Does the Bible Teach an Old Universe?

Sunday, July 24, 2011

“And, Thou, Lord, in the beginning hast laid the foundation of the earth; and the heavens are the works of thine hands: they shall perish; but thou remainest; and they all shall wax old as doth a garment;” (Hebrews 1:10,11 KJV).

Many in the scientific community reject the Bible’s testimony… unless of course, if it seems to agree with their teaching. Today’s Scripture is a favorite amongst those who refuse the idea of a young earth and a young universe. Notice the Bible says that the heavens “shall wax old as doth a garment.” Alas, this wresting of the Scriptures is manifested when we understand the definition of “old.”

When the Bible uses the term “old” to describe the heavens, it does not necessarily equate to billions of years old. Do we always use “old” to describe something extremely ancient? Of course not. A centenarian is 100 years old—is this person “old” when compared to, say, a millennium?  Notice how the Bible said the heavens would “wax [grow] old as doth a garment.” Just how “old” can a garment be? Billions of years old? We use the term “old” to refer to items we have had but a few years (like worn-out clothes).

The Bible terms the Mosaic Covenant (Old Testament) “old” in Hebrews 8:13, yet the Mosaic Covenant is just 3,500 years old. Notice the Bible calls the Mosaic Law “old,” yet it is merely thousands of years old. Just as the Mosaic Law needs to pass away for those Jews of the book of Hebrews, so that the New Covenant can be established (Hebrews 8:8-13), this present heaven and earth need to pass away so a new heaven and a new earth can be brought in (Isaiah 66:23; Hebrews 1:12; 2 Peter 3:10-13; Revelation 21:1,4).

We should view today’s Scripture in light of this: “old” in both Hebrews 1:11 and Hebrews 8:13 is not “ancient” but rather referring to their functionality or existence. Both need to pass away, just like the garments (clothes) of today’s Scripture are worn-out (“old”).