Allis on Ussher and Genealogy

O.T. Allis (1880-1973)

O.T. Allis (1880-1973)

“At this point, however, the defender of the Mosaic tradition is met with the claim that the new discoveries of archaeology as to the duration of man’s existence on the earth have proved too much and so overthrown the chronology of the Old Testament. The date 4004 B.C. for the starting point of human history is declared to be a preposterous one and is cited as conclusive evidence that Old Testament chronology is hopelessly unscientific. It is to be noted, therefore, that this date which still appears in some editions of the Authorized Version was calculated by Archbishop Ussher about 1650 A.D. and was first placed in the margin of the version in 1701. It is no part of the text. It rests in the main upon the assumption that the genealogies in Gen. v. and xi. are intended to supply the reader with the materials for an exact chronology of the entire extent of human history from creation to the birth of Abram. Against this assumption is the fact that no such use of these genealogies is ever made in the Bible, Old Testament or New Testament. And is has long been recognized by conservative scholars that there are other serious objections in the Bible itself to this widely accepted view. The chronology of Genesis is quite in accord with the view that man had lived on earth many centuries before 4004 B.C.”

–cited in Oswald T. Allis, The Five Books of Moses 2nd ed. (Philadelphia: The Presbyterian and Reformed Publishing Company, 1949), 238-239.

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Filed under apologetics, higher criticism, james ussher, old testament, pentateuch, quotes

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