Hank Jensen
by on September 10, 2021
By Lindsay Harold
Reposted from facebook 9/1/18

Most people today discount the early chapters of Genesis as myth. One aspect of that dismissal is that they do not believe humans ever lived more than 900 years. Even many Christians often disbelieve the chronogenealogies of Genesis 5 and 11 or dismiss them as meaning something other than a straightforward reading. However, I think the evidence indicates that these genealogies were meant as written. I see several indications in the text and in history that they provide accurate ages for the early generations of mankind.

For one thing, the decline of lifespans after the flood looks exactly like what we would expect from a biologically-caused decline in lifespans, likely due to genetic deterioration in Noah (due to his advanced age at fatherhood and thus longer accumulation of mutations) combined with inbreeding among the people after the flood and again after Babel. They also look like real data, not nice, neat numbers one would expect when data are invented or have some poetic or symbolic meaning.

We also see evidence around the world that early ancestors of mankind were long-lived "immortals" who wielded great power over their descendants who became whole tribes of people. These "immortals" became worshiped by their descendants as gods. The Greek, Roman, and Norse gods, for example, were all very much like humans in that they could be killed, they married (often many wives), they had children, had human passions, and so on. They merely lived a long time, unlike the ordinary people. There were certainly legendary embellishments, but there's a grain of truth in there. We can even trace many of these "gods" to names from the Biblical Table of Nations in Genesis 10 and/or to ancient genealogies, indicating these were real people.

For example, we know that the Greek/Roman god Jupiter (Jove-pater or Father Jove) was the Biblical Javan, grandson of Noah, and father of the Greeks. Tiwas/Tyr in the Norse pantheon was the Biblical Tiras, another grandson of Noah, and father of several Germanic peoples. Cronus in the Greek pantheon was Cethimus/Kittim in the Bible and father of the people of Cyprus. Many of the gods were borrowed by other peoples. Hercules was based at least partly on the exploits of the Biblical Samson. Ashkenaz in the Bible was known as Mercury among the Greeks despite not being Greek, but rather a father of Germanic peoples. Some of these gods were not found in the Bible, but we know from historical records that they were real humans. The Norse god Odin was a powerful early European king and found in several ancient genealogies for royal houses in Europe.

In Greek mythology, there is an age of the gods, followed by an age of gods and men where they interact with one another, and then an age of heroes where the gods are distant, but special heroes are occasionally born to men - often said to be the offspring of the gods. This fits very well with kind of mythology we would expect during a time when human lifespans are declining. When your father, grandfather, and great-grandfather are all dead, but your great-great-great-great grandfather is still alive and still acting as king of the tribe, people start to believe he's immortal. The oldest form of religion around the world is ancestor worship.

The fact that we see these kinds of indications (and others) in history fits very well with the Biblical account of long human lifespans in the beginning and a decline in lifespans after the flood that took several generations. We can also account for all the people groups on earth from the people dispersed at Babel and named in the Table of Nations in Genesis 10. We can trace many of these names to ancient genealogies, tribal names, place names, and other historical documents and records. There is significant evidence that the early chapters of Genesis record real history.

Posted in: ORIGIN
Topics: genesis, noah, lifespan
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