The Church is divided on the issue of the age of the earth. Some people believe the Genesis account of a young earth. Others believe that science has determined the earth is very old. We, however, are convinced that we cannot change the Bible at will. If we change one aspect of the Bible, what prevents us from changing other aspects that we don’t agree with? What is the obvious teaching of Scripture about the age of the earth?
# 1. Genealogies. If we look at the genealogies in Genesis 5 and 11:10-32, we notice that they are very specific. The age of the patriarch when his first son was born, is given. Then how long he lived while he had other sons and daughters and the two are added up to give his total lifespan. It is possible to compute the years from Adam till Noah, from Shem to Abraham and onwards to Christ. 1
# 2. What Jesus said about the age issue. ‘So on you will come all the righteous blood that has been shed on the earth, from the blood of righteous Abel, to the blood of Zechariah son of Berakiah whom you murdered between the temple and the altar.’ 2 Abel lived within a few years of creation and Zechariah is placed at the end of the Old Testament canon, around 500 BC. We have enough Bible chronologies to know that we are talking about a couple of thousand, not millions of years.
# 3. Thousands instead of millions. In 2 Peter 3:4 we read, “They will say, ‘Where is this coming [of Jesus’ second return] He promised? Ever since our fathers died, everything goes on as it has since the beginning of creation?'” There is no evidence that man has been living on the planet for millions of years. As if to amplify it, ‘But do not forget this one thing, dear friends: With the Lord a day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years like a day.’ 3 The Holy Spirit inspired Peter to write ‘thousands’ instead of ‘millions.’
# 4. Consistency in God’s works. The Bible begins with God’s supernatural creation of the heavens and earth 4 and ends with the renewal of the supernatural heavens and earth. 5 If the first creation (natural) evolved in slow motion, why will the second (supernatural) not need to evolve in even slower motion (because of the supernatural character of the renewal)? That means we are going to wait millions upon millions of years for the renewal of the heavens and the earth. Contrary to that, Revelation 1:1 says, ‘The revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave Him to show His servants what must soon take place.’ It does not sound as if God is going to wait for the long age timescale.
Why is the age issue important? An omnipotent God created quickly in the first case. He will do likewise with the new heavens and earth. God is still not pleased with a lack of faith. 6
- L Cosner, How does the Bible teach 6000 years? http://creation.com/6000-years
- Matthew 23:35
- 2 Peter 3:8
- Genesis 1
- 2 Peter 3:10-14
- Hebrews 11:6