How Old is the Earth?


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I believe that we must separate two truths here. One is that man was created six thousand years ago. We know this by following the genealogies in the Bible. Nevertheless, we run into another issue; is the earth 6,000 thousand years also? Genesis 1:1-2 tells us,

“In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. The earth was without form, and void; and darkness was on the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God was hovering over the face of the waters.”[1] (NKJV)

Now, lets look at some definitions here; lets start with the word, “Beginning”, this is the Hebrew word, “rēʾš̌iyṯ: A noun meaning the beginning, the first, the chief, the best, the firstfruits. Occurring fifty-one times in the Old Testament, this term holds the honor of being the first word written in the entire Bible (Gen. 1:1). Often, the term denotes the point in time or space at which something started, except when it specifies the point when time and space themselves were started (Isa. 46:10).”[2]

The second word we will look at is “Created”. This is the Hebrew word, “bārāʾ: A verb meaning to create. Only God is the subject of this verb.”[3] How do we go from, “in the beginning God created…” to verses two of Genesis 1? To “The earth was without form, and void; and darkness was on the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God was hovering over the face of the waters.”[4] Genesis 1:2. Shall we assume that what God created in Genesis 1:1 was without form and void? I do not subscribe to such view.

From here on we read the expression “and God saw that it was good” over and over. What reason do we have to conclude that in the beginning God created an earth that was without form and void? Did God created garbage? I believe that some catastrophic event happened between Genesis 1:1 and Genesis 1:2; I believe that between the two verses there is perhaps millions of years. Between these two verses we can see science in harmony with the Word of God. We can’t say that the earth is only six thousand years with all the archeological evidence we have of dinosaurs for example.

I am not sure what this catastrophic event was all about; some say that it represents the fall of Lucifer when he rebelled against God; I don’t know. However, there are some verses in Jeremiah that perhaps give us the answer to this mystery.

23I beheld the earth, and indeed it was without form, and void; And the heavens, they had no light. 24  I beheld the mountains, and indeed they trembled, And all the hills moved back and forth. 25  I beheld, and indeed there was no man, And all the birds of the heavens had fled. 26  I beheld, and indeed the fruitful land was a wilderness, And all its cities were broken down At the presence of the Lord, By His fierce anger.27 For thus says the Lord: “The whole land shall be desolate; Yet I will not make a full end. Jeremiah 4:23-27 (NKJV) 

We can interpret these verses as Jeremiah declaring judgment for Israel; however he describes the earth as being without form and void, the same Hebrew words used in Genesis 1:2. He also states in verse 27 that, “The whole land shall be desolate.” Since the creation of me, when have the whole land being desolated? 2 Peter 3:3-7 also gives a clear window to the reality that we are dealing with two worlds; one created and the other one recreated by God.

knowing this first: that scoffers will come in the last days, walking according to their own lusts, and saying, “Where is the promise of His coming? For since the fathers fell asleep, all things continue as they were from the beginning of creation.” For this they willfully forget: that by the word of God the heavens were of old, and the earth standing out of water and in the water, by which the world that then existed perished, being flooded with water. But the heavens and the earth which are now preserved by the same word, are reserved for fire until the day of judgment and perdition of ungodly men.[5] 2 Peter 3:3-7

            How old is the earth exactly? I don’t know, but it could be in the millions of years. I do agree that the recreation of the earth and the creation of the animals was completed in six literal days. However, I strongly agree that there is a gab between Genesis 1:1 and Genesis 1:2. I believe that gab not necessarily tells us how old is the earth is, but perhaps is the time between the fall of Satan and the recreation of the earth and creation of the animals and us.

[1] The New King James Version (Nashville: Thomas Nelson, 1982), Ge 1:1–2.

[2] Warren Baker and Eugene E. Carpenter, The Complete Word Study Dictionary: Old Testament (Chattanooga, TN: AMG Publishers, 2003), 1027.

[3] Warren Baker and Eugene E. Carpenter, The Complete Word Study Dictionary: Old Testament (Chattanooga, TN: AMG Publishers, 2003), 161.

[4] The New King James Version (Nashville: Thomas Nelson, 1982), Ge 1:2.

[5] The New King James Version (Nashville: Thomas Nelson, 1982), 2 Pe 3:3–7.

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