Genesis: An Apologetic -- By: John H. Bennetch

Journal: Bibliotheca Sacra
Volume: BSAC 103:409 (Jan 1946)
Article: Genesis: An Apologetic
Author: John H. Bennetch

Genesis: An Apologetic

John H. Bennetch

{Editor’s note: Footnotes in the original document were numbered from 1–9 with a 7a and a 7b between 7 and 8. In this electronic edition, footnotes are numbered from 1–11 respectively.}

From earliest times the powers of good and evil, faith and unbelief, light and darkness, have been locked in mortal combat with one another. The Bible takes cognizance of the endless conflict in book after book because a main characteristic of its pages is realism. Notwithstanding the facts, however, this apologetic side to Scripture has not often been discussed and given recognition, the recognition it is due considering its inherent value to believers who are carrying on the agelong struggle to this moment. Why there has been this silence may not be difficult to learn. To use the statement of a recent book: “The Bible does not argue. It is not concerned to prove by argument the foundations of religion, the existence and holiness of God, the eternal authority of righteousness, the moral nature of man, the fact of sin, and of redemption from the guilt and power of sin, and that final judgment awaits all human deeds. It assumes these truths and proclaims them as certainties that find their attestation in the soul, itself. The Bible offers us, not an argument, but a message, It is not man’s thoughts about God, but God’s thoughts about man. So the note is always one of authority—an authority which cannot be assailed nor challenged because it is final and absolute. God has spoken.”1 Simply, then, because the Word of God does not argue its case, Bible students may have missed seeing what it says in defense of the truth.

The spokesmen of God who gave us the New Testament knew how to tap the apologetic resources found in Scripture. Time and again the Lord Jesus Christ did the very same thing. With few exceptions, indeed, all the books of the

New Testament abound with references to the Old Testament and in quotation from it, quite a few of which have an apologetic cast.2 Swete has found that nearly half of the direct quotations are derived from two Old Testament books alone, Psalms and Isaiah—40 from the one and 38 from the other. Genesis furnishes half as many as either of them. It is our purpose to investigate the apologetic element in Genesis as New Testament references to the book have already presupposed one.

There seem to be several different strands of apology in the first book of Moses. One is concerned with creation, another with theism, and still another with soteriology. As for origins Moses made it plain that “...

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