By Les Sherlock, March 2021 but originally posted c2015-2017
Then God saw everything that He had made, and indeed it was very good. So the evening and the morning were the sixth day.
For most non-Christians, this is a ‘no-brainer’: the Big Bang took place just under 14 billions years ago, and the universe, along with everything in it, formed gradually following this event, with the planet Earth emerging after about ten billion years. In the face of this, some Christians - both scientist and non-scientist - have taken what they understand to be proven scientific fact, and interpreted the words of the Bible in a way that accommodates it by defining the six days as very long periods of time.
I am making two points here:
Is it possible to use this interpretation without contradicting plain Bible teaching?
Is it necessary to do it?
Is It Possible?
There are several reasons why my answer to this is “No!”
The First Verse
In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.
This tells us two things that happened in the beginning: the heavens were created and the earth was created. Both events took place in the beginning. Not one in the beginning and the other some time after, but both in the beginning! However, according to the Big Bang theory, the earth was created nine or ten billion years after the heavens started to form.
(Actually, the Bible does teach the Big Bang!
But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night, in which the heavens will pass away with a great noise, and the elements will melt with fervent heat; both the earth and the works that are in it will be burned up.
It’s at the end of this universe, not the beginning!)
Those who claim long periods of time for the days of Genesis 1, or try to insert long periods into the chapter by various means, believe God created the heavens and then waited about 10 billion years before creating the earth. The Bible says He created the earth in the beginning; yet taking the whole history of the universe into consideration, according to this theory He created the earth nearer the end than the beginning!
One could argue that the word ‘day’ in Genesis chapter one can be interpreted as a long period of time (see later for why this is invalid); but in the first verse of Genesis it is not a matter of how long the days were, or interpretation, but contradiction. The Bible says the earth was created in the beginning; the Big Bang says it was created nine or ten billion years after the beginning. So the effect of accepting the Big Bang theory is to accept that the Bible is wrong from the very first verse!
To try to claim that ‘the beginning’ lasted nine or ten billion years in order to make Genesis 1:1 fit the theory would be ludicrous. ‘The beginning’ is defined in that verse as when the heavens were created, and even if you were to stretch a point and say it took one billion years after the bang for the heavens to appear, it is still a very long time after this that the earth was formed.
Additionally, if the claim is that the days are long periods of time, then Genesis 1:16-19 says He made the sun, moon and stars on the fourth day. The fourth day comes after the earth was created in Genesis one, but the Big Bang says the stars were in existence long before the earth appeared. So there is an obvious contradiction here too: obviously, if the stars existed before the earth then the earth was not created in the beginning but three or four long periods of billions of years after the beginning!
Then God made two great lights: the greater light to rule the day, and the lesser light to rule the night. He made the stars also. God set them in the firmament of the heavens to give light on the earth, and to rule over the day and over the night, and to divide the light from the darkness. And God saw that it was good. So the evening and the morning were the fourth day.
There is some argument over the Hebrew word ‛âśâh (pronounced aw-saw') translated ‘made’ in this verse, since the word ‘created’ in verse one comes from the Hebrew bârâ' (baw-raw'). But it is the same word used in Genesis 1:7 (made the firmament), Genesis 1:25 (made the cattle) and Genesis 1:26 (make man). Since Genesis 1:27 uses bârâ' when it says God made man in His own image but uses ‛âśâh regarding making man in the previous verse, then using the two different words for the same action means these two words are used interchangeably.
Thus God made (‛âśâh) the firmament...
And God made (‛âśâh) the beast of the earth according to its kind, cattle according to its kind, and everything that creeps on the earth according to its kind. And God saw that it was good.
Then God said, "Let Us make (‛âśâh) man in Our image, according to Our likeness; let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over the cattle, over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth."
So God created (bârâ') man in His own image; in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them.
In fact there are many contradictions with evolution, and in the following list remember that while 'evolution' usually refers to the development of life, it is dependent on the universe evolving also, so the term is valid.
Some claim the passage is poetry and therefore not to be taken literally; but even if it were accepted that it is poetry and not referring to literal 24-hour days (and I most certainly do not accept that), it is still a direct contradiction:
The Bible (Gen 1:1) says the earth was made in the beginning
Evolution says the earth was formed 9-10 billion years after the beginning
The Bible says the earth began as a formless mass of water
Evolution says it began as a formless mass of molten rock, chemicals and gases
The Bible says the earth was formed before the sun
Evolution says the sun was formed before the earth
The Bible says vegetation was formed before the sun
Evolution says the sun was formed before vegetation
The Bible says God created birds before land creatures
Evolution says birds evolved from land creatures, so came afterwards
The Bible says God created land creatures from the dust of the earth
Evolution says land creatures evolved from sea creatures
The Bible says God created Adam from the dust of the earth
Evolution says man evolved from land creatures
The Bible says God created Eve from a part of Adam's body
Evolution says women evolved from land creatures
The Bible says Adam and Eve were the only couple from whom the entire human race originates
Evolution says the human race came from a group that evolved from the 'common ancestor'
The Bible says Abraham was born 1,948 years after Adam was created (see here)
Evolution says Abraham was born up to around 200,000 years after man evolved
Jesus said humans were around from the beginning of creation (Mark 10:6)
Evolution says humans appeared over 13.5 billion years after the beginning of creation
If it is claimed that the sixth day was not the beginning of creation, I would point out that at the beginning of 'The Sound of Music', Maria is seen rushing into the convent. This is not in the first few frames of the film, but it is still valid to call it "the beginning." What would certainly be impossible to say, however, is that the von Trapp family is seen hiding amongst tombs from the Germans at the beginning of the story, because that happens right at the end (it's not the very last thing, but is still at the end); but this is what theistic evolution claims for the words of Jesus.
The Style of Writing
As previously mentioned, one argument is that Genesis chapter one is poetic, or symbolic in the same way that some of the text in the Psalms or the prophetic books of the Old Testament uses metaphor or simile. This is not valid, however. There is absolutely no difference in the style of writing of Genesis chapter one regarding the creation, or chapter seven regarding Noah, or chapter 12 regarding Abraham, or any of the other 49 chapters that follow the first. They are all written as historical narrative.
However, even if it were poetry, that would not mean it is not literally true. What about Psalm 105? That most certainly is poetry. Take for example:
The covenant which He made with Abraham, and His oath to Isaac, and confirmed it to Jacob for a statute, to Israel as an everlasting covenant,
If it were the case that poetry is not literally true, it would mean God did not make a covenant with Abraham, Isaac and Jacob!
If you say the days of Genesis chapter one are not ‘normal’ days, then where do you decide the word ‘day’ stops being a long period of time? If the days of chapter one are long periods of time, then why shouldn’t the days of Genesis 7:4 be long periods of time, for example?
For after seven more days I will cause it to rain on the earth forty days and forty nights, and I will destroy from the face of the earth all living things that I have made."
The style of writing of these two chapters is the same, so it is purely an arbitrary decision, based not on the requirements of the text but on the desire to make the creation account fit with Big Bang theory.
The Context and Grammar
It is context and grammar that defines the meaning of words. ‘The cat sat on the mat’ and ‘the mat sat on the cat’ are two very different things, but we know exactly what we are talking about because of the positioning of the words and the laws of grammar. Likewise, a plain reading of Genesis chapter one is very obvious: the writer intends us to understand that God’s creation took place in six stages, each lasting one 24-hour day. To try to place any other meaning on the chapter does violence to the laws of grammar and the obvious understanding that results from the context.
If I said to you, "It took me six days to make this model plane, and then I had a day to rest before I tried to fly it," would you think to yourself, "He obviously took six weeks to build it?" Of course you wouldn't! So what would Moses have thought when God said to Him He took six days? Would he have thought, "It obviously took billions of years, so He is using the words figuratively?" Of course he wouldn't!
Professor James Barr, Regius Professor of Hebrew at the University of Oxford, has written:
“Probably, so far as I know, there is no professor of Hebrew or Old Testament at any world-class university who does not believe that the writer(s) of Genesis 1–11 intended to convey to their readers the ideas that: (a) creation took place in a series of six days which were the same as the days of 24 hours we now experience (b) the figures contained in the Genesis genealogies provided by simple addition a chronology from the beginning of the world up to later stages in the biblical story (c) Noah’s flood was understood to be world-wide and extinguish all human and animal life except for those in the ark. Or, to put it negatively, the apologetic arguments which suppose the "days" of creation to be long eras of time, the figures of years not to be chronological, and the flood to be a merely local Mesopotamian flood, are not taken seriously by any such professors, as far as I know.”
Quoted from here, where it says:
"Letter from Professor James Barr to David C.C. Watson of the UK, dated 23 April 1984. Copy held by the author. Note that Prof. Barr does not claim to believe that Genesis is historically true; he is just telling us what, in his opinion, the language was meant to convey."
More recently, in April 2012, Jud Davies * wrote this:
"Hugh Williamson is the current Regius Professor of Hebrew at Oxford University. Oxford is perhaps the most prestigious university in the world, and Williamson is one of the top Hebraists anywhere. In an email he responded, “So far as the days of Genesis 1 are concerned, I am sure that Professor Barr was correct. . . . I have not met any Hebrew professors who had the slightest doubt about this unless they were already committed to some alternative by other considerations that do not arise from a straightforward reading of the Hebrew text as it stands.”
I also emailed Barr’s letter to Emanuel Tov of Hebrew University Jerusalem; he would be on anyone’s list of Hebrew experts. Professor Tov responded in kind: “For the biblical people this was history, difficult as it is for us to accept this view.” Here was confirmation from a Jewish man who spoke and thought in Hebrew."
* (Dr. Jud Davis is the Associate Professor of Greek at Bryan College. Dr. Davis earned his PhD in biblical studies from the University of Sheffield in England. His discussion on the topic from which these extracts come, can be seen here.)
Since Jesus and the New Testament writers accepted Moses as the author of Genesis, it is clear from the above statements that he believed literally what God had told him. So if it was billions of years and not 24-hour days, then God was deceiving him.
"God is not a man, that He should lie...
It is quite true that there are many places where the word ‘day’ is used in reference to a period of time, for example…
…I will make an altar there to God, who answered me in the day of my distress…
…but the context makes it very obvious when this is the case, as can be seen from the next point:
The Days are Numbered
We’ll look at ‘the first day’ in a moment, but after that phrase we read of “the evening and the morning were the second day,” “…third day,” “…fourth day,” etc. There is no example anywhere in the Bible where days are linked with a number in this way that uses the word day to refer to a long period of time. In every case, when a day is linked to a number it means a 24-hour day. So for example…
So the people rested on the seventh day.
…does not mean the people rested on the seventh period of one thousand/ million/ billion years, but on the seventh 24-hour day. So treating Genesis chapter one in this way is doing something unique to the whole of the rest of the Bible, and making a special case for the chapter simply in order to fit Big Bang theory.
It has been claimed that Hosea 6:2 is an example of a numbered day meaning more than 24 hours, where it says:
“...after two days He will revive us; on the third day He will raise us up...”
However, Bible prophecy often has two applications. For example, later in that book, Hosea 11:1 tells us,
“...out of Egypt I called my son...”,
…clearly referring to the exodus of the nation of Israel out of Egypt; but Matthew 2:15 says this verse refers to Jesus…
…and was there until the death of Herod, that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the Lord through the prophet, saying, "Out of Egypt I called my son."
…proving the point that the Hosea reference has two applications. It then goes on to say,
From that time Jesus began to show to His disciples that He must …be killed, and be raised the third day.
…showing that Hosea 6:2 is prophetic regarding the resurrection of Jesus on the third day in the same way that Hosea 11:1 is prophetic regarding Him coming out of Egypt; therefore the word ‘day’ in this verse does refer to 24-hours. Indeed, there is no example anywhere in the Bible of ‘First day’, ‘Second day’, etc., meaning anything other than a literal 24-hour period. ‘First day’ appears 25 times in the Bible; ‘second day’, 13 times; ‘third day’, 45 times; ‘seventh day’, 50 times. It would be highly inconsistent to claim these phrases mean millions or billions of years in Genesis chapter one, but 24 hours throughout the rest of the Bible!
First things first!
The Hebrew word for ‘first’ in Genesis 1:5 is 'echad’, which elsewhere is translated ‘one’. E.g. Genesis 1:9, which refers to “one place." Therefore Gen 1:5 could be viewed as defining what ‘one day’ actually means: evening and morning = one day. The Hebrew word for ‘first’, meaning first in order or priority, is ‘ri'shon’, found in Genesis 25:25, for example. While it is true that echad is sometimes used to define the first in order (e.g. Genesis 8:5), in English translations it is very frequently translated ‘one’ rather than ‘first’. So there is a strong case for arguing that in describing the creation week, the first evening and morning are used to define what is meant throughout the rest of the week by ‘day’. This then destroys any notion that ‘day’ can refer to a long period of time in this passage.
God called the light Day, and the darkness He called Night. So the evening and the morning were the first day.
Genesis 1:5 (NKJV)
God called the light Day, and the darkness he called Night. And there was evening and there was morning, one day.
Genesis 1:5 (RSV. It is also translated this way in the American Standard Version, the 1899 Douay-Rheimes Bible, the Jewish Publication Society Bible, and the Revised Version.)
Then God said, "Let the waters under the heavens be gathered together into one place, and let the dry land appear"; and it was so.
And the first came out red. He was like a hairy garment all over; so they called his name Esau.
And the waters decreased continually until the tenth month. In the tenth month, on the first day of the month, the tops of the mountains were seen.
It has been argued that since the phrase is ‘evening and morning’, which does not include the afternoon, then it does not refer to a 24-hour period. This is nonsense! We talk about ‘daytime’ meaning the period of light not the time of darkness; but this does not mean the word ‘day’ can only mean that and is not a 24-hour period. It is the context that tells us which is intended. Jesus used the word in this sense:
I must work the works of Him who sent Me while it is day; the night is coming when no one can work.
John 9:4 (Obviously the word ‘day’ here is being used as a longer period of time than 24 hours, but this is beside the point that the word is being used as a time of light as opposed to a time of darkness.)
The phrase in Genesis is clearly intended for us to understand that one period of darkness plus one period of light equals one day. It also tells us that in God’s eyes the day begins with evening, not morning or midnight, and is the way the Jewish nation still views it. In fact there is one Old Testament verse - Daniel 8:14 - which makes this very clear.
And he said to me, "For two thousand three hundred days; then the sanctuary shall be cleansed."
The English word ‘days’ in this verse is actually translated from two Hebrew words, ‘ereb bôqer’: literally dusk/dawn, or, as the words are translated in Genesis One, evening and morning. So in the Hebrew text, one reads, “…two thousand three hundred dusks/dawns…” or “two thousand three hundred evenings/mornings.”
‛ereb eh'-reb From H6150; dusk: - + day, even (-ing, tide), night.
Bôqer bo'-ker From H1239; properly dawn (as the break of day); generally morning: - (+) day, early, morning, morrow.
Strong’s Hebrew Dictionary
However, this argument is a two-edged sword, because the obvious question is, if the days are long periods of time, then what constitutes evenings and mornings in them? In what way are these long periods broken up into two different types? Indeed, in what way can the nearly 14 billion years since the Big Bang be seen to be in six clearly different stages, with 12 different sub-stages, so they can be called ‘days’, ‘evenings’ and ‘mornings’? The very fact that ‘evening’ and ‘morning’ is mentioned is evidence that the days cannot possibly be anything other than 24-hour periods.
The Name of the Game
In the Bible, the days of the week do not have names as they do in English. We call them Sunday, Monday, Tuesday, etc. In the Bible, instead of names, the days are simply called, First day, Second day, Third day, etc. Bearing this in mind, when we read Genesis chapter one and see God says
“The evening and morning were the second day,”
this in the Bible is the equivalent of us saying in English,
“The evening and the morning were Monday.”
This makes it crystal clear: Genesis chapter one is not talking about long periods of time when mentioning ‘days’, but days lasting twenty-four hours.
Other Supporting Scriptures
What other way can we know what is meant by ‘day’ in Genesis chapter one? By looking at what the rest of the Bible says about it. There are two passages in Exodus that couldn’t be clearer!
Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy. Six days you shall labor and do all your work, but the seventh day is the Sabbath of the LORD your God… For in six days the LORD made the heavens and the earth, the sea, and all that is in them, and rested the seventh day. Therefore the LORD blessed the Sabbath day and hallowed it.
It is a sign between Me and the children of Israel forever; for in six days the LORD made the heavens and the earth, and on the seventh day He rested and was refreshed.' "
To paraphrase the key part in these passages, God is saying that He blessed the Sabbath day and set it apart as holy because that was the period of time in which He rested. The day in which mankind was told to rest was the Sabbath day: they were told to rest during the time period God had blessed. The Jewish Sabbath has been the 24-hour period from sundown Friday evening to sundown Saturday evening ever since receiving the ten commandments.
So the 24-hour period of time man was to rest is the 24-hour period that God had blessed; and He blessed it because this was the period when He rested. If the day on which God rested was a 24-hour period, then the six days in which He created everything must also have been 24-hour periods. To take any other interpretation would be to wrench the normal understanding of language and grammar out of all recognition.
The question must be asked: if it took God billions of years to create the heavens and the earth, why would He mention the time it took here? He didn’t give any reason for other commandments - e.g. don’t kill; don’t steal; don’t lie; don’t commit adultery. He simply said these are things you must not do. So why give a reason for this one? The only possible reason He could have had for mentioning it was because this was the time He took and He is therefore now telling Israel to use the same time pattern for work/rest that He did.
The notion that this passage means God took six time periods to work and one time period to rest so Israel must do the same (with His periods lasting billions of years and theirs lasting 24 hours) does not work, because apart from it straining the laws of grammar and the meaning of language beyond breaking point, the appearance of the universe through the Big Bang does not fit into six neat time periods or stages, or 12 sub-stages, as previously mentioned.
For ask now concerning the days that are past, which were before you, since the day that God created man on the earth, and ask from one end of heaven to the other, whether any great thing like this has happened, or anything like it has been heard.
The above verse talks about the ‘days that are past’, clearly referring to 24-hour days, and then tells us about ‘the day that God created man on the earth’: obviously telling us man’s appearance was accomplished in a single day, not over a period of millions of years. It would be most inconsistent, in the same sentence, to interpret ‘days’ as 24-hour periods and ‘day’ as a long period of time. This is confirmed in Hebrews, for example, which is obviously taking the days as literal 24-hour periods.
For only we who believe can enter His rest. As for the others, God said, "In My anger I took an oath: 'They will never enter My place of rest,'" even though this rest has been ready since He made the world. We know it is ready because of the place in the Scriptures where it mentions the seventh day: "On the seventh day God rested from all His work."
Hebrews 4:3–4 (NLT)
A thorough reading of the New Testament makes it very obvious that both Jesus and His followers considered the Old Testament writings the authoritative revelation of God’s word. Indeed, throughout the New Testament the Old Testament is quoted as being literal truth and there is no example anywhere of its validity being doubted. Jesus said scripture cannot be broken, John 10:35, and that God’s word is truth, John 17:17. He countered Satan’s temptations by saying “It is written,” Matt 4:4, 7, 10, therefore proving He considered the Old Testament to be the final authority. Even more significant is Jesus directly quoting from Genesis 1:27 and Genesis 2:24 in His response to the Pharisees in Matthew 19:4–6, thus proving He accepted these first two chapters as literal truth.
If He called them gods, to whom the word of God came (and the Scripture cannot be broken),
Sanctify them by Your truth. Your word is truth.
But He answered and said, "It is written, 'MAN SHALL NOT LIVE BY BREAD ALONE, BUT BY EVERY WORD THAT PROCEEDS FROM THE MOUTH OF GOD.' " ...Jesus said to him, "It is written again, 'YOU SHALL NOT TEMPT THE LORD YOUR GOD.' " ...Then Jesus said to him, "Away with you, Satan! For it is written, 'YOU SHALL WORSHIP THE LORD YOUR GOD, AND HIM ONLY YOU SHALL SERVE.' "
Matthew 4:4, 7, 10
So God created man in His own image; in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them.
Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and they shall become one flesh.
And He answered and said to them, "Have you not read that He who made them at the beginning 'MADE THEM MALE AND FEMALE,' and said, 'FOR THIS REASON A MAN SHALL LEAVE HIS FATHER AND MOTHER AND BE JOINED TO HIS WIFE, AND THE TWO SHALL BECOME ONE FLESH'? So then, they are no longer two but one flesh. Therefore what God has joined together, let not man separate."
Romans 1:20–23 makes it very clear that the Creator God can be seen in His creation, and until evolution became popularised, the argument to which is it obviously referring, “God must exist because there is no other explanation for everything we see around us,” was a very powerful one. The false notion that everything could have appeared without a Creator destroys this argument, so the acceptance of evolution is one of the key factors in the decline of Christian belief over the past few decades in the UK.
For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even His eternal power and Godhead, so that they are without excuse, because although they knew God, they did not glorify Him as God, nor were thankful, but became futile in their thoughts, and their foolish hearts were darkened. Professing to be wise, they became fools, and changed the glory of the incorruptible God into an image made like corruptible man—and birds and four-footed animals and creeping things.
God spoke to the fathers by the prophets (Hebrews 1:1). Paul believed everything written in the law and the prophets (Acts 24.14). Moses is mentioned 80 times in the New Testament; and in the teaching of both Jesus (e.g. Mark 12:26) and the apostles (e.g. Acts 3:22) it is clear they accepted his writing as authoritative and God’s word.
"But this I confess to you, that according to the Way which they call a sect, so I worship the God of my fathers, believing all things which are written in the Law and in the Prophets."
"But concerning the dead, that they rise, have you not read in the book of Moses, in the burning bush passage, how God spoke to him, saying, 'I AM THE GOD OF ABRAHAM, THE GOD OF ISAAC, AND THE GOD OF JACOB' ?"
"For Moses truly said to the fathers, 'THE LORD YOUR GOD WILL RAISE UP FOR YOU A PROPHET LIKE ME FROM YOUR BRETHREN. HIM YOU SHALL HEAR IN ALL THINGS, WHATEVER HE SAYS TO YOU."
And Jesus said,
For if you believed Moses, you would believe Me; for he wrote about Me. But if you do not believe his writings, how will you believe My words?"
Intellectuals may dispute the authorship of Genesis, but it is clear that the New Testament writers accepted Moses as responsible, and in any case there can be no dispute regarding who was responsible for the law, there being at least 42 New Testament references to it. As we saw earlier, a literal six-day creation is included in Moses’ law. In total there are over 100 references to the Old Testament in the New Testament, which include 60 references to Genesis chapters 1 - 11; the New Testament refers to all of these 11 chapters; and Jesus Himself referred to the first 11 chapters of Genesis 16 times (information taken from here). It is obvious that all the New Testament characters accepted the Old Testament in general, and Genesis in particular, as literal, historical fact.
Exodus 24:4 says quite clearly that Moses wrote down all the words of the Lord. In total he spent 80 days and nights with God on the mountain, and throughout the journey of Israel for 40 years in the wilderness he spent regular times with God - as a result his face shone so much he had to cover it for the sake of the people who could not stand it (Ex 34:34–35). So there was plenty of time for God to tell him exactly how He created everything and how long it took. It is a bit much that people who have never had this kind of encounter with God should call into question his report of what he was told in order to accommodate the theories dreamed up to have a universe that could create itself by those who do not believe He exists.
And Moses wrote all the words of the LORD.
But whenever Moses went in before the LORD to speak with Him, he would take the veil off until he came out; and he would come out and speak to the children of Israel whatever he had been commanded. And whenever the children of Israel saw the face of Moses, that the skin of Moses' face shone, then Moses would put the veil on his face again, until he went in to speak with Him.
* John 5:46–47 For if you believed Moses, you would believe Me; for he wrote about Me. But if you do not believe his writings, how will you believe My words?"
And in Numbers 12:6–8 Moses reports God saying that He spoke to him plainly, not in ‘dark sayings’. Therefore His words in the early chapters of Genesis and Exodus 20:9–11; 31:17, for example, are intended to be taken at face value.
Then He said, "Hear now My words: If there is a prophet among you, I, the LORD, make Myself known to him in a vision; I speak to him in a dream. Not so with My servant Moses; He is faithful in all My house. I speak with him face to face, Even plainly, and not in dark sayings; And he sees the form of the LORD. Why then were you not afraid To speak against My servant Moses?"
Six days you shall labor and do all your work, but the seventh day is the Sabbath of the LORD your God. In it you shall do no work: you, nor your son, nor your daughter, nor your male servant, nor your female servant, nor your cattle, nor your stranger who is within your gates. For in six days the LORD made the heavens and the earth, the sea, and all that is in them, and rested the seventh day. Therefore the LORD blessed the Sabbath day and hallowed it.
Adam is mentioned seven times in the New Testament as the literal first ancestor of the entire human race (Luke 3:38; Romans 5:14; 1 Corinthians 15:22, 45; 1 Timothy 2:13, 14; Jude 1:14), which is contrary to evolutionary theory. According to evolution it was a population (not a single pair) of sub-humans that gradually changed as a group into Homo Sapiens. Death is the result of Adam’s sin (Romans 5:12), which is impossible if millions of years of evolution and death preceded the human race! The whole of creation groans under the weight of suffering as a result of Adam’s fall, longing for the restoration which is to come (Romans 8:22), and a part of that suffering is thorns and thistles (Gen 3:18), pain in pregnancy and childbirth (Gen 3:16), and agriculture requiring toil and the sweat of one’s brow (Gen 3:17, 19), all of which would have been the case whether Adam and Eve sinned or not according to evolutionary theory.
the son of Enosh, the son of Seth, the son of Adam, the son of God.
Nevertheless death reigned from Adam to Moses,
For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ all shall be made alive.
1 Corinthians 15:22
And so it is written, "THE FIRST MAN ADAM BECAME A LIVING BEING." The last Adam became a life-giving spirit.
1 Corinthians 15:45
For Adam was formed first, then Eve.
1 Timothy 2:13
And Adam was not deceived, but the woman being deceived, fell into transgression.
1 Timothy 2:14
Now Enoch, the seventh from Adam, prophesied about these men also,
Therefore, just as through one man sin entered the world, and death through sin...
For we know that the whole creation groans and labors with birth pangs together until now.
To the woman He said: "I will greatly multiply your sorrow and your conception; In pain you shall bring forth children; Your desire shall be for your husband, And he shall rule over you." Then to Adam He said, "Because you have heeded the voice of your wife, and have eaten from the tree of which I commanded you, saying, 'You shall not eat of it': "Cursed is the ground for your sake; In toil you shall eat of it All the days of your life. Both thorns and thistles it shall bring forth for you, And you shall eat the herb of the field. In the sweat of your face you shall eat bread Till you return to the ground, For out of it you were taken; For dust you are, And to dust you shall return."
Theistic evolution, the notion that God created by means of evolution, quite clearly totally contradicts foundational teaching of scripture. Suffering and death are the result of sin, but this is impossible if millions of years of sickness, suffering and death took place before humans emerged.
For the earnest expectation of the creation eagerly waits for the revealing of the sons of God. For the creation was subjected to futility, not willingly, but because of Him who subjected it in hope; because the creation itself also will be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God. For we know that the whole creation groans and labors with birth pangs together until now.
The above Romans passage quite clearly shows that the whole of creation is presently suffering and in the future this suffering will be removed. Yet according to evolution everything that causes this suffering had been continuing for millions of years before the arrival of humans on earth; but after their creation God said His creation was very good (Genesis 1:31). Yet He calls death an “enemy” that will be done away for eternity:
The last enemy that will be destroyed is death.
1 Corinthians 15:26
And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes; there shall be no more death, nor sorrow, nor crying. There shall be no more pain, for the former things have passed away."
Jesus came “doing good” and healing all who were oppressed of the devil:
...God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and with power, who went about doing good and healing all who were oppressed by the devil, for God was with Him.
Acts 10:38 tells us that Jesus came “doing good” and healing all who were oppressed of the devil. Since there is no example of anyone asking Jesus for healing and not receiving it, this demonstrates that sickness is the work of the devil and not God’s perfect will for us. If ‘doing good’ is removing sickness and even death (on at least two occasions), then those things must be ‘bad’. Jesus said He was doing what He saw the Father doing (John 5:19), and was doing the works of the Father (John 5:36; 10:32, 37). If removing sickness and death was what the Father was doing, which according to Rescuing Darwin are God’s will for us to have, how could He be doing what He didn’t want? It makes nonsense of the whole thing!
Then Jesus answered and said to them, "Most assuredly, I say to you, the Son can do nothing of Himself, but what He sees the Father do; for whatever He does, the Son also does in like manner... But I have a greater witness than John's; for the works which the Father has given Me to finish—the very works that I do—bear witness of Me, that the Father has sent Me.
John 5:19, 36
Jesus answered them, "Many good works I have shown you from My Father. For which of those works do you stone Me?" ...If I do not do the works of My Father, do not believe Me;
John 10:32, 37
Both Jesus and Peter taught that there was a literal world-wide flood, from which only Noah and his family escaped (Matthew 24:38–39; 1 Peter 3:20; 2 Peter 2:5; 3:6). The flood and its aftermath were responsible for the fossil record (see here), the geology we see around us and the ice age (which lasted hundreds, not millions of years).
For as in the days before the flood, they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noah entered the ark, and did not know until the flood came and took them all away, so also will the coming of the Son of Man be.
who formerly were disobedient, when once the Divine longsuffering waited in the days of Noah, while the ark was being prepared, in which a few, that is, eight souls, were saved through water.
1 Peter 3:20
and did not spare the ancient world, but saved Noah, one of eight people, a preacher of righteousness, bringing in the flood on the world of the ungodly;
2 Peter 2:5
by which the world that then existed perished, being flooded with water.
2 Peter 3:6
Indeed, the flood of Genesis is incompatible with the day/age theory: if the world is billions of years old then the geological record is the result of this and there is no record of a world-wide flood; but if there was such a flood then the geological record is evidence of that and there is nothing for billions of years earlier.
The idea that the flood was a local one is ludicrous: it would have been far quicker and easier for Noah to transport all that went on to the ark to a place of safety, and would have taken far less time than it did to build it, no matter how far he would have had to travel. It also makes God a liar because He said He would never flood the entire earth again (Gen 9:11), but there have been thousands of local floods since that time. The areas around the world where there are 1,000’s square miles of unbroken sedimentary rock (see here), and the tops of the highest mountains in the world where there are fossils buried by flood water could not have appeared from local floods.
Thus I establish My covenant with you: Never again shall all flesh be cut off by the waters of the flood; never again shall there be a flood to destroy the earth."
As previously mentioned, Jesus said in relation to marriage...
But 'God made them male and female' from the beginning of creation.
Mark 10:6 (NLV)
and that translation makes very clear what can be seen in the original Greek: there was male and female right from the beginning of creation, right from the very first week of the history of the world, not that they appeared nearly 14 billion years after the beginning of creation!
A Day is as a Thousand Years
As far as I am aware, the only scripture outside of Genesis chapter one that the day/age advocates quote in support of the theory is:
But, beloved, do not forget this one thing, that with the Lord one day is as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day.
Apart from the fact that building a theology on a single verse is a very dangerous thing, there are several reasons why this verse is not relevant.
Six one-thousand-year ‘days’ are not long enough for what is required - it would need to be six two-billion-year days at the very least. It is true that in the Bible there is no single word for a number greater than the word ‘thousand’; but when numbers greater than this are required then the word is duplicated, the largest being ten thousand times ten thousand and thousands of thousands (Rev 5:11). So if 2 Pet 3:8 was intended to be used to reinterpret Genesis one for the day/age theory, at the very least you would expect Peter to have used a phrase similar to that.
If you claim this means there are places in the Bible where ‘day’ actually means one thousand years, then to be consistent there must also be places where ‘one thousand years’ means one day. There is not one single example of this anywhere in the Bible. It is very dubious to take half of a quotation and use it differently to the other half.
This verse is telling us what things are like with the Lord, not how they are with the planet earth. To take a description of God and apply it to a part of His creation is to take it out of context.
The actual context of the verse is regarding those who think that the return of the Lord will never take place because everything continues as it always has; but Peter is pointing out that even though it may seem to be a long time coming to us, it makes no difference to God whether it is one day or one thousand years because it is certain that the day of the Lord will take place. So this is nothing to do with the beginning of things, but rather the culmination of them.
There is a belief, both within the Jewish faith and by some Christians, that the first seven days - six of creation and one of rest - are a ‘type’ of the history of the world. There will be six thousand years of ‘work’ and one thousand of ‘rest’. Christians expect this to be the millennium reign of Christ (Rev 20:6). However, this is not to say that the days of Genesis one were not 24-hour days, but simply that they have a second application that is prophetic of the future, as is common with many incidents in the Old Testament.
It is very obvious what the verse means: God is outside of time, and it makes no difference to Him whether one day or one thousand years passes by on the earth. Psalm 90:2, 4, 10 (from which Peter was probably quoting) make this very clear, contrasting the eternal God with the brief life-span of man.
Before the mountains were brought forth, or ever You had formed the earth and the world, even from everlasting to everlasting, You are God. For a thousand years in Your sight are like yesterday when it is past, and like a watch in the night. The days of our lives are seventy years; and if by reason of strength they are eighty years, yet their boast is only labor and sorrow; For it is soon cut off, and we fly away.
Psalm 90:2, 4, 10
In the same passage of Peter we are told…
But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night, in which the heavens will pass away with a great noise, and the elements will melt with fervent heat; both the earth and the works that are in it will be burned up… looking for and hastening the coming of the day of God, because of which the heavens will be dissolved, being on fire, and the elements will melt with fervent heat?
… so to be consistent with the day/age theory it will take God 1000 years to do this, which is ludicrous: I can’t think anyone would put such an interpretation on these two verses. So why do it with Genesis chapter one?
The day/age theory is not merely a matter of reinterpreting one word in one chapter, but this change cascades on to altering many other Bible verses, as we considered earlier. In fact it means that Genesis one has to be rewritten: the chapter tells us the earth was created before the sun, moon and stars, while the Big Bang requires the reverse; vegetation was created before the sun, which is impossible in the day/age theory as it would have no means of sustenance (the idea that Genesis means the sun was created first but clouds prevented it from being seen on Earth until the fourth ‘day’ is also ludicrous: either the light was reaching the Earth on day three or it wasn’t. If it was then the sun can’t be spoken of as appearing on day four; if it wasn’t then the plants would die); and birds before insects and land-living animals, when they are supposed to have evolved from dinosaurs!
This order is no problem at all with a literal interpretation of the chapter, as the source of light before the sun was created is the same as the source of light in Rev 21:23, so vegetation had all it needed for life until the sun was there to provide it. The 24-hour day is determined by the rotation of the earth, and since that was created on day one its duration was established right from the start. The order in which the life forms were created does not matter, since there was no gradual evolution of ever-increasing complexity.
The city had no need of the sun or of the moon to shine in it, for the glory of God illuminated it. The Lamb is its light.
Look at the similarities in the following:
“Has God said you mustn’t eat of the fruit?” : “Has God said He created everything in six days?”
“Yes” : “Yes.”
“You’re wrong: you won’t die if you eat the fruit.” : “You’re wrong: He really did it over billions of years.”
“But God said we would die: Genesis 2:17.” : “But God said He created it in six days: Exodus 20:11.”
“So God must have lied!” : “So God must have lied!”
It is impossible for God to lie
The tactic is identical. The result of the first lie was that the righteous Adam and Eve were deceived by the father of lies and their relationship with God was cut off. They were righteous because they were without sin. While Adam wasn’t deceived (1 Timothy 2:14), his sin was the result of deception.
And Adam was not deceived, but the woman being deceived, fell into transgression.
1 Timothy 2:14
The result of the second lie is that righteous Christians are being deceived, and while this does not affect their salvation (which is dependent on faith in Jesus Christ) it does mean that their faith in God’s word is undermined and those outside of the Christian family are rejecting Bible teaching in the mistaken belief that science has proved it to be a book of unscientific myths. They are righteous because their sins have been removed by the finished work of Jesus Christ.
So making the days of Genesis one anything other than 24 hours undermines trust in the validity of the whole Bible, because it contradicts so many other passages, as we have seen; and those on the outside of the church, quite understandably, say
“If it is wrong in this area, then it cannot be trusted in any other area either.”
It is a compromise, and one in order to fit in with a theory that is based, not on scientific observation, but preconceived assumptions, as we shall now see.
How Does God Act?
This section - How Does God Act - was added on 21st August 2018, after being written in the early hours of the morning and completed at 3.56 a.m., but given one or two minor tweaks later in the day.
This is an event that is most unusual - almost unprecedented, I think. I wrote at the time:
"I have just woken up with a thought that I have never had before, which has hit me with such force I have to write it down right now! So this is the raw idea and I may need to come back later to refine it."
Throughout the Bible, whenever God does anything, it is usually, if not always, in a way that transcends, or runs contrary to, the observable laws of science - the burning bush, the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah, wild lions kept from attacking Daniel, Jonah in the belly of the great fish, Elijah taken up into heaven by a whirlwind, Jesus walking on water, feeding many thousands with just a few loaves and fishes, rising from the dead, and so on.
In fact you could almost say it is a law: the evidence in the Bible that it is the work of God is that it is something that would not have happened under the course of the observable laws of science.
And yet... and yet... and yet... the theistic evolutionist claims that the greatest act of them all - the creation of time, space and the entire universe - had to be, from start to finish, in accordance with the observable laws of science! This is totally inconsistent! It is a complete denial of the way God acts throughout scripture. Of course, since it is He who holds all things together, and by whom all things consist, then we could also say that the observable laws of science are also His work; but I am here looking at the Biblical descriptions of God's intervention in, or interaction with, His creation.
In today's world, creationists are looked upon as those who are quaintly out of touch with reality. In actual fact, they are those who are being totally consistent with the nature of their Creator and the teaching of His Word!
Is It Necessary?
I don’t want to go into a great deal of detail in this section, since most of this website is on the topic of how scientific evidence points away from Darwinian evolution. Instead, this a list of some of the key points, with links to places where more can be read on them.
The Big Bang
This is by no means scientifically proven, because observation does not match the predictions for the theory. In New Scientist, May 22, 2004 was published an statement signed by many scientists, complaining that the Big Bang theory was no longer tenable, but had become so enmeshed in everyone’s thinking that debate and further research was severely inhibited. The statement can be seen here, and begins:
The big bang today relies on a growing number of hypothetical entities, things that we have never observed-- inflation, dark matter and dark energy are the most prominent examples. Without them, there would be a fatal contradiction between the observations made by astronomers and the predictions of the big bang theory. In no other field of physics would this continual recourse to new hypothetical objects be accepted as a way of bridging the gap between theory and observation. It would, at the least, raise serious questions about the validity of the underlying theory.
In a lecture I attended on 24th November, 2016, given by Valerie Calderbank FRAS, she began, after telling us that the Big Bang Theory was the best explanation of the universe’s origin there is, by saying with reference to what she was about to tell us,
"If we get a better theory, then all this will be thrown away,"
…which proves that at best it is an unproven hypothesis, based on the belief that no kind of Intelligent Designer exists and therefore there can only be a naturalistic explanation for origins. So its foundation is not scientific observation, but the religious belief that God does not exist.
In the publication New Scientist, 30 June 2012, the cover article by New Scientist consultant Amanda Gefter, “What Kind of Bang was the Big Bang?” describes some serious problems with the present theories of the origin of the universe on page 35:
“We thought that inflation predicted a smooth, flat universe,” says Paul Steinhardt of Princetown University, a pioneer of inflation who has become a vocal detractor. “Instead it predicts every possibility an infinite number of times. We’re back to square one.” Tegmark agrees: “Inflation has destroyed itself. It logically self-destructed.”
(This can be seen here, although a subscription is required in order to read it. Max Tegmark is a cosmologist at Massachusetts Institute of Technology)
A standard complaint against those who accept the Bible’s clear teaching on origins, is that light from distant stars could not reach the earth in just a few thousand years. However, as can be seen from the above link, the Big Bang has just as many problems but without the presence of an Almighty God to overcome them! Briefly, one answer to the light problem is that since time is relative and passes at different rates depending on gravity and speed, then when God stretched out the heavens, the result would have been that time in the rapidly expanding universe would have passed by far more quickly than on earth. So billions of years could easily have come and gone in the expanding universe in the space of one or two days on earth.
I have been offering this challenge to every atheist, agnostic or theistic evolutionist with whom I have had contact on the Internet, for over 13 years, and it still remains unanswered. It primarily demonstrates the impossibility for higher life forms to evolve from lower ones, and you can find it here. Near the beginning there is a link to another page on my web site with the full discussion I had with a published theistic evolutionist on the challenge, showing how he wriggled and squirmed but was unable to give any kind of reply.
There is no point in repeating the challenge here, as you can see it from the link; but just to say it involves three areas, each of which is impossible for the evolutionist to answer.
Abiogenesis: life appearing from inanimate matter
The evolution of species, and the mathematical impossibility of humans and chimps appearing in just five to six million years
Mitochondrial DNA, which only shows the amount of mutation for a few thousand years of existence.
Should any theistic evolutionist try to get around these problems by claiming that God was directing it all, so they were not the random events required by atheistic or agnostic evolutionists, the obvious response is: why did God lie about it then? 2 Peter 1:20–21 points out that the Old Testament was written by those who were moved by the Holy Spirit.
...knowing this first, that no prophecy of Scripture is of any private interpretation, for prophecy never came by the will of man, but holy men of God spoke as they were moved by the Holy Spirit.
2 Peter 1:20-21
If God did it via evolution, why did He say He did it differently? Why didn’t He say it the way He did it? If it took billions of years, why did He say He did it in six days? If humans were the end of a very long line of living things evolving from a single cell that emerged from inanimate matter, why did He say He formed man, woman and animals from the ground on the same day?
Then God said, "Let the earth bring forth the living creature according to its kind: cattle and creeping thing and beast of the earth, each according to its kind"; and it was so. And God made the beast of the earth according to its kind, cattle according to its kind, and everything that creeps on the earth according to its kind. And God saw that it was good. Then God said, "Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness; let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over the cattle, over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth." So God created man in His own image; in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them... Then God saw everything that He had made, and indeed it was very good. So the evening and the morning were the sixth day.
Genesis 1:24-27, 31
It is no more difficult to understand things developing gradually over a long period of time as it is to understand things being created directly in six days; so it certainly cannot be maintained that the people living at the time Genesis was written were less able than we to understand evolution.
Actually, this points out the clear difference between evolution and creation: evolutionists believe everything is constantly getting better, while creationists point out that observation shows they are getting worse (over 1,000 human ailments are the result of mutation). So while evolutionists think that early humans were less intelligent than we are, creationists believe that in the same way everything else has deteriorated over time, so have our reasoning abilities, and the earliest humans were almost certainly cleverer than we are!
There are three unprovable assumptions in any kind of dating method:
We know what the starting condition were
The rate of change has never varied
Nothing has ever been added to or removed from the substance being tested
Since evolution is based on the assumption that the world is billions of years old, and geological change has always taken place very slowly while radioactivity has never varied in its rate, then their use of the various radiometric dating methods are bound to produce the results they want - particularly when they discard all the results that contradict their predictions! However, creationists point out that we do not know what conditions were like in the beginning, such events as a world-wide flood would produce massive change very quickly and also alter the composition of geology.
Here is a detailed paper explaining how radiometric dating works, and why it presents clear evidence for an Earth that is just a few thousand years old.
This century we have been hearing about various remains of dinosaurs, etc., in which DNA has been found. See here, and here, for example. However, if any DNA is present at all, this limits the age to an absolute maximum of 100,000 years, although it is normally expected to be gone long before that; yet dinosaurs are supposed to have become extinct around 55 million years ago!
Laboratory experiments show that DNA spontaneously and progressively disintegrates over time. Estimates indicate that DNA should completely break down within 10,000 years. Any fossil DNA remaining after this period (especially more than say 100,000 years) must of necessity indicate that the method of dating the fossil is in error.
Nature, Vol. 352, August 1, 1991 p:381
Notice that the excuse is the method of dating is in error. However, the dating was undertaken in the world's best laboratories, taking the greatest possible care to avoid contamination. So if there was still a serious problem with the result, then no carbon dating can ever be relied upon. They can't have it both ways - either carbon dating is an accurate means of dating samples, in which case dinosaurs were still around within the past 100,000 years; or it is not, in which case it cannot be relied upon for any dating.
There is a total absence of transitional forms showing part-way stages of complex systems developing. Prof Andy Mackintosh discusses this in his paper on the intricacies of flight, referring to irreducibly complex systems that could never evolve because they require everything to be place and functioning before they can work.
There are many more points that could be made, but this will suffice for this page. There is plenty more to go at on other pages, which can be accessed from the top of the page, should anyone wish to do so.
A straightforward reading of the Bible tells us very plainly that the universe is a few thousand years old and that everything exists because of the direct intervention of God. While there have been many theories advanced by scientists over the past couple of centuries or so claiming this is wrong, there are other scientists from every discipline, presenting observations countering these claims. See here for a very long list.
Contrary to the claims of evolutionists, the latest scientific discoveries have served to confirm, rather than deny, the validity of the creationists’ case. There is absolutely no reason, therefore, to distort the clear teaching of the Bible, but rather to rejoice in this further confirmation that it is truly the word of God and can be trusted to give us guidance for both this life and the next.
Scripture taken from the New King James Version.
Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.
Scripture quotations labelled RSV taken from the Revised Standard Version of the Bible,
copyright 1952 [2nd edition, 1971] by the Division of Christian Education of the National Council
of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved.
Scripture quotations labelled NLT are taken from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright © 1996, 2004.
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