Monday, October 5, 2015

Poor Exegesis

A few days ago, I saw a video wherein a pastor denounced the discovery of water on Mars as being impossible to sustain life, due to his interpretation of Acts 17:26. Basically, he said man will never live on any other celestial body, nor is there life anywhere else in the Universe. The problem is, he stated that Acts 17:26 states this. So let's examine...

Acts 17:22-31 HCSB (verse 26 in bold)
Then Paul stood in the middle of the Areopagus and said: “Men of Athens! I see that you are extremely religious in every respect. For as I was passing through and observing the objects of your worship, I even found an altar on which was inscribed: TO AN UNKNOWN GOD. Therefore, what you worship in ignorance, this I proclaim to you. The God who made the world and everything in it — He is Lord of heaven and earth and does not live in shrines made by hands.  Neither is He served by human hands, as though He needed anything, since He Himself gives everyone life and breath and all things.  From one man He has made every nationality to live over the whole earth and has determined their appointed times and the boundaries of where they live.  He did this so they might seek God, and perhaps they might reach out and find Him, though He is not far from each one of us.  For in Him we live and move and exist, as even some of your own poets have said, ‘For we are also His offspring.’   Being God’s offspring then, we shouldn’t think that the divine nature is like gold or silver or stone, an image fashioned by human art and imagination. “Therefore, having overlooked the times of ignorance, God now commands all people everywhere to repent, because He has set a day when He is going to judge the world in righteousness by the Man He has appointed. He has provided proof of this to everyone by raising Him from the dead.”

This is clearly a misinterpretation. The logical and rational meaning of "their appointed times and boundaries of where they live" is clearly a reference to nations of the world. It makes no mention nor inference of living off world or the possibility that there might be life on other planets.

Good news is that this man gets virtually everything else right. It's ok, we all make mistakes.


  1. This blog was... how do I say it? Relevant!!
    Finally I've found something that helped me. Thanks a lot!

  2. Why do you think a Christian would not want there to be life on Mars? In other words, what could this person's motivation be?


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