The most difficult Biblical passages to Christians and scholars alike; are in Genesis, Chapters 1 to 11. What makes, especially the creation week, so daunting is that it seems incongruous with scientific discoveries? The scientific knowledge is increasing, but Christianity is stuck with many unknowns, due to religious blinkers, that direct Christian scholars. This grants field-day to the atheists. Nevertheless, without understanding, knowledge is useless.
The letdown lies in that Christians treat the Bible as a religious book, more than they should treat it as an information book. The Israelites carried the responsibility of religion, like all other religions of the world. However, the appearance of Jesus, actually, nullified religion, so that there is no-longer anything mysterious about scriptural references in the entire Bible. Since Jesus, the Bible is no-longer a religious book, but a book of information.
Moses is attributed as having written the Book of Genesis, the purpose of which was to enlighten the Israelites of the supremacy of God. In His entire ministry Jesus had to contend with the religious people who failed to grasp everything intended to be portrayed in scriptural citations. They even failed to identify Jesus as their Messiah, according to their prophetic scriptural recordings? Yet scriptures were full of prophecies about this most important event in the history of humanity.
My intention is, among other things, to particularly attend to the significance of what is recorded in Genesis 1:1-31, using the English Standard Version Bible, 2007 edition. This presentation is being advanced without the academic lenses, but providing credible summary, sufficient in answering the questions that may not have been intelligibly answered, this far.
This should therefore, facilitate lucid appreciation of what some scholars may have been battling with. I am aware that there are those who would quickly denounce everything, without basis, other than the implausible academic credentials of the author? There is nothing new with that. Christ was denounced on similar basis, including the apostles. Surprisingly, even Paul, a renowned scholar of that time was also rejected. But I am hopeful that a few will take note and be guided by truth.
[Genesis 1:1-2] “In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth.” Some scholars state that the definitive “the” is not included in the original Hebrew text, so that the sentence ought to read something like: “In beginning, God created heavens and the earth.” This verse does not specify details on timing, and is not part of the processes later described as the six-day work of creation.
The verse only shows that the work of creation was initiated by God, for the heavens and the earth to exist. As to how long and when this creation took place, including what those created bodies consisted of, is not specified in this scripture. But what is most important is taking note, that the earth mentioned in Genesis 1:1 comprises everything that is known to denote the attributes of what describes the earth, as known today.
However, verse 2 reveals that “the earth was without form and void, and darkness was over the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God was hovering over the face of the waters”
Apparently, it is the earth that is caught up in a state of confusion, not the heavens. But the Bible is clear in stating that God is not the author of confusion (1 Corinthians 14:33). All confusions emanate from the devil, so that there is no reason to be surprised of why the earth is found in that condition, when knowing the effects of Satan’s activities. This mystery is solved by other scriptural references, like Ezekiel 28:12-19.
Satan had originally been one of the Cherubs1, but was cast out of heaven, due to his rebellion. Isaiah 14:12-14 specifically shows that Satan’s rebellion caused him to be thrown out of heaven to the planet earth. This invites questions like: What had originally been the state and purpose of the earth? How did confusion arise?
God is represented in the light of understanding and orderliness. Anything that opposes understanding and order can only be ignorance or confusion. Satan’s rebellion, therefore, explains the resultant state of confusion that the earth found itself in. Satan is the author of confusion that is described in Genesis 1:2. The darkness that is mentioned in Genesis 1:2 is not the darkness, as in physical light. This darkness represents ignorance, as opposed to knowledge or understanding.
Addressing the disorder that the earth is found in, is what we are now dealing with (Genesis 1:3-25). Many people confuse these scriptures with creation, but careful reading shows that this was the restoration of order, from the chaotic state that had prevailed. As to how long the earth had been created, is beyond any ordinary person’s comprehension, as our only book of reference, the Bible, is silent on those specifics.
The scientists can talk of trillions or whatever number of years. As to the question of accuracy in their calculations, I suppose that remains to be for them to prove. I personally would have no problem with such calculations, if proven to be true. This is just as I would not have had any problem with Galileo’s telescopic discoveries, after having analyzed and found them to be true.
The scientists are there to discover things that already exist. Creation is a completed business. As God revealed to Solomon, there is nothing new under the sun: “Is there a thing of which it is said, ‘See, this is new’? It has been already in the ages before us.” (Ecclesiastes 1:10) (ESV).
Bill Gates discovered the Microsoft that had long existed in the universe. There are still many mighty things that are yet to be discovered, including the significance of most of what is written in scriptures. God will reveal these things through those whom He decides to use. Such people may be scholars, but not necessarily always scholars. The rest may be proven at the second-coming of Jesus. All knowledge can now be easily accessible through the centre of all knowledge, as has been provided through Jesus Christ.
The earth, which God had created before the assumed creation week, had been in chaotic state, due to Satan, having been cast onto it from Heaven. What Satan did, causing the state of confusion on earth, remains unknown, until revealed to us. But what is now clear to us is that the created earth had fallen into a state of confusion, due to what is revealed in Ezekiel 28:12-19 and Isaiah 14:12-14.
[Genesis 1:3-5] “And God said, ‘Let there be light’ and there was light. And God saw that the light was good. And God separated the light from the darkness. God called the light Day, and the darkness he called Night. And there was evening and there was morning, the first day.” (ESV).
Here is another slight misunderstanding, caused by limitations in language. The vocabulary differs from one language to the other. The English text is translated from Hebrew language. Which light is this scripture talking about? The sun, moon and stars had not yet been revealed (Genesis 1:14-19). Just as we could not talk of darkness without light in Genesis 1:2, there is no-way we can talk of the illuminating light of the sun, without its opposite state, throwing the dimming darkness?
There are three things describing the condition of the earth in Genesis 1:2, namely formlessness, void and darkness. “Formlessness” implies something that is without shape, so that it does not make sense to anyone. “Void” is something that is not legally binding, as lacking order. “Darkness” is the significance that is a result of unknowingness, or lacking in knowledge. This is just as an ignorant person is like someone walking in darkness, or in state of confusion, unable to describe what is right or wrong.
Nevertheless, the light mentioned in Genesis 1:3-5, is knowledge, necessary in understanding things. Being without knowledge is like walking in state of darkness. Christians are expected to have knowledge. This is why Jesus indicated that Christians were supposed to be the light of the world. Symbolically, ignorance represents darkness and light represents knowledge.
The existent confusion, the state of which the earth was in, needed knowledge that eventually restored the order that the earth was supposed to be in. From verse 6 to 25, we see the process of restoration of order. This is like the natural call to put order in any chaotic environment.
The light, represented by the prevailing knowledge, on the first day, implies the process of separation between what is known against what is unknown—knowledge versus ignorance. If anyone cannot separate knowledge from ignorance, he/she is in state of confusion. Using that knowledge, God brought the order that meant putting things in their rightful positions, up to the sixth day.
Readers should find it quite interesting that, while the term “created” is mentioned in Genesis 1:1, there is no mention of “Created” from verses 2 to 26. “Created” is next mentioned in verse 27. The other created species may not necessarily have been on the tabulated six days, traditionally understood as being the creation days. Their record of creation is in Genesis 1:1.
What happened in verses 3 to 25 is simply, the restoration or rearrangement of the order that had been left in chaotic state. The symbolic days, 1 to 6 are therefore, not the creation days but days of restoration of order on that which had been left in state of confusion.
Humanity may have, therefore, been the only created species on the sixth day, before God rested on the seventh day. However, the six days may simply be the figurative days, not necessarily the actual twenty-four-hour periods, as understood today? Peter revealed that to God, a day can be like a thousand years and vice versa (2 Peter 3:8). Also, Adam may not necessarily have been the first human ever to be formed from the dust of the ground.
This is when considering the curse of Cain, after he had murdered his brother Abel (Genesis 4:10-16). In his fugitive crisis, Cain was to be met by other human beings, who could not have been from his own clan. The curse of Cain meant that he had broken his relationship with his own siblings to become a wanderer, to be met by foreigners, who may have even given him a wife?
The immediate appealing question is: Were those foreigners also under the deception of Satan? My own speculative answer to that is: Yes. While Adam had had some privilege to communicate with God, other people did not. This is just as Abraham had the privilege of communicating with God while others did not. Without God, everyone is under the manipulative schemes of the devil.
Just as God started working with Abraham, leading to the birth of the Messiah, Adam may have also only been brought to the picture, in connection with the story of the redemption of humanity. In other words, for the flow of the story of redemption, Adam is being used, as leading to Noah’s Ark, and later Abraham. These people did not live in isolation. But God specifically dealt with them in isolation.
Today, Christians are said to be of Abraham’s seed, but some of us, obviously, cannot prove the existence of the blood of Abraham in our genes. The value of a human being is in that he was created in God’s image. The story of Adam may have only been used to cover all humanity, including those that may not necessarily be in the lineage of Adam. This is also just as the story of Abraham covers all humanity, including those not embraced in the lineage of the Israelites.
Noah’s flood story solves the mystery of the existence of other human beings, other than those in the lineage of Adam. For purposes of our understanding, all humans can now be traced to one individual, who is Adam. However, that does not mean that Adam was the first human ever to be created.
As mentioned in my previous post [here], knowledge is meaningless without understanding. I suppose what is briefly covered here should help many people to appreciate scriptures and avoid all deception that Satan peddles through his ministers of darkness. I suppose, over the years, Satan has used the story of creation to his advantage, due to misunderstanding of the processes covered in the book of Genesis.
A cherub is one of the unearthly beings who directly attend to God according to Abrahamic religion, as highlighted in Wikipedia https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cherub.
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