Our Mission: “The Creation Study Group exists to provide resources, to churches, pastors, and students, that defend the historical and scientific authority of the Bible through young-earth creation, the sin of a literal Adam, and redemption through the Creator, Jesus Christ.”
We are committed to a plain interpretation of Genesis, that God created the universe in six 24-hour days, about 6000 years ago, and destroyed the earth with a global flood.
We do not in any way connect our beliefs about creation to salvation. Salvation is only through faith, a gift from God, in the atoning death and resurrection of Jesus Christ.
But we do believe that other interpretations of Genesis have undermined core Christian doctrines and the authority of the Bible.
- Real, historical Adam and Eve
- Original sin based on our lineage from Adam and Eve
- The source of sin and death
- A Global Flood
- Old Testament references to Genesis 1-11 as fact 1
- Jesus’ own references to Genesis 1-11 as fact 2
- The apostles’ references to Genesis 1-11 as fact 3
This position paper provides a summary of reasons we believe in six 24-hour days of creation.
- The Bible is our ultimate authority.
- Proper exegesis
- Hebrew scholarship
- Six-Day-Creation in Church History
- Science from the fields of physics, astronomy, geology, chemistry, genetics, and more
The Bible is Our Ultimate Authority
The Bible is the foundation of our Christian faith. From the Bible we receive God’s plan of salvation. We learn of sin, death, atonement, and heaven. As Christians, we base our salvation on the Gospel described in the Bible.
While Christians often agree with these statements, they choose to interpret portions of scripture as allegory, contrary to sound exegetical principles. This problem is due in large part to the theory of evolution and the claim that “science” has proven it. For the past 400 years, and really since the Greeks, science has commanded increasingly great authority and esteem in Western culture. We see the benefits of science all around us. Each day brings new discoveries that save lives, ease suffering, and make life better. To bolster their case, evolutionists use the logical fallacy “argumentum ad verecundiam”, an appeal to authority, to link evolution to the operational sciences that have produced these wonderful benefits. This false connection makes it difficult to separate the claims of evolution from the benefits of operational science.
Herein lies the reason Genesis 1 is so critical to evolutionists. If the Genesis 1 account must be interpreted as a mere story because “science” proves that it cannot be true, then what about the rest of the Bible? Science rejects miracles. If we are consistent, believing that we must conform our interpretation of the Bible to what science tells us, then we must reject all the miracles of the Bible, including the resurrection of Christ. Bible critics are not ignorant of this connection. They know that undermining Genesis 1 undermines the entire Bible, and all of Christianity.
“If there is no resurrection of the dead, then not even Christ has been raised. And if Christ has not been raised, our preaching is worthless, and so is your faith. In that case, we are also exposed as false witnesses about God. For we have testified about God that He raised Christ from the dead, but He did not raise Him if in fact the dead are not raised. For if the dead are not raised, then not even Christ has been raised. And if Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile; you are still in your sins. Then those also who have fallen asleep in Christ have perished. If our hope in Christ is for this life alone, we are to be pitied more than all men.” 1 Corinthians 15:13-19
Interpretation of the Bible relies on well-defined principles that apply not only to the Bible but to all literature, such as context, contemporary usage of words, the audience, the writing style, and so on. But the Bible is also the revealed Word of God made fully manifest in Jesus Christ. God does not lie. God does not deceive. God does not change. So the Bible is also absolute truth.
Sound exegesis dictates that:
- We interpret unclear passages in light of clear passages.
- We use Scripture as a whole to interpret individual passages.
- We seek to understand passages in the way the original audience understood them.
- We must not read contemporary ideas and attitudes into ancient texts.
- Our interpretation must reconcile with established articles of faith, such as original sin, and the curse that brought death and suffering into the world.
Martin Luther said regarding Biblical interpretation,
“I have often said that whoever would study Holy Scripture should be sure to see to it that he stays with the simple words as long as he can and by no means depart from them unless an article of faith compels him to understand them differently. For of this we must be certain: no clearer speech has been heard on Earth than what God has spoken.” 4
R. C. Sproul wrote,
“At the time of the Reformation, to stop unbridled, speculative, and fanciful interpretations of Scripture, the Reformers set forth the fundamental axiom that should govern all biblical interpretation. It is called the analogy of faith, which basically means that Holy Scripture is its own interpreter. In other words, we are to interpret Scripture according to Scripture. That is, the supreme arbiter in interpreting the meaning of a particular verse in Scripture is the overall teaching of the Bible.” 5
In contrast to the reformers’ commitment to the plain meaning of Scripture, other movements, such as theological liberalism, sought to apply external concepts and attitudes to Scripture. These external sources often stand in direct opposition to the Bible, and to Christianity in particular.
“… biblical interpretation has been attempted with a method and concepts borrowed from the study of comparative religion, or from the evolutionary assumption. In this way, sacred Scripture has been dealt with in a secularized fashion without any genuine endeavor to discover what was the viewpoint of the writers themselves.”
In the past centuries Christians have yielded increasingly to evolution as “science”. Some Christians have become unwilling to challenge evolution because it is “science”. Consequently, they try to harmonize the Bible with evolution. There are several problems with allowing science to guide our interpretation of the Bible.
- Scientific inquiry results in new knowledge and constant change. Very often, new scientific discovery proves the previous model was wrong or incomplete. By following the ideological commitment to science as the arbiter of truth, Biblical interpretation must change constantly.
- Many scientists today, especially evolutionists, assume philosophical naturalism, the belief that there is nothing in the universe apart from matter and energy. Far from disproving God and the Bible, they simply exclude them a priori.
- Evolutionists are completely arbitrary about how they apply their commitment to philosophical naturalism, the belief that the universe consists only of matter and energy. To “do science”, evolutionists must employ several non-matter and non-energy tools. Math, logic, language and the laws of nature are essential for performing research of any kind. None of these are tangible, none of these can be observed and measured like a rock or organism or electricity. Yet science accepts them as axioms.
- Scientific research is a human endeavor fraught with emotions, personal motives, ideologies, peer pressure, competition for funding, financial motives, institutionalized beliefs, and every other human frailty. The field of evolution has a history hoaxes and forgeries. Recent years have exposed a fundamental problem in many areas of research that challenge the peer review process.
An understanding of ancient Hebrew is critical to the interpretation of Genesis 1-11. To that end we look to Hebrew scholars to provide insight into the text.
Exodus 20:8-11 describes the fourth commandment. Verse 9 describes six days of human labor. Verse 11 describes the six days of creation. Both verses use the same Hebrew words.
Dr. John R. Howitt
Dr. John R. Howitt letter to the editor in the Journal of the American Scientific Affiliation, 15:2:66. June 1962. p. 66:
“I wrote to appropriate professors in nine leading universities, asking, ‘Do you consider that the Hebrew word yom (day), as used in Genesis 1 accompanied by a numeral, should properly be translated as…
1. a day as commonly understood,
2. an age,
3. either a day or an age without preference?’
“Oxford and Cambridge did not reply (see James Barr below), but the professors at Harvard, Yale, Columbia, Toronto, London, McGill, and Manitoba replied unanimously that it should be translated as a day as commonly understood. Professor Robert H. Pfeiffer of Harvard added, ‘of twenty-four hours’ to his reply.”
Oriel Professor of the interpretation of the Holy Scripture, Oxford University, England.
Barr, consistent with his neo-orthodox views, does not believe Genesis, but he understood what the Hebrew so clearly taught. It was only the perceived need to harmonize with the alleged age of the earth which led people to think anything different—it was nothing to do with the text itself.
In a letter to David C.C. Watson, 23 April 1984
“Probably, so far as I know, there is no professor of Hebrew or Old Testament at any world-class university who does not believe that the writer(s) of Genesis 1–11 intended to convey to their readers the ideas that:
1. Creation took place in a series of six days which were the same as the days of 24 hours we now experience
2. The figures contained in the Genesis genealogies provided by simple addition a chronology from the beginning of the world up to later stages in the biblical story
3. Noah’s flood was understood to be world-wide and extinguish all human and animal life except for those in the ark.”
Dr. Ting Wang
In an interview with Dr. Ting Wang, lecturer in biblical Hebrew, by Jonathan Sarfati:
‘In Genesis 1, yôm comes with “evening” and “morning”, and is modified by a number. So it’s obvious that the Hebrew text is describing a 24-hour day—the exegetical burden of proof rests crushingly upon those who view it otherwise.”
of Hebrew University, Jerusalem
“For the biblical people this was history, difficult as it is for us to accept this view.”
Dr Andrew Steinmann
Distinguished Professor of Theology and Hebrew, and University Marshal of Concordia University Chicago, quoted from “Hebrew professor: Genesis teaches six solar days! Jonathan Sarfati interviews Dr Andrew Steinmann of Concordia University” https://creation.com/steinmann-hebrew-professor-interview
“When it comes to the six creation days followed by the day of rest, all the creation days close with the phrase, ‘There was an evening, and there was a morning.’ Could this allow for creation days millions of years long, as ‘Day-Age’ theorists teach? Dr Steinmann adamantly replies, ‘Absolutely not!’ and continues, ‘Clearly this phrase used in this context notes the day-night cycle, a cycle begun on the first day with the creation of light. Moreover, this phrase is repeated five more times to emphasize that there is a succession of six solar3 days during which God created the world (Gen 1:8, 13, 19, 23, 31).”
In response to the Framework Hypothesis or “Day-Age” Theory:
“…[Dr. Steinmann] points out the basic logical fallacy: ‘It is not proper to make this an either/or proposition.’ Rather, it could logically be both literary and historical, as he explains further:
‘Even if we concede that there is some type of framework here, it is important to note that this observed framework comes from outside the text of Genesis 1, and is only a general observation, not true in all the particulars, and that it attempts to help us see how the author (Moses) shaped the historically accurate narrative to communicate truths about God. However, this does not rule out the days being real historical days. That God is an orderly creator who created in a way that leads to a literary framework is obvious in Genesis 1. But what ought also to be obvious is that God is a God of history, so he created time and used six days to create the world.’
Furthermore, it’s clear from the context that Genesis was intended to teach actual historical events. Dr Steinmann is a published expert on Old Testament history and chronology, and points out:
‘Not only do these chapters contain narratives about people and their acts, but they are also linked to persons through genealogical accounts (e.g. Genesis 5, 10, 11:10–32). These genealogies testify to the real, historical nature of the persons mentioned in the narratives.’”
“No Agony Before Adam,” University of Aberdeen, December 17, 2008, p. 1.
“Although the Young Universe Creationist position is not widely held within secular academia, the position—that the author of Genesis 1 maintained that the world was created in six literal days—is nearly universally held.”
The Lutheran Study Bible
Footnotes on Genesis 1:5
“the first day. Lit. “day 1.” The first cycle of time, initiated by the distinction of light from darkness. first. Lit. “one”. Moses used the cardinal number here instead of the ordinal form “first”; his time-related words make it clear that we are to understand this day 1 as a normal 24-hour day bounded by an evening and a morning. See note, v 14. day. Hbr yom; not always used to designate a 24-hour day (e.g. refers to only the daylight portion of a 24-hour day in vv5, 16), but that is by far its most basic use.”
Footnotes on Genesis 1:14
“To sustain the argument that day 1 does not refer to a normal 24-hour day, one would have to show that all these other time-related terms are being used in some figurative, or extended, sense. This is not the case. Here the sun, moon, and stars govern normal days, months, and years.
Hebrew scholarship consistently supports an interpretation of Genesis 1 as describing six 24 hour days.
Six 24-hour Days of Creation in Church History
The following quotes are from church fathers and reformers. They show a consistent interpretation throughout church history that Genesis 1 describes six literal 24-hour days of creation.
Theophilus of Antioch in Autolycus, Book II
Theophilus teaches on the six days of creation without any reference to an alternative interpretation.
Ireneaus, Lactantius, and Basil
“The early church father Irenaeus believed that the days of creation represented the future history of the world (of 1000 years for each creation day) yet still believed that the days of Genesis 1, themselves, were literal days (Mook 2008, pp. 41–42). Lactantius (AD 250–325), believed that the days in Genesis were six consecutive solar days. Whilst, Basil, the Bishop of Caesarea (AD 370–379), also believed this saying that the words are to be understood by their plain meaning, and not to be allegorized (Mook 2008, pp. 26–32).”
Thomas Aquinas (1225–1274) also agreed with six-day creation, as shown in his classic Summa Theologica.
“Thus we find it said at first that, ‘He called the light Day’, for the reason that later on a period of twenty-four hours is also called day, where it is said that ‘there was evening and morning, one day’.”
“Nothing entirely new was afterwards made by God, but all things subsequently made had in a sense been made before in the work of the six days”
Victorinus, bishop of Pettau (d. A.D. 304)
“Even such is the rapidity of that creation; as is contained in the book of Moses, which he wrote about its creation, and which is called Genesis. God produced that entire mass for the adornment of His majesty in six days; on the seventh to which He consecrated it. . . . In the beginning God made the light, and divided it in the exact measure of twelve hours by day and by night. . . . The day, as I have above related, is divided into two parts by the number twelve — by the twelve hours of day and night.”
Ephrem the Syrian (c. A.D. 306–373)
Ephrem the Syrian was a deacon, hymn writer, and influential theologian and Bible commentator. He was one of the few fathers who knew Hebrew.
“Although the light and the clouds were created in the twinkling of an eye, still both the day and the night of the First Day were each completed in twelve hours.”
Even the Allegorists Agreed on a Young Earth
Clement of Alexandria, Origen, Ambrose, and Augustine were all allegorists. That is, they did not espouse a literal six days. However, they all affirmed a young earth.
Ambrose held that each “day” of creation was 24 hours in length, and the term “day” also included the night, because the day is the more important of each 24 hours.
“Scripture established a law that twenty-four hours, including both day and night, should be given the name of day only, as if one were to say the length of one day is twenty-four hours in extent. . . . The nights in this reckoning are considered to be component parts of the days that are counted. Therefore, just as there is a single revolution of time, so there is but one day. Thus were created the evening and the morning. Scripture means the space of a day and a night, and afterwards no more says day and night, but calls them both under the name of the more important: a custom which you will find throughout Scripture.”
Augustine believed that God created everything in an instant. But he still held to the Biblical chronology.
“They are deceived, too, by those highly mendacious documents which profess to give the history of many thousand years, though, reckoning by the sacred writings, we find that not 6,000 years have yet passed.”
“As to those who are always asking why man was not created during these countless ages of the infinitely extended past, and came into being so lately that, according to Scripture, less than 6,000 years have elapsed since (h)e began to be. . . .”
Luther’s Small Catechism with Explanation
Question 97: Why is God the Father called “Maker of Heaven and Earth”?
Because in six days he created all things, out of nothing, simply by his word.
Martin Luther’s Works
“This first chapter of our Holy Bible is written in the simplest and plainest language, and yet it contains the greatest and at the same time the most difficult themes…
…we conclude that Moses spoke literally and plainly and neither allegorically nor figuratively; that is, he means that the world with all creatures was created in six days as he himself expresses it. If we cannot attain unto a comprehension of the reason why it was so, let us still remain scholars and leave all the preceptorship to the Holy Spirit!”
Westminster Shorter Catechism, Question 9.
“9. What is the work of creation?
The work of creation is God’s making all things of nothing, by the word of his power, in the space of six days, and all very good.”
Westminster Confession of Faith, Chapter 4
“Chapter 4 of Creation 1. It pleased God the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost, and for the manifestation of the glory of his eternal power, wisdom, and goodness, in the beginning, to create, or make of nothing, the world, and all things therein whether visible or invisible, in the space of six days; and all very good.”
Leaders of the Christian church throughout history have endorsed six 24-hour days of creation. Those few who believed in an allegorical interpretation believed creation took place in an instant. But they still believed that creation was about 6000 years old. We believe that we are being consistent with the church’s historical interpretation of Genesis 1.
Operational Science Confirms the Bible
The published research supporting a young earth and Noah’s flood fills many volumes. We will not attempt to provide it all here. That is the purpose of our website and presentations. We do have here a short list of substantive evidences that should provoke conversation and hopefully encourage you to pursue further inquiry.
- Very little sediment on the sea floor
- Bent rock layers
- Soft tissue in fossils
- Faint sun paradox
- Earth’s rapidly decaying magnetic field
- The magnetic fields of planets in our solar system
- Helium in radioactive rocks
- Carbon 14 in fossils, coal, diamonds, and all geological layers
- Short lived comets
- Very little salt in the oceans
- DNA in ancient bacteria
- The earth’s core contains massive cool areas
- Flood geology is apparent throughout the world
- Mitochondrial DNA points back to a single female origin.
- Genetic entropy
- Coal and natural gas formation
- Rapid speciation
- Rapid magnetic reversals
- Population growth
- Time dilation consistent with Einstein’s theory of relativity
- Exodus 15; Numbers 26:33, 27:1, 36:11; Joshua 173; I Chron 1;1,4; Is. 54:9; Ez. 14:14, 20; Hosea 6:7. Return to text
- Adam and Eve as the first married couple (Matt. 19:3–6, Mark 10:3–9), Abel as the first prophet who was martyred (Luke 11:50–51), Noah and the Flood (Matt. 24:38–39), Moses and the serpent (John 3:14), Moses and the manna (John 6:32–33, 49), the experiences of Lot and his wife (Luke 17:28–32), the judgment of Sodom and Gomorrah (Matt. 10:15), the miracles of Elijah (Luke 4:25–27), and Jonah and the big fish (Matt. 12:40–41), Matt 23:35, Luke 11:51. Return to text
- 2 Peter 3:6; Romans 5:12,14;I Cor. 15; I Tim. 2; Jude; Heb. 11:4, 12:24, I John 3:12. Return to text
- Martin Luther’s Principles of Biblical Interpretation, Rev. A Skevington Wood, Ph.D., F.R. Hist. S., The Tyndale Press 1960. Return to text
- Practical Principles of Biblical Interpretation, R. C. Sproul, Oct 13, 2014, http://www.ligonier.org/blog/practical-principles-biblical-interpretation/Return to text