Bruce Jones – Is Genesis 1-11 Historical and Accurate?
Written by Teddy on July 16, 2016
Part Ten – “The Creation of the World-Part Three”
Before modern day science and the attempt to discredit the Genesis account the church universal beloved it as written. For example Martin Luther said “we know from Moses that the world was not in existence before six thousand years ago”. Then John Calvin the other great Reformation hero said “little more than five thousand years have passed since the creation of the universe” And unlike Progressive Creationism the basic plank in their platform was the doctrine of “Sola Scriptura” which says Scripture alone is the doctrine that the Holy Bible, being the Word of God, is the only infallible rule of faith and practice for Christians” By infallible it means incapable of error, certain, not liable to mislead, or it said to be inerrant without error needing no outside source to correct it. So Christians have full confidence in the Holy Scriptures because they are “given by inspiration” or “God-breathed“-the very Word proceeding from the mouth of God. What “The Scriptures say” and what “God says” are the same thing. In addition then there is a proper hermeneutical approach to understanding the Scripture which is the Grammatical-Historical approach. This is the only valid, consistent and reasonable method of biblical interpretation necessitated by and in accordance with the rules of grammar and the facts of history. It is common-sense interpretation and it seeks no spiritual or hidden meaning. It also presupposes that God has given His revelation in an intelligent and understandable form. That’s the way I will now approach this study.
THE SIMPLE SCRIPTURAL ACCOUNT OF CREATION-Genesis 1:1 initiates the story of Creation given to us by God when it says “In the beginning (of time) God created the heavens and the earth” Genesis 2:1-2 ends the story of creation when it says after the further details of Genesis 1:2-31 that “the heavens and the earth were completed and all their hosts” Then God saw and said “it was all very good”. The landscape of time was not covered with repeated destruction and death. So “on the seventh day God completed His work which He had done and He rested on the seventh day from all the work he had done” So what does it mean? If we want any witnesses on earth now to tell us what it means we have none as God in three persons, and angels, were the only witnesses. Job 38 tells us it was a time when “the sons of God shouted for joy”. We should learn from God’s challenge to Job when He said “Where were you when I laid the foundations of the earth, Tell me if you have understanding?” Of course the answer is no, as all we know is that we don’t know all there is to know and only God knows because He was there. As such we should proceed with great caution to ever think we know more than God knows. So pure and simple, when he says He created the Universe in six days and rested on the seventh, “He said it, I believe it and that settles it”. An astute young girl once said “If God didn’t mean what He said, why didn’t He say what he meant?” But as we shall see, Progressive Creationism puts words in God’s mouth to have Him say what they think He should have said. I know that sounds harsh but I need to show you why I say that because they do not accept the narrative as is that God only took six days to create the Universe, No, they say it took sixteen billion years. So let’s examine the text following the rules I laid down. I for one will certainly not defy the words of Jesus who was there and tells me that Adam and Eve, Cain and Abel, and even Satan were all there “In the beginning”, with Him as well. Clearly not in the last minute of a year on a sixteen billion year timeline. And I would hope respect for Jesus would settle the issue right there. But for them it doesn’t, so we need to go further.
THE GENESIS ONE ACCOUNT-Of course by now it should be clear that Progressive Creationism throws a six day creation account under the bus of science. Some are very bold to say the account wasn’t meant to be science and when I have asked so who says, as you would expect they say enlightened science says. So far I haven’t seen them say the Bible tells us it wasn’t meant to be taken that way. A friend of mine and I debated this issue via email for a while and I could never get him to justify his views based on the Bible so I discontinued the discussion As an example of what I am talking about here is his past email. ‘It’s plain silly to ask someone to prove an ancient earth from Scripture. It’s silly because the purpose of Genesis not to teach science. (And by the way when I asked “Who says?” he said scientists say.) The question of the age of the earth is a scientific one, not a Biblical one” So again, science is their real final authority. Seems strange to say that when we consider since God created it all that he really doesn’t have a right to address the issue. I consider a mockery to say someone believes in the inerrancy of Scripture while at the same time saying God didn’t get it right. So let’s let the text and context speak for itself with four key confirmations.
(1) First is the reinterpretation of the text. After God created the heavens and the earth we have a succession of six days which under any other circumstance would mean a 24 hour day. Sometimes apologists (“day age creationists”) in defense of a “day age theory quote 2 Peter 3:8 which says “with the Lord one is as a thousand years, and a thousand years a one day.” But this is not to say in any case one day is equal to a thousand years and then stretching it to mean billions of years. We have no justification to arbitrarily apply a thousand to a day. If so why not say Jesus really spent ten years in the grave? Or that the thousand year millennium will only last one day? (Revelation 20:5-6).
(2) The relative use of the text In a similar text in Numbers 7 the new Tabernacle is set up and princes of the twelve tribes come to bring offerings for the altar’s dedication. The narrative says the process lasted twenty days and is calculated as being done (a) on “the first day”, then (b) “the second day” and then (c) the “third day” for the total of twenty days. Which is exactly the formula for Genesis 1:2-:2:2a with each day adding up to seven days. Now the same principle of interpretation should apply to both texts. This is what is called the historical-grammatical approach which means first interpreting the text in its most natural and plain meaning. So why not take the day age theory and apply it to how to read the numbers record? No one does. And when it’s done in the Genesis record the reason why has nothing to do with how to read it “naturally” in the text or context but only because an extra-biblical source from science disagrees with it. I also want to show the context makes that unacceptable.
(3) The reading of the text. Then there is the debate about the meaning of the Hebrew word “yom” for day which with their day age theory allows them to stretch these six days into sixteen billion years. Now the argument they use is that the Hebrew word “yom” for day can be used for an indefinite period of time such as used in the phrase “the day of the Lord”.” But while that is true in those cases if there is any doubt the context makes it clear as to what is meant. Now in this text we have two additional qualifiers that these are 24 hour periods. First is the fact that these words describe a particular day such here we have six distinct references to each day. Second is the clear qualifier each day was defined as “evening and morning.” Scholars say whenever the Hebrew word “yom” is used preceded by a numeral, it’s always a twenty four hour day. The words are used 348 times and always refers to a twenty-four hour period so how can the PC people even dare to say it means something else here unless as they appeal to science as trumping scripture which is the fundamental difference between us.
(4) The reinforcement of the text It seems to me that when God repeats Himself He is making Himself as they say “Chrystal Clear,” so we will not mistake what he means. So in Exodus 20:11 He says “For in six days the Lord made heaven and earth and the sea and all that is in them, and rested on the seventh day” (as said in Genesis) Therefore the Lord blessed the Sabbath day and made it holy” Then again in Exodus 31:17 God says regarding the Sabbath ‘It is a sign between me and the sons of Israel forever: for in six days the Lord made heaven and earth, but on the seventh day He ceased from His labor and was refreshed.”. I have tried to build my case on scriptural grounds, not scientific. Up until the industrial revolution and the explosion of scientific discoveries the church for the most part said the world was made in six days. And for centuries before in Old Testament times Jews believed it as well. But with the advance of science and the doctrines of evolution many in the Church have cast off this view so now it is not only atheists, but many otherwise admirable and acclaimed theists who deny this. So maybe later just a few illustrations of many will suffice to show that true science versus theoretical science supports the Genesis narrative so at the same time opposing the Progressive Creation “day age theory”.