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Genesis and Geology

We believe the Bible is the Word of God. Let us understand, first of all, that Genesis is God’s revelation. Geology, on the other hand , is man’s invention. Since God knows all the facts this revelation can never be in error. If Genesis and Geology differ the error must be on the side of Geology.

Who can read the first chapter of Genesis without being impressed by its uniqueness ? Rather common, yet so marvelous! There is no attempt to argue and to prove the authenticity of the facts presented. The Author is not bound by Science since lie is so much bigger than man’s discovery.

The Bible is not a book of science. Its primary aim is rather to point sinners to Christ Jesus. Yet it contains no scientific error even though it basically is not a book on science. Since the Bible was never intended to teach people science, it simply narrates the ‘fact’ of creation without explaining the ‘why’. It is good to have knowledge but there is a foolishness which is more blessed.

The General Concept among Christians regarding the first chapter of Genesis is that the very first verse is a kind of general introduction. The writer of Genesis, people speculate, outlines what he intends to say in the first sentence and then proceeds to explain it in detail. Having mentioned when God created the heavens and the earth, he then continues by telling what condition the earth is in. Such is the popular view. Yet those who study carefully the first chapter of sacred Scripture deem this interpretation to be erroneous.

In the original Hebrew, this initial verse of the first chapter of Genesis contains seven words. These divinely revealed words do not say that in the beginning God ‘formed’ or ‘made’ the world out of certain raw materials. No, the heavens and the earth were created. This word ‘created’ is ‘bara” in the original. This word ‘bara’ is used three more times in Genesis I and 2. Gen 1: 21, Gen 1: 27, Gen 2 ; 3, ref. Rom 4 : 17.

These sea monsters and living things not only had physical bodies but also had an animated life within them.They therefore required a directive creative act of God.

In the first two chapters of Genesis there are three different words used for the act of creation : –

(1) bara- calling into being without the aid of prr-existing material.

(2) asah – different from bara, asah signifies making, fashioning or preparing out of existent material.

(3) Yatsar – which means to shape or mould as a potter does with clay. This word is used in Gen 2: 7. Interestingly, Isa 43: 7 illustrates the meaning and connection of all three.

The words “In the beginning” reinforce the thought of God creating the heavens and the earth out of nothing. There is no need to theorize; since God has spoken, let men simply believe. Heb I 1: 3, Job 38.

The heaven is not the firmament immediately surrounding the earth. Rather it points to the heaven where the stars are. To understand the first chapter of Genesis it is important that we distinguish the ‘earth’ mentioned in verse 1 from the ‘earth’ spoken in verse 2. For the condition of the earth in verse 2 is not what God had created originally, I Cor 14: 33. And hence in the beginning He created perfectly. So the waste and void of the earth spoken in verse 2 was got the original condition of the earth as God first created it Isa 45 :18.

How clear God’s word is . The word ‘waste’ here is ‘tohu’ in Hebrew which signifies ‘desolation”. It says that the earth God created was not a waste. Why then does Gen 1: 2 states like that? In the beginning, the earth which God created was not ‘tohu’: but later on the earth did become waste and void. So that all which is mentioned from verse 3 onward does not refer to the original creation but to the restoration of the earth. God created the heaven and the earth in the beginning; but He subsequently used the six days to remake the earth habitable. Genesis 1:1 was the original world; while Genesis 1: 2 describes the desolate condition which was the earth’s during the transitional period following its original creation and before our present world.

Over a hundred years ago. Dr. Chalmers pointed out that the words ‘the earth was waste’ might equally be translated ‘the earth became waste’. Dr. I.M.Haldeman, G.H.Pember and others showed that the Hebrew word ‘was’ here has been translated ‘became’ in Gen 19 : 26.

Gen 1:1, Exod 20 : 11 Comparing these two verses, we see that the world in Gen 1:1 was quite different from the world that came after Gen 1: 3. Who can measure the distance that exists between ‘created’ and ‘made’? The one is a calling into being things out of nothing, the other is a working on something already there. Man can make but cannot create. God can create as well as make.

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