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The Cosmic Week


Gregory Matthews
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This is an important subject. The "Cosmic Week" theory makes Mrs. White's comment that "The Lord could have come err this" heresy. And the chapter of the SDABC the Role of Israel in Old Testament prophecy equally a lie. 

God has given his people different times that could have finished the work and the end come, dating back to Biblical times. To study the text in their current framework of eschatology gives us information on how to apply the prophecies to our day. But the "Cosmic Week" destroys this way how God is trying to reach us. 1844 was the dawn of the age of exegesis that has opened the doors to where we can study this context. 

Also, those who like the cosmic week heresy turn to the texts that says that a day to the Lord is like a thousand years and a thousand years as a day. The context is how timeless God is. In Leviticus 23 and 25 and here and there in Deuteronomy gives the Hebrew cycles. As Leviticus 23 points out the Hebrew week was 6 days and the Sabbath, 6 months and the Passover or Day of Atonement, 6 years and the Sabbatical year, and while not in Deuteronomy, 6 Sabbatical years and the Jubilee. Thus the Hebrew cycles are the day, the growing season (or half year) the full year, and in some cases the Sabbatical year. None of these passages speaking directly about the time cycle includes "Day = Thousand years" and the texts that say that a day to the Lord is like a thousand years and a thousand years like a day does not include the words "Oh, the Holy Spirit forgot to bring this up in the passages which discuss the Hebrew cycles. so please add these words to Leviticus and Deuteronomy".  The cosmic week is taking a couple of texts out of context and ignoring the texts who's context is dealing with these cycles. Thus it is preparing hearts to how Satan will use the Bible when he comes claiming to be Jesus. 

 

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Additional problems that I understand from the "Cosmic Week" is that language is constantly changing. Over the centuries the Biblical texts were updated. Now, the numbers from which we get the ages are so old (indicating their antiquity and thus authenticy) that they are hard to translate. In Jesus day there were 3 textual families: The Palestinian text, of which the most complete copy and most well known are the Dead Sea Scrolls. The Egyptian text of which the most complete and well known is the Septuagint. And the Babylonian Text of which the most complete and well known is the Mesocratic text. 

Rabbis adding up the ages in their Bible in Israel came to the conclusion that they were approaching the 7,000th year and they were the first to form the cosmic week. Their calculations brought them to the year that we now consider 31 AD. When nothing happened then, except that troublemaker Jesus, they looked at the other possible ways of adding the ages, and one way of reading the numbers in the Septuagint got them from 8000 to 5,000 years (7,000, to 10,000 for us today) and one of the ways of reading the numbers in the Babylonian text got them to again 8,000 but as low as 4,000 years, which would push the 7th thousand year two thousand years in the future and thus far from Jesus, and this reading became the popular one we use today that those preaching the cosmic week are turning to. 

When I was at Andrews a couple of years before the official formation of the Adventist Theological Society, the ideas were in formation. Now some churches have a more narrow 6,000 year belief. At Andrews were were taught an "about" 6,000 years, with emphasis on the "about" and we were sent to the White Estate Vault where we read an article by Mrs. White that down played the 6,000 years and said that what ever age we pick for the world to just make sure that it is fair to the scriptural record. (At AUC we were shown a copy of a document where Mrs. White seemed to have given a stronger endorsement to the 6,000 years, but as she was arranging her writings to produce Patriarchs and Prophets, she crossed through that statement and initialed the cross-out and we do not  find that quote in PP) It was pointed out that the numbers can be translated from 6,000 years to 10,000 years so most believed that the world was 10,000 years or so. Some took the 7,000 as the earliest in the Septuagint and felt that Mrs. White's article was that God showed her that the early date in the Septuagint was correct. Still others who believed (and later signed the ATS form that they believed that the world was "about" 6,000 years old) went back as far as 21,000 years. 

They pointed out that 21,000 years solves many of the problems in the age of the world. That ancient genealogies have 3 things that we need to keep in mind. Our strict Father to Son included everyone was only started in the golden age of Greece. Prior to then genealogies were 1.) Not necessarily genetic relatives, but where they may be a list of people holding a position. 2.) Even if we are dealing with a genetic relative genealogy they tend not to include all generations but the most important people in the family line. And  3.) Often in history the first born son is named after the paternal grandfather. Thus we have generations repeating the same two names. In the ancient genealogies (and this has been found in our Adventist studies of Biblical genealogies) the two names are only recorded once despite the number of generations that repeat those two names. 

If we are going to be fair to the Bible, we need to be fair to these issues. The cosmic week is NOT fair to these issues, and again brining us to a superficial study of the Bible that prepares us for how Satan will use the Bible when he comes claiming to be Christ.    

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I've not heard of this teaching before and saying each creation day represents one thousand years is not markedly different than saying one creation day equaled approximately 24 hours. As one of the recent articles posted here said, the Biblical writers viewed the earth as being flat - a flat earth is only "Biblical" in the sense that the Bible writers believed the earth to be flat - not that it actually was. 

God (Father, Son & Holy Spirit) is ETERNAL and therefore a creation that took 6 days or 6000 years, 100 thousand years or billions of years are all "Biblical" in that compared to the eternal God creation happened in the blink of an eye. I generally don't see Christians running around saying that if you don't believe the earth is flat you're rejecting the Biblical God - I'm seeing the argument about the timing of origins in a similar way. 

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The Bible is not a book of science.  Rather it is a revelation of God and how God has interacted in human life on the planet Earth.  As a revelation of God, the Bible is authoritative.  However, our understanding as to what the Bible actually teaches is not always accurate.

I acknowledge that there may appear to be some contradictions between what the Bible teaches and what science understands. I believe that some of those contradictions are only in the minds of those who have not understood what the Bible actually teaches.  But, some remain and await our better understanding of both science and the Bible.

 

 

 

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I believe it is critical not to flouncy flouncy around with Creation week, and yet hold other non prophetic parts of the bible to be exact.

God said He created in six days and rested the 7th, and we have a weekly cycle that remains. If we start jacking around with this, how do we know that it rained for 40 days?  Same deal guys.  Trying to lessen the Creator.  God sitting around waiting for the grass to grow, and maybe even waiting till the apes develop into man.  What a day that must have been for Adam's parents   to hold their little human baby!nature, male, female, wildlife, zoo, portrait, sitting, mammal, fauna, primate, family, adults, animals, hairy, vertebrate, big, large, habitat, primates, hugging, powerful, apes, western gorilla, great ape, dog breed group, common chimpanzee, gorillas

(Adam's mom and dad,shown here before the big event)  

 

I can't understand for the life of me, why we are supposed to  allow science to make us question our beliefs.  There is nothing wrong with the Genesis account.  There was no evolution.  To say so, not only takes away from the Creator, who, and the Bible is clear, made man from the dust of the ground, but also introduces death before the Fall.

Why does 6 days bother everyone so?  Go look outside your window. See flowers, grass, animals? The Book of He who created those can surely be held as truth. 

Rev 14 tells us that we are to worship God as Creator.  This other stuff is chomping at that bit by bit.

 

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The Genesis record does leave room for people to discuss and differ as to their understandings:

Genesis 1:1   tells us that at the time God began the creation described in that 1st chapter, something already existed.  Honest people can differ as to what it was that existed.

Genesis 1:14-19 tells us that God created the sun, moon and stars.  But it is not clear as to whether those were created at the same time as Earth, or at a different time.  Honest people can differ on this.

There are other issues that I could cite.  But, I will simply illustrate with those two.

 


 

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4 hours ago, Theophilus said:

I believe it is critical not to flouncy flouncy around with Creation week, and yet hold other non prophetic parts of the bible to be exact.

God said He created in six days and rested the 7th, and we have a weekly cycle that remains. If we start jacking around with this, how do we know that it rained for 40 days?  Same deal guys.  Trying to lessen the Creator.  God sitting around waiting for the grass to grow, and maybe even waiting till the apes develop into man.  What a day that must have been for Adam's parents   to hold their little human baby!nature, male, female, wildlife, zoo, portrait, sitting, mammal, fauna, primate, family, adults, animals, hairy, vertebrate, big, large, habitat, primates, hugging, powerful, apes, western gorilla, great ape, dog breed group, common chimpanzee, gorillas

(Adam's mom and dad,shown here before the big event)  

 

I can't understand for the life of me, why we are supposed to  allow science to make us question our beliefs.  There is nothing wrong with the Genesis account.  There was no evolution.  To say so, not only takes away from the Creator, who, and the Bible is clear, made man from the dust of the ground, but also introduces death before the Fall.

Why does 6 days bother everyone so?  Go look outside your window. See flowers, grass, animals? The Book of He who created those can surely be held as truth. 

Rev 14 tells us that we are to worship God as Creator.  This other stuff is chomping at that bit by bit.

 

I would think it problematic to hold to a faith that required I believe that all the Chinese people living during the Shang Dynasty were wiped out by the flood and then miraculously -  after the flood people that wouldn't be identified as Chinese suddenly became Chinese and implemented the Zhou Dynasty and continued the culture and customs of the Shang Dynasty. I'll admit this is to much for me to accept. Its along the lines of suggesting that Enoch & Noah would throw a saddle on a Triceratops or perhaps a T-Rex as they were obviously used for transportation purposes back in those days. 

 

 

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21 hours ago, Gregory Matthews said:

The Genesis record does leave room for people to discuss and differ as to their understandings:

Genesis 1:1   tells us that at the time God began the creation described in that 1st chapter, something already existed.  Honest people can differ as to what it was that existed.

Genesis 1:14-19 tells us that God created the sun, moon and stars.  But it is not clear as to whether those were created at the same time as Earth, or at a different time.  Honest people can differ on this.

There are other issues that I could cite.  But, I will simply illustrate with those two.

 


 

I'm not saying there aren't. I can pick stuff out of pepper, too. It bothers me that we as adventists, relying on the truth of the 7th day, have to sit around mull this stuff over, everything but Sabbath,  right?  Makes no sense

Time question,what about Sabbath--Creation question--what about Sabbath? You don't know what was there before. why can't you take God at his Word?   

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Theophilus, your comment:  " . . . why can't you take God at his Word?"   appears to be directed at me and a personalization that says that I do not take God at his word.  We allow considerable freedom to discuss in this forum.   We do ask that the discussion be carried on at a higher level than you appear to have done.

The central issue in much of the discussion is not whether or not to take God at his word, rather it is a discussion as to  what God has actually said.

If you do not understand this, you will not understand much of what is discussed in this forum.  It presents you as failing to understand the issues.

People can differ and be honest.  People can differ and be committed to following God.

In addition, many of the people who post in this forum are not members of the SDA Chruch.  We welcome their discussions with others, some of whom may be SDA members.   We need to treat them with respect and not accuse them of not wanting to follow God.

If your faith and your beliefs are so weak that you cannot engage in respectful conversation without accusing people of not wanting to follow God, you need to give further thought to the basis of your beliefs.

 

 

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On 4/30/2022 at 12:33 PM, Gregory Matthews said:

The Genesis record does leave room for people to discuss and differ as to their understandings:

Genesis 1:1   tells us that at the time God began the creation described in that 1st chapter, something already existed.  Honest people can differ as to what it was that existed.

Genesis 1:14-19 tells us that God created the sun, moon and stars.  But it is not clear as to whether those were created at the same time as Earth, or at a different time.  Honest people can differ on this.

There are other issues that I could cite.  But, I will simply illustrate with those two.

 


 

In his commentary on Genesis, Dr. Doukhan's (who is also the principle contributer to this quarter's Sabbath School Quarterly on Genesis) commentary points out that Genesis 1 contains at least three levels. First, while the focus is on the 7 days, that is only one level. A second level is the creation of the universe, to show that the same God involved with the 7 days is also the creator of the entire universe from a point in time long before these 7 days, and I forgot if he pointed this out, but I know that others have pointed out that the two lights and made the stars also don't say that they were created this day but that this day was when they appeared to this world. A third level is the creation of the Great Controversy. Again, I don't remember how much detail he gave on this, beyond the fact that there are two levels to the phrase "Let there be light" where the physical light is the secondary meaning while the primary meaning is that the universe was entering a new period in which there was going to be special light on who God is. 

Again, others had pointed out that the phrases in both Genesis 1 and 2 indicate something being here prior to the words "Let there be light" That the phrases and symbols indicate things dealing with evil and chaos, issues of the great controversy. Some Adventists have connected this language with what Mrs. White taught about the change from Lucifer into Satan, and how God worked long with Lucifer. These all fit together with the language. While we find a special event focused on the 7 days, the Bible talks about something going on before this time, which is connected to what we call the issues of the great controversy, so we need to allow for this time period and not get our feathers all ruffled about the theorized age of some things that may have been before those special 6 days. Also, on day 5 when it talks about the creation of the sea creatures, but named that God also made the Leviathan (in some translations whales) just as we have our picture of the devil as this person with horns, pointy tail and pitch fork, the picture of the devil in the ancient world was the Leviathan. Most of the ancient world saw this as a god, but in being named on day 5 with other life in the sea was a way of saying that the Leviathan was NOT a god but just a part of creation. We again see the different levels as I doubt that any of us would say that Lucifer was created on the 5th day.

So again, there was a time here that we are given very little detail about (maybe some more with Mrs. White) indicating that God placed something here that Lucifer, the other angels, and beings from other planets were able to do studies and make experiments to look for evidence of God's claims in light of Lucifer's deceptions. That after working LONG with Lucifer and all of the others, two things eventually happened. First, what ever God placed here for them to work with ended up being total chaos, and the two sides of the great controversy formed not over Proof, but on evidence, and the Holy Spirit working on the hearts rather than God taking them by the collar and saying "Look, this is how it is and this is why, now you just obey!"   But after this long time of dealing with their questions and wondering and making choices based on how they took to the evidence, then the next step for the universe in the great controversy was to enter a period of special light about who God is, and a little proof as God proves that he is the creator, but it still leaves questions opened, continued growth and choices and observations and finally the events at the cross is what crossed the rest of the universe, except for man, into what we can call the close of probation, or a point there they were so totally set in their choices that nothing can change them. 

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Oh, since pointing out things, from different sources, but using Dr. Doukhan's commentary on Genesis as the base, There was something that he points out in the commentary that did not make it as strong into the quarterly, and where the quarterly gives a quote by Mrs. White that superficially appears to disagree with this point. But Dr. Doukhan points out how the words said to the woman in Genesis 3 is a continuation of the words said to the serpent. From this it was pointed out that the "he" in "he shall rule over you" is not referring to her husband, who her desire was to be towards, but the promised "He" of Genesis 3:15. The "He" is basically a proper name in this talk. The "He" who was to rule over the woman, rather than being her husband, was the promised seed. Implying both a future appearance, but also being currently present and that the relationship to the woman and from her to the man is what salvation is based on, as they are ruled over by the promised "He". It is a shame the the quarterly, while pointing out some of the relationship between the speech to the serpent and to the woman, dropped off this part, and in Friday's lesson as I mentioned, gave an Ellen White quote that superficially appears to disagree with this.  

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