It seems that a popular argument for Old Earth Creationists (OECs) is that 2 Peter 3:8 shows the Genesis days could be longer periods of time and not literal 24 hour days:
2 Peter 3:8 ESV But do not overlook this one fact, beloved, that with the Lord one day is as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day.
Super-duper bible scholars will add Psalm 90:4 to the mix:
Psalm 90:4 ESV For a thousand years in your sight are but as yesterday when it is past, or as a watch in the night.
...therefore, billions of years, day-age theory, etc.
How do OECs use 2 Peter 3:8 to support a "day-age" theory especially when faced against these popular counter arguments?*
The latter half of the verse says "...and a thousand years are as one day" somewhat negating the OEC's intent of the verse.
The verse isn't meant to be (and shouldn't be) taken and applied to various previous passages at will. Otherwise it would be equally valid to say that Jonah spent three thousand years in the belly of a fish, that Methuselah was 353,685,000 years old when he died (or 11 months old if you apply the latter portion of the verse), and that the Mosaic Law commanded Jews to work 6000 years and then rest for 1000 years. Using 2 Peter 3:8 to say that Genesis 1-3 days were longer but the other days were not is exegetically dishonest.
A complete exegesis of 2 Peter 3 shows that Peter was actually condemning those that would distort a historically accurate interpretation of Genesis:
2 Peter 3:1-6 ESV This is now the second letter that I am writing to you, beloved. In both of them I am stirring up your sincere mind by way of reminder, that you should remember the predictions of the holy prophets and the commandment of the Lord and Savior through your apostles, knowing this first of all, that scoffers will come in the last days with scoffing, following their own sinful desires. They will say, “Where is the promise of his coming? For ever since the fathers fell asleep, all things are continuing as they were from the beginning of creation.” For they deliberately overlook this fact, that the heavens existed long ago, and the earth was formed out of water and through water by the word of God, and that by means of these the world that then existed was deluged with water and perished.
A complete exegesis of 2 Peter 3 is that Peter was not trying to establish the time translation rules for God but was trying to warn his church(es) that the Lord will return and that it will be a time no one is expecting because human concepts of time have no bearing over God:
2 Peter 3:7-10 ESV But by the same word the heavens and earth that now exist are stored up for fire, being kept until the day of judgment and destruction of the ungodly. But do not overlook this one fact, beloved, that with the Lord one day is as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day. The Lord is not slow to fulfill his promise as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing that any should perish, but that all should reach repentance. But the day of the Lord will come like a thief, and then the heavens will pass away with a roar, and the heavenly bodies will be burned up and dissolved, and the earth and the works that are done on it will be exposed.
A complete exegesis of Psalm 90:4 shows that David was simply pontificating on the hugeness and timelessness of God--not trying to apply new meaning to previous passages involving days.
Psalm 90:1-6 ESV Lord, you have been our dwelling place in all generations. Before the mountains were brought forth, or ever you had formed the earth and the world, from everlasting to everlasting you are God. You return man to dust and say, “Return, O children of man!” For a thousand years in your sight are but as yesterday when it is past, or as a watch in the night. You sweep them away as with a flood; they are like a dream, like grass that is renewed in the morning: in the morning it flourishes and is renewed; in the evening it fades and withers.
- I am not discussing the validity of OEC but merely how 2 Peter 3:8 is used to support day-age theory especially in light of the counter-arguments shown above.
- Of course not every OEC supporter uses 2 Peter 3:8 to give credence to their views, but this question is for those that do.
- An ideal answer would be one that reasonably shows why 2 Peter 3:8 is a credible argument for OEC (addressing the popular counter points made above) or an answer that exhaustively shows why 2 Peter 3:8 cannot be a reasonable support.