Genesis 1-2, the creation of eve, and the "creation days"

Discussion in 'OT Historical Books' started by blakerussell, Sep 1, 2009.

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  1. blakerussell

    blakerussell Puritan Board Freshman

    So, I was going through Genesis 1-2 again recently, and I noticed this.

    26Then God said,(O) "Let us make man[h] in our image,(P) after our likeness. And(Q) let them have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over the livestock and over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth."

    27So God created man in his own image,
    in the image of God he created him;
    (R) male and female he created them.

    28And God blessed them. And God said to them,(S) "Be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth and subdue it and have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over every living thing that moves on the earth." 29And God said, "Behold, I have given you every plant yielding seed that is on the face of all the earth, and every tree with seed in its fruit.(T) You shall have them for food. 30And(U) to every beast of the earth and to every bird of the heavens and to everything that creeps on the earth, everything that has the breath of life, I have given every green plant for food." And it was so. 31(V) And God saw everything that he had made, and behold, it was very good. And there was evening and there was morning, the sixth day.

    So, Genesis one says that God created Mankind- male and female, on the sixth day. He gave them the mandate to be fruitful and multiply. However, in Genesis two we see this.

    Then the LORD God said, "It is not good that the man should be alone;(R) I will make him a helper fit for[e] him." 19(S) Now out of the ground the LORD God had formed[f] every beast of the field and every bird of the heavens and(T) brought them to the man to see what he would call them. And whatever the man called every living creature, that was its name. 20The man gave names to all livestock and to the birds of the heavens and to every beast of the field. But for Adam[g] there was not found a helper fit for him. 21So the LORD God caused a(U) deep sleep to fall upon the man, and while he slept took one of his ribs and closed up its place with flesh. 22And the rib that the LORD God had taken from the man he made[h] into a woman and brought her to the man. 23Then the man said,

    "This at last is(V) bone of my bones
    and flesh of my flesh;
    she shall be called Woman,
    because she was(W) taken out of Man."

    24(X) Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and they shall become one flesh. 25And the man and his wife were both naked and were not ashamed.

    Adam was naming the animals, and finally when he was seemingly done with this task, there was no suitable mate to be found for Him, so God caused Adam to go into a deep sleep and made Eve.

    Here is my question then. If the creation days are literal 24 hour days, How then could Adam name all of the animals in one 24 hour day and then God still create Eve on this 24 hour day.

    It seems Adam was naming the animals for some time, and then God created eve. Genesis one says that God made male and female on the sixth day. Do you guys see where I'm going with this?

    I'm undecided on the length of days in creation. I'm wondering how it is possible for the days to be literal 24 hour days with the situation I mentioned above. :think:

    Any insight would be appreciated.
  2. PointingToChrist

    PointingToChrist Puritan Board Freshman

    Hi Blake,

    I, too, was struggling/waffling with Genesis for sometime. I first started with 'directed evolution' and am now at six-day creation.

    I had the same question you did some months ago. I don't have an airtight answer, but Old Testament Hebrew writing sometimes wrote without chronological order, and sometimes with jumping ahead to future events. For example, Adam would be created on the sixth day, and name some animals. After some time, he would have named them all, and then become lonely. So v. 27-28 speak of Adam and Eve post-seven days, but it isn't incorrect when v. 26 says God created man on the sixth day, because he did.

    Hope that is clear. I've found it to be the most satisfying and Biblically-based answer.
  3. Bookmeister

    Bookmeister Puritan Board Freshman

    They are not.
  4. PointingToChrist

    PointingToChrist Puritan Board Freshman

    They are not what?
  5. Contra_Mundum

    Contra_Mundum Pilgrim, Alien, Stranger Staff Member

    Gen 1:1 to 2:3 are one, self-contained presentation. You may take it or leave it at face value, but Ex.20:11 on its face teaches that as God DID, so we are to imitate.

    Gen.2:4 opens the first of the ten subsequent serial histories, each one beginning with "these are the generations of..."

    The basic pattern of the Gen. histories is to continue narrowing the focus of redemptive history down to a single family, whence comes human salvation.

    Gen.1 and Gen.2 accounts follow this same basic set-up also. The macro-description of Gen.1 cosmos-creation narrows in Gen.2 to special interest in the creation and establishment of Man, the capstone and special interest of God in creation. So, there is some overlap and recapitulation in the opening moments of the second presentation.

    As to whether or not Adam could have accomplished his work in a single day, several factors should be considered:
    1) Adam was a perfect man, and we have little idea what a perfect man with a perfect mind is capable of doing.

    2) The purpose of man's "naming" is a) to show that man is a scientist of sorts by appointment--the naming speaks to knowledge of what is "called," and b) to teach Adam that he is not "complete," yet being alone. His external study is paralleled by self-study. "I am similarly constructed to some of these classes of animals; and yet, unlike these male-female pairs, I am clearly incomplete. Furthermore, this job would be more efficiently accomplished by division of labor."

    3) "All livestock" etc. of vv 19-20 does not have to be exhaustive. Even according to the earlier text, the animals were divided into "kinds". Adam could have been presented with animals of "all kinds," thus making a full and proper beginning to his work of dominion.

    Other factors: the Garden was limited in size, thus inviting a reduction in animal totals. The total number of creatures were fewer (counting individuated species) than present-day growth due to genetic diversity within the kinds not then expressed.

    Nor do we have to assume all was fully completed even in this proposed scenario/reading on that first day. This is not demanded. All that is apparently necessary to the purpose of God's completing the creation of man (on day 6) is for Adam to recognize that he is incomplete. The sleep and the operation God performs is the natural follow-through to this successful realization. The studying/naming could then proceed down the lines, assuming diversity was already present.

    Adam's work at the beginning was use of the garden as his training ground for world-wide dominion. He did not need to learn all his lessons in a single day. But it would appear that he did learn significant material in a single day. Wouldn't it be great if we were such good students and stewards?
  6. Peairtach

    Peairtach Puritan Board Doctor

    Genesis 1:26-31 is giving the big picture on the creation of Man (and Woman), while Genesis 2:5-25 is going into further detail.

    Like a pair of zoom binoculars. Quite a sophisticated literary device. But just because something is literary, doesn't mean it doesn't correspond to the truth.

    Quote from Bruce
    Gen.2:4 opens the first of the ten subsequent serial histories, each one beginning with "these are the generations of..."

    Some believe these "generations" / "toledoth" form the end of the previous passages (colophon), indicating who contributed them, rather than the beginning of the subsequent passages. I don't know if this is more likely than the other scenario. See e.g. creationist Marvin Lubenow's, "Bones of Contention" (Baker, 2004)

    Bones of Contention: A Creationist Assessment of Human Fossils: Marvin L. Lubenow: Books
  7. Contra_Mundum

    Contra_Mundum Pilgrim, Alien, Stranger Staff Member

    I have that book; I suppose it's just fine in the main. It isn't an exegetical work (and in general, those guys should just stick to science).
    The other view, however, on the "generations" heading (making it a colophon) is obviously incorrect. It's simple to see where the toledoth belongs, see Gen 25:12 & 36:1. If there was any question, those examples put it to rest; they obviously open the "history" (on the side of the main story) of those two families.

    Culturally, there really isn't much of a serious question either--the family history of, say, "Jacob" (Gen 37:2) is the story of the days of his headship of the family, hence the story has much to do with his sons (especially Joseph).
  8. Rich Koster

    Rich Koster Puritan Board Post-Graduate

    Heb 11:3
  9. Bookmeister

    Bookmeister Puritan Board Freshman

    They are not literal 24 hour days.
  10. PointingToChrist

    PointingToChrist Puritan Board Freshman

    Why not?
  11. Peairtach

    Peairtach Puritan Board Doctor

    Quote from Bruce
    Very good. I see that Mr Lubenow's interpretation is a bit off, to say the least. Pressing some archaeological evidence about clay tablets and colophons too far, beyond the approach that fits the text better.

    But if the "toledoth" all precede the account that they relate to, the first one is a bit unusual because it would cover Adam to Noah (Genesis 2:4-6:8) :-

    These are the generations of the heavens and of the earth when they were created, in the day that the LORD God made the earth and the heavens (Gen. 2:4)
  12. Contra_Mundum

    Contra_Mundum Pilgrim, Alien, Stranger Staff Member

    The last thing I want to be here is argumentative.

    You may be separating 36 v1 and v9 to get your ten, when they should be combined; but you overlook 5:1 (includes the term "book").

    I don't think the first "history" is unusual at all, even if you took it all the way to 6:8 (even though it is not, but to 4:26).

    1) The longer space covers an extraordinarily cleanly defined historical period, from Adam to the flood.

    2) Whether you accept the father-son birth records as explicit rather than exemplary (and certainly a "surface reading" presents that as the case), even if you accept them merely as the "story-line" of primeval history, then Adam lives into the days of Noah's father.

    3) The "family-trees" of Ishmael and then Esau also cover many, many generations on.

    Last edited: Sep 5, 2009
  13. Bookmeister

    Bookmeister Puritan Board Freshman

    They are not intended to be. The six days are two triads, days one-three show how God made the uninhabitable, habitable and days four-six show how God made the uninhabited, habited. Let's just look at day one, there is light on day one but the sun and moon and stars are not created until day four. Where did the light come from? Genesis 1 and 2 are "Highly stylized narrative." It is literally true, but that does not mean it is a step by step explanation of how God created.
  14. itsreed

    itsreed Puritan Board Freshman


    On what basis do you conclude they are not intended to be 6-literal days?

    I agree the triad is there. How does light on day one create a problem for literalness? Are you assuming that the only source of light is the sun? What about Rev 22:5, where there is no more sun and yet still light? Following your logic here, are we to assume that Rev 22 (21) is not intended to be taken as a literal description?

    I'm not arguing all the details are given. However, why is it not, as far as it goes, a step by step explanation? Why is it that the literary record does not match the historical occurence? Could not God have done so? After all, we're talking about a rather unique period here.

    I'm merely questioning what leads you to conclude? More pertinently, where is this necessity in the text?
  15. Peairtach

    Peairtach Puritan Board Doctor

    Quote from Bruce
    Not seeking to be argumentative, Bruce. Just seeking further understanding. I'll examine the "toledoth" in the light of your comments.
  16. bookslover

    bookslover Puritan Board Professor

    Who says he named them all in one 24-hour day? It could have taken longer.

    -----Added 9/5/2009 at 07:37:23 EST-----

    Here, by the way, is a rare excerpt of Adam naming the animals:

    A gazelle walks past him: "Ralph"
    A lion walks past him: "Richard"
    An orangutan walks past him: "Betty"
    A snake walks past him: "Beulah"
    A frog walks past him: "Hubert"

  17. Laudante

    Laudante Puritan Board Freshman

    The non-literal intepretation is perfectly Biblical

    I´ve read a couple of comments which jump to the conclusion that to deny the 24-hour days makes the facts related therein non-literal as well (you know, like if someone has said "Adam is a symbol", "Evolution is possible", etc.), but that´s a logical leap. Only the unit of time does not refer to literal 24-hour days, in the reformed OEC interpretations.

    I wrote an article about this some time ago, in which I mention that I find at least 8 good exegetical reasons for believing this:

    1) The word “yom” is not restricted to 24-hour days. There are excellent studies by hebrew experts about this.
    2) If taken literally, the sun and the moon were created on the fourth day, so there could not have been 24-hour days before that, strictly speaking, since the sun and the moon are precisely the celestial bodies which determine human hours, and so says the Bible.
    3) At least 8 or 9 things must have happened on the 24 hours of the 6th day (creation of animals, creation of man, probably the creation of Eden if you read carefully, giving man instructions to take care of the Garden, the covenant of works, the naming of animals, the loneliness of man, his "surgery", and creation of woman). Sounds like too much, isn´t it?
    4) The 7th day. Is it literal too? Did God rest only for 24 hours from His work of creation and on Sunday morning He returned to work?
    5) In other books of the Bible, like Revelation, time measurements aren´t taken literally. If one can accept symbolical measurements of time in one part of the Bible, why not in other?
    6) The long creation is more consistent with the known character and procedures of God. He prepares very slowly the scenarios for each of His actions. He is not in a rush, and we have no single piece of evidence to believe that He acts quickly according to human terms, in general.
    7) The passage has such a deep typological meaning (just compare the "let there be light" with 2 Cor. 4:6 and you´ll imagine the rest), that just taking it as a strictly historical passage is not honoring it more, but perhaps less than God intended.
    8) The seven days are called "one day" in Gen 2:4. This argument might seem a little silly, but it was important in the belief Augustine had of non-literal days (yes, he was an OEC, and modern geology didn´t even exist then!).

    So as you can see, the reasons for rejecting YEC are much more than "compromise" with science. Like Shedd says: "The very common assertion, that the church has altered its exegesis, under the compulsion of modern geology, is one of the errors of ignorance."

    And also he says: "Respecting the lenght of the six creative days, speaking generally, for there was some difference in views, the patristic and mediaeval exegesis makes them to be long periods, not days of twenty-four hours. The latter interpretation has prevailed only in the modern church. Augustine teaches (De Genesi ad literam, IV. xxvii) that the length of the six days is not to be determined by the length of our week-days. Our seven days, he says, resemble the seven days of the account in Genesis, in being a series, and in having the vicissitudes of morning and evening, but they are "multum impares"."

    Latter, Shedd adds the following explanation: "The seven days of the human week are copies of the seven days of the Divine week. The "sun-divided days" are images of the "God-divided days." this agrees with the Biblical representation generally. The human is the copy of the Divine; not the Divine of the human."

    Also Gresham Machen (someone who is certainly out of suspicion regarding compromise with modern science) says: "It is certainly not necessary to think that the six days spoken of in that first chapter of the Bible are intended to be six days of twenty four hours each. We may think of them rather as very long periods of time." (The Christian View of Man)

    Besides, whoever that has read with attention the reasons scientists give for believing in an old Universe, must concede that, no matter how fallen creatures they might be (some are regenerated Christians, too, btw), and no matter how bad they are in metaphysics, their arguments in this case are perfectly reasonable and coherent. It´s really difficult to escape from them without breaking any law of logic (I´m speaking only of the antiquity of the world, not of evolution and naturalism, please note).

    In Christ,
  18. Bookworm

    Bookworm Puritan Board Freshman

    If I may be so bold, I would venture that you're making the mistake of assuming that the main theological and/or exegetical "driver" of the young-age creationist position concerns the interpretation of the words yom and yamim in Genesis 1. To be fair, that may be an impression you've gained from the amount of ink that creationists themselves have spilt discussing this particular matter! :)

    However, that is not the primary reason that I'm a young-age creationist, and I think this would hold true for many (most?) of my young-age creationist colleagues. While I do think that the days of Genesis 1 are best interpreted as ordinary days, and that there are cogent responses to each of the points you've made against that view, I would instead turn to Genesis 3 and other passages to establish the biblical case for young-age creationism. I am unable to reconcile the acceptance of long ages of pre-human history (or even, minimally, the long timescale of human history suggested by conventional dating techniques) with the biblical data concerning the Fall and its consequences. Accepting that the fossil record was deposited over hundreds of millions of years necessarily entails accepting that bloodshed, agony, disease, thorns, thistles and so on, are, in fact, not the result of human rebellion but rather a natural part of God's "very good" world. That has implications that are theologically much more serious and wide ranging than any conjured up by discussions about whether the word "day" should be interpreted in its ordinary sense or not.

    From the perspective of my own geological training and field experience, I would say that the scientific arguments for the earth's supposed antiquity are neither more nor less coherent than the scientific arguments adduced in support of biological evolution, which, I presume from your final remark, you reject?

    -----Added 9/8/2009 at 08:14:47 EST-----

    I don't think there can be any doubt that Genesis 1 is full of literary structure, repetition and so on. But so are many other narratives in Scripture, including the Gospel accounts. I suppose the question I want to ask is, why should literary structure per se be incompatible with real history?

    As my colleague, Steve Lloyd, has argued in a recent book, the mere presence of literary structure in the early chapters of Genesis does not make them a-historical in the way that is required to make them consistent with neo-Darwinism or an ancient earth. See: Debating Darwin. Two Debates: Is Darwinism True & Does it Matter? by Graeme Finlay, Stephen Lloyd, Stephen Pattemore and David Swift (Paternoster, 2009; ISBN 9781842276198). Reviewed here.
  19. busdriver72

    busdriver72 Puritan Board Freshman

    Being named Ralph, I would like to thank you for choosing the gazelle.
    Usually, "Ralph" is associated with something fat, lazy and dumb.

    Gazelle......yes.....I like that!:up:

    -----Added 9/8/2009 at 09:35:54 EST-----

    There are some who deny the literal 24 hour period based on the various Hebrew words used to describe the growth proccess of the plants and trees. The implication is that 24 hours was not near enough time for plants to germinate/grow/sprout etc.
    While that is worth noting, as best as can be determined fom the text, Adam and Eve were created as aged beings, not embryos or infants, but aged enough to walk, think and reason.
    Therefore, for the God with whom nothing is impossible, it is not completely unreasonable to consider that the Lord created the heavens and earth in an advanced stage. God could create things at any stage He desired while creating natural laws at the same time.
  20. Laudante

    Laudante Puritan Board Freshman

    The three basic YEC arguments are:

    1) The word "yom" is more likely to mean literal days (especially considering the "morning and evening" issue)
    2) The death of animals before the fall would make God cruel and His creation not so good.
    3) The genealogies don´t support a greater antiquity for man than 6-10 thousand years.

    Regarding the first one, much has been said to rebute it, and I believe successfully. Regarding the last one, in any case it only pertains to the antiquity of man, not to all creation, and besides I agree with Ch. Hodge when he says that these genealogies don´t have the intention of giving us a precise measurement of time (of course he gives reasons for believing that).

    And for the famous "cruelty-before-fall" argument to work, it would be necessary to prove that natural death of animals and plants is morally significant, and is really imcompatible with a good creation. It would also be necessary to find an undeniable statement in Scripture that those natural things were not part of the original design and began to occur only with the fall. Actually, I find some passages which seem to contradict that:

    Psalm 104 (the creation psalm, all of which is a praise of the GOODNESS of creation, and is closely related to Gen. 1):

    19 Thou hast made the moon to mark the seasons; the sun knows its time for setting. 20 Thou makest darkness, and it is night, when all the beasts of the forest creep forth. 21 The young lions roar for their prey, seeking their food from God. 22 When the sun rises, they get them away and lie down in their dens. 23 Man goes forth to his work and to his labor until the evening. 24 O LORD, how manifold are thy works! In wisdom hast thou made them all; the earth is full of thy creatures.

    You see? Lions roaring for their prey does not look like a cruel, disgraceul thing, but is clearly related with the goodness of God, either after or before the fall. It´s just as natural a fact as the existence of night (which, btw, no one has said that it was due to the fall, even if it can easily be a symbol of some "dark" spiritual things). That carnivorous activity has to do, as we see in verse 24, with the manifold and wise creation of God, not with the sin, cruelty, bloodshed, agony, disease, thorns and thistles that you mention. As a matter of fact, I confess that it´s very hard for me to imagine how could the creation have been intended to work without the death of animals, since that is the most basic requirement for any biological system to work properly. Did God intend originally (and in an "hypothetical" case that the fall wouldn´t have occured) that animals would reproduce without ever dying? How many rats and bats and bears would be by now? And the Bible clearly recognizes this when, again in Ps. 104, the death of animals and the renewing of the ecosystems is once more directly ascribed to the goodness and wisdom of God, not to the sin of man:

    27 These all look to thee, to give them their food in due season. 28 When thou givest to them, they gather it up; when thou openest thy hand, they are filled with good things. 29 When thou hidest thy face, they are dismayed; when thou takest away their breath, they die and return to their dust. 30 When thou sendest forth thy Spirit, they are created; and thou renewest the face of the ground.

    With all due respect, I believe that the "cruelty-before-the-fall" argument is a modern YEC invention. I´ve researched a lot among serious (and not-so-serious as well) divines, and I haven´t found yet any single one before 19th century who even thought on that as an impediment for the belief in an old earth. I´m not saying there is none, but simply that I haven´t found one yet.

    Regarding the scientific evidence for OEC, I disagree with your assertion that it stands on equal footing with the evidence for evolution. So much I find a difference, that I was able to write a 116-page pamphlet against evolution, whereas I haven´t been able to find one single reasonable argument against the proofs for the antiquity of the world. To carelessly attack the principle of uniformity, just to give one example, to the extent required to support YEC, may entail, among a couple of logical difficulties, certain theological disadvantages. It is perhaps an arbitrary and even absurd principle in the unbeliever´s worldview, but not necessarily in a Christian worldview. Besides, we can easily imply without realizing it that God left fake proofs (like fossils buried thousands of feet deep which do not correspond to actual living creatures, the light of the stars, etc.) just to play with us and prevent us to know the truth. But this is not what the Bible says. Rom. 1:20 says that the truth is seen clearly in the creation. The reason why natural theology does not work is because natural man supresses the truth, not because the truth is not there. The failure is in man, not in creation. God does not throw us off the scent.

    I would really love to discuss with more detail the scientifical issues, but neither I´m sure this is the right place and moment, nor I´m as expert as you seem to be, if I understood correctly. However, there´s a site I can recommned ONLY for that scientifical purpose:

    Creation Science

    I don´t endorse every statement on this site, and I suspect the theological background of the author can be Arminian, among other possible things. However, he is a professional geologist who believes in biblical inerrancy, and I redirect you to him ONLY for the good summary of secular, scientific proofs he gives, and for some excellent YEC rebuttals he makes.

    Finally, to say that: "God has power to do as He pleases", as Ralph says, only begs the question. The omnipotence of God is not under question here, but only the way He used it in creation, according to what He himself revealed to us. No one discusses that He could have made the earth in six literal days, or in one second, at any rate. The question is if He actually decided to do it that way or not. Has God the power to create plants already with fruit in one second? Of course, but, is this the way He usually proceeds according to all the rest that we know of His character and manners? I don´t think so. I rather tend to think that God delights in slow, ripening processes.

    And the argument from the verbs used in Gen. 2 to describe the growing of plants is also a very good proof for non-literal days. In verse 9, the NASB usage for the verb "grow" is: branch (1), grow (8), growing (1), grown (2), spring (5), spring forth (5), springs (1), sprout (4), sprouted (4), sprouts (1).

    This means that the plants weren´t created in an instant with fruit and everything, but that they grew from the ground. Were they planted on day 3 and for day 6 they they had already a fruit, if those days are really 24-hour long?

    Verses 5 and 6 clearly say that plants were developed by an ordinary process and with the aid of rain. "Now no shrub of the field was yet in the earth, and no plant of the field had yet sprouted, for the LORD God had not sent rain upon the earth, and there was no man to cultivate the ground. But a mist used to rise from the earth and water the whole surface of the ground." Whatever this enigmatic passage was intended for, at least we know that God did not create plants ex-nihilo and in an advanced state three literal days before the creation of man.

  21. Laudante

    Laudante Puritan Board Freshman

    literary structures and history

    Sorry, Paul, I forgot to answer one of your questons. You said:

    No, literary structure is not per se incompatible with real history. Actually, I do believe that Genesis 1 is real history, regarding the facts. Not so much regarding the time indications.

    Likewise, I believe that the ten kings sharing their power with the beast for one hour points to something real in history, future to the Patmos vision. But nothing compels me to believe that "one hour" there is equivalent with sixty minutes in my watch.

    I believe that the days represent somewhat overlapping creative stages with a clear typical reference to gospel realities, described from the point of view of an hypothetical observer from the earth. The site I suggested has a good explanation of this model. The main facts are history, but the way they are arranged and presented is modelled by typical and literary structures. In other words, God intended to give us a spiritual lesson and point to Jesus Christ in this passage, and not so much to reveal minute details of creation. This doesn´t mean that He is "lying" regarding the facts just to make them appear spiritual. I believe that even the way God created the universe was designed to reflect the gospel truths in a typical way, just like all the rest of sacred history, and simply that he revealed to Moses those creative acts arranged in a clearly allegorical sequence of seven.

    -----Added 9/8/2009 at 03:08:46 EST-----


    A Spanish lion would be Ricardo? If so, I´m pleased, since felines are my favorite...

    (Don´t tell Olivia, my lovely 4-month-old schnauzer *****, I said this, please).

    By the way, deciding her name took us nearly three weeks. This data might be relevant to the case under discussion.
  22. Skyler

    Skyler Puritan Board Graduate

    Assuming(as Answers in Genesis suggests) that there were only a few thousand "kinds" out of which the diversity we see today arose, I think Adam(whose mental faculties were, in the Garden of Eden, unaffected by the fall and in all likelihood vastly superior to our own) wouldn't have had a problem naming them all in one day.

    As for the 24 hour days, I think that exegetically they're the only possibility. The account in Genesis uses if I recall correctly two explicit indicators of a twenty-four-hour day--"evening and morning" and in association with a number. In every other instance in Scripture when either of these are used, it refers to a literal day. Here in Genesis we have both of them being used in the same context. So I think you'd need some VERY strong evidence to say they weren't literal.
  23. Bookworm

    Bookworm Puritan Board Freshman

    Hi there,

    I only have limited time today, so my responses are going to have to be fairly brief. However, there were a few points I wanted to comment on from your post.

    Personally, I think the ordinary day view is by far the strongest exegetically, but I don’t want to dwell on that here because the case for young-age creationism rests on other matters of more central importance.

    I’ve not been persuaded by the arguments that there are missing generations in the Genesis genealogies. There are many reasons to think that they provide reliable chronological information, but those arguments are set out elsewhere. The question I’d like to ask here is, how much time are you willing to add to the genealogies? Do you think there are any constraints? Since the fathers listed in Genesis 11 had their sons at age 35 or less, about 300 missing generations would be needed to add even 10,000 years to this chronology. But according to conventional dating methods, modern humans first appeared about 150,000 years ago, and so-called archaic humans about 2 million years ago. How will you reconcile such conventional dates with the biblical information without stretching the genealogies beyond their breaking point?

    Like many other biblical teachings, animal suffering and death as a consequence of the Fall is established not from a single proof text, but rather from an entire corpus of biblical data. Consider for instance, the dietary information provided in Genesis 1:29-30 (c.f. Genesis 9:3), the absence of fear and dread in Genesis 2:19-20 (c.f. Genesis 9:2), the death of animals for clothing and sacrifice after the Fall (Genesis 3:21; Genesis 4:4), the eschatological passages with Edenic overtones (Isaiah 11:6-9; 65:25), the way in which animal and human suffering is linked together in numerous passages (e.g. Genesis 6:7; Exodus 12:12; Deuteronomy 28:1-4; Jonah 4:11; Jeremiah 9:9-10; Hosea 4:1-3; Zephaniah 1:1-3) and so on.

    However, even if we assume that only human (and not animal) death entered the world as a result of Adam’s sin, there is still the problem that humans go back a very long way in the fossil record according to the conventional dates. Do the biblical genealogies allow the placement of Adam so long ago, and, if not, how do we explain human fossils that pre-date his origin?

    Of course, Psalm 104, though echoing Genesis 1, was written this side of the Fall! Natural selection, predation and carnivory reveal God’s goodness in sustaining and providing for his creatures in a broken world, but does their inclusion in this psalm mean that these elements must, therefore, have been present before the Fall? If so, how do we account for the inclusion of other post-Fall elements in the psalm, such as ships (v.26) and sinners (v.35)?

    Well, of course, God is sovereign, and so your hypothetical situation in which the Fall did not take place is just that. Undoubtedly, it is difficult for us to imagine what that sinless, deathless, unspoilt paradise was like, just as it is difficult for us to imagine what it will be like in eternal glory without sin, death or anything else to spoil or destroy. But does our lack of ability to imagine these things mean that they are any the less true?

    On the contrary, evolution by common descent is an elegant and persuasive theory supported by many evidences from a whole range of scientific disciplines. It also happens to be wrong. The same is true of the uniformitarian reconstruction of earth history. I don’t believe the evidential basis for either is qualitatively different. And if you haven’t found any good arguments against the conventional age of the world, you probably haven’t looked hard enough! :) Here are a few papers (there are many more) that you ought to take a look at:

    Roth, A. A. --- Some Questions about Geochronology
    Helium Diffusion Age of 6,000 Years
    Measurable 14C in Fossilized Organic Materials: Confirming the Young Earth Creation-Flood Model
    The Sea's Missing Salt: A Dilemma for Evolutionists

    It’s also worth highlighting the fact that there are now professional societies for both young-age creation biologists and young-age creation geologists. The website of the Creation Biology Study Group can be found here and one of its leading lights, Todd Wood, blogs here. The Creation Geology Society was formed recently and doesn’t have its own website yet. However, the proceedings of its conferences are currently hosted here on the Cedarville University website. Seven geologists, all with doctoral degrees, have agreed to serve as board members for the new society.

    I’m familiar with the 'Answers in Creation' site, having read many of the articles posted on it, but I must confess that I haven’t been very impressed with the scholarship. Many of the articles appear to have been hastily and carelessly written, without a proper evaluation of the arguments. In my opinion, there are far better critiques of young-age creationism out there!
  24. Laudante

    Laudante Puritan Board Freshman

    I recommended that site not because it´s the most complex, but rather because it´s the simplest. I also know better critiques of YEC, for sure. I gave that link because it´s more accesible for those who, unlike you, have not professional training in geology and who simply want a good summary of the arguments, without much elaboration and technical data.

    Like I said, I can´t hold a scientifical debate with you. If you already know the arguments in the link I provided and in those much better places you and I agree there are on the internet, nothing that I say will convince you, for sure. I just mentioned 8 points (plus one which I had fogotten about the plants) which make me think that there are good EXEGETICAL reasons for believing in long days, just like many patristic and reformed divines of the past had, even without knowing anything of modern science.

    And just like a plus, I simply happen to like the fact that, till this day and according to what I (and many hundreds of PhDs in geology, astronomy, etc.) understand, this form of exegesis is in perfect accord with the soundest principles and observations of science. Have you wondered why there´s no need to create comitees to deffend, scientifically speaking, old earth creationism?

    I had read some time ago the articles you recommend, as well as dozens of others, and I simply find them unconvincing. Sorry about that. While the articles of, say, Greg Neyman, even with all their simplicity and perhaps even the lack of care you mention, result pretty clear for me.

    Regarding the genealogies, like I said, in any case they only refer to the antiquity of man, not the universe. I think they can be stretched out, but yes, it´s not easy to explain how could that be done to make the time become 10 times longer.

    The strongest argument, for me, on the YEC side is the one you mention about animal death. However, it´s still not completely convincing to me. But I thank you very much, anyway, for the list of Biblical texts in support of that, which I´ll be examining carefully in the next days.

    When I quoted Ps. 104 I didn´t pretend that it was describing necessarily how the world was before the fall. I simply said that the carnivorous activity is not related with sin, but with the wisdom and goodness of God. For example, there is no Biblical passage, if I remember well, in which the death of men is considered something good in itself. There´s never a verse saying something like: "Lord, I thank thee because my brother died and this is due to thy good wisdom and loving providence for thy creatures. Thou art simply renewing the surface of the earth and feeding those poor worms that live on graves." But we do have such kind of statements regarding the death of animals, for example in the verses cited from Ps. 104.

    I don´t pretend to say that the OEC path is absolutely simple and without perplexing counter arguments. I simply believe that it is fairly less so than the YEC.

    Yes, we can always resort to the "God-is-sovereign-and-He can-act-as-He pleases" argument to explain that in those days things could have been absolutely different from what they are now, or that He could have left confusing evidence like false fossils or stars that seem to have faded millions of years ago, to make the earth appear older than it really is. But the sovereignty and freedom of God are not into question here. What I would ask is if we really have good Biblical reasons for believing that the physical universe and the laws of biology were completely different before the fall, and moreover, if it´s according to God´s character to produce false evidence in order to make us believe something which is not true. If all the earth was a paradise in the same sense that Eden, in which lions slept with lambs, sharks ate sea weeds, etc., what was the creation of Eden needed for, in the first place? What I believe is that within Eden there was no animal death and that Adam and Eve ate vegetables only. The "world" was without thorns and thistles for man INSIDE of Eden. When they sinned, God simply expelled them from that privileged place into the earth where thorns and thistles already were. And this doesn´t make the creation "less good" at all. The laws of biology are good just like they are. The difference is that before the fall they were never against man, as often they are now.

    Finally, if YECs (at least AIG) say that originally there were only a few animals and from them all the current SPECIES emerged, maybe they are doing nothing but to accept and proclaim macroevolution! And even more than evolutionists, since this latter at least claim that the process happened in millions of years, not in a few thousand!

  25. Bookworm

    Bookworm Puritan Board Freshman

    Hi again Ricardo,

    Just a few additional thoughts in response to your latest post:

    The reason I don’t rate ‘Answers in Creation’ isn’t because it’s simple but because the articles aren’t reliable in terms of the “facts” they present and because they often unfairly represent the young-age creationist arguments that are being responded to. Not that young-age creationists always acquit themselves with distinction either...but that’s another story.

    I’m not sure that’s right, actually. What about an organization like Hugh Ross’ ‘Reasons to Believe’ which is a ministry dedicated to promoting old-earth creationism?

    That’s a pretty big problem for anyone who accepts conventional geological timescales and wants to harmonise them with the biblical information constraining the date of Adam’s creation.

    It was a very inadequate and abbreviated summary, but I hope it’s helpful anyway!

    That’s a bit of a ‘strawman’. None of the mainstream young-age creationist organizations is suggesting that God created false fossils or light that appears to come from stars that don’t really exist.

    I’ve heard similar suggestions before, that Eden was a limited paradise surrounded by a world of death, bloodshed, cancer and thorns and that the curse really didn’t change very much (except perhaps Eden itself). That strikes me as a very odd idea lacking in exegetical support. There just doesn’t seem to be any hint of this in Genesis or anywhere else.

    Young-age creationists do indeed believe that kinds preserved on the ark diversified rapidly into many new species and varieties after the Flood. But that’s not very surprising because the production of new species within broad limits is something we can still observe happening in the modern world, even within single human lifetimes. That’s one of the reasons I’ve always been puzzled by the stance of old-earth creationists like Hugh Ross, who reject altogether the idea that new species can be produced (even though we can actually see it occurring today) and yet insist on the reality of millions of years of pre-human history (which we can’t directly observe and against which there is much contrary data). The young-age creationist position seems far more coherent to me, both scripturally and scientifically.
  26. Christusregnat

    Christusregnat Puritan Board Professor

    No, it doesn't. It says that God created man in his own image, and then explains what this means:

    1. Man is God's image

    2. Male and female both share in God's image

    The proposition that God created His image as both male and female does not specifically indicate when the female was created (Genesis 2 tells us that).

    Scholars want to feel that they are very correct, and have such wonderful things to offer us. They don't. As stated above, the proposition that God created male and female in His image does not imply creation on the same day. That is something carried into one's exegesis.

    Further, is it reasonable to suppose that Moses was some kind of literary blunderer? Is it realistic to think (from a merely human perspective) that Moses really would have been so blundering as to miss the contradiction in his fairy tale that some scholar was smart enough to catch? I think not.

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