The Allegorical Genesis?

BA2274-001“He [Jesus] answered, ‘Have you not read that He who created them in the beginning made them male and female?’ “ (Matt 19:4).

“For as in those days before the flood they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day when Noah entered the ark, and they were unaware until the flood came and swept them all away, so will be the coming of the Son of Man” (Matt 24:38-39).

Matthew surely does seem to be showing us that Jesus believed that Genesis was literal history, doesn’t he?  Jesus said God made people “in the beginning” of the creation, like on day six, not after several hundred million years of evolution!  Jesus cited the real historic event of Noah’s flood as a way for us to discern when the world is nearing His return / second coming.  So, if the flood narrative is poetry or allegory (which it’s not), then Jesus’ second coming must also be allegory (which it’s not).

In the decades after Darwin gave atheists a seemingly viable vehicle to explain the world apart from God, even very well-meaning theologians jumped on his bandwagon and tried to perform interpretive gymnastics with Genesis.  They were trying to accomodate the Bible to Darwin’s theory, which at the time looked so legit.  They tried to squeeze in millions of years by inventing the gap theory, or the day-age theory, or the framework hypothesis.  In short, they were all too eager to accomodate God’s Word to man’s word, and they invented ways of reading Genesis that were not even dreamed of for thousands of years prior.  This is called eisegesis, or reading into a text what is not really there.  It is never recommended for Bible believers, and the more time that passes since Darwin’s lie, the more it becomes clear even to secular scientists that this theory’s days are numbered!  There simply is no need for any Christian to feel obligated to somehow “reconcile” Genesis and the Bible with Darwinian  theory and the geologic epochs (million/billions of years).  Why would we want to reconcile God’s absolute truth with unscientific lies? 

Though we might spend hours discussing the various accomodationist theories, the blunt fact is that every New Testament writer quotes or refers to Genesis 1-12 in his Spirit-breathed writing.  Every single NT writer assumes that Genesis is a literally true, narrative history of the origins and beginnings of the world and universe.  Friends, when we presume to know how to better interpret the Bible than those NT writers being borne along by God’s Spirit, we are on the hermeneutical Titanic!  Simply put, we’re wrong.

But what is so darned important about Genesis 1-12 anyway?  I mean, big deal if it’s poetry (which no Hebrew scholar worth his salt would claim) or allegory (ditto)?  As long as we trust in Jesus, isn’t that all that matters?

Not so fast.  Consider the doctrines (teachings) that have their foundation in the first chapters of Genesis.  Here are just a few:

  1. Creation ex nihilo.  God made everything out of nothing.  He spoke and it was so.  This goes to God’s omnipotence and eternal nature.
  2. God as the Source of all life, all energy, and all power.  All life, energy and power is derived from Creator God.  Is it insignificant that Gen 1:2 tells us God’s Spirit “hovered” or “vibrated” over the initially formless, watery mass called earth?  I think not.  God is imparting energy and motion and power to His creation!
  3. Manhood and womanhood, or gender roles.  The gender confusion plaguing our nation is easily resolved by a return to Genesis 1-2.
  4. Human dominion.  God gave people stewardship over the earth and all its resources.  He commanded us to rule over the animals and plants, and to cultivate and beautify it.  PETA, contrary to the thinking of cultural elites, is not exercising proper dominion by elevating animals to human status.  They are defiling God’s created order and mandate.
  5. God’s creation of marriage.  One man, one woman for life.  Any questions?
  6. God’s love for children.  God’s first command to people?  “Be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth.”  God loves children!  But we do not.  We medicate ourselves to ensure we do not have children, or at least so that we only have them when it’s most convenient for us.  We surgically alter ourselves in order to avoid obeying God’s mandate.
  7. The joy of work.  God made us to work!  Work was not a part of the curse of sin entering the world.  Adam was told to cultivate the garden from the word “go.”  The curse of sin, however, has ensured that the earth and its resources fight back now, making our work toilsome.  Nevertheless, people are created to find joy in work.  Is our culture living up to this, or are we idolizing work and letting it ruin our lives?
  8. God as the Supreme Lawgiver.  Our nation’s founders grasped this concept well.  Today,  our leaders do not so much as acknowledge that all truth and right and good finds it standard in God and His Law.
  9. God as Covenant-Maker and Covenant-Keeper.  It was Adam, and by extension us, that broke covenant.  Not God.
  10. Mankind as fallen, helpless, spiritually dead sinners.  When Adam and Eve rebelled, they carved out a massive chasm between their rebel hearts and their Creator God.  The chasm is so wide and deep that no mortal can cross it on his own power, by his own wit, will or wisdom.  God promised if Adam sinned, “Dying you shall die.”  We’ve been dying ever since.
  11. God’s gracious initiative to atone (cover) our sin and rebellion.  God made animal skin clothing for Adam and Eve, a clear foreshadowing of the truth that only God can atone for sins.  Our sewing fig-leaves has never worked to patch things up with God, and it never shall.
  12. God’s promise of salvation which would come through a seed (offspring) of Eve and would one day reverse the curse and crush Satan’s evil head.  Genesis 3:15 is known as the proto evangel, or first gospel.  Indeed, it is the first time in Scripture where we are told as sinners to hope in a merciful Savior-Warrior-King who would come as one of us, yet deliver us.
  13. God’s wrath and holy anger against sin, as seen in the global flood of Noah.  Why do atheistic scientists hate the idea of a global flood?  NASA has theorized that there once was a global flood on Mars (which as far as we know has no water today).  Why would they have no problem with the idea of a global flood on a waterless planet like Mars, but despise the same idea here on the planet earth, where we have water, water, everywhere?!?!  Gets to the heart of the matter, doesn’t it?
  14. The reason for the various people groups (not races, as the Bible teaches we are all one race – Adam’s race).  The Tower of Babel provides the explanation for the people groups of the world, the languages of the world, different cultures, etc.  This is something Darwinian theory simply cannot effectively explain.
  15. The plan of redemption unfolding through a man named Abram, to whom God promised “all the people of the earth will be blessed” through you.  See Galatians 3:15-22.

Friends, you may think all the above is meaningless or not important.  But if you do, you have to also admit the gospel is not important.  To make Genesis allegory is to make the gospel of a holy God reconciling unholy sinners through His perfect Son, the God-man Jesus, a farce and allegory.  Was the cross of Christ where an allegorical Jesus died for our allegorical sins and provided allegorical salvation for those who trust in this whole big allegory? 

I can’t speak for you, but as for me and my house, we’re not about to give up “In the beginning God.”

“For in six days the Lord made heaven and earth, the sea and all that is in them, and rested the seventh day” (Ex 20:11).

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Dimitri Kovalenko - After looking a few days on the dilemma of how and when the human race was born, I gave birth to these hypotheses, thanks also to the differences found in Genesis between two stories that seem different, namely the creation of man on the sixth day and then the telling of the story about Adam and Eve. If we read the part of the genesis which explains the creation of man on the sixth day, and then the creation of Adam and Eve, you may notice a detail that differs between the two parts, suggesting that they are two completely different stories. In fact, in Genesis 1:26, we can see that man was created on the sixth day in the image and likeness of God, as in Genesis 5:1 (referring to Adam and Eve) text omits “image”, the fact that “image” and “likeness” indicate two similar concepts but different. I think “image” means human nature able to conceive the evil, so the suffering too; instead “likeness” denotes the inherited attributes of God as love, reason, etc. they are both still together. Hypothetically speaking, the man of the sixth day is a creature evolved from monkeys or some other thing, then over time, has developed the reason as we know it today, while Adam and Eve were created in the Garden of Eden, namely in a perfect reality, in which there was no concept of evil, so they were only a “likeness” of God. After that they were created, were expelled from Eden, only to find themselves in this situation, where perhaps, the man who was created in the image and likeness did not exist more because of a mass extinction caused by some natural catastrophe or by “something else”; or perhaps still he existed, and the descendants of Adam and Eve hybridized this species, confirmed in Genesis 6:1,2,3,4, in which he says that the sons of God (which could be the long-lived tall “giants” of Genesis 6:4) married the daughters of men (but may also be refers to the descendants of Cain, who turned away from God). The spirit of God will not dwell forever with the man because he also is flesh, living up to 120 years (mean that men of God who lived up to 900 years later live up to 120 years because of the fact that hybridizing with the daughters of men they are “contaminated” at the genetic level, partially losing genes that enabled him to live a lot longer).

According to the Bible, Adam and Eve were the first humans created by God, who lived approximately 6,000 years ago. According to the science, humans existed a long time before. The two lines of thought can be easily united, thanks to the omnipotence of God, who in the beginning created humans in a reality where there was no concept of “evil”. Metaphorically speaking, Adam and Eve were expelled from this heavenly reality, find himself in another reality, namely in today’s reality that we all know, where there is the concept of evil, as well as that of the well; not necessarily a reality where they were the first humans, but the first who experienced firsthand the life God had reserved for them (so they were the first humans in the “perfect” reality). From here it is clear that the story of Adam and Eve does not upset in the least bit the evolutionary linearity, and the seven days of creation relate to a creation took place in the reality of Adam and Eve, where everything was possible, even just create the stars, animals and everything else, without the scientific method and the time needed to have their share. In practice, they were the first men of God; whereas prehistoric man lived before Adam and Eve was a man, but it could be considered as an animal evolved from apes or created by something else, which had two arms and two legs, and that may have hybridized with the descendants of Adam And Eve after they were “moved away” from the “perfect reality”. God has endowed man about the concept of “infinity” and “eternity”, as well as other questions can not be explained through the use of the scientific method, thus making humans free to believe in God or not, in a reality for us tricky and necessary for the construction and continuation of his project.

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