These are interesting questions. So, regarding the first quote…
It seems a questions that is valid to ask is “which” beginning?
Certainly, man was not created at the first beginning in Genesis 1:1, or during the first five days. It seems that there are many beginnings in Genesis, or really any story. My beginning was several decades ago, when I was born. The beginning of this forum was just 3 months ago. Moreover, in many ways the earth seems to preexist Day 1 in the Genesis account.
I think the most solid reading is that at the beginning of [humanity’s] creation God had made us male and female. In this passage Jesus is talking to us about our story. This might be like how we might talk about the “beginning of high school” as the year in which we enter high school, the beginning of our story there. Then Jesus’s words are s no more a statement of when the earth’s beginning than the “beginning of high schools” is a statement of when the buildings were constructed.
There seems to be strong reason to sees Jesus’s words to humanity to be about our beginning, our creation, not the beginning of the earth itself.
This one I’d be curious to here what the scholars think (help me @deuteroKJ and @Philosurfer and @jongarvey?). I’m not sure why this is connected to a temporal statement. It seems more like a figure of speech. Once again, we know that the prophets blood was not being shed in Genesis 1 or Genesis 2, or Genesis 3. Perhaps it was being shed at Genesis 4, but it seems like a stretch to call Abel a prophet.
Instead, it seems to be a figure of speech, perhaps similar to when we say “from the beginning of time, people have wondered about the stars.” We do not actually mean that people were there at the beginning when we say those words. That would not be a plain reading. Rather, we are just using that as a figure of speech. Usage “from the foundations of the earth” in Scripturem seems to confirm that interpretation.
Certainly taking it to mean that prophets have been shedding blood since before the day three is in error, because people are not even created yet. So it cannot rightly be taken as meaning anything that would force us into a young earth.
You are right. This is interesting to think about.
It is possible Jesus though the earth was young. Once gain, we are getting into questions about the nature of the incarnation and if Jesus had omniscient knowledge. However, it is not clear that these verse indicate he thought the world was young. So I am not even sure we can say for sure.
More importantly, whatever Jesus thought about the age of the earth, he is not teaching the age of the earth here. There is no way to construe these words as intending to communicate that he thought the world was young, and we need to agree with him on this. In the end, that is all that matters to us. Jesus believed and thought many things that he did not teach. We are meant to follow him by accepting and applying his teaching, not what we guess about what he might believe that he did not teach. Right?
That doesn’t end the questions about the nature of the incarnation here. Did Jesus of Palestine know of dinosaurs and blackholes? However, this does not concern me in regards to the age of the earth. It seems we are free to go where the science leads us on this one. Scripture does not teach us either of the Age of the Earth, or of a Global Flood.
You also might enjoy reading about: The Origin of YEC 50 Years Ago. Turns out that YEC as you know it only arose in your grandparents generation. There is no way that Jesus was a YEC like them.
What are your thoughts?