1:1 “In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth.”
Skip to verses 3 and 4.
“3 And God said, “Let there be light,” and there was light. 4 And God saw that the light was good. And God separated the light from the darkness. 5 God called the light Day, and the darkness he called Night. And there was evening and there was morning, the first day.”
Right from the very start we see that a day consisted of a period of light and darkness, a day as we understand it. Keep this in mind. It is relevant in the coming paragraphs. I’d also like to point out that the sun was not created until day four. Don’t get caught up in this. Light as a mechanism, property or whatever quantum mechanics defines it as today, was created on day one. The period of time did not change after day four when the sun and moon came into being. The same word is used for all six days of creation and the seventh day of rest.
I don’t want to go into all of the scholarly language theories of this, but the basic point is that the Hebrew word for day, “yom”, refers to a literal twenty four hour day. This is the word used to in Genesis to describe the days of creation. God created the earth and everything on it in six literal days.
I have heard many Christians ask, “How do we know what a day is to God?” And then they go on to quote a verse that says a day with the Lord is as a thousand years. This is from 2 Peter 3:8 and is not referring to how God defines time. Rather Peter is telling the church that just because scoffers mock us by asking where Jesus is in his return, we shouldn’t lose faith. What is it to God if he waits a thousand years for Jesus’s return? It’s going to happen because he said it would. This is why proof-texting is a bad idea. Every verse must be taken in context. In this case, simply put, the passage is telling us that God does things on his schedule regardless of our whims.
Another thing to consider, and this is purely a logical argument, is that God knows how to communicate to us. What kind of pathetic God wouldn’t be able to communicate with his creation? Certainly, that is not the God of scripture. Our God knows what words to use so that we understand him. It is obvious from the passge in 2 Peter above that 1st century individuals understood the concept of a thousand years. We know that ancient Egyptians understood the concept of millenia and Moses was raised in the house of Pharoah (Moses being the writer of Genesis). The point is that God could have explained the creation of the earth over vast amounts of time if he had indeed done so and they could have understood it. The fact that he chose a specific word that means a literal twenty four hour period speaks volumes. The gap or day/age theory doesn’t make sense in light of the context of scripture and what it reveals to us about the God we worship.
To rebut the carbon dating method or other radiometric systems that are used to date the earth (their inherent flaws aside), you need only consider that the earth was created with the appearance of age. God made a tree and then it was given the ability to reproduce after its own kind. The chicken came first and then the egg. There is no reason to believe that Adam started out as a baby and then grew to manhood. The earth as it was created was full of all the variety of geographical features. Mountains, valleys, and rivers were all brought about in the same instance as if they were there forever. It doesn’t take an artist years to create a mountain river scene with a brush and paint. Why would it take an all powerful God thousands of years to create a planet with the word of his mouth?
Some interesting things to think about.
Adam and Eve:
- probably didn’t have a belly button
- were never awkward teenagers.
- didn’t go through puberty.
- never had to find a date.
It makes you wonder how they were able to parent at all. I guess like us they relied on the grace of God.