“But thou, Bethlehem Ephratah, though thou be little among the thousands of Judah, yet out of thee shall he come forth unto me that is to be ruler in Israel; whose goings forth have been from of old, from everlasting.”
What is meant by the word ancient? There are some who would suggest that a belief that the Earth was created about 4,000 years before the birth of Christ is contrary to Scripture because the Bible calls God the Ancient of Days. If the Earth were less than 7,000 years old, then it would not be ancient.
However, this is not so. The word ancient – like many other words dealing with inexact time periods – is interpreted relative to a fixed point. The error made by theistic evolutionists is that they think that an evolutionary timescale is the fixed point. If the Earth is really 4.5 billion years old, then those who believe it is only 6,000 years old do not believe it is ancient. Their error is that they pick the wrong fixed point.
A better fixed point is one that is rooted in our experience because the word ancient is a relative term. Compared to our own lifespan, 6,000 years is, indeed, very ancient.
Christians who wish to believe in evolution date the writing of Genesis to the Babylonian Exile. We make it even more ancient, maintaining that the words were given by God Himself to Moses, probably through even more ancient patriarchs. That is one reason why we accept the Bible as completely trustworthy.
As one beautiful hymn puts it:
Ancient words ever true
Changing me and changing you
We have come with open hearts
Oh, let the ancient words impart
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