Maccabees  

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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.
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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.

The Ussher chronology is a 17th-century chronology of the history of the world formulated from a literal reading of the Old Testament by James Ussher, the Archbishop of Armagh (Church of Ireland). The chronology is sometimes associated with young Earth creationism, which holds that the universe was created only a few millennia ago by God as they believe is described in the first two chapters of the biblical book of Genesis.

The full title of Ussher's work is Annales Veteris Testamenti, a prima mundi origine deducti, una cum rerum Asiaticarum et Aegyptiacarum chronico, a temporis historici principio usque ad Maccabaicorum initia producto. ("Annals of the Old Testament, deduced from the first origins of the world, the chronicle of Asiatic and Egyptian matters together produced from the beginning of historical time up to the beginnings of Maccabees")

Ussher's work was his contribution to the long-running theological debate on the age of the Earth. This was a major concern of many Christian scholars over the centuries.

The chronology is sometimes called the Ussher-Lightfoot chronology because John Lightfoot published a similar chronology in 1642–1644. This, however, is a misnomer, as the chronology is based on Ussher's work alone and not that of Lightfoot. Ussher deduced that the first day of creation fell upon, October 23, 4004 BC, in the proleptic Julian calendar, near the autumnal equinox. Lightfoot similarly deduced that Creation began at nightfall near the autumnal equinox, but in the year 3929 BC.

Ussher's proposed date of 4004 BC differed little from other Biblically-based estimates, such as those of Jose ben Halafta (3761 BC), Bede (3952 BC), Ussher's near-contemporary Scaliger (3949 BC), Johannes Kepler (3992 BC) or Sir Isaac Newton (c. 4000 BC). more than six thousand years after 4004 BC.

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Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "Maccabees" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on original research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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