Q. The young earth view of 6,000 years says Abraham was born around 2000 BC, how did they get this ?
A. They based the age of the earth on chronologies in the Bible. Different authors have written on this approach, with some variations in the results depending on which manuscript was used, but they are all in the range of thousands of years, not billions. The most famous is Archbishop Ussher, who wrote The Annals of the World in 1650.
He started with the genealogies in Gen 5 and 11, which established the period of time:
• from Creation to birth of Noah (Gen 5) to be 1,056 years;
• from the birth of Noah to the time Abram entered Canaan (Gen 11) to be 1,027 years.
He then used several other passages given in the chart below to establish the time from Abram’s entry into Canaan to the final deportation of the Jews to be 1,337 years. From secular history and archeology he knew the final Jewish exile to be 584 BC. So he back calculated the age of the earth since creation to be:
1,056 + 1,027 + 1,337 + 584 BC = 4004 BC
Since from Gen 5 and 11 Abram was born 2,008 years after Adam, people deduce that he must be born in:
4004 BC – 2,008 = 1996 BC, or 2000 BC in round terms. (QED)