Genesis 1:1-2 says that, at first, the earth was formless, empty, and dark. Now it has form, content, and light. We know from the Bible that the earth was NOT created instantly in its present form. Enormous changes have occurred over time in the earth's structure and content.
This Bible study does not raise any questions about whether or not God created the world. The world didn't happen from nothing by itself by chance. God created the world according to a divine design plan!
The only questions discussed here are about God's methods and timing, which do not in any way alter the New Testament gospel message. The questions are raised by doubters and unbelievers, and they deserve intelligent answers from Christians. The wrong interpretation of a single Hebrew word (yō·wm) – and the refusal of most Christians even to talk about it – is repelling people from the gospel message.
An informed interpretation of the word yō·wm reconciles God's Word (Bible) with God's World (science) and removes a huge barrier to faith.
This study shows that the Bible does not compel a six-day interpretation. One person studying the Bible can conclude that God created the universe in six 24-hour days. Another person studying the Bible can conclude that God created the universe over billions of years.
The Bible's description of creation is broad enough to accommodate both interpretations. The important thing is that GOD DID IT!
This site takes the view that God created the the world in stages over a very long period of time. This view is preferable because it is confirmed by all modern knowledge and eliminates push-back from unbelievers.
Conversations with unbelievers should make it clear that one does not have to believe in six-day creation to be a Christian.
Many Christians are so indoctrinated by tradition that they think that any interpretation of 'day' which means more than 24-hours is a way of altering the Bible. It rarely occurs to them that maybe it's the traditional interpretation that's done the altering and that a re-interpretation of 'day' is needed to get the true meaning.
It's not heresy to re-interpret a word in the original Hebrew text based on better evidence from scholarship, science and our own common sense understanding of the actual world in which we live.
Some Christians have a strong adverse reaction to the idea that God created the universe over millions or billions of years. They have an instinctive emotional response that tries to protect God. They seem to think that if God takes more time, He has less power, as though time has something to do with divine capacity for work.
Time has nothing to do with God's power. Of course, God can speak anything into existence in any form in an instant. The question is not about how much power God has to accomplish something within our timeframe but rather how God works in His timeframe.
Actually, the power and majesty of God is greater in a creation that unfolds with majestic precision over ages of time than a creation that pops into existence all at once in static form.
For example, think of a rose:
God could speak a fully-formed rose into existence in a nanosecond. But that's not the way God creates a rose. His method is slower and more awesome.
Instead of instant appearance, the rose begins as a seed and slowly grows into a bush. In time, a bud appears on a branch and blooms into a flower, opening slowly, revealing petals of intricate beauty.
The wonder of the rose is not just how it looks but the incredible design that makes it all happen with majestic precision over time.
Failure to fully acknowledge God's amazing time and unfolding design actually diminishes His plan and dishonors Him.