In 1992 during a period of unemployment, I decided to fill in my spare time, by doing a private study of the Monarchal History of Ancient Israel. Within a very short time, I became frustrated with the lack of conformity in chronological placements of various reigns, and so set about to construct a time line of my own, based upon the chronological synchronisms provided in the Biblical narratives.
From this venture, I was to learn the awful truth, that the historical documents of the Bible were completely untrustworthy. This however did not sit well with what I had been brought up to believe in relation to the Divine inspiration of Scripture. I was forced to wonder if G-d had not stuffed up somewhere along the line, or perhaps that his 'servants' were totally unskilled. Worse perhaps, was the realisation that if one could not trust the mundane historical records, then one could surely not trust the more ethereal, spiritual, intangible or supernatural elements contained therein. And so it was that I embarked upon a journey (now in its tenth year), of trying to find the answer to these most perplexing problems.
The very first determination I made, was to accept as truth, all contradictions. That is to say, to accept that 'contradictions' are only 'apparent' not 'real'. To accept this anomaly, is to accept that two contradictory testimonies, may both in fact be correct. As a former policeman, I frequently encountered this 'testimonial' phenomenon.
To accept this in relation to chronological data however, required the premise that those providing testimony, did so from differing chronological realities. Thus began my search for the true value of the Biblical chronological data.
About fifteen months later, I made a rather ignorant mistake, which was to have profound effects. Too embarrassed here to reveal the process, I will say that I experimented with the concept that the biblical 'year' consisted of twelve months of twenty-eight days. I spent about six months hand calculating the necessary reconstruction, and was amazed to discover how many chronological problems disappeared.
My next step was to organise a computer generated calendar which had as its starting point, the year 934 BCE. as the commencement of the divided kingdom. That particular year (934 BCE) was chosen at random from a variety of options, and the calendar was commenced from July 1st.
Presenting my findings to Mr. Piers Crocker, then the director of the Melbourne Institute of Archaeology, I was highly encouraged to continue, and sensitively advised that one cannot merely 'claim' that one is right, or that everyone else is wrong, but must prove not only that they are right, but opposing views are wrong. With these parameters in mind, I set out to learn everything I could about the issues involved.
During the next 3 years, I was conscious of two points in particular. Firstly, I had no understanding of the origins or purpose of this artificial construct. Secondly, in accepting that it was artificial, I had no clue as to when it had been introduced, or what point in history had been used to launch it. Nevertheless I continued to research, and constantly work on those areas at variance with currently accepted history.
My first real clue to the artificial constructs origins occurred by chance in 1996, when I happened across a reference to the 'Damascus Document' of the Dead Sea Scrolls, and its' reference to the 'Age of Wrath' (a 390 year period of Judgement, and a twenty year period of 'groping', waiting for the Teacher of Righteousness). For no particular reason, I checked these chronological datum against the 'King's Calendar' to see how they fitted. I was amazed! They appeared to identify Onias III as the Teacher of Righteousness.
This then became my first clue to the source of the artificial calendar. It also resulted in a re-examination of Josephus' chronological data, upon which I had previously given up in despair. I was able to reasonably conclude three points from these examinations. Firstly, that the 336 day (12 months x 4 weeks x 7 days) artificial construct was a very simple method of extending history, given that the solar year was accepted as being 364 days in duration, or 13 months x 4 weeks x 7 days. Secondly; that the practice of transcribing chronological history into an artificial construct continued until at least 104 BCE. (This determined by reason of the artificial nature of Josephus' reference to a period of 471 years elapsing between Cyrus and Aristobolus); and thirdly; that the bulk of the transcription from true history into an artificial construct, was completed by the 3rd century BCE. (This determined by reason of the discrepancies between the Masorete and Septuagint translations of Scripture).
Having thus far reasonably assumed who instigated the change, and having determined that it principally occurred between the time of Nehemiah's compilation of the books, in the 5th Century BCE. and the compilation of the Septuagint in the 3rd Century BCE., it was still left to me to determine the historical chronological date used to commence the artificial construct. Furthermore, I was already aware that when that was determined, I was faced with not only marrying the 336 day calendar with the 364 day one, but both needed to be married to the true 365.25 day solar year.
What follows in this book, is the result, not the process of ten years research and mathematical experimentation. It has been written as best I can, and it is hoped that it will prove inspirational to all.