Reconsidering Cuneiform and Biblical Distanzangaben or "Long Period" References

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International Journal of Research in Social Sciences and Humanities

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220401 Christian Studies (incl. Biblical Studies and Church History)

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Long period dating references or Distanzangaben can be found in both cuneiform texts and the Masoretic Text of the Old Testament. In this article five of them are selected. One reference is about 800 years; another one 700 years; still another 600 years and a further one covering a long period of 3200 years, the last which is a case of a need for a better understanding of Ancient Mathematics or Counting systems. These texts were discovered, transliterated, translated and discussed or commented upon by many scholars since the middle of the 19th century. Scholars are divided into two or more camps regarding these periods in cuneiform references: those who tried to find historicity in them taking them at face value; those who reject them as bogus and just “round numbers”. Optimistic scholars and pessimistic scholars are divided by the epistemology they are operating as well as the methodology they are selecting to solve the problems. Those who are skeptical in hermeneutics will not utilize these texts to construct chronology. Those who are affirmative in hermeneutics will try to find solutions harmonizing some or all of them. It is with this last method that this research was approached. The axiom was entertained that if the ancient scholars knew astronomy, mathematics, and other sciences so well, then surely they would have taken great pain in recording their own history. This led to the investigation again of these Distanzangaben in the cuneiform tablets and a reconsideration of the chronology of the Old Testament long period dating references and making an attempt to link some kings between the cuneiform texts and the Masoretic Text. The case of Amraphel of Genesis 14 and Hammurabi of the Nabonidus text was such a link and the second one is the closeness of the Sumerian King List’s Flood date applying the year-day principle (1 day = 360 days of the calendar of the hemerological cuneiform texts) and the Masoretic Text chronology for the Flood. Someone once said that scientific pursuit is the case of “two men sitting behind bars: the one saw mud and the other one stars.”

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