In Genesis 1, the days line up. Days 1 and 4; 2 and 5; 3 and 6—first the “realm” is created, and then it is filled. It was so utterly obvious and simple, yet in my entire life I had never noticed it. Why?
I still distinctly remember the Sunday morning almost ten years ago, listening to a pastor at Redeemer Presbyterian Church as he turned my understanding of Genesis on its head. As I’ve previously written, understanding Genesis 1 has been a passion of mine since early childhood. What did it mean that the world was created in six days? How do we explain the mysterious features of the text? And how does it all fit with the discoveries of modern science? It always felt like I couldn’t quite make the pieces fit. The nagging doubts in my mind kept growing.
It might seem like a small thing, to realize that the days of Genesis were grouped together. But for me, it was paradigm-shattering. Through it, I made two discoveries: first, that my own reading of the text was helplessly crowded with modern presuppositions, and second, that the meaning of Genesis was far deeper and more interesting than I had ever realized.
This seminal moment was a major factor in my decision to attend seminary, write a master's thesis on Genesis 1, and eventually apply for a job at BioLogos.
Last month we began a new practice of dedicating each month to the exploration of a key topic or question in the origins conversation. This month, we are going back to the beginning: the “days” of Genesis 1. Scripture is full of passages about creation, but no passage has had so much impact on the conversation about science and Scripture. How do these six “days” of creation relate to the history of the universe? The entire origins conversation is, in a certain way, organized around different answers to these questions. It is vitally important to understand how to faithfully read this opening chapter of Scripture.
Today, we’re unveiling a brand-new Common Question on this subject: How long are the days of Genesis 1? I strongly encourage you to read and share this new resource. Last week, we published a new article from biblical scholar Richard Middleton, and look out for a new article by John Walton in the coming weeks. We will feature some of the best articles on the topic from our archive as well. Follow us on Facebook and Twitter to read all our latest materials.
My hope and prayer for all our readers this month is that they will have the same sense of wonder and discovery that I felt in college, when I learned to read Genesis 1 in a new way. The Bible’s message is endlessly deep, beautiful, and transformational. If we can help you see the Bible in this way, and if we can get you excited about reading God’s Word, we’ve done our job.
We’ve created a dedicated thread on the BioLogos Forum related to our new Common Question, and our entire monthly theme. I hope you’ll join the conversation there, alongside many other people in the BioLogos community.