I received this book from a source that I have since forgotten, and must
apologize if someone passed it to me. The good news is that I finally read it.
The author is Russell Husted, described on the cover as a university researcher
and former teacher of evolutionary science. “He decided to test the original
Hebrew Scriptures, treating the creation account as if [it] was a scientific
theory. What he discovered revolutionized his faith (and his scientific
Husted certainly learned some Hebrew, and translated from the original text of
Genesis. He also used linguistic tools available for correlating the usage of
Hebrew words in Genesis to their usage elsewhere in the Old Testament. His
endeavor was intriguing from the start.
I had hoped that Husted would examine existing scientific evidence in light of
the biblical text, allowing the natural meaning of Scripture to guide him, but
was disappointed to find that this was not his method. Instead, he has
strategically chosen from the possible meanings for the Hebrew words of the
creation account, and has made certain hypotheses about the implications of
those meanings, so that the account would mirror the hypothetical sequence of
events posited by naturalistic science that has supposedly brought about the
universe and the world we know today. In other words, the accepted sequence
hypothesized by naturalistic science takes a somewhat higher priority for
Husted than the natural meaning of the biblical creation account.
To be fair, Husted makes some interesting points about the meaning of certain
vocabulary in the creation account, especially in view of the prevalent
understanding of that vocabulary among English speakers. For example, where
the NKJV in Genesis 1:11 uses the word “grass,” following the Authorized
Version (KJV), Husted points out that a more precise rendering might refer
instead to the microscopic flora much more prevalent across the face of the
earth than what we usually call “grass.” In similar ways, he reconsiders what
the most precise rendering would be for each item created, given the
present-day conceptual model of the world around us. Some of his suggestions
seem to have merit.
However, Husted’s agenda is to demonstrate to evolutionists that the biblical
account of creation is not as far as they thought from their own beliefs.
Coming from the other side of that conversation, I think that the Bible ought
to be the starting point for Christians, rather than naturalistic theory.
While Husted’s work is appreciated, he also demonstrates that he is not an
expert linguist, at least in biblical Hebrew. For example, much of his later
reasoning depends heavily upon a distinction between the Hebrew word Adam
(meaning the ground, and later the name of Adam) and the Hebrew word ha-adam.
He supposes that this shows a distinction on God’s part between a sub-human
creature like the Neanderthals, and the humanity of Adam and Eve. But really,
the only difference between them is that the latter word has the Hebrew
definite article attached to it, as in “man” vs.\ “the man.” I am not an
expert Hebrew linguist either, but I know a definite article when I see one,
even in transliteration (latin characters).
The reasoning of Husted’s presentation becomes quite forced toward the end,
when he suggests that the description of Eve’s creation really means something
quite different from the natural meaning of the text. Perhaps the meanings he
attributes to the Hebrew words can be justified from Hebrew dictionaries, which
simply list words without context, but multiple layers of context here point
the reader toward the traditional understanding of Eve’s creation. Besides the
context in Genesis chapters 1 and 2, we also must consider that readers of
Hebrew much closer to the time it was written have agreed with the traditional
understanding. The Hebrew words date to about 1450 BC, and may have been
translated by Moses (with divine guidance) from an earlier language. For the
Bible to have the authority it does, we must maintain that it was inspired and
preserved by God so as to present clearly what He wishes us to know.
While I don’t question Husted’s sincerity as a Christian, it seems that his
desire to make the biblical creation account palatable to his evolutionist
colleagues has introduced a naturalistic presupposition that undermines the
authority of divine revelation. If we can accept that God created all things,
including Eve, with a power we would consider to be miraculous, then the only
reason to conceive of such a convoluted alternative explanation for her
creation is to align the Bible with naturalistic science, which denies the
possibility of miracles as a basic premise. It may be an entertaining
exercise, but the Bible is divine revelation about our origin, identity, and
salvation. It’s dangerous to entertain the possibility of a higher authority,
and much more dangerous to accept one.
As a result, I can’t recommend Husted’s book for Christians who are drawn to
the question in the title: “Hey Mom, What about Dinosaurs?” It may be
appropriate for exegetical and scientific discussion, but not for general