I just thought, I designed a brochure to destroy the JW chronology using new astronomical research. You are welcome to add it to your materials:
ASTRO-CORRECTED BIBLICAL TIMEINE FOR ARCHAEOLOGISTS AND JEHOVAH’S WITNESSES
Much confusion exists for archaeologists for dating Biblical events because a revised Greek timeline is used for dating. Astronomical events were also revised but when corrected completely agree with the strict Biblical timeline. The following provides the astronomical adjustments for correcting both the secular and Biblical timelines. When corrected, we discover the archaeological timeline in better agreement. JW timeline issues also compared and discussed.
531 BCE Solar Eclipse dating the first year of the Peloponnesian War is redated to early 402 BCE, which dates the beginning of the war to 403BCE. The 10th year of the war ends a 30-year peace agreement dated to Xerxes’ invasion, redating the Battle of Salamis and his invasion to 424BCE. Ten years earlier in 434BCE is the Battle of Marathon and the death of Darius I (per Herodotus). Ezra 6:14,15 dates the death of Darius in his sixth year, followed by “Artaxerxes” who would attack Greece sometime later in his reign (Dan 11:2); this confirms that Artaxerxes I and Xerxes were actually the same king per the Bible, now confirmed by archaeological evidence at Persepolis. The temple at Jerusalem was completed the last month of this same year (433BCE), which was begun 22 years earlier in the 1st year of Cyrus now dated to 455BCE and becoming a critical dating checkpoint for all Biblical events both historical and prophetic. Greek notes: Socrates was 32 when the war began would die at age 69 in 366 BCE, when his male lover-protégé “Phaedo” is 18. Aristotle born in 384BCE would be 18 in 366BCE, thus the identity of Phaedo and Aristotle are combined. Plato was born in 428BCE making Socrates only 7 years older, which matches the history that Socrates knew Plato in his youth and was a companion to Plato’s older brothers. Before the correction Socrates and Plato’s brothers are over 40 years older than Plato. “The Delian Problem” was a mathematical challenge created to stop the plague that broke out during the first year of the PPW for which Plato was consulted. Before the correction the war in 431BCE occurs 3 years before Plato is born; after the correction Plato is 25 years of age.
Predicted Thales Eclipse - Per Herodotus Thales predicted an eclipse during the reign of Nabonidus. Cyrus conquered Persia 20 years before his rule in Babylon began in 455BCE. This dates the 6th year of Nabonidus to 475BCE and the 2-year sole rule of Nabonidus in 480-478BCE. An eclipse search during those two years for Ionia confirms the rare predictable eclipse of Thales occurring in early 478BCE based upon a previous eclipse in the same geo-centro-sequential predictable eclipse pattern occurring in 532BCE in Egypt where Thales studied astronomy for 7 years. The 585BCE eclipse is not predictable nor does it occur during the reign of Nabonidus.
VAT4956 - This is a key text for dating the 37th year of Nebuchadnezzar II. It has over 70 astronomical references matching 568BCE but two “errors” in the text both belong to 511BCE, confirming the original dating and the revision to 568BCE. Using this reference, the 23rd year of Nebuchadnezzar is dated to 525BCE which per Josephus is 70 years before the rule of Cyrus, again confirming the 1st of Cyrus to 455BCE.
Assyrian Eponym Eclipse - This eclipse occurring in the 10th of Bar-Sagale is now dated to 763BCE and used as an anchor date for the entire Assyrian Period. The eclipse occurs in the third month “Simanu” but also in the same rare geo-centro-sequential predictable eclipse pattern as the Thales eclipse. These eclipses which are 54 years and 1 month apart can be dated to the third month in either 763BCE or 709BCE, but the 709BCE eclipse being the third in the series occurring in Assyria would have made it the first predictable eclipse in ancient history and likely why it was the only eclipse recorded in the eponym. The offset during the reign of Nebuchadnezzar is 57 years so dating the eponym eclipse to 709BCE corrects the offset by 54 years at this point. From this dating the Battle of Karkar is redated to 799BCE during the reign of King Ahab and the critical invasion by Shishak is down-dated from 925BCE to 871BCE, 54 years later. This completely resolves the archaeological evidence suggesting Shishak’s invasion should be dated to a later period. Radiocarbon dating quote: “Although radiocarbon dating of the Iron Age period can be treacherous, due to the wide margins of error involved, short-lived grains of wheat, barley, and other plants can often be dated with reasonable accuracy. At Tel Rehov there is a major destruction layer associated with hand-burnished pottery. Radiocarbon dating of charred grains from this layer, which Mazar believes corresponds to the Shoshenq invasion, gave dates ranging from about 916 to 832 B.C.” (Volume 287, Number 5450 Issue of 7 Jan 2000, pp. 31 - 32 ©2000 by The American Association for the Advancement of Science) Of course, 871BCE is right in the middle of this range!
Biblically dating the Exodus - The most direct means of dating the Exodus Biblically is via the jubilee method. The three major events where the Jews are being freed from bondage or returning from exile occur on their jubilees during a “covenant week” of seven days of ten jubilees each (490 years each, 3430 years total). The jubilee celebrates the 50th year of each 49-year period, but is also the 1st year of the next 49-year period. The return from Babylon in 455BCE is the first jubilee of the third day, which anchors the entire week. The final restoration of the Jews to their homeland in 1947 is the last jubilee of the week, exactly 50 jubilees from 455BCE. The Exodus is the first jubilee of the first day which begins 980 years earlier in 1435BCE. But since the first year of the first day is not a jubilee, the first day only has 9 jubilees with the first jubilee being the Exodus, thus 19 jubilees (rather than 20) before 455BCE. Thus the Exodus is dated specifically to 1386BCE. From this point we can date the 4th of Solomon to 906BCE, dating his 40-year reign from 910-870BCE. Note that Solomon was still ruling in 871BCE, the year of Shishak’s invasion. This is a critical point missed both by archaeologists and Biblical chronologists who don’t realize that both Rehoboam and Jeroboam (whose reigns are parallel) began counting their rulership from the time of their divine appointment which occurred during Solomon’s reign. Thus the 5th year of Rehoboam is a co-rulership year corresponding to the 39th year of Solomon. Since the cities Shishak lists conquering were primarily Northern Kingdom cities, it makes a big difference whether Shishak was attacking Rehoboam and Solomon or attacking his friend Jeroboam. Comparing 2 Chronicles 12:1,5 and 6 confirms that Rehoboam was still king over the entire 12 tribes as he is still meeting with the “princes of Israel” right after the invasion. Thus the Biblical dating of the Exodus in 1386BCE coordinated with the redated eponym eclipse dating the invasion by Shishak in 871BCE is deemed quite reliable since the invasion must fall late during the reign of Solomon and during just a 6-year co-rulership!
KTU 1.78 - This text is a “circumstantial” eclipse reference included here only because the Bible requires the Exodus to occur at the end of the reign of the current pharaoh who dies in the Red Sea. 1386BCE occurs during the reign of Amenhotep III whether you use early or late dates. Since it seems more than apparent that Akhenaton’s focus and conversion to monotheism was directly related to experiencing the ten plagues, it is fairly safe Biblically speaking to end the reign of Amenhotep III in 1386BCE. The KTU 1.78 eclipse reference is circumstantial because the face of the text was charred in a fire at Ugarit and a fire was reported at the palace there to Akhenaton in his 12th year. The eclipse occurs in 1375BCE. If the eclipse text is presumed to have been current with this particular fire, perhaps explaining why it is the only eclipse text found at Ugarit, then it would date the first year of Akhenaton to 1386BCE, the same year as the Exodus. Since the date of the Exodus is set to 1386BCE along with the beginning of Akhenaton’s reign, the dating of the Exodus suggests that this eclipse text was current at the time of the palace fire. While this reference doesn’t critically confirm the rule of Akhenaton beginning in 1386BCE, its application is clearly not contradictory.
CHRONOLOGY ADJUSTMENTS FOR JEHOVAH’S WITNESSES
Jehovah’s witnesses are likely the most date-oriented and chronology-oriented modern Christian sect. As a result they have published much information regarding the Bible’s timeline, astronomical texts, archaeological comparisons and related prophetic significance. Since they use both secular and Biblical references alternatively, they have developed their own unique Biblical timeline. The following compares the updated astro-Biblical timeline with their current chronology starting with the Persian Period and going back to the Exodus.
Jehovah’s witnesses date the 20th of Artaxerxes to 455BCE to match the “70 weeks” prophecy, which specifies an interval of 483 years from the “word going forth to rebuild Jerusalem” until the baptism of the messiah in 29CE. Thus the rebuilding of the walls by Nehemiah, which took just 52 days is used to fulfill that prophecy rather than in the 1st of Cyrus when the Jews first returned from Babylon to begin rebuilding. Of note to coordinate this, a co-rulership between Xerxes and Darius I was established based upon the bas-reliefs at Persepolis, which show Darius and Xerxes together as kings. The co-rulership observation is correct, but it was only four years, not ten. Further, of note, Xerxes and Artaxerxes were the same king. The Persian kings adopted a new name when they took the throne and Xerxes adopted the name Artaxerxes, which he later used to fool the Greeks into thinking he was another king. These ten years are reinserted into the timeline at the end of the reign of Artaxerxes I to make his rule 51 years rather than 41 years thus JW and secular dating are in sync at the end of the reign of Artaxerxes I. The dating of the 20th of Artaxerxes to 455BCE is based upon a single secular date of 539BCE, which they considered reliable and “pivotal” for the fall of Babylon. Trusting that date, which turns out to be erroneous causes an 82-year error in their chronology at the time the Jews return from Babylon in the 1st of Cyrus (455 vs. 537). At this point JW chronology and secular chronology are in sync but share the same 82-year error. Then the Bible’s reference to 70 years of desolation following the destruction of Jerusalem is used to redate the fall of Jerusalem to 607BCE based upon the return in 537BCE. Both the Bible and Josephus, though, insert these 70 years not at the fall of Jerusalem in year 19 of Nebuchadnezzar but at the last deportation in his 23rd year, 4 years later. (Jer. 52:30; 2 Chron. 36:20,21) Making this correction and comparing Zech 1 and 7 confirms a 6-year rule for “Darius the Mede” instead of just a 2-year rule, since the 2nd of DTM occurs 70 years after the destruction of Jerusalem and his 4th year 70 years after the mourning for Gedaliah, which is still two years away from 70 years after the last deportation. Based upon this and the reign of Nabonidus beginning in 480BCE, the fall of Babylon is redated 7 years earlier than 455BCE to 462BCE. This corrects the reign of Nabonidus to 19 years (instead of 17) and the reign of Darius the Mede to 6 years (instead of zero or 2). At this point the JW chronology is now 20 years earlier than the secular dating. During the divided kingdom Period the secular dating follows E.R. Thiele who coordinated co-rulerships for the kings of Judah and Israel during this time whereas the JW chronologists did not, choosing to end-to-end the Judean kings leaving vacant periods of reign by the Israelite kings, sometimes up to 12 years. The co-rulerships by Thiele reduces this period by about 47 years, thus with the 20 years from the Neo-Babylonian Period, JW chronology is now some 67 years earlier than the secular timeline, dating the Exodus as early at 1513BCE and the 4th of Solomon to 1033 BCE. Since the secular timeline for this period is corrected by 60 years for the rule of Solomon (910 vs. 970), the JW timeline is now 127 years out of sync with the now coordinated astro-Biblical timeline.
1975 AD- This 127-year error is carried back to the time of Adam upon which their 1975 date is based. The suggested adjustments for 1975 would first be to add 127 years (2102 AD), make Adam 30 instead of 1 to arrive at the relative date for the end of the 6th creative day just after the time Eve was created. Since the millennium following the 1000-year reign of Christ is a jubilee (50th 1000 years after creation week of 49,000 years) and since after Judgment Day Revelation 20:5 notes at this point that God is “making all things new,” which is an appropriate clue to the beginning of another creative week, an adjustment for the period of Satan’s test of the post-millennial population as well as Judgment Day (which follows that during which all the dead return to be judged) is inserted. For Satan’s test, the standard 40 years, and for the period of Judgment Day, a “generation” of 80 years giving a net reduction of 120 years. Subtracting 120 years from 2132 AD gives us the date of 2012 AD, which might now be considered the new and corrected “1975 JW equivalency” date. Of course, this is just a suggestion, many factors in this calculation are “highly” (in more ways than one) speculative. But the implied comparisons are there in Scripture as guidelines, certainly.
1914 AD - 1914 is still a good date for the beginning of the “last generation” ending 1994. The “end of the gentile times” though should be moved to 1947 when the Jews were restored to their homeland. The date Satan is kicked out of heaven is coordinated with both 1947 and the fall of Jerusalem in 529BCE. 1947 is the end of “1290 days” which fulfills “1335 days” (45 years later) in 1992. Of course, the “7 times” of 2520 years applied to the corrected year for the fall of Jerusalem in 529BCE also gives you 1992, so we know that dating is Biblically correct prophetically. This coordinates, likewise, with 1914 as the beginning of the “last generation” of 80 years ending in 1994 since 1992 does occur before the generation ends in 1994.
With these adjustments, the primary “great tribulation” aimed at “god’s chosen people” who are both the Jews and JWs is fulfilled by the Holocaust, which specifically targets both groups. The “great tribulation” occurs just before the “end” meaning the “end of the gentile times” (1947).
1925 AD -- Of trivial chronology note for JWs, their 1925 date equivalency now becomes 1996. 1925 was based upon a perceived 70 weeks of jubilees, that is 70 x 50 = 3500 years from when the Jews entered the Promised Land (1576 BCE, a date JWs later revised). The 70-jubilee period is actually 70 periods of 49 years each (3430 vs. 3500 years), which is a “week” of 7 days, each 490 years long. This period is applied to the covenant “week” for the Jews beginning in 1435BCE (Moses at age 30) and ending in 1996. As noted, critical jubilees were the Exodus in 1386BCE (1st), the return from Babylon in 455BCE (19th) and final return in 1947 (69th). 1996 ends the special covenant “week” between God for the Jews, but also the special covenant between Jehovah and JWs (110-year Christian group “temple covenant”:1886-1996 )
1874 AD -- The former 1874 date based upon the “1335 days” prophecy now occurs in 1992, but with the same significance with respect to dating the “second coming” of Christ, which would be “invisible” and “in the clouds” for the world at large.
Make sure of all things, hold fast to what is fine