We know from the Word of God that the heavens
(and/or space) were indeed stretched in the past, either
during Creation Week or later. They may also still be
being stretched or expanded today. There is no scriptural
requirement to exclude this possibility. Thus, I believe that
Hartnett has gone too far to conclude: “To suggest that these
texts describe cosmological expansion of space … is not
justifiable and is pure eisegesis.”
34 If believing that current
cosmological expansion might be occurring (with respect
to these texts) is eisegesis, then the same charge might be
applied to the Hartnett/Humphreys view as well—to the
extent that perhaps more is being inferred from the text with
respect to the tent fabric analogy than the text supplies. In
2011, after examining all the current scientific evidence for
and against an expanding universe, Hartnett stated: “it is
impossible to conclude either way whether the universe is
expanding or static. The evidence is equivocal.”
35 Given that
reality on the scientific front, what we need now is balance
on the scriptural side as well, allowing both views to have
their proverbial ‘day in court’ to see where true science leads
within a biblical framework.
1. The Hebrew verb natah is variously translated as ‘to stretch’, ‘to stretch out’,
‘to extend’, ‘to spread out’, ‘to bend’, and related meanings.
2. Pace, A., What does the Bible say about the fabric of space? J. Creation
30( 1): 51, 2016. See page 53, table 1, for a recent chart on the 17 verses identified
by Humphreys. In the chart, Psalm 102: 4 is an error and should be 104: 2.
Humphreys’ book is Starlight and Time: Solving the puzzle of distant starlight
in a young universe, Master Books, Green Forest, AR, pp. 66–68, 1994.
3. Taylor, C.V., Waters above or beyond? J. Creation
10( 2):211–213, 1996; creation.
4. Hartnett, J.G., Starlight, Time and the New Physics, Creation Book Publishers,
pp. 102–103, 2007.
5. Hartnett, J.G., Expansion of Space—A Dark Science, Answers Research J. 7:
6. Hartnett, J.G., Does the Bible really describe expansion of the universe?
25( 2): 125–127, August 2011; creation.com/images/pdfs/tj/j25_2/
j25_ 2_ 125-127.pdf.
7. Humphreys, D. H., New view of gravity explains cosmic microwave background
radiation, J. Creation
28( 3): 106–114, 2014.
8. Hartnett, J.G., Our eternal universe, J. Creation
30( 3): 105, 2016.
9. Mary Beth de Repentigny noted in 2011: “Creation scientists do not necessarily
have a philosophical problem with the idea that the expansion rate of the universe
might be accelerating, as the data from type 1a supernovae could be telling us.”
Repentigny, M., What are type 1a supernovae telling us? J. Creation
25( 1): 123,
10. Humphreys, ref. 7, p. 107.
11. Hartnett, ref. 8, p. 105.
12. Humphreys, ref. 7, p. 108.
13. Unless one assumes that God’s creative act itself of placing the stars in the
expanse of the heavens actually equates to the ‘stretching of the heavens’, which
14. Pace, ref. 2, p. 54.
15. Humphreys, ref. 7, p. 109.
16. Emails to and from the author with Hebrew scholar David Brewer, February–
March 2015. We see a similar theme and imagery in Psalm 144: 5.
17. Hartnett, ref. 6, p. 126.
18. Hartnett, ref. 5, p. 457.
19. Morris, H., That Their Words May Be Used Against Them, Institute for Creation
Research, Green Forest, AR, 1997.
20. Hartnett, J.G., Does observational evidence indicate the universe is expanding?
—part 1: the case for time dilation, J. Creation
25( 3): 109–114, December 2011;
and, Does observational evidence indicate the universe is expanding—part 2:
the case against expansion, J. Creation
25( 3): 115–120, December 2011.
21. Kirshner, R.P., The Extravagant Universe, Princeton University Press,
Princeton, NJ, p. 158. 2002.
22. Hartnett, J.G., The Lyman-α forest and distances to quasars, J. Creation
30( 3): 9,
23. Hartnett, J.G., ref. 20, part 2, p. 119.
24. Tegmark, M., Our Mathematical Universe: My Quest for the Ultimate Nature
of Reality, Alfred A. Knopf, New York, pp. 47–48, 2014.
25. Panek, R., The 4% Universe: Dark Matter, Dark Energy, and the Race to
Discover the Rest of Reality, ch. 8, Hello, Lambda, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt,
New York, pp. 140–163, 2011; Riess, A. et al., Observational Evidence from
Supernovae for an Accelerating Universe and a Cosmological Constant, arxiv.
26. However, this is not necessarily true. As de Repentigny has pointed out: “an
objective handling of the data does not necessitate this interpretation” (de
Repentigny, ref. 9, p. 127).
27. Hartnett, J.G., ref. 20, part 1, p. 111.
28. Susskind, L., Cosmic Landscape: String Theory and the Illusion of Intelligent
Design, Little, Brown and Company, New York, p. 185, 2006.
29. Calle, C.I., The Universe—Order without Design, Prometheus Books, Amherst,
New York, p. 19, 2009.
30. Greene, B., The Hidden Reality: Parallel Universes and the Deep Laws of the
Cosmos, Alfred A. Knopf, New York, p. 142, 2011.
31. I critique the current secular crisis in cosmology, multiverse theory and
fine-tuning in Melnick, A.J., The Quantum World: A Fine-Tuned Multiversal
Reality? J. Interdisciplinary Studies 27: 45–60, 2015.
32. Nagel, T., Mind and Cosmos: Why the Materialist Neo-Darwinian Conception
of Nature is Almost Certainly False, Oxford University Press, New York, p. 95,
fn 8, 2012.
33. de Repentigny, ref. 9, p. 127. Jake Hebert and Jason Lisle have recently published
two extensive articles in the Creation Research Society Quarterly regarding
galactic luminosity and the question of special location in the universe. They
describe the cosmological principle as “the assumption that on the largest
distance and angular scales, there are no special places or directions in the
cosmos”. They state: “The biblical worldview may well allow for this principle,
but it does not require it.” Herbert, J. and Lisle, J., A Review of the Lynden-Bell/Choloniewski Method for Obtaining Galaxy Luminosity Functions. Part
I, Creation Research Society Quarterly
52( 3):177–178, 2016.
34. Hartnett, J.G., ref. 6, J. Creation
25( 2): 125. Elsewhere he has repeated that
charge and added “and not good exegesis” (Hartnett, ref. 5, p. 457).
35. Hartnett, J.G., ref. 20, part 2, p. 120.
Jim Melnick is an alumnus of Harvard University’s
Graduate School of Arts and Sciences. He has been
involved in the creationist movement since the 1980s,
having written articles for the former Bible-Science
Newsletter and other publications and helped edit two
books related to origins. As a missionary to Russian
Jewish immigrants, mostly atheists, he has used
creation-based apologetics for decades. He is a former
senior Russian affairs analyst for the US Department of
Defense at the Pentagon, is a retired US Army Reserve
Colonel, and later worked as a senior analyst for several
computer security intelligence firms, with an expertise
in Russian and Chinese hackers. He currently serves
as the international coordinator of the Lausanne
Consultation on Jewish Evangelism (LCJE) and is also
President of Friends of Russian Jewry, Inc. under Life
in Messiah International.