The first 11 chapters of Genesis are written as literal history, not as poetry. “There are 64 geographical terms, 88 personal names, 48 generic names and at least 21 identifiable cultural items (such as gold, bdellium, onyx, brass, iron, gopher wood, bitumen, mortar brick, stone, harp, pipe, cities, towers) in those opening chapters. The significance of this list may be seen by comparing it, for example, with ‘the paucity of references in the Koran. The single tenth chapter of Genesis has five times more geographical data of importance than the whole of the Koran.’ Every one of these items presents us with the possibility of establishing the reliability of the author. The content runs head on into a description of the real world rather than recounting events belonging to another world or level of reality” (Walter Keiser, Jr., “the Literary Form of Genesis 1-11”, New Perspectives on the Old Testament, ed. By J. Barton Payne, 1970, p. 59).
Genesis is cited as history by Jesus. In Luke 17:26-32, for example, Jesus mentions Noah, the Ark, the Flood, the destruction of Sodom by fire, and Lot’s wife. Elsewhere Jesus mentions the Creation (Mk. 13:19), Adam and Eve (Mat. 19:4-6; Mk. 10:6-7), Cain and Abel (Mat. 23:35; Lk. 11:50-51), and Abraham (John 8:39-40). Christ always treats Genesis as history.