The Genesis Historic Narrative

2 Timothy 3:16-17 NKJV 16 All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, 17 that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work.

The importance of the Genesis Historic Narrative

History is comprised of events that occurred "sometime" in the past, at "some place", and may have included "some" individuals. A historic narrative attempts to capture information from the past in order to document the details of the event. If the event was in the "deep past" the reconstruction of the facts becomes more difficult and increases in complexity when there were no human witnesses.

At times, there are seemingly good reasons to re-write historic accounts. Recently discovered information may prove the existing account to be incorrect, false, or simply misstated. The updated version should remain faithful to the historic content and committed to accuracy.

Genesis 1-11, generally agreed by conservative theologians to be written by Moses through inspiration of the Holy Spirit, fits the category of a historic narrative.

This is the history of the heavens and of the earth when they were created, in the day that the LORD God made the earth and the heavens, Genesis 2:4 NKJV

Why is the acceptance of Genesis as history important

There is no question that the worldwide persecution of the church has become alarmingly more aggressive, and the anti-Christian rhetoric and its use of the "law" in the U.S. as of late is disturbing. The attacks against the Bible over several hundred years have sought to interpret the early chapters of Genesis as allegory and not being aligned with more recent "scientific" discoveries. The relentless evolutionary campaign has waged a succesful campaign by focusing their effort on the educational system. Up until very recent times a direct attack on the faith of the followers of Christ would have been suppressed by the church. Faith is reality to the Christian and has been highly resistant to direct attack since it is just that: Faith. One only has to read the daily events that are unfolding to understand that matters of faith and conscience are being undermined by the state.

It has become increasingly important that Christians are able to articulate their faith and to have confidence that the Bible is without error and that Genesis chapters 1-11 are historic. This understanding includes the foundational doctrine of a six day Creation.

But in your hearts revere Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect, 1 Peter 3:15 NIV

Alternate interpretations of the Genesis account have been gaining support since the publication of Charles Darwin's On the Origin of Species in 1859. The secular world and ever increasing numbers of churches have accepted what are purportedly "scientific" origin theories that appeal to "informed" congregations. As defenders of our faith, an understanding of the Genesis Historic Narrative is essential to trusting the Bible cover-to-cover. When placed in context with the entire word of God and based on the fact that the Bible was written for the everyday person, it becomes apparent that the early chapters of Genesis are factually accurate and not in conflict with objective science

The relentless and ongoing campaign by evolutionists in the grade schools and universities throughout the world has successfully instilled naturalism as the most "scientific and intellectually reasonable" method for the creation of the Universe and all of life. The varying levels of belief range from that of Young Earth Creationists (YEC), Old Earth Creationists (OEC), and Evolutionary Creationists (EC) along with agnostics and those who believe in the total absence of a deity. The list below summarizes the belief categories :

EV's, OEC's, and EC's require eons (referred to as "deep time") for the Universe to "conform" to its present order. The Solar System is then estimated to be ~4.6 billion years old, allowing for the evolutionary timeline for the creation of the first cell. The cycle continues with the millions of years necessary for the development of the complexities of life.

A frequent theme heard from Old Earth Creationists (OEC's) and Evolutionary Creationists (EC's) [to be referred to jointly hereafter as [OEC/EC] is that there is "harmony" between science and scripture, with particular reference to Genesis chapters 1-11. The OEC/EC philosophy interprets "harmony" as science which confirms a scriptural interpretation of an old earth.

Young Earth Creationists (YEC's) also believe that science is "harmonized" with scripture (Romans 1:20), and that a literal reading of Genesis is confirmed by the observational evidence, as in Psalm 19:1-4. In reality, harmony cannot exist for opposing positions of what is perceived as being the "truth." The YEC belief that Genesis is a literal account of Creation might then be considered, by OEC/EC definition, a "non-harmonious" understanding of the relationship of the Bible to the material world.

The OEC/EC philosophy agrees with "evolutionary theory" in affirming that, based on research, an ancient universe is "clearly demonstrated." There are many prominent scientists, however, who argue otherwise, such as those affiliated with the Institute for Creation Research (ICR) and Answers in Genesis (AiG). The natural world has been referred to by OEC/EC's as the 67th book of the Bible (the "book of nature"), given by God to complement the inspired 66 books. The question is: do nature, history, and science agree with a literal reading of Genesis or do the "scientific proofs" of evolution stand as an extension to what is found in God's word? The two beliefs (a literal six days and a billions of years old universe) are in opposition when the Genesis historic narrative is presented.

AiG comments on the error of recognizing the "book of nature" as a complement to the Bible in the article Is Nature the 67th Book of the Bible?

If we depend on nature to reveal the truth, and especially if we reinterpret God's Words based on our stories and interpretations of nature, we will be building our house on a foundation of sand. By contrasting the transience of nature with the constancy of His Word, God shows that His Word alone is sufficient revelation - and in fact the only logical framework - from which we can understand and appreciate the universe around us.
Is Nature the 67th Book of the Bible?, Answers in Genesis (, April 4, 2016

The need for a Narrative

When describing the actions of God and His interactions with man in Genesis, the Bible outlines events that constitute the historic narrative:

Re-stating the reasons for modifying a historic narrative:

1) the original narrative was shown to be incorrect based on more current information;
2) the original was found to be false; or
3) the original was simply mis-stated.

The above cannot be applied when the Bible is believed to be inerrant.

Sequentially select the 3 sub-chapters below

1 --> ?Are competing theories to the Creation account justified by objective science?

2 --> ?Does Genesis adhere to scientific accuracy?

3 --> ?Does a non-historic narrative for Genesis 1-11 lead to a conflicted view of the Bible?

The historic events of Genesis appear in chronological order with reference to identifiable periods of time, beginning with Creation in six twenty-four hour days. The account establishes a timeframe clearly understood today: days, months, and years. There is not a hint suggesting that millions of years can be extracted from the text. The evolutionary hope for "deep time" is to redefine the "days" as "representative periods" and ascribe the repeating phrase "and the evening and the morning" to other than 24 hours. An issue when redefining time is that the following Genesis chapters and the Books of the Old and New Testaments are represented in time as we know it. Following are just a few of the difficulties that occur when attempting a re-write of the Creation time-table from an OEC/EC perspective:


If a historic narrative for Genesis supporting an OEC/EC Old Earth philosophy were given, it would be based upon man's opinion regarding events that occurred in the past. The idea that God intervened at various times over bilions of years in order to create new kinds and to make adjustments to His Creation is a misinterpretation of the Biblical text. Nor is it in "harmony" with observational science. A historic narrative without identifiable references to specific times, dates, and events becomes pure fiction.

The Bible does gives specific and understandable time periods for Creation, confirmed by the ages of Adam and the pre-Flood patriarchs, the year of the Flood, and the new beginning after the global deluge. Within the framework of the initial years of the existence of the world, Genesis describes events from Creation week to the Flood and the Tower of Babel that are foundational to Christianity. Adam and Eve walking with God in the Garden; the Fall; the murder of Able; Cain fleeing from his homeland and building a city; the Flood; and the dividing of the nations by language differentiation, are all recorded as history under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit. An anchor date to firmly set the year of Creation week and the beginning of time is given in Genesis 5:3 with the birth of Seth when Adam was 130 years old. Using that date, it can be determined that the number of years from Creation to the Flood was ~1,656 years. OEC's and EC's will often cite gaps in the Bible's genealogy along with a non-literal understanding for the meaning of the word "day" to justify a 4.6 billion year old Earth. The genealogical gaps required for an ancient Earth would have to be in the thousands (or millions) of years and a day/age theory simply defies interpretation as being other than an evening and morning as we know it.

The real issue is that the actual time of Creation and the events that transpired are inseparable from the theological interpretation of spiritual truth. The Genesis historic account gives a clear understanding of who God is (the Creator), how He works (in times and in ways that are recognizable), and His purposes (to have fellowship with all of humanity.) As stated at the beginning of these pages, the only account of the Creation of the material world is that of a straight forward reading that supports a Young Earth from a perspective of both theology and science.

The Holy Spirit's inspiration is evident in the recording of the Genesis events as we are introduced to God's omnipotence, His judgment, His grace, and His involvement in our lives here on earth and into eternity. The early Genesis chapters describe not only the mechanics (the "when" and "how" of Creation), but also the "why." The following verses highlight the early history of the material world and the importance of Genesis in understanding both the Old and New Testament (scriptures are NKJV):

Genesis 1:26 Adam and Eve were the only work that God created in His image.

Then God said, "Let Us make man in Our image. according to Our likeness;..."

Genesis 2:4 The reliability of God's word as history

This is the history of the heavens and the earth when they were created, in the day that the LORD God made the earth and the heavens,

Genesis 2:15-17 God's plan and purpose for our lives: Fellowship with Him and obedience to His word

15 Then the LORD God took the man and put him in the garden of Eden to tend and keep it. 16 And the LORD commanded the man, saying, "Of every tree of the garden you may freely eat; 17 but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it you shall surely die."

Genesis 3:1, 9 Temptation, the Fall, judgment for sin, separation

Now the serpent was more cunning than any beast of the field which the LORD God had made. And he said to the woman, "Has God indeed said, 'You shall not eat of every tree of the garden'?" Genesis 3:1

Then the LORD God called to Adam and said to him, "Where are you?" Genesis 3:9

Genesis 3:15 Prophesy of redemption through Jesus Christ

"And I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your seed and her Seed; He shall bruise your head, and you shall bruise His heel."

Genesis 4:6-7 Envy, Murder, & Evil are present in the unregenerate heart of man. God's forgiveness and the promise of redemption is also shown, indicating that the choice is ours.

6 So the LORD said to Cain, "Why are you angry? And why has your countenance fallen? 7 If you do well, will you not be accepted? And if you do not do well, sin lies at the door. And its desire is for you, but you should rule over it."

Genesis 6:6-8 God's judgment

6 And the LORD was sorry that He had made man on the earth, and He was grieved in His heart. 7 So the LORD said, "I will destroy man whom I have created from the face of the earth, both man and beast, creeping thing and birds of the air, for I am sorry that I have made them." But Noah found grace in the eyes of the LORD.

Genesis 7:19 And the waters prevailed exceedingly upon the earth. and all the high hills under the whole heaven were covered.

Genesis 9:12-13 A new beginning

12 And God said: "This is the sign of the covenant which I make between Me and you, and every living creature that is with you, for perpetual generations: 13 I set My rainbow in the cloud, and it shall be for the sign of the covenant between Me and the earth. ...

Are there scientific answers to the opening three words found in Genesis 1:1 and John 1:1: "In the beginning"?

Whether through a belief in God, or belief in Naturalism (evolution), there is no verifiable evidence regarding the creation of the Universe, the Solar System, the Earth, and all of life. The Christian's assurance of the events must begin with faith and a trust in the opening words of both the Old and New Testaments: "In the beginning." Both Christianity and evolutionary thought have a "belief" in a "creation" from nothing

The Genesis account of Creation is presented in straight-forward language that can by clearly understood. When one accepts God's complete Word as a plainly written message to all of humanity, the observational evidence will be seen as the only accurate account of Earth's early history.

A few closing facts and a question

The questions may be many, but the answers are readily available for those who are looking for the truth: Genesis 1-11

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