When Peer Review Lets You Down: A YEC Quote Problem

Where are the fact checkers in Young Earth Creationist’ (YEC) organizations?  And why do simple errors and profound misconceptions of science persist among their ranks?  I have commented multiple times that the YEC organization Institute for Creation Research (ICR) has a self-editing problem. As I have documented (Eg.  The Case of the Shrinking Comet and the Age of the Universe), their science writer, Brian Thomas, has made a habit of mangling the scientific literature making simple errors of logic you would expect to be fixed by internal peer-review process.  Such internal review is crucial for an anti-establishment organization like the Institute for Creation Research or Answers in Genesis because they are so apt to ignore the peer-review of their work from outsiders such as myself.

This week ICR presented us with yet another example of internal peer-review failure. This time it shows up as a mind-boggling failure to know the scriptures themselves.  I was not the first to notice this problem.  The following image and the quote contained in it were brought to my attention by a Facebook user who rightly questioned the accuracy of the message being communicated.

ICR meme more recently published on their Facebook page on August 27, 2015.
ICR meme recently published on their Facebook page on August 27, 2015.

This image has been posted on the Institute for Creation Research Facebook page in conjunction with a series of large conferences they have been promoting the past few months.   A plain reading of this quote leads one to a conclusion that almost certainly is in error.

How many times did Jesus “quote” Genesis?  It seems that he only quoted Genesis one time or two if you count repeated versions in the Gospels.   I count 34 unique (only counted once if found in more than one gospel) quotes of Jesus from just the books of Exodus, Deuteronomy, Isaiah and Psalms.  (reference: http://blog.biblia.com/2014/04/which-old-testament-book-did-jesus-quote-most/)  How then can it be said that “roughly half” of Jesus’ quotes were from Genesis?

How could such an error have been made?   I’m not interested here in the significance of numbers.  I am interested in the cultural conditions that allow such simple errors to be promoted and even persist in the YEC literature.

At first I thought there must be a simple explanation for this error. Maybe a part-time employee of ICR just mangled the quote on the graphic and they meant to say something other than what it sounds like it says.  But, this is not what happened.  This quote is, in fact, a quote.   It comes from the book, Creation Basics & Beyond: An In-Depth Look at Science, Origins, and Evolution.   This book was authored by all of the staff of ICR and carries with it the claim that it was “written and reviewed by experts” to assure the reader that it is as “accurate as humanly possible.”

Maybe the quote in the image was taken out of context?  I was so intrigued by the origin of the quote that I had to purchase the Kindle version of the book to find out for myself.  Rather than alleviating my concern about the truthfulness of the meaning of the quote, the context in which the quote appears only heightens my concern about author’s knowledge of scripture.

Here is the original quote and its surrounding text from Chapter 9: How should we then interpret Genesis?, by Jason Lisle, Ph.D. and James J. S. Johnson, J.D., Th.D. (Kindle location 1443)

 If you have ever read any one of the gospels, you are undoubtedly familiar with the fact that Jesus often quoted the Old Testament Scriptures. He would often respond to His critics with “it is written” and “have you not read,” followed by a relevant scriptural quotation (e.g., Matthew 4:4; 12:3). But it sometimes surprises people to learn how much Jesus quoted from the book of Genesis.

In fact, Jesus quoted from Genesis about as much as all the other books of the Old Testament combined. Roughly half of Christ’s references to Scripture were quotation from Genesis. He obviously understood the importance of origins to Christian doctrines.

Using the literal hermeneutic that YEC’s have taught me is required for reading texts I can come to no other conclusion than that Lisle and Johnson believe and intend to communicate to their audience that Jesus quoted Genesis more than any other Old Testament book.  But this is untrue.  Jason Lisle is a Ph.D. in physics, though in this book he portends to critique non-YEC theological positions.  The second author of this chapter has a theology degree.  How could these authors have written this in light of the obvious fact that Jesus only quoted Genesis one time? Surely “quote” means “quote” or does ICR have some special definitions of terms that only they are privy too?

Interestingly, the very next paragraph in Chapter 9 speaks of Genesis as being real history because Jesus referred to Moses and Moses was the author of Genesis.  OK, but a reference to Moses by Jesus is not a “quotation from Genesis”  as implied in this statement.

Maybe the authors meant to say  that New testament authors quoted Genesis more than any other book but even that would not be true.

Whatever the source, the error is right there in the book and that error has been lifted out of the book to produce this graphic (meme) which is being used to promote the views of ICR.  It’s one thing to have dubious interpretations of scripture it’s another to just be factually incorrect.

Ironically, in the introduction to the book in which this incorrect quote is found we find the following statement:

 Although this book is written primarily for non-experts, it was written and reviewed by experts.  This helps ensure that the book is as accurate and up to date as is humanly possible. Every contributing author is a researcher/speaker/writer in full-time apologetics ministry at the Institute for Creation Research.  The writers include five Ph.D. scientists (two in biology, one in physics, one in astrophysics, one in geology), a medical doctor/professional engineer, two science writers with master’s degrees in science, and two writers with doctorates in theology.

I’ve written about the challenges of placing our faith in false “experts” (see: Dogmatic Assertions of Expertise: Having Faith in Flood Geology).  ICR and AiG take every opportunity to proclaim themselves experts in areas of science and theology.  For example, unlike most secular literature every chapter  of this book lists the degrees next to the authors names under the chapter headings.

But what happens when the so-called experts are wrong?  Who checks the experts?  A serious problem, on full display here, with the insular YEC movement is that many of their experts are not experts and even if some are experts in the field they are writing about they are being reviewed by non-experts. Yet, they make the claims that their work is peer-reviewed and wish to portray their works as being vetted and more accurate than Christians who do not agree with their interpretation of Scripture.  However, peer review often may consist of a biochemist writing about geology being reviewed by an astronomer.

So the content in this book was written by experts and was reviewed by experts.  It should then be disconcerting that these experts can’t even catch simple factual errors.  Now, I suspect the problem here may trace itself to some sloppy scholarship.  It seems unlikely that either author actually did a reference search and counted up the quotations or they would have immediately recognized the problem.  Rather, they probably heard this statistic about Jesus and quotes from another source they trusted. For example, Henry Morris in his commentary (Defenders Study Bible KJV) on Genesis, makes statements about how many times NT authors referred to Genesis and talks about 50% of those references coming from Genesis 1-11.  Maybe Lisle or Johnson had a hazy memory of Morris.  Maybe someone had a different definition of “quote” or “reference” and made some ambiguous statement about Jesus’ use of Genesis. Other creationists instinctively trust their creationist’s brothers as being trustworthy and truthful and because this information about scripture references so fit their worldview they had no reason to question its accuracy and just believed.

When it was written into this chapter, no one bothered to actually check their Bibles to see if the statement was accurate.  Maybe they used the word “roughly” because maybe the original source said “many” or “some” and they just figured that meant quite a few. You see, the truth gets distorted over time when no one checks the facts.

Ok, you might say, this is an error but it is just an innocent error and is probably an isolated case.  True just a single error in a book is not a big deal. It happens to all of us.  It wouldn’t be a big deal if it were an isolated case. But the fact is that the entire book is filled with misconceptions and distortions of facts.  These distortions take place as stories have been passed from one creationists to another without doing the due diligence of testing the statements against  scripture or other original literature.

Sadly, despite all the “experts” involved in this book, very few are writing in areas in which they have any specific expertise.  While most have higher degrees this alone does not necessarily qualify them as experts any more than my Ph.D. automatically confirms on me expert status in English composition as many of you can attest.

I don’t expect a public acknowledgement of this error but I would hope that ICR discontinues its use of this graphic on Facebook and in their presentations and examines themselves to find out why it continues to make these mistakes.

30 thoughts on “When Peer Review Lets You Down: A YEC Quote Problem

    1. Unfortunately there isn’t much that can be done to reach the leaders. Hume would have been a home talking about creationism. Its a paradigm that will only change when a new generation rejects it. The old generation is locked in and has too much as stake to listen to anyone. Its is all about the battle for the next generation. However, I did write this in response to another of you questions. You might not have seen my comment so I will copy here since it relates: Yes, there is not much that can be done to reach Michael. He can’t even hear the evidence. The magic elixir of creationism is that it tells its followers that anyone that doesn’t already have the right understanding can’t be trusted to even share the facts with our correctly much less the interpretation of those facts and so there is no reason to even read or listen to their work. In my experience the staunch creationists is unreachable because the only possible effective approach with then is cut off – a personal relationship based on the common Christian experience. Unfortunately more science education does little though I certainly think it is still valuable and needed because it is the thing that allows a person once, the finally let themselves really look at alternative views understand them. But getting them to look at the alternatives is the challenge and for the post part it takes a personal relationship with a person that is respected to allow the conversations to proceed to a point that they can be productive. This takes time, effort and proceeds very slowly but it is effective in many cases unless they have reached the level of Michael’s delusion.


      1. I would like your view on this question: One noted biologist seems to argue that a student who does not accept the fact of evolution deserves to fail a course in evolutionary biology, because if they don’t accept the evidence they can;t have understood it. My own view is that this is playing thought police; the students’ job is to show that they have mastered the material, and if one were to write at the head or tghier answer “I don’t believe this unbiblical rubbish” that should not at all affect their grade. Moreover, telling students that they need to understand it, but how they square that with their religious beliefs is a matter for them, might drive the wedge in at the best place possible.What think you?

        Liked by 2 people

      2. Please stop equating creationism with young-earth creationism. I am an old-earth creationist. I believe the earth is 4.5 billion years old and the universe is 13.8 billion years old. But I have logical/scientific/philosophical issues with the theory of biological macroevolution. Please stop acting like this and young-earth creationism (who reject virtually all natural science from every field) are on par. Old earth creationism is not the vanishing minority some would have you believe.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. I’ve made the corrections just for you. I usually do a better job of specifying the type of creationists I am talking about. A regular reader of this blog will be very cognizant of the fact that I am always referring to YECs but I still need to make that clear in each article.


      3. The Society for the Study of Evolution has written about this, and I believe that the consensus agrees with you: it is not our job to judge our students’ beliefs, only their work. My prepared response as a teacher of evolutionary biology (though I have not had to use it) is “What you believe is your own concern. I am teaching a set of intellectual tools for solving problems, and to pass this class you must show that you can use them appropriately.”

        Liked by 1 person

  1. I don’t understand how someone can read the New Testament and make this error. By my count, Jesus referenced Genesis once. Are they so busy reading the first six chapters of Genesis that they don’t read the rest of the Bible?


    1. Actually, yes; strict YEC often does result in tunnel vision with respect to reading the Bible. Most miss how intimately connected the Genesis narratives are with larger themes throughout scripture, even from the early chapters of Genesis to the later ones. Missing these thematic overlaps, they unintentionally ignore much of what else is written (which in turn inhibits their understanding of Genesis 1-11, its form, symbolism, etc.).


  2. This fact was probably revealed by God to one ot the authors, so facts are irrelevant. No facts, no matter how well-verified they are, can trump God’s word. This is how we know science is wrong when it produces facts which look like they refute creationism and make the Bible look like it was written by simple-minded Bronze Age goat herders..

    “God said so!” trumps all else.


    1. No, the Bible was not written by bronze age goat herders. The older parts of the Old testament were, on internal evidence, written by iron age intellectuals, although they incorporate myths, and a mythical dating, that go back tot he bronze age. Nor were they ignorant; they were doing the best they knew how at the time. More shame on those who, in the name of the Bible, now do the opposite.


      1. No, the Bible was not written by bronze age goat herders.

        Glad to see someone oppose another traditional but empty mantras. Not only were the ancient writers of the Tanakh not ignorant, they wrote some very rich literature, including a lot of outstanding Hebrew poetry in the Psalms.

        The prophet Amos might have been a goat-herder, according to some secondary manuscripts. (It’s been many years since grad school.) If memory serves, the Hebrew Masoretic Text says he was a sheep-herder and sycamore fig gather.

        The irony of associating the Bible with the “bronze age” is that to do so the skeptic must concede to the Fundamentalist’s older dating of the books of the Hebrew Tanakh. I think most skeptics still place most of the books in the Iron Age.


  3. Bravo for an outstanding article on a phenomenon I found rampant among “creation science” Young Earth Creationists as I researched countless origins ministry websites and origins discussion forums for a book.

    Just yesterday I saw the ubiquitous “the Bible had foreknowledge of future scientific discoveries” table of three columns: Bible said; Ancient Science said; Modern Science says. So each row of the table claims to demonstrate that “The Bible gave us important scientific knowledge while ancient science was very primitive and erroneous and only recently has modern science caught up.” Just about every entry reflects logical fallacies, manipulation of cherry-picked Bible translation wording, and laughable failures based on science-illiterate pseudo-science and pseudo-history. Of course, the two “science” columns exploit equivocation fallacies based on a Ken Ham type of definition of “science (based on the Latin word SCIENTIA, simply “knowledge.”) As expected,even when I found online (in a “preview mode of selected pages) the page of an obscure Christian devotional book by a name I don’t recognize, there was no attribution for anything in the comparison chart. And oddly enough, with one exception the table did NOT use the various Leviticus scriptures which actually COULD be considered being ahead of their time (compared to most ancient cultures) in terms of hygiene, sanitation, primitive disinfection, quarantine, and the advantages of a Kosher diet.

    Usually the fans of “creation science” simply get angry and deny my point-by-point critiques of the chart but a few show curiosity and say they want to research the very simple facts behind my claims. They don’t appear to recognize the common sense obviously problems with the table. (e.g. the ancients only need to LOOK to determine that stars in the sky numbered more than 1100 and varied in brightness and color!)

    Why are these examples of gullible adoption of pseudo-science and pseudo-history rubbish? They assure a source is sound if the author shares their theology. After all, if they sincerely pray for wisdom, God always grants it! They don’t understand that the context of those popular “If any man lack wisdom, let him pray…..” prooftexts are about particular SPIRITUAL CONCEPTS. The Bible doesn’t promise the equivalent of a biology PhD to any Christian who prays for it. But even those who acknowledge that will claim that “God wouldn’t allow a sincere and godly, prayerful man [i.e., their “spiritual heros”] to be wrong about anything, including science!

    Yet, the overall, sustaining factor which fuels most everything they do is the importance of FEELINGS over FACTS:

    Sometimes I will go into great detail explaining to a creationist why various favorite claims of their are wrong and even pathologically dishonest (when the factoid comes from Ken Ham or the Discovery Institute). After giving them a few days for researching the matter as they requested, they will return to me with this: “I’m not really a science expert at all so I prayed that God would show me the answer as to what I should believe. And ever since that prayer I have a piece about this and I know that God wants me to continue using ________ as valid.” Yes. Facts over feelings. “To have a piece about” is an idiom in Creationese, the language of creationists, but also present among other types of evangelicals and fundamentalists.

    As an evangelical Christian, I also tell them that I don’t have anything against the idea of publishing “proofs of God’s existence”—but I don’t really get involved in that topic because so much of the “proof” material is so woefully bad. Moreover, I’ve found that a really poor argument for God’s existence often becomes an argument against God’s existence.


    1. Feelings vs Facts:

      I engaged in a conversation with a YEC. He sent me article after article from a YEC organisation. I tried to refute the arguments put forth. Finally, he told me, “My GUT tells me Creation is true, and I have to go with my gut.”


    1. I see that my reply to your post was rather verbose—but I was explaining that my intended joke (making fun of typical YEC misspellings concerning “piece” versus “peace”) got further obscured when my vision-assistance software removed the “[sic]” tag.


  4. Sorry, rickbaartman. I use a beta version of a vision-assistance software that is still buggy in some situations. The original “[sic]”—which originally appeared after each “piece”— sometimes gets removed because it assumes everything between square-brackets is a typesetting command unless the typeset-mode is turned off. (I think using italics previously in the paragraph enabled the typeset-mode without my awareness of it.)

    The funniest problem the software experiences with some creationist bloopers is when they call me a Son of Satin [sic]. I always reply with an email stating that my father never had any involvement with the fabric industry. But their capitalization of their misspelled word sometimes causes the software to correct it to “Satan”—and then they are baffled by my reply because they have no idea why I mentioned the fabric industry.


  5. If I might offer an explanation for the young earth creationist’s assertion that roughly half of Christ’s references to Scripture were from Genesis, which otherwise can not be Biblically or theologically sustained. From observation and in my understanding, ICR and AiG believe that Jesus Christ is the Creator and the author of Genesis and the whole corpus of divinely inspired Scriptures, that the theology of the Trinity is implicitly, if not explicitly, taught in Scripture and Jesus is the central personage of the Godhead. This is a modern combination of “Jesus Only” theology from pentecostalism and a reframing of trinitarian theology from Catholicism and mainstream Christianity (protestantism). Within the context of this observation, Jesus ultimately wrote the whole of the Bible and any reference contained in the Scriptures is then made by Christ. Jesus Christ quotes himself. The YEC might find my observation to be inaccurate, and I would not wish to make false claims concerning the religious beliefs of others, but my observation is from reading numerous articles in their tradition.

    The theological difficulties with the trinitarian doctrine are many and the ultimate resolution for the trinitarian, if pushed scripturally, is to fall onto the “mysteries” of the Godhead which is also the ultimate resolution for the divine-human nature of Christ. One difficulty, for me, in using an argument from “mysteries” is Jesus declared the mysteries of the kingdom were given to his disciples to know and I am not convinced Jesus’ disciples have taught the mysteries of the Trinity nor that the divinity of Christ subsumed his humanity as so many Christians appear to be convinced. I do not see these teachings in the first and second centuries’ Christian writings and apparently the Trinity and the Divine nature swallowing up the human nature in Christ became normative during the time of ancient Roman acceptance of Christianity. “Primitive Christianity” was far more Jewish in theological understanding and interpretation of the Scriptures.

    Of course, I could be mistaken.

    The self-referential argument or fallacy is not formally applicable to the Creator, at least this is yet another difficulty from observation of many Christian theological assertions. I do not hold the position the Creator has made self-referential arguments, in the Scriptures, in relationship or context with Jesus Christ. The Father is not the Son and the Son is not the Father though the Father and Son speak and work as one … the Scriptures are clear that the Son is not the Creator and is an intermediacy and mediator and sits at the right hand. If the Creator makes self-referential arguments this making is fully different from human self-referencing arguments, yet even Jesus assertion in his teaching on two witnesses is not a self-referential argument but required the Father to provide witness with Jesus. Jesus did not declare that his witness would stand alone in human affairs, to establish a thing. He confidently obeyed and relied upon the Father to bear witness in him and for him. There is no split-personality disorder operating among divine persons, because there is no split-personality in the Creator, no dysfunction in the Creator. We are not expected to conflate the workings of God with the Creator’s rest, the Sabbath. The Creator separated, made unique and therefore sacred, rest from work … a reasonable and beneficial delineation. And the ontological and existential reality of the Creator’s work and ultimate rest through Jesus Christ was not meant as the definition of the Creator in toto … though this defines our lives as Christians. The teachings of Paul reinforces this … “Then, when all things are under his authority, the Son will put himself under God’s authority, so that God, who gave his Son authority over all things, will be utterly supreme over everything everywhere.” (1 Corinthians 15:28)


    Of course, I could be mistaken.

    A “rational Christianity” is possible without doing violence to the sacred Scriptures, even with a firm view on revelatory inerrancy. “Rightly dividing the word of truth” does not demand layers of mysterious thought forms that bear no relationship to the Creator’s salvific work of reconciliation through Jesus Christ. Mysteries of God remain and will remain until “we see him as he is” but these mysteries are discoverable in the Creator and we can drop the humanly constructed mysteries that are not supported in the Scriptures.

    If one is unable to clear their thoughts of extraneous and ungrounded theological assertions, such as the Trinity and Jesus is the Creator, then it should not be surprising that one is mistaken about the interpretation of Genesis. I do not understand how someone would demand a plain, simple reading of Genesis and then also demand a complex, mysterious, and confusing reading into the texts of the relationship between Father and Son. Christianity is fully dependent on the Father and Son and not the determination of time sequences. Possibly, there is confusion between exegesis (to draw out) and eisegesis (to draw in) when applying hermeneutical analysis to the Scriptures. This has been a bane to Ruckmanites and others demanding adherence to the 1611 King James Version as the most accurate English translation. The KJV proponents are constantly inserting “literal” renderings as interpretations and foot notes to quotations. How is that an agreement to the accuracy? That the KJV is normative? God does not speak 17th century English to 21st century believers seeking the truth. If the original autographs are the only inerrant texts, we must be compelled to know Hebrew, Greek, Aramaic and for the purest to know proto-Hebrew, archaic Aramaic, and Akkadian. And this might compel us to have some knowledge of Ugaritic and Sumerian. But I do not believe such linguistic expertise is required by the Creator.

    Jesus came to the Jew first and also to the Gentiles, but he did not come teaching Greek philosophy and mythology, but rather taught a coming into relationship with the Creator as Father. He taught a radical immanence of an otherwise transcendent God and offered himself as an example for our approaching the Creator. Genesis, as the story of separation from the Creator, is corrected by Jesus’ reinstatement of reconciliation with the Creator. The correction is concerning our approaching the Creator and not an ultimate falsity of the details in Genesis … the Scriptures are the story in which the ultimate consequence is the restoration of creation in and through the Christ … Christ the mediation for our separateness from God.


    1. {If I might offer an explanation for the young earth creationist’s assertion that roughly half of Christ’s references to Scripture were from Genesis,}

      Clinical, I’m sorry but I do see any explanation of ICR’s 50% number in your statement. It has nothing to do with their theological beliefs. It should be a simple matter of arithmetic.


    2. Personally I am uncomfortable with a non-concordist position. As they limit biblical inerrancy to one manmade category of knowledge. Saying things like “the bible is always right on theological matters, but not on historical/scientific matters, its okay for it to be wrong on that.” Although I am an old-earth creationist, and take the day-age view on genesis 1. I do believe the order of events is clear and accurate. I do not agree that genesis 1 is merely a polemic, with nothing to say about creation.


      1. Why do you believe that the order of events is clear and accurate when in Genesis 1 whales and birds are created before land animals, contrary to massive scientific evidence, and when in Genesis 1 man is made (male and female) after all the animals, while in Genesis 2 the order is Adam, animals, Eve?


        1. That is honestly an interpretation I find strange. This is simply not what the bible says in *any* translation. Day six doesn’t say “land animals” or “all animals that move the land” it refers to the “creeping things”, the “livestock”, and the “beasts of the earth”.

          If you look at places where these hebrew terms are used elsewhere, you see that they roughly correspond to: Rodents, Ungulates, and Carnivorans respectively. All modern-type mammals. Which came after birds and fish.

          Similarly, the word a few translations put as “whales” is “tannim”. Its translation is highly disputed. Some even translate it as “dragon” or “sea monster”. Some translate it as “jackal” or “serpent”.

          But I did an extensive study on it, looking at every last place “tannim” or a variant of it is used *Anywhere* in the bible. I found that if you translate it something like “reptile” it fits every last context in which it appears. For instance, every time it refers to an animal in the water, it refers to a deadly fearsome carnivore. Like a crocodile. Many times they are described as scaly. And it is also used in exodus to apply to serpents. And every other animal group created in genesis is a broad group. Not a narrow group. So “reptile” fits the bill quite nicely. Which also fits with the fossil record quite nicely.

          As for genesis 2, for one, I don’t honestly think one (Whether atheist or christian or anything else) could think the writers were so stupid as to contradict themselves over two chapters. Rather, what you see is a more detailed account of the creation of humankind in genesis two.

          Without any external influence, when I first read genesis 1 and then 2. I realized the creations in genesis 2 are merely of the garden of eden and adam and eve.

          In fact, the language used for the supposed “creation” of animals in genesis 2 is simply saying God brought the animals he made to Adam. And even if the animals were created then, it need only imply that God created those animals specifically to relate to Adam. Not that their entire species was created at that point.

          As for plants, as far as I can tell, the account in genesis two is not about the creation of plants at all. Rather its the growth of eden from what had apparently been a barren desert without rain previously.


  6. More generally, it is quite common to find rather basic errors in young-earth material that have nothing to do with the age of the earth (or other things). Such habitual carelessness does not enhance credibility. For example, Jay Wile’s middle school physical science textbook forgot about metamorphic as a category of rock and messed up on relativity -a particle can travel faster than light does when both are traveling through something (e.g., air, water, glass). An attempt to misuse the resurfacing of Venus as evidence of a young solar system set the scene by claiming it rains molten lead there, mixing up two popular factoids (hot enough to melt lead and rains sulfuric acid, though the acid evaporates on the way down).


    1. Great examples, thanks. Yes, your exactly right, many home school science textbooks are chock full of errors. Now, I’ve seen plenty of errors in biology texts that I use as well but not as many. General textbooks are often authored by one or two people that know one area well but not all areas. The key is the editing process and in the YEC community they have far fewer people to draw upon for editing of their books and so many more errors go unnoticed.


      1. I don’t think the editing process is the culprit. I suspect that the YECs accept whatever their colleagues say without any vetting, IF it advances the cause. They just make stuff up and if it makes a point it doesn’t matter if it’s true or not so long as it “explains” .


  7. I love it when Jesus quotes from the Old Testament. I wish he had quoted from the OT more often. It proves that Jesus was a mere mortal because a true God would have known that everything in the Old Testament was poppycock and would not have used it to buttress an argument.


  8. Hi! I’m a YEC, but I do appreciate you pointing this out. If it’s an error in calculation or communication, it needs to be fixed.

    Interestingly, though, Jesus does quote two different portions of Genesis twice in two different instances (Matthew 19:5; Mark 10:6). Now that is a far cry from 50%, yes, but it’s also a little different than “once”.

    If I might add my opinion: I don’t think ICR is being intentional deceptive. (Another blog reposted your post here under the title, “Creationist lie about Jesus!” [Something like that.]) Hopefully, we’d agree that a communication error or a genuine misunderstanding on someone’s part (hey, even we graphic artists aren’t infallible) is not the same as intentionally lying. Here is a list of OT verses quoted in the NT, 16 of which are from Genesis:


    What I think might have happened is that the number of NT quotation of the OT along with references to people, places, and events of Genesis has been jumbled all together. Re: Andrew Snelling states that Jesus refers to details in Genesis 15 times:


    But, of course as you point out, referring to someone or something in Genesis isn’t the same as quoting from it. I agree.

    Well, that’s all. Just hope that Jason Lisle, whom I have much respect for, could shed some light on the origin of that percentage. Have you tried e-mailing him?



    1. Hi Joshua, Thanks for your comments. First, regarding the numbers, I think that most commentators would consider the Mark 10:6 and Matthew 19:5 passage to be the same reference just reported by two different gospel authors. As such I wouldn’t consider that much different than “once”. I guess you could say that the Scriptures literally have two records of quotes but that doesn’t mean the Jesus said it twice though it is not unreasonably the believe he said this many times in many places.
      I’m not saying, in contrast to others, that ICR is being deceptive, just very sloppy. The quote from Lisle’s chapter is clear that he is referring to Jesus “quoting” Genesis. I understand that Jesus alludes to many events and even to things from Genesis but “quote” means something. ICR makes a big deal about the simple literal meaning of words and so they must expect their audience to believe that if they say that Jesus quoted Genesis that this means that he quoted verbatim words from Genesis not just spoke of people and places from Genesis. In other words, I do think that ICR can make a reasonable argument for the later part of that quote from Lisle’s book but they shouldn’t do it by using misleading (probably not purposely) information.


      1. Well, I think you make a fair, accurate point. The text in the book and the graphic should be removed or altered. Maybe they could change it to show that the Jesus and the New Testament authors both quote from Genesis and also refer (not quote) to people and situations found in it.

        However, before I move on, I’d like to point out that Jesus quotations from Genesis, found in Mark 10:6 and Matthew 19:5 (and in Luke, I think), show Him quoting Genesis 1:27 and Genesis 2:24 word-for-word. In fact, some translations even use quotation marks around those portions of His sentences.

        So, literally speaking, He did quote Genesis more than once.



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