Cosmology, the Study of Origins

by WordExplain

"In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth." Genesis 1:1

How Did Our World Get Here?

An Exegesis of Genesis 1:1 - 2:3

By James T. Bartsch



Genesis 1:1-11:32 has served as a battleground between conservative Biblical scholars and skeptics for many decades. There are secular evolutionists who mock what is written here. And then there are theistic evolutionists who do not take these chapters at face value (though some claim they do). They evidently prefer to call themselves evolutionary creationists (an oxymoron, in my judgment). They try to marry the theory of evolution with the record of God’s creation as recorded in Genesis 1:1-2:3. But that is impossible, for, according to Gen. 1, God created light before the sun, and He created the earth before the sun, moon, and stars. God created plant life before the sun could enable photosynthesis. All of these statements fly directly in the face of evolutionary theory. Furthermore, according to the Biblical record, God created everything in the universe in six days, each of which is designated with a sequential number, and each tagged with an evening and a morning, which explains why Jewish people still begin their day at sundown (Gen. 1:1-2:3). To further dispel any notion that the creation account was to be taken only as a non-literal metaphor, Moses implanted the seventh day of rest in the Creation record into the foundation of the Jewish Sabbath day (Ex. 20:8-12), certainly not to be taken as a span of eons of time. There Moses reaffirmed that everything in the cosmos was created in six days as understood from the vantage point of his writing in ca. 1400 B.C. Again, this flies in the face of evolutionary dogma, which must assume billions of years, an assumption which lacks coherent proof. Some evolutionary creationists label these early chapters as non historical. Others say that Gen. 1-11 is historical, but then they reinterpret the Bible in such a way as to allow for evolution. Sadly, many Biblical scholars have allowed an unproven and discredited secular theory of origins to influence their interpretation of God’s sacred Word. WordExplain takes the position that Gen. 1-11 is sober history (that is the way Moses presented it). WordExplain also takes the position that Genesis 1:1-2:3, combined with the genealogies of Gen. 5:1-32; 11:1-32 accurately record a young earth created by God in six literal days (that is the way Moses presented it). WordExplain also takes the position that authentic science supports a recently created earth that was marred by a universal flood, just as the Bible portrays it. Let us now examine Genesis 1:1-2:3.

Some initial comments on Genesis 1:1-2:3

In the book, Coming to Grips with Genesis: Biblical Authority and the Age of the Earth, Steven W. Boyd wrote chapter six, “The Genre of Genesis 1:1-2:3: What Means This Text?” In concluding remarks at the end of the chapter (p. 191), He stated the following:

Three major implications arise from this study. First, it is not statistically defensible to read Genesis 1:1-2:3 as poetry. Second, since Genesis 1:1-2:3 is narrative, it should be read as other Hebrew narratives are intended to be read – as a concise report of actual events in time-space history, which also conveys an unmistakable theological message. Third, when this text is read as narrative, there is only one tenable view of its plain sense: these were six literal days of creation.

(For a brief online summary of Boyd’s thesis, see The Biblical Hebrew Creation Account: New Numbers Tell the Story.)

(Scripture quotations taken from the NASB 1995.)

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Updated February 8, 2022