Genesis 1: The Age / Day Debate - Proof that the Creation Days of Genesis are God’s Days, Not Ours

God created time, space, and the universe from nothing1

The two timelines in the Bible: Before examining what happened during the different days of Genesis, it is important to first understand how to interpret the Genesis days. Orthodox Jews and Christians both contend that God created the universe from nothing and mankind from the dust (Gen. 1:1; 2:7). Yet, many devout Jews and Christians disagree about how to interpret the Genesis days. These groups are called young and old earth creationists. The two groups disagree on how to interpret the Hebrew word “Yom” or day. Although some argue that their view is the only correct translation, scholars have made clear that the word “Yom” may be literally translated three different ways. These include: (1) sunrise to sunset; (2) sunrise to sunrise; and (3) a finite era or epic.2 For example, the authors of several study Bibles, including the New International Version and New American Standard Bibles agree that the terms “eras” or “epochs” are equally acceptable, literal interpretations of the word “Yom.” The book of Genesis also makes clear that the word “day” can be interpreted as a more general period of time. In Genesis chapter two, the word “day” refers to God’s entire creation week: “ the day of the Lord, God made the Earth and heaven.” (Gen. 2:4). Another example is found in Hosea. There, Hosea prophesied that mankind will be raised up after three “days” or eras, a likely reference to the rapture: “He will revive us after two days; He will raise us up on the third day, that we may live before Him.” (Hos. 6:2). In 1982, the International Council for Biblical Inerrancy at its Conference on Hermeneutics, examined this issue and also refused to limit the interpretation of the Genesis days to a recent 144-solar hour event.3 A number of churches, like the Presbyterian Church, have also concluded that the Genesis days are subject to more than one proper interpretation.4

Believers are in fact mistaken if they believe that they are forced to pick a single interpretation. Time is one of the great paradoxes of the Bible. God exists in His own time in heaven. He created both our time, and our universe (1 Cor. 2:7; Heb. 1:2; 11:3). He can intervene at any point in our time. He also knows the outcome of human history and reveals it through the Bible. The Bible is spoken from both His, and our frame of reference. Genesis 1 and 2 record the events of His first six creation days. The rest of the Bible records human time, which takes place during His seventh day of rest. Revelation 22 and 23 record His eighth day when He will create again. Moses, the author of Genesis, wrote in Psalm 90:4: “For a thousand years in your sight are like a day that has just gone by, . . ..” Psalm 90 is Moses’ only psalm. Thus, he desired that believers pay attention to the two kinds of days. Yet, this does not mean that we can compare God’s time to our time by a fixed standard of measurement. Peter explained that our time has no meaning to Him. He is free to intervene at any time: “with the Lord one day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years like one day.” (2 Peter: 3:8(b)). This, however, does not mean that His time has no meaning to Him. He promises to forget your sins after Jesus brings His believers to heaven (Heb. 8:12; Is. 43:25). If He were forced to continually relive your past, present, and future sins for all eternity, He could not forget your sins in the future as He promises.

This study provides seven lines of authority to establish that the Genesis days are God’s days and not ours. First, in both the Old and New Testaments, God reveals that the universe and Earth are “old” or “ancient.” An old universe would only be possible if the Genesis days are His days and our corresponding “eras.” Second, the Bible declares that knowledge of God’s prior acts of creation can be revealed by studying star light. The Bible also proclaims that the universe began from nothing. Then, 12 separate times, the Bible proclaims that God “stretched” out the heavens like a text curtain. Thousands of years later, modern astronomy confirmed each of these claims. These facts also reveal that the universe is old, something which is only possible if the days are God’s days. Third, the absence of references to the Sun until day four and mankind until day six are also inconsistent with either a solar or a human frame of reference. Fourth, while the Genesis days are defined as “sunset until sunrise,” the Bible defines a human day as spanning from “sunset to sunset.” Fifth, when read together, the creation accounts in Genesis one and two preclude a solar 24-hour frame of reference. The number of activities that Adam undertook on the sixth day would not be possible for a human during a solar day. Sixth, the absence of an end to the seventh day and other Bible verses establish that mankind is living in God’s seventh day. On His eighth day, He will create again. Finally, until the seventeenth century, commentators mostly agreed that the Genesis days did not record days as we understand them.

(1) The Bible Declares that the Universe and Earth are Old

First, in both the Old and New Testaments, God explicitly states that He created the heavens long ago. Through the inspiration of the Spirit, David revealed that the God-created Earth was “old” in his time. Even more remarkable, he revealed that the stars in God’s universe will “wear out”:

Of old Thou didst found the Earth: and the heavens are the work of Thy hands. Even they will perish, but Thou dost endure; and all of them will “wear out” like an old garment; like clothing Thou wilt change them, and they will be changed. But Thou art the same, and Thy years will not come to an end.

(Psalm 102:25-27) (NKJ)

The biggest stars last millions of years, the medium-sized stars last billions of years, and the smallest stars can last trillions of years. For a star with the mass of the Sun, it takes approximately 10 billion years for the Sun to wear out its hydrogen fuel supply.5 If God created the stars in the year 4,004 B.C., slightly more than 6,000 years ago as many young earth creationists claim, the stars would be nowhere close to wearing out. Nor would they ever come close to wearing out if humans today are living in “the last days” as stated in the book of Hebrews or “the last hour” as revealed by the Apostle John (Heb. 1:2; 1 Jo. 2:18). Living before the discoveries of modern physics, David’s writings establish that he wrote things he could not have known through the Holy Spirit.

As another example, Habakkuk also declared that the mountains of the Earth were “ancient” in his time:

He stood and surveyed the Earth; He looked and startled the nations. Yes, the perpetual mountains were shattered, the ancient hills collapsed. His ways are everlasting (Hab. 3:6).

In the New Testament, Peter also reaffirmed in 2 Peter 3:3-5 that the heavens (the stars and the universe) are “old.” Even more remarkable, he revealed that it would be a sign of the “last days” when scoffers would emerge who are “willingly ignorant” of the old age of the stars:

Knowing this first, that there shall come in the last days scoffers, walking after their own lusts, . . . For this they are willingly ignorant of, that by the word of God the heavens were of old, . . . .

In the Bible, by two more or more witnesses, a matter is confirmed (2 Cor. 13:1). The inspired writings of David, Habakkuk, and Peter confirm that God created the universe and the Earth long ago. These revelations establish that the days of Genesis are God’s days and our eras.

These prophetic writings further establish that the Bible is the inspired writings of God. There is simply no way humans living in Old and New Testament times could have known that God created the universe, and the Earth long ago. Scientists did not have any way to confirm these predictions until the late 19th and the early 20th centuries.

(2) God Reveals that Mankind Can Learn from His Starlight, and His Starlight Also Reveals the Universe to be Ancient

Second, if the Genesis days were a recent 144-hour event, this would contradict God’s claim that we can learn about His creation by studying starlight. Psalm 19:1 proclaims that humans may learn of God’s intelligent design by studying the night time light from the stars:

The Heavens are telling of the glory of God; and their expanse is declaring the work of His Hands. Day to day pours forth speech, and night to night reveals knowledge.

The Bible not only proclaims that that starlight reveals “knowledge,” it also reveals two specific types of knowledge that God has hidden in the star light. God created the universe in two steps: First, He spoke the universe into existence: “the Universe was formed at God’s command” for “He spoke and it came to be” (Heb. 11:3; Ps. 33:9). The rabbi Nahmanides observed that the universe began in size as a mere “grain of mustard.” 6

Second, on twelve separate occasions, five different Old Testament writers revealed that God then “stretched out” the stars from a small starting point to their present locations:

  1. “Who alone stretches out the heavens, and tramples down the waves of the sea;” (Job 9:8).

(2) “He stretches out the north over empty space and hangs the Earth on nothing” (Job 26:7).

(3) “Oh Lord my God, though art very great; . . . stretching out Heaven (the stars and the Universe) like a tent curtain” (Psalm 104:1-2).

(4) “[God] stretches out the Heavens (the stars and the Universe) like a curtain. And spreads them out like a tent to dwell in” (Isaiah 40:22).

(5) “Thus says God the Lord, who created the heavens and stretched them out. . .” (Isaiah 42:5).

(6) “. . . I, the Lord, am the maker of all things, stretching out the heavens by Myself and spreading out the Earth all alone” (Isaiah 44:24).

(7) “It is I who made the Earth, and created man upon it I stretched out the heavens with My hands . . .” (Isaiah 45:12).

(8) “That you have forgotten the Lord your Maker, who stretched out the heavens and laid the foundations of the Earth. . .” (Isaiah 51:13).

(9) “It is He who made the Earth by His power . . . And by His understanding He has stretched out the heavens” (Jeremiah 10:12).

(10) “Oh Lord God, Behold, You have made the heavens and the Earth by your great power and by Your outstretched arm!” (Jeremiah 32:17).

(11) “It is He who hath made the Earth by His power, who established the world by His wisdom, and by His understanding He stretched out the heavens” (Jeremiah 51:15).

(12) “. . .Thus declares the Lord who stretches out the heavens, lays the foundation of the Earth . . .” (Zechariah 12:1).

Job, the first of these five authors, wrote about the stretching of the heavens before Moses wrote Genesis. Thus, this fact would have been known to Moses. He therefore would have most likely not felt the need to repeat it in the Genesis account. Astronomer and theologian Hugh observes: “Why would Moses need or want to repeat what was already widely understood from Job’s epic poem?”7

In the 20th Century, astronomers confirmed the claims of the Bible. By studying the starlight, they discovered that the universe began as an infinitely small spec of matter and then stretched apart like the surface of space. Ross observes that the analogy to a tent curtain also makes sense in the context of space: “And, like a tent, the physical reality of the universe is its surface. (All space, time, matter and energy, is constrained to the surface of the universe).”8 A tent curtain also conveys a three dimensional structure meant to protect its inhabitants. Ross points out that “Job’s description of continuous cosmic expansion ranks as one of the most far-reaching and dramatic biblical forecasts of later scientific discovery. Job accurately – and uniquely – predicted a monumental scientific breakthrough some four thousand years in advance!”9

God’s creation of the universe

How could Job, David, Isaiah, Jeremiah, and Zechariah, living centuries ago before telescopes and knowledge of modern physics, have made these claims? Their writings establish that the Bible is indeed the hand of God. No other holy book can make similar claims.

But there would be no knowledge to be gained by studying the light from the stars if God created the universe in 4,004 B.C. If He created the universe around 4,004 B.C., there would be almost no starlight in the sky to study. Consider the following facts: In just one light year, light travels 5.9 trillion miles. Alternatively, light travels approximately 186,000 miles per second or one foot per nanosecond. When we observe the Sun, we observe events as they happened eight minutes in the past.

Given the tremendous distances between the stars, the light reaching the Earth today shows the universe as it looked millions or billions of years ago, not as it would appear today. For example, in observing the center of our galaxy, we observe events as they happened approximately thirty thousand years ago. While observing light from the nearest galaxy, the Andromeda Galaxy, we observe events that took place more than two million years ago.

Using modern technology, scientists have been able to photograph the universe when it was only .0003 percent its present age. Ross explains that “Polarization signals in these images reveal the physical state of the universe a mere ten billionth of a trillionth of a trillionth of a second (10 -34 seconds) after the cosmic creation event.”10 Thus, besides the Bible, astronomy is unique amongst the sciences in allowing mankind to see into the past.

Some young earth creationists speculated that God created the light from other galaxies “in-transit” or with the appearance of age. However, if this explanation were true, God would have created objects for us to view which never happened. For example, in 1987 astronomers observed the explosion of a Supernova from the Magellanic Clouds approximately 160,000 light-years away, called “1987A.” Using this observed explosion as just one example, a well-known young earth creationist once conceded that the creation in-transit theory would suggest that God is a deceiver by creating images in space of things that never really existed:

According to the ‘in-transit’ theory, during the Creation week, God would have made, about 6,000 light-years away from us along a path between us and Magellanic Clouds, the light-wave images of an exploding star. He would have also had to had made the high-energy particles (Gammas and Neutrinos) as observed from the exploding Supernova. At the same instant of Creation, further out along the path, He would have made images of an already-exploded star and its expanding shell of debris. To be consistent, at the end of the 600,000 light-year path, God would have also, during the Creation week, have made an actual Supernova remnant (a ‘dead’ neutron star) seemingly 168,000 light-years old, with a large debris shell around it. But according to the ‘in-transit’ theory, in spite of the images and particles astronomers observed, no actual Supernova explosion would have ever happened!11

Taking Psalm 19:1 at face value, God desires that we learn from His design of the universe by studying the starlight that reaches the Earth at night. It is hard to imagine what “knowledge” we could learn if we are only looking at illusions or false images.

To get around these problems, some young earth creationists have proposed the speed of light was faster when Adam and Eve lived and gradually slowed down after they sinned.12 This theory, however, has several equally insurmountable problems. First, God declares that the laws that control the heavens and the Earth, what we call physics today, are “fixed” (Jer. 33:25). Second, since 1983, the speed of light has now been measured more than 50 times. Each successive test has revealed the same exact speed of light, proven to further decimal points of precision. This is exactly what Einstein predicted with his 1905 theory on Special Relativity. If Einstein and the Bible were wrong, we would see evidence of a decrease in the speed of light. Hugh Ross notes that “Astronomers’ measurements, in sum, establish that the velocity of light has remained constant to within 2 parts in 1,000,000 over the past 12 billion years.”13 Third, the speed of light is the constant “c” in Einstein’s famous equation “E=mc 2.” If God changed the value variable “c,” other parts of the equation would have also changed. As one author explains, any changes would have precluded our existence:

If, instead, the speed of light was merely infinite at creation, and hundreds to thousands of times faster when Abraham was alive than it is now – then by Einstein’s famous formula for the equivalence of mass and energy (E=mc2), the term c2 (the speed of light times itself) would have been tens of thousands to millions of times larger – so that the Sun, converting a little of its mass to energy, would have fried every living thing on the Earth [including Adam and Eve]; alternatively, if we make the energy (E) constant, then masses (m) back in Abraham’s time would have been so small that the Earth’s gravity would not have been able to hold on to its atmosphere or even its people!14

Ross adds that a faster speed of light would have increased the Sun’s brightness and incinerated Adam and Eve: “Either Adam and Eve would have been incinerated by the Sun’s trillion fold increase in heat, or the elements essential for building their human bodies would not exist.”15

The Bible’s written word declares God’s “specific revelation.” The knowledge that we may learn through starlight is called “general revelation.” In the context of God’s creation, both His specific revelation and His general revelation confirm that the Genesis days were God’s days.

(3) The Absence of References to the Sun until Day Four and Mankind until Day Six, are Also Inconsistent with a Solar or Human Frame of Reference

Third, the absence of any references to the Sun until the fourth creation day or mankind until day six both are also inconsistent with a solar, human frame of reference. Young earth creationists do not believe that the Sun was in existence until the fourth creation day. They instead believe that the Earth is 72 hours older than the sun. By contrast, old earth creationists believe that the Sun was created during day one. Yet, from the frame of reference of the Holy Spirit on the Earth (Gen. 1:2), it was not visible until the cloud covering of the Earth dissipated during God’s fourth creation day. If the Sun did not exist until day four, why would the first half of the week be measured according to a celestial object that did not yet exist?

Many of the early church fathers raised this same observation. For example, in the Third Century, Christian writer Origen (A.D. 185-254) observed: “Now what man of intelligence will believe that the first, the second, and the third day, and the evening and morning existed without the Sun, Moon and the stars.”16 If the Sun did not exist before the fourth day, he observed that human time could not have begun before the fourth day.17

Centuries later, theologians continued to make this observation. For example, in 1917, while defending a literal translation of the Genesis days in the face of disputes about the age of the Earth, a professor of apologetics and systemic theology made a similar observation:

You say there is the ‘six days’ and the question whether those days are meant to be measured by the twenty-four hours of the sun’s revolution around the Earth – I speak of these things popularly. It is difficult to see how they should be so measured when the sun that is to measure them is not introduced until the fourth day. Do not think that this reading of the days is a new speculation. You find Augustine in early times declaring that it is hard or altogether impossible to say of what fashion these days are, and Thomas Aquinas, in the middle ages, leaves the matter an open question. To my mind these narratives in Genesis stand out as a marvel, not for its discordance with science, but for its agreement with it. (italics in original)18

Hugh Ross also explains that the Earth, with its then existing plant life, could not have existed without the Sun: “For a stable, hospitable Earth, many specific solar characteristics, especially the Sun’s gravity, must be operational. In the absence of the Sun, Earth’s orbital path, rotation, atmosphere, oceans, continents, and water cycle would suffer catastrophic

consequences. If the Sun, Moon, stars, and presumably plants in the vicinity of Earth were dropped into place on the fourth day, the gravitational perturbations would have radically altered Earth and instantly destroyed all life.”19

The absence of mankind until day six is equally inconsistent with a human frame of reference for the Genesis days. Throughout Genesis chapter one, God is quoted 15 times. By contrast, mankind is not quoted at all. These facts all support a God frame of reference.

These observations are also not unique to Christian writers. For example, Gerald Schroeder, a Jewish scholar and physics professor, raises a similar question: “But who was there to measure the passage of time? Until Adam appeared on day six, God alone was watching the clock. And that is the key.”20 Schroeder further argues that, “The duration of the days or years or even billions of years is only a relative observation. It is only locally correct. Until the observer and the observed are joined in a single space-time frame, there is no one-to-one correlation.”21 These facts again establish that the days of creation are told from God’s frame of reference, not a mankind frame of reference.

(4) Human Days are Defined Differently From God’s Days in Genesis

Fourth, the “days” of Genesis are defined differently from the Biblical definition of human days. In Leviticus 23:32, in the context of Yom Kippur, the Bible defines a human day as beginning on the evening of one day and ending on the evening of the next: “. . .from evening to evening you shall celebrate your Sabbath.” By contrast, the days of Genesis proceed from the sequence of “evening and morning.” The ancient Jewish rabbi Nahmanides cited this very difference to assert that the days were God’s and not our own.22

Ross also observes: “The ‘and there was evening, and there was morning’ expression in Genesis 1 is unique. Therefore, the repeated word-for-word translation of the Hebrew test used in Genesis 1 for the six creation days – ‘and there was evening, and there was morning’ alerts the reader that these days may have been periods other than 24-hour days.”23

God creates His own light (Rev. 21:23; 22:5). Thus, His days only exist to reveal a theological truth:

God arranged the daylight to follow darkness to teach us not to lose hope. Day and night are universal metaphors for light and dark, good and evil, life and death. From our point of view, it seems to follow that night follows day; light is swallowed by darkness; good is eclipsed by evil; life ends in death. From God’s perspective (the biblical perspective), it is just the opposite. Day follows night, darkness is dispelled by light, evil is conquered by good, and death gives way to life.24

(5) When Read Together, the Creation Accounts in Genesis One and Two Preclude a Solar 24-Day Frame of Reference

Fifth, what Adam accomplished during the sixth day is more than would be possible for a human during the course of a solar 24-hour day. (Compare Genesis 1:27 with Genesis 2:2-3). During the sixth day, Adam (1) named all the animals of the field, (2) become lonely, (3) fell asleep, (4) become acquainted with Eve, and (5) received God’s instructions for managing the plants, animals, and resources of the Earth (Genesis 2:18-25). Moreover, Adam’s expression upon seeing Eve -- happa’am – is translated as “now at length” or “at last.”

Hugh Ross observes: “Adam engaged in four different careers, or apprenticeships, on the sixth creation day (gardening, studying animals, naming animals, and learning how to relate to Eve). Adam and Eve learned how to manage Earth’s resources for the benefit of all life. To be meaningful and beneficial, such important education and training could not have been crammed into only a few hours.”25

Dr. Henry Morris, the former President of the Creation Research Institute, asserts that Adam may have only named those animals surrounding him in the Garden of Eden. He further speculates that Adam may have named no more than 3,000 kinds of animals.26

Yet, at one minute per animal, it would take Adam 3,000 minutes or 50 hours to name all the animals! This assumes that he took no rest, he did not eat, and he did not go to the bathroom.

Moreover, for the young earth interpretation to be correct, Adam would have had to name far more than a mere 3,000 animals. Under their view, he lived at the same time as every species that has ever lived. An estimated 8.7 million animal species exist today. This includes 6.5 million on land and 2.2 million in the oceans.27 If no animal species had yet gone extinct while Adam lived, the number would include hundreds of millions of additional animal species.

Thus, under young earth interpretation, Adam did not tire and had the brain computing capacity greater than a supercomputer. Moreover, because he would not have time to walk up to hundreds of millions of animals that would have had to have been spread out over great distances to avoid overcrowding, he needed to have the speed of the comic book hero “the Flash.”

Some young earth creationists respond to these problems by in fact claiming that Adam had God-given superhuman abilities: “But the question before us presents no real problem, especially if we assume the miraculous.”28 On the assumption that Adam had superpowers, William Twisse of the Westminster Assembly writes: “And surely Adam’s naming of them [the animals] cost him no study; and undoubtedly all this was done before noon, and space enough allowed for the Devil’s conference with Eve.”29

But the interpretation of Adam as a superhuman is not supported by anything in Scripture. More importantly, miracles exist in the Bible to glorify God, not mankind. There is only one person who walked upon the Earth with superhuman powers. His name is Jesus. In His human form, however, Jesus was limited in certain ways like other humans. For example, He got hungry (Mk. 11:12). He became thirsty (John 19:28). He also slept (Matt. 8:24).

Unless Adam was greater than Jesus, he was limited in his abilities as a man and could not have accomplished everything that is listed in both Genesis 1 and 2. For these reasons, Old Testament scholar Gleason Archer argues that: “it would seem to border on sheer irrationality to insist that all of Adam's experiences in Genesis 2:15-22 could have been crowded into the last hour or two of a [solar] twenty-four-hour day.” 30

This same issue was part of the famous Scopes (“monkey trial”) of 1925. In the Scopes trial, a science teacher by the name of John Scopes was prosecuted under a Tennessee law for teaching about pre-human fossils dating back long before the Ussher-Lightfoot dates of creation. The prosecutor, William Jennings Bryan, a three-time presidential candidate, took the stand as the biblical expert as to the date of creation. Under cross-examination, defense attorney Clarence Darrow forced Bryan to concede that the numerous acts described of Adam in Genesis Chapter 2 (i.e., naming all the animals prior to the creation of Eve) could not likely have transpired within a single solar twenty-four-hour day. Darrow forced Bryan into conceding that the Genesis creation days must be longer time periods. In the words of Philip Johnson, “Darrow then simply let the judge, the courtroom spectators, and the outside world conclude that Christians had no real case against Darwinism.”

Young earth creationists claim that a solar 24-hour frame of reference is the most simplistic explanation of Genesis chapter one is read in isolation. Yet, it is a basic rule of Bible interpretation that verses should not be interpreted in isolation. When Genesis one is read together with Genesis chapter 2, God’s frame of reference becomes clear.

(6) The Absence of an End to Day Seven is Consistent with a God Frame of Reference

Sixth, the lack of an end to the seventh day is consistent with a God frame of reference: “By the seventh day God completed His work which He had done, and He rested on the seventh day from all His work which He had done.Then God blessed the seventh day and sanctified it, because in it He rested from all His work which God had created and made” (Gen. 2:2-3).

Throughout the Bible, God refers to His present rest as ongoing. Those who are not saved will never enter into it: “Therefore I swore in My anger, truly they shall not enter into My rest” (Ps. 95:11). Yet, “we who have believed enter that rest, . . . So there remains a Sabbath rest for the people of God” (Heb. 4:3, 9).

Jesus also referred to God the Father’s Sabbath as ongoing. God does not sleep or rest like we do: “Behold, He who keeps Israel will neither slumber nor sleep” (Ps. 121:4). His rest was a temporary break in creating. He continues to be involved in our lives as a personal God who cares for each person. After being challenged for healing on the Sabbath, Jesus responded: ‘“My Father is working until now, and I Myself am working.18 For this reason therefore the Jews were seeking all the more to kill Him, because He not only was breaking the Sabbath, but also was calling God His own Father, making Himself equal with God”’ (Jo. 5:17-18).

Outside the context of Genesis, a different group of early writers observed the pattern of God’s seven-day creation week and Psalm 90:4 to conclude that He has a 7,000-year plan for redemption that will take place during His seventh day. In the Bible, God confirms His messages in certain numerical patterns. For example, after Noah lived 600 years, God then destroyed the Earth and started over (Gen. 7:6). Then later, Jewish king Joash (who symbolized Christ) was hidden from view for exactly six years before he was revealed and restored to his rightful place on the throne (2 Kgs. 11:3-12). The transfiguration of Jesus also took place “after six days” (Matt. 17:1-2).

Just as God created in six days and then rested on the seventh, the Jewish interpretive text called the “Talmud” teaches that mankind will labor for six thousand days and rest during a final 1,000-year reign of the Messiah. Yet, because of sin, we cannot count this time exactly: “The school of Eliyahu teaches: ‘The world exists for six thousand years - - two thousands tohu [“void” (without revealed Scripture)]; two thousand, Torah; and two thousand, [and the last thousand] the era of the Messiah. But because of our numerous iniquities many of these years have been lost” (Sanhedrin 97a-97b) (italics added).

This same prophecy appears in the apocrypha book of Enoch: “As the world was made in six days, so its history would be accomplished in 6,000 years of rest . . . At its close would begin the 8th Eternal Day, when time should be no more.”31

Some early church writers also wrote of a 6,000-year period of human history. Barnabas, for example, also wrote: “in six thousand years the Lord shall bring all things to an end.”32 Irenaeus also wrote: “For the day of the Lord is a thousand years; and in six days created things were completed: it is evident therefore, that they will come to an end at the sixth thousand year.”33

Jesus’ Millennial Reign is to last 1,000 years (Rev. 20:1-5). Paul called this time period a Sabbath rest (Heb. 4:1-9). If we are living within God’s seventh day, this 7,000-year period will happen during His final day.

On His eighth day, He will create again a new Earth and a New Jerusalem (Rev. 21:1-27). In His new creation, believers will be given new bodies that will not undergo death or decay (Rev. 21:4; Ro. 8:21-23). From these promises, Hugh Ross draws the conclusion that “there will be no second law of thermodynamics (decay) and thus no gravity or electromagnetism in the new creation.”34 Moreover, New Jerusalem is described as a cube with a staggering 1.91 million square miles or 4.95 million kilometers (Rev. 21:16-17). Based upon these additional facts, Ross finds further proof that humans will live in heaven without gravity: “The image of New Jerusalem as an enormous cube or pyramid – metaphorical or otherwise – gives a further hint about gravity’s absence. (Gravity forces all physical objects larger than a few hundred miles across into spherical shapes.)”35

Young earth creationists also point to the Sabbath to support their interpretation. The Jews are commanded to observe a Sabbath day in remembrance of the six days of creation: “For in six days the LORD made the heavens and the Sarth, 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” (Ex. 20:11; 31:17). Many young earth creationists argue that the Fifth Commandment would be meaningless if the days of Genesis are human eras or epics. For example, Dr. Marvin Lubenow asserts that “Unless there is an exactitude of reference, the argument of Exodus does not work.”36 Yet, the days are not meaningless if these are God’s days and not our own.

(7) The Vast Majority of Early Commentators Interpreted the Genesis Days as Different and Distinct from Human Time

Finally, until the seventeenth century, most commentators understood the Genesis days to be something other than solar days. David and Habakkuk both declared the universe and the Earth to be “old” or ancient (Ps. 102:25-27; Hab. 3:6). The writers Job, David, Isaiah, Jeremiah, and Zechariah all described the “stretching” of the universe following its initial creation (Job 26:7; Ps. 104:1-2; Is. 40:22; 42:5; 44:24; 45:12; 51:13; Jer. 10:12; 32:17; 51:15; Zech. 12:1). In the New Testament, Peter again stated that the universe was “old” (2 Peter 3:3-5). Even if their writings do not settle the issue, they are bolstered by the oldest known commentators.

Commentators in the first and second century almost uniformly described the Genesis days as being something other than solar 24-hour days. Yet, they reached different opinions about how to translate God’s days to our time. On one side of the debate, the Jewish writer Philo (10 B.C. – 50 A.D.). wrote that the appearance of all the events between days one and six were instantaneous in human time.37 Clement of Alexandria later adopted this same view.38

On the other side of the debate, second Christian writers observed that the Genesis days were either 1,000-year periods or epics of time. These include, but are not limited to, both Justin Martyr (A.D. 100 – 165) in his book Dialogue with Trypho, and Irenaeus (AD 120-140 or 200 / 203) in his book Against Heresies.39

As one commentator observes: “These men were not armchair theorists. Some of them were tortured or martyred for their faith: among them Justin Martyr (as his name implies), Irenaeus, and Origen. Nor, obviously, were they influenced by contemporary science, such as geology and evolutionary biology.”40

Many early rabbis also observed that the Genesis days were different from our own. These include: Onkelos, Rashi [Solomon Ben Issac], Maimonides [Moses Ben Maimon], and Nahmanides [Moses Ben Mahman].41

The fourth century writings of Augustine again establish that the early Church writers did not consider the days of Genesis to be solar 24-hour days. In The City of God, Augustine wrote, “As for these ‘days,’ it is difficult, perhaps impossible to explain in words- what they mean.”42 In other words, humans could only guess how to translate God’s days into human time.

Separately, in The Literal Meaning of Genesis, (De Genesi ad Litteram) Augustine noted: “But at least we know that it [the Genesis creation day] is different from the ordinary day in which we are familiar.”43

He also made the following observation:

Seven days by our reckoning after the model of a day of creation, make up a week. By the passage of such week, time rolled on and in these weeks, one day is constituted by the course of the sun from its rising to its setting; but we must bear in mind that these days indeed recall the days of creation, but without in any way being similar to them. (italics added)44

Old Testament scholar Gleason Archer and Hugh Ross surveyed the early Christian writers and concluded that the majority of the early Christian writers interpreted the Genesis days as something other than 24-hour solar days.45 Ronald Youngblood, an Old Testament professor at Bethel Seminary, provides an intriguing observation to suggest that this interpretation is backed by the languages of the other ancient civilizations surrounding Israel. Youngblood observes that the Near Eastern languages of the time also referred to “days” as eras or epochs of time.46

There were also some earlier Church writers who interpreted the days of Genesis as solar 24-hour days. “Basil” (329-379 AD) and “Ambrose” (339-397 AD), a former bishop of Milan, are the most well-known.47 Yet, their view was the minority view.

If the early Church writers mostly understood the Genesis days to be something other than a solar 24-hour day, how did the doctrine of young earth creationism come into existence? In short, the days of Genesis were accidental victims of a much larger revolution of the Protestant Reformation.

Martin Luther (1483-1546 A.D.) challenged many practices of the Catholic church that were not rooted in Scripture. While doing so, he felt it necessary to also challenge the then prevailing Augustinian view from the fourth century. Augustine had argued that the translation from God’s time to our time was unknowable. Luther presumed that Augustine had interpreted that the days were mere allegory. Without considering any of the interpretation problems explained above, Luther felt that He could adopt a more “literal” translation by calling the days solar 24-hour days:

Augustine plays with these six days in a marvelous manner. He considers them to be mystical days of knowledge in the angels, and not natural days . . . As Moses is not instructing us concerning allegorical creatures or an allegorical world, but concerning natural creatures and a world visible and capable of being apprehended by the senses, he calls, as we say in the proverb, ‘a post a post,’ he calls the thing by the right name, a day and evening; his meaning is the same as ours when we use those terms, without any allegory whatever.48

Shortly thereafter, John Calvin (1509-1564 A.D.) followed Luther and rejected the Augustinian view:

“It is too violent a cavil to contend that Moses distributes the work which God perfected at once into six days, for the mere purpose of conveying instruction. Let us conclude that God himself took the space of six days, for the purpose of accommodating his works to the works of men.” 49

There would be no need for Martin Luther and John Calvin to challenge the Augustine view of creation if it had not been the prevailing interpretation of the days of Genesis in their day. Yet, neither Luther nor Calvin attempted to use their reinterpretation of the Genesis days to calculate an age for mankind, the Earth or the universe. Nor did this issue rise to become a grievance against the Catholic Church. Thus, amongst the general public, this issue largely continued to go unnoticed until 1642.

In 1642, Cambridge University Vice Chancellor John Lightfoot sought to apply the Luther / Calvin interpretation of the days of Genesis to come up with an age for humanity, the Earth and the universe. He also assumed that the Bible listed every father-son descendant in genealogies dating back to Adam and Eve. Based upon these assumptions, he concluded that God created the universe on the Jewish New Year, Rosh Hashanah, September 17, 3,928 B.C.

Building upon this theory, in 1650 Anglican Archbishop of Ireland, James Ussher (1581-1657), revised the creation date to October 3, 4004 B.C.50 Lightfoot subsequently revised his earlier date to conclude that Adam’s creation occurred at 9:00 a.m. October 18, 4004 B.C. Later editions of the King James Version published these dates as the presumed dates of creation.

Yet, in their hubris, Lightfoot and Ussher never answered a simple question. They recognized the need to use the Jewish calendar date of Rosh Hashanah for the beginning. Yet, they overlooked the fact that the Jews already had a calendar year, which reached a different result. If the Jews and Christians shared the same Genesis text and the genealogies in the Old Testament, they should have reached the same conclusion about the age of mankind, the Earth and the universe. Yet, the Jewish calendar, which had existed long before Christ took human form, begins on 3,761 B.C., 235 years after the Ussher / Lightfoot creation date.

The Jews had always understood that original sin caused us to lose our measure of time: “But because of our numerous iniquities many of these years have been lost” (Sanhedrin 97a-97b). Thus, just as Christ reveals that we cannot know the date and time of His return (Matt. 24:36, Mark 13:32), we cannot know the exact beginning date for Adam and Eve.

If we knew the exact beginning date, we could presumably calculate the end date for humanity. If we were to assume that Christ’s Second Coming will happen after exactly 6,000 years of the Jewish calendar during the Jewish Day of Judgment, Yom Kippur, we could assume the end date for humanity to be September 30, 2,239 A.D. Yet, Jesus did not reveal the end or the beginning date for mankind because He wants you to live ready for His return at all times.

In addition to the Jewish teachings that mankind’s knowledge of our beginning date became lost with sin, Ussher and Lightfoot also failed to consider that the Hebrew word for father “ab” and son “ben” can also be understood as an “ancestor” and “descendant.”51 The genealogies in different parts of the Bible sometimes list different names to convey different theological points. For example, Jesus’ genealogy in Matthew only records some names that are listed in 1 Chronicles 1 through 9 to draw a specific theological point about redemption. For this additional reason, we cannot simply count backwards to find a creation date in the Bible for mankind, the Earth, or the universe. Ross provides other examples of where the different usages of the Hebrew terms “ab” and “ben” convey an ancestor or descendant instead of a son:

For example, in the book of Daniel we see that Belshazzar’s mother refers to Nebuchadnezzar as Belshazzar’s father when, in fact, two kings came between them and they were not biologically related.52 Such flexibility in the usage of “ab” and “ben” can explain the apparent discrepancies between parallel genealogies (see, for example, 1 Chronicles 3, Matthew 1, and Luke 3). Even the apparently detailed genealogy in Genesis 11 omits at least one name. This parallel record in Luke 3 includes the name Cainan, which Genesis 11 does not.

The existence of gaps in the Genesis genealogies should not be construed as flaws. The gaps mean we must treat the lists as abbreviations. The words translated into English – and into our Western way of thinking – may say this ‘When X had lined Y years, he became the father of Z.’ The same passage in Hebrew – and read from a Middle Eastern perspective – could say this: ‘When X had lived Y years, he became the father of a family line that included (or culminated) in Z.’53

Thus, there is nothing in the Bible which states that Adam and Eve were created in 4,004 B.C. On this point, Ross surveys a number of Hebrew scholars who allow for the creation dates of Adam and Eve ranging from 10,000 to 100,000 years ago.54

The existence of mankind for tens of thousands of years is not inconsistent with the prophecies of a 6,000-year reign of mankind followed by a 1,000-year reign of the Messiah. Much of human history has been lost due to sin and the Flood (Sanhedrin 97a-97b). The 6,000-year reign likely reflects recorded history. Yet, even that history has an uncertain beginning.

Many young earth creationists respond that they do not believe that God would have allowed an error in interpretation to have become the predominant Church teaching from the seventeenth century until recently. Yet, if God guided the writers of the Protestant reformation to correctly interpret the Genesis days as solar 24-hour days, then He failed to prevent Augustine from spreading a false doctrine from the fourth century until the seventeenth century.

Moreover, there are many examples of church tradition that were mistaken for long periods of time. For example, Roman Catholics argued against the ideas of the Protestant reformation on the ground that human tradition in interpreting Scripture had to be correct.

One of the best examples of the dangers in dogmatic reliance upon human tradition is the persecution and condemnation of Galileo Galilei (“Galileo”). In 1631, 11 years before Lightfoot first proposed a 3,928 B.C. creation date, the Roman Catholic Church attacked Galileo for teaching his heliocentric theory that the Earth revolves around the Sun. The Roman Catholic Church relied upon Psalms 93:1 and 104:5, and Ecclesiastes 1:4-5 for the proposition that the Earth is “immovable” and could not, therefore, revolve around the Sun.

Galileo Galilei (1564-1642)

Galileo responded by making a “frame of reference” interpretation. From the frame of reference of a person standing on the Earth, the Earth’s gravity will make it feel “immoveable” or stationary to the person standing on the Earth. A person will feel stationary even though the Earth is in fact spinning at 465 meters per second or 1,040 miles per hour while it hurls through space around the Sun at 30 kilometers per second or approximately 67,000 miles per hour.

The Catholic Church responded by declaring Galileo to be a heretic. For hundreds of years, the Church rejected this approach to interpretation, even after it accepted the truth of Galileo's discoveries. Until 1835, Galileo’s published works on heliocentrism remained on the Church’s index of prohibited books. Not until 1981, 350 years later, did the Roman Catholic Church officially forgive Galileo. Regrettably, this unnecessary clash with the scientific method – rooted in nothing more than tradition – turned many away from their faith.

The Roman Catholic Church was not alone in condemning Galileo. Martin Luther also mocked Galileo’s writings:

There is talk of a new astrologer who wants to prove that the Earth moves and goes around instead of the sky, the Sun, the Moon, just as if somebody were moving in a carriage or ship might hold that he was sitting still and at rest while the Earth and the trees walked and moved. But that is how things are nowadays: . . . The fool wants to turn the whole art of astronomy upside-down. However, as Holy Scripture tells us, so did Joshua bid the Sun to stand still and not the Earth.55

John Calvin also found Galileo’s teachings to be absurd and contrary to his understanding of Scripture:

By what means could it [the Earth] maintain itself unmoved, while the heavens above are in constant rapid motion, did not its Divine Maker fix and establish it?56

Galileo's frame of reference interpretation directly applies to the Genesis “days” debate. Many young earth creationists claim that their view is entitled to greater weight and that others hold the burden of proof because their view is endorsed by Luther and Calvin.57 Yet, if our interpretation of Scripture were limited to the opinions of Luther and Calvin, then there would be no way to accept Galileo’s interpretations of Psalms 93:1 and 104:5, and Ecclesiastes 1:4-5. A blind adherence to the commentaries of Luther and Calvin would require Christians to believe that the Sun revolves around the Earth.

Galileo’s persecution and condemnation emphasize three important points. First, a frame of reference method of interpretation is both proper and necessary method for interpreting the Bible. Second, where science and the Bible appear to clash, examining the frame of reference of the passage is appropriate. The Bible provides God’s ‘specific revelation’ of His inerrant word (2 Timothy 3:16-17; 2 Peter 1:21). Nature provides His “general revelation” (E,g., Psalm 19:1 “the skies proclaim the work of His hands”). Because God is the author of both Scripture and nature, the two should be in agreement. Finally, although tradition is something that should be considered in interpreting a matter, it should be given less weight than other methods of interpretation. Some young earth creationists will concede that “Even good men err.” 58 This also applies to great men like Luther and Calvin.

Objections to Animal Death Before the Fall of Adam and Eve

Many young earth creationists place their strongest objection to an old Earth to the implication that animals died before Adam and Eve sinned. Many contend that, prior to the fall of Adam, no suffering or death existed upon the Earth, either with humans or with animals. In their view, animal death before the fall of Adam and Eve would contradict the notion of the Garden of Eden as a paradise.

This view is based predominantly upon two verses: In Genesis 2:17, God gave the following warning to Adam and Eve: “but from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall eat, for in the day that you eat from it you shall surely die.”

Likewise, Romans 5:12, proclaims: “Therefore, just as through one man sin entered into the world, and death through sin, and so death spread to all men, because all sinned.

There are, however, several problems with this interpretation of these two verses.

First, Jesus Christ’s death did not redeem mankind from the inevitability of physical death. His death only provided atonement for the inevitable spiritual death that follows from mankind’s sinful life. Paul, the same author of Romans 5:12, emphasized this exact point and clarified both the spiritual nature and the boundaries of the spiritual death in the next book in the Bible, 1 Corinthians 15:21-22: “For since by a man came death, by a man also came the resurrection of the dead. For as in Adam all die, so also in Christ all shall be made alive.”

Likewise, in Acts 14:45, Paul clarifies, “There is a natural body, and there is a spiritual body.” By accepting Christ, believers cannot avoid physical death unless they are lucky enough to live during the Rapture. Animals also cannot avoid physical death by accepting Christ. Animals further do not carry the label of being “sinners”.

Second, a physical death interpretation is also a liberal interpretation of the text. In Genesis 2:17, God warns “in the day that you eat from it you shall surely die.” We know that Adam did not suffer a physical death for another 350 years. At the same time, the Bible reveals that Adam suffered an immediate spiritual separation from God by His question: “Where are you?” (Gen. 3:9). Accordingly, while the spiritual death is clear and literal, the physical death interpretation is not.

Third, the early rabbis also read the plain language of the text and other parallel verses throughout the Torah and the Book of Proverbs to interpret the death as a spiritual and not physical death. For example, Proverbs 19:23 records, “The fear of the Lord leads to life.” Obviously, the “life” the Jews understood was a spiritual one. Even the most devout Jews understood that fearing the Lord would not prevent their physical death.

Fourth, Romans 5:12b states that death came to “all men.” It makes no reference to the animal kingdom. Likewise, God’s warning to Adam and Eve in Genesis 2:17 is directed to themselves alone. It is not directed to the surrounding animals. As one commentator observes:

[Paul] says that death passed upon all human beings as a result of Adam’s sin; he does not say that death passed upon all living things. That is, what Scripture actually says is that human death is a consequence of sin. That makes sense. Humans are moral beings, and human death is the ultimate wages of moral transgression. We do not think of plants and animals in terms of moral categories. We do not accuse the lion of sinning when it kills an antelope or even a human being. Paul’s deliberate and careful statement would appear to leave open the question of death at levels other than human. (italics in original).59

Sixth, various commentators on the Book of Genesis have noted that God’s warning to Adam and Eve that they would die if they ate of the forbidden fruit “could have had little or no meaning if Adam [or Eve] had never observed the death of any plant or animal.”60

Finally, many animal species could not survive without the ability to kill other organisms. The dolphin, for example, cannot receive fresh water from the ocean. Rather, it receives the water it needs from the fishes that it consumes. Likewise, if sea creatures were forced to live off seaweed or kelp, fish would be limited to a small sliver of the oceans. Allowing for animals to kill one another also helps them by keeping their populations in check.

The Bible teaches that the Fall of Adam and Eve lead to the increased suffering of all of God’s creation. The Fall, however, need not be synonymous with physical death. The increased suffering from the Fall might have assumed various forms. Work became more difficult. Child birth became more painful. Birth defects occurred. Humans and animals became plagued by genetic diseases through DNA copying errors passed down between generations.

  1. Francis Brown with S.R. Driver and Charles A. Briggs, The Brown-Driver-Briggs Hebrew and English Lexicon (1906; repr., Peabody, MA: Hendrickson, 1997), 398-401; H. W. F. Gesenius, Gesenius’ Hebrew-Chaldee Lexicon to the Old Testament, trans. Samuel Prideaux Tregelles (1847; repr., Grand Rapids, MI:Baker, 1979), 341-42; R. Laird Harris, Gleason L. Archer, and Bruce K. Waltke, Theological Workbook of the Old Testament (Chicago: Moody, 1980), 1:370-71.↩︎

  2. Bradley, Walter & Olsen, Roger, “The Trustworthiness of Scripture in Areas Relating to Natural Science” and “Chicago’s Statement on Biblical Hermeneutics,” Three Views on Creation and Evolution, (1999) p. 78 fn.3.↩︎

  3. Hugh Ross A Matter of Days (2nd ed. rtb press 2015) p. 255.↩︎

  4. Nahmanides, Commentary on the Torah, Genesis 1:1, quoted by, Dr. Gerald Schroeder, Genesis And The Big Bang: The Discovery Between Harmony And The Bible (Bantam Books 1990), pp. 64-65.↩︎

  5. Hugh Ross, Hidden Treasures in the Book of Job (Baker Books 2013), p. 32.↩︎

  6. Hugh Ross A Matter of Days (2nd ed. rtb press 2015) p. 69-70.↩︎

  7. Id. at 56.↩︎

  8. Id. at p. 15-16, citing Mark Peplow, “Planck Snaps Infant Universe,” Nature 495 (March 28, 2013): 417-18; P.Ade, G. Efstathiou, et. al. (Planck Collaboration).↩︎

  9. Russell Humphreys, Starlight and Time: Solving the Puzzle of Distant Starlight in a Young Universe. (Master Books, Inc. 1994) p. 44-45.↩︎

  10. Trevor Norman and Barry Setterfield, The Atomic Constants, Light, and Time, 1987, Technical Monograph, Flinders University, Adelaide, Australia.↩︎

  11. Hugh Ross A Matter of Days (2nd ed. rtb press 2015) p. 164.↩︎

  12. Robert Newman, J. P. Moreland & John Mark Reynolds (general editors) Three Views on Creation and Evolution (Zondervan Publishing House 1999) p. 109.↩︎

  13. Id. at 165.↩︎

  14. G.W. Butterworth (tr.), Origen on First Principles (Gloucester: Peter Smith, 1973), p. 288; John Lennox, Seven Days that Divide the World (Zondervan 2011), p. 41-42.↩︎

  15. Origen, “Book IV, Chapters I and II,” in On First Principles, trans. G. W. Butterworth (New York: Harper and Row, 1966), 277-78; Origen, “Against Celsus, Book VI, Chapter LX,” in The Ante-Nicene Fathers, eds. Alexander Roberts and James Donaldson, vol. 4, Tertullian (IV), Minucius Felix, Commodian, Origen (Grand Rapids, MI: Eardmans, 1979), 600-601.)↩︎

  16. James Orr, “The Early Narratives of Genesis,” in The Fundamentals: A Testimony to the Truth, ed. A.C. Dixon, Louis Meyer, and Reuben A. Torrey, vol. 6 (Chicago: Testimony Publishing, 1917), p. 94, quotes by Hugh Ross A Matter of Days (2nd ed. rtb press 2015) p. 28.↩︎

  17. Hugh Ross A Matter of Days (2nd ed. rtb press 2015) p. 69-70.↩︎

  18. Dr. Gerald Schroeder, Genesis And The Big Bang: The Discovery Between Harmony And The Bible (Bantam Books 1990), p 49.↩︎

  19. Id. at p. 157.↩︎

  20. Schroeder pp. 96-97.↩︎

  21. Hugh Ross A Matter of Days (2nd ed. rtb press 2015) p. 69.↩︎

  22. The First Fruits of Zion, Torah Club Unrolling the Scroll, Book (First Fruits of Zion 2nd 2014), p. 5.↩︎

  23. Hugh Ross A Matter of Days (2nd ed. rtb press 2015) p. 72-73.↩︎

  24. Henry Morris, The Genesis Record, (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Book House 1976), p. 97.↩︎

  25. J. Ligon Duncan III & David W. Hall The G3n3sis [sic] Debate (Crux Pres, Inc. 2001) p. 53.↩︎

  26. Id, at 53.↩︎

  27. Gleason Archer, Encyclopedia of Biblical Difficulties, (Grand Rapids, MI, Zondervan 1982) p. 60.↩︎

  28. Author: Anonymous, The Lost Books of the Bible and the Forgotten Books of Eden (Thomas Nelson 1974), p. 81.↩︎

  29. Epistle of Barnabus, chapter 15, The Apostolic Fathers, pp. 151-151.↩︎

  30. Irenaeus, Against Heresies, book 1, 28:3; Cox, Cleveland, The Ante-Nicene Fathers, vol. 1, (Hendrickson Publishers 1994) p. 557.↩︎

  31. Hugh Ross A Matter of Days (2nd ed. rtb press 2015) p. 86.↩︎

  32. Id. at 105-6.↩︎

  33. Dr. Marvin Lubenow, Bones of Contention (Baker Books, Grand Rapids, MI 1998) p. 225; Quoting in part, Terence E. Frethein, Luther Northwestern Theological Seminary.↩︎

  34. John Lennox, Seven Days that Divide the World (Zondervan 2011), p. 40-41; Philo Judaeus, “De Opificio Mundi”, in Philo, trans. F.H. Colson and G.H. Whitaker (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1949), 1:13; Philo Judaeus, “Legum Allegoria” (Allegorical Interpretations of Genesis II, III, Book I, section 2), in Philo, 1:146-49; Hugh Ross A Matter of Days (2nd ed. rtb press 2015) p. 40.↩︎

  35. Clement of Alexandria, The Ante-Nicene Fathers, 2:513.↩︎

  36. Lennox, p. 41; Ross, A Matter of Days, p. 41, Justin Martyr, “Dialogue with Trypho, chapter 81,” in The Fathers of the Church, ed. Ludwig Schopp, vol. 6, Writings of Saint Justin Martyr (New York: Christian Heritage, 1948), 277-78, Irenaeus, “Against Heresies, Book V, Chapter XXIII, Section 2,” in The Ante-Nicene Fathers, ed., Alexander Roberts and James Donaldson, vol. 1, Apostolic Fathers, Justin Marty, and Irenaus (1885; repr., Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans, 1981), 551-52.↩︎

  37. Lennox, p. 42.↩︎

  38. Dr. Gerald Schroeder, Genesis And The Big Bang: The Discovery Between Harmony And The Bible (Bantam Books 1990), p. 18.↩︎

  39. Ross, A Matter of Days, p. 42, A. Augustinus, “The City of God,” book. 11, chap. 6, The Fathers of the Church, vol. 14, ed. Roy Joseph Defferrari (Washington, D.C., Catholic University Press. 1952), p. 196.↩︎

  40. Ross, A Matter of Days, p. 42, Augustine, “Book Five: The Two Narratives and Casual Reasons,” in Ancient Christian Writers: The Works of the Fathers in Translation, eds. Johannes Quasten, Walter J. Burghardt, Thomas Comerford Lawler, no. 41, The Literal Meaning of Genesis, trans. John Hammond Taylor, vol. 1, books 1-6 (New York: Newman Press 1982), p. 148;↩︎

  41. Id. at p. 135↩︎

  42. Editor Hagopian, et al. The G3n3sis [sic] Debate, (Mission Viejo Cal., Cruxpress 2001) p.69 n.11, citing, Clement of Alexandria, "The Stromata," bk. 6, Clement of Alexandria: A Study in Christian Platonism and Gnosticism, ed. Salvatore R.C. Lilla (Oxford: Oxford Univerisity Press, 1971), pp. 198-9; Clement of Alexandria, "The Stromata," bk. 6, chap. 16, The Ante-Nicene Fathers, vol. 2, pp. 512-4; Origen, Origen on First Principles, bk. 4, chaps. 1-3, trans. G.W. Butterworth (New York: Harper Torchbooks, Harper and Row, 1966), pp. 277-8, 288; Origen, "Against Celus," bk. 6, chap. 61, The Ante-Nicene Fathers, vol. 4, ed. Alexander Roberts and James Donaldson (Peabody, MA: Hendrickson Publishers, 1995), pp. 600-1; Origen, "Homilies on Genesis and Exodus," trans. Ronald E. Heine, The Fathers of the Church, vol. 71, ed. Hermigild Dressler (Washington D.C.: Catholic University of America Press, 1982), p. 48; Augustine, "The City of God," bk. 11, chap.6, The Fathers of the Church, vol. 14, ed. Roy Joseph Defferrari (New York: Fathers of the Church Inc., 1952), p. 196; Augustine, "The Literal Meaning of Genesis," bk. 4, chap. 27, bk. 5, chap. 2, Ancient Christian Writers: The Works of the Fathers in Translation, ed. Johannes Quasten, et al., no. 41; Augustine, The Literal Meaning of Genesiss20 , trans. John Hammond Taylor, vol. 1, bks. 1-6 (New York: Newman Press, 1982), pp. 135-6; Augustine, "The Confessions," bk. 13, sec. 51, The Fathers of the Church, vol. 21, trans. Vernon J. Bourke (New York: Fathers of the Church, Inc., 1953), p. 455; Hugh Ross, Creation and Time (NavPress 1994) pp.18-20.↩︎

  43. Ronald Youngblood, The Book of Genesis: An Introductory Commentary, (2nd ed. Grand Rapids, Bake Book House (1991) p. 47.↩︎

  44. J. Ligon Duncan III & David W. Hall The G3n3sis [sic] Debate (Crux Pres, Inc. 2001) p. 47; Ambrose, “Saint Ambrose: Hexameron,” in The Fathers of the Church: A New Translation, trans. John J. Savage, ed dir. Roy Joseph Defarri, vol. 42, Hexameron, Paradise, Cain and Abel (Washington, D.C.: Catholic University of America Press, 1961), p. 42.↩︎

  45. Francis Pepper Christian Dogmatics, vol. 1 (St. Louis, MO: Concordia 1950) p. 468; Martin Luther, Luther's Works, vol. 17 (St. Louis, MO: Concordia 1972) p. 29, 188, 469.↩︎

  46. John Calvin, Commentaries on the First Book of Moses Called Genesis, vol. 1, trans. John King (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Book House, 1981), p. 78.↩︎

  47. Ussher, James, Archbishop of Armagh, The Annals of the World (London: E. Taylor), 1658.↩︎

  48. R. Laird Harris, Gleason L. Archer, Jr. and Bruce K. Waltke, eds, Theological Wordbook of the Old Testament, vol 1 (Chicago: Moody, 1980), pgs. 701-702; Harris, Archer, and Waltke, vol. 1, 5-6, 113-4; Kenneth A. Mathews, Genesis 1-11:26, vol. 1 of The New American Commentary (Nashville: Broadman, Holman, 1996) p. 302.↩︎

  49. Daniel 5:9-1, 18-22.↩︎

  50. Hugh Ross Navigating Genesis (rtb press 2014) p. 73.↩︎

  51. Hugh Ross A Matter of Days (2nd ed. rtb press 2015) p. 237-8 (citations omitted).↩︎

  52. Martin Luther, Table Talk, quoted in Nicolaus Copernicus, On the Revolutions of the Heavenly Spheres, reprinted in Great Books of the Western World (Chicago: Encyclopaedia Britannica, 1939), p. 499-838; quoted by John Lennox, Seven Days that Divide the World (Zondervan 2011), p. 17.↩︎

  53. John Calvin, Commentary on the Book of Psalms (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1949), 4:6-7; quoted by Lennox, Seven Days that Divide the World (Zondervan 2011), p. 18.↩︎

  54. J. Ligon Duncan III & David W. Hall The G3n3sis [sic] Debate (Crux Pres, Inc. 2001) p. 22-33, 48-49.↩︎

  55. J. Ligon Duncan III & David W. Hall, p. 51.↩︎

  56. John Lennox, Seven Days that Divide the World (Zondervan 2011), p. 78.↩︎

  57. John Jefferson Davis Three Views on Creation and Evolution (Zondervan Publishing House 1999) p. 83; Accord, Allan Hayward, Creation and Evolution (Minneapolis: Bethany House, 1985) p. 182.↩︎