In the Beginning: Science and Genesis 1-11
Class Four - QUESTIONS, THE BEGINNING, AND THE GAP THEORY
The tenets are evolution are diametrically opposed to what is taught in the Bible. Evolution’s position on every area we will address in this class is the opposite of the clear teaching of the verses we will examine. Yet, sadly, many Christians, including perhaps some in this room, PP
attempt to fit God’s Word together with the supposed “science” of evolution, trying to force millions of years into the text. That is not surprising as we are bombarded continually with the evolution position in books, the newspapers and on TV. But PP
God clearly states in Genesis 1 and Exodus 20 that He created everything in six literal days. In Genesis 1:31 He states PP , “And God saw all that He had made, and behold, it was very good.” How could millions of years of death and destruction, which evolution dictates, be very good? And God through the Ten Commandments PP
initially written by the finger of God and given to Moses for the
“Selection is the blindest and most cruel way of evolving a new species...because it is a process of elimination, of destruction. The struggle for life and the elimination of the weakest is a horrible process... PP
I am surprised that a Christian would defend the idea that this is the process which God more or less set up in order to have evolution.”
Yet we have millions of PP
evolutionized Christians attempting to PP
filter the Bible through “science” as opposed to filtering science through the Bible. Folks, I can guarantee you that any “scientific” theory that contradicts the Bible will eventually be proved to be false, yet millions of people have been duped into compromising the Word of God so it fits with current scientific theories. When they read Genesis Chapter 1 PP
these folks therefore attempt to rationalize the literal 24 hour days in Genesis 1 into long periods. Yet PP
the verses in Genesis 1 clearly indicate 24 hours days to the reader.
As you read Genesis 1, ask yourself a simple question: PP
“What do these time segments add to the creation narrative in Genesis Chapter 1?” I submit to you that they add nothing to the general narrative of those creation events. God could have been silent relative to the time periods involved and Genesis 1 would still contain the only viable narrative of those events. So He put those time periods there to clearly delineate those time divisions. Notice I said clearly delineate, and Scripture itself confirms that.
The numerous uses of the Hebrew word “yom” PP
throughout Scripture (2,301 times in the Old Testament) as a 24 hour day indicates God intended in Genesis chapter 1for it to mean a 24 hour day. It’s interesting that its clear meaning is only questioned in Genesis chapter one. Here PP
are some examples of “yom” being used outside of Genesis, and it is used in all these instances as an ordinary day. Joshua PP
certainly didn’t walk around
But also important to note is there are ten Hebrew words PP
that Moses could have used if he, through the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, intended to describe a long period, but he didn’t use them! So I think the literal reading of yom in Genesis 1 to mean an ordinary day is clearly what God intended. And, again, you will see during this course that the evidence in fact overwhelmingly points to a young earth as a straight forward reading of Genesis 1 indicates. I believe this quote from Martin Luther PP
is on point.
“How Long Did the Work of Creation Take? When Moses writes that God created heaven and earth and whatever is in them in six days, then let this period continue to have been six days, and do not venture to devise any comment according to which six days were one day. PP
But, if you cannot understand how this could have been done in six days, then grant the Holy Spirit the honor of being more learned than you are. PP
For you are to deal with Scripture in such a way that you bear in mind that God Himself says what is written. PP
But since God is speaking, it is not fitting for you wantonly to turn His Word in the direction you wish to go.”
Luther was dealing with an entirely different revision to Genesis 1 than we deal with today. He was countering the belief that God surely didn’t take six whole days to create everything; perhaps it only means six seconds!
Underlying all of that is the assumption that accepting the Genesis narrative is important to our Christian life. Some Christians question the importance of this. PP
Does it really matter in our Christian walk whether Genesis 1 happened in six days, six thousand years or six million years? Ken Ham strongly answered that question in the affirmative in the video we saw last week, but here is another example.
have mentioned the importance of The Genesis Record in my understanding of the
importance of accepting Genesis as it is written. Let me quote from its author, the late Dr.
Henry Morris in that regard. Dr. Morris
was the chair of the engineering department at
Central to all these problems was the question of the reliability of Scripture, especially the book of Genesis. If Genesis were not historically trustworthy, then simple logic showed that neither was the rest of the Bible, including its testimony about Christ.”
So we have completed our examination of the four foundational questions that must preface the journey we are embarking on. PP
Here is a summary of that. As we now begin our walk through Genesis 1-11, we’ll see that science rightly viewed will not compel us to twist the verses into something they don’t clearly say. Science doesn’t contradict Genesis or any other portion of the Bible.
Acts14:15 states in part: PP
“…we… preach the gospel to you in order that you should turn from these vain things to a living God, WHO MADE THE HEAVEN AND THE EARTH AND THE SEA, AND ALL THAT IS IN THEM.”
The latter part of that verse, which is quoting Exodus 20:11, has been the subject of much scientific debate beginning in the early 19th century and particularly since the publication of PP
On the Origin of Species by Charles Darwin in 1859.
Europe is now mostly a post-Christian continent because the majority its
residents have accepted
However, the Bible is truly the inerrant word of God. The Book of Genesis, in common with the other 65 books of the Scriptures, was written under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit. We’ve already seen 2nd Timothy 3:16, which is confirmed by PP
2nd Peter 1:21: “for no prophecy was ever made by an act of human will, but men moved by the Holy Spirit spoke from God.” Genesis was written by Moses about 3,500 years ago. This was confirmed by Christ himself regarding Moses as the author in Luke 24:27 PP:
“And beginning with Moses and with all the
prophets, He explained to them the things concerning Himself in all the
Scriptures.” No one can be dogmatic on
how Moses accomplished the writing of Genesis.
Moses clearly wrote Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers and Deuteronomy under the
inspiration of the Holy Spirit as he was physically present during the related
period. However, under that same
inspiration he may have served mainly as compiler and editor of the material in
Genesis, which was begun by Adam, carried onto the
Not only is Genesis accurate where it deals with science, it has also been confirmed by archaeology as noted Middle East archaeologist Dr. Nelson Glueck, who indicates PP:
“…it may be stated categorically that no archaeological discovery has ever controverted a Biblical reference. Scores of archaeological findings have been made which confirm in clear outline or in exact detail historical statements in the Bible.”
While we are focused on Genesis 1 to 11 as science relates to it, there are of course many other aspects of science covered by the Bible. Let’s look quickly at two.
In Genesis 22, following God’s provision of the lamb for Abraham’s sacrifice in place of Isaac, He said this to Abraham in verse 17: PP
“indeed I will greatly bless you, and I will greatly multiply
your seed as the stars of the heavens, and as the sand which is on the
seashore…” What is He stating here? God is clearly stating that the number of
stars in the heavens approximate the sands on the seashore. This was written around 1500 BC and the
first known practically functioning telescopes were invented in the
from The Genesis Record:
“No one knows the exact number of the stars but it can be roughly estimated, for the observable universe at least, as approximately 10 to the 25th power. … then the number of sand-sized particles would also be calculated as 10 to the 25th power. Although such a calculation may well be considerably in error, it at least shows that the stars and the sand are of about the same order of magnitude in number. PP
This fact could not have been discovered by men without the telescope; so it constitutes one of the many remarkable examples of modern scientific truth found in the pages of the Bible long before scientists could have learned them by the scientific method.”
In Job 38:22 God says to Job: PP
“Have you entered the Treasury of snow?” In what is believed to be the oldest book in the Bible God refers to the “treasury” of snow. Treasury is defined as a place where treasure is kept, yet Job would be familiar, depending on the climate where he lived, at most with PP
basic snow. Today, man is able to make snow, and it looks PP
very ordinary. Not until we recently refined the magnification power of microscopes were we aware of the treasure PPx4
God was referring to more than 3,500 years ago.
We’ve covered a lot of foundational background, so let finally begin our journey through the first 11 chapters of Genesis. Genesis is the foundational book of the Bible and without it the rest of the Bible would be incomprehensible. Genesis means “origin,” and as you will see it is the only reliable account of the origin of all the basic entities of the universe and all that resides in it. This reminder PP
from Christ Himself in John 5:46 (KJV) is important as we delve into the text from a scientific viewpoint: “Moses …wrote of me…But if you believed not his writings, how shall you believe My words?”
Gen. 1:1 states PP:
“In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.” So what exactly does that tell us relative to this class? Any thoughts?
Let’s segment the verse so we can get a clear understanding of what its meaning is. PP
“In the beginning” is the Hebrew word bereshith, and indicates PP
the creation of all space, all time and all matter. The heavens and the earth had a definite beginning; they have not existed eternally and they therefore have a specific age. Shortly we’ll examine the Big Bang theory of the creation of the universe, also now known as the “Standard Model of Cosmology.” But why did this currently accepted model create such an uproar when it was first postulated?
Because prior to the Big Bang theory secular astronomers postulated that the universe was eternal. So matter and space had always existed. But theoretical calculations in the early 1900’s, including Einstein’s theory of general relativity, showed that a static universe was impossible and observations by Edwin Hubble showed that the universe was expanding. But for it to be expanding clearly indicated that it had a beginning, and having a beginning certainly opened the previously closed argument that there was a Beginner, consistent with Genesis 1:1. So the arguments against it were primarily worldview driven because of the “can of worms” it opened regarding beginnings. We look at the estimated time of the beginning shortly.
Back to Genesis 1:1 PP:
“… God …” This is the Hebrew name PP Elohim, which stresses His majesty and omnipotence. It is used throughout the first chapter of Genesis and is a plural name with a singular meaning, suggesting the uni-plurality of God we term the trinity. We could spend a lot of time on the attributes of God, but we’re focused on science and Genesis. Let’s view a brief summary of some of those attributes that relate to creation. (DVD - ~ 4 Minutes) (Attributes of God handout.)
“… created …” This is the Hebrew word bara, which is used only regarding the work of God. PP Only God can create! Now we use the term “create” when we make things, but that is a misuse use of the term. We are simply assembling or fashioning from pre-existing materials. Only God can call into existence that which had no existence. The creation mentioned here did not involve a Creator merely filling up a pre-existent space with objects like planets and stars. Even the space, much less the matter, needed for these objects to exist was created, and did not exist prior to its creation. We see this clearly stated in Hebrews 11:3 PP:
“By faith we understand that the worlds were prepared by the word of God, so that what is seen was not made out of things which are visible.” So we have a plausible creation story that indicates that prior to the creative act of God in Genesis 1:1 nothing that currently exists in the universe existed! The evolutionists of course disavow any belief in miracles, yet fervently believe that all we see arose from nothing naturally! We’ve talked about the irrationality of their worldview. Here we are seeing the violation of the PP
basic law of cause and effect, which is the most universal and most certain of all laws. Simply put, the law of cause and effect states that every material effect must have an adequate cause that existed before the effect.
The typical response you will get from a secular humanist when that is pointed out is, well then, who created God! By definition, an infinite, eternal being has always existed—no one created God. He is the self-existing one—the great ‘I AM’ of the Bible.
Let me diverge for a
moment to address the term I just used for God – “I AM.” God used that when he first called Moses at
the burning bush to lead the Israelites out of
And God said to Moses, ‘I AM WHO I AM;’ and
He said, “Thus you shall say to the sons of
Now please turn to John 18 and someone read verses three through six. As you know, the italicized He, is not in the original text. So please read verse six without the added He. Why do you suppose they drew back and fell to the ground? Because He used the divine title that we saw Him use with Moses. They were already aware of His many claims to deity, which was why they were arresting Him, and they could momentarily sense that they were in the presence of God!
The “man” they were now arresting was in fact the creator of the universe. The action of creation we see throughout Genesis chapter 1 was performed by Jesus Christ Himself, the second person of the Trinity. We see that clearly stated in Colossians 1:15-17, which tells us PP:
“And He (Jesus Christ) is the image of the invisible God, the first-born of all creation. For by Him all things were created, both in the heavens and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities – all things have been created by Him and for Him. And He is before all things, and in Him all things hold together.”
The end of Genesis 1:1 states PP:
“the heavens and the earth.”
The universe and the objects in it including the earth were the products of distinct creative acts. Contrary to popular belief the earth is not an offshoot of the sun, nor the daughter of a swirling cloud of gas, but the product of a deliberate and separate creation, distinct from all other created objects. No model of origins can be complete without a recognition that the universe and earth were brought into existence by a pre-existent God who is sole owner of that creation.
Relative to “heavens,” this is the Hebrew word shamayim which is a plural noun that can be translated either “heaven” or “heavens.” PP
The essential meaning of the word corresponds to our modern term “space,” such as when we speak of the universe as a universe of space and time. So here we are talking about the creation of the space/time dimensions.
“Earth” is the Hebrew word erets, and refers to the component of matter in the universe. PP
The earth at this point had no form to it (verse 2), so this must refer to the creation of the basic elements of matter which were subsequently organized into the structured earth and later into other material bodies, i.e. stars and planets.
That one verse leaves the detail pretty open ended as to how He did it. Some people say that the only supernatural events by God were the creation of the heavens and the earth, with the remainder being accomplished via evolution. We have a term for believers that take that position - theistic evolutionist. They believe God wound up a billions-of-year’s clock and then let “nature” do the rest. Then you have the progressive creationists, who believe in the billions of years as well but believe God intervened periodically along to way in the trip from molecules to man. Because of the supposed scientific evidence for millions of years, they challenge what is meant by the ‘days’ of creation we clearly see in Genesis 1 as God expands on Genesis 1:1 with the details in the remainder of Genesis 1. Yet we’ve already seen the days in Genesis are to be understand as literal days, not as poetic or metaphorical epochs. And let me say it up front, the scientific evidence rightly viewed supports the clear intention of Scripture that creation occurred in six 24-hours days not long ago.
And we also know when this happened. Taking the literal view of Genesis, which we have demonstrated to be the way it should be taken, Genesis 1:1 occurred five days before the creation of Adam and Eve. While no one can be dogmatic on the exact date, by utilizing the genealogies set forth in the Old Testament and assuming there are no missing generations in those tables provides a reasonable estimate. Bishop James Ussher, a distinguished scholar in the early 1600’s, used those chronologies to calculate the date of the creation as 4004 BC. Others have computed the date as well, including the Jewish calendar, 3760; the Septuagint, 5270; Josephus, 5555; Kepler, 3993, Melanchthon, 3964; Luther, 3961; Lightfoot, 3960; Hales, 5402; Playfair, 4008; Lipman, 3916, etc. These calculations all assume the genealogies in Genesis 5 and 11 are complete. But assuming those genealogies are not complete, there is no way one can stretch to the evolutionary timescale for man of PP
1 million years per this geologic chart. Thirty years ago they said man evolved around 3 million years ago, so at least they are heading in the right direction! At the most, one could stretch these genealogies to a few thousand more years. Therefore, Biblically, a creation date of more than 10,000 years ago is unsupportable. So, as I’ve stated before, the evolutionary theory and the Biblical theory are diametrically opposed to each other. Let’s see some of those contrasts pertinent to this discussion PP.
Let’s move on to Genesis 1:2 with a look at the gap theory, which is used by some to fit eons of time into the Genesis creation account between verses 1 and 2. Sadly, the Scofield Bible, which was written in 1909 and has been used by millions, was guilty of this error. As Scofield wrote in the notes in his reference Bible, but may not be found in current editions: PP:
“Relegate fossils to
the primitive creation, and no conflict of science with the Genesis cosmology
remains.” We’ll look at the fossil
record in detail later in our journey, but Scofield
obviously thought they were a problem for the Genesis creation account. As the recently released DVD, Darwin’s
Genesis 1:2 states PP
“And the earth was formless and void, and darkness was over the surface of the deep; and the Spirit of God was moving over the surface of the waters.” Many people assume there is a great gap in time between Genesis 1:1 and Genesis 1:2. They do this, as Scofield and McGee sadly did, to accommodate the geological age system of supposedly billions of years of earth history into the Genesis record of creation. They generally believe, because of supposed current scientific “evidence” (actually because of their worldview), that billions of years ago God created the universe via the Big Bang. In other words, all the cosmos arose instantaneously from a tiny, highly compressed bit of matter about 15 billions of years ago. Then the geological ages took place over billions of years of earth history. The different PP
forms of life developed that are now preserved in the fossil record. These life-forms represent those ages - the invertebrates of the Cambrian Period supposedly 540 million years ago (mya), the dinosaurs of the Cretaceous Period (144 mya) ... finally the mammals, birds and ‘ape-men’ of the Tertiary Period (66 mya). Then, at the end of these geological ages, a great cataclysm took place on earth, with Satan having rebelled in heaven and many of the angels following him in that rebellion. God, therefore, cast him to the earth, and the earth underwent a great cataclysm, leaving it finally without form and void, and with darkness on the face of the deep, as described in Genesis 1:2 .
Subsequently, God then re-created or reconstituted the earth in the six literal days of creation recorded in the first chapter of Genesis. The argument for this theory makes verse two read, PP
‘The earth became
without form and void’ (some would render it ‘The earth became waste and
desolate’), as though it had previously been a beautiful world. But now,
because of the cataclysm, it was a devastated remnant of a world, so that there
was a change of condition. It became without form and void. This theory was developed as theologians,
after geologists in the early 19th century (pre
So we end up with PP
millions of years of death and destruction before the creation of Adam. Romans 5:12 states PP:
“Therefore, just as through one man sin entered into the world, and death through sin, and so death spread to all men, because all sinned.” So the gap theory is clearly contrary to the clear reading of Scripture, which states that sin lead to death and Christ’s sacrifice saved us from eternal death. If there were millions of years of death before Adam and death is therefore not the result of sin, Christ’s death on the cross didn’t save us from our sin, in direct conflict with Romans 6:23 PP:
“for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.”
Furthermore, relative to the gap theory, Scripture is clear in Isaiah 45:18 PP
that such a view is false: “For thus says the Lord, who created the heavens (He is the God who formed the earth and made it, He established it and did not create it a waste place, But formed it to be inhabited), I am the Lord, and there is none else.” And if that wasn’t enough, Jesus himself in Mark 10:6 stated relative to man and woman PP:
“But from the beginning of the creation, God made them male and female.” He clearly taught that Adam and Eve were created at the beginning of creation, not after billions of years had passed.