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Preview: Comments on CreationEvolutionDesign: Re: "If the universe is billions of years old ... ...

Comments on CreationEvolutionDesign: Re: "If the universe is billions of years old ... how can it have been created in six days?"





Updated: 2015-07-03T15:59:59.827+08:00

 



HistoricusAs per my policy stated on my blog's fro...

2007-05-25T06:35:00.000+08:00

Historicus

As per my policy stated on my blog's front page:

"Comments ... Since I no longer debate, any response by me will usually be only once to each individual on that comment, and then I will let him/her have the last word."

You have now had the last word.

Stephen E. Jones



>>Genesis 1 says that God created the universe in ...

2007-05-25T06:06:00.000+08:00

>>Genesis 1 says that God created the universe in 6 days. Exodus 20:9,11 confirms that the Genesis days are literal days: [...]>This is fallacious. If the days in Genesis 1 are not intended by the author to mean literal 24-hour solar days (which is indicated, for starters, by the Sun not being set in the sky to "mark ... days" until "the fourth day" - Gn 1:14,19, i.e. more than halfway through those six days), then the "six days" in Exodus 20:11, which are referring back to those same days of Genesis 1, are likewise non-literal.Your original assumption (days of Genesis 1 are not literal) is wrong. The author of Genesis quantifies the length of the days as 24 hour days by using the terms “evening and morning”. As shown by Andrew Steinmann in his paper: http://www.etsjets.org/jets/journal/45/45-4/45-4-PP577-584_JETS.pdf, the context of the original Hebrew demands the day to mean a literal 24 hour period. Just because the sun and moon were not created until day 4, does not mean that a day was not 24 hours. That’s like saying, there was no time before clocks were invented. God could clearly have defined the length of time for a day to be 24 hours and then created the sun and moon for us to more easily comprehend the day and night. >>Surely, God did no intend for His people to work for 6 periods of millions of years, and then rest for 1 period of millions of years. >You miss the point. God's "work week" of six days of creation plus a day of rest in Genesis 1 is analogous to, not identical to, a human work week of six days plus a day of rest, in Exodus 20:10-11. The point is exactly as I stated. Nowhere does the context of Exodus (or Genesis 1 for that matter) explicitly or implicitly denote an analogy. A straightforward reading of the text clearly shows God did His creative work in 6 days. If you look at the scriptures as a whole, you can see that the writers of scripture believed Genesis to be literal (Ex 20:11, Ex 31:17, Romans 5:12, Matthew 19:3-6). >>The church has been trying to shoe-horn billions of years into Genesis 1 solely to conform to the naturalist's interpretation of cosmology. >That is refuted simply by the fact that St. Augustine in ~400AD did not know about the "billions of years" of modern "cosmology," yet he took the days of Genesis 1 to be non-literal. That is, working from the text alone, Augustine concluded that the days of Genesis 1 were non-literal… Irenaeus, Origen, Basil, Augustine, and Thomas Aquinas…argued that the days of creation must have been long periods of time solely from their understanding of the biblical text"That was some good name-dropping. The leaders of the church who believed in a literal reading of Genesis is quite a bit more distinguished (Jesus, Paul, Moses, Calvin, Luther, Terretin…) For you to say that Augustine argued for long periods solely from their understanding of scripture is hyperbole at best. The early theologians that you mentioned were influenced in their day by the Greek philosophies still present, but they never intended to teach the days of Genesis as millions/billions of years. But you missed the point as I said, “The church has been trying to shoe-horn billions of years into Genesis 1 solely to conform to the naturalist's interpretation of cosmology.” The old earth movement compromises the integrity of scripture SIMPLY to be more in line with the materialist’s assumptions that generate long age measurements. It is then that old earthers look back to scripture to see if they can re-interpret some parts, which seem to them to be ambiguous. This article is a good one for refuting the changing of the meaning of a day:http://www.dbts.edu/journals/2000/McCabe.pdfWhen one starts with the assumption that scripture is true as it is written (and confirmed by context and complete integrity) the experiments made by scientists show the earth to be about 6000 years old. When do the days in scripture start meaning real 24 hour days? Noah’s days in Genesis 8? Jonah’s 3 days in the whale? Joshua’s extended day? Jesus’ 3 days [...]



Historicus>Genesis 1 says that God created the uni...

2007-05-24T11:34:00.000+08:00

Historicus>Genesis 1 says that God created the universe in 6 days. Exodus 20:9,11 confirms that the Genesis days are literal days: [...]This is fallacious. If the days in Genesis 1 are not intended by the author to mean literal 24-hour solar days (which is indicated, for starters, by the Sun not being set in the sky to "mark ... days" until "the fourth day" - Gn 1:14,19, i.e. more than halfway through those six days), then the "six days" in Exodus 20:11, which are referring back to those same days of Genesis 1, are likewise non-literal.As the late conservative evangelical Old Testament theologian and Old-Earth Creationist Gleason Archer pointed out, "By no means does this demonstrate that 24-hour intervals were involved in the first six `days,' any more than the eight-day celebration of the Feast of Tabernacles proves that the wilderness wanderings under Moses occupied only eight days":"The Sabbath day for man and Sabbath year for the land are analogous to God's work week. God's fourth commandment says that the seventh day of each week is to be honored as holy, "For in six days the LORD made the heavens and the earth...but he rested on the seventh day" (Exodus 20:10-11). This passage is often cited as proof positive for the twenty-four-hour-day interpretation. Evangelical Hebrew scholar Gleason Archer disagrees: `By no means does this demonstrate that 24-hour intervals were involved in the first six "days," any more than the eight-day celebration of the Feast of Tabernacles proves that the wilderness wanderings under Moses occupied only eight days.' [Archer, G.L., "A Response to the Trustworthiness of Scripture in Areas Relating to Natural Science," in Radmacher, E.D. & Preus, R.D., "Hermeneutics, Inerrancy, and the Bible," Academie Books, Grand Rapids MI, 1986, p.329] Sometimes the Sabbath is a full year (cf. Leviticus 25:4). The biological cycle for human beings dictates a twenty- four-hour rest period, for agricultural land, a twelve-month rest period. Since God is not subject to biological cycles, His rest period is completely flexible. Clearly, the emphasis in Exodus 20 is on the pattern of one out of seven, not the literal duration of the days of creation. Just as the high priests of Israel served `at a sanctuary that is a copy and shadow of what is in heaven' (Hebrews 8:5), the days demarked by the rotation of the earth are copies and shadows of the days distinguished by God in the Genesis creation record. The human and the temporal always are copies and shadows of the divine and the eternal, not vice versa. The seven days of our calendar week simply follow the pattern established by God. God's `work week' gives us a human-like picture we can grasp. This communication tool is common in the Bible. Scripture frequently speaks of God's hand, His eyes, His arm, even His wings. The context of each of these passages makes it obvious that none of these descriptions is meant to be taken concretely. Rather, each word presents a picture to help us understand spiritual reality about God and His relationship to us." (Ross, H.N., "Creation and Time: A Biblical and Scientific Perspective on the Creation-Date Controversy," NavPress: Colorado Springs CO, 1994, pp.59-60. Emphasis original) >Surely, God did no intend for His people to work for 6 periods pf millions of years, and then rest for 1 period of millions of years. You miss the point. God's "work week" of six days of creation plus a day of rest in Genesis 1 is analogous to, not identical to, a human work week of six days plus a day of rest, in Exodus 20:10-11. As Old-Earth Creationist Hugh Ross added above, "the emphasis in Exodus 20 is on the pattern of one out of seven, not the literal duration of the days of creation" with "the days demarked by the rotation of the earth" being "copies and shadows of the days distinguished by God in the Genesis creation record" since "The human and the temporal always are copies and shadows of the divine and the eternal, not vice versa" and "God's `work week' gives us a human-like pic[...]



These comments are interesting, but seem to have s...

2007-05-23T22:57:00.000+08:00

These comments are interesting, but seem to have some real logical holes for a Bible-believing Christian.

Genesis 1 says that God created the universe in 6 days. Exodus 20:9,11 confirms that the Genesis days are literal days:

"Six days you shall labor and do all your work,...For in six days the LORD made the heavens and the earth, the sea, and all that is in them, but he rested on the seventh day."

Surely, God did no intend for His people to work for 6 periods pf millions of years, and then rest for 1 period of millions of years.

The church has been trying to shoe-horn billions of years into Genesis 1 solely to conform to the naturalist's interpretation of cosmology.

Russell Humphries has a better theory which fits more closely to what scripture says, and it has withstood rigorous testing with resiliency. His theory takes into account the time dilation of gravity to explain the appearance that massive amounts of time have elapsed the further from the earth one gets. I recommend his book Starlight and Time.



Ed >Hi, I appreaciate your site and articles.Thank...

2007-05-20T15:18:00.000+08:00

Ed

>Hi, I appreaciate your site and articles.

Thanks.

[...]

>2) I talke literally the Genesis account.
3) I think the universe is somewhere in the neighborhood of 13.7 billion years old given the latest measurements.
>
the reason #2 and #3 are not in conflict is the definition of the word day, or yom. Obviously it can mean 24 hours and most often does. It can also refer to the approximate 12hrs of daylight. it can also literally mean a long but finite period of time, so it is quite possible and intellectually reasonable to take Gen 1 literally and still not paint yourself into the 6 24hr day corner. The text doesn't mandate it and quite honestly, the rest of scripture (gen 2, psa 104, prov 8 for example) just don't support a calendar week in my opinion.

Agreed, but the usual meaning of "literal" in this context (e.g. "conflicts with the Book of Genesis taken literally" and " Augustine rejected biblical literalism," is in the sense of 24-hour solar days.

However, I agree that "literally", in the sense of what the words of the text *actually* say, Genesis 1 does not teach that the days were 24 hours long.

That is because there is evidence in the text itself (e.g. the Sun not being set in the sky to "mark ... days" until day 4 - Gn 1:14), and elsewhere as you say.

That is why "at least since the time of Saint Augustine (400 A.D.) Christians have been interpreting the seven days of creation metaphorically" and "Augustine rejected biblical literalism in the early fifth century," because Augustine (354-430AD) certainly was not under pressure to conform his interpretation of Genesis 1 to modern science!

As I wrote in my online testimony, early in my Christian life I told God that I was willing to accept that the days of Genesis 1 were "six literal days" if that is what His word actually said in the original Hebrew:

"However, I was still nagged by doubts that the Bible might after all teach that the days of Genesis 1 were literal days. So to resolve the issue once and for all, I bought a book of Hebrew grammar containing a Hebrew-English interlinear translation of the early chapters of Genesis. After praying to God that I would accept whatever his Word really said, I sat down with an exercise book and wrote a word-by-word "commentary" on Genesis 1 based on the transliteration from the original Hebrew. When it was completed I was satisfied that Genesis 1 did not require me to believe that the world was created in six literal days, and in fact there were strong indications in the text itself that the days were not to be understood literally."

But in fact I discovered *for myself* with no one pressuring me, that the text itself did *not* say that.

And indeed there was strong evidence that the writer of Genesis (who I assume was Moses, and ultimately was God) did *not* intend the days of Genesis 1 to be taken as ordinary 24-hour solar days.

Paradoxically it is the Young-Earth Creationists, who claim (and no doubt sincerely *think*) that they are interpreting Genesis 1 literally, who are in fact *forcing* the text to fit with their preconception of what they think it *should* mean.

Stephen E. Jones



Hi, I appreaciate your site and articles.I would j...

2007-05-20T05:00:00.000+08:00

Hi, I appreaciate your site and articles.

I would just like to offer my 2 cents on this issue.

1) I am a Christian and I believe in the inerrancy of scripture in its original form.
2) I talke literally the Genesis account.
3) I think the universe is somewhere in the neighborhood of 13.7 billion years old given the latest measurements.

the reason #2 and #3 are not in conflict is the definition of the word day, or yom. Obviously it can mean 24 hours and most often does. It can also refer to the approximate 12hrs of daylight. it can also literally mean a long but finite period of time, so it is quite possible and intellectually reasonable to take Gen 1 literally and still not paint yourself into the 6 24hr day corner. The text doesn't mandate it and quite honestly, the rest of scripture (gen 2, psa 104, prov 8 for example) just don't support a calendar week in my opinion.

Ed