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What do Biblical scholars today say about Genesis 1-2?

In recent decades, evangelical Biblical scholars have reconsidered non-literal interpretations of Genesis. The Accommodation view of St. Augustine and John Calvin is supported by recent discoveries about ancient cultures. Literature from these cultures shows interesting parallels and differences with Genesis accounts. The differences are striking, such as stories where creation is a battle among many gods rather than the acts of one sovereign Creator. The similarities, however, show how God accommodated his message so that the Israelites could understand it. For example, the Egyptians and Babylonians thought the sky was a solid dome. This solid dome appears in Genesis 1 as the firmament created on day 2. God did not try to correct the “science” of the Israelites by explaining that the sky was a gaseous atmosphere. Instead, God accommodated his message to their cultural context. Many evangelical Biblical scholars have concluded that Genesis is not meant to teach scientific information.

 

Saturday Sermon: The Failure of Religion

In the last verses of Romans 2, the Apostle Paul relates the “failure of religion because of the terrible beauty of the Law” to the need for a regenerate heart.

 

Series: Maker of Heaven and Earth (5 entries)

In his sermon, Dave Swaim discusses the early chapters of Genesis that seemingly contradict scientific evidence, and he suggests that Christians have simply asked the “wrong questions” about this ancient text, which has led to warfare between the two. In light of this, Swaim wraps up his sermon with the three concluding points that he feels sums up the Biblical truth of creation: there is an all-powerful God, he has a perfect plan, and he has given us his love through Jesus Christ.

 

Saturday Sermon: Heart of Darkness

In the Garden of Eden, Eve is tempted to put her own desires ahead of God’s call for her life. The serpent tells her that if she eats of the fruit she can become like God: she, in essence, can become the master of her own fate.

 

Saturday Sermon: The First Wedding Day

The ordained and blessed tradition of marriage is established in Genesis 2: 18-25. This passage communicates important ideas, Dr. Keller affirms, about both marriage seeking and marriage executing. When considered, these concepts will allow one to be successful in both areas.

 

Saturday Sermons: The Garden of God

Genesis 2:2-17 places an interesting emphasis on work—not only does God work to bring about all creation, but also, man is called to the task of caring for God’s world.

 

What factors should be considered in determining how to approach a passage of scripture?

Finding the best interpretation of a scripture passage can be a daunting task. C.S. Lewis advises us to “Look. Listen. Receive.” A good approach is to seek the intended meaning for the original audience before considering what it means for us today. Clues to the original intended meaning can be found in the style of language, the genre of literature, the original audience, and the historical and cultural context. By studying these things, we avoid projecting modern ideas (like science) onto the text.

7 resources found