Creation and interpretive theories

 (All verses quoted are from NKJV if not otherwise mentioned)


There is more than one interpretive theory about the creation story narrated in the Book of Genesis. Many of them are trying to explain the creation process, accommodating it with geological and scientific discoveries. Science claims that the universe is millions or billions of years old, while the Bible claims a younger age for the earth. So different theories are developed to incorporate scientific theories. They have the support of some Bible scholars, study Bibles, and seminaries. However, conservative theologians dismiss all these theories for a literary seven-day creation story as described in Genesis 1 and 2.


In this study, we will discuss four main theories: the Gap Theory, or the Ruin and Reconstruction Theory; Progressive Creationism, or Day-Age Creationism; Theistic Evolution; and Young Earth Creationism.

Gap Theory

Ruin and reconstruction theory


One of the most popular theories for interpreting the creation story in Genesis is known as the Gap Theory or the Ruin and Reconstruction Theory. The theory reconciles the creation story in Genesis with the long geological ages.

Old Testament - abolished or fulfilled?

The Old Testament and the Old Covenant are not the same thing. The Old Testament contains the old covenant, but the Old Testament is not only the old covenant. The Old Testament contains the creation story, the protoevangelium, or the declaration of grace in the Garden of Eden, the story of Noah and the covenant with him, promising a common grace to all humans, the election of Abraham, the covenant of grace with him, the history of Israel and the Jews, the prophecies about Israel and the Jews, and the new covenant that would be instituted by the death of Jesus and the promise of the Holy Spirit. The Old Testament contains more than one covenant. One of them is the Mosaic Covenant, which we often call the Old Covenant.


So, when we discuss whether the Old Covenant has passed away, we are not meaning in any way that the Old Testament is cancelled. The Old Testament as well as the New Testament are the scriptures of God. All scriptures are God’s infallible and inerrant word. So, they are the final authority on all matters that concern God’s redemptive plan and purpose. All the Old Testament scriptures are progressive divine revelations, and they are pedagogical for believers in Jesus Christ.

Old Testament and the New Testament

The Christian Bible is one book that has two parts. These two parts are called the Old Testament and the New Testament. The word "testament" comes from the Latin word "testamentum,"  which means "covenant" or "agreement." In the Bible, it refers to the covenant between God and man. The Old Testament is the first part of the Bible and is made up of 39 books. The New Testament is the second part of the Bible and is made up of 27 books. Together, these two testaments contain 66 books and are a literary unity.


The unity of the Bible is that it has a single storyline and a unified and cohesive plot. The whole story is about the redemption of humankind, progressively revealed through three stages: the fall, redemption, and consummation.


Old Testament


The Old Testament, which is the sacred scriptures of the Jewish faith, is traditionally divided into three different sections: the Torah, the Nevi’im, and the Ketuvim. They are the law or pentateuch, prophets, and writings.

Coram Deo

The Vulgate, also called Biblia Vulgata, or the Latin Vulgate, is a late-4th-century Latin translation of the Bible, done by St. Jerome. St. Jerome, also known as Jerome of Stridon, was an early Christian priest, confessor, theologian, translator, and historian. He was born in 347 AD and died in 419/420 at Bethlehem, Palestine.


Pope Damasus I (Damasus of Rome, reign, from October 366 to December 11, 384) commissioned Saint Jerome to produce a standard Latin translation of the Bible. There were many different Latin versions of the Bible at that time. But Pope Damasus I wanted the church to have a standard version to promote universal doctrine.


St. Jerome translated the Bible into Latin between A.D. 383 and 404. He translated the gospels from Greek. He also corrected or revised some of the existing translations. He translated the Old Testament from Hebrew. In 406, he completed his translation of the Bible into Latin. Jerome’s Latin Bible is known as the Vulgate because he used the common, or vulgar, language of early mediaeval times.


The Latin phrase “Coram Deo” appears in Psalm 55:13 of the Vulgate. The verse is found in Psalm 56:13 in modern English translations.

Covenant theology

The past, present, and future events in the redemptive history of humans are a progressive story of God’s covenants with humans. Covenants found both in the Old Testament and New Testament unlock the meaning and significance of the death of Christ. The person and work of Christ were the fulfilment of all Biblical covenants. Jesus expounded his death in covenantal terms and fulfillments. His blood inaugurated the New Covenant. Without his bloodshed, there would have been no New Covenant.

Characteristics of covenant theology

1.     Covenant Theology is also called federal theology. The Latin word “foedus” means covenant. Covenant theology is not a systematic set of doctrines. In that sense, it is not a theology. It is a framework for biblical interpretation. Covenant theology brings together all covenants in the scripture, into a coherent account. It explains the significance of the scriptural covenants in redemptive history.

2.     Covenant theology explains the relationship between God and humanity in terms of divinely initiated covenants. It explains almost all themes and issues related to human redemptive history. Covenants expound on unity and progress, as well as the temporary discontinuity in the process of fulfilling the promise. It reveals the final fulfilment of redemption and salvation.