Understanding Genesis 1

(Helen Tan) #1

I came across a short video (11:46 mins) of a montage of speakers on the subject of Genesis 1 compiled by BioLogos. The speakers include Alister McGrath, John Polkinghorn, NT Wright, John Walton, Chris Tilling, Ard Louis, Peter Enns, Karen Winslow, Nancy Murphy and Michael Ramsden.

There was a wide range of views which differed from the traditional teaching of Genesis 1 in my church upbringing and I am in the process of digesting them. Here are some:

  1. Genesis 1 is an ancient document not written to us (although the Bible is written for us). It is not written in our language nor with our culture in mind. It’s not meant to be a divinely dictated text to save us the trouble of doing the science nor meant to provide us with a factual generalistic account, but to tell us the significance of what’s happening. We need to tread into their world and hear it as they would have heard it as the author would have meant it.

  2. We are inclined to see Genesis as an account of material origins because we think about the word in material terms, but it is not. In seeing the need to integrate it with science, people end up making the text say things never meant for an ancient audience.

  3. A lot of the Genesis story was written as a counter measure against the other cultures’ creation stories. Genesis 1 shares the creative vocabulary with the other stories but takes things and turns it on its head. For eg., other creation stories tell of gods at war in creation. Genesis 1 talks about Yahweh being the Creator.

  4. Genesis is about God’s place of dwelling – Heaven and Earth overlapping where God made His abode and shared the earth bit with us. It is the Temple and the cosmos blended into one. The Temple can be likened to the Oval Office where control is exercised.

  5. The failure of Adam in Genesis parallels the failure of Israel, in that both failed and were exiled. Read in this context, Genesis 1, instead of being about whether there were 6 days and were they 24 hours or not, is actually about when the good Creator God making an abode to share with man and even in man’s failure, He wants to rescue and redeem everything.

In going through this exercise, I came across new concepts some of which were confronting (eg. that of Peter Enns, the author of “The Evolution of Adam, What the Bible Does and Doesn’t Say about Human Origins”). My initial reaction was to recoil from them but upon further consideration, I see that it’s prudent to engage and understand them to be able to enter into meaningful dialogue with people of different persuasions.

How would you deal with concepts which are radically different from what you are brought up and are comfortable with? I would like to hear your thought processes on this and what you think of some of what’s said. Thank you.

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(Phillip Walter Coetzee) #2

Very interesting. My reaction I think would be to refer to the correspondence theory of truth and the coherence theory of truth.
The fact of the matter is that “many people say many things” and “many persuasions are persuaded”. Yet some people tend to engage with the pragmatic theory of truth the entire “if it works for me, then it must be true”. The same can be accounted for when the information you acquire matches the data clusters you have cherry-picked. Yet an overall empirically adequate conclusion has good premises and valid logic.
I never really smile at the idea of the Bible somehow being “lost in translation” or “mistranslated”, because it makes people focus more on man’s ability to preserve the Bible than God’s promise to do so. The authority of man is freakishly exalted above the sovereignty and wisdom of God.

The Genesis account of creation is backed up again in Exodus and the Gospel of John. Numerous citations are possible. At the end of the day when all the data is taken into consideration and coherence is disrupted, the faulty theory or conclusion may be dismissed.
Many people are experts of the Bible, yet sadly not everyone is familiar with the concept of context.

(Andrew Bulin) #3

To tease this discussion out further, and piggyback onto what @Phillip was saying…

Is it possible that not all these speakers in this video saying the same thing or that some of what is being said can be easy to misconstrue? For example, my curiosity grew further around 3:34 when Murphy, Enns, and Tilling presented the Genesis account as more of a polemic to (or even dependent on?) existing epochs and tales. Then again earlier when Walton describes Genesis as not providing the origin of material things. I find myself wrestling with these, hoping the video clips (or perhaps my hearing) did not give justice to each person’s complete discourse.

In response to these possible assumptions, starting with Walton, I could ask, “Are we saying that the Bible does not testify that all things are from God?” Surely this is not what we are trying to say. The ancient writers firmly believed that God was intimately involved in the creation of all things. I think the gist is that the Genesis account does not thrust itself on the audience as being a literal and scientific document of precisely how, particularly in the modern sense.

To the possibility that the other three could be understood as saying that the Genesis story is simply a polemic or dependent, I could ask, “Are we then claiming that the Genesis account (and likely other Biblical stories) are merely borrowed?” It seems to me this opens the door for challenging the reliability of the text as being truly inspired, but this may not be what the speakers are trying to present. There is an interesting discussion in the formulaic layout of the text not being literal but poetic and answering common questions of that day, which undoubtedly would have been in light of the knowledge of other religions and epochs. [1][2]

I have to conclude whether or not I believe that the Bible is true in what it affirms, in the context it was written, and in its proper interpretation. There must be an understanding of how the text was written by the ancient people of their day and culture, while also appreciating the universal message of truth that God intended for all generations. (I further have to understand how I see things from my own worldview.) I liked how Wright at the end presented the simile to Beethoven’s symphony in comparing just the four iconic beats to a flat, textual and historical criticism, versus the complete symphonic richness to the fullbodied, enriching personal context of the Genesis account of God setting up a place for him and man to have an intimate relationship.

[1] Gordon J. Wenham, Word Biblical Commentary: Genesis 1-15, vol. 1, eds. David A. Hubbard, Glenn W. Barker, and John D. W. Watts (Waco: Word Publisher, 1987) 8-10.
[2] Wenham quotes Hasel (1972, 1974) as “attacking rival cosmologies” (9). It’s interesting to think of Genesis sharing the truth of God not any less true than Paul spoke truth of the “unknown” God to the Athenians (Acts 17:22-31). Like Paul, the writer of Genesis did not depend on the other myths for coming up with the content of who God is, but the inspiration of writing would have been both to reveal God’s truth to all, while also being relevant to challenging contemporary thoughts of that day. The Bible was not only intended for Western, twentieth-century me. I start to look at Christian history differently and with a little more charity considering others may have made the same mistake in their time.

(SeanO) #4

@Phillip and @andrew.bulin made excellent points - that the universal message of truth God intended for all generations and the cultural understanding of the text must coexist in our interpretation. We should not throw one out in favor of the other. God’s Truth is both culturally transmitted and universally applicable at its core. There are passages like the one where Paul told Timothy to drink a little wine for his stomach - but I think Genesis 1 clearly does not fall into that category.

To your more general question about how we engage with ideas that run counter to what we have grown up learning about the Bible, I would offer the following advice - though it sounds like you are already keeping it…

  1. Be slow to change your mind
  2. Beware the one hand clapping - one idea always sounds good in the absence of other ideas and it can be easy to get tunnel vision if we find one explanation that we really like
  3. Seek counselors with different perspectives (Proverbs 11:14 - But in the multitude of counselors there is safety.)

In brief, my view of each of the 5 points you listed is:

  1. I agree we need to hear Genesis 1 as the originally audience would have heard it. But I disagree that simply because it is not written with a modern Western audience in mind, it is therefore only a statement of ‘significance’ / ‘meaning’ and does not contain factual claims. Even if we take the view that it is poetry, that still does not mean it does not make any factual claims.

2 and 3) I think it is reductionistic to try to say that because Genesis 1 includes polemic against / competing claims with other ancient cultures’ creation narratives that it is therefore nothing more than a polemic…

  1. The temple theory is one that interests me, but again I think it is reductionistic to say that Genesis 1 is only an explanation of God as ruler in the Temple of creation.

  2. To me personally, this one is just plain silly. It’s basically a way of saying that the ancient Israelites believed nothing factual about where them came from and told this story simply to make an abstract point. I think these types of explanations are more a product of the modern Western imagination than any ancient culture which believed the supernatural was very real.

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(Jennifer Judson) #5

@SeanO had good suggestions for when new information runs counter to what you’ve always been taught. That put me in mind of a few others:

  • What do you know about the source of the information and is he/she credible? Are they known for their orthodoxy, or for stepping over the line? Do they have a sound reputation as a Godly person? Is their Biblical scholarship sound? Do you have an inkling of the depth of their relationship with the Lord and do they prayerfully seek God’s wisdom in their studies (more likely with a person you know)?
  • Is it an outright contradiction or only an additional perspective to consider?
  • Since most biblical principles can be found throughout scripture, how does it line up within the full context of the Bible and/or Gospel?
  • If it’s based on new information (such as newly discovered archeological artifacts) that gives new light to cultural context, it is theory or fact?

I think when things run completely counter to conventional interpretation then some serious legwork is needed before throwing the baby out with the bathwater. But we also need to consider the credibility of the things we have always been taught. How do they align with the beliefs of the early church? What is the cultural corruption potentially influenced our current understanding of scripture?

I’ve never given much thought to the controversies over interpreting the creation story. Were they 24 hour days or geological epochs? Don’t know. Don’t feel I really need to know. In actuality I think when we get scope locked on that kind of detail we can easily miss the real story. My Dad seems to be my go to for object lessons, but he’d spend days working out timelines and genealogies and when he couldn’t make them work he’s use that as justification for all the “errors” in the Bible. Basically in trying to capture a single drop of water he missed the entire ocean.

What I received from the video was that it can be a fruitless exercise (or argument) to try to make the Genesis account align with 21st C. science because it was not written in the same context. One is presenting facts and one is presenting ideas. Let me put it another way because I’m not sure that’s clear. Science would put forth the “what and how” of creation…Genesis puts forth the “who and why” of creation.

I don’t know that I’d latch on to every specific that was said, but in general I do agree that forcing a square peg into a round hole can be futile, so perhaps there’s another relevant way to look at Genesis.

(Jimmy Sellers) #6

I have not taken the time to watch the video (I do plan to at a later date) but I have and am studying several of the topics that Helen has highlighted. Let me interject this excerpt from a book that I am reading in parallel with the Science course that RZIM just rolled out.

All kinds of wondrous stories about the creation of the world were wide-spread throughout the lands of the East, and many of them assumed a literary form in epic poems or other compositions. In the course of our exposition we shall have repeated occasion to refer to a number of matters found in these sources and to translate several verses from their texts. Here it will suffice to indicate briefly their general character. They began, as a rule, with a theogony, that is, with the origin of the gods, the genealogy of the deities who preceded the birth of the world and mankind; and they told of the antagonism between this god and that god, of frictions that arose from these clashes of will, and of mighty wars that were waged by the gods. They connected the genesis of the world with the genesis of the gods and with the hostilities and wars between them; and they identified the different parts of the universe with given deities or with certain parts of their bodies. Even the elect few among the nations, the thinkers who for a time attained to loftier concepts than those normally held in their environment, men like Amenhotep IV—the Egyptian king who attributed the entire creation to one of the gods, the sun-god Aten—and his predecessors (the discoveries of recent years prove that he was not the first to hold this doctrine), even they pictured this god to themselves as but one of the gods, be he the very greatest, as a deity linked to nature and identifiable with one of its component parts.

Understanding this is important to the understanding of Genesis. All the stories that Cassuto summarized preceded the Hebrews by thousands of years. What needs to be understood is what is said in the following excerpt for the same paragraph.

Then came the Torah and soared aloft, as on eagles’ wings, above all these notions. Not many gods but One God; not theogony, for a god has no family tree; not wars nor strife nor the clash of wills, but only One Will, which rules over everything, without the slightest let or hindrance; not a deity associated with nature and identified with it wholly or in part, but a God who stands absolutely above nature, and outside of it, and nature and all its constituent elements, even the sun and all the other entities, be they never so exalted, are only His creatures, made according to His will.
Cassuto, U. (1998). A Commentary on the Book of Genesis: Part I, From Adam to Noah (Genesis I–VI 8). (I. Abrahams, Trans.) (pp. 7–8). Jerusalem: The Magnes Press, The Hebrew University.<

As a caveat could the same skepticism and caution have been applied to Luther? After all he stood alone and was going against a thousand years of church tradition.

(Helen Tan) #7

Thank you so much for joining me in this conversation. There’s a lot of wisdom and practical advice in your replies which I hope to garner together for use in my dialogues with others. I agree that the video gave only snippets of the thoughts of the speakers and more information is certainly required to begin to evaluate what they are saying. Yet, very often, that is all we get in our short conversations with people. They quote something and then we are expected to respond/defend our views. As such, I thought it would be helpful to me to see what your advice would be (so I can apply them in the future) and I’m grateful that you’ve taken the time to share them. I think too that the person/people who put together the video had the intention of showing that there are different interpretations of Genesis that we should keep an open mind to before shutting them down.

Perhaps what Michael Ramsden said in that video is what we should bear in mind when reading and considering Genesis again: “If this is an inspired Book and if it really is something which God is revealing and can speak through it, it shouldn’t surprise us if we found multiple layers of depth.” This tells me that each view is not mutually exclusive but could be seen as being part of a composite picture.

God’s Word is at once simple to reach the masses and yet so profound that Proverbs 25:2 tells us that:
It is the glory of God to conceal a matter;
_ to search out a matter is the glory of kings.

I am going to spend a bit more time to compile the thinking behind some of the more controversial/unusual views of a few of the speakers on Genesis 1 so we can put into practice the approaches that you all have so kindly shared. I am hoping that you would continue to unpack this subject (more so for my benefit).

Looking forward to chatting again soon…:))

(SeanO) #8

From John Walton’s bit in the NIV Bible Background Commentary on Genesis - I really like this depiction of how the ancients thought about the universe - or at least his interpretation of their view.

As far as I understand it, Walton believes the ancients thought of creation more in terms of function than existence - which is interesting, though again perhaps reductionistic if used to exclude other dimensions of the creation narrative.

It is interesting how C. S. Lewis notes that modern science has, in many ways, deprived the cosmos of meaning. For the modern mind the universe is a set of physical laws taking their natural course with no purpose in their beginning or ending. For the ancients the universe was filled with meaning.

(Ron Livaudais) #9

The Bible says that what happened in the Old Testament was a shadow of what was going to appear
in the New Testament in the Person of Jesus Christ. I would look at the Old Testament in context of Relationship with God. Relationship with God was established, then lost, first with Adam and Eve, then with Israel. God had a relationship with Adam and Eve which was severed because of sin. The same with Israel, who received the Law under Moses, The Letter of the Law being righteous, could not be followed while living in a fallen state. The Law was our school master to show us we could not keep it without supernatural help.
God said in the Old Testament that He would write the laws on our hearts. That could only happen when
Jesus bridged the gap with His sacrifice on the cross. We have been redeemed, have new hearts to follow
and obey our Risen Savior! Relationship has been reestablished, but this time the relationship will ‘stick’
because we do have new hearts that have been circumcised and we are living now with the Trinity and each other, the Body of Christ, in Relationship for eternity!

(R Constantine) #10

I would just like to share these thoughts by Jonathan D. Sarfati, PHD., F.M., on the Genesis Account. I trust that this would provide a different perspective coming from a Christian Scientist with Creation Ministry international. Sarfati said the difference is understanding the ministerial and magisterial uses of science.
He said, “ The magisterial use of science occurs when science stands over Scripture like a magistrate and judges it. The ‘problems’ are due to this faulty approach. Indeed, there is an inconsistency in many ‘scientific’ critics of the Bible: they condemn the Bible for being a fixed reference point while science is self-correcting. But if something is ‘self correcting’, then it not correct now! Conversely, the Bible claims - with ample justification - to be the Word of God that never needs correction. If we marry our theology to today’s science, we may well be widowed tomorrow.

The ministerial approach accepts that all things necessary for our faith and life are either expressly set down in Scripture, or may be logically deduced from Scripture, the inerrant and authoritative Word of God. Thus science must submit to this, and its self-correcting properties should lead it asymptotically closer to the biblical truth. However, there is much information not revealed in the Bible - Scripture is ‘true truth’ but it is not exhaustive truth. So science can minister to the Bible in elaborating upon its clear teachings in areas where it is silent. This may help us decide from among equally biblically -plausible alternatives consistent with the language. This includes developing models that help us to understand this history, or provide explanation for events. In contrast, the magisterial use all too often overrules the clear teaching of the Bible to come up with a meaning inconsistent with sound hermeneutics.”

This is a scientific perspective worth considering with our deliberations with others.

(Jimmy Sellers) #12

I am not toting Walton’s water but as a qualifier he did state this early in his book.

"An important caveat must be noted at this point. If we conclude that Genesis 1 is not an account of material origins, we are not thereby suggesting that God is not responsible for material origins. I firmly believe that God is fully responsible for material origins, and that, in fact, material origins do involve at some point creation out of nothing.
Walton, J. H. (2009). The Lost World of Genesis One: Ancient Cosmology and the Origins Debate (pp. 42–43). Downers Grove, IL: IVP Academic.<

The reason I make this point is without it one would rightfully assume materialistic creation and not an ex nihilo creation. If this subject is of interest I highly recommend another book that he (Walton) wrote. Ancient Near Eastern Thought and the Old Testament: Introducing the Conceptual World of the Hebrew Bible. Coming from a very literal understanding of creation this book was very helpful in helping me to appreciate the ancient world and how it possibly informed the Hebrews.

(Andrew Bulin) #13

Oh good. That’s why I assumed that this was likely the short coming of a video compilation. Thanks for the confirmation! :smiley:

(Helen Tan) #14

Hi everyone, thank you for your thoughts so far. I really like what Sean said: “ that the universal message of truth God intended for all generations and the cultural understanding of the text must coexist in our interpretation. We should not throw one out in favor of the other. God’s Truth is both culturally transmitted and universally applicable at its core.”

I was also thinking about what Dr John Lennox said is most astounding about Genesis: “ But for me, the absolutely stunning thing about the Bible is that it knows that there was a beginning. And secondly, that it knows that information is a fundamental concept. That has only been realized in the last century. In the beginning was the Word and God said.”

As we embark on this, I pray that the Holy Spirit will guide our hearts and minds to increase our understanding of this text. Most importantly, anything examined in the light of Christ’s birth, life, death and resurrection, will always pale in comparison.

(Helen Tan) #15

So here goes. Sean and Jimmy have touched on John Walton’s view and I thought we could start with some basic information as we unpack the strengths and weaknesses of his arguments. Walton argues within the context of Ancient Near East (ANE) thinking and says that Genesis 1 is not an account of the material origins of the world but rather its functional origins. He further views the text as a temple inauguration account in which the cosmos is God’s temple, His residence. In so doing, he sees that he is presenting what the immediate audience of Genesis would have understood, as well as reducing the tension between scripture and science in terms of the creation account. Here’s a short elaboration of 2 key points as a start:

  1. Functional ontology –Genesis 1 is about making a functioning world and not about the scientific mechanisms of material processes. Walton translates Genesis 1:1a as “In the initial period, God created by assigning functions through the heavens and the earth and this is how he did it.” This essentially accommodates the creation of the material world prior to Genesis 1 and is in line with ANE creation thinking which saw gods simply bringing order and function to physical matter that already existed. Walton does not deny that God created matter but denies that Genesis 1 talks about that. While it appears that Walton has embraced much of ANE thinking in this, there is a clear distinction in that the ANE texts do not differentiate their gods from the material world, for eg. the sun is a god. In contrast, the God of Israel is distinct from the material world. Curiously, Walton does not see the account of Adam as a description of material origin. Instead, he sees it as pointing to the mortality of man in an archetypical way (that man will ultimately return to dust). In terms of critiquing Walton’s argument, one could ask why and how often one would distinguish a material item from its function. Moreover, while some of the items eg. sun, moon, stars, are accounted for in terms of functionality, the Genesis account does not address the functionality of the great sea creatures. Thus, while functionality in creation is mentioned, the text does not seem to indicate that all of creation is to be interpreted in strictly functional terms.

  2. Temple and the cosmos – Walton sees Genesis 1 as being about a cosmic temple, one paralleling the inauguration of the Mesopotamian temple which took 7 days. The final step was rest on the 7th day when their god entered the sanctuary and the temple became functional. Again, there is an important distinction here between Genesis 1 and other ANE texts: man was not created to work for the gods but God’s focus was on creation to support the life of humanity. The God of Genesis has no needs for man to satisfy.

Perhaps one can say that in noting and contrasting Genesis 1 with ANE texts, Walton is providing another approach to facilitate communication, while at the same time, highlighting the uniqueness of Israel’s God.

I look forward to your comments and additions to this short introduction. In particular, I would appreciate your views as to how Walton’s work can add to our understanding and be used in our apologetic conversations and what weaknesses and counter arguments there are to what he says. How does this change/impact our presentation of the Gospel?

I’m also curious as to whether an understanding of how the ancients view the cosmos as seen in the illustration Sean shared above would aid our understanding of the meaning of the Bible.

(Andrew Bulin) #16

I feel that I gain a new quality in conversation when I can see the heart of the other person. When that is the heart of the writers and audience of Biblical text written millennia ago, I feel like I’ve gained valuable insight into humans’ hearts, hopefully enhancing my feeble ability to engage their questions using a better context I can now appreciate. It further fuels my hunger and passion to learn more.

(Helen Tan) #17

Hi @andrew.bulin, I agree with what you said. I think that as we widen our knowledge and understanding, we are better able to build and tailor our conversations to meet the questions and needs of those seeking answers.

As we consider Walton’s arguments, I was wondering if anyone has information on Peter Enns’ book, “The Evolution of Adam: What the Bible Does and Doesn’t Say about Human Origins”. From what I understand, there are some non-traditional and challenging arguments in there and he’s received quite a lot of push back. He is one of the speakers featured in the video and I was wondering if it is worthwhile having a look at what he’s saying. Any advice will be appreciated.

(SeanO) #18

@Helen_Tan I have not read Peter Enns. However, I did a quick survey of those who endorse his books and his book content.

He is endorsed by Rob Bell, who has rejected the authority of Scripture and the need for holiness. In addition, Enns’ books appear to treat the Scriptures as uninspired - if I am understanding correctly, Enns suggests that God allowed the Israelites to write the Bible how they wanted. I do not think his teaching would agree with 2 Timothy 3:16-17:

All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, 17 so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.

I hope I am not misrepresenting him, but based a brief survey of the table of contents of his books, those who endorse him and the reviews I would say he is not one I would personally seek to learn from.

(Helen Tan) #19

Thanks, @SeanO, for taking the time to look it up and letting us know.

(Terrell Allison) #20

It would seem that this montage of speakers, for the majority, have one thing in common. They believe the Genesis account is a myth. (Disclaimer-I do not know the personal beliefs of all those presented in this video)

I was shocked the first time I read "The Introduction To The Old Testament" from the 1971 Revised Standard Version, by Herbert G. May.

"Probably as early as the time of David and Solomon, out a matrix of myth, legend, and history, there had appeared the earliest written form of the saving acts of God from Creation to the conquest of the promised land, an account which later in modified form became a part of scripture. But it was to be a long time before the idea of scripture arose and the Old Testament took its present form." (Page XXV of The New Oxford Annotated Bible.)

If Adam is a myth, then so is the Bible. If there was no Adam there was no original sin. If there was no original sin there is no need for a saviour. If the Old Testament was a myth, then the New Testament is without merit.

I thank God for his Son that dwells in my heart, and is the revealer of truth.

(Helen Tan) #21

Hi everyone, although some of the thoughts presented in the video raised some serious questions, I see it as an attempt by the person who put it together to offer views which avoid the interface of Genesis 1 with the science that’s accessible to us in the 21st Century. It also raises the interesting question of how the ANE audience would have encountered this text. Perhaps the fundamental question is: What is Genesis 1? What did the writer intend it to be? Here are some views I came across on this:

  1. A magisterial literary composition – Genesis 1 is certainly written in an awe-inspiring style and language which transcends time and can speak to each generation, eliciting awe and wonder.

  2. Was it written as a myth? @tttallison saw most of the speakers as presenting Genesis as a myth. In going through the video again, I saw another aspect which is worth considering: the point being that the author of Genesis was taking on ANE myths (myths, as a literary genre, can be defined as stories told to convey and reinforce aspects of a culture’s worldview) and turning them on their heads. To the ANE audience, Genesis 1 would have been a radical account of creation unlike anything they were familiar with. In that sense, Genesis 1 can be seen to be a myth-buster to its audience at that time.

  3. Foundational theological treatise- Genesis 1 is undoubtedly a foundational theological treatise for Christian theology. Without it, how will we understand creation, sin, fall and Redemption?

  4. A scientific account – Seeing Genesis 1 as the authority on the origin of the universe and humanity takes us to the place where debates with science are inevitable. This is also where the age-old debate of Old Earth and Young Earth creationists occurs. Should Genesis 1 be viewed as a scientific text? Should we try to match science with God’s Word when science is still discovering new things and catching up with God’s eternal truths? Does it help in our apologetic discussions?

  5. A literal historical account – Genesis 1 makes truth claims about real history, pointing to God as the supreme Creator of this world. It counters not only ancient myths but even current ones. Paul’s interpretation of Genesis 1 as a historical account is evident in Acts 17:24-26; Romans 5:12; 1 Corinthians 11:8-12, 15:22, and 15:45; and 1 Timothy 2:13-14).

Genesis 1 is important because on it rests the entire Redemption story. It is not a mythical story similar to those in the ANE. However, there are layers in it which speaks to different generations and peoples across time testifying to its ultimate supernatural Authorship. Although someone from ANE culture may read it differently from someone from the 21st Century, it still sets the foundation to take us to our Creator God who loves us, His creation, so much that He has slain the Lamb from the foundation of the world.

Are there other aspects of Genesis 1 which will help us understand it better? As always, I would appreciate your thoughts on this.