Question:

First of all I wanted to thank you for all your help. Your site has definitely helped me get closer to God.

Now, onto the question: When atheists look at the time line it goes back billions of years or whatever, and it seems like everything falls into place over the course of that long period of time, such as historical events. As a Christian, I know that the earth is more or less 6,000 years old. Now I'm in an advanced social studies class where my teacher is trying to explain to us that everything that happened can't happen in the time span the Bible gives, like even things such as China's dynasties, or the origins of Hinduism. A lot of historical events that are said to go back at least 10 thousand years. My question is: when do all the historic events happen in the time span the Bible gives. It seems like a lot of stuff to happen for only 6 thousand years. Now, it may sound like I'm against the Bible but I'm only trying to get a better understanding.

Thank you again Mr Hamilton!


Answer:

Let's start with a simple fact: A claim doesn't create a reality. The claim that the recorded events in history can't fit into a time scale given by the Bible is a claim without evidence in that we can't go back in time and see if the claim is proven or not. People do get things wrong because they expect answers and discount any evidence to the contrary.

For example, David Rohl has examined the Egyptian dynasties and noted that the standard listing causes problems with other historical documents and evidence, the Bible being one of them. But he noted a flaw in the dynasties. The standard listing assumes there were no overlaps in the reigns of kings. However, there is historical evidence that kingships did overlap either geographically or even generational (a son taking kingship before the father died). He then proposed an alternative listing that had overlaps which matches the known historical information, including the Bible, and everything fits. (See: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/New_Chronology_%28Rohl%29). Whether Mr. Rohl has everything correct or not isn't the main issue. The point is that it is possible that there are overlaps and there is supporting evidence for overlap that causes the standard list to collapse. By the way, there are a number of good videos on Mr. Rohl's work that can be found on YouTube, which are easy to understand.

I would suspect that the same problem exists in the Chinese dynasties. China, after all, is a large territory; there can be geographical overlap of dynasties. And overlap of succeeding kings would not be unusual.

In regards to the origins of Hinduism, just because someone dates the religion as being X number of years old, it isn't proof that it really was that old.

It is very easy to get into a mode of thinking that if a teacher states something then it must be correct. It is reinforced by teachers who do not like to be challenged on what they are teaching. But the fact remains that people can and do get things wrong. Therefore, it behoves the student to analyze what is being said, the checking the facts. Just as the Bereans did with Paul: "Then the brethren immediately sent Paul and Silas away by night to Berea. When they arrived, they went into the synagogue of the Jews. These were more fair-minded than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness, and searched the Scriptures daily to find out whether these things were so" (Acts 17:10-11).