It is quite clear we have two very different accounts of God’s creation of the world in the first two chapters of Genesis. What is the meaning of this? The most plausible explanation is that at the time when the Jews were compiling the Scriptures of the Old Testament there were two extant traditions of God’s creation of the world. It must have been decided that it was important to preserve the independent truths in each of the accounts and thus they were both retained in the final version of Genesis.
Such a process indicates to us the organic nature of the Scriptures and gives us insight into the role of human beings in their formation. This in turn gives us insight into how we understand the authority of the Scriptures. The Church teaches us that the Scriptures are inerrant insofar as they are teaching us truths relating to our salvation. However, they may or may not reflect historical or scientific truths accurately. Such an understanding is not a threat to our faith in God’s Word; it simply situates that faith in its proper place and allows us to draw the fullest possible understanding and help from the Scriptures for our daily lives.
The fundamental truth surrounding the creation of the world is that God created the world from nothing and provided it with an inherent order that allows it to function well. If we choose to move outside or against that fundamental order or nature of creation then we do so at the risk of serious consequences! Somewhere and somehow humanity has chosen to disobey God and thus sin has entered the world and brought with it the disorder that we confront daily in our lives. The Good News is that God does not abandon creation/us but sends His Son to redeem us. We already see the nascent beginnings of this process in Genesis 3.
In reflecting upon the two Creation accounts let us see them for what they are and seek to develop a respect and love for the way in which we can see God’s hand at work in the world moving us towards the re-creation of redemption and thus an even better place than when He first created the world.
How do I understand the authority of the Scriptures in my life? Do I have a healthy understanding of the inerrancy of the Scriptures?
Lord Jesus, lead me into a deeper love and respect for the Word of God so that it will be better able to transform and inform the way I live my life.