Adventist Media Response and Conversation

Friday, December 29, 2006

Doug Batchelor's Ironic Statement of the Week

Have you ever wondered why it is so common in the SDA church to assume like Doug Batchelor does that Noah and family were closed in the Ark for seven days prior to the coming of the flood. In speaking about this weeks lesson (see post below this one) Doug Batchelor says at about minute 25:21:

By this way this is something like the story of Noah. In that God told Noah there is going to be a great dearth you better store the ark with food and when Noah went in the Ark remember he spent seven days in that Ark when the door is shut and he must live off what’s in the Ark. Isn’t that right?…

He then goes on to talk about a famine for the word of God and tells us we should be storing our minds with food for the famine of the word of God. Quoting again he says:

“I think the famine may have already begun because there is a lot of Biblical illiteracy.”

Not only does the story not say anything about Noah gathering food to place in the Ark, but it says nothing of the people being shut in the Ark for seven days. The flood by rain is announced to come in seven days and they are told to get into the Ark and take animals into the Ark but it is latter and according to the story the very day that they got into the Ark that the flood came as verse

Gen 7:10-13 It came about after the seven days, that the water of the flood came upon the earth. 11 In the six hundredth year of Noah's life, in the second month, on the seventeenth day of the month, on the same day all the fountains of the great deep burst open, and the floodgates of the sky were opened. . 12 The rain fell upon the earth for forty days and forty nights. 13 On the very same day Noah and Shem and Ham and Japheth, the sons of Noah, and Noah's wife and the three wives of his sons with them, entered the ark,

While I would not say that Batchelor is Biblically illiterate I would say that his tendency to eisegesis often makes him as good as illiterate. Much of his lesson study was spent drawing parallels between Jesus and Joseph and after he manufactured a similarity declared that his presupposition that Joseph was a type of Christ is true. He even went farther and said that Joseph was a representation of Christ. There is all kinds of literature that can be looked at as having characters who are types of Christ, Batchelor however carries things even farther. In the above quote Batchelor is trying to develop the parallel between Joseph creating store housed food with Noah gathering food into the Ark. Not because the Bible says Noah did that but because Batchelor assumes Noah did that. Unfortunately much of his lessons are filled with his assumptions. At the very least Batchelor should acknowledge that his view of people being shut in the Ark for seven days is not clearly made and may not be the correct interpretation. His assumptions are often even couched in questions followed by “isn’t that right”. If only he would allow his audience to answer maybe he would learn something. Or even if he were just honest enough to say that his view is based upon Ellen White's interpretation of the flood story, then the listeners can have a chance at knowing what the Bible actually says.

The following is the main part of the Chapter in question.

(NASB) Genesis 7:1 Then the LORD said to Noah, "Enter the ark, you and all your household, for you alone I have seen to be righteous before Me in this time. 2 "You shall take with you of every clean animal by sevens, a male and his female; and of the animals that are not clean two, a male and his female; 3 also of the birds of the sky, by sevens, male and female, to keep offspring alive on the face of all the earth. 4 "For after seven more days, I will send rain on the earth forty days and forty nights; and I will blot out from the face of the land every living thing that I have made." 5 Noah did according to all that the LORD had commanded him. 6 Now Noah was six hundred years old when the flood of water came upon the earth. 7 Then Noah and his sons and his wife and his sons' wives with him entered the ark because of the water of the flood. 8 Of clean animals and animals that are not clean and birds and everything that creeps on the ground, 9 there went into the ark to Noah by twos, male and female, as God had commanded Noah. 10 It came about after the seven days, that the water of the flood came upon the earth. 11 In the six hundredth year of Noah's life, in the second month, on the seventeenth day of the month, on the same day all the fountains of the great deep burst open, and the floodgates of the sky were opened. 12 The rain fell upon the earth for forty days and forty nights. 13 On the very same day Noah and Shem and Ham and Japheth, the sons of Noah, and Noah's wife and the three wives of his sons with them, entered the ark, 14 they and every beast after its kind, and all the cattle after their kind, and every creeping thing that creeps on the earth after its kind, and every bird after its kind, all sorts of birds. 15 So they went into the ark to Noah, by twos of all flesh in which was the breath of life. 16 Those that entered, male and female of all flesh, entered as God had commanded him; and the LORD closed it behind him. 17 Then the flood came upon the earth for forty days, and the water increased and lifted up the ark, so that it rose above the earth.

3 comments:

Elaine said...

After all this informative flood story, that there are two distinctively different stories is never mentioned.

The preacher has the final word and why read the Bible when the speaker can ask, "Isn't it right?" answering himself and silencing any others.

Ron Corson said...

It may have been that originally there were two or more flood stories. The bible version is clearly trying to create one story.

To assume that they went in 7 days before the flood is one possibility but even so it is more likely the intent was to say that the flood was announced to come by rain 7 days before it came. There is nothing even in that section that portrays them as waiting 7 days inside the Ark.

Earlier I posted the flood story as a chaism, and that literary technique may also confuse some people especially those who insist on taking the story as literal history.

Anonymous said...

See Matthew Henry commentary