Spoely (2 March 2011)
"The Life of James Ussher"

 

To my dear friend Vicky and fellow Doves;

 

Could it be possible that the birth of one of the world’s greatest Christian historians is pivotal in our calculation of the Rapture?  Thanks to Vicky and her recent postings, as she has motivated me to find new clues. So I went looking for them.   I soon discovered the life of James Ussher.

 

James Ussher was born in 1581 and penned THE ANNALS OF THE WORLD, as the result of his travel, study and research.  From what I have read about James Ussher he was one of the earliest of the Doves.  CreationWiki states that “no-one since (perhaps) Flavius Josephus had attempted to join biblical and extra-Biblical history as Ussher did.”

Ussher attempted to join the Bible to all other works of recorded history, and to present a unified treatment of the natural and political history of the world from Creation to 70 AD, the date of the destruction of the Temple of Jerusalem by the future Roman Emperor Titus. To do this, he relied heavily on ancient historical sources, and even traveled to the Mediterranean region to examine as many primary sources as he could. No one since (perhaps) Flavius Josephus had attempted to join Biblical and extra-Biblical history as Ussher did.

Does this description seem very similar to what some of the Five Doves do every day in their studies?

Again, Ussher was born in 1581.  The possible significance will become apparent very soon.  Here are a few points referenced* that really got me excited about the path I was on:

Most people remember Ussher for the chronology that bears his name—and with good reason, because Ussher determined to settle the chronology of the Bible before he attempted to unite other chronologies with it. He first had to decide which text of the Old Testament he would use—the Septuagint, the Samaritan Pentateuch, or the Masoretic Text. He chose the Masoretic after determining that it was as reliable as any ancient text could be, and was as close to an original as he could obtain.

After deciding on the text, he further relied on a number of internal clues in various parts of the Old Testament, including:

·         The detailed genealogy from Adam to Noah (Genesis 5 )

·         The equally detailed reckoning of the global flood (Genesis 7 ), and of the birth of Arpachshad two years later (Genesis 11:10-11 )

·         The genealogy from Arpachshad through Abraham (Genesis 11:12-32 )

·         The detailed biographies of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob

·         The biography of Joseph, including his sale into slavery in Egypt and his tenure as viceroy of that country.

·         The explicit statement of the number of years of the "sojourn in Egypt" of the Israelites

·         The equally explicit statement of the number of years between the Exodus of Israel and the groundbreaking of the Temple

·         The richly detailed lists of the kings of the United Kingdom of Israel and the Divided Kingdoms of Israel, Northern (Kingdom of Israel) and Southern (Kingdom of Judah)

·         The reckoning of the years of the Captivity and the eventual Restoration of Israel

·         The prophecy of Daniel involving "seventy sevens" of years.

Now, I was getting excited.  If I were to pull random postings from the Five Doves website over a month, my collection would look very similar to this.  It seems like this man born in 1581, was building a base (or an Annuals of The World) for us to build our present day theories from.  As an observer and occasional contributor to the Five Doves, I believe the writings/findings of this man and his book, The Annals of the World, are being used by the Five Doves even today!!  (I even seen it referenced as late as 11/2010, by a Dove.)

 

So, how could this man, born in 1581, by his date of birth be possibly giving us a sign that the Rapture is to occur in 2011?  I am humbled to state that this brief study of this man’s work, he has challenged me to see a flaw in my beliefs of the years Israel was in “captivity.”  To understand, let’s look closely at one of the most controversial findings of his:

 

That the 430-year “sojourn” (Exodus 12:40-41) actually began with Abraham’s departure from Haran into Canaan (not from the time Jacob entered Egypt).  He relied on Galations 3:17 for this determination:

 

Here is Galations 3: 15-18 for context:

 

 15 Brothers and sisters, let me take an example from everyday life. Just as no one can set aside or add to a human covenant that has been duly established, so it is in this case. 16 The promises were spoken to Abraham and to his seed. Scripture does not say “and to seeds,” meaning many people, but “and to your seed,”[e] meaning one person, who is Christ. 17 What I mean is this: The law, introduced 430 years later, does not set aside the covenant previously established by God and thus do away with the promise. 18 For if the inheritance depends on the law, then it no longer depends on the promise; but God in his grace gave it to Abraham through a promise. (NIV)

 

This was a new and controversial assumption by James Ussher, (and it was new to me too!)  In it, the assumptions were built around a new way to look at the 430 years, but it helped him establish the date of creation, again from CreationWiki:

He calculates the date of Creation as October 23, 4004 BC. This date derives from two key assumptions: that Abraham was born when his father Terah was 130 years of age rather than seventy, and that the Sojourn in Egypt began with the Abrahamic Covenant and not with the entry of Jacob into Egypt. Neither assumption is absolutely incontrovertible, but Ussher provides strong evidence for both.

  Before I continue, I wanted to note that Ussher made two other assumptions that we all believe are false, which are important, so don’t forget them!!!

 

1)       That God is finished with the nation of Israel.  This is why The Annals of the World ends in 70AD.

2)      That all the prophecies mentioned in Revelation are already fulfilled (Preterism)

 

Now, here is what I would like the Five Doves to ponder.  If the life of James Ussher was so focused on discovering the past, could not his life be a pivotal point to discovering the future.  His calculation of the date of creation was centered on the 430 years.  Whether he was right or wrong in his assumptions, the point of this post is he saw the 430 year sojourn as a major part of his research.  Would it then be wrong to use the 430 years along with his life to point to the date of the Rapture?  You decide, because:

 

                430 years from the birth of James Ussher is 2011! 

 

Could we not stand together at the year of his birth, 1581, looking backward with his manuscript in our hands, then pivot and look forward 430 years to find a marker of some sort?  Could not the birth of the man that discovered the date of creation, point to the date of the end of times?

 

You might ask yourself, why I would pick the Rapture event as happening in 2011 and not the year of the Lord’s return.  Well, it is built around the assumption that the end of 430 years resulted in an escape.  Also in each story (The Exodus and the Rapture) we see marriages, something the rest of the world (Ancient Egypt) won’t be enjoying.  Also, Ussher studies only concluded with the Jewish nation up until 70AD, because he thought “God was done with them.”  The last 7 years of humanity as we know it (e.g. The Tribulation) is God’s final week with Israel, which Ussher seemed to not see.  If he missed the prophecies in Revelations (Preterism) then he was not going to see the last 7 years either.  So, 430 years is his entire finite mind could possible see.  If he was looking forward, instead of stopping at 70AD, he might have been able to see to 2011. 

 

Thanks for allowing me to share my findings and my excitement in them.  If someone has anything to add to this, please feel free to.

 

Spoely

 

PS:  It is interesting to note that Ussher’s research also centered on the age of Abraham’s dad, Terah.  The mention of age of 70 was an interesting note.  I couldn’t quite make the step at tying this in.  It is interesting to note that it does also highlight Ussher’s ignorance of Israel’s future.   I would say that Terah was probably 70 and not 160, because it just fits.   1948 plus 70 = 2018.  Guess God was not done with Israel.

 

*My source for this story was Creationwiki.org (http://creationwiki.org/The_Annals_of_the_World)