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Duration of days of creation


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#1 Alexander Zhdanov

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Posted 07 October 2010 - 02:21 PM

My brother talked in a monastery to a monk and he told my brother that the duration of every day of creation is 24 hours, that is a day in our earth understanding. What is Fathers oppinion on the question?

I told my brother that ,in my oppinion, those who consider that days of creation lasted billions years are not right and as well as those who consider that they lasted 24 hours in our earth understanding.
I think that the creation days were some mysterious incognizable days.
It seems to me that the temporal estimation of that mysterious days isn't accessible to my understanding as time flow was not the same as it now.

#2 Evan

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Posted 07 October 2010 - 03:57 PM

St. Augustine, to my mind, put this issue forever to rest by pointing out that the sun wasn't created until the third day. This is discussed at length in his "Confessions."

In Christ,
Evan

#3 Kosta

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Posted 08 October 2010 - 12:23 AM

No creation took place on the first day. It is the eternal day and many Fathers interpret it as a revelation of the Trinity. In the BEGINNING God created heaven and Earth that didnt take place until the second and third day. And as Evan said the sun wasnt created till the third day,

#4 Ben Johnson

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Posted 08 October 2010 - 02:09 AM

Hard to say. the Hebrew word for day, "Yom," usually means a normal day, although it has also been used for unspecified periods, such as "Day of the LORD."

#5 Alexander Zhdanov

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Posted 11 October 2010 - 07:20 AM

I found this interesting miraclous interpretation in Hexaemeron (Homily 2):
"
8. " And God called the light Day and the darkness he called Night." Genesis 1:5 Since the birth of the sun, the light that it diffuses in the air, when shining on our hemisphere, is day; and the shadow produced by its disappearance is night. But at that time it was not after the movement of the sun, but following this primitive light spread abroad in the air or withdrawn in a measure determined by God, that day came and was followed by night.

" And the evening and the morning were the first day." Genesis 1:5 Evening is then the boundary common to day and night; and in the same way morning constitutes the approach of night to day. It was to give day the privileges of seniority that Scripture put the end of the first day before that of the first night, because night follows day: for, before the creation of light, the world was not in night, but in darkness. It is the opposite of day which was called night, and it did not receive its name until after day. Thus were created the evening and the morning. Scripture means the space of a day and a night, and afterwards no more says day and night, but calls them both under the name of the more important: a custom which you will find throughout Scripture. Everywhere the measure of time is counted by days, without mention of nights. "The days of our years," says the Psalmist. "Few and evil have the days of the years of my life been," Genesis 47:9 said Jacob, and elsewhere "all the days of my life." Thus under the form of history the law is laid down for what is to follow. And the evening and the morning were one day. Why does Scripture say "one day the first day"? Before speaking to us of the second, the third, and the fourth days, would it not have been more natural to call that one the first which began the series? If it therefore says "one day," it is from a wish to determine the measure of day and night, and to combine the time that they contain. Now twenty-four hours fill up the space of one day— we mean of a day and of a night; and if, at the time of the solstices, they have not both an equal length, the time marked by Scripture does not the less circumscribe their duration. It is as though it said: twenty-four hours measure the space of a day, or that, in reality a day is the time that the heavens starting from one point take to return there. Thus, every time that, in the revolution of the sun, evening and morning occupy the world, their periodical succession never exceeds the space of one day. But must we believe in a mysterious reason for this? God who made the nature of time measured it out and determined it by intervals of days; and, wishing to give it a week as a measure, he ordered the week to revolve from period to period upon itself, to count the movement of time, forming the week of one day revolving seven times upon itself: a proper circle begins and ends with itself. Such is also the character of eternity, to revolve upon itself and to end nowhere. If then the beginning of time is called "one day" rather than "the first day," it is because Scripture wishes to establish its relationship with eternity. It was, in reality, fit and natural to call "one" the day whose character is to be one wholly separated and isolated from all the others. If Scripture speaks to us of many ages, saying everywhere, "age of age, and ages of ages," we do not see it enumerate them as first, second, and third. It follows that we are hereby shown not so much limits, ends and succession of ages, as distinctions between various states and modes of action. "The day of the Lord," Scripture says, "is great and very terrible," Joel 2:11 and elsewhere "Woe unto you that desire the day of the Lord: to what end is it for you? The day of the Lord is darkness and not light." Amos 5:18 A day of darkness for those who are worthy of darkness. No; this day without evening, without succession and without end is not unknown to Scripture, and it is the day that the Psalmist calls the eighth day, because it is outside this time of weeks. Thus whether you call it day, or whether you call it eternity, you express the same idea. Give this state the name of day; there are not several, but only one. If you call it eternity still it is unique and not manifold. Thus it is in order that you may carry your thoughts forward towards a future life, that Scripture marks by the word "one" the day which is the type of eternity, the first fruits of days, the contemporary of light, the holy Lord's day honoured by the Resurrection of our Lord. And the evening and the morning were one day.

"
I read several times it in Russian though did not understand all.

#6 Herman Blaydoe

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Posted 11 October 2010 - 01:40 PM

What is the length of a day? At the equator, generally 12 hours, but at the higher latitudes, 4-6 months, depending on the season.

#7 Alexander Zhdanov

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Posted 15 October 2010 - 01:20 PM

Yes, Herman, time is not uniform and absolute. As well as other concepts connected with the time.
"Time has been defined as the continuum in which events occur in succession from the past to the present and on to the future. Time has also been defined as a one-dimensional quantity used to sequence events, to quantify the durations of events and the intervals between them, and (used together with other quantities such as space) to quantify and measure the motions of objects and other changes. Time is quantified in comparative terms (such as longer, shorter, faster, quicker, slower) or in numerical terms using units (such as seconds, minutes, hours, days). Time has been a major subject of religion, philosophy, and science, but defining it in a non-controversial manner applicable to all fields of study has consistently eluded the greatest scholars." Wiki

#8 Alexander Zhdanov

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Posted 15 October 2010 - 01:22 PM

...and furthermore.

There is an appointed time (zman) for everything. And there is a time (’êth) for every event under heaven–
A time (’êth) to give birth, and a time to die; A time to plant, and a time to uproot what is planted.
A time to kill, and a time to heal; A time to tear down, and a time to build up.
A time to weep, and a time to laugh; A time to mourn, and a time to dance.
A time to throw stones, and a time to gather stones; A time to embrace, and a time to shun embracing.
A time to search, and a time to give up as lost; A time to keep, and a time to throw away.
A time to tear apart, and a time to sew together; A time to be silent, and a time to speak.
A time to love, and a time to hate; A time for war, and a time for peace. – Ecclesiastes 3:1–8

#9 Timothy Mulligan

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Posted 15 October 2010 - 09:49 PM

My priest, Fr. Victor, is giving a series of talks called "The Words of the Lord After the Fall." These are reflections on the third chapter of Genesis. He discusses this issue of the "days" of creation in the first talk, which is available here: http://doepa.org/mul...a_lectures.html

The second talk, which Fr. Victor gave last night, should be posted shortly.

I strongly recommend listening to these talks. Fr. Victor says that the days of creation cannot be 24 hour days. He gives an example. God says to Adam that on the day he eats of the tree, he will die the death. And yet, after eating, Adam lives hundreds of years. Fr. Victor explains how this can be.

#10 Alexander Zhdanov

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Posted 29 October 2010 - 11:50 AM

Dear Timothy,

unfortunately I did not manage to watch the video you proposed since the speed is very slow, sorry.

As to me, I think that St. Basil the Great states clearly: "...Thus whether you call it day, or whether you call it eternity, you express the same idea."

Alexander

#11 Jesse Dominick

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Posted 09 November 2010 - 08:25 PM

as far as i know, Augustine and Origen are the only ones who didnt interpret the days as 24 hr days, they thought the entire act of creation was one instant. see this blog posting, it compiles many Fathers on this subject: http://oldbelieving....nd-creationism/

regarding the fact that the sun was not created until the 4th day:

St. Leo the Great, Sermon 27 On Nativity, chapter 5
For as it is now day time and now night time, so the Creator has constituted divers kinds of luminaries, although even before they were made there had been days without the sun and nights without the moon16 . But these were fashioned to serve in making man, that he who is an animal endowed with reason might be sure of the distinction of the months, the recurrence of the year, and the variety of the seasons, since through the unequal length of the various periods, and the clear indications given by the changes in its risings, the sun doses the year and the moon renews the months. For on the fourth day, as we read, God said: "Let there be lights in the firmament of the heaven, and let them shine upon the earth, and let them divide between day and night, and let them be for signs and for seasons, and for days and years, and let them be in the firmament of heaven that they may shine upon earth."

#12 Evan

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Posted 09 November 2010 - 08:38 PM

Actually, St. Augustine maintained a healthy agnosticism on the subject, in light of the fact that it is difficult to measure days without the sun:

“What sort of days these were, it is very difficult or perhaps impossible for us to conceive, and how much more to say!” (The City of God 11.6).

#13 Dcn Alexander Haig

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Posted 09 November 2010 - 09:25 PM

Had God willed each day of creation to have been an exact 24 hour period then surely it would have been. In addition, it seems to me that each day might have been instantaneous - 'Then God said, “Let there be light”; and there was light.' (Gen. 1:3) seems to be pretty good evidence for this view.

In Xp

Alex

#14 Jesse Dominick

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Posted 10 November 2010 - 02:49 PM

the creation act of each day was instantaneous, but then the 24 hour cycle finished before God acted again.

St. Ephraim of Syria, Commentary on Genesis 1, pg. 282
No one should think that the Creation of Six Days is an allegory; it is likewise impermissible to say that what seems, according to the account, to have been created in six days, was created in a single instant, and likewise that certain names presented in this account either signify nothing, or signify something else. On the contrary, we must know that just as the heaven and the earth which were created in the beginning are actually the heaven and the earth and not something else understood under the names of heaven and earth, so also everything else that is spoken of as being created and brought into order after the creation of heaven and earth is not empty names, but the very essence of the created natures corresponds to the force of these names.

Pg. 287
Although both the light and the clouds were created in the twinkling of an eye, still both the day and the night of the First Day continued for twelve hours each.

#15 Alexander Zhdanov

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Posted 13 November 2010 - 02:56 PM

I will try to read attentively, together with you if you wish, the above mentioned fragment from Hexaermon.

I would like to start from ' If it therefore says "one day," it is from a wish to determine the measure of day and night, and to combine the time that they contain. Now twenty-four hours fill up the space of one day— we mean of a day and of a night;'. So the "one day" was the interval of time in which the Sun and other planets made the daily circle, in other words 24 hrs. But what hours? Hours before the falling, it was time before the falling. I think so.

'It is as though it said: twenty-four hours measure the space of a day, or that, in reality a day is the time that the heavens starting from one point take to return there.' Here he says, in my oppinion, that day periodically repeats pointing to its relation with eternity.

'Thus, every time that, in the revolution of the sun, evening and morning occupy the world, their periodical succession never exceeds the space of one day. But must we believe in a mysterious reason for this? ' and furher 'God who made the nature of time measured it out and determined it by intervals of days;' . Interesting thing, God who made the nature of time, so what is time , what are hours , what are their nature?

Bye for now ,

Alexander

#16 Alexander Zhdanov

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Posted 16 November 2010 - 02:51 PM

I did a mistake, The Sun , of course , was not created until the fourth day. Not sure about the planets of solar system. St Filaret of Moscow says the the planets were created together with the Earth. So how did they revolve without the Sun? So here, in my oppinion, he says about creation of 'the nature of time' and measuring it by intervals of days. So, here, the day is mentioned as a unit of time.

'and, wishing to give it a week as a measure, he ordered the week to revolve from period to period upon itself, to count the movement of time, forming the week of one day revolving seven times upon itself: a proper circle begins and ends with itself.' A week is formed from the one day which revolves seven time upon itself. 'Such is also the character of eternity, to revolve upon itself and to end nowhere.' Here the Father underlines the similarity between the week and eternity to revolve upon itself and to end nowhere. Isn't it a nature of time ?

Forgive me,

Alexander

#17 Owen Jones

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Posted 18 November 2010 - 04:22 PM

Regarding St. Ephraim, I think that generally speaking in the Syriac tradition there is skepticism about any allegorical interpretation of Scripture. They tend to be very physical/concrete and eschew what they called "Greek abstraction."




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