The Day that God Created the Heavens and the Earth
by Navy Christian
Genesis 1:1 says, “In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth.” The next several verses detail that creative act that takes place, from a literal reading of the Bible, in six days. Yet in Genesis 2:4, the writer says, “these are the generations of the heavens and the earth when they were created, in the day that the LORD God made the earth and the heavens.”
So did he take six days or one day? Traditionalists, fundamentalists, and most evangelicals will believe that an old earth creation is just not possible because God took six days to create the earth, not billions, and that there are generations for only six thousand years or so.
Here’s the problem with that thinking. If you’re willing to read the Bible literally, and I certainly believe there are parts that should be read that way, then you have to decide if God made the earth in six days, as Genesis one says, or in one day as Genesis two says.
I don’t personally see a problem because I don’t think it should be read literally. I think Genesis one shows that God was intimately involved in the creation of the world and everything in it, and I believe that Genesis two is the general brush strokes that show his artistic style. I think, by the way, that this is another summary statement, much like Genesis 1:1 and 2:1. If anything, the “day” in Gen 2:4 suggests an “age” of creation, which denotes a progression, but I digress.
Also, there may very well be two writers of Genesis, with a second writer expanding on the first. This really upsets my more traditional brethren and sisters because it suggests Moses didn’t write Genesis with his own hand. I’m sure that I’ll write on that at some point, but I just don’t have time at the moment.
The point of this post isn’t to drive a wedge between Moses and the book supposedly authored by him, but to show my fellow fundamentalists that the traditional reading of scripture isn’t necessarily plausible and never was. Genesis tells us that God made everything, but even by chapter two of the first book of the Bible we have word problems.
In closing, I’m not saying that this is a problem. Instead, it is a fresh drink of cool water as it shows us that we can open up the scriptures and take a look at them, and see how God might have used the fossil record to fill in his gaps in creation. I’m very excited for this, and I hope you are too!
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