Is Genesis 1–11 Actual History? | The Institute for Creation Research
Is Genesis 1–11 Actual History?

The early chapters of Genesis contradict ancient history as portrayed in public schools, television, and movies. For example, our culture insists humans evolved from ape-like creatures, while Genesis says we were made in God’s image.1 Culture says the earth formed over eons, but Genesis 1 says it took God just six days. Is it possible to believe both the Bible and evolution’s history? Many try. Some say early Genesis doesn’t convey real events and that God never intended for us to take Genesis 1–11 as history but as poetry. How well does this idea work?

We may think this approach leads to a lovely land of resolution where we can simply label controversial Scriptures “poetic” to avoid their plain meanings. Instead, opening the “Genesis is poetry” gate unleashes three terrible tigers of doubt that threaten our faith.

Jesus treated Genesis 1–11 as actual history. Tweet: Jesus treated Genesis 1–11 as actual history.

Is Genesis 1–11 Actual History? http://www.icr.org/article/is-genesis-1-11-actual-history

@icrscience @icrbthomas

#Bible #History

The first is that if we treat Genesis 1–11 as non-history, then what other passages should be labeled poetic or non-historical? The text of early Genesis doesn’t read or sound like poetry, so this idea comes from outside the Bible. The book of Psalms shows what the Bible’s poetry looks like. Historical psalms like Psalm 78 also show that even poetic passages can convey real history!

Genesis 1–11 reads like a straightforward account of real events. It uses the same tenses and tones as the rest of Genesis history, so there is no line where “poetry” leaves off and history begins. For example, Genesis 1:28 says, “Then God blessed them, and God said to them, ‘Be fruitful and multiply.’” If this is not history, then God did not actually say that. Later, Genesis 35:11 says, “Also God said to him [Jacob]: ‘I am God Almighty. Be fruitful and multiply.’” Both passages sound similar because both tell what God actually said. If we can treat one of these verses as non-history, then what stops us from treating the other verse—or the whole Bible, for that matter—as non-history?

The second doubt concerns Jesus’ truthfulness. He quoted from early Genesis when He said, “But from the beginning of the creation, God ‘made them male and female.’ ‘For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh.’”2 Jesus treated Genesis 1–11 as actual history. Why would He do that if He knew it was just poetry, not meant to be taken plainly? Peter and Paul also treated Genesis as history in their letters, so why shouldn’t we? 3,4

The final tiger comes from a wrong view of science. Christians who doubt Genesis history seem to think that when a scientist says a fossil formed 70 million years ago or that a dog-like creature evolved into a whale, somehow that scientist pulled the information from the fossils or rocks. But rocks tell no such tales. Instead, they actually fit better with Genesis history. Fossils do not form today, they formed in fast-flowing, muddy water, and every continent has plenty of them. Thus, muddy water must have flowed fast over the world’s continents. Noah’s worldwide Flood as detailed in Genesis 6–9 sets up exactly the right conditions to make most of the world’s fossil-bearing rock layers. In other words, the words of most scientists do not always equate with actual, data-driven science.

Stay on the straight path that lets the whole Bible make plain sense, agrees with Jesus, and embraces real science. Tweet: Stay on the straight path that lets the whole Bible make plain sense, agrees with Jesus, and embraces real science.

Is Genesis 1–11 Actual History? http://www.icr.org/article/is-genesis-1-11-actual-history

@icrscience @icrbthomas

#Bible #History

A consistent approach to the Bible, respect for the truthfulness of the words of Jesus and the apostles, and a right view of the limits of science all compel us to lock the gate labeled “Genesis is poetic.” Instead, stay on the straight path that lets the whole Bible make plain sense, agrees with Jesus, and embraces real science.

References

  1. Genesis 1:27.
  2. Mark 10:6-8, citing Genesis 1:27 and 2:24.
  3. “Who formerly were disobedient, when once the Divine longsuffering waited in the days of Noah, while the ark was being prepared, in which a few, that is, eight souls, were saved through water” (1 Peter 3:20).
  4. “For it is the God who commanded light to shine out of darkness, who has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ” (2 Corinthians 4:6).

* Mr. Thomas is Science Writer at the Institute for Creation Research and earned his M.S. in biotechnology from Stephen F. Austin State University.

Cite this article: Brian Thomas, Ph.D. 2018. Is Genesis 1–11 Actual History?. Acts & Facts. 47 (8).

The Latest
NEWS
Saturn’s Moons Continue to Challenge Secular Theorists
A recent article in Sky & Telescope magazine explains why secular theorists have difficulty agreeing on the ages of Saturn’s moons.1...

NEWS
Support Creation Ministry in Texas and Beyond
ICR scientists and support staff recently completed a two-week science expedition through the Great Plains and western mountain states to conduct scientific...

NEWS
Great Unconformity Best Solved by Global Flood
The Great Unconformity is one of the most baffling mysteries in the geological sciences.1 It is marked by a massive surface of erosion that...

NEWS
ICR’s 2021 Science Expedition Update–Dinosaur Fossils
A team of 11 people from the Institute for Creation Research is currently traveling on a multistate science expedition to dig up fossils, conduct field...

NEWS
ICR’s 2021 Science Expedition Update
A team of 11 people from the Institute for Creation Research is currently traveling on a multistate science expedition to dig up fossils, conduct field...

NEWS
ICR’s 2021 Science Expedition Begins!
The Institute for Creation Research launched its 2021 multistate science expedition last week as a nine-member team left the ICR headquarters in Dallas,...

NEWS
Inside September 2021 Acts & Facts
Why does ICR focus on scientific research? How could paleontologists mistake a lizard fossil for a dinosaur? Is animal death before the Fall theologically...

ACTS & FACTS
Creation Kids: Beauty by Design
Christy Hardy and Susan Windsor* You’re never too young to be a creation scientist! Kids, discover fun facts about God’s creation with...

ACTS & FACTS
Defend Your Faith with ICR
Have you ever heard a pastor question the historical nature of Genesis? “The days of creation weren’t really 24 hours long. The Bible is...

ACTS & FACTS
Animal Death Before the Fall?
Both the Old and New Testaments teach that death entered the world when Adam ate the forbidden fruit (e.g., Genesis 2:17 and Romans 5:12). Since fossils...