Board index Science and the Bible

Re: Age of the earth

Postby Babe » Wed Sep 05, 2018 3:06 pm

As for the Sumerian King...Geographically his kingdom would be in the general area of biblical text, perhaps he found this long lifespan notable. Was this record part of a census or was he specifically focused on the ages? There is also the theory that Jesus and certain people mentioned in the Bible appear in the texts of other religions but by different names for cultural reasons.
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Re: Age of the earth

Postby jimwalton » Wed Sep 05, 2018 3:40 pm

Right. Sumer was in the southern part of what we call Iraq. it was more like a dynasty record rather than a genealogy per se, though dynasties were also usually genealogical. (You can read an article on Wikipedia if you're interested: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sumerian_King_List). While scholars speculate whether or not the ages listed are mythological, it's of interest to me that they are generally the same spans as recorded in Genesis.

The Bible's interest in its own list is genealogical, though no genealogy in the ancient world included every generation as ours now do. Their reason for recording a genealogy were often to legitimate a king or priest. They were not primarily intended to be historical records, but in more of a political role. They are designed to give people an understanding of their identity. Such is the list in Genesis 5. The point there is to show the horror of death that sin brought upon the generations, but also to show a continuation of God's blessing despite sin.

> There is also the theory that Jesus and certain people mentioned in the Bible appear in the texts of other religions but by different names for cultural reasons.

The ancient people seem to have had multiple names, which sometimes makes it difficult for us to identify various personages. Those names were often completely different from each other. For instance, no record has ever been found of "Moses," but what we don't know is what other names he may have gone by. Eanatum of Mesopotamia was also known as Lumma. Go figure. This kind of stuff was common. Some kings had 4-5 different names, all completely different. Different from our culture, for sure.

> here is also the theory that Jesus and certain people mentioned in the Bible appear in the texts of other religions but by different names for cultural reasons.

Jesus certainly appears in other religions. Islam calls him "Isa." Hindus call hi "Ishu." Ahmadiyya Muslims call him "Yus Asaf".

Other people from the Bible appear in Babylonian, Assyrian, Greek, Persian, and Roman records, among others.
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Re: Age of the earth

Postby Clowning » Thu Sep 06, 2018 9:43 am

Okay, I misunderstood what you were trying to do.

You aren't converting the Sumerian sexagesimal to decimal. You are assuming that the original Sumerian cuneiform was incorrectly assumed to be in sexagesimal, but was actually decimal.

So when a king is listed as reigning for 5 sars and 1 ner, instead of taking that as 5 * 602 + 1 * 60 = 18,600, you instead assume that a sar is 100 years, and a ner is 10 years, so you get 5 * 100 + 1 * 10 = 510. Sure that minimizes the conflict (giving the prediluvian ages a range of 510 to 1200), but you can't claim these ages support the ages in Genesis without explaining that you have to assume mistranslation or improper recording of the cuneiform to reach that conclusion.
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Re: Age of the earth

Postby jimwalton » Thu Sep 06, 2018 9:50 am

I am converting sexagesimal to decimal. The original Sumerian cuneiform was a sexagesimal system, not decimal.

If I'm thinking it through correctly, 1 sar = 36,000 in sexagesimal, and 1 ner = 3600. Thus 6 sar plus 7 ner = 216,000 + 25,200 = 241,200. Converting to decimal, then, King Alumim has a lifespan of 800 years (in decimal), Alalgar 1000, and so on.
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Re: Age of the earth

Postby Babe » Thu Sep 06, 2018 10:01 am

Did you study all of this formally or self taught? Either way you are very informative. Have you heard the theory that the 30 (or is it 33?) years that Jesus' life is "unrecorded" in the Bible relate to Buddha? Apparently "the Buddha" time period is supposed to align with the 30 missing biblical years and there are similarities, like walking on water (and a few others I can't think of at the moment). A friend of mine from another church (not the one with the sermon against science) was telling me about this theory.
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Re: Age of the earth

Postby jimwalton » Fri Sep 28, 2018 11:35 pm

> Did you study all of this formally or self taught?

Both.

> Either way you are very informative.

Well, thank you. It's been a pleasure conversing with you.

> Have you heard the theory that the 30 (or is it 33?) years that Jesus' life is "unrecorded" in the Bible relate to Buddha? Apparently "the Buddha" time period is supposed to align with the 30 missing biblical years and there are similarities, like walking on water (and a few others I can't think of at the moment). A friend of mine from another church (not the one with the sermon against science) was telling me about this theory.

Hmm, I've never heard this. Jesus is thought to have lived for 33 years. Luke tells us in Lk. 3.23 that Jesus was 30 when he began his ministry, and scholars who study his life have figured out that he was crucified on his 3rd Passover in ministry, hence 3 years of ministry. It has to do with Jewish culture, though (as opposed to anything Buddha related). Jewish custom required men to turn 30 before they would ever be recognized publicly as an authorized teacher. Thirty was also the age when Levites began their service (Num. 4.47, though we have to wonder if this has anything to do with Jesus. It's just an interesting tidbit). But we also notice that Luke says "Jesus himself was *about* thirty," not committing himself definitely to precisely 30 years old as the age of Jesus when he started preaching.

Luke (2.42) also gives us a story of Jesus when he was 12 years old. So there aren't 30 missing years, but only about 18.

But I'll admit to never having heard a theory about Jesus's 33 years relating to "the Buddha" time period.


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