From Adam to Abraham: An Update on the Genesis 5 and 11 Research Project

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Excerpt The goal of this article is to update the ABR community of supporters and other interested readers on the present state of the Genesis 5 and 11 Research Project. The project officially began in 2016 (with its unofficial roots extending back to 2010). The research has produced substantial fruit, and as a result, ABR is pleased to announce plans to publish our first book, tentatively titled, "From Adam to Abraham: The Case for the Septuagint’s Chronology in Genesis 5 and 11." This update will survey the goals of the project, describe new developments and the present direction of our research, answer some questions we have received about Genesis 5 and 11 from supporters, and briefly outline plans for publication(s). Continue reading

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Project Goal: The Genesis 5 and 11 Genealogy and Chronology Research Project

To determine if Genesis 5 and 11 and other directly relevant biblical texts yield a calculable chronology of human history from Adam to Abraham. If such a chronology can be constructed, a main goal of the project will then be to establish a BC date for the creation of Adam, the Flood, and a biblical 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.


Background

For over 2200 years, Christian scholars and their Jewish predecessors interpreted the genealogies of Genesis 5 and 11 as yielding a continuous chronology of human history from Adam to Abraham. Up until the Reformation, a solid majority within the Church believed the Greek Septuagint (LXX) preserved most of the original numerical figures in Genesis 5 and 11. During the Reformation, the Hebrew Masoretic Text (MT) supplanted the primacy of the LXX in the Western church, and thus, a chronological interpretation of Genesis 5 and 11 using the MT’s numbers became the majority viewpoint. In 1890, the chronological interpretation was challenged by a seminal article by William H. Green of Princeton, “Primeval Chronology,” whose non-chronological interpretation eventually ascended to a position of primacy in conservative OT scholarship. Since then, evangelical OT scholars have primarily followed Green’s arguments and have interpreted archaeological discoveries dated prior to Abraham with the assumption that Genesis 5 and 11 do not yield a chronology of pre-Abrahamic history (i.e. that the genealogies contain chronological gaps). This is particularly the case for the post-Flood epoch from Shem to Abraham. The goal of this research project has been to revisit the question of primeval chronology and the prevailing non-chronological interpretation of Genesis 5 and 11. There are two major areas of investigation:

1. Interpretation

A grammatical, syntactical and literary-structural analysis of Genesis 5 and 11, which entails a close examination of the directly relevant Hebrew and Greek texts. From Adam to Abraham (FATA) will extensively engage with the biblical text and critically evaluate the claim that Genesis 5 and 11 should be interpreted non-chronologically. This includes:

a. We will first establish a hermeneutical foundation that prioritizes the biblical text over and above other competing authority structures. These authorities include outside sources such as Ancient Near East mythologies and texts, modern scientific knowledge claims, secret mathematical formulae of various kinds, and other non-biblical hermeneutical constructs. In most cases, we have found these external sources lead to interpretations that are foreign to sound exegetical principles, the internal testimony of Scripture itself, biblical and systematic theology, and the Reformation principles of the clarity and sufficiency of Scripture. In particular, we will examine the problematic claim that the begetting ages and lifespans of the Genesis 5 and 11 patriarchs require modern knowledge to be interpreted correctly.

b. Our research has led us to conclude that the non-chronological interpretation (NCI) of Genesis 5 and 11 advanced by Green and modern conservative scholars is fatally flawed. The NCI arguments are characterized by numerous exegetical and hermeneutical fallacies, which are pervasive in the conservative literature. Most of these fallacies appear to have their origin in Green’s article from 1890, with a few modern innovations that collapse under the weight of scrutiny. FATA will present extensive arguments from the biblical texts that Genesis 5 and 11 is intended to be interpreted (in part) as yielding a chronology from Adam to Abraham.

c. Pastor Jeremy Sexton published an article in the Fall 2015 issue of The Westminster Theological Journal which demonstrates the insurmountable semantic and exegetical problems with the non-chronological interpretation of Genesis 5 and 11. We reached out to Pastor Sexton in March 2016, and his article has been republished here on the ABR website: "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. [Thanks to the WTJ Editor, Dr. Vern Poythress, for allowing ABR to republish Jeremy’s article on the ABR website]. In that article, Jeremy also presented arguments in favor of the LXX’s primeval chronology.

As a result of this new relationship, Pastor Sexton and I collaborated to publish an article in ABR’s own Bible and Spade magazine: "Primeval Chronology Restored: Revisiting the Genealogies of Genesis 5 and 11," Bible and Spade 29, no. 2 (Spring/Summer 2016): 42-49. This article provides a summary of the arguments Jeremy laid out in his WTJ article, with some additions and expansions.

2. Textual Reconstruction

The NCI effectively halted any serious discussion among conservative scholars on the numerical divergences in the three main textual witnesses of Genesis 5 and 11 (MT, LXX, and Samaritan Pentateuch [SP]). Most evangelicals have lost all interest in the text-critical issues related to the begetting ages, remaining years, and lifespans, and have simply accepted the figures in the MT. Those who do discuss the textual differences tend to repeat superficial arguments in favor of the MT. However, "Primeval Chronology Restored" and "Who Was Born When Enosh was 90?" challenge this assumption, proposing that the Septuagint is the preserver of (most of) the original numbers given to Moses in Genesis 5 and 11.

FATA will closely examine the numerical divergences found in the three main witnesses of Genesis 5 and 11 (see Table 1). FATA will also extensively investigate external sources from antiquity that cite the numbers found in Genesis 5 and 11. We will propose a framework for textual reconstruction and outline a chronology primarily based on the LXX’s begetting ages from Adam to Abraham. This includes:

a. Proposing a comprehensive theory to explain the wholesale and deliberate alteration of the chronological texts. This is vital to textual reconstruction. In a rare moment of unanimous agreement, there is actually a scholarly consensus that the begetting ages have been purposefully inflated or deflated to change the overall chronological calculations.

The million-dollar question is: WHO DUNNIT?

There are only two legitimate historical choices: it was either the Alexandrian Jews who translated the LXX Pentateuch in Egypt in 281 BC (the LXX “inflation” theory), or the second century AD rabbis in Israel. We encourage you to read "Primeval Chronology Restored" and "Who Was Born When Enosh was 90?" to understand why it cannot be the Alexandrian translators, and why the rabbis had strong motive, unique means, and rare opportunity to deliberately reduce the primeval chronology on the order of about 1250 years. We submit that only the rabbis could have gotten away with such an egregious and large-scale manipulation of the biblical texts in the proto-MT textual tradition. We will also examine the antediluvian chronology in the Book of Jubilees, its close affinities with Genesis 5 in the Samaritan Pentateuch, and then propose how (many of) the figures in Genesis 5 SP originated.

b. We will closely examine the LXX “inflation” theory in FATA, and demonstrate both its inadequate explanatory power and lack of sufficient evidence. (It appears to be a 19th century AD innovation). FATA will also evaluate the originality of Kainan in Genesis 11 and Luke 3:36. Methuselah’s begetting age (187/167) in manuscripts of the LXX and other witnesses will also be examined.

Questions Received

ABR friends and supporters have asked a number of great questions about this project. Here are some important highlights thus far:

Q1: [In your previous email] you mentioned “the case for the originality of the Septuagint’s primeval chronology”. My problem is this: I believe in the inerrancy of the original manuscripts, but that implies that we essentially have the original manuscripts, apart from minor variations that don’t affect meaning. I have always believed, as do most, that the Masoretic Text is essentially that manuscript for the O.T. The Septuagint is not an original manuscript, but a translation from the Hebrew, but with significant variation from all known Hebrew texts, as I understand. Does any existing Hebrew manuscript have the numbers as the Septuagint? For this reason, I find the arguments against the Septuagint representing the inerrant text to be solid.

A1: My view is certainly that our Lord has preserved His Word and watched over it to ensure its preservation over the millennia. Preservation of His Word is promised in numerous places throughout Scripture itself. That being said, He has not promised that such preservation would occur through only one textual tradition or group of people. Such a concept is not found in Scripture itself. In the case of the MT, we have many good reasons to say that it is very dependable. Overall, the Jews demonstrated a high respect and view of Scripture, and faithfully preserved it. A number of meticulous methods to preserve it were clearly in place even before the Masoretes (600-900 AD) implemented their rigorous system of copying, and the addition of vowels, cantillation marks, etc. However, the MT has suffered accidental corruption in some places, and correct readings have been preserved elsewhere. For example, the MT of 1 Samuel has undoubtedly suffered some quite severe textual corruption, a fact universally acknowledged by scholars of various persuasions. In the MT, Saul ascends to the throne at the age of two. (Josephus actually preserves the right figure). The LXX preserved a good deal of the text that had been lost in the MT, and this was confirmed by scrolls of 1 Samuel found amongst the Dead Sea Scrolls. But even before the discovery of the DSS, it was clear the MT was wrong and the LXX was correct in this instance. Genesis 4:8 in the MT is another example, where the statement by Cain, “Let us go out into the field,” has completely dropped out of the MT, but is preserved in the LXX, SP and other witnesses. I mention these examples simply to illustrate that each textual situation must be evaluated on its own merits, and that the MT is sometimes wrong. A vast majority of the original, inspired text has been preserved in the MT textual tradition, but in individual cases, the original text has been preserved elsewhere.

Gen 5 and 11 present an unusual problem, as it is universally acknowledged that many of the begetting ages and remaining year numbers have been deliberately altered by scribes (the SP also deliberately altered several lifespans in Genesis 5). The large-scale differences cannot be explained by variations in translation techniques or accidental scribal errors (though there are some accidental errors in the LXX and MT as well). In particular, the begetting ages and remaining years differ by 100 years in the MT, LXX and SP in a variety of ways. They have been deliberately changed.

In this way, Genesis 5 and 11 are unique, and therefore, the general rule that the MT most likely preserves the original numbers simply does not, and cannot, apply.

Q2: I am intrigued by the article on the Genesis 5 and 11 chronologies in the Spring/Summer 2016 Bible and Spade, by Jeremy Sexton and Henry Smith. I did not see any reference in the article though to comparisons with the Genesis fragments found in the Dead Sea Scrolls. Has a comparison been done against them? If your thesis is correct, the Dead Sea Scrolls should line up better with the Septuagint.

A2: No fragments or manuscripts of Genesis 5 and 11 with the numbers were found in the Dead Sea caves, so there is no evidence from those discoveries to directly help us in that regard. One tiny fragment was found, interestingly, with only the name ‘Kenan”. It is unknown if this is from Genesis 5 or the (in)famous Kainan in the LXX of Genesis 11 (Luke 3:36).

The best external evidence we have that corroborates the longer chronology found in the LXX are from four sources that pre-date the second century AD: Demetrius (Greek, third century BC), Eupolemus (Hebrew/Greek, second century BC), Liber Antiquitatum Biblicarum (LAB, Hebrew-based, first century AD), and Josephus (Hebrew-based, first century AD).

Further, there are no reliable, external historical witnesses prior to Eusebius in the early fourth century AD that even cite the shorter and complete primeval chronology found in the MT (Eusebius cited the MT’s numbers, but rejected them as having been deliberately changed by the rabbis). Jerome (late fourth century AD) appears to be the first ancient author outside of rabbinic circles to even accept the MT’s shorter primeval chronology as valid.

The MT’s complete primeval chronology is first found in the Seder Olam Rabbah (ca. AD 150), a corrupted chronology of world history written by the very same rabbis who we argue deflated the MT’s chronology (see discussion of this in "Primeval Chronology Restored"). All scholars agree that the Seder Olam reduces postexilic history by nearly 200 years. We believe it is significant that the first historical reference to the MT's complete primeval chronology first appears in a compromised Jewish history that is known for reducing its chronology. These chronological reductions are explicitly related to the time and coming of the Messiah. Thus, we believe the external witness of the Seder Olam as it relates to Genesis 5 and 11 is completely biased.

Q3: As a general statement, the numbers in the three witnesses of Genesis 5 and 11 seem to diverge in so many places, it is probably impossible to reconstruct them. The difficulties are simply “intractable.” Some have even said the original (and now lost) chronology had multiple patriarchs living past the Flood!

A3: Liberal-critical scholars have used these difficulties to claim that the chronology is incoherent and cannot be fixed. Most of conservative OT scholarship has ignored this problem because they have adapted the non-chronological interpretation of Genesis 5 and 11, effectively relegating the numbers to irrelevance. Once this faulty interpretation is properly rejected, the need to answer this charge from critical scholarship becomes obvious.

A theory of textual reconstruction must provide an overarching explanation for the evidence. Our theory begins with the historically attested, ancient claim that the rabbis deliberately reduced the chronology by 1250 years in the proto-MT (the Genesis Hebrew text that preceded the Masoretic Text). Despite the deeply negative, millennia-long impact of this egregious violation of Deuteronomy 4:2, we see strong evidence that the three witnesses go back to a single archetype yielding an internally coherent chronology, and that the original numbers have been preserved for us today. The schemes of unbelieving men cannot thwart the promises of God.

Here are the important highlights (refer to Table 1 for the numbers):

1. The Genesis 5 lifespans are preserved in all three witnesses from Adam to Mahalalel, then Enoch. Two witnesses (LXX/MT) preserve the lifespans for Jared and Methuselah. Josephus’ Genesis Hebrew text confirms the Genesis 5 lifespans, serving as a third/fourth witness. (Lamech’s numbers are a unique and complex difficulty, and a resolution will be proposed in FATA).

2. The begetting ages in Genesis 11 LXX/SP match (save Kainan) and are affirmed by Josephus, serving together as a triple witness to the higher numbers, and hence, the longer post-Flood chronology.

3. Noah’s numbers (500, 350, 600, 601, and 950), Shem’s numbers (100 and 500), two years after the Flood, and Terah’s 70 are found in all three textual witnesses, and in numerous external sources. Terah’s lifespan of 205 matches in LXX/MT.

4. In my theory of reconstruction, I propose the remaining years of life for each patriarch in Genesis 11 were left unchanged by the rabbis, and are preserved in the MT (except for two or three accidental errors). The rabbis had no reason to change them because Genesis 11 contains no lifespans to serve as a mathematical cross check (unlike Genesis 5). The LXX readings for the remaining years match the MT when accidental scribal errors are reconstructed. Since it can be shown that the LXX/MT remaining years all matched in Genesis 11, this serves as a double witness to the original figures.

These four major areas of textual agreement serve as a strong framework for textual reconstruction of the original text. These agreements are also supported by ample external evidence.

Q4: Ok, what about the fact that the begetting ages and remaining years in the Samaritan Pentateuch of Genesis 5 match the MT from Adam to Mahalalel, and Enoch? (see Table 1). Since the SP pre-dates the MT altered by the rabbis, it shows that there was a textual tradition of these shorter begetting ages before Jesus, which negates the post-Jesus argument for “deflation” in the MT by the rabbis in the second century AD.

A4: This is a very important question! We can see how the antediluvian chronology in SP Genesis 5 has been deflated to a total (1307 years) that is even less than the MT’s (1656 years). The question is: Why?

I have developed a theory that Genesis 5 SP was corrupted by the Book of Jubilees, most likely in the second century BC. Jubilees claims to be from Moses, and was used as authoritative at Qumran. The chronology of Jubilees and SP Genesis 5 mirror each other for the pre-Flood period. Jubilees constructs an artificial chronology of OT history by imposing 50 jubilee cycles of 49 years each from Adam to the death of Moses. The year at the end of this time, Anno Mundi 2450, amount to a “jubilee of jubilees,” and terminates with Moses’ death and Joshua’s entry into Canaan. Thus, Jubilees reflects a deliberately altered chronology of OT history to make its timeline conform to jubilee cycles. In other words, the jubilee structure is imposed on the OT text, and the primeval chronology has been significantly emended to conform to the new “revelation.” In a word, the chronology of Jubilees for Genesis 5 (and 11) is “fudged.”

There is no discernable reason for the SP scribes to have reduced the chronology of the SP the way they did, except to mimic Jubilees. The testimony of church father Jerome (ca. AD 380) supports our argument. He stated that he had copies of the SP that had the higher begetting ages for Methuselah and Lamech (matching the MT), proving they had been reduced in some SP manuscripts previously. Since Jubilees was immensely popular in Second Temple Judaism, I theorize that the rabbis were aware of this construct in Jubilees and adapted the concept into their Hebrew manuscripts of Genesis 5 to reduce the pre-Flood chronology by 600 years in order to discredit Jesus as the Messiah. However, unlike Jubilees and the SP, the rabbis left Methuselah's and Lamech’s numbers alone (along with Noah’s and Shem’s) in the MT because of the various problems associated with the onset of the Flood and its chronological matrix.

In summary, I am proposing that the begetting ages in Jubilees and SP Genesis 5 are not derived from a Hebrew biblical text circulating in Israel prior to the time of Christ, but are the result of an artificial scheme invented by the author of Jubilees. This is especially evidenced in Jubilees’ recitation of Genesis 11, where the begetting ages wildly depart from any and all other witnesses (save Terah’s 70). Jubilees’ chronological system is both artificial and unreliable. Thus, the begetting ages that appear in Jubilees serve to undermine the credibility of the MT/SP wherever they agree, and where the SP/MT have no other corroborating and independent witness. I propose that the rabbis partially commandeered the chronological deflation scheme from Jubilees in Genesis 5, using the idea for their own purposes. Then, in Genesis 11, the rabbis applied their own unique 650-year chronological reduction scheme by reducing each begetting age from Arpachshad to Serug by 100 years each (and Nahor by 50 years). FATA will develop this argument in much further detail than is presented here.

Q5: What about Kainan II in Genesis 11:13b-14b and Luke 3:36?

A5: FATA will address the issue of Kainan in-depth. For now, these are some important facts with respect to Kainan: 1. Kainan’s originality in LXX Genesis 11 (ca. 281 BC) is virtually indisputable. His name appears in the following, earliest manuscripts:

Papyri 911-late third century AD
Papyri 961-fourth century AD, from the Chester Beatty Collection
Codex Alexandrinus (A) – fifth century AD
Codex Cottonianus (D) – fifth-sixth century AD
Codex Coislinianus (M) – seventh century AD
Papyri 833 - a palimpsest of Genesis written in an uncial script and dated to the eighth-ninth century AD

2. Kainan is not absent from any extant LXX manuscript of Genesis 11 until the 12th century AD (miniscule 82). He is also absent from miniscules 376 (15th century AD) and 53 (1439 AD). This evidence is so late as to render it virtually meaningless.

3. Kainan’s alleged “addition” to the LXX in Genesis 11 by the Alexandrian translators has no evidence to support it. This claim is inextricably bound to the LXX “inflation” hypothesis, which has been shown in our research to be historically and textually indefensible. This removes any viable motive for the translators to add Kainan to Genesis 11 in the LXX.

4. Kainan appears as an important figure in the eighth chapter of the Book of Jubilees (ca. 160 BC origin). He is in the main patriarchal line from Shem to Abraham, located between Arpachshad and Shelah. Jubilees’ witness must be treated with caution because of its artificial chronology and manifold elaborations beyond the biblical narrative. However, the author does not invent any new names for the main patriarchs in Genesis 5 and 11. Further, since the author’s explicit goal was to craft a jubilean structure of history, there was no reason for him to add Kainan to his chronology and thereby increase its length. There is no evidence to indicate that he invented Kainan out of thin air; rather, the author of Jubilees was using a Hebrew text with the name Kainan in it. Kainan’s independent corroboration in LXX Genesis 11 strongly supports this line of reasoning.

5. Kainan is a necessary part of the chronology of Demetrius of Alexandria’s (ca. 220 BC) calculation of 1360 years from the Flood to Jacob’s entry into Egypt. This means Kainan was in Demetrius’ LXX manuscript of Genesis 11, less than 70 years from the time of the LXX translation.

6. Kainan’s external witness in both Jubilees and Demetrius disproves the unsustainable theory that Kainan arose as a scribal error in Luke 3:36 and was subsequently interpolated back into manuscripts (Codex Alexandrinus, in particular) of LXX Genesis 11 by Christian scribes in the fourth-fifth centuries AD. His appearance in papyri 911 and 961 of Genesis 11 LXX also disproves this theory.

7. While Kainan is absent in manuscript P75 of Luke 3:36, its only corroborating textual witness is Codex Bezae (which is often considered an inferior manuscript). Kainan appears in Codex A, and other witnesses of Luke 3:36. While the value and date of P75 needs to be taken seriously, its age and Alexandrian provenance are insufficient grounds to reject Kainan’s inclusion. Other factors must also be considered. Kainan has always been considered original to Luke 3:36 in NT text-critical works such as Nestle-Aland 28.

8. Since Kainan was in LXX Genesis 11 originally, this means it was in the Hebrew Vorlage being used by the Alexandrian translators. Thus, his name would have dropped out of the Hebrew textual tradition by accident, perhaps sometime after the LXX translation in Egypt. I am working on a textual reconstruction of how this may have happened. With one slip of the eye and by writing from memory for a small section of text, Kainan could have completely been dropped out of the Hebrew text inadvertently. The textual matrix is very repetitive in Genesis 11, increasing the possibility of this kind of error.

9. Josephus was using an early first century AD Hebrew text of Genesis with the longer chronology, and he does not mention Kainan at all. LAB’s first century AD Hebrew-based text of Genesis 11 also excluded Kainan. This may mean that Kainan accidentally fell out of the Hebrew text sometime between the early third century BC and the early second century BC. It is also possible that Kainan fell out of a major Hebrew archetype much earlier, since he does not appear in both the MT and SP of Genesis 11. In this construct, his name must have been preserved in the Hebrew textual stream that eventually led to both the LXX and Jubilees. It is unlikely we can ever be certain when Kainan may have dropped out of proto-MT (and SP), but we can be virtually certain his name was included in the Hebrew Vorlage being used by the Alexandrian translators and the author of Jubilees.

10. Kainan’s witness in both LXX Genesis 10:24 and 1 Chronicles 1:18,24 is best described as mixed. The textual situation is very messy, and it is difficult to reconstruct exactly what happened in the transmissional history. This thorny problem is not evidence against Kainan’s inclusion, however, since this kind of textual uncertainty would be a natural consequence if Kainan accidentally fell out of an ancient Hebrew archetype. Later scribes and translators would be inclined to compare their manuscript(s) of the LXX to circulating Hebrew text(s) and other LXX texts, and then make changes by removing or adding Kainan (and undoubtedly seeing those changes as improvements). The knotty textual situation is exactly what one might expect from Kainan’s accidental omission from an early Hebrew archetypal manuscript.

Conversely, the only other alternative is to argue that someone invented Kainan out of thin air, added him to the Hebrew text of Genesis 11, and he only found his way into Genesis 11 LXX and Jubilees. The person adding Kainan would have somehow mysteriously neglected to add his name to Genesis 10:24 and 1 Chronicles 1:18,24 (which would have been much easier to do than adding several lines of text to Genesis 11). And, Kainan would have to not subsequently appear in the SP or MT. When the LXX was being copied and re-translated again and again over several centuries, scribes saw the name was missing from their Hebrew manuscripts and eliminated his name in some instances in Genesis 10:24 and 1 Chronicles.

Thus, for now, our working theory is that Kainan is original to Genesis 11, unless evidence and analysis moves us into a different direction. Much work is left to be done in this area.

Impact on Archaeological Interpretations

If the biblical text of Genesis 5 and 11 yields a chronology of human history from Adam to Abraham, the implications are enormous for anthropology, archaeology, and human history. First, archaeology will not be addressed in FATA, but will be investigated after the biblical framework is sufficiently developed.

Second, anyone developing a model of archaeological interpretation for the pre-Abrahamic period must make critical decisions about the geographic and anthropological extent of the Flood. From my perspective, I believe the force of the biblical narrative demands that the entire pre-Flood world was obliterated on a global scale in a year-long cataclysm. In this framework, archaeological and anthropological remains would be dated and interpreted in a post-Flood context. Carbon-14 dates closer to the date of the Flood (ca. 3298 BC) would be severely skewed with an overturning and burial of the earth’s entire ecosystem by the year-long Deluge (off-site link). Evolutionary and deep-time presuppositions also profoundly influence archaeological dating from these earlier eras (such as interpreting cave implements from the so-called “Stone Age” and seeing them as part of man’s long-age evolutionary development instead of as necessary post-Flood survival measures). As a result, a researcher’s interpretation of the creation account and assertions about the age of the earth and humanity will also exert significant influence on the working chronological framework and interpretation of the evidence.

Not all researchers will agree with this perspective, of course, but a recent creation and cataclysmic, global Flood will be the framework for my own investigation of the archaeological evidence. Those who disagree with me are still encouraged to pursue research in this area, for much fruit can still be gained from digging further into the archaeological discoveries from this period. Evidence for the Tower of Babel incident and its date, or persons named in Genesis 10-11 (such as Nimrod), are areas of great research interest. I could envision an investigation into the archaeological evidence continuing over a long period of time, with multiple researchers working on a variety of subjects within the general framework being proposed in FATA.


Publication

Beyond the two articles already cited, several plans are in place for further publication of this research. Updates on the status of these activities will be posted here on the ABR website.

Please pray for each of these initiatives:

1. I have just completed a new article, which has been submitted to a non-ABR journal for possible publication. Title: Methuselah’s Begetting Age in Genesis 5:25 and the Primeval Chronology of the Septuagint: A Closer Look at the Textual and Historical Evidence.

2. I recently submitted a proposal to present a brief outline of this evidence at the annual meeting of the Near East Archaeological Society at the ETS Conference in Rhode Island, November 2017. Title: Primeval Chronology Revisited: Genesis 5 and 11 and Their Potential Impact on Biblical Archaeology. I am presently waiting for approval of this presentation.

3. I also submitted a proposal for a presentation at the 2018 International Conference on Creationism in Pittsburgh, PA (July 29-August 1, 2018). Title: The Case for the Septuagint’s Primeval Chronology. My proposal has tentatively been accepted, pending submission and review of a first draft, which is due September 30, 2017.

4. "Primeval Chronology Restored," originally written by Jeremy Sexton and myself in Bible and Spade, will be expanded and revised, and then republished here on the ABR website in the summer of 2017.


We ask for your continued prayers and support of this important project. If you feel so inclined, please send a gift to ABR’s general fund, which will help fund this research. This will be especially helpful as we move towards publishing From Adam to Abraham, which will entail numerous expenses and extensive labor to prepare.

Feel free to send in your questions as well. We look forward to reading your questions in a spirit of Christian charity.


Blessings in Christ Jesus,

Henry B. Smith Jr.

ABR Research Staff and Administrative Director of the Shiloh Archaeological Excavations, Israel

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