When was "time" created in Genesis? Was it on "day three", when day and night were created? Please present an overview of differing positions or at least the most common view.

This is from a literal perspective, where the 6-day Creation literally did happen.

  • Day and night weren't created on day three, they were created on day one!
    – curiousdannii
    Commented Nov 13, 2014 at 2:02
  • I think the question is fine and I've scoped it a bit better, even though I think it was obvious before.
    – user3961
    Commented Aug 1, 2015 at 0:10

3 Answers 3


This can only be answered from a literalist Young-Earth Creationist (YEC) perspective, because to all other perspectives it's a moot point, so I'll answer from that viewpoint.

I might as well throw in my usual disclaimer that I'm not debating whether the YEC view is true, this is just explaining the YEC view. Such debates in comments are off-topic and not constructive per site guidelines, and not relevant to the question/answe at hand. Even though I personally believe in the YEC view, I'm not defending it here, just explaining it.

Given the definition of time, taken from Mirriam-Webster:

b : a nonspatial continuum that is measured in terms of events which succeed one another from past through present to future

The very first event was in Genesis 1:1 (KJV)

In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.

This was the first event. The universe didn't exist at all before this point. At this point, the universe began, thus, at this point, the continuum of events began. By definition, this is when time began.

Genesis 3 would mark the first normal, regular, repeatable events by which could measure time began, but time actually began with space and energy in Genesis 1:1, when God spoke the universe into existence.

This is similar to the answer given on the Answers in Genesis site - a Young-Earth Creation and apologetics organization:

Although the argument is increasingly common, nowhere in the text does it say that time began on the fourth day. Instead, God made the sun, moon, and stars, which can be used to measure time. Time actually began "in the beginning" (Genesis 1:1), or else it would not have been "the beginning," which is a time reference. In fact, "day" is a time reference, and there are three of those prior to day four.

Revision of the first sentence:

This answer would also hold true for proponents of the gap theory, day-age theory, and others. The beginning is the beginning regardless of how long it's been since then.

It should probably be changed to "This can only be answered from tho position that you believe the Genesis account to be true, because to those that don't it's a moot point."

  • +1 for This can only be answered from a literalist Young-Earth Creationist (YEC) perspective, because to all other perspectives it's a moot point.
    – svidgen
    Commented Jan 5, 2013 at 23:21
  • 2
    Actually, even from an old earth perspective, "in the beginning God created" implies that time was one of the first things created. Time and space and matter could have all be created at first. Commented Jan 6, 2013 at 4:40
  • I suppose that's true. :-) Commented Jan 6, 2013 at 6:27
  • 1
    Side note: From a non-Creationist perspective it's asked here: physics.stackexchange.com/questions/2355/… Commented Jan 6, 2013 at 14:25
  • The physics answer is MUCH more interesting!
    – Jeff
    Commented Jan 8, 2014 at 1:12

In order to create, God created time first (“in the beginning”). To create requires change; change from “what was” to “what is”. Therefore change requires time. Since God exists in the present; He does not change (the same today, tomorrow, forever); so He had to create time (ie. the past and future) in order to create and produce change.

  • 1
    Welcome to C.SE! When you get the chance, please check out our tour and specifically How we are different than other sites. This is an okay answer (hence the +1), but it relies strictly on reason. Better answers also look at Scripture and Tradition. Commented Jan 7, 2014 at 18:19

Two thoughts:

The question itself is an impossible one. When was time created? When?

Time is just a description of things that happen in sequence and not simultaneously. In other words, as soon as you have everything not happening at once – something happening, and then something else happening – you have time. So time didn't need to be created, per se. It just came along with the physical world.

  • 2
    Welcome to the site! This next has nothing to do with the quality of your answer, it's just standard to help new visitors avoid misunderstanding the site (as I did at first.) As a new visitor, I'd recommend checking out the following two posts, which are meant to help newcomers "learn the ropes": the help page and How we are different than other sites? Commented Jan 8, 2014 at 0:30

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