The Septuagint derives its name (derived from Latin septuaginta, 70, hence the abbreviation LXX) from a legendary account in the Letter of Aristeas of how seventy-two Jewish scholars (six scribes from each of the twelve tribes) were asked by the Egyptian pharaoh Ptolemy II Philadelphus in the 3rd century BC to translate the Torah for inclusion in the Library of Alexandria. The Greek version, known as the Septuagint, welcomed by the Alexandrian Jews, spread quickly throughout the countries in which Greek was spoken; it was utilized by different writers, and supplanted the original text in liturgical services. The other books of the Old Testement were not translated until later in time. Our current Bibles are based on the Masorah and the text we follow therein "was already fixed, at the latest, about 200 B.C. and perhaps a century earlier"
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One of the constant refrains that the religious hear from the irreligious, is that the Bible can't be trusted because different Bibles disagree with each other. The most glaring examples of disagreements are the chronological differences. Such arguments of course find their foundation firstly in a concept that the Bible is supposed to be infallible. [The concept of Infallibility comes from the declaration to King James that the work of the translators was 'infallible' in that they had translated exactly and correctly.]
This particular concept becomes the basis for all attacks against the Bible, and derives from a misguided and relatively recent doctrine, foisted on the world by some fundamentalist Christian organisations. [ Refer: Theological Newsletter - In Defense of God]
But in answer to the issue of differences between different translations, I will only say, that at various times (in the last 2200 years), various scholars, recognising chronological variances in the texts extant at those particular times, have attempted to sort out the problems. In this particular article, the discussion is limited to the issue of chronological differences between the Septuagint and the Received text, (often called the Masorete).
Defining Septuagint and Masorete:
What is the Septuagint? (sometimes abbreviated LXX) - It is the name given to the Greek translation of the Jewish Scriptures. The Septuagint has its origin in Alexandria, Egypt and was translated between 300-200 BC.
Masorete: A noun : Masorete, Massorete, Masorite : a scholar who is expert on the Masorah (especially one of the Jewish scribes who contributed to the Masorah) Masorah: A noun : Masorah, Masora :a vast body of textual criticism of the Hebrew Scriptures including notes on features of writing and on the occurrence of certain words and on variant sources and instructions for pronunciation and other comments that were written between AD 600 and 900.
Our current Bibles are based on the Masorah and the text we follow therein "was already fixed, at the latest, about 200 B.C. and perhaps a century earlier"
Defining the purpose of the Septuagint.
The Septuagint derives its name (derived from Latin septuaginta, 70, hence the abbreviation LXX) from a legendary account in the Letter of Aristeas of how seventy-two Jewish scholars (six scribes from each of the twelve tribes) were asked by the Egyptian pharaoh Ptolemy II Philadelphus in the 3rd century BC to translate the Torah for inclusion in the Library of Alexandria.
The Greek version, known as the Septuagint, welcomed by the Alexandrian Jews, spread quickly throughout the countries in which Greek was spoken; it was utilized by different writers, and supplanted the original text in liturgical services.
Note: The Septuagint (as stated already) was commissioned as a translation of the Torah (Penteteuch). The other books of the Old Testement were not translated until later in time. See: The Septuagint Online
As noted above, the Septuagint translation of the Hebrew and Aramaic texts was accomplished in the 3rd Century BCE. While there are some textual differences that derive from the translation process from one language and culture form to another, the major difference is to be found in the chronological 'errors.' For example, According to the authorised version, 1 King's 6:1, tells us that Solomon's 4th year is the 480th year since the Israelites came out of the land of Egypt. The Septuagint however tells us that it is the 440 th. Year. (1 kings 6:1 - The 480 years.)
The usual explanation for this contradiction is that the Septuagint records only the years since entry into Canaan while the authorised version includes the Forty (40) years in the wilderness, and thus is a reference to the exodus itself.
This sounds logical, but does not explain why neither one clarifies their intended parameters for their chronological reference. This same view was expressed in the Seder Olam Rabbah [Earliest post-exilic chronicle preserved in the Hebrew language.
The King's Calendar:
The King's Calendar Chronology of Israel, works backward from 586 BCE, and determines Solomon's First year to have commenced in 973 BCE. Measuring years 'artificially,' the King's Calendar calculates Solomon's 4th year to commence in April 970 BCE. It is The King's Calendar Premise:
Left column numbers 409- 420 are the Line numbers on the 'King's Calendar' which make for easier mathematical calculations.
[The 'King's Calendar,' unlike 'popular opinion,' proceeds through history via a mathematical artificial construct which cannot be arbitrarily adjusted to compensate for difficulties encountered. It is either correct or it is not. Unlike archaeology and ancient history, it cannot be adjusted and re-adjusted to suit changing opinions. For a specific article on 1 King's 6:1 - The 480 years:
The 480 years of 1 Kings:6.1
Working backwards from the date established for Solomon's 4th year, a series of Biblical events can be established which remain consistent when synchronised with the whole body of Biblical and extra Biblical chronological material. From this it is determined that the King's Calendar application is correct.
HOWEVER, the whole methodology of the King's Calendar, demonstrates two unusual situations in relation to the discrepancies between the Septuagint and the Masorete at this particular point.
1. The 480 (artificial) King's Calendar years of 1 Kings 6:1
While it is said the Septuagint at 1 Kings 6:1 implies that 440 years applies to the time since the Israelites entered Canaan and that the Masorete at 1 Kings 6:1 includes the 40 years Wandering in the Wilderness, The King's Calendar indicates that the latter is not correct. Since the King's Calendar interprets years to be artificially comprised of 336 days duration (12 months x 4 mths x 7 days) , when one calculates 480 artificial years back from Solomon's 4th year (970 BCE) one arrives at 1412 BCE, which is 442/443 Solar years.
This fact tells us two things; firstly that both the Masorete and the Septuagint are Correct at 1 Kings 6:1 in stating that there are 480 (artificial) and 440 (solar) years between Entry into Canaan and Solomon's 4th year; and secondly, that it indicates a lack of 'absolute' precision.
2. Why the lack of Precision?
From a study of chronological discrepancies between the Septuagint and the Received Text (The Masoretic Text), the King's Calendar has determined, that the Septuagint's discrepancies are, unlike the Received Text chronologies, recorded in actual Solar years.
While there are exactly 480 artificial years (Received Text) between these two events, there are not exactly 440 solar years (Septuagint).
However, it is worth noting, that while both synchronise their chronologies with Solomon's 4th year, the Septuagint does not exactly read the same as the Received Text (Masorete – Authorised Version), which reads; 1 Kings 6:1 "And it came to pass in the four hundred and eightieth year after the children of Israel were come out of the land of Egypt, in the fourth year of Solomon's reign over Israel, in the month Ziv, which is the second month, that he began to build the house of the LORD."
In the Septuagint, there is a duplication of reference to Solomon's 4th year.
And it came to pass in the four hundred and fortieth year after the departure of the children of Israel out of Egypt, in the fourth year and second month of the reign of King Solomon over Israel, that the king commanded that they should take great and costly stones for the foundation of the house, and hewn stones. And the men of Solomon, and the men of Hiram hewed the stones, and laid them for a foundation. In the fourth year he laid the foundation of the house of the Lord, in the month of Ziv, in the second month. In the eleventh year, in the eighth month, the house was completed according to all its plan, and according to all its arrangement.
Since by virtue of the fact that it contains artificial chronologies, we know that the original documents (Masoretic) were altered, we might safely assume that the original textual reference points were also altered.
It is feasible to conclude that the original documents at 1 Kings 6:1 recorded there to be 440 SOLAR years between the Entry into Canaan and Solomon's FIRST year.
According to the King's Calendar calculations, the Israelites passed into Canaan in the artificial year commencing February 1412 BCE. Solomon's first artificial year commenced July 10th 973 BCE. From this perspective (given Regnal calculations) it is highly probably that there was a record that indicated that 440 solar years after Entry into Canaan, Solomon became King.
When the artificial construct was introduced however, 440 solar years only converted into 476 artificial years. Adjusting the parameters "From Entry into Canaan until Solomon's 4th year" however, the 480 artificial years of the Masoretic text fits in very neatly.
It is quite likely that the original verse in the Septuagint said: 1Kings 6:1 And it came to pass in the four hundred and fortieth year after the departure of the children of Israel out of Egypt, in the first year of the reign of King Solomon over Israel, that the king commanded that they should take great and costly stones for the foundation of the house, and hewn stones......... In the fourth year he laid the foundation of the house of the Lord, in the month of Ziv, in the second month. In the eleventh year, in the eighth month, the house was completed according to all its plan, and according to all its arrangement.
Playing with History
The Premise of 'The King's Calendar:The Secret of Qumran," is that the Jubilee Calendar of the Essenes which measured 364 days per year, was the foundation upon which an 'artificial sectarian calendar' was founded.
It artificially divided the 'perceived' 364 days per year into thirteen months (13) of four (4) weeks of seven (7) days, and then 'carried over' the 13th month (so to speak), so that every twelve (12) solar years, an extra year (13th) was created.
By this process, real Jewish history was extended. Biblical Synchronisms from this perspective then, do actually synchronise, and the 'King's Calendar' demonstrates this. KingsCalendar Concise Introduction
The mere fact that the 'King's Calendar,' introduces a mathematical computer generated artificial construct, is enough to earn the scorn of many people, and yet the fact is, that no one has yet determined how the Biblical Chronologies fit together. Many commentators over the Millenia have tried to sort out the problems. Refer: Seder Olam Rabbah, Solomon's Temple, & Zerrubabel.
But the rejection of the 'King's Calendar' concept of the introduction of an artificial calendar into the Hebrew (Masoretic) 'writings' (they were not yet at that time the now famous 'BIBLE'), 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.
For example, in ("Parshat Terumah - (1 Kings 5:26-6:13) Feb. 12, 2005" - no longer current online discussion) in refering to Abrabanel and his reference to Seder Olam Rabbah (Chapter 15), it is stated that; "Abrabanel saw in this verse's manner of expressing time an opportunity to teach about divine providence and history. He felt that God expressed Himself in history by making events happen in symmetrical patterns of time."
This article goes on to say that: ."..the sages put great emphasis on how time is organized and defined. Their search to lend significance to time sent them to Biblical stories for authenticity. By linking the sacred history of the Bible with the continuity of time, every moment became something to cherish."
Now while this may apply to students of the Bible since it became the Bible, there is sufficient academic suggestion, that prior to the canonisation of the Bible, the same thing was going on.
The following references provide sufficient indication that the 'King's Calendar' is not alone in its contention.
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.
Refer Page 172 on the community's rewriting of scriptural portions
Refer Page 199 clarifying confusing chronology concerning Sinai Refer Pages 119 & 125 on the 'pesher' approach to biblical interpretations.'
Robinson T.H. (1932) A History Of Israel. Vol I From the Exodus to the Fall of Jerusalem, 586 B.C. Clarendon Press.
Refer Page 19, discusses at length the 'fictitious scheme' of Old Testament chronology. His argument is designed to demonstrate the complete untrustworthiness of that chronology. The whole point of the 'King's Calendar' is that this chronology is indeed 'fictitious' in that it is artifically manipulated. This does not mean however that it is WRONG.
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.
Refer Page 44 in relation to 'ciphers.' He suggests that the Chasidim may have influenced the Biblical texts more than we might appreciate, and that the Qumran scribes were expert at playing didactic games with ciphers.
Despite the insistence of some groups whose religious faith depends on the infallibility of each and every (translated into English) word of a series of ancient historical books, the reality is that the Old Testament, contains a series of books that were edited, collated and reorganised many times before they became 'set in stone' to be used by people 2000 years later as proof of God's existence & justification for their personal faith. [Both God and my faith exist with or without proof.]
The ancient writings, which revealed HaShem's (God's) ongoing process of calling out Israel, were constantly at the mercy of mortal men. The King's Calendar assertion, is that one particular group, transliterated the chronological material into an artificial calendar.
While there is plenty of evidence of the existence of the original material that was transliterated, there are not now in existence, any masoretic copies containing the original chronological information.
Where the Septuagint differs chronologically from the Masorete, it does so because it's references are provided in the original Solar year chronological reality.
This does not make the Bible unreliable. The fact that the chronological material was altered, does not rebutt HaShem's existence, or his ongoing personal involvement in the history of Humankind.
The ongoing process to discover the 'chronological' truth of the History of Israel, is nothing more than a search for 'the original material.'
Technical Articles to Understand the KingsCalendar Research
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]