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The Bible Is Not A Scientific Textbook

“In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.” (Genesis 1:1)

If we are to properly understand the Bible, we should understand the purpose for which it was written. The purpose of the Bible is to tell us what we need to know in order to be reconciled to our Creator. The Bible was never intended to be used as a scientific textbook.

Certain believers and unbelievers alike suppose that God has revealed more in the account of Creation than He really has. The first chapter of Genesis is merely a very brief summary of what God did in creating our world and all the life in it. It doesn’t give us all of the details nor does it answer all of the questions. There are less than 800 words given as we  quickly move through that very first week, which forms  the background for what the rest of the Bible has to tell us.

The Bible’s account of Creation serves to set the stage upon which the story will unfold. It is not the story itself. Like the opening phrase, “In the beginning…God”, the fact that He “created the heaven and the earth” is stated without effort to convince or persuade. You either believe it or you do not.

I wonder what Moses himself would think about all of the people who viciously attack the words he wrote in Genesis because they do not line up with conventional “scientific” theories. Or how he would feel about those who stretch, bend, twist, and torture every last syllable in an effort to make them say something which they do not. I wonder if he ever imagined that so many people would get hung up on these first 800 words, debating and fighting over them the way that they do. Would he tell them that it was never the Lord’s intention to reveal to man all of the details of Creation, or would he simply shake his head in disbelief over the hardness of their hearts?

Obviously, the credibility of the Bible rests upon its complete accuracy. A Book that claims to be the very Word of God should, by definition, be inerrant. But to presume that lack of information means misinformation is a false conclusion. The Bible was given for every person regardless of  the time period they would live in or the culture that they would be born into. It was written in a way that would be understandable for the scholar and the uneducated alike. It’s intent is to tell of God’s Redemption of mankind, not to satisfy the intellectual musings of the modern man who has already rejected Him.

To Jesus Christ goes all glory. In service to Him,

Loren

loren@answersfromthebook.org

[This post was originally published July 3, 2009]

**Unless otherwise indicated, all Scripture quotations are taken from the New American Standard Bible (NASB) © The Lockman Foundation and are used by permission.

[If you do not know the Lord Jesus Christ or you are not certain where you are headed when this life ends, I invite you to read the article “Am I Going To Heaven?“]

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5 responses

  1. Well said, however whatever line you take as a Christian with regards to the creation narrative, Gap theory, flood theory, ideal-time theory, age-day theory, literary-framework theory, etc… for me one part is absolutely crucial the origin of sin.

    If Adam & Eve are fictitiousness where did sin come from. If humans evolved then at some point in time God chose a humanoid species into which he put a soul and in turn sin, the consequence is God would then be responsible for all our woes.

    However if we stick to a literal interpretation of the Genesis narrative and accept it as History as Jesus did and not just allegory we can trace the origin of sin to rebellion by our first parents and the whole Heilsgeschichte (salvation history) of God can be traced.

    Blessings in Yeshua
    Jason

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  2. Excellent point :)

    This is exactly what we are supposed to get from those opening chapters of Genesis: how sin entered the human race and why the world is the way it is. I agree with what you said about the problem with allegorizing the Genesis account and with the Evolutionary Origin theory, well put.

    I believe that we do well to take Scripture literally unless the immediate context suggests otherwise.

    Thanks for sharing these great comments, God bless you!

    Loren

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  3. Thank you Loren! I always glean so much from your posts!

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  4. The question is not whether Genesis is a book about science (that’s a ‘red herring’). Rather the question is whether is a trustworthy historical account.

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  5. Thanks for reading this and taking the time to share your thoughts.

    Actually, the question is whether we believe that the Bible is the Word of God or it is not.

    “And without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is and that He is a rewarder of those who seek Him.” (Hebrews 11:6)

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