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.

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