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Most Christians are aware that there are many controversies regarding the creation account recorded in the Bible in Genesis 1. Whether or not God created the heavens and the earth and everything in them in six days and rested the seventh day, or whether this is not how everything came into being, is hotly debated. Whether the debate is theistic evolution versus creation, or the day-age theory, or the gap theory, or old earth creationism versus young earth creationism, much discussion and debate is generated about this portion of Scripture. Yet perhaps most are not aware that this passage is also a matter of controversy when it comes to contradictions in Scripture. Yes, there are some who claim that Genesis 1 and Genesis 2 contain two contradictory creation accounts, and that these two passages contain what would be chronologically the very first contradiction in Scripture.

The idea is that there are, in Genesis, two separate creation accounts that are drawn from two separate oral traditions about the origins of man on the earth. This view postulates that the author of Genesis combined these two creation accounts into one in his book. The first account is said to be found in Genesis 1:1-2:3. The second account is said to span from Genesis 2:4-25. Read the rest of this entry »

I received the following question:

I would like to ask your help about a matter that has been troubling me just a little. I am probably not thinking with a whole deck of cards, but maybe you can help? Or, anyone else for that matter:

Let’s think back on Noah and his family.

When Noah and his family emerged from the ark, after every living thing was destroyed, except those on the ark, he was told to be fruitful and multiply and replenish the earth. So, Noah’s sons and their wives were to have children, but then what? They were all related, weren’t they? Wouldn’t they produce web-footed children? Just joking. If God wanted them to be fruitful and multiply and replenish the earth, it must have been okay, genetically speaking, for them to inter-procreate (a new term I just made up).

Every beast, every creeping thing, and every fowl, and whatsoever creepeth upon the earth, after their kinds, went forth out of the ark. 20 And Noah builded an altar unto the LORD; and took of every clean beast, and of every clean fowl, and offered burnt offerings on the altar. (Gen. 8:19-20 KJV) Read the rest of this entry »

I received the following question:

Recently we have had some discussion about the character “Lilith” in the Bible. She is mentioned in Isaiah as a “screech owl”. According to the internet, she is listed in Jewish mythology and Babylonian books as Adam’s first wife and was replaced with Eve when she abandoned Adam.

The question is, did Adam have a wife prior to Eve as it implies in Genesis or is it simply a urban legend? Also, in Genesis 1:27 it indicates that God created a male and female and gave them dominion over the earth and animals. Then in Genesis 2:7 he made Adam because “there was no man to till the land”. Then Genesis 2:21 Eve is made.

We are confused of this timeline and Genesis seems to be out of sequence to what we have been taught. Can anyone shed some light on this?

The exact identification of certain animals in the Hebrew is difficult. Once it became a dead language, no one remained to remember what animals were called what, and names that occur only once in Scripture do not leave us with a lot of clues as to their identity. This certainly would be the case with the lilith. Read the rest of this entry »

waiting02I received the following question:

I am having a difficult time understanding Romans 8:19-21.  I understand Paul is writing to those exiled Israelites in Rome.  What I am confused about is where Paul speaks about the creation waiting for the manifestation (revealing?) of the sons of God.  Also, in v.21 where it speaks of the creation being delivered into the glorious liberty (glorified state with liberty as a characteristic?) of the children of God.

Who are the sons (huios) of God in v.19 and who are the children ((teknon) of God in v. 21 and how and why would the creation (ktiseos) anxiously expect them?

Any help you can give would be appreciated very much.

The passage in question starts out talking about those who walk, not according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit (verse 1). These, in the Acts period, were set free from the law of sin and death (verses 2-11). This extended to their minds being absorbed in the things of the Spirit. Their life came from the Spirit, and this resulted in them being sons of God, that is, those who represented His character, as well as representing Him in their actions. They were God’s children, as verses 16-17 make clear. Read the rest of this entry »

fossil02I received the following comments:

I think I have spent enough time reading in the last month or so to be able to add a bit more to our discussion. I appreciate the opportunity to bounce a few things off someone whose opinions I respect. I am going to make statements without “wax” and let you respond as directly as you wish. I am still considering both sides at this point.

I understand death before fall to be a natural part of animal life. I understand human death after the fall to be “spiritual” and also physical death for man probably started on that day and concluding at the time of Adams death.

Of course this view of animal death puts me at odds with some, but not at odds with scripture, as I understand it. I am quite confident that the Romans passage applies very clearly just to man. I don’t see why soul-creatures would be included in that verse. Read the rest of this entry »

down02I received the following question:

Romans 8:22 is giving me some fits right now. How does creation groan?

First of all, I think we need to ask, “What creation?” This is a question that would seem foolish to many, since to them there is only one creation, and that is the one that God made in the beginning. Yet this passage is one of those that makes such a view difficult, for then are rocks, trees, birds, and bees groaning?

This view is given further impetus by those who insist that any time the word “creation” is used, it is referring to creation ex nihilo, or out of nothing, as when God created in the beginning. Therefore, they insist that anything that is created out of already existing materials is not a creation. Read the rest of this entry »

devildown02I received the following question:

Here’s a question from one of my co-workers. I’ve done my best to answer his question on my own, but I’m needing a little more help because I think it’s a bit deeper than I have gone myself. “If God knew (or could have known) that Satan would fall and deceive Isha, why then did God create him?” Thank you in advance. I am always encouraged by your steady study and devotion to the truth.

Thanks for the great question! Hopefully I can help you figure out something to say that will make sense to your co-worker.

Ultimately, this goes back to one’s basic philosophy of God. Many people assume that God must know everything and must control everything. This seems to make sense to us humans, since to us, with only limited knowledge and partial control over our circumstances and surroundings, increasing in knowledge and in power/control is something we are always concerned with. Extrapolating from our perspective, we assume that since God could know everything and could control everything, then He must do so, for why would He not? Yet ultimately, I think there are things that, to God, are far more important than power and control and knowledge. God has access to all the power and control and knowledge that He needs to accomplish His purposes. He is not jealous of these things, or worried about losing them, as a human being might be. The things He is concerned with are far more important. Read the rest of this entry »

riptiger02I received the following question:

One topic for now. The idea of death before the fall is important to many YEC (Young Earth Creationists.) Some will say that none occurred before the fall and others will limit death to smaller organisms. My thinking is that there is room biblically to accept the concept of physical death occurring before the fall. This would involve all of the animal kingdom and possibly even Adam and Eve. My thoughts concerning Adam and Eve include that they needed to eat. What would have happened if they didn’t eat? The most obvious explanation is that they would eventually die. There was the tree of life. As evidenced by their expulsion from the garden, it seemed to specifically provide immortality which was not acceptable after the fall. Why was it there if no the presence of death was not there.

On a non-human level, it seems that if there is the capacity for reproduction, there is an assumption of death. If one were to apply exponential growth to any number of life forms, one would see rapid overcrowding within days or weeks. It also seems likely that many life form’s daily life activities result in the death of many smaller creatures. How does an elephant walk through the woods without stepping on something?

While none of these arguments trump scriptural authority, they do give a wise student of God’s word, in my opinion, ample reason to consider the possibility that death mentioned in the Bible is spiritual death coming upon the human race. Looking at Romans 5 one also gets the idea that the effect of sin was directed primarily at the human race. While I don’t consider this the only reasonable interpretation, I do consider it a possible interpretation.

Let me know what you think.

The issue of death for animals is a tricky one, since one cannot see a scientific reason why Adam eating poison fruit would affect any of the animal creation other than man. One could argue that man was given stewardship over the animals, so had the right to choose life or death for the animals, and by choosing death for himself, chose death for them as well. But while that works well philosophically, it does not provide any scientific explanations. Read the rest of this entry »

gap02I received the following question:

What is your opinion about Genesis 1:2 the gap theory and is there a connection between 2nd Peter3:6 the destruction of that world with Genesis 1:2? Do you see a connection with the chaotic world and the destruction Peter speaks about? Do you suppose Satan was involved in any of this?

I do not agree that there is a gap between Genesis 1:1 and Genesis 1:2. It seems to me that the word “became” in Genesis 1:2 is used in the sense “came into being” in this case, as in “the earth came into being without form and void.” This is not the typical meaning of “became,” perhaps, but then, how often does it happen that things come into being from nothing?

The whole argument seems to me largely strained to lead to a predetermined solution. For example, the fact that “without form and void” is used of judgment in its other two occurrences. But those occurrences are referring to the destruction that was going to take place in the land of Judah after the invasion of Babylon. The destruction was going to result in the decolonization of the land, so that the land would sit desolate and without inhabitant for 70 years. After this length of time, much of the progress that men made in taming the land was lost, so that it went back to nature, as this earth will do without tending. The people who returned to the land after these years were in many ways a colonial movement, and the destruction of all that was “human” about the land resulted in the need for them to start over, more or less, in taming nature. The result was almost like the creation God made in the beginning, only backwards, as if the land went from a habitation of man back to being a chaos again, “without form and void.” It is a very vivid picture, but does not “prove” that Genesis 1:2 is talking about a destruction. Rather, these passages are speaking of the creation of the land in reverse, using the familiar phrase from the creation of the earth as the word picture. Read the rest of this entry »