The Creation Report in Genesis 1 - Creation and Evolution

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The Creation Report in Genesis 1

English > Fields of Research > Genesis Interpretation

P.Rüst (2011), a short review of some important aspects for the interpretation of the creation report in Genesis 1:1-2:4 and the difference between the first humans and Adam, 4 p. (93 kB)
or without pictures, text only, 4 p.
(42 kB)

Translated from the German original,
P. Rüst (2010), "Der Schöpfungsbericht in 1.Mose 1
", 4 p.



To create
Heavens and Earth
Aquatic animals
According to its kind
Aerial animals
Terrestrial animals
Creation report as tree of descent
Adam not the first man

A claim of liberal theologians:
Statements of the creation story in Genesis 1
would be false if taken literally:

- Earth (day 1) before Sun (day 4)
- light (day 1) before Sun, Moon, and stars (day 4)
- water above the (solid) firmament (day 2)
- heavenly bodies fixed onto the firmament (day 4)
- flowering plants (day 3) before animals (days 5+6)
- birds (day 5) before terrestrial animals (day 6)

Correct ? No
These claims were derived from the prejudice that
Genesis 2 is a second creation story
and both are symbolical or even mythological

In Anker's time one read the bible on Sunday
Christians hardly ever doubted
the factuality of what they read  

children in their primary education already are taught
the Earth to be old
and man to have originated by evolution

"Thus the bible is outdated"
is a most widespread opinion.
What should christians teach their children now?

- God created 1. heavens and earth; 2. aquatic and aerial animals; 3. humans. God made 1. the expanse; 2. the light; 3. terrestrial animals; 4. humans; 5. all his work. God creates by making. Humans never create, but may make (develop), using source material and time. God makes and creates every human individual.

- Heavens: 1. aerial expanse
(between ocean and clouds); 2. space (including all heavenly bodies); 3. God's dimension (which also penetrates material creation). Earth: also mainland, land, region, ground, or humanity.

- Day: 1. morning to evening
; 2. 24 hours; 3. undetermined length of time. Beginning: unspecified period heading creation, up to liquid ocean on Earth. Emergence of Earth's crust and growth of trees bearing fruit ("day" 3) requires much time.

- Light: 1. brightness
; 2. light source. Progression of events: "day" 1: brightness penetrated atmosphere; "day" 3: brightness used by vegetation; "day" 4: light sources given into the atmosphere, becoming visible due to oxygen (produced since "day" 3); "days" 5+6: animals and humans use oxygen and visible light rays for orientation (available since "day" 4).

- Aquatic animals: God created "living souls", i.e. emotional faculties (brain, nervous system, blood circulation) in predecessors evolved from lower animals (mostly invisible or not considered as "living"). These higher animals are mostly large, rapidly moving, carnivorous. God spoke to them, blessing them, telling them to fill the seas.

- Kinds: "kind": a splitting off, separation, descent, i.e. derivation from common origin with permanent separation (like christians of Jewish descent). Connected to reproduction (descent): 1. plants; 2. aquatic animals; 3. aerial animals; 4. terrestrial animals. God used the natural evolutionary processes he instituted.

- Aerial animals: literally "winged fliers", including: 1. insects; (2. pterosaurs;) 3. birds; 4. bats.

- Terrestrial animals: the mainland itself produced animals by causing some "living souls" to come out of the oceans, inheriting their body-soul properties and God's corresponding blessing.

- Humanity: 1. God made humans (pre-existing hominid species needed additional preparation); 2. God created humans (in his image: new spiritual dimension, personhood). Language, free will, responsibility, abstract thinking, logic, creativity, conscious planning, designing tools, dominion over animals, ability to have personal faith relationship with God. Creation event: male and female: collective.

- Tree of descent: creation report: the procreations of the heavens and the earth in their being created. God created through cosmic and biological evolution, directing and guiding all, using randomness and laws, according to his design.

- First humans came before Adam: God blessed the seventh day and made it holy, because in it God ceased from all his mission that he had done in creation. These are the procreations of the heavens and the earth in their being created in the day of preparing Yahweh God the earth and the heavens. What follows (Adam..., not a second creation story) are events in "day" 7, which continues into the future.

- Bible distinguishes first man from Adam: In Hebrew, "'adam" means "man": the context determines which is meant. In Greek (the OT text Paul used, and the NT text), "man" is different from "Adam". Bible authors may have believed Adam to be the first man, but God kept them from fixing this (or an inheritance of sin and death) in their writings. Biological evolution of man can be compatible with historic Adam.

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