Did the Bible get the age of the universe wrong?


Meaning of “days” in Genesis

In the beginning God created the universe. “Days” were not mentioned until verse 3. Since the initial creation happened before day one, the Bible doesn’t say how old the universe is.

The word “day” in Genesis is the Hebrew word “yome”. It is the only word used to denote a period of time. If the writer of Genesis wanted to describe a period of time, he would have no other word to use other than “yome”, which could also mean a 24-hour period.

Even within Genesis, “day” could mean other than a 24-hour period.

Genesis 1:5 God called the light “day,” and the darkness he called “night.” And there was evening, and there was morning—the first day.

The first “day” refers to a 12-hour period and the second “day” refers to a 24-hour period.

Gen 2:4  These are the generations of the heavens and of the earth when they were created, in the day that the LORD God made the earth and the heavens…

“Day” here refers to the whole period of creation, all six days.

“Days” could mean longer periods of time (i.e. an era)

Hosea 6: 1“Come, let us return to the Lord. He has torn us to pieces but he will heal us; he has injured us but he will bind up our wounds. 2 After two days he will revive us; on the third day he will restore us, that we may live in his presence.

The 3rd day seems to require longer than 24 hours as it describes the growth of vegetation and fruit-bearing plants. God didn’t say, “Let there be vegetation…” and it appeared immediately. Rather God said, “Let the earth bring forth…”

God created both Adam and Eve on the sixth day (Gen 1:27-30). But in Genesis chapter 2, we see that a lot happened between the creation of Adam and Eve. Adam watched the trees grow, he tended the gardens and he named all the animals. All this could not have happened in one 24-hour period.

We were also told that Adam became lonely. It takes time to become lonely. When he saw Eve, Adam exclaimed “happa’am”, which means “at long last”

The 7th day is longer because it hasn’t ended yet. God is still at rest since creation.

A beginning (“morning”) and ending (“evening”) define the first six days but no ending is assigned to the seventh day. In other words, we are still in the seventh day.

Heb 4: 3 Now we who have believed enter that rest, just as God has said, “So I declared on oath in my anger, ‘They shall never enter my rest.’” And yet his works have been finished since the creation of the world. 4 For somewhere he has spoken about the seventh day in these words: “On the seventh day God rested from all his works.” 5 And again in the passage above he says, “They shall never enter my rest.”

Laws of physics do not change

Jeremiah 33: 25 This is what the Lord says: ‘If I have not made my covenant with day and night and established the laws of heaven and earth, 26 then I will reject the descendants of Jacob and David my servant and will not choose one of his sons to rule over the descendants of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. For I will restore their fortunes and have compassion on them.’”

God communicated His immutability and said He doesn’t change because the laws of physics don’t change.

Young earth proponents depend on the fact that laws of physics change in order to prove their point.