The first strength of the Calendar-Day view is titled “Language.” The following is the description of the first point excerpted from the PCA Report:
“The Calendar-Day view is the obvious, first-impression reading of Genesis 1-3, in which each of the words is given its most common, plain meaning. This is the meaning that the author has gone to great lengths to convey. It is undoubtedly the meaning that the unsophisticated (by today’s standards) initial audience would have understood the account to have. The view is neither difficult to explain nor to justify because of its simple and straightforward relationship to the text. This fact is vitally important, for it means that the average believer today can read the Word of God and understand it without the benefit of some higher level of learning reserved only to the scholars. Thus this view best preserves the perspicuity of Scripture (WCF I.7; Psalm 119:130).”
This first strength deals with language and for this reason it has been termed it “Language”. The text lists two very important terms – “plain reading” and “perspicuity”. These terms will be discussed in the context of understanding creation account.
Language, Plain Reading:
The Calendar-Day view of creation is supported by a plain reading of Genesis 1-3. The term pain meaning is very significant because it is a legal term. Basically, with a plain reading, meanings are to be assigned the ordinary meaning of words. The following was excerpted from Wikipedia on 3/1/15:
“The plain meaning rule dictates that statutes are to be interpreted using the ordinary meaning of the language of the statute. In other words, a statute is to be read word for word and is to be interpreted according to the ordinary meaning of the language, unless a statute explicitly defines some of its terms otherwise or unless the result would be cruel or absurd. Ordinary words are given their ordinary meaning, technical terms are given their technical meaning, and local, cultural terms are recognized as applicable.”
The plain reading of Genesis 1 is an account of creation accomplished in six days of ordinary length. The plain reading shows that the structure of Genesis 1-11 is logical and orderly. There is no “conflict” between Genesis 1 and Genesis 2. Genesis 2 is a logical continuation and expansion of Genesis 1. Genesis 2:1-4 provides a description of the 7th day and ending to the creation week and this is clearly a continuation of Genesis 1. The remainder of the chapter provides additional information on the events of the six days of creation.
The plain reading of Genesis 1 and 2 introduces the reader to omnipotence of God. One aspect of God’s omnipotence is His ability to speak thing into existence. Another aspect of God is the ability to accomplish results in a shorter time than may be accomplished under normal circumstances.
Perspicuity basically means that a person of average intelligence is able to understand the Bible. Article 7. , Chapter 1 – Of the Holy Scripture, of the Westminster Confession of faith was excerpted from the Orthodox Presbyterian Church website (www. opc.org) on 4/4/2015:
“All things in Scripture are not alike plain in themselves, nor alike clear unto all: yet those things which are necessary to be known, believed, and observed for salvation, are so clearly propounded, and opened in some place of Scripture or other, that not only the learned, but the unlearned, in a due use of the ordinary means, may attain unto a sufficient understanding of them.”
The perspicuity of scripture means that ordinary people are able to understand scripture and the literary structure of scripture. They are able to distinguish between history and poetry. The perspicuity of scripture has several applications in the account of creation as follows:
Perspicuity means that ordinary believers understand that poetry in the English language uses word that rhyme and refrains. Similarly, ordinary believers understand that poetry in the Hebrew language uses contrasting ides and expanded ideas.
Perspicuity shows us that Genesis Chapter 1 contains structured and repetitive language as do many other passages in the Bible. Repetitive language reflects God’s character. He is a God of order.
Humankind, being created in the image of God also uses repetitive language in many situations. Poetry and song are structured in their use of refrains. Legal and technical writing such as that found construction specification and contract documents is also is highly structured and is repetitive. The general intent of ordered writing is to be specific and to establish logical thinking.
The first strength of the Calendar -Day view of creation is language. The Calendar-Day view of creation is based on the plain reading of scripture and the perspicuity of scripture.
The plain reading of the creation account allows the reader to know and appreciate to omnipotence of God and the ways in which He works. We realize that Gods ways are not our ways and His thoughts are not our thoughts (Isaiah 55:8 and 9).
The plain reading of the account of creation has been the accepted view majority view of the church to the reformation. The plain reading of the account of creation was the view of the Westminster divines.
The perspicuity of scripture assures the reader that Scripture is given to all men to know and to understand.