Here’s my attempt to harmonize the concept of six literal days of creation with a 15-billion-year-old universe using the theory of time relativity and dilation and considering the human perspective at the time the Bible was written. I am no scientist, but I am smart enough to know the advances of science  keep us on our toes. It is dynamic, and we find all kinds of complexities with regard to the way we measure things. I think it’s the same with the measurement of time. Time is just the measurement of movement. It doesn’t have existence of its own. However, as I say below, I do believe that the presence of gravity causes things to move slower, and therefore time to slow down.

At the very least, I do believe that it’s possible that something like I present in these six points could be correct. So much of the universe is a mystery.

1. Relativity of Time: One of the major tenets of Einstein’s general relativity is the concept that time is not absolute but is influenced by gravity. The stronger the gravitational field, the slower time appears to pass relative to areas with weaker gravitational forces.

2. Early Universe & Intense Gravity: Just after the Big Bang, the universe was incredibly dense with a strong gravitational field. Under such conditions, time would have been vastly slower compared to conditions later on.

3. Six Literal Days: If one were to measure time from the perspective of a hypothetical observer situated near the start of the universe (close to the Big Bang’s point of origin), then those initial periods of time dilation could mean that what felt like just six days to them (and, from one perspective, was six days) spanned billions of years in the evolving universe.

4. Human Perspective: The Bible was written for humans, and its teachings and stories are related from a human-centric viewpoint. When it discusses six days of creation, it could be referring to how time might have been from a very early universal perspective (had there been an observer), not how we, with our current scientific tools and understanding, would measure those days.

5. Harmonizing the Two Views: From the Bible’s perspective, given the understanding of time by its human authors and its intended human audience, six days was a literal measure. However, from a cosmological standpoint, given the extreme conditions and gravitational effects at play, those same six days could correlate to billions of years of cosmic evolution.

6. Bridging Past and Present: In ancient times, days were measured by the rising and setting of the sun, a very Earth-centric view. The concept of billions of years would have been unimaginable. Hence, describing creation in terms of days was more accurate for the intended audience. Today, as we understand time dilation and the vastness of cosmic history, we can appreciate that those “six days” could simultaneously represent much longer spans of cosmological time.

In essence, this argument posits that while the universe might be 15 billion years old from our current scientific perspective, the description of creation over six days in the Bible represents a literal and relatable timeframe as it would have been understood by early humans, taking into account the relativity of time. Both can coexist, depending on the viewpoint and understanding of time.

C Michael Patton
C Michael Patton

C. Michael Patton is the primary contributor to the Parchment and Pen/Credo Blog. He has been in ministry for nearly twenty years as a pastor, author, speaker, and blogger. Find him on Patreon Th.M. Dallas Theological Seminary (2001), president of Credo House Ministries and Credo Courses, author of Now that I'm a Christian (Crossway, 2014) Increase My Faith (Credo House, 2011), and The Theology Program (Reclaiming the Mind Ministries, 2001-2006), host of Theology Unplugged, and primary blogger here at Parchment and Pen. But, most importantly, husband to a beautiful wife and father to four awesome children. Michael is available for speaking engagements. Join his Patreon and support his ministry

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