John B. Carpenter
John B. Carpenter Carpenter (BA Samford University, MDiv Fuller Theological Seminary, ThM Trinity Evangelical Divinity School, PhD The Lutheran School of Theology at Chicago) is the founding pastor of Covenant Reformed Baptist Church in Danville, Virginia
Abstract: Jeremy D. Lyon, in his essay “Genesis 1:1–3 and the Literary Boundary of Day One,” claimed that Genesis 1:1-2 is meant to be read as part of day one and that this interpretation “reflects the grammar and syntax in the most straightforward manner” and is supported by “inner-textual commentary” (that is, other parts of the Bible). He helpfully focuses on the most crucial issue for young earth creationists: whether Genesis 1 allows for long periods of time between the creation ex nihilo (out of nothing), in Genesis 1:1, and the beginning of the days, in 1:3. Following the work of Weston Fields, Lyon offers a grammatically impressive defense of a crucial issue for defending Young Earth Creationism (YEC), that Genesis 1:1-2 is “circumstantial;” that is, that it describes the circumstances at the dawn of day one. However, his conclusion about the circumstantial clauses of Genesis 1:2 is overly narrow. Further, Lyon scarcely touches on the literary device demarcating the onset of each day (the “and God said” refrain) and doesn’t deal with the scene-setting grammar and vocabulary of the first two verses, or the waw consecutive beginning 1:3, or the different terms (create, bā·rā [ברא] vs make,‘ā·śāh , [עָשָׂה]) between Genesis 1:1 and Exodus 20:11 and 31:17. These crucial omissions means that Lyon fails to prove his claims.