Creation question.....

Discussion in 'OT Historical Books' started by BlackCalvinist, Mar 22, 2008.

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  1. BlackCalvinist

    BlackCalvinist Puritan Board Senior

    Hey folks!

    Ran across an interesting view and wanted a little feedback on it.

    In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth.
    2 The earth was without form and void, and darkness was over the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God was hovering over the face of the waters.

    3 And God said, Let there be light, and there was light.
    4 And God saw that the light was good. And God separated the light from the darkness.
    5 God called the light Day, and the darkness he called Night. And there was evening and there was morning, the first day.

    6 And God said, Let there be an expanse in the midst of the waters, and let it separate the waters from the waters.
    7 And God made the expanse and separated the waters that were under the expanse from the waters that were above the expanse. And it was so.
    8 And God called the expanse Heaven. And there was evening and there was morning, the second day.

    9 And God said, Let the waters under the heavens be gathered together into one place, and let the dry land appear. And it was so.
    10 God called the dry land Earth, and the waters that were gathered together he called Seas. And God saw that it was good.

    11 And God said, Let the earth sprout vegetation, plants yielding seed, and fruit trees bearing fruit in which is their seed, each according to its kind, on the earth. And it was so.
    12 The earth brought forth vegetation, plants yielding seed according to their own kinds, and trees bearing fruit in which is their seed, each according to its kind. And God saw that it was good.
    13 And there was evening and there was morning, the third day.

    14 And God said, Let there be lights in the expanse of the heavens to separate the day from the night. And let them be for signs and for seasons, and for days and years,
    15 and let them be lights in the expanse of the heavens to give light upon the earth. And it was so.

    The view is that until the fourth day, we cannot say that the first three days were 24-hour days. They were 'whatever God decided they would be' in length up to that time. The text does not say.

    Reason being - we did not have 24-hour measurements for days, seasons and years until the fourth day (v. 14).

    This view takes Gen. 1 literally and does not subscribe to the 'framework' viewpoint or anything.... just disagrees on the length of the first three days based on the text.

    I'm not finding anything heretical in these that would contradict the scriptures....

    Thoughts ?

    (pardon me if this one's been covered)
     
  2. Grymir

    Grymir Puritan Board Graduate

    With the inclusion of evening and morning from day 1, such a stand would not work. If this idea comes from one who is trying to fit millions of years into the biblical framework, I would ignore what this person says.

    Real young earth creationist do not say the days have to be exactly 24-hour periods as we measure time today. But they could have a little variation. With the plants created on day 3 and the sun on day 4, they could not live long without the sun. So if the 24 days started on day 4, what would happen to the plants if the previous days were longer?

    That's one of the reasons why if you adhere to the days being about 24 hr periods (which I do!), you take them all. Evening and Morning are designations used by God on all the days.

    Now as to heretical, that's another question. I'm just showing that their thinking is flawed on this.
     
  3. Eoghan

    Eoghan Puritan Board Junior

    I agree with Grymil, this is reading into the text more than is there! This is a single passage and "morning and evening" is repeated throughout. Scripture beinmg its own interpreter I would not look further than a few verses down to understand the meaning.

    Our seven day week is based on the creation week for crying out loud. As for not finding anything unbiblical or heretical - do you recal the words of our Lord in LK 10:26 "What is written in the Law?" he replied. "How do you read it?" This refers to two things

    1. the scripture passage

    2. the hermeneutic employed in interpreting it

    You must be careful not only of the translation of scripture (in so far as you can) but also the hermeneutic principles you bring to bear in it's interpretation. There are many religions which will accept the Bible but look at their hermeneutic principles. Roman Catholics for example look at scripture as we do, i.e. the same basic text, but use reading glasses called "church tradition".

    This is an imposition on the plain reading of the text. I would recommend a good book on hermeneutics such as Louis Berkhof's "Principles of Biblical Interpretation".

    The text is fine the hermeneutics NOT! I would be surprised if this is the only "unusual" interpretation from your source. What for example do they (he/she) make of original sin, the fall and federal headship in Adam?
     
  4. BlackCalvinist

    BlackCalvinist Puritan Board Senior

    Playing devil's advocate for a moment (and I've had this same discussion with this person already):

    That still ignores v. 14 and 15 which say that the things used to measure days, years, seasons, etc.... were not put in place until day 4. No further 'imposition' of anything on the text other than simply reading what it says. In contrast, your reading backwards of a 24-hour day as we know yom definitely means from the fourth day forward (hope I explained that right).

     
  5. Grymir

    Grymir Puritan Board Graduate

    Hi BlackCalvinist! Feel free to play devil's advocate. I enjoy such talks. This person is one who I'd like to sit down with and spend some time talking to them over a cup or 2 or 5 of coffee. :coffee:

    His idea is something I've not heard of before, so I would sit down and question him to find out all the nuances.

    Right after my conversion, I worked at a place where the manager was a catholic old-earther. Each day I would bring in some tidbit that I picked up somewhere, we would discuss it, and, as usually happened that early in my informative development, I would sulk home to find out the answers to the daily dilemma. This went on for over a year, and our talks became the stuff of legend at work. In the final analysis however, he could not agree with the young earth idea because he was a college trained biologist, and it would mean repudiating what he learned at college. I also found out later from him that his wife was a Buddhist, and it would also cause problems in his marriage. (he did end up divorced however)

    But without his input and inquires, I'd wouldn't be as well trained in the subject as I am now. This person sounds like that person to me.

    It's hard to dissect, but I will make a few observations.

    you quoted him as saying - "That still ignores v. 14 and 15 which say that the things used to measure days, years, seasons, etc.... were not put in place until day 4. No further 'imposition' of anything on the text other than simply reading what it says. In contrast, your reading backwards of a 24-hour day as we know yom definitely means from the fourth day forward (hope I explained that right)." Yes, you explained it right. But it's not an imposition on the text. There are other passages in the Bible that refer to this as a week. That's why the 'whole council of God' is so important. Less plainer passages are made clearer by others. I wouldn't use that approach, however, I would talk about the evening and morning being a consistent reading in scripture, not a backwards reading.

    The part about the fall not happening yet is irrelevant. Plants need a day/night cycle to survive. They could not have survived on just a light cycle. The 'whose seed was in itself, after it's own kind' is showing that plants had a life cycle before the fall of some kind. (Animals and humans die, but plants don't have a soul.) The decay that young earthers talk about is the 2nd Law of Thermal dynamics, which did happen after the fall. The decay of rotten timber is not necessarily post fall. (Water alone could cause plants to 'decay' and reinvigorate the soil).

    But I wouldn't talk about these science reasons with this person. I spend alot of time talking to people of differing religious beliefs and worldviews. Just in the little bit you told me of what he said, a whole bunch of red flags went up. Which would lead me to believe this view of scripture is for a differing reason than what he is saying verbally. Usually I see these red flags when someone is trying to integrate modern science theories with what they think the Bible is saying. And once you learn how easy modern science theories can be dis-proven, you have to wonder why people hold to them. (I would spend some time seeing which ones he is holding and which ones he is willing to let go of. Another pot of coffee discussion.)

    It will probably come down to their view of scripture. i.e., is this God telling us what happened, or is it man writting about the event (even 'inpired' writing about the event is still man centered). The bible is God's word. Like he dictated it to us word for word.

    I would bet good money that something else is going on, that there is something or some reason behind what he is saying. If he says no and/or gets mad, you can be sure of it.

    Keep me posted, I'd like to hear more - Tim

    :popcorn:
     
  6. Grymir

    Grymir Puritan Board Graduate

    P.S. I'm also assuming that he's saying the first 3 days were longer periods of time, If he's not, then the whole point is moot. Because why make a distinction unless you are trying to say something that the Bible doesn't. (Hint, that was one of the red flags I was talking about)
     
  7. BJClark

    BJClark Puritan Board Doctor

    Scripture also teaches that one day is as a 1000 years...

    So the first three days could be three thousand years..I personally hold to the six days of creation..

    I had to answer a question in Science one year explaining how the earth could show such an old age if it is only a few thousand years (using Biblical references)..and I used an arguement about the one day being as a thousand years..if one day is as a thousand years, and there have been X number of days that would be X number of thousands of years that have past..making the earth old..the professor was actually intrigued by my response, as it was one she hadn't heard before but it made her look up the verses I refered to. And when we include the sudden flood, and receeding waters that too would effect what the age of the earth appears to be..

    2Pe 3:8 But, beloved, be not ignorant of this one thing, that one day [is] with the Lord as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day.
     
  8. Grymir

    Grymir Puritan Board Graduate

    or a thousand years is one day. It's nice that your science teacher was impressed. Get that weggie of truth goin.

    But as a reason for applying modern theories to the Bible, it's lame. (sorry, I don't mean to insult. I'm not.) Its just I hear that line sooooo much I wanna barfth. Because it says a thousand years is one day too. People never consider that in the answer. The phrase is actually showing that God is outside our space-time continuum.
     
  9. Zenas

    Zenas Snow Miser

    What makes "yom" mean an indistinguishable amount of time for the first 3 days, yet for the others, "yom" means 24-hour periods?
     
  10. DMcFadden

    DMcFadden Moderator Staff Member

    1. The 2 Peter 3 quote is truncated. Look at the whole verse and the context. It gives no quarter for the use to which old agers put it in Genesis.

    2. The contextual literary cues in Genesis 1 militate against an indefinite period of time.
    a. "yom" is defined in its two literal senses when it appears first in the Bible (i.e., the light portion of the light/dark cycle and the whole light/dark cycle).
    b. the use of the markers "evening" and "morning" denote a straight forward kind of day.
    c. the presence of the terms "first day," "second day," etc. denote ordinary days.

    3. The institution of the sabbath in Exodus 20 depends upon a literal reading of Genesis 1. Attempting to differentiate the earlier days from the later days only surfaces from the side of those desperately attempting to find 3.5 billion "missing" years.
     
  11. Eoghan

    Eoghan Puritan Board Junior

     
  12. mark

    mark Puritan Board Freshman

    HI Black Calvinist.
    I have found it helpful that the sun and moon are not required for a 24 hour period for days 1-3, rather, what is required is a) light, created on day one, and b) a revolving earth, already existent, though "formless and void" but becoming less so for days 2 and 3 through the action of creation.

    Have you ever check out Reformed Blacks of America? Good stuff.
     
  13. AV1611

    AV1611 Puritan Board Senior

    If I were you I would have a read of this. :)

    I don't think that the creation account should be taken chronologically:

    Day 1: Let there be light (1:3).
    Day 4: Let there be lights (1:14).

    Day 2: Let there be an expanse to separate water from water (1:6).
    Day 5: Let the water teem with creatures and let birds fly above the earth (1:20).

    Day 3: Let dry land appear (1:9); Let the land produce vegetation (1:11).
    Day 6: Let the land produce living creatures (1:24); Let us make man (1:26); I give you every seed bearing plant...and every tree that has fruit with seed in it...for food (1:29).

    As Futato notes:

    Genesis 1-2 proclaims that YHWH, the God of Israel, is the Lord of the rain, the resultant vegetation, and life. This central aspect of the message of Genesis 1-2 is embedded in the structure of the accounts. Why the two-fold focus on vegetation and the people that live on that vegetation? Why even bring into consideration the lack of vegetation owing to a lack of rain? Is this simply geographical decoration? No, for the Book of Genesis serves as the prologue to the history of Israel. Genesis makes the point that the God of the nation of Israel is the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob (Genesis 12-50), and that the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob is the Creator of the heavens and the earth (Genesis 1-11). The God of Israel is the Creator. From the beginning the God of Israel, not Baal, has been the provider of the rain that is the pre-requisite of life. YHWH God of Israel has been the Lord of the rain from the beginning!​
     
  14. BobVigneault

    BobVigneault Bawberator Staff Member

    I don't see in those verses where it says that beginning with day four they were 24 hour periods. You are implying.

    Problem is, there is STILL no reason to think that all six days of creation are anything other than 24 hours except to bow to the evolutionist and his need for millions of years.
     
  15. ColdSilverMoon

    ColdSilverMoon Puritan Board Senior

    This is incorrect. This debate has been present since at least the time of Augustine in the 4th century, who actually believed that Genesis 1 was figurative and not a literal chronological account. Calvin believed in strict 24 hr periods, but he acknowledged that either God limited Himself to six 24-hr periods for our sake, or Moses wrote them that way for our understanding. So, the debate is hardly new and one can completely repudiate evolutonary theory and still be an Old Earth creationist.
     
  16. BobVigneault

    BobVigneault Bawberator Staff Member

    OK Mason, granted, but can you tell me why there is a need for a debate aside from fitting an evolutionary old earth theory. Why not debate how many days Jesus body lay in the tomb or how many days Jonah was in the great fish or how many days Joshua marched around Jericho. Why? Why is there a debate?
     
  17. AV1611

    AV1611 Puritan Board Senior

    There is great debate because the text itself is not clear. As Mason has pointed out, Augustine, to which we could add a number of Greek Fathers, saw the creation account for what it was, an account of creation. It is not a scientific treatise. We need to look at the story behind the account, not least its relation with Ancient Near East creation accounts as regards Mythopoetic language and thought forms. Further, we need to take into account the work of redactors.

    E.g. God's Conflict with the Dragon and the Sea: Echoes of a Canaanite Myth in the Old Testament by John Day as well as Gunkel's Creation And Chaos in the Primeval Era And the Eschaton
     
    Last edited: Mar 26, 2008
  18. BobVigneault

    BobVigneault Bawberator Staff Member

    "And there was evening and there was morning, the first 'yom'."

    Man, that is clear teaching unless you speak in the rarified and hyper-abstruse language of the lawyer, the theologian, the rhetoricist. Moses said 'day'. Day means day. My four year old knows what a day is. None of the days in those verses mention 24 hours but 'yom' means 24 hours. Is it clear that Jonah was in the great fish for 3 24-hour periods or is that scripture unclear?
     
  19. AV1611

    AV1611 Puritan Board Senior

    Indeed yom means day. But that is not the issue. Look at the structure of the prose of Genesis 1 and note the parallels between days 1 & 4; 2 & 5; 3 & 6:

    Day 1: Let there be light (1:3).
    Day 4: Let there be lights (1:14).

    Day 2: Let there be an expanse to separate water from water (1:6).
    Day 5: Let the water teem with creatures and let birds fly above the earth (1:20).

    Day 3: Let dry land appear (1:9); Let the land produce vegetation (1:11).
    Day 6: Let the land produce living creatures (1:24); Let us make man (1:26); I give you every seed bearing plant...and every tree that has fruit with seed in it...for food (1:29).​

    Look at each section individually:

    Day 1: Let there be light (1:3).
    Day 2: Let there be an expanse to separate water from water (1:6).
    Day 3: Let dry land appear (1:9); Let the land produce vegetation (1:11).​

    Ends with vegetation.

    Day 4: Let there be lights (1:14).
    Day 5: Let the water teem with creatures and let birds fly above the earth (1:20).
    Day 6: Let the land produce living creatures (1:24); Let us make man (1:26); I give you every seed bearing plant...and every tree that has fruit with seed in it...for food (1:29).​

    Ends with man. Is this important? Yes when you consider the gods of Israel's neighbours - Canaanite Baal and Babylonian Marduk.
     
  20. ReformedReidian

    ReformedReidian Puritan Board Doctor

    True, but Augustine's reasons were different. He was not embarrassed by recent scientific findings. He didn't like the 6/24 position because he really didn't like time. Being a neo-platonist, he saw time as messy and didn't want God to get messy. So he believed God created all at once so he wouldn't have to deal with time.
     
  21. ColdSilverMoon

    ColdSilverMoon Puritan Board Senior

    Genesis 2:4 - "This is the history of the heavens and the earth when they were created, in the DAY that the Lord God made the earth and the heavens" (NKJV)

    So, if you take the same word (yom), it implies all of creation was made in the same 24 hour period, if you're going to be consistent. I agree with AV1611: the Resurrection clearly occurred within 3 days, as did the Jonah episode, based on the narrative and common sense. In terms of time, the Creation account is anything but clear, especially compared to historical narratives of Jonah and the Resurrection.

    I certainly understand your point that we shouldn't change our understanding or interpretation of Scripture to make it more compatible with a deeply flawed scientific theory. But in this case I think there is very legitimate basis for an "Old Earth" view of the Creation account.
     
  22. ColdSilverMoon

    ColdSilverMoon Puritan Board Senior

    I agree, but the point is that the exact chronology of the Genesis account has always been debated, and is not a "new" idea in response to evolutionary theory. Great scholars and theologians have argued this issue since as early as the 2nd century BC, so it isn't simply a reactionary theory new to 20th and 21st century Christianity.
     
  23. BobVigneault

    BobVigneault Bawberator Staff Member

    Thank you for laying those verse out like that AV1611. That's interesting. The question I've been addressing is whether or not there was a 24 hour hour day before day four.

    I'm missing something. I'm slow.
     
  24. BobVigneault

    BobVigneault Bawberator Staff Member

    Why is there a need for an old earth interpretation of scripture?

    Stop using Augustine or I will start a debate about the eucharist and transubstantiation. (Kidding)

    Thanks Jacob for giving a better perspective to Augustine's agenda.
     
  25. AV1611

    AV1611 Puritan Board Senior

    I think that you are missing the point, whether yom means 24 hours is wholly irrelevant to the message of Genesis 1-2. The sequence is thematic (and polemical) not chronological. Oh, and I agree yom does mean 24 hours or at least thereabouts.

    Could I point you to Bruce K. Waltke's Genesis: A Commentary.
     
  26. BobVigneault

    BobVigneault Bawberator Staff Member

    I appreciate the recommendation but until someone can stimulate some real doubt in my mind that the plain teaching of scripture is anything other than a 6 24-hour day chronology then I'll stick with scripture.
     
  27. AV1611

    AV1611 Puritan Board Senior

    See PM. :handshake:
     
  28. A5pointer

    A5pointer Puritan Board Sophomore

    The yom argument is tiring. Of course Yom means 24 hours if used literally but if used figuratively the bets are off. That of course is the real question.
     
  29. ReformedReidian

    ReformedReidian Puritan Board Doctor

    then there is also the predominant use of the waw. It almost always, except in a handful of obvious cases in the psalms, refers to narrative chronology. And the waw is used more in the first 2 chapters of Genesis than anywhere else in Scripture.

    I can grant a certain poetic structure to Genesis. That proves nothing. I think the whole Bible is poetic (even poeisis ). The evidence by means of waw and yom is simply overwhelming.
     
  30. AV1611

    AV1611 Puritan Board Senior

    Mark Futato (Spring 1998). "Because it Had Rained: A Study of Genesis 2:5-7 With Implications for Genesis 2:4-25 and Genesis 1:1-2:3". Westminster Theological Journal 60 (1): pp. 1-21. 

    Hasel, G. F. “The Significance of the Cosmology in Gen 1 in Relation to Ancient near Eastern Parallels,” Andrews University Seminary Studies 10 (1972) 1-20.

    There are loads of articles here.
     
    Last edited: Mar 26, 2008
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