All posts by Genesis

How could there be days in Genesis when the sun was not created until the fourth day?

Genesis 1:14-18: “And God said, “Let there be lights in the vault of the sky to separate the day from the night, and let them serve as signs to mark sacred times, and days and years, and let them be lights in the vault of the sky to give light on the earth.” And it was so.  God made two great lights—the greater light to govern the day and the lesser light to govern the night. He also made the stars.  God set them in the vault of the sky to give light on the earth, to govern the day and the night, and to separate light from darkness. And God saw that it was good.”

At the end of each day of the creation, we read the phrase “evening and morning, the first/second/third/fourth/fifth/or sixth day.”  Today we think of day as being the full rotation of the earth.  We measure it by the rising and setting of the sun.  We know, of course, that the sun does not rise or set, but it appears to be doing so based on our view here from the earth.  If there was no sun, we would still have the earth’s rotation.  Rotation, not daylight, is the measure of a day.  Moreover, before the sun was created on the 4th day, there was still a source of light.  In Genesis 1:3, God said “Let there be light.”  This was a physical light, not something metaphorical.  We do not fully know where this source of light came from, but we do know light was there.  Some say the source of light was from God himself because God is light (1 John 1:5).  We do not need light to define the length of a day; we only need the earth’s rotation.

How did freshwater fish survive the flood?

In Genesis 6, we read where God commands Noah to take two of every kind of land-dwelling animal on the ark.  This includes the mammals, birds, and reptiles, but not the fish.  There is some debate if insects were included.  During the flood, the salty ocean waters would have mixed with the fresh lakes and rivers.  How did the fish in the fresh waters survive in the salty mixture?  How did the saltwater fish survive in the fresh mixture?

There are many areas in the world where freshwater and saltwater are together, but the waters don’t mix.  Studies on water have shown that various temperatures, chemistries, and sediments in the waters don’t mix but instead become segregated.  It is possible that the fish survived in “pockets” of fresh or salt water, depending on the species.  Before the flood, the fish would not have been affected as strongly by the curse like they are today, so they may have been able to tolerate the water mixes during the flood and adapt to the different chemical makeups.  It should be noted that the majority of fossils are marine creatures, so most fish died during the flood when they were buried by sediments.  We know that two of each kind of fish survived, though, because we see them and their variations swimming in bodies of water today.

For further reading on this often asked question, see the two following articles:

http://www.icr.org/article/fish-flood/

http://www.answersingenesis.org/articles/2001/02/26/feedback-positive-fish

How did Adam and Eve know what sin was?

Genesis 2:16-17: “And the Lord God commanded man, saying, “Of every tree of the garden you may freely eat; but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it you shall surely die.”

The curse of man happened after the eating of the fruit from the tree in the garden.  It wasn’t so much the fruit that resulted in the curse, but Adam and Eve’s act of disobedience to God’s one command.  But, how did the first two humans even know what sin was?

At this point in history, there was no evil affecting the world.  The creation was still “very good.”  Sin had not yet entered the world.  God gave commands on what Adam and Eve could do and specifically told them not to eat from the one tree in the garden.  By knowing that it would be wrong to eat from the tree, Adam and Eve had the knowledge of what was wrong.  They knew it would be wrong to disobey God by breaking this one rule.  They chose to break the rule, and sin entered the world afterward.

It’s similar to telling a child not to touch a hot stove.  Inevitably, the child is going to touch it and get burned.  Through the child’s disobedience, he suffered the consequence (injury).  Likewise, God forbade the eating of the one tree in the garden because of its consequence (physical death, curse on humans, animals, and the earth).  Adam and Eve knew it was wrong, but they still did it.

It should also be added that Adam and Eve were created in God’s image, which means they understood right from wrong because God’s standards for right and wrong are part of His character.  Laws in this world are in place regardless of them being spoken or written down.  For example, gravity will take effect regardless of your knowledge of gravity.  If you visit a city and don’t know the speed limit, and then get caught speeding, you are still guilty of breaking the law even though you didn’t know the speed limit.

How did Adam name all the animals?

Genesis 2:19-20: “Out of the ground the Lord God formed every beast of the field and every bird of the air, and brought them to Adam to see what he would call them.  And whatever Adam called each living creature, that was its name.  So Adam gave names to all cattle, to the birds of the air, and to every beast of the field.  But for Adam there was not found a helper comparable to him.”

Today there are millions of species of animals, but a species has multiple definitions.  When talking about creation, we use the word “kind,” which is closer to the “family” in the standard classification system.  Take the canine kind for example: There are wolves, dingoes, coyotes, domestic dogs, and foxes.  Then, from each of these species comes a plethora of even more species (Retrievers, Poodles, Terriers, etc.).  The scripture above implies that Adam named the animals in a short time, and its possible it happened in one day.  He named the animals but was unable to find an appropriate help mate.  God then put Adam to sleep and formed Eve, his wife, from Afam’s side.   While naming them, he was trying to also find a helper.

Skeptics claim that Adam could not have named the millions of animals in existence, much less remember them all.  To answer this claim, we must consider two things.  Adam was the first human, and although he later sinned, he still had near perfect genetics and minimal effects from the curse.  Therefore, Adam’s memory was much more intact and detailed because it was not affected by thousands of years of curse, like us today.  Second, most likely Adam named only the kinds of animals God had created.  God commanded the animals to reproduce after their kind.  But, with there being only a short time frame from the creation to the command for Adam to name the animals, there would not have been any offspring from the created kinds yet.  Therefore, the animals did not speculate from their kind.  Only the representative kinds would have been available for Adam to name.

In the past, creationists have claimed that Noah, who had taken each of the representative kinds of animals on the ark, may have had as many as 16,000 kinds on board.  Lately, however, through the research being done for the preparation of the Ark Encounter Project, estimates of the kinds has greatly reduced to less than 1,000 kinds/families.  See this article for more information about creation taxonomy, also known as baraminology.

Does the Bible contain contradictions?

 

downloadIt has been said that the Bible has been corrupted over time. Through the help of the Dead Sea Scrolls, we can see that the Bible has been accurately translated over the centuries.

Many claim the Bible is full of errors and contradictions.  There are some websites that list hundreds of alleged discrepancies.   In review of these lists, it’s been discovered that the answers to those problems are often very easily answered while others may require a more detailed explanation.   Oftentimes the text is taken grossly out of context.

Before we discuss these supposed errors, we need to define our terms.  A contradiction in the logical sense is “A equals A; A does not equal Non-A”. Or, “it is what it is, and it’s not what it’s not.”  To put it in practical terms, imagine a car in a parking lot.  You can say, “The car is in the parking lot.”  But you cannot say, “The car is in the parking lot but not in the parking lot.”  That would be an impossibility.  Likewise, you cannot say, “The rain is wet, but the rain isn’t wet.”  Jesus cannot say he is the Son of God and also say he is not the Son of God. 

When we say the Bible is inspired and inerrant, we are referring to the original writings also known as the autographs. These were the writings penned by the authors (Paul, John, Peter, etc.) or their scribes. It is believed that none of these original writings are in existence today, but we do have many reliable copies of the texts. We believe the scribes painstakingly copied the texts with diligence.  The field of Textual Criticism validates this.   However, paper is still paper, and it does wear out. One part of a letter could flake off of a document thus rendering a word to be misspelled, or, in the case of numbers, it could change the value of the number. Some may ask how many stalls of horses Solomon had: 4,000 or 40,000 (see 1 Kings 4:26 and 2 Chronicles 9:25 for the alleged contradiction)? This could be an instance where the number flaked off. There are various places in the Bible where numerical inconsistencies occur, but it is important to know that these do not affect doctrine or essentials of the faith. They are just minor nuances that the skeptics love to harp on.

There are two websites I’d like to reference so you may look up the many “alleged” contradictions for yourself:

Bible Difficulties

Scripture Contradiction Index

I also recommend the following books to help clarify these alleged contradictions:

Does the Bible predict that people will ignore the flood?

“This is now the second letter that I am writing to you, beloved. In both of them I am stirring up your sincere mind by way of reminder, that you should remember the predictions of the holy prophets and the commandment of the Lord and Savior through your apostles, knowing this first of all, that scoffers will come in the last days with scoffing, following their own sinful desires. They will say, “Where is the promise of his coming? For ever since the fathers fell asleep, all things are continuing as they were from the beginning of creation.” For they deliberately overlook this fact, that the heavens existed long ago, and the earth was formed out of water and through water by the word of God, and that by means of these the world that then existed was deluged with water and perished. But by the same word the heavens and earth that now exist are stored up for fire, being kept until the day of judgment and destruction of the ungodly.”  2 Peter 3:1-7 (ESV)

Noah’s Flood was an incredibly important event in earth history.  It changed the entire appearance of the earth, causing the earth as we see it today appear as though it has suffered from billions of years of erosion, but in actuality, the wear and tear we see are the results of the catastrophic flood.  Skeptics deny a global flood, although some accept that localized floods have been in existence in the past and they have caused some of the rock formations, sedimentary layers, and fossilsPeter told the early Christians that in the last days, people would scoff at the idea of a global flood.  They will even adhere to uniformitarianism as we see in the verse: “all things are continuing as they were from the beginning of creation.”  The above passage ends with a warning that the earth will again be destroyed, but next time it will be with fire.

What can I do to be saved?

The Bible presents a clear path to eternal life. First, we must recognize that we have sinned against God: “For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23). We have all done things that are displeasing to God, which makes us deserving of punishment. Since all our sins are ultimately against an eternal God, only an eternal punishment is sufficient. “The wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord” (Romans 6:23). However, Jesus Christ, the sinless (1 Peter 2:22), eternal Son of God became a man (John 1:1, 14) and died to pay our penalty. “God demonstrates His love for us in this: while we were still sinners, Christ died for us” (Romans 5:8). Jesus Christ died on the cross (John 19:31-42), taking the punishment that we deserve (2 Corinthians 5:21). Three days later He rose from the dead (1 Corinthians 15:1-4), proving His victory over sin and death. “In His great mercy He has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead” (1 Peter 1:3). By faith, we must change our mindset regarding Christ – who He is, what He did, and why – for salvation (Acts 3:19). If we place our faith in Him, trusting His death on the cross to pay for our sins, we will be forgiven and receive the promise of eternal life in heaven. “For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son so that anyone who believes in Him will not perish but have eternal life” (John 3:16). “If you confess with your mouth, ‘Jesus is Lord,’ and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved” (Romans 10:9). Faith alone in the finished work of Christ on the cross is the only true path to eternal life! “For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith – and this not of yourselves, it is the gift of God – not by works, so that no one can boast” (Ephesians 2:8-9). If you want to accept Jesus Christ as your Savior, here is a sample prayer. Remember, saying this prayer or any other prayer will not save you. It is only trusting in Christ that 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 Jesus Christ took the punishment that I deserve so that through faith in Him I could be forgiven. I place my trust in You for salvation. Thank You for Your wonderful grace and forgiveness – the gift of eternal life! Amen!”   

(Copied from http://www.gotquestions.org/eternal-life.html)

Are you Good Enough to go to Heaven?

Jesus is the Only Way to Heaven!

How is the Created World different from the New Heavens and New Earth?

The created world was “very good” when God finished it, but it soon took a turn for the worse when Adam rebelled against God’s command.  Ever since then, curse, suffering, disease, and death have infiltrated the Earth, causing it to be far from “very good.”  Christians have the hope of eternal life in heaven where everything will be restored and we will live with God forever in a curse-free environment.  Compare the created world with heaven below:

How is Noah’s Ark symbolic of Jesus?

There was one door on the side of the ark through which Noah, his family, and all of the animals could enter to be saved from the Flood.  In John 10:9, Jesus tells us, “I am the door; if anyone enters through me, he will be saved.”  Just like Noah and the others who entered the door of the ark, those who enter the “door to salvation” through faith in Jesus and repentance of their sins will be saved.  There is another interesting symbolism regarding the pitch that was used to cover the ark.

 

People were saved from the flood by entering the door to the ark. We are saved from eternal suffering by entering through the “door” of Jesus. (Source: Answers in Genesis)

 

Is Jesus prophesied in the Old Testament?

The following article is from www.allaboutgod.comThis shows how the life, ministry, and death of Jesus can all be found in the Old Testament.

The Messiah preexists time (Gen. 1:1). He is the eternal Redeemer that will come to earth to reconcile mankind with God (Job 19:25-26). Although Satan will try to attack Him, the Messiah will have ultimate victory (Gen. 3:15). One day He will rule over everything and all nations will bow down to Him (Is 45:23, Ps 22).

The Messiah will descend from Shem (Gen 9-10), Abraham (Gen 22:18), Isaac (Gen 26:4), Jacob (Gen 28:14), Judah (Gen 49:10), Jesse (Is 11:1-5) and David (2 Sam 7:11-16). He will be born in the city of Bethlehem in the county of Ephrathah (Mic 5:2) when a bright star appears (Num 24:17). It will be a miraculous, virgin birth (Is 7:14).

The Messiah will be unique, having preexisted His birth (Mic 5:2). He will perform many miracles: calming the sea (Ps 107:29), causing the blind to see, the deaf to hear, the lame to walk, and the mute to talk (Is 35:4-6). He will be referred to in many ways, including: God With Us (Is 7:14), Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, and Princ e of Peace (Is 9:6). He will be a great teacher and will use parables (Ps 78:2).

But the Messiah will come to save mankind (Is 53:3-9). He will become man’s sin offering (Is 53:3-9) and present Himself to Jerusalem as both the anointed King (Zech 9:9) and the Passover Lamb (Is 53:3-9). This will occur 173,880 days after the decree by Artaxerxes to rebuild both Jerusalem and the temple (Dan 9:20-27). So, in early April, 33 AD, the Messiah will present Himself to a rejoicing Jerusalem riding on a donkey (Zech 9:9). But then He will suffer greatly (Is 53:3-9). Many will reject Him, including His friends (Is 53:3-9). He will be betrayed by a friend (Ps 41:9) for 30 pieces of silver (Zech 11:12-13). Later, that money will be thrown on the floor of the temple (Zech 11:12,13) and w ill eventually go to a potter (Zech 11:12-13). At His trial He will not defend Himself. He will say nothing (Is 53:3-9) except as required by law. Israel will reject Him (Is 8:14).

The Messiah will be taken to a mountaintop identified to Abraham as “the Lord will provide” (Gen 22). There He will be crucified with His hands and feet pierced (Ps 22). His enemies will encircle Him (Ps 22), mocking Him, and will cast lots for His clothing (Ps 22). He will call to God, asking why He was “forsaken” (Ps 22). He will be given gall and wine (Ps 69:20-22). He will die with thieves (Is 53:3-9). But, unlike the thieves, none of His bones will be broken (Ps 22). His heart will fail (Ps 22), as indicated by blood and water spilling out (Ps 22) when He is pierced with a sp ear (Zech 12:10). He will be buried in a rich man’s grave (Is 53:3-9). In three days, He will rise from the dead (Ps 22).