Thursday, October 8, 2009

Is it Just a List of Names?

There are different ideas about how to treat the book of Genesis. Some would say that there are gaps of time between verses 1 and 2 of chapter one. Others would say that a day as it is used in the creation account doesn't really mean a calendar day but could instead represent an unspecified period of time. And then there are others who imply that there are gaps in the genealogical list found in the tenth chapter of Genesis. All of these views are held to in one way or another in order to explain evolution and interpret the geological column. Then the Bible would conform with modern sciences ideas about millions of years, the origin and demise of dinosaurs as well as a host of other theories.

The real issue is often masked by the arguments presented. When we try to say that a day doesn't mean a day (even though it is almost always used to describe a 24 hour calendar day in the Bible) and that there must be gaps of time to explain creation, we are really questioning the validity of Scripture. If every verse in the book of Genesis doesn't mean what it says and can't be taken literally then on what platform do we try to convince people of the authenticity of any other portion of the Word of God. The Bible is either what it claims to be or it is not. If that is the case then "we of all men are most miserable."

In closing consider Genesis chapter 10. Here we have a list of descendants of Noah. If there are gaps in this list in various places then we cannot rely on the information and it becomes what some describe as just "another dumb list of names!" However, if this chapter is literally true and accurate as presented then we have not just another list of names, but rather a reliable list of the nations and peoples who descended from Noah. If that is the case, chapter 10 becomes a vital part of human history!

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