Question #16: Militate against the supposition that the days in Genesis 1 were figurative or other than 24 hour literal days.
Answer: Whenever the Bible prefaces the word “day” with “morning and evening” it means 24-hour day. Whenever there is a specific amount included with the word “day” it means the literal meaning of day. One bible scholar tries to evade the 24-hour day literal meaning. He defines day as “Most literally, a period of time delimited by the earth’s rotation around its axis, such as the period between two consecutive sunrises; also, the portion of that period in which the sun is visible, the other portion being called ‘night.’ The word ‘day’ occurs over 2,000 times in the OT, over 350 times in the NT. The Hebrew word for day is used in a variety of ways, not merely in the literal sense.”1
What he neglected to say was most of the over 2,350 times that ‘day’ occurs in the Bible, it means a literal 24-hour day. Only a few were figurative, e.g. Day of the Lord means a period in time, not just one day. Nonetheless, close to 95% of the time the word day means 24-hour day! There is really no way to get out of this conundrum that they have falsely created.
1 R.K. Harrison in Walter A. Elwell and Barry J. Beitzel, Baker Encyclopedia of the Bible (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Book House, 1988), 587.
One-Minute Theology with Chaplain T features the question and answer portions of the Systematic Theology courses that were part of my seminary work at Piedmont Baptist Graduate School. I will be posting one Q & A everyday until my ordination council meeting set for February 2014.
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