The Ages Of The Biblical Patriarchs

by JW_Rogue 9 Replies latest watchtower beliefs

  • JW_Rogue
    So I've been reading the Imitate Their Faith book (because my wife wants to) and keep coming upon these ridiculous ages for the Bible patriarchs. Now I know WT takes everything literally but there has got to be some explanation that makes more sense. Why would the Bible writers create these obviously false ages? Any theories out there?
  • LisaRose

    Have you ever played the game "Telephone"? One person says something to another, it gets repeated from one person to the next until by the end it wasn't anything like what was originally said. These were stories that were told and retold over centuries, it wasn't until much later that they started writing it down, by that point things were exaggerated. There might have been a man called Methuselah, and he may have lived a long life, but it wasn't 900 years, it's just that the stories got exaggerated.

    By the time people started writing things down, people were somehow living normal life spans, what does that tell you? Otherwise, why did people go from living 900 years to 90 in a few centuries? The Watchtower teaches that it was because they were closer to perfection, but that never made sense to me, imperfect is imperfect, there is no "sort of" perfect. But then the genesis account is full of things that make no sense and couldn't have happened the way the bible says. They are fables, tall tales, no different than the stories of Zeus.

  • ILoveTTATT2

    Did you know that the ages are completely different in the Septuagint than in the Masoretic text?

    If you add up all of the patriarch's ages, in the Septuagint you end up with almost 2000 years extra!!

  • eyeuse2badub

    It's called Hebrew mythology. Almost as interesting as Egyptian and Greek mythology.

    just saying!


  • Crazyguy
    I think it comes from the Sumerian kings list. These guys ruled for 20 plus thousand of years each. Also thier is another list from sumeria where the names are different written in akkadian but the list translates by what each name means to hebrew exactly. These names are all from Adam to Noah. So it's clear these names were taken from a Sumerian story just like the flood story.
  • Half banana
    Half banana
    Hyperboleeeeee is more fun than realiteeeeee
  • Mephis
    Everything was bigger, better, stronger, taller, healthier etc etc in the mythic past. The Hindus have one where humans lived to be 100,000 so the Biblical patriarchs were slacking.
  • Dunedain

    Actually, if we were to "beleive", the complete story, then the reason they would have lived to such a ripe old age, is because they were closer to the "pure" stock of Adam. If we beleive the account, and Adam was created perfect, then the successive generations closest to him would have been closer to perfection, hence able to live longer. As more and more generations continued further and further from the original, perfect man Adam, then their life span would have lessened and lessened.

    I am not in any way saying that i beleive this, i am just saying that it is an "explanation" for THIS STORY, and why the humans CLOSEST to Adam would have lived longer. Although Adam "sinned", and lost everlasting life, he still would have been as close to perfect as any human ever was, and his initial offspring/generations would have been closer to that pure, strong stock. We today, would be the furthest from that, both "dumbed" down and weaker, if we beleive the story as actual fact/history.

  • RichardHaley
    So Adam's sin just made him just a "little" imperfect and the rest of us are much more imperfect... except for Methuselah who was a little less imperfect than Adam since he lived longer. I always wondered how long Eve or some of the first women lived? Such believable stories.
  • JW_Rogue

    Thanks for all of your thoughts, guess it could just be the creation of legends. Just seemed odd to me because the Hebrews were very into genealogy as can be seen by other portions of the bible where lineages are carefully recorded. I had this silly idea that maybe they added the extra years because they knew that they didn't have an accurate record of all the generations. A way to fill in the gaps if you will...just speculation.

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