Day Age Theory- This view holds key understanding in its title: simply, a day equals an age. This view is based on the idea that the Hebrew word for day (yom) can be used for time periods other than 24 hour periods.[1] Also, commonly cited along with this view is 2 Peter 3:8 (ESV), “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.”

In all practicality, this view is flawed fundamentally at the basic hermeneutical level. Take, for instance, the passage in 2 Peter. This passage begins with “but” (δὲ). This means to understand the meaning of this passage, one must understand that it is in contrast with what Peter had previously said.[2] Peter is trying to convey that Christ and his judgment are coming with certainty and haste, not that one should make such a systematized decision on a separate creation theory.

Gap Theory- The Gap Theory theorizes a Gap between Genesis 1:1 and Genesis 1:2. An idea that God created then recreated (highly elementary summary, agreed). This theory will not have much discussion to be defended against Biblically simply because, “no verse in scripture talks about previous creation.”[3]

Theistic Evolution- understands the major flaw of Aristotle’s primum movens and simply uses God to fix this issue. Sadly, this view is completely irrelevant due to the fact the Bible says God created “according to their kinds” (Gen. 1:12, 21, 24, 25).

Framework Theory- Most intriguingly, the framework theory takes a much more creative approach stating that these days are literal solar days, but not necessarily 24 hours at length. As Lee Irons contends, “To insist on taking this picture literally is to miss the profound theological point—that the creation is not an end in itself but was created with the built-in eschatological goal of entering the eternal Sabbath rest of God Himself in incorruptible glory.”[4]

Irons’ statement reasons the Framework Theory in ways not presupposed naturalistically (a rarity, might I add). The interpretation of missing the eschatological rest is no doubt taken from Hebrews where the author exegetes Psalm 95:7-11. Rest is the eschatological eternal reality in which believers no longer work to fight from sin or work to earn salvation, typologically represented by God’s rest after creation. Making the literal 24 hour periods figurative in no way makes the eschatological Sabbath rest more valid. Melchizedek is mention in Hebrews 7:3 as “resembling the Son of God;” however, making Genesis 14:17-20 figurative in no way enhances that meaning. Figurative interpretation does not enhance typology.

Literal 24-hour Theory- this theory simply states that each creation day was a 24 hour period within a literal week. Discovering the biblical nature of this view takes a journey to where the same author of Genesis reflects on the creation week amidst the Decalogue. “For in six days the Lord made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that is in them, and rested on the seventh day. Therefore the Lord blessed the Sabbath day and made it holy” (Ex. 20:11). Now if one were to interpret the creation story as figurative, how is he to interpret this passage and the law that accompanies it?

Now all other theories account for a different time frame due to presuppositional problems. Naturalistic worldviews are for the majority to account for the birth of these opposing views using pointing to the problem of the scientific age of the earth. Most empirical apologists will doubt science’s ability to perceive these ages. This is admirable, but not necessary. As I have previously written, “God created all living things with the capability to bear fruit (HCSB, Gen.1.11, 22, 28). Which implies God would create with different ages … therefore not out of deceit, but omniscience and omnipotence does God create the universe with such age. The earth created with age out of His omniscience so that it may contain the correct nutrients to provide for all creation.”[5]

Not adhering to the literal view affects the Gospel. Other views leave potential for humanity outside of Adam’s seed given macroevolution. Adam acts as a covenant head for all of humanity federally and naturally. “For as by the one man’s disobedience the many were made sinners, so by the one man’s obedience the many will be made righteous” (Rom. 5:19 ESV). If the creation is not literal, how can this passage be taken literal? How can Adam be special in God’s image? How can redemption be taken literal? How can anything be taken as literal?

[1] i.e. Genesis 2:4, Job 20:28, Psalm 20:1, Proverbs 20:11, 21:32, Ecc. 7:14, Isa. 2:12, Joel 1:15, Zeph. 1:14

[2] Or in the very least, if δὲ be translated as “and” then a comparison ensues. Regardless, given this postpositive there is a connection to the previous passage.

[3] Wayne Grudem, Systematic Theology: an Introduction to Biblical Doctrine (Grand Rapids, Mich.: Zondervan, 1994), 288

[4] Lee Irons, The Framework Interpretation: An Exegetical Summary (Jan. 2000) pp. 7-11

[5] B. Jacob Fowler, Answer to Study Question Set 1 OT Survey (Fall 2011)