Does the Bible Teach a Young Creation?
Many years ago, I had a discussion with a few Christians on Creation. Their view, which they had derived from the bible, was that the erth is older than the sun. I challenged their view with my scientific response: the planet cannot be older than the central star. The Christians with whom I was speaking accused me of refusing to believe the Bible. I was a teenager and asked my father to give his opinion. He gave me this wise piece of advice: “Neither abandon your Bible nor jeopardise your scientific reasoning. Consider both prayerfully.”
After many years, I found the answer to my question in a commentary which was written by RaSHI, a well-known rabbinic biblical scholar from the 12th century AD. RaSHI writes regarding the fourth day of the creation account: Let there be luminaries... They were created on the first day, and on the fourth day, He commanded them to be suspended in the sky*).
In the year 1613, Galileo wrote a letter to his student Castelli, where he stated that two truths cannot contradict each other. The two truths to which he was referring were the Bible and creation (comp. Rom.1,20). When it comes to biblical exegesis, this principle along with the absence of contradictions in the Bible (comp. Ps.119,160) are fundamental. Where biblical exegesis suggests that a contradiction exists, then either the interpretation of scientific evidence or the interpretation of the Bible is incorrect. The purpose of this article is to provide an answer to the question posed by the title. The answer given will be based solely upon a meticulous exegesis of the Bible. In the article “Gedanken zum Schöpfungsbericht” I incorporate observations of natural science into my considerations, because God also reveals himself in creation.
I am an “old creationist” like, for example, W. Kelly, A. Gaebelein and W. MacDonald (compare Appendix 1) and am convinced, that the Bible does not reveal the age of God’s creation. Therefore, this also means that I do not dismiss young creationist views of the creation account as impossible. However, over many years I have observed with great concern the misplaced zeal of many Christians, who equate their interpretation of the Bible with the teaching of the Bible. In this article, I would like to invite the reader to study thoroughly the creation account and to challenge the arguments in favour of a young universe.
The most important arguments for a young creation are primarily deduced from the following three verses:
- Ex.20,11: God created the universe including the Earth and humanity in the six days of a common working week.
- Rom.8,20: Before the fall, there was no death in creation
- Gen.1,31: Before the fall, creation was “very good”, which is often understood to mean “perfect” like the new creation in heaven
*) According to RASHI Gen.1,1 belongs to the description of day 1. He writes in regard to Gen.1,14: Let there be luminaries, etc.: They were created on the first day, and on the fourth day, He commanded them to be suspended in the sky, and likewise, all the creations of heaven and earth were created on the first day, and each one was fixed in its proper place on the day, that was decreed upon it. That is why it is written: “with the heaves to include their products” and “with the earth” to include its products. www.chabad.org/library/bible_cdo/aid/63255/jewish/The-Bible-with-Rashi.htm
1. Did God create the universe including the earth within six 24-hour days?
In the creation account, God’s works and his following rest are subdivided in seven days. Various expositors view these seven days to be one normal week consisting of seven consecutive calendar days, each of 24 hours duration. If this were the case, then the day upon which God rested would also have to be a terrestrial 24-hour day. Let us examine, whether this view is taught in the creation account and in Ex.20,11: For in six days the Lord made the heavens and the earth, the sea, and all that is in them, and rested the seventh day. Therefore the Lord blessed the Sabbath day and hallowed it.
In this section some arguments will be presented which oppose the view of the seven days of creation as a calendar week. We therefore first need to examine the meanings of the word ‘day’ (jom), as it is used in the creation account. This word is used for the first time in Gen.1,5: God called the light Day, and the darkness He called Night. So the evening and the morning were the first day.
Here, the word ‘day’ refers to the phase of the 24-hour day when there is daylight – which has a duration of ca. 12 hours. Day and night are both considered together in the next sentence through the expression, So the evening and the morning were a first day. Here at the end of the sentence, day and night are coupled together as ‘day one’ – with a duration of 24 hours.
In Gen.2,4 we read: This is the history of the heavens and the earth when they were created, in the day that the Lord God made the earth and the heavens. This day encompasses the entire time from Gen.1,1 until the 6th day. The duration of this day is not stated.
The claim, that the link between ‘day’ and a numeric word always means that the word ‘day’ refers to a 24-hour day is not true, for example, in Hos.6:2: After two days He will revive us; On the third day He will raise us up;
In the creation account, the seventh day is distinctively separate from the six days in which God created the world. In the description of each of the six days, the verse always ends with ‘So the evening and the morning were the …day’. In the description of the 7th day, there is no mention of evening and morning and therefore the central argument that the day upon which God rested must have been a 24-hour day is absent. Nevertheless, those who take this view reach that conclusion because of Ex.20,11 where God’s rest on the 7th day of creation is used as the basis of the Sabbath rest after 6 working days. In doing so, they project the creator of time itself onto his own temporal and fading creation. To me, this view seems incompatible with the Biblical portrayal of the eternal of God.
The idea that the six days of creation were six consecutive calendar days without any intervals between them is a widely held view. Upon a more meticulous consideration of the Bible, however, this seems improbable. First of all, the Hebrew text and the LXX only use the definite article for the sixth and seventh day, while no definite article is used for days one to five. What is the significance of this differentiation made between the different days?
I already put forward an argument for longer periods of time between the individual days of creation in the year 1998. I quote from my own article “In the beginning, God made the heavens and the Earth.” Die Wegweisung (12/1998, CV Dillenburg):
...On the third day of creation, God sank the sea bed, so that the water could gather together and the dry earth became visible. Through that plant life was possible upon the Earth ... As the ground brought forth grass, bushes and fruit-bearing trees, it is in my opinion clear that this process could not have happened within a period of 24 hours. While I do not doubt that God can create a large tree full of fruit from nothing, the Spirit of God reports nothing in these verses about such a creative act. Conversely, the word choice indicates a growth process, as we can observe in nature. This corresponds to Is.61,11, where the sprouting of the plants is equated with the sowing and sprouting. For a tree, the germination of the seeds to the growth of fruit lasts several years. Therefore, the view that the creation of mankind occurred less than a week after the divine word „Let there be light” proves to be extremely improbable.
In the context of the Garden of Eden a natural growing process of the trees is described (Gen.2,8-9): The Lord God planted a garden eastward in Eden, and there He put the man whom He had formed. And out of the ground the Lord God made every tree grow that is pleasant to the sight and good for food. The tree of life was also in the midst of the garden, and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. The word used in Gen.1:12 for ‘brought forth’ (yatsa) is used in Is.61:11 as a synonym for the word used for ‘grow’ (tsamach) in Gen.2,8-9: For as the earth brings forth (yatsa) its bud, as the garden causes the things that are sown in it to spring forth (tsamach), so the Lord God will cause righteousness and praise to spring forth (tzamach) before all the nations.
Various Bible commentators take the view that God created the beginning of plant life on the third day of creation through his word; some even insist that God created complete trees with fruit. To me, both viewpoints do not seem to line up with a fundamental exegesis of the creation account, as the execution of God’s command is described as a normal process of growing and not as a divine act of creation or a miracle.
The next question to be examined is the duration which the first day of creation must have lasted, if the first two verses of the creation account are considered as part of this day. Obviously this approach is necessary when suggesting the concept of a creation week of seven calendar days. Even RaSHI and other old rabbis considered the first two verses of the creation account to be part of the first day of creation. This view is however logically connected with a strong argument against a 24-hour duration of the first day. As the darkness on the Earth was only ended through God’s word “Let there be light” and therefore, the periodical change between day and night began, the period of time that passed between the creation of the heavens and the Earth and the periodical light on the Earth is impossible to define**).
Finally, arguments that suggest that the first two verses of the creation account should not be considered part of the first day of creation need to be examined. This view is also not compatible with the concept of a week-long creation.
Arnold Fruchtenbaum gives an encompassing portrayal of the various interpretations of the first verse of the creation account, which is extensively given in Appendix 1. Furthermore, the views of various Bible commentators are portrayed through quotations.
To summarise, Fruchtenbaum interprets the beginning of the creation account in the following ways:
Verse 1 describes the original, complete creation...
Verse 2 describes the Earth after the fall of Satan,
Verse 3 describes the first step in the restoration and new formation of the Earth after the devastation caused be the fall of Satan.
The six days of creation actually begin at verse 3. Verses 1 and 2 are therefore not part of the first day of creation.
As Fruchtenbaum believed in a young creation, his arguments do not portray any “alignment with scientific theories”, but are of a purely exegetic nature. He expresses his young creationist view with the following words: ... Anyone who views this gap in time as the >>Dinosaur Age<< has extended it to millions or even billions of years. That only leads to the alignment of biblical exegesis with scientific theories.
The Bible however does not say anything about the duration***) between the “beginning” in verse 1 and God’s commanding word: “Let there be light”. Fruchtenbaum justifies his young creationist view with the following words: “The Bible clearly teaches, that the death of the human body was introduced at the fall of Adam; therefore, there was no bodily death of any kind before Adam’s fall.”
This claim will be examined in the following section.
**) The periodic shift from day and night presupposes an observer on the Earth’s surface. From this perspective the entire creation account is seen and described. This also emerges from v.16, where the sun and moon are described as two large lights in contrast to the stars. The stars seemed to the observer on the Earth’s surface smaller than the moon. But considered in absolute terms, the stars are much larger than the moon.
2. Did death exist before the fall?
2.1 What is a mortal body?
To begin, I would like to explain, what I understand as “mortal”. While the human body of our Lord Jesus Christ was without sin (Heb.4,15), he was able to die. This capacity to die is what I term “mortal”. However, in contrast to Adam after the fall and all subsequent people, the Lord Jesus was not subject to death (Joh.10,18) but he was able to voluntarily give his life at the moment he choose as an atoning sacrifice in death.
On the Mount of Transfiguration, the Lord Jesus Christ could change his – In this sense – “mortal” body with his eternal body of glory. Enoch as a prototype as well as the members of the Church who are alive at the time of the rapture will experience such a change without experiencing physical death. Now this I say, brethren, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God; nor does corruption inherit incorruption. Behold, I tell you a mystery: We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed – in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed. For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality. So when this corruptible has put on incorruption, and this mortal has put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written: “Death is swallowed up in victory.” (1Cor.15.50-54).
Since creation the mortal body has been unsuitable for the eternal world – not just since the fall. Nevertheless, Adam was able to enjoy unrestricted fellowship with God before the fall – just like the disciples on the Mount of Transfiguration with the glorified Lord. Also, after the fall, the Lord God spoke with Adam and individuals such as Moses. However, the full revelation of the glory of the Lord cannot be seen by anyone with a temporal body (Ex.33,20). We may, however, look forward to seeing him in our new bodies (1John.3,2).
***) Adherents to the young creationist point of view suggest that God created a universe ca.10,000 years ago, that gives the impression of being more than 10 billion years old. This view is however not compatible with the character of God, who in Deut.32,4 is described in the following way: A God of truth and without injustice; Righteous and upright is He.
2.2. When did the process of time in our world become irreversible?
In our world time passes in one direction. To go back in time is principally impossible. This characteristic of our temporal world is a necessary condition for forgiveness. If the possibility existed, to go back in time to a point before forgiveness, then forgiveness would be impossible.
God has created both an invisible, everlasting world as well as a visible, temporal world (comp. Col 1,15 and 2Cor.4,18); in the latter, the passage of time is irreversible. The existence of an irreversible passage of time is, as far as physics is concerned, tantamount to the validity of the second law of thermodynamics, which is also referred to as the law of entropy****).
Temporality is inextricably linked with the validity of the law of entropy. A world without the validity of the law of entropy does exist: it is the eternal world which also has been created by God. Therefore, it is of vital importance in relation to these questions to consider the parallel existence of our temporal world with the existence of the eternal world. This is misunderstood by some Christians, who like Arnold Fruchtenbaum see the origin and the beginning of the validity of the second law of thermodynamics in the curse which God pronounced after Adam’s sin (Gen.3,17-18).
Fruchtenbaum writes: “Romans 8:20-23 declares that the earth also groans, waiting for the messianic redemption. In Romans chapter 8, verse 20 states, Creation was subjected to vanity; verse 21 states that creation is in bondage of corruption waiting to be liberated; and verse 22 states, the whole creation groans and travails in pain together until now. This is the origin of the Second Law of Thermodynamics, the law of disorder, the law of death, the law that is reflected in Hebrews 1:10-12 and I Peter 1:21.”
Without the Second Law of Thermodynamics time would not flow only in the direction of future. Therefore, this assertion means that no temporal world existed before the curse that God pronounced on the Earth. Only through the curse would our world have become temporal and therefore according to 2Cor.4,18 it only would have become visible at that point in time. That is obviously not true. As the physical meaning of the second law of thermodynamics is however unknown to many people, this is explained in appendix 2.
The death of grain, which occurs from a physical point of view in accordance with the validity of the second law of thermodynamics, was the way of botanical propagation in God’s plan even before the fall. And with that we come to the third question:
****) As far as physics is concerned, a universe with a valid law of entropy is fundamentally much more unlikely than a universe without a law of entropy. In “The Emperor´s New Mind” (ISBN: 0099771705) Roger Penrose poses the following question: “How big was the original phase-space volume that the Creator had to aim for in order to provide a universe compatible with the second law of thermodynamics? And he offers this answer: “The accuracy must be one to 10
2.3. Since when has there been death in our world?
Reinhard Junker writes in his article, “Did death, according to the Bible as a consequence of sin also affect the animals? …The subjugation happened for the sake of mankind (v.20), that means that it happened only after the creation of man. That points to Adam’s actions as the catalyst for the status of being subjugated…”(www.genesisnet.info/schoepfung_evolution/f45_5.php).
While I share the opinion that the cause of death in temporal creation is the fall, that does not mean by any means that God can only complete the subjugation of creation after the fall of man. God, the creator of time, is not subject to the causal clause which is valid in our world, which states, that the cause must exist in time before the effect. Adam’s actions were the cause for death for both humans and animals. As far as God is concerned however, the point in time at which God subjected our world to transience remains open. The actions of Adam are therefore the cause but not the catalyst for the status of subjection. The point in time of submission and therefore the beginning of death in the animal kingdom cannot be deduced from Rom.8, 19-20.
God has created both a visible and an invisible world (Col.1,16). The two worlds are described in 2Cor 4,18 in the following way: ... For the things which are seen are temporary, but the things which are not seen are eternal.
Everything that is visible including plant and animal life is restricted to temporality in the plan of the creator. This is God’s original plan and not a plan B, which comes into play as a necessary solution after the fall. This emerges from the fact, that God has created both a visible and temporal as well as an invisible and eternal world, and that he had planned redemption before the creation of the world.
The temporal restriction in our world is on the one hand necessary in order to make propagation possible on the Earth which is restricted to the temporal world. The breeding of animals had already been made possible by God prior to the fall (Gen.1,22 & 28). In the eternal world propagation is impossible. On the other hand, death is a necessary condition for redemption, which God had already planned before the foundation of the Earth. For creatures of the eternal world, redemption is fundamentally impossible. The mortality of humanity is a prerequisite for their capability to be redeemed. For this reason, God expelled mankind from paradise after the fall, in order to block his access to the Tree of Life and to become immortal.
God had given mankind two choices in the beginning which are symbolised through the two trees in the middle of the Garden of Eden: The way to life in eternal communion with God (comp. Rev.21,3), and the way to the slavery of death and separation from God. The purpose of eternal communion with God could have been achieved in principle by covering the corruptible body with the incorruptible body (comp. 1Cor.15,50 & 2Cor.5,4) and through rapture like in the case of Enoch. This way to God’s goal which is possible in principle was prevented by the fall. But God was not surprised by this. Already before the foundation of the world he had planned both our redemption (comp. 1Pet.1,18-20) and the redemption of creation (comp. Rom.8,20-21) in a new world.
The death of the visible and temporal body and the resurrection of a spiritual body is compared with the death and sprouting of grain (comp. 1Cor.15,36-38 & 42-44). Our Lord Jesus used the same picture in John.12,24, in order to show, that he would remain alone without his death and the fruits which grow as a result of it. To expand the scope of Rom.5,12 to the death of animals, is only a possible interpretation of Rom.8,20 but not a clear, biblical statement.
If a point of view, which represents only one possible interpretation of scripture is portrayed exclusively as the only possible interpretation, and therefore a corresponding body of doctrine is built upon it, then this is an addition to the Holy Scriptures. Such an addition is, however, forbidden in Deut.4,2; 13,1 and Prov.30,6.
Mankind strives to answer questions pertaining to the beginning of suffering in creation through logical conclusions from other parts of the Bible, but these endeavours can easily turn into a conflict with God’s ban on adding to the scriptures. We should therefore be humble and leave open the questions which are also left open in the Bible. That requires reverence for the Word of God.
These issues which are not revealed in scripture include our lack of knowledge about the origin of animals of pray. Did God first create these animals after the fall – while God rested? If they already existed before the fall, how is God’s judgement, that it was good (Gen. 1,21 and 25) to be understood? Perhaps it refers to the fact, that God’s judgement cannot be understood in our time, but that the redemption of these creatures in accordance with Rom.8,19 is included in that. Only in this sense can the answer that our Lord Jesus gives to the Sadducees be understood: „For He is not the God of the dead but of the living, for all live to Him.” (Luk,20.38) – that includes the patriarchy which has died out, which was not yet resurrected in our understanding of time.
3. What does it mean, when the Bible says that everything that God had created was very good?
Then God saw everything that He had made, and indeed it was very good (Gen.1,31).
Before the fall, creation was very good in the eyes of God. How does God’s perspective differ from ours? God sees the whole of time - past, present and future - concurrently. We can only see the state of affairs in the present, as well as how the past has developed up until the present day. Is it possible, that God declared everything that he had made as very good at a time when creation experienced suffering and death?
The divine perspective can be described fittingly with these words:
God sees us in relation to his eternal purpose.
To reach the divine goal, temptation and death were necessary:
- Temptation: Without freedom of decision, man cannot love.
- Death: Without death, redemption is impossible.
Therefore God granted the tempter access to the Garden of Eden, as redemption was already planned, even before the beginning of creation. Right from the beginning God created our temporal world with the capacity for animals and humans to die – in contrast with the eternal world.
The eternal Son of God also received a body which could die (Joh.1,14), but was not subject to the power of the death, as Adam’s body was before the fall. Only Jesus Christ could say: Therefore, My Father loves Me, because I lay down My life that I may take it again. No one takes it from Me, but I lay it down of Myself. I have power to lay it down, and I have power to take it again (Joh.10, 17-18).
The creation and the redemption of mankind, both belong to God’s perfect plan. Both creation and redemption were established in God’s divine eternal plan: You know that you were not redeemed with corruptible things, as silver and gold, …but with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot. He indeed was foreordained before the foundation of the world, but was manifest in these last times for you (1Pet.1,18-20).
Finally, we should consider the differences between the Garden of Eden before the fall and the New Jerusalem. The New Jerusalem belongs to the new creation:
- There is no night
- No tempter
- No tree of knowledge.
In the Garden of Eden all of these things existed before the fall. Furthermore, in the new creation there is:
- No suffering (Rev.21, 1-4)
- And death is the final enemy, which is expunged (1Cor.15,26).
In contrast with the New Jerusalem, which is illuminated by the glory of God and of the Lamb, the Garden of Eden had the sun, moon and stars as sources of light and there was a periodic change from day to night, light and darkness. There was also temptation, which lead to the fall. Nevertheless, God judged everything that he had made as “very good”.
In the Garden of Eden, there was the Tree of Knowledge and the tempter had access to paradise. Both were necessary in order to give mankind the ability to exercise free will in the context of a true temptation. This demonstrates that God’s judgement of “very good” is not limited to the state of creation before the fall. God judges his work not from our perspective which is limited to time, as God’s perspective encompasses both time and eternity. In the Lamb’s Book of Life, the names of all saved individuals since the creation of the world are written (Rev.13,8). With one offering our Lord has perfected forever them that are sanctified (Heb.10,14).
From the perspective of God in relation to his purpose the temporal creation including temptation and death was very good because both were necessary for a limited period of time to the fulfilment of God’s divine plan.
4. How do I understand the creation account in Genesis 1?
At the beginning of time, God created both the invisible eternal world as well as the visible temporal world. In v.1 a completed creation is described. That includes the universe with the sun, the moon and the stars as well as the Earth with plant and animal life (comp. RaSHI to Gen.1,14).
At a later point in time the chaos and darkness which is described in v.2 ruled upon the Earth, which in my opinion was caused by a collision of an asteroid with the Earth (see my essay: Gedanken zum biblischen Schöpfungsbericht).
In verses 3-31, it is reported what God said and did as well what happened – and this from the perspective of an observer located on the surface of the Earth.
The majestic first sentence of the creation account differs significantly from the narrative from verse 3 onwards. This sentence containing seven Hebrew words describes the beginning of time and space including our universe and the earth as God’s act of creation.
In contrast with this, the individual sections from verse 3 onwards begin with God speaking and then proceed by reporting the various ways in which God’s commands are executed. In these sections, commands which sound the same are executed, to some extent, differently. Let us compare God’s commands on the third and sixth days and the descriptions of how these commands were executed:
Then God said, “Let the earth bring forth grass, the herb that yields seed, and the fruit tree that yields fruit (Gen.1,11).
Then God said, “Let the earth bring forth the living creature according to its kind: cattle and creeping thing and beast of the earth (Gen.1,24).
In these commands there is no fundamental difference, but in the description of the execution of each of these commands there are differences:
And the earth brought forth grass, the herb that yields seed according to its kind, and the tree that yields fruit (Gen.1,12).
And God made the beast of the earth according to its kind, cattle according to its kind (Gen.1,25).
For me, there is a fundamental difference between the expressions “the earth brought forth” and “God made”: In the first instance – as portrayed above a natural process of growth is described, and in the second, the works of God.
In the creation account, the following words are used to portray each of the occurrences:
- God created (Gen.1,1; 21; 27)
- God made (Gen.1,7; 16; 25)
- There was (Gen.1,3)
- It was so (Gen.1,9; 11)
- The earth brought forth (Gen.1,12)
The passage from Gen.1,1 up until Gen.2,4a provides us with an overview of God’s dealings in creation and his preparation of the Earth as a habitat for mankind. This passage ends with the words: “This is the history of the heavens and the earth when they were created”. In the subsequent passage the creation of mankind is described in detail.
In the first passage, the name of God (elohiym) is mentioned 35 times and the specific verb ‘to create’ (bara) is mentioned 7 times, which in Hebrew is specifically used to describe the creating work of God. This passage is the most concentrated report of God’s actions in creation in the entire Bible.
For me it is necessary to distinguish between the different words – especially “God created” and “God made” – in order to understand the creation account. I am convinced that the choice of words in the Bible is also inspired by the Spirit of God and therefore deserves due attention.
In the first part of the creation account (Gen.1,1 - 2,4) the specific word “created”, in Hebrew “bara”, appears seven times in 35 verses, that is the highest density of this word’s occurrence in the entire Bible. This specific word “created” ought to be distinguished from the more vague word, “made”. – A meticulous study of the creation account leads to the conclusion, that the opinion, that God created mankind in the same week as he created the heavens and the Earth is not a teaching of the Bible, but a manmade concept. The point in time when the heavens and the Earth were created is left open in the Bible. The creation of mankind can be dated to ca. 10 000 years ago (see Appendix 3). – God created both a temporal as well as an eternal world. Redemption is only possible in the temporal world, because without the shedding of blood, there is no forgiveness (Heb.9.22). The opinion, that there was no death in the temporal world before the fall is a doubtable manmade concept but not a biblical teaching. The temporal restriction of life – that is to say death – is a necessary condition for redemption, which God had already planned before creation (1Pet.1,18-20). – As far as God’s plan is concerned, the temporal creation including temptation and death were necessary for a limited period of time for the fulfilment of God’s divine plan.
Dr. Arnold Fruchtenbaum:
(Ariel’s Bible Commentary, The Book of Genesis, Ariel Ministries, San Antonio, 2009, ISBN 978-1-935174-00-4)
The Views of Genesis 1:1-3
There are three primary views of Genesis 1:1-3: the Initial Chaotic Theory; the Pre-Creation Chaos Theory, also known as the Relative Beginning View; and the Gap Theory, also known as the Restitution Theory.
Initial Chaotic Theory/Original Creation View. This view was held by Keil, who, along with Deilitzsch, put the Keil and Deilitzsch Commentary together. It is also the view of Leupold, a Lutheran commentator, and Dr. U. Cassuto, who wrote a commentary from the viewpoint of Orthodox Judaism. This view sees 1:1 as part of the first day of creation. It is viewed as an independent clause or an independent narrative sentence recording the first part of the work of God on the first day. It views 1:1 as being creation out of nothing. Then 1:2 is viewed as recording three disjunctive parallel clauses. These are viewed as three circumstantial clauses that describe the condition of the earth immediately after the creation of the universe. The clauses are all taken in a neutral sense, in a neutral stage, implying only raw material from which God formed the earth as it now exists. Therefore, verse 2 is neither a positive (creative) nor a negative (chaotic), but a neutral element. The chaos occurred in connection with the original creation. In other words, according to this view the chaos occurred at the time of the actual creation of the substance. Then verse 3 is viewed as an independent narrative sentence showing the manner in which God worked, which is by His Word. There are two variations to this view. One variation is that the two verses in Genesis 1:1-2 are chronological with a gap of time before verse 3. In other words, there is a gap between verse 2 and verse 3. A second variation is that Genesis 1:1-3 are all strictly chronological with no gap.
Fruchtenbaum describes subsequently the theory of chaos before creation, which is irrelevant to our considerations. He thus explains, why he prefers the „Gap“ or „Restitution Theory“
The Gap Theory/Restitution Theory.
This commentator prefers the third view, held by Pember and Schofield. In this view, Genesis 1:1 is viewed as an independent narrative sentence and not a summary of the whole chapter. Verse 1 describes the original perfect creation, which was a creation out of nothing. There are three reasons for holding this view. First, verse 1 has the form of a narrative declarative statement and not merely a superscription or a title. Second, the conjunctive vav connects verse 1 with verse 2, which cannot be if verse 1 is only a heading or a summary statement or a topical statement. Third, verse 2 speaks of the earth as already existing, which must have come into existence in verse 1. Then between verses 1 and 2 there is a gap of time. In this gap of time was the fall of Satan and other angels, resulting in the divine judgment of the earth. More will be said about this in the exposition. Then verse 2 is viewed as an independent narrative sentence containing three subordinate circumstantial clauses describing what the earth looked like some time after Genesis 1: 1. Verse 2 thus describes the earth that resulted from the fall of Satan; it contains disjunctive clauses describing a state of chaos. There are two variations to this position. One variation is that Genesis 1:2 is a sequential clause after Genesis 1:1, or Genesis 1:2 is a circumstantial clause with Genesis 1:1. Finally, in this view, verse 3 is an independent narrative entence describing the first step of the reconstruction and the reformation of a judged earth. The six days of creation actually begin with verse 3. So verses 1 and 2 are not part of the first day of creation; verse 3 describes the first day of creation.
He provides further explanation for verse 2:
Genesis 1:2 also begins a new subject. In Hebrew, the first word is oe-ha-aretz; meaning "and the world." In Hebrew grammar, when the subject comes before the predicate, the emphasis is on the subject, to state something new about it. In this case, the subject does come before the predicate, meaning the author wants to say something new about the subject, which is the earth.
Genesis 1:2 describes the circumstances of the earth before 1:3 and is not a result of 1:1. The Masoretic Text has a notation called rebhia, indicating that this is a vav disjunctive, which could be translated by the word now to read: "Now the earth," rather than a vav conjunctive which would read: "And the earth." What this grammatical point shows is that verse 2 is not sequential to verse 1, and so it is not and then. It shows that verse 2 is not a result or development of verse 1, but the background to verse 3. So the disjunctive argues against the chaos being an intermediate stage in God's work at the time of creation.
In the following section, W. Kelly, A.C. Gaebelein and W.MacDonald are quoted, who view Gen.1,2 as the result of a catastrophe, while Whitcomb and Morris categorically reject the idea of a global catastrophe before the Great Flood (Gen.6-8).
Neither verse 1 nor verse 2 provide a summary of the Earth at Adam’s time. This begins to be prepared from verse 3 onwards. There are therefore three separate statuses:
The original creation of the universe;
The Earth in a state which is described as “without form and void”
And the restoration of the Earth etc. For mankind as the new inhabitants and rulers.
(William Kelly, In the Beginning, A. Holness London & R.L. Allan Glasgow 1894).
Arno C. Gaebelein divides the opening verses of Gen.1 in the following way:
THE ORIGINAL CREATION OF GOD (1:1)
A ruined creation and the brooding spirit (1:2)
The Restoration of the Earth
The first day--light (Genesis 1:3-5)…
He provides further explanation of verse 1: ... When that beginning was in which God created the heavens and the earth is not revealed.
One of several conservative interpretations of the Genesis account of creation, the creation-reconstruction view, says that between verses 1 and 2 a great catastrophe occurred, perhaps the fall of Satan (see Ezek. 28:11-19).3 This caused God's original, perfect creation to become without form and void (tohu wavohu). Since God didn't create the earth waste and empty (see Isa. 45:18), only a mighty cataclysm could explain the chaotic condition of verse 2.
(William MacDonald, Believer’s Bible Commentary, T. Nelson Pub. Nashville, 1995)
In opposition to these bible commentators, who hold to the Gap/Restitution theory is the view of
Whitcomb and Morris:
One cannot escape the conclusion, that, if the Bible is true... the flood is the geologically most significant event, that ever happened since the creation of the Earth.
(J.C. Whitcomb und H.C. Morris, The Genesis Flood, Presbyterian and Reformed Publishing Company, 1961, ISBN-13: 978-0-87552-338-5)
Explanation of the Law of Entropy
The law of entropy states, that each process without heat added or removed, proceeds in such a direction that the entropy increases. In the context of thermodynamics, Entropy is described as a measure of the irreversibility of a process and establishes with that the direction of the passage of time. According to Meixner, the law of entropy can be compared with the director of an enormous factory of the processes of nature, who regulates the running of the whole business. The law of energy conservation (the first law of thermodynamics) plays the mere role of the bookkeeper, by balancing debit with credit (dtv Lexikon der Physik, Entropie).
On the basis of the second law of thermodynamics perpetuum mobile of the second kind is impossible, i.e. a mechanism, which should provide energy through the cooling down of the world’s oceans. According to Fruchtenbaum, a perpetuum mobile of the second kind would have been possible before the fall and curse.
In the uninhabited nature there are many examples for irreversible processes. Among them are all netting and mixing processes. Differences in temperature balance out just like areas of different air pressure. The latter is a cause of air flow such as wind and storm. A drop of ink in a glass of water does not stay preserved as a drop, but mixes through diffusion with the water and changes the colour of the whole water.
An independent reversal of all of these processes is impossible in our world because of the law of entropy – and indeed since the creation of the temporal world.
Let us now take a look at some examples, where the validity of the law of entropy becomes significant. In paradise, God gave mankind fruits to eat. The digestive process is without every doubt an irreversible process. Naturally the original fruit cannot exist again after an apple has been chewed up – not to mention after the digestion process.
One further process is humification. Nobody would claim that before the fall just as good greenery transformed into humus just as leaves transformed back from the humus – and indeed without energy input. Naturally, humus is the basis of existence for plants and with the growth of plants, humus is transformed into plants – albeit only under energy input through light with the help of photosynthesis. In the Bible, there are no references at all, which suggest that the validity of the law entropy which is shown in these processes should be restricted to the period of time after the fall.
The Creation of Humanity ca. 10,000 years ago
According to Bishop Ussher, Adam was created approximately 6000 years ago. Ussher proceeds on the assumption, that the biblical lineage portrays a complete line of successive generations skipping no generation. This prerequisite is however not fulfilled, as the lineage of Jesus Christ in Mat.1 in comparison with 2Kings.8-14 and 2Chron.21-25 shows.
The archaeological discoveries prove an erratic increase of bifaces and other artefacts in a time period around 10,000 years ago. The beginning of agriculture and livestock breeding are also dated back to this time period. This epoch in the young stone age is referred to as the “Neolithic Revolution”.
(comp. “A Settled Life” by S. German: The Neolithic revolution—the most important development in human history. The revolution which led to our way of life was the development of the technology needed to plant and harvest crops and to domesticate animals…The Neolithic period is also important because it is when we first find good evidence for religious practice, a perpetual inspiration for the fine arts. https://www.khanacademy.org/humanities/ap...neolithic/a/the-neolithic-revolution.
Humanity today is therefore ca. 10,000 years old, because the Bible teaches in Acts.17,26: And He (God) has made from one blood every nation of men to dwell on all the face of the earth.