Man, From the Beginning
The name of the game is intimidation. It is a tragic but true fact that many views are propagated in today’s world simply on the basis of intimidation. The vocal majority frequently bullies the muted minority into an acceptation of their ideas.
And this is precisely what has happened in the case of many professed friends of the Bible.
Evolutionists, by means of “scientific” propaganda, have coerced some religionists into abandoning all confidence in the biblical view of man’s origin.
Others, not willing to forsake the totality of their faith, have sought an alliance between evolutionary and creationist concepts. It’s called “theistic evolution.”
Compromise Over the Age of the Earth
One area of such compromise has been in connection with the geological and anthropological theories of earth and human history.
Evolutionists contend that the earth is approximately 4.543 billion years old. This estimate is not based upon scientific fact, but upon preconceived assumptions grounded in the dire need for vast eras of time with which to accommodate the evolutionary scheme.
So, evolutionists fiercely argue for a very ancient earth.
How Long Has Man Been on the Earth?
But what of man? Where does he fit into evolutionary chronology?
Well, in the words of George Simpson (1902-1984), the famous evolutionary expert from Harvard, man is something of a newcomer, a Johnny-come-lately in comparison to other life-forms and especially compared to the age of the earth.
However, even some Christian writers have capitulated to this notion. John Clayton, a lecturer who travels widely among the churches of Christ and the Christian Churches, and who, in his writings has endorsed the evolutionary geological time-scale, suggests that “man is a very recent newcomer to this planet.” In fact, he argues that man’s history is but a tiny fraction of earth’s history (Clayton).
Such assertions need to be carefully examined to see whether or not they are accurate in light of the inspired Scriptures.
The Bible is right regardless of what certain pseudo-scientists claim. Remember, yesterday’s “science” is frequently tomorrow’s superstition.
Comparing “Science” With the Bible
In recent years, anthropologists have said that “true man” appeared on earth about 3.6 million years ago. Let us look closely at this and see whether or not it has any implications for the Bible believer.
If the earth is 4.5 billion years old, and man has been on earth for 3.6 million years, simple mathematics reveals that man is but 1/1250th of the age of the earth.
If such is the case, he is but a speck on the panorama of geo-history!
Perhaps the following illustration will dramatize the force of this. Suppose we let one day represent the sum of earth’s alleged history.
This means that the supposed 4.5 billion years of earth history are represented by the 86,400 seconds of one day.
Since man’s age is assumed to be only 1/1250th of the earth’s, man, on this one-day scale, would be only slightly more than one minute and nine seconds old!
Look at it another way. If one drew a horizontal line one hundred feet long and at the right end, directly underneath, he drew another line only one inch long, he could vividly see the difference in the alleged respective ages between earth and man, according to the evolutionary dogma.
Accordingly, if the whole of earth’s history is viewed from man’s current vantage point, human existence commenced virtually at the END of history—not at the beginning.
The impact of this needs to be clearly noted. The evolutionary theory (and views related to it) does not allow that man originated at the beginning of creation history.
Anyone, therefore, who accepts the evolutionary chronology of geo-human history cannot possibly believe that man has existed from the beginning of the creation!
Yet, this is what the Bible affirms repeatedly!
Man: From the Beginning
The New Testament phrase “from the beginning” (
ap' arches and
ex arches) denotes “the first point in time, its occasion being determined from the context” (Silva, 160).
While it is true that the expression can involve some degree of relativity, such obviously must be fairly limited, otherwise, language is meaningless.
In other words, when something is said to be “from the beginning” of a certain period, there must be a reasonable proximity involved.
With this in view, note the following Bible passages.
Isaiah: From the Foundations of the Earth
First, an example is introduced from the Old Testament. When Isaiah was contrasting the greatness of Jehovah with the impotence of idols, he asked:
“Have ye not known? have ye not heard? hath it not been told you from the beginning? have ye not understood from the foundations of the earth?” (Isa. 40:21).
Note how the prophet parallels the expressions “from the beginning” and “from the foundations of the earth.” Man had known of God’s nature since that time!
Clearly, human existence extends back to the very beginning of earth history.
Adam and Eve
Concerning Adam and Eve, Jesus declared:
“But from the beginning of the creation, Male and female made he them” (Mk. 10:6).
The word “creation” is the Greek
ktiseos and it denotes “the sum-total of what God has created” (Cremer, 113; 114; 381). Bloomfield observed that it refers to “the world or universe” (197-198).
Unquestionably, Christ places the first humans at the very dawn of creation.
Since the Creation
In Romans 1:20 Paul writes:
“For the invisible things of him since the creation of the world are clearly seen, being perceived through the things that are made, even his everlasting power and divinity; that they may be without excuse .... "
The phrase “since the creation of the world” directs attention back to the very beginning of the “sum total of the material universe” (cf. Trench, 215-216).
And note that Paul affirms that evidence for God’s existence has been “perceived” and “seen” since the creation so that man is without excuse for any unbelief!
This passage clearly does not allow for a vast gap of billions of years between the beginning of the creation and man’s ability to perceive upon the face of the earth.
And there is no reason for rejecting the clear testimony of the inspired apostle — unless one is under the spell of evolutionary chronology!
There are several other New Testament passages of a similar thrust:
- Lk. 11:45-52
- Mk. 13:19
- Jn. 8:44
- 2 Pet. 3:4
Were it not for the speculative assertions of modern evolutionary theorists, there would be absolutely no controversy as to the clear meaning of these historical statements of sacred literature.
But the truth is this — some have allowed the unsupported ideas of current scientism to be the criteria by which they interpret the Bible. Such is a great error indeed.
Three Important Conclusions
When a fair treatment of all the facts are considered, three important conclusions emerge.
Science does not know the age of the earth.
As Dr. Robert Kofahl has noted, “it is not possible to ‘prove’ that the earth is billions of years old” (109).
Even the evolutionary views regarding such are highly unstable. Between 1900 and 1960, the estimated age of the earth increased from 50 million to some 5 billion years!
True science does not demand an ancient earth.
Dr. Donald Chittick declares that
“the idea that the earth is very, very old is not in any way suggested by any studies in science. It arises as a result of rejecting Special Creation” (73).
There are many evidences of a relatively young earth.
Many scientific observations point to an earth inhabited by man from the very beginning (“Our Earth — Young or Old?”).
Let us, therefore, not compromise the biblical record of earth-human history simply for the sake of placating unreasonable, faithless, hopeless infidelity.
- Bloomfield, S. T. 1855. The Greek Testament with English Notes. Vol. I. London: Longman, Brown, Green, and Longmans.
- Brown, Colin, ed. 1980. New International Dictionary of New Testament Theology. Vol. I. Grand Rapids: Zondervan.
- Chittick, Donald. 1970. A Symposium on Creation II. Patten, Donald, ed. Grand Rapids: Baker Book House.
- Clayton, John. Does God Exist? Course 8. South Bend, IN: Does God Exist?
- Cremer, Hermann. 1895. Biblico-Theological Lexicon of New Testment. Edinburgh: T & T Clark.
- Kofahl, Robert. 1977. Handy Dandy Evolution Refuter. San Diego: Beta Books.
- Trench, Robert C. 1894. Synonyms of the New Testament. London: Kegan Paul, Trench, Trübner, & Co.