Bible dating method

detailed genealogy in scripture
Chart courtesy of conformingtojesus.com

Calculations from family tree

The Bible provides a complete genealogical record starting with Adam and ending with Jesus.

Beginning with David, as shown in the chart above, the Bible gives the family tree of both Mary and Joseph.

The genealogies are in Genesis 5, Matthew 1 and Luke 3, plus supporting segments in other books of the Bible.
Virtually all Bible scholars agree that there are no significant gaps in these reported famly lines.

Bishop James Ussher was a church leader in Ireland in the 1600's, prolific scholar and author of The Annals of the World. Using Bible genealogies, he calculated that Adam was born in the year 4004 BC. This date has been widely quoted and generally accepted ever since.

Over the last 400 years, hundreds of other historians and theologians have drawn the family tree from their own study of scripture, and nearly everyone comes to the same conclusion: Adam lived about 4000 BC.

– MORE –
Adam first human?
People before Adam
Come back for this

No significant gaps

Some Christians who believe that Adam was the first human on earth, knowing that dating the first human to 4000 BC is out of synch with everything we now know about the world, try to shrug off the conflicts by saying, without evidence, that there are gaps in the Bible genealogy.

But there are big problems with that response:

The consecutive male line from Adam to Jesus is clearly stated in the Bible. If there are gaps, then the Bible is inaccurate and misleading, and the genealogy needs to be altered. If the genealogy is altered for convenience, why not alter other statements in the Bible too? Alteration would undermine all creditability of the Bible.

Just for a margin of safety, let's say that the Bible record is only 50% complete and omits as many families as it includes. That would put Adam's time at approximately 8000 BC. That still could not explain human activity prior to 8000 BC (see 1.3).

If the Bible genealogy shows more time as gaps than as facts, then any reasonable person would have to conclude that it is not a credible genealogy at all and that the Bible is misleading and fraudulent.

Helping Christians engage in intelligent and persuasive conversations with doubters and unbelievers
< BackHomeTopNext >