How did the plants grow on day 3?

I watched a Hugh Ross video, saying that on day 1, that atmosphere became translucent, letting the light come in, and on day 4, the atmosphere became transparent. He explained that the sun is older than the earth. However, there is a problem. On day 3, the plants started growing. Without direct sunlight plants can’t grow. Am I interpreting this incorrectly, or can plants grow without direct sunlight?

This is Hugh Ross’s interpretation, not from anybody here, so you should really ask Hugh Ross himself or his followers.

ok, but I was wondering if you guys have an answer, because on the previous thread, some of you guys agreed with his interpretation.

Is Laura here?

Knowing that some of you guys agree with his interpretation, then how did the plants grow in a transparent atmosphere?

As I’ve said in some of the other threads, most Christian contributors here do not interpret Genesis 1 as if it were a scientific account. I personally tend to prefer John Walton’s view, that the days were about assigning functions and purpose, not material creation. In that view, you don’t have to worry about plants not getting sunlight – the sun was there for a long time before plants came.

But as BeagleLady said, you could always check out Reasons to Believe if you want to learn more about Hugh Ross’s interpretations. They have a website and also a facebook page where you could post comments or questions if you wanted to.


If that is the case, then why did Genesis 1:14-16 even talk about the lights? They would’ve alredy have appeared>

That must be a real tough nut for those committed to an all literal all the time reading of the Bible. If these conflicts are troublesome, it could be the whole religion Bible and all that is to blame. But I wouldn’t rule out bad theology.

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Plants, as we know them today, can only grow with enough (strength and duration) light with the correct spectrum. However, if you are taking Genesis literally then literally anything goes. God can do as He wills and we would be none the wiser. This is why you can’t read science back into Genesis. It isn’t there in the first place.


In my view, Genesis talks about them because of their theological implications, not physical order of creation. In that time, the Sun and Moon were worshipped as gods in the society they lived in, to the extent that that then, as now, they took their names as gods. The point made was that they were created entities, created by the one God, and not god’s themselves. One indication of this is that were not called Sun and Moon or whatever words their culture gave them as gods, but rather described as lights to emphasize that point.


Plants would not have been able to grow without the sun or light. Especially not large fruit bearing woody angiosperms.

But the purpose of genesis 1 is not to explain the origins of the world.

Day 1 is the separation of light and darkness.
Day 4 is filling it in with celestial bodies.

Day 2 is the separation of sky water and earth water.
Day 5 is filling it in with fish and birds.

Day 3 is the separation of dry land from the sea and the development of fauna. Day 6 is the filling in of it with earth animals including mankind.

Day 7 is the completion of it.

During these 7 days we see 10 creation moments.

All of this has numerical patterns found throughout the Bible of 7s and 10s.


Plants cannot grow without sunlight.

There is no light independent of the sun.

It doesn’t make sense to interpret the days of Genesis as factual accounts of material creation, which is why most Bible scholars don’t approach it that way when they are trying to harmonize the Bible with scientific accounts of the universe’s origins.

Interestingly, there is evidence that the ancients did not know that the sun was the source of daylight, and day was thought to give it’s own light. After all based on observation, it is light before the sun rises and after the sun sets and on days when the sun is not visible because of clouds. (In many ancient religions dawn and the sun have separate dieties associated with them.) That kind of thinking is probably reflected in Genesis and other passages.


Well, how should we interpret it? If Genesis wasn’t to be interpreted that way, then why ould they even make a creation story in Genesis in the first place?

The Romans thought the dsn and moon are same same size, and no further than they appear
to be.

Also dont produce light but gather it and reflect it back.

Because it corrects the polytheism around it. The point of the story is the sovereignty of God. The lack of other gods, a history or conflict mythology in Genesis 1:1-3 speaks volumes. You have to go back in time 3,000 years ago and understand this story amidst a large corpus of competing deities and creation mythologies. Genesis 1-2 is an unequivocal statement of monotheism amongst other things. You have to read Genesis in its ANCIENT context.

I quoted Bill Arnold in one of the other two threads you made on this specific issue:

“We fail to appreciate the profundity of vv. 1–3 for two primary reasons, among several others. First, it is exceedingly familiar to those of us in the West, who still benefit from the long years of Judeo–Christian education and influence. Second, we have overemphasized the similarities between Gen 1 and the other ancient cosmogonies without fully appreciating the differences. This text soars above them in such a way as to deny implicitly any possibility of the theologies expressed in the Egyptian or Mesopotamian accounts. If we consider it an ideological polemic, we must admit it is not specifically so and only indirectly. It contains no theomachy, or cosmic conflict among the gods, or victory enthronement motif. Both are excluded by “in the beginning when God created . . . ”! Israel’s God has no rivals. There can be no struggle with forces opposed to his actions or corresponding to his power. There can be no victory enthronement motif because God’s victory was never in doubt; rather, God has never not been enthroned. There can be no enthronement portrait here because God has not become sovereign; he has simply never been less than sovereign.”8

Likewise, the Garden story is interested in rearranging ancient furniture. As I wrote elsewhere:

We have already witnessed how Genesis 1:1-2:3 turns ancient cosmogonies on their heads and we appear to have the same feature happening in the Garden overall. It is of note that whereas Enkidu is a companion to animals, none are suitable for Adam. Adam and Even were removed from the Garden for disobeying God whereas Enkidu appears to be settled in a garden like place after the flood. Sex is what “civilizes” Enkidu but in the Bible sex or marriages brings people back to their primordial whole. Unlike Shamhat, Eve was not just a mere plot device used to relocate Adam from inside Eden to outside of it. She was meant to be a co-laborer with him, sharing a sacred space and joined as one flesh. Walton writes, Again, Genesis turns the discussion upside down. Genesis is thus using common literary motifs to convey the truths about humanity that are the familiar topics of the conversation in the ancient world. They are operating in the same room of discourse, but Genesis has rearranged all the furniture. “ Ancient readers and listeners to this story would naturally get all of these cultural references we would not if we were unaware of the epic of Gilgamesh. enesis is far more interested in the theological dumping of ancient myths on their head and establishing the primacy of the Jewish God than it is giving us a factual and precise scientific overview of how said Deity created the first two humans and the world.

You need to COMPARE Genesis to its ancient parallels. The DIFFERENCES will allow you to understand the points the authors is trying to convey.


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Hugh Ross denies the overwhelming evidence for evolution which completely and unequivocally undermines the entirety of his creation model. He is also a concordist and thinks Genesis is literally accurate. In oder to do this he has to offer “specialized” interpretations of numerous portions of Genesis many competent scholars do not support.

Hugh Ross suggested that if we understand the Genesis account as being written from the perspective of an earthbound observer (through visions), then the sun and stars could have been created long before the earth but only appeared later on day or epoch four when the atmosphere went from opaque to transparent at some point in the earth’s long history. This has several difficulties, one being what a straight- forward translation of the text actually states, another is that it assumes a very narrow context not suggested in the text and finally it does not resolve the majority of the problems in the text. This statement Ross is trying to circumvent is also evident in other ancient near eastern creation accounts which disconnect light and the sun. Genesis is geocentric. That is simply wrong. Ross accepts the antiquity of the earth but denies the overwhelming evidence for evolution. What can initially appear to be an ingenious solution is actually bad, backpedaling eisegesis invented to circumvent clear errors in the text when the literary genre of Genesis is misidentified.

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There are dozens of articles on the BioLogos website exploring interpretive options for Genesis. A good Bible commentary will also offer different insights.


These look interesting. Think I’ll have a look at that Walton article.

Hope all is well on the home front and you are enjoying your sabbatical.


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