1 In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth.Creationists sometimes like to draw a parallel here to the Big Bang, particular verse 3. Does that work? In what sense was the Big Bang when light got divided from the darkness? In fact most commentators believe the separation of dark and light refers to the cycle of day and night, as verse 5 makes clear.
2 And the earth was without form, and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters.
3 And God said, Let there be light: and there was light.
4 And God saw the light, that it was good: and God divided the light from the darkness.
5 And God called the light Day, and the darkness he called Night. And the evening and the morning were the first day.
Hmm, does that work any better? Day and night are a result of our planet rotating so different regions are exposes to the light of the sun, but the sun was not built yet, so how can they be?
The ICR offer this fanciful solution:
"This light was directional, coming from a particular source. The earth was evidently rotating underneath it, causing alternating periods of light and dark. "And God called the light Day, and the darkness he called Night" (v. 5)."
Where is that directional light now?
The real answer is simple. The ancient Israelites had a rather different view of the universe to us. To them, the world was huge and flat and stationary; the Sun a fiery ball that periodically crossed the sky. This is talking about waxing and waning light above a flat primordial Earth. In this cosmology the Sun does little more than mark the time.
6 And God said, Let there be a firmament in the midst of the waters, and let it divide the waters from the waters.Instead of the hard vacuum of space, the ancients believed the universe was water. Our planet sits in a kind of bubble, with water above it and water below it. To keep the water out there is a solid structure called the firmament stretched across the sky (and rain is water from above that falling through it).
7 And God made the firmament, and divided the waters which were under the firmament from the waters which were above the firmament: and it was so.
8 And God called the firmament Heaven. And the evening and the morning were the second day.
Nowadays even creationists reject the idea of a firmament. Or a water-filled universe, a flat Earth and geocentrism. Well, most reject geocentrism. The Bible is perfect and inerrant exactly as much as they want...
9 And God said, Let the waters under the heaven be gathered together unto one place, and let the dry land appear: and it was so.This is a bad day for creationists as God creates trees and grass before creating the sun. How can plants survive without sunlight? They have come up with various fanciful ideas to get around this, for example claiming that actually God had already created the sun, but kept it hidden until the next day. It does not suggest that in the Bible, but the great thing about Biblical Inerrancy is you get to make stuff like that up. Of course, plants could survive a day without sunlight, but it would be a pretty stupid God he decided to make plants first, and then make sunlight.
10 And God called the dry land Earth; and the gathering together of the waters called he Seas: and God saw that it was good.
11 And God said, Let the earth bring forth grass, the herb yielding seed, and the fruit tree yielding fruit after his kind, whose seed is in itself, upon the earth: and it was so.
12 And the earth brought forth grass, and herb yielding seed after his kind, and the tree yielding fruit, whose seed was in itself, after his kind: and God saw that it was good.
13 And the evening and the morning were the third day.
Oh wait. There is that mysterious directional light God created on day one, that has now mysteriously disappeared. I guess the light of the Big Bang shone on those first trees...
14 And God said, Let there be lights in the firmament of the heaven to divide the day from the night; and let them be for signs, and for seasons, and for days, and years:Only now, on day four, is the Sun made. Reading verse 16 we can see that the author does not believe that day and night are caused by the Earth's rotation causing different regions to face the sun. The sun is there to "rule the day", not to provide illumination - we have already got that from day one.
15 And let them be for lights in the firmament of the heaven to give light upon the earth: and it was so.
16 And God made two great lights; the greater light to rule the day, and the lesser light to rule the night: he made the stars also.
17 And God set them in the firmament of the heaven to give light upon the earth,
18 And to rule over the day and over the night, and to divide the light from the darkness: and God saw that it was good.
19 And the evening and the morning were the fourth day.
Another interesting problem for the creationists is; what was the Earth orbiting before the Sun was there? Was it just floating in space, and God gave it a push to set it on its way around the sun? Of course, to the ancient Israelite this is a non-issue, but we know the Earth is travelling at a little over 67,000 mph. Just think what conditions were like for those fruit trees on a planet that was accelerating from a stand still to 67,000 mph. Another reason it might have been a good idea for God to create the Sun before he did plants.
20 And God said, Let the waters bring forth abundantly the moving creature that hath life, and fowl that may fly above the earth in the open firmament of heaven.On day five God creates all the creatures that live in the water (and the shores too perhaps), and also all the birds. This puts me in mind of a zoo filling first one habitat, and then another. It is totally at odds with evolution, and the standard divisions of living things. Here flying things will include bats, and possibly insects too. In the Hebrew there is no whale, it simply says great things. Linnaeus was thousands of years away, the idea that bats and whales are actually mammals was a long way off.
21 And God created great whales, and every living creature that moveth, which the waters brought forth abundantly, after their kind, and every winged fowl after his kind: and God saw that it was good.
22 And God blessed them, saying, Be fruitful, and multiply, and fill the waters in the seas, and let fowl multiply in the earth.
23 And the evening and the morning were the fifth day.
Day Six (First Part)
24 And God said, Let the earth bring forth the living creature after his kind, cattle, and creeping thing, and beast of the earth after his kind: and it was so.Various commentators interpret this as being a list, with "living creature after his kind" being an introduction to the list, "cattle" referring generally to all domesticated animals, "creeping thing" referring to snakes, worms and perhaps spiders and non-flying insects too. Then "beast of the earth" refers to predators animals. That last one is a bit of a problem for creationists, who claim there was no death before the fall, but it is not clear in the Hebrew it has to be said.
25 And God made the beast of the earth after his kind, and cattle after their kind, and every thing that creepeth upon the earth after his kind: and God saw that it was good.
Nowadays we divide animals into invertebrates, fish, amphibians, reptiles, birds and mammals (putting it very simplistically). What Genesis shows is how the ancient Hebrews categorised animals.
What I find interesting is that there is a parallel with evolution here, with the types of life getting successively closer to mankind. First there is only the inanimate, then plants, then animals in the sea and air, and finally land-dwelling animals, before we get to:
Day Six (Second Part)
26 And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth.That God refers to himself in the plural is seen as some of evidence that this creation myth was originally about Baal and Ashtoreth, a god and his consort originally worshipped by many of the ancient Israelites. Adam then is made in Baal's image, and Eve in Ashtoreth's image - like most pagan gods, they looked like humans, so this makes sense. Furthermore, God is refered to as Elohim, which actually means gods in the plural (in the second creation account from Genesis 2:4 onwards, God is Yahweh, in the singular). Here are some links relating to that issue (in the interests of balance, the last is an aplogetics site):
27 So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them.
28 And God blessed them, and God said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it: and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth.
29 And God said, Behold, I have given you every herb bearing seed, which is upon the face of all the earth, and every tree, in the which is the fruit of a tree yielding seed; to you it shall be for meat.
30 And to every beast of the earth, and to every fowl of the air, and to every thing that creepeth upon the earth, wherein there is life, I have given every green herb for meat: and it was so.
31 And God saw every thing that he had made, and, behold, it was very good. And the evening and the morning were the sixth day.
1 Thus the heavens and the earth were finished, and all the host of them.For reasons unfathomable to me, the last day of the creation week has been put into chapter two (a relatively recent event, in the thirteen century by Archbishop Langton).
2 And on the seventh day God ended his work which he had made; and he rested on the seventh day from all his work which he had made.
3 And God blessed the seventh day, and sanctified it: because that in it he had rested from all his work which God created and made.
In Judasism, Saturday is the sabbeth, so it must be that God finished creation on a Saturday, and so day one would have been a Sunday. Christians have ignores God's wishes; while God considers Saturdays to be holy, Christianity has decided it knows better and considers Sunday to be holy. Even those who insist on an inerrant Bible.