Teach Us to Number Our Days

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Archbishop James Ussher - Biblical Chronology



Archbishop James Ussher's "Annals of the World" was published 1658, two years after  

his death. This monumental detailed work set a new standard in Biblical Chronology.

Ussher interpreted the Bible literally and constructed a history of the world but with

Bible history as the foundational skeleton. His work has been criticized for establishing

the Julian date of Friday, October 23, 4004 BC as the creation of the first humans

Adam and Eve. This flies in the face of Evolutionary theory which is the real source of

the criticism. The following is Ussher's accounting of historical time:


Adam to Noah's Flood           1,656 yrs  (1656 AM) Based on the Hebrew Bible

Noah's Flood to Abram          352 yrs  (2,008 AM)  Born 60 yrs after his brother

Abram to The Exodus            505 yrs  (2,513 AM)

The Exodus to 1st Temple       480 yrs incl  (2,992 AM) Solomon's 4th

Temple to It's Destruction       37 yrs incl +387  (3,416 AM)  588 BC - 2 year error

Temple Ruin to 2nd Temple       70 yrs incl  (3485 AM)

2nd Temple to Artaxerxes 20th  65 yrs  (3550 AM)  454 BC   Co-rex reign      

Artaxerxes 20th to Jesus Death 486 yrs (4036 AM)  33 AD - 3 year error

Implied Creation Date :           4004 BC   


Ussher's outstanding contributions to Bible Chronology :

1. He recognized the Septuagint version of the Bible had many historical accounting 

   errors and avoided these by using the the Hebrew Masoretic Bible. 

2. He recognized that Abraham was not the first born, and that Terah his father was

   130 years old at his birth.

3. He recognized Ezekiel 4:1-5 prophecy of 390 days-years linked Solomon's death to

   the siege of Jerusalem by Nebuchadnezzar but made a 2 year error in the fulfillment

   calculation. Correction of this error results in the correct 586 BC date for the fall of


4. He recognized that Artaxerxes began a co-rex reign in his fathers 12th year. Thus,

   his 20th year is actually 454 BC. Others incorrectly begin counting his reign after his

   father died. This part of Ussher's work is a major break through in Bible Chronology

   that allows a pure, literal interpretation of the Daniel 9:25-27 prophecy in solar years.


Ussher's Errors:

1. In accounting for the Judges he failed to honor the 300 year period of Judges 11:26.

   His chronology within the time period Judges has errors of up to 30 years. To get

   back on track without any errors, Ussher's continuous chronology from Adam jumps

   over the Judges period by using the 1 Kings 6:1 Exodus-to-Temple span of 480 years.

2. The tedious alignment between the Kings of Judah and the Kings of Israel that involves

   the simultaneous linking of more than 100 Bible verses, even Ussher did not try to  

   solve (Dr.Edwin R. Theile attempted to solve this Gordian Knot, but only Dr. Floyd

   Nolen Jones actually succeeds in a fully documented and graphed solution). Ussher

   wisely jumps over this period by recognizing the significance of the Ezekiel 4:1-5

   prophecy of 390 years. Unfortunately, he miscalculates the fulfillment of the 390

   years by 2 years. 975 BC to 588 BC is only 387 years. However, using the Hebrew 

   convention of counting fragments of a year as a whole year, known as inclusive counting,

   this can be stretched to 388 years which is still a short fall of 2 full years.

3. He failed to recognize the total separateness of the second part of Ezekiel's

   Prophecy (Ezekiel 4:6) which identifies a date in history exactly 40 years before the

   infamous siege of Jerusalem executed by Titus of Rome in 70 AD. Forty years prior to

   70 AD is 30 AD, the exact year of Christ's passion, death, and resurrection.   

4. He failed to honor the Daniel 9:25-27 prophecy which ends in the Messiah's death

   after 69 (7 + 62) weeks of years or 483 (69 x 7) years, He adds on another 3 years

   and arrives at 33 AD date for Christ's death. 69 weeks/483 years lands squarely on

   30 AD which is the correct year for Jesus death. (for more detail on this click on the

   "Prophecy" tab at the top section of this web page)


We are forever thankful for the brilliant and scholarly work of James Ussher and for the

superior quality and tireless work of Larry and Marion Pierce who are responsible for the

editing and re-publication of "Annals of the World" in the English language.