I believe that Jesus Christ is the Word of God (Jn. 1:1)…and therefore scriptures in the Bible are non-contradictory.
The verses…Exodus 20:11 and 31:17…are divinely inspired and absolutely, unequivocally true:
“For in six days the Lord made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in them is, and rested the seventh day: wherefore the Lord blessed the sabbath day, and hallowed it.” (Ex. 20:11).
“It is a sign between me and the children of Israel for ever: for in six days the Lord made heaven and earth, and on the seventh day he rested, and was refreshed.” (Ex. 31:17).
But the scripture verses Genesis 1:5, 1:8, 2:3, and 2:4 are also divinely inspired and absolutely true.
Resolving a difference of opinion in this case in scriptural interpretation…is not a matter of exegesis (letting the text speak for itself) or eisegesis (bringing into the text our own outside bias)…because in the four Genesis scriptures it is the context around the word “day” in each verse that defines its meaning…not the Hebrew word “yom” by itself.
“And God called the light Day, and the darkness he called Night. And the evening and the morning were the first day.” (Gen. 1:5).
John C. Lennox…whose book Seven Days That Divide The World…I would recommend to anyone interested in this topic…said that the language in these four Genesis verses is very sophisticated…and that we must be careful in how we interpret them.
In Genesis 1:5…God calls the light Day, and the darkness Night. Clearly here Day is not a 24-hour day…but is roughly 12 hours…that portion of a day that is daytime.
Compare this with John 11:9…where Jesus said: “Are there not twelve hours in the day?”
The second of the four verses…is the standard Hebrew description of a full day:
“And God called the firmament Heaven. And the evening and the morning were the second day.” (Gen. 1:8).
In the third of the four verses…no mention is made of “evening and morning”…in contrast with the six days of creation:
“And God blessed the seventh day, and sanctified it: because that in it he rested from all work which God created and made.” (Gen. 2:3).
God rested on the seventh day from creating…and is still resting from creating until today…although God is still working in the areas of salvation and redemption…as noted in the response by Jesus to the accusation that He is breaking the Sabbath: “My Father is working until now, and I am working.” (Jn. 5:17).
The context of the word “day” in the fourth verse is clearly not referring to a 24-hour day:
“These are the generations of the heavens and of the earth when they were created, in the day that the Lord God made the earth and the heavens.” (Gen. 2:4).
There are three ways that these Genesis verses have been interpreted historically:
- The 24-hour view…The days are seven 24-hour days of one earth week, about six thousand years ago.
- The day-age view…The days are in chronological order…each representing a period of time of unspecified length.
- The framework view…The days exhibit a logical, rather than a chronological order.
Luther and Calvin held the 24-hour view.
Justin Martyr and Irenaeus…two of the early church fathers…thought that the “days” of creation in Genesis might have been long epochs…based on Psalm 90:4 and 2 Peter 3:8.
Origen (AD 185-254)…the most prominent theologian of his time…wrote that in the Genesis account the sun was not made until the fourth day:
“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 stars?” G. W. Butterworth, Origen on First Principles (Gloucester: Peter Smith, 1973), 288.
In the fourth century, Augustine wrote in his commentary On the Literal Meaning of Genesis:
“But at least we know that it [the Genesis day] is different from the ordinary day with which we are familiar.” Augustine, The City of God: Writings of Saint Augustine, vol. 14 (Ann Arbor: University of Michigan/Fathers of the Church, 1947), 196.
I want to conclude this post by quoting from the book Seven Days That Divide The World by John C. Lennox…page 55:
“We are considering the idea that the six days encompass a sequence of creation acts, each of which involved at least one creative fiat introduced by the phrase “And God said.” This helps us understand what the New Testament means by saying that all things were made by the word of God. At each stage of creation God injected a new level of information and energy into the cosmos, in order to advance creation to its next level of form and complexity. On this view, therefore, the six creation days themselves could well have been days of normal length, spaced out at intervals over the entire period of time that God took to complete his work. The outworking of the potential of each creative fiat would occupy an unspecified period of time after that particular creation day. One consequence of this is that we should expect to find what geologists tell us we do find—fossil evidence revealing the sudden appearance of new levels of complexity, followed by periods during which there was not creation (in the sense of God speaking to inaugurate something radically new).
I like this method of interpreting the Genesis days…as normal 24-hour days separated by long periods of time.
The idea that an old earth supports Darwinian evolution is not valid.
Darwinian macroevolution falls apart on its own. Modern science itself has discovered in the last 4 to 5 decades that the information content in living systems is way too complex to have been produced through a random-chance, mindless, unguided, indifferent, and trial-and-error process.
The paradigm of Darwinism is slowly dying day-by-day. It is not necessary to argue for a young earth in order to combat Darwinian macroevolution.
This takes an entire book to discuss. See these excellent books on this topic…amongst many others:
- Evolution: A Theory in Crisis by Michael Denton.
- Darwin On Trial by Phillip E. Johnson.
- Darwin’s Black Box by Michael J. Behe.
- Undeniable: How Biology Confirms Our Intuition That Life Is Designed by Douglas Axe.
- Signature In The Cell by Stephen C. Meyer.