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

    Thanks for posting your tables! I'll look through them more closely later - the 3rd one, yes, I can see you've been struggling with the different dates. Will get back to you

  • Londo111


  • kurtbethel

    The real fun is to look at the position of the outer planets, Jupiter and Saturn. That locks the date down pretty well and debunks the Watchtower claims.

  • AnnOMaly

    Hi never a jw. Here are some observations on your last table.

    Dr. Furuli has Nisan 1, 588 BCE as May 2. Therefore, his I.14 would have been May 16 a.m. He omits this SR-MS measurement, but it couldn't have been taken because the moon set over a half hour before sunrise (as you say 'Very Bad!!'). Prof. Hunger understands this (naturally!) and takes the measurement a day later when it was possible to do one. Furuli's proposed calendar doesn't work for this entry.

    II.27. This would be June 27 a.m. in Furuli's calendar. The Babylonians customarily took the measurement of last crescent moonrise before sunrise. June 27 is a day too early for last crescent, so Hunger calculates MR-SR on June 28 a.m. The tablet does say that the measurement was not observed, however, so this has to be taken into consideration, but the real year of 568 BCE yields a good match with that ancient calculation, while Furuli's calendar fares poorly by comparison.

    III.1. The tablet's indication of a 29-day month for Ayyaru means that Simanu 1 has to begin at sunset June 30, 588 BCE. The moon was barely out of conjunction with the sun and no crescent would have been visible - another mismatch between the tablet and Furuli's calendar. Hunger recognizes that no SS-MS measurement could have been taken that day so he takes one when the new crescent could be observed - a day later on July 1.

    III.15. Again, Hunger sees that a SR-MS measurement could not be taken on Furuli's date of July 15 a.m. It could be taken the next morning (the 16th), but as you have also noted, the measurement was more than double the figure given on the tablet.

    XI.1. There is some confusion with Furuli's dates here. He had listed February 22, 587 BCE as Sabatu 1 in the 1st edition of his book (p. 318), but in the 2nd edition he lists it as February 21/22 (p. 327), probably due to making February 10/11 his date for Tebetu 19. The given Julian day number in the 2nd edition corresponds to February 22 at 6 p.m. local time, so this is the one Hunger and I went with - you too, I see. Of course, February 21 is before conjunction so must be ruled out as a Day 1. February 22 is an unlikely candidate too. The first lunar crescent would, according to astronomers' calculations, be visible on February 23.

    XII.1. Counting from Feb. 22/Sabatu 1, the day which follows the 30th and becomes Addaru 1 would be March 24, 587 BCE.

    XII.12. Counting from March 24/Addaru 1, day 12 would correspond to April 5 a.m. in Furuli's calendar. Furuli gets April 4 a.m. No SR-MS measurement can be taken on either of those mornings. Hunger takes the measurement when it was possible to do so, i.e. April 7 a.m.

    I hope this goes some way to explain the date and result differences.

  • never a jw
    never a jw


    I greatly appreciate your taking the time to go over my tables. The subjects of the neo-Babylonian period and astronomy are something I recently have taken interest in. Each subject by itself is very interesting, but you put them together and it just couldn't get more fascinating. Thanks for your help. With your great help I am sure I will solve my doubts and misconceptions and move on to the next subject, the planetary observations. I know that's going to get tougher to delucidate, but I feel that the rewards are going to be greater than when I saw with my own eyes the almost perfect match of the Babylonian data and the data from my astronomy program regarding the lunar threes for years 568/567. Thanks a million.


  • AnnOMaly

    No problem. Glad to help where I can. Of course, Furuli and the WT article last year discount the planetary observations altogether. In the book, Furuli acknowledges that they fit the year 568/7 BCE, even though he thinks they are inaccurate and suggest later retro-calculation. In the WT article, they are dismissed because the cuneiform signs and celestial positions are too ambiguous to be useful (totally false).

    I think some further clarification on your tables could be helpful to the reader. I hope you don't mind and that I've correctly understood your intended method. I'm sure you'll put me right if I haven't.

    In your last table (Year 588/587, beginning May 3/2, 588 - according to R. Furuli / Watchtower calendar), the summary of the average differences in results between you, me and Hunger are in degrees. The 'Excellent' - 'Very bad' criteria you have put at the bottom are in (time) minutes. So, having used the SkyX Light program for all calculations, your average difference for days chosen by:

    AnnOMaly is 8.43° = 33.72 minutes* = "Very bad"

    Hunger is 4.33° = 17.32 minutes = "Bad" (remember that his dates deviated by a day or two from Furuli's dates so that he could actually take a measurement)

    never a jw is 13.32° = 53.28 minutes = "Very bad"

    Working back to the April 3/4, 588 - April 22, 587 BC table, the average difference is,

    4.91° = 19.64 minutes = "Bad"

    And the first table, April 22, 568 - April 12, 567 BC, the average difference is,

    1.17° = 4.68 minutes = "Very good"

    * Conversion: 1° = 4 minutes

  • breakfast of champions
    breakfast of champions

    Has anyone posted the findings of the VAT4956 planetary observations? I wish I had the time to invest in figuring it out myself!

  • AnnOMaly

    Not posted here on JWN, no. I have my notes on them, and some skyshots here and there, but they need organizing and making reader-friendly.

    The Caeno site has an analysis:

  • breakfast of champions
    breakfast of champions

    ANNOMALY - Thank you! This looks great!

  • never a jw
    never a jw


    Thanks again for all your help. Your notes are perfect and I appreciate that you took the time to improve the presentation of my conclusions.

    It may not be relevant to this thread, but in my research I ran into a Lynn47 in some other site. He sounds intelligent and well informed, at least to a neophyte such as myself. However, he looks like another Furuli with a different chronology. Is he another christian apologist who picks and chooses "weak" or controversial data to cast doubt in the prevalent chronologies while at the same time ignores piles of incontrovertible data, only to create his own "chronology of the Bible". Just curious

    Thanks for the link to the site with the planetary information. It looks great. I think it's going to save me a lot of time in my research.

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