Fundamentalists often make it a test of Christian orthodoxy to believe that the world was created in six 24-hour days and that no other interpretations of Genesis 1 are possible. They claim that until recently this view of Genesis was the only acceptable one—indeed, the only one there was.
The writings of the Fathers, who were much closer than we are in time and culture to the original audience of Genesis, show that this was not the case.
There was wide variation of opinion on how long creation took. Some said only a few days; others argued for a much longer, indefinite period.
Catholics are at liberty to believe that creation took a few days or a much longer period, according to how they see the evidence, and subject to any future judgment of the Church.
This tract gives quotations from the Fathers show how widely divergent early Christian views were.
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