Skip to content
Home » Age Of The Earth In The Bible

Age Of The Earth In The Bible

The age of the Earth has been a subject of fascination, debate, and contemplation for centuries. For those who turn to the Bible for answers, understanding the Earth’s age is not a straightforward matter. In this blog post, we will delve into the Bible’s perspective on the age of the Earth, exploring the various interpretations and theological implications that arise from this complex issue.

Churchgists has provided a well detailed information on the aforementioned and so much more. You will find these details very useful in whatever course you intend to use them for.

The Bible’s Creation Accounts

The Bible offers two distinct creation accounts in the book of Genesis:

  1. Genesis 1: In this account, the Earth is created in six days, with God resting on the seventh. Each day corresponds to specific stages of creation, from light and darkness to the creation of living creatures. Some interpret these “days” as 24-hour periods, suggesting a relatively young Earth.
  2. Genesis 2: The second account provides a more detailed narrative of the creation of humanity, focusing on the story of Adam and Eve. This account does not explicitly address the age of the Earth.

Young Earth Creationism:

Young Earth Creationists, who advocate for a literal interpretation of the Bible, estimate the Earth’s age to be between 6,000 and 10,000 years. They arrive at this timeline by tracing biblical genealogies, primarily in the Old Testament.

Old Earth Creationism:

Conversely, Old Earth Creationists interpret the Bible with a more flexible approach. They propose that the “days” of creation in Genesis 1 may symbolize extended eras or stages of development, allowing for an Earth that is billions of years old, consistent with scientific estimations.

Theological Implications:

The age of the Earth carries significant theological implications. Some believers argue that a literal interpretation of a young Earth is crucial to the foundations of their faith, while others emphasize that the Bible’s overarching message of God’s creative power is the principal focus, irrespective of the Earth’s age.

Harmonizing with Science:

It is essential to acknowledge the scientific consensus that strongly supports an Earth with an estimated age of approximately 4.5 billion years. Scientific disciplines like geology, astronomy, and radiometric dating provide substantial evidence for an ancient Earth, challenging the Young Earth Creationist perspective.

Interpreting the Bible’s Message:

The age of the Earth in the Bible presents an opportunity for believers to engage in thoughtful reflection. Many find ways to reconcile their faith with the vast age of the Earth, emphasizing that the Bible’s teachings are multifaceted and rich in metaphorical and symbolic elements.

The Age of the Earth in the Bible: Unraveling the Mystery

Historically, the Church has distinguished between those doctrines which are part of the well-being of the Church and those doctrines which are part of the being of the church. That is, the latter category if you get rid of this, you’re not the Church anymore: (such as) the deity of Christ, the resurrection of Christ. Those things are necessary, without them you do not have the Church. 

There are other issues where, we never want to say its good to be wrong, but you can be wrong on these things and still have peace with God. Among those would be the issue of the age of the Earth. 

Now when you can be wrong on this, our errors don’t stay discrete where they don’t infect other parts of our lives. There are consequences to denying to I believe is fairly straight-forward. I’ll concede there isn’t a “born on date” for the universe in the Bible or on the universe itself, but I think the Bible’s abundantly clear that God created the world in six days. Those six days are made of twenty-four hours, those hours are made of sixty minutes, those minutes are made out of sixty seconds. 

I think the Bible teaches that because of the sound exegesis. I don’t have to worry about what scientists say, whether they’re for or against young or old earth. My conviction came about because I looked at the Hebrew, the word says Yom and Yom almost always means day, not period, not epic, whose definitions are way down at the bottom of usages. 

I’m thinking, too, what are God’s people hearing as Moses is telling this story as they’re on the Exodus, on their way to the promised land, and Moses says “On the first ‘Yom.’” I don’t think anybody sitting around that fire thought “Oh the first epic, ok” and that’s basic exegesis, basic hermeneutics. If you want to understand what the text means, you have to ask what did the original author want to communicate to the original audience. That’s how I ended up being a young earth guy, I was an old earth guy before that, but that was enough to settle it for me. I think its important but I don’t know anybody that would want to say if you’re wrong on this you go to hell when you die. That’s just crazy. 

How Old is the Earth According to the Bible?

With the ushering in of modern observational science in the eighteenth century, ideas around the age of the Earth began to shift. Before science, the Bible defined popular belief about the planet’s age. As science became the standard by which to define reality, the age of the Earth changed drastically. How old is the Earth according to the Bible? We’ll look at this question now.

How Old is the Earth According to the Bible?

open Holy Bible book isolated on white background
The Bible infers that the Planet Earth is about 6000 years old.©robert_s/Shutterstock.com

According to the Bible, Planet Earth is about 6000 years old. While this number isn’t specifically mentioned in the Bible, it is inferred by scholars based on other information provided. This age fluctuates by a few decades depending on which authority is being studied.  

Adam, the first human being created by God, was made on the sixth day of creation. From this sixth day, there are about 2000 years of human generations defined between Adam and Abraham throughout the Book of Genesis. Since Abraham was most likely alive around 2000 BCE, this puts the age of the Earth at roughly 6000 years old.

What is the Importance of Adam’s Family Tree?

When the Great Flood of the Bible happened, all humans died except for Noah and his family.
When the Great Flood of the Bible happened, all humans died except for Noah and his family.©Maximillian cabinet/Shutterstock.com

The Christian argument that points to Adam’s genealogy as a way to cement the age of the Earth doesn’t leave room for millions of years. Adam was made during the creation week as the first human, and from there, a recorded lineage exists. While some of the people in that lineage had exceptionally long lives, none of their lifespans are long enough to justify the passage of millions of years.

Adam, the first human ever created, came into existence as an adult. He was paired with Eve, and both humans were immortal until they fell from grace. After the fall, they became mortal, though they and their descendants lived for a much longer period than humans do today. The Bible records the ages of these descendants, and when these descendants had children, for many generations.

The Great Flood happened, and all humans died except for Noah and his family. Noah’s lifespan was exceptionally long like those that existed before the floods at around 950 years. After the flood, subsequent generations had decreasing lifespans until the time of Jesus, when ages stabilized into the human lifespan we’re familiar with today.

The Great Flood’s Timing in the Bible and Science

Biblical adherents who do not believe in the accuracy of scientific interpretation of the fossil and geologic records attest that the Great Flood explains why geologic records exist. When the Great Flood occurred, it created the rock layers with embedded fossils that scientists continue to find today.

Some Christians believe that the impact of the flood was so drastic that it compressed the globe, its rocks, and dead animals. This has made it appear older than it is.

Most scientists and Christians agree that some type of Great Flood occurred, though that’s where the agreement ends. Scientists put credence into tools like carbon dating to inform theories about the Earth’s age instead of believing that immense water pressure affected the world’s rock layers.

Cultures throughout the world tell of an ancient cataclysmic flood event, though the timing varies based on the culture. The Hopi in North America, the Inca in South America, the Mesopotamians in the Middle East, and other early cultures have eerily similar flood stories.

There is no hard evidence that a worldwide flood took place simultaneously in all of these places. However, catastrophic floods that changed the fabric of these societies most likely occurred in isolated incidents within a few thousand years of each other.

How Old is the Universe According to the Bible?

The Book of Genesis is the first book of the Bible, and the first lines of this book address the creation of the Earth and the universe. According to Genesis 1:1, the earth was created on the first day of creation. The words used in Genesis 1:1 are as follows: “In the beginning, God created the heavens and the Earth.”

Since nothing existed before the event called creation, the universe is as old as the Earth. This is because it was created on the same day as Earth. This means that the universe is about 6000 years old according to the Bible.

However, Christians also accept that the exact timeline of creation is beyond what can be conceived while living the human experience. This is evident in Ecclesiastes 3:11: “He has made everything beautiful in its time. He has also set eternity in the human heart, yet no one can fathom was God has done from beginning to end.” This, for some, is where Christians begin to allow a belief in science to inform the narrative about Earth’s creation.

How Old is the Earth According to Science?

Fossil records, in correlation with their rock surroundings, help scientists date when an animal was alive.
Fossil records, in correlation with their rock surroundings, help scientists date when an animal was alive.©Paula Karu/Shutterstock.com

According to the scientific community, the Earth is about 4 and a half billion years old. As the scientific discipline of geology evolved, scientists began to understand that the planet is very old.

They developed this theoretical age by studying certain isotopes in various layers of rocks on our planet. They also study how those rocks have been created and moved over time.

Prevailing theories in today’s scientific communities arose in an attempt to explain the physical world around us in measurable terms. These measurable terms can be repeated and altered as science continues to evolve.

The Theory of Evolution relies on the notion that the planet is billions of years old. Evolution states that life emerged as one single-celled organism. For this organism to evolve into the diversity found on Earth today, a huge swath of time covering billions of years is needed.

Fossil records, in correlation with their rock surroundings, help further this discussion. They also continue to legitimize the theory that the Earth is a very old place.

How Old is the Universe According to Science?

Scientists calculate how quickly galaxies move away from us to guess the age of the universe.
Scientists calculate how quickly galaxies move away from us to guess the age of the universe.©Pablo Carlos Budassi / CC BY-SA 4.0 – License

Scientists believe the universe is about 11 to 14 billion years old though this isn’t a hard fact. The universe exploded from a singularity in an event called the Big Bang. Since then, the universe has been expanding. However, this expansion hasn’t been occurring at a constant rate throughout eternity.

These age estimates are primarily based on two forms of observation: looking at the oldest stars, and tracking the expansion of today’s universe. Based on what we understand about how stars function, studying the composition of the oldest stars allows scientists to reverse engineer the process. This reverse engineering informs guesses about how long ago these stars started forming.

To understand how the universe is expanding, it’s important to remember that space is not empty at all. Scientists call the mysterious force in open space dark energy. It is this dark energy that continues to grow the expanse of the known universe.

Conclusion

The age of the Earth in the Bible is a complex and multifaceted subject, one that has generated discussions and debates among scholars and believers for generations. It serves as a testament to the ongoing dialogue between faith and science, encouraging a deeper exploration of the Bible’s teachings and their relationship with our ever-evolving understanding of the natural world. Ultimately, the age of the Earth remains a subject of contemplation and curiosity, calling upon individuals to approach it with open hearts and open minds.

Join the conversation

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *