Re: Jude 14 and the age of the world

Massie (
Sun, 18 Apr 1999 17:01:04 -0700 wrote:

> << > The idea of a universe older than c. six or ten thousand years does not
> arise
> > naturally from Scripture. It has to be read in from science.
> >
> > Paul
> <>
> My point is not that we are bound by the interpretations of the Church, but
> that since for 1500 years nearly if not all Christians understood the Bible
> to be reflecting if not teaching that the earth was less than 6000 years old,
> that is the view which arises naturally from Scripture. Further, this seems
> to be the view the Jews held prior to Christ. The fact that no one saw a
> really old earth in Scripture until the rise of science tells me that it is
> the input of science that led to that view.

Yes, the input of science has led to the old earth view even though some early
apologists I am told were uncertain as to exactly what was met in Genesis. They
also believed the earth to be flat and some believed that the Bible taught that
the Sun revolved about the Earth. Science is about investigation of how nature
works (the God given nature a theist would say) and is supposed to be agenda
free. Since scientists are humans it never will be and those scientistd whose
professional disciplines intersect certain hot philsophical topics are
particularly affected by their own philosophical bias. Years ago I remember a
hot debate on things like the constants of physics, the age of the universe, etc,
etc, and no one could care less about the mechanistic/theistic agenda or
consequences. The issue at hand was how to contrive experiments to detect such
things. What is your point?

> The meaning of the word "day" as it is used in the six creation days is a
> little more controversial even from early times; but, again, I have never
> seen any evidence that anyone until the rise of science thought the days of
> the creation week were longer than 24-hour days. This is evidence to me that
> seeing the days of the creation week as 24-hour days (or possibly half-days)
> is the most natural straight-forward understanding of the biblical text, and
> that seeing the "days" of the creation week as long epochs came from
> considering scientific data.
> The original question was, what is the meaning of Jude 14? Within the
> context of the world view of that time, there is no question that Jude was
> thinking of a universe less than 6000 years old. At least that is where all
> of the available evidence points; and I know of no evidence from the time of
> Jude or 200BC to 200AD which even suggests that any Jews or Christians held a
> contrary view.
> Paul

Again, I cannot accept authority as reason to believe any particular view. The
early Christians and Jews may have had many interpretations of the scriptures and
Jeses certainly faced this problem when he spoke against the view of an eartly

Bert Massie