“I just shared [the article “Who Were Cavemen?”] with someone yesterday who was asking about cavemen.”
Christopher C., Facebook
Terry Mortenson’s article “Evangelical Popes” implies that biblical scholarship isn’t necessary to a correct interpretation of the Bible. He laments the “supposed experts [who] are in effect stealing the Bible from the people in the pew.” But if the people in the pew don’t need the assistance of experts to understand the Bible, why would they need the assistance of experts—i.e., PhD scientists—to understand the natural world?
At worst, Mortenson’s article creates a double standard within AiG, where insight from science experts is welcomed but insight from Bible experts is scorned. At best, his article is a vast oversimplification of the doctrine of the clarity of Scripture.
Joshua W., Parker, Colorado
Author’s Response: I am most certainly not opposed to experts in scientific or biblical studies. But I am concerned when experts use their “expert knowledge” to lead the people in the pew to an understanding of the text that they could not possibly attain by careful reading of the text in their mother tongue with a good translation. My concern is when experts use their esoteric “knowledge” to undermine the clarity of Scripture.
Scholars can add color to the picture that the thoughtful nonscholar gets from reading Scripture. But if a scholar completely changes the picture that God’s people have seen for millennia, we other scholars need to defend the plain meaning of the text by showing that the completely changed picture is a distortion of the truth.
The Bible was given to the common people. God intended for all His people to understand His Word if they study carefully. Scholars who develop sophisticated interpretations that no common reader would ever get from their reading and study are robbing the Scriptures from the common people by implying that only scholars can understand the text.
In the article, “24 Hours, Plain as Day,” I was very disappointed at the pathetic state of your references. To claim that controversial information is fact (the “day” was definitely 24-hour periods) and then not back it up with papers and citations by distinguished scholars sounds like a naturalist practice to me.
Eric F., East Islip, New York
Editor’s Response: Answers is a layman-level magazine. Unlike technical papers, magazine articles must be focused on a narrow slice of a larger topic, and they do not usually pretend to become the standard technical reference on the subject. In this case, the article’s main point was to let readers know that Hebrew scholars agree that day in Genesis 1 and 2 refers to 24 hours. The article establishes that point and supports it quite well.
For details and extensive references on the reasons that Hebrew scholars accept this point, readers can go to other, well-documented articles on the topic (which is worth covering in detail somewhere, but that would require a separate series of articles or even a book, and it would not make for easy reading). For our part, note that we supplied a 30-page “subscriber exclusive” online (see the end of the article for the URL), complete with citations in Hebrew, Greek, and Aramaic.
Standing on a Solid Foundation
I read with great interest and great appreciation the article, “24 Hours, Plain as Day,” by Jud Davis in the April–June 2012 issue. It is my conviction that the evangelical church’s drift away from the inerrancy of Scripture is leading to its demise. By capitulating to the secular worldview and “scientific proof” nothing secure is left! Thank you for standing on God’s solid foundation!
Christian E., Fort Littleton, Pennsylvania
Cavemen—Post-Babel or Pre-Flood?
[Regarding the article “Who Were Cavemen,”] how do we know these are post-Babel beings? Could they have been pre-Flood and that caused their extinction? Could they also have been descendants of the mysterious “giants” or “great men” that were attracted to the “daughters of man” [Genesis 6:1–4]?
Jim S., Lamont, Michigan
Editor’s Response: The post-Flood deposits are very different from Flood deposits. For instance, Flood sediments are hardened into rock, but post-Flood sediments generally are not. Also, the Flood deposits are worldwide, but post-Flood sediments are only local or regional.
Also, unlike the Flood’s uniform deposits across continents, the post-Flood deposits show evidence of Ark animal kinds diversifying as they spread out and filled different regions of the earth.
The first human remains are found in the same deposits as Ice Age creatures. We have no evidence of any polar or subpolar environments in the pre-Flood world, but the Ice Age makes sense within post-Flood climate models.
A Novel Hiccup Remedy
I enjoyed your article on hiccups. In 1977 at a church family camp, one of the men developed hiccups. After two days of trying everyone’s remedies, someone laid a $5.00 bill on the coffee table and said, “If you hiccup again you can have that.” And he didn’t hiccup again!
Richard O., Lyons, Kansas