Answers in Genesis Favours the NIV When Convenient?
I recently purchased the Answers in Genesis Creation Apologetics Master Class. I’ve had my eye on these courses for a while, and they recently put a bundle on sale for $20, so I thought I’d try it. This was a mistake. I was assuming that these courses contained more in-depth content that could not be found on their website. They actually consist of videos I had already seen, for free, on the internet, and links to articles on their webpage. There were a couple of course specific video introductions, but they contained no real content, and made me seasick because they were filmed handheld on a camera phone. Basically I paid $20 for the quizzes.
I decided to take all of the quizzes without (re)-watching the videos to see how I did. The quizzes are closed book, except you are allowed to use a Bible. Given the time limit I thought a searchable Bible would be cheating, so I decided to use a paper Bible. The one I had handy was a New International Version. As a result, I got multiple questions wrong, because whenever they say “read your Bible carefully” they mean “read the King James Version carefully”.
I’ll talk more about the quizzes later. Tonight’s rant is actually inspired by yesterday’s talk at the Creation Museum by Karina Altman, their zookeeper. She mentioned that the Bible said that two of every kind were brought onto the Ark, which doesn’t really surprise me because it’s something AIG says all the time. But it’s not technically true. The part that surprised me was that she pulled up a Bible quote that does, in fact, say that! In fact, they highlight the word kind three times!
But to do that, they had to use the New International Version. Here is the King James for the same passage:
“And of every living thing of all flesh, two of every sort shalt thou bring into the ark, to keep them alive with thee; they shall be male and female. Of fowls after their kind, and of cattle after their kind, of every creeping thing of the earth after his kind, two of every sort shall come unto thee, to keep them alive.”
More importantly, it doesn’t say two of every kind in the original Hebrew text. In verse 16, it actually reads something like “And of every living thing of all flesh, two of all shall you bring into the Ark”. The word “sort” in the KJV is added for clarity in English, but there isn’t a separate word in the original. It’s certainly not the same word, “min”, as she’s implying.
The word “min” does appear three times in the next verse. But it does not say two of each kind. The Hebrew is similar to the KJV – the animals come “after their kinds”. But at the end of the sentence where it reads “two of every sort”, the same ambiguous wording is used again.
Nowhere in the entire flood account does the Bible specifically say two of each kind. The next verse she cites, Genesis 7:2-3, do not use the word “kind (min)” at all. It does not say “to keep their various kinds alive” it says “to keep alive their seed”.
She concludes, “In his instruction to Noah, God uses the phrase ‘kinds’ seven times. And again, when God repeats things he wants that concept emphasized.”
The word “kind” is actually used seven times in the flood account, but not in the instructions to Noah. The first three are in Genesis 6:20, as described above, and the remaining four are in Genesis 7:14, when the animals get on the Ark “after their kinds”. Nowhere in the entire account is it associated with a number.
The idea that the Bible says two of each kind is a myth. But it’s one that Answers in Genesis likes. Thus, they’re willing to accept a translation that writes it into the Bible, even when there’s no justification for it. Which is interesting when they get so upset about anyone else “reading man’s ideas into the Bible”. Answers in Genesis is sure doing a good job of misinforming people about a concept God wants emphasized.