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Creation and the Bible: An Exegesis of Genesis

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Title: Creation and the Bible: An Exegesis of Genesis


1
Creation and the Bible An Exegesis of Genesis
2
Preface
  • A discussion of origins will usually involve many
    different ideas and opinions
  • You may hear something new
  • In essentials, unity in nonessentials,
    diversity in all things charity
  • Peter Meiderlin (1626)
    Lutheran pastor and theologian
  • Jesus said, By this all men will know that you
    are my disciples, if you love one another
  • John 1135

3
Views on Creation
In evangelical Christianity, there are two
primary views regarding Gods creative acts
  • Young Earth Creationism (YEC)
  • The earth and universe were created by God 6 to
    10 thousand years ago
  • Old Earth Creationism (OEC)
  • The earth and universe were created by God
    billions of years ago
  • (A third view is that the universe is very old
    and Genesis describes a recreation of the earth
    thousands of years ago.)

4
YEC and OEC Share Much Common Ground
  • God created the universe and everything in it.
  • The record of creation in Genesis (and other
    places in Scripture) is true and accurate.
  • Humans are a special creation of God and not the
    result of random mutation and natural selection.
  • Old Earth Creationism does not imply evolution!

5
Old Earth Creationism is Biblically Based
  • The Chicago statement made by the International
    Council on Biblical Inerrancy
  • A study published by the Presbyterian
  • Church of America (PCA)
  • Westminister Theological Seminary statement
  • Francis Schaeffer No Final Conflict
  • Gleason Archer A Survey of Old Testament
    Introduction
  • J. P. Moreland, Lee Strobel, Chuck Colson

6
Old Earth creationist believe that Gods method
of creation was the big bang. We saw previously
that
OEC reveals the character of God
  • OEC is most definitely a theistic theory
  • Secular scientists understand this implication of
    the big bang.
  • The big bang and subsequent development of the
    universe actually reveals the character of the
    God of the Bible, as it should if it is true.

7
The Bible declares that the character of God is
revealed by observing nature.
The heavens declare the glory of God the skies
proclaim the work of his hands. - King
David, Psalm 191 For since the creation of the
world His invisible attributes, His eternal power
and divine nature, have been clearly seen, being
understood through what has been made, so that
they are without excuse. - Apostle
Paul, Romans 120
8
  • God is the God of truth

Since God is the God of truth, the revelation of
nature will agree with the revelation of
scripture.
9
PCA Statement on Biblical Creation
  • Lists four major literal interpretations of
    Genesis and six minor literal interpretations
  • Calendar Days
  • Day-Age
  • Framework
  • Analogical Days
  • Nine of the Ten are compatible with OEC.
  • The nearly 100 page document can be found at
    http//www.pcahistory.org/creation/report.html
  1. Intermittent Days
  2. Gap (Reconstitution)
  3. Days of Revelation
  4. Days of Divine Fiat
  5. Focus on Palestine Days
  6. Expanding Time

10
Why is this Important?
  • Understanding this issue helps to build bridges
    and encourages us to show love to each other
  • God is a God of truth and as Christians we will
    see the heart and mind of God as we explore the
    truth
  • The next generation must be prepared to face the
    challenges and ideas presented in college
  • For many people the answer to these questions
    will affect their faith
  • Truth about Gods creation can be used as an
    effective tool in evangelism.

11
Outline
  • The days of Genesis
  • The creation account
  • Creation and other Bible doctrine

Their length is not known
The Biblical record should agree with the record
of nature
Other Biblical doctrines are illuminated by what
we believe about creation
12
Genesis 11
In the beginning, God created the heavens and the
earth
  • The Hebrew word for create is bara. It has
    the meaning of creating something new, and is
    used of Gods creative acts only.
  • Bara is only used 3 times in the creation account
    of Genesis 1.

13
When did God create the heavens and earth?
  • In 1650 A.D., Bishop James Ussher set a date of
    4004 B.C.
  • He assumed that the Biblical genealogies were
    complete
  • He assumed that the days of Genesis were 24-hour
    days

But
14
if the genealogies are incomplete and the days
of Genesis are periods of time, then we have no
information in Scripture regarding when God
created the heavens and the earth.
To be true to Scripture we must investigate how
the Bible uses genealogies and the word day.
15
Genealogies
  • Hebrew genealogies deal with ancestral lines, not
    every generation.
  • The Hebrew word translated begot refers to
    generations
  • The Hebrew word translated father refers to
    ancestors
  • The Hebrew word translated son refers to
    descendents
  • Compare Matthew 18 with 2 Chronicles 21-26
  • Joram begot Uzziah Matthew 18
  • This account skips Ahaziah, Joash, and Amaziah

16
Can the genealogies still have gaps when the ages
of fathers are given?
  • the son of Eber, the son of Shelah, the son of
    Cainan, the son of Arphaxad, the son of Shem -
    Luke 335
  • when Shem was 100 years old, he became the
    father of Arphaxad. When Arphaxad had lived 35
    years he became the father of Shelah. Genesis
    1110-12

Luke Shem, Arphaxad, Cainan, Shelah,
Eber Genesis Shem, Arphaxad, , Shelah, Eber
Yes, they can and do!
17
Scofield confirms that even when the age of the
father at the birth of the descendent is given,
the genealogies may have gaps.
Genesis 1110 means that, when Shem was 100
years old, his wife bore a child who was either
Arphachshad or an ancestor to Arpachshad. Many
links in the chain of ancestry may have been left
unmentioned. - C.I. Scofield, in The
New Scofield Reference Bible (1967)
Genealogies are not complete enough for us to
determine when Adam and Eve lived.
18
The Bible itself gives clear answers to these
questions
  • Do the genealogies still have gaps when the age
    of the father is given as it often is in Genesis?
  • Yes and they do. Luke confirms this. Good
    evangelical Christian scholars confirm this.

19
The Days of Genesis
The Hebrew word yom like the English word day
has many meanings.
The word day is used in Scripture in four
ways (1) that part of the solar day of
twenty-four hours which is light () (2) a
period of twenty-four hours () (3) a time set
apart for some distinctive purpose, as day of
atonement () and (4) a longer period of time
during which certain revealed purposes of God are
to be accomplished (). Cp. Gen 24, where the
word day covers the entire work of
creation. - C.I. Scofield, in The
New Scofield Reference Bible (1967)
20
Context must be considered when determining the
meaning of the days of Genesis
In the context of Genesis 1 and 2, what does yom
mean?
Verse Meaning 15 Daylight 114 Daylight 114
Distinctive days (plural) 116 Daylight 118 Day
light 24 Period of time All creative
days 217 At the moment (when)
Yom never means a period of 24 hours in these
verses!
The Biblical context does not require the six
days of creation and seventh day of rest to be 24
hour days.
21
  • For many people, the ambiguity of the Hebrew word
    yom settles the question
  • For others, some questions remain
  • Can the days still be periods of time when they
    have a numeral with them, like one day?
  • Can the days still be periods of time when the
    text specifies evening and morning?
  • Good evangelical Christian Hebrew scholars agree
  • the days of creation with numbers and evening
    and morning can be long periods of time
  • Therefore both OEC and YEC should be Biblically
    accepted by Bible believing Christians.

22
Do numerals with the word day always imply a
24-hour day?
No, a period of time can still be called one day
And it shall come to pass, in that day, that the
light shall not be clear, nor dark, but it shall
be one day which shall be known to the Lord, not
day, nor night but it shall come to pass that,
at evening time, it shall be light. And it shall
be, in that day, that living waters shall go out
from Jerusalem half of them toward the former
sea, and half of them toward the hinder sea in
summer and in winter shall it be.
-Zechariah 146-8
23
Numerals are used even with indefinite periods of
time
Come, let us return to the Lord. He has torn us
to pieces but he will heal us he has injured us
but he will bind up our wounds. After two days
he will revive us on the third day he will
restore us, that we may live in his
presence. - Hosea 61-2
This has messianic overtones and have two
meanings like Genesis 1 which has at least two
purposes to proclaim creation and to set up a
pattern for the Sabbath.
24
Evening and Morning can be used metaphorically
to mean beginning and ending. For an era or
long period of time, this phrase could emphasize
that the time is long, but finite.
You turn men back to dust, saying Return to
dust, O sons of men. For a thousand years in
your sight are like a day that has just gone by,
or like a watch in the night. You sweep men away
in the sleep of death they are like the new
grass of the morningthough in the morning it
springs up new, by evening it is dry and
withered. - Psalm 903-6 Written by
Moses
25
The use of evening and morning may be held
to limit day to the solar day but the frequent
parabolic use of natural phenomena may warrant
the conclusion that it simply means that each
creative day was a period of time marked off by a
beginning and ending (cp. Ps 906). In any event
the sun did not become a measure of time before
the fourth day, as seen in vv. 14-18. - C.I.
Scofield, in The New Scofield Reference
Bible (1967)
Of course, we speak this way in English when we
say, the dawn of a new age, or the dusk of a
dynasty.
26
The Seventh Day
Compare Genesis 15, 8, 13, 19, 23, 31 with
22-3.
Every day has an evening and morning (beginning
and ending) except for day seven. If these were
24 hour days, then the seventh day would have a
beginning and ending. If these are periods of
time, then the seventh day would not have an
ending. We are still in the period of time after
the six days of creation.
27
The Bible itself gives clear answers to questions
about the days of Genesis
  • Can the days still be long periods of time when
    they have a numeral with them, like one day?
  • Yes, and they are in Zechariah and Hosea.
  • Can the days still be periods of time when the
    text specifies evening and morning?
  • Yes, evening and morning can simply mean the
    beginning and ending of a period, as Moses uses
    them in Psalm 90.

28
Why use day, (yom) for the days of creation?
  1. The English word day has the same meanings as
    the Hebrew word. Consider In George
    Washingtons day.
  2. Unlike English, ancient Hebrew has no word other
    than yom for a long, but definite, period of
    time. If the author wanted to say that God
    created the earth in six periods of time, he
    would have to use the word yom. He has no other
    choice.
  3. God is setting up the seventh day of the week as
    the Sabbath, so God inspires Moses to use a word
    that is the best word for both era and for
    solar day.
  4. In the context, it is just as reasonable, if not
    more so, to interpret the six days of creation as
    periods of time as it is to interpret them as 24
    hours.

29
Some of the best Hebrew scholars of our day even
believe that the days of Genesis cannot be twenty
four hours, based on the Biblical text.
On the basis of internal evidence, it is this
writer's conviction that yom in Genesis one could
not have been intended by the Hebrew author to
mean a literal twenty-four-hour day. Emphasis
added - Gleason Archer, A Survey of Old
Testament Introduction (1994)
Gleason Archer was an evangelical Christian, one
of the best Hebrew scholars of the 20th century
and one of the translators of The New American
Standard Bible
30
Conclusion of almost all good Biblical scholars
The Bible does not say when the universe was
created. Any claim that the Bible unambiguously
states that the earth or universe is young (only
thousands of years old) is simply false.
Scripture gives no data for determining how long
ago the universe was created. - C.I. Scofield,
in The New Scofield Reference Bible
(1967)
31
Biblical Hints about the Age of the Earth
He stood, and shook the earth he looked, and
made the nations tremble. The ancient mountains
crumbled and the age-old hills collapsed. His
ways are eternal. - Habakkuk 36
The idea that the Bible describes a young earth,
only a few thousand years old, was popularized in
the early 1900s in order to confront evolution.
32
Before Darwin, scholars knew the days could be
long
  • When it is said, therefore, that the evening and
    the morning were a certain day, we understand it
    as equivalent to saying that a series or
    succession of evenings and mornings constituted a
    peculiar kind of day, a day, a period, of
    undefined extent
  • George Bush, Professor of Hebrew and Oriental
    Literature, New York City University
  • Notes, Critical and Practical on the Book of
    Genesis, 1838

33
Insights from Verse 2
And the earth was formless and void, and
darkness was over the the surface of the deep
and the Spirit of God was moving over the surface
of the waters.
  • The Bible only states that there was darkness on
    the surface of the deep, not in the universe, in
    general.
  • The earth starts out formless, void, and mostly
    liquid
  • Scientific studies agree that the early earth was
    dark, formless, void, and liquid.
  • The Story of Creation is told from Gods
    perspective on the surface of the earth, not from
    above the earth.
  • Genesis 12-31 describes the creation of things
    on earth, and as seen from earth.

34
From a perspective on the surface of the earth,
the story recorded in Genesis 1 remarkably
follows the order of events as described by
current scientific theories regarding the
development of the earth.
35
The story is told from the perspective of the
earth
And God made two great lights, the greater light
to govern the day, and the lesser light to govern
the night. - Genesis 116a
36
The pattern of creation
Formless
Void
  • Day 1
  • Light is created and separated from darkness
  • Day 2
  • Water above (in the sky) is separated from water
    below (the oceans)
  • Day 3
  • Land appears, along with plants
  • Day 4
  • The lights that fill the heavens are made
  • Day 5
  • The birds that fill the sky and the fish that
    fill the oceans are made
  • Day 6
  • Animals and man, that fill the land, are made

37
Day 1 Light Separated from Darkness
The early atmosphere changes from completely
opaque, which make the surface dark, to
translucent, allowing light (day) and darkness
(night) to be recognized, but still unable to see
the sun or moon, like on a cloudy day or night.
38
Day 2 God separates the waters above from the
waters below
A water cycle with waters above (clouds) and
waters below (oceans) begins.
39
Day 3 God creates dry land and oceans. Plants
are created.
The mostly watery planet develops continents
40
Day 3 discovered by modern science
From Rare Earth by Peter Ward and Donald Brownlee
(2000)
41
Day 4 The sun, moon, and stars are created
The atmosphere finally becomes transparent. The
sun, moon, and stars can now be seen. Before
this day, only the light from the sun could be
observed from the surface of the earth, not the
sun itself.
42
(13) Neither here nor in vv. 14-18 is an
original creative act implied. A different word
is used. The sense is made to appear, made
visible. The sun and the moon were created in
the beginning. The light came from the sun, of
course, but the vapor diffused the light. Later
the sun appeared in an unclouded sky. - C.I.
Scofield, in The New Scofield Reference
Bible (1967)
43
Days 5 and 6 Creation of animals
  • Three major classes of animals

The creation of every species is not necessarilly
described
44
Day 5 Second use of bara
  • v20 Let the waters teem with sherets...
  • v21 And God created (bara) the great sea
    monsters and every living creature (nephesh).
  • The second use of bara is associated with the
    creation of soulish animals.

45
Day 6 God creates (bara) humans
  • Humans are a unique creation. They are the
    spiritual beings created in the image of God.
  • Adam and Eve existed as actual people.
  • A 4.5 billion year old earth does not imply that
    evolution occurred.

46
Only three creative acts of God are recorded in
this chapter (1) the heavens and the earth, v.1
(2) animal life, vv. 20-21 and (3) human life
vv. 26-27. The first creative act refers to the
dateless past. - C.I. Scofield, in The
New Scofield Reference Bible (1967)
Remember, bara is used only three times in
Genesis 1.
47
Order of creation modern science and the Bible
agree
  1. Creation of the heavens and the earth. The earth
    is formless, void, and dark on the surface.
  2. Light appears on the surface of the earth as the
    planetary and interplanetary dust clears
  3. The water cycle begins
  4. Continents form
  5. Plants sprout from the ground
  6. The atmosphere becomes transparent, making the
    sun moon and stars visible
  7. Fish and birds fill the sea and air
  8. Higher life forms fill the sea
  9. Large mammals that will interact with humans fill
    the land
  10. Humans are created

48
The fossil record
49
Theological Integration
  • The interpretation of Genesis proposed here
    follows good rules of Biblical hermeneutics and
    is in good agreement with other doctrines of
    scripture
  • The Fall of man and the consequences of sin
  • The condition and purpose of the creation
  • The coming heaven and earth

50
The Fall of Man
If the earth is billions of years old, was there
physical death before the fall of man?
  • Yes, physical death of plants and animals existed
    before the fall of man
  • The fall brought the catastrophic result of
    spiritual death to spiritual beings
  • The idea that the death from the fall is
    spiritual death is supported by many Biblical
    passages

51
But from the tree of the knowledge of good and
evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you
eat from it you shall surely die - Genesis
217
Did God keep his promise? Did Adam and Eve die
the day they ate of the tree?
Yes, if the death that comes from the fall is
spiritual death.
52
Many New Testament passages only make sense if
the death that came from the fall is spiritual
death.
He who hears my word, and believes Him who sent
Me has eternal life, and does not come into
judgment but has passed from death into
life. - John 524
If anyone keeps My word he shall never see
death -John 851
Christ did not come to save us from physical
death in this world (which we will still
experience), but from spiritual death.
53
The life contrasted with death is spiritual life
For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift
of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our
Lord. -Romans 623
He who has the Son has the life he who does not
have the Son of God does not have the
life - John 512
54
The death from sin passed to all people, not all
animals or plants.
Therefore, just as through one man sin entered
the world, and death through sin, and so death
spread to all men, because all sinned. -Rom
ans 512
55
The condition and purpose of creation
  • The original creation was very good, not
    perfect
  • Adam and Eve were in a state of innocence, not
    perfection
  • The laws of physics of this universe do not allow
    an eternal, perfect universe
  • One purpose of this creation is to conquer sin,
    evil, and the consequences of sin.
  • It is possible that Satan had already fallen, and
    this universes main purpose is to conquer sin
  • If so, sin was present at the creation. Sin
    didnt touch humanity until the fall of man.

56
  • This universe must be destroyed to make way for
    the future, eternal universe
  • The original creation was very good, not
    perfect
  • The creation without tears and without carnivores
    is future. (Isaiah 116, 6517,25)
  • The new universe is a new creation, not a
    restoration of the universe before the fall

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. But according to his promise we are looking
for new heavens and a new earth in which
righteousness dwells. - 2 Peter 310,13
57
And I saw a new heaven and a new earth for the
first heaven and the first earth passed away, and
there is no longer any sea. - Revelation
211
58
  • Our earthly bodies must be changed to live in the
    new earth and heaven.
  • The laws of physics that govern our bodies
    necessarily require that they are subject to
    physical death in this universe.

59
Now I say this, brethren, that flesh and blood
cannot inherit the kingdom of God nor does the
perishable inherit the imperishable. Behold I
tell you a mystery we shall not all sleep, but
we shall all be changed. For this perishable
must put on the imperishable, and this mortal
must put on immortality. But when this
perishable will have put on the imperishable, and
this mortal will have put on immortality, then
will come about the saying that is written,
Death is swallowed up in victory. O death,
where is your victory? O death, where is your
sting? -1 Corinthians 1550-51,53-55
60
Biblical Ideas or Not?
  • The physical laws of the earth/universe radically
    changing at the fall of man?
  • Romans 818-23, Genesis 314 ff
  • A canopy collapsed causing the flood?
  • Gen 16-8
  • No rain before Noahs day?
  • Genesis 24-9, Genesis 821-22, Genesis 912 ff
  • Paper by Dr. Mark Futato, Westminster Journal
  • A Worldwide flood caused the geological record we
    see?
  • The Biblical scope of worldwide events in Genesis
    7-8, Daniel 41, Colossians 16
  • Before the flood were there Carnivores?
  • Genesis 130, Genesis 93

61
  • For I consider that the sufferings of this
    present time are not worthy to be compared with
    the glory that is to be revealed to us. 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. And not only this, but also we ourselves,
    having the first fruits of the Spirit, even we
    ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting eagerly
    for our adoption as sons, the redemption of our
    body. Romans 818-23

62
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63
  • Desert vegetation and cultivated crops
  • Hebrew streams ed. Job 3627 mist. "For He
    draws up the drops of water, They distill rain
    from the mist. See Psalm 1357 for clouds
    rising from the earth
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