Genesis: Why We Are Here
As everyone knows, the Earth was not created in six 24-hour days 6000 years ago (and the Earth is not flat nor the center of the universe as the Church used to teach), so it's high time for believers to grasp what Genesis is all about. This commentary presents two equally plausible views of the seven days of creation. Plus the forbidden fruit is revealed that ironically can both kill us (if we consume too much of it) and at the same time has given us knowledge that ultimately led to the appearance of the first modern man (and precisely when and where Genesis says He appeared). 70 pages, 8 x 10 in., 15 color images
Excerpt from Part 1:
The 4.5 billion year view
As everyone knows, the Earth was not created in six 24-hour days, so let's now analyze what Genesis is all about.
First of all, the ancient Hebrew word yom, which is typically translated as “day” in English Bibles, can mean either 1 day or 1 year or a thousand years or a million or even a billion years. Many ancient Hebrew words have multiple meanings (or adaptations), but yom in all of its usages always signifies a time period.
Consequently, the six days of God’s creation of the Earth (and ultimately man), like most everything in the Bible, has two equally plausible meanings.
One plausible meaning (and probably the most obvious) is the six geological time periods (and/or eras) that the earth-scientists typically divide (and/or subdivide) the earth’s creation into. While some of the time “periods” may be labeled “eras” by some scientists, the ancient Hebrew terminology will be retained throughout this commentary on our genesis. And because archeologists often disagree as to when a given period starts and stops, all dates are rounded off.
A second and equally plausible view of the creation saga is the Dispensational View of man’s creation – and his 7000 years of allotted time on Earth. This view has been around for thousands of years, and is expounded on in Part Two.
Day 1: Hadean Period (4.5 to 4 billion years BC)
[See Genesis 1:1-5]
In the Geological / Intelligent Design view of the creation story, Day One is the birth of the Solar System including the Earth and its star/sun (the light) about 4.5 billion years ago. The formation of the Earth is the start of what is called the Hadean period which lasted until 4 billion years BC.
The Solar system, as it happens, is exactly the right distance from our galaxy’s core to support life, and (unlike the older stars at the core), the right age to contain an abundance of heavy elements such as carbon, oxygen and iron, which are necessary to support life. For example, the Earth’s iron core creates a strong magnetic field that shields the Earth from the deadly cosmic radiation that often emanates from the Milky Way’s core.
In recent years, Astronomers have discovered thousands of planets outside our Solar system (3,743 at last count), and more are discovered virtually every day. But only about 0.347 percent of them (a total of 13) are able to support life according to conservative estimates.1 (And beware of wildly speculative estimates). But the probable total number of planets in our galaxy that have evolved intelligent life like us, say scientists, is one, because everything has to be perfect.2
That backs up what the Bible teaches. In other words, it is highly improbable, say both scientists and statisticians, that the Earth was created so perfect entirely by accident – strongly suggesting there had to some form of intelligent design behind it.
The earth was completely covered by water during the Hadean period, and it was indeed deep as the Bible says. And water is of course necessary for life to be able to appear (although many other factors have to be right also).
During the Hadean period, the Earth’s water was bombarded by comets and other debris left over from the creation of the solar system, and that caused the water to be rather hot compared to the average water temperature since the Hadean period.
That would soon lead to, at the beginning (or cusp) of the next period, primitive and tiny one-celled life forms appearing in the Earth’s water.
Excerpt from Part 2:
Alternate (Dispensational) View of the 7 Days of Creation
The 7 Days of the Reign of Man
On another level, the seven days of the Genesis creation saga represent seven 1000-year “days” in the reign of civilized man (or modern man) on the Earth. That is what many (if not most) of the Jewish wise men of old taught. That is, they taught that each day of the creation story represents 1000 years in the reign of man on Earth. That is no doubt how the Magi knew that Jesus would be born when he was, i.e., in 4 BC which is exactly 4000 years after the appearance of Adam, the first civilized man, in the Garden of Eden.
In addition, because Genesis literally means "Generations" the seven days can also be interpreted as seven "generations." In theological circles, the last generation of man (or last era) is commonly referred to as "The Millennials." (May God help us all!)
This second (alternate) view of the seven days of our creation is known as the Dispensational View. It has been around for over 3000 years (as long or longer than the Intelligent Design view). Plus, it can well be argued that it has more legitimacy than the Intelligent Design view because the Bible often (in 3 places) says that, with God, a thousand years is one day (see Psalm 90:4; 2 Peter 3:8; Revelation 20:1-7) .
Day One / Four thousand BC
Here is a big question for the reader to ponder: “What separates humans from the monkeys?” Hint: It is not opposable thumbs or the ability to use tools, because both species have that.
The difference, first of all, is that we have developed the ability to read and write, and to pass down information to our offspring. The earliest writing was discovered in the Garden of Eden, also called the Fertile Crescent and/or Mesopotamia, and dates to about 6 thousand years BC. It says, when translated into English, “fermented red grapes + hops + barley.” That is the recipe for beer, as it used to be made before the discovery of brewer’s yeast. Moreover, archeologists tell us tht the early beer was created by, and made by the women of Eden -- or Eve,as Genesis tells us. (And Eve had to have eaten the forbidden fruit first, and liked it, before brewing beer with it).).
The discovery of beer led to a bunch of rapid changes. First, until that time period (the late stone age), most of the hominins on Earth were naked (except in colder climates where they typically wore animal pelts over their naked bodies in order to stay warm in the harsh winters. But the women of Eden / Mesopotamia were probably the first hominins to sew plants together (either fig leaves or possibly fax leaves as archeologists indicate) to make actual form-fitting clothing, as Genesis 3:7 informs us. While some anthropologists may try to say it was to decorate their bodies, or else because it was cold, the Bible says it came about because consuming the forbidden fruit caused Adam and Eve to become aware that they were naked. The needle Eve used, archeologists tell us, was made from animal bone, and the thread was likely made from catgut at first and before long from the same hemp plant that Eve got the hops from.3
Secondly, the red grapes were plentiful in the Garden of Eden, and possibly the hops, but the barley had to be cultivated. Barley is also a good food source, and it led to the first sustained farming.4
By about 5500 BC, the innovative hominins in Eden invented irrigation; and that led to several additional crops being planted such as wheat and chickpeas.
By 4500 BC, the plow was invented5 and oxen were domesticated to pull it, allowing more crops to be cultivated, and in sufficient quantity to feed a large population.
Next, the crowning achievement resulting from Eve's discovery of beer was, the first large city (or the first civilization, or the first modern man), sprang up around farming and the brewing of beer -- and exactly when and where the Bible says it did (i.e., 4000 years before Christ was born). The first cities on Earth were Eridu, Ur, and Urak (all in Eden / Mesopotamia). Neither were they small farming communities (as had sometimes appeared -- and then disappeared -- throughout mankind's Pre-history) . Ur for example is believed to have had a population of 30,000. ....
1. Source: http://www.ancient.eu/article/223/ 2. Source: http://www.bbc.com/earth/story/20160919-the-real-origin-of-clothes 3. Source: http://www.sewalot.com 4. The key word is sustained. A few other small farming communities sprang up before 6000 BC, but for whatever reason they died out at some point and did not lead to modern man. 5. The earliest plows, invented in Mesopotamia and pulled by oxen, are often called “ards.” Source: http://historylink101.com/lessons/farm-city/plow.htm