Saturday 22 October, 4004 B.C. – 6pm

22nd Oct  4004 BC– The world was created at approximately six o’clock in the evening, according to the Ussher chronology. This  chronology of the history of the world was formulated from a literal reading of the Old Testament  by a seventeenth-century Irish protestant bishop, James Ussher

The full title of Ussher’s work (first published in a.d. 1650)  is Annales Veteris Testamenti, a prima mundi origine deducti, una cum rerum Asiaticarum et Aegyptiacarum chronico, a temporis historici principio usque ad Maccabaicorum initia producto. (“Annals of the Old Testament, deduced from the first origins of the world, the chronicle of Asiatic and Egyptian matters together produced from the beginning of historical time up to the beginnings of Maccabees”). The book was his contribution to the long-running theological debate on the age of the  Earth, which was a major concern of many  Christian scholars over the centuries.

Ussher deduced that the first day of creation began on Saturday, October 22, 4004 BC, at . 6 pm.    He wrote:  “In the beginning, God created heaven and earth, which beginning of time, according to this chronology, occurred at the beginning of the night which preceded the 23rd of October in the year 710 of the Julian period.”  In the right margin of the page, Ussher computed the date in “Christian” time as 4004 B.C.

The date of  4004 BC differed little from other studies based on the Bible. His choice of this starting year may have been influenced by the belief (then widely held) that the Earth’s potential duration was 6,000 years (4,000 before the birth of Christ and 2,000 after), corresponding to the six days of Creation, on the grounds that “one day is with the Lord as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day”


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