The Age of the Universe and the Earth

The Age of the Universe and the Earth

Dear visitor, in this article, we will examine the age of the Universe and the Earth from a Christian point of view. Our primary source is the Bible, the word of God.

The Universe and the Age of the Earth and the Bible
For many, the book of Genesis is in conflict with “Science.” In particular, it is often argued that the 1st and 2nd chapters of the book of Genesis contradict the findings of modern science. Of course, such arguments are usually due to the lack of detailed research and the in-depth treatment of the subject.

Various ideas about the age of the universe and the world have been stated in Christian theology. There are two main currents in these thoughts. The first of these is the young worldist view and the second is the old worldist view.

The Young Worldist View
The young worldist view takes the explanations and genealogies in the book of Genesis verbatim, saying that the earth and the human race have a very short history. In fact, one of the prominent names in such calculations was James Ussher. The Irish archbishop Ussher made some calculations through the explanations in the book of Genesis, and the world’s BC. He said it was created in 4004. Today, although the young worldist view does not give this exact date, they say that the age of the world is around 10,000 – 20,000 years.

The Old Worldist View
The old world view agrees with the age estimates put forward by modern science. They express that the age of the universe and the world may be older. However, they state that the world’s aging does not contradict the explanations in the Bible and the book of Genesis.

Throughout this article, I will touch on a few points that can form the basis for the old worldview. Does the Bible really mention the possibility of an old world? Does it allow this? Or should we just adopt the young worldist view?
Maybe we can first look at possible gaps in the book of Genesis. From a biblical point of view, there are possible time gaps between verses. Here are some possible gaps at this point:

Possible Gaps in Creation
1- There may be a gap before Genesis 1:1 for a long period of time.

2- There may be a gap between Genesis 1:1 and 1:2 (this is called the “The Theory of Gap” whether it involves the fall of Satan or not).

3- Even if the day in Genesis 1 is a 24-hour day, there may be a gap between them (a different “Day-Age” theory).

I would like to underline the following: Norman Geisler himself, who has worked on the infallibility of the Bible and is a strong defender of this view, gives these alternative views and underlines that they do not have any negative reflections on the Bible. .

After pointing out the possible gaps in the first two chapters of the book of Genesis, it is useful to convey the views on what the concept of “day” means in these chapters. The young worldist view says that what is mentioned with the day here is the solar 6 days consisting of 24 hours, as it is understood today. But there are alternative views to this view. We can list some of them as follows:

Alternative Views
1- In Hebrew, the word “yom” (meaning day) is not limited to just a 24-hour period. For example, in Genesis 1:4-5, the word “yom” is used to denote daytime. In the continuation of verse 5, he mentions day and night, that is, both as days.

2- In Genesis 2:4, the word “day” is also used for the 6 days of creation.

3- In addition, on the “Seventh Day” God speaks of resting from his work. But according to Hebrews 4:4-11, God still rests, and we can enter His Sabbath, or rest. Therefore, the seventh day of Creation has been going on for at least 6,000-odd years.

4- Persons such as Herman Ridderbos (Is There a Conflict Between Genesis 1 and Natural Science) dealt with the concept of “Day” in creation in a literary framework as great creative events in the past.

5-Another alternative is the “Relative Age” view. Jewish Physicist Gerard Schroeder emphasizes in his book “In Genesis and The Big Bang” that the six days used for creation are six literal [1] days. But by current measurements, creation is billions of years old.

6- The “Apparent Age View” asserts that the universe looks old even if it is young. Philip Henry argued in his book Gosse Omphalos (1857) that Adam did not have a navel – although he was created as an adult. Likewise, the first tree had rings (For Age Determination) when they were created.

7- Moreover, there is a powerful biblical alternative to the 24-hour clock. For example, the Bible does not always refer to the day, ‘yom’, for 24 hours. For example, the word appears in Hosea 6:1-2. Also, the phrase “it was morning and evening” was used in longer time periods. As an example, Daniel 8:14 mentions prophetic days. And when compared to the work weeks of Exodus 20:11, comparison should be made not by the minute, but by the unit.

Well, after all this, what can be said about the meaning of the Hebrew word “Yom” translated into Turkish as “day”? It would be helpful to cite a few quotes on this subject.

Brief Explanations on the Concept of Yom
Gleason L. Archer states in the Encyclopedia of Bible Difficulties:

There are six major scenes in the editing process and these scenes are portrayed as six days of a week. In this context, it is important to observe that none of these six creative days in the Hebrew text received a descriptive suffix. Therefore, it is wrong to translate “first day” as “second day”. The Hebrew text says, “There was evening, and there was morning, and there was the first day” (1:5). In Hebrew, “the first day” is expressed with “hayyom harison”. But this text clearly says “yom echad” meaning “day one”.

Again, in verse 8, we read “yom you” (a second day), not “hayyom hassen” (i.e., “the second day” in English). In Hebrew prose, the definite article is used to express that the noun is definite or definite. Only in poetic structures this definiteness suffix was omitted. The same goes for the other six days. All of them lack the definite article. Therefore, rather than expressing a strict and limited time unit, they adapt very well and in a sequential form [2],[3].

Yom + Sequential Numbers
1- Each of the Hebrew numbers expressed as “Yom + Ordinal Number” used in Genesis 1:8, Genesis 1:13, Genesis 1:19, Genesis 1:23, and Genesis 1:31 (fifth day of creation) It only occurs once in . In all other expressions, it is prefixed with ”ה”, that is, “heh”. This definite is the suffix “this”. In these words, this letter is pronounced with a leading vowel, ”ha+rison”, ”ha+sseni”.

2- In addition, when faced with the “Yom + Number” structure, it does not require 24 hours due to its nature. (Genesis 31:23 / yom=days, Genesis 33:13)

In addition to these explanations and as another gap issue, a few points related to family trees can be mentioned. Should genealogies be understood strictly as Father-Son, as archbishop James Usher puts it? Or are there certain gaps in these family trees?

Post-Creation Gaps
We see that there are gaps in explanations after creation. For example, when examining the family tree in Matthew 1:8 and 1 Chronicles 3:11-16, you can see that at least 3 generations have been deduced. Likewise, Luke 3:35-36 cites a generation not mentioned in Genesis 11:20-24. This explains very well that the word, which can actually be referred to as son in the book of Genesis, can also be translated as “ancestor” in Hebrew. In short, it is based on the account of the Irish Archbishop James Usher (1581-1656). But we see that it is not obligatory to take the family trees exactly as Father-Son. In genealogies, the “Closed-Chronology” shows us that we do not need to support a rigid Young Worldist View.

Having mentioned all these points, it is useful to listen to the words of St. Augustine:
“It is a dangerous approach to assert the authority of the Scriptures against logical explanations in disputes over the natural world. Indeed, revealing time can misrepresent the meanings we attach to the Scriptures. We should not think that any truth about the natural world can be anti-religious; because the truth cannot be the opposite of the truth. God is not divided in opposition to himself.” [4]

St. Augustine warns us against making hasty decisions on certain matters. This warning is very important and at the same time very meaningful in order not to make the mistake made by those who tried to embed the Aristotelian universe approach into the Bible in the Middle Ages. Of course, it should be added that the Young Worldist View does not say otherwise, but states that scientific methods for age determination do not give accurate results. This is an important issue and deserves deep thought.

In conclusion, the Bible does not make us dependent on a Young Earthist view of the age of our universe and the world. There are alternatives to this view that are just as strong. The biggest factor that causes the young worldist view to be rigid about age is the “Theory of Evolution”. Scientists generally try to demonstrate scientifically the long period of time necessary to prove the “theory of evolution”. They think that if the world gets old, it will leave an open door for evolution. But the long period of time alone does not constitute evidence for evolution. Many scientists have already deciphered the impossibility of a naturalistic evolution. Therefore, there is nothing to be afraid of. In fact, contrary to a naturalist or naturalist approach [5], in particular, the “Big Bang” theory strongly shows us that the universe had a beginning.

One thing I will always keep saying: It is impossible for there to be a conflict between Creation, the work of God’s hand, and God’s own word. Of course, it may seem like there are problems. Then two options should come to mind, is the Bible being interpreted correctly or are we getting the message it wants to convey? Or is science really right? Because history has witnessed that the Bible has been misinterpreted. Likewise, it is seen that it is not always fixed in science but has a dynamic structure. Then these two points will help us to verify the situation.


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