Sunday, 9 February 2014



Archbishop Ussher proposed that the earth came into being in the year 4004 BC. In some AV Bibles, you will have the date 4004 BC beside Genesis 1:1 You can thank Archbishop Ussher for this. He went further and stated the month (October) and again he went further and tacked it all down to the exact date: 23rd.

Who was Archbishop James Ussher? He was installed as the Anglican primate for Ireland in the early 17th century and a very godly man. To the horror of his fellow prelates, he was a good friend of the Scottish Covenanters and preached for Samuel Rutherford. He was a learned man and wrote on Biblical/Theological subjects. We are not talking today about the findings of a fool or a mere enthusiast.

We have 2 questions to ask and answer:
[i] Was he fundamentally right when he said that the earth is only 6,000 years old and
[ii] Does science prove him wrong?

You will notice the careful wording of the 1st question: Was he fundamentally right? I am in no position (nor have I the desire) to try and defend him in his position of tacking the whole matter down so minutely to a day or even a year. I am willing to defend him in his assertion that the earth is a relative young earth - about 6,000 years old. Secondly, where does science stand on the matter?

3 thoughts will greatly help us:


Ussher proposed his dates on the basis of how he interpreted the genealogies of Genesis 5/11 along with other significant dating passages (Egpytian/Babylonian captivities etc)

A/ You views on this will depend on your views of Scripture. What does the Bible mean to you? Nothing more than a book of Jewish myths? Jewish history - but only really for intellectuals? Literally classic - but not for you?

B/ Need to bear John 5:45-47 in mind. This includes Genesis and the genealogies also. Genesis forms part of 2 Timothy 3:16 We expect God to be able to tell us about the age of the earth because: Job 38:4, Genesis 1:1

C/ By working out the different details given…we see that Adam was created about 4,000 BC +2,000 years since Christ (b. 4BC) = 6,000 Scripturally: Ussher on safe ground.

2 types of scepticism:


Tell us that the Book of Genesis is full of poetry and is not to be taken literally. ANS:- Read down line by line (Note: there are over 100 lines the genealogies of Genesis 5/11) and give me a poetical interpretation that evidently overrides any thought that these genealogies were meant to convey literal births and literal deaths with literal lives lived in-between. I accept that there are difficulties in the genealogies. A wise old preacher once observed: "Chronology is a surely cur that has bitten many a man’s fingers." But they are important, for they help establish the historical testimony of Jesus Christ, and incidentally, help us understand a young earth.


I call them secular because many of them are outside the Christian Church (Although their views are inside as well) but this does not mean that they have no philosophy or creed. They tell us that man was not created by special act of creation by a God who does not & could not exist, but that he evolved from primeval soup/jelly and eventually through a slow torturous process became as he is known today. All this needed time and so (they say) the earth is 4½-5 billion years old. [Note: Correct at time of going to press ;o) ] Makes 6,000 years look very young indeed. In order to uphold this view the secular sceptics look to science, and so without blinking, so will we.


Or more precise: What saith science? 
True science does not work on theories, but on observable facts. You may have a theory and seek to prove that theory (acceptable thing to do) but you cannot force the facts of science to bow before your theory. If you cannot reconcile them, then your theory falls to the ground. You don’t twist science.

A/ Those who believe in an ancient earth (4½ -5 billion years) do so to bolster belief in evolution. [I believe this is an attempt to deny God and justify sin] They approach science with this view in mind. Bias. They need all these years because 6,000 years is not long enough for evolution to take place.

B/  Sometimes their dating processes involves circular reasoning: We go to the rocks. The massive hills that no one can remember how/when they got there. Ancient. Explore the rocks - find the fossils. Can we not work out the dates from fossils/rocks? If we can find just 1 thing that is millions of years old - the Bible record is either wrong/hopelessly useless on this matter: Unfortunately the evolutionist needs circular reasoning: The rocks are dated by the fossils, the age of which is determined by evolution. Prove Evolution: The proof of evolution is the age of the rocks in which the fossils are found. Circular reasoning.

C/ Sometimes their different dating processes (Called radio carbon dating) gets it all radically wrong even by own standards: When the blood of a seal, freshly killed at McMurdo Sound in the Antarctic was tested by carbon-14, it showed that the seal had died 1,300 years previously. In another case, a basalt rock in Nigeria was dated at 95 million years by the potassium-argon method, whilst the uranium-helium method decreed the same rock to be 750 millions years old.

D/ In Job 12:8 God encourages us to study the earth. It is wrong to say that Bible faith and science do not mix. Many great scientists (indeed greatest scientists) were Christians/Creationists. When we do so, we find a young earth. Probably 6,000 years old. Science (with all its limitations) does not contradict it, although it contradicts the thought of billions of years old. Prof. T.L. More (Vocal Evolutionist) said: "The more one studies the fossil record the more certain one becomes that evolution is based on faith alone."

Evidence of the fossils show a sudden dramatic disaster (Flood?)
The world is running down.
Sun is shrinking - if it shrunk at the same rate it is shrinking now…you would have no sun.
Salt in the sea, many similar things.
Earth’s population: 4.5 billion which is in keeping with a period of around 5,000 years - the time when 8 people stepped off the ark.


If Genesis is right,  then what about the thought of a personal Creator?
Adam's fall (chapter 3)
What about Exodus and the 10 Commandments?
What about Noah finding grace in God's eyes?
What about Jesus Christ?
What about your soul?


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