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,
[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?“]