Old Earth vs Young Earth: Al Mohler and Jack Collins

Collins claim that morning and evening are twelve hours

On the face of it, this seems absurd. Here is how the activities play out:

  1. God’s creative activities begin.
  2. Following those activities, it became evening and it became morning, the first day.
  3. And it became morning is following by a second wave of creative activity.
  4. Followed by that second wave of activities, it became evening and it became morning, the second day.
  5. This series continues all the way to the end of God’s creative activities over the course of 6 “and it became evening and it became morning.”

Collins claim that Day 1 did not begin with Gen. 1:1.

The idea that day one did not begin until God created the light is without exegetical merit. To mark the beginning of day one with the Hebrew phrase, וַיֹּ֥אמֶר אֱלֹהִ֖ים is arbitrary. It does not follow that just because each day begins with “and God said” that day one must begin that way. I would argue that it is better to mark the activities with the Hebrew וַֽיְהִי־עֶ֥רֶב וַֽיְהִי־בֹ֖קֶר[1] because it seems to fit better than the former. There is no exegetical reason why Genesis 1:1-5 does not represent the very first 24-hour day.

The OE claim that the Sabbath Day is continuing even in the present.

And there was evening and there was morning, the sixth day.[2] As was mentioned above, what follows “and there became morning” after day 6 is that God rested. That was the beginning of day 7, the Sabbath. The claim is that since the Sabbath does not come with the formula of the previous 6 days that day seven continues up to the present time. But such thinking also comes without a shred of exegetical proof. It is only wishful thinking. First, what was Moses doing in Genesis 1-2? He was setting the creation record straight. God created the heavens and the earth and everything that is, in 6 literal days. It was miraculous and meticulous. Other accounts of how the world came to be are false! Second, where is Moses supposed to stop? Couldn’t one argue that if Moses stopped applying the formula at day seven instead of day 6, that day 8 continues to the present time?

The word יְכַ֤ל is a wayyiqtol imperfect which basically means it is a past tense verb, and God finished. This is exactly the construction of יִּשְׁבֹּת֙ as well, and he rested. The imperfect consecutive is used in this way most frequently as the narrative tense, corresponding to the Greek aorist or the Latin historic perfect.[3] The idea that day seven never ended because Moses did not give it an ending assumes too much. There is no reason to believe that the Sabbath Day continued. If we read Ex. 20:11, we find the seventh day being referred to in the past tense: God rested on the seventh day, and God blessed the seventh day. The creation week is literally used to shape Israel’s work week. Again, to read into the account that the seventh day never had an evening ignores the rotation of the earth, and now the illuminaries God had placed in the sky to rule over them.

In summary, I find most interpretations of Genesis 1-2 to be highly anachronistic and far too influenced by science, falsely so-called. If one is going to defend an old universe properly, they ought to be able to do so by employing the principles of biblical hermeneutics and exegesis without regard for the claims of modern science.

[1] Biblia Hebraica Stuttgartensia: SESB Version., electronic ed. (Stuttgart: German Bible Society, 2003), Ge 1:5.

[2] The Holy Bible: English Standard Version (Wheaton: Standard Bible Society, 2016), Ge 1:31.

[3] Wilhelm Gesenius, Gesenius’ Hebrew Grammar, dover ed., ed. E. Kautzsch, Dover Books On Language (Mineola, N.Y.: Dover Publications, 2006), 326.

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