Thursday, 26 January 2012

Archbishop Ussher or Millions of Years?

James Ussher, Archbishop of Armagh. Image courtesy of Wikipedia.

Joel Kontinen

Many Christians find it difficult to believe that the idea of millions of years cannot be found in the Bible. The word day in Genesis 1 in particular seems to cause huge problems. Some would say that with the Lord a day is like a thousand years – but only in Genesis 1. Few would believe that Noah was in the belly of a whale for 3,000 years, for instance.

However, there are many good reasons to believe that the Genesis 1 text means exactly what it says.

Anyhow, the late Paul Little said:

Some well-meaning but misguided Christians … make the Bible say what it does not say. One classic and harmful example is the Bible chronology calculated by Bishop James Ussher (1581-1656), a contemporary of Shakespeare. He worked out a series of dates from the genealogies in the Bible and concluded that the world was created in 4004 B.C.”

What might be so harmful in this example? After all, the Bible does not teach the idea of millions of years.

While we cannot be dogmatic about Ussher’s date, it is nonetheless closer to the real date of creation than the billions of years dogma that theistic evolutionists and progressive creationists like to promote.


Little, Paul. 1988. Know Why You Believe. 3rd ed. Downers Grove, Il: InterVarsity Press.