SECOND PETER CHAPTER THREE





VERSE 1 This is now, beloved (Tau,thn h;dh( avgaphtoi, [pro.demon.acc.f.s., houtos, this, + adv., ede, now, + voc.m.p., agapetos, beloved, dear]), the second letter I am writing to you (deute,ran u`mi/n gra,fw evpistolh,n [adj.acc.f.s., deuteros, second, + pro.dat.p., su, + pres.act.ind.1.s., grapho, write, + acc.f.s., epistole, letter]) in which I am stirring up your sincere mind by way of reminder (evn ai-j diegei,rw u`mw/nth.n eivlikrinh/ dia,noian evn u`pomnh,sei [prep.w/pro.rel.dat.fem.p., hos; "in which", + pres.act.ind.1.s., diegei,rw, diegeiro, awaken; fig. of mental activity, stir up, + pro.gen.p., su; "your", + def.art.w/adj.acc.f.s., eivlikrinh,j, eilikrines, strictly, tested by sunlight; hence, sincere; 1X, + acc.f.s., dianoia, mind, + prep.w/instr.f.s., u`po,mnhsij, hupomnesis, reminder]),

VERSE 2 that you should remember the words spoken beforehand (mnhsqh/nai r`hma,twntw/n proeirhme,nwn [aor.pass.infin., mimnh,skomai, mimneskomai, remember, + def.art. w/gen.nt.p., r`h/ma, hrema, word, utterance; here, to teachings made up of words, + def.art. w/pf.pass.pt.gen.nt.p., prole,gw, prolego, speak before; predict]) by the holy prophets (u`po. tw/n a`gi,wn profhtw/n[prep.w/def.art.w/adj.gen.m.p., hagios, holy, + gen.m.p., prophetes, prophet]) and the commandment of the Lord and Savior spoken by your apostles (kai. th/j evntolh.j tou/ kuri,ou kai. swth/roj tw/n avposto,lwn u`mw/n [conj. + def.art.w/gen.f.s., entole, commandment, + def.art.w/gen.m.s., kurios, Lord, + conj. + gen.m.s., soter, savior, + def.art.w/gen.m.p., apostolos, + pro.gen.p., su; "your"]).

ANALYSIS: VERSES 1,2

  1. In this chapter Peter returns from castigating the heretics to encouraging the faithful.
  2. He calls them "dear friends" (avgaphtoi,,, here and in vv.8,14,17) as he summons them to recall the things they have been taught.
  3. Jude also marks his switch from attack to encouragement by calling his readers "dear friends" (v.17).
  4. The vehemence of his attack in chapter two and the repetition of his reminders arise from his pastoral concern towards the flock of God.
  5. On the theme of reminder, see 2Pet.1:12,13.
  6. Repetition is as necessary and more frequently required than to be given new information.
  7. Repetition is essential to a vibrant faith (cf. Isa.28:9-11).
  8. The "second letter" most naturally brings to mind its predecessor, First Peter.
  9. Both letters contain repetitious information, that is, information that was not new to the readers.
  10. Their past exposure to Christian teachings was reinforced in these two letters, even though the subject matter is different between the two.
  11. The intended effect upon the readers was to heighten and sharpen their spiritual wits with respect to the issues at hand.
  12. Here, they are made aware of the magnitude of the satanic assault that was coming against the church in the form of a prophecy.
  13. The verb "I am stirring up" means, literally, to arouse from a state of sleep (cp. Mk.3:39).
  14. The present translation "stirring up" is correct in context (cf. Jn.6:18).
  15. This word (diegei,rw) also occurs in 2Pet.1:13 in connection with the necessity of possessing BD to counter the impending threat against their spiritual health.
  16. The object of the verb "stirring up" is the "sincere mind" (th.n eivlikrinh/ dia,noian).
  17. The adjective eivlikrinh,j (eilikrines) occurs here and in Phil.1:10.
  18. The compound is taken from e`ilke (sunlight) and kri,nw (to judge).
  19. The "sincere mind" is actually the ethical pureness of the recipients in contrast to the teachings that they would be exposed to.
  20. Plato used the word of ethical purity.
  21. Peter writes to people who were doctrinally pure in both thought and deed.
  22. The "sincere mind", or "pure thinking" (preferably), refers to their positive volition and the adjustments that arose from it.
  23. His purpose is to remind them of the two things specified in v.2.
  24. They are to "remember the words" (or "proclamations"; gen.nt.p., r`h/ma, hrema), spoken beforehand (prole,gw, prolego, say in advance; predict) by the holy prophets".
  25. This references the O.T. prophetic tradition and the prophecies regarding the apostasy of the last days.
  26. The O.T. contains a long tradition of prophetic utterance that predicts the wrath that will come based on the evil that is present in the world.
  27. The "holy prophets" refers to a long line of individuals, known and unknown, who were "holy" by virtue of their appointment and dedication to the communication of direct divine revelation.
  28. What has been preserved in this regard is the O.T. canon.
  29. Various individuals were appointed prophets or functioned as prophets apart from holding the office (like king David).
  30. Their prophetic utterances form a corpus/body of information, which Peter has previously designated in this letter "the prophetic word" (1:19).
  31. He has already congratulated them for their attention to this body of truth (v.19).
  32. It is the "lamp shining in a dismal/gloomy place (cosmos diabolicus)" that has made apparent the dawning of the Second Advent (v.19) to those now living in the Rapture generation.
  33. The centerpiece of this body of revelation is the Second Advent itself, which was validated at the Transfiguration (2Pet.1:16-19).
  34. Furthermore, Peter makes it clear that no individual prophetic utterance comes apart from God the HS (1:21), and that the proper understanding of the same is dependent upon the illumination of God the HS (1:20).
  35. He is insistent that O.T. prophetic revelation did not arise from "human volition" (1:21) and is not, therefore, a collection of "cleverly devised myths" (1:16).
  36. It is both coherent and complete, enabling those who are taught it to navigate in the spiritual darkness all about us.
  37. The First Advent has further validated the particulars relating to the Second Coming.
  38. The First Advent was predicted in detail and fulfilled to the letter.
  39. The prophecies related to the Second Coming are currently being fulfilled at an astounding pace.
  40. This prophetic tradition did not stop permanently with the cessation of the O.T. prophetic legacy (e.g., Malachi, who was the last prophet in the line and who ministered 450-400BC), but resumed some 450 years later with the rise of the N.T. tradition.
  41. John the Baptist and Jesus were notable prophets and then came the apostles and their associates.
  42. But Peter, unlike Jude (Jude.17,18), does not mention the prophetic contribution of his contemporaries.
  43. He instead makes mention of "the commandment of the Lord and Savior spoken by your apostles".
  44. This, then, is the second thing he wants to stir them up with respect to (cf. pt. 23 above).
  45. "The commandment" singular refers to righteous/holy conduct, which by the way, figures prominently in both of his letters.
  46. In First Peter he repeatedly exhorts believers on how they are to conduct themselves before a suspicious and hostile civilization.
  47. Christian behavior is one of the major themes of First Peter in terms of testimony and Ph3 vindication and reward (1Pet.1:14-17; 2:12ff; 3:1,2,10-12,16; 4:4).
  48. Jesus Christ (1Pet.2:21,22) and O.T. saints (1Pet.3:5) are appealed to in this connection.
  49. In his earlier letter Peter also makes mention of the fact that their persecutors will be held accountable (1Pet.4:5).
  50. Here, he exhorts believers to avoid the STA corruption advocated by the liberals.
  51. In both instances righteous behavior is enjoined both as a witness and the basis for Ph3 vindication.
  52. So "the commandment" is a summary of all that was advocated by Christ both by precept and example.
  53. This was further handed down by the apostles and is reflected throughout their writings for posterity.
  54. There are two things we need to be constantly reminded of.
  55. The first is the particulars of the prophetic word, and the second is the imperatives related to Godly living.
  56. Moral excellence is one of the virtues that we are to diligently implement into our daily living (2Pet.1:5).
  57. In this chapter, verses 11 and 14 are incorporated under the umbrella of "the commandment".
  58. In the O.T. it is summed up in the words of Lev.11:44 ("You shall be holy, for I am holy") and quoted in 1Pet.1:16.
  59. Jesus summed it up when He said, "Be perfect as your heavenly Father is perfect" (Mt.5:48).
  60. This commandment is fulfilled in observing the details dealing with the identification and isolation of personal sin, as well as doing the directive will of God (commission and omission).
  61. The words "your apostles" refers to those who were the articulators of the N.T. tradition.
  62. Their legacy lives on, like that of the "holy prophets", through their writings.
  63. Finally, "the holy commandment" of 2Pet.2:22 and "the commandment of the Lord and Savior" are one and the same.
The Apocalypse of Peter (vv.3-13)

Mockers Mocking (v.3)

VERSE 3 Know this first of all (tou/to prw/ton ginw,skontej [pro./demon.acc.nt.s., houtos, this, + adv., proton, first; here, of a matter of first importance, + pres.act.pt.n.m.p., ginosko, know]), that in the last days mockers will come (o[tievpV evsca,twn tw/n h`merw/n evmpai/ktaievleu,sontai [conj., hoti, + prep. {epi} w/adj.gen.f.p., eschatos, last, + gen.f.p., hemera, day, + n.m.p., evmpai,kthj, empaiktes, one who makes fun of another, scoffer, mocker; 2X: Jude.18, + fut.dep.ind.3.p., erchomai, come]) with their mocking, following after their own lusts (ÎevnÐ evmpaigmonh/ poreuo,menoi kata. ta.j ivdi,aj evpiqumi,aj auvtw/n [prep.w/instr.f.s., evmaigmonh, epaigmone, ridicule, mocking; 1X, + pres.dep.pt.n.m.p., poreuomai, go, proceed, + prep. w/def.art.w/adj.acc.f.p., idios, oneís own, + acc.f.p., epithumia, lust, + pro.gen.m.p., autos, self; "their"]),

ANALYSIS: VERSE 3

  1. This section, running through v.13, constitutes Peterís "little apocalypse".
  2. Herein Peter singles out what He considers especially relevant from the apostolic prophetic tradition.
  3. The prophetic particulars of this section merge with the overall theme of this letter.
  4. The section begins with a prophetic assertion with respect to the false teachers exposed in chapter two.
  5. The words "Know this first of all" are identical to the phrase that opens v.20 of chapter one.
  6. The phrase is, literally, "Know this as a matter of first importance".
  7. The time of the appearance of these "mockers" is "the last days".
  8. This expression occurs 5X in the N.T.: Acts.2:17; 2Tim.3:1; Heb.1:2; Jam.5:3; and 2Pet.3:3.
  9. The expression occurs in the parallel to this verse in Jude.18: "that they were saying to you, ĎIn the last time shall be mockers, following after their own lustsí".
  10. In the O.T. the equivalent expression occurs at Isa.2:2; Jer.23:20; 49:39; Ezek.38:16; Hos.3:5; and Mic.4:1.
  11. The expression "latter days" occurs in Deut.4:30; 31:29; Job.42:12; Jer.30;24; 48:47; Dan.2:28; 10:14; and compare "latter years" of Ezek.38:8; also, "latter period" of Dan.8:23.
  12. First John 2:18 has the expression "it is the last hour" (2X).
  13. Based on the citation found in Heb.1:2, the expression encompasses the entire Church Age and beyond.
  14. Peterís prophecy of the rise of the liberal mockers began in the "alpha church" and continues rather undramatically through the centuries and mushrooms in the "omega church" (cp. "the early and latter rains").
  15. We now are in the intensification of the last days where all the prophetic trends are greatly magnified (wars/rumors of wars, plagues, earthquakes, famines, false Christs and prophets).
  16. Living in the dawn of the day of the Lord, we are witnesses to the crescendo of prophetic realization.
  17. Some realizations, on the other hand, are new to the last of the last days (Israelís restoration, technologies, etc.).
  18. Some prophecies developed early on, but later than the apostolic era, notably the rise of the monasticism of 1Tim.4:1-3 (third and fourth centuries and on to the present).
  19. The appearance of the "mockers", instead of demoralizing informed believers, actually strengthens their faith.
  20. The expression "mockers with their mocking" (evmpaigmonh/| evmpai/ktai, instr.f.s., empaigmone, mocking, ridicule, followed by the n.m.p., empaiktes, mocker, scoffer) is redundant, and constitutes one of the Hebraisms of this letter.
  21. "Mockers" constitutes anyone who makes fun of, puts down, scorns, or in any fashion depreciates the promise of His coming.
  22. Many make a profession of attacking the integrity of Scripture (scholars, clergy, etc.).
  23. All kinds of forums are used to engage in this blasphemous, arrogant business.
  24. The wording of the present verse is virtually mirrored in the parallel of Jude.18, where derision of the faith (BD) is also linked with STA lusts.
  25. In Jude the prophecy is linked to the apostolic witness, but here it is linked to the O.T. prophets as well.
  26. Peter cites no specific O.T. passage; he is voicing the general Hebrew-Christian expectation (cp. 2:1) that the last days will be marked by a moral and doctrinal breakdown and the emergence of these subversives.
  27. It is in their depraved self-interests to deny a future reckoning in which everyone will be called to accountability.
  28. Hence, the significance of the phrase "following after their own lusts".
  29. Liberals, by definition, encourage the lust pattern in themselves and their followers.
  30. If the Bible is not the inerrant WOG, then we are free to do as we please in our social behavior.
  31. The renewed emphasis on the lust of those that Peter attacks makes it certain that Peter has the same men in view as in chapter two; they are not two different sets of opponents.
  32. Intellectual arrogance and contempt for the supernatural characterize these types.
  33. All of this makes them contemptuous of the notion of apocalyptic judgment inherent in the parousia of Christ.
  34. Anthropocentric hedonism always mocks the idea of absolutes and a final division of humanity based on belief and unbelief.
  35. For those who nourish a belief in human self-determination and perfectibility, the very idea that we are accountable and dependent is a bitter pill to swallow.
  36. No wonder they mock!
  37. For an O.T. example of a similar situation and message, see Isa.28:14-22.
  38. Some of them claim that the things presented in the book of Revelation were realized during the period of the early Roman emperors (preteristic view).
Denial of the Second Coming (v.4)

VERSE 4 and saying, "Where is the promise of His coming (kai. le,gontej( Pou/ evstin h` evpaggeli,a th/j parousi,aj auvtou/ [conj. + pres.act.pt.n.m.p., lego, say, + interrog., pou, where, + pres.act.ind.3.s., eimi, + def.art.w/n.f.s., epaggelia, promise, + def.art.w/gen.f.s., parousia, coming, + pro.gen.m.s., he; his])? For ever since the fathers fell asleep (ga.r avfV h`j oi` pate,rej evkoimh,qhsan [conj., gar, + prep. {apo} w/pro./rel.gen.f.s., hos; "ever since", + def.art. w/n.m.p., pater, father; forefather, + aor.pass.ind.3.p., koima,w, koimao, fall asleep {pass.}; metaph. for death; cp. 1Cor.15:6]), all continues just as it was from the beginning of creation (pa,nta ou[twj diame,nei avpV avrch/j kti,sewj [adj.n.nt.p., pas, + pres.act.ind.3.s., diame,nw, diameno, continue, remain, + adv., houtos, thus, in this way; "just as", + prep., {apo} w/gen.f.s., arche, beginning, + gen.f.s., ktisis, creation])."

ANALYSIS: VERSE 4

  1. "And saying" introduces a summary of the liberal attack.
  2. They categorize the doctrine of the Second Coming as fanciful, the product of later Christian legend embedded within the N.T. writings, which they do not regard as authentic, having been written decades after the events (cp. "cleverly devised myths" of 2Pet.1:16).
  3. They claim that Jesusí Messianic expectations were foiled by crucifixion and that His followers later on reinvented the doctrine of His return.
  4. Denial of the doctrine has been further fueled by the long history in which He has not come back as promised in the Scripture.
  5. So they scoff at Christís return because centuries have passed and it has not happened - "all continues just as it was from the beginning of creation".
  6. One generation follows another (i.e., "ever since the fathers fell asleep") with no apocalyptic intervention, eliciting a faulty logic.
  7. Their premise is wrong - that God has not dramatically intervened in the course of manís history.
  8. Just because something has been a long time in coming, or has never happened in the past, it does not follow that it would necessarily never occur.
  9. In more modern times they have a theory that supports their dogmatic assertion.
  10. That theory is the theory of uniformitarianism.
  11. It stands in opposition to the Biblical teaching of catastrophism.
  12. Uniformitarianism is the doctrine that existing processes, acting as a present, are sufficient to account for all geological change.
  13. Uniformitarianism has been an integral part of humanism for the last 150 years.
  14. Catastrophism has been an integral part of the Judeo-Christian heritage for the past 3,500 years.
  15. Darwinism arose directly from geological uniformitarianism (this theory came first).
  16. As the first generation of the Church died off, doubt regarding the coming of the Lord must have surfaced.
  17. Verses like Mt.10:23, 16:28, and 24:34 were misinterpreted to try and prove that Jesus was mistaken with respect to the timing of the Second Coming.
  18. As that eyewitness generation began to pass away, critics arose in accordance with this prophecy.
  19. Complaints about the delay of Christís return were common enough, as is made clear by a quotation from what 1Clement 23 calls "Scripture" and 2Clement 9 "the prophetic word".
  20. The quotation runs as follows: "Wretched are the double-minded who doubt in their soul and say, ĎThese things we heard in the days of our fathers also; and, behold, we have grown old and none of them has befallen us"í (or, as the 2Clement version concludes, "Ďand we, though expecting them day after day, have seen none of themí").
  21. Evidently they both quote some sort of early Christian prophecy or apocalypse which has not survived to deal with the problem of the delay of the parousia.
  22. There is a Rabbinic comment on Ps.89:50: "They have scoffed at Messiahís coming" and "He delays so long that they say ĎHe will never come"í.
  23. This shows that the subject was alive in Jewish as well as Christian circles.
  24. The fire of skepticism has been further fueled through the centuries by the "date-setters".
  25. Reaction to this resulted in the "canít know" doctrine of imminency.
  26. This doctrine affirms that Christ could come back at any time since His ascension.
  27. In other words, that there is nothing that needs to be fulfilled before the Rapture of the Church.
  28. Meanwhile, scoffers continue to disparage the doctrine of the Second Coming.
  29. In so doing, they fulfill prophecy, which is an encouragement to the informed!
  30. Scoffers continue to support their skepticism by pointing to the immutability of natural law where miracles, by definition, have not happened, and cannot happen.
  31. Their mistake is to forget that the laws of nature are Godís laws; their predictability springs from His faithfulness.
  32. Apparently, the scoffers of Peterís day were thinking of the O.T. "fathers", as every other reference to the expression "the fathers" in the N.T. refers to these men (cf. Acts.3:13; Rom.9:5; Heb.1:1, etc.).
  33. For it is not said that things continue as they have since the coming of Christ, but since "the beginning of creation".
  34. The mockers were perverting (misusing by being selective) the O.T. Scriptures.
  35. Appropriately, Peter confounds them by appealing to the O.T.
  36. Apparently, by the mid-sixties these types had already surfaced.
  37. Notice the lovely word for death, so remarkable in a world that, as a whole, was hagridden with the fear of death.
  38. The fathers "fell asleep" (koia,w, aor.pass.ind.).
  39. That is how Jesus had talked of death (Mk.5:35; Jn.11:11).
  40. So when Stephen died, he is said to have fallen asleep (Acts.7:60).
  41. When some of the Thessalonians died, Paul described them as those "who have fallen asleep in Jesus" (1Thess.4:14; cp. vv.13,15; 1Cor.15:6,18,20,51; 7:39, where it is translated "is dead"; and 1Cor.11:30, where it is used of believers who died the SUD!).
  42. Its usage in the N.T. is in accord with its usage in the O.T. (Acts.13:36).
  43. In the epistles, the other verb for sleep, kaqeu,dw, is used of being out of fellowship or out of sync with BD (4X: Eph.5:14; 1Thess.5:6,7,10).
  44. Both terms are used for ordinary sleep (all in the Gospels and Acts).
  45. The emphasis is that those who have passed on are in a state of rest, not unconsciousness (they are, in fact, quite alert to their surroundings).
  46. The mention of the creation by the heretics is not in accordance with the Biblical account.
  47. Various cosmogonies, ancient and modern, have been advanced to explain the universe.
  48. The modern theory of the origins of life is evolution with its premises.
  49. Peterís response to the critics is in the verses that follow.
Ignorance of Earthís Geological History (vv.5,6)

Original Creation and Hydrodynamics (v.5)

VERSE 5 For when they maintain this (ga.r tou/to qe,lontaj [conj., for, + pres.act.pt.acc.m.p., thelo, wish, want; "maintain", + pro./demon.n.nt.s., houtos; "this"]), it escapes their notice (lanqa,neiauvtou.j [pres.act.ind.3.s., lanqa,nw, lanthano, be hidden, escape notice; 6X: Mk.7:24; Lk.8:47; Acts.26:26; Heb.13:2; 2Pet.3:5,8, + pro.acc.m.p., autos, self; "their" or "them"; "it eludes them"]) that by the word of God the heavens existed long ago (o[ti tw/| tou/ qeou/ lo,gw| ouvranoi. h=san e;kpalai [conj. + def.art.w/instr.m.s., logos, word, + def.art.w/gen.m.s., theos, God, + n.m.p., ouranos, heaven, + imperf.act.ind.3.p., eimi; "existed", + adv., ekpalai, for a long time; 2X: 2Pet.2:3]) and the earth was formed out of water and by water (kai. gh/ sunestw/sa evx u[datoj kai. diV u[datoj [conj. + n.f.s., ge, earth, + pf.act.pt.n.f.s., suni,sthmi, sunistemi, put together; 16X; has a variety of nuances, from recommend, commend, to hold together, to stand beside; here, "formed", + prep. {ek} w/gen.nt.s., hudor, water, + prep. {dia} w/gen.nt.s., hudor, water]),

ANALYSIS: VERSE 5

  1. Peter proceeds to point out the colossal ignorance of the critics, modern and ancient, with respect to earthís geological history.
  2. Had they taken the Bible Ė in particular, the Genesis record Ė seriously and literally, they could have avoided the gross error that characterizes their theories.
  3. The words "For when they maintain this" are, literally, "For when they desire this".
  4. The circumstantial participle, "when they maintain", is the verb qe,lw, which means to wish or desire something.
  5. The pronoun "this" looks back to the statement "all continues just as it was from the beginning of creation" (v.4).
  6. These words describe their uniformitarian bias.
  7. This doctrine is the sine qua non (literally, "without which not", i.e., something indispensable) of their belief system.
  8. They are biased against the supernatural or divine contravention of what they call the predictable and immutable laws of nature.
  9. So the true doctrine of origins eludes them because they do not want the true and living God in their thinking, just like their pagan counterparts (cf. Rom.1:20,21,25).
  10. The Genesis account has been disparaged, and so they, for all their talk, are in the dark with respect to what Aristotle called "the Unmoved Mover".
  11. The WOG makes it clear in the opening verse that "In the (or "a") beginning God created the heavens and the earth" (Gen.1:1).
  12. Peter describes creation ex nihilo as being "by the word of God".
  13. This means by divine fiat.
  14. In other words, God willed it and the heavens or universe came into being.
  15. Matter is not eternal; only God is eternal.
  16. It is clear from divine revelation that at some point there was nothing, and then God spoke, and the result is the vast universe with its heavens.
  17. At some point in eternity past there was nothing, and then there was creation (the expression "by the word of God" occurs here and in Heb.11:3 in connection with creation; however, the Greek is different; in Hebrews the construction is r`h,mati qeou/, whereas here it is tw tou/ qeou/ lo,gw).
  18. Some other Scriptures: Pss.89:11; 90:2; 102:25; Isa.42:5; 45:18; Jn.1:1-3,10; Acts.17:24; Rom.1:20; Rev.14:7.
  19. The second person of the Godhead is credited with creation (Col.1:16,17; Rev.4:11).
  20. The word "existed" is the imperfect active indicative of eimi ("to be", or "was")."
  21. The adverb "long ago" is non-specific.
  22. How "long ago" original creation occurred is debated.
  23. The second thing that Peter says is that the product of the Omnipotent word is earthís topography.
  24. The words "and the earth (terra firma, dry land, as distinguished from sea) was formed out of (prep., ek) water (gen. of agency, hudor, water) and by (prep., dia) water (gen. of agency)" draws our attention to Gen.1:9,10, which has to do with D+3 of creation/restoration week.
  25. First, let us dispense with the foolish interpretation that views this phrase as having anything to do with the creation myths of Assyria, Babylon, Egypt, etc., which pictured the primeval ocean as the element out of which the universe originated.
  26. Peter is not saying that the universe (heavens and earth) was made out of water.
  27. In order to conceptualize what happened on D+3 of restoration week, we need to appreciate what precedes in the Genesis 1 narrative.
  28. Genesis 1:1 simply and eloquently records original creation, which should be distinguished from the six days of restoration.
  29. Genesis 1:2 is here considered a separate and subsequent development from what is recorded in Gen.1:1.
  30. The original earth was a pristine planet in a pristine universe.
  31. It was not originally created in the condition found in Gen.1:2 (see Isa.45:18).
  32. Therefore, God had to restore the planet so that it could support His special creature - homosapien.
  33. Something terrible had happened to the planet, which was presumably the result of the angelic revolt.
  34. The universe at large still bears the marks of this judgment, as evidenced by our neighbors, the celestial planets.
  35. We have no information regarding the earthís place and circumstances within our galaxy, the Milky Way, prior to its restoration.
  36. We know that it came to the dreary state recorded in Gen.1:2.
  37. The earthís condition was anything but the beautiful blue sphere visible to us from pictures taken by recent space exploration.
  38. The earth, for an unspecified period of time, was enshrouded in total darkness, which is the clear implication from what happened on D+1 of restoration week (Gen.1:3-5) and what is explicitly stated in Gen.1:2 - "and darkness was over the face of the deep".
  39. So the absence of light means that the planet was extremely cold and that whatever water was there was frozen.
  40. The whole surface of the planet was that of an ice pack.
  41. This fact is based on the words "the deep" and what we find happening on D+3 when a massive landmass arose from the previously frozen depths.
  42. God the Holy Spirit "moved (literally, "brooded") over the surface of the waters (frozen state)", thawing out the ice pack.
  43. So there was water on the earth when it was judged, meaning that there probably were living things during the pristine age(s).
  44. God the HS, who possesses the attributes of Omnipotence and Omnipresence, thawed all the ice, leaving the surface of the globe covered with water.
  45. On D+1 an unspecified light source served the earth, until D+4, when the sun and lesser lights were activated.
  46. On D+2 of restoration God created the atmosphere with its water vapor canopy, designated in Gen.1:7 as "the waters above".
  47. The next logical thing to put in place was dry land as a place where land-breathing creatures and plants could flourish.
  48. As this massive continent was raised from the depths, there was significant water run-off which sculpted earthís visible topography.
  49. This corresponds to Peterís "earth was formed...by water".
  50. So the words "out of water" and "by water" make sense.
  51. Before the Flood the planet had a radically different geography and climate.
  52. It essentially had one ecosystem (greenhouse effect, with a tropical climate from pole to pole).
  53. There was one continent, which fact seems to be reflected in the puzzle-like configuration of the present regime.
  54. So God raised a portion of the earthís crust from beneath the water, creating one ocean and one continent.
  55. The result was the formation of rivers and valleys and hills and plains to break up what would otherwise have been a monotonous landscape.
  56. Liberalism eschews the Bible as a reliable source of information when it comes to earth science.
  57. So this important fact "escapes their notice".
Hydrodynamics of the Flood (v.6)

VERSE 6 through which the world at that time was destroyed (diV w-n o`ko,smoj to,te avpw,leto [prep. {dia} w/gen.nt.p., hos, which, + def.art.w/n.m.s., kosmos, + adv., tote, at that time, + aor.mid.ind.3.s., avpo,llumi, apollumi, destroy]), being flooded with water (kataklusqei.j u[dati [aor.pass.pt.n.m.s., kataklu,zw, katakluzo, flood, + inst.nt.s., hudor, water]).

ANALYSIS: VERSE 6

  1. The next major event with respect to earthís geology was, of course, Noahís flood.
  2. It occurred 1,656 years after the creation of Adam.
  3. The phrase "through which" (di v w-n) has as its antecedent "water" from v.5.
  4. The words "the world at that time" refer to antediluvian civilization with its unique environment (greenhouse effect; one continent, language, and ocean).
  5. The verb "was destroyed" refers to a universal cataclysm, not a local flood.
  6. It would be rather pointless to load the ark with pairs of land-breathing creatures if the flood was local in nature!
  7. The obvious language in Genesis and elsewhere speaks to a global catastrophe.
  8. All land-dwelling creatures, human and otherwise, were "destroyed" due to the unabated evil peculiar to the antediluvian era (Gen.7:21-23).
  9. "With water" is the instrumental neuter form of the noun u]dwr.
  10. The source of the water was two-fold (rain and tidal waves).
  11. The event as recorded in Genesis included 40 days and nights of rain (Gen.7:4,12).
  12. The antediluvians had never experienced storms, as the earth was watered through heavy mists (Gen.2:6).
  13. The rain came from the depletion of the water vapor canopy established on D+2 when God created the atmosphere, called in the Bible versions "firmament" or "expanse" (Gen.1:6-8).
  14. The major source of the watery destruction came from the breaking up of what the Bible calls "fountains of the great deep", as over against the poetic "floodgates of the sky".
  15. All of this began in the 600th year of Noahís life (Gen.7:11).
  16. The question we now direct our attention to is the how, or mechanism, that explains that "on that day all the fountains of the deep were broken up" (Gen.7:11).
  17. The model advanced here is that tremendous gravitational forces brought about an astral Visitor that, for a period of time, was caught in the earthís gravitational field before the Visitor escaped.
  18. This model conceives of the Flood cataclysm in terms of CAUSE as well as effect.
  19. The visitor was a single astral body (with possibly icy rings or satellites).
  20. The mass of the astral Visitor was perhaps between .05 and .10 of the Earth, like Mercury (.054).
  21. The density was between 3.0 and 6.0 (water = 1) like the terrestrial planets (Earth, Mercury, Venus, Mars, Io, Europa, and the Moon).
  22. Ice approached the earth due to the earthís superior gravitational force and was deflected by the earthís magnetic field (Van Allen belts).
  23. The glacial deposition on earth was sudden, simultaneous with the gravitational chaos and during the initial stage only of the catastrophe (until the ice reservoir was depleted).
  24. The ice approached the earth as statically-charge particles at extremely low temperatures (possibly in 100 degrees of absolute zero).
  25. The duration of the catastrophe was:
    1. Glacially, several weeks.
    2. Tidally, 150 days (period of surge Ė Gen.7:24).
    3. Astronomically, seven to eight months.
    4. In terms of Noahís voyage, 371 days from embarkation to debarkation (based on a careful study of Gen.7 and 8).
  26. The dating of the catastrophe is c. 2200BC (based on a strict reading of genealogies).
  27. The direction of the approach of the astral Visitor was probably in its approaching phase (to the Sun) and probably in direct motion (counterclockwise as viewed from Polaris).
  28. The speed of the Visitor was increasing as it approached the Sun between 1.5 and 2 million miles per day (Earthís speed is 1.7 million miles per day).
  29. The manner of the Visitorís interaction with Earth included a temporary capture and two approaches.
  30. The closeness of the approach was perhaps between 15,000 and 30,000 miles of Earth.
  31. The Visitorís orbit during the period of conflict included perigee (nearest, between 15,000 and 30,000 miles) and apogee (farthest, between 1,200,000 and 1,500,000 miles of Earth); the period between approaches was from 110 to 130 days.
  32. The escape of the astral Visitor was due to the following:
    1. The Earthís control over the Visitor was short of capture.
    2. The Sunís greater control over the Visitor remained dominant.
    3. The velocity of the Visitor made permanent capture difficult.
    4. The eccentricity of the Earthís orbit discouraged permanent capture.
    5. The secondary perturbations (disturbance of the regular elliptic of a celestial body) of the Moon discouraged permanent capture.
  33. The position of Earth at the time of the onset of the crisis was three or four months after perihelion/approaching perihelion (nearest the Sun).
  34. Perturbations of the Visitorís orbit were due to the Earth-Moon system; primarily by the Earth.
  35. In this particular approach, due to its proximity, the Visitor used the Earth as a pivot point.
  36. Duration of the catastrophic period was influenced by:
    1. The perturbation of the Visitor by the Earth-Moon system.
    2. The shortening of its major axis.
    3. Its ejection from the Earth-Moon system at a velocity greater than the Earthís orbital velocity.
    4. Its re-engagement with the Earth-Moon system upon passing aphelion.
  37. The position of the Earth during the second approach was one or two months after Earthís aphelion.
  38. The effect of the catastrophe on the Moonís orbit probably was:
    1. To decrease its eccentricity (currently .055).
    2. To decrease its period (currently 27+ days).
    3. To increase its angle to the ecliptic (currently 5 degrees).
  39. The effect of the catastrophe on Earthís orbit probably was:
    1. To decrease its orbital eccentricity (.017).
    2. To decrease its period.
    3. To decrease its circumference.
    4. To reorganize the orientation of its orbital axis.
    5. To alter the dates of aphelion and perihelion.
    6. To alter the dates of the solstices.
    7. To alter the dates of the equinoxes (equal day and night).
  40. The effect of the catastrophe was greater on the Earth than on the Moon because:
    1. The Visitor approached closer to the Earth.
    2. The Earth had more magma to disrupt and more surface to distend.
    3. The Earth had oceans to disrupt.
    4. The Earth had atmosphere to disrupt.
    5. The Earth had fauna and flora to engulf in burial.
    6. However, the uplift of the lunar mountain ranges is attributable to the same event.
  41. The effect on the Earthís axis probably was to cause an increase in the inclination from the perpendicular to the ecliptic (currently 23 degrees).
  42. The effect of the catastrophe on the Earthís rotation probably was to increase the speed of the Earthís rotation, thus shortening the day.
  43. The effect of the catastrophe on the Earthís magnetic field was probably to cause relocation.
  44. The effect of the catastrophe on the Earthís mass was to increase it due to the capture of astral ice in a proportion of 1 to 2 parts per 10,000.
  45. The effect of the catastrophe on the Earthís crust was:
    1. To cause an initial new zone of orogenetic (mountain) uplift, the Circum-Pacific.
    2. To cause a second new zone of orogenetic uplift, the Alpine-Himalayan.
    3. To cause a bleeding of lava, forming new basaltic plateaus on several continents.
    4. To cause a rash of new volcanoes.
    5. To cause glacial scouring in the regions surrounding the magnetic poles.
    6. To cause burying and reburying of the former crust under sediments.
    7. To eventually drown thousands of square miles of crust from melting astral ice.
  46. The effect of the catastrophe on the Earthís hydrosphere was:
    1. To increase the mass (approximately 12,000,000 cubic miles) when the ice melted.
    2. To increase its mass in a proportion of 7 to 9 parts per 100.
    3. To ultimately raise mean sea level between 350 and 450 feet.
    4. To cause the flooding of the continental shelves.
    5. To cause an immediate decrease in the temperature of the Earthís oceans.
    6. To cause an eventual but marked increase in the oceanic salinity due to the new climatological regime featuring rain and rivers.
  47. The effect of the catastrophe on Earthís atmosphere was:
    1. To cause a complete condensing of the antediluvian canopy of water vapor.
    2. To cause a modest reduction of mass (and barometric pressure) in a ratio of 5 to 10 parts per 100.
    3. To cause a new heat disequilibrium.
    4. To cause a new climatological regime.
    5. To cause a reduced elevation of the ozone canopy.
    6. To cause a thinning of the ozone canopy.
  48. The effect of the catastrophe on the Earthís fauna was:
    1. To bury billions of specimens.
    2. To bring to extinction thousands of species.
    3. To cause a reorganization of zoogeography for those surviving species.
  49. The effect on the Earthís flora was:
    1. To bury trillions of specimens.
    2. To bring thousands of species to extinction.
    3. To cause a reorganization of the florigeography for the surviving species.
  50. The effect of the catastrophe on man was to make his survivors very, very few in number and to make his survivors and their early generations very catastrophic-minded.
  51. The effect of the catastrophe upon the Visitor was:
    1. To reduce the major axis of its orbit (perhaps trillions of miles).
    2. To bring it permanently into the Sunís inner domain.
    3. To separate its pre-existing icy satellites or rings.
  52. This preferred model comes from the book "The Biblical Flood and the Ice Epoch" (Donald Patten; Pacific Meridian Publishing Co., 1966).
  53. If this preferred model, or any other model, is mechanically workable, generally meaningful, and psychologically satisfying, it is viewed as rational.
  54. And yet if it is found rational, it does not suddenly make the Genesis account rational; that account has been rational for thousands of years.
  55. Only the rationale contained therein has been unrecognized by recent, semi-rational figures who allow only for uniformitarian assumptions.
  56. Also, any model must support the data found in Scripture as well as what is observable in the natural world (e.g., the effect; do we observe things in the natural world that would lead us to suspect that there was a universal flood?).
  57. Or put another way, does the physical evidence support a universal flood whose waters reached a height of 15 cubits (about 25 ft.) above the highest mountains (Gen.7:19,20)!
  58. At this juncture we will consider the tidal aspect of the Flood.
  59. So often the Flood is thought to have been the result of heavy rain.
  60. The Bible teaches that rain was associated with the Flood, but not that rain was the primary cause of the Flood. The two phenomena were merely simultaneous.
  61. The rain ended after 40 days and nights, but the waters continued to rise for another 110 days (Gen.7:12, 24).
  62. The solution is tides in sub-continental proportions. The rain was but drop in the bucket.
  63. The location of the grounded Ark is high in the Ararat-Caucasus-Elburz region (Gen.8:4).
  64. The grounding of the Ark on the high mountain terrain offers strong evidence of the tidal nature of the Flood.
  65. Tides have the effect of both raising and lowering waters and of raising, moving, and grounding driftwood at or near high tide.
  66. The Ark is comparable to a piece of driftwood floating on tidal movements of subcontinental magnitude.
  67. In such a picture, the Ark would be stranded at or near high tide.
  68. In such a scenario, it would logically be caught and grounded within a topographical barrier, such as a hedge or ridge of mountains.
  69. If a "ship" of this size had floated at all from mere rainfall, it would have floated downward, not upward, and toward sea level.
  70. The tidal sweep which swamps a sand castle at the seashore could also swamp the Alps, Andes, Pyrennes, Rockies, or Ararats; it is only a matter of magnitude or degree; it is not a matter of a lack of mechanism.
  71. Tides with water high enough to swamp the highest mountains upon earth would have exerted great pressure upon the Earthís crust (perhaps 300 tons per square foot).
  72. It would have been sufficient to metamorphize any of the various kinds of deposits into successive strata, intermixed with trapped organisms, turning them into perfectly preserved fossils.
  73. Layers of sedimentary rock, layer upon layer, are found on every continent, and they appear to have been laid down by immense volumes of water and subsequently compressed by great pressures.
  74. The geophysical nature of the Flood becomes apparent as one notes the phrase "the fountains of the deep" (Gen.7:11; 8:2,3), the antediluvian ocean.
  75. In the oceans of the earth there are more than 200 million cubic miles of water.
  76. A conflict within the Earth-Moon system brought on by an astral Visitor produced surf surges that swamped the highest mountains.
  77. These tides prevailed on the earth for a period of five months; for it was not until after the 150 days had passed that "the fountains of the deep...were stopped" (Gen.7:24; 8:1-3).
  78. The evidences of this cataclysm on the earthís crust include the following:
    1. Fossilization in the rocks Ė Great numbers of living creatures were entrapped and buried in the swirling sediments; practically all modern families, and most genera, are represented in the fossil record, as well as extinct species; quick burial under extreme pressures make for favorable conditions for this process.
    2. Phenomena of sedimentation Ė Most of the sedimentary rocks of the earthís crust are the ones containing the fossil remains; they have been laid down by moving water; these layers are the result of the processes of erosion, transportation, deposition, and lithification; at the Flood this phenomenon was different quantitatively and qualitatively.
    3. Fossil graveyards Ė Never does one find, in the present era, great "graveyards" of organisms buried together; space precludes any adequate discussion of those remarkable deposits; the Cumberland Bone Cave in Maryland contains the remains of dozens of species of mammals, ranging from bats to mastodons, along with some reptiles and birds - from different types of climates and habitats; "In this one cave have been found such types as the wolverine, grizzly bear, and Mustelide, which are native to the Arctic region. Peccaries, the most numerous type represented, tapirs, and an antelope possibly related to the present-day eland are indigenous to tropical regions. Ground-hogs, rabbits, coyotes, and hare remains are indicative of dry prairies; but on the other hand, such water-loving animals as beaver and muskrat suggest a more humid region." (quote from "Recent Paleontological Discoveries from Cumberland Bone Cave", Scientific Monthly, May 1953, Vol.76, p.301); near Florissant, Colorado, a wide variety of insect fossils are preserved in rocks of volcanic shale: "Although insect remains are by far the most numerous of the animal fossils preserved at Florissant, other groups are also represented. The shells of tiny fresh-water mollusks are not difficult to find entombed in the rock and occasionally even the skeletons of fish and birds are seen. Several hundred species of plants have been identified from these shales, usually from leaves, but fruits (that is, nuts) and even blossoms have also been abundant, for it is not unusual to find on a single piece of shale from one of the richer fossiliferous layers several individuals within 2 or 3 inches of each other. This life was also extremely varied, with the total number of species running into the hundreds." (from "An Insect Pompeii", Scientific American, June 1955, Vol. 80, p.357-358); there is the famous Baltic amber deposits, where multitudes of insects and other organisms are preserved with an unsurpassed exquisiteness of detail. Dr. Heribert-Nilsson says, concerning them: "In the pieces of amber, which may reach a size of 5 kilos or more, especially insects and parts of flowers are preserved, even the most fragile structures. The insects are of modern types and their geographical distribution can be ascertained. It is then quite astounding to find that they belong to all regions of the earth, not only to the Palaoarctic region, as was to be expected...The geological and paleobiological facts concerning the layers are impossible to understand unless the explanation is accepted that they are the final result of an allochthonous process, including the whole earth." (from Synthetische Artbildung, pp.1194-1195); Dr. N.D. Newell discussed these same deposits in even more remarkable detail: "One of the most remarkable examples of preservation of organic tissues in antiseptic swamp waters is a "fossil graveyard" in Eocene lignite deposits of the Geiseltal in central Germany...More than six thousand remains of vertebrate animals and a great number of insects, mollusks, and plants were found in these deposits. The compressed remains of soft tissues of many of these animals showed details of cellular structure and some of the specimens had undergone but little chemical modification...Well-preserved bits of hair, feathers, and scales probably are among the oldest known examples of essentially unmodified preservation of structures. The stomach contents of beetles, amphibia, fishes, birds, and mammals provided direct evidence about eating habits. Bacteria of two kinds were found in the excrement of crocodiles and another was found on the trachea of a beetle. Fungi were identified on leaves and the original plant pigments, chlorophyll and coproprophyrin, were found preserved in some of the leaves." ("Adequacy of the Fossil Record", Journal of Paleontology, Vol.33, May 1959, p.496); Robert Broom, a South African paleontologist, estimated that there are eight hundred thousand million skeletons of vertebrate animals in the Karroo formation (ibid; p.495); Harry S. Ladd, of the U.S. Geological Survey, describing beds of herring fish in the Miocene shales of California, says that "more than a billion fish, averaging 6 to 8 inches in length, died on 4 square miles of bay bottom" ("Ecology, Paleontology, and Stratigraphy", Science, Vol.129, January 9, 1969, p.72). One might, for example, discuss at length such marvels as the La Brea Tar Pits in Los Angeles, which have yielded tens of thousands of specimens of all kinds of living and extinct animals (each of which, by the unbelievable uniformitarian explanation, fell into this sticky graveyard by accident - one at a time!); there are the Sicilian hippopotamus beds, the fossils of which are so extensive that they have actually been mined as charcoal; the great mammal beds of the Rockies; the dinosaur beds of the Black Hills and the Rockies, as well as in the Gobi desert; the astounding fish beds of the Scottish Devonian strata, and on and on.
    4. Petrification Ė Folklore has it that petrified wood takes "million and millions" of years to form; as wood decays in a hot, silica-rich environment, each molecule is replaced by a molecule of silica with the result often being an array of beautiful colors; many of the trees found in the Petrified "Forest" of Arizona are of this type; the other type of petrification involves the infiltration of the porous wood by silica-rich water; the silica (or calcite, or both) plugs up the pores, preventing complete decay; the petrified trees of Yellowstone Park are of this type; several laboratory experiments have devised ways in which this can be done (Leo and Barghoorn, 1976, "Silicification of Wood," Botanical Museum Leaflets, vol.25, no.1, Harvard University, p.47); there is an advertisement in a magazine for real "hardwood floors!".
    5. Preservation of tracks of animals Ė Many thousands of tracks of animals of all kinds have been found preserved in stone, including many tracks of dinosaurs and other creatures now extinct; it is a matter of common experience that impressions of this sort in soft mud or sand are very quickly obliterated; it would seem that the only way such prints could be preserved as fossils is by means of some chemical action permitting rapid lithification and some aqueous action permitting rapid burial.
  79. Since the Earth possesses two fields Ė one gravitational and the other magnetic Ė there were two kinds of celestial forces in conflict with the intruder.
  80. In one phase of this conflict, oceans heaved and ebbed to a magnitude of thousands of feet above mean sea level.
  81. The earth has some 200 million cubic miles of water, but this is but a drop in the bucket compared to its volume of semi-fluid magma.
  82. The Earth has a thin crust, varying between 5 and 30 miles in thickness as compared to a diameter of about 8,000 miles.
  83. The Earth is an oblate sphere with the polar diameter being some 27 miles shorter than the equatorial diameter.
  84. This bulge is due to the speed of the Earthís rotation, at a little over 1,000 miles per hour.
  85. The minute thickness of the crust, the vastness of the internal oceans of magma (exceeds the oceans by a factor of 1,000 to 1), the velocity of Earthís rotation, the flexible crust, the viscosity of the magma, and the gravitational pull of the Visitor resulted in new mountain building.
  86. Herein is set forth a new theory of mountain building (orogenesis) which stands in sharp contrast to the theories advanced by uniformitarian geology (the major theories require millions of years).
  87. The mountain systems of the Earth are found in great scallop-like arcs, which in turn merge into greater arcs, which in turn merge into sweeping, planet-traversing circles.
  88. Their pattern is seemingly indifferent to either continental massifs or to oceanic basins.
  89. This is illustrated particularly in the regions of the Western Pacific, with the numerous island chains, which are the tops of submerged mountain arcs.
  90. Secondly, mountain systems posses dendritic patterns with auxiliary ranges, and spur ranges, separated by valleys and basins.
  91. Thirdly, the mountain systems often occur in parallelism - that is to say, that major systems are frequently parallel.
  92. The Cascades and the Rockies are one example; the Sierra Madre Occidental and Sierra Madre Oriental are another example.
  93. The Himalayas and Kun Luns are a third example (numerous other examples).
  94. The mountain uplifts at the time of the Flood due to the points of greatest gravitational stress on the Earthís crust, and the two approaches of the Visitor provide an explanation for the statement in Ps.104:8 that "the mountains rose; the valley sank down to the place which You did establish for them".
  95. The immediate context of that statement is clearly that of the Noahic Flood (see vv.5-7,9).
  96. The Circum-Pacific uplift begins in Antarctica and follows the rim of the Pacific Ocean (the so-called "Pacific Rim of Fire") through the Western Americas, and along the ridges of Asia to Indonesia.
  97. There were new pressures caused by the tides of magma, pressures which required new adjustments and new releases.
  98. Among the new adjustments were welts or wrinkles or uplifts upon the Earthís thin skin, uplifts including both igneous and sedimentary rock, and scallop-like alignments.
  99. Another adjustment was the release of pressure by the bleeding out of lava upon the Earthís crust, forming basaltic plateaus and volcanic cones.
  100. The surging, throbbing, pulsating magma, rising to two mighty crescendos each day, tortured the inside of the Earthís skin with a bellows-like peridocity; simultaneously, the face of the Earth was washed twice every 25 hours by continental tides.
  101. Following the period of the astral catastrophe, new equilibriums were reached.
  102. It took the waters many weeks, even months, to drain off.
  103. The zones of mountain uplift continued quaking for years and decades and centuries, as a new isostatic equilibrium gradually was established.
  104. It is proposed herein that the Ice Epoch did not precede the Flood due to the Greenhouse Effect.
  105. It is also proposed that the genesis of the Ice Epoch did not follow the Flood, but was simultaneous with the celestial crisis.
  106. In the centuries that followed, the ice masses were in outflow and melt; it took a long time before the oceans found a new temperature equilibrium.
  107. Any acceptable theory of the Ice Epoch for our Earth must explain these three features:
    1. The origin of the ice.
    2. The method or mode of transportation of the ice.
    3. The particular location of deposition of the ice.
  108. Uniformitarianism assumes that the origin was water vapor that had risen by evaporation from the Earthís oceans in lower latitudes.
  109. All theories assume that the method of transport was via clouds and planetary wind systems.
  110. And lastly, all theories consider that snow fell in the glacially affected areas because of the high latitude and the cold climate.
  111. Mammoths were, along with mastodons, the largest members of the elephant family.
  112. They have become mummified in two manners, both in ice and in sediment, which suggests cataclysm and suddenness.
  113. Every indication is that the mammoths died suddenly, in intense cold and in great numbers.
  114. Death came so quickly that the swallowed vegetation is yet undigested in their stomachs and mouths.
  115. Grasses, bluebells, buttercups, tender sedges, and wild beans have been found, yet identifiable and undeteriorated, in their mouths and stomachs (Ivan T. Sanderson, "Riddle of the Quick-Frozen Giants," Saturday Evening Post, Jan. 16, 1960, p. 82).
  116. There is an illustration that is well-known which helps to explain this strange phenomenon.
  117. That is, the case of ancient Pompeii and the burial of the society in pumice from Mt. Vesuvius.
  118. As the eruption began, many Pompeiians did not take it seriously as this sort of thing had happened before and had quickly died down again.
  119. But on the fateful date, the mountain began to roar and rumble; smoke kept belching, cinders kept falling, and toxic gases were expelled in increasing volumes.
  120. The people began to panic and flee from the doomed city.
  121. As cinders and sulphurous smoke turned day into night, and as the winds shifted, sudden squalls brought hot, toxic, sulphurous fumes down upon the refugees.
  122. Asphyxiation dropped the refugees in their tracks.
  123. Fossil remains have been preserved by a blanket of pumice; the dying expressions yet remain on their faces, and the details in the fabric of their garments remain vividly etched in the layer of pumice.
  124. In the case of mammoths, the span of time between death and freezing can be determined by the extent of water separation within the cell, for water begins to separate within the cell at death, and it ceases to separate at freezing.
  125. The small extent of separated water indicates that carcasses were frozen rapidly, perhaps at temperatures below Ė150 degrees F.
  126. It takes a great deal of cold to freeze a warm-blooded mammal.
  127. Men have been out in temperatures of Ė110 degrees F. for up to half an hour without their lungs freezing.
  128. Sled dogs in the Arctic and Antarctic have been out in blizzard conditions in temperatures well below Ė80 degrees F. for days without freezing.
  129. In 1911, when Scott took his ill-fated dash to the South Pole, his little Shetland ponies survived until their food gave out.
  130. At Ė40 degrees F. it takes 20 minutes to quick-freeze a turkey, 30 minutes to preserve a side of beef, but these are mere bits of meat, not the mammoth clothed in fur, at a temperature of 98 degrees F.
  131. Unless we have tremendous cold outside, the center of the animal we are trying to freeze will remain comparatively warm for some time, possibly long enough for decomposition to start.
  132. The actual chilling of the flesh will be slow enough for large crystals to form within the cells.
  133. Their entombment and refrigeration have been so effective that mammoth carcasses have been thawed to feed sled dogs, both in Alaska and Siberia; in fact, mammoth steaks have even been featured on menus in Fairbanks!
  134. Mammoths were not designed to live in Arctic conditions.
  135. The Indian elephant, which is a close relative to the mammoth, has to have several hundred pounds of food daily.
  136. But for more than six months of the year, there is nothing for any such creature to eat on the Arctic tundra; yet these animals lived there in the tens of thousands.
  137. Charles H. Hapgood (evolutionist), bothered by this problem, hazarded a guess as to the cause of the quick-freeze.
  138. He wrote as follows: "Only one possibility, I believe, can explain this riddle of science and with it the mysterious extinction of the mammoth. In my opinion, the climate did not change; the entire surface of the earth migrated from one climate zone to another..." ("The Mystery of the Frozen Mammoths," Coronet, Sept., 1960, p.76).
  139. He continues on in this vein, suggesting a shift in the location of the earthís axis.
  140. He fails to explain what could have caused the shift.
  141. Temperatures of this severity exist in our solar system, but not at the surface of the Earth.
  142. These temperatures exist, for example, among the frozen atmospheres of Jupiter and her icy satellites.
  143. These temperatures exist among the icy crust of Saturn and her icy rings, to say nothing of Uranus and Neptune.
  144. If icy particles (charged) at temperatures nearing Ė200 degrees F. were deposited upon the Earth from such an astral Visitor, this could produce supercooled conditions under which the wooly mammoth, not to mention sheep, camels, rhinoceroses, bison, lions, tigers, and other animals were entombed in ice and sediment.
  145. They perished instantly by asphyxiation, as their lungs were frozen solid.
  146. Concerning this phenomenon, the uniformitarians have been non-plussed ("it escapes their notice"), and have offered no satisfactory explanation.
  147. Wrangell, the explorer, observed on Bear Island that the soil consisted only of sand, ice, and such a quantity of mammoth bones that they seemed to be the chief substance of that island.
  148. On the Siberian mainland, he observed that the Siberian tundra was dotted more with mammoth tusks than with Arctic shrubbery (Bryon C. Nelson, The Deluge Story in Stone, Minneapolis: Augsburg Publishing House, 1931, p. 122.).
  149. Pallas related that there was not a riverbed in all Russia or Siberia, from the Don to the Bering Strait, which did not contain bones of elephants and other animals.
  150. It has been recorded that during two consecutive decades (1880-1900) at least 20,000 elephant tusks were taken from one single Siberian ivory mine.
  151. Ivory trade in Siberia has had a long history, as old as the recorded annals of the area.
  152. Traditions of the Siberian ivory trade are as old as the historians of the Roman Empire.
  153. The long findings of fossil remains are too voluminous to mention here; the findings of Howorth, Nelson, Rehwinkel, Sanderson, and Vail are notable.
  154. Nelson states: "The remains of mammoths are incredibly numerous in Siberia and, strangely enough, their numbers increase farther north toward the Arctic Ocean. Their bones are spread over the bottom of that ocean, where ships have dredged them up. And 200 miles to the north, in the New Siberian Islands, not much farther from the North Pole than New York is from Chicago, mammoth remains are the thickest of all."
  155. The reasons that the New Siberian Islands and other offshore islands in the Arctic Ocean were populated by fauna in that area are:
    1. There was a subtropical climate.
    2. Oceans were lower by approximately 400 feet, resulting in land bridges not only to these islands, but also between Siberia and Alaska across what is now the Bering Strait; Africa, Europe, Asia, and North America were once an interconnected land mass in that age.
  156. The slow snow theory intrinsic to uniformitarianism is wed to the notion that climatological phenomenon contains the explanation.
  157. The regions of sudden chilling occurred in both hemispheres, and mostly in the high latitudes.
  158. Hapgood mentions the explorer Baron Edward Toll as reported finding "a fallen 90 foot fruit tree with ripe fruit and green leaves still on its branches, in the frozen ground of the New Siberian Islands. The only tree vegetation that grows there now is the one-inch high willow."
  159. In Antarctica, less than 200 miles from the South Pole, Admiral Byrd found evidences of a former warm and humid climate which nurtured luxuriant forests.
  160. "The rock fragments from this mountainside invariably included plant fossils, leaf and stem impressions, coal, and fossilized wood. Here at the southernmost known mountain in the world, scarcely two hundred miles from the South Pole, was found conclusive evidence that the climate of Antarctica was once temperate or even sub-tropical." (Dolph Earl Hooker, Those Astounding Ice Ages, New York: Exposition Press, 1958, p.44, as taken from National Geographic, October 1933).
  161. On the island of Spitzbergen, palm leaves ten and twelve feet long have been fossilized, along with fossilized marine crustaceans - which could only inhabit tropical waters.
  162. Spitzbergen is half way between the northern tip of Norway and the North Pole, at a latitude of 80 degrees north.
  163. Today ships can reach the island only 2 or 3 months of the year.
  164. This suggests that at one time the temperatures of the Arctic Ocean were similar to the contemporary temperatures of the Caribbean Sea.
  165. Antarctica, Spitzbergen, and the New Siberian Islands are but three places where evidences occur that coldness came with extreme suddenness, wiping out a previous tropical climate with a finality that has lasted over many thousands of years.
  166. How could all this be? Were explorers spinning yarns?
  167. Sudden frost and extremely cold air are one thing; ice in depth is another thing.
  168. It has been established, from the direction of the ice flows, studies of gradients, distances, and other related data, that there were several ice nodes on the Canadian Shield.
  169. It has further been established that the depth of ice at these nodes was between 15,000 and 17,000 feet.
  170. In the Southern Hemisphere, a comparable circumstance apparently existed.
  171. In 1958, an ice core was taken on the Antarctic Ice Cap near Byrd Station.
  172. Drilling commenced at an elevation of 5,000 feet above sea level.
  173. The thickness of the ice sheet was 10,000 feet, and the drill went through solid ice all the way.
  174. This means that ice is not only situated 5,000 feet above sea level in the Antarctic Region, it is also resting on terra firma some 5,000 feet below sea level.
  175. Uniformitarianism must maintain that falling snow accomplished this both at elevations of 17,000 feet (ice nodes) above sea level, and 5,000 feet below sea level, and in both the fluid atmosphere and in the fluid ocean.
  176. It is ludicrous to propose that ice might be formed in brine, some 5,000 feet below sea level, by falling snowflakes.
  177. This is not only the position of uniformitarians, but is the view taken by the world of creation catastrophists.
  178. The area of the ice mass in the Northern Hemisphere was about 17 million square miles, being over 5,000 miles in diameter, an area equal to the continent of Asia.
  179. It is estimated that the volume was about 6 million cubic miles.
  180. Presumably, a nearly equal amount was involved in the Southern Hemisphere.
  181. Southern Chile, New Zealand, Antarctica, Tasmania, and the Kerguelen Islands indicate evidences of an ice age.
  182. The ice was approximately 3 miles deep in its central nodes, and it feathered out toward its edges.
  183. This led to a rise in sea level of between 350 and 450 feet, flooding the continental shelves and submerging (eventually) the land bridges that connected continents (cp. Gen.10:25).
  184. Any acceptable theory on the ice mass must accommodate itself to the geometry of the ice formation.
  185. There were several nodes on the Canadian Shield, from 15,000 to 17,000 feet in elevation, generally about 3 miles deep at these apexes.
  186. From these the ice flowed outward in a radial pattern and in every direction.
  187. It flowed over hills hundreds and even thousands of feet high, and swept on over valley and dale for hundreds of miles.
  188. As it flowed it gathered rocks, timber, and other debris which were ground and ultimately dumped on its edges, forming lateral and terminal moraines.
  189. According to conventional wisdom, the ice was supposedly formed by snow, which had been transported by wind systems from moist, warm regions.
  190. The snow was to have fallen for many eons, until conditions changed and the processes of build-up were exceeded by the processes of out-flow and melting.
  191. This hypothesis does not agree with the manner of the flow of the ice mass; neither does it agree with the direction of the ice flow.
  192. Perhaps the best illustration is found in the coldest area of the Earth; in fact, interior Antarctica ranks along with the interior of the Sahara in precipitation ("The everlasting wind blowing from the pole is as dry as the winds over the Sahara...", Hooker, Those Astounding Ice Ages, p.30).
  193. It is rather at the fringes of Antarctica where substantial snows occur, for this is the region where warmer and more humid maritime air mixes with the cold, dry interior air.
  194. A similar condition prevails in the Northern Hemisphere.
  195. If falling snow is to have been the cause of the ice mass, it would be logical to presume that ice would be deepest where the snowfall is greatest.
  196. There would be thicker accumulations at the edges than at the interior where little humid air would penetrate.
  197. But geology has revealed that the ice mass is conical in geometrical shape, not saucer-shaped.
  198. Furthermore, the pattern of ice flow does not agree with the uniformitarian hypothesis.
  199. Today there are slow-snow glaciers in the mountains along the Pacific Ocean in Alaska, British Columbia, Washington, and Oregon, which flow in a riverine pattern, avoiding the hills and ridges and concentrating in the valleys.
  200. But the flow of ice, following its deposition in the Ice Epoch, was largely indifferent to topography until the flow feathered out at the fringes.
  201. Gradual events caused riverine patterns of flow, while the radial pattern of flow is evidence of sudden large accumulations.
  202. Uniformitarian hypotheses have invariably suggested that the ice mass was located in the high latitudes because that is where the climate is the coldest and where there is minimum solar radiation.
  203. This explanation fails, however, to account for the eccentricity of the ice mass.
  204. The ice mass appears to have missed almost all of Siberia, excepting the offshore islands.
  205. This is the coldest portion of the Northern Hemisphere in our age.
  206. The ice mass spread out over the Central States down to the 37th latitude.
  207. This is more than half way to the equator.
  208. It is the supposition here that the location of the ice mass was dependent more on the magnetic axis than the geographic axis.
  209. The distance between the geographic and magnetic poles is about 1,200 miles.
  210. According to the catastrophic theory, there was a deflection of the cold ice particles by the radiation belts (Van Allen belts) of the Earth.
  211. The particles, being electrically charged, were deflected, or shunted, or redirected by the magnetic field, as are charged particles during periods of sunspot activity.
  212. The particles apparently converged over the magnetic polar regions, and in converging they bumped, experiencing intra collisions, which reduced their velocity, causing them to decelerate, and they proceeded to descend.
  213. They descended over a vast magnetic polar area and concentrated in different but proximate locations, or nodes, during the various descents.
  214. The super-cooled ice particles descended mostly in the higher latitudes because the Magnetic North Pole happens to be located only about 1,200 miles from the Geographical Pole - the Earthís axis.
  215. The evidence suggests that the descent of the ice occurred suddenly, in great volumes, at extremely low temperatures, and over a vast area proximate to the magnetic poles.
  216. There may have been five or six crescendos of ice influx spread out periodically over the first several weeks of the crisis.
  217. In the postdiluvian era ice was melting, oceans were filling up with cold water, the climate of the Earth was temporarily chilled, and much snow fell as part of the aftermath of this crisis.
  218. It has been demonstrated that similar arcuate mountain patterns occur with equal boldness on both the Earth and her satellite.
  219. It has also been demonstrated that arcuate mountain patterns traverse continental massifs and oceanic basins and basaltic regions with seemingly equal ease.
  220. It has similarly been demonstrated that immense deposits of extremely cold ice have occurred in polar regions, both on continental massifs (Canadian Shelf) and on the bedrock beneath oceanic areas (the Antarctic Shelf), also with seemingly equal ease.
  221. Consider now yet another phenomenon: namely, ice sandwiched between layers of lava rock.
  222. Sedimentary rock is water-lain and usually considered as having formed under moderate temperatures.
  223. Igneous rock is usually considered as forming under temperature conditions other than freezing.
  224. The ice which is now examined is that found not above, not below, but between formations of igneous (lava) rock, which is associated with high temperatures.
  225. In the intermontane plateau west of the Rockies and east of the Cascades, there was a strong outpouring of lava during the Flood catastrophe.
  226. In some places, the lava deposits exceed 8,000 feet in depth upon original bedrock.
  227. There are many successive layers of lava, anywhere from a few inches to hundreds of feet thick.
  228. Minute layers of shale often separate them.
  229. This lava plateau covers approximately 150,000 square miles and covers parts of five states - almost half of Washington, nearly two thirds of Oregon, and lesser parts of Idaho, Nevada, and California.
  230. The contention here is that at the time of the cataclysmic upheaval, lava flowed or bled upon the Earthís surface in various parts of the world, including the Abyssinian plateau of Africa, the Deccan plateau of India, and also lesser lava plateaus of Arabia and Brazil.
  231. This out-letting of lava coincided with the deposition of the ice.
  232. In Eastern Washington at the northern edge of this lava plateau, in-flowing ice complicated geophysical features.
  233. The Columbia Valley, Moses Coulee, and Grand Coulee are several examples.
  234. Throughout this area, particularly in Northern Washington, but also occasionally in Idaho and Oregon, we find the phenomena of ice caves.
  235. Much ice remains, sandwiched in between layers of lava, and that which has melted has left empty areas Ė the caves themselves.
  236. When the Milwaukee railroad was being built, section gangs discovered ice caves in the Frenchmen Hills in southern Grant County, Washington, and they used them to refrigerate their beef.
  237. When road construction crews made great cuts through the lava hills of the Grand Coulee country, they again ran into great pockets of ice residing within the lava hills.
  238. In Okanogan County, Washington, in the hills above Tonasket, an ice cave exists which spelunkers have followed for 7,000 feet without finding its end.
  239. A small ice cave is located about fifteen miles downstream from the Grand Coulee Dam, in the hills overlooking the Columbia River, on a ranch.
  240. In homestead days, the Allings used the cave for refrigeration, and thus ate beef during the summer months while their neighbors ate salt pork.
  241. Even today, by family tradition, as the family gathers each 4th of July, one of the foremost of the festivities is the making of home-made ice cream using ice that is obviously old!
  242. The cave is at the base of a natural terrace.
  243. Rising above and over the cave is a large hill composed solely of lava and ice.
  244. Its face, almost a cliff, is over 300 feet high, and beyond that are further rises.
  245. As one stands in the front of the cave, one feels the chill draft emanating.
  246. Inside the cave one views the massive icy stalactites and stalagmites, and is awed with wonder at the architecture and origin of these ancient icy structures.
  247. At the base of the terrace, in addition to the ice cave, is a spring formed by melting water from the ice contained within the hill.
  248. Its temperature is a constant 34 degrees F., summer and winter.
  249. The rate of water flowing per hour from this icy cold spring was sufficient to accommodate ranch needs, including watering the livestock.
  250. The amount of water lost in seepage is thought to be far greater than the amount of water flowing from the spring itself.
  251. If the rate of flow of water, including both that from the spring and that lost by seepage, is five gallons per hour (this estimate is very conservative), then by simple calculations at least 1 million tons of ice have melted from this one hill over the past 5,000 years.
  252. And no one knows how much remains unmelted.
  253. Note that this ice occurs between lava formations in a climate which averages 40 degrees F. annually and which, some 10,000 to 15,000 feet below these ice formations, has temperatures which make water boil (from within, temperatures rise rapidly in depth, increasing approximately 16 degrees F. per 1.000 feet.).
  254. For ice to maintain these conditions for millennia is no small feat.
  255. Does this phenomenon of ice sandwiched between layers of igneous rock seem strange?
  256. If the proper perspective of catastrophism is considered, the phenomena of ice sandwiched between layers of igneous rock is no more unusual than ice residing at oceanic depths or ice mummifying millions of animal specimens.
  257. Is it less ludicrous, or more ludicrous, to maintain steadfastly that snowflakes, falling gradually over long eons, accomplished these phenomena?
  258. Uniformitarian geology asserts that the Cascade Mountains are 150 million years old, yet these ice formations are interrelated!
  259. The basic requirements for a successful theory of glaciogenesis are threefold; the fourth requirement, the timing, while not essential to the understanding of the Ice Epoch mechanism, however remains faithful to the Genesis record.
  260. The origin of the ice: From the remote, cold, ice-abundant outer regions of our solar system or in galactic regions beyond (versus evaporated ocean water).
  261. The manner of transport of the ice: Via elliptical orbits and electromagnetic deflection (versus planetary wind systems and precipitation).
  262. The location of the deposition of the vast ice masses: Associated with magnetic latitudes (versus with geographical latitudes).
  263. The dating of the ice epoch: 2800BC +/- 500 years (versus 10,000BC +/- 1,000,000 years).
  264. Over and above these essential requirements for a good hypothesis of the Ice Epoch, the following circumstances must be accommodated:
  265. Sudden and intense, unearthly coldness, as is illustrated by the very rapid death and freezing of mammoth carcasses.
  266. The various locations of sudden freezing in the Northern and Southern Hemispheres.
    1. The depth of the ice deposits in both hemispheres.
    2. The accounting for deep ice deposits, both on continental shields and on suboceanic shelves.
    3. The area encompassed by flowing ice in the Northern Hemisphere.
    4. The volume of the ice deposited in the Northern Hemisphere.
    5. The magnitude of the heat exchange which occurred.
    6. The geometry of the ice mass in the Northern Hemisphere.
    7. The radial flow of the ice mass in the Northern Hemisphere.
    8. The eccentric location of the ice mass relative to geographical latitudes and poles.
    9. The ice and lava sandwiches, the ice caves of the Pacific Northwest.
  267. The origin of the ice is accounted for in the uniformitarian approach by the evaporation of ocean waters, a process requiring heat.
  268. The volume is millions of cubic miles of water, and the evaporation of this amount of water would require septillions of calories of heat.
  269. However, what is required is a cooling principle, not a heating principle.
  270. What is required is a cooling principle in terms of septillions of calories, and accomplished suddenly (if the frozen mammoths or the suddenness of the ice flow are any indication).
  271. Uniformitarianism not only postulates a slow rather than a sudden principle; it also postulates a heat-requiring principle rather than a heat-losing principle.
  272. The magnitude of the heat exchange required by uniformitarianism could not possibly be accomplished by the Earthís atmosphere and ocean while in its present orbit and its present scheme of rotation.
  273. The abundance of ice in the more remote areas of our solar system is well known.
  274. Most comets contain ice, and when one approaches the Sun, part of the ice melts and evaporates.
  275. In evaporation, the vapor escapes the nucleus of the comet due to its low gravitational attraction.
  276. The result is the characteristic pattern of the cometís train.
  277. Saturn had an icy catastrophe (the planetís atmosphere is ammonia and methane at extremely low temperatures as well, under which is a layer of ice of unknown depth).
  278. While the composition of the Jovian planets (Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, and Neptune) is unknown, it seems certain that there is much hydrogen and oxygen there, the elements that combine to produce water.
  279. This is not only true for the planets, but is also true for the satellites, where ices range in temperatures from Ė200 degrees to Ė325 degrees F.
  280. Callisto of Jupiter, considered to be mostly ice with a diameter of 3,200 miles, may contain 12 million cubic miles of ice, enough for 7,000 Ice Epochs.
  281. Tethys, Saturnís third moon, some 800 miles in diameter, may contain enough ice for epochs 100 times the one that occurred on Earth.
  282. Nereid, which almost escaped from the Neptune system, is about 200 miles in diameter, and it might possess enough ice equal to our Ice Epoch.
  283. Thus, it is not inconceivable that an astral Visitor from the remote areas of our solar system would possess ice.
  284. Nor is it inconceivable that such an astral Visitor could contain ice in accompanying satellites (Uranus does), in rings (Saturn does), in belts (Jupiter has belts and bands), or merely ice in its crust (or in the case of a comet, in its tail).
  285. Is the Ice Epoch behind the poetic statement in Job.38:29 "From whose womb (idiomatic expression of origins) has the ice gone forth"?
  286. Ancient traditions of astral catastrophe are a theme that permeates ancient literatures, architectures, cosmologies, folklores, and religions.
  287. The geographical distribution of these ancient traditions illustrates the fact of a universal flood.
  288. Experiences of a great flood were recorded in the traditions from every continent, Antarctica excepted.
  289. The most famous extra-Biblical account is found in the Babylonian/Sumerian "Epic of Gilgamesh".
  290. It is indeed astounding to see how large are the areas of general agreement between the Biblical and the Babylonian accounts.
  291. Both accounts:
    1. State that the Deluge was divinely planned.
    2. Agree that impending catastrophe was divinely revealed to the hero of the Deluge.
    3. Connect the Deluge with defection in the human race.
    4. Tell of the deliverance of the hero and his family.
    5. Assert that the hero of the Deluge was divinely instructed to build a huge boat to preserve life.
    6. Indicate the physical causes of the Flood.
    7. Specify the duration of the Flood.
    8. Name the landing place of the boat.
    9. Tell of the sending forth of birds at certain intervals to ascertain the decrease of the waters.
    10. Describe acts of worship by the hero after his deliverance.
    11. Allude to the bestowment of special blessings upon the hero after the disaster.
  292. On the other hand, it must be recognized that there are so many important differences in detail between the two accounts (the Biblical being far more rational and consistent than the Babylonian) that it is quite impossible to assume that Genesis in any way depends upon the Gilgamesh Epic as a source.
  293. Among the differences are the following:
  294. The Authors of the Flood. In Genesis it is the one and only true God who brings the Flood because of the moral depravity of mankind; in the Babylonian account the Flood is sent because of the rashness of Enlil and in opposition to the will of the gods.
  295. The Announcement of the Flood. In Genesis God Himself warns Noah to build an ark and gives mankind 120 years to repent; in the Babylonian account the Flood is kept secret by the gods, but Utnapishtim (the Babylonian Noah) is given hint of the coming disaster by Ea without the knowledge of Enlil.
  296. The Ark and its Occupants. In Genesis the Ark is 300 x 50 x 30 cubits with three decks and carries eight people, two of each unclean animal and seven of the clean, and food; in the Babylonian account the Ark is 120 x 120 x 120 cubits with nine decks and carries all of Utnapishtimís family and relations, the boatman, all the craftsmen (or learned men), "the seed of all living creatures", and all of his gold and silver.
  297. Causes and Duration of the Flood. In Genesis the Flood is caused by the breaking up of the fountains of the deep and the opening of the windows of heaven, and these conditions continue for 150 days, followed by an additional 221 days during which the waters abate; in the Babylonian account rain is the only cause mentioned and it ceases after only six days. After an unspecified number of days, Utnapishtim and the others leave the ark.
  298. The Bird Scene. In Genesis a raven is sent out first and then a dove three times at intervals of seven days; in the Babylonian account a dove is sent out first, then a swallow, and finally a raven, at unspecified intervals. The Babylonian account does not mention the olive leaf.
  299. The Sacrifice and the Blessings. In Genesis the Lord graciously receives Noahís sacrifice, gives him and his family power to multiply and fill the earth, emphasizes the sanctity of human life, and promises not to destroy the earth again by a flood. In the Babylonian account hungry gods "gathered like flies over the sacrifice" because they had been deprived of sacrifices for so long. A quarrel ensues between the gods Enlil and Ea, and Enlil finally blesses Utnapishtim and his wife after being rebuked by Ea for his rashness in bringing the Flood. Utnapishtim and his wife are rewarded by being made gods and are taken to the realm of the gods.
  300. The gross polytheism and confusion of details in the Babylonian account seem to indicate a long period of transmission.
  301. From the Greek poet Hesiod (1,000BC) comes the Greek creation myth: "Long before the gods appeared, in the dim past, uncounted ages ago, there was only the formless confusion of Chaos brooded over by unbroken darkness. At last, but how no one ever tried to explain, two children were born to this shapeless nothingness." (Edith Hamilton, Mythology, Little Brown, 1942, p.77. The author is paraphrasing Hesiodís great poem Theogony.)
  302. Miss Hamilton goes on to comment: "What took place next was the creation of the earth, but this too, no one ever tried to explain. It just happened...The poet Hesiod, the first Greek who tried to explain how things began, wrote: ĎEarth, the beautiful, rose up, Broad-bosomed, she that is the steadfast base of all things. And fair Earth first bore the starry Heaven, equal to herself. To cover her on all sides and to be a home forever for the blessed gods.í" (Ibid., p.78).
  303. This cosmogony was not unique to Hesiod and the early Greeks. James Bailey writes: "Hesiodís Theogony, the narrative of the birth of the gods and of the events which led to the order of things in Hesiodís day, is the only survivor among many Greek theogonies. Hesiod probably wrote before Homer. While we also know of theogonies from Finland, Estonia, India, Gaul, Germany, Scandinavia, Polynesia, and Japan, Hesiodís story is shown by M. L. West to be fairly similar in its details to the Hittite, Hurrian, and Akkadian theogonies and the Phoenician theogony. Its source material is said to be very ancient indeed and was clearly known to all the Middle East and Mediterranean peoples of this period. They judged theogonies to be of the highest significance and they therefore recited them on important state occasions. The important theogony was said to have been recorded by one Sanchuniathon who wrote before the Trojan War and claimed to have derived his material from the pre-dynastic Egyptian culture hero named Thoth. His tale is very similar to Hesiodís." (James Bailey, The God-Kings and the Titans: The New World Ascendancy in Ancient Times, New York: St. Martinís, 1973, pp. 155,156).
  304. The remarkable similarity of the cosmogonies of many different nations of antiquity, as well as their respective pantheons of gods and goddesses, is obviously more than coincidence.
  305. The nations and their religious systems had a common origin (Rev.17:1).
  306. Consider the Pelasgians, for example, the seafaring people who apparently inhabited part of Greece a thousand years earlier than the Greece of Homer (800BC) and Hesiod (1,000BC).
  307. Archaeologist Robert Graves has been able to piece together a portion of their cosmogony from monument evidence, even though none of their writings have survived.
  308. Note the Biblical parallels, as well as differences: "In the beginning, Eurynome, the Goddess of All Things, rose naked from Chaos, but found nothing substantial for her feet to rest upon, and therefore divided the sea from the sky, dancing lonely upon its waves. She danced towards the south, and the wind set in motion behind her seemed something new apart with which to begin the work of creation. Wheeling about, she caught hold of this north wind, rubbed it between her hands, and behold! the great serpent Ophion...Next she assumed the form of a dove, brooding on the waves and in due process of time, laid the Universal Egg. At her bidding, Ophion coiled seven times about the egg, until it hatched and split in two. Out tumbled all the things that exist, her children: sun, moon, planets, stars, the earth with its mountains and rivers, its trees, herbs, and living creatures. Eurynome and Ophion made their home upon Mount Olympus, where he vexed her by claiming to be the author of the Universe. Forthwith she bruised his head with her heel, and kicked out his teeth, and banished him to the dark caves below the earth." (Robert Graves, Greek Myths, vol.1, Baltimore: Penguin, 1955, p.27).
  309. From Hindu mythology comes what is believed to be the most sophisticated of the several Vedic cosmogonies: "In the beginning was darkness swathed in darkness; All this was but unmanifested water. Whatever was, the One, coming into Being, Hidden by the Void, Was generated by the power of heat. In the beginning this [One] evolved, Became desire, first seed of the mind. Wise seers, searching within their hearts, Found the bond of Being in Not-Being...Casters of seed there were, and powers; Beneath was energy, above was impulse. Who knows truly? Who can here declare it? Whence was it born, whence is this emanation? By the emanation of this the gods only later [came to be]. Who then knows whence it has arisen? Whence this emanation has arisen, Whether [God] disposed it, or whether he did not - Only he who is its overseer in highest heaven knows. [He only knows,] or perhaps he does not know!" (Hindu Scriptures, trans. by R. C. Zaehner, London: J. M. Dent., 1966, pp. 11,12).
  310. The peoples of northern Europe, considered barbarians by Mediterranean peoples, had very similar creation myths.
  311. The myths of the Scandinavians are now contained in collections called Eddas, but were only compiled in their present form in the 12th century; their cosmogony is as follows: "According to the Eddas there was once no heaven above nor earth beneath, but only a bottomless deep, and a world of mist in which flowed a fountain...Southward from the world of mist was the world of light. From this flowed a warm wind upon the ice and melted it. The vapors rose in the air and formed the clouds, from which sprang Ymir, the Frost giant and his progeny, and the cow Audhumbla...(Thomas Bullfinch, Bullfinchís Mythology, New York: The Modern Library, n.d.).
  312. From this cow the Norse gods were formed, especially Odin, their chief.
  313. Odin was then able to form the earth from the body of Ymir, and the first humans from trees.
  314. This is crude mythology, and it is fundamentally evolutionistic.
  315. Consider an Apache myth: "In the beginning nothing was here where the world now stands; there was no ground, no earth - nothing but Darkness, Water, Cyclone...Only the Hactcin [personifications of the powers of objects and natural forces] existed...All the Hactcin were here from the beginning." (Morris Edward Opler, Myths and Tales of the Jicarilla Apache Indians, New York: American Folklore Society, 1938, p.1).
  316. These personified natural forces in the Apache lore, the Hactcin, proceeded to form all things one by one: "All the Hactcin were here from the beginning. They had the material out of which everything was created. They made the world first, the underworld, and then they made the sky. They made the Earth in the form of a living woman and called her Mother. They made the Sky in the form of a man and called him Father." (Barbara C. Sproul, Primal Myths: Creating the World: New York: Harper & Row, 1979).
  317. From one of the Mayan tribes of Central America comes this myth, as described by Sproul: "in the beginning, only Tepcu and Gucumatz existed as sun-fire powers in the middles of the dark waters of the void. They thought and spoke together and then, joined in agreement, created the world by command: ĎLet the emptiness be filled!í and it was. The earth rose out of the water, and the gods made all the animals and birds to live on it. But these creatures were flawed in that they could not speak to praise their creators, so the gods set out to make people."
  318. Made out of clay, the first people melted the waters. The second race of people devolved into monkeys. The third attempt succeeded.
  319. Among the islanders of the South Pacific, the Maori of New Zealand are perhaps most significant. Sproul writes: "The Maori envision a gradual evolution of Being-Itself, described as pure thought, first into not-being (the void, chaos, darkness) and then into being (sky and earth, order, light). Like the early Vedic thinkers, they argue that gods evolved with the specific forms of being: as personifications of great powers, they are still dependent on not-being. Being-itself, on the other side of nothingness, is neither deified nor anthropomorphized...Maori creation myths...continued through the evolution of various forms of being to the creation of man."
  320. The Sumerians/Babylonians and the Egyptians are particularly significant because theirs were the first important civilizations.
  321. The Greeks acknowledged that their religious philosophies were largely derived from these two ancient peoples.
  322. Most scholars have noted that the Greek and Roman pantheons bore an essentially one-to-one correspondence not only to each other, but also with those of the Babylonians and Egyptians.
  323. One of the most famous Egyptologists, E. A. Budge, has a discussion of one of the Egyptian papyri that sets this forth: "Be this as it may, our present interest in the papyrus centers in the fact that it contains two copies of the story of Creation which are of the greatest interest...Each copy is entitled, The Book of Knowing the Evolutions of Ra, and of Overthrowing Apepi. The word here rendered by ĎEvolutionsí is kheperu, being derived from the root kheper, which means Ďto make, to fashion, to produce, to form, to becomeí, and in a derived sense Ďto rollí...In the text, the words are placed in the mouth of the God Neber-tcher, the lord of the universe and a form of the Sun-god Ra, who says, ĎI am he who came into being in the form of the god Khepera, and I was the creator of that which came into being...í" (E. A. Budge, The Gods of the Egyptians, vol.1; New York: Dover, 1969, pp. 293,294).
  324. It is interesting that the very word evolution appears in this ancient text used in the same way it is today.
  325. A little later, Budge describes this primordial evolutionary process: "Returning to our narrative we find that the god continues. ĎI came into being from primordial matter, and I appeared under the form of multitudes of things from the beginning. Nothing existed at that time, and it was I who made whatsoever was made...I made all the forms under which I appeared by means (or out of) the god-soul which I raised up out of Nu (i.e., the primeval inactive abyss of water).í" (Budge, p.302).
  326. This strange boast of the sun-god - Ra, Khepera, Nebertcher, or whatever name he would assume - is noteworthy in that he claims to have created himself(!) as well as everything else.
  327. The most famous of the Babylonian cosmogonies discovered by archaeologists is the "Enuma Elish, which assumes that all things have evolved out of water. This description presents the earliest state of the universe as one of watery chaos. The chaos consisted of three intermingled elements: Apsu, Mumnu, who cannot as yet be identified with certainty but may represent cloud banks and mist...Then, three types of water were mingled in a large undefined mass. Then, in the midst of this watery chaos, two gods came into existence - Lahau and Lahamu." (Thorkild Jacobsen, "Enuma Elish - the Babylonian Genesis," in Munitz, Theories of the Universe, p.9).
  328. Sumer was indeed the most ancient civilization going back to the Tower of Babel.
  329. The leading authority on the Sumerians is Dr. Samuel Kramer, who wrote in his book, The Sumerians: "Sumer, the land which came to be known in classical times as Babylonia, consists of the lower half of Mesopotamia, roughly identical with modern Iraq, from north of Baghdad to the Persian Gulf...But the people who inhabited it, the Sumerians...turned Sumer into a veritable Garden of Eden and developed what was probably the first high-civilization in the history of man." (Univ. of Chicago Press, 1963, p.3).
  330. William F. Albright, who has been acclaimed as the greatest archaeologist of the 20th century, said that Kramerís works had made the most important contributions to Sumerology of any scholar of our time.
  331. Albright said: "Virtually every printed synthesis of Sumerian civilization is completely antiquated by Kramerís The Sumerians."
  332. For example, he attributes to those ancient Babylonians the invention of writing: "They originated a system of writing on clay, which was borrowed and used all over the Near East for some two thousand years. Almost all that we know of the early history of western Asia comes from the thousands of clay documents inscribed in the cuneiform script developed by the Sumerians and excavated by archaeologists in the past hundred and twenty-five years." (William F. Albright, "Sumerian Civilization", review of Kramerís book, Science 141, p.624).
  333. Kramer also stressed that most of the important aspects of later civilization originated here: "But the fact is that the land of Sumer witnessed the origin of more than one significant feature of present-day civilization. Be he philosopher or teacher, historian or poet, lawyer or reformer, statesman or politician, architect or sculptor, it is likely that modern man will find his prototype in ancient Sumer." (Kramer, The Sumerians, p.4).
  334. The Sumerians developed a complex mythology with numerous gods and goddesses, angels and demons, which suggests a long preliterate history, and it also strongly indicates that polytheistic idolatry (with its assumed pantheistic substrate) had its beginning in this first Babylonia.
  335. Says Kramer: "On the intellectual level Sumerian thinkers and sages...evolved a cosmology and theology which carried such high conviction that they became the basic creed and dogma of much of the ancient Near East." (Ibid., p.112).
  336. Kramer also noted that the Sumerian cosmogony involved primeval waters, out of which all things evolved: "First, they concluded, there was the primeval sea; the indications are that they looked upon the sea as a kind of first cause and prime mover, and they never asked themselves what preceded the sea in time and space." (Ibid., p.113).
  337. Another very important quasi-religious system that apparently originated in Sumeria was the practice of astrology, along with the other occult "sciences" that usually accompany it.
  338. This practice has always centered around the twelve groups of constellations known as the "signs of the zodiac", each with three "decans", or accompanying constellations, thus making a total of forty-eight key signs.
  339. The annual progress of these signs across the heavens, along the path of the sun (the "ecliptic"), is believed by astrologers to control human lives and destinies, particularly in relation to the concurrent paths of the planets (i.e., the "wandering stars").
  340. This system throughout the ages has been believed and followed by people in many nations throughout the ages and is still believed by millions today.
  341. As absurd as it may seem on the surface, astrology has maintained an amazing hold over the minds of hosts of intelligent people.
  342. The ancients believed the stars were real beings, or at least the habitations thereof, who controlled events on the earth.
  343. "Thus the revolving heavens gave the key, the events of our globe receding into insignificance. Attention was focused on the supernal presences, away from the phenomenal chaos around us. What moved in heaven of its own motion, the planets in their weeks and years, took on ever more awesome dignity. They were the Persons of True Becoming. The zodiac was where things really happened, for the planets, the true inhabitants, knew what they were doing, and mankind was only passive in their behest." (Giorgio de Santillana and Hertha von Dechend, Hamletís Mill: An Essay on Myth and the Frame of Time, Boston: Gambit, 1969, p.60 . The authors were, respectively, professor of the history and philosophy of science at MIT and professor of the history of science at the University of Frankfort, both scholars of highest rank).
  344. Because of the personalities controlling these star motions, along with their pantheistic faith in the unified operation of all components of nature working deterministically together, the ancients invested these star movements with prophetic significance, with the astronomic conditions associated with each personís birth thus foretelling all the later events of his life.
  345. The modern "scientific" mind may think such concepts absurd, but it is even more absurd to think that these profoundly pervasive notions could have arisen by chance and that they are founded on nothing but wishful thinking and wild imagination.
  346. These star signs, with all their strange figures of beasts and giants and monsters in the sky, have been essentially the same in every nation since before the beginning of written history.
  347. Yet the star groupings themselves bear no resemblance whatever to the signs they are supposed to depict.
  348. Furthermore, before the star signs could be used for astrological forecasts, a high precision of astronomical observation and calculation must have been developed and established.
  349. That is, true astronomy must have preceded astrology or at least have developed simultaneously: "It is now known that astrology has provided man with his continuing lingua franca through the centuries. But it is essential to recognize that, in the beginning, astrology presupposed astronomy. Through the interplay of these two heavenly concepts, the common elements of preliterate knowledge were caught up in a bizarre bestiary whose taxonomy has disappeared." (Ibid., p.345).
  350. The learned authors of the treatise from which the above quotations were taken have developed in great detail an elaborate thesis uniting the myths from all parts of the world in one common source - namely, these remarkable signs of the zodiac and their "bizarre bestiary".
  351. In the words of the promotional description on the dust jacket of the 505-page volume: "The trail, pursued necessarily by induction, leads around the world through many lands...It also receded in time until the beginning is reached several millennia ago in Mesopotamia. As innumerable clues emerge and begin to interlock, several conclusions become inescapable. First, all the great myths of the world have a common origin. Next, the geography of myth is not that of the earth. The places referred to in myth are in the heavens and the actions are those of celestial bodies. Myth, in short, was a language for the perpetuation of a vast and complex body of astronomical knowledge".
  352. This evaluation is justified in part, for the authors have certainly demonstrated the worldwide interconnection of myths from every nation and their intimate relationships with astronomy and astrology, especially the constellations and planets associated with the signs of the zodiac.
  353. Furthermore, they all had a common origin in Mesopotamia - indeed in Sumeria - before the development of writing.
  354. These high-ranking scholars added: "In the same way, the strange hologram or archaic cosmology must have existed as a conceived plan, achieved at least in certain minds, even as late as the Sumerian period when writing was still a jealously guarded monopoly of the scribal class."
  355. This cannot tell the whole story, of course, for the authors recognize that the "taxonomy" of the "bizarre bestiary" has been lost to history.
  356. Where did these ancient astronomers ever get the strange idea of denoting certain star groupings as a great lion or scorpion or bull or virgin?
  357. And how could the mythological tales spun around these celestial beasts and heroes ever have been derived from any possible actions of the stars and planets in the heavens?
  358. Indeed, the whole system must somehow, as the authors admit, "have existed as a conceived plan" in certain minds before it was ever published and spread around the world.
  359. Another mystery is just when and how and why such multitudes in every age and clime were persuaded that professional astrologers could use this remarkable system to forecast the future and guide individual lives and the destinies of nations.
  360. And how was it all spread around the world?
  361. Finally, what has all this to do with the ubiquity of evolutionism, for both astrology and evolutionism are closely integrated with pantheism and polytheism.
  362. To answer such questions, however, we have to get back to the origins of Sumeria itself, for all this monstrous system of evolutionary pantheism, idolatry and polytheism, astrology and demonism, began there - all in deadly rebellion against the true God of creation.
  363. But how can we do this, since archaeologists say they donít know where and how these first Babylonians originated ("escapes their notice"), and since there are no written records earlier than cuneiform tablets with their fanciful and immoral mythologies inscribed on the most ancient of them?
  364. Despite all these presumably scientific opinions, however, there is one document that does antedate all these Sumerian tablets and does answer these questions.
  365. That document, of course, is the Bibleís Genesis record, though evolutionists commonly either reject or ignore it.
  366. Since this is the written record of the Creator Himself, their own evolutionary biases require them to use every possible device to escape its clear teachings.
  367. The fact that they reject it, however, is the very reason why we must not do so.
  368. It is always perilous for a Christian believer to try to accommodate any portion of Godís Word to any form of evolutionary theory.
  369. We are confident, with an abundance of sound evidence, that the Bible is divinely inspired, inerrantly true, perspicuous, and authoritative in all matters that it treats, including matters of science and history.
  370. It is no accident that the writer of the last book of the Bible, looking back at its earliest records, ties an end-time player to its beginnings, speaking of "Mystery, Babylon the Great, the Mother of Harlots and Abominations of the Earth" (Rev.17:5).
  371. This is an awesome ascription to apply to Mother Babylon, but it is well justified, for she did indeed give birth to every form of spiritual adultery known to history, as well as every from of idolatry (the implication of "abominations").
  372. The key part of the record of these vital events is written in the tenth and eleventh chapters of Genesis.
  373. Although secular archaeology has not been able to decipher the origins of Sumeria, that earliest Babylon, the Bible "tells us so" (Gen.10:8-12).
  374. This important passage is in the chapter known as the Table of the Nations, the unique document that tabulates the early descendants of the three sons of Noah - Shem, Ham, and Japheth - in the early generations after the great Flood.
  375. Nimrod was the grandson of Noahís youngest son, Ham, and he soon became the first great king of the post-Flood world.
  376. The beginning of Nimrodís kingdom was Babel - undoubtedly the same, or essentially the same, as later Babylon - but he also gained control of several other cities, all of them in the land now known to archaeologists as Sumeria, including part of Assyria and the ancient capital, Nineveh.
  377. "Shinar" is the same as "Sumer".
  378. As to whether or not this text really provides reliable data about the origin of Sumeria and its capitol, Babel, note the informed opinion of that great archaeologist, William F. Albright, who said: "It stands absolutely alone in ancient literature, without remote parallel, even among the Greeks, where we find the closest approach to a distribution of peoples in genealogical framework...The Table of Nations remains an astonishingly accurate document." (William F. Albright, "Recent Discoveries in Bible Lands", appended to Youngís Analytical Concordance to the Bible, 1936 edition).
  379. Many writers have discussed the seventy names recorded in this chapter, tracing the origin of most of the key nations of ancient history.
  380. The one of greatest interest to our own discussion, however, is Nimrod, for it was he who was evidently founder and first king of Sumeria and therefore of Babylon (or Babel).
  381. Nimrodís exploits as an indomitable hunter were notorious, perhaps as a conqueror of the mighty beasts that proliferated for some centuries after the Flood (possibly even dinosaurs, or dragons, as well as others now extinct).
  382. More importantly, he was a tyrannical hunter of men and lands, and all of this grasping for power was "before" (in the sense of "against" or "in the face of") the Lord, rebelling against God and His plans for the post-Flood world.
  383. The name Nimrod (probably meaning "rebel") persisted in various forms long after he was gone.
  384. It is more than possible that he was eventually deified, with his name being gradually changed to Merod-ach, or Marduk, the chief god of the later Babylonians.
  385. On a more mundane level, his name persists to this day in the town of Numrud, near Nineveh, where many of the most important archaeological finds relating to the Sumerians (as well as Akkadians and Assyrians) have been found, and also in the name Birs-Nimrud (or "Tower of Babel"), the name of the remains of a mighty tower in Borsippa, about ten miles south of Babylon.
  386. This brings us to a critical event in history - the building of the Tower of Babel and the resulting divine judgment of the confusion of tongues/languages, as described in Gen.11:1-9.
  387. We need to have that whole record before us: "Now the whole earth used the same language and the same words [that is, one phonology and one vocabulary, the speech of the antediluvians and Adam]. And it came about as they journeyed east, that they found a plain in the land of Shinar [that is, the Mesopotamian plain around the Tigris and Euphrates Rivers, or the land of Sumer] and settled there. And they said to one another, ĎCome, let us make brick and burn them thoroughlyí. And they said, ĎCome, let us build for ourselves a city, and a tower whose top will reach [the words will reach are not in the original] to heaven, and let us make for ourselves a name, lest we be scattered abroad over the face of the whole earth [thus deliberately rejecting Godís command in Gen.9:1,7 to multiply and fill the earth].í And the Lord came down to see the city and the tower which the sons of men had built. And the LORD said, ĎBehold, they are one people, and they all have one language. And this they began to do, and now nothing which they purpose to do will be impossible for them. Come, let Us go down and there confuse their language, so that they will not understand one anotherís speech.í So God scattered them abroad from there over the face of all the earth, and they stopped building the city. Therefore its name was called Babel, because there the LORD confused the language of the whole earth, and from there the LORD scattered them abroad over the face of the whole earth."
  388. This amazing story may sound like a fable to the naturalistic skeptic, but it is a true event of history.
  389. No other explanation can even begin to account for the multitude of different languages on the earth, especially in view of the now universally accepted monophyletic origin of the human race.
  390. It also accounts for the relatively recent origin of writing and civilization, for the confusion of the tongues would have left all tribes without any knowledge of the previous script and vocabulary, and it would take a long time to develop a new one, even for those who might have been highly literate scholars before this judgment.
  391. Furthermore, the subsequent dispersion of each small family group to fend for themselves in a strange environment would necessarily result in a long period of hand-to-mouth survival methods, at least until they could multiply sufficiently and find suitable lands and resources to allow them to begin to develop a real civilized culture.
  392. Even though modern linguists and ethnologists tend to scoff at the Biblical explanation, they are forced again and again to at least resort to its terminology in trying to explain the different languages.
  393. It is common for them to refer to Semitic, Japhetic, and Hamitic language types, for example, using the three-fold division of the nations given in Gen.10.
  394. Three times (once for each group), this account says that the descendants of Noah were divided "into their lands, every one according to his language, according to their families, into their nations" (Gen.10:5,20,31)
  395. Thus, each of the seventy "families" was given its own tongue and its own land, or country, and became a distinct nation: "These are the families of Noah, according to their genealogies, by their nations, and out of these the nations were separated on the earth after the flood" (Gen.10:32).
  396. That this scattering was eventually to apply to the whole earth (though this would take time and further multiplication into still other nations) is evident from Gen.9:18,19: "Now the sons of Noah who came out of the ark were Shem and Ham and Japheth...and from these the whole earth was populated".
  397. Even the name Babel has been used ever since the dispersion to represent confusion and incoherent "babble".
  398. Linguistic scholars have also used the concept in developing their own theories.
  399. A standard text/reference book says, for example: "Leibnitz, at the dawn of the eighteenth century, first advanced the theory that all languages come not from a historically recorded source, but from a proto speech. In some respects he was a precursor of the Italian twentieth century Trombetti, who boldly asserted that the Biblical account of the Tower of Babel is at least figuratively true, and that all languages have a common origin." (Mario Pei, The Story of Language, New York: Lippincott, 1965, p.22).
  400. Although the worldís many thousands of languages and dialects today are vastly different from each other, they are all still human languages.
  401. Since even those most diverse from the European languages (e.g., the tonal and agglutinative languages) still have many points of commonality, it is quite possible, with enough effort, for a person of one language to learn to read and speak any other.
  402. The "deep structure", or "semantic component", of all languages is still the same, even though the "surface structure" and "phonological component" of one may be quite different from the others.
  403. As one scholar explains: "Hence, it is merely the phonological component that has become greatly differentiated during the course of human history, or at least since the construction of the Tower of Babel. The semantic component has remained invariant and is, therefore, the "universal" aspect of the universal grammar, which all natural languages embody. And this presumed constancy through time of the universal grammar cannot be attributable to any cause other than an innate, hereditary aspect of the mind." (Gunther S. Stent, "Limits to the Scientific Understanding of Man", Science 187, March, 1975. Dr Stent is referring to the linguistics terminology of MITís famed linguist, Dr. Noam Chomsky).
  404. The very existence of human language is itself inexplicable except on the basis of special creation, so it may well be impossible also to explain the confusion of tongues on any but a miraculous basis.
  405. "We know a lot about the structure and function of the cells and fibers of the human brain, but we havenít the ghost of an idea about how this extraordinary organ works to produce awareness; the nature of consciousness is a scientific problem, but still an approachable one...we do not understand language itself. Indeed, language we use for discussing the matter is itself becoming incomprehensible." (Lewis Thomas, "On Science and Uncertainty", Discover, 1 Oct., 1980. Dr. Thomas is chancellor of the Sloan Kettering Memorial Cancer Center in New York City. He is a very eminent respected scientist, and has become a proponent of the Gaia Hypothesis that the earth is a living organism!).
  406. There is no clue to be gained in studying the languages of supposedly "primitive" tribes, nor by attempting to decipher the language of extinct tribes.
  407. "The so-called primitive languages can throw no light on language origins, since most of them are actually more complicated in grammar than the tongues spoken by civilized peoples. Human language is absolutely distinct from any system of communication in other animals...it is unlikely that we will ever know just when and how our ancestors began to speak." (Ralph Linton, The Tree of Culture, New York: Alfred A. Knoph, 1955, p.9. Dr. Linton was one of the nationís outstanding cultural anthropologists).
  408. In short, there is no better explanation for the very existence of human language, nor for the existence of so many different languages in humanity of common origin, than that both are miraculous gifts of God for the accomplishment of His purpose in creation.
  409. The confusion of tongues, along with the dispersion of the nations, certainly accounts for the remarkable evidence that all the mythologies of the nations have a common origin, and all the ancient nations had an essentially one-to-one correspondence in their pantheon of gods and goddesses.
  410. It accounts also for the universal practice of astrology and animistic spiritism (ancestor worship).
  411. Finally, it alone explains the universal prevalence of evolutionary pantheism and/or evolutionary atheism, along with the long war between creationism and evolutionism.
  412. The Tower of Babel, along with the city of Babel, was built by Nimrod, or perhaps his father Cush, or perhaps both, essentially in rebellion against God.
  413. Whether or not the Birs-Nimrud represents the ruins of the original Tower - or perhaps the Tower of Babylon described by Herodotus when he visited Babylon during the heyday of its later empire - it seems likely that all Mesopotamian ziggurats (step-pyramids) were patterned after it.
  414. The rebellion at Babel consisted not only of the peoplesí refusal to scatter around the world, as God had instructed, but also of their instituting a new world "religion" in the temple on the top of the Tower.
  415. The Tower had not been designed to "reach into heaven" in the physical sense (this would have been an absurd thing to attempt, as Nimrod and his colleagues well knew), but to reach heaven spiritually, there worshipping and communing with the "host of heaven", and to "make a name" rather than honoring the name of the Creator.
  416. This host of heaven consisted of the sun-god, the moon-god, and the "gods" represented by the various planets (Saturn, Mars, Venus, etc.) as well as the stars.
  417. They actually represented the great host of rebel spirits that have opposed God and His people throughout the ages.
  418. The Sumerian priests were instructed in the secrets of astrology and the other occult sciences, as well as the religion of evolutionary pantheism, whereby the initiates soon "exchanged the truth of God into a lie, and worshipped and served the creature rather than the Creator" (Rom.1:25).
  419. The archaeologist George Smith found an inscription in Babylon that reads in part: "The building of the illustrious tower offended the gods. In a night they threw down what they had built. They scattered them abroad, and made strange their speech." (As cited in Halleyís Handbook, Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1965, p.84).
  420. Although there are other traditions of the confusion of tongues found around the world, for some reason such traditions are not nearly so prevalent as the traditions of the great Flood.
  421. Possibly the different family groups leaving Babel did not really understand what had happened.
  422. They did retain the tradition of the Flood, but otherwise tended to begin their own records with the foundation of their settlements.
  423. It should also be remembered that they had no ability to record these events at Babel, for an unknown but lengthy period of time.
  424. They had lost whatever written language they once may have had and were without it until such time as they could eventually develop their own system.
  425. One thing these ancient peoples did carry with them, however, was the religious system they had been taught at Babel.
  426. The stars were still unchanged in the heavens, so their astrological knowledge was intact.
  427. The names of the stars and their associated deities had to be changed to correspond to their new language, but the stories and their meanings were still the same in all essentials.
  428. Most importantly, the religious mythologies and their pantheistic evolutionary framework were still unchanged, and so were carried around the world to every nation.
  429. Its modern face ranges from Roman Catholicism to evolutionary humanism.
  430. I am indebted to the work of Donald Patten (The Biblical Flood and the Ice Epoch) and Henry M. Morris (The Biblical Flood & The Long War Against God) for the wonderful information incorporated into this analysis.
Creationís Cessation (v.7)

VERSE 7 But by His word the present heavens and earth are being reserved for fire (de.tw/| auvtw/| lo,gw| oi` `nu/n ouvranoi. kai. h` gh /eivsi.n teqhsaurisme,noipuri, [conj., de, but, + def.art.w/instr.m.s., logos, + pro.gen.m.s., autos, "His", + adv., nun, now; "present", + def.art. w/n.m.p., ouranos, heaven, + conj., kai, and, + def.art.w/n.f.s., ge, earth, + pres.act.ind.3.p., eimi, "are", + pf.pass.pt.n.m.p., qhsauri,zw, thesaurizo, store up; "reserved", + dat.nt.s., pur, fire]), kept for the day of judgment and destruction of ungodly men (throu,menoi eivj h`me,ran kri,sewj kai. avpwlei,aj tw/n avsebw/n avnqrw,pwn [pres.pass.pt.n.m.p., tereo, keep, + prep. {eis} w/acc.f.s., hemera, day, + gen.f.s., krisis, judgment, + conj. + gen.f.s., apoleia, destruction, + def.art.w/adj., asebes, ungodly, profane, w/gen.m.p., anthropos]).

ANALYSIS: VERSE 7

  1. This verse should be entitled "Creationís Preservation".
  2. In vv.5,6 we have creationís past.
  3. In this verse we have creation from the Flood to the end of history.
  4. In the above verses the omnipotent "word of God" brought to pass original creation, dry land on D+3 of restoration, and the great Flood.
  5. Here the emphasis is upon Godís active preservation of His creation.
  6. The agent of preservation is said to be "by His word".
  7. The object is the universe, as indicated by the words "the present heavens and earth".
  8. The adverb "present" is nu/n, meaning "now".
  9. The "now" universe is being "reserved" for a destiny, or rendezvous.
  10. The perfect passive participle, "being reserved", is qhsauri,zw (8X: Mt.6:19,20, "store up"; Lk.12:21; Rom.2:5; 1Cor.16:2; 2Cor.12:14; Jam.5:3; 2Pet.3:7) and means to "lay up, store up".
  11. God, who by the Word of His power brought the earth and the universe into existence and who has guided it through the six days of restoration and the universal flood, continues by that same all-powerful word to preserve the universe for its final destiny.
  12. That final destiny "is being reserved (as in Ďset asideí) for fire".
  13. More on that in v.10.
  14. The "prophetic word" tells us what and when the end will be; we are not left to speculation.
  15. In the meantime, the present heavens and earth (universe) are being "kept", or "watched over".
  16. The second participle (pres.pass.), "kept", is from the verb thre,w- "to guard", "to preserve", or "to keep".
  17. Within the doctrine of creation is the Biblical affirmation that the Creator is actively sustaining His works, via His invisible power over the laws/rules of nature (Col.1:17 "He [Christ] is before all things, and in Him all things hold together."; Heb.1:3 "And He [Christ]...upholds all things by the word of His power").
  18. Note the parallel between "by His word" of 2Pet.3:6 and "by the word of His power" of Heb.1:3.
  19. Nothing untoward will happen to our planet that will undermine Godís eternal purposes for mankind.
  20. Dramatic events occasionally rock the planet (the flood, the judgments of the Tribulation), but the dependant earth will continue forward to her final destiny.
  21. The planet is, and has been, ever since original creation (Gen.1:1) "kept for the day of judgment".
  22. "The day of judgment" is a reference to the Great White Throne Judgment of Rev.20:11-15.
  23. This expression is also found in these verses: Mt.10:15; 11:22,24; 12:36; Rom.2:5; 2Pet.2:9; Jude.6.
  24. It occurs one other time in reference to the Bema Seat (1Jn.4:17).
  25. The words "destruction of ungodly men" refer to the specific targets of the final judgment - unbelievers.
  26. This judgment, as it turns out, takes place immediately after the dissolution of the universe (Rev.20:11 "Then I saw a great white throne and Him who sat upon it [Jesus Christ the Creator], from whose presence earth and heaven fled away, and no place was found for them [ex nihilo in reverse!]").
  27. All of this occurs after the 1,000 years, or the Millennium (Rev.20:7; cp. v.11).
  28. "Ungodly men" is used here and elsewhere for unbelievers (cp. Rom.4:5; 5:6; 1Tim.1:9; 1Pet.4:18; 2Pet.2:5,6; Jude.4,14,11,18).
  29. The expressions Peter employs in this verse are theologically specific.
The Duration of History (v.8)

VERSE 8 But do not let this one fact escape your notice, beloved (}En de. tou/to mh. lanqane,tw u`ma/j( avgaphtoi, [adj./card.n.nt.s., heis, one, + conj., de, but, + pro./demonstr.n.nt.s., houtos, this, + neg.w/pres.act.imper.3.s., lanqa,nw, lanthano, escape notice; as in v.5, + pro.acc.p., su "your", + voc.m.p., agapetos]), that with the Lord one day is like a thousand years (o[tipara. kuri,w |mi,a h`me,ra w`j ci,lia e;th [conj., causal, that, + prep. {para} w/dat.m.s., kurios, + adj./card.n.f.s., mia, one, + n.f.s., hemera, day, + conj., hos, as, + adj./card.n.nt.p., ci,lioi, chilioi, a thousand, + n.nt.p., e[toj, etos, year]), and a thousand years like one day(kai. ci,lia e;th w`j h`me,ra mi,a [conj. + adj./card.n.nt.p., chilioi, thousand, + n.nt.p., etos, year, + conj., hos, as, + n.f.s., hemera, day, + adj./card.n.f.s., mia, one]).

ANALYSIS: VERSE 8

  1. Peter now turns his attention to the beleaguered and faithful.
  2. Although the skeptics remain willfully ignorant, at least his beloved listeners need not miss important truth that will aid them in the long delay of the Parousia of Christ.
  3. In this verse he provides them with ammunition to meet the scoffersí scorn at the Parousiaís delay.
  4. This verse is aimed pointedly at his listeners - the "beloved" of God and their apostle.
  5. To underscore the importance of the teaching at hand, Peter uses the same expression found in v.5, but here in the form of an exhortation.
  6. He exhorts them "not to let this one fact escape your notice".
  7. The verb "escape your notice" (pres.act.imper.3.s.w/pro.) occurs 6X in the N.T. (Mk.7:24; Lk.8:47; Acts.26:26; Heb.13:2; 2Pet.3:5,8).
  8. The verb (lanqa,nw) means to "be hidden", or "escape notice".
  9. The "one" thing is actually two things, much like the two sides of a coin.
  10. The words "with the Lord" indicate the divine perspective.
  11. Peter quotes (or paraphrases) Ps.90:4, which reads: "For a thousand years in Your sight are like yesterday when it passes by, or as a watch in the night".
  12. What man regards as a long time is like a mere day, or even much less (as in "a watch in the night") in the divine reckoning of time.
  13. Peter has been accused of "copping-out" and getting out of the difficult fact of the Parousiaís long delay.
  14. On the contrary, he is asserting Godís transcendence over time.
  15. The delay may seem long to us time-bound creatures, but in Godís eternal perspective it seems as nothing.
  16. God sees time, with a perspective and intensity we lack, against the background of eternity.
  17. Time is Godís creation, to which He is not bound.
  18. He has bidden us to watch, pray, and apply.
  19. Psalm 90 is devoted to the brevity of life.
  20. This psalm contrasts the eternity of God with the brevity of life.
  21. Because God stands outside time, He is able to know all things with respect to what we call the future (Isa.46:10 "Declaring the end from the beginning, and from ancient times things that are not yet done, saying, ĎMy counsel shall stand, and I will do all My pleasureí").
  22. Time is Godís creation, and so He is not time-bound, but we are.
  23. His perfect attributes transcend time, space, and matter.
  24. Time is His slave, not vice versa.
  25. But what are we to make of the reverse statement: "a thousand years like one day"?
  26. Is this simply a rhetorical device - a tautology designed to stress the fact of Godís timelessness?
  27. Taken literally, the second expression seems to say the exact opposite.
  28. In other words, the two statements applied to the same thing appear contradictory.
  29. How can it be both ways unless the second statement refers to something related but different?
  30. Both statements deal with the passing of time.
  31. The intertestamental books Jubilees (4:30) and 2Enoch (33:33) take an approach that has been followed by interpreters over the course of the Church Age (Barnabas [Ep. 15:4] and Irenaeus [A.H. 5:23:2 and 5:28:3]).
  32. This view holds that the course of human history from Adam to the end of the Millennium will encompass 7,000 years, corresponding to the seven days of the week that has been followed since the beginning of recorded history.
  33. As God worked for six days to restore the earth and rested on the seventh day, so there would be six millennia of human dominion followed by the 1,000-year reign of Christ.
  34. It is of interest to note that the Age of Christ is associated with "rest" in accordance with the weekly Sabbath (Jer.50:34).
  35. The Sabbath is a fitting type of the 1,000 years or the seventh millennium.
  36. This day/millennium metaphor is the only way to make sense of Hos.6:2: "He will revive us after two days, He will raise us up on the third day, that we may live before Him".
  37. The two days would cover the period from the destruction of Jerusalem to the Second Advent, the Millennium being the third day.
  38. This view has met with extreme antagonism, and in particular by those who say that all attempts to date the coming of Christ are in violation of Scripture.
  39. The knee-jerk reaction of many is to quote the words of Jesus, "no man knows the day or the hour", of Mk.13:32.
  40. If true, this interpretation constitutes one more line of evidence that we are now in the Rapture generation.
  41. The other is the doctrine of the Fig Tree, based on Mt.24:32.
  42. Those who are especially hostile to any dating, even an approximation, fail to realize that the First Advent was set by prophetic dating as per the doctrine of Danielís 70 Weeks.
  43. The Flood and the Exodus from Egypt were pre-dated as well.
  44. The "canít-know" position is often a reactionary position based on those who, through the ages, have set dates and been wrong.
  45. This interpretation will soon meet the test of time as we are clearly quite late into the sixth millenium of manís history.
  46. This conclusion is arrived at by the strict and literal interpretation of the Genesis genealogies (Gen.5 and 11 - the ten generations from Shem to Abraham).
  47. Bishop Ussherís (1581-1656) chronology had the creation at 4004BC, which is far closer to actual fact than most other attempts.
  48. This verse is designed to stabilize believers in the face of the scoffings of scoffers.
  49. It speaks against the endless ages of uniformitarians, ancient and modern.
The Reason for the Delay (v.9)

VERSE 9 The Lord is not slow about His promise, as some count slowness (ouv bradu,nei ku,rioj th/j evpaggeli,aj( w[j tinej bradu,thta h`gou/ntai [neg., ou, + pres.act.ind.3.s., bradu,nw, braduno, delay, be slow about; 2X: 1Tim.3:15, + n.m.s., kurios, + def.art.w/gen.f.s., epaggleia, promise, + conj., hos, + pro./indef.n.m.p., tis, "some", + acc.f.s., bradu,thj, bradutes, slowness; 1X, + pres.dep.ind.3.p., hegeomai, consider]), but is patient toward you (avlla. makroqumei/ eivj u`ma/j [conj., alla, but, + pres.act.ind.3.s., makroqume,w, markothumeo, be patient, + prep {eis} w/pro.acc.p., su]), not wishing for any to perish (mh. boulo,meno,j tinaj avpole,sqai [neg., me, + pres.dep.pt.n.m.s., bou,lomai, boulomai, want, wish, + pro./indef.acc.m.p., tis, any, + aor.mid.infin., apollumi, perish]) but for all to come to repentance(avlla. pa,ntaj eivj meta,noian cwrh/sai [conj., alla, + adj.n.m.p., pas, all, + prep. {eis} w/acc.f.s., metanoia, repentance + aor.act.infin., cwre,w, choreo, make room for; make progress; "to come"; 7X: Mt.15:17; 19:11,12; Mk.2:2; Jn.2:6; 8:37; 21:25; 2Cor.7:2; 2Pet.3:9]).

ANALYSIS: VERSE 9

  1. This verse presents yet another important consideration that helps to overcome impatience.
  2. Peterís third refutation of the scoffers is drawn from the nature of God.
  3. It is not tardiness, but patience that is one of the reasons why the Parousia is delayed.
  4. The door is held open to all and especially to those whom God foreknew and predestined to eternal life.
  5. They include the numbers that will make up the body of Christ as well as the Tribulational saints.
  6. Not impotence, but mercy is the reason specified in this verse.
  7. First Peter 3:20 speaks of the patience of God in relation to the great flood.
  8. Here it is in relationship to the Second Advent.
  9. "His promise" is a reference to Christís coming, the same as in v.4.
  10. Peter asserts that "the Lord is not slow", or "does not delay", the blessed event as men often "consider slowness", but instead "is patient".
  11. There is a common human tendency to procrastinate, but such a character flaw is not a part of Godís character.
  12. If Godís promise (any promise) is slow in fruition, there is a bona fide reason for the delay.
  13. Peter personalizes the patience of God when he adds "toward you".
  14. The readers can be thankful that the Parousia was delayed, as they had opportunity to be incorporated into the POG.
  15. And so the Rapture is delayed so that we who are saved can prepare ourselves for the Bema Seat of Christ to which we all must appear.
  16. Godís patience is toward the Royal Family so that all who were elected can be called and justified, and so that those who are positive can make the most of the time and secure the prize.
  17. Obviously, there will come a point in which His patience will run out and we will all face judgment in His presence.
  18. Furthermore, God does not wish or desire that any person perish but that all men come to a change of mind.
  19. Hell was created for Satan and his angels (Mt.25:41).
  20. The way of salvation is provided for all, as Christ died for all.
  21. God does not desire any to perish but for all to come to repentance (1Tim.2:4).
  22. The vast majority do perish (Mt.7:13-14), but not due to any indifference within the divine character.
  23. The reason men perish is related to the divine institution of volition.
  24. The "all" of v.9 refers to all humanity.
  25. God is ready to show mercy to all (Rom.11:32).
  26. God takes no pleasure in the death of the wicked, but rather waits for the wicked to turn from his ways and live (Ezek.18:23, 32).
  27. The plain meaning is that although God desires all men to be saved, and although He has made provision for all to be accepted (Doc. of Unlimited Atonement), most will exercise their God-given free will to reject God.
  28. And this He cannot prevent unless He is to override the very freedom of choice that marks us as men created in the image of God.
  29. Most will perish, but this is not because God has decreed it so.
  30. He has only decreed the punishment for all who remain in unbelief.
Fission and the Fiery End (v.10)

VERSE 10 But the day of the Lord will come like a thief ({Hxei de. h`me,ra kuri,ou w`j kle,pthj [fut.act.ind.3.s., h[kw, heko, to come, arrive {persons}; to happen {events}; "will come", + conj., de, but, + n.f.s., hemera, day, + gen.m.s., kurios, + conj., hos, as, + n.m.s., kleptes, thief]), in which the heavens will pass away with a roar (evn h-| oi` ouvranoi. r`oizhdo.n pareleu,sontai [prep. {en} w/pro./rel.loc.f.s., hos, + def.art.w/n.m.p., ouranos, heaven, + adv., hroizhdon, of a noise indicating sudden and violent movement; 1X; "with a roar", + fut.dep.ind.3.p., pare,rcomai, parerchomai, pass by; pass away]) and the elements will be destroyed with intense heat (stoicei/a de. kausou,mena luqh,setai [n.nt.p., stoicei/on, stoicheion, first principle/rudiment/fundamental/element; what belongs to a basic series in any field of knowledge; in geometry, the axioms; in philosophy, the givens; used of the legalistic element common to all religion: Gal.4:3,9; of the ABCís of Christianity, Heb.5:12; here of the elements in the periodic table; "elements", + conj., de, and, + pres.pass.pt.n.nt.p., kauso,w, kausoo, be consumed by heat; also at 3:12, + fut.pass.ind.3.s., lu,w, luo, loose, set free, release]) and the earth and its works will be burned up (conj. + n.f.s., ge, earth, + conj. + def.art. w/n.nt.p., ergon, work, + prep. {en} w/pro.loc.f.s., autos, "in it", + fut.pass.ind.3.s., euvri,skw, eurisko, find; but there is the reading: katakaiw, to burn up; "burned up"]).

ANALYSIS: VERSE 10

  1. Although the Lordís return is delayed in Godís patience and prophetic time schedule, both are not inexhaustible.
  2. The Day will come.
  3. The expression "day of the Lord" refers not to a single day, but to an extended period of time.
  4. It officially begins with the Rapture and onset of the 7-year Tribulation (1Thess.5:1-9; 2Thess.2:1-12; esp. v.2; 1Cor.5:5).
  5. It officially ends with the dissolution of the universe and the Great White Throne Judgment (2Pet.3:10).
  6. In between the Rapture and the Dissolution are the Tribulation, Second Advent, Millennium, the Gog and Magog revolution, and the final incarceration of Satan in the LOF.
  7. The period is just over 1,000 years in duration.
  8. Immediately following the "day of the Lord" is the "day of God", or the eternal state (cf. v.12).
  9. The "day of the Lord" will come upon mankind "as a thief in the night" - that is, with the surprise of a nocturnal robbery.
  10. This motif is found in 1Thess.5:2,4; Rev.16:15 (Rev.3:3).
  11. The idea is that people will lose unexpectedly those things that are dear to them, including their immortal souls in the Tribulation.
  12. Many will happily turn to the Lord even though they will suffer great loss in the physical realm.
  13. The words "in which" (prep.w/rel.pro.loc.f.s.) refer back to the "day of the Lord".
  14. It is during this designated era that the heavens and the earth will be done away with.
  15. Actually, it is just before the terminus ad quem (finishing time of something) of the era, which is the Great White Throne Judgment (see Rev.20:11).
  16. The terminus ad quo is the starting point of the era - the Rapture.
  17. The grand finale includes the dissolution of the universe (heavens and earth).
  18. This is clear from Rev.20:11.
  19. Immediately after this event is the Great White Throne Judgment of Rev.20:11-15 - the terminus ad quem.
  20. The end of the original creation of Gen.1:1 will be with a "big bang" associated with "intense heat".
  21. The starry "heavens will pass away with a roar".
  22. The verb "will pass away" (parerchomai) means to cease to exist (cf. Mt.5:18; 24:34,35; Lk.16:17; 2Cor.5:17; Jam.1:10).
  23. The atoms which form the various "elements will be destroyed".
  24. The "earth" itself and all of its "works", made up of these same elements, "will be burned" in a nuclear event/holocaust.
  25. Manís works and Godís works will pass from the scene in a sort of reverse ex nihilo.
  26. Manís works refer to human culture, civilization, art, and technology.
  27. The gleaming products of Millennial civilization will be no more.
  28. This includes the works of natureís God as well.
  29. The exceptions will be all humanity in their resurrection bodies, along with the angels.
  30. The LOF will not disappear, as it is the final abode of the fallen angels and unregenerate humanity.
  31. The doctrine is also in Ps.102:25,26, Isa.34:4, and Mt.24:35; Lk.21:33 (cp. Mt.13:31).
Present Conduct Based on Future Fact (v.11)

VERSE 11 Since all these things are to be destroyed in this way (tou,twn ou[twj pa,ntwn luome,nwn [pro./demon.gen.nt.p., houtos, this; "these things", + adv., houtos, in this manner, + adj.gen.nt.p., pas, all, + pres.pass.pt.gen.nt.p., luo, loose; of breaking something down into its component parts, hence "destroy", or "tear down"]), what sort of people ought you to be in holy conduct and godliness(potapou.j dei/ u`pa,rcein Îu`ma/jÐ evn a`gi,aij avnastrofai/j kai. euvsebei,aij [adj.acc.m.p., potapo,j, potapos, of what sort or kind; here as a substantive, what sort of people, + pres.act.ind.3.s., dei, impersonal verb from de,w, to bind; here of compulsion, as in "one ought/one should", + pres.act.infin., u`pa,rcw, huarcho, exist, be present; "to be", + prep. {en} w/adj.loc.f.p., hagios, holy, + loc.f.p., avnastrofh,, anastrophe, behavior; of the 13X in the N.T., it occurs 8X in Peterís letters: 1Pet.1:15,18; 2:12; 3:1,2,16; 2Pet.2:7,11, + conj., kai, + loc.f.p., euvse,beia, eusebeia, devotion, godliness; used of a particular manner of life; of the 15X it occurs, it occurs in Peterís letters at 2Pet.1:3,6,7; 3:11; and only here in the N.T. in the plural]),

ANALYSIS: VERSE 11

  1. As always in the N.T., the moral/spiritual imperative follows the prophetic reality.
  2. The fact of the coming day of the Lord should inspire believers to a godly life (cf. 1Jn.2:28).
  3. There is a link between future hope and conduct.
  4. Inscriptions from pagan tombs illustrate what happens when men reject God and His revelation (see pt. 5).
  5. When the material world is the end-all and be-all of existence, there is no recourse but hedonism: "I was nothing; I am nothing; so you who are still alive, eat, drink, and be merry"; and despair: "Charidas, what is below?" "Deep darkness." "But what of the paths upward?" "All a lie"..."Then we are lost"; and apathy: "Once I had no existence, now I have none. I am not aware of it. It does not concern me."
  6. Without the truth of Christís return Ė that life has meaning, purpose, and definition Ė there is nothing left to live for.
  7. "Therefore" draws an all-important practical application from the prophetic reality of the dissolution of the present creation.
  8. "Since" is an adverb which draws our attention to the "things" targeted for extinction by fire.
  9. "These things" refers back to v.10, and includes the earth and its works and the solar system and the vast galaxies, which in a moment of time will be swept out of existence by the very power that first brought them into being and has for these centuries preserved them for their utter and dramatic end.
  10. All elements (periodic chart) which make up the physical universe will be dissolved by heat and will utterly melt away, to be found no more (Rev.20:11).
  11. It is a picture that corresponds to modern theories of the end of the universe.
  12. The verb "will be dissolved" is the present passive participle from lu,w (luo, to loose, untie, set free) and refers to the relaxation of the nuclear bond that holds atoms together.
  13. This is how "the elements" of v.10 "will be destroyed by intense heat".
  14. This sobering prospect should cause us to pause and take stock of our behavior during our short stay on the earth.
  15. We as positive believers should not build our hope, security, and happiness upon the things that are seen, but rather the things that are unseen as related to the new creation.
  16. Peter uses two expressions related to Ph2 in a unique construction, as both occur only here in the plural in the N.T. ("holy behaviors and pieties").
  17. The first obligation ("ought"\dei/, from the root "to bind", followed by the present infinitive u`pa,rcw, huparcho, exist, be present) incumbent upon believers is "holy conduct/behavior".
  18. Peter likes this noun (anastrophe, behavior, w/adj., "holy"), using it 8X (out of a total of 13X) in his two letters (1Pet.1:15,16; 2:12; 3:1,2,16; 2Pet.2:7; 3:11).
  19. Christian conduct should be characterized by righteousness, hence the qualifying adjective "holy".
  20. Our positional sanctification is that of +R imputed, and our ultimate destiny is that of +R, so it follows that all our conduct should mimic the divine nature: that is, to be holy as God is holy (1Pet.1:15,16).
  21. This can only be attained where there is awareness of the commandments and imperatives of Scripture.
  22. Our behavior should not be predicated upon STA lusts (which, by the way, "are passing away") but upon the IHS (guide) and resident Bible doctrine ("mind of Christ").
  23. How we handle ourselves at any given moment or situation determines the degree of our Ph3 glory and approbation.
  24. We are to isolate our "former conduct" as patterned after our "old self" (Eph.4:22).
  25. Our conduct is, in effect, our witness before the cosmos (1Pet.2:12; 3:16).
  26. There is a conduct specified for specific niches (e.g., a Sarahís daughter, 1Pet.3:1,2; a Pastor-Teacher, 1Tim.4:12).
  27. There is conduct which God is opposed to and will expose and shut down (e.g., "sensual conduct", 2Pet.2:7).
  28. The second experiential term, "godliness" (15X for the noun), has the connotation of devotion to deity.
  29. It too relates to a code of conduct.
  30. Here in the plural (eusebeia) it refers to specific acts of devotion to God.
  31. Assembly, prayer, application under ones gift(s), forgiveness, the law of love, giving, praise, faith, support of parents in need (1Tim.5:4), etc., are in view.
  32. Godliness holds promise for time and eternity (1Tim.4:8).
  33. Sound doctrine conforms us to godliness versus the pseudo godliness of legalism and monetary greed (1Tim.6:3,5; 2Tim.3:5; Ti.1:1).
  34. Godliness, when accompanied with contentment, is the way to "great gain" (1Tim.6:6).
  35. We are to continually grow in this virtue (2Pet.1:3).
Anticipation in View of the Dissolution (v.12)

VERSE 12 looking for and hastening the coming of the day of God (prosdokw/ntaj kai. speu,dontaj th.n parousi,an th/j tou/ qeou/ h`me,raj [pres.act.pt.acc.m.p., prosdoka,w, prosdokao, anticipate, wait for, expect; cp. Mt.11:3; 24:50; also at vv.13,14, + conj., kai, + pres.act.pt.acc.m.p., speu,dw, speudo, hurry; urge on; be eager for; 6X: Lk.2:16; 19:5,6; Acts.20:16,18; 2Pet.3:12, + def.art.w/acc.f.s., parousia, coming, + def.art.w/gen.f.s., hemera, day, + def.art.w/gen.m.s., theos]), on account of which the heavens will be destroyed by burning (diV h]n ouvranoi. purou,menoi luqh,sontai [prep. {dia} w/pro./rel.acc.f.s., hos, + n.m.p., ouranos, heaven, + pres.pass.tp.n.m.p., puro,w, puroo, be burned up; "by burning", + fut.pass.ind.3.p., luo, loose, set free; destroy; cf. vv.10,11]), and the elements will melt with intense heat (kai. stoicei/a kausou,mena th,ketai [conj. + n.nt.p., stoicheion, element or principle; cf. v.10, + pres.pass.pt.n.nt.p., kauso,w, kausoo, be intensely hot; "with intense heat"; 1X, + pres.pass.ind.3.s., th,kw, teko, melt {down}; 1X])!

ANALYSIS: VERSE 12

  1. Believers living at any time are to long for the Lordís return (Gal.5:5; 1Cor.1:7; Phil.3:20; Heb.9:28).
  2. Peterís term "looking for" (pres.act.pt., prosdoka,w, prosdokao, look for, expect) occurs 3X in vv.12-14.
  3. It also occurs in the gospels with respect to anticipation (Mt.11:3 [of the First Advent]; Lk.3:15; 7:19,20 [of erroneous perception]).
  4. The specific object here is not the Lordís return, but rather the eternal state with its new creation.
  5. This prophetic reality constitutes a part of our Ph3 hope (Rom.5:2).
  6. We hope for a variety of things promised us as children of God.
  7. Another example is the resurrection body (2Cor.5:2).
  8. Not only are informed adjusted believers in anticipation of their final destiny, they want it to happen as soon as possible.
  9. The second term, translated "hastening" (pres.act.pt., speu,dw, speudo, hurry; urge on, be eager for), is misleading.
  10. Various commentators envisage some conduct on the part of believers that can actually hasten on or hurry up the promise.
  11. They connect this understanding of the second participle to v.8 that teaches that the Parousia is held up because God desires a certain number to be saved.
  12. Their reasoning is that if believers are more aggressive in their witnessing, the results will come in faster and so will the Parousia.
  13. This understanding violates, among other things, the doctrine of volition.
  14. This view is patently stupid.
  15. If anything, the return of Christ is tied to an increase in evil!
  16. The second participle should be understood in the sense of "earnestly desiring", or something equivalent.
  17. The normal usage of this verb in the N.T. is to urge on or hurry up something (Lk.2:16; 19:5,6; Acts.20:16; 22:18).
  18. Linguistically the translation "earnestly desiring" has precedence (LXX of Isa.16:5 - "earnestly desiring justice"; cf. Herodotus, Hist. i. 38; Thucydides, Hist. v. 16. I) and yields an acceptable sense.
  19. "Earnestly desiring" is how the AV and the RV correctly render this participle.
  20. God has a fixed time schedule for all the prophetic events, and the behavior of believers cannot hurry anything up (cf. Acts.17:31).
  21. The object of the two participles of anticipation is "the coming of the day of God", which is defined in this verse and the next as the eternal state.
  22. This exact expression only occurs here in the Bible.
  23. Its closest counterpart is "the great day of God" in Rev.16:14, but there the reference is to the battle of Armageddon.
  24. However, the expression "day of eternity" in v.18 is a synonym for "the coming day of God" of v.12.
  25. So here the Parousia (th.n parousi,an) is not in reference to the Rapture or the Second Advent, but to the Eternal State, which is ushered in by the New Creation.
  26. The other expression the "day of the Lord" (cf. v.10) refers to everything from the Rapture through the Great White Throne Judgment.
  27. The "day of God" begins with the New Creation.
  28. The prepositional phrase "on account of which" (diV h]n) points to the transitional phase between original creation and the new creation.
  29. Obviously, the first creation must be done away with to make place for the second and final creation (cf. Rev.21:1).
  30. The present "heavens will be destroyed (same vb. as in vv.10,11, luo, to release; to destroy) by burning (pres.act.pt.n.m.p., puro,w , puroo, be burned up) and the elements will melt (hapax of pres.act.ind.3.s., th,kw, teko, melt down) with intense heat (same vb. as in v. 10, kauso,w,, kausoo, be consumed by intense heat)".
  31. Again, the implication of the phrase "on account of", or "because of", is that the universal conflagration and dissolution of creation makes it possible to advance to the next and final stage of Godís eternal plan, referred to here as "the day of God".
  32. Until the New Creation happens, we are still in "the day of the Lord".
Beyond the Dissolution - The New Creation (v.13)

VERSE 13 But according to His promise (de. kata. to. evpa,ggelma auvtou/ [ conj., de, but, + prep. {kata} w/def.art.w/acc.nt.s., epaggelma,, promise; 2X: 2Pet.1:4, + pro.gen.m.s., autos, self; his]) we are looking for new heavens and a new earth (prosdokw/menkainou.j de. ouvranou.j kai. gh/n kainh.n [pres.act.ind.3.p., prosdokao, wait for, expect; cp. vv.12,14, + adj.acc.m.p., kainos, new {as in, unheard of}, + acc.m.p., ouranos, heaven, + conj., kai, + acc.f.s., ge, earth, + adj.acc.f.s., kainos, new {repeated}]), in which righteousness dwells (evn oi-j dikaiosu,nh katoikei/ [prep. {en} w/pro./rel./loc.m.p., hos, + n.f.s., dikaiosune, righteousness, + pres.act.ind.3.s., katoike,w, katoikeo, dwell]).

ANALYSIS: VERSE 13

  1. Once more Peter returns to the O.T. for his presentation of the believerís hope.
  2. He is true to his own teaching that the "prophetic word" is a totally reliable guide (2Pet.1:19) and looks forward to the fulfillment of Godís ancient promise.
  3. Sin, which has marred Godís world, will not be permitted to have the final word.
  4. In a renewed universe the ravages of angelic and human rebellion will be replaced by the glory of the new and final order.
  5. Paradise Lost will be Paradise Regained, and Godís will shall be done without spot or blemish as it is in heaven.
  6. Peter quotes Isa.65:17 and 66:22, which is, as Peter calls it, "His promise" (cf. Isa.60:19,20).
  7. Peter uses the neuter form of the noun (evpa,ggelma) here and in 2Pet.1:4 (pl.).
  8. Otherwise, he uses the standard feminine form (evpaggeli,a) in 2Pet.3:4,9 in reference to the Parousia.
  9. This promise is a part of the prophetic hope of believing Jews and Church Age saints alike.
  10. Peter knew little more on this promise than did the O.T. prophets.
  11. We have no means whatever of conceiving what a resurrection body or a new creation will be like.
  12. We do know that it will be a tangible, physical universe.
  13. We know that it will be new in character, as the adjective kaino,j carries the connotation of new in character (versus neo,j, which means new in terms of age, as in new shoes).
  14. The new creation will not be subject to decay or entropy.
  15. Morally and spiritually all believers will be as the angels of God.
  16. The phrase "in which righteousness dwells" indicates absolute righteousness, the kind God possesses.
  17. This is the implicit, if not explicit, meaning of Rev.21:8 and 15.
  18. Perfect love will also characterize the experience of the believer in Ph3 (1Cor.13:13; cp. v.8).
  19. Revelation chapters 21 and 22 provide physical details regarding the New Jerusalem.
  20. All believers of the CA and the Age of Israel will dwell in the New City (Rev.21:12,14).
  21. Time will be no more, there will be a complete absence of the negative former things, and there will be endless day (Rev.21:4, 23).
  22. Based on calculations based on the cityís dimensions, 20 billion people could be accommodated spaciously (Ryrie footnote on vv.16,17).
  23. God, who cannot lie or exaggerate, has promised these things.
  24. Heaven, with the throne of God, will be on earth, completely foiling Satanís arrogant 5-fold boast in Isa.14:13,14.
Closing Admonitions (vv.14-18)

Ph2 Implications of Last Things (v.14)

VERSE 14 Therefore, beloved, since you look for these things (Dio,( avgaphtoi,( tau/ta prosdokw/ntej [conj., dio, therefore, + voc.m.p., agapetos, beloved, + pro./demonstr.acc.nt.p., houtos, this; "these things", + pres.act.pt.n.m.p., prosdokao, wait for, expect, anticipate; cp. vv.12,13]), be diligent to be found by Him in peace, spotless and blameless (spouda,sate eu`reqh/nai auvtw/ evn eivrh,nh| a;spiloi kai. avmw,mhtoi [aor.act.imper.2.p., spouda,zw, spoudazo, be diligent; cp. 2Pet.1:10,15, + aor.pass.infin., heurisko, find, + pro.loc.m.s., autos; "in Him", + prep. {en} w/loc.f.s., eirene, peace, + adj.n.m.p., a]spiloj, haspilos, spotless; 4X: 1Tim.6:14; Jam.1:27; 1Pet.1:19; 2Pet.3:14, + conj. + adj.n.m.p., avmw,mhto, amometos, blameless, without reproach; 1X]),

ANALYSIS: VERSE 14

  1. In this brief concluding section (the inferential particle dio, i.e., "therefore", and the repeated "beloved" mark a transition to a new paragraph) Peter reiterates the need, in view of the prophetic realities, for an irreprehensible Ph2.
  2. Because only righteousness will prevail in the New Creation, it is imperative that believers live righteously.
  3. The present world and its lusts are passing away, therefore we should live not in accordance with the present darkness, but according to that which compliments and enhances our eternal niche (1Jn.2:8,17).
  4. The look of hope should produce a corresponding life of harmony with the divine character.
  5. "Beloved" is both how God views them (Rom.1:7; Eph.5:1; Col.3:12) and how their apostle views them (1Cor.4:14,17; 10:14).
  6. The term is also used as a title for Jesus Christ (Eph.1:6).
  7. This expression of endearment is also found in 1Pet.2:11; 4:12; 2Pet.1:17; 3:1,8,14,15,17.
  8. Peter does not resort to sloppy emotionalism; the recipients are worthy of his affections.
  9. His affections are genuine and heart-felt, as they all are active participants in "the good fight".
  10. The words "since you look for these things" (causal participle) supplies the basis for the exhortation to diligence that follows.
  11. The verb "look for" (prosdokao) occurs 3X in three successive verses (vv.12-14).
  12. Outside the Gospels and Acts (19X), it only occurs here in the epistles.
  13. Jesus used it in connection with prophetic watching (Lk.12:46)
  14. It means to wait for, expect, look for, anticipate something.
  15. "These things" refers to the particulars of prophetic revelation.
  16. Peterís letter was not so much intended to inform them as to remind them (2Pet.1:12-21).
  17. Peter exhorts them to diligence (aor.imper., spoudazo) with respect to Ph2.
  18. The verb occurs also in 2Pet.1:10,15.
  19. The noun diligence (spoude) occurs in 2Pet.1:5 with the hapax pareisphero (try very hard, bring into play), describing what our approach should be with respect to the seven virtues that, if cultivated, will guarantee a successful Ph2.
  20. The aorist infinitive "to be found" (heurisko) is temporal, and its action is subsequent to the main verb "be diligent".
  21. "By Him" is a reference to the Lord Jesus Christ, before whom all believers must appear at the Rapture.
  22. "In peace" (evn eivrh,nh|) refers to Ph2 reconciliation as per the descriptive adjectives "spotless and blameless".
  23. For more on Ph2 reconciliation see, 2Cor.5:20: "Now then, we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God were entreating through us; we beg you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God" (cp. Rom.8:6)
  24. Ph1 peace is realized once-for-all in the salvation adjustment based on the imputation of +R (Rom.5:1).
  25. The following are the classifications of peace in Scripture:
    1. Ph1 peace (Acts.10:36; Rom.2:10; 5:1; Eph.2:14-15,17; 6:15).
    2. Ph2 peace (Rom.8:6; Gal.6:16).
    3. Inner peace (Jn.14:27;16:33; Rom.14:17; 15:13; Gal.5:22; Eph.6:23; Phil.4:7; Col.3:15).
    4. Interpersonal harmony (Rom.14:19; 2Cor.13:11; Eph.4:3; 2Tim.2:22; Heb.12:14; Jam.3:18).
  26. Peter is speaking to believers, and the peace in which they are to find themselves in the sphere of is Ph2 peace.
  27. Believers who are not living in accordance with the godliness code are at odds with God.
  28. Believers who, for instance, love the cosmos are Godís enemies (Jam.4:4).
  29. The Corinthians and the Galatians were at odds with the teaching and authority of Paul and were not at peace with God.
  30. The double adjectives "spotless and blameless" are predicative of the verb "be found", and further define what it means to be living "in peace" with the Lord.
  31. The adjective "spotless" (aspilos) occurs 4X.
  32. It is used of fulfilling the commandment to "fight the good fight" on the part of the P-T (1Tim.6:14).
  33. It is used of avoiding contamination from the source of the cosmos (Jam.1:27).
  34. It is used of the absolute sinless perfection of the humanity of Christ from the source of external temptation, thus qualifying Him to be the sin-bearer.
  35. Daily forgiveness keeps us clean, or, if you will, spotless.
  36. The stain (or spot) remover is the "blood of Christ" (1Jn.1:8-10).
  37. Believers who fail to "abide in Him" disqualify themselves for reward (1Jn.2:28).
  38. This principle is behind 2Tim.2:21.
  39. The notion that believers can somehow attain sinless perfection is alien to Scripture.
  40. The notion that there is some carnal activity that the grace of God cannot surmount is equally fallacious (i.e., the incestuous Corinthian).
  41. The command "abide in Me" of Jn.15:4,5,7 has as its mechanic 1Jn.1:9.
  42. A believer under his/here STA must apply Rebound to re-establish the "abide in Me" imperative.
  43. Jesus taught this adjustment in the foot-washing episode of Jn.13, where washing an extremity (a foot) illustrates Rebound, while a bath illustrates the salvation adjustment.
  44. Believers not availing themselves of the grace of God in rebound, no matter what the character of their sins, render themselves experientially unfit for approval at the Bema.
  45. They are, in effect, not at "peace" with God.
  46. The second adjective, "blameless" (avmw,mhtoj), occurs only here.
  47. Another synonym is the adjective a;mwmoj (blameless, without fault), occurring 8X: Eph.1:4; 5:27; Phil.2:15; Col.1:22; Heb.9:14; 1Pet.1:19; Jude.24; Rev.14:5.
  48. Another synonym (adj.) is avne,gklhtoj, meaning not convicted of having done anything wrong (1Cor.1:8; Col.1:22; 1Tim.3:10; Ti.1:6,7).
  49. Yet another adjective is avpro,skopoj (aproskopos) meaning void of offense/blameless (3X: Acts.24:16; 1Cor.10:32; Phil.1:10).
  50. There is the adverb (a]memptoj), which occurs 5X: Lk.1:6; Phil.2:15; 3:6; 1Thess.3:13; Heb.8:7.
  51. Finally there is the adjective eivlikrinh,j (eilikrines) which, literally, means "tested by the light of day" (2X: Phil.1:10; 2Pet.3:1).
  52. The six terms cited above are all used in connection with approval at the Bema Seat.
  53. Numbers 4 (aproskopos) and 6 (eilikrines) both occur in Phil.1:10: "so that you may approve the things that are excellent, in order to be sincere and blameless until the day of Christ".
  54. Number 2 (amomos) is so used in Col.1:22 and Jude.24 (cf. Eph.1:4).
  55. Number 3 (anegkletos) is used of approval at the Bema in 1Cor.1:8 and Col.1:22.
  56. Number 5 (amemptos) is so used in 1Thess.3:13.
  57. And there is amometos of 2Pet.3:14.
  58. All have various shades of meaning, but all have to do with approval at the Bema.
  59. All should be understood within the overall context of the rules that govern the CWL.
  60. God will approve those who live in accordance with what Paul calls "the rules" (2Tim.2:5).
  61. The rules allow for recovery from simple carnality to gross reversionism.
  62. Essential to Bema Seat approval is holding fast to the faith until the end (1Cor.1:8; Heb.3:14; 6:11).
Paulís Wisdom and the Delay (v.15)

VERSE 15 and regard the patience of our Lord as salvation (kai. h`gei/sqe th.n makroqumi,an h`mw/n tou/ kuri,ou swthri,an [conj., kai, + pres.dep.imper.2.p., hegomai, consider, + def.art.w/acc.f.s., makrothumia, patience; cp. 1Pet.3:20, + pro.gen.m.p., ego, "our", + def.art.w.gen.m.s., kurios, lord, + acc.f.s., soteria, salvation]); just as also our beloved brother Paul (kaqw.j kai. o` avgaphto.j h`mw/n avdelfo.j Pau/loj e;grayen u`mi/n [conj., kathos, just as, + conj./adjunc., also, + def.art.w/adj.n.m.s., agapetos, beloved, + n.m.s., adelphos, brother, + pr.n., Paulos, + pro.gen.m.p., ego]), according to the wisdom given him, wrote to you (kata. th.n doqei/san auvtw/| sofi,an e;grayen u`mi/n [prep. {kata} w/def.art.w/acc.f.s., sophia, wisdom, + aor.pass.pt.acc.f.s., didomi, give, + dat.m.s., autos, him, + aor.act.ind.3.s., grapho, write, + dat.p., su, you]),

ANALYSIS: VERSE 15

  1. In addition, Peter urges, "regard the patience of our Lord as salvation".
  2. Peter reverts to the subject of v.9 and uses the cognate noun "patience" (makroqumi,a) in place of the verb (makrothumeo) and repeats the noun "regard/consider" (hegomai).
  3. The delay of the Parousia is so that all who were foreknown and predestined can be called and justified.
  4. When the body of Christ is complete, the Rapture will happen.
  5. All other prophetic events will dovetail with the last member being baptized into the body of Christ.
  6. The delay is based on patience, not procrastination or impotence.
  7. The Lord is patient towards the Royal Family, which fact helps us to overcome the mockery of the heretics (v.4).
  8. When we recognize that this "patience" translates into "salvation" for so many, we are further fortified against all mockers of the coming of Christ.
  9. God has provided an extended period of time for the Ph1 and Ph2 salvation of the Church.
  10. What Peter adds is most interesting.
  11. He pays unexpected tribute to the apostle Paul in vv.15,16.
  12. To Peter and the Christian community at large, Paul is "our beloved brother".
  13. He is someone who is dearly loved and highly regarded.
  14. Both Peter and Paul were martyred at Rome during the Neroian persecution.
  15. Both were in Rome during the time when these words were written.
  16. First Clement V suggests that the two apostles worked together in Rome at the end of their lives.
  17. Again, the reference to "our beloved brother Paul" is fascinating.
  18. It is taken as conclusive proof that this letter in not written by Peter by those (liberals) who look at the N.T. through Tubingen spectacles, and see everywhere signs of a radical split between Jewish Christianity headed by Peter and Gentile Christianity headed by Paul.
  19. On such a view, this verse, like the whole of the book of Acts, must be taken as a mid-second-century attempt to paper over the cracks and read harmony back into the first century.
  20. This view, however, can scarcely stand today.
  21. Acts is at pains to point out parallels between Peter and Paul, and represents Peter supporting Paulís denial of the need for Gentile circumcision (Acts.15:7-11).
  22. The same picture of amity between the two men emerges from Gal.2:8-10.
  23. The only disagreement we know of between them was of short duration, when Paul publicly rebuked Peter for not being consistent with his own principles about table-fellowship with Gentiles (Gal.2:14).
  24. It is a gratuitous assumption, and one that runs counter to the whole letter and spirit of the N.T., to suppose that the split was permanent, and that Peter could never have spoken, therefore, in such congenial terms of Paul as he does here.
  25. In the second century one tended either to think of Paul as an arch-villain or as the apostle par excellence, not as a "dear brother".
  26. That is, however, exactly how the first-century Christian leaders spoke of one another (1Cor.4:17; Eph.6:21; Col.4:7,9; Philm.16, etc.).
  27. But what exactly is Peter alluding to?
  28. Is it the fact that Paul teaches that God delays the Parousia out of motives of mercy, so that more may come to repentance?
  29. And also, when did he write to them?
  30. The Asiatic Christians were no doubt in possession of Paulís letters, and so in that sense, he had written to them.
  31. But here the reference is probably to Ephesians based on the fact that Peter is writing to Christians in that part of the Empire, coupled with the lead-in statement in the next verse: "as also in all his letters".
  32. And the subject matter of letters like Ephesians dealt with the doctrine of the body of Christ - the Church.
  33. God has delayed the Rapture so that all who were foreknown and elected could be called and incorporated into the hidden numbers that make up this body.
  34. Paul, in all his letters, exhibits a wisdom that was "given him" and was not his own.
  35. Notice how Peter acknowledges Paulís wisdom.
  36. It was a gift of God, which Paul was quick to admit (1Cor.3:10; Eph.3:3-6; Rom.12:3ff).
  37. So Paul understood that the Rapture was not going to occur anytime soon for a variety of Biblically based reasons.
  38. Polycarp writes in the same vein (c. AD 115): "Neither I nor anyone like me can attain the wisdom of the blessed and glorious Paul, who also, when he was absent from you, wrote to you in his letters".
  39. It is interesting to see the difference here between the first and early second century references to Paul.
  40. To Peter he is a "beloved brother"; to Polycarp, though himself one of the most distinguished of subapostolic bishops and sufferers for the faith, he had already become "the blessed and glorious Paul".
  41. If Second Peter were a second century forgery, it is a very good one!
The Challenge and Abuse of Paulís Writings (v.16)

VERSE 16 as also in all his letters (w`j kai. evn pa,saij evpistolai/j (conj., hos, as, + conj./adjunc., kai, also, + prep. {en} w/adj.loc.f.p., pas, all, + loc.f.p., epistolos, letter]), speaking in them of these things (lalw/n evn auvtai/j peri. tou,twn [pres.act.pt.n.m.s., laleo, speak, communicate, + prep. {en} w/pro.loc.f.p., autos; "in them", + prep. {peri} w/pro./demonstr.gen.nt.p., houtos, this; "of these things"]), in which are some things hard to understand (evn ai-j evstin dusno,hta, tina [prep. {en} w/pro./rel.loc.m.f.p., hos; "in which", + pres.act.ind.3.s., eimi; "are", + adj.n.nt.p., dusno,hta,, dusnoeta, hard to understand;obscure; 1X]), which the untaught and unstable distort (a] oi` avmaqei/j kai. avsth,riktoi streblou/sin [pro./rel.acc.nt.p., hos, which, + def.art.w/adj.n.m.p., avmaqh,j, amathes, untaught; 1X, + conj., kai, + adj.n.m.p., avsth,rikoj, asterikos, unstable; 2X: v.14, + pres.act.ind.3.p., streblo,w, strebloo, twist or wrench; fig., distort; hence, misinterpret; 1X]), as they do also the rest of the Scriptures, to their own destruction (w`j kai. ta.j loipa.j grafa.j pro.j th.n ivdi,an auvtw/n avpw,leian [conj., hos, as, + conj./adjunc. + def.art.w/adj.acc.f.p., loipos, rest + acc.f.p., graphe, writing, Scripture, + prep. {pros} w/def.art.w/adj.acc.f.s. idios, oneís own, + pro.gen.m.p., autos, his; "their", + acc.f.s., apoleia, destruction]).

ANALYSIS: VERSE 16

  1. It is comforting to think that Peter, too, found in Paulís letters "things hard to understand", i.e., obscure.
  2. Dusno,htoj (dusnoetos) is a rare word (only here in the N.T.), with the nuance of ambiguity about it.
  3. It was applied in antiquity to oracles, whose pronouncements were notoriously capable of more than one interpretation.
  4. There are, says Peter, such difficulties in Paulís letters, "which the untaught" (or "untrained") "and unstable" (or "undisciplined) "distort", or "twist" (a picturesque word, strebloo, meaning, literally, to "tighten with a windlass") "to their own destruction".
  5. The verb "distort" has the connotation of torturing someone by "putting them on the rack" (M-M. 593) to coerce them into saying what their torturers want them to say.
  6. The difficult things are chosen for torture because the more straightforward things cannot so readily be undermined.
  7. In Biblical interpretation the more difficult statements should be made to harmonize with the more obvious, and not vice a versa.
  8. The translation: "which the untrained and undisciplined twist to their own destruction".
  9. The adjective "untrained" (hapax of amathes, unlearned, untrained) refers to individuals who have not submitted themselves to "the Timothy principle" of 2Tim.2:2.
  10. The second adjective, "undisciplined", or "unstable", refers to individuals who have a tendency to being erratic in their views.
  11. Such persons are motivated by approbation, or monetary gain, or even fear.
  12. These types do not stop with difficult verses within the Pauline corpus; they do a number on the balance of Scripture.
  13. The phrase "the rest of the Scriptures" refers to the O.T. canon, which was, of course, available to the Christian community, while the N.T. was in formation and widely circulated among the churches.
  14. It is inevitable that they would misinterpret things in the O.T., as well, considering how unstable and unprepared these individuals were.
  15. It is of interest here to note that Peter places the letters of Paul on a par with the O.T. canon.
  16. Over the centuries individuals have continued this misrepresentation of Scripture so that we are at the point where the world is filled with all manner of unsound doctrine.
  17. This is evidenced by the rise of denominationalism along with their peculiar orthodoxies.
  18. Many cults base their beliefs on the Bible.
  19. Peter could have added "we havenít seen anything yet!".
  20. The trend has continued unabated through the age.
  21. For positive believers caught up in these corrupt systems, the answer is to "come outside the camp" where the truth is not compromised (Heb.13:13).
  22. The phrase "to their own destruction" refers to their judgment for promoting false doctrine.
  23. Believers who do this reap DD, the SUD, and loss and shame at the Bema Seat of Christ.
  24. Unbelievers reap cursing in time and eternal condemnation.
  25. All who engage in this sordid business will be exposed.
  26. The noun "destruction" (avpw,leia) is used in reference to believers in Acts.8:20 (of Simon Magus, the converted sorcerer; see vv.9-13), Phil.3:19, 1Tim.6:9, and Heb.10:39.
  27. It is used with reference to unbelievers who mislead men in 2Pet.2:1,3.
  28. And it is used of the final end of all who fail to come to saving faith (Mt.7:13).
A Final Double Exhortation (vv.17,18)

A Fatal Attraction - False Teachers (v.17)

VERSE 17 You therefore, beloved, knowing this beforehand (~Umei/j ou=n( avgaphtoi,( proginw,skontej [pro.n.p., su, + conj./inferen., oun, therefore, + adj.voc.m.p., agapetos, beloved, + pres.act.pt.n.m.p., proginosko, know in advance;5X: Acts.26:5; Rom.8:29; 11:2; 1Pet.1:20]), be on your guard so that you are not carried away by the error of unprincipled men (fula,ssesqe( i[na mh. th/| tw/n avqe,smwn pla,nh| sunapacqe,ntej [pres.mid.imper.2.p., phulasso, guard; be on guard against {midd.}, + conj./purpose, hina, so that, + neg., me, + def.art.w/instr.f.s., plane, error, + def.art.w/adj.gen.m.p., athesmos, unprincipled; cp. 2Pet.2:7, + aor.pass.pt.n.m.p., sunapa,gw, sunapago, accommodate oneself to/adapt {of things}; associated with/condescend to {of persons}; be carried along with {negative sense}; 3X: Rom.12:16; Gal.2:13 {here, Paul uses it of Peterís and Barnabasí hypocrisy and legalism!}]) and fall from your own steadfastness (evkpe,shte tou/ ivdi,ou sthrigmou/ [ aor.act.subj.2.p., evkpi,ptw, ekpipto, fall out of {favor} or fall from; of ships, it means to run aground; Acts.27:17,26,29; cp. v.32; cf. Rom.9:6; Gal.5:4, + def.art.w/gen.m.s., sthrigmo,j, sterigmos, steadfastness {of inner stability}); 1X, + adj.gen.m.s., idios, oneís own]),

ANALYSIS: VERSE 17

  1. Once more Peter addresses them as "dear friends".
  2. It is because of his pastoral love that he has spoken so plainly.
  3. That same love prompts a final charge.
  4. "Knowing this beforehand" is the present active participle of proginw,skw (proginosko, "to know beforehand", or "in advance").
  5. It refers to the rise and proliferation of false teachers, which prophetic reality is at the heart of this letter (cf. 2Pet.2:1).
  6. And to be forewarned is to be forearmed.
  7. Plain speaking about Christian deviations is incumbent upon the pastor who aspires to protect his flock on the way of teaching the "whole truth and nothing but the truth".
  8. That is why Peter has reminded them time and time again with respect to liberalism.
  9. Legalism and fundyism are also primary enemies to sound spiritual health.
  10. The responsibility now lies with them to be on their guard against the specious arguments of the unprincipled and untrained.
  11. The compound "carried away" (aor.pass.pt., sunapa,gw, sunapago, go along with) suggests that if they associate with such individuals, they will be led away from sound doctrine.
  12. Interestingly, this verb is used in connection with Peter and Barnabasí temporary defection in Gal.2:13.
  13. Peter had good reason to recognize such a danger, for he had succumbed to the pressure of legalism.
  14. The noun "error" (pla,nh) is a synonym for false teaching (Eph.4:14; 1Thess.2:3; 1Jn.4:6).
  15. Its basic meaning is "deception".
  16. The adjective "unprincipled" (a;qesmoj; only here and in 2Pet.2:7) refers to those who are intellectually dishonest.
  17. That is, men who go up against basic common sense and moral instincts (as in the case of the homosexual vice mentioned in 2Pet.2:7).
  18. Men arrive at misinterpretation of Scripture not because they lack information or the basic rules of interpretation, but because they hold to biases they do not want to abandon.
  19. The verb "you fall" (evkpi,ptw, ekpipto, fall away) is an aorist active subjunctive.
  20. It is used of a ship drifting and running aground (Acts.27:17,26,29,32).
  21. It follows the action of the aorist participle, "being carried away".
  22. A translation: "lest (hina me) you should fall from your own steadfastness having been carried away by the error of unprincipled men".
  23. The action of the aorist participle ("being carried away") precedes the action of the main verb ("fall").
  24. The noun "steadfastness" (sthrigmo,j, sterigmos) means firm position.
  25. It only occurs here in the N.T.
  26. The verb sthri,zw (sterizo, set in place, fix, establish; fig., to stabilize someone) occurs 13X.
  27. It is used in 2Pet.1:12 where Peter acknowledges that these believers had been stabilized, or established, in the faith.
  28. It is used of being established in the faith in Rom.1:11; 16:25; 1Thess.3:2,13; 2Thess.2:17; Jam.5:8; 1Pet.5:10; and Rev.3:2.
  29. It is the consequence of the consistent function of GAP and the application of BD to experience.
  30. False doctrine leads to instability and further susceptibility (Eph.4:14).
  31. Once again in this verse Peter stresses the relationship between valid experience and knowledge.
  32. Their "own steadfastness" has as its foundation epignosis, or true knowledge.
  33. Faith (exhale) without epignosis degenerates into pietism/mysticism.
  34. Emotionalism (experience based on feeling) is at the root of false religion.
  35. The steadfastness of the apostle Peter was the product of years of tenacity with respect to the knowledge of BD.
  36. The cognate verb (sterizo) was used by Jesus in reference to Peter in connection with the prophecy of his denial of Christ (Lk.22:32: "but I have prayed for you, that your faith may not fail, and you, when once you have turned again, strengthen your brothers").
  37. It is not surprising that he who had been so susceptible, and had become a man of rock, is so concerned about stability.
  38. Hebrews 13:9 provides a parallel exhortation: "Do not be carried away by varied and strange teachings; for it is good for the heart to be strengthened by grace, not by foods, through which those who were so occupied were not benefited".
The Antidote (v.18)

VERSE 18 but grow in the grace and knowledge (auvxa,nete de. evn ca,riti kai. gnw,sei [pres.act.imper.2.p., auvxanw, auzano, grow {of plants, children, populations, promulgation of the good news}, + conj., de, but, + prep. {en} w/loc.f.s., charis, grace, + conj., kai, + loc.f.s., gnosis, knowledge]) of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ (tou/ kuri,ou h`mw/n kai. swth/roj VIhsou/ Cristou/ [def.art.w/gen.m.s., kurios, lord, + pro.gen.m.p., ego, + gen.m.s., soter, savior, + gen. {ref.} m.s., Iesous, Jesus, + gen.m.s., Christos]). To Him be the glory, both now and to the day of eternity. Amen (auvtw/| h` do,xa kai. nu/n kai. eivj h`me,ran aivw/nojÅ Îavmh,nÅÐ [pro.dat.m.s., autos, him, + def.art.w/n.f.s., doza, glory, + conj., kai, "both", + adv., nun, now, + prep. {eis} w/acc.f.s., hemera, day, + gen.m.s., aion, era, time; of time to come, eternity, + part./exclamatory, amen, indeed]).

ANALYSIS: VERSE 18

  1. This is the positive side and the bulwark against falling prey to false teachers and teaching (v.17).
  2. We again have the present imperative to denote continuance.
  3. One grows (auvxa,nw) by assimilating more and more of the details found in the canon of Scripture.
  4. This verb is used:
    1. of plant growth (Mt.6:28; 13:32).
    2. of physiological growth (Lk.1:80; 2:40).
    3. of population (Acts.6:7; 7:17; 12:24; 19:20; Eph.2:21).
    4. of spiritual growth (1Cor.3:6,7; 2Cor.10:15; Eph.4:15; Col.1:10; 2:19; 1Pet.2:2).
    5. and divine good production (Col.1:6).
  5. Several of the above citations are parallel to v.18: namely, Eph.4:15; Col.1:10; and 1Pet.2:2.
  6. Ephesians 4:14,15 is parallel in that, like 2Pet.3:17,18, it provides the negative followed by the positive: "As a result, we are no longer to be children, tossed here and there by waves and carried about by every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, by craftiness in deceitful scheming, but speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in all respects into Him who is the head, even Christ".
  7. Like our v.18, Col.1:10 speaks of "increasing in the knowledge of God".
  8. First Peter 2:2 speaks of growth as it relates to the WOG: "as newborn babes, long for the pure milk of the word, so that by it you may grow in respect to salvation".
  9. This is the only place where the imperative of this verb occurs.
  10. We are commanded to "grow in the grace" (no def.art. in the Gk.), which means we are to understand this principle in terms of the three adjustments to God.
  11. Grace is the sole factor in the salvation adjustment (Rom.11:6 "And if by grace, then it is no longer of works; otherwise grace is no longer grace. But if it is of works, it is no longer grace; otherwise work is no longer work"; cp. 4:4).
  12. Saving grace is available to all mankind (Ti.2:11).
  13. Godís grace is totally sufficient for those who make the maturity adjustment (2Cor.12:9).
  14. God gives each one of us at least one grace gift (Eph.4:7).
  15. The present dispensation is an age of grace par excellence (Eph.3:2).
  16. God provides timely grace for those who call upon Him (Heb.4:16).
  17. Believers who are placed in extreme jeopardy receive commensurate grace (Jam.4:6).
  18. Special grace is provided for those who endure to the end (1Pet.1:13).
  19. Liberals distort grace into licentiousness (Jude.4).
  20. Legalism substitutes works for grace.
  21. Jesus Christ was "full of grace and truth" (Jn.1:14).
  22. The acquisition of knowledge is commanded (Prov.23:12; cp. 4:5,7; 22:17).
  23. Paul prayed for believers in this regard (Eph.1:17; Phil.1:9; Col.1:9,10).
  24. The gnosis we are to attain to is hidden in Christ (Col.2:3).
  25. The new man is the product of this knowledge (Col.3:10; cp. Eph.4:13).
  26. Paul possessed this body of knowledge to the maximum (2Cor.11:6).
  27. Informed believers use this knowledge to checkmate the human viewpoint of the cosmos (2Cor.10:5).
  28. Zeal without knowledge is useless (Rom.10:2).
  29. God grants this knowledge to positive volition and hides it from negative volition (Prov.2:6).
  30. The true knowledge of God makes perfect sense to positive volition (Prov.8:9).
  31. The acquisition of this knowledge is better than the acquisition of silver, gold, and precious stones (Prov.8:10,11; 20:15).
  32. Fools despise it; positive volition loves it (Prov.1:7,22; 2:10; 10:14; 15:14; 18:15; 21:11).
  33. Those who love DD love knowledge (Prov.12:1; cp. 19:25,27).
  34. It is important to separate from those who cannot add to your pool of knowledge (Prov.14:7).
  35. Positive volition spreads knowledge (Prov.15:7).
  36. The soul/spirit filled with knowledge is like a beautifully appointed house (Prov.24:4).
  37. Solomon taught this knowledge via proverbs (Eccl.12:9).
  38. Mankind is devoid of this knowledge (Jer.50:17).
  39. God makes the knowledge of negative volition foolishness (Isa.44:25).
  40. The absence of this knowledge explains the setbacks of the Jews (Hos.4:1,6)
  41. God takes more pleasure in knowledge than empty ritual (Hos.6:6).
  42. The knowledge of God will be universally acclaimed in the kingdom age (Isa.11:9).
  43. The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge (Prov.1:7).
  44. True fear of God results in the pursuit of information so as to gain His favor.
  45. The occupational hazard related to knowledge (1Cor.8:1 "Knowledge makes arrogant, but love edifies").
  46. The genitive "of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ" is a genitive of source (cp. 2Pet.3:2 "the commandment of the Lord and Savior").
  47. Jesus Christ is the source of this grace and knowledge we are to pursue (cp. Col.2:3 "in whom are all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge").
  48. For the formula "our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ", see 2Pet.1:11, 2:20, and 3:2 (only in Second Peter in the N.T).
  49. The title "Savior" occurs 24X in the NT: Lk.1:47; 2:11; Jn.4:42; Acts.5:31; 13:23; Eph.5:23; Phil.3:20; 1Tim.1:1; 2:3; 4:10; 2Tim.1:10; Ti.1:3,4; 2:10,13; 3:4; 2Pet.1:1,11; 2:20; 3:2; 1Jn.4:14; Jude.25.
  50. This term, along with Redeemer, is featured in the O.T.: 2Sam.22:3; Pss.17:7; 106:21; Isa.19:20; Isa.43:3,11; 45:15,21; 49:26; 60:16; 63:8; Jer.14:8; Hos.13:4.
  51. The doxology "To him be the glory, both now and to the day of eternity", and the corresponding one in 2Tim.4:18, are the only ones in the N.T. in which Christ is unequivocally the object (the ones at 1Pet.4:11 and Heb.13:21 seem fairly certain to have Christ as the object).
  52. The doxology of 1Pet.5:11 has God as its object.
  53. A couple exhibit an intermediate stage, either ascribing "glory" to God "through Jesus Christ" (Rom.16:25; Jude25) or "in Jesus Christ", as in Eph.3:21: "to Him (God) be the glory in the church and in Christ Jesus to all generations, forever and ever. Amen".
  54. The noun "glory" denotes splendor.
  55. Jesus Christ is the ultimate celebrity who both "now" and forever is worthy of His exclusive place before God.
  56. As God He has always been worthy of glory and praise, and as man He is equally worthy, having endured so we can participate in the glory of our hope.
  57. As is usual, no verb is expressed in the original.
  58. The insertion of "belongs" conveys the intent better than "be".
  59. This ascription of glory is a revealing final ejaculation!
  60. It reveals the heart and soul of Peterís faith.
  61. Christ the Savior; Christ the Lord; to Christ belongs the glory forever.
  62. In this incidental phrase, we have the highest possible Christology.
  63. For glory belongs to God (Rom.11:36; Jude.25).
  64. But Peter had come to understand that all men should honor the Son even as they honor the Father (see Jn.5:23).
  65. The false teachers detracted from Christís glory now by a perverse life, and from His glory then by denying the Parousia.
  66. Peter leaves Christians with an authoritative rebuttal that, to use his words, we "do well to pay attention" (1:19).
  67. The phrase "the day of eternity" is remarkable.
  68. Peter has spoken of that day in 3:12 ("the day of God").
  69. It is immediately preceded by "the day of the Lord" (v.10).
  70. It is fitting that the glory of Jesus Christ should close this Epistle, which has had so much to say about the infamy of man.
  71. Peterís capacity for who and what Christ is certainly had come a long way over his life.
  72. He was now ready to lay down his life and bring glory to the One he had first been introduced to by his brother, Andrew, over 30 years before (Jn.1:40,41).
END: SECOND PETER CHAPTER THREE

JACK M. BALLINGER

MAY 31, 2000

© Copyright 2000, Maranatha Church, Inc.