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How old is the earth?

NOTES

Les Sherlock

Posted March 2020



* To anyone who would say it is wrong to use these figures in this way, I would ask, “What did God give them to us for, if it was not to use them? Why do we have such a precise list of years if it is not to tell us when these events took place?”

For any committed Christian, one would think this is a very simple question, easily answered. However, today’s compromise with evolutionary theory has produced all sorts of mental gymnastics on the part of theologians in order to make the Bible fit the theory. The simple answer to the question is to look at the continuous line of the ages of fathers when their children were born,* going from Adam right through to Abraham:

























* Shem was the middle son (Gen 9:24; 10:21). Noah was 600 at the time of the flood, and Shem was 100 two years after the flood. Therefore Noah was 502 when Shem was born.
















* Since Abram's name comes first of Terah’s sons, it is presumed he was the eldest and therefore born when his father was 70

It is universally recognised that Abraham was born no earlier than 2,000 B.C., as can be seen at the following four locations:


BC 1813: chabad.org Jewish web site


BC 1852-1872: christianity.stackexchange.com


BC 1996 -1821: biography.yourdictionary.com/abraham


Early 2nd millennium BCE: ENCYCLOPÆDIA BRITANNICA


Finally, since the year I am writing this, 2020, is dated approximately from the year of Christ’s birth, and the years B.C., previously mentioned, are dated before that same year, then it is quite clear that the time from Adam’s creation to today is in the region of 6,000 years.


I am aware there is an argument that because some genealogies in the Bible have missing generations, then there could be far more missing generations than those that are quoted and therefore the time period can be considerably longer. This is not valid, however, because the ages of succeeding people is given from the birth of one to the birth of the next in an unbroken series, right from Adam to Abraham. So even if they are the names not of children, but grandchildren or even great-grandchildren, it makes no difference. It is impossible for anyone accepting the authority of the Bible to claim that the time from Adam to Abraham is significantly more than 2,000 years, or that the time from Abraham to the birth of Christ is significantly more than 2,000 years, or that the time from the birth of Christ to the present day is significantly more than 2,000 years.


All that remains, therefore, is to determine how long the six days of creation described in Genesis 1 & 2 were. (See this page on my website for a more detailed explanation of this topic than is possible here.) To those who claim these are not 24-hour days but long periods of time, I ask, “Why do you want to make these days longer than 24-hours?” They are defined in Genesis chapter one as one period of dark plus one period of light, and in Exodus 20:9–11 and Exodus 31:17 God said they were the same period of time that He wanted Israel to work each week before they took a day of rest. So how can they be anything else, other than 24 hours? There is nothing anywhere in the Bible to suggest they are not ‘normal’ days, and the only possible reason to make them longer is in order to fit in with evolutionary theory. (Should anyone protest the reason for accepting an ‘old’ earth is not evolution but radiometric dating, then it must be pointed out that radiometric dating is only as good as the assumptions that surround it, and since carbon dating of dinosaur remains puts their extinction at tens of thousands of years ago at most and carbon dating of diamonds buried in rock formations supposedly millions or billions of years old has put their age at tens of thousands of years at most, it is clear that those assumptions revolve around the requirements of evolution, and observations not fitting this theory are ignored!)


Evolutionary theory was popularised by a man, Darwin, who had abandoned belief in God and wanted to have a universe that could create itself. It was taken on board and built on by others with similar motivation. Some people in the church, believing it to be proven science,* tried to manipulate the Bible into accommodating the theory, and having done so made it a part of theology taught in colleges and seminaries. In other words, in the same way that the Roman Catholic church evolved from the true church into something so radically different it took the Martin Luthers of this world to stand against it, so the same has happened to many churches today. We need some more Martin Luthers to stand against this attack on the validity and authority of God’s word.


* The ‘proven’ science has since been shown to be misunderstanding, inadequate knowledge and/or deliberate fraud, as can be seen elsewhere on this web site and on others: e.g.
https://creation.com
https://answersingenesis.org
https://www.icr.org

Evidence that the position I have stated here regarding the age of the earth has been orthodox Christian teaching throughout its history can be seen here, where I quote many leading figures: Origen (182-251); Basil ‘the Great’ (AD 329-379); Augustine (354-430); Thomas Aquinas (1225-1274); Martin Luther (1483-1546); John Calvin (1509-1564); James Ussher (1581–1656); Matthew Henry (1662-1714); John Wesley (1701-1791).


Clearly those who do not accept the authority of the Bible will have a very different approach and conclusion. I fail to see, however, how those who believe the Bible to be the revelation to us of our Creator could contradict what it so plainly teaches: the moment God said, “Let there be light” was around 6,000 years ago and certainly not significantly more.


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Age of the Earth Calculated from Bible Genealogies

Father's name

Age when son born

Son's name

Reference

Age of earth

Adam

130

Seth

Gen 5:3

130

Seth

105

Enosh

Gen 5:6

235

Enosh

90

Cainan

Gen 5:9

325

Cainan

70

Mahalalel

Gen 5:12

395

Mahalalel

65

Jared

Gen 5:15

460

Jared

162

Enoch

Gen 5:18

622

Enoch

65

Methuselah

Gen 5:21

687

Methuselah

187

Lamech

Gen 5:25

874

Lamech

182

Noah

Gen 5:28–29

1056

Noah

502

Shem *

Gen 5:32

1558

Shem

100

Arphaxad

Gen 11:10

1658

Arphaxad

35

Salah

Gen 11:12

1693

Salah

30

Eber

Gen 11:14

1723

Eber

34

Peleg

Gen 11:16

1757

Peleg

30

Reu

Gen 11:18

1787

Reu

32

Serug

Gen 11:20

1819

Serug

30

Nahor

Gen 11:22

1849

Nahor

29

Terah

Gen 11:24

1878

Terah

70

Abram *

Gen 11:26

1948

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