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Discussion in 'OT Historical Books' started by Pergamum, Jan 27, 2019.
Finally had time to watch this. Fascinating. Thanks Perg. The movie clips are hilarious.
I am still wrestling over the issues.
The CMI pepole have this article where they build a population model that supports having a large population more quickly than the video suggests is possible (I don't have time to read the article in detail): https://creation.com/biblical-human-population-growth-model
Maybe it is an age thing, I'm a 70 year old guy ... but I found the movie clips annoying, and thought they detracted from the presentation.
I am very intrigued by the subtraction of the 100 years in the genealogies. The premise that the Masorites and scribes conspired to identify Shem with Melchizedek, putting him in the Levitical lineage, and eliminating the typology which qualifies our Lord to be our High Priest.
Makes sense ... but when I asked (posts 25 & 26) Reverend Keister if there were any scholarly tomes investigating the apparent discrepancies, only to find out that academia tends to prefer the MT, but they 'haven't raised these facts' ... has me hungering for a believer with the language skills, and the educational credentials to really investigate the suppositions, and come to a conclusion on the merits.
The following may be of some interest to this topic. I personally haven't had a chance to go through it. Hopefully, I can get to it tomorrow.
"The Case for the Septuagint's Chronology in Genesis 5 & 11"
Many biblical scholars who interpret the genealogies of Genesis 5 and 11 as yielding a continuous chronology from
Adam to Abraham claim the Hebrew Masoretic Text (MT) preserves the original begetting ages for the patriarchs.
The MT’s total for this period is 2008 years. The Samaritan Pentateuch (SP) presents markedly different chronological
data for each epoch, for a grand total of 2249 years. Calculations derived from the primary manuscripts (MSS) of the
Greek Septuagint (LXX) yield a chronology of 3394 years for this period, 1386 years greater than the MT. The MT is
classically represented by the Ussher chronology, which places creation at 4004 BC and the Flood at 2348 BC. Figures
from the LXX place creation at ca. 5554 BC and the Flood at ca. 3298 BC (Table 1; Appendix, n. 1).
This paper proposes that the LXX preserves (most of) the original numbers in Genesis 5 and 11. Most of the MT’s
chronology in Genesis 5 and 11 does not represent the original text, and is the result of a deliberate and systematic post–
AD 70 corruption. Corroborating external witnesses, internal and external evidence, text critical and LXX studies,
and historical testimonies will be presented, along with arguments rebutting LXX inflation hypotheses. Explanations
for important, accidental scribal errors will be discussed, and a text critical reconstruction of Genesis 5 and 11 will be
This is interesting. I’ve sent the information contained in your post to one of my Bible professors here at Moody. I respect him immensely and this is a personal interest of his.
Sounds good. I look forward to hearing their response. Hopefully, by then, I'll have worked through it myself.
Perg, in post #7 you asked, “Is there an extra Cainan in the genealogies?” I quote from an old post of mine discussing Biblical genealogies,
As for Luke 3:36, which places Cainan in the lineage between Arphaxad and Salah (Sala), where the Genesis genealogy omits mention of Cainan, some remarks:
First, the absence of a person in the lineage does not annul the tightly interlocking numeric values between the patriarchs and their offspring. As Floyd Nolan Jones, in his Chronology of the Old Testament puts it,
For regardless of the number of names or descendants that might be missing between Arphaxad and Salah (or any other two patriarchs) their lives are mathematically interlocked and a fixed relationship exists; when Salah was born, Arphaxad was thirty-five years old and so on across the entire span in question. Consequently, no time can possibly be missing even though names may so be. Strange as it may seem at first, in this instance the two concepts are mutually exclusive. (p. 34)
Dr. Jones is firm that both the Genesis genealogy and the one in Luke 3 are correct and both the infallible word of God. While admitting there is no explanation for the omission given in Scripture, Jones gives a number of scenarios to show how it may have come to be. Here is one of them:
In this scenario both Arphaxad and Cainan (Arphaxad’s son) married young. Cainan dies after conceiving Salah but before his birth. At age 35, Arphaxad then adopts his grandson, Salah (like Jacob adopted his grandsons, Ephraim and Manasseh). (Mat. 1:1; Heb. 7:9-10) [Footnote: Compare Ruth 4:17which declares that “there is a son born to Naomi”, whereas technically she is his step mother-in-law. . .] (Ibid., p. 35)
At any rate, the Cainan spoken of in Luke 3:36 poses no threat to the timeline of Genesis 11, only a mystery. The LXX versions of Genesis 11 which posit a Cainan in them are spurious, patently contriving to construct an order which fails.
Regarding the video you posted, here is some information to consider. The book I’ll be quoting, I’ll attach below in its entirety.
From, The Septuagint: A Critical Analysis, by Floyd Nolen Jones, Th.D., Ph.D, “The History of the LXX” Chapter 1, pp 11-13
DISCORDANT AGES OF THE PATRIARCHS IN THE LXX 
One point where the LXX and the Hebrew text differ in the Pentateuch is with regard to the ages of the ante-diluvian patriarchs relevant to the birth of their sons. Six of the first ten of these patriarchs fathered exactly 100 years later in the LXX than in the Hebrew O.T. The total span of these differences is 586 years – the LXX being greater than that of the Hebrew text. The importance of this discrepancy can hardly be overstated as in calculating and reckoning the chronology of the Old Testament, the numbers recorded in Scripture are our only guide. That the variations in the Septuagint are due to contrivance or design, and not due to accident, is plain from the systematic way in which the alterations have been made.
It is simple to demonstrate which list is correct. The majority of LXX manuscripts give 167 as the age of Methuselah at the birth of his son, Lamech (the Hebrew reads 187 - Gen. 5:25). However, if Methuselah were 167 at the birth of Lamech, Lamech 188 at the birth of Noah, and Noah 600 at the Flood (as recorded in the LXX), Methuselah would have been 955 at the date of the Flood. Since he lived to be 969 (the life span given in both), the LXX becomes entangled in the absurdity of making Methuselah survive the Flood by 14 years! Yet Genesis 7-10 and II Peter 3:20 are adamant in proclaiming that only Noah, his three sons and all four of their wives; that is, only 8 souls survived the Deluge. Discordances of a similar nature and magnitude are found with regard to the Post- diluvian patriarchs except that here the life spans also differ, often by more than 100 years.
The Patriarchal chronology of the LXX can be explained from the Hebrew on the principle that the translators of the former desired to lengthen the chronology and to graduate the length of the lives of those who lived after the Flood so as to make the shortening of the life spans gradual and continuous, instead of sudden and abrupt. This fit into their philosophic concept of gradual and uniform change (pre "uniformitarianism"); a philosophy which embraced the basic precepts of evolution. That is, they were primeval evolutionists. Thus the dramatic life span changes, which manifested the historic results of the sudden catastrophic transformations upon the earth and all life due to the worldwide Deluge, were altered to eliminate such positive evidence which was contrary to their religious-philosophic beliefs.
The constructor of the scheme found in the LXX lengthens the chronology of the Patriarchs after the Flood unto Abraham's leaving Haran by 720 years. He also graduates the length of the lives of the Patriarchs throughout the entire register, both those before and after the Flood. The curious result is that with the three exceptions of Enoch, Cainan (whose life exceeds that of his father by only 5 years) and Reu (whose age at death is the same as that of his father), every one of the Patriarchs from Adam to Abraham is made to die a few years younger than his father. Could anything be more manifestly artificial?
Incidentally, the Samaritan text  evinces similar signs of tampering. For example the interval from Adam to the Deluge is 349 years shorter (A.M. 1656 MT - 1307 Sam. = 349)  in this text as compared to the Hebrew and the interval from the Flood to Abraham is longer by 490 years. After analyzing the disparity between these discordant ages of the Patriarchs in both the LXX and the Samaritan Pentateuch with regard to the Hebrew, C.F. Keil concluded that the Hebrew Text was the only reliable account:
“That the principal divergences of both texts from the Hebrew are intentional changes, based upon chronological theories or cycles, is sufficiently evident from their internal character, viz. from the improbability of the statement, that whereas the average duration of life after the flood was about half the length that it was before, the time of life at which the fathers begot their first-born after the flood was as late and, according to the Samaritan text, generally later than it had been before. No such intention is discernible in the numbers of the Hebrew text: consequently every attack upon the historical character of its numerical statements has entirely failed, and no tenable argument can be adduced against their correctness”._____
 Martin Anstey, The Romance of Bible Chronology, (London: Marshall brothers., 1913), pp. 73-76. See his diagrams for a more detailed analysis.
 The Samaritan Pentateuch is not a version; it is the Hebrew Text written in Samaritan or old pointed Hebrew script and is preserved in the Sanctuary of the Samaritan Community at Nablous (Shechem). It was quoted by Jerome and Eusebius in the 3rd and 4th centuries A.D. as well as other so-called Church Fathers. It was published in A.D. 1632. Although the text itself is believed by many to go back as far as the time of the 9th century B.C. Moabite Stone (or at least to that of Hezekiah in the 8th century B.C.), most of the Samaritan scrolls containing the whole or a part of the Pentateuch are supposed not to be older than the 10th century A.D. [J.I. Munro, The Samaritan Pentateuch and Modern Criticism, (London: J. Nisbet & Co., 1911)].
In 1815, the text came under the careful scrutiny of the great Hebrew scholar Gesenius. He concluded, as does this author, that it was a vulgar text with many corruptions, hence far inferior to the Masoretic Text and with little critical value. Moreover, the Samaritan text differs in matters of varying significance from the Masoretic Text in about 6,000 places. In A.D. 1867, McClintock and Strong succinctly summed the Samaritan Pentateuch's status: "This last (the Samaritan Pentateuch), however, need not come into consideration, since it is well understood that the Samaritan text, here (Genesis 5 & 10) as well as elsewhere, is merely fabricated from the Greek; and those who treat it as an independent authority only show themselves ignorant of the results of criticism on the subject". [McClintock and Strong, Cyclopedia of Biblical Theological & Ecclesiastical Literature, Vol. II, (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Book House, 1867), p. 298.]
 Martin Anstey, The Romance of Bible Chronology, (London: Marshall brothers., 1913), op. cit., p. 73-74. See chart on Anstey's p. 73.
 C.F. Keil, Commentary On The Old Testament, Trans. by James Martin, (Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans Publishing Co., 1976), p. 123.[End Jones]
Here is another point of view by Henry B. Smith, Jr., MA, MAR, in Bible and Spade
Jimmy, I came across this recently:
Is the Septuagint a superior text for the Genesis genealogies? [contra Henry Smith]
"..every one of the Patriarchs from Adam to Abraham is made to die a few years younger than his father. Could anything be more manifestly artificial?"
It seems quite natural for me and exactly what we would expect.
It would seem so to me as well. Including more of the quotation show the author Floyd Nolen Jones even admits exceptions, the presence of which make it seem to me anything but artificial.
I will leave you guys to your own devices - I've had my say.
I forgot to give an update, and now I’m working from my dreadful memory. He’s heard of this before and thought it should be loose in our grip. In other words, don’t divide over such a small thing. I believe he looked at this in the overall debate and wanted unity. I haven’t been able to follow up with him about the meat of the article since I don’t have a class with him this semester. That’s a bit of an anticlimactic follow up.
I had this playing in the background this morning and while some of the points brought up were compelling and interesting to consider, I disliked how quickly it went from supposition to conclusion.
I don't think it should be a foregone conclusion that the translations were from an older version of the Hebrew text which was "correct". I don't know much about the older translations but is it possible that say, the Greek translation came first, had an error in the genealogies and the other translations came from it? Or they all came from the same source but not necessarily the "correct" one? That's just one possibility (perhaps incorrect) that occurred to me.
Later points in the video devolved into the highly speculative (e.g., Jews disputing over genealogies meant they had altered them so Shem = Melchizedek).
How are the pyramids dated, and what would "water damage" look like on them? Even though I always assumed they were built after the flood. I know I have an abundance of historical and archaeological ignorance but it doesn't seem like hard facts or a tight case to me, and even if it is interesting to consider, I wouldn't conclude the Masoretic text is wrong.
I wondered the same. After all, the exterior of the pyramids at Giza as they stand today would give no clues, as they were stripped of limestone in the 12th century.
However, if the pyramids had been submerged in the Flood, one would expect the many artefacts found inside to show some indication of it.
Egyptian society was built by the refugees of Atlantis.
I don't know how I ever missed that. That's brilliant. There is some logistics difficulty in that it's a far distance from Egypt to where Atlantis probably was. Not impossible, though.
But yeah, epistemology in ancient Egypt has some really eerie overtones with modern computer technology (hint: see the "power" button of modern computers and it's shape builds on Egyptian mathematics).
The main problem is that if you are going to posit an Atlantean civilization, you almost have to go with some Old Earth hypothesis. The timeline doesn't work, otherwise.
We were having a perfectly respectable discussion.
Where would you squeeze that Atlantis theory into Genesis 10? It's clear Egypt descended from Ham's son.
The earliest myth about Atlantis is from Egypt. I know some have argued that Atlantis was part of the Minoan civilization (specifically on the island of Thera/Santorini which was destroyed by a volcano) and the story of it's demise came to Egypt shortly afterward. But Egypt already existed in that scenario.
The main difficulty with the Atlantis myth is that Plato almost says he made it up. Now, concerning Egypt: some variants of the myth say Egyptian civilization copied elements of Atlantis, or that Atlanteans eventually made their way to Egypt. Either one works with Genesis 10.
No need for an old earth for Atlantis to be real. October 23, 4004 BC can still work.
Plato didn't say he made up Atlantis. He heard the tale from Critias, who heard it from Dropides, who heard it from the wise Solon, who traveled to Egypt and heard it direct from Egyptian priests.
The Egyptian Edfu building texts help confirm Solon's tale and tell us the same basic story - that the founders of Egypt came from the refugees from an island of the gods, and this island (destroyed in a sudden tragedy) was very advanced. A tragedy hit and they came in a boat to Egypt and tried to replicate its technology there. They chose the spot because it was special. That is why the pyramid is such a precise and amazing structure.
Solon did not even have to get his tale from Edfu. He probably got it from Nefru in Sais (a temple not there anymore due to flooding). The priest's name was supposed to have been Sonchos of Sais from later accounts. But all the ancient priests would have memorized the same canon.
People will object and say the Edfu temple is more recent than Solon, but many temples (and even the pyramids I believe) are placed on top of prior more ancient structures.
Most people assume Herodotus and Plato and others embellished. But I believe their accounts are largely reliable, they wrote what they heard. For example, Homer wrote of the Trojan War and I believe the Trojan War happened (and Schliemann did, too). Flood, Dispersion at Babel, Atlantis, giants. even fighting dragons, I believe all are based in real history.
Here is a possible hypothesis (not my own theory but mixed from others):
Joseph was in Egypt enduring the famine around 1750 BC.
Solon said Atlantis was 9,000 years prior. But maybe it was only 900 years prior. It was destroyed maybe around 1,480 BC or thereabouts. So the fouinding of Atlantis was probably several hundred years earlier by Poseidon and his sons.
The Exodus was about 1500 bc.
(from a website I follow): "Noah had three sons; Shem, Ham and Japheth. After the flood, the world was divided between these three sons.
Similarly, after Zeus overthrew Cronos, he and his two brothers, Hades and Poseidon, drew lots to determine what portion of the world each would rule. Poseidon got the sea.
Similarly, Japheth's descendants, especially Javan and his descendants, seem to be associated with ships and the isles of the sea. Almost everywhere in the Bible where you find the word Tarshish, it is associated with ships and often with gold, silver and ivory, all of which figure highly in Plato's description of Atlantis. The city of Tarshish is thought to be the Phoenician settlement of Tartesus in Spain.
Javan in Hebrew was Iawan which would seem to be the source of the term Ionian, while Kittim or Chittim would seem to refer to Cyprus, the ancient city of Citium or Kition and the inhabitants referred to in Ancient Pheonician as kt or kty. Elishah, Elissus or Elis could very well be the origin of the term Hellenes.
All island dwelling and sea-faring groups.
Atlas (for whom the Atlas mountains, the Atlantic Ocean and the "Island of Atlantis" were all named) was the eldest son of Poseidon (who was probably Japheth or his son).
Noah divided up the world and sent each son to colonize a part. Sometimes after the Flood. Jewish myths speak of Noah taking multi-year trips to settle the lands and take dominion over the earth.
The Tower of Babel was supposedly built by Nimrod, a descendant of Ham, using the descendants of Japheth as slave labor. Ham and his sons tried to take over (the ancient Jews had lots of bad things to say about the lineage of Ham. We can blame it on pure prejeduce, or maybe some of it was historical memory and their myths/histories).
After the destruction of the tower around 2200 BC (so the story goes) the 70 grandchildren of Noah spread out to colonize the then totally uninhabited world. None of the Egyptian pyramids or other structures could have been built prior to this time, and if a rival kindom had been founded in the Atlantic, it also couldn't have been founded until after 2200 BC.
So Atlantis would have been founded by Japheth/Poseidon or one of his descendants around 2200 BC. It would have existed in competition with Egypt and other Mediterranean powers from 2200 BC until about 1500 BC (700 years) at which time some calamity struck causing the plagues of Egypt, completely destroying Atlantis and setting Greece and other Mediterranean powers back to the stone age.
At that same time, 1500 BC, survivors of the catastrophe could have set sail from Northern Africa (the "Old Red Land") and settled in the American continent where legends persist of the destruction of the "Old Red Land" and the migration across the sea to the new world."
[end of the web info I copied and edited...I am trying to remember the sources, Ancient Partriarchs I think was the name of the blog].
After the Flood was the one great Ice Age and this made the oceans much lower due to more frozen water at the poles.
The Book of Job was written during this Ice Age.
Ironically, the waters would have been warmer at that time. And the ancients sailed much of the world. They even mapped much of the world. Read about the maps of the Ancient Sea Kings.
At the end of the ice age the waters rose quickly, flooding many lands. For instance, google Doggerland (England was not always an island). From thence comes the underwater cities we see off Egypt and Japan and the tales of Mu and Lemuria and Atlantis.
A great future is for Christians to get into underwater archaeology. We will discover more and more cities under the waves.
No need for that! It looks like you've got it all figured out already.
Be civil, please.
All right, then. I'll say it civilly.
Present some evidence before your conclusions, please.
As to the location of Atlantis, check out this recreation of the world according to Herodotus and see Atlantis on the left just south of the Atlas Mountains.
I see no reason to question it. There was vast climactic change in the Sahara, whale bones found in the desert and ancient myths/traditions of lakes throughout where the Sahara now lies.
The ancients were also a lot more advanced than admitted. There was trans-atlantic travel long before the "Great Age of Discovery":
(1) Herodotus proves the Phoeniceans circled Africa
(in 4.42 he speaks of the sun direction, "the Phoenicians made a statement which I myself do not believe (though others may if they wish) to the effect that they sailed west around the southern end of Africa, they had the sun on their right".
This is exactly what they would have seen going west around the Cape of Good Hope at the southern tip of Africa, because the sun appears to the right when traveling westward in the southern hemisphere, but how could Herodotus have known this at such an early date if the journey did not take place."),
(2) There is South American cocaine found in the tombs of Egyptian mummies.
(3) The megalithic cultures all had too similar of features to have developed independently
(anthropological "diffusionism" has been poo-poo'd for years, but I believe it to be true).
In school we learn of the mystery of the Late Bronze Age Collapse. They set it at about 1200 BC. But around 1500 BC is when the one single real Ice Age ended, causing massive disasters and upheavals, setting civilization back (and helping the people of God in Egypt).
The historian's duty is to question. Ιστορία is, literally, "inquiry" or "investigation". Nothing ought to be taken for granted; mere speculation (especially speculation without a shred of actual evidence!) will never suffice.
Of course Herodotus should be questioned. And so should any novel ideas of sunken continents. (And those are quite novel indeed.)
Not everything on the internet is true. And sometimes even the History Channel gets it wrong.
Most of the time the wisdom of the ancients is to be preferred over the pedantic sarcasm of the moderns.