James Ussher

James Ussher

Highly educated and well-traveled, Archbishop James Ussher set out in 1650 on what would be a five-year task to write a history of the world. Ussher left his native Ireland and traveled Europe, seeking historical documents and other writings to aid in his research. Many of the source texts used by him have been destroyed through the centuries, while Ussher’s book still contains events otherwise lost forever. A meticulous researcher, compiler and Bible scholar, Ussher used the date of Nebuchadnezzar as a historical reference point, and traced the biblical genealogies backward from there to arrive at a date for creation — not millions of years ago, but only a few thousand. He then set his collection of world events and biblical events in chronological order, and The Annals of the World is the remarkable result. For years, Ussher’s timeline was used in King James Versions of the Bible as a reference for the events there. Ussher was one of the greatest scholars and theologians of his time, and rose to prominence within the Church of Ireland at a very young age. Ussher had a great love of books as well as history,  and was known for his extensive library, which went on to form the core of the famous library at Trinity College in Dublin.

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