the age of the earth according to the bible

Some christians are quite literal in how old they say the earth is according to the bible.  I have got to admit I am on the side of the “the earth has been around for billions of years” crowd.

Anyways – if you take it literally from the bible here is the timeline:
Beginning with the archeological landmark event of the fall of Jerusalem (which has now been corrected to 588 B.C., instead of 586-587 B.C.) and counting backwards the prophesied number of years between this event and the division of Solomon’s kingdom (390 yrs. + 40 yrs., according to Ezekiel 4:4-7), brings us to 1018 B.C.

From the end of Solomon’s 40-year reign to the start of the Temple in the 4th year of his reign takes us back another 37 years to 1055 B.C.

From the start of Solomon’s Temple “in the 480th year” (1 Kings 6:1) back to the Exodus from Egypt (hence 479 years previous) brings us to near 1534 B.C.

From the Exodus out of Egypt to Abraham’s entering Canaan from Haran was exactly 430 years to the day (Gen 12:10/ Exodus 12:40/ Gal 3:17), thus around 1964 B.C.

Since Abraham entered Canaan at age 75 (Gen 12:4), he was born approximately 2039 B.C.

From Abraham’s birth to Noah’s grandson (Shem’s son), Arpachshad’s birth, 2 years after the Flood started, was 290 years (Gen 11:11-26), this places the onset of the Flood at around 2331 B.C. [definitely 4,300-4,400 years ago].

The genealogy of Genesis 5:3-32 precludes any gaps due to its tight chronological structure and gives us 1,656 years between Creation and the Flood, thus bringing Creation Week back to near 3987 B.C. or approximately 4000 B.C.

Therefore, the biblical age of the Earth (using Scripture itself as a guide) is 6,000 years !! (note: assume you are reading this blog around the year 2000, give or take a decade). Mankind did not evolve 4 million years ago on an Earth which is 4.5 billion years old in a universe which was “big-banged” into existence 18-20 billion years in the distant past.

Jesus Christ said He made mankind male and female in the beginning (Mark 10:6), and that when the heavens and the earth were commanded into being (Gen 1:1), they “stood up together” (Isa 48:13) not billions of years apart !!

Notes to self:

  • have i taken something out of context?
  • is this where the bible is ‘literal’ and a day is actually billions of years?
  • did God include this in the bible for interests sake…but really he wants us to not spend too much time on this bit…and spend more time on loving him and loving others!

edit:  I wrote this post just to note it down.  Like I do for most of my posts.  It’s just stated.  As I said originally, I belong in “the earth has been around for billions of years” crowd.


5 thoughts on “the age of the earth according to the bible

  1. If we love others, we want them to be saved and come to a knowledge of the truth. The truth is found in the Bible. To deny the historical details God chose to include in His eternal word undermines the truth of the part of Scripture that tells you to love people, too.
    To God be all glory,
    Lisa of Longbourn

    PS: There is scientific evidence against an old earth, and perfectly intellectual and scientific explanations for the billions and millions ages proposed by geologists and radiometric dating techniques.


  2. Lisa – thanks for the comment.

    I am a big one for not cherry picking the bits in the bible that make sense straight away or align with my own limited world view…as I suspect you are.

    So that’s why I try and lay it out…test it…and try and understand it.

    Lots of times I fall back on a simple faith…and focus on what I feel God wants me to do in my life.

    I appreciate we can’t all be experts in everything. So God makes it simple for us by telling us what’s the most important things (love him, love your neighbour)…and lets us delve into the details where we are each individually gifted and/or passionate.

    Keep your passion alive!


  3. Nope, I love the whole Bible. I’ve read it and study as much of it as I can, but I’m young yet, and working on it. My worldview is limited to that which matches Scripture and is completely internally consistent.
    To God be all glory,
    Lisa of Longbourn


  4. If you’re the sort who considers “science” to be the documented opinions of anyone trained in science, then you can find a way to doubt that the earth is billions of years old. (I won’t argue with you here…you can learn a little more about what science actually is by looking up the term “peer review.”)

    I would however like to say that believing the Bible requires more than just reckoning it against contradictory evidence from a thousand separate and independent empirical sources…you also have to reckon it against the stories of other peoples. The first known sources for Genesis and Exodus come from 600 B.C., and they really only occur in Israel. But in the same part of the world, the polytheistic story of Gilgamesh is written down in dozens of languages, all over the Middle East, dating back to 2000 B.C. And it’s pretty obvious the Israelites copied this story…if you don’t believe me, read it for yourself…the first man made of clay, a forbidden tree, exile from a garden…a catastrophic flood. Where was your God for the thousands of years of human history during which this story was being told to millions of children before the Hebrew alphabet was even invented? Why would you choose to believe a Hebrew knock-off of this story that…ah hem… just so happens to proclaim that Israelites are superior, can enslave the people of other cultures, and are entitled to commit genocide against Philistines? And while Buddha’s compassionate, anti-idolatrous, and psychologically complex message was spread across the earth’s great cities, what is it in the Old Testament that you find so compelling, that it would make sense for God to be hanging out in the desert talking to illiterate shepherds about how jealous and angry he is about not being obeyed all the time? Read the Bible with common sense and a modicum of knowledge about other cultures, and it will be entirely clear, I promise you, that it is not God’s word, but a series of clumsy and very human proclamations about the hopeful destiny of an isolated ethnic group.


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