Genesis means origin, source, beginnings. First given to Moses so that the revelation of mans history could be taught to The Jewish nation as well as the laws of God. For thousands of years it was taught as a literal 7 days. Now as science has exercised its influence over society and the Church the scripture is being challenged.
Today there is a teaching gaining popularity in the Church called Progressive creationism. This theory is also known as the day-age theory. Progressive creationism is an attempt to reconcile the Bible with current scientific knowledge. Those who are progressive creationists uphold the creation of man by God and general categories of species found in Genesis 1-2. They believe in "intrakind" development within the species by adaptation to environment (microevolution) and reject "interkind" development of species such as Darwin's theory (macroevolution). There are also progressive creationists that do hold to Darwin's theory as well.
Progressive creationism is based in part on Psalm 90:4 and 2 Peter 3:8 They reject a literal six-day creation and substitute each day representing enormous lengths of time. The days of creation are not to be understood as twenty four hours but as ages or dispensations. Traditionally, the day-age theory held that the days were equivalent to geological ages. However, this posed several problems with the fossil record since it did not exhibit this. The creation of plants bearing seeds prior to the creation of land animals posed a problem in that some seeds depended on insects for pollination and fertilization.
Are the days of creation representative of geological ages or are they 7 literal days. The gap between Gen.1-2 and the days are used by some to validate Dinosaurs and other species and even early hominids before man. The book of Genesis came from Moses who received the revelation from God as he was on the Mountain 40 days and nights. While we can speculate whether it is all from the Lord at that time or Moses might have also used other various traditions orally or written. One thing is sure, it is a perfect accurate record.
The word Day (Heb. yom), used both in the particular sense of a natural day and in the general sense of a set time or period of time such as in the day of the Lord "Yom adonai" which will last 7 years. The word "day" can be used of an indefinite period, "the day" or "day that" means in general "that time" (Gen. 2:4; Lev. 14:2); "day of trouble" Ps 20:1; "day of his wrath" Job 20:28; "day of salvation" 2 Cor 6:2;. "Day of Jesus Christ" Phil 1:6.
The "day of Yahweh" Isa. 2:12; "day of the Lord" 1 Cor 5:5; 1 Thess. 5:2; 2 Pet 3:10; Zeph. 1:7; for the day of the LORD is at hand, Zeph. 1:10 "And there shall be on that day," says the LORD, " Joel 2:11 For the day of the LORD is great and very terrible; who can endure it? This is describing a particular event for a time period and not a single day, although it may include a single day.
In Dan 7:9,13 God is called "the ancient of days." meaning he is beyond our measurement of time. In 2 Pt.3:8 Where he states, "that with the Lord one day is as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day." This is generally Showing the timelessness of God and how mans lifetime and history cannot compare to God. In context it refers to the day of the Lord. This is not teaching a doctrine of one thousand years is equal to one day specifically of the Lord. God is not measured by time, he is eternal, infinite living outside time. He was there long before time was created.
The concept of long ages can be corrected when we see day can be used in the singular sense. Whenever a day is mentioned with a numeral next to it, it means that number mentioned. EX: Gen.1:5 evening, morning day 2, (a 24 hours) (Gen.1:8,13,19,23,31). God was very specific not only in the sequence of days but also mentioning evening and morning. The Jewish reckoning of a day begins in the evening with sunset. This is kept today as the Sabbath begins when 3 stars are visible. So the word Day also means a period of 24 hours, or the time from sunset to sunset. (Lev.23:32; Ex. 12:15-20; 2 Cor.11:25 where night is put before day).
Exod.20:8-10: "Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy. Six days you shall labor and do all your work but the seventh day is the Sabbath of the LORD your God."
Exod. 20:11: "For in six days the LORD made the heavens and the earth, the sea, and all that is in them, and rested the seventh day. Therefore the LORD blessed the Sabbath day and hallowed it." Lev.25:4 is made clear by its context. Ex.20 calls the it 7th day just as we have 7 days in the week.
God gave Israel a specific day to remember which was the same day that he rested, showing his covenant with them. That they might have rest in him. They did not have a thousand years to rest but one day at the end of the week just as we keep our calendar today.
Exod. 31:15 'Work shall be done for six days, but the seventh is the Sabbath of rest, holy to the LORD. ... 'It is a sign between Me and the children of Israel forever; for in six days the LORD made the heavens and the earth, and on the seventh day He rested and was refreshed.'" God has told us through the commandments what occurred at Genesis. He interprets it for us so there is no mistake.
This is a reference to Gen.1:31 then God saw that everything that he made and indeed it was very good So it was evening and morning the 6th day. God gave Israel the same time period to rest as He did; a 24 hour day and night. God did not rest a thousand years. There is absolutely no evidence to have us believe that the word "day" is used differently in the book of Genesis than it is all through the rest of the Bible. Genesis is describing a normal Earth rotation that we still experience today, not a period of thousands or millions of years. The word day is determined by the context and a number is next it to clarify it.
Gen.2:2 On the 7th day God ended his work which he had done and he rested on the 7th day from all the work which he had done. V.4 This is the history of the heavens and the earth when they were created, in the Day the Lord God made the earth and the heavens. Here the word for day is used as a reference of a long time. Notice there is no numeral next to it so it can be translated to be a period of time encompassing more than one day.
Many have heard the argument that the word "day" in Genesis does not mean a literal 24 hour type day, but that the "days" represent 6 ages of successive time periods. (6,000 years) After all how could Adam have named all of the animals on the sixth day in 24 hours.
But Genesis does not say that Adam named all the animals, (or every) "Now the LORD God had formed out of the ground all the beasts of the field and all the birds of the air. He brought them to the man to see what he would name them; and whatever the man called each living creature, that was its name. So the man gave names to all the livestock, the birds of the air and all the beasts of the field. But for Adam no suitable helper was found." (Genesis 2:19-20 ). Gods purpose in this was to find Adam a suitable helpmate of which there was none as well as having name the animals. It was God who gave him his mate in marriage. There was nothing compatible for Adam this is why he took the woman from his side, she would be a help and comfort to him.
The text does not say that Adam named ALL (each) the animals. Common sense tells us this means he probably named the species types that were in the immediate vicinity of the garden. (God already separated them in categories, Gen.1:24-25). He did not swim in the waters to name the fish, the Leviathan and the great sea creatures. Also the creatures that move along the ground. Scientific facts tells us there were much fewer species existing then than now. That numerous species can be traced back to a few main ones for their source.
If each day were years like 'one thousand' for each, then when God said, "It is not good for the man to be alone..." (Genesis 2:18, He actually had Adam to live alone for almost a whole day, which he stated was not a good thing. (this means he was alone many times longer than mans full life spans today). He was then put to sleep but for how long? Months, years? Or really barely a day.
Mr. Schroeder who was recently interviewed on Zola Levitt's program (May 19, 2000) laid out what he has written in his book the science of God. He is a perfect example of the progressive creation view. He believes the Bible agrees with with many points in evolution. That the big bang (creation) occurred 15 3/4 billion years ago. Day 2 -7 3/4 years ago where the heavens were made. Day 3- 3 3/4 billion years ago, day 4- 1 3/4 billion years day, 5- 3/4 billion years, day 6 when man was made 1/4 billion years ago. he relates the progression of H2O made on day 3 and the animals on day 5 (with a 2 billion year gap between) as the way the Bible portrays the sequence of events. As he worked out his calculation which he claims shows the compression of time, as it progresses it becomes shorter as a factual equation. Yet if one looks at the time of 24 hour days today it has not changed. The earth is slowing down not speeding up.
Hugh Ross is one of main Christian promoters of this day age theory. He founded "Reasons to Believe" he claims the same type of concept with less time involved. "Starting about 2 to 4 million years (or at least 1 million years) ago God began creating man-like mammals." Although some of these creatures looked completely human (Cro-Magnon, Neanderthal), ..." they were actually animals and "had no spirits," Dr. Ross teaches. "The hominid species may have gone extinct before, or as a result of, the appearance of modern man." ("Genesis One, Dinosaurs and Cavemen," (Reasons to Believe); also Creation and Time, p. 88)..."bipedal, tool-using, large-brained hominids roamed the earth at least as long ago as one million years, evidence for religious relics and altars dates back only 8,000 to 24,000 years. Thus, the secular anthropological date for the first spirit creatures is in complete agreement with the biblical date. (Hugh Ross, Fingerprint of God, pp. 159-160)
While Ross may claim the time element is in complete agreement with the biblical record. The scientific data is always changing, so it may not be tomorrow. The claim there were hominids before Adam has no validation in Scripture. Genesis is clear that there was no death until Adam sinned. Ross changes this exclusively to spiritual death. Scripture teaches it was first separation spiritually which also affected man physically. As the sin nature was passed on our lifetimes became shorter. This is directly linked to the fall. Rom.5:1; Cor.15:21. Death is the result of sin, Adams rebellion against God "For since by a man (the first Adam) came death, by a man (the last Adam) also came the resurrection of the dead. For as in Adam all die, so also in Christ all shall be made alive." This cannot be reconciled with a previous race of any kind if they died, then death did not come through Adam but through them. The Bible is clear on its description of man being a direct creation of God, instantaneously given life by God breathing into him. He was completely different from the animals or other mammals.
Adam was made on the 6th day, he died at 930 years old. So each day cant be 1,000 years or even a million as some claim to fit in with the theory of evolution. Since the 7th day followed the 6th we would have days that become years. If we change the days to years or ages then we have to change years to what? What do we do when its called years? What happens if we stay within the construct of this day equals age theory? If each day in the Genesis account represents a thousand or even a million years, then what do we do with the age of Adam. Adam lived 930 years. So if each year has 360 days that would be 360 million years. Multiply that with 930 years and we have Adam older than the earth and even the universe.
He didnt live to be 1,000 years for every year recorded otherwise Scripture would say something different. The Bible states about man living 3 score and 10 or 70 years as an average age. So we know this is what was meant by God's measurement of time, because that is the approximate measure of our lifetime today. It has consistenrtly stayed the same.What of when we come to others who lived long lives such as Methusalah. We then have to readjust all the measurements in Scripture in reference to the days meaning ages.
Progressive creationist H. Ross does not believe the Garden of Eden was free of death, suffering or degeneration when first made, even though God called it good . He believes that death and degeneration existed in the beginning and have continued for billions of years. He also teaches that neither the fall or the Flood had any significant physical changes in Nature. (Creation and Time, pp. 55, 65.)
Dr. Ross teaches that the existence of physical death in our world is not traced to Adam's sin. Death, suffering was going on for billions of years throughout the world prior to Adam's creation and sin. Where did death and sin come from? He answers, God created them as a basic part of earthly existence since the beginning of life. (Fingerprint of God, pp. 153-155, 159-160; "Reasons to Believe," )
"It looks bad, from our perspective-as does physical death. But the Bible says that the physical death we experience is a gift, it's not a punishment-it's a gift. That's one of the first things that God did was to remove from us the tree of life. Now God is using physical death as a tool for our redemption. Now when you talk about animals eating one another, we tend to think of that as bad. But what does it tell us in Romans 5:12-what Adam introduced was not death generally, but death through sin. The only animals that can experience death through sin are sinners, human beings. (Focus On the Family, April 18, 1991.)
This is not what death from sin means. Paul says the wages of sin is death. Anything that dies shows its nature is fallen and sinful or it would not deteriorate.
When Adam sinned, God cursed the world and all that is in it. This is why we have the "decay" in the world, to claim this was the natural process before man goes against the clear biblical record and depreciates the implication of Adams sin. What then were the ramifications of his sin ? If Adam did not sin he would never have died physically (Gen. 2:16-17, 3:22). God expelled Adam and Eve from the Garden and guarded the entrance to the tree of life so they would not eat of it and become eternally permanent in their state therefore unredeemable . (Gen. 3:22-23).
It was God who sacrificed the first animal and covered them in animal skins. God's OT. requirement for the covering of their sins was the physical death of sacrificed animals showing what occurs to them when they sin, life is cut off.
Progressive Creationism claims that God created a world filled with frequent death, physical and emotional sufferings, extinction's in species, catastrophes for millions of years before Adam. According to Progressive Creationism, when wolves eat lambs and killer whales kill baby sea lions, this is exactly the way things were meant to be by God. Is this what God meant by it is good? The scripture states that the millennium is to reverse things back "to restore everything, as he promised long ago through his holy prophets" (Acts 3:21) Isa.11:6-9 "The wolf also shall dwell with the lamb, the leopard shall lie down with the young goat, the calf and the young lion and the fatling together; and a little child shall lead them. The cow and the bear shall graze; their young ones shall lie down together; and the lion shall eat straw like the ox. The nursing child shall play by the cobra's hole, and the weaned child shall put his hand in the viper's den. They shall not hurt nor destroy in all My holy mountain, for the earth shall be full of the knowledge of the LORD as the waters cover the sea." The Earth began as a paradise, not a world suffering and death and this is the state He will restore it back to.
The Gospel of salvation from sin that is at stake. The doctrine of the Fall of man into sin, death and the state of creation which the Savior died for is altered. If the earth and its creatures are millions of years old and existed before Adam then so did death and bloodshed as well as anything else we associate with the affect of sin.
2 Pt.3:4..." For since the fathers fell asleep , all things continue as they were from the beginning of creation." Uniformatarianism is not true, everything is not the same as it was. V.5 "For they willfully forget that by the word of God the heavens were made of old, and the earth standing out of the water and in the water." Here the writer Peter refers to the creation account of the 2nd day Gen.1:6-7. So Peter believed in the Genesis record and we can find from history the Jews had taught it to be 6 days of creation. But notice they Willfully forget, isn't this what we see happening today? Peter calls them mockers because they deny a global flood and the creation account as it is written in the Bible.V.10 just as they will pass away and will be burned up just as quickly as they were created.
Other Problems with the age theory. Hugh Ross teaches that the sun, moon and stars were not created on the 4th "day" of Creation. That most of the stars existed long before earth's creation; approximately 10-15 billion years before the "7th day "Creation Week.
How could plants exist on the third day before the sun was present since they were made mature (not seedlings) (Gen. 1:11-13). This cannot be explained adequately when someone subscribes to a natural process to sustain them without any supernaturalis. If plants were made on day 3, and the sun was made on day 4, how could these be long ages? They would have died without light especially if they were growing from seed. however "Light" did exist before the sun (Genesis. 1:3) but whatever this light is, it is not our sun (some have deducted it was the shekinah glory of God as the spirit manifested, thus keeping the life preserved until everything was put in place). Vs.15 states these lights on the 4th day were made to give light on earth. This light was immediately available on earth, it did not have to wait millions of years to get here. We should realize that a supernatural event of this magnitude does not unveil all the answers for us in Scripture. However this does not mean we look to science for the unexplained. (In any event the plants could easily have survived a day without light, but not thousands of years). In the book of Revelation we find that at the end of the Millennium we will not have any need for the Sun because God will be dwelling on the earth. Rev 22:5: "There shall be no night there: They need no lamp nor light of the sun, for the Lord God gives them light." This is probably the same light that as the Spirit hovered over the earth God spoke for light to be visible and divided the darkness making the first day and night.
Ross states Genesis 1 describes Creation from the point of view of one standing on the earth; and that the sun, moon and stars did not become visible until the fourth day. He believes the stars were not created instantaneously; rather, they evolved by the physical laws of nature put into place by God.
First we need to understand the account is not written by some human who was there but from God's perspective, he was the only one there. The question would be why the stars became visible on the 4th day if they were always there? If they were described because of ones point of view on earth, who was there? Since Adam is two days or two thousand years or more away from being created. At least according to Ross' time clock.
In an interview Dr. Hugh Ross stated, "it's really impossible to interpret the universe without accepting a creation date billions of years ago. But I'd also like to look at the Bible and say that I want to have a consistent interpretation of what the Bible is saying about the moment of creation, whereby Hebrews and Psalms and other chapters of the Bible to not contradict what's in Genesis. But I have to accept the long-day interpretation; not the short-day interpretation. This is not an important doctrine. What's essential for the Christian faith is who creates, and how He creates. When is immaterial." (Focus On The Family, April 18, 1991.)
I would think both are important although without the beginning premise of the who, we cannot know the "how" or "when." If we reinterpret the when we may as well do the same for the who. The comment of this not being an important doctrine is debatable. The question that needs to be asked is, does God communicate to man in language he can understand or did he need to wait for modern man and current science to explain the bible. this means for thousands of years believers in faith were wrong in thinking of a literal 7 day creation.
Dr. Ross describes the Creation week taking billions of years. He claims that "...each of God's creation days is several hundred million years long." The earth was created about 4.6 billion years ago, and that some (or all) of the creation days partially overlapped. (Creation and Time, pp. 59, 91-118; Fingerprint of God , pp. 146-155 )He claims that the universe began with a "Big Bang" engineered by God dating about 17 billion years ago, plus or minus 3 billion years.
God specifically has it written as separate days each in sequence there is no overlap. It was Gosse who said there was an appearance of age to the earth and things created. We know from scripture that everything was made with maturity. The trees were able to give fruit Gen.1:11 , Adam was not made as a baby but a mature man. Even if one were make these as ages they need to explain how the trees and plants were made. Were they individually planted and then grew? Certainly not , at least not according to the scripture. All were made in a functioning state of completeness. At the moment of their creation they had this age.
It is safe to say time as we know it today did not begin until Adams rebellion in the Garden. Time began from day one but it did not have the physics applied to it that we have today. The Bible teaches Adam was created with age not as a baby but a mature adult (whatever age that may be). The Bible does not record when he aged but the age when he gave birth to a son (Gen.5:3, 5) and when he died. He was mature having all his faculties. So were all the plants and animals they were all made mature and having age not just the appearance, so it is not far fetched to think that the universe itself was created with age or better termed maturity. The nearest star is Alpha Centauri 4.3 million light years away. They must have been made functioning otherwise they could not have seen the stars which were made for signs and seasons, for days and years (Gen.1:14). They were made for man here on earth to gauge time. We can see new stars being birthed and old ones dying today. While this was not the same atmosphere that was in the beginning it certainly shows that stars and other things must have had some kind of stability in their nature before the 2nd law of thermodynamics (entropy) entered and age began as a deteriorating factor. While there was time this does not mean there was age that affected a perfect environment. If the universe was as old as claimed by progressive creationists young earth creationists claim by there calculations we would have run out of heat a long time ago.
Heb.11:3: "by faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that the things which are seen are not made of things which are visible."
The biblical assertion is that God spoke and all these things came into existence. Why is it so hard to believe that it was days of creation just as the Scripture states. Because it is by faith not science. We need to trust God at His Word. Jesus turned the water into wine without any aging process that would take time to ferment. He created More fish out of a few to feed 5,000, these fish never had seen an ocean. He created organic miracles making new eyes, giving life to where there was none. Is anything to hard for the Lord?
Some Christians seem to trust scientists; as if they may know more about the universe than its Creator. The Bible then suffers from Gods ignorance, not mans? The scientists now have determined how we should interpret the Bible.
Instead of Scripture, Nature substitutes and interprets our revelation of truth.
Dr. Ross believes Nature can provide an accurate understanding of God and His plan for man and history. "The plan of salvation as stated in the Bible can be seen through observation of the universe around us." He teaches that Job "without the aid of scriptures... discerned all the elements of the gospel..."
Dr. Ross frequently says that Nature is like the "sixty-seventh book" of the Bible.
Actually if nature revealed the gospel as well as prophecy then its not the 67th book, but the first. Jesus said his word would last forever not the universe. Nature does reveal there is a creator but gives no specific revelation of who he is or his plan of redemption. It points to Gods handiwork and an intelligence that is behind all life. Rom.16:25 tells us the gospel was hidden, a mystery until it was revealed in the NT.. So it was impossible for Job or anyone else to understand it, even if they spoke of things true in the future.
I need to also mention that Dr. Ross who spearheads this view also disbelieves the scriptures account of a world wide flood.
He teaches that the Flood did not have any consequential physical changes in Nature. (Creation and Time, pp. 55, 65.) Gen.7:11 tells us all the fountains of the great deep were broken up
The Flood did not cover the entire earth nor all the mountains of the day. Rather, Noah and the animals floated on a shallow, temporary inland sea (22 feet deep) somehow covering the Mesopotamian region. Dr. Ross says the word in Gen.7:19 high is not in the Hebrew so he is able to arrive at this conclusion of a local flood. but the word is there in Hebrew and it means it covered the highest MT. which lasted almost a year to recede (Gen.7:11,8:13).
God required Noah to dedicate 120 years of his life preaching a catastrophe of judgment and building a huge boat to save the animals (species of every kind) which really didn't need to be saved. Since these animals would be alive and unaffected in other parts of the world. So dry land was nearby all along. God kept Noah locked up in the ark full of animals for no reason for over a year.
The Bible clearly states that every land animal and bird on the face of the earth died "And, behold, I, even I, do bring a flood of waters upon the earth, to destroy all flesh, wherein is the breath of life, from under heaven; and EVERY THING THAT IS IN THE EARTH SHALL DIE" (Genesis 6:17,Genesis 7:4)
"And the waters prevailed exceedingly upon the earth; and all the high hills, that were under the whole heaven, were covered. Fifteen cubits upward did the waters prevail; and THE MOUNTAINS WERE COVERED. And ALL FLESH DIED that moved upon the earth , both of fowl, and of cattle, and of beast, and of EVERY CREEPING thing that creepeth upon the earth, and EVERY MAN: All in whose nostrils was the breath of life, of all that was in the dry land, died. And EVERY LIVING SUBSTANCE was destroyed which was upon the face of the ground, both man, and cattle, and the creeping things, and the fowl of the heaven; and THEY WERE DESTROYED FROM THE EARTH: AND NOAH ONLY REMAINED ALIVE, AND THEY THAT WERE WITH HIM IN THE ARK " (Genesis 7:19-24).
2 Peter 3:5-6: "For this they willingly are ignorant of, that by the word of God the heavens were of old, and the earth standing out of the water and in the water: by which the world that then existed PERISHED, being flooded with water. "
Noah was instructed to bring in the ark two of each kind of animal. If the flood were only the immediate region, this would not have been necessary, because animals could have survived outside of the flood area. God promised never to flood the world again, yet we see immense floods occurring all over the world today, so this would logically mean the flood God spoke about had been much greater than secluded to a particular region. Also Jesus tells us the judgment in the end days is compared to Noah's flood. (Matt. 24:37-39; 2 Pt. 3:6,7). Scripture is clear the last days judgment is a worldwide universal one just as it was for the first judgment.
In light of all the biblical proofs some insist in blending science theory which can change with creation facts. This does not mean they are not believers, but it has been said if you can't believe the creation account it affects ones understanding of the rest of Scripture. If Scripture does not mean what it says, then what else can we change? Time will tell what else will be changed because of this new concept.