Genesis 1 – Literal Or Allegory?
1 Peter 2:6 – Wherefore also it is contained in the scripture, Behold, I lay in Sion a chief corner stone, elect, precious: and he that believeth on him shall not be confounded.
Genesis 1:1 – In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth.
Genesis 1:2 – And the earth was without form, and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters.
Genesis 1:3 – And God said, Let there be light: and there was light.
Genesis 1:4 – And God saw the light, that it was good: and God divided the light from the darkness.
Genesis 1:5 – And God called the light Day, and the darkness he called Night. And the evening and the morning were the first day.
Hello readers, literal or allegorical? Bit of a different style blog today. Many times I’ve talked to people who don’t believe the Bible for simply what it says. They make parts of the Bible allegorical or symbolic or explain it away as beautiful meaningless poetry or whatever. They say it’s not the actual words but more the general ideas and thoughts that are to be drawn from the text at the reader’s behest. This approach to scripture is common not just from unbelievers but from those calling them Christians also. The books of the Bible they most commonly apply this thinking to is Genesis and Revelation. For instance they say Genesis 1 isn’t literally true… they don’t believe God created the heaven and the earth how he said he did.
When evolutionary thinking came to the fore and Christians tried reconciling the Genesis account and what “science” was saying, they began to explain away the Genesis account that it wasn’t a literal account of creation. Nowdays you’re called a dummy if you believe in the Biblical time period, and the pressure to fit in with what was being held as proof otherwise made many Christians crumble. There has never been and never will be evidence contrary to the Biblical account of anything. God’s word has been attacked from Genesis 3, and God’s word is much more evidence than what scientists or whoever come up with today. The thing is, until you’re satisfied that God’s word is the evidence, in spite of what everyone else says about God’s word or what things look like, you’ll never be saved or grow as a Christian.
You have a choice, bow down to someone else’s image, or take God at his word. We know what Abraham did. He took God’s word as evidence, believing it in spite all of the circumstances and impossibilities of life. And God’s promises were to him, and to those who walk those same steps of faith that Abraham walked. And the thing is, the Bible explains itself, and just from an honest heart and reading the actual words and letting God speak it’s pretty clear. However, to many people the clarity and simplicity of the Bible is hidden. That’s because God’s word is hidden from them because they’re not born again, they don’t have the Spirit of God, and they just don’t believe.
Remember that writing on the wall in Daniel 5? Nobody in Babylon could interpret MENE MENE TEKEL UPHARSIN. They had to get Daniel in as last resort to interpret it. Although God’s word is available, very few people actually believe it and understand it. Not because it’s not available, but because God’s word can only be discerned by his Spirit. God’s wisdom is hidden from this world, the things of God are only revealed by his Spirit. They can’t be understood and seen and known by this world. This world doesn’t see or know Jesus Christ. Jesus said, unless you’re born again you can’t see or enter the kingdom of God. A believer should be like Daniel, able to bring clarity and understanding of the scriptures to those who have it available to them, but cannot understand it. That’s what Philip did with the Ethiopian eunuch… understandest thou what thou readest?
So today I am primarily going to look at Genesis. Genesis is one of the most attacked books in the Bible. Creation and the flood are the most dispute and despised events in the Bible. Can Genesis be trusted? Jesus said to Peter, when thou art converted, strengthen the brethren. What we should all do is be able to strengthen people’s faith in the word of God, yeah you can believe what the Bible says. The thing is, Genesis is so heavily referenced in the New Testament, why did Jesus Christ and the writers think it was true and could be trusted… yet we can’t?
Another thing to say is, just because something is allegorical doesn’t mean it’s not literally true either. You read in Galatians and Paul is giving an in depth rebuttal of a false doctrine that had crept into the Galatian church. People were saying oh you’ve gotta be circumcised or you’re not saved. It was completely taking away from the doctrine of salvation clearly stated in the Bible which is that we are saved by believing in the Lord Jesus Christ for forgiveness of our sins. We are saved by his grace through faith, there’s nothing we can do to save ourselves or maintain our salvation. But in that book, Paul used Abraham and his two sons as an allegory. That is, his sons were a picture of two covenants. From Abraham’s story we see many pictures, types, shadows that help us understand doctrines of the Bible… like when he took his son to mount Moriah. That was a foreshadow of what Jesus Christ would do on the cross. So although his life is a picture of many things, his life also literally happened and was literally true just as the Bible says it was.
Satan knows just by getting a little foothold of doubt in your life, he can produce death in your life. Read Genesis 3 for the blueprint to how Satan operates in your life. If Satan can prevent you from believing Genesis 1:1… the rest is doomed. God could’ve started with John 3:16 as the first verse of the Bible, but he started with Genesis 1:1 as it is. Genesis 1:1 – In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth. Why is it so important? Because Genesis is a vital chapter in the Bible, it literally explains how we got here, why we are here, where we come from, who God is. All these things are fundamental to a believer’s faith. Many people believe in “God”, but what God do they believe in… the Genesis God?
Can Genesis be taken literally true? Can Genesis, can God, be taken at his word? He was there at the start, you and I weren’t, yet somehow we find ourselves in authority over his word. Genesis is a seedbed for the rest of the Bible. I thought about how Genesis is referenced constantly in the rest of scripture, and the very first chapter is referenced in relation to our salvation. It’s amazing how Genesis 1 is linked to our salvation. Look at this verse.
2 Corinthians 4:6 – For God, who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, hath shined in our hearts, to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.
Your salvation is a new creation, just like that creation that happened all the way back in Genesis 1. If God can’t be trusted with his first creation, how can he be trusted with the creation that he made in your own heart when you believed the gospel? Maybe you don’t see yet how critical Genesis is in laying the foundation for everything that follows thereafter. You can’t have the right concept and image of God without the very first book he gave us. If he’s not the Creator, if he doesn’t have the power, if his word isn’t true right from the start… how can you have salvation?
In that verse quoted above, Paul was writing a second time to the Corinthian church. Just like the light came on when God said let there be light… that same light comes on when a person hears the word of God and believes it. Colossians 1:13 – Who hath delivered us from the power of darkness, and hath translated us into the kingdom of his dear Son. Clearly Paul read and believed Genesis, as we are understanding salvation from having a knowledge of what the word of God said right from the start. When you get saved, if you have been saved, there is a light that is turned on inside you just like it was turned on at the beginning of time.
Genesis 1:3 – And God said, Let there be light: and there was light.
Genesis 1:4 – And God saw the light, that it was good: and God divided the light from the darkness.
Well maybe that’s not enough for you, but as I was thinking of Genesis in relation to the rest of the Bible, I started to see that there’s a reference to each chapter of Genesis elsewhere in the Bible. The Bible writers seemed to believe Genesis could be trusted. Look what Moses said in Exodus…
Exodus 20:11 – For in six days the Lord made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in them is, and rested the seventh day: wherefore the Lord blessed the sabbath day, and hallowed it.
You know where this verse falls? In the middle of the ten commandments! What does this verse say? What it says. God made everything in six literal days, as he said in Genesis, and rested on the seventh day, as he said in Genesis. The ten commandments have a foundation in the truth of the Genesis 1 account of God’s creation of heaven and earth. Maybe you think, oh they weren’t literal days. Well, all through Genesis 1, we read the phrase “and the evening and the morning were the first day” and second day, and so on. What constitutes a day? What constitutes a day? Well Jesus himself said this… John 11:9 – Jesus answered, Are there not twelve hours in the day? If any man walk in the day, he stumbleth not, because he seeth the light of this world. A day consists of an evening and a morning. Of course in our world our day starts at midnight and finishes at midnight, but a Biblical day is structured differently, but it’s still a 24 hour time period… all the way from Genesis 1.
I then thought about Genesis 2, if you read it, can you think of where it is referenced elsewhere in the Bible? In Genesis 2, God made the woman and married Adam and Eve. Is that literally what happened? Were Adam and Eve the first humans?
Ephesians 5:30 – For we are members of his body, of his flesh, and of his bones.
Ephesians 5:31 – For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother, and shall be joined unto his wife, and they two shall be one flesh.
Ephesians 5:32 – This is a great mystery: but I speak concerning Christ and the church.
Additionally Jesus said …
Matthew 19:4 – And he answered and said unto them, Have ye not read, that he which made them at the beginning made them male and female,
Matthew 19:5 – And said, For this cause shall a man leave father and mother, and shall cleave to his wife: and they twain shall be one flesh?
Matthew 19:6 – Wherefore they are no more twain, but one flesh. What therefore God hath joined together, let not man put asunder.
The very basis for marriage comes from Genesis 2. You know that? If Genesis isn’t true, you have no basis for marriage. Jesus himself referenced Genesis in relation to marriage, so why does Jesus Christ take Genesis seriously, and you explain it away as a meaningless allegory from which you pick and choose what you believe?
Maybe you don’t think Adam and Eve were the first humans, and that we all come from Adam. You know, the fact that we all come from Adam is essential to know why we are like we are, and our salvation. The reason we all are sinners, is we all come from a common father, who sinned. Adam was made in the image of God, but Adam disobeyed God. Death passed upon all men for that all have sinned. You know where that verse is? Romans. You can’t read Romans which so clearly explains sin and salvation, without having Genesis as a basis and seedbed of understanding. You weren’t taught to lust and be proud, it’s in your nature, it’s in your DNA. You got that from Adam, and that fallen, depraved nature was passed down all the way from Adam to you.
Additionally, the fact we all have a common father is what makes us all equal. If we did evolve separately, that is like Charles Darwin said, and thus some “races” are more degraded or less evolved than others as he believed… that’s how you get racism. And we know racism is the sacred cow of today’s society. We are all taught evolution in school, a theory that is undeniably racist, and that has seeded slavery, genocide and Hitler’s idea of a master race. The fact we all come from Adam makes us all equally human with a common origin. we come from the same God, and the same human father. We have the same need of a common salvation. That’s why Jesus Christ was born as a man by the way, to redeem humanity, he had to become one of us. In becoming a man he was able to save anyone throughout the whole world… because we are all equally human.
A Bible believing Christian is the least racist person in the world. Darwin was a racist, he was rotten to the core as was his ungodly theories. We aren’t animals like he said, we were made in the image of God, separate from the rest of the creation… just as Genesis says… that’s what makes us special and what makes human life so precious. Genesis 2:7 – And the LORD God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul. You’re not a product of an evolutionary process, you’re a creation of God.
Well on to Genesis 3… can that be taken as literally true? Can God’s word be trusted? It’s ironic given what’s in Genesis 3, because in Genesis 3 we are introduced to the serpent’s first words “yea, hath God said”. The reason we are even having this blog is because of those words. Well, the rest of the Bible seems to consider Genesis 3 as literally true. In Genesis 3 we see the introduction of the serpent, Satan, how he operates, what he does, the sin of man, the fall.
2 Corinthians 11:3 – But I fear, lest by any means, as the serpent beguiled Eve through his subtilty, so your minds should be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ.
This simple verse with a truth we would do well to lay hold on referenced Genesis 3. Genesis 3 says the serpent was subtil, and Paul reaffirms it here in his writing. You know, even though God used human’s to write down and record his word… it’s HIS word. It’s the word of God. That’s why we have it. Think of all the opposition to God’s word throughout history, and here we have it today. God has preserved it, he’s given us his word. He is faithful. How Satan fooled Eve is how he’s fooling you today. He’s smarter than you, you’ve entered into the world of logic and intelligence and reasoning… and he’s caused you to fall in you life. You’re fallen from faith, you’ve been corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ. You know, it’s pretty simple just to believe God’s word for what he’s said. But the yea hath God said has got you. The only thing we learn from history is that we don’t learn from history the saying goes.
What about Genesis 4? In Genesis 4, we read about Cain and Abel. The Bible says they were the sons of Adam and Eve, who had many other children after these two. Cain and Abel are constantly referenced in the New Testament.
1 John 3:12 – Not as Cain, who was of that wicked one, and slew his brother. And wherefore slew he him? Because his own works were evil, and his brother’s righteous.
Hebrews 11:4 – By faith Abel offered unto God a more excellent sacrifice than Cain, by which he obtained witness that he was righteous, God testifying of his gifts: and by it he being dead yet speaketh.
So do you really want to make Genesis just symbolism and an allegory? These boys were literal sons of literal Adam and Eve. Abel’s in the “faith chapter” of Hebrews 11. His life is speaking to you today. We learn fundamental truths about God, about salvation, about this world from their lives.
What about Genesis 5? Well Genesis 5 is a chapter on the genealogy of Adam… a genealogy confirmed in Luke 3. So it’s a literal family tree. Boom! A literal genealogy resulting in a literal Saviour… and you say Genesis isn’t literally true? Jesus comes from Adam’s line. He was Joseph’s son, but not biologically… as we know his Father was God. This enabled Jesus Christ to be the new Adam referenced in 1 Corinthians… and in Adam we all die… but in Christ we all are made alive. Jesus started a new bloodline as it were. When you are saved, you go from in Adam… to in Christ.
What about Genesis 6? In Genesis 6 we are introduced to Noah… and Jesus said as it was in Noah’s day… so it would be in the days of his coming. So did the flood really happen? Jesus said it did. Jesus said Noah was a real man, living in a real time, and a real flood came. Noah is referenced frequently throughout the rest of the Bible. He’s referenced in Hebrews 11, he’s referenced in both of Peter’s epistles… come on.
Luke 7:26 – And as it was in the days of Noe, so shall it be also in the days of the Son of man.
Luke 7:27 – They did eat, they drank, they married wives, they were given in marriage, until the day that Noah entered into the ark, and the flood came, and destroyed them all.
I could go on, but the point is that Genesis is referenced throughout the rest of the Bible, because the rest of the Bible, just like our lives are built upon the foundation of what happened at the start. Genesis is the seedbed for the rest of the Bible. It was in Genesis when men first began to call upon the name of God, it was in Genesis where Noah found grace in the eyes of God, it was in Genesis where God promised the seed of Christ through whom all blessing would flow.
The whole idea of faith is that you believe what God has said. You are only going to be justified by God when you believe God’s word. Stop justifying yourself and trust in God’s justification for your thinking and your living and your life. If you can’t believe what God has said from the start, how do you believe it now? If creation is not literal, if the flood isn’t literal, how can your salvation be literal. If God’s word isn’t true from Genesis 1, how is the promise of his salvation true? Who God is, the God you say you believe in…. is revealed from the start as the Creator. You know the fact he is the creator is essential to your salvation, because unless a new creature is created in you when you believe, you’re not saved. That he is who he says he is, that he did it as he says he did it, it’s all essential for salvation. Because Hebrews 11:6 – But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.
You know the same word that created everything, is the same word that that Bible says keeps everything in store right now. The fact we are all here, that we have seasons and days and laws of nature and the planet goes around the sun and so on, that’s because of the same word which created all things in Genesis 1. 2 Peter 3:7 – But the heavens and the earth, which are now, by the same word are kept in store, reserved unto fire against the day of judgment and perdition of ungodly men. God’s word isn’t just true past, it’s true present and future. Genesis 1 is as true as the events of Revelation. The consistent theme from start to finish is that God is right and we are wrong. You call God a liar from Genesis 1, you won’t be able to allegorize and symbolize away truth forever. The same word from the beginning is the same word that has pronounced coming judgment and wrath. He flooded the world back then, but everything’s going to be burned up to come.
Do you think what’s “in store” is allegorical as well? People live like there is no judgment coming. If you really thought what the Bible says was coming… was coming… you and I probably wouldn’t live the way we do. Just like God’s word wasn’t an allegory in Noah’s day or in the destruction of Sodom… future wrath isn’t an allegory or symbolism either. When the rain drops started falling and the ground started bursting with water I’m sure some people realized the error of rejecting God’s word. A bit later on in Genesis we read about the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah, and Jesus also referenced Sodom and Gomorrah as a precursor to the days we live in.
You’ll never be made ashamed for having chosen to trust God’s word, despite all the evidence you may think, God’s word is the truth. The only evidence that mattered to Abraham was God’s word, and similarly to Abel and Noah and all the men of faith… the evidence they needed wasn’t circumstances and feelings and what they thought… the evidence for them was what God had said. God’s word is the truth… just take God at his word. It was the people that didn’t believe God’s word that were the idiots in the end, Noah’s flood came and they were all destroyed. Just believe God’s word, it’s a simple step, but a step of saving faith today.
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Joseph View All →
Hi, my name is Joseph Zadow. I am a 32 y/o Bible Blogger. I was new to blogging once! God’s word is the best thing that we can be given, and once we have it and know it for ourselves it is both a privilege and responsibility to bring it to others! We are blessed to be a blessing! I am a sinner (for sure!) saved by God’s grace through faith in Jesus Christ and I am a Lord Jesus Christ follower. He is faithful even though I rarely am to him. I believe the Bible is the word of God, and stake my life on it. My destination is heaven. As they say, I’m just a passin’ through this world… although most of the time it’s more like hangin’ by a thread in Jericho! I love playing sports – particularly cricket… I currently work on an orchard and a side hobby business of mine is growing vegetables etc – they are good for you! I love writing. Always happy to talk, so feel free to leave a comment. You can read more about me and my blog here – kjvbibletruth.com/about :)
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