Young Earth vs. Old Earth Creationism

by Samuel Brooks

In this post, I’ll briefly discuss the difference between young earth and old earth creationists, while I provide my own views and reasons.

The reason why there’s a debate between these two views is over the age of the earth. One of the reasons why young earth creationists believe in their view is because they take the word ‘day’ in the Book of Genesis to mean a literal six 24 hour consecutive days [Young Earth Creationism]. The old earth view holds that the age of the earth is billions of years old as opposed to the earth only being several thousand years old that the young earth view holds to [Old Earth Creationism]. While I used to believe in the literal 24 hour day of the creation account in Genesis, I wouldn’t go as far as to have labeled me as a young earth creationist because I also believed that the earth was billions of years old based on what I’ve learned in my science class while in elementary school. However, the more that I study Scripture, I’m definitely an old earth creationist; more specifically from the day-age position. A few of the reasons why I’m an old earth creationist are:

  • The Hebrew word for ‘day’ is ‘yom’, which also means “age” or a long but finite period of time.
  • It’s used as a simplification to make the story understandable to people of all generations.
  • “A day is like a thousand years to the Lord, and a thousand years is like a day.” 2 Peter 3:8 NLT
  • “Be fruitful and multiply. Let the fish fill the seas, and let the birds multiply on the earth” (Genesis 1:22 NLT) implies a long period of time.
  • The amount of time it would’ve taken Adam to name all of the animals, plants, etc would take him far longer to accomplish than a typical 24 hour day.
  • Due to the debate on the exact age of the earth, young earth creationists believe that some “dinosaurs” were on Noah’s Ark. There are three key issues with this idea: 1) The word ‘dinosaur’ is never mentioned in Scripture, 2) the environment, atmosphere, toxicity/pollution, etc was VERY different during the time of the dinosaurs. If dinosaurs existed during the time of Noah’s Ark, the dinosaurs wouldn’t survive a second; neither would humans during the dinosaur age (sorry, Jurassic Park doesn’t exist!) and 3) the two widely used passages that are used to try to support the idea that dinosaurs existed during biblical times are Job 40:15-24 and Job 41:1-2, 7-10. The behemoth that’s described in Job 40, I believe to be a rhinoceros (I’ve also heard water ox and hippopotamus being possibilities) and the leviathan in Job 41 to be a crocodile.

To conclude, while I can understand points from both sides, all in all, I’m an old earth creationist; particularly from the the day-age position. Personally, I believe that there are more important issues to be concerned about rather than the age of the earth.

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