The Biblical account of Creation

The Book of Genesis records that the world was created by God. It includes teaching on mankind’s relationship with God, God’s response to disobedience and wrongdoing, and God’s guidance in the lives of Noah and Abraham.

 

‘Genesis’ means ‘origin’. The Biblical account of creation in Genesis proclaims God to be the source and maker of all things. Written in Palestine, a land where water was very scarce, the creation story places a great emphasis on life-giving water.

Gen 1:1-5   On the first ‘day’, “Darkness covered the ocean, and God's Spirit was moving over the water” (Genesis 1:2).

Gen 1:6-8   On the second ‘day’, “God said, 'Let there be something to divide the water in two'. So God made the air and placed some of the water above the air and some below it. God named the air ‘sky’” (Genesis 1:6-8) (see Figure 10).

 

Early view of the earth

Fig.10   An early view of the earth

 

Gen 1:9-13   On the third ‘day’, the land was separated from the sea.

Gen 1:14 - 2:3   God then created the sun and moon, sea creatures, birds, animals and mankind. He set apart the seventh day – the Sabbath - as a day of rest.

 

Some people believe that a ‘day’ in this Biblical creation account literally means twenty-four hours. Others believe that a ‘day’ signifies a long period of time, and point out that the author of Psalm 90 (attributed to Moses) says, “To you, a thousand years is like the passing of a day” (see Psalm 90:4).

 

Gen 2:4-6   God has not yet sent rain on this dry land, but water would come up from beneath the surface and "water all the ground” (Genesis 2:6) - a reference to springs which were (and still are) very important in the desert climate of the Middle East (see Figure 10).

 

A Spring in the Judaean Desert near Masada

A spring in the Judaean Desert near Masada

 

The Biblical account of Creation

There are two parallel accounts of the Creation at the beginning of the Book of Genesis. The first account is in Genesis 1:1-2:3; the second account follows in Genesis 2:4-3:25. The two accounts both affirm that God created the earth and mankind, but the details in the accounts differ.

In the first account, God created man and woman at the same time (see Genesis 1:27), while in the second account he created man first (see Genesis 2:7) and then created woman later (see Genesis 2:21-23).

In the first account, God created the animals before man (see Genesis 1:24-26); in the second, he created the animals after man (see Genesis 2:18-19).

Some people believe that the accounts of creation in the Bible are literally true; many believe that the creation accounts contain a fundamental truth – that God created all that exists – but are happy for modern science to discover the details of how this might have occurred.

Go to next page


Printer Printable Version