Jesus, Evangelical Scholars, and the Age of the Earth

Terry Mortenson | May 21, 2010

In disputes about the age of the earth, young-earth creationists contend for a literal six-day creation 6,000-10,000 years ago and a global flood, but old-earth creationists advocate theistic evolution or progressive creation over millions of years and, many times, a local flood. Jesus understood the OT to be historically accurate in its description of historical events, including His teaching on the age of the earth. Specifically, in three “Jesus AGE verses,” He demonstrated His young earth viewpoint in Mark 10:6, Mark 13:19-20, and Luke 11:50-51. When analyzed carefully, “from the beginning of creation” in Mark 10:6 refers to the beginning of the whole creation, not just the creation of the first marriage on day 6 of Genesis 1:27-30. In Mark 13:19, “since the beginning of creation which God created” refers not to the beginning of the human race but to the beginning of the whole creation, starting in Gen 1:1. Luke 11:50-51 focuses on “since the foundation of the world” and refers to the whole creation week of Genesis 1, not just a portion of it. A number of young-earth creationists have referred to these verses to prove that Jesus was a young-earth advocate, but old-earth defenders have usually ignored them. A survey of commentaries on Genesis, systematic theology texts, popular-level books, and scholarly works demonstrates this trend. Nothing in the Gospels supports the idea that Jesus viewed man as being created long ages after the beginning of creation.

Vol. 18, no. 1 (Spring 2007)

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Mortenson, Terry. "Jesus, Evangelical Scholars, and the Age of the Earth." The Master's Seminary Journal 18, no. 1 (Spring 2007): 69-99.