Analogical Day View – Summary

This is my last post on the analogical day view. There is a lot that is still unsaid, but I should wrap up sometime, and the time has come. This post just kind of summarizes what I’ve said so far. In dealing with an ancient text like Genesis, it is important to show some humility. It is important first because many good men have variously understood this passage which should give us pause before we be too dogmatic.

Second, humility is needed in light of the antiquity of the text. It has been enlightening for me as I have read dozens of books, hundreds of articles, several commentaries and a lot of ANE literature. Scripture is clear, but sometimes our culture can obscure it meaning. We need to make sure we don’t read our own questions into the passage.

It is vital that we follow the right method. We need to interpret it in its historical setting. As such it is helpful to see that temples were seen as microcosms for both the ANE in general and Israel in particular. It is also interesting to note that creation itself is also described with temple language. This is as true in Genesis 1-2 as it is in any other place.

The question now arises about the days in particular. How do they fit into all of this? With God pictured as a temple-builder, it seems that the “days” of creation fit into this scheme. They are not the primary analogy, rather they are a supporting analogy. Perhaps one could acknowledge all of the above temple connections and still insist that the days are normal 24 hr days. At this point we’d have two options. The context could support either a 24 hr day view, or it could see the days as part of the analogy. At this point it is helpful in resolving this issue to note that the number seven specifically, but seven days in particular, are also connected with temple building/dedication. Now the days are not just a supporting analogy, but part of the main analogy that have significance in their own right.

Even though there is now a good case for understanding the days analogically, I suppose one could still insist they are 24hrs long and yet maintain all of this imagery. However, holding to a 24 hr day view would require other things of the text that would not be required of the analogical day view. For instance, it would require the water of day 3 to drain at almost 3 times the speed that could be expected in order to finish in 12 hrs. It would also require that God supernaturally dry the land to such a degree that it runs against his planting purposes on day 6. It requires Adam to have superhuman abilities in order to fit all of the day 6 activities into 12 hrs. It further requires us to understand “grow” (tsamach) in a non-normative way by needing to take it as a supernatural growth. Lastly, it requires that all accepted scientific dating methods to be in error. Few, if any of these things can be found in the text, they are simply things that must be true in order to make the 24 hr day view work. I think that the analogical day view or the 24 hr day view are the only viable interpretations (although the framework view has a lot to commend it) but for the reasons above, I consider the analogical view to be the strongest.