2 of 11 in our journey through Genesis
“In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth.”
The first recorded proposal for evolution seems to be made by an ancient Greek philosopher, Anaximander of Miletus (610-546B.C.). Although the theory has an old root, it only sprouted in the 19th century with propagators such as Jean-Baptiste Lamarck, Alfred Russel and Charles Darwin in the garden. Today, evolution is a fully formed tree taught as the truth about our origins.
God, when he inspired Moses to write the creation account in Genesis 1000 years before the first proposal of evolution, knew that the theory of evolution would arise, as he is all knowing. Is the creation account of Genesis, therefore, purposed to tackle evolution or was Genesis written to tackle creation theories that were present in the time of Moses?
The book of Genesis was penned by Moses during the period of the Exodus when the Israelites where in the wilderness. Jesus and the early church affirmed the first five books to be written by Moses (Mt 19:7; 22:24; Mk 7:10; 12:26; Jn 1:17; 5:46; 7:23). During this time Egypt and Mesopotamia were the leading world forces – as we are taken in by major philosophies, for example, America, Europe and Eastern religion – so the Israelites would have been taken in by these two superpowers and their philosophies. The style of writing and the emphasised aspects of Genesis 1:1-2:25 point to the fact that Genesis is the account that the Lord gave in response to the worldviews of the day – not directly purposed to respond to our worldviews of today. For example, let us consider the origins of humanity.
How did the two superpowers of Moses day account for the creation of humans?
Egypt: From the tears of the sun god (the main god) as he wept over the horrifically gory cosmic battle of all the other gods as they fought for power
Mesopotamia: From the blood of the slaughter demon god during a horrifically gory cosmic battle or from the blood of the rebellious servant gods and mud, to become the slaves of the greater gods, so that they never have to work again
Compare these two accounts to the text we have in Genesis
There is no war, and God himself is the one who forms us. We were not the by-product of war or bloodshed. God, who could have created us in the say way as he did the whole universe – “let there be…” – paused with the reframe “Let us make…” (Genesis 1:26-27) before a created humanity. Not only was humanity created personally and in peace, but we were also made in God’s Image. What a vastly different account to that of the Egyptians and the Mesopotamians.
Prayer: Lord Jesus, thank you for creating the world. Please help us understand how our world was created by you. Thank you that we are not a result of war and bloodshed, but that we are personally crafted by you in your Image. Please, by the power of your Spirit, cause us to live our lives as your Image Bearers.
Our next journey will take us through
Genesis 1:1-2:3. Can a Christian believe in the Bible and evolution?
If you are interested in doing some personal reading and investigation into Genesis and evolution here are three great books to add to your library:
The Greatest Show on Earth – The Evidence for Evolution by Richard Dawkins (evolution worldview)
A Short History of Nearly Everything by Bill Bryson (evolution worldview)
Snubbing God by Victor Kuligin (Genesis creation worldview)