Is it true that the Earth is billions of years old? Millions? Several thousand?
If you’re a Christian, you believe that the Bible is true. And if you believe the Bible, then you believe in Creation. But, what about the age of the Earth? Is that open for negotiation? Let’s check it out.
Go to Genesis, the very beginning of the Bible. It’s name does, in fact, mean “Beginning.” In the beginning God creation the heavens and the earth. We all know this, right?
Now, the Bible says that the Earth, the heavens, and everything in them was created in six days, and on the seventh day God rested. If we look up the Hebrew word for “day” in Strong’s Concordance, we find that the same word for “day” is used from Genesis 1:5-31:48. The author of Genesis (possibly Moses), used the same Hebrew word throughout the majority of Genesis.
Now, let’s see what that word means. The Hebrew word is “yowm.” Strong’s Concordance tells us that it is from the root that means to “be hot… as in the warm hours.” It says it can be used in a literal or figurative sense. Since it is used throughout Genesis, I’ll let you look up the rest of the references yourself.
When talking with a friend about Biblical creation, and as I researched further, the above research led me to believe the following: that the six days spoken of in Genesis could have been a literal 24-hour period (“and there was evening, and there was morning, the first day”), or it could be, as he wished to assume, a period of time that lasted longer (leaning towards several hundred or thousand years per day of the six-day period).
Now, I believe that how a Christian views science (and uses literal scientific research), is very important. However, I also believe that Christians can get themselves into fits over details that can, over time, become nothing more than a legalistic pursuit. Remember, Christianity holds many things important, but the heart is what Jesus is after.
That said, let’s look to our source of chronology in Genesis: the genealogies. As I researched for my friend, I wrote down the following numbers:
“Adam was 130 years old when he fathered a son in his likeness, according to his image, and named him Seth” (Genesis 5:2 HCSB).
From there, I proceeded to jot down the number of years between father and son:
130 (Adam, when he Seth), 105 (Seth, when he fathered Enosh), 90, 70, 65, 162, 65, 187, 182 (Lamech, when he fathered Noah. That’s right! Noah of the Flood).
If we add up all those numbers we get: 1, 056 years (that’s from Adam to Noah). The Bible says in Genesis 7:6 that “Noah was 600 years old when the flood came and water covered the earth.” So, add 600 to the number above, and you get: 1,650 years.
The Bible is very exact about when the Flood occurred as well. “In the six hundredth year of Noah’s life, in the second month, on the seventeenth day of the month, on that day all the sources of the watery depths burst open, the floodgates of the sky were opened.”
The Bible also tells us that “Shem lived 100 years and fathered Arphachshad two years after the flood” (Genesis 11:10). From that point in the text, I jotted down the following numbers: Arphachshad was 35 when he fathered Shelah, 30, 34, 30, 32, 30, 29, Terah lived 70 years and fathered Abram. If we add up those numbers we get: 320 years.
We know that Abram (later renamed “Abraham” by God) fathered Isaac, and Isaac fathered Jacob (who was also called Israel). Israel fathered twelve sons, one of whom was Joseph (who saved his family by bringing them to Egypt). In Genesis 50:26 (the literal last verse in Genesis), it says that Joseph died at the age of 110.
Genesis 21:5 says that “Abraham was 100 years old when when his son Isaac was born to him.” So, let’s take that 320 and add 110: 430 years. Genesis 24:26 says that “Isaac was 60 years old when they [Jacob and Esau] were born.” So, let’s add that number to the 430, and we get: 490 years.
If I remember correctly, the Israelites spent 400 years in Egypt (from Joseph, to Moses). And they spent 40 years in the wilderness before entering the Promised Land. Together, that’s 440 years. In Joshua 24:29, the Bible tells us that Joshua (Moses’ right-hand man) was 110 when he died.
From there, we have the Judges (see the Book of Judges), Samuel (Israel’s last judge), and then the kings (who ruled Israel).
We live in the year 2015 AD (2,015 years after the birth of Christ). And that leaves up to present day. I’ll let you do the rest of the research yourself, but I must say I agree with many Bible scholars when they say the Earth is approximately 6,000 years old.