The Problem with Biblical Literalism, Part Three (Seven Day Creation)

This is going to be short and sweet, because the metaphor speaks for itself. It saddens me that so many take it literally, though, and therefore believe the Earth is so much younger than science has proven through actual evidence.

The “seven days” of Genesis are 1) not necessarily synonymous with our 24-hour day, and 2) a metaphor to encourage a day of rest and worship for the Hebrews (and later Gentiles).

God exists outside space and time. This is obvious. No one has ever “met” God (Christ’s time on Earth aside); atheists think He is our “imaginary friend.” He does not live in our physical dimension.* If we are to believe He created the world in six 24-hour days, who’s to say twenty-four hours in His realm is equivalent to ours?

I have no doubt that God’s “seven days” translated to billions of years in Earth time.

Also, consider – only the Earth has a 24-hour day (one full rotation). God created the universe. He did not create Earth first, and He was not sitting on Earth creating the universe around it. If you still believe that, you must be a pre-Enlightenment Catholic.

When I think about this, I also ruminate on how large the universe really is. My mind can comprehend our solar system, and stretch to incorporate the Milky Way galaxy, but realizing that we are one solar system in one galaxy among millions of galaxies in one universe among possibly many universes overwhelms me. How could I possibly think God created His entire creation based on one miniscule planet’s rotation?

I am not saying we are not important to Him. We are the only known planet to support life. This is no accident. Do I believe He created other sentient life elsewhere? It is entirely possible, and I would be foolish to discount it. The Bible does not tell us He did so, possibly because He didn’t, or possibly because it is none of our business. We are supposed to develop a spiritual relationship with Him, and discover His mysteries in the next life, not risk the lives we were given in pursuit of hearsay.

It is the very idea that the seven-day metaphor is not literally our twenty-four-hour, seven-day week that I believe evolution is not actually a threat to religion. What science is revealing is what God allows us to understand about how He orders the Earth to process. There will always be something we do not know, and that is to keep us looking to God so we do not become arrogant in our knowledge. Some still are not humbled by their ignorance, but knowing the how and the history does not mean we have the ability to imitate it. They may try (see animal cloning), but fail (clone dies within hours/days of “birth”). This is why I believe God exists.

Some perspective:

NS_MILKY_WAY_POSTER

Our solar system is located in a minor spiral arm of the Milky Way called the Orion Spur, between the Sagittarius and Perseus arms. (Link to full-size image: https://s-media-cache-ak0.pinimg.com/originals/6b/a2/8b/6ba28b237250fb750e34981596321736.jpg)

 

cosmos15_13

The Virgo Supercluster contains the Milky Way, among about a million other galaxies. This image contains local superclusters. The universe is even larger than this.

 

*In re: The Body Metaphor – the “mind” is not tangible and can exist on its own; He can experience the physical universe without being in it, just as we can think and dream about places and people when we aren’t around them. As I have said, it is not a perfect metaphor. The enigma is that He is both in the universe and outside of it.

God bless with mother earth’s bliss.

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2 thoughts on “The Problem with Biblical Literalism, Part Three (Seven Day Creation)

  1. I have often wondered why people are so intent on pushing the literal seven day point of view, when there’s actually no reason to do so. The word we translate as “day” doesn’t need to be a literal day. It is also translated as “a period of time” in other places. Further, the words translated as “first”, “second”, Etc. don’t need to be translated that way either. They could also be translated as “other” or “another”. Looking at it that way, we could just as easily – and as you point out seemingly more correctly – talk about 7 different periods of time, or to use the more scientific word – seven epochs. Which line up quite nicely with what scientists talk about as the formation of the universe and the earth.
    But for some reason – we seem set on insisting the literal 7 days was correct. It really takes away precious time and energy – and turns people off – when we should be focusing on the real message – Jesus.

    Like

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