Justin Taylor had a great post yesterday outlining five reasons from within the text to doubt the authors intended the ‘days’ of Genesis 1 to be taken as literal 24 hour days. Taylor isn’t alone in his conclusions…he follows Augustine, Machen, Carl Henry, Gleason Archer, and many, many more.
Here’s the points, but visit his site for the whole article.
1. Genesis 1:1 describes the actual act of creation out of nothing and is not simply a title or summary of what follows.
2. The earth, darkness, and water were created before ‘the first day’
3. The seventh ‘day’ is not 24 hours long
4. The ‘day’ of Genesis 2:4 cannot be a 24 hours long
5. The explanation of Genesis 2:5-7 assumes more than an ordinary calendar day
Taylor writes, “God is portrayed as a workman going through his workweek, working during the day and resting for the night. Then on his Sabbath, he enjoys a full and refreshing rest. Our days are like God’s workdays, but not identical to them. How long were God’s workdays? The Bible doesn’t say. But I see no reason to insist that they were only 24 hours long.”
There’s the key – don’t insist on something the Bible doesn’t insist on; don’t force others to believe something you may believe, but isn’t required biblically.