Should We Interpret Genesis Literally? |

TBC Staff

The theistic evolutionist [asserts] that the early chapters of Genesis cannot be taken literally. This is an arbitrary, ad hoc assumption, contrary to the plain reading of these Scriptures, and taken only so that the theory of evolution may be made acceptable.

The language in Genesis, however, is that used to set forth simple historical truths. It is neither allegorical nor poetical.

The theistic evolutionist, biblically, has placed himself in an untenable position. How does one decide which portions of the Bible should be taken literally and which should be brushed aside as devoid of historical and scientific significance? The Virgin birth of Jesus Christ, the raising of Lazarus from the dead, the changing of water into wine all were miraculous events. None can be explained biologically. All involved instantaneous acts of divine creation.

Did these events literally take place as described, or, as some liberal theologians assert, may we assume rather that these passages of Scripture were given only to establish certain spiritual truths? Some even question whether Christ literally rose from the dead.

Are individual Christians at liberty to pick and choose which portions of Scripture describe real events and to which portions may be ascribed only spiritual significance? Some verses at the end of John 5 are pertinent for the Christian who does not take Genesis literally. The Lord Jesus says here: ‘For had ye believed Moses, ye would have believed me: for he wrote of me. But if ye believe not his writings, how shall ye believe my words?’ (John:5:46,47).

When the Pharisees asked Jesus about divorce (Mark 10), He replied: ‘But from the beginning of the creation God made them male and female’ (Mark:10:6).

He then quoted Genesis:2:24. He did not say ‘But many billions of years after the beginning of creation, God gradually changed primates into humans’. In Luke:11:50,51, Jesus speaks of ‘the blood of all the prophets, which was shed from the foundation of the world … from the blood of Abel’. Abel was the son of Adam and Eve at the foundation of the world! Since the Lord Jesus Christ accepted the early chapters of Genesis as literal, the Christian who is an evolutionist finds himself in disagreement with his Creator/Saviour. Is the servant wiser than his Lord?

--Duane Gish (February 17, 1921 – March 5, 2013, American biochemist and a prominent creationist)