Michael Crichton’s book “Timeline” is another of his masterpieces. It’s a really fun book. It almost makes time travel believable.
I have in mind another kind of timeline, one which used to bore me. But then I checked the claims of a preacher (I think it was Donald Barnhouse) and I realized that this boring timeline totally destroys one of the common arguments against the accuracy of the Bible.
You’ve probably heard a skeptic say that there was no written language at the beginning of human history, and the Bible “legends” were garbled by being passed down verbally from one generation to another, and losing a little bit of accuracy every time.
Genesis chapter 5:1: “This is the written account of Adam’s family line.”
Skeptic replies, “Right. The recording was done many decades, even centuries later. So what?”
Genesis 5:3: “When Adam had lived 130 years, he had a son in his own likeness, in his own image; and he named him Seth … Altogether, Adam lived a total of 930 years, and then he died.”
Adam, obviously, knew how he and Eve had begun, what Eden had been like, and how it was lost.
Sidebar here: the result of having grandchildren.
Genesis 5:6: “When Seth had lived 105 years, he became the father of Enosh.”
Turn back a page to Genesis 4:26: “Seth also had a son, and he named him Enosh. At that time people began to call on the name of the Lord.”
Why at that time did people begin to call on the name of the Lord? Because grandkids, that’s why. “Granddad, Pop says you weren’t ever born. How come did he say that? Granddad, you mean you really talked to God? Where is He now? Why can’t I see Him? Why doesn’t He come talk to me? Where’s the Garden of Eden? Why can’t I go there? Why, Grandad, why, why, why…?”
Until Grandad finally, in exasperation, says, “Ask God all your questions! Maybe He’ll answer you. I have to work in this garden and raise our food by the sweat of my brow!”
And as grandkid disappeared over the horizon, Grandad prayed, “Lord, I know I have sinned mightily, but do I have to be reminded of it every day?” He began to “call on the name of the Lord.”
So grandkid did ask God. He (or she) “began to call on the name of the Lord.” As the grandkids got older, they didn’t call on God just to satisfy their curiosity. They began to long for the kind of life they’d heard Grandad talk about, and wonder if they could somehow get God to change life back to the way it was in Grandad’s time.
OK, that’s a little facetious. But if any of you have grandkids, you know the basic idea is real. 🙂
So each generation asked their elders questions. But this was a different time. People lived a lot longer. If any discrepancies arose, the grandkids could alway go to the source – for 930 years.
We don’t realize how important that is until we do the math.
Adam was alive for anyone to ask until about 150 years before Noah was born. There were
seven generations who had access to the primary source.
And think about this, please: the first generation which did not have access to the primary source got their own Divine intervention.
Granted, only eight people survived that one ….