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Author Topic:   13th century rabbi says universe billions of years old
Percy
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From: New Hampshire
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Message 16 of 60 (777542)
02-03-2016 11:33 AM
Reply to: Message 13 by NoNukes
02-03-2016 10:05 AM


Ah, yes, I see it now.

--Percy


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LamarkNewAge
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Posts: 1401
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Message 17 of 60 (777561)
02-03-2016 4:59 PM


Understand the significance.
A (super honest and scholarly) fundamentalist named Davies has investigated the evidence for Christian and Jewish interpretations of an old earth prior to the 19th century.

https://www.google.com/?gws_rd=ssl#q=davies+age+pf+earth+...

There are several of his good books on Amazon..

(This is his oldest but shorter book, and it was an honest investigation)

http://www.amazon.com/...Age-Earth-Davis-Young/dp/093466627X

He has a more recent one that is much longer.

Anyway, he has found no evidence of old-earth views predating the 18th/19th (even 19th I think) century scientific revelations. Therefore this is an interesting post, and it is groundbreaking evidence if true.

Based on Davies' books, he has found that there were (until now?) no Christians or Jews that were "old earthers". Huge Ross claims that Josephus, Philo, etc. held "old earth" views. People repeat these lies uncritically. Davies is honest enough to investigate. Davies wrote a favorable blurb for a book by Robert Best, "Noah's Ark and the Ziusudra Epic", which is somewhat anti-Bible book. He is a searcher for the truth and appreciates all helpful works.

Anyway, understand that the OP posted something that would be groundbreaking, if true (and it might be).


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PaulK
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Posts: 14749
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Message 18 of 60 (777562)
02-03-2016 5:25 PM
Reply to: Message 17 by LamarkNewAge
02-03-2016 4:59 PM


Re: Understand the significance.
I'm pretty sure that I've heard this mentioned before.

Wikipedia mentions it, citing ^ Kaplan, Aryeh (January 1993). Immortality, resurrection, and the age of the universe: a kabbalistic view. Ktav Publishing House. p. 9. ISBN 978-0-88125-345-0.

So the claim is more than twenty years old, at the very least.


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Pressie
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Posts: 1998
From: Pretoria, SA
Joined: 06-18-2010
Member Rating: 2.8


Message 19 of 60 (777595)
02-04-2016 6:25 AM
Reply to: Message 15 by Blue Jay
02-03-2016 11:32 AM


Blue Jay writes:

Does that mean there will be 2,556,750,000 years between Creation and Destruction? That's a long time.

But that's already run out as the earth is already 4 500 000 000 years old (give or take a few million years) and we're still here.
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OrthodoxJew
Junior Member (Idle past 1031 days)
Posts: 7
From: Jerusalem, Israel
Joined: 01-25-2016


Message 20 of 60 (777605)
02-04-2016 10:52 AM
Reply to: Message 5 by Faith
02-02-2016 11:03 PM


Faith: Indeed you are correct. The present Jewish year is 5776. According to most opinions, the Messiah must come by the year 6000 (he could come earlier, if we are worthy). This will usher in the millennium, during which humanity will be perfected to the point we were at before the Fall; G-d will then re-create the heavens and the earth and raise the dead.

BlueJay: The multiplication by 365,250 does not apply here. Rabbi Isaac of Akko did this only for the 42,000 years prior to the creation of Adam and Eve, and then only because there were no people.

Jar, PaulK: Evolutionists are fond of asking creationists - and rightly so - how multiple means of measuring the ages of rocks and fossils give the same answer. And you emphasize: don't tell me why the dates are wrong, tell me why the methods give the SAME answer.

I therefore say, in like manner, that you have ducked my point: How did a rabbi in the 13th century - 400 years before the telescope, when the Catholics were slaughtering cats to keep them from being used as familiar spirits by witches, who were surely responsible for the Bubonic Plague - analyze Bible commentaries that were already ancient in his time, and get the same answer as modern science?


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ringo
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Message 21 of 60 (777610)
02-04-2016 11:16 AM
Reply to: Message 20 by OrthodoxJew
02-04-2016 10:52 AM


OrthodoxJew writes:

I therefore say, in like manner, that you have ducked my point: How did a rabbi in the 13th century... analyze Bible commentaries that were already ancient in his time, and get the same answer as modern science?


You're missing the point that science uses multiple methods to arrive at the same age. You could accidentally come up with the same number by mashing your hand on the keyboard of a calculator. Just getting "the right answer" doesn't validate your method.
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jar
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Posts: 30934
From: Texas!!
Joined: 04-20-2004


Message 22 of 60 (777612)
02-04-2016 11:30 AM
Reply to: Message 20 by OrthodoxJew
02-04-2016 10:52 AM


OrthodoxJew writes:

Jar, PaulK: Evolutionists are fond of asking creationists - and rightly so - how multiple means of measuring the ages of rocks and fossils give the same answer. And you emphasize: don't tell me why the dates are wrong, tell me why the methods give the SAME answer.

I therefore say, in like manner, that you have ducked my point: How did a rabbi in the 13th century - 400 years before the telescope, when the Catholics were slaughtering cats to keep them from being used as familiar spirits by witches, who were surely responsible for the Bubonic Plague - analyze Bible commentaries that were already ancient in his time, and get the same answer as modern science?

First, even if the story were true, he did NOT get the same answer as modern science. He got a whole range of answers, most of which are not just wrong but absurd.


Anyone so limited that they can only spell a word one way is severely handicapped!

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Faith
Inactive Member


Message 23 of 60 (777615)
02-04-2016 11:39 AM
Reply to: Message 20 by OrthodoxJew
02-04-2016 10:52 AM


Faith: Indeed you are correct. The present Jewish year is 5776. According to most opinions, the Messiah must come by the year 6000 (he could come earlier, if we are worthy). This will usher in the millennium, during which humanity will be perfected to the point we were at before the Fall; G-d will then re-create the heavens and the earth and raise the dead.

Interesting that Christians and Jews are so close to the same page on this. We don't have anything about being worthy since the whole Christian gospel is about being a saved sinner and nobody can be worthy for anything God does for us. However, the timing is pretty much what most Christian prophecy-watchers are saying. Jesus comes back and then we have the Millennium, during which the Messiah -- Jesus -- reigns on earth from Jerusalem. I don't know exactly what's supposed to happen during the Millennium except that it will be what life SHOULD have been if we hadn't fallen, and then, as you also say, God will destroy the existing heavens and earth and recreate it all. And you even agree that that's when the Resurrection is to occur.

Edited by Faith, : No reason given.


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PaulK
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Posts: 14749
Joined: 01-10-2003
Member Rating: 1.7


Message 24 of 60 (777618)
02-04-2016 11:50 AM
Reply to: Message 20 by OrthodoxJew
02-04-2016 10:52 AM


quote:

Jar, PaulK: Evolutionists are fond of asking creationists - and rightly so - how multiple means of measuring the ages of rocks and fossils give the same answer. And you emphasize: don't tell me why the dates are wrong, tell me why the methods give the SAME answer.

I therefore say, in like manner, that you have ducked my point: How did a rabbi in the 13th century - 400 years before the telescope, when the Catholics were slaughtering cats to keep them from being used as familiar spirits by witches, who were surely responsible for the Bubonic Plague - analyze Bible commentaries that were already ancient in his time, and get the same answer as modern science?


On the contrary, I have not ducked your point at all. Getting one approximately right answer from one of a number of poorly-justified calculations is simply not that impressive. Especially when there is at least one alternative number (the age of the Earth) that could be taken as a success.

So I say again, all you have offered is a minor coincidence. Unless and until you can provide more there is nothing more to say.


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Blue Jay
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Posts: 2843
From: You couldn't pronounce it with your mouthparts
Joined: 02-04-2008


Message 25 of 60 (777621)
02-04-2016 12:55 PM
Reply to: Message 19 by Pressie
02-04-2016 6:25 AM


Hi, Pressie.

Pressie writes:

But that's already run out as the earth is already 4 500 000 000 years old (give or take a few million years) and we're still here.

Sure, but I'm working within the confines of the OP's mythos. Presumably, the current sabbatical cycle began with Creation Week, which presumably lasted 7000 years (unless "1 day = 1000 years" is only meant to be applied when convenient). Since Adam was created during Creation Week, there would need to be an additional ~2.5 billion years after Adam's creation before the Destruction happens, which means ~2.5 billion years of human history.

That timespan for human history is not attested in either the geological record or the biblical record. In order for this numerology stuff to work out, either (1) we've got a long time to go before Destruction, or (2) there is some unattested "human history" somewhere; e.g., Adam and Eve lived alone in the Garden of Eden for billions of years before the Fall, or Adam's and Noah's biblical ages were given in divine years (so Adam died at age 339,682,500), or something like that.


-Blue Jay, Ph.D.*

*Yeah, it's real

Darwin loves you.


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caffeine
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Posts: 1600
From: Prague, Czech Republic
Joined: 10-22-2008
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Message 26 of 60 (777623)
02-04-2016 1:30 PM
Reply to: Message 25 by Blue Jay
02-04-2016 12:55 PM


Sure, but I'm working within the confines of the OP's mythos. Presumably, the current sabbatical cycle began with Creation Week, which presumably lasted 7000 years (unless "1 day = 1000 years" is only meant to be applied when convenient). Since Adam was created during Creation Week, there would need to be an additional ~2.5 billion years after Adam's creation before the Destruction happens, which means ~2.5 billion years of human history.

That timespan for human history is not attested in either the geological record or the biblical record. In order for this numerology stuff to work out, either (1) we've got a long time to go before Destruction, or (2) there is some unattested "human history" somewhere; e.g., Adam and Eve lived alone in the Garden of Eden for billions of years before the Fall, or Adam's and Noah's biblical ages were given in divine years (so Adam died at age 339,682,500), or something like that.

This very issue was addressed by Rabbi Aryeh Kaplan, who as far as I can tell is the origin of the claim that Isaac of Akko accurately dated the universe. The appeal is to the two accounts of creation in Genesis. The seven days happened before the Big Bang, and referred to the creation of the world and man in thought, whereas the second account refers to the deed. So the seven days, be they God days or human days, are not part of the 15 billion years and man was, indeed, created a few thousand years ago.

Based on the quotes of Isaac given by Kaplan, he does not appear to have actually done the calculation of 15 billion years, but he did argue the world was very old if this is an accurate translation:

quote:
I, the insignificant Isaac of Akko, have seen fit to record a great mystery that should be kept very well hidden. One of God’s days is one thousand years, as it is written, “For a thousand days in Your sight are as a day” (Psalms 90:4). Since one of our years is 365¼ days, a year on high is 365,250 of our years. Two years on high is 730,000 of our years. From this, continue multiplying to 49,000 years, each year consisting of 365¼ days, and each supernal day being one thousand of our years, as it is written, “God alone will prevail on that day” (Isaiah 2:11). “Who can speak of God’s greatness?” (Psalms 106:2). Blessed be the name of Him whose glorious Kingdom is forever and ever.

All this relates to what the Scripture states. However, no matter how many times this picture is doubled, even thousands upon thousands, it would not even be like a second to [God]... However, with regard to the Infinite One, it is enough that He is called Infinite.


and more explicitly:

quote:
Behold, our eyes see that the world has existed for a very long time. This is to refute the opinion of those who say that the world has not existed more than forty-nine thousand years, which is seven Sabbatical cycles.

Edited by caffeine, : No reason given.


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PaulK
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Posts: 14749
Joined: 01-10-2003
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(2)
Message 27 of 60 (777627)
02-04-2016 3:28 PM
Reply to: Message 26 by caffeine
02-04-2016 1:30 PM


Interesting that he realised that the world was old, and doubtless that was a factor that went into his calculation. But, of course, this also indicates that he did not distinguish between the age of the Universe and the age of the Earth, even though they are quite different.
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Blue Jay
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Posts: 2843
From: You couldn't pronounce it with your mouthparts
Joined: 02-04-2008


Message 28 of 60 (777665)
02-05-2016 10:54 AM
Reply to: Message 26 by caffeine
02-04-2016 1:30 PM


Hi, Caffeine.

caffeine writes:

This very issue was addressed by Rabbi Aryeh Kaplan, who as far as I can tell is the origin of the claim that Isaac of Akko accurately dated the universe. The appeal is to the two accounts of creation in Genesis. The seven days happened before the Big Bang, and referred to the creation of the world and man in thought, whereas the second account refers to the deed.

I've never heard of this Rabbi before. Do you have a link I could follow to read the whole argument?

Judging by your brief comments, it sounds a bit anticlimactic. Basically, it sounds like this: "The numbers work out, and the remaining discrepancies are entirely due to details that God/Moses left out of the Torah." That's not fair.

Also, what does "created in thought" mean? Does it mean God came up with the idea of Creation before the Big Bang, then implemented it over the next 15 billion years?


-Blue Jay, Ph.D.*

*Yeah, it's real

Darwin loves you.


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caffeine
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Posts: 1600
From: Prague, Czech Republic
Joined: 10-22-2008
Member Rating: 2.4


Message 29 of 60 (777700)
02-06-2016 6:51 AM
Reply to: Message 28 by Blue Jay
02-05-2016 10:54 AM


I've never heard of this Rabbi before. Do you have a link I could follow to read the whole argument?

The relevant chapter of his book is online here.

Judging by your brief comments, it sounds a bit anticlimactic. Basically, it sounds like this: "The numbers work out, and the remaining discrepancies are entirely due to details that God/Moses left out of the Torah." That's not fair.

Also, what does "created in thought" mean? Does it mean God came up with the idea of Creation before the Big Bang, then implemented it over the next 15 billion years?

Apparently this is an old argument used by some Orthodox Jews to explain away the contradiction of the two creation stories. Creation 'in thought' does, indeed, appear to simply mean 'coming up with the idea' - which is given a much deeper significance on account of it being God's idea - why creating 'in deed' is actually going through with the idea. So in the first creation account God creates man and woman together, meaning he thought of them both at the same time, while in the second their actual creation in reality happens one after the other.

These are the sort of twisted rationalisations thoughtful people are forced to when they refuse to countenance the much simpler explanation that the Torah is not literal truth.


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jar
Member
Posts: 30934
From: Texas!!
Joined: 04-20-2004


Message 30 of 60 (777701)
02-06-2016 8:06 AM
Reply to: Message 29 by caffeine
02-06-2016 6:51 AM


It is also another great example of the forced scenarios just making God look stupid.

If Genesis 1 is "Creation in Thought" and the God character just thunk up the idea She really didn't have much excuse for needing a day off to rest and it's pretty silly to look at the thought and be really satisfied and find it good.

Also, the second tale found in Genesis 2&3 show that the "Creation in thought" must not have been as good as God thought since the order of creation is entirely different in almost every facet, not just the sequential creation of man and woman. It again shows a not very bright God who somehow forgot that She thunk about that help meet for Adam and instead had to try out all the other creations first before cloning Eve from Adam.


Anyone so limited that they can only spell a word one way is severely handicapped!

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