I have always believed that the Bible is true. I still believe that the Bible is true. But I have wondered how others reconcile the truth of the Bible and science.
I have always said that the seven days of creation were not literally seven days. It seems like that ought to be obvious because the sun is what makes a day and there was no sun until day 4.
This article explains this belief clearly and articulately. I even learned something from it. As the days go through in creation, it says “It was evening and it was morning.” Here’s something I didn’t know.
Nachmanides says the text uses the words “Vayehi Erev” — but it doesn’t mean “there was evening.” He explains that the Hebrew letters Ayin, Resh, Bet — the root of “erev” — is chaos. Mixture, disorder. That’s why evening is called “erev”, because when the sun goes down, vision becomes blurry. The literal meaning is “there was disorder.” The Torah’s word for “morning” — “boker” — is the absolute opposite. When the sun rises, the world becomes “bikoret”, orderly, able to be discerned. That’s why the sun needn’t be mentioned until Day Four. Because from erev to boker is a flow from disorder to order, from chaos to cosmos. That’s something any scientist will testify never happens in an unguided system. Order never arises from disorder spontaneously and remains orderly. Order always degrades to chaos unless the environment recognizes the order and locks it in to preserve it. There must be a guide to the system. That’s an unequivocal statement.
Something I did not know is there is a difference between the description of Day One and the second, third, fourth, fifth, sixth, and seventh day.
Only on the first day does the text use a different form: not “first day,” but “Day One” (“Yom Echad”). Many English translations make the mistake of writing “a first day.” That’s because editors want things to be nice and consistent. But they throw out the cosmic message in the text! Because there is a qualitative difference, as Nachmanides says, between “one” and “first.” One is absolute; first is comparative.
Nachmanides explains that on Day One, time was created. That’s a phenomenal insight. Time was created. You can’t grab time. You don’t even see it. You can see space, you can see matter, you can feel energy, you can see light energy. I understand a creation there. But the creation of time? Eight hundred years ago, Nachmanides attained this insight from the Torah’s use of the phrase, “Day One.” And that’s exactly what Einstein taught us in the Laws of Relativity: that there was a creation, not just of space and matter, but of time itself.
The author is a PhD from MIT. He’s written books. Those might be interesting to read. He’s very clear and understandable.
Note: In the article he only talks about the six days of creation, but on the seventh day God rested. How many millenia do you think he might rest? I think day seven should be included in the non-calendar counting.
You are obviously quoting from Dr. Gerald Schroeder who, in addition to his PhD in physics, holds one in earth science.
I, too, wrestled with the concept of the Six Days of Creation and modern science. I agree that Schroeder does a marvelous job of reconciling science with Scripture.
As for your comment about the seventh day, consider this (and this is my own thought on the subject), when Man was created and subsequently fell from his (generic “his” that is not gender specific) original estate, the perspective from which time was measured switched from that of the Creator to that of the Creature. Thus, the seventh day (from God’s perspective) never ended. Running concurrently with that, the human calendar kicked in; in other words, the history of earth was now in human hands. While God is omnipresent, He depends on humans to carry on the work He initiated.
I would be interested in hearing your thoughts, especially since several years have passed since you wrote down your words about the Creation.
It’s an interesting question… The seventh day is still God’s day.
I guess I don’t think God is resting still, so I would lean away from that idea.
But I will think about it and get back to you.
I didn’t expect such a quick response, given the fact that the original entry was already several years old.
Since this blog deals with your “adventure in Christianity & History” I would like to add an addition to my previous entry.
Once Mankind had been created (on the sixth day), the Creator instructed that this final creation would have dominion (responsibility)over all of Creation. In essence, God was “handing over the reins”: from that point on, Mankind was in charge; God could rest on the seventh day because His (no, God doesn’t have a sex, a Spirit doesn’t have a body–ergo, no sex–but English doesn’t have a non-sexually oriented third person)work was done, and the work of Mankind had begun. God is still resting, and since there is no mention of an eighth day, I must assume he is still resting. I could continue, but I think this is a good place to “rest” for now. Regardless of your personal view of this subject, I am delighted to find someone else who finds this all very intriguing.