During my previous two articles, I explored questions concerning the number of books in the Bible. First, I looked at the number of books found in a typical Protestant canon. Then, last week, I explored the controversy surrounding the fringe-writings known as the Apocrypha, or Deuterocononical books. This week, I hope to complete this theme with what I consider to be a fascinating proposition: That there is, in fact, a sequel to the Bible. Or to be more precise, a prequel.
Now, before the orthodoxy-police take up their torches and pitchforks, allow me to be very clear what I am referring to: Nature, or “General Revelation.” Consider, for example, what Paul says about the matter:
“…since what may be known about God is plain to them, because God has made it plain to them. For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that men are without excuse.” – Romans 1:19-20:
Psalm 19 is even more intriguing, in what appears to be a very deliberate contrast of these two primary modes of revelation. Notice the focus on nature in verses 1-6:
1 The heavens declare the glory of God;
the skies proclaim the work of his hands.
2 Day after day they pour forth speech;
night after night they display knowledge.
3 There is no speech or language
where their voice is not heard.
4 Their voice goes out into all the earth,
their words to the ends of the world.
In the heavens he has pitched a tent for the sun,
5 which is like a bridegroom coming forth from his pavilion,
like a champion rejoicing to run his course.
6 It rises at one end of the heavens
and makes its circuit to the other;
nothing is hidden from its heat.
Now compare the discourse on God’s law in verses 7-11:
7 The law of the LORD is perfect,
reviving the soul.
The statutes of the LORD are trustworthy,
making wise the simple.
8 The precepts of the LORD are right,
giving joy to the heart.
The commands of the LORD are radiant,
giving light to the eyes.
9 The fear of the LORD is pure,
The ordinances of the LORD are sure
and altogether righteous.
10 They are more precious than gold,
than much pure gold;
they are sweeter than honey,
than honey from the comb.
11 By them is your servant warned;
in keeping them there is great reward.
Perhaps, then, it is no coincidence that the opening chapter of Scripture also details the opening days of Creation. They have their origins in the same place. They are tied together from their very inception.
Perhaps, furthermore, it is no coincidence that the opening chapter of Scripture has been the focus of so many attacks over the last century. Both of God’s great revelations rest on its foundation. If it is shown to be erroneous, then the divine origins of both nature and Scripture are in question.
I think that the best way to close this article is to simply let God’s original revelation speak for itself. Following are a few select facts about nature and the world we live in, which I have cleverly intermingled with Genesis 1:
And God said, “Let there be light,” and there was light.
We see over wavelengths at which the sun’s output is most prodigious. Nearly half its radiation lies between 400 to 750 nanometers, and our eyes are most sensitive in the yellow-green that is the most intense solar color. Experts in color reproduction estimate that we can discern up to ten million different shades.
And God said, “Let there be an expanse between the waters to separate water from water.”
Types of clouds: Cirrocumulus, Cirrus, Cirrostratus, Altostratus, Altocumulus, Cumulus, Stratocumulus, Nimbostratus, and Stratus.
And God said, “Let the water under the sky be gathered to one place, and let dry ground appear.”
The oceans of the world contain about 1.35 billion cubic kilometers of seawater.
There are seven large tectonic plates: Pacific (the only one not associated with a continent), African, North American, South American, Eurasian, Australian, and Antarctic.
Then God said, “Let the land produce vegetation: seed-bearing plants and trees on the land that bear fruit with seed in it, according to their various kinds.”
One Sequoia Semperviren measures 364 feet, making it the tallest living thing on earth. They are capable of living for over 2,000 years.
And God said, “Let there be lights in the expanse of the sky to separate the day from the night, and let them serve as signs to mark seasons and days and years, and let them be lights in the expanse of the sky to give light on the earth.” And it was so. God made two great lights—the greater light to govern the day and the lesser light to govern the night. He also made the stars.
The sun is 1,392,000 km. in diameter, and could engulf over 1 million globes the volume of the Earth. At its core it is 15,000,000 degrees Celsius.
There are 5,800 stars visible to the naked eye. Our galaxy contains about 100,000 million, and beyond that we come to other galaxies.
And God said, “Let the water teem with living creatures, and let birds fly above the earth across the expanse of the sky.”
False Clownfish live inside giant stinging anemone, and spend their entire life with their chosen anemone, which can only be one of three species. A special slime covers the fish’s body and prevents the anemone from recognizing it as food.
The Toco Toucan is the largest of all toucan species. Its bill is 7 ½ inches.
And God said, “Let the land produce living creatures according to their kinds: livestock, creatures that move along the ground, and wild animals, each according to its kind.”
European Pond Turtles are just one of two freshwater turtle species that live in Europe. They spend most of their time basking on logs or rocks.
Then God said, “Let us make man in our image, in our likeness…”
The human body has 206 bones, over 600 skeletal muscles, a circulator system that is over 90,000 miles long, and a brain composed of 12 billion neurons and 50 billion supporting glial cells.