Are “days” in the Genesis creation literally days?

There are arguments for God’s existence such as the cosmological, teleological, and moral order arguments.  Simply stated, these arguments are: since everything has a beginning, who started it?  Since every design has a designer, who designed it?  And since every law has a law-giver, who gave the law?  We can know God exists from the world around us.  This is the natural knowledge of God.  Through the intricate design of all things from cells to galaxies, there must a Being who set ther universe in motion.  But we can only know that Designer through the Bible, the revealed knowledge of God.

Genesis 1:1 says that in the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.  He is not part of the creation; He is separate from it.  Our origin is one of the basic questions of life, along with our purpose and destiny.  Since we are using the revealed knowledge of God from the Bible to learn about man’s origin, many other questions arise. One of these questions is, “Are the six days of creation in Genesis literally ‘days’, or are they long periods of time?”

To answer that question, you can look at the Hebrew word for “day” in the Genesis text, as well as the context for each of the six days of creation, and you will find the solution: the “days” are literally days, not long periods of time. The Hebrew word for “day” is yom and means a 24 hour period, especially when you read the context of “evening and morning” for each of the six days of creation. James Barr, Hebrew professor at Oxford University, wrote,

Probably, so far as I know, there is no professor of Hebrew or Old Testament at any world-class university who does not believe that the writer(s) of Genesis 1–11 intended to convey to their readers the ideas that creation took place in a series of six days which were the same as the days of 24 hours we now experience; the figures contained in the Genesis genealogies provided by simple addition a chronology from the beginning of the world up to later stages in the biblical story; Noah’s flood was understood to be world-wide and extinguish all human and animal life except for those in the ark.

Furthermore, other parts of the Bible refer to a six-day creation account. For example, Exodus 20:9-11 says, “Remember the Sabbath day by keeping it holy…For in six days the LORD made the heavens and the earth, the sea, and all that is in them, but he rested on the seventh day.” That’s pretty clear, isn’t it?

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