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Introducing the Old Testament$
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R. J. Coggins

Print publication date: 1990

Print ISBN-13: 9780192132543

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780192132543.001.0001

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Did at All Happen?

Did at All Happen?

(p.22) 3 Did at All Happen?
Introducing the Old Testament

P. R. Ackroyd

G. N. Stanton

Oxford University Press

This chapter discusses the veracity of the historical events described in the Old Testament. The biblical records are presented as a series of events that took place at a definite time in history. Many biblical scholars in the past have labored hard to work out the date of every single event from creation onward described in the Old Testament. Archbishop Ussher of Armagh in the 17th century worked out a dating system for such historical events according to which creation took place in the year 4004 bc. But such attempts also raise difficult questions. For example, the characterization of David in particular is highly idealized and the achievement of Saul appears to be deliberately played down in order to glorify David.

Keywords:   Old Testament, history, Archbishop Ussher, dating system, David

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