Questions About Creation People are Really Asking: The TOP Most Frequently Asked Questions About Creation
Have Questions, Find Answers on Otakada.org – About Creation people are really asking – Daily, people turn to the Internet to find answers to their questions about spiritual matters. Topics related to spirituality are the second-most searched subjects online. Sadly, websites that present false teachings far outnumber those that proclaim the truth of God’s Word. We will provide answers as the Holy Spirit leads us from a biblical perspective. You will also need to pray to secure answers to any question you may have because one of the ministry of the Holy Spirit is to lead us into all truth – John 16:13. Today, we look at Questions About Creation people are really asking and questions that relate to this with biblical answers.. Enjoy
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But before we answer questions about Creation, hereunder is the most important question that has to do with your eternal destiny with answer for your necessary action:
Question: What does it mean to accept Jesus as your personal Savior?
Answer: Have you accepted Jesus Christ as your personal Savior? To properly understand this question, you must first understand the terms “Jesus Christ,” “personal,” and “Savior.”
Who is Jesus Christ? Many people will acknowledge Jesus Christ as a good man, a great teacher, or even a prophet of God. These things are definitely true of Jesus, but they do not fully define who He truly is. The Bible tells us that Jesus is God in the flesh, God in human form (see John 1:1, 14). God came to earth to teach us, heal us, correct us, forgive us—and die for us! Jesus Christ is God, the Creator, the sovereign Lord. Have you accepted this Jesus?
What is a Savior, and why do we need a Savior? The Bible tells us that we have all sinned; we have all committed evil acts (Romans 3:10-18). As a result of our sin, we deserve God’s anger and judgment. The only just punishment for sins committed against an infinite and eternal God is an infinite punishment (Romans 6:23; Revelation 20:11-15). That is why we need a Savior!
Jesus Christ came to earth and died in our place. Jesus’ death was an infinite payment for our sins (2 Corinthians 5:21). Jesus died to pay the penalty for our sins (Romans 5:8). Jesus paid the price so that we would not have to. Jesus’ resurrection from the dead proved that His death was sufficient to pay the penalty for our sins. That is why Jesus is the one and only Savior (John 14:6; Acts 4:12)! Are you trusting in Jesus as your Savior?
Is Jesus your “personal” Savior? Many people view Christianity as attending church, performing rituals, and/or not committing certain sins. That is not Christianity. True Christianity is a personal relationship with Jesus Christ. Accepting Jesus as your personal Savior means placing your own personal faith and trust in Him. No one is saved by the faith of others. No one is forgiven by doing certain deeds. The only way to be saved is to personally accept Jesus as your Savior, trusting in His death as the payment for your sins and His resurrection as your guarantee of eternal life (John 3:16). Is Jesus personally your Savior?
If you want to accept Jesus Christ as your personal Savior, say the following words to God. Remember, saying this prayer or any other prayer will not save you. Only believing in Jesus Christ and His finished work on the cross for you can save you from sin. This prayer is simply a way to express to God your faith in Him and thank Him for providing for your salvation. “God, I know that I have sinned against You and deserve punishment. But I believe Jesus Christ took the punishment I deserve so that through faith in Him I could be forgiven. I receive Your offer of forgiveness and place my trust in You for salvation. I accept Jesus as my personal Savior! Thank You for Your wonderful grace and forgiveness— the gift of eternal life! Amen!”
Now, Top Questions About Creation People are Really Asking:
What does the Bible say about creation vs. evolution?
Do faith in God and science contradict?
What is the age of the earth?
Who was Cain’s wife? Was Cain’s wife his sister?
What does the Bible say about dinosaurs? Are there dinosaurs in the Bible? Was Noah’s flood global or local? Why did God put the tree of knowledge of good and evil in the Garden of Eden? What is the Intelligent Design Theory?
Does Genesis chapter 1 mean literal 24-hour days?
What does the Bible say about cavemen, prehistoric men. Neanderthals? Why are there two different creation accounts in Genesis 1-2?
Is creationism scientific?
What is the Gap Theory? Did anything happen between Genesis 1:1 and 1:2? What is theistic evolution?
Question: What does the Bible say about creation vs. evolution?
Answer: It is not the purpose of this answer to present a scientific argument in the creation vs. evolution debate. For scientific arguments for creation and/or against evolution, we highly recommend Answers in Genesis and the Institute for Creation Research. The purpose of this article is to explain why, according to the Bible, the creation vs. evolution debate even exists. Romans 1:25 declares, “They exchanged the truth of God for a lie, and worshiped and served created things rather than the Creator—who is forever praised. Amen.”
A key factor in the debate is that the majority of scientists who believe in evolution are also atheists or agnostics. There are some who hold to some form of theistic evolution and others who take a deistic view of God (God exists but is not involved in the world, and everything proceeds along a natural course). There are some who genuinely and honestly look at the data and arrive at the conclusion that evolution betters fits with the data. However, these represent an insignificant percentage of the scientists who advocate evolution. The vast majority of evolutionary scientists hold that life evolved entirely without any intervention of a higher being. Evolution is by definition a naturalistic science.
For atheism to be true, there must be an alternate explanation—other than a Creator—for how the universe and life came into existence. Although belief in some form of evolution predated Charles Darwin, he was the first to develop a plausible model for the process of evolution—natural selection. Darwin once identified himself as a Christian but as a result of some tragedies that took place in his life, he later renounced the Christian faith and the existence of God. Evolution was invented by an atheist. Darwin’s goal was not to disprove God’s existence, but that is one of the end results of the theory of evolution. Evolution is an enabler of atheism. Evolutionary scientists likely would not admit that their goal is to give an alternate explanation of the origins of life, and thereby to give a foundation for atheism, but according to the Bible, that is exactly why the theory of evolution exists.
The Bible tells us, “The fool says in his heart, ‘There is no God’” (Psalm 14:1; 53:1). The Bible also proclaims that people are without excuse for not believing in a Creator God. “For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities— His eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that men are without excuse” (Romans 1:20). According to the Bible, anyone who denies the existence of God is a fool. Why, then, are so many people, including some Christians, willing to accept that evolutionary scientists are unbiased interpreters of scientific data? According to the Bible, they are all fools! Foolishness does not imply a lack of intelligence. Most evolutionary scientists are brilliant intellectually. Foolishness indicates an inability to properly apply knowledge. Proverbs 1:7 tells us, “The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge, but fools despise wisdom and discipline.”
Evolutionary scientists mock creation and/or intelligent design as unscientific and not worthy of scientific examination. In order for something to be considered a “science,” they argue, it must be able to be observed and tested; it must be “naturalistic.” Creation is by definition “supernatural.” God and the supernatural cannot be observed or tested (so the argument goes); therefore, creation and/or intelligent design cannot be considered science. Of course, neither can evolution be observed or tested, but that does not seem to be an issue with evolutionists. As a result, all data is filtered through the preconceived, presupposed, and pre-accepted theory of evolution, without alternate explanations being considered.
However, the origin of the universe and the origin of life cannot be tested or observed. Both creation and evolution are faith-based systems in regards to origins. Neither can be tested because we cannot go back billions (or thousands) of years to observe the origin of the universe or of life in the universe. Evolutionary scientists reject creation on grounds that would logically force them to also reject evolution as a scientific explanation of origins. Evolution, at least in regard to origins, does not fit the definition of “science” any more than creation does. Evolution is supposedly the only explanation of origins that can be tested; therefore, it is the only theory of origins that can be considered “scientific.” This is foolishness! Scientists who advocate evolution are rejecting a plausible theory of origins without even honestly examining its merits, because it does not fit their illogically narrow definition of “science.”
If creation is true, then there is a Creator to whom we are accountable. Evolution is an enabler for atheism. Evolution gives atheists a basis for explaining how life exists apart from a Creator God. Evolution denies the need for a God to be involved in the universe. Evolution is the “creation theory” for the religion of atheism. According to the Bible, the choice is clear. We can believe the Word of our omnipotent and omniscient God, or we can believe the illogically biased, “scientific” explanations of fools.
Question: Do faith in God and science contradict?
Answer: Science is defined as “the observation, identification, description, experimental investigation, and theoretical explanation of phenomena.” Science is a method that mankind can use to gain a greater understanding of the natural universe. It is a search for knowledge through observation. Advances in science
demonstrate the reach of human logic and imagination. However, a Christian’s belief in science should never be like our belief in God. A Christian can have faith in God and respect for science, as long as we remember which is perfect and which is not.
Our belief in God is a belief of faith. We have faith in His Son for salvation, faith in His Word for instruction, and faith in His Holy Spirit for guidance. Our faith in God should be absolute, since when we put our faith in God, we depend on a perfect, omnipotent, omniscient Creator. Our belief in science should be intellectual and nothing more. We can count on science to do many great things, but we can also count on science to make mistakes. If we put faith in science, we depend on imperfect, sinful, limited, mortal men. Science throughout history has been wrong about many things, such as the shape of the earth, powered flight, vaccines, blood transfusions, and even reproduction. God is never wrong.
Truth is nothing to fear, so there is no reason for a Christian to fear good science. Learning more about the way God constructed our universe helps all of mankind appreciate the wonder of creation. Expanding our knowledge helps us to combat disease, ignorance, and misunderstanding. However, there is danger when scientists hold their faith in human logic above faith in our Creator. These persons are no different from anyone devoted to a religion; they have chosen faith in man and will find facts to defend that faith.
Still, the most rational scientists, even those who refuse to believe in God, admit to a lack of completeness in our understanding of the universe. They will admit that neither God nor the Bible can be proved or disproved by science, just as many of their favorite theories ultimately cannot be proved or disproved. Science is meant to be a truly neutral discipline, seeking only the truth, not furtherance of an agenda.
Much of science supports the existence and work of God. Psalm 19:1 says, “The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of His hands.” As modern science discovers more about the universe, we find more evidence of creation. The amazing complexity and replication of DNA, the intricate and interlocking laws of physics, and the absolute harmony of conditions and chemistry here on earth all serve to support the message of the Bible. A Christian should embrace science that seeks the truth, but reject the “priests of science” who put human knowledge above God.
Question: What is the age of the earth?
Answer: Given the fact that, according to the Bible, Adam was created on the sixth day of our planet’s existence, we can determine a biblically-based, approximate age for the earth by looking at the chronological details of the human race. This assumes that the Genesis account is accurate, that the six days of creation were literal 24-hour periods, and that there were no ambiguous gaps in the chronology of Genesis.
The genealogies listed in Genesis chapters 5 and 11 provide the age at which Adam and his descendants each fathered the next generation in a successive ancestral line from Adam to Abraham. By determining where Abraham fits into history chronologically and adding up the ages provided in Genesis 5 and 11, it becomes apparent that the Bible teaches the earth to be about 6000 years old, give or take a few hundred years.
What about the billions of years accepted by most scientists today and taught in the vast majority of our academic institutions? This age is primarily derived from two dating techniques: radiometric dating and the geologic timescale. Scientists who advocate the younger age of about 6000 years insist that radiometric dating is flawed in that it is founded upon a series of faulty assumptions, while the geologic timescale is flawed in that it employs circular reasoning. Moreover, they point to the debunking of old-earth myths, like the popular misconception that it takes long periods of time for stratification, fossilization and the formation of diamonds, coal, oil, stalactites, stalagmites, etc, to occur. Finally, young-earth advocates present positive evidence for a young age for the earth in place of the old-earth evidences which they debunk. Young-earth scientists acknowledge that they are in the minority today but insist that their ranks will swell over time as more and more scientists reexamine the evidence and take a closer look at the currently accepted old-earth paradigm.
Ultimately, the age of the earth cannot be proven. Whether 6000 years or billions of years, both viewpoints (and everything in between) rest on faith and assumptions. Those who hold to billions of years trust that methods such as radiometric dating are reliable and that nothing has occurred in history that may have disrupted the normal decay of radio-isotopes. Those who hold to 6000 years trust that the Bible is true and that other factors explain the “apparent” age of the earth, such as the global flood, or God’s creating the universe in a state that “appears” to give it a very long age. As an example, God created Adam and Eve as fully-grown adult human beings. If a doctor had examined Adam and Eve on the day of their creation, the doctor would have estimated their age at 20 years (or whatever age they appeared to be) when, in fact, Adam and Eve were less than one day old. Whatever the case, there is always good reason to trust the Word of God over the words of atheistic scientists with an evolutionary agenda.
Question: Who was Cain’s wife? Was Cain’s wife his sister?
Answer: The Bible does not specifically say who Cain’s wife was. The only possible answer is that Cain’s wife was his sister or niece or great-niece, etc. The Bible does not say how old Cain was when he killed Abel (Genesis 4:8). Since they were both farmers, they were likely both full-grown adults, possibly with families of their own. Adam and Eve surely had given birth to more children than just Cain and Abel at the time Abel was killed. They definitely had many more children later (Genesis 5:4). The fact that Cain was scared for his own life after he killed Abel (Genesis 4:14) indicates that there were likely many other children and perhaps even grandchildren of Adam and Eve already living at that time. Cain’s wife (Genesis 4:17) was a daughter or granddaughter of Adam and Eve.
Since Adam and Eve were the first (and only) human beings, their children would have no other choice than to intermarry. God did not forbid inter-family marriage until much later when there were enough people to make intermarriage unnecessary (Leviticus 18:6-18). The reason that incest today often results in genetic abnormalities is that when two people of similar genetics (i.e., a brother and sister) have children together, there is a high risk of their recessive characteristics becoming dominant. When people from different families have children, it is highly unlikely that both parents will carry the same recessive traits. The human genetic code has become increasingly “polluted” over the centuries as genetic defects are multiplied, amplified, and passed down from generation to generation. Adam and Eve did not have any genetic defects, and that enabled them and the first few generations of their descendants to have a far greater quality of health than we do now. Adam and Eve’s children had few, if any, genetic defects. As a result, it was safe for them to intermarry.
Question: What does the Bible say about dinosaurs? Are there dinosaurs in the Bible?
Answer: The topic of dinosaurs in the Bible is part of a larger ongoing debate within the Christian community over the age of the earth, the proper interpretation of Genesis, and how to interpret the physical evidences we find all around us. Those who believe in an older age for the earth tend to agree that the Bible does not mention dinosaurs, because, according to their paradigm, dinosaurs died out millions of years before the first man ever walked the earth. The men who wrote the Bible could not have seen living dinosaurs.
Those who believe in a younger age for the earth tend to agree that the Bible does mention dinosaurs, though it never actually uses the word “dinosaur.” Instead, it uses the Hebrew word tanniyn, which is translated a few different ways in our English Bibles. Sometimes it’s “sea monster,” and sometimes it’s “serpent.” It is most commonly translated “dragon.” The tanniyn appear to have been some sort of giant reptile. These creatures are mentioned nearly thirty times in the Old Testament and were found both on land and in the water.
In addition to mentioning these giant reptiles, the Bible describes a couple of creatures in such a way that some scholars believe the writers may have been describing dinosaurs. The behemoth is said to be the mightiest of all God’s creatures, a giant whose tail is likened to a cedar tree (Job 40:15). Some scholars have tried to identify the behemoth as either an elephant or a hippopotamus. Others point out that elephants and hippopotamuses have very thin tails, nothing comparable to a cedar tree. Dinosaurs like the brachiosaurus and the diplodocus, on the other hand, had huge tails which could easily be compared to a cedar tree.
Nearly every ancient civilization has some sort of art depicting giant reptilian creatures. Petroglyphs, artifacts, and even little clay figurines found in North America resemble modern depictions of dinosaurs. Rock carvings in South America depict men riding diplodocus-like creatures and, amazingly, bear the familiar images of triceratops-like, pterodactyl-like, and tyrannosaurus rex-like creatures. Roman mosaics, Mayan pottery, and Babylonian city walls all testify to man’s trans-cultural, geographically unbounded fascination with these creatures. Sober accounts like those of Marco Polo’s II Milione mingle with fantastic tales of treasure-hoarding beasts. In addition to the substantial amount of anthropic and historical evidences for the coexistence of dinosaurs and man, there are physical evidences, like the fossilized footprints of humans and dinosaurs found together at places in North America and West-Central Asia.
So, are there dinosaurs in the Bible? The matter is far from settled. It depends on how you interpret the available evidences and how you view the world around you. If the Bible is interpreted literally, a young earth interpretation will result, and the idea that dinosaurs and man coexisted can be accepted. If dinosaurs and human beings coexisted, what happened to the dinosaurs? While the Bible does not discuss the issue, dinosaurs likely died out sometime after the flood due to a combination of dramatic environmental shifts and the fact that they were relentlessly hunted to extinction by man.
Question: Was Noah’s flood global or local?
Answer: The biblical passages regarding the flood make it clear that it was global. Genesis 7:11 states that “all the springs of the great deep burst forth, and the floodgates of the heavens were opened.” Genesis 1:6-7 and 2:6 tell us that the pre-flood environment was much different from that which we experience today. Based on these and other biblical descriptions, it is reasonably speculated that at one time the earth was covered by some kind of water canopy. This canopy could have been a vapor canopy, or it might have consisted of rings, somewhat like Saturn’s ice rings. This, in combination with a layer of water underground, released upon the land (Genesis 2:6) would have resulted in a global flood.
The clearest verses that show the extent of the flood are Genesis 7:19-23. Regarding the waters, “They rose greatly on the earth, and all the high mountains under the entire heavens were covered. The waters rose and covered the mountains to a depth of more than twenty feet. Every living thing that moved on the earth perished—birds, livestock, wild animals, all the creatures that swarm over the earth, and all mankind. Everything on dry land that had the breath of life in its nostrils died. Every living thing on the face of the earth was wiped out; men and animals and the creatures that move along the ground and the birds of the air were wiped from the earth. Only Noah was left, and those with him in the ark.”
In the above passage, we not only find the word “all” being used repeatedly, but we also find “all the high mountains under the entire heavens were covered,” “the waters rose and covered the mountains to a depth of more than twenty feet,“ and “every living thing that moved on the earth perished.” These descriptions clearly describe a universal flood covering the whole earth. Also, if the flood was localized, why did God instruct Noah to build an ark instead of merely telling Noah to move and causing the animals to migrate? And why did He instruct Noah to build an ark large enough to house all of the different kinds of land animals found on the earth? If the flood was not global, there would have been no need for an ark.
Peter also describes the universality of the flood in 2 Peter 3:6-7, where he states, “By these waters also the world of that time was deluged and destroyed. By the same word the present heavens and earth are reserved for fire, being kept for the day of judgment and destruction of ungodly men.” In these verses Peter compares the “universal” coming judgment to the flood of Noah’s time and states that the world that existed then was flooded with water. Further, many biblical writers accepted the historicity of the worldwide flood (Isaiah 54:9; 1 Peter 3:20; 2 Peter 2:5; Hebrews 11:7). Lastly, the Lord Jesus Christ believed in the universal flood and took it as the type of the coming destruction of the world when He returns (Matthew 24:37-39; Luke 17:26-27).
There are many extra-biblical evidences that point to a worldwide catastrophe such as a global flood. There are vast fossil graveyards found on every continent and large amounts of coal deposits that would require the rapid covering of vast quantities of vegetation. Oceanic fossils are found upon mountain tops around the world. Cultures in all parts of the world have some form of flood legend. All of these facts and many others are evidence of a global flood.
Question: Why did God put the tree of knowledge of good and evil in the Garden of Eden?
Answer: God put the tree of knowledge of good and evil in the Garden of Eden to give Adam and Eve a choice to obey Him or disobey Him. Adam and Eve were free to do anything they wanted, except eat from the tree of knowledge of good and evil. Genesis 2:16-17, “And the LORD God commanded the man, ‘You are free to eat from any tree in the garden; but you must not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, for when you eat of it you will surely die.’” If God had not given Adam and Eve the choice, they would have essentially been robots, simply doing what they were programmed to do. God created Adam and Eve to be “free” beings, able to make decisions, able to choose between good and evil. In order for Adam and Eve to truly be free, they had to have a choice.
There was nothing essentially evil about the tree or the fruit of the tree. It is unlikely that eating the fruit truly gave Adam and Eve any further knowledge. It was the act of disobedience that opened Adam and Eve’s eyes to evil. Their sin of disobeying God brought sin and evil into the world and into their lives. Eating the fruit, as an act of disobedience against God, was what gave Adam and Eve knowledge of evil (Genesis 3:6-7).
God did not want Adam and Eve to sin. God knew ahead of time what the results of sin would be. God knew that Adam and Eve would sin and would thereby bring evil, suffering, and death into the world. Why, then, did God allow Satan to tempt Adam and Eve? God allowed Satan to tempt Adam and Eve to force them to make the choice. Adam and Eve chose, of their own free will, to disobey God and eat the forbidden fruit. The results—evil, sin, suffering, sickness, and death—have plagued the world ever since. Adam and Eve’s decision results in every person being born with a sin nature, a tendency to sin. Adam and Eve’s decision is what ultimately required Jesus Christ to die on the cross and shed His blood on our behalf. Through faith in Christ, we can be free from sin’s consequences, and ultimately free from sin itself. May we echo the words of the Apostle Paul in Romans 7:24-25, “What a wretched man I am! Who will rescue me from this body of death? Thanks be to God—through Jesus Christ our Lord!”
Question: What is the Intelligent Design Theory?
Answer: The Intelligent Design Theory says that intelligent causes are necessary to explain the complex, information-rich structures of biology and that these causes are empirically detectable. Certain biological features defy the standard Darwinian random-chance explanation, because they appear to have been designed. Since design logically necessitates an intelligent designer, the appearance of design is cited as evidence for a designer. There are three primary arguments in the Intelligent Design Theory: 1) irreducible complexity, 2) specified complexity, and 3) the anthropic principle.
Irreducible complexity is defined as “…a single system which is composed of several well-matched interacting parts that contribute to the basic function, wherein the removal of any one of the parts causes the system to effectively cease functioning.” Simply put, life is comprised of intertwined parts that rely on each other in order to be useful. Random mutation may account for the development of a new part, but it cannot account for the concurrent development of multiple parts necessary for a functioning system. For example, the human eye is obviously a very useful system. Without the eyeball, the optic nerve, and the visual cortex, a randomly mutated incomplete eye would actually be counterproductive to the survival of a species and would therefore be eliminated through the process of natural selection. An eye is not a useful system unless all its parts are present and functioning properly at the same time.
Specified complexity is the concept that, since specified complex patterns can be found in organisms, some form of guidance must have accounted for their origin. The specified complexity argument states that it is impossible for complex patterns to be developed through random processes. For example, a room filled with 100 monkeys and 100 computers may eventually produce a few words, or maybe even a sentence, but it would never produce a Shakespearean play. And how much more complex is biological life than a Shakespearean play?
The anthropic principle states that the world and universe are “fine-tuned” to allow for life on earth. If the ratio of elements in the air of the earth was altered slightly, many species would very quickly cease to exist. If the earth were a few miles closer or further away from the sun, many species would cease to exist. The existence and development of life on earth requires so many variables to be perfectly in tune that it would be impossible for all the variables to come into being through random, uncoordinated events.
While the Intelligent Design Theory does not presume to identify the source of intelligence (whether it be God or UFOs or something else), the vast majority of Intelligent Design theorists are theists. They see the appearance of design which pervades the biological world as evidence for the existence of God. There are, however, a few atheists who cannot deny the strong evidence for design, but are not willing to acknowledge a Creator God. They tend to interpret the data as evidence that earth was seeded by some sort of master race of extraterrestrial creatures (aliens). Of course, they do not address the origin of the aliens either, so they are back to the original argument with no credible answer.
The Intelligent Design Theory is not biblical creationism. There is an important distinction between the two positions. Biblical creationists begin with a conclusion that the biblical account of creation is reliable and correct, that life on Earth was designed by an intelligent agent—God. They then look for evidence from the natural realm to support this conclusion. Intelligent Design theorists begin with the natural realm and reach the conclusion that life on Earth was designed by an intelligent agent (whoever that might be).
Question: Does Genesis chapter 1 mean literal 24-hour days?
Answer: A careful examination of the Hebrew word for “day” and the context in which it appears in Genesis will lead to the conclusion that “day” means a literal, 24-hour period of time. The Hebrew word yom translated into the English “day” can mean more than one thing. It can refer to the 24-hour period of time that it takes for the earth to rotate on its axis (e.g., “there are 24 hours in a day”). It can refer to the period of daylight between dawn and dusk (e.g., “it gets pretty hot during the day but it cools down a bit at night”). And it can refer to an unspecified period of time (e.g., “back in my grandfather’s day…”). It is used to refer to a 24-hour period in Genesis 7:11. It is used to refer to the period of daylight between dawn and dusk in Genesis 1:16. And it is used to refer to an unspecified period of time in Genesis 2:4. So, what does it mean in Genesis 1:5- 2:2 when it’s used in conjunction with ordinal numbers (i.e., the first day, the second day, the third day, the fourth day, the fifth day, the sixth day, and the seventh day)? Are these 24-hour periods or something else? Could yom as it is used here mean an unspecified period of time?
We can determine how yom should be interpreted in Genesis l:5-2:2 simply by examining the context in which we find the word and then comparing its context with how we see its usage elsewhere in Scripture. By doing this we let Scripture interpret itself. The Hebrew word yom is used 2301 times in the Old Testament. Outside of Genesis 1, yom plus a number (used 410 times) always indicates an ordinary day, i.e., a 24-hour period. The words “evening” and “morning” together (38 times) always indicate an ordinary day. Yom + “evening” or “morning” (23 times) always indicates an ordinary day. Yom + “night” (52 times) always indicates an ordinary day.
The context in which the word yom is used in Genesis 1:5-2:2, describing each day as “the evening and the morning,” makes it quite clear that the author of Genesis meant 24-hour periods. The references to “evening” and “morning” make no sense unless they refer to a literal 24-hour day. This was the standard interpretation of the days of Genesis l:5-2:2 until the 1800s when a paradigm shift occurred within the scientific community, and the earth’s sedimentary strata layers were reinterpreted. Whereas previously the rock layers were interpreted as evidence of Noah’s flood, the flood was thrown out by the scientific community and the rock layers were reinterpreted as evidence for an excessively old earth. Some well-meaning but terribly mistaken Christians then sought to reconcile this new anti-flood, anti-biblical interpretation with the Genesis account by reinterpreting yom to mean vast, unspecified periods of time.
The truth is that many of the old-earth interpretations are known to rely upon faulty assumptions. But we must not let the stubborn close-mindedness of scientists influence how we read the Bible. According to Exodus 20:9-11, God used six literal days to create the world in order to serve as a model for man’s workweek: work six days, rest one. Certainly God could have created everything in an instant if He wanted to. But apparently He had us in mind even before He made us (on the sixth day) and wanted to provide an example for us to follow.
Question: What does the Bible say about cavemen, prehistoric men. Neanderthals?
Answer: The Bible does not use the term “caveman” or “Neanderthals,” and according to the Bible there is no such thing as “prehistoric” man. The term “prehistoric” means “belonging to the era before recorded history.” It presupposes that the biblical account is merely a fabrication, because the book of Genesis records events which precede the creation of man (namely, the first five days of creation—man was created on the sixth day). The Bible is clear that Adam and Eve were perfect humans from the time of their creation and did not evolve from lower life forms.
With that said, the Bible does describe a period of traumatic upheaval upon the earth—the flood (Genesis 6-9), during which time civilization was utterly destroyed except for eight people. Humanity was forced to start over. It is in this historical context that some scholars believe men lived in caves and made use of stone tools. These men were not primitive; they were simply destitute. And they certainly were not half ape. The fossil evidence is quite clear: cavemen were human—men who lived in caves.
There are some fossilized ape remains which Darwinian paleo-anthropologists interpret as being some sort of transition between ape and men. Most people seem to think of these interpretations when they imagine cavemen. They picture furry half-men, half-ape creatures crouched in a cave next to a fire, drawing on the walls with their newly developed stone tools. This is a common misconception. And as far as Darwinian paleo-anthropology goes, we should keep in mind that these interpretations reflect a peculiar worldview and are not the result of the evidence. In fact, not only is there major opposition to these interpretations within the academic community, the Darwinists themselves do not entirely agree with each other on the details.
Unfortunately, the popular mainstream view promotes this idea that man and ape both evolved from the same ancestor, but this is certainly not the only plausible interpretation of the available evidence. In fact, the evidence in favor of this particular interpretation is lacking.
When God created Adam and Eve, they were fully developed human beings, capable of communication, society, and development (Genesis 2:19-25; 3:1-20; 4:1-12). It is almost entertaining to consider the lengths evolutionary scientists go to prove the existence of prehistoric cavemen. They find a misshapen tooth in a cave and from that create a misshapen human being who lived in a cave, hunched over like an ape. There is no way that science can prove the existence of cavemen by a fossil. Evolutionary scientists simply have a theory, and then they force the evidence to fit the theory. Adam and Eve were the first human beings ever created and were fully-formed, intelligent, and upright.
Question: Why are there two different creation accounts in Genesis chapters 1-2?
Answer: Genesis 1:1 says, “In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth.” Later, in Genesis 2:4, it seems that a second, different story of creation begins. The idea of two differing creation accounts is a common misinterpretation of these two passages which, in fact, describe the same creation event. They do not disagree as to the order in which things were created and do not contradict one another. Genesis 1 describes the “six days of creation” (and a seventh day of rest), Genesis 2 covers only one day of that creation week —the sixth day—and there is no contradiction.
In Genesis 2, the author steps back in the temporal sequence to the sixth day, when God made man. In the first chapter, the author of Genesis presents the creation of man on the sixth day as the culmination or high point of creation. Then, in the second chapter, the author gives greater detail regarding the creation of man.
There are two primary claims of contradictions between Genesis chapters 1-2. The first is in regard to plant life. Genesis 1:11 records God creating vegetation on the third day. Genesis 2:5 states that prior to the creation of man “no shrub of the field had yet appeared on the earth and no plant of the field had yet sprung up, for the LORD God had not sent rain on the earth and there was no man to work the ground.” So, which is it? Did God create vegetation on the third day before He created man (Genesis 1), or after He created man (Genesis 2)? The Hebrew words for “vegetation” are different in the two passages. Genesis 1:11 uses a term that refers to vegetation in general. Genesis 2:5 uses a more specific term that refers to vegetation that requires agriculture, i.e., a person to tend it, a gardener. The passages do not contradict. Genesis 1:11 speaks of God creating vegetation, and Genesis 2:5 speaks of God not causing “farmable” vegetation to grow until after He created man.
The second claimed contradiction is in regard to animal life. Genesis 1:24-25 records God creating animal life on the sixth day, before He created man. Genesis 2:19, in some translations, seems to record God creating the animals after He had created man. However, a good and plausible translation of Genesis 2:19-20 reads, “Now the LORD God had formed out of the ground all the beasts of the field and all the birds of the air. He brought them to the man to see what he would name them, and whatever the man called each living creature, that was its name. So the man gave names to all the livestock, the birds of the air and all the beasts of the field.” The text does not say that God created man, then created the animals, and then brought the animals to the man. Rather, the text says, “Now the LORD God had [already] created all the animals.” There is no contradiction. On the sixth day, God created the animals, then created man, and then brought the animals to the man, allowing the man to name the animals.
By considering the two creation accounts individually and then reconciling them, we see that God describes the sequence of creation in Genesis 1, then clarifies its most important details, especially of the sixth day, in Genesis 2. There is no contradiction here, merely a common literary device describing an event from the general to the specific.
Question: Is creationism scientific?
Answer: There is currently a lot of debate over the validity of creationism, defined as “the belief that the universe and living organisms originate from specific acts of divine creation, as in the biblical account, rather than by natural processes such as evolution.” Creation science is often dismissed by the secular community and accused of lacking scientific value. However, creationism is clearly compatible with a scientific approach to any topic. Creationism makes statements about real world events, places, and things. It is not concerned solely with subjective ideas or abstract concepts. There are established scientific facts that are consistent with creationism, and the way in which those facts relate to one another lends itself to a creationist interpretation. Just as other broad scientific ideas are used to lend coherence to a series of facts, so, too, does creationism.
How, then, is creationism—as opposed to “naturalism,” defined as “a philosophical viewpoint according to which everything arises from natural properties and causes, and supernatural or spiritual explanations are excluded or discounted”—scientific? Admittedly, the answer depends on how you define “scientific.” Too often, “science” and “naturalism” are considered one and the same, leaving creationist views out by definition. Such a definition requires an irrational reverence of naturalism. Science is defined as “the observation, identification, description, experimental investigation, and theoretical explanation of phenomena.” Nothing requires science, in and of itself, to be naturalistic. Naturalism, like creationism, requires a series of presuppositions that are not generated by experiments. They are not extrapolated from data or derived from test results. These philosophical presuppositions are accepted before any data is ever taken. Because both naturalism and creationism are strongly influenced by presuppositions that are neither provable nor testable, and enter into the discussion well before the facts do, it is fair to say that creationism is at least as scientific as naturalism.
Creationism, like naturalism, can be “scientific,” in that it is compatible with the scientific method of discovery. These two concepts are not, however, sciences in and of themselves, because both views include aspects that are not considered “scientific” in the normal sense. Neither creationism nor naturalism is falsifiable; that is, there is no experiment that could conclusively disprove either one. Neither one is predictive; they do not generate or enhance the ability to predict an outcome. Solely on the basis of these two points, we see that there is no logical reason to consider one more scientifically valid than the other.
One of the major reasons naturalists give for rejecting creationism is the concept of miracles. Ironically, naturalists will typically say that miracles, such as special creation, are impossible because they violate the laws of nature, which have been clearly and historically observed. Such a view is ironic on several counts. As a single example, consider abiogenesis, the theory of life springing from non-living matter. Abiogenesis is one of the most thoroughly refuted concepts of science. Yet, a truly naturalistic viewpoint presumes that life on earth—self-replicating, self-sustaining, complex organic life—arose by chance from non-living matter. Such a thing has never been observed in all of human history. The beneficial evolutionary changes needed to progress a creature to a more complex form have also never been observed. So creationism actually holds the edge on evidence for “miraculous” claims in that the Scriptures provide documented accounts of miraculous happenings. To label creationism as unscientific on account of miracles demands a similar label for naturalism.
There are many facts that are used by both sides of the creation vs. naturalism debate. Facts are facts, but there is no such thing as a fact that absolutely requires a single interpretation. The divide between creationism and secular naturalism rests entirely on different interpretations. Regarding the evolution vs. creation debate specifically, Charles Darwin himself made this point. In the introduction to The Origin of Species, he stated, “I am well aware that scarcely a single point is discussed in this volume on which facts cannot be adduced, often apparently leading to conclusions directly opposite to those at which I arrived.” Obviously, Darwin believed evolution over creation, but he was willing to admit that interpretation was key to choosing a belief. One scientist might view a particular fact as supportive of naturalism; another scientist might view that same fact as supporting creationism.
Also, the fact that creationism is the only possible alternative to naturalistic ideas such as evolution makes it a valid topic, especially when this dichotomy has been admitted to by some of the leading minds of science. Many well-known and influential scientists state that the only possible explanations for life are naturalistic evolution or special creation. Not all scientists agree on which is true, but they almost all agree that one or the other must be.
There are many other reasons why creationism is a rational and scientific approach to learning. Among these are the concepts of realistic probability, the flawed evidential support for macro-evolution, the evidence of experience, and so forth. There is no logical basis to accept naturalistic presuppositions outright and flatly reject creationist presuppositions. Firm belief in creation is no barrier to scientific discovery. Simply review the accomplishments of men like Newton, Pasteur, Mendel, Pascal, Kelvin, Linnaeus, and Maxwell. All were clear and comfortable creationists. Creationism is not a “science,” just as naturalism is not a “science.” Creationism is, however, fully compatible with science itself.
Question: What is the Gap Theory? Did anything happen between Genesis 1:1 and 1:2?
Answer: Genesis 1:1-2 states, “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. Now the earth was formless and empty, darkness was over the surface of the deep, and the Spirit of God was hovering over the waters.” The Gap Theory is the view that God created a fully functional earth with all animals, including the dinosaurs and other creatures we know only from the fossil record. Then, the theory goes, something happened to destroy the earth completely— some speculate it was the fall of Satan to earth—so that the earth became without form and void. At this point, God started all over again, recreating the earth in its paradise form as further described in Genesis.
There are too many problems with this theory to describe adequately in a brief response, not the least of which is that if something important had occurred between the two verses, God would have told us so. God would not have left us to speculate in ignorance about such important events. Second, Genesis 1:31 says God declared His creation to be “very good,” which He certainly could not say if evil had already entered the world via Satan’s fall in the “gap.” Along the same line, if the fossil record is to be explained by the millions of years in the gap, that means death, disease, and suffering were common many ages before Adam fell. But the Bible tells us that it was Adam’s sin that introduced death, disease, and suffering to all life: “Sin entered the world through one man, and death through sin” (Romans 5:12).
Those who hold to the Gap Theory do so in order to reconcile the theories of modern scientists who hold to the old-earth theory—the belief that the earth is billions of years older than can be accounted for by adding up the genealogies of man found in the Bible. Even well-meaning evangelicals have bought into the old-earth theory, handling much of Genesis 1 allegorically, while attempting to hold to a literal interpretation of the rest of Scripture. The danger in this is in determining at what point to stop allegorizing and begin interpreting literally. Was Adam a literal person? How do we know? If he was not, then did he really bring sin into the human race, or can we allegorize that as well? And if there was no literal Adam to introduce the sin which we all inherit, then there was no reason for Jesus to die on the cross. A non-literal original sin denies the reason for Christ’s coming in the first place, as explained in 1 Corinthians 15:22: “For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ all shall be made alive.” At that point, Christianity itself becomes a hoax and the Bible just a nice book of stories and fables. Can we not see where this type of “reasoning” gets us?
Genesis 1 simply cannot be reconciled with the notion that creation occurred over long periods of time, nor that these periods occurred in the space between Genesis 1:1 and 1:2. What took place between Genesis 1:1 and 1:2? Absolutely nothing! Genesis 1:1 tells us that God created the heavens and the earth. Genesis 1:2 informs us that when He first created the earth, it was formless, empty, and dark; it was not finished and not yet inhabited by creatures. The rest of Genesis chapter 1 tells us how God completed the formless, empty, and dark earth by filling it with life, beauty, and goodness. The Bible is true, literal, and perfect (Psalm 19:7-9). Science has never disproved anything in the Bible and it never will. The Bible is supreme truth and therefore is the standard by which scientific theory should be evaluated, not the other way around.
Question: What is theistic evolution?
Answer: Theistic evolution is one of three major origin-of-life worldviews, the other two being atheistic evolution (also commonly known as Darwinian evolution and naturalistic evolution) and special creation.
Atheistic evolution says that there is no God and that life can and did emerge naturally from preexisting, non-living building blocks under the influence of natural laws (like gravity, etc), although the origin of those natural laws is not explained. Special creation says that God created life directly, either from nothing or from preexisting materials.
Theistic evolution says one of two things. The first option is that there is a God, but He was not directly involved in the origin of life. He may have created the building blocks, He may have created the natural laws, He may even have created these things with the eventual emergence of life in mind, but at some point early on He stepped back and let His creation take over. He let it do what it does, whatever that is, and life eventually emerged from non-living material. This view is similar to atheistic evolution in that it presumes a naturalistic origin of life.
The second alternative of theistic evolution is that God did not perform just one or two miracles to bring about the origin of life as we know it. His miracles were constant. He led life step by step down a path that took it from primeval simplicity to contemporary complexity, similar to Darwin’s evolutionary tree of life (fish begot amphibians who begot reptiles who begot birds and mammals, etc). Where life was not able to evolve naturally (how does a reptile’s limb evolve into a bird’s wing naturally?), God stepped in. This view is similar to special creation in that it presumes that God acted supernaturally in some way to bring about life as we know it.
There are numerous differences between the biblical special creation perspective and the theistic evolution perspective. One significant difference concerns their respective views on death. Theistic evolutionists tend to believe that the earth is billions of years old and that the geologic column containing the fossil record represents long epochs of time. Since man does not appear until late in the fossil record, theistic evolutionists believe that many creatures lived, died, and became extinct long before man’s belated arrival. This means that death existed before Adam and his sin.
Biblical creationists believe that the earth is relatively young and that the fossil record was laid down during and after Noah’s flood. The stratification of the layers is thought to have occurred due to hydrologic sorting and liquefaction, both of which are observed phenomena. This puts the fossil record and the death and carnage which it describes hundreds of years after Adam’s sin.
Another significant difference between the two positions is how they read Genesis. Theistic evolutionists tend to subscribe to either the day-age theory or the framework theory, both of which are allegorical interpretations of the Genesis 1 creation week. Young earth creationists subscribe to a literal 24-hour day as they read Genesis 1. Both of the theistic evolutionist views are flawed from a Christian perspective in that they do not line up with the Genesis creation account.
Theistic evolutionists imagine a Darwinian scenario in which stars evolved, then our solar system, then earth, then plants and animals, and eventually man. The two theistic evolution viewpoints disagree as to the role God played in the unfolding of events, but they generally agree on the Darwinian timeline. This timeline is in conflict with the Genesis creation account. For example, Genesis 1 says that the earth was created on day one and the sun, moon, and stars were not created until day four. Some argue that the wording of Genesis suggests the sun, moon, and stars were actually created on day one but they could not be seen through earth’s atmosphere until day four, leading to their placement on day four. This is a bit of a stretch, as the Genesis account is pretty clear that the earth did not have an atmosphere until the second day. If the sun, moon, and stars were created on day one, they should have been visible on day one.
Also, the Genesis account clearly says that birds were created with sea creatures on day five while land animals were not created until day six. This is in direct opposition to the Darwinian view that birds evolved from land animals. The biblical account says that birds preceded land animals. The theistic evolutionist view says exactly the opposite.
One of the most unfortunate trends in modern Christianity is that of reinterpreting Genesis to accommodate evolutionary theories. Many well-known Bible teachers and apologists have caved in to the evolutionists and have come to believe that adhering to a literal interpretation of Genesis is somehow detrimental to the credibility of Christians. If anything, evolutionists lose respect for those whose belief in the Bible is so tenuous that they are willing to quickly compromise it. Although the number of true creationists may be dwindling in academia, several faithful organizations such as Answers in Genesis, the Creation Research Society, and the Institute for Creation Research have affirmed that the Bible is not only compatible with real science, but affirm that not a single word in the Bible has ever been disproved by true science. The Bible is God’s living Word, given to us by the Creator of the universe, and His description of how He created that universe is not compatible with the theory of evolution, even a “theistic” understanding of evolution.
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