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Genesis Introduction

Introduction to Genesis

Meaning and Significance

The word “Genesis” means “Beginnings.” In this first book of the Bible we read about the following: the beginning of life, the beginning of man's relationship with God, the beginning of wrongdoing (sin) and the need for atonement (a covering and satisfaction for sin), the beginning of people groups and nations, and the beginning of a particular people chosen by God.

Authorship

Moses is the author of the first five books of the Bible called the Pentateuch. Jesus' words in Luke 24:27 and Moses' composition of Psalm 90 give Scriptural justification for this view. Thousands of years after the creation of the earth, God revealed to Moses the events which only the Almighty could have witnessed. Moses must have been in awe as God described how he made the universe and all its inhabitants.

Date of the Earth—Creation or Evolution?

The Date of the beginning of the earth is uncertain. A literal reading of the genealogical record in Genesis 5-11 leads us to believe that the earth is about 6,000 years old. See an explanation of that here. Evolutionist dispute this very young earth view. Some efforts by liberal theologians try to make compromises with evolution theories, saying that each day represents an era of time. That compromise, however, does not hold water and is in serious violation with common sense interpretation of the facts.

Moses gives the first record of creation events in Genesis 2

Thus the heavens and the earth were completed in all their vast array. By the seventh day God had finished the work he had been doing; so on the seventh day he rested from all his work.
And God blessed the seventh day and made it holy, because on it he rested from all the work of creating that he had done (Genesis 2:1-3, NIV).

Notice that in Moses' second record of these same events, the interpretation has not changed.

For in six days the LORD made the heavens and the earth, the sea, and all that is in them, but he rested on the seventh day. Therefore the LORD blessed the Sabbath day and made it holy. (Exodus 20:11, NIV)

Jesus also affirmed the record of Moses. See a thorough explanation of that here.

What about the Day-Age theory; can there be any compromise between evolution and creation? Evolutionary Science and Creation Science can't be harmonized; it just doesn't work.

On the first day of creation, before the universe was created, God said let there be light and there was light—no big bang or Supernova.The light did not come from stars but from the only source possible—himself! In Psalm 104:2 (NIV) the hymn writer tells us “He [the Almighty God] wraps himself in light as with a garment; he stretches out the heavens like a tent.”

On the second day, before the universe was created, God was forming the atmospheric layers of the earth.

Before the universe was created, on the third day God was creating the sky, water, earth, and plant life. Life did not come from the ocean because it was not created until the fifth day; plant life was created on the third day.

On the fourth day God created the sun, moon, and stars. If each day were an era of time, all life would be dead and frozen if it depended on the sun.

On the fifth day God created the sea creatures and birds of the air.

On the sixth day God created animals and people from the dust of the ground, not from some evolving sea creatures who got washed up on shore.

You see? The Day-Age theory just doesn 't work; there is no natural solution or compromise possible. God created and sustains all things. (more)

Is the debate between evolution and creation really important? It is. It is very important; in fact it is vital to our faith. If we can't trust Genesis 1-11 to be literally and historically true, how can we trust the rest of the Bible? (more)

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