Inerrant Word of God #1

Genesis 30:37-39 (New International Version)

37 Jacob, however, took fresh-cut branches from poplar, almond and plane trees and made white stripes on them by peeling the bark and exposing the white inner wood of the branches. 38 Then he placed the peeled branches in all the watering troughs, so that they would be directly in front of the flocks when they came to drink. When the flocks were in heat and came to drink, 39 they mated in front of the branches. And they bore young that were streaked or speckled or spotted.

Are these verses proof that evolution and molecular biology are lies from the devil or are they proof the the bible is not inerrant? You decide.


21 responses to “Inerrant Word of God #1

  1. No?

    I don’t really know the birthrate of sheep and goats or anything about the dominant and recessive traits, but it shows a couple of things.

    1. Jacob’s wisdom in using his years of knowledge from tending those animals, vs. Laban’s lack of knowledge from abdicating his role as master of the animals, gave him the advantage.

    2. Faith in God’s provision trumps any superstitious tendencies. Whether Jacob put any sticks in front of the animals breeding, or not, God honored Jacob’s faithfulness. You can see it in chapter 31, where Jacob explains it and gives all the credit to God.

    It’s a great story. The whole time Laban has cheated Jacob, forcing him into continued servitude. Then, because of Jacob’s honesty(33), and hard work, the dishonest Laban receives his comeuppance. It’s classic “bible”. I love it. πŸ˜€

  2. I see… So you are saying that if I have faith that a blue stick placed in front of yellow flowers will turn the next generation blue, it will be blue? Really? Hmmm… Your god really is amazing… Do you think if we put some sticks with limbs on them in front of amputees, they would regrow their limbs?

  3. Nah, sticks don’t determine the outcome of reproduction, unless there’s some extinct chameleon sheep and goat species… or there’s some kind of science we don’t understand. I think sheep and goats are naturally born with certain characteristics that can be bread accordingly, and Jacob knew it. The sticks were a means for Jacob to connect with God, not a replacement. Some people need prayer cloths or holy water. Jacob needed sticks.

    Limbs don’t regrow. I’m not saying it’s impossible, but I don’t think we know of any way to do that. Wouldn’t it be nuts if limbs started popping out all over?

  4. Bradley mentioned some kind of science we don’t understand. I read a scientific article recently about some sort of genetic influence that plant life can have on animal life. Maybe it was something literally in the water. I’ll have to try to find the article, and study it. According to the Strong’s Concordance, we don’t know the exact kind of trees (there was more than one) for certain.

    Many times when the Bible tells us of something strange like this, there’s some spiritual meaning that we’re just not getting. The Hebrew word that’s translated “poplar” there is “libneh.” It means some sort of “whitish tree.” The name Laban means “white,” and that’s the word that’s translated twice as “white” in verse 37. I think there’s a lot in this verse that we just don’t understand. Some of it may well be scientific.

  5. And your conclusions are, of course, the only two conclusions to be drawn from this short passage, right?

  6. Could it be… And I am going out on a limb here… but could it be that it means what is says. I mean any book could be inerrant if we are free to interpret it any way we see fit… And be doing so the book in question losses its integrity along with those interpreting.

    Hi JJ. πŸ™‚

  7. That’s interesting, themystery.

    I also thought a little bit more about limbs regrowing, while on my commute this morning. There’s a lot of spiritual implications with the absence of instances where limbs regrow.

    Crippled limbs have been made to function again, perhaps through reconnecting a severed nerve or whatever, and Jesus reattached an ear that was cut off, but I can’t think of anytime a limb actually grew back. There seems to be a pattern of when something is cut off from the host, it dies unless reconnected… some type of grafting. I like what this implies because I believe our sin cuts us off from God, causing us to die. We are unable to regrow back to life, without being grafted through Jesus Christ.

    I’ll have to give it some more thought, but I thought I would throw that out there for some input from others.

  8. Bradley…. What does that have to do with anything?

    Salamanders can regrow limbs… They most have more faith than humans. If a salamanders can do it I would think that god could grow back limbs on people.

  9. There, proof that salamanders don’t have souls. πŸ˜€

  10. Of course it means what it says. But what exactly did it say to the first hearers of the story? What did the listeners take it to mean? What sort of weight did it carry for them?

    Did they understand it as factual history? Did they understand it as more of a framework story upon which to hang their national, spiritual, and personal identity? Did they understand it as myth, meant to guide their trust in God as they lived out their covenant relationship with Him?

    If you’re really interested in how to read Genesis, and want to get past petty proof-texting and science=good religion=bad junk, read John H Walton’s books.


  11. jj~ it is really hard to know how to do what you are suggesting. What parts of the bible are literal, what parts are not? Who decides? What if all of the new testament is not literal? What if it is metaphorical and you are missing the real point?

  12. Yes, it’s hard. That’s why studying not only the Bible, but the culture and the history behind it is so important.

    We cannot take the words and actions of Jesus out of their original context and expect them to “copy and paste” into our own culture, because our own culture will influence what we think the text says.

    There are amazing scholars out there who have devoted their lives to studying the Bible and the culture and history of Israel and the surrounding nations. As I mentioned previously, John Walton is a good place to start.

    NT Wright has amazing insights into the story the Bible is telling, and where it will end up.

    John Dominic Crossan, Marcus Borg, Ian Wilson and others have done great work in textual analysis and archaeology, providing a great framework for understanding the Bible not just as some magical document appearing from space, but as a collection of stories written to, about, and through the Jewish culture.

    Once you begin to understand the Bible and the culture it came from, how we interpret it for our lives today becomes *slightly* easier….it’s never *easy* though. Nothing good ever is.


  13. I agree with wingnut, but I also get the feeling people just haven’t changed all that much. We still have the same fears, pleasures, and convictions. The specifics might change a little, but the lens through which they’re cast still seems the same.

    For example, I was talking with my dad the other day about a little tidbit just prior to the exodus. The Bible discusses God telling the Israelites to go to the Egyptians houses and the Egyptians will give them all of their stuff. I’m about to start a little study of that, as I’m not too familiar with that. It’s such a small tidbit, but the implications are huge. Were they conned? Was it theft? or was it restitution? The Israelites had amassed a large population. I can’t help but think the political waters had shifted. I don’t know… like I said, I’m about to study it now, but I find it very interesting and not “ancient” in nature.

  14. So… How do you have a “personal relationship” with a god that needs to be interpreted by professionals?
    Are you saying that there is no chance that this verse is just what it says it is, someone claiming that striped sticks make striped goats?

  15. 1) I did not say, nor do I believe, that God “needs” to be interpreted by professionals. But if you want to seriously engage the Bible as God’s revelation, it helps to have some background information on the culture that the Bible was speaking to originally.

    2) I am not saying that at all. However, along the same train of thought as themysteryof, it could well have been something in the water, or something in that particular type of tree, or any number of different things that maybe were known then but forgotten now. Maybe it *is* merely supposed to be a fable meant to advance the belief that Jacob was special before God.

    It could very well be that this story is historically accurate and is meant to be taken literal. Maybe the shepherds of the day did know of striped sticks that made striped goats. Maybe it was a miracle. Maybe, like I said above, the story is a fable.

    It’s amazing to me that your problems with Christianity (or what you claim is Christianity) always come back to science vs religion. There doesn’t have to be disagreement between the two.


  16. jj~ You make a good point. But what is Christianity? there are so many versions… what one is the right one? From your point of view science vs religion is pointless, but not from the Baptist point of view. And then there is Ken Ham. To me science represents physical reality as closely as we can currently see it. I see and hear Christians all over the place talking about the evils of evolution, which is a unifying theory in the science world.

    I don’t think that it is a science vs religion thing. It is more of a reality vs. religion thing. I look at the would and see. You look at the would and see. How is it that we see two different worlds?
    I really don’t have a problem with Christianity… I have a problem with delusion in all its forms. I am here to think and talk and hear others think and talk. Am I deluded? You might say YES!!!. I would say maybe, but how can I know? Just because most people believe a thing to be true, should I blindly follow? I don’t think so. I don’t even know if I could. I didn’t ask to wake up. I was happy dreaming about god. I tried to go back to sleep. I did. But I couldn’t. Should I just fake it? I don’t think so.
    Now that I am awake I see things differently (you may have noticed). Now I see how big the universe is and how beautiful ever flower is, every blade of grass. I see the flight of a blue jay and the scamper of a ground squirrel and all I can think is how marvelous it all is. Before I was the center because God put me there. Now I am just one of trillions of beings all of one kind. Life. I am awake. I see. Before, when I was asleep, my eyes were shut to all of this.

  17. There are many versions of Christianity, as well as versions of science. There’s no way a human being can sort it all out. All the mind games are the natural outgrowth of the Tree of Knowledge. Adam and Eve took it upon themselves to decide what is true, and what is right. All their children, right down to us, have followed their example, and it only gets more complicated. God knew we would never be able to “think ourselves out.” That’s why he came to earth and died on the cross. It’s an attempt to cut through it all, and get to our heart.

    It is a perception of reality vs. perception of reality thing. We shouldn’t blindly follow the majority, even if it is in the fields of science. God doesn’t expect us to trust him without reason. He does want us to accept him into the reasoning process, and believe him for many reasons. “Come now, and let us reason together, saith the Lord…” To me, creation is much more beautiful, and people much more precious, than when I followed evolutionism.

  18. Themysteryof~ You have every right to feel that “creation is much more beautiful, and people much more precious, than when I followed evolutionism.” I obviously see it the other way.:)
    It is interesting that you bring up Adan and Eve. I wrote a post on that subject here.

    Like I said, you have every right to believe the world works in any way you wish. But without proof how do you know that you are right? On the other hand “evolutionism” is backed up with evidence from multiple scientific fields. If it is not true, then science is worthless and we should stop using it. So throw out your computers and stop taking your prescription drugs because they are junk.

  19. There’s a vast difference between functional science, that develops computers, drugs, and such, and hypothetical science such as evolution, which is no more than a belief. Several generations now have only been taught the evolutionary interpretation of the evidence. They don’t know that Creationism is a better explanation.

    I read your post on Adam and Eve. I’ll try to comment there, just a little later.

  20. themysteryof ~ Wow…

    I don’t know where you get your information from but maybe you should read other sources. Evolution science IS used in the development of pharmaceuticals. There is no question about it. There is also nothing hypothetical about it. There is only one reason that would make you say it is… Religion. If your book told you that we were held to the ground solely by the hand of god, you would call the gravitational theory hypothetical.
    As for the rest of your comment… Wow.

  21. @mystery…”hypothetical science” ??? Seriously? What is your level of education? Have you ever taken any science courses in high school or college?

    I mean, seriously, if you’re going to dismiss the theory of evolution as hypothetical, you might as well give up all medications, and other modern things that use the theory as a basis for their creation.

    Look, if you want to believe a god created everything, that’s fine, but I see no reason at all why that has to make you think that evolution is either not happening, or is some conspiracy to get rid of gods. Ridiculous at best.

    Is there some really good reason why the god you believe in could not have created evolution, exactly as we see it happen today?

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