Is the earth only 6,000 years old?

Q. Two questions: (1) Where would I find the animals that were not taken onto the Ark with Noah? (2) Is there some place in the Bible that shows all the years of man, from Adam to today? While scientist have everything at billions of years old, I heard that we have only been here around 6,000 years and it is somewhere in the Bible, can you tell me where to find the truth?

Your questions reflect the very large issue of how faith and reason, or religion and science, relate to one another. They relate to one another in a complex way, and so I cannot answer your questions simply by telling you to look at one place or another in the Bible. Rather, I need to encourage you to come to understand faith and reason as two complementary ways of understanding the world that God created. I have co-authored a book about this that is now available online. It is called Paradigms on Pilgrimage: Creationism, Paleontology, and Biblical Interpretation, and you can read it starting here. Below is an excerpt from the introduction to the book that I think may describe your own situation. So I hope that the book will be helpful to you as you pursue your questions. Thank you.

Many believing Christians have experienced crises of faith and personal rejections when they have chosen to accept an account of origins that is based on reasoned interpretation of centuries of scientific observation because this account does not coincide with a literal interpretation of Genesis.

These crises and rejections do not have to occur. The two approaches to knowledge characteristic of faith and reason (or religion and science) can be reconciled and used in a complementary way. But unnecessary conflicts nevertheless arise because outspoken proponents of both approaches deny their inherent limitations and extended their claims into the proper realm of the other source of knowledge. This creates an “either/or” or “forced choice” situation in which one must either accept an entirely naturalistic account of origins or else effectively deny that what our eyes see and our instruments measure is anything more than illusion. Neither of these choices will ultimately satisfy an honest intellectual inquirer.

There is a middle position, however. Faith and reason are each qualified to make their own contributions to our understanding of our origins, purpose and destiny, and these contributions can be recognized as complementary. … The two authors of this book have traveled this way, and wish to share with their fellow travelers how they have struggled and what they have learned.

Author: Christopher R Smith

The Rev. Dr. Christopher R. Smith is an an ordained minister, a writer, and a biblical scholar. He was active in parish and student ministry for twenty-five years. He was a consulting editor to the International Bible Society (now Biblica) for The Books of the Bible, an edition of the New International Version (NIV) that presents the biblical books according to their natural literary outlines, without chapters and verses. His Understanding the Books of the Bible study guide series is keyed to this format. He was also a consultant to Tyndale House for the Immerse Bible, an edition of the New Living Translation (NLT) that similarly presents the Scriptures in their natural literary forms, without chapters and verses or section headings. He has a B.A. from Harvard in English and American Literature and Language, a Master of Arts in Theological Studies from Gordon-Conwell, and a Ph.D. in the History of Christian Life and Thought, with a minor concentration in Bible, from Boston College, in the joint program with Andover Newton Theological School.

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