Reviews of The Genesis Account
FOREWORD to the book
Dr Robert V. McCabe, Th.D.
Professor of Old Testament and Registrar
Detroit Baptist Theological Seminary
The growing influence of the theory of evolution for more than the last century and a half, along with its corollary of an ancient earth, has had an impact on shaping the Weltanschauung (worldview) of Western civilization from a Christian-based culture to a humanistic one. Prior to the rise of evolutionary thinking, the Western world generally embraced a historical, literal interpretation of Genesis 1–11.
Unfortunately, various factors have facilitated this transformation even in the evangelical community, such as: desires to stay relevant with the ‘scientific’ community, ancient Near Eastern parallels, and the associated claims to have found new ‘understandings’ of the genres in the first eleven chapters of Genesis. These factors influenced a number of Christian leaders and teachers, resulting in reinterpretations of Genesis 1–11.
For example, rather than following the traditional explanation of Noah’s Flood as being global in nature, many today construe it as a local flood. Further, the genealogies in Genesis 5 and 11 are often minimized or ignored. In addition, rather than reading Genesis 1 according to its grammatical and historical context, it is re-explained either mythically or figuratively. Amazingly, today a few professing evangelicals even maintain that it is no longer a theological necessity to affirm that Adam, our federal head, was a historical person. Though attempting to preserve biblical authority, numerous Christian scholars embraced theistic evolution, the day-age view, and the gap theory in an attempt to make allowance for an old earth. In reality, these attempts mitigated the authority of the Genesis text and with it biblical authority in general.
The development of the modern biblical creationist movement over the last 50-plus years has challenged these non-traditional views. One of the scientists leading this charge is renowned creationist Jonathan Sarfati of Creation Ministries International. His first book, Refuting Evolution (1999), remains the largest-selling creation book of all time. He has since then written five more books and co-authored others, as well as having had numerous papers and articles published, including some in mainstream scientific journals.
Because of the substance and quality of the work of this highly qualified writer, I have used his books as reading for a class that I teach on biblical creation. This includes the classic Refuting Compromise, an in-depth theological and scientific treatise examining the main attempts at ‘harmonizing’ secular views with the Bible—especially ‘progressive creation’.
While many Christian scholars have reinterpreted Genesis 1–11 in light of evolutionary-based science, Dr Sarfati works with the theological and historical meaning of the biblical text and then integrates science from a biblical perspective. Because of this, it is a privilege for me to commend Dr Sarfati’s The Genesis Account: A Theological, Historical, and Scientific Commentary on Genesis 1–11.
With his development of a thorough exposition of Genesis 1–11, Dr Sarfati also demonstrates that these eleven chapters are the basis of the most important Christian doctrines. In keeping with his exposition, he further documents that many current explanations of Genesis are novelties. In this commentary he takes seriously Jude’s words in v. 3 “to contend for the faith that was once for all delivered to the saints.”
One of the great benefits of The Genesis Account is Dr Sarfati’s capability as a scientist and logician to integrate genuine science with the biblical text. Many commentators on Genesis treat science as either an equal or an elevated authority over Scripture. This is to say, secular scientific interpretations are used to reinterpret the traditional view of Genesis. The result is that many of these commentators have a low view of bibliology. However, Dr Sarfati’s approach is the opposite. He brings science into submission to the authority of the Word of God.
While all Scripture is genuine truth, it is not exhaustive truth. Consequently, he argues, science can assist by elucidating more detail to events taught in Scripture but where little detail is provided. For example, on the fifth day of Creation Week, God created the sea and air creatures that were to reproduce according to their “kinds”. Based upon the biblical text, he explains how our current understanding of DNA assists in giving more details about reproducing after one’s kind. He further demonstrates how this is a major dilemma for the assertion that all life evolved from non-living chemicals. In addition, after demonstrating from Scripture that the earth cannot be old, he provides nine strong scientific arguments for a ‘young’ age of the earth and universe.
May the Lord use The Genesis Account to awaken God’s people to a commitment to the foundational and inerrant truth found in Genesis 1–11, and to instill in them a desire to communicate the message of these chapters to our evolutionary-driven world. And may this ultimately bring glory to our God and to our Lord Jesus Christ.
Dr Johnny M. Hunt
Senior Pastor, First Baptist Church, Woodstock, Georgia
Former President of the Southern Baptist Convention
This is a solid intellectual work and will be of real practical value to all who sincerely desire to properly understand the early chapters of Genesis. As an exegetical preacher, I appreciate how The Genesis Account affirms the texts as divinely inspired truth, confirming its role, not only in our wider Christian theology, but also in science and history.
It unequivocally demonstrates that Genesis is absolutely foundational to the Gospel and much of our Christian doctrine. I further appreciate the intellectual integrity and structure of this work which permit the reader to review historical and theological truths along with technical proofs.
The Genesis Account shows Genesis to be the very foundation for the inerrant Bible which is the true history of God’s glory throughout eternity, revealing His eternal plan through his Son, Jesus Christ.
It provides proofs of a precise order to every aspect of creation (for example, the enormous complexity of the simplest cells) so that it is intuitively obvious that extreme intelligence was required to author creation and that any doctrine of evolution would require immense faith in totally unfounded scientific assumptions.
This book should be considered a must read for all serious students of the Bible.
“A cogent defense of six-day creation.”, June 20, 2015 — Amazon.com Review
This is a big book — some 700 pages. It is not something you can read quickly. But it is a great blessing from the Lord that he has provided such an eloquent and cogent defender of the historical truthfulness of Genesis 1-11. One of the features that stood out to me is his command of the Hebrew text of Genesis. Right now there is a lot of confusion in even the more conservative Reformed and Presbyterian denominations (such as the PCA, the OPC and the URC). It concerns me greatly that various contradictory and 'newly invented' views are considered acceptable. I keep praying that the Lord will give us Seminary teachers who will recover the wisdom of the Westminster Assembly which said this in their Shorter Catechism; Q.9. What is the work of creation? A. The work of creation is, God's making all things of nothing, by the word of his power, in the space of six days, and all very good. If the remnant churches in North America do recover this simple and essential confession, I believe it will be in no small degree, because of the powerful testimony of Dr. Sarfati.
Kenneth L. Gentry, Jr., Th.D.
Author, Yea, Hath God Said: The Framework Hypothesis/Six Day Creation Debate (Wipf & Stock)
Dr. Sarfati’s The Genesis Account is a “must-have” volume for faithful expositors of God’s Word. Moses’ creation account is perhaps the major battleground pitting the biblical worldview against the currently dominant evolutionary mythology of secularism. This work is an invaluable resource due to its exegetical, scientific, and historical insights into the first eleven chapters of Genesis, which serve as the very foundation for the whole biblical narrative. It is an important addition to the library of both pastors and laymen, as well as churches and Christian schools. Very few formal Genesis commentaries offer scientific insights on the biblical texts. Sarfati corrects that deficiency in this highly-readable, competent, and thorough text.
Rated The Genesis Account 5 of 5 stars on Goodreads.com
“The Genesis Account: A theological, historical, and scientific commentary on Genesis 1-11” by Dr. Jonathan Sarfati is a new landmark book; the most up-to-date and in-depth commentary on early Genesis ever published. This book is phenomenal, possibly one of the best books I’ve ever read, and I’ve read a lot!
As the title suggests, the book’s focus lies in the first eleven chapters of the Bible (a 24-hour 7 day Creation to Abraham), where you’ll find the foundations for the most important Christian doctrines.
“The Genesis Account” is a brilliant read, thought-provoking and just shy of 800 pages. It’s written at a high school reading level. The author, Dr. Sarfati, is a PhD scientist and a learned Messianic Jew, so he knows what he’s talking about when it comes to studying the God’s Word. While a little of the mathematics/science content flew over my head, most of it was written to engage the average reader. There were a few conclusions in the book that I didn’t agree with, but nothing major. I found a few proof-reading errors, but I’m really reaching to find something not to like.
Now I’d like to share about myself:
I was raised in a Christian household with a biblical creation worldview. As such, I’ve been reading Creation magazine since the very early 1990s (this book is associated with their ministry). Since then I’ve read thousands upon thousands of such articles, many books and of course, CMI’s quarterly magazine. I’ve watched numerous documentaries, online talks and have attended many lectures. So you could say I’m familiar with the topic of biblical creation versus evolution. Despite that, I found much new material in “The Genesis Account”, which was surprising but awesome.
Outside the home I was constantly exposed to evolutionary storytelling, but from an early age I thought little of evolution and even less as I grew older. The science stories just seemed nonsensical in comparison to the biblical creation understanding. Because of this, I found most dinosaur books and science documentaries an exercise in frustration. But at least I was informed and a critical thinker. I read both sides of the argument to better understand evolution.
Years later, after much reading, study, thought, consideration, discussion of both sides of the argument, and of course prayer, I arrived at the conclusion that biblical creation provided the only logical, reasonable and consistent explanation for the world around us and for what happened in the ancient past. I learned that a grammatical-historical perspective was needed to make sense of the Bible, especially early Genesis. This refers to a ‘plain reading’ of the Bible allowing for the figurative language found throughout. After all, the Bible is not a book of secret knowledge for the learned few to make sense of.
I believe “The Genesis Account” is an important book that should be read by every pastor, theologian, Bible scholar, student – everyone really. It’s that good! I highly recommend it.
We can trust God’s Word completely. Genesis is truthful history from the very first word. Hallelujah!
Dr. Sarfati. Thanks so much for writing The Genesis Account. This book really is your magnum opus, it’s phenomenal! Easily one of the best books I’ve ever had the pleasure of reading. Early last year, I discovered Henry M. Morris’ The Genesis Record and it was great, but I love having this much more comprehensive and up-to-date commentary. I really appreciated your Hebrew Christian insights. As I’m tremendously familiar with biblical creation, it was a pleasant surprise to find much new material. It was a bonus that little content ‘went over my head’. My uncle Everard Noack (featured in Creation magazine’s ‘A Garden Proclaiming Creation’ article, April 2015) recently visited. He was excited to check out your book. Needless to say, we didn’t hear much from him the rest of the night. The only con I noticed were some proofing errors. I pray The Genesis Account makes a huge impact and becomes the primary go-to resource for those seeking biblical creation answers. Thank God for CMI! 9.5/10