Christianity.com: According to the Bible, how old is the earth? How important is this?-R.C.Sproul Jr.



  • 2011-12-15T18:19:08

The Bible makes no attempt to describe the age of the earth and the rest of the universe. Inspired and directed by God, though, it does indicate by Whom---God---not what---general evolution---creation was formed. It also describes the phases of creation, from rough to completed, and the time taken---six lunar or solar days, both consisting each day of basically of 24 hours. The "young-earth" explanation uses methods of research that are much more linear and do not assume any stages or time-spans, seeing the entire universe to be +/- 15,000 years. The "old-earth" explanation uses research and"cosmic time" dating that assumes much and disregards any possibility of accelerated and advanced methods that are outside of human capability but well within God's. This assumptive dating estimates the age of the earth and the rest of the universe to be many millions to several billions of years. I apologize not not providing any source citations in this post, but this thumb-nail sketch can be found to be reliable.

  • 2011-12-15T08:11:50

But that only says how long it took for God to create the Earth - not how old the Earth is. The calculations that have been made as to the age of the Earth based on the Biblical account have required a number of assumptions of things not said. It is true that there is a nice list of so-and-so live such-and-such years and then begat.... but there are a couple of gaps in the list which may mean that there were people not listed that came between those listed. Some feel that even though it is not clear, that the Bible would list them all - but that is an assumption, not a Biblical fact. If the point was that God wanted us to know the age of the Earth then the assumption would be valid, but why would God want that? hat is the point? On the other hand, the list as it is does provide important information about people - and that information is not in any way diminished by having gaps... it just means that there are periods which are not important to know all the names and connections. Keep in mind that the Bible is NOT a science text, it never was intended to teach us science - it was written to teach us about life and living and our relationship to God. Just as it records that Noah lead the animals into the arc two by two and says that he brought a pair of every kind but it does not say exactly how many kinds there were because although that would be of great interest to a scientist, it has little importance in what the Bible is teaching us. Likewise, it doesn't matter how long ago God created the Earth, it only matters that He did. And yes, the fact that He did it in 6 days may well be an important issue, whether God did it 6000 years ago, 600,000 years ago or even 6 Billion years ago doesn't matter. It teaches us nothing, it changes nothing. I feel it is a mistake to use the Bible as if it as a science text because it distracts us from the important messages and teachings - it simply was not written for that purpose. Yes, there are scientific things we can learn from reading the Bible, but they are a casual aside and not the point and when we try to force information from the Bible which it was not written to provide we end up with questionable data because it always requires a bit of guessing to fill in the holes. If God had meant us to use the Bible that way, there would not have been holes in the information. If the age of the Earth was important, He would simply have given an event that He knew we would be able to pin down exactly and told us how old the Earth was when that event occurred.

  • 2011-12-15T04:41:22

I'm glad someone uses sound Hermeneutics to clearly state what the Bible says. We may not understand it, but since it is so clearly stated, we are to accept what God has given us. I find it somewhat incredible when otherwise sound Bible teachers argue themselves into a pretzel about the creation's length, all to try to make the Bible fit into what is the current understanding in scientific circles. One only has to look at the recent past to see how many "breakthroughs" later became "never mind's" or were discounted by newer finds. In all these things, one thing has not changed- the Bible. We will never understand everything but we should never discount its words, for His words never change.

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