Wednesday, March 15, 2023

Did Jesus Christ Accept The Book Of Genesis As Historically Accurate?

  • Introduction:
          -There is ample evidence in the four gospels that Jesus believed the history of the Old Testament, especially Genesis, to be literally true. He expressed His beliefs as one who had no doubts as to whether the narrative was historical. He treated the written text as though it had actually happened, not simply allegories or stories illustrating moral truths. Christ used real people and events from the Old Testament to support what He was teaching to the people. His views on the historicity of Genesis were commonly shared by Jewish contemporaries.

  • Jesus Affirmed Adam And Eve As Being Historical:
          -"But from the beginning of creation, ‘God made them male and female.’" (Mark 10:6)
            *The phrase "from the beginning of creation" is used in the writings of other Jewish teachers. For example, Rabbi Yannai said: "From the beginning of his creation of the universe the Holy One, blessed be He, scrutinized the deeds of the righteous and the deeds of the wicked." (Bereishit Rabbah 3)
            *Christ appealed to Adam and Eve as historical figures in upholding God's purpose for marriage. He merely tolerated the act of divorce because of man's fallenness.
            *This reasoning applies to the creation account of Genesis. Christ looks to the beginning of history in teaching about marriage.

  • Jesus Affirmed Cain's Murder Of Abel As Being Historical:
          -"so that on you may come all the righteous blood shed on earth, from the blood of righteous Abel to the blood of Zechariah the son of Barachiah, whom you murdered between the sanctuary and the altar." (Matthew 23:35)
            *Jesus Christ spans the course of Old Testament history from beginning to end in expressing condemnation of the Jewish leaders for rejecting God's prophets. Abel was murdered in the Book of Genesis and Zechariah in 2 Chronicles 24:20, which is the last book of the Jewish canon. Christ believed such portions of the Old Testament to not be parables or allegorical but historical.
  • Jesus Affirmed Abraham (John 8:56-58) And Lot (Luke 17:28) To Be Historical Figures:
          -In the first text, Jesus Christ said that Abraham rejoiced to see His day, saw it, and was glad. It would be nonsensical of Him to say this of a mythological character. His speech presupposes the existence of Abraham as a historical character.
          -In the second text, Christ spans the course of human history from beginning to end in making the point that man will be sinful as long as this world goes on. Unconverted man will live on without any regard for the ways of God until He finally judges him. "In the days of..." refers to actual history.
  • Jesus Affirmed The Destruction Of Sodom And Gomorrah As Actually Having Happened (Luke 17:29) And Lot's Wife Being Turned Into Salt (Luke 17:32):
          -"There was for centuries a peculiar formation of crumbling, crystalline rock that was associated by tradition with the story of Lot's wife. Josephus (Antiquities I.11.4) declared that this pillar still remained in his day and that he had seen it. Clement of Rome, Irenaeus, and Benjamin of Tudela also wrote of this strange formation as visible in their day, but later writers stated that it had ceased to exist. Perhaps the existence of this pillar was used as an object lesson for the admonition of Christ to His disciples (Luke 17:32)." (Spiros Zodhiates, Hebrew-Greek Key Word Study Bible)
  • Is The Genesis Creation Account Is Based On Mesopotamian Myths?:
          -The borrowing of Mesopotamian ideas for the purpose of describing transcendent truths is different than having been derived from Mesopotamian stories themselves (The Ennuma Elish, Epic of Gilgamesh, Atrahasis, etc.). Nonetheless, the text of Genesis is a stand alone in that it presents itself as authentic history. Adam and Eve are presented as historical figures. The biblical account does not flow in the manner of myth, legend, or poetry. 
          -Genesis is unique in that it is monotheistic. God is distinguished from His creation. He formed everything from nothing. Genesis is unique in that He who created all things is loving, peaceful, and righteous. These divine and timeless truths are so elegantly communicated by the text. The Genesis creation account is more intricate in that it encompasses every sphere of the natural and spiritual realms. 
          -Metaphysical naturalists reject the text of Genesis as being supernatural revelation. They do not view the miraculous as being a part of the record of history. If we are to view this creation account as anything, then we are to view it as Moses correcting the pagan narratives. He was interacting with pagan accounts because the Israelites would be exposed to different worldviews as they moved into Canaan.
  • Are Genesis Chapter One And Chapter Two Contradictory Creation Stories?:
          -It is not that the two accounts are contradictory in nature but are harmonious and interdependent. Genesis chapter one specifically speaks to the creation of the universe, with man being last in order. Genesis chapter two centers on what earth was like. It makes no mention of the stars, moon, or other features of the solar system. Genesis chapters two and three focuses more on man. Genesis chapter two does not outline the events of creation. There is no discrepancy between the first two chapters of Genesis, as both, while related, are different contexts.

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