The media is currently trending articles on the Bible, thanks in part to The Bible miniseries showing on the History Channel every Sunday evening during March. Bill O’Reilly is another media figure who mentions the Bible often since he is writing a book entitled Killing Jesus. O’Reilly believes much of the Bible is allegory and should not be understood literally. On his March 6 program he debated the topic with Robert Jeffress, pastor of First Baptist Church of Dallas. Rev. Jeffress said Bible stories like Creation and Jonah being swallowed by a great fish can be taken literally, because Jesus referred to them as historical events. The Global Dispatch reporter Laura Jones believes Rev. Jeffress won the debate according to her post on March 10.
However Jeffress did not defend a literal view of the age of the earth. He stated that Creation could have occurred billions of years ago, as evolutionists claim, rather than 8,000 – 12,000 thousand years ago, which can be derived from a literal view of the given ages of Bible people.
As Taylorsville’s Biblical Truths Examiner, I affirm that the Bible does contain allegories, especially in prophetic passages like in The Revelation, but when it names people, there is no reason to assume they were not literal historical people doing what the Bible says they did. Dr. David L. Cooper stated the “Golden Rule of Bible Interpretation” by saying, “When the plain sense of Scripture makes common sense, seek no other sense.” Seek a figurative meaning only when the context (of the original author not of the modern interpreter) demands such a meaning.
Thus to the question of whether God created the whole universe in six literal days, this writer would ask if God could do that? Yes, the Bible shows that God is all-powerful and sovereign enough to create everything in six days by merely speaking it into existence.
To the question of the age of the earth, this writer points to the age of Adam and Eve when God created them. They began as mature adults capable of procreating, because that’s the command God gave to them. “Be fruitful and multiply and fill up the earth” (Genesis 1:28). If God created mature people, it takes no literary acrobatics to conclude that He also created reproductively mature animals (see Genesis 1:22), a mature earth with minerals and chemical elements already present (see Genesis 2:10-12); mature stars with their light already visible on earth, and mature vegetation with fruit already available to eat (see Genesis 1:29-30).
And as for two of every animal species on the ark, we don’t need to assume they were full grown animals. He could have taken recently weaned male and female elephants for example. The dimensions of the ark as given in Genesis 6:14-16 show it had the capacity of 522 railroad box cars, and it had three levels. The lower deck, being under the level of the water, would have been dark and cool. Perhaps the hibernating animals slept there for most of the year-long ride. Also animals did not fear humans and humans did not eat animals until after the flood (see Genesis 9:1-3). Therefore the animals on the ark were not wild as they are today.
This may be a generalization, but people who don’t trust the Bible to say what it says tend to either have a theology that is too small or a humanistic view too large. Every detail of the Bible was put there by the consummate Author. He didn’t tell us everything we’d like to know, but He told us everything we need to know so that we can have a real (as in literal) and everlasting relationship with Him. To hear Dave Wyrtzen present the whole Bible in less than an hour, go to Truth Encounter and click on Resources. To view a 30-minute slide show that presents the unified theme of the Bible, go to God’s Message of Hope, done by Steve Spacek.
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