Were the Days of Creation 24 Hours?
“For in six days the Lord made Heaven and earth, and all that in them is.” Exodus 20:11
Years ago, while serving as a teacher in a church, I asked my pastor if it would be all right if I could teach a series on Creation. He gave his approval and suggested that I use the church library, which had several commentaries on Genesis. To my surprise, all nine commentaries taught evolutionary theories and indicated that our world was millions and perhaps billions of years old. Most of them stated the following concerning the days of Creation:
There is no way that the days of Genesis 1 can be held to a strict 24-hour period of time.
During World War II, it was reported that 40% of the people in England attended church. Less than 7% attend today. One of the reasons for this is that the church has allowed godless philosophies to corrupt the teachings of the church, thus destroying the authority of the Bible. If one cannot believe the Bible concerning the creation of the earth, how can they take it seriously concerning other matters of faith?
What does the Bible say about the creation days? First, it seems that we need to come to an understanding that there is no way to prove the age of the earth, whether young or old. All we can do is look at the evidence and proposed theories based on assumptions of what we believe. For example:
Scientists now say that they can determine the age of the oceans by the amount of sodium (Salt) in the water. The age of the earth for those that believe in an old one is 3 billion years. However, the amount of salt gives a maximum age of 60 million years relying on the assumption that (1) the oceans started out with no salt and (2) the assumption that the rate of salt is constant.
To the creationist, maybe the original ocean did have some salt content. This would greatly reduce the age of the oceans. Also, if there was a global flood as depicted in Genesis, it would have greatly affected the salt content, reducing the age to perhaps 6,000 years or younger.
Other examples are:
• Ocean floor sediments- They show an age of 12 million years. This is based on the assumption that originally there were no sediments in the beginning. If there was a flood as described in Genesis, the age would be reduced from millions to thousands of years.
• Ice caps of Greenland – Evidence shows that the ice cap formed in less than 1,000 years. This cannot be used to prove an old earth.
• Geological strata - This supposedly took hundreds of thousands of years to make. As a result of Mt. St. Helen’s eruption in 1980, strata formed in 3 hours. Look at what a world-wide flood did to the Grand Canyon.
• Magnetic Field of the earth- Shows a life of less than 10,000 years.
We need to understand that over 90% of dating methods go against the date taught in most colleges and universities. All dating methods are based on assumptions that are based on the belief of the person who created it.
In each language there are specific rules in grammar, such as structure and how a word is used in context to give the meaning of the word. With that in mind, let’s look at the word “day” in the Old Testament.
The word “day” comes from the Hebrew word “yom”. It has three meanings.
1. It can be a literal 24- hour period
2. It can mean a daylight portion of a 24- hour day
3. It can mean an indefinite period of time, such as the day of the Lord, or the time of the judges.
How it is used in context, determines how it is defined.
• The word day is used 410 times in relation to a number. It is always defined as a literal day.
• It is used 23 times with evening and morning and it is always translated as a literal day.
• When day is used 52 times in relation with the word night, it is always translated as a literal day.
When we come to the word “day” in Genesis 1, we see the word day with evening and morning, with a number and with night. According to the structure of the Hebrew language, the only translation of the word day is a literal one.
There is also the “Law of first Mentioning”, which dictates that when a word is used for the first time it has to be used as a literal translation before it can be symbolized.
The theories that are taught concerning the age of the earth in schools today, came as a result of people like Charles Darwin and James Hutton who proposed theories without proof of the ages.
Unfortunately, leaders such as James Dobson and Hugh Ross who are leaders in the Christian arena promote billions of years, a Big Bang and also a local flood.
If one looks at the Bible, without the influence of evolutionary theories, one can only conclude that the Bible teaches that our past is quite young. In fact, it is less than 7,000 years old.
Where did we get our week?
• Day is determined as the astronomical sign for one rotation of the earth.
• Month is a measure of the cycle of the moon in relation to the earth
• Year is measured by the rotation of the earth around the sun
God’s word tells us that in six days He created the heavens and the earth and on the seventh day He rested. He compared it to the work week and commands us to do the same.
After my research, I was not allowed to teach creation in that church. Most of the members of the church were public school teachers and principals who believed in evolution. I later interviewed a school board official who at the time was a member of our church. I was told that he did more than anyone to get creation taught in the schools. During our talk, he confessed that he believed in evolution and if he had his way, he would not like anything taught concerning our past. Later, I heard him speak on radio about being a defender of truth. He also stated that he believed wholeheartedly in the Bible.
Twelve years later, I had the opportunity to do a seminar on Timeline BC at a local church. When the church found out that I taught a literal translation of Genesis, they strongly encouraged their members not to come to the classes. Some of their leaders came to me an hour before the class and tried to persuade me that science has proved the Bible cannot be translated that way, regardless of the evidence. Unfortunately, no one came from their church, but God still sent over a hundred people every night.
Years ago, a church news letter reported that after college only 17% of young people who were brought up in Christian homes continued in their faith. Why should that surprise you? Are the colleges and universities, even the Christian ones, using the Bible as the source of all learning? No, they don’t. We are more concerned that our children get a good career than a Godly foundation and a strong relationship with their Savior/Creator.
Friend, are you putting your faith and trust in something that maybe here today and gone tomorrow? Are you looking for something that will fill the emptiness inside of you?
Christian, are you tired of playing church? Are you ready to get serious with Jesus, regardless of what other people may think? I made that decision years ago. We are here for a reason, what is God wanting for your life? Today is the day to find out.
If you are reading this and you really have not settled in your heart where you will spend eternity, let us help by asking you this question …
How does anyone get to heaven?
First realize that they cannot get to heaven on their own merits. The Bible says that “For all have sinned and come short (that means everybody can’t get to Heaven on their own) of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23)
Jesus Christ (who is the Son of the living God) came to earth and was born of a virgin woman (therefore he was not born of the curse of mankind) he lived a sinless life and died on a cross for all the sins in the world. Three days later, God the Father raised Him from the dead. He was seen of 500 witnesses and returned to heaven. God’s word says that if we believe these things and call upon the Lord, we will be saved. Romans 10:9 - 13