Biblical Genealogy

The Bible is an excellent historical record of events that centers around God and the Jewish people. The Jewish authors were excellent record keepers of their genealogy beginning with Adam and Eve which included names and sometimes longevity facts of their “fathers.” But do we know how all these people fit together? How does the priest Ezra fit into the picture? Or Zechariah? Or that the lineage of the Kings of Judah and Israel intermarried on more than one occasion?

Below is the complete genealogical history from Adam to Jesus, including the two New Testament lineages of Jesus from Matthew and Mark. This is meant to be a supplementary Bible study tool. Download, print, use, share, and enjoy!

Genealogy Page 1: Adam & Eve’s Descendants
Genealogy Page 2: Esau’s Descendants & Japheth, Shem, & Ham Map
Genealogy Page 3: Jacob’s Descendants
Genealogy Page 4: Judah’s Descendants
Genealogy Page 5: The Kings Part 1
Genealogy Page 6: The Kings Part 2
Genealogy Page 7: The Kings Part 3 & Prophets
Genealogy Page 8: Levi’s Descendants
Genealogy Page 9: The Other Brothers
Genealogy Page 10: Benjamin’s Descendants

Homer Hailey

In recounting a parable to the apostles, Jesus said, “From everyone who has been given much, much will be required.”1 Homer Hailey was one of those men of whom much has been given. Born August 12, 1903 on the family farm near Marshall, Texas, Hailey was a giant during his time. A preacher and teacher of the gospel, he was raised with very little knowledge of religious matters. After a few life changing events, he devoted his life to Christ and went on to learn all he could about the Bible. Over the years, through both his preaching and teaching at Abilene and Florida colleges, he brought many to Christ. His simple, no nonsense manner appealed to people and they came from all over to hear him preach. Indeed, it was his “greatest joy” to stand in the

pulpit and deliver the gospel message.2 Although he found himself in the middle of a few controversial issues over the years, he did his best to avoid them. Instead, he preferred to immerse himself in preaching the gospel. Even while socializing, one man remembered that “It is hard to get into a conversation with Homer, and not get into a Bible conversation.”3 Homer Hailey lived his life to the fullest, not with selfish ambitions, but filled with the selfless desire to spread God’s word, through preaching, teaching and the many books that are his legacy.

Growing up in the time of cowboys and Indians, gunslingers and outlaws, Hailey experienced the adventurous yet simple life of the American frontiersman. He relished the stories he heard from traveling cowboys of life in the Old West, sitting up late into the night with his brother Rob as they told of Wyatt, Virgil, and Morgan Earp at the Battle at OK Corral. His days were spent exploring the countryside—climbing cliffs, listening for Apache war whoops, and looking for the tracks of Cochise and Geronimo.4 With heroes like George Washington, Robert E. Lee, and “Stonewall” Jackson, Hailey “imbibed the spirit of the American West,” a theme which followed him his whole life.5 Hailey would look back on this era with fond memories not only of his childhood, but of the simplicity of frontier life.

Hailey was unaware of religious and spiritual matters while a youth, though he was still taught the difference between right and wrong. It was not until he was thirteen years old that he was introduced to the Bible through the hospitality of strangers. On his way to pick up a wagon from his uncle, some seventy-fives miles away from home, an older couple welcomed him in to stay for the night. Before the evening meal, they first read from the Bible and prayed. In doing so, they planted a seed in the young Hailey’s mind that lingered for many years and ultimately began him on a journey which molded him from the “lanky cowboy” he was in his youth, into the “renowned teacher” with which many are familiar.6

In 1918, Hailey’s father succumbed to the flu during the great epidemic that plagued many during the early 1900s. With the untimely death of his father, part of the Old West died as well. The family was not able to attend the funeral as the children had also contracted the flu and Mamie, their mother, tended to their needs. Although Hailey remembered his father in a generally positive light, Mamie later recalled “that as she heard the sound of the wheels of the wagon-hearse passing their home bearing the body of Robert Hailey, the wagon wheels seemed to be saying, ‘I am free. I am free.’”7 His father’s drunkenness and carousing was the cause of much strife between his parents. Still, Hailey fared well in his upbringing.

Being the eldest two children, he and his brother, Rob, dropped out of school and went to work to support the family. He began as a store clerk, learning “how to relate to people and how to sell, talents that served him well in his years as an evangelist.”8 Having worked for several years, he decided the time had finally come to return to high school and finish his degree. He quickly worked through three years of course work, completing it a year early and graduating as valedictorian at the age of 22. Still the unseasoned speaker, Hailey trembled though his graduation address. With graduation behind him, he thought he would be able to focus on his job at the store and his desire to become a forest ranger. Alas, it was not to be.

Several things occurred that became turning points in Homer Hailey’s life that would propel him out of his pioneering endeavors. While inebriated from whiskey he was drinking at a dance, he got into a fight with a man and awoke the next morning sore and embarrassed. He vowed to never let it happen again. The other turning point was the influence of Mrs. Huffman, his employer’s wife. Along with other young men, she encouraged Hailey to attend Bible class on Sundays at the Christian Church, a progressive group of Christians, of which she was a member.9 In 1922, Homer Hailey was baptized. With a zealous spirit for learning, he sat down to read his Bible. He later reflected on the matter, “I didn’t know what I was reading, but I read it through.”10 Mrs. Huffman saw the fervor with which he studied and encouraged Hailey to become a preacher. After some thought and a final indulgence with a bottle of wine on Christmas 1925, Hailey accepted the notion. He left the store behind and moved the family to Abilene, Texas where he began the next four years of his life learning all he could about the Bible.

Hailey spent his days at Abilene Christian College entrenched in all things Bible related. He never let the typical nuances of college life pervade his reason for being there. He stayed away from the social clubs and rarely had time for dating. He mostly spent his time in the Missions Study Class, a group that was “deeply interested in the spread of the Gospel and the salvation of souls.”11 During his first year at ACC, Hailey gathered up the courage to deliver his first sermon. Speaking on the topic of hope, he later recalled the hopelessness with which he delivered it. He had prepared to deliver a forty minute sermon, but ran out of material after only eighteen minutes. The unpolished preacher still had some maturing to do before taking on the harvest. By the end of the first summer, Hailey returned to the little town of Willcox, Arizona and delivered his first gospel meeting to the Willcox Christian Church, where he had been baptized.

The liberalism within the Christian Church pulled at Hailey. The group allowed the use of instrumental music in their services, one of the reasons between the split of the Christian Church and the Churches of Christ in the early 1900s. Hailey decided to sit down and study it. As became a typical Hailey study habit, he never studied a subject until the need arose and once it did he would seclude himself in the privacy of his room and study the issue himself. He concluded that the instrumental music which the Christian Church practiced was indeed unscriptural. Once he had made a decision, he never looked back or questioned himself on it again. The decision made, Hailey began meeting with a Church of Christ group that shunned the use of instrumental music.

Hailey’s preaching skills continued to grow. By the next year, 1928, he became known as one of the “preacher boys from Abilene Christian College who go far and wide to proclaim the gospel.”12 Every month, he would visit with a small circle of churches to practice his preaching. By his senior year, he had become a well spoken and polished preacher, ready to do the work of the Lord. Immediately after graduation in 1930, he set out to preach a round of gospel meetings in Arizona. As would become a habit over the next fifty years, he held gospel meetings every summer. For weeks at a time, he would preach, baptize, and restore souls to Christ. At one point, his summer schedule had to be booked five years in advance in order to obtain a slot, due to the ever increasing popularity of the well-known preacher. He never let his rising fame cloud his judgment, nor was he preferential to what churches he preached at, whether large or small, he took them all the same. “I was in demand everywhere during those days,” Hailey recalled. “I was young. I was vigorous. I was studious. … I fought sin and tried to lead people to the Lord…. I was very popular and had lots of invitations to go places.”13 Like most preachers of the time, he was not concerned with debate and bickering, but with preaching the gospel message and saving souls. Throughout the years, he was responsible for establishing “churches in thousands of cities and villages throughout the United States.”14

In the fall, Hailey married a woman named Lois Manly, who he had met in his senior year of college. In many ways she was the opposite of Hailey. She was a prominent socialite at school, organizing dinner parties and lunch gatherings. While in many ways different from Hailey, fellow preacher G.K. Wallace later wrote of her in the Gospel Guardian that “there was perhaps never a finer and more active Christian young girl than was Lois Manly Hailey.”15 Hailey believed her to be a good match and the two wed in December of 1930.

He decided to take up a job as principal at the ACC Academy in Abilene that fall. The job didn’t much appeal to him, but during his time there, he administered the job as he knew best. A firm believer of frontier justice, he once punished a student who made “immoral comments” to a female student by giving him a whipping that “lifted him off the ground.”16 Hailey later recalled that afterwards that the student no longer continued in his misguided ways. Hailey’s job as a principal was short-lived, as the busy schedule it required was hindering his preaching ability. After only a year in the position, he and Lois decided it was time to move on.

Hailey soon picked up a job preaching at the Fifth and Highland Church of Christ in Abilene. He spent 11 years with the congregation, baptizing new members nearly every week. Always busy studying in his office at the church building, he left little time for socialization. He expressed his open-door policy to the members, but emphasized that he did not want to waste the time with friendly banter. This mentality translated over into his summer meetings, staying with people in their homes wherever he went. He enjoyed the hospitality, but it was not his reason for being there; he was there to preach. The church had grown to nearly five hundred members by the time he left in 1943.17 Hailey had several other preaching jobs, including Los Angeles and Hawaii, but eventually he and the family returned to Abilene to begin a different avenue of work.

He decided to return to college though not as a student, but as a teacher. He spent many years teaching, first at his alma mater, Abilene Christian College, then on to Florida Christian College. He was there to teach the Bible, but focused mainly on training young men to become preachers. “Hailey was most at home teaching freshman Bible courses, offering the students well-researched, but practical, common-sense expositions of biblical texts.”18 His days were busy and long. He had little time for idle chitchat. He made sure he students knew this, placing behind his desk a sign which read “Come to the Point.”19

Hailey eventually returned to college as a student in order to receive his graduate, followed by his doctorate degree. He did not do it for the prestige, but to continue teaching courses at college. He often challenged his liberally minded professors in the things they were teaching; even remarking that one professor who was teaching the book of John “didn’t know one thing about [it].”20 Hailey later ended up writing his own book on The Gospel of John, a well respected work that followed in the same manner of his other writings–clear, concise, and convincing.21

After cramming his graduate degree into all of nine months, Homer Hailey became ill. Cancer had been detected after a mole began to rapidly grow from his neck. He was told by his doctor that without surgery he wouldn’t last another year. He decided to look for an alternative. He had heard of a new type of treatment that used a “chemical substance” and traveled to Houston to undergo treatment.22 After four intensive months, he was well enough to go home. Under the guidance of a nutritionist, he decided to change to a more healthful diet, which he stuck to for the remainder of his life—consisting of mostly fruits, vegetables, and lean meat. He was always full of energy and sound of mind, hiking the Grand Canyon with his son at the age of 72 and writing books late into his 90’s. Many dread old age, but Hailey welcomed it as the “best of life.”23 Hailey retired from teaching in 1973, but even in his retirement he never stopped working.24 He continued to preach, hold meetings, and write books.

Through all the years working as a preacher and college teacher, Hailey wrote many articles in the publications that circulated through the Church of Christ brotherhood. “Times were different back then,” states the introduction to the Gospel Guardian archives. “People were not only open to debate, but they expected it. …These times forged spiritual giants. …However, these times also cut deep lines of division and set up traps for future generations.”25 Hailey commonly wrote on topics prevalent in the day, but never set out to cause controversy. In the Bible Banner, he wrote of people who did “just enough to ‘get by’” in a “half-hearted” attempt to fulfill their Christian duties.26 Through the years that Hailey preached, people became increasingly lackadaisical in regards to the faith. They began to rely more on what had become tradition than referring to the Bible to solve Bible issues. He used the articles to teach the gospel message, condemn wrongs, and drum up spiritual enthusiasm within the ranks. He often emphasized the need to return to “New Testament Christianity;” while bemoaning “the rampant materialism he saw in modern society and the breakdown of families,” stating that the United States is ‘asking for judgment, and God’s going to give it to us.’”27 He encouraged Christians to remain faithful to the cause of Christ in the “midst of a crooked and perverse generation.”28

Homer Hailey was a man of great learning whose years of preaching and teaching led to the saving of countless numbers of souls, yet even he was not without his faults. He had not studied much on the issues that erupted in the 1950s that had separated the institutionalists from the noninstitutionalists. In his early years, he had been a great proponent of church supported orphan homes and hospitals due to his own adoption of several children. He believed that it was a good work of the church to support such institutions. In 1952, he wrote an article in the Gospel Advocate entitled, “Keepers of Orthodoxy.”29 In it he made note of the fact that many other denominations had their hospitals, missionaries, and charitable causes, but the “church of Christ has provided no hospitals.”30 Hailey later recanted the article saying that his point in writing it had not been to rally for institutionalism and add fuel to the fire of the dividing churches, but to denounce the spirit of hypocrisy that “say[s], and do[es] not.”31 He made it a point to say, “It is deploring to know that the Bible instructs Christians to feed the hungry, clothe the naked, support the widows and orphans, send evangelists into all the world with the saving message of Christ—then to consider that the church is spending so much time and energy in fussing and quarreling, even to the point of bitterness and division, while the world is heading nearer and nearer to the brink of destruction.”32 While not deviating from his original argument made in the article, he later changed his views on institutionalism noting that to him “the question of institutionalism is one of shifting responsibilities from the shoulders where God has put them to ‘new carts’ of man’s own devising.’”33

Hailey later found himself in the middle of another debate that came to light in the late 1980s and 1990s over marriage, divorce, and remarriage. While most within the Churches of Christ believed that God’s marriage law applied to all people equally, Hailey took the more unpopular view, stating that those who were unbelievers fell under a different law.34 He advocated that an unbeliever who was in an adulterous marriage did not need to divorce their spouse in order to be baptized and added to the church. He rejected the idea of a continuous adulterous relationship.35 Instead, he believed that the making of the unscriptural marriage covenant was the actual act of adultery and needed to be repented of before baptism. Against the advice of his closest friends, Hailey published a book on the subject entitled, “The Divorced and Remarried Who Would Come to God.” He substantiated his beliefs and gave his reasons for why he believed them. Hailey believed that “These people who are telling individuals … you have got to separate, …. Are acting where God never did legislate and they are setting themselves up as judges in this matter.”36

The conservatives of the divorce and remarriage controversy began to single out Hailey as one of their main opponents. The attacks on Hailey were becoming personal, some even branding him a false teacher. He contended that “All at once I find myself under attack by some, being charged as a false teacher, unfit for the fellowship of certain ones who differ from me.”37 Fellow preacher Yater Tant had made the point many years earlier that regardless of what one believed on the topic, “the ‘marriage question’ does NOT affect the organization, work, or worship of the congregation at all. … If brethren can understand that this is a ‘personal question’ … the discussion can be truly profitable and helpful.”38 Fellow brother, James W. Adams, added:

“Brethren, we cannot make everything about which we disagree a test of fellowship. Some things individuals practice about which we differ are just going to have to be tolerated. We are just going to have to let the Lord decide about some things. … Let those with conservative views in these matters not arrogate to themselves prerogatives of judgment that belong only to ‘Him who judgeth wisely.’ My plea is for sanity, forbearance, and tolerance in these areas of disagreement in which the matter is individual and not collective in character.”39

Tant and Adams both believed that this was a personal issue that each divorced couple had to decide on their own what the correct action was to resolve. What many churches ended up doing, however, was making it a congregational issue and the deciding factor of fellowship.

Even through the controversies that seemed to occasionally derail him, Hailey persevered in his preaching and book writing. He still loved the Old West and how the dessert seemed to move him. He decided to retire to Tucson, Arizona with his second wife, Widna Kirby, a fellow widower who he married shortly after Lois had died in 1954. He took up preaching at the small congregation in Oracle that usually boasted an attendance of ten on Sundays. Over the span of fifteen years that he preached there, he was able to baptize a few from the small town and the membership increased to about twenty-six.40 In his free time, Hailey set his mind to do some of his most memorable work. He compiled his manuscripts and notes and sat down to write book after book, having published over thirty books by the time of his death, November 9, 2000.41

During his 97 year lifetime, Homer Hailey never failed to churn out the message of the gospel wherever he went. Not until after his retirement at 70 years old did he think of slowing down and never in all that time did he have time for a vacation. He dedicated his life to preaching Christ and that’s exactly what he accomplished. The man who shook in fear while delivering his high school graduation speech, courageously stood up time after time before thousands to deliver the good news. At the end of his life, he confessed, “I don’t know how to preach,” yet through his preaching and teaching, he was responsible for bring scores of unbelievers to Christ.42 The same man who confessed, “I’m not a good writer,” wrote books that live on to inspire people to learn more about God’s word.43 Also saying, “I am no debater,” and yet again he stood for what was right in many debates throughout the years.44 He collected stacks of thank you notes from congregations he visited, one in particular speaks for them all, “Thanks for coming our way… Generations yet unborn will be blessed as the result of your lifetime of study and teaching. We thank you for what you shared with us, and honor you for your life.”45 Many echo the same sentiments when they remember him or read the legacy of the many books he left behind. We have great hope that upon his death he heard the words from our Lord, “Well done, good and faithful servant!”46 Rest in peace, Homer Hailey.


1. “Luke 12:48 (NASB),”, accessed October 21, 2013,
2. Homer Hailey, taped conversations with John Kilgore, Tucson, Arizona, tape no. 10, of David Edwin Harrell, The Churches of Christ in the 20th Century: Homer Hailey’s Personal Journey of Faith, (Tuscaloosa, Alabama: The University of Alabama Press, 2000), 376.
3. Bob F. Owen, interview with the author, April 29, 1988, Tampa, Florida, of David Edwin Harrell, The Churches of Christ in the 20th Century: Homer Hailey’s Personal Journey of Faith, (Tuscaloosa, Alabama: The University of Alabama Press, 2000), 380.
4. David Edwin Harrell, The Churches of Christ in the 20th Century: Homer Hailey’s Personal Journey of Faith, (Tuscaloosa, Alabama: The University of Alabama Press, 2000), 23.
5. Ibid., 370.
6. “Homer Hailey,” The Restoration Movement, accessed October 27, 2013,
7. Homer Hailey, taped conversations with John Kilgore, Tucson, Arizona, tape no. 3, of David Edwin Harrell, The Churches of Christ in the 20th Century: Homer Hailey’s Personal Journey of Faith, (Tuscaloosa, Alabama: The University of Alabama Press, 2000), 27.
8. David Edwin Harrell, The Churches of Christ in the 20th Century: Homer Hailey’s Personal Journey of Faith, (Tuscaloosa, Alabama: The University of Alabama Press, 2000), 29.
9. “Christian Church (Disciples of Christ),” Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6Th Edition (September 2013): 1, Academic Search Premier, EBSCOhost (accessed October 14, 2013).
10. Homer Hailey, taped conversations with John Kilgore, Tucson, Arizona, tape no. 2, of David Edwin Harrell, The Churches of Christ in the 20th Century: Homer Hailey’s Personal Journey of Faith, (Tuscaloosa, Alabama: The University of Alabama Press, 2000), 32.
11. Prickly Pear: 1927 (Abilene Christian College Yearbook), p. 79, of David Edwin Harrell, The Churches of Christ in the 20th Century: Homer Hailey’s Personal Journey of Faith, (Tuscaloosa, Alabama: The University of Alabama Press, 2000), 226.
12. “Many Interesting Incidents Fill Life of Preacher Boys,” Optimist, February 14, 1929, p.2, of David Edwin Harrell, The Churches of Christ in the 20th Century: Homer Hailey’s Personal Journey of Faith, (Tuscaloosa, Alabama: The University of Alabama Press, 2000), 227.
13. Homer Hailey, taped conversations with John Kilgore, Tucson, Arizona, tape no. 4, of David Edwin Harrell, The Churches of Christ in the 20th Century: Homer Hailey’s Personal Journey of Faith, (Tuscaloosa, Alabama: The University of Alabama Press, 2000), 245.
14. David Edwin Harrell, The Churches of Christ in the 20th Century: Homer Hailey’s Personal Journey of Faith, (Tuscaloosa, Alabama: The University of Alabama Press, 2000), 221.
15. G.K. Wallace, “Mrs. Homer Hailey,” The Gospel Guardian 6, no. 5, (1954): 6,
16. Homer Hailey, “Chronology,” unpublished manuscript in the possession of the author, of David Edwin Harrell, The Churches of Christ in the 20th Century: Homer Hailey’s Personal Journey of Faith, (Tuscaloosa, Alabama: The University of Alabama Press, 2000), 234.
17. David Edwin Harrell, The Churches of Christ in the 20th Century: Homer Hailey’s Personal Journey of Faith, (Tuscaloosa, Alabama: The University of Alabama Press, 2000), 240.
18. Ibid., 249.
19. Ibid., 304.
20. Ed Harrell, “Divorce and Fellowship,” manuscript of speech delivered at Florida College Lectures, 1991, in the possession of the author, of David Edwin Harrell, The Churches of Christ in the 20th Century: Homer Hailey’s Personal Journey of Faith, (Tuscaloosa, Alabama: The University of Alabama Press, 2000), 254.
21. “That You May Believe: Studies in the Gospel of John,”accessed October 29, 2013,
22. Homer Hailey, taped conversations with John Kilgore, Tucson, Arizona, tape nos. 1 and 4, of David Edwin Harrell, The Churches of Christ in the 20th Century: Homer Hailey’s Personal Journey of Faith, (Tuscaloosa, Alabama: The University of Alabama Press, 2000), 261.
23. Homer Hailey, taped conversations with John Kilgore, Tucson, Arizona, tape no. 1, of David Edwin Harrell, The Churches of Christ in the 20th Century: Homer Hailey’s Personal Journey of Faith, (Tuscaloosa, Alabama: The University of Alabama Press, 2000), 329.
24. Douglas Allen Foster, The Encyclopedia of the Stone-Campbell Movement, (Grand Rapids, MI: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing, 2004), 379,
25. “Gospel Guardian: Introduction,” The Gospel Guardian,
26. Homer Hailey, “The Curse of Negligence,” The Bible Banner 2, no. 8, (1940): 13,
27. Homer Hailey, “Shall History Repeat Itself?” The Bible Banner 3, no. 10 (1941): 6, Homer Hailey, taped conversations with John Kilgore, Tucson, Arizona, tape no. 6. “Homer Haileyisms,” mimeographed manuscript assembled by Don Givens, copy in the possession of the author, of David Edwin Harrell, The Churches of Christ in the 20th Century: Homer Hailey’s Personal Journey of Faith, (Tuscaloosa, Alabama: The University of Alabama Press, 2000), 276, 372.
28. Homer Hailey, “God’s Call to Expansion,” The Bible Banner 4, no. 6, (1942): 12-15,
29. Homer Hailey, “Keepers of Orthodoxy,” The Gospel Advocate, (1952), 399.
30. Ibid.
31. “Matthew 23:3 (KJV),”, accessed October 28, 2013,
32. Homer Hailey, “Keepers of Orthodoxy,” The Gospel Advocate, (1952), 399.
33. Homer Hailey, “New Carts,” Preceptor, April 1952, pp. 14-15, of David Edwin Harrell, The Churches of Christ in the 20th Century: Homer Hailey’s Personal Journey of Faith, (Tuscaloosa, Alabama: The University of Alabama Press, 2000), 293.
34. Ben F. Vick, Jr., “Hailey’s View on Divorce and Remarriage,” Truth Magazine, accessed October 26, 2013,
35. Steven F. Deaton, “Adultery, What Is It?… And then Some,” accessed October 26, 2013,
36. Homer Hailey, taped conversations with John Kilgore, Tucson, Arizona, tape no. 11; Rob Hailey, interview with the author, August 25, 1989, of David Edwin Harrell, The Churches of Christ in the 20th Century: Homer Hailey’s Personal Journey of Faith, (Tuscaloosa, Alabama: The University of Alabama Press, 2000), 339.
37. Homer Hailey, “Comments Regarding My Views on Divorce and Remarriage,” Guardian of Truth 33, no. 3, (1989): 70-71,
38. Yater Tant, “Articles on ‘The Marriage Question,’” Gospel Guardian, August 22, 1963, pp. 244, 249 of David Edwin Harrell, The Churches of Christ in the 20th Century: Homer Hailey’s Personal Journey of Faith, (Tuscaloosa, Alabama: The University of Alabama Press, 2000), 354.
39. James W. Adams, “Identical Abominations,” Gospel Guardian, August 1978, pp. 303-4 of David Edwin Harrell, The Churches of Christ in the 20th Century: Homer Hailey’s Personal Journey of Faith, (Tuscaloosa, Alabama: The University of Alabama Press, 2000), 355.
40. Homer Hailey, taped conversations with John Kilgore, Tucson, Arizona, tape no. 1; Homer Hailey, interview with the author, August 2, 1988, Tucson, Arizona; Homer Hailey, “Chronology,” unpublished manuscript in the possession of the author, of David Edwin Harrell, The Churches of Christ in the 20th Century: Homer Hailey’s Personal Journey of Faith, (Tuscaloosa, Alabama: The University of Alabama Press, 2000), 331, 387.
41. “Homer Hailey,” Library Thing, accessed October 29, 2013,
42. Homer Hailey, taped conversations with John Kilgore, Tucson, Arizona, tape no. 8, of David Edwin Harrell, The Churches of Christ in the 20th Century: Homer Hailey’s Personal Journey of Faith, (Tuscaloosa, Alabama: The University of Alabama Press, 2000), 377.
43. Homer Hailey, taped conversations with John Kilgore, Tucson, Arizona, tape no. 9, of David Edwin Harrell, The Churches of Christ in the 20th Century: Homer Hailey’s Personal Journey of Faith, (Tuscaloosa, Alabama: The University of Alabama Press, 2000), 333.
44. Ibid., 247.
45. Letters to Homer Hailey, copies in the possession of the author of David Edwin Harrell, The Churches of Christ in the 20th Century: Homer Hailey’s Personal Journey of Faith, (Tuscaloosa, Alabama: The University of Alabama Press, 2000), 383.
46. “Matthew 25:23 (NIV),”, accessed October 29, 2013,

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


1. “Ex nihilo,” Wikipedia, accessed July 1, 2013,
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),”, accessed July 1, 2013,
7. Hugh Ross, The Fingerprint of God, (New Kensington, PA: Whitaker House, 1989), 150-151.
8. “Hosea 6:2 (ESV),”, accessed July 1, 2013,
9. “Isaiah 17:11 (NKJV),”, accessed July 1, 2013,
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,
12. C. John Collins, Science and Faith: Friends or Foes?, (Wheaton, IL: Crossway Books, 2003), 64.
13. “Genesis 1:2 (ESV),”, accessed July 2, 2013,
14. “Job 38:8-9 (NIV),”, accessed July 2, 2013,
15. “Genesis 1:14 (NASB),”, accessed July 3, 2013,
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),”, accessed July 5, 2013,
20. “Hebrews 4:4-10 (NIV),”, accessed July 5, 2013,
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),”, accessed July 5, 2013,
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,
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,, 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,
29. Paul McCaffrey, ed., The Reference Shelf: Faith and Science, (Ipswich, MA: H.W.Wilson, 2013), 173-174.
30. “Isaiah 42:5 (NASB),”, accessed July 6, 2013,
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,
33. Hugh Ross, A Matter of Days, (Colorado Springs, CO: Navpress, 2004), 183.
34. “Romans 1:20 (NASB),”, accessed July 7, 2013,
35. Ron Roizen, “The Rejection of Omphalos: A Note on Shifts in the Intellectual Hierarchy of Mid-Nineteenth Century Britain,”, accessed July 7, 2013,
36. Gary North, Sovereignty and Dominion: An Economic Commentary on Genesis Volume 2, (Dallas, GA: Point Five Press, 2012),, 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,”, accessed July 8, 2013,
41. “1 Thes 5:21 (ESV),”, accessed July 8, 2013,
42. “Acts 17:11,”, accessed July 8, 2013,
43. Prof. D.R. Dungan, Hermeneutics, (Delight, AK: Gospel Light Publishing Company), 83.

The Lord’s Prayer and the Kaddish Prayer

“Therefore pray in this way: ‘Our Father who are in Heaven, hallowed be your name, let your Kingdom come, let your will be done also in the earth, just as it is in Heaven.”1 (Matthew 6:9-10)

The Lord’s Prayer is well known in Christianity as the way that Jesus taught his disciples to pray, but what does it mean? Some Christian faiths take Jesus’ teaching of the prayer to be literal and believe it is to be memorized and repeated in a rote manner. Others believe he meant it merely as an example of how to pray, taking into account its structure, flow of subject matter and emphases.2 Suppose for a minute that there is a deeper meaning within the text that Jesus was trying to get across to his disciples.

One of the customs that was around during Jesus’ time was the recitation of a Jewish prayer called the Kaddish. What is particularly interesting about the Kaddish is that it bears a striking resemblance to the beginning of the Lord’s Prayer. The language between the two prayers is similar with parallels between the reverence of God’s name, the kingdom, and his will being highlighted. It is said that both the Kaddish and the Lord’s Prayer “spring from the same source,” and so the “essence” of both prayers is the same. The similarities are “more than linguistic” and support the theory that the Lord’s Prayer begins as an “adaptation of the Kaddish” that the disciples were familiar with, “but has been modified to deal with current issues.”3

Here is the text of the Half-Kaddish for comparison with the text of the Lord’s prayer (Matthew 6:9-10) above:

“May his great name be magnified and made holy (amen) in the eternity which he created in his will. And may he establish his kingdom in your lifetime and during your days and in the lifetime of all of the House of Israel, swiftly and soon. Now say Amen. And may His great name be blessed for ever and ever. May He be blessed, praised, beautified, exalted, lifted up, adorned, raised up on high, and worshiped, Blessed be He. Over all blessings, songs, and praises and sorrows declared on earth. Now say Amen.”4

Why use the Kaddish when teaching the disciples a new way to pray? For hundreds of years the Jews had been petitioning God, in this prayer, to establish the coming kingdom during their lifetime, but it wasn’t until Jesus introduced the Lord’s Prayer that the coming kingdom took on a new meaning.

In teaching the disciples a new way to pray, Jesus revised the Kaddish they were familiar with to show the Jews that the kingdom was indeed coming soon and it was going to happen in their lifetime. He not only gave us an example to follow, but he showed them the answer to the prayer the Jews had been praying for hundreds of years.


4 Ibid.