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Thursday, June 19, 2014

The Biblical alternative to the Genesis account of creation

Most folks read the Genesis account of creation without any awareness that Scripture (Old and New Testaments) reveals another story about how everything was created. This other story, however, cannot be found in one or two chapters. Instead, it is constructed by putting many different verses from many different places in the Bible together. Moreover, this other story is quite different from the account found in Genesis.

First, this other account of creation begins in the New Testament. We read there: "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. The same was in the beginning with God. All things were made by him: and without him was not any thing made that was made." (John 1:1-3) In verse 14 of this same chapter, we learn that the Word is the one who later became Jesus Christ. Paul wrote to the saints at Ephesus that God created all things through Jesus Christ. (Ephesians 3:9)

In similar fashion, we learn in the New Testament that God and Jesus Christ were working off of a plan that was formulated and set in motion before this earth was created. In fact, the phrase "before the foundation of the world" appears three times in the King James Version of the New Testament. (John 17:24, Ephesians 1:4 and I Peter 1:20) Paul wrote to the church at Corinth: "But we speak the wisdom of God in a mystery, even the hidden wisdom, which God ordained before the world unto our glory." (I Corinthians 2:7) He wrote to Timothy: "Who hath saved us, and called us with an holy calling, not according to our works, but according to his own purpose and grace, which was given us in Christ Jesus before the world began." (II Timothy 1:9) Paul also wrote to Titus: "In hope of eternal life, which God, that cannot lie, promised before the world began." (Titus 1:2)

In the Genesis account, it is implied that angels were created prior to man and the earth (the Serpent is already there in the Garden of Eden when Adam and Eve take up residence). In other scriptures, it is made plain that angels were created before man and the earth. When God answered Job out of the whirlwind, he said: "Where wast thou when I laid the foundations of the earth? declare, if thou hast understanding...When the morning stars (angels) sang together, and all the sons of God shouted for joy?" (Job 38:4-7) This is also implicit in what we read about the one who became Satan in the writing of the prophet Ezekiel. (28:12-15) Likewise, we read in the epistle to the Hebrews that angels were created to serve the heirs of salvation - mankind, and that man was created to be "a little lower than the angels." (1:14 and 2:7)

Thus we can clearly see that Scripture reveals that many things happened relative to the creation of this planet before the events recorded in Genesis. This serves to reinforce the awesome nature of what God did and our own recognition of the fact that we know very little about the actual nature of those events. Nevertheless, the message of the entire Bible is clear about one thing relative to this subject - God is the Creator of everything!

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