A literal interpretation of the lifespans of Genesis flies in the face of history, biology, medicine, evolution, and our own lives. This is not lost on believers, many of whom do not take such details as Methuselah's longevity at face value. The field of Biblical scholarship harbors many interpretations — and translations — of Genesis and its peculiarities.
BioLogos, a Christian organization founded by biologist Francis Collins, looked to numerology to explain the long lives attributed to the antediluvian world. It notes the importance of numerology in the ancient world — the attribution of supernatural powers to specific numbers in a way distinct from their literal use. The list of patriarchs in Genesis from Adam to Noah gives an age for each man. These numbers all come to combinations of seven and 60 when converted to months and years, two numbers with numerological significance; seven was tied into the creation myth of the Hebrews, and 60 was the foundational number of Babylonian mathematics.
The resulting combinations resulted in 30 specific ages with a one in 100 million chance of occurring by chance. But while numerological interpretations may make more sense than believing Methuselah literally reached 969, the precise meaning of these numbers for the ancient Hebrews eludes us. Some postdiluvian lifespans may have similar explanations with clearer meanings; Catholic.com notes that both Joseph and Joshua live to 110, a desirable age in the Egyptian culture those men were meant to live in.