It is well known that the first chapters of Genesis have been gradually relegated to the realm of mythology during the slow rise of modern science, which led to a mass exodus from the Churches in the past. It seems that in our days, this apparent incompatibility of science with faith has become less important. In any case, most contemporary Christians adopt seemingly without difficulty the view that Genesis is not a scientific but in the first place a theological book.

This view has almost a dogmatic faith among Catholic Christians. If one opposes it, one is doubted or, worse, regarded as a kind of young earth creationist. It is almost the inverse situation of some centuries ago: the hostility of the Church towards science during the Inquisition is now replaced by a general skepticism or indifference towards creationism.

However, science is evolving permanently such that certain questions related to whether the creation accounts are compatible with science must be reexamined continually. For instance, the creation of “the heavens and the earth” described in Genesis 1:1 is traditionally believed to refer to a firmament surrounding the immediate space around the Earth including the stars and the atmosphere. In the seventeenth century, scholars discovered that the stars are much farther away than the outer atmosphere and subsequently adopted an infinite universe, of which the empty space was supposed to exist since eternity.

Genesis 1:1 does not adopt this view because the creation of “the heavens” as space and home for all celestial bodies would be unnecessary if space is supposed to have always existed. According to general relativity however, space is something that is being continually formed since the big bang. In fact, space-time has a very complex structure, which had to be created. So according to modern cosmology, Genesis 1:1 is not outdated at all.

This does not make the reference to the atmosphere and the Earth redundant. As we are going to see, Genesis 1:1 refers to more than one natural phenomenon, which raises the question whether the whole creation account is multi-significant. To answer this, let us consider the speaking snake of the garden of Eden: the dilemma that no speaking snakes exist in nature can be solved in assuming that Genesis 1:1-19 refers to both an animal and an individual capable of speech traditionally interpreted as the Devil, a fallen angel. So two contexts, in which both the animal and the Devil independently play their role on time-shifted levels, must be distinguished. Therefore, this passage is multi-significant and the paradox (a speaking animal) created by the mixing up of different contexts is clarified by separating the various references.

Furthermore, it can be shown that the universe contains repeating patterns, to which the first chapter of Genesis refers by such multi-significance (or multi-reference). The creation story thus becomes perfectly compatible with modern cosmology and Earth history. The same happens for the biological evolution. It can be shown, among other things, that the traditional literal interpretation of Genesis 2:7, according to which God modeled man of dust from the ground and then made him alive by breathing into his nostrils the breath of life, is not exactly what we must believe from this passage because it refers to several contexts, namely to the angels, the first humans and the virginal conception of Christ. There is a revealing relation between all these contexts involving the fall of the angels, puberty, sexuality, family and the spiritual rebirth introduced by Christ (Jn 3:1-8; Gal 4:4-7).

Similar repeating patterns appear on the level of salvation history. For instance, the Jewish people were deported several times. The first deportation happened in 722 BC as consequence of the occupation of the Israelite northern kingdom by the Assyrians. A second deportation arrived with the Babylonian occupation between 597 and 587 BC. A similar judgment came upon the Jewish people through the persecutions of Antiochus Epiphanes between 169 and 162 BC, as well as through the destruction of Jerusalem by the Romans in AD 70, which led to their final Diaspora.

All these judgments unfold according to four typical phases characterized respectively by initial peace, sin (apostasy), judgment (deportations or persecutions) and a return to peace. These four phases form together a cycle and only differentiate from each other by their typical character, so not by a more or less equal duration, for the first phase is always considerably longer than the three following ones. With the return to peace, a new cycle begins.

It can be shown that all the history of salvation as transmitted by the Bible unfolds according to this cyclic recurrence in such a typical and coherent manner as if its over seventy books had been written by a single author. Salvation history starts with the angels, who were the first to turn away from God, thus involving the need for their return to God, that is, for their salvation. For similar reasons, salvation also became necessary for humanity. This is why all the past, present and future of salvation history is unfolding according to repeating cycles.

A recurring salvation history offers important solutions. For instance, the flood account gets an entirely new shape. There is not only one flood anymore but several. Similarly, there is more than one Adam and Noah. From this can be inferred that the long patriarchs’ ages have several meanings, which allows to calculate dates for our ancestors that accord with the fossil record, that is, 500’000 years ago for the first Neanderthals and 200’000 years ago for the first modern humans.

Other mysteries related to Genesis, Daniel, Revelation and numerous other topics can be explained through a recurring salvation history. In particular, Marian apparitions can be understood as events making part of a special phase of the recurring cycles.


A paperback book of all pages of this site is available from Amazon
If you find that these pages are edifying your faith, please consider rewarding the hard work of the author in purchasing his book or make a donation instead of reading the pages online. Many thanks!

Cycles of Salvation History

Write a review
Please help promoting this book and publish a review on Amazon. Many thanks!


The eBook Directory

This site is hosted by Byethost