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Biblical reasons to affirm the creation days were 24 hour periods

A response to Justin Taylor of The Gospel Coalition

By

Published: 3 February 2015 (GMT+10)
Justin-Taylor

Justin Taylor, a blogger at The Gospel Coalition, published a blog titled “Biblical reasons to doubt the creation days were 24-hour periods”.1 Now, The Gospel Coalition has done a lot of great work, but when they publish a piece that casts such doubt on a foundational text of Scripture, we have to respond in Christian love, because we have seen over and over how harmful such doubts are when it comes to the Gospel and sharing one’s faith. We would actually encourage our readers to read the Gospel Coalition article first, and ask yourself “How many of these claims could I answer?”, then come back and read this rebuttal!

Taylor claims “Contrary to what is often implied or claimed by young-earth creationists, the Bible nowhere directly teaches the age of the earth.” We don’t claim that it is directly taught, but neither is the Trinity, as such—a doctrine both CMI and Taylor would agree on. Rather, the Bible actually does have multiple texts that lead us to see that creation occurred around 6,000 years ago—see How does the Bible teach 6,000 years?

The Bible itself gives no reason to interpret the days of creation as anything other than days.

Taylor argues that people who view the days as long periods of time are not influenced by Darwin, because there were people who took a non-literal view of the days of creation long before Darwin. But Darwin was not the first person to suggest a radically larger timescale than the Bible would allow; there were ancient long-age philosophies. The fact remains that the Bible itself gives no reason to interpret the days as anything other than days. So whether it’s ancient philosophy, inflated Egyptian chronologies, Lyell’s uniformitarian geology, or Darwin’s theory of evolution, some outside influence is required to introduce the idea of vast ages of time.

Taylor quotes Augustine: “What kind of days these were it is extremely difficult, or perhaps impossible, to determine” in City of God11.7, yet he fails to report that soon after, Augustine states, “They are deceived, too, by those highly mendacious documents which profess to give the history of many thousand years, though, reckoning by the sacred writings, we find that not 6,000 years have yet passed.” (12.10). Taylor also quotes several inerrantist scholars from the 20th century who allowed that the creation days might be long periods of time. Indeed, it is a sad phenomenon that some otherwise sound evangelical scholars falter at this point. But Taylor misstates the situation. Looking at church history, the 24-hour day view was clearly the predominant view up until the time of Lyell and Darwin (Refuting Compromise chapter 3 demonstrates this amply).

Genesis 1:1: A title or an act?

Justin’s first argument is that Genesis 1:1 “is not a title or summary of the narrative that follows. Rather, it is a background statement that describes how the universe came to be. In Genesis 1:1, ‘created’ is in the perfect tense, and when a perfect verb is used at the beginning of a unit in Hebrew narrative, it usually functions to describe an event that precedes the main storyline (see Gen. 16:1, 22:1, 24:1 for comparison).”

But many creationists would largely agree with this interpretation. However, they would put the events described at the very beginning of Day 1 of creation week, so this argument in no way allows millions of years. There is nothing in the text that suggests that Genesis 1:1 was separated in time from the creation week, quite the contrary (and Exodus 31:17 says, “for in six days the Lord made the heavens and the earth …”, ruling out any extended timeframe).

Note also the tacit admission that Genesis 1 is historical narrative (“Hebrew narrative”). One of the marks of this is that the first verb in a sequence of events is perfect (“created” in Genesis 1:1) and subsequent verbs are imperfect. The series of events are also connected thus: ‘and … and … and … etc.’, and there is much else. Genesis was written as history (recording real events in time).

Is the seventh day 24 hours long?

Taylor’s second argument is: “was God’s creation ‘rest’ limited to a 24-hour period? On the contrary, Psalm 95 and Hebrews 4 teach that God’s Sabbath rest ‘remains’ and that we can enter into it or be prevented from entering it.”

But in Psalm 95, “my rest” clearly represents the Promised Land and all the blessings God would pour out on those who trust Him. This is a misapplication of Scripture as there is only a slight connection to Genesis in Psalm 95 itself. The author of Hebrews connects God’s seventh-day rest” to the blessings Christians receive in Christ:

Therefore, while the promise of entering his rest still stands, let us fear lest any of you should seem to have failed to reach it. … For we who have believed enter that rest, as he has said:
‘As I swore in my wrath,
‘They shall not enter my rest,’”
although his works were finished from the foundation of the world. For he has somewhere spoken of the seventh day in this way: “And God rested on the seventh day from all his works.” And again in this passage he said,
“They shall not enter my rest.”

…So then, there remains a Sabbath rest for the people of God, for whoever has entered God’s rest has also rested from his works as God did from his.” (Hebrews 4:1, 3–5, 9–10).

Clearly, God’s rest is being used in a metaphorical way, but it assumes an actual seventh-day rest as clearly shown in Genesis 1. And it is actually better to understand “rest” as “ceasing”. God was not tired, and He did not start creating again on the first day of the next week. See Is the seventh day an eternal day?

The ‘seventh day does not end’ argument is also illogical. Its basic form is: the seventh day is a rest; God still rests; therefore the seventh day still continues. This syllogism fails. I breathed on the first day of my life; I still breathe; it’s not still the first day of my life (contributed by David Anderson in the readers’ comments to Justin Taylor’s article).

The ‘day’ of Genesis 2:4 is not 24 hours long

Taylor points out that in Genesis 2:4 “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”, the ‘day’ is not 24 hours long. True, in Hebrew, the word for ‘day’ has a range of meanings, just like our word day. For instance

  • ‘I drove all day to get to Grandma’s house’—‘day’ is roughly equivalent to the daylight hours.
  • ‘I will go to Grandma’s house in three days’—‘day’ means a 24-hour period.
  • ‘In Grandma’s day, the whole family would come to her house’—‘day’ refers to a nebulously-defined period of time in the past (note: not millions of years, though!).
  • ‘One day, I will go to Grandma’s house’—‘day’ refers to a particular time in the future.

When you read those sentences in English, you don’t even think about which kind of ‘day’ I’m referring to; it’s obvious from the context. I can even put them together in one sentence, ‘In my grandma’s day, we would drive all day for three days to go to her house.’ and there is no problem understanding what I’m saying. In the same way, Moses can use “day” in Genesis 2:4 to refer to the period of time around God’s creation without contradicting his use of “day” in Genesis 1 to refer to normal-length days (which are demarcated by evening and morning and enumerated, all clearly indicating ‘ordinary’ days).

The Hebrew literally translated “in the day” (bayom) is idiomatic for ‘when’, and is translated thus in many modern English Bibles.

Does Genesis 2:5–7 assume more than an ordinary calendar day?

Taylor continues to argue that Genesis 2:5–7 requires more than a 24-hour day:

When no bush of the field was yet in the land and no small plant of the field had yet sprung up—for the Lord God had not caused it to rain on the land, and there was no man to work on the ground, and a mist was going up from the land and was watering the whole face of the ground—then the Lord God formed the man of dust from the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living creature.

However, a plain reading of the text simply tells the circumstances in which God created the man. For some reason, Taylor and the source he quotes takes the ‘mist’ to be rain clouds, and therefore assumes that time is required for the hydrological cycle to operate. However, this is simply not stated in the text.

Why should we take the days to be 24-hour days?

There are several reasons we should take the days to be 24-hour days.

  1. The grammar of Genesis 1 demands it. When the word “day” is combined with an ordinal number and “evening and morning”, it certainly means an ordinary-length day as measured by the night-day cycle.
  2. God uses Creation Week as a pattern for Sabbath-day rest. Exodus 20:11 says: For in six days the Lord made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that is in them, and rested on the seventh day. Therefore the Lord blessed the Sabbath and made it holy.
  3. There are perfectly good words for ‘long period of time’, and God didn’t inspire Moses to use them. On the other hand, if God really wanted to say that He created over a period of 6 literal days, there isn’t a way He could make it much clearer than He already has.
  4. Those who argue for a non-literal meaning for ‘day’ often don’t stop there. While we cannot judge Justin Taylor’s motivation for his non-literal reading of the creation days, many use a figurative interpretation as an excuse to deny that Genesis says anything substantial about how and in what timeframe God actually created.

Martin Luther stated:

But if you cannot understand how this could have been done in six days, then grant the Holy Spirit the honor of being more learned than you are.—Martin Luther
When Moses writes that God created heaven and earth and whatever is in them in six days, then let this period continue to have been six days, and do not venture to devise any comment according to which six days were one day. But if you cannot understand how this could have been done in six days, then grant the Holy Spirit the honor of being more learned than you are. For you are to deal with Scripture in such a way that you bear in mind that God Himself says what is written. But since God is speaking, it is not fitting for you wantonly to turn His Word in the direction you wish to go.2

Likewise, John Calvin says:

Here the error of those is manifestly refuted, who maintain that the world was made in a moment. For it is too violent a cavil to contend that Moses distributes the work which God perfected at once into six days, for the mere purpose of conveying instruction. Let us rather conclude that God took the space of six days, for the purpose of accommodating his works to the capacity of men.3

John Wesley wrote:

We are not to think but that God could have made the world in an instant: but he did it in six days, that he might shew himself a free agent, doing his own work, both in his own way, and in his own time; that his wisdom, power and goodness, might appear to us, and be meditated upon by us, the more distinctly; and that he might set us an example of working six days, and resting the seventh.

Note that even though the tendency in their day was to shorten Creation Week to an instant, all three men insisted upon the literal nature of the days of Creation Week.

We have written elsewhere about the interpretive problems for the Gospel, the goodness of God, and eschatology of stretching Creation Week out over billions of years (see Did God create over billions of years? for example). There is simply no need to interpret the days of Creation Week as anything other than normal-length days. This agrees with the unanimous witness of Scripture, and with the predominant interpretation of Genesis throughout Church history. There is every reason to be encouraged, and not to doubt the clear teaching of the Bible.

Related Articles

Further Reading

References and notes

  1. Justin Taylor, thegospelcoalition.org/blogs/justintaylor/2015/01/28/biblical-reasons-to-doubt-the-creation-days-were-24-hour-periods/ Return to text.
  2. What Luther Says: A Practical In-Home Anthology for the Active Christian, compiled by Ewald M. Plass, Concordia, 1959, p. 93. Return to text.
  3. Calvin, J., Institutes 2:925. Return to text.

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Readers’ comments
Daniel S., Australia, 9 February 2015

Excellent article, though I found one of Taylor's points still needs to be rebutted.

Creation.com has often cited James Barr's quote (http://creation.com/oxford-hebraist-james-barr-genesis-means-what-it-says) that no Hebrew scholar believes the author of Genesis intended to convey anything other than literal days.

Justin Taylor quoted Gleason Archer (a Hebrew Linguist) as saying "On the basis of internal evidence, it is this writer’s conviction that yôm in Genesis could not have been intended by the Hebrew author to mean a literal twenty-four hour day."

I understand that we quote Barr as a hostile witness (as he didn't himself believe in literal days). However, we now know of at least one Hebrew scholar who does indeed both advocate for inerrancy and take the non-literal view. How do we reconcile these two facts? Do we start citing Barr less? Is Archer's authority as a Hebrew scholar in question? Some other option I haven't considered?

Lita Cosner responds

Barr's quote referred to professors as 'world-class' universities. Archer was a professor at Fuller, and then at Trinity Evangelical Divinity School. While both of those are well-regarded as theological schools, they're not in the category Barr was addressing. Barr's quote was true at the time he was alive; I can't say for sure whether it still would be or not.

Justin A., Australia, 7 February 2015

Justin Taylor appeals to the use of the perfect in Genesis 1:1 to make his overstated conclusions; surprisingly ignoring or unaware of the waw consecutive pattern in this Hebrew narrative.

Despite this apparent concern (albeit misuse) of Hebrew grammatical details with Genesis 1:1, he seems to take no notice of the perfect used in Genesis 2:3 as he speculates on the usage of "rest", even though the pluperfect is reasonably inferred and sometimes translated. His discussion for determining the meaning in this passage instead focuses on misappropriating the Psalm and Hebrews as Lita Cosner demonstrates well.

In doing so Taylor had not demonstrated a balanced nor reasonable approach to exegeting these passages of Genesis, but rather seems to be exploring methods to impose his preconceived notion upon the text (unconsciously I would suppose).

Since Taylor's article strongly recommends exploring more reformed theologians, I would recommend Reformed Rev. Dr. Peter Barnes as someone more qualified from this perspective (The early chapters of Genesis and evolution).

Nathanael L., United Kingdom, 7 February 2015

Just a word of warning for Igor S of the UK. Isaiah 28.10 is not the scriptural mandate for scripture interpretation you take it to be. Like so many others, you have ripped it out of its context. Such an approach in context was a sign of divine displeasure and coming destruction, not an instruction towards a divinely desired method of exegesis. Just read on to v13. At best, it was a method only for youngest children, and at worst.....

Larry E., United States, 6 February 2015

Who was there during chapter one of Genesis? Let us create man in our image. God was there. The Father has never entered time. The Word of God, our Lord Jesus Christ created the universe. Peter said a day to God is a thousand years and a thousand years as a day. No 24 hour days.

Don Batten responds

See 2 Peter 3:8 One day is like a thousand years and God’s days?.

In inspiring the words of Genesis, God is not speaking to himself, but to us, and thus the language is meant to communicate truth to us. Exodus 20:11 reinforces the point that the days of Genesis 1 are the days of our calendar week. It’s as plain as day!

Dean R., Australia, 4 February 2015

Justin Taylors long bow theology had my head spinning when he interpreted the seventh day as unending & the Hosea quote didnt help.

I think numerology has a stronger case than Justins, either way it demonstrates how science & Scripture can both be manipulated through interpretation.

These battles exist in academia & not so academia with all the peer pressure & spiritual influences that exist.

I noted Don battens comment & references & did some research along with checking out Calvin, who has a loveley grasp of Hebrew language & phrases.

Thanks for all your work CMI & to God who answers prayer...remeber to get some rest also

Rev Ian C., United Kingdom, 4 February 2015

To me it is obvious that God does not 'live' within a time base of any kind. The text about a thousand years being a day and a day being a thousand years is a perfectly simple way of stating God's timelessness. But, of course, time is very important to us. We have enough scientific knowledge to know that there is good reason to believe that earth is only a few thousand years old. If that is true then the argument about how long a Genesis day is looks after itself. They cannot be days of indeterminate length. I rest my case for the only acceptable alternative, that is 24 hours long.

David B., Australia, 4 February 2015

If this 24 hour day issue was so hard to understand, surely Jesus would have squeezed it into 1 of his many parables or teachings and cleared it up, obviously he thought what's plainly written is, well, plainly written. Anyone who is trying to change what the bible clearly states really has to examine their heart and see what they have let influence them so much that they would try accommodate wordly thinking/reasoning to change what the Bible really says. Everyone understands Jesus rose after 3 days, no one tries to come up with they weren't literal days, they were only symbolic, so if we take these 3 days literally, it's time to have a look at what's stopping us from taking the 6 days literally.

P. T., Australia, 4 February 2015

Thank you Lita and CMI for the fantastic job you all do in clarifying what the Bible does say, while clearly and unemotionally refuting misunderstandings and wrong interpretations. Having read Justin Taylor's article and then comparing it with your response, I just thought I'd add this to the interesting comments so far:

Abraham believed God and He credited it to him as righteousness. Gen. 15:6

Eric G., United States, 4 February 2015

"Rule" - this one word is critical to seeing Genesis 1 as 24 hour days. The starry-lights above us began their "rule" on Day 4. God appointed and positioned them to "rule" the pre-existing sequence of evening and morning. The "rule" of stars, sun, and moon, did not change the time sequence of the first 3 Days. Spirit-light ruled the lighting sequence for 3 days, then star-lights were positioned to take over that role and rule. The star-light sequence of a 24 hour day reflects the Spirit-light's sequence that came before it. Any other time duration is foreign to the text.

Adam O., United States, 4 February 2015

Mr. Taylor's article title was very telling. Casting "doubt" on what Scripture - no, what GOD has said, is a tactic of Satan. In the first mention of the serpent in Genesis 3:1, his first recorded words are to cast doubt in Eve's mind about what God has said. Was God unable to communicate clearly to Eve in a way that she would understand, then judge her unjustly? To the contrary; He was able to make Himself to be understood then just as His Spirit can help us to understand His preserved Word today.

Jacob W., United States, 4 February 2015

Thank you Lita for writing this article. I really like The Gospel Coalition and I found it remarkably frustrating to have such poor exegesis and logic come from Justin Taylor, as I really like and appreciate much of his other theological writings.

This seems to be a common black eye for many in Reformed Christian circles despite theologians like Luther and Calvin holding and defending a biblical creationist view of Genesis.

I can't say enough about how much I appreciate CMI. My faith has been greatly strengthened in recent years because of the ministry.

Peter S., Canada, 3 February 2015

Why does Christ state in 2 Peter 3:8 the following comparison;

'But do not forget this one thing, dear friends: With the Lord a day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years are like a day.'

Is this meant to imply creation week could have lasted 6000 years?

Lita Cosner responds

See this article for an answer.

Albert B., United States, 3 February 2015

Thank you for this well written response to Justin's article! As an avid reader of TGC's blog and a someone who holds to reformed theological perspective, it is maddening to see how many of today's top reformed voices so quickly dismiss YEC despite being bound to Sola Scriptura and the other doctrines on biblical interpretation that are so vital to reformed theology. Thank you CMI for taking the time to respond to Taylor with none of the "rancor" that he claims is associated with this discussion!

F. G., United States, 3 February 2015

Why are so many people so bent on trying to force "long ages" into the Genesis account? The only possible motive seems to be the desire to accommodate the one idea that really requires "long ages" -- an idea invented, and stubbornly clung to in defiance of real scientific evidence, for the specific purpose of philosophically eliminating the Creator, the Genesis account and the Bible as a whole from consideration.

What makes someone want to try to force the joining of two things that are in such absolute, inherent opposition to each other? Is it an attempt to feel "right with God" (by still claiming to hold to the Bible) while being acceptable to the world (by compromising with its anti-God mythology) at the same time?

Thomas J., United States, 3 February 2015

I have always regarded the phraseology of Scripture to be analogic and anthropomorphic. So when I myself finish a project successfully (That is, whatever I have done functions according to design intent.) I will sit back and take pleasure in what was accomplished. That is my rest and refreshment. I am not necessarily exhausted, just pleased which is just what the Scripture says of God. But EVERY analogy is limited in scope and application. There is no human, or human directed, communication that is comprehensive and exhaustive. Mr. Taylor and his ilk create a loose, seemingly attractive, fabric yet leave a thread of doubt in Biblical veracity. Any "honest" atheist knows the thread is there, and they delight in pulling it.

Robyn N., United States, 3 February 2015

first let me say I have been very blessed by the work of those at CMI. I love how you demonstrate how science and the Bible are compatible. On to the 'day' debate. When I was a Bible sceptic, if Justin Taylor or anyone else told me that "evening and morning the...day did not mean exactly that, I would have walked away. How can I put my faith in something that is wrong from the first chapter?

Thank you CMI for standing up for Biblical truth.

George J., Canada, 3 February 2015

An excellent rebuttal, although I did find the structure of the comments in "Is the seventh day 24 hours long?' hard to follow.

In setting up a challenge to the meaning of "day" Satan had two choices; either make it shorter than 24 hours (give or take) or make it longer. Either would cast doubt on God’s word. Initially, he led people to logically contend that since God is all-powerful He could have done, and indeed did, do it in an instant. That logic did not fare well and now he promotes the opposite logic that the days are much longer; but definitely not 24 hours. Unfortunately, his worldly logic has been accepted by many, including Christians, and serves, either wittingly or unwittingly, to cast doubt on the Bible.

Some of this logic is speciously used by Taylor when he writes, “Why would an omnipotent and inexhaustible God need to be “refreshed”?” It really does not matter why. The Bible says He was. One can discuss what it means; but one cannot question that God was refreshed. Similarly, [for Ron H]were there people on Saturn and were the Bible written for them, God “might” have had to use a different term than day; but he used day and that term was, and is, quite clear to those for whom it was written.

Thomas J., United States, 3 February 2015

Proverbs 29:25 tells us that "The fear of man lays a snare, but whoever trusts in the LORD is safe." I am convinced that many who capitulate to long ages do so from fear: the fear of ridicule, the fear of losing their jobs, or the fear of being promoted. And I also know many brothers that accept evolution and the "big fizzle" who firmly believe that YEC is a stumbling block for sophisticated 21st century man to come to faith in God. Both sorts, however, take great pains to counteract and silence their YEC brothers in both church and secular venues. This is very discouraging.

Alistair R., Australia, 3 February 2015

Thanks Lita. I wondered whether CMI would respond specifically to this article. It's discouraging to see such blindspots, but we all have them. Thanks for addressing this one so clearly.

Rocco P., Germany, 3 February 2015

I took the time to first read the article by Justin Taylor and it appears he is not purposely trying to be dishonest or mislead people -- however I found the article very contrived. When an argument overly complicates a matter, that's when the warning signals go off in my mind. "Occam's razor" is a very fitting, general rule to apply here. The theologians of Jesus' day often overcomplicated matters, while Jesus presented the wisdom and knowledge of God in simple, straightforward terms and with parables so that normal people could understand God's word and take it at face value. We should emulate Him here!

The argument, that "God's rest is longer than 24 hours, therefore the obvious understaning of day should be rejected" -- is contrived and missing what is obvious. The most satisfactory explanation from the immediate context and the context of the rest of scripture, is that God rested from His work of Creation -- the period of Creation had ceased. The idea that God has since been resting, inactive and gone on vacation since the seventh day is (thank God!) wrong. As Jesus commented in John 7:17, God is working until now to sustain/uphold and save His creation. (Col. 1:17 / Hebrews 1:3).

I sincerely hope that Justin Taylor will take the time to read CMI's response to his article (and encourage others to do the same), as you have encouraged your readers to examine both sides of the discussion (Prov. 17:17).

Josef R., Sweden, 3 February 2015

Ron H: I believe your thinking is wrong. First of all, it was not the axis of the Earth that determined how long a day would be. Rather, God had predetermined how long a day would be, and set the axis accordingly.

Secondly, at the time Moses wrote Genesis, no one would have the faintest idea of what an axis is. However, everyone would know what a day is; a 24-hour period. Therefore, by using words that are relevant to us, God can more easily convey truth to us.

Philip R., Australia, 3 February 2015

I noticed that Justin claimed that "It is commonly suggested that ... the only people who doubt it are those who have been influenced by Charles Darwin and his neo-Darwinian successors. The claim is often made that no one doubted this reading until after Darwin.".

Yet with the exception of Augustine, not one person he quotes is pre-Darwin! And apart from an apparent (and unjustified) assumption that a belief in inerrancy means that they couldn't have been influenced by Darwin (or the older long-age claims of Hutton and Lyell), he gives no reason to think that they hadn't been so influenced.

Colin S., United Kingdom, 3 February 2015

…But Ron H., we live on Earth and are not sat on Saturn. Earth is our time frame.

Igor S., United Kingdom, 3 February 2015

Very well explained. :) It is sad that Gospel Coalition and the author of their article did a lot of assumptions and forgot the main principle of Isaiah to read the bible. (Isaiah 28:10) Even sadder is seeing how the article takes text out of context and then becomes a pretext to do your own assumptions. What happened to Protestant "SOLA SCRIPTURA"? Are we allowing again what was done in the 3rd century? Let opinion dictate what the Bible interprets by itself? Regarding the last comment. It is not us who defines days of 24 or less hours. God said, Light is day, dark is night and the discussions ends when God has defined it. To the article written in Gospel Coalition is important to say It is also written: "You are in error because you do not know the Scriptures or the POWER OF GOD."Mathew 22:29 and a question, so God can SPEAK the WORLD into EXISTENCE and then He is imprisoned by time and our own finite mind conceptions? Is it really possible for our mind to comprehend God a all Powerful and amazing being that out of Love became a man to save this dust made Humans? He can make billions of cells out of nothing and He cant make the earth in 6 days? Does this make sense to anyone? Is it logical? See how such a view would attack even day of rest, where He contemplates what He hath done. No astro event shows a 7 day week cycle. You can only trace it to the bible in Genesis, should this not be obvious and every 7 day week that passes is the proof to it!It is in front of our eyes and senses... Thanks CMI for providing public answers to this matters as it is a way of UPHOLDING the TRUTH of God's creation in six literal days! "Then you will know the TRUTH and the TRUTH will set you FREE" John 8:32

R. R., United States, 3 February 2015

@Ron H.

>> I think that you are all loosing the original meaning of day [...]

This is what the other author has done, even asking the 'where did the light come from before the Sun was created' nonsense.

Assuming there's a requirement for the Sun to exist for there to be light, is like assuming that the Red Sea could not have been divided in 2 for Israel to escape the Egyptians because of the laws of physics 'n stuff --the apparent arch-nemesis of miraculous acts ;)

When Adam and Eve were created there's no indication that they had knowledge beyond their every-day experience, and I think it's reasonable to expect that they did not because they were had not been alive too long. (Consider that Adamn had just recently realized that no other creature was a fit companion for him until Eve was created.)

The most straightfoward way to communicate this message to anyone, regardless of an academic level, is to use the evening/morning cycle, because that is part of everyone's experience.

>> A Saturn day is still [...]

Had humans been created in Saturn, our common frame of reference would shift and the measurement for the length of a single day would be relative to that. For example, a Venusian day is 243 Earth days long, but we measure them in terms of Earth days because we're here and it's easier/convenient.

>> If you replaced the word day in Genesis with rotation it would make it a lot clearer.

That's not necessarily true. I'm willing to bet that, had the Bible said something like "and there was start and there was end, the first rotation", we'd still be here arguing about what the "real" meaning of the word "rotation" is --and you'd probably be saying that it would've been clearer if the word rotation in Genesis had been replaced with the word day instead ;)

Mark P., New Zealand, 3 February 2015

If, as we believe, that God created in 6 days and rested the 7th; that this creation was an example of the rhythm of work and rest, that God thought this important enough to perform his second most glorious and majestic work in a manner to instruct us - then the meaning of this pattern and it's practical application in our lives is of great consequence. It is the modern life of many in the church to work any and all days of the week and take rest whenever it suits. But is this what God was intending? Have we downplayed or minimised something about life that God used the very act of Creation to be the example. Surely this is not just Jewish law (as the tithe might be - which I guess gets more pulpit time than 7th day resting!), or something that ends with the New Covenant? If the example of 7th day rest is one of the key purposes for a 6 day creation - then what does CMI believe is the practical application? Belief is not worth much unless it is applied.

Ron H., Australia, 2 February 2015

I think that you are all loosing the original meaning of day. A day is one rotation of a planet around its axis. We have divided this rotation into 24 hours for Earth. A Saturn day is still a day but it is not 24 Earth hours. If you replaced the word day in Genesis with rotation it would make it a lot clearer.

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