Eve: A “help-meet,” or co-warrior?

Examination of the Hebrew in Genesis may imply Eve was created was created as Adam's "sustainer." Digital illustration by the author. In my last post I summarized a doctoral dissertation by J. J. Van Ee that studies the Creation Mandate in Genesis 1:28. When God tells humanity to "rule" and "subdue" the earth in that passage, a comprehensive study of the Hebrew verbs implies they are actually far harsher than theologians would typically care to admit. I know that claim sounds outlandish and violates centuries of church tradition, but you can look over the 39 comparative witnesses yourself in that post and see that I'm not bluffing. In addition to Van Ee's thesis, here is another free article  from the Journal Old Testament Essays  discussing the subject for those interested. When we look up how these terms are used throughout the Bible, we find them most frequently appearing in military contexts. In fact, after the Flood in the opening of Gene

Semitic Scholarship Confirms Animal Death Before the Fall in Genesis 1

Digital painting by the author. The most sophisticated academic study on the Fall and animal death to date  In my recent book critiquing Answers in Genesis’ Bible interpretation , I summarized a 2013 doctoral dissertation by J. J. Van Ee entitled, “Death and the Garden: An Examination of Original Immortality, Vegetarianism, and Animal Peace in the Hebrew Bible and Mesopotamia.” The PDF of the full dissertation is available free here . As someone who has dumped months of research into the topic, I’m convinced Van Ee’s thesis is by far the most comprehensive and sophisticated exegetical treatment that exists on the issue of death before the Fall in the Hebrew Bible. (Disclaimer: I've never spoken with Van Ee, and my views in this article are my own.) My friend Mike Jones at Inspiring Philosophy was also so impressed with Van Ee’s dissertation that he included a summary of some of its contents in a video entitled: “ TOP TEN Biblical Problems for Young Earth Creationism ” which has cur

Behemoth's tail isn't about his tail. It's about his penis (part 2)

In my last post , I argued that the monster Behemoth in the biblical book of Job was a mythic Semitic chaos deity. We can infer this because we can be certain his literary ‘twin’ Leviathan was. Leviathan breathes fire, has multiple heads, and is openly related to the chaos dragon god in Mesopotamian and West Semitic Baal mythology by the biblical authors themselves.  This post continues my response to an article from by Paul Price that attempts to argue Behemoth was a sauropod dinosaur. Price argues this mainly on the basis that the book of Job compares Behemoth’s tail to a cedar. Contrary to Price, I believe Behemoth was most likely a mythological super-ox based on features of the Hebrew texts and comparative ancient mythology. What about his cedar-like “tail”? I think there is firm evidence that the Hebrew term for “tail” here is actually a euphemism for the creature’s penis—a view shared by scads of Jobian specialists.  Only a liberal evolutionist would claim Behemoth

Nose rings: A Biblical Symbol of Modesty

Snippet from Bailey's book showing woman wearing shnaf nose ring. One of my favorite books I stumbled upon last year was Clinton Bailey's, Bedouin Culture in the Bible  (New Haven: Yale University Press, 2018). Bailey is a world leading authority on the modern Bedouin living in biblical lands, and his book examines how its culture sheds light on things modern people are inclined to find strange in the Old Testament. As Bailey writes, "Bedouin culture goes back 4,500 years. Owing to the unchangeability of desert conditions, this culture remained largely unchanged and is recognizable in the Bible." The following is an interesting portion from his book: Women in the biblical world wore nose rings as a symbol of sexual modesty (pgs. 61-3): “Nose rings play a role in the modesty of women, about which the Bedouin are zealous. …[F]ar-reaching obligations to, and burdens upon, clansmen are weighty—too weighty to be borne for people not of their blood. Thus, the possibility of disagrees with me about Behemoth’s penis

Image has published this piece attempting to debunk my research on the biblical monster Behemoth. Those of you devastatingly attractive loose-cannon rock stars that have read my book on the Creation Museum (Why haven’t you? The reviews melt faces.) know that I argue Behemoth was not a real animal, but a west Semitic chaos deity. Along with many Semitists from backwards, rinky-dink institutions you’ve probably never heard of like the Hebrew University of Jerusalem or Oxford, I believe Behemoth was probably a mythological creature based around the attributes of a bull--a view going back to early Judaism.  Additionally, examining features of the Hebrew texts, I agree with many translators like Rob Alter at Berkley or Edward Greenstein at Bar-Ilan University that the infamous verse about Behemoth’s tail being “like a cedar” is likely a reference to the creature’s penis. That last sentence is what we call foreshadowing in the writing biz and is designed to hold everyone's int

Answers in Genesis Responds to my Critique of their Museum

(The following is an archived version of a post originally made in 2013 . I've since published a book critiquing the Creation Museum here .) Answers in Genesis' Ken Ham and Georgia Purdom have posted responses here and here  to my blog post critiquing their museum . I encourage everyone to go read their short replies. Let me point out nothing in my original blog post was condemnatory of young earth creationism. In fact, you could still believe the earth was created 6,000 years ago contemporaneously with Larry King and adhere to all the points I outlined. I haven’t declared my side in the debate. (I prefer to be annoying like that.) Before we respond to this piece from them, let’s take a moment to recall all the things Ham and Purdom simply have not attempted to address that my blog brings up: 1)  Anachronistic Moses:  They were silent about their display with Moses holding the Ten Commandments in a script which wasn’t adopted by the Jews until the 5th century and dotted with v

Seminary Student Visits the Creation Museum: 27 Million Dollars of Bad Exegesis

The following is an archived version of a highly popular article I originally posted in 2013 . In December 2020, I published a full book critiquing the Creation Museum available here . Ken Ham  here  and Georgia Purdom  here  have made a response to this blog on the AiG website. I just recently got back from Ken Ham's Creation Museum with a couple of other seminary friends. In this post I won’t be clamoring about the “abuse of science” or thundering party lines for either an old or young earth position like other reviews online. I also won't be discussing the length of the days of Genesis. (If you're wondering, I largely side with  John Walton's discussion  of the seven days in the context of ancient Mesopotamian temple cosmology.) Here we will be doing something much more radical—looking at a couple of Answers in Genesis’ (AiG) claims and examining what sorts of interpretations the original language texts can and cannot sustain. There I go again insisting on all that b