How old is the universe?
by Edgar Andrews
A correspondent recently asked me the following question:
“I just have a quick question for you. As an expert in the field, I was wondering what your personal view is on the age of the earth. As an archaeology major who focuses on circa 3500 – 1400BC, I am having a hard time reconciling the date of the flood, and creation, as given by young or old earthers, with artifact evidence. An example would be that the flood is dated at 2304, yet Sargon united Babylonia at 2300, just four years later, which does not work, being that Noah and his sons would be the only ones around. I was thinking that the young earth date of 6-10,000 BC does not really fit, but I am not willing to ascribe to billions like Hugh Ross. If the date of creation was somewhere between, let’s say, 20-30,000 BC, it would fit much better with the accepted dates of ancient civilizations, because then maybe the flood could be earlier. Also, what is your opinion on the Genesis genealogies? Do you feel that insignificant ones were left out or is it an unbroken chain? Thanks in advance for any help!”
I replied as follows:
Sadly, quick questions don’t always have quick answers and you open up several hotly debated subjects! However, briefly, the key to my personal position is the exegesis of Genesis 1 given by the conservative Hebrew scholar E. J. Young which can be found at http://www.christianbeliefs.org/books/genesis/gen-1.html
Basically Young sees Gen. 1:1 as a description of the original ex nihilo creation of the whole universe (not as a summary of what follows as the YECs teach). Then v.2 onwards gives an account of events occurring on earth or observable from earth … that is, the perspective from v.2 onwards is strictly an earth-bound one…
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