The first eleven chapters of Genesis (literally “beginnings”) are often ridiculed and discounted by scientists, scholars and archaeologists as “fantasy” or “mythological” tales from ancient times. Keep in mind these same skeptics can accept that monkeys became people, fish grew legs and walked out of the water and dinosaurs turned into birds.
Many have suggested theories of what took place berween Genesis 1:1 and Genesis 1:2.
Today a debate rages about the question of origins and where creation and humanity came from. Much of the passion that surrounds this question is because the question of origins has implications for everything else. For example, Genesis says that there was a beginning to history which means there will be an end. Genesis says that creation comes from God which means it belongs to God. Genesis says that people come from God which means that people will stand before God in the end.
The main viewpoints (worldview) of unbelievers are Deism (Deism emphasize that God created everything, but is not present in the workings of His creation. Therefore, in this viewpoint, God exhibits His transcendent.), Pantheism (Pantheism states that God is part of His creation. Therefore, in this viewpoint God shows His personal immanence.), Panentheism or Monism (Panentheism and Monism emphasize that “all in God and all is one), Process Theology or Open Theism (Process Theology or Open Theism states that God is in process, growing in knowledge with His creation. God is in process, growing in knowledge with His creation emphasize God’s personal nature.) and Naturalism (Naturalism states that matter comes forth from natural processes, without aid from any supernatural entity. In this worldview, matter and life are created by chance. This viewpoint emphasizes that matter is either eternally existent or it comes into effect ex nihilo, ‘out of nothing’.).
There are several Judeo-Christian views on the creation of the “heaves and earth” as well.
In Historic Creationism, Genesis 1:1 records the making of all of creation by God out of nothing (or ex nihilo) through a merism of “heavens and earth,” which means the sky above and land below, or the totality of creation. Since the word used for “beginning” in Genesis 1:1 is reshit in Hebrew, which means an indefinite period of time, it is likely that all of creation was completed over an extended period of time (anywhere from days to billions of years). Then Genesis 1:2 begins the description of God preparing the uninhabitable land for the creation of mankind. The preparation of the uncultivated land for and creation of Adam and Eve occurred in six literal twenty-four hour days. This view leaves open the possibility of both an old earth and six literal days of creation.
In Creationism, God created the entire universe, including Adam and Eve, in six literal twenty-four hour days. This view is almost always accompanied with a belief in a young earth as it seeks to be faithful to the Biblical text while not giving much credence to the scientific claims of such things as an old earth.
In the Gap Theory, Genesis 1:1 explains a first creation that happened perhaps billions of years ago. Then, a catastrophic event, likely the fall of Satan from Heaven, left the earth in the destroyed condition of Genesis 1:2. God responded to this disaster by recreating the earth again a few thousand years ago in six literal days and repopulating the earth as is recorded in Genesis 1:3-27. According to this view the earth is old from the first creation, and mankind is young because of the recent creation. The problems with this view include the fact that nothing in the Bible speaks of two creations, and at the end of the six days of creation God declared all that He had made “very good,” which does not correlate with the claim that the earth had been destroyed and made “very bad.”
In the Literary Framework view, Genesis 1-2 is intended to be read as a figurative framework explaining creation in a topical and not sequential order. In this view the six days of creation listed in Genesis 1 are also to be interpreted metaphorically as not literal twenty-four hour days. The Literary Framework view is outlined as below.
There are serious problems with this viewpoint. Most obviously, Exodus 20:11 clearly states that the six days of creation are literal, saying, “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.”
Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy. Six days shalt thou labour, and do all thy work: But the seventh day is the sabbath of the LORD thy God: in it thou shalt not do any work, thou, nor thy son, nor thy daughter, thy manservant, nor thy maidservant, nor thy cattle, nor thy stranger that is within thy gates: For in six days the LORD made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in them is, and rested the seventh day: wherefore the LORD blessed the sabbath day, and hallowed it.
(Exodus 20:8-11 KJV)
In the Day-Age View, God created the universe, including Adam and Eve, in six sequential periods of time that are not literal twenty-four hour days. The problem with this view is that the six days of creation are seemingly clearly literal days. Also, refer to Exodus 20:8-11.
In Theistic Evolution, God essentially began creation and then pulled back from working directly in creation to instead work through the process of evolution. The only exception would be God involving Himself again directly in the making of human life. For the most part, this view accepts the hypothesis of evolution but seeks to insert God as the creator of matter and overseer of the evolutionary process. This view also believes that species evolved over a long period of time, which requires an old earth.
The biblical problems with theistic evolution are many. First, Genesis 1 repeatedly states that creation and its species came into existence because “God said” and not because of evolutionary process. Additionally, Genesis 1 continually states that after God commanded creation to come into existence, “it was so,” which shows that God’s commands brought about the instantaneous response of creation coming into being and not through a long evolutionary process detached from God. Second, evolution teaches that one species evolves into other species while Genesis 1 says that each species had offspring “according to its kind” (Genesis 1:21, Genesis 1:24, and Genesis 1:25) and not another kind as evolution postulates. Third, the rest of Scripture portrays God as continually involved in the details of creation, including making the grass grow (Psalm 104:14; Matthew 6:30), feeding the birds (Matthew 6:26), and feeding the other creatures (Psalm 104:21, Psalm 104:25-30). This portrait of God from Scripture clearly does not paint Him as remote and involved in creation only indirectly.
For an much more extensive overview and insight into God’s creation of everything, please refer to the article “Answers To Common Questions About Creation” from Pastor Mark Driscoll at the following link.
Now that the creation myths and theories have been presented, I will explain (to the best of my ability) the historical and Biblical account of creation from the book of Beginnings, Genesis.
In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth.
(Genesis 1:1 KJV)
Genesis 1:1 is a merism, a figure of speech, by which a single thing is referred to by a conventional phrase that enumerates several of its parts, or which lists several synonyms for the same thing. It is similar to the dust jacket or preface of a book to tell the reader what the book is about. Merisms are conspicuous features of Biblical poetry. For example, in Genesis 1:1, when God creates “the heavens and the earth” (KJV), the two parts combine to indicate that God created the whole universe. Similarly, in Psalm 139, the psalmist declares that God knows “my downsitting and mine uprising”, indicating that God knows all the psalmist’s actions.
And the earth was without form, and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters.
(Genesis 1:2 KJV)
In Genesis 1:2 we find the Holy Spirit hovering over the waters of the planet. The word “hover” can be translated “moving, vibrating, fluttering gently” on the surface of the waters. The Rabbis note that “‘hover’ is a description of the eagle hovering over the young to care for them and protect them. Matter itself is lifeless. The Spirit of God quickens (gives life) and transforms it into material for a living world.”
From the Hebrew text Genesis 1:2 reads: “And the earth was nothingness and waste (terrifying) was upon the face of the primeval ocean, and Spirit of God hovered upon the face of the oceans.” Water is the womb of life and there is more water observed on earth than upon any other planet observed in space!
And God said, Let there be light: and there was light. And God saw the light, that it was good: and God divided the light from the darkness. And God called the light Day, and the darkness he called Night. And the evening and the morning were the first day.
(Genesis 1:3-5 KJV)
There was light on the first day. There was also day and night, this means the earth was rotating on it’s axis on the first day. Skeptics love this verse because they claim it is a contradiction as the sun. moon and stars were not created until the fourth day. The implications of Genesis 1:3 are that there was light and that light source was entirely independent from the sun, moon and stars.
Skeptics have long ridiculed the science of Biblical creation over this point. How could there be light bathing the earth before the sun was created? Obviously the Bible must be in error. But as always, this apparent error drives us to look more closely at the relevant data, both scientific and biblical.
Actually there are many sources of light, not just the sun. There are also many types of light, not just visible light. Short-wave light includes ultraviolet light, X-rays, and others. Long-wave light includes infrared light, radio waves, etc. Light is produced by friction, by fire, by numerous chemical reactions, as well as the nuclear reactions of atomic fission and fusion, which is what we think is occurring in the sun. God had at His fingertips many options to accomplish His purposes. Light does not automatically require the sun.
Furthermore, we have important data given by the Hebrew words used in the creation account. When God created “light” in verse 3, the word used connotes the presence of light only, while the word used for “lights” on Day Four is best translated “light bearers,” or permanent light sources. Their purpose was not only to give light, but to serve as timekeepers for man once he was created. According to the best stellar creation theory now available, light from stars created anywhere in the universe on Day Four would reach earth in two earth days, and would be useful to Adam on Day Six.
We know from many other Scriptures throughout the Bible that the sun, moon and stars are not necessary because God Himself is light.
And the angel of God, which went before the camp of Israel, removed and went behind them; and the pillar of the cloud went from before their face, and stood behind them: And it came between the camp of the Egyptians and the camp of Israel; and it was a cloud and darkness to them, but it gave light by night to these: so that the one came not near the other all the night.
(Exodus 14:19-20 KJV)
And after six days Jesus taketh Peter, James, and John his brother, and bringeth them up into an high mountain apart, And was transfigured before them: and his face did shine as the sun, and his raiment was white as the light.
(Matthew 17:1-2 KJV)
In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. The same was in the beginning with God. All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made. In him was life; and the life was the light of men. And the light shineth in darkness; and the darkness comprehended it not.
(John 1:1-5 KJV)
And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night. And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them: and they were sore afraid. And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord.
(Luke 2:8-11 KJV)
And I saw a new heaven and a new earth: for the first heaven and the first earth were passed away; and there was no more sea. And I John saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. And I heard a great voice out of heaven saying, Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and he will dwell with them, and they shall be his people, and God himself shall be with them, and be their God. And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away. And he that sat upon the throne said, Behold, I make all things new. And he said unto me, Write: for these words are true and faithful. And he said unto me, It is done. I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end. I will give unto him that is athirst of the fountain of the water of life freely. He that overcometh shall inherit all things; and I will be his God, and he shall be my son. But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers, and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death. And there came unto me one of the seven angels which had the seven vials full of the seven last plagues, and talked with me, saying, Come hither, I will shew thee the bride, the Lamb’s wife. And he carried me away in the spirit to a great and high mountain, and shewed me that great city, the holy Jerusalem, descending out of heaven from God, Having the glory of God: and her light was like unto a stone most precious, even like a jasper stone, clear as crystal; And had a wall great and high, and had twelve gates, and at the gates twelve angels, and names written thereon, which are the names of the twelve tribes of the children of Israel: On the east three gates; on the north three gates; on the south three gates; and on the west three gates. And the wall of the city had twelve foundations, and in them the names of the twelve apostles of the Lamb. And he that talked with me had a golden reed to measure the city, and the gates thereof, and the wall thereof. And the city lieth foursquare, and the length is as large as the breadth: and he measured the city with the reed, twelve thousand furlongs. The length and the breadth and the height of it are equal. And he measured the wall thereof, an hundred and forty and four cubits, according to the measure of a man, that is, of the angel. And the building of the wall of it was of jasper: and the city was pure gold, like unto clear glass. And the foundations of the wall of the city were garnished with all manner of precious stones. The first foundation was jasper; the second, sapphire; the third, a chalcedony; the fourth, an emerald; The fifth, sardonyx; the sixth, sardius; the seventh, chrysolite; the eighth, beryl; the ninth, a topaz; the tenth, a chrysoprasus; the eleventh, a jacinth; the twelfth, an amethyst. And the twelve gates were twelve pearls; every several gate was of one pearl: and the street of the city was pure gold, as it were transparent glass. And I saw no temple therein: for the Lord God Almighty and the Lamb are the temple of it. And the city had no need of the sun, neither of the moon, to shine in it: for the glory of God did lighten it, and the Lamb is the light thereof. And the nations of them which are saved shall walk in the light of it: and the kings of the earth do bring their glory and honour into it. And the gates of it shall not be shut at all by day: for there shall be no night there.
(Revelation 21:1-25 KJV)
And God said, Let there be a firmament in the midst of the waters, and let it divide the waters from the waters. And God made the firmament, and divided the waters which were under the firmament from the waters which were above the firmament: and it was so. And God called the firmament Heaven. And the evening and the morning were the second day.
(Genesis 1:6-8 KJV)
The firmament in the heavens is the only place in the creation narrative where God did “see that it was good.” It was necessary, but not good. Please see my article “Seventh Heaven” below for more details on this subject.
On the third day all the waters under the heaven were gathered in one place which He called seas, the dry land was called Earth. Then God created all grasses, trees and vegetation.
And God said, Let the waters under the heaven be gathered together unto one place, and let the dry land appear: and it was so. And God called the dry land Earth; and the gathering together of the waters called he Seas: and God saw that it was good. And God said, Let the earth bring forth grass, the herb yielding seed, and the fruit tree yielding fruit after his kind, whose seed is in itself, upon the earth: and it was so. And the earth brought forth grass, and herb yielding seed after his kind, and the tree yielding fruit, whose seed was in itself, after his kind: and God saw that it was good. And the evening and the morning were the third day.
(Genesis 1:9-13 KJV)
On the fourth day of creation, God created the sun, moon and stars and established the ordinances for them so that they would be for signs, seasons, nights and days.
And God said, Let there be lights in the firmament of the heaven to divide the day from the night; and let them be for signs, and for seasons, and for days, and years: And let them be for lights in the firmament of the heaven to give light upon the earth: and it was so. And God made two great lights; the greater light to rule the day, and the lesser light to rule the night: he made the stars also. And God set them in the firmament of the heaven to give light upon the earth, And to rule over the day and over the night, and to divide the light from the darkness: and God saw that it was good. And the evening and the morning were the fourth day.
(Genesis 1:14-19 KJV)
On the fifth day, God created every animal that lives in the sea; fish, whales, sea lions, shrimp, clams, and oysters.He also created the birds of the air (and probably all flightless birds like ostrich as well).
And God said, Let the waters bring forth abundantly the moving creature that hath life, and fowl that may fly above the earth in the open firmament of heaven. And God created great whales, and every living creature that moveth, which the waters brought forth abundantly, after their kind, and every winged fowl after his kind: and God saw that it was good. And God blessed them, saying, Be fruitful, and multiply, and fill the waters in the seas, and let fowl multiply in the earth. And the evening and the morning were the fifth day.
(Genesis 1:20-23 KJV)
On the sixth and final day of creation, God created all things that dwell on land. From earthworms to cattle to humans.
And God said, Let the earth bring forth the living creature after his kind, cattle, and creeping thing, and beast of the earth after his kind: and it was so. And God made the beast of the earth after his kind, and cattle after their kind, and every thing that creepeth upon the earth after his kind: and God saw that it was good. And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth. So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them. And God blessed them, and God said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it: and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth. And God said, Behold, I have given you every herb bearing seed, which is upon the face of all the earth, and every tree, in the which is the fruit of a tree yielding seed; to you it shall be for meat. And to every beast of the earth, and to every fowl of the air, and to every thing that creepeth upon the earth, wherein there is life, I have given every green herb for meat: and it was so. And God saw every thing that he had made, and, behold, it was very good. And the evening and the morning were the sixth day.
(Genesis 1:24-31 KJV)
On the sixth day (Friday), God completed the work on His creation. On the seventh day, God rested from all his work which he had made. And God blessed the seventh day, and sanctified it: because that in it he had rested from all his work which God created and made.
Thus the heavens and the earth were finished, and all the host of them. And on the seventh day God ended his work which he had made; and he rested on the seventh day from all his work which he had made. And God blessed the seventh day, and sanctified it: because that in it he had rested from all his work which God created and made.
(Genesis 2:1-3 KJV)
Everything that God created was created mature. This includes plants, animals, star, galaxies, and humans. So now you know what came first, the chicken, not the egg.