In contrast to the evolutionary view that says that Homo sapiens came into existence 200,000 to 400,000 years ago, young-earth creationists believe the world is only a few thousand years old according to the book of Genesis. By following the Old Testament history and the chronologies in Genesis chapters 5 and 11, Bible students can reach an approximate date of creation.
We can certainly take the book of Genesis 1–11 as factual because Jesus, New Testament authors, and Old Testament authors referred to it as literal history. If their word cannot be trusted on this subject, then their authority is undermined on all other subjects.
In the early 17th century Bishop James Ussher the Archbishop of Armagh (Church of Ireland), published on the most highly regarded chronologies of the world, which showed that the creation of Adam and Eve and the world was around 4000 BC. He used the chronologies in the Hebrew text of Genesis 5, 11 and other passages.
Ussher’s suggested the exact date of 4004 BC differed a little from other Biblically-based estimates, such as those of Jose ben Halafta (3761 BC), Bede (3952 BC), Scaliger (3949 BC), Johannes Kepler (3992 BC) and Sir Isaac Newton (c. 4000 BC).
On Ussher’s calendar, there was three distinct periods: the early times (Creation to Solomon), early age of kings (Solomon to the Babylon captivity), and the late age of kings (Ezra and Nehemiah to the birth of Jesus). When no information at all was provided in the Bible in a specific era, Ussher tried to link a known event from that period with a dateable event in another culture, such as the Chaldeans, Persians or Romans.
Ussher’s specific date for creation was probably affected by the idea that the Earth’s potential duration was around 6,000 years (4,000 before the birth of Christ and 2,000 after), corresponding to the six days of Creation, on the grounds that “one day is with the Lord as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day” (2 Peter 3:8). This view is still held today by many Christian scholars.
|Age of the Earth||Event||Scripture||Date|
|0||Creation||Genesis 1:1–31||4004 BC|
|130||Seth born when Adam was 130||Genesis 5:3||3874 BC|
|235||Enos born when Seth was 105||Genesis 5:6||3769 BC|
|325||Cainan born when Enos was 90||Genesis 5:9||3679 BC|
|395||Mahalaleel born when Cainan was 70||Genesis 5:12||3609 BC|
|460||Jared born when Mahalaleel was 65||Genesis 5:15||3544 BC|
|622||Enoc born when Jared was 162||Genesis 5:18||3382 BC|
|687||Methuselah born when Enoch was 65||Genesis 5:21||3317 BC|
|874||Lamech born when Methuselah was 187||Genesis 5:25||3130 BC|
|1056||Noah born when Lamech was 182||Genesis 5:28||2948 BC|
|1558||Shem born when Noah was 502||Genesis 11:10||2446 BC|
|1656||Flood when Noah was 600||Genesis 7:6||2348 BC|
|1658||Arphaxad born when Shem was 100||Genesis 11:10||2346 BC|
|1693||Salah born when Arphaxad was 35||Genesis 11:12||2311 BC|
|1723||Eber born when Salah was 30||Genesis 11:14||2281 BC|
|1758||Peleg born when Eber was 34||Genesis 11:16||2246 BC|
|1787||Reu born when Peleg was 30||Genesis 11:18||2217 BC|
|1819||Serug born when Reu was 32||Genesis 11:20||2185 BC|
|1849||Nahor born when Serug was 30||Genesis 11:22||2155 BC|
|1878||Terah born when Nahor was 29||Genesis 11:24||2126 BC|
|2008||Abraham born when Terah was 130||Genesis 11:32; 12:4||1996 BC|
|2083||Abraham enters Canaan at 75||Genesis 12:4||1921 BC|
|2513||Exodus of the Jews from Egypt (430 years of slavery)||Exodus 12:40||1491 BC|
|3420||Last deportation of the Jews||584 BC|
|4000||Birth of Christ||4 BC|
Ussher’s logical and historic research was his contribution to the theological debate on the age of the Earth. And today, annotated editions in the highly esteemed King James translation of the Bible is including Ussher’s revised chronology with their marginal annotations and cross-references.
In His service,