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Jarred Gates wrote:

Hi, guys —

  • If the world was made in seven days, and the sun was made on the third day, than how long was the first two days?

Jarred

  { Based on the story in Genesis, how long were the first two days? }

Paul replied:

Jarrod,

Probably around four billion years.

The Church has never required us to read the first eleven chapters of the book of Genesis as if it were literal history. There are three possible ways to interpret these eleven chapters before Abraham, the first two of which a Catholic may adhere to:

  • Literal history
  • Non-literal history
  • Pure myth
  1. Literal history is how you have interpreted it. That is acceptable.

  2. Non-literal history is still history, it's an acknowledgement that these things occurred,
    but the literary form is more of an allegory or symbolic. For example:

    • perhaps the serpent represented the devil
    • the tree of life represents God's offer for complete union with Him with His supernatural life permeating our being
    • the fruit representing sin, etc.

    It would be seen as God communicating profound truths about Himself, us, and creation through symbols. Most Catholic scholars interpret it this way.

  3. Pure myth sees it as a story with no necessary intrinsic truths being communicated; only man's way of explaining his experience. This cannot be the interpretation of a faithful Catholic.

Whether we understand these first eleven chapters of Genesis to be literal or symbolic, the main truths remain the same:

  • God, as all-good and all-powerful, created the universe out of nothing
  • He created mankind in His own image to have a personal relationship with
  • He created man and woman for each other to love and procreate a family in marriage.
  • This marital love communicates God's love, His will for us, and, in the fall of Adam and Eve, where we inherited original sin, our lack of cooperation with Him.

Peace,

Paul

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