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Should Christians even defend the Word of God?
. . . In Mr. Bryan’s answers to Clarence Darrow, His answer is very clear, it’s unfortunate that you and so many others miss it. The answer clearly is the word of God needs no defense whatsoever. It is when we get caught up in defending that we lose faith that those that hear his voice are thost that are called. For it is not those that have seen (or have been convinced by force)and believe, but those that have not seen (nor question)that shall be saved. Jesus did not try to defend his position and neither should we.
Thank you for contacting Answers in Genesis. I am inserting some comments below that should help clarify a few things.
In Mr. Bryan’s answers to Clarence Darrow, His answer is very clear, it’s unfortunate that you and so many others miss it. The answer clearly is the word of God needs no defense whatsoever.
If this was the case, then why did Mr. Bryan take the stand? According to the transcript of the Scopes Trial1Bryan was asked the following questions and gave the following answers:
I have currently started an Aig Creation Science class in Alaska. I bought the 200 dollar packet and finally got around to starting a class. It started with two people coming but in the second week has grown. The amazing thing about it though, is that instead of going more into science, we have been going more into the Bible. The study of science on the DVD’s has led us to go more into God’s word then discussing the science. It is such an awesome tool to burn in us a passion to see God’'s word and truth revealed by the Holy Spirit. Thanks for such an awesome and amazing tool to lead us into a deeper study of God’s absolute truth!!
Q—Did you ever discover where Cain got his wife?
A—No, sir; I leave the agnostics to hunt for her.
Q—You have never found out?
A—I have never tried to find.
Q—You have never tried to find?
Q—The Bible says he got one, doesn’t it? Were there other people on the earth at that time?
A—I cannot say.
Q—You cannot say. Did that ever enter your consideration?
A—Never bothered me.
Q—There were no others recorded but Cain got a wife.
A—That is what the Bible says.
Q—Where she came from you do not know. All right. Does the statement, “the evening and the morning were the first day,” and “The morning and the evening were the second day,” mean anything to you?
Mr. Bryan’s answer is clear—he didn’t have one. In fact, he even contradicted himself by agreeing that Cain had a wife and then saying the Bible indicates that there were no others (besides Adam, Eve, Cain and Abel, who had just died) at that point.
Mr. Bryan’s error was believing that the Bible says there were no others. The sheer fact that the Bible mentions a wife for Cain indicates the opposite—there was at least one woman for Cain to marry.
A closer look at the Hebrew word for “wife” in Genesis reveals something we English readers may miss. It was obvious to those speaking Hebrew that Cain’s wife was likely his sister. (There is a slim possibility that she was his niece, but either way, a brother and sister would have married in the beginning.) The Hebrew word for “wife” used in Genesis 4:17 (the first mention of Cain’s wife) is ishshah, and it means “woman/wife/female.”
Cain had relations with his wife ‹ishshah› and she conceived, and gave birth to Enoch; and he built a city, and called the name of the city Enoch, after the name of his son.(Genesis 4:17)
The word ishshah is the word for “woman,” and it means “from man.” It is a derivation of the Hebrew word iysh eesh and enowsh which both mean “man.” This can be seen in Genesis 2:23 where the name “woman” (ishshah) is given to one who came from Adam.
The man [Adam] said, “This is now bone of my bones, And flesh of my flesh; She shall be called Woman ‹ishshah›, Because she was taken out of Man ‹iysh›.”(Genesis 2:23)
Thus, Cain’s wife is a descendant of Adam/man. Therefore, she had to be his sister (or possibly niece). Hebrew readers should be able to make this connection; however, much is lost when translated into English.
Sadly, Mr. Bryan didn’t make this connection, and his inability to provide a defense became a major stumbling block for many in accepting the Bible’s message. Before taking the stand, perhaps Mr. Bryan should have read the next chapter (Genesis 5) which indicates that Adam and Eve had other sons and daughters.
Of course, this brings up the question: if Genesis 5:4 refers to children after Seth, then Cain’s wife couldn’t have been his sister, right?
After Seth was born, Adam lived 800 years and had other sons and daughters.(Genesis 5:4)
I would agree that this verse refers specifically to those children that Adam and Eve had after Seth. What this does tell us is that Adam and Eve had other children—including daughters. Genesis 5:4 is sufficient to answer those who claim that Adam and Eve had only sons, as this destroys the argument that there were no women to marry.
Genesis 5:4 is sufficient to answer those who claim that Adam and Eve had only sons, as this destroys the argument that there were no women to marry.
However, to claim that there were no daughters prior to this is a fallacy. If this passage is taken to indicate that only daughters were born to Adam and Eve after Seth, then it also indicates that only sons were born to Adam and Eve after Seth too. Cain and Abel were born to Adam and Eve prior to Seth, which makes that interpretation obviously false. Thus, the verse tells us that other sons and daughters came after Seth and doesn’t preclude that sons and daughters were born prior to Seth.
What this reveals is that daughters were indeed born to Adam and Eve. This, coupled with the fact that Cain was able to find a wife (woman), makes it clear that Adam and Eve had at least one daughter prior to Seth.
Regarding the Bible needing no defense, I agree that the Word of God needs no defense—God’s Word is the Truth. This is why we are a presuppositional ministry and accordingly don’t try to prove that God’s Word is true, but instead have it as our axiom.
However, we shouldn’t sit back and refuse to answer correctly, as the Bible commands us to do the opposite. We are to be ready to give an answer (1 Peter 3:15), and we are to demolish arguments that set themselves up against the knowledge of Christ (2 Corinthians 10:5). We are to be truthful and without deception (2 Corinthians 6:7 and 2 Corinthians 4:2).
The reason we answer and demolish arguments against the Bible is to show people that the Bible's message of salvation is true, pointing them toward the only Savior, who is revealed in the Word of God.
If we do nothing when people place stumbling blocks before those who are seeking the Lord, how are we any different from those placing the stumbling blocks? As Christians who trust God’s Word, we need to do what it says by being ready to give a truthful answer and demolish false arguments. If we don’t, and we know we are commanded to, we are sinning (James 4:15–17).
It is when we get caught up in defending that we lose faith that those that hear his voice are thost that are called. For it is not those that have seen (or have been convinced by force)and believe, but those that have not seen (nor question)that shall be saved.
Where does the Bible say this?
Of course, trying to force someone to accept Christ is unbiblical and inappropriate; however, we should not put stumbling blocks in front of non-believers and should help remove those placed by others.
Jesus did not try to defend his position and neither should we.
Perhaps you are referring to the trial during which Jesus stood silent before Pilate and the Jewish elders (Matthew 27:12–14). He did this to fulfill the prophecy made about Him in Isaiah 53:7. Jesus didn’t need to respond because the charge against Him was that He claimed to be equal to God. The charge was true—He was God.
In other instances, Jesus offered a defense—even quoting from the Scriptures. For example, Jesus rebuked Satan during His temptation (Matthew 4:6–7). He did not succumb to Satan and even used the Word of God to correct Satan when he tried to misuse Scripture.
In short, there is a time for providing a defense and a time for remaining silent.
I hope this helps clarify.
Kind regards in Christ,
Bodie Hodge, AiG–USA
Answers in Genesis is an apologetics ministry, dedicated to helping Christians defend their faith and proclaim the gospel of Jesus Christ effectively. We focus on providing answers to questions about the Bible—particularly the book of Genesis—regarding key issues such as creation, evolution, science, and the age of the earth.