Does the Bible tell us the age of the universe?

The Bible does not directly tell us the age of the universe, and there are different interpretations of Scripture that can support different proposed ages.

A strictly literal approach to Genesis puts the age of the universe at around 6,000 years old. Taking the creation account in Genesis 1 to refer to 24-hour days and calculating back from the genealogies in Genesis 5 and 11, Adam would have been created around 4000 BC. The earth would have been created just days prior. Assuming the entire universe was created at the same time, it, too, would be about 6,000 years old.

Others, who see the Genesis 1 creation as a more poetic, non-literal account, vary their belief about the age of the universe from several thousands of years old, to millions or billions of years old.

As previously stated, the Bible does not specifically give a date of the creation of the universe, but says that God created everything "In the beginning" (Genesis 1:1). "Beginning" here is the Hebrew word bereshith, meaning "head."

Genesis 1 repeats the phrase "And there was evening and there was morning" after many of the six days of creation, leading many scholars and Christian scientists to believe that each of the creation days was 24 hours long. Others say the word "day" in Hebrew (yom), is used poetically or non-literally elsewhere in the Old Testament, in such places as "the day of the Lord," and could be used that way in Genesis 1.

When the historical accounts of the people told about in Genesis 1—11, and so on, are taken literally and added up, the creation of the first man, Adam, can be placed at about 4000 BC. This doesn't go back to the first part of creation, so there is still the question of the length of the creation days. Some also would argue the possibility of "gaps" in the Genesis 1 account.

Got Questions Ministries, the organization that runs CompellingTruth.org, takes a young earth position, believing a literal 24-hour day interpretation is the better interpretation. We do not significantly disagree, though, that the earth and the universe may be well older than 6,000 years. It could be that the "beginning" that Genesis 1:1 states is the beginning of God's activity on earth to bring about the redemption of people. We don't believe one stance or another pose any significant theological problems versus another.

Motive is always questioned when theologians argue one age or another, the same as it is questioned with scientists who push one theory or another about the age of the universe. It is wise to query motives and investigate the theorist's own view of God Himself.


Related Truth:

How old is the Earth?

Does the Bible support the Day-Age Theory? Did God take six literal 24-hour days to create the world, or six ages?

The Gap Theory – What is it? Did anything happen in between Genesis 1:1 and 1:2?

What happened on each of the six days of creation?

Creation vs. evolution - What does the Bible say?


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Truth about Creation






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