Monthly Archives: August 2007

God, Creation and Cold Dark Matter

Today I came across a great article by physicist Michael Disney of Cardiff University in England. (He was one of the scientists who helped design cameras for the Hubble Telescope.) He points out the key weaknesses of current cosmological theories. As a student of the Bible, the issues surrounding creation, age of the earth and cosmology are huge. Many biblical scholars and theologians dismiss the importance of how we interpret Genesis 1-2 assuming that the cosmologists know what they’re up to. I think biblical thinkers should probe the cosmological questions hard because if God really did create the universe, then our scientific observations of the universe should allow for that if not prove it.

Many people are intimidated by the complex mathematics involved in cosmology, so they never bother reading about, assuming that Einstein and his intellectual descendants are all right. But Disney challenges that easy assumption to the core. He explains the basics of current cosmological theory in simple language and shows the faulty, weak basis of the discipline.

People want ultimate answers to ultimate questions and if they do not have an admittedly religious worldview, they will concoct a philosophy of life. Disney explains the theoretical Band-Aids and pseudo-science notions that have been sewn into the fabric of cosmological theory like dark matter, cold dark matter and dark energy. Disney doesn’t offer a new direction for cosmology, but we need revolutionary thinkers like Einstein that will break the mold of current theory and develop observations that actually help us place the data that we have. We don’t need people to feed us more science fiction as fact.

A few important (and differing) books on cosmology:
Albert Einstein’s Relativity
Stephen Hawking’s A Brief History of Time
Hugh Ross’ Creation and Time
D. Russel Humphreys’ Starlight and Time

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Who Wrote What?: A Different Approach

Rather than arguing for particular authors for each book of the Bible, I think it’s interesting to present three contrasting views: 1.)What the Bible says about itself, 2.) the so-called “traditional” view and 3.)the contemporary critical view. While it is literally impossible to obtain unanimity in either of the second two categories, I’m going to do my best to present a chart showing each biblical book with the author proposed by each of the 3 views.

The Bible doesn’t talk about itself a whole lot, but I’ll assume that if a book is named after somebody or explicitly says it was written by a certain person, then that’s the Bible’s own take on the issue. I’ll be updating the list over the next few weeks, but I think it will make for a fascinating comparison. (I’ll keep the updates in this post.) If I make any mistakes, please comment to let me know and I’ll be happy to correct the oversight.

It is important to remember that when I list any of the three views as calling a certain person an “author” that doesn’t mean that their hand was the last to shape the book. Especially in the case of the Wisdom and Prophetic literature, many editors and compilers were included in the process of codification of the texts. But that does not make the editors the authors of the books. The editors did not write the books, but organized them or inserted headings or collected works together.

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Three Views of Biblical Authors
Book Bible Claims “Traditional” View “Critical” View
Genesis (None) Moses Yahwist,Elohist,Priestly
Exodus (None) Moses Yahwist, Elohist, Priestly
Leviticus (None) Moses Priestly Writer
Deuteronomy Moses Moses Deuteronomist
Joshua (None) Joshua and Eleazar Deuteronomist
Judges (None) Samuel Deuteronomist
Ruth (None) Samuel Davidic court official
1 Samuel (None) Samuel Deuteronomist
2 Samuel (None) Samuel Deuteronomist
1 Kings (None) Samuel Deuteronomist
2 Kings (None) Samuel Deuteronomist
1 Chronicles (None) Ezra The Chronicler
2 Chronicles (None) Ezra The Chronicler
Ezra Ezra (parts) Ezra Unknown
Nehemiah Nehemiah (parts) Ezra Unknown
Tobit Tobit (parts) Tobit and Tobiah Unknown post-exilic author
Judith (None) Unknown Unknown
Esther (None) Unknown A Diaspora Jew in Persia
1 Maccabees (None) Unknown Unknown
2 Maccabees The epitomizer of Jason of Cyrene Unknown Unknown
Job (None) Job or Moses Unknown
Psalms David, Solomon, Asaph, etc. David, Solomon, Asaph, etc. Court poets
Proverbs Solomon, Agur, Lemuel, the Wise Solomon, Agur, Lemuel, the Wise Court poets
Ecclesiastes Qoheleth, son of David, king in Jerusalem Solomon Unknown personifier
Songs Solomon Solomon Unknown post-exilic poet
Wisdom Solomon Solomon An Alexandrian Jew
Sirach Jesus, son of Eleazar, son of Sirach Jesus, son of Eleazar, son of Sirach Jesus, son of Eleazar, son of Sirach
Isaiah Isaiah Isaiah Isaiah and unknown deutero-Isaiah
Jeremiah Jeremiah Jeremiah Jeremiah and later editors
Lamentations (None) Jeremiah Unknown
Baruch Baruch and Jeremiah Baruch and Jeremiah Unknown compiler
Ezekiel Ezekiel Ezekiel
Daniel (None) Daniel A Jew during reign of Antiochus IV Epiphanes
Hosea Hosea Hosea Hosea
Joel Joel Joel Joel
Amos Amos Amos Amos
Obadiah Obadiah Obadiah Obadiah
Jonah Jonah Jonah Unknown post-exilic Jew
Micah Micah Micah Micah and a post-exilic Jew
Nahum Nahum Nahum Nahum
Habakkuk Habakkuk Habakkuk Habakkuk
Zephaniah Zephaniah Zephaniah Zephaniah
Haggai Haggai Haggai Unknown (not Haggai)
Zechariah Zechariah Zechariah Zechariah and Deutero-Zechariah
Malachi Malachi or Isaiah Ezra Anonymous exilic Jew
NEW TESTAMENT
Matthew (None) Matthew Levi Unknown (not Matt.)
Mark (None) John Mark Disputed
Luke Luke Luke Luke
John (None) John the Apostle
Acts Luke Luke Luke
Romans Paul Paul Paul
1 Corinthians Paul Paul Paul
2 Corinthians Paul Paul Paul
Galatians Paul Paul Paul
Ephesians Paul Paul Disputed
Philippians Paul Paul Paul
Colossians Paul Paul Disputed
1 Thess Paul Paul Paul
2 Thess Paul Paul Disputed
1 Tim Paul Paul Disputed
2 Tim Paul Paul Disputed
Titus Paul Paul Disputed
Philemon Paul Paul Paul
Hebrews (None) Paul Unknown
James James, brother of Jesus James, brother of Jesus James, brother of Jesus
1 Peter Peter Peter a pseudonymous author
2 Peter Peter Peter a pseudonymous author
1 John (None) John the Apostle Johannine School
2 John The Presbyter John the Apostle Johannine School
3 John The Presbyter John the Apostle Johannine School
Jude Jude, brother of James Jude Thaddeus Jude, brother of Jesus
Revelation John John the Apostle Johannine School
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