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Don Stewart :: What Is the Local Creation View?

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Don Stewart
There is also the theory that the creation account in Genesis is geographically localized. The idea is that the record in Genesis is limited to the specific land promised to the Hebrews and not the entire earth.

The Land

In the first verse of Genesis the author's scope was the entire universe. When, however, we come to the second verse in Genesis, the author is now limiting his scope. His concern is not with the universe, or even the entire earth, but rather with the boundaries of the Garden of Eden which would later become the boundaries of the Promised Land. Genesis 1:2 begins explaining how God was preparing the land for the people to inhabit. Thus Genesis 1:2 concentrates not on the earth as a whole, but on the Promised Land and the preparation of it for humans to live. The emphasis of the writer of Genesis is on the land that God had prepared for His people to dwell. Therefore, Moses is emphasizing that God is the One who created the universe, and who gave the people the Promised Land.

True To Scripture And Science

This view has the strength of being true to the literal understanding of Scripture as well as incorporating Genesis into the overall theme of the first five books of the Bible. Genesis was written from the standpoint of the Exodus explaining to the people where they came from and why they are going to this particular land. Genesis 1 and 2, therefore, is an explanation of how God prepared that special land for His people and how He wanted to bless them in that Promised Land.

No Conflict

If the days in Genesis are not days of the creation of the entire universe, but rather six days in which God prepared the Promised Land for people in which to dwell, then we have no conflict between Genesis and modern science. This is simply because Genesis does not attempt to date the original creation. Elsewhere in Scripture the time of creation is not what is emphasized but rather the fact of creation. Theologian Ronald Youngblood writes:

No one knows for certain, of course, when the beginning was. But the Old Testament is far more interested in the fact of creation than the time of creation, and the simple truth that God's creative activity took place during an indeterminate time known as the beginning was joyfully celebrated by poet (Ps. 102.25) and prophet (Isa. 40:21) alike (Ronald Youngblood, How It All Began, Ventura, California: Regal Books, 1980, p. 22).

Difficulties With The local creation view

The main problem with this view is that it makes the majestic creation account in Genesis refer to only a small portion of the earth. This certainly does not seem to be the way the Genesis creation account is to be read. The subject seems to be the entire earth, not merely the Promised Land. Furthermore it contradicts Exodus 20:11 and Genesis 2:4 which says that God created the heavens and the earth in six days - not just the Promised Land.


The Blue Letter Bible ministry and the BLB Institute hold to the historical, conservative Christian faith, which includes a firm belief in the inerrancy of Scripture. Since the text and audio content provided by BLB represent a range of evangelical traditions, all of the ideas and principles conveyed in the resource materials are not necessarily affirmed, in total, by this ministry.


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