A defense of Bishop James Ussher
The chronology first appeared in The Annals of the Old Testament , a monumental work first published in London in the summer of Ussher lived through momentous times, having been born during the reign of Elizabeth and dying, in , under Cromwell. He was a talented fast-track scholar who entered Trinity College in Dublin at the early age of thirteen, became an ordained priest by the age of twenty, and a professor at Trinity by twenty-seven.
one should suppose that the exact time and date of creation could be reckoned! Folly, however, was the last characteristic that should be ascribed to Ussher.
Seventh-day Adventists believe in inspiring those around us to experience a life of wholeness and hope for an eternal future with God. Ussher’s date for Creation, based in part on Old Testament figures and in part on astronomical cycles, eclipsed the figure suggested earlier by Lightfoot. His date of B. Ussher’s chronology has suffered an almost continuous series of challenges. The writings of Plato described how the lost “continent” of Atlantis had become submerged some 9, years before his time.
The Babylonian scholar Berosus, writing in the third century B. Interestingly, one of the first to come to his defense was Sir Isaac Newton. In The Chronology of Ancient Kingdoms Amended , Newton roundly criticized the Egyptian chronologists because they had set the origin of their kingdom prior to B. Despite serious challenges from studies in the natural sciences as well as ancient history, Ussher’s dominating influence in the arena of Biblical chronology did not slacken until the rise of modern archeology.
The discovery of the Rosetta Stone in Egypt in and its decipherment by Champollion in the s provided the key to unlock the meaning of monument inscriptions and papyrus kings’ lists. The history of Egypt had already been divided into thirty dynasties by Manetho, an Egyptian priest of the third century B.
James Ussher’s Annals of the World
Ussher’s calculations, published in the Annals of the Old Testament, Deduced From the First Origins of the World , strike most modern sensibilities as absurd. Except for a few Young Earth Creationists, believers and nonbelievers alike agree that if a supernatural entity created the universe, it happened about But Ussher was far from the first person to wildly miscalculate the universe’s age. Indeed, dating the universe was quite the scholarly fad.
Use of Ussher’s dates in marginal notation continued in some published Bibles into the 20th century. Perhaps the whole idea of a creation.
James Ussher, was one of the greatest scholars and theologians of his time. In his enduring search for knowledge he travelled widely in Britain and Europe, seeking the earliest available manuscripts, buying those he could, and copying others. After his death, his extensive and valuable library, formed the nucleus of the great library of Trinity College, Dublin. James Ussher, archbishop of Armagh, was the pre-eminent figure in the contemporary Church of Ireland, and a leading patron of scholarship at Trinity College, Dublin.
A staunch defender of episcopacy, he was nevertheless respected on all sides during the religious upheavals of the s and s, and regarded as the person most likely to achieve an accommodation between the Presbyterians and the Church of England. As such, he was valued by Hartlib and Dury, both of whom helped him at times with his scholarly work and looked to him as a potential patron for their own schemes.
Despite his success as a churchman, Ussher is perhaps most famous for having dated the start of the creation to the evening before 23rd October, B. Ussher calculated this timing in his Annals, a work of biblical chronology which he published in Latin in Hartlib noted its progress through the press with great interest , and which was translated into English in In the Annals, Ussher developed the chronological work of many earlier scholars, in particular Joseph Justus Scaliger who had pioneered the use of the Julian period in calendrical calculations to provide a framework for dating the whole Bible historically.
He argued that, although scripture itself only tended to take notice of entire years, the Holy Ghost had left clues in the Bible which allowed the critic to establish a precise chronology of its events, through the application to the text of the results of astronomical calculations and its comparison with the dates of pagan history. Ussher’s system had the advantage of preserving several attractive numerical symmetries, for example the ancient Jewish notion, adopted by Christians, that the creation anticipated the birth of the Messiah by 4, years, but it was also heavily dependent on classical chronologies and on an interpretation of the calendar which already seemed out-dated to many scholars.
Although not wholly original, Ussher’s work was nevertheless influential and became widely accepted, not least because its dates were later incorporated into the margins of some editions of the Authorized Version. However, Ussher’s chronology rested too heavily on the Hebrew text of Old Testament to escape controversy even in his own day. Its findings were attacked by those who were persuaded that the Greek translation of the Old Testament the Septuagint or the Samaritan Pentateuch both of which presented different chronologies from the Hebrew were more reliable witnesses to the dictation of the Holy Ghost, or that they concurred more closely with the evidence of astronomy and pagan history.
How an archbishop calculated the Creation
The Ussher chronology is a 17th-century chronology of the history of the world formulated from a literal reading of the Old Testament by James Ussher , the Archbishop of Armagh and Primate of All Ireland. The chronology is sometimes associated with young Earth creationism , which holds that the Universe was created only a few millennia ago by God as described in the first two chapters of the biblical book of Genesis. Ussher fell into disrepute in the 19th century. Published in , the full title of Ussher’s work in Latin is Annales Veteris Testamenti, a prima mundi origine deducti, una cum rerum Asiaticarum et Aegyptiacarum chronico, a temporis historici principio usque ad Maccabaicorum initia producto “Annals of the Old Testament, deduced from the first origins of the world, the chronicle of Asiatic and Egyptian matters together produced from the beginning of historical time up to the beginnings of Maccabees “.
An expert on the writings of the early Church Fathers, Ussher had a giant impact on Publisher: Robinson, Churchill, Taylor, and Wyatt; Publication Date:
Of his many works, his treatise on chronology has proved the most durable. Based on an intricate correlation of Middle Eastern and Mediterranean histories and Holy writ, it was incorporated into an authorized version of the Bible printed in , and thus came to be regarded with almost as much unquestioning reverence as the Bible itself. A Geological Miscellany.
Princeton University Press, Ussher’s spellings have been faithfully kept in the following excerpt. Now if the series of the three minor cicles be from this present year extended backward unto precedent times, the years before the beginning of our Christian account will be found to be that year into which the first year of the indiction, the first of the Lunar Cicle, and the first of the Solar will fall.
Having placed there fore the heads of this period in the kalends of January in that proleptick year, the first of our Christian vulgar account must be reckoned the of the Julian Period, which, being divided by We find moreover that the year of our fore-fathers, and the years of the ancient Egyptians and Hebrews were of the same quantity with the Julian, consisting of twelve equal moneths, every of them conteining 30 days, for it cannot be proved that the Hebrews did use lunary moneths before the Babylonian Captivity adjoying to the end of the twelfth moneth, the addition of five dayes, and every four year six.
And I have observed by the continued succession of these years, as they are delivered in holy writ, that the end of the great Nebuchadnezars and the beginning of Evilmerodachs his sons reign, fell out in the year of the world, but by collation of Chaldean history and the astronomical cannon, it fell out in the year c Nabonasar, and, as by certain connexion, it must follow in the year before the Christian account, and of the Julian Period, the Ussher, The Annals of the World iv The above excerpt makes no mention of the time of day at which creation occurred.
In popular references one often finds it given as 9 A.
Doubting Ussher’s Creation Date of 4004 BC
Houston — A reference in one of my columns to the evolution of language once produced a letter from a subscriber who professed himself shocked that I should believe English had evolved from some Germanic language, when “everybody knew” that prior to May 17, B. God had punished a sinful humanity, which had been trying to reach Heaven by building a ziggurat tower of Babel, by confusing their tongues, creating on the spot all the language now spoken.
It may have been a leg-pull, but the writer made his point well.
Ussher’s date for the birth of Jesus is 4 BCE. While the preponderance of contemporary scholarly opinion tends toward dating the nativity two or three years earlier.
The Ussher chronology is a 17th-century chronology of the history of the world formulated from a literal reading of the Bible by James Ussher , the Anglican Archbishop of Armagh in what is now Northern Ireland. The chronology is sometimes associated with Young Earth Creationism , which holds that the universe was created only a few millennia ago. Ussher’s work, more properly known as the Annales veteris testamenti, a prima mundi origine deducti Annals of the Old Testament, deduced from the first origins of the world , was his contribution to the long-running theological debate on the age of the Earth.
This was a major concern of many Christian scholars over the centuries. The chronology is sometimes called the Ussher-Lightfoot chronology because John Lightfoot published a similar chronology in — This, however, is a misnomer, as the chronology is based on Ussher’s work alone and not that of Lightfoot.
October 23, 4004 B.C.: Happy Birthday Earth!
The interpretation of ancient texts is a tricky enterprise, and the more ambiguous the text, the more difficult it is to come to a concrete, widely-accepted interpretation. As such, the Genesis Creation account is often difficult to deal with – is it reliable history as written, or ambiguous and difficult to believe?
Debate is heated even within the Christian community. Biblical literalists ascribe to the viewpoint that the Bible is to be interpreted literally except for certain poetic passages.
Duration boxes whose ends imply dates: BC. & represent the details provided by Archbishop James Ussher in. Annals of the World.
At that point we shall leave the good archbishop and his traveling companions as they journey farther on to the time of our Lord and the end of the Jewish commonwealth at the hand of the Romans. After the Flood, the ages of the patriarchs at the birth of their son not necessarily the firstborn give AM , BC for the birth of Terah, father of Abram Abraham. A rough place in the road then appears. Gen says that after 70 years, Terah became the father of Abram, Nahor, and Haran.
After this there are good highway markers down to the entry of Jacob into Egypt. Exodus,41 says that the sojourning of the descendants of Israel who dwelt in Egypt was years. In Galatians,17, however, Paul says that the giving of the Law, which happened in the year of the Exodus, was years after the promise to Abraham, or possibly after the confirmation of the promise. The controversy of the Long Sojourn vs.
Ussher gives the BC date for the Exodus as BC, but it must be remembered that his BC dates are measured upward from the chronology of the divided kingdom, while his AM dates are measured downward from Creation. Join us in our mission! No matter what your level of interest, from keeping abreast of the fascinating research that comes out of the field work, to actively participating in an archaeological dig, you can become an integral part of our ministry.
Ussher’s Date for World’s Beginning
DOI: To do so, the Primate of All Ireland time has given his title a certain irony carefully mined the Old and New Testaments for genealogical information that might lead him back to the date of Creation. In so doing, he concluded that the Earth was only about 5, years old.
Ussher gives the BC date for the Exodus as BC, but it must be remembered that his BC dates are measured upward from the chronology of the divided.
The subject who is truly loyal to the Chief Magistrate will neither advise nor submit to arbitrary measures. This article was published more than 8 years ago. Some information in it may no longer be current. Odd, isn’t it, that it’s always poor James Ussher , the Irish theologian who famously calculated the precise date of Creation – Oct. Ussher is always good for a chuckle.
Ussher wasn’t the only 17th-century scholar to date Creation.
Can the Ussher Chronology Be Trusted?
As Stephen Jay Gould observed:. As with the essay on Galileo , I will argue that this interpretation of the events is based largely on a failure to adequately appreciate the scientific and social context of the work. Inappropriately applying a modern interpretation to historical events distorts our perceptions and generally does more to highlight current biases than historical truths. I have great faith in cosmological and geochemical research and am happy to accept the postulated ages of approximately 14 Gyr and 4.
But I think that it is greatly erroneous to blame work from a particular time and place for its accuracy regarding later and fundamentally different disciplines: we must evaluate the work in its proper context.
Despite his success as a churchman, Ussher is perhaps most famous for having dated the start of the creation to the evening before 23rd October, B.C.
October 23 is in famous as supposed earth’s birthday – this date is mentioned in many textbooks retelling the life of Irish Archbishop James Ussher In Ussher published a book with the title ” Annales veteris testamenti, a prima mundi origine deducti ” Annals of the Old Testament, deduced from the earliest Beginning of the World , where he reconstructed the history of the world based on the bible, Egyptian and Jewish chronologies , but also research by other scholars, like John Lightfoot , who published his calculations in the year For Ussher and other scholars it was important to know the age of the earth to possibly infer the time of the rapture.
October 22, B. The Search of the Age of the Earth. Cambridge Press: Wiley-Blackwell Press: The views expressed are those of the author s and are not necessarily those of Scientific American. My name is David Bressan and I’m a freelance geologist working mainly in the Austroalpine crystalline rocks and the South Alpine Palaeozoic and Mesozoic cover-sediments in the Eastern Alps.
I graduated with a project on Rock Glaciers dynamics and hydrology, this phase left a special interest for quaternary deposits and modern glacial environments. During my research on glaciers, studying old maps, photography and reports on the former extent of these features, I became interested in history, especially the development of geomorphologic and geological concepts by naturalists and geologists.
Living in one of the key area for the history of geology, I combine field trips with the historic research done in these regions, accompanied by historic maps and depictions. I discuss broadly also general geological concepts, especially in glaciology, seismology, volcanology, palaeontology and the relationship of society and geology.
James Ussher – (1581-1656)
A 17th-century Irish prelate reached the heights of scientific sophistication in estimating Earth’s age, writes Mary Mulvihill. In the archbishop of Armagh, James Ussher, began counting all the “begats” in the Old Testament. He also studied ancient Egyptian and Hebrew texts, analysed how the ancient calendars were calculated and came up with a date for the Creation. The world, he concluded, had begun one weekend in BC – specifically, on the evening before October 23rd.
These days most people laugh at the Irish clergyman’s work.
Interest in James Ussher and his chronological work saw a re-awakening as the date of 22nd October approached and it was realised that we were.
The dating of creation is one of the most contentious issues related to science and the Bible. After the 17th century bishop, James Ussher, calculated a creation date of B. Nevertheless, it has stirred up ridicule from scientists and atheists, because there are many orders of magnitude of difference between a 6, year old earth and a 4.
Do anthropology and science disprove the Bible, or is it possible that Ussher and others have misinterpreted the Bible? Below, we will look at the possibility that Ussher misinterpreted the Bible. Bear in mind that Ussher’s interpretation is not representative of all Christians. In fact, in earlier centuries, many interpreted the creation “day” as a long period of time, including Jewish historian Josephus 1st century , Irenaeus, bishop of Lyons 2nd century , Basil 4th century , Augustine 5th century , and Aquinas 13th century Ross, The Fingerprint of God ,