How Old is the Universe?

There are two major camps with regard to the age of the universe. Some believe, based on scriptural accounts of time as relayed in Genesis and adding the birth/death years of Hebrew genealogy, the universe is about 6000 years old.

Based on astronomical science, however, the age is closer to 13.8 billion years.

That’s quite a difference between the two. So which is it?

Not being one who’s delved deep into either theory, I can’t say for certain which is the most correct.

At this point I’d like to clarify my position on whether or not science contradicts the Bible. The answer is an unqualified “No.” To me it’s an impossibility, because the God who created the universe and everything in it could never make it contradict or “prove” his non-existence.

It’d be no different from me claiming Michelangelo’s painting on the Sistine Chapel ceiling disproves his existence. The statement is pure idiocy. Therefore, it only stands to reason all of creation must prove God exists.

The problem arises in the interpretation of our scientific (and biblical) observations, not the observations themselves.

So back to the age of the universe. I can prove neither side. All I can tell you is that I have a preference based on what I know of the character of God and the little bits and pieces I have gleaned over my time here on earth.

I do know that those who believe the universe is 6000 or so years old make a fairly strong case. I also know that those who believe it’s 13.8 billion years old make an equally strong case.

Neither contradict scripture, either.

Odd? Yep.

Until we realize that even as advanced as we are in our scientific endeavors, we still have a long way to go. And since we still can’t agree on all scripture, we’re obviously limited there as well.

For instance, we could easily state that the Bible implies the universe is 6000 years old by simply doing the math. Yet if we are to add other verses, such as Psalm 90:4: “For a thousand years in your sight are but as yesterday when it is past, or as a watch in the night,” and 2 Peter 3:8: “But do not overlook this one fact, beloved, that with the Lord one day is as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day,” the timetable we’ve derived from scripture may not be entirely accurate.

Because those verses indicate God created time, lives outside of it, and is therefore unaffected by it.

I’m sure you can guess by now where I lean on the age of the universe.

But it’s a preference, not a conviction.

So why do I lean in the direction of the universe being billions of years old?

It’s quite simple: I like the idea of an infinite God who took infinite care and infinite patience to create the world and universe we now enjoy and will likely never fully understand due to its infinite complexity. It’s shear immensity of both size and (possible) age only further shows the greater immensity and infinity of the God who created all of it.

However, if the moment I enter heaven and God whispers in my ear that he created the universe only 6000 years prior, I’ll smile and thank him for the clarification.

Because in the end, whether the age of the universe is thousands or billions of years old, it doesn’t change who he is.