VAT 4956 - Comparison Of The Lunar Three Time Intervals For Years 568/7 BCE and 588/7 BCE

by AnnOMaly 53 Replies latest watchtower bible

  • AnnOMaly
    AnnOMaly

    Now they can say "The Faithful Slave has dealt with this matter, are you saying you know better than them ?"

    Exactly. One JW's (error-ridden) research has now officially become the FDS's Truth. And believe me, if any JW was already familiar with the source of the WT article's research, this line will be used to squash any debate on the matter from within the ranks.

  • AnnOMaly
    AnnOMaly

    COMPARISON USING ALCYONE EPHEMERIS 2.8 (AE)

    568/7 B.C.E., Nisanu 1 = April 22/23

    Month/Day

    Julian Date

    Interval

    Text

    AE

    Difference

    I.14

    May 6 a.m., 568

    SR-MS

    4°

    2.75°

    1.25°

    II.26

    June 17 a.m., 568

    MR-SR

    23°

    23.25°

    0.25°

    III.1

    June 20 p.m., 568

    SS-MS

    20°

    22.75°

    2.75°

    III.15

    July 5 a.m., 568

    SR-MS

    7.5°

    0.5°

    XI.1

    Feb 12 p.m., 567

    SS-MS

    14.5°

    17°

    2.5°

    XII.1

    Mar 14 p.m., 567

    SS-MS

    25°

    25.75°

    0.75°

    XII.12

    Mar 26 a.m., 567

    SR-MS

    1.5°

    -0.5° !

    Notes:

    ! No measurement of the type specified on the tablet could be taken that day according to this program's simulation. The moon set before the sun rose instead of the other way around. This time, a calculation has been included for all exclamation marked boxes.

    Method:

    1.5° (above horizon) to 0° (horizon) = 1.5° of time

    0° (horizon) to -0.5° (below horizon) = 0.5° of time

    Therefore, the difference between the tablet's figure and AE's computation is, here,

    1.5 + 0.5 = 2°

    Comments:

    AE's range of difference between its results and those of the text is 0.25° to 2.75°. Average difference 1.4°.

    588/7 B.C.E., Nisanu 1 = May 2/3 (Furuli's calendar)

    Month/Day

    Julian Date

    Interval

    Text

    AE

    Difference

    I.14

    May 16 a.m., 588

    SR-MS

    4°

    -9.5° !

    13.5°

    II.26

    June 27 a.m., 588

    MR-SR

    23°

    28°

    III.1

    June 301 p.m., 588

    SS-MS

    20°

    5.5°

    14.5°

    III.15

    July 15 a.m., 588

    SR-MS

    7.5°

    -2.5° !

    10°

    XI.1

    Feb 22 p.m., 587

    SS-MS

    14.5°

    9.5°

    XII.1

    Mar 24 p.m., 587

    SS-MS

    25°

    21.25°

    3.75°

    XII.12

    Apr 52 a.m., 587

    SR-MS

    1.5°

    -11.5° !

    13°

    Notes:

    ! No measurement of the type specified on the tablet could be taken that day according to this program's simulations. See note on this above.

    For notes 1 and 2 see notes for the opening post's second table.

    Comments:

    AE's range of difference between its results and those of the text is 3.75° to 14.5°. Average difference 9.25°.

    588/7 B.C.E., Nisanu 1 = April 3/4 (Parker and Dubberstein's tables)

    Month/Day

    Julian Date

    Interval

    Text

    AE

    Difference

    I.14

    Apr 17 a.m., 588

    SR-MS

    4°

    -3.75° !

    7.75°

    II.26

    May 29 a.m., 588

    MR-SR

    23°

    15°

    III.1

    June 1 p.m., 588

    SS-MS

    20°

    13.75°

    6.25°

    III.15

    June 16 a.m., 588

    SR-MS

    7.5°

    4.5°

    XI.1

    Jan 24 p.m., 587

    SS-MS

    14.5°

    16.25°

    1.75°

    XII.1

    Feb 23 p.m., 587

    SS-MS

    25°

    27.25°

    2.25°

    XII.12

    Mar 7 a.m., 587

    SR-MS

    1.5°

    -8.25° !

    9.75°

    Notes:

    ! No measurement of the type specified on the tablet could be taken that day according to this program's simulations. See note on this above.

    Comments:

    AE's range of difference between its results and those of the text is 1.75° to 9.75°. Average difference 5.5°.

  • AnnOMaly
    AnnOMaly

    COMPARISON USING SKY MAP PRO 11.04

    Contributed by another researcher.

    568/7 B.C.E., Nisanu 1 = April 22/23

    Month/Day

    Julian Date

    Interval

    Text

    Sky Map Pro

    Difference

    I.14

    May 6 a.m., 568

    SR-MS

    4°

    3.82°

    0.18°

    II.26

    June 17 a.m., 568

    MR-SR

    23°

    23°

    III.1

    June 20 p.m., 568

    SS-MS

    20°

    22.90°

    2.9°

    III.15

    July 5 a.m., 568

    SR-MS

    7.5°

    8.31°

    0.81°

    XI.1

    Feb 12 p.m., 567

    SS-MS

    14.5°

    17.26°

    2.76°

    XII.1

    Mar 14 p.m., 567

    SS-MS

    25°

    25.98°

    0.98°

    XII.12

    Mar 26 a.m., 567

    SR-MS

    1.5°

    0.63°

    0.87°

    Comments:

    Sky Map Pro's range of difference between its results and those of the text is 0° to 2.9°. Average difference 1.2°.

    588/7 B.C.E., Nisanu 1 = May 2/3 (Furuli's calendar)

    Month/Day

    Julian Date

    Interval

    Text

    Sky Map Pro

    Difference

    I.14

    May 16 a.m., 588

    SR-MS

    4°

    -8.22° !

    12.22°

    II.26

    June 27 a.m., 588

    MR-SR

    23°

    27.74°

    4.74°

    III.1

    June 301 p.m., 588

    SS-MS

    20°

    5.65°

    14.35°

    III.15

    July 15 a.m., 588

    SR-MS

    7.5°

    -1.18° !

    8.68°

    XI.1

    Feb 22 p.m., 587

    SS-MS

    14.5°

    9.81°

    4.69°

    XII.1

    Mar 24 p.m., 587

    SS-MS

    25°

    21.43°

    3.57°

    XII.12

    Apr 52a.m., 587

    SR-MS

    1.5°

    -10.44° !

    11.94°

    Comments:

    Sky Map Pro's range of difference between its results and those of the text is 3.57° and 14.35°. Average difference 8.6°.

  • AnnOMaly
    AnnOMaly

    A reminder of why we're going to all this trouble. The Nov. 1, 2011 Watchtower stated on p. 28 in one of its notes:

    18a. These time intervals ("lunar threes") are the measurement of time from, for example, sunset to moonset on the first day of the month and during two other periods later in the month. Scholars have tied these time measurements to calendar dates. ... For ancient observers to measure this period required some sort of clock. Such measurements were not reliable.

    As has been demonstrated - thus far having used 4 different astronomical programs - these time measurements only become 'unreliable' when they are applied to the wrong year. When they are applied to the correct year, the measurements fit - they are reliable. This is why "scholars have tied [them] to calendar dates" like 568/7 B.C.E. for VAT 4956! This is also why the researcher(s) behind the Watchtower article rejects them!

  • Doug Mason
    Doug Mason

    Ann,

    I know this question is slightly off-topic, but you have just mentioned the Watchtower article's rejection of "some sort of clock. Such measurements were not reliable".

    What was the "reliable" method of measuring that the Watchtower article DOES accept?

    It's one thing for the WT to criticise the use of clocks but they failed to explain the method they accept. Can you help?

    Thanks,

    Doug

  • AnnOMaly
    AnnOMaly

    Hi Doug,

    Good question. The WT note 18a continues:

    On the other hand, calculating the position of the moon in relation to other celestial bodies was done with greater certainty.

    And before that, note 18 says:

    Since the moon can easily be tracked, the positions of those other celestial bodies mentioned on VAT 4956 and connected to the moon can be identified and their positions dated with a good measure of certainty.

    So it looks like the WT accepts the tablet's cubit distance measurements between the moon and other celestial bodies.

  • Alleymom
    Alleymom

    Doug and AnnOMaly --

    You have probably seen this already, but for those who have not:

    In the introduction to volume 1 of ADT (Sachs and Hunger, Astronomical Diaries and Related Texts, 1988, ISBN 3-7001-1227-0), Sachs has a section on Time Measurement (p. 16 of the Introduction.)

    He says that "From the diaries it is not apparent how time intervals were measured. The general assumption is that waterclocks were used. [footnote ref. to A. Aaboe, Centaurus 24 24]. These instruments are attested in texts ( see the dictionaries s.v. dibdibbu, maltaktu) but little is known about their construction. [Footnote ref to O. Neugebauer, Isis 37 37ff.] "

    "Another candidate for time measurement is the sundial ... In any case sundials, which work only during daytime, would have been of very limited usefulness for the purposes of the diaries."

    "It is of course also possible to measure time at night by means of fixed stars. Lists of ziqpu stars ... could be used for exactly this purpose. Unfortunately most time intervals recorded in the diaries, especially those concerning the moon, fall around sunrise or sunset when only few stars are visible. On the other hand, the inaccuracy of time measurement seems to have been of little importance for the development of Babylonian astronomy. [footnote ref. to O. Neugebauer, A History of Ancient Mathematical Astronomy.1975, page 545.]
  • Alleymom
    Alleymom

    AnnOMaly --

    Thanks for the Sky Map Pro and Alcyone Ephemeris charts!

    I have the results from the JPL [Jet Propulsion Laboratory] HORIZONS EPHEMERIDES for all three years. They are entirely consistent with the results from other software programs previously posted on this thread.

    I will stick them into chart form and post them a little later.

    Here is the address for the JPL HORIZONS site, along with the settings I used:

    http://ssd.jpl.nasa.gov/horizons.cgi#results

    Ephemeris Type [change] :

    OBSERVER

    Target Body [change] :

    Sun [Sol] [10]

    Observer Location [change] :

    user defined ( 44°24'00.0''E, 32°33'00.0''N )

    Time Span [change] :

    Start=588 BC-04-15 UT+3, Stop=587 BC-05-01, Step=1m

    Table Settings [change] :

    QUANTITIES=1; RTS flag=TVH

    Display/Output [change] :

    default (formatted HTML)

    Ephemeris Type [change] :

    OBSERVER

    Target Body [change] :

    Moon [Luna] [301]

    Observer Location [change] :

    user defined ( 44°24'00.0''E, 32°33'00.0''N )

    Time Span [change] :

    Start=568 BC-01-01 UT+3, Stop=567 BC-07-30, Step=1m

    Table Settings [change] :

    QUANTITIES=1; RTS flag=TVH

    Display/Output [change] :

    default (formatted HTML)

    Note: RTS is rise, transit, set.

    RTS MARKERS (TVH). Rise and set are with respect to the reference ellipsoid true visual horizon defined by the elevation cut-off angle. Horizon dip and yellow-light refraction (Earth only) are considered. Accuracy is < or = to twice the requested search step-size.

    Since I set step-size to 1 minute, the accuracy is less than or equal to 2 minutes.

  • Alleymom
    Alleymom
    AnnOMaly, Post 2081: As has been demonstrated - thus far having used 4 different astronomical programs - these time measurements only become 'unreliable' when they are applied to the wrong year. When they are applied to the correct year, the measurements fit - they are reliable. This is why "scholars have tied [them] to calendar dates" like 568/7 B.C.E. for VAT 4956! This is also why the researcher(s) behind the Watchtower article rejects them!

    If you add in my results from JPL, we now have 5 different astronomical programs which have been used to check the Lunar Three intervals on VAT 4956. The Lunar Threes have also been checked by scholars F. Richard Stephenson, David M. Willis, and Hermann Hunger.

    The results confirm that the Lunar Three intervals on VAT 4956 fit the accepted year of 568/567 BCE, but do not fit 588/587 BCE.

    In fact, we have demonstrated conclusively that several of the Lunar Three intervals are IMPOSSIBLE for the year 588/587 BCE. Why are they impossible? Because the moon set BEFORE sunrise and therefore the interval SR - MS (sunrise to moonset) is meaningless.

  • AnnOMaly
    AnnOMaly

    Thank you Alleymom! Looking forward to your chart.

    I think it's also worth adding the Stephenson and Willis comments in their article's conclusion (I had forgotten about this important point until reminded a couple of days ago):

    "The observations analysed here are sufficiently diverse and accurate to enable the accepted date of the tablet - i.e., 568-567 BC - to be confidently affirmed. It should be emphasized that although the circumstances of conjunctions of the moon with stars tend to repeat at 19 year intervals (the Metonic cycle), this is not the case for lunar threes." - Under One Sky, p. 428 [emphasis mine].

    The WT writer believes the lunar positions relative to other celestial bodies (meaning stars/constellations, obviously, as the moon's (timed) positions relative to the sun have been dismissed) are more reliable for dating purposes. Stephenson and Willis seem to be saying the opposite - that Lunar Threes don't repeat cyclically and therefore tend to be distinctive to a certain year.