"...but try the spirits whether they are of God..." (1 Jno. 4:1)

Volume One, Number One Winter 1991

Farrell Till and the Bible's Scientific Foreknowledge -- A Reply

Bill Jackson

I am pleased to have a part with Jerry McDonald in providing some content for his new publication, so urgently needed in our time. I certainly hope and pray that this paper will be a strong and powerful voice in support of truth, and feel that this will be so because of Jerry's strong stance in support of truth. In a time of so much liberalism and unbelief, we need such periodicals in abundance.

I am also pleased that I can now deal with some of Farrell Till's points wherein he denies the scientific foreknowledge found in the Bible, and his relegating all these to the realm of "speculation, imaginative interpretation and wishful thinking." Mr. Till has pointed to some matters of a scientific nature on which the Bible speaks, and faults the Bible believer for citing these without explication and interpretation, stating that in oral communication there is the aid of voice inflections and body gestures. He does not believe, then, that a passage may mean just what it says and that no detailed explication is necessary It is cause to wonder, as Mr. Till makes his point, how a body gesture could change "life in the blood" (Genesis 9:4) to have some other meaning. Or how a voice inflection would change Psalm 8:8 to mean something other than the "paths of the seas." Mr. Till has earlier shown that when all is said and done, he will fall back on: "How do you know what is said really means what you think?". Now we will look at his points.

(1) Genesis 3:15 - The Seed of Woman: Mr. Till wastes an entire page in showing that the word "seed" refers repeatedly to "offspring, descendancy, lineage." He thus argues a point that no one doubts. We must point out that in Genesis 3:15 descendancy from the woman is the point made, for the "he" that is the "seed" is the one who will render that death blow to Satan! The fact remains that the one thus spoken of is "seed" of woman in a manner not applicable to any other who has been on earth. That appearing in Mary was of the Holy Spirit (Matthew 1: 18 20), and since no agency of man was involved in the conception Jesus was indeed "seed" of woman in a manner beyond that of just being "offspring." Mr. Till overlooks the fact that one of the usages of the word "seed" is that of "semen virile" (Wilson, Old Testament Word Studies, p.377) Since the production of a child by the process now known in medical science requires both man and woman, the picture in Genesis 3:15 involves "seed of woman" with a productive power not elsewhere found without a male being involved. Still the question remains: "How did Moses know this matter?"; and more: "How did Moses even know of the Christ to come and of the work he would perform against Satan?" The fact remains, "God had to tell him!" Over riding all of this is the fact that God did not tell the couple that the Christ would come of their descendancy, but spoke of "seed of woman" many, many generations before medical science knew of such!

(2) Genesis 9:4 - Life in the Blood: Till wants to know why the verse has to mean that Moses understood blood carrying oxygen, etc. The point is, Moses did not have to understand that with thoroughness, but he knew God said it! And thus God made a point to Moses that medical science now knows, but which medical science did not know until fairly recent times! The point is: "How did Moses know to state it, in a day when it was not known?" God had to tell him!

(3) Psalm 8:8 - Paths of the Seas: Mr. Till ponders that perhaps the "paths" were trade routes of the times, and that men of David's day already had such knowledge! Let Mr. Till ponder; that does not change it at all! The point is that David uttered this with no personal knowledge of the "paths," and the fact is that the field of science had no knowledge of charted ways until M Maury found them! This remains: "How did David know of such?" God told him

(4) Job 26:7 - The North, Over the Empty Place: Mr. Till cited some remarks from the publication Reason & Revelation discounting this verse as having any literal meaning. Some material was given to the effect that pagans believed in powerful forces of darkness coming from the north, and thus this stood to counter those beliefs. It may well have been that pagans had such ideas, but it seems to be a strained "reaching" to lay hold on this verse and then to assume that there is no literalness in the verse. It certainly is not a legitimate argument to state that, because one portion of a chapter is in symbolic or figurative language, all must be likewise figurative. It is also not a legitimate argument to say that there is no empty space to the north simply because man cans see stars, etc. Indeed the point that has been made by Bible believers takes us far, far beyond that which the human eye can see, even with telescopes and still they say that to the north there is an emptiness not penetrated! The National Geographic, June 1983, has 46 pages on space's "black holes," and then we wonder: "Why can there not be such of note in the north?" More, scientists have gone on record as stating such, as noted by M. M. Waldrop "Delving the Hole in Space", Science (1 1/27/81 ) and as cited in Biblical Basis for Modern Science, (Morris, p.246). This void, to the north, is a 300+ million-light-year gap not at all observable to the naked eye. Again there is scientific evidence on the empty place to the north, but this is evidence that science did not have until modern times. And this is evidence Job could not have obtained without God telling him!

To this point we have noted four of the prominent marks of the Bible's scientific foreknowledge. Mr. Till's agnosticism notwithstanding, the points remained fixed as matters about which the writers of the Bible books did not know by human devices, and could not know by human experience or knowledge and all of which were not proven as being truths of science until modern times! The "seed of woman" was mentioned when no descendancy could come just from the "seed of woman," except as it only involves the Christ. It remains that medical science was in ignorance as to the woman having "seed" until recent times. "Life in the blood" was mentioned when medical science previously -- and until fairly modern times -- did not even associate life as being dependent upon a certain amount of blood. "Paths of the seas" were mentioned when, until Maury's life and work, charting of the sea lanes had not been done at all! And God stretching out the north "over the empty place" was mentioned and as for all those who deny such, the fact remains that many scientists have stated this even though they were not Bible believers! The crucial point is this: "How did Moses, David, Job and other Bible writers know of these matters when such was unknown in their times and yea, were not known even in science at all until modern times?" The answer: "God had to tell them!"

Mr. Till, then in departing from the Bible's scientific foreknowledge, begins to deal with the Bible's so called scientific "errors," and focuses on the coney and the hare and the fact that they were classified with that which "cheweth the cud". (Leviticus 11:5,6; Deuteronomy 14:7) Using that which 20th century science knows, Mr. Till speaks of "compartmentalized stomachs," etc. required of cud chewers, and that the coney and the hare do not qualify! But bear in mind that this is Mr. Till speaking of some classification made in modern times, the compartmentalized stomach, which was not the basis by which Moses spoke! Mr. Till feels the Bible is in error if it does not parallel 20th century scientific classifications.

Actually the "chewing of the cud" is referring to the fact that the animal in question chews again that which has been previously swallowed. A sizeable range of animals do this, and just a little research will show Mr. Till that this is just what the hare does! And it is not a matter resting solely on a "compartmentalized stomach," but simply having the peculiar digestive system allowing for such. And whatever the Bible means by "coney" (hyrax), it is thought to be some badger like animal, it has reference to the same cud chewing quality. And that is the fact of it, even though modern men in science have worked up a classification that in their eyes requires a compartmentalized stomach! Morton, in Science in the Bible, (pp.179 181), and Grzimek in Animal Life Encyclopedia, (pp.42 1 422) give information on the hare being in the group known as "cud chewers." (These were cited in Reason & Revelation December 1989, p.47) So, Mr. Till rushes headlong into a denial of the Bible without doing the research he needs prior to his denials!

May we remind all that the Bible is not a textbook on science, but it is a volume inspired by God, and when it speaks in areas touching science it will speak correctly. Usually Bible deniers will take a stand on some 20th century declarations and then will not allow the Bible to speak; except where it uses 20th century expressions, terminology and classifications. This is the height of foolishness! Indeed there is reason for these to hold this hard line; for if they will allow the Bible to speak for its time, and to the people of that time, and if given the fair hearing men willingly grant to other ancient volumes, truth on every point will be seen! The Bible speaks truth when it speaks on matters touching science. The Bible's scientific foreknowledge is certainly a mark of its inspiration and inerrancy! (Bill Jackson's address is 8900 Manchaca Road, Austin, Texas 75745)

Editorís Note: Brother Jackson was asked not to deal with Isaiah 40:22 because of another article in this issue which dealt with this verse. As the editor of Challenge I willingly open its pages to Mr. Till to respond to the article you have just read. If he cares to he may respond.

CHALLENGE is published quarterly by Challenge Publications.
Jerry D. McDonald, Editor; Michael P. Hughes, Associate Editor.

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