Beware…. Christians can tamper with God’s Word in subtle ways. When they do so in Genesis, their understanding of origins becomes vain speculation and they violate the commands of scripture regarding the practice. (Deut. 4:2; 12:32; Prov. 30:6 & Rev. 22:18,19)
In the case of Genesis chapter one, first, note that in verse 9 on day 3, God said, “… let the dry land appear.” Here the Holy Spirit and Moses had no problem expressing the idea of the dry land appearing where it wasn’t seen before. This establishes that God, who invented language, has no problem expressing the concept of something appearing.
However, some Christians say that in verse 16 on day four, God did not make the sun, moon and stars as described in the text. The reason is that these celestial objects were supposedly made on day one. This is asserted in an attempt to bring the Biblical, historical account in agreement with the secular astronomers’ just-so-story.
So, how does that affect the reading of verse 16?
Supposedly, on the fourth day the atmosphere changed from translucent to transparent so that the sun, moon and stars could “appear” on the earth.
So, what was the problem that prevented the Inventor of Language from communicating clearly in verse 16, when He had done such a good job communicating the concept in verse 9? Could it be that the sun, moon and stars were actually made on day four, exactly as the one who created them said He did, or did He just fail to tell us that they actually only appeared on that day?
On this day the atmosphere is further cleared so that from the observation point of the earth’s surface, the sun, moon and stars are now clearly distinguishable in the sky. “ Let there be “ is not a statement of the initial creation, but a statement of appearance. This passage tells us that these celestial objects were allowed to be visible so that they could serve people as markers of signs, seasons, days and years.
~United Church of God, Creation Week Light on Day 1 but the Sun on Day 4? [Emphasis in the original]
The translators of the New World Translation of the Bible did a similar thing long ago in Colossians 1:15-17 in a text that refers to Jesus:
He is the image of the invisible God, the first-born of all creation; because by means of him all [other] things were created in the heavens and upon the earth, the things visible and the things invisible, no matter whether they are thrones or lordships or governments or authorities. All [other] things have been created through him and for him. Also, he is before all [other] things and by means of him all [other] things were made to exist, … (New World Translation with brackets added for emphasis)
This is the translation of the Jehovah’s Witnesses (JW) who teach that Jesus was created as Michael the Archangel first, and then He created all OTHER things.
However, the original text says that Jesus is the Creator God, so the text contradicts the teaching of the JW. Therefore, the text was changed to conform to their teaching rather than their teaching being changed to agree with the text. Both groups alter the text for the same reason., to make the text agree with their teaching, so that it will pass the first test for truth, self-consistency.
Note that the JW make full disclosure in the text by bracketing the introduced word, which changes the meaning of the text, but the compromisers with naturalism in Genesis do not. They subtly introduce the word that changes the meaning of the text so that you are less likely to notice.