Photo Cred: (1) | Updated: 5/21/2019
Now that we have addressed the blistering debate of the Creation Account amid Christian circles very briefly, what do I believe regarding all of these differing viewpoints? What view do I affirm? For the answer to those questions, let me start off at the beginning, specifically “in the beginning God.”
When studying the Creation Account, I find the best way is to properly understand the context of and usage for the phraseology of the word “day(s)” in the first three chapters of Genesis. This is a great place to start and this is where I am going to begin with what I perceive as the most consistent interpretation in light of Scripture. As I read through John C. Lennox’s book, Seven Days That Divide The World, I took the time to pinpoint every reference to the word “day(s)” and interpret them as best as I could with what I know. Researching their meaning to the best of my ability.
What I found in my investigation is that within the context of Genesis chapter 1, the usage of the word “day(s)” is very basic and properly to be understood as either a) “daytime” = roughly a 12-hour earth day (2) or b) a literal 24-hour earth day (3). This was not the passage that had problems, yet chapter 2 was quite the struggle to interpret because of the context that the word “day(s)” is used. For instance, in Genesis 2:4b the word “when” is actually meant to be correctly translated as “in the day,” but translators thought it too confusing to have the phrase “in the day” appear twice in the same verse, so it was translated into the English word “when.”
There is also the wording surrounding the usage of the word “day(s)” in reference to the seventh day in the Creation Account that differs from the other six days. For example, a possible translation of the series of days based off the work of OT scholar David Gooding revealed the nature of the Hebrew indefinite article alan (4) translated into English would be either a) “day one, day two, day three, day four, day five, the sixth day, the seventh day” or b) “a first day, a second day, a third day, a fourth day, a fifth day, the sixth day, the seventh day.” In other words, there is a special significance to both day six and day seven of the Creation Account that separates them from the first five days.
For the sixth day, mankind was made in the image of the one true, triune God (5). Cattle, creeping things, and beasts of the field were also made according to their kinds (or types) (6), God gave mankind dominion over Earth (7), gave humanity food that they may eat (8), and “it was very good.” Put succinctly, the climax of Creation was the creation of humanity. The whole of Creation was building up to the moment when the entire Universe was fine-tuned for me, you, and humanity too. For the seventh day, God completed Creation (9) and He rested (10) as He declared His “work” to be finished.
Not to say that creating everything was hard for God so it meant He had to work hard, rather God put time into his Creation because of His love for us as we were the heart of it all along. Plus, this does not infer some twisted form of deism where God started the engine, yet never drove the car. Indeed, God has been extremely active in Creation and because of that, it was very good. Why was Creation good? Because the Source of Creation is good. Therefore, everything in Creation was good before the Fall.
While it would appear that the first six days are 24-hour earth days, the seventh day does not appear to be so. In fact, as some have already argued the seventh day could still be going and is not over quite yet. In other words, while the first six days are literal 24-hour earth days, the seventh day is an undefined period of “rest” for God as he creates nothing new after the sixth day of the Creation Account.
Adding to this idea is the fact that in numerology, the study of numbers within the Bible, the number six represents man and the number seven represents perfection. God had perfected his masterpiece. Does this mean God is done creating things? No, He has created things later on in history and will create things in the future. It is just that nothing compares to when Creation first took place.
Wait, what will God create in the future? Here is one example. In Revelation chapters 21-22, we see God re-creating everything that was created: the new heavens and the new earth for He will “make all things new (11).” What this entails is that God will be at work once more for one final time when the creation of the new heavens and a new earth are made as recorded in Revelation chapters 21-22, as well as mentioned in 2 Peter 3:3-13.
Plus, there is the fact that the number eight represents new beginnings or a restart in numerology, which further develops this viewpoint. On the eighth day, everything will be made new by God. To reiterate, from what I have investigated so far regarding the interpretation of the days, here is a bullet-point outline of the Creation Account timeline leading to the 8th day:
- Days 1-5 (Creation’s Construction: 24-hour literal earth days)
- Day 6 (Creation’s Climax: special 24-hour literal earth day)
- Day 7 (Creation’s Calm: period of time between the 6th and 8th day)
- Day 8 (Creation’s Conversion: the new heavens and the new earth)
So what about the age of the Earth and the age of the Universe? Well, what about them? The Bible doesn’t say, “in the beginning, about 6,000 years ago, God created the heavens and the earth,” or even “in the beginning, about 14.6 billion years ago, God created the heavens and the earth,” but “in the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.” The Bible doesn’t answer this question regarding age, rather we do based off of the latest discoveries of our era and the beliefs of our time.
Could I take a stab at it? Sure, but that’s not the point. Leave the arguing over genealogies and timelines to the cults. Let’s stick to understanding the intention behind God’s magnificent invention. We simply cannot derive that answer for the aging of both Earth and Universe from the Biblical text. And if you are, then you have abused the text. For the Biblical text offers no date whatsoever of when it all took place in the past.
There are my thoughts on the days of Creation. Next, I will tackle the Big Bang and its implications concerning preconceived notions of the Creation Account. With that Godspeed and Jesus bless!
- Genesis 1:5a, 14a, 16a, 18a
- Genesis 1:5b, 8b, 13b, 14b, 19b, 23b, 31b
- Seven Days That Divide The World (P. 52)
- Genesis 1:26-27
- Genesis 1:24-25
- Genesis 1:26b, 28b
- Genesis 1:29-30
- Genesis 2:1-2a
- Genesis 2:2b-3
- Revelation 21:5