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  #1  
Old Sep 28, '10, 8:41 pm
casey zia casey zia is offline
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Default Old Testament: Did people really live to be 900 years old?

This question came up in a bible study last night, and I don't know how to respond! Could it be that humans really lived that long? The lifespans of the key players of Genesis seem to get shorter as we move through this Book; is there a reason or explanation for this?
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  #2  
Old Sep 28, '10, 9:50 pm
rciadan rciadan is offline
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Default Re: Old Testament: Did people really live to be 900 years old?

Simply put, Yes. As you read the reason for the shortened life span is given.
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  #3  
Old Sep 28, '10, 9:57 pm
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Default Re: Old Testament: Did people really live to be 900 years old?

Isn't it the flood (or the sinfulness of man preceding the flood) that causes God to shorten lifespans? After Noah, the lifespans start shrinking, but very gradually
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  #4  
Old Sep 29, '10, 12:24 am
Luke65 Luke65 is offline
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Default Re: Old Testament: Did people really live to be 900 years old?

Here is the great Father and Doctor of the Church, St. Augustine:
"Wherefore no one who considerately weighs facts will doubt that Cain might have built a city, and that a large one, when it is observed how prolonged were the lives of men, unless perhaps some sceptic take exception to this very length of years which our authors ascribe to the antediluvians and deny that this is credible... But the length of an antediluvian's life cannot now be proved by any such monumental evidence. But we are not on this account to withhold our faith from the sacred history, whose statements of past fact we are the more inexcusable in discrediting, as we see the accuracy of its prediction of what was future." (The City of God, XV, 9)
So we know by faith that these men lived to these great ages. But it's very interesting that it turns out that our lifespans are limited by our DNA. The telomeres at the end of our chromosomes control cell division (reproduction) - the longer the telomere, the longer your body will continue to produce new cells. So it could simply be that God began shortening the telomeres around the time of the Flood, and lifespans gradually became shorter, and for very good reason:

"Then the LORD said, "My Spirit will not contend with man forever, for he is mortal; his days will be a hundred and twenty years." (Genesis 6:3)

God bless.
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  #5  
Old Sep 29, '10, 1:13 am
Crumpy Crumpy is offline
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Default Re: Old Testament: Did people really live to be 900 years old?

One of the modern methods of Bible analysis or "criticism" is to look at Genesis, let's say, as an entire entity, and not to overly dissect it into "pre-history" and "history."

It was written for us for all its levels of meaning, not just levels of meaning that make us confused. So, take note of your skepticism, but don't stop there. It wasn't written to make you a skeptic.

Some very devoted evangelicals have become atheists, getting hung up on things like this.

There's one guy someplace in www.wimp.com whose video shows his skepticism about the conflicting accounts of the resurrection. One version says the women were afraid and ran away and another account says that they went and told the apostles, etc. We can only note the variances and try to reconcile them OUTSIDE of the texts. I won't get my head in a knot over stuff like that, actually, but some people DO.
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  #6  
Old Sep 29, '10, 6:54 am
Scaun Scaun is offline
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Default Re: Old Testament: Did people really live to be 900 years old?

Yes they did. But God shortened it. He decided that about 100 years (or less) would be enough for them to have a change to repent and so on. It was also done to limit the evil which could be done. Just imagine what they could do in 900 years! How many plans and evil things could have been done. Anyway, here is a link to an interesting article on the subject:

http://www.godandscience.org/apologetics/longlife.html
  #7  
Old Sep 29, '10, 8:54 am
quasimodo quasimodo is offline
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Default Re: Old Testament: Did people really live to be 900 years old?

In those days, when an author wanted to tell his audience that a person was important and worthy of honor and praise, they used a literary device common to the time. They gave the person an extremely long live span. The biblical authors were positively parsimonious with such expressions of praise and honor ... the other peoples of the middle east had kings living 30,000 years.

Scripture is FULL of such literary devices and if you don't learn them you will never understand the truth that scripture teaches.

I gotta ask, when did the Fundamentalists invade the Church and hook Catholics into a literalist hermeneutic?

The rant above was not directed at the OP, who at least asked the question.
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Old Sep 29, '10, 8:58 am
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GaryTaylor GaryTaylor is online now
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Default Re: Old Testament: Did people really live to be 900 years old?

Now if you could accept that Angels appeared and Miracles happened. How it is you would have hard time with extended life?
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  #9  
Old Sep 29, '10, 9:05 am
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Default Re: Old Testament: Did people really live to be 900 years old?

Quote:
Originally Posted by quasimodo View Post
In those days, when an author wanted to tell his audience that a person was important and worthy of honor and praise, they used a literary device common to the time. They gave the person an extremely long live span. The biblical authors were positively parsimonious with such expressions of praise and honor ... the other peoples of the middle east had kings living 30,000 years.

Scripture is FULL of such literary devices and if you don't learn them you will never understand the truth that scripture teaches.

I gotta ask, when did the Fundamentalists invade the Church and hook Catholics into a literalist hermeneutic?

The rant above was not directed at the OP, who at least asked the question.
So.... Cain was more "important and worthy of honor and praise" than Abraham? Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, and Joseph were less worthy of honor and praise than, say, Methuselah? Then why doesn't the author tell us why Methuselah was so worthy of honor and praise?
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  #10  
Old Sep 29, '10, 9:06 am
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Frankr409 Frankr409 is offline
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Default Re: Old Testament: Did people really live to be 900 years old?

I was listening to Paul Madrid on I-Catholic radio and I thought he explained it very well.

Adam and Eve were made by God to be imortal, so their DNA must have been absolutely perfect to do that. However they commited sin. God has allowed their DNA to slowly degrade to the point that we are where we are now with our life span. It's not unthinkable that the first ancestors were long lived.
  #11  
Old Sep 29, '10, 9:09 am
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Default Re: Old Testament: Did people really live to be 900 years old?

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Originally Posted by Frankr409 View Post
I was listening to Paul Madrid on I-Catholic radio and I thought he explained it very well.

Adam and Eve were made by God to be imortal, so their DNA must have been absolutely perfect to do that. However they commited sin. God has allowed their DNA to slowly degrade to the point that we are where we are now with our life span. It's not unthinkable that the first ancestors were long lived.
Yup.
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IDvolution - God "breathed" the super language of DNA into the "kinds" in the creative act. Buffalo

"We are not some casual and meaningless product of evolution. Each of us is a thought of God."

“Science presupposes the trustworthy, intelligent structure of matter, the ‘design’ of creation.”

"A man of conscience, is one who never acquires tolerance, well- being, success, public standing, and approval on the part of prevailing opinion, at the expense of truth."
Pope Benedict XVI

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Old Sep 29, '10, 10:44 am
bingbang bingbang is offline
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Default Re: Old Testament: Did people really live to be 900 years old?

I'm going to say no. It isn't physically possible. Evolution, dinosaurs, etc. basically disprove the creation story and likewise brings doubt to anything else in the early OT.
  #13  
Old Sep 29, '10, 10:46 am
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buffalo buffalo is offline
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Default Re: Old Testament: Did people really live to be 900 years old?

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Originally Posted by bingbang View Post
I'm going to say no. It isn't physically possible. Evolution, dinosaurs, etc. basically disprove the creation story and likewise brings doubt to anything else in the early OT.
Your claim is a long life is impossible?
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IDvolution - God "breathed" the super language of DNA into the "kinds" in the creative act. Buffalo

"We are not some casual and meaningless product of evolution. Each of us is a thought of God."

“Science presupposes the trustworthy, intelligent structure of matter, the ‘design’ of creation.”

"A man of conscience, is one who never acquires tolerance, well- being, success, public standing, and approval on the part of prevailing opinion, at the expense of truth."
Pope Benedict XVI

  #14  
Old Sep 29, '10, 11:14 am
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Frankr409 Frankr409 is offline
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Default Re: Old Testament: Did people really live to be 900 years old?

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Originally Posted by bingbang View Post
I'm going to say no. It isn't physically possible. Evolution, dinosaurs, etc. basically disprove the creation story and likewise brings doubt to anything else in the early OT.
The creation story, and the evolution of plants, animals, reptiles, fish, and everything but unicorns and leprichauns fits well within realm of possibilities. He is God after all!

The fact that we are finding fossils of other things that God created should not surprise anyone.

The part that they have no link for is the link between apes and humans. They call it the missing link. And guess what? It is STILL missing!
  #15  
Old Sep 29, '10, 11:17 am
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buffalo buffalo is offline
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Default Re: Old Testament: Did people really live to be 900 years old?

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Originally Posted by Frankr409 View Post
The creation story, and the evolution of plants, animals, reptiles, fish, and everything but unicorns and leprichauns fits well within realm of possibilities. He is God after all!

The fact that we are finding fossils of other things that God created should not surprise anyone.

The part that they have no link for is the link between apes and humans. They call it the missing link. And guess what? It is STILL missing!
And the purported 95% similarity between humans and chimps is now around 70%.
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IDvolution - God "breathed" the super language of DNA into the "kinds" in the creative act. Buffalo

"We are not some casual and meaningless product of evolution. Each of us is a thought of God."

“Science presupposes the trustworthy, intelligent structure of matter, the ‘design’ of creation.”

"A man of conscience, is one who never acquires tolerance, well- being, success, public standing, and approval on the part of prevailing opinion, at the expense of truth."
Pope Benedict XVI

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