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The Days of Genesis 1–Literal or Figurative?
Jan 1st, 2018 at 10:10pm
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DAYS OR AGES?

A more popular proposal is known as the Day-Age Theory, because it seeks to convert the creation “days” into vast epochs of time, or “ages.” Support for this view has been sought in the variety of ways the Hebrew Scriptures use the word “day.” However, the matter cannot be settled by merely appealing to the ways the word “day” is used elsewhere; the issue must be determined by how the word is used in Genesis 1. In that context, the most natural reading is that the days were normal, 24-hours days (see Thompson, 1995, pp. 127-155).

Justification also is sought in 2 Peter 3:8 where the Bible says: “with the Lord one day is as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day.” Hence, if God defines a “day” as being equivalent to 1,000 years, the days of creation must have been 1,000 years each. Two problems are obvious with this argument. First, the definition of “day” is not the concern of the passage, but rather the longsuffering nature of God. The intervention of many years between a promise of God and its fulfillment should not lull one into the belief that God will fail to keep His word—since human time is inconsequential to God. Second, this passage is irrelevant to the discussion. Even if one were to grant this strained interpretation a voice in the discussion of the creation week, the most one gains is 7,000 years—hardly the billions needed to accommodate current age estimates.


IS GOD RETIRED OR AT REST?

Another passage called upon to prove that the creation “days” were long ages is Hebrews 4:4-11, where the inspired writer speaks of the continuation of God’s rest:

    For He has spoken in a certain place of the seventh day in this way: And God rested on the seventh day from all His works; and again in this place: They shall not enter My rest. Since therefore it remains that some must enter it, and those to whom it was first preached did not enter because of disobedience again He designates a certain day, saying in David, Today, after such a long time, as it has been said: Today, if you will hear His voice, Do not harden your hearts. For if Joshua had given them rest, then He would not afterward have spoken of another day. There remains therefore a rest for the people of God. For he who has entered His rest has himself also ceased from his works as God did from His. Let us therefore be diligent to enter that rest, lest anyone fall according to the same example of disobedience.

Hence, if God’s Sabbath day (the seventh day of the creation week) is continuing to this very day, then perhaps the other days of the creation week were also long periods of time (Ross, 1994, pp. 48-49,59-60; Geisler and Brooks, 1990, p. 230). It is difficult to see, however, how this passage can be used either to argue that the seventh day continues, or to justify belief in the Day Age Theory. In the first place, the passage says nothing of the duration of the seventh day of the creation week. It does speak of a cessation—beginning on the seventh day—of God’s creation activity. But the fact that God has not engaged in creation activity since the close of day six says nothing about the duration of the creation days. If a man retired from military service at age 40 and began another career, his new employment would not be called “retirement” just because he is retired from one career. Likewise, God finished the creation, took a day of rest, and then entered a new working relationship with the created realm...

http://thecreationclub.com/the-days-of-genesis-1-literal-or-figurative/?utm_cont...
  


"Without morals a republic cannot subsist any length of time; they therefore who are decrying the Christian religion, whose morality is so sublime and pure (and) which insures to the good eternal happiness, are undermining the solid foundation of morals, the best security for the duration of free governments."

Charles Carroll, signer of the DOI
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Re: The Days of Genesis 1–Literal or Figurative?
Reply #1 - Jan 9th, 2018 at 3:45pm
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Regardless of what the astronomers and cosmologists may say about the age of the Universe, Genesis describes a creation week comprised of ordinary days.

Genesis 1:14 suggests "ordinary" days and time were not created until the fourth "day":

And God said, Let there be lights in the firmament of the heaven to divide the day from the night; and let them be for signs, and for seasons, and for days, and years:

The post's author doesn't seem to address this, and instead relies on some questionable reasoning to reach his conclusion to wit: "The ancient Hebrews hardly could have imagined that the creation week was any different from theirs."

That's basically his entire argument. Forget about science, it was an ordinary day because that's what the Hebrews writing the Bible understood. Ok. I guess people back then couldn't write figuratively.
« Last Edit: Jan 9th, 2018 at 5:12pm by Demos »  
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Re: The Days of Genesis 1–Literal or Figurative?
Reply #2 - Jan 9th, 2018 at 7:15pm
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Demos wrote on Jan 9th, 2018 at 3:45pm:
Genesis 1:14 suggests "ordinary" days and time were not created until the fourth "day":

And God said, Let there be lights in the firmament of the heaven to divide the day from the night; and let them be for signs, and for seasons, and for days, and years:

The post's author doesn't seem to address this, and instead relies on some questionable reasoning to reach his conclusion to wit: "The ancient Hebrews hardly could have imagined that the creation week was any different from theirs."

That's basically his entire argument. Forget about science, it was an ordinary day because that's what the Hebrews writing the Bible understood. Ok. I guess people back then couldn't write figuratively.

So who are we placing limitations on, God or men?
  


"Without morals a republic cannot subsist any length of time; they therefore who are decrying the Christian religion, whose morality is so sublime and pure (and) which insures to the good eternal happiness, are undermining the solid foundation of morals, the best security for the duration of free governments."

Charles Carroll, signer of the DOI
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Re: The Days of Genesis 1–Literal or Figurative?
Reply #3 - Jan 9th, 2018 at 7:18pm
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The argument is did we slowly evolve or was God's word suffice to create on each day what Genesis proclaims.  If we accept evolve then I have to ask you, did sin evolve?  Goes to the heart of scripture.
  


"Without morals a republic cannot subsist any length of time; they therefore who are decrying the Christian religion, whose morality is so sublime and pure (and) which insures to the good eternal happiness, are undermining the solid foundation of morals, the best security for the duration of free governments."

Charles Carroll, signer of the DOI
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Re: The Days of Genesis 1–Literal or Figurative?
Reply #4 - Jan 9th, 2018 at 7:23pm
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Seawolf wrote on Jan 9th, 2018 at 7:15pm:
So who are we placing limitations on, God or men?

Seems like the author is placing limitations on God by suggesting it's an ordinary day just because that's what Hebrews understood. No? Or does placing limits on God only happen when we look at science? And if he created the universe and universal physical laws, how is our understanding them placing limits on God?
  
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Re: The Days of Genesis 1–Literal or Figurative?
Reply #5 - Jan 9th, 2018 at 8:35pm
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Demos wrote on Jan 9th, 2018 at 7:23pm:
Seems like the author is placing limitations on God by suggesting it's an ordinary day just because that's what Hebrews understood. No? Or does placing limits on God only happen when we look at science? And if he created the universe and universal physical laws, how is our understanding them placing limits on God?

Did not the Creator establish all laws that govern the universe?  Let's both be honest and state we have extremely limited capacity, even with our science to grasp God.  If God says he created the heavens and the earth in six days how do we argue what the Creator states?
  


"Without morals a republic cannot subsist any length of time; they therefore who are decrying the Christian religion, whose morality is so sublime and pure (and) which insures to the good eternal happiness, are undermining the solid foundation of morals, the best security for the duration of free governments."

Charles Carroll, signer of the DOI
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Re: The Days of Genesis 1–Literal or Figurative?
Reply #6 - Jan 9th, 2018 at 8:38pm
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The Beginning

1 In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. 2 Now the earth was formless and empty, darkness was over the surface of the deep, and the Spirit of God was hovering over the waters.

3 And God said, “Let there be light,” and there was light. 4 God saw that the light was good, and he 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.


So I am reading this and the very first 5 verses lay out the definition of a day.  How does anyone state otherwise?
  


"Without morals a republic cannot subsist any length of time; they therefore who are decrying the Christian religion, whose morality is so sublime and pure (and) which insures to the good eternal happiness, are undermining the solid foundation of morals, the best security for the duration of free governments."

Charles Carroll, signer of the DOI
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Re: The Days of Genesis 1–Literal or Figurative?
Reply #7 - Jan 9th, 2018 at 8:50pm
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Seawolf wrote on Jan 9th, 2018 at 8:35pm:
Did not the Creator establish all laws that govern the universe?

Why are you just repeating what I asked back to you instead answering the question.

Quote:
If God says he created the heavens and the earth in six days how do we argue what the Creator states?

Is that exactly what God said, or how it was described or interpreted by whomever wrote it? If you don't have a way to describe something literally to your audience, would you not use figurative language to help them understand?

And this gets back to my original question, which you didn't answer. As we better understand the physical laws of the universe, how is that placing limits on God?

Quote:
So I am reading this and the very first 5 verses lay out the definition of a day.  How does anyone state otherwise?

Then how do you explain verse 14? Just repetition? Clearly there is a difference between the "day" described in verse 5 and verse 14.
  
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Re: The Days of Genesis 1–Literal or Figurative?
Reply #8 - Jan 9th, 2018 at 9:02pm
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Demos wrote on Jan 9th, 2018 at 8:50pm:
Why are you just repeating what I asked back to you instead answering the question.

Is that exactly what God said, or how it was described or interpreted by whomever wrote it? If you don't have a way to describe something literally to your audience, would you not use figurative language to help them understand?

And this gets back to my original question, which you didn't answer. As we better understand the physical laws of the universe, how is that placing limits on God?

Then how do you explain verse 14? Just repetition? Clearly there is a difference between the "day" described in verse 5 and verse 14.
If you read it throughout Chapter one you will notice a repetition

  ...And there was evening, and there was morning—the first day.

  ...And there was evening, and there was morning—the second day.

  ...And there was evening, and there was morning—the third day.

  ...And there was evening, and there was morning—the fourth day.

  ...And there was evening, and there was morning—the fifth day.

  ...And there was evening, and there was morning—the sixth day.

It seems the author was very clear in defining a full day.  How can anyone read it differently?
  


"Without morals a republic cannot subsist any length of time; they therefore who are decrying the Christian religion, whose morality is so sublime and pure (and) which insures to the good eternal happiness, are undermining the solid foundation of morals, the best security for the duration of free governments."

Charles Carroll, signer of the DOI
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Re: The Days of Genesis 1–Literal or Figurative?
Reply #9 - Jan 10th, 2018 at 12:54am
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3 And God said, “Let there be light,” and there was light. 4 God saw that the light was good, and he separated the light from the darkness. 5 God called the light “day,” and the darkness he called “night.”


So, to jump back down the rabbit hole, what was used to differentiate the light and darkness in this verse?

As Demos showed, in his Elizabethan English translation, the sun didn't come around until the fourth "day," so what are you assuming as your defining marker of light/darkness or evening/morning?
  

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