I need this sort of information to talk about creationism with an agnostic friend of mine. I know about the passages in Genesis, naturally, but I heard there are some more in the book of Job, somewhere. Also, I believe there are some other passages about creation I certainly haven't heard about.

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    Given that many denominations of Christianity favor only a very weak version of creationism (not what is normally meant by the term), including, arguably, the Catholic Church, I would not anticipate that your agnostic friend would be highly swayed by the content of the Biblical evidence. – Rex Kerr Feb 12 '12 at 4:14
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    I would have to agree with Rex. Creationism isn't a "core belief" necessary to salvation. If you allow your friend the freedom to reject creationism, he may be more open to Christianity as a whole. I'd focus instead on the fact that we can know God because he's revealed himself to us through Christ. – David Morton Feb 12 '12 at 13:11
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    What do you hope to gain from such a conversation with your agnostic friend? It's normal to want to win an argument, but I really think you may win the argument but lose the soul, and evangelism and apologetics isn't about winning logical arguments. It's about winning the man. – David Morton Feb 12 '12 at 13:51
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    Okay. That does make things more clear. I'm glad you and I share the same approach. I'm sorry if I upset you. It was unintended. Sorry, I don't know of much support for Creationism that I'm really convinced of (besides the typical, "it said 7 days so it must mean 7 days" argument, which I'm not convinced of, so I'll bow out of this one completely. – David Morton Feb 12 '12 at 14:00
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    Could you define what exactly you mean by creationism? There are different ways to define it (check out Wikipedia). There's a big difference between providing biblical evidence that "there is a Creator that created everything" and "it was all created in 6 literal days". – Matt White Feb 13 '12 at 10:17

On Creation

The main text on the subject of creation is the Genesis account. The first few chapters are there to present how God created the world, not to present a twenty-first century scientific thesis. So God provided a simple explanation. A bit like saying that the sun rises instead of talking of the rotation of the earth around the sun.

This being said, this part of the Bible is regarded in many different lights. The first position is the literal position, which says that the heaven and earth were created by God in 6 twenty-four hour periods. This position is held by Answers in Genesis for example.

Another position is that the first few chapters of the Bible are poetry. Then you can believe anything you want on the subject of creation, because the author of Genesis uses poetry as he opens his book.

Then there are positions between the two poles described above:

The rest of the Bible and creation

The six days of creation are quoted elsewhere in the Bible:

Exodus 20:11 (ESV) For in six days the LORD made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that is in them, and rested on the seventh day. Therefore the LORD blessed the Sabbath day and made it holy.

Exodus 31:17 (ESV) It is a sign forever between me and the people of Israel that in six days the LORD made heaven and earth, and on the seventh day he rested and was refreshed.

The Bible present Jesus has the author of creation in a few verses. (This make biblical sense because Jesus is the word of God, and in creation the only tool used is the word of God.)

John 1:1-4 (ESV) In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things were made through him, and without him was not any thing made that was made. In him was life, and the life was the light of men.

Colossians 1:16 (ESV) For by him all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—all things were created through him and for him.

The passage in Job you mentioned is

Job 40:15-18 (ESV) “Behold, Behemoth [The ESV study Bible comment on the Behemoth is 'A large animal, exact identity unknown'], which I made as I made you; he eats grass like an ox. Behold, his strength in his loins, and his power in the muscles of his belly. He makes his tail stiff like a cedar; the sinews of his thighs are knit together. His bones are tubes of bronze, his limbs like bars of iron.

Conclusion From my reading of scripture the Bible supports a literal six-day creation. When did that happen? There are different theories about this as well.

Some argue against a six-day creation, requesting proof. There is no way to prove creationism, but the same is true for evolution. Your position is a question of faith. This being said, it does not mean that you don't ask questions about your position. The starting point of reference in your thinking system, today's science or the Bible, will greatly influence your position.

This might not help you with your discussion with your agnostic friend, but I hope that it helps you in your personal thinking on the subject. Your question is a valid one, but answering it in a few sentences is hard.

  • With respect, I don't think anything in this answer actually provides any evidence for... anything. All it shows is that the proposal doesn't overtly contradict itself/observation, as long as we dilute the words sufficiently. NOTHING is proven in the above. – Marc Gravell Feb 13 '12 at 16:33
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    "So God provided a simple explanation" the problem here, obviously, is that at the text level, there is very little to choose between "God gave a simple version" (one Christian view on the Bible) vs "a primitive culture took a stab in the dark" (the Christian view of every other creation story). Personally, I'd be interested in an answer that explains how the Bible account is more compelling that either any a: any of the other myriad of creation stories, and b: from science's position. – Marc Gravell Feb 13 '12 at 18:03

No, frankly, there isn't.

Not because it it "wrong" as such, but for the reason that everything in genesis is not testable, cannot be studied, etc. All that is presented is a proposal. Here is an alternative proposal I used the other day (paraphrased):

The world was created by a giant magic spider crab, who likes the colour green; which is why He made a lot of trees green.

The details in the proposal (trees/green) may be consistent with observation, but that is not evidence that the proposal is true. It only says that the argument is not internally inconsistent and/or trivially untrue. This is not evidence in any way, otherwise anything can be shown to be "true". This applies directly to genesis: it is not sufficient to say "see, nothing in there is trivially untrue" (especially when we have to deny existing observation to make even that modest claim).

Since the obvious contrast here (see David's answer) is the scientific approach, and things like evolution; this is testable, and through testing has both proven that it is a useful representation, and provided new approaches (a lot of medical science, for example) that were discovered because of the theory, and their effectiveness directly supports that the theory is valid. The effects of evolution, despite contrary myth, have also been directly observed (not just theorised from fossils). Yes the theory is still evolving [sic], but it is essentially proven.

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    I don't think you answered the question. He asked for Bible evidence, not scientific evidence. And I disagree: we can determine truth from the Bible, which is essentially what you are denying. – Brian Koser Feb 13 '12 at 18:47
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    @Brian no, I didn't miss the meaning; I am putting forward the thought that the Bible, on creation in particular, does not provide any kind of evidence; it merely claims "this is". No matter whether the proposition is true or false, the Bible does not serve as evidence. Re my point about science; I only included that as a direct and intentional contrast to the other answer which touches the same. The core of my answer here is in the first few paragraphs. – Marc Gravell Feb 13 '12 at 19:35
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    I'm pretty sure the.midget was asking for Bible verses in support of creation, based on the fact that David's answer was accepted. I do agree that the Bible doesn't try to scientifically prove creation (or whether God exists or many other things), but that wasn't the question. – Brian Koser Feb 13 '12 at 21:14
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    @Brian actually, there is no explicit question; I interpreted it as "is there" - but regardless of the interpretation - even if the question is "can you give examples of", please tell me how this answer is wrong? At worst it will fore-arm him against the very likely reply. At best, it demonstrates that the question is based on a false premise. Both have value. All evidence is evidence. There's no magic difference between "Bible evidence" and "science evidence". Both need to be evaluated in context. But evidence is only valuable if it actually demonstrates something... – Marc Gravell Feb 13 '12 at 21:18
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    ...that contradicts another hypothesis, such as the nul-hypothesis. Nothing that I know of in the Biblical creation actually does this. – Marc Gravell Feb 13 '12 at 21:28

Religion requires certainty, but the certainty we read into the Bible has differed over the ages. The early Christians had that certainty, as they could not imagine the world existing without a creator to bring it into existence, and so did not need the the creation account to be read literally. Indeed, the early Christian Church Fathers, familiar as they were with the Bible, did largely read the Genesis creation history as an allegory.

Augustine emphasised that the text was difficult to understand and should be reinterpreted as new knowledge becomes available. In the Middle Ages, Thomas Aquinas asserted one should not adhere to a particular explanation, only in such measure as to be ready to abandon it if it be proved with certainty to be false, lest holy Scripture be exposed to the ridicule of unbelievers. We can see in these two examples a focus of interpretation on what is useful rather than a strict and therefore unchanging meaning.

The Book of Exodus (20:11, 31:17) says that God really did create the world in six days, just as a literal reading of Genesis chapter 1 would tell us, removing the flexibility that Augustine and Thomas suggested. More than the Book of Genesis, which Augustine described as so difficult to understand, these passages would seem to provide biblical proof of creationism.

Modern scientific knowledge has made it more necessary than in the past that the Bible provide proof of creation, but at the same time more difficult to do so. On the one hand, science has removed some of that certainty that God created the world, as advances such as the Theory of Evolution no longer require a creator God. On the other hand, the biblical creation story is so inconsistent with scientific knowledge that it is hard to support in a fully literal, creationist sense.

The Book of Job contains allusions to God's creation, but those allusions are similar to ancient Near Eastern creation stories that have long since been dismissed as fiction. In Job 40:25-28 God tells Job that he was able to defeat Leviathan, the great chaos monster of which Psalm 74:14 tells us, "You crushed the heads of Leviathan" and which a seal from Tel Asmar (in modern Iraq) depicts as a seven-headed dragon being defeated by yet another god. This can not be regarded as support for creationism in the normally accepted sense. If our definition of creationism is based on a literal six-day creation, then we must rely on Genesis chapter 1 and Exodus.

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