Vid of the Day

Video: Genesis 5 and 11 and Their Potential Impact on Biblical Archaeology

This paper presentation COULD HAVE just been in audio format, but there’s too many charts and powerpoint slides that make this anything but a mandatory watch with copious note-taking for those apologists particularly interested in the Biblical timeline.

Associates for Biblical Research: For about 1800 years, Christian scholars interpreted the genealogies of Genesis 5 and 11 as yielding a continuous chronology of human history from Adam to Abraham. Up until the Reformation, a solid majority believed the Septuagint (LXX) preserved most of the original numerical figures in Genesis 5 and 11. During the Reformation, the Masoretic Text (MT) supplanted the primacy of the LXX in the western church, and thus, a chronological interpretation of Genesis 5 and 11 using the MT’s numbers became the majority viewpoint. In 1890, the chronological interpretation was challenged in a seminal article by William H. Green of Princeton Seminary, whose non-chronological interpretation eventually ascended to a position of primacy in conservative OT scholarship. Conservative OT scholars have primarily followed Green’s arguments and have interpreted archaeological discoveries dated prior to Abraham with the assumption that Genesis 5 and 11 do not yield a chronology of pre-Abrahamic history.

This paper seeks to revisit the question of primeval chronology and the non-chronological interpretation of Genesis 5 and 11. First, we will outline some syntactical and grammatical reasons for a chronological interpretation of Genesis 5 and 11, highlighting the Hebrew text. Second, we will examine the numerical divergences found in the three main witnesses of Genesis 5 and 11: the MT, LXX and the Samaritan Pentateuch. Third, we will survey external sources from antiquity that cite the numbers found in Gen 5 and 11. Fourth, we will propose a framework for textual reconstruction and outline a tentative chronology primarily based on the LXX’s begetting ages from Adam to Abraham. Lastly, in light of our conclusions, we will briefly survey the implications for interpreting archaeological evidence conventionally dated to the pre-Abrahamic era.

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