Biblical Age of the Earth
<10,000 years old
Did you know that the Bible clearly teaches that the earth is less than 10,000 years old?
Bible-Skeptic Converter Video Lectures!
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See also: Scientific age of the earth. Did you know that science clearly evidences that the earth is thousands and not millions of years old?
SCRIPTURAL AGE OF EARTH
By Don Patton Ph.D. (March 2000)
A. Atheist like Stephen Gould often play theologian, piously affirm, "No conflict between great ages of evolution and the Bible." "Honors God; shows grandeur and beauty of God's wisdom."
1. Truly honors God to believe His word, to accept His testimony.
2. Will see that unbelievers make lousy theologians.
B. Age is pivotal, crucial issue. Insistence, "It makes no difference," is often a smoke screen to avert attention from compromise of faith.
1. Philosophical implications:
a. When the beginning is distant, not directly associated with us, then end is easier to view as distant and unassociated with us. A recent beginning is often stiff-armed in order to escapes the sharp edged accountability associated with an imminent end.
2. Scientific Implications:
a. When great ages of Geologic column are acknowledged, change through time (their definition of evolution) is inescapable. So what if evolutionists can't explain how. It happened!
b. If great ages are excluded then evolution obviously impossible. Philosophically and scientifically essential for the naturalist.
3. Religious implications:
a) When we learn to explain away apparently plain statements to accommodate what already "know," unending consequences. (Examples: Marriage, homosexuality, salvation, heaven, hell.)
b) Would one decide that ancient Roman historians were all poets, there never was a literal Julius Caeser, or Emperor Tiberias.
c) Follow same line of reasoning in American history, who can say George Washington, Abraham Lincoln real, not metaphorical personifications of American political and social ideals?
C. Evolutionists certainly understand the significance.
1. Richard Leakey, "Lyell published the first volume of his Principles of Geology in 1830...The world was soon accepted of being of extreme antiquity, not thousands but many millions of years old, and this provided the essential geological background against which a theory of the slow evolution of species could be formulated." The Making of Mankind, p.22, 1981
2. Earnst Mayr, Harvard, "The revolution began when it became obvious that the earth was very ancient rather than having been created only 6,000 years ago. This finding was the snowball that started the whole avalanche.", THE NATURE OF THE DARWINIAN REVOLUTION, p.3
3. Lawrence Badash, Professor of History of Science, U. of CA, S.B., "...4.5 billion years ago, the primal earth emerged from a spinning, turbulent cloud of gas, dust and planetoids that surrounded the new star. .... On these figures for the age of the earth rest all of geology and evolution." Scientific American, Aug., 1989, p.90
D. SCRIPTURAL EONS? WHERE?
1. Not found in scripture. But, are they allowed by scripture? If so, must be placed in the text. Where?
2. Three possibilities only. Before, during or after creation week. All three have been desperately tried.
3. If all three are impossible, then eons excluded by scripture.
I. BEFORE THE CREATION WEEK?
A. Called: The Gap Theory (gap between Gen.1:1 and Gen.1:2 (Ruin and Reconstruction; Ruination/Re-Creation; Pre-Adamic Cataclysm; Restitution; etc.)
1. Popularized by Harry Rimmer, THE SCOFFIELD BIBLE, Robert Milligan (THE SCHEME OF REDEMPTION), Arthur Custance (WITHOUT FORM AND VOID).
2. Proof texts: Ez.28:12-17; Isa.14:12-14; 45:18; Jer.4:23-26
3. Claim "was" should be translated "became" in Gen.1:1.
a) No known translation says "became."
b) Poll of 20 Hebrew scholars regarding "gap;" "NO." (Modern Science And Christian Faith p.49)
c) Hebrew scholar W. C. Watts: "In Genesis 1:2a the verb is perfect. It indicates a fixed and completed state. In other words, original matter was in a state of chaos when created: it came into being that way." A SURVEY OF OLD TESTAMENT PREACHING p. 16.
d) A COMMENTARY ON GENESIS, Harold Stigers: "The cataclysmic theory (also called the restitution theory) respecting v. 2 can have no place in a proper translation. The construction of 'became void,' etc., is not justified by Hebrew syntax. When the verb 'to be' (hayah) is to be constructed as 'became,' the addition of the prepositional lamedh is required with the following word to provide this meaning, and this preposition is absent here." p. 49.
4. Obvious answer in Ex. 20:11. Heavens and earth in six days.
a) Response based on false distinction between "created" (BARA) & "made" (ASAH).
(1) If "made" (Ex.20:11) is different from "created" (Gen.1:1) then avoid necessity of complete "creation" in 6 days.
(2) Definitions are not contrasting. They overlap.
Labor, to work about anything ...
To cut, to carve out, to form by cutting ...
to make ...
to create ...
to create, as haven, earth
of heaven and earth
Gesenius p. 657
Gesenius p. 138
(3) Words used interchangeably.
"BARA" great sea creatures, Gen.1:21
"BARA" animalsm, creeping things, birds, Gen.6:7
"ASAH" the beast, Gen.1:25
"ASAH" them, Gen.6:7
"ASAH" man, Gen.1:26
"BARA" everyone, "ASAH" them, Isa.43:7
"BARA" man, Gen.1:27
"BARA" and "ASAH"...all His work, Gen.2:3
"BARA" man, ASAH" him, Gen.5:1
"BARA" heavens and the earth, Gen.2:4
"BARA"...male and female, Gen.5:2
"ASAH" earth and heaven, Gen.2:4
b) Since words are not contrasting but interchangeable:
(1) Ex.20:11 refers to creation of Gen.1:1.
(2) Creation of heavens and earth was done in six days.
(3) Before the six days there were no heavens or earth.
c) David certainly seems to agree, Ps.33:6, 9; Cf. Ps 48:3, 5.
B. Further Scriptural Refutation Of Gap Theory
1. I Cor.15:45, 47, Adam "first man." Excludes pre-Adamic race.
2. I Cor.15:21-22; No death before Adam, Gen.1:30; Deut.14:21-22.
3. If death before Fall, Adam & Eve already destined to die. Return to dust anyway. Curse is meaningless. Kill and be killed, decay, cancers, all designed by God.
C. In Six Days: H.&E. Created; "He spoke..."; First man
D. Scripture Excludes Eons Before: No Hor E; No Man; No Death
II. DURING THE CREATION WEEK? ( Days = Eons)
A. Called: The Day-Age Theory: Popularized by:
1. Wilbur M. Smith (Therefore Stand)
2. Davis A. Young (Creation and The Flood)
3. Jack Wood Sears of Harding
4. John Clayton
B. Word "day" (10 compelling reasons why we know meaning).
1. Though can be figurative, context determines: three indicators.
a) "yom" occurring in plural (yamin) in non-prophetic passage.
b) "yom" preceded by a numeral (100+ times in OT)
c) "yom" with "evening & morning" (100 + times in OT).
d) "Days" of creation have all three contextual indications!
2. Gen.1:5; "day" (yom) is precisely defined when first used.
3. Gen.1:8-31; "day" (yom) is defined for each of creation days (same before the sun as after). Cf. Cartoon: "Why six days?"
4. Ex.20:9-11. Comparison w/Sabbath day defines.
5. Gen.1:14; "days" used in contrast to "years".
6. Objective linguistic scholars;
a) Prof. James Barr, Oxford: "So far as I know, there is no professor of Hebrew or Old Testament at any world class university who does not believe that the writer(s) of Genesis 1 through 11 intended to convey to their readers the idea that (a) creation took place in a series of six days which were the same as the days of 24 hours we now experience; (b) the figures contained in the Genesis genealogies provided by simple addition a chronology from the beginning of the world up to the latter stages of earth history." Personal Letter, 4/23/84
b) Marcus Dods, evolutionist and Hebrew scholar: "If the word 'day' in this chapter does not mean the period of 24 hours, the interpretation of Scripture is hopeless." THE BOOK OF GENESIS, p.4.
c) Cf. Cartoon: Stop sign.
7. Science of botany proves "day" is day: Implies millions of years of darkness followed by millions of years of light. Plant life impossible. Fruit trees before sun?
8. Science of zoology proves "day" is day:
a) Many plants, animals, insects in symbiotic relationship.
b) Stephen J. Gould, Harvard, "Many species are fertilized by insects in a mutually beneficial arrangement that supplies food to the insects while transporting pollen from flower to flower. So intricate...are the features of both flower and insect in many cases-special colors and odors to attract the insects, exquisitely fashioned mouth parts to extract the nectar...", Natural History, 2/1994
9. Position of man trivialized; far, far removed from beginning. If age of earth is 24 hour scale, man here less than minute. If scale is arm span, man is swipe of fingernail file.
a) Implications are obvious.
(1) Stephen J. Gould: "We cannot bear the central implication of this brave new world. If humanity arose just yesterday as a small twig on one branch of a flourishing tree, then life may not, in any genuine sense, exist for us or because of us. Perhaps we are only an afterthought, a kind of cosmic accident, just one bauble on the Christmas tree of evolution." WONDERFUL LIFE, 1989, p.44.
(2) Mark Twain: "If the Eiffel Tower were now representing the world's age, the skin of paint on the pinnacle knob at its summit would represent man's share of that age; and anybody would perceive that the skin was what the tower was built for. I reckon they would, I dunno."
b) Inspiration affirms man was here from the beginning.
(1) Mk.10:6, "from beginning of creation".
(a) "Beginning" defined by Cremer: "Absolute, denoting the beginning of the world and of its history, the beginning of creation,...." p. 113.
(b) "Beginning" defined by Thayer: Beginning, origin: a. used absolutely, of the beginning of all things: en arch, Jn.1:1 sq. (Gen.1:1);...Mk.10:6;...". p.76
(2) Rom.1:20, "seen...understood" since creation of world.
(3) Lk.11:49-51, "from foundation of the world...Adam."
10. Day Age Theory is not harmonious with geological ages.
a) Fruit trees on 3rd day. Sun on 4th day. Fish on 5th day.
b) 7-10 also refute lame variations used to explain mismatch.
(1) Overlapping days (Hugh Ross).
(2) Meandering days (Davis Young).
(3) Non literal days: Shane Scott
(4) Non-consecutive days (Hill Roberts).
(5) Cf. "three days" Mat.27:63, Actually thousands of years?
C. Conclusions Re: Day Age Theory
1. Summary of 10 Reasons. Therefore excluded after sin days.
2. While Genesis 1&2 do not tell us the age of earth, we are told the earth's age relative to creation of man; 5 days older.
III. AFTER CREATION WEEK?
A. Scriptural gaps in genealogies?
1. In derived, secondary genealogies; poetic license allowed.
2. Arthur C. Custance (a long ager) acknowledges: "We are told again and again that some of these genealogies contain gaps: but what is never pointed out by those who lay the emphasis on gaps, is that they only know of the existence of these gaps because the Bible elsewhere fills them in. How otherwise could one know of them? But if they are filled in, they are not gaps at all! Thus in the final analysis the argument is completely without foundation." Genealogies of the Bible, p.3.
3. Only question from Abraham to Adam (20 generations). Jude 14 eliminates first 7. Leaves only 13 (12 spaces). Billions in 12 spaces? Scale, 50 miles to inch. Gapeologies!!
4. Gaps would not affect chronology of Gen. 5&11. Cf. Gen.5:6-7; Immaterial if Enosh was son or great-great grandson; Was born when Seth was 205 (LXX). Truth?
5. Father's age when "decedent" was born is recorded from Adam to Joseph. Irrelevant unless chronology intended.
6. Christianity, uniquely, is founded on historical accuracy. Chronology is backbone of history. Accuracy is demanded.
B. Septuagint (quoted by Christ) from manuscript 350 years older than oldest Massoretic Text, eliminates apparent discrepancies (scribal errors in some manuscripts does not invalidate.)
1. Creation would be at 5315 BC according to Alexan. Septuagint.
2. Age of earth (in 2000 AD) would be very close to 7,315 years.
C. Summary: Not After: Gaps Excluded ...
A. All 3 efforts to place great ages in text of Genesis fail.
1. Each of "possibilities" are impossible.
2. Scripture Excludes Before, During & After
3. Therefore EONS EXCLUDED.
B. Real Problem: Attitude toward Scripture. What did Jesus think.
1. Jesus said serious mistake to discredit words of Moses, Jn.5:46.
2. Jesus believed poetry was authoritative, Jn.10:34, 35-36.
3. Jesus rebuked failure to believe "all," esp. Moses, Lk.24:25-27.
C. Conclude with admonition to believers by Martin Luther:
"If I profess with the loudest voice and clearest expression every portion of the truth of God, except precisely that little point which the world and the devil are at that moment attacking, I am not professing Christ, however boldly I may be professing Christ. Where the battle rages, there the soldier is proved. To be steady on all the battle field besides, is mere flight and disgrace if he flinches at that point."