The Christian chronologies of the creation and the view of modern astrophysics

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Abstract:

How many different chronologies have been proposed for the beginning of the Creation?

It is, of course, well known that the Jewish chronology starts from 7 October (1 Tishri) 3761 BC; however, this starting point apparently did not satisfy various scholars nor Christian savants and astronomers. As a result, from time to time miscellaneous dates were being proposed, from the Jewish historian Josephus (first Century AD) up to the French humanist Joseph Scaliger (1484-1558) and the famous Polish astronomer Johannes Hevelius (1611-87). Not only the scholars of these eras but also the Christian Churches defined through Ecumenical Council decisions the beginning of the Creation.

In this study we present the proposed dates, while we note that especially the date proposed by James Ussher (1581-1656), Archbishop of Armagh (Northern Ireland), that is the year 4004 BC and not the centurial year 4000 BC, is due to the historians' belief that Herod died in 4 BC. Thus, Ussher added these 4 years to the year 4000 BC in order to have a more accurate chronology in respect to the birth of Christ, a birth placed by him, as well as by many chronicle writers of the era, in 4 BC.

Keywords: Creation; James Ussher; Johannes Hevelius; Joseph Scaliger; chronology

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/10556790310001600880

Publication date: February 1, 2004

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