Orthodox Christians have long held that the earth was young. Martin Luther held that this planet was not older than 6,000 years ago.
The Genesis record gives us a clear chronology from Adam to Abraham. There is no evidence of gaps. Seth named Enosh (Gen. 4:26) so he was his direct descendant and not a distant relative. In Jude 14 we are told that Enoch was the seventh from Adam, so no gaps are possible there. Lamech named Noah (Gen. 5:29) so he was his biological father and not his great great grandfather. Arphaxad must be the son of Shem and not his grandson since he was born just two years after the flood. Methuselah’s name means “when he dies it shall be sent” and the year of his death is when the Global Flood started. This shows how accurate and tight the historical chronology from Genesis is – Methuselah could not have died after the Flood!
Adam and Eve lived at the beginning of creation not millions of years later (Mk. 10:6). Since the beginning of creation man has been able to see God’s eternal power and divine nature through observing creation (Rom. 1:20) – man has existed since the beginning and is not a latecomer in cosmic history. If millions of years really existed before the Flood, scripture could have made that plain. Second Chronicles 14:9 refers to a million man fighting force.
From Adam to the Flood is 1656 years. For hundreds of years people could chat with Adam and Eve who once lived in a utopia named Paradise. Both Genesis and Josephus agree that Abraham was born 290 years after the Flood. Abraham is generally considered to be living around 2000 BC. Therefore, the traditional date of creation of around 4000 BC seems correct. The Mayan calendar places creation at 3114 BC which is not that far from the date of 4004 BC given by James Ussher.
All the men named in these genealogies were sinners: “Here’s a word you can take to heart and depend on: Jesus Christ came into the world to save sinners. I’m proof—Public Sinner Number One” (1 Tim. 1:15, Message). We all need a Savior – Jesus.