It is our earnest desire not to see our beloved church divide over this issue.The debate over the nature of the creation days is, theologically speaking, a humble one.
While they vary in their interpretation of the days, all recognize the difficulty presented by the creation of the sun on the fourth day. 185-254), in answering Celsus complaint that Genesis has some days before the creation of the sun, moon, and stars, and some days after, replies that Genesis 2:4 refers to the day in which God made the heaven and the earth and that God can have days without the sun providing the light (Contra Celsum, VI: 50-51).
Referring to his earlier Commentary on Genesis (now lost), Origen says, In what we said earlier we criticized those who follow the superficial interpretation and say that the creation of the world happened during a period of time six days long . (Contra Celsum, VI: 60).
In his De Principiis IV, 3, 1 he says, What person of any intelligence would think that there existed a first, second, and third day, and evening and morning, without sun, moon, and stars?
Basil (330-379) opposes the allegorical tendencies of Origen and takes a more straightforward approach to the days of creation.
Because the Bible is the word of the Creator and Governor of all there is, it is right for us to find it speaking authoritatively to matters studied by historical and scientific research.
We also believe that acceptance of, say, non-geocentric astronomy is consistent with full submission to Biblical authority.
We recognize that a naturalistic worldview and true Christian faith are impossible to reconcile, and gladly take our stand with Biblical supernaturalism.
The Committee has been unable to come to unanimity over the nature and duration of the creation days.
339-397) largely followed Basils treatment of the six days as 24-hour days, Augustine (354-430) found Basils explanation of the light and darkness on the first three days before the creation of the sun too difficult to accept.
It is partly for this reason that Augustine says in The City of God XI, 6, What kind of days these were it is extremely difficult, or perhaps impossible for us to conceive Puzzled as to when God created time, with the sun (by which our normal days are measured) created only on the fourth day, Augustine opted for instantaneous creation, with the days of Genesis 1 being treated as six repetitions of a single day or days of angelic knowledge or some other symbolic representation.
He says that the light was divided so as to shine in the upper and not the lower parts of the earth, and that it passed under the earth, making a day of twenty-four hours with morning and evening, precisely as the sun does. In the western or Latin church some commentators, such as John Scotus Erigena, followed Augustines views, but most followed Bedes approach, sometimes combining various elements from both views as in the case of Robert Grossteste (c. suggested was that of the Greeks rather than the Latins, maintained that light originally came into the world in an ebb-and-flow-like manner. The more common opinion of the Latins was that the first light, when it came into being, had diurnal or twenty-four-hour rotation; it moved around the universe in twenty-four hours, just as the sun will when it comes into being three days hence. The eastern or Greek church also entertained a variety of views on the days of creation, Theodore of Mopsuestia, Diodore of Tarsus, and Theodoret teaching more fanciful versions than that of Basil.