Bernard E. Northrup Th.D.
This chapter explores the implications of further, extended "coincidental parallels" which one will find on attempting to compare the Precambrian deposit series with Genesis One through Six. It is concluded that both the Biblical record and the geological record point specifically to two largely forgotten geological catastrophes in earth's early events. It is proposed that the entirely non-fossiliferous metamorphosed Archaeozoic deposits record the original universal flood which covered the earth after its creation as the Lord prepared earth's surface for man's habitation. The fierce contortion of it's largely sedimentary deposits into the contorted folds is attributed to the abrupt violence of the uplift of the great single continent in the third solar day of creation. This abrupt uplift is identified as the second major catastrophic, geological event which is found in Biblical history. It is proposed that this very brief Biblical event and the long-quieting disturbance of the crust of the earth and its shallow sea left the vast section of the Precambrian geological record which is given the name "Proterozoic" by many geologists.
I have suggested elsewhere that, despite many apparently contradictory features, the event series suggested by evidences found in the historical geological column of the Paleozoic and in the early Mesozoic Eras are remarkably parallel to the event series found in the universal Noahic flood. I will be the first to admit that there are many problems apparently left unresolved in these two previous chapters. Indeed, the straits of attempting to summarize in two short chapters the wealth of geological material found in this section of geological history has left multitudes of major problems not discussed. That was inevitable as well as regrettable for many who read these two previous chapters, knowing of these problems (which I blithely have ignored for the present in outlining the material), will assume that my proposed harmonization model is not worthy of investigation. What must be remembered is that I am attempting only to write a synthesis of the remarkable parallels which do appear to exist, leaving the knotty problems of harmonization to the work of analysis which should follow such a preliminary proposal.
It must not be thought, however, that the little handful of 25 parallels between the Noahic flood event series and the major structure of the geological event series of Paleozoic times constitutes the totality of the evidence requiring a thoughtful reevaluation of the subject of geological time. In the pursuit of the major parallels between the geological record and the Noahic flood, for the moment I deliberately have ignored earlier sedimentary and metamorphic deposits which also are remarkably parallel to the Biblical record of pre-Noahic flood events. Indeed, there are not less than a dozen successive points of contact between the events described in the Genesis record and the successive stages of Precambrian time. These twelve parallel points of contact must be added to the twenty five observed in Paleozoic and early Mesozoic times. When that is done, the evidence appears to be even more compelling requiring reexamination of some of the major presuppositions which are foundation stones used to support the scheme of geological time. However, they also press creationists to reevaluate any creationist model which attempts to harmonize geology with Genesis but which does not display a detailed correlation of specific details. The same will be true when
1. The first linking rung in the ladder of parallels is the fact that both the record of geological history and the Biblical record begin with the creation of the universe. Of course it is easy to overlook this point of contact when one has given much credence to the macrochronological conclusions of evolutionary astronomers concerning the origin of the universe through a massive explosion some 15 billion years ago. But it also is easy to overlook the major but unproven presuppositions which underlie modern science's concept of the origin of the universe. Not the least of these is the assumption that the speed of light is a constant. That this still is a matter open for examination is confirmed by more than one objective dissatisfied inquiry on the part of scientists into the subject. But on a closer investigation, there does not appear at first glance to be any correlation between the "beginning of the universe" which is postulated by scientists, so well summarized by Hawkings, and the beginning of the creation which is described in Genesis. After all, is not the gulf between the two views immeasurably immense and utterly beyond reconciliation in the light of Exodus 20:11 and 31:17? Do not these verses clearly state: "For in six days the LORD made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in them is, and rested the seventh day..."? For generations the King James Version of this verse has been the unshakable foundation of practically every conservative attempt to explain the events at the beginning of time. Is not this a clear repudiation of all of the naturalistic explanations of the beginning of the universe which insist that vast expanses of time were involved in the beginning of the universe? Actually it is not. The creation student who does not have the ability carefully to examine the original text of these verses might well think so on the basis of their statement in the English translations. But it should be observed that even the King James Version is careful to indicate that the translators have supplied a crucial word to these texts which could possibly change the original meaning of these texts considerably. Most English readers no longer are attentive to the words which have been placed in italics by the King James translators long ago. Often they are not aware that words in italics have been supplied by the translators hoping to clarify the meaning to the reader.
But what is the meaning of the original Hebrew text of Exodus 20:11 and 31:17 if the Hebrew preposition is not supplied for the English reader? That depends upon one's understanding of the main verb, 'ASAH. There has been a surprising number of casual commentators on the text of Genesis who have chosen to say that the two major creation verbs in the Bible, 'ASAH and BARA' mean the same thing. Yet such a statement can be made only apart from a careful study of the way these verbs consistently are used in the Bible. Unquestionably their meanings are related, but how can one say that their meanings are the same? The very statement should sound an alert warning one who holds the verbal, plenary view of the inspiration of the Bible. For those who are not acquainted with this terminology, the term "verbal" indicates that every single word in the original text is God breathed (a literal translation of the Greek word Theopneustos which weakly is translated "inspired of God" in II Tim. 3:16) . To me this means that the Holy Spirit, the Divine Author, so superintended the writing of Holy Scripture by the human authors that they did not "originate" the Word of God. ("Originate" is the correct meaning of the Greek word which weakly and confusingly is translated "of any private interpretation" in II Peter 1:20. The verse really says: "Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is one's own unloosing" [or origination]. It is the gradual departure of the church and its theologians from a Biblical position on inspiration which has permitted one to assume that one word of the Holy Writ means precisely the same thing as another word.
What the English reader does not realize is the fact that Hebrew carefully and discriminately uses such closely related words as 'AMAR and DABHAR with readily distinguishable shades of meaning even though they both have to do with the act of speaking. The noun ANALUSIS, isolated from this context in II Peter One, could have meant "interpretation" or "breaking up to expose the meaning" as it has been taken in the King James Version but the context here determines that it should be understood otherwise. The following verse clearly indicates that man's will was not the motivating factor in the originating and in the writing of the Holy Scripture but rather the will of the Divine Author was. II Peter 1:21 says: "For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spoke as they were moved by the Holy Spirit." According to this statement, the writers of Scripture were directed by the Holy Spirit in the subjects which they covered and even in the word choices which they made. As a result, the Word of God truly originated with God and not with man. Thus the word "verbal" is quite appropriate when used to describe the nature of the inspiration of the Bible.
But we who describe Biblical inspiration as "verbal and plenary" also are making reference to another feature of inspiration which is taught in Holy Scripture. By the term "plenary" we mean that the entirety of the Bible is inspired. Genesis 1-10 is not to be taken as fables from the dim and misty imaginations of man concerning earth's beginnings. It is as accurate and as authoritative as any of the words which the gospel writers quote from the lips of the Christ. Since they are directly from the Holy Spirit, the Divine Author who directed Moses as he wrote that introductory section of the Bible, that vital passage also is THEOPNEUSTOS, "God breathed" and completely accurate and trustworthy in the original text. Each word very precisely has been chosen by the Divine Author and used by the human author to convey with divine precision the meaning intended by the Divine Originator of the Word of God. Each verb chosen by the human author has been directed by the Holy Spirit because of the intelligent freight which it was able to carry to the human mind of the reader in the original language. It has been chosen and used in the one of the seven different Hebrew verb stems which most precisely would convey that which was to be communicated.
But how is the Hebrew verb 'ASAH used in the Old Testament in distinction from the verb BARA'? How does it convey any different shade of meaning? The fact that these two verbs are twice used by Moses in precisely the same context in Genesis 2:3-4 demands that we recognize that he surely recognized a distinction in meaning. Verse 3 is forced to be a meaningless repetition if Moses was only saying: "...He rested from all his work which God made and made." Verse 4 is forced to contain the same meaningless repetition if we require it by our misunderstanding to read: "These are the generations of the heavens and of the earth when they were made, in the day that the LORD God made the earth and heavens." But in both verses the two verbs 'ASAH and BARA' clearly are contrasted and must look as distinct aspects of the Lord's creative ministry. This certainly is true of the verb YATSAR, another important verb relating to God's creative work, the work of actually shaping and molding the body of Adam after the fashion of the potter.
The verb BARA' quite consistently is used where no antecedent, preexisting material is involved. Even in the very oblique use of BARA' that is found in Jeremiah 31:22, there still is this sense present. One cannot understand this verse without placing it in its context. In this context the Lord is speaking of a thing which is utterly impossible, which is totally unique, when He promises that the backsliding daughter, the nation of Israel, one day will return from their captivity to live again in the land of Judah and in its cities (Jer. 31:22-23). Such an expectation is so wholly impossible that a remarkably large sector of the Church of Jesus Christ has in their theology utterly repudiated any expectation that this ever will come to pass. Yet the Eternal One, the Creator, speaks of this very event which yet is in the historical nation of Israel's future as an event as impossible and as unexpected as the encompassing of a mature man within the womb of a woman. "How long will you go about, oh you backsliding daughter? for the LORD has created a new thing in the earth, a woman shall compass a man. Thus says the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel: As yet they shall use this speech in the land of Judah and in the cities thereof, when I shall bring again their captivity; 'the LORD bless thee, O habitation of justice, and mountain of holiness.'
Now it so happens that both of these verbs, 'ASAH and BARA' are used of the creation of Adam and Eve. In Genesis 1:26 "...God said, Let us MAKE man[kind] in our image, after our likeness and let them have dominion...." In the next verse, verse 27, we read: "So God created man [kind] in his own image, in the image of God CREATED He them." As we have noted, Genesis 2:7 uses the verb YATSAR of God's work when Adam was created. "And the LORD God FORMED man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul." It is obvious from a comparison of these three verses that, when the Eternal Lord created mankind, both physical and immaterial parts received His attention and were the direct result of His handiwork. The Lord MADE his physical body out of existing material, the dust of the earth. He FORMED that dust into the shape of the physical members of that body. Later when He took the rib from Adam's side and BUILT (another creation word, BANAH) that rib into the woman who was to be Adam's wife, again the Creator used preexisting material. But When He had performed that vital act of breathing into that immobile pile of mulch the breath of life, a work which did not use existing materials took place. He CREATED mankind. From these few illustrations alone it becomes obvious that the explicit choice of every word in the original text of Scripture has been important and thus precisely chosen to carry its verbal freight.
To return then to the problem translations of Exodus 20:11 and 31:17 and their use of 'ASAH, what can this possibly contribute to the discussion? I suggest that a painstaking, thorough investigation of the way that the Hebrew writers have used the verb 'ASAH will suggest to the unbiased scholar that this verb quite consistently is used of God's "creative" work where preexisting material is involved. What would be the meaning here in these two key verses of Exodus, the only verses in the entire Bible where there is cause for believing that the entire creation of the universe and the teeming hosts that fill it were created in six days? Let us read Exodus 20:11 with the consistent meaning of 'ASAH in mind. "Six days the Eternal One worked upon heaven and earth, the sea and all that (is) in them, and rested the seventh day...." Suddenly the basis upon which we creationists for the most part loudly have answered that the universe was created no more than 6,000 years ago is gone! This claim which lies at the root of perhaps 90% of all creation studies has been built upon a preposition which was supplied in an English translation of the Old Testament! Were the translators correct in supplying that preposition and then in translating the verb 'ASAH in such a way that all creative work must fit into one week which lies approximately 6,000 years ago? I wish that we knew. But I am very suspicious that we have argued from a very weak basis.
But does this approach to Exodus 20:11 necessarily suggest that we as creationists are looking for a way to try to harmonize the Bible with the billions of years postulated for the history of the universe by evolutionists? Not at all! It merely opens the door to the tentative consideration of the outside possibility that the creation of the heavens and the earth are not actually a part of the six solar days of creation which are so clearly described in Genesis one and two. But does not Genesis one clearly say that the heavens and the earth were created in the first day? In response to that question let me ask another. How does the description of each of the creation days begin on the evidence of Genesis 1:6-31? Each new solar day form the second day through the sixth day begins with the introductory formula, "And God said. . . ." It also occurs twice in the third and in the sixth days where not one but two great creative acts are found. On the third day the land mass of the continent is uplifted out of the universal preAdamic sea to prepare for the planting of earth's vegetation. On the sixth day the creation of the living creatures of the land mass is followed by the climax of creation, the creation of mankind. Nevertheless, in each case, the day began with the formula, "And God said. . . ." And where does the first solar day of creation begin? The formula is not the first verse of the Bible. It does not precede the announcement of the creation of the heavens and the earth in verse one. It does not precede the description of earth covered with that first universal sea which is found in verse two. (By the way, that first universal sea, long forgotten by all except the gap theorists, does in fact cover all of the earth until the great uplift of the land mass which is described in Genesis 1:9. But the fact that it is there does not prove that the gap theorists were correct in their attempt to harmonize geological time with the Biblical account).
But, the creationist will argue, surely the creation of the earth is a part of the activities of the creation week! Now it is true that Job 38:1-7, Psalm 104:1-5 and Proverbs 8:22-31 plainly teach, as Genesis 1:1 does, that the Lord created the earth. But not one of these passages teaches that the creation of the earth occurred in the first day of creation. Indeed, the only statement about the creation of the earth to be found in Genesis one is that majestic statement which opens Genesis: "In beginning God created the heavens and the earth." Is it not passing strange that nothing further is said in the description of the creation days about the founding of the earth? Verse two describes the condition of the surface of the earth after its creation. It is "waste and desolate" (TOHU and BOHU), expressions which are not clearly translated in most versions. Earth also is described as covered with "the face of the deep." Now the Hebrew word TEHOM, "the deep," is used frequently in the Old Testament. With few exceptions it has reference to the depths of the ocean. Here in Genesis 1:2 earth already is covered with a vast sea. Psalm 104:6-8 describes this event as one which followed the Lord's laying of the foundations of the earth. Job 38:1-9 similarly describes the covering of the earth by waters after God had laid its foundations, accompanied by the joyful songs of "the Sons of God," the angels. In addition, the Lord plainly tells us the source of the waters which covered earth's surface universally in Genesis 1:2. In Job 38:8 He announces to Job that the sea ". . . brake forth, as if it had issued from the womb." It is clear that the crust of the newly created earth was the source of this vast, preAdamic sea. But there is still a third factor concerning the surface of the earth which is described, both in Genesis 1:2 and in Job 38:8-9. The earth is described as being covered by clouds and darkness. In Job 38:9 the Lord speaks of that time ". . . when I made the cloud the garment thereof, and thick darkness the swaddling band for it."
Precisely this scene is described in Genesis before the first use of the formula, "And God said . . ." which introduces each of the solar days of creation. Verse two adds this bit of information: ". . . and darkness was upon the face of the deep." An examination of the writings and of that which has been said about Genesis 1:2 will reveal a remarkable carelessness that is evident in our handling of these words. For example, I have heard a Christian who worked at the great Lawrence Radiation Laboratories, as it was known then, go into great detail interpreting this verse as describing the formation of the planets out of cosmic dust. Where did he get that idea? Ah, with a magical swish of his hand he had transformed the "deep" and "the face of the waters" into a plasma of gasses whirling out in space! No, these texts describe the condition of the surface of the earth before God caused the light to break through that darkness to the surface of the earth to produce the first solar day. That solar day is delineated by the language of verse five: "And God called the light Day, and the darkness he called Night, and the evening and the morning were the first day."
But many creationists have sought to establish an interpretation of Genesis 1:1 which describes it only as a topical heading placed before the actual description of the creative week. This position is totally untenable. If Genesis 1:1 is not the actual description of the creation of the earth, then where in the Genesis account is the creation of the earth described? It is not found anywhere in Genesis one apart from this statement. Ah, perhaps Moses simply forgot to include a description of earth's creation! If so, that is a major slip of the memory! But, many will say, is not the description of the creation of the rest of the universe found in Genesis 1:14-19? This creationist error has been one of the most persistent that plagues creation studies. A thoughtful examination of those verses with attention given to the original text will uncover the fact that it has been necessary for the sun to be present from the very first day of creation if we are to hold that these days of creation are indeed "24 hour days," an unhappy bit of uniformitarian thinking based upon the present length of the solar day, or at least that these days are "solar days." How can there be solar days without a sun being present in the heavens, before which earth is rotating and about which it is orbiting? And, of course, the creationist who has imbibed more from the uniformitarian fountain that he has realized will insist that these are "24 hour days." Should we not give attention to the implications of Genesis 1:14? These two lights that were to be placed ". . . in the firmament of the heavens" would regulate seasons, days and years! Dare we then to insist that the first, second and third solar days which are described in Genesis 1:3-13 were precisely consistent in length with our 24 hour day today? I am afraid that we creationists far too often place our heads in a bag and our necks in a noose when we insist on arguing for creation from an untenable base! Since the lights of Genesis 1:14 are to be placed ". . . in the firmament of the heavens," should we not ask ourselves what that expression means in Genesis? Its first usage is on the second day of creation. There the firmament is that space which is placed between the universal sea and the waters which are elevated "up over the top of" the firmament. For the English reader the word "firmament" misleadingly suggests that it is something "firm." Actually the Hebrew word RACHIA' indicates something which is stretched out. It is that space above the earth which we call "the atmosphere," the place where the birds do their flying in Genesis 1:19. "Let...fowl...fly above the earth in the open expanse of the atmospheric heavens." Thus it can be seen that earth was shrouded in darkness until God elevated some of the waters up above the atmosphere. But that darkness lay upon an earth created before the light broke through to bring the first solar day.
Another conclusion also must be reached. Verse 14 most definitely is not talking about the placing of the sun and moon in the stellar heavens. The verse uses language to describe the place where these lights are placed which already has been used in the context and which continues to be used in the context. The term "firmament of the heavens" clearly has been defined in the context. It is the atmosphere which surrounds the earth. In this context there is no hint that Moses has changed his use of this terminology so that we may apply it to the great space in which the universe is found. Indeed, the continuing use of the context in verse 19 of the place where the birds fly demands that we recognize that the lights of verse 14 are lights which are placed in the atmospheric heavens under the great canopy which was placed above the atmosphere in verses 6-8. The language of these verses is quite emphatic in the original text. Three Hebrew prepositions are used to indicate that the sea lay "down underneath" the expanse of the atmosphere which stretched out above it. Furthermore, three Hebrew prepositions are used emphatically to indicate that the canopy is "up over the top of" the atmosphere. The discussion of the canopy loading atmospheric pressure appears to be out of order in the light of this.
What then actually happened in the fourth day if the sun, moon and stars were not created at that time? It appears that God caused a brilliant spot of light to shine on the underside of the canopy during the day to govern the length of the day and year. It was a sun dog or a brilliant refraction of light caused by the sun shining through the dispersed water vapor of the canopy. The same phenomenon occurred at night. The moon, which itself could not be seen from on earth, shined through the canopy and produced a less brilliant spot of light on the under surface of the canopy which largely governed man's season and month and ruled over the stars. I suggest that these were not even visible until the canopy was removed by the Lord at the time of the Noahic flood when He opened the windows of heaven from above. It appears that the sudden burst of idolatry which Josephus describes as occurring in the centuries before Abraham may well have been stimulated by the remarkable and abrupt appearance of the heavens before the eyes of Noah and his sons when they removed the roof of the ark.
There is one other possibility of interpretation which is found in Genesis 1:14-19. The main verb "to make" could be translated very properly as a previous imperfect if its action has reference to the work of creation which was accomplished in verse one. Thus it would be translated: "Now God had made (in verse one) two great lights, the greater light for ruling the day and the lesser light for ruling the night and the stars also. That could well explain that the sources of the lights which appeared under the canopy in the firmament already existed from "beginning" (v. 1).
But let us return to the subject to which all of this discussion obliquely relates. Both historical geology and the account of creation in Genesis begin with the origin of the universe. Now that would not be true if one erroneously identifies Genesis 1:14-19 as the location of the creation of the universe apart from the earth. But once the researcher recognizes that there absolutely is no discussion of the creation of the earth apart from Genesis 1:1, logically he is forced to the conclusion that the first verse of the Bible does indeed describe the actual creation of the entire universe and the earth.
But now, the creationist must face the possibility that the creation of the heavens and the earth actually took place at some time before the Creator began the rotation of the earth on its axis on the first solar day. For most creationists this suggestion immediately will bring a negative reaction. After all, that was the position of the defunct and untenable harmonization model which was called "the gap theory." It attempted harmonization of geology with Genesis by placing a complete creation of the heavens, the earth and all of earth's teeming lifeforms in Genesis One. The fall of Satan from heaven is selected as the event which produced the pre-Adamic universal flood which is described in Genesis 1:2-8. This fall of Satan is detailed in Revelation 12. That event clearly is set chronologically by the context in the middle of the great tribulation which is still future). No, the Gap Theory for this and for several other very irreconcilable weaknesses is not a working candidate as a harmonization model. I have rejected that as an untenable explanation of the relationship of geology and Genesis long ago just as most creationists have, though possibly without their having made a full evaluation of its deficiencies.
Regrettably, however, most creationists have "thrown out the baby with the bath water" when they rejected several valid conclusions of the gap theory along with its errors. As a result, most creationists fail to recognize that the earth really was covered by a universal flood before and during the first two of the creative solar days as described in Genesis 1:2-9. For the same reason they also fail to recognize that the universe and the earth actually had already been created before earth's first rotation before the sun produced the first creation day described in Genesis. Now some creationists who long to have millions and billions of years at their disposal will rejoice at this suggestion to the horror of others. But it is my contention that the millions and billions of years of earth's history required by the historical geologist are but a figment and a fabrication of a fertile imagination that bears sour fruit. To the evolutionary historian these billions of years are a necessary assumption to allow time and chance to do their work of producing the universe and the ideal planet on which life could exist. These vast spans of time to him are essential to allow the accidental origination of life and the gradual development of that miraculously preserved life to its widely diversified and exalted forms which exist today here on the earth. Indeed, the entire system of geochronology based on radioactive dating methods is fabricated so as to agree and support the extrapolations of earlier guesstimates. No, I do not propose this possible interpretation of Genesis 1:1 in order to find a pigeon hole to explain the macrochronological fabrication of geological time. That was the goal of the gap theorists as explained in one of the rarely errant footnotes found in my Old Scofield Bible. That footnote refers to Genesis 1:1 and says: "The first creative act refers to the dateless past, and gives scope for all the geologic ages." Another note on Genesis 1:11 further demonstrates the thrust of the Gap Theory as an attempt to provide a working harmonization model which could reconcile Genesis and geology. It says: "Relegate fossils to the primitive creation [the creation of Genesis 1:1], and no conflict of science with the Genesis cosmogony remains."
No, the Gap Theory is not a working model for many reasons. Nevertheless, the Gap Theory was correct in recognizing that the creation story begins with the creation of the heavens and the earth. It also is correct in recognizing that this event somehow preceded the six days of creation described in Genesis One. It was not correct, however, in identifying these six days as days of re-creation. The view drew upon the faulty evidence of unsatisfactorily translated words in the creation story. For example, Genesis 1:28 should have been translated: ". . . Be fruitful, and multiply, and fill [MILEU] the earth and subdue it . . . ." Somehow the prefix "re-" was added to the simple imperative "fill ye" to make it say "replenish" by the King James translators. This provided the grist needed for the mill of the gap theorists. The same translation error was made in Genesis 9:1 where the verb "fill ye" again wrongly was rendered "replenish." This of course simply added fuel to the fire.
To conclude the discussion of this basic first area of similarity between historical geology and Genesis, it is indeed true then that both accounts begin with the creation of the universe. The historical geological column begins with the "Azoic Era," meaning "the No Life Era." It is a period of geological history for which there is no recognizable igneous, sedimentary or metamorphic strata from which to draw evidence. But from the fact that the heavens and the earth do exist, those postulators who have developed the historical geological column have assumed that these came into being during this remote and dim "Era." While this beginning is not described in terms that have much kinship to Genesis 1:1 and the beginning of the heavens and the earth, nevertheless we do have here a basis for beginning our comparison of the two stories. The beginning point is the same. From that basis let us proceed on to consider some other remarkable areas of similarity, parallels, between these two otherwise dissimilar accounts of the history of the universe and the earth on which we live.
2. Earth covered by seas. The second great "Era" which is described in the geological column is the Archaeozoic Era. The geologist sees evidence in the contorted folds and realigned structures of this early period of earth's history that seas coursed over the surface of the earth. For some time geologists studying that which they called "the Vishnu Schist" and "the Brahma Schist" in the Archaeozoic structures of the Grand Canyon thought that they were able to identify volcanic structures there. It now is concluded that these wholly are marine sedimentary deposits which have been violently metamorphosed by great heat and pressures of uplift. While many have sought to identify the remains of fossils in the Archaeozoic structures, they are considered by most geologists to be "pseudo-fossils" and that there were no lifeforms present in Archaeozoic time.
Already it has been pointed out that this factor of waters covering the crust of the earth clearly is present in Genesis one. During more than the first two days of creation the earth's surface was completely covered by a universal flood according to Genesis 1:2-9. The abrupt uplift within a solar day which is commanded and swiftly accomplished in the beginning of the third solar day of creation ended the universality of that flood.
Now it is at this point where the gap theorist identified the judgmental force which ended all life here on earth. The view held that Satan's rebellion brought a worldwide flood which utterly destroyed Satan's earthly dominion and left all of the imagined creatures buried in its deposits to become the fossils which we now find in the sedimentary layers (and occasionally in the volcanic and even metamorphic layers of the earth). Remember that it was the gap theorist alone who had proposed that there had been a complete habitation of the earth by all manner of creatures in an interval of unknown length which fitted into Genesis 1:1. No such pre-creation day creation of lifeforms ever is mentioned in Scripture. The only exception is the creation of the angels, the Sons of God who are present at the founding of the earth in Job 38. But these are spirit beings and not mortal creatures. And one of many fatal blows which befall the gap theory lies here. It cannot possibly account for these great primal geological deposits which are utterly bereft of any fossils and therefore of any existence of life at that time. But the same mortal blow strikes out against the Noahic Flood Harmonization Model as it is commonly held! It requires a revision with gives attention to other catastrophic geological movements which precede and follow that great worldwide cataclysm of Noah's day. How can that view as presently held, which attempts to explain practically all of historical geology by the Noahic flood, account for this evidence of a worldwide flood which does not deposit any creatures which it has killed? It should be obvious by now that there are at least two major events of catastrophic proportions (geologically speaking, not theologically), both of which left very significant deposits upon the face of the earth before the Noahic flood even began!
How then can we account for these Archaeozoic marine deposits with their vast sedimentary beds which lie contorted and twisted like folded taffy wherever they have survived following catastrophic erosions? The answer lies in the supplementary sources of revelation concerning earth's early events which lie in other books of Holy Writ. Not all of the information concerning earth's early events is to be found in Genesis 1-2. Previously it has been mentioned that Psalm 104 presents a chronological, blow by blow description of the events of creation. The Psalm opens as the Psalmist adoringly exalts the Eternal One as very great, "...clothed with honor and majesty." It rapidly becomes obvious that he has been driven to this conclusion as he has been reading of the progression great events of Creation in Genesis One. Where does he begin in setting forth the greatness of the Creator? He begins with the Lord's enrobing of Himself with light (v.2) and immediately moves on to speak of His work of "continually stretching (a participle in Hebrew) out the heavens like a curtain." How amazing! He begins with the creation of the universe and does so in language which could well imply a continually expanding universe! This continual expansion of the universe happens to be the present conclusion of astronomers who observe a shift in the color of the light arriving from the most distant objects in the heavens. They have discovered to their amazement that the shift in color of these objects toward blue is more pronounced in the most distant objects, suggesting to them that these objects are hurdling away from the center of the universe even more swiftly than near stellar objects. Now it should be considered a possibility that this color shift of these most distant objects do not necessarily indicate a more rapid speed of these stellar objects. In recent years several astronomers have been wrestling with the possibility that the speed of light is not a constant, a supposition which lies at the heart of every calculation about the size of the universe. It is entirely possible that, if the speed of light can be proven to have decreased since creation, the shift toward blue in these most distant objects of the universe simply records the speed at which light originally traveled when it departed from these bodies in their journey toward the earth.
In any case, the Psalmist begins his account of creation in Psalm 104 by describing the expansion of the heavens. After the Psalmist has spoken of His chambers and the clouds, His chariot, he speaks of the Lord making His angels (v.4). (This verse agrees with Job 38 in indicating that the angels were created before earth was founded). Then in verse 5 the Psalmist describes the permanent laying of the foundations of the earth. Immediately afterwards in verse 6 He describes the work of the Lord when He ". . . covered it with the deep [the same word found in Genesis 1:2] as with a garment: the waters stood above the mountains." This statement agrees with Genesis 1:2 in declaring that, after the founding of the earth, God covered its surface with a universal flood. Now it is to be regretted that a great creation Psalm is lost to many creationists who turn to this passage to find a description of the Noahic flood. The initial flow of statements about the Lord's work of creation coupled with the careful detailing of the events of the creation days which followed the uplift of the continent in the third day militate strongly against such an interpretation. No, This passage, like Genesis 1:2, describes the Lord's work of placing a preAdamic universal flood upon the crust of the earth in preparation for that work of creation which followed in the rest of the four creation days.
Psalm 104 is not alone in confirming that earth was covered by a universal sea after its creation. Job 38: 1-9 makes a remarkable contribution to our information about that event. Now the Lord begins His direct, oral challenge of Job by demanding where this key character of the book had been when the Lord Himself had founded the earth to the delight of the Sons of God (Job 38:1-7). He then inquires of Job to demonstrate that he did not know who it was who had ". . . shut up the sea with doors, when it brake forth, as if it had issued out of the womb" (v. 8). Now this verse not only confirms that the sea was placed upon the crust of the earth after the earth's creation; it reveals the source from which that primal, universal sea came. It came from within the womb of the earth, breaking forth to cover its surface! That the reference here is to Genesis 1:2 is confirmed by the fact that the next verse in Job also has direct links with Genesis 1:2. That verse in Genesis clearly indicates that the primal sea was covered with vast darkness so that the light of the universe was not penetrating to the surface of the great sea which now covered it. Job 38:9 continues the thought of verse 8 with an adverbial clause. That clause clearly states that at the time when great springs of the earth poured forth the vast quantities of water necessary to cover the earth, the earth was completely girdled by clouds that enwrapped the earth in thick darkness like the wrappings that were placed around the body of a dead person or like the wrappings of a newborn infant. The Lord describes the scene on earth in this descriptive language as that great sea broke forth. The Adverbial clauses expanding the description read: ". . . When I made the cloud the garment thereof, and thick darkness a swaddling band for it." This unmistakably correlates with the statement of Genesis 1:2 which says: Since the verse singles out one of the two created objects of the previous sentence, I translate the introductory conjunction "but." "But the earth, it was in a state of being waste and desolate and darkness was upon the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters."
Apart from the phrase which describes the presence and activity of the Spirit of God, the description of that primal sea in the Archaeozoic Era as imagined by the historical geologist remarkably parallels this Biblical statement. He sees these seas as coursing over the crust of the earth in a "reducing environment" while yet the atmosphere was yet in formation. And it is now time to turn to that third remarkable parallel between these two amazingly unrelated and yet remarkably parallel stories of earth's origins.
3. The atmosphere is formed. Historical geologists recognize the Archaeozoic Era as that period where volcanism has produced enough gasses so that the atmosphere gradually forms. The atmosphere of necessity is present early in the Proterozoic Era which follows, for traces of lifeforms are present in the Proterozoic layers.
In the Biblical account of the creation event series the formation of the atmosphere is the next event recorded. Indeed, the formation of the atmosphere is the major activity of the second solar day of creation. God's command which opens the activities of the second day is as follows: "And God said, Let there be an expanse in the midst of the waters, and let it divide the waters from the waters" (v. 6). Were this verse the only information available to enlighten us concerning the activities of the second solar day, we would be at a loss to explain it. But verse 7 clearly indicates that the actual activities of this third day of creation involved the separation of two bodies of water from each other. This involved the elevation of one body of water ". . . up over the top of the expanse," leaving the sea, the other body in place upon the earth B
Now this has not been the first mention of these two bodies of water. While not clearly defined, it is apparent that the "seas" (as He came to name the lower body of water) was covered by an opaque veil of some kind in Genesis 1:2. That veil drew darkness over the face of the deep so that it continually was dark upon the surface of the sea. Regrettably multitudes of creationist lecturers have errantly extrapolated this darkness which explicitly was ". . . upon the face of the deep," the ocean, so that they interpreted the verse as saying that all of stellar space was filled only with darkness. It is obvious that this interpretation goes far beyond the implications of the context! It would not have been necessary for Moses even to include the phrase, ". . . upon the face of the deep" if the darkness to which he had reference was universal and unbroken by any solar or stellar light beyond the surface of the ocean which lay on the crust of the earth. If course this error grows out of a previous error, the conclusion that the sun, moon and stars were created on the fourth day.
Nevertheless, we find once again that the broader event series occurring historically on the surface of the earth which is described by the historical geologist still lies remarkably parallel to the Biblical account in spite of the naturalist's macrochronological extrapolations.
4. The beginning of an extended period in which earth had a universal climate.
5. The violent disturbance of the early marine deposits by uplifts.
6. The erection of the land mass above sea level.
7. The establishment of sea level.
8. The fact that there was at first only one continent above sea level.
9. The beginning of plant life. (note that historical geology agrees with the Scriptural record in this area only in that it acknowledges the existence of marine plants in the Proterozoic record. The existence of land plants is not admitted as indicated in Genesis 1:10-12. However, this position has required the geologists' steadfast refusal to admit the significance of remarkably spore-like bodies in the early Proterozoic Bass Limestone deposits and the very recognizable presence of angiosperm spores in the Hakatai Shale.
10. The beginning of life in the sea. (Note that historical geology violently disagrees with the Scriptural record which indicates that aviary life came into existence at the same time as marine life).
11. The drainage of the water-soaked single continent and its formation of littoral sedimentary beds of very considerable depth. (cf. Psalm 104:10ff).
12. The indication that considerable time passed in which these Proterozoic sedimentary deposits slowly tapered off until geological deposits of any consequence ceased in the interval called by geologists "the great unconformity."
On line version created February 5, 1997.
Comments to: Bernard E. Northrup Th.D. (email@example.com)