RE: Bishop Ussher

From: Hofmann, Jim <jhofmann@exchange.fullerton.edu>
Date: Mon Sep 12 2005 - 18:55:33 EDT

Yes, Ted is correct that this is Fuller's point. Here is apparently the
only passage where Ussher discusses the date. Notice that the year 710
mentioned is year 710 of the Julian Period, NOT the year 710 of the
Julian calendar. Usher apparently assumes that this is the correct date
based on his assumption that creation would be at 4004BC.

                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 3442
year of the world, but by collation of Chaldean history and the
astronomical cannon, it fell out in the 186 year c Nabonasar, and, as by
certain connexion, it must follow in the 562 year before the Christian
account, and of the Julian Period, the 4152. and from thence I gathered
the creation of the world did fall out upon the 710 year of the Julian
Period, by placing its beginning in autumn: but for as much as the first
day of the world began with the evening of the first day of the week, I
have observed that the Sunday, which in the year 710 aforesaid came
nearest the Autumnal AEquinox, by astronomical tables (notwithstanding
the stay of the sun in the dayes of Joshua, and the going back of it in
the dayes c Ezekiah) happened upon the 23 day of the Julian October;
from thence concluded that from the evening preceding that first day of
the Julian year, both the first day of the creation and the first motion
of time are to be deduced.

Jim Hofmann

-----Original Message-----
From: Ted Davis [mailto:tdavis@messiah.edu]
Sent: Monday, September 12, 2005 3:47 PM
To: asa@calvin.edu; Hofmann, Jim
Subject: Re: Bishop Ussher

The part about how 4004 was calculated is correct. Ussher, following
the
medieval Jewish tradition, accepted a period of 4000 years between Adam
and
the second Adam. The four year correction, from Scaliger, took into
account
that Herod died in 4 BC. To the best of my knowledge, Ussher did
introduce
this, and it was based on "state of the art" knowledge of several
ancient
chronologies, sacred and secular alike.

Now, Ussher may well have been following others--Martin Rudwick (The
Meaning of Fossils, p. 70) states that he is "commonly though
erroneously
credited with the invention of the date 4004 B.C." However as Rudwick
also
states, he began his Annals of the Old Covenant from the first origin of
the
world (1650) with the creation of the world on the night preceding
Sunday,
23 October in the year 710 of the Roman Julian calendar, which is 4004
before the traditional birth year of Christ. Hence, this implies that
Ussher used an existing date and accepted the reasoning/argument leading
to
it.

ted

>>> "Hofmann, Jim" <jhofmann@exchange.fullerton.edu> 9/12/2005 6:06:56
PM
>>>
Interesting article:

"A Date to remember: 4004BC", by J.G.C.M. Fuller, in Earth Sciences
History, vol. 24, number 1, 2005, pp. 5-14

Abstract:
Archbishop James Ussher was not the author of the alleged Creation date
4004BC, and it is a clumsy error to say that he was. The date 4004BC
arose from an ancient belief that four thousand years intervened between
Adam's creation and the advent of his Redeemer, the Second Adam. The
incremental four years added to the basic 4000 is a correction applied
to the first Christian calendar, and is unconnected in any way to James
Ussher, or the story of Adam. Dating the year of Creation at 4004BC was
first introduced to English printed Bibles in 1701 by William Lloyd,
scholar, politician and, at that time, Bishop of Worchester.

Jim Hofmann
Received on Mon Sep 12 19:00:47 2005

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