How Many Of Each Animal Was On The Ark?

How Many Of Each Animal Was On The Ark?

Ask any man, woman or child who is even vaguely familiar with the story of Noah’s Ark how many of each animal was taken on board the Biblical boat and you will get the usual answer: two. This answer is usually given because of the instructions recorded in Genesis, which God gave to Noah:

 You are to bring into the ark two of all living creatures, male and female, to keep them alive with you. Two of every kind of bird, of every kind of animal and of every kind of creature that moves along the ground will come to you to be kept alive.

– Gen 6:19-20

However, what most people don’t know is that later on in Genesis, God also gave Noah these instructions:

Take with you seven pairs of every kind of clean animal, a male and its mate, and one pair of every kind of unclean animal, a male and its mate,  and also seven pairs of every kind of bird, male and female, to keep their various kinds alive throughout the earth.

– Gen 7:2-3

This discrepancy between texts, begs the question:


How many animals was Noah to take onto the ark? Was it two….or seven?


At a glance, these two passages appear to offer contradictory information.


The Documentary Hypothesis

One manner used by Biblical scholars to resolve this apparent issue is the documentary hypothesis. The documentary hypothesis maintains that the Old Testament was put together from multiple sources which wrote independent of each other. According to this theory, an editor – or multiple editors – came along and fitted the texts together into one narrative which could explain any contradictions or duplicate material in the Biblical text (a noticeable duplicate often cited to support the documentary hypothesis is the two human creation stories which appear in Genesis 1 and 2). Biblical scholars who subscribe to the documentary hypothesis argue that God’s command to bring seven pairs of clean animals was a later addition to the original story in order to explain how Noah was able to sacrifice animals after the flood without risking the animal population’s future.


A Close Reading

While the documentary hypothesis may provide an explanation for the discrepancy in the two passages, the inconsistency may also be able to be resolved by a careful reading of what the verse says.

The first passage states that Noah is “to bring into the ark two of all living creatures.” Here, God is instructing Noah to bring one pair of every living creature with him – every kind of animal on earth. This instruction is delivered with the specification that each pair be made up of one male and one female in order for each pair to repopulate the earth after the flood. The command here is universal: it concerns all animal life.

The second passage states that Noah is to bring “seven pairs of every kind of clean animal.” The distinction between the two passages is clear – the second instruction is bound up with the idea of ‘clean’ and ‘unclean’ animals. In this passage God instructs Noah to bring extra pairs of ‘clean’ animals. The command here is specific, referring only to ‘clean’ animals. This passage also confirms the instructions given in the first passage, stating that seven pairs of clean animals need to come aboard the ark, in addition to the one pair of unclean animals that has already been commanded.

The two passages differ because the second one is a command given in addition to the first passage – while the first instruction concerns all animals, ensuring that the pairs taken on board will repopulate the earth, the second instruction concerns only clean animals and is probably referring to animals for sacrificial purposes. This is indicated by the sacrifice Noah makes immediately after the flood:

“ So Noah came out, together with his sons and his wife and his sons’ wives…Then Noah built an altar to the Lord and, taking some of all the clean animals and clean birds, he sacrificed burnt offerings on it.”

– Gen 8:18-20

If Noah took only the reproductive pairs then he would not have had any available animals to sacrifice. God knew this, and so gave a further instruction to ensure that all needs would be met.



What we have here is not a contradiction – it is two different instructions given by God, to Noah, regarding the animals that needed to survive the flood.

Each instruction has its own purpose – one reproductive, one sacrificial – and is given for its own reasons. God supplemented his original instructions to ensure that clean animals were brought onto the ark for the purpose of sacrifice.




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Why Do We Not Live As Long As Methuselah?

Why Do We Not Live As Long As Methuselah?

Genesis 5 describes the oldest man to ever live:

“Thus all the days of Methuselah were 969 years, and he died.” (v27)

Though Methuselah did not have a starring role in the Old Testament, his life, and its length in particular, has been a subject of much interest for creationists and theologians. Nowadays, the name Methuselah has come to be associated with anything that is old.

Though Methuselah is only mentioned briefly in the Hebrew Bible, he came from a prominent line of Old Testament characters (Methuselah was the son of Enoch, the father of Lamech and the grandfather of Noah) and his final mention in Genesis 5 is of great significance, begging the question:


Why do we not live as long as Methuselah?


Some creationists argue that certain environmental and theological factors have affected our ability to age to this degree, including the introduction of sin into the original design, the elimination of the water vapor canopy over the earth. DNA and changes in lifestyle factors.

Without further ado, let’s take a look at each of these factors.


The Original Design

Anybody who has read the book of Genesis and taken notice of the genealogies it contains will have noticed a sharp shift that occurred after the flood, particularly in relation to lifespans. Creationists have long agonised over how to explain the discrepancies in lifespans in the pre- and post-flood ages but have failed to come up with any single argument to explain the difference.

Theologians, however, often argue that the solution lies back at the beginning, in the Garden of Eden.

According to Genesis, God created the first man and woman, perfect and without sin. The Garden of Eden where he placed them was abundant with everything they would need to live forever in their perfected state. Adam and Eve were commanded not to eat from the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil:

“Of every tree of the garden you may freely eat; but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it you shall surely die.” (v16)

In Genesis 3, Adam and Eve eat from the forbidden tree and humanity is changed forever.  Access to the tree which was once able to sustain their lives permanently was forbidden:

Then the Lord God said, “Behold, the man has become like one of Us, to know good and evil. And now, lest he put out his hand and take also of the tree of life, and eat, and live forever”— therefore the Lord God sent him out of the garden of Eden to till the ground from which he was taken. So He drove out the man; and He placed cherubim at the east of the garden of Eden, and a flaming sword which turned every way, to guard the way to the tree of life.”

From this point onward, the perfect creation had been radically altered. Sin and death had entered the world and changed the original design. Humanity was no longer able to live forever.

Genesis 5 tells us that Adam eventually went onto die, as God predicted:

Thus all the days that Adam lived were 930 years, and he died.” (v5)


The Great Deluge

In the time between Adam and Eve’s fall in the Garden of Eden and the great flood, lifespans continued to be long, though not eternal as they had been originally intended. However, after the flood, there is a progressive decline in the lifespans of the Old Testament characters, which raises questions about how the flood and the conditions of the earth after it took place, affected humanity’s claim to long life.

The decline is depicted as rather rapid, describing Noah as one who lived to be 950 years old, with Abraham living only to 175. By the time of Moses, the expected lifespan is only 70-80 years old (similar to what we would expect today):

“Our days may come to seventy years, or eighty, if our strength endures” (Psalm 90:10)

Interestingly, extra-biblical evidence also supports the decline of long life spans after the flood in Genesis. The Sumerian King List is an ancient surviving manuscript which describes a flood similar to what is depicted in the Hebrew Bible, as well as a list of kings who reigned before the flood took place. What is most interesting is that the Sumerian King List also portrays a significant decrease in lifespan following the flood.

The rapid decline in life years which appears to take place after the flood indicates that something about the world radically changed at the flood. We can assume that such a cataclysmic event would have changed the environment and living conditions substantially and possibly changed larger systems such as weather patterns. Crop fields and pastures were wiped out, as were trees and all animal life. Where, before the flood, the world had been a perfect creation which was fractured, now it was completely destroyed.



In addition to the environmental changes that took place at the flood, something else about humanity changed radically – Noah and his family were granted permission to eat meat. At the creation of Adam and Eve, the pair are given abundant access to all plant life for food, but after the flood, in a world now filled with nothing but scarcity, humanity is now able to start incorporating meat into their diet.
In his Commentaries on Genesis, Martin Luther attributed the long, pre-flood lifespans to the diet that was adhered to in the opening chapters of Genesis, stating that:

“…the general vigor and strength of limb which men had in paradise before the advent of sin, had passed away…. With reference to food, who cannot easily believe that one apple, in that primeval age, was more excellent and afforded a greater degree of nourishment than a thousand in our time? The roots, also, on which they fed, contained infinitely more fragrance, virtue and savor, than they possess now. All these conditions, but notably holiness and righteousness, the exercise of moderation, then the excellence of the fruit and the salubrity of the atmosphere – all these tended to produce longevity till the time came for the establishment of a new order by God which resulted in a decided reduction of the length of man’s life.”

At creation, humanity was appointed a vegetarian diet which would sustain them, but after the flood, meat was allowed to become a part of the human diet. Modern medicine is quite clear about the effects of meat eating on human health, so it stands to reason that in allowing meat eating, God may have intended on shortening the human lifespan, as Luther suggests.

Since we now cannot live beyond the age of around 120, the effects of moderate meat eating are probably negligible, but in an age where humans lived for several hundred years, the introduction of meat eating may have changed everything.



Since we know that Noah continued to live for another 350 years after the flood, some suggest that it’s unlikely that the post-flood environment was so hostile that it alone was the cause of lifespan decrease. Rather, they argue, it is more likely that other internal factors, such as DNA were responsible.
Modern science has found that DNA in our systems is constantly mutating and evolving. If Adam and Eve were created with perfect DNA, then it’s likely that the DNA become less and less perfect as it was passed down through each generation. We develop genetic mutations of our own, as well as inheriting some of the mutations from our parents, which we then pass down to our children. This creates a kind of snowballing effect for substandard DNA.

Since we know that the first humans were created perfect, we must assume that genetics associated with aging and lifespan were radically affected at the fall – in fact, we know that they were, since death did not exist before the fall.


Water Vapor Canopy

Though a lot of creationists no longer subscribe to the vapor canopy idea, some still insist that this theory is the cause for the dramatic change in lifespan.

Genesis 2 tells us that before the flood, it did not even rain:

“Now no shrub had yet appeared on the earth and no plant had yet sprung up, for the Lord God had not sent rain on the earth and there was no one to work the ground, but streams came up from the earth and watered the whole surface of the ground.” (5-6).

However, we know from earlier in Genesis, that God placed large amounts of water above the sky:

“And God said, “Let there be a vault between the waters to separate water from water.” So God made the vault and separated the water under the vault from the water above it. And it was so.”(v 6-7)

Since we know that it did not rain, we can conclude that this body of water was not simply a collection of rain clouds. This body of water was what creationists call the ‘water vapor canopy’ – a large body of water suspended above the sky.

When we come to the great flood in Genesis 7, we see God using this canopy of water to cause the deluge.

“In the six hundredth year of Noah’s life, in the second month, the seventeenth day of the month, the same day were all the fountains of the great deep broken up, and the windows of heaven were opened.” (11)

These ‘fountains of the great deep’ most likely refer to the water vapor canopy which is unleashed over the surface of the world for ‘forty days and forty nights’ (12). The fact that there is no mention of rain in the Bible until after the food reinforces this idea.

The argument put forward by creationists is that this body of water, while suspended in the air, would have been functioning as a filtration system for much of the harmful radiation that the earth is exposed to from space. Once this water had been released, our earth would have undergone many changes, including a decrease in the amount of oxygen we inhale, and an increase in the UVA and UVB rays that we are exposed to – two significant factors which scientists agree have an impact on health and lifespan.


So, Can We Live for 900 Years?

Put simply, no. The Bible is very clear that the sin of humanity, both through Adam and Eve and through the pre-flood generations caused an unrepairable fracture in God’s creation. We will never be able to attain the long lifespans granted to those early generations because they were a result of God’s perfection which was ruptured in Eden. We also know that the earth underwent significant changes during the great flood, and we cannot repair it back to its original pre-flood state.

We also know that regardless of how long we get to live, death is always going to be the end result. Even if it were possible for us to live until we are 900 years old, we would never be able to eliminate death. It also pays to remember these words by the Psalmist, which point out that our lifespan has already been predetermined by God before we are even born, whether it be set for 100 days or 100 years.

“…all the days ordained for me were written in your book, before one of them came to be.” (139: 16)






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8 Common Creationist Beliefs: Part One

8 Common Creationist Beliefs: Part One



Though there is some diversity in what is believed among creationists, there are a few matters which are common to creationist beliefs. Here are four of the eight most common beliefs held by those who subscribe to Creation…



  1. That The Earth Was Created in Six Literal Days

 Genesis 1 describes God’s creation of the world in six literal, 24-hour days. Each day is framed by the indication of the ‘evening’ and ‘morning’ as well as a day number such as ‘fourth day.

A belief in six literal days counters popular scientific claims that the earth was created over millions of years. The original authors of Genesis were not scientists, but rather were writers who wanted to convey an understandable message to their audience. Their language needed to be clear to the common Hebrew person, including their children, so as to get their theological message across. For this reason creationists also reject the idea that the days described in Genesis are to be taken as metaphorical days, or that each day actually represents a longer period of time (such as several million years).

Genesis 1 makes it clear that each day had an evening, a morning and a number – just like the days that we experience. Each day was also given time indicators such as the creation of the sun and moon – this way humanity had a way of measuring days, weeks, months and years.  Further to these indicators, is the command given in Exodus 20:8-11 to work six days and rest on the seventh. This commandment was modelled off God’s creative activity over a week. We have no reason to doubt that the account of creation over six literal days is the literal truth, therefore, we must take the word at its face value.


  1. That Radiometric Dating is Unreliable

Radiometric dating is believed by scientists to prove that rocks are millions of years old, but in order to believe this, one has to make strong assumptions about the content of the original rocks and the rate at which that content decays. Because there are no scientists that have been around for millions of years to watch and record the rate of radioactive decay, science assumes that the rate has always been the same as it is now, and base their findings based on this assumption.

The Bible makes it clear through accurately recorded genealogies that the age of the earth is only a few thousand years, thus promoting the theory of a young earth and universe.

God’s omnipotence transcends our human understanding of time so we must trust his word about how old the universe really is.


  1. That a Variety of Kinds Were Created

Genesis 1 tells us that God created separately according to various kinds. We can still see this variety in the world around us.

The account in Genesis tells us that God created every living thing on days three, five and six of the Creation Week. Ten times throughout Genesis 1 we are told that God created according to its ‘kind’. This word is again used in relation to Noah’s Ark.

What does this all mean? It means that despite theories of animals evolving from single-cell organisms, animals are actually all varieties of their own kind. For example, there is a large amount of variety within the existence of dogs in the world. Different breeds of dogs are able to breed and thus create hybrid offspring, but they are still dogs. Dogs and cats are not able to interbreed simply because, God instated several kinds.

For example, donkeys and horses are all from the Equidae family. They can interbreed to produce mules, but they cannot breed with birds – they can only procreate according to their own kind. God placed the potential for variety within the created order, but it was, and continues to be done within the framework of the created kinds. Though God has allowed for variety, every species still belongs, inherently, to its own kind. Dogs are still dogs.


  1. That Man Was a Unique Creation

 Genesis 1 tells us that God created humanity in his own image. Men and women do not descend from apes, dolphins or any other mammal. Though we may share some anatomical similarities, we know from scripture that human beings are distinct, and created in the image of God. Claiming the theory of evolution means placing humanity as a consequence of evolution rather than the goal – an idea which stands in sharp contrast to the picture we get in Genesis.

Apart from obvious evidence that humans and apes are distinctly distinguishable, Bible-believing Christians also recognise the other distinctions that the human world has from the animal world – including our ability to be in relationship with our God, to pray, to read his word and to engage in his presence in a very real way.



Be sure to look out for part two of this article, where we look at the last four beliefs that are commonly held among creationists!


To honour God’s creation, be sure to sign the petition to establish Creation Day as an official holiday!

Finding Eden

Finding Eden

“I made it beautiful with the multitude of its branches, and all

the trees of Eden, which were in the garden of God,

were jealous of it.”

                                                                                                                              – Ezekiel 31:9


One of life’s great mysteries for the inquisitive Christian is the location of the Garden of Eden. The Bible, our only evidence for the garden’s location and its very existence, is frustratingly silent in regards to the whereabouts of the garden.

The quest to find this geographical Holy Grail has become almost as consuming as finding Atlantis, Pandora’s Box or the creators of the statues that inhabit Easter Island. However, like many have found, trying to pinpoint the location of the purpose-built paradise has become like searching for a needle in a haystack.

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Why Do We Want to Know?

Anyone who has read Genesis, or even heard of the story of Adam and Eve knows that Eden is the garden of God, and the place where all the magic (and disenchantment) happened.

The Genesis creation narrative depicts a creative God who fashions Adam from the ground and places him ‘eastward,’ in a garden crafted specially for him.

What is even more significant is that after Adam’s placement in the garden,

“…the LORD God formed every beast of the field, and every fowl of the air…”

These creatures were formed out of the ground in the garden. Genesis 2 also tells us that:

“…out of the ground made the LORD God to grow every tree that is pleasant to the sight, and good for food; the tree of life also in the midst of the garden, and the tree of knowledge of good and evil.”

The origins of every living thing on earth trace back to this garden.

Eden is also significant because it is where the first theophany takes place. Genesis 3 tells us that Adam and Eve;

“…heard the sound of the Lord God walking in the garden in the cool of the day…”

God walked among humans in a very tangible way, making the garden not only the location of our human origins, but also a place of divine presence.

Eden was the birthplace for the human race, the place where God walked with man and woman, where the serpent appeared, where the Tree of Knowledge was placed, where humanity fell into wreckage, and where Adam and Eve were eventually cast out for eternity. It’s no wonder we want to know where it is.



What Does the Bible Say of Eden?

The Bible’s lack of proffered material when it comes to Eden’s location has been the cause of much irritation and disappointment among those searching for the lost paradise.

Most theorists claim the site’s location as somewhere in the Middle East. This is mainly due to the description given in Genesis which gives us the only geographical clues to the garden’s setting;

 A river flowed out of Eden to water the garden, and there it divided and became four rivers. The name of the first is the Pishon. It is the one that flowed around the whole land of Havilah, where there is gold.  And the gold of that land is good; bdellium and onyx stone are there.  The name of the second river is the Gihon. It is the one that flowed around the whole land of Cush.  And the name of the third river is the Tigris, which flows east of Assyria. And the fourth river is the Euphrates.”

 This description has led many to believe that the Euphrates and the Tigris rivers mentioned in the passage refer to the same rivers that exist in the Mesopotamian area today.

Because the other two rivers are less known, determining the garden’s location based on this evidence is problematic. Jewish historian Josephus claimed that Pishon and Havilah referred to the Ganges and the Nile, a point which one scholar asserts was generally agreed upon until the renaissance. Since then, it has been largely questioned and discredited. For Josephus’ theory to work, the rivers would also have to flow to Ethiopia, to feed the Nile.

While the biblical text doesn’t actually name the ‘Tigris’ (it instead says ‘Hiddekel’), we know from elsewhere in scripture that it refers to the Tigris River. In a similar way, the river Euphrates is referred to as ‘Prat’. Most modern translations use the words ‘Tigris’ and ‘Euphrates’ so as to avoid confusion.

The problem with placing Eden in this area is that while it fits with two of the four rivers mentioned, it does not fit with the description of the rivers as emerging from the one head. While the Tigris and Euphrates both have their ‘head’ in the area that surrounds Mt. Ararat, they do not flow, filling the land as described in the text. There is also an absence of the other two rivers making this location implausible. Of course, it’s entirely possible that Tigris and Euphrates had offshoots that are no longer in existence, making this theory possible.

Given that we don’t know the size of the original garden, it is difficult to piece together a location with four rivers, but from the evidence, it appears that the descriptions given in Genesis and the geography as we know it, don’t match up.


 What Do We Know of Its Location Now?

The biblical account remains ambiguous and open to much speculation. As a result, people have been venturing guesses for centuries as to the location of the Garden. However, most modern biblical scholars and archaeologists place Eden in or around ancient Mesopotamia.

This is a logical conclusion due to the location of the Euphrates and Tigris rivers as well as the biblical mention of Adam being placed in a garden ‘eastward’ (meaning, east of Israel). Placing Eden in Mesopotamia also stands to reason from a linguistic point of view. In Greek, the word ‘Mesopotamia’ means ‘the land between two rivers,’ a reference to the Tigris and Euphrates.

Science has discovered that crude oil forms from vegetation and animal life which has died and proceeded to decay. With this in mind, it has caused some scholars to argue that the oil reserves found in the Middle East could have formed from the decay of Eden. It stands to reason that the vast oil stores present in the Middle East could be a result of decomposition from the lushest garden that has ever existed. Of course, this is just a theory.

Here are some other theories which have been posed over the years;

  • Members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints believe Eden to be located in Missouri, USA. Founder Joseph Smith discovered a stone slab that he claimed was Adam’s hand-built altar and thus established the place as the location of the famed garden.
  • ‘The Sky People’ by Brinsley LePoer Trench suggested Mars as a location since canals that fit the biblical description of the four river heads are theorized to have existed on Mars. He also claimed that Eden was created by Space People, and that descendants of Noah (who also lived on Mars) were eventually forced to come to Earth to live.
  • General Charles Gordon supported a theory that was developed that argued Lumeria– a continent that was over what is now the Indian Ocean – existed. Lumeria is claimed to have housed Madagascar and India on one continent. It was also maintained that the human race was started in Lumeria and thus, was the location for the garden.
  • Some scholars believe that Eden existed in Northeast Africa. This theory is built around the fact that the oldest human remains have been found there, as well as Josephus’ idea that Pishon is the Nile.
  • It has also been reasoned that Eden was located in the Holy Land, with the river Jordan being the water source in question. This is partly due to the prophet Ezekiel tying in his account of Eden with Jerusalem; “You were in Eden, the garden of God;” … “You were on the holy mount of God.” The mount being specified is generally regarded as Mount Moriah where the Dome of the Rock now sits.



Two Reasons We Will Never Find Eden

1) The Flood

In order to properly investigate the whereabouts of this paradisal Holy Grail, we need to take in a major factor: the flood.

The global flood that wiped out all of humanity, save for Noah and his family, changed the surface of the earth to the point that it was left unrecognisable.

If most of the sedimentary layers that rest on the earth’s surface were formed as a result of this catastrophic event, then how could we possibly know where the Garden of Eden was located? In a modern flood, land erosion occurs in one area, with the water moving and redepositing the sediments in another area. Because of the sheer size of the flood in question, we can assume that the effects of this were far more intense, and certainly global. No place on the Earth’s surface could have remained untouched.

We have no hope of logically pinpointing the original location for the Tigris, the Euphrates or Eden after the surface of the earth was completely restructured under water damage.

2) Guarded Entrance

  “So He drove out the man; and He placed cherubim at the east of the garden of Eden, and a flaming sword which turned every way, to guard the way to the tree of life.”

 This last sentence of Genesis 3 tells us everything we need to know about our quest to find Eden.

After the expulsion, Genesis tells us that God placed one of his angels at the entrance to Eden, in an attempt to keep humanity from re-entering. If the flood did not stop us from entering the garden, this precaution certainly would.

Even if we can determine the general location for the garden, the physical parameters of it, and can authenticate its existence, how can we get there?

Put simply: we can’t.

God has ensured that we cannot precisely locate or enter this garden of paradise. It has become the forbidden fruit for all humanity.

For fallen humans, Eden exists only with the pages of the Bible.



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Lenspiration photos courtesy of James Staddon

The Bible: From Creation to New Creation


Though the Bible is filled with many different books and authors, it tells a cohesive story about the history of the world, functioning within God’s holistic and redemptive purpose – from creation, to new creation. God’s creative activity unfolds throughout scripture, providing a meta narrative that reveals our God and his plan for the entire created order.

The Bible begins and ends with creation, and ultimately uses creation as a way of reflecting on the nature of God, of humanity and of His plan for the cosmos. Scripture affirms that God has been intimately bonded to creation from before the creation of the world, in the now, and through to the ‘not yet’.


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Original Creation

One of the most well-known stories in the Bible is the seven day creation of the world seen in Genesis 1. This chapter reveals the creative process and creative nature of God, and sets the foundation for creation as a theme throughout the Old and New Testaments.

Through God’s creative activity, we learn that our God is a God who is actively present within his creation, and who continues to care for and sustain this creation throughout history.

Genesis 2 outlines the creation of the first man and woman, and once again reveals a God who is deeply connected to the earth, so much so that he breathes his own breath into Adam as part of his creative process.

When we come to Genesis 3 we see that all is not well within creation. Though God is seen to be walking with Adam and Eve in the garden, they have forgotten God’s creative generosity and have taken it for granted. In eating from the tree, Adam and Eve set off a chain of events which not only affects their own existence, but unravels the very fabric of the created order. This unravelling will continue to deteriorate until God takes action in Genesis 6.


The Flood

By Genesis 6, the created order has declined into a state of irreparable disrepair, and God feels compelled to take matters into his own hands. Scripture describes God’s grief and regret at having created, and his plans to flood all of creation and remake it through Noah.

In carrying out His plans, God is returning the earth to its pre-creation state of watery chaos that preceded his six day creation process – he is carrying out a systematic reversal of his own creation. This ‘de-creation’ is done by destroying everything in the order that it was created;

  • The windows of heaven are opened, and the fountains of the deep are released. This parallels Genesis 1 where God separated the water from the land
  • Noah’s ark is seen as floating on the face of the waters, an echo to God’s spirit which hovers over the face of the waters
  • Land animals, birds and sea creatures are destroyed
  • Humans are destroyed
  • God manifests a wind to blow over the waters, alluding to the breath of life God gives in Genesis 2

Finally, the flood episode ends with a reinstatement of the original creation – God gives Noah and his family directions akin to what he gave Adam in the garden, and even instructs him to “be fruitful and multiply”, an exact replica of the command given to Adam and Eve.

After establishing a convenant with Noah, God offers him a sign in the form of a piece of creation – a rainbow.


The Torah and Deuteronomistic History

God’s desire to renew his created order is bound up with the renewal and recreation of Israel as a nation. The writer of the Torah describes this and acknowledges God as the creator of the earth;

Behold, to the Lord your God belong heaven and the heaven of heavens, the earth with all that is in it.”

These first books of the Bible also point to the responsibility that we have as humans to become diligent stewards of creation. Leviticus states that creation is the property of God, and is not to be defiled. Moses, the likely author of Leviticus, even commands that creation itself, including the land, will observe the Sabbath.

In Numbers, the Israelites are told;

“You shall not pollute the land in which you live…. You shall not defile the land in which you live, in which I also dwell; for I the LORD dwell among the Israelites.”

…and this mandate is repeated in Deuteronomy.

The Old Testament closes with the Prophets, who urge Israel to come back to their creator and their God. The Prophets also urged God’s people to care for creation, and respect the earth in a way that adequately pays homage to the creator of all things (Jeremiah, Ezekiel, Joel, Hosea).


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The Gospels

John opens with a retelling of Genesis 1.

“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 came into being through him, and without him not one thing came into being.”

 This mirrors the words of Genesis, and gives us insight into Jesus’ role in the cosmic order – he himself was a fundamental part of the original creation from the beginning.

Later in John, Jesus is described as having breathed on the disciples, in order for them to receive the Holy Spirit. This has echoes to Genesis 2 where God breathes into Adam.

The Gospels portray Jesus as asserting authority over all of creation – defying natural laws by walking on water, stilling a chaotic storm, multiplying a small amount of fish in order to feed a multitude, raising the dead and defying death himself.



John’s passage reflects on Jesus as being integral to the creation of the world. As the New Testament goes on, it become more and more clear that Jesus was not only involved in creation, but is central to it. In this way, we must regard all of creation as thoroughly Christocentric in nature. Paul tells us in Colossians that “He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation; for in him all things in heaven and on earth were created…”

In 2 Corinthians, Paul writes that:

“…if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation…”

The same God who created all things in six days has now established a new creation through Christ. All those who embrace Jesus are now living out of this new creation.

Through Jesus, God reconciles himself to his created order once more, bridging the gaps that were made broken through sin. Christ’s life, death and resurrection do not only affect the human condition, but affect the fundamental order of the entire cosmos.


Groaning Creation

We know from Romans 8 that the entire created order longs for redemption – and that the brokenness established at Eden reverberates throughout the entire natural world.

“For the creation waits with eager longing for the revealing of the sons of God… in hope that the creation itself will be set free from its bondage to corruption and obtain the freedom of the glory of the children of God.  For we know that the whole creation has been groaning together in the pains of childbirth until now.


We can see this groaning as early as Genesis 4 when Abel is slain and God tells Cain that:

“The voice of your brother’s blood is crying to me from the ground.”

The entire created order all looks forward to the restoration of the world through God’s redemptive plan. This includes the stars, the spiders and everything in between!


New Creation

As early as Isaiah, we are told that God will

“…create new heavens and a new earth, and the former things shall not be remembered or come into mind.”

Revelations confirms this, when John has a vision;

“Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the former heaven and the former earth had passed away, and the sea was no more.”


Paul also validates this when he writes in Peter that:

 “…according to his promise we are waiting for new heavens and a new earth in which righteousness dwells.”


The promise of a new creation is a promise which will be fulfilled throughout the entire cosmos.

Tracing the history of the world from creation to new creation helps us to see that creation was never merely a background theme in scriptures – creation is in itself the story of salvation. The entire created order was made, fell from glory, groans in anticipation, became a new creation in Christ and looks forward to the complete and final restoration of the entire cosmos. There is no biblical narrative without creation, and without an understanding of this fundamental theme, we cannot fully grasp the biblical story.




To honor the redemptive purposes of God from creation to new creation, please sign our petition, to establish Creation Day as an officially recognised holiday!


To sign, click here