When were Adam and Eve created by God?

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.

Ussher’s Date

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 EarthEventScriptureDate
0CreationGenesis 1:1–314004 BC
130Seth born when Adam was 130Genesis 5:33874 BC
235Enos born when Seth was 105Genesis 5:63769 BC
325Cainan born when Enos was 90Genesis 5:93679 BC
395Mahalaleel born when Cainan was 70Genesis 5:123609 BC
460Jared born when Mahalaleel was 65Genesis 5:153544 BC
622Enoc born when Jared was 162Genesis 5:183382 BC
687Methuselah born when Enoch was 65Genesis 5:213317 BC
874Lamech born when Methuselah was 187Genesis 5:253130 BC
1056Noah born when Lamech was 182Genesis 5:282948 BC
1558Shem born when Noah was 502Genesis 11:102446 BC
1656Flood when Noah was 600Genesis 7:62348 BC
1658Arphaxad born when Shem was 100Genesis 11:102346 BC
1693Salah born when Arphaxad was 35Genesis 11:122311 BC
1723Eber born when Salah was 30Genesis 11:142281 BC
1758Peleg born when Eber was 34Genesis 11:162246 BC
1787Reu born when Peleg was 30Genesis 11:182217 BC
1819Serug born when Reu was 32Genesis 11:202185 BC
1849Nahor born when Serug was 30Genesis 11:222155 BC
1878Terah born when Nahor was 29Genesis 11:242126 BC
2008Abraham born when Terah was 130Genesis 11:32; 12:41996 BC
2083Abraham enters Canaan at 75Genesis 12:41921 BC
2513Exodus of the Jews from Egypt (430 years of slavery)Exodus 12:401491 BC
3420Last deportation of the Jews584 BC
4000Birth of Christ4 BC
6000+TodayAD 2000+

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,
BibleAsk Team

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