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Discussion 5 to Meditation 20
Re: Answers in Genesis


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Thank you for visiting the Apathetic Agnostic web site, even though you clearly do not agree with us.

You asked for the specific date of creation as determined by Ussher, I am very surprised you have been unable to run this down, considering the very first site which appeared on a google search for Bishop Ussher contained the following extract from Ussher’s The Annals of the World iv (1658).

For as much as our Christian epoch falls many ages after the beginning of the world, and the number of years before that backward is not only more troublesome, but (unless greater care be taken) more lyable to errour; also it hath pleased our modern chronologers, to adde to that generally received hypothesis (which asserted the Julian years, with their three cycles by a certain mathematical prolepsis, to have run down to the very beginning of the world) an artificial epoch, framed out of three cycles multiplied in themselves; for the Solar Cicle being multiplied by the Lunar, or the number of 28 by 19, produces the great Paschal Cycle of 532 years, and that again multiplied by fifteen, the number of the indiction, there arises the period of 7980 years, which was first (if I mistake not) observed by Robert Lotharing, Bishop of Hereford, in our island of Britain, and 500 years after by Joseph Scaliger fitted for chronological uses, and called by the name of the Julian Period, because it conteined a cycle of so many Julian years. Now if the series of the three minor cicles be from this present year extended backward unto precedent times, the 4713 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 4714 of the Julian Period, which, being divided by 15. 19. 28. will present us with the 4 Roman indiction, the 2 Lunar Cycle, and the 10 Solar, which are the principal characters of that year.

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.

The bold-face does not appear in the original – I highlighted these details for your benefit.

As to the web site you refer to discussing the dates of the Divided Kingdom, I do find the list of assumptions interesting – particularly those which are open ended such as -

“Explanation awaits the completion of the translation of Ussher’s Sacred Chronology from the Latin.”  

That means the author of the article does not even know what assumptions are being made by Ussher.  There are quite a few assumptions required to make the argument work presented. But the only important one is the first:

"The biblical data not archaeological data is the final authority. You cannot use secular dates from archaeologists to overthrow the biblical data."

This is the key issue of pretensions to biblical inerrancy. As the bible provably has numerous errors (just do a web search – you will find lots of documented errors – including many where the passages in the bible flat out contradict each other), the claim of inerrancy falls flat on its face. Because of internal contradictions, you do not even have to look outside the bible to disprove inerrancy.

The fact that the bible contains a number of passages that can be interpreted as claims for inerrancy (and I have a lot of trouble matching the four specific passages you reference to such claims, particularly “Matthew 3:18-22” which is missing from every Bible I have consulted) does nothing to substantiate the bible’s inerrancy. Such claims are logical equivalents to the tongue-in-cheek Meditation 95 - The Truth, just simple-minded circular arguments.

I do agree with you that we humans do make mistakes – and as evidence of human error, I point you to fact that some humans claim various holy books are inerrant. Inerrancy is a claim made by people, not deities.