I love distilled, biblical truths and these teachings are about as distilled, unbiased and literal as someone can be.
Dr. Michael S. Heiser is an expert in Hebrew Bible and Ancient Semitic Languages and is currently the Academic Editor for Logos Bible software. You can read an entertaining self-bio here and also view his resume here. He is also author of an excellent work of theological “faction”, as it were, entitled The Facade, and an array of web sites that are firmly nestled at the core of my favorite areas of study.
I have to say, I resonate with his teachings, not only because they are so straightforward, but also because they address areas of reality that I have felt for a long time the Church ignores and dismisses to its own detriment and to the detriment of those experiencing these areas (I’m being mild).
Here he is with some excellent teachings on Genesis & Creation, Old Testament Cosmology and the Image of God.
Genesis and Creation
1 – Why More Than One View Is Biblically Possible
- How is it that people who have equal theological commitments can come away with positions that seem to, and often are, completely incompatible?
- Explorations into the Hebrew words “bara” and “yom”.
- Does Genesis have anything to do with science or is it straight, theological messaging?
- Does an indefinite amount of time in Genesis 1:1-2 mean God didn’t create in 6, literal 24-hour days?
3 – What the Old Testament’s Cosmology Tells Us About Genesis and Science
- Heiser: “Where does your literalism begin and where does someone else’s begin? … I’m going to be a flaming, uncompromising, blind literalist tonight. And I’m going to challenge you to be as literal as I am.”
- Biblical Cosmology is (in my own words) how the ancient Hebrews and other regional peoples understood the world they lived in, its beginnings and its end.
- God explained Genesis 1 in the way that He did in order to relate to these Ancient peoples in the way that they already understood the world.
- Genesis is about theological messaging, not science.
The Ancient Hebrew Conception of the Universe
4 – The Image of God
- What is and isn’t the image of God?
- Have you ever thought of the image of God as a verb? As a status? As a function?
- Every human being is conceived as an imager of God and that is a status that can never be taken away.
- If you are a human, you are the image of God.
In the latter part of this video, Heiser also offers an explanation on the plurality of “Let Us make man in Our image” [Genesis 1:26] and it’s something you’ve probably never heard before.
So, what’s the number one take-away? The next time someone says the Bible isn’t true because it’s unscientific, ask them why they are criticizing it for not being something it was never intended to be.
(And, yes, I realize there is no part 2 and the reason is… because there isn’t one.)
3 responses to “Dr. Michael S. Heiser on Genesis, Creation, the Image of God and Biblical Cosmology”
Hi, a great article summarizing Heiser’s views on Ancient Hebrew Cosmology. I love his stuff. I was curious, do you still hold to YEC?
Yes, I do.
I couldn’t help but wonder if the image of Elohim couldn’t be more specifically related to the DNA of a human. I understand that there are other ‘creatures’ that have 99.x% of our DNA. That 0.y% difference is huge. The idea of the ‘life being in the blood’ comes to mind as well.
Looking outside of biblical script, I have heard, but have yet to confirm, that individuals have cross-referenced the individual DNA components to ancient Hebraic letters and have ‘deciphered’ a message.
Ignoring the last statement, the blood would seem to meet the basic ‘tests’ Dr. Heiser described in Part 3 and thus confirm that life begins at inception!