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Question: Did Methuselah really live to be almost a millenium old?
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Author Topic: Did Methuselah really live to be almost a millenium old?  (Read 3725 times)
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BRTD
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« on: March 17, 2009, 12:30:27 pm »
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I'm wondering what jmfcst and BushOklahoma types will say to this.

The explanation I always heard in my youth to the people living ridiculous ages in the Bible is the definition of age being used is different from the modern time (and likely there were translation issues.) Something worth noting is if you define "years" as "months" you get him living to be around 80, aka a realistic time.
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« Reply #1 on: March 17, 2009, 12:32:04 pm »
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No, he did not live to be 969 years old.
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« Reply #2 on: March 17, 2009, 12:51:01 pm »
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I'm wondering what jmfcst types will say to this.

YES, he lived as long as it said.

---

The explanation I always heard in my youth to the people living ridiculous ages in the Bible is the definition of age being used is different from the modern time (and likely there were translation issues.) Something worth noting is if you define "years" as "months" you get him living to be around 80, aka a realistic time.

that's an extremely weak "explanation".

The New Testament interprets the ages of people in the book of Genesis just as they were written:

Gen 17:1 "When Abram was ninety-nine years old"

Rom 4:19 "Without weakening in his faith, he faced the fact that his body was as good as dead—since he was about a hundred years old—and that Sarah's womb was also dead. "

Heb 11:11 "By faith Abraham, even though he was past age—and Sarah herself was barren—was enabled to become a father because he considered him faithful who had made the promise."

---

Also, the Genesis duration of times if accepted by the New Testament as literal:


Gen 13:15 "they will be enslaved and mistreated four hundred years."

Exod  12:40   "Now the sojourn of the children of Israel who lived in Egypt was four hundred and thirty years. And it came to pass at the end of the four hundred and thirty years - on that very same day "

Acts 7:6 "they will be enslaved and mistreated four hundred years."

Gal 3:17 "The law, introduced 430 years later [after the promises were given to Abraham]"

---

The "years" of Genesis are interpretted as literal "years" throughout the rest of the bible.  End of debate.
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« Reply #3 on: March 17, 2009, 01:34:58 pm »
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If he even existed, I would say most likely not.
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« Reply #4 on: March 17, 2009, 04:41:55 pm »
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Methuselah was probably several different people.

969 years, and you would think the fellow could have done something with all the wisdom that one could accumulate in such a time.

But that's what one gets when one sacred text plagiarizes a pagan myth.
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« Reply #5 on: March 17, 2009, 09:00:02 pm »
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I'm wondering what jmfcst types will say to this.

YES, he lived as long as it said.

---

The explanation I always heard in my youth to the people living ridiculous ages in the Bible is the definition of age being used is different from the modern time (and likely there were translation issues.) Something worth noting is if you define "years" as "months" you get him living to be around 80, aka a realistic time.

that's an extremely weak "explanation".

The New Testament interprets the ages of people in the book of Genesis just as they were written:

Gen 17:1 "When Abram was ninety-nine years old"

Rom 4:19 "Without weakening in his faith, he faced the fact that his body was as good as dead—since he was about a hundred years old—and that Sarah's womb was also dead. "

Heb 11:11 "By faith Abraham, even though he was past age—and Sarah herself was barren—was enabled to become a father because he considered him faithful who had made the promise."

---

Also, the Genesis duration of times if accepted by the New Testament as literal:


Gen 13:15 "they will be enslaved and mistreated four hundred years."

Exod  12:40   "Now the sojourn of the children of Israel who lived in Egypt was four hundred and thirty years. And it came to pass at the end of the four hundred and thirty years - on that very same day "

Acts 7:6 "they will be enslaved and mistreated four hundred years."

Gal 3:17 "The law, introduced 430 years later [after the promises were given to Abraham]"

---

The "years" of Genesis are interpretted as literal "years" throughout the rest of the bible.  End of debate.

OK, now explain how something which is clearly physically impossible did happen.
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« Reply #6 on: March 17, 2009, 09:15:34 pm »
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---

The "years" of Genesis are interpretted as literal "years" throughout the rest of the bible.  End of debate.

OK, now explain how something which is clearly physically impossible did happen.

lifespans were different back then...after the flood, lifespans ramped down (this was discussed in the Noah thread)
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« Reply #7 on: March 17, 2009, 09:21:09 pm »
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No.  Biblical numerology is a very complex study, and much of what the numbers represented has been lost.  The point of the author was mostly just to get the idea across that he lived to be very old.
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« Reply #8 on: March 17, 2009, 09:28:05 pm »
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Numerology was extremely widespread in the ancient world, and the Hebrew scriptures are packed full of it.

Likely, the number of the age of someone like Methuselah once meant something specific, but we will never know, because the number structure itself has been lost.

The reason his age is set at exactly 969 is the same as the reason why the answer to "life the universe and everything" is "42"... which is to say that we don't know, because we don't know the question... ie the process.

We must also remember that we are dealing with a text that predates Job, and it was simply taking as a granted that righteous people lived long lives.  The longer the better.
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« Reply #9 on: March 17, 2009, 09:38:10 pm »
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Do I think that it is impossible that these Biblical figures lived to be these ages?

No.

Matthew 19:26

With God, all things are possible.

But, like Genesis 1 etc, I really don't think that the exact specifics are the real message the author was trying to get across.  It is one thing to have the faith of a child, but some people have the faith of someone who suffers from Asperger's... it simply must be that specific way, that the text explicitly states, because we are incapable of reading even an inch beneath the surface.

When you think like that, you quickly lose the point.

Is the point of Genesis 1 really to tell us exactly how the Earth was created in the exact time table?

Or is the point of Genesis 1 the same point that is repeated in the text six times which is to say that God created the world (universe) and saw that that creation was good?

The historical context would seem to back up the later.
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« Reply #10 on: March 18, 2009, 08:17:36 pm »
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OK, now explain how something which is clearly physically impossible did happen.

You mean biologically impossible?

Would it really be so outlandish to think that human biology was different at the time?
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« Reply #11 on: March 18, 2009, 08:57:00 pm »
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OK, now explain how something which is clearly physically impossible did happen.

You mean biologically impossible?

Would it really be so outlandish to think that human biology was different at the time?

Maybe because DNA was more pure and modern mutations and defects hadn't developed yet. Just a thought.
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« Reply #12 on: March 18, 2009, 11:13:29 pm »
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OK, now explain how something which is clearly physically impossible did happen.

You mean biologically impossible?

Yeah.

Would it really be so outlandish to think that human biology was different at the time?

It would be outlandish to think THAT much different. A few thousand years is not a lot of time in evolutionary standards for such a drastic change to come, not to mention the standards of health and medicine should only increase lifespans.

OK, now explain how something which is clearly physically impossible did happen.

You mean biologically impossible?

Would it really be so outlandish to think that human biology was different at the time?

Maybe because DNA was more pure and modern mutations and defects hadn't developed yet. Just a thought.

Still too much of a drastic change in an evolutionary short period of time.
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« Reply #13 on: March 19, 2009, 01:28:19 am »
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OK, now explain how something which is clearly physically impossible did happen.

You mean biologically impossible?

Would it really be so outlandish to think that human biology was different at the time?

Maybe because DNA was more pure and modern mutations and defects hadn't developed yet. Just a thought.

Christians are funny when they try to get scientific.
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« Reply #14 on: March 19, 2009, 07:50:38 am »
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OK, now explain how something which is clearly physically impossible did happen.

You mean biologically impossible?

Would it really be so outlandish to think that human biology was different at the time?

Maybe because DNA was more pure and modern mutations and defects hadn't developed yet. Just a thought.

Christians are funny when they try to get scientific.

Trolls are funny when they try to invade a forum.
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« Reply #15 on: March 19, 2009, 03:12:34 pm »
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Do I think that it is impossible that these Biblical figures lived to be these ages?

No.

Agreed, although I think it is very unlikely.
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« Reply #16 on: March 19, 2009, 06:45:45 pm »
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It would be outlandish to think THAT much different. A few thousand years is not a lot of time in evolutionary standards for such a drastic change to come,

Sure. But I think the standard view of the literalists is that God (reacting to the wickedness of man) chose to shorten life spans. If so, then the objection based on biological impossibility doesn't work.
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« Reply #17 on: March 20, 2009, 03:52:41 pm »
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The real question is...

When did he get his AARP card?  Was he 50 or did he have to wait until he was 325?
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« Reply #18 on: March 24, 2009, 07:04:25 pm »
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The real question is...

When did he get his AARP card?  Was he 50 or did he have to wait until he was 325?

Damn straight! I don't want to have to pay for someone's Social Security for 800 years, instead of 20 or 30....though in all honesty, it might be pretty boss to have a retirement that long.

The question I have for all of you how ask this question is- Does it matter?

But to answer your question... he might have...but its very unlikely. The MOST likely solution instead of this being literal or this being totally fabricated would be that they were really a dynasty of people that beget another important dynasty of people way later....and when someone is said to have had a child, it was really the ultimate ancestor of what would eventually become the next bloodline... though I believe that the story of Ab(ra)ham is true...I mean, at least it is in the realm of physical reality... unless, of course, the people between Adam and Noah was the entire Atlantis thing where people had really good life extending drugs...and the entire fact that maximium lifespans may soon start to increase may mean that we are either entering the end times or perhaps a new time revelations.
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« Reply #19 on: March 24, 2009, 10:26:36 pm »
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I think when we read this passage, we often become so focused on the number of years it's mentioning - the sheer length of time some of these people lived. Read over it again, I think there is something else that's important to note in the whole passage, more important than the lifespans recorded.

Quote from: Genesis 5 NIV
1 This is the written account of Adam's line.
      When God created man, he made him in the likeness of God. 2 He created them male and female and blessed them. And when they were created, he called them "man."
 3 When Adam had lived 130 years, he had a son in his own likeness, in his own image; and he named him Seth. 4 After Seth was born, Adam lived 800 years and had other sons and daughters. 5 Altogether, Adam lived 930 years, and then he died.

 6 When Seth had lived 105 years, he became the father of Enosh. 7 And after he became the father of Enosh, Seth lived 807 years and had other sons and daughters. 8 Altogether, Seth lived 912 years, and then he died.

 9 When Enosh had lived 90 years, he became the father of Kenan. 10 And after he became the father of Kenan, Enosh lived 815 years and had other sons and daughters. 11 Altogether, Enosh lived 905 years, and then he died.

 12 When Kenan had lived 70 years, he became the father of Mahalalel. 13 And after he became the father of Mahalalel, Kenan lived 840 years and had other sons and daughters. 14 Altogether, Kenan lived 910 years, and then he died.

 15 When Mahalalel had lived 65 years, he became the father of Jared. 16 And after he became the father of Jared, Mahalalel lived 830 years and had other sons and daughters. 17 Altogether, Mahalalel lived 895 years, and then he died.

 18 When Jared had lived 162 years, he became the father of Enoch. 19 And after he became the father of Enoch, Jared lived 800 years and had other sons and daughters. 20 Altogether, Jared lived 962 years, and then he died.

 21 When Enoch had lived 65 years, he became the father of Methuselah. 22 And after he became the father of Methuselah, Enoch walked with God 300 years and had other sons and daughters. 23 Altogether, Enoch lived 365 years. 24 Enoch walked with God; then he was no more, because God took him away.

 25 When Methuselah had lived 187 years, he became the father of Lamech. 26 And after he became the father of Lamech, Methuselah lived 782 years and had other sons and daughters. 27 Altogether, Methuselah lived 969 years, and then he died.

 28 When Lamech had lived 182 years, he had a son. 29 He named him Noah and said, "He will comfort us in the labor and painful toil of our hands caused by the ground the LORD has cursed." 30 After Noah was born, Lamech lived 595 years and had other sons and daughters. 31 Altogether, Lamech lived 777 years, and then he died.

Notice it?

In verses 5, 8, 11, 14, 17, 20, 27 and 31 it mentions the lifespans but each verse ends with the words "and then he died."

I think that the more important thing to note here is that in each case, they lived for a while and then died.

I think an important point to take from this passage is that, as the Bible says in Romans:

Quote from: Romans 6:23
For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.

and in Romans 5:

Quote from: Romans 5:12
Therefore, just as sin entered the world through one man, and death through sin, and in this way death came to all men, because all sinned

This sin entered the world by Adam's disobedience:

Quote from: Genesis 2:16 & 17
And the LORD God commanded the man, "You are free to eat from any tree in the garden; but you must not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, for when you eat of it you will surely die."

So this passage actually demonstrates that what God warned in Genesis 2, has now come to pass by Genesis 5.

Thankfully, though, God has provided a solution to this problem. Returning now to Romans 5:

Quote from: Romans 5:15-19
But the gift is not like the trespass. For if the many died by the trespass of the one man, how much more did God's grace and the gift that came by the grace of the one man, Jesus Christ, overflow to the many! Again, the gift of God is not like the result of the one man's sin: The judgment followed one sin and brought condemnation, but the gift followed many trespasses and brought justification. For if, by the trespass of the one man, death reigned through that one man, how much more will those who receive God's abundant provision of grace and of the gift of righteousness reign in life through the one man, Jesus Christ.

Consequently, just as the result of one trespass was condemnation for all men, so also the result of one act of righteousness was justification that brings life for all men. For just as through the disobedience of the one man the many were made sinners, so also through the obedience of the one man the many will be made righteous.

The obedience of one man referred to here being Jesus's obedience and accepting the punishment that was due "all men" even though he himself was innocent. While we were still stubbornly turning our backs on God, Christ died for us.
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« Reply #20 on: March 26, 2009, 11:19:36 am »
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OK, now explain how something which is clearly physically impossible did happen.

Like resurrection?
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« Reply #21 on: March 26, 2009, 11:54:01 am »
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OK, now explain how something which is clearly physically impossible did happen.

Like resurrection?

Exactly!  The fact that lifespans have changed is clearly evident in scripture.  How, then, can others say this is physically impossible?  What is impossible with man, is possible with God.  How foolish it is, therefore, to measure God by man's measure.   
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« Reply #22 on: March 27, 2009, 03:32:35 pm »
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I don't care that something is really improbable...and there are probably explainations that make things that are impossible just really improbable. The main problem that I have with a lot of these miracles is that the descriptive universe doesn't allow for these things to occur. However, I believe in these miracles because it is likely that there was a catalyst that allowed for them to occur...God does the impossible, but God needs people and certain circumstances (which he programmed to happen from the Big Bang) to make these impossible things so. That's why God calls upon us to work in his kingdom.
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