5 May 2013 by Ruby Faraday-
There has been a major decline in todays’ youth in the historical understanding of Genesis 1 – 11. The current generation states that it is senseless to believe that the Book of Genesis is to be taken as historical account. They believe that it needs to be taken as a metaphorical book. Sadly, the current generation seems to be going far from the truth hammering at the foundational level of today’s church.
It was around 2000 years ago that the Apostle Paul said, ‘We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.’ Sadly, people have been arguing God’s nature for the past 200 years. They argue that the only way to explain life is through natural processes or nature as we know it. Examples of these processes are the Big Bang, uniformitarianism and evolution. It is no surprise that all these processes are in favour of naturalism.
These ‘naturalistic’ processes contradict not only Genesis 1 but Genesis 1 – 11, but the whole biblical picture. By choosing a worldview that takes Genesis 1 – 11 as straightforward, historical the whole Biblical account carries much weight and clarity; hence, we truly know that Jesus death on the Cross was not redundant or senseless for that matter.
The first reason to take Genesis 1 – 11 as literal history is because Jesus understood the Old Testament as history. He held the Old Testament as the Word of God. Though it was written by men, it is without a doubt that it was truly and fully inspired by the Holy Spirit (2 Timothy 3:16; Luke 20:37). The stroke and letters are God-breathed and His word will never pass away (Matt 24:35; Mark 13:31). Jesus used the Old Testament because He knew it was authoritative and went about preaching the Word. There is no room for error here for it was not written by primitive minds or Semitic nomads for that matter.
By using hermeneutics in a correct way, the true meaning of Scripture will be seen as it is. Jesus was very exegetical in reading the Word because He read it for what is being said and not translating or reading it in an eisegesis manner. If we read Scriptures for its true meaning, we will know what God is saying to us rather than trying to make Scripture sound acceptable to itching ears (2 Tim 4:3).
People should come to a place to put Jesus as the centre and take His lead rather than we being the centre and taking our own reigns. Jesus has said many times in Scriptures pertaining to the Old Testament with words such as “It is written” and “Have you not read?” He even went on to affirm the authenticity of scripture such as Adam and Eve to be true historical people (Matt 10:15; 11:23). If the Bible has flaws, then it means God is in error and man will need to interpret. This clearly overrides God’s authority. If there are errors in Genesis 1 – 11 or if it has to be interpreted entirely differently from the rest of the Bible then “Thou shall not steal” or “Honour your parents” or “Submit to your husband” is also not authoritative. It is also illogical for God is known to never make mistakes; change His mind or lie (Numbers 23:19).
Strangely, it is said that the Bible is only authoritative when it comes to faith and practice. This is an extremely dangerous analogy for if we do not take the Bible in its historicity then how is one going to accept it when it comes to faith or theological understanding? For example, by looking at Luke 16:31:
“If they hear not Moses and the prophets, neither will they be persuaded though one rose from the dead” Luke 16:31
and John 3:12,
“And Jesus asked Nicodemus: ‘I have spoken to you of earthly things and you do not believe; how then will you believe if I speak of heavenly things”, John 3:12
It is clearly seen that if one does not trust Genesis in terms of Creation events, timeline and even order then it will be almost impossible to even accept it when it comes to forgiveness, heaven and morality.
Secondly, Genesis 1 – 11 is taken as history in the New Testament. There are over 100 references in the New Testament which point to Genesis 1 – 11 as history. It can’t be seen as any other way for if it is taken out of the historical context then it will be difficult to point Jesus’ genealogy back to Adam (Luke 3). From here we know that God made Adam and is not an ancestor of an ape-like creature. It is quite bizarre that society has deemed the early names from Adam as metaphors. Unfortunately it is not known till where the metaphorical name stops and the names start becoming real people and incidences. It even distorts the understanding of a global Flood in Genesis. The difference between the global flood and local flood is the usage of the word ‘katakluzo’ (gk.), used to refer to a global cataclysmic event in Genesis compared to the word ‘plemmura’ (gk.), which means local flood (Luke 6:48).
Another person who understood the creation timeline was the Apostle Paul. He uses the understanding of the creation of man and woman and used it to remind both man and woman of their role in church (1 Tim 2: 13 – 14). This tells that man and woman did not evolve, for if it they did, then man superseding woman is senseless.
Lastly, the historicity of Genesis complies with God’s nature. In Psalm 33:9, it clearly shows that God spoke and things took place. Just as He said, things took place. The best person to tell us what happened during Creation is God Himself. This complies with other passages where God speaks and things take place as He says it. This is seen between the faithful centurion and Jesus Christ in Matt 8: 5 – 13. As seen in the passage we also know that God commanded, fulfilled, assessed and closed the days of Creation as how he willed it to be. By trying to see it any other way defames His commands and His nature.
With this, it is seen that Christians should not compromise the Word of God with man’s fallible word. By compromising Scripture, it becomes anti-Christ and wreaks destruction on the lives of our children, friends and future generation. With this act, the door of compromise grows larger and wider making way for destructive thoughts to poison the minds of the generations to come. An example to look at is Martin Luther as he states, ‘‘Here I stand, in the authority of God’s Word from Genesis 1:1; any other authority results in a world running away from its Creator, and in eternally wrecked lives.’
We need to remind the current generation of people by their fruits. Even if the Scriptures mentions about people but ideas lead to words, which lead to actions and eventually bear fruit. Though the previous generation was not greatly affected by the historical understanding of Genesis 1 – 11, it seems that this compromise has greatly eaten its way through the heart of the current generation and the ones to come.
Note: Ruby Faraday did her studies in Archaeology and Ancient Heritage. She is currently pursuing her Masters in Astronomy in one of the private university in Australia. if you have any questions, please feel free to write to her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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1. Batten,D, & Sarfati, J., 2006, 15 Reasons to Take Genesis as History (4thprinting.; Brisbane, Aus: CMI)
2. ICRWeb: Why take Genesis seriously?
http://www.icr.org/article/4824/ (Accessed 5 June 2013)
3. Image1: ICRWeb: Why take Genesis seriously?
http://www.icr.org/article/4824/ (Accessed 5 June 2013)
4. Image2: Book of Matthew
http://vineyardlifejournal.files.wordpress.com/2012/11/bible-matthew.jpg (Accessed 5 June 2013)
5. Image3: AnswersWeb
http://www.answersingenesis.org/images/CEN213(49).jpg (Accessed 5 June 2013)
6. Image4: AigWeb:
http://www.answersingenesis.org/assets/images/articles/nab/compromises.jpg (Accessed 5 June 2013)