In a previous blog we said the Bible is like a treasure map that cannot be added to or taken away from. When people argue about the age of the universe and the earth, they cannot add what they believe ‘science’ teaches about the age of the earth. In this blog we discuss Biblical reasons why the earth is not that old. In a subsequent blog we will discuss why some believe the earth is very old.
The chronogenealogies of Genesis 5 and 11:10-26. James Barr, then regius professor of Hebrew at Oxford University, wrote in 1984: ‘ … probably, 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 1–11 intended to convey to their readers the ideas that: … the figures contained in the Genesis genealogies provided by simple addition a chronology from the beginning of the world up to later stages in the biblical story.’ 1 It is interesting that only the genealogies in Genesis 5 and 11 are very specific: the person was so old when his first son was born, and so old when he died.,., et cetera.
From this, the late Dr Gerhard Hasel, who was professor of Old Testament and Biblical Theology at Andrews University, calculated, from the Masoretic Text, that Abraham was born in about 2170 BC. Thus the Flood occurred at 2522 BC and creation at 4178 BC.2 Dr Hasel agrees with Dr Barr that the Bible supports a young age for the earth.
Other evidence that supports a young earth:
Deleterious mutations shortened lifespans. Matthew 19:4 says, ‘…at the beginning the Creator made them male and female…’ From the time of the patriarchs until now lifespans decreased significantly. We don’t want to get into the science of it, but the increase of deleterious genetic mutations explains the shortening lifespans. The human genome could not have survived if humanity is millions of years old.
God stretches a ‘day’ into thousands, not billions of years. 2 Peter 3:8 says, ‘With the Lord a day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years like a day.’ Some Bible believers use that verse to ‘prove’ that the creation days in Genesis 1 were millions or billions of years long. Yet it is clear that the Bible ‘thinks’ in terms of thousands of years.
These are only a few of the reasons why young earth believers reject the idea that the earth is billions of years old. In the next blog we will look if there is any Biblical evidence for an old earth, and whether there is a scientific method to determine the age of the earth.
- Barr, J., Letter to David C.C. Watson, 1984, cited by J Sarfati, Biblical Chronogenealogies, Journal of Creation, 17(3):14-18, December 2003.
- Hasel, G.F., The meaning of the chronogenealogies of Genesis 5 and 11, Origins 7(2):53–70, 1980, cited by J Sarfati, Biblical Chronogenealogies, Journal of Creation, 17(3):14-18, December 2003.