In Defence of God: Bible and ArchaeologyOne statement of faith reads: "Being wholly and verbally God-given, Scripture is without error or fault in all its teaching... Note that it is wholly and verbally God-given. The books of Kings and Chronicles however make no mention of God's verbal instructions. Indeed they actually are quite clear in their assertion that they are a collation of other material. "That the work was superintended by the Holy Spirit" is given to mean that the Bible contains only those words that the Holy Spirit wanted put in there. If there is one argument I have never heard in explanation for discrepancies in the Historical documents of the Bible, it is that 'God ordered that it be recorded like that.' In fact, if there is one argument that the King's Calendar would put forward as justification for its' presentation, it is that the record as it appears, is exactly how God wanted it to appear. A mystery, concealed until the end of time, that the wisdom of the wise might be demonstrated to be foolishness, and that the foolishness of God might be demonstrated to be more wise than the wisdom of men.
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A Theological Newsletter to the Christians
If you do some research into R.P.BenDedek, you might find him referred to as a theologian. But what is a theologian?
The Merriam-Webster online dictionary describes a theologian as a specialist in theology, which it defines as the study of religious faith, practice, and experience; especially the study of God and of God's relation to the world. It also refers to a theological theory or system.
From this perspective I might well be defined as a theologian, although as a specialist, I am actually a specialist in the chronological history of Ancient Israel. I have in fact studied theology from a variety of perspectives and in a variety of places.
When I set about the task of researching and writing about the chronological history of Israel, I did not do so from any interest in theology, but an interest in history, and in my naivety or perhaps arrogance, I thought that Jews and Christians would be thrilled about my discoveries. But I was wrong. While I anticipated the Jewish reaction, I have to admit that my ignorance in understanding Christian fundamentalist thinking left me unprepared for the responses that I have encountered.
If you pick up any two books on the history of Israel, you will find that as far as chronology goes, there is no exact or precise concordance of opinion as to when various events listed in Israel's History actually took place. By exact or precise I don't mean that some writers disagree by some few months, but that such disagreements can vary by up to fifty years or so.
Now if you know nothing about the History of Israel, and specifically, nothing about the chronological records in the Bible, you might find a variety of ways to explain why such writers disagree. But for those of you who do know something about the Biblical records for the divided Kingdom of Israel, that is to say, for that period of time between the death of Solomon and the time when Samaria fell to the Assyrians, then you know that these records are 'synchronous.'That is to say, that the Bible links or cross references a specific year of one King in the Northern Capital (Samaria in Israel), with his counterpart in the Southern Capital (Jerusalem in Judah).
There are two problems with the data provided in the Bible. The first is, that the synchronisms don't work, unless you 'presumptively add' to the record, by making assumptions for which neither the record nor the archaeological or historical evidence provides any substantiation. The second problem is that when you calculate the data in 'real' years, there are far too many years, based upon the evidence at hand. As you travel backward in time beyond the death of Solomon, the problem becomes exponential.
No one has ever been able to adequately solve this riddle, and as Professor D.J. Wiseman of the British Academy once warned me, 'Two dozen crackpots every year claim to have solved the problem.'
So you might think that religious people might be glad to know that someone has solved the problem. It is such a simple thing, that they can even study it on the internet at Kingscalendar.com. But here is the catch. While religious people know that the Biblical Data is excessive, and equally they know that there is 'an' answer, the kingscalendar answer requires believing that the data recorded in the Bible, was actually 'tampered' with, before the Bible even became the Bible. In other words, a couple of hundred years before the Bible became the Bible, someone changed the records in the historical documents of Israel.
Now why is this a problem? I'll tell you. It's call 'Biblical Infallibility.' Modern day fundamentalists believe that God dictated the Bible. He called together a few people, and told them 'precisely what to write,' and therefore, God being God, He could not have made any errors.
Now as I said, I was totally unprepared for this type of thinking. You see, what I had always thought, was that throughout the history of Israel, God at various times and in sundry places, manifested himself in various ways in human history, and on many of those occasions, he directly spoke with the prophets who dutifully recorded his 'precise' words. Nevertheless, the collection of writings, which Nehemiah began to collate around the middle of the 5th century BCE, remained a human record of both the secular and religious history of the nation. In fact, if you read the Bible carefully, you will notice that there are a lot of books mentioned in the Bible, which are no longer in existence, or have not yet been found.
I was under the mistaken impression, that 'Biblical Inerrancy' meant that God's inspiration, revelation, illumination and particular relationship with the prophets and peoples of Israel, meant that these collections of writings written over a period of 1000 years, produced and provided an accurate picture of God, and that in nothing does it portray God erroneously. But as I have researched the matter, I have found that many people believe such things as (and I quote from The Chicago Statement ON BIBLICAL INERRANCY)
Point 2. Holy Scripture, being God's own Word, written by men prepared and superintended by His Spirit, is of infallible divine authority in all matters upon which it touches:
Point 4. Being wholly and verbally God-given, Scripture is without error or fault in all its teaching...
Note that it is wholly and verbally God-given. The books of Kings and Chronicles however make no mention of God's verbal instructions. Indeed they actually are quite clear in their assertion that they are a collation of other material.
Note also, that the work was superintended by the Holy Spirit. This means that the Bible contains only those words that the Holy Spirit wanted put in there.
If there is one argument I have never heard in explanation for discrepancies in the Historical documents of the Bible, it is that 'God ordered that it be recorded like that.' In fact, if there is one argument that the King's Calendar would put forward as justification for its' presentation, it is that the record as it appears, is exactly how God wanted it to appear. A mystery, concealed until the end of time, that the wisdom of the wise might be demonstrated to be foolishness, and that the foolishness of God might be demonstrated to be more wise than the wisdom of men.
What you, dear readers, call the Bible, did not become the Bible until hundreds of years after Nehemiah began to find all the ancient and diverse records and began to put them together in one place. What God may have ordained and orchestrated prior to the canonisation of Scripture (both Christian and Jewish), is not for us to disagree with.
But despite this valiant defense on my part, the bottom line remains that there are errors of fact in the historical sections of the Bible, and an overall chronological anomaly in the total record, which, according to the doctrine of Biblical Infallibility, JUST CANNOT BE!
Why can it not be? Because, as is stated in so many apologetics sites on the internet, if you accept that there is even one error in the Bible, then you cannot trust any of it, and if that happens, then Jesus ceases to be your personal Saviour.
But on this score, I would like to ask one question. Do you have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ the Lord? Do you have a personal relationship with your spouse? If you discovered that something that you believed about your spouse was not in fact so, would your spouse cease to exist? Would your relationship have just been imaginary (lacking reality)?
If you have a personal relationship with God, is it possible for God to cease to exist for any reason? How can God cease to exist, or Jesus not be real, just because your perception of your relationship has changed. In other words, if the Bible ceases to be, does God cease to be? Is your faith in a book, or in the living God?
Is not Jesus the 'Word of God'? Is he not the sole center of your adoration and worship? Is it not he with whom you have a relationship? While many things might interfere with or rob you of your desire to have relationship with him, how can anything dissolve him into nothing? How can he cease to be?
I don't care if anyone believes in my research or not. My work is finished. But I am amazed at how many people 'worship' the book. 'The Word of God, The Word of God,' I hear fundamentalists preach from street corners, and my question is, 'which word of God.'
Does the New Testament say, 'The Bible will lead you into all truth?,' or does it say, 'The Holy Spirit will lead you into all truth.' Does the Bible say that it witnesses of him, or is it the Spirit of God who witnesses of him.
Does the Bible say that you can know 'about' God, or does it say that you can 'know God.' Does it say that you are 'co-heirs with the Bible' or co-heirs with Christ? Does it say that you must be daily transformed into the image of the Bible? Or the Image of Christ?
I can just hear the thoughts of many of you as you leap to the defense of the 'Holy' Bible. But let me ask you this, is salvation wrought by 'faith in the Bible' or 'faith in Christ?' Do you know Christ as Lord, or the Bible as Lord?
Let me ask you one final question: if 'Being wholly and verbally God-given, Scripture is without error or fault in all its teaching..,' why then do men tell you that you will be led into error if you study the Bible on your own? Why is it that if you do not study under your church's guidance, you will fall into wrong doctrine and the devil will gain control of your life?
Is God such an inept writer and teacher that his 'verbally given' word can lead you into error? Think about it!
As for me, God was and is and will always be, no matter what anyone says, does or believes, and he has never ceased from his activity within his creation, be it in the world, the galaxy, the universe or mankind.
I worship no man, no book, no church, no doctrine and no theology, and nor do I make any of them more important than my daily gratitude to and conversation with the Master of the Universe.
"Tell me Oh Man what is good, and what does the Lord require of thee,
but to do justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with thy God."
General formula for Biblical Data conversion:
The formula for constructing the artificial calendar was:
'X' times 364 equals 'Y' days
'Y' days divided by 336 equals 'Z' artificial years.
'X' = any given number of 'real/solar' years
364 = perceived days in the sectarian calendar
'Y' = number of days calculated
336 = number of days in an artificial year
'Z' = artificial years = 1.083'X' and represents the original number of the converted years plus 8%.
To reverse the process by hand:
'Z' years times 336 equals 'Y' divided by 364 equals the Number of 'X' years converted.
To see how effective this method is, SEE:Appendix 5:Diagrammatic Reconstruction of Israelite History from 936 to 586 BCE:
Since 2004 he has been writing academic articles, social commentaries and photographic 'Stories from China' both here at KingsCalendar, and formerly as a contributing columnist at Magic City Morning Star News (Maine USA) where from 2009 to 2015 he was Stand-in Editor. He currently has a column at iPatriot.com and teaches English to Business English and Flight Attendant College Students in Suzhou City Jiangsu Province People's Republic of China.)
BenDedek originally created the site to publicize his research results into the Chronology of Ancient Israel. Those results were published under the title: 'The King's Calendar: The Secret of Qumran.' Whilst there have been many attempts to solve the chronological riddle of the Bible's synchronisms of reigns of the kings of Israel and Judah and their synchronism with other Ancient Near Eastern Nations, no other research is based on a simple mathematical formula which could, if it is incorrect, be disproved easily. To date, no one has been able to dismiss the mathematical results of this research.
Free to air Academic articles set forth Apologetics for and results of his discovery of an "artificial chronological scheme" running through the Bible, Josephus, the Damascus Documents of the Dead Sea Scrolls, and Seder Olam Rabbah. Check the Chapter Precis Page to see details of each chapter and to gain access to the Four Free to Air Chapters
(The Download book does not contain a section on Seder Olam)
Definition: King's Calendar Chronological Research
The Premise: Between the 5th and 3rd centuries BCE (but continuing down to at least 104 BCE), Sectarian redactors transcribed the legitimate 'solar year' chronological records of Israel and Judah, into an artificial form, with listed years as each comprised of 12 months of 4 weeks of 7 days, or 336 days per year, thus creating a 13th artificial year where 12 solar years existed.
When the Synchronous Chronological Data provided in the Books of Kings and Chronicles for the Divided Kingdom Period are measured in years of 336 days, the synchronisms actually align. [Refer to Appendix 5. to see how it synchronises the Divided Kingdom Period]
In Defense of God: Theological Newsletter: by R.P. BenDedek | 2 comments | Sign Up
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In Defense of God
Written on 12/28/04 at 09:41:50 AEST by Anonymous
Very good. Encouraging and uplifting. God is God and I am so glad. I don't have your knowledge but we are one in faith. Thank you.
I study with those at my church because I am at worst of a carnal nature and at best spiritual. The carnal is like raw hamburger and you can form it but it doesn't live again. The spirit soars at times and other times cries out.
There is no point in calling for a defense of God. Who and in what strength of their own could do this? Better we share what we know to be true of God. In some ways I am a coward. I meet hurting people and have so much respect for their thought of me I fail to share a completely loving and trustworthy God with them. Boldness melts and flows away.