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The Day/Age Theory

March 20, 2017
By Mike Pilliod

Hello all!

This next post in our series will discuss, briefly, what has been called the “Day/Age Theory.”  The basics of the Day/Age Theory are as follows:

  1. The earth and universe actually are billions of years old
  2. Each “day” represented in the Creation week is actually a long age…some millions/billions of years

Many Christians adhere to one version or another of the Day/Age model.  The immediate problem with this sort of thinking for Christians, of course, is that the ULTIMATE authority and arbiter of truth is placed on the mainstream scientific conclusions…and not placed upon God and His revealed Word.

Most folks adhering to this idea are also evolutionists…so keep that in mind.  They are Christians that believe in atheistic evolution and are looking to squeeze their scientific conclusions into the biblical account.

There are others, however, that do NOT adhere to evolution and yet still maintain the earth and universe are very old (billions of years) and that each day is a metaphorical day and not literal.

Firstly, we tackle the issue of the Hebrew word for day, which is יוֹם pronounced yowm.  Yowm is used exactly like the word day in English.  In other words, there are 4 ways to render the word yowm or day.

  1. A roughly 24 hour period of time. 
    • It took 3 days to drive from San Diego, California to Jacksonville, Florida.
       
  2. A roughly 12 hour period of daylight. 
    • I only walk during the days (meaning daylight hours).
       
  3. A period of time longer than 24 hours. 
    • Back in my grandfather’s day (clearly meaning some number of decades).
       
  4. A moment in time shorter than 24 and 12 hours and could be an instant.
    • A feeling of pride arose within me the day my son graduated.

So now we go to the Bible itself to see the context in which this was written.  Grammar plays a huge role in this!

First, in the Bible, whenever yowm (day) is associated with a number, it ALWAYS means a 24 hour period.  Just like in our English example above, “It took 3 days to drive from San Diego, California to Jacksonville, Florida.”  We would NEVER think that any of the other possible definitions for day would be in play in this sentence…it just doesn’t make any sense at all.  And Hebrew is the same way.

So as we go to the Bible, please note that Genesis 1:5, 8, 13, 19, 23, 31 and 2:2 all contain the word day, yowm, associated with a number.  Therefore, each of these days actually MUST be roughly 24 hour periods. 

It’s worth noting that in Genesis 2:4 the word day, yowm, is used in association with the entire Creation week, but without a number.  “This is the account of the heavens and the earth when they were created, in the day that the LORD God made earth and heaven” (emphasis mine).

And so here we have day, yowm, being used to mean a period of time longer than a 24 hour period.  But it refers to simply a normal week’s worth of time because of the usage of day, yowm, in the previous verses that are associated with a number.

Additionally, just flip over to the book of Exodus.  This passage eliminates any idea that the days of Creation week were anything other than normal, 24 hour days.  Let us read Exodus 20:9-11 below:

“Six days you shall labor and do all your work, but the seventh day is a sabbath of the Lord your God; in it you shall not do any work, you or your son or your daughter, your male or your female servant or your cattle or your sojourner who stays with you. For in six days the Lord made the heavens and the 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.”

In fact, the reason we have a 7 day week in the first place is due to God’s Creation week!  Notice that we are to work for 6 days and then take the 7th day off as a sabbath.  And it explains it right there in the passage.  Why do we work six normal days?  Because God created the heavens and the earth in 6 days, that’s why!

There is absolutely no reason to assume the days of Creation in Genesis 1 are anything but normal, 24 hour days.  Unless of course you already believe in “deep time” are trying to insert your old earth/universe belief into the biblical account.

Let us allow Scripture to interpret Scripture.

Les us allow Scripture to hold the highest place of authority with respect to truth.

Let me know your thoughts by commenting below!

Soli Deo Gloria!

Posted in Apologetics
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