11969Time and Creation (part 1)
- Aug 14, 2014When interpreting biblical creation, it is important to reference the text to the ancient model of reality, not to an ambiguous concept of time. Biblical Hebrew did not use verb tenses because, in the ancient world view, time had no actual existence. Hebrew verbs explained things such as the kind of action, continuing or completed, but ancient people did not speculate about time. If English had no verb tenses or time notions, we might say: I repeatedly walk yesterday. I continually walk tomorrow. I walk next year. Only the context explains when something happens or will happen without verb tenses (notions about time).Victor, Changing Earth Creationist
Historical accounts tell us that during the early days of Rome, months sometimes had 20 or 35 days. Months with inclement weather could be long because the new moon event was not observed. If the weather was clear the following month, it might only have 20 days. The month was not a measurement of time but an observation of the new moon. The first Roman calendar only had 10 named months. We still can see the Latin numerals in the month names September (7), October (8), November (9) and December (10). The first two months of the Roman calendar had no names because nature was dormant and men did no agricultural work. Months were for tuning life to the continually changing cycles of nature, not for measuring time. The ancients saw never-ending cycles of change in the very places westerners imagine linear time. The two views are incompatible: modern linear time notions and the biblical world of continuing change. This is why efforts to understand biblical creation with science cannot be made to fit the universe.
About 2600 years ago, the pagan Greeks began referring to time as though it existed, such as: the "whole of time." During the same century, the Roman King Numa gave names to the months of January and February. Evidently speculations about the existence of time began to affect Roman calendars. When the New Testament was written, Greek tenses primarily refer to the kind of action, like Hebrew. The present tense showed continuing or progressive actions but time could also have a secondary meaning in the indicative mood. Every page in the New Testament contains aorist verbs. The aorist is tenseless, makes no reference to when, like the ancient Hebrew verbs. Evidently the new ideas about time affected grammars.
Sixteen hundred years ago, Bishop Augustine harmonized Greek philosophy with his religion by claiming that God created time in the beginning. He also imagined that God sees the future because he is eternal, a Catholic word for existing outside of time. Augustine's ideas about God and time suggested that all the future is determined. The Bible records 36 times when God changes his mind and even describes how He actively brings about his predictions. Despite the contrary biblical evidence, the Catholics added thousands of verb tenses and time words to their translations. They simply assumed that the Bible must fit their time philosophy and adjusted it accordingly.
A Solomon contemporary could understand Ecclesiastes chapter 3 without speculating about time. There is an occasion or season of planting and harvesting, birth and death, tearing and sewing so that the cycles destroy all that we do. God has made everything lovely in its season, but he put the obscurity (ath-e-olam) in the heart of them so that they cannot find out all that he does from beginning to end. The text makes perfect sense in Solomon's world view, before men invented the concept of time.
In the thirteenth century, western monks built mechanical clocks that rang bells for regulating monastic prayer life. The French word for bell is clock. Eventually, notions about time even affected English grammar. The word to "wish" willen along with a verb could form a future tense, I will walk. I "walk did" could shorten to form the past tense, I walked. Westerners began to use their novel notions of time in almost every sentence.
Seven hundred years ago, Dominican friars harmonized the Bible with Aristotle's system. Ancient philosophers were unable to invent an empirical science because in Greek grammar the present of the verb "to be" (einai) described on going changes. The disciples of Friar Thomas used a noun of the Latin verb to be (esse) to claim that the "essence of substance is changeless." The popes accepted the Dominican metaphysic, that substance is intrinsically unchanging. Since they controlled all schools in the West, the notion that matter is intrinsically unchanging became the accepted dogma of the West. When the Europeans colonized the world, native Americans and Orientals whose languages had no past, present or future verbs, began to regulate life with clocks and to force nature to fit the Western concept of time.
During the 17th century, Huygens built pendulum clocks and Hook invented escapements for watches. The new clocks ticked with monotonous regularity, suggesting that time was linear. Newton learned from his teacher Barrow that "Whether things run or stand still, whether we sleep or wake, time flows in its even tenor." It is not surprising that Newton demeaned the common regulators of life (roosters, new moons and solstices) by claiming that time was mathematical. "Absolute, true, and mathematical time, of itself, and from its own nature, flows equably without relation to anything external." It was because Newton accepted the Dominican metaphysic, that the essence of substance is changeless, that he defined time and matter with measuring techniques. Most scientific measuring units and mathematical constants depend on the Dominican notion that matter is not changing itself and its derivative: that clocks measure linear time and orbits are clock like.
We can see cosmic history to the creation era. Every atomic clock in billions of distant galaxies, clocks a different frequency from modern atoms. Even local atomic clocks, when compared to their transponded reflections from hours ago (Pioneer Anomaly), also accelerates in the same manner as the clocks in billions of ancient galaxies (at many ranges). We observe how the clocks and the orbits accelerate together as billions of galaxies grew from the unformed things God created on the first day. He continued to form the stars and make them into spreading things. Matter's clocks, the space it takes up and evidently its inertial properties are all observed to change relationally as billions of galaxies grew from point sources as the properties of all matter change relationally. Of course scientists are highly trained in the Dominican metaphysic. They have invented a universe that is crammed full of magic, that is even 99% invisible) to protect their blind creed that the essence of substance is changeless.
Read day four on the Changing Earth Creation web site and you will be able to accept the only history that is visible as it happened, galactic history, that confirms the literal text, as it was written before men began to speculate about the existence of time..
In the next essay, I will show how to understand the age of the Earth using the ancient way of thinking, rather than tailoring the text to fit speculations about immutable matter and conjectures about perpetual motion atomic clocks.