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The Creation's FAQs

Genesis is the record and the history of the beginning of the universe and mankind. A historical narrative is based on facts and not fiction. Genesis is not a poem, a myth or a metaphor. It has stood the test of time despite all the theories and worldviews that try to discredit its actuality and truth. All its competitors and debaters have come and gone. But the authentic Genesis account still stands firm and undefiled throughout time.

Genesis is the first book of the Torah. The Torah is the first five books of the Bible. It is the Law of God. As a legal document, it contains three covenants that God had made with three men, namely Adam, Noah and Abraham. They are commonly known as:

  • Adamic Covenant (Genesis 1:28)
  • Noahic Covenant (Genesis 9:1-17)
  • Abrahamic Covenant (Genesis 12:1-3)

As a legal document, Genesis is not poetic in nature like the Psalms, Proverbs and Ecclesiastes. As the Torah and the Bible begin with Genesis, Genesis is the very foundation for the Torah and all the books of the Bible. As the foundation for all the laws and ways of God, Genesis cannot be shaken by any winds of doctrines and teachings that are based on the cunning craftiness of men, full of their deceitful schemes. Genesis is factual as it accounts for the creation of heavens and earth, and the beginning of mankind.

As a historical narrative, Genesis is the simplest form of Biblical literature for interpretation and understanding. Being straightforward, it narrates the description and commentary of actual historical events in the Bible. Like all other books in the Bible, Genesis is the authoritative Word of God. It should be accepted or rejected on its own terms.

In Genesis 1, God described a sequence of events that occurred one after another throughout the seven days of creation. Each occurrence happened, following the previous one, in a chronological real time sequence.

Throughout history, there are constantly relentless attacks aiming at the creation account found in Genesis chapters one and two. These arguments are founded upon humanistic ideals that seek to dethrone God and enthrone man by undermining the authority and infallibility of the Word of God.

Below are some of the frequently asked questions (FAQs) about the creation:

Questions Answers
If the sun and stars are created on the fourth day (Genesis 1:14-19), what is the light on the first day (Genesis 1:3-5)? The light on the first day was the LORD Himself! He is our everlasting Light.

"The sun shall no longer be your light by day, nor for brightness shall the moon give light to you; but the LORD will be to you an everlasting light, and your God your glory. Your sun shall no longer go down, nor shall your moon withdraw itself; for the LORD will be your everlasting light, and the days of your mourning shall be ended. (Isaiah 60:19-20)

There shall be no night there: They need no lamp nor light of the sun, for the Lord God gives them light. And they shall reign forever and ever. (Revelation 22:5)

The Lord never desires us to substitute anyone or anything or any light for Him. That is the first commandment.

Why does God give us two separate chapters for the same creation account? Genesis 1 is chronological, revealing the sequential events of the creation week.

Genesis 2 is topical, with special emphasis for mankind and his environment.

In the Gospel of Mark, the life of Jesus was arranged in a chronological order. But in the Gospel of Matthew, His life account was arranged in a topical manner about His ministry.

Does this mean that there were two separate writers, one for Genesis 1 and another for Genesis 2? Different styles and different formats do not equate to different writers. If I can do both country and classical music, it does not mean that I am two separate persons. If I can write in different styles such as poetry and prose, I remain the same person.

There was only one Moses who wrote the whole book of Genesis. In Genesis 1, he gave us the Big Picture. He covered all the seven days of creation. He recorded that God created everything.

In Genesis 2, Moses did not mention about the skies, oceans, the fishes, the sun, moon and stars. He focused on God's creation of the human race. He gave us great details such as God's provisions of a special garden to be man’s first home, and a suitable helpmate for man’s companionship, marriage and procreation.

Why is the Creator called God (Elohim) in Genesis 1, and the LORD God (Yahweh) in Genesis 2? Genesis 1 records that God is the Creator of the entire universe and all forms of life. To refer Him as Elohim rightfully exalts God as the Mighty Creator. It also denotes His immeasurable power and Lordship.

Genesis 2 gives us the details about God's creation of the human race. It reveals His personal name – Yahweh because He is a personal God. This name of God exalts His holiness, and His personal involvement with man. It denotes His boundless provision and love.

Which came first - the heavens or the earth? Genesis 1:1 said that God created the heavens and the earth, and Genesis 2:4 said that God created the earth and the heavens.

Genesis 1:1 (NKJ)
In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.

In Genesis 1, the focus is on God's creation of the overall universe and all forms of life.

In Genesis 2, the focus is on God's personal involvement and relationship with man who lived on earth.

Both cases were presented by Moses as he wrote in Genesis 2:4, "This is the history of the heavens and the earth when they were created, in the day that the LORD God made the earth and the heavens.." Notice the switch of emphasis and not just the order.

Is man created before or after the creation of vegetation? Genesis 1 states that man is created after the trees. But Genesis 2:5-9 seems to indicate otherwise.

Genesis 2:5-9 (NKJ)
5 before any plant of the field was in the earth and before any herb of the field had grown. For the LORD God had not caused it to rain on the earth, and there was no man to till the ground; 6 but a mist went up from the earth and watered the whole face of the ground. 7 And the LORD God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living being. 8 The LORD God planted a garden eastward in Eden, and there He put the man whom He had formed. 9 And out of the ground the LORD God made every tree grow that is pleasant to the sight and good for food. The tree of life was also in the midst of the garden, and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.

Genesis 1 records the original creation of the botanical world. It describes all the vegetation in general, especially with special emphasis on the seeds and their power to reproduce.

In Genesis 2:5-9, the emphasis is upon the reason why plant cultivation had not commenced. Why? Simply because the LORD God had not caused it to rain on the earth, and there was no man to till the ground. But a mist went up from the earth and watered the whole face of the ground.

Genesis 2 also discusses a specific kind of vegetation that requires human cultivation. Words such as "plant", "till", "watered" and "grow" are not used in Genesis 1 but in Genesis 2. Why? Simply because these words denote the fruit of human labor. God wants man to be His co-laborer working in the Garden of Eden.. It was in this lovely garden where God and man walk and talk, live and work, enjoying sweet fellowship and communion with one another.

In 1 Corinthians 3:6-7, Paul said, "I planted, Apollos watered, but God gave the increase. So then neither he who plants is anything, nor he who waters, but God who gives the increase." This is co-working with God.

Logically, how can vegetation be created after man? If it is so, there will be no food for man for a few days.

Was man created before or after the creation of animals?

Genesis 1 records that the animals are created before man. But Genesis 2:19 seems to say otherwise.

Genesis 2:19 (NIV)
Now the LORD God had formed out of the ground all the beasts of the field and all the birds of the air. He brought them to the man to see what he would name them; and whatever the man called each living creature, that was its name.

Genesis 2:19 says nothing about the relative sequence whereby God created Adam and the animals. It merely states two straightforward facts:
  • God had formed the animals, and
  • God brought them to Adam to be named.

Note the past participle tense used in NIV.

If the animals were created after Adam, the sequence should then be: Adam > Animals > Eve.

Why does Genesis 1:27 say that God created man in His own image, and Genesis 2:7 say that God formed man from the dust of the ground? The body of man is made from the dust of the ground. But the spirit of man is not made. It is from the Breath of God. The body of man is like the shell of the oyster. But the spirit of man is like the pearl inside. The spirit of man is therefore more precious. Man, having the Holy Spirit of God within, bears the image of the living God.

God is not the author of confusion (1 Corinthians 14:33). He is a God of peace and order. When it is the first day, it is the first day. When it is the second day, it is the second. And so on. Genesis 1 and Genesis 2, though different in emphasis and styles, are in complete agreement with one another.

Written on:
12 May 2004