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Thread: Location: Garden of Eden

  1. #31
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    Re: Location: Garden of Eden

    Quote Originally Posted by randyk View Post
    Of course the Flood of Noah happened long after the events you describe. The extinction event you describe likely happened well back before 4 or 5 thousand BC, when Noah likely lived--perhaps 250 million years!

    But yes, in geological history there has long been extinction events--well back before the Fall of Man. It is for this reason that I normally see the fall of Satan as preceding the creation account, since God built into nature a story of chaos and destruction. Man was still created in perfection, in a garden protected from all this chaos. But his bad choices expelled him from the garden, and put him out into the chaotic world, adding his own chaos to an already chaotic world.
    I prefer biblical time frames to commonly accepted scientific time frames. The only evidence pointing to huge time frames is radiometric dating, a theory based on assumptions with huge flaws.

  2. #32
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    Re: Location: Garden of Eden

    Quote Originally Posted by Brother Mark View Post
    Is the scripture concerning the flood inspired by God, or is it a report that involves only what Noah could see and what was written by Moses from Moses
    and Noah's point of view??
    Both.

    Quote Originally Posted by Brother Mark
    Is there no room for miracles in your view of the flood? It's not logical that Peter walked on water, that Jesus rose again, that the dead were raised, that the sun stopped, that Israel walked across the red sea on dry ground, and so on. Where do you draw the line with miracles and man's reason/logic?
    I believe in the geological record. I also believe in divine miracles. It is objectively recognizable to me, from the biblical account, that Jesus was a perfect man, and God. So yes, I believe the biblical accounts of his miracles. I also believe some of the OT saints, like Moses, Elijah, and Elisha, did miracles. Their holy characters were clear to me from the biblical accounts.

    Quote Originally Posted by Brother Mark
    The bible says God destroyed those that breathed. He miraculously caused it to rain. Is it that hard to believe He could miraculously keep worms living?
    The question is not, What can God do? Rather, the question is, What did God do? The biblical record is that God utilized natural phenomena to produce this history, and indeed He, as God, caused this history to take place. God's activities might always, in the view of some, constitute a "miracle." However, I define "miracle" as "unusual or rare acts that are not consistent with natural law." The Flood account spoke of rain and of subterranean waters emerging from a break up of the earth's crust. God caused the upheaval by His all-powerful word. And yet He documented this work in the geological record--it has a natural footprint.

    Quote Originally Posted by Brother Mark
    Is that what the scriptures say?
    The Scriptures were not concerned with giving local inhabitants of the region a lesson in geography, nor in science. They were, however, concerned to teach Noah and his descendants a lesson through the Flood. The annihilation present in Noah's region, which was certainly "universal" to him, and aptly described, did serve as a model for history. We find this in the NT Scriptures, where Noah's Flood is used as a representation of endtime judgment. In other words, what took place on a small scale in the time of early Man will, in the end of the age, be fulfilled as a truly universal event.

    Quote Originally Posted by Brother Mark
    What about what the bible actually says about the flood? Does that matter? BTW, lots of believers do not believe God preserved all plantlife, all animal life, etc. I think scripture gives evidence that not all plantlife was preserved. After the flood, man was told he could eat meat. That was new. Something had changed. Perhaps some of the plants used for food before the flood were not available afterwards. Also, something else happened because the age that men lived was greatly reduced in the aftermath of the flood.
    There are lots of questions here, and I'm not sure we know the answers to them. However, the Scriptures describing the Flood could conceivably be describing an enormous flood confined to only a major region of the earth. Such a flood in one region would utterly devastate an entire eco-system--nothing would survive.

    I've tried, and failed, for years to keep fish alive in my aquariums, and to keep plants alive in our garden. (Weeds, however, have a miraculous way of surviving!) Biological and Plant Life is extremely sensitive to external conditions--to the habitat. The destruction of that habitat destroys virtually everything, including the food necessary for survival.

    Quote Originally Posted by Brother Mark
    BTW, before we go there... I believe the entire bible is written like a parable. The whole thing. Jesus taught in parables and so the OT is a parable too. But that doesn't mean the facts of scripture are not accurate. God can and does teach through real facts, real history, etc. Israel really did walk across the Red Sea on dry ground. We too are baptized after salvation. There really was a passover where the oldest was killed but Israel was saved. We too get to enjoy the same passover where we have the Lamb inside of us and His blood upon the doors of our heart. So yes, those events did happen but they also point to a greater happening. The greater happening does not mean we should think the bible isn't factual in its wording.
    The clearest evidence of a miracle-working, supernatural God are the things He does within us. Obviously, this is the realm of our own personal experience. We know when we have been spiritually renovated!

    It is a little tougher to know when miracles take place outside of our own little world. Even when miracles happen to us, we tend to question them. We cannot get a grip on miracles, because they do not fit into our mind-set.

    However, when we look at the Scriptural narrative, nothing makes more sense in the story of human redemption. We know what sin is--the tendency of man to rebel against God's word. And we know what spiritual renovation is. Everything in history shows this story of human sin and human regeneration. Western History is replete with it.

    I don't have a problem with believing in biblical miracles. I do have a problem with assigning a "miracle" status to everything people proclaim are miracles. Crossing the Red Sea was certainly a miracle. But the Psalm, indicating the waters of the Red Sea stood up like "walls" is just poetry. In reality, the actual account indicates God used natural means to stop the water upstream. We are told God caused a "wind" to blow the stream, or waters, off course, and dried the land perhaps with wind as well. Timing the return of the waters to destroy the Egyptian Army was a miracle of "coincidence." We can often see the hand of God in such "coincidences."

  3. #33
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    Re: Location: Garden of Eden

    Quote Originally Posted by DurbanDude View Post
    You make a good point, in the past I studied the word made, it means "produced" in that particular incidence. Much like a magician produces a rabbit, making it visible.

    Ie one way of looking at creation week is to see a dark misty planet earth, with the mists so thick light does not even seep through. There is no one to witness the creation of light, except the spirit of God, who is precisely located on the surface of the waters. It is at this location, not in space, that light shines through the waters in the sky (mist), and visibility keeps increasing until the mists actually lift, creating a space /sky separating the surface from the thick cloud cover.

    This view sorts out the multiple contradictions and reconciles the Genesis account to science, whereas the more extreme views of water canopies across the universe are very speculative. So the visibility of the sun and the moon are produced on the surface of earth, also the sky (visible expanse) and dry land (erroneously translated as "earth")
    Interesting subject! My brother and I have been wrestling over the meaning of the creation account. We tend to look at the creation as the creation of elements, rather than as an experience in the universe. Both may be indicated in Genesis 1--that there was a creation out of nothing, as well as an organization of this material as seen from an earth-bound experience.

    It is sometimes pointed out that on the 1st 3 days of creation there was "separating and gathering," and on the next 3 days there was "making and filling." This indicates how God made the earth from something "empty" and void to be something to hold meaning specifically for man. See NIV notes.

    So although God did really create all these elements in the beginning, we may not know the exact time frame in which they were produced. What we may actually be given is how these things took form from the perspective of an earthly experience.

    In other words, we know God created the universe at some point in the beginning. But arranging the stars in such a way as to be viewed from earth as a "season" or as a "day" may be what is indicated in a particular "day" of creation.

    It may be, in other words, not a strict order of how God produced the elements, but rather, an arrangement indicating God's purpose for man in using all of these elements. It was, for example, to separate darkness from light so that Man would know to appreciate the value of light over darkness.

    These "days" of creation were clearly not meant to be literal days as man sees them. They were "days" as God sees them--as a unit measuring work in a single period of time. One doesn't create a night sky in a literal "day," as men see it. Rather, He works by His own measure of capacity, as compared with what a man may do in a single day.

    A "day's work" is pretty easy for us to understand. A "day's work" for God is represented by what He would want to do, as compared with what a man would hope to accomplish in a single day.

  4. #34
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    Re: Location: Garden of Eden

    Quote Originally Posted by randyk View Post
    Interesting subject! My brother and I have been wrestling over the meaning of the creation account. We tend to look at the creation as the creation of elements, rather than as an experience in the universe. Both may be indicated in Genesis 1--that there was a creation out of nothing, as well as an organization of this material as seen from an earth-bound experience.

    It is sometimes pointed out that on the 1st 3 days of creation there was "separating and gathering," and on the next 3 days there was "making and filling." This indicates how God made the earth from something "empty" and void to be something to hold meaning specifically for man. See NIV notes.

    So although God did really create all these elements in the beginning, we may not know the exact time frame in which they were produced. What we may actually be given is how these things took form from the perspective of an earthly experience.

    In other words, we know God created the universe at some point in the beginning. But arranging the stars in such a way as to be viewed from earth as a "season" or as a "day" may be what is indicated in a particular "day" of creation.

    It may be, in other words, not a strict order of how God produced the elements, but rather, an arrangement indicating God's purpose for man in using all of these elements. It was, for example, to separate darkness from light so that Man would know to appreciate the value of light over darkness.

    These "days" of creation were clearly not meant to be literal days as man sees them. They were "days" as God sees them--as a unit measuring work in a single period of time. One doesn't create a night sky in a literal "day," as men see it. Rather, He works by His own measure of capacity, as compared with what a man may do in a single day.

    A "day's work" is pretty easy for us to understand. A "day's work" for God is represented by what He would want to do, as compared with what a man would hope to accomplish in a single day.
    I prefer the literal unless the text makes the symbolism obvious. The fact that with the light, came evening, the first day, makes me think of 24 hour days, meaning the sun already existed beyond the dark planet's surface. I guess we will all know one day.

  5. #35

    Re: Location: Garden of Eden

    Hello, nice to see everyone here. This is a very great discussion. I believe that the geographical landscape of the world has changed some since the flood but would not the Bible indicate that the Garden Of Eden was somewhere between Ethiopia and Assyria. ?

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    Re: Location: Garden of Eden

    Quote Originally Posted by randyk View Post
    If we're willing to understand the Scriptures as a primitive record of events being described as experienced, and not as a stupendous global miracle.
    The Flood is not being described from experience, though. It's Moses retelling history through inspiration of God. When Genesis says "the mountains under the whole heaven were covered" that is NOT Noah's interpretation or quote. The argument of "limited perspective" doesn't work here, but perhaps Mr. Ramm addressed this?

    So when I say that the word "earth" is used, it does not mean "globe," although we may use it as such, in some cases.
    I 100% understand. I'm not using it in terms of the "globe" either. Nevertheless, if all the earth (land) is covered by water, and all the mountains under "the whole heaven," then naturally this is synonymous with "the globe" - unless there is earth (land) not under the whole of heaven?

    I don't know if Cain's descendants traveled so far East of Eden that they lived beyond the Flood of Noah's region--I just don't know? The peoples descended from Noah's children certainly spread out and filled the regions immediately around where they landed. I just don't know if there were peoples beyond.
    They would have died in the Flood regardless of where or how far they went "under the whole of heaven", unless you or someone else is able to show me differently in the text.

    A global flood, it seems to me, would destroy all life, period--both food and animals. Insects, worms, crocodiles, birds--everything would die. Skunks would die. Snakes would die. Birds would die.
    That's exactly what the Bible says happened.

    All flesh died that moved on the earth, birds, livestock, beasts, all swarming creatures that swarm on the earth, and all mankind. (ch. 7)

    If God destroyed all life except that which was preserved in the ark, then God would've had to re-create the world, since the very balance of nature would've been destroyed.
    I don't think you're giving Him enough credit. This is the same God who fed 5,000 people with two fish.

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    Re: Location: Garden of Eden

    Quote Originally Posted by DurbanDude View Post
    I prefer biblical time frames to commonly accepted scientific time frames. The only evidence pointing to huge time frames is radiometric dating, a theory based on assumptions with huge flaws.
    I'd be curious to know what you base the belief on that this dating has "huge flaws?"

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    Re: Location: Garden of Eden

    Quote Originally Posted by Aviyah View Post
    The Flood is not being described from experience, though. It's Moses retelling history through inspiration of God. When Genesis says "the mountains under the whole heaven were covered" that is NOT Noah's interpretation or quote. The argument of "limited perspective" doesn't work here, but perhaps Mr. Ramm addressed this?
    He doesn't have to. I get it myself! If it snowed last winter, and I said the land under the whole sky was white, I would be telling the truth without any necessary application to a global winter. But yes, Ramm does address this. I'd have to find it, but I think I've quoted some of it elsewhere on this forum.

    Quote Originally Posted by Aviyah
    I 100% understand. I'm not using it in terms of the "globe" either. Nevertheless, if all the earth (land) is covered by water, and all the mountains under "the whole heaven," then naturally this is synonymous with "the globe" - unless there is earth (land) not under the whole of heaven?
    I live in a region near the Rocky Mountains, and our view of "mountains" is not always indicative of what Genesis referred to. Even small hills can be called "mountains" in the Middle East. Have you ever seen Mt. Zion? If all the mountains *within sight* were covered, you would have a *huge* flood, and yet without necessitating that Mt. Everest be covered. My thought is that the Flood was lower than Ararat, and that the entire region in which Noah lived was covered with water, small mountains and all. But the ark drifted toward Ararat, and rested perhaps on a low enough peak to be able to descend.

    Quote Originally Posted by Aviyah
    They would have died in the Flood regardless of where or how far they went "under the whole of heaven", unless you or someone else is able to show me differently in the text.
    I don't know if Noah's children can account for all civilizations on earth. Some eastern civilizations go way back, and may have avoided the Flood entirely. The point is, if they did, they would've been destroyed, eventually, if God had decided to not only judge Noah's civilization, but also killed Noah. If Noah wasn't spared, neither would anybody else. Floods would've been poured out elsewhere, as well, destroying every region on earth in a series of large floods.

    Quote Originally Posted by Aviyah
    That's exactly what the Bible says happened.

    All flesh died that moved on the earth, birds, livestock, beasts, all swarming creatures that swarm on the earth, and all mankind. (ch. 7)
    My point is that you may legitimately read it as experienced by somebody *in that region.* Within Noah's region, "all flesh died," man and animal. If all flesh, man and animal, had died in a global way, due to a universal flood, nothing would've survived, because the diversity of life on earth, plant and animal, required specific habitats for survival, multiplication, and eating. A flood nullifies all that.

    Quote Originally Posted by Aviyah
    I don't think you're giving Him enough credit. This is the same God who fed 5,000 people with two fish.
    The point isn't what God could've done--it's what He did do. If God said He was done creating by the 6th day, He is not going to flood the earth and destroy all life--only to have to create it all over again. That was the point of the example God made of Noah in one region on earth. God did not need to inundate the whole earth to prove this. If He had, He would've had to recreate life on earth. He could not restore everything from Noah's family and the animals he kept.

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    Re: Location: Garden of Eden

    Quote Originally Posted by randyk View Post
    I don't know if Noah's children can account for all civilizations on earth.
    God blessed Noah and his sons and said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth ... I establish my covenant with you and your offspring after you" ... These three were the sons of Noah, and from these the people of the whole earth were dispersed ... from these the nations spread abroad on the earth after the flood. (ch. 8 & 9).

    My point is that you may legitimately read it as experienced by somebody *in that region.*
    Did anyone experience the first 5 days of creation? So whose (Whose) perspective is Moses writing from?

    The point isn't what God could've done [...] He could not restore everything from Noah's family and the animals he kept.
    Conflicting statements here, maybe you could rephrase?
    「耶和華聖潔無比,獨一無二,沒有磐石像我們的上帝。
    撒母耳記上 (1 Samuel) 2:2

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    Re: Location: Garden of Eden

    Quote Originally Posted by randyk View Post
    I'd be curious to know what you base the belief on that this dating has "huge flaws?"
    The flaw is that the exact relationship between changing penetration of the solar wind/cosmic rays and the effect this has on radioactive decay has not been established. This science is in its infancy.

    We do know that small changes to the solar wind cause small changes to decay in the isotopes with shorter lifespans.

    We have no idea how large changes to solar wind/cosmic ray penetration onto earth's surface will affect isotopes with long lifespans (half-lives over 500 million years).

    The scientific community expects little effect, but that is unscientic guesswork, until there are studies which completely block or completely bombard long life isotopes, and study the effects, its all guesswork. The age of fossils should not be guesswork.

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    Re: Location: Garden of Eden

    Quote Originally Posted by Amazingrace View Post
    Hello, nice to see everyone here. This is a very great discussion. I believe that the geographical landscape of the world has changed some since the flood but would not the Bible indicate that the Garden Of Eden was somewhere between Ethiopia and Assyria. ?
    I would think so. It would have to be somewhere east of Turkey, and inclusive of the Euphrates River.

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    Re: Location: Garden of Eden

    Quote Originally Posted by Aviyah View Post
    God blessed Noah and his sons and said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth ... I establish my covenant with you and your offspring after you" ... These three were the sons of Noah, and from these the people of the whole earth were dispersed ... from these the nations spread abroad on the earth after the flood. (ch. 8 & 9).
    As I said, "the whole earth" referred, in Noah's time, to an entire region. They did not think *globally.* They thought, perhaps, of a flat earth, with the "earth" below us as land, and with the sky above us, separating rain clouds from us, which would otherwise just be fog, or mist. Heaven extended farther above the clouds, which could be seen at night with the stars.

    All this represented the fact that intelligent life existed above us, and which Man is dependent upon. The point is, the "earth" was the land, as far as one could travel, or as far as one could see. If a family spread out *across the whole earth,* it was not a reference to global population, but rather, to a complete dispersion in all directions.

    Quote Originally Posted by Aviyah
    Did anyone experience the first 5 days of creation? So whose (Whose) perspective is Moses writing from?
    The universe was created "in the beginning." There is no time frame here. But then Moses recounts a series of "days," as men understand them--evening and morning. They represented to people in Moses' day as "a day's work." But what is a "day's work" for God?

    We are to understand these days of creation as a series of "jobs" that God arranged for mankind. Who knows what order they were actually taking place, since time may not have even been a factor? They were a series of creation events that had a numbered priority.

    A scientist might measure the beginning of earth's creation as a separation from another celestial body. But primitive Man would view the beginning as the appearance of light. It is what *our eyes* measure when we're first born, or when we see something new.

    The appearance of seas and land is also what primitive Man would first notice in the creation event. It is our own planet, and our own habitat.

    Then we would notice the cycles of nature, days, years, seasons, etc. These are measured by natural phenomena, such as sun, moon, and stars.

    Finally, we would notice our food sources, as well as our animal companions on the earth, which give our lives color and interest, as well as companionship.

    All these things are anthropocentric evaluations, and not a scientific analysis of cosmic evolution. The 6 days of creation were not intended to be science, but rather, human recognition of the *order* of creation with respect to human concerns.

    Quote Originally Posted by Aviyah
    Conflicting statements here, maybe you could rephrase?
    Not playing word games, sister. God cannot, logically, contradict Himself. God can do anything that does not contradict His stated purpose, which was *not* to re-create the world of animals. He created them *once* in the creation event.

    Again, a truly "universal" Flood would've destroyed all life on the planet. The salvaging of Noah and the limited number of animals he kept was not sufficient for the preservation of the balance of nature on earth. It was therefore a symbolic act, taking place in a limited region on the earth.

    To create the kinds of and number of miracles to enable nature to survive in a universal Flood means that God intentionally betrays our thoughts and reason. He doesn't do that except in the case of unbelievers, who reject the evidence of faith.

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    Re: Location: Garden of Eden

    Quote Originally Posted by DurbanDude View Post
    The flaw is that the exact relationship between changing penetration of the solar wind/cosmic rays and the effect this has on radioactive decay has not been established. This science is in its infancy.

    We do know that small changes to the solar wind cause small changes to decay in the isotopes with shorter lifespans.

    We have no idea how large changes to solar wind/cosmic ray penetration onto earth's surface will affect isotopes with long lifespans (half-lives over 500 million years).

    The scientific community expects little effect, but that is unscientic guesswork, until there are studies which completely block or completely bombard long life isotopes, and study the effects, its all guesswork. The age of fossils should not be guesswork.
    Well, either God allowed scientific principles to be discovered, and then betray us, or to enlighten us. The most certain things in life could, in theory, be wrong, or could be disproved by some quirky explanation. Ask any lawyer!

    Point taken, though. We should consider not just radiometric dating, but all of the evidence. For me, the evidence points to an old universe.

    If my only concern is to "prove the Bible," I wouldn't lose any sleep. The Genesis account does not really determine the age of the earth, nor the age of the universe, in my opinion. It was done in the "beginning." How long that took we don't know.

    The "days" of creation are literary tools, since the 1st "day" could only exist as a mechanism for man's understanding of a "work week" for God. What is a "days' work" for God?

    There was no sun on the 1st day, and yet "an evening and a morning" took place! This just appears to be a literary device, used to explain things that transcend our own understanding. It involves "creation," which has no time.

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    Re: Location: Garden of Eden

    Thanks for the conversation, randy.
    「耶和華聖潔無比,獨一無二,沒有磐石像我們的上帝。
    撒母耳記上 (1 Samuel) 2:2

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    Re: Location: Garden of Eden

    Quote Originally Posted by randyk View Post
    Both.
    God can't lie. If He inspired it, then it is absolutely true. Why do you think God would allow it to be more from Moses perspective and less from God's? The written word simply doesn't allow for your "interpretation". It's OK to say you don't believe it. Lot's of people don't believe the flood account. But you say the written word is wrong and then choose to have it written to mean something other than what it actually says.

    There's a lot of symobolism in the scriptures, including with Noah's ark. But that symbolism doesn't mean the real thing didn't happen just as God said it did in the scriptures.

    The Scriptures were not concerned with giving local inhabitants of the region a lesson in geography, nor in science. They were, however, concerned to teach Noah and his descendants a lesson through the Flood. The annihilation present in Noah's region, which was certainly "universal" to him, and aptly described, did serve as a model for history. We find this in the NT Scriptures, where Noah's Flood is used as a representation of endtime judgment. In other words, what took place on a small scale in the time of early Man will, in the end of the age, be fulfilled as a truly universal event.
    God said it was universal through Noah. Otherwise, what we have is just Noah's perspective alone.
    Matt 9:13
    13 "But go and learn what this means: ' I DESIRE COMPASSION,AND NOT SACRIFICE,' for I did not come to call the righteous, but sinners."
    NASU

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