Home
Search Bible
Click for Help   Click for QuickNav   Click for Advanced Search Options
Search KJV
KJVNKJVNLTNIVESVCSBNASB
Version Selector Up Arrow NETRSVASVYLTDBYWEBHNV
RVR60VULWLCLXXmGNTTR  

Search a pre-defined list


OR Select a range of biblical books

From:

To:


OR Custom Selection:

Use semicolons to separate groups:
'Gen;Jdg;Psa-Mal' or 'Rom 3-12;Mat 1:15;Mat 5:12-22'

Your Bible Version is the KJV
Go to Top
Link to This PageCite This Page
Version Selector Up Arrow
Version Selector Up Arrow

Cite this page

MLA format Copy link to clipboard

Note: MLA no longer requires the URL as part of their citation standard. Individual instructors or editors may still require the use of URLs.

APA format Copy link to clipboard
Chicago format Copy link to clipboard
Close
Share this pageFollow the BLB
Version Selector Up Arrow

Share this page using one of these tools:

facebooktwitter

googlepluspinterest

reddittumblrlinkedin


Or email this page to a friend:

Version Selector Up Arrow

Follow the Blue Letter Bible on:

facebooktwitter

pinterestgoogle+


Or subscribe to our Newsletter:

Printable Page
 
 
Cite Print
Version Selector Up Arrow

Cite this page

MLA format Copy link to clipboard

Note: MLA no longer requires the URL as part of their citation standard. Individual instructors or editors may still require the use of URLs.

APA format Copy link to clipboard
Chicago format Copy link to clipboard
Close
Version Selector Up Arrow

Share this page using one of these tools:

facebook twitter

googleplus pinterest

reddit tumblr linkedin


Or email this page to a friend:

The Blue Letter Bible
BLB Searches
Search the Bible
Search KJV
KJVNKJVNLTNIVESVCSBNASB
Version Selector Up Arrow NETRSVASVYLTDBYWEBHNV
RVR60VULWLCLXXmGNTTR  
 [?]

Advanced Options

Search a pre-defined list


OR Select a range of biblical books

From:

To:


OR Custom Selection:

Use semicolons to separate groups: 'Gen;Jdg;Psa-Mal' or 'Rom 3-12;Mat 1:15;Mat 5:12-22'

LexiConc
 [?]
 

Advanced Options

Exact Match
Beginning of the Word
Any Part of the Word
Theological FAQs
 [?]
 
Multi-Verse Retrieval
x
Search KJV
KJVNKJVNLTNIVESVCSBNASB
Version Selector Up Arrow NETRSVASVYLTDBYWEBHNV
RVR60VULWLCLXXmGNTTR  

Line-By-Line Order:
Line-By-Line Verse-Reference  Verse-Reference
Line-By-Line Reference-Verse  Reference-Verse
Line-By-Line Separate Line  Separate Line
Line-By-Line Verse Only  Verse Only
Line-By-Line Reference Only  Reference Only
Reference Delimiters:
No Reference Delimiters  None — Jhn 1:1 KJV
Square Reference Delimiters  Square — [Jhn 1:1 KJV]
Curly Reference Delimiters  Curly — {Jhn 1:1 KJV}
Parenthesis Reference Delimiters  Parens — (Jhn 1:1 KJV)
Paragraph Order:
Paragraph Verse-Reference  Verse-Reference
Paragraph Reference-Verse  Reference-Verse
Paragraph Reference-Only  Reference-Only
Number Delimiters:*
No Verse Numbers  No Number
No Verse Delimeters  No Delimiter — 15
Square Verse Delimiters  Square — [15]
Curly Verse Delimiters  Curly — {15}
Parenthesis Verse Delimiters  Parens — (15)
Other Options:
Abbreviate Books  Abbreviate Books
Quotes Around Verses  Quotes around Verses
Remove Square Brackets  Remove Square Brackets
 
Sort Canonically  Sort Canonically

* 'Number Delimiters' only apply to 'Paragraph Order'

Let's Connect
x

Connect on Facebook Connect on Twitter Connect on Instagram Connect on Pinterest Connect on YouTube

Subscribe to our Newsletter

Daily Devotionals
x

Blue Letter Bible offers several daily devotional readings in order to help you refocus on Christ and the Gospel of His peace and righteousness.

Daily Bible Reading Plans
x

Recognizing the value of consistent reflection upon the Word of God in order to refocus one’s mind and heart upon Christ and His Gospel of peace, we provide several reading plans designed to cover the entire Bible in a year.

One-Year Plans

Two-Year Plan

Don Stewart :: Is It Possible to Date the Earth and the Universe?

Choose a new font size and typeface

Customize your font sizeIncrease your font sizeDecrease your font sizeReturn to default font size

Choose a Bible text color
Read the Bible in blackRead the Bible in dark blueRead the Bible in blue

Customize your text type
Arial font
Trebuchet MS font
Georgia font
Times New Roman font

Customize your Hebrew text type
SBL Hebrew font
Times New Roman font
Arial font

Customize your Greek text type
Gentium font
Times New Roman font
Arial font

Close font preferences
Don Stewart
The idea that the Bible gives us enough information to exactly date the creation of the heavens and the earth is held by many people. Traditional Judaism holds the year 2000 is 5,780 years after the creation of the universe. In the seventeenth century the Irish Archbishop James Ussher put the date of creation in the year 4004 B.C.

Based Upon Genealogies

These attempts to date creation were based mainly on the genealogies of Genesis 5 and 10. When the different ages of the men in those genealogies were added up, they believed the result was the number of years between Adam and Abraham. Figuring backward from the time of Christ (in the case of Christians) the year 4004 B.C. was arrived at.

Problems

There are two main problems with doing this. First, the genealogies in the Scripture are not complete - there are gaps in them. This can be seen as follows.

Matthew

In Matthew chapter 1 we read of the following people in the genealogy of Jesus.

and to Asa was born Jehoshaphat; and to Jehoshaphat, Joram; and to Joram, Uzziah; and to Uzziah was born Jotham; and to Jotham, Ahaz; and to Ahaz, Hezekiah (Matthew 1:8,9)

After Uzziah (or Ahaziah) we have Jotham. Yet when we read 1 Chronicles 3:10-12, we discover that there are three generations that are omitted by Matthew - Joash, Amaziah, and Azariah.

Now Solomon's son [was] Rehoboam, Abijah [was] his son, Asa his son, Jehoshaphat his son, Joram his son, Ahaziah his son, Joash his son, Amaziah his son, Azariah his son, Jotham his son

Although Matthew lists Jotham after Uzziah (or Azariah) the writer of 1 Chronicles adds three different names. Therefore Matthew's genealogy is selective - it is not a complete list of everyone in the line of Jesus.

1 Chronicles

There is another example in 1 Chronicles 26:24 that biblical genealogies are sometimes incomplete. The writer gives a list of officers that were appointed when David made Solomon king in his place. This occurred approximately 970 B.C. In the list we read the following.

Shebuel the son of Gershom, the son of Moses, was officer over the treasures (1 Chronicles 26:24).

Gershom was one of the actual sons of Moses (Exodus 2:22). He was born before the children of Israel left Egypt. This occurred approximately 1445 B.C. Yet Shebuel, living in 970 B.C., is called Gershom's son. There are approximately ten generations that would have existed between Gershom (before 1440 B.C) and Shebuel (970 B.C). This is another example of the biblical genealogies being selective, not complete.

Genealogies In Genesis

Since we know that other biblical genealogies contain gaps, it is possible that the genealogies in Genesis 5 and 11 also contain some gaps. If this is the case, then it is impossible to calculate the exact number of years from Adam to Abraham. We simply do not know how many people lived, and how much time elapsed between the creation of Adam and the time of Abraham. Therefore the exact time in which Adam lived can never be known.

Not Part Of First Day

The next problem in attempting to date the age of the earth is the assumption that Genesis 1:1 is part of the first day of creation. This verse may be more of a general statement of what God did in the beginning. It may not be part of Day one of creation. If this is the case, then it is impossible to date when the heavens and earth were created. Since the creation of the heavens and earth is purposely not dated, we should give up any attempt to date the age of the earth and the universe from Scripture.

Day One

Furthermore, the Hebrew text of Genesis 1:5 merely says there was evening and there was morning, day one. While it can be translated first day this is not necessarily the case. When the word first is used in English translations it implies nothing preceded this day. Yet this is not necessarily the idea behind the Hebrew phrase. It could simply mean one day without commenting, one way or the other, if anything preceded it. Consequently the phrase translated one day in the first chapter of Genesis does not necessarily mean that this was the first day of creation.

General Date Known?

While no one can know the exact date of the earth and universe, it is argued that the general age of the earth can be known. The earth was created very recently in six literal days, and it is thousands, not millions or billions, years old. Although there may be gaps in the genealogies in Genesis, these gaps are not for millions of years.

In the two biblical examples given where genealogies do contain gaps, there is, at the most, only 510 years between the two names. Consequently, the biblical evidence is that Adam appeared several thousand years ago, not several million years ago. Therefore the earth can be dated to a general, though not a specific, time frame.

Summary

We do not have any specific date from Scripture as to exactly when the heavens and the earth were created. This matter is left silent by the writers of God's Word. Furthermore, there are problems with gaps in the genealogies. This does not allow us to come up with any specific dates. In addition, there the question as to whether Genesis 1:1 is part of the first day of creation. All of these factors eliminate the possibility of arriving at an exact date of Adam's creation.

Since the Bible does not list any date with respect to the original creation, we should be careful in our insistence as to the age of the earth and the universe.

It is possible that we can generally date the earth and universe as relatively recent based on a literal understanding of the first chapter of Genesis. The question remains, Is this what the writer of Genesis intended the biblical account of creation to be understood? Bible-believers today till remain divided over this issue.


CONTENT DISCLAIMER:

The Blue Letter Bible ministry and the BLB Institute hold to the historical, conservative Christian faith, which includes a firm belief in the inerrancy of Scripture. Since the text and audio content provided by BLB represent a range of evangelical traditions, all of the ideas and principles conveyed in the resource materials are not necessarily affirmed, in total, by this ministry.

Loading...

Interlinear
Bibles
Cross-Refs
Commentaries
Dictionaries
Miscellaneous
Verse Tools Arrow
Login to your account

Email / username or password was incorrect!

Check your email for password retrieval

 

Complete the form below to register  [?]

Error: That Email is already registered

Error: Please provide a valid Email

Error: Passwords should have at least 6 characters

Error: Passwords do not match

Error: Please provide a valid first name

Error: That username is already taken

Error: Usernames should only contain letters, numbers, dots, dashes, or underscores

[ Cancel ]← Login to Your Account

Passwords should have at least 6 characters.
Usernames should only contain letters, numbers, dots, dashes, or underscores.

Thank you for registering. A verification email has been sent to the address you provided.

Error: That Email / Username is not registered

Enter Your Email or UsernameUsername or Email Address

 

← Return to Login

Close LoginCLOSE
Tap to Close