We want to ask an interesting question in this blog: when Jesus was on earth, did He know when creation happened? It is rather logical that He did, as He created the sun, moon and stars, the timekeepers (the New Testament repeats three times that Jesus is the Creator 1). Let’s look at what Scripture reveals.
# Jesus’ references to the age of the earth
- When they questioned Him about marriage, He answered “Haven’t you read…that at the beginning the Creator made them male and female.…” 2
- In Mark 13:19 He said, ‘Pray that this will not take place in winter [the coming persecution], because those will be days of distress unequalled from the beginning, when God created the world….’
# If Jesus referred to the ‘beginning’ twice, did He know when it all began?
- As a Jew, Jesus knew the Old Testament Scriptures very well. To illustrate it, He was twelve years old when His parents left Him, by mistake, in Jerusalem after the Passover. When they went back to look for Him, they found Him in the temple, ‘…sitting among the teachers, listening to them and asking them questions.’ 3 By the time His active ministry began at the age of 30, He must have known a lot more. The Jewish Scriptures, the 39 books of the Old Testament, provide the date of creation.
# The date of creation
Let’s look what the Old Testament reveals about the age of the earth:
- Daniel’s prophecy in chapter 9:24. Basically the Holy Spirit revealed to Daniel that from the crucifixion of Jesus backwards to the decree to rebuild the walls of Jerusalem was 483 years. 4
- The exile in Babylon lasted 70 years. 5
- The times of the kings of Judah were about 390 years.
- It was 480 years from the building of the temple by Solomon till the Exodus. 6
- Backwards from the Exodus to the covenant with Abraham was 430 years. 7
- From Noah to Abraham was 427 years.
- The combined lifespans from Adam to the flood was 1,656 years. Genesis 5:3-32; 9:29; 11:10-26 give the ages of the patriarchs. The genealogies were very important to show the human bloodline of Jesus: born of a woman, Son of Adam, Son of God. 8 (After Jesus the New Testament no longer gives genealogies. When you are spiritually reborn by the Holy Spirit, God becomes your Father. Your human genealogy isn’t necessary for God’s records.)
- If you add up those dates, the creation happened around 4,000 years before Christ. 9
# We live about 2,000 years after Jesus.
- The 4.000 years before Christ plus the 2.000 years after Christ add up to 6.000 years. Therefore Biblical chronology shows that the heavens and earth were created about 6,000 years ago.
- The secular world and many theologians ridicule that date. They accept the findings of ‘science:’ the earth is 4, 5 billion years old.
- Their opinion of Jesus and the age of the earth is the same as that of the teachers of the law, Pharisees and others who called Jesus’ disciples, ‘…unschooled ordinary men.’ 10
The Old Testament reports thousands of years. It does not mention millions or billions of years anywhere. In Psalm 90:4 it is written, ‘…a thousand years in your sight are like a day that has just gone by.’ From this it is obvious that the idea of millions or billions of years does not come from the Bible, but from an outside source. Not even eternity is measured in billions of years, because there are no timekeepers in eternity.11
- John 1:3, Colossians 1:16, Hebrews 1:2
- Matthew 19:4
- Luke 2:46
- Nehemiah 1,2
- Daniel 9:2
- 1 King 6:1
- Exodus 12:30
- Luke 3:23-38
- NB! The above dates are a very abbreviated version according to FN Jones in his book, The Chronology of the Old Testament, Master Books, 1993-2005. There are other similar books like Usher’s and Thiele’s. Since it requires an intensive study, we only summarised the main points.
- Acts 4:13
- Revelation 21:23; 22:5