Every ‘original’ culture, e.g. original tribes on this continent, and on every other continent, all told stories about how the world came to be, where people came from, what basis there was for their moral standards, and so forth.
A thousand years before Abraham one of those stories was committed to writing (The Gilgamesh Epic), because writing had been invented. Abraham had his own take on Gilgamesh, which became Genesis. That’s the short form of the tale.
GOD did in fact create the universe, and HE wrote HIMself into the Jewish scripture. Its basis for morality, its definitions of right and wrong behavior, and most specifically its understanding that all humans are essentially fallen (which is why the Garden of Eden is part of the narrative) HIS patience and endless love, make it GOD’s own work.
There is no basis to ask, e.g. “Is every sentence in the Bible as true as every other sentence?” The Judaeo-Christian bible is thoroughly human. What makes it GOD’s word is that HE made it different from all other origin stories by showing us HIS willingness to re-accept HIS fallen people time after time.
And finally HIS promised Son, Jesus. The New Testament is a first-hand narrative, written by first-hand witnesses, with deep theological teachings delivered by Paul, presumably due to spending three years “in the desert” before beginning his own mission. Paul looks back into the Hebrew bible and finds (think of 20–20 hindsight) myriad promises and prophecies regarding Jesus, what He would do, why He would do it, the need for the crucifixion, and His resurrection. It’s all there.
In short, GOD chose a \“stubborn, stiff-necked” people – not a bad idea, given what they wound up enduring – and wrote HIMself into their literature, history, hymns, and prophecies.
Looking back at the first part of the Bible, it’s fair to question whether in fact a real Abraham, Joseph, and twelve tribes are more historically precise than King Arthur of fifth-Century England. Don’t blow a gasket here – their value as moral instruction is immense.
GOD structured the Bible in HIS ways for HIS reasons. A BEING capable of speaking the universe into existence, with its particle physics exquisitely tuned to generate a table of elements, itself exquisitely tuned such that DNA more or less leapt into being (life-bio-chem scientists are learning more and more about exactly that) – GOD is utterly beyond our little mind-games.
Our three-pound wet computer with its trillions of synapses may let us do some impressive stuff, but one primary effect of the book of JOB is to alert us to the fact that we cannot chop logic with GOD. Do we struggle with evolution? With a planet that congealed 5 billion years ago, I think there has been time for a chain of life to develop that produced homo sapiens. Do we struggle with billions of years? GOD tells us that in HIS ‘eyes’ a thousand years are like a day, yet a day is like a thousand years.
Pseudo-science? Mythology? Prior to the Renaissance and the birth of the scientific method, the logical answers to all of the why and how questions tended to be supernatural. Today science has displaced GOD as the primary answer to those questions, and like throwing the baby out with the bath water, we try to write GOD off. We no longer need HIS comfort, because we believe that there is no comfort in the first place.
In ages past, faith and belief were bedrock. Your mileage may vary, but today faith and belief are mocked for pushing their way in front of scientific knowledge, and the devout folks who regard Genesis as GOD’s Ted Talk about how HE went about making the universe aren’t doing anybody any favors. Why no favors? Because GOD is real, HE did create the universe, HE did send his Son (the WORD, who made all things that were made, e.g. two hundred sextillion stars [2 followed buy twenty-three 0’s] – please check out a copy of *Star of Bethlehem *to see why there is very clear evidence that GOD spoke to us all through the Scriptures, and we do have forgiveness through Jesus self-sacrifice.