This post does not concern any difference between versions of the Bible. I post it just as an interesting piece of insight I received when my wife and I recently visited our children in New Zealand. I trust you will enjoy it as much as I had pleasure researching the facts.
New Zealand and Genesis 1.
The insights, interpretation, application and presentation of the facts portrayed in this document are completely my own.
Conflict between Bible and Science:
In an amazing way modern science confirms some facts that Moses had written in Genesis 1-3 more than 3500 years ago – if only we could open our eyes to the facts!
Sometimes people are confused by a conflict between what they understand from the Bible versus opposing scientific facts. We as Christians should find answers among ourselves that bring glory and respect to our God and his precious Word, the Bible. This could bring us all in awe before our Almighty, All-knowing and All-loving Triune God, the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit.
The Bible as written Word of God is a book concerning faith. It deals with our faith in God and our relationship with God. The Bible is not a handbook on science. Some facts in the Bible do correspond with scientific facts, but some don’t. But everything in the Bible impacts on our faith. Consider the following: One cannot take up literally Gen. 1:6-8 where the Bible says that God separated the waters above the sky from the waters below. There simply is not a dam of water above the sky, sometimes falling down as rain! God did not create the kidneys (reins) to be the center of our emotions or mind, (Ps.26:2, Jer.17:10) but to cleanse our blood! Yet both these aspects impact on our faith. God sends us rain when we humbly ask, and we are accountable to Him concerning our thoughts and emotions. When we consider statements in the Bible as scientific facts, we might be right, or we might be wrong. Giordano Bruno (1548-1600) maintained that other stars in the sky could have planets revolving around them, possibly even supporting life, equal to our solar system. And serious Christians burned him at the stake for those statements that conflicted with their understanding of the Bible!
When I look at Gen.1:1 – 2:4, I could present the Creation graphically as follows:
On the following three days, God created that which defines or utilizes the substances: Day 4: sun, moon and stars that define light and darkness. Day 5: that which utilizes air and water namely the birds and fish. Day 6: that which utilizes the earth with its plants namely the mammals, other animals and lastly humans.
Day 7: God rested.
One could take up this chapter as a literal description of how God created the universe within six 24-hour days, and rested on the seventh day. The result would be: 1) Everything that exists, was created by God. 2) Everything is in an orderly way related to one another. 3) After the sixth day, God rested, and nothing new was ever created again. There is nothing wrong with that interpretation.
It is also possible to see Gen.1 as a poem exulting God as the creator of everything rather than a scientific plan as to how He created it. Yet then one would come to the exact same three conclusions.
Genesis 1 and the Islands of New Zealand:
Paleontologists argue that the islands of New Zealand separated at a very early date from an ancient landmass on which all life has its origin, called Gondwanaland.
Just as John says that Jesus did many more things than those written in the Gospels (John 21:25), it is possible that not everything that God did, was written down. Let us presume that God did in fact cut off a piece of land and moved it apart from the original land that He had created on day three. Let us presume that this had happened between day five (after the creation of birds and fish) and before day six (when God created the mammals and humans) indicated with: * What then would be the result?
The result would be an island with birds and fish, but with no mammals, nor humans. New Zealand has no indigenous mammals (except for three species of bats, that could have flown there after the separation), nor humans. Polynesians were the first humans to set foot on New Zealand about 1350 A.D. The only animal not being a bird or fish indigenous to New Zealand is the Tuatara, an ancient lizard that predates dinosaurs.
If we take the first three chapters of Genesis as somehow chronological of the first period of life on earth, chapter three reveals two other things that should be amiss in New Zealand, because it would have happened after God had separated these islands as I presumed. God cursed the serpent (Gen.3:14) after he had misled Eve, to crawl on his belly from that day onwards. There are no snakes at all indigenous to New Zealand, not one! God also cursed the earth to bring forth thorns and thistles.(Gen.3:18) According to Rebecca Stanley of the Auckland Botanic Gardens, New Zealand also has no indigenous thorns or thistles at all! “NZ does not really have any plants with thorns. … We do have one suspected and very curious adaptation in our flora – and that is our divaricating plants. We have many very small leaved shrubs with tight interlacing branches. A very few have sharp protrusions that aren’t really thorns technically but are thorn-like stems (e.g. Discaria toumatou). We also have many species with different juvenile and adult leaf forms where the juvenile leaf form is either tough and leathery or very tiny. Once these plants get above 2m they develop more lush foliage.”
Paleontologists claim that mammals and humans and snakes and thorns were all created (or “evolved”) later than birds and fish. How astonishing that the scientific facts concerning the fauna and flora of New Zealand do confirm Genesis 1-3, written by Moses 3500 years ago!
Genesis 2:7 and Evolution.
Sometimes we are used to an image we have built in our minds or heard concerning a specific event in the Bible. It then is difficult to separate our ideas from what is actually written. I was shocked to discover that the Bible never said that the smoke from the sacrifice of Abel went upwards, while that of Cain drifted sideways – an image engraved in my mind from the picture in my children’s Bible! Was Elijah taken up in a chariot of fire, or in a whirlwind? And do you realize that the Bible doesn’t say how many wise men from the East visited the baby Jesus soon after His birth!
When we consider the facts in Genesis 2:7, the following is evident. 1) Man is a creation of God Himself, echoed by Ps. 139 concerning every baby. 2) Man’s body consists 100% of the elements or “dust” of the earth. 3) Man received his life from God Himself and is therefore accountable only to God. But the Bible does not say how God created Adam, neither how long it took.
Thinking about the creation of Adam, most of us would have what I call 1.) the “Artist – model”. He took some dust from the earth, moistened it and kneaded the clay into the form of a man, breathed life into his nostrils, and see! there stands Adam. But look carefully and see if any of the real facts mentioned in Genesis 2:7 disqualify the following possibilities: 2.) The School – model: God formed every organ, put them together and covered all with clay-skin and breathed life into the final model. 3.) The Microbiologist – model: God created every cell of Adam’s body, put them all together, breathed life into the final model. 4.) The Gynecologist – model: God created one single fertilized cell from the dust of the earth, breathed life into it, and forming his hands as an uterus, and let it grow to maturity. 5.) The Evolutionist – model: God created a single cell, breathed life into it, and after some time let it develop arms and legs, later let it walk on hind legs and over time let it become the human as we know it!
Many paleontologists and evolutionists believe in a godless spontaneous beginning of life, followed by a godless evolution, mostly driven by the principle of “survival of the fittest or best adapted”. Yet certain questions are not easily answered:
- If life evolved spontaneously without the involvement of God, why then did new forms of life stop to emerge at such an early date? According to the Bible, God rested after He completed His creation on the sixth day.
- How could any intricate change or mutation survive? Any new form would happen in a single specimen, but how would it find a partner to procreate and not die in isolation?
- How could male and female evolve as the result of a godless evolution? Surely not having to find a mate would rather enhance procreation.
- How could plants develop the intricate mechanism to create stamen with pollen in one place and ova within another, sometimes another plant and then find some unique way to get these two together, and then even create some wonderful way to get its seed spread, all without a single brain cell, or the involvement of a superior brain we call God?
- Evolutionists say that snakes evolved from lizards, losing the legs that they previously had. Why would less mobility conserve or even enhance their survival? According to the Bible, God cursed the serpent, from that time onwards to crawl on his belly. It was a curse, not an improvement!
The very interesting islands of New Zealand prove the Bible on several points, but we have to take care not to jump in where angels fear to tread!
It is all about the truth of the Bible and the glory of our Triune God, the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit!
Remarks welcome at the bottom of this page.