The Days of Creation

“In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth.” Simple in its phrasing yet far-reaching in its implications, Genesis 1:1 declares the beginning of all space, time, and matter in the cosmos ex nihilo, out of nothing.1,2 The centerpiece for most cosmological debates between religion and academia, this multi-faceted statement has faced a myriad of scrutiny in recent years, attracting the attention of both creationist and atheist, religious adherent and scientist.

Yet the prevalent topic of the deliberation revolves around the timing of such an occurrence, since the answer to such a question of how long it took to create the universe holds the answer to the ultimate question of who created it. One group holds to a young-earth interpretation while another group holds to an old-earth interpretation of the Genesis creation days. While not as impassioned as it is now, this debate goes back thousands of years with the early church fathers and other biblical scholars of the time interpreting the creation days of Genesis 1 as long periods of time – among whom were the Jewish historian Josephus, Irenaeus, Origen, Basil, Augustine, and Aquinas.3 The controversy began to polarize only a few hundred years ago when Archbishop Ussher’s creation date of October 28, 4004 B.C. began to clash with newly found scientific discoveries of the day that suggested an older creation date, some being propagated by evolutionist Charles Darwin. Atheists ran one direction in support of a billions-of-years-old universe advocating for the latest evolutionary theory, while young-earth creationists ran the other direction in order to uphold Ussher’s chronology. In doing so, the young-earth creationists ended up rejecting anything that appeared to validate a belief in an old-earth as they likened it to confirming evolution. In a sense, Ussher’s chronology became the new dogma of Christianity, thus opening the floodgates of scientific rebuttal and a societal belief in Biblical irrationalism held by a majority of scientists today and echoed by the atheist populace alike. Yet in reality, science and the Bible are not at odds, but work together in harmony towards the same goal, both addressing “human curiosity about our origins and [involving] a form of faith in the intelligibility of the universe.”4 For it was the same creator who formed both the Bible and the record of nature, therefore the two should agree with each other.

The early church fathers held to an understanding of an old earth. What were their reasons for doing so? These men were not influenced by the beliefs of people like Ussher and Darwin and yet they took a position that today seems in direct opposition to the young-earth proponents of today’s Christian faith. In their analysis, these men used the greatest text that was at their disposal – the Bible. Correctly interpreting the text is the same now as it was then, requiring proper definition of words, verifying Hebrew grammar, understanding context, and cross-checking with other relevant passages of scripture. In the present age, we have also been granted an additional verification, the record of nature, that we can use to help solidify the centuries old argument on the length of the creation days. As we analyze the Genesis creation account, we will not only see how long creation days are possible, but are also in compliance with modern science.

Part of the reason for the ambiguous interpretation of the creation account has to do with the translation of the word yowm, translated day. Hugh Ross points out that the Hebrew word yowm, can indicate four different periods of time: “a) from sunrise to sunset, b) from sunset to sunset, c) a segment of time without any reference to solar days (usually several years), and d) an age or epoch.”5 When Ussher bestowed his chronology upon the world, he solidified in the minds of many people that only the second definition fit the context, disregarding the other three. However, the Bible uses this same Hebrew word, yowm, in all instances, including a long period of time. Genesis 2:4, is one such example. It reads, “These are the generations of the heavens and the earth when they were created, in the day that the Lord God made the earth and the heavens.”6 In this passage, the author summarizes all six creation days into one all-encompassing day. He went further in his pronouncement by also including the word generations (toledah). Hebrew lexicons note that toledah “refers to the time it takes a baby to become a parent or to a time period arbitrarily longer.”7 The length of time ascribed to each segment was the time that each took to come to maturity. For this word to be included in its plural form, in the same context as yowm, implies that several periods of “ripening” had occurred. In each day-age, the Lord caused a specific event to occur – whether it was the separation of the waters to form the atmosphere and oceans, or the process of building up the continents from out of the oceans.

Similar instances of yowm being translated as a long period of time occur throughout the Bible. The use of the term “the day of the Lord” is a frequent occurrence in both the Old and New Testaments. It typically refers to an unspecified period of time in accordance with the fulfillment of prophecy. Hosea 6:2 also follows this same interpretation, “After two days he [God] will revive us [Israel]; on the third day he will raise us up.”8 Also Isaiah 17:11, “In the day you will make your plant to grow, and in the morning you will make your seed to flourish; but the harvest will be a heap of ruins in the day of grief and desperate sorrow.”9 In all these instances, the term day is being used as a long measurement of time, just as we use it in English when we say, “in my father’s day” or “in the day of the dinosaurs.” The writers of the Bible utilized the word in all its forms, but the key to the correct interpretation of the word in Genesis 1 is the context in which the author used it. The fourth creation day will help to shed light on the proper interpretation.

According to the young-earth interpretation, the sun, moon, and stars were created on the fourth day. This theory presents a difficulty for the first three days of creation when the days are measured as 24-hour periods in the absence of a celestial time clock. Augustine, a fifth-century theologian, also noted this dilemma and is referenced in a Catholic catechism which reads: “the six ‘days’ of creation could hardly have been solar days such as we now know, for according to the account in Genesis the sun was not made until the fourth ‘day.’”10 The young-earth theory also posits that prior to the fourth day, the universe and all that was in it had not yet been created. The Earth would have existed as a solitary entity in a limited space of existence with the light that shone upon it being God’s light. In the absence of any celestial forces, such as gravity, planetary rotation, and orbital path, God made a temporary substitution of physics to make it work as though they did exist. While God has the ability to create the universe this way, a reading of the text in the original Hebrew dispels the belief that he did. The Hebrew words bara’ and asa translate to “create,” “make,” and “fashion” or “form,” respectively and correspond with the creation of birds, mammals, humans, and the universe. However, a different word is used to refer to the first day’s command, “let there be light” and the fourth day’s “let there be lights in the expanse of the heavens” – the verb, haya. The word haya means “exist, be, happen, or come to pass.”11 The difference between the verbs highlights the contrast between the commands God gave to either create, make, or cause something to happen. In the instance of the light on creation day four, the verb indicates that God caused the sun, moon, and stars to appear.

In order to understand this better, we must first understand the frame of reference the author has chosen to use to impart the creation story. In his book Science & Faith, C. John Collins tell us that the words “heaven” and “earth” in Genesis 1:1 refer to all matter, but verse two narrows the meaning of “heavens” and “earth” to “sky” and “land.”12 This implies that the point of view has changed from looking at the whole cosmos and is now focusing in on planet Earth. We see verification of this in the second verse when the author tells us that “the Spirit of God was hovering over the face of the waters.”13 Unfortunately, many commentators incorrectly assume the point of view for these passages is above the Earth, looking down upon it. This leads to the misunderstanding we have noted above about the Sun, Moon, and stars not existing before the fourth creation day. However, if we position ourselves in the same location as the author of Genesis intended, then the darkness that the Spirit of God experienced as he hovered over the waters, begins to make sense. A thick blanket of cloud cover, impenetrable by light, covered the planet on day one. God’s rhetorical question to Job confirms this in Job 38:8-9 when he asks, “Who shut up the sea behind doors when it burst forth from the womb, when I made the clouds its garment and wrapped it in thick darkness?”14 During creation day one, when God calls, “let there be light,” he caused the sun to illuminate the Earth through the clouds for the first time in Earth’s primal history. The atmosphere went from opaque to translucent, letting in enough light to establish visibility on the surface for distinguishing between day and night, but it wasn’t until the fourth creation day that the translucence of the atmosphere became transparent. On the fourth creation day, God called out “let there be lights in the expanse of the heavens to separate the day from the night, and let them be for signs and for seasons and for days and years.”15 It was at this command that the cloud covering rolled away from the Earth so that the Sun, Moon, and stars could become visible in the night sky. These first four creation days laid the groundwork for preparing the planet to support life that God ultimately brought forth on subsequent days.

Another complication arises in the interpretation of the “evening” and “morning” phrases that accompany each of the creation days. In view of the young-earth interpretation, it is assumed that the phrase represents the culmination of 24-hours, but if read in that way, the passage specifies that the work of creating only took place at night, as an evening followed by a morning only make up the darkness portion of the 24-hour cycle. As we already saw, the young-earth view also assumes the Sun, Moon, and stars were not created until the fourth day. So the first three days of creation would not have been privy to a morning sunrise and evening sunset in the absence of the Sun and orbital rotation.

The obscurity of the wording in this passage requires a second look in its original language. The Hebrew word, ‘ereb, translated evening, can also mean “sunset,” “night,” or “ending of the day,” while boqer, translated morning, also means “sunrise,” “coming of light,” “beginning of day,” or “dawning.”16 Perhaps it is better to ask the question what then did the “evening” and “morning” phraseology mean to the ancient Hebrew? James Skillen explains that the evening-morning phrase appears to work in the same way that other all-embracing Hebrew phrases work. “For example, the phrase ‘the heavens and the earth’ in Genesis 1 means everything God created. Elsewhere, ‘the law and the prophets’ refers to all of Scripture. The evening-morning phrase appears to serve, a similar purpose… refer[ing] to everything entailed in God’s separation of the dry land from the seas and every kind of plant and tree that grows on the land and reproduces after its kind.”17 In other words, an “’evening’ and ‘morning’ refer to the beginning and ending of a day, whatever definition of ‘day’ applies. For example, ‘in my grandfather’s day’ refers to the time period surrounding his lifetime. The morning and evening of his lifetime would be my grandfather’s youth and old age.”18 In the case of the creation days, the order of the words, “evening” followed by “morning,” implies the ending of one age, followed by the dawning of the next.

As the sixth day closed God’s creative works, the seventh day opened into God’s time of rest. The evening-morning phrase that was present in the first six days is unmistakably absent on the seventh. This leaves the seventh day without an evening, or closing. Based upon the similar structure of the creation days, the omission of the evening-morning phrase on the seventh day strongly suggests that the day has not yet ended. Other writers of the Bible confirm this in their writings. In Psalm 95, David wrote, “Therefore I swore in my wrath, they shall not enter my rest.”19 Here David refers to God’s rest as an event that was ongoing. Hebrews gives another example, “‘On the seventh day God rested from all his works.’ … It still remains for some to enter that rest. … There remains, then, a Sabbath-rest for the people of God; for anyone who enters God’s rest also rests from their works, just as God did from his. Let us, therefore, make every effort to enter that rest.”20 The writer of Hebrews explains the tenses of God’s rest – that it is complete, yet also present and still to come. He rested from his work (past), the faithful enter that rest (present), and those who are still living can choose to enter that rest (future).21 The connection the author is making is that God’s seventh day is of long duration that began shortly after the creation of Adam and Eve and continues even to this day, yet still referred to as a day in parallel form and context of the other six days.

The seven-day week that the patriarchs followed and that we follow to this day, was patterned after the creation week. Does this imply that God’s creation week was of the same duration as man’s work week? Hebrew scholar Gleason Archer reports the creation week as this: an analogy between God’s work “week” and man’s work week.

He states, “By no means does this demonstrate that 24-hour intervals were involved in the first six ‘days,’ any more than the 8-day celebration of the Feast of Tabernacles proves that the wilderness wanderings under Moses occupied only eight days.”22 The week of creation was written in such a way to be analogous to man’s week. “For in six days the Lord made the heavens and the earth, the sea, and all that is in them, but he rested on the seventh day.”23 The analogy extends into the way the author structured the text with the first three days parallel days four, five and six, respectively. That is, God’s creative works of light occurred on days one and four; his works of water and atmosphere corresponded with the creation of fish and birds on days two and five; and creation of land and land creatures on days three and six. Young-earth creationists contend that this week took 168 hours, or seven literal 24-hour days to complete. However, this view is inconsistent with God’s second revelation of himself to us through nature.

The Bible was not intended to be written as a book of science, but a book of man’s salvation, yet even still, many passages lend themselves to aiding the quest of cosmological beginnings given present-day scientific knowledge. Nature’s record has not been more manifest for us today than at any time in mankind’s past. It is only now in the present age, that we have been granted the opportunity to observe the many wonders of the cosmos with the aid of modern science. Yet contrary to the young-earth view that rejects a variety of scientific evidences due to their inconceivable long-duration, this data does not reject God’s existence, but keeps coming back to and eagerly pointing to God’s pronouncement of a beginning in Genesis 1:1. One of the evidences that does this is the discovery of what has come to be known as the Big Bang. For nearly one hundred years, information has been pouring in to us from the night skies, allowing astronomers to document and track the heavens, even peering back to a point near the beginning of time, when darkness separated from light.24

The first theoretical evidence for the Big Bang dates back to 1916 when Albert Einstein first noted that his theory of general relativity predicted that the universe was expanding. Tracing the expansion of the universe backwards indicated that it had an originating point from which the entire universe came. This bang was not a random chaotic explosion, but a “carefully planned and controlled release of matter, energy, space, and time within the strict confines of very carefully fine-tuned physical constraints and laws that govern their behavior and interactions.”25 The Big Bang shattered the once held belief of atheists and skeptics alike that the cosmos was eternal. The static, infinite universe of which the evolutionary theory of Darwin’s day was based on became obsolete. The fact that there was a beginning, demanded a cause and a creator. Confirmation of this incredible event came from the findings of the Cosmic Background explorer (COBE) satellite in 1989.26

The satellite detected what scientists had predicted would need to exist in the instance that the Big Bang had taken place, temperature differentials in the background radiation of the night sky that were consistent with the left over radiation of the hot big bang event. This stunning confirmation caused scientists like George Smoot to proclaim, “What we have found is evidence for the birth of the universe. …It’s like looking at God.”27,28 Pope Pius XII exclaimed, “with that concreteness which is characteristic of physical proofs, [science] has confirmed the contingency of the universe and also the well-founded deduction as to the epoch when the world came forth from the hands of the Creator. Hence, creation took place.”29 The discovery of the Big Bang compelled many scientists to admit that there was a beginning and some believed, at least in part, that Genesis 1:1 was true.

The data gathered from later observations have been of such high-quality that it is also helping to bring to light data about the cosmological constant, the self-stretching property of the universe. Science wasn’t the first to hit upon this idea of a stretched out universe. Besides the testament of a beginning in Genesis 1:1, the Bible also describes the miraculous cosmic stretching of the universe that we observe today. Isaiah 42:5 describes the creation and stretching of the heavens: “Thus says God the Lord, who created the heavens and stretched them out.”30 This reference of cosmic stretching is found in eleven different verses throughout the Old Testament: Job 9:8, Psalm 104:2, Isaiah 40:22, 42:5, 44:24, 45:12, 48:13, 51:13, Jeremiah 10:12, 51:15, and Zechariah 12:1. Isaiah 40:22, in particular, highlights the fact that the stretching out of the heavens is both finished and ongoing. God is continuing to stretch them out after already stretching them out at its beginning.

In addition to astronomical evidences, other sciences swell in mounting testimony for an old-earth creation date. The fossil record attests to the long duration of the creative days. According to the record, life was in existence before man and the number of introductions of life closely balanced with the number of extinctions. Once mankind was introduced on the sixth day, new life ceased to be introduced and the number of extinctions began to climb.31 Biologists Paul and Anne Ehrlich note, “The production of a new animal species in nature has yet to be documented.” Moreover, “…in the vast majority of cases, the rate of change is so slow that it has not even been possible to detect an increase in the amount of differentiation.”32 Evolution cannot explain the introduction of new animal species in an already evolved state, such as what happened during the Cambrian Explosion over 500 million years ago, but the long creation days of Genesis can. God was introducing irreducibly complex life forms to the planet for six days, then ceased from his labors on the seventh day. The seventh day of rest from creation continues to this day, thus the absence of a debut of any new animal species from the sixth day onward.

Layered records also hold clues to the age of our Earth. The ice cores of Greenland show us this record in layers of years laid down as sheets of ice. This glacial timetable goes way back into Earth’s past, detailing 110,000 years of atmospheric changes and weather conditions. Coral reef layers record not only years, but also individual days in their bands. This 400 million-year-old record affirms that at that time, Earth’s rotation rate was only twenty hours long, instead of the present day’s twenty-four hour cycle.33 God made his record of nature available to us “for since the creation of the world his invisible attributes, his eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly seen, being understood through what has been made, so that [we] are without excuse.”34

Even with all these and many more evidences presented, some young-earth creationists still like to hold on to the young-earth interpretation for fear of reprisal. The young-earth theory has been so engrained in the minds of creationists that to think otherwise demands rebuke from the religious community. In an attempt to rectify Ussher’s creation date with recently uncovered geologic evidence for an ancient earth, Philip Gosse proposed a radical new theory that suggested God created the Earth only a short time ago, but gave it the appearance of age. Gosse tried to bridge the gap that combines both aspects of young-earth and old-earth interpretations, but in the process made neither acceptable. Gosse made the claim that the natural records were falsified to show the existence of a past that had not happened. He professed that tree rings were made to appear in a tree, when the years they were meant to identify never took place.35 The implications of his theory run the gamut of the sciences leaving Gary North to conclude if one holds to this theory then “the universe is an illusion.”36 Yet the appearance of age theory is a consolation to many who try to rectify the overwhelming scientific evidence for a billion-of-years-old universe with the belief in a six-thousand-year-old earth. God’s character testifies to us that he is not a deceiver, but the essence of truth. If God gave us a falsified record of the cosmos, how could we prove its veracity with any certainty?

The centuries-old debate regarding the age of the cosmos is one of great importance to understanding not only how the universe came to be, but who was responsible for it. The discovery of the Big Bang was probably one of the most noteworthy in the field of cosmology at any time past or present. Unfortunately, the stance of many young-earth adherents has been to reject many of the scientific evidences which essentially necessitate the need for a creator. This rejection has caused many in secular society to question the beliefs of those who hold this view, the majority of whom are Christians. Ross asks, “If the Church demonstrates itself unreliable in interpreting scientific data, which are subject to objective verification, how can it be trusted to handle biblical statements on spiritual matters that cannot be objectively verified?”37 In other words, if people cannot believe what they sees with their own eyes, then how can they expect others to trust that which is believed by faith? Sadly, this shunning of science has caused many in secular society today to regard Christianity as an irrational doctrine, practiced by weak-minded individuals. Instead of dismissing the evidences God has left us in nature’s record, we should embrace them as powerful revelations to mankind of the awesome works of his hands. These evidences ought to act “as powerful aids in convincing unbelievers that God exists and that the Bible is his accurate, authoritative Word.”38 Former atheist Lee Strobel was one such recipient who embraced what the record of nature was trying to tell him. He studied the evidences for himself and came to the conclusion that, “If you really study science, it will bring you closer to God.”39

Several Bible authors impress upon their audiences the importance of testing the facts to make sure what is said is true. Moses told the Israelites to test a person who claims to be a prophet.40 Paul told the Thessalonians to test everything and to hold fast to what is good.41 He also praised the Bereans in Acts 17 who were examining the Scriptures daily to see if the things that Paul told them was true.42 In the same way, we should test the record of nature against God’s word as Strobel did to see if it is true. When we do, what we will see is that the creation days harmonize beautifully with the record of nature. With the aforementioned considerations in mind, the creation account needs to be reanalyzed. Properly defining and contextualizing the Hebrew words yowm (day), haya (come to pass), ’ereb (evening), and boqer (morning) no longer require endorsement of Ussher’s erroneous chronology of seven 24-hour days. Placing ourselves in the same frame of reference as the author gives us proper context from which we can understand the appearance of the Sun, Moon, and stars, not their unorthodox creation on the fourth day. When we understand that God’s rest continues even now, it helps to reinforce the idea of long creation days and an old-earth interpretation. Nature’s record, which God has left for us as a second revelation, should only work to strengthen our faith in his written word, not depose it. Likewise, science and the Bible should work in harmony with each other, not in opposition, for harmony is one of the first demands of truth and truth exists in the discernment of an old earth from a young earth.43

REFERENCES

1. “Ex nihilo,” Wikipedia, accessed July 1, 2013, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ex_nihilo.
2. Henry M. Morris, Biblical Creationism, (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Books, 1993), 17.
3. Hugh Ross, The Fingerprint of God, (New Kensington, PA: Whitaker House, 1989), 141.
4. Laura E. Bothwell, “Genesis meets the big bang and evolution, absent design,” Cross Currents 57, no. 1 (March 1, 2007): 10-17, ATLA Religion Database with ATLASerials, EBSCOhost (accessed June 18, 2013), 10.
5. Hugh Ross, The Fingerprint of God, (New Kensington, PA: Whitaker House, 1989), 147.
6. “Genesis 2:4 (ESV),” Biblegateway.com, accessed July 1, 2013, http://www.biblegateway.com.
7. Hugh Ross, The Fingerprint of God, (New Kensington, PA: Whitaker House, 1989), 150-151.
8. “Hosea 6:2 (ESV),” Biblegateway.com, accessed July 1, 2013, http://www.biblegateway.com.
9. “Isaiah 17:11 (NKJV),” Biblegateway.com, accessed July 1, 2013, http://www.biblegateway.com.
10. Louis Lavallee, “Augustine on the creation days,” Journal Of The Evangelical Theological Society 32, no. 4 (December 1, 1989): 457-464, ATLA Religion Database with ATLASerials, EBSCOhost (accessed June 18, 2013), 457.
11. “Strong’s H1254-bara’,” “Strong’s H6213,-asa,” “Strong’s H1961-hayah,” Blue Letter Bible, accessed July 2, 2013, http://www.blueletterbible.org/lang/lexicon/lexicon.cfm?Strongs=H1961&t=KJV.
12. C. John Collins, Science and Faith: Friends or Foes?, (Wheaton, IL: Crossway Books, 2003), 64.
13. “Genesis 1:2 (ESV),” Biblegateway.com, accessed July 2, 2013, http://www.biblegateway.com.
14. “Job 38:8-9 (NIV),” Biblegateway.com, accessed July 2, 2013, http://www.biblegateway.com.
15. “Genesis 1:14 (NASB),” Biblegateway.com, accessed July 3, 2013, http://www.biblegateway.com.
16. Hugh Ross, The Fingerprint of God, (New Kensington, PA: Whitaker House, 1989), 147.
17. James W. Skillen, “The seven days of creation,” Calvin Theological Journal 46, no. 1 (April 1, 2011): 111-139, ATLA Religion Database with ATLASerials, EBSCOhost (accessed June 18, 2013), 120-121.
18. Hugh Ross, A Matter of Days, (Colorado Springs, CO: Navpress, 2004), 74.
19. “Psalm 95:11 (ESV),” Biblegateway.com, accessed July 5, 2013, http://www.biblegateway.com.
20. “Hebrews 4:4-10 (NIV),” Biblegateway.com, accessed July 5, 2013, http://www.biblegateway.com.
21. James W. Skillen, “The seven days of creation,” Calvin Theological Journal 46, no. 1 (April 1, 2011): 111-139, ATLA Religion Database with ATLASerials, EBSCOhost (accessed June 18, 2013), 113, 115-116.
22. Gleason L. Archer, “A Response to the Trustworthiness of Scripture in Areas Relating to Natural Science,” in Hermeneutics, Inerrancy, and the Bible, ed. Earl D. Radmacher and Robert D. Preus (Grand Rapids, MI: Academie Books, 1986), 329, cited in Ross, The Fingerprint of God, 153.
23. “Exodus 20:11 (NIV),” Biblegateway.com, accessed July 5, 2013, http://www.biblegateway.com.
24. David Berlinski, “Was There a Big Bang,” Commentary 105, no. 2 (February 1, 1998): 28-38, ATLA Religion Database with ATLASerials, EBSCOhost (accessed June 18, 2013), 28.
25. Hugh Ross, The Creator and the Cosmos, (Colorado Springs, CO: Navpress, 2001), 27-28.
26. “COBE Satellite Marks 20th Anniversary,” NASA, accessed July 5, 2013, http://www.nasa.gov/topics/universe/features/cobe_20th.html.
27. Lee Siegel, The Associated Press, “’What we have found is evidence for the birth of the universe,’” Daily News, Bowling Green, KY, April 23, 1992, http://news.google.com/newspapers?id=2L4cAAAAIBAJ&sjid=mUcEAAAAIBAJ&pg=6752%2C5383426, 10-A.
28. Thomas H. Maugh II, “Relics of ‘Big Bang’ Seen for 1st Time: Cosmos: Research confirms that explosion started the universe,” Los Angeles Times, April 24, 1992, http://articles.latimes.com/1992-04-24/news/mn-1066_1_big-bang.
29. Paul McCaffrey, ed., The Reference Shelf: Faith and Science, (Ipswich, MA: H.W.Wilson, 2013), 173-174.
30. “Isaiah 42:5 (NASB),” Biblegateway.com, accessed July 6, 2013, http://www.biblegateway.com.
31. Hugh Ross, The Fingerprint of God, (New Kensington, PA: Whitaker House, 1989), 149.
32. Olivia Cameo Lewis, “Mr. Darwin’s Confusionism,” Art Cellar, accessed July 5, 2013, http://www.artcellar.net/darwn_stmtWA.html.
33. Hugh Ross, A Matter of Days, (Colorado Springs, CO: Navpress, 2004), 183.
34. “Romans 1:20 (NASB),” Biblegateway.com, accessed July 7, 2013, http://www.biblegateway.com.
35. Ron Roizen, “The Rejection of Omphalos: A Note on Shifts in the Intellectual Hierarchy of Mid-Nineteenth Century Britain,” TheScreamOnline.com, accessed July 7, 2013, http://www.thescreamonline.com/commentary/comment5-1/omphalos.html.
36. Gary North, Sovereignty and Dominion: An Economic Commentary on Genesis Volume 2, (Dallas, GA: Point Five Press, 2012), http://www.garynorth.com/SovereigntyAndDominion2.pdf, 338.
37. Hugh Ross, A Matter of Days, (Colorado Springs, CO: Navpress, 2004), 173.
38. Ibid, 148.
39. Lee Strobel, The Case for a Creator, (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 2004), 86.
40. “Deut 18:21-22,” Biblegateway.com, accessed July 8, 2013, http://www.biblegateway.com.
41. “1 Thes 5:21 (ESV),” Biblegateway.com, accessed July 8, 2013, http://www.biblegateway.com.
42. “Acts 17:11,” Biblegateway.com, accessed July 8, 2013, http://www.biblegateway.com.
43. Prof. D.R. Dungan, Hermeneutics, (Delight, AK: Gospel Light Publishing Company), 83.

Author: Olivia

I am a mom and a homeschooling teacher of two little ones. I am also a Biblical Studies major with a hobby in Creation Science. I love to research Biblical topics and how science and the Bible live in harmony with each other. I learn beside my children when we read, build, and explore with the help of our glorious classroom - God's green Earth!

6 thoughts on “The Days of Creation”

  1. The Church Father had allot of very wrong beliefs.

    “there was no Death before Adam sinned” That kills any Old Earth Model, and it’s vital to how Paul defines The Gospel.

    1. Jared-
      The death that is spoken of is that of man and it’s a spiritual death that happens when we sin. Romans 5:12 “Therefore, just as sin came into the world through one man, and death through sin, and so death spread to all men because all sinned.”

      Animals and plants are not included in the spiritual death of Adam. In fact, when Adam named the animals, he named them according to their characteristics. It is reminiscent of the Native Americans’ naming conventions. The naming of the animals took place on the “sixth day,” before the fall of Adam and Eve. Here are a few examples of their names in Hebrew.

      Lion “in the sense of violence”
      Cormorant “bird of prey”, “to throw, cast hurl fling”
      Hawk “unclean bird of prey”
      Eagle “to lacerate”
      Owl “to wrong, do violence to, treat violently, do wrongly”
      Bird of prey “a swooper ” – a reference to pursuit of prey
      Vulture “to break in pieces, tear”
      Cobra “to twist” in reference to their killing of prey
      Adder “to bruise, crush, gape upon, seize, strike out, to fall upon, bruise”
      Viper “poisonous snake”
      Serpent “fiery serpent, poisonous serpent (fiery from burning effect of poison)”

      These animal names, which were chosen by Adam, point to the carnivorous nature of these creatures.

  2. “According to the young-earth interpretation, the sun, moon, and stars were created on the fourth day. This theory presents a difficulty for the first three days of creation when the days are measured as 24-hour periods in the absence of a celestial time clock. ” a Day is the Earth’s Rotation on it’s Axis, those things are only part of how we perceive it.

    Day is used as long Periods of time often, but never never the kind of Context their used in Genesis 6, where their Numbered and the terms “Morning and Evening” are used.

    1. Jared,
      The terms evening and morning are associated with a sunrise and a sunset, which is missing in Genesis 1. According to the young earth theory, the sun was not created until day four, meaning that there was not a sunrise or sunset for the first three days. However, the terms evening and morning are still used for those days. They can not mean actual evenings and mornings without the presence of the sun. The terms in the creation account passage indicate the ending and beginning of a creative period.

      As indicated above, also make note of the fact that on the seventh day, there is not an ending or evening. That’s because it has not yet ended. We are currently living in the seventh day of God’s rest from creation.

  3. While I am open to consider the different views, (though honestly, when reading the Genesis account, I see no reason to doubt the 24 hour day), and I absolutely believe that whatever is true in nature will coincide with what God revealed in the Bible because both come from Him; and you have brought up some interesting things to consider…but, these are the things that i question (readily admitting that i do not know enough about it): when you say that the physical record suggests a long time/many epochs, is the interpretation of the physical record influenced by the dates that evolutionists have put on things? I know that some tables and pictures and other things have been falsified over the years, so what is the reason for saying that it takes so many years for something to happen? For instance, the Grand Canyon is supposed to have taken SO very many years to happen, and yet we see examples such as Mt St Helens that was altered in a day because of a single catastrophe. Could not the ice layers have been formed in faster ways at times than what happens to be the norm right now? Consider the mammoths who were found flash frozen with undigested plants in their mouths or stomachs. Also, I have this question: how else was God to create a tree or a mountain, if not looking like a tree inside or a mountain inside? If he formed Adam as an adult male, why not a tree or a mountain as a fully formed tree or mountain? How else would he have done it? With an empty middle? I know that I am showing my ignorance of the facts and of findings. I am willing to accept new evidence and I believe that when all is known that it will all fit with true facts; but I doubt some of the accepted ‘facts’ about the length of time it took to form things, because it looks to me like those trying to make evolution fit have put the ridiculously long time table in place, because they cant justify that one type of species becomes another, contrary to what God said about making things after their kind, any other way than to say it took an unfathomably long time, contrary to any true evidence of missing links etc. And what about the foot print of man in the same layer as that of dinosaurs, that does not get any publicity? Also, the fact that these things were written down by people who knew seven day weeks and 24 hour days and counted days as evening and morning…it was not written when these things were ‘different’ and before they were known to mean specific things.
    Anyway, please understand I am not throwing criticism, you have a very well thought out essay, and obviously are an informed and intelligent person; I just have never had some of these doubts spoken to plainly enough to make such a jump. You have presented for the first time in my own learning that early church fathers debated the age of the earth, this I did not know, and would like to explore further. What would be interesting to know is what the early Hebrews thought about the length of creation. Anyway, no question that the God of the Bible is the One that created us and this universe…I will keep exploring.

  4. Hi Melissa,
    I’m glad that you are keeping an open mind and will continue to research. It is good for you to question new ideas and theories. If you take a look at a book called The Creator and the Cosmos by Hugh Ross, it will give you a better understanding and more information than what is here.

    Long creation days were not influenced by evolution, as evolution was invented several thousand years after the writings of Job and the early church fathers. As science knowledge progresses, it becomes harder to reconcile evolution with the observable universe. In order for evolution to have taken place, many more billions, or perhaps trillions, of years would have been necessary for life to exist on our planet. The extinction and reemergence of species attests to the rapid timeline that evolution would have to take place, something that evolutionists can not reconcile on the current timeline. They do share time periods on the geologic scale, but the appearance of life in the Cambrian Explosion is put to shame in the evolutionary theory when suggestions of life on Mars or other worldly transplant theories emerge as reasons for how life began on earth.

    I have heard from many young-earth theorists that the Grand Canyon’s layers were formed by the flood waters as the waters settled (they say this is what made the layers) and others say it was carved by the flood. Which is it as it can’t be both?

    The dating of rock layers and ice cores is based on how we know the world works. For example, if we look at Yellowstone, we can see evidence of several old calderas that are moved to the west of the park. Based on how fast we know the North American plate moves, we know that that hot spot has erupted several times of the course of hundreds of thousands of years as the plate slowly creeps west toward Japan at the rate that our fingernails grow.

    You can also look at what are known as the zebra stripes in the Atlantic Ocean. Each time the magnetic poles flip from north-south to south-north and vice-versa, they shift the polarity of the newly formed land at the Mid Atlantic Ridge. Based on the rate of the expansion of the ridge, this happens approximately every 700,000 years.

    The ice cores and the geological layers we can also cross reference and date large volcanic eruptions in our past, the most notable being at 65 million years ago, a time when the last dinosaur fossils can be found. This layer is known as the K-T boundary. It is a layer that is found around the world with evidence of a catastrophic event taking place. If humans had been alive at this time, they would have lived in an apocolyptic era with mass destruction, a dust cloud that swaddled the earth, choked plant life by prohibiting photosynthesis and caused a planet-wide famine.

    Take a look at the book I mentioned above as it will give you a great astronomical introduction to how great God designed our universe and how he specially crafted it for us in his time.

    Olivia

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