Why the Question is the Question
by Ramona Cook 11/20/2013 / Christian Apologetics
Regarding "time" as reported in the Scriptures texts, why would we wonder whether Methuselah lived 969 years, or simply a long time?
Why do we wonder if time was the same then as now? Why can we not believe that 40 days and nights is actually 40 days and 40 nights?
When Jesus Himself says that Jonah was in the belly of the whale three days and three nights, why would anyone who is trusting Jesus for salvation, based on the promises they read in the Bible, have any need to read other parts of it in some other way?
If part of the Bible is true and part of it is at the least questionable, how will we be certain if our selection of that which is true, is truly accurate? Does that willingness to change things not ring a danger bell?
Why do we as human-beings have a need to transliterate and decide that back then, since they didn't know how to keep time as we do, that we can change what is reported? Why would the reporters of Scripture mention specific times if they really wanted to say "for a long time?" It is pompous of us to determine their intellectual level when we don't know a thing about it because we were not there.
For those of the Christian faith who find a need fulfilled in that sort of interpretative reading, and in that kind of acceptance, I question why you find such transliterations a necessity?
Who, here today, was there at that time? Certainly during the days of Jesus' time on earth, people knew how to keep time. Who knows what they knew in the previous times? To be certain no human ever has been less than an intelligent being; and God, The Father, has always been involved in the lives of the people, communicating knowledge and wisdom to them, and to us today.
Actually, the Bible declares itself to have been written by men inspired by God. Those men often wrote about things that puzzled them, but they wrote as God inspired them. If God inspired the Bible and claims it to be an accurate record over which He Himself keeps watch, do we then think God was still in the learning stage at that time? Was God unaware of time and how to communicate well?
It was previously reported that NASA had found a day missing in the universe and of course we all know that there is 23 hours and 20 minutes which the Bible records as "about" a day when Joshua asked God to make the sun stand still, because Israel needed more time to win a battle. Then also the Bible reports the incident when Hezekiah asked for God to set the sun back 10 degrees, which God did, and that accounts for 40 additional minutes, equaling one day.
NASA, of course, denies this now, as does all government agencies, and the educational arm of the anti-Bible groups also deny any thing that gives agreement with the Bible. However, their disagreement should not be taken as truth.
Even if NASA does not think a day is missing in time, that does not mean that it is not missing; the Bible says that a day is missing.
"Time" was, back then when the Bible was written and before that, as it is now, the same thing. If you read with understanding the reports of the Bible, there is no reason to ask a question about time.
Then why are such questions seized upon in the first place?
Time is but one of the issues questioned. I believe the reason humanity has a need to question the information as it is set forth in Scripture is the need to change the meanings. Why is that a need? So that we may avoid the information we do not find acceptable; because we want the "facts" to be acceptable to our own views.
Mankind has never been different than that. There are many hot-button issues and another one of them is Hell.
Who finds that a topic to relish? I think no one likes that topic. Therefore, if we can change the meaning to be just a trash heap outside the city, that poses no potential threat to us, so we transliterate. Read Jesus' view on Hell and you will find we cannot call it a smoldering trash heap outside the city. Matthew 10:28, Luke 16:23
Jesus warned of Hell more frequently than He spoke of Heaven.
Whatever anyone may make of the interpretations of Hell, there is no denying that Jesus considered it a real place to which no one would ever want to go, and that He in fact gave His life so that no human being would ever have to go there; Hell was made for the Devil and those angels who did not keep their first estate.
Those human beings who rebel against God and show contempt for Him and His gift of salvation will share Hell with those for whom it was made, because they chose it.
The danger is, that if God indeed inspired the Scriptures and they are truth, then we will not be excused on the Day of Judgment, after our death, for having tinkered with God's Word, which He places above His Name, and having thereby lost our own soul and also having assisted the Devil in leading others astray. Psalm 138: 2b tells us what God thinks of the position of importance given to His Word.
I believe God honors the engagement of our minds. I believe that God is never insulted with honest questions that are seeking truth; however, if our motive is to get off the hot seat by changing what we purport God to be saying in a situation that we don't find acceptable, then we are in a dangerous place and repentance must happen quickly.
We must not offend God with our "activity of god building," which is precisely what it is, the act of making our "god" be who and how we want.
This question is the first deception that Satan played on mankind and he is still asking us, "Did God really say?"
The accuracy record of the Bible is to date 100%. Science often says, "not so," but after they discover new facts they have to change what they absolutely previously knew as fact; they sometimes have to admit that the Bible was an accurate record from the beginning. The Bible does not change its message or its facts, God makes no new discoveries thereby bringing a need for new information; Science does.
So, why the question about how long a day was in Adam's life time? Why do we need to transliterate the messages of the Bible?
Could it be that we just don't like it, the way IT says things? Maybe we are only looking for politically correct ways to soften the words of the Lord which we find too authoritative and/or restrictive. Perhaps we love our indulgences and refuse to drop them from our lives.
Maybe we are building our own god and our own religion and calling that god, God; and that religion Christianity.
Proverbs 30: 5 & 6; "Every word of God proves true; He is a shield to those who take refuge in Him. Do not add to His words, or else He will rebuke you, and you will be found a liar."
We are not either to take away from His word. The Fact is, we may not at all change God's Word.
Ramona, Master in Ministry Arts, BA in Biblical Studies, I am an Ordained Minister of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.