There are also non-evangelicals who believe that the genealogies of Genesis 5 & 11 were intended to be understood literally for the purpose of constructing a historical chronology.
For example, in 1984 James Barr, Regius Professor of Hebrew at Oxford University, wrote in a personal letter to British researcher David C. C. Watson,
“So far as I know there is no professor of Hebrew or Old Testament at any world-class university who does not believe that the writer(s) of Genesis 1 through 11 intended to convey to their readers these ideas:
1) Creation took place in a series of six days which were the same as the days of 24 hours we now experience;
2) The figures contained in the Genesis genealogies provided by simple addition a chronology from the beginning of the world up to later stages in the Biblical story;
3) Noah’s flood was understood to be world-wide and extinguished all human and animal life except for those in the ark.”
Or, to put it negatively, the apologetic arguments which suppose the days of creation to be long eras of time, the figures of years not to be chronological, and the flood to be a merely local Mesopotamian flood, are not taken seriously by any professor, as far as I know.“
Although disbelieving Genesis, these professors are convinced the author intended to give a historical chronology from the Beginning. There’s nothing in the Genesis text itself to drive harmonization with scientism’s alleged age of the earth.
Barr does not believe Genesis, but he understood what the Hebrew so clearly taught. It was only the perceived need to harmonize with the alleged age of the earth which led people to think anything different—it was nothing to do with the text itself.
Soli Deo Gloria.
This is the 29th in a series of blog posts on the Age of the Earth. I began with the Biblical testimony that the earth is 6,000 years old, because the evidence from nature should be interpreted and understood in the light of clear Biblical truth. The prequels have considered the issue’s importance, what Jesus thought, and the Genesis genealogies. Current posts are surveying the historic teaching of the church. Future articles will discuss scientific evidence on the age of the earth, explaining fallacies of radiometric dating methods and giving examples of scientific methods which yield short ages.
Read the prequels:
1. How Old Is the Earth?
2. Why Is the Age of the Earth Important?
3. Earth: Young or Old?
4. Age of the Earth—Jesus’ View
5. Age of the Earth—Jesus Interpreted OT Literally
6. Age of the Earth—What Did Jesus Say?
7. Age of the Earth—What Did Jesus’ Contemporaries Think?
8. Age of the Earth—Genealogies
9. Age of the Earth—What Does Begat Mean?
10. Age of the Earth—Interlocking Genealogies
11. Age of the Earth—Any Gaps in Genealogies?
12. Age of the Earth—No Gaps in Genealogies
13. Age of the Earth—Any Missing Generations?
14. Age of the Earth—Scriptural Confirmation (Adam to Noah)
15. Age of the Earth—Scriptural Confirmation (Noah to Abraham)
16. Age of the Earth—Luke’s Testimony
17. Age of the Earth—Luke & Cainan Puzzle
18. Age of the Earth—Luke & Cainan Explanation
19. Age of the Earth—Add It Up
20. Age of the Earth—6,000 Years Old
21. Age of the Earth—History’s View
22. Age of the Earth—Church Fathers’ Opinion
23. Age of the Earth—Josephus, Luther, Calvin
24. Age of the Earth—Archbishop Ussher
25. Age of the Earth—Prof. James Strong
26. Age of the Earth—Kepler & Newton
27. Age of the Earth—Dr. William Hales
28. Age of the Earth—Prof. Leupold
Read the sequel:
30. Age of the Earth—History’s Opinion
Subscribe – Don’t miss future blog posts!
Click the sidebar’s “SUBSCRIBE” button to follow the
Bible-Science Guy Blog. You’ll automatically receive
new posts free by email. Click SUBSCRIBE NOW!
©William T. Pelletier, Ph.D.
“contending earnestly for the faith”
“destroying speculations against the knowledge of God”
“for the defense of the gospel”
(Jude 1:3; 2 Cor 10:5; Phil 1:16)
Wednesday September 24, 2008 A.D.
Then the Levites, Jeshua, Kadmiel, Bani, Hashabneiah, Sherebiah, Hodiah, Shebaniah, and Pethahiah, said, “Arise, bless the LORD your God forever and ever! O may Thy glorious name be blessed and exalted above all blessing and praise! Thou alone art the LORD. Thou hast made the heavens, the heaven of heavens with all their host, the earth and all that is on it, the seas and all that is in them. Thou dost give life to all of them and the heavenly host bows down before Thee. (Nehemiah 9:5-6 NASB)