As the days of creation are ordinary days in length, then by adding up the years in Scripture (assuming no gaps in the genealogies21), the age of the universe is only about six thousand years.
Refuting Common Objections to Six Literal Days:
“Science” has shown the earth and universe are billions of years old; therefore the “days” of creation must be long periods (or indefinite periods) of time.
The age of the earth, as determined by man’s fallible methods, is based on unproven assumptions, so it is not proven that the earth is billions of years old.23
This unproven age is being used to force an interpretation on the language of the Bible. Thus, man’s fallible theories are allowed to interpret the Bible. This ultimately undermines the use of language to communicate.
Evolutionary scientists claim the fossil layers over the earth’s surface date back hundreds of millions of years. As soon as one allows millions of years for the fossil layers, then one has accepted death, bloodshed, disease, thorns, and suffering before Adam’s sin.
The Bible makes it clear24 that death, bloodshed, disease, thorns, and suffering are a consequence of sin.25 In Genesis 1:29–30, God gave Adam and Eve and the animals plants to eat (this is reading Genesis at face value, as literal history, as Jesus did in Matthew 19:3–6). In fact, there is a theological distinction made between animals and plants. Human beings and higher animals are described in Genesis 1 as having a nephesh, or life principle. (This is true of at least the vertebrate land animals as well as the birds and fish: Genesis 1:20, 24.) Plants do not have this nephesh—they are not “alive” in the same sense animals are. They were given for food.
Man was permitted to eat meat only after the Flood (Genesis 9:3). This makes it obvious that the statements in Genesis 1:29–30 were meant to inform us that man and the animals were vegetarian to start with. Also, in Genesis 9:2, we are told of a change God apparently made in the way animals react to man.
God warned Adam in Genesis 2:17 that if he ate of the “tree of the knowledge of good and evil” he would “die.” The Hebrew grammar actually means, “dying, you will die.” In other words, it would be the commencement of a process of physical dying (see Genesis 3:19). It also clearly involved spiritual death (separation from God).
After Adam disobeyed God, the Lord clothed Adam and Eve with “coats of skins” (Genesis 3:21).26 To do this He must have killed and shed the blood of at least one animal. The reason for this can be summed up by Hebrews 9:22:
And according to the law almost all things are purified with blood, and without shedding of blood there is no remission.
God requires the shedding of blood for the remission of sins. What happened in the garden was a picture of what was to come in Jesus Christ, who shed His blood on the Cross as the Lamb of God who took away the sin of the world (John 1:29).
Now if the Garden of Eden were sitting on a fossil record of dead things millions of years old, then blood was shed before sin. This would destroy the foundation of the Atonement. The Bible is clear: the sin of Adam brought death and suffering into the world. As Romans 8:19–22 tells us, the whole of creation “groans” because of the effects of the fall of Adam, and the creation will be liberated “from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God” (Rom. 8:21). Also, bear in mind that thorns came into existence after the Curse. Because there are thorns in the fossil record, it had to be formed after Adam and Eve sinned.
The pronouncement of the death penalty on Adam was both a curse and a blessing. A curse because death is horrible and continually reminds us of the ugliness of sin; a blessing because it meant the consequences of sin—separation from fellowship with God—need not be eternal. Death stopped Adam and his descendants from living in a state of sin, with all its consequences, forever. And because death was the just penalty for sin, Jesus Christ suffered physical death, shedding His blood, to release Adam’s descendants from the consequences of sin. The Apostle Paul discusses this in depth in Romans 5 and 1 Corinthians 15.
Revelation 21–22 makes it clear that there will be a “new heavens and a new earth” one day, where there will be “no more death” and “no more curse”—just like it was before sin changed everything. If there are to be animals as part of the new earth, obviously they will not be dying or eating each other, nor eating the redeemed people!
Thus, adding the supposed millions of years to Scripture destroys the foundations of the message of the Cross.
According to Genesis 1, the sun was not created until Day 4. How could there be day and night (ordinary days) without the sun for the first three days?
Again, it is important for us to let the language of God’s Word speak to us. If we come to Genesis 1 without any outside influences, as has been shown, each of the six days of creation appears with the Hebrew word yom qualified by a number and the phrase “evening and morning.” The first three days are written the same way as the next three. So if we let the language speak to us, all six days were ordinary earth days.
The sun is not needed for day and night. What is needed is light and a rotating earth. On the first day of creation, God made light (Genesis 1:3). The phrase “evening and morning” certainly implies a rotating earth. Thus, if we have light from one direction, and a spinning earth, there can be day and night.
Where did the light come from? We are not told,27 but Genesis 1:3 certainly indicates it was a created light to provide day and night until God made the sun on Day 4 to rule the day. Revelation 21:23 tells us that one day the sun will not be needed because the glory of God will light the heavenly city.
Perhaps one reason God did it this way was to illustrate that the sun did not have the priority in the creation that people have tended to give it. The sun did not give birth to the earth as evolutionary theories postulate; the sun was God’s created tool to rule the day that God had made (Genesis 1:16).
Down through the ages, people such as the Egyptians have worshiped the sun. God warned the Israelites, in Deuteronomy 4:19, not to worship the sun as the pagan cultures around them did. They were commanded to worship the God who made the sun—not the sun that was made by God.
Evolutionary theories (the “big bang” hypothesis for instance) state that the sun came before the earth and that the sun’s energy on the earth eventually gave rise to life. Just as in pagan beliefs, the sun is, in a sense, given credit for the wonder of creation.
It is interesting to contrast the speculations of modern cosmology with the writings of the early church father Theophilus:
On the fourth day the luminaries came into existence. Since God has foreknowledge, he understood the nonsense of the foolish philosophers who were going to say that the things produced on Earth came from the stars, so that they might set God aside. In order therefore that the truth might be demonstrated, plants and seeds came into existence before stars. For what comes into existence later cannot cause what is prior to it.28
2 Peter 3:8 states that “one day is with the Lord as a thousand years,” therefore the days of creation could be long periods of time.
This passage has no creation context—it is not referring to Genesis or the six days of creation.
This verse has what is called a “comparative article”—“as” or “like”— which is not found in Genesis 1. In other words, it is not saying a day is a thousand years; it is comparing a real, literal day to a real, literal thousand years. The context of this passage is the Second Coming of Christ. It is saying that, to God, a day is like a thousand years, because God is outside of time. God is not limited by natural processes and time as humans are. What may seem like a long time to us (e.g., waiting for the Second Coming), or a short time, is nothing to God, either way.
The second part of the verse reads “and a thousand years as one day,” which, in essence, cancels out the first part of the verse for those who want to equate a day with a thousand years. Thus, it cannot be saying a day is a thousand years or vice versa.
Psalm 90:4 states, “For a thousand years in your sight are as yesterday when it is past, and as a watch in the night.” Here a thousand years is being compared with a “watch in the night” (four hours29). Because the phrase “watch in the night” is joined in a particular way to “yesterday,” it is saying that a thousand years is being compared with a short period of time—not simply to a day.
If one used this passage to claim that “day” in the Bible means a thousand years, then, to be consistent, one would have to say that Jonah was in the belly of the fish three thousand years, or that Jesus has not yet risen from the dead after two thousand years in the grave.
Insisting on six solar days for creation limits God, whereas allowing God billions of years does not limit Him.
Actually, insisting on six ordinary earth-rotation days of creation is not limiting God, but limiting us to believing that God actually did what He tells us in His Word. Also, if God created everything in six days, as the Bible says, then surely this reveals the power and wisdom of God in a profound way— Almighty God did not need eons of time. However, the billions-of-years scenarios diminish God by suggesting that mere chance could create things or that God needed huge amounts of time to create things—this would be limiting God’s power by reducing it to naturalistic explanations.
Adam could not have accomplished all that the Bible states in one day (Day 6). He could not have named all the animals, for instance; there was not enough time.
Adam did not have to name all the animals—only those God brought to him. For instance, Adam was commanded to name “every beast of the field” (Genesis 2:20), not “beast of the earth” (Genesis 1:25). The phrase “beast of the field” is most likely a subset of the larger group “beast of the earth.” He did not have to name “everything that creeps upon the earth” (Genesis 1:25) or any of the sea creatures. Also, the number of “kinds” would be much less than the number of species in today’s classification.
When critics say that Adam could not name the animals in less than one day, what they really mean is they do not understand how they could do it, so Adam could not. However, our brain has suffered from 6,000 years of the Curse—it has been greatly affected by the Fall. Before sin, Adam’s brain was perfect.
When God made Adam, He must have programmed him with a perfect language. Today we program computers to “speak” and “remember.” How much more could our Creator God have created Adam as a mature human (he was not born as a baby needing to learn to speak), having in his memory a perfect language with a perfect understanding of each word. (That is why Adam understood what God meant when he said he would “die” if he disobeyed, even though he had not seen any death.) Adam may also have had a “perfect” memory (something like a photographic memory, perhaps).
It would have been no problem for this first perfect man to make up words and name the animals God brought to him and remember the names—in far less than one day.30
Genesis 2 is a different account of creation, with a different order, so how can the first chapter be accepted as teaching six literal days?
Actually, Genesis 2 is not a different account of creation. It is a more detailed account of Day 6 of creation. Chapter 1 is an overview of the whole of creation; chapter 2 gives details surrounding the creation of the garden, the first man, and his activities on Day 6.31
Between the creation of Adam and the creation of Eve, the King James Version says, “Out of the ground the Lord God formed every beast of the field and every fowl of the air” (Genesis 2:19). This seems to say that the land beasts and birds were created between the creation of Adam and Eve. However, Jewish scholars did not recognize any such conflict with the account in chapter 1, where Adam and Eve were both created after the beasts and birds (Genesis 1:23–25). There is no contradiction, because in Hebrew the precise tense of a verb is determined by the context. It is clear from chapter 1 that the beasts and birds were created before Adam, so Jewish scholars would have understood the verb “formed” to mean “had formed” or “having formed” in Genesis 2:19 If we translate verse 19, “Now the Lord God had formed out of the ground all the beasts of the field,” the apparent disagreement with Genesis 1 disappears completely.
Regarding the plants and herbs in Genesis 2:5 and the trees in Genesis 2:9 (compare with Genesis 1:12), the plants and herbs are described as “of the field” and they needed a man to tend them. These are clearly cultivated plants, not just plants in general (Genesis 1). Also, the trees (Genesis 2:9) are only the trees planted in the garden, not trees in general.
In Matthew 19:3–6 Jesus Christ quotes from both Genesis 1:27 and Genesis 2:24 when referring to the same man and woman in teaching the doctrine of marriage. Clearly, Jesus saw them as complementary accounts, not contradictory ones.
There is no “evening and morning” for the seventh day of the Creation Week (Genesis 2:2). Thus, we must still be in the “seventh day,” so none of the days can be ordinary days.
Look again at the section entitled “Why Six Days?” above. Exodus 20:11 is clearly referring to seven literal days—six for work and one for rest.
Also, God stated that He “rested” from His work of creation (not that He is resting!). The fact that He rested from His work of creation does not preclude Him from continuing to rest from this activity. God’s work now is different—it is a work of sustaining His creation and of reconciliation and redemption because of man’s sin.
The word yom is qualified by a number (Genesis 2:2–3), so the context still determines that it is an ordinary solar day. Also, God blessed this seventh day and made it holy. In Genesis 3:17–19 we read of the Curse on the earth because of sin. Paul refers to this in Romans 8:22. It does not make sense that God would call this day holy and blessed if He cursed the ground on this “day.” We live in a sin-cursed earth—we are not in the seventh blessed holy day!
Note that in arguing that the seventh day is not an ordinary day because it is not associated with “evening and morning,” proponents are tacitly agreeing that the other six days are ordinary days because they are defined by an evening and a morning.
Some have argued that Hebrews 4:3–4 implies that the seventh day is continuing today:
For we who have believed do enter that rest, as He has said: “So I swore in My wrath, ‘They shall not enter My rest,’” although the works were finished from the foundation of the world. For He has spoken in a certain place of the seventh day in this way: “And God rested on the seventh day from all His works... .”
However, verse 4 reiterates that God rested (past tense) on the seventh day. If someone says on Monday that he rested on Friday and is still resting, this would not suggest that Friday continued through to Monday! Also, only those who have believed in Christ will enter that rest, showing that it is a spiritual rest, which is compared with God’s rest since the Creation Week. It is not some sort of continuation of the seventh day (otherwise everyone would be “in” this rest).32
Hebrews does not say that the seventh day of Creation Week is continuing today, merely that the rest He instituted is continuing.
Genesis 2:4 states, “In the day that the Lord God made the earth and the heavens.” As this refers to all six days of creation, it shows that the word “day” does not mean an ordinary day.
The Hebrew word yom as used here is not qualified by a number, the phrase “evening and morning,” or light or darkness. In this context, the verse really means “in the time God created” (referring to the Creation Week) or “when God created.”
Other Problems with Long Days and Similar Interpretations
If the plants made on Day 3 were separated by millions of years from the birds and nectar bats (created Day 5) and insects (created Day 6) necessary for their pollination, then such plants could not have survived. This problem would be especially acute for species with complex symbiotic relationships (each depending on the other; e.g., the yucca plant and the associated moth33).
Adam was created on Day 6, lived through Day 7, and then died when he was 930 years old (Genesis 5:5). If each day were a thousand years or millions of years, this would make no sense of Adam’s age at death.
Some have claimed that the word for “made” (asah) in Exodus 20:11 actually means “show.” They propose that God showed or revealed the information about creation to Moses during a six-day period. This allows for the creation itself to have occurred over millions of years. However, “showed” is not a valid translation for asah. Its meaning covers “to make, manufacture, produce, do,” etc., but not “to show” in the sense of reveal.34 Where asah is translated as “show”—for example, “show kindness” (Genesis 24:12)—it is in the sense of “to do” or “make” kindness.
Some have claimed that because the word asah is used for the creation of the sun, moon, and stars on Day 4, and not the word bara, which is used in Genesis 1:1 for “create,” this means God only revealed the sun, moon, and stars at this stage. They insist the word asah has the meaning of “revealed.” In other words, the luminaries were supposedly already in existence and were only revealed at this stage. However, bara and asah are used in Scripture to describe the same event. For example, asah is used in Exodus 20:11 to refer to the creation of the heavens and the earth, but bara is used to refer to the creation of the heavens and the earth in Genesis 1:1. The word asah is used concerning the creation of the first people in Genesis 1:26—they did not previously exist. And then they are said to have been created (bara) in Genesis 1:27. There are many other similar examples. asah has a broad range of meanings involving “to do” or “to make,” which includes bara creation.
Some accept that the days of creation are ordinary days as far as the language of Genesis is concerned but not as literal days of history as far as man is concerned. This is basically the view called the “framework hypothesis.”35 This is a very complex and contrived view which has been thoroughly refuted by scholars.36
Last edited by Jeff; 05-04-2009 at 03:23 PM.
I disagree that the universe was created some 6000 years ago. It only assumes the universe was created. The heavens and earth were made (Gen 1:1).
I agree. But when God said, "You shall surely die" it means man shall die. Adam died after 930 years.
It is true that there is rest found Jesus (Matt 11:28). In Heb 4:9, the word here for rest used is Sabbath.
The 7th day is still holy today and forever (Isa 66:22,23).
Rom 8:22 does not talk about the 7th day as the curse.
The sabbath exists before sin. Therefore it is holy. Because God is holy. It is still holy now (Ps 89:34).
So it is still holy now (Heb 4:9).
My stand is "thus saith the Lord."
If the days are 6 thousands mornings and evenings, then no plant should live 500 years without the sun.
bara and asa are used interchangebly throughout the creation narrative. so its the same in the context.
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