The Bible and the Age of the Earth
One of my favorite verses is Isaiah 20:1: “In the year that the commander in chief, who was sent by Sargon the King of Assyria, came to Ashdod and fought against it and captured it–” What? This is unlike John 3:16 or Romans 8:28. Why would it be one of my favorite verses?
Until 1843, Christians were mocked for believing that there was once a ruler in Assyria named Sargon, but then his palace was uncovered, and you can now visit museums to see the evidence. Time has repeatedly shown that it’s never wise to question the historicity of God’s Word. I love the Scriptures, and this verse is one of my favorites because it represents a story that shows the accuracy of the Bible. Archeologist Aren Maeier of Bar Ilan University stated it bluntly, “You can’t do archeology in Israel without the Bible.”
This is important for an age of the earth discussion because the timeline of the Bible is radically different than modern science. The genealogies in Genesis, the historical books, and the gospels lead us to believe the earth is no more than 6-10,000 years old. Can we really trust the history of the Bible when science tells us something radically different?
Theology in Scripture is based on the accuracy of history, even when “science” would interpret information another way. The classic example is the resurrection of our Lord. Science does not believe that people rise from the dead, but the Bible says it happened. And we, by faith, believe this is a historical fact; we praise the Lord for it. Shouldn’t we then also believe what the genealogies and other biblical data tell us about the origins and the age of the earth? If we don’t believe the history of the genealogies, then why should we believe the resurrection was a historical event?
The Doctrine of Inerrancy
This is directly related to a crucial doctrine called inerrancy. Because we believe inerrancy, we do not question the accuracy of Scripture. First Baptist believes that the Bible in its original manuscripts was preserved from error by God no matter the subject it addresses (see The Baptist Faith and Message 2000, section I, “The Scriptures”).
Is It Legitimate to Question Science?
So then, what do we do about the radically different timeline from secular science? Let’s start by asking if we have reason to question the age of the earth, as stated by science. Yes, abundantly. You see, the billions of years old doctrine came into being through the dating of rocks, and the dating methods have proven to be highly questionable. More about that in a moment.
First, though, why do I call it a doctrine? Evolution is a belief system, just as Christianity is. We have core beliefs that are supported by faith in the Scriptures, and evolution has core beliefs that are supported by faith in “science”. Evolution developed independent of a Christian view of life as a theory to explain origins. I would rather believe the history of the Bible written by God than the history of science based upon the theories of men. This leads me to ask, will you allow “science” to control the way you view the Bible, or will you have the Bible be your lens to look at science?
In recent years, “follow the science” has been a mantra chanted by many, but we’re still not totally confident about which science to follow. Do we wear masks or not? Is the vaccine really a vaccine, and does it really help? Science, by its very nature, is a series of questions to discover knowledge. We have the knowledge about origins already recorded for us, though.
It’s important to note that many wonderful discoveries have been made using observational science, which follows the empirical method of testing information. This is different than historical science, where the information we are seeing is interpreted through a worldview. For example, no one was there to see the beginning, so you have to ask, “Whose explanation of nature and the age of the earth makes the most sense of the data?”
With this in mind, here’s some evidence that points to a much younger earth and helps us see that the historical science perspective of the age of the earth science should be questioned.
Dating of Rocks
Did you know that samples were taken from 10-year-old rocks from lava but sent to labs and age ranges from 0.35-2.8 million years came back? Check out this link to read more.
Genetic Material in Millions of Years Old Fossils
Did you know that genetic material has been found in fossils supposedly millions of years old? If dinosaurs lived over 65 million years ago, why do some dinosaur fossils still contain well-preserved soft tissues? If you want more information on this, look here.
Not Enough Salt in the Oceans
- Did you know that if the oceans are supposedly 3 billion years old, there is not enough salt? If you’re curious about this, you can find more information here.
Not Enough Sediment on the Ocean Floors
- Did you know that there is not enough sediment on the ocean floor if they are billions of years old? You can learn more about this here.
By the world’s standards, it is considered the epitome of ignorance to question the doctrine of evolution. I believe it is far more unwise to question the historicity of the Bible. Science is certainly fallible, but we believe with certainty the “infallibility” of Scripture.
One of my former students came up with this children’s poem that captures part of the issue:
Man lies, man dies.
God never lies and God never dies.
Who Will You Believe?
Since none of those who preach the doctrine of billions of years were there, they by faith are believing what their interpretation of historical“science” has told them to believe. We were not there either, but we have the advantage of an eyewitness, the Creator of the universe, who recorded for us what happened and when. Even though He has not recorded for us all the answers about origins, He has given us everything we need for life and godliness (2 Peter 1:3).
I choose the accuracy of the history of the Bible rather than looking at creation through the supposedly accurate lens of historical science. What do you believe?