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Days of Creation

Photo Courtesy of NASA

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Perfect Theology:
How Long is a Biblical Day During Creation? Part 2

Continuing with the brief study of the length of a day during Creation, Deem furthers his argument by claiming the early church scholars, as well as Jewish scholars, all believed in a lengthy day at creation.  Deem states,” If God had created the universe in an instant, there would be no evidence from nature that He created it.”

His thesis is well thought out, and he concludes that God does not lie. The length of each day of creation differed from each other and signifies a “unit” of time. His conclusion presents the idea of the speed of light and how long it takes to travel across the universe. This is proof of not only a long day, but an old earth, according to him.

I can certainly see why people would embrace this idea. His article is well written and well presented. It does make one think. And that is not a bad thing. After reading it, my mind wandered in contemplation. But one thing nagged me.

Why, in God’s account of creation, does He mention “there was evening and there was morning” and then conclude with the number of the day of creation? How does it translate in Hebrew?

Several things must be taken into consideration here. Firstly, the Hebrew word for day is “yom”. Just as the word “day” has many different meanings based on its context, so does yom. When the Bible speaks about the Day of the Lord, for instance, it is talking about an era in time, not a 24 hour period. Same in Hebrew. When looking at all the verses in the Old Testament that use the word yom, it must be noted that when used in conjunction with a number or with the phrase “there was evening and there was morning” it signifies a 24 hour period!

Ken Ham explains it well in his article Could God Really Have Created Everything in Six Days?  He makes some valid observations.  First, 359 different times yom is used, other than in Genesis 1, to signify a standard day. Second, 61 times “evening” and/or “morning” appears alongside yom, other than in Genesis 1, and signifies a standard day. 53 times the word “night” is used in connection with yom, apart from Genesis 1 and it, too, means a standard day.  It makes it easier to understand that God is relating to us that a day in biblical creation was also a 24 hour period, if we are keeping consistent.
length of day creation

Ham also explains that some of the church fathers may have believed in a lengthy period for each of the days of creation, as Deem suggested earlier. They were swayed by secular philosophy.  They believed we cannot tag such human time frames to God, such as 24 hours. He exists outside our limits. But isn’t that perhaps the exact reason He clarified this by saying “there was evening, there was morning…day 1” and so on?

This philosophy that a day was a unit of time, based on Greek thinking, haunts the church to this present day. Martin Luther wrote, “The days of creation were ordinary days in length. We must understand that these days were actual days (veros dies), contrary to the opinion of the Holy Fathers. Whenever we observe that the opinions of the Fathers disagree with Scripture, we reverently bear with them and acknowledge them to be our elders. Nevertheless, we do not depart from the authority of Scripture for their sake.”

Good idea! Beware of what science teaches if it causes you to doubt God at His word. Science is full of hypotheses. Not facts. And across the Millennia, many ideas have grown holes and sunk. Even some that were once thought brilliant.

You must be influenced by the very words of God.

In fact, why did it take God six days to make the earth? He could have done it in a blink of an eye. All He has to do is speak, and things come into existence.

The answer is purely symbolic. And there is beauty in it...
Part 3

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