Author: Steven Cook
Note: Creation Moments exists to provide Biblically sound materials to the Church in the area of Bible and science relationships. This Bible study may be reproduced for group use.
Mr. Gentry explains that in college he was convinced to accept “theistic evolution.” Theistic evolution is the belief that God works through evolutionary means to bring the world to its present condition. The idea behind theistic evolution is that in this way it can harmonize— bring together in one package—both the long ages evolutionists insist on, as well as God’s work in creation.
In the years since Mr. Gentry was in college, this teaching has percolated down into high schools and even some junior high schools. Therefore, it would be well for us to study what the Bible has to say that touches on this view.
Read Genesis 1:5, 8, 13, 19, 23, 31. Please note the repetitious phrase “there was evening and morning (such-and-such a) day.”
Some theistic evolutionists would have us believe this repeated phrase is just a poetic form used for emphasis or to divide the material. Then they would make each “day” an indefinitely long period of time. However, as we look more closely at these words, we will see something more. We will limit ourselves to some examples from Genesis, Exodus and Numbers (books Moses wrote), though there are other examples in these books, and other Old Testament books that also show the same information. Thus we are letting the Bible interpret itself.
The word “evening” is the Hebrew word ‘ereb, and it is consistently understood as the time of the setting of the sun. Read Genesis 8:11 and Exodus 18:13 for some other examples of this word (#6153 in Strong’s system for others). This is then clearly an actual, literal evening.
How about “morning” boqer (Strong’s # 1242)? Although this is not always translated “morning”—it always has the idea of “early in the day” or “as the sun is rising.” For example read Exodus 12:10—as the Israelites are given directions about the leftover meat from the previous night’s Passover meal. Again in Genesis 22:3 as Abraham has been directed to sacrifice Isaac.
That leaves only the numbers and the word “day” yom (#3117 in Strong’s). We want to be sure we are comparing “day” in the same situations, so we will restrict ourselves to examples where “day” is preceded by numbers, as in Genesis.
Read Genesis 1:5—the “first day” or “one day” comes from ‘eched (Strong’s #259). This same combination can be found in Genesis 8:5, 13. For the “second day”—shaniy—(Strong’s #8145) read Genesis 1:8. Compare this to Moses’ writing in Exodus 2:13, another place this phrase is found.
Going on to the “third day” in Genesis 1:13, she-liyshiy (Strong’s #7992). This phrase is also found in Genesis 31:22 as Jacob leaves Laban’s household and in Exodus 19:11, as God prepares to speak to His people. The fourth day, rebi’iy(#7243), is found in Genesis 1:19 and Numbers 7:30, 29:23. While “fifth day” (Strong’s #2549) is in Numbers 29:26, 7:36 and Genesis 1:23. The “sixth day” (Strong’s #8345) in Genesis 1:31 is also found in Exodus 16:22, 29.
In every case listed, the others in these three books, and the ones in other books of the Old Testament, the translations point to one thing: Each numbered day is a literal 24-hour day.
Yet the clearest evidence is still to come. As someone pointed out to Mr. Gentry, “that God had rewritten the Genesis record of creation in one of the Ten Commandments” (Creation’s Tiny Mystery, p. 12). Is that true? Turn to Exodus 20:10-11. Here we find the words “seventh day” as in Genesis 2:2-3 (#7637 Strong’s). Compare also Exodus 12:15-16 which deals with the institution of the Feast of Unleavened Bread and also uses these words.
As Mr. Gentry realized, “I could no longer associate the six days of creation with six long geological periods of the earth’s development, and my basis for believing in theistic evolution would be negated.” (Creation’s Tiny Mystery, p. 13). As we have seen, these days are literal in every point.
To close, read II Timothy 3:16-17 and give thanks to God, in prayer, for His Word’s teaching, correcting and instructing us in righteousness.
Copyright © 1988 Bible Science Newsletter, Rev. Steve Cook. Creation Moments, Inc. PO Box 839 Foley, MN 56329