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The Bible or the Big Bang: Can't It Be Both?

Christian educator, former librarian, and mother of three, Claire Abraham proclaims the Word of the Lord in gratitude and love.

The Big Bang... And God Said, Let There Be Light

Bible Verse: Genesis 1:3

3 And God said, “Let there be light,” and there was light. God saw that the light was good, and he separated the light from the darkness. 5 God called the light “day,” and the darkness he called “night.” And there was evening, and there was morning—the first day.

Scientists Have Another Point of View

Now, here's the trick. Morning came, and evening came - the first day. But what is a day when there is no sun, and nothing to spin on its axis? Does this first day really have to be exactly 24 hours long? And if it was, how do they know that?

Scientists from NASA believe that the universe was formed about 13.8 billion years ago when a tiny singularity, containing all the mass eventually to be found in all creation, began to expand. The temperature was billions of degrees Fahrenheit, and no light could escape because the free electrons wildly flailing about could not attach to nuclei. As the primordial soup cooled, however, electrons attached themselves to nuclei and became the first neutral atoms. And THEN there was light - but it came about 380,000 years after the Big Bang.

  • What Is the Big Bang Theory? | Space
    The Big Bang Theory is the leading explanation about how the universe began. At its simplest, it talks about the universe as we know it starting with a small singularity, then inflating over the next 13.8 billion years to the cosmos that we know toda

They can't both be right, can they? Can a day last 380,000 years?

Answer: Why not?

I am not a Bible literalist. I do not believe that every syllable that was written in the Bible was intended to be scrutinized for methodical scientific accuracy thousands of years after it was written. I also do not believe that every revelation given to Bronze Age man by God was intended to be refuted by the scientific method in the Atomic Age. Jesus spoke in parables. Is it so hard to believe that the divine inspiration of creation must judged entirely literally?

Here is an artist's rendition of the early universe.

A day by who's standards?

According to scientists, all parts of the universe were not created at the same time. In order for the first chapter of Genesis to be entirely, literally accurate, we would have to have the sun and earth available to provide measurements; after all, a day happens when the earth rotates on its axis once, showing every part of the planet to the sun for a certain amount of time. However, as we can see from looking at the illustration above, different parts of the universe were created at different times, and our own earth is only about 4.54 billion years old - a mere baby compared to the universe itself!

What happened, then?

Just the facts. And how the Bible interprets them for Bronze Age Man.

God said "Let there be light" and the singularity began to expand. Eventually, the light came into being, and God said that it was Good. Did it take exactly 24 hours? Why should it have to? We are speaking of a being that is infinite in wisdom, knowledge, power and scientific acumen.

Does He REALLY have to follow our timetable, and does He cease to be viable if ancient stories handed down through the oral tradition through generations do not follow the methodical observations determined by modern scientists?

The Bible Began as Stories

The Oral Traditon

Before Moses wrote down the text of the Pentateuch, before King James had the entire Bible printed in English so that ordinary people could read it, there was the oral tradition. For centuries after the beginning of creation, people sat around the fires at their campsites and told stories. While conversations during the day involved practical matters, stories told after dark reached into the depths of man's hopes, fears and curiosities. This was where people stopped merely trying to survive and began to think about their emotions, their hopes, and to contemplate their place in the Cosmos.

This is where divine inspiration whispered in someone's ear and said "God said, let there be light, and there was light."

Was it instantaneous? Did it need to be? Did we discover, thousands of years later, that there was indeed a singularity that suddenly turned into a Big Bang, and everything that ever was came from that singular event?

Did it have to be 24 hours? What is 24 hours to One who is Eternal?

Is this the problem?

Is this God?

In the picture above, we see a very traditional depiction of God - a wizened White man sitting sagely on His thrones, surrounded by adorable and adoring angels. It's God as Grumpy Grandpa, looking to create with one hand and smite with another.

Or is this God?

Does God have to look like a human? Can He be the Universe itself, with a consciousness that goes beyond human comprehension and intelligence in every atom that shows all our human knowledge to be a single baby's babble?

The Bible says He created Light on the first day. Does this mean it took 24 hours, or does it mean that He understands we measure our accomplishments by days and he presented His Works to us on our own terms?

God said, "Let there be light" and there was a Big Bang. From it, came light, and God saw that it was good.

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