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Newton and the Origin of Civilization$
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Jed Z. Buchwald and Mordechai Feingold

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780691154787

Published to Princeton Scholarship Online: October 2017

DOI: 10.23943/princeton/9780691154787.001.0001

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The Demise of Chronology

The Demise of Chronology

(p.381) 12 The Demise of Chronology
Newton and the Origin of Civilization

Jed Z. Buchwald

Mordechai Feingold

Princeton University Press

This chapter continues the discussion of critique’s of Isaac Newton’s The Chronology of Ancient Kingdoms. Among these was by Arthur Bedford, whose main objection to Newton’s work, even more than its violation of the scriptural account of the peopling of the earth, was Newton’s pinpointing the beginnings of Greek idolatry in King David’s time, with Ceres allegedly the first to be worshipped as a deity. In so doing, Bedford charged, Newton ignored the extensive evidence furnished by Scripture regarding the pervasiveness of idolatry ever since Nimrod’s day. Here Bedford resorted to distortion, for Newton explicitly stated that “Idolatry began in Chaldaea and Egypt, and spread thence into Phoenicia and the neighboring countries, long before it came into Europe.” Unfazed, Bedford enumerated at great length the rise and progress of idolatry according to Scripture, before damning Newton who, “without the least Shadow of Proof, contradicts all at once, and brings both the Scripture History and Chronology into the outmost Confusion.”

Keywords:   Isaac Newton, astronomical chronology, The Chronology of Ancient Kingdoms, Scripture, Arthur Bedford, Greek idolatry

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