Smoky Mountain Bible Institute
Breakout your maps and histories as we travel in a time machine of sorts to examine History & Geography through a biblical world view. Last month as we defined history, I mentioned prehistory, and in order to give a thorough treatment of history, we must have a brief discussion of prehistory. I say brief because as a “young earth” creationist, I believe most, if not all, topics of discussion in the bulk of scientific study that would fall under the umbrella of prehistory to be incorrectly dated. However, just because I disagree with the majority of experts on the timing of prehistoric research, does not mean there is not a lot of valuable information to be drawn from that research. So what we will do in this lesson is see how a young earth creationist can piece together all the great information in the prehistoric realm of study (what is popularly held to be a period from 3.5 million years ago to around 5000 BC when ancient recorded history began), and logically plug that information into the biblical timeline that starts around 4000BC. I would like to suggest that all that is called prehistory can fit logically into a timeline that starts around 4000BC and ends around 1500BC. This proposal will seem ridiculous to some, but in the area of prehistory, all timeline assertions are based for the most part on Carbon 14 dating and other assumptions. I addressed these false assumptions in lessons #21 and #22. In order to do this, we must first discuss the commonly held timeline for prehistory, and then discuss how that can be applied to a biblical timeline.
Prehistory forms the popularly held three-age world view: Stone age 3.5 million to 4500BC, Bronze age 3750 BC to 300 BC, and Iron age 1300 BC to 400 AD. You will notice some peculiar things about my summary of ages here. First, there are some major overlaps and second, this goes deep into the time of recorded history. This is because I have summarized the entire world’s progression through these ages. Different regions of the world entered and exited these ages at different times. What I have listed here is the earliest entry into an age followed by the latest exit from that age. These ages are determined by when these regions progressed through these technologies (stone, bronze, iron) be it through conquest, commerce, or ingenuity. Prehistory also starts at different times in different places based on the development of written languages which is popularly held to be between 3500BC and 2500BC. Ancient history is typically defined as around 3300BC to 600 AD. To finish things out, the Middle ages is popularly defined as 300AD to 1500AD with the Renaissance starting around 1350AD, and the modern period beginning as early as 1450AD. Again you will see overlaps due to different regions entering and exiting these ages at different times. As you can see in a discussion of world history, a simple question of where to begin can be a bit complicated.
I propose that all of the prehistoric scientific dates listed above are simply misdated and can logically be placed in a biblical prehistoric time of 4000BC to 1500BC. During this biblical period of prehistory, the world was created around 4000BC, plus or minus no more than 50 years. The world was populated to about 25 billion in the first 1650 years. Then the world was destroyed in a flood around 2350BC reducing the population to 8 and covering the earth with a large fossil layer and causing what remained of pre-flood civilization to be hard to date and analyze because of the vast geographic and geological changes that took place. In the 700 years that followed the flood, large ice caps formed and receded (see lesson #35).
From a biblical perspective, the oldest written words are found in the book of Job from around 2000 BC. The next books in line are the Pentateuch, the first five books of the Bible written by Moses from 1446 BC to 1406 BC during the 40 years of wandering in the wilderness. While we can have an intelligent debate on when history began, you would be hard pressed to find any written historical accounts that talk about events that predate 4000 BC because they do not exist. This means that all discussion of prehistory must depend on areas of research outside the realm of written history. When it comes to written history, the most dependable is the written account of a first hand witness. What we have in Genesis, chapters 1 through 11, is the first hand account of the Creator given directly to Moses for him to record in the Hebrew language some 3400 years ago. So we will start next month where the Bible starts, at 4000 BC, and we will address in small digestible chunks of time, the life, technology, art, faith and politics of God’s vast creation.