What does the Bible say about Aliens?

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Q. What does the Bible say about aliens?

A. The Bible says a lot about aliens, but not the extraterrestrials most people are referring to when they talk about aliens. In my NASB, the word “alien” occurs 48 times and “aliens” another 23 times, but all referring to “stranger, sojourner, or foreigner”.

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The Bible said when God created the heavens and the earth i.e. the universe (Gen 1:1), He created:
• vegetation on Day 3 (Gen 1:11-13),
• water creatures (fish and other) and birds on Day 5 (Gen 1:20-23),
• earth creatures (animals, insects) and man on Day 6 (Gen 1:24-31).

God also created angels, presumably before the earth:
Job 38:4, 7 “Where were you when I laid the foundation of the earth?
Tell Me, if you have understanding, … When the morning stars sang together and all the sons of God shouted for joy?

Both morning stars and sons of God refer poetically to angels. They were watching as God laid the earth’s foundation.

Besides these life forms, the Bible is silent when it comes to extraterrestrials. While there are many theories based on UFO sightings, alien abductions etc., the Bible simply does not mention whether God created other beings to populate other planets or galaxies.

Some object that the Bible is an ancient book which did not know better, and that we should trust science which gave us numerous video recordings as evidence. It is true that the Bible is an old book, but it is the word of God and proven trustworthy over the last two thousand years. Furthermore, there are alternative explanations to the available data, including false flag operations designed to deceive the public, conspiracies fabricating evidence to get government funding, or demonic deception.

For example, some UFO footage show impossible maneuvers such as turning 90 degree angles at high speed or even reversing direction instantaneously, as if there is no inertia, or disappearing suddenly into thin air, like jumping into hyper-space in sci-fi movies. Some believe alien technology to be light-years ahead of earth, but before you make too many assumptions, a simpler explanation is demonic impersonation, and Occam’s razor is still the best policy.

So there is no direct scriptural evidence supporting the existence of extraterrestrials. What about indirect? They are not supportive either:

Rom 8:19-22 For the anxious longing of the creation waits eagerly for the revealing of the sons of God. For the creation was subjected to futility, not willingly, but because of Him who subjected it, in hope that the creation itself also will be set free from its slavery to corruption into the freedom of the glory of the children of God. For we know that the whole creation groans and suffers the pains of childbirth together until now.
• 2 Pet 3:10, 12-13 But the day of the Lord will come like a thief, in which the heavens will pass away with a roar and the elements will be destroyed with intense heat, and the earth and its works will be burned up. … looking for and hastening the coming of the day of God, because of which the heavens will be destroyed by burning, and the elements will melt with intense heat! But according to His promise we are looking for new heavens and a new earth, in which righteousness dwells.

Now, if God had created highly intelligent aliens in other parts of the universe, far more advanced than humans in orders of magnitude, who had not sinned according to any biblical record, and therefore do not need redemption similar to human beings, why would God, who is compassionate and gracious, slow to anger, and abounding in loving-kindness and truth (Ex 34:6), subject them to futility? Why would He destroy their abode (the heavens) by burning? This is totally out of character with the God of the Bible, unless He hadn’t created any at all.

So, for the lack of explicit biblical evidence, and implicit theological considerations, I prefer the demonic deception explanation more.

Chiastic Structure

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Q. Some verses of the Scripture bear specific structures, such as 22 verses of a certain chapter in Psalms, Lamentations etc. each of which begins with a letter of the Hebrew alphabet in order, but some other are rather difficult to identify, such as chiastic structure which the OT writers often used. Is there any rule in how to identify and establish such a structure, in particular the central event which would then bear the main theme of the structure?

A. I am not a bible scholar, only a small church pastor, so my knowledge of the chiastic structure is limited. I can tell you only the few things I learnt. The rest you have to study up yourself.

For the benefit of other readers, the chiastic structure, or chiasm, is a literary device in which a series of ideas is presented and then repeated in reverse order. A simple biblical example is Mk 2:27:
• The Sabbath was made for man,
• and not man for the Sabbath.

A famous secular example is Kennedy’s quotation:
Ask not what your country can do for you,
• Ask what you can do for your country.

The structure in both is ABB’A’, with AB reflected like in a mirror as B’A’. Some structures are more complicated with many layers, but essentially they are like a ring with the opening and closing completing a circle. The name chiastic comes from the Greek alphabet chi, which looks like the English letter X, with the left half reflected in the right half, or top reflected in the bottom.

What are some basic rules? I use the formula in swearing an oath “the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth” as a memory aid:

The Unit. Since the structure is purposely built into the design by the author to highlight his emphasis, it must be “discovered” by carefully observing the literary unit rather than imposed by the reader. The unit may be as short as one sentence, a paragraph, a chapter, or as long as the whole book. So there may be micro as well as macro chiastic structures.

The Whole Unit. You must deconstruct the whole literary unit to expose the chiasm. You cannot leave out some parts which do not fit your proposed structure. That is a sure sign that you are trying to force the text to fit your mold.

Nothing but the Unit. Besides not taking away any parts to force fit, you cannot add in your own ideas or change the meaning of words to come up with a nice structure. Only the author’s thoughts are allowed, not yours.

Simplicity. The last rule is not from law, but logic – Occam’s or Ockham’s razorthe simpler the better. This philosophical principle states that given two possible explanations for an occurrence, the fewer assumptions you have to make, the better that explanation is. God gave the Bible to everyone, not just scholars. He wrote it such that ordinary folks like you and me can know Him and His truth. So to adapt Occam’s razor to chiasm, the simpler the structure, the better. Of course the biblical author can have a complex structure in mind too, it’s just less likely if the Bible is for the average person and not academics.

Other than these basic rules, I don’t know much about the art of deconstruction. I am an engineer and logician by training, not a poet; a left-brain and not a right-brain thinker. I can recommend two books which might help you:

The Literary Structure of the Old Testament: A Commentary on Genesis-Malachi by David Dorsey http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0801027934/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&camp=1789&creative=9325&creativeASIN=0801027934&linkCode=as2&tag=biblediscernm-20&linkId=E326CK6SG7AWW2JY
The Companion Bible by EW Bullinger http://www.amazon.com/Companion-Bible-E-W-Bullinger/dp/0825422035/ref=sr_1_1_twi_har_2?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1439757633&sr=1-1&keywords=companion+bible

Beyond this I don’t have much to offer. Hope this helps.