Lesson 5

A Recent Creation

(1 Chronicles 1, Genesis 5 & 11)
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Introduction: In our last few lessons we have discussed Creation vs. Evolution, and have explored the literal week of Creation. This week we look at what the Bible and logic have to say about the length of time since Creation. Was it millions or years ago or about 6,000 years? Let's jump in!

  1. BIBLE TREE?


    1. For those of you with your Bible, look up 1 Chronicles 1. On the screen we are going to look at vv. 1-5 and 26-28 (because we do not have room).


      1. What are we looking at? (It looks like a family tree. A listing of at least the first born who had sons. Sometimes it lists several sons.)


      2. As you look at this "family tree," does the list square with your understanding of the Bible stories?


      3. For those of you who have been reading your Bible chapter by chapter, this is the exciting section, right? What could be more exciting than the "begats?"


        1. Since this is terribly dull, why do you think God put this section in the Bible? (He must have thought that the sequence was important for us to know. Do you like it when an important person remembers your name? It gives comfort to know that God keeps track of His people.)


      4. Could you make a rough chronology of the earth with this list?


        1. For example, would it be possible to determine the time between Adam and the Flood?


          1. How would you do it, if you could? (Turn with me to Genesis 5.)


          2. Read Genesis 5:3-5. How old was Adam when Seth was born? (It both tells you and allows you to do the math. 930-800=130)


          3. Read Genesis 5:6-11. Can you keep a running total here?


          4. Read Genesis 5:21, 27-30. We are not going to do the math today (you can this afternoon if you want), but would this allow us to at least roughly date the flood? (Yes.)


          5. How accurate does this seem to be? Does this seem to attempt to be precise? Or is the chronology kind of sloppy and vague? (It seems very precise because it gives the age of the father when his son was born and then gives the total age of the father and son!)


          6. Turn to Genesis 11. Read Genesis 11:10-14. Genesis 5 ends with Noah. Does this (starting at Gen. 11:10) appear to be a continuation of the list?


            1. While you have your fingers in Genesis 11:10-14, I want you to look up Luke 3:35-36. This may be a little confusing at first because they run in opposite order.


              1. Do you see any differences between the two lists? (Yes. Luke says that Cainan is the son of Arphaxad, not Shelah. Luke lists Shelah as the grandson of Arpaxad. (Note that 1 Chronicles 1:18 also omits Cainan.))


              2. What do you conclude from this? Is this a major problem? (There are two issues here. Assuming Cainan was skipped, only one generation is skipped. I would not call this a "scientific" list, but it seems it is a pretty tight list. However, it may be wrong to assume that Cainan was skipped. The lesson notes that the Septuagint (Greek) version of Genesis 11 includes Cainan, but the Masoretic (Hebrew) text does not. Therefore the omission may only be a copying error.)


        1. The chronology of the first several chapters of 1 Chronicles 1 brings us past Abraham, to King David and the tribes of Israel in the promised land. Does that bring us up to "modern" history?


        2. Do you think you can, in general, calculate the total age of the earth based on Adam to King David and King David to you?


  1. THE EVIDENCE?


    1. Where do we find on this list the short, hairy, ape-looking guys with the sloped foreheads and no chins? Where on our list do we find Java-Man, Nebraska Man, Neanderthal and the various "Cro-" and "Homo-" fellows we read about in the museums, text books and newspapers?


      1. A book I read as a young man was entitled, "The Spade Confirms The Book." The idea was that what had been unearthed through archeology confirmed the Biblical account of things. Does the discovery of "early man" disprove the Bible?


        1. Do you have any suggestions or theories on putting the two (the Bible and early man discoveries)together?


      2. Let's look again at Genesis 5:1-4. Based on your knowledge of the Bible, is there anything missing from this account? (Cain!)


        1. Why is Cain not listed?


        2. Does the chronology of Genesis 5 claim to be a complete history of all men? (No! When it says "Adam's line" it is referring to those who, in general, followed God. (See, Romans 9:3-5.) If you look at the preceding chapter (Genesis 4:11-24), you will find the banishment of Cain and a short family tree for him that is separate from the Genesis 5 tree.)


      3. What, exactly, do you think we have we been finding in discoveries like Java-Man and Nebraska Man? Are these early men? Missing links? Apes? (Dr. Scott M. Huse in chapter five of his book "The Collapse of Evolution" (Baker, 1991) discusses the discovery of these "early men." Dr. Huse reports that "Nebraska Man" was based on the finding of a single tooth! The whole fellow from one tooth. Later it was determined this tooth belonged to a pig! These elaborate drawings and models we find in books and museums are based on bone fragments and a boat-load of arrogant imagination.)


    2. What about all of this scientific dating of the earth? Doesn't radioactive dating show the earth to be billions of years old?


      1. Can you reconcile the earth age you say you can compute from the Bible with radioactive dating? If so, how do you answer the problem of the apparent conflict?


      2. Let's look at Genesis again. Read Genesis 1:1-2, 9-10. What did God do with the ground during Creation week? Does it appear that God created the ground or did He shape the ground?


        1. If He merely shaped the ground, what does that do to the dating question? (Our lesson next week gets into this in more detail. It also argues that my "shaping" suggestion is wrong.)


      3. Read Genesis 1:11-12. Did God create baby plants or mature plants? Does the text of the Bible give us any clues? (Normally, fruit trees take several years before they will bear fruit. Thus it appears that God created mature trees.)


        1. If God created mature plants, what does that do to radioactive dating?


      4. Let's talk about law and evidence for a moment. What kind of evidence is radioactive dating? (Scientific/circumstantial. It is certainly not first hand evidence.)


        1. On what basis do we accept scientific evidence in court? (It has to be reproducible. You have to be able to do the experiment over and over again with the same verifiable results. If you get different results each time, it is not reliable evidence.)


          1. Is that possible with a scientific method that produces results in the billions of years?


        2. According to Huse (page 20)the carbon 14 dating process has determined that living snails are 2,300 years old and wood from living trees is 10,000 years old. The potassium-argon method of dating has determined that lava flows in Hawaii, known to be less than 200 years old, are 3 billion years old! If Huse is right, this kind of evidence would not be admitted in court because these dating methods do not produce reliable results.)


  2. PRACTICAL APPLICATION


    1. How important is this issue of the age of the earth to you?


    2. Does it make any difference to your salvation?


      1. If you thought your spouse had been lying to you about his or her background, would that make a difference to your marriage?


      2. Would it bother you if God has been making up the history of the earth?


    3. Remember we discussed the comfort we have from knowing that God knows us by name (like those in the list of the "begats")and keeps track of us and our family. If the earth is billions of years old, would it alter your view of God's close, personal attention to us?


    4. Friend, evolutionists need millions or billions of years to give some credence to their slow mutation theory. As we saw in our lesson last week, the evidence we see today more logically and closely accords with the Creation story rather than evolution. A relatively young earth also fits better with the Creation story. Both Creation and a young earth paint a picture of an all-powerful, wise and caring God. That is our God!

  1. NEXT WEEK: A CLOSER LOOK AT THE CREATION STORY


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