Aquinas On Creation Days

…That three things are recorded as created, namely, the heaven, the water, and the earth; and these three received their form from the three days’ work of distinction, so that heaven was formed on the first day; on the second day the waters were separated; and on the third day, the earth was divided into sea and dry land. So also is it in the work of adornment; on the first day of this work, which is the fourth of creation, are produced the lights, to adorn the heaven by their movements; on the second day, which is the fifth, birds and fishes are called into being, to make beautiful the intermediate element, for they move in air and water, which are here taken as one; while on the third day, which is the sixth, animals are brought forth, to move upon the earth and adorn it.

Thomas Aquinas | Summa Theologica, 1a 70.



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One comment

  1. In EJ Young, Creation Days vs Solar Days a comment mentioned WCF 1.9 and my study group is in John so I want to share how the prologue of John zooms out, with large metaphors, almost in poetic form; and then zooms in and gives some of the same information in narrative dialogue.

    For instance, John 1:15 seems to give John’s purpose in the abstract: “This was he of whom I said, ‘He who comes after me ranks before me, because he was before me.’”

    And then in 1:30 he says the same thing: “This is he of whom I said, ‘After me comes a man who ranks before me, because he was before me.’” in narrative dialogue with the pharisees and disciples.

    This reminded me of the creation of man in Genesis 1:26-27 and then again in Genesis 2:7, Genesis 5:1-2.

    And now John 3:32 sounds a lot like John 3:11 and John 1:11

    And then there’s the repetition of days in John 1:3, John 1:43, John 2:1 that reminds me of the Genesis days.

    What I care about in the 6/24 discussion is the line of evolutionary teaching wherein a lot of death brought about man; while I think a high view of the law requires that man brought on death (and so deserves God’s wrath). Apart from a high view of the law and Gospel I do not enter into the 6/24 debate.

    I love that the WCF said that all of Scripture is related and can be understood as a whole. And I found the limitation of WCF 1.7 also helpful, that maybe only or especially what is necessary to be believed and known for salvation is clearly given.

    But my point is this: The difficulty of interpreting a “literal” 6/24 day is much bigger the Genesis 2:4 day. How could we require any day to be 24 hours when John updates the entire creation story? We get caught up in a “literal” 24 hour day when John says the revelation of salvation changes the revelation even of creation itself.

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