The online Bible teaching ministry of John Brand

Why we need to take Genesis 1-2 literally (3)

So far in this short series of posts we have looked at the TEXTUAL and HERMENEUTICAL reasons why we need to take the opening chapters of Genesis literally. Now we need to, very briefly, look at the THEOLOGICAL reasons. This is a massive subject and worthy of a much more exhaustive treatment, but this is a blog post and not an essay or paper so I am going to keep it very short.

One of the main weaknesses that is evidenced by inadequate and false approaches to Scripture is a failure to do ‘joined-up’ theological thinking.   In other words, arriving at an interpretation of one passage of Scripture that then involves contradicting or undermining another. This is is unfortunate to say the least, and dangerous in many ways.

Let’s just look at three examples in connection with the doctrine of creation as we have sought to understand it.

The Sabbath

In Exodus 20:11  and 31:17 are the commands for the observance of the Sabbath, a pivotal doctrine and practice of the Old Testament Jewish people.   On each occurrence, the Sabbath is predicated on the basis of a six-day work of creation.   If the day of Genesis 1 is not a 24-hour period, then it makes a nonsense of the entire Sabbath principle as taught throughout the Old Testament.

Adam and Eve

The biblical record of Adam and Eve is completely incompatible with the theory of evolution or the idea that the world has evolved over billions of years.

Jesus himself states that “…from the beginning of creation, ‘God made them male and female’. ” (Mark 10:6) In other words, Adam and Eve, the first humans, were there from the earliest days of creation and yet evolution – theistic or otherwise – would have us believe that the universe began around 13.8 billion years ago and human kind first appeared around 7 million years ago, in other words when the universe has already been in existence for more than 13 billion years, diametrically opposed to and in conflict with the words of the all-knowing Christ.


In Romans 5:12, Paul teaches that “…just as sin came into the world through one man, and death through sin…”. In other words, death came into the world as a result of the first sin, as committed by Adam and Eve. Or, to put the same truth in another way, there was no death in the world prior to that first sin.   Yet, a core tenet of evolution, as first espoused by Darwin himself, is that death is an ever-present and ‘natural’ aspect of the universe since the beginning.

On the other hand, Genesis teaches explicitly that the universe created by God was “…good…very good”, and was only spoiled when Adam and Eve rebelled against his commandment, as a result of which sin came into the world. Even if Adam first appears some 7 million years ago, that doesn’t explain the presence of death for the previous 13 plus billions of years, showing that, once again, a theologically joined-up interpretation of Scripture requires a six 24-hour day period for creation.

The Genesis account also teaches that God’s judgment on that sin has cosmic effects. If you adhere to an old-earth position, you have a very difficult time explaining how the effects of the Fall—death, disease and suffering—show up long before Adam and Eve. (Al Mohler)

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