Excerpt from The Presbyterian Review: April, 1880
In computing dates, under this system of rules or any other, we need carefully to guard against certain very com mon vicious processes.
For example, it is an incorrect mode of reaching results, to take the numbers given in any Biblical list of monarchs, and simply add them together. This mode of operation takes no account of the broken years at the changes of reigns. It takes no account of possible interregna. It takes no account of instances in which two kings reign together as associates, so that the years assigned to one overlap those assigned to another. Moreover, since some of these items can only be obtained by comparing the dates themselves, we cannot use the items to correct any results we may have obtained by adding the dates. Still further, since any conclusions thus reached are positive mistakes, and not mere inaccuracies, we are precluded from correcting them by making averages, or computing mean results. All processes of this kind are utterly and hopelessly vicious. If such processes have some times reached correct results, it has been by accident.
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