Bible Lecture Two
In addition to the lecture notes, you should read Genesis chapter 1 through 9, which cover the most important topics relating to the creation of the world. These include the Creation itself, the life of Adam & Eve (both in the Garden of Eden and afterward), the story of Cain and Abel, and the story of Noah's ark and the flood.
God creates the world
The first book of the Bible, Genesis, deals with the first few thousand years of human history, starting right at the beginning - with the creation of universe. Unlike evolutionist theories, the Bible presents a clear and logical picture of how the world was created in the very first chapter. You should read all of Genesis chapters 1 & 2 if you haven't done so already. The first thing that God creates, on day 1, is light. In the beginning it was dark. This explains why in Jewish tradition, each "day" actually starts at sundown. God took six days to create the world, and the Bible focuses specifically on the things He created on Earth. His final creation, molded in His own image, was man, in the form of Adam. On the seventh day, God rested. Historically, only one day a week was allotted for rest, but in modern times we have two (the weekend). Still, the Judeo-Christian culture reserves one special day for rest and praise for God. In Judaism, it's the Sabbath - Saturday. In Christianity, it's Sunday, when pious people rest, go to church, and honor God. All these traditions stem from the Bible itself. A quick summary of the order of creation is: Day 1: light; Day 2: sky & oceans; Day 3: Land and vegetation; Day 4: Sun & Moon Day 5: Sea and air animals; Day 6: Land animals and man.
Adam & Eve
The first person created by God was Adam. God literally breathed life into him. Adam means "man" in Hebrew. God placed Adam in a lush garden (the Garden of Eden), and created animals and plants for the man to eat. In order for the man not to be alone, God created a woman: Eve. She was created out of Adam's ribs. Note how the Bible says that God put Adam in a "deep sleep" before performing the rib extraction. This could be considered Biblical scientific foreknowledge of the advent of anesthesia for surgeries. Furthermore, note how God created a woman to be man's companion - not another man. This is the first of many biblical passages that confirm heterosexual marriage is the only kind supported by God. God gave Adam and Eve free will to do whatever they want - except for one thing: they were not allowed to eat from the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil. However, an evil serpent - a manifestation of the Devil - tempted Eve into eating from the forbidden tree. Not only did she eat, but she also gave the fruit to Adam. This disobedience angered God, and he banished Adam and Eve from the Garden. However, note that the benevolent God was quite forgiving - he didn't kill Adam and Eve (as he originally indicated he would do if they ate from the tree), but rather let them live. Adam & Eve continued to live for hundreds of years more. Their most famous children are Cain and Able, but did you know they had two more? A careful reading of the Bible reveals they had another son, Seth, and a fourth, unnamed child.
Ever since Adam and Eve's original sin, men became more and more sinful. Eventually, God decided that maybe he should wipe out all of humanity for being disobedient to him. God decided to do so by flooding the planet. However, he recognized that Noah and his family where righteous, so they were chosen to be saved. God instructed Noah how to build a ship - an ark - that would let them survive the deluge. In addition to Noah's family, the ark was to contain animals as well. It is commonly said that Noah brought two of each animal (a male and a female), but this is not entirely true! A careful reading of Genesis (chapter 6-9) reveals that God instructed Noah to bring a pair of all the "unclean" animals, but seven pairs of the "clean" animals. The cleanliness restrictions are also included in the Bible (see if you can find the passages!) and relate to the hygiene of various animals. Jews to this day follow dietary laws that relate to the cleanliness of animals (although for Christians these laws were abolished in the New Testament - see Acts chapter 10). Noah followed God's instructions and built the ark and populated it with the animals. The flood came and covered the whole Earth, but everyone on the ark was able to survive for 40 days, until the waters subsided. The ark landed on Mount Ararat, a mountain in modern-day Turkey. That reference is one of the ways we know the story is historically plausible. Furthermore, the story of the flood can be read in the literature of many ancient cultures - not just the Jewish one - for example, the Sumerian Epic of Gilgamesh also contains a flood narrative. Genesis 9:8-17 then details God's special new covenant with mankind. He promises that never again will he try to destroy the Earth with a flood. Furthermore, God noted that rainbows will be the sign of his covenant. Rainbows are one of the beautiful aspects of God-created nature, which are intrinsically beautiful, despite what many atheists may claim.
Creationists vs Evolutionists
The Biblical account of creation has been widely accepted as accurate for centuries, up until 19th century, when the rise of securlarism led to the development of the atheistic "theory of evolution" by Charles Darwin. The theory initially mainly dealt with how various animals and plants "evolved" from one species to another over a period of millions of years, but in the 20th century, it has expanded into other branches, to cover the creation of the universe itself (e.g. the Big Bang theory). The theory is immensely complicated and convoluted, mainly because it's so easy to poke holes in it, and so its followers keep having to come up with new twists to the theory to try to patch them up. Needless to say, the logic of the theory pales in comparison to the Biblical account of creation. Unfortunately, in public schools the teaching of creationism (or, in fact, teaching of anything other than evolution with respect to the creation of the world) is forbidden. Homeschooling is trying to combat this trend. Despite its popularity among progressives, the theory of evolution is just that - a theory - even its most stringent adherents will admit to that - it's a theory, not a fact. They are forced to admit this because nobody can provide a shred of evidence that proves evolution is accurate and correct, which is why creationists tend to win creationism vs. evolution debates. You should consult Conservapedia's vast resources on these topics to learn more. Start with the creationism and evolution articles, and follow the links from there, making sure to read Counterexamples to evolution along the way.
1. Why do you think the serpent tried to tempt Eve, as opposed to Adam?
2. Why do you think God sometimes refers to Himself in the plural (e.g. "us") in Genesis? (Hint: Could the Old Testament be foreshadowing something here?)
3. List one absurd and unverifiable claim that evolutionists make about the creation of the world.
4. The rivers mentioned in the story of Adam & Eve suggest that the Garden of Eden was in what region of the world?
5. Early humans lived very long (for example, Adam lived 930 years). What passage in Genesis limits the current human lifespan to 120 years?
Conservapedia contains many great satirical pieces about the fallacies of evolution (and humor is indeed a Christian concept - the Gospels contain many early example of humor). Can you create your own satirical article to add to this list? Alternatively, you can contribute an article to Conservapedia's Richard Dawkins project.
Please post your answers here.