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The Meaning of Day in Genesis 1

Some time ago, I sat up pondering where the sun went after it set, and then it dawned on me.

There are many Christians who are unwilling to believe that day in Genesis 1 is a literal day. They try to scheme ways of obscuring the plain reading of the text. When I was young, I read the creation account and had no reason to think day was anything unusual. That is the way people have treated it for a very long time, with few exceptions.

Sun obscured by tree, Unsplash / Cowboy Bob Sorensen
With the advent of belief in deep time in the past couple of hundred years, Christians compromised and tried to find ways to force long ages into the Bible. For them, does day still mean day? Allegories, mythologizing, compromising and other shenanigans do violence to the text. Opinions of secular science cannot tell us what Scripture means.

Why do those Christians insist on this? Is it to look good to atheists as well as other Christian compromisers? Do they seek the approval of men over that of the Creator who told us what happened in his Word? Is the Bible unreliable because it's full of errors like atheists say? That'll be the day!

Note that by saying day means "something else," other compromises ensue, such as the global Genesis Flood also being written off as mythology, allegory, or the  "tranquil flood" idea that simply won't float.

If compromisers want the approval of other people, it is feasible that they will also compromise on the miracles of Peter, Paul, Jesus, and others. "Science says" that miracles cannot happen — nor can someone rise from the dead. Perhaps you think I am using a slippery slope fallacy, but this is entirely reasonable because compromise begets compromise. If these folks want to back up to the meaning of day in Genesis, they should consider the importance of context. Then the truth will dawn on them.

One argument often raised by people1 doubtinga that God created in six ordinary earth-rotation days is that ‘day’ can mean a period of time longer than 24 hours, i.e. a non-literal day.

“In my father’s day … ”, they say, and also point to Bible passages such as Genesis 2:4b (KJV)—“in the day that the Lord God made the earth and the heavens”. They might also refer to Numbers 7:10 (KJV)—“in the day that it was anointed”—which refers to the twelve days of sacrifice at the dedication of the temple. (All Bible quotes in this article are from the KJV, unless otherwise indicated.) “See?”, they argue, “In those instances ‘day’ doesn’t mean a 24-hour day, but is clearly referring to an extended period, longer than a day.”

The rest of the article can be read on this day by clicking on "‘In my father’s day … ’"