The Bible: Chapter 1

by Aaron

11 And God said, Let the earth bring forth grass, the herb yielding seed, and the fruit tree yielding fruit after his kind, whose seed is in itself, upon the earth: and it was so.

12 And the earth brought forth grass, and herb yielding seed after his kind, and the tree yielding fruit, whose seed was in itself, after his kind: and God saw that it was good.
13 And the evening and the morning were the third day.
14 ¶And God said, Let there be lights in the firmament of the heaven to divide the day from the night; and let them be for signs, and for seasons, and for days, and years:
15 And let them be for lights in the firmament of the heaven to give light upon the earth: and it was so.
16 And God made two great lights; the greater light to rule the day, and the lesser light to rule the night: he made the stars also.
17 And God set them in the firmament of the heaven to give light upon the earth,
(Genesis 1: 11-17)

This is a very basic argument and I do not wish to illicit a viral response from you or any of your editors. I am calmly and sensibly using the VERY first chapter of the Bible to Prove that Creation was a literal, 6-day Creation.
Now I am going to assume that you ascribe to some sort of age-theory when viewing the first chapter of Genesis. The Bible says in verse 11 (the THIRD day) that he made all plants: grass, herbs, trees, etc. And then in verse 15 he makes the sun and the moon and all stars (the FOURTH day) Now my argument is that if that space of time between those "seedings" as might be supposed, is millions and millions of years, how would those plants have survived without SUNLIGHT. It is a verifiable scientific process that REQUIRES sunlight for the growth and survival of all green life.

Now I realize that you will probably twist my straightforward argument as well as systematically undermine my process of argument as well as the WORD OF GOD that you so eloquently support, I realize this and yet I still present this as a hope that defends my God and the Bible from "railing accusations."

If you will honestly read the 1st chapter of Genesis and take it literally there is absolutely no way in Heaven that it can be viewed as to support evolution

Comments for The Bible: Chapter 1

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Feb 01, 2013
by: Paul Pavao (webmaster)

Sorry, Graeme, no, I can't. I don't know how to do that with the comment system I have on this site.

I think people can follow what you're saying, anyway.

Sorry for taking so long to get to this. Vacation, leukemia recovery, blood clot, trying to catch up on life and business after a year off for cancer ...

Lol, it all added up ... still adds up. Sometimes it's hard to get to the comments.

It makes for a great story, though, and I'm still glad for the incredible adventure God sent my way in the form of leukemia, an adventure which doesn't seem to ever quite want to end :-D.

Nov 08, 2012
The bits
by: Graeme

BTW - do you think you might edit the three bits of "Interpretations" into one so it follows properly? Might be confusing othwerwise. The short bit goes between part one and part two.

It was more than the word limit so I had to split it up...


Nov 08, 2012
by: Graeme

...depending on how you use the word argument.

I prefer the scientific and mathematical usage as this does not include the sense of "domestic argument" or a fight. It narrows it down to something that needs to be logical and/or factual.

I find your approach a healthy one. Even when we differ we can still discuss. Keep it up.


Nov 08, 2012
2 cents
by: Paul Pavao (webmaster)

Hi Graeme,

Yes, attempting to reconcile Genesis one and the scientific data roughly describes me.

For me, though, this isn't an argument. It's research forced upon me. Someone presented me with the evidence for evolution, and after long research, I concluded the evidence is undeniable. I'm a Christian, a follower of Christ and the apostles, so this brought up some issues I was forced to resolve. Paul, one of the apostles I'm following, said that all Scripture is inspired by God. Whatever one's definition of Scripture is, there is no doubt that Paul was definitely including Genesis among the Scriptures he believes are inspired.

I follow Jesus and his apostles. I believe Genesis is inspired, too.

Fortunately for me, I have an excellent foundation in church history, though. Unlike so many evangelicals, I have no reason to think that Jesus, the apostles, and their churches thought the way we think today or that they approved of evangelical doctrines, many of which were not invented until centuries after the apostles died. Researching this subject in an "out of the box" way was very easy for me because I had multiple boxes to choose from.

Anyway, the point is that it's not really a debate for me. I end up in debates because people argue with me, but this site is built for people who are honestly searching, not for the close-minded and unthinking who are so sold on evangelical Bible interpretation that they cannot even conceive that anyone think differently than they do, much less consider any other points of view.

Nov 06, 2012
More on Interpretations (missing link paragraph)
by: Graeme

The word "of" itself, though seeming terribly trivial, can have at least two very different meanings. It can mean "about" or "pertaining to" as in "I learned of his success". It can also mean "belonging to" or "issuing from" as in the "skin of apples" or the "results of his efforts".

Nov 06, 2012
More on Interpretations (part 2)
by: Graeme

(Ed - can you check the overlap between the two parts for me? Thank you.)

In this context the phrase "the Word of God" can have two profoundly different meanings. On the one hand it can mean information or news "pertaining to" or "in connection with" God. In this sense, the Bible being the Word of God would mean it is a book that tells you about God. Contrarily, if we interpret it to mean "The Word issuing from or belonging to God", we are compelled to view the writings very differently.

In one interpretation we are dealing with the throughts of the Creator himself. In the other we are reading the collected meanderings and musings of variously motivated historical individuals in connection with God.

Perhaps in this difference in meaning of the word "of" we find the entire conflict between those who seek the answers, the truth, through Biblical religion and those who reject it outright in favour of scientific enquiry.

We do of course need to be clear what we mean by "truth" before we can begin to know what we are even looking for...

And have we even had the discussion of what we really mean when we use the word "God"?

Whether there is contradiction between one verse and another in the Bible is really not that important. We first have to get clarity on the bigger questions.

For an atheist the big question is not whether the Bible can be said to be somehow true or accurate. It is whether there is any way to make sense of the concept of "spiritual" reality.

This would include the idea that there is some kind of life force that makes a plant or animal somehow qualitatively and fundamentally different from a stone. It would include the idea that in some way something we could call God can be understood. And it would include the idea that somehow the infinite universe (or is it?) and all that fills it somehow has meaning.

Asking what happened to the "mankind" that God created on the 6th day should not be an issue for an atheist. Nor should Noah's Ark or Moses parting the Red Sea.

Unless of course he or she is trying to throw a spanner in the works of one who has faith and believes...reverse evangelism perhaps? Or maybe its the act of one who takes pleasure in proving others wrong?

I guess the person who really wants to be involved in these debates is one who is attempting to reconcile the Biblical "version" with the scientific "data". This is the journey of the "rational believer".

I guess Paul this would roughly describe you?

I suspect the debate regarding what we teach in schools is a very different and far more antagonistic theatre. With substantially different motives perhaps?

Nov 06, 2012
More on Interpretations (part 1)
by: Graeme

Semantic arguments regarding the Bible can raise some interesting issues. As I said below, they have given rise to a wide range of denominations and indeed macro religious groupings. They also give rise to uncertainty on a broad front.

It's not just in the detail as in Paul's observations below. What about the word "Scripture" itself? Written with a lower case "s" it simply means "writings". When used with a capital it suggests Holy Writings. It might seem reasonable to assume that it's use in the Bible would refer to the Bible itself, exclusively. But this may not logically be a safe assumption.

Every religion has its Scriptures. The Bible as we know it did not exist when the authors wrote their words. It is highly unlikely they would be writing about books which would only exist hundreds of years in the future. So what were they referring to?

Another thorn arises with the word "Spirit". Modern interpretations of the word include God himself, a paranormal entity, the soul of a human being or other living creature, the mood of an event or artistic work or even the broad intent of a law!

The original meaning was derived from the same root as "inspire", "expire" and "respiration". Before we knew that the air was actually physical matter we imagined that our breath was something magical connected to our "life force" and that by breathing or blowing on things we could invoke magic in some way or another. So the word Spirit may have originally meant breath in a very literal sense.

It was translated from a Hebrew word by an English translator. Did the Hebrew word have as many meanings? And which would the author have intended?

Nov 06, 2012
Bible contradictions
by: Paul Pavao (webmaster)

Bible contradictions don't have anything to do with whether evolution is true, but I do want to say something about such contradictions.

Most lists of contradictions include some really ridiculous assertions. On the other hand, if you sort through them, you will find some undeniable contradictions. (Well, maybe not undeniable--religious people can deny anything--but you'll look really silly denying them.)

An example of a ridiculous assertion on this person's list is Galatians 6:2 and Galatians 6:5, about bearing each others' burdens and bearing our own burdens. Those sentences are three verses apart! Can someone really suggest that Paul was so stupid that he contradicted himself in the space of three verses???

An example of an undeniable one is say, 2 Samuel 6:23 and 21:8, which disagree on how many children Michal, the daughter of Saul, had.

What I want to mention, though, are the contradictions that are created simply by false modern theology. That has mostly to do with "salvation by faith alone." There is a sense, a narrow sense, in which salvation is solely by faith, and Paul explains that narrow sense very well in Romans. But modern Protestant theology has lost all understanding of Romans, so it interprets Paul in such a way that all sorts of Bible verses are contradicted.

For example, the only occurrence of the words "faith alone" or "faith only" in the Bible are in James 2:24, where James says "not by faith alone." Martin Luther was convinced that was a contradiction, and he offered his doctor's hat to anyone who could reconciled Rom 3:28 and Jam 2:24. (I have claimed that doctor's hat at

Many contradictions are removed just by getting a proper Biblical and early church understanding of the role of faith and works. I spend some time on that not just at the page I gave above, but also more fully at and in the doctrine section of my Christian history site.

Nov 06, 2012
by: lynn

Personally i believe the bible is full of contradictions.

To me evolution is correct.Read genesis very carefully please.

Oct 28, 2012
by: Graeme

Literal translation of Genesis or any chapters of the Holy book must be based on the idea that the actual words we read were dictated to the writers of the various parts by God. In addition, as the current version we read is not in the language of the original texts, whatever they might have been, we must believe that the translators were controlled in every detail by God.

This leads us to question which current version is the correct one, as there are substantial variations between editions. Indeed, so much variation has come about that separate denominations of Christianity have developed, some so vastly different from the others that wars have been waged between followers of contradictory texts.

It would appear that versions which are adapted to the prevailing situations, either political, philosophical, humanitarian or even geographical, tend to predominate over more archaic forms which are less useful in dealing with the present.

With the rise of modern Christianity, more conservative forms such as Catholicism wane.

Of course, the great rise in literacy and science has not only changed the world in which we live and our understanding of the universe and all life around us, it has changed the way we need to frame Creation. I have no doubt that new versions of the Bible will emerge taking into account the myriad incredible things we are learning about how nature really works. And these will of course trigger new groupings of believers while those reluctant to adjust will cling to the older versions.

When I think about the idea that a version of the Old Testament is included not only in the Bible, but also in the Koran and the Torah, I am compelled to accept that all three share a common origin.

All of which makes me think of two things. Firstly, that the forces of evolution are as hard at work on religious ideas and texts as on anything else. And secondly that Faith cannot come from any book, regardless of who is meant to have written it. It has to come from within ones deepest self.

Jan 15, 2011
Genesis 1 Literal
by: Paul Pavao

I don't subscribe to an age theory. I just don't think Genesis 1 is literally accurate. I think Moses was giving the creation story as the Hebrews knew it, and that it is, by ancient standards, accurate enough for its purposes.

I don't believe God inspires scientific knowledge in prophets. That's why 1 Sam. 2:8 says the earth is set on pillars. The physics of the earth are not in mind in 1 Sam. 2:8. Instead, it's about God being in control of everything.

The problem with your argument is that it applies to your position as well as an evolution position. Are you arguing that plants can grow and survive one day without the sun, but not for an age? If science is under discussion, then it is no more possible for the plants to grow and produce fruit in one day without the sun any more than it's possible for that to happen in an age.

A literal Genesis just doesn't work. The sun, moon, and stars, according to Genesis 1, are in a solid structure called the firmament. There's water on top of it. No one--well, almost no one, since someone emailed me the other day saying he believes there was a dome over the earth from the creation until a couple centuries after the flood --believes what Genesis 1 says about the firmament.

Even if the firmament is a great expanse, which would be contrary to what the word means, and even if it is a reference to all of the universe with its billions of galaxies, where's this water that's "above" it. That's a lot of water if it surrounds the universe!

No, Genesis 1 is just "wrong" by modern American standards, but perfectly accurate by ancient Hebrew standards. Genesis 1 means to tell us that God created the earth; that's all.

It's inspired in the sense that there are things written there for inspired people, those who have the Spirit of God, to learn to advance their spiritual walk. It is not inspired in the sense of science. God doesn't bother inspiring the scientific, mathematical, and geographical knowledge of prophets because it's all irrelevant.

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