If The Foundations Are Destroyed, What Can The Righteous Do?

The first 11 chapters of Genesis are foundational to the history of redemption and God’s plan of salvation. Unfortunately, there is a growing number of believers who are very concerned that Christians not look foolish in the eyes of unbelievers, especially those in the scientific community. They suggest that the beginning chapters of Genesis are parabolic or even mythological. The creation account is not to be taken literally, but is rather a figurative framework. Pivotal figures like Adam are probably representative or typical, not historical. We’re assured that they are meant to convey a useful lesson or message and need not be literal or historical.

There are a few glaring problems with this approach to Genesis. The parabolic view undermines the veracity of the Bible and even the need for redemption. If Adam was a myth, so was the Fall. The central theme of Scripture, namely redemption, is also a myth. Christ’s advent and death were all for nought. Scripture is simply mistaken about the source of sin and death. The remedy provided by Jesus is unnecessary.  The reliability of Scripture and the history of redemption come tumbling down like a house of cards.

If these things were not disturbing enough in the way that they completely destroy the very foundations of the Christian Faith, we see Biblical figures, including Jesus himself, treating the themes and persons of the first 11 chapters of Genesis as very real indeed. How can this be? Luke, for example, traces Jesus’ lineage back to Adam. The Apostle Paul tells us that sin entered the world through one man and that in Adam all die. Something as peripheral as the reason for not allowing women to teach and have authority over men in the Church is traced directly back to the priority of Adam’s creation and the deception of Eve by the Serpent. Jesus points to Adam and Eve becoming one flesh in his defense of God’s original intention for marriage. He tells the Pharisees that Abraham rejoiced to see His day. Jesus, Peter and the writer of the epistle to the Hebrews mention Noah and the flood as real history.

Treating any of these Biblical characters as mythological produces a destructive domino effect that runs straight through the Bible from beginning to end. How could all of these men been so wrong if the persons and events of Genesis have no reality in actual fact? Where was the Holy Spirit while these errors were being disseminated by Apostles, Prophets and various Biblical authors? This also calls into question the deity of Christ. How does the Son of God not know that he is propagating falsehood? How can we now trust the Bible? Did the Fall actually occur? Did Jesus die to redeem us from sin and death? Do I believe in vain? Just watch as the dominos fall. Our myth-making brethren have opened a real Pandora’s box.

Lastly, as I mentioned, the Bible treats the persons and events of the first 11 chapters of Genesis as historical. Below is a list of Scripture references demonstrating this fact.

Adam

(1Ch 1:1)  Adam, Seth, Enosh;

(Hos 6:7)  But like Adam they transgressed the covenant; there they dealt faithlessly with me.

(Luk 3:38)  the son of Enos, the son of Seth, the son of Adam, the son of God.

(Rom 5:14)  Yet death reigned from Adam to Moses, even over those whose sinning was not like the transgression of Adam, who was a type of the one who was to come.

(1Co 15:22)  For as in Adam all die, so also in Christ shall all be made alive.

(1Co 15:45)  Thus it is written, “The first man Adam became a living being”; the last Adam became a life-giving spirit.

(1Ti 2:13)  For Adam was formed first, then Eve;

(1Ti 2:14)  and Adam was not deceived, but the woman was deceived and became a transgressor.

(Jud 1:14)  It was also about these that Enoch, the seventh from Adam, prophesied, saying, “Behold, the Lord comes with ten thousands of his holy ones,

Eve

(2Co 11:3)  But I am afraid that as the serpent deceived Eve by his cunning, your thoughts will be led astray from a sincere and pure devotion to Christ.

(1Ti 2:13)  For Adam was formed first, then Eve;

Abel

(Mat 23:35)  so that on you may come all the righteous blood shed on earth, from the blood of innocent Abel to the blood of Zechariah the son of Barachiah, whom you murdered between the sanctuary and the altar.

(Luk 11:51)  from the blood of Abel to the blood of Zechariah, who perished between the altar and the sanctuary. Yes, I tell you, it will be required of this generation.

(Heb 11:4)  By faith Abel offered to God a more acceptable sacrifice than Cain, through which he was commended as righteous, God commending him by accepting his gifts. And through his faith, though he died, he still speaks.

(Heb 12:24)  and to Jesus, the mediator of a new covenant, and to the sprinkled blood that speaks a better word than the blood of Abel.

Cain

(Heb 11:4)  By faith Abel offered to God a more acceptable sacrifice than Cain, through which he was commended as righteous, God commending him by accepting his gifts. And through his faith, though he died, he still speaks.

(1Jn 3:12)  We should not be like Cain, who was of the evil one and murdered his brother. And why did he murder him? Because his own deeds were evil and his brother’s righteous.

(Jud 1:11)  Woe to them! For they walked in the way of Cain and abandoned themselves for the sake of gain to Balaam’s error and perished in Korah’s rebellion.

Seth

(1Ch 1:1)  Adam, Seth, Enosh;

(Luk 3:38)  the son of Enos, the son of Seth, the son of Adam, the son of God.

Noah

(1Ch 1:4)  Noah, Shem, Ham, and Japheth.

(Isa 54:9)  “This is like the days of Noah to me: as I swore that the waters of Noah should no more go over the earth, so I have sworn that I will not be angry with you, and will not rebuke you.

(Eze 14:14)  even if these three men, Noah, Daniel, and Job, were in it, they would deliver but their own lives by their righteousness, declares the Lord GOD.

(Eze 14:20)  even if Noah, Daniel, and Job were in it, as I live, declares the Lord GOD, they would deliver neither son nor daughter. They would deliver but their own lives by their righteousness.

(Mat 24:37)  For as were the days of Noah, so will be the coming of the Son of Man.

(Mat 24:38)  For as in those days before the flood they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day when Noah entered the ark,

(Luk 3:36)  the son of Cainan, the son of Arphaxad, the son of Shem, the son of Noah, the son of Lamech,

(Luk 17:26)  Just as it was in the days of Noah, so will it be in the days of the Son of Man.

(Luk 17:27)  They were eating and drinking and marrying and being given in marriage, until the day when Noah entered the ark, and the flood came and destroyed them all.

(Heb 11:7)  By faith Noah, being warned by God concerning events as yet unseen, in reverent fear constructed an ark for the saving of his household. By this he condemned the world and became an heir of the righteousness that comes by faith.

(1Pe 3:20)  because they formerly did not obey, when God’s patience waited in the days of Noah, while the ark was being prepared, in which a few, that is, eight persons, were brought safely through water.

(2Pe 2:5)  if he did not spare the ancient world, but preserved Noah, a herald of righteousness, with seven others, when he brought a flood upon the world of the ungodly;

Abraham

(Exo 2:24)  And God heard their groaning, and God remembered his covenant with Abraham, with Isaac, and with Jacob.

(Exo 3:6)  And he said, “I am the God of your father, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob.” And Moses hid his face, for he was afraid to look at God.

(Exo 3:15)  God also said to Moses, “Say this to the people of Israel, ‘The LORD, the God of your fathers, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob, has sent me to you.’ This is my name forever, and thus I am to be remembered throughout all generations.

(Exo 3:16)  Go and gather the elders of Israel together and say to them, ‘The LORD, the God of your fathers, the God of Abraham, of Isaac, and of Jacob, has appeared to me, saying, “I have observed you and what has been done to you in Egypt,

(Exo 4:5)  “that they may believe that the LORD, the God of their fathers, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob, has appeared to you.”

(Exo 6:3)  I appeared to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob, as God Almighty, but by my name the LORD I did not make myself known to them.

(Exo 6:8)  I will bring you into the land that I swore to give to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob. I will give it to you for a possession. I am the LORD.'”

(Exo 32:13)  Remember Abraham, Isaac, and Israel, your servants, to whom you swore by your own self, and said to them, ‘I will multiply your offspring as the stars of heaven, and all this land that I have promised I will give to your offspring, and they shall inherit it forever.'”

(Exo 33:1)  The LORD said to Moses, “Depart; go up from here, you and the people whom you have brought up out of the land of Egypt, to the land of which I swore to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, saying, ‘To your offspring I will give it.’

(Lev 26:42)  then I will remember my covenant with Jacob, and I will remember my covenant with Isaac and my covenant with Abraham, and I will remember the land.

(Num 32:11)  ‘Surely none of the men who came up out of Egypt, from twenty years old and upward, shall see the land that I swore to give to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob, because they have not wholly followed me,

(Deu 1:8)  See, I have set the land before you. Go in and take possession of the land that the LORD swore to your fathers, to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob, to give to them and to their offspring after them.’

(Deu 6:10)  “And when the LORD your God brings you into the land that he swore to your fathers, to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob, to give you–with great and good cities that you did not build,

(Deu 9:5)  Not because of your righteousness or the uprightness of your heart are you going in to possess their land, but because of the wickedness of these nations the LORD your God is driving them out from before you, and that he may confirm the word that the LORD swore to your fathers, to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob.

(Deu 9:27)  Remember your servants, Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. Do not regard the stubbornness of this people, or their wickedness or their sin,

(Deu 29:13)  that he may establish you today as his people, and that he may be your God, as he promised you, and as he swore to your fathers, to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob.

(Deu 30:20)  loving the LORD your God, obeying his voice and holding fast to him, for he is your life and length of days, that you may dwell in the land that the LORD swore to your fathers, to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob, to give them.”

(Deu 34:4)  And the LORD said to him, “This is the land of which I swore to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob, ‘I will give it to your offspring.’ I have let you see it with your eyes, but you shall not go over there.”

(Jos 24:2)  And Joshua said to all the people, “Thus says the LORD, the God of Israel, ‘Long ago, your fathers lived beyond the Euphrates, Terah, the father of Abraham and of Nahor; and they served other gods.

(Jos 24:3)  Then I took your father Abraham from beyond the River and led him through all the land of Canaan, and made his offspring many. I gave him Isaac.

(1Ki 18:36)  And at the time of the offering of the oblation, Elijah the prophet came near and said, “O LORD, God of Abraham, Isaac, and Israel, let it be known this day that you are God in Israel, and that I am your servant, and that I have done all these things at your word.

(2Ki 13:23)  But the LORD was gracious to them and had compassion on them, and he turned toward them, because of his covenant with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, and would not destroy them, nor has he cast them from his presence until now.

(1Ch 1:27)  Abram, that is, Abraham.

(1Ch 1:28)  The sons of Abraham: Isaac and Ishmael.

(1Ch 1:32)  The sons of Keturah, Abraham’s concubine: she bore Zimran, Jokshan, Medan, Midian, Ishbak, and Shuah. The sons of Jokshan: Sheba and Dedan.

(1Ch 1:34)  Abraham fathered Isaac. The sons of Isaac: Esau and Israel.

(1Ch 16:16)  the covenant that he made with Abraham, his sworn promise to Isaac,

(1Ch 29:18)  O LORD, the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Israel, our fathers, keep forever such purposes and thoughts in the hearts of your people, and direct their hearts toward you.

(2Ch 20:7)  Did you not, our God, drive out the inhabitants of this land before your people Israel, and give it forever to the descendants of Abraham your friend?

(2Ch 30:6)  So couriers went throughout all Israel and Judah with letters from the king and his princes, as the king had commanded, saying, “O people of Israel, return to the LORD, the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Israel, that he may turn again to the remnant of you who have escaped from the hand of the kings of Assyria.

(Neh 9:7)  You are the LORD, the God who chose Abram and brought him out of Ur of the Chaldeans and gave him the name Abraham.

(Psa 47:9)  The princes of the peoples gather as the people of the God of Abraham. For the shields of the earth belong to God; he is highly exalted!

(Psa 105:6)  O offspring of Abraham, his servant, children of Jacob, his chosen ones!

(Psa 105:9)  the covenant that he made with Abraham, his sworn promise to Isaac,

(Psa 105:42)  For he remembered his holy promise, and Abraham, his servant.

(Isa 29:22)  Therefore thus says the LORD, who redeemed Abraham, concerning the house of Jacob: “Jacob shall no more be ashamed, no more shall his face grow pale.

(Isa 41:8)  But you, Israel, my servant, Jacob, whom I have chosen, the offspring of Abraham, my friend;

(Isa 51:2)  Look to Abraham your father and to Sarah who bore you; for he was but one when I called him, that I might bless him and multiply him.

(Isa 63:16)  For you are our Father, though Abraham does not know us, and Israel does not acknowledge us; you, O LORD, are our Father, our Redeemer from of old is your name.

(Jer 33:26)  then I will reject the offspring of Jacob and David my servant and will not choose one of his offspring to rule over the offspring of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. For I will restore their fortunes and will have mercy on them.”

(Eze 33:24)  “Son of man, the inhabitants of these waste places in the land of Israel keep saying, ‘Abraham was only one man, yet he got possession of the land; but we are many; the land is surely given us to possess.’

(Mic 7:20)  You will show faithfulness to Jacob and steadfast love to Abraham, as you have sworn to our fathers from the days of old.

(Mat 1:1)  The book of the genealogy of Jesus Christ, the son of David, the son of Abraham.

(Mat 1:2)  Abraham was the father of Isaac, and Isaac the father of Jacob, and Jacob the father of Judah and his brothers,

(Mat 1:17)  So all the generations from Abraham to David were fourteen generations, and from David to the deportation to Babylon fourteen generations, and from the deportation to Babylon to the Christ fourteen generations.

(Mat 3:9)  And do not presume to say to yourselves, ‘We have Abraham as our father,’ for I tell you, God is able from these stones to raise up children for Abraham.

(Mat 8:11)  I tell you, many will come from east and west and recline at table with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob in the kingdom of heaven,

(Mat 22:32)  ‘I am the God of Abraham, and the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob’? He is not God of the dead, but of the living.”

(Mar 12:26)  And as for the dead being raised, have you not read in the book of Moses, in the passage about the bush, how God spoke to him, saying, ‘I am the God of Abraham, and the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob’?

(Luk 1:55)  as he spoke to our fathers, to Abraham and to his offspring forever.”

(Luk 1:73)  the oath that he swore to our father Abraham, to grant us

(Luk 3:8)  Bear fruits in keeping with repentance. And do not begin to say to yourselves, ‘We have Abraham as our father.’ For I tell you, God is able from these stones to raise up children for Abraham.

(Luk 3:34)  the son of Jacob, the son of Isaac, the son of Abraham, the son of Terah, the son of Nahor,

(Luk 13:16)  And ought not this woman, a daughter of Abraham whom Satan bound for eighteen years, be loosed from this bond on the Sabbath day?”

(Luk 13:28)  In that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth, when you see Abraham and Isaac and Jacob and all the prophets in the kingdom of God but you yourselves cast out.

(Luk 16:22)  The poor man died and was carried by the angels to Abraham’s side. The rich man also died and was buried,

(Luk 16:23)  and in Hades, being in torment, he lifted up his eyes and saw Abraham far off and Lazarus at his side.

(Luk 16:24)  And he called out, ‘Father Abraham, have mercy on me, and send Lazarus to dip the end of his finger in water and cool my tongue, for I am in anguish in this flame.’

(Luk 16:25)  But Abraham said, ‘Child, remember that you in your lifetime received your good things, and Lazarus in like manner bad things; but now he is comforted here, and you are in anguish.

(Luk 16:29)  But Abraham said, ‘They have Moses and the Prophets; let them hear them.’

(Luk 16:30)  And he said, ‘No, father Abraham, but if someone goes to them from the dead, they will repent.’

(Luk 19:9)  And Jesus said to him, “Today salvation has come to this house, since he also is a son of Abraham.

(Luk 20:37)  But that the dead are raised, even Moses showed, in the passage about the bush, where he calls the Lord the God of Abraham and the God of Isaac and the God of Jacob.

(Joh 8:33)  They answered him, “We are offspring of Abraham and have never been enslaved to anyone. How is it that you say, ‘You will become free’?”

(Joh 8:37)  I know that you are offspring of Abraham; yet you seek to kill me because my word finds no place in you.

(Joh 8:39)  They answered him, “Abraham is our father.” Jesus said to them, “If you were Abraham’s children, you would be doing the works Abraham did,

(Joh 8:40)  but now you seek to kill me, a man who has told you the truth that I heard from God. This is not what Abraham did.

(Joh 8:52)  The Jews said to him, “Now we know that you have a demon! Abraham died, as did the prophets, yet you say, ‘If anyone keeps my word, he will never taste death.’

(Joh 8:53)  Are you greater than our father Abraham, who died? And the prophets died! Who do you make yourself out to be?”

(Joh 8:56)  Your father Abraham rejoiced that he would see my day. He saw it and was glad.”

(Joh 8:57)  So the Jews said to him, “You are not yet fifty years old, and have you seen Abraham?”

(Joh 8:58)  Jesus said to them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, before Abraham was, I am.”

(Act 3:13)  The God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob, the God of our fathers, glorified his servant Jesus, whom you delivered over and denied in the presence of Pilate, when he had decided to release him.

(Act 3:25)  You are the sons of the prophets and of the covenant that God made with your fathers, saying to Abraham, ‘And in your offspring shall all the families of the earth be blessed.’

(Act 7:2)  And Stephen said: “Brothers and fathers, hear me. The God of glory appeared to our father Abraham when he was in Mesopotamia, before he lived in Haran,

(Act 7:8)  And he gave him the covenant of circumcision. And so Abraham became the father of Isaac, and circumcised him on the eighth day, and Isaac became the father of Jacob, and Jacob of the twelve patriarchs.

(Act 7:16)  and they were carried back to Shechem and laid in the tomb that Abraham had bought for a sum of silver from the sons of Hamor in Shechem.

(Act 7:17)  “But as the time of the promise drew near, which God had granted to Abraham, the people increased and multiplied in Egypt

(Act 7:32)  ‘I am the God of your fathers, the God of Abraham and of Isaac and of Jacob.’ And Moses trembled and did not dare to look.

(Act 13:26)  “Brothers, sons of the family of Abraham, and those among you who fear God, to us has been sent the message of this salvation.

(Rom 4:1)  What then shall we say was gained by Abraham, our forefather according to the flesh?

(Rom 4:2)  For if Abraham was justified by works, he has something to boast about, but not before God.

(Rom 4:3)  For what does the Scripture say? “Abraham believed God, and it was counted to him as righteousness.”

(Rom 4:9)  Is this blessing then only for the circumcised, or also for the uncircumcised? We say that faith was counted to Abraham as righteousness.

(Rom 4:12)  and to make him the father of the circumcised who are not merely circumcised but who also walk in the footsteps of the faith that our father Abraham had before he was circumcised.

(Rom 4:13)  For the promise to Abraham and his offspring that he would be heir of the world did not come through the law but through the righteousness of faith.

(Rom 4:16)  That is why it depends on faith, in order that the promise may rest on grace and be guaranteed to all his offspring–not only to the adherent of the law but also to the one who shares the faith of Abraham, who is the father of us all,

(Rom 9:7)  and not all are children of Abraham because they are his offspring, but “Through Isaac shall your offspring be named.”

(Rom 11:1)  I ask, then, has God rejected his people? By no means! For I myself am an Israelite, a descendant of Abraham, a member of the tribe of Benjamin.

(2Co 11:22)  Are they Hebrews? So am I. Are they Israelites? So am I. Are they offspring of Abraham? So am I.

(Gal 3:6)  just as Abraham “believed God, and it was counted to him as righteousness”?

(Gal 3:7)  Know then that it is those of faith who are the sons of Abraham.

(Gal 3:8)  And the Scripture, foreseeing that God would justify the Gentiles by faith, preached the gospel beforehand to Abraham, saying, “In you shall all the nations be blessed.”

(Gal 3:9)  So then, those who are of faith are blessed along with Abraham, the man of faith.

(Gal 3:14)  so that in Christ Jesus the blessing of Abraham might come to the Gentiles, so that we might receive the promised Spirit through faith.

(Gal 3:16)  Now the promises were made to Abraham and to his offspring. It does not say, “And to offsprings,” referring to many, but referring to one, “And to your offspring,” who is Christ.

(Gal 3:18)  For if the inheritance comes by the law, it no longer comes by promise; but God gave it to Abraham by a promise.

(Gal 3:29)  And if you are Christ’s, then you are Abraham’s offspring, heirs according to promise.

(Gal 4:22)  For it is written that Abraham had two sons, one by a slave woman and one by a free woman.

(Heb 2:16)  For surely it is not angels that he helps, but he helps the offspring of Abraham.

(Heb 6:13)  For when God made a promise to Abraham, since he had no one greater by whom to swear, he swore by himself,

(Heb 6:15)  And thus Abraham, having patiently waited, obtained the promise.

(Heb 7:1)  For this Melchizedek, king of Salem, priest of the Most High God, met Abraham returning from the slaughter of the kings and blessed him,

(Heb 7:2)  and to him Abraham apportioned a tenth part of everything. He is first, by translation of his name, king of righteousness, and then he is also king of Salem, that is, king of peace.

(Heb 7:4)  See how great this man was to whom Abraham the patriarch gave a tenth of the spoils!

(Heb 7:5)  And those descendants of Levi who receive the priestly office have a commandment in the law to take tithes from the people, that is, from their brothers, though these also are descended from Abraham.

(Heb 7:6)  But this man who does not have his descent from them received tithes from Abraham and blessed him who had the promises.

(Heb 7:9)  One might even say that Levi himself, who receives tithes, paid tithes through Abraham,

(Heb 11:8)  By faith Abraham obeyed when he was called to go out to a place that he was to receive as an inheritance. And he went out, not knowing where he was going.

(Heb 11:17)  By faith Abraham, when he was tested, offered up Isaac, and he who had received the promises was in the act of offering up his only son,

(Jas 2:21)  Was not Abraham our father justified by works when he offered up his son Isaac on the altar?

(Jas 2:23)  and the Scripture was fulfilled that says, “Abraham believed God, and it was counted to him as righteousness”–and he was called a friend of God.

(1Pe 3:6)  as Sarah obeyed Abraham, calling him lord. And you are her children, if you do good and do not fear anything that is frightening.

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2 Responses to “If The Foundations Are Destroyed, What Can The Righteous Do?”

  1. Trevor James Says:

    I couldn’t agree more. I like the way you pointed out the domino effect that occurs when we view the beginning of Genesis as ‘figurative.” It makes sense.

    Nice blog BTW.

  2. Trevor,

    Thanks for stopping by and taking a look around. Obviously, there’s more work to be done, but I’m happy so far.

    I’m glad you found my 2 cents worth helpful.

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