Wade Cox Should Not Be Relying on Ussher’s Chronology


A reader of the COGwriter page wanted me to look over a couple of “prophetic papers” of unitarian Wade Cox of CCG.  And while there were appeared to be a variety of points of error within them, the following statements really caught my eye in one of them:

From the Bible chronology we know that the sequence began in 4004 BCE with the creation of Adam. Bishop Ussher’s chronology, which determines the dates to 4004 BCE was issued with the early editions of the King James Bible.

Now I have written about Ussher’s chronology before, and it is flawed.  Hence any calculations based upon it should also be seen as flawed.  And I disagree with the way Wade Cox justifies going past 6000 years to come up with his “prophetic” time table (William Dankenbring’s TPM was the first I recall adding time to the 6,000 years, based upon his imagined reasons).  I believe that he simply does not rely enough on the Bible for his calculations or conclusions.

James Ussher, was the Anglican Archbishop of Armagh (in what is now Northern Ireland). He primarily based his calculations upon the chronologies and reigns of kings in the Old Testament to conclude that the world was created in the Fall of 4004 B.C. There are problems that can arise from using James Ussher’s method:

1) The first is that Ussher’s method did not seem to take into account that sometimes a son began the reign in a kingdom before his father king died (which, for one example, seems to started with with Solomon, see 1 Kings 1:32-43), hence the official chronologies often counted both co-reigns (hence this could contribute to possible over counting by Ussher).

2) He made some errors in some of his calculations.

3) James Ussher guessed that Solomon built the Jerusalem Temple in 1012 .B.C., but it was likely decades later.

4) It is probable that the 6,000 years for humans to rule over themselves apart from direct contact with God began after Adam sinned, and hence left the Garden of Eden. It is possible that this could have taken one day to twenty or so years–the Bible is not specifically clear on this point.

Thus, it is possible that even if Ussher’s calculations are close, that there still could be time left as he did not really attempt to prove when Adam and Eve were put out of the Garden of Eden–he only attempted to calculate the possible year of creation based upon his own limited understandings of biblical chronologies and other historical indicators (at least one of which seems to have been in error). Therefore, people who rely on Ussher’s 4004 B.C. calculations to claim that the 6000 years are up seem to be relying on assumption as opposed to fact.

I should state also for the record that various Catholic, Protestant, and Church of God writers have correctly believed that God does have a 6000/7000 year plan (6000 of human reign followed by 1000 years of God’s reign), and thus I believe that knowing approximately when the 6000 years began makes it easier to understand when the 6000 years will end.

Some articles of possibly related interest include the following:

Does God Have a 6,000 Year Plan? What Year Does the 6,000 Years End? Was a 6000 year time allowed for humans to rule followed by a literal thousand year reign of Christ on Earth taught by the early Christians? When does the six thousand years of human rule end?  What does the Bible teach on this?  What about Catholic and Church of God writers?
Did The Early Church Teach Millenarianism? Was the millennium (sometimes called chiliasm) taught by early Christians? Who condemned it. Will Jesus literally reign for 1000 years on the earth? Is this time near?
Can the Great Tribulation Begin in 2009, 2010, or 2011? Can the Great Tribulation begin today? What happens before in the “beginning of sorrows”? What happens in the Great Tribulation and the Day of the Lord? When is the earliest that the Great Tribulation can begin? What is the Day of the Lord?

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