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Chronology
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PostPosted: Sat Jan 31, 2004 2:35 pm 
Egyptian Chronology has been under assult since Dr. Immanuel Velikovsky first identified the Papyrus of Ipuwer as having parallels with Exodus thus putting Exodus at the end of the Old Kingdom.

Other authors, scholars of whom Dr. David Rohl author of Pharaohs Kings A Biblical Quest, Crown Publishing, 1995 is the most extensively known have taken Velikovsky's desire to change Egyptian chronology to degrees only dreamed of by Velikovsky. Dr. Rohl would like to chop off some 200 years from Egyptian history. So he can date both Solomon and Ramesses II as living when the majority of scholars believe Solomon lived.

E.J. Sweeney author of The Genesis of Israel and Egypt, Janus Publishing, 1997 wants to chop off some 2000 years of Egyptian history placing Egypt's early pre dynastic periods into the historical period of 1200 BCE and Narmer, Djoser and Imhotep after 1000 BCE.

While Roger Henry author of Synchronized Chronology Rethinking Middle East Antiquity, Algora Publishing, 2003. wants to rearrange Egyptian Chronology so that Ramesses III becomes Nectanebo I in 380 BCE, Ramesses II becomes Necho in 620 BCE. His dating becomes even crazier if one can continue to read it.

Where does this craze by scholars come from? It comes from a determined desire to corralate Biblical history with Egyptian history. Never mind that Egyptian Chronology has stood pretty much as is for nearly 2,500 years. Even with the advent of modern archaeology Manetho, the Father of Egyptian Chronology c. 280 BCE, continues to be proven right more often then wrong. (It is granted that in some places he is wrong.)

Science via carbon 14 dating and other means consistantly and appropriately date objects to the common dates that Manetho's chronology gives.

Dr. Zahi Harwass supports the traditional dating first established by Manetho with corrections as modern dating techniques prove.

So what is the problem and why can't scholars leave Egyptian chronology alone? Again the answer goes back to the inability to corralate Biblical history with it. This problem is so great that the other hand from authors like Rohl, Sweeney, and Henry is to minimalise the Bible out of importance. Authors like Dr. Redford; Egypt, Canaan and Israel in Ancient Times, Princeton University Press, 1992, Dr. Finkelstein and Dr. Silberman co-authors of The Bible Unearthed Archaeology's New Vision of Ancient Iserael and the Origin of Its Sacred Texts, The Free Press, 2001, fall into this area.

Yet Redford, Finkelstein and Silberman place Shoshenq I as the Biblical Shishak where Dr. Rohl clearly shows the unlikelihood of that identification.(see post under Pharaohs/Exodus Pharaoh Theories) While, Karol Mysliwiec in The Twilight of Ancient Egypt, First Millennium BCE, Cornell University Press, english translation David Lorton, 2000. pg 45 makes it almost abundantly clear that Shoshenq I wasn't Shishak.

It isn't likely that Egyptian chronology is off as we currently consider it. Nor do i minimalise the Bible. The only alternative is that the problem is the chronology that is traditionally ascribed to the Bible. Here the chronologist, and that is what i am a chronologist, finds potential. The chronology used by all scholars relating to the Bible, and Egyptian history as it relates to Biblical history limits Biblical history from creation to the birth of Christ to only 4000 years.

The Father of Christian Chronology, Sextus Julius Africanus c. 235 AD fixed Christian Chronology to 6000 years of a total earth history. He fixed the date of creation to 5499 BCE and ending in 501 AD. However in the late 4th century AD Jerome another important early Christian Church scholar reworked Africanus' chronology so that there was only 4000 years between creation and the birth of Christ leaving 2000 years for the church to dominate. While he left the basic premiss of Africanus' work that of the total 6000 years intact. Martin Luther in the 16th century AD believed in the 6000 year old total earth history as did the later Archbishop Ussher in 1623 when he adjusted the earlier chronologies of first Jerome, and the later scholars all who ascribed to the total 6000 year earth history theory of Africanus. The last major adjustment to the work originated by Jerome, in the late 4th century AD, was in c 1826 when Champollion misidentifed Shoshenq I as Shishak. (see the above reference to Mysliwiec and Rohl)

Funny when we get right down to it both Biblical minimalists (who show without much doubt that the Bible doesn't relate well at all with the limited 4000 year chronology they use) and Creationists believe in only a 4000 year history from creation to the birth of Christ (negating in their arguments the fact that the Bible using their creationists timeline doesn't provide any relation to history). While history of Egypt and other nations in the Middle East, around the world for that matter dates back almost that far in their own right and some even further back.

The problem of Biblical corralation with Egyptian history isn't going to be solved by rearranging Egyptian chronology but by dropping Africanus' 6000 year old earth history and the adjustments made to it by Jerome and Archbishop Ussher.


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