Evidence to know Genesis is literal

Brian Kuehmichel
10/26/2010, updated Feb. 2012

"Creation is foundational for the Christian church with every major Christian doctrine coming out of the events recorded in the first chapters of Genesis. Among these are: 1) the nature of God, including his power and goodness, 2) the nature of man, created in the image of God but fallen because of his sin, 3) the nature and consequences of sin, 4) the nature of marriage, 5) the origin of death as a penalty for sin, and an enemy, 6) the need for a Saviour to redeem man from sin, 7) the origin and meaning of work and the weekly day of rest, and 8) the relationship between man and the rest of creation, which is now cursed because of sin, 9) and much more."  Quote from Tas Walker at: http://creation.com/

[Some] "... believe that one can 'spiritualize' away the history of the first chapters of Genesis ... . They argue that these chapters are not history but something like parables. This type of thinking depreciates the factual content, which gives information about history and the cosmos. Those who do this sometimes imagine that doing this makes little or no difference. But it changes everything. For these chapters tell us the why of our own personal history. For this reason we can say that ... the early chapters of Genesis are ... the very foundation on which all knowledge rests. So we learn from them that before the creation of the universe, the infinite-personal God existed and that He created the universe (the space-time continuum) by choice, out of nothing. The Creation was not without a cause [emphasis in original]." US Surgeon General C. Everett Koop in Whatever Happened to the Human Race? pp. 162-163

Here is what happened:

The earth was prepared, the mature plants with seeds brought forth, the heavens set in motion, the animals of the sea and sky and land were brought forth upon earth, and man was created and placed in the garden prepared for him.  Then God gave to man information about what He had done and conveyed it in distinct, discernable terms conveying abundant information.  This information is unknowable to man except by outside revelation. In this information God answered some basic questions which man would ask in these types of questions:

I.   Where did I come from?

II.  Am I important to you?

III. What am I supposed to do?

IV.  Why do I feel lonely?

V.   Why do I feel something is wrong?

VI.  Is this all there is?

God made mankind for communication:

I.   Communication must be clear and discernable.

A. God prepared mankind for extensive ability to communicate. (See IV. below)

1.  Mind prepared for wide variety of language.

a.  God spoke in a language using words prebuilt into Adam at his creation.

b.  Man could understand God's words and grasp the intended purpose.

c.  Man was expected to carry out the instruction of that communication.

2.  Man’s mind was prepared for concrete and abstract thought processes.

B. God introduces the use of language to man by talking to man. (1:28-30, 16-17)

1.  God started with the most fundamental part, Himself.

a.  To be understood without confusion God uses finite or concrete terms with discrete meaning.

b.  The words used through out the creative days are concrete terms. (1:1-2:3)

c.  The narrative is a factually stated objective history and not a commentary with subjective terms.

d.  The distinction of events from one day to another are conveyed by concrete terms. (1:1-2:3)

e.  The separation of one day in seven requires the use of concrete terms. (1:1-2:3)

2.  God built upon that foundation with information and directions.

C.  God introduces words with fixed meaning in using terms such as:

1.  Beginning and created,

2.  God, man, male and female,

3.  Darkness and light,

4.  Day and night,

5.  Numbers one thru seven,

6.  Marking time intervals by lights in the firmament of the heaven,

7.  Names for earth, water, fish, fowl, cattle, beast, tree, seed, et cetera.

D.  Concrete concepts are:

1.  water and land, trees and other plants (1:29-30, 2:9),

2.  suitable food to eat for himself and for animals (1:29-30, 2:16-17),

3.  work (dress and keep garden [2:15]),

4.  rest (2:2-3),

5.  distinguish and name animals (2:19-20),

6.  light and darkness (1:16-19),

7.  et cetera.

E.  The Hebrew word for day when described by evening and morning and when numbered is a concrete term for the solar day.

1.  God ordered the information in a numbered sequential manner verifying its concreteness. (1:1-2:3)

a.  Numbers are used to convey fixed marked time periods.

b.  Numbers are used to convey the sequential basis of time progression.

2.  God rested from activity on the last day of the progression verifying its concreteness. (1:31-2:3)

F.  Man progresses in learning from the concrete meaning (literal understanding) to include and understand the abstract concepts (figurative useage of terms).

1.  Abstract concepts are:

a.  life & life giver (1:27, 2:7, 23),

b.  knowledge (the compilation, manipulation and inter-relationship of concrete and abstract concepts),

c.  relationship [to other humans (1:27-28, 2:18, 20, 24), and to God (2:16)],

d.  aloneness (2:20), and companionship (3:8),

e.  variety (2:19-20),

f.  duty to God of dominion (2:15-20),

g.  help[er] (2:20, 23),

h.  respect and obedience [in carrying out duties] (2:20),

i.  time (1:16-19, 3:8),

j.  beauty (2:9),

k.  good and evil & right and wrong (3:6, 22),

l.  et cetera.

2.  Knowledge and understanding - the compilation, manipulation and inter-relationship of concrete and abstract concepts derived from thinking are abstract concepts.

G.  Figurative or symbolic language cannot convey fundamental information in detail or precision.

1.  We start our learning from the concrete and build understanding to include the abstract concepts.

2.  Before figures of speech, humor, satire, poetry, song, allegory or parable people must understand the fixed meaning of words.

3.  The duty and direction God gave to Adam cannot be given in abstract terms.

II.  God gave distinct value to mankind above all other of earth’s creatures.

A. Mankind was made in God’s image and likeness. (1:26-27) (See IV. F. below)

1.  Male reflects some of God’s image.

2.  Female reflects some of God’s image.

3.  Mankind shared in God’s ability to bring forth life. (1:28)

4.  Mankind shared in God’s ability to direct, guide, instruct, lead, teach, disciple their offspring. (2:28)

B. Mankind was given an amazing physical body. (1:26-28)

1.  The five senses provide astounding resources.

2.  The physical capacity of the body.

a.  The structural flexibility of his body.

(1)  For diverse work. (2:15)

(2)  For exploration. (1:26-28)

(3)  For procreation. (1:28)

b.  To uniquely manipulate objects with his hands.

C.  Mankind was given an amazing mental capacity for the body. (1:26-28; 2:19-20, 23; 3:12) (See I. above & IV. below)

III.  God gave to man a duty to perform.

A. Mankind was given the duty to procreate - Be fruitful, multiply and fill the earth. (1:28)

1.  Mankind shared in God’s ability to bring forth life.

2.  Mankind shared in God's ability to care for living creatures.

3.  Mankind shared God’s ability to direct, guide, instruct, lead, teach, disciple their offspring.

B. Mankind was given freedom to explore, investigate, understand, subdue, control, regulate, et cetera the rest of the earth. (1:26, 28)

1. Mankind was given astounding resources through the five senses.

2. Mankind was given the ability to communicate. (See I. above)

C. Have dominion over living things in and on the earth.

1.  The fish of the sea. (1:26, 28)

2.  The fowl of the air. (1:26, 28)

3.  The cattle (domestic animals.) (1:26)

4.  The creeping, moving things upon earth. (1:26, 28)

5.  Over all the earth. ((1:26)

D. Dress and keep the garden. (2:15)

E. Honor and obey the Creator. (2:16a; 3:9, 17a)

IV.  God prepared mankind for communication.

A. God spoke to man to give information, instruction, duty and boundaries. (chpt 1-3)

B. God told man that he also needed companionship of specific design above that of animals. (2:18)

1.  God showed His own unselfishness by not keeping man just to Himself. (2:18)

2.  God showed man his need for others. (2:18-23)

C. God took Adam and from him made woman. (2:18, 21-22)

1.  Woman formed from man so that they would be of one distinct creation. (1:27)

2.  Woman formed from man so that they would be male and female. (1:27)

D. God directed man to be joined to woman in marriage. (2:22b-25)

1.  Woman formed for five purposes.

a.  Reflect God’s image. (1:26)

b.  To be man’s helper. (2:18)

c.  To be man’s companion. (2:18)

(1)  For communication.

(2)  For relationship.

d.  To help man bring forth more life in God’s image. (1:28)

e.  To subdue earth with man. (1:26, 28)

2.  Man was to be the leader/head over woman because she was formed to help him. (2:20)

E. God visited mankind. (3:8)

F. God intended for mankind to develop and maintain communication with Him. (3:8)

1.  To give every man or woman meaning and purpose by His direction.

2.  To assist mankind in understanding, subduing and having dominion over the earth.

a.  To reveal to mankind the depths of his creativity.

b.  To help them use the resources provided to them.

3.  To help mankind love each other and develop a network of relationships.

4.  To guide mankind in rearing their families.

V.  God gave a specific boundary to man and to woman formed from the man with a penalty for violation of the boundary.

A. The freedom to eat fruit of all trees of the garden except one. (2:16)

B. The duty of restraint to not eat fruit of one tree. (2:17)

C. Mankind is to recognize from where he came. (3:8-10)

1.  Mankind is to acknowledge God’s authority. (3:10)

2.  Mankind is to submit to God’s directions and restrictions. (3:17-19)

a.  Mankind is to convey these truths to offspring.

b.  Mankind is to use these truths in all decisions.

D. Man violated these boundaries. (3:17-19)

1.  By choosing the companionship of the creature Eve over the creator.

2.  By asserting he could sustain himself. (3:6-7)

a.  By his own capacity of knowledge.

b.  By his power to exert dominion or control.

3.  By eating of the tree reserved to God. (3:6-7)

E. Death and its processes came from man’s active choice to disobey God. (3:19)

VI.  God gave to man and to woman in creation the capacity for eternal life. (1:29-30; 2:9, 16-17; 3:19)

A. God pronounced everything He had made “very good”. (1:31)

1.  Implying all parts of His creation met God’s standard.

2.  Implying all parts of His creation had enduring qualities.

B. Mankind was made in God’s image and likeness. (See also God-Is)

1.  God is eternal.

2.  God is relational. (See IV. above)

3.  God is love. (See IV. B. 1. above)

C. Eternal life is sought by mankind.

1.  Mankind conceives of lasting life.

2.  Mankind longs after enduring life.

3.  Mankind resists the limiting of their life.

4.  Mankind clings to life even in the distress of pain and suffering.