Some believe that God created the world but that He used the evolutionary process over billions of years. Yet, the first chapter of Genesis tells us that God created the world in six days and rested on the 7th. It is imperative to understand the meaning of the Hebrew word “yowm,” which is translated into English as “day.”

James Barr, Oriel Professor of the interpretation of the Holy Scripture, Oxford University, England, in a letter to David C.C. Watson, dated April 23, 1984 stated his view on the meaning of Genesis, “… probably, so far as I know, there is no professor of Hebrew or Old Testament at any world-class university who does not believe that the writer(s) of Genesis 1–11 intended to convey to their readers the ideas that: creation took place in a series of six days which were the same as the days of 24 hours we now experience.”

Respected Hebrew dictionary, Brown, Driver, Briggs Lexicon, gives a number of meanings for the word yowm, depending upon context. Genesis 1 is one of the passages given for yowm meaning an ordinary day.

In the Old Testament every time the word yowm is used with a number, or with the phrase ‘evening and morning,’ it always means an ordinary day.

An infinite Creator God could have created the world in a millisecond. So why did God take so long? Why did God take 6 literal days? God commanded, in Exodus 20:8-11, “Remember the Sabbath day by keeping it holy. Six days you shall labor and do all your work, but the seventh day is a Sabbath to the Lord your God. … For in six days the Lord made the heavens and the earth, the sea, and all that is in them, but he rested on the seventh day.”

Genesis 1:14 also sheds light on the meaning of day as it records, And God said, ‘Let there be lights in the expanse of the sky to separate the day from the night, and let them serve as signs to mark seasons and days and years.’” A day is different from a year and different from a season. Thus, the “creation day,” as found in   Genesis 1, can only mean a literal 24 hour day.