WHAT DOES THE BIBLE TEACH
ABOUT THE
DAYS OF CREATION?
By Ron Hutchison
September 8, 2016

The Bible teaches in Genesis chapter one that God created the heavens and the earth in six days and rested on the seventh day. One may also conclude, from a study of the genealogies in the book of Genesis, that God created the universe about six thousand years ago.

Many people will tell you how stupid you are if you believe what is stated in the above paragraph. They just can't believe, that in this "enlightened age" when so many scientists believe that the theory of evolution is proven fact and that the universe began with the "big-bang", that people still believe what the Bible teaches about creation. 

I plead guilty. Not to stupidity, but to the fact that I believe what the Bible teaches concerning God creating the world in six literal days. The main reasons I do, is that I believe in Jesus Christ and I believe in the inspiration of the Bible. (See The Inspiration of the Bible; Jesus, the Son of God).

WHAT DID JESUS TEACH?

What does believing in Jesus have to do with believing that the days in the Bible account of creation were twenty-four hour days? Here are the facts: Jesus was there when the heavens and earth were created. The Bible teaches, "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things were made through Him, and without Him nothing was made that was made" (John 1:1-3). The "Word" that John was inspired to write about is Jesus. "And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth" (John 1:14). In these verses, John clearly teaches that Jesus was with God "in the beginning." The phrase, "in the beginning", refers to the same thing that the phrase "in the beginning" in Genesis 1:1 refers to. The beginning of all physical things - the beginning of the material universe. Jesus was there in the beginning. He knows about the days of creation.

Not only does John say that Jesus was there in the beginning, but that He was with God and was God. The Word (Jesus) has always existed because He is God (Genesis 21:33; Psalm 90:2; Deuteronomy 32:40; Isaiah 41:4; 57:15; 1 Timothy 1:17; Revelation 10:6). That is why He was with God in the beginning. That is why He knows about the days of creation.

But not only does John teach that the Word (Jesus) was with God in the beginning, it teaches that "all things were made through Him, and without Him nothing was made that was made." The Word, who later came to this earth in the likeness of man (Philippians 2:5-8), is the One who made the material universe. Thus, if anyone would be able to tell us about the creation of the heavens and the earth, it would be Jesus. (See also Colossians 1:16-17).

Jesus referred to the creation several times in His teaching. In Luke chapter eleven, Jesus spoke concerning the Jews rejection of their own prophets. He said, "Therefore the wisdom of God also said, 'I will send them prophets and apostles, and some of them they will kill and persecute,' that the blood of the prophets which was shed from the foundation of the world may be required of this generation, from the blood of Abel to the blood of Zechariah who perished between the altar and the temple. Yes, I say to you, it shall be required of this generation" (Luke 11:49-51). Notice the phrase "the blood of the prophets which was shed from the foundation of the world." In using this phrase, Jesus was not saying that the blood of all the prophets was shed at the foundation of the world. It was from the foundation of the world, which means it has been since the creation of the world. That the phrase "foundation of the world" in this context refers to the creation of the world there can be no doubt.  Notice that Jesus mentioned Abel being the first prophet whose blood was shed. According to the Bible, Abel lived very soon after the creation (Genesis 4:1-2). He was the son of Adam and Eve, the first human beings. Evidently, Jesus believed that Abel had actually existed and lived "from the foundation of the world", that is, since the time of the creation. Jesus' words in this passage clearly shows that there was no time period of millions or billions of years from the creation of the universe until the first people appeared on the earth. It clearly teaches that Jesus knew that the first people existed on this earth very near the beginning of the earth. How did He know? He was there.

In Mark 10 (and the parallel passage in Matthew 19), Jesus taught His will concerning marriage, divorce and remarriage. In verse six He said, "But from the beginning of the creation, God 'made them male and female...'" Notice that Jesus referred to "the beginning." This is the same beginning that Genesis 1:1 and John 1:1 speaks of. The beginning of the material universe. Notice also the time frame for God making male and female. It was the beginning of the creation. If we just take what Jesus said at face value, without any preconceived ideas, Jesus taught that God made Adam and Eve at the beginning of the material universe (Genesis 1:26-28). Thus, Jesus believed that the creation took place just as Genesis 1 and 2 teach. Again, there is no room for millions or billions of years that the evolutionary theory requires for the appearance of humankind. Humans were on this earth from the beginning of creation. How did Jesus know this? He was there.

One writer said this about Jesus' words that are quoted above: "There are only sparse, minuscule words supporting the idea that Jesus took the Creation Story and the Flood literally. Obviously, the words are either figurative, not exactly what Jesus said, or simply writer embellishments." (John D. Callahan, Faith and Reason).  Notice that Mr. Callahan clearly states that Jesus' words support the idea that Jesus took the Creation Story and the Flood literally. So the first thing he attempts is to try to dismiss Jesus' words by saying He was either speaking figuratively, or it was not exactly what Jesus said, or the writer who recorded Jesus' word simply embellished His words. My questions for Mr. Callahan are these: (1) How many times, or how many words, does Jesus have to speak that show that He believed in the Genesis account of creation in order for Mr. Callahan to accept that He really did believe in it? (2) Where is the evidence that the words were "figurative, not exactly what Jesus said, or simply writer embellishments"? (3) What would Jesus have said if He really did not believe in the Bible account of creation? (4) If we can't trust Jesus' word concerning the creation and the flood, then why should we trust His word in regard to any other subject (salvation for example)? Simply because Jesus' words are few (however sparse and minuscule they may be in Mr. Callahan's opinion), does not mean that Mr. Callahan can dismiss them just because he believes they contradict the theory of evolution or the current theories of evolutionary geology. Mr. Callahan must either admit that Jesus' words are true, and thus reject the theory of evolution, or he must accept the theory and reject Jesus' word, which is what he has done. Mr. Callahan, of course, acknowledges that he cannot accept both. So, he rejects Jesus' words. The question is, how can he do this and claim to be a follower of Christ? 

This is the problem with those people who claim to be followers of Christ and at the same time accept the theory of evolution. If what Jesus said does not agree with the misinterpretation of facts made by unbelieving evolutionists, then they draw the conclusion that Jesus was wrong or that the Bible is not inspired. Here is a fact: if they truly believe in Jesus they will take His word over any other and recognize that the unbelieving evolutionists are wrong. 

 I wonder if Mr. Callahan would accept his "reasoning" when it comes to what Jesus said about His being the Son of God (Matthew 27:43; Luke 22:70)? Wouldn't an unbeliever be just as justified in dismissing what Jesus said in regard to His being the son of God as "figurative, not exactly what Jesus said, or simply writer embellishments" as much as Mr. Callahan is justified in saying what he said about Jesus' word concerning the creation? If not, why not?

Here is another fact: No one is ever justified in dismissing anything Jesus said in His word no matter what human theory contradicts His word. If you take from God's word by denying what Jesus said, you stand condemned in God's sight (Revelation 22:18-19). You have two choices: You either accept all of what God's word says or none of it (2 Timothy 3:16-17). You can't pick and choose! Yet, that is what Mr. Callahan has tried to do by taking the view that what Jesus said about the creation was figurative, or wasn't exactly what Jesus said or embellishment by the writer. So, here is what Mr. Callahan's views lead to: If a person does not like a certain Scripture - if it does not agree with what he believes - then to negate it all he has to do is take the view that it is not right. However, if we take that view about everything the Bible teaches, then there remains no reason to believe anything the Bible teaches! If what Jesus said about the creation and the flood can be dismissed in this way, then whatever He said about any other subject can also be dismissed in this way.  

CREATION DAYS 24 HOURS LONG?
 
In regard to the days of Genesis chapter one, many have said that the Hebrew word translated day in this chapter does not always mean a literal 24 hour day in other places in the Hebrew Scriptures. So, they come to the conclusion that the days in Genesis chapter one could be of different lengths than a literal 24 hour day - perhaps days that consist of millions or billions of years. Of course the first point is true. The Hebrew word translated by the English word day does not always mean a literal 24 hour day in the Bible. But the conclusion is false as we shall see.

There are several examples of the use of the word day (Hebrew "yom") being used to indicate something other than a 24 hour day. For example, the word day is used to contrast light and darkness or day and night (Genesis 1:4). It is used to refer to a certain time period (Genesis 2:4). It is used to refer to the days of one's life or how long a person lived (Genesis 5:4), or how long people will live (Genesis 6:3). It is used to refer to a time period when a certain group of people lived (Genesis 6:4). It is used to refer to a certain day of the month (Genesis 8:14). It is used of a certain time during the day (Genesis 29:7). But here is another fact: None of the instances of the use of the word day in the book of Genesis or any other book in the Bible refers to millions or billions of years. Is that not significant in light of the claims of the so-called theistic evolutionists? They claim that because the word day doesn't always indicate a 24 hour day in the Old Testament that it may not refer to a 24 hour day in Genesis one. However, if it can mean millions or billions of years, they need to give an example of such use in the Bible. If they can not they have no argument. To go to Isaiah 30:8 gives no support. If those who use this verse and in particular the word time (Hebrew 'yom') to say its speaking of eternity or forever would read the context, they will see that the context limits the time and the forever and ever to the lifetime of the Jewish nation. It is used figuratively to describe the Jewish people who would not hear the word of the Lord (Read verse 9). To say that the word "time" and the phrase "forever and ever" refer to billions and billions and billions of years is to ignore the context (Please read the whole chapter of Isaiah 30).  

The very fact that God defined the word day in Genesis chapter one should be enough for us to conclude that those days were literal 24 hour days. The use of the phrase "so the evening and the morning were the first day" (Genesis 1:5), is repeated for each of the remaining creation days (Genesis 1:8, 13, 19, 23, 31). God knew unbelievers would try to explain away the creation account, so He defined the creation days for us. The fact that the sun was not created until the fourth day does not negate the need to respect God's definition of the days of creation. Since He said the first, second, and third days consisted of an evening and a morning, how can we be so presumptuous as to deny it?

Instead of trying to explain away what God said about the days of creation, we need to accept what He said. Whatever difficulty human beings see in what the Bible teaches about the creation - whatever human theories it contradicts - does not allow us to deny what it teaches. We simply need to accept it. The fact that the word day (Hebrew yom) is used in different ways in the Old Testament does not negate the fact that the word is defined by God in the first chapter of Genesis. Whatever way it might be used in other places in the Bible has no bearing on how it is used in Genesis chapter one because God defined it in Genesis one as consisting of an evening and a morning. 

However, there are some who would try to explain away God's definition of a day as an evening and morning. One writer stated, "First, let's look at what evening and morning are not.  They are not actual evening and mornings, as this requires a sunrise and sunset.  According to young earth theory, the Sun was not created until Day Four, thus there could be no sunrise or sunset for the first three days of creation.  However, God uses the terms evening and morning for those first three days.  Therefore, they cannot be actual evenings and mornings" (Word Study - Yom by Greg Neyman).  Who said that an evening and morning requires a sunrise and sunset? Evidently God did not agree with this because He is the one who said that the first three days consisted of an "evening and morning." Now since it was God who described those three days as having an evening and morning, who is Mr. Neyman to question Him? The fact is that the language may be used to indicate to the reader that all the days were equal in length. That is, they were all 24 hour periods. At least, this view does not place into question God's definition of the days. Nor does it make passages like Exodus 20:8-11 teach nonsense, as it would have to if we accept that the days of creation consisted of years or indefinite periods of time instead of 24 hour days. (Please read: Why the days of Genesis One cannot be long periods of time - An argument from Exodus 20:8-11).

CONCLUSION

If one reads Genesis chapters one and two with an open mind and without preconceived ideas he will come to the conclusion that God created the universe in six literal 24 hour days and rested on the seventh day. It is only when one's mind becomes corrupted by the false theory of evolution that he begins to question what Genesis chapters one and two teach. It is my prayer that those of you who read this article will simply read and accept the Bible and reject the theories of unbelievers. Please don't try to harmonize the Genesis account of creation with the theory of evolution or evolutionary geology because it cannot be done. When one tries to harmonize what the Bible teaches about creation or the flood with the theory of evolution or evolutionary geology, it will lead him to reject the word of God - the Bible. It will invariably cause him to question the inspiration and accuracy of the Bible and of Jesus' own words. Surely, one cannot be a disciple of Jesus, if he rejects Jesus' own words and the book that God has chosen to use to reveal His will to humankind. Once a person begins to reject parts of the Bible because they contradict the theories of human beings, then it will not be long until that person rejects the Bible as a whole.

Please just accept what God's word teaches and accept the salvation that is presented in it. Human opinions and theories change over time, but God's word is trustworthy, accurate, and will stand forever (Psalm 18:30; Proverbs 30:5;  Isaiah 40:8) It is what we are to live by (Matthew 4:4; Luke 8:21), and it is what we will be judged by (John 12:48). To reject it because it contradicts the theories of humankind is to reject the salvation it offers. Please don't do that!
    


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