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How do you reconcile Genesis?

Member
Over the years, I have had different opinions about Genesis 1 & 2, and how it relates to what science tells us today. There are some things that are hard to reconcile about what science tells us and what God's Word tells us. I don't KNOW the science of radiometric age dating.
I do know God's word after 40 years of reading and studying it, and I believe it whole heartily and with all my spirit/mind/soul.
I used to believe the 'gap' theory, but just too many thing had holes that I couldn't reconcile with the Biblical account that God inspired Moses to write in Genesis. The following is my current understanding, which I've titled;

"In the beginning GOD created the heavens and the earth -- Fully Mature."

The Genesis narrative, has a few stops and starts in the first two chapters. It goes from sweeping to more and more detailed.
Gen 1:1, then Gen 1:2 to Gen 2:3 for the days. Then Gen 2:4 reverts back to Gen 1:26, with more detail, and concludes in Gen 2:25. The chronological narrative then picks up in Gen 3:1 and continues from there. Gen 1:2-3 is day one with God having created light, Hebrew word is אוֹר , which has many connotations, but Gesenius's Lexicon refers to it as "light everywhere, diffused, such as daylight or sunlight." Hence God created the sun right after he created the earth, still on day one.
Now look at day two, v6-8, God makes our atmosphere. NOT as we have today, but as He originally created it on that day, it was the planet covered with water(v2), then God put the atmosphere between a layer of the water and pushed THAT layer up so it was earth, surrounded by water, surrounded by atmosphere(vault/expanse/sky), surround by water. From a side view it looked like a five ring bulls-eye with the fiery core being the centre and the outer envelope of water being the fifth ring.
Then we get to v16, where God creates two great lights. The Hebrew word here is מָאוֹר and means "luminary", so what was it if the sun and planets were already created? At the end of v16, it says, "He also made the stars." We know the sun is a star so is this another flashback to v4 to provide more detail? I don't think so because it clearly says this is day 4, not day one. It also talks about a second great light, which most people will probably agree is the moon, except we KNOW today that the moon is NOT a light. We had to have sunlight already as vegetation was growing in vs11-13, which is the 3rd day. Or did it? If God created a fully mature earth, then He could create the vegetation one day and the light the next day. So what did God create on the 4th day?
I believe that God created refraction in the water to act a certain way, and as we orbited the sun and the earth revolved, that refraction created light that was strong during a certain period of the day so fully illuminate the part of the world it was near, and at night the diffusion was much less, but still enough for people to see a little bit. The stars is another matter and I have no idea if God just put small ones in the actual sky, or if they we viewable through the water that surrounded the earth. It will be neat when I meet Jesus and ask him though.

This is the same way God created ALL life on earth, fully mature and living. No eggs, seedling, or pregnant animals. His instruction to all life was, “Be fruitful and increase in number".

  • Vs 11-13, the third day.
  • Vs 20-23, the fifth day.
  • Vs 24-31, the sixth day. [Included here is Gen 2:7, Adam, and Gen 2:22, Eve. Both created fully mature.]

Now please note this is MY take on it. If you agree, fine. If you don't agree, fine as well. I am more than willing to discuss it but this is NOT me saying GOD gave me this truth. This is me saying THIS is what I understand God's word to say based on proper hermenuetical exegesis. It may help those who struggle with science fact and science fiction.

Blessings! :shade:
 
Member
Nice to meet you. I too believe the creation was primed and ready to go 144 hours after its material substances were created out of no preexisting materials (it's space, matter, and time properties spoken into existence). Good to see you thinking these things through. There are significant results to how we think on these things, and many fail to realize this. If you are interested >my take of the 6 days of creation are posted here in TJ. Let me give u a link:

I hope that works. there are links on that first post that direct you to the other Day's of creation posts
 
Member
Hi Dice,

Read your post and of course agree. I have believed for many years that GOD existed and does exist outside of time and our reality. He created time and our reality. As a kid I had a hard time with the concept that GOD had not beginning or end, but now it is so obvious.
Like I said, just studying and reading God's Word makes these things come alive. Thanks for your feedback.
 
Member
Hi, Stan53:

I too believe God created the heavens and earth, but I do not believe this happened over several days. In fact there is nothing in the bible that suggests God created the universe in a day or so. Genesis tells us God did create the heavens, including our solar system and this earth, (Genesis 1:1, 2) which could have covered billions of years. THEN God turned his attention to the earth which was formless and covered in water, which it could have been this way for billions of years, the bible does not say. It only starts counting from the time God turned his attention to the earth. (Genesis 1:3-5)

At this time, as you said, the earth was covered in water and God caused a separation so there was a thick gloomy cloud vapor formation in the upper atmosphere that covered the water, thus making it dark, and the sun light was merely prevented from reaching the water beneath by the cloud. When God said, let there be light, He caused the thick gloomy cloud to dissipate, thus allowing light in. Then in Genesis 1:8, God called the expanse between the two, the sky. Then, God caused land and vegetation to appear. (Genesis 1:10, 11) Now this is the interesting point, in Genesis 1:14, God says again, let there be light. But notice the bible says, like the NLT, God said let there be GREATER light, or an increase of light. This can be explained by my initial comment. As the thick gloomy darkness gradually dissipated, the volume of light would increase, thus when God said, let there be light in Genesis 1:3, that was the start of clearing the sky, and when God said let there be greater light, that was the completion of the process.

As for the creative days, I do not believe they were literal 24 hour days, but a long expanse of time, as science clearly suggests, but this in no way deflects from the fact God created all living things on the earth, each according to there own kind.
 
Member
[h=3]Genesis 1[/h]New American Standard Bible (NASB)

[h=3]The Creation[/h]1 In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.

2 The earth was formless and void, and darkness was over the surface of the deep,
and the Spirit of God was moving over the surface of the waters.


3 Then God said, “Let there be light”; and there was light.

4 God saw that the light was good; and God separated the light from the darkness.

5 God called the light day, and the darkness He called night.
And there was evening and there was morning, one day.
 
Member
Hi, Stan53:
I too believe God created the heavens and earth, but I do not believe this happened over several days. In fact there is nothing in the bible that suggests God created the universe in a day or so. Genesis tells us God did create the heavens, including our solar system and this earth, (Genesis 1:1, 2) which could have covered billions of years. THEN God turned his attention to the earth which was formless and covered in water, which it could have been this way for billions of years, the bible does not say. It only starts counting from the time God turned his attention to the earth. (Genesis 1:3-5)
Could is a BIG word here and unless you support the gap theory, verse 1 is the heading and verses 2-5 reflect day one. Is it that you do not believe God created it all fully mature, like He did with all life on earth? Do you think He lost interest in His creation for billions of years? No offence, but do you think God has ADD?


At this time, as you said, the earth was covered in water and God caused a separation so there was a thick gloomy cloud vapor formation in the upper atmosphere that covered the water, thus making it dark, and the sun light was merely prevented from reaching the water beneath by the cloud. When God said, let there be light, He caused the thick gloomy cloud to dissipate, thus allowing light in. Then in Genesis 1:8, God called the expanse between the two, the sky. Then, God caused land and vegetation to appear. (Genesis 1:10, 11) Now this is the interesting point, in Genesis 1:14, God says again, let there be light. But notice the bible says, like the NLT, God said let there be GREATER light, or an increase of light. This can be explained by my initial comment. As the thick gloomy darkness gradually dissipated, the volume of light would increase, thus when God said, let there be light in Genesis 1:3, that was the start of clearing the sky, and when God said let there be greater light, that was the completion of the process.
God created the heavens and earth, day and night first. Day one. Then He separated the waters into two bodies, one on earth and one around the earth as a canopy. Day two. The greater and lesser lights were the result of the sun and the infractions God caused in the canopy of water. It wasn't a fog as you describe. It was just dark, and based on the following verses, the stars weren't active yet. Again you are assuming billions of years where God lost interest. I believe in the literalcy of Genesais as per my OP.


As for the creative days, I do not believe they were literal 24 hour days, but a long expanse of time, as science clearly suggests, but this in no way deflects from the fact God created all living things on the earth, each according to there own kind.
So you believe sciences view instead of God's Word? I'm not sure how you can reconcile that in your mind but you're more than welcome to your opinion.
We'll all find out a lot of answers one day.
 
Member
Genesis 1

1 In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.

2 The earth was formless and void, and darkness was over the surface of the deep,
and the Spirit of God was moving over the surface of the waters.



God is spirit, meaning God exists beyond the confines of time and space as
we understand it. Also, to the Lord a day is a thousand years, in other words
there is no timing involved. When the Spirit creates, it exists and we have
no idea just how this process occurs.

God gave us an insight into the creation process and for our sakes
provided a sequence that we can understand. That is day and night,
I would be hesitant to create doctrines regarding the chronology
of Genesis. Just be content with the information that we have
received.

Was the creation so new that Adam and Eve had to remove the
wrapping paper in order to explore the gift of creation.

Or, was creation a fully functioning cosmos similar to our
current cosmos. There are extremely complex physical
processes that would need to be established in order
for the world to function. In other words was creation
created in an aged condition? With mountains, soil,
plate tectonics, weather systems, etc.

There will be of course be other scenarios to examine.





 
Member
Maybe this may help some although it is no definitive answer. Ive studied physics for some years and believe the rules and laws as we now have them. I also believe the creation account as the bible gives it. I often wondered why things could appear old based on our testing although I knew what the bible said. Have any of you considered this. Those who study physics know of the 2nd law of thermodynaics. Also of alpha and beta radiation and how we attempt to determine the age of materials. Obviously before the fall there was no 2nd law (death and decay) before the fall. Things were different in a way none of us know. After the fall something happened and a lot of things changed. Death entered in and not just for man. But for creation as well. Its says all of creation was subjected to futility.

So what we are left with now are certain observed laws from a fallen creation. The error is to take those laws, which obviously changed after initial creation, and then attempt to let it explain to us how things always have been. If you believe our current laws, which include the law of sin and death(2nd law of thermodynamics) can explain how things 'must have been' is the same as saying those laws were still in effect back before the fall.

I have a horrible analogy that might help. Lets say you come across a piece of paper that's ripped in half floating in a body of water. You observe that the 2 peices actually fit together and are seperated by a certain distance. Also you notice they are moving away from each other at a defined rate. If you could figure out the rate, it seems as though it would follow that you could determine when the paper was ripped apart. The problem is that you werent there to see it ripped to know how far the pieces were placed from each other when started. Nobody but God knows how things were before the fall and to take current observable laws and try to make scripture fit before the fall probably isnt wise. Just my opinon though.
 
Member
Hi Stan53, interesting comment!

I have met a number of people who believe the creation account is literal and that the earth is just over six thousand years old. The bible clearly shows how important faith is, but that faith should take into account scientific evidence, rather the credulously believing this false doctrine that is not so clearly stated in the bible. For example.

The National Ice Core Laboratory (NICL) at the Denver Federal Center, campus in the nearby suburb of Lakewood, have ice cores from the arctic that have been drilled to a depth of over 2500 feet. They are able to count the difference in density between winter and summer snow fall and count back 10s of thousands of years. They can also measure the CO2 content and make a realistic graph showing how it has changed over the thousands of years. With this evidence that clearly shows yearly snow fall like the rings on a tree trunk, which can be counted showing the earth is many, many thousands of years old. It amazes me that some people genuinely believe the earth was created just over six thousand years ago.

To me, it is not a lack of faith to claim the earth is millions of years old, it is simply a fact. God works very slowly and at his appointed time he turned his attention to the earth and slowly started to mold and transform it into what we know today. Each creative day or period of time which some could have lasted millions of years was a simple way of explaining how God created the earth so that a simple boy who plows a field with limited education could easily understand the Genesis account.
 
Member
Hi Stan53, interesting comment!

I have met a number of people who believe the creation account is literal and that the earth is just over six thousand years old. The bible clearly shows how important faith is, but that faith should take into account scientific evidence, rather the credulously believing this false doctrine that is not so clearly stated in the bible. For example.

The National Ice Core Laboratory (NICL) at the Denver Federal Center, campus in the nearby suburb of Lakewood, have ice cores from the arctic that have been drilled to a depth of over 2500 feet. They are able to count the difference in density between winter and summer snow fall and count back 10s of thousands of years. They can also measure the CO2 content and make a realistic graph showing how it has changed over the thousands of years. With this evidence that clearly shows yearly snow fall like the rings on a tree trunk, which can be counted showing the earth is many, many thousands of years old. It amazes me that some people genuinely believe the earth was created just over six thousand years ago.

To me, it is not a lack of faith to claim the earth is millions of years old, it is simply a fact. God works very slowly and at his appointed time he turned his attention to the earth and slowly started to mold and transform it into what we know today. Each creative day or period of time which some could have lasted millions of years was a simple way of explaining how God created the earth so that a simple boy who plows a field with limited education could easily understand the Genesis account.

It is not without reason that people continue to look for Noah's Ark or the Ark of the Covenant. People want proof. We are not given proof, we are given God's Word and asked to have faith and believe. Heb 11:1

Sadly many people want to reconcile their faith based on so-called evidence that science tells them. The Bible tells us to believe God, regardless of what man says. I prefer to believe God and His word. I wonder what would happen to many Christians if archeologists did indeed find the bones of Jesus?

John 6:47:
I tell you the solemn truth, the one who believes has eternal life.

Matthew 6:24:
“No one can serve two masters, for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and possessions.


We either believe what God's Word says, or we don't. The choice is our's and we will be held liable for it.

 
Member
Hello stan53.

"Sadly many people want to reconcile their faith based on so-called
evidence that science tells them.
"

You can be both a scientist and a Christian.

If Science claims the cosmos is 14 billion years old, this does
not negate the fact that God created the cosmos.

Science relies on assumptions of course to arrive at this date.

There are really no hard and fast rules as far as human understanding
goes. Science has revised the age of the cosmos many times in the past.

Science is simply an attempt to understand the universe on the basis of
observation, measurement and repeatable experiments. Science in
itself is no authority on these matters. Basically because these ideas may never
be proven. It is purely speculation, absolute knowledge is necessary, which we
do not have. Please do not spoil their fun stan53.

Christianity is the belief in Jesus, it has nothing to do with science.


 
Member
Hello stan53.

"Sadly many people want to reconcile their faith based on so-called
evidence that science tells them.
"

You can be both a scientist and a Christian.

If Science claims the cosmos is 14 billion years old, this does
not negate the fact that God created the cosmos.

Science relies on assumptions of course to arrive at this date.

There are really no hard and fast rules as far as human understanding
goes. Science has revised the age of the cosmos many times in the past.

Science is simply an attempt to understand the universe on the basis of
observation, measurement and repeatable experiments. Science in
itself is no authority on these matters. Basically because these ideas may never
be proven. It is purely speculation, absolute knowledge is necessary, which we
do not have. Please do not spoil their fun stan53.

Christianity is the belief in Jesus, it has nothing to do with science.
Yes you can be. But can you be effective at both?

Yes science does CLAIM, BUT is it truth or only based on what they KNOW on not reality?

You see there is the difference. We as Christians don't rely on assumptions, we rely on faith and belief. I must admit though that some things science wants us to believe far oustrips Christian faith.

Absolutes are just that, hard and fast. God IS absolutely. God loves and cares for us absolutely. He provided the plan of salvation absolutely.
If you agree with all the foregoing, then why would you think God just created soemthing and let it alone for 14 billions years? Why would it take god 10 billion years to decide to create earth and then, leave it for another 4 billion odd years to do anything. This is NOT the engaged, loving, concerned God that I know.
You go ahead and believe what science tells you and I'll believe what GOD tells me through His Word. We'll find out soon enough what the truth is.

When I was a chiid, I though and spoke like a child....fun time is over.

If we believe in Jesus and He tells us to believe in GOD the Father and His Word, then we can't very well believe when science tells us differently now can we?



 
Member
Hello again stan53.

You did say;

"If you agree with all the foregoing, then why would you think God
just created soemthing and let it alone for 14 billions years?"


The age of the universe and the existence of God have nothing
whatsoever to do with one another.

In fact, I am amazed that anyone would seriously contemplate
the idea that an old universe would imply that God does not
exist.

A young or old universe is not a factor in the debate concerning
the existence of God. You can be guaranteed that even if Science
claimed the universe was only 9000 years old, people would still
avoid the Gospel.

I do know that there is no proof from either side regarding
a young or old universe. It simply rests with the assumptions
a person is willing to accept.

There is no doubt there are fanatics on both sides that would
readily burn each other at the stake for disagreement with
their view. We must endeavor to be mature in all matters
in Christianity, especially regarding the doctrines that are
vitally important.

As far as creation and eschatology are concerned some
give and take may be necessary. Church history is littered
with ignorant statements regarding the above.

Salvation is not dependent on a viewpoint in these areas.

Salvation is dependent on the belief in the death and
resurrection of Jesus Christ. There is no flexibility in this
doctrine.

I hold to a literal interpretation of Genesis and also
have a scientific background. Just wise enough to
consider that God may not necessarily do what I think
He may do. His ways are higher than my ways!

I do respect other opinions in these two areas.







 
Member
Hello again stan53.

You did say;

"If you agree with all the foregoing, then why would you think God
just created soemthing and let it alone for 14 billions years?"


The age of the universe and the existence of God have nothing
whatsoever to do with one another.

In fact, I am amazed that anyone would seriously contemplate
the idea that an old universe would imply that God does not
exist.

A young or old universe is not a factor in the debate concerning
the existence of God. You can be guaranteed that even if Science
claimed the universe was only 9000 years old, people would still
avoid the Gospel.

I do know that there is no proof from either side regarding
a young or old universe. It simply rests with the assumptions
a person is willing to accept.

There is no doubt there are fanatics on both sides that would
readily burn each other at the stake for disagreement with
their view. We must endeavor to be mature in all matters
in Christianity, especially regarding the doctrines that are
vitally important.

As far as creation and eschatology are concerned some
give and take may be necessary. Church history is littered
with ignorant statements regarding the above.

Salvation is not dependent on a viewpoint in these areas.

Salvation is dependent on the belief in the death and
resurrection of Jesus Christ. There is no flexibility in this
doctrine.

I hold to a literal interpretation of Genesis and also
have a scientific background. Just wise enough to
consider that God may not necessarily do what I think
He may do. His ways are higher than my ways!

I do respect other opinions in these two areas.


Well if God created the universe, which He did, then I would say it has very much to do with Him.

I don't really understand your statement here but then again you didn't bother to explain it.

We are NOT debating the existence of God. My OP was about MY take on Genesis and HOW it relates to so-called scientific fact. I was NOT trying to convince unbelievers. Notice where the OP is. The forum is BIBLE STUDY HALL.

You're right, there is NO proof either way so I prefer to believe Genesis is true and that science is wrong. I'm not sure why ANY Christian would accept science OVER God's word?

I agree David, and I have neither condemned nor threatened to burn ANYONE at the stake. I am willing to defend my understanding and scripture as is my responsibility. I am NOT willing to believe men over God. Romans 3:3-4; But what if some were unfaithful, will their lack of faith nullify the faithfulness of God? By no means! Let God be true and every man a liar. As it is written, “so that you may be justified in your words and prevail when you are judged.”

Sorry, but I'm not seeing a literal interpretation on your part. I'm seeing an interpretation based on your belief in science being right. You can't believe both the literal six day interpretation of Genesis and the 14+ billion year theory of science. No offence meant, but having to point out your wisdom is NOT what I would call wise, or humble. You are right though, His way are higher than ours.

I trust I have not been dis-respectful of your opinions...it was NOT my intent. Only to be fanatical for GOD.

Blessings.








 
Member
Sorry, but I'm not seeing a literal interpretation on your part. I'm seeing an interpretation based on your belief in science being right. You can't believe both the literal six day interpretation of Genesis and the 14+ billion year theory of science. No offence meant, but having to point out
I never said, that I believed the universe was (XXX) years old.

I follow a literal interpretation of Genesis the same as you do.

If God said He created in six days, then He created in six days!

As I said before, there is no reliable way of knowing the age of
the universe.

The question itself is pointless, nothing is gained either way.

I repeat, I follow the simple, literal, reading of the Bible.
 
Member
As I said before, there is no reliable way of knowing the age of
the universe.
This is certainly correct. You cant take our current laws, that include death, decay, etc... and apply it to pre fall conditions. There was no death or decay. Something radically happened when man sinned. I studied physics for yrs and accept all the current laws as we have them. But when I see these obvious tensions i just accept that although mathematically i can show an old age, I cant trust that unless I assume that our laws, that show decay, were how things were in the garden. Remember there was no death before the fall but our laws reveal a world with friction, death, decay(2nd law of thermodynamics). So although I trust our laws now, I do not trust them to tell me how things 'were'.
 
Member
I never said, that I believed the universe was (XXX) years old.

I follow a literal interpretation of Genesis the same as you do.

If God said He created in six days, then He created in six days!

As I said before, there is no reliable way of knowing the age of
the universe.

The question itself is pointless, nothing is gained either way.

I repeat, I follow the simple, literal, reading of the Bible.
Thanks for clarifying your position.
 
Member
This is certainly correct. You cant take our current laws, that include death, decay, etc... and apply it to pre fall conditions. There was no death or decay. Something radically happened when man sinned. I studied physics for yrs and accept all the current laws as we have them. But when I see these obvious tensions i just accept that although mathematically i can show an old age, I cant trust that unless I assume that our laws, that show decay, were how things were in the garden. Remember there was no death before the fall but our laws reveal a world with friction, death, decay(2nd law of thermodynamics). So although I trust our laws now, I do not trust them to tell me how things 'were'.

Interesting view Jason. Would explain a few things I guess.
 

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