Within this theory of Genesis 1 there are two trains of thought. One is that it is written in a way to say that God is better than the Egyptian gods. For example, the Egyptians viewed creation as a daily occurrence. Each day’s beginning (rising of the sun) and ending (setting of sun) represents creation with the gods continually working to make it happen. It was a never ending cycle, the gods never truly rested.
Genesis 1 shows the God of the Bible as better than the Egyptian gods because he takes his time in creation, merely has to speak for it to occur, and…he stops.
The second train of thought is that it may also be a polemic against the Mesopotamian gods. One of the reasons for this is that the Mesopotamian gods created humanity to be their slaves, to do all the work so the gods could spend their days sunbathing on the beach and drinking fancy drinks with umbrellas in them.
The god Shamash sitting on a beach (notice the water at his feet).
One of his attendants is fetching him a fresh umbrella drink.
Genesis 1 stands in sharp contrast to this because the God of the Bible did not create humanity as slaves, but instead he created them to rule with authority (Gen 1.28).
Now all of these issues are much greater than those two short paragraphs could even begin to explain. I’ve only given you a small taste of what may really be going on in Genesis 1.
So what’s the point? Read the bible with an eye on the genre. You may be surprised how understanding genre explains away a lot of problems and perceived contradictions. (Such as perceived contradictions between Genesis 1 and Genesis 2.)
Now, with this information some might be tempted to say, “Ha! Genesis 1 is a myth, which means it’s not true. I now have biblical proof against all those annoying creationist Christians! Booyah!” Um…no. Even if you want to write off Genesis 1 you must deal with Genesis 2. Genesis 2 is written not as a myth genre, but more in lines with the style of a history book, and it clearly states that God created everything.
Some of you may ask if, based on this, God did create in six days. My answer… possibly. God may have created the whole of the universe in six days. It wouldn’t surprise me in the least. But if I find out some day that God created it in an instant or over a length of time greater than six days my faith will not be shaken.