Chronological Differences LXX (Septuagint) and MSS (Masorete)

 

R.P. BenDedek Xinghua TaizhouWhat is presented on this page is a total of only four sections (1,2,8 and 9) of an article published many years ago on the old KingsCalendar site. That article contains twelve sections and is titled: An Academic Apologetic relating to the Chronological Differences between the LXX (Septuagint) and MSS (Masorete) Biblical Texts

That article was presented as an academic apologetic for the position taken in: The Septuagint, The Masorete and the Exodus, which dealt with chronological differences at 1 Kings 6:1, and examines further the general issue of discrepancy between the chronological records in the Septuagint and the Masoretic texts. That article was divided into two sections with a total of 6,700 words and covered such topics as:

Chronology in Today’s Received Text – The Masorete.
Chronology in Seder Olam Rabbah
The Babylonian Talmud
The Creation of the Septuagint.
Collation and Compilation: The Masorete, Septuagint.
Qumran: Essenes: The Dead Sea Scrolls
Is the King’s Calendar Position Scientific?
The (Essene) Reworking of Biblical History.
The Dead Sea Scrolls.

The following four sections pertain to
the King’s Calendar perspective on Ancient Biblical Texts.

(At the very end of the page there is a Bibliography)

Section 1. Introduction

“The King’s Calendar: The Secret of Qumran”, some of which is freely available on this Website (Chapter Precis) presents the research results of a computer generated mathematical synchronous calendar of the Divided Kingdom Period of Israel, using an artificial calendrical system (What is the King’s Calendar?).

What it demonstrates is that the chronological data presented in the Received Text (Masorete), is actually quite reliable, and that to date, all the confusion over Biblical Chronology arises from an Academic inability to ‘Think outside the Box.’ No one has ever taken a scientific approach to the problem, and this is because no one wants to believe that the Bible might be correct.

I wrote in Newsletter No. 2: Academic Opinion that “It is a strong thing to publicly state that Academics are arrogant, but what can you call the attitude of ‘professional or scientific’ people, whose refusal to look at an issue is based solely on their ‘personal’ reactions to and prejudices against people and their ideas.”

Because the academic world cannot understand Biblical chronology, they assume that the fault lies with the record, but as I pointed out in Biblical Infallibility, Divine Inspiration & Academic Deceit and Manipulation:

“If the information is no longer correct (for whatever reason), then modern Academics demonstrate a highly unscientific approach to history, when they quote Scripture to support various archaeological and Historical propositions. When they do this, they are quite clearly ‘manipulating’ the public.”

I further stated that “if the Biblical data has been presented in an ‘heretofore unknown’ manner, which is to say, in some ‘cypher,’ then it is logical to assume that what has been encrypted, ought to be able to be deciphered and understood, and any claim to have achieved such a ‘deciphering or decoding,’ ought to be reviewed and subjected to scientific methods of testing.”

My point was that you can’t have your cake and eat it too! You can’t dismiss the history or chronology of the Bible, -and- then use the Bible to prove or support your pet theory, even if it is correct.

The King’s Calendar Premise is that the Biblical chronological data has been passed down to us in an artificial form, and that the History recorded in the Bible is reliable and trustworthy. The King’s Calendar research results demonstrate this. The Problem is that too many people have come up with too many schemes to solve the chronological difficulties in the Divided Kingdom period of Biblical History, that no one is interested any more.

The King’s Calendar however can be scientifically tested, and “Proved or Falsified.” (Davies. P. (1992) The Mind of G-d. New York. Simon and Schuster on scientific proof)

What follows, is a brief discussion relating to processional development of the Bible, specifically in relation to chronology, before focusing on the development of the Received Text and the Septuagint.

To that end, we will briefly discuss a few different ways of measuring time, commencing with the Received (Masoretic) Text we have today, and work back through time to the composition of the Masorete and Septuagint.

Section 2. Chronology in Today’s Received Text – The Masorete.

(Mosorete is not technically correct in reference to Texts prior to the 9th Century AD. Text of the Day is more appropriate. See Lipman. D.P. (2000) Gates to Jewish Heritage.)

From: King’s Calendar Chapter One: The Dead Sea Scrolls

Something which many people fail to realise is that the bible, in addition to being a religious text, is also an extensive historical document, which, when combined with extra-biblical Ancient Israelite documents, provides far more chronological and historical information, than is provided by any other ancient civilization. [Starr.C.G. (1991)A History of the Ancient World. Oxford University Press. UK. p.145]

That history has been transmitted to us with precision, as is demonstrated by the Isaiah scrolls from Qumran. Although they come from a different period in time (a thousand years earlier than our oldest biblical texts), and are written in a different type of writing, they yet remain (in content transmission) almost identical. [Yadin. Y. (1957) The Message of the Scrolls. Weidenfeld & Nicholson. London. p.83]

The fact that they are almost totally identical, provides clear demonstration of the care with which the Scriptures were copied.

Given the precision of transcribing Biblical texts combined with Academic failure to understand Biblical Chronology, it stands to reason that if as the King’s Calendar insists, Biblical chronology is artificial, then either all Biblical authors used the artificial construct, or, that all Biblical books at some point in history were transcribed with the intention of inserting the artificial construct.

A rejection of the ‘King’s Calendar’ concept of the introduction of an artificial calendar into the Hebrew (Masoretic) writings totally ignores the many historic approaches that Jews took and had (before and after the Canonisation of Scripture), in relation to the Divine workings in history. See The Septuagint, The Masorete and the Exodus.

It also holds true that despite both religious and academic claims, the redactors were not erroneous in their collation and compilation of Biblical Material. Biblical chronology as passed down to us was deliberately, purposefully and precisely what was intended to have been passed down.

That “received text” provides us with a precise synchronisation of reigns for the Kings of Judah and Israel, as well as for King Nebuchadrezzar of Babylon.

“If the Biblical data has been presented in an ‘heretofore unknown’ manner, which is to say, in some ‘cypher,’ then it is logical to assume that what has been encrypted, ought to be able to be deciphered and understood, and any claim to have achieved such a ‘deciphering or decoding,’ ought to be reviewed and subjected to scientific methods of testing. (Biblical Infallibility, Divine Inspiration & Academic Deceit and Manipulation.)

The Claim of the King’s Calendar is that what was intended to be passed down to us, was in fact done so.

Section 8. A Brief Summary in Review.

From all of the foregoing sections, I now draw attention to some particular points.

1. There are Chronological (and Textual) Differences between the Masoretic Text and the Septuagint.

2. There was a sectarian religious group descended from the Original collators and transcribers of Jewish Religious texts that were different to mainstream Judaism

3. Jewish Historical and Religious Materials were being manipulated well after the Torah was translated into the Greek Septuagint. Books like Kings and Chronicles were not translated into Greek until centuries later

4. Biblical Material apparently belonging to the Dead Sea Sect, is the same as has been handed down to us today.

5. The Essenes (or another group at Qumran) were involved in secret mysteries which included calendrical systems

6. The Christian and Jewish canonisation of Scripture was not completed until well after the Qumran group disappeared.

7. Attempts were made as late as the end of the 2nd Century C.E. To understand the chronology of the Ancient Jewish Texts. (Josephus and Seder Olam to name two.)

The Essene chronological reference to the Teacher of Righteousness, found in the Damascus Document, appears to be recorded in the same artificial construct used by the King’s Calendar.

The King’s Calendar sees the same artificial construct running through the chronologies of Josephus and the Biblical Books of Kings and Chronicles.

What we see in all of these points, is that there existed over a period of centuries, a progression of what is now called the Old Testament, occurring in three different spheres: The Orthodox Masoretic tradition, the Greek Tradition, and the Qumran tradition; and as far as chronology is concerned, apart from some major divergences in the Torah (Genesis Chapter 11) and a few minor divergences in the rest of the Septuagint Old Testament, the historical chronology of Israel in all three groups are in agreement.

But despite their agreement, modern academia says that they are all wrong.

T.H. Robinson [1932 A History Of Israel. Vol I From the Exodus to the Fall of Jerusalem, 586 B.C. Clarendon Press. Page 19)] discusses at length what is seen as a ‘fictitious scheme’ of Old Testament chronology. His argument is designed to demonstrate the complete untrustworthiness of that chronology.

To re-iterate some points already made in this article:

What has been passed down to us is what was meant to be passed down.

If the chronological material does not fit our understanding of history, then it must be ‘encoded’ (artificial).

If it is artificial, then either all Biblical Writers used this artificial construct, or that all chronological data in those books was translated into the artificial construct.

What can be encrypted ought to be able to be deciphered.

If no such artificial construct exists, and material as we have it today derives from deceit or error, then Academics are unscientific to use that material to support their theories.

Academics need to quit their many deceptions, and start being scientific.

We can draw draw some conclusions:

Someone was tampering with the historical record of Ancient Israel
– and –
The final result of that tampering has been passed down to us.

The King’s Calendar claims to understand the chronological tampering.

Section 9. Is the King’s Calendar Position Scientific?

The Answer is Yes! (See: What is the King’s Calendar?)

Concerning “Falsification” in Scientific Methodology.

Part of Scientific Methodology is to “Test” theories. When a test of some theory produces a particular result, the theory is considered ‘dependable’ at least, if the same results are reproduced each and every time. The process is sometimes called ‘Falsification,’ for the process is not designed to ‘prove’ that a theory is correct, but to see if there is some flaw in it. If the theory cannot be disproved, because repeated testing continues to demonstrate its’ accuracy, then it is said to be ‘proved.’

Davies. P. [1992 The Mind of G-d. New York. Simon and Schuster. p.25] states that ‘the emphasis is thus on falsification, not verification. A powerful theory is one that is highly vulnerable to falsification, and so can be tested in many detailed and specific ways.’

The hypothesis of the King’s Calendar is a powerful theory, and is therefore susceptible to Falsification (disproval) if it is in fact an aberration. By aberration I mean ‘an accident.’ Are the King’s Calendar results accidental? If so, the foundational basis can be falsified. Falsification is an integral part of all investigative scientific research. So too is the concept of Mathematical Probability. The statistical odds of the King’s Calendar synchronisms for the Divided Kingdom are too great for that success to be considered accidental.

Whilst the mathematical hypothesis of the King’s Calendar in fact works, that in itself is not a proof of the King’s Calendar accuracy in its’ reconstruction of Israelite History. Whilst mathematical probability gives authoritative weight to the King’s Calendar mathematical basis, the final test of it’s accuracy is to be found in the fields of Archaeology and History, which is why The Rules of Evidence Series was written.

Whilst as indicated in the previous section, academics maintain that the narratives in the Israelite historical documents were altered to promote certain sectarian politico-religious viewpoints, the King’s Calendar maintains that the real reason why we don’t understand the historical narratives, is that it was pre-eminently the chronological data that was altered.

The ‘King’s Calendar’ premise is that historical chronological data was altered by way of an artificial chronology to suit the purposes of sectarian interest. This is not at all inconsistent with the many and various theories to come out of the school of ‘Higher Criticism’ relating to ‘redactorial historical revisionism. See: Grant.M. (1984) The History of Ancient Israel. New York. Charles Scribner’s and Sons Chapter 14 onwards.

The ‘King’s Calendar’ merely extends such ‘commonly accepted’ opinions, and transfers them from narrative text to the chronological data. Whilst many see that redactorial revisionism was designed to accomplish peculiar and sectarian redactorial interest and ‘interpretation,’ the King’s Calendar would say it was a case of ‘redactorial chronological revisionism’ and whilst agreeing that the chronologies presented in the Bible, Septuagint, Josephus, and the Dead Sea Sect are therefore fictitious in that they are not recorded in valid solar years, it does not agree that such chronologies are pre-eminently or predominantly incorrect.

Whilst there appears every indication that the artificial construct originates with the progenitors of the Essenes, current academic uncertainty in relation to Essenes, Qumran, and Dead Sea Sect make it difficult to make definitive or absolute assertions. One assertion that can be made however, is that Josephus, in one of his chronological references, demonstrates that the transliteration of True Solar years into the artificial construct, was still going on after 104 BCE.

Josephus: Cyrus to Aristobolus
Josephus, Ancient History and Biblical Contradictions

In Jewish War Book One, Chapter III Josephus records that from Cyrus to Aristobulus (104-103 BCE), 471 years elapse. He later amended this in Antiquities 13:11:1 to 481 years.

However: The 481 years in Antiquities, are exactly the number of Solar Years to elapse between the Babylonian Exile and Aristobolus [585 BCE to 105 BCE inclusive].

Josephus’ narrative refers to the time lapse between Cyrus and Aristobolus [471 artificial years]

Josephus originally quoted from an ‘artificial record’ relating to the period from Cyrus to Aristobolus, and then later, ignoring his own stated parameters, calculated the period from the Exile to Aristobolus in solar years.

Josephus was not really conversant with the material with which he was dealing, and had no awareness of their artificial nature. This can be verified by going to the Chapter Precis Page and clicking onto the Appendix 12.

It is obvious that someone was converting Solar History into an Artificial History as late as the first century BCE. Was it the Qumran Sect? Remembering that the Dead Sea Sect is alleged to have been present from at least 150 BCE to 66 CE. and that they were apparently re-writing the philosophical slant of Jewish History, it is not audacious to suggest that they may also have been responsible for rewriting chronological history.

The KingsCalendar The Secret of QumranR.P. BenDedek
Email: rpbendedek@hotmail.com
www.facebook.com/reb.bendedek
Articles at iPatriot.com

Author of
The King’s Calendar : The Secret of Qumran
“Finding Myself in China: A Politically Incorrect Story”

Author’s Note

There are many problems facing Bible Chronology, but all have as their foundation, that no one understands the Bible’s chronological details, and they are (as an historical composite) excessive of known history. The King’s Calendar demonstrates that the Biblical Chronologies are in fact correct, and that we have not understood their inherent mathematical value.

To see how effective the King’s Calendar method is of synchronising the Biblical data for the Divided Kingdom Period of Israel, SEE : Appendix 5: (Diagrammatic Reconstruction of Israelite History from 936 to 586 BCE.)

The Principle of Linear Causality

The King’s Calendar is a very simple approach to Biblical Chronology. It substitutes a value of 336 days for every year listed in Scripture. As far as the Divided Kingdom is concerned, when you use this 336 day year value, the synchronisms actually work. To see how effective this method is, SEE: Appendix 5: Diagrammatic Reconstruction of Israelite History from 936 to 586 BC

Because it is a mathematical system, the King’s Calendar must abide by certain mathematical rules, the most important of which, is that if you change any date for any day, month, or year every other day, month, or year is effected and must also change. It’s like a ‘domino effect.’ Chronological references cannot be ‘forced’ to fit, and nor can they simply be ignored or ‘compressed’ as is the usual case with historians and archaeologists.

If any King’s Calendar chronological determination disagrees with anything in the history books, it must argue the case as to why the history books are wrong, or why the evidence for an assertion is untrustworthy. If the King’s Calendar successfully defends its’ position, then the history books cannot be treated as definitive, and if the King’s Calendar is ‘proven’ wrong, then every other chronological reference it provides is also wrong.

Because of this, the King’s Calendar Chronological Reconstruction of Israel’s history is unique, in that its’ methodology can be scientifically (mathematically) tested and demonstrated to be either true or false. Its’ chronological predictions are able to be ‘proved’ or ‘disproved.’

Bibliography

The original article contains a Bibliography which includes many internet sources which may not now be current. Hardcopy reference books consulted in the compilation of this are as follows:

Conzelmann. (1992) Gentiles – Jews – Christians. Polemics and Apologetics in the Greco-Roman Era. Translated by M. E. Boring. Fortress Press. Minneapolis. p.145
Cornfeld.G. (1982) Josephus: The Jewish War. Zondervan Publishing House Michigan
Davies. P. (1992) The Mind of G-d. New York. Simon and Schuster.
Davies P.R. (1982) Qumran. Michigan. Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing co.
Eisenman. R.H., Wise.M. (1992) The Dead Sea Scrolls Uncovered. Element Books.
Elias.N. (1978 ) What is Sociology? New York. Columbia University Press
Lipman. D.P. (2000) Gates to Jewish Heritage [http link now void]
Golb.N. (1995) who Wrote the Dead Sea Scrolls: The Search for the Secret of Qumran. New York Scribner.
Grant.M. (1984) The History of Ancient Israel. New York. Charles Scribner’s and Sons
Kenyon. F.G. ( 1958 ) Our Bible and the Ancient Manuscripts. Eyre & Spottiswoode. page 76 for discussion on the Massoretic text.
Knibb.M.A. (1987) The Qumran community. Cambridge university Press.
Robinson T.H. (1932) A History Of Israel. Vol I From the Exodus to the Fall of Jerusalem, 586 B.C. Clarendon Press.
Schonfeld. H.J. (1984) the Essene Odyssey : The Mystery of the True Teacher and the Essene Impact on the Shaping of Human Destiny. U.K. Element Books
Schwarz. G. (1970) Sect Ideologies and Social Status. University of Chicago Press
Sealey. J. (1985) Religious Education: Philosophical perspectives. London. George Allen & Unwin.
Shanks.H. (1992) Understanding the Dead Sea Scrolls. New York. Random House
Starr.C.G. (1991)A History of the Ancient World. Oxford University Press. UK.
Talmon.S. (1989) The World of Qumran from Within. Jerusalem. Magnus Press.
Vanderkam.J.C. (1994) The Dead Sea Scrolls Today. Michigan. Wm B. Eerdmans Publishing Company
Vermes.G. (1987) The Dead Sea Scrolls 3rd Ed. London. Penguin Books
Wilson.E. (1978 ) Israel and the Dead Sea Scrolls. New York. Farrar, Straus, Giroux.
Wise.M., Abegg.M., Cook.J.R., Cook.E. (1996) Dead Sea Scrolls: A comprehensive translation of the controversial ancient scrolls with material never published or translated before now, and including the most recently released texts. Hodder & Stoughton ?Aust.
Yadin. Y. (1957) The Message of the Scrolls. Weidenfeld & Nicholson. London.

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