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This paper presents the biblical case for “old-earth creationism” (OEC) and endeavors to clear up theological misconceptions regarding OEC held by many well-intentioned “young-earth creationist” (YEC) believers. Johnson (founder of Intelligent Design movement), Greg Koukl (Stand to Reason ministry), J. The Bible Proponents of OEC believe the Bible is the inspired, infallible, inerrant Word of God and believe the Genesis creation account to be historical narrative—not myth, allegory, legend or poetic expression.
The purpose is not to dissuade young-earth believers from their position, but rather to propose OEC as a well-reasoned, Bible-honoring view that has been embraced by scholars such as Francis Schaeffer, James Boice, and Norman Geisler. While YECs believe a “plain reading” of the English translation of Genesis 1 necessitates belief that God created the world in six 24-hour days some six to ten thousand years ago, OECs believe that textual and grammatical nuances of the original Hebrew suggest six long epochs of time.
In my judgment the earth and universe are indeed billions of years old.”20Both young-earth and old-earth creationists believe the Bible is inspired and defend their views as being literal. Bruce Waltke asserts young-earth exegesis is hindered by an adherence to a “woodenly literal” reading of Genesis.21 Gordon Wenham concurs: “Six days has been seized on and interpreted over-literally, with the result that science and Scripture have been pitted against each other instead of being seen as complementary.”22The when of creation The Bible does not specify the age of creation.
The YEC belief that God created the world 6,000 years ago originated from a mid-17th century examination of the Genesis genealogies by Archbishop James Ussher and theologian John Lightfoot.
Old earth beliefs Before presenting a more detailed explanation of OEC, here is a brief summary of core beliefs. Indeed, OECs contend a literal reading of the Biblical creation accounts in Hebrew provides certain exegetical clues pointing to prolonged creation “days.”4Creation days Biblical Hebrew has a very limited vocabulary (approximately 3,100 words) compared to the English vocabulary (estimated to be 1,000,000 words).
Here are two examples:* Hosea 6:2, He will revive us after two days; He will raise us up on the third day.Gleason Archer notes, “By no means does this demonstrate that 24-hour intervals were involved in the first six ‘days,’ any more than the eight-day celebration of the Feast of Tabernacles proves that the wilderness wanderings under Moses occupied only eight days.”15Here are the views of several respected scholars on the meaning of the creation “day” (yôm):* R. Torrey (1856-1928), founder of Talbot Seminary and editor of The Fundamentals (12 volumes, published in 1910): “Anyone who is at all familiar with the Bible and the way the Bible uses words, knows that the use of the word ‘day’ is not limited to twenty-four hours.