Six Days of Creation
We amateurs, who are literal-minded, have a very difficult time understanding the meaning of the first chapter of the Book of Genesis. We are asked to believe that “The six days of Genesis actually did contain the billions of years of the cosmos even while the days remained twenty four hour days.” Yet Psalm 90:4 tells us: “For a thousand years in thy sight are but as yesterday when it is past, or as a watch in the night.” Many have written books attempting to explain the inexplicable. I am now reading a book that actually makes sense.
“Time as described in the Bible may not be the same as we know time today.” The Bible provides several clues in support of this statement made by Gerald Schroeder in the Science of God. In Genesis 2:4 we read: “These are the generations of the heavens and the earth when they were created.” Later in Genesis 5:1 we read: “This is the book of the generations of Adam.” Schroeder states that “In both verses, generations are juxtaposed to days of Genesis.”
As you might suspect Einstein provided the understanding of time that is not obvious to our literal-mindedness with his theory of relativity that states the rate at which time passes is not the same in all places. The time since Adam is earth based. The first six days can not be earth based time because the earth did not exist during the first two days recorded in Genesis.
To understand the concept of time in the first six days we need to recognize that there was a time when the universe was very small. In the 12th century, Nahmanides in his Commentary on the Torah discussed the first several verses of Genesis wherein he recognized this fact that “in the beginning” all of matter was a speck. Nahmanides translates the second verse: “And the earth was in a state of chaos but filled with the building blocks of matter.”
During a ten week period while in college, I studied how to calculate astronomical redshift observations. Years later, the standard textbook, Principles of Physical Cosmology, now includes this statement: “The standard interpretation of the redshift as an effect of expansion of the universe predicts that the same redshift factor applies to observed rates of occurrence of distant events.” I did not realize then nor did my professor discuss the possible significance that redshift calculations might have for our understanding of the Book of Genesis.
At the moment of creation, Schroeder states the universe was then approximately a million million times smaller and hotter than it is today. He further states the division of 15 billion years estimated age of the universe in earth years by a million million is six days! “The six days of Genesis actually did contain the billions of years of the cosmos even while the days remained twenty four hour days.”