In speaking about marriage and divorce, Jesus takes the Pharisees back to the beginning in Mark 10:6 (NKJV, emphasis mine):

"But from the beginning of the creation [αρχης κτισεως], God ‘made them male and female.’"

The Greek phrase αρχης κτισεως appears in two other passages of Scripture (NKJV, emphasis mine):

"For in those days there will be tribulation, such as has not been since the beginning of the creation [αρχης κτισεως] which God created until this time, nor ever shall be." (Matt. 13:19)

and saying, "Where is the promise of His coming? For since the fathers fell asleep, all things continue as they were from the beginning of creation [αρχης κτισεως]." (2 Pet. 3:4)

In Mark 10:6, does "the beginning of the creation" refer to the creation of the Universe? If so, does Jesus' placing of the creation at "the beginning" suggest that humankind was created during the beginning of the Universe? To explain, within the interpretive framework of a literal week, Day 6 (or any day for that matter) could easily be called "the beginning of the creation." However, if the days involved ages of time, Day 6 (when mankind was created, Gen. 1:26-31) would seem to be many ages after "the beginning of the creation," placing the day more toward recent times.

Does Jesus' language, therefore, imply a short, literal creation week in which even Day 6 happened toward "the beginning of the creation"?

Note: In keeping with the policy of the Hermenutics Stack Exchange, this question is not about whether the earth is old or young; I'm not even asking whether the Bible teaches that the earth is old or young. Instead, I'm asking if Mark 10:6 in particular implies a literal creation week with its quotation from Genesis 1:27 (which, in context, is Day 6), a verse Jesus says happened at "the beginning of the creation" (NKJV).

  • Up-voted +1 and answered. No doubt about it. Excellent question.
    – Nigel J
    Commented Mar 24, 2022 at 7:26

4 Answers 4


The OP's question is quite specific - does Mark 10:6 imply a six-day creation?

Answer - no it does not - a six day creation is not mentioned, so it is neither confirmed nor denied.

What is confirmed is the following:

  • God created all things
  • man and woman were created near the beginning of the creation of the world
  • Mankind was created in a sexually binary form - male and female.

That is all.

The closest we get to creation in six days is Heb 4:4, but only obliquely:

For somewhere He has spoken about the seventh day in this manner: “And on the seventh day God rested from all His works.”

In fact, the NT never mentions six days of creation week anywhere. However, we do have one more allusion to creation week but it is quite indirect:

Rev 14:7 - Worship the One who made the heavens and the earth and the sea and the springs of waters.”

This appears to be an allusion to the fourth commandment in Ex 20:11 -

For in six days the LORD made the heavens and the earth and the sea and all that is in them, but on the seventh day He rested. Therefore the LORD blessed the Sabbath day and set it apart as holy.

Again, this is an indirect allusion - there is no direct allusion to six-day creation in the NT.

Matt 19:4 quotes Gen 1:27 about the creation on the sixth day; and Matt 19:5 quotes Gen 2:24, but again, this is quite indirect. Despite this, it does confirm Jesus' belief in the veracity and literal nature of the Genesis creation record.

APPENDIX - Six days of creation

While the NT never mentions six days of creation, there are plenty of OT texts that do:

  • Gen 1 - the original record of six days of creation
  • Ex 20:11 - seventh day Sabbath is the memorial of creation in six days
  • Ex 31:15 - essentially the same as Ex 20:11
  • Ex 16:26 - Sabbath command repeated about manna
  • Ex 23:12 - ditto
  • Ex 34:21 - ditto
  • Lev 23:3 - ditto
  • Deut 5:13 - ditto
  • 3
    There is also mention of Adam in the NT, which confirms not only was mankind created in binary form, but there was a first man.
    – Tim
    Commented Mar 24, 2022 at 12:09
  • @Tim Yeah, like the genealogy of Jesus in Luke 3. "... son of Adam, son of God"
    – mbomb007
    Commented Mar 24, 2022 at 19:50
  • Don't forget also, that 2 Peter 3:5-6 references the literal flood, saying people in the last days will deny Creation and the Flood. "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, 6 and that by means of these the world that then existed was deluged with water and perished." (ESV)
    – mbomb007
    Commented Mar 24, 2022 at 20:04
  • Great post! I'm likely going to mark this as the accepted answer, though I'm going to give Hold To The Rod a chance to respond to a question I asked on his answer.
    – The Editor
    Commented Mar 25, 2022 at 22:45
  • 1
    @Dottard Jesus doesn't say "from the beginning of the creation of humans." He counts "the beginning" as all that was included in "in the beginning God created the heavens and the earth," and Genesis lays out that this occurred on seven days. The seven days are, as a whole, "the beginning," per the narrative of Genesis. Genesis 1:1 is a chapter heading describing what the following narrative is and exists to describe. The creation of humans is not 'near' the beginning, it's part of that seven day Beginning which Genesis' early chapters literally exist to speak of. Commented Mar 26, 2022 at 1:16

Does "the creation" refer to the creation of the Universe?

de arches ktisews undoubtedly means 'from beginning of creation'. It can mean nothing else.

Had Jesus of Nazareth meant to infer 'the beginning of the creation of humanity' he would have, necessarily, added some more vocabulary or grammar.

That 'creation' lacks an article indicates that Jesus is expressing the concept of creation, as such. The absolute concept 'creation' means, unavoidably, all creation. The creation of all things.

Thus Jesus of Nazareth, in these words, places the creation of humanity at the beginning of creation, and the 'foundational' beginning at that, as the word arche has a depth and breadth of meaning that implies a substantial, foundational statis resulting in other processes following on from that foundational event or appointment.

Thayer (Biblehub) :

1 Beginning, origin

a) ἀρχή used absolutely, of the beginning of all things: ... Mark 10:6 ...

  • 2
    @OmarL do you mean that Jesus -as a human- was present in the beginning? Jesus -as a human- appeared on his birth about ~2,000 years ago. Commented Mar 24, 2022 at 19:22
  • 3
    @OmarL That 'the word became flesh and dwelt among us' (John 1:14) clearly relates to the incarnation of Jesus Christ being born of Mary in Bethlehem. Prior to that, the Son of God is spoken of as 'the word' which was 'in the beginning' (John 1:1).
    – Nigel J
    Commented Mar 25, 2022 at 9:29
  • 3
    @OmarL I specifically answered Does "the creation" refer to the creation of the Universe? and I have edited to make that clearer. Also, I cannot see how 'incarnation' and 'become human' can possibly mean different things, myself. There is a genuine difference between 'manifestation' (as in, for example, the appearance in the burning fiery furnace witnessed by Nebuchadnezzar) and 'incarnation', but that is a different matter.
    – Nigel J
    Commented Mar 25, 2022 at 9:40
  • 1
    @OmarL No. The 'body was killed' is incorrect. Jesus made it clear aforehand that none could take his life : he offered it, voluntarily. 'No man taketh it from me' John 10:18. And no, the manifestation/human flesh - the other three were human flesh and were not burned up. Thus this does not prove that the fourth was not human flesh in manifestation.
    – Nigel J
    Commented Mar 25, 2022 at 10:41
  • 1
    @OmarL There were three others who did have human flesh and were unscathed within the fiery furnace. Commented Mar 25, 2022 at 13:17

The passage does not take a position on this issue. Jesus speaks of the beginning of creation, but does not specify the beginning of the creation of what. The creation of the universe? Life on earth? Humans?

The Greek word in Mark, as well as in the parallel passage in Matthew, is ἀρχή, meaning beginning or origin (it can also be used figuratively to mean the "foremost") (source). It need not refer to an absolute beginning.

Additional detail is provided by Matthew in the same context:

He saith unto them, Moses because of the hardness of your hearts suffered you to put away your wives: but from the beginning it was not so (Matthew 19:8)

This suggests the context is the beginning of humanity or, more precisely, the beginning of marriage. The message here is that marriage between man & woman--and its importance--is not something that was invented or contrived partway through the human experience--it is an original and fundamental part of what God created.

Jesus compares and contrasts the practices of marriage in His day & in Moses' day, with the way God set it up in the beginning. Absent any reason to believe that galaxies/stars/planets were getting married & divorced, the beginning this passage has in mind is the family of Adam & Eve.

  • Great answer. +1 :)
    – Rajesh
    Commented Mar 24, 2022 at 4:27
  • This focuses on the word "beginning", however, Mark 10:6 contains both that word AND "creation". The word for creation "ktisis" refers to creation ex nihilo, out of nothing. Mankind was not made of nothing, but of the dust God had already created. So I'd say this answer is a bit lacking in addressing that
    – mbomb007
    Commented Mar 24, 2022 at 19:56
  • @mbomb007 while I agree mankind was not made out of nothing, I respectfully disagree that ktisis necessarily means creation out of nothing. It can also mean to form or to mold (implying there is existing material) Commented Mar 25, 2022 at 1:39
  • 1
    @HoldToTheRod Do you have evidence to support your disagreement? The concordances of the Bible say that that word has been used explicitly to mean creation ex nihilo since Homer's time prior to the writing of the New Testament, meaning that the standard usage of the term at the time this part of the Bible was written meant creation out of nothing.
    – mbomb007
    Commented Mar 25, 2022 at 18:25
  • @HoldToTheRod While "beginning" is broad by itself, would "beginning of the creation" refer specifically to the beginning of the Universe? Compare Mark 13:19; Ephesians 3:9; 2 Peter 3:4. What are your thoughts? :)
    – The Editor
    Commented Mar 25, 2022 at 21:24

The short answer is no. As you have already implied in your question, this passage would, if taken in a specific way, indicate that humans were created near the beginning of the entire creation process, not that that creation process only lasted for six literal days.

As such, I'll attempt to answer the more pertinent question that you asked:

'...does Jesus' placing of the creation at "the beginning" suggest that humankind was created during the beginning of the Universe?'

Once again, the answer is no, not necessarily. I think that when people try to interpret the Bible, and specifically the words of Jesus, they completely forget about the principle of charity. This is, in a way, understandable; people have high expectations. But, Jesus was talking to humans, and so was attempting to talk to them in a way that they would understand. He wasn't trying to make a scientific point, but rather a point about human nature. Keep in mind that he was talking to the Pharisees, who would have been well aware of the Creation Story. As such, what is wrong with Jesus using it to make a point in a way that they would understand?

An example that illustrates my point somewhat from modern English is this: Imagine that someone asks me "Has that door changed colour?", and I reply "No, that door has been green forever!", would anyone seriously think that I am claiming that time is past eternal, and this door has existed while being green for all past eternity? I'd hope not. I would obviously be using that to illustrate a point.

It's also not without Biblical precedent for someone to make reference to what their audience believes in order to make a point. In Acts 17:28, Paul quotes a Greek poem in order to illustrate his point. But, this by no means signifies that Paul believed in what this poem said in its entirety.

‘For in him we live and move and have our being.’ As some of your own poets have said, ‘We are his offspring.’ - Acts 17:28 (NIV)

If anything, this is a stronger example, as this isn't even a story that, on one view, is a story made by God to symbolise the truth.

I think when interpreting the Bible, or anything for that matter, we have to consider the context (and that doesn't just mean reading the verses around it, but historical and cultural context), and the intended purpose. The goal wasn't to be as accurate as possible, but to convey the spiritual message as efficiently as possible.

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