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Why Six Days? ~ Genesis 1:31-2:3

Preached by Pastor Phil Layton at Gold Country Baptist Church on August 12, 2007

My father has shared his testimony about how he was an evolution teacher around the time I was born, and was surprised to be confronted by a young student named Theresa Brunk one day: “Mr. Layton, you don’t have to believe in evolution.”  I’ve heard him often  talk about how he responded with mocking: “Don’t tell me, you’re one of the narrow-minded Christians who actually believe God created the world in seven days?!”

Her respectful reply: “Oh no, Mr. Layton, the Bible says it only took God six days. You really should read the Bible and learn more about this.  My pastor believes in biblical creation and there’s a lot of wonderful and intelligent people who believe this, too.”

She had gently pointed that his sarcasm was mistaken; the Bible says it only took God six days to create the world, and he realized he needed to learn more about scripture before he rejected it.  Taking the challenge to examine the scientific evidence more closely, and trying unsuccessfully to reconcile Darwinism and scientific origins theories with Scripture, my dad by God’s grace as you know was saved by God and is being used by God to reach the Filipino Catholic and secular community with creation evangelism.

Ironically, here in America, in much of the Christian community, people like Theresa and myself are the ones being mocked and  criticized by other Christians who see Young Earth Creationists[1] ( Y.E.C.) as a hindrance to evangelism and ignorant of scientific “fact.”  My dad’s attitude as an agnostic scoffing at Theresa’s view of creation is a similar attitude many Christians hold towards six day creationists. In efforts to find new interpretations to keep in step with changing evolutionary theories and dating schemes, modern evangelicals (including very conservative theologians and Bible teachers) have been largely attracted away from the historic recent creation[2] view towards various novel proposals of Old Earth Creationist[3] views (hereafter O.E.C.).  While the gap theory[4] and theistic evolution[5] no longer hold wide acceptance among 21st Century evangelicals, the framework hypothesis[6] has growing interest.  Most persuasive and popular of O.E.C. views is progressive creationism, or the day-age theory, which sees the creation “days” as sequential but long geological ages of creation.

Why Six Days?  Perhaps a more fundamental question is “was it six days?”  Does the Bible actually teach that God created the heavens and earth and everything in them during six actual days?  Where does it say that?  We all know what the world says, but what does the Word say? Let’s let God weigh in.

Exodus 20:1-11 (NASB95)

1 Then God spoke all these words, saying, 2 “I am the Lord your God …

… 8 “Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy.
9 “Six days you shall labor and do all your work,
10 but the seventh day is a sabbath of the Lord your God; in it you shall not do any work, you or your son or your daughter, your male or your female servant or your cattle or your sojourner who stays with you.
11 “For in six days the Lord made the heavens and the earth, the sea and all that is in them, and rested on the seventh day; therefore the Lord blessed the sabbath day and made it holy.

God says very plainly in verse 11 that the Lord made everything in six days, and whatever God says I believe.  The same author who wrote Genesis 1 also wrote this chapter, in fact these commandments were written by the finger of God Himself, so I don’t think we can say this is an unimportant discussion, as many Christians say.   

I recognize many good born-again believers will disagree with what I’m going to teach today but … what else is new.  Truth is not a matter of majority vote or what’s popular – what we believe cannot be based on changing theories, it must be based on unchanging theology from an unchanging truth source – the unchanging Word of our unchanging God.  Our authority is never what the latest scholars say, it’s what does the Scripture say.  

I hope you don’t believe things simply because famous or smart people hold the view, and I certainly don’t expect you to believe something just because I say it.  The word of Phil is irrelevant, but the Word of God is always relevant.  The Reformation had it right - sola scriptura – scripture alone is our authority.

If you hold to a different view, we can still be friends, but I hope you are willing to give a fair hearing to the biblical arguments for why I believe in a literal six day creation and why it’s important:

G         God's statement in The Ten Commandments

E         Evening and morning language indicates normal days

N         Night and day are defined and contrasted in the 1st day

E         Every time numerals are used with yom in Hebrew, it means a normal day

S          Seasons and years (longer literal timeframes) are contrasted with “days”

I           Interpretation of Scripture as a whole supports a literal Genesis 1

S          Scientific theories have not disproven biblical creation

“Why six days” is the title of this sermon, and it is a valid question.  Why didn’t God create the universe in a fraction of a second, as some of the church fathers wondered?  He certainly could have.  And certainly God could have created the universe slowly over 18 billion years, which is how old many teach the universe is.  Christians agree that God is omnipotent - the question though, is not what God could have done, but what did God say He did.

It seems to be that the reason God chose to take six days to create  was precisely because He wanted to establish a pattern for a work week of six days followed by a seventh day off.  God could have created instantly, but the language makes a clear connection and parallel with the six days plus Sabbath and the creation week.

Someone might ask: Is it important whether or not you believe God created everything in six actual days?  Let me ask another question: are the Ten Commandments important?  Is it important that we believe God speaks accurately, and is able to communicate clearly?  

Look at verse 9 and compare to verse 11.  In Hebrew and in English and in context, God says that the reason you are to work six real days is that I really did my work on six days. 

The reason you are to cease working each literal 7th day of the week is because I ceased work on the seventh day literally.  These verses teach this clearly. The six days of man in verse 9 and of God in verse 11 is the same phrase in the Hebrew language and it equates the two and makes an inescapable connection with the normal week the Israelites experience.  The same verse that mentions “six days” also mentions the literal “Sabbath day.” Certainly the original audience would have understood it this way, and God does not mislead or make mistakes or mis-communicate when He speaks.

Exodus 31:17 says the same thing again “in six days the LORD made heaven and earth” and it also commands us to work six days and then rest on the Sabbath day.  It is indisputable that the Sabbath day was understood by and observed by the Jews as a normal 24-hour period – the command is to observe an actual literal day, the seventh day, and when the very same command says God made the heaven and earth in “six days” - how can we consistently say those days were not actual literal days as well?  Where is the textual or grammatical evidence in the language that “day” means day when there’s a seven before it, but not when there’s a six before it?  Honest O.E.C. sympathizers admit this is a compelling argument for recent creationism.[7] 

If we were instead to assume creation actually took place over 18 billion years (as one famous Christian astronomer argues) then the fourth of the Ten Commandments could be rewritten to say something like “You shall work six days and rest on the seventh day … because I also did my work in 6,570,000,000,000 days[8] where I created everything very slowly, then rested on the seventh day, therefore you are to do the same every seventh day and week, but don’t wait so long to take a day off.”

Of course that’s not it; the literal parallel is exact and inescapable; the six days of a normal work-week followed by a 24-hour Sabbath rest is exegetically based on and dependent on God’s own pattern during the creation week.  The grammar is clear, because God did all His work in six days and rested a full day, so should man.  No hermeneutical gymnastics can escape the plain meaning that would have been conveyed to Moses and the original audience, who would seek to literally apply this truth each week in full confidence that God had communicated historical reality to them rather than metaphors or poetry.

E         Evening and morning language indicates normal days

While Exodus 20:8-11 by itself would be decisive in my view because God explicitly said creation took place “in six days,” we can go back to Genesis 1 to see more reasons. The immediate context provides further support for viewing the creation days normally.  All six day are divided, in the usual Hebrew style, qualified by “evening” and “morning,” constituting undoubtedly a Jewish nucqhmernon, or night-and-day, basically equivalent to the modern phrase “twenty-four hours.”[9] 

This seems to follow the normal Jewish order of reckoning time where the day begins at nightfall.[10]  The grammar and syntax according to Hebrew scholars indicates normal “passage of time,” “initiation of normal ordinal series,” “literal, chronological days.”[11] 

The Hebrew verb for sequential chronological action is consistently used and each day in Genesis 1 is marked with both evening and morning, which further indicates a normal day. 

Some have argued that the seventh day never ended because the Genesis 2 narrative does not say it had an “evening” (and therefore “day” in Genesis 1 can equal thousands of years or more).  Using the same reasoning consistently, we could point out that its “morning” is not mentioned either, and therefore do we conclude the seventh day never began?  Actually, there’s a reason the seventh day has a little different wording, it was a special day, different than the others, and we’ll talk more about the seventh day and the Sabbath next time. 

 

But some have used Hebrews 4 to teach that the seventh “day” from Genesis continues throughout human history.[12]  We will look at Hebrews 4 also in a future message, but the theological analogy of a “Sabbath-rest” that continues is different than an individual O.T. Sabbath day,[13] which all Jews knew was 24 hours including evening and morning (Friday evening till daylight ends Saturday)  

The Bible says that God ceased from creative work (past tense completed action)[14] on that day in contrast to the other regular days, as the Ten Commandments makes clear (He rested, not “is resting).  God literally completed His creation on a literal seventh day, but of course we believe God continues to work in His Providence (John 5:16-17).    

Hugh Ross inadvertently damages his own argumentation when he argues that the lack of “evening and morning” mentioned for the seventh day in Genesis 2 suggests it was longer than 24 hours[15] - consistency would then require him to view the days in Genesis 1 as only 24 hours since they do mention morning / evening for each.[16] 

 

Wayne Grudem is a more careful biblical scholar who leans toward O.E.C. views but he admits the evening and morning references are “a strong argument from context.”[17]

 

N         Night and day are defined and contrasted in the first day

Genesis 1:5 is the first and defining passage as to what God means by “day” in this narrative, and it clearly calls the period of daylight “day” in contrast to the nighttime.  The second primary meaning of yom as including both evening and morning as a whole is also supported in the latter half of the verse.  Virtually every Hebrew dictionary or lexicon in print cites Genesis 1:5 as the best or first example of this primary meaning of 24 hours or less. 

§  The Dictionary of Classical Hebrew cites verse 5a as containing an example of “daylight” as well as the end of the verse for “day, of 24 hours.”[18] 

§  Another dictionary gives this as the only reference example for the meanings “day … about 24 hours (Ge 1:5) … 2. day, i.e., the period of time which has light (Ge 1:5).”[19] 

§  This passage is cited in another lexicon under the basic meaning “day (of 24 hours) in the sense of astronomical or calendrical unit … Hebr. has no terminological distinction between the day as daytime and the day as a calendrical unit.”[20]”

§  Another standard work cites Genesis 1:5 as example of meaning “daylight” as opposed to darkness and also “day in the sense of a complete cycle that includes both daytime and nighttime.”[21] 

§  Another cites verse 5 as the first and foremost example of the primary definition “day.”[22]

§  The most authoritative lexicon also mentions this verse as the primary example of the meaning “day of twenty-four hours.” [23]  

But more important than what man says it what God says – verse 5 makes very clear what God calls a day.  “Day” can be spoken of as daylight or the entire evening and morning cycle equals a full day. 

But let’s just assume for a moment the day-age theory where the word “day” in Genesis 1 really means “a geological age of millions of years.”  Looking at Genesis 1:5, this view would give us the following preposterous translation: “And God called the light a geological age of millions of years, and the darkness he called night. And there was evening and morning, one geological age of millions of years!”[24] 

O.E.C. cannot adequately answer this, but some change the subject and say days 1-3 can’t be “solar days” since the sun was created day 4

 

But the real problem with the timing of the sun’s creation is for the O.E.C. camp, as one sympathetic to their view has candidly admitted.

The greatest difficult for this [day-age] view is that it puts the sun, moon, and stars (Day 4) millions of years after the creation of plants and trees (Day 3) … plants do not grow without sunlight, and there are many plants (Day 3) that do not pollinate without birds or flying insects (Day 5), and there are many birds (Day 5) that live off creeping insects (Day 6). Moreover, how would the waters on the earth keep from freezing for millions of years without the sun?  In response, those who hold the concordist view say … that the sun, moon, and starts were only made visible or revealed on Day 4 (Gen. 1:14-19). But this argument is not very convincing because all the other five days of creation involve … creating things for the first time. Moreover, the creative statements are similar to those of other days, ‘And God said, “Let there be … and it was so”’ (Gen. 1:14-19). This is the form of the language used in verses 3, 6, 1,, 20, and 24 for creating things, not revealing things. Furthermore, the creation (not the revealing) of the sun, moon, and stars is made explicit in the next sentence: ‘And God made the two great lights … he made the stars also’ (Gen. 1:16). Here the word ‘made’ (Heb. asah) is the same word used when God made the firmament, the beasts of the earth, and man (Gen. 1:7, 25, 26).[25]

We also know that Adam was created on day six and lived through day six and through day seven, but these days could not be millions of years long because the Genesis genealogy makes clear Adam had not lived millions or even thousands of years when he died.

WHAT ABOUT PSALM 90?

 

Is Genesis 1 poetry rather than historical narrative?

Hebrew poetry is quite a bit different than prose

-          Multiple types of parallelism, simile, figures of speech

-          Verb types and use of direct object

-          The vav-consecutive verb used throughout Genesis 1 is one of the clearest markers or historical narrative, sequential literal factual presentation (scholarly OECs like J. Collins admit this)

-          Computer studies can easily demonstrate poems within narrative genre (such as Exodus 15 vs. rest of Exodus) and these graphical statistical analysis show conclusively that Genesis 1 is in fact, narrative genre, with the same markers and grammatical constructions as the rest of the O.T.[26]

E         Every time numerals are used with yom in Hebrew, it means a normal day

It is true that the Hebrew word for “day” – just like the English word “day” – doesn’t always mean a single day and/or night (ex: day of the Lord, day of wrath, day of visitation, etc.).  We also saw in poetry like Psalm 90 that a thousand years is like a day to God, or even like a 4-hour watch in the night.  The poet’s point there is that what seems like a long time to us is not much to God.  He is outside time and not limited by time, although He works in real time. But when Scripture  speaks of a particular numbered day (ex: rest on the seventh day), it clearly refers to an actual normal day.

Poetry is full of similes and figures of speech, of course, but in historical narratives in Hebrew[27] the numerical adjective always limits the word yom to a 24-hour period (cf. Numbers 7 for a remarkable parallel written by the same author Moses, for example “first day” this happened, then “second day” so and so offered, etc.).[28] Num. 7:58 has identical construction for “7th day” as Genesis 2.  

It’s true that Genesis 2:4 and 17 use the word yom in other forms and constructions –  be’yom is simply the Hebrew expression for “when” and is a well-known and well-documented idiom.”[29]  The point still stands that yom with numerals attached (as in Genesis 1) indicates normal days, and no one has ever demonstrated an example otherwise in biblical Hebrew or extra-biblical Hebrew.

S          Seasons and years (longer literal timeframes) are contrasted with “days”

Genesis 1:14-18 couldn’t be clearer: the heavenly bodies were put in place to govern “day” as well as nighttime.  Not only is the day and night contrast unavoidable, but “day” is further compared with other terms that do clearly refer to longer literal timeframes which none argue are figurative – “seasons and years.”

I have not found O.E.C. writings which grapple with this section, and it is easy to see why: there is no support for their position here.  The phrase “years and days” clearly refers to shortest and longest measures of time definitely fixed by movement of heavenly bodies.[30] 

Let’s again assume the day-age interpretation that “day” means a geological age in Genesis 1 and the O.E.C. translation of Genesis 1:14 is ludicrous: “Then God said, ‘Let there be lights in the expanse of the heavens to separate geological ages of millions of years from the night, and let them be for signs and for seasons and for geological ages of millions of years and for years.”[31]

There were other Hebrew phrases known to Moses (even with other forms of yom) to designate longer periods or timeframes.  The plural yamim (with or without the qualifiers) would have been the simplest way to teach that creation took place a long time ago in the past, or over many days. 

hayyom hahu’ ‘that day’ expresses a distant moment either in the past (about 90x) or in the future (120x), “wayehi hayyom’ ‘once upon a time’ … In association with unspecific enumerations, ‘days’ easily acquires the closely related meaning ‘time’ in the sense of ‘duration, period’: in addition to yamim ahadim ‘some days, some time’ (Gen 27:44; 29:20) … also miyamim ‘after some time’ … miqqes yamim ‘after the course of some days’ Gen 4:3 … also frequent are the adv. usages yamim rabbim ‘many days, a long time’ (Gen 21:34; 37:34) …  yamim en mispar ‘endless time’ Jer 2:32), often pleonastically after a unit of longer duration … The definite pl. meaning ‘time’ occurs in usages with verbs such as rb qal ‘to become many’ (Gen 38:12 and I Sam 7:2 ‘a long time’) … The distant past is indicated by yeme -> qedem ‘the day of old.’[32]

§  The word olam can describe something that happened long ago, “they sometimes refer to events or conditions that occurred at a definite point in the past,” and the definitions include “long time, long duration, antiquity.”[33]

§  Another word dor/dor means “generation” or “period” and would have been ideal for signifying a series of ages, if that’s what God intended.

§  Other words like qedem could carry the translation “of old” or “ancient time,” and et was a general word for “time” that could have left the period more ambiguous.[34] 

The point is that none of these expressions in the Hebrew language were used in Genesis 1, although Moses did use many of these more general phrases later in Genesis.  Instead of all these other phrases which can refer to longer periods of time, Moses by divine inspiration used the Hebrew construction that never elsewhere refers to a long period of time.    

I           Interpretation of Scripture as a whole supports a literal Genesis 1

Notice that in Mark 10:6 Jesus says that God created mankind male and female “at the beginning of creation” – this is the opposite of what the vast majority of Christians today would say. The majority would argue that it was actually billions of years after the beginning of creation that man was created; it was very recently compared to the rest of creation. 

Most would teach that really male and female humans came around at the very end of vast ages of evolution or progressive creation, not back at the first week like Jesus said.  Now if God did all of creation during the beginning days of the universe, this verse makes sense, but in the OEC view that many billions of years after the beginning of creation transpired before man was created a few thousand years ago, this is very difficult to reconcile Christ’s words.  The latest Master’s Seminary Journal article shows that the phrase “beginning of creation” does not exegetically mean the “beginning of mankind” only, but it refers to the beginning week of the universe, which scripture summarizes as “creation.”

This is a text and argument that I have not seen addressed enough.[35] 

For example, a book I recently read called A Biblical Case for an Old Earth (by David Snoke, perhaps the best written OEC book) nowhere mentions Mark 10:6.  James Boice, a writer I love and who has a high view of scripture, leans toward OEC views, and spends nearly 80 pages discussing the various views, but never mentions Mark 10:6 – nor does he ever attempt to answer or even address the fact that the Ten Commandments say “in six days God created the heavens and earth and all in them.” He doesn’t touch it.

Boice writes (p. 90 of his commentary): ‘while the earth and universe may indeed be quite old (on the order of billions of years), there is no need to insist that man is millions of years old. His creation by God may be as recent as the genealogies of Genesis seem to indicate.’

Couldn’t it also be that the beginning week of creation was the same timeframe as when God created male and female, as recent not only as the genealogies but also as Jesus seems to indicate?

There are many godly men and scholars who take different creation views, men who I respect greatly (whose dress shoes I’m unworthy to untie). I just don’t think on this issue they have satisfactorily or adequately addressed or sufficiently explained some of these key scriptures. 

S          Scientific theories have not disproven biblical creation

Science cannot prove or disprove the Bible.  But there’s no question that the biblical record does appear to conflict with many of the theories of origins and the age of the earth.

For example, in Genesis 3:18, God says that thorns and thistles were a result of the curse after man sinned.  But the fossil record has found thorns in layers that they date 400 million years before man existed – what are you going to do?  Do we need to modify the Bible?  That doesn’t disprove the Bible. Maybe geology needs to modify and consider that perhaps there was a worldwide flood in Genesis 6-8 that laid down most of the fossil layers?

When Romans 5 and 8 clearly teach that death came through sin, and that all creation is cursed and groaning and our fallen world is due to man’s sin, what do we do when geologists tell us that there has been death, decay, and disease for millions of years before modern man existed? 

E.J. Young asks why it is that whenever

“science” and the Bible are in conflict, it is always the Bible that, in one manner or another, must give way. We are not told that “science” should correct its answers in the light of Scripture. Always it is the other way round. Yet this is really surprising, for the answers which scientists have provided have frequently changed with the passing of time. The “authoritative” answers of pre–Copernican scientists are no longer acceptable; nor, for that matter, are many of the views of twenty–five years ago.’[36] (E.J. Young, Studies in Genesis One, 53)

The book of Jonah tells us he was swallowed by a great fish and survived for 3 days.  But the same scientists would unanimously tell us there is no way a man could be swallowed by a whale or fish and live for 3 days in the belly of a fish.  Maybe “3 days” doesn’t mean 3 days there in Jonah?

But the Bible says plainly that Jonah was in the belly of a fish for 3 days – because this conflicts with science, are we going to throw out the story or just give it some figurative or spiritual meaning?  When Christians say we shouldn’t interpret Genesis 1 literally because of supposed conflict with science, does it matter whether we interpret Jonah 1 literally? 

It does matter if you think Jesus is God who cannot lie, because Jesus said that in the same way Jonah was in the belly of a fish for 3 days, that the Son of God would also literally be in the earth for 3 days and then rise again.  Was Jesus mistaken or misleading to make an analogy that does not exist? 

It’s not only Jonah 1 that modern science would be in conflict with, Matthew 1 is in conflict with modern science – a virgin cannot conceive – parthenogenesis – without a sperm and egg not even a test tube can cause fertilization. Are we going to take our cue from secular science and say that in light of modern rediscoveries, we need to re-interpret what Matthew 1 says about Mary – the text says Mary conceived as a virgin, but maybe it doesn’t literally mean that, maybe “virgin” just wants us to know she was pure? 

Only liberals do that – evangelicals do not let science trump Jonah 1 or Matthew 1, but so many do not hesitate to let the all important first chapter of the Bible be trumped. That’s not consistent. Where does it stop? 

Many O.E.C. brethren are not shy to admit how their elevation of science affects his interpretations: “The facts of nature may be likened to a sixty-seventh book of the Bible.”[37]

In my view, this is a fundamental problem: the “facts” many take as their starting point and driving influence are actually theories rather than empirically proved truth.  Even within the secular scientific community, these ideas are continually in flux and contradiction, as fallen man attempts to interpret a fallen world through the grid of his fallen intellect.  None of the Christian positions harmonize neatly with agreement of atheistic scientists (for example, the order of cosmology and evolution of many species and mammals is backwards from the biblical chronology), but none disproves a literal reading, and in fact, there is growing evidence that supports it.[38]  But more fundamental for evangelicals is God’s Word as our sole authority, apart from imperfect hypothesis based on imperfect evidence.  Is the Reformation motto sola scriptura really the driving motive for evangelical interpretations of Genesis 1?

The fact that these O.E.C. views were not held by many (if any) Jewish or Christian scholars before the 19th century raises a legitimate question:  Is it actually Scripture alone or is it secular intimidation driving how we many Genesis 1?  Some who have been sympathetic to O.E.C. views such as Dabney and Hodge are honest enough to agree that the interpretation of geological day-ages is “exegetically doubtful, if not impossible” based on the text alone.[39]  If we evangelicals really are convinced that sola scriptura applies to both end of the Bible, I believe the evidence from God’s Word is quite clear.  My goal is not to insult or impugn the motives of those who take non-literal views of Genesis 1 - as many of these men are godly saints I respect greatly, and I’m sure they think they’re protecting God’s truth rather than undermining it - but I do hope we can be more consistent in how we handle this precious book. 

In bringing clarity, we want to also maintain charity among brothers and sisters in Christ, but where God is clear (and it’s hard to imagine how He could have made Himself more clear about the creation week), we must speak the truth in love, not avoid contending for the truth.  The Bible does not bow to secular thinking, but rather all must bow to the Bible.  Let us humbly respect God’s Word in its original intent and recipients and demonstrate to a watching world our complete trust in its accuracy of communication from cover to cover.  Sola scriptura should lead to the end of soli deo Gloria.


----

[1] For lack of a better label, this term will be used for the long-standing Jewish and Christian consensus that the creation account is to be taken literally and therefore was relatively recently (thousands of years ago, but not vast ages of billions of years).

[2] Although a few in church history did not believe the creation took six days (a few believed it was less than a week, in a single moment), it is accurate to say that virtually all scholars before the 19th Century interpreted creation to be recent, almost unanimously less than 10,000 years old.  See Jonathan Sarfati, “History of Interpretation of Genesis 1-11,” Refuting Compromise (Green Forest, Ariz.: Master Books, 2004): 107-140; also Jack P. Lewis, “The Days of Creation: An Historical Survey of Interpretation,” JETS 32/4 (Dec 1989): 433-55.

[3] This term will be used generically for Christians who believe the events of Genesis 1 span several billions of years rather than six consecutive normal days.   

[4] This view was popularized by the Scofield Study Bible, but has been discredited by both sides of the debate. For a good example of a Y.E.C. critique, see Weston W. Fields, Unformed and Unfulfilled (Nutley, New Jersey: Presbyterian & Reformed, 1976).

[5] The theory that God used evolution and guided its mostly naturalistic processes (supernatural intervention perhaps limited to original creation of matter, creation of simplest life form, and the creation of man).

[6] Bruce Waltke, et al. This view sees the creation narrative as a non-sequential topical or theological presentation (not to be taken literally like Y.E.C. or other O.E.C.) which attempts to dodge scientific problems of chronological interpretations. Defended by Lee Irons wth Meredith Kline, in The Genesis Debate (Mission Viejo, Calif.: Crux Press, 2001), with “24-Hour View” responses in same volume by J. Ligon Duncan III and David W. Hall. See also rebuttal by Douglas F. Kelly, Creation and Time (Scotland: Christian Focus Publications, 2004), James B. Jordan, Creation in Six Days (Moscow, Idaho: Canon Press, 1999), chapters 2-3; and Edward J. Young, Studies in Genesis One (Philadelphia, Penn.: Presbyterian & Reformed, 1964).

[7] Wayne Grudem concedes “It is hard to avoid the conclusion that in the Ten Commandments the word day is used to mean a twenty-four hour day … This is again a weighty argument, and on balance it gives additional persuasiveness to the twenty-four hour day position.” Systematic Theology (Grand Rapids, Mich.: Zondervan, 2000), 296.

[8] Calculation based on some “Big Bang” estimates of an 18 billion year-old universe.

[9] McClintock & Strong, Cyclopedia of Religious and Ecclesiastical Literature, p. 556.

[10] NET Bible Notes, Biblical Studies Press, Electronic Ed., Ge 1.5. For further reading on this phrase and the ways Jews reckoned days, see James B. Jordan, “Appendix A: Evening and Morning,” in Creation in Six Days (Moscow, Idaho: Canon Press, 1999): 203-10. Cf. Dan 8:14.

[11] William Barrick, Linguistic and Exegetical Key to the Hebrew Bible, n.p., n.d. (www.drbarrick.org/tms.html). Access Date June 2005.

[12] Archer and Ross, The Genesis Debate, 146.

[13] For various positions on this passage, the reader is referred for further study to J. Harold Greenlee, Exegetical Summary of Hebrews (Dallas, Tex.: SIL, 1998).

[14] Mark Van Bebber and Paul S. Taylor, Creation and Time (Gilbert, Ariz.: Eden Communications, 1996), 70.

[15] Ross, Creation and Time (Colorado Springs: Navpress, 1994), 48-49.

[16] Ross, 46, alleges that “morning” can be metaphorical, but his own citations are used to refute him by Van Bebber and Taylor, 68. What Ross does not (and cannot) support is that morning and evening can indicate something other than a normal day / night combination.

[17] Grudem, 295. Archer, Survey of Old Testament Introduction, 201, concedes that the “evening / morning” formula is used in the sense of a twenty-four hour cycle, but argues it is symbolic for a geological age. 

[18] Dictionary of Classical Hebrew, 166.

[19] Dictionary of Biblical Languages with Semantic Domains, 3427.I.

[20] Theological Lexicon of the Old Testament, 2:528 (hereafter TLOT).

[21] P.A. Verhoef, “yom,” in New International Dictionary of Old Testament Theology and Exegesis, NIDOTTE 2:420. Cf. Saebo, Theological Dictionary of the Old Testament, 6:14 (hereafter TDOT).

[22] Brown-Driver-Briggs Hebrew Lexicon, 398.1 (hereafter BDB).

[23] Hebrew and Aramaic Lexicon of the Old Testament, 2:399 (hereafter HALOT).

[24] Weston Fields, Unformed and Unfilled (Nutley, New Jersey: Presbyterian and Reformed, 1976), 172.

[25] Grudem, 299-300.

[26] See the appendix in Thousand not Billions, published by I.C.R.

[27] Archer and Ross’s only appeal is to a single debatable prophecy in Hosea 6:2 in a non-historical genre (Genesis Debate, 148), but none can produce exceptions in narratives.

[28]John C. Whitcomb, “The Science of Historical Geology,” Westminster Theological Journal 36//1 (Fall 1973): 67.

[29] Barrick, 1, citing Holladay 10.a; GBHS, 103; Jouon-Muraoka § 129p. See also BDB, 400; Gesenius’ Hebrew Grammar, 351; Bullinger, Figures of Speech, 651; TLOT, 2:529; TDOT, 6:15, etc. This translation is rightly adopted by many modern English versions.

[30] Douglas F. Kelly, Creation and Change (Scotland: Christian Focus Publications, 2004),205.

[31] Fields, 173.

[32] TLOT, 2:532-36.

[33] Jonathan Sarfati, Refuting Compromise (Green Forest, Ariz.: Master Books, 2004), 327; citing TWOT 2:673, as well as BDB and HALOT.

[34] Ibid., 327-28.

[35] A friend has pointed out that “it seems that both young and old earther's would agree that Jesus is not saying God created man at the *very* beginning, but rather within a creation phase, or sequence. So I could see people understanding Mark 10:6 as not substantially adding clarity to the existing age question. In other words, I suspect an old earther could comfortably understand and incorporate Mark 10:6.” I would agree that this verse by itself is not decisive (an OEC brother could rightly point out that no one believes man was created at the absolute beginning, i.e., day one of creation). At the least we can say that Jesus’ statement is consistent with a recent creation understanding and seems to associate the creation of male and female humanity as close to the actual beginning (Genesis 1:1-5). If mankind’s creation was really vast ages of billions of years after “the beginning of creation,” would Jesus have used this wording?  In other words, the phrase “beginning of creation” may easily refer to the initial days of the universe (i.e., “the beginning week”), but to stretch this phrase to cover many billions of years before man was created seems unlikely.

[36] E.J. Young, Studies in Genesis One, 53.

[37] Ross, Creation and Time, 56.

[38] The reader is deferred further to the bibliography works and books recommended by creationist organizations such as Answers in Genesis and Institute for Creation Research

[39] Louis Berkhof, Systematic Theology (Carlisle, Penn.: Banner of Truth, 2003): 154.

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