Does the Bible Tell Us the Age of the Earth?
Plus: Our Protestant Bible scholar answers questions about the Second Coming, the Book of Mormon, and the thorn in Paul's flesh.
I am not a geologist or any other kind of scientist, but I do have a problem with arguments that fossils and other such evidence only make it appear as if the earth is millions of years old. I have a problem with the notion that God would deceive us about the age of things by "planting" fossils and other evidence to fool us about the age of Creation. More importantly, the Bible does not try to tell us how old the Earth is. One cannot derive an age for the earth by adding up years in the genealogies in Genesis, for the very good reason that those genealogies are partial and piecemeal. They are not exhaustive or complete. We must always keep in mind that the Bible is not intended to be a scientific textbook. It was written for people who lived long before the rise of modern science.
I take it that by John the Apostle you mean John the son of Zebedee. We are not at all sure where and how John died. The Bible does not say. There is one tradition that he moved to Ephesus, lived a long life and died there. The problem with this tradition is that it is not at all clear that the beloved disciple mentioned in John 13-21 is the same person as John the son of Zebedee, and it also appears unlikely that John the visionary mentioned in Revelation is the same person as John the son of Zebedee.