CC Walker Christadelphian Magazine Editor

CC Walker pointed out problems with a literal Genesis reading

Bro CC Walker, editor of the Christadelphian Magazine after Robert Roberts, Wrote a series of articles in the magazine in 1910.  Commenting on Genesis 1 he observed the evidence did not support a young earth and strangely there was no evidence of the cessation and restart of life 6,000 years ago which is what a literal reading of Genesis 1 requires.  He reminds us that Genesis 1 is not teaching us science and our interpretation of it could be adjusted by further scientific discoveries.  Walker was no fan of evolution but would be shunned by creationists today.Bro Walker’s text is below (emphasis ours)

“We notice that Moses puts the creation of fishes before that of birds, beasts, and man. And science agrees that this is the order indicated by remains in the earth itself. As before remarked, mistakes may be made both in the reading of the Bible and in the reading of the geological evidence of the earth itself; but broadly speaking there is harmony between “Moses and geology” when both are read aright. Many of the very rocks of the earth are made up of the labours and remains of “swarming souls of life.” Such are the coral reefs of the Southern seas, some of which are of vast extent.

“And fowl that may fly.” In the A.V. it reads as though the waters brought forth all the fowls of the air, though the 21st verse somewhat modifies the impression. But the R.V. renders verse 20: “And let fowl fly,” etc. As a matter of fact some fowls belong to the water and some to the land, and hence some have supposed that water fowl were produced from the water and land fowl from the earth. Thus, Dr. Thomas, speaking of the “joyous tenantry” that God provided for the earth, says:—

“This was the work of the fifth and sixth days. On the fifth, fish and water fowl were produced from the teeming waters; and on the sixth, cattle, reptiles, land fowl, and the beasts of the earth, came out of ‘the dust of the ground,’ male and female after their several kinds.” Elpis Israel, p. 12.

As with fishes, so with birds, many remains are found in the rocks, of a kind not now found upon earth. Our museums contain footprints of gigantic birds impressed in sand now turned to rock, and remains actually embedded in rock. If we understand Moses as teaching that the earth and all that therein is came into existence some 6,000 years ago, we shall scarcely be able to account for these evidently very ancient remains of creatures that do not now exist. If we suppose a sudden and absolute break some 6,000 years ago, or before, resulting in the destruction of all life, and that the creation account of Genesis describes a new creation following, we ought to find some evidence of the break, and we cannot well account for the apparently close relationship that obtains between extinct and existing forms. There are forms becoming extinct in our own day from slow and natural causes. May it not have been so in pre-Adamic times? The professors tell us for instance that some of these ancient birds, whose strides we can see for ourselves from their footprints were from four to six feet long, were like gigantic ostriches. Supposing that it were ever established that they were the actual progenitors of our smaller forms (“There were giants in the earth in those days” might apply to birds and beasts), would the credibility of the Mosaic narrative suffer? Not at all, in our estimation. We should indeed have to revise somewhat our interpretation of the brief cosmogony of Gen. 1.; but should not waver as concerning its divinity, nor await with less faith and patience the reappearance of Moses in the land of the living.
Verse 21.—“And God created great whales”—R.V. “sea-monsters,” as in Lam. 4:3, A.V. The word is tanninim, and is translated whale, serpent, dragon, sea-monster in the A.V. Moses’ rod turned into a tanin, serpent (Ex. 7:10). In Psalm 74. the psalmist, celebrating the deliverance from Egypt, says: “Thou brakest the heads of the dragons in the waters. Thou brakest the heads of leviathan in pieces, and gavest him to be meat for the people inhabiting the wilderness.” And in Isa. 51:9, “the dragon” of Egypt of old is likewise referred to in an allusion to the same great deliverance; while in Isa. 27:1, the future judgment of the Gentile world and deliverance of Israel in “the time of the dead” is thus referred to: “In that day the Lord with his sore and great and strong sword shall punish leviathan the piercing serpent, even leviathan that crooked serpent, and shall slay the dragon that is in the sea.” And in Jeremiah 51:34, Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon is said to have devoured Israel “like a dragon, ” and dragons have been found sculptured on the walls of Babylon. In all these references the original word is tanin as found in Gen. 1, and in the A.V. rendered “whale.” It is evident that the R.V. is to be preferred, and it is also evident that the crocodile of the Nile is the prototype of the “dragon” of Egypt (compare Ezek. 29:3—“Pharaoh, King of Egypt, the great dragon that lieth in the midst of his rivers”).

There were “dragons” of old in the pre-Adamic earth “greater” even than any that are found now. Their remains are with us and may be seen in many museums. When Moses speaks of “the great dragons” that God created, does he include these with those of the Adamic world? They are certainly parts of God’s creation, and it seems reasonable to suppose that the reference of Gen. 1:21 covers all such creatures. Moses may have seen “whales” or “great sea-monsters,” but he could know but little of them from personal observation. His brief account of “creation,” whether or not it embodies previous tradition, is doubtless given by inspiration of God, though when and how we cannot say. Possibly, as some have thought, he received it in a series of visions as John in Patmos received the Apocalypse. The design is evidently not to teach us natural history or science, but to give such a view of creation as will reveal it as God’s possession and handiwork, and man in his right relation thereto”

107 years after this article, science has established the link between the ancient forms and those of our day.  Rather than build on the legacy Bro Walker it seems some want to adopt a more literal reading of Genesis 1 than we had 100 years ago and fly in the face of the facts God has made plain to us (or that we diligently ignore).

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