Was Jesus a Young Earth Creationist? What did He teach about the age of the Earth? As followers of Jesus, that should be an important point for us to consider. Can we determine from the New Testament records of Jesus’ life on Earth what He believed and taught about creation? I think we can.
There are a couple of passages to which we should pay particular attention. Let’s start with Mark 10:6-9.
“But from the beginning of the creation God made them male and female. For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother, and cleave to his wife; And they twain shall be one flesh: so then they are no more twain, but one flesh. What therefore God hath joined together, let not man put asunder.“
This is Jesus speaking here, in reference to marriage. He tells us that the creation of mankind as male and female was “from the beginning of creation” and then goes on to quote Genesis 2:24 from the marriage of Adam and Eve. This passage tells us directly that Adam and Eve had the first marriage from which Jesus is pointing out the pattern for marriage from the beginning. And their marriage was from the beginning of the creation, according to Jesus. It wasn’t millions or billions of years after the beginning. This is a pretty clear use of Genesis as literal and historical by Jesus Himself.
Jesus also affirmed Abel as the first murder victim.
Matthew 23:35 “That upon you may come all the righteous blood shed upon the earth, from the blood of righteous Abel unto the blood of Zacharias son of Barachias, whom ye slew between the temple and the altar.”
Luke 11:50-51 “That the blood of all the prophets, which was shed from the foundation of the world, may be required of this generation; From the blood of Abel unto the blood of Zacharias, which perished between the altar and the temple: verily I say unto you, It shall be required of this generation.“
Jesus here tells us that Abel was the first righteous blood spilled on the planet since the foundation of the world. This is a clear affirmation of the young Earth position for several reasons.
First, Abel here is affirmed as a real person who really died by being murdered. This debunks the idea that early figures in Genesis were composite, allegorical, or figurative characters rather than historical individuals.
Second, if Abel was the first murder victim, then he must have lived very early in human history. Surely no one believes humans existed for hundreds of thousands of years, as mainstream science claims, without murdering one another. Since the genealogies place Adam (Abel’s father and the first man) about 2,000 years before Abraham and we know that Abraham lived around 2,000 BC, that gives us an age for humanity of about 6,000 years. Jesus’ statement affirms that Abel lived at the beginning of human history, not hundreds of thousands of years later.
Jesus also associates the murder of Abel with the foundation of the world in Luke’s passage. This again places Abel very early in history rather than much later. It places the foundation of the world very close to Abel’s murder rather than millions of years prior. It makes no sense to associate the murder of Abel with the foundation of the world (rather than just the beginning of human history) if they were separated by a huge gap in time.
Of course, these arguments are just two of many pieces of the puzzle, but they form important pieces that help us understand what the Bible is teaching us about history.
The picture presented in the Bible of the history of the universe is consistently young Earth throughout. Even when we look at the words of Jesus, they fit a young Earth and affirm a historical Genesis. There are several other places where Jesus alludes to Genesis as history as well. The only way to come up with an old Earth of millions of years is to explain away what the text says. Yet we don’t need to do that.
Not only does the Bible teach a young Earth, but this is consistent with the weight of the scientific evidence as well.