Was the world created in 7 days?


As a Catholic are you required to believe the world was created in 7 days as it says in Genesis?

If not, how do we know, when reading the bible, whether we take its words literally?



No, the seven days’ creation is a myth, almost certainly written long after the institution of the Sabbath and as a story about it.

The Church tells which parts of the Bible to take literally and which are figures or myths. If you are asking how the Church knows, there is no one easy answer. St Augustine rejected the idea of a staged creation because the scientific theory of his time was that the world was made of the interplay of four opposing elemental forces, and each was a complement of the other. Therefore you couldn’t have water without fire to balance it. Whilst we no longer think that St Augustine was quite right, we still beleive in the principle of complementarity, and we believe in that kind of explanation.

Generally however our knowledge comes from scholarship rather than science. If a biblical passage has a parallel in a contemporary non-biblical text, then probably both derive from the same source.There are ways of determining which way the influence went.


The Church has not definitively defined one way or the other (individual Bible scholars and theologians have their opinions, but that’s all they are – their opinion). Suffice to say, if God wanted to create the world in six days he could. We are free to believe as we choose on this issue as it has no direct impact on our salvation.


So can one believe in Darwinism or Creationism and still be a devout Catholic?

Also, is there a bible available that lets you know when you are reading something that should not be taken literally?


This is not a requirement. Moreover, the use of seven days in the Book of Genesis is most likely associated with the meaning of the number “seven” as it is used in scripture. The number “seven” is associated with completeness and perfection. It is also associated with covenants. The day of rest is the seventh day. God rested on the seventh day, and God wants man to rest from his labors on the seventh day to worship God. Much more can be said about all of this, but this information will give you a start in that direction.


Darwinism excludes God as the creator. Modified views of Darwinian theory can be accepted by Catholics. Creationism in the form of spontaneous generation is also allowed. The Church is not super strict on these choices.


You need to find a good bible commentary like the Navarre series. It’s expensive but quite good.


I’m not sure that’s true, though most people seem to assume it. I think Darwin even talked about the Creator, didn’t he? Anyway, since there are no random mutations to an omniscient being, there is no reason I am aware of that Darwinism would require the exclusion of God.


My point was directed at modern day “Darwinism” which almost always excludes God. This is the reason for the ongoing debate between the proponents of intelligent design and evolution.

Nevertheless, the evidence that I have read suggests that Darwin had a serious case of “unbelief” as an adult.


No not at all. In fact, I just happen to read this in a Protestant theology book I have and read many years ago by Dr. Norman Geisler called "Systematic Theology."
He is speaking about the inspiration of scripture and says this about taking all statements about God and creation in an over literal sense…

What Inspiration Does Not Guarantee

These are, however, many things that inspiration does not guarantee.

(4) nor that all statements about God and creation are purely literal (Heb. 4:13, Job 38:7) Page 237



“In the big inning…”:smiley:

Gen.1: [1] In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth (1st day)
John.1 [1] In the beginning… (1st day)

[2] The earth was without form and void, and darkness was upon the face of the deep; and the Spirit of God was moving over the face of the waters.

John.1 [30] This is he of whom I said, `After me comes a man who ranks before me, for he was before me.’ [31] I myself did not know him; but for this I came baptizing with water, that he might be revealed to Israel."

Gen.1: [3] And God said, “Let there be light”; and there was light.

John.1 [4] In him was life, and the life was the light of men.
[5] The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.

Gen.1: [4] And God saw that the light was good; and God separated the light from the darkness. [5] God called the light Day, and the darkness he called Night. And there was evening and there was morning,** one day.**

[8] And God called the firmament Heaven. And there was evening and there was morning, a second day.

John.1 [29] The next day (2nd day) he saw Jesus coming toward him, and said, "Behold, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world!

Gen.1: [13] And there was evening and there was morning, **a third day. **[35] The next day (third day) again John was standing with two of his disciples;
[19] And there was evening and there was morning, a fourth day.
[43] The **next day **(4rth day) Jesus decided to go to Galilee. And he found Philip and said to him, “Follow me.”

Gen 2: [1] Thus the heavens and the earth were finished, and all the host of them. [2] And on the seventh day God finished his work which he had done, and he rested on the seventh day from all his work which he had done. [3] So God blessed the seventh day and hallowed it, because on it God rested from all his work which he had done in creation.

John 2: [1] On the third day (counting from the fourth day, making it the seventh day) there was a marriage at Cana in Galilee, and the mother of Jesus was there;

Pick up your wedding invitations by responding to God’s grace.

This post was inspired by Scott Hahn’s book,
“Hail Holy Queen, the Mother of God in the Word of God” Doubleday, First Edition.


Not just Darwinism, all of modern science avoids mention of all gods. There is no Shiva, Allah or YHWH in any of science. Science is the search for natural causes of natural phenomena.

Despite the Bible saying “He caused the east wind to blow in the heavens And by His power He directed the south wind” (Psalms 78:26) meteorology has no mention of God. Evolution is the same, though as you say it tends to cause more debate than meteorology.



Hi 7,

A Catholic believes that God is the creator (source) of all things, visible and invisible. He also believes that he has an immortal soul that was created directly by God (not evolved).

Everything else is of scientific, not religious interest.

As for the seven days, the sacred writer fit God’s creative work into an exising 7 day format. We can’t fit God’s work into anything, but we do what we can.



I think it was 6 days, not seven


So… if the seven days creation is considered a myth… then what about the fall of man with Adam and Eve?

Once you discount creation in the literal sense, you then poke holes in most of Genesis. Without a literal interpretation of Original Sin, you now have taken the relevence of not only the Word of God in the Bible, but the Gospel message as well.

Slippery slope indeed.


No. The Church doesn’t require Catholics to believe in the literal inerracy of the Bible in matters of science; it allows a lot of flexibility in interpretation, following Augustine’s advice that scriptural interpretations should not be made to sound ridiculously at variance with what reason can know about the structure of the universe. As a Catholic tradition says, there are two books which show us the way to God; scripture and the creation.


How far are you going to go in matters of science?

Most of Genesis from how God created the earth and all living things to the great Flood of Noah have significant implications if you do not trust in the literal interpretation of these events- as spoken by God.

Where do you draw the line?


Time is a creation of man, the 24 hours in a day. Some of the Old Testament people really lived to be 800 years old. Maybe the days were equivalent to 24million years by today’s standards.


actually time isn’t something we created and the fact that we can even comprehend it the manner that we do and have it correspond to whats actually there is quite incredible.


Yes, we’re in agreement here. Modern Darwinism does exclude God, but that’s just a bias they add to the theory itself. The theory certainly doesn’t exclude God - like any scientific theory, it has nothing to say about God one way or the other.

And yes, Darwin did develop a serious case of unbelief later, but I know I’ve read that in the beginning at least he talks about the Creator in his evolution writings.

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