God gave us the book of Genesis.

God Gave Us the Book of Genesis

Dr. James J. S. Johnson

In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.  (Genesis 1:1)

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God has given us the book of Genesis as miraculously revealed truth that is informationally accurate, authoritative, reliable, infallible, and relevant to understanding our origins; in other words, God has told us understandable truth about our origins in the book of Genesis. [Genesis chapter 1-11; John 5:44-47; etc.] 

Details in Scripture, including many “high definition” details embedded in Hebrew words and phrases, repeatedly demonstrate God’s communicative perspicuity, reliability, and genius. [Psalm 19; Psalm 119; Psalm 139; etc.]

In fact, the Lord Jesus Christ endorsed the books of Moses (which include Genesis) as authoritative, and indicated that we ourselves will be judged by how seriously we respect those Scriptures. [John 3:12; John 5:44-47]

The Hebrew text of Genesis 1:1 teaches us a lot about important facts about creation (which occurred “in the beginning” – not “in a beginning”)—Who, what, when, etc. [Genesis 1:1]

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God’s creative works include creating physical stuff form nothing, creating animal nephesh life from nothing, and human spirits (made uniquely in God’s image) from nothing, as well as His creative shaping of physical stuff into physical bodies of humans, animals, plants, and other object on Earth and in the heaven – as well as His redemptive work of regenerating sinners who trust in Christ for salvation.  [Genesis chapters 1 & 2; Psalm 102:18; 2nd Corinthians 5:17]

Creation Week consisted of God creatively working for 6 normal days [yôm in singular; yamîm in plural], followed by 1 normal day of rest (the Sabbath); therefore, the so-called “Day-Age” theory, “Gap” theory, and all other departures from the Genesis cosmogony (of 6 normal days) are errors. [Genesis chapter 1-11; John 5:44-47; etc.]  The Day-Age theory (which includes the “progressive creation” variant of that theory) is false.  Also, the Gap Theory is false. 

Theories that evade the historical narrative character of Genesis, such as those which mischaracterize Genesis as if it was “Hebrew poetry”, are false cosmogonies.

Why do many teach an origins story that departs from understanding Creation Week as 6 normal days, followed by 1 normal day of rest (the Sabbath)?   Sadly, this is done just to accommodate secular mythologies.

Yet chronological information provided within Genesis (e.g., Genesis chapter 5) establishes a recent creation history (within an absolute range of 6,000 to 7,000 years of age), regardless of whether genealogies in Genesis are “open” or closed”.  [ Genesis 1-11, analyzed in www.icr.org/article/4124 ]

Theories that impute personification to “nature” (e.g., Darwin’s notion of “natural selection”) clash with the creation account reported in Genesis, because Genesis excludes animistic powers to natural forces.  However, it was God Who did all the “selecting”, for each of us to be (pro)created!Psalm139.13-16-FamilyHistory-slide

Bottom line:   God gave us the Book of Genesis, so that we can know what really happened “in the beginning”, i.e., so we can truly know about origins — such as how all of the physical creation originated, how animal life originated, how human life originated, how human sin originated, how human death originated, how redemptive hope (in Christ, as the prophesied “Seed of Woman”) for humanity was originally promised, etc., etc., etc.

On Creation Week’s Day 1, How Intensively did God Work?

On Creation Week’s Day 1, How Intensively did God Work?

Dr. James J. S. Johnson

“In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.”   (Genesis 1:1)

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The Bible teaches us that everything and everyone (except God Himself) was made by God, so He is called the “Creator”; that means that God made everything that is (including ourselves) out of nothing, by His command!

That is so powerful that we cannot fully understand that power to create something (or someone) out of nothing. The Bible teaches us that God did His creation work “in the beginning”, staring with the heavens and the earth on Day #1. Although doing this is impossible for us to do, or even to fully understand, it was quite easy for God to do!

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Hebrew philology (i.e., word studies) demonstrate their value in the Bible’s first verse: “In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth.”

The subject noun is “God,” translating the Hebrew text’s plural noun Elohîm. The action verb is “created,” translating the Hebrew text’s singular verb bara’.  What a grammar teacher’s conundrum! A plural subject noun with a singular verb!  Yet what better way to foreshadow the Bible’s Trinitarian theology of God’s being? This is clarified later in Scripture, of course, as the Great Commission illustrates, but the doctrine of God’s Tri-unity is actually introduced in Genesis 1:1. The universe’s Maker is plural, yet one

Genesis 1:1 has more to say about God’s first action as Creator—informing us about what God’s action of creating was and what it was not.

Hebrew verbs usually appear in one of these seven basic forms: qal (simple active), niphâl (simple passive), piêl (intensive active), puâl (intensive passive), hiphîl (causative active), hophâl (causative passive), hithpaêl (active and passive combined—i.e., your action directly impacts yourself, like combing your own hair).

Genesis 1:1 uses a singular 3rd person masculine qal verb, bara’ (“He created”).  So what does that tell us about God’s action on Day 1?

From God’s perspective, His action of creating (on Day 1 of Creation Week) was “simple”; it was not “intensive” work!  Astoundingly, God did not work very hard to decree into existence, from nothing, all “the heavens and earth” (i.e., all of the physical matter-energy that now exists)!  Also, notice that God’s work of creating was not merely “causative.” God then acted directly, not merely as a first cause instigator triggering a long series of dominoes.  (Specifically, it was God the Son, i.e., Christ, Who was most directly involved in doing this creation work  — see John 1, Colossians 1, Hebrews 1.)

Furthermore, because the verb bara’ is a perfect verb, the action of creating is reported as completed—finished! That specific work of creation (i.e., creating physical matter-energy into being), that God did on Day 1, needed no further ex nihilo (out-of-nothing) creating.

And that was just the beginning! The next five days involved developmental use of Day 1’s creation, providing us with many more biblical word study opportunities in Genesis.

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