Genesis Chapter One to The Genesis Fortress: Satanically Attacked – Triumphant in the End
by Gorman Gray
THE YOUNG BIOSPHERE CREATION VIEW OF GENESIS CHAPTER ONE
A Better Way to Interpret Genesis One with Testable Proof
Surely, if a student reads, “For in six days, the Lord made the heavens, the earth and the sea and all that is in them,” and reads that, “God made two great lights and the stars on day four,” without questioning the translations, then biblical literalists (of which I am one) might be misled to conclude a young universe.
Theistic evolutionists will insist, “we must not take Genesis one literally.” Others say, “A day is as a thousand years.” But those are just other ways of saying, “We don’t like the literal words because we think it conflicts with science or the consensus of most scientists.” But hold on. Not so fast. We must “Prove all things, hold fast to that which is good” (I Thessalonians 5:21). High quality, factual, demonstrable science must harmonize with God’s word. Evolution theory does not qualify as demonstrable science. Neither does a fossil record millions of years old, but light from distant galaxies and isotope ratios found in earth’s crust (unlike fossil records) are measurable and must be explained in the light of Genesis One. Below we offer a simple solution which satisfies both Scripture and factual science. We claim it is the only satisfactory answer.
But one may reply, “All the versions say essentially the same thing as the KJV as quoted above, who are you to change it? Are you an expert in Hebrew?”
What the many versions say is of little consequence when compared to the original Hebrew and the original meaning of the Holy Spirit’s inspiration. But the booklet in your hands will show how to determine the correct translation of the critical creation passages without requiring an extensive knowledge of Hebrew although scholarship is always desirable. All the experts are invited to critique this methodology and the results we have determined (if they are able to control their biases in the process). The most intense scrutiny is welcome. Children can understand the irrefutable logic and conclusions herein, as certainly as an expert in the original language.
Every expositor knows that context is critical for Bible interpretation and translation. I have expanded that truth into a tool by including multiple contextual constraints, sometimes involving additional analysis of the structure of an entire thought division before determining translation choices. “L-O-V-E” is an acronym for “Literal Overview Vetoes Errors.” It is an interpretive method which limits the options and mandates the proper renditions, particularly applicable to Genesis chapter one. So when I refer to the LOVE procedure you will know what I mean. It is a literal overview coupled with multiple contextual limiters. L-O-V-E is particularly appropriate for issues which involve keenly held differences of opinion, because surely we need love in all our disagreements.
The “big four” of critical creation scriptures are: Genesis 1:2, Exodus 20:11, Genesis 1:16 and Mark 10:6. The “LOVE” procedure clearly determines translation options for the “big four.” In this booklet, I demonstrate this method of Bible interpretation as a positive means of determining translation choices. It is simple and makes the text understandable even to children.
Tohu Wabohu, WAS THE EARTH WITHOUT FORM AND VOID?
Abridged from chapter one of Genesis Chapter One, Scientifically Accurate and Surprisingly Simple
The King James 1611 version described the earth as “without form and void.” Wycliffe and Tyndale, one and two centuries earlier, chose “idel and voide” or “voyde and emptie” (which in pre-Elizabethan days, and still today, means “unoccupied and empty”). But the KJV and its many derivatives are widespread and influential, dominating the following English translations and, to some degree, extending its influence to other than English as well. Dr. Henry Morris, considered the father of modern creationism and beloved by us all, predicated much of his teaching on the assumption of an earth “without form” and stars “made” on day four which I strongly contest.
The “LOVE” procedure forces and proves that Wycliffe and Tyndale had it right, whereas the King James Version translators were in error. I know those words, “forces and proves,” are strong words but I will expand it even beyond that by saying that translation choices for the “big four” critical scriptures can all be determined by using this powerful tool.
The result makes Genesis chapter one into a beautiful, supernatural wonder-chapter, even superior to the breathtaking wonder and beauty of microbiology and astronomy. Genesis one is the opening of a beautiful symphony and Revelation 22 is the breathtaking, triumphant closure. Between those glorious chapters is the awful history of rebellion with its tragedies, atrocities and universal pain.
No matter how brilliant the “method” may be, it is bound for failure without direction from God. So the first rule is to ask God daily in Jesus’ name to preserve from error and guide into the truth for His glory. That has to be a daily prayer. To pray in Jesus’ name is not tagging the phrase at the end of a begging session. One’s spirit must genuinely crave the glory of God and the glory of Jesus, giving that motive to God for His action. Jesus taught us, “Father, hallowed be Your Name, Your kingdom come. Your will be done.” That is prayer for God’s glory. Without this genuine, compelling motive, error is inevitable. I could spend an hour here.
Then after prayer for God’s glory, please don’t jump to conclusions. Question all the various interpretations and translations including mine today. Don’t be afraid to think “out of the box” if reason and Scripture require it. With these foundations, a “diligent searcher” will begin to see the beauty, symmetry and eloquence of this critical chapter of the word of God.
Okay, so let’s investigate the methodology used to interpret Genesis which I promised, with focus on the big four great origins statements.
To discern the contextual restraints which the LOVE procedure discovers, one must first grasp the literal overview of the entire thought division or in this case chapter one. The King James Version rendered verse two as, “The earth was without form and void (tohu wabohu) and darkness was on the face of the deep.” What can we learn from a literal overview of this chapter? Here I have chosen the subtraction method because Bible believers all agree that the earth was complete and perfect after day six
so we just reverse the process day by day to see how things were at verse two, just before day one. It is illuminating, and this overview in reverse forbids certain popular translations from consideration.
Subtracting the work of day six we lose Adam and the land animals, but the planet earth is still fully formed and perfect. Day five subtracts the birds and fish but the planet is unchanged. Subtract day four and we only lose visibility of the celestial bodies “in the expanse of air.” But again the planet earth remains fully formed. Subtract day three and the vegetation is gone and the land sinks below the ocean surface. But again, the planet itself remains fully formed. Subtract day two and the air is lost with its oxygen and nitrogen, so the atmosphere returns to a watery, translucent mist. The hydrologic water cycle no longer waters the earth, although the first day light is allowed to penetrate “on the surface of the ocean” but planet earth is unchanged. Now subtract the work of day one and we will be at the condition depicted as tohu wabohu.
Earth’s atmosphere only becomes totally opaque and we arrive at the condition just before day one.
Notice that the planet is still very much complete and fully formed before the first day dawned. This proves that tohu wabohu should NOT be translated “without form” in verse two. That option, that error has been vetoed by the literal overview using the subtraction method. The planet earth is fully formed and covered by an ocean but in total darkness from a “cloud of thick darkness” as Job 38:9 stipulates. Genesis 1:2 agrees, “darkness was on the surface of the ocean.” The “LOVE” treatment has vetoed “formless, unformed and without form” unequivocally. Please evict those translations forever. By grasping the big picture (rather than the myopic focus on the narrow area of v2 only, isolated from the entire chapter context) the meaning becomes clear. We are compelled to abandon those misleading translations and rather choose “uninhabited” or “deserted,” certainly not “formless.”
But consider: if this error has prevailed for hundreds of years through the minds of many astute and learned experts, how many other errors are promoted by well meaning but mistaken expositors and translators? It’s a fair question and there are several. Only God knows how long the “cloud of thick darkness” prevailed over the “surface of the ocean” before He allowed light through and day one emerged.
Does it take a Ph.D. in Hebrew to determine this? Not at all. A child reading Genesis one in Swahili or Chinese or Egyptian hieroglyphics or the original Hebrew can determine this simple conclusion. Yes, a child could do that! Some scriptures are figurative but Genesis one is easily understood literally.
WHAT ABOUT DAY FOUR – GENESIS1:16 ?
Abridged from chapter two of Genesis Chapter One: Scientifically Accurate and Surprisingly Simple
Okay, so what about v 16, a “proof text” along with Exodus 20:11 for Young Earth Creationists (YEC)? Sadly, theistic evolutionists (TE) and progressive creationists (PC) mostly ignore or explain away these texts. Again, we must use the LOVE procedure. We must get the “literal overview” of this thought division or chapter combined with multiple contextual limiters derived from that overview. If we do that carefully, using the complete context for limits, what we learn is that, on each and every day of the six day work, without exception, the procedure always follows this sequence: First, God decides to do something, “Let there be”, or “Let us make.” Second, He does what He decided to do, “It was so,” or He describes the doing of it and thirdly, He delights in what He has done, “It was good.” Each and every one of the creation days follows this pattern. Please check that pattern out for each day.
God said, 1) “Let there be light and 2) there was light and 3) God saw that it was good” (day one). 1) “Let there be an expanse, 2) God created the expanse and called it ‘Air’” on day two. So it continues through all the days of creation. But because the air was not completed after day two, He did not pronounce 3) “it was good” (on that day only) until it was completed at day four. That has to be significant. So in order to interpret critical verses 16 to 19, we must first be careful to note precisely what God decided to do in v14, because what He decided to do is what He actually did, no more and no less. That’s what a careful overview discovers. So as to day four, here is the record of what God decided to do:
Verse 14 “Let there be lights in the expanse of air (the raquia shamayim) to divide the day from the night and let them be for signs and for seasons and for days and for years. And let them be for lights in the raquia shamayim, the expanse of air, to give light upon the earth. And it was so.” The raquia shamayim is specified in verse 20 as the place where birds fly which can only be air. The expression, raquia shamayim, always, without exception, means the “expanse of air.” Also verse 8 the hydrologic water cycle is created and suspended by the air, and it remains so today. This should be unequivocal also.
Each of the six day’s activities confirms the universal, daily sequence of Decide, Do and Delight. The literal overview discovers this unmistakable pattern on each and every day.
So is it clear to everyone what God decided to do on the fourth day? When that is clear, we can examine verses 16 to 19 for an account of what He actually “did.” The lights were “displayed” (nathan) in the “expanse of air.” Joel chapter 2 verse 30 in the NASB reads, “I will display (same word nathan) wonders in sky and on the earth, blood, fire and columns of smoke. The sun shall be turned into darkness and the moon into blood, before the great and awesome Day of the LORD comes.”
The Hebrew verb which most translators render as “made” is asah which is the “do” word of Hebrew. To translate it “made” here is a misleading translation because many readers think of “made” as “create” and that is simply not so here. To think of v 16 as creation of the galaxies is to accuse God of choosing the weakest possible verb in Hebrew and a very general type word to express “create.” In verse one, bara“create” is NOT interchangeable with asah, not at all interchangeable as some try to imagine. Asah almost always means do, did, or done. We call those “helper verbs” in English classes for their plethora of uses. If I should say to an employee, “I gave you a list of seventeen things to do. Did you do them?” He answers, “Yes, I did.” Those two and three letter helper verbs, cover seventeen activities four times over in three sentences.
Asah is the Hebrew equivalent of English “do.”
Hence, the preferred translation of verse 16 is, “Thus God accomplished (or completed, produced, brought forth, prepared, worked, did) two great luminaries, the greater luminary to dominate the day and the lesser luminary and the stars to dominate the night. And God displayed them in the expanse of air to give light on the earth…” These are all commonly translated options for asah by Hebrew experts except for “completed,” which fits the context well, but I have no example from the scholars.
God did not make the sun, moon and stars on day four, but He displayed them, He showed them, He gave them (nathan) in the expanse of air, for signs, seasons, days and years and to give light on the earth, exactly according to the terms of the decide announcement of verse 14. Because the literal overview gives a pattern for each day’s activity and day four fits that pattern comfortably, it forcibly removes the translation of asah as “made” but allows “accomplished” or “brought forth” or “arranged” or “completed” or “produced” or “did” two great lights and the stars in the expanse of air. I repeat for emphasis, Joel 2:30 in the NASB reads, “I will display wonders in sky and on the earth, blood, fire and columns of smoke. The sun shall be turned into darkness and the moon into blood, before the great and awesome Day of the LORD comes.” He uses the same word nathan and he is dealing with the very same celestial objects.
I repeat again for emphasis, God did NOT make the sun, moon and stars on day four. He did that probably long before the first day, but He displayed them in the expanse of air on day four. In Joel 2:30, he is talking about the same things as the work of day four, namely displaying signs in the expanse of air. There is much more to consider here, please get the book.
One well meaning friend said to me in strong language, “My Bible says God made the sun, moon and stars on day four” with the idea of God said it, I believe it, and that settles it. No, God did NOT say it that way, not at all.
DID GOD MAKE THE STARS AND PLANET EARTH IN SIX DAYS?
Abridged from chapter two of Genesis Chapter One, Scientifically Accurate and Surprisingly Simple
Now for Exodus 20:11 and 31:17. NASB renders it, “For in six days, the LORD made the heavens and the earth, the sea and all that is in them, and rested on the seventh day.” I say that is another misleading translation.
In only one area in the entire Bible did the Holy Spirit ever define the meaning of His chosen words. That is right here in Genesis one where he defines five items: day, night, air, earth, and sea, all essential elements of the biosphere. Verse 8 reads, “God called the expanse ‘air’.” To render it “heaven” once again is terribly misleading in Genesis 1:8, 1:14, 1:20 and also Exodus 20:11. NIV renders it “sky” in Genesis which is a little bit closer (although not much). “Sky” is still not clear enough. If birds fly in it, then it is “air,” not heaven or sky. There was no creation of heavens during the six day work—none whatever, it is all biosphere work. He created the stellar heavens and planet earth in verse one, as plainly as words can be spoken, before a first day, was even possible. The six days, every one of them, without exception, record work on the air, or the land, or on the sea, or on all that is in the air, the land or the sea, that is, biological life and the home for biological life. The stellar heavens were created before the first day was even possible because a cloud of thick darkness surrounded an ocean-covered-earth like a blanket and swaddling clothes surround a newborn (Job 38:1-10). How long before? It is not defined.
On day one, God thinned that atmosphere to translucence and on day four God cleared the translucent “air” to transparency, a simple, logical, inescapable necessity. The context for Exodus 20:11 is unmistakably the six days of Genesis which God specifically references. Therefore it is imperative that we use the definition of shamayim that God clearly supplied for us in Genesis 1:8, 14 and 20. The only place in the Bible where God defines ANY word meanings, he defines shamayim as “air” which upholds the “waters above” and where birds fly.
Yes, it is unfortunate that translators seem to be afraid to use “air” but that is irrational, in my opinion, although the New Century Version, to its credit, does use “air” as one option for shamayim in this chapter. Unless God is referring specifically to the hosts of heaven or the stars, it fits best to render shamayim as “air.’ I do not have time to defend it further right now, but get the book, please.
The preposition “in” simply does not belong there. “For in six days…” Please throw that translation away as far as you can throw it. It just adds further confusion and is not in the Hebrew text. The context is unmistakably “work” and “labor” in Exodus 20:11 “Six days shall you labor and do all your work…then rest on the Sabbath day, because for six days Yahweh worked on the air, the land and the sea (and all that is in the air, land and sea) then God rested on the seventh day.” – – – He is talking about the biosphere of living things which God worked on for six days and then rested on the seventh day.”
Go through Genesis chapter one again, day by day, in a literal overview and you will agree that every day’s activity had to do with, air, land or sea, or all that is in the air, the land and the sea, that is, the biological world, the biosphere. Nowhere, in the six day work, does God work on the heaven of stars. God created the galaxies and planet earth before, and perhaps thousands or millions or billions of years before a “first day” was even possible. The time is undefined. On day four He worked on the expanse of air which was already translucent to allow the first day, then, necessarily, He had to make the air transparent so the stars could function for signs, seasons, days and years on the fourth day. God did not make the sun and stars on day four. He cleared the “expanse of air” to allow visible display of signs, seasons, days and years on day four.
If we take all three of these expositions together, that is, the subtraction method for determining tohu wabohu of v 2, which is an overview in reverse, then if we take the “Decide, Do and Delight” method for determining the work of day four which, again, comes from examining that thought division in an overview, and finally, the determination of the meaning of Exodus 20:11, all using the literal overview principle, coupled with contextual restraints, one concludes that the LOVE treatment is, indeed, a methodology worthy of application to this basic chapter of the Bible.
Does one need a Ph.D. in Hebrew grammar to conclude these things? No, certainly not. This method works in any language translation. A technical knowledge of Hebrew grammar is always welcome, but any child can use the logic and power of the L-O-V-E method to determine these conclusions and, by the way, Hebrew experts would do well to add this methodology to their studies of grammar and syntax in this chapter.
This interpretation solves all of creationist’s problems. Light from distant galaxies is no problem. God made the galaxies in the beginning, undefined in time. Isotope dating of magmatic intrusions in recent geologic dikes and sills is no problem. The magma is as old as the earth and many of its isotope crystals survive the magma phase at intrusion.
Young Earth Creationism (YEC) is right on, when referring to flood geology, and a recent, literal, six-day creation in Genesis. But we have very big problems when we limit the age of the universe and planet earth to only thousands of years and we destroy God’s way of helping us to glimpse His eternal nature. The timeless immensity of the universe helps us understand the attributes of God. Rather choose the Young Biosphere Creation view (YBC) because everything fits comfortably with no problems remaining and no detraction from God’s eternal nature. What a shameful offense to God to nullify His purpose for the anciently created universe by misreading Genesis.
YEC people have much important scientific truth to help us but it is marred with untruth of a serious nature. Since Satan hates God intensely and promotes evolution and atheism, one cannot dismiss Satan’s part in creating these false translations which have misled many. He is the liar who first thought up this deception.
MARK 10 – MARRIAGE OF ADAM AND EVE
“THE BEGINNING OF CREATION”
Abridged from chapter two of Genesis Chapter One: Scientifically Accurate and Surprisingly Simple
Some have thought that the New Testament reference to the marriage of Adam and Eve at the “beginning of creation” (Mark 10:2-9) forces the creation of the stellar heavens into the same time zone as the creation of the first parents. This deduction is predicated on the assumption that no time elapsed before day one.
We notice many “beginnings” in the Bible. “That which you heard from the beginning” (I John 1:1), and “carefully investigated from the beginning,” (Luke 1:2) speak of two different beginnings: the beginning of Jesus’ birth and the beginning of His ministry. Wisdom says, “I was appointed from eternity, from the beginning, before the world began” (Proverbs 8:22). Again, two beginnings, one well before the other. Nothing in Jesus’ statement indicates a young planet earth. Adam’s beginning was the beginning of man’s creation, not the absolute beginning of the stars. Regarding marriage, it suits Jesus’ purpose perfectly that Adam and Eve represent the “beginning of creation.” This is the position they hold with respect to the human race. The secondary implication about creation must be within the boundary of the primary context and the purpose of Jesus’ words. The creation of the solar system and the rest of the stellar wonders have no bearing on divorce.
Using the illustration of the Jews rebuilding the temple, one could say, “For in four years the temple was built,” (or “made” if you prefer). But the foundation waited for sixteen years before anything rose on it. Ezra 3 records, “(In 536 BC) Zerubbabel, Joshua and the rest began the work” on the temple. Then, a sixteen-year delay took place until Haggai prophesied. The same people then “began to work on the house of the Lord” (Haggai 1:13-15 NIV). Two beginnings occur in the work on the same temple. The “beginning” of the temple building occurred long after the absolute beginning of the temple foundation, just as the beginning of Adam came long after the galaxies. Today, if we refer to the “beginning of Zerubbabel’s temple,” we would more logically imply 519 BC than 536 BC, although either is correct. The temple builders in fact began building twice as the NIV indicates.
References to “prophets, which have been since the world began” or “the blood of the prophets shed from the foundation of the world” are easily explained in the same way. Of course, the six days of work on the planet earth represent the beginning or foundation of the world. Peter speaks of the “world (kosmos) that perished.” However, we should not think that the universe has perished. A pre-Flood “world” perished, and it had a beginning—a foundation, which was the foundation or beginning of that world. There was a “world that perished” (II Peter 3:6). Actually, one can safely assert that a creation perished, beginning with the third-day land formations—for the atmosphere did not perish in the Flood, nor did light perish from days one and two. If a world perished, then a creation perished, but in no case has the universe perished. Therefore, the phrases, “the foundation of the world” or “the beginning of creation” do not refer to the absolute beginning of the universe in these passages.
The references in Luke 1:70 and Acts 3:21 use the word aion or “age.” Zechariah refers to “Prophets which have been since the age began,” that is, since the creation of men. “Blood of all the prophets shed from the foundation of the world” kosmos (Luke 11:50) is an accurate statement no matter how far one goes back in history, but the statement refers to Abel, shortly after the creation of man. Divorce was not allowed from the beginning of creation. That is factually true, no matter how far one goes back in pre-earth history, but also, refers to the creation of Eve—not creation of the cosmos. Scriptures which include phrases like “from the beginning of the world” have to be taken in the context of the particular beginning which is in view in that verse, (and there are many) not necessarily the beginning of everything.
God made an unfathomably immense creation to illustrate His own infinite presence and power. He also made an unfathomably ancient origin of the stars. For us to reduce it to 6000 years, cancels His purpose to illustrate His eternal nature. The young universe error destroys that awesome illustration of God’s eternal nature. What an offense to God to cancel His design to illustrate His eternal nature by limiting the universe age to a few thousand years.
This completes the epitome of the scriptural arguments proving the young biosphere view of Genesis which is preferred over theistic evolution, progressive creation or the young earth view. The planet earth and the stellar heavens are undefined in age, but the six days creation of living things and the home for living things is defined by genealogies as less than 8000 years ago.
ANSWERING MAN’S MOST PERPLEXING PROBLEM
I must say that seeing God, using evil to perfect His people and to demonstrate His glory has been just awesome for me to grasp. All men, including evil men, have a sense of morality, proof we were originally made in the image of God. A tiny glimpse into the purpose of God, using evil to ultimately bless redeemed men and holy angels is breathtaking. I see the glory of God in ways impossible without a fallen world with its horrible atrocities. God does speak to men in special circumstances but He is deliberately silent generally. That is chapter six in this book. Genesis one in the Bible, and the chapters following, simply glow with God’s glory, the wonder of Redemption and hope for sinners.
You may purchase this complete book through the store page here.
Contents of The Genesis Fortress
The Landscape of Belief Systems
Genesis 1:1 to 2:4 Author’s Preferred Translation
Chapter One Subtraction Method and Three Heavens
Chapter Two Did God Make the Universe on Day four?
Chapter Three Evolution: Unworthy of the Term Science
Chapter Four Global Flood Geology In A Nutshell
Chapter Five Genesis 1 Has A Subliminal Message
Chapter Six Why a Silent God Allows Evil and Suffering
Appendix A The Road To Spiritual Power
Appendix B A Major Cause of Faulty Interpretation
Appendix C Chaos in Creationism
Appendix D Cosmological Musings about Genesis One
Appendix E Where To Go For Science Questions
Appendix F II Peter 3:5 Clarified
Appendix G Objections Answered
Appendix H TBA
Appendix I Creation of Life Impossible by Evolution
Amazon Critical Reviews
About Cover Photo
Index of Scripture References
About the Author and a Tribute To My Mother
Evolution theory will never be overthrown if we Bible believers insist that somehow Genesis can be imagined to agree with progressive creation or theistic evolution, or if we insist that the universe and planet earth are of a young age. All these are mistaken ideas which men have imposed upon Scripture. The literal Bible demands a young biosphere created in six literal days less than 8000 years ago. But the universe was created long before “days” were even possible. Light from distant galaxies and isotope dating problems are solved. This very important booklet in your hands provides the only satisfactory harmony of demonstrable science and the literal Bible.
For biblical proof of the young biosphere view of Genesis see The Age of the Universe What Are the Biblical Limits? Chapter one.