Biblical Chronologies Compared -- By: Curt Sewell
BSP 8:1 (Winter 1995) p. 20
Biblical Chronologies Compared
Curt Sewell is a retired Electronics Engineer listed in Who’s Who in Technology and Biographical Directory of American Men of Science, residing in Livermore CA. He teaches and writes on creation-evolution and the historicity of the early portions of Genesis.
Until a few years ago, I thought that if one accepted the idea that the early Genesis chronology is reliable, one would automatically arrive at a date of about 4000 BC for the creation of the world. It turns out that may not be quite true. In this article, we will look at several different methods of dating these early events.
First, however, we should understand that secular scientists and others who do not accept the Bible as the inspired Word of God think the world must be extremely old — 4 1/2 billion years is the usual age cited for Earth, and several million years for Homo Sapiens, or human beings. These ages completely disagree with the Bible, and therefore must be rejected by those who take the Bible to be an accurate historical record.
Archaeologists also usually differ somewhat with a 6000-year age for the earth, but not by nearly as wide a margin. These men have studied the artifacts left by civilized people, and usually agree that civilization began no more than about 10, 000 years ago. Although some of their age-dates are too old to agree with most Biblical interpretations, they are at least in the same ballpark.
Sources of Differences
There are three ancient versions of the Old Testament—the Septuagint, the Masoretic text, and the Samaritan Pentateuch. Although scholars say that all agree on the important doctrines, there are noticeable differences between them in the genealogies that are given in the fifth and 11th chapters of Genesis where we have recorded the number of years from Creation to the birth of Abraham. There are also at least two different ways of interpreting genealogical timing. We will refer to them as the “Ussher method” and the “Patriarchal-Age
BSP 8:1 (Winter 1995) p. 21
method.” These will be described in later paragraphs.
The Three Versions
We do not possess the original Biblical manuscripts (or autographs). There are several theories as to how they were first written, but most conservative scholars agree that they finally appeared in Hebrew early in the history of the Israelites, and this was probably in the land of Israel.
However, by the end of the fourth century BC, many Jews were living in Egypt; probably many had immigrated there during Nebuchadnezzar’s invasions and his destruction of Jerusalem shortly after...
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