Compromising The Creation Account
By Wayne Jackson
The name of the game is intimidation. It is a tragic but nonetheless true fact that numerous views are propagated in the world today simply on the basis of intimidation. Those in the greatest number, or those most vocal, frequently intimidate the relatively muted minority into accepting their views, or at least to some extent the few are coerced into subdued compromise. That is precisely what has happened in the case of many professed friends of the Bible. For instance, many intimidated by the scholastic, welt-polished, and highly publicized theories of the “scientists” have altogether abandoned any confidence in the Genesis account of man’s origin in deference to evolutionary speculations. Numerous others, however, not willing to forsake the totality of their faith, sought an amalgamation, an illegitimate alliance, between the creation and evolutionary views.
One such area of inexcusable compromise has been in connection with the geological-anthropological theories of earth and human history. Evolutionists constantly contend that the earth is approximately 4.5 billion years old. This estimate is based upon preconceived assumptions that are buttressed by the dire need for vast eras of time to accommodate an alleged gradual and progressive development of all living things. So, evolutionists adamantly argue for a very ancient earth. But what of man? Where does he fit into this scheme of events? Well, in the words of George G. Simpson and his colleagues (evolutionists all), man “is a newcomer, a Johnny-come lately”1 in comparison to most other forms of life and especially the age of the earth. Another writer who endorses the evolutionary geological time-scale suggests that “man is a very recent newcomer to this planet;” in fact, he argues that man’s history is but a tiny fraction of earth’s history.2
Such assertions need to be carefully examined to see whether or not they are accurate in light of the inspired Scriptures. The Bible is right regardless of what certain scientists and pseudo-scholars may claim. Remember, yesterday’s “science” is frequently tomorrow’s superstition. The latest speculation of the antiquity of man dates him at about 3.6 million years of age.3 Let us look closely al this and see if it has any implications for the Bible believer. If the earth is 4.5 billion years old, and man has been on earth for 3.6 million years, simple mathematics reveals that man is but 1/1250th of the age of the earth. If such is the case, man doesn’t even deserve the appellation of a “Johnny-come-lately.” He is but a speck on the panorama of geo-history. Perhaps the following illustration will dramatize the force of this. Suppose we let -hour day represent the sum of earth’s alleged history. This means that the supposed 4.5 billion years of earth history are represented by the 86,400 seconds of one day. Since man’s age is assumed to be only 1/1250th of the earths; his age on a one-day scale would be only slightly more than one minute and nine seconds! Look at it in another way. If one draws a horizontal line one hundred feet long, and at the right end directly underneath it another line only one inch long, he could graphically see the difference in the alleged respective ages between the earth and man. Accordingly, if the whole of earth’s history is viewed from man’s current vantage point, human existence commenced virtually at the END thereof. The impact of this needs to be clearly noted. The evolutionary hypothesis (and views related to it) do not allow that man originated at the BEGINNING of creation’s history; rather, at the END of if. Anyone, therefore, who accepts the evolutionary chronology of geo-human history, cannot possibly believe that man has existed from the beginning of the creation. Yet, this is what the Bible affirms repeatedly!
The NT phrase “from the beginning” (ap’ arches and ex arches) denotes “the first point in time, its occasion being determined from the context.”4 While it is certainly true that the expression can involve some degree of relativity, such must obviously be fairly limited. Other wise the usage becomes meaningless. In other words, when something is said to be “from the beginning” of a certain period, there must be a reasonable degree of proximity involved. With this in view, note the following examples.
(1) Concerning Adam and Eve, Jesus
declared: “But from the beginning of the
creation, Male and female made he them” (Mark 10:6). Christ dates the
first human couple from the creation week, “Beginning” (arche) here is used “absolute,
denoting the beginning of the world and of its history, the beginning of
denotes “the sum-total of what God has created.”5
(2) In Romans 1:20 Paul writes: “For the invisible things of him since the creation of the world are clearly seen, being perceived through the things that are made, even his everlasting power and divinity; that they may be without excuse..,” The phrase “since the creation of the world” translates the Greek apo kilseos kosmou. The preposition apo here is used “To denote the point from which something begins,“7 and thus is rendered “since.” The word “world” is kosmos and it denotes “the orderly universe.”8 Kosmos primarily meant order or arrangement, but came to be applied to the universe due to the order characteristic of it.9 Trench observes that kosmos is “the material universe...in which man lives and moves, which exists for him and of which he constitutes the moral centre...”10 So Paul declares that the orderly universe, since the time of its commencement, has testified to the invisible things of God through the things that are clearly seen and perceived by man. The term “perceived” is from noeo, a word used for rational intelligence, while “clearly seen” (kathoralai) is an intensified form of horao, a term which “gives prominence to the discerning mind.”11 Both “perceived” and “clearly seen” are present tense forms and they denote “the continued manifestation of the being and perfections of God, by the works of creation from the beginning..”12 The point is perfectly clear the power and divinity of God, as revealed in the things that are made, have been observable to human intelligence since the creation of the world. Man thus has existed from the beginning. The earth is not billions of years older than mankind!
(3) Though the Genesis account does not declare how long Adam and Eve were in the garden of Eden prior to the event of their fall, it obviously was not very long. This is revealed by the fact that Christ, referring to the curse of death upon the human family; said that the devil “was a murderer from the beginning” (John ). Westcott notes that; ”When the creation was complete, he brought death upon the race of men by his falsehood (Romans ).”13 Again, human existence is placed near “the beginning.”
(4) In Luke 11:45-52, the Lord rebuked the rebellious Jews of that day and foretold the horrible destruction that would soon be visited upon them. He charges them with following in the steps of their ancestors and hence announces that upon them will come; “the blood of all the prophets, which was shed from the foundation of the world” (50). Then, with parallelism characteristic of Hebrew expression, Christ re-phrases the thought by saying, “from the blood of Abel unto the blood of Zachariah...” Now here is the very important point — Jesus places the murder of Abel back near the foundation of the world. Of course the death of Abel necessarily occurred some years after the initial creation week, yet it was close enough, from a first century viewpoint, to be associated with the beginning of the world. However, if the world came into existence several billion years before the first family, how could the shedding of human blood be declared to extend back to the foundation of the world? That would be some hyper bole!
(5) In the Lord’s Olivet discourse
He prophesied of the great suffering that would descend upon
(6) Finally, if is quite apparent that the Jews of the first century believed that the antiquity of mankind extended back to the creation (an impression nowhere contradicted by an inspired person). For instance, certain mockers asked regarding Christ: “Where is the promise of his coming? for, from the day that the fathers fell asleep, all things continue as they were from the beginning of the creation”(ll Peter 3:4). These citizens of the apostolic age took it for granted that the patriarchs of old existed from the time of the creation. Furthermore, the blind man healed by Christ, in expressing his amazement at the miraculous powers of the Saviour, exclaimed that “Since the world began it was never heard that any one opened the eyes of a man born blind” (John 9:32). White these final two points would not be sufficient alone to make the case; they do nevertheless reflect a harmony between divine teaching and first century opinion of man’s history.
Were it not for the speculative assertions of modern “science”, there would be absolutely no controversy as to the clear meaning of the historical statements of sacred literature. But the truth is, some have allowed the unsupported theories of current scientism to be the criteria by which they interpret the Bible. Such is a great error!
In conclusion let us note the following. (1) Science does not know the age of the earth. And, as Dr. Robert E. Kofahl has observed, certainly “it is not possible to ‘prove’ that the earth is billions of years old.”14 Even the evolutionary views regarding such are so unstable. Between 1900 and 1960, the estimated age of the earth increased from 50 million to some 5 billion years. Dr. A. E. J. Engel, Professor of Geology of the California Institute of Technology, humorously suggested that if we just sit back and relax, the earth’s age might get up to 10 billion years or so by 1980.15 (2) True science does not demand an ancient earth. Dr. Donald Chittick declares that “the idea that the earth is very, very old is not in any way suggested by any studies in science. It arises as a result of rejecting Special Creation.”16 (3) Finally, there are many evidences, both scientific and scriptural, that point to a relatively young earth that has been inhabited by humanity since its beginning. Let us, therefore, not compromise the Biblical record for the sake of placating unreasonable, faithless, hopeless infidelity!
1. G. G. Simpson, C. S. Pittendrigh, L. H. Tiffany, LIFE: An Introduction to Biology, (New York: Harcourt, Brace and Co., Inc., 1957), p. 797.
2. John Clayton, Does God Exist? Course 8.
Old Footprints in
4. H. Bietenhard, The New International Dictionary of New Testament Theology (Cohn Brown, ed., Grand Rapids: Zondervan 1976) I, p. 166.
5. H. Cremer, BibIico-Theological Lexicon of New Testament Greek (Edinburgh: T & T Clark, 1962), pp. 113, 114, 381.
6. S. T. Bloomfield, The Greek Testament with English Notes (Boston: Perkins & Marvin, 1837), I, pp. 197, 198.
7. William Arndt & F. W. Gringrich, A Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament and Other Early Christian Literature (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1967), P. 86: Cf. Winer’s Grammar of the Greek New Testament, p. 463.
8. Arndt & Gingrich, op. cit., p. 446.
9. W. E. Vine, Expository Dictionary of New Testament Words (Westwood NJ: Fleming Revell, 1962), I, p. 233.
10. A. C. Trench, Synonyms of The New Testament (London: Kegart Paul, Trench, Trubner & Co., 1890), pp. 215, 216.
11. J. H. Thayer, Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament (Edinburgh: T & T Clark, 1958), p. 452.
12. James MacKnight, Apostolical Epistles (Nashville TN: Gospel Advocate, 1960), p. 58.
13. B. F. Westcott, Commentary on John (New York: Charles Scribners Sons, 1907), p. 137.
14. Robert F. Kotahl, Handy Dandy Evolution Refuter (
15. A. E. J. Engel, ‘‘Time and the Earth,” American Scientist 57, No. 4, 461 (1969).
16. Donald Patten (ed.), A Symposium of Creation II (Grand Rapids: Baker 1917), p.73.
Two Books you need to read: THEISTIC EVOLUTION by Bert Thompson; a masterful exposure of theistic evolution by a scholarly writer. FORTIFY YOUR FAITH by Wayne Jackson. A book filled with evidences that will strengthen your faith.
Post Office Box 690308