Category: Bible Study

Mysterious Beginnings of the Bible: Who Wrote Genesis? How Old is the Earth?

Mysterious Beginnings of the Bible: Who Wrote Genesis? How Old is the Earth?

in Bible Study on

The Book of Genesis is the first book of the Bible, and often one of the books that most believers know better than many other books within the Bible. Every believer knows about the famous story of Adam and Eve, even the stories of Noah, Abraham, Jacob and Esau, and so on.

Many of such stories are taught to believers early on and serve as moral guidance on what believers of God should live like, apart from being fun stories to think about. I mean, who is placed in paradise by God and receives a command to be fruitful and multiply from God Himself just to end up being deceived by a talking serpent? Who gets commanded to preach for 950 years about an impending flood, builds a huge ark that will host two animals of every kind, and survives a 40-day long flood? These stories are not only pretty fun to read but also a good way to perceive more about God’s power and greatness.

What is the Purpose of the Bible?

As believers, we believe that God left Scripture for our benefit, for us to get to know Him, receive guidance, be strengthened, and be prepared for the time of Jesus’ Second Coming especially.

However, many times, we may wonder about how it is that we can use books like Genesis for this purpose. How can fantastical stories about Adam and Eve, Noah, Abraham, Jacob and Esau, and more, help us become better believers? How concretely can we answer this question with tangible ways in which we can improve our lives of faith according to Scripture? In order to do this, we must first understand the nature of God’s Scripture.

In 2 Tim 3:16, we can see that the Scriptures of the Holy Bible are inspired by God. This is how we know that Scripture does not simply contain mundane accounts of world history, but rather accounts regarding God and His people, which are recorded with a specific purpose orchestrated by God. 

Who Wrote Genesis?

A big question that many believers ask themselves is regarding the author of the book of Genesis. There are many accounts that serve as evidence for Moses being the one who recorded the book of Genesis. The first five books, also known as the Pentateuch, have long been said to be recorded by Moses. The Pentateuch was originally one book, but it was divided into five separate books for the sake mere convenience. It is said that the amount of detail found in Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, and Deuteronomy is significant evidence for Moses being the one who recorded them, as he was the pastor that God chose to use in those eras.

Moses, the prophet

This still leaves us with the question regarding Genesis. The events recorded in Genesis, historically, took place about 2,500 years before the time of Moses. How could Moses then record the events of Genesis in such detail. Does this mean that the book of Genesis is all a lie? We can find the answer to these questions within Scripture. Among other verses, the verse mentioned previously gives us the answer to how Moses was able to record such events, which is by being inspired by God (2 Tim 3:16). As believers, we do not read or follow the Holy Bible because it is a book written by man, but because it is a book authored by God.

How Old is the Earth? 6,000 years? 4.5 Billion Years?

The earth has been around for millions of years now and there have been many claims regarding how old the earth is. A lot of scientific evidence has proven that the earth is at least 6 million years old. One of the ways this is proven is by using carbon dating, a method that allows carbon interacting with oxygen to determine the age of the world. Other evidence can be found through fossils and the discovery of extinct ancient species.

Though science is a relatively reliable method to assess the age of the earth, the discourse regarding the age of the earth is oftentimes not far from Christianity and what the Bible has to say about the age of the earth. Creationism for instance, was derived from fundamentalist sects of Christianity. 

Fundamentalists believe that the Bible should be interpreted literally and according to the Bible, the earth is 6000 years old. Of course this comes with numerous disputes from scientific evidence proving otherwise.

These exchanges of information between two different approaches to the age of the earth begs the question; how old is the earth according to the Bible, and how can we understand it correctly? Many people, even believers, do not give much thought regarding the creation story and what the purpose of it is.

Oftentimes believers choose to not delve into answering this question as it seems that science and Christianity do not go hand in hand. If the supporting evidence proves the earth to be millions of years old, then why does it say otherwise in the Bible? Well are different ways of actually making sense of the Bible and the way it explains the world

What is the Bible truly about?

The Bible is actually very accurate and true if we are able to understand it correctly. But first we must ask ourselves, is the Bible really talking about the creation of the physical world?

We have already established that the world is millions of years old, so how come the Bible only describes the world to be thousands of years old? Well the Bible actually talks about the creation of the world, but not in the way that we imagine it.

For example, in Jeremiah 4:23, it describes the world to be in the same condition as Genesis 1:2. So did the creation of the world happen again at the time of Jeremiah? Well if we take a look at the verses before, it actually talks about God’s people. 

The Bible in fact, talks about God’s people and their relationship with God Himself. Even at the very last book of Revelation, it says in Revelation 22:21 that it’s God’s people the Bible is concerned about. Understanding the Bible correctly will help us reason and perceive that science and God’s Word actually make perfect sense. In order to do so, we must first examine the way we understand both science and God’s Word.

God, Joshua and the Promised Land

God, Joshua and the Promised Land

in Bible Study on

Background of Joshua

Joshua was born during a time in biblical history when God’s people were enslaved in Egypt under Pharaoh. He was a slave until he and the Israelites were set free and guided out by Moses. Thus, he shared in all the events that took place in Egypt including the 10 plagues, the Passover, and the parting of the Red Sea. After Moses’ death, he leads the Israelites into the Promised Land.

As God Guided the Israelites

Joshua helped lead the Israelites to victory in their first battle against the Amalekites right after they had passed through the Red Sea. This was the beginning of his faithfulness and obedience to God and Moses, God’s chosen messenger. Joshua also shared in the events that took place when the Israelites were in the desert on the way to the Promised Land, Canaan. Along with the Israelites J ate the manna that came from heaven, drank the water from the rock, was guided by the clouds by day and the fiery pillars by night.

joshua promised land

Joshua Remained Obedient to God

However, J did not take part in the worship of the golden calf. While the Israelites were creating the idol he diligently waited for Moses to descend from Mt. Sinai with the ten commandments. Furthermore, Joshua would stay outside a tent known as the “tent of meeting” where Moses would meet with God while the rest of the Israelites stayed outside their own tents to watch the event. He was still outside the “tent of meeting” even after Moses had left. The Israelites faced the greatest challenge of their lives as they prepared to finally enter the promised land.

“Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be terrified; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.”

Joshua 1:9, NIV

Profile of Abraham, the Father of Faith

Profile of Abraham, the Father of Faith

in Bible Study on

Abraham: Father of Faith

Christians across the spectrum know Abraham as “the father of faith.” This title is probably familiar to us, as we often hear it in Bible studies, even from youth. We are taught of Abraham’s great faith and righteousness, and to follow his example. However, perhaps not many of us know the reason (or at least the full picture) as to why he received this title. He is the 19th descendant of Adam, and the 10th descendant of Noah, from the line of Shem. In Genesis 12, God commands Abram to leave his father’s household and go to the land of Canaan. Abram did just as God commanded him, and set for Canaan—he was 75 years old at this time.

abraham the father of faith

The Covenant with Abraham

In Genesis 15, Abram (later to be called Abraham) receives a vision from God, where God makes a covenant (promise) with him that he will have descendants so numerous that they cannot be counted (v. 5). And because Abram believed in this promise, he was considered righteous (v. 6). But the covenant does not end here. In verses 13-14, God says, 13 Know for certain that for four hundred years your descendants will be strangers in a country not their own.” Later, God chose Moses to lead the Israelites out. This promise was made before he had his son Isaac.

Abram’s wife Sarai was unable to bear him a child, so he had one through his maidservant Hagar at the age of 86—he named him Ismael. In Genesis 17, God renamed Abram to Abraham (meaning exalted father) because he was to be the father of many nations (v. 5). His wife Sarai was also renamed to Sarah (v. 15). Then God makes a covenant with him that Sarah will bear him a child, to be called Isaac (Gn 18: 17,19-20). At this time, he and Sarah were 100 and 90 years old, respectively. So upon hearing this, he fell facedown in what might potentially be the first biblical instance of “ROFL”.

abraham sacrifices Isaac

Abraham’s Son

Nevertheless, God kept his promise to him, and Sarah bore Isaac (Gn 21:2). From this point on, things get interesting because God tests Abraham by asking him to sacrifice his only son Isaac. The very next morning, Abraham set forth to Moriah with Isaac, where he was to be sacrificed. Now keep in mind that by this point, God had already promised him that he would be the father of many nations (Gn 17:4). But yet he is expected to sacrifice his only son, from whom these “many nations” were to come. Hebrews 11:11-12 and v. 17-19 explain the reason behind his great faith. He reasoned that for God to fulfill the promise He made to him, Isaac had to live. So regardless of whatever happened, one way or the other, Isaac would father many nations. Because of this, Abraham was ready to obey Gods command.

Abraham Believed the Promise

Abraham the father of faith

As he is about to sacrifice Isaac, God commands him to stop, and acknowledges his obedience. Abraham then sees a ram, and offers it as a sacrifice in place of Isaac. What is very important to take from this story is that Abraham’s faith was not without reason. It was not a blind faith, but rather faith based upon understanding. He believed in God’s promise, and because of this, he was able to act accordingly. We must also ask ourselves, is my faith based on understanding of God’s promises? Or other things such as feelings and emotions? I hope that his story can be a great example for all of us to grow in faith.