The Creation Week: A Systems-Based Approach

The Creation Week: A Systems-Based Approach

BY [JEFFREY P. TOMKINS, PH.D.

THURSDAY, DECEMBER 30, 2021

We are clearly told in the book of Genesis that God created the heavens and the earth in a very short sequence of time, six literal days. The Hebrew text is grammatically put together using a specific verbal construct called a waw consecutive that defines historical narrative. Each individual day ( yôm ) is further defined by the nouns evening ( ‘ereb ) and morning ( bôqer ) and an ordinal number (e.g., the sixth day, yôm hašiššîy [Genesis 1:31]).

If this weren’t clear enough, the six-day creation is affirmed twice in Exodus: “For in six days the LORD ( Yahweh ) made the heavens and the earth” (20:11, 31:17). Furthermore, we are told in these verses and also in Genesis 2:2 that God rested on the seventh day, which Hebrews 4:4 cites in the New Testament: “And God rested on the seventh day from all His works.” This is where we get our seven-day calendar week, the only demarcation of time not built on a solar or lunar cycle.

In contrast to the Scriptures, evolutionists would like us to believe that the universe somehow exploded into existence and then self-assembled itself through random, chance processes into galaxies, solar systems, stars, and planets. Then the essential information-rich biomolecules for life mysteriously popped into existence on Earth and self-assembled into a fully replicating cell.

This initial cell line then supposedly evolved through random mutation “acted on” by a mystical agent called natural selection into the plethora of plants and animals we see in the fossil and living records. And of course, there’s no observable natural process to account for any of this materialistic speculation. In both the fossil and living records, we see creatures fully formed in their various kinds without any evidence of biological evolution whatsoever (e.g., transitional forms).

Thus, the obvious implication from the incredible engineering of our solar system, the earth, and all the living systems it contains is that an all-powerful and all-knowing Creator brought them into existence, and the book of Genesis is the only coherent and systematic account of this. But why the logical stepwise sequence of various creative events over the short course of six days?

The best way to consider the rapid sequential nature of the creation week narrative is by taking an engineering-based approach. No one can logically deny that our solar system, the earth, and all its living creatures function as a massively complex interconnected system of subsystems. In the present age of human ingenuity, complex systems—whether they are cars, washing machines, or computers—must be engineered and assembled with a high level of foresight and intelligence all at once in a short sequence of time for them to work. A partially assembled car or computer is essentially worthless as an end product.1

The creation account of Genesis follows this line of commonsense reasoning by describing how a divine Engineer ( Yahweh Elohim ) constructed our complex, interconnected cosmos and its living creatures in a short period of time, six days.

But is it a reasonable approach to compare human engineering with God’s work of creation?2,3 In Psalm 115:4-8, God rebukes the Israelites for engineering inanimate idols with the nonfunctional attributes of a humanlike entity (having mouths, eyes, ears, and noses). While the overriding lesson in this passage is that we shouldn’t worship anything, including “the work of men’s hands,” above the living God, there’s more to glean from this text.

One of humans’ unique attributes is their ability to purposefully craft and engineer elaborate things. This is one aspect of humans being created in God’s image (Genesis 1:27) as compared to other biological life forms. In Psalm 115:4-8, the Lord uses this fundamental and inherently understood principle to highlight idolatry in a contrastive scenario—low-level human engineering vs. God’s all-powerful engineering.

In the modern world of bioengineering, scientists at research centers across the world imitate the elaborate God-created systems found in living creatures using this same inherent perception of design—whether they want to acknowledge it or not. This is because humans inherently perceive design and are held accountable for it. “For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made…so that they are without excuse” (Romans 1:20).

Based on this engineering principle of system design, the creation week entails the sequential construction of elaborate interconnected systems over a short period of time by an omnipotent Creator God, the Lord Jesus Christ, that we can immediately appreciate from our own built-in perception of how things are constructed.

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Something no non-YEC Hebrew expert agrees with and is violated in other parts of the OT.

A week is roughly 1/4 of the lunar cycle so it is a natural division of a lunar month calendar, which the Hebrews used. Other cultures also used a seven day week.

No, biology has no relation to the process of star creation. Also evolution is not a random process.

Transitional fossils abound.

And for the record I believe in an Intelligent Designer but not Intelligent Design.

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Thanks Shannon
Exodus 20:11
For in six days the LORD made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in them is, and rested the seventh day: wherefore the LORD blessed the sabbath day, and hallowed it.

Exodus 31:17
It is a sign between me and the children of Israel for ever: for in six days the LORD made heaven and earth, and on the seventh day he rested, and was refreshed.

‘Analogous’, as in ‘analogous days’, seems to be completely missing in YECism’s vocabulary and conversation.

But do not forget this one thing, dear friends: With the Lord a day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years are like a day.   2 Peter 3:8

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Was creation work for God that made him tired? There is something foreshadowed and analogous though: The Lord’s Day of Rest

Dale,
God’s work of the Creation is finished. He is resting now since Creation is completed. We who have received Christ’s finished work of redemption on the cross have entered into His rest. The seventh day has not yet ended as Jesus Christ, the Way, is still drawing those who will repent of the sin to Himself.

Hebrews 4:3,4

3 For we which have believed we do enter into rest, as he said, As I have sworn in my wrath, if they shall enter into my rest: and here what is called, pay attention here, here is what is called a crossover verse, or an insertion verse. Here is where the writer of Hebrews connects this the gospel message with creation. Follow it. Again as I have sworn in my wrath if they shall enter into my rest: although the works were finished from the foundation of the world. What in the world does that mean? So that is step one in crossover. Here is step 2. 4 For he spake in a certain place of the seventh day on this wise, or in this way And God did rest the seventh day from all his works. Here is Genesis 2:2 where that statement comes from. And on the seventh day God ended His work which He had made and He rested on the seventh day from all this work which he had made. Understand something about the word Shabbat for the word for rest. This is same root word for Sabbath, and it means to rest. But I should tell you more detail about it because I grew up as a kid thinking that God took Sunday off, and went back to work on Monday. And it doesn’t mean that at all. The word “and He rested” means He ceased, He stopped. He no longer, His creative works were now finished. That’s what it means, to finish. And on the seventh day God ended His work which He had made, and He rested. He’s always been in charge, always worked. He didn’t go back to creating again on the eighth day. It’s all over.
Pastor Bill Klein, BTE Ministries

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“The word “and He rested” means He ceased, He stopped. He no longer, His creative works were now finished. That’s what it means, to finish.”

Did he need refreshing? If not, why does it say that?

JEFFREY P. TOMKINS, PH.D.

See the link after ‘a bumbling mess of lies’.

Deuteronomy 5:13-15 (NIV2011)
13 Six days you shall labor and do all your work,
14 but the seventh day is a sabbath to the LORD your God. On it you shall not do any work,…
15 Remember that you were slaves in Egypt and that the LORD your God brought you out of there with a mighty hand and an outstretched arm. Therefore the LORD your God has commanded you to observe the Sabbath day.

You cannot use Ex 20.11 as the reason why the universe was created in days because the other version of the Ten Commandments. It does Not say the universe was created in 6 days in Deuteronomy as it does in Exodus. Why?

Kelli

5h

Exodus 31:17
It is a sign between me and the children of Israel for ever: for in six days the LORD made heaven and earth, and on the seventh day he rested, and was refreshed.

John 5:16-17 (NIV2011)
16 So, because Jesus was doing these things on the Sabbath, the Jewish leaders began to persecute him.
17 In his defense Jesus said to them, “My Father is always at his work to this very day, and I too am working.”

Jesus said that the Father did not rest on the seventh day and neither did He. Who are you going to believe Jesus, Who was there or Exodus?

@Shannon and @Kelli, if you believe that God built the Sabbath into the Creation, then how can Christians not observe the Sabbath? Do you rest on the Sabbath? Do you worship on the Sabbath as do the Seventh Day Adventists?

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​10 For he that is entered into his rest, has also hath ceased from his own works, as God did from his. So he is going back to creation. He is saying you surrender to Christ, you will be doing just what God did. You will cease from your own works, your own efforts at your own salvation, you will cease from your own works and you’ll enter into God’s rest.
​Now here is how it works. God took six days to create all things and by the way the Hebrew word yom for day it can be either 24 hour days, or it could be like our metaphor when we say the day in which we live, in an age in which we live. It is important to know that the six days were six 24-hour days as mentioned to us in Exodus chapter 20. But we have a problem in the creation account. We don’t have a problem, the Jews don’t have a problem. We have a problem as Gentiles understanding the connection here in six days God created all things and on the seventh day He entered into His rest and finished His work.
​The number 6 in the Bible is the number of man. We know that from book of Revelation. The man of sin, the number of man is 6 and the of man of sin, his number will be 666. Not Six hundred and sixty six, but 6 three times, in contrast to the Trinity of God. So the number 6 it represents man and the number 7 in the Scriptures represents completion or perfection. So man falls short of perfection or completion, therefore they have fallen short, as Paul would say, of the glory of God.
​Now here is what the writer of Hebrews is trying to get up get across. That God has provided for us salvation that parallels His six days of creation. To the point where He comes to us on the seventh day of His creative works for our salvation and He says, enter in to your rest. You see that puts so much emphasis on what Jesus said up on the cross. His last words, “It is finished.” All of the creative provisions of God for our salvation is done. No longer to go back again, it’s done. You can’t add to it. You can try to take away from it, you can try to add to it, but you can’t make it. So enter into His rest.
Pastor Bill Klein

As an etiology for the sabbath, amongst several other things (e.g. Jewish monotheism), of course we are to understand the days in Genesis in the context of a week. Since scripture is accommodated and does not teach us science, there is no need to fuss over this. The author is clearly telling us the sabbath is of immense importance and tied into the created order itself. In other words, it is really important to God and he wants us to honor it. Rather than worrying about the length of the days in Genesis, which is ultimately meaningless given its more poetic genre, we should be pointing out to our fellow brothers and sisters in the Lord that the sabbath is tied into the created order by our inspired scripture. That is as plainly taught as Jewish monotheism is in Genesis or that humans were the climax of his creative work. Fussing over the meaning of “days” in Genesis allows us to conveniently neglect the real issue facing the Church, why so many Christians no longer spend the sabbath devoted to honoring God. We certainly have no issues honoring capitalism on Sundays.

Vinnie

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This supposedly “clear” statement assumes (1) that Gen 1:1 is a summary of the six days, and (2) the days are “literal.” Either or both may be true, but they are not “clear” and have been debated by even conservative exegetes and theologians.

This is a false statement (BTW I teach Hebrew for a living). Verbal form does not equate to literary genre. For example, parables also use the so-called waw consecutive.

No. Evening & morning constitute the time period between each day.

Not for Day 1 (also, why do Days 6 and 7 have the definite article when the others don’t?)

You presume what the later texts are doing with the Genesis story. Proper hermeneutics calls for a discussion of what the various texts are doing with the earlier text. You can’t just cite them and assume you’ve made an argument.

How do you know? People were keeping a seven-day week before Gen 1 was written.

I’m not concerned whether you (or the article you cite) is right or wrong on any given point. It’s the presumption that each point is the only “obvious” way to read the text. Therefore, if someone (like a Hebrew or biblical scholar disagrees), you just dismiss him or her as intellectually or spiritually deficient.

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What are the requirements of one to teach His Word?

That you know what you are talking about and that you are getting your facts straight, for starters.

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In which time zone?

This is something I don’t think I’ve ever seen LSD young earth apologists attempt to address. If evening and morning separated one literal 24 hour day from the next, there must have been a line of longitude where Day Three was starting at the same time that, one metre to the east, Day Two was starting. Where was it?

Good question, but it’s not directly relevant to the current discussion. So start a new thread if you’re interested in discussing a new topic.

But to play along a bit. Since you like to quote Scripture a lot: one must “study to show [himself] approved…rightly dividing the word of truth” (2 Tim 2:15). To ignore the best scholarship available, past or present, is intellectually lazy. It’s one thing to say, “The text, as I read it in my English translation, seems to be saying XYZ. What do you think about that?” It’s another to say, “Yep it definitely means this even though I’ve not considered any other option or consulted a credible resource” (and an ICR scientist is not a biblical expert).

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If one is a teacher of the Word, I would hope one uses the scriptures.
You said you teach Hebrew so I am asking what is the qualifier of a pastor/teacher? I asked as not all pastor/teachers are teaching the same thing. In fact, there will be false teachers in among the church.
The apostle Paul was continually struggling with false brethren.
2 Thessalonians 3:2 As for other matters, brothers and sisters, pray for us that the message of the Lord may spread rapidly and be honored, just as it was with you. And pray that we may be delivered from wicked and evil people, for not everyone has faith.
Paul’s last letter described men as “having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers , having itching ears; And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables 2 Timothy 3:5, 4:3-4

Quoting Scripture and properly interpreting Scripture are two different things (and making a reasonable case for one’s interpretation is a third). Teachers who teach different things and false teachers are not necessarily the same thing. Where are you going with this? Are you implying if people come to different exegetical or theological positions than you, they are false teachers?

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“Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone.” -Colossians 4:6

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