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He then began a third part, carrying on the chronology to the beginning of the fourth century A. “Light of Reason” Many skeptics have dismissed Ussher’s work, claiming he merely used dogma to solve a scientific problem. Seeking to understand how Ussher arrived at his deductions, after detailed investigation Gould concluded that the archbishop’s critics were not only ignorant but that they also entirely misunderstood his work.

Up until fairly recently, nearly all printings of the King James Bible included dates in the marginal notes which helped place Biblical events in their chronological context.

Sir John Lightfoot, an official at Cambridge University, beat him to the punch by fourteen years.

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And for about 400 years before the birth of Jesus, the Bible’s book of Matthew gives the genealogy leading up to Christ, but not the chronology.

The chronology was derived by Archbishop James Ussher, and first published in a.d. Born in Ireland, he rose rapidly in the ranks of the Anglican Church, renowned for his scholarship, mastery of Semitic and classical languages, and voluminous knowledge of history.

Widely published on many subjects, his most important work was which covered and calendarized all important historical events, beginning at creation and extending to the destruction of Jerusalem in a.d. In compiling this history, Ussher made use of extensive collections of documents in England and throughout Europe.

This practice conflicted with many “Eastern religions [that] allowed for a far older universe than was common in Judaism.

And the Greeks, Aristotle for example, thought that the world was eternal.

Ussher chose the known date of Nebuchadnezzar's death as his starting point, and worked forward and backward from there, using the Biblical data as his infallible guide.

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