Historical narrative and the Bible

So I believe in theistic evolution and a very old earth per evolutionary science. However, I guess I’m confused about how we’re supposed to view a lot of the historical narrative of the Bible.

If we follow the Bible literally then the Earth/humans are 6000 years old but obviously I don’t agree with that.

So are we supposed to view the Bible as just a small piece of history, knowing that there is a lot before the Bible that happened and wasn’t necessarily documented. I mean, as people it took us a long time to evolve and develop language etc.


Hi Kim,
Welcome to the forum! You ask a good question, and different Christians will have different perspectives on how exactly to interpret the Old Testament stories.

In some ways, yes – there were certainly a lot of details that happened before God assigned roles and functions to the earth’s contents, and so the purpose of Genesis is not to explain every single process to us.

But there is still a universal element to the stories – God may not tell us everything, but the purpose of Genesis is partly to show that he is still sovereign over everything, not just Israel. I think many of the stories of Israel’s history (the flood, the tower of Babel, etc.) are not quite as global as some have been taught to see them, but I still see them as historical to some degree.

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When did God assign “roles and functions to the earth’s contents” and what are they Laura?

And what processes in the Earth’s four and a half billion years are explained to us by Genesis?

That’s one possible interpretation of the first chapter of Genesis (the six days of creation) – i.e., seeing the account as less about material origins and more about functions. John Walton has written about it and has a summary here:

tl;dr, what functions? The God’s chosen people function? I find it easy to superposition the human and the divine in Genesis in particular, a remarkable, extremely polarized, hypostatic union; an incarnation, Word made flesh.

Have you ever checked out this common question article? It’s a good place to start:

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