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Featured The Bible And Science: Bats And Birds

Discussion in 'Science and Religion' started by Earthling, Mar 14, 2019.

  1. Earthling

    Earthling David Henson
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    Many Bible critics will often make the incorrect assumption that the Bible confuses bats with being birds, and this is not the case. The reasoning behind this incorrect assumption is due to a misunderstanding of Leviticus 11:13-20. We are talking about the implication that science minded atheists, rational thinking people, make regarding the claim that the Bible can not distinguish between birds or fowl, and bats and insects.

    Here is a brief lesson in Hebrew that will be of some help. The word used at Leviticus 11:13 is ohph, which is sometimes translated incorrectly as birds, and sometimes as fowl. It is important to note that the English word fowl applied not only to birds, but all winged flying creatures such as insects and bats. So, although the word fowl in translation is accurate it is often misunderstood due to the fact that today the English word fowl is somewhat more limited than it used to be, applying to birds only.

    The Hebrew word for bat is ataleph.
    The Hebrew word for flying creature or fowl (as in all flying creatures including birds, bats, and insects) is ohph.
    The Hebrew word for birds in general is tsippohr.
    The Hebrew word for birds of prey specifically is ayit.

    The Hebrew word sherets is drawn from a root word that means to "swarm" "or teem." In noun form applies to small creatures to be found in large numbers. (Exodus 8:3 / Psalm 105:30) In scripture it first applies to the initial appearance on the fifth creative day when the waters began to swarm with living souls. Genesis 1:20
    Fowl do not swarm in the waters.

    The law regarding clean and unclean things demonstrates that the term applies to aquatic creatures (Leviticus 11:10) winged creatures, including bats and insects (Leviticus 11:19-31 / Deuteronomy 14:19) land creatures such as rodents, lizards, chameleons (Leviticus 11:29-31) creatures traveling on their "belly" and multi-legged creatures (Leviticus 11:41-44).

    The English word fowl is primarily used today to refer to a large or edible bird. The Hebrew term ohph, which is derived from the verb fly, applied to all winged or flying creatures. (Genesis 1:20-22) So the Hebrew (ohph) is not so limited in usage as the English word fowl much like the old English cattle.

    It isn't about taxonomy it is about language and translation.

    **mod edit** Source: The Bible says man was made from dirt. The Bible says bats are birds. Why do Creationists only believe one?
     
    #1 Earthling, Mar 14, 2019
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 16, 2019
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  2. whirlingmerc

    whirlingmerc Well-Known Member

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    It is perfectly fine if the Bible uses different animal groupings and taxonomy than we do today. Why not?
     
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  3. Dan From Smithville

    Dan From Smithville Well-Known Member
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    What is your source that the word fowl applied to insects?
     
  4. Dan From Smithville

    Dan From Smithville Well-Known Member
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    I think it would be hilarious if there is an ornithologist, mammologist or chiropterist that reads these forums. That is probably too much to ask for.

    Either the Bible got its zoology wrong or it has been twisted out of value by translations errors. Either way, it is not a science book.
     
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  5. Earthling

    Earthling David Henson
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    I am. Can you refute it?
     
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  6. Nowhere Man

    Nowhere Man Bompu Zen Man with a little bit of Bushido.

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  7. Dan From Smithville

    Dan From Smithville Well-Known Member
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    Well done. It fits with what I found as well.

    I fail to see why some people believe they have to defend the Bible by making things up. It is not very good sense as well as being false witness.
     
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  8. Dan From Smithville

    Dan From Smithville Well-Known Member
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    Did you wake up today and say that you were going to destroy any credibility you had? I just asked for your source. It is up to you to support your claims. Can you support it? That is the question. Obviously not.
     
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  9. Earthling

    Earthling David Henson
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    That's great, but incomplete. You are talking about the etymology of the word foul and it's common usage from first about, what? 1570? Fowl, from flue, or fly. Not all birds fly. That should have raised a flag.

    You can search for stuff on the Internet but you don't have to stop once you find what you are looking for.

    Here. And Here.
     
  10. lewisnotmiller

    lewisnotmiller Grand Hat
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    I'm not too interested in this topic, but as far as I'm aware, 'fowl' never referred to bats in English.
    Rather it referred to all feathered creatures, whereas it's more commonly tied to domestic birds in the last 500 years (give or take).

    Would be interested in evidence to the contrary, words interest me.
     
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  11. Earthling

    Earthling David Henson
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    Good for you. They interest me as well. Check out my last post. (Link)
     
  12. Earthling

    Earthling David Henson
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    [Laughs] I'm more concerned about my toilet paper than I am about anything you have to say about my credibility.
     
  13. lewisnotmiller

    lewisnotmiller Grand Hat
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    I had already, but I was already aware of 'fugel'. I'm writing a novel set in old England (circa 1000 AD) and have been looking up lots of Saxon words, etc.
    I fail to see how that supports your contention, though.
     
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  14. Dan From Smithville

    Dan From Smithville Well-Known Member
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    Not all insects fly either.

    Neither of those two links mentioned anything about insects being called fowl or included as fowl.
     
  15. Dan From Smithville

    Dan From Smithville Well-Known Member
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    I can understand your concern about toilet paper considering what I have seen so far.
     
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  16. Dan From Smithville

    Dan From Smithville Well-Known Member
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    That is interesting. I recently started writing as well. I am starting with short stories that are in a more contemporary setting.

    I like words too. Particularly the connotations that surround them.

    I did not see any evidence that supported his claim about insects being referred to as fowl.
     
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  17. Earthling

    Earthling David Henson
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    Pssst!!! [Whispers] It's a distraction. Read the OP, Hebrew ohph.
     
  18. lewisnotmiller

    lewisnotmiller Grand Hat
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    I'm rusty, but it's a fun/cheap hobby.
    If you ever need anything proof read, let me know.
     
  19. lewisnotmiller

    lewisnotmiller Grand Hat
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    I read the OP pretty carefully.
    If you're arguing that ohph was mistranslated, then I have no opinion, or information to offer.
    If you're arguing that ohph was translated correctly, but that fowl had a different meaning at the time which included bats and insects, then I strongly disagree but would be interested in proof to the contrary.

    In neither case do I think this proves or disproves God, but I'm interested in words and in particular old English/Saxon words right now, for selfish reasons.
     
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  20. Dan From Smithville

    Dan From Smithville Well-Known Member
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    Thanks. That would be great. I have a ways to go yet, before I have anything at that stage, but I am having fun doing the writing. Even if that is all it turns out to be, it will have been a worthwhile exercise.
     
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