The story of the Creation
Science teaches us that the earth has existed for thousands of millions of years. The Bible does not contradict this. The well-known Biblical story of the creation which tells us that God created our world in six days does not start with the creation of the universe. It begins at a moment in the past when the universe and the earth already existed and God started to make the earth habitable for people.
Science does not tell us who made the universe. The Bible does. It teaches us that the universe was made by a living being who has always existed and to whom everything and everybody owe their existence.
God was alone for an indefinite period of time. Then, at a given moment in the past, He started creating. In the Bible, God has a name. In Hebrew (which only uses consonants and no vowels in written texts), the name is spelled JHWH. There is uncertainty with regards to the vowels that should be placed between the consonants. Most scholars prefer the written form ‘Yahweh’. But in many countries, the name Jehovah is more commonly used. Because ithe is not the intention of this website to take up a position in a scholarly discussion, this site will do what the original Hebrew texts used to do: it will use the four consonants JHWH to refer to God.
As mentioned before: for an infinite period of time, JHWH was all alone. Then, at a given moment in the past, he began to create. His first creation was His son. This son is often called JHWH’s only born son.
The explanation is that JHWH made His Son with His own creative power. All that was created after God’s Son, including the angels and people, was not created by God directly, but by His Son, who made use of his Father’s creative power.
It is good for people to realize that our Creator-God has always existed. His Son has not always existed, but his life began at an unknown moment in the past. Another important fact with respect to God’s creative activities is this: He first made His Son and then the angels. He gave these angels a spiritual body. It is a body that people cannot see or perceive in any other way with their senses. Only after He had created the angels did God create our material universe, which people can indeed see, hear, and feel. When God created the universe, He did not use any materials that already existed. He Himself is the maker of all materials. Before God brought all existing forms of matter into existence, there simply was not any matter. God made all material things and beings with His own spiritual creative power.
The fact that JHWH is the creator of everything that exists is strongly emphasized throughout the Bible. Recognizing this as a fact is the beginning of all wisdom. Denying it is the beginning of all foolishness.
It is also good for people to realize that it is absolutely impossible to reconcile the Biblical story of creation with the well – known and widely – accepted theory of evolution. The theory of evolution explains all existing things through completely accidental developments in the fields of physics and chemistry which have taken place in the course of history. According to this theory, chance as a phenomenon and physical and chemical laws are responsible for everything that exists at present. Within the story of the creation, absolutely nothing is left to chance. Before He started creating, God made very highly detailed plans for His creation. He then began to carry out these plans in the course of history and in accordance with a fixed time scheme. The creation was systematic and extremely goal-directed.
In the Biblical story of creation, there is no place for chance. God makes a plan and realizes it. His work is directed towards a goal: God’s creation serves a purpose.
As mentioned before, JHWH started His creative activities with bringing forth His first and only Son. After this, He used His Son to create all other things. In the Bible, this Son is called Jesus Christ. The Son first made the angels and then the universe that consists of matter.
The famous first sentence of the Bible “In the beginning, God created heaven and earth.” refers to the creative activities mentioned above. The Bible does not tell us what the words in the beginning mean. Measured in human time, we may be speaking of millions or billions of years ago.
The second sentence of the story of creation runs as follows: “Now the earth turned out to be shapeless and waste and there was darkness on the surface of the water deep.” This sentence and all sentences that follow refer to a point in time in the past when the universe and the earth were already in existence. From the second sentence in the story of the creation, God tells us how He prepared the earth for habitation of people.
JHWH prepared the earth for habitation of people in six time-periods which the Bible calls days. The context makes it clear that these days are not periods of 24 hours. The Bible does not tell us how long the days of the creation were. That each of these days may have lasted thousands of years becomes apparent from a sentence in one of the letters of Paul. He says that God used the day that followed the sixth day of the creation to rest. From the context, it becomes clear that when Paul wrote this, God’s day of rest was still in progress. If God’s day of rest started in the year 4026 B.C., it had already lasted for more than 4000 years when Paul wrote the letter mentioned.
At the start of God’s first working day, the earth was shapeless, desolate, and dark. A lot had to be done to make the planet fit for habitation by humans.
On the first day of the creation, God saw to it that the earth would get light from the sun. This put an end to the earth’s darkness and made a distinction between night and day. This system of illuminating the earth also made it possible for people to practice exact time calculation.
On the second day, God made the vault of heaven. Before the Flood, there was a thick layer of water inside this vault. God expressed His creative activities on the second day with the words “I made a distinction between the waters over the firmament and the waters under the firmament.”
On the third day, God made dry land out of large pieces of the earth. He also created the first forms of life: plants, grass, and trees.
On the fourth day, God saw to it that through the vault of heaven, people would not only be able to see the sun, but also the moon, the stars, and other heavenly bodies. When describing this fourth day of the creation, Genesis 1:14 emphasizes the importance that God attaches to accurate time calculation. The heavenly bodies are clearly meant to enable people to determine time periods with perfect accuracy.
On the fifth day, God created the first living souls that are able to hear and to see, to like or dislike things, to strive after things, or to try and avoid things. These are the water animals and the birds.
On the sixth day, God created the first land animals. At the end of the day, God created the first human beings: Adam and Eve.
God created Adam and Eve with existing matter that He took from the earth. He made the material human bodies living beings by blowing the breath of life into their nostrils.
God had made a wonderful dwelling place for these first humans: a beautiful, park-like garden, a paradise. This garden also provided the first humans with tasty vegetable food in large quantities and with a lot of variation.
In Genesis 2: 2, we can read that at the end of the sixth day of the creation, God was perfectly satisfied with His work. The earth, paradise, Adam and Eve were perfect. They were exactly as He wanted them to be. Completely satisfied, He decided to make the day that followed the sixth day of the creation a day of rest for Him.
It is clear that the story of the creation was written down by Adam. He must have heard it from God Himself with whom he regularly walked and talked in their paradise-garden before his Fall. In the course of the centuries, the story was passed on from generation to generation. Together with other old Bible stories, it survived the Flood and it was written down in its present form by Moses. He did this in 1513, 1512 B.C. in the wilderness between Egypt and Canaan, shortly after the exodus.
(It is very worthwhile to read the story of the creation in the Bible itself. It is to be found in the first two chapters of Genesis.)