires the meaning to relate to spiritual deliverance. This is the case in Matthew 1:21 where the angel not only gives this name, Yehoshua, translated Iesou in Greek and "Jesus" in English, but also interprets its meaning in the immediate context. "And she will bring forth a Son, and you will call His name Jesus, for He will save His people from their sins."
It is obvious from this context that the name "Jesus" conveys far more to the reader than most readers realize. The angel utterly contradicts those who refuse to recognize the deity of the Savior in the first part of His great name. He defines an important part of the ministry of the Savior, His work of providing salvation through His cross work, in the latter part of His name. In essence the angel has said the name of this promised child shall be "The Eternal Lord shall save," "for He will provide spiritual salvation for His people from their sins."
Now let us assume that the interpreter is one who refuses to acknowledge that the Christ was indeed the Eternal Lord become flesh with the explicit purpose of providing eternal salvation. It would be easy for such a one, refusing the obvious meaning of the text, to flee the immediate context and prove to his own satisfaction that the man Jesus came to provide deliverance from the crushing heel of Rome and nothing more. To do this he would turn to the numerous passages where the Hebrew verb yshah obviously has a more limited meaning in usage where only physical deliverance is intended. But has the interpreter, because of his presuppositions, derived from a misguided theological basis, accurately interpreted the meaning of Matthew 1:21? No. Not at all. He deliberately has refused the obvious intent of the explanation given by the angel in order to maintain his errant theological presuppositions.
THE IMPACT OF THE TRANSLATORS' THEOLOGICAL PRESUPPOSITIONS UPON THE ACCURACY OF THEIR TRANSLATION WORK
Revelation consists of that which God intended his hearers to understand when He spoke to them through the prophets of old or through the written Word that He has given. Revelation is lost to the reader when a translator of the original Hebrew, Aramaic and Greek texts of the Bible ignorantly or deliberately avoids that which the Lord intended for the reader to understand. The problem is that it is possible for the translator to elevate his own presuppositions or the presuppositions of his forerunners above that which was intended by the One Who has provided revelation to us through His Word. When that is done, that which has been revealed in the Word is warped, intentionally or ignorantly by the translator to the hindrance of the reader. The result is that the message that God intended for the reader of His Word to find is so blurred and obscured in the translation that the reader easily is misled to believe the theological presupposition of the translator or translators.
A well known example of deliberate mistranslation that attempts to support the errant theological position of the translators is found in John 1:1 in the New World Translation of the Scriptures. In order to avoid that taught throughout Scripture, that Christ is a member of the Triune Godhead, the verse deliberately is mistranslated in this way. "In [the] beginning the Word was, and the Word was with God, and the Word was a god. " In the first place, there is no indefinite article to be translated "a" in the Greek language. In avoiding the obvious intent of the verse, the indefinite article has been supplied in the English translation. Second, the translation ignores the plain statement of verse three. Who is this One Who is called "the Word?" Verse three says: "All things through Him came into being, and apart from Him not one thing was made that was made." That truth also is taught in verse ten. "He was in the world, and the world was made through Him, but the world did not know Him." It is inescapable that the One Who is called "The Word" played the major role in the creation of all things. And He simply was "another god?" Nonsense. Third, verses four and five speak of the exalted position that He holds as He reaches out into the darkness of mankind to draw men to Himself. "In Him was life, and the life was the light of men. And the light shined in the darkness, but the darkness did not grasp it." Fourth, He is spoken of as "the only begotten Son [majority text], Who is in the bosom of the Father, He has declared Him." This is an obvious reference to Christ's quotation of the decree in Psalm 2:7 and to the relationship being assumed between the eternities that the decree programmed.
Note that the translators of the New World Translation, were avoiding the acknowledgment of the obvious, the fact that the Word Who created all things (v. 3) was truly God. As a result, these translators inserted another theological error in their translation, that is, the concept that Christ the Word was not Jehovah but only another god.
While the Bible acknowledges that there have been many gods imagined by wayward mankind, it clearly teaches there is only one true and living God. And the truth that the true and living God, while one in essence is only one being, exists as more than one person, is plainly taught in many places. It is even taught in Deuteronomy 6:4 in the original language of that verse. "Hear, Oh Israel! The Eternal Lord our God, the Eternal Lord is one ['echadh]!." The significance of the choice of the Hebrew word 'echadh is missed by the English reader who does not recognize that there are two words for "one" in Hebrew. The word used here in Deuteronomy 6:4 is a word that allows more than one element within the oneness, the unity that it describes. Had the Hebrew word yachid been chosen by the Divine Author, this would have been impossible. I have actually seen a Hebrew prayer book in which this second word, yachid had been substituted for 'echadh, the word actually found in the verse.
This is the same error that is found in the New World Translation when it refuses to acknowledge the deity of the logos, the Word. For an example of the use of 'echad to refer to a oneness that has more than one part, one should turn to Genesis 1:4-5. It describes the Creator's activities as He elevated the canopy above the universal sea of that time in order that solar light, created in verse 1, could penetrate to the surface of the earth, the location at that time of the Divine Observer, the Holy Spirit (Gen. 1:2). "Then God proceeded to say, 'Let there begin to be light [on the surface of the earth], and there came to be light. And God observed the light, that it was good, and God caused a division between the light and the darkness. God proceeded to name the light 'day,' but the darkness He previously had called night. As a result, the evening and the morning was day one I ['echadh]. As I said, the Hebrew word yachid also means "one," but it exclusively refers to a oneness that does not consist of more than one part. That word would have been wholly inappropriate here in Genesis 1:5, just as the Divine Author refused to use it in Deuteronomy 6:4 because the intent there obviously was to allow for the three persons in the Trinity. Indeed, that already had been implied in Genesis 1:1 in the plural noun, 'elohiym, "God."
Yes, I do insist that Genesis 1:14-19 and the fourth day have been misunderstood and that the universe was created in verse 1 before the earth. Here compare Psalm 104:1-5 where the order of creation is more explicitly given. "Oh my soul, bless the Eternal Lord! Oh Eternal Lord, my God, You are exceedingly great. You wear glory and majesty, (2) continually covering [Yourself] with light as with a garment, stretching out heavens like the curtain, (3) the One having fitted together the beams of Your upper chambers with the waters, the One making the clouds Your chariot, the One walking upon the wings of wind, (4) making His angels spirits, flames of fire His messengers. (5) He established earth upon its foundations with the result that it should not come to be moved for ever and aye." When the Creator elevated the canopy of water [vapors?] "up over the top of" the expanse of the atmosphere in Genesis 1:3-5, then the darkness resulting from the shrouding vapors receded and it became light on the surface of the waters. This was the result of God's command: "Then God proceeded to say: 'Let light begin to be"; and light began to be. And God observed the light that it was good, and God caused a division between the light and the darkness. God called the light Day, but the darkness He had called Night. As a result, the even and the morning came to be day one ['echadh]. Note that the word chosen allows for the fact that the day consisted of two parts.
Another example of deliberate avoidance of the clear implications of the Hebrew text within the framework of a theological position is seen in the translation of Genesis 1:2 in "Torah", the translation of Genesis by Koren Publishers. "And the earth was without form and void, and darkness was on the face of the deep. And a wind from God moved over the surface of the waters." A similar avoidance of revelation of the obvious intent of revelation is also found in that text in the New World Translation. "Now the earth proved to be formless and waste and there was darkness upon the surface of [the] watery deep, and God's active force was moving to and fro over the surface of the waters." While all three members of the Triune Godhead clearly are referred to in Genesis 1:1-2 and 26-27, errant theological presuppositions required careful avoidance of any suggestion of that fact in these "translations" by these translators.
Similar damage is tone to the creation story by those who parrot the misguided interpretations of their predecessors without careful, critical evaluation. Sadly, this is true of many young earth interpreters who often have neither the linguistic skills nor the skills needed in physical research to be able to interpret either the original Biblical text or the record of the rocks. Some unwittingly reject the syntax of Genesis 1:1 in order to make the initial verses of the creation story palatable to those who wish to escape the obvious meaning of the creation story. An example of this kind of deliberate or simply ignorant interpretation is found in the "Good News Bible, Today's English Version. It reads: "in the beginning, when God created the universe, the earth was formless and desolate. The raging ocean that covered everything was engulfed in total darkness, and the power of God was moving over the water." There are several errors here.
1. First of all, the translators deliberately rejected the independent clause syntax of the Hebrew text in making the first verse entirely a circumstantial clause. The Hebrew text reads: "In beginning God created [a simple perfect, obviously to be understood in past time, and clearly describing completed action] [direct object sign] the heavens and [direct object sign] the earth." There is no way that the rejection of the syntax of this verse, transforming it into a circumstantial clause can be justified. This very misguided interpretive act at the very beginning of God's great revelation should immediately cast a great shadow of suspicion over the rest of this translation!
2. Furthermore they remove the distinction between "the heavens" and "the earth" that are found in the first verse in the original language when they translate "when God created the universe," ignoring the clear distinction being made in the original language by the use of the two direct object signs. That original language specifically and deliberately mentions and carefully separates two definite objects. There is a reason for this careful distinction that is missed in all translations of verse 2 that I have examined. These ignore the fact that one of these two direct objects of the verb "created" uniquely is singled out and is isolated from "the heavens" by the way that verse two begins in Hebrew. Unlike normal Hebrew syntax that places the verb and its action emphatically before the subject, here one of these two direct objects is singled out and dramatically emphasized by being placed before the main verb of the sentence. As a result, the conjunction that introduces the verse should have been translated in such a way to capture the contrast that is being established with the second verse and the first verse.
3. A far more accurate rendering of the impact of this syntactical change would have been captured by rendering the conjunction that introduces verse two and its clause in this way. "But the earth, it was waste and desolate, for darkness covered the face of the deep [ocean]." A brief examination of the early verses of Genesis one would have revealed that there was indeed an ocean places upon the surface of the newly created earth. Furthermore, it would have been clear that this first universal ocean, so often ignored by those attempting to harmonize the record of the rocks with Biblical revelation, retreated from the surface of the earth during the beginning of the third solar (v. 9). And the researcher should not forget that this was observable from the surface of that great sea by the Divine Observer Who was present there.
4. A broader examination of the Biblical revelation on the subject would have revealed that Psalm 104 fully confirms the fact that earth indeed was covered by a universal sea immediately after its creation. The order of the events of creation are carefully delineated by the Divine Author through the human writer of Psalm 104. Verse 2 refers to the creation of the universe, saying: "stretching out the heavens like a curtain." Verse four indicates, in complete harmony with Job 38, that the Lord next created the ranks of spirit beings that would be His servants. "Who made His angels spirits, His ministers a flame of fire." Only then is the Psalmist led by the Divine Author, the Holy Spirit, Who was present at the creation of the earth does he describe that event in proper order. "He established the earth upon its foundations in order that it might not come to be moved for ever and aye" (Psa. 104:5). Then, in complete agreement with Genesis 1:1-2 and Job 38, the Psalmist is led by the Holy Spirit to describe the first universal flood that prepared the way for that which is done in the creation week that follows. "You covered it with the deep [the ocean, exactly as described in Genesis 1:2 and Job 38] as with a garment. Waters came to stand over the mountains" (Psa. 104:6).
THE DANGER IN THE CONSPIRACY TO FOLLOW GNOSTIC, EGYPTIAN TEXTUAL TRADITIONS IN ESTABLISHING WHAT WAS THE ORIGINAL TEXT OF THE NEW TESTAMENT
Daniel Wallace, Ph.D., ignores some very crucial facts when he denigrates the Majority Text, supporting Wescott and Hort's dogmatic presentation of their conclusions concerning the content of the original text of the New Testament.
1. The source of the Alexandrian text, Egypt, was a hotbed of Gnosticism and Greek philosophy in the early centuries. Those traditions greatly influenced thought and faith in the Egyptian church and undoubtedly influenced the trustworthiness of manuscript evidence from that source.
2. The textual basis for Westcott and Hort's New Testament, Aleph, A, B, C, and D, constantly disagree with each other in all of the New Testament books and far from achieve the united testimony concerning the original text of the New Testament as they implied.
3. The papyrus fragments that appear to support the Egyptian manuscript tradition that have survived, all come from the dry sands of Egypt, the very source of Gnostic tampering with the faith and the text of the New Testament early in church history.
4. The Textus Receptus is not the Majority Test and gives as much evidence of tampering with the original text in Medieval times as the Egyptian manuscript sources do in Egypt by the days of Origen.
5. The source of many of the early church fathers (used to support the Egyptian source), came from Egypt, the very source of the Egyptian textual source. Using these early church fathers to support the Egyptian textual tradition is meaningless.
6. Westcott and Hort slander the "Byzantine Text" by associating it with the far later corruptions found in the Textus Receptus. Is this "an ad textum" argument?
7. The frequent association of the Majority Text with the Western and Egyptian mms points to textual areas where the Egyptian mms still preserve the original text uncorrupted.
8. It simply is slander to introduce discussion of the errors of the Textus Receptus in order to discredit the earlier mass of tradition that is found in the Majority text.
A LETTER TO A CONFUSED DOGMATIST
You mix a remarkable amount of nonsense (KJV) along with some very worthwhile truth. As a student of the Biblical languages since 1948, having taught them, particularly the Old Testament and Hebrew since 1959 when I finished my classroom work on my Th.D. degree at Dallas Theological Seminary, and having wrestled with the manuscript evidence available in the Biblical languages for many years, I can assure you that you are abysmally ignorant concerning the translation that was made by amillennial translators who repeatedly in the Old Testament obscure by inaccurate translation choices the unchangeable covenant promises that the Eternal made with the nation of Israel. You simply do not know what you are talking about when you tout the King James Version (repeatedly revised before the copy that you use) as if it were the original, absolutely authoritative Bible!!! I am a devoted teacher of the Word of God who has worked in checking of the accuracy of more than 20 new Bible translations against the original texts in the remote parts of the world. I can assure you that some of these translations are fully as accurate as the King James translation, if not more accurate. Yet none of them is perfect, even as the King James translation is not perfect. I say this, having used the King James translation, correcting its errors, in my ministry since 1953.
Wake up, brother. You simply do not know what you are talking about when you follow those who preach that the King James version absolutely is the only trustworthy Bible and that anyone who uses another version is a heretic.
Bernard E. Northrup
B.A. (New Testament Greek)
Th.M. (Old Testament and Semitic languages--1950-1955)
Th.D. (Old Testament and Semitic languages---1955-1961)
A PROPER APPROACH TO THE STUDY
OF EARTH'S EARLY EVENTS
Bernard E. Northrup
It is very difficult for a researcher to approach the subject of earth's early events without carrying a tool bag of presuppositions that easily can distort his understanding of all sources of evidences and thereby mar his conclusions. The naturalist arrives with his bag filled with theories that, while yet utterly unproven, somehow have gained factual status. Usually his refusal to acknowledge theism as an atheist, governs all observations and conclusions. To replace the thesis that "In beginning God created the heavens and the earth," he religiously dogmatizes that two ancient Greek gods, Chronos, or "time," and Chance are the creators of all things. And because he approaches the evidence with that presupposition, he ever misses the testimony that another Greek god, "Mother Earth," that he too often worships, could give concerning the true facts of earth's early events.
On the other hand the Biblical creationist often misses the truth found in the testimony of the rocks because he has pre-concluded the nature of the message that they must teach. It must agree with that which was taught to him by our great forerunners in our creationist heritage. But we who earnestly believe that the Biblical record of creation is absolutely accurate, coming from the mind of the Creator Himself, must be ready to be critical of our conclusions. We criticize naturalistic scientists because they carry their untested tool bag of presuppositions and yet we do precisely the same thing. Biblical creationism can only be established on firm ground when the original text of God's Word is carefully scrutinized to be sure that we are not bringing false presuppositions to it in our study of it. Biblical creationism can only be established on firm ground when we are willing to test our models and hypotheses by carefully comparing the physical evidence, the record in stone of God's series of acts which have left major geological deposits, with the Biblical record. And this latter must be the control by which we understand the series of earth shaping events that have occurred since Genesis 1:1.
TRAPPED BEHIND THE STONE OF PRESUPPOSITION.
The subject, "An approach to Scientific Studies" may sound very dead to you but I hope to show you that it is very closely related to the Scriptures. There is a stone that lies before the door of the cave of all scientific study. Perhaps you will remember the story of Odysseus and how he and twelve of his crew from his sailing ship climbed up to the cave of Polyphemus who was the one eyed, giant son of the sea god, Poseidon. The giant scorned the request of Odysseus for hospitality and promptly ate two of his men. Odysseus and his men were imprisoned when the giant rolled a great stone in front of the cave and left them to tend his sheep. He and his men were facing certain death. They only escaped being devoured by Cyclops by providing sufficient wine to make the giant drunk, then blinding his one great eye with a sharpened stake. The next day they managed to slip out with the sheep as they were being let out to graze.
The scientist today is fumbling about in the darkness of the cave of science just as Odysseus and his men did when they were shut up in the cave by the giant. This is because there is a great stone which is set before the door of knowledge which prevents the light of ultimate truth and its understanding from reaching him. It is a stone that he alone is not able to move. It is the stone that we might variously entitle, "Is there a God?" "How did all things come to be?"
Now there are a number of answers given. One's answer largely depends upon his presuppositions. There are some who come who come to these questions with the premise of atheism that states: "There is no God!" Other scientists come as agnostics. Their approach is rather well summarized by the ancient Greeks who built an altar on Mars Hill and dedicated it "To the unknown God." These are not ready to admit that there is solid evidence which points to the existence of the Creator, although they cautiously admit that there may have been a Creator. Still others, like Hugh Ross, remain so infatuated with the marvelous discoveries and unproven theories and conclusions of science that, even though poising as believers who seek to strengthen our faith in God's Word, continually ignore the fact that it contradicts their teachings. They are unaware that the stone of scientific presupposition stands in the way of their understanding the ultimate truth of God's Word and of its explicit revelations about how the universe and earth's early events took place.
On the other hand, there is a small band of students of science who go under the banner, "God created the world and all things therein." Only by this approach, which we might call theistic creationism, is it possible to move the stone that stands in the doorway of scientific study. Only faith can move the obstacle and bring light to the walls of the cave of science. Only be recognizing that the creation is designed to display the glory of the Creator can the scientist ever completely understand his chosen area of scientific research. Otherwise he can only fumble along the darkened walls searching for an escape from self-inflicted darkness. Actually, to change the metaphor, we might liken the plight of the unbelieving student of science to the researcher who was described by Plato. He tells of a man who is eternally bound with his back to the mouth of a cave so that he could not ever turn around and look outside the cave. All that he can see of the real world, all that he can learn and know experientially about the world outside of the cave comes to him through the flickering shadows which the light outside casts upon the walls of the cave before him. All that he really sees is the pantomime that the flickering shadows of events that take place outside the cave just beyond his reach and any real comprehension. His conclusions are derived from his incomplete knowledge that he has attempted to interpret from the shadows cast on the walls of his cave before him.
Many scientific classrooms where scientific disciplines are taught are like Plato's cave. All that is seen portrayed for the student is the flickering, pantomimed shadow of unproven theory that lacks crucial evidence and the substance to prove or disprove the theory. And as you can imagine, the man in the cave does not often fabricate a very accurate description of what has taken place. If he were to attempt to construct a history of that which had taken place in the last 24 hours outside of the cave, it would be filled with extrapolations and errors because he had not been able to examine the full evidence that he needed. Because of the limited evidence that he must use because of his atheistic or related presuppositions, self-inflicted in the case of the unbelieving scientist, his theories to often are nothing but presuppositional fabrics of imagination without the solid substance of reality. This he could have gained only by attributing to the Creator the right to reveal authoritatively precisely what did happen in earth's early ages.
But this problem of having presupposition govern conclusions is not one that affects the unbelieving scientist alone. Altogether too frequently we creationists join the unbelieving scientist as recluses from the world of fact. Far too often our presuppositional images attempting to describe earth's early events are more firmly based upon the undiscerning and unsound pronouncements of an earlier creationist than they are upon the actual statement of the Word of God. There are many presuppositions and misunderstandings present in creation circles that mistakenly are based upon someone's incomplete understanding of the real statement of the Word of God in the original language. Having formed our presuppositional images from the flickering shadows that others have cast upon the walls of our understanding of the Word of God, we sit in self-inflicted isolation, bound only by our presuppositions.
As a result of our refusal carefully to evaluate our harmonization model by means of the total evidences of earth's early event series found described in the Word of God and displayed in the earth's physical evidence, we end up reproducing over and over the interpretative errors which have been taught to us as students of creationism. In our self-inflicted isolation from the full statement of the Biblical evidence and from the very real (though continually misunderstood) physical evidence, we refuse to recognize that these two sources of evidence concerning earth's early ages must agree. After all, one is from the mouth of the Creator and the other is from His hand. No model which seeks to interpret the event series which is described in Genesis 1:1-11:32 and in the book of Job, not to mention scores of other Biblical references, which cannot or does not seek to harmonize the physical, geological record and the paleontological materials which it contains, deserves further consideration by an earnest creationist. The creationist who insists on promoting a faulty model which never has and never will achieve harmony between the sources of evidence can only be guilty of paying too much attention to the flickering shadows while hoping to establish unwarranted presuppositions as facts.
Both the creationist and the unsaved research scientist need to revise their approach to research if the truth ever will become established in our minds. The evolutionary scientist holds his erroneous presuppositions as gospel truth in spite of a constant stream of contradictory evidence that clamors for him to discard unfounded and dis-proven presuppositions. Yet he persists because of his faith in his untenable, unprovable propositions that have frozen into evolutionary dogma. After the same fashion many creationists persist in reproducing incomplete, pantomime portraits of the event series that brought the physical earth to its present state. We are strangely unconcerned with the physical evidence in the world outside our cave, our imaginary mental fabrication of earth's physical history.
"But we have the Scriptures! We have the record from the Creator Himself that tells us exactly what happened! There is no need to examine the record of the rocks! What can it tell us when we know what happened?" Ah, but the fact is that a half a dozen or more utterly contradictory approaches to the Genesis record vie for acceptance or virtually dominate all Christian consideration of the subject. Thank God there are a few creationists who have ceased trusting only in unfounded presuppositions and actually have gone outside of the cave, doing real physical field research that they seek to harmonize with God's Word. When they have been able to discard their presuppositional interpretations, these unworkable models are found greatly to distort and misrepresent the actual field evidences of earth's early ages.
THE REEVALUATION OF AN AREA SUBJECTED TO
IN-OBSERVANT CREATION FIELD RESEARCH.
But the evaluation of one's own harmonization model is a research step that is exceedingly difficult. How many creationists have looked at the line of overthrust on Chief Mountain in Glacier National Park and have come home declaring: "There is no layer of crushed rock! It cannot possibly be an overthrust!" Yet all have ignored the very obvious evidence above that contact line to make that declaration. They have presumed that the superimposed strata already was solid stone at the time of the overthrust. They have ignored the evidence before their eyes that the overthrust Proterozoic materials were not endurated at the time that they were overthrust! The tremendous distortion of the muds and soft clays in the face of the overthrust is evident everywhere in the overthrust materials. The remarkable contortions of the overthrust material does not contain the necessary evidence of fracturing which would be present if the overthrust were solid rock. Several factors must be considered here. The pressures from the west that produced this overthrust are the result of continental division and the plate movement which began five generations after the Noahic flood according to Genesis 10 and 11 and Luke 3. (The reference in Luke 3:34-36 confirms the accuracy of the statement of the Septuagint that Peleg's ancestor, Cainan, somehow has been omitted in the Hebrew text in Genesis 10:22-25 and 11:10-17). The pressures of plate collision to the west forced ocean bottom muds of pre-Noahic flood times to be driven over the top of Noahic flood and retreat of Noahic flood materials.
An examination of these latter materials that lie ahead of the great overthrust to the east is very informative. There are places where Noahic flood and retreat materials are pushed ahead of the moving, overthrust block and folded in according folds like a loose throw rug is rumpled when a speeding dog slides to a stop on it. These flood (Paleozoic) and retreat of flood and continental division (Mesozoic) strata most certainly were not deposited in this folded condition. The only explanation for their present condition is that a thrust fault from the west overrode them west of these folds as a great overthrust. The leading edge of the thrust block lies against these folded strata where the near horizontal movement of the soft, Proterozoic materials from the west finally stopped, having shoved the younger material under its leading edge on to the east.
The creationist who insists that there was no horizontal movement in this location needs to go west from DuPuyer and examine the great folds in that area. The overthrust was not complete in that area and material which I identify as Proterozoic or pre-Noahic overthrust material bends upward and almost topples over to the east. There was horizontal movement. But this area apparently escaped the complete overthrusting which is obvious in Glacier and Waterton National Parks to the north. It is just another example of inadequate creation research before propounding dogma when one insists that there has been no overthrust in these parks.
Of course this is almost rank heresy in creationist circles for it contradicts conclusions that have been taught in our circles for years. But a more careful examination of the field evidence, barring unjustified presuppositions, strongly supports this conclusion. Furthermore, it succeeds in explaining how the Proterozoic material, which underlies Paleozoic and younger Mesozoic material all over the world, is found overlying them throughout large sections of the Northern Rockies. It also harmonizes with evidences found farther south west of the DuPuyer, Montana area. There these latter two great formation groups are not fully overthrust by the Proterozoic materials. Instead they lie in a giant, incomplete fold which testifies again of plate movement pressures from the west well after the deposition of the only universal marine deposit series which contains any really significant fossil assemblage which could possibly be identified with the Noahic flood. I am referring to the Paleozoic "Era's" structures in which the Noahic flood's activities can readily be traced from its beginning in the ocean bottoms when the Creator opened the fountains of the great deep (Gen. 7:11).
I have concluded long ago that one can trace the rise of the Noahic flood, its stabilization, the initial exposure of occasional portions of the land mass as retreat began in Genesis 8, the evidences left by the great wind that the Creator sent to begin drying up the surface of the earth (Gen. 8:1), and many evidences of the violent, continually going and returning of the shorelines as new ocean basins were formed and tsunami continually attacked the rising shorelines (Gen. 8:3). I conclude from comparing Biblical and geological evidence that Noah left the ark some time during the event series that deposited the initial series of the Mesozoic "era," the Triassic deposit series.
THE COROLLARY TESTIMONY INDICATED IN THE DINOSAUR BURIAL GROUNDS TO THE EAST OF GLACIER NATIONAL PARK
Most creationists have ignored the meaning of the physical evidences that surround the dinosaur burial grounds to the east. As a result of an obsession with the Noahic flood, they desperately have misplaced the destruction of the dinosaurs east of the Northern Rockies in the United States and the Canadian Rockies in Canada. They have identified this event with the Noahic flood. In doing so they have utterly contradicted the testimony that the dinosaurs have concerning the timing and the nature of their deaths in this area.
But these details concerning Glacier National Park and its great overthrust by ocean muds in upper Mesozoic times must be grasped and correlated in proper order and in correct Biblical time and event. When that is done the evidences of the time of the death and the nature of the death that these dinosaurs died will provide a crucial part of the puzzle of earth's early ages. Both in the Canadian deposits along the Red Deer River and farther south in areas like Choteau, Montana there are evidences of shoreline, wind blown sands. It is highly possible that this correlates with Genesis 8:1-3 and later. Furthermore the death assemblage in which these reptiles were buried overlies any formation series which could possibly be identified as universal flood deposits. They lie in Mesozoic deposits akin to those which, farther west and to the north of Choteau, were shoved eastward by the great Lewis overthrust.
Furthermore a major constituency of the matrix in which these dinosaurs are found, particularly in Alberta, is airborne volcanic ash in remarkable quantities. Such an evidence can only be correlated with the very late retreat of the Noahic flood. I personally believe from the geological evidence that the Noahic flood initiated its retreat in upper Mississippian formations. There is evidence of great oscillation of shorelines far into Mesozoic times. Indeed, the two major characteristics of Mesozoic deposits are wind and tidal wave. Abrupt continental division and the resulting diastrophism so greatly modified the shorelines of the newly separated plates that it is difficult to say exactly where the retreat of the Noahic flood ends. I personally would speculate that as far as Biblical time is concerned, plate movement is strongly indicated by numerous references in Job to tidal waves, mountains being turned over and valleys being rifted. Psalm 114, while in a very poetic treatment, speaks of active diastrophism at the time of the Exodus.
Now one thing is obvious from an investigation of Glacier National Park and of their extension to the north. These Northern Rockies and their Canadian counterparts were never covered by the Noahic flood in their present orogenetic configuration. That great event happened before these mountains were even formed. Like the great chains of mountains in the California Coastal Range, the Sierra Nevadas, the Klamath Mountains, the Cascade Mountains and the Canadian Rockies, these mountains rose out of the very late retreat stages of the Noahic flood as a result of the division of the continents five long generations after the initial retreat stages of the flood allowed the occupants of Noah's ark to return to tierra firma. I say five long generations because I firmly believe that the reference to the dividing of the earth in the days of Peleg, "utterly divided by water," is the only possible event which chronologically could be linked with the massive evidence for the separation of the great continental plates which occurs about the midpoint of Mesozoic times. And since Luke 3 supports the accuracy of the Septuagint text of Genesis 10 and 11 by including in the ancestry of Christ the man Cainan (who is omitted in the Hebrew and in all translations), I suspect strongly that the Septuagint data concerning how long men lived in that period is the original text, somehow corrupted in the Hebrew text but preserved in this ancient translation. A careful examination of the Septuagint chronology in Genesis 11:10-19 will suggest that this would mean that almost 550 years lie between the Noahic flood and the division of the continents when Peleg was a child.
If I am correct in my treatment of the chronological material in Genesis 10 and 11, this would mean that the dinosaurs east of the Canadian Rockies and the Northern Rockies were survivors of the Noahic flood. The physical evidence in that area which I have extensively and carefully examined shows that the creatures now found buried in Dinosaur Provincial Park, in many places along the Red Deer River and on south along the Northern Rockies are buried in a matrix which is utterly unrelated to the Noahic flood. They are buried in a slurry of what probably is wind blown but certainly shoreline sands, a great quantity of airborne volcanic ash which had to come from the crumpling mountains to the west and a soft mud slurry which came from the violent uplift of the mountains to the west. I have driven through these mountains in the United States, have flown over them from Vancouver, B.C. to Calgary and have traveled through them on the Canadian National Railway. Especially on the train I was greatly impressed by the enormous, shattered blocks of strata which often lie steeply tipped by the colossal pressures of continental plate collision to the west. From the air I was astounded to see scores and perhaps hundreds of volcanoes beneath me as I traveled from the coast to this great Canadian city which lies just east of the Canadian Rockies on the western extremity of the Canadian Great Plains.
The volcanic materials which form a major part of the matrix in which many of the dinosaur skeletons lie buried came from this gigantic chain of peaks which were belching fire and ash a thousand times more plentiful than that sent out by Mount St. Helens. But a third element is present in the death matrix. There is a monumental intrusion of a giant mudslide that is particularly obvious east of Glacier National Park. There these muds swirl violently, mixing and stirring the airborne ash beds and the sands to form a death matrix of unbelievable violence. In the area of Choteau, Montana, which is not far from the mountains to the west, it appears to me that it primarily was the mud slide generated by the violence of the Lewis Overthrust which covered the dinosaur egg beds near Choteau, burying multitudes of fragments of egg shells along with occasional, very juvenile dinosaurs and with their parents.
The physical evidence of the entire area violently argues against this death assemblage being the product of the Noahic flood. I found both oyster and clam shells in this assemblage. Both shellfish are littoral and shoreline creatures. In one place I saw a mat of thousands of opened clam shells which were swept together and buried in a great muddy matrix that gave evidence that the slurry of sea water, mud and volcanic ash had been moving powerfully as it collected dead lifeforms and destroyed whatever lifeforms had survived the great, hot ash falls. The fact that most of the clam shells were open indicated that these marine shoreline creatures already had died before their turbulent deposit. I suspect that the great burden of hot ash may have been a major factor in the death of the dinosaurs and of many other lifeforms east of the Northern and Canadian Rockies. Not far from Dinosaur Provincial Park several miles up the Red Deer River I found dinosaur bone that had been subjected to enough heat that it was blackened and burned. I also found dinosaur bone that bore sharp tooth scars. Unquestionably a carnivore had survived the death of the creature long enough to feast upon it or at least to clean its skeleton. Whether these fire-marked bones were seared by the hot ash before their burial or by some fire long afterward when they were exposed by erosion is a good question. But the fact that massive quantities of volcanic ash dominated the deposit in which they were found suggests the former explanation. At any rate it is highly probable that the great cloud of poisonous gasses from the thousands of volcanic vents to the west and north is the factor that killed many if not all of these dinosaurs before the massive mudslide from the west buried those east of Glacier National Park.
SUMMARIZING THE EVIDENCES FOR AN EXTENDED EVENT SERIES
IN THE AREA OF GLACIER NATIONAL PARK
The researcher must not ignore the chronological evidences of progression of time in the deposit series when he visits these sites. He must acknowledge that universal flood strata underlies this geological terrain. That strata series has been uplifted to the west by the crushing forces of plate collision which produced all of the mountains anywhere near the present West Coast of the United States and Canada. That this uplift was fairly rapid seems inescapable from the fact that the uplift created a tidal wave and mud slide that appears to have reached well over 100 miles to the east of the Canadian Rockies and certainly reached well beyond the Montana dinosaur beds. In the Choteau area there are many empty dinosaur nests with shell scattered around them. Occasionally the skeleton of a very young dinosaur is found. Area museums have displays of such a skeleton. But adult dinosaurs also are found very near to the egg beds. When he was investigating the egg beds, one of Jack Horner's staff kept complaining about a rock under his bed beneath the tepee where he slept. When the rock finally was dug out, it turned out to be a large dinosaur bone. Excavation of the area showed that the mud slurry which had buried them largely had been removed by erosion and that several complete skeletons were lying just below the surface at the edge of their camp. I well remember one of the staff members showing me a tiny juvenile femur, comparing it with one of the adult femurs which at that time was being packed in plaster for transportation to the museum. Again I say that it is highly likely that these creatures and their young died of suffocation from the great clouds of volcanic gasses extruded from the thousands of vents that were roaring to the west and north of their habitat.
Another factor that needs consideration is the researcher must acknowledge that the Red Deer River dinosaur beds usually are overlain by more than 25 feet of glacial debris. There can be no doubt that this material has migrated on an ice sheet out of the Canadian Rockies. Neither can one squeeze together into one great catastrophe the following elements of the geology of the area which I see covering an important section of Alberta and Montana. I reconstruct the event series as follows:
1. The universal flood strata materials (Paleozoic) that underlie but are not a part of the dinosaur rich Mesozoic strata of this area.
2. The great crunching, geological catastrophe of plate collision that formed the mountains to the west.
3. The shattering of the crust and the grinding of the plates together in continental plate movement produced the extended volcanic explosion series which blanketed the sea and shallow sea plane to the east of the rising Rockies.
4. The rapid hinge faulting of the block which became the Northern Rockies and containing Glacier National Park uplifted and forced a massive section of soft ocean bottom to slide eastward over Noahic flood and retreat of flood strata.
5. The generation of a great continental tidal wave which raced eastward off of the leading edge of the newly uplifted montane structures.
6. The violent mixing of shoreline sands, volcanic ash and the racing wave of mud and water as that wave buried the dinosaurs that had died from the volcanic ash and gases, also burying survivors (if there were any).
7. The temporary warming of the northwest by the enormous heat release in vast lava flows and superheated steam. This allowed flora and fauna from more temperate zones to migrate farther north than we would expect today, accounting for palm fronds and tree trunks that I have seen in the Cascades and just west of Denver, Colorado.
8. The transformation of the albedo of the earth so that it became highly reflective as a result of the vast amounts of steam and volcanic particles that loaded the atmosphere. This was the natural result of the vast heat release of continental plate movement and the enormous diastrophism that it produced. This is displayed by the earth's layers from Jurassic times into very late Cenozoic times.
9. Once the sun's rays began to bounce off and fail to penetrate the dense atmosphere (evidently mentioned in Job 22:12-14), earth's surface temperatures would have steadily dropped. The record of the plunge of atmospheric temperatures throughout Cenozoic times has been carefully calculated on the basis of oxygen content of shell fish fossils in the Arctic basin.
10. This plunge of temperatures was accompanied by violent rain storms which have left their marks in the erosion and in the great lake basins of the world before Pleistocene ("most recent") times. The great Basin and Range Province of Nevada already had been broken into a horst and graben terrain before the rain and snowfall that filled these giant lake basins came to form them. In spite of the persistent insistence of many creationists, it is impossible to harmonize this evidence and place the Pleistocene ice "age" at the end of the Noahic flood.
11. It must be remembered that much of the waters which collected in the great basins of the west like Lake Bonneville and the Green River Basin were derived from melt waters. By Pleistocene time temperatures in the Arctic Basin had dropped to zero degrees centigrade and the world was plunged into the ice age.
I have maintained for more than a quarter of a century that it was the late ice age overflow and release of several of these great lake basins similar to the Green River Basin in Wyoming that carved the Grand Canyon perhaps as long as a millennium after the Noahic flood. East of Dinosaur National Monument I have seen evidence that man was present in the wind blown sand dunes near the east end of fossil Lake Uinta before the Green River broke through to join the early stages of the Colorado River. Only this past month (1995?) I had opportunity to reexamine the course of the drainage of Lake Bonneville in Utah as it came through the area of Boise, Idaho and to the west. This vast ice age lake finally drained through Red Rock Pass into the Snake River drainage. When these racing waters came to the uplift where Hells Canyon now is cut between Oregon and Idaho. They backed up to fill the valley to the south of Boise. The terraces of that lake are present everywhere, even at the doorstep of Meridian and Boise. When these waters finally broke through to cut Hells Canyon to the west of the Seven Devils Range, they sliced through the great extrusive Columbia lava flows which underlie the Treasure Valley to form or at least to deepen the Snake River south of Nampa. They raced on eventually to join the Columbia drainage. I suspect that this took place before the enormous release of waters from the Flathead Lake area that scoured the badlands of Washington as they raced toward the sea.1
12. In Job's day near the end of the Biblical icy catastrophe (misnamed "the ice age") an ice sheet moved out to the east of the Canadian Rockies and deposited 25 feet of glacial gravels and till over the top of the prairie and the dinosaurs that previously had been buried many feet beneath. Erosive forces like the Red Deer River, a drainage channel undoubtedly initiated by the melting of the ice sheet, has exposed the dinosaur material in that area. The violence of the rainfall that followed the retreat of the ice "age" continued to erode the area, further exposing fossil materials in many places.
The same is true east of Glacier National Park. The scars of glacial cirques and valleys, the sculpturing of the mountains, the great moraines where ice movement stopped, are major evidences of that post-flood, post-continental division climatic catastrophe which for a time affected all of the earth. However it appeared that most of the erosion to the east came from the streams of melt water running eastward off of these melting glaciers. I was not aware of extensive glacial deposits on the prairie farther to the east for I have not had opportunity to examine that area.
ON FINDING AN ICE AGE BOOK
Bernard E. Northrup Th.D.
This chapter is a revision of that which originally was published after one of my creation conferences by Colonial Hills Baptist Church in East Point, Georgia sometime in the early 1970's. It also has been part of well over a hundred conferences in many states and several countries. For years it was part of my class notes for Genesis 1-11 entitled "In the Beginning," for Central Baptist Seminary in Minneapolis where I was Director of Graduate Studies. It describes my abrupt awakening to the requirement by the catastrophic contents of the Book of Job that we recognize a post-Noahic flood, thoroughly Biblical ice "age" catastrophe.
For years believers have wrestled with the problem of science and have wondered how we could ever reconcile the many things which are found in the crust of the earth with that which we read in the Scriptures concerning earth's early events. Many creationists have puzzled over the major areas of disagreement and tentatively have provided approaches to harmonization that they thought might help to explain the apparent contradiction between the Word of God and the work of the Creator. These harmonization models have been helpful in that they provided an avenue of escape from uniformitarian dogmas that have proven to be destructive to the uninstructed faith of many students of the natural sciences. In every case these models have proven inadequate in that they have ignored major pieces of the puzzle. For example, the gap theory completely has ignored the physical evidence of a period of earth's history when an icy catastrophe troubled the entire earth with massive, continuous cloud cover, with torrential rains and in northern and southern latitudes, with vast snow falls. The Noahic flood model likewise has ignored this evidence and the massive signs of volcanism in Cenozoic deposits that were impossible to fit into the classical form of the model. In recent years it has become popular to tack these physical evidences onto the conclusion of the Noahic flood in a vague, undefined way that has left multitudes of unanswered questions.
The model that I propose, "the Catastrophe Series Harmonization Model," is extremely helpful in understanding the genesis of geology or the confirmatory testimony of science to the Scriptures. Through this model I have concluded that Genesis and geology both have exactly the same message when both are properly understood. Now this does not require adapting Genesis to geology at all, bur rather casts the light of the facts of physical geology (not the theoretical, macrochronological interpretation of geology) upon the text of Genesis so that we can recognize the wider catastrophic nature of its testimony. Once one eliminates the assumptions of geological time that are so critical to evolutionary historical geology, the two accounts carry the same message. The fact that the two records always have played the same tune and at the same speed only becomes recognizable when one plays the geological record at the same speed as the Biblical record! Suddenly every glissando, every crescendo and every andante passage produce sufficient harmony that one can recognize that the two records came from the same Master. This far I have identified 125 exacting parallels between the physical geological record and the Biblical record. Surely this says something about the massive presumptions that are the basis for the uniformitarian interpretation of the record of the rocks!
Some years ago I spent a week speaking at Maranatha Baptist Bible College in Wisconsin concerning creation. During the week I had completed the consideration of earth's earlier events in Genesis, the Noahic flood and finally, the division of the continents as presented in Genesis 10:25. I was preparing to speak on the ice age in geology the next day. I was thoroughly convinced that there had been a very Biblical icy catastrophe after the Noahic flood, for I had followed the courses of several of the glaciers on our own continent and had viewed their great rivers of ice in British Columbia and in Alaska. Since then I have been able to observe these vast rivers of ice from the air in the Andes, in the Alps and in from the high foothills of the Himalayas.
While meditating at Maranatha Baptist Bible College about the problem of "an ice age" within Biblical times, a thought struck me. Surely, if this were true, there should have been a great amount of testimony concerning it available in the Bible, given by those who actually lived during that catastrophic time. Suddenly a flood of secondary revelation began coming to me as the Holy Spirit, the Divine Author, began to point out to me in His Holy Word many places where the icy catastrophe actually is mentioned. I had read these many dozens of times, teaching from a theological viewpoint, and utterly had missed the import of these passages! The Lord led me to the Book of Job and showed me that here was a book that surely had actually been written during the closing days of the Biblical icy catastrophe.
I. THE ANTIQUITY OF THE BOOK OF JOB.
Now the geologist, of course, wants to place the ice age in a setting that began more than a million years ago, with its influence continuing to retreat even today. For several generations students of all ages had been taught inventive fictions about the gradual development of cave men and how man gradually had evolved. The fiction still finds a gullible market in the carefully designed deceptions of books like Mitchner's "Source" and the book, "Clan of the Cave Bear" series.
Now I had long been convinced that mankind had lived on earth throughout the icy catastrophe which left its unmistakable scars on earth's final layers. I also was convinced that the period had not lasted for over a million years. What I discovered when I began reading the Bible with open eyes, understanding what its human writers were saying, was that mankind indeed had passed through the trial of an icy catastrophe and had recorded a remarkable amount of information about life during that period in the land of Palestine.
It was a period when all of Europe was gripped in a terrible series of ice storms that forced humankind in that area to survive in caves, living a meager existence in great competition with the animal life that also was there. Storms raged that seemed to be continual. It is possible that for months in the most intense time of trial, man did not even see the sun. He was not able to grow crops. Just as the midden piles at the cave mouths indicate, he survived on that game which he could kill and on the edible wild plants, wild grasses and grains that he could gather. Mankind in that area survived by tooth and toenail, living from the meat that he could kill, often not able to cook that well because wood was not easily available. Because of the absence of the sun's beneficial contribution and of well rounded diets which instead lacked many vitamins, man was affected physically. His frame often was tortured by rickets and debilitating arthritis because of the cold caves in which he lived. Deprived of proper food, his spine and skull were deformed, leaving him stooped. Of course fossil traces of these deformities provided fuel for imaginative archaeologists, who saw in our ancestors evolutionary evidences that they graphically portrayed. They missed the significance of clear evidence of the interbreeding of the strains of modern man and Neanderthal man in the cave life of northern Palestine and the evidence that this rapidly resulted in modern skeletons in their offspring.
In the land of Israel, man was living south of the area where great ice fingers continued to cover the highlands for decades. It was a time when the great Jordan Valley was being ripped apart by a great crustal tension rift that extended ultimately to the north to Mount Ararat in the land that we now call Turkey. Its southern extension passed beneath the Red Sea, through Ethiopia, Kenya 6,000 miles to the south of Ararat to the southeast coast of Africa in Tanzania. This rifting of the Jordan Valley is a historical event that, according to geologists, happened during Pleistocene (most recent) times as one of the late scenarios of the division of the continents. Geologists tell us that this rifting of the "African Rift" was a fairly "recent" event. During this event the valley was formed where the Sea of Galilee and the Dead Sea now lie.
I have examined the physical evidences that indicate that at one time these two bodies of water were actually joined as a result of the torrential downpours produced in Palestine by the icy catastrophe. That larger lake is called "Lake Lian" after the "tongue" of land which once extended far out into the Dead Sea from its eastern shore. There are evidences that have suggested to me that at one time Lake Lisan may actually have been an arm of the Red Sea for a brief time. There are many evidences that man lived in that valley as the ice age declined and as that great lake gradually retreated to its present configuration as two lakes. Indeed, I believe that it is highly probable that Job lived in or more likely near Palestine in the days when Lake Lisan still existed. Indeed, I have proposed long ago that Job actually lived during the Biblical ice age and personally recorded the many details concerning it in the book that carries his name. Now do not believe the error of earlier archaeologists who thought that writing had not been invented at that time. There are several references in the book of Job to writing. Note Job 19:23; 13:26 and 31:25. And I firmly believe that the book of Job is the oldest book in the Bible.
Now we have been discussing Genesis 10:25, the first place in the Scriptures mentioning continental division. We found that a Semitic lad, born during the "utter division of the land by water," was named PELEG to commemorate that remarkable event. As I have pointed out, the English translations of this verse do not carry the same freight of meaning found in the original Hebrew text. Now I have come to the conclusion that the Book of Job actually is the oldest book of the Bible as far as its date of writing is concerned. While Genesis discusses far earlier events in earth's history, Job most probably was written centuries before Moses wrote the Book of Beginnings. I personally am convinced that Job lived in the post-flood days not less than six generations after the Noahic flood. Indeed, I think that it is highly likely that Job actually is mentioned in Genesis 10.
One day long ago in my careful study of that passage I stumbled into the awareness that Genesis 10:29 mentions an interesting nephew of Peleg, the thirteenth son of Peleg's brother Joktan. That nephew's name was Jobab. Now Hebrew writers centuries ago tried to identify Job with a Jobab found in Genesis 36, a descendant of Esau. But a comparison of the climate clues found there in Genesis 36 and context with those found in the book of Job, little similarity is found. Now there are names found in the book of Job that also are found elsewhere in Genesis 36, but one also should observe a similar overlapping of names when comparing Job with the Semitic names of Genesis 10. I have concluded that place names, such as the land of Uz, carry over to Genesis 36 because Esau and his descendants lived in the very area where the descendants of Joktan had settled long before. A study of the identification of present names of cities and places in Israel, preserved for centuries by the Arab peoples while Israel was away from the land, will indicate that place names (and indeed personal names) continue to be used in a local area where Semitic people continue to live. I therefore have concluded that the similarities of names in the book of Job to these chapters of Genesis should recognize an identity with Genesis 10 and that their continued use in Genesis 36 was no more than that.
I already have discussed the linguistic basis for comparing Job with Jobab in the Hebrew texts of Job and Genesis as linguistic variations carried by different family branches within the larger Semitic group. Indeed, the form "Jobab" probably represents the name as found in one of the several languages of the Semitic family found in this area while "Job" or 'IYOB represents the name in another related language. Indeed, there is considerable linguistic evidence in the Hebrew text of the book of Job that might possibly suggest that the present text actually is an adaptation or even a translation from another dialect or language that is nearer to Arabic than to Biblical Hebrew. It is even conceivable that the journeys of Moses in the region northeast of Egypt while herding sheep for 40 years may have been the means of the survival of this magnificent piece of ancient literature. I certainly would be thrilled if a fragment of Job in another Semitic dialect were to be found! If my postulate that Job is a translation has any validity, then the Book of Job is the oldest example of Bible translation. And it also would be an accurate conclusion that Job actually is the nephew of the man who was named Peleg, so named because the earth literally began to divide in his days.
But let us return at that point to the chronological context when I am suggesting that Job lived, in the days of continental division. This is based upon repeated references in the book to crustal upheaval, overturning, volcanism, rifting, violent erosion, tidal waves and even cave dwellers. Now when one considers the physical evidence (which only a surprisingly few creationists do), there should be little question that the continents have indeed divided. The geological evidence is absolutely overwhelming. It has backed up to the wall every geologist who had refused to believe the radical, uniformity disturbing theory. Geologists today are staggered by the astounding evidence indicating that the continents were ripped apart at some time in the past. But what was that event like? And what happened after and as a result of that event? That latter subject is actually our matter at hand. But for the moment it is necessary to discuss the results of that division of the continents as they are found in the world and then in the Bible.
When the continents divided and moved to their present locations, this caused great volcanoes to erupt to relieve the enormous heat of friction generated by the movement of the continental plates over the weakened, inner crust of the earth that is called "the rheosphere." This upwelling heat also caused great bulging uplifts, pressure ridges, folds and even over thrusts to occur. For example, these lie all up our west coast in the Sierras, Klamath Mountains and Cascades. They are found throughout the Central and Northern Rockies and on to the north in the Canadian Rockies. In these Canadian Rockies there are hundreds of great volcanoes. Their trail of peaks that once belched fire red molten rock, steam and ashes extends on through Alaska and out into the Bering Straits. Not a few of these are still alive and smoldering. These fire-formed, slumbering giants stand at great heights along the ragged ridge of the Andes in South America, testifying to the might of the eruptions which belched forth when continental movement still was a major force modifying crustal plate configuration. At one time the world had a living ring of fire with multitudes of places where volcanoes of all sizes were extruding enormous quantities of steam, volcanic ash, pumice, lava and muds.
The results of this volcanism in the atmosphere were phenomenal. It changed the atmosphere completely for an extended time. To show what volcanism can accomplish in the atmosphere, consider Krakatoa, a volcanic mountain that blew up in the 1800's in the far western Pacific basin. This single explosion filled the high atmosphere with ash and pumice. This actually filtered out sunlight so effectively that it dropped earth's surface temperatures as much as two degrees for nearly two years. In the northeastern states this was called the year of no summer. Chickens are reported to have gone to bed at 4:00 p.m. in Kansas because darkness fell so much earlier than normal. One Volcano! Can you imagine what it was like when the continents were dividing rapidly in Biblical times? It is reported that when the valley of 10,000 smokes exploded in 1912, solar energy entering the atmosphere was temporarily reduced by 20 %! Imagine the effect when multiplying that volcanic explosion by one thousand times! Or by 10,000 times! What would it have been like to have lived here on earth? The fascinating fact is that Job is quite instructive on that point.
But let us consider further the subject of the antiquity of the Book of Job before considering the catastrophic evidences in that book. This book, more than any other book apart from Genesis, gives us information about creation, about Cain and Adam, about angelic sin (which I believe also is mentioned in Genesis 6), about the judgment of the Noahic flood and similar events that happened even before the Noahic flood! But Job clearly writes as one who lived shortly after that great judgment. In this short chapter I will only be able to summarize the evidence for the antiquity of the book of Job for the roots of this information reach deeply into the text and into the language used by the author.
It is amazing to see just how far back in Biblical history the book of Job reaches. For example, Job 15:7 mentions the first two men who ever lived. "Are you the first man that was born....?" Now that would be Cain (and not Adam as most will respond). "...Or were you made before the hills?" This of course refers to Adam. Now all of the world's really great mountains were formed by continental movement after the Noahic flood. What to these words mean? Eliphaz speaks these words to Job as an insult for Job was maintaining that he was righteous even though he had come into a terrible time of trial. Eliphaz in this passage is accusing Job of sin and is making rather harsh statements about him. But do note that his words here certainly imply that Eliphaz recognized that Adam indeed had been made before the hills! Job 26 also mentions the creation. In verses 7-13 several verses contribute to our knowledge of the way that God stretched out the north over the empty place and bound up the waters in His thick cloud. I conclude that the latter statement is an allusion to the canopy of water vapor that existed above the atmosphere before the Noahic flood. A comparable passage would be Genesis 1:2-9. The expression, "compassed the waters with bounds," in verse 10 would refer to the act of establishing sea level in the third solar day of creation. Verses 11 and 13 appear to refer to His activity of arranging the heavens on the fourth day when "By His Spirit He has garnished the heavens; His hand has formed the crooked serpent."
There are many passages in Job that refer to the events of Genesis. Indeed, there are elements in the book that indicate that Job lived very near to the beginning of his own period which was quite uniquely different from earlier days. In Job 8:8-10 Bildad calls Job a hypocrite and tells him that he would discover many valuable things if he would inquire of the former age. "Prepare yourself to search their fathers: (For we are but of yesterday, and know nothing, because our days upon earth are a shadow)." In contrast to the long lives that had been lived before the Noahic flood (which days are recorded in Genesis 5), Bildad says: "Our days on earth are but a shadow." These people recognized that the lifespan of man no longer averaged over 900 years. Men were living much shorter lives in their own day. Contrasted with the former age, which was over and being forgotten, the lives which Job's contemporaries were living was as if of yesterday. One easily can detect that Job was living near the beginning of a new period of history. That pre-diluvian period of longevity was a thing of the past. Now I believe that there is strong evidence in the Samaritan Hebrew text and in the ancient Greek Septuagint translation of the Old Testament that approximately 550 years after the flood the division of the continents occurred. I will explain in a later section the evidence that Job lived after that division of the continents. Therefore I have concluded that Job was living well within a thousand years after the Noahic flood. No wonder Bildad spoke as he did about that past era of man's history! But on the other hand, surely he must have known that it was man's unrestrained bent toward sin which brought the great judgment which ended that era!
II. EARTH MOVEMENT IN JOB.
But let us return to our theme. Why should one call the book of Job an ice-age book and say that this actually is a document right out of the Pleistocene ice epoch? Well, let us turn to more of the evidence for there certainly is evidence in the book which very strongly indicates that very conclusion. the book of Job is filled with diastrophism, a fifty cent word which simply includes such events such things as mountain building and great earth movements.
Catastrophic events are found as early as Job 1:16 where fire falls from heaven destroying all of Job's servants and sheep. Seven thousand sheep were destroyed in one fire-fall from heaven! Now that who have studied history know about places like Pompeii and Martinique where fire has indeed fallen and has destroyed large populations of people. Pompeii was buried in volcanic ash and only in this century has been excavated. Mount Pelee on the island of Martinique in the West Indies blew up in 1902. Twenty-six thousand inhabitants of St. Pierre instantly were killed by a hot cloud of fiery gasses five miles from the volcano. Two people escaped, one of whom was a man in a dungeon. At the same time, La Soufriere on St. Vincent, 90 miles away, blew up and killed 2,000 people. Now of course the event found here in Job was supernaturally produced by our old adversary, but it is strongly probable that natural phenomena were used in that Biblical catastrophe which attacked God's righteous man, Job. Furthermore, evidences of catastrophic volcanic explosions are much in evidence in the north, east and south of Palestine. To the north and east there are large lava flows. In the south east in the area where I believe Job lived there are jagged, sharply fragmented volcanic rocks scattered over an area covering many, many square miles. These rocks are distributed so closely that they make camel travel impossible wherever they are found. These appear to have fallen from the heavens during Pleistocene times when the Jordan Valley was rifted and the land was mightily troubled by the influence of the ice age. This is the period that I identify with the events of the book of Job. These scattered rock showers have been a problem for the geologists.
The moving of mountains is prominent in the book of Job. In Job 9:5-7 Job himself testifies concerning God's wisdom and might. He says in verse 4: "He is wise in heart, and mighty in strength...." In verse 5 he speaks of God "Who removes mountains, and they know not: who overturns them in his anger. Who shakes the earth out of her place, and the pillars thereof tremble." We are forced to acknowledge that circumstances were extremely difficult during the centuries when Job was in the land! But listen to this astonishing statement that largely is ignored by readers. "Who commands the sun and it does not rise...." Now most creationists accept the statement of the book of Joshua concerning the day when Joshua commanded the sun and the moon to stand still. God responded to his request so that Israel might win her battle over the many city kingdoms that were warring against that nation. It appears to me from Job's statement that he also knew of a day earlier in history when the sun had stood still! The circumstances are not revealed but Job clearly makes allusion to a very catastrophic moment in Levantine history.
Chapter 14 mentions mountain movement in the same fashion. Verse 18 says: "And surely the mountain falling comes to nothing and the rock is removed out of its place." Palestine indeed was a catastrophic place during Pleistocene times because of the rifting of the Jordan Valley. At that time continental movement tore apart a great crack in the earth that stretches nearly 6,000 miles long. That of course is but a small crack when compared with the gigantic 42,000 mile long crack which nearly girdles the earth two times. It runs beneath the sea and was caused by continental plate movement. Now the African/Jordan rift valley system has its beginning on its northern end at Mount Ararat in central Turkey. Its southern end runs into the western boundary of the Indian Ocean after dissecting Eastern Africa from north to south. Can you imagine what it must have been like to have lived in the land of Israel at the time when all of this plate movement and rifting of the crust of the earth was occurring?
Also worthy of note is Job 12:22 which appears to be a reference to this very rift valley. God is described in this passage as "...discovering deep things out of darkness, bring out to light the shadow of death." Now this expression, "the shadow of death," or "valley of the shadow of death" repeatedly is associated with a deep, dark valley in the Scriptures. The newly forming Jordan Rift would have been a fearful place to the troubled inhabitants of the land. In Job 28 the process of crustal rifting certainly appears to be mentioned. Job in verse 5 describes both the earth's surface and that which lies below it. "As for the earth, out of it cometh bread...." He appears to refer to the growth processes that produce the grains from which bread is made. "...And under it is turned up as it were fire." How did Job know that? If my identification of Job's period with events leading up to and including the Pleistocene epoch is accurate, Job easily could have observed molten rock flowing from volcanic vents in many places in Israel. In verses 6-11 there is further, very amazing discussion of that which is below the crust of the earth. "The stones of it are the place of sapphires: and it has dust of gold. There is a path which no fowl knows, and which the vulture's eye has not seen. He puts forth his hand upon the rock; he overturns the mountains by the roots. He cuts out rivers among the rocks...." How catastrophic! "...The thing that is hid he brings forth to light" (vv. 6-11). I have examined the Jordan Rift over much of its length in Israel, Lebanon and Turkey. It is very plain that the valley actually was torn apart. Level layers of strata still lie level in many places on the west side where they were sheared off, literally torn apart from the same strata which continue on the east side of the great valley, sometimes miles away. This great crack in the earth was formed in the crust when God literally overturned mountains, split apart the crust of the earth, and caused great volcanic action in places. Far down to the southeast of Beersheba there is a great depression called Machtesh Ramon that is very close to the rift valley. It apparently is a sunken graben resulting from settling following the opening of the Jordan Rift. In its bottom there are small volcanic pits from which volcanic ash has spewed onto the graben floor. On the northwest end of the Sea of Galilee lies the ruins of Capernaum. There is an excellent collection of olive presses and grain mills which have been carved out of basaltic lava from the large flows north of Galilee which date from the later part of that period.
Can you imagine trying to live in a land that was being rifted apart? Imagine trying to keep a roof over your head! That trial happens to be mentioned in Job 4:19-21. Eliphaz, one of Job's critics, was reporting on a message that had been given to him by a spirit being, an event which had scared Eliphaz dreadfully. According to him the spirit had said: "Shall mortal man be more just than God?" (Job had begun to wonder if that were not the case)! "Behold, he put no trust in his servants; and his angels he charged with folly: How much less in them that dwell in houses of clay, whose foundation is in the dust, which are crushed before the moth? They are destroyed from morning to evening: they perish for ever without any regarding it." The abrupt destruction of houses and their occupants is alluded to elsewhere. In Job 15:28 there is a reference to those who dwell in desolate cities, in houses which no man inhabited, which were ready to become heaps. Throughout southern Israel there are very old remains of homes. Some of these have been ruined by armies that have come and gone throughout the land. But in the desert area there are many places where there are little piles of stones that are the ruins left when man was struggling to live in little hovels during this catastrophic time, trying to survive. These are identified by archaeologists as "stone age" dwellings. I believe that they are the sad record of man's desperate attempt to survive in the geologically troubled times in which Job lived, the Pleistocene Epoch.
One important aspect of earth movement for which one should search in Job is for continental movement. It is remarkable that God Himself directly mentions the division of the landmass for an overflowing of waters! Early in Job 38 He already has discussed the creation of the earth when He laid its foundations (vvs. 4-7). He reports that the angels were present as observers. He mentions the pre-Adamic flood, the canopy and the establishment of sea level as discussed in Genesis 1:8 and following. But in Job 38:25 God mentions the post-flood division of the continents to show His greatness to Job. He asked Job "Who had utterly divided a watercourse for the overflowing waters." The single word which is translated "utterly divided a watercourse" is the translation of a word found in Genesis 10:25, PELEG. This is an intensive verb form that speaks of utterly splitting apart the land for the overflowing of waters. This is exactly what did happen in continental division. This word is further discussed in a chapter that largely is devoted to the linguistic evidence for continental division. Now there are numerous so-called legends among man's ancient records that describe what it was like to live during the time when the continents were dividing. For example, Plato describes it in "Critias" and "Timaeus," two of his shorter works. I interpret these two works as the remnants of traditions that were much older than Solon and Plato, traditions that give insight into the events of continental division. If we would listen to man's ancient records, we would have near eye-witness accounts concerning what it was like here on earth when man was migrating from the tower of Babel under the duress of great plate movements which eventually isolated many of the peoples which came to populate them. These near-eyewitness accounts also would provide us much forgotten material about what happened when the Biblical ice age arrived and what caused it.
III. TIDAL WAVES IN JOB
In the book of Job there also is literary evidence that indicates that the sea near the scene of the book was greatly disturbed. When the reader of the book becomes aware of its remarkable statements about the sea, it opens the door of his understanding concerning life in the land that became Israel during the centuries when the continents were dividing. Job was a desert dweller judging from the pastoral scenes that clearly are described in the book. In spite of this fact, the book repeatedly mentions the sea! Now it is open to question whether the book is referring to the Mediterranean Sea, the Red Sea or to a body of water that lay much closer to southern trans-Jordanian territories where Job appears to have lived. There was such a body of water in Israel where only the remnants of that body can be found today. I have examined the Jordan Rift several times in visits to that area. I have been forced by the evidence there to recognize that the scientists are correct when they say that a giant lake filled all of the Jordan Valley during Pleistocene times. This was not merely an enlarged Dead Sea, which easily is recognized by the many fossil beaches that lie above present lake level. It was a sea that filled both the Sea of Galilee to the north and the Dead Sea, joining them in a great lake that left beaches hundreds of feet above the present level of the Jordan River that joins them. Even today one may find the terraces and beaches that were left by that great body of water. These beaches are a testimony to the violence of the climate of that time. On to the north in northern Turkey, in present day Russia and across Europe the land was gripped in a fierce winter that may have lasted for several generations. Along the borders of the Mediterranean at lower altitudes phenomenal rainfalls were carving great erosion channels. It was very cold in the Levantine countries along the eastern Mediterranean. In this area the land rises from 3,000 to 9,000 feet in some of the great compression ridges that parallel the coast. Here there was much snow, but it apparently rained much more than it snowed in the area of present Israel. The erosion from this rainfall and snow melt sliced canyons in the steep slopes. It carved caves as the water worked its way through the soft limestones of the area. To these caves man turned for housing just as he did in Europe during the "ice age." Some of the great chronological misapprehensions concerning "the stone age," "the Chalcolithic age," the bronze age" and "the iron age" are derived from the application of evolutionary dogma to the physical record of man's trials during the climatological catastrophe that is recorded in the book of Job.
In Job 6:3, Job mentions the sand of the sea. In Job 7:12 he asks his critical counselors: "Am I a sea, or a whale that you set a watch over me?" Now these critics of Job were sitting around him and staring at him for days on end, trying to convince Job that he was a great sinner. This was so that they might be able to explain why he had been judged so severely. Now the Hebrew word translated "whale" here is the same word used in Genesis 1:21: "...God created great TANANEEM...." It also is the word used by the Psalmist in Psalm 148:7. Here and elsewhere in the Bible it has been translated "dragons." The word actually refers to all great marine creatures. I am confident that the meaning of the word extends beyond "whales" to include such creatures as the many types of dinosaurs that also are creations of God. Apart from the strictly marine varieties, these would have been created on the fifth day of creation.
Job's complaint is strange, isn't it? Why does he say: "Am I a sea, or a great sea monster, that you set a watch over me?" The answer lies in the troubled times of Job's day. It is obvious from chapters 40-41 that, contrary to evolutionary beliefs, some kinds of dinosaurs were still a problem to man. The recent discovery of a rotting Plesiosaur in the nets of a Japanese dredge trawler near New Zealand indicates that at least one kind of marine, dragon-like creature has survived even into modern times. If one desired to know more about human contacts with the great reptiles, as mentioned here in Job, then he should research man's many parallel "legends" of his contacts with the "dragons." One might even find relevant material in the Levantine story of St. George and the dragon and the battle that took place not far from the present city of Haifa in northern Israel. He might also find stimulating research material in the Psalmist's description in Psalm 73 of the way that God cast great marine creatures up to become food for those people who lived in the wilderness.
Indeed Job appears in Job 7:12 to make reference to another marine factor which obviously troubled inhabitants along the seacoast. For some reason those people who lived along the coast of the sea "set a watch" over it. The reason for that action to which this desert dweller refers could only be because the Mediterranean Sea and smaller bodies of water in the area were greatly agitated at that time. I have concluded that it would have been easy for Lake Lisan that lay in the Jordan Rift to have been connected with the Red Sea to the south for some time. If crustal spreading movement were still continuing while these waters were deep in that rift valley, they would have been agitated dangerously for those living near its shores. But the Mediterranean Sea also has suffered similar disturbance. That sea was almost continually dashing back and forth during the spreading of the great rift valley which is the Mediterranean Sea basin. That disturbance carved massive beaches late in geological "time," probably even into the life of Abraham. The giant beaches left by the tsunami or crustal movement generated tidal waves may be traced well above sea level in the wide, shoreline plains left by the oscillating waters in softer materials. The power of the waves is recorded in the steep, rocky cliffs that originally were at sea level where great waves pounded. These are particularly visible along the coast in the bluffs along Northern Israel, Lebanon, Turkey in Greece and somewhat inland in Egypt. I have seen them from the air along the coast of Tunisia.
It is difficult for us to imagine the violence of the sea's disturbance in such a humanly inconceivable violent crustal movement as would eventually produce the Atlantic Ocean. Plato reports through Critias the story that Solon brought from his exile in North Africa. In it is described a time when the great landmass that was called "Atlantis" disappeared from the sight of those in the Old World, apparently sinking into the sea within a single year. The sea is described as being so filled with pumice, foamed volcanic rock that floats, that ships were not able to explore what had happened for some time. I am convinced that, for the most part, these works of Critias and Timaeus contain memory fragments that describe the violence of the division of the continents in historical times.
Evidently Job lived along the shoreline of his day. He describes what it was like to live in the eastern Mediterranean coastline lands when tidal waves were roaring ashore, generated by great crustal movement. "...He breaks down, and it cannot be built again: he shuts up a man, and there can be no opening. He withholds the waters and they dry up; also he sends them out and they overturn the earth!" This describes exactly what happens when a tidal wave approaches the coast. First of all the waters along the coast begin to retreat. In Crescent City, California, the citizens had been forewarned about the soon arrival of a tidal wave which had been generated by the Alaskan earthquake which struck Anchorage so severely. They "set a watch over the sea!" They did this because they knew that, when the waters began to retreat and the beach receded far out onto the ocean bottom, they were in immediate danger. The great waves were preparing to recoil and come racing in to crash against the continent. That is exactly what did happen. The shoreline moved seaward. Fishing boats that were anchored far out where the fishermen thought they would be out of danger were seen sitting upon the shallow sea floor. The last rescue workers who feverishly were trying to empty stores along the shore now raced for high ground. The tidal wave then came roaring through the lower streets of Crescent City and did terrible damage. However, because man wisely has "set a watch over the sea," practically no human lives were lost.
Surely this catastrophic phenomenon is being described by Job. "...He withholds the waters and they dry up: also he sends them out and they overturn the earth." I do not think that men in Job's day fully understood what tidal waves were. They simply are waves that have bee set in motion by movement of the crust of the earth beneath the sea. In Alaska there is a small bay where abrupt movement in a fault beneath the surface of the bay produced a jet of water that knocked down trees for over 800 feet up the mountainside above the bay. One fishing vessel in the bay was completely destroyed. Another rode the tidal wave that swept up over the great trees on the bar that protected the bay. That vessel rolled upside down as it passed over the trees and, amazingly enough, survived when it was dumped in the ocean outside of the bay. Job may further mention tidal waves in Job 14:11. "As the waters fail from the sea and the flood decays and dries up, so man lies down...." This seems to be an illusion to coastal waters failing and retreating before a tidal wave attacks the shoreline. It is apparent from Job 7:12 that men learned how to protect themselves from tidal waves by setting a watch over the sea.
Eliphaz also refers to the trying times in which the main characters of the book of Job lived. In effect he says to Job: "Just because it is continually dark and very cloudy, do you think that God will not be able to see through the clouds and see your sins?" (Job 22:11-13). He also makes reference to over-flooding waters. "Therefore snares are round about you and sudden fear troubles you; Or darkness, that you can not see; and abundance of waters cover you" (v. 11). That gives us some idea of what it was like in Job's day! "And you say, how does God know? Can he judge through the thick cloud?" It is obvious that the earth had an unnatural cloud cover in those trying days!
If I am correct in my conclusions, the whole world had great quantities of pumice and steam filling its atmosphere. As a result of the earth's changed albedo or increased reflectivity because of the great cloud cover, the sun's rays began to bounce off without penetrating to the earth's surface to warm the atmosphere. Temperatures began to drop swiftly under that cloud layer until it began to rain heavily from the enormous load of humidity that was pouring from the thousands of steaming volcanoes. It began to snow at higher elevations and at higher latitudes. The atmosphere was receiving a constant supply of steam that was roaring out of the thousands of active volcanoes. These were relieving the incalculable heat generated by continental movement that was venting through broken and weak sections of the moving continental plates. This almost limitless supply of atmospheric moisture continued to reduce surface temperatures until the seas in the polar regions dropped below the freezing point. It also provided a constant source for torrential rainfall where that was possible and snows that built up be to hundreds and even thousands of feet deep in many areas. Are you surprised that your ancestors did not spend much time recording the unbelievable experience in which they struggled for very survival? Yet the caves of the world contain the archaeological record of those descendants of Adam, some of them your own ancestors, as they faced almost insurmountable odds in that battle for survival.
In the book of Job Eliphaz further accuses Job of believing that: "Thick clouds are a covering to him, that he does not see...." He reminds Job of the certainty of judgment by referring to an event still fresh in mankind's collective memories when he says: "Have you not marked the old way in which wicked men have walked? They were cut down out of time, whose foundation was overflowed with a flood." Now this may be a reference back to the Noahic flood, or it simply may be a reference to the destructive forces of the great tidal waves that were going and coming. Indeed, the Hebrew word for a flood here could even refer to a river flood, so the reference is not certain to us. Elsewhere Job does refer to tidal waves in a dramatic simile as he describes his three "friends" (perhaps better described as his "critics"). He speaks of these younger men who were around him saying: They "mar my path; they set forward my calamity.... They came upon me as a wide breaking in of waters: in the desolation they rolled themselves upon me" (Job 30:13-15). Surely Job is likening the criticism levied against him by these men to a tidal wave!
I have followed the great, elevated beaches left by catastrophic waves like those mentioned in this great poetic book out of the Biblical ice age from Mersin, Turkey on that land's warm, south-facing coast, the cotton belt of Turkey. All of the way along the coast to the east and then to the south into Egypt the seashore displays the remnants of the great Pleistocene beach where giant waves once pounded continually. That entire area has been uplifted today so that this beach lies well above sea level. The harsh pounding of the waves has ground the rocky shore materials so finely that much of that area, which reaches up to the Shephelah in Israel, is rich, finely broken farming soil.
V. COLD WEATHER IN JOB.
But let us turn to the evidences in the book of Job that point to severe climate problems. We have just scanned the words of Eliphaz in Job 22:11-14 which described the dense clouds which covered the land of Palestine everywhere at that time. There are many references to rain in the book of Job. Job 28:10-11 is one of many references to tempests and storms that could snatch up people and actually carry them away. Such violent storms would have been common near the great ice sheets and mountain glaciers that dominated much of Europe and the highlands of Asia Minor during the ice age. Years ago I had a friend who lived in New Zealand for a time. This is not far north of the Antarctic where there is a giant ice cap today. As a result, weather in the mountains of New Zealand can be very tumultuous. My friend and his son were camping in the mountains on one vacation. They almost were completely washed away by a violent rainstorm, losing everything and barely surviving in the torrential rains. Now a close reading of the book of Job will certainly suggest similar circumstances. Famine, crop failure and violent floods are common themes in this remarkable book of the desert!
But perhaps one of the most interesting things pointing to an ice age environment for the book of Job is the fact that there were cave men in his day. They actually are clearly mentioned in the book in such a way that it helps us to see that cave men are a part of the Biblical story. Our children constantly are harassed with the idea that man evolved through the cave man stages to his present glorious height of evolutionary development. But Job gives us a very good idea of what actually happened. In those days when the division of the continents and the consequent ice age were occurring, Job 30 reveals that the ancestors of Job's three friends all had been cave men! Job has reviewed in chapter 29 the way that God had blessed his life when he had been wealthy. In his misery of poverty and suffering he says: "But now they that are younger than I have me in derision, whose fathers I would have disdained to have set with the dogs of my flock" (Job 30:1-2). That sounds rather nasty for him to say of his three critics, but Job explains: "For want and famine they were solitary; fleeing into the wilderness in former time..." (that is, in the generation immediately before their present). He continues describing the fathers of his three friends "who cut up mallows by the bushes, and juniper roots for their food." Imagine! They were cutting up anything that they could find for food, even roots and bushes! Adding to their starvation was the agony of being rejected and homeless. They were forced "...to dwell in the cliffs of the valleys, in caves of the earth..." (v. 6 ). Why? Because these men of the generation before Job simply couldn't keep a roof over their heads, couldn't cultivate grain and couldn't find food for their families. Job describes in 15:18-19 the impossible farming conditions when the rain would wash their crops right out of the ground.
Today the archaeologist studies the evidence found in the garbage dumps of their caves and he wrongly concludes that man had evolved through the old stone age down to the present. All that he is actually seeing is the fact that man turned from a tool technology of iron and brass to develop a more expedient stone tool culture for their dire circumstances. He made them poorly at first, then better as he learned to use flint as a temporary substitute for metal tools. His improvement in making stone tools and later returning to the metal technology known since Genesis 4 is misinterpreted by the archaeologist as evidence of evolution! In reality, man couldn't keep the fires going effectively and couldn't mine the metals in order to make the tools first invented by the descendants of Cain (Gen. 4:22). Metals such as iron, lead, brass, silver, and gold repeatedly are mentioned in the book of Job. (Note 2:24-29; 6:12; 19:24; 20:24-25; 41:1,7; 42:11 and others). But during the post-flood ice age, they began to use stone because it was so easily obtained and worked. By striking a couple of rocks together they could make a knife. When finished, they threw it away. When one needed another tool, he readily made another.
One day I was exploring a little hillside on the road leading from Beersheba toward Ashdod on the coast of Israel. While others of my tour group were planting trees in the wilderness, I picked up two very nice little flint knives. They are remarkably similar to another pre-Columbian knife that I obtained from Echo Cliffs east of the Grand Canyon. Normally, similar patterns of development of stone technology developed in diverse areas. Nevertheless, occasionally a brilliant contributor among a people took the stone technology to heights never achieved by other peoples.
Never overlook the evidence that Job lived in a time of intense cold. God Himself in a conversation with Job refers to the day when the sea actually froze over (Job 38:30). "The waters are hid as with a stone, and the face of the deep is frozen." The Hebrew word translated "deep" here has reference to the sea. It is the same word found in Genesis 1:2 and in numerous other passages, almost always referring to the deep ocean. Which sea is this? We cannot tell. The Omniscient one could be referring to the polar regions. I have seen the sea frozen over for more than 100 miles out to the east of Greenland in the month of May. Or He could have been referring to a large local body of water like Lake Lisan that I have described as lying in the Jordan Rift. In any case, the sea could have frozen over only one time in history and that was during the Pleistocene, Biblical ice age! It was not about one million years ago but about 5,000 years ago.
When this fact is recognized, the impact of the many references to snow, ice, freezing, hail and storm in the book of Job become significant. Job speaks of tempests repeatedly (1:19; 27:26-33). Rain is a remarkably common topic for a desert dweller in a land where rainfall today in some areas averages between one-half and four inches a year. Snow, ice and freezing will be observed frequently in a careful reading of the book. Compare 6:15-18; 37:6-11 and 38:26-30. Even in God's reference to the now apparently extinct creature called leviathan (41:1-34) and another called behemoth (40:15-24), the book appears to be pointing to its own antiquity and to the remarkable period in which Job lived. It is my untested opinion that behemoth may be the giant hornless rhinoceros "Baluchitherium" which became extinct through the pressures of the ice age in the near East where Job lived. The creature stood tall enough that a man easily (but unwisely) could have walked under its abdomen. Leviathan very likely was one of the giant marine reptiles that had survived the Noahic flood as a creature well adapted to the sea. Once again, it probably was the climate changes of the ice age which brought its extinction in the swift and very difficult movement of the several centuries of catastrophism which followed the division of the continents in that began in the days of Peleg (Gen. 10:25)..
A final piece of evidence that helps us to locate Job in Genesis history is the final statement of the book. Job lived to see the fourth generation of his offspring after his great trial (Job 42:16-17). This suggests that the length of the generation now was decreasing rapidly because of the removal of the pre-flood canopy. This great shield of water vapor above the atmosphere had protected pre-diluvian man from the high energy radiation which now steadily enters our atmosphere. It made possible the great generations that averaged over 900 years as described in Genesis 5.
The book of Job is a fantastic book. It is accurate in all that it says about earth's history. If we will use this book, we understand so much better what happened in early Biblical history.
1. Baker, Victor R., Ed., Catastrophic Flooding: The Origin of the Channeled Scabland," Benchmark Papers in Geology/ 55, Dowden, Hutchinson & Ross, Inc., Stroudsburg, PA. 1981. 360 pp.
Posted May 27, 2002.