How Could There Have Been Light before the Sun? (2023)

How Could There Have Been Light before the Sun? (1)

One of the difficulties found in the first chapter of Genesis is the mention of light-apparently before the creation of the sun. On the first day we are told that God created light.

God called the light Day, and the darkness He called Night. So the evening and the morning were the first day (Genesis 1:5).

The sun, it seems, was not created until the fourth day.

(Video) How could there be light before the sun?

Let there be lights in the expanse of the heavens to divide the day from the night; and let them be for signs and seasons, and for days and years (Genesis 1:14).

How could such a thing be? How could there have been day and night without the sun? Were plants and vegetation (created on the third day) done so without the existence of the sun?

Possible Answers

There are a number of different possible ways to explain how there could have been light before the sun. They include the following:

1. Begun But Not Completed

Some Bible students believe the sun was begun on the first day but not completed until the fourth. The idea behind this view is that God's creation was a process. The problem with this view is that there is no evidence to indicate that this is what happened. In the Genesis account there is no indication of a process of creation that overlapped the days.

2. Did Not Appear

It has been suggested that the sun was created the first day but did not appear until the fourth. The Scofield Reference Bible says:

(Video) How can you have “light” before the sun? | Questions@CreationToday

Neither here nor in verses 14-18 is an original creative act implied. A different word is used. The sense is, made to appear; made visible. The sun and the moon were created in the beginning. The light of course came from the sun, but the vapour diffused the light. Later the sun appeared in an unclouded sky (The Scofield Reference Bible, edited by C.I. Scofield, New York, Oxford University Press, 1909, p. 3, note 4).

3. Special Creation

There are many who believe that God created another light source before He created the sun on the fourth day. John Whitcomb writes.

God created a fixed and localized light source in the heaven in reference to which the rotating earth passed through the same kind of day/night cycle as it has since the creation of the sun (John Whitcomb, The Early Earth, Revised Edition, Grand Rapids, Baker Book House, 1986, p. 31).

This was some sort of cosmic light that is different from the light given by the sun, moon, and stars. It was a special creation of God.

4. Light From Empty Space?

Even modern science has theorized that light can come from empty space such as black holes. One of the effects of black holes is that they emit light. P.C. Davies writes:

The radiation being described here is not coming out of any kind of matter-the usual source of light energy. The region around the black hole is quite empty of matter Instead, this radiation is coming out of empty space itself! (P. C. Davies, Uncensoring the Universe, The Sciences, March/April 1977, p. 7).

Donald Chittick comments on this matter:

(Video) What Was the Source of Light Before the Sun in Genesis?

If modern scientific theory insists on the possibility of light coming out of empty space (in other words, without light bearing objects), it is inconsistent to criticize the biblical idea that light existed on the first day of creation without sun, moon, or stars . . . The fact that Genesis talks about light existing before the appearance of the sun, moon, and stars seem rather to be evidence of divine authorship of the Bible. It was inconceivable to pagan thinking that life could exist without the sun and its light. Hence pagan religions worshiped the sun as the source of light and heat . . . The Bible is unique in stating that the sun is of secondary importance (Donald Chittick, The Controversy, Portland, Oregon: Multnomah Press, 1984, p. 151).

If the text forces us to understand that light came before the sun, then it would demonstrate the writer did not copy from other creation stories, for all others had the sun as the source of all light. This would make the Hebrew story unique, for only the Hebrews believed light came before the sun.

5. Wrong Understanding Of Text

There is one other possible solution to this problem-the Bible doesn't say there was light before the sun. It is quite possible that when the author of Genesis 1:1 said In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth the phrase heaven and earth included the sun.

Entire Universe

As we have already mentioned, the Bible consistently uses the phrase, heaven and earth, to refer to the universe or cosmos. The prophet Joel wrote:

The sun and the moon will grow dark, and the stars will diminish their brightness. The Lord also will roar from Zion, and utter His voice from Jerusalem; the heavens and earth will shake; but the Lord will be a shelter for His people, and the strength of the children of Israel (Joel 3:15,16).

This would mean that Genesis 1:1 refers to the creation of the entire universe, including the sun, moon and the stars. Old Testament authority John H. Sailhamer writes:

(Video) Light Before the Sun?

In v. 14 God does not say, Let there be lights . . . to separate, as if there were no lights before this command and afterward the lights were created. Rather the Hebrew text reads, And God said, 'Let the lights in the expanse of the sky separate.' In other words . . . God's command assumes the lights were already in the expanse and that in response to his command they were given a purpose, to separate the day from the night and to mark seasons and days and years.. . . It suggests that the author did not understand his account of the fourth day as the creation of lights; but, on the contrary, the narrative assumes that the heavenly lights had already been created in the beginning (John H. Sailhamer, Expositors Bible Commentary, Vol. 2, Frank E. Gaebelein General Editor, Grand Rapids Mi: Zondervan, 1990, p. 34).

Thus it is not necessary to assume the sun was not part of the heaven and the earth created on the first day.

6. No Sun In The Future

We must also note that the Bible says there will be light without the sun in the future New Jerusalem.

And there shall be no night there: They shall need no lamp nor light of the sun, for the Lord God gives them light. And they shall reign for ever and ever (Revelation 22:5).

The sun shall no longer be your light by day, nor for brightness the moon shall give light to you; but the Lord will be your everlasting light (Isaiah 60:19).

Since there will be no need for the sun as a light source in the future, it is certainly possible that there was no need for the sun as a light source in the beginning.


There is no reason to assume the Bible is in error when it seems to say that God created the light before He made the sun. There are a number of satisfactory explanations to this question.

(Video) How could there be light on the 1st day of Creation if the sun was not created until the 4th day?

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Can there be light without the sun? ›

Without sunlight, it would be completely dark on earth. We owe our daylight to the fact that every square meter on the sun shines brighter than a million light bulbs. Once sunlight hits the earth, it scatters in the atmosphere.

How did God created the light? ›

of light from darkness on the first day of creation in Gen 1 3-5, when, according to verses 16-19, on the fourth day God made the luminaries and set them in the firmament to give light on the earth and to separate the light from the darkness.

How did God separate light from darkness? ›

And God said, "Let there be light," and there was light. God saw that the light was good, and He separated the light from the darkness. God called the light "day," and the darkness he called "night." And there was evening, and there was morning—the first day.

What was the light in Genesis 1 verse 3? ›

The light is described as being created here before the sun, moon, and stars, which appear on the fourth day (Genesis 1:14–19). In some Jewish interpretations, the light created here is a primordial light, different in nature from (and brighter than) that associated with the sun.

What was the first thing God said? ›

And God said, "Let there be light," and there was light. God saw that the light was good, and he separated the light from the darkness. God called the light "day," and the darkness he called "night." And there was evening, and there was morning--the first day.

What did God created on the first day? ›

Genesis 1–2 tells the story of God's creation of the world. On the first day, God created light in the darkness. On the second, He created the sky. Dry land and plants were created on the third day.

Why did God create us? ›

He created people out of love for the purpose of sharing love. People were created to love God and each other. Additionally, when God created people, he gave them good work to do so that they might experience God's goodness and reflect his image in the way they care for the world and for each other.

Why is God seen as light? ›

In all religious images regardless of religions God is portrayed as being associated with light. The word “enlightenment” is used to indicate understanding and comprehension of God. All life forms are sustained because of light and energy from the sun.

How does light come into existence? ›

That interaction is called fusion, and it naturally occurs when two atoms are heated and compressed so intensely that their nuclei merge into a new element. This process often leads to the creation of a photon, the particles of light that are released from the sun.

What is the light behind God called? ›

halo, also called nimbus, in art, radiant circle or disk surrounding the head of a holy person, a representation of spiritual character through the symbolism of light.

How do we receive light from God? ›

We receive the light of Christ by:
  1. praying and seeking God's will.
  2. participating in the life and worship of the Church.
  3. reading and reflecting on the Scriptures.
  4. receiving Communion.
  5. opening our lives to the Holy Spirit.

Did God literally say Let there be light? ›

In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth. And the earth was without form, and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters. And God said, Let there be light: and there was light.

What does Jesus mean by light? ›

Light is defined as life, as seen in John 1:4, “In Him was life; and the life was the light of men”. Those who have faith through Him will have eternal life. This “life” is a gift Jesus brought from God into a dying world.

What does light in the Bible symbolize? ›

Abstract. In the Bible, light has always been a symbol of holiness, goodness, knowledge, wisdom, grace, hope, and God's revelation. By contrast, darkness has been associated with evil, sin, and despair.

What is God's light in Hebrew? ›

Ohr ("Light" Hebrew: אור; plural: Ohros/Ohrot "Lights" אורות‎) is a central Kabbalistic term in the Jewish mystical tradition. The analogy of physical light is used as a way of describing metaphysical Divine emanations.

Who was the first person to God? ›

ADAM1 was the first man. There are two stories of his creation. The first tells that God created man in his image, male and female together (Genesis 1: 27), and Adam is not named in this version.

Who did God first speak to? ›

The Hebrew Bible states that God revealed himself to mankind. God speaks with Adam and Eve in Eden (Gen 3:9–19); with Cain (Gen 4:9–15); with Noah (Gen 6:13, Gen 7:1, Gen 8:15) and his sons (Gen 9:1-8); and with Abraham and his wife Sarah (Gen 18).

What is the 1st word in the Bible? ›

The translated word in the Hebrew Bible is Bereshith (בְּרֵאשִׁית‎): "In beginning". The definite article (the) is missing, but implied. Archē (Ancient Greek: ἀρχή) is the original word used in John 1:1.

How many heavens did God create? ›

In religious or mythological cosmology, the seven heavens refer to seven levels or divisions of the Heavens (Heaven).

What is God's purpose for humans? ›

Humans were created with the intent of abundant living. Fruitfulness and growth, multiplication and expansion, as well as structure and organization, are all part of God's plan. These also include stewardship of society and care for the natural world.

Who created the God? ›

We ask, "If all things have a creator, then who created God?" Actually, only created things have a creator, so it's improper to lump God with his creation. God has revealed himself to us in the Bible as having always existed. Atheists counter that there is no reason to assume the universe was created.

Why did God came to Earth? ›

2:7-8). Yes, Jesus came to this earth for the express purpose of shedding His precious blood on the cross to provide forgiveness of sins (Romans 5:8-9; Hebrews 5:8-9).

Is the light Jesus? ›

Jesus Christ is the light of the world because he is the source of the light which “proceedeth forth from the presence of God to fill the immensity of space” (D&C 88:12). His light is “the true light that lighteth every man that cometh into the world” (D&C 93:2; see also D&C 84:46).

What color is the light of God? ›

The light of the Trinity, which suffuses the mind in the highest forms of prayer, is sapphire blue, the colour of heaven.

What is light spiritually? ›

Light is one of the most universal and fundamental symbols. It is the spiritual and the divine, it is illumination and intelligence. Light is the source of goodness and the ultimate reality, and it accompanies transcendence into the Nirvana of Buddhist doctrine.

Can light be created from nothing? ›

Now quantum physicist Pasi Lähteenmäki at Aalto University in Finland and his colleagues reveal that by varying the speed at which light can travel, they can make light appear from nothing.

How did most early humans create light? ›

Around 70,000 BCE, early humans created the first lamps by filling hollow rocks, shells and other natural objects with moss, soaking the moss in animal fat and igniting it. These crude lights are known as “animal lamps.”

What caused the first light in the universe? ›

The Early Universe

These ionized atoms of hydrogen and helium attracted electrons, turning them into neutral atoms - which allowed light to travel freely for the first time, since this light was no longer scattering off free electrons. The universe was no longer opaque!

What is a dark God called? ›

In Greek mythology, Erebus (/ˈɛrɪbəs/; Ancient Greek: Ἔρεβος, romanized: Érebos, "deep darkness, shadow"), or Erebos, is the personification of darkness and one of the primordial deities.

Why do angels need wings? ›

Wings were a way to set angels apart from humanity while retaining other aspects of angelic nature, such as angel as fleet messenger. Wings simultaneously represent the heavens and a tie to earth, for even birds, winged creatures, must eventually return to earth.

Why do angels have halos? ›

The halo is a symbol of the Uncreated Light (Greek: Ἄκτιστον Φῶς) or grace of God shining forth through the icon. Pseudo-Dionysius the Areopagite in his Celestial Hierarchies speaks of the angels and saints being illuminated by the grace of God, and in turn illumining others.

Is the Holy light a miracle? ›

In Orthodox Christian belief, the Holy Fire (Greek: Ἃγιον Φῶς, "Holy Light") is a proposed miracle that occurs every year at the Church of the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem on Great Saturday, the day before Orthodox Easter. However, the authenticity of the miracle has long been disputed.

How do you ask God for light? ›

Merciful Lord, we ask you to cast your bright beams of light upon your Church, that, it being enlightened by the doctrine of your blessed apostle and evangelist Saint John, may so walk in the light of your truth, that it may at length attain to the light of everlasting life, through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

What does the Bible say about things coming to light? ›

God has determined as he said in Luke 12:2-3, that the secrets will be uncovered, the truth will come forth, and God's thought about every behavior and action will be vindicated. What's done in the dark will come to light, and thank God he has created it to operate so!

Where in the Bible does it talk about God's light? ›

1 John 1:5-9

5 This is the message we have heard from him and declare to you: God is light; in him there is no darkness at all. 6 If we claim to have fellowship with him and yet walk in the darkness, we lie and do not live out the truth.

What is the light offered by faith? ›

The light that comes from faith, from the revelation of God in Jesus Christ and in his Spirit, illuminates the depths of reality and helps us to recognise that reality bears within itself the indelible signs that the work of God is good.

How do Christians let their light shine? ›

When we are honest, when we keep the Sabbath holy, when we are kind, we are letting our lights shine. When we obey the Word of Wisdom, when we dress modestly, when we use the names of Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ reverently, we are letting our lights shine. Each small light makes a big difference!

What did God said about light? ›

“Then God said, 'Let there be light'; and there was light.” The Good News: Light is hope, wisdom and goodness — God brings us that and it'll never go away. “Jesus answered, 'Are there not twelve hours in the day? If anyone walks in the day, he does not stumble, because he sees the light of this world.

What do light symbolize? ›

Generally speaking, light serves as a symbol of life, happiness, prosperity, and, in a wider sense, of perfect being. As a symbol of life, light can also serve as a symbol of immortality. Darkness, on the other hand, is associated with chaos, death, and the underworld.

In what way is Jesus a light to us? ›

Jesus is the Light of the world, our world, and in the world. Like God is omnipresent, so Jesus is Light. Through Him and His sacrificial death on the cross, we are exposed to the light and of our sins.

How many times does light appear in the Bible? ›

Bible Verses About Light - 235 passages - King James Version (KJV)

What does God say about the sun? ›

One says, ``For the Lord God is a sun and shield'' (84:11). And the other reassures us, ``The sun shall not smite thee by day, nor the moon by night'' (121:6). In the first of these Bible passages, the sun is used to describe God, who is good, while the second tells us that the sun won't harm us.

Who is Adam of light? ›

In the ancient Gnostic text On the Origin of the World, Adam originally appears as a primordial being born from light poured out by the aeon known as forethought. Accordingly, his primordial form is called Adam of Light.

What is God's marvelous light? ›

According to Peter, God has “called us out of darkness into his marvelous light.” It is this marvelous light that we see in the face of Jesus Christ. Not only does he call us to be lights in a dark and troubled world. He calls himself the “light of the world.” He is a living light that shines over us and ahead of us.

What does being a light mean? ›

When we are being a light to others, it means we are approaching them with the gentleness and understanding that God has shown to us.

Is light possible without heat? ›

Yes – and many living organisms, such as fireflies, the angler fish and some jellyfish, do precisely that, via luminescence. This involves generating photons with wavelengths mainly in the visible region, rather than in the shorter, infrared region corresponding to heat.

Is light without heat possible? ›

Yes, we can have light without heat. The light from such reactions is called cool light. Many chemical reactions produce both light and heat. A burning candle is such a reaction.

Can anything live without the sun? ›

Without the Sun's rays, all photosynthesis on Earth would stop. All plants would die and, eventually, all animals that rely on plants for food — including humans — would die, too.

Can light go on forever? ›

As long as nothing absorbs it, the light keeps on traveling forever.

Can a human generate light? ›

The human body literally glows, emitting a visible light in extremely small quantities at levels that rise and fall with the day, scientists now reveal. Past research has shown that the body emits visible light, 1,000 times less intense than the levels to which our naked eyes are sensitive.

Is light man made? ›

Natural sources of light include the sun, stars, fire, and electricity in storms. There are even some animals and plants that can create their own light, such as fireflies, jellyfish, and mushrooms. This is called bioluminescence. Artificial light is created by humans.

Can a light be cold? ›

A cold light is defined by a color temperature between 3600° and 6500° Kelvin. In this case, light is turning from white to bluish, because the shades of cyan and blue are giving a cold tone.

Can humans survive without light? ›

It is unlikely, though, that an adult could die directly and exclusively from prolonged darkness. Most likely a person would become ill and die from a range of chronic diseases caused by lack of sunshine, such as diabetes, high blood pressure, and tuberculosis. So, yes, I would say that humans need sunlight to survive.

What gives light but no heat? ›

But LEDs are great because they don't produce heat.

LEDs or light-emitting diodes don't require any heat to help their elements 'glow'.

What will happen if light is no longer present? ›

The bottom line is: without light, there would be no sight. The visual ability of humans and other animals is the result of the complex interaction of light, eyes and brain. We are able to see because light from an object can move through space and reach our eyes.

Is light hot or cold? ›

The color temperature of light

The temperature of light used indoors can range from 2000K to about 6500K. The higher the color temperature, the colder the light. At 1200K we therefore speak of warm light.

Can light be turned into heat? ›

When visible light is absorbed by an object, the object converts the short wavelength light into long wavelength heat. This causes the object to get warmer.

What if the Sun disappeared for 1 minute? ›

With no sunlight, photosynthesis would stop, but that would only kill some of the plants—there are some larger trees that can survive for decades without it. Within a few days, however, the temperatures would begin to drop, and any humans left on the planet's surface would die soon after.

How long will humans last? ›

Humanity has a 95% probability of being extinct in 7,800,000 years, according to J. Richard Gott's formulation of the controversial Doomsday argument, which argues that we have probably already lived through half the duration of human history.


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6. How Did God Create Light BEFORE The Sun?
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