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