Over the years, I’ve heard this same tired argument over and over again—and it’s been popping up recently in the comments posted to my social media posts—so I thought I would address it again. It goes something like this: “The days of creation can’t be ordinary days, as the Bible states that a day is like a thousand years.”
Sometimes I can’t believe Christians even try to use this argument, but it’s actually quite prevalent in the church. So, let’s start by considering the passage of Scripture this argument is alluding to: 2 Peter 3:8.
But do not overlook this one fact, beloved, that with the Lord one day is as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day.
Now, let’s observe a few things about this passage.
So, when studied in context, it’s obvious this passage has nothing to do with defining the length of the creation days in Genesis 1.
When studied in context, it’s obvious this passage has nothing to do with defining the length of the creation days in Genesis 1.
Besides, you can’t use a passage from the New Testament (written in Greek) to define the meaning of a word from the Old Testament (written in Hebrew), such as yom (day). A Hebrew word is defined not according to the Greek, but according to the rules of Hebrew and the context in which it is used.
In Hebrew, whenever yom is qualified by “evening” or “morning” or a number, it always means an ordinary day. And this is how it’s used for each of the days in the creation week in Genesis 1.
And, anyway, if you use 2 Peter 3:8 to claim the days of creation were a thousand years each, well, a thousand years won’t help those who want the days to fit with millions (or billions) of years. But notice something else. I find most people don’t question what the word “day” (yom) means anywhere in the Old Testament . . . except Genesis 1. Now why is that? Because they’ve been impacted by the world’s idea of millions of years of earth history and are attempting to reinterpret the word “day” to fit those long ages in!
By the way, if you use 2 Peter 3:8 to insist the word yom in Genesis 1 means 1,000 years, then you need to do this everywhere else the word day (yom) is used, which makes passages about Joshua’s long day and Jonah’s three days inside big fish ridiculous, for instance.
Actually, Psalm 90:4 states something similar to 2 Peter 3:8 concerning God and time, comparing a thousand years to a watch in the night (which was four hours). But it’s the same teaching that God is outside of time.
People need to stop using this totally wrong idea that the 2 Peter 3:8 passage means the days of creation can’t be ordinary days! It’s a bad interpretation of that passage and is leading others astray.
Yes, the days in Genesis were literal 24-hour days!
Learn more in this short video made for my social media:
Thanks for stopping by and thanks for praying,
This item was written with the assistance of AiG’s research team.
Answers in Genesis is an apologetics ministry, dedicated to helping Christians defend their faith and proclaim the good news of Jesus Christ.