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Apr
17
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2 Timothy 3:14-15
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Different Kinds of Flesh

Author: 
Paul A. Bartz

Note: Creation Moments exists to provide Biblically sound materials to the Church in the area of Bible and science relationships. This Bible study may be reproduced for group use.

In John 3:12, Jesus points out to Nicodemus that if he does not believe what Jesus says about earthly things, which Nicodemus can verify from his own experience, Nicodemus will have even more trouble believing what Jesus has to say about heavenly things.

How does this statement by Jesus compare with the claim made by enemies of the Christian faith that since the Bible teaches divine creation, and "everyone knows now that evolution is true," the rest of the Bible must be discarded as outdated, too?

Read 1 Corinthians 15:35-44. How many examples from the material world (which science studies) does St. Paul use here to illustrate a spiritual truth? Would Paul's point here be easier or harder to understand if he did not use these examples from the familiar material world? If his examples from the familiar did not make any sense or were not credible, what would happen to the spiritual truth he was trying to communicate? Following this basic principle of logic, we would expect to find the illustrations from earthly things which are presented by an all wise Creator representing a credible and realistic view of the world.

Why, then, is it important to maintain that where Scripture touches on matters of history, science, or any other earthly topic, it is completely accurate?

In explaining that in the resurrection we shall be raised with imperishable bodies, as opposed to the perishable bodies we now have, St. Paul invites a comparison to the different kinds of flesh between creatures (v. 39). Men and animals have flesh which is different from each other, and birds have yet another kind of flesh, and fish, yet another. So Paul's point is that we shall have yet another kind of flesh, equally different from the flesh we now have, when we are raised from the dead. What kind of flesh will that be? How different our new bodies really shall be is made evident as we examine how different the different kinds of flesh here being used as examples actually are.

The word "flesh" here in the Greek refers to the meat of the body itself: the protein. While there is some connection between the obvious visible differences, different types of flesh and their differing protein structures, Paul's description here is much more meaningful when we consider the full depth of his illustration. The genetic and protein structures of various animals and man are very different from one another. What happened when they tried to transplant a heart from a monkey into a human? Why? How does this validate what Paul is saying here? What philosophy led some researchers to think that man and monkeys are similar enough to make such a transplant possible?

Note that Scripture's credibility not only remains intact, but is enhanced by the growth of our scientific knowledge.

Besides the broad division of birds, beasts, fish and man, Scripture also recognizes smaller groupings or categories of creatures which are called kinds. Would one expect two different systems of classifying plants and animals to agree on every point? If there were a disagreement between Scriptural statements about creatures and man's, which, according to faith, would be the one to accept?

Logic also says that the Scriptural statements about plants and animals are the better ones. While the man-made system of dividing species is subjective (in many cases experts disagree about which creatures belong to a separate species), the biblical division of kinds is based on an objective criterion - Scriptural statements of which creatures are of different "kinds."

In Leviticus 11 the Hebrew word "min" is used to describe "kinds." The falcon "kind" (verse 14) is distinguished from the hawk "kind" (verse 16). In verse 22 the common locust is distinguished from the devastating locust (NASB), and yet other distinctions are made between the cricket and the grasshopper "kinds." Does the wording of verse 22 suggest that there are sub-divisions of the various kinds in the biblical system? This has led many creationists to suggest that the Bible recognizes the broad division of "kinds," which they have called "baramin" ("created kinds"), as well as different types within a kind, which they have called simply, "min" (to distinguish types within kinds).

Scripture is clear, and creationists agree, that no creature from one kind, baramin, can ever modify into another kind of creature. Thus evolution is impossible. However, within baramin, modifications are often seen. Thus there can be many types within a kind. The melanese moths of Great Britain, with their light and dark individuals, are a good example of this expression of designed genetic range which actually traces all the way back to the creation. A parent of either the light or dark variety can produce offspring of both varieties. Is such built-in genetic range what it takes to "evolve" entirely new types of creatures? What blessing does such range, provided by the Creator, give to creatures?

While many evolutionists choose to console themselves by believing that inaccurate Scriptural references to early things has destroyed Scripture's credibility, if they would examine Scripture on its own terms, they would find that this is not the case. Scripture accurately depicts the world as it actually exists, even when discussing the classifications of various creatures. Scripture is accurate on these points so that when it speaks to us of heavenly things, which are not part of our everyday experience, we will have learned to respect the credibility of Scripture's revelation and take the saving work of Christ on our behalf seriously! This attitude will enable the Holy Spirit to do His work in our hearts and minds so that we can be made new creations in Jesus Christ.

Footnotes: 

Copyright © 1989 Bible Science Newsletter, Pastor Paul A. Bartz. Creation Moments, Inc. PO Box 839 Foley, MN 56329
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