Introduction: In our last few lessons we have discussed
Creation vs. Evolution, and have explored the literal week
of Creation. This week we look at what the Bible and logic
have to say about the length of time since Creation. Was it
millions or years ago or about 6,000 years? Let’s jump in!
- BIBLE TREE?
- For those of you with your Bible, look up 1
Chronicles 1. On the screen we are going to look
at vv. 1-5 and 26-28 (because we do not have
- What are we looking at? (It looks like a
family tree. A listing of at least the first
born who had sons. Sometimes it lists several
- As you look at this “family tree,” does the
list square with your understanding of the
- For those of you who have been reading your
Bible chapter by chapter, this is the exciting
section, right? What could be more exciting
than the “begats?”
- Since this is terribly dull, why do you
think God put this section in the Bible?
(He must have thought that the sequence
was important for us to know. Do you like
it when an important person remembers
your name? It gives comfort to know that
God keeps track of His people.)
- Could you make a rough chronology of the earth
with this list?
- For example, would it be possible to
determine the time between Adam and the
- How would you do it, if you could?
(Turn with me to Genesis 5.)
- Read Genesis 5:3-5. How old was Adam
when Seth was born? (It both tells
you and allows you to do the math.
- Read Genesis 5:6-11. Can you keep a
running total here?
- Read Genesis 5:21, 27-30. We are not
going to do the math today (you can
this afternoon if you want), but
would this allow us to at least
roughly date the flood? (Yes.)
- How accurate does this seem to be?
Does this seem to attempt to be
precise? Or is the chronology kind
of sloppy and vague? (It seems very
precise because it gives the age of
the father when his son was born and
then gives the total age of the
father and son!)
- Turn to Genesis 11. Read Genesis
11:10-14. Genesis 5 ends with Noah.
Does this (starting at Gen. 11:10)
appear to be a continuation of the
- While you have your fingers in
Genesis 11:10-14, I want you to
look up Luke 3:35-36. This may
be a little confusing at first
because they run in opposite
- Do you see any differences
between the two lists?
(Yes. Luke says that Cainan
is the son of Arphaxad, not
Shelah. Luke lists Shelah
as the grandson of Arpaxad.
(Note that 1 Chronicles
1:18 also omits Cainan.))
- What do you conclude from
this? Is this a major
problem? (There are two
issues here. Assuming
Cainan was skipped, only
one generation is skipped.
I would not call this a
“scientific” list, but it
seems it is a pretty tight
list. However, it may be
wrong to assume that Cainan
was skipped. The lesson
notes that the Septuagint
(Greek) version of Genesis
11 includes Cainan, but the
Masoretic (Hebrew) text
does not. Therefore the
omission may only be a
- The chronology of the first several
chapters of 1 Chronicles 1 brings us past
Abraham, to King David and the tribes of
Israel in the promised land. Does that
bring us up to “modern” history?
- Do you think you can, in general,
calculate the total age of the earth
based on Adam to King David and King
David to you?
- THE EVIDENCE?
- Where do we find on this list the short, hairy,
ape-looking guys with the sloped foreheads and no
chins? Where on our list do we find Java-Man,
Nebraska Man, Neanderthal and the various “Cro-”
and “Homo-” fellows we read about in the museums,
text books and newspapers?
- A book I read as a young man was entitled,
“The Spade Confirms The Book.” The idea was
that what had been unearthed through
archeology confirmed the Biblical account of
things. Does the discovery of “early man”
disprove the Bible?
- Do you have any suggestions or theories
on putting the two (the Bible and early
- Let’s look again at Genesis 5:1-4. Based on
your knowledge of the Bible, is there anything
missing from this account? (Cain!)
- Why is Cain not listed?
- Does the chronology of Genesis 5 claim to
be a complete history of all men? (No!
When it says “Adam’s line” it is
referring to those who, in general,
followed God. (See, Romans 9:3-5.) If you
look at the preceding chapter (Genesis
4:11-24), you will find the banishment of
Cain and a short family tree for him that
is separate from the Genesis 5 tree.)
- What, exactly, do you think we have we been
finding in discoveries like Java-Man and
Nebraska Man? Are these early men? Missing
links? Apes? (Dr. Scott M. Huse in chapter
five of his book “The Collapse of Evolution”
(Baker, 1991) discusses the discovery of these
“early men.” Dr. Huse reports that “Nebraska
Man” was based on the finding of a single
tooth! The whole fellow from one tooth. Later
it was determined this tooth belonged to a
pig! These elaborate drawings and models we
find in books and museums are based on bone
fragments and a boat-load of arrogant
- What about all of this scientific dating of the
earth? Doesn’t radioactive dating show the earth
to be billions of years old?
- Can you reconcile the earth age you say you
can compute from the Bible with radioactive
dating? If so, how do you answer the problem
of the apparent conflict?
- Let’s look at Genesis again. Read Genesis 1:1-2, 9-10. What did God do with the ground
during Creation week? Does it appear that God
created the ground or did He shape the ground?
- If He merely shaped the ground, what does
that do to the dating question? (Our
lesson next week gets into this in more
detail. It also argues that my “shaping”
suggestion is wrong.)
- Read Genesis 1:11-12. Did God create baby
plants or mature plants? Does the text of the
Bible give us any clues? (Normally, fruit
trees take several years before they will bear
fruit. Thus it appears that God created
- If God created mature plants, what does
that do to radioactive dating?
- Let’s talk about law and evidence for a
moment. What kind of evidence is radioactive
dating? (Scientific/circumstantial. It is
certainly not first hand evidence.)
- On what basis do we accept scientific
evidence in court? (It has to be
reproducible. You have to be able to do
the experiment over and over again with
the same verifiable results. If you get
different results each time, it is not
- Is that possible with a scientific
method that produces results in the
billions of years?
- According to Huse (page 20)the carbon 14
dating process has determined that living
snails are 2,300 years old and wood from
living trees is 10,000 years old. The
potassium-argon method of dating has
determined that lava flows in Hawaii,
known to be less than 200 years old, are
3 billion years old! If Huse is right,
this kind of evidence would not be
admitted in court because these dating
methods do not produce reliable results.)
- PRACTICAL APPLICATION
- How important is this issue of the age of the
earth to you?
- Does it make any difference to your salvation?
- If you thought your spouse had been lying to
you about his or her background, would that
make a difference to your marriage?
- Would it bother you if God has been making up
the history of the earth?
- Remember we discussed the comfort we have from
knowing that God knows us by name (like those in
the list of the “begats”)and keeps track of us and
our family. If the earth is billions of years old,
would it alter your view of God’s close, personal
attention to us?
- Friend, evolutionists need millions or billions of
years to give some credence to their slow mutation
theory. As we saw in our lesson last week, the
evidence we see today more logically and closely
accords with the Creation story rather than
evolution. A relatively young earth also fits
better with the Creation story. Both Creation and
a young earth paint a picture of an all-powerful,
wise and caring God. That is our God!
- NEXT WEEK: A CLOSER LOOK AT THE CREATION STORY