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Where does the Bible teach that the earth is billions of years old?


Well-known member
Genesis 1:1 is not speaking of the beginning beginning or absolute first beginning. Thus debating whether this beginning occurred 6000 years ago or 13.75 billion years ago is not addressed by Genesis 1. In fact a careful scrutiny of the Hebrew words used in Gen 1:1 is useful. "Bereshit" or "To begin:" "Elohim" or "Gods" plural "bara" or "created", "shamaim" or "heavens" again plural "v ha eretz" or "and the earth". Thus there is no definite article "In THE beginning". The Hebrew might even just mean "To begin [the account]: Gods created the heavens and the earth".

According to science the earth only came into being 5 billion years ago whereas the heavens came into being 13.75 billion years ago. So a scientist who is also a believer would know that this opening verse is NOT referring to a particular original beginning because heaven and earth creation are separated by 8 billion years. So a scientist-theologian (like I consider myself to be) reads Gen 1:1 to be making only one point and that point is that at some time in the past, Gods created everything.

Thus it would be pointless of me to debate what time Genesis was referring to since I do not believe it is referring to either "a" beginning or "the" beginning, but rather making the point that God is the creator of all.

Genesis 1:2 again I read in the same light. God did not create the world originally "without form and void" or in a messed up state. Again I read the Hebrew of Genesis 1:2 to say "And the earth [at some point in the past] BECAME [not WAS created] without form and void. That again fits in with my belief about God. God could as easily have created it originally perfect in one go, or in a nano-second. Why would God purposely create it a mess and then spend 7 days fixing up this mess?

Again, that ties back to Gen 1:1 NOT talking about an absolute beginning. Genesis 1:2 is now picking up the story of earth after at some point, long after creation, earth had BECOME without form and void. The Hebrew "haita" can equally be translated "was" or "became" and became makes more sense.


Well-known member
That's a delightful fairy tale.
Especially when including evolution as the story of our origin, I disagree that "fairy tale" is the genre. To include that story in that genre doesn't work because it's unrealistic even for a fairy tale. That story belongs in a genre like "musing of the institutionally insane".