And God said, “Behold, I have given you every plant yielding seed that is on the face of all the earth, and every tree with seed in its fruit. You shall have them for food. And to every beast of the earth and to every bird of the heavens and to everything that creeps on the earth, everything that has the breath of life, I have given every green plant for food.” And it was so.
Genesis 1:29-30 – Scripture of the Day (March 20, 2014)
Today being the first official day of spring, it’s appropriate that my desk calendar of scriptures chose this one to be today’s Scripture of the Day. However, there’s a lot more that’s in this passage than just symbolism of springtime…
First of all, this passage is telling us that both man and animals were not carnivorous at the beginning. Adam and Eve, and all the animals in the Garden of Eden…all were vegetarians.
In fact, there is no indication of men or animals eating meat until centuries later after the flood. Check out what God said to Noah after he stepped off the ark…
And God blessed Noah and his sons and said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth. The fear of you and the dread of you shall be upon every beast of the earth and upon every bird of the heavens, upon everything that creeps on the ground and all the fish of the sea. Into your hand they are delivered. Every moving thing that lives shall be food for you. And as I gave you the green plants, I give you everything.”
That explains a lot…
Think about it. One of the biggest mocking challenges given to the Genesis account of Noah and the ark is the jeering question, “Wouldn’t the T-Rex have eaten up Noah and his family and all the other animals on that ark?” Now we know the answer. The T-Rex, the lion, the tiger…all of them weren’t carnivores when they were on the ark. So Noah wouldn’t have looked like a tasty snack to them. On the contrary, he would have fed them leafy greens right alongside the brontosaurus and the cow…and he and his own family, for that matter.
It also explains why puny man is able to tame animals who are far bigger and stronger than we are. Look again at Genesis 9:2. God put the fear and dread of us into all animals. Sure, we are still killed by animals from time to time, yes…but it does explain something I’ve always wondered: why any horse would tolerate lunkheads like us sitting on its back for hours on end when it could stomp us to death if that was its wish.
Just remember this. We all used to be vegetarians once. Imagine that…
Sadly, this was not the first time (nor would it be the last) in which I had heard of a supposed Christian denying the authenticity of Genesis in favor of upholding the erroneous, unproven, and inconsistent man-made theories of evolution. About ten years ago, I was involved from time to time in a college ministry. On one occasion, the college minister had invited a brother in Christ who taught at a university to speak to these college students about how the six days in which Genesis says the world was created in reality were each symbolic of millions of years. When asked by me and a few others why he believed this, he said that due to the “proven fact” that this world is millions and millions of years old, we should not take these six days in Genesis chapter one literally. According to him and many others, the six days are obviously representative of much longer periods of time, which would then back up what science has supposedly proven to be true.
However, much scientific, archeological, and historical evidence exists which contradicts these notions. My purpose in writing this article is not to directly present such evidence; therefore, I encourage the reader to examine the material published by Apologetics Press to which I have already provided links in this article. I encourage the readers of this blog who do not believe in Christianity and/or are atheists to examine the material at Apologetics Press with an open and honest heart. To my Christian readers, I commend you to them in order for you to learn more and thus be “prepared to make a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you” (1 Pet. 3:15). To further help us obey this scriptural command, this article will consider the biblical evidence which supports the historicity of Genesis so that we can see how logical consistency would force those professed followers of Christ who deny Genesis’ authenticity or try to change its message in favor of man’s evolutionary theories to also deny Jesus Christ and his teachings.
Why Do You Believe In Jesus?
To begin with, let’s examine exactly why we believe in Jesus Christ. Why are you a Christian? What is the basis for your faith in Jesus? Is it only because your parents were churchgoers and taught you to be the same? Similarly, is it “because I’ve always believed”? While both of these reasons are important and should not be discounted, our faith must be built on more. Why? Because both the skeptic and the honest seeker of truth will, legitimately, be dissatisfied when they ask you, “Why should I become a Christian?” and the only answer you give them is, “The reason I’m a Christian is because my parents brought me to church and taught me since childhood, and so I’ve always believed.” “Fine,” they will say, “but why have you always believed? Why did your parents believe? Why did the Christians who taught them believe? Why should I believe?”
“When I was a child, I spoke like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child…” ( 1 Cor. 13:11). I went to church because my parents wanted me to, and I believed in Jesus because they believed in Jesus. That needed to change as the years passed, because when “I became a man, I gave up childish ways” (1 Cor. 13:11). My faith needed to be my own, and it needed to have concrete, thought out, scriptural, logical, and consistent reasons (Rom. 10:17; 1 Thess. 5:21). Therefore, I as an adult believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God, my Savior, and my Lord because God raised him from the dead (Rom. 1:3-4; 1 Cor. 15:12-19) after he lived a sinless life (1 Pet. 2:22; Heb. 4:15) in order to die on the cross as the saving propitiation for our sins (1 John 2:2; Rom. 5:6-11).
If Jesus Was Not Completely Truthful About Genesis, Our Faith Would Be Meaningless
There are additional reasons for my faith in Jesus, but for the purpose of this article I want us to focus on the fact that our faith in Christ is meaningless if he wasn’t raised from the dead…after having died on that cross to save us from our sins…after having lived a sinless life. If Jesus hadn’t lived a sinless life, then his death on the cross would not have been the propitiation for our sins. Therefore, God would not have raised him from the dead to prove to us that he is our Savior.
The key to this which I want us to focus on is the necessity of Jesus having lived a sinless life. Specifically, I want us to focus on the fact that no deceit was found in his mouth (1 Pet. 2:22). Think about that for a minute. If Christ had been dishonest in any way, he could not be the propitiation for our sins and God would not have resurrected him. Therefore, he could not be our Savior, which means that our faith, the Christian religion, is meaningless.
Bringing this back to the historicity of Genesis, we will see below how both Jesus and the apostles and prophets his Holy Spirit inspired (John 14:26; 15:26-27; 16:12-15; Acts 2:1-4ff; 1 Cor. 2:9-13; 14:37; Eph. 3:3-5; 2 Tim. 3:16-17; 2 Pet. 1:19-21) talked about the events recorded in Genesis as if they were factual, historical events. This is significant because if they in fact were mistaken or lying, then Christ could never have been our Savior. Therefore, Christianity as a whole would be completely false. Those who deny Genesis while professing to be followers of Christ need to realize this.
For example, Jesus while describing how Judgment Day will occur compared it to the day when the Genesis flood came (Matt. 24:35-39; Luke 17:22-27; cf. Gen. 6-9). Peter also used the flood to illustrate the importance of immersion (1 Pet. 3:18-21) and the importance of not being a false teacher (2 Pet. 2:1-5, 9-10). Notice that they did not imply nor refer to the flood as a story or myth in any way. If the global flood did not actually occur, then by talking about it as if it did occur Jesus and his apostles were being less than truthful, and therefore sinned. If that was the case, why are we Christians?
Sodom and Gomorrah
Again, Jesus on several occasions referred to the Genesis account of the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah during the days of Lot as illustrations of lessons or warnings he wanted to give to cities or people he or his apostles were teaching (Matt. 10:14-15; 11:23-24; Luke 10:10-12; 17:22-32; cf. Gen. 19:1-29). Paul, Peter, Jude, and John also referred to Sodom to illustrate warnings God gave to Christians (Rom. 9:27-29; 2 Pet. 2:1-10; Jude 6-7; Rev. 11:7-8). Again, notice that they talked about what happened to Lot and Sodom as if it was an actual historical event. If in fact it wasn’t, then we’ve put our faith in liars and our religion is meaningless.
Adam and Eve At The Beginning
While teaching about divorce, our Lord quoted Genesis twice (1:27; 2:24), specifically referring to the marriage of Adam and Eve (Matt. 19:4-5; Mark 10:6-8). By talking about Adam and Eve as if they were historical characters, Jesus himself confirmed their historicity. The Holy Spirit-inspired Paul would later affirm this by referring to Adam as “the first man” (1 Cor. 15:45), also doing so as if he were referring to a historical figure. Therefore, to call Adam and Eve mythological would be to imply that Jesus Christ, the Holy Spirit, and Paul were at best mistaken and at worst liars. And since the message of all three ultimately originated with God the Father (John 12:49-50; 16:12-15; 1 Cor. 2:9-13; 2 Pet. 1:19-21), to say that Adam and Eve were not real or were not the first human beings would be to call him either mistaken or untruthful as well. While one would expect this from an atheist, the Christian who would do so is either ignorant of the Scriptures or rebelliously blasphemous, and in either case has exposed a serious flaw in his faith.
Furthermore, by stating in Matthew’s account, “Have you not read that he (God) who created them (Adam and Eve) from the beginning made them male and female,” and in Mark’s account, “But from the beginning of creation, God made them (Adam and Eve) male and female,” Jesus is placing Adam and Eve at the very beginning of the existence of this world. The Genesis record does the same by stating that Adam and Eve were created on the sixth day along with the land-dwelling animals (Gen. 1:24-31). Christians who state that the days in Genesis were in reality symbolic of millions of years each in their attempts to make the biblical account coincide with the flawed and unproven theories of Darwinistic evolution have Adam and Eve coming onto the scene millions of years after “the beginning.” By doing so, they are disagreeing with their Lord and Savior who said the opposite. If they choose to persist in doing so, even after “receiving the knowledge of the truth” (Heb. 10:26-31), they make their Christianity meaningless and put their soul in eternal peril.
You Can’t Have It Both Ways
I am continually amazed that some can apparently believe that God raised a Man from the dead after giving this same Man and his followers the ability to perform many miraculous signs which defy the laws of science…all while finding it hard to believe that God could also create the world, animals, and man in six literal days, and later decide to destroy that entire world with water and several cities with fire and sulfur. I am even more amazed that these same folks proclaim to put their faith in this Man as their Lord and Savior…all while basically stating or implying that he, his followers, the Spirit who inspired them, and God the Father himself are wrong about their testimony as to the beginnings of our race.