The Bible is always a great source for discussion. Every person, whether Christian, Agnostic, Atheist, or Jewish has their own beliefs and interpretations. DJH would like to share his thoughts with you. This is part one of ? He’s not sure yet.
Faith is a topic that can create emotional outbursts. Please remember to keep things civil and try not to take DJH’s or anyone else’s belief system as a personal attack on yours. And as always, please don’t attack another commenter.
Recently, I found an old favorite mini-series of mine from back when I was in 1st and 2nd grade. The show is called The Greatest Adventure: Stories from the Bible. This is part of a longer story for me of rediscovering who I am as a Christian and coming back into faith.
But re-watching it, I discovered myself asking a question: where is the historical accuracy for the Bible? For example, the story of Noah. As the story goes, the entire world was flooded. Well… How would this happen? The entire world going underwater would take a lot of water and things to occur.
So I decided that I would actually look into and theorize how the Bible fits into history. And for this, I’m simply going to take this from both a religious and atheistic route. My two sources will be history- and the Bible.
The Creation of the World
Our first encounter is, of course, creation. The start of it all has brought a lot of controversy about. “How were we created?” being the most common piece of controversial trivia.
Well this one isn’t actually that controversial in my opinion. The Big Bang occurred however long ago and we came from it. The question of what actually caused the bang is another theory and one that I don’t plan on going into as it goes well beyond my field of knowledge. I’ll simply say that nothing can only produce nothing.
Now another question often comes up. How long ago was the Big Bang, and how long ago was the earth created? Well- according to science, the bang occurred roughly 14 billion years ago, and the earth formed in it’s infancy about four billion years ago.
According to some people, the world is less than 10,000 years old. This is based on the ages of people given in the Bible. But this raises another question that I’ve seen thrown out there: are the ages in the Bible correct in OUR terms? For us, a year is 365 days (366 every four years). But what was it like for people in the early stages of the Bible? They didn’t really understand the rotation of the earth, so a year was likely the time between the harvesting of crops. But what if harvesting came too early or too late?
Another question I’ve recently confronted relates to the story of Adam and Eve. Adam lived to be 930 years old (making him the third oldest person in the Bible after Noah and Methuselah). But was that from his creation, or was that after he left the Garden of Eden? Here’s my train of thought.
Where is the logic in counting years where one didn’t need to count, and when there was likely no harvesting to even count the years? We know Adam and Eve were the first farmers, but they likely didn’t harvest prior to their expulsion from Eden. They already had all the most delicious fruit in the entire world at their fingertips- why would they need to harvest crops? So the question arises, when did they begin tracking Adam’s life?
My theory is that Adam began counting the years in his life after the events in Eden. Prior to this there wasn’t anything that made him need to count- he wasn’t at risk of dying, so why count what one needs not count? And of course how would he count the years in his life anyways?
So then this comes to the other side of the question: how old is Adam, and how old is the earth itself?
If we go off of the Bible, the earth was created in six days. Again questions must arise about the basis of six days. For example, we assume these days were consecutive. God could make anything, so why wouldn’t they be? But at the same time, God must’ve strategized. Remember, the reality of creation was that it was long enough for a civil war to break out between Lucifer and God. So it clearly wasn’t a short period of time. And with that said- let’s line up the actual events of Creation with this idea in mind:
· Day Zero
Prior to the actual start of creation, earth was formless and void of life. We know the earth was covered in water, and that’s really it.
· Day One
On the first day, God created light and separated the light and the dark. He called these creations “Day and Night” and that’s what we still call them.
· Day Two
Day Two is where God basically created the atmosphere. This is where our planet became roundish, thus losing the formlessness it had before. It is also likely where gravity comes from. Day Two is where the idea of God doing this in a lot more than a day comes into play. God is a great, extremely intelligent guy- but he had to work this out. So it likely took a very long time for him to fully work out the details. Gravity, the atmosphere, the shape of the planet. A lot of stuff would’ve needed to be perfectly ironed out for it to work.
· Day Three
Day Three is where God made land, vegetation, and the stars. Again- mapping out the land by itself would’ve taken ages to do. Plotting every single piece of grass, every tree, all of it… It makes my head hurt just thinking of it.
· Day Four
Day Four was when earth became full of non-plant life. Flying creatures and the creatures of the seas were the first creations, and both came into fruition on this day. Now- let me put it this way… How many flying animals do you see on a daily basis? Imagine designing each and every one of them… Holy crow my head hurts.
· Day Five
On Day Five, God made land animals and they all bowed to the dogs because dogs rule. Again- designing all of the land animals…
· Day Six
On Day Six- God made Adam. Now there are some theories that God made a woman on this day as well who was quickly seduced by Satan- but there isn’t any evidence of this theory in the Bible.
And of course- on the seventh and final day, God rested.
So how long did all of this take? Is it at all possible that it took billions of years? I mean- if it was long enough for a civil war to break out in heaven, it was surely longer than seven days. All the planning that went into it and so on and so forth. I have no doubts that this took a very long time.
And of course, how long was it between when God made Adam and when he left the Garden of Eden? Well, we don’t know. But I can guesstimate how long something lasted- Adam’s counting of the animals.
According to a 2011 study published by the Census of Marine Life, there are about 8.7 million animals in the world- plus or minus 1.3 million. Going on the top of that estimate- there are 10 million animals in the world. If Adam spent an hour on average naming each animal, it would’ve taken him about 416,667 days (or 1,141.5 years) to fully name every single animal that is currently living. So instead of living for just 930 years, Adam lived for 2,071.5 years if my calculations are correct. And we still haven’t even factored in extinct animals, and animals we may not even know about…
So basically, we really don’t know how long the world has been around with the Bible.
Next time I’ll jump into another story: Noah’s Ark.