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Do the Scriptures Actually Say How Old the Universe is?

Do the scriptures really say how old the universe is?

The matter can be broken down to these few questions:

1. Does the Bible teach "Young Earth creationism," "Old Earth creationism," or is it
indeterminate? How or why is that so?

2. Does the Bible explain how animals were created? Why or why not?

3. Does the Bible explain how human beings were created? Why or why not?

It's said that the idea of the Earth being less than 6,000 years old comes straight from the Bible,
word- for-word. This is done by attempting to add up whatever's known about the length of time
members of the genealogy of mankind existed (i.e.: Adam lived for over a hundred years, then
the next child, etc.) along with the first 7 "days" of creation as literal ones.

What this method ends up with are several estimations that dwindle between 5,000 and 10,000
years.

The Young Earth doctrines come from Ussher chronology. James Ussher attempted to calculate
the exact age of the Earth (and the universe as well) and ended up 4004 B.C., which is used in
"Young Earth creationism" to this day:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ussher_chronology

This kind of interpretation is certainly not accurate at all. What's most in error is the
interpretation of the first 7 periods of time of creation as being literal.

The Bible doesn't say when or how long it took for the animals to come to exist. Neither for
human beings. Some may say that the Bible implies it took a day or even a few seconds, but no
where in the Bible does it say how long, when, or how any living organisms came to be. Simply
put, nobody knows. That doesn't necessarily mean it took a long time and we don't know that
length. It just can't be derived from the Bible. From the text, it could be said that it was either a
very short period of time or a very long one. Personally, I don't think it took 7 literal "days."

One would want to look to the original Hebrew text to get a more accurate understanding of how
long. The term used to mark the periods that the earth came to be developed is "time," and not
"day."

For example, take this early verse from the first chapter of Genesis:

Genesis 1:5:
http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/...1;&version=31;
Quote:
5 God called the light "day," and the darkness he called "night." And there was evening, and
there was morning—the first day.
It makes use of the term "day" for the translation, but, of course, the New International Version
is far from a close translation of the original Hebrew text (though, that doesn't make it completely
inaccurate or flawed).

Consider the Hebrew text of Genesis 1 from the Westminister Leningrad Codex:
http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/...1;&version=81;

Looking into verse 5 there, which holds the term "yom" to mention the occurrence of the event.
There are a few internet translators out there that can convert Hebrew to English to come across
the verses even more directly, but from my experience in using these internet translators, they've
been faulty and inaccurate:
http://www.reverso.net/text_translat...hebrew-english
http://www.stars21.com/translator/he...o_english.html

This site notes the Hebrew terms that are being translated for any verse in the Bible:
http://scripturetext.com/genesis/1-5.htm
Quote:

Day
yowm (yome)
a day (as the warm hours),
Here, they use the term "day" for "yom" (which is also spelled "yowm" or "yome" from Hebrew
into English). "Day" is not inaccurate or false as a translation. It just has to be recognized that
"yom" does not mean a 24 hour day.

"Yom" means "time." Of course, "time" can refer to any length, but it is certain that it means to
refer to a period during which something occurred, is being done, or will be done. These verses
concerning the periods of time where the earth came to be developed and the plants and animals
came to be could have taken most any length. Actually, nobody for sure knows. It could have
taken 6 or 7 days ("solar days," "earth days," "24- hour days," etc.), or it could have taken
thousands or millions or billions of years. All that is certain from the Bible concerning the length
is that God knows how long it took for the entirety of all beings and entities in the universe to
come to exist.

Therefore, animals living for millions of years, diversifying through genetic mutations, and many
of which being eliminated if something about their existence is threatened/unfavorable in t he
world (i.e.: dinosaurs, genetically unfit animals, do-dos, etc.) is most definitely possible. The
Bible does teach for it nor against it. Science strongly implies that this is true and there is really
just no contradication or statement from the Bible that goes against animals having existed
over a period of time as long as hundreds of millions of years.

In short, the length of the earth's existence is not explained in the Bible. Nor is how any life
form was created.
Another possibly misunderstanding is with creation. Where in the Bible does it say how God
created all the animals on Earth?

In addition, the matter of whether human beings' physical likeness was based off of the structure
of primates isn't even contested in the Bible. The Bible does say that man was created in God's
image:

Genesis 1:26:
http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/...201&version=31
Quote:

26 Then God said, "Let us make man in our image, in our likeness, and let them rule over the
fish of the sea and the birds of the air, over the livestock, over all the earth, [b] and over all the
creatures that move along the ground."

However, the idea that human beings look like God is certainly far from accurate (and, in fact,
more like hyprocrisy) because God is not of any physical existence. Anthropomorphism of God
is gone against as a doctrine. There is no sort of true, accurate visual representation of God. God
is a supernatural being whose form is limitless and "looks" absolutely nothing like any being that
has ever existed. For all we know, human beings might have been created spontaneously with
the structure of primates or simply came to exist off the line of preceding primates, having the
necessary, unique intellect that makes them human beings. Between human beings and God, all
that's known about the account of Genesis is that was a message to human beings explaning the
beginning of mankind's existence.

In other words, it's spoken with an eye towards communicating to human beings. If one were to
read about the "eye of God" or the "hand of God," it should be evident enough that statements
like these are personifications to describe what God does. God certainly doesn't have physical or
supernatural or invisible "hands" and "eyes." These kinds of statements are spoken with the
intent of communicating to human beings information that concerns the welfare and guidance of
the human race. Genesis, let alone the Bible, is not a scientific textbook that objectively explains
the history of the universe. There are historical events among the texts in the Bible which are
meant to be read primarily as literal, but the context of these should be clear enough. Isn' t it
evident that with all the personifications, all the historical events on revelations, and all accounts
of miracles, that the messages communicated and set in the Bible were spoken with the intent
that it spiritually guide humans? As in, that the message is "human-centric?"

That's why the Bible lacks details in describing all the specific processes and trivial events; they
aren't important in the message being conveyed and don't concern mankind's spiritual guidance.
It's a key concept of verbal communication that you must speak with the intent of conveying a
clear message to the individual you're speaking to. If we were to look at the explanation of the
history of the universe by the Bible from God's truly objective view, it would be evident that the
mere paragraph there is "dumbed-down" to simple, sufficient background information for getting
to talking about the fallen state of mankind that follows in Genesis.
When I was very young, I wouldn't put much thought to how just anything came to exist,
whether scientifically or with consideration of the accounts of the texts in the Bible. Personally, I
would say that if one were to derive the length of animals', of the earth's, or of the universe's
existence, one wouldn't end up with either "Young Earth creationism" or "Old Earth creationism"
simply because the Bible does not say in any explicit amount of detail how long it took.

Creation has undoubtedly been misunderstood, and it's unlikely that there would be complete
unification on the matter of interpreting Genesis.

I would describe creation as simply the gradual, organized development of the physical universe
on it's own, but set in motion by a single force. These periods of time are not "Poof!," "Poof!,"
"Poof!," here's light, here's the earth, here's man. I think of creation as more like life "unfolding"
as a result of the one initial force; that one first conversion of a great deal of energy into mass.

Of course, then again, I could be wrong. The thing is, Genesis isn't there to teach human beings
how they were created, or how the earth and all the animals were created either.

Personally, I'm not sure exactly when or how long it took at all.

I don't think that creation having occurred over a very short period of time is impossible.
Creation within 7 days is definitely possible for God, and there have been a number of cases in
the Bible where spawning life instantaneously (which is somewhat how I think mankind came to
exist) and the formation of set life spontaneously is probable.

I am not saying that the Bible says evolution must have occurred.

I am not saying that the Bible says the Earth is less than 6,000 years old.

I am not saying that the Bible says the Earth's age is very old.

I am saying that maybe the Bible just doesn't say how creation occurred. We know the order of
the events quite specifically, but maybe the rest just wasn't meant to be emphasized and that it
was never meant to be specific on the matter of explaining HOW.

Does the Bible tell us how God created life?

The main reason why this seems to be an issue and is something I'm really worried about
(and why I made the thread) is because of, well, maybe to derive prophetic and historical dates
from the Bible and make doctrinal assumptions from them is not advised or truly disco uraged:

Deuteronomy 4:2:
http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Dt++4:2

Quote:

2 Do not add to what I command you and do not subtract from it, but keep the commands o f the
LORD your God that I give you.
Deuteronomy 12:32:
http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/...2;&version=31;
Quote:

32 See that you do all I command you; do not add to it or take away from it.
Proverbs 30:5-6:
http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/...-6&version=31;
Quote:

5 "Every word of God is flawless;


he is a shield to those who take refuge in him.

6 Do not add to his words,


or he will rebuke you and prove you a liar.
Certainly, interpretation and understanding the message of what's spoken in the texts is
undoubtedly critical, but there have been doctrines set off of statements and evidence in the Bible
that may not even mean to imply such doctrines in the first place.

Young Earth creationism does not contradict what is said in the Bible about the age of the Earth.
Old Earth creationism doesn't seem to contradict the texts of the Bible either.

Between the idea that the physical universe formed over a very long time and the idea that it took
a much shorter, near instantaneous period of time, I would say that it is indeterminable.
Personally, I think it's implied that the Earth's and the animals' formation had a great deal to the
process, much of which has passed over time, but I also acknowledge that creation over several
days is not impossible (and possibly implied by the Bible). After all, spontaneous generation
(i.e.: with miracles, the creation of man, the later introduction of Eve, etc.) has occurred before.
Even mankind has practiced such creation of matter, especially within the past decade. For
example, particle colliders creating matter from energy, the formation of matter and anti- matter.
Maybe that's the way miracles occurred, but I'm not sure about that either.

All I'm concerned with is how we set up doctrines on the matter of how creation occurred;
that we might be contradicting God's Word. When a few different views on the age of the
Earth say that they hold the idea that it's "6,000 years old because the Bible says so", "a few
billion years old because the Bible says so," "over a very long time because the Bible says so,"
etc., it seems that either some are adding beliefs that aren't implied by God's Word, or that we're
all just getting it wrong to even make the assumption from our own estimates.

I don't find the desire nor the acquisition of such knowledge about the universe as problematic. It
would be great insight to know about the age and processes of the formation of the universe. It's
just that, maybe, we don't know enough yet to make such claims (whether 4.2 billion years,
6,000 years, etc.) and that what has been communicated from God's Word hasn't concerned itself
with giving us specific enough information.

Whether you believe in Young Earth Creationism, Old Earth Creationism, or that it's
indeterminate, I would say none of these interpretations of what Genesis 1 implies contradict
with what's said there, primarily because the text of Genesis as a whole doesn't seem to concern
itself with that.

Right now, I'm pretty confused on the entire matter.

For a long time, I would think, nobody knows the age of the universe, the Earth, or life on Earth.
That it's all just indeterminate.

Then I consider Old Earth Creationism and Young Earth Creationism, both of which I think are
probable to have occurred.

Instantaneous generation of a being is seems just as probable as brief conversions of energy into
mass. For example, like Adam and then, later on, Eve, both of whom might be related to other
primates, but don't share the same family tree and don't have a common ancestor with the other
primates.

Then again, the gradual unfolding of life over many millions of years seems like a very
organized, "fate-driven" mechanism for God to have declared specific prophecies (because, for
God, it's all "programmed" and the results are determinable).

As in, yes, creation with quick conversions of energy into matter over 6 24-hour Earth days
seems just as likely as a single conversion of energy into matter that would gradually unfold life.

In short, I just feel it's indeterminable.

If you take anything from the point I'm making about "Young Earth creationism" and "Old Earth
creationism," take this:

Among all the texts of the Bible, it takes only 1 chapter of 31 verses' length to mention how
the entirety of all animals, human beings, and the earth came to exist:

Genesis 1:
http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/...201&version=31

Doesn't this mean that explaining the origin of life, the history of the universe, isn't
emphasized in the Bible?

God may or may not have revealed or given insight to some individuals out there about how he
created the universe. Regardless, none of these details are in the Bible.