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The Biblical Age of Man

Chronology provides a framework whereby isolated facts can be transformed into a continuous, coherent, sequel of events. The task of the historian, archaeologist, and anthropologist is to determine the chronological relationships of ancient events through the study of documents, artifacts, and fossil bones. The more accurately an event can be dated, the more valuable witness it provides to the history of human civilization. Geology is now recognized as a valuable tool in relating and dating various historical events.

Until now there has been a great difference between the popular secular systems of chronology and the Biblical chronology. In light of new interpretations of data, however, the past discrepancies are now being resolved. Scientific data and Biblical data are increasingly seen to mesh together in a logical and realistic manner.

The Biblical chronology is based upon three different textual traditions: the Massoretic text, the Septuagint, and the Samaritan Pentateuch. The Hebrew Massoretic Text is a product of an older Hebrew text that was incorporated by about 100 ad. The King James Bible was translated into English from the Massoretic text. The Septuagint is a Greek translation of an older Hebrew text that goes back to about 250 bc The Samaritan Pentateuch is a product of older Hebrew texts that go beyond 400 bc.

Figure 1 is a diagram that illustrates the relationship between the Massoretic text and the Septuagint text. It assumes the year 2000 as the reference point for dating Early Man. Both texts describe the same chronology of events going back to the birth of Abraham, which is believed to be 2166 bc as calculated by Thiele (1446). The date is confirmed by Merrill (1965) and by Archer who prefer 2165. There are other scholars who hold to different dates as to the birth of Abraham. They would tend to forward the date to about 2000 bc. This would bring the Flood to about 4350 bc, and the creation of Adam to about 4000 bc. If we accept 2166 bc as the date of Abraham’s birth, then the Flood of Noah would be about 2518 bc, and the creation of Adam at about 4174 bc.

This diagram illustrates the realtionship betwen the Massoretic text (MT) and the Septuagint Text (LXX). It assumes that the year 2000 AD is the reference point for dating early man.

This diagram illustrates the realtionship betwen the Massoretic text (MT) and the Septuagint Text (LXX). It assumes that the year 2000 AD is the reference point for dating early man.

The birth of Abraham cannot be pinpointed exactly. New archeological evidence confirms it is somewhere within this range, however it is assumed here that 2166 bc is the more accurate estimate. On this basis, the Flood of Noah will be assumed to have taken place about 4500 years ago (Daae, Bridging the Gap: The First 6 Days, 1989, p. 13) places the date for the Flood of Noah at about 2350 bc, which may be accurate. and the creation of Adam and Eve about 6000+ years ago. This is based upon The American University in Cairo Press book that states the age of the Old Kingdom or pyramid age is between 2575 and 2145 bc. It also takes into consideration the older dates to which Egyptologists often refer.

last updated: March 7, 2013
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