„As regards death in creation before man’s fall, I must remark that probably the question only refers to death in this earth’s state as it is since Adam’s creation. Since man’s creation, I am quite satisfied that death never took place till his fall. „By one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin, and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned.“ Now here the apostle is occupied with sin’s effect upon man; still he states that death entered by sin. Hence I conclude that death was not in the creation of which man was the head until his fall. But of what may have happened between the creation of the heavens and the earth (bara) and the forming the present world out of chaos, scripture says nothing, but leaves us to gather rather that the state of the world, the tohu bohu [„without form and void“], was the ruin of some previous state; for I hardly think that the state in which God would create it, and make all the sons of God shout for joy. Hence if geologists find Megalotheria, and Plesiosauri as many as they please, they do not touch the statements of scripture one way or another, for scripture makes none as to it: only into the creation connected with man, death entered by man’s sin. That scripture states, though it does not touch on its consequences for beasts; but Genesis 1: 30 confirms, for it gives the green grass to the beasts of the earth. I know not whether – is aware of the discoveries of geologists and the use made by infidels of it on the point in question. Scripture decides as to the present state of the world in which man is found, and says nothing as to what preceded it.“¹
¹= Letters of JND, Vol. I (1832 – 1868), H. L. Heijkoop, Reprint 1971, S.250 – 251
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