I recently was having a conversation on Twitter with other Christians regarding an article posted by Answers in Genesis (Jesus Destroys an Old Earth).
This is a response to the article since I was challenged to provide a biblical response.
Please Note: This response is just for fun since it is ridiculous to argue over issues that aren’t dependent on salvation. I’m not a scientist and I don’t claim to be an expert. I’m merely stating my observations of the Bible and science.
The article first references Jesus’ words in Mark 10:6, which is quoting Genesis 1 and 2. It specifically addresses the words, “the beginning of creation.” The AIG author would have you believe that Jesus’ words clearly point to a Young Earth view but after reading the original Hebrew it doesn’t appear so clear.
The second issue I have with the article is that is presupposes that the Young Earth view is the only correct view. They believe that each creation day is a literal 24 hour period. Where in the Bible does it tell us this?! Unfortunately, the Bible does not specify exactly how long each creation day is.
Looking through the book of Genesis the Hebrew word for day has four separate meanings, all defining it in different ways.
1) Yom (3117, Strongs): Daytime (versus night); extension, era; indefinite period of time.
2) Ha (1886.1, Strongs): every morning; forever; daily.
3) Sahar (7837, Strongs): dawn; daybreak; morning.
4) Yomam (3119, Strongs): Daytime; daily.
In Genesis at the completion of each creation day, Yom (3117) is referenced. However, the AIG article presupposes each creation day is a literal day (1, 24-hour period). AIG also claims that scripture is clear about this day reference. Above we see that Yom (3117) has multiple meanings, including an era or an indefinite period of time. Again, at the conclusion of each creation day, Yom (3117) is the ONLY Hebrew that is referenced. AIG wants to bend the language to justify their beliefs but that is not how the truth works. We must follow the evidence and not create evidence to make our beliefs more believable.
Thirdly, the reality is that the fossil record points to an Old Earth view which supports the biblical record. Many times I’ve seen Christians avoid the fossil record or say that the current dating of fossils is not correct. If Christians really hold to that view (and I’m not saying they are wrong) then we have to be willing to question much more than the fossil record.
Further, I was troubled to read how harsh AIG’s words are towards Christians that don’t adhere to the Young Earth view. It is unchristian to say that people who hold an Old Earth view “undermine the gospel.” It’s also unfortunate that they are willing to go this far in their article. We don’t need to know the exact age of the earth or how long each creation day actually was. This information is not needed to be a Christian but sadly many Christians have been cornered to think that they have to hold a Young Earth view to be a “real” Christian. To be honest, this issue divides Christians in ways that are unhealthy to the growth of the church.
This is a hill I’m not willing to die on and I hope to continue to engage with other Christians and encourage them to do the same. We need to pick our battles carefully and as scripture states, “Be wise as serpents and innocent as doves.” (Matthew 10:16)
The Gospel Coalition: Biblical Reasons to Doubt that Creation Days Were 24 Hour Periods
BioLogos: How Long Are the Days in Genesis 1?
Reasons to Believe: Days of Creation
7 Days That Divide the World by John Lennox (Oxford Professor)