The Book of Genesis stands alone in accounting for the actual creation of the basic space-mass-time continuum which constitutes our physical universe. Genesis 1:1 is unique in all literature, science, and philosophy. Every other system of cosmogony, whether in ancient religious myths or modern scientific models, starts with eternal matter or energy in some form, from which other entities were supposedly gradually derived by some process.
Only the Book of Genesis even attempts to account for the ultimate origin of matter, space, and time; and it does so uniquely in terms of special creation
— Henry M. Morris
Throughout the ages, the evils of man under the influence of the serpent from the Garden of Eden have contested the Holy Bible in an attempt to destroy any influence it might have in benefiting mankind. The “disinformation” coming from modern day science and the manufactured confusion about the true meanings of the words in the Holy Bible has left many with an almost Kafkaesque knowledge and attitude concerning the Holy Scriptures. The quandary begins even in the first statements of Genesis. Many modern day sincere members of the Christian establishment have come to believe that the first book of the Holy Bible teaches or implies that God’s Creation has been in existence for long aeons of time up to and perhaps including the “billions of years” preached by evolutionists. In actuality, Holy Scripture does not teach, imply, insinuate or even allow for any such interpretation or doctrine. Our Earth and our universe are no more than a few thousand years old; probably an approximation of six thousand years between creation and the present would be quite accurate.
The Hebrew calendar in theory begins at the date of Creation. Year 5760 on the Hebrew calendar roughly coincides with 2000 A.D. on the Gregorian calendar. This means that according to the Hebrew calendar, our year 2000 was approximately 5760 years after the creation of Adam. It is a commonly accepted notion among most experts (both Christian and Jewish) that the Hebrew calendar is off by approximately 240 years, meaning that the creation of Adam was around 6000 years ago. A careful study of the timeline which can be ciphered from the Holy Scriptures reveals that the 6000 year figure is a quite close approximation for the age of the Earth and for the time span since the creation of Adam.
With this type of information available from the Holy Bible, why do folks believe that Genesis teaches that there have been billions of years since creation? Probably a more accurate question would be, why do people believe that the Book of Genesis allows for billions of years? These ideas and theories concerning billions of years from the Genesis account have arisen only since the fallacious teachings concerning the evolution of man have become a standard part of our formal education and upbringing. Because so many people have come to believe that the information which they are being fed in our school systems concerning the age of the universe must surely have some validity, and because they are not willing to deny their belief in a Creator, new interpretations of Genesis have come into vogue.
We should note here that the theories which promote an age of the Earth of “billions of years” are based upon numerous invalid assumptions and have no basis in fact. Scientists witness phenomena which they do not understand, and which seem to them to be counter to the plain and simple teachings of the Holy Bible; and they then apply human assumptions to their extremely partial knowledge of the universe; and they then arrive at a time period of “billions of years.” Because these scientists are clothed in the erudition of academia, they can become giant obstacles for most of us to overcome. There ARE other possible conclusions based upon and using the same scientific data. These alternative conclusions are just as scientifically accurate, and they do not carry the result of a necessary attempt to trample God’s word. These will be discussed later in this chapter.
Just what are the newer interpretations of Genesis referred to above? Generally, most of the proposed explanations of Genesis which would allow for billions of years fall into one of two categories. The first category is the idea that the six days of creation were, instead of literal days, actually aeons of time that were poetically referred to as days. The second category is the gap theory, which places a long and indefinite period of time between Genesis 1:1 and Genesis 1:2. Though the gap theory does offer a seemingly logical explanation and can be difficult to successfully navigate through to the real truth, the “excessively long days” postulation possesses no merit whatsoever. Let’s discuss the “long days” theory first.
To put it quite simply, because someone believed that there needed to be an explanation in scripture which would allow for billions of years, someone then said “AHA!,” the days in the first chapter of Genesis were really very long periods of time that were just called days, but they weren’t really days. Yes, it’s really just that simple. There is no grammatical, scriptural, scientific or logical reason cited! It’s just that it sounded like a good explanation to somebody somewhere once upon a time. The days in the first chapter of Genesis are all very specifically defined.
GENESIS 1:5 And the evening and the morning were the first day.
GENESIS 1:8 And the evening and the morning were the second day.
GENESIS 1:13 And the evening and the morning were the third day.
GENESIS 1:19 And the evening and the morning were the fourth day.
GENESIS 1:23 And the evening and the morning were the fifth day.
GENESIS 1:31 And the evening and the morning were the sixth day.
Nowhere else in the Holy Bible, other than Genesis 1, does anyone question the meaning of the word day. It is very easy to understand what was meant in the verses shown above. The folks pushing this idea try to use the logic that the word “day” in Hebrew has more than one meaning. The Hebrew word for day is much like the English word for day and as in English, it does have more than one meaning. As an example of English usage of the word day, we could utilize a statement such as this one: In my grandfather’s day, the days were hotter and the nights were darker, but even then there were seven days in a week. We’ve just used a sentence in which the word “day” has three different meanings. But by reading the context, we know exactly what is meant each time. In Genesis, God assured that we need not be overly concerned about interpreting the context, because he specifically defined each day as an evening and a morning – or dark and daylight – or twenty four hours. As we can see, the idea that the “days” of creation were actually long aeons of time has no merit whatsoever. One more tidbit of interest concerning the above verses and all the other verses of the first chapter of Genesis after the first verse: all the verses begin with the Hebrew word for “and,” which is a strong indication that the action described in each verse was immediately succeeding the action of the prior verse.
The other misleading argument which involves a supposed “gap” between the first two verses in the Book of Genesis does possess a degree of logic which requires a little more attention. Though this is indeed a deceptive teaching, it can certainly seem to be a reasonable idea to those with only a casual acquaintance with God’s Holy Bible. This teaching revolves around the wording of the first phrase of the second verse of Genesis. This phrase says, “And the Earth was without form and void.” Using alternative meanings of the same Hebrew words, the gap theory enthusiasts, teach that this verse should be, “and the Earth became chaotic and confused,” or some similar type wording. When we check the meanings of the Hebrew, we find that these folks are not entirely off base with their translation, if they have only this verse with which to contend, and if it were simply a stand alone statement. This is not a stand alone statement, and fortunately for us, we do have additional information in aiding us to come to a proper conclusion concerning the intended meanings of these Hebrew words.
As a beginning bit of information concerning this verse, we need to be aware that none of the several commonly used and established translations of the Holy Bible render any wording noticeably different from that of the King James Authorized Version: “And the earth was without form and void.” Similar wording from several translations, though certainly offering a degree of evidence, does not in itself provide an absolute conclusion, since there exists the possibility that all the translators could have missed the point of a single verse. It does demonstrate to us that the context of the surrounding verses in no way suggests that an alternate translation should be rendered. But beyond this, we have the rest of the Holy Bible to aid us in coming to a proper conclusion on this matter.
What does Moses tell us in the 20th chapter of Exodus?
Exodus 20:10-11 – But the seventh day is the Sabbath of the LORD thy God: in it thou shalt not do any work, thou, nor thy son, nor thy daughter, thy manservant, nor thy maidservant, nor thy cattle, nor thy stranger that is within thy gates: For in six days the LORD made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in them is, and rested the seventh day: wherefore the LORD blessed the Sabbath day, and hallowed it.
Here we see that God says he made the Heaven and the Earth and “all that in them is,” in six days. No “gap” is in any way addressed or realistically allowed by this passage. The gap theory enthusiasts do however point out that this verse uses a word different than “Create,” and that the word translated as “made” could possibly mean “dressed” or “maintained.” Thus they teach that here the passage is simply reporting that God only RE-created or RE-formed or RE-decorated what was already in existence. Again, the idea for the alternative translation of the Hebrew word here translated as “made” is not totally without merit.
But there is yet a serious problem for the gap theory that it must overcome before being viewed as a valid concept, and that problem lies in the first chapter of Genesis. This teaching is also one which most of us will consider as being quite strange since it involves the creation of space and is therefore counter to the concept which we have heard for our entire life – that incorrect concept being that space is nothing. Let’s examine this concept by first noticing what we are told in Genesis 1, verses 7 and 8:
Genesis 1:7-8 – So God made the expanse and separated the water under the expanse from the water above it. And it was so. God called the expanse “sky." And there was evening, and there was morning—the second day.”
Most all Christians and other readers of this passage immediately conclude that the expanse refers to that area separating the Earth from the clouds or upper atmosphere. Should we assume that this is a correct conclusion? No, we should not be quick to do so. If we continue reading in the chapter, God further defines this expanse for us. Let’s read the passage below.
Genesis 1:14- 19 – And God said, "Let there be lights in the expanse of the sky to separate the day from the night, and let them serve as signs to mark seasons and days and years, and let them be lights in the expanse of the sky to give light on the earth." And it was so. God made two great lights—the greater light to govern the day and the lesser light to govern the night. He also made the stars. God set them in the expanse of the sky to give light on the earth, to govern the day and the night, and to separate light from darkness. And God saw that it was good. And there was evening, and there was morning—the fourth day.
As we read in this passage, the sun, the moon, and the stars were placed in this expanse. We can also notice that the expanse was not created until the second day of Creation. Let’s notice this quite plane teaching: SPACE (the expanse) was created! Space must indeed be “something” since it had to be created. The sun, the moon, and the stars were not placed in the expanse (or SPACE) until the fourth day of Creation. The gap theory, since it assumes that God simply RE-dressed the Earth and that He had already created the heavens above the Earth, thus requires that both the expanse and the heavenly bodies be in existence prior to the first day of what they call God’s “RE-creation” or “RE-dressing” of planet Earth. It is plain that when we consider both the expanse and the stars that are in the expanse, we must be considering the universe. God has told us that both the expanse (space) and the stars were created during the six days of creation week. Prior to the creation of space and the stars, there could have been no universe as we know it. The gap theory advocates have no reasonable response to this scriptural description of God’s original creation of the entire universe. We can logically conclude that there WAS NO GAP.
There exists more than one scientific theory concerning the age or apparent age of the universe in which we live. There are alternative theories which are just as reasonable from a scientific standpoint as are those theories that are in the forefront, and they are obviously much more logical from the standpoint of the teaching of the Holy Bible.
Before we address these scientifically alternative cosmological theories, let’s first understand an item of importance. That item is this – no one knows how far it is to the stars. No man or woman in this entire world has ever firmly established through science the distance to the stars. Even though we can read volumes and volumes in textbooks and in libraries the world over concerning the distance to the stars, accurate measurements of such distances are not available to us. The information presented by science is based upon assumption. Perhaps it would be more accurate to say that the information presented by science is based upon OPINION, since that is certainly from whence the assumptions came.
Most of us have never heard or truly considered the idea that the heavens are located within an expanse that is separated by water. When reading Genesis, most of us just skip over this thought because we do not understand it in light of what secular education has foisted upon us, or we consider it to be poetic. God was not being poetic. Modern day astronomy notwithstanding, there is the possibility of a collection of water above the stars in the sky. The word translated as above is a preposition which carries several possible meanings. There are a few experts who do believe that as used here, the word does indeed mean “above” and that there is a collection of water above the stars. As we will learn in the chapter entitled “40 Days,” this could also be a reference to the layer of water that very possibly surrounded the Earth prior to the flood.
Additionally, the word expanse carries with it the connotation of something that is firm or solid as opposed to being nothing. Indeed, the King James Authorized Version renders this same word as firmament, which indicates something firm as opposed to something that is “nothing at all.” This would essentially mean that though we envision space as nothingness, it is indeed something. Space is not an infinite nothingness that was always here prior to Creation. Space itself was CREATED on the second day of Creation week. We even learn from scriptures such as Isaiah 40:22 that “God stretches out the heavens like a canopy, and spreads them out like a tent to live in.” These words carry the connotation and concept that space can be “bent.” Perhaps Einstein really was on to something.
We all learn(ed) about the Doppler Effect in grade school and how sound waves are subject to this effect. We are told that light waves can also be subject to this effect. Astronomers have used this idea to supposedly determine the distance to the stars. I personally learned of the “redshift” being the measuring instrument for the distance to the stars when I was a teenager. I did not understand how this could be a measurement at the time. I remained puzzled for several years until finally I discovered how this measurement using the redshift was accomplished. I essentially discovered that such a measurement was indeed NOT accomplished. As best as I can understand it, what astronomers do is based upon the following assumptions:
- An initial general or best guess distance is assumed for the distance to stars.
- It is assumed that stars are moving away from the Earth with such a speed as to cause a significant Doppler shift in the length of the light waves which we can see emitted from the stars.
- It is assumed that the universe is expanding.
Though there is not now a manner in which these assumptions can be disproved, neither is there a manner in which they can be proved. Though the answers arrived at by astronomers may possibly be accurate, these answers are nonetheless based on assumptions, and the assumptions seem to be based upon circular reasoning. If the answers are accurate, we still could not know that they are accurate, because whether they be accurate or inaccurate, we would still be GUESSING. The redshift theory is based on the assumption that stars are moving away from us and should therefore produce a redshift in the visible light which we see emitted from them. Would this mean that any time we see a star that is too red, we know that it moving away from us? We can see that the assumption results in the intended proof.
The University of Virginia’s Department of Astronomy’s website contains the following statement: “The Doppler Redshift results from the relative motion of the light emitting object and the observer. If the source of light is moving away from you then the wavelength of the light is stretched out, i.e., the light is shifted towards the red. These effects, individually called the blueshift, and the redshift are together known as doppler shifts. ….. The Cosmological Redshift is a redshift caused by the expansion of space. The wavelength of light increases as it traverses the expanding universe between its point of emission and its point of detection by the same amount that space has expanded during the crossing time.”
How many assumptions do we have here when attempting to determine the distance to the stars? We have assumed that space is expanding (how can we know that?). We have apparently assumed that all stars produce similar amounts of red light and blue light (this seems to be a real stretch). We have assumed that the speed at which stars seem to be moving away from us is directly proportional to their distance from us (that’s a big assumption). We have assumed that interstellar space has no affect on lightwaves (perhaps a decent assumption, but how can we know that?). Though these assumptions may possibly all be true, they are nonetheless assumptions. Astronomers DO NOT KNOW the distance to the stars, but based upon their assumptions they establish a scientifically accepted distance. They then use their assumed distances to draw conclusions about the age of the universe. This is perhaps a basis for a minor scientific theory, but it is far from being a good basis for a logical and accepted scientific conclusion. What we have here is a beginning list of assumptions which provide the desired conclusion. We do not have any distance measurements; we have only the observance of starlight. We might also note that in recent years it has been reported that there have been a few discoveries of stars that based on their redshift seem to be where they are not supposed to be, i.e. from other data types, these stars don’t fit the pattern of expectations as established by other stars which exhibit the same redshift data. A simple conclusion is that astronomers have attempted to provide a reasonable model for something that is presently unknowable.
Let’s now discuss some alternative theories. First let’s address the speed of light. There is evidence that the speed of light is slowing. From the first successful measurement of the speed of light made by Olaus Roemer in 1676, until the measurements taken in the 1960’s, there seems to be according to some physicists and mathematicians, a measurable slowing of the speed of light. One Canadian mathematician has concluded that the data fits a mathematical curve which would result in a speed of light which approached infinity approximately 6000 years ago. Assuming that this theory of a slowing light speed is true, then numerous other physical constants would be affected as well. Additionally, such a “slowdown” would provide nicely as an explanation for light from distant stars arriving at Earth in a very short amount of time. This phenomenon concerning the speed of light has not been firmly established, is hotly debated by most astronomers, and is still under investigation.
Another scientifically and mathematically valid theory is that one which is provided by Dr. D. Russell Humphreys in his book “Starlight and Time.” Based upon accepted physics and mathematics, Dr. Humphreys provides a very intriguing theory which fits not only modern day science and mathematics, but also fits very comfortably with the Book of Genesis. Other than the short passage from his book which is quoted below, we will not go into detail with the discussion of his theory here, but the basis of his theory involves an event horizon and a “white hole.” We have all heard of “black holes,” but “white holes” are not as often spoken of though they possess just as much scientific validity as do black holes.
From page 28 and 29 of “Starlight and Time”:
According to General Relativity, time effectively stands still at an event horizon. Clocks and all physical processes at that location are stopped, and near that location they run very slowly (relative to clocks away from it). We have already shown that the universe (with the Earth roughly at its center) must have expanded out of a white hole which no longer exists. This means that the event horizon shrank to zero. (General Relativity sets no limit on the speed at which such a shrinkage can take place, incidentally.) If you were standing on the Earth as the event horizon arrived, distant objects in the universe could age billions of years in a single day of your time. And there would be ample time for their light to reach you.
In a bounded universe, clocks in different places can tick (or register time) at drastically different rates. So which set of clocks is the Bible referring to in Genesis 1, or in Exodus 20:11, when it says that God made the universe in six ordinary weekdays? In Appendix B, I show scriptural evidence (Genesis 1:5, 1:14-15) that God’s intention was to define time in terms of the Earth’s rotation and the Earth’s motion around the sun, thus speaking of periods of time in our own frame of reference. This is quite reasonable in a book intended to be understood by people of widely different cultures and degrees of scientific knowledge. Therefore, it looks as if the Bible is telling us that God made the universe in six days E.S.T. – Earth Standard Time.
Dr. Humphreys' book is a relatively short read and is written in lay language. It is a book that I recommend to anyone who is interested in learning a little about a scientifically supported cosmology theory that also supports the Holy Bible.
Since Einstein, we have all heard the stories of how space travel affects and influences time. We’ve heard the fictional idea/story of the twins (one of whom takes a trip through space) who age at different rates because of their “relative” places in the space-time continuum, and because of their different speeds in relation to the speed of light. Such concepts have allowed valid theories which can fit both secular science and the Book of Genesis. Based upon these concepts, there are scientists and mathematicians who have arrived at conclusions concerning the apparent distance to the stars and how those distances can fit with the Book of Genesis. We can conclude that we have no good “scientific” reason to doubt the Book of Genesis.
Let’s now consider one more detail related to Genesis – death. The “billions of years” evolutionists would have us believe that physical life began in this world hundreds of millions of years ago. They would also have us believe that aside from the existing physical life on this Earth, entirely all of that prior physical life for hundreds of millions of years has died. This would mean, of course, that we now walk on the decayed bones and rotted flesh of all that past life that has decomposed in the soil. The evolutionists would have us believe that death was rampant for hundreds of millions of years prior to Adam. Yet we know from the first chapter of Genesis that such a concept does not logically abide with what the Creator told us, when he said that his creation was good. How could creation be good if it were built on a pile of bones and decayed physical flesh? How could creation be good if the foundation for the new life God created was a foundation of death? We can see that such a concept is not sensible can’t we? And God did repeatedly tell us that his creation was GOOD.
4 – And God saw the light, that it was good: and God divided the light from the darkness.
10 – And God called the dry land Earth; and the gathering together of the waters called he Seas: and God saw that it was good.
12 – And the earth brought forth grass, and herb yielding seed after his kind, and the tree yielding fruit, whose seed was in itself, after his kind: and God saw that it was good.
18 – And to rule over the day and over the night, and to divide the light from the darkness: and God saw that it was good.
21 – And God created great whales, and every living creature that moveth, which the waters brought forth abundantly, after their kind, and every winged fowl after his kind: and GGod saw that it was good.
25 – And God made the beast of the earth after his kind, and cattle after their kind, and every thing that creepeth upon the earth after his kind: and God saw that it was good.
31 – And God saw every thing that he had made, and, behold, it was very good. And the evening and the morning were the sixth day.
Since we know from the scriptures shown below that God takes no pleasure in death, does not wish death upon us, and will eventually cast death into the lake of fire, and that there will then be death no more, it is quite plain that God does not consider death as a good thing. We have seen above that God has told us SEVEN TIMES in the first chapter of Genesis, that his creation was good. Since God does not consider death good, he would not use death as the foundation for his new and good creation.
2 Peter 3:9 – The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us–ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.
Ezekiel 18:32 – For I have no pleasure in the death of him that dieth, saith the Lord GOD.
Revelation 20:14 – And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire.
Revelation 21:4 – And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away.
Before we conclude this chapter, we should note that we can find even in the “New Testament” plain teachings that there was no “gap” in Genesis and that the Creation days of Genesis were not aeons of time. First we can read that death came as a result of Adam’s sin. This means that there WAS NO DEATH PRIOR TO ADAM. Since there was no death prior to Adam, then there were not hundreds of millions of years of physical life prior to Adam.
Romans 5:12 – Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned.
I Corinthians 15:20-22 – But now is Christ risen from the dead, and become the firstfruits of them that slept. For since by man came death, by man came also the resurrection of the dead. For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive.
And finally, Jesus himself stated in Matthew 19:4, “And he answered and said unto them, Have ye not read, that he which made them at the beginning made them male and female.” Jesus has here told us that mankind was Created “AT THE BEGINNING.” There is no teaching from any source of which I am aware that claims mankind has been here for billions of years. Here is a statement by Jesus that the beginning was also the beginning of mankind, just exactly agreeing with the text of Genesis. And Jesus should know, since he indeed was the CREATOR in Genesis who created mankind and the Heavens and the Earth.