The Bible, Genesis & Geology

Understanding the Biblical Difference between
the Words World and Earth

World vs. Earth

The King James Authorized Version of the Holy Bible has its own internal set of words and definitions which are self-interpreting in their specific meaning and context. From Genesis to Revelation, translated from Hebrew, Aramaic, and Greek manuscripts, the KJV Bible's English translation is an integrated whole throughout the sixty-six books.

The English words "world" and "earth" are different words and have distinct, separate conceptual meanings in the Holy Bible and the English language. These meanings are defined by the Scriptures when used in context. Understanding this distinction is CRUCIAL to rightly dividing the word of truth, for therein is found one of the keys to unlocking the paradox of the creation account of Genesis chapter one and the geologic evidence of an ancient Earth.

In the book of Hebrews, the Lord Jesus Christ is said to be the maker of the "worlds" (plural):

"Hath in these last days spoken unto us by [his] Son, whom he hath appointed heir of all things, by whom also he made the worlds;"
(Heb. 1:2 KJV)

"Through faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that things which are seen were not made of things which do appear."
(Heb. 11:3 KJV)

The Greek word in these two verses for "worlds" is αιων (as in eon), which means an age or a perpetuity of specific prevailing conditions in time upon the face of the Earth. Therefore, the word "world," as doctrinally defined in our Bible, is NOT referring to other planets in outer space but to defined ages and prevailing conditions during those ages on the Earth, be they past, present, or future.

The "Earth" is a planet. It is a spherical-shaped mass of matter in time and space. The "world" is the specific set of conditions prevailing upon the face of the planet Earth at a specific point in Biblical time. The Earth is a part of our present world, past worlds, and the future world to come (see Matt 12:32, Mark 10:30, Hebrews 2:5), but the Earth itself is not the whole "world." Our present "world" also consists of the stars in the sky, the trees of the field, the people, the cities of the nations and the present evil world system on the face of the Earth:

"And it shall come to pass after the end of seventy years, that the LORD will visit Tyre, and she shall turn to her hire, and shall commit fornication with all the kingdoms of the world upon the face of the earth."
(Isaiah 23:17 KJV)

"Who gave himself for our sins, that he might deliver us from this present evil world, according to the will of God and our Father:"
(Gal 1:4 KJV)

The Earth itself is not evil, but it is cursed (see Gen 3:17-19). When Adam sinned, death entered the "world" of Adam, who had just been created on the sixth day and placed by God upon the face of the regenerated earth in that new world, the world of MAN who is made in the image of God.

"Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned:"
(Rom 5:12 KJV)

Adam's newly created world was pristine on the surface. But under Adam's feet, entombed and hidden in the rocks of the planet, was the buried fossil record - God's material testimony to the truth of the existence of a previous "world" on the face of the Earth and a long reign of death across ancient ages past, long before the new world of Adam. This material evidence, there all along but only scientifically examined and understood by man over the past two to three centuries, now speaks to us today about the existence of that previously-created world (Genesis 1:1), which came under subjection to death, was eventually destroyed (Genesis 1:2), and then Divinely replaced by the present world (Genesis 1:3-2:1). That ancient world was under the stewardship of an "anointed" being, a creature called the covering cherub and named Lucifer. Through Lucifer's sin of rebellion against God, the old world under Lucifer's stewardship was first subjected to Death and, through time, eventually perished. At the end of its time, when the stars of the old universe, including Earth's sun, perished, their remaining hydrogen gases oxidized into waters as darkness (both physical and spiritual) took its final toll upon the ancient Creation. That time is specifically what these two verses point to:

"And the earth was without form, and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters."
(Genesis 1:2 KJV)

"For this they willingly are ignorant of, that by the word of God the heavens were of old, and the earth standing out of the water and in the water: Whereby the world that then was, being overflowed with water, perished: But the heavens and the earth, which are now, by the same word are kept in store, reserved unto fire against the day of judgment and perdition of ungodly men."
 (2 Pet 3:5-7 KJV)

The old world was the first "generation" of the heaven and the Earth (Genesis 1:1). The heavens and Earth "which are now" are the second generation of the heavens and the Earth. It is the same planet Earth but different worlds upon the face of the same planet. This is why the Bible says:

These are the generations (PLURAL) of the heavens and of the earth when they were created, in the day that the LORD God made the earth and the heavens,
(Genesis 2:4 KJV)

In the New Testament, this second generation of the heavens and the Earth is specifically referred to as "The Foundation of the World" and it is likened to a "conception." This will be discussed in the next chapter.

The misguided doctrine of Young Earth Creationism (YEC) demands that the universe and all things were first made only 6,000 years ago, and that there was no death on the Earth until Adam and Eve sinned. Romans 5:12 and Exodus 20:11 are cited as the proof texts of the YEC belief system. Therefore, by their simplistic interpretation of those two verses, they claim there is no scriptural proof of death before Adam and therefore no Pre-Adamite world. Since they deny a Pre-Adamite world, then all of the fossil record and the Ice Age must (according to their reasoning) be the result of Noah's flood. This is nothing less than classical Archaic Creationism presented in the new and improved wrapper of "Creation Science" and peddled on the claim of strict adherence to the literal wording of the Bible. However, as we have already started to document, such a exegesis is a grave error.

The Bible is the word of God and God cannot lie! Spiritual principles are universal throughout all 66 books. Romans 5:12 and Exodus 20:11 are absolutely true, but only within the context of the full truth as defined within the Scriptures and by the Scriptures as a doctrinal whole. We will demonstrate this.

Exodus 20:11 states:

"For in six days the LORD made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in them is, and rested the seventh day: wherefore the LORD blessed the sabbath day, and hallowed it."
(Exodus 20:11 KJV)

Notice that "the sea" is set apart from the Earth in this verse as something separate. This is the contextual qualifier of the verse because the "sea" spoken of here refers to the waters (or a sea) that is above the "firmament" which was placed there at the time of Genesis 1:6-8 and which will no longer be there after the final judgment:

"And I saw a new heaven and a new earth: for the first heaven and the first earth were passed away; and there was no more sea."
(Revelation 21:1 KJV)

 Exodus 20:11 is absolutely true. This present heaven and Earth, and that "sea" above the firmament, were indeed made in six days, just as the book of Genesis states. But Exodus 20:11 is not a reference to the first time creation of all things. Genesis 1:1 does NOT read:

"In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth and the sea."
(Genesis 1:1)

Romans 5:12 states:

"Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned:"
(Romans 5:12 KJV)

Young Earth Creationists adamantly claim that a literal reading of Romans 5:12 proves there was no death or previous world before Adam, because they are willingly ignorant (the Bible's words, not mine) of the "world that then was" spoken of in 2 Peter 3:5-7:

"For this they willingly are ignorant of, that by the word of God the heavens were of old, and the earth standing out of the water and in the water: Whereby the world that then was, being overflowed with water, perished: But the heavens and the earth, which are now, by the same word are kept in store, reserved unto fire against the day of judgment and perdition of ungodly men."
 (2 Pet 3:5-7 KJV)

In Romans 5:12 and 2 Peter 3:5-7 the term "world" in BOTH verses is from the Greek word kosmos and that is the Scriptural nugget of wisdom that puts Romans 5:12 into its proper context of interpretation. The kosmos was not destroyed by Noah's flood. (The Earth was only flooded.) Therefore, 2 Peter can NOT be speaking of Noah's flood. It is telling about the destruction of a previous "world" or order of all things, specifically, the entire Cosmos. Adam did not live in that previous world. He lived (and sinned) in this present one.

Adam's sin brought death into his (our) world. Therefore, there is no contradiction between what the Bible says about Adam's sin and what the Earth's geology reveals by a long and ancient geologic track record of fossils and death on this planet long before Adam. Using the spiritual principle that death comes by sin, as the Scriptures clearly say in Romans 5:12, we will show you from the Scriptures (in a later chapter) that there was a sinner on the face of this Earth before Adam's world. That sinner was Lucifer, a.k.a. Satan, the Dragon, the Serpent. Death came upon his ancient world when he transgressed at a time long, long before our present world. The Earth's fossil record is the evidence of this truth, preserved by God (as a physical witness to truth) in the ancient rocks of our planet and collaborated by God's Word in the books of Job, Isaiah and Ezekiel.

In the next chapter we will deal with the process whereby the old world was broken down and the new world was established by God during the seven-days by explaining the Biblical difference between the concepts of "Creation" and "Catabolism" in the Genesis narrative.

Next Page: Creation or Catabolism?Creation or Catabolism?   Index Page:  The Genesis Gap Doctrine

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