Issue: Is The Genesis Account Another Creation Myth
The first two chapters of Genesis tell a straightforward account of the creation of the earth, the universe, and everything in them. There are no legends or folklore in the historical narrative account of Genesis, which are hallmarks of other cultures creation sagas. The existence of other creation myths actually lends strength to the Christian case rather than weakening it. It shows that other cultures knew the truth of creation, but their stories have been altered from the correct biblical version over the centuries.
Issue: Does Genesis Support A Gap Theory
Proponents of the gap theory have reinterpreted Scripture to try to make it fit the idea of millions of years. But adding a gap between Genesis 1:1 and 1:2, or any other place in Genesis, is unwarranted. It also adds death and suffering before sin and requires a recreation or restoration of the earth before Adam was created, an idea you cant find in the text. The gap theory does not rest upon the impregnable rock of Holy Scripture it is founded upon the shifting sands of the ideas of those who want to believe the evolutionary teaching of billions of years as the age of the universe and earth.
Read Genesis To Build A Framework For Reading The Rest Of The Bible
Each book of the Bible carries a distinctive message and reflects the experiences and vocabulary of its author. Yet, when we look at the whole Bible, we can see the grand author weaving together his revelation to point us to the consummation of all things in Jesus Christ. Genesis sets the stage for the rest of the Bible. In fact, we will find it difficult to understand the Bibles overarching message without grappling with the themes we find in Genesis.
The rest of the Bible reflects on the creation narrative. Countless biblical authors refer to the first two chapters of Genesis to teach doctrinal and practical truths. The promise God made to Abraham in Genesis 12:1-3 is the Old Testaments great commission and provides the promises that drive the rest of the Old Testament narrative. Jesus ultimately comes from the line of Abraham and the tribe of Judah. We miss the significance of this when we dont know and understand Genesis.
Don’t Miss: Do Not Be Afraid Bible Verse 365
The Nature Of The Debate
At this point, most people realize that the debate is not about operation science, which is based in the present. The debate is about origin science and conflicting assumptions, or beliefs, about the past.
Molecules-to-man evolution is a belief about the past. It assumes, without observing it, that natural processes and lots of time are sufficient to explain the origin and diversification of life.
Of course, evolutionary scientists can test their interpretations using operation science. For instance, evolutionists point to natural selection and speciationwhich are observable today. Creation scientists make these same observations, but they recognize that the change has limits and has never been observed to change one kind into another.
Until quite recently, many geologists have used studies of current river erosion and sedimentation to explain how sedimentary rock layers were formed or eroded slowly over millions of years. In the past few decades, however, even secular geologists have begun to recognize that catastrophic processes are a better explanation for many of the earths rock layers.
Also during this time, creation geologists have been identifying evidence that points to the catastrophic formation of most of the rock record during the unique global Flood of Noahs day.
Mesopotamian Myth And The Primeval History
Numerous Mesopotamian myths are reflected in the primeval history. The myth of Atrahasis, for example, was the first to record a Great Flood, and may lie behind the story of Noah’s flood. The following table sets out the myths behind the various Biblical tropes.
|While there is no Mesopotamian myth associated with the Tower of Babel, there is scholarly agreement that Babylonian ziggurats, or tower-temples, lie behind this story.|
You May Like: Is The Bible Chronological
Inspiration And Authority Of Genesis
Genesis is the inspired word of God, but no human observer was present during the creation of the world, and God did not simply dictate a transcript of phenomena or events to the author of Genesis. Inspiration does not work that way.
In Genesis 1, we have an Israelite authors account of Gods creative acts communicated to an Israelite audience. We believe that the understanding of the narrator in Genesis is God-given and therefore we accept it as offering an understanding of the world. However, it was not intended to enable us to reconstruct the creation events according to the scientific understanding of today or meet the demands of our modern worldview.
Issue: Genealogies In Genesis
A common argument against young-earth creationism is that gaps exist in the genealogies listed in the fifth and tenth chapters of Genesis. The old-earth proponent assumes that if gaps exist, then one cannot claim to know an approximate age of the earth based on biblical data. But the Genesis 5 text does not allow for any gaps, since it contains the fathers age when his son was born, and then his lifespan. Additionally, other scriptures bear out the truth of the genealogies. Jude 1:14 tells us that Enoch was the seventh from Adam, just as Genesis 5 states. The genealogies in Genesis 10 do not give us father/son ages, but we know from Genesis 5-8 when Noah was born and when the flood occurred, and we know that Abraham was born c. 2000 BC, meaning that about 350 years passed between the flood and the generations listed in Genesis 10therefore there can be no gaps in the Genesis 10 genealogies.
Read Also: Who Said Pray Without Ceasing
The Book Of Genesis Part : God Created
Genesis 1 and 2 must be among the most hotly debated texts in the Bible. But our obsession with whether and how they can be reconciled with scientific descriptions of the beginning of the universe is distorting our understanding of where these “creation narratives” fit into the wider concerns of the Book of Genesis. In its printed form, Genesis has 50 chapters, only one and a bit of which directly concern the origins of the universe. They are there to set the scene for what follows.
Genesis is, from beginning to end, a theological book. It opens with God, “the beginning”, and everything that follows is based on this assumption of the relationship between God and the world. So when we get on to the main action of Genesis, with God’s conversations with Abraham and his descendents, we know that what is happening is not just of local significance. The God who calls Abraham is the one we have just seen, making the world, so we know that Abraham’s story is one about the meaning of life, the universe and everything.
So Genesis isn’t just stating what it sees to be the facts: it is making theological points. It is also not doing this in a vacuum. The traditions and stories of the origins of the universe that are found in Genesis are not the only ones that exist in the ancient near east, and there are all kinds of similarities, but the theological points they make are strikingly different.
How Did We Get Here
If we go back to the standard analysis of Genesis chapter 1, verse 1, which states: In the beginning, God created heaven and the earth, its interesting to analyze the original Hebrew text to see who God really is.
Genesis 1:1 says that elohim created heaven and Earth. Elohim is the actual Hebrew word used in the original scriptures. Elohim is defined in a plural state. That means the source is not necessarily singular. It refers to the potential of many.
Elohim can also be defined as divine ones. It doesnt explicitly state that one being was the cause of creation.
Elohim is not the higher name of almighty God, which is YHVH . We know that Keter contains the potential of many and all. Keter contains multiple in the singular. This is a paradox, as it should be. Duality is unified and restored into singularity here.
We can come to understand that almighty God, YHVW, is above and beyond Keter. Keter is only the starting point for creation and relativity. It is not God Himself. He is way beyond and above Keter.
As high a state as Keter is, it still should not be linked to God the Father. He is above and much higher than the incomprehensibility of Keter. We may begin to understand ourselves as manifested beings if we enter the sphere of Keter. That is not to say we are God. But certainly we are of God. We are His children.
If you study the Tree of Life, you will better understand what Im talking about.
Read Also: Examples Of Loneliness In The Bible
What Does Genesis Mean
The title Genesis is derived from the first Hebrew word in Genesis 1:1 which is beresit, which means in the beginning. The Greek title of the book means origins or beginning. That is, the Genesis meaning in Hebrew is in the beginning and the Genesis meaning in Greek is origins. Advanced information is provided in the first eleven chapters of the book of Genesis. These chapters are essential for understanding every major doctrine in the New Testament.
Origin of the Creation Genesis 1 describes how the world was created and explains that humans are made in the image of God, but that is not true of the animals. Genesis introduces us to the Garden of Eden, rivers, trees bearing fruit and the origin of work.
Origin of Man and Marriage Genesis 2 tells us that the first husband and wife were Adam and Eve. Genesis 2 explains the origin of work, defines the origin of wives, the origin of marriage and the purpose for marriage.
Origin of Sin and the Curse Genesis 3 introduces us to Satan who appeared as a serpent. It explains the origin of sin, the presence of evil in the world and the curse of sin that exists on the world. Genesis 3:15 is the first prophecy of the future Messiah, who is Jesus Christ. Genesis 3:24 is the first mention of an angel a cherubim.
Origin of Children, Murder, Cities, Polygamy and Music Genesis 4 documents the first birth, first murders, first cities and first metal work.
Criticism Of The Bible
Criticism of the Bible is an interdisciplinary field of study concerning the factual accuracy of the claims and the moral tenability of the commandments made in the Bible, the holy book of Christianity. Devout Christians have long regarded their Bible as the perfect word of God . Scholars and scientists have endeavored for centuries to scrutinise biblical texts to establish their origins and validity. In addition to concerns about ethics in the Bible, about biblical inerrancy, or about the historicity of the Bible, there remain some questions of biblical authorship and as to what material to include in the biblical canon.
|This article is of a series on|
In the 2nd century, the gnostics often claimed that their form of Christianity was the first, and they regarded Jesus as a teacher or an allegorical figure.Elaine Pagels has proposed that there are several examples of gnostic attitudes in the Pauline epistles.Bart D. Ehrman and Raymond E. Brown note that some of the Pauline epistles are widely regarded by scholars as pseudonymous, and it is the view of Timothy Freke, and others, that this involved a forgery in an attempt by the Church to bring in Paul’s gnostic supporters and turn the arguments in the other epistles on their head.
Recommended Reading: What Does Ceasing Mean
Week : Promises Fulfilled
God promises that Abram, now re-named Abraham, will be the father of a multitude of nations . God calls Abraham to walk before me, and be blameless, that I may make my covenant between me and you, and may multiply you greatly . Gods intention to bless the nations through Abraham is evident throughout this section as Abraham intercedes for Sodom and Gomorrah and brings blessing to the Philistine king Abimelech. Also, we see both the miraculous birth of Isaac and later Abrahams offering of Isaac. Throughout, Gods faithfulness is clear.
God fulfills his promises and hears the prayers of his people.
Read through the entire text for this study, Genesis 17:122:24. Then interact with the following questions and record your notes on them concerning this section of Genesis.
Covenant and Circumcision
Abraham and the Nations
Promise Fulfilled and Tested
Read through the following three sections on Gospel Glimpses, Whole-Bible Connections, and Theological Soundings. Then take time to reflect on the Personal Implications these sections may have for your walk with the Lord.
The ritual practice of removing the foreskin of an individual, which was commanded for all male Israelites in OT times as a sign of participation in the covenant God established with Abraham .
Appealing to one person on behalf of another, often used with reference to prayer.
1. Gospel Glimpses
1. Gospel Glimpses
1. Gospel Glimpses
1. Gospel Glimpses
1. Gospel Glimpses
Joseph’s Brothers Go To Egypt
42 When Jacob learned that there was grain for sale in Egypt, he said to his sons, Why do you look at one another?2 And he said, Behold, I have heard that there is grain for sale in Egypt. Go down and buy grain for us there, that we may live and not die.3 So ten of Joseph’s brothers went down to buy grain in Egypt.4 But Jacob did not send Benjamin, Joseph’s brother, with his brothers, for he feared that harm might happen to him.5 Thus the sons of Israel came to buy among the others who came, for the famine was in the land of Canaan.
6 Now Joseph was governor over the land. He was the one who sold to all the people of the land. And Joseph’s brothers came and bowed themselves before him with their faces to the ground.7 Joseph saw his brothers and recognized them, but he treated them like strangers and spoke roughly to them. Where do you come from? he said. They said, From the land of Canaan, to buy food.8 And Joseph recognized his brothers, but they did not recognize him.9 And Joseph remembered the dreams that he had dreamed of them. And he said to them, You are spies you have come to see the nakedness of the land.10 They said to him, No, my lord, your servants have come to buy food.11 We are all sons of one man. We are honest men. Your servants have never been spies.
Don’t Miss: What Does God Say About Loneliness
Theological Theme And Message
Genesis speaks of beginnings — of the heavens and the earth, of light and darkness, of seas and skies, of land and vegetation, of sun and moon and stars, of sea and air and land animals, of human beings , of marriage and family, of society and civilization, of sin and redemption. The list could go on and on. A key word in Genesis is “account,” which also serves to divide the book into its ten major parts and which includes such concepts as birth, genealogy and history.
Relationship Of The Primeval History To Genesis 1250
Genesis 111 shows little relationship to the remainder of Genesis. For example, the names of its characters and its geography Adam and Eve , the Land of Nod , and so on are symbolic rather than real, and much of the narratives consist of lists of “firsts”: the first murder, the first wine, the first empire-builder. Most notably, almost none of the persons, places and stories in it are ever mentioned anywhere else in the Bible. This has led some scholars to suppose that the history forms a late composition attached to Genesis and the Pentateuch to serve as an introduction. Just how late is a subject for debate: at one extreme are those who see it as a product of the Hellenistic period, in which case it cannot be earlier than the first decades of the 4th century BCE on the other hand the Yahwist source has been dated by some scholars, notably John Van Seters, to the exilic pre-Persian period precisely because the primeval history contains so much Babylonian influence in the form of myth.
You May Like: Psalm 118.8
A Thoughts To Begin With As We Study The Bible
1. We come to the Bible knowing there is a God.
a. There are many good and strong philosophical and logical reasons to believe in God. Yet the Bible does not make elaborate arguments for the existence of God. However, it does tell us how we can know God exists.
b. The Bible tells us we can know God exists because of what we see in the created world.
i. Psalm 19:1-4 explains this: The heavens declare the glory of God and the firmament shows His handiwork. Day unto day utters speech, and night unto night reveals knowledge. There is no speech nor language where their voice is not heard. Their line has gone out through all the earth, and their words to the end of the world.
ii. Romans 1:20 also explains: For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even His eternal power and Godhead, so that they are without excuse.
c. This is an example of the teleological argument for the existence of God. It is the understanding that there must be a purposeful intelligence that created this world because the world shows both purpose and intelligence. In the view of many , this argument from purpose and design remains unanswered by the atheist or the agnostic.
2. We come to the Bible believing it is the place where God has spoken to man, perfectly and comprehensively.
b. We believe the Bible must be understood literally, that is, as straightforward and true according to its literary context.
· The kingdom of God.