Why do Christians believe the earth is 6000 years old?
it still bugs me, Why do Christians believe the earth is 6000 years old while the simplest fossil can be dated to more than that date?
- Anonymous7 years agoFavorite Answer
ALERT! Error warning! Gross over-simplification in order to set up a straw man that can easily be knocked down!
Only a small percentage of Christians think the earth is only between six to ten thousand years old. They are known as Young Earth Creationists but this is a comparatively new development. All the early Church Fathers took Genesis 1-11 as symbolic, as do the Jews.
The vast majority of Christians have never thought that, because they happily agree that the word for 'day' in the Genesis account has several meanings, not all of them restricted to a 24-hour earth day. For example, Adam was told that in the day he ate the fruit he would surely die, but Genesis says Adam lived to over 900 years of age. However, if as the Bible says elsewhere, that one day is with the Lord as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day, then we can take that 'day' in that warning to be 1,000 years.
But elsewhere in the Psalms, we also learn that a thousand years to God is as a watch in the night (a four hour period to humans). It's a variable term. And all six 'days' of creation are lumped together as one day, in a summary section of Genesis. So please get up to speed and realise that you don't have a quarrel with Christians - only with Young Earth Creationists. Thanks.
EDIT - Re. "you tell us to not take the Bible literally. But, then, in your fourth paragraph, you find a part of the Bible that suits your argument, and you take it literally. And the part you cherry pick is a POEM.."
No, I used two illustrations of how the Bible does not always mean a 24 hour earth day when it says 'day'. In one it could mean 1,000 years minimum, in the other it could add up to 6,000 years as there are 6 'watches' in a whole day so if one watch is 1,000 years, the whole day would amount to 6,000 years. Then other uses of the word day refer to an era - a generation of people at any one time, or the rule of a king; in other words an indeterminate passage of time. I'm not alighting on any one - I'm saying that YECs need to be aware of this and not insist that each 'day' of creation must be 24 hour earth days.
Yes, that bit about a watch in the night is a poem. It still contains the essential truth that God does not view time as we view time. I'm not saying it proves that one day to God is 6,000 years. I wouldn't be surprised if the first 'day' of creation (light being created) happened in an instant, but that millions of years might have passed before the atmosphere on earth was formed. So there's no need for you to get aerated.
- mt75689Lv 77 years ago
Here's the simple answer...
Some guy about 100 years ago got the brilliant idea to take the Creation days in Genesis, the life spans of Adam and Eve, the lists of genealogies, and add them to recorded history in order to come up with the age of the Earth. He arrived at the approximate number of 6,000 years. Because we Christians believe The Bible to be true, many within our ranks embraced this teaching, and it has been repeated over and over again in many churches.
But there are massive problems with the Young Earth idea...
1) It doesn't square with reality.
2) Scientific discoveries don't support it.
3) It doesn't take into consideration the eon long gaps between Creation days.
4) It doesn't take into account that ancient genealogies often skip generations.
It is entirely possible to both honor the facts in scientific discoveries and the truth in The Bible, and it is not by way of embracing the idea of a 6,000 year old earth.
- Uncle ThesisLv 77 years ago
This question pops up every day.
It has been answered a quad-zillion times.
Any Christian worth his salt does NOT believe, repeat NOT, NOT, NOT believe the earth is 6,000 years old.
The number 6,000 refers to the length of time MAN has been on the planet!!!
Even there, it's more like 7,000 and counting.
The earth itself, the planet, is thousands upon thousands of years old.
Will anybody read this and remember the answer ....or, are we doing it all over again tomorrow?
- The fifth apeLv 77 years ago
Because a Bishop named Ussher counted the generations from Adam to Jesus and added up the years they supposedly lived and came to the conclusion that the earth was 6000 years old and young earth creationists have been hanging on to it ever since.
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- 7 years ago
the first words in the bible are "in the beginning" its talking about the beginning of time, and not 6000 years ago. so maybe some christians believe that but not most of them.
- ?Lv 77 years ago
Because if you follow some of the absurd genealogies, you end up with that number upon arrival (going backwards) with "Adam and Eve." For instance, the one in Luke chapter 3, claiming there were only 75 generations between "Adam" and Jesus. Then there's the more original attampt by Bishop James Ussher in 1648. He used Old Testament genealogies to proff the world began (get this) "at the start of the evening preceding the 23rd day of October 4004 BC."
As M. Paulkovich wrote in No Meek Messiah (p. 96) -
"Based on the Bible, Ussher arrogantly calculates our universe's beginning as "the evening before October 23, 4004 BC" (a Dark and Stormy Night, no doubt)—this being at least 4,000 years after the invention of baked bread, and 30,000 years after woven textiles."
- who goes there?Lv 67 years ago
Because at 2013AD, we KNOW what AD means!
'it still bugs me' - really? and you have no clue why???
Didn't you know the age of the earth can be dated with events like 9/11 and "Death to America!"?
Don't be so foolish!
- SarkyLv 77 years ago
Not all christians do believe that.
- aladdinwaLv 77 years ago
If God is eternal, then why did He wait until 6,000 years ago to create the universe?
In your third paragraph, you tell us to not take the Bible literally. But, then, in your fourth paragraph, you find a part of the Bible that suits your argument, and you take it literally. And the part you cherry pick is a POEM; a figure of speech that is obviously not meant to be taken literally.
You can't cherry pick. You can't have it both ways.
- KhakidoodleLv 77 years ago
I am a Christian, and know the world is much older. Be careful of generalizations.