Young biosphere, old universe?
A review of The Age of the Universe: What are the Biblical Limits? 2nd Edition by Gorman Gray
Morning Star Publications, Washougal, Washington 2002.
Gorman Gray believes that (1) the evidence is ample that the Flood produced the fossil record and geologic column, and (2) the biosphere (atmosphere, land and seas) resulted from a recent days-long creation. However, he believes that (3) the evidence is overwhelming that light and stars are billions of years old. Gray is concerned that many accept evolution in spite of the evidence against it because of this ‘irrefutable’ astronomical evidence for an old universe.
To accommodate his beliefs he proposes his own interpretation of the Creation Account: (1) Genesis 1:1 states God’s initial action of creating (a) the heavens—finished, complete with stars1 and (b) the earth—the planet, initially unfinished as described in v.2,2 ocean-covered, and covered by a cloud of thick darkness per Job 38:93,4 and (2) some unknown amount of time passed before God continued His creation of the biosphere by starting Day 1 on the planet with ‘Let there be light.’5
Like the ‘classical’ ruin-reconstruction gap theory, Gray’s model inserts a time gap in the creation account. However, Gray’s gap is between v.2 and v.3, rather than v.1 and v.2. It requires the same twisting of v.3 to say that the supposed cloud thinned to allow light to reach the surface of planet Earth, and of v14–18 to say that the cloud evaporated entirely so the luminaries could now be seen for the first time from that surface. Gray’s gap, however, does not involve an invented-ex-nililo pre-Adamite race and their destruction before the creation days; to that extent Gray’s model is an improvement over the ‘classical’ gap theory, but it is still inconsistent with Scripture.
Some of the problems with Gray’s model are that: (1) his Day 1 is only a half day, so his Creation Week has only five and a half workdays,6 (2) he does not take the v.2 word ‘formless’ seriously, and (3) he presupposes that he knows what ‘heavens’ and ‘earth’ mean in v.1 rather than allowing the text to inform him. As usual, it is the latter—presuppositions—that cause all the rest of the problems.
We now compare Gray’s model to the Scriptures and expose some of the presuppositions that started Gray on the wrong track. As we proceed through the text, take special note of God’s definitions, His separations, and His sequential development of ‘the heavens’ and ‘the earth’. (Fillings, to overcome the emptiness, are also noteworthy, but not germane to Gray.)
1. In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.
Truth. Gray correctly sees ‘the heavens and the earth’ as a ‘merism’ meaning the entire universe. Examples of merisms are: (1) she searched ‘high and low’, and (2) he travelled ‘hill and vale’, meaning she searched and he travelled everywhere.
Truth. Gray correctly sees this as God’s first action in regard to the creation.8 The text itself tells us this by the time text/phrase ‘In the beginning’ and v.3 beginning with the waw -consecutive, best translated ‘then’, which introduces the second action (‘Let there be light’) and links it to the first action.9,10
Error. Gray presupposes the definition of ‘heavens’ and ‘earth’ rather than allowing the text to define those terms for him.
Temporary Names. It should be obvious that, because God developed the ‘heavens’ and ‘earth’ for six days, they started in v.1 as somewhat different than the finished products at the end of Day 6. Let us call them in v.1 the ‘initial heavens’ and the ‘initial earth’ and see what the text says happens to them. That is, let’s let the text tell us what they must have been at the beginning.
Error. Because there is no verse similar to v.3 saying that the heavens were initially unfinished,11 Gray sees the initial heavens as being complete and finished from the beginning, including the hosts of the heavens, i.e. the luminaries. Gray overlooked that v.2:1 says both the heavens and the earth, and both their hosts, were completed/finished only at the end of Day 6.
Error. Gray also sees the initial earth as planet Earth, unfinished but ready to be developed into a habitable place, a ball of rock/dirt/magma entirely covered by an ocean. But what does v.2 say?
And the earth was formless and void, and darkness was over the surface of the deep, and the Spirit of God was moving over the surface of the waters.
Truth. The initial earth is being described here, with two adjectives and then two parallel adjectival clauses, i.e. clauses serving to describe the ‘earth’ further. So, v.2 informs us that the initial earth (a) had no form or structure, (b) had no inhabitants or components, (c) was a ‘deep’ or ‘abyss’, which was dark (at least on the surface,12 but no light yet means it was dark throughout), and (d) was a ‘waters’ or ‘liquid’, which God’s Spirit was hovering over (again, the surface, at least). The two clauses are parallel, indicating that ‘deep’ and ‘waters’ are synonymous; and both act as adjectives13 modifying ‘earth’, i.e. they are also synonymous with ‘earth’. Hence, the initial earth was a huge, watery lump of raw material ready to be made into what God intended. Note that God did not get ahead of Himself: the planet was not needed until Day 3, so He did not form it until then, just as the luminaries were not needed until Day 4, so He did not form them until then.
Error. Gray’s presupposition that the initial earth was planet Earth is denied by v.2. The text does not even suggest that the initial earth was a ball/sphere/globe, nor especially shells within shells: rocks/dirt/magma underneath a worldwide ocean—a series of concentric shells is hardly formless or without structure or components. Those concepts must be presumed and read into the text. No, v.2 says it was amorphous, empty, dark, deep and liquid (or possibly gaseous, all of it) and it had (an amorphous) surface. It was a ‘lump of clay’ (raw material), ready to be made into what God had in mind. Furthermore, as we see later in the text, a major portion of the initial earth was probably used to make things other than the planet.
Preview. God will address the unfinished issues stated in v.3 in specific ways: darkness with light, formlessness with separations, and emptiness with fillings.
3. Then God said, ‘Let there be light’ and there was light.
Truth. This clearly states that God called light into existence at this point. This was the dawning of the first morning, for the creation had previously been dark. The middle verb is ‘to be’: Hebrew hayah, ‘to exist, be or become, come to pass (always emphatic, not a mere copula (link) or auxiliary)’.14
Error. Gray sees this verse as saying, ‘Then God said, ‘Let light appear for the first time on the surface of planet Earth’ and it was so’. Gray has God here thinning a cloud of deep darkness from Job 38:9 so light made indefinitely earlier could reach the surface of the planet now for the first time—see Gray’s Misuse of Job 38 below. However, hayah does not mean or suggest ‘reach’, ‘penetrate’, ‘become visible’ or ‘appear’. God used the word ‘appear’ in v.9 (re: dry land) and He could have used it here, but did not.
4. And God saw that the light was good; and God separated the light from the darkness.
Observation. What darkness is being separated from this light? The only darkness that has been mentioned so far, is in v.2. The next reference to that darkness is in v.5. This is the first separation, the first introduction of form, to solve the formlessness problem.
Truth. God is the agent. The verb is transitive. God does the separating. On Day 4 God turns that ongoing function over to the luminaries (v.18) for they become the agents and thereafter do the separating.
Error. Gray makes light (pun intended) of the idea that light might have come from God15 until Day 4 and then from the luminaries, but that is what the text clearly says: first God is the agent, then the luminaries do the separating. Let us take transitive verbs seriously.
5. And God called the light ‘day’, and the darkness He called ‘night’. And there was evening and there was morning, one ‘day’.
Truth. God defines his terms. Here He makes two explicit definitions (‘God called …’) and one implicitly. He gives two definitions for ‘day’: (1) daytime and (2) the full, evening-morning-cycle ‘day’. The text at the end of v.5 does not read ‘the first day’ but literally ‘one day’ (as per NASB).
Observation. What darkness is being called ‘night’ here? The only darkness mentioned so far, in v.2, as separated from ‘day’ in v.4. The first day consists of that first night and the following first daytime, as marked by the first evening and the first morning, the complete cycle.
Truth. Day 1 started with v.1, the first action.
Error. Gray has the first day starting in v.3, at first light. But the text has a ‘day’ starting with the evening. Thus, Gray’s first day is actually only a half a day, for a 5½-day creation.
6. Then God said, ‘Let there be an “expanse” in the midst of the waters, and let it separate the waters from the waters’.
7. And God made the expanse and separated the waters that were below the expanse from the waters that were above the expanse; and it was so.
8. And God called the expanse ‘heavens’. And there was evening and there was morning, a second day.
Observations. (1) This is not a definition of ‘second day’. ‘Day’ is already defined and God is now numbering them. (2) God made (Hebrew asah) the expanse, indicating that it was made of something already existing. Later it is called ‘the expanse of the heavens’ (vv. v.14, v.15, v.17, v.20, etc.), suggesting that it is the stretched-out initial heavens, as no other heavens are mentioned to this point than those in v.1.
Truth. Again God defines his terms. Here, He explicitly calls by the name ‘heavens’ the expanse16 He made to separate the waters. Because this is the first use of the word ‘heavens’ since v.1, the name itself confirms that the expanse between the waters is indeed the initial heavens, now stretched out to separate the waters.17 And what ‘waters’ are in discussion? The only waters that have been mentioned so far are those in v.2, synonymous by parallelism with the initial earth. This is the second separation, introducing more form.
Error. Gray’s initial earth is planet Earth, but v.2 says the initial earth was ‘waters’, and those ‘waters’ were divided in two parts, separated by the expanse/heavens (v.7). Thus, the outer shell of Gray’s initial planet Earth was blasted out above outer space, for the expanse-heavens is where the luminaries were placed (v.17). So much for Gray’s presumed ocean covering his initial earth.
9. Then God said, ‘Let the waters below the heavens be gathered into one place, and let the dry land appear’; and it was so.
Photo by Ian Leitch
Then God said, ‘Let the waters below the heavens be gathered into one place, and let the dry land appear’; and it was so (Genesis 1:9). A reasonable understanding of this text, when taking into account the context of v.2, is that the dry land was extracted/separated from the waters, perhaps like sedimentation.
Observations. The waters below (there was as yet no dirt/rocks/magma below, as argued above from v.2) came together into one place, indicating that they were previously in many places, possibly like the molecules of a gas, hence a condensation. And the dry land appeared—from where? A reasonable reading of the Hebrew text is as many literalists have understood it: the land rose from underneath the water (worldwide ocean) and became exposed and dried out. But in the context of v.2, which says that all of the initial earth was liquid, thus excluding the idea of submerged land, which in any case is never indicated by the text, it is also reasonable to understand the text as saying that the dry land was extracted/separated from the waters, perhaps like sedimentation. This is both a coming together and another formation by separation.
Truth. Now on Day 3 we finally have roughly the initial planet earth that Gray, by presupposition, starts with in v.1.
10. And God called the dry land ‘earth’, and the gathering of the waters He called ‘seas’ and God saw that it was good.
Truth. God now defines two more terms. The dry land extracted from the waters below is called ‘earth’. The gathered, postextraction waters below are called ‘seas’.
Observation. How is this ‘earth’ related to the initial earth? It is not identical to, but it came out of, the ‘waters below’, which were originally together with the ‘waters above’,18 before their separation, and the two waters together constituted the initial earth. By simply reading the text and letting it tell the story and define the terms, we have learned that the initial earth was split into two parts, and the lower part became the planet Earth, the surface of which now consists of dry land and seas. What has become of the ‘waters above’? We are not told, but there is a reasonable deduction—see further below.19
Error. Gray’s presupposition that the initial earth was planet Earth is again denied by the text. This planet was not formed until early Day 3.
Deduction. From what we have learned from the text so far, it is reasonable to view the initial earth as the raw material from part of which God formed planet Earth, hence perhaps prematter (it pre-existed light) that God later made into matter.
v11–13 Second part of Day 3: filling with plants. No errors by Gray observed in this part.
14. Then God said, ‘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; and let them be for lights in the expanse of the heavens to give light on the earth’; and it was so.
16. And God made the two great lights, the greater light to govern the day and the lesser light to govern the night, the stars also.
17. And God placed them in the expanse of the heavens to give light on the earth,
18. and to govern the day and the night, and to separate the light from the darkness; and God saw that it was good.
19. And there was evening and there was morning, the fourth day.
Truth. Again, as in v.3, the word ‘be’ is used in v.14. The luminaries, as such, here came into existence for the first time. However, in this case God tells us (v.16) He made, formed, or worked on (Hebrew asah ) the luminaries. This indicates that, like a potter, God started with some raw material. What material was that?
Deduction. The only raw material left unused is the ‘waters above’. God apparently (1) formed the luminaries from the ‘waters above the expanse of the heavens’, much as He had formed planet Earth from the ‘waters below’ (v.9), (2) simultaneously ignited them, perhaps with the light that had existed since the first morning,20 and (3) placed them (v.17) ‘in the expanse of the heavens’ (vv.14, 15c, 17a).
Truth. God says three times that the luminaries He made on Day 4 are in the expanse that He made from the initial heavens, stretched out on Day 2, which today we call (outer) space.
Error. Gray says the initial heavens already existed since before Day 1, complete with luminaries, thus were the final heavens. Gray twists the clear meanings of vv.14 and 16 to make them say that God made the presumed cloud of Job 38:9 21 clear entirely so the pre-existing luminaries could now be seen for the first time from the surface of planet Earth.
Truth. God says one of several purposes of the luminaries is ‘to separate the day from the night’ (v.15 a) and ‘the light (day) from the darkness (night)’ (v.18 b with v.5). But since God had already separated day from night on Day 1 (v.4), why did it need to be done again?
Deduction. It didn’t; it is an on-going function and God transferred that function to the luminaries on Day 4.22 Again, the luminaries did not exist as such until Day 4. Furthermore, if the sun were already responsible for night and day for the first three days, why did God appoint that role for it on Day 4?
vv.20–30 Days 5–6: More filling. No errors by Gray observed in this part.
31. And God saw all that He had made, and behold, it was very good. And there was evening and there was morning, the sixth day.’
Truth. This summary statement clearly refers to all the foregoing, back through and including v.1, and it is made in regard to the end of the sixth day, the end of God’s creation process. Thus, the complete creation process starts at v.1.
Photo by Joachim Scheven, LEBENDIGE VORWELT
Although Gorman Gray holds that the Flood produced the fossil record and geologic column, and that the biosphere resulted from a recent days-long creation, he introduces a gap between v.2 and v.3 of Genesis 1 to support his belief that Earth and stars are billions of years old.
2:1Thus the heavens and the earth were completed, and all their hosts.
Truth. Gray again correctly recognizes ‘the heavens and the earth’ here as another instance of the merism, referring to the entire universe. The six-day process completed not just the earth, but also the heavens, and all the hosts of both. The heavens were stretched out on Day 2 to separate the waters and form the expanse, and the luminaries were made on Day 4—the hosts of the heavens in this context. Both the heavens and the earth were developed/formed/worked on over the six workdays.
Error. Gray has the heavens, including all their hosts, completed after v.1, which he has preceding Day 1, his half day. Gray twists away the development of the heavens on Days 2 and 4.
2:2 And by the seventh day God completed His work which He had done, and He rested on the seventh day from all His work which He had done.
2:3Then God blessed the seventh day and sanctified it, because in it He rested from all His work which God had created and made. 23
Truth. God did do one thing on Day 7, as indicated by the waw -consecutive: He blessed and sanctified Day 7. Apparently, this was not ‘work’ because all ‘work’ had been completed by then, and then He rested. Gray agrees with the text on this point.
2:4a This is the account of the heavens and the earth when they were created.
Truth. This terminator text (Hebrew toledeth) ends the Creation Account, just as the text describing each workday ends with ‘there was evening and there was morning, the [n th ] day’.
Error. Gray asserts that each Day’s description begins with the waw -consecutive, but this makes no sense for Day 1, except based on the presupposition that there were events preceding Day 1. The text clearly suggests that Day 1 began with ‘In the beginning’ and following that first evening of darkness (v.2) was the first morning, when God said, ‘Let there be light’ (v.3).
Summary. As we proceeded through the text, we took special note of God’s definitions, His separations, and His sequential development of ‘the heavens and the earth’.
Definitions: day (daylight), night (darkness), day (the full evening-morning cycle), heavens (expanse of the initial heavens), earth (dry land), and seas (gathered waters separated from dry land). Six in all.
Separations: light-darkness, waters above-waters below, and seas-dry land.
Development: The flow of the story itself indicates that (1) the initial heavens were stretched out to form the expanse between the waters above and below, (2) the initial earth was the combination of those two waters before their separation, (3) the waters below were the raw material from which planet Earth was formed, and (4) by implication, the luminaries were likely made from the waters above.
Hence, it seems the account itself tells us that (a) the initial heavens were the substance of space, the raw material that God stretched out to become space, and (b) the initial earth was the substance of matter, the raw material from which God made all matter.
Error Summary. Gray asserts a priori that the initial earth is the primordial ocean-covered planet and that the initial heavens are the final heavens complete with luminaries.24 We have seen that the text, instead, indicates that (1) the planet was not made until Day 3 from the ‘waters below the expanse’, when they were gathered into one place (from many places) and the dry land emerged (as sediment?), and (2) the luminaries were not made until Day 4, probably from the ‘waters above the expanse’, and only then ignited, possibly by coalescing the light made on Day 1, and placed in the ‘expanse of the heavens’.
Gray, however, is correct that v.1 is a statement of the first action in the creation account, not a summary. Also, Gray is correct that ‘worked on’ is often a good translation of the Hebrew asah, but he should take that translation seriously in v.16, where God ‘made’ the luminaries and where ‘luminaries’/‘lights’ is the direct object of the transitive verb, not some unmentioned cloud imported from Job 38:9.
Next, we treat several other twists of Scripture by Gray.
Gray tries to avoid the clear implication of this verse by translating it: ‘For six days God worked on the atmosphere and the land, the seas, and all their hosts …’. We accept the prefix ‘For six days God worked on’. Of course, as pointed out above, Gray has God working for only five and a half days, not six. Beyond that, Gray argues that the merism ‘the heavens and the earth’, normally indicating the whole universe, is ‘broken’ by the addition of ‘and the seas’ hence, in the Exodus context he wants ‘heavens’ to mean only the atmosphere (sky) and ‘earth’ to refer only to the dry land as in Genesis 1:10.
Apollo 17 crew, NASA
However, it is common to add to a merism for emphasis.
Examples: (1) she looked high and low, even under the bed, (2) he travelled hill and vale exploring every plain. Exodus 20:11 is clearly referring back to and based on the form of Genesis 2:1 : ‘Thus the heavens and the earth were completed, and all their hosts.’ There also we have the merism referring to the whole universe and emphasizing that the work included making the ‘hosts’ in the component parts.
For a scriptural example, consider Psalm 135:6, ‘Whatever the Lord pleases, He does, in heaven and in earth, in the seas and in all deeps.’ Here again we have a merism, ‘In heaven and in earth’, indicating the entire universe—God does what He pleases in the entire universe. Does the addition of ‘in the seas and in all deeps’ break the merism, reducing the scope of ‘in heaven and in earth’? No, the addition is there for emphasis, not to restrict the scope of, or ‘break’, the merism .
Likewise, Exodus 20:11 refers to God’s making the universe and can in no way be restricted to only the biosphere.
Gray’s Job-38-date presupposition
It is rather more likely that the sections of Genesis, like much of the rest of Scripture, were written or dictated by eyewitnesses of the events described. Thus, probably Genesis 1 was written originally by God Himself, as He did the Ten Commandments, or it was written by Adam or Eve, perhaps as the result of the first Sabbath lesson, as God told them what He had just done.
Yes, it would seem that Genesis was later edited, possibly by later patriarchs, most likely by Joseph,25 so the enslaved Israelites would know about God, and indeed by Moses as he penned the additional four books.
Although this is only an educated guess, it is likely enough that any claim that Job 38 predated Genesis 1 requires a solid proof before it could be used to radically alter the plain meaning of Genesis 1. Obviously, a later text can add details and dimension to an earlier text, but it cannot make a major modification of the meaning of the earlier text.
Gray’s misuse of Job 38
Gray uses Job 38 as if it, too, were a creation account. It is clear at face value that it is not. Instead, it is a list of rhetorical questions by God to upbraid Job. It certainly makes reference to events in Genesis 1, but it also makes reference to events later in Genesis and to issues not addressed in Genesis. Although it refers to historical events, it is not itself a chronology. Hence, it cannot materially change our understanding of the order of events in the creation account.
In particular, Gray says Job 38:9 tells us there was a cloud of thick darkness around a presupposed primordial planet Earth of Genesis 1:1. But Job 38:9 says that cloud was over the seas , not the planet, and the seas did not exist as such until Day 3,26 when God made and named them (Genesis 1:9–10). Thus, if Job 38:9 applies at all, it cannot apply before mid-Day 3. Gray has made the leap that the cloud was also over the dry land and over planet Earth on Days 1 and 2.
As we have shown above, the text indicates that the planet was not formed until Day 3, when the waters gathered, forming ‘seas’, and the dry land (‘earth’) appeared; prior to that ‘earth’ was only some kind of amorphous prematter (a lump of clay) ready to be made into the planet and other celestials.
An exegetical sleight of hand, i.e. eisegesis
Gray fields a long argument for allowing Job 38:9 to enlighten us about Genesis 1, claiming that the ‘cloud of darkness’ in Job 38:9 was initially over planet Earth, blocking view of the finished luminaries until Day 4; indeed, blocking out all light on the Earth until God said, ‘Let there be light.’ At that point Gray says God caused the cloud to thin so that light was able to, and did, penetrate to the planet’s surface for the first time, even though the luminaries had been emitting light for some untold time by then, possibly billions of years.27
Gray first argues that ‘made’ is not the best translation of the Hebrew asah in v.16 when God ‘made’ the luminaries. He argues that ‘brought forth’ is a much better rendition than ‘made’ for this word with a broad range of meanings. Then he argues that Job 38:9 applies and that v.16 is saying that God made the previously thinned cloud evaporate entirely, so that the luminaries could now be seen. Thus, God ‘brought forth’ the sun from behind the cloud, from the point of view of land dwellers.
You may recall this same logic from the classical gap theory heresy, where the cloud was debris that resulted from a prior judgment invented out of thin air. To his credit Gray repudiates the gap theory, and his approach is somewhat different, but requires the same twisting of v.16.
Notice that Gray argues for ‘brought forth’ as the translation of ‘asah ’, but he proposes, as the thrust of the verse, that God ‘made appear’ or ‘made visible’ the luminaries. The long argument obscures this fact, hence the sleight of hand (Gray may have even fooled himself in this matter).
Hebrew asah, as broad as it is in meaning, cannot be translated ‘made appear’ or ‘made visible’. Furthermore, as already stated, notice that the object for this transitive verb is the luminaries, not a cloud, which, in any case, is not indicated in Genesis, thus is not within the plain meaning. God was working on the luminaries in v.16, not working on a cloud to make the luminaries become visible from the land/sea.
Similarly, Gray twists v.3 to mean, ‘Let there be light (visible on the surface of the earth).’ Gray’s thrust is that existing light is made visible, rather than light as a created substance28 coming into existence for the first time as the verb indicates. This comes as a result of Gray pushing hard the idea that the presentation is intended from the point of view of an observer on the face of the earth. And it reminds me of the Mormon trick of adding, ‘with which we have to do’, to every statement that clearly says there is only one God, to justify their claim that there is a whole hierarchy of gods and you can be one of them. I do not assume sinister intent on Gray’s part, nor on Mormons in general, but any eisegesis can end up being used for sinister purposes.
Also, what is the point of the creation account being written from the point of view of someone on the surface of the earth when there was no-one there until Day 6 to observe anything? This does not make sense. Who did the light appear to in v.3, or lights appear to on the earth on Day 4? No, the account is written from God’s point of view, telling us generally what He did and how long it took.
Gray’s heart is in the right place in wanting to eliminate a reason for people to believe in evolution. Unfortunately, he has done so by hatching a model suggested by his version of ‘science’ and forcing Scripture to fit it. We must read and understand the Scripture text first, then do our science in the revealed framework, not vice versa.
Gray says he does not want to twist Scripture, but is blind to doing exactly that. As usual, the reason is presuppositions. Mainly he presumes the definitions of ‘heavens’ and ‘earth’ rather than allowing the text itself to define those terms. The result is a model that does not fit what Genesis 1 actually says.
Why can’t we just accept the creation account as is?
References and notes
- Gray, G., The Age of the Universe: What are the Biblical Limits? 2nd Edition, Morning Star Publications, Washougal, Washington, p. 44, 2002; sun-moon-stars made in Genesis 1:1. Return to text.
- Although Gray seriously misunderstands v.2. Return to text.
- Gray, ref. 1, p. 45—Job 38:9 cloud in Genesis 1. Return to text.
- Gray, ref. 1, p. 44—before the first day. Return to text.
- Gray, ref. 1, pp. 45, 137—‘Then God said’ starts each day. Return to text.
- Gray argues in detail for his own special translation of Exodus 20:11, but even if we accept his mistranslation (in part), we would still have God working only five and a half days, not 6. Great! Now we have only a five and a half-day workweek preceded by an ill-defined half day. Return to text.
- New American Standard Bible, The Lockman Foundation, La Habra, California, 1960–1973. Wording exceptions are noted. Return to text.
- Gray, ref. 1, p. 43—vv.1–2 records an event, not a summary. Return to text.
- v.1 cannot be a summary, for if it were, there would be no prior action for ‘then’ (v.3, waw -consecutive) to link to the action of calling light into existence. Hence, calling light into existence would be the first action, beginning the first day, so the first day would be only a half day (same error as Gray). Also, we would be left not knowing when the initial ex nihilo creation of the raw material that God proceeded to make into ‘the creation’ occurred. Thus, we would be open to the charge that the initial creation of the raw material might have been billions of years prior, as Gray argues. Return to text.
- Batten, D., ‘Soft’ gap sophistry, Creation 26(3): 44–47, 2004. This article is also a great refutation of Gray’s inserted gap idea, but I believe is in error in calling v.1 a summary on p. 45. Return to text.
- Jordan, J.B., Creation in Six Days : A Defense of the Traditional Reading of Genesis One, Canon Press, Moscow, ID, p. 174, 1999, argues, for the same reason and others, that it is the initial (angelic) heavens that were apparently complete and perfect upon creation. But, as argued below, the summary in v.2:1–3 explicitly states that God ‘worked on’ both the heavens and the earth. Return to text.
- Only ‘over its surface’ because that is what defines evening and morning in this context; hence, rotation of the initial earth—more, as we shall see, than just the planet. Return to text.
- Hebrew mayim, a noun, is used as an adjective to make compounds like weak-kneed and melted-hearts. Nouns can be used as adjectives, as in house mate. Return to text.
- Strong, J., Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance of the Bible (KJV), Crusade Bible Publishers Inc., Nashville, TN, 1894. Return to text.
- God Himself provided the original light, possibly as He does at the end in the New Jerusalem (Revelation 22:5). Also, see Psalm 104:2 a—on Day 1 God clothed Himself in light. Return to text.
- ‘Heavens’ is the translation of the Hebrew shamayim, literally meaning ‘the theres’, i.e. places, locations, expanse or spaces, hence ‘outer space’ is a reasonable understanding. Indeed, that is where the luminaries are placed (v.17). Return to text.
- Psalm 104:2 b, Isaiah 40:22 ; 42:5, and others. God stretched out the expanse on its formation on Day 2, to separate the waters. As far as I know, the Bible does not tell us whether there was only one stretching out, on Day 2, or if that stretching out continued for a while or is an on-going phenomenon. Return to text.
- Morris, H.M., The Genesis Record, Creation-Life Publishers, San Diego, CA, p. 58, 1976. Morris suggests the waters above may be a water-vapour canopy above the atmosphere, but then the luminaries are not placed in the expanse, as stated in v.17. There appears to be no reference to the atmosphere in Genesis 1, which is reasonable, as the ancients probably had no understanding of the atmosphere as distinguished from the rest of the heavens and which is a detail not needed in the creation account. Return to text.
- Jordan, ref. 11, p. 181, thinks some or all of that water is found in the crystal sea in angelic heaven. As a concession to Jordan’s intriguing arguments, it is possible that the ‘heavens’ included the finished, complete, and perfect angelic ‘heavens’, but there is no statement that this is so. Return to text.
- Jordan, ref. 11, pp. 189–190: light coalesced into luminaries. Return to text.
- Gray, ref. 1, p. 45—Job 38:9 cloud in Genesis 1. Return to text.
- Jordan, ref. 11, p. 81; see also pp. 154 and 189—transfer of separation function to luminaries. Return to text.
- NASB allows another possibility: ‘created to make’, i.e. He created raw material to make it into a habitat. Return to text.
- Gray, ref. 1, pp. 28–29—subtraction method definition. Gray tries to justify his presuppositions by working backwards through the text, subtracting developments in reverse order to try to deduce the initial earth and initial heavens. However, he misreads/twists the text in the same way in reverse, so he predictably gets his desired result. Using Gray’s subtraction method on the text as interpreted here also ‘proves’ the model presented here is correct. It is exegesis vs eisegesis that is important, not the direction of deductions. Return to text.
- Jordan, ref. 11, p. 36. Also, Job may have had access to a pre-edited version of Genesis. Return to text.
- Gray equates ‘seas’, ‘ocean’ and ‘deep’, but the text does not. Indeed, God specifically defines ‘seas’ on Day 3, and equates ‘deep’, ‘waters’ and ‘earth’ in v.3. Certainly, using the hermeneutic principle of Scripture interprets Scripture, the way these terms are used elsewhere in the Old Testament indicates that they have similar meanings; however, this is the initial, definitive text, the meaning of which should not be modified by portions of Scripture written much later. Return to text.
- Gray, ref. 1, p. 27—Job 38:9 cloud. Return to text.
- I could debate whether God saying, ‘Let there be …’, means creating or making (each is implied at different points in Genesis 1). The point is probably moot, at least in this case. For example, since light has a particle aspect, photons, they or their substance must have existed starting in v.1, but light as a physical entity in all its aspects plainly did not exist until God said, ‘Let there be light.’ The point is existence, not visibility from the planet’s surface. Return to text.