The Four Most Important Questions
We discuss not only about what the Bible says about creation but also, what it does not say about creation. We stress the importance of Genesis and how vital Genesis is in answering the four most fundamental questions ever asked by all of humanity, either consciously or un-consciously: Where did I come from? What is my purpose here, or why am I here? Who am I, or what am I worth? Where am I going when I die? Your answers to these questions will shape your life and world view. Your answer to these has eternal ramifications!
How Is Genesis To Be Taken?
Second, we must determine how to interpret Genesis; is it allegorical, mythological, or literal, as in ‘historical narrative’? What is the genre of Genesis? What is the original thought and intent of the author?
After literally hundreds of hours of study and research in Bible, the Church fathers, the Hebrew texts, cultural views, and the works of theologians, and scholars. I found what I have always believed to be true: Genesis is to be taken literally! No question about it. Why? Most of the New Testament writers, like Peter, quoted from Genesis. Jesus quoted Genesis many times when He talked about the foundation of marriage, the flood, Adam, Noah, Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob among others. Thus, Jesus took Genesis literally. (In fact He actually made it happen and watched it all unfold, whereas we must live by faith). “Paul quoted from Genesis when writing about the first man and the last Adam, so he accepted Genesis literally, too. We can accept a literal Genesis because it was written as typical Jewish ‘historical narrative.’” 2 In fact, the entire New Testament will not make any sense without a literal Genesis on which it is founded. We must learn how cleverly the inspired Word of God communicates to us today. The Bible has certain characteristics within its pages, which include: poetry, parables, prophecy, letters, biography, (like the gospels), autobiography or testimony (like the Book of Acts, which also falls under history), and pure authentic history like the Kings and Chronicles among others. Also in isolated parts of the Bible there are similes (a comparison by resemblance), metaphors (a comparison by representation), allegories (like in Gal. 4:22), and fables (like in Jud. 9:8-15) in order to communicate a greater truth. However, in Genesis, chapters 12-50 are obviously considered authentic history by scholars and theologians. It is also agreed that chapters 1-11 in Genesis fall under the category of authentic history as well. For the majority of theologians and denominations (Catholics and Protestants alike), this is very much agreed upon across the board. However, we have noticed a few who like to think of Adam and Eve as a mythological story or other fantasy. These are the same people that admit that many other personalities later in the book of Genesis were real people recorded in secular historical documents, especially Jacob’s son, Joseph, in Egyptian history, thus proving their existence. So why do some people have problems with Genesis 1-11?
Some have stated that because there were no people yet to record history that Genesis should be taken as solely theological, rather than ‘chronological’ and strictly historical. With the absence of faith, this thought opens the door for trouble. What many intellectuals are over looking (because intellectualism is not allowed to use faith for reasoning) is the fact that God is a person and He was and is more than capable of communicating to us His own eye witness account. Genesis provides a literal, historical, spiritual, and theological foundation for everything, especially the New Testament. Beginning this way is vital to all biblical interpretation and theology. All Christian theology is rooted in literal history. The Book of Beginnings is therefore both fully literal history and fully theological. The account of origins presented in Genesis is a simple but factual presentation of actual events and therefore provides a reliable framework for scientific research into the questions of origin and history of life, mankind, the earth, and the universe. I’m not saying that Genesis is intended to act as a science book, but it absolutely speaks to and provides answers to our scientific questions, answers that go beyond those provided by traditional science.
Some intellectuals dismiss parts of Genesis as literal history, which opens the door to approach the literacy of Genesis as mythological writings. I’m going to keep this short and simple, because intellectuals have so complicated discussing the genre or style of writing of Genesis to the point that it confuses young believers. Reality is not altogether circular but has a definite, authentic single beginning! I understand why parts of Genesis are characterized as mythological in genre and/or style. This is not to say that Genesis is myth, but rather that the style of writing is defined in terms of mythological style. Let me explain. All myths are closely associated or rooted in reality. There were no humans present to account for the historical record and as such, no one can prove it wrong. Therefore, it has become somewhat subject to whatever man wants to dish out. However, God communicated this record and has given every human being a portion of faith to be used (Rom. 12:3). It is crucial to understand this, because that’s just the way it is; God created the material universe for us to live in before He created us and then gave us the recorded text. We therefore can fully trust and believe the eye witness account He provided for us. There is no getting around faith when it comes to any part of the Bible and any teachings of the origin of mankind or cosmos. That’s why it resembles myth and why some go as far as characterizing parts of Genesis as mythological in format, but not mythological in reality. Some do not understand this fact and take it further by insisting that Genesis is a myth. Nothing could be further from the truth. Genesis is authentic history describing actual events and genealogies. It is self-authenticating because a real person breathed the words out of His mouth to inspire a man’s hand to write it. The writing is not even close in style to that of Greek mythology or other myths, in my opinion. Therefore, I believe it is a huge mistake to utilize the word ‘mythological’ in any way to describe the book of Genesis, even in genre, because the use of that word only confuses people.
The bottom line is this: the original thought and intent of the author is to convey God’s record of not just man’s origin but the origin of everything in and including the entire universe! God provided this record because we weren’t there and God knew we would have questions about origins. The book is a fully trustworthy source of information concerning all origins and setting the base for scientific, historical, theological, and spiritual foundations. It is designed to be taken by our God given faith. Also, there is absolutely nothing allegorical or mythological in any part of Genesis! It is all fully literal history that records everything we need to know about all origins, and because a supernatural God did all this before we arrived here, we must invoke our faith. There is no true mythological trace (only labeled as such by intellectuals for the sake of teaching writing styles), only actual history that we must use faith to receive. The ‘faith’ thing is the part that is unacceptable to intellectuals and the secular world. However, the secular world must use faith as well to justify their versions of origins. How else could it be! It was the Creator first, and His creation (us) next, with His record of the way He did it all.
Genesis is real, factual, literal, authentic, chronological history right from the very first verse!
//The Beginning Established
THE KEY TO UNDERSTANDING CREATION
From the Theological Wordbook of the Old Testament (TWOT), the word Genesis reads in the Hebrew as rēshît; and has the meaning of first, beginning, choicest, first/best of a group. 3 The Strong’s Concordance uses the word first fruit. The first fruits of God are His finest, choicest plan and work. He couldn’t have planed nor done a better job! Genesis has the meaning of “absolute beginning,” the genuine article. From the Hebrew one could rightly read it as, “At the beginning…!” That means there was nothing in the material before it! The beginning described in Genesis Chapter One is the absolute, genuine starting point of all things! Jesus defined the beginning when He quoted from Gen. 1:27 in Matt. 19:4 and Mk. 10:6, having Adam and Eve at the absolute beginning, therefore, THE CREATION WEEK IS THE BEGINNING! God spent the first three days forming and the next three days filling the earth and the cosmos before He finished and proclaimed His total satisfaction in Gen. 1:31 at the end of the creation week. The beginning, as described in the whole first chapter of the Bible starts with absolute perfection (not chaos, as discussed in Chapter Six)! No events of sin, rebellion and death have occurred yet. The Bible starts with God; who is perfection, and that’s how everything started, with pure perfection and perfect, divine order! What else is there with God? God is incapable of making something less than perfect because imperfection doesn’t exist in Him. Our theology must follow the same pattern as the Bible. Our theology must start with perfection, and an absolute, genuine, perfect origin reference of all things.
God’s proclamation of total satisfaction in Gen. 1:31 is confirmed by Deuteronomy 32:4 “His work is perfect:” A study of the Hebrew words in both Gen. 1:31 and Deut. 32:4 confirm that the whole creation week is the absolute, genuine beginning of all things. The Hebrew word for perfect in Deut. 32:4 is tāmîm: the KJV translates it as perfect 18 times, without spot 6 times, and without blemish 44 times. God’s perfect creation had absolutely no blemishes! Its translation also includes words such as integrity, complete, sincerely, full, and upright. Tāmîm is a verb having the meaning of completeness. Therefore, creation was not completed until Gen. 1:31. The Gen. 1:31”very good” reads in the Hebrew as mèōd tôb: and means exceedingly (mèōd) pleasant, beautiful, delightful, joyful, precious, correct, righteous (tôb). The RSV rightly uses the word tôb as “blameless,” in I Sam. 29:9, “…blameless in my sight as an angel of God.” Creation was perfect and blameless and it was not completed until God said He was finished and completely satisfied in Gen. 1:31. Gen.1:31 was a statement that creation is now perfect and complete! Creation was now completely set and ready for the rest of His plan to unfold for mankind.
Gen. 1:31 is God saying creation is exceedingly righteous with no blemishes! It’s saying creation is perfectly completed with no blemishes! Thus, the creation week is the absolute, genuine beginning reference point of all things.
The First Day
Most Christians believe that Jesus’ first witnessing miracle was changing water into wine. Why? Because the Bible says it was, (John. 2:11). Yet when Genesis says the evening and the morning were the first day, those same Christians don’t believe it. Go figure? One example of how our society has been molested by secular science and humanistic worldviews is the changing and tampering with the Word of God to fit with supposed long-age theories. For instance, the writers of the Revised Standard Version (RSV) believed in the gap theory and had to make the Bible agree, so they strayed from the original manuscripts and incorporated their own opinions. Here is one example of how they did this:
Genesis 1:5 (RSV) “God called the light Day, and the darkness he called Night. And there was evening and there was morning, one day.”
RSV Gen. 1:8 “And there was evening and there was morning, a second day.” And so on, and so forth; these translators knew what they were doing. They were trying to make the Bible to be more in accord with the increasingly new favored theories of uniformity. I remind you again that the Apostles Peter predicted this would come in II Pet. 3:4.
The King James Version says, “… and the evening and the morning were the first day.”
The Septuagint (LXX) also translates this as “the first day.”
Young’s Literal Translation: “and God calleth to the light ‘Day,’ and to the darkness He hath called ‘Night;’ and there is an evening, and there is a morning—day one.”
The historian Josephus records, “In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth. But when the earth did not come into sight, but was covered with thick darkness, and a wind moved upon its surface, God commanded that there should be light: and when that was made, he considered the whole mass, and separated the light and the darkness; and the name he gave to one was Night, and the other he called Day: and he named the beginning of light, and the time of rest, The Evening and The Morning, and this was indeed the first day… Accordingly Moses says, That in just six days the world, and all that is therein, was made.” (The Antiquities of the Jews: AD 93).
Notice how the RSV conveniently changed the original text and the genuine article from saying “the first day,” or “day one” to say just “one day” and “a second day” and so on. After all, they only reversed two words: “day one” to “one day.” So subtle, yet it changes everything! This little change weakens the entire Word of God by putting a flaw in the foundation. The translators of the RSV (as well as some other translations) allowed the secular opinions of their day to influence their integrity. They allowed uniformitarianism to make them believe that Genesis Chapter One is not the real beginning and they do not believe that the original manuscripts say these “days” are the first original days. Those “days” in their perverted view interpret “The first day,” as not the genuine article, but just “one day” of many. That would mean that Genesis is not the origin or beginning. Genesis therefore must be a lie, if we are to agree with these overly-educated scholars and theologians that translated the RSV, ASV, and others. If Genesis is a lie, then the rest of the Word of God cannot stand on the foundation from which it quotes so often. According to their view the Word of God does not give an account of origins, therefore, man is forced to find their own account of origins. “Much learning has made them mad” (Acts 26:24). Why would Christians allow the secular status quo of science to influence and dictate their faith and reasoning? They just believe what scientists say and marry the two worldviews together, and Satan laughs all the way to hell. I hear it all the time, “Does it really matter?” “Creation views have nothing to do with Salvation.” Intellectuals and unbelievers are looking for answers and hope, and some Christians unknowingly present a message that undermines the very Gospel message in which they’re presenting. It matters more than we realize! //
I Call This One The Undetermined Theory, or The Last Ditch Theory
I realize that the genealogies start with Adam, so the time before Adam came into being is still in question to some. Because the sun hasn’t been created yet, they conclude that the days before the sun’s existence could have been long periods of time because there was no sun to constitute a twenty-four hour day. Many argue that there were evenings and mornings before God made the sun, moon, and stars (the luminaries) on day four. Therefore, we don’t know what determined these evenings and mornings or how long these evenings and mornings lasted. This is a fair assumption. However, we must not forget some very important facts!
Fact (1) is the Bible clearly says “in six days” over and over (Gen. 1:31; Ex. 20:11; Ex. 31:17! Every time the word day is associated with a number in Scripture it is always a literal earth rotation day!
Fact (2) is Jesus said Himself in Matt. 19:4 and Mark 10:6 “from the beginning of creation God made them male and female.” The beginning is the creation week! Thus, Adam was created only five days after the very start of it all! The “beginning” means just that, not millions of years after the beginning! The Lord Jesus had Adam (an intelligent being) right at the beginning of His creation account. Our account must follow suit.
Fact (3) In I Cor. 14:40 God commands through His Apostle that all things be done decently and in order. Would God tell us to do something He Himself would not do, or doesn’t do? Genesis 1:4 states that God Himself separated the light from the darkness before He created the laniaries on day four. God does things decently and in order, and it is no different in the creation account. It is not logical or orderly to think the evening and the morning before day four are any different than the evening and morning after day four, when there is no indication of this in Scripture or elsewhere.
Fact (4) is the global flood of Gen 6-9 was more than capable of creating all the geological strata we see today. There is no need to theorize the occurrence of some other non-recorded event. God knows exactly what happened and recorded it for us!
The creation account is recorded decently and in order. The creation account consists of one continuous event over six days of time. ...
Cyclic Universe Theory
This deserves a whole book in itself, but here’s an extremely brief synopsis and warning. In an attempt to scientifically explain our origin and how the universe came to existence, man ...