Rauser: What’s Wrong with YEC

I don’t know. I’m inferring from my perception that YEC is primarily a US thing. Some YECs mention the Hebrew, but are there many OT scholars who are YECs?

Maybe @AllenWitmerMiller can offer an answer.

Your question makes the implicit assumption that “most natural reading” and “correct reading” are the same thing.

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I don’t see where you inferred that…

I think that is because our response is to what we read in English. My understanding is that this is a mostly-English-language issue and not a global issue. The Chinese will say that their culture pre-dates a 6,000 year-old creation, so that’s not a language issue but a historical one. Still, as John Mercer says, it would be interesting to know what @AllenWitmerMiller knows about the topic.

It would be necessary in order for “OT scholars think that’s the most natural reading” to imply “OT scholars are YECs”.

YECs do not extend the credence of eyewitness testimony to those people/cultures outside of the Bible, so I’m not sure it’s accurate to say it’s a historical issue when it seems to be theological.

You are because you are agreeing with Rauser’s inflammatory speech that you now know is wrong because I gave you a simple physical description of what God may have done to ensure that Genesis 1 is talking about literal days.

Say that you do not agree with Rauser and I will vacate my statement.

You have yet to address the fact that a 1000 years are as a day to God. After all, the Genesis Creation account is speaking about time relative to God, not Man.

I want to tag @swamidass here because I am actually handing you something valuable and you are not able to discern it yet. I am giving you a way to make peace with YEC’s. I handed you a simple physical description of how God could have created in six 24-hour days according to a literal reading of Genesis. Now, simply add that Lucifer the Light Bringer stood in place of the sun for three full rotations of the planet, and there you have it.

No, it does not answer all of your doubts about a young earth but can you at least admit that it goes a distance toward peace that no one has yet proposed?

Wake up. I am giving you something valuable here. Take it and vow that the inflammatory speech against YEC’s like vented from Rauser will cease at least as far as you are concerned.

A much simpler way to rectify the Creation account with Science is to acknowledge the plainly written description of God’s experience of time is not that of 24 hour days. No need to postulate an infinite speed of light, genetic decay, catastrophic Continental sprint, etc, when you realize 2 Peter 3:8 directly applies to Genesis

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Are you so unfocused that you cannot follow what you, yourself, are saying let alone what others are saying? I’m sorry, but I’m done with you.

Well, it’s certainly not a theological issue to the Chinese!! :slight_smile:

There you have it Joshua… and it’s not even Christmas!!

Speir Very Huge Amounts
Everyone Else 0


Got it.

I remember reading somewhere fairly recently that YECism was growing in Europe. Of course Australia has been a source, obviously.

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I claim that you are the only one making up accusations of evil motivation! That is easy to show!

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It would really be hard to accuse you of hubris, wouldn’t it.

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There are certainly OT scholars who are YECs, especially at the traditional fundamentalist schools. However, as the generations pass, I get the impression that the most peer-review-published Hebrew scholars are less likely to be YEC but that is just an impression. I don’t know if anybody has tried to collect the data.

As I also noted, what we are discussing is more of a hermeneutical issue than a lexicographic or even exegetical one.


Complicated topic. I’ll just say in general that the YEC issue (in terms of penetration of various cultures) can depend upon the history of their language translations, the kinds of American missionaries (if any) who worked in their countries, and how much they have been influenced by English Bible translations. (Many Bible translations on mission fields were actually translated from English Bible and NOT from the original Greek, Hebrew, and Aramaic texts of the Bible. Needless to say, two steps of translation tend to multiple the issues. Of course, it is a practical matter and initial translations are not necessarily meant to be the one and only translation. Better ones hopefully will follow.)


They are natural 24 hour days, but that doesn’t support the claims of Ham and other YECs. Firstly, YECs read the information about the days completely backwards. The biblical day was always measured from morning to evening, not evening to evening (and of course Genesis 1 never calculates the days from evening to evening). This did not change until the later Persian or Greek era, when the “evening to evening” method was used.

So the language “the evening and the morning were the first day” is unusual because it’s not the typical way of describing a day (which was morning to evening), but it is definitely identifying a 24 day because a Bible day is always defined by a morning and an evening regardless of the order, and the Bible always uses these two elements to identify a natural 24 hour day, even in prophetic texts such as Daniel 8.

Incidentally the flood narrative uses a Jewish calendar which dates from the period of the Babylonian exile, not earlier, which is part of a tapestry of evidence that Genesis 1-10 (long regarded by scholarship as an independent literary unit), was written no earlier than the sixth century BCE. YECs are typically ignorant of this, and the exegetical implications.

So what’s the difference between understanding the days as evening to morning days as opposed to evening to evening days, if they’re both talking about 24 hour days? So what? The point is that this changes how the text is read. Each day is described as finishing in the evening, and the next day starts in the morning. This is normal from the point of view of a human, but not from the point of view of God. It’s significant that the action on each day only happens during the time that people are awake. A human sleeps when the evening comes; God does not. This correlates with the fact that the narrative is described from the point of view of a third person human observer on the earth, not from the omniscient point of view of God, looking at the universe from afar.

The implication of this is that Genesis 1 is presenting a series of visions in which a human observer is presented a visual depiction of what God did. The visions take place on individual 24 hour days, but the actions in the visions are only representative of what God did. The creative acts are organized chronologically, but very little detail is given, and the purpose is to show that God created, and what God created, without describing how God created, when God created, or how much time God spent creating.

Of course to YECs and other skeptics this interpretation seems incredibly convenient for modern Christians sensitive to modern science. It may therefore come as a shock for them to discover that this “days of visions” interpretation is found in pre-Christian Jewish commentary, as well as Christian commentary in the first six centuries of the Christian era. Ironically we do not find the “God created everything in only six days” interpretation anywhere in the New Testament, and in early Christianity we only find it after the second century, as an import from Judaism.

A second important consideration for the interpretation of Genesis 1 is the fact that the YEC staple doctrine of the earth being only ~6,000 years old emerged surprisingly late in Jewish history. It is based on a theological innovation of the late pre-Christian era (around 200 BCE), combining Greek philosophy and Jewish mysticism. It originated as a hazy combination of Jewish speculation and a non-literal interpretation of Genesis (ironically), mixed liberally with pagan Greek thought by apostate Jews during the inter-testamental era. It then became a fringe view in pre-Christian Jewish thought.

This view was completely ignored by the New Testament writers, and appears in only two early Christian works around the end of the first century, both of which reach this conclusion by treating Genesis 1 as an allegory (again, the irony is piquant). It finds only one major Christian supporter in the second century, and does not enter mainstream Jewish thought until perhaps the third century.


Out of curiosity, how do 100 million year old fossils fit into your physical description? Also, does your description allow for universal common ancestry?

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Loud silence in this thread from @r_speir.

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