Re: 2900 BC vs. 2350 BC

Date: Fri May 03 2002 - 16:39:34 EDT

  • Next message: Jan de Koning: "Re: Truth"

    Hi Dick,

    You wrote: "In what version was the Old Testament used and commented on by
    Christians? ... it is the Septuagint, the Greek translation which, directly
    or indirectly, was fundamentally for all writings of the early Christian
    centuries ...

    You will get no argument from me on that. But that hardly says anything about
    its quality. It is only indicative of the fact that it was the only Greek
    translation around at the time. Does the fact that most English speaking
    Christians from the 1611 to the last part of the 20th century used the KJV
    prove that it's translation was done without error, or does it just prove
    that it was then the most widely distributed English translation of the

    You wrote: the Samaritan Pentateuch was always in Hebrew, and its Genesis 11
    genealogy more closely agrees with the Septuagint.

    The Septuagint is a translation which was supposedly translated by six elders
    from each of Israel's twelve tribes. Ten of those twelve tribes had followed
    Jeroboam in his rebellion upon the death of Solomon. Jeroboam then founded a
    capital city and new center of worship at Samaria. When Sargon captured
    Samaria in 721 BC he replaced its residents with non Jewish captives from his
    previous conquests. However, most of the residents of Northern Israel were
    still then members of the Israel's rebellious ten tribes. Over the next
    couple centuries they often intermarried with the people Sargon had planted
    in Samaria. Their descendants became known as "Samaritans." The Samaritan
    people did not follow the law of Moses nearly as closely as the Jews who
    worshipped in Jerusalem. Because of their ancestry, neither did they always
    treat the Hebrew scriptures with the greatest of respect.

    Because of such things, we can certainly understand how the Samaritan
    Pentateuch became corrupted. It is also quite likely that 60 of the 72 elders
    (6 from each of northern Israel's 12 tribes) who came to Alexandria in the
    3rd century BC to create the Septuagint brought with them copies of their
    corrupted Samaritan Pentateuch to reference as they translated the
    Septuagint. I believe this explains why, as you said, "[The Samaritan
    Pentateuch's] Genesis 11 genealogy more closely agrees with the Septuagint."

    I asked: Why do you say they [events which historians tell us happened after
    the year 2900 BC] all had to occur after the flood?

    You wrote: For starters, the Pre-Dynastic period begins with the post-flood
    rulers at Kish. The Sumerian king list says: "Then the flood swept
    thereover, after the flood swept thereover, kingship was restored in Kish."
    ... If you take a look at page 275 in my book you will see the dating of
    flood sediments from four different excavations in the cities of Kish,
    Shuruppak, Uruk (biblical Erech), and Lagash. All these estimates from
    different teams of archaeologists coalesce around 2900 BC. Are you
    maintaining that all these archaeologists misdated the sediment layers, or
    that these are from an earlier flood for which there is no record, and that
    the biblical flood took place 550 years
    later which left no sediment?

    Obviously the biblical flood would have left sediment. If the 2350 BC date
    for Noah's flood, obtained by studies of tree ring growth and through studies
    of Bible chronology, is correct, then something you mentioned must be
    incorrect. Possibly the age estimates of the flood sediments which have been
    studied are in error. It is understandable that if one team of
    archaeologists' dated these flood deposits incorrectly that they all would.
    Since nearly all archaeologists base their age estimates on the same set of
    assumptions. Possibly those flood sediments were not left by the Genesis
    flood. Maybe Noah's flood did not even cover that area. Possibly the Sumerian
    king list is referring to an earlier flood. As you point out in your book,
    some scholars see "a complete lack of agreement and relationship" between
    Gen. 5 and 11 and the Sumerian kings.

    Obviously if Noah's flood occurred in 2350 BC then there must be flood
    sediments somewhere which should be able to be dated to that year, by someone
    using accurate dating methods. If such flood sediments can be found and
    identified as possibly having been left by Noah's flood, and if accurate
    dating methods now exist to date them.

    The methods presently being used to date Mesopotamian flood deposits are not
    infallible. No one is absolutely sure if the flood deposits being dated were
    left by Noah's flood. The chronological information contained in scripture
    which seems to point to a 2350 BC date for Noah's flood is able to be
    understood in several different ways. The authenticity of that information.
    It seems to me that the only thing that we can be sure of is that a major
    change in the climate of the ancient near east occurred in 2350 BC and that
    no such change occurred anywhere near the year 2900 BC. We can be sure of
    that because dendrochronologists have determined it to be true by counting
    the number and examining the size of tree rings.

    A flood the size of that described in Genesis would have greatly changed the
    climate in the ancient Near East or would have been the result of such a
    great change in climate. Great changes in climate affect the growth of tree
    rings in the area. If Noah's flood did not occur in 2350 BC and instead
    occurred in about 2900 BC as you believe, why do dendrochronologists find
    evidence of a great change in that area of the world's climate in 2350 BC but
    none near the year 2900 BC? I suppose the answer may be that these tree ring
    studies are said to have only covered the last "5,000 Years." Maybe your 2900
    BC date is off a bit. If Noah's flood occurred before 3000 BC the evidence it
    left in tree rings may have not made these studies. That I suppose is a


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