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
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.
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.