If you are at ALL into Pinterest, you’ve probably seen the meme
“You have the same amount of hours in a day as Beyonce”
It implies that you have just as much time as she does, and also serves to encourage one to try to do as much as they can to work towards achieving their goals. Before we jump into what was created when and all of that good stuff, I wanted to touch on the symbolism and how we understand the verbiage used by the author of Genesis.
While you, Beyonce, and I might have the same number of hours in a day, there’s a pretty good chance that God had WAY more hours in His “days” during creation. On the other hand, it’s entirely possible that He didn’t even NEED six days as we know them.
In 1950, the Vatican Encyclical titled “Humani Generis,” by Pope Pius XII, was published. In section 38, we read that a letter written to the Archbishop of Paris by the Pontifical Commission on Biblical Studies outlines that when we’re studying scripture, we need to keep in mind that it was written “in simple and metaphorical language adapted to the mentality of a people but little cultured.” The writers of the bible were writing as a human to other humans in ways that humans could understand.
The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops says that Genesis uses a, “literary structure of six days” rather than specifying that there were six actual days as we know them now, with 24 hours in each day.
The Catechism of the Catholic Church states that,
“In order to reveal himself to men, in the condescension of his goodness God speaks to them in human words,” (CCC Section 1, Chapter 2, Article 3).
Now, I’ll be completely honest: I have a REALLY hard time not taking things literally.
Things are usually either black or white, and I have a hard time finding the gray area. Sometimes it’s a flaw, sometimes it helps me remain impartial. However, when it comes to reading Holy Scripture, this way of thinking and processing things certainly makes things harder.
I have to remind myself to just have faith, and to try to take away the overall message or meaning.
So, tomorrow, when we get into the “what was created on which day” part of things, let us try keep in mind that while we only have 24 hours in one day, God can do all things in any manner he wishes. The scriptures are written to be understood by humans, so let us pray for understanding and discernment.
What part of scripture tends to be the most difficult for you to accept and understand?
For me, clearly, it’s not taking things too literally. Let’s pray for some extra understanding and wisdom while we dig into such an important part of our Scripture.
Is there another area of Scripture study that’s difficult for you to understand?