“The Second Battle of Jericho” Research Project
An important field of Biblical studies is the Israelite Conquest of Canaan. Dr. Bryant Wood, Director of Research for Associates for Biblical Research, has reexamined and reevaluated the excavated evidence from Jericho to better correlate that data with the Biblical story of Joshua's conquest as contained in the inspired Scriptures of the Old Testament (Joshua 6).
“The Third Battle for Ai - The Bethel / Ai Project”
Central to the Associates for Biblical Research's work on the Israelite Conquest of Canaan is the Bethel/Ai Project. A major scholarly battle has developed over the identification of the Biblical city of Bethel, an important city in Old testament times, and Ai, the second city captured by the Israelites after they crossed the Jordan River. Dr. David Livingston, founder and former director of the Associates for Biblical Research, has pioneered research in this area. The Bethel / Ai Project provides sponsorship, oversight and publication of research and field work related to the ongoing effort to identify the location of the Biblical cities of Bethel and Ai.
The Mount Sinai Research Project
Surprisingly, the location of Mt. Sinai, one of the most significant places in the Bible, is not known with any degree of certainty. Over the years some two dozen sites have been proposed, none of which meets the Biblical requirements. Dr. Bryant Wood and Gary Byers are heading up research to re-evaluate the Biblical and historical evidence in order to identify the location of one of the most important mountains in the world.
The Genesis 5 and 11 Genealogy and Chronology Research Project
Project Goal: To determine if Genesis 5 and 11 and other directly relevant biblical texts yield a calculable chronology. If such a chronology can be constructed, a main goal of the project will then be to establish a B.C. date for the Flood, and a chronology for the time period between the Flood and Abraham (Genesis 11:10-32). These dates can then be correlated with historically grounded, non carbon-14 based, archaeological data from this time period, serving an important apologetic purpose.
Project Description: Although this subject has never been an area of focus for our research staff, ABR has always affirmed the historicity of the Genesis 5 and 11 patriarchs. The general view of the ABR staff has historically been that there was some fluidity (gaps) in the genealogical data from Genesis 5 and 11, but the data could not be understood to date the Flood beyond 4000 or 5000 BC at most. The general tenets of this view can be found in the appendix of The Genesis Flood, by Whitcomb and Morris, and the seminal article, Primeval Chronology, published by William Henry Green of Princeton Seminary in 1890. Based mainly on archaeological considerations, ABR founder Dr. David Livingston placed the Flood around 3000 B.C. We have concluded from initial investigations that the fluidity view (gaps in the genealogies) is exegetically and hermeneutically untenable, and that the arguments offered in favor of chronological gaps in Gen 5 and 11 are inadequate, and need to be revisited. This project aims to include:
a. A full text-critical investigation of the Genesis 5 and 11 data in the Masoretic Text, the Septuagint, and the Samaritan Pentateuch. All three of these ancient witnesses have divergent numbers in the genealogies of both Genesis 5 and 11. Most of the divergences cannot be explained by accidental scribal errors. The texts have been deliberately changed. Part of our research will endeavor to propose potential reasons the texts were deliberately altered. These numerical divergences go back to at least 2nd century AD. Liberal-critical scholars believe that the divergences present an intractable problem for those who hold a high view of Scripture, and the chronological/textual matrix cannot be coherently reconstructed. This project would challenge that perspective.
b. A text-critical investigation into the veracity of Kainan/m in Luke 3:36 and Genesis 11:12.
c. A study of the relevant extra-biblical references to the numbers in Genesis 5 and 11 in ancient Jewish writings and the early Church Fathers. In particular, the references in Flavius Josephus will be examined, since his works present one of the earliest extra-biblical witnesses to the Gen 5 and 11.
d. The bearing, if any, of extra-biblical (especially ANE) genealogies and chronologies on our interpretation of Genesis 5 and 11.
e. Based on preliminary investigations, an acceptance of the matching SP/LXX siring ages of each patriarch as the original text of Genesis 11 would put the Flood somewhere between 3150 to 3300 BC (depending on the exclusion/inclusion of Kainan as original). The siring age is the key number for calculating the chronology of this era. This would, preliminarily, be the outer possible range for the date of the Flood.
f. If solid biblical dates can be established for the pre-Abrahamic era, important archaeological discoveries from this time period will be discussed, such as the Tower of Babel (Genesis 11:1-9.
g. We will attempt to publish articles in non-ABR journals and publications for the purpose of exposing ABR to other constituencies and to advance the viability of our research. Articles will also be (re)published on our website and in Bible and Spade.
Research Articles: Sexton, Jeremy. "Who Was Born When Enosh Was 90?: A Semantic Reevaluation of William Henry Green's Chronological Gaps." The Westminster Theological Journal 77, no. 2 (September 2015): 193-218.
Sexton, Jeremy and Henry B. Smith Jr. "Primeval Chronology Restored: Revisiting the Genealogies of Genesis 5 and 11." Bible and Spade, 29, no. 2 (Spring/Summer 2016): forthcoming.