Myths, Fables, Stories, or Truth?

Contrary to the intent of God's Divine revelations, the Genesis account is considered by some to be a collection of myths, fables, and stories. Yet, throughout the pages of Holy Writ, Genesis is given to be understood as a book of facts: actual events which really took place exactly as declared by inspiration of the Holy Spirit.

Even some who consider themselves to be Christians look upon the first book of the Bible as though it were an allegory, that it is representative of truth in a fashion that people of old would be able to accept given their level of education, sophistication, and / or general intellectual maturity (i.e. they could not comprehend or fathom the real truths about creation and other matters: their level of scientific understanding prevented them from understanding the truth). The problem with believing that it is merely stories is that so much of what is recorded in the book of Genesis is used as foundational material to understanding concepts and doctrines of the New Testament.

The Bible Is Not a Collection of Cagey Tales

In 2 Pet 1:16-21, Peter relates that the gospel message they (the Apostles) preached was not a series of clever stories they invented, but were actual eye-witness accounts of the events which unfolded before them. He told of a particular time when James, John, and he saw the Lord revealed in his glory: the Father, speaking to them from the clouds said, “This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased; hear ye him,” (Matt. 17:5). To further impress upon them about his testimony of the Christ, he states:

2 Pet. 1:19 We have also a more sure word of prophecy; whereunto ye do well that ye take heed, as unto a light that shineth in a dark place, until the day dawn, and the day star arise in your heart: 20 Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation. 21 For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost.

This passage emphasizes the source of Old Testament scripture, and the trustworthiness of its content: it is a more sure word of prophesy, not merely an eye-witness account! It did not come from the men, themselves; rather, the men who wrote the words were moved, or “born along,” by the Holy Spirit: He (the Holy Spirit) gave them the words; He gave them the history.

If the book of Genesis is nothing more than a collection of myths, legends, fables, and allegorical stories, then many of the Christian doctrines of the New Testament have no merit. But let the reader consider the following matters of faith.

The Genesis Account of the Creation

Believing the Genesis account of creation is a matter of faith (Heb. 11:1-6). A matter of faith does not mean that one blindly takes a leap where the evidence does not lead. One should believe what the evidence demands. No human witnessed the creation of the universe, so no man can write the account; except it be given him (like Moses). The scientific method cannot provide us the answers to our curiosity because science deals with observable, repeatable phenomenon. The creation of the universe happened only once, and by powers beyond the scope of empirical measuring techniques. By definition of science, the creation of the universe transcends our ability to provide answers. Alas, science fails us in that quest. We rely upon Biblical faith: believing that our God, our Creator, has answered our question, “From where did everything come?”

The Genesis Account of the Worldwide Flood

Believing the Genesis account of the worldwide flood is a matter of faith (Heb. 11:7). Noah operated from his faith in God, and obeyed God's command to build that ark which would carry him, his family, and the precious cargo safely through the waters. The account suggests that Noah had never even seen rain before! Yet, that faith in what he had not seen motivated him to act in order to prepare for the day when God would manifest His wrath. “Thus did Noah; according to all that God commanded him, so did he” (Gen. 6:22). Noah's faith saved him.

How interesting it is that things have not changed since the days of the Apostles. 2 Pet. 3:1-10 brings to light accusations from some of the people of that time. The critics of Peter's day were scoffing about the fact that Jesus had not yet come. “Where is He? Where is the promise of his coming?” But, Peter reminds them of how it was in the days of Noah, and that these same critics purposely reject that God brought the floods upon the earth in judgment of the people of that day. They were destroyed because of their iniquities. So it will be on the last day when God brings judgment upon the people of all ages. Now, if the Noahic deluge was a mere story, fable, or myth, then what power does this argument have in exhortation of both the believer (to press on in his faithful walk) and the skeptic (to repent and turn again)? More compellingly, verses 11 through 14 concludes that our very hope of the new heavens and a new earth is based upon the reality of the coming judgment, and that Noah's flood is a matter of fact, not of fiction. Peter concludes the exhortation with this command:

2 Pet. 3:17 Ye therefore, beloved, seeing ye know these things before, beware lest ye also, being led away with the error of the wicked, fall from your own stedfastness. 18 But grow in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. To him be glory both now and for ever. Amen.

Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden

Why is it that women are not to exercise authority over men in the Lord's church? What logical argument is used to support this commandment?

1 Tim. 2:11 Let the woman learn in silence with all subjection.12 But I suffer not a woman to teach, nor to usurp authority over the man, but to be in silence.13 For Adam was first formed, then Eve. 14 And Adam was not deceived, but the woman being deceived was in the transgression.

Women were not to teach, nor in any other way usurp the authority of the men, because 1) the man was made first, and 2) it was the woman who was beguiled, not the man. That Christ, through the Holy Spirit by the pen of the Apostle, Paul prohibited women from taking a dominant role over men has nothing to do with culture, personal bias, nor any other predisposition of men and their attitudes, and has everything to do with what actually happened at the very beginning as recorded in Genesis. Now, if one believes that the account of the creation of mankind, or the original sin committed by Adam and Eve in the garden of Eden is nothing more than a myth, fable, story, or allegorical teaching, than how does one harmonize this with the fact that Paul, as a chosen Apostle of Jesus Christ, declares that the command for this prohibition for women is based in actual events? This is not cultural; this is not chauvinistic; this is not petty personal bias: it is the commandment of Christ because of what really happened in the Genesis account. If this is not the position you hold, then you need to understand that what Paul wrote were the commandments of Christ (1 Cor. 14:37).

Take heed, elders, evangelists, and anyone who would subvert the will of Christ, teaching as doctrines the commandments of men. Are you guilty of going beyond what is written just so your own will is satisfied? Are you watching over the Lord's flock, or letting ravenous wolves enter to devour the sheep?

Summary

If one were to reject the first five books of the Old Testament (the Pentateuch) on the grounds that they are merely a collection of myths, fables, stories, and allegorical teachings, then he rejects many of the foundational teachings of Christ and His church. He will find himself in the untenable position that some very important doctrines of the New Testament is based solely upon the culture of that time, and upon the whims and biases of the Apostles and other inspired writers. Surely it is evident that the gospel is not a matter of private interpretation, nor the will of men, but is truly the word of God. As we mold ourselves after the commandments of Christ, thereby showing our love for him, we can be confident that his commands are not based upon mere cultural standards, personal biases, nor any deceptive means; but upon facts, truth, and eternal principles which serve to cause us to grow (1 Pet. 2:2), and to find everlasting life.

Curtis A. Little, Royse City, TX

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Sunday
Morning Worship . . .9:30 AM
Bible Class . . . . . . 10:45 AM

Evening Worship . . .5:00 PM
(except for every 1st Sunday of the month, devotional at ~12:30 PM)

Wednesday
Bible Class . . . . . . . 7:00 PM

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2nd & 4th Sunday @ 4:00 PM

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205 Bell St.
Royse City, Texas 75189
972-822-3955
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Royse City, Texas 75189


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