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:
“To Eber were born two sons: the name of the one was Peleg, for in his days the Earth was divided, and his brother’s name was Joktan.” (Gen 10:25). During the days of Peleg, all of the people on the Earth began their dispersal across the world. It was at this time that the civilizations of Babylon (2234 B.C.), Egypt (2188 B.C.), and Greece (2089 B.C.) were born. The days of Peleg and the dispersion of the Earth’s population have been calculated to happen 100 years after the flood, 2242 B.C. The following link shows a chart of Noah’s family and which people groups and nations they formed: http://www.answersingenesis.org/contents/379/Table%20of%20Nations.pdf
When classifying a living thing, it is done through a specific process by placing it into categories that begin with a broad title and end with a specific name. You may remember from school the following order of classification: Kingdom (broad), Phylum, Class, Order, Family, Genus, and Species (specific). When we study Creation in the Bible, we do not see the aforementioned classification order but instead are introduced to the word “kind.” You will find the word “kind” used in the following verses, just to name a few: Gen. 1:12; Gen. 1:21; Gen. 1:24; and Gen. 1:25. God created the plants, birds, fish, and land animals, and commanded them to reproduce “after their kind.” The “kind” is considered by the majority of creationists to equal that of the Family in the classification order. There is current research being done to help better define “kind.” As mentioned, “Family” is often referred to as the kind, but some have suggested it may also be the Order or the Genus. There is more information on that below.
The “kind” is better understood as the canine (dog) kind, the feline (cat) kind, the equidae (horse) kind, etc. “After their kind” means that dogs would reproduce within the dog kind, cats would reproduce within the cat kind, and horses would reproduce within the horse kind. This is what we observe today. See the “Creation Orchard” below, which is much different than the Evolution Tree of Life.
The DNA holds an awesome amount of information, and when the proteins formed by the DNA are switched around, the results are different variations of the animal kind. This is what creationists refer to as micro-evolution, or some may refer to it as “adaptive variation.” The DNA is made so that it can only be altered to produce more animals after its specific kind. That is why we don’t find hideous dog/cat hybrids—the DNA would not allow for it to ever happen (an Darwinian evolution doesn’t necessarily teach that). There are times when after so much variation has occurred, the DNA has altered to the extent that certain species within the kind can no longer reproduce with each other. This is referred to as a ring species. This is not evolution, but instead a loss of information (reverse evolution). To help understand why we see different species in certain parts of the world but not in others, see the article about genetics.
Let’s use the canine family as an example to better understand this “kind” concept. There are hundreds of variations of the canine kind such as the German Shepherd, Boxer, Shih-Tzu, and Labrador. There are also variations of these variations, such as the Black Labrador, Yellow Labrador, White Labrador, and Chocolate Labrador. These are all dogs and will always be dogs. They will never change into another family (kind) of animal. The canine kind is not limited to dogs as we know them—it also includes foxes, dingos, wolves, and coyotes–and many within the canine kind can reproduce with one another to create new hybrids.
There is a field of Creation Science called “Baraminology” which comes from the Hebrew words bara and min. Translated, those words mean “created kind.” This is a study of the taxonomy of God’s creation. More information about this interesting field of research can be found at www.creationbiology.org The most recent research shows that of the Mammal kind, there were about 350 kinds identified. Of the Aviary kind, there were about 196 kinds. The research continues.
Genesis Chapter 1 is a chronological order of events, starting with the first day of creation and ending on the seventh day of creation. Each creative event is recorded for each of the days. Genesis Chapter 2 is a summary of Genesis Chapter 1, and although it mentions what was created, the goal of that chapter is not to show the specific order of creation, but to instead give a summary of the creation, and then spend the rest of the chapter focusing on the creation of Adam and Eve. The two chapters are not contradictory but complementary.
“And God blessed them, and God said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the Earth, and subdue it: and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the Earth.” Gen 1:28 (KJV).
This verse in the King James Version is used to support the Gap Theory because it uses the word “replenish.” We know that today the word “replenish” means to “fill up again.” Most words starting with the prefix “re” mean to do something again. But has this always been the case?
Language does change over time. Compare today’s English with Old English, and you will see a vast array of changes. According to the Oxford Dictionary, between the years of 1300 and 1700 during which time the KJV was written (1611), the word “replenish” meant to “fill up” as in “to fill something up one time or for the first time.” It wasn’t until centuries later that the prefix “re” began to mean “again.” You can look up the Hebrew word male, which is translated to “replenish” in the Strong’s Concordance (#4390). Replenish, at the time of the KJV, did not mean to fill up again, but to fill up for the first time. Therefore, this word cannot be used to support the Gap Theory.
Before we begin, please read the article about the word “yom”. This is one of the Hebrew words for “day,” and it was the word used during the Creation week in Genesis Chapter 1. If you read through each day of the creation week, you will see that there are qualifying words to help determine the meaning of “yom.” For example, on the second day of creation, the text reads: “And there was evening and there was morning, the second day” (Gen 1:8). So when you have the word “day” accompanied by “evening,” “morning,” and an ordinal number (second), then this commands that the word mean a literal 24-hour period, just like we have today.
The word “day” occurs 2,031 times in the Old Testament, but why is it only questioned in Genesis? Was Jonah in the great fish for 3 days or 3 thousand years? Did Joshua march around Jericho for 7 days or 7,000 years?
There are twelve words in Hebrew that can mean “day,” but the word that was used when referring to the days in the Creation week was “yom.”
Ten of those twelve available words mean longer periods of time, but “yom,” when used in the context of Genesis, always means a literal 24-hour day. You can learn more about this word in the Strong’s Concordance (#3117). For more information, see the article “How long were the days in Genesis?”
In Acts 2:14-41 we read about Peter preaching to the Jews. The Jews already had an understanding of who the Lord God was based on their study and memorization of the Old Testament. They understood the foundations of their faith based on Genesis Chapters 1 through Genesis 11 that God created the heavens and the Earth, all forms of life, and that the first man, Adam, rebelled against God thus passing the sin nature onto his descendants. Because of their foundational knowledge, when Peter preached to the Jews about Jesus and his plan of salvation, they understood why they needed a savior, and many were saved that day.
This was not the case in Acts 17:22-34. Paul was preaching the Gospel to the Greeks. They were philosophers and pagans and had no understanding of God or the Christian faith. They did not know that they were born in sin nor even understand what sin was. When Paul preached to the Greeks, he did not start off by telling them that they are born in sin and in need of a savior. Instead, he started in Genesis and built the Christian doctrine from the ground up. This is the only way the pagan Greeks would understand what Paul meant. The Greeks were not fully receptive to Paul, although some said that they would like to hear more from him.
It is important that we understand the principles of the faith that is found in Genesis. Some may say that America is a Christian nation, and in the past this was true, but today, despite having the most Christian book stores, seminaries, and churches, we as a nation have distanced ourselves far away from Christianity. Today’s culture has been indoctrinated with the teaching of the Theory of Evolution, that there is no absolute truth, and morality is relative. Evolution Theory teaches that we are products of random processes and there is no need for a God in regards to the formation of life. Today, when talking about God and sin, we have to define our terms because not everyone has a Christian background. When presenting the Gospel, we must first show why the Gospel was needed, like Paul did, and that requires us to start from the very beginning: Genesis. This principle needs to be applied to all Christians who are in the mission field at home, work, and school, and to those who go overseas.
This question can be answered by going back to the original language that Genesis was written in: Hebrew. The Hebrew word for “day” in Genesis Chapter 1 is “yom” (Strong’s #3117). We know that in English, day can have multiple meanings even in the same sentence. For example “Back in my father’s day, it took 12 days to cross the country in a day.” Each “day” means a different time frame that we can understand from the context. So let’s apply that to Genesis using the Strong’s concordance. When “yom” is used in Genesis to describe each day, it is used along with the phrase “evening and morning” along with an ordinal number (1, 2, 3, etc.). Adding these three qualifiers to the word “yom” insists that it means a literal, 24-hour day. This is what we find in Genesis chapter 1. So we can conclude that God created the world and everything in it in six 24 hours days, and rested on the seventh. God could have done it in six minutes, six years, or in one second, but what we have written is six literal days.
The word “yom” is used 2301 times in the Old Testament. Outside of Genesis, “yom” is used with an ordinal number 410 times. The phrase “evening and morning” is used with “yom” 38 times. “Yom” plus either “evening” or “morning” is used 23 times. “Yom” plus the word “night” is used 52 times. Every time “yom” is used as mentioned above, it always implies a literal, 24-hour day.
Why is it that Genesis is questioned so much about the length of a day? Why not question how long Jonah was in the great fish? Was he in there for 3 days or 3 thousand years? How many days did Joshua march around Jericho? Seven days or seven thousand years? It doesn’t make sense any other way. Some in the church try to interpret the “day” as a long period of time, and by doing so allowing time for evolution to take place and thus agree with secular science that claims the world is billions of years old. This simply cannot be done when you apply the word to the context. Context is very important when interpreting Scripture, a child’s book, or the newspaper.
Take this time to thank God for clearly telling us in His Word how this world and everything in it came to be. It all starts with Genesis.