BRAD - Are the ages shown in the old testament, based on the same calendar as we have now? Did they really live that long?

JOEL - Many have suggested that time was counted differently back then than it is now, but there is at least no evidence in the scriptures that a year then was much different than what we call a year now. After the fall of Adam, the genetic line of his descendents would have been very pure, perhaps providing for very healthy long lives.
It is interesting to note that after the flood, the lifespan of people started to decline rapidly, as if the flood caused some alteration in the atmosphere that had an effect on the aging process.

BRAD - The scriptures say a third part of spirits were excluded from coming to earth to obtain bodies, not 1/3rd. This could be a big difference. What do you think? What are the other two parts?

JOEL - The precise number who rebelled in the pre-earth life is unknown, but the scriptures speak of them as a "third part" of the spirits who were originally scheduled for birth into mortality. (Rev. 12:4; D&C 29:36.) The Bible often uses numbers in a figurative sense, which may only represent a certain period of time or value rathar than an exact number (eg 40 days, 3 days, 1000 years, etc). So the "parts" could just represent two different groups of spirits rathar than being exactly one third or two thirds of all the spirits.
But if a "third part" really means one-third of a number of spirits(which most Bible scholars assume), then there are half as many evil spirits as the remaining two-thirds who are privileged to come to earth through the birth process and obtain physical bodies. When Adam and Eve left the garden of Eden the full one third who were cast out were already on this earth in spirit form. The other two parts(or two thirds) should be considered as one group of spirits(not as two different parts). They are all those who ever have been born or will be born on this earth.

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