A Defense For a Literal Six Day Creation

Excerpts from

John C. Whitcomb’s statements in his book, The Bible and Astronomy pp.21-22:

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“…it may be surprising to many people to learn how strong are the biblical arguments in its support, if the indispensable historical/grammatical system of biblical hermeneutics are be accepted:

1) Although the Hebrew word for “day (yom) can refer to a time period longer than 24 hours (e.g. “day of the Lord”), its attachment to a numerical adjective restricts its meaning to 24 hours (“second day,” etc.,cf Num.7:12-78).

2) The formula “evening and morning” indicates a 24-hour cycle of the earth rotating on its axis in reference to a fixed astronomic light source (not necessarily the sun). The same phrase appears in Dan. 8:26 (cf. 8:14 ASV) where it must refer to literal days.

3) No Israelite would have understood God’s days of creation to be longer than 24 hours, especially because of the clear analogy with man’s weekly cycle of work and rest (Exod.20:11;31:15-17). Six “days” (plural) cannot be figurative.

4) The “days” of Genesis 1:14 must be literal or the word “years” in the same verse would be meaningless.

5) The “day” of 2 Peter 3:8 must be a literal day in order for the contrast with “a thousand years” to be protected. God can do in a very short time what men or “nature” would require a very long time (if ever) to accomplish. This is why sinful mankind would naturally prefer to stretch God’s days of creation to cover vast periods of time.

6) Since the “day” of Genesis 2:4 lacks the numerical adjective, it could refer either to the first day or to the entire creation week. Or the phrase could simply mean “when.”

7) Nothing is really gained by lengthening the creation days to accommodate the evolutionary timetable of earth history, for the revealed events are often in reverse order from that which evolutionism requires (e.g. earth before sun; whales before land mammals; birds before reptiles).

It has not been generally understood that the order of events in Genesis one is deliberate and meaningful, and that all alternative views to the traditional view of a comparatively recent creation week share a common denial of this divine order. While claiming to allow the opening chapter of the Bible to speak for itself, proponents of these alternative views are in reality reversing the created order of the earth and of the stellar universe to accommodate the uniformitarian consensus among contemporary astronomers. One result of this reversal is the tragic eclipse of a profound message that permeates the entire Old Testament: the Creator is infinitely superior to the creation, including the astronomical creation.”