Days of Proclamation view--the neglected view
Sun, 15 Aug 1999 22:21:36 +0000

At 10:34 PM 08/15/1999 -0400, George Murphy wrote:
> wrote:
>> ONce again, your conclusion must rely upon the assumption that the Days of
>> Proclamation view has been ruled out. If you make Genesis 1 as a set or
>> proclamations made prior to the creation of the universe (with reports by
>> the editor about what then happened) then the order of the proclamations
>> doesn't need to match the order of fulfillment. Proclamation order and
>> fulfillment order are independent. Thus the lack of correspondence of the
>> proclamation order with the temporal order of fulfillment can not then
>> constitute evidence that Genesis is non-historical. Once again, as with
>> the conflicts between Genesis 1 and 2, the Days of Proclamation theory
>> avoids that kind of problem. (see Dallas Cain's IBRI report which is in
>> storage and I can't find the reference).
> This seems to me a very artificial interpretation & I can see no reason
>to adopt it. What in the text itself tells us to make this distinction
>between orders of proclamation & fulfillment?

First of all, I am amazed that after all these years you have never taken
the time to see what presuppositions I was using and what my beliefs were.
I finally found the reference for Cain's excellent book: Dallas Cain
Creation and Capron's Explanatory Interpretation: A Literature Search,
Research Report 27, (Hatfield: Interdisciplinary Biblical Research
Institute, 1985),

St. Basil in 400 AD held this type of view for day 1. He said that it was
connected to eternity past and events on that day were not 'fulfilled'
immediately. Whiston, a contemporary and friend of Isaac Newton, then
extended the view by noting that there could be a long period of time
between the command and the fulfillment of the command. Then Frederick
Capron in 1902 published 'The Conflict of Truth' in which he argued for the
fulfledged Days of proclamation theory (although it was only a small part
of the book). The following is from a recent re-write of Foundation, Fall
and Flood, which a publisher, who approached me, is looking at right now:
*****************Excerpt of Foundation, Fall and Flood**********
Capron writes:

"When we turn to the text, we observe that the history of each of the six
days is uniformly introduced by the notable words, 'And God said, ? No
reader, however superficial, can fail to be struck by this remarkable
circumstance, that God on each day is in the first instance represented not
to have done something, but to have said something (not to have made
something, but to have commanded something)?"20

Capron illustrated his view by the following:

"When we read the 7th verse, 'And God made the expanse,' the question
naturally arises, 'When did he make it?' To this question almost everyone
will reply 'On the second day, the day on which the command, 'Let there be
an expanse' was uttered.' But is it certain that this is the right answer?
Clearly we are not necessarily committed to it; for the text nowhere
states, either expressly or by necessary implication, that the effect was
produced on the day on which the command was given; and if, as we are
endeavoring to show, the words are added not as part of the narrative
proper, but by the way of an independent explanation, there is obviously
still less reason why we should of necessity be obliged to adhere to such
an interpretation."21

In 1985, Alan Hayward, in a book I was privileged to review prior to
publication, applied the Days of Proclamation to the origin of the earth,
not the universe. He repunctuated Scripture to read in a pattern of God
proclaimed 'let there be...' and a narrator, Moses, wrote much later 'And
it was so'. Like Capron, Whiston and St. Basil, he believed that there was
a long time between the command and the fulfillment.
Thus there are three different variations of the Days of Proclamation
view. Basil applied proclamation to the formation of the universe and
incorporates an old universe. Day one was totally isolated from the other
days, there was a distinction between God's proclamations and action, and
allowed for God to use a process to create the world. Basil lived 1400
years before scientific knowledge.
Hayward applied the Days of Proclamation to the events occurring at the
formation of the earth. The phrase "Let there be light" applied to the
first time light hit the earth's surface. Genesis is a description of the
creation from the point of view of a hypothetical earth-based observer. The
difficulties with this are that Scripture nowhere defines its viewpoint and
it does not solve the problem of plants being created before the sun or
insects after the trees which scientific data clearly refutes. Trees can't
live without the sun and insects are found prior to trees in the fossil
Capron applied the Days of Proclamation to the origin of the universe as
shown by the quotation above. By applying the Days of Proclamation to all
of Genesis 1, Capron solved the paleontological problems, like plants
before the sun and insects after the trees. Proclamations don't have to be
in the same order as the fulfillment. Capron solved the astronomical
problems because if God created the universe in a process following His
great proclamation, light had time to travel billions of light-years. With
Capron's view, there is very little that science can discover which will
falsify this view. Capron's view makes the Bible true." Copyright G. R.
Morton, 1995, 1999
************end of excerpt************

What would make you want to accept such a view? Simply applying the rules
you yourself laid out. Using your hermeneutic list I would claim that it is
a reasonable interpretation. You wrote:

>>> 7) Some important criteria which help to determine whether or not a
text is "historical" - i.e., a narrative of events as they actually
happened - are:
a. Comparison of parallel or corresponding accounts within Scripture
itself (e.g., the two Genesis creation accounts or the gospels). I.e.,
internal evidence is to be considered.
b. Comparison with evidence from extremal sources - geology, archaeology,
extra-biblical texts. <<<

Considering as you have already noted, Genesis 1 and 2 conflict (principle
7a), if interpreted as a single event, and as we have discussed, science
gives a different order of creation from the biblical order of creation
(principle 7b). Because of this, one must either believe in nonhistoricity
or change the assumption that Genesis 1 and 2 are speaking of the same
event. There is no reason not to change the assumption that I can see. Do
you know of a reason to believe that Genesis 1 and 2 are speaking of the
same event except for tradition?

Now, your principle 1 says:'(1) The central and unifying theme of
Scripture is Christ. We have not penetrated to the heart of a biblical
text until we have seen its connection with this center. This corresponds
in a way to the "rule of faith" of the ancient church."

We can see the need to solve the problem in a way that does not cast doubt
upon God as the creator. If God is not the creator, then His son probably
isn't the savior. Genesis 1 is the place where it is proclaimed that God
created the world. If we say that Genesis 1 isn't to be taken as history,
then the very statement that God created the heavens and the earth is no
longer a historical statement. That is why I argue for what I do.

Given this, the Days of Proclamation is a perfect solution to the problems.
And the view isn't artificial--it is 1600 years old and has been held by
very intelligent men in various forms.


Foundation, Fall and Flood
Adam, Apes and Anthropology

Lots of information on creation/evolution