Summary: The purpose of this study is to strengthen your faith by understanding these Genesis passages that are often accused of being contradictory.
Genesis Controversies and Contradictions
Before we depart from the origin stories in Genesis, I believe it is necessary to address common questions and misunderstandings of this portion of the Bible. The book of Genesis is the most attacked book in the Old Testament if not the most attacked book in the Bible.
It is understandable that the beginning would be the focal point of critics. This is a foundational book and if it falls, so does Christianity. If Genesis is a myth or just a moral story, Christianity cannot stand. If we did not inherit sin from Adam, then we can’t all have an inherent sin nature and there is no need for a redeemer. If God did not create the family and ordain marriage, then our sense of morality is unfounded. Jesus used the union of Adam and Eve as the evidence of God’s purpose in creating human relationships, therefore, if this did not exist, Jesus was in error and His purpose and teachings are founded upon error. Every foundational issue of Christianity originates at the book of Genesis; values, morality, humanity and God’s plan of redemption. If Genesis is false, the Christian faith is built without a foundation. Then the skeptics would be right in their often declared questions, “Who are Christians to say what is right and what is wrong”. “Who are you to say Jesus is the only way to Heaven?”
The New Testament is founded upon the book of Genesis. There is a reason why the world is relentless in its determination to discredit the Bible’s claim of the beginning. If we acknowledge that God created man in His own image, then we are forced to acknowledge that God has a right to hold us accountable for how we reflect the image of the God who created us. There are many ways that critics attempt to discredit the Genesis account. Suppression of evidence is the primary tactic, but scripture is also attacked by false evidence, claims of contradictions and intimidation.
The Genesis account is rich with verifiable history, though we have to dig a little deeper to see the cohesiveness of this account. Obviously there is no way I can address every single question and remove every source of doubt. That is not my goal. My goal is to make those who refuse to believe swallow a camel while they are straining at gnats. A couple of years ago I was struggling with doubt as well. I my personal experience with Christ was unshakeable, but the constant barrage of negative attacks against the Bible left me without a feeling of confidence. I believe this is normal and even healthy if addressed in a healthy way. Many Christians will say that we shouldn’t question the Bible but have faith that it is accurate in every way. Whether this is a valid position to take, I don’t know. But I do know that I can’t take this position. How can I have confidence in God and His word if I feel like I am denying reality? What happens when I grow tired of pretending that everything is ok? Living a Christ-centered lifestyle is a hard enough challenge without adding the burden of doubt on top of it and then beating myself with guilt over my feelings of doubt. I believe there is a misunderstanding of what faith means. Samuel Clemens (AKA Mark Twain) once said, “Faith is believing something you know isn’t true”. I don’t know about you, but I can’t live under that kind of pressure. My Bible says that God is not the author of confusion. To try to marry false information with faith is nothing but confusion. What started my seeking was seeing an atheists rattle off a list of so-called facts that dispute the Bible and seeing a Christian respond by saying, “Are you going to believe the facts, or are you going to believe God?”