One of the great mysteries in the world is the understanding of the Instincts of animals. Instinct is behavior that is inherited rather than learned. Examples include animals fighting, courtship behavior, internal escape functions, and the building of their nests or places of shelter. Baby turtles instinctively know to head straight to the ocean and what direction to go as soon as they hatch, and get out of the sand. Salmon swim hundreds of miles upstream against the mighty forces of rushing water to return to their place of birth so that they may give birth and then die soon thereafter.
Why does a bird fly south as winter approaches? How does he know the way to return home? Why do bees and ants have such high social structure? How does each one of them know their special assignments and rules? Who taught the beavers how to build dams? The answer to each of these questions is instinct. Each and every animal, of his or her given species, is pre-programmed to respond in a defined manner. Each and every animal, of his or her given species, will respond in virtually the same way because they each possess the same instructions—they are following the same program coded in their genes.
The salmon are born in small pools of fresh water in the upper branches of tributaries. They, then, swim downstream to the ocean, by way of the rivers, where they live in salt water for two years. They travel great distances in the salt water as they grow to maturity. Then, they return to the very same fresh water stream where they entered the ocean. They enter the stream and struggle as they swim upstream facing all kinds of barriers, including dams, in their effort to return to their birthplace where they will spawn and then to die. What directs this unique behavior? Biologists now believe that they are directed back to their place of birth by a sense of smell.
As winter approaches, some birds fly to warmer climates and then, as spring approaches, they return to their summer nesting areas. "Approximately 1800 of the world's 10,000 bird species are long-distance migrants." We question the factors that cause birds to migrate. How do they know when to leave and how do they know the way?
Many of these birds make stops along the way at the same locations each year. Their destinations seem to be the same. We had a male and female duck who stop at our house every spring, spend two or three days and then move on. Were they the same ducks every year or not? We were never absolutely sure but we thought they were.
Wikipedia says, "The Arctic Tern has the longest-distance migration of any bird, and sees more daylight than any other, moving from its Arctic breeding grounds to the Antarctic non-breeding areas. One Arctic Tern, ringed (banded) as a chick on the Farne Islands off the British east coast, reached Melbourne, Australia in just three months from fledging, a sea journey of over 22,000 km (14,000 miles).
We again, ask the question—how do they know when to leave and where to go? We could say that the lead bird in the formation knows the way from experience. However, when the lead bird becomes tired, the birds rotate positions in the formations thus all the birds seem to know where they are going. Scientist tells us the change in temperature effects the bird hormones which alerts them that it is time to move. They also believe that the birds navigate by three factors: the sun's position, the earth's magnetic field and landmarks. Some even believe that the birds can even see the magnetic field. What we do know is that the bird's navigation system may be as sophisticated and accurate of our GPS's.
The evolutionist would tell you that this process happen over millions of years through an undirected process of random chance. However, the Bible gives a different answer. It states that the birds are under the control of their designer. In the book of Job, we read, “Does the hawk fly by your wisdom, and spread its wings toward the south? "Does the eagle mount up at your command, and make its nest on high" (Job 39:26-27). This would imply that God is in control of the birds. The Prophet Jeremiah wrote, "Even the stork in the heavens knows her appointed times; and the turtledove, the swift, and the swallow" (Jer. 8:7). Jesus said, "Look at the birds of the air, for they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feeds them" (Matt. 6:26).
Another interesting group of animals is the marine mammals. Some examples of these mammals are the whales, dolphins, seals, walrus, manatees, sea otters, etc. As mammals, they give live birth to their young and the mothers produce milk for the babies. They, unlike the fish which have scales, have hair on their bodies, some so fine you can hardly see it. Some of the mammals, such as the whales and dolphins, live in highly developed families call pods. They have a sonar system where they can send out sound waves, which are called pings, and thus read an echo to find food and to navigate. They also have a highly developed communication system by which they communicate with each other.
For years, the Navy has studied these creatures in order to learn more about their highly developed sonar systems. Dolphins have also been used to locate mines in harbors. Dolphins are very friendly to humans and have also been known to save human lives.
To the evolutionist the question must be asked—how did these marine mammals evolve? In the so-called evolutionary timetable, fish appeared millions of years before the mammals. It has been assumed that mammals evolved from reptiles. It is believed by evolutionist that the marine mammals were once land mammals. Can you imagine what a whale looked like when it existed on land. We must pose this important question—if it takes two mammals to reproduce, then how did the evolutionary process produce both a male and a female marine mammal in the same location at the same time? If left to random chance, what is the probability of this happening?
Another interesting mammal is the bat. Many believe that bats are birds because they fly but they are not birds. They are also blind. They have all the characteristics, as listed above, of a mammal. Millions of blind bats can fly out of a cave very close to each other and never touch. They do this by using radar which is very similar to sonar. They send out sound waves and read the echos. They also locate prey by using their radar. I think it is interesting that these mammals were armed with this ability long before man discovered it.
Now we must ask the question—how did the bat evolve? We would assume that they evolved from the birds but that does not make sense if you are an evolutionist.
Now let us look at the ants and the bees. They both have a highly organized social structure. Each ant or bee not only has a job to do but is highly skilled at that job. Let us focus on the honeybee. There are three kinds of bees: the queen, the male drones and the worker bees. The queen and drones cannot sting you; their job is to reproduce. It is the female worker bees who collect the food in the form of nectar and pollen and bring it to the hive where it is transfered to other worker bees who convert it to honey and store it. An absolutely amazing trait about the worker bees is their communication system. Some of the worker bees serve as scouts and they scout out the locations of nectar. They, then, return to the hive and do a bee dance which communicates the direction and distance of the nectar source. Then the other worker bees go to the source and collect the nectar.
Where did these bees learn these skills? Were they created with these skills of did they evolve?
Now let us examine the monarch butterflies. During the summer months, most monarch butterflies live only two to six weeks as adult butterflies. However, if they are still living when cold weather approaches, the life span of the butterfly changes and they live much longer. Every year the monarch butterflies fly south to the same forest in Mexico. They come from all over the United States and some fly across the Gulf of Mexico to the exact same location. There, they mate and then die. In the spring, the new generation of butterflies returns to the various locations in the United States. There, they mate, lay eggs and die.
Considers that none of these butterflies have every made the trip to Mexico and returned to the United States, how did they know the way?
Darwin would say the natural instincts of animals are the result of undirected chemical evolution. He would also say that it resulted from natural selection being enhanced by the survival of the fittest over millions of years.
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Darwin acknowledged that the fossil records did not support his evolutionary theory of gradual progression from one species to another. However, he believed that, as time passed, the fossil records would prove his theory to be correct. But, they have not. Over 100 million fossils have been catalogued and there is still no evidence of progressive evolution from one species to another. Darwin said in his book, "The Origen of the Species", that if future finding did not support his theory that his assumptions were not valid. History has not proven his assumptions to be true; however, unfortunately, his theory is being taught as a fact in our schools.
The following is a quote from the last chapter of Darwin's book. "With respect to the absence of fossiliferous formations beneath the lowest Silurian strata, I can only recur to the hypothesis given in the ninth chapter. That the geological record is imperfect all will admit; but that it is imperfect to the degree which I require, few will be inclined to admit. If we look to long enough intervals of time, geology plainly declares that all species have changed; and they have changed in the manner which my theory requires, for they have changed slowly and in a graduated manner.
We clearly see this in the fossil remains from consecutive formations invariably being much more closely related to each other, than are the fossils from formations distant from each other in time."
"As natural selection acts solely by accumulating slight, successive, favorable variations, it can produce no great or sudden modification; it can act only by very short and slow steps. Hence the canon of `Natura non facit saltum,' which every fresh addition to our knowledge tends to make more strictly correct, is on this theory simply intelligible. We can plainly see why nature is prodigal in variety, though niggard in innovation. But why this should be a law of nature if each species has been independently created, no man can explain."
"If we admit that the geological record is imperfect in an extreme degree, then such facts as the record gives, support the theory of descent with modification. New species have come on the stage slowly and at successive intervals; and the amount of change, after equal intervals of time, is widely different in different groups."
Wikipedia states the following about fossils, "(from Latin fossus, literally 'having been dug up') are the preserved remains or traces of animals (also known as zoolites), plants, and other organisms from the remote past. The totality of fossils, both discovered and undiscovered, and their placement in fossiliferous (fossil-containing) rock formations and sedimentary layers (strata) is known as the fossil record." The previously living tissue has been replaced by minerals thus transforming the object into a rock hard copy of the previous animal or plant. Merriam-Webster definitions a fossil as "a remnant, impression, or trace of an organism of past geologic ages that has been preserved in the earth's crust."
Some fossils are classified as index fossils because they are found in a narrow time range and wide spatial distribution and are used in the identification of related geologic formations. Fossils are usually found in sedimentary rock, tar pits, peat bogs, paraffin deposits, and volcanic ash. "Sedimentary rock is a type of rock that is formed by sedimentation of material at the Earth's surface and within bodies of water." Seventy percent of all the rocks on earth are sedimentary rocks. Some geologists claim that these layers of sedimentation have been laid down in layers under high pressure over a period of millions of years. They have labeled these layers as geological ages and within these layers we find many of the fossils.
It is interesting that in the past, biologist dated the fossils by the age of the rock and the geologists date the rocks by the age of the fossils. We all know that this results in circular reasoning and does not prove anything. At one time, someone created a chart showing the age of rocks and fossils. This chart showed estimates which were based on some ones belief system. Today, dating of fossils is done by radioactive methods which are based upon many assumptions. They may be correct or they may not. It has been said that radioactive dating is most reliable when the approximate date of the object is known. In summary, the dating of rocks and fossils are based on assumptions which may or may not be true.
If evolution were true and the geological ages were correct then we would expect that the fossils would be laid down in layers following the birth of the animal or plant species. We would not find a fossil of a species at a lower geological age that the date of the evolution of that species. The microscopic animals would be found at the bottom and mammals would be in the top layers. This is not necessarily where fossils are found. Fossils are found bunched up in what is call fossil graveyards. Fossils of fish have been found on top of mountains instead of in depressed areas. Many of the fossils are in unlikely places. It is also interesting that a lot of the fossils were laid down in a relativity short period of time call the Cambrian Explosion (during the Cambrian geological age).
Wikipedia has this to say. "The Cambrian explosion or Cambrian radiation was the relatively rapid (over a period of many millions of years) appearance, around 530 million years ago, of most major phyla, as demonstrated in the fossil record, accompanied by major diversification of other organisms, including animals, phytoplankton, and calcimicrobes. Before about 580 million years ago, most organisms were simple, composed of individual cells occasionally organized into colonies. Over the following 70 or 80 million years the rate of evolution accelerated by an order of magnitude (as defined in terms of the extinction and origination rate of species) and the diversity of life began to resemble today’s."
"The Cambrian explosion has generated extensive scientific debate. The seemingly rapid appearance of fossils in the “Primordial Strata” was noted as early as the mid 19th century, and Charles Darwin saw it as one of the main objections that could be made against his theory of evolution by natural selection."
"The long-running puzzlement about the appearance of the Cambrian fauna, seemingly abruptly and from nowhere, centers on three key points: whether there really was a mass diversification of complex organisms over a relatively short period of time during the early Cambrian; what might have caused such rapid change; and what it would imply about the origin and evolution of animals. Interpretation is difficult due to a limited supply of evidence, based mainly on an incomplete fossil record and chemical signatures left in Cambrian rocks.”
Creationist take issue with the long time periods and the many assumptions made about dating. Perhaps, if the long time periods were much shorter, it would explain at lot about how fossils were laid down. Creationists say that "complex life forms appear suddenly in the Cambrian Explosion, with no ancestral fossils."
To understand the fossils records, we must first understand how fossils are formed. As plants and animals die the tissue decays. Even if they are buried, they will decay. Then how do some of these plants and animals become fossils? Fossils are created when plants and animals are buried alive quickly during a great catastrophic event such as a great flood, earthquake, volcano eruption or a large meteorite hitting the earth. The landscape is forever changed during these great catastrophic events.
The following quote from a web site will add insight. "The term 'fossilisation' refers to a variety of often complex processes that enable the preservation of organic remains within the geological record. It frequently includes the following conditions: rapid and permanent burial/entombment - protecting the specimen from environmental or biological disturbance; oxygen deprivation - limiting the extent of decay and also biological activity/scavenging; continued sediment accumulation as opposed to an eroding surface - ensuring the organism remains buried in the long-term; and the absence of excessive heating or compression which might otherwise destroy it."
"Fossil evidence is typically preserved within sediments deposited beneath water, partly because the conditions outlined above occur more frequently in these environments, and also because the majority of the Earth's surface is covered by water (70%+). Even fossils derived from land, including dinosaur bones and organisms preserved within amber (fossilised tree resin) were ultimately preserved in sediments deposited beneath water i.e. in wetlands, lakes, rivers, estuaries or swept out to sea."
"Fossilisation can also occur on land, albeit to a far lesser extent, and includes (for example) specimens that have undergone mummification in the sterile atmosphere of a cave or desert. However in reality these examples are only a delay to decomposition rather than a lasting mode of fossilisation and specimens require permanent storage in a climate controlled environment in order to limit its affects" (see web site: Discovering Fossils).
Ultimately, if there are long periods of time without great catastrophes, then, few fossils will be laid down. This could help explain the The Cambrian Explosion. The great turbulence, created from these catastrophic events, would definitely move the plants and animals into bunches which would create what is known as fossil graveyards.
The Bible records a worldwide flood during the time of Noah. Some consider the story a myth, however, before man took on a matter-first (evolutionary concept) mentality geologists believed that geology could be explained in terms of this great flood. The Bible is not the only source of a previous great world-wide flood. The record of the flood is recorded in culture histories around the world.
Consider the following quote from the web site: "Native global flood stories are documented as history or legend in almost every region on earth. Old world missionaries reported their amazement at finding remote tribes already possessing legends with tremendous similarities to the Bible's accounts of the worldwide flood. H.S. Bellamy in Moons, Myths and Men estimates that altogether there are over 500 Flood legends worldwide. Ancient civilizations such as (China, Babylonia, Wales, Russia, India, America, Hawaii, Scandinavia, Sumatra, Peru, and Polynesia) all have their own versions of a giant flood."
"These flood tales are frequently linked by common elements that parallel the Biblical account including the warning of the coming flood, the construction of a boat in advance, the storage of animals, the inclusion of family, and the release of birds to determine if the water level had subsided. The overwhelming consistency among flood legends found in distant parts of the globe indicates they were derived from the same origin (the Bible's record), but oral transcription has changed the details through time."
"Perhaps the second most important historical account of a global flood can be found in a Babylonian flood story in the Epic of Gilgamesh. When the Biblical and Babylonian accounts are compared, a number of outstanding similarities are found that leave no doubt these stories are rooted in the same event or oral tradition." (See web site: "Flood Legends from around the World".
We should keep in mind that most legends are based some element of truth. Therefore, secular legends may have become distorted over the years but they are based upon a common source.
Most of us do not understand what the Bible says the world was like before the flood. We read, "For the LORD God had not caused it to rain on the earth, and there was no man to till the ground; but a mist went up from the earth and watered the whole face of the ground" (Gen. 2:6). Most Biblical scholars believe that it had never rained before the flood and that there was a canopy of vapor which surrounded the earth. This canopy served as a green house thus keeping the temperature at tropical levels. A mist went up and watered the plants. With these conditions, the whole earth was covered with tropical vegetation.
When we study the Biblical account of the flood, we see that it turned the surface of the earth upside down. The flood’s mass destruction could have resulted in a major change in the world’s hydrologic system, and the physical features of the earth's surface could have been drastically changed. There were now high mountains and deep oceans where there was once a relatively flat surface dotted with shallow seas. A desolate land eroded by water and wind now replaced vast stretches of rich, tropical vegetation.
Many early geologists believe that the buried animals and vegetation later became the fossil fuels of oil and coal. However, evolutionists believe that they accumulated over millions of years.
These fossil fuels are grouped in deep pockets of oil and veins of coal. The fossils were bunched together because of the activity of a catastrophic event.
However, creation scientists have been able to create coal in the laboratory in a very short period of time by using high pressure and high temperatures.
Now let us examine the Bible's story of the worldwide flood and the family of Noah as they were on the ark.
We usually think of the flood as a period of time when it rained for forty days. But we read in Genesis verse eleven of chapter seven that: "The fountains of the great deep burst open" (NASB). The word "deep" is translated from the Hebrew word "T'hom" which means an abyss of a surging mass of water such as a subterranean sea or underground reservoirs. Before the flood, there may have been as much or more water under the land surface as there was on or above it. Simultaneous with the rain from above, the surface of the earth was broken up by earthquakes and volcanic activity. Giant tidal waves rolled across the surging waters. With the earth being turned inside out, the lush vegetation and abundant animal life would have been turned under thus forcing out present day fossil fuels.
We read in Genesis verse two of chapter eight: "The fountains of the deep and the floodgates of the sky were closed" (NASB). God stopped the water from coming forth out of the ground, and from above at the same time. We need to realize that there was a lot of water standing upon the earth’s surface when God stopped the flood and there were also large, relatively empty, depressurized areas under the surface. What if the earth's surface collapsed due to the weight of the water above it? Is it possible that the waters returned to their original containers – this time on top of the surface with the waters exposed thus forming our great oceans of today?
You may also have the same question that I have had for many years. How could the water rise high enough to cover all the highest mountains of the world? Before the flood, mountains may not have existed or they may have been much lower than they are today. After the flood and the resulting disturbances, they may have continued to rise for many years as the earth settled into its new form. It appears that numerous regional catastrophe events followed for many years after the worldwide flood.
Is there any physical evidence that these events may have taken place? Why do we find fossils of fish high on mountaintops, and fossils of other animals deep under the surface of the earth? Why have so many animal fossils been preserved from decay as scavengers usually destroy all of the remains? Have you ever considered that the Grand Canyon has many features that indicate it was created by an earthquake? Could the stark features of southern Utah be the result of wind and water erosion – water from shallow seas rushing into a new opening in the earth's surface that we now call the Grand Canyon? We know that, at some time in the past most of the area in the southwestern United States was covered with shallow seas. The destruction which was caused by the flood could be the solution to many of the unanswered questions that are raised by both scientists and evolutionists. We know that, in past times, geological evidence was based upon the acceptance of this great flood. Even today, there is excitement when a man-made object is found in a vein of coal. The remains of an up-right tree have been found in a coal vein in Tennessee.
On May 18, 1980, Mount Saint Helens, an inactive volcano, erupted with a massive explosion in southwestern Washington. The explosion snapped the pine trees on the mountain and dropped many of them, as if they were toothpicks, into Spirit Lake which is located at the bottom of the mountain. When you looked upon the site, many of the trees were impaled in upright positions, with most of the bark stripped off, which gave you the impression that you are looking at a very old forest. During the past 30 years, the mountain and lake have become a key environment for the study of the effects of catastrophic events. Today, the peeled bark at the bottom of Spirit Lake is turning into peat, the main material from which coal is made. It is taking a short period of time for the peat to form in the Spirit Lake thus we now know that peat can accumulate very rapidly. Scientists have said, regarding laboratory experiments, that once peat is buried its takes only a small amount of pressure and heat to turn peat into coal, thus, at a temperature of 150 degrees C and a little bit of pressure you create coal rapidly.
Before we close the discussion regarding fossils, we need to look at the assumptions used to date the fossils. When dating fossils you have to make a lot of assumptions.
Listed below are some of them.
• What the conditions were like at the beginning.
• That nothing has changed.
• That the sample which was used had not been contaminated.
• That some of the radioactive particles that were extracted were not added at a later time.
• You have to assume that the radiation clock has consistently ticked the same throughout the whole time period.
• That if every one of your assumptions is true, you can rest assured that your clock is reliable.
Scientists tell us that dinosaurs roamed the earth for over 160 million years from 230 million years ago to 65 million years ago. If this is true, then there should be Dinosaur bones buried everywhere. Although dinosaur bones have been found scattered over most of the earth, they are usually found clustered together as displayed in Dinosaurs National Monument in Colorado. In fact, there are clusters of Dinosaur bones all over the western part of the United States. The fact that they are found clustered together seems to show that they died during a catastrophe.
Now we must ask the question, have dinosaurs and man roamed the earth at the same time? If they disappeared 65 million years ago, they did not live at the same time as man did. However, both the Bible and secular evidence tend to show that they did.
In the book of Job, we read about two unusual animals—the Leviathan and the Behemoth. First, let us look at the Leviathan. "Can you draw out Leviathan with a hook, or snare his tongue with a line which you lower? Can you put a reed through his nose, or pierce his jaw with a hook?" ... "Can you fill his skin with harpoons, or his head with fishing spears? Lay your hand on him; remember the battle never do it again! Indeed, any hope of overcoming him is false; shall one not be overwhelmed at the sight of him? No one is so fierce that he would dare stir him up. Who then is able to stand against Me"(Job 41:1-2, 7-10)?
"Who has preceded Me, that I should pay him? Everything under heaven is Mine. I will not conceal his limbs, His mighty power, or his graceful proportions. Who can remove his outer coat? Who can approach him with a double bridle. Who can open the doors of his face, with his terrible teeth all around? His rows of scales are his pride, shut up tightly as with a seal; one is so near another that no air can come between them; they are joined one to another, they stick together and cannot be parted. His sneezings flash forth light, and his eyes are like the eyelids of the morning. Out of his mouth go burning lights; sparks of fire shoot out. Smoke goes out of his nostrils, as from a boiling pot and burning rushes. His breath kindles coals, and a flame goes out of his mouth. Strength dwells in his neck, and sorrow dances before him. The folds of his flesh are joined together; they are firm on him and cannot be moved" (Job 41:11-23).
"His heart is as hard as stone, even as hard as the lower millstone. When he raises himself up, the mighty are afraid; because of his crashings they are beside themselves. Though the sword reaches him, it cannot avail; nor does spear, dart, or javelin. He regards iron as straw, and bronze as rotten wood. The arrow cannot make him flee; slingstones become like stubble to him. Darts are regarded as straw; he laughs at the threat of javelins. His undersides are like sharp potsherds; he spreads pointed marks in the mire. He makes the deep boil like a pot; he makes the sea like a pot of ointment. He leaves a shining wake behind him; one would think the deep had white hair. On earth there is nothing like him, which is made without fear" (Job 41:24-33).
What kind of animal is this? The description sounds like a sea monster, a dragon or some member of the dinosaur family. We need to keep in mind that God is saying that the creature lived during the days of Job.
"Look now at the behemoth, which I made along with you; he eats grass like an ox. See now, his strength is in his hips, and his power is in his stomach muscles. He moves his tail like a cedar; the sinews of his thighs are tightly knit. His bones are like beams of bronze, his ribs like bars of iron. He is the first of the ways of God; only He who made him can bring near His sword. Surely the mountains yield food for him, and all the beasts of the field play there. He lies under the lotus trees, in a covert of reeds and marsh. The lotus trees cover him with their shade; the willows by the brook surround him. Indeed the river may rage, yet he is not disturbed; he is confident, though the Jordan gushes into his mouth, Though he takes it in his eyes, or one pierces his nose with a snare" (Job 40:15-24).
What kind of animal is this? Some scholars have identified this animal as a hippopotamus. However, the hippopotamus actually does not fit the description above. Notice that he moves his tail like a cedar and he eats grass—this is a land animal. If we think of the great dinosaurs such as the brachiosaurus, we see that the above description fits. They not only ate grass but they also had long necks and long thick tails.
Is there physical evidence that the dinosaurs and man roamed together on the earth? The answer, though often disputed, seems to be yes.
First, let us look at cave painting. Dr. Jack Cuozzo reports in chapter 24 of his book "Buried Alive - The startling truth about Neanderthal man" tells about a visit to the caves of southern France where he captured a photo in the Bernifal cave of a dinosaur and mammoth locked in moral confrontation. He published the picture in his book. It is the accepted view that cave painters painted objects of those things that they had actually seen. Therefore, they would be recording evidence that dinosaurs roamed the earth at the same time as they did. (See the web site: Neanderthals and Dinosaurs at Bernifal cave).
Cave painting of dinosaurs have also been reported in other caves in other countries. Also, ancient dinosaur depictions in artifacts have been uncovered around the world. (See the web site: Ancient Dinosaur Depictions).
Dr. Carl Baugh, Director of the Creation Evidence Museum, has done extensive excavation on the Paluxy River around Glen Rose, Texas. Dr. Baugh, along with teams of volunteers, have uncovered over 400 dinosaur tracks and over 80 human footprints in Cretaceous limestone. These tracks appear to have been made about the same time. "In early July, 2000, Alvis Delk, assisted by James Bishop (both of Stephenville, Texas), were working in the Cretaceous limestone on the McFall property at the Paluxy River near Glen Rose, Texas when they discovered a pristine human footprint intruded by a dinosaur footprint. This discovery was made in the vicinity of McFall I and II Sites where the Creation Evidence Museum team has excavated since the Spring of 1982. The eleven-inch human footprint matches seven other such footprints of the same dimensions in the “Sir George Series,” named in honor of His Excellency Governor General Ratu Sir George Cacobau of Fiji." (See the Web Site:, Creation Evidence Museum)
It should be noted that critics say that the footprint has been contaminated. Some even question Delk's discovery. For a view of the critics see Delk's discovery.
Fresh (unfossilized) dinosaurs have been found frozen in ice in both the Antarctica and Alaska. A group from the Creation Research Science and Education Foundation who were on a creation research expedition to Alaska found frozen Dinosaur bones which were not fossilized but were incased in ice. They brought back approximately 2000 pounds of bones. The finding of the ice incased bones proves that the age of the bones were relatively young. Follow up studies of the dinosaur’s blood cells and DNA show that it had died much more recently than previously reported. (Source: Institute of Creation Resource DVD.)
The following was copied from the “Answer In Genesis” web site and may provide additional insight
"The lady was highly skeptical. This guide, who moments before had been discussing animal ecology and evolution, found when confronted with news of the new discovery—that she simply could not believe it. She could not accept that fresh (not permineralized, meaning unfossilized) dinosaur bones had been found in Alaska. Such bones could never have lasted 70 million years, she said."
"Unlikely or not, it is a fact that such bones have been found. However, whether they could have lasted in that condition more than a few thousand years is a matter which demands attention."
"In 1987, while working with scientists from Memorial University (Newfoundland, Canada) on Bylot Island, just east of the northern tip of Baffin Island, a young Inuit (Canadian Eskimo) picked up a bone fragment. It was identified within days as part of the lower jaw of a duckbill dinosaur and proclaimed to the world as such."
"The story was different however in north-western Alaska. In 1961 a petroleum geologist discovered a large, half-metre-thick bone bed. As the bones were fresh, not permineralized, he assumed that these were recent bison bones. It took 20 years for scientists to recognize duckbill dinosaur bones in this deposit as well as the bones of horned dinosaurs, and large and small carnivorous dinosaurs. Presently William A. Clemens and other scientists from the University of California at Berkeley and the University of Alaska are quarrying the bone bed ...."
"These recent developments are certainly food for thought. It is undeniable that fresh dinosaur bones have been found. Items have appeared in the secular literature saying exactly that. It is also evident that preservation in the fresh state for even one million years is highly unlikely."
"The obvious conclusion is that these bones were deposited in relatively recent times. This bone bed is stunning evidence that the time of the dinosaurs was not millions of years ago, but perhaps only thousands. It is time geologists recognized the implications of their own data." See Answers In Genesis Web Site.
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Darwin knew that at the time he wrote his book that there were not any known transition fossils proving that man evolved from a lower form of life. However, he believed that in the future fossils would be found proving his theory.
For many years, children’s textbook have taught that some of the following are the so called missing link and have shown the so called evidence in the textbooks.
The following article was copied from the Straight Talk web site and is a good summary of the truth about these published missing links.
"All of the 'missing links' on this page are examples of poor anthropology being used in an attempt to convince the public that God does not exist. Unfortunately, this rush to judgment is a consistent and erroneous theme of the evolutionary science community. The only thing missing from their studies was thorough research.
• NEANDERTHAL MAN: When this prehistoric man was first discovered, only part of an arm was recovered. Yet, the scientific community fabricated an entire ancient society around an arm bone. Scientists have since found quite a few Neanderthals and after careful study have concluded that these ancestors were regular humans with bone disease, probably rickets.
• PILTDOWN MAN: For more than 50 years we were led to believe that this ancient creature was another supposed ancestor of modern man. Two scientists eventually took a closer look and found out that Piltdown man was a fraud. This invented creature was a composite of the jawbone of an orangutan and the skull of a small child. The original 'discoverers' had stained these bone fragments to gain recognition and promote the falsehood of evolution.
• NEBRASKA MAN: One ancient tooth was discovered in Nebraska. Eager evolutionists built a whole imaginary society and lifestyle around this single tooth! When they found the rest of the skull some two years later, it was clear that the tooth belonged to a pig. For many years, evolutionists described Nebraska Man as a missing link.
• JAVA MAN: This prehistoric man was found on the island of Java and was reported to be the missing link between man and ape. After serious study, it was found that the two pieces of Java Man were from two different skulls from two different areas of the island. Both were from the same species, probably an Orangutan, but they were not the parts of a man. Recent human skulls have now been discovered in the same layer of rock.
• PEKING MAN: This manlike creature was found in China during the early part of this [last] century. No other scientists have directly observed this site and it has not actually been seen in more than 50 years. All of the examples of Peking Man were reported to have the back of their skulls smashed in, exactly matching the result when people of that region hunt for monkey brains. Also, modern human remains were found at the same site.
• LUCY: Lucy is the latest find that has been almost universally accepted as mankind's ancestor. Lucy is an Australopithecus, that is actually more like a monkey than man. When the bones were studied by spectrograph, they were found to match a chimpanzee, rather than a man. Lucy, too, is a mosaic, with bones assembled from different locations.
• LAETOLI FOOTPRINTS: These footprints were found in the same strata as the Lucy bones. Evolutionary scientists have said that Lucy-like animals made these, but a podiatrist concluded they are modern human footprints. It appears that Lucy is not an ancestor of modern man, but simply a monkey.
• KENYA SKULL: Recently it was reported that scientists had discovered a fossil of a skull in Kenya that evolutionists claim has more human-like features than 'Lucy.' This means that evolutionary scientists must once again revise their theory of man's origin. Ken Ham, Executive Director of Answers in Genesis says 'that the skull—which he says appears to be the skull of a chimpanzee —[will cause] the evolutionary fossil record of human ancestors to be replaced with question marks'.
• ARCHAEOPTERXY: Originally thought of as a transitional fossil between the reptiles and birds, it is now considered by most evolutionists to be a true bird. Also true birds have been found lower in the fossil record, making them older than Archaeopteryx."
"Chinese paleontologist, Xu Xing, contends that Archaeopteryx is a combination of two fossils: one of the body and head of a birdlike creature and the other of the tail of a dinosaur. Xing says he has found another fossil, in a private collection in China, that contains the mirror image of the supposed tail of the Archaeoraptor. National Geographic published a note in its March 2000 issue saying that CT scans of the fossil appear to confirm Xing's observations and 'revealed anomalies in the fossil's reconstruction.'"
"To sum it up, here is what Dr. Austin Clark, a leading biologist of the Smithsonian Institute in Washington, has to say about the subject: 'No matter how far back we go in the fossil record of previous animal life on earth, we find no trace of any animal forms which are intermediate between the major groups of phyla. Since we have not the slightest evidence, either among the living or the fossil animals, of any intergrading types following the major groups, it is a fair supposition that there never have been any such intergrading types. There are no such things as missing links. ... Missing links are misinterpretations.'"
Jonathan Wells in his book, "Icons of Evolution: Science or Myth? Why Much of What We Teach About Evolution is Wrong" ( Web Site ), discusses the problem of the teaching of evolution as a fact rather than a theory. He gives the standard lists of evidence taught in many textbooks. The following is an excerpt from the introduction of his book. We will observe that some of these items are examples of microevolution and not macroevolution.
"When asked to list the evidence for Darwinian evolution, most people—including most biologists—give the same set of examples, because all of them learned biology from the same few textbooks. The most common examples are:
• A laboratory flask containing a simulation of the earth's primitive atmosphere, in which electric sparks produce the chemical building-blocks of living cells.
• The evolutionary tree of life, reconstructed from a large and growing body of fossil and molecular evidence.
• Similar bone structures in a bat's wing, a porpoise's flipper, a horse's leg, and a human hand that indicate their evolutionary origin in a common ancestor.
• Pictures of similarities in early embryos showing that amphibians, reptiles, birds and human beings are all descended from a fish-like animal.
• Archaeopteryx, a fossil bird with teeth in its jaws and claws on its wings, is the missing link between ancient reptiles and modern birds.
• Peppered moths on tree trunks, showing how camouflage and predatory birds produced the most famous example of evolution by natural selection.
• Darwin's finches on the Galapagos Islands, thirteen separate species that diverged from one when natural selection produced differences in their beaks, and that inspired Darwin to formulate his theory of evolution.
• Fruit flies with an extra pair of wings, showing that genetic mutations can provide the raw materials for evolution.
• A branching-tree pattern of horse fossils that refutes the old-fashioned idea that evolution was directed.
• Drawings of ape-like creatures evolving into humans, showing that we are just animals and that our existence is merely a by-product of purposeless natural causes.
These examples are so frequently used as evidence for Darwin's theory that most of them have been called 'icons' of evolution. Yet all of them, in one way or another, misrepresent the truth."
The first is in reference refers to the Urey and Miller experiment conducted in 1953. Stanley L. Miller and Harold C. Urey, working at the University of Chicago, conducted an experiment by combining certain chemical molecules under an electrical charge and produced amino acids. There are some serious doubts about this experiment. First, it was a controlled environment and Miller had no idea about the early earth's atmosphereic conditions. They made assumptions that cannot be proven. Second, we have already shown that life does not exist in the form of amino acids. It takes DNA to create life from amino acids.
The evolutionary tree of life is based upon man's assumptions and there is not any absolutely no proof for it.
Evolutionists have made many claims about similarities in early embryos. Ernest Haeckel, Charles Darwin’s most enthusiastic disciple in Germany, devised the iconic embryo chart “proving” that man, at the embryonic stage, man looks almost exactly like identical to various types of animals. Throughout the years, Haeckel charts have appeared in school textbooks. However, today many believe that Haeckel's embryo charts have been proven to have been faked distorted, and, therefore, are not credible.
Peppered moths, finches, and fruit flies are only examples of microevolution–not macroevolution.
There are some who say that creationists cannot be real scientists. I want to conclude the study on evolution by quoting some famous scientists and asking the question: is the teaching of evolution important to science?
"Just as all things speak of God to those who know him and unveil Him to those who love Him, even so they hide Him from all those who neither see Him or know Him" (Blaise Pascal).
"We can't understand the universe in any clear way without the supernatural" (Allan Sandage, Cosmologist). "He was Staff Member Emeritus with the Carnegie Observatories in Pasadena, California. He is best known for determining the first reasonably accurate value for the Hubble constant and the age of the universe."
"From a knowledge of God's work we shall know Him" (Robert Boyle, Father of Modern Chemistry).
The following quotes are excerpts from an "Answers in Genesis" article on the subject.
"It shouldn’t be surprising that there have been many real scientists who believed in biblical creation. Consider Isaac Newton (1642–1727), who co-discovered calculus, formulated the laws of motion and gravity, computed the nature of planetary orbits, invented the reflecting telescope and made a number of discoveries in optics. Newton had profound knowledge of, and faith in, the Bible. Carl Linnaeus (1707–1778), the Swedish botanist who developed the double–Latin-name system for taxonomic classification of plants and animals, also believed the Genesis creation account. So also did the Dutch geologist Nicolaus Steno (1631–1686), who developed the basic principles of stratigraphy".
"Even in the early 19th century when the idea of millions of years was developed, there were prominent Bible-believing English scientists, such as chemists Andrew Ure (1778–1857) and John Murray (1786?–1851), entomologist William Kirby (1759–1850), and geologist George Young (1777–1848). James Clerk Maxwell (1831–1879) discovered the four fundamental equations that light and all forms of electromagnetic radiation obey. Indeed, Maxwell’s equations are what make radio transmissions possible. He was a deep student of Scripture and was firmly opposed to evolution. These and many other great scientists have believed the Bible as the infallible Word of God, and it was their Christian faith that was the driving motivation and intellectual foundation of their excellent scientific work."
"Today there are many other Ph.D. scientists who reject evolution and believe that God created in six days, a few thousand years ago, just as recorded in Scripture. Russ Humphreys, a Ph.D. physicist, has developed (among many other things) a model to compute the present strength of planetary magnetic fields, which enabled him to accurately predict the field strengths of the outer planets. Did a belief in the Bible hinder his research? Not at all. On the contrary, Dr. Humphreys was able to make these predictions precisely because he started from the principles of Scripture. John Baumgardner, a Ph.D. geophysicist and biblical creationist, has a sophisticated computer model of catastrophic plate tectonics, which was reported in the journal Nature; the assumptions for this model are based on the global Flood recorded in Genesis. Additionally, think of all the people who have benefited from a Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) scan. The MRI scanner was developed by the creationist Dr. Raymond Damadian."
Does the belief in evolution enable the scientist to be a better scientist? The evidence says “no”! We continue quoting from “Answers in Genesis”.
"Although evolutionists interpret the evidence in light of their belief in evolution, science works perfectly well without any connection to evolution. Think about it this way: is a belief in molecules-to-man evolution necessary to understand how planets orbit the sun, how telescopes operate, or how plants and animals function? Has any biological or medical research benefited from a belief in evolution? Not at all. In fact, the Ph.D. cell biologist (and creationist) Dr. David Menton has stated, 'The fact is that though widely believed, evolution contributes nothing to our understanding of empirical science and thus plays no essential role in biomedical research or education.' And creationists are not the only ones who understand this. Dr. Philip Skell, Emeritus Evan Pugh Professor of Chemistry, Penn State University, wrote:
'I recently asked more than 70 eminent researchers if they would have done their work differently if they had thought Darwin’s theory was wrong. The responses were all the same: No.'"
"'I also examined the outstanding biodiscoveries of the past century: the discovery of the double helix; the characterization of the ribosome; the mapping of genomes; research on medications and drug reactions; improvements in food production and sanitation; the development of new surgeries; and others. I even queried biologists working in areas where one would expect the Darwinian paradigm to have most benefited research, such as the emergence of resistance to antibiotics and pesticides. Here, as elsewhere, I found that Darwin’s theory had provided no discernible guidance, but was brought in, after the breakthroughs, as an interesting narrative gloss. .... From my conversations with leading researchers it had became [sic] clear that modern experimental biology gains its strength from the availability of new instruments and methodologies, not from an immersion in historical biology.'"
I believe we can conclude our discussion on the teaching of evolution by stating that an intelligent designer has directed the entire process. We may not understand all of the details but it is absolutely impossible that all of the universe could have evolved spontaneously through an undirected process. It takes a huge amount of faith to believe in that theory!
We return to the question, what makes God God? The answer is He is the creator—He is the intelligent designer.
And if He is the Creator, then He has absolute sovereignty over His creation and His creation is accountable to Him.
Is He the God of the Bible, the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob; or is He Allah the God of the Koran and Islam; or maybe the God of the Hindus, Buddha, or one of the other Gods of other world religion? Could He be the God of all religions, as some claim, and that the world religions just have different ways of reaching Him.
Let us examine the scriptures and the various teachings of five of these religions. Hinduism and Buddhism is polytheist whereas Jewism/Christianity, Islam and Zoroastrianism are monotheist. All of the above religions, except Buddhism, teach that there is a God who created. The Buddhist believes in evolution.
Buddhism is based upon the teaching of Siddhārtha Gautama, a spiritual leader who lived in India about 500 BC. He is regarded as the Supreme Buddha. After Buddha’s death, his followers are believed to have summarized and memorized discourses and monastic rules. Various collections of teachings attributed to him were passed down by oral tradition, and first committed to writing about 400 years later. For the Buddhist, the most meaningful purpose of life is to seek liberation from ignorance, suffering and the cycle of samsaric rebirth following the path of karma. The Buddhists do not have a belief in the afterlife except the reincarnation cycle where they do good works to satisfy karma and eventually free themselves of suffering. At the end of the karma cycle, the person ceases to exist.
“Hinduism is the world’s oldest living religious tradition. It is unlikely that there was a single founder of Hinduism, but if there were such an individual, he or she is unknown to us today. Although we don’t know the name of individuals, we do know several cultures that contributed to the development of Hinduism. Of these contributing sources, two are especially important for our understanding of the history of the Hindu tradition. The first is the Indus Valley civilization. The second source is a group called the Aryans, a nomadic group of people who might have migrated to India from Central Asia. It may be fair to say that Hinduism is not only the world’s oldest religion; it is also the most pluralistic. Its great diversity is what makes the concept of Hinduism problematic” (Source: Web Site Hinduism Beliefs).
Hindu Scripture is sometimes called shestra. It was first transmitted orally and, according to Hindu tradition, approximately 5000 years ago, when human memory began to deteriorate, it was recorded in manuscripts. It is extremely fragmented. “Hindu religion is often labeled as a religion of 330 million gods. This misunderstanding arises when people fail to grasp the symbolism of the Hindu pantheon. According to the Hindu scriptures, living beings are not apart from God, since He lives in each and every one of them in the form of atman (BG 10.39). Thus each living being is a unique manifestation of God. In ancient times it was believed that there were 330 million living beings.”
“Hindus view cosmic activity of the Supreme Being as comprised of three tasks: creation, preservation, and dissolution and recreation. Hindus associate these three cosmic tasks with the three deities, Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva. Lord Brahma brings forth the creation and represents the creative principle of the Supreme Being.
Lord Vishnu maintains the universe and represents the eternal principle of preservation. Lord Shiva represents the principle of dissolution and recreation. These three deities together form the Hindu Trinity” (Source:Web Site Hindu Deities).
Brahma, the creator, is not a sovereign God with absolute authority over his creation. He shares power with other gods and he is not worshiped by the Hindus. According to the Puranas (a Hindu religious text), Brahma was self-born in the lotus flower. Legend also says that he was born in water from a golden egg laid by another deity. He was married and had descendents.
Hindus follows the laws of karma for their salvation and redemption. It is a works salvation where an individual strives to obtain spiritual purity by good deeds. Merrian-Webster defines karma as “the force generated by a person's actions held in Hinduism and Buddhism to perpetuate transmigration and in its ethical consequences to determine the nature of the person's next existence.”
The Hindus also believe in a caste system which is a social, economic, political and religious experience. In India, individuals are born into certain social level and privilege based upon their activities in previous lives. Their only hope is to improve their lives so that in the next reincarnation they can move up the levels of the caste system. If their life is bad and they have not done enough good deeds, they may reincarnate into a lower level or even into an animal such as a cow. The ultimate hope of the karma process is to become spiritually pure, break the samsaric cycle and be absorbed in an afterlife in the spirit world.
Zoroastrianism is a religion and philosophy based on the teachings of the prophet Zoroaster. It was founded around the 6th century BC in Persia, which is now Iran. In times past, it was among the world’s largest religions.
According the Zoroaster, the creator of the universe was Ahura Mazda and “he is all good, and no evil originates from Him.” Zoroastrianism teaches that there are two forces in the world–good and evil. The evil forces are under the influence of Angra Mainyu, a destructive spirit who makes war with Ahura Mozda. We see the similarities to the God of the Bible and Satan. Wikipedia states that, “The most important texts of the religion are those of the Avesta, of which a significant portion has been lost, and mostly only the liturgies of which have survived. The lost portions are known of only through references and brief quotations in the later works, primarily from the 9th to 11th centuries.”
“Active participation in life through good thoughts, good words, and good deeds is necessary to ensure happiness and to keep chaos at bay. This active participation is a central element in Zoroaster's concept of free will, and Zoroastrianism rejects all forms of monasticism. Ahura Mazda will ultimately prevail over the evil Angra Mainyu or Ahriman, at which point the universe will undergo a cosmic renovation and time will end. In the final renovation, all of creation—even the souls of the dead that were initially banished to ‘darkness’—will be reunited in Ahura Mazda, returning to life in the undead form. At the end of time, a savior-figure (a Saoshyant) will bring about a final renovation of the world (frasho.kereti), in which the dead will be revived" (Wikipedia).
We can see many similarities of Zoroastrianism to the teachings of the Bible and of the Koran. Some believe that Muhammad was probably strongly influenced by the teaching of Zoroastrianism. However, both Zoroastrianism and Islam teach a works salvation. A salvation based upon weighting good deeds against bad deeds.
As we have seen, all of the above world religions see man as trying to reach up to an impersonal god for forgiveness and redemption. They live their lives wondering if they have lived a faithful life and will be rewarded in eternity.
In Islam, the expression is “if Allah wills”. In the Bible, the entire focus is about a personal God reaching down to take man’s hand and pulling him out of the bondage of his sins. The entire story is one of atonement and redemption with God doing the work. Here we have the great contrast between the world religions and the Bible.
Dr. Timothy George, founding dean of Beeson Divinity School, in his book “Is the Father of Jesus The God of Muhammad?”, Zondervan, asked a question. “How would you characterize someone who believes in the literal, verbal inspiration of Scripture, who holds that Jesus is God’s virgin-born Messiah, that Jesus healed the sick, raised the dead, bodily ascended into heaven, and will one day return to do battle with the antichrist and in the end truly reign on earth? This person knows that Satan is alive and well on planet Earth, that angels and demons are real forces to be reckoned with, and that after death everyone on earth will go to one of two places—the burning fires of hell or the beautiful palaces of heaven. This individual does not believe in evolution, but believes that God created the world in six literal days. This person happen to be a tee-totaler, is strongly pro-life, and is committed to traditional family values. Women are highly regarded in the religious community to which this person belongs, but they do not function as preachers and leader there. This person is also deeply patriotic, regards pacifism as a weakness, deplores the separation of church and state and believes that government (ideally) should enforce God’s will in every area of society.”
“Do you recognize this person as a strict, conservative, Bible-believing Christian? Well maybe. But he or she might just as well be a devout, conscientious Muslim! More than any two religious traditions on earth, Christianity and Islam share both striking similarities and differences. Historically, the relationship between Christians and Muslims has been strained at best. All two frequently it has been marked by bloodshed and violence” (pp 19-20).
Now let us take a look at the nature of the two Gods they worship—they are not the same. The Muslims believe that at some point in the past they were one and the same God, the one true God, the creator of the universe.
However, over the years the Jews and Christians have changed the original revelation of God in the Bible and have corrupted the image of the true God into a false God. There is much in common in the Koran (also called the Quran) and the Bible. Many of the Bible stories recorded in the Bible are also recorded in the Koran—such as Adam and Eve, Noah and the great flood, Abraham, Moses, and David. However, in most cases the versions are different.
Muslims accept the Pentateuch, the book of the Psalms and parts of Gospels. However, they believe that the Gospels have been corrupted and that the Jesus now presented in the Gospels is not the same as the one who walked on the earth. They consider Jesus to be a great prophet and teacher but he was not divine. They now believe that God has sent the prophet Muhammad as the last and greatest prophet to correct the revelation recorded in the corrupted Bible. For the Muslims, the Koran has become the final authoritative word of God. They are taught that the Bible is accursed and they should not to read it.
One of their examples of the Jewish corruption is the promises given to Abraham. The Bible teaches that God entered in a covenant with Abraham in which he gave him promised lands. The Bible teaches that the covenant was also extended to all of the Jews through Isaac and Jacob. The Muslims believe that Ishmael, as Abraham’s first born, received the promises of the covenant and that the land belongs to the Arabs. Thus, we have the conflict between the Arabs and the Jews regarding the ownership of the land and the city of Jerusalem.
Dr. George says that “At the heart of the Christian faith are three fundamental beliefs Islam has always rejected—the Trinity, the Incarnation, and redemption by divine grace through the cross of Jesus Christ” (pp 41). We could also add the fact that the Muslims do not accept the bodily resurrection of Jesus. However, they do believe that he ascended into heaven without dying. From the Koran we read these words, “That they said (in boast), 'We killed Christ Jesus the son of Mary, the Messenger of Allah'; but they killed him not, nor crucified him, but so it was made to appear to them, and those who differ therein are full of doubts, with no (certain) knowledge, but only conjecture to follow, for of a surety they killed him not. Nay, Allah raised him up unto Himself; and Allah is Exalted in Power, Wise" (Koran 4:157-158, Abdullah Yusuf Ali).
Dr. George adds these words, “Judaism, Christianity, and Islam share a common passion for the oneness of God, the transcendent Creator and Lord of all that is” (pp 45). “Among the many distinctive truths Christians proclaim, the one that set them apart from Islam most fundamentally is this: The God of the Bible is the God who has forever known him-self, and who in Jesus Christ has revealed himself to us, as the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. This is the doctrine of the Holy Trinity. The Trinity is the basis for the entire Christian life—the basis of everything we believe and teach. It is something confessed by all orthodox Christians—Greek Orthodox Christians, Roman Catholic Christian, historic Protestant Christian, and other as well” (pp 55).
Muhammad and the Muslims have a misconception of the Christian view of the Holy Trinity. Muhammad understand the Trinity to consist of the Father, the Virgin Mary, and their son, Jesus. They believe that Christians teach that the Father had physical sexual relations with the Virgin Mary and that Jesus was conceived from this relationship. Therefore, they consider the idea of the Holy Trinity as an abomination against the One Sovereign Holy God who they call Allah.
From another source and the Koran we get these statements, “Muslims believe in the Absolute Oneness of God, Who is a Supreme Being free of human limitations, needs and wants. He has no partners in His Divinity. He is the Creator of everything and is completely separate from His creation. God says in the Quran [Koran] regarding the Trinity: "O People of the Book! Commit no excesses in your religion: Nor say of Allah aught but the truth. Christ Jesus the son of Mary was (no more than) a messenger of Allah, and His Word, which He bestowed on Mary, and a spirit proceeding from Him: so believe in Allah and His messengers. Say not 'Trinity': desist: it will be better for you: for Allah is one Allah: Glory be to Him: (far Exalted is He) above having a son. To Him belong all things in the heavens and on earth. And enough is Allah as a Disposer of affairs" (4:171, Abdullah Yusuf Ali translation). "And behold! Allah will say: 'O Jesus the son of Mary! Didst thou say unto men, worship me and my mother as gods in derogation of Allah?' He will say: 'Glory to Thee! never could I say what I had no right (to say). Had I said such a thing, thou wouldst indeed have known it. Thou knowest what is in my heart, Thou I know not what is in Thine. For Thou knowest in full all that is hidden'" (5:116, Abdullah Yusuf Ali).
There are other strong contrasts begin the God of the Bible and the God of the Koran. “On the Answering Islam” web site there is an article entitled “The Character of God in Bible and Qur’an (Koran)”. This is a very good article contrasting the two views and I have selected the following statement, “In a same way, when I pay close attention to the character of God portrayed for us through the biblical narratives and then I compare it with the Qur'an, I get the strong sense that the Qur'an plays a different tune, that it does not exactly match the God of the Bible, even though the Qur'an claims to be from the same God. Source: ("The Character of God in Bible and Qur’an (Koran)” ). This is a very good web site and you may want to visit it.
Now let us compare and contrast some the differences between the Bible and the Koran.
• The Bible - is a collection of books which, when taken as a whole, presents a living testimony of a Supreme Being who reins over the universe which He created. In the beginning, God established a master plan for this universe and throughout the ages, He has slowly and progressively revealed this plan to mankind. Except for the first two chapters of Genesis and the last two chapters of Revelation, the entire book is a story of redemption with God seeking a relationship with mankind. The Bible reveals a struggle between the forces of good and the forces of evil. It has been said that the Old Testament is the New Testament concealed and the New Testament is the Old Testament revealed. The entire Bible looks forward to and back to the cross where God the Son died and became an atonement for the sins of mankind so that man could be redeemed from the bondage of his sins. The picture is that of God extending His hand to pull man out of the quicksand of sin. He established a relationship and companionship that is comparable to the marriage relationship between a man and woman—a relationship in which men and women could live abundant lives through the blessings of God’s grace and the infilling of the Holy Spirit.
The Bible was divinely inspired by God Himself and written over a period of 1800 years by 40 plus authors from all walks of life. It was written in different places and at different times. It was actually written on three different continents and in three different languages, yet it reads as if it were written by one person. Josh McDowell in his book “evidence that demands a verdict” writes an apologetic (defense) of the Bible. The above comments and what follows is taken from his book. He quotes from F. F. Bruce’s book “The Books and the Parchment”, Fleming H. Revell. “Any part of the human body can only be properly explained in reference to the whole body. And any part of the Bible can only be properly explained in reference to the whole Bible….The Bible is not simply an anthology; there is unity which binds the whole together. An anthology is compelled by an anthologist, but no anthologist compiled the Bible” (pp 19).
McDowell adds, “The Bible has been read by more people and published in more languages than any other book. There have been more copies produced of its entirety and more portions and selections that any other book in history. Some will argue that in a designated month or year more of a certain book was sold. However, over all there is absolutely no book that reaches or even begins to compare to the circulation of the Scriptures. The first major book printed was the Latin Vulgate. It was printed on Gutenberg’s press” (pp 21).
On the uniqueness of its survival he writes, “Written on material that perishes, having to be copied and recopied for hundreds of years before the invention of the printing press, did not diminish its style, correctness nor existence. The Bible, compared with other ancient writings, has more manuscript evidence than any ten pieces of classical literature combined” (pp 21).
• The Koran (Quran) - is a collection of revelations received by the prophet Muhammad from a spiritual being, claiming to be the angel, Gabriel. Islamic historians claimed that his revelations began in 610 AD and continued piecemeal over a period of twenty years. Muhammad was an illiterate man thus he could neither read nor write. In the beginning, Muhammad was not sure whether the spirit was of God or of Satan. His revelations, in the form of dreams, visions, and unpredictable trances were written by others on whatever was available — leaves, skins, mats, stones, or bark. There seems to be evidence that friends of Muhammad memorized the recitations and recounted them on to others. Those who memorized were called reciters. During a battle, one of the reciters was killed resulting in the loss of part of the revelations.
To understand the Koran, we must first understand Muhammad—what influenced him before the revelations and how his life was changed by the revelations. We need to go back to a world before Muhammad was born. The Arabs worshipped pagan gods. The center of their worship was a cube-like block structure, called the Kaaba, located in the center of the city of Mecca. Muslim legend holds that the structure was built by Adam and was restored by Abraham and his son, Ishmael. Surrounding the Kaaba were 360 pagan gods, one for each day of the lunar year.
During one month out of the year, the Holy month of Ramadan was celebrated. At one time Muhammad’s grandfather was curator of the Kaaba. Today, to the Muslim, it is the most Holy site on earth, the center of the earth and the entry door into heaven.
At an early age, Muhammad took a job working with a camel caravan. As time passed, he became the leader of the caravan and later married the owner of the caravan, Khadija. As Muhammad traveled across the country, he met many Jews, Christians and believers of other religions. Since Muhammad could neither read nor write, he relied on others to read to him. He remembered the stories he heard during his travels. Although history does not completely reveal the sources of his knowledge, it is obvious, as you read the Koran and Hadiths (saying and traditions of Muhammad) , that he was strongly influenced by what he had been told. There were probably many discussions about religion as the caravan workers sat around the campfires at night. Thus, the Koran reflects many strong Jewish and Christian influences. The teaching of Zoroaster and his belief in the oneness of God probably also influenced him.
The Koran also reflects the views of Christian heretical groups such as Arianism which taught that Jesus was not fully devine. Arius taught that the Father existed before the Son thus placing the Father and Son on a different level. This literally meant that the Son was a created being. This heretical teaching was later addressed and clarified by the church bishops at the Council of Nicene in 325 AD where they declared that Jesus was fully divine.
We also see the influence of another heretic, Marcion, who believed that the God of the Old Testament was different from the God and Father of the Lord Jesus Christ. He was anti-Jewish and "rejected the entire Old Testament and also those New Testament writings which he considered favored Jewish readers — Matthew, Mark, Acts and Hebrews."
The Eastern Greek Church was strongly influenced by Platonism, and, in many ways , influenced the Church at Alexandria, Antioch and surrounding areas. Some Muslim scholars believe that Paul got the idea of the physical resurrection from the Platonic view of a spiritual resurrection.
The Koran also reflect the influence of several uncanonized books known as the Apocrypha, such as the “The Infancy Gospel of Thomas", "Gospel of James", perhaps the "Gospel of Barnabas", etc. The questions as to why these books were not cannonized could also have been discussed by the caravan workers around the campfires at night. Some believe that Muhammad’s wife, Khadija, may have been member of the Egyptian Coptic Church.
We need to look at the influence these revelations had on Muhammad's later life. Muhammad became a furious warrior fighting against the non-believers of Islam, slaying the unbelievers, raping the women and taking the spoils of warfare. He thought the killing of Christians and Jews were, not only divinely sanctioned, but also mandated. The Koran says, "And slacken not in following up the enemy" (4:104a, Abdullah Yusuf Ali). "O ye who believe! take not the Jews and the Christians for your friends and protector" (5:51a, Abdullah Yusuf Ali). "They do blaspheme who say: Allah is one of three in a Trinity: for there is no god except One Allah. If they desist not from their word (of blasphemy), verily a grievous penalty will befall the blasphemers among them" (5:73, Abdullah Yusuf Ali). "Say: 'Obey Allah and His Messenger': But if they turn back, Allah loveth not those who reject Faith" (3:32, Abdullah Yusuf Ali).
In 630 AD, Mohammad marched on the city of Mecca with an army of ten thousand men. There he cleansed the Kaaba of idols and declared it to be the temple of Allah.
Muhammad died in 632 AD at the age of 62. His followers continued to spread the claims of Allah across the Arab nations, by the way of the sword, basing their efforts on the Islamic tenet of Jihad. For many years, under an Islamic leader who was head of the Islamic authority known as the caliphate, Islamic warriors swept across the Middle-East, Northern Africa, and parts of Europe killing and enslaving millions in the name of Allah.
Let us consider another factor. Whereas, the Bible was inspired and written by many authors over a period of many years, the Koran was a so called revelation to one man, Muhammad, who claimed to be the last and most authoritative of the prophets. There is no actual confirmation for his claims.
The Koran was canonized and standardized in 653 AD during the caliphate of Uthman. The revelations of Muhammad were collected from many sources and compiled into one book. When reading the Koran , you will notice that it is markedly fragmented in many places. Also, many of Muhammads sayings and traditions were compiled in different collections called the Hadiths. Muslims not only consider the Koran to be sacred but also the Hadiths.
Only in the Bible do we see God's revelation revealed in prophecy. We do not find this in any of the other world religion's sacred text. The study of Biblical prophecy foretells events that have unfolded and will continue to unfold across the pages of history. It has been said that the Old Testament is the New Testament hidden and the New Testament is the Old Testament revealed. There is as much design in God's word as there is in His creation. We can follow the golden thread of prophecy from the beginning of Genesis through the end of The Revelation.
Not only do we have the prophetic written word, but God uses types, shadows/patterns, numbers, covenants, and Jewish feasts to weave His prophetic word together. We should be aware that all of these point to the work which was completed by Jesus upon the cross. The Old Testament contains over 300 references to the Messiah that were fulfilled in Jesus. According to the book of Hebrews, the entire Mosaic Law was a shadow of the work completed upon the cross. For a deeper study of this subject, see my article on the "Introduction to Biblical Prophecy]" on this web site. Just click above.
Love of God
• Bible - The God of the Bible is a loving God who seeks intimacy with mankind. His very nature and character are pure love. In the Bible, God "draws near", "comes down" and “seeks after us“ in order to enter into an intimate relationship with us. The whole Bible portrays the story of God seeking man. "But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us" (Rom. 8:5). "The Lord is not slack concerning His promise, as some count slackness, but is longsuffering toward us, not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance" (2 Peter 3:9). The God of the Bible reveals Himself and seek fellowship and companionship with the people.
• Koran - In stark contrast, the Koran portrays God as one who is far away and transcendent. A Muslim theologian has said, “God reveals only his will, not himself. He remains forever hidden. Even though he is near as the jugular vein as the Koran states, this is a 'technical' nearness, since just as we are not 'aware' of our jugular vein most of the time and don't have a personal relationship with it, this only conveys that God is everywhere (far and near) like the air that is around us. Allah love is conditional and accidental. Love is something God does, not what God is." He does not love everyone, only the faithful Muslim. The conditional nature of Allah's love is shown in the following verses in the Koran, "On those who believe and work deeds of righteousness, will (Allah) Most Gracious bestow love" (19:96, Abdullah Yusuf Ali). The Koran also says, "Allah loves not transgressors" (2:190b, Abdullah Yusuf Ali).
• Bible - The Bible teaches that sin is contrary to the Holy character of God and His justice demands satisfaction. "The wages of sin is death" (Rom. 6:23). "For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God" (Rom. 3:23). The Bible teaches that when Adam sinned that all his descendants inherited a sin nature and thus are born with a sin nature. God has also imputed sin to our account because of the fall of Adam. This is called original sin. Yet, because of our sin nature, we have all committed personal sins against a Holy God and each of us has a rebellious spirit. Before God changes our hearts, we have a nature which desires to be independent from God, our Creator.
• Koran - The Koran does not teach the doctrine of the fall of man nor original sin. Muslims do not believe that sin is imputed–salvation is a process that we work through during our lifetime. According to the Koran, man was born free to live a sinless life. "The Koran says that Adam forgot to walk in the right way. Sin is forgetfulness, heedlessness, a failure to remember. This forgetting to obey is the result of inherent weakness, not active rebellion against God." According to Islamic teaching, one way to overcome forgetfulness is to be in constant prayer. Their definition of sin says that it is anything against the teaching of Islam or against the will of Allah. We should also note that teachings within the Koran assumed that physical death was natural and planned for all mankind before the fall and was not the result of Adam's sin.
• Bible - The Bible teaches that God's justice demands that sin be atoned for by the shedding of blood. "And almost all things are by the law purged with blood; and without shedding of blood is no remission" (Heb. 9:22). Immediately after Adam sinned, God killed two animals and offered a sacrifice for Adam's and Eve's sins. He then clothed Adam and Eve with the skins of the animals. From that day forward, until the cross, man was commanded to offer animal sacrifices for the covering of their sins. However, the book of Hebrews says that the animal sacrifices were not enough. "For it is not possible that the blood of bulls and of goats should take away sins" (Heb. 10:4).
Therefore, in the fullness of time God, sent forth His son to die on the cross for the atonement of all sins, past, present and future. "Neither by the blood of goats and calves, but by his own blood he entered in once into the holy place, having obtained eternal redemption for us" (Heb. 9:12). The shedding of Jesus' blood became a propitiation thus satisfying God’s wrath against us. The Apostle Paul said, "Whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation through faith in his blood, to declare his righteousness for the remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God" (Rom. 3:25). By confessing and repenting of our sins and accepting Jesus as our Lord and Savior, we are saved because of the shedding of His blood. The Apostle John wrote, "But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, to those who believe in His name" (John 1:12).
• Islam - Allah does not require a blood atonement for sins. "Adam 'atoned' for his sin by saying 'My Lord I have sinned and if you do not forgive me and have mercy upon me then I shall indeed have lost.' So God forgave him. Similarly, all human beings have the door to forgiveness left open to them by God until the day they die. There are no intermediaries between mankind and God. If they sincerely repent to God, ask His forgiveness, and forsake their evil deeds before their hour comes then He shall forgive them and there is nothing more pleasing to Him than to forgive the sins of one who comes to Him in sincere repentance."
"If you have faith in God, believe in His messengers, and obey His commands then He shall multiply every single good deed that you do many, many times and erase your evil deeds, until on the Day of Judgment His mercy shall cause your good deeds to far outweigh your evil deeds and grant you passage into an ecstasy and Paradise so great that we cannot even imagine it, to abide there eternally. In the Hereafter there is only reward and no work" (source: from the book "What did Jesus really say", Web Site Islam.com). However, there will not be any fellowship with Allah as he will reside above the seventh heaven.
Dr. Timothy George in his book "Is The Father of Jesus The God of Muhammad?" makes the following statement, "Islam teaches that God's messengers and prophets have brought the very thing forgetful and ignorant human being most need, namely, divine guidance, the perfect distillation of which is the Quran. Obedience to God's revealed guidance is the way to salvation, and it involves both correct belief and righteous acts: "To those who believe and do deeds of righteousness hath God promised forgiveness and a great reward" ((Koran 5:10), pp 109). The Muslims finds salvation by walking "the straight path". Walking the straight path begins by keep the five Pillars of Faith: 1) Affirmation of the creed (Shahada), 2) Observance of Salat (obligatory Prayers), 3) Paying of Zakat (charity), 4) Observance of Sawm (fast) during Ramadan, and 5) Performance of Hajj (pilgrimage) to Mecca.
Shabada - Every Muslim must confess the creed: "There is no god but Allah and Muhammad is the Messenger [Prophet] of God. By confessing this creed, a Muslim agrees to abide by all the teachings of Muhammad and to be faithful in living by the Koran. All authority is invested in the messenger, Muhammad. "O ye who believe! Obey Allah, and obey the Messenger, and those charged with authority among you. If ye differ in anything among yourselves, refer it to Allah and His Messenger, if ye do believe in Allah and the Last Day: That is best, and most suitable for final determination" (4:59, Abdullah Yusuf Ali). "It is not fitting for a Believer, man or woman, when a matter has been decided by Allah and His Messenger to have any option about their decision: if any one disobeys Allah and His Messenger, he is indeed on a clearly wrong Path " (33:36, Abdullah Yusuf Ali)
Salat - The prescribed prayer is prayed five times daily - at dawn, noon, midafternoon, sunset and later at night. Salat is considered a duty for the Muslim and ritual purification is required. The prayers must be said while facing the direction of Mecca , and congregational prayer is compulsory in the Mosque on Friday, the Muslim day of worship. Tradition says that Muhammad received the instructions from Allah for the five daily prayers when he made his "Night Journey" to heaven. Muslim's believe that the prayers keep the believer on "the straight path".
Zakat - Required charity of a Muslim. It is given by free Muslims (not slaves), who have a certain amount of wealth. A person with less than this does not need to give zakat. Generally the amount is about 2.5 percent of one's annual income.
Sawm - Required fasting during the month of Ramadan. Fasting during Ramadan last daily from dawn until sunset. Muslims are expected to abstain from all food and water during this time period. Sexual contact is also forbidden. "The purpose of the fast is to cultivate discipline and self-control and encourage contemplation."
Hajj - During a person lifetime, a person is expected to make a pilgrimage to Mecca unless prohibited by health or lack of finances.
We also need to keep in mind that Islam is a complete lifestyle: religious, social, legal and political. A good Muslim will commit to living out this complete lifestyle by keeping the commandments of the prophet Muhammad. Many countries are Islamic States and, therefore, practice Sharia law. "Most Muslims believe Sharia is derived from two primary sources of Islamic law: the precepts set forth in the Qur'an, and the example set by the Islamic prophet Muhammad" (Wikipedia).
Dr. Timothy George in his book "Is The Father of Jesus The God of Muhammad?" gives this summary of the Muslim concept of Salvation. "The Quran strongly emphasizes that everyone will reap the fruits of his or her own deed on the day of judgment. No soul will bear another's burden (Koran 6:164). The Muslim scholar Abul A'la Maududi has described the final accounting in this way:
'Man will stand by himself—helpless and alone—to render his account, and awake the pronouncement of judgment, which shall be in the power of God alone. Judgment will rest on one question: Did man conduct himself, in submission to God, in strict conformity with the truth revealed to the prophets, and with the conviction that he would be held responsible for his conduct in life on the Day of Judgment? If the answer is the affirmative, the reward will be paradise; if in the negative, the punishment will be hell'" (pp 113).
In the Bible, Christians are told to go into all the world and make disciples for Christ through the showing of love and ministry. According the teachings and examples of Muhammad, Muslims are told to go into all the world and make disciples for Allah by way of the sword. Those that do not believe should be killed or enslaved. The Koran says, " Fight those who believe not in Allah nor the Last Day, nor hold that forbidden which hath been forbidden by Allah and His Messenger, nor acknowledge the religion of Truth, (even if they are) of the People of the Book [Jews and Christians], until they pay the Jizya [poll tax] with willing submission, and feel themselves subdued" (9:29, Abdullah Yusuf Ali). Some will say that this is the view of radical Islam and not the teaching of peaceful Islam. We must keep in mind that history has recorded that Muhammad preached and practiced Islam with the sword.
For years, critics have claimed that certain facts and names found in the Bible does do not exist anywhere else in secular history. Today, the archaeologist spade and other resources are proving otherwise. Consider the following.
Scattered across the area of the Middle East, known as the Fertile Crescent, are hundreds of earth mounds, which for centuries have been considered to be normal hills. A little over a hundred years ago it was discovered that these mounds were actually long lost cities of the past. Many had never been identified in secular history.
Over the years these cities have been destroyed and because of the water source, a new city has been built over the old ruins. This pattern of rebuilding has been repeated many times. Wind-blown sand has long ago covered and preserved these cities. Today, when the word of God is being challenged on every corner, it is amazing that God would reveal these hidden treasures to us. Excavations of these sites have uncovered knowledge that confirm, supplements and illustrates Biblical history in remarkable ways.
Digging in the Tigris-Euphrates valley has uncovered ruins of some of Earth's oldest known cities; we have been surprised and amazed at their advanced culture. This land of old Babylon has long been known as the cradle of civilization. Huge libraries have been located containing hundreds of thousands of clay tablets inscribed with ancient markings. These markings consist of a lost ancient Babylonian writing system called cuneiform. Experts are now involved in the long and complex process of deciphering the tablets.
In 1835, Sir Henry Rawlinson, a British army officer, was about two hundred miles northeast of the site of the old city of Babylon when he discovered a towering rock face rising about seventeen hundred feet out of the old Mesopotamian plain (presently Iraq). The face of the rock had been cut to form a large, smooth surface on which huge markings were inscribed. A closer observation revealed that the stone contained the record of the conquest of Darius, King of Persia and conqueror of Babylon. This is the same king who freed the Hebrew captives and allowed them to return to Jerusalem to rebuild the city and the Temple.
The history of the conquest was recorded in three languages, Persian, Elamite, and Babylonian. Careful analysis enabled comparison of the previously undecipherable cuneiform marks to be the key to translating the messages coded on hundreds of thousands of stone tablets which were dug out of the old buried libraries. From these early records, we have learned much about the life of these people who lived in this early age of civilization.
The stone tablets contained stories similar to the Genesis accounts of creation, the Garden of Eden, the fall of man and the flood. Some of the events were different, but the major changes related to the pagan elements of the Babylonian accounts. The Babylonian stories are grossly polytheistic while the Genesis account is monotheistic. It seems that both accounts may have came from a common source. Some scholars have suggested that the Babylonians knew the stories of their origin, but introduced pagan elements into them.
This observation is very consistent with the words of the Apostle Paul as recorded in Romans chapter one, “Because, although they knew God, they did not glorify Him as God, nor were thankful, but became futile in their thoughts, and their foolish hearts were darkened. Professing to be wise, they became fools, and changed the glory of the incorruptible God into an image made like corruptible man—and birds and four-footed animals and creeping things” (Romans 1:21-23). Early man had not forgotten the story of his origin, but he had forgotten his Creator. He rebelled against God, the Creator, and made gods of His creation.
Many critics have argued that the Bible is full of errors, and cannot be trusted due to discrepancies introduced by many years of copying and translating. Some even go so far as to teach that many of the books of prophecy were written after the fact and are actually a historical report.
In 1948, a young nomadic shepherd boy was chasing a lost goat in the dry Jordan Valley near the Dead Sea. In order to scare the goat, he threw a rock into a cave, and was surprised by hearing a crashing sound. Upon careful investigation, he found clay jars with old scrolls in them. These scrolls, known today as the “Dead Sea Scrolls”, were over two thousand years old and pre-dated the time of Christ and the New Testament writings. Approximately 1,100 ancient documents and over 100,000 fragments have now been found.
All the books of the Old Testament, except Esther, have been found as well as many documents supporting the Scriptures and Jewish life. Through these findings, it is amazing that scholars have learned that over the past two thousand years very little has been lost or corrupted in the translations. Copies of the books of prophecy, pre-dating the incarnation of Christ, have been found that foretell the details of his birth, ministry and death. God, in his infinite mercy, has allowed the revelation of these treasures so that we can have proof that His Word is true.
Last edited by wayne on Fri Jan 13, 2012 9:58 pm; edited 2 times in total
Now let us turn our attention to the claims of Christianity. Was Jesus the Son of God?. All of the secular world religions teach that Jesus was not the Son of God. Is there proof that He was?. Some even question whether He actually lived. We begin by considering some secular sources as given by Josh McDowell in his book entitled "Evidence that demands a verdict" (pp 84). The following list is abbreviated:
• Cornelius Tacitus (Born A.D. 52-54) - He was a Roman historian, in 112 A.D. and Governor of Asia. Writing of the reign of Nero, Tacitus alludes to the death of Christ and to the existence of Christians at Rome.
• Lucian - "A satirist of the second century, who spoke scornfully of Chirst and the Christians. He connected them with the synagogues of Palestine and alluded to Christ as: "... the man who was crucified in Palestine because he introduced this new cult into the world."
• Flavius Josephus (Born A.D. 37) - "A Jewish historian, became a Pharisee at age 19; in A.D. 66, he was the commander of Jewish forces in Galilee. After being captured, he was attached to the Roman headquarters. He says in a hotly-contested quotation:
'Now there was about this time Jesus, a wise man, if it be lawful to call him a man, for he was a doer of wonderful works, a teacher of such men as received the truth with pleasure. He drew over to him both many of the Jews, and many of the Gentiles. He was the Christ, and when Pilate, at the suggestion of the principal men among us, had condemned him to the cross, those that loved at the first did not forsake him; for he appeared to them alive again the third day; as the divine prophets had foretold these and ten thousand other wonderful things concerning him. And the tribe of Christians so named from him are not extinct at this day’…”
• Plinius Secundus, Pliny the Younger - "Governor of Bithynia in Asia Minor (A.D. 132) was writing the emperor Trajan seeking counsel as to how to treat the Christians. He explained that he had been killing both men and women, boys and girls. There were so many being put to death that he wondered if he should continue killing anyone who was discovered to be a Christian, or if he should kill only certain ones. He explained that he had made the Christians bow down to the statues of Trajan. He goes on to say that he also 'made them curse Christ, which a genuine Christian cannot be induced to do’…”
• Thallus, The Samaritan-born Historian - "One of the first Gentile writers who mentions Christ is Thallus, who wrote in 52 A.D. However, his writings have disappeared and we only know of them from fragments cited by other writers. One very interesting passage relates to a comment fromThallus. Julius Africanus writes:
'Thallus, in the third book of histories, explains away this darkness as an eclipse of the son—unreasonably, as it seems to me' (unreasonably, of course, because a solar eclipse could not take place at the time of the full moon, and it was at the season of the Paschal full moon that Christ died).'"
• Encyclopedia Britannica - The latest edition of the Encyclopedia Britannica used 20,000 word in describing this person, Jesus. His description took more space than was given to Aristotle, Cicero, Alexander, Julius Ceasar, Buddha, Confucus, Mohammad or Napolean Bonaparte."
From the above, we can, at least, conclude that the movement called Christianity began shortly after the death of Jesus. We can also conclude that His followers were willing to die of their faith.
Perhaps the greatest proof that Jesus was the promised Messiah and Son God came from the Old Testament prophecies. I have used the phrase: "The Old Testament is the New Testament concealed and the New Testament is the Old Testament revealed". Perhaps this is best understood in light of the prophecies of the Old Testament. The promises of a reigning king and a suffering Messiah are embedded throughout the Old Testament though the written word, types, shadows, patterns and other ways. The Old Testament contains over 300 references to the Messiah that were fulfilled in Jesus during his first advent.
Consider the following: "Therefore the Lord Himself will give you a sign: Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a Son, and shall call His name Immanuel" [meaning God with us] (Isa. 7:14). "For unto us a Child is born, Unto us a Son is given; And the government will be upon His shoulder. And His name will be called Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. Of the increase of His government and peace there will be no end, upon the throne of David and over His kingdom, to order it and establish it with judgment and justice from that time forward, even forever. The zeal of the Lord of hosts will perform this" (Isa. 9:6-7).
Isaiah also said He would be a suffering Messiah. "He is despised and rejected by men, a Man of sorrows and acquainted with grief. And we hid, as it were, our faces from Him; He was despised, and we did not esteem Him. Surely, He has borne our griefs and carried our sorrows; yet we esteemed Him stricken, smitten by God, and afflicted. But He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our iniquities; the chastisement for our peace was upon Him, and by His stripes we are healed" (Isa. 53:3-5). The prophet Micah told us where he would be born, "But you, Bethlehem Ephrathah, though you are little among the thousands of Judah, yet out of you shall come forth to Me The One to be Ruler in Israel, whose goings forth are from of old, from everlasting" (Micah 5:2). Notice that Micah says that the promised Messiah was eternal and that He had been active in the lives of the Jewish people throughout the Old Testament.
Now let me read the promise made to the Virgin Mary by the angel, Gabriel, "Then the angel said to her, 'do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God. And behold, you will conceive in your womb and bring forth a Son, and shall call His name JESUS. He will be great, and will be called the Son of the Highest; and the Lord God will give Him the throne of His father David. And He will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and of His kingdom there will be no end” (Luke 1:30-33).
Critics, such as the Muslims, have claimed that the Jewish and Christian Holy Scriptures have been rewritten to include the prophecies. For this to be done the entire Old Testament and New Testament would have had to be rewritten with all these prophecies interwoven. If this were true, every copy which has ever been produced would have to be located and either destroyed or rewritten. This would be impossible. Also, we need to remember that the Dead Sea Scrolls, written before Jesus was born, confirmed the accuracy of Isaiah Chapter 53 which says that the Jewish Messiah would be a suffering Messiah.
There is no doubt from today's New Testament that Jesus claimed to be the Son of God. He referred to Himself as the "Son of Man", a term used in the seventh chapter of Daniel, which refers to the Jewish Messiah. In the Book of Matthew, we read these words. "When Jesus came into the region of Caesarea Philippi, He asked His disciples, saying, 'Who do men say that I, the Son of Man, am?' So they said, 'some say John the Baptist, some Elijah, and others Jeremiah or one of the prophets.' He said to them, 'But who do you say that I am?' Simon Peter answered and said, 'You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.' Jesus answered and said to him, 'Blessed are you, Simon Bar-Jonah, for flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but My Father who is in heaven’ " (Matt. 16:13-17).
Then Jesus began telling his disciples that he was going to be killed and that he would rise on the third day. "Then charged he his disciples that they should tell no man that he was Jesus the Christ. From that time Jesus began to show to His disciples that He must go to Jerusalem, and suffer many things from the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and be raised the third day" (Matt. 16:20-21). At least two other times, Jesus told his disciples that he must be killed and raised from the dead but they did not understand him. For more on the claims of Jesus see my Article, "Is Jesus the Son of God" on this web site. Just click on it.
In, answering the question, was Jesus the Son of God, we need to look at the claims that He arose from the dead on the third day. The Apostle Paul wrote these words to the church at Corinth. "Now if Christ is preached that He has been raised from the dead, how do some among you say that there is no resurrection of the dead? But if there is no resurrection of the dead, then Christ is not risen. And if Christ is not risen, then our preaching is empty and your faith is also empty. Yes, and we are found false witnesses of God, because we have testified of God that He raised up Christ, whom He did not raise up—if in fact the dead do not rise. For if the dead do not rise, then Christ is not risen. And if Christ is not risen, your faith is futile; you are still in your sins! Then also those who have fallen asleep in Christ have perished. If in this life only we have hope in Christ, we are of all men the most pitiable" (I Cor. 15:12-19).
We must question how reliable were the witnesses to the death and resurrection of Jesus. The witness was given by eleven of the disciples (Judus betrayed Him) who walk with him on earth for more than two years and, also, by the apostle Paul. Up until the death of Jesus, the disciples expected Jesus to set up a physical Messianic Kingdom on earth—this was their mind-set. Though, uneducated men, they thought they would be part of the inter-circle of the new Kingdom. They even argued as to who would sit on His right hand. Listen to Peter's reaction when Jesus said He was going to die. "Then Peter took Him aside and began to rebuke Him, saying, 'Far be it from You, Lord; this shall not happen to You!' But He turned and said to Peter, 'Get behind Me, Satan! You are an offense to Me, for you are not mindful of the things of God, but the things of men'” (Matt. 16:22-23).
When Jesus was arrested, most of the disciple fled and hid themselves because of fear. Peter, himself, even denied Jesus three times. When the women, after the resurrection, told the disciples that the tomb was empty, they had doubts about what had happened. Listen, to the words of John as He looked into the empty tomb. "Then the other disciple [probably John], who came to the tomb first, went in also; and he saw and believed. For as yet they did not know the Scripture, that He must rise again from the dead" (John 20:8-9). The witnesses were uneducated men who did not understand what was taking place but they knew exactly what they had witnessed.
After the resurrection, Jesus met and talked with the disciples for forty days. Even after that, we, without a doubt, see their mind-set. "Therefore, when they had come together, they asked Him, saying, 'Lord, will You at this time restore the kingdom to Israel?' And He said to them, 'It is not for you to know times or seasons which the Father has put in His own authority. But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be witnesses to Me in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth'" (Acts 1:6-8). Does this sound like men who were about to start a new religion?
Now, just 10 days later, we see a complete new mind-set. At the feast of Pentecost, the Holy Spirit came upon the disciples and they began to speak with boldness. These were the words of Simon Peter, "Men of Israel, hear these words: Jesus of Nazareth, a Man attested by God to you by miracles, wonders, and signs which God did through Him in your midst, as you yourselves also know— Him, being delivered by the determined purpose and foreknowledge of God, you have taken by lawless hands, have crucified, and put to death; whom God raised up, having loosed the pains of death, because it was not possible that He should be held by it" (Acts 2:22-25). It is completely unnatural for men to have a change in mind-set and boldness such as this especially in such a short period of time. This was God directed through the power of the Holy Spirit.
These men continued to preach with great boldness and without fear to the same men who had put Jesus to death. They moved out into different parts of the world and continued preaching, Jesus resurrected. Eventually, all except John were martyred for their faith. Over the years many more have died defending the claims of Christianity. How many are willing to die for claims that they know are lies?
Early in the history of the Christian movement, a highly educated young Pharisee had a different mind-set. He was zealous for the Jewish legal system and he considered the claims of Christianity as blasphemy against a Holy God. His name was Saul of Tarsus and he persecuted the Christians—putting many to death. As the Christians scattered to other parts of the country, he followed them.
Obtaining warrants for the arrest of Christians, he traveled to Damascus. Before he arrived, he had an encounter with the risen Christ. "As he journeyed he came near Damascus, and suddenly a light shone around him from heaven. Then he fell to the ground, and heard a voice saying to him, 'Saul’, the Lord said to him, 'Arise and go into the city, and you will be told what you must do. Saul, why are you persecuting Me?' And he said, 'Who are You, Lord?' Then the Lord said, 'I am Jesus, whom you are persecuting. It is hard for you to kick against the goads.' So he, trembling and astonished, said, 'Lord, what do You want me to do?' Then the men who journeyed with him stood speechless, hearing a voice but seeing no one. Then Saul arose from the ground, and when his eyes were opened he saw no one. But they led him by the hand and brought him into Damascus. And he was three days without sight, and neither ate nor drank" (Acts 9:3-9).
On that day Saul, whose name was changed to Paul, had a sudden change in mind-set. Later, upon entering the city, he received his sight and was baptized. From that day forward, he became an apostle of Jesus and went on to write much of the New Testament. Over the years, he was beaten, imprisoned and later died as a martyr for Christ. The sudden change in the life of Saul is, without a doubt, a testimony to the claims of the resurrection.
Some have questioned as to how early was the history of the resurrection recorded. Dr. Craig Blomberg, author of the Historical Reliability of the Gospels, through the writing of Lee Strobel, says very early. It is noted by several Christian historians that Paul incorporated some of the very early creeds into his letters. One of these creeds probably was given to Paul on his first visit to Jerusalem where he went to meet with Peter, John, James and perhaps others.
Paul incorporated this creed in his letter as he wrote to the church at Corinth. "Moreover, brethren, I declare unto you the gospel which I preached unto you, which also ye have received, and wherein ye stand; By which also ye are saved, if ye keep in memory what I preached unto you, unless ye have believed in vain. For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures; And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures: And that he was seen of Cephas, then of the twelve: After that, he was seen of above five hundred brethren at once; of whom the greater part remain unto this present, but some are fallen asleep. After that, he was seen of James; then of all the apostles. And last of all he was seen of me also, as of one born out of due time. For I am the least of the apostles, that am not meet to be called an apostle, because I persecuted the church of God" (1 Cor. 15:1-9). Paul says that many of those who witnessed the resurrection of Jesus were still living at the time he wrote this letter. If the resurrection had not taken place, it most definitely would have been publicly reputed.
Over the years there have been several skeptics and atheists who have questioned the claims of the resurrection and then subsequently investigated so that they could refute the claims—as a result of these investigations, many have been convinced that the claims are true and thus have become believers. One such man is Lee Strobel, a former legal investigative reporter for the Chicago Tribune. Lee's wife, Leslie, challenged Lee to apply his investigative skill to disprove or prove the claims of the New Testament. Lee began a careful investigative of critics claims that the New Testament is fallible. He sought out and interviewed the best historians in the field. The following is a list of the areas of concern that he investigated.
• How reliable was the eyewitness evidence?
• Can the biographies of Jesus be trusted?
• Were Jesus' biographies reliably preserved and have those equally accurate biographies been suppressed by the church?
• Is there credible evidence for Jesus outside His biographies?
• Does archaeology confirm or contradict Jesus' biographies?
• Is the Jesus of History the same as the Jesus of Faith?
• Was Jesus really convinced that He was the Son of God?
• Was Jesus crazy when He claimed to be the Son of God?
• Did Jesus fulfill the attributes of God?
• Did Jesus—and Jesus alone— match the identity of the Messiah?
• Was Jesus' death a sham and his resurrection a hoax?
• Was Jesus' body really absent from the tomb?
• Was Jesus seen alive after his death on the cross?
• Are there any supporting facts that point to the resurrection?
• What does the evidence establish and what does it mean today?
Lee documents his investigation and findings in his book entitled "The Case for Christ". He found t the claims of the New Testament were true. Today, he is convinced that Jesus was the Son of God, indeed died for our sins and was raised from the grave. He has become an apologist for the claims of Christ. I highly recommend his book for the serious student.
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