I THOUGHT IT WAS A MISTAKE. I was reading a NASA article about the beginning of the universe and it suddenly started to sound like Genesis, the first book in the Bible.
My jaw dropped.
I was researching to write A Visual Walk Through Genesis, an illustrated book coming in July, and I wanted to see what scientists had to say about how the universe started.
I turned to the NASA article. It was about dark matter and dark energy, mysterious properties that make up most of the universe. Here’s what it said:
“When the universe was young, it was nearly smooth and featureless. As it grew older and developed, it became organized.”
That’s not especially shocking, unless you know how the book of Genesis describes the beginning of life.
Earth was the universe that the ancients knew. Genesis describes their universe by saying it was:
“without form, and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep” (Genesis 1:2 KJV).
NASA said that what happened to change the featureless void of the dark universe is that it “became organized.”
Genesis says God organized it.
God started by separating Light and Darkness.
1:3. God said, “Lights.” Lights came on.
1:4. God liked the light. He gave it a place, separate from darkness.
1:5. God called the light’s place “Day.” He put darkness in its place, too. He called it “Night.” Casual English Bible™
Astrophysicists say that only about 5 percent of the universe is organized into objects we can see, such as planets and stars. The rest is dark energy and dark matter, mysterious properties organized in such a way that we can’t see them. They are invisible. We can see only their effects. A bit like wind. We can see dresses of church ladies blowing up around their ears as they walk across the parking lot, but we can’t see the wind doing the deed. We can only curse it or thank it.
I spent the better part of a year researching and writing A Visual Walk Through Genesis. It’s an illustrated magazine-style guidebook and commentary. You can see a bunch of sample pages by clicking A Visual Walk Through Genesis.
I’ve written a sidebar in there about my encounter with NASA: “Where NASA and Genesis agree.” You can see that sidebar on page 17 in the flipbook I posted on my website. The book is full of what I think are cool facts about the Genesis stories as well as the stories behind the stories.
The book comes out in July. I’ll be doing what I can to whet your appetite for the book, and to help you use it in Bible studies if you like.
- Genesis trivia. All the “Did You Know?” Bible trivia features I release every Saturday morning during 2016 will come from the Genesis book.
- Q&A. In addition to the discussion questions I’ve included in the back of A Visual Walk Through Genesis, a batch of questions for each of the 50 chapters in Genesis, I’m going to release online a vastly extended edition of discussion questions. The kind of questions a newspaper reporter would ask. Some of them are unsettling.
- Casual English Bible™. I’ll also release an online version of my own paraphrase of Genesis. I created it as I worked on the book. I wanted to see how Genesis would sound if I put the stories in my own words. I’m releasing it for readers because I think it might help stir up more discussion about Genesis.
For more about Genesis
- Genesis, plain and simple
- Was Noah’s Flood just another flood myth?
- Book: A Quick Guided Tour Through the Bible, pages 11-38
- Book: Complete Guide to the Bible, pages 10-28
- Video: Noah’s Ark: Looking for a boat 3 miles above sea level
Blog subscribers who win books this week
- James Baker
- Michelle Di Liberto
I give away free books each week.
Randomly selected subscribers to this free blog or to my free quarterly newsletter will get the option of choosing my newest book: A Quick Guided Tour Through the Bible – among about half a dozen other titles.