King's Business - 1968-03

Science and the Bible by Bolton Davidheiser, Ph.D.

Revised Standard Version

from a distance found this covering to blend with the color o f the sky. Thus there seems to be rather good evidence that the outermost covering o f the Tabernacle was a sky-blue col­ or which made it .inconspicuous to those not close at hand. Similarly we know that the Lord Jesus Christ was not physically conspicuous and ap­ peared like other men to those who did not (and who do not) know the truth about Him. The Revised Standard Version o f 1952 uses the word “ goatskins” in­ stead o f “ badgers’ skins.” It is most likely that this covering really was o f goatskins, though the Hebrew word referred to its color instead o f its composition. But even if this one word is an improvement over the K ing James, the rest o f the descrip­ tion is not. In the first place, the K ing James says, “ Moreover, thou shalt make the tabernacle with ten curtains. . . .” The word with is in italics, sign ify ing that it does not occur in the original. It really should read, “ Thou shalt make the taber­ nacle ten curtains.” These ten cur­ tains w e r e th e Tabernacle. The R.S.V. does not use italics this way and the reader is told that the ten curtains were only a part o f the Tabernacle. As the Tabernacle repre­ sents Christ, the R .S.V. includes the goats’ hair, representing sin, as a part o f Christ. This conforms with the theology o f those who claim that Christ was a man as other men and had a sin nature. In verse 14 o f R.S.V. says, “ And you shall make the tent a covering o f tanned rams’ skins and goat­ skins.” This makes the two outer coverings a single covering. It con­ fuses the Lord’s deity and humanity. Most blatantly o f all, it omits the word red, referring to the shed blood o f Christ. Many translations in English were examined and also a large number in foreign languages, but the R.S.V. was the only one found to om it this important word. There are many places where the Revised Standard Version detracts from the deity o f the Lord. In these days o f much confusion, would that Bible-believing C h r i s t i a n s w o u l d draw the line by refusing to carry the R .S .V .! m

S o m e h a v e postulated that color vision in human beings is a re­ cent development. The basis fo r this assumption is the fa ct that Greek writers o f the time o f Homer rarely used words describing c o lo r . But Moses lived before Homer, and the Pentateuch mentions color by name well over a hundred times. Most o f these colors are in connection with the Tabernacle and its furnishings. The Tabernacle itself consisted o f ten linen curtains (blue, purple, scar­ let, and wh ite), fastened together to form a single unit. It is well known to those who study the Bible that the Tabernacle represented Christ. The beauty o f the colored Taber­ nacle, w i t h i t s embroidery work, could be seen only by the priests, who were on the inside. Now, under grace, all believers are priests, and all believers can en joy the glory o f Christ. The Tabernacle o f colored linens had above it a layer o f woven goats’ hair. Hair can be obtained from ani­ mals which are not killed — not sacrificed — and this layer o f hair represented sin. Christ, the Taber­ nacle, took upon Himself our sins. But the goats’ hair was covered by a layer o f rams’ skins dyed red. These skins were from animals which had died, and they no doubt had been offered in the sacrifices. These skins were dyed red, representing the blood o f Christ shed in His sacrifice on the cross fo r our sins. There was one more layer, the outermost covering. In the K i n g James Version it is called a cover­ ing o f “ badgers’ skins.” Some other translations call it “ seal skins” or “ porpoise skins.” Strong’s Concor­ dance says the Hebrew word prob­ ably refers to some species o f an­ telope. It is evident that there is much confusion about the outer­ most covering. The opinion o f an­ cient authorities, closer to the ori­ ginal language, should carry some weight. A Bible dictionary says that the ancient versions nearly all seem to agree that the Hebrew word de­ notes not an animal at all but a color. The Septuagint translates it as a blue or hyacinth color. Josephus says that those who saw the structure

A Critical Study of New Theology, New Morality, and Secular Christianity. The articulate Dr. Hamilton again evi­ dences his ability to cut through jargon and confusion to emerge with sane— though sometimes surprising— evaluations of the latest fads and fashions in theology and morality. WHAT’S NEW IN RELIGION? takes a close look at the stance of such major contemporary theologians as Bishop John Robinson, Paul Tillich, Paul van Buren, Thomas Altizer, William Hamilton, Werner and Lotte Pelz, Harvey Cox and Joseph Fletcher. Taking his point of de­ parture from Bonhoeffer, Hamilton directs the church toward a way of commitment and renewal for religious man come of age. Cloth, 160 pages, $3.95 KENNETH HAMILTON is Associate Profes­ sor of Systematic Theology at United Col­ lege, Winnipeg, Manitoba. Other works include: The System and the Gospel; A Critique of Paul Tillich; God is Dead; The Anatomy of a Slogan; RevoltAgainst Heaven and studies on J. D. Salinger and John Updike in the Contemporary Writers in Christian Perspective series. 8-2 At your booluellers f a WM . B. EERDM ANS PUBLISHING CO. Grand Rapids, Michigan

MARCH, 1968


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