How Old Is The Earth?

My grandson was taking a test and told his teacher none of the multiple choice answers about the age of the earth were correct.

She said he was wrong. He told her his papa told him the bible says the earth is 6,000 years old. (He did not explain why the earth is about 6,000 years old but he can now refer her and other people who teach evolution to this article on the age of the earth  that can be used by people who are able to understand its meaning by verifying what it says in the Bible. The Bible verifies the age of the earth as (6,000 to 7,000 years)

The teacher then told him his papa was wrong. (She did not tell my grandson why I was wrong.) (Evolution can only speculate by theory about their belief  the age of the earth is millions of years. Speculation is always based on millions of years because of a world view that God does not exist and the "big bang"created everything out of nothing.)

This article is in response to her and others who teach evolution in schools. (God bless you Xavier my grandson I love you.)

(Evolution = Millions Of Years + Your Teacher's Imagination)

(Detailed response to my grandson's teacher who was wrong in teaching my grandson about evolution and denying what God says in the Bible about creation.)

How old is the earth?

The bible gives us a series of timelines or timespans to estimate a minimum and maximum date of the earth.

The age of the earth cannot be pinpointed to a single year but it can be pinpointed to minimum and maximum age dates.

There are specific dates given in the bible that are not up for debate and do not need to be estimated.

When the bible says a person is "X" years old when something happened and the biblical historical statement will be exact.

Many such numbers can be found throughout the bible.

Examles are: (Joshua 14:7). We know that Caleb was 40 years old when he was sent with the other spies to Canaan.

We know Caleb was 85 years old when he approached Joshua after the invasion of Canaan was completed to request Hebron for his inheritance (Joshua 14:10)

We also know that the spying was done in the fall because it occurred during the grape (and pomegranate) harvest (Numbers 13: 20-23).

Using these biblical statements of time is part of calculating how old the earth is.

There are other statements which give us a span of time between events. For example, in the time of the Judges, the Ammonites attempted to lay claim to the Reubenite territory just south of Ammon and east of the Dead Sea. Jephthah taunted the Ammonite king, saying, “While Israel lived in Heshbon and its villages, and in Aroer and its villages, and in all the cities that are on the banks of the Arnon, 300 years, why did you not deliver them within that time?” (Judges 11:26)  Thus, it is clear that the Israelites had occupied that area for about 300 years.

There are other numbers in the Bible, however, that are open to more than one interpretation, and when we string together multiple dates and date ranges, each with a certain degree of built-in interpretation, we see why there is no exact date for the age of the earth but that the age of the earth falls within a range of dates. (About 6,000 to 7,000 years.)

There are other factors which account for a date range of the age of the earth.

There are several sources of imprecision for which we must account. Some of these sources are because the way humans report numbers. Others come from statements open to more than one interpretation  in the biblical text (such as Terah’s age at Abram’s birth, see below).

The age of Terah when his son Abram was born is uncertain because we only know Terah was 70 when Abram’s oldest brother was born. The narrative from Genesis 11:26-12:5 states that Terah, Abram and family moved from Ur to Haran, lived there a while, and Abram moved on from there to Canaan. That narrative implies (and Acts 7:4 confirms) Abram waited until his father died before leaving for Canaan, and states he was 75 when he left.

If Abram left very soon after Terah died at 205, this would have made Terah 130 when Abram was born. But the text does not exclude the possibility that Abram waited.2 He may have lived in Haran for decades after his father Terah died before leaving for Canaan. All we know is he was old enough to be married to a wife 10 years younger genesis (17:17) before (Genesis 11:31) they moved to Haran. Terah therefore may have been as old as 180 when Abram was born, assuming Sarai was at least 15 when she married Abram.

This is a break from the strict  order and timing of events recorded in the bible and affects  the date of creation by up to 50 years.

Still others come from the fact that we do not know which time-keeping conventions the ancients may have used.

We should not read biblical time statements as though the intent of the authors was to build a minute-by-minute timeline of Earth history. Most of the time statements are simple reports of major happenings, and they tied those to a general series of datable events (like a man’s age at the birth of a son). Sometimes, but not always, a series of dates can be bridged by a spanning statement that reduces the exact number and considering that most dates are given in ‘years’, we should not consider these to be an exact day count.

Accounting for each source of  estimated dates widens the potential range of dates for creation, and there are many factors to consider, yet each source of estimated dates has a limited effect. Therefore, the extent of the accumulated estimatedis also limited.

This is what accounts for the creation date of the earth to be in a range of dates. (About 6,000 to 7,000 years.)

When humans report measurements, the context or style of the report often implies the accuracy of that measurement.

An example can be found in 1 Kings 7:23 concerning the Bronze Sea Solomon commissioned to be made for the Temple: “it was round, ten cubits from brim to brim, and five cubits high, and a line of thirty cubits measured its circumference”.

Modern scoffers often claim the Bible wrongly teaches the value of π (the circumference of a circle divided by its diameter) to be ‘3.0’ rather than the correct ‘3.14 … ’. They are claiming a greater precision than was specified. Ignoring whether the Bronze Sea was a perfect circle, and whether the diameter measurement was for inside or outside, it could be anywhere from 9.5 to 9.7 cubits in diameter (e.g. ‘10’) to give it a circumference of between 29.8 and 30.5 cubits (e.g. ‘30’) using the correct value of π. When our interpretation includes a correct understanding of implied accuracy, we find that the value of π derived from operational science, real science, agrees with the record of 1 kings 7:23.

Calendar systems

In addition to the uncertainties generated by implied precision, you must also consider the time-keeping ideas used by the people reporting those dates. Many ancient societies used lunisolar calendar systems, where months are tied to the lunar cycle, but an occasional 13th intercalary month is added to keep months aligned with seasons, since 12 lunar months are 11 days short of a solar year. Some societies also standardized the process with the addition of 7 deliberately placed intercalary months within 19-year cycles. This was more predictable than the ‘as needed’ method but still required an additional intercalary month every 80 years to keep months aligned with the seasons. However, standardization would often take centuries and different localities have often used conflicting systems.

While we do not know the exact time before the biblical Flood method used, we do know that the Jews have used a lunisolar calendar since the Exodus, when Moses was directed by God to institute a new system (Exo. 23:16, Lev. 23:39, etc.).

We do not know which time measurement was used in the ancient past, and we do not know if all biblical data are reported with the same time measurement.

Years may have been reported in systems other than ones that align with solar years, and multiple possible shifts of six months or more may have occurred when societies switched or reformed their calendar systems.

There are Cultural differences in birthday conventions and counting age.

So far we have considered the accuracy in number reporting and changing calendar systems, but we must also consider how ages are reported. In some East Asian cultures, newborns are traditionally said to be 1 year old (better translated ‘in his first year’) and ages are advanced at the lunar New Year, instead of on the birthday. It is possible that a child in these cultures could be ‘2 years old’, while native English speakers would say ‘1 month’. In addition, some cultures count age from conception rather than birth.

People sometimes keep track of multiple ways time is calculated simultaneously and can flip from one to the other at will, meaning it is often difficult for an outsider to keep up, and context is of utmost importance. Therefore, we must allow for two fewer years than the reported biblical ‘ages’ in order to account for unknown birthday calculations.

Rounding accuracy accumulates

There are detailed family history lists in the Bible (e.g. Matt. 1, Luke 3). Some, however, come with specific dates and ages (e.g. Gen. 5, Gen. 11). The latter are more properly called ‘chronogenealogies’ and they are of utmost importance, for they allow us to build a straightforward history of the time period they cover. Yet, there are certain facts about these numbers for which we must account. The chronogenealogies of Genesis are not based on a calendar system. The years are given as the age of the father, not the age of the earth (anno mundi or AM). If, as in modern English-speaking cultures, they used zero-based ages incrementing on birthdates, since a child can be born anywhere within that one-year span, each generation should add an average of six months to the calculations.

It is unlikely that a series of children would all be born on each successive father’s birthday or on the day before those birthdays. But, accounting for the possibility of both extremes allows us to better estimate the range of dates for creation. Assuming random birthdates and that the ages were zero-based, 10 generations would carry about 5 extra years. But if ages were one-based (babies are in their ‘1st year’; Gen 7:6 and 11 hint this was the way they calculated things), we should subtract about 5 years for every 10 generations instead. Many scholars of the past have failed to recognize what we call ‘date slippage’.

Rounding of ages?

Consider the first five biblical male head of family listed in Genesis 5. Their ages at the birth of the next in line and at death are listed, but nine of the ten ages end in a 0 or a 5 (figure 1). This suggests the numbers may have been rounded to the nearest five. Or they may have used a 5-year ratcheting scale, where the age was only increased every five years, meaning Adam could have been nearly 135 and still truthfully report his age as ‘130’. The lone ‘2’ is Seth’s age at death. From Jared to Shem, we see two additional digits, giving the appearance that they rounded down and to the nearest ‘2’. The lone ‘9’ is Methuselah’s age at death. Interestingly, in both cases the distribution of the reported numbers is evenly balanced (i.e. about the same number of zeros and fives from Adam to Mahalaleel and about the same number of zeros, twos, fives, and sevens from Jared to Shem.)

We are not trying to prove these dates are rounded or ratcheted, but since the numbers are so odd (i.e. not what one would expect from a random sampling, as even the post Flood head of family have three times more zeros than expected), we must allow for the possibility. In order to account for potential changes in the way rounding was done, we will allow for a 5-year rounding from Adam to Mahalaleel, a 2–3-year rounding from Jared to Shem , and 1-year rounding (i.e. the modern way rounding is done.

Why might the author of this section of Genesis have rounded these ages to the nearest five years? Possibly this was due to their great age, where a count precise to a single year might not be all that important to the individual when reporting his age, although ratcheting is more likely in this case. Searching for a mathematical reason for the apparent rounding leads us to consider the possibility that the first few generations measured ages in 60-month periods.

Initially, the lunar cycle would have been the most obvious way to track time, especially if Eden and/or its environs did not have significant seasonal variance.

They may have measured longer periods of time in groups of lunar months instead of years. If the first five head of family reported ages in 60-month blocks, the ages may have been converted later by multiplying by five, giving us the ages we have in the biblical record (with one exception) in 12-lunar-month years. There are many possible reasons for the appearance of these numbers, including random chance, but we are obliged to consider both rounding and ratcheting in our calculations because we cannot rule out these possibilities.

Calculating the timespan and range

The above accuracy factors come in two categories: ‘per-link’ and ‘overall’. The following calculations will accumulate per-link factors (such as from birthday calculations & rounding), then apply the overall factors (such as calendar calculations) at the end.

Creation to Noah

Table 1 lists the minimum, maximum, and simple additive dates for Adam to Noah from Genesis 5, accounting for potential differences in birthday and rounding accuracy (the way something is done).

Table 1. Minimum (Min), maximum (Max), and simple additive (Add) dates for Adam to Noah from Genesis 5, accounting for potential differences in birthday and rounding convention. Additive dates were generated by simply adding up the given numbers in the text. Minimum dates take into account potential rounding and the possibility of a 1-based birthday calculation. Maximum dates take into account the possibility of a ratcheting scheme with a 0-based birthday calculation. See text for an explanation of the adjustment values at each generation.

Noah to Arphaxad

Genesis 7:6 and 7:11 state the Flood started in Noah’s 600th year, and 8:13 states the Flood ended in his 601st year. This eliminates the possibility of ±5 rounding. Applying the limits of potential birthday calculations and offsets, we find the Flood started between 598 and 601 years after Noah’s birth. The simple additive date for the Flood is AM 1656, but it could have been anywhere from AM 1626 to AM 1693. Genesis 11:10 tells us Arphaxad was born two years after the Flood. This could mean ‘in the second year after the Flood started’ (just over one year after the Flood ended), ‘during the second summer/winter/fall/spring after the Flood ended’, or up to not quite 3 years after the Flood ended. Simply adding up the spans shows Arphaxad was born around AM 1659, with an outside range of 1628 to 1697. Note that we skipped Shem on purpose, because the best links are from Noah to the Flood to Arphaxad, making the ucertainty of Shem’s birth year irrelevant.

Arphaxad to Terah

Table 2. Minimum (Min), maximum (Max), and simple additive (Add) dates for Arphaxad to Jacob from Genesis 11, 21, and 25, accounting for similar potential differences in birthday and rounding convention as in table 1.

A 50-year ambiguity from Terah to Abram

The age of Terah when his son Abram was born is uncertain because we only know Terah was 70 when Abram’s oldest brother was born. The narrative from Genesis 11:26-12:5 states that Terah, Abram and family moved from Ur to Haran, lived there a while, and Abram moved on from there to Canaan. That narrative implies (and Acts 7:4 confirms) Abram waited until his father died before leaving for Canaan, and states he was 75 when he left. If Abram left very soon after Terah died at 205, this would have made Terah 130 when Abram was born. But the text does not exclude the possibility that Abram waited.2 He may have lived in Haran for decades after his father Terah died before leaving for Canaan. All we know is he was old enough to be married to a wife 10 years younger (Gensis 17:17) before (Genesis 11:31) they moved to Haran. Terah therefore may have been as old as 180 when Abram was born, assuming Sarai was at least 15 when she married Abram. This is a break from the strict lifespans of the head of family and impacts the date of creation by up to 50 years.

Abraham to the Exodus

Genesis 21:5, 25:26 and 47:28 and  Exodus 12:40-41allow us to estimate the number of years from Abram’s birth to the Exodus. Assuming a plain reading of Exodus 12, this amounts to 720 years, 430 of which occur between Jacob’s move to Egypt and the Exodus. The 400 years of Genesis 15:14 would start in exodus 1:8 when the head of a family who knew Joseph was replaced by one who enslaved the Israelites. Note that although  Genesis 21:5 says Abraham was 100 when Isaac was born, this does not allow for ±5 rounding because in  Genesis 17:1 we were told he was 99 the year before Isaac was born. Jacob and 11 of his sons moved to Egypt in AM 2299. Simply adding the spans puts the Exodus in AM 2729 with a range of 2676 to 2834.

However some have proposed that the 430 years Israel lived in Egypt started with God’s promise to Abraham in  genesis 12:1-3 instead of with Jacob’s arrival in Egypt. The 400 years of Genesis 15:14 would then start in Genesis 21:8-9, when Ishmael mocked Isaac at his weaning feast.

Rather than attempt to resolve this historic debate here, we acknowledge both positions have strengths and weaknesses, and include the range from both positions for the range of the Exodus: AM 2461 to AM 2834. From this point on, we will use the timespan for the Long-Sojourn view, acknowledging the Short-Sojourn additive, minimum and maximum dates will be 215 years less.

The Exodus through the Babylonian captivity

The books of Kings and Chronicles contain an unbroken chain of timespans from the Exodus to the Babylonian captivity. Simply adding up the years with the maximum length within the implied precision from each link yields a maximum biblically compatible timespan of 437 years from the beginning of Solomon’s reign to the Babylonian Captivity.

Some have claimed regnal years, a year reckoned from the date or anniversary of a sovereign's accession,  were reported by two different systems: ‘accession year’ (1-based) and ‘nonaccession year’ (0-based) reckoning. The presented evidence of swaps between conventions in both Judah and Israel, in addition to the two kingdoms using differing calculations simultaneously, which limits the precision of dating simply based on cross-referencing regnal years.

Further complicating the matter, Judah appears to have advanced regnal years in the spring (Nisan), when their new year began, while Israel advanced theirs in the fall (Tishri), when their new year began. Thiele’s 383 years from the start of Solomon’s reign to the Babylonian Captivity is probably the shortest timespan proposed by a conservative scholar. Additional modifications and discussions of Thiele’s work can be found in Kaiser and Kitchen. Jones accounts for changing regnal year conventions and differing new year months using a more straightforward interpretation than Thiele to arrive at a longer timespan of 429 years. Pierce rejects Thiele completely. And Clarke rejects Austin’s, and Ashton and Down’s, attempts at linking biblical chronology to Egyptian chronology because they base their ideas on Velikovsky, whom he claims has been thoroughly discredited. All of these authors have a high view of Scripture.

Clearly, biblical chronology, fixing the exact dates of the various events recorded, is a difficult subject.

The Babylonian captivity to Christ

II Kings 23–24 states that the Kingdom of Judah was carried into captivity in three waves, and the extra-biblical historical consensus is that these waves occurred in 597 BC, 587–586 BC, and 582 BC.

The only biblical timespan between then and the New Testament comes from Daniel 9:24-26. This prophecy places a minimum of 7 + 62 ‘sevens’, commonly assumed to mean 483 years from ‘the decree to rebuild Jerusalem’ until the Crucifixion of Jesus Christ. Yet, there are multiple such decrees, and we are not sure to which Daniel refers, although some argue strongly for one specifically, while others at the same time remove a gap of 80–82 years.

We must also rely on extra-biblical history to pinpoint the birth of Jesus Christ. This seems to be fairly well established at around 4 BC, although there are various biblically conservative counter arguments for a variety of dates in that range. The year of Christ’s death can be obtained from secular sources, and is attested by Daniel. Yet, we chose to peg our age estimate to the start of the Babylonian captivity because it allows for a slightly higher degree of certainty and because there is little dispute after that date.

Masoretic vs LXX vs Samaritan Pentateuch

A few hundred years before Christ, Alexandrian Jews produced a Greek translation of the Old Testament called the Septuagint (commonly abbreviated LXX). The authors of the New Testament frequently quoted directly from the LXX when referencing the Old Testament. The Masoretic text is the collection of Hebrew Scriptures collated around AD 700–1000 and is the basis of most modern Old Testament translations. We have many ancient fragments of Scripture in Hebrew (e.g. the Dead Sea Scrolls), which match the Masoretic very closely, showing the quality of work of the copiers in the intervening years, and supporting the authenticity of the Masoretic.

The LXX puts the earth significantly older than the Masoretic: including 586 additional years before the Flood and 780 additional years from the Flood to Abraham’s grandfather, Nahor (table 3). This is mostly due to the LXX including 100 more years in the ages of various Patriarchs at the birth of their son. The LXX also includes a Patriarch named Cainan between Arphaxad and Salah in Genesis 11:13.

This name does not appear at that point in the Masoretic or Samaritan Pentateuch. Most Greek texts of Luke 3:36agree with the LXX on that point. From Terah forward, the primary date-relevant conflict is 1 Kings 6:1, in which the LXX dates the beginning of Solomon’s temple to 440 years after the Exodus vs 480 in the Masoretic.

Even though we favour the Masoretic, we cannot know for certain, and therefore must acknowledge the possibility of the older dates from the LXX by adding 1,326 years to the maximum age allowed by the Masoretic.

There is another source of differing chronological data, the Samaritan Pentateuch. Written in Hebrew, but with a different etiology, it differs from the Masoretic in several thousand places, sometimes agreeing with the LXX and sometimes not. We do not put much stock in its authority, but see table 1 for details. It subtracts 349 years before the Flood and adds 650 years after it, for a net of 301 years more than the Masoretic.

Table 3. Differences between the Masoretic (Mas.), LXX, and Samaritan Pentateuch relevant to the date of Creation.

* Some English versions mistakenly translate Nahor's age at Terah's birth as 179 years old, but the Greek manuscripts read 79.

Resulting date ranges

From creation to the Babylonian Captivity, we calculated a per-link accuracy of 219 years (including the 50-yr uncertainty concerning how long Abram remained in Haran), plus an overall systemic accuracy of 89 years. It is not possible to date creation with any more accuracy using just the family history data. We should allow for the possibility of ±10 years of accuracy from calendar system changes, and the possibility of up to 3% less solar years before the Exodus if the ancients used 12-lunar-month years or longer blocks of lunar months which would later be converted to 12-lunar-month years. We must also consider the possibility of 1326 additional years if the LXX chronogenealogies, life spans, represent the original wording, 301 additional years if the Samaritan Pentateuch is correct, 215 less years for the ‘Short Sojourn’ view, and 46 fewer or 8 more years due to the uncertainty in the king lists of Judah and Israel.

This yields an outside range of 3236 to 5078 years from Creation to the Babylonian Captivity.

If the traditional historic date of 587 BC or 586 BC for the Captivity is correct, the earth cannot be more than 7,680 years old (table 4), having been created between 5665 BC and 3822 BC. The date of the Flood is more significant to the evaluation of extra-biblical history than is the date of creation. The Flood probably occurred between 2600 BC and 2300 BC, but certainly between 3386 BC and 2256 BC (table 5).

Note that the only way to get a ‘traditional’ date of creation of approximately 4000 BC is to use the Short Sojourn calculation and minimal to simple-additive adjustment parameters.

This makes it likely that the earth is several hundred years older than most biblical creationists expect.

Table 5. Date estimates for the Flood (all dates BC).

* Minimum with 12-lunar-month years prior to the Exodus.

How old is the earth?

(About 6,000 to 7,000 years.)

(Some words were changed in the above article so I and others can better understand the meaning of words: Imprecision, conventions, genealogical, patriarch and ambiguity.)

This article details why an exact date for the age of the earth is not possible.  It is possible to give the age of the earth in a range of dates which is about (6,000 to 7,000 years) based on the above article which quotes the Bible.

I don't expect my 10 year old grandson to fully understand this article on the age of the earth.

This article on the age of the earth can be used by people who are able to understand its meaning by verifying what it says.

God has given us an answer to the age of the earth. Its not an exact date but within a range of dates, (6,000 to 7,000 years).

The Bible documents the age of the earth and denys evolution's theory of the age of the earth as millions or billionsof years.

My grandson can tell his evolution teacher that papa was RIGHT about the age of the earth because the bible documents the age of the earth as (6,000 to 7,000) years.

My website denys evolution and the theories behind it.

(Evolution = Millions Of Years + Your Teacher's Imagination)

The biblical minimum and maximum age of the earth    (Original article credit is fully given with appreciation to the excellent work that was required by to produce The biblical minimum and maximum age of the earth.)

Refuting Evolution

A handbook for students, parents, and teachers countering the latest arguments for evolution

by , Ph.D., F.M.    Refuting Evolution (

Book Index  (Direct Links to

Foreword & Introduction

Chapter 1 : Facts & Bias
See Study Guide, Lesson 1

Chapter 2 : Variation and Natural Selection Versus Evolution
See Study Guide, Lesson 2

Chapter 3 : The Links Are Missing
See Study Guide, Lesson 3

Chapter 4 : Bird Evolution?
See Study Guide, Lesson 4

Chapter 5 : Whale Evolution?
See Study Guide, Lesson 5

Chapter 6 : Humans: Images of God or Advanced Apes?
See Study Guide, Lesson 6

Chapter 7 : Astronomy
See Study Guide, Lesson 7

Chapter 8 : How Old Is the Earth?   (The Bible states that man was made six days after creation, about 6,000 years ago.)
See Study Guide, Lesson 8

Chapter 9 : Is the Design Explanation Legitimate?
See Study Guide, Lesson 9

Chapter 10 : Conclusion    is a mirror website of

(Links for Bibile evidence of God created everything in 6 days, about 6,000 years ago.)

Age of the earth  (101 evidences for a young age of the earth and the universe)  (

Biblical chronology is the order and timing of events recorded in the Old Testament and New Testament.

God created with functional maturity, not ‘appearance of age’

Jesus on the age of the earth

Did God create over billions of years?

Biblical Age of the Earth (  (Scripture presents enough chronological information to estimate the number of years between Adam, whom God created on Day 6 of the creation week, and Christ, who was the last Adam.)

How Young Is the Earth? Applying Simple Math to Data Provided in Genesis (

Scientific Evidence for Recent Creation (

The Universe Was Created Recently (

Reasons to Doubt Secular Ages (   (Secular scientists—those who discount miracles and Genesis history—constantly reiterate that science proves millions and billions of years. But those who make this assertion either ignore or have never heard contrary evidence or the faulty assumptions.)

Circular Reasoning Behind Secular Ages (    (Secular scientists constantly publish reports claiming their finds support an earth that is millions or billions of years old, but few people realize that many of their conclusions are based on circular reasoning. Faulty circular reasoning happens when a person assumes or asserts exactly what they are trying to prove.)

The Timescale of Creation (   (Many claim that science proves the Earth is billions of years old. But Genesis chapter one teaches that God created the universe and everything in it in only six days. How long ago did God create the universe and how long did He take to do it? Does this issue really matter?)

The Timescale of Creation (Podcast 13 Min)


Your Origins Matter (    (Is Genesis just a myth made up by primitive people? Is it merely an allegory containing spiritual truths? Or does this book reveal a historical record of how God literally created the universe? Every Christian should believe in a literal Genesis and stand ready to defend biblical creation.)

Your Origins Matter (Podcast 13 Min)