Christian Apologetics Study

MASORETIC TEXT BIBLICAL CHRONO-GENEALOGY

Feb
23

The Old Testament Bible was originally written in Hebrew, with scattered passages of Aramaic. It was first translated in its entirety into Aramaic and then later into Greek (the Septuagint). Hebrew scholars created the authoritative Masoretic text from Aramaic Targums and the original Hebrew scrolls, which have been lost to history.

Today, many scholars believe the Masoretic Text is more authoritative because it is the traditional Hebrew text of the Jewish community. The Masoretic Text was meticulously assembled and codified, and supplied with diacritical marks to enable correct pronunciation. This monumental work was begun by scholars at Talmudic academies in Babylonia and Palestine, in an effort to reproduce, as far as possible, the original text of the Old Testament Hebrew Scriptures. Their intention was not to interpret the meaning of the Scriptures but to transmit to future generations the authentic Word of God.  Because of this history, many scholars believe the Masoretic Text Chrono-genealogy is more precise than the Septuagint and other biblical versions.

According to the Masoretic Text, the first 11 chapters of Genesis give us the history of the Creation (Genesis 1:1-2), the fall (Genesis 3:1), Cain and Abel (Genesis 4:1), the Great Flood (Genesis 6-9), and the Tower of Babel (Genesis 11). They also give us a basic framework for dating those major historical events. According to Genesis five, a period of 10 generations went by between the Creation and the Flood. Although the individuals listed in that chapter enjoyed an average life span of roughly 858 years or more, the total time between Adam and the Flood was only about 1,656 years.

According to Genesis chapter 11, another 9 generations elapsed between the time of the Flood and the time of Abraham. The average life-span of these individuals was roughly 385 years; the total time between the Flood and Abraham is roughly 350 years. If we take Genesis literally, that would mean that all of Abraham’s ancestors as far back as Noah’s son Shem were still alive when Abraham was born, and that the time separating Abraham from the day of Creation is only 2,176 years—a bit more than the time separating us from Christ.

In modern times, the systems of Biblical chrono-genealogy that have been adopted are chiefly from Archbishop James Ussher. Archbishop Ussher’s system is called the short chronology. The short chronology generally teaches that the creation of Adam was in 4001 BC, the Great Flood was in 2345 BC, the time of Abraham was in 2001 BC, and the time of Messiah Yeshua began in 1 BC and ended in AD 32.

Furthermore, early Christian writers held that at the end of 6,000 years of history, Messiah Yeshua would return and reign for 1,000 years. These included Barnabas (A.D. 100), Justin Martyr and Irenaeus (A.D. 150), Lactantius (A.D. 325), and Methodius, Bishop of Tyre (A.D. 300).  Barnabas wrote: “as there had been 2,000 years from Adam to Abraham, and 2,000 from Abraham to Messiah Yeshua; therefore, there will be 2,000 years for the Christian era and then would come the Millennium.” If these Christian writers are correct, then the Christian era should conclude sometime before, during, or shortly after the year A.D. 2032 because the Christian era began in the s

ummer of A.D. 32.

However, we must understand that these dates are not base on what the Holy Bible says because the sacred Scriptures reveal no dates for the creation of the universe, planet Earth, formation of life, and the global flood. The Holy Scriptures reveal no dates for the return of Messiah Yeshua. This fact means that the universe  could be significantly older than 4000 BC and  the Lord could return sometime before A.D 32 or sometime afterwards.

RELATED SOURCES

The New King James Version. Easton Bible Dictionary. Holman Bible Dictionary.  Septuagint Bible; Sir Lancelot C. L. Brenton; Old Testament Chrono-genealogy Barry Setterfield; Biblical Creationism; Dr. Henry Morris; 2005. Creator and the Cosmos; Dr. Hugh Ross; 1998. Creation; Dr. Grant Jeffrey; 2003. Creation Scientists Answer Their Critics; Dr. Duane T. Gish; 1993. Learn The Bible in 24 Hours; Dr. Chuck Missler; 2002. Panorama of Creation; Dr. Carl Baugh; 1989. The Biblical Basis for Modern Science; Dr. Henry Morris; 2008. The Signature of God; Dr. Grant Jeffrey; 2010. The Science of God; Dr. Gerald Schroeder;1997. The New Answers Book 1; Ken Ham; 2006. The New Answers Book 2; Ken Ham; 2008. The New Answers Book 3; Ken Ham; 2010.

BIBLICAL ESCHATOLOGY, BIBLIOLOGY, CREATION SCIENCE Comments Off on MASORETIC TEXT BIBLICAL CHRONO-GENEALOGY

THE SEPTUAGINT BIBLICAL CHRONO-GENEALOGY

Feb
22

The Alexandrian Septuagint (LXX) is the Oldest Greek translation of the Hebrew Old Testament Scriptures. This Greek translation also contains several apocryphal books. Most New Testament quotations of the Old Testament are from the Alexandrian LXX. According to some scholars, the Alexandrian LXX is more historically accurate than the Masoretic Text (MT) Hebrew Bible because the LXX Bible contains more accurate Christological passages and it was translated from earlier paleo-Hebrew Scriptures.  A few scholars believe the MT Bible translators removed significant Christological passages when they shorten the biblical chrono-genealogy in the original Holy Scriptures.  However, other scholars believe the LXX translators lengthen the biblical chrono-genealogy because they were influenced by Greek philosophy.

Analysis of the LXX chrono-genealogy reveals its history appears more consistent with archaeological science and secular history. The Greek LXX gives its readers much longer periods between the creation of Adam and the great flood and much longer periods between the great flood and Abraham’s generation.  According to some scholars, the first century copyists and translators of the MT just didn’t believe the long life spans before the conception of each child; therefore, they simply deleted the word for one-hundred wherever they found it. And this action significantly shortened the biblical history describing human growth, proliferation, and expansion on the Earth.

According to the Alexandrian Greek LXX chronology, the first 11 chapters in Genesis reveals the creation history (Genesis 1:1-2), the fall (Genesis 3:1), the Cain and Abel conflict (Genesis 4:1), the global flood (Genesis 6-9), and the Babylon Tower (Genesis 11). The LXX narrative gives its readers a basic framework for dating major historical events.

According to Genesis chapter five, 10 generations went by between the Creation and the Great Flood. While the people listed in that chapter enjoyed an average life span of roughly 858 years, the total time between Adam and the Flood was approximately 2262 years.

According to Genesis 11, another 10 generations elapsed between the time of the Flood and the time of Abraham. The average life-span of these individuals is approximately 385 years; the total time between the Flood and Abraham is roughly 1002 years. If we take the LXX chrono-genealogy as history, then the time separating Abraham from Adam is roughly 3,264 years.

We are told, in Matthew, that there are 14 generations between Abraham and David, between David and captivity to Babylon, and between Babylon and Messiah. This equals 42 generations between Abraham and Messiah Yeshua. If a generation in Matthew’s time equal 53.5 years, then we have a period equaling 2247 years from Abraham to Yeshua. When we add up the 2262 pre-Flood years with the 1002 years between the flood and Abraham, and the 2247 years between Abraham and Yeshua, we reach a calculation equaling 5,511 years. This means that Adam was created around 5,511 BC.

Early church commentators, such as Clement of Alexander, Eusebius, Lactantius, and Theophilus, believe Adam was created on the 6th day and Yeshua would come into the world during humankind’s 6,000th year because St. Paul wrote Messiah Yeshua was the last Adam (1-Corinthians 15:45). In other words, they believe Yeshua came into the world 6000 years after the creation of Adam because each creation day in Genesis chapter one represents 1000 years of human history. According to these Christian writers, the 10 generations from Adam to Noah equaled 2000 years, the 10 generation from Noah to Abraham equaled 2000 years, and the 42 generation from Abraham to Messiah Yeshua equaled 2000 years. When we calculate the generations from Adam to Yeshua, we reach 6,000 years of human history.  The problem with the six millennial day theory is that 1000 years probably meant a very long time rather than exactly 1000 years, during the early Christian era.  This means we should never employ the six day millennial theory to determine Adam’s creation.

SUMMARY OF THE GREEK SEPTUAGINT CHRONOLOGY

The LXX chrono-genealogy has an earlier date for Adams creation for several reasons.  First, some scholars argue that early Hebrew translators were probably influenced by Greek philosophy and they attempted to lengthen the biblical chrono-genealogy to 5,500 or 6,000 years to parallel the Greco-Roman philosophical tradition of their generation. Second, other scholars believe that translators of the Hebrew MT changed significant Christological passages when they shorten the chrono-genealogy to disprove that Yeshua was the Messiah. Third, because the LXX was translated from the paleo-Hebrew Scriptures, then the original paleo-Hebrew Bible probably contained a longer chronology.  Finally, if there are gaps in the MT and LXX chrono-genealogies, then Adam was probably created around 6000 BC or earlier. Therefore, a precise date for Adam’s creation remains a mystery when we study the Hebrew MT and the Alexandrian Greek LXX.

RELATED SOURCES

Septuagint Bible; Sir Lancelot C. L. Brenton; Old Testament Chrono-genealogy Barry Setterfield; Biblical Creationism; Dr. Henry Morris; 2005. Creator and the Cosmos; Dr. Hugh Ross; 1998. Creation; Dr. Grant Jeffrey; 2003. Creation Scientists Answer Their Critics; Dr. Duane T. Gish; 1993. Learn The Bible in 24 Hours; Dr. Chuck Missler; 2002. Panorama of Creation; Dr. Carl Baugh; 1989. The Biblical Basis for Modern Science; Dr. Henry Morris; 2008. The Signature of God; Dr. Grant Jeffrey; 2010. The Science of God; Dr. Gerald Schroeder;1997. The New Answers Book 1; Ken Ham; 2006. The New Answers Book 2; Ken Ham; 2008. The New Answers Book 3; Ken Ham; 2010.

BIBLIOLOGY, CREATION SCIENCE Comments Off on THE SEPTUAGINT BIBLICAL CHRONO-GENEALOGY