Friday, February 26, 2010

CTS- A Day Is A Day

Here Charlotte has gone mostly beyond theology, into science. This is a theological blog, so I will focus on the claims that the Scriptures cannot possibly support an old earth interpretation. This is simply not true.

The Hebrew word for day is "yowm". It has been shown to be used as a literal day or a figurative day, depending on the context it is used. For example:

Genesis 2.4 : "At the time when God made the earth and the heavens." (Period of time, not day)
(Above is traslation in The Bible: An American Translation)

How about the usage of "evening" ('ereb) and "morning" (boqer)? Surely these must show that it's a literal day, right? Wrong. They are used as a segment of time as well, such as in Psalm 55.17: "Evening, morning and noon I cry out in distress, and he hears my voice". Also in Daniel 8.26: "The vision of the evenings and mornings that has been given to you is true, but seal up the vision, for it concerns the distant future." Mornings and evenings are used frequently to show periods of time, not specific times of day.

Boquer also doesn't always even mean morning. It is figuratively translated in the English Lexicon and The Brown-Driver-Briggs Hebrew as "of bright joy after a night of distress". After all this, boqer and 'ereb can be the following:
Boqer: Ending, morning, dawning light
'Ereb: Beginning, evening, darkness

After the meanings of "yowm", "boqer", and "ereb" are explained, it is clear that Genesis could be very easily interpreted as an age. Isaac E Mozeson is a Christian linguist. He, along with many others, holds that Hebrew is the language from which almost all others stem. Here's an excerpt from his book "The Word":

"While the Hebrew Letter Yod'/Y is more likely to take an
I/i in Greek, the Yod takes an A in AEON as well as in AGONY. Any theological agony over the geological age of the earth is unnecessary, as YOM (Day-Gen 1.5) is better translated as AEON (an age). YOM is the term used in phrases like "ancient times" and "the middle ages". Juma is a week in Swahili. YOM can infer any period of time."

Helpful sources:
Mozeson, Isaac E. "The Word"