Is a day a day or a thousand years or a million?

Discussion in 'General Discussions' started by Andre Smit, Jul 27, 2017.

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  1. I was just wondering what you think about the account of Creation? Do you believe in a literal six day Creation? Do you believe that it is symbolic and that the days actually represent thousands or even millions of years or do you believe that God set everything in motion and then allowed it to evolve throughout time? I have heard arguments for all of the above and am just curious as to who on this forum believes what and why? I personally believe in a literal six day creation.

    In my opinion, the most awesome verse in the Bible: In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth.
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  2. I have heard it preached different ways. I never really think about it or give it much thought, honestly. I simply believe it and I am okay with however long it took. I would like to know what is right, though... lol But honestly, I just believe and trust in God and don't really care about debating this topic. However, there are other topics I would debate.
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  3. We don't even know how long it took the earth to rotate one full turn, which is a definition of a day. During creation, this could have been a much longer time period than our 24 hours. So, first define what is meant by a day, ie evening and morning for God.
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  4. The word YOM, which is sometimes translated as DAY is a general purpose word for units of time (could mean day, could mean occurrence, etc). Even the King James version renders it as 'time' or 'age' in many instances.

    For my view, God's own creation from which we are to understand the nature of God Himself bears witness to an ancient Earth ( on the order of billions of years ).

    However, this is not salvation, and no-one should call another un-biblical, or unbelieving of God's word because they come to a different understanding.

    I am quite willing to be told by my Lord that my firm belief was mistaken.

    I am also quite willing to consider explanations that do justice to both His word, and the witness of His creation.
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  5. I agree! It was seven 24-hour days, starting in the evening, then the day. The key is the speed of light is not a constant. Over 300 years, the speed was measured to slow 1% over 100 years. So in 300 years, it slowed 3%. Then in ~1956 it stopped. Why? They change from "time and distance" measurement, to the number of cycles of a cesium atom oscillations within a second. This means that ALL the atoms in the universe are also slowing down at the same rate to hide this speed reduction. If you extrapolate the speed reduction backwards to 6000 years ago, the speed of light was something like 10,000 faster than it is today.
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  6. The apparent decrease in the speed of light from historical measurements is really a history of the increasing accuracy (and reduction of measurement error).

    In fact, astronomical observations have demonstrated the fact that the speed of light is consistent over great lengths of time.

    As I remember it (and I am remembering reading a study from a few years back) it is measured like this:

    (1) A distant nova (or super nova) is observed marking the time the light from the nova reached earth.

    (2) Astronomers then start watching a dust cloud/nebula, keeping careful records its reflected light.

    (3) When the change in reflected light of the dust cloud corresponding to the nova is observed marks the end of the time it took for the light to go from the nova to the cloud and then to earth.

    The result is we know the distance (often an estimate, but increasingly it is a very good estimate) between these objects, and the time it took light to travel between them.

    The results of this analysis have shown the interstellar speed of light to be remarkably constant, even when the nova in question (and the cloud) is many thousands of light years distant (and thus the speed of light many thousands of years ago is measured).
  7. I am a little sensitive here. Science is what brought me to understand many qualities of God, and although it took Biblical teaching to bring me to a personal relationship, it saddens me when those who love God are dismissive of the sciences, which are the study of His world.

    I would like to point out that if one is willing to learn from His creation ( learning sometimes requires unlearning errors ) there is much correspondence between His word, and His creation

    The Bible [ NASB ] says:

    [1] In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.

    [2] The earth was  formless and void, and darkness was over the surface of the deep, and the Spirit of God was moving over the surface of the waters.

    [3] Then God said, “Let there be light”; and there was light.

    [4] God saw that the light was good; and God separated the light from the darkness.

    [5]  God called the light day, and the darkness He called night. And there was evening and there was morning, one day.

    [6] Then God said, “Let there be an expanse in the midst of the waters, and let it separate the waters from the waters.”

    [7] God made the expanse, and separated the waters which were below the expanse from the waters which were above the expanse; and it was so.

    [8] God called the expanse heaven. And there was evening and there was morning, a second day.

    [9] Then God said, “Let the waters below the heavens be gathered into one place, and let the dry land appear”; and it was so.

    [10] God called the dry land earth, and the gathering of the waters He called seas; and God saw that it was good.

    This compares well with what scientific cosmologists tell us:

    1st Primordial Matter burst into existence. Science has a number of guesses of how, but none of them satisfying (even to scientists). I refer to Gen 1:1.

    In the initial state it was too dense for matter like we have now to exist. At the very beginning, there was no distinction between matter and energy (formless and void from verse 2). Later as more normal atomic structures came into existence, it was still too dense for light to travel, making the universe dark (Still sounds like verse 2).

    As the universe cooled and expanded, at a sudden point -- called a phase shift, it became transparent to light, and the Universe which by this time had lots of previously impeded photons was flooded with light (I would place Genesis 1:3 at this point).

    The stuff of the universe coalesced into stars and star systems, cycling matter through stars several times to create higher elements (like those that make you and I), and collecting them into planetary bodies ( I would place Verse 6 here).

    As far as the Earth is concerned,

    Science says the Earth was initially too hot to bear liquid water, making the Earth dry land (Verse 9).

    But as the Earth cooled, it was bombarded with meteors, many containing water, providing water for the seas (Verse 10).

    The Bible then goes on to describe the development of life. There are many parallels here also, particularly since the purpose of this text was not to provide a scientific education, but to show that creation is His handiwork, and part of this handiwork is providence for our needs.
  8. Just to reply. Two scientists from Australia were tired of hearing this too, and sought out to disprove that the speed of light was slowing down. Once they confirmed it, they were rejected by academia and ostracized.
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  9. Very interesting
  10. It does happen. When an experiment or extension of theory contradicts (or appears to contradict) what is currently held as truth, the scientific community is skeptical, sometimes exceedingly so. Too often it is because of less than noble reasons (like competition for funding and prestige).

    But whenever an experimental result is published, particularly one that produced surprising results, teams at research institutions around the world try to duplicate it. Even seemingly crazy experiments get another look. Any properly described and documented experiment allowing duplication will be pursued.

    Hermeneutics (the disciplined study of the Bible) relies to a great extent on what has historically been believed, as well as textual exegesis. This is quite proper and effective in studying scripture. Scripture does not change from year to year (or age to age). Even the most gifted theologian is unlikely to find a new truth, although they may find novel ways of applying it to the changing state of man.

    Science on the other hand is continually expanding in terms of the raw data, as well as the theoretical underpinnings. So there has to be a method of allowing our understandings to change with new data. In the case of anything that challenges our understanding of something with both the theoretical understanding and experimental confirmation, there would have to be a significant number and variety of experiments along with appropriate adjustments to the underlying theories.

    But from either discipline, one must contend with the problem of human error in interpreting data.

    One experiment does not prove or disprove anything without independent confirmation. The larger the departure from known and verified theories, the larger body of evidence will be required before any change will be accepted.

    I still contend that the vast majority of evidence points to an ancient earth as part of an even older universe.
  11. Only God knows about the earth. As He made the heavens and earth. All I need to know.
  12. The Bible consistently uses God's creation to illustrate His care for us. It is His creation, and it reflects His nature. He expects us (as a community of faith) to learn about His nature through the study of His creation. In fact Paul laments the fact that we have failed to grasp the lessons of the natural world:

    Romans 1:18-20
    [18] For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men who suppress the truth in unrighteousness,
    [19] because that which is known about God is evident within them; for God made it evident to them.
    [20] For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes, His eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly seen, being understood through what has been made, so that they are without excuse.

    Now, my posts here should not be taken as blanket unrelenting choice of Old Earth understanding vs Young Earth. They are just statements of my understanding, and a very brief indication of my reasoning. No one should care two cents what Siloam thinks, and I would not like to think that anyone changed his thoughts based on my posts beyond stimulating them to study and develop an understanding based on both scripture and the evidence of God's creation.

    God does not lie in either special revelation (Bible) or general revelation (nature), but just as the Old Testament is useful in understanding the New Testament, general revelation (and science is our best attempt at that understanding) is useful in understanding the Bible.
  13. Really interesting replies and answers. I love the way in which God works and how He is able to capture our imaginations and thoughts when we read His Word. I love that scientists will theorize about something that is in contradiction to the Bible and then at some stage you will suddenly read about how science has proved something that the Bible had right all along. I often chuckle to myself because (and I mean this respectfully) I imagine God looking down at us and saying, I think tomorrow I will reveal the truth about this or that about Creation to them. I have seen some very heated debates about this topic among people and I think people settle on things that make sense to them. God is so awesome and so big in power and majesty that our measly little minds just cannot even begin to comprehend Him. I have a friend who believes that the Flood was a local flood and not a universal flood. He believes that the Flood only covered Noah's "world", because He cannot wrap his brain around the thought that the entire earth could have been under water. He argues about the height of Everest etc, although when I read the account of the Flood, it seems to me that the mountain ranges and such were created as a result of the Flood. It is just awesome to me that even though people can passionately debate certain topics, that they give serious thought to what the Bible says. I for one love the story of Creation, because this says to me that everything was created for a purpose. I love the story about the Flood because that reminds me that our decisions will have consequences, and this all leads to the story that I never tire of hearing; that He loved us so much that He died on a Cross so that those who believe can have eternal life. I praise God for this day. I praise Him for His plans for me and for every other person on this planet. I praise Him for His creation. What a mighty God we serve!
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  14. This is meant to be a little more light-hearted, but illustrates how taking something true and applying it to situations where it does not directly apply can lead to poor conclusions.

    A young believer was trying to stay warm one January. There is little else to do in Resolute, Canada (hint), particularly in winter.

    As he was reading and meditating, he came across the information that ancient Hebrew tradition started a day when the sun went down, and that it continued to the next sundown. He thought that was an interesting concept, probably related to the Genesis account.

    Later on he was looking at the calendar and counting the hours to spring. It occurred to him, that for an ancient Hebrew in his situation, spring was the later that same day (hint, again).

    He then considered that schools most everywhere teach that there are 365 (and about a quarter) days in a year. He did a little math and concluded that he really wasn’t in the year 2017, but the a little past half way through the year 5.

    Each of his facts was true. His math was fine. His conclusion is absurd.

    How did he figure that?

    If no one gets the answer I am looking for, I’ll try to post it tomorrow.

    Note: I picked Resolute, Canada for my own convenience. They may have a lot of great things to do there at all time of the year, and I was not trying to cast them in a poor light.
  15. 2 Peter 3:8 (KJV)
    But, beloved, be not ignorant of this one thing, that one day is with the Lord as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day.

    5.5 days to date since Creation... :D

    Actually, 2017 is really 5992 and will change to 5993 on 21 Sep, the day of the big eclipse across America, first time in 99 years... BTW in 7 years, it'll be repeated but going from SW to NE making a continent-wide X over America. The intersection is barely north of Madrid, Missouri, the site of the largest recorded earthquake in America.

  16. Not what I was looking for…

    But, I formulated my puzzle incorrectly.

    Instead of choosing a town in Canada, I should have specified a researcher at the North Pole Station.

    And it is not the date since creation, it is the Christian Era year that is 5.5. Answer coming tomorrow.

  17. Looking forward to the answer
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  18. This puzzle is about misunderstanding and/or misapplying ‘facts’ and about the dangers of mixing ancient knowledge with modern understandings.

    When one is north of the Arctic Circle, there are nights in the summer when the sun stays above the horizon (doesn’t set), and days in the winter when it never rises above the horizon (no sunrise). A similar situation arises as one approaches the South Pole.

    I originally choose Resolute Canada because it is well above the Arctic Circle. It does have days of noontime darkness in winter and days of midnight sun in summer, but it is not far enough north.

    So, I changed his location to the North Pole (no reference to St Claus intended). Here, the sun sets at the autumnal equinox (around September) and rises as the vernal equinox (around March). So, buy a strict misapplication of the Hebrew definition, a full day runs from autumn to autumn.

    When I mentioned that the person waiting for spring came to the ‘realization’ that spring would be later that same day, it is because he realized that according to the (misapplied) Hebrew definition, it would still be the same day when spring came.

    Then, he continued to misapply this knowledge. Taking this ‘fact’ that there is one ‘day’ per solar year, and the modern ‘fact’ that there are 365.25 days per calendar year, he divided 2017 (the number of solar years since Christ) by 365.25 (the number of calendar days in a calendar year) and came up with a little over 5.5 years.


    There are a number of other anomalies having to do with the Hebrew definition, particularly when attempting to use modern thinking to understand them. For example:

    Since hours are a division of daytime and/or nighttime periods, (the time between sunrise and sunset is divided by 12 to get the hour) and similar for night, an hour is not a standard increment of time. During the summer, an hour of day is longer than an hour of night, since the day is longer than the night. But in winter, the nights are longer than the days, and an hour of winder night is longer than an hour of winter daytime.

    The only point here to the original question of how long a time was a Genesis day (or YOM) is that we should be careful in using modern methods to study ancient knowledge.
  19. This is why when the rabbis say a length of time, it's based on the actuals. That is, in the summer, an "daylight hour" is about 75 min. In the winter it's about 40 min. They use day in a myriad of ways as well. We know God does.
  20. I have been studying (in an interested lay-person sense) the relationship between science and scripture since I came to a personal relationship with Christ in the late 1960’s.

    I still have a large number of books examining these issues from many angles. Most of them are from authors professing Christian faith. Some, I feel, regard their faith in a much different light than I. I have acquired this number of books because of the importance to me of both the scientific world, and the Bible. I have yet to find a single approach that is truly satisfying. I always have questions. But that is just an invitation to study harder. Sometimes I am faithful in answering that invitation, sometimes I fail.

    One of the threads of my study has been that the scientific approach to studying God’s word should enrich the Christian’s appreciation of God, and His providence on our behalf. And this study has.

    On the other-hand, since I am commonly part of a fairly conservative church, I am too often at a place where I hold strongly differing views from people I truly respect. It causes me much soul searching, and praying that I am not too much of a burden on my church. But I must hold true to what I believe and hold fast to the belief that the Lord has led me this way for His purpose.

    One of the hinge-posts of the reformation was the concept of sola-scriptura, or Bible only. While removing the presumption of authority for theology from man was truly a positive step, it disregards general revelation (which is what science studies). I would rather modify the concept to include revelation via His creation, noting that both scripture and nature require the interpretation of the Spirit.
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