Why all of this talk about Creation? Remember that in John 5:45-47 Jesus says “For if you believed Moses, you would believe Me; for he wrote about Me. But if you do not believe his writings, how will you believe My words?” According to Jesus Himself, to the proportion we don’t believe the writings of Moses, to the same proportion we will not believe the sayings of Jesus! There is a generation that has been raised up in the religion of naturalism which says “don’t believe the bible.”
The bible says we should speak the truth in love. Why? Because if you remove love from the truth, it is no longer the “T” Truth! Likewise if you remove the truth out of love, it is no longer love. John 1:17 says “For the law was given through Moses, but grace and truth came through Jesus Christ.” In John 8:5, the Pharisees asked Jesus what He “Grace and Truth” says about the woman caught in the act of adultery. So what did Jesus (Grace and Truth) say to this woman? “Neither do I condemn you (GRACE)… go and SIN no more.” (TRUTH) (John 8:11) Grace & Truth! The inability or unwillingness to correct is NOT love. Proverbs 24:23-25 says that if we will correct at the lead of the Lord, a delight is going to come on us and a special blessing is going to be given to us because we have partnered with that person’s heavenly Father who desires us to partner with Him in parenting His creation!
God is not so concerned about His Word being destroyed – He simply doesn’t want people to be destroyed. He is NOT willing that any should perish. So, is Genesis Literal about the 6 days of Creation? Dr. James Barr, Hebrew scholar and Oriel Professor at Oxford University, has written:(a) creation took place in a series of six days which were the same as the days of 24 hours we now experience; (b) the figures contained in the Genesis genealogies provided by simple addition a chronology from the beginning of the world up to latter stages in the biblical story . . .” This is not defense of doctrine, but simply a commentary on the Hebrew text from a linguistic perspective.
Should the creation account in Genesis be taken poetically? There is Hebrew poetry – many examples of which in the Old Testament are historically accurate. There is indeed poetry in Genesis. Genesis 4:23-24 is in poetic form. Genesis 1-3, however, is NOT in poetic form.
People will also ask if there are gaps in the Genesis 5 and 11 genealogies. Note that 1 Chronicles 1, Luke 3, and Jude 14 all site the Genesis 5 and 11 genealogies as literal, historical genealogies. Also note that while the bible contains many “lineage-establishing” genealogies, those lineage-type genealogies are not about years. There is something very different about the Genesis 5 and 11 genealogies in that they always say the age at which the next generation was “begat” or “fathered.” Why? Because you quickly add up the history. Genesis 5 and 11 represent what could be called a “chrono-genealogy.” They do not only establish lineage, but also a timeframe for the history of the earth.
Now let’s look at the actual language of Genesis. The literal translation for Genesis 1:5 is “and evening was, and morning was, a day, one.” It’s clear as day! “Evening” means evening. “Morning” means morning! A day – one. God is so emphatic. Similarly telling, in Genesis 1:14 God, through Moses, uses the word “year” in the same verse as “day.” The same word for “day” (like in Genesis 1:5) is used all the way through the creation story in Genesis 1. In verse 14, the word for year and the word for day appear in the same verse. What does that tell us? Moses knew the word for year but chose not to use it throughout the description of the 6-literal-day creation event – because they were talking about days not years!
Genesis 2:3 “And on the seventh day God ended His work which He had done, and He rested on the seventh day from all His work which He had done.” This connected the sabbath of a week to the week of creation – not a coincidence. Speaking of the 6th day of creation, Genesis 5:1-2 twice says God created man in a day “…In the day that God created man, He made him in the likeness of God. He created them male and female, and blessed them and called them Mankind in the day they were created.” In Exodus 20:11 we read what God Himself spoke to Moses “For in six days the Lord made the heavens and the earth, the sea, and all that is in them, and rested the seventh day.” Day, day, day! They were 6 literal days!
But what about 2 Peter 3:8 where we read that “But, beloved, do not forget this one thing, that with the Lord one day is as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day.” Let’s look at that. There is a bit of a problem using 2 Peter 3:8 to try to “interpret” the days of creation because 2 Peter 3:8 says both (1) one day is as a thousand years, and (2) a thousand years is as one day. If 2 Peter 3:8 was meant to unlock a hidden timing in Genesis, it is awfully confusing! So, was God confused in the historical timeline He was giving us? No! 2 Peter 3:8 has NOTHING to do with the historical Genesis timeline. We must look at 2 Peter 3:8 in context! These verses are saying “don’t think that God is running late. He is not slack concerning His promise to come back and judge the world. He simply doesn’t want anybody to perish and He exists outside of time so it doesn’t hurt Him at all to take extra time so that more can come to repentance!”
All of this is so you can total confidence in the Word of God! Now, what did Jesus say about the age of the earth? Let’s look at Mark 10:6 “But from the beginning of the creation, God ‘made them male and female.” What is the context of this conversation in Mark 10? Divorce – and therefore marriage. This is our Lord speaking! He said that people were made by God at the BEGINNING of creation. Jesus would NOT agree at all with any part of historical evolutionary theory! From the beginning of creation God made humans! So when did Homo sapiens appear? After the apes “evolved” for 3 million years? From the BEGINNING of creation man and woman have been on the earth – and marriage has been on earth! So encouraging!