Saturday, November 22, 2008

Tail Like a Cedar!

The local (to me) mega-church BNC has videos posted on YouTube. I actually thought alot of BNC, until I watched this video. Pastor O'Dell here is spouting the same ol' arguments about dinosaurs with cedar trees for tails and Job chapter 40. I'll explain after the video.

The tail like a cedar always gets me. Here's the King James version of the verses he cites.
Behold now behemoth, which I made with thee; he eateth grass as an ox. Lo now, his strength is in his loins, and his force is in the navel of his belly. He moveth his tail like a cedar: the sinews of his stones are wrapped together. His bones are as strong pieces of brass; his bones are like bars of iron. He is the chief of the ways of God: he that made him can make his sword to approach unto him. Job 40:15-19

I can hop on my feet like a kangaroo. Does that mean that I have feet like a kangaroo? No! The prepositional phrase "like a kangroo" describes the verb "hop", not the noun "feet". To take a prepositional phrase any other way is dishonest. Anyone who has had an english class in high school should realize that.

Verse 17 says, "He moveth his tail like a cedar ..."

"Like a cedar" is a prepositional phrase that is acting like an adverb describing the verb "moveth". In other words, behemoth moved his tail back and forth like a cedar does in the wind. Lots of animals (elephants, hippos, african buffalo, rhinos) could be described as doing that. They do that to keep the flies off of their butts.

Really, it's pointless to argue which animal is behemoth. Job is a cautionary tale that probably wasn't even intended by its author to be taken literally.

Here's a nit to pick. O'Dell says in the video that the english word "dragon" comes from the hebrew word δράκων (drakōn). Well, as you can see by the greek letters, the word is greek, not hebrew. I'll give O'Dell the benefit of the doubt. I'm sure he knew of the words greek orgin. It was just a slip of the tongue. I can't fault him for that. I'm sure my spelling and grammar is horrible in this very post.

Here's another nit. O'Dell states that the earth according to scientists is 4.54 trillion years old. Actually the number is 4.54 billion years. That's probably a simple slip up too. However, he claims that scientists are making up dinosaur species in order to disprove his religion. I don't buy it.

The reason there is such a thing as creationism is because science and human knowledge is contradicting the literal interpretation of the bible. O'Dell's religion relies entirely on a literal interpretation of the bible. If even one verse is proven to be wrong, the truth of the rest of the bible is questionable. If you doubt that there are mistakes in the bible, I've written an article about three of them.

I'm an atheist, so I don't understand the importance of taking the bible literally. Why can't christians keep the good parts of the bible (like Leviticus 19:18) and throw away the bad parts (like Deuteronomy 21:18-21)? Why does it have to all be right?


Robert Madewell said...

I ask a rhetorical question at the end of this post, "Why can't christians keep the good parts of the bible and throw away the bad parts?"

Actually, most christians do ignore the bad parts of the bible. Even the fundies do it. They just won't admit it. Very few christians kill disobedient children (Dueteronomy 21:18-21). Very few people have castrated themselves (Matthew 19:12) because Jesus told them to. Sure, they have all kinds of apologetics explaining why, but they still do ignore the bad parts.

Anonymous said...

A lot of things changed after the New Covenant was established. Much of the law was made redundant by the new system that changed peoples hearts to desire good rather than terrorizing them with punishment for sin.

Your Mathew quote is out of context. It's a very common mistake.

Benzington said...

You only used the English translation to justify this? Do more research.