Anthony Staus

In 2016 I decided to carry out a personal study of biology and ancient Near East religions. Afterwards, people started approaching me with questions about these topics with an emphasis on Christianity. These questions have persisted into the present time frame which is why I’ve decided to assemble a written summary of my findings for anyone interested. Parts 1, 2, and 3 are all included in this blog—scroll down or click the following links to reach the next topic.

PART 1: ANCIENT CHRISTIAN PERSPECTIVES

PART 2: CHRISTIAN ESCHATOLOGY

PART 3: DARWINIAN THEORY

NOTE: Given that these posts are summaries, much of the content will be brief and, in some cases, it might even seem like I’m writing in point form. Also, I plan to share my studies on textual criticism at some point in late 2022.

NOTE: When referencing the Bible, I will be using the English Standard Version (ESV) unless otherwise indicated. I am in no way supported by, or affiliated with any of the sources, resources, or references used in this document/post.

ANCIENT CHRISTIAN PERSPECTIVES ON ANTEDILUVIAN INFLUENCE

If one were to examine all the cultural narratives from around the world one might notice a reoccurring theme of flood mythology.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_flood_myths (List of flood myths)

According to the Hebrew Scriptures, the antediluvian world was so corrupt that the Author of life decided to wipe it out with a global flood. Only one family and a host of animals were saved. It is said that after the flood the surviving family’s vessel landed on the mountains of Ararat.

According to secular historical accounts, complex civilization first took form in the southern Mesopotamian region. This is a short distance from Mount Ararat when taking the entire globe into consideration. The people who first established this complex civilization were known as Sumerians.

The Sumerian people practiced a polytheistic religion which featured a pantheon of gods. If the Hebrew narrative is correct, then the presence of polytheistic religion might suggest some kind of a schism between the descendants of the flood survivors—there were those who continued in the same monotheistic faith as Noah and those who did not.

Some would argue that polytheism pre-dates monotheism because of what’s reflected in the archaeological record. However, oral tradition was prominent in the ancient world and there may be written records that have yet to be discovered. People should bear in mind that Sumer wasn’t excavated until the 19th century CE.

http://factsanddetails.com/world/cat56/sub402/entry-6084.html (ARCHAEOLOGY IN MESOPOTAMIA)

The Sumerians kept records of their kings and claimed a royal succession between their heads of state and the various rulers of the pre-flood world.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sumerian_King_List#Lines_1-39:_before_the_flood (Sumerian King List)

As it pertains to this post, it is irrelevant whether or not these antediluvian claims were true. What is relevant is that the people of Sumer believed their rulers were successors of the antediluvian civilization.

Some might interpret the polytheistic religion of Sumer as an expression of that which came before the flood. In the following paragraphs I will explain why this perspective might be argued from an ancient Near East Christian point of view.

In the Bible there are brief descriptions of the antediluvian world.

In Genesis 3 Adam and Eve are deceived by a serpent in the Garden of Eden. According to Ezekiel 28:13-14 Satan was in the Garden of Eden and he was a cherubim angel. According to accounts in Ezekiel 1 and Ezekiel 10, representation of the creaturely realm is incorporated into the appearance of cherubim angels. Revelation 20:2 refers to Satan as a dragon and a serpent.

I believe that, according to the Bible, Satan is a powerful angel with a serpentine appearance. When God rebukes Satan in Genesis 3:14 I believe He is speaking figuratively and relegating Satan to an animal in metaphorical terms. I believe that Isaiah 14:11-12 and Ezekiel 28:17 are more literal pronouncements of the same judgement found in Genesis 3:14. It seems that these pronouncements, in their entirety, consist of past tense, present tense, and future tense elements.

Some have speculated that Satan's fall took place prior to the creation of Eden. I disagree with this notion as it would render Ezekiel 28:13-15 anachronistic.

The Bible tells us that Satan was a powerful angel with rank and responsibility. It says that Satan fell from his position of excellence and corrupted the human race. Thus begins the downward spiral of the antediluvian age.

The next antediluvian event marked by corruption is the Bible’s first recorded homicide. Adam’s son Cain murders his brother Abel. Afterward, violence becomes commonplace in antediluvian society (e.g., Genesis 4:23-24, Genesis 6:11).

In Genesis 6 angels engage in illicit relations with human women (I believe this is referenced in Jude 1:6-7) and the resulting offspring are hybrids known as “Nephilim.” The Nephilim were generally regarded as debased, oppressive giants who roamed the earth before and after the flood. Like flood mythology, hybrid/giant mythology is a reoccurring theme worldwide.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_giants_in_mythology_and_folklore (List of giants in mythology and folklore)

https://mythology.wikia.org/wiki/Demigod (Demigod)

Eventually, people reach a state of perpetual evil and all flesh corrupts its way on the earth (see Genesis 6:12). God decides to destroy the antediluvian world save for Noah, his family, and a host of animals.

It is important to note that in the ancient Near East, many Christians believed that the transgressive relationship between humans and fallen angels was one of the primary factors contributing to the flood.

From an ancient Near East Abrahamic perspective, polytheism was thought to include the worship of either a) fallen entities, b) non-existent entities, or c) both. From this perspective, some might perceive a post-flood engagement with polytheism as a revival of antediluvian practices. It was believed by many in the ancient Near East that pagan gods were in fact fallen angels masquerading as benevolent beings.

Various ancient Near East perspectives might interpret Sumerian religion as the early stages of an antediluvian resurgence—humans and fallen angels collaborating together.

The Bible establishes a clear distinction between created beings and the eternal, uncreated God. Only God is to be worshipped (see Matthew 4:10). Created beings such as angels are not to be worshipped (see Colossians 2:18, Romans 1:25). Even when a human worships an angel by mistake the angel should reject the worship (see Revelation 22:8-9). If any supernatural being other than God receives worship and approves of it, then this being, according to biblical doctrine, is either a corrupt angel or a demon.

The Sumerians are conquered by Sargon of Akkad and the postdiluvian world’s first empire is established. The empire integrates Sumerian and Akkadian civilization together. The Akkadian language replaces the Sumerian language in day-to-day life, however, the Sumerian language is retained for specialty purposes (similar to Latin’s relevancy in the Middle Ages). Eventually, Akkadian becomes the lingua franca of the Middle East.

In Genesis 11 people come together and propose a large project.

“Then they said, ‘Come, let us build ourselves a city and a tower with its top in the heavens, and let us make a name for ourselves, lest we be dispersed over the face of the whole earth.’” (Genesis 11:4, ESV)

After the flood God told humans to be fruitful, multiply, and fill the earth (see Genesis 9:1). In Genesis 11 not only do people express a contrary desire to this command but they attempt to erect a monument to this defiance. God confuses their language and disperses them over the surface of all the earth.

God then assigns angels (sons of God) to the nations—God is permitting the fallen nations to have their gods, the angels, preside over them.

“When the Most High gave to the nations their inheritance, when he divided mankind, he fixed the borders of the peoples according to the number of the sons of God.” (Deuteronomy 32:8, ESV)

Much later in Psalm 82 God speaks to the angels who preside over the nations. He is not happy with their administration. Some believe that, in part, Satan and his angels are permitted to rule so that people can see just how futile any alternative to God is.

ANCIENT CHRISTIAN PERSPECTIVES ON ISRAEL, THE MESSIAH, AND THE WORLD

The Bible says that the nation of Israel is God’s personal nation. Israel will always be God’s people and nation (see Genesis 17:8). Israel will continue to exist, both spiritually and ethnically, in this current age as well as the age to come (see Ezekiel 37:1-14 and Ezekiel 47:13-23. I believe Ezekiel 47 is a prophecy pertaining to the millennium after the resurrection—I will explain this position in part 3). In the Bible, Israel is presented as an ark among the sea of fallen nations.

“But the LORD’s portion is his people, Jacob his allotted heritage.” (Deuteronomy 32:9, ESV)

“And who is like your people Israel, the one nation on earth whom God went to redeem to be his people, making himself a name and doing for them great and awesome things by driving out before your people, whom you redeemed for yourself from Egypt, a nation and its gods?” (2 Samuel 7:23, ESV)

The angel who presides over the nation of Israel is the archangel Michael (see Daniel 12:1). Michael is a holy angel loyal to God.

Through Israel the Messiah comes to redeem the world.

“For to us a child is born, to us a son is given; and the government shall be upon his shoulder, and his name shall be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. Of the increase of his government and of peace there will be no end, on the throne of David and over his kingdom, to establish it and to uphold it with justice and with righteousness from this time forth and forevermore. The zeal of the LORD of hosts will do this.” (Isaiah 9:6-7, ESV)

“But he was pierced for our transgressions; he was crushed for our iniquities; upon him was the chastisement that brought us peace, and with his wounds we are healed. All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned—every one—to his own way; and the LORD has laid on him the iniquity of us all.” (Isaiah 53:5-6, ESV)

The Messiah described in Isaiah 9:6-7 and Isaiah 53:5-6 is God in the flesh, HaMashiach of Israel. People living in the ancient Near East believed that Jesus of Nazareth was the HaMashiach for many different reasons. One of these reasons was that the prophecies in Isaiah (and Zechariah 12:10) were written long before Jesus was born of the Virgin Mary and long before He suffered and died on the cross.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Isaiah_Scroll (Isaiah Scroll)

According to ancient Near East Christianity, Jesus will one day return to rule the entire planet from the nation of Israel (Christian interpretation of Isaiah 9:6-7).

The Bible says that when Gentiles become genuine Christians, they are spiritually grafted into Israel.

“But if some of the branches were broken off, and you, although a wild olive shoot, were grafted in among the others and now share in the nourishing root of the olive tree, do not be arrogant toward the branches. If you are, remember it is not you who support the root, but the root that supports you.” (Romans 11:17-18, ESV)

“Lest you be wise in your own sight, I do not want you to be unaware of this mystery, brothers: a partial hardening has come upon Israel, until the fullness of the Gentiles has come in. And in this way all Israel will be saved, as it is written, ‘The Deliverer will come from Zion, he will banish ungodliness from Jacob’; ‘and this will be my covenant with them when I take away their sins.’” (Romans 11:25-27, ESV)

To emphasize Israel’s biblical destiny as a nation, a small nation that overcomes the fallen world, numerous analogies are provided throughout the Bible.

There are several battles between Israelites and Nephilim giants—God’s people verses the fallen angel’s people.

The editorial note in Numbers 13:33 tells us that the Anakim were Nephilim. In Joshua 11:21 the Anakim are defeated by the Israelites. In Joshua 11:22 we are told that some of the Anakim remained in Gaza, Gath, and Ashdod. Most people are familiar with the story of “David and Goliath.” Goliath was from Gath which may suggest he was Nephilim. David, a small Israeli shepherd boy, defeats a fallen worldly giant—an analogy of Israel’s national destiny to overcome the fallen world. (see also 2 Samuel 21:15-22)

Prominent historians would mention giants in their writing.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thucydides (Thucydides)

http://www.perseus.tufts.edu/hopper/text?doc=urn:cts:greekLit:tlg0003.tlg001.perseus-eng3:6.2.1 (Thucydides, The Peloponnesian War)

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Laestrygonians (Laestrygonians)

In book 5, chapter 2, verse 3 of Antiquities of the Jews, Josephus describes giants as having a surprising countenance and a skeletal structure contrary to humans (I regard Josephus as a secular source ONLY. I would recommend that other people do the same).

http://penelope.uchicago.edu/josephus/ant-5.html (Antiquities of the Jews — Book V)

I disagree with Brien Foerster’s views on religion, science, etc. However, I think his inquiry into abnormal skulls is somewhat intriguing when contemplating the unusual nature of the past.

(Note: I do not agree with the host's statements at the beginning of the video)

Some people believe that the Nephilim still walk among us today (an extremely diluted form of them). I do not share this belief. One might argue that Daniel 2:43 suggests the possibility of their return. In the event of such an occurrence, Christians are called to spread the gospel. Christians are not called to physically engage/fight with Nephilim or any other people for that matter. Christians are called to live in peace as best they can.

“Repay no one evil for evil, but give thought to do what is honorable in the sight of all. If possible, so far as it depends on you, live peaceably with all.” (Romans 12:17-18, ESV)

ANCIENT CHRISTIAN PERSPECTIVE ON ANGELIC AUTHORITIES AND POST-RESSURECTION COMMISSIONS

The apostle Paul speaks of evil spiritual authorities to which he and the saints contend with by sharing the gospel.

“For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places.” (Ephesians 6:12, ESV)

I believe the spiritual forces of evil mentioned in Ephesians 6:12 are the same administration God rebukes in Psalm 82.

When attempting to study the motives of Satan and the host of Ephesians 6:12 through the lens of an ancient Near East Christian, I’ve come to several conclusions.

In the Old Testament angels with authority are often referred to as “sons of God.” According to Deuteronomy 32:8, the sons of God are assigned to nations. In Daniel 10 nations have supernatural princes who sometimes contend with other supernatural beings (see Daniel 10:13, Daniel 10:20). Genesis 6:4 and Psalm 82 tells us that “sons of God” transgressed. With additional information it is implied that the leader of the transgressors is Satan (see Matthew 4:8-9, John 14:30).

In Luke 3 a genealogy is provided. Adam is listed as a “son of God” because he is a direct creation of God—there is no human lineage between Adam and God. After Adam sins, his fallen nature is carried down through the generations. Adam’s sin corrupts the entire human race (see Romans 5:12). When Jesus the Son of God (capital S) enters into creation as the Son of Man, He tells Nicodemus that in order to see the kingdom of God one must be born again. The Greek rendered “again” in English is ambiguous and can also mean “from above.” I believe that both meanings are intended and that Jesus is saying one must be born again from above to be restored. Jesus goes on to make several other statements.

“That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. Do not marvel that I said to you, ‘You must be born again.’” (John 3:6-7, ESV)

“And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, so must the Son of Man be lifted up, that whoever believes in him may have eternal life.” (John 3:14-15, ESV)

The Bible is saying that in order to escape the corrupt lineage and fallen nature of this world one must be born again spiritually through Jesus Christ. Those who are genuinely born again through faith in Christ become “sons of God.”

“for in Christ Jesus you are all sons of God, through faith.” (Galatians 3:26, ESV)

“he predestined us for adoption to himself as sons through Jesus Christ, according to the purpose of his will,” (Ephesians 1:5, ESV)

“And Jesus said to them, ‘The sons of this age marry and are given in marriage, but those who are considered worthy to attain to that age and to the resurrection from the dead neither marry nor are given in marriage, for they cannot die anymore, because they are equal to angels and are sons of God, being sons of the resurrection.” (Luke 20:34-36, ESV)

Just as Jesus replaces Satan as the Emperor of the world (see Isaiah 9:6-7), the Bible seems to suggest that Christian sons of God will replace the current angelic sons of God as supernatural administrators (after the resurrection).

“if we endure, we will also reign with him; if we deny him, he also will deny us;” (2 Timothy 2:12, ESV)

“The one who conquers and who keeps my works until the end, to him I will give authority over the nations,” (Revelation 2:26, ESV)

“Or do you not know that the saints will judge the world? And if the world is to be judged by you, are you incompetent to try trivial cases? Do you not know that we are to judge angels? How much more, then, matters pertaining to this life!” (1 Corinthians 6:2-3, ESV)

The Psalm 82 gods, who I believe are the same host described in Ephesians 6:12, are told that their demise is inevitable. The Bible suggests that they will be replaced by Christians. With this situation in view, an ancient Near East Christian may have come to the following conclusion: The gods saturate the world with pseudo-enlightenment schemes and false religious systems in an attempt to try and postpone or circumvent their inevitable end—replacement and destruction. The gods will deceive people into thinking that they can merit their own salvation through good deeds, rituals, and point systems, to try and prevent the replacement quota from being reached. However, according to ancient biblical interpretation, people can only be saved by grace through faith in Christ Jesus.

“For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast.” (Ephesians 2:8-9, ESV)

“For by a single offering he has perfected for all time those who are being sanctified.” (Hebrews 10:14, ESV)

“But to all who did receive him, who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God, who were born, not of blood nor of the will of the flesh nor of the will of man, but of God.” (John 1:12-13, ESV)

The Bible doesn’t say that non-Christians are satanic or purposely in league with various forms of spiritual deception (although the Bible does testify to the existence of satanism as well as those who knowingly engage with spiritual deception). King Cyrus of Persia, a pagan king, was a great man who is highly esteemed throughout the Bible. The Bible acknowledges that there are noble non-Christian men and women —the good Samaritan being another example (see Luke 10:25-37). The Bible also acknowledges that there are Christians who backslide and behave in ways unbecoming of a Christian. According to the Bible, all humans are made in the image of God and God cares about everyone. The point the Bible is trying to make is that all men and women are guilty of something—everyone requires atonement to be restored to immortality and to be accepted into the next age. The Bible is saying that those with Christ as their atoning sacrifice will be saved and those without Him will perish.

ANCIENT CHRISTIAN PERSPECTIVE AND CURRENT EVENTS

It is said that in the ancient world the Hebrew book of Genesis contended with the Babylonian Enūma Eliš.

https://www.toddjana.com/genesis-1-in-its-ane-context/ (Genesis 1:1-2:3 in its Ancient Near Eastern Context)

Today, pagan narratives are re-emerging through occult forms of scientific thought.

In the opening sequence of Prometheus (2012) an extraterrestrial being is sacrificed to create life. In the Babylonian Enūma Eliš a god is sacrificed to create life (Tablet 6). The Enūma Eliš is written on clay tablets in Sumero-Akkadian cuneiform script. If you look closely (0:34), there is a visual resemblance between Sumero-Akkadian cuneiform script and the script on the extraterrestrial’s bowl.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/En%C5%ABma_Eli%C5%A1#Tablet_6 (Enūma Eliš)

https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/4/4a/Sumero-Akkadian_cuneiform_syllabary.jpg (Sumero-Akkadian cuneiform syllabary)

This trend of recasting the gods as extraterrestrial entities from other planets is not limited to Mesopotamian mythology. It involves mythologies from all around the world and has been gaining momentum for decades.

According to the Bible, angels can leave their abodes and assume physical form. Sometimes this is endorsed by God (see Genesis 18:20-22 followed by Genesis 19:1-3) but in other circumstances it is a very serious transgression (see Genesis 6:4 followed by Jude 1:6-7).

If ancient Near East Christians were alive today, they would probably have a different take on current events. They might interpret current events as having set the stage for a bogus claim of interplanetary origin should a corrupt angelic host decide to make such a claim.

Some of them may see Extraterrestrialism as a potential false religion. Others might see the entire topic of aerial phenomena and interplanetary visitation as a massive decoy. Both would agree that the gods are a supernatural host with supernatural intelligence and composition—they’re superior to humans. They would agree that without the Trinitarian God of the Christian Bible, humans have no prevailing discernment in supernatural matters. In other words, they would agree that humans cannot outthink the host of Ephesians 6:12 without divine intervention. They would attempt to contemplate both contemporary and future events using biblical content and reasoning.

This brings us to our next topic, Christian Eschatology.

After studying Christian eschatology for several years, I can safely say that most people do not understand it. There are many false end time’s interpretations (interpretations that contradict the biblical text) and many false associations. For example, some people have suggested that the coronavirus vaccines are the mark of the beast. However, I know that the current coronavirus vaccines are NOT the mark of the beast (they cannot be interpreted as such) because according to the Bible, certain events must first take place before the mark of the beast is presented (see Revelation 13:11-18). Needless to say, a number of these events have never occurred. Also, it should be noted that the Bible does not specify whether or not the mark of the beast comes in the form of a vaccine.

In my next post I will discuss eschatology. I will share what I think are some of the most accurate resources on the topic and I will attempt to answer a common challenge to premillennialism.

To conclude this post, I will share a link as well as my thoughts on various Christian doctrines. I hope to discuss textual transmission and translation in a separate post (2022). For now, I would recommend the English Standard Version to anyone who would like an English translation of the Bible. You can find a free audio production of the English Standard Version online.

https://www.faithcomesbyhearing.com/audio-bible-resources/mp3-downloads (Faith Comes By Hearing)

CHRISTIAN PASSAGES AND DOCTRINES

In my opinion, the following passages are some of the most relevant passages in Christian Theology…

  • Jesus identifies Himself as God – Compare John 8:58 with Exodus 3:14.
  • Luke 5:32, Luke 15:2-7, and Luke 18:9-14.
  • Romans 5:8–10, 1 Corinthians 15:3–8, 1 Corinthians 15:20–22, and John 14:6.
  • John 1:12–13, Romans 9:15–16, Ephesians 1:5, Ephesians 2:8–9, and John 6:44.
  • John 10:27–30.
  • Isaiah 53:6 and 2 Corinthians 5:21.

In my opinion, the following doctrines are some of the most biblically accurate doctrines in Christian Theology…

Doctrine of the Trinity

There are numerous examples of God referring to a second person of Himself in the Old Testament.

“Then the LORD rained on Sodom and Gomorrah sulfur and fire from the LORD out of heaven.” (Genesis 19:24, ESV)

Notice how God refers to a second person of Himself when He describes the overthrow of Sodom and Gomorrah.

“‘I overthrew some of you, as when God overthrew Sodom and Gomorrah, and you were as a brand plucked out of the burning; yet you did not return to me,’ declares the LORD.” (Amos 4:11, ESV)

The Holy Spirit is described as God’s presence and operates in time and space as the third person of the Trinity.

“Cast me not away from your presence, and take not your Holy Spirit from me.” (Psalm 51:11, ESV)

“The earth was without form and void, and darkness was over the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God was hovering over the face of the waters.” (Genesis 1:2, ESV)

Given that angels do not create in the same sense that God does, I believe that “us” and “our” in Genesis 1:26 is the Trinity.

“Then God said, ‘Let us make man in our image, after our likeness. And let them have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over the livestock and over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.’” (Genesis 1:26, ESV)

In Revelation 4:8 God is addressed/worshiped as holy three times. This occurs in the Old Testament as well.

“And one called to another and said: ‘Holy, holy, holy is the LORD of hosts; the whole earth is full of his glory!’” (Isaiah 6:3, ESV)

The above quotes are but a few examples of the many Old Testament passages which support the doctrine of the Trinity. In fact, due to the numerous Old Testament descriptions of a second person in the Godhead, many ancient Jews concluded that God exists in two persons or two powers. This binitarian belief was considered admissible by Judaism up until approximately the second century CE.

Continuationism

Cessationism is not biblical (see 1 Corinthians 12:4-11). However, the Bible calls for discernment and warns about counterfeits.

Premillennialism

I believe that the prewrath position is the most consistent Christian eschatological position. This position belongs to the premillennial system of eschatology which I will discuss in the following post.

National Israel

According to the Bible, Israel has a very glorious national destiny (see Isaiah 9:6-7). However, the ancient prophets forecast difficult times for Israel prior to the fulfillment of her destiny (see Jeremiah 30:7, Daniel 9:26-27, Daniel 11:36-39).

This concludes my post on Ancient Christian Perspectives. For part 2, click here.

NOTE: When referencing the Bible, I will be using the English Standard Version (ESV) unless otherwise indicated. I am in no way supported by, or affiliated with any of the sources, resources, or references used in this document/post.

When studying Christian eschatology, one might notice a large number of proposed interpretations for end time’s events. After studying eschatology for several years I've come to the conclusion that the most biblically consistent interpretation is the prewrath position.

Prewrath is a futurist position which belongs to the premillennial system of eschatology.

GENERAL ESCHATOLOGICAL POSITIONS

Futurism: The belief that many Bible prophecies will be fulfilled, in a literal sense, at some point in the future.

In contrast to futurism there are two other general positions on eschatology. These positions are preterism and historicism.

Preterism: The belief that most prophecies found in the Bible have already been fulfilled. For example, many preterists believe that the prophecy found in Daniel 11:31 was fulfilled when Antiochus Epiphanes invaded Jerusalem and desecrated the Temple in 168 BCE. However, over a century later, Jesus would speak of the same prophecy as having yet to be fulfilled (see Matthew 24:15). Preterists believe that most of the prophecies found in the New Testament were fulfilled during the first century CE. However, at no point between Jesus’ crucifixion and our current time frame has all life in the sea perished (see Revelation 16:3). At no point between Jesus’ crucifixion and our current time frame has a horde of supernatural beings, led by an angel, attacked humanity (see Joel 2:1-11 and Revelation 9:1-11). There are more examples but I will stop there.

Historicism: The belief that prophecies are symbolic and representative of historical events pertaining to church history. For example, some historicists believe that the great tribulation occurred in the Middle Ages.  However, Jesus said that the great tribulation would be an unprecedented time and that it would have to be cut short otherwise no human being would be saved (see Matthew 24:21-22). Historicists are correct in that some prophecies are symbolic. However, I believe that historicists have misinterpreted a large number of these prophecies. I also believe that they’ve applied symbolic interpretation to text that is supposed to be taken literally.

I firmly believe that futurism is the most biblical eschatological position and that the other two positions are erroneous.

GENERAL ESCHATOLOGICAL POSITIONS ON THE MILLENNIUM; SUB-CATEGORIES OF FUTURISM

Before discussing this sub-category, there is an important definition below.

The Millennial Reign of Christ: The belief that after Jesus Christ returns to defeat the antichrist and false prophet, Satan will be thrown into the “abyss” and Jesus will rule the world from Jerusalem for 1000 years (see Revelation 19:11 – Revelation 20:6 and Isaiah 9:6-7).

Premillennialism: The belief that Jesus Christ’s millennial reign on earth (see Revelation 20:1-6) will be a literal event that takes place in the future. Premillennialists believe that the millennial reign will begin shortly after Jesus’ arrival at the second coming.

In contrast to premillennialism there are two other general eschatological positions on the millennial reign. These positions are amillennialism and postmillennialism.

Amillennialism: The belief that the millennial reign is not a literal time frame or a physical kingdom on earth. Amillennialists interpret the millennium as a metaphorical time frame and a spiritual kingdom that commenced at Jesus’ first coming. They believe that the millennial reign is a current event and will continue until the second coming of Jesus Christ. However, in revelation 20 it is said that Satan will be bound in the abyss during the millennial reign (see Revelation 20:2-3). Amillennialists say that Satan is currently bound as a result of Christ’s work on the cross. 1 Peter 5:8, James 4:7, 1 John 5:19, Ephesians 6:11, and Ephesians 6:16 were all written after Jesus’ work on the cross. Additionally, Revelation 12 does not indicate that Satan is currently bound. Lastly, the eschatological events described in Revelation 19:11-21, which take place at Jesus’ second coming, are not isolated or disconnected from the events described in Revelation 20:1-6. There are no chapter breaks in the original manuscripts of Revelation and I believe that Revelation 20:1-6 directly follows Revelation 19:11-21 as a sequential, cohesive whole. For further information on the direct connection between Revelation 19:11-21 and Revelation 20:1-6 see Dr. Alan Kurschner’s content in the following link. Dr. Kurschner’s content was where I first learned about this connection.

https://www.alankurschner.com/2019/07/11/a-new-approach-to-the-millennial-debate-in-the-book-of-revelation-ep-139/ (A New Approach to the Millennial Debate in the Book of Revelation – Ep. 139)

Postmillennialism: The belief that Jesus Christ will return at the end of the millennial age described in Revelation 20:1-6. Postmillennialists believe that Christians, not Christ Himself, will establish the millennial age and that the second coming of Jesus Christ will occur only after this has been achieved. However, according to the Bible, the vast majority of the world will be opposed to Christianity at Jesus’ second coming (see Revelation 13-14). Paul warns that in the last days the world will be a very dark place (see 2 Timothy 3:1-4), not a millennial Christian kingdom.

In my experience, the most challenging question for premillennialism is the issue of animal sacrifice during the millennium. I believe I have the answer to this question and I will share it in the final section of this post. Overall, I believe the premillennial system of eschatology is by far the most harmonious in comparison to the other systems. I firmly believe that the other systems are not biblical (especially postmillennialism).

GENERAL ESCHATOLOGICAL POSITIONS ON THE RAPTURE; SUB-CATEGORIES OF PREMILLENNIALISM

Before discussing this sub-category, there are some important definitions below.

The Rapture: The rapture is an event described in 1 Thessalonians 4:16-18, Matthew 24:30-31, and several other passages. At some point near the end of the age Christians, both dead and alive, will be gathered to Christ in the heavens.

7 Year Period: In Daniel 9:24-27, 70 prophetic weeks are decreed. Premillennialists believe that 1 prophetic day is equal to 1 ancient calendar year (360 days). This conclusion is based on several passages such as Numbers 14:34 and Ezekiel 4:6. It is believed that of the 70 prophetic weeks, 69 have been fulfilled and they were fulfilled consecutively. Premillennialists believe that the 69th week was marked by the destruction of the Second Jewish Temple in 70 CE (see Daniel 9:26). After the conclusion of the 69th week, it is believed that the final week is on hold until the closing phase of the current age commences. It is believed that the man described in Daniel 9:27 is the antichrist and that the final week of Daniel will feature the eschatological period discussed in various passages throughout the New Testament (e.g., Matthew 24:9-25). Thus, the final week of Daniel is believed to be a 7 year period with each year consisting of 360 days. It is believed that this period will occur near the very end of this current age and that it will feature the antichrist.

The Great Tribulation: The Great Tribulation is a time frame within the 7 year period when the antichrist unleashes a severe, unparalleled persecution against Christians and Jews.

Day of the Lord: The day of the Lord is a time frame when God’s wrath will be poured out on the earth (see Isaiah 13:9-11, Zephaniah 1:14-18, 1 Thessalonians 5:2-3, 2 Peter 3:3-10. There are many more passages which discuss the day of the Lord). The day of the Lord commences at some point during the 7 year period.

Prewrath Rapture: The belief that the rapture will take place at some unknown point during the 7 year period after the antichrist has been revealed but prior to God’s wrath (see 2 Thessalonians 2:1-4, Romans 5:9, 1 Thessalonians 1:10, 1 Thessalonians 5:9-10). In other words, those who hold to the prewrath position believe that the rapture will occur at some unknown point during the second half of the 7 year period (see Matthew 24:21-22). According to the Bible, the exact day and hour of the rapture is unknown (see Matthew 24:36), however, it will be possible to know when the rapture is drawing near (see Matthew 24:32-33 and 1 Thessalonians 5:1-4). Prewrath teaches that Christians will be evacuated from the earth before God’s wrath commences on the day of the Lord.

In contrast to the prewrath position, there are two other primary positions on the timing of the rapture. These are the pretribulation and posttribulation rapture positions.

Pretribulation Rapture: The belief that the rapture will take place at some point before the 7 year period. I disagree with this view because 2 Thessalonians 2:1-4 and Revelation 13:5-7 both describe Christians being present on earth during the 7 year period. According to 1 Thessalonians 4:15-17 and 1 Corinthians 15:51-52, ALL Christians, both dead and alive, will be gathered to Jesus at the rapture.

Posttribulation Rapture: The belief that the rapture will take place at the end of the 7 year period and that the day of the Lord is a literal 24 hour day which will also occur at the end of the 7 year period. I disagree with this view because Revelation 9:5 describes a period of time, during the day of the Lord, which lasts 5 months. Also, the Bible indicates that the day of the Lord will come as a surprise to those who are not Christian (see Matthew 24:37-41, 1 Thessalonians 5:1-3, Matthew 24:29-31, Revelation 6:12-17, and 1 Thessalonians 5:2-4). Given the severity of the judgements which follow Jesus’ arrival in Revelation 6:12-17, I don’t see how a thief-like entrance can be applied to the end of the 7 year period. It seems that people are already aware of Jesus’ arrival before the battle of Armageddon (which commences at the end of the 7 year period). Notice how in Revelation 16:10-11 people are aware that God is actively judging them.

Many posttribulationists also believe that the seals (see Revelation 6-8), trumpets (see Revelation 8-11), and bowls (see Revelation 16) are the same events being described from different points of view. However, on closer inspection, it is quite clear that the events are distinct from one another. For example, in Revelation 8:8-9 the trumpet judgement kills a third of the creatures in the sea. In Revelation 16:3, the bowl judgement kills everything in the sea. The judgements are progressively getting worse. It is said that the recapitulation concept—the idea that the seals, trumpets, and bowls are the same events from different angles—wasn’t introduced until the late third century by a man named Victorinus. Also, when observing the correlation between the book of Joshua and the book of Revelation, there seems to be support for the progression model of prewrath.

- Jericho campaign led by Joshua: Day of the Lord led by Jesus. The name “Jesus” is the Greek form of the name “Joshua”.

- 2 servants are sent into Jericho (Josh. 2:1): 2 witnesses are sent into the world (Rev. 11:3-4).

- 7 priests with 7 trumpets (Josh. 6:8): 7 angels with 7 trumpets (Rev. 8:6).

- A silence preceding the shout (Josh. 6:10-16): A silence preceding the trumpets (Rev. 8:1-5).

- 7’s unfolding into 7’s (Josh. 6:14-16): 7’s unfolding into 7’s (Rev. 8:1-6, Rev. 11:15, – I believe Rev. 12-14 is an interlude – Rev. 15:1, Rev. 16:17-19).

- Gentiles—Rahab and family—are saved from destruction (Josh. 6:17): Gentiles are saved from destruction (Rom. 9:22-26, 1 Thess. 4:16-17, Matt. 24:29-31) (Rev. 6:12-17).

- Joshua settles Israel into the Promised Land: Jesus settles Israel/Christians into the Millennial Kingdom (Zech.12:10, Rev. 20:4).

Considering the septet pattern in Joshua (7’s unfolding into 7’s) as well as everything else mentioned above, I believe that the seals, trumpets, and bowls unfold progressively with an interlude occurring at Revelation 12-14. I believe that the 7th seal commences the 7 trumpets, and that the 7th trumpet commences the 7 bowls. Notice what is said in Revelation 15:1 and Revelation 16:17.

“Then I saw another sign in heaven, great and amazing, seven angels with seven plagues, which are the last, for with them the wrath of God is finished.” (Revelation 15:1, ESV)

“The seventh angel poured out his bowl into the air, and a loud voice came out of the temple, from the throne, saying, ‘It is done!’” (Revelation 16:17, ESV)

Finally, I do not believe the “last trumpet” mentioned in 1 Corinthians 15:52 is referring to the 7th trumpet in Revelation 11:15 (many posttribulationists do). When Paul mentioned the last trumpet in 1 Corinthians, John had not yet received the Revelation (the book of Revelation did not exist yet). Thus, I doubt Paul’s immediate audience would have known what he was talking about unless there was a reference point in the Old Testament. In Numbers 10:1-10 silver trumpets are mentioned. These trumpets and their role in ancient Jewish society would have been known to an ancient audience. In Joel 2:1, a Numbers 10 trumpet call is referenced in an eschatological context. The context is connected to the day of the Lord. When Paul says “the last trumpet” in 1 Corinthians 15:52, I believe he means that it is the final use of the Numbers 10 trumpet system in this current age. Given what’s said in 1 Thessalonians 4:16, it seems that Jesus is the one who blows the final trumpet. I do not believe Paul is referring to the 7th trumpet of revelation, which is blown by an angel.

For those interested in an introduction to prewrath, or, Christian eschatology in general, I would recommend Dr. Alan Kurschner’s book “Antichrist Before the Day of the Lord: What Every Christian Needs to Know about the Return of Christ.” I think this book is full of biblically sound interpretation, however, there are some areas I disagree with or would approach differently. For example:

- I disagree with some of the speculation concerning the seals/trumpets (e.g., p. 63).

- I disagree with the proposed timing of New Jerusalem’s descent (pp. 84-85). Unless I’m mistaken, Dr. Kurschner implies that the New Jerusalem will descend from heaven near the beginning of the millennium. I believe the Bible says that it will descend at some point after the millennium. Revelation 21:1-4 describes the descent of New Jerusalem in conjunction with several decrees. One of these decrees is the end of death itself (see Revelation 21:4). It is said that Satan will be released at the end of the millennium (see Revelation 20:7). The people that Satan assembles are destroyed (see Revelation 20:9). Therefore, death is still a reality up until the end of the millennium. This is just one of the reasons I believe the biblical timeline for New Jerusalem's descent is at the end of the millennium.

- I believe 1 Enoch contradicts the Bible in several areas, therefore, I would not use it to support a theological view.

- I believe the Didache contradicts the Bible in several areas and I believe The Shepherd of Hermas is fiction. Thus, I would not use them as reference points.

- I believe that a number of the “early Christian writings” not included in the canon of Scripture were altered and are dubious. There are very few (in comparison to the whole) that I would use as a reference.

- I believe Tertullian was a heretic and I would not use him as a reference.

- In my opinion, when it comes to eschatological framework, Alan Kurschner and Charles Cooper have the most biblically consistent presentations online (that I know of). People looking for more information about Christian eschatology may want to check them out. I will mention that I have not viewed all their material—I can only vouch for the content that I’ve seen so far (eschatological content).

IS PREMILLENNIALISM COMPATIBLE WITH THE LETTER TO THE HEBREWS?

Like I said before, I believe the most challenging question for premillennialism is the issue of animal sacrifice. Does animal sacrifice during the millennium contradict the letter to the Hebrews?

First and foremost, we need to address a very common misconception.

It is assumed by many that the Temple described in Ezekiel 40-46 and the Temple described in Ezekiel 47 are one and the same. If this were true, then the Temple described in Ezekiel 47 would be the site of Old Covenant Levitical sacrifices (see Ezekiel 45:22). This would contradict several statements in Hebrews (e.g., Hebrews 10:10, Hebrews 10:14, Hebrews 10:18) because the Temple in Ezekiel 47 is a yet to be realized structure. From a Christian point of view, the Temple described in Ezekiel 47 is to exist as a structure during the millennial reign of Christ. This means that it cannot house ordinances which contradict the letter to the Hebrews.

What most people miss—including myself until it was pointed out to me—is that a prophetic transition occurs at Ezekiel 47:1.

“Then he brought me back to the door of the temple....” (Ezekiel 47:1, ESV)

Prophetic transitions occur throughout the Bible and I will use Isaiah 7-9 as an example. There is a near-future fulfillment of Isaiah 7:14-16, however, the prophecy also predicts the coming of the Messiah in the distant-future. Isaiah 9 is connected to Isaiah 7-8, however, Isaiah 9 prophetically transitions from the typology used in the previous chapters to distinct, particular identification in verses like Isaiah 9:6.

I believe that Ezekiel 40-46 is describing a near-future Second Temple which typifies a distant-future millennial Temple. As I said before, I believe that a prophetic transition occurs at Ezekiel 47:1 and that the Temple being described in Ezekiel 47 is a distinct, future millennial Temple.

Notice that there’s water flowing from both the Temple in Ezekiel 47 and the eschatological Temple in Joel 3:18. In both cases, the water flows into the same area which, in my opinion, suggests that the Temple described in Ezekiel 47 is the same Temple described in Joel 3:18.

“And he said to me, 'Son of man, have you seen this?' Then he led me back to the bank of the river. As I went back, I saw on the bank of the river very many trees on the one side and on the other. And he said to me, 'This water flows toward the eastern region and goes down into the Arabah, and enters the sea; when the water flows into the sea, the water will become fresh.” (Ezekiel 47:6-8, ESV)

https://www.jewishvirtuallibrary.org/the-arabah  (Arabah Location)

https://naturalishistoria.files.wordpress.com/2014/09/dead-sea-rift-valley-diagram.jpg  (Jordan River Valley)

“'And in that day the mountains shall drip sweet wine, and the hills shall flow with milk, and all the streambeds of Judah shall flow with water; and a fountain shall come forth from the house of the LORD and water the Valley of Shittim.” (Joel 3:18, ESV)

http://www.jewishencyclopedia.com/articles/13593-shittim  (Valley of Shittim Location)

One might argue that the measurements in Ezekiel 42:15-19 indicate mile long walls. If that were true, then the Temple in Ezekiel 40-46 has not been built yet because there has never been a Jewish Temple with mile long walls. However, I checked the measurements of Ezekiel 42:15-19 in A New English Translation of the Septuagint (NETS). I noticed that the Septuagint renders the measurement in Ezekiel 42:17 as five hundred cubits. With that said, I believe the Temple described in Ezekiel 40-46 is much smaller than what many people suppose. I think these people may have misunderstood the Masoretic rendering of the measurements provided in Ezekiel 42:15-19. Like I said before, I believe that the Temple described in Ezekiel 40-46 is the Second Temple.

With a correct understanding of Ezekiel 40-47, Ezekiel 40-46 is removed from the eschatological framework of premillennialism. The remaining passages that describe animal sacrifice during the millennium contain neither sin offerings (chattah) nor guilt offerings (asham).

The eschatological passages I’m referring to are the following.

  • Isaiah 56:7
  • Jeremiah 33:18
  • Zechariah 14:16-21
  • Malachi 3:3-4

In the above verses, the following sacrificial terms are used or implied.

  • Zebach
  • 'Ishshah
  • Olah
  • Minchah
  • Nesek
  • Nedabah

Of the remaining sacrificial terms mentioned, none of them are bound to expiatory roles. Take the olah (burnt offering) for example. The following is a quote from Jacob Milgrom.

“The burnt offering then is a gift, with any number of goals in mind, one of which—the one singled out in this chapter—is expiation.” – Milgrom, Jacob. Leviticus 1-16: a new translation with introduction and commentary. Yale University Press, 2009, p. 176.

It seems that, according to Milgrom, the burnt offering can vary in its purpose. If I understand correctly, the burnt offering does not have to be a sin offering (I believe Leviticus 22:18-19 attests to this). It can be carried out strictly as a devotional function. I believe the same can be said for zebach, 'ishshah, and minchah. The nesek is a drink offering which can accompany an expiatory sacrifice, however, the nesek is not an expiatory sacrifice in and of itself. Lastly, the nedabah is a free-will offering and it is not expiatory.

I believe that the context of animal sacrifice in the letter to the Hebrews is Mosaic Law and expiation (e.g., Hebrews 7:18-19, Hebrews 8:4, Hebrews 10:8, etc.). Sacrifices during the millennium will not be expiatory nor will they feature as elements of Mosaic Law. Thus, I do not believe there is any contradiction between premillennial eschatology and the letter to the Hebrews.

NOTE: Above I mentioned my use of the Septuagint. I believe the Septuagint is the best source for Old Testament Scripture, however, I do not believe the apocrypha is part of the biblical canon. I believe that originally, the apocryphal writings were bound together with the canonical Scriptures for convenience’s sake. I think that over time people started mistaking the apocrypha for canon because of its close physical proximity to the canonical Scriptures. Like I said in the last post, I will be sharing my studies on textual criticism at some point in the future.

This concludes my post on Christian eschatology. For part 3, click here.

NOTE: I am in no way supported by, or affiliated with any of the sources, resources, or references used in this post.

QUOTES AND DIALOGUE

In 2016 I had become very suspicious of Darwinian claims and had decided to conduct a search for any critical dialogue on the topic. The following discussion is one of the first presentations I encountered which featured a secular scholar criticizing Darwinian Theory.

I believe Darwinian Theory is false and below are some quotes I’ve read through.

“Neo-Darwinian evolution is uniformitarian in that it assumes that all process works the same way, so that evolution of enzymes or flower colors can be used as current proxies for study of evolution of the body plan. It erroneously assumes that change in protein coding sequence is the basic cause of change in developmental program; and it erroneously assumes that evolutionary change in body plan morphology occurs by a continuous process. All of these assumptions are basically counterfactual. This cannot be surprising, since the Neo-Darwinian Synthesis from which these ideas stem was a pre- molecular biology concoction focused on population genetics and adaptation natural history, neither of which have any direct mechanistic import for the genomic regulatory systems that drive embryonic development of the body plan.” – Davidson, Eric H. “Evolutionary Bioscience as Regulatory Systems Biology.” Developmental Biology, vol. 357, no. 1, September 2011, pp. 35-40.

→. “Domain shuffling aside, it remains a mystery how the undirected process of mutation, combined with natural selection, has resulted in the creation of thousands of new proteins with extraordinarily diverse and well-optimized functions. This problem is particularly acute for tightly integrated molecular systems that consist of many interacting parts, such as ligands, receptors, and the downstream regulatory factors with which they interact.” – Thornton, Joseph W., and Rob DeSalle. “Gene Family Evolution and Homology: Genomics Meets Phylogenetics.” Annual Review of Genomics and Human Genetics, vol. 1, no. 1, September 2000, p. 64.

“Contrary to widespread belief, there is no compelling empirical or theoretical evidence that complexity, modularity, redundancy or other features of genetic pathways are promoted by natural selection.” – Lynch, Michael. “The Evolution of Genetic Networks by Non-Adaptive Processes.” Nature Reviews Genetics, vol. 8, no. 10, October 2007, p. 810.

“In sum, the mutations of bacteria and viruses are merely hereditary fluctuations around a median position; a swing to the right, a swing to the left, but no final evolutionary effect.” – Grassé, Pierre-P. Evolution of Living Organisms: Evidence for a New Theory of Transformation, Kindle Edition, Elsevier Science, 1977, p. 87.

“No matter how numerous they may be, mutations do not produce any kind of evolution.” – Grassé, Pierre-P. Evolution of Living Organisms: Evidence for a New Theory of Transformation, Kindle Edition, Elsevier Science, 1977, p. 88.

RANDOM INFORMATION AND JUNK DNA

Members of the scientific community once assumed that a substantial portion of the human genome was “junk DNA.” Many believed that junk DNA was evidence of evolution. However, throughout the years there have been several developments regarding junk DNA.

http://healthland.time.com/2012/09/06/junk-dna-not-so-useless-after-all/ (Junk DNA — Not So Useless After All)

It is thought that in contrast to microevolution, macroevolution requires a major increase in genetic information. Assuming that higher genomes are mostly functional and integrated (as ENCODE seems to suggest regarding the human genome), how might additional random information affect a higher genome’s overall performance?

If random information were added to a computer program’s code, would the program continue to function without impairment? If random information were added to a higher genome’s code, would the genome be more likely to improve or decline in functionality? (Recall the quote listed above from “Gene Family Evolution and Homology: Genomics Meets Phylogenetics.” The quote is preceded by an arrow “→”).

Notice some of the circumstances which might accompany random additions to the human genome.

https://www.medicinenet.com/script/main/art.asp?articlekey=38317 (Medical Definition of Trisomy)

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cat_eye_syndrome (Cat eye syndrome)

https://rarediseases.org/rare-diseases/mecp2-duplication-syndrome/#causes (MECP2 Duplication Syndrome)

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/8p23.1_duplication_syndrome (8p23.1 duplication syndrome)

If it’s true that macroevolution requires major additions to a genome, what is the likelihood of macroevolution occurring in nature? Alternatively, what would happen to an advanced organism if you were to remove some of its integrated components? How can there be earlier, radically diverse (evolutionary) stages of an advanced organism if the organism requires a full roster of specific, integrated genetic architecture to function?

THE FREQUENCY OF DELETERIOUS MUTATIONS

Another issue to consider is the frequency of deleterious mutations and their impact on the human genome. This is a topic I first encountered when reading Dr. John Sanford’s book “Genetic Entropy.” Below is a video of Dr. Sanford presenting this topic to National Institutes of Health.

I do not agree with everything Dr. Sanford has said or concluded. However, I do believe he is correct about a number of issues.

At one point in time it was assumed that a large number of deleterious mutations were in fact neutral because they occurred in areas thought to be junk DNA (and thus had no impact on fitness). However, as ENCODE has revealed, areas once thought to be junk are in fact functional and, with the discovery of poly-functional DNA, it appears that the human genome is even more integrated than previously thought.

I could be mistaken, but I believe the likelihood of a neutral mutation decreases as the functionality and integration of a genome increases. Additionally, it is widely recognized that the majority of non-neutral mutations are deleterious. When combining this information together I think it’s fair to conclude that the vast majority of human mutations are deleterious. With that said, it is estimated that the human mutation rate is 100 or more mutations per person per generation.

https://www.nature.com/news/2009/090827/full/news.2009.864.html (Human mutation rate revealed)

If human mutations are predominantly deleterious and are accumulating at the rate indicated above then I believe the corrective ability of natural selection is decisively outpaced.

In the past, long before ENCODE, it was believed that human mutation rates would have to stay below single digit numbers just to maintain equilibrium.

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1716299/pdf/ajhg00429-0003.pdf (H. J. Muller – Our Load of Mutation) SEE FINAL PARAGRAPH ON PAGE 155

As previously stated, scientists now estimate that the human mutation rate is 100 or more mutations per person per generation which is immensely higher than the aforementioned limit. Therefore, I do not believe humans are evolving, nor do I believe that humans evolved from lesser/lower genomes in the past. With that said, origins-of-life research doesn’t seem to be yielding the results that many people were anticipating.

https://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2013/09/130905-mars-origin-of-life-earth-panspermia-astrobiology/ (Did Life on Earth Come From Mars? Two scientists present new data on great cosmic questions.)

DINOSAURS AND THE FOSSIL RECORD

Dinosaur soft tissue is another topic I've looked into.

http://www.sciencemag.org/news/2017/01/scientists-retrieve-80-million-year-old-dinosaur-protein-milestone-paper (Scientists retrieve 80-million-year-old dinosaur protein in ‘milestone’ paper)

As discussed in the link above, scientists have found collagen in dinosaur remains. They suggest that these remains are 80 million years old. Information in the link below seems to suggest that collagen shouldn’t be expected to persist beyond 3 million years when stored at 0°C (refer to blue box at the bottom of the second page).

http://www.biochemist.org/bio/02403/0012/024030012.pdf (Biomolecules in fossil remains: Multidisciplinary approach to endurance)

(I’ve heard the iron preservation claim and I don’t believe it. Notice the skepticism of Matthew Collins in the seventh paragraph of “Scientists retrieve 80-million-year-old dinosaur protein in ‘milestone’ paper”)

NOTE: At the moment it seems that the webpage for “Scientists retrieve 80-million-year-old dinosaur protein in ‘milestone’ paper” is down. In the meantime, I would suggest the following article instead.

https://www.earthmagazine.org/article/cretaceous-collagen-can-molecular-paleontology-glean-soft-tissue-dinosaurs/ (Cretaceous collagen: Can molecular paleontology glean soft tissue from dinosaurs?)

Below are some other articles I’ve read through.

https://www.latimes.com/science/sciencenow/la-sci-sn-dinosaur-bone-collagen-20170131-story.html (Dinosaur surprise: Scientists find collagen inside a 195-million-year-old bone)

https://phys.org/news/2009-11-ancient-muscle-tissue-million-year.html (Ancient muscle tissue extracted from 18 million year old fossil)

I’m not sure about the geological age of the earth, however, I do believe the biosphere is only thousands of years old and that the fossil record is largely the result of a global flood.

Below are more quotes that I’ve read through.

“Evolution requires intermediate forms between species and paleontology does not provide them.” – Kitts, David B. “Paleontology and Evolutionary Theory.” Evolution, vol. 28, no. 3, September 1974, p. 467. JSTOR, www.jstor.org/stable/2407167.

“We have no idea why most structures in extinct organisms look the way they do. And, as I have already noted, different species usually appear and disappear from the record without showing the transitions that Darwin postulated.” – Raup, David M. “Conflicts between Darwin and Paleontology.” Field Museum of Natural History Bulletin, vol. 50, no. 1, January 1979, p. 24. Biodiversity Heritage Library, www.biodiversitylibrary.org/item/21020.

Some believe that punctuated equilibrium succeeds in harmonizing the fossil record with Darwinian thought.

I think theories such as punctuated equilibrium are full of problems (e.g., punctuated equilibrium does not seem to offer an explanation for the genesis of new body plans), and, in my opinion, such theories are desperate attempts to try and salvage or prolong a false paradigm.

INTELLIGENT DESIGN

When one compiles various claims and theories espoused by considerable segments of modern-day society…

…one might notice a narrative which seems to suggest that people are apes from the planet Mars, possibly trapped inside a computer simulation—I totally disagree with this narrative.

Among other things, I’ve looked into panspermia hypotheses.

http://www.spacedaily.com/news/life-04zzz.html/ (Francis Crick Remembered)

One might wonder why, after examining the structure of DNA, Francis Crick considered the possibility of directed panspermia. Could it be that he noticed intelligent design in the genetic code?

I will mention that although I study content from the intelligent design community (namely Discovery Institute), I do so in a strictly secular, non-political context. My religious/theological/political beliefs are not represented by Discovery Institute or the intelligent design community.

This concludes my post on Darwinian Theory. To return to the introduction page click here.