Skip to comments.James Ussher and His Chronology: Reasonable or Ridiculous?
Posted on 04/24/2014 8:00:18 AM PDT by fishtank
James Ussher and His Chronology: Reasonable or Ridiculous?
by Jerry Bergman, Ph.D. *
Archbishop James Ussher (15811656) was one of the most important biblical scholars of the 17th century. His research and scholarly work have even earned high praise from some who are opposed to his conclusions. Called the greatest luminary of the church of Ireland and one of the greatest scholars of his day in the Christian Church, his work has influenced generations of Christian thinkers with a force still felt today.1
An expert on the writings of the early church fathers, Ussher majorly impacted Reformation theology. The 18-volume set titled The Whole Works of James Ussher contains his most important writings.2 Today, he is best known for his chronology research that concluded Adam was created in 4004 B.C. Consequently, anti-creationists heavily criticize him, often picturing him as naive, ignorant, anti-science, and someone whose research was superficial and based solely on the biblical record.3
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Usher had one of the greatest sources of documents to write his book. Unfortunately many of the resources were destroyed. Like the destruction of the Library of Constantinople so much knowledge was lost.
An excellent aritcle about a devout man of God. The problem I see people having is that the Bible is not a book of chronology other that to provide lineage and geneology, this for the priesthood and succession of the Messiah who is from the line of Judah and David. The lineage was never meant to provide an accurate account of time for anything more than something-happened-and-then-something-else-happened-after.
As a Christian, I believe in the infallibility of the Word of God and that within its pages lie the forumulae for salvation through Christ. That Methuselah lived for 969 years has nothing to do with salvation. God could have created the world in an instant but He revealed to Moses that He did so in 6 days. Good enough for me.
I believe it was Issac Newton who said he could find nothing in error in Ussher’s work.
Ussher was no prophet. You should flee from his deception.
>> “The problem I see people having is that the Bible is not a book of chronology other that to provide lineage and geneology...” <<
I couldn’t possibly disagree with your statement more.
All of the genealogical information is carefully crafted to give us precise lengths of lives, and times of birth of sons, that couldn’t have any other purpose but to affirm Yehova’s seven day pattern for the millennia he planned for the Earth. This is affirmed by Peter’s well known 1000 years per day prophecy.
Some simply choose to be blind.
Fortunately Ussher Chose to believe Yehova’s inerrant word.
We flee from DManA’s ignorant deception, and embrace the work of devout men of God like Ussher.
It is clear from the evidence of His creation that this world is very old. Ussher asks us to believe that either God lied to us through His creation or He lied to us in his Word.
Yea, but what did Newton know about numbers? :o)
It is clear from all of the evidence that this universe is very young, as is the Earth.
A lack of understanding leads the ignorant “science” groupies, that want to be a part of man’s colossal journey of fools, to dispute the obvious.
Jesus had no problem with the biblical record. Should I flee from Christ?
Jesus wasn’t revealing the age of the Earth. He was revealing spiritual Truth, using metaphors people could understand.
Ussher's thesis was nothing more than a compilation of dates given their Hebrew reckoning in conjunction with other calendars of antiquity. His supposition was a 365 day year. The Jews has no such timing. A year was loosely based upon phases of the moon.
All of the genealogical information is carefully crafted to give us precise lengths of lives, and times of birth of sons, that couldnt have any other purpose but to affirm Yehovas seven day pattern for the millennia he planned for the Earth. This is affirmed by Peters well known 1000 years per day prophecy.
Incorrect. The geneology was there to show lineage, nothing more. The geneology in Matthew is incomplete, skipping generations.
First of all, it's important to understand that ancient Jewish genealogies differed in the form they took. There were both ascending and descending genealogies; also, while some were segmented, others were linear.
Genealogies also varied in depththat is, they varied in the number of generations included. Most of the time, they were not meant to be comprehensive. It was a common practice to skip generations, depending on the genealogys purpose (e.g., to establish inheritance rights, citizenship, or even the legal right of a king to rule).
In ascending genealogies, the Hebrew word ben can mean either son, or a more distant descendant (in Genesis 29:5, it denotes Laban, who was actually Nahor's grandson).
Likewise, in descending genealogies, the Hebrew word av can mean either father or a more distant ancestor. For example, when Matthew says that Joram was the father of Uzziah (see Matthew 1:9)also known as Azariah hes actually skipping three generations (compare to 1 Chronicles 3:10-12).
We also know (by comparing other OT accounts) that the four generations from Perez to Amminadab spanned roughly 450 yearsso there are obviously gaps at that point in the genealogy (because we would ordinarily expect four generations to encompass less than 200 years). The only people who have a problem with any of this are modern readers who are unfamiliar with the nature, character, and purpose of genealogies in ancient Israel.
The point is, chronology is divorced from salvation.
“That Methuselah lived for 969 years has nothing to do with salvation.”
For me, it does. It illustrates the corrosive effect of sin on the intended eternal lifespan if mankind.
When you look at the Bible in that way, you turn it into a piece of “burning bosom literature”.
Then you take it as a personal narritive. That does not change the fact that salvation is predicated upon confession of the Lord Jesus Christ and belief that God has raised him from the dead. (Rom 10:9)
Noah patriarchs lifespan.
As a professional engineer, this graph speaks VOLUMES of information to me.
As in, the Bible has REAL data, recorded by REAL men, about the REAL consequences of sin, paid for by a REAL Redeemer, who in REALITY rose from the dead.