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Discussion in 'Creation vs. Evolution' started by Administrator2, Dec 31, 2001.

  1. Administrator2

    Administrator2 New Member

    Jun 30, 2000
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    A lot of people here claim that it's obvious reading the text in Genesis shows 6 literal days, not taking into account that God, an infinite being is communicating to man, a finite being.

    Many scholars in the past and today view the use of Yom to mean not a literal 24 hour day but a long period of time. Following are some of those scholars that wrote this opinion:

    Philo, a Jewish Rabbi and prolific commentarist, who was a contemporary of Jesus.

    Josephus, the noted Jewish historian, wrote about Jesus.

    Irenaeus, great defender of early Christianity who was a student of Polycarp who was a student of John the Apostle.

    As well as other ancient scholars Origen, St. Thomas of Aquinas and Augustine. More modern scholars include Scofield, A. H. Strong, Warfield, Francis Schaeffer and C.S. Lewis.

    Some good websites that discuss this in depth are:

    This site includes papers by Robert Gange, Princeton educated PhD, working scientist, owner of over 30 patents, recipient of 9 awards by NASA, born again Christian apologist. Also the great Christian scholar Gleason Archer, Harvard PhD, knowledgable in 22 languages, considered by many Evangelicals the leading Hebrew scholar, and author of numerous theological books including the indispensible, "Encyclopedia of Bible Difficulties."

    This site also includes paper on Micro and Macro evolution.

    This is the Presbyterian Church in America ( I know we're Baptists here, but we're Christians first ) report on this subject. It provides good background on all sides.


    Okay, let me make this point again:
    ONLY in Gen 1 do we find the word day (yom) modified by the words "morning" and "evening." ONLY. Nowhere else in the Bible is this distinction made.

    Gen 2 specifically says, in the day that God created the heavens and the earth. This use of the word "yom" clearly indicates a time period other than a literal 24 hour day. When we hear David speaking about "in the day," we understand that he's talking about a time period other than a literal 24 hour day.

    So why the distinction in Gen 1, to clearly indicate a time period equivalent to a 24 hour day?
    It seems we get so focused on "yom" that we somehow overlook the other two words modifying it, and giving it meaning. This needs to be answered before we continue with whether yom means a time period or a 24 hour day.


    Don, What you are ignoring is the contradiction that occurs between Genesis 1 and 2 if one interprets the days to be 24 hours. Look at the description of what happened on the 6th day in Chapter 2. Since I don't believe the Bible to contradict itself, I don't believe Yom to represent a 24 hour day. Here is a good article on the subject.

    I thought that this article presents a good explanation for a literal 6 day Creation. How long were the days of Genesis 1?
    What did God intend us to understand from the words He used?

    by Russell Grigg


    Will wrote:
    What you are ignoring is the contradiction that occurs between Genesis 1 and 2 if one interprets the days to be 24 hours.

    I am not sure that I understand what the contradiction is. For many years after my salvation, I was ignorant of the evolution/creation controversy. So, when I read Genesis 1 -2 during my yearly Bible readings, and other study times, it never came to my attention that they were saying different things. I still do not understand the differences.
    Don Batten in AiG makes this statement about the apparent contradiction in Genesis 1-2:

    ... in Hebrew the precise tense of a verb is determined by the context. It is clear from chapter 1 that the beasts and birds were created before Adam, so Jewish scholars would have understood the verb ‘formed’ in Genesis 2:19 to mean ‘had formed’ or ‘having formed’.

    This article is at: http://www.answersingenesis.org/docs/1272.asp

    Another article about this is on the ChristianAnswers.Net at:


    You ask what contradiction there is between Genesis 1 and Genesis 2. As I very clearly stated before, I don't believe there is one. However, belief in a 24 hour creation day creates some.
    You mention you haven't found any (I guess you mean here with a literal interpretation), let's look at the 6th day:
    Gen. 1:24-25, God creates all of the many thousands of land animals.
    Gen. 2:7, God forms man.
    Gen. 2:8, God plants a garden, worded in a way to suggest an activity taking time.
    Gen. 2:19, Adam observed all of the thousands of animals.
    Gen. 2:19, Adam named all of the thousands of animals.
    Gen. 2:20, Adam searched for a companion.
    Gen. 2:21, God put Adam to sleep and created Eve.
    Gen. 2:23, Adam indicated he had anticipated Eve for some time (does this mean since what, noon?)
    Gen. 2:22-25, Eve was brought to Adam who observed her, and was joined to her.

    You seem to be indicating in your previous message that these verse aren't to be taken literally, (i.e. that the animals were really created earlier.) How can you claim only some of the creation account needs to be taken literally? Is that consistent?

    How did you learn about Isaac Newton and gravity? I learned that he was sitting under a tree, contemplating the movement of the moon, when an apple fell on his head. This spurs him to formulate his theory of gravity. This story has explained to several generations Newton's discovery of gravitational forces. It still does today. Many times more people learn about gravity from this story then Newton's "Principia Mathematica." Because people can understand it they can't understand, "Principia Mathematica."

    The story of the apple is however just that, a story. It didn't happen. Newton used it to teach the common man about his principles. Since it's an allegorical story, does that means we can't believe Newton discovered gravitational forces, does it mean we can't trust that gravitational forces exist?

    Newton was a genius and a committed Christian. Isn't the gap between God's knowledge and ours infinitely greater then the gap between Newton's and the common man's.


    When the Hebrew language uses yom as an indefinite length of time, it is nearly always followed by what in English translates into a prepositional phrase. "The day of the Lord," "in the day of David," etc. It is at those times when it is a period of time 'belonging' to something or someone that marks the indefinite use of 'yom.' In Genesis 1, the evening and morning notations as well as the ordinal system mark them as normal days as we know them. This is how it was understood in ancient Judaism as well as in the early Christian church. http://www.robibrad.demon.co.uk/Contents.htm

    The concept of long ages of time only came into play with the concept of uniformitarian gradualism, as per Lyell et al in the 19th century.

    In addition, it would be impossible for fruiting trees (day 3) to exist long without insects (day 5) and other animal life forms to pollinate them. The 'fossil record' says birds came after the dinos. That reverses Genesis days five and six. So the order is all wrong for long ages.

    Genesis -- and indeed the entire Bible -- needs to be accepted or rejected on its own terms, and not convoluted to try to mash it together with whatever current knowledge man is so proud of having.