From The Mailbag. . . -- By: Anonymous
BSP 7:3 (Summer 1994) p. 65
From The Mailbag. . .
Reader response to the “Missing 1,000 Years Theory”
I just completed reading your article concerning Dr. Aardsma’s proposal in A New Approach to the Chronology of Biblical History from Abraham to Samuel. I wanted to let you know how much I enjoyed your critique. I read his monograph a few months ago but I lacked the archaeological knowledge to argue his thesis. Now, with the help of your research, I have a much better understanding of this topic. Thank you for publishing your insights on this important issue.
My personal grievances concerned his handling of Biblical texts. I have an M.Div degree and am much more comfortable discussing textual criticism than archaeology. I wanted to write to you with what I feel is one of the greatest weaknesses of Aardsma’s paper.
One major problem which I found in this monograph concerns Aardsma’s treatment of Paul’s message as recorded in Acts 13:16–20. Dr. Aardsma utilizes five pages of his monograph on these verses. Acts 13 is important for him to show that there is reasonable indication for his assertion that 1 Kings 6 has been the victim of a copyist error, resulting in the loss of 1, 000 years.
Aardsma asserts that the older manuscripts of the New Testament (and therefore the newer translations) give clearer meaning than the Textus Receptus for this passage. By appealing to the science of textual criticism, Aardsma has effectively muddied the water. The vast majority of individuals are ill prepared to argue concerning textual criticism. I myself nearly fell into his “trap” while reading the monograph. However, what I learned from my study is that there is very little variation in this verse among the manuscripts. The variation is that of word order. Word order in Greek is used for emphasis, and does not drastically change the passage’s meaning. In addition, we must be careful not to allow our modern understanding of punctuation to effect our understanding of a specific text, as is done by Aardsma. Although the word order and punctuation is of little value for this discussion of Acts 13:16f, the context is very important and appears to have been totally ignored in the monograph.
Dr. Aardsma consistently quotes from Acts 13:18–20, ignoring the beginning of the passage (verses 16 and 17). If the entire passage is read it becomes obvious that the 450 years mentioned in verse You must have a subscription and be logged in to read the entire article.
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