[quote=ekim61]Science teaches that the earth is billions of years old.
Many Protestant churches(I know Baptists do) teach that the earth is only 6000 years old based on biblical history only goes back that far.
the other night I was watching EWTN and a guest on the show was a catholic Priest who was some type of scientist, refered to the earth being billions of years old.
So I guess my question(s) are(is) What is the catholic churches teaching on the age of the earth and how do you explain the earth is billions of years old if the bible says the earth was created in 6 days and the bible goes back only 6000 years?
Scripture is largely comprised of symbolic structures best referred to as “types” and “word pictures.” Except for day “one,” which does not appear to have symbolic significance in typology, days “two” through “six” have symbolic significance.
On day “two,” the “firmament” was created. The Two Type = “Church.” So, the “firmament” is a picture of the “Church.” The Church is being foreshadowed.
On day “three,” note that “trees” were created. There are really only two kinds of “trees” in Bible typology: The Fig Tree Type, which stands for “the commandments,” “the Old Law,” the “Old Covenant,” or Judaism"; and the Non-Fig Tree Type, which stands for “the cross.” The Three Type = “will of God.” Probably, trees were created on the “will of God” day, because the Fig Tree, representing the “commandments,” was created on that day.
On day “four,” “stars” were created. The Four Type = “everyone.” “Stars” symbolize “God’s people,” a third of which are apparently to be lost to Satan. See Revelation 12:4.
On day “five,” “birds” and “fish” were created. The Five Type = “Christ.” But the Bird Type = “sin,” “the devil,” “demons”; and the Fish Type = “damnable souls” in the Sea of Damnable Souls. How in Heaven’s name do we resolve the number “five” and these animals?
Simple. Paul figured it out. In 2 Corinthians 5:21, Paul refers to Christ as “Him Who did not know sin Who was made to be sin.” By this Paul meant that when Christ died to purchase our salvation, He functionally took the punishment for our sins upon Himself, and so He ended-up being treated as though He were Sin Personified. I.e., He was “made to be sin”! So, in the Bible, we see Christ Himself foreshadowed with SIN SYMBOLS, to foreshadow how He would be treated as though He were SIN PERSONIFIED. So, in Leviticus 14:1-9, we see Christ foreshadowed with a the Bird Sin Type, in the form of a bird which his slaughtered so that its blood can be splattered on a second bird, which is allowed to fly away. In other words, He-Who-did-not-know-sin-Who-was-made-to-be-sin is killed, so that His sacrificial blood can drive away sin, itself. And, in Tobit 6, a great big fish coming out of the Tigris River trying to bite off Tobiah’s dirty feet is Christ doing what He recommended in Matthew 18:8, where He says, “If your foot is your problem, cut it off and throw it away!” Because that big fish is Christ, we see Tobiah foreshadowing Christ’s sacrifice by killing it, and we see Tobiah foreshadowing the Eucharist by eating the fish.
So, note well: Birds and Fish are two sin symbols used to symbolize Christ, and so they were created on Day Five – Christ Day.
On Day Six, mankind was created. The Six Type = “evil.”
So, the important aspect of the number of days of creation is NOT to describe how long it took to build creation, but rather to foreshadow aspects of the salvation process – the Church, the Commandments, the people these would be applied to, Christ the Redeemer, and evil mankind.
Re the age of creation, itself, the evidence is overwhelming that it is billions of years old: The elements within the Sun’s spectograph indicate that the hydrogen is about half consumed = billions of years old. Radioactive elements in the bedrock of the Earth break down into identifiable non-radioactive elements at a predictable rate. The comparison of the still radioactive elements and the non-radioactive by-products implies that the Earth is billions of years old. Starlight from distant stars needed billions of years to get to where we are today.