Resources / Timeline
By James C. Rakestraw, PE, CFM
A Timeline of the Creation Discussion
Timelines are the basic element of the self-directed study of any subject. An established timeline provides a concise chronicle of events that can be used in continuing studies. This timeline was developed from a number of resources including the Bible, the PCA Report, Peloubet’s Bible Dictionary, Refuting Compromise, The Genesis Flood, and Wikipedia. This timeline begins at creation and continues to the present. The timeline has been broken into parts. Each part represents a portion of the creation discussion.
Most who hold the Calendar-Day view of creation believe in a young creation. This is expressed in the PCA Report (III. Brief Definitions, 5. Creationism) as follows:
“Young earth creationism: the belief that the earth and universe are less than 15,000 years old. This is commonly associated with the calendar day interpretation of Genesis 1. Some adherents of the Calendar Day view, however, do not take a position on the age of the earth; and some adherents of other views do not require the earth to be old.”
This website supports the approach to Biblically computing the age of creation used by John Lightfoot and others.
Part I, 3960 B.C. to 90 A.D. The record of creation is established by God in Scripture.
Numerous Christian leaders have developed dates of creation based on Scripture. The most famous is the 4004 B.C. date developed by Bishop Usher. For this timeline the creation date of 3960 B.C. developed by John Lightfoot will be used. Lightfoot was a member of the Westminster Assembly.
3960 B.C. – Creation Genesis 1 and 2:
Day 1 – “And God said, Let there be light and there was light.” (Genesis 1:3)
Day 2 – “And God said, Let there be firmament in the midst of the waters, and let it divide the waters from the waters.” (Genesis 1:6)
Day 3 – “And God said, Let the waters under the heave be gathered into one place, and let dry land appear and it was so.” (Genesis 1:9)
Day 4 – “And God said, Let there be lights in the firmament of the heaven to divide day from night; and let them be for seasons, and for days, and years.” (Genesis 1:14)
Day 5 – “And God said, Let the waters bring forth abundantly the moving creature that hath life, and fowl that may fly above the earth in the open firmament of heaven.” (Genesis 1:20)
Day 6 – “And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness, and let them have dominion over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth on the earth.” (Genesis 1:26) This is the Dominion Mandate.
Day 7 – “And on the seventh day God ended his work which he had made; and he rested on the seventh day from all the work that he had made.” (Genesis 2:2) The Sabbath day is established as a day of rest. (Verses 1 – 3)
“These are the generations of the heavens and of the earth when they were created, in the day that the Lord god made the earth and the heavens.” In verse 4, a significant word pattern is first used: “These are the generation….” This word pattern is used to mark key subdivisions in the book of Genesis. The first use of this word pattern is to summarize the account of creation.
The next verses (Verses 5 – 14) describe the Garden of Eden.
The next verses (Verses 15-17) describe God’s covenant with man. This is the Edenic Covenant.
The next verses (Verses 18-25) describe the creation of woman.
The first verses (1-4) of Genesis Chapter 2 are a continuation and summary of Genesis Chapter 1. The remaining portions (verses 5-25) are an expansion of Genesis Chapter 1. Genesis Chapter 2 is not an alternative description of creation.
Genesis 3: This chapter describes the fall of man.
Genesis 4: This chapter describes Cain and Able.
Genesis 5: “This is the book of the generations of Adam…” (Verse 4) is the second use of a word pattern used to mark key subdivisions in the book of Genesis. This second use is to summarize the descendants of Adam through Noah.
2348 B.C. This is the date of the Flood (per Usher).
Genesis 6: This chapter describes evil conditions before the flood and the construction of the ark.
Genesis 7: This chapter is an account of the inundation phase of the Genesis Flood.
Genesis 8: This chapter is an account of the cresting and regression phases of the Genesis Flood.
Genesis 9: This chapter is chronicles the establishment of the Noahic Covenant and a restatement of the Dominion Mandate.
Genesis 10: “This is the book of the generations of the sons of Noah…” (Verse 1) is the third use of a word pattern used to mark key subdivisions in the book of Genesis. This third use is to summarize the descendants of Noah “(Shem, Ham, and Japheth) and their descendants. This listing is called the Table of Nations.
Genesis 11: This chapter is termed the Table of Nations. All humankind is descended from Noah. The sons of Noah; Shem, Ham, and Japheth are the heads of groups of nations.
1491 B.C. The Moral Law is given by God to Moses (per Usher).
(This date is from an article by creation.com titles The Date of Noah’s Flood. The article was downloaded on 12/26/14.)
The forth commandment is based on the six days of creation. “Six days shall ye labor and do all your work: But the seventh day is the Sabbath of the LORD thy God: in it ye shall do no work, thou, nor thy son, nor thy daughter, thy maidservant, nor thy cattle, nor thy stranger that is within thy gate. For in six days the LORD made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in them is, and rested on the seventh day, and hallowed it.” (Exodus 20: 9-11)
Exodus 31: God speaks directly to Moses saying “Wherefore the children of Israel shall keep the Sabbath, to observe the Sabbath as a perpetual covenant. It is a sign between me and the children of Israel for ever: for in six days the LORD made heaven and earth, and the seventh day He rested and was refreshed.” (Exodus 31: 16 & 17)
Exodus 33:1-3: God writes the 10 commandments in stone.
Deuteronomy 4:32: Reference is made to the day that man was created.
Psalm 29:10: God is described as sitting on the flood. The word for flood is a unique Hebrew word for the Genesis Flood.
Psalm 104:30: Reference is made to the work of the Holy Spirit in creation.
Psalm 148:5: Reference is made to God creating by His word.
Isaiah 54:9 Reference is made to the flood waters of Noah.
606 BC to 586 BC – This is the date of the fall of Jerusalem to Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon and the first to final captivity (per Usher). These dates are significant due to the fact that they tie Biblical chronology with the chronology of the non-Jewish world.
Matthew 19:4 and Mark 10:6: Jesus makes reference to marriage as being between one man and one woman.
Matthew 24:37-40 and Luke 17:27: Jesus refers to the days of Noah.
Luke 3:38: Reference is made to Adam in the genealogy of Jesus.
Acts 1:26: Paul makes reference to the fact that the peoples of all the nations have one blood.
Romans 5:12-24: Reference is made to sin and death entering the world through Adam.
I Corinthians 11:9: Reference is made to the creation of man and woman.
I Corinthians 15:22: Reference is made to all dying in Adam.
I Corinthians 15:45: Reference is made to the first Adam becoming a living soul.
I Timothy 2:13 & 14: Reference is made to Adam being created before Eve.
2 Peter 2:4 & 5: Reference is made to God’s preservation of Noah through the flood.
2 Peter 3:4 Reference is made to scoffers who have an uniformitarian mindset.
Jude 1:14: Reference is made to Enoch of the seventh generation of Adam.
The above are a sampling of scriptures that reference creation.
AD 70 – This is the date of the destruction of the temple at Jerusalem.
AD 90 – This is the date of the book of Revelation and the closing of New Testament cannon.
Summary, Part I of the Creation Discussion:
This part of the creation discussion is the longest it lasted approximately 4050 years from 3960 BC to 90 AD. This portion of the timeline may be considered the word of God (Father Son, and Holy Spirit) on creation.