Wednesday, May 29, 2013

How old is the universe... biblically speaking?

How old is the universe... 

biblically speaking?

How old is this universe according to scripture? Can we look to scripture to even help us understand this?
(This article is not exhaustive but an overview using the information available in scripture to frame a basic understanding)

Archbishop James Usher, a great scholar, who lived from 1581 to 1656, added all the genealogical chronological records of Scripture and said that he felt that the creation occurred in 4004B.C. So is the world, the universe...6000 years old?

Starting from chapter 5 onwards we see a sequence… "he lived so many years and had a son, then he lived so many years and had a son". Six days from the creation of the universe to the creation of man. From the first man Adam to the Flood we have 1,656 years. 

Then Genesis 11 gives the chronology from the Flood to Abraham. It starts out with the children of Noah (verse 10) and goes right down to Abraham, that's 225 years. 
Six days + 1,656 years + 225 years. So under 2,000 years and we are at Abraham.

Genesis 12 starts with Abraham and go through the Old Testament historical books. Proceed through those books and you have the chronology from Abraham to the Babylonian captivity.

From Abraham to the Babylonian captivity..   430 years in Egypt + 40 years in the wilderness + 7 years conquering Canaan + 350 years of the Judges + 110 years of the United Kingdom under Saul, David and Solomon + 350 years under the divided kingdom of Judah and Israel + then we have the Babylonian captivity, 70 years + the return and the rebuilding 140 years. 

So, from Abraham to the return and rebuilding of Jerusalem and the rebuilding of the nation Israel is about 1,500 years (1,497 added up).

Following the rebuilding and the restoration, at the end now of the Old Testament, we have 400 years of silence. 
So total about 2000 years, 

From the creation to Abraham is about 2000 years. 
From Abraham to the New Testament is about 2000 years. 
From the beginning of the New Testament to now is about +2000 years.

So even if there were "gaps" in the chronology the overall sequence from creation to date gives us a fairly clear picture of how old the world, this universe is.

[With thanks to John MacArthur for the historical data]

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