“For in six days the LORD made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that is in them, and rested on the seventh day. Therefore the LORD blessed the Sabbath day and made it holy.”
19th Century books had such memorable titles! Anglican vicar George Stanley Faber published a book in 1823 called Treatise on the Genius and Object of the Patriarchal, the Levitical, and the Christian Dispensations. With a title like that, I can’t wait for the movie!
Faber was interested in geological ideas. He was aware of the clash between the long ages being proposed for rock layers and fossils and the timescale given for Creation in the Bible. He realized that it is not possible to reconcile the two. Of course, when these two concepts come head to head, one of them will have to give way. For Faber, it was the Genesis account that had to give way.
Faber wrote that the six days of the Creation Week were “each a period of very considerable length”. Thus was born the Day-Age theory, whereby biblical scholars have attempted to reconcile the Bible with deep-time ages by making each creation day increasingly long.
Faber was convinced that he could find justification for the extreme length of these days in the actual text. He said: “[This] may be proved partly by analogy of language, partly by the very necessity of the narrative, partly by ancient tradition, and partly (and that most decisively) by the discoveries… of modern physiologists.”
Faber’s first two points have been answered many times. But it is interesting that Faber gives most weight to the so-called “discoveries”. These, as we know, were not discoveries at all, but were the opinions and interpretations of people who had already committed themselves to old-earth timescales, without any justification from the Bible. Author: Paul F. Taylor
Prayer: May we always, Lord, stick tightly to the words You have given to us, not venturing to re-interpret Your word by our own opinions and prejudices. Amen.
Ref: Faber, G.S. (1823), Treatise on the Genius and Object of the Patriarchal, the Levitical, and the Christian Dispensations, pp. 111-112, < https://archive.org/details/treatiseongenius01fabe >, accessed 1/23/2018. Image: Public Domain.