Sunday, December 19, 2010
We do not read the Scriptures the way that they are- we read them the way that we are. Our interpretations and bias can turn biblical verse into support for just about any position. But is there clear and explicit mention in the Bible of physical, intelligent life beyond Earth? Does the Book of Books confirm the existence of the Extraterrestrial?
THE BIBLE AS A SOURCE OF ET INFORMATION
The Bible means different things to different people. To some it is literally the Word of God. For others it is an historical recording of philosophical and spiritual beliefs. It helps to provide insight into a younger mankind's values, tenets, viewpoints and principles. It is on this point that perhaps we can all find agreement. In reading it we gain an understanding about those who have come before us and how they reflected on life's larger questions: Where do we come from? Why are we here? What is to become of us?
But are there hints in the Holy Book that address whether or not we are alone in the Universe? Does the "Good News" proclaim that there are people on other planets? For many, God represents the unfolding of possibility. Did he realize the possibility of intelligent life on other celestial bodies? I went to the source and read the Bible to find out. I was surprised at what was discovered, as you may soon be:
THE VERSES PROCLAIM: LIFE IS UNIVERSAL
Tales that are told in the Bible of "Ezekiel's Wheel" or of the "Nephilim" (or even of the Star of Bethlehem) have been taken by some researchers to be "evidence" of "flying saucers" or extraterrestrials in ancient times. But these interpretations are just that- opinions. And they are complex and sometimes convoluted scenarios. The ancient Bible-writers could be referring to such things, or they could be referring to images and meanings that have nothing at all to do with UFOs and aliens.
But there are in fact far more precise and direct allusions to ET to be found within the Bible. These are not so subject to interpretation. They elucidate rather clearly the belief that we share the Universe with other physical creatures. These verses are not taken out of context nor are they examples of "selective cherry-picking." And whether or not they are genuinely inspired by God, these Scriptures make clear that early Judeo-Christian man considered it divine truth that there are others that dwell on other celestial bodies.
This unambiguous belief is especially borne out in four rather striking verses found within the Scriptures:
"There are also celestial bodies and bodies terrestrial; and the glory of the celestial is one, and the glory of the terrestrial another." [Corinthians 15:40]
If we replace "celestial bodies" with "extraterrestrial" (which is what they are) the verse becomes even more stunning:
"...the glory of the extraterrestrial is one, and the glory of the terrestrial another." In the Corinthians verse the distinction is clearly made between "the glory" that exists here on our Earth and "the glory" that exists on other celestial bodies. One type of glorious life is found here on Terra and yet other types of glorious life are to be found on other planets. "Glory" means great beauty and bounty. There would surely be no "glory" shown in God's handiwork if all of the other celestial bodies in the Universe are dead. This verse suggests that God's creation is not lifeless beyond Earth. Creation is a vital creation and reflects the vitality of its Creator. This point is made more explicitly here:
"Lord alone thou hast made the heavens -the heaven of heavens- with all of their starry hosts, and the Earth and all things that are therein." [Nehemiah 9:6]
This line from the Bible is extraordinary. It distinctly mentions all of the "starry hosts" that are to be found in the cosmos. The heaven's Starry Hosts is a profound phrase. One can only "host" things that are animate or alive. "Hosts" have guests. Just as we are "guests" of our host Earth, the Bible is instructing here that the stars throughout the Universe accommodate. The planets have those who rely on them for sustenance. This verse tells us that there are Planetary Hosts. In Genesis 2:1 we hear this same sentiment: "Thus the heavens and Earth were finished, and all the heavenly hosts thereof." Again we see the distinction made between our host (the Earth) and the host planets that exist beyond the Earth.
These ancient recorders of Scripture are referring to physical star systems and celestial bodies that play host to the glory of life. They are not being poetic and they are not referring to "spiritual" or "ethereal" hosts. Nor are they referring to "angelic kingdoms." Rather they are plainly speaking about other planets within the Universe that harbor and sustain life.
Jesus himself is said to have made this point even more succinctly:
"In my Father's house there are many mansions." [John 14:2]
Jesus then explains that this is a profound truth: "If it were not so, I would have told you." Here Jesus affirms that in his Father's house (or the Universe, where God has made all things) there are many dwelling places. And these dwelling places are magnificent (like mansions) - just as Earth is our glorious home. Interestingly, it is this very Bible verse which was repeated over and over again by a dying Reverend Elijiah H. Hankerson, the Base Chaplain at Roswell Army Air Field in 1947, believed to have been involved in the aftermath of the UFO crash (see archived article on this site.)
"(God) stretches out the heavens like a curtain and spreads them out like a tent to dwell in." [Isaiah 40:22]
This biblical revelation is remarkable for two reasons:
We learn that these holy scribes believed that the Creator made dwelling places throughout the Universe. And like the proverbial "big tent"- this creation is all-encompassing, accommodating all walks of life everywhere. But even more telling: Here the Bible clearly mentions the heavens as being "stretched out" like an unfolding curtain. This is a very direct reference to what we now know is fast-becoming scientific truth: The Universe in continually expanding. As the verse reveals, God is "stretching" the Universe and he is "spreading it out." And he has made many places for the many creatures of his creation.
THE AMAZING MESSAGE TO MANKIND: YOU ARE KIN TO THE STARS
The ancient writers of the Good Book instruct us that God has created countless "Starry Hosts" to sustain life. He has prepared many "Tents to Dwell In" across the cosmos. He has shown his "glory" on other planets as he has on Earth. He continues to unfold possibility by "stretching out the heavens" and expanding the Universe. As some of us soon celebrate the birth of The Son of God, we should reflect on his sagacity when he tells us that His Father has indeed built "Many Mansions."