This article has Furuli's fingerprints all over it. His "research" was comprehensively dismanted by Carl Jonsson some time ago.
WT Nov. 1, 2011 (public) - When Was Ancient Jerusalem Destroyed - Part 2
Footnote on page 24 admits that the business tablets provide a complete record to 587, yet they cast doubt in the paragraph.
Could others have ruled
between the reigns of these kings? If so, additional
years would have to be added to
the Neo-Babylonian period. Therefore, neither
the Babylonian chronicles nor the business
tablets provide a basis to establish with
certainty that Jerusalem was destroyed in
* Business tablets exist for all the years traditionally attributed
to the Neo-Babylonian kings. When the years that
these kings ruled are totaled and a calculation is made
back from the last Neo-Babylonian king, Nabonidus, the
date reached for the destruction of Jerusalem is 587 B.C.E.
However, this method of dating works only if each king
followed the other in the same year, without any breaks in
Basically Watchtower is saying ... Yes current documents do point to 587 as the destruction of Jerusalem, BUT, there might be some kings we don't know about to make up the 20 unacounted for years in our unique interpretation. (Plus, we are God's Organization, who should you believe?)
Check this one out and tell me who the "researchers" were:
Because of the superior reliability of the lunar
positions, researchers have carefully analyzed
these 13 sets of lunar positions on
VAT 4956. They analyzed the data with the
aid of a computer program capable of showing
the location of celestial bodies on acertain date
in the past.19 What did their analysis reveal?
While not all of these sets of lunar positions
match the year 568/567 B.C.E., all 13 sets match calculated
positions for 20 years earlier, for the year
19. This analysis was made with the astronomy
software entitled TheSky6. In
addition, the analysis was augmented
by the comprehensive freeware program
Cartes du Ciel/Sky Charts (CDC) and a
date converter provided by the U.S. Naval
Observatory. Because the cuneiform
signs for many of the planetary positions
are open to speculation and to several interpretations,
these positions were not
used in this survey to pinpoint the year intended
by this astronomical diary.
Wait, so who were the researchers? Sounds like celebrated Watchtower scholars to me. And, they LEFT OUT "many of the planetary positions" because these are "open to speculation and several interpretations"? Err...
There is no way that this article is intended for the public. Is Joe or Jane Worldly going to take the word of The Watchtower over historians and archeologists? These articles are to provide an answer to JW's who question. Elders can ask ... "The faithful slave says ... you do trust God's Organization ... don't you?"
i agree with wannabefree. Whats the point of this article it proves nothing. It just takes every piece of evidence and they say what if this happened instead. Most JWs will skim this article over and say it is the truth. Some that dont even know about 587-607 may actually wake up. This article may backfire. We shall see as we get closer to november.
Who were the 'researchers', zoiks? Like they say in the movie Highlander, 'there can only ever be one.' The researcher (singular) is Furuli. If anyone else tries to replicate his results on the lunar data, they will find that those results are mostly bogus.
However, the Bible writers Jeremiah and Daniel clearly state that the Jews were in exile for 70 years, not 50 years. (Jeremiah 25:1, 2, 11; 29:10; Daniel 9:2)
Ignoring the 50 years that Joesephus states, lets look at those passages:
1 The word that came to Jeremiah concerning all the people of Judah, in the fourth year of Jehoiakim the son of Josiah, king of Judah (that was the first year of Nebuchadrezzar king of Babylon), 2 which Jeremiah the prophet spoke to all the people of Judah and all the inhabitants of Jerusalem:
We have NO dates and any date to be found most coincide with the 1st year of Neb as king
11 This whole land shall become a ruin and a waste, and these nations shall serve the king of Babylon seventy years.
Whic means that the nations that bablyon has conquered ( laid waste to) shall serve the king of Babylon for 70 years.
10 “For thus says the Lord : When seventy years are completed for Babylon, I will visit you, and I will fulfil to you my promise and bring you back to this place
What we have here is God saying that after the 70 years in which Babylon rules, God will bring them ( the Jews) back to their homeland.
So, according to Jeremiah, Babylon will destroy its neighbouring nations ( including the Hebrews) and will ruel for 70 years, after which they get their butt kicked.
That is what Jeremiah says.
Very true, Ann. I read Johansson's critique of Furuli's work on the link that dozy provided, and it's pretty obvious that Furuli relies on wishful thinking and the omission of data.
One thing that bothers me is that they present the Nisan 9 vs. Nisan 8 error on the VAT 4956 as proof of 588 being its date. I can't find references to this elsewhere.
I was rechecking 'Gentile Times Reconsidered' on this stuff. The Babylonian chronicles are considered dubious because they present "an incomplete record of important events." However, the Bible does not present ANY record of how long EACH of the Babylonian kings reigned. It doesn't even say in what year Babylon was defeated by Cyrus! It doesn't even mention Nabonidus! But we can't reject the Bible on that basis, can we? This is just PART of the evidence anyway, so, like any objective person interested in the facts, it's logical to look for OTHER EVIDENCE either in favor of or against 587 (or 607) B.C. The sad thing is that they don't even bother to go into detail about what was actually written in these chronicles. I wonder why? And where is this quote from R.H. Sack taken from? Had trouble Googling it.
For the business documents, stating that there COULD be a discrepancy, especially in the face of a gross lack of evidence that there IS a 20-year discrepancy, is not proof of their argument. They admit that the business documents corroborate the other evidence that points to 587 B.C.E. We can't base our conclusion on a belief that maybe there's 20 years we don't have ANY records for whatsoever in one of the best reported on eras of ancient history.
The astronomical tablets--well, they only discuss VAT 4956, not going into detail about the other tablets. Just a repeat of the same error of the first article in this series, ignoring huge amounts of evidence. Also, they focus only on the lunar observations without mentioning that PLANETARY observations were also recorded, and that said planetary observations (like Saturn, as is mentioned in 'Gentile Times Reconsidered') would have been impossible to observe 20 years earlier. But they say that part is subject to interpretation and that "some" of the names and positions of the planets are unclear. (But not all, apparently.) They mention observations done by "researchers" using software, but fail to name who these researchers were or provide any book, article, or report detailing the evidence.
The irony is that the Society has already in the past discredited VAT 4956 as being a later copy of the original and therefore containing unreliable chronological evidence. Yet now they assert that VAT 4956 actually provides "support" for 607 B.C. So which one is it?
The mention of translators essentially altering the original text to say "8" instead of "9", but when you think about it, the 9th in their reckoning would've started in the evening, at sundown, which would be the equivalent of the 8th by our reckoning of time. Unless they used the same kind of clock we use, which doesn't really seem to fit with Middle Eastern tradition, that the evening was the start of the next day, not midnight. So I may be wrong, but I'd argue that they present "9" as an error for that reason. I might add that since I can't read German or Akkadian, telling me that the picture has the symbol for "9"--at least given that this is written by folks known for lying to support their arguments--could be less than honest.
And when they say the 'majority' of scholars believe the date was 587 B.C., what they really mean is "every scholar on earth except Rolf Furuli, who is a JW". This date is not a debate for anyone on Earth except Jehovah's Witnesses. The arguments put forth by the Society consist of "if" statements or "could" statements.
"If his 37th year was 588 B.C.E., then Jerusalem was destroyed in 607 B.C.E., the date that is indicated by Bible chronology." But saying "if it happened, then it fits with what we already believe regardless" is not evidence. It's a hypothesis that has a considerable amount of contrary evidence, which is why NONE of the scholars quoted in this article believe Jerusalem was destroyed in 607. NONE. NOT ONE SCHOLAR COULD BE FOUND TO QUOTE FROM IN SUPPORT OF 607. NOT ONE.
Religious leaders who are known for lying and are not experts in Babylonian history, or scholars who have spent decades thoroughly researching this era and are experts AND have nothing personally at stake for whatever year Jerusalem was destroyed? Tough decision.
"Why not investigate the evidence for yourself?" Sounds like an invitation. Good idea, guys! Let's do just that.
As For Daniel:
1 In the first year of Darius the son of Ahasu-erus, by birth a Mede, who became king over the realm of the Chaldeans— 2 in the first year of his reign, I, Daniel, perceived in the books the number of years which, according to the word of the Lord to Jeremiah the prophet, must pass before the end of the desolations of Jerusalem, namely, seventy years.
What we have here is Daniel associating the END of the desolation of Jerusalem with Jeremiahs' 70 year prophecy.
So, if we go with Dan, we need to go to WHEN the Hebrews RETURNED to Jerusalem and work back 70 years to when the beginning of the desolotion of Jerusalem ( the first attacks on Jerusalem by the babylonians).
IF we use the date of the Babylonian defeat at the hands of Cyrus, 538 BC, we get that beginning of Isreals problems as 608 BC, when Josiah dies under obscure circumstances.
The issue is that they probably did NOT return right away and some Jews actually see the end of the desolation of Jerusalem when the temple started to get built, which was around 520 bc, about 67 years after the "BIG FALL" of jerusalem in 587.
It seems that we can see the 70 years in 2 ways:
From the beginning of the Babylonian war with its neighbour nations, including Israel and ending in its defeat by Cyrus OR we can see the 70 years as from the destruction of the temples to the beginning of the rebuilding.