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
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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