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 Creation Days


What is the Age of the Earth?


Naturalistic Worldview

-    Must see the Earth and entire universe as billions of years old. It is the only way to make the theory of evolution in any way possible.

-    Does not believe in a God who could create the universe and life “out of nothing.” The only other alternative is to claim that all matter spontaneously came into existence “out of nothing” though natural processes and that life evolved over the course of billions of years.

-    Long ages are the foundation of evolution. Without billions of years there is no naturalistic explanation that can account for the universe.

-    Time is viewed as the friend of evolution, supposedly performing all the miracles of creation that in the Bible are attributed to God. Harvard professor, George Wald, explains the importance of time as follows: “The important point is that since the origin of life belongs in the category of at-least-once phenomena, time is on its side. However improbable we regard this event. . . given enough time it will almost certainly happen at least once. . . . Time is in fact the hero of the plot. . . . Given so much time, the "impossible" becomes possible, the possible probable, and the probable virtually certain. One has only to wait; time itself performs miracles.” (10, pg. 12)


Biblical Worldview

-    God created all things. Everywhere we see plan, purpose, and intelligent design.

-    Those who believe in God as the Creator could believe that the earth and universe are very old, or that they are very young.

-    It is true that God could have done it any way He wanted.

-    The question a person with a Biblical worldview must ask is...”What does the Bible, say?”

-    Making a final decision requires studying the Scriptures, as well as science.


This week we will simply look at the word day in Genesis to see what kind of day it is, and begin to establish a time line from the Bible itself.

-    Some people say that the word day in Genesis 1 does not really mean a 24-hour day, but rather each day means a very long period of time, possibly even millions of years.

-    We need to look for ourselves to see what Genesis 1 means when it uses the word day.








Days of Creation


What were the days of creation mentioned in Genesis chapter one?

-    Were they literal 24-hour days?

-    Can they be reinterpreted to mean long ages?


How can we know for sure?

-    To arrive at an informed answer we need to start with the Bible.

-    We cannot start with our current understanding of science to force an interpretation of the Bible.

-    Why?…Because our understanding of science is constantly changing and what was once thought to be true about evolution, and many areas of science, is often altered by new advances and discoveries.


For over 2,000 years, not one single message in the Bible has changed.

MK 13:31 “Heaven and earth will pass away, but My words will not pass away.

Mark 13:31 (NASB)


Why should we attempt to harmonize Biblical creation with evolution?

Why add a changing materialistic idea into God’s never-changing Word?

-    Unfortunately, many theories attempt to harmonize the two. The Bible even predicts these beliefs.

2TI 4:3 For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but wanting to have their ears tickled, they will accumulate for themselves teachers in accordance to their own desires,

2TI 4:4 and will turn away their ears from the truth and will turn aside to myths.

2 Timothy 4:3-4 (NASB)


Again, evolution demands long ages, but what does the Bible teach regarding creation and the age of the earth?





Five Common Objections to Literal Days


Based on the works of geologists James Hutton (1726-1797) and Charles Lyell (1797-1875) the concept of long time periods for Earth’s history became popular.

-    Because of these new theories some Biblical writers started to reinterpret the Genesis days of creation in a non-literal manner.

-    The reason for this reinterpretation of the Bible was not found in the Bible itself but because of a new worldview.

-    This worldview held that there was no God, demanded long ages, and was based on the idea that everything can be explained in terms of natural causes.






1.      Psalm 90:4 and 2 Peter 3:8


Psalm 90:4

PS 90:4 For a thousand years in Your sight Are like yesterday when it passes by, Or as a watch in the night.

Psalm 90:4 (NASB)


-    This passage is used to support that the days of creation were long periods of time. The passage makes a comparison of 1,000 years with: “yester­day” and “a watch in the night.”

-    This Scripture passage contains a comparative particle in the original Hebrew to make the comparison between 1,000 years and “yesterday” and “a watch in the night.” The comparative parti­cle is translated into English as “like” or “as.”

-    The comparison is not between a day being a literal 1,000 years.

-    The comparison is that a thousand years with God are like yesterday, or like a watch in the night, which is even a briefer period of time.

-    The meaning of the passage is that God equates time differently from the way we equate time.


Genesis 1 is not depicting how God views time.

-    The Genesis context of creation speaks of days in the sense of the creation week during which God created this world and set the measure of the week.

-    Genesis 1 does not explain how time is calculat­ed on God’s scale, but how the creation days set the norm for days in the weekly cycle of time - work six days and rest one.

-    From a contextual and grammatical point of view comparing Psalm 90:4 to Genesis 1 does not work. Psalm 90 is not a creation psalm.

-    Contextually speaking, Psalm 90 does not address the issue of how God regards the days of creation but how God views time.


2 Peter 3:8

2PE 3:8 But do not let this one fact escape your notice, beloved, that with the Lord one day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years like one day.

2 Peter 3:8 (NASB)


-    This passage is also used to support that the days of creation were long periods of time. However, 2 Peter 3:8, when put in context, says nothing about the days of creation.

-    This passage is referring to the last days and false teachers and that we should not overlook God’s time perspective. The entire passage is referring to God’s timing, His nature, something the scoffers of the day did not understand.

-    Since a thousand years are as one day to the Lord, we cannot accuse Him of delayed fulfillment of His promises.

-    The scoffers did not understand God’s eternality nor did they understand His mercy.

-    Using this verse to support long ages for the creation days is taking God’s Word out of context.

-    It is clear that the intended meaning of the passage has nothing to do with the measurement of time, but with God’s nature.


There are five major problems with the attempt to make 2 Peter 3:8 relate to the days of creation.

1.      It is not in a creation context.

2.      It uses the comparative particle "like," which is not used in Genesis 1.

3.      It is used in a non-literal sense if the 1,000 years are taken to mean an age.

4.      Its context actually shows that God is not limited by time in fulfilling His promises.

5.      The second part of the verse says that a thousand years are also like one day, making the argument circular (see picture above).


2.     Genesis 1 is Written as an Allegory, Not True History


Some who believe the word day means long ages state that Genesis 1 is written as an allegory and not true history.

-    This contra­dicts the contextual support for the word day.

-    The Hebrew gram­matical sentence structure, the specific word used (day), and the clear understanding of the text all indicate the word day is to be taken as narrative history and not an allegory.


The view that the first chapter of Genesis is allegorical and not real history is often referred to as the framework hypoth­esis.

-    John MacArthur states the following about the framework hypothesis: “The problem with the framework hypothesis is that it employs a destructive method of interpretation. If the plain meaning of Genesis 1 may be written off and the language treated as noth­ing more than a literary device, why not do the same with Genesis 3? Where does the metaphor ultimately end and his­tory begin? After the Flood? After the Tower of Babel? And why there? Why not regard all the biblical miracles as literally devices [allegories]?” (6, pg. 21)


Is Genesis chapter one an allegory?

-    It is theoreti­cally possible, but where is the evidence?

-    There are no indications in Genesis chapter 1.

-    There are no indications in other passages of Scripture.

-    The only references to the length of the cre­ation week and to the lengths of the days are comparing them direct­ly to a literal week and a literal day.

EX 20:11 “ For in six days the LORD made the heavens and the earth, the sea and all that is in them…

Exodus 20:11 (NASB)


EX 31:17 “ …in six days the LORD made heaven and earth…

Exodus 31:17 (NASB)











The grammatical, contextual, and semantic structure of Genesis 1 indicates that the days are to be taken as literal days.

-    Those who oppose this do not do so because of any Biblical text, but because of a belief or confidence that scientists have proven the earth to be billions of years old. Therefore, they reinterpret the Biblical text to match this belief. In fact, there are many scientif­ic evidences that support a young earth.










3.     Not all Days with a Number Mean a Literal Day (Hosea 6:2)


HOS 6:2 “He will revive us after two days; He will raise us up on the third day, That we may live before Him.

Hosea 6:2 (NASB)


Some claim that this is one case where day used with a number is not a literal day; therefore all days with a number do not have to mean literal days.

-    This is a misleading statement.

-    In this verse, the prophet Hosea uses a Hebrew idiom. An idiom is a figure of speech that is unique to a particu­lar people or region.

-    The prophecy recorded in Hosea is a promise to restore Israel in a short period of time at some time in the future.

-    It is difficult to understand the significance of this prophecy if day is not based on its normal meaning of 24 hours.


If two days and third day in this passage do not invoke the meaning of normal 24-hour days, this expression loses its proper meaning.

-    This point is illustrated in other passages, which use figurative speech.

PS 18:2 The LORD is my rock...      PS 23:1 The LORD is my shepherd…      EX 17:15 The LORD is My Banner    

Psalm 18:2 (NASB)                    Psalm 23:1 (NASB)                            Exodus 17:15 (NASB)


-    The language is clearly figurative; the Lord is not actually a banner, shepherd, or rock.

-    The point is this:

-    The reason these figures of speech communicate an effective word-picture is because readers understand the literal meaning of those things to which the Lord is compared.


4.     The ”Facts” of Science Support the Earth is Old


Some have taken the stance that a scientific theory has priority over Scripture.

-    One of the most frequently argued objections to the trustworthi­ness of Scripture is found in the apparent discrepancy between the account of creation given in Genesis 1 and the supposed evidence from the fossils and geologic strata that indicate the earth is billions of years old.

-    Genesis 1 teaches that Creation took place in six 24-hour days.


This conflict between Genesis 1 and sci­ence is only apparent, not real.

-    Everything makes sense in light of the Bible.

-    “The Bible is not directly intended to be a book about natural science, yet it never contradicts the real facts of nature (once they are fully understood); and in many things has been found to be a truly marvelous anticipation of the most remarkable discoveries of modern science. Even the statements and allusions which at one time were criticized by science as incorrect and ignorant have been found by latter discoveries to be in real accord with the constitution of nature, although opposed to what was once supposed to be scientific truth.” – A.B. Simpson (11, pg. 18)


-    “Sometimes our understanding of science (what we observe, our interpretation of facts) is not correct. However, the track record reveals that given enough time, true scientific knowledge always supports the Bible.” – Mike Riddle (1, pg. 8)


-    “The more fully the facts of science are corrected and established, the more wonderful is the harmony which they show with all allusions of the Mosaic writings.” – A.B. Simpson (11, pg. 2)


-    “The Bible is supreme truth, and therefore it is the standard by which scientific theory should be evaluated, not vice versa.” – John MacArthur (6, pg. 22)


-    Typically those who put their faith first in science reinterpret the Bible in the following manner:

1.      Discredit the straightforward reading of a six-day creation, “it’s only symbolic.”

2.      Then promote science to a higher level.


-    This is a common tactic. First cause doubt in the Bible and then solve the problem with something new, in this case “science.”

-    This is of course assuming scientists are correct and we are willing to change the meaning of the Bible.

-    The “facts” of science are almost always shown to be wrong or have had to change based on newer, or more exact research anyway.

-    The current studies in the fossil record and geologic evidence actually support a more recent creation.


Why should we be cautious about committing ourselves to the temporary ideas of scientific beliefs, models, or theo­ries?

-    The history of evolutionary teaching demonstrates a history of unproven theories.

-    What was once passed off as fact is constantly changing.

-    “With new evidence and interpretation, old ideas are replaced or supplemented by newer ones.” (12)

-    This statement about science is well known and expected.

-    For example, the follow­ing were once taught as facts of evolution and sometimes still are:

-   Vestigial organs

-   Recapitulation

-   Piltdown man and Nebraska man

-   The Stanley Miller experiment

-   Long geological periods are required to make large canyons

-   Many layers of strata take thousands or millions of years to produce

-   Coal and oil require long ages to produce

-    If this is the track record of science, why would we want to reinterpret God’s Word using constantly changing ”facts?”

-    Britain’s Astronomer Royal, Sir Martin Rees makes the following comment about science:“Scientific explanations remain perpetually incomplete. If we learn anything from the pursuit of science, it is that even something as basic as an atom is quite difficult to understand. This alone should induce skepticism about any dogma or any claim to have achieved more than a very incomplete and metaphorical insight into any profound aspect or our existence.” (13, pg 49)

-    We can stand on God’s Word as never changing truth.

LK 21:33 “ Heaven and earth will pass away, but My words will not pass away.

Luke 21:33 (NASB)


JN 17:17 Your word is truth.

John 17:17 (NASB)


Atheist Now Believes in First Cause

-    Oxford professor, Antony Flew, was one of the world’s leading atheists.

-    “Mr. Flew has been called the most influential atheist philosopher in the world, and his arguments against the existence of God are staples of many college anthologies and textbooks.” (15, pg. 22)


-    He now believes in a Creator.

-    “At age 81, after decades of insisting belief is a mistake, Antony Flew has concluded that some sort of intelligence or first cause must have created the universe. A super-intelligence is the only good explanation for the origin of life and the complexity of nature.” (14)

-    “I am very much impressed with physicist Gerald Schroeder’s comments on Genesis 1. That this biblical account might be scientifically accurate raises the possibility that it is revelation.” (16)

-    “I think that the most impressive arguments for God’s existence are those that are supported by recent scientific discoveries. I think the argument to Intelligent Design is enormously stronger than it was when I first met it.” (16)

-    “It now seems to me that the findings of more than fifty years of DNA research have provided materials for a new and enormously powerful argument to design.” (16)

-    “Yet biologists’ investigations of DNA has shown, by the almost unbelievable complexity of the arrangements which are needed to produce life, that intelligence must have been involved.” (14)

-    “Well, the First Cause, if there was a First Cause, has very clearly produced everything that is going on. I suppose that does imply creation “in the beginning.” (16)


-    Why would Professor Flew renounce his life’s work and the reason for his fame?


-    “My whole life has been guided by the principle of Plato [and] Socrates. Follow the evidence, wherever it leads.” (15, pg. 22)






5.     Appeal to Authority


Many use an appeal to authority to support the view that the days of creation were not literal 24-hour days. There are several reasons why we should be cautious when someone uses an appeal to authority as the basis of their argument.


Hebrew Scholars who are willing to accept current scientific theories over God’s word.

-    When referencing Hebrew scholars who do not believe in 24-hour days, we should examine why they do not believe the plain reading of the Bible.

-    In many cases it is not because they believe the word day means long ages, but rather because of their willingness to accept current scientific theories over God’s Word.

-    Gleason Archer (Ph.D. Harvard University, Professor of Old Testament and Semitic Studies at Trinity Evangelical Seminary) writes: “From a superficial reading of Genesis 1, the impression received is that the entire creative process took place in six twenty-four hour days. If this was the true intent of the Hebrew author (a questionable deduction, as will be presently shown), this seems to run counter to modern scientific research, which indicates that the planet Earth was created several billion years ago. In the nineteenth century the chief evidence for this extreme antiq­uity (which was then, however, computed to be far less than is the case today) was found in the rate at which sediment is deposited by water action in modern times.” (7, pg. 181–182)


Popular theories tend to be discarded for new discover­ies.

-    If we use popular scientific theories to interpret the Bible, a dangerous precedence is set.

-    History demonstrates that popular theories tend to be discarded for new discoveries.

-    How often are we willing to change the meaning of God’s Word based on new scientific discoveries?

-    Today, there is much scientific evidence to support a young earth.

-    Keith Wanser (Ph.D. Condensed Matter Physics) states the following about scientific evidence: I am convinced there is far more evidence for a recent, six-day creation and a global Flood than there is for an old earth and evolution.” (8, pg. 58)

-    It is false and misleading to state that scientists have proven the earth is billions of years old.

-    It is also false and misleading to state that the only reason some scientists believe in a young earth is because of their religious beliefs.

-    The majority of scientific evi­dence today actually supports a young earth.


The scientists who believe in a young earth do so for two rea­sons:

1.      The clear reading of the Bible indicates a literal 6-day creation.

2.      There is much scientific evidence that supports a young earth.


In conclusion, how reliable is this appeal to authority (Hebrew scholars and scientists) by theistic evolu­tionists to support long ages?…Not reliable, because the information is either:

1.      Misleading in the case of Hebrew scholars, since they believe in long ages because of their understanding of science rather than their interpretation of the Hebrew.

2.      Misleading in the case of scientific evidence, since there is much evidence that supports a young earth.


Eleven Contextual Elements That Support a Literal Day


The Hebrew word for day is yom (Goodrick/Kohlenberger, 3117, µ/y:) which means day (24 hours), daytime (in contrast to night); by extension: an indefinite period of time, an era with a certain characteristic, such as “the day of the Lord” and the prophetic “on that day.” (5)

-    This word can have several meanings. It can mean the daylight portion of a day, a 24-hour day, or some distant point in time.

-    If a word can have so many different meanings, how do we know what it means when we read it?

-    We must look at the surround­ing context to determine the true meaning.


1.     A Number Used with Each Day


When we read through Genesis 1 we note that there is a num­ber used each time with the word day.

“And there was evening and there was morning, one day.”

“And there was evening and there was morning, a second day.”

“There was evening and there was morning, a third day.”

“There was evening and there was morning, a fourth day.”

“There was evening and there was morning, a fifth day.”

“And there was evening and there was morning, the sixth day.”

Genesis 1:5, 8, 13, 19, 23, 31 (NASB)


-    Each time day is used with a number, it is always taken to mean a short period of time, a literal day.

-    A number is used with the word day over 350 times in the Old Testament.

-    In the hundreds of other cases in the Old Testament where yom stands in conjunction with a number (first, second, third, etc.), it never means anything other than a normal, literal day.

EX 12:15 ‘ Seven days you shall eat unleavened bread, but on the first day you shall remove leaven from your houses; for whoever eats anything leavened from the first day until the seventh day, that person shall be cut off from Israel.

Exodus 12:15 (NASB)


EX 24:16 The glory of the LORD rested on Mount Sinai, and the cloud covered it for six days; and on the seventh day He called to Moses from the midst of the cloud.

Exodus 24:16 (NASB)




2.     Evening and Morning - Each Day is Defined


In Genesis 1, God defines the length of a day. He puts the parameters, “evening” and “morning” around the word day just to make sure we would understand that the creation days were liter­al days and not long periods of time.

“And there was evening and there was morning, one day.”

“And there was evening and there was morning, a second day.”

“There was evening and there was morning, a third day.”

“There was evening and there was morning, a fourth day.”

“There was evening and there was morning, a fifth day.”

“And there was evening and there was morning, the sixth day.”

Genesis 1:5, 8, 13, 19, 23, 31 (NASB)


-    Each of these verses clearly sets a definite beginning and end to each of the creation days.

-    The qualifying words, “evening” and “morning,” attached here to each of these recurring statements occur together outside of Genesis in 37 verses. In each instance these words are employed to describe an ordinary day.

EX 18:13 It came about the next day that Moses sat to judge the people, and the people stood about Moses from the morning until the evening.

Exodus 18:13 (NASB)


3.     Genesis 1:14


In the middle of the creation account (Genesis 1:14), God makes a distinction between a day, a season, and a year, indicating that they are different lengths of time.

GE 1:14 Then 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;

Genesis 1:14 (NASB)


-    If we want to make the days of creation long indefinite periods of time, then what is a season, or what is a year? The whole verse (Genesis 1:14) fails to have any meaning if a day is not a literal day.

-    Does a season become an extra long indefinite period of time? And how long of an indefinite period of time is a year?

-    When we add man’s changing ideas into the Bible, the Bible becomes difficult to understand.

-    Why change the clear meaning of the Bible to accommodate evolution, which is an ever-changing model depending on the current understanding, or teaching, of the scientific evidence?


4.     Exodus 20:11 and 31:17-18


In Exodus 20:11 God makes this statement:

EX 20:11 “ For in six days the LORD made the heavens and the earth…

Exodus 20:11 (NASB)


-    In this passage, God is giving the Ten Commandments directly to Moses. This implies that God is communicating ideas that are to be understood in human terms.

-    God said His creation took six days, not six million years or six billion years.

-    This exactly coin­cides with Genesis 1. Scripture supporting Scripture.

-    This should settle once and for all any doubt we might have about the length of the days of creation.

-    This statement by God is also given in Exodus 31:17 -18. Note that in the following verses it is not Moses writing, but God with His own finger.

EX 31:17 “ It is a sign between Me and the sons of Israel forever; for in six days the LORD made heaven and earth, but on the seventh day He ceased from labor, and was refreshed.”

EX 31:18 When He had finished speaking with him upon Mount Sinai, He gave Moses the two tablets of the testimony, tablets of stone, written by the finger of God.

Exodus 31:17-18 (NASB)

-    It was not man that stated the heavens and earth were created in six days, but God wrote it on stone tablets.


5.     Choice of Words


The choice of words used to communicate the dura­tion of God’s creation is significant. In the Hebrew language, just as in the English language, there are many words that can be used to indicate some form of time.

-    In the Hebrew language there are several words that can be used to indicate a long period of time.

-    If God had wanted us to understand that His creation took a long period of time (millions or billions of years), He could have used any of these other words.

-    But God chose none of them, He specif­ically chose the word "day", He was consistent with how He used it (with a number), He defined the length of the day (evening and morning), and He wrote it down for us on clay tablets (Exodus 20:11). What more evidence do we need that God took six literal days to create?


Now consider this: What is the purpose of a language?

-    The answer is to communicate. Whom is God trying to communicate with in His Word?…Us.

-    God communicates to us through His Word - the Bible.

-    Would it make any sense if God deliberately chose the word day, supported by contextual meaning to be a lit­eral day and intend it to mean something else (long ages)?

-    If this is how God intends to communicate to us (the word day really meaning long ages), how can we be sure of anything else in His Word?


6.     Sentence Structure


Linguists divide the world’s languages into groups according to the structure they use for their normal statements, as opposed to questions or literary devices.

-    All languages have sen­tences. So far no language has been discovered which does not have them.

-    Sentences have parts we call subjects (S), verbs (V), and objects (O). Not all sentences have all three, but they occur in all languages.

-    Languages differ in the order in which these parts appear in basic sentences.

-    English is called an SVO language, Hebrew is VSO, and Japanese is SOV. If we take a sentence like OUR CAT CAUGHT A MOUSE, the sentence would appear in the three lan­guages roughly as follows:

-    English: Our cat (S) caught (V) a mouse (O).

-    Hebrew: Caught (V) our cat (S) a mouse (O).

-    Japanese: Our cat (S) a mouse (O) caught (V).

-    In stylish writing and in poetry, word order is often changed. The Psalms are written with an SVO structure.

-    In general, if the Hebrew sentence structure is VSO it is written as narrative, but if it is SVO, it is poetic. How does Genesis 1:1 translate from the Hebrew?

GE 1:1 In the beginning created (V) God (S) the heavens (O) and the earth.

Genesis 1:1

-    This is standard VSO, making it narrative/historic, not poetic as in the book of Psalms.


Another general feature of languages is that the first time a word is used we must know its true meaning.

-    A very important point that most people overlook when it comes to word use, is that it is impossible to use a word as a symbol, or figuratively, unless it already has a literal meaning.

-    The word day cannot, in Hebrew or English, be used in the abstract or symbolic sense unless it already has a clearly understood liter­al meaning.




7.     Genealogies


The Biblical genealogies in Genesis 5 support a recent creation.

-    Often times the argument is made that we can’t trust the Bible because there are gaps in the list of names. A simple review of the genealogies in the Bible shows that this is not true.

-    The genealogies in Genesis chapter 5, 1 Chronicles chapter 1, and Luke chapter 3, list the exact first ten names starting with Adam. In all three places the names are identical. So where do some people get the idea that names have been omitted?…Not from the Bible.

-    The interesting thing is that it wouldn’t matter if names were omitted because the life spans overlap.


The graph to the right contains an abbreviated listing of some of the first ten patriarchs and shows when they were born, how long they lived, and when they died.

-    Note that Adam was living at the same time as Noah’s father, Lamech.

-    Noah was living at the same time as Abraham’s father, Terah.

There is an overlapping of life spans, which means it would not matter if any names were omitted.


We are told over and over that the genealogies contain gaps.

-    However, in order to fill these gaps to match the alleged millions of years, it would require hundreds, or thousands of missing generations.

-    Even allowing for the numerous gaps in the chronological tables given in Genesis 5 and Genesis 10 it is unrea­sonable to suppose that a hundred times as many generations are omitted in these tables as are included in them. Why would the Bible give only a few names in the genealogies and leave out so many? What would be the purpose of the genealogy?

-    But even if the gaps in certain genealogies could not be filled in, very little would be gained, for such relatively minor stretching could in no way begin to approach the millions of years required by evolutionary theory.

-    It is better to be honest and face the facts, a straightforward reading of Scripture teaches an earth only a few thousand years old. This is irrecon­cilable with the long ages proposed by evolutionary theory.




Based on the Biblical genealogies the time from today back to the time of Jesus Christ is about 2,000 years and the time from Jesus back to Abraham is about 2,000 years.

-    Therefore, the only time in question is the time from Abraham back to Adam, which is also shown through the genealogies to be about 2,000 years.

-    If we add this up, we get a Biblical age for the earth of about 6,000 years.


The date of creation, as taken from the Scriptures, has been calculated by many scholars over the centuries resulting in many different solutions, most all pointing to a young earth (review the table on last page).

-    The differences in ages are due to the starting text (Septuagint or Hebrew) and because of different opinions and interpretations made by the people involved.

-    Bishop Ussher prepared a chronology of Biblical events based on a study of the Holy Scriptures, deriving 4004 BC as the year of the creation of the universe.


Can these chronological dates be accurately challenged using scientific means?

-    The answer is no. Neither geology, paleontology, nor any other means can extract a precise date for the age of the earth and the antiquity of man.

-    Scientists have shown that all radioisotope dating methods, including carbon-14, are based on unverified assumptions.

-    Historical records are still the only reliable method of obtaining real dates.


8.     Plants and Sunlight


If each day of creation was a long period of time (millions of years) then the plants, which were created on day 3, would have had to survive without sunlight for millions of years because the sun was not created until day 4. This fact eliminates any idea of the days being long periods of time.

-    In order to get around this, some claim that the sun and stars were not created on the fourth day, but existed for billions of years before earth’s creation.

-    The Scriptures are very clear that the sun, moon, and stars were created on the fourth day (Genesis 1:14-19).

-    To state that the sun and stars existed prior to the six days of creation is a clear contra­diction of Exodus 20:11 and is not supported anywhere in Scripture. This type of statement is an example of adding infor­mation into God’s Word to support non-biblical theories.

EX 20:11 “ For in six days the LORD made the heavens and the earth, the sea and all that is in them, and rested on the seventh day; therefore the LORD blessed the sabbath day and made it holy.

Exodus 20:11 (NASB)


9.     The Sun


How can the days of creation be an undefined length (long age), when the fourth day, and those after it, are measured by the sun?

-    It is clear from Genesis 1 that these days are normal solar days.


10.      The Plain Reading of the Text


The straightforward reading of Genesis 1 is that the days of creation are to be taken as literal days (24-hour periods).

-    John MacArthur writes: “But if the Lord wanted to teach us that creation took place in six literal days, how could He have stated it more plainly than Genesis does? The length of the days is defined by periods of day and night that are governed after day four by the sun and moon.” (6, pg. 21)

-    Absolutely nothing in the text of Genesis 1:1 - 2:3 speaks of evo­lution or long geological ages in the creation process. The text itself is in fact a straightforward refutation of all evolutionary principles. Theistic evolution and billion-year-old-earth theories are all refuted if we simply take the statements of Genesis at face value.






“In the beginning” describes the time of God’s creation.

-    This is not a myth; it is a historical event.

-    Genesis 1:1 gives the prin­ciple statement with three circumstantial clauses following v. 2, suggesting there is no gap between 1:1 and 1:2.

-    The word cre­ated (Hebrew, bara) suggests God created ex nihilo, ‘out of nothing,’ it was not a refashioning of previous materials.

-    The days of cre­ation are referred to as ”it was evening and it was morning,” sug­gesting 24-hour days.

-    The statements ”second day,” “third day,” also demand 24-hour days.


11.      Semantics


Semantics in linguistic study deals with the issue of the accurate evaluation of the meaning of expressions (words, phrases, clauses, sentences, etc.), which are been used.


We can use semantics to call attention to the crucial question of the exact meaning of the Hebrew word yom.

-    Could the desig­nation day in Genesis 1 possibly have a figurative meaning in this chapter?

-    The matter of semantics is particularly important in view of the fact that the Hebrew word yom in the singular and plural has a variety of meanings.

-    It can have any of five meanings: 1) a period of light; 2) a period of 24 hours; 3) a general, vague time; 4) a point of time; 5) a year.

-    One way semantics helps determine the meaning of a word is how it is used in combination with other words.


What are the semantic guidelines for non-literal meanings of the Hebrew word yom? In other words, what condi­tions must be present in the text to make the word day mean something other than a literal day?

-    The non-literal meanings of the word yom are always found in connection with prepositions, prepositional phrases with a verb, compound constructions, formulas, and technical expressions. In other words, non-literal meanings of this Hebrew word have special linguistic and contextual connections, which indicate clearly that a non-literal meaning is intended.

-    If such special linguistic connections are absent, the term yom has its normal meaning of a literal 24-hour day.


Does Genesis chapter 1 contain the needed indicators by which yom can clearly be recognized to have a literal or non-liter­al meaning? The answer is yes. The words used in Genesis chap­ter 1 support a literal meaning (24-hour day).

1.      The word yom is always used in the singular.

2.      The word yom is always joined to a numeral.

3.      The word yom is never combined with a preposition or compound construction. It always appears as a plain noun.

4.      The word yom is consistently defined by a phrase relat­ing to time in the preceding sentence, and there was evening and there was morning. This clause serves as a defining function for the word day.

5.      The complementary creation account in Genesis chap­ter 2 contains a non-literal, figurative meaning of the word yom.

a.       When the non-literal meaning is intended the semantic and syntactical conventions used through­out the Old Testament are employed. This is the case in the non-literal usage in Genesis 2:4, in the day that the Lord God made the earth….

b.      There is a clear semantic difference in the usage of the word day in Genesis chap­ter 1 and Genesis 2:4. In Genesis 2:4 the noun yom is joined to the preposition in making it non-literal.


In short, the semantic and syntactical usages of yom in Genesis 1 as compared with semantic usages and linguistic connections of this word in other Old Testament pas­sages does not allow it to mean a long period of time or age. The Hebrew language, its grammar, syntax, linguistic structures as well as its semantic usage allows only for the creation days in Genesis 1 to mean literal days.

-    Martin Luther makes the following statement: “The Days of creation were ordinary days in length. We must understand that these days were actual days, contrary to the opinion of the Holy Fathers. Whenever we observe that the opinions of the Fathers disagree with Scripture, we reverently bear with them and acknowledge them to be our elders. Nevertheless, we do not depart from the authority of Scripture for their sake.” (20, pg. 1523)





Today theologians and others are being led to change the plain meaning of the creation days.

-    This influence is not coming from the reading of the Biblical text.

-    This pressure or motivation to reinterpret Genesis is based on external influences such as secular theories (evolution).

-    The clear reading of Genesis 1 is that the days are literal 24­-hour days and not long ages. John MacArthur sums it up best: “So-called theistic evolutionists who try to marry humanistic theories of modern science with biblical theism may claim they are doing so because they love God, but the truth is that they love God a little and their academic reputations a lot. By undermin­ing the historicity of Genesis they are undermining faith itself. Give evolutionary doctrine the throne and make the Bible its ser­vant, and you have laid the foundation for spiritual disaster.” (6, pg. 25-26)

-    Paul Enns, Th.D. and Dean of the Institute of Biblical Training and author of The Moody Handbook of Theology concludes: “The days of creation are referred to as ‘it was evening and it was morning,’ suggesting twenty-four hour days. The statements ‘second day,’ ‘third day,’ also demand twenty-four hour days. The creation account is a denial of any form of evolution-atheistic, theistic, or threshold. If man is the product of an evolutionary process then man is not morally accountable to God; if, howev­er, God directly created man, then man is accountable to God and was created that he might walk in holiness for fellowship with God.” (9, pg 39-40)



Consider This…

If you were told to rewrite Genesis 1 so that everyone would clearly understand that the days of creation were literal days, what would you change?…The answer is nothing.


If you were told to rewrite Genesis 1 so that everyone would clearly understand that the days of creation were long periods of time (long ages), what would you change?

-    At a minimum you would change the word day in each case to some other word or phrase.

-    You would probably add information to clearly show that millions of years passed.

-    You would also want to describe what was happening during those eons.

In other words, you would rewrite the entire passage.


How much clearer could God have made His Word to us that His creation took six literal days?…None.

-    Martin Luther wrote: “When Moses writes that God created Heaven and earth and whatever is in them in six days, then let this period continue to have been six days…But, if you cannot understand how this could have been done in six days, then grant the Holy Spirit the honor of being more learned than you are. For you are to deal with Scripture in such a way that you bear in mind that God himself says what is written. But since God is speaking, it is not fitting for you wantonly to turn His Word in the direction you wish to go.” (20, pg. 1523)


Is it possible to combine the Bible and evolution?

Did God use evolution as part of His creative process?

-    Not according to the Bible and the description and meaning of the days of creation.

-    The Bible clearly supports the days of creation were 24-hour peri­ods and the earth is about 6,000 years old.




1.      It Matters What We Believe by Mike Riddle, 2003

2.      It All begins with Genesis by Sheila Richardson, 2002

3.      The New Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance of the Bible by James Strong (1822-1894), 1996

4.      Systematic Theology: An Introduction to Biblical Doctrine by Dr. Wayne Grudem, 1994

5.      Goodrick/Kohlenberger Number Definitions (The NIV Exhaustive Concordance), 2002

6.      The Battle for the Beginning by John MacArthur, 2001

7.      A Survey of the Old Testament by Gleason Archer, 1982

8.      Creation ex nihilo by Keith Wanser, 1999

9.      The Moody Handbook of Theology by Paul Enns, 1989

10.  The Physics and Chemistry of Life, “The Origin of Life” by George Wald, 1955

11.  The Christ in the Bible Commentary Volume One by A.B. Simpson, 1888

12.  NSTA Position Statements by National Science Teachers Association, July 2000 and July 2003

13.  Scientific American article Doom and Gloom by 2100, July 2004

14.  Famous Atheist Now Believes in God online at

15.  World magazine article Flew the coop, December 25, 2004

16.  Philosophia Christi article My Pilgrimage from Atheism to Theism, Winter 2005

17.  The in Depth Journal of Creation article Biblical Chronogeneologies, 17(3) 2003

18.  Young’s Analytical Concordance to the Holy Bible, table compiled by William Hale, 1879

19.  The Answers Book edited by Don Batten, 1990

20.  What Martin Luther Says, a Practical In-Home Anthology for the Active Christian by E.M. Plass, 1991