Understanding
 The Bible

No one knows or can prove what happened at the beginning of all things since no one was there. We can only surmise based on the evidence as we can see and interpret it. The purpose of this chapter is to give a rational basis for taking the Biblical Genesis narrative literally, without having to disengage the brain and without embarrassment.

 

First Day

First consider what Genesis says happened before or during the first day. We don’t know when the darkness of the beginning begins, but we do know that it ended with the end of the first day in the light.

 

Gen 1:1 – 5. ‘In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth.

And the earth was without form, and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters.

And God said, Let there be light: and there was light.

And God saw the light, that it was good: and God divided the light from the darkness.

And God called the light Day, and the darkness he called Night.

And the evening and the morning were the first day.’

 

Since there was no sun or moon at that point, we don’t actually know how long that day was. The Biblical day 1 begins with evening, which was darkness and chaos, liquid or gaseous rather than solid, a high degree of entropy. Into this chaos, God brings light and order. But since He is eternal and does not dwell in time, which at that point had not been created, this cannot be measured in our terms. It could have been 24 earth type hours or billions of years, neither of which have any meaning in eternity. God describes himself later to his creation as the I AM. He exists outside of time.

 

The statement ‘the earth WAS without form and void’ is better interpreted as BECAME. The Hebrew word used is ‘hayah’, which is translated as ‘to exist, become or come to pass’. The implication here is that the earth may have been already in existence prior to this first day in Genesis, that there may have been an indeterminate gap between verse 1 in which God created the universe and verse 2 during which the earth became formless and void.

 

This is a possible explanation for the apparent long age of the earth and the universe. To us it appears as millions of years, when in fact it was eternity. Because of our limited perception in our 3D virtual reality world, eternity appears to us as a very long time, when in fact it really is timelessness.

 

The light referenced here is not that of the sun, but light in a broader sense of power: truth, illumination and positiveness. God himself ‘is light, and in him is no darkness it all’ (1 John 1:5). He is also called the Father of Lights (James 1:17). Jesus is referred to as ‘the Light that lightens every man’ (John 1:4). The light is extracted out of the pre-existent darkness. The positive words used in this account are light, day, morning, spirit in contrast with dark, night, evening, formless and void. The Hebrew word for night (layel) also has a sense of twisting or spiralling away from the light. This may align with our understanding of the structure of the atom with electrons spiralling away from protons at the microscopic level in a way that we can never understand why or how it happens. It could also be a reference to the spiralling of galaxies at the macro level. These are just the result of laws that God made in order to create the universe

 

So by the end of the first day, the laws of physics, chemistry and biology and the fundamentals of the universe were defined. The building blocks for life were in place.

 

It is also interesting to note that the idea of the Trinity of God appears in these first 3 verses. Verse 1 introduces God the Creator and ultimate Father of everything; verse 2, the Spirit of God, the Holy Spirit and verse 3 the Light, which is an allusion to Jesus, the Light of the World. Was this the point at which Jesus was begotten of the Father? (John 1:14) This theme is reiterated in the Gospel of John. ‘In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. The same was in the beginning with God. All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made. In him was life; and the life was the light of men. And the light shines in darkness; and the darkness comprehended it not.’ (John 1:1–5)

 

Second Day

Genesis 1:6–8. ‘And God said, Let there be a firmament in the midst of the waters, and let it divide the waters from the waters. And God made the firmament, and divided the waters which were under the firmament from the waters which were above the firmament: and it was so. And God called the firmament Heaven. And the evening and the morning were the second day.’

 

The second day involved further separation, division of subterranean water from water in the sky (gases and water vapour) and sky from the heavens. As already discussed, Heavens in Hebrew has 7 different meanings, which may be analogous to the different dimensions. The firmament is the sky that we can see, the first heaven. We cannot see the other 6 with the physical eye.

 

Day 2 is a period of the universe cooling, settling down and solidifying; condensation of gases into liquids and solids, the taking on of form from that which was formless. Up to this point, the earth would have been a white hot liquid ball spinning in empty space. As it cools, it develops a solid skin of rock beneath which there is liquid molten magma and trapped water, even today.  Outside of this, the earth was surrounded by clouds of water vapour and other gases. So the solid crust of the earth separates liquid inside and outside. Some of the water outside would be in lakes, seas and rivers and a great deal more in the clouds. I suspect there was a lot more water actually above the earth than there is currently, giving a thick layer of protection as a greenhouse, from the harsh radiation of the sun. The temperature differences between day and night, summer and winter would have been far less than we experience giving a somewhat equitable and probably pleasant climate. As we shall see later, much of this water vapour was precipitated in a great flood raising the sea levels to what they are today.

 

Third day

Gen 1:9 – 13. ‘And God said, Let the waters under the heaven be gathered together unto one place, and let the dry land appear: and it was so. And God called the dry land Earth; and the gathering together of the waters called he Seas: and God saw that it was good. And God said, Let the earth bring forth grass, the herb yielding seed, and the fruit tree yielding fruit after his kind, whose seed is in itself, upon the earth: and it was so. And the earth brought forth grass, and herb yielding seed after his kind, and the tree yielding fruit, whose seed was in itself, after his kind: and God saw that it was good. And the evening and the morning were the third day.’

 

Day 3, which may have been millions of years on our timescale, involves further separation of dry land from water as the surface water settles into troughs to form the seas and lakes. The atmosphere would be heavily laden with water vapour, which is transparent and would allow the light to penetrate. At this stage there would have been no rain and hence no clouds would appear in the sky.

 

On this same day God prepares the ground, which would have involved erosion of the rocky crust to produce soil. He then begins to create vegetation. All of the trees and vegetation would be created fully formed with fruit and seeds. Still there is no sign of the sun. There would be no seasons or weather cycles, no tides, just a static landscape like a painting or video set to pause, waiting to burst into life.

 

If you want to make seeds grow, what do you do? As a child most of us have put seeds or beans in a jar, watered them and put them into a dark cupboard for a few days. They do not required light to germinate. In fact seeds will last indefinitely if kept dry. So on day 3, God created the seeds with their DNA and everything required for growth buried in the darkness of the earth. Then next day he puts the sun in place. The heat from the sun causes growth and the light begins the photosynthesis processes. More time, like millions or billions of years adds nothing to this process. It does not help. No amount of time will turn a pond into a forest. No amount of light, electrical storms or any other natural force can turn hydrogen, oxygen and carbon into a plant. Entropy will go the other way, from life back into carbon and oxygen, but no amount of time can create something that does not already exist. That is the act only of an intelligent creator. It would have remained an inert landscape on freeze-frame until God hit the start button.

 

Up to this point the length of the days are indeterminate by our method of reckoning. The day begins with darkness and ends with light and we do not know exactly when during the day the creation events took place, only the order. The formation of the ground could have taken millions of years and the very last act at the end of the day could have been to create the seeds and plants ready to germinate, which then enter the period of darkness called night in preparation for the next major event. I suspect by this time God is beginning to get quite excited in anticipation of the next stages.

 

Fourth Day

Gen 1:14–19. ‘And God said, Let there be lights in the firmament of the heaven to divide the day from the night; and let them be for signs, and for seasons, and for days, and years:

And let them be for lights in the firmament of the heaven to give light upon the earth: and it was so. And God made two great lights; the greater light to rule the day, and the lesser light to rule the night: he made the stars also. And God set them in the firmament of the heaven to give light upon the earth, And to rule over the day and over the night, and to divide the light from the darkness: and God saw that it was good. And the evening and the morning were the fourth day.’

 

On day 4 God created the sun and the moon to control the seasons, months, days and the tides. It used to be assumed that the earth and moon and other planets were part of the sun which spun off as molten bodies in some remote past. The theory was that a large body came close to the sun and through it’s gravity pulled a huge amount of gaseous material from the sun. This material condensed and solidified to form the solar planets, one of which was the Earth. This theory is by no means proven1. The earth is actually spiralling in towards the sun whilst the moon is gradually moving away from the earth due to the sun’s gravity2. The Earth’s rotation is actually slowing down. The effect of this is to elongate the Earth through the poles, so that the circumference around the equator is slowly reducing3. As this happens the tectonic plates of the earth will begin to slide and move resulting in increased earthquakes. It would appear that this is happening very slowly at this point in time, but as we have seen, the rate of things happening is not necessarily totally predictable. Whether the sun, moon and stars were actually created on day 4 or whether the solar system was brought together on that day from existing celestial material is less important than the fact that it happened. This was then the signal for life to begin.

 

The precision involved in the seasons that we take for granted is astounding. The distance of the earth from the sun and the distance of the moon are so precise that even small differences would wipe out life on earth. It would be too hot or too cold or the tides would be too extreme. The tilt of the axis of the earth in relation to the sun cannot vary by much without causing extreme temperatures that would kill life on earth. The fact that the sun and moon appear to be the same size, when viewed from the earth even though the sun is 93 million miles away and the moon is just 300 thousand cannot be a coincidence.

 

During an eclipse of the moon, the shadow of the earth crosses the moon and appears to be about the same size. During an eclipse of the sun, the moon appears to be the same size as the sun, completely and exactly blotting out the sun. The mathematics and engineering to create such a precise model in a laboratory let alone in space is beyond our comprehension.

 

Of all the solar planets, the elliptical variation is least for Earth than any other planet, varying only by about 5%.

 

There is no explanation for these phenomena except that they were designed and created by an awesome intelligence.

 

From day 4 onwards, we can now begin to measure time in our terms, years, months and days. A year is the time required for the earth to circuit the sun. A month is the time for the moon to circuit the earth. A day is the time for the earth to revolve once on it’s axis. The week of 7 days was defined by God, as part of the creation process.

 

The other time measurements we use which are the hour, minutes and seconds have no cosmic significance. These are man-made divisions of a day. The ancient Egyptians used to divide the daylight into 10 periods on their sundials, possibly relating to the number of digits on their hands for ease of counting4. A further two periods of twilight morning and evening gives the twelve hours of the day.  Using the same time division during the night gives the 24 hours. 60 minutes and 60 seconds is possibly just a useful number that became a convention, being multiples of 2,3,4,5,6,12,15, 20 and 30. Maybe seconds were close to the rate of a heartbeat of a healthy person.

 

Anyway, whilst the man-made concept of a 24 hour day came a lot later, the day, from this point onwards can be regarded as a single rotation of the earth, from sunset to sunset.

 

Fifth Day

Genesis 1:20–23. ‘And God said, Let the waters bring forth abundantly the moving creature that hath life, and fowl that may fly above the earth in the open firmament of heaven. And God created great whales, and every living creature that moves, which the waters brought forth abundantly, after their kind, and every winged fowl after his kind: and God saw that it was good. And God blessed them, saying, Be fruitful, and multiply, and fill the waters in the seas, and let fowl multiply in the earth. And the evening and the morning were the fifth day.’

 

On day 5 the earth was populated with all kinds of living creatures to live in water and fly in the air. Fish and birds and great sea creatures were created, which may have included dinosaurs and sea monsters.

 

The creatures were created with their own specific DNA, with the exact number and type of chromosomes to define the species. The genetic instruction to multiply was built into the reproductive cells so that each one would reproduce an exact replica of its kind. Reproduction is a blessing from God.

 

There is no suggestion that one species would evolve into another. There is no fossil evidence that feathers evolved from scales as evolutionists would like us to believe. A feather is a highly complex device and no fossil structure in between scales and feathers has ever been found. It is highly speculative and fanciful to think there is a link between the two. A gradual transition from a scale of a sea creature to the feather of a flying creature makes no sense and has no intermediate purpose and no amount of time could make it happen.

 

Sixth Day

Gen 1:24-31. ‘And God said, Let the earth bring forth the living creature after his kind, cattle, and creeping thing, and beast of the earth after his kind: and it was so. And God made the beast of the earth after his kind, and cattle after their kind, and every thing that creeps upon the earth after his kind: and God saw that it was good. And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creeps upon the earth. So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them. And God blessed them, and God said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it: and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moves upon the earth. And God said, Behold, I have given you every herb bearing seed, which is upon the face of all the earth, and every tree, in the which is the fruit of a tree yielding seed; to you it shall be for meat. And to every beast of the earth, and to every fowl of the air, and to every thing that creeps upon the earth, wherein there is life, I have given every green herb for meat: and it was so. And God saw every thing that he had made, and, behold, it was very good. And the evening and the morning were the sixth day’

 

By this time, you can sense God getting really excited. Up to this day He had said everything was good, but at the end of day 6 He said what He had made was VERY good.

 

It is worth noting that God says let US make man in our image. We have seen the allusion to the Father, Spirit and Son in verses 1,2,3 of the chapter. This again confirms the composite nature of God.

 

On that final day of creation, land creatures were created, one by one. Each was given its own DNA, which include instructions to reproduce after its own kind. The final and climactic act of creation was to create a being in His own image, man, giving him dominion over the rest of creation. Man was originally a vegetarian eating fruit to sustain him, whilst animals were allocated herbs. All of man’s organs, bones, muscles and blood were produced in a single creative act, in the same way that we might paint a picture. Man was designed and produced as an act of love. We did not evolve over millions of years by some chance accidents and brutal battle for survival.

 

Our minds cannot comprehend how God could simply create animals and man. But as we have discussed, God, a being who dwells in a dimension so much higher than ourselves, is capable of doing whatever he wants in our material world of 3 dimensions.

 

Seventh Day

On day 7 Day, the work was completed and God rested. This particular day, the day of rest is called the Sabbath. God reminds us in the 10 Commandments that He created everything in 6 days and then rested and that He expects us to do the same (Ex 20:6). If we keep going without a break, we will simply burn out. We recognise that cars and machines cannot run continually and need to be serviced. So our operations manual, the Bible, tells us to rest after working for 6 days.

 

So the living part of creation according to the Biblical account, took place in a few days. Creation had to happen in a very short space of time but the symbiotic interrelationships between many of the creatures force a virtually instantaneous creation. Evolution over a long period of time does not make sense even if it were by design. There is a principle called irreducible complexity, which can be applied to most mechanical devices. For instance an electric motor needs a minimum number of parts to work, an armature, a magnet, a coil, etc. If any one of these parts was missing it would not work slower or less efficiently; it simply would not work. So it is with all living creatures. A muscle or nerve or a blood cell are useless without each other. For any of these to develop by sheer chance is absurd. To develop at exactly the same time by chance for life to be sustained is a total impossibility. Each element or member of the body had to have been designed and created at the right time. Long periods of time, no matter how long will help this process. Time is a counterproductive measure.  If there was a thousand years between the evolution of say the lens of the eye and the nerves of the retina, they would be useless without each other and would serve no purpose. So with every other part of the body: they need to be there at the same time. The only way life can happen is virtually instantaneously. So, if you cannot think outside of the 3 dimensional world, it is all very difficult to understand or explain, but, once you accept the additional dimensions we have been discussing, it is possible to begin to understand how God could have put the whole of creation together as a package and pressed the start button.

 

However, we need to address some of the apparent evidence that the earth and life appear to be extremely old. Many people regard the existence of creatures of 2 or 3 billion years old as a fact, without understanding the underlying assumptions.

 

Home.
The Six Days of Creation

1. Theories of birth of planets: http://mars.superlink.net/~dialect/stars.html

2. Moon moving away: http://www.physlink.com/education/askexperts/ae695.cfm

3. Earth slowing down: http://pages.prodigy.com/suna/earth.htm

4. Egyptian time, e.g.: http://curious.astro.cornell.edu/question.php?number=594

 

 

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