Was Creation 6,000 or 10,000 Years Ago?

There’s a big battle brewing among young-Earth creationists, and the creation scientists at Answers in Genesis (AIG) — the creationist ministry of Ken Ham (ol’ Hambo), the ayatollah of Appalachia — are right in the middle of it.

Their post on this hot issue is About 6,000 Years or 10,000 Years — Does It Matter?, written by Bodie Hodge, Hambo’s son-in-law. Here are some excerpts, with bold font added by us for emphasis:

In a culture that demands Christians give up the Bible and accept the secular humanist age of the earth at billions of years, it seems the discussion about 6,000 years vs. 10,000 years gets left behind. Yes, biblical creationists unite to battle the secular dating system and that is the “bigger fish to fry,” but at times, we can’t ignore the little fish in the bucket that needs to be cooked up too.

Bodie has been assigned the task of arguing about the little fish. He says:

Some Christians try to avoid the subject by generically stating that God created. Of course that leaves room for Christians who mix their Christianity with certain tenets of other religions like humanism’s origins account. For example, when Christians deviate from the Bible in Genesis and deny biblical origins, they are trading it for secular humanistic origins such as evolution, millions of years, and/or the big bang.

We can’t have that! Bodie tells us:

But another issue crops up as well. Have you ever seen statements of faith declaring that creation occurred “6,000–10,000 years ago”? Sometimes people put a range because they haven’t researched the subject. But regardless, they want to leave open the possibility of an extended age of the earth. Why? I’ve talked to others who profess to believe the earth is 20,000–30,000 years old. I’ve even spoken with other Christians who claim to believe in biblical creation (i.e., a young earth and six-day creation), but they really believe the earth is about 50,000 years old!

That’s absurd — we want certainty! Bodie asks:

Do we really think that if we stretch out some dates in the Old Testament we will look better to the world? I suggest not. The world wants you to doubt God’s Word because they doubt God’s Word.

Bodie’s right. A few thousand extra years won’t make AIG look better. He continues:

So what is the earth’s age? About 6,000 or 10,000 years or what? Answers in Genesis has carefully placed in our Statement of Faith that

Scripture teaches a recent origin for man and the whole creation, spanning approximately 4,000 years from creation to Christ.

Why do we say it this way? The Bible spans from the beginning of time (creation) until the New Testament was complete, so the logical place for a calculation based on the Bible is from creation to Christ; then we can add in the time from Christ until today. So we work out the approximate calculation from creation to Christ.

This range from creation to Christ is placed at about 4,000 years, not on a whim but for a very precise reason. AiG limited the earth’s age to 4,000 years in the Statement of Faith because of virtually every chronology based on ancient original language texts (e.g., Masoretic, but also consulting the Samaritan Pentateuch and Dead Sea Scrolls). When calculated, we arrive at the date of about 4,000 years between Creation Week and Christ.

They’re so meticulous! It’s almost as if they were there! Let’s read on:

Few realize that to get 10,000 years, you need to put a gap between every single person from Adam to Christ because, really, you are doubling the 4,000 years to 8,000 years between Adam to Christ. No one tries to add 4,000 years from Christ to today and say that Christ lived 6,000 years ago! But if you put an additional person between every name from Adam to Jesus, that would be over 70 missing people in the Luke 3 genealogy.

That’s absurd! Another excerpt:

Naturally, this calls into question the integrity and accuracy of the Bible in Genesis 5, Genesis 11, 1 Chronicles 1, Luke 3, and others — which makes this a serious biblical authority issue. It would call into question the majority of accounts where fathers and sons are discussed as overlapping in the text too. If you can’t trust the Bible in the area of genealogies, then why trust it anywhere? This would be a dangerous step toward unbelief, especially if taught to unsuspecting children.

Skipping a lot of genealogical material, we get to this near the end:

When you leave open the possibility for the earth to be 10,000 years old, you are suggesting that God erred in numerous places in the Bible. My humble suggestion is to be more precise based on the biblical data that is given. It is better to “err” on the side of Scripture than the side of sinful, fallible man’s ideas about the past.

That’s a good place to quit. Bodie’s right — when presented with a conflict between the bible and “sinful, fallible man’s ideas about the past,” it’s always better to go with the bible. Anything else is heresy, and leads to the Lake of Fire.

Copyright © 2017. The Sensuous Curmudgeon. All rights reserved.

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32 responses to “Was Creation 6,000 or 10,000 Years Ago?

  1. David Evans

    I have to agree with him. 10,000 years is too old for a literal reading of the Bible, but not old enough to include archaeological sites such as Gobekli Tepe. It’s neither here nor there.

  2. From the article: “Is it because we are still influenced by the secular world…”

    Or, as it’s commonly known, reality.

  3. Ross Cameron

    Why do believers put so much effort into retaining a delusion? Is it a fear of the unknown? Familiarity breeding a retention of their understanding?

  4. I notice that there is a conspicuous lack of reference to the chronology of the Septuagint.

  5. “A mind is a terrible thing to waste”.

  6. Michael Fugate

    And don’t forget to take the Boatie Hajj to the Ark Park. Do it today, you may die tomorrow. What will St Peter say at the Pearly Gates, if you didn’t make time to go?

  7. For most folks here, this would be a distinction without a difference. Sadly, this is an important issue for the Hamites and others who forsake reality as Ken Phelps points out.

  8. Apparently creationists are at war among themselves over who can be most dogmatically medieval. This would be funny if they weren’t trying to sucker the rest of us into accepting their beliefs, or force us if we refuse to be suckered.

  9. Bodie Hodge:
    ” It is better to ‘err’ on the side of Scripture than the side of sinful, fallible man’s ideas about the past.”

    And just whose hand wrote the Bible? Why, “sinful, fallible man”, of course. They very well may have misinterpreted “God’s inspiration.”

    One thing for certain that creationist’s have to agree on — to a person they believe that God created the entire universe, which of course includes Earth. Scientists study the evidence of the Earth and the universe, and all the evidence supports an age of the universe of 13.7 billion years, and an age of the Earth of 4.5 to 4.6 billion years. Many, many scientists have studied many, many independent lines of evidence and have come to this same conclusion. So I would say to creationists, “Why would God mislead us with false evidence?”

  10. “This range from creation to Christ is placed at about 4,000 years, not on a whim but for a very precise reason. …
    When calculated, we arrive at the date of about 4,000 years between Creation Week and Christ.

    Sounds like Bodie himself is rather imprecise about the whole dating scheme, can’t say exactly, it’s at about this or about that. Maybe give or take another 4000 years or more?

  11. Michael Fugate

    Is there a difference between 6000 and 6010? and 6100? and 6500? How accurate does one need to be not to end up in the the Fiery Lake?

  12. Charles Deetz ;)

    Isn’t the difference the equivalent to 4.5 Noahs who lived 900 years? Any of that many long-lived generations could account for the difference between 6 and 10,000 years?

    Ignoring tree rings, interstellar light, and The Cliffs of Dover.

  13. How long were those years?
    If things like the speed of light, radioactive half lives, etc. could vary greatly, why not the orbit of the Earth? Maybe the years by which the pre-flood lives were measured were 500 days long, or the days were 50 hours?

  14. This statement: “Ignoring tree rings, interstellar light, and The Cliffs of Dover.” could be succinctly shortened into just “Ignoring reality”. After all, that is what creationists *always* strive towards achieving in the end.

  15. I’m sort of on Bodie’s side. If you’re going to interpret the Bible literally and be a creationist, you’re stuck with 6,000 years. If you’re willing to fudge the numbers or accept the genealogies as inventions, you should be willing to accept all the primeval stories as mythical and just accept what science says.

    Why on earth would you still want to be a creationist if you weren’t committed to complete biblical literalism?

  16. @TomS Hilarious but valid point. Who’s to say how long a day or a year were in primeval Bible times? If nonuniformitarianism is an accepted principle of creationism, everything is negotiable.

  17. Michael Fugate

    Maybe a year was a month and that is how they lived so long. We also know that the earth could screech to a halt – just so someone could win a battle – and start up again with none of the expected catastrophic effects.

  18. Mr. Hodge-Podge asks the $64,000 question:

    If you can’t trust the Bible in the area of genealogies, then why trust it anywhere?

    Ding ding! We have a winner!

  19. TomS beats me to it: the Septuagint gives an older age than the Masoretic, IIRC because the pre-Noachites lived even longer. The Septuagint compilers were in Egypt; did they want an older date to fit in with observed local antiquities?

  20. The simplest explanation for the differences between the Septuagint and the Masoretic is that they represent different textual traditions. Those things happen, and the Samaritan Pentateuch may be just another example. But your suggestion may be the case.
    My question is why someone would exclude the Septuagint chronology. Is it because it would be too Catholic? (The Catholics and Orthodox retain the Septuagint.) Or is it just that it would be a sign of weakness to recognize any doubt in any detail? (See the extreme in the “King James Only” movement.)

  21. Actually, there are a bunch of interesting things going on in the genealogies. In particular: (1) if you add up all the ages of the patriarchs from Adam to Moses (including the overlaps), you get exactly 12,600 years, which has some kind of numerological or calendrical significance. 3.5 years in the lunisolar calendar gives you 1,260 days, for example. (2) The original genealogies did not include a flood story, and when it was added to Noah’s generation, it introduced the problem of Methuselah living past the flood. The Septuagint, Masoretic text, and SP all made systematic but *different* adjustments to fix this problem, and it’s possible to “undo” them and recover the original ages.

    In short, none of this was even written to portray literal history. It’s carefully crafted symbolic literature.

  22. “What will St Peter say ….”
    Wrong denomination, MichaelF. Ol’Hambo doesn’t recognize no saints.

    “Apparently creationists are at war among themselves over who can be most dogmatically medieval.”
    Or rather like the 16th/17th century, immediately after the Reformation.
    Of course they are. As soon as the common enemy (ie you and I and lackluster christians) is defeated that war will flare up like in those good old days. As there won’t be any secular government left to guarantee state-religion separation they won’t have to restrict themselves anymore and Einstein’s Fourth World War will have become a lot more probable.

  23. One needs from time to time to remind oneself that AiG, although claiming to be the only true Christians, are just one of many versions–and in fact, a rather small sect (at least, outside the USA).

    Consider this article from the UK newspaper The Telegraph, which is fitting for Easter: A quarter of Christians do not believe in the resurrection

    Hambo & Co. notwithstanding, literal belief in the Bible is not a prerequisite for professing the Christian faith–at least, not in modern times.

  24. Does anyone have an idea when a belief in a literal interpretation of the Bible became important to Christians? Or when the Bible was considered infallible in the original manuscripts? Or when the question was raised, “How do you know, where you there?”
    Not in the Bible, for sure.

  25. Michael Fugate

    See Charles Hodge at Princeton Theological Seminary?

  26. Infallibiity in the original languages is in the 1646 Westminster Confession of Faith. But this need not imply literalism. “Were you there?” is I think the trademark of 20th century, misattributed to God, through distortion of the book of Job, by a blasphemously presumptuous Ken Ham way back before AiG split from the Institute for Creation Research: http://www.icr.org/article/670/88/

  27. Dave Luckett

    On the Rock of Ages, or the ages of rocks: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vtNdYsoool8

    And for the length of days, from 5;27.

  28. Thank you.

  29. Usually you see less than 10,000 years. Who is advocating 10,000 years? As far as I can tell nobody. The purpose of saying less than 10,000 years is simply to obfuscate the fact that there is no objective evidence for a young earth other than the Bible. If you make it sound somewhat variable it hides the fact that a literal Biblical inference is behind the figure. When you say something like the universe began October 23, 4004 BC, it doesn’t pass the giggle test.
    The only other reason I can figure is that evidence from archaeology and tree rings can point to an Earth older than 6,000, so possibly they are accommodating this.

  30. (Note: I’m not implying that the Bible is objective evidence)

  31. There have been several different Bible-based calculations of the age of the Earth over history. The Hebrew calendar begins 3761 years before the “Common Era”. Christians before the Reformation used the numbers in the Septuagint, which tended to date the Creation about 5500 years before the birth of Jesus. But the Bible leaves some gaps and it takes some speculation to coordinate Bible history with secular history. For example, the birth of Jesus is now recognized as having been a few years before AD 1 – so Archbishop Ussher chose 4 BC.
    The point I’m trying to make is that 4004 BC is not specified in the Bible. It depends upon mere human fallibility.
    It is being generous to the Young Earth Creationists not to tie their faith to a 17th century churchman’s calculations. Ignoring all the others.

  32. Somehow, they’ve got to accommodate the ancient astronauts. Oh, and middle earth. And all of the other ancient history that’s in books, which means it is true.

    Adding up the ages of made-up people is to calculate some unrelated aspect of reality, like the age of the earth, is pretty absurd. That serious people do it is even more absurd.

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