Last time, I took a quick look at what God had to say about Creation week, and He seems to say it’s a six day work week with a day off. I say that because he says “For in six days the Lord made the heavens and the earth, the sea, and all that is in them, but he rested on the seventh day.“ (Exodus 20:11) The fact that the Bible clearly says Creation took a week seems fairly open and shut once you read the Bible. A lot of controversies about the Bible get cleared up fairly quick when you actually READ the Bible. I wonder why more people don’t think to do that?
This is the point where someone will ask, “But doesn’t the Bible say “With the Lord a day is like a thousand years“?” Oh, these poor kids. I used to be one of these guys, and frankly, we say this kind of stuff without really thinking because someone said it to us and we just went, “Huh. That’s in the Bible. OK then.” But let’s consider it together.
Does God understand TIME?
What this question seems to be implying, is that God WOULD have said it took BILLIONS of years, but He doesn’t really understand how time works. To Him, a day IS a thousand years (Or several Billion, depending on who you ask.). If that’s too harsh, then maybe we’re intending to say God KNEW it was BILLIONS of years, but he wanted to put it in terms that people could understand, and even though the human race has built the pyramids by this time (Which is quite a feat, let me tell you), he figured most of them wouldn’t understand anything beyond the concept of a “week.” So He kind of lied, but only to make it easy to understand. He SAID six days, but what He MEANT was 13.7 Billion years in six, somewhat overlapping epochs. That’s kind of like a week, right?
Let’s take this question down a few more notches:
1. Yes, the Bible says “With the Lord a day is like a thousand years.“ This verse is from 2 Peter 3:8, and the VERY NEXT LINE says “and a thousand years are like a day.” So that cancels out whatever assumptions you were going for here. It would be exactly the same to use this verse to try and argue that the Creation took six SECONDS. Neither works.
2. 2 Peter is not in Genesis. It’s not even in the Old Testament. Trying to determine the meaning of an Old Testament passage written in Hebrew by referencing a New Testament verse written in Greek is a lot like watching “The Matrix” to better understand “Lord of the Rings.”
3. This passage is not about how long Creation took, or how God understands time. It’s about God’s eternality, and how he does not get impatient or bored. So trying to apply this verse to the length of the days of Creation makes no sense. This would be like saying “Thou shalt not judge” means we ought to abolish the legal system.
4. The verses leading up to this, in the same Chapter, say this:
“…scoffers will come, scoffing and following their own evil desires. 4 They will say, “Where is this ‘coming’ he promised? Ever since our ancestors died, everything goes on as it has since the beginning of creation.” 5 But they deliberately forget that long ago by God’s word the heavens came into being and the earth was formed out of water and by water. 6 By these waters also the world of that time was deluged and destroyed.”
If this tells you anything, it’s that the author of this book knew Genesis and took it as literal history. Not only that, but in verse 4, he knocks uniformitarian assumptions as the ignorant mocking of scoffers. That’s a bullet to the foot for Lyell and Darwin.
In short, this bible verse is an often misquoted and as often misunderstood verse which is actually about how God is not a victim of time as we are. It says nothing about the length of Creation days and it certainly does nothing to call into question the literal nature of the Genesis account. In Genesis 1, the word for ‘day’ is the Hebrew word ‘yom’ and you won’t learn anything about it by reading the Greek manuscript of 2 Peter chapter 3. But you will find out a lot about it by reading the Old Testament. We’ll do that next time.
Until then, why don’t you give reading the Bible a try? I think you’ll find it clears up a lot of misconceptions you may have about the Bible. I wonder why more people don’t try that?