Christian Apologetics Study

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.

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