Humanist Hope

Humanism for the greater part of last century was fused with hopeful anticipation of creating a world in which self-serving, hedonistic lifestyles could be pursued with impunity.

Blocking man’s freedom to indulge at will his base passions, for sex, self-gratification, self-will, independence, irresponsibility and the like, were impositions that came from God, family, society and nature.

God, as the Bible reveals Him, is a perfect moral being who created man and thus to whom man is morally accountable. Every act, thought and word of man is therefore brought under moral constraint, frustrating selfish desire and irresponsible and immoral pursuit of self-will.

Family, as child and sibling in our parental home and then as spouse and parent in our own home, causes us to be imposed upon by the expectations, demands, personality and responses of our family members. Selfish actions cause us to come into conflict with those closest to us and to receive disapproval from and cause hurt to those we are most closely bonded to emotionally. We also suffer the indignity of being judged, accused and otherwise imposed upon by parent, sibling, spouse and child.

Society at large also has its order, which in the western world has been built upon Christian principles of morality. Society demands that we act responsibly and it acts as an extension of God’s authority over our lives, penalising us for certain actions that are deemed criminal.

Nature also provides cruel punishments for various indulgences, such as addiction to the drugs men use and sexually transmitted diseases which blight free sexual activity. Sexuality is also blighted by unwanted pregnancies. Overeating results in obesity. Over-indulgence in alcohol results in drunkenness and addiction. Indulging laziness results in loss of income. And so it goes.

Science to the Rescue

By midway through the twentieth century science had emerged as the hopeful saviour of humanism’s frustrated desire. Science offered both philosophical and practical solutions to humanism’s obstacles.

From the 1880’s publication and propagation of Darwin’s version of the Theory of Evolution promised a scientific explanation for the origins of man, and therefore allowed the god-rejecting conscience to reject fear of God’s moral judgment for man’s immoral selfishness.

Advances in hygiene and medicine progressively promised cures for mankind’s ills, and gave rise to the hope that those dreaded consequences of sexual exploits would also be conquered by medical science.

Education had proved itself able to elevate primitive and seemingly backward people into modern living standards and to embrace modern educated values. Thus education and enlightenment promised to be the source of continued elevation of mankind into an even more idealised state.

Psychological ideas promised power to alter man’s thinking and alleviate such things as guilt, shame, conscience and so on.

Marxist ideas of revolutionary overthrow of what exists to make way for what is better were widely disseminated.

Social and religious ideas, including the concept of marriage, were progressively accused of being mere products of primitive thinking in an evolutionary setting. The educated classes began to see that god, family, society and nature could be tamed and thus man liberated to indulge previously sinful and criminal behaviour.

It is interesting, then, to see that the Sexual Revolution of the 1960’s was the humanist ‘love-child’, expressing the revolutionary spirit of Marx, disregard for God, family and societal standards, and unbridled indulgence of desire, especially for sex, drugs and irresponsible living.

However the humanist hope was soon to crumble.

Crumbled Hope

Darwinian ideas of evolution continued to prove unsubstantiated and eventually unscientific, and were abandoned in pursuit of better hopeful explanations for man’s arrival without a Creator God.

Medical science has not continued to deliver great leaps in human health, and old, once-conquered diseases still hover on the edges of society, with newer, terrifying pandemic possibilities popping up from time to time.

Education has staggered to a halt. All of the pursuit of knowledge has done nothing to alleviate human suffering, social pain, depression, hopelessness, suicide and the many other social ills that enlightenment should have done away with. The educated are no happier nor more free and liberated than the ignorant.

Psychology failed to provide the keys to unlocking human happiness or removing human pain. Instead a plethora of unproven psychological ideas has swamped western society and myriad gurus of the mind have competed for their share of the market. Meanwhile a greater percentage of the population resorts to medication than ever before.

As for revolution it has proven powerless. Those who dived into liberation gained nothing but temporary indulgence, which they have to live with for the rest of their lives. The moral, emotional, relational and personal entanglements, pains, frustrations, regrets and bitterness are the same as ever, and those who were part of the revolution carry the greater pain and suffering in consequence.

What a Waste of Time

God was not dethroned by man’s defiance. Nature was not disempowered by man’s confidence. Morality was not remoulded by man’s insistence. Nothing has changed.

Man is inherently selfish and inclined to rebel against his Creator. That is as it has always been. God has placed us in a moral universe and that has not changed. Man’s mind is puny and vain, and that has not changed. Humility before God is wonderful, liberating and empowering, and that has not changed.

The humanist hope has crumbled.
But man’s hope in God is as strong and wonderful as ever.
Hope in God. That is the end of the matter.

Creation Supercamp 2013

[A review of this year’s Creation SuperCamp at Philip Island in January, by one of the more than 800 attendees, Ps Chris Field, who has long been a supporter of Creation Ministries International (CMI) and who brought along his 2 youngest children and his 2 oldest grandchildren.]

The Creation SuperCamp this year gave me yet more powerful insights into the poverty of evolution. I could not get past how obvious it was that evolution is a Dead Duck!

Here are some things I gleaned and thoughts that sprang from the various sessions, although I must admit that some of the technical detail went over my head, especially when we got to formulas.

In our dynamic solar system the greatest possible time of earth’s existence between tidal locking with the sun and too great a distance to sustain life is a mere 50 million years. This time frame is far below the time evolutionists demand to allow for their imagined evolutionary processes.

The ‘out of Africa’ story promoted by evolutionists asks us to believe that primates left the relative safety of their tree habitats in order to live on the savage savannahs of Africa, which no modern person would do without a gun in hand. This was supposedly such a promising option for these primates that they abandoned their tree-friendly anatomy for the wonders of living with giant hyenas and a host of other savage creatures. Those monkeys were not only out of their tree, they were out of their mind!

The incredible complexity of the simplest living cell contains so many layers of exacting processes that previously required time frames for random chance mutations to create them must be expanded multiple times over.

Each new discovery of increased microbiological complexity is a mystery and a huge burden for naturalistic evolution, but it is expected by Creationists and celebrated each time it is uncovered.

Evidence for the powerful forces of water at work during the global flood is overwhelmingly obvious, right before our eyes, such as planation surfaces. And that evidence readily accounts for common features that defy explanation by the popular steady state long ages geological theories.

Evolution as a worldview is not held to because it makes good science but because the alternative of special creation at the hands of an omnipotent God is rejected.

A primordial soup is not only ineffective in providing the birthplace of amino acids and proteins but the presence of water destroys those essential ingredients for life.

The Second Law of Thermodynamics defies the notion of an eternal universe because its processes lead everything from a position of readily available energy to a position of heat death, where energy is no longer available. Thus the universe had a beginning and is marching steadily towards a place where everything will be totally rundown and inactive (though Christians have the guarantee of God’s intervention long before that fate).

Arbitrarily given names for at least one star constellation show evidence of consistency in cultures as disparate as Australian Aboriginals and the ancient Greeks, supporting the Biblical account of cultures having a common origin prior to the Babel confusion of languages.

Evolution is suffering from ‘information overload’. Complex Information Systems do not rise by chance and they evidence intelligence in conceiving the message, creating the code, transmission of the coded information, activation of the interpretative processes, interpretation of the coded message and activation of an outcome caused by the message being received. The incredible amount of information and the high levels of complexity abundantly evident in living cells defy all possibility of chance random occurrence and shout the reality of an intelligent designer.

Evolution’s ideas of natural selection and survival of the fittest as props for evolutionary development only kick in when self-sustaining, reproducing organisms exist. So the incredibly complex information systems needed to get to the point of a living, reproducing organism are not benefited by evolution’s magic wands. The creation of reproducing organisms that can then benefit from natural selection is unaccounted for by evolutionary models.

While highly qualified creationist scientists abound, including the speakers at the SuperCamp, it is also exciting to hear of unqualified creationists who become expert in their chosen field of science just by taking interest and correctly interpreting the evidence for what it is, not denying the implications and foiling their mind with unrealistic notions.
We heard of an extremely knowledgeable geologist in Germany who has no formal qualifications in geology but has eagerly consumed creationist research into the subject. This inspires us to become an expert in our chosen field because we are free to see and evaluate the evidence for what it is, not what it is supposed to be by false ideology.

Human diversity is not only accounted for by reproduction and adaptation by selection, which overall leads to loss of information in the individual’s genetic code, but also by epigenetic switches which can cause adaptation with no genetic change.
Despite visible diversity we are all one human family with no more genetic diversity between races than is found within any people group.

The enormous quantities of dark matter and dark energy imagined by cosmologists to explain the universe are completely unnecessary to the creationist, but necessary to make the big bang model work. There is reason to seriously doubt their existence.

Gene expression to form proteins involves four levels of coding, not just the sequence of amino acids. Each level is itself statistically impossible in terms of probability, and the higher levels, such as arranging placement and then folding to bring together matching elements in the protein, is staggeringly clever and involves intelligence of a very high order.
Random chance processes cannot be invoked to account for this, yet it is ubiquitous in all living things and would have been necessary for the hypothetical ‘original common ancestor’ organism as well.

Evolution is ‘running out of time’ because observations of natural processes, such as the earth’s minute movement away from the sun, restrict the time spans available for evolution, and yet discoveries of increased complexity and intricate, multipart information systems in abundance significantly extend the time frames needed by evolutionists.

Biblical explanations for what we see around us are perfectly sufficient and fit observable science so well that despite some remaining challenges, which exist for all broad scientific models, Christians do not need an impossible evolution process to explain anything.
In fact, particles-to-people evolution presents far more improbabilities and inexplicable factors and prompts the creation of unseen forces and substances, such as dark energy and dark matter, than the scientifically consistent explanation given in the Bible.
Who needs evolution? Only those who want to deny God.
We don’t need it. It is completely redundant to our lives and only blinds people to the observable evidence right before them. How sad.

Time is evolution’s Poison Pill. Evolutionists demand great expanses of time to allow for their impossible microbiological evolutionary models (anything is possible – “given enough time”), yet increases in time crash into limits in the solar system and more.
Evolution’s miracle cure (great expanses of time) is a poison pill.

Just as the Scribes took away the ‘key of knowledge’ from people in Jesus’ day so evolution takes away the key of knowledge in much of science today, by misdirecting people to stories, myths and naturalistic explanations that deny the realities of a global flood, recent creation, intelligent design, perfectly reasonable complexity and much more.

Evolution is on ‘artificial life support’ by its advocates, pumping flimsy explanations and invoking unreal factors into scientific thought, while there are no vital signs of life in the theory at all.

Richard Dawkins has labelled those who believe in evolution as ‘ignorant baboons’, thus choosing to mock all the great creationist scientists upon whose shoulders modern science now rests.
It is interesting to think of Dawkins mocking Sir Isaac Newton and many other great men and women as ‘ignorant baboons’.

With SuperCamp behind me I find myself encouraged to take greater interest in observable science, including looking at the stars above and rock formations all around me.
Thanks to CMI and all the great speakers, and to all those who worked together to make this huge event possible.

[Chris Field is a Melbourne-based Christian minister who first took the Creation message seriously in the mid 1980’s following a CMI presentation. He and his family have been helped by CMI speakers, books and videos and by subscribing to the Creation Magazine over the past quarter century.]

The Doubt Dungeon

Are you trapped in the Dungeon of Doubt? If you are, do you know how to get out?

I trust that these thoughts help you escape from the slavery to doubts.

Some people latch on to all the doubts that come their way while others have no problem believing or maintaining confidence. Which of those types best describes you?

Discover Your Doubts

If the media comes out with new evidence to disprove God, or to cause doubts about the Bible and Christianity, how do you normally react?

Do you become fascinated by that new information? Do you feel ashamed of your own faith in God? Does such news intimidate you?

Or do you shrug it off, knowing that in time all the uproar will subside and the new claims prove to be empty?

If you are easily impacted by other people’s doubts or new reasons to question God and the Bible, then you are in danger of the Doubt Dungeon.  If you are resilient against each new supposedly scientific finding that mocks Christianity then you are free of the doubts that trap many others.

Your Big Question

If you could talk with an angel, or get an audience with God, what is the big question you want answered?

Is the question that dominates your thinking a doubt?  Do you need God to give you reassurance that He is real or that His Word is true?

If your underlying question is not about the truth and reality of God and His Word, then you are probably past the Doubt Dungeon.

As a minister I get hit with questions from people all the time.  They seem to think I can resolve their doubts or they may even see me as a target to fire at, as if they are having a shot at God Himself.

So I get to hear many of the questions people have and I find that most of the questions are from the Doubt Dungeon.  People often get trapped in the gloom of doubt and despair and want someone to help them out.

Popular Doubts

It seems some people are bedevilled by doubt and have become slave to every new popular doubt in the marketplace.

I have seen doubts come and go.  The pop paperback “Chariots of the Gods” once proclaimed that life came from outer space, and not from God.  Findings of a localised flood in Mesopotamia were used to deny the global flood of the Bible.  Findings of ancient Babylonian tablets with accounts similar to Bible events suggested that the Bible was a mere human story collection.  The idea that writing developed late in human history suggested that “Chinese Whispers” type word of mouth transmission perverted the Bible history.

Of course the most profound source of doubts that attack the Bible is awarded to the theory of evolution.  For over a century pseudo-science has mocked the Bible account of creation, based on a choice to believe that evolution is real.

Spiritual Doubts

What many people don’t realise is that doubt is a spiritual weapon assigned to attack them.

The most powerful thing any man or woman can do is choose to believe God.  That’s called “faith” and it is not possible to be rescued by God without it.  Faith is the only thing that pleases God (Hebrews 11:6).

So doubt has the purpose of destroying faith.

Faith is a “choice to believe”, an act of the will.  The purpose of doubt is to block someone making that choice.  If you think you have good reason to doubt a choice you will not make it.

But once you entertain the doubt and shut down your will from choosing to believe you end up in a dungeon of doubt.  Your will has been disabled by something as unworthy as uncertainty.  Now your will is hobbled and won’t be strong again until you use it like a muscle to throw off the doubts.

However, once you have accepted the doubts, deactivated your will and killed your ability to exercise faith, you are in a dungeon.  The rest of your life may be spent in the unhappy gloom of that dungeon.

Addicted to Doubt

Once in the Dungeon of Doubt people become highly susceptible to any and all new doubts.  When a new theory or claim comes out to challenge God or the Bible, those in the dungeon prick up their ears.  But they can’t properly assess the new, addictive doubt, because they have already shut down the will.  They have already deactivated their choice to believe.

They will look at the new evidence without any capacity to resist it.  The doubt will swamp them, confirming their past doubts and leaving them in the unhappy sense that something is not right, but they can’t quite work out what to do about it.

That’s why you can meet people who have all the doubts lined up in their heads.  Rather than only having one or two pieces, they seem to have the whole matching set.  These are the doubt addicts, digging their own dungeon of doubt deeper and deeper.

Destroying Doubt

Doubt can be destroyed in moments.  There is no reason to stay in the dungeon of doubt.

All it takes is a “choice to believe”.  Faith is very powerful.  It overcomes all the forces in the world, including doubt.  So when you use faith you are able to destroy the whole dungeon.

“Whatever is born of God overcomes the world: and this is the victory that overcomes the world, even our faith.” 1John 5:4

As long as you entertain doubts you deactivate your will.  Doubt forces you to not make a decision, because you can’t be sure it is right.  So doubt will never lead you forward.  It will always disempower you and lock you in its dungeon.

But when you make a choice to believe, doubt is destroyed.  Your will comes into action and you can make a positive stand that will take you forward.

The saying goes that it is better to make a wrong decision than not to decide at all.  That concept illuminates what I am saying, that doubt disables your will.  If you make a choice and it proves to be the wrong one, you can then change your choice.  But if you don’t make a choice at all, you are stuck in the mud of inertia.  Your life is locked in prison.

Evidence Not Needed

It’s not about the evidence! In our cynical, intellectualised world we are told not to believe in things unless they are proven.  But that’s absolutely ridiculous!

You can’t prove you’re in love.  But you believe you are.  You can’t prove you’re right.  But you believe you are.  And you move ahead confidently based on those beliefs.

Most of the big decisions you will make in your life have nothing to do with scientific evidence and “proof”.  They are not about the evidence.  Those big decisions are mostly based on your gut feeling, your emotions, your preferences and, ultimately, your CHOICES.

So stop being intimidated by the doubts that demand a scientific answer.  Make a choice to believe what God says in His Word the Bible.

And notice that once you embrace the doubts you live with, you experience a certain internal sense of being dislocated.  That’s because you are denying something your gut tells you is true.  When you “choose to believe” you are resolving those internal frustrations.  I have seen that many times over.

Get a Life

If you are trapped in the Dungeon of Doubt you don’t have a life.  Your will has been shut down.  You will be incapable of moving forward until you make a choice to believe.

So get a life!  Get your foot out of the trap.  Reactivate your right to believe.

And if you are hesitant, remember that a choice is never final.  You can change your mind tomorrow.  It’s not a crime to do so.  You can spend years enjoying one kind of food and then change your preferences.  It’s as easy as that.

There is no need to be trapped in a dungeon of doubt and inertia.  There is no need to shut down your life and lock it in a dungeon.

I urge you to make a positive choice right now.  Choose to believe that God is God and that the Bible is God’s Word. Realise that there will always be unanswered questions in life and that you need to get on with life rather than lock it away in the vain hope of ever understanding everything.

Ask God to be real to you and step into the wonder of being His child, in active relationship with Him.  Please get out of the dungeon of doubt right now.

How Evolution Works

Despite all the hype there is universal ignorance about how Evolution operates. So let’s stop and think through the mechanism to better appreciate this amazing and highly acclaimed phenomenon.

The Miracle of Progress

We are told that Evolution created for us all life-forms, including humanity. All the complexity, intricacy, ever-so-clever innovations, amazing functionality and profound capabilities developed, so we are told, from an accidental process which has proven wonderfully lucky for us.

We will not consider here the number of miracles required for the evolutionary process to move forward. We will not consider the statistical impossibility of the process. The scientific community has schooled us to ignore those realities and accept, as a matter of faith, that Evolution did happen. And that is that!

Defining Evolution

Let us contain ourselves to the simplest definition of Evolution. Working up from there we should have no problem explaining the process.

At its simplest level, Evolution is “change”. When we say that our skills have evolved we do not mean that they have stayed the same. They have changed, hopefully for the better, over time.

So, the simplest definition for evolution probably should be “change”, or maybe “change over time”. We could even call evolution by other names, such as “morphing” or “biological transformation”.

Evolution is change. If nothing has changed then nothing has evolved.

But, we should note, not all change is evolution. When a bucket rusts we don’t call that evolution. That’s simple degeneration, even though it is “change”. When one gene is switched on and another switched off, that is not change in the inherent nature of the thing, although it might represent a striking visual difference.

A Change Agent

Now, for evolution to occur, so that “change” can take place, there must be a change agent. There must be some process causing change. If there is no process of change, there is no evolution.

Evolution assures us that “change” has taken place. So the theorists must come up with a change agent. They need to show the method by which organisms make those millions of miniature “morphs” that transform simple things into the incredibly complex creatures living on the planet.

Crossing Boundaries

Now I pointed out that some changes are not evolutionary. Rust and decay are not evolution. And the kinds of visible changes which occur in the breeding of animals and plants are also not evolution, because the essence of the creature has not changed.

For evolution to become what evolutionists mean it to be the change process must be able to cross boundaries. Amazingly, from an evolutionary point of view, created things are contained within their own biological set. These types, kinds or species are able to interbreed, but not mix across the biological boundary.

Dogs can be crossed with wolves, but not with foxes. While the diversity of types of dog suggest that just about anything is possible, there is an invisible biological boundary around the “dog” species. The boundary includes the wolf, suggesting that all the dogs we know today were bred from an original wolf family.

Evolution must be able to empower a fox to cross with a wolf. It must provide change ACROSS the boundaries. That kind of “species to species” change is biologically impossible today. So, how did it happen in the past?

Paper or Plastic?

But evolution requires a secondary process to its ability to create “change”. Evolution also involves choosing the best new alternative.

We frequently face many choices, such as, “Do you want fries with that?” or, “Do you want that in a paper or plastic bag?” Likewise, evolution is forced to make millions of choices to get to a good outcome.

You see, not every change is a good one. A mindless change process (assuming there is a change process at all) produces random outcomes. Considering the delicate and intricate balance required for just about every important biological process, there must have been billions of negative changes before the best ones came along.

Evolution, as a completely mindless process, could not know which changes to choose. So there had to be a mechanism that would successfully make the right choices. That process also had to be completely random, yet successful.

The Fitness Test

Evolution gained its greatest advancement under the notions put forward by Charles Darwin. He proposed what we could call the “Fitness Test” concept. His idea of the “Survival of the Fittest” caught the popular imagination. This concept seemed to give scientific validity to the ideas that had already been discussed, of life developing without a divine creator.

Charles-Darwin-31

As the millions of changes took place, all non-beneficial changes would be displaced by failing the fitness test. If changes made the organism weaker it would die. If a change made an organism more viable than its parent, then the new would displace the parent generation, in due course.

Change and Discrimination

Evolution needs to produce millions of changes and then discriminate between them to pick the best ones. If there is no change then there is no evolution. If there is no discrimination then harmful changes will outweigh the beneficial ones and destroy the existing life.

Survival of the Fittest became the rallying point for evolutionists. To this day many people think of “Survival of the Fittest” as synonymous with evolution.

Yet Survival of the Fittest only addresses the second stage of the process. If the fitness test takes place at all, it only serves to remove the non-viable outcomes of the change process. Survival of the Fittest says nothing about the change process itself. And at heart, Evolution is Change!

Now You Have It

Got that? Evolution is change over time, with the ability to pick the good changes. Evolution is “Change” with “Discrimination”. Oh, and that change must not just be window dressing. It MUST be able to cross over the biological boundaries.

Survival of the Fittest is the supposed “Discrimination” mechanism. Now all we have to do is find the “Change” agent that can jump biological boundaries.

If there is a viable Change agent and a viable Discrimination agent we are a long way toward discovering evolution.

However ….

Owning a rifle doesn’t make you a killer. Owning a typewriter doesn’t make you an author. Owning a guitar doesn’t make you a musician.

So, even if we could discover very viable Change agents and Discrimination agents, we have not proven evolution. Even if the ability to jump the biological boundaries is provided, we still have not proven evolution. While evolution must produce its viable mechanisms it must also produce its evidence that those mechanisms created what we see around us today.

And that, my friends, is an impossibility. You cannot prove the past. Even if evolution were occurring today, that cannot PROVE that it ever happened in the past.

So, our dear friends who have taken evolution to heart have a long way to go to have a viable case. Sadly, most have resorted to asserting evolution as a “fact”, rather than admitting what the existing evidence declares. Change between species did not happen. Change between species does not happen now. Change between species is a myth, supporting a pseudo-science.

In a future post I’ll take you for a waltz through the topic of “Change” and see what we come up with.

Sumerian King List

The Bible account of history should be confirmed by ancient historical documents. Corroboration of Bible history is found to some degree in the ancient Assyrian texts excavated from Nineveh, which hark back to ancient Sumerian myths and historical records.

Mythical Documents

Those ancient Assyrian texts, such as the Epic of Gilgamesh, Enuma Elish and Epic of Atrahasis do relate aspects of human history reflective of Biblical history. Those reflections are tainted, however, by the polytheistic mythology interpolated into the historical record, such that the documents are considered mythical, rather than historical. Nonetheless, spontaneous creation and a global flood are significant aspects of Biblical history which are clearly celebrated in the ancient Sumerian legends.

It is worth noting that the ancient Assyrian writings do not involve myths about evolution, millions of years, ice-ages, missing links, spontaneous generation, punctuated equilibrium, a big bang or life from outer space. Yet those myths do speak of divine creation, mankind under divine accountability and a global flood. It is logical that these myths involved such events because they were part of the true history within human consciousness.

Non-Mythical History

What we should expect to find and what would be valuable in support of the Bible is a non-mythical historical document which attests to creation and the flood, and therefore supports the Bible narrative. We should expect to find a document which is not tainted with mythology, but which reflects from ancient times an independent affirmation of what the Bible declares is to be our human history.

The Sumerian King List is such a text.

The King List

An historical record of kings has survived from the Sumerian age, speaking from antiquity and tracing human history from the very beginning though to the time of Hammurabi of Babylon. This record offers a window into the ancient past which lends historical support to the Bible record.

The list appears to have developed through history, with successive kingdoms taking charge of continuing the record from earliest times. Sixteen copies of the list have been identified, but not all are in good condition. Some later versions display the process of later kingdoms adding themselves and their kings to the continuing genealogy.

As one kingdom conquered the dominant kingdom of the day it then added its lineage of kings as an extension of the historical record. Then when that kingdom was overthrown the conquerors maintained the record and added their own names in succession, until they, in turn, were overthrown.

There is no reason to doubt the validity of the list, except for some omissions and disparity among the records. Many of the names and places have been confirmed by archaeology. The list attests to its own accuracy by giving specific detail, such as one king whose reign was detailed down to include the three months and three and a half days, as well as the total of years. Another person is detailed as having ruled for forty days. Yet another person is identified as the older brother of his predecessor and also son of the predecessor’s father, Sargon.

Corroboration

The Sumerian King List is an independent corroboration of the Biblical record of divine creation followed by a global flood just a handful of generations after the original creation.

Yet it stands independent from the Biblical record. Where the Bible record follows one of the family lineages from Noah’s three sons, the King List follows a different line. Where the Bible record focuses on a family lineage the King List records successive kings, who are from various families.

The King List, then, cannot be argued as some kind of religious source for the Bible record. The two stand independent from each other, yet they support each other in several significant facts.

The King List is a secular document. It is not maintained as part of religious worship, nor does it set out to deify the Kings or invoke particular religious sentiment, as the Epic of Gilgamesh was made to do. This is significant, because it stands as a secular, non-mythical, historical account of ancient times, yet with remarkable corroboration of the Biblical historical record included in its content.

Creation

The Sumerian King List totally ignores any notion of evolution through vast ages, and speaks from a divinely initiated beginning, as does the Bible. Its opening words are, “After kingship had descended from heaven, Eridu became the seat of kingship.”

Just as the Sumerian and Assyrian mythologies and epics speak of a divinely motivated creation, albeit with grotesque, polytheistic artefacts included, this ancient Sumerian historical record attests to the same reality. Spontaneous creation was not only a fact in the distorted mythical legends, but also in the historical records, just as it is a fact of the Bible record.

The Flood

This King List also attests to a unique flood event very early in the earth’s history. The Bible describes a flood which occurred in Noah’s day. Noah was the tenth person in the historical lineage from the creation of Adam.

The King List speaks of a unique flood event after the eighth generation from the beginning.

“Total: Five Cities, eight kings, reigned 241,200 years. The FLOOD then swept over.”

No other natural or astrological event is referred to in the entire list. The only such event is this reference to “the flood”. All other floods were ignored. No other natural or astrological event was worth reference, but this one flood event was enshrined in the record. Such significance given to the flood attests to it fitting the Bible account of Noah’s global flood.

In the light of this historical record, the mythological references to a global flood which destroyed almost all of mankind, as in the Epic of Gilgamesh, give even more resoundingly credibility to the Bible account.

Kings in Mind

The King List is exactly that: a list of kings. The King List identifies eight kings before the global flood. The Bible records ten generations before the global flood. It is logical that both the King List and the Bible account came from the same information carried on Noah’s Ark. So, why the discrepancy?

The Bible record identifies ten family generations, but only eight patriarchs. Neither Enoch nor Lamech outlived their father, so there were only eight “kings”, or heads of the family line, before the Flood. Thus, even in this detail, the King List corroborates the Bible account.

Mythical Life-spans

Scholars refer to the Sumerian King List as a “mixture of fact and fantasy“. One of the principal reasons for the ‘fantasy’ charge is the unbelievable life spans attributed to the earlier members of the list. The earliest kings were recorded as living for tens of thousands of years.

This problem has been successfully tackled, at least in part, by John Walton, writing in the Fall 1991 issue of Biblical Archaeologist. Walton attributes the problem to an error made along the way, probably when one kingdom took new possession of the list by overthrowing the previously dominant kingdom. The error would have related to the Sumerian numerical use of base 60 in its calculations. In simplified terms this would mean that the numbers were blown out by a factor of 60 times.

Walton was able to rework the ages of the eight persons listed prior to the flood and found that they came very close to the ages ascribed to the eight people between Adam and Noah in the Bible.

Walton’s work brings the King List into greater correlation with the Bible record, but also reveals that the Sumerian document supports the Biblical history of people who lived for close to 1,000 years. He also removes the mythical quality from the list and brings it back into the realm of factual history.

Observations

The Sumerian King List brings the following relevant observations to our understanding of ancient times.

Genealogical records were kept from the earliest of time. Moses was able to provide acurate and detailed information about events which occurred thousands of years before he was born, in the same way successive generations of kings were able to refer back to the Sumerian list.

Genealogical records summarised history around significant personalities, in the same way the Bible accounts for history along one principal family lineage. The Sumerian King List records those who were “king” or head of the family or clan at the relevant time. On that basis we discover that Noah was the eighth in lineage from Adam, even though he was the tenth generation by birth order. Thus Peter records Noah as the “eighth person” in 2Peter 2:5

“And spared not the old world, but saved Noah the eighth person, a preacher of righteousness, bringing in the flood upon the world of the ungodly” 2Peter 2:5

Expanding Record

These Sumerian records were passed down from generation to generation. Conquering kings took over the records in their own court, adding themselves to the grand list. The record grew in stages over time.

The King List record is therefore a true account of people that did live and victories that did occur. The record traces the kings of each dominant kingdom in a succession of kingdoms. We see that several kingdoms enjoy repeated dynasties as the dominant kingdom.

Those who perpetuated the ongoing genealogy understood the record to be fact and worthy of adding their inclusion.

Mathematics Mixed

As discussed earlier, the earliest age accounts were misunderstood at some point in the passing of the records, causing a blow-out of the figures, as per John Walton’s 1991 calculations.

John Walton’s assumptions result in the record of the ante-diluvium kings matching the Genesis record. The error most likely occurred when a new conquering kingdom updated the records, but without understanding the original Sumerian mathematical base.

Genesis Supported

The Sumerian King List is a sound attestation to several elements of the Genesis record.

It accounts for a divine element in the creation.

It accounts for a time of creation, with a beginning that did not need a preceding extended evolutionary history.

It accounts for the limited number of generations before the global flood.

It concurs with the long lives of the ante-diluvium generations.

It confirms the unique global flood incident, worthy of being recorded apart from all other flood or natural events, and thus matching the flood of Noah’s day.

It attests to the process of passing down historical records and “generations” as was done from Adam to Moses, in the compilation of the Genesis historical record.

It allows for misunderstanding in the passing down of the record, as conquering kings took possession of the record but may not have fully understood the basis on which it was maintained. This is different to the lineage record passed down to Moses, as that record was kept in the family, along with a supporting oral tradition. The Biblical detail is therefore factual and reliable.

It allows for the interpolation of spurious divinity into the record, as a conquering king made his self-appointed assertions of the basis of his authority, without denigrating the actual record itself. When King Meskiaggasher of Eanna conquered Kish he had his scribes add him to the list, but as a “son of Utu” (the sun god). This deistic insertion would have been an attempt to aggrandize and elevate himself, as was done in the deification of Egyptian Pharaohs and others.

The list confirms the real existence of Gilgamesh, and thus reveals the encroaching religious mythology which developed in some kingdoms over time. The Epic of Gilgamesh, a real person, presents a perverted mythological tale involving polytheistic deities who were imagined and interposed into human consciousness somewhere during the time of the Sumerian kings.

The emergence of polytheistic concepts represents a degeneration of human consciousness, rather than the forward movement of the evolution of religious thought.

The King List starts with reference to heaven, as per the Bible account, but degenerates into mythology as the centuries pass. The Bible account has maintained its integrity, being preserved by God from the deception and delusion which shrouded the minds of those influenced by the serpent ‘Satan’ character described in Genesis 2.

A Valuable Find

In light of the points mentioned above, the Sumerian King List proves to be a valuable document in support of several aspects of the Biblical record. I commend it for inclusion in discussions on the historicity of the Book of Genesis.