A Bible literalist will believe that Genesis is an actual, factual day by day account of the creation of the earth and the universe as we know it today. They will teach that Moses, being inspired by God, actually wrote with the understanding of the universe we have today, ie. . .that planets are roughly spherical, and that the Genesis account reflects this.
Historically, Moses was brought up and educated in Pharaoh’s court, as an adopted grandson of the Pharaoh. (Exodus 2:1 – 14) His Mother, who had been paid by Pharaoh’s daughter to nurse him, gave him back to Pharaoh’s daughter to raise. But we aren’t told anything other than the bare bone facts here. Perhaps Moses’s Mother instilled in him teachings about God? Perhaps she taught him about the Hebrew’s view of the universe so that he received some education from his Mother, and other education from his teachers in the Egyptian court?. We don’t know, because verse 11 merely says, ‘11 And it came to pass in those days, when Moses was grown up, that he went out unto his brethren, and looked on their burdens: and he saw an Egyptian smiting a Hebrew, one of his brethren. 12 And he looked this way and that way, and when he saw that there was no man, he smote the Egyptian, and hid him in the sand.” [Source: biblegateway.org]
So obviously Moses lived with the Egyptians for a substantial length of time since he would have been unable to kill a man if he were still a young teenager.
My point here is that it is a Fundamentalist fabrication to claim that Genesis is describing the universe in the way we currently understand it to be. Not so much. I challenge you to read each verse while looking at the picture at the beginning of this blog and decide for yourself if what you are reading actually matches the picture or if it matches the solar system as we understand it today.
Genesis 1 American Standard Version (ASV)
1 In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. 2 And the earth was waste and void; (what does that even mean? Did God create a blob?) and darkness was upon the face of the deep: and the Spirit of God [a]moved upon the face of the waters. (Waters? What water? To this point, all we were told is that the earth was waste and void. Where did the water suddenly appear from?)3 And God said, Let there be light: and there was light. 4 And God saw the light, that it was good: (What was the source of this light? It doesn’t say – as of yet, God had not created the sun.) and God divided the light from the darkness. 5 And God called the light Day, and the darkness he called Night. (Day and night are caused by the earth’s rotation relative to the sun. To this point, the sun had not been created, so there could not have been either day or night.) And there was evening and there was morning, one day.
6 And God said, Let there be a [b]firmament in the midst of the waters, and let it divide the waters from the waters. 7 And God made the firmament, and divided the waters which were under the firmament from the waters which were above the firmament: and it was so. 8 And God called the firmament Heaven. And there was evening and there was morning, a second day.(This is essentially saying that the entire universe was full of water, and God made a material that resided in the water that functioned as a wall so there was water above and below this barrier. (firmament)
9 And God said, Let the waters under the heavens be gathered together unto one place, and let the dry land appear: and it was so. 10 And God called the dry land Earth; and the gathering together of the waters called he Seas: (So the best I can understand here is that the water beneath the firmament was pooled together into large seas which were separated from land that God made simultaneously.) .and God saw that it was good. 11 And God said, Let the earth put forth grass, herbs yielding seed, and fruit-trees bearing fruit after their kind, wherein is the seed thereof, upon the earth: and it was so. 12 And the earth brought forth grass, herbs yielding seed after their kind, and trees bearing fruit, wherein is the seed thereof, after their kind: and God saw that it was good. 13 And there was evening and there was morning, a third day.(We still have no sun, planets, or stars, and yet the earth is said to have experienced both day and night. This is not possible.)
14 And God said, Let there be lights in the firmament of heaven to divide the day from the night; and let them be for signs, and for seasons, and for days and years: 15 and let them be for lights in the firmament of heaven to give light upon the earth: and it was so. 16 And God made the two great lights; the greater light to rule the day, and the lesser light to rule the night: he made the stars also. 17 And God set them in the firmament of heaven to give light upon the earth,(So essentially, God created a glass dome, like a Christmas glass dome, and placed the sun and the moon in the upper sky level. Oh, and as an afterthought, He threw a bunch of stars up there as well. Never mind that our sun is a large relatively close star to earth from which we get light. Never mind that day and night is determined by a 24 hour rotation of the earth.) 18 and to rule over the day and over the night, and to divide the light from the darkness: and God saw that it was good. 19 And there was evening and there was morning, a fourth day.” [Source: biblegateway.org]
I could go on, but you get the idea. I was taught that Genesis was an accurate historical account of the creation of the earth. That Moses had special knowledge of the universe due to his being inspired by God as he wrote Genesis. So that the Genesis account is describing the universe as we understand it today. What a bunch of crap!
The origins of the planets within our solar system was never discussed. I just assumed that God created everything and we were the only life in the entire universe. Apparently, I may have been the first in my family to realize that the sky we see is not in real-time, but due to the speed of light at such great distances, the stars in the sky we see are as they were perhaps millions of light years ago. Perhaps we are just now receiving the light from a star that has already been burned out, but we don’t see that yet!
I was taught that on one little planet, resided the only life that God chose to create in the entire universe. Jesus came only to earth, and died as a perfect sacrifice for humans as that was the only plan of salvation ever mentioned in the Bible. Just us because we are that special!
Ignore those descriptions of all those strange heavenly creatures that God created to live with Him in heaven. Surely, God would only have created humans, and never had any other creations on any other planets, nor would He wish to create a plan of salvation for aliens.
So after believing in this passage of Genesis as literal history, in which Moses supernaturally wrote about the universe as science understands it today, it saddens me to know that is simply false. My heart wants it to be true, but facts can be pesky little things.
And this small door being closed, lets my eyes look up, up, up to larger idea doors with both questions and wonder! I can expand my mind, my imagination, and zest to learn about what’s really out there!