Wednesday, September 20, 2017

The Importance of James Ussher’s Biblical Chronology (1658) Today

James Ussher (January 4, 1581-March 21, 1656) is best remembered for his monumental Annals of the World (published in 1658). In that book he concludes his careful attempt to determine the date of the creation of the world based on all the relevant information given in the Bible. He then continues his biblical chronology with the dates of all significant biblical events from creation, through the life of Jesus Christ, to the life of the early Church. Ussher was a master of biblical Hebrew and knew his Bible and ancient history thoroughly. Consequently, he was able to write a biblical chronology that we may still use to strengthen the clarity of our witness to Jesus Christ.
We want to do this. We have many ways of understanding Yahweh, ourselves, and our tangled history together. Our intensely Olympian culture ceaselessly attacks the biblical understanding. As Christians, however, we want to stop giving greater weight to Olympian alternatives. We want to stop sharing the judgment of our Olympian culture that the Bible is ridiculous.
Instead, we want to affirm the tremendous meaning of the Bible for our day. We want to celebrate its affirmation that Jesus Christ alone is the source, center, and goal of the meaning of all lives and history on Earth. We want to embrace the ridicule we will doubtless experience, not least from confused fellow Christians, rather than ceaselessly striving to avoid it.
In essays to follow I will share a summary of Ussher’s more important dates and conclusions. Enjoy the connections between biblical events, and our own times, which Ussher’s careful research allows. And stand tall, be proud, of moving more deeply into the Bible’s own understanding of our world. After all, it was the understanding of Jesus—and the Bible continues to be the one book through which he enjoys speaking to us most even today.

Copyright © 2017 by Steven Farsaci. All rights reserved.