The Lost World of Genesis: 3 – Forming and Filling

Image credits: NASA

Now the Earth was formless and empty, darkness was over the surface of the deep…

And God set out to correct that. Day 1 to 3 involved shaping and forming what was once formless…

Day 1: separating light and darkness

Day 2: separating sea and sky

Day 3: separating sea and dry land, vegetation

The next 3 days then involved filling that emptiness…

Day 4: sun, moon and stars to fill the day and night

Day 5: birds and fish to fill sea and sky

Day 6: animals and humans to fill the land

Was Genesis 1 intended as a chronological account? Who knows? Its structure suggests otherwise. The parallel between Days 1 and 4, Days 2 and 5, as well as Days 3 and 6, are obvious.

What we can be certain of is that the picture revealed by science differs significantly from the chronology of Genesis 1. Even the day-age proponents (a single day to God is but a thousand/million years to man) have to contend with the fact that it’s not even in the right order.

It is entirely possible that the ancients held such a view obout our origins. But we must also accept that they were not as concerned about historical accuracy as we are in the post-Enlightenment era, neither do they have any notion of this whole concept of scientific accuracy. We should therefore not expect Genesis to function as a scientific document. Just like every other book of the Bible, Genesis was written within a certain cultural context, and we who read it with modern eyes need to be aware of that.


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