This chapter reexamines the creation accounts in Genesis 1 and 2 and their implications for the creation-evolution controversy. My purpose is twofold. First, I wish to offer help to those who struggle with the conflict between their commitment to the Biblical text and their desire to live with intellectual integrity in the age of science. My method will center on a Hebrew reading of these accounts of origin that never claimed to tell us “how creation happened.”
Millions of Christians hold to the belief that in the opening verses of the Bible one can read a step-by-step report of how the universe was created. In this chapter I show on evidence from the text itself that such a reading has never been the objective of Genesis 1. This claim may surprise, even scandalize, some of my readers, while others may breathe a sigh of relief, as it releases them from an almost unbearable inner conflict as they seek to be faithful to the scriptures while living with intellectual integrity in the age of science.
After all, God does not reveal by means of systematic knowledge but enters human history and accompanies his people. That is why the Hebrew Bible is not a set of abstract (scientific) truths—in this case about the creation—but a series of stories of the history of God and his people. It is the history of God’s loyalty and of Israel’s disobedience, and thus a historical testimony that God is for us.
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