Compatibility of Genesis and an old Earth?

What do you think about the compatibility of Genesis and an old Earth?

I love this question because only someone from a western perspective (which we are raised in) would ask it. We come to the scriptures trying to define numbers and values, days and dates, times and seasons…when the Hebrews would assign point and purpose to the God who made it all. 

Let me walk through this with you a bit:

The word for Beginning (where the title of Genesis comes from) is Bereshit (RAY-Sheeth). It could also be translated as "When God began to create." In the Hebrew the entire thought isn't even finished till verse 3 and God brings light into His creation. 

Bere’shit Bara Elohim Shamayim' Erets = Gen 1:1 In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth. In the beginning can mean multiple things. It can mean the first of its kind, the choice part (like filet minion or the top of a muffin), first fruits, or even first born. In the context of Genesis it can really mean: AT SOME POINT.

How old is the earth? IT DOESN'T MATTER.  That's the point of Gen 1:1 In the beginning, God created - "at some point" specifically doesn’t nail down anything.

Some people like to say the earth is 4.5 billion years (radiometric dating), some theologians like to say 10,000 years old because of the genealogies in scripture (which I thunk fails to take into account the proper Hebrew idea in the lineage). The truth is simply, no one knows. 10,000 or 10 billion doesn’t matter, what matters is God made it; that is the point.

Genesis is not meant to be exhaustive; it doesn’t tell you all there is know, but simply what you NEED to know…especially when it comes to the creation account. It is not a book about dinosaurs and monkeys, it is a book about God (and eventually man). God couldn’t tell us everything because we wouldn’t understand EVERYTHING (we are not as smart as God and He would just confuse us if He told us too much). God through Moses gives us what we need to know to know Him and understand what He has done.

What the point for us to see is that a Creator (GOD) made Creation (US). We know this because God reveals this to us. Only scripture reveals HOW it all came to be (only one person was there). Heb 11:3 By faith we understand that the universe was created by the word of God, so that what is seen was not made out of things that are visible.

There is a lot of speculation:

  • The days of creation are periods of time (called the day age theory) where each DAY of creation is actually a longer period of time.
  • Some say the days are literal days (just 7 in number).
  • Still others say God created Adam and Eve about 10,000 years ago (no humans as we define them before that) but that the earth itself could be very old. There could be sunrises/sunsets, animals, plants and that could the earth could be very old, but the 7 days of creation reference a particular piece of real-estate known as Eden. So GOD CREATES EVERYTHING...then the days deal with Eden (this view is gaining much popularity today.)

Young earth or old, they both fit in the Genesis narrative because it is about God. We can even disagree and still both love God and agree that God made it all. Now that is an amazing book!

Imagine this, God set it up for our life and He really is a good God.