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Hi David

>>......There's a lot I would like to say, but yours is really the right to conclude. However I hope you will pardon me for saying these four things:<<

You're welcome to write, if you have comments.

>>1 My opinions are not rigid. I have learnt some emphases from your work that I had underrated, even though it is clear that neither of us have convinced each other. Please accept my thanks for all your efforts, some of which being into the early hours of the morning. I enjoy reading and evaluating opinions, even if I disagree with some parts of them.<<

It’s a pleasure to discuss and I'm glad you appreciate the mail.

>>2 I regret my drive to keep replies brief has at times made things unclear, and meant I didn't reply to all the side-issues raised. In re-reading, I see there is one matter on which you twice sought my reply. I apologise that I missed this, and will reply here, though please accept that I am not intending to reopen discussion unless you choose<<

I suppose as long as we write discussion is open. Thanks for your kind words. Hope you forgive when I misunderstand and my lack of briefness.

>>Your references about animals sharing in judgments on humans: Zeph 1 Ezek 32 Exod 9. I agree this happens and see your point. I suppose it happens in every war, also. [A slightly reverse case is the interesting one in Jonah (last verse) where God spares the 120,000 children "and also much cattle", as an example of how God does take care for oxen as well as defenceless children.] In the 3 verses you cited, this sharing in judgment is specified and stated.<<

Yes biblically speaking God's judgment on "the world" includes animals, they also suffer, become sick and die as mankind. Paul says "for since by man came death" (1 cor.15.21) and "sin entered the world and death by sin" (Rom.5:12). So this is a powerful argument that sin and death are linked together and they both entered the world at the Fall. So when death entered the world it included the animal kingdom as well. Death is an intrusion into the world and described as "the last enemy" to be destroyed (1 Cor.15.26). By one man (Adam) 'came death' (suffering, pain, etc) to all "the world". And by one Man (Jesus) will come a new creation (life, peace, etc) to all the world.

>>In Genesis 3 , it is also specified for the serpent ("alone" says GNB, "above" says KJV).<<

I agree the serpent is specified but mention is made of other animals. And the words "very good" (Gen.1.31) describe a good creation and obviously (today) creation has suffered by the fall. From the 'earth' came the animals (Gen.1.24). When God cursed the ground, all earthly life is included.

Also the 'serpent' is presented as the cleverest of the animals (Gen.3.1) which man should have exercised dominion over. So judgment is pronounced first on the "serpent which is cursed above all creatures" (p.20 Commentary on the Whole Bible. Jamieson, Fausset, Brown. Regency 1981). Matthew Henry says, "The serpent is here laid under the curse of God: Thou art cursed above all cattle. Even the creeping things, when God made them, were blessed of him (ch. 1:22), but sin turned the blessing into a curse." (Matthew Henry's commentary on the whole Bible. (1991). (Ge 3:14). Another commentary says, "The Lord God cursed the serpent to degradation, disgrace, and defeat. The fact that the serpent is cursed more than all cattle or any other beast of the field suggests that reptiles are primarily in view here rather than Satan." (MacDonald, W., & Farstad, A. (1995). Believer's Bible Com. (Ge 3:14). Nelson's commentary goes further, "The effects of the Fall reached well beyond the man and woman to the animal kingdom, which began to suffer along with man through the Edenic Curse (Jer. 12:4; Rom. 8:20)". (Radmacher, D., Allen, B, & House, W. (1999). Nelson's New Illustrated Bible Com. (Ge.3:14).

I haven't found a commentary that supports the idea animals were not included in the curse. [You will also note animals 'came from the earth' (Gen.1.24) not from the sea, or sea-like creatures].

>>In Romans 5, it is not specified that animals are included in the death.<<

And its not specified that animals are NOT included in "the world". So why do they die and share the same sufferings as men? ‘The whole creation’ is subjected to the ‘bondage of decay’ and been ‘groaning and travailing together in pain’. Paul says, "For the creature was made subject to vanity, not willingly, but by reason of him who hath subjected the same in hope, Because the creature itself also shall be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God". (Rom.8.20-21). Indicating animals are clearly included. If death and sin did not come into the world by Adam's sin, you make Paul out to be dishonest, and Christ's death for sin to be nonsense.

>>That is the limit of the information God gives on this.<<

I think there is plenty of information. It's a question of believing the information there already. Doubting Genesis has been the chief reason that causes people to doubt the rest of the Bible and give up the faith totally.

>>If "the theory of evolution...determines how (I) understand scripture", try to find any evolutionary theory in my reaction to your views on Romans 5.12a for example.<<

By denying "death" entered "the world" through Adam. Evolution theory demands millions of years of death & suffering before Adam. And if you think that animals are not part of "the world" or share God's curse on creation, this also reflects on Rom.5.12.

>>4 It would be good to end with agreement. I have faced two questions and can see only one possible answer from the Bible. This answer assures me of God's love and care and of his sustaining power in creation today. Despite our differences, I would hope that your answers were the same as mine, for I really hope you enjoy the same message from nature. The two questions are:
[A] Who made the carnivore, and the herbivore?
[B] Who feeds the carnivore, and the herbivore? Yours sincerely David<<

Obviously the answer is God made both and sustains their existence. But when we see the carnivore feeding on the herbivore that does not assure us "of God's love and care". We cannot interpret the original creation by what we see today. Or, your 'message from nature' would incriminate God as guilty of inciting violence, bloodshed and death. So in that regard we are not in agreement. You seem to think God's sustaining power is some kind of murder machine. I argue that after the fall and curse, things changed. Though God still sustains the fallen creation the 2nd law is running rampant. Creation is no longer kept in pristine perfection.

Originally carnivores were created with a different diet. "Every beast of the earth… every bird of the heavens, and to everything that creepeth upon the earth, wherein there is life, I have given every green herb for food: and it was so" (Gen.1.29). Also for men, veggies are better diet than meat. All creatures began life as vegetarians regardless of the shape of their teeth. Only after the environment degenerated, following Noah's Flood, some animals begin to eat others in order to get enough nutrients. John Mackay has an excellent comment on this subject. I would like to conclude by quoting him -



Gen 6:12 And God looked upon the earth, and, behold, it was corrupt; for all flesh had corrupted his way upon the earth.

1600 years after creation the corruption caused by Adam's sin had now spread to all flesh.

Gen.6:21-22 And take thou unto thee of all food that is eaten, and thou shalt gather it to thee; and it shall be for food for thee, and for them. Thus did Noah; according to all that God commanded him, so did he.

Noah was told to gather food for all to eat - since all creatures could still survive as vegetarians - an easy task.

Gen. 7:2 Of every clean beast thou shalt take to thee by sevens, the male and his female: and of beasts that are not clean by two, the male and his female.

Creatures now two types - "clean" which had continued to be vegetarian and the negative connotation "unclean" which had begun to eat dead things and had become scavengers.

Gen. 9:2 And the fear of you and the dread of you shall be upon every beast of the earth, and upon every fowl of the air, upon all that moveth upon the earth, and upon all the fishes of the sea; into your hand are they delivered.

After Noah's Flood all the animals have 'fear of man' imposed upon them - probably as a safety measure to preserve them from man who is given permission to now eat them - many of the animals will undoubtedly begin to defend themselves against man's attack. Those creatures with sharp teeth will have a "cutting edge" in the 'survival of the fittest' - a competition which began in earnest at that time and has only become more serious with time due to the long term result of man's moral decline.

Gen. 9:3 Every moving thing that liveth shall be meat for you; even as the green herb have I given you all things.

Noah and his descendants were permitted by God to kill creatures and eat them!

Job 41:14 & 27 Who can open the doors of his face? his teeth are terrible round about. He esteemeth iron as straw, and brass as rotten wood.

By Job's day - several hundred years after the flood - animals had learned to use their sharp teeth in defense - even if they didn't yet kill with them - their teeth were regarded with fear as terrible.

Gen 15:11 And when the fowls came down upon the carcases, Abram drove them away.

Some birds had become carrion eaters by the time of Abraham - from now on any degenerative loss of their 'crop', which enabled them to eat grain, will doom them to remain scavengers.

Gen18:8 And he took butter, and milk, and the calf which he had dressed, and set it before them; and he stood by them under the tree, and they did eat.

Man is recorded as eating cooked 'domesticated' meat and animal products.

Gen 25:28 And Isaac loved Esau, because he did eat of his venison: but Rebekah loved Jacob.

Gen.27:4-7 And make me savoury meat, such as I love, and bring it to me, that I may eat; that my soul may bless thee before I die. And Rebekah heard when Isaac spoke to Esau his son. And Esau went to the field to hunt for venison, and to bring it. And Rebekah spake unto Jacob her son, saying, Behold, I heard thy father speak unto Esau thy brother, saying, Bring me venison, and make me savoury meat, that I may eat, and bless thee before the LORD before my death.

Man is now a hunter as well as a farmer.

Gen 37:20 Come now therefore, and let us slay him, and cast him into some pit, and we will say, Some evil beast hath devoured him: and we shall see what will become of his dreams.

Joseph's brothers know that wild animals eat people and that this fact is so well known, they can use it to dispose of their brother - this is the first reference to man-eating animals in Scripture.

Gen 49:9 Judah is a lion's whelp: from the prey, my son, thou art gone up: he stooped down, he couched as a lion, and as an old lion; who shall rouse him up?

The first mention of a creature that has killed prey - the lion.

By the time of Moses - venomous snakes attack people and oxen are known to gore people. (See Exodus - Deuteronomy) By the time of Samson (Jg 14:5) wild animals such as lions attack people.

By 600BC both the carnivorous killing habits and methods are widespread and well known enough for the prophet Nahum to write in Nah 2:12: The lion did tear in pieces enough for his whelps, and strangled for his lionesses, and filled his holes with prey, and his dens with raven.

In summary then, T.Rex, like all creatures, began life as a vegetarian. By Noah's flood some creatures had become scavengers. After the flood, some creatures became carnivores. At present we have only 2 known dinosaurs with remains of bones of other land dwelling creatures inside their fossil rib cage - the implication being they had eaten them dead or alive. T.Rex is not one of these. The majority of fossil dinosaur droppings analysed also point to a bulk of vegetarians and don't help decide if meat eaten was only scavenged.


Regards
Mark

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