Creation story Vs. fossil records

According to the history documented in the Bible, the fall of Adam and Eve took place about 2200 years ago and the story of the Bible continues the story from this point (genesis 3 and on). So how do we reconcile this biblical account with the Homosapiens fossil found in Ethiopia and dated to 200K years ago?!

Edit1:
Correction, the fall was around the year 2200 BC

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There are some of the difficult questions that often cause the believer to stumble. Sometimes I just ignore the difficulties with trusting it will be revealed to a lesser mind like mine at a later date. Sometimes I read there are apples and oranges comparison in the science used. I don’t fully understand how faith and sciencea can be congruent, but when I study and listen to other smarter to me I find the Bible to be true.

In this context I have curiosity around the age of days, the concept of an oxygen rich, preflood world and what effects that has on measuring age. I dont know the answer, but I believe there is a valid congruent answer.

Hi Miriam, firstly and I am sure it is just a typo, but the fall of Adam and Eve was more like 7,000 years ago. If only 2,200 years ago, we are into roughly the Maccabean period history of Israel with Christ’s coming on the horizon.

Anyway I digress. This question of yours is similar to another on another thread, but the question there was dealing about light, that in verse 3 and the lights in verse 14 of Gen 1. I will say here as I said there with regards to questions around the Genesis account, there are multiple opinions and you might find yourself even more confused and wished you never asked the question. Again, as said in the other thread I believe this is where Christian charity needs to play out and where we differ in opinions we will have to say that we will have to agree to disagree.

Saying that that doesn’t mean we avoid the difficult questions and yours is one of them and I will posit my thoughts over my studying of this topic and it will be up to you if it compels you to further study on the matter.

If according to reckoning based on Bible chronology, the race of Adam did not appear on this earth until about 6-7 thousand years ago; but modern geology has shown beyond doubt that the earth existed immense ages before then. How are we to account, then, for the vast period of the earth’s existence before the time when according to the Bible, the Adamic race first appeared.

It is supposed by many that the words “without form, and void,” in Gen 1:2 describe the first condition of the earth after its creation, and that the six days of chapter 1 are therefore six successive stages of the original creative process, but is that the case?

If we say there is no break between the first two verses of Genesis, and the words, “without form and void,” in verse 2, describe the first condition of the earth at its creation, back beyond all geological ages, then of course, the only way we can fit in the vast expanse of time between creation of the earth and the rather recent appearance of man is to say that the six days of Genesis 1 were six great ages of time, and that man appeared somewhere in the sixth age.

But this lands us in huge difficulties when trying to reconcile what we know of science to Scripture. I do not have the time to go into all the difficulties, but to avoid all what could be said, I am a firm believer that the six days mentioned in Genesis 1 are just that, six days of a 24 hour period with the clear start in verse 3 when it says after God’s first command “there was evening and morning” and repeated thereafter in each subsequent day.
The first lesson in Biblical interpretation is that when there are clearly made literal statements the reader should accept it as that. If symbolism is intended the symbolism is clear, ie:“his eyes were like flaming fire”, then the Bible becomes its own interpreter and the answer can be found therein.

So then if we are to accept the plain words of Scripture, yet at the same time avoid the disagreement with established geological facts we have to accept that Gen 1:2 does not describe the original state of the earth at its creation. Genesis and geology are reconciled when we see that between verses 1 and 2 there is a gap sufficient to cover all geological ages, and that the six days describes in the Gen 1 account are not referring to original creation but the reconstruction of earth after some cataclysmic event to allow it to become the habitation of man.

The question is, how do we establish that fact? This is where original language is useful. The Hebrew word for create is “bara”. It is used three time in Gen 1. Verse 1, creation of all matter in the dateless past, verse 21, the creation of the new animal order (day 5), and verse 27, the creation of man (day 6). Bara means a creative act by God in all its perfection, which then denies infinite becoming, man didn’t evolve into man, but God created him a perfect man in the image of God. Therefore if ‘bara’ means a perfect creative act by God, how is the earth without form and void in verse 2? The words used there are the Hebrew words ‘bohu’ and ‘tohu’, confusion and emptiness. These are the same words used by Isaiah when he is talking about the coming judgement of Israel and what will become of them when that judgment is executed, Isa 34:11. This then begs the question how did confusion and emptiness enter into God’s perfection? Again the correct interpretation of verse 2 is not that the earth “was” without form and void but the earth “became” without form and void." Therefore theologians using Isaiah as a guideline, allude to a cataclysmic judgement on what was original creation, and the fossil findings of living creatures and other vegetable matter in the many strata’s of the earth’s crust are the evidence of what was on the earth in what is called the Pre-Adamite age. Therefore all we have in Genesis 1:1-2 is a record of original creation somewhere in the timeless past, a judgement in verse 2 at some time in the timeless past, and that in a moment in time, since that judgement, and roughly according to Bible chronology about 7,000 years ago God started a process over six days to restore the earth for the habitation of man as we know him. This then, as stated, reconciles how we account for the fossil record of creatures that predate the existence of Adam and the human race as we know it. Now the argument can be expounded further with other evidences, but I will leave that to you to study and I hopefully given you enough to whet your appetite for that.

Now I am sure there are other questions as to what exactly was there before, and why did God judge it? The Bible is relatively silent on it, but there are indications in the Old Testament that it had to do with judgement over the rebellion of Satan and a third of the angelic host. Isa 14:9-17, Jer 4:23-7, Ezk 28:12-18. It is said 'the language here transcends any merely local or temporal limits."

What we also cannot forget is that the Bible also teaches us spiritual lessons in all that it reports. So what do we learn from this account. As stated, the word ‘bara’ is only used three times, original creation, animal order and man. We know it means God’s creates in perfection.

We see in original creation that the world is perfect v1, but there is a judgement over a rebellion and the world is plunged into darkness, chaos and emptiness v2. It remains in that state until God speaks over 7,000 years ago and says “let there be light.” With that command we see God begin His work of restoration of his original creation to become the habitation for perfect Man. The six days describe a new beginning but not the first beginning.

What do we see of Man? He is ‘bara’ created in perfection. He sins and judgement falls. The inner world of his heart falls in darkness, chaos and confusion. It continues in that state until the day comes when He (Christ) comes and says “I am the light of the world” and when Men accept that light into their hearts, God begins the restorative work of Men’s hearts, so that their hearts can become the habitation of God. “…“If anyone loves me, he will keep my word, and my Father will love him, and we will come to him and make our home with him.” John 14:23. Adam describes our first beginning, Christ gives us our new beginning through new birth by the Holy Spirit of God.

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Thank you Mark for your answer. Very insightful.
Concerning the 2200 years, i meant 2200 BC.
The idea of “re-creation” is new to me but seems plausible. Can u provide some references for me to dig deeper on this please?

Hi @Miriameweida, great question. Hugh Ross is a great astrophysicist that explains this very well. I have attached two videos.

I hope this helps.
God Bless You in your path to finding the Truth.

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One of the best books I read was by Dr. John Lennox who was one of my lecturers when I studied at RZIM in Oxford. His book ‘Seven Days that Divide the World’ will be a great help.

You can get a synopsis of what he said in a presentation he gave at the Eric Metaxas ‘Socrates in the City’ talks in New York. See link below.

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What verse is it in that a number of years is given ?
I have read Genesis many times but never run across it .
Thank You & God Bless .

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ConsecratedLife,

I don’t know if your question is in relation to what Mariam has stated or my statement of 7000 years?

If mine, that is a rough date proposed by the work of James Ussher, Archbishop of Armagh and Primate of all Ireland. His work was published in 1650 and he used the time lengths indicated in the Bible between know events and worked his way back. How accurate it is no one really knows, but it is what is commonly used.

If you want to know his exact method just do a Google search on his name and no doubt there will be all the various comments on the accuracies or non-accuracy of his method.

Blessings, Mark.

Mark ,
I was interested in God’s Word stressing a specific timeline ?
I am sure there are numerous individuals who have come up with numerous opinions but for me I trust in God’s message to us.
God Bless+ Mike

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There is no single verse that specifies what you’re asking. But you can start in Genesis 5 by adding up the years of the first 10 generations until the flood. You can continue in Genesis 11 adding up the years of the generations to Abraham. You can continue adding up additional dates as you proceed through the Old Testament, and come up with your own numbers - but then you’re just repeating everything Bishop Ussher (and many others) has already done.

But if you’re careful, you should come up with a date for creation somewhere close to 4,000 BC.

I hope this helps you!

Yes but is there any " single verse " where God stresses to us the spiritual importance of calculating & establishing such a date with our fallen understanding ?
Makes no spiritual sense to me.
I have never felt the Holy Spirit move me in that regard .
Let me just ask this question as it relates to the passage of time, when you die and come into God’s presence would expect that with eternity in front of you the passage of a 24 hour period would be the same there as it is now ?
Before the fall Adam both walked with God & had nothing but eternity with no aging process in front of him.
Would that and the fact that his body had not even one decaying molecule in it affect time in the way that we understand it today ?
For me, I would say there had to be something different going on for Adam as it relates to the passage of time.
One biblical fact that is clearly spelled out in God’s holy Word is that with God " one day is as a thousand years " and Adam was physically with God .
For me I have to question any calculation which considers the time circumstances concerning a man who was not aging even a single millisecond to be on par with their own with circumstances decaying by the second .
God Bless+ Mike

Ah - that puts the issue in an entirely different light. Thank you for that clarification.

You are right in saying that before the Fall Adam did not decay. So in that sense, he did not “age”.

And it is true that God dwells in eternity where time does not directly correspond with how we experience it in this world.

But Adam did experience the passage of time in the sense that evenings fell and mornings rose - time in which he was engaged in naming the animals, tending the garden, and experiencing the desire for a companion. Days did pass.

As for a day with the Lord being like a thousand years, I would explain it this way:

Dr. Albert Einstein once said that time is what keeps everything from happening at once. That makes sense - we finite mortals could not handle everything at once.

But God has no problem with “everything at once” at all. When we say that He is eternal, we mean far more than that He’s been around forever. He actually transcends time. He’s outside of it and throughout all of it both at once. Just as His omnipresence means He’s everywhere at once, His eternality means He’s “everywhen” at once.

God is already in all your tomorrows, and He’s still in all your yesterdays.

So, He is with you today on June 2.

But yesterday, when He was with you on June 1, He was already waiting in June 2 for you as well.

And tomorrow, when He moves on with you into June 3, He’ll still be lingering behind in June 2 still.

So how long does June 2 last from God’s point of view? Well, II Peter 3:8 says that it’s like a thousand years, but even that is an understatement. From His perspective, June 2 never ends. All times are eternally present with Him. He is the eternal “I Am” - present tense. From God’s vantage point, there is no future, no past - He is the ever present One.

I hope this makes sense to you.

It does make sense James .
And to further clarify that while Adam did experience evenings & mornings the way we do, we know that
no matter how many of them he experienced before the fall he physically remained exactly the same as the very first morning.
So while we may look at the next 40 years ahead of us and wonder whether we will be able to walk , be in a wheelchair, or even be breathing, Adam could have gone for 400,000 years and had the same spring in his step that he had on day 1.
Our perspective in such a matter is hopelessly skewed by our steadfast march to the graveyard .
Nobody has any idea what amount of time transpired between Adam’s creation and the introduction of Eve.
Add to that void in our knowledge the fact that we are just as clueless as to how much time transpired
from Eve’s creation until the fall .
Based on such gaping informational voids, it is laughable to me for anyone to say they have got it figured out .
God Bless + Mike

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That is true. They would not have aged. So hypothetically they could have spent hundreds of thousands of years enjoying the garden without aging a moment.

But while I can grant that this would have been hypothetically possible, it would not seem likely that they would have gone so long without ever bearing any children. Sure - they could have - it just doesn’t seem likely. Granted that Eve’s conception greatly multiplied after the Fall (presumably to offset the loss through death that would have been absent before), but hundreds of thousands of years without any children? Well, I wouldn’t argue the point - it just seems very unlikely to me.

James,

You say “they”, but initially anyway I spoke to the fact that no one can say what amount of time passed between Adam’s creation and the advent of Eve.
As to your other point I would venture to say that this is yet another Garden instance where our human perspective is skewed by our corrupted rapidly decaying estate .
If Adam and Eve would have remained unchanged by any amount of time prior to the fall , how would a baby have been able to develop ?
The whole , " He who is not busy being born is busy dying " equation not being applicable to them .
For me there is no doubt that along with the great spiritual changes, the fall caused dramatic physical changes in them as well .

God Bless+ Mike

Wait a minute - are you supposing that if the Fall had not occurred, Adam and Eve could have never had children because no physical changes of any kind would have been possible? I mean, I get the concept of no degradation before the Fall, but it sounds like you’re saying not even life flourishing changes such as child growth and maturation could happen either! If that’s what you really mean, then I don’t get it. God plainly told them to bear children and fill the earth. Why would anyone say that such a thing could not happen before the Fall?

James ,
Thank You, God only mentions children after the fall .
We know that Adam and Eve were not physically able to age pre-fall .
Given that fact I do not see how the aging process would have been inherited by any
offspring prior to the fall ?
The dying process would have had to come from Adam & Eve and prior to the fall they were immune to physical aging .
It is informative to note that God makes no reference in scripture to childbirth until after the tragic fall .
And this first reference by God to offspring is in the form of a curse:
“…in sorrow thou shalt bring forth children ,” ( Genesis 3:16 )
For me this indicates that the advent of bringing forth of children is directly related to the fall , the physical transformations it caused & related curse .
It may sound strange to some to believe that just Adam & Eve by themselves would have been enough for God in eternity if the fall had not occurred, but the nature of God is such that if you were the only person on the face of the earth He would have still sent His Son to die for just one solitary person.
This is how valuable even one solitary person is to Him.
God Bless+ Mike

Well, yes - I get the value of even one soul. But the first reference God makes to offspring, be fruitful and multiply and replenish the earth, is in Genesis 1:28 on the day He created them - verse 31 calls it the sixth day, and God says that everything He had made was very good. I cannot go along with the idea that the first people in God’s very good creation could have only multipled after they sinned. Sin brings death, not life.

I think there’s something in your reasoning that you should reexamine. You say that there could be no aging before the Fall, because (apparently) all aging without exception is a negative result of sin. I can see how, with a fallen world being our only experience, we might naturally think that because we already know what the end result of all aging will eventually be - death. I can see how someone in our world might say something like “we’re all busy dying”.

But the world before the fall was a world before death. There were no negative developments in that creation. So all aging would have been leading toward something better. Children conceived would have led toward children born, which would have led toward children growing, which would have led toward beautiful young people and strong people in their prime - and instead of arcing downward from there, all growth would have continued in an upward direction in ways that we cannot now imagine.

So I think I’ll have to part with you at the point where you say there was no growth before the Fall. Taken to that logical conclusion, we should thank sin for the blessing of giving us children.

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Hi @Miriameweida,
I suppose I would be also interested in knowing how the fossils are dated; my understanding is there are certain assumptions made when dating the rocks around the fossils. Francisco shared three carbon dating videos regarding radiometric decay in the below thread; if if interested I wrote a few thoughts as well: (According to carbon dating the Earth is millions of years old but according to creationism the Earth is only 6,000 years old. How can this be?)

I’m still in the YEC camp at this stage; but read and enjoy all of John Lennox’s writing; and I believe the OEC position he holds to would be mankind is a special creation; made from dust - in God’s image, not from a pre-existing animal.

If interested; I also found the discussion ‘Giving Up Darwin’ video quite interesting to work through as well. I really enjoy Stephen Meyer and his work as well in biology.

Just sharing a few thoughts; hopefully some helpful. :slight_smile:

James ,
I see the verse you are referring to Genesis 1:28 where it says God created man and woman simultaneously on the six day.
I never noticed that detail before .
My mind has always focused on Adam being alone with his many tasks and God deciding he needs a help meet on the seventh day in chapter 2.
This inconsistency is brand new to me and I don’t know quite what to make of it yet.
How could Eve have been created on the sixth day with Adam , and then later on after Adam is found to be lacking in all his tasks ?
How do you reconcile the distinctly different descriptions ?
I know one thing, for me it raises more questions than answers .

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