What is your comment on the Ussher chronology?   He concluded that Adam was created in 4004 BC, and the flood covered the Earth 2348 BC, but this is incompatible with what we know about Egyptian history. The first king of Egypt, Menes died in 3150 BC (before the flood by 800 years!!!!)  Can the Biblical history be reconciled with Egyptian history?
The Irish Bishop Ussher made a few assumptions and then used a completely literal interpretation of the “days” to calculate that the earth was created in 4004 BC.  I do not intend to argue with his calculation, but I do disagree with his assumptions.  First of all, he assumed that the chronologies in Genesis are complete–that when it says “the father of” it means literally the biological parent of.  However, the fact is that in Jewish chronologies, it is common knowledge that “the father of” meant the ancestor of.  It was standard practice in Jewish chronology to skip generations and even many generations.  Almost certainly the genealogies in Matthew 1 and in Luke  3 skip multiple generations.  This is one reason it is not possible to calculate the age of such biblical figures as Noah.  Because Ussher made assumptions which are almost certainly not true, his calculation is not correct.
Besides, he also assumed that the “days’ of Genesis were literal 24 hour periods.  This is an assumption, plain and simple, and it is not necessarily a correct assumption.  Many faithful biblical interpreters have assumed that these “days” are periods over which God did his work of creation or they interpret them as a framework, categorizing what God did, rather than being historical periods.  The fact is that even Jewish commentators in the first century such as Philo believed that the days were metaphorical.  Also, many early Christian writers took the days to be metaphorical, not literal 24 hour periods, including Origen and Augustine.   Genesis 1 is a theological treatise, not a historical one.   I believe that God did all that it is claimed he did in Genesis 1-2.  I believe that in this sense, Genesis is historical, but that the intent of God was to give us theology, not literal, historical chronology.
Therefore, for more than one reason, I believe that Bishop Ussher’s date is not useful in a discussion of the Bible and history.
Can historical information be reconciled with Egyptian history?  Absolutely!  From the time of Abraham on, Genesis is history.  Before Abraham Genesis is pre-history.  From the time of Abraham on, we can justify biblical chronology with Egyptian chronology fairly easily.  Abraham lived about from 2000 BC to about 1850 BC.  Moses was born perhaps a bit before 1500 BC and died somewhere in the first decade of the fourteenth century BC, more or less.
We know from the evidence that Jericho has been occupied since somewhere near 10,000 BC.  If we take Genesis fully literally, as Ussher did, then we cannot justify scientific and historical information with the Bible, but this assumption is simply not correct.
John Oakes

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