Aristotle, a Greek philosopher, about 350 B.C. classified the spider as having six legs. For the next twenty centuries this myth was believed to be true, how could the 'Great Aristotle' be wrong! Not until the outstanding naturalist and biologist Lamarck, who carefully counted the spider's legs, was the world to know the truth. Spiders' have exactly eight legs not six. Aristotle's myth was destroyed because Lamarck took the time to verify the evidence he was expected to accept.
Copernicus declared that the Sun was the center of the solar system and not the earth, bringing the indignation of the Catholic Church down on his head with the peril of excommunication if he did not recant of this belief. Church men ranting "You cannot change God's heavens." could not accept he was only revealing the truth and exposing a falsehood.
There are many such myths in Christianity that Christians are obliged to embrace, and most of them require very diligent investigation. The trial crucifixion and burial of Christ in only twenty-four hours seem to be to short a period for the reported events to take place. Even the dates given for the crucifixion of Christ are moved at will to fit into one mythological chronology or another. Going back to the times of the Kings of Israel and Judah one can find reams of chronologies, all of them divergent from each other.
The story of the creation is supposed to represent six thousand years of mans domination of the Earth before the reign of Christ for a thousand-year Sabbath. If the date of 4004 B.C., taken from a work by Archbishop Ussher of Armagh Ireland (1581-1656) Annals of the World, is the correct date for the creation of Adam, then Jesus should have returned long before the end of the twentieth century. As Christ didn't return in 1997 then there is a problem with either the chronology or the theology, or both. Josephus writing at the end of the first century in the Antiquities of the Jews calculates his time to be almost six thousand years from Adam. Could he have been influenced by this six thousand year theology, current even in his day, to calculate the end of these times in his day and therefore coincide with the popular anticipation of the coming of the messiah?
The problem with the accepted Biblical chronology may have persuaded many serious students of scripture to wrongly predict the date of the return of Christ. William Miller predicted it as long ago as the spring of 1843 and in the years since then many others have put their reputations on the line to no avail. Now is the time to stop and count the spider's legs!
This chronology is intended to bring out verifiable facts where practical, and dates from the past as given in the Bible, it is not meant to calculate the date for the "end of the age and the return of Christ," although it maybe possible to ascertain the approximate time from the conclusion disseminated here. In some areas where more than one explanation is possible, the shortest time period permissible has been used in order to allow for the reduction of the total time between Adam and today. This has the effect of establishing a final date when the theology of six thousand must either be fulfilled or abandoned. I prayerfully ask that you join with me on a journey through time, starting in the year one of the Adamic Creation Era (1 ACE. ), proving all things, holding fast to that which seems good.
The Theology of Six Thousand Years
In the beginning God created the world in six days and He rested on the seventh day. These seven days are supposed to be a microcosm of the theological six thousand years of man's rule and then the great Sabbath rest of one thousand years (the Millennium kingdom of Christ) as described in Hebrews 4:4,7-9 and Revelation chapter 20.
The Jewish Rabbi Elias, 200 years before Christ recorded, "The world endures six thousand years: two thousand before the law, two thousand under the law, and two thousand under Messiah."
The Epistle of Barnabas is a document which was circulated to the early churches. Origen, Jerome and many other early church leaders believed this document to be inspired. Even if this Barnabas were not the one we are familiar with as an associate of Paul, the epistle is valuable as extra-biblical information concerning the early teachings of the Church. In this Epistle, Barnabas speaks of the creation account in Genesis: "And God made in six days the works of His hands; and He finished them on the seventh day, and He rested on the seventh day and sanctified it. Consider, my children, what that signifies, He finished them in six days. The meaning of it is this: that in six thousand years the Lord God will bring all things to an end. For with Him, one day is a thousand years; as Himself testifieth, saying, behold this day shall be as a thousand years. Therefore children, in six days, that is, in six thousand years, shall all things be accomplished. And what is it that He saith, and He rested the seventh day; He meaneth this; that when His Son shall come, and abolish the season of the wicked one [the Antichrist], and judge the ungodly; and shall change the sun and the moon, and the stars, then He shall gloriously rest in that seventh day."
Methodius, Bishop of Tyre, and other early church commentators, reason that as Adam died at the age of 930 years (Genesis 5:5) and did not live past one thousand years, was because God had prophesied that, "In the day that thou eatest thereof (the forbidden fruit) thou shalt surely die" (Genesis 1:17). Since a day was equal to a thousand years in God's sight, Adam had to die before the end of the day (1000 years) was completed. In 300 A.D. Methodius, writes the following reference to the Feast of Tabernacles: "For since in six days God made the heaven and earth, and finished the whole world... and blessed the seventh day and sanctified it, so by a figure in the seventh month, when the fruits of the earth have been gathered in, we are commanded to keep the feast [of Tabernacles] to the Lord, which signifies that, when this world shall be terminated at the seventh thousand years, when God shall have completed the world, He shall rejoice in us.... Then, when the appointed times shall have been accomplished, and God shall have ceased to form this creation, in the seventh month, the great resurrection-day, it is commanded that the Feast of our Tabernacles shall be celebrated to the Lord."
Irenaeus, writing in A.D. 150 in his book Against Heresies states as a belief of the early church the following about Genesis, "This is an account of the things formerly created, as also it is a prophecy of what is to come. For the day of the Lord is as a thousand years; and in six days created things were completed; it is evident, therefore, that they will come to an end at the sixth thousand year."
In the fourth century A.D. Lactantius, a Christian scholar, wrote in his seventh Book of Divine Institutions: "Because all the works of God were finished in six days, it is necessary that the world should remain in this state six ages, that is six thousand years. Because having finished the works He rested on the seventh day and blessed it; it is necessary that at the end of the sixth thousandth year all wickedness should be abolished out of the earth and justice should reign for a thousand years." Early Christian writers including Lactantius dealt with the philosophical impediment of the long ages claimed for prehistory in the following way, "But we, whom the Holy Scriptures instruct to the knowledge of the truth, know the beginning and the end of the world (age), respecting which we will now speak in the end of our work. . . Therefore let the philosophers, who enumerate thousands of ages from the beginning of the world, know that the six thousandth year is not yet completed, and that when this number is completed the consummation must take place." (Divine Institutes, chapter 14)
Many other writing could be produced in volumes to illustrate this first century A.D. belief that the Millennium would commence upon the completion of six thousand years from Adam, but a simple demonstration as to it's validity would I believe be more convincing. In order to set up a test of the theology one more condition needs to be added to the requirement for the return of Christ at the end of the year 6000 ACE. If the seventh day of creation represents the thousand years of Christ's reign, then each of the preceding six days must represent one thousand years respectively. As each day must faithfully described the events associated with the corresponding millennium a check can be made as to how this theology stands up to scrutiny, and also how the chronology stands up to the theology.
"In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth. And the earth was without form, and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters. And God said, Let there be light: and there was light. And God saw the light, that it was good: and God divided the light from the darkness. And God called the light Day, and the darkness he called Night. And the evening and the morning were the first day."
On the first day light was created. Light is used to represent the knowledge of God and darkness the absence of that knowledge. On the sixth day but still in the first thousand years, God created Adam with all the knowledge man would need to live in this new creation. Adam had enough knowledge to name all the animals, and talked with God in the garden of Eden daily until he sinned by eating from the tree of knowledge of good and evil. Cain and Able knew enough about God to bring a sacrifice at the right time to the right place. Cain brought the wrong sacrifice and therefore it was rejected, because of this he killed his brother Able and was punished for it.
The knowledge of God was certainly in the world, handed down from father to son, from Adam through Noah and down to us today. Just as the light was divided from the darkness so were those that had the knowledge of God separated from those that reject His knowledge. It is interesting to note that in Revelation John "saw a new heaven and a new earth: for the first heaven and the first earth were passed away; and there was no more sea."(Rev 21:1) "And there shall be no night there; and they need no candle, neither light of the sun; for the Lord God giveth them light: and they shall reign for ever and ever."(Re 22:5) in fulfillment of the prophesy of Habakkuk 2:14 "For the earth shall be filled with the knowledge of the glory of the Lord, as the waters cover the sea." A Biblical day starts and ends at Sunset, but we read that there was evening and the morning where it would be more chronologically correct to say morning and evening. This method of placing the most important event to God first and the least important last is carried throughout most of the Bible as will be seen later.
(Gen 1:14-19) "And God said, Let there be lights in the firmament of the heaven to divide the day from the night; and let them be for signs, and for seasons, and for days, and years: And let them be for lights in the firmament of the heaven to give light upon the earth: and it was so. And God made two great lights; the greater light to rule the day, and the lesser light to rule the night: he made the stars also. And God set them in the firmament of the heaven to give light upon the earth, And to rule over the day and over the night, and to divide the light from the darkness: and God saw that it was good. And the evening and the morning were the fourth day."
The light that God created on the first day we now accept comes from the Sun, but the Sun was not created until the fourth day. The Sun therefore cannot be defined as the source of light but only as the physical manifestation of the source of light. Theologically, if light is associated with the knowledge of God then the Sun must be associated with the source of that knowledge, the Messiah. It is interesting to note that according to the chronological recreation presented here, Christ was born near the end of the fourth millennium and if the Sun was created towards the end of the fourth day it would make perfect symbolism for His birth. The first and fourth day of the creation story make ideal benchmarks for a test of the both the theology and chronology, if it can be shown that there is only four thousand years between the creation of Adam and the time of Christ. Kepler placed the birth of Christ in seven B.C. associating it with a conjunction of Jupiter and Saturn in the constellation of Pisces, requiring His crucifixion thirty-three years later to fall in twenty-seven A.D. If the fourth millennium ended at or around the time of the crucifixion then two-thousand years later, the sixth millennium would end around 2027 A.D.