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Unknown! - The Date of the Creation?

I have often wondered why, when God knows the future as well as the past and present, why He did not give us more information on the date and method of creation. Thinking about this and reading a recent article by Henry Morris, it is plain that God intended it to be understood by ordinary people—not just by scholarly specialists in science or theology. For those of us who believe that the Bible is generally the inerrant Word of God, the phrase YEC (young Earth creationist) seems to become an insult. Of course this depends on who is using it, even in the church the expression is often used in insulting terms because the lie of evolution has seeped into so many churches. YEC is not a term that reflects the beliefs of all creationists who believe the Genesis account is inerrant, because God gives no date, or clue as to when the universe was created.

If we actually apply just a little study to the first few verses of Genesis One, it becomes perfectly clear that the creation of the universe, and so the Earth, was not included in the six days of creation. Early translators did not fully understand Hebrew of the time of Moses, who is credited to with writing Genesis. Moses was educated as an Egyptian prince, I would guess the most highly educated Hebrew up to that time. Moses would have used an Egyptian language, in which he was tutored almost from birth, and the Hebrew slaves may have spoken both languages. Until Moses took the slaves out of Egypt the whole of the Book of Genesis would have been committed to memory and passed on as oral tradition. This oral tradition is preserved today in the male child being required to recite a goodly portion of scripture at the coming of age, the Bar Mitzvah.

Translation is not simply a matter of finding equivalent words, especially when there is a lack of truly equivalent words, we also need to know the grammar that holds the meaning of the words together. No one had considered this in early translations, and one translation had been based on a previous translation, which still happens today to a great extent. One man, named Robert Young, who was a scholar in ancient languages. Young, a Scottish publisher who was initially self-taught and became proficient in various oriental languages. He published works, the best known is possibly being a Bible translation (commonly referred to as Young's Literal Translation) and his "analytical concordance." [Ref: Wikipedia] Young was not satisfied with the translations that existed and studied several different languages in order to discover the grammar, particularly ancient Hebrew and the Egyptian common language, Coptic. Therefore in 1862 Young published his new Bible translation the YLT, that took grammar into account. So now let's return to Genesis One.

The beginning of Young's Genesis is substantially different, this translation reads:

1 In the beginning of God's preparing the heavens and the earth --

2 the earth hath existed waste and void, and darkness [is] on the face of the deep, and the Spirit of God fluttering on the face of the waters,”

Note verse two that tells that the Earth 'hath' existed, the nineteenth word 'hath' is used here, which is a word in the past tense and means 'had'. So Young translated the first two verses as:

'In the beginning of God's preparing the universe, the Earth had existed waste and void and was covered in water in darkness.' (my paraphrase). This translation shines a new light on whether God pre-created the universe some unknown time before He visited as Spirit to remodel the Earth into our home. That unknown time could have been weeks, or it could have in fact bee billions of years, as the evolutionists claim. My personal view is that it was a long period, but not the fourteen-plus billion years, maybe anything from a few million to several thousand years, however time means nothing to God. God is omnipresent, Meaning He is not only everywhere aat the same instant, but He is in every time also.

It is also true that there is a great deal of animosity between a YEC and one, like myself who claims to be a OEC, and I have to say that I was kicked off a creationist website for challenging the strict six-thousand year age for the universe. Many creationists believe that there is truly no evidence to support evolution's date line, but this is untrue, in fact there is little evidence to support the six-thousand year age. One illustration of this is Dendro Chronology, the science of dating wood by the tree-rings. Weather affects the growth rings of every tree, mild weather means a wide ring, more growth, and cold years mean narrow rings For each region we get different weather and so different ring sequences in the region. For each region a record can be built up in a continuous record of weather and so different widths od tree rings. Over the past hundred years or so, tree ring sequences have been built for various species all over the world, with the longest to date consisting of a 12,460-year sequence in central Europe completed on oak trees by the Hohenheim Laboratory, and an 8,700 year-long bristlecone pine sequence in California. So we can see from this that trees and therefore the Earth has been around for at least twelve and a half thousand years. Sadly YEC believers deny this and claim that some years produce double rings, whilst this is true, not every year can produce a double ring. This method is really quite accurate for ageing wood, all you need is a core from a lump of wood, take it away and match it with the record from that area. This is done digitally these days but the results are the same.

Again, looking at space, that gives us another contradiction, a great many galaxies appear much too young to have been created fourteen-billions of years ago, many of them should be simple balls of light if that age were true. However God never gave us a date for either the creation of the universe or the possible gap between the creation of the universe and the terraforming of the Earth, maybe He just wanted us to take it on faith.

So, by saying that the Earth and the universe is strictly six-thousand years old, we are subscribing to another man-made dogma, something that is not in the Bible. The six thousand figure came from Bishop Usher, an Irish Bishop of around the seventeenth century who started the whole controversy by the calculation the date of creation as around 6 pm on 22 October 4004 BC Usher based his calculation of creation on the genealogies in the bible working back from Jesus' birth. We have no idea whether the Bible genealogies are accurate or which which generations have been left out all together. Another problem that Usher ignored was that dates in those days were marked by the number of years of a king's reign, or years after an event, such as an earthquake. The important things to remember is that when He created the Earth, He regarded them as being 'good', in Hebrew the highest grade. He made man and pronounced him good as well, which in the vocabulary of ancient Hebrew was perfect. That we were perfect, and we lost this status during the fall, and that it is Jesus who brings us back to such a state through buying our perfection back.

Many blessings.

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Comments

  • Interesting Derek. I honestly don't get into such conversations, well I do with my own children. I simply think that it should not be an issue where christians are bashing each other as they are today over the subject. You have written very kindly and I sure do appreciate that. 

    What do you think about where the throwing of the angels out of heaven and the creation of the earth come together? Do they? What involvement did the earth have in any of that?

    • Hello Annette, the blog was prompted by reading an article by Henry Morris who I have had discourse with for years.  He is one of those people who subscribe to a very young Earth, and is intransigent of what he belives to be the age of the universe and Earth.  It seems quite logical to me that the universe and Earth must have been created prior to the Spirit of God visited the watery ball that was Earth, otherwise the Spirit could not have visited it.

      However, your question is another of those events, for which God gives no date in His word.  We have the story of the fall in Ezekiel 28:12-19, where God gives Ezekiel, this poetic version of the story, we know this is a poetry passage because of the short lines of text, so we have to read it as such.  By this passage it seems that God created Lucifer, like Adam & Eve, on the mountain of God and in the Garden of Eden.  This is where it becomes confusing, because in verse 17 it says "I exposed you before kings,
          to feast their eyes on you.", does this mean that man was populating the Earth when Lucifer was cast?  It would be nice and tidy if Satan fell before the creation of man, or could it be that there were other people around when the fall came?  We do not know the age of Adam & Eve when they fell from grace, yes God obviously created them as adults, but how long after creation did the fall occur? We also know that Adam and Eve had many children [Genesis 5:4] and Adam died at the age of 930 years, so plenty of time to produce offspring, and plenty of time for factions to form, with a chief or king.  And of course all of those children would also have been reproducing.  Doing some simple maths we can roughly calculate that, based on just twenty children there could easily be over a million people living when Adam dies.

      If we assume that angels (including Satan) were part of the creation of Genesis 1:1, then their fall (including Satan’s) follows that point. However, it may be that angels were created prior to the creation of the heavens and the earth. In either case, angels (including Satan) were present when God “laid the foundation of the earth” and “set its measurements” (Job 38:4, 5), for it was then that the morning stars sang together, and all the sons of God shouted for joy (Job 38:7). This involved all the angels rejoicing with God. Satan and his angels fell, then, sometime after the original creation of the heavens and the earth.

      My view is that God created angels before the creation, but in human terms the fall came many years later, after a goodly sized population was established.  However God's time is not our time, as I have said, omnipresence means both time and space, and we all know that the Bible is not a chronological history of God's people.  When the fall occurred, God actually gave Lucifer to Earth as His domain, so again it suggests that there were other people for him to mislead.  However we also need to bear in mind that God gave Lucifer the duty of being an 'opposer' sort of like the opposition in a democratic government, indeed the name 'Satan actually means, "one who opposes".  Where that role changed to that of the Devil, I am not sure, but God giving Lucifer the Earth, would suggest that he had authority and power over the Earth.  As we know power corrupts and total power corupts completely.

      I hope this makes my position clear, if no then please come back to me, my sister.

      • Thanks for your reply.  I wonder.... is the difference between your view and a very young earth just what happened before Gen 1:2? I know that seems simple but well... that's how I think. All of what you said seems to me to point that way.

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