How Does Man’s History Fit with the Biblical Timeline?

by Bodie Hodge
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How can we reconcile the secular history of the world with what the Bible clearly teaches?

I was just curious. We as creationists believe that God created the world roughly 6,000 years ago and that the flood of Noah was about 4400 years ago. Here's my question. How do we fit man's history in there? I mean, the pyramids at Giza are said to be 4500 years old, meaning they were built before the Flood. Obviously, the Flood would have destroyed them. How do we fit the amazing advances of man that are date before the Flood that should have been wiped out (like the Pyramids). Can the Egyptian history fit into 6,000 years. Secular scientists say it goes back 20,000 years. I of course reject this. But what's the deal?


Hi K.S.,

This can be resolved easily. But for the sake of the readers, I am going to take this step-by-step to show how to analyze this type of argument and respond in the future.

Ultimately, here is what it comes down to: trust man or trust God. I know you've heard us say this many times but let me explain it with respect to this question. Let's look at the two proposed approximate timelines of history.

Using God's Word as authoritative

Major event

Date (using Ussher)1


4004 BC


4004 BC (Day 10 after creation)

Global Flood

2348 BC

Tower Babel

2242 BC

Egypt began

After 2242 BC but prior to Abraham going to Egypt (Genesis 12)

Call of Abraham

1922 BC

Ice Age peak

1848 BC (500 years after the Flood)

Time of the Judges (Moses was first)

1491 BC (God appearing to Moses in the burning bush)

Time of the Kings (Saul was the first)

1095 BC

Split kingdom

975 BC

Christ was born

~4 BC

Using God's Word as authoritative, we know the pyramids of Egypt couldn't have been built prior to creation. Also, they would not have been built prior to the Flood as they would have been destroyed. So they would have had to come afterwards. The Bible also reveals that after the Flood man came together and didn't spread around the globe (Genesis 11:1-4). They settled at a place called “Shinar” and built a tower to keep themselves from being scattered.

Of course, they couldn't thwart the plans of God. At Babel, they were scattered by language divisions. This is when people finally began traveling and settling to different parts of the world. Written history has confirmed much of this.

Before I had written this message, I was attending my first day of astronomy lab class. My Professor, Dr. 'Anonymous', introduced himself to the class and FIRST said “ If you firmly subscribe to the creationist view of the literal 6 days that's ok… I fully respect your views. However, keep an open mind to science, and maybe two years from now you'll look back and realize that cosmological evolution is scientifically correct.” This would be a very uncomfortable environment for a Christian student. However, I thank God He made me see it in a different perspective. Just the fact my Professor mentioned the creationist movement truly shows that the atheistic and evolutionist ideas are being greatly challenged and exposed today by many God-Fearing Scientist.I hope and pray that this testimony would bring you (AIG) encouragement to know that many college students like me look up to your wonderful ministry .

God Bless AIG!!!- Ernald M.

Some of the descendants of Ham made their way to northern Africa, and established cities there, including the area we today call Egypt. Eventually, they began building pyramids. Larry Pierce has pointed out that according to some ancient records, Egypt began in 2188 BC.2 This date is after the Babel dispersion and is logical in the biblical model.

In fact, the pyramids resemble many other ancient ziggurats styles. Ziggurats and variants of them have been found in many parts of the world-from the Mesopotamian area to the Mayans and Aztec regions in South America!

The Tower of Babel has traditionally been known as a type of ziggurat. The Bible, though, doesn't give specific dimensions of it so we can't be certain. The Hebrew word for “tower” that refers to the Tower of Babel in Genesis 11 is:

04026. ldgm migdal mig-dawl'; also (in plural) feminine hldgm migdalah mig-daw-law'; from 01431; a tower (from its size or height); by analogy, a rostrum; figuratively, a (pyramidal) bed of flowers:- castle, flower, tower.

Interestingly, this word means tower but with a figurative meaning for flower bed that yields a pyramidal shape giving support to the idea that the Tower of Babel was indeed pyramidal or shaped similar to a ziggurat. This could explain why we see ziggurat-shaped structures around the world by ancient people-they were built by people who were scattered from Babel. It makes sense that many of the families that were scattered at Babel took the idea of the Tower to their new lands and began building projects of their own!

You can view some of the pictures of these ziggurats off-site (these sites are not affiliated with Answers in Genesis).

These are just a few. The fact that these commonly shaped structures appeared in ancient civilizations is a confirmation they indeed came from a common design-the one at Babel. So logically, Egypt and these other ancient civilizations began after Babel.

Now let's look at the date for the pyramids using man's ideas as authoritative.

Using man's ideas as authoritative/secular timeline

Major event

Date assigned

Big bang started the universe

~13.7 billion years ago

Earth forms

~4.5 Billion years ago

First life

~3.8 billion years ago

End of the dinosaur age

~65 million years ago

Man first appeared

~200,000 years ago

Last ice age

~20,000 years ago

First civilization began

~8,000–10,000 BC

Egypt began

~3200 BC

Assuming the first civilization happened between eight and ten thousand BC, then Egypt could have begun building the pyramids after this point.

The date for Egypt beginning by the secular timeline is about 3200 BC, not 20,000. Regardless, this date is ascertained by man's fallible dating methods as well as the inflated dates for Egyptian kingdoms that have recently been revised. For more on the problems of radiometric dating please see RATE Research and Radiometric Dating.

Let's discern between the two

The only way this appears to be a problem is if one takes some of man's ideas about history as authoritative and some of the Bible as authoritative. So an alleged problem appears when taking the biblical date of the Flood (2348 BC by Ussher) and man's ideas when Egypt began (3200 BC). This is why compromisers, who take the secular timeline and add it to the Bible, have to reject the plain passages in Genesis 6-8 and reject a global Flood. Instead of questioning the philosophy of man, they have questioned the text of the Bible and reinterpreted it to fit their theology.

Regardless, either God is wrong or man is wrong. It is only an alleged contradiction if one takes both timelines as authoritative. As we've said before, the infinite God has given us a record of His pertinent activities from the beginning-He was there, and imperfect finite people weren't. So it is better to trust God's Word first over man's ideas about the past. There is no reason to doubt God and trust man over God or even try to mix the secular dates with the Bible. God is never wrong.

For further reading on the subject I suggest The Pyramids of Ancient Egypt and In the Days of Peleg.

I hope this helps, may God richly bless you.
Bodie Hodge, AiG-USA


  1. This is not an endorsement of Ussher’s chronology as perfect but for the sake of using a well-known biblical chronology.
  2. In the days of Peleg, Larry Pierce.


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