BILLIONS of people have read or heard what the Bible says about the beginning of the universe. The 3,500-year-old account starts with the well-known statement: “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.”
Many people, however, are unaware of the fact that Christendom’s leaders, including so-called creationists and fundamentalists, have spun the Bible account of creation into numerous tales that deviate from what the Bible really says. These interpretations fly in the face of scientific fact. Even though those tales are not found in the Bible, they have caused some people to dismiss the Bible account as mythical allegory.
The real Bible story of creation has gone largely unnoticed. This is a shame, for the Bible actually presents a very logical and credible explanation of the beginning of the universe. What is more, that explanation harmonizes with scientific discovery. Yes, you might be pleasantly surprised by the Bible’s untold story of creation!
THE UNCREATED CREATOR
The Bible account of creation hinges on the fact that there is a Supreme Being, Almighty God, who created all things. Who is he, and what is his nature? The Bible reveals that he is quite different from the deities found in popular culture and mainstream religion. He is the Creator of all things, but most people know very little about him.
God is a person, an individual. He is not a vague force devoid of personality, floating aimlessly throughout the universe. He has thoughts, feelings, and goals.
God has infinite power and wisdom. This explains the complex design found everywhere in creation, especially in living things.
God created all physical matter. Hence, he cannot be made of physical elements that he himself has created. Rather, he is of a spiritual, or nonphysical, nature.
God’s existence is not limited by time. He has always existed and will always exist. Hence, no one created him.
God has a personal name, which is used thousands of times in the Bible. That name is Jehovah.
Jehovah God loves and cares for humans.
HOW LONG DID GOD TAKE TO CREATE THE UNIVERSE?
The Bible states that God created “the heavens and the earth.” This broad statement, however, makes no reference to the length of time involved in creating the universe or to the methods he used to shape it. What about the widespread creationist belief that God created the universe in six literal 24-hour days? This concept, widely rejected by scientists, is based on a gross misunderstanding of the Bible account. Consider what the Bible really says.
The Bible does not support fundamentalists and creationists who claim that the creative days were literal 24-hour days.
The Bible frequently uses the term “day” to designate various periods of time. In some cases these periods are of an unspecified length. The account of creation found in the Bible book of Genesis is one example of this.
In the Bible account, each of the six creative days could have lasted for thousands of years.
God had already created the universe, including a lifeless planet Earth, by the time the first creative day began.
Evidently the six creative days were long periods during which Jehovah God prepared the earth for human habitation.
The Bible account of creation does not conflict with scientific conclusions about the age of the universe.
DID GOD USE EVOLUTION?
Many who do not believe in the Bible embrace the theory that living things emerged from lifeless chemicals through unknown and mindless processes. Supposedly, at some point a bacteria-like, self-replicating organism arose, gradually branching out into all the species that exist today. This would imply that ultimately the mind-bogglingly complex human actually evolved from bacteria.
The theory of evolution is also embraced by many who claim to accept the Bible as the word of God. They believe that God produced the first burst of life on earth but then simply monitored, and perhaps steered, the process of evolution. That, however, is not what the Bible says.
According to the Bible, Jehovah God created all the basic kinds of plant and animal life, as well as a perfect man and woman who were capable of self-awareness, love, wisdom, and justice.
The kinds of animals and plants created by God have obviously undergone changes and have produced variations within the kinds. In many cases, the resulting life-forms are remarkably different from one another.
The Bible account of creation does not conflict with the scientific observation that variations occur within a kind.
A CREATOR PERCEIVED IN CREATION
In the mid-1800’s, British biologist Alfred Russel Wallace agreed with Charles Darwin on the theory of evolution by natural selection. But even this renowned evolutionist is said to have stated: “For those who have eyes to see and minds accustomed to reflect, in the minutest cells, in the blood, in the whole earth, and throughout the stellar universe . . . , there is intelligent and conscious direction; in a word, there is Mind.”
Almost two thousand years before Wallace, the Bible had already observed: “For [God’s] invisible qualities are clearly seen from the world’s creation onward, because they are perceived by the things made, even his eternal power and Godship.” (Romans 1:20) From time to time, you might want to take a moment to reflect on the marvelous complexities found in nature—from a single blade of grass to the countless heavenly bodies. By examining creation you can perceive the Creator.
‘But if there is a loving God who created all things,’ you may ask, ‘why would he permit suffering? Has he abandoned his earthly creation? What does the future hold?’ The Bible contains many other untold stories—truths that have been buried under human ideas and religious agendas and, therefore, hidden from most people. The publishers of this magazine, Jehovah’s Witnesses, would be happy to help you examine unadulterated Bible truth and learn more about the Creator and the future of his human creation.