Genesis Chapter 1
The "days" of Genesis Chapter 1 cannot possibly be interpreted as literal, 24-hour periods of time. This is wholly evident at Genesis 1:14-19 alone, where it is obvious that our sun and moon were not created until the fourth "day"! Contrary to the opinions of many, Genesis chapter 1 is not intended to be a scientific account of the creation of the universe. Rather, it is a poetic account of the progressive stages of creation, and a statement in fact that our world as we perceive it to be was indeed created by Yahweh, the God of creation and the Bible.
Genesis chapter 1 is a poetic explanation of the Creation, which certainly does not attempt to account in detail for everything which we see in existence today. It begins with the evidently unformed mass of the planet that we know as Earth, and ends in the creation of Adamic man. The word usually translated "day" where it appears here in Genesis, the Hebrew yom (Strong's number 3117), can also refer to an age, or an unspecified but lengthy period of time. Understanding this, the Genesis creation account is easily reconciled with everything that we know from observable science concerning the age of the planet as it now exists. The six "day" periods of Genesis creation are indeed ages, some of which may well have been quite long in duration. That this is a proper interpretation is also recognizable in Scripture, for instance in Hebrews chapter 4 where Paul speaks about Yahweh God's ongoing period of rest, which Genesis simply refers to as the "seventh day" (i.e. Gen. 2:2), and which had actually begun thousands of years before Paul wrote. That period of rest cannot be taken too literally either. It only indicates that Yahweh rested from the creation of His works, or in other words, that no new species have been created on the planet since that period began. Of course, some new types that have appeared have done so through hybridization, a violation of Yahweh's law of "kind after kind" which appears quite often in these early chapters of Genesis.
Some people assert that Genesis 1:2 should state that the earth "became without form and void", yet this assertion defies the usage of the Hebrew words that the verse was written in, and has been covered in detail in a paper written by this author several years ago and available here as a PDF file entitled Genesis 1 and 2 Overview. In this same essay is also addressed the fact that the "man" of the 6th-day creation in Genesis chapter 1 is also the "Adam" whose creation is described in greater detail in Genesis chapter 2. This will be discussed at length in the next section of this overview, which discusses Genesis Chapter 2.
Genesis Chapters 1 through 11 2 were discussed at length by William Finck with Sword Brethren on the recent Pragmatic Genesis series.
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