Thursday, August 7, 2014

Derinkuyu: City Beneath Our Feet

By Analea Styles
It’s not everyday you hear about entire cities built thousands of years ago, boasting sophisticated architecture, design, and careful organization – underground! Derinkuyu, a massive subterranean city that could have housed up to 20,000 people, is literally a mine for unearthing evidence of ancient genius.

There are approximately 200 of these underground complexes located in the Cappadocia region of Turkey. The largest, Derinkuyu, is a huge, 18-story complex with meeting rooms, halls, wells, ventilation shafts, wine and oil presses, tunnels, and stables that descend deep into the earth.[1]

Derinkuyu, underground, ancient man

Though living underground probably doesn’t sound appealing to most of us, the ancient people who excavated Derinkuyu built this amazing city for intelligent reasons. Their incredible skill and planning is evident even today.

Incredibly Defensible

Researchers believe that Derinkuyu was likely built as a practical refuge for times of war as it was very easily defended. Many of the tunnels were dug quite small perhaps in order to force invaders to crawl single-file into the city. Each floor could also be locked from the inside using huge round doors (up to 1000lbs) to close the tunnels.[2] The wells inside the complex provided fresh water for the inhabitants and they were protected from outside contamination. Able to house thousands of people as well as provisions and even livestock, Derinkuyu was a veritable fortress!

Incredibly Designed

The volcanic rock in the Cappadocia region is quite soft and relatively easy to excavate and dig, but comes with its own set of problems. Researchers suggest that those cutting and carving into such soft formations risked possible cave-ins at any time – yet there is no evidence of any collapses. Apparently the builders knew what they were doing!

Derinkuyu map, diagram, ancient, underground city Turkey

The builders also carved several ventilation shafts, some as long as 180 ft. deep into the farthest levels of the city. The shafts would keep the air fresh and the temperatures even as well.

Incredible Builders

A project of this size and sophistication required immense planning, skill, and manpower. Like many awe-inspiring ancient sites, we have very little idea how they built it and what all was involved. But the immense size of Derinkuyu suggests a large work force. This means that the builders were organized and united with a purpose, and followed the directions of a master planner. They were intelligent, cooperative people.

As to who did the building, the answer is still unknown. There are several theories:

  • The Hittites: Some suggest the Hittites who controlled the region in the 15th century BC were the first to dig the underground tunnels. It is believed that they used Derinkuyu as a shelter during the Thracian attack in the 12th century BC. Several Hittite artifacts have been found in the tunnels
  • The Phrygians: Experts suggest that Derinkuyu was constructed between the 10th and 7th centuries BC while the Phrygians controlled the area. They were known to possess the great architectural ability that would be needed to excavate the complex.
  • The Persians: An intriguing theory based on an ancient section of the Zoroastrian book Avesta, suggests that the Persians first started construction on the site before the Hittites arrived. The mythical Persian king Yima supposedly built underground dwellings to house “flocks, herds, and men”.[3]

Incredible Purpose

We know that God created the builders of Derinkuyu with incredible skill and ability. We don’t know what inspired the first builders to start digging but it may be that God was preparing a place of protection for His people in later years.

Most researches believe that the early Christians used the tunnels of Derinkuyu and its sister subterranean cities as places of refuge during the Roman persecution.[4] There is some evidence that suggests some of the rooms were used as chapels and study rooms in later years.

Sometimes ancient sites can serve more purposes than their original builders could even imagine! They have left us incredible evidence of God’s intelligently created ancient man.

Special thanks to one our readers for suggesting a post about this amazing site! If you have any ancient mysteries or topics you would like to hear more about, please let us know in the comments or send us an email! 

[1] Derinkuyu Underground City. Accessed August 6, 2014.
[2] Derinkuyu. Accessed August 6, 2014.
[3]The Intriguing Ancient Underground City of Derinkuyu. Accessed August 8, 2014.

Thursday, July 24, 2014

A Road to Heresy

By Derrick Zuk

Photo Credit: Derrick Zuk

I hear my fellow believers talking about geology and science and the age of the earth and I find myself wondering, do we believe in two different gods? If you believe the earth is millions of years old and hold consistently to that view, then logically you cannot believe in the same God I do. It is frightening and worrisome that believers cannot see that “millions of years” inserted into the first verses of Genesis is a subtle, yet very serious error that has heretical conclusions. Our passion is to point out this urgent theological issue and urge our brothers and sisters to defend the Truth!

All it takes is a subtle perversion of truth to produce disastrous results and lead us astray from true doctrine. Cunning lies can slip in without our knowing and they will affect the true conversion of souls in the next generation if we don’t root out the falsehood and stand firm upon the Word of God.

So just how could the belief in millions of years affect a person’s salvation? Isn’t the issue of the days of creation a minor, open-handed one? Certainly not a hill to die on, right!? Maybe these few points will cause you to reconsider.

Step One: Questioning God’s Word

In Genesis one God clearly describes the seven days of the creation week, most plainly interpreted as regular 24-hour days; yet you interpret Him to mean “millions of years” because that’s what “science” tells you? Where did this kind of rebellion start? In Genesis 3, the serpent, Satan, twists God’s words just slightly enough to spread seeds of doubt. And Eve chose the serpent’s words over God’s.

We choose the same lies of Satan today. We like the subtle perversions that seem more comfortable to us and less confrontational to others. This comes from a lack of faith (full assurance, confidence) in God and His Word. Millions of years is a theory of man; why trust faulty man over the God of the universe? Are you starting with a fallible science or with the authority of an infallible God?

Step Two: Questioning God’s Character

Who gets the credit for millions of years of death? The fossil record, layer upon layer of geologic formations filled with fossils of dead things, thorns, and evidence of disease and killing had to be laid before Adam walked the earth. If you say those “millions of years” were part of creation, then you credit God with creating them.

Not only that, but does God call death and suffering very good (Genesis 1:31)? How then are you defining “good”? Furthermore if God created it, then what happened when Adam sinned? Why would the punishment of death mean anything to Adam?

 Step Three: Removing the foundation of our faith

Let’s think about how this affects our theology concerning Jesus Christ, the cross, and the gospel itself. This is indeed where the rubber meets the road.

Technically speaking, Christ (the second Person of the Trinity) is Creator of all things (John 1:3).  Therefore, from the “millions of years” perspective, Christ is the author of death, disease, and suffering (evidenced by the fossil record). These are all things we would consider “not good”.  These are things that God promises will pass away (Rev. 21:4). Indeed the Father sent His Son, Jesus Christ, to die on the cross to rectify—wait—His own mistakes from creation?

You argue: Ok, so maybe Adam’s sin in the garden only brought spiritual death as a punishment since physical death was part of God’s design.

So did Jesus Christ only die spiritually on the cross? If Jesus only died spiritually, then He didn’t need to die physically OR resurrect physically. Without His physical resurrection, we have no hope for a resurrection body in the eternal future and our faith is in vain!
 But if there is no resurrection of the dead, then not even Christ has been raised. And if Christ has not been raised, then our preaching is in vain and your faith is in vain. (1 Cor. 15:13-14)

You argue: Well maybe it was only human death that Adam’s sin brought, not animal death.

So the suffering of animals is good? And when Genesis 1:30 states that God gave all the animals plants to eat for food, they went against His design on their own – and that was good? And what of the thorns and tumors and disease that are evident in the fossil record, those things were created good as well and are not the consequence of sin?

 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. (Romans 8:19-20)

End of the Road

Photo Credit: Derrick Zuk
There’s no light at the end of this tunnel, only heresy. The belief that the earth is millions of years old holds no hope for the sinner. When projected to its final conclusion, it describes a different god or multiple gods. If you credit God with creation and include the records of “millions of years” of death and suffering as His handiwork, then you redefine “good” (it now includes what we would call “evil”) and you destroy His character. That’s not the God of the Bible I know.

Guess what? The idea of God creating evil isn’t new. The Gnostics believed the god who created material things was an evil, inferior god; there was also a transcendent god who was over spiritual things and was good.

Here at Jackson Hole Bible College we don't believe this is a light, open-handed issue. We must proclaim the gospel from start to finish, from Genesis to Revelation. And we must do this with accuracy, leaning wholly on the Word of God and implementing good, proper hermeneutics in our studies. We start with the Bible and interpret the world through Scripture, not the other way around. Either the Bible is the authority or the “science” is.

Praise the Lord, for He is good!

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Biographies of Ancient Man: Joseph

By Jacob Brockmann

In The Genius of Ancient Man, we contrast two beliefs of human origins: the humanistic, evolutionary model of mankind slowly evolving from simple organisms to apes to humans and the biblically-based model that outlines how God created man perfectly intelligent, highly skilled, and capable of amazing feats.

We want to introduce you to some of the most ancient people of history, men and women created in the image of God, people whom God describes to us in His perfect, authoritative Word.

Joseph: Man of God

Joseph is an important character in the book of Genesis (as evidenced by the fact that twelve chapters (Genesis 37, 39-50) are devoted to his story. It is clear in the account of Joseph’s life that he was a godly man whose example should be followed, but there also seem to be indications in the biblical text that would lead us to believe that his intelligence was much greater than the secularists would give ancient man credit for.

Wikimedia Commons

The biblical account describes how Joseph not only dreamed prophetic dreams, but he was also able to interpret other people’s dreams with startling accuracy. Joseph’s God-given ability to interpret pharaoh’s dreams (Genesis 41:1-36) led to the saving of Egypt and much of the world. His interpretations were not autonomous intelligence, but instead given directly from God. Joseph makes this clear: “It is not me; God will give Pharaoh a favorable answer” (Gen. 41:16).  Moreover Genesis 42:54 makes clear that the interpretation Joseph gave for Pharaoh’s dreams was completely accurate: “and the seven years of famine began to come, as Joseph had said…” This would not have been possible without a revelation from God. He chose to use Joseph as His instrument to reach Pharaoh and predict the future.

Man is able to predict future events to some extent by observing what has happened in the past and extrapolating it to the future, but the ability to foretell a famine that would happen seven years into the future is impossible, even with our technological advances. There is no other explanation for Joseph’s interpretation except that it was given by God.

Feast and Famine

During the course of the next fourteen years, seven of plenty and seven of famine, Joseph organized and supplied food for “…all the earth…” (Gen. 41:57) not just the land of Egypt. Although we don’t know the population of the world at this time (and the terminology could be referring to only the surrounding countries), we can be certain that the organization and distribution of food to the world around Egypt at that time was a massive task for Joseph to undertake. Through the years of plenty he stored the food in the cities “in great abundance, like the sand of the sea, until he ceased to measure it, for it could not be measured” (Gen. 41:49). Then he sold it back to the people during the years of famine.

Wikimedia Commons

Imagine organizing and keeping track of such things without the use of our modern technology! Joseph had to build storage facilities to contain the food; he had to organize distribution of the food during the famine; he had to maintain control of a desperate nation and the starving world around them.  And he had no computers, calculators, or even vehicles to travel in, no telephones or email for communicating and coordinating. But God blessed Joseph with incredible capabilities and he succeeded in bringing Egypt through.

Joseph was made in God’s image and because He is not a God of confusion, but of peace and order (1 Corinthians 14:33), we would expect that man would have the ability to organize and plan things. What we see in the account of Joseph is a fantastic ability to organize and plan even in ancient times. Joseph’s skills confirm that man has always been intelligent since his creation, and ancient men were even more intelligent than we are today!

Man of Humility

Even though Joseph had these amazing abilities, he still recognized that God was so much more powerful than himself. Joseph was one of the most gifted men of his time. He became more powerful than everyone in Egypt except Pharaoh. Yet we see that his character remained pure and his faith in God never faltered. He did not use his authority for control and self-gain but rather in the service of others. Joseph’s heart is clearly seen through his interaction with his treacherous brothers:

“His brothers also came and fell down before him and said, ‘behold, we are your servants.’ But Joseph said to them, ‘Do not fear, for am I in the place of God? As for you, you meant evil against me, but God meant it for good, to bring it about that many people should be kept alive, as they are today” (Genesis 50:18-20).

This is the heart of the one who has faith in God’s goodness and faithfulness. Joseph was not angry toward his brothers for what they had done, but rather forgave them because he knew that God was in total control. 

The same should be said of all who trust in the eternal character of God. He works all things together for the good of those who love Him, and who are called according to His purpose (Romans 8:28). God used Joseph, gave him dreams, interpretations, and incredible abilities in order to accomplish His purpose. It is a beautiful confirmation that God is intimately involved in His creation and especially mankind, who are made in His image.

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Why did it take so long?

By Matthew Zuk

Artist's depiction of Babel

Ever wondered why certain civilizations took longer than others to become well established? Why did the Middle East, Northern Africa, and Europe rise to greatness literally thousands of years before the Americas, Australia, and Africa? Why did civilizations like the Minoans, Babylonians, Egyptians, and others have more sophisticated technology than the Mayan, Aztec, and Incan civilizations? 


The Bible teaches that after the worldwide flood, God commanded Noah and his family (the only humans on earth) to reproduce and disperse across the globe. In rebellion most of mankind chose to ignore God’s command by coming together to build the Tower of Babel. God disrupted their corrupt unity by confusing their languages, causing the people to disperse. Some stayed in the Middle East, some traveled to Egypt, Europe, and the Indus Valley. However there were some who travelled much farther, some went to China, Australia, America and Africa. By looking at history you can track how the civilizations spread from Babel. Because many cities were already built in the Middle East and Egypt before the Tower incident (Genesis 10:10-12, Nimrod alone controlled eight) some people settled there after the dispersion and thus progress very quickly. The Indus Valley and Europe were established shortly thereafter, followed by China. It took much longer for those travelling all the way to Australia, Africa and the America’s for a variety of reasons.

Population growth

The first reason for slow establishment in the outer reaches of the globe was because their population growth was much slower than the civilizations in the Middle East. This slow growth was because of the great distance they had to travel and they were also in much smaller groups because the Middle East and its surrounding areas maintained a majority of the people groups. Thus with larger populations, pre-existing cities and greater resources the Middle Eastern area progressed much more quickly than any other area. In contrast the civilizations in the America’s, Africa and Australia had very small populations resulting in much slower growth. The sooner people settled the sooner their population would grow and the sooner they could establish their respective civilizations.


Isolation also played a major part in the slower advancement of the America’s, Africa, and Australia. In the Middle East and Europe the people could easily trade supplies as well as ideas and technology. In places like Africa, Australia and the America’s the people were mostly isolated, cut off from the rest of the world. This limited the amount of information that could be shared and handed down. The people who moved to Australia, America, and Africa were not less intelligent; they simply had less people, less information, and it took them much longer to reach their final destination. All these things resulted in much slower growth.[1]

Evolutionary racism

Many evolutionists tend to point to areas where a civilization was not formed very quickly as proof for evolution. This is not only incorrect; it is also discriminatory towards those from locations deemed “primitive”. First of all, by saying people from the Americas, Australia, or Africa are less intelligent, more primitive, and evolved later is a racist statement. To be fair most evolutionists don’t connect the dots and wouldn’t intend to be racist, but it is the final conclusion of their beliefs. 

In truth ancient man was more intelligent and skilled than we are today. Many people attempt to deny this by pointing to the technology and information we have today. They think it clearly shows we are smarter and better than our ancestors, which confirms evolution because we are progressing not digressing. However, they make the mistake of equating knowledge to intelligence.

Knowledge vs. Intellect

Modern scientists often make the mistake of equating knowledge to intellect. When we look at civilizations in history, it’s true that on a whole they did not have as much knowledge amassed as we do today. However, this does not mean we are more intelligent, it just means that we have a greater amount of knowledge. We have been able to produce a great deal of more advanced technology today because we can draw from the study and research of thousands of years. Once the printing press was developed it allowed that knowledge to spread out much more than before. Other advances in information gathering and storage have led to a dramatic increase in technology. So yes we have more knowledge and technology, but no we are not more intelligent and in many cases we are still trying to figure out how the ancients built many of their structures and artifacts.


There are many reasons why it took some civilizations longer than others to develop technology. But we must remember that lack of technology does not mean lack of intelligence. God created mankind in His own image and so mankind was created intelligent. However, our sin in the garden caused everything to go into a state of deterioration. We are not getting better as evolution tells you; we are getting worse (second law of thermodynamics). However, because of Christ’s amazing sacrifice on the cross we have the opportunity to be saved from our sin. We just need to repent of our sin and place our faith and trust in Christ. Then we have the incredible hope of living with Christ forever, completely restored from the consequences of sin!

[1] Landis, Don. The Genius of Ancient Man: Evolution's Nightmare. Green Forest, AR: Master Books, 2012.

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Ancient Water Tunnels

By Bethany Youngblood

Roman Aqueduct
Water. One of the greatest necessities for life. A dependable and available source of clean water is as paramount a need today as it was for ancient man. The conquering Roman Empire, the philosophical Greeks, God’s chosen people in Israel, and all the dozens of other great ancient cultures; where would those peoples and their grand civilizations be without readily available water?

Of course, one could not imagine Rome without its aqueducts; those incredible feats of engineering, capable of transporting clean water from the springs in the mountains to the flourishing cities. But those amazing structures, beautiful and essential as they were to survival, were also the first things that invading armies choose to target in order to defeat their enemies. With the water supply cut off, a city’s days are numbered.

In response, great minds devised a way to protect their watery lifelines from attack in the form of tunnels. Instead of moving the water above the ground, vulnerable to destruction, the water could be moved secretly below the surface. Two ancient tunnels in particular are considered the greatest works of water engineering technology in the Pre-Classical Period: the Tunnel of Eupalinos on Samos Island, and Hezekiah’s Tunnel in Jerusalem.

The Tunnel of Eupalinos

The Eupalinos Tunnel

Travel back in time to the Greek City-State of Samos in the Eastern Aegean Sea, 530 BC.[1] The ruling tyrant Polycrates, an ambitious man of those times, built up fortifications along this island, his naval base of power. But Samos had a problem that plagued many cities in this arid terrain: a dependable source of clean drinking water. The Island of Samos did boast a natural spring, but between the spring and the city was the formidable Mt. Castro.[2] Building an above-ground aqueduct around the mountain was a possibility, however, a military minded man such as Polycrates knew that such structures were the first to be destroyed by invading hordes. So another method of moving the water across such a vast distance had to be worked out.

Polycrates turned to an engineer named Eupalinos from Megara to head a team in solving this problem. Eupalinos was the student of the “Father of Numbers”, the great mathematician Pythagoras also a native of Samos. It was Pythagoras’ famous Pythagorean Theorem that made it possible for Eupalinos to solve the problem. The geometric theorem states that in a right-angled triangle the square of the hypotenuse (the side opposite the right angle), c, is equal to the sum of the squares of the other two sides, b and a.[3]
Instead of going around the mountain, Eupalinos proposed a tunnel going straight through Mt. Castro. This would have been a lengthy and dangerous undertaking. But with enemy attacks on the island looming in the future, Eupalinos proposed an even bolder plan to speed things along. Instead of beginning at one end and exiting out the other, two tunnels would be constructed from either end and, hopefully, meet in the middle.  Eupalinos was the first to use a geometry-based approach to excavate a tunnel from both sides and if his measurements were off, the two tunnels could pass by one another and never know.

Eupalinos Tunnel
“Engineering an Empire- Greece” History Channel Documentary
Eupalinos succeeded in this enterprise by using geometry to calculate two sides of a right triangle around the mountain, so that the path of the hypotenuse would become the path of the tunnel through the mountain. Incredibly, the two tunnels connected in the middle almost exactly where Eupalinos had predicted, with only 24 inches difference between each tunnel floor where they connected.[4]

This tunnel, stretching nearly 4,000 ft.[5] from the spring to the city, took on the name of its engineer and remains one of the greatest water engineering achievements of ancient times. 

Hezekiah’s Tunnel

The second great example of water engineering lies beneath Jerusalem and was constructed even earlier than Eupalino’s tunnel, around 701 B.C, during the reign of King Hezekiah.[6]
 “Now the rest of the acts of Hezekiah – all his might, and how me made a pool and a tunnel and brought water into the city – are they not in the book of the chronicles of the Kings of Judah?” (2 Kings 20:20 NKJV) 
This tunnel was indeed documented in the Old Testament and by other sources as well. King Hezekiah had this tunnel constructed for the same reasons that Polycrates had the Eupalinos Tunnel constructed, the threat of invasion.

“And when Hezekiah saw that Sennacherib had come, and that his purpose was to make war against Jerusalem he consulted with his leaders and commanders to stop the water from the springs which were outside the city; and they helped him. Thus many people gathered together who stopped all the springs and brook that ran through the land, saying, “Why should the kings of Assyria come and find much water?” (2 Chronicles 32:2-4 NKJV)

Gihon Spring

Hezekiah had the springs outside the city blocked off so that the enemy army wouldn’t have a source of water, meanwhile, Jerusalem was being supplied by their underground water system. The tunnel’s source was the Gihon spring. This natural spring, whose name means “gushing”, is estimated to have been capable of supporting a population of 2,500 people. The tunnel itself follows an “S” shape and stretches 1,750 feet under Jerusalem, from the Gihon Spring to the Pool of Siloam.[7] This tunnel was also excavated from both sides, but followed a windy path, perhaps a natural crack in the rock, and met in the middle.

An inscription left by the workers was found in 1880 and reveals how the tunnel was cut out from the rock.

“…And this is the account of the tunneling through. While [the workmen raised] the pick each toward his fellow and while there [remained] to be tunneled [through, there was heard] the voice of the man calling to his fellow, for there was a split in the rock on the right hand and on [the left hand]. And on the day of the tunneling through the workmen stuck, each in the direction of his fellow, pick against pick. And the water started flowing from the source to the pool, twelve hundred cubits. And the height of the rock above the head of the workmen was a hundred cubits.”[8]
Wading down the length of Hezekiah’s tunnel remains a highlight of tourists in the city of Jerusalem.


The Romans, Greeks, and Jews all possessed the knowledge to change their environment to suit their needs, in this case building aqueducts or digging underground waterways. They were not the only cultures on the planet to have this knowledge either. Though we do not have time to go over them in this article, please continue to explore!
Jesus answered and said to her, “Everyone who drinks of this water will thirst again; but whoever drinks of the water that I will give him shall never thirst; but the water that I will give him will become in him a well of water springing up to eternal life.” (John 4:13-14)

[1] “Tunnel of Eupalinos” Nanos Theodore. 2012. Blog Article.

[2] “Engineering An Empire – Greece” Part 3 of 5. History Channel Documentary. YouTube.

[3] “Pythagoras of Samos” Nanos Theodore. 2011. Web Article.

[4] “Engineering An Empire – Greece” Part 3 of 5. History Channel Documentary. YouTube.

[5] Ibid.
[6] “Hezekiah’s Tunnel” Lancaster E. James. 1999. Web Article.

[7] “Hezekiah’s Tunnel” Web.

[8] “Hezekiah’s Tunnel” Lancaster E. James. 1999. Web Article.