Students are often faced with supposed contradictions between the Bible and the “indisputable facts” of science. (Ever notice the “indisputable facts” of science keep changing with new discoveries.) A real problem for Christians is that many have been taught the Bible says the earth is only 6000 years old but carbon dating and other factors indicate it is much older. Is the Bible wrong about how old the earth is?
Contrary to what some Christians adamantly proclaim, nowhere does the Bible declare the earth to be 6000 years old. This age was arrived at by calculations based upon the genealogies given in the Bible which might be a fun exercise but certainly can’t be counted as a scientific investigation for various reasons – mainly because God never intended to give us a Science Text book in Scripture and time is often not counted in Scripture as we count it. So could the earth be 6000 years old? Certainly. Could it be much older? Certainly. There is even good Biblical reason to believe it could be millions of years old even if you interpret the Bible literally as I do.
Even before the time of Christ some rabbi’s believed there was an undetermined gap of time between Genesis 1:1 and Genesis 1:2. This idea is often called “The Gap Theory” and can easily be researched on the web where there are many opponents and proponents of the idea. While I believe the Bible is clear the earth was created in 6 literal days I also see no reason to be locked into a young earth theology because there is good Biblical evidence that provides credibility to the gap theory. In my research however, I have not yet found a critic of the theory who provides equally solid reasons it could not be true. (I have read many who attack it but they always base their reasoning on false logic and/or misunderstandings of the theory.) If you have any good reasons it can’t be true, I would love to look it over. In the meantime, here is a web site that goes quite in-depth into the reasons some believe in the gap theory.
In conclusion, I take no real stand on the issue but tend to lean in favor of the theory – not as a compromise to “science” but because of the Biblical clues. But, in reality, no one knows how old the earth is and one has to believe “by faith” whatever they decide to believe. For example, carbon dating cannot be “proven” accurate. It is all by faith and God wanted it to be that way rather than something that could be scientifically “proven”. He clearly states in Hebrews 11:3 – By faith we understand that the universe was formed at God’s command, …
Apparently he wanted it to be a “faith” decision, which is what it is whether you believe in creation, evolution, some combination of both or some theory you dreamed up after having pepperoni pizza before bed.
Hebrews 11:3 (TLB)
By faith-by believing God-we know that the world and the stars-in fact, all things-were made at God’s command; and that they were all made from things that can’t be seen.