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SECULAR EVIDENCE and NEO-BABYLONIAN CHRONOLOGY (Nebuchadnezzar, Cyrus, etc.)


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JW Insider

3 minutes ago, JW Insider said:

The 20-some page paper which you called "the VAT attempt" is well-referenced, well footnoted, and well-written (meaning it's relatively easy even for me to understand). And it is most definitely not her 45-page translation of Neugebauer and Weidner. If you hadn't checked academia.edu in a while, then this is a very understandable mistake. No big deal. After all, that translation was also related to VAT 4956. But when this minor mistake was pointed out to you, you didn't even have the honesty to say: 'Oh that's right, I thought you meant the other paper.'  Instead you said:

Just for the record it was I who arranged for the first translation into English of that original paper in German. Leonard Tolhurst(who was taught by Siegfried H. Horn) of the SDA Seminary at Cooranbong, NSW assisted me with half of the cost of translation done by the Senior Lecturer in German at the University of Sydney some decades ago. 

scholar JW

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Let me try to lay this out for you (although this is more for any interested readers' benefit than for yours). The stars, planets, and Moon are components in a giant sky-clock that keeps perfect time. The 'fixed' stars are like the numbers spaced out on the clock's face. The planets and Moon are like the hands on the clock. Through their cyclical alignments with each other and against the 'fixed' starry backdrop, we can tell the time - the year, the month, the day. Now, to be a 'competent'

Since love doesn't keep account of the injury and covers a multitude of sins, I will not go back and show you what you have actually said. Besides, I've never wanted to make this into a contest of who is smart or not. I've never claimed to be smarter than you or anyone else here. This just happens to be one of my strong interests -- and of course it's an interest that is recommended in the Watchtower itself. It's easy to make mistakes in this area of study. I've made quite a few while learning a

It was already answered, by AlanF, and I will go ahead and answer it again in my next post. But you need to understand why "scholar JW" will always claim that it wasn't really answered. This type of question is a kind of game with "scholar JW." He has about 4 of these types of questions from what I can see. If you have looked up his former behavior on all forums where he brings such things up, you'll see that "scholar JW" believes this must be a trick question. It's easy to answer correctly

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ScholarJW said:

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  On 12/12/2020 at 1:49 AM, AlanF said:
Not at all. Furuli claimed that certain astronomical events recorded in various cuneiform tablets correspond best to certain configurations of planets, the moon, etc. as displayed in several computer programs that display such astronomical configurations. The data from the tablets is along the lines of "planet X was two cubits in front of the moon at time TTT on date DDD". It certainly takes a bit of interpretation of those ancient texts, and of the display from astro programs, to decide among several possibilities for matching textual events with displayed events for certain dates. But it's not rocket science. All it takes is a careful eye and intellectual honesty. Furuli's claims about some configurations matching certain texts displays a clear bias in favor of his preferred Watchtower dates. All other researchers disagree. Furuli was not simply wrong, but demonstrably biased. I know exactly how this works, since I've compared several such texts with the displays from several astro programs. It's quite interesting to do this.

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That is the problem how does a person unfamiliar with astro programs or with ancient astronomy able to make sense of it all for this really is the terrain of experts

Number One: Anyone with an intellectual level above about seven years old can learn these programs. If you can view a web page, you can view the display of an astro program.

Number Two: You've already stated that you cannot be bothered, so everything you said here is irrelevant -- just smoke and mirrors.

Number Three: Ann O'Maly has already quoted Rolf Furuli as saying that he is no expert, but another amateur.

Number Four: Scholarly experts have already examined the evidence and concluded that in the case of Furuli's disputed dates, 568 versus 588 for VAT 4956, 588 is wrong.

This really is not rocket science. If I tell you that picture X displays a kangaroo two centimeters to the left of a wallaby, and then display picture X alongside picture Y which displays a kangaroo six centimeters to the left of a wallaby, would you have any difficulty figuring out which was X and which was Y? Donald Trumpolini might, but I doubt that you would. And if you would, you'd have no business participating in a discussion like this.

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and certainly Furuli because of his expertise in the language of these clay tablets must surely be allowed to have an opinion.

Any such claimed expertise is irrelevant to deciding between measures on a screen of two and six.

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Further, because you say he is wrong does not make it so for that is your opinion.

Real academic experts, and we amateur experts on this forum are unanimous: Furuli fudged his opinions.

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In fact this is rocket science.

Nope. Just because you're too intellectually lazy to learn it doesn't make it so.

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  On 12/12/2020 at 1:49 AM, AlanF said:
In principle, that's right. But Furuli has demonstrably been biased, in the same manner that Raymond Franz explained how he was biased when he wrote material on "chronology" that appeared in the old Aid book. 

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So what, Bias is part of scholarship so caution must be exercised.

Bias that results in deliberately wrong conclusions is in no way "scholarship".

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  On 12/12/2020 at 1:49 AM, AlanF said:
Hardly. But just as the earth has been solidly shown to orbit the sun, standard Neo-Babylonian chronology has been firmly established. It would take a ridiculously unusual set of new and contradictory data to overturn what has been established these last few hundred years, on the order of showing that the earth does not orbit the sun.

Neo-Babylonian Chronology is hardly science

 

It's historical science. Ever hear of that?

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so your parallel does not work.

Of course it does. Real science, historical or otherwise, gathers evidence, formulates hypotheses, measures the hypotheses against the evidence, eliminates those that don't work, and eventually comes up with a set of hypotheses that withstand all valid tests. Valid tests do not include the sort of wild speculations that morons like the Flat-Earthers come up with, such as claiming that all photo evidence is the product of a worldwide conspiracy of CGI experts. Your 'tests' are in that category. Academic experts have used solid historical science to come up with a fully tested Scientific Theory called Standard Neo-Babylonian Chronology. Something as well established as, and often better than, anything else in ancient history.

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Chronology is about methodology and interpretation based on sound history.

Which is fully explained and justified for Standard Neo-Babylonian Chronology. And of course, which eliminates the sort of bogus methodologies and interpretations so beloved by Watchtower Tradition.

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  On 12/12/2020 at 1:49 AM, AlanF said:
Not hardly. I've looked at several astro programs in the past two decades. It certainly takes a bit of learning to understand how to compare texts with astro displays, but if you're not mentally incompetent it's really not that hard.

Without an interactive display visible to two people, describing such displays is not so easy, but I'll try. An astro display might show some planet as being a little to the left of some star that serves as a constant marker. The program can display how much farther to the left the planet is from the star, in degrees, say XXX degrees, on some specified date. A dated ancient text might say something like "planet X was two cubits in front of the moon at time TTT on date DDD". Your problem is to decide whether "two cubits in front of" corresponds to the XXX degrees displayed by the astro program. In many cases it's not easy to decide, for any number of reasons.

. . .

 

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So now you the expert! LOL.

No academic expert, but competent. And since you're too lazy (and self-admittedly mentally deficient) to learn, you have no basis for an opinion.

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The very fact that there are several astro programs tells me that something is not quite right.

Wrong. You have no idea what you're talking about. In general these programs are marketed by software companies that want to make money from them. Over the past 25 years I've bought half a dozen of them. Most become obsolete after a few years, not because the underlying data and mathematical calculations need revision, but because computer operating systems change and marketing goals change. I'm quite capable of writing such a program myself, using data from easily available NASA and related sources, and I've even played around with this. But it takes an inordinate amount of time to produce a usable video display, and so it's not worth my time to do it. Besides, others are far more competent than I am in such programming.

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It is similar to the number of different king lists for the Divided Monarchy in the OT, so where there is a lack of consensus then one knows something is wrong .

There is no comparison. NASA's data and the underlying math does not change.

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  On 12/12/2020 at 1:49 AM, AlanF said:
When one compares the data from some text with what the astro program displays for two different dates, one has to decide which astro date display best corresponds with the textual data. Most of the time it's not difficult to decide which astro display best corresponds with the text. But in some cases the data is somewhat buggered, and the astro program might have some errors (this is a serious problem in general, but not so much for our purposes here), so it might take some finesse of interpretation to decide on the astro date that best fits the textual data.

Given all that, Furuli's decisions about which astro event best fits some textual event demonstrably show bias toward Watchtower doctrine, since several independent investigators have concluded that the astro event in question best fits the textual event in terms of standard Neo-Babylonian dating. Any fair and competent person who looks at such data quickly sees how biased Furuli has been.

. . .

 

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That is the problem one has to compare the data based on the programs and then interpret that data with the interpretation of the document.

Wrongheaded again. If the document says that planet X is "two fingers in front of the moon" on date DDD, that requires NO INTERPRETATION aside from figuring out what "two fingers" means and what DDD means. In most cases all experts, academic and amateur alike, agree on most such things. Where biased people like Furuli display their bias is in claiming that a "two fingers" video display corresponding to a text dated DDD is a worse fit than is a "six fingers" video display corresponding to a text dated EEE but which also says "two fingers". Anyone not blind can SEE that the "two fingers" display is better than the "six fingers" display. So when Furuli makes such claims, we KNOW he's lying.

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Is it not strange that because Furuli finds something different that happens to fit our Chronology

Furuli found no such things. Rather, he fudged his judgment of "two fingers" versus "six fingers" to convince his readers of a lie. And most likely himself.

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then he is accused of bias to WT chronology

Not merely "accused". He has DEMONSTRATED bias. He's been tried and convicted.

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but i could say exactly the same thing about the other side

You can also say that the earth is Flat. So what? The evidence counts, not mere opinions.

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fo how do I know that the current interpretation is also not biased towards current NB Chronology?

You could easily do so if you were not lazy or mentally deficient.

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Alan F

1 minute ago, AlanF said:

Number One: Anyone with an intellectual level above about seven years old can learn these programs. If you can view a web page, you can view the display of an astro program.

Viewing is one thing, Understanding the thing viewed is another.

3 minutes ago, AlanF said:

Number Two: You've already stated that you cannot be bothered, so everything you said here is irrelevant -- just smoke and mirrors.

True. Is it really necessary when it is the subject of much technical controversy?

4 minutes ago, AlanF said:

Number Three: Ann O'Maly has already quoted Rolf Furuli as saying that he is no expert, but another amateur

Well Ann O Maly has repeatedly refused to identify her academic credentials when asked by me and Furuli has publicly identified his academic credentials.

6 minutes ago, AlanF said:

Number Four: Scholarly experts have already examined the evidence and concluded that in the case of Furuli's disputed dates, 568 versus 588 for VAT 4956, 588 is wrong.

So what for that is simply their opinion.

7 minutes ago, AlanF said:

This really is not rocket science. If I tell you that picture X displays a kangaroo two centimeters to the left of a wallaby, and then display picture X alongside picture Y which displays a kangaroo six centimeters to the left of a wallaby, would you have any difficulty figuring out which was X and which was Y? Donald Trumpolini might, but I doubt that you would. And if you would, you'd have no business participating in a discussion like this.

Then how is it that it is so complicated with many offering different views.

8 minutes ago, AlanF said:

Any such claimed expertise is irrelevant to deciding between measures on a screen of two and six.

So you say.

9 minutes ago, AlanF said:

Real academic experts, and we amateur experts on this forum are unanimous: Furuli fudged his opinions.

Opinion not fact.

10 minutes ago, AlanF said:

Nope. Just because you're too intellectually lazy to learn it doesn't make it so.

Insults indicate that you have lost the argument.

10 minutes ago, AlanF said:

Bias that results in deliberately wrong conclusions is in no way "scholarship".

Scholarship cannot be devoid of bias and it is the same with translation of the Bible whereupon Theology of the translator is always present. bias+scholarship=

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2 hours ago, AlanF said:

Are you lying here? Or just plain stupid? I've consistently described -- not just alluded to -- FOUR DEPORTATIONS -- in 605, 597, 587 and 582. Daniel, his three companions, and a handful of other prominent Jews were deported in 605.

No! But you seem to be backpedaling with your earlier argument of the first deportation being conducted in 597 BC. Hence, you were contradicting the current findings, by not accepting them. Now, you and JWinsider need to figure out the proper order of natural history for Bible events. If you use astronomical diaries, then you need to calculate those events, when astronomy was used in combination with ongoing events.

Your focus is 607 BC to 587 BC. Therefore, 582 BC is irrelevant to your argument.

So far, the Saros Cycle confirms the date 607 BC, it can also be used for 568 BC even though some professionals believe it to be 568/7 BC which is incorrect.

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Alan F

cont'd

15 minutes ago, AlanF said:

It's historical science. Ever hear of that?

the more precise term would be 'history of science' or 'philosophy of science'

16 minutes ago, AlanF said:

Of course it does. Real science, historical or otherwise, gathers evidence, formulates hypotheses, measures the hypotheses against the evidence, eliminates those that don't work, and eventually comes up with a set of hypotheses that withstand all valid tests. Valid tests do not include the sort of wild speculations that morons like the Flat-Earthers come up with, such as claiming that all photo evidence is the product of a worldwide conspiracy of CGI experts. Your 'tests' are in that category. Academic experts have used solid historical science to come up with a fully tested Scientific Theory called Standard Neo-Babylonian Chronology. Something as well established as, and often better than, anything else in ancient history.

Scholar loves real science. True science relies on the principle of Falsification so how do you falsify NB Chronology or is it a sacred cow?

18 minutes ago, AlanF said:

Which is fully explained and justified for Standard Neo-Babylonian Chronology. And of course, which eliminates the sort of bogus methodologies and interpretations so beloved by Watchtower Tradition

Do not forget from where you first learnt this principle- the said scholar! So are you saying that WT Chronology is without methodology and interpretation?

21 minutes ago, AlanF said:

No academic expert, but competent. And since you're too lazy (and self-admittedly mentally deficient) to learn, you have no basis for an opinion.

It is now a good thing that you are competent but are you fully competent?

23 minutes ago, AlanF said:

Wrong. You have no idea what you're talking about. In general these programs are marketed by software companies that want to make money from them. Over the past 25 years I've bought half a dozen of them. Most become obsolete after a few years, not because the underlying data and mathematical calculations need revision, but because computer operating systems change and marketing goals change. I'm quite capable of writing such a program myself, using data from easily available NASA and related sources, and I've even played around with this. But it takes an inordinate amount of time to produce a usable video display, and so it's not worth my time to do it. Besides, others are far more competent than I am in such programming.

So why is it the case that you so-called experts use different programs? Why not use the same programs as Furuli does/

26 minutes ago, AlanF said:

There is no comparison. NASA's data and the underlying math does not change.

YES. But the devil is in the interpretation.

27 minutes ago, AlanF said:

Wrongheaded again. If the document says that planet X is "two fingers in front of the moon" on date DDD, that requires NO INTERPRETATION aside from figuring out what "two fingers" means and what DDD means. In most cases all experts, academic and amateur alike, agree on most such things. Where biased people like Furuli display their bias is in claiming that a "two fingers" video display corresponding to a text dated DDD is a worse fit than is a "six fingers" video display corresponding to a text dated EEE but which also says "two fingers". Anyone not blind can SEE that the "two fingers" display is better than the "six fingers" display. So when Furuli makes such claims, we KNOW he's lying.

Well you have nicely identified a problem so how does the layman proceed with this ?

29 minutes ago, AlanF said:

Furuli found no such things. Rather, he fudged his judgment of "two fingers" versus "six fingers" to convince his readers of a lie. And most likely himself

Furuli is not a dishonest person and is not a liar.

30 minutes ago, AlanF said:

Not merely "accused". He has DEMONSTRATED bias. He's been tried and convicted.

All scholars have bias that is why one must test the evidence himself.

31 minutes ago, AlanF said:

You can also say that the earth is Flat. So what? The evidence counts, not mere opinions.

Agreed

31 minutes ago, AlanF said:

You could easily do so if you were not lazy or mentally deficient.

I rely on God's Word the Bible and its 70 years

scholar JW

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ScholarJW said:

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  On 12/12/2020 at 2:20 AM, AlanF said:
Not me: ALL proper scholars. I've merely parroted what these scholars have said. Right in line with JW Insider's purpose for this thread

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So 605 BCE is now fully established so what about the status of 539 BCE with the Fall of Babylon

They are both equally well established.

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for Neb's accession year is a little fuzzy, biblically speaking.

The Bible says nothing directly about it. It does speak of his 18th and 19th years as when Jerusalem was destroyed in 587 BCE -- the same year after accounting for the fact that "18th" was written by someone using Babylonian dating and "19th" by someone using Jewish dating. Starting with the 18th year and counting back to zero by accession year dating gets you to 605. Easy!

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  On 12/12/2020 at 2:20 AM, AlanF said:
I don't need to for anyone competent to participate in this thread. Either they own Thiele's books, or they have easy access to them.

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Just give the cataloque numbers

You have the books. Look at them.

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Quoting got a little messed up here, so:

AlanF said:
In The Gentile Times Reconsidered (4th edition, pp. 293-294) Carl Olof Jonsson quotes two scholars as follows:

<< the 597 date is one of the very few secure dates in our whole chronological repertoire. [Dr. Edward F. Campbell, Jr., personal letter to Jonsson dated August 9, 1981.]

[The date for] the capture of Jerusalem in 597 . . . is now fixed exactly. [Dr. David N. Freedman, personal letter to Jonsson dated August 16, 1981]

Based on the above data, Nebuchadnezzar's 1st year would be 604 BCE and his 18th 587 BCE. Therefore, the Royal Canon in conjunction with Jeremiah 52:29 show that Jerusalem fell in 587 BCE.

Far more can be said about how perfectly lunar and solar eclipses verify the above. Carl Olof Jonsson, in The Gentile Times Reconsidered, details how several dozen lunar eclipses described in various Babylonian tablets all converge on what has become the standard Neo-Babylonian chronology.

. . .

ScholarJW: Well if it is good enough to bring COJ into the discussion

AlanF: COJ remains irrelevant. It is the scholars who supplied the comments who are relevant.

AlanF: You need to stop making ad hominem comments. They're inappropriate for a scholar of your rank.

ScholarJW: It would appear that 597 is a better candidate then 605. How is that?

AlanF: Candidate for what? Both are equally well established.

 

So how does one rank COJ compared to others scholars?

Again irrelevant. COJ is not a degreed academic scholar; so what? What he has done -- why do you continue dishonestly to use this irrelevant ad hominem? -- is to collate a massive amount of data published by recognized scholars in several fields. Thus, when someone dismisses COJ as if his collations were of no value, he is dismissing most of the world of academic scholarship. But because much of Watchtower argumentation consists largely of such ad hominen dismissals, it's no surprise when Watchtower accolytes do the same.

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  On 12/12/2020 at 2:20 AM, AlanF said:
Cite them all you want. But you're missing the point: the scholars I've cited do not merely state opinions, but clearly and vigorously lay out the basis for those opinions.

As for Furuli, his claims have already been thoroughly debunked by Carl Jonsson and various other scholars. Such scholars have not merely given opinions, but given very good reasons for their debunkings.

 

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So does WtT scholars and Furuli.

Except that, as the discussions in this thread alone prove, Furuli's 'debunkings' are provably wrong.

You continue to make the mistake of dismissing all of academic scholarship based solely on the Watchtower's demonstrably wrong interpretations of a handful of Bible passages, which interpretations mostly ignore without comment all passages that contradict its tradition.

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COJ has not debunked Furuli at all simply responded to Furuli's research and neither have others

COJ's responses thoroughly debunk Furuli's claims -- as this thread is proving.

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  On 12/12/2020 at 2:20 AM, AlanF said:
Of course. But as I have repeatedly emphasized, data such as from the Bible must be clearly laid out -- i.e., the Bible must be quoted and the passages clearly analyzed, not merely paraphrased or summarized.

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Indeed. But you forgot the most important word-interpreted

We still see no BIBLE QUOTATIONS from you in any thread. Any more than we've seen such for 20 years.

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Alan F

2 minutes ago, AlanF said:

They are both equally well established.

539 BCE is well established but 605 BCE is not so prove it.

3 minutes ago, AlanF said:

The Bible says nothing directly about it. It does speak of his 18th and 19th years as when Jerusalem was destroyed in 587 BCE -- the same year after accounting for the fact that "18th" was written by someone using Babylonian dating and "19th" by someone using Jewish dating. Starting with the 18th year and counting back to zero by accession year dating gets you to 605. Easy!

So, the date 605 BCE is a calculated date not an Absolute date therefore not well established.

5 minutes ago, AlanF said:

You have the books. Look at them.

True. I have the books to hand 

6 minutes ago, AlanF said:

So how does one rank COJ compared to others scholars?

Again irrelevant. COJ is not a degreed academic scholar; so what? What he has done -- why do you continue dishonestly to use this irrelevant ad hominem? -- is to collate a massive amount of data published by recognized scholars in several fields. Thus, when someone dismisses COJ as if his collations were of no value, he is dismissing most of the world of academic scholarship. But because much of Watchtower argumentation consists largely of such ad hominen dismissals, it's no surprise when Watchtower accolytes do the same.

I applaud COJ for his research as an independent thinker not a scholar but one must view his research in the light of current scholarship, WT Chronology and the Bible and then make one's own analysis and opinion.

9 minutes ago, AlanF said:

Except that, as the discussions in this thread alone prove, Furuli's 'debunkings' are provably wrong.

You continue to make the mistake of dismissing all of academic scholarship based solely on the Watchtower's demonstrably wrong interpretations of a handful of Bible passages, which interpretations mostly ignore without comment all passages that contradict its tradition.

You say that Furuli's research is debunked but this is only by those with bias to NB Chronology whom regard it as a sacred cow.- not to be critical of it. It is a nonsense to say that WT interpretations are demonstrably wrong when one only has to compare such interpretations with Bible commentaries and published journals and these show otherwise or at least some tangents of agreement as I have pointed out over the years. the most recent example is Nile's thesis that the 70 years related to three major elements ignored by COJ and most if not all other scholars/critics.

17 minutes ago, AlanF said:

COJ's responses thoroughly debunk Furuli's claims -- as this thread is proving.

Only in your own mind.

18 minutes ago, AlanF said:

We still see no BIBLE QUOTATIONS from you in any thread. Any more than we've seen such for 20 years.

You are correct. I will have to work on that and install the app but I am a computer dummy so must give this some priority and thank you for the correction.

scholar JW

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3 hours ago, JW Insider said:

Aren't you confusing Carl Olof Jonsson's book, "GTR," with Raymond Franz' book "CC"?

Oh okay. Whatever, an apostate book is just an apostate book. I put no value on them. No, I said I looked over the papers O'Maly had submitted in Academia. That doesn't mean I "never" read the paper on VAT4956.

3 hours ago, JW Insider said:

The 20-some page paper which you called "the VAT attempt" is well-referenced, well footnoted, and well-written (meaning it's relatively easy even for me to understand). And it is most definitely not her 45-page translation of Neugebauer and Weidner.

Its good she made it simple for you to understand. What good does it do you if you can't understand a simple thing as the Saros Cycle.

3 hours ago, JW Insider said:

Yet clearly you did confuse them. Your inability to admit such a simple and obvious mistake, apparent to almost everyone else here, makes it difficult for me to trust your motives.

Haughty like you, I don't spin words or intent like you do. What I meant to say, I couldn't care less about those papers. For one, it was just an illustration that you are now making a big deal about.

3 hours ago, JW Insider said:

From your words here and elsewhere about the book, it seems you probably have not read it, nor understood what it is about. It seems obvious that you have not yet realized that this entire presentation has nothing to do with Carl Olof Jonsson.

This is your mistake. Reading it and not accepting his conclusions as an academic are two different things. I won't praise the works of an uneducated person that needed to seek advice from real professionals without coming out with his own conclusion. Therefore, he only accepted the information that supported his incorrect, conclusion. What's worse, he took Raymond Franz with his apostasy.

3 hours ago, JW Insider said:

Yet the WTS accepts the same methods of using secular evidence to determine the date 539. The WTS uses this date, never found in the Bible, which the WTS admits has been derived from astronomical diaries and king's lists and chronicles. 

You sure do like playing with words. If you don't understand my intent, even though I'm trying very hard to simplify it for you, then ask. The Watchtower has gone through "all" possible methodologies that have come to their attention. Even COJ's treatise or book, however you want to label it without having to play with peoples words. They have taken a look at all the information that has been submitted to them. You, out of everyone here should know that as an ex-bethelite. Why you continue these games just shows how closed-minded you are.

3 hours ago, JW Insider said:

For example, you said that AlanF doesn't accept a 605 BCE deportation. AlanF has been promoting a 605 BCE deportation in every related discussion I have ever seen, and I see it goes back to discussions from very long ago.

Unless he "edited" his earlier posts, something that is done to make other people look bad, I wouldn't accept your words on this, since his earlier posts were defending 597 BC as the first deportation. Not on this thread but the other one, when this alter ego decided to chime in with the 607 BC argument.

3 hours ago, JW Insider said:

I will maintain that you don't need to accept any secular evidence over Bible chronology at all. For one thing this exercise in this thread is specifically about the SECULAR evidence for the Neo-Babylonian chronology. We want to see how well it stacks up on its own before looking for OT synchronisms.

Just like the other thread, what's the difference how people see secular evidence, if they have an incorrect view of it.

3 hours ago, JW Insider said:

Yes. True. It's never wise to say we have a "complete" picture on secular evidence. So far, I'm guessing that no more than 30,000 of the over 100,000 business tablets have been published. Therefore, some historian/archaeologist could make himself or herself quite famous in the scholarly community if they discovered that even ONE of these 100,000 tended to falsify the currently presented timeline. I'm guessing that several thousand more of them have at least been scanned for this possibility.

Then, you refuse to see what my examples makes, to confirm how "errors" can be seen, even with your foolproof charts. This is why I posted them, your refusal is no different from opposers. Yet, you call me haughty, that’s laughable when you can't accept when you're wrong.

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ScholarJW said:

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1 hour ago, AlanF said:
A deportation that results in captivity IS an Exile.

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Not necessarily for a deportation can be limited to a few captives with the remaining population left alone.

But for those deported and made captive for awhile, they are BY DEFINITION in exile. Do I really need to point you to a dictionary?

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An Exile proper which is only the ONE in the OT as recognized by scholars and historians is the one of the  Babylonian captivity ending with the Return.

LOL! It's rare, outside debate with Watchtower apologists, to see such blatant circular argumentation and begging the question.

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  1 hour ago, AlanF said:
You obviously do not believe the Bible when Ezekiel calls himself and his fellows "exiles", and dates many events as "in the 20th year of our exile .

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Yes but there is a fundamental difference between the exile of a few such as Ezekiel and Daniel

A few? What garbage! The exile of 597 was actually bigger than that of 587. Not only Ezekiel, but all of the important people in the country were exiled -- artisans, all of the elite, etc. The 587 exile was of the leftovers.

Do you need me to quote Ezekiel and other sources on this?

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and the EXILE of the nation of Judah. Do you not see the difference, Alan?

There were biblically FOUR EXILES. Can you not count?

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ScholarJW said:

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. . . the Return of Jews was in the first year of Cyrus.

Finally you admit that I've been right for some 15 years! The first year of Cyrus ran spring, 538 BCE to spring 537 BCE. Since the Jews were "in their cities" in the fall -- in the 7th month Tishsri -- that was the fall of 538 BCE.

 

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Wrong.

You yourself have said it. See your own words above.

Now you ignore what you said and switch gears:

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the Jews were in their cities by the 7th month this means that it would have been impossible for this to be the case if you postulate such a short time frame

Both time frames are equally possible, as I and others have repeatedly proved: The captive Jews observed the fall of Babylon in October, 539. They knew that Cyrus, following his usual practice, would likely release them and most other captives fairly soon. It was standard practice for kings like Cyrus to hold massive ceremonies inaugurating their FIRST year. This happened about Nisan 1, 538 BCE, giving the Jews some 5-6 months to prepare. Part of such ceremonies would have been a proclamation releasing the captives. The Jewish captives, already having prepared, would have spent little time further preparing for the 4-month journey from Babylon to Judah. There are six full months available from Nisan 1 to Tishri 1, so the 4-month journey is easily accommodated.

The Watchtower allows that Cyrus' proclamation could have been as late as early 537 BCE, by which it allows as little as the same six months for a journey in 537 compared to one in 538. Thus, the Watchtower Society itself allows for BOTH "short" time frames.

You don't seem to realize that criticism of a short time frame for 538 applies equally well to 537.

And of course, as I have repeatedly shown for some fifteen years, Josephus provides the tie-breaking data for a 538 return over 537:

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so the seventh month could only have been in the following year of 537 BCE or if in his Cyrus' first year- 538-537 BCE would have been counted from the Fall rather than Nisan.

Disproved.

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ScholarJW said:

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The venerable said scholar is of the opinion that Ezra counted the 'first year of Cyrus'- Ezra 1:1-4 as part of the official Decree using the official/secular calender beginning in Nisan

Exactly as I've argued above as regards Nisan 1, 538 being the start of Cyrus' 1st regnal year. What's your point?

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and used the sacred/ religious calender beginning in Tishri from the time of resettlement of the Jews as from Ezra.1:68-3:1 and onwards.

Nonsense. Ezra explicitly calls Tishri the 7th month -- according to the secular calendar.

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Alan F

1 minute ago, AlanF said:

But for those deported and made captive for awhile, they are BY DEFINITION in exile. Do I really need to point you to a dictionary?

Agreed but let us not confuse the exile/deportation of the few with the EXILE of the greater number in order to be historically correct.

3 minutes ago, AlanF said:

LOL! It's rare, outside debate with Watchtower apologists, to see such blatant circular argumentation and begging the question.

No it is not and i checked a number of reference works which state similarly. But speaking of dictionarys, the Shorter Oxford English Dictionary defines 'exilic'-"to that of the Jews in Babylon'.

8 minutes ago, AlanF said:

A few? What garbage! The exile of 597 was actually bigger than that of 587. Not only Ezekiel, but all of the important people in the country were exiled -- artisans, all of the elite, etc. The 587 exile was of the leftovers.

Do you need me to quote Ezekiel and other sources on this?

So if the population was so small or minimal in number why did Neb bother? And was not king Zedekiah present in the city at that time?

11 minutes ago, AlanF said:

here were biblically FOUR EXILES. Can you not count?

Only ONE Exile in the OT and recognized by historian for that it is why it is described as catastrohe  and Jeremiah wrote the book of Lamentations as a consequence thereof.

scholar JW

scholar JW

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(if Nebuchadnezzar dies in 562 BCE - always according to the secular date - and the period of "captivity" lasts 7 years and the kingdom is returned to him presumed to have reigned for at least a year, 570 is the last useful year) . However in the first four chapters of Daniel we mention Daniel, Sadrac, Mesac and Abednego first as children (Daniel 1: 3, 4) and later as robust men (Daniel 3:12, 27) and all this before Nebuchadnezzar has the famous dream tree. This means that, from their deportation until the day when the king erected the image of gold, at least 15, 20 years passed. So if the Jews came to Babylon in 597 a.E.V. but they pass 20 years before the construction of the golden idol and having taken for good the secular date (562 a.E.V) it is possible to restrict the period from 577 a.E.V. up to 570 a.E.V. Obviously they are only estimates but the important date is the maximum time limit (570 a.E.V) so if from the deportation until the construction of the image had passed 15 years instead of 20, the starting date would be 582 a.E.V. but the last possible useful date would always be 570 a.E.V. The eventual rebirth of Babylon, if Daniel is talking about this, would have happened between 1943 E.V. (2520-577) and 1950 E.V. (2520-570). To reinforce this hypothesis there would also be the fact that the narration of his expulsion is the last story reported to Nebuchadnezzar. Few verses later, in fact, we no longer speak of him but of Baldassarre (Daniel chapter 5). It is reasonable to conclude, therefore, that Nebuchadnezzar had the vision in the last years, perhaps during the last decade of his reign.   The second hypothesis concerns the death of Nebuchadnezzar, which takes place, according to the secular sources, in 562 a.E.V. According to the slave, in 582 a.E.V. (see the book "Pay Attention to Daniel's Prophecy" chapter 7, page 99). Counting 2520 years we arrive at 1958 E.V. in the first case and to 1938 E.V. in the second case.   Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content. "Babylon will fall, remain inactive for seven times and then rise again"   What does recent history tell us? If, as we have seen, Babylon the Great is the nation of Israel, this would corroborate the first hypothesis. The first hypothesis places the rebirth of Babylon between 1943 and 1950. Indeed, the "resurrection" of Israel took place in May 1948.   Knowing the fixation of human beings for dates and calculations, however, it is prudent to pay attention to the most important things. The secular dates can not be secure, based on findings and comparisons more or less incomplete, and certainly we can not base our faith on this - 2 Corinthians 5: 7 What would happen if the 597 a.E.V., as well as 607 or 537 or any other date on which we based much of the biblical prophecies (without there being a real reason for doing so) tomorrow proved to be completely wrong? The consequences could be very serious and not just from a human point of view - Amos 3: 1, 2 We must not take Jehovah's mercy for granted, so we must be cautious in our statements. Since we have no certainty that the "seven times" do not simply represent seven years, we should not lose ourselves in these speculations. Is not the most important thing to understand the identity of Babylon the Great? Those who have truly studied the Bible without preconceptions have understood that Babylon the Great is indeed Israel and this has understood it regardless of dates and calculations. This is a crucial aspect of prophecy because it is the clues that guide us in the subjects and times in which we are living, such as road signs, and not the calculations - Compare Matthew 24:32, 33 and 2 Timothy 3: 1-5 and do a contrast with Matthew 24:36 There is no temporal indication for the killing of the two clothed witnesses (see Revelation chapter 11) but we know that they are revealed at the end of the war. We know that the city called "Sodom and Egypt" is Babylon the Great, hence Israel, and as a result we also know which nation and events to watch carefully. That the Bible actually prophesises the year of his "resurrection" or not, is certainly interesting but not fundamental for those who believe that it is indeed the inspired Word of God. Fundamental, if anything, will be "get out of it" when the UN prepares to destroy it.   * However the Bible confirms the "one day for a year" method and also that this was the same method used by God's people - Ezekiel 4: 6; Luke 3:15 ** The Bible allows us to be "fully competent" then all the speeches made on 607 a.E.V. pro and contra, they are absolutely useless. Nebuchadnezzar's dream, as we have seen, has nothing to do with the Kingdom of God    
    • By Jack Ryan
      Watchtower has referred to Ptolemy's Canon as corroborating the accepted 539 BCE date, iirc, but otherwise pooh-pooh it as being unreliable.
    • By Israeli Bar Avaddhon
      The immense statue of Nebuchadnezzar's dream.
      Babylon comes from the north, according to what Ezekiel 26: 7 says (see also Jeremiah 46:10).
      Comparing Jeremiah 50: 9 with Isaiah 21: 2, 9 and Daniel 5:28 it is understood that the average Persian comes from the north.
      Reading Daniel 11: 3 understands that the "mighty king" is Alexander the Great, identified as the "king of the north".
      Reading Daniel 11:16, 20-22 it is understood that Rome is the next king of the north.
      If all the kings of the statue were "king of the north" ... the last king can be the Anglo-American empire, or the king of the south?

    • By TrueTomHarley
      They may no longer do anti-types at Bethel, having had too many blow up in their face, but that doesn't mean I don't do them. Ralph Kramden, the hefty loud-mouthed bus driver of the 'Honeymooners' TV show, is the antitypical Nebuchadnezzar.
      Each show he began by blustering. Each show he was totally humiliated. Each show he was contrite at the end. And each new show he totally forgot the lessons learned from the one before. So it is with Nebuchadnezzar.
      And what is it with Nebuchadnezzar and the magic-practicing priests? He picks a fight with them right out the gate in chapter 2 of Daniel:
      "Then the king said to them: “I have had a dream, and I am agitated because I want to know what I dreamed.” The Chaldeans replied to the king in the Aramaic language: “O king, may you live on forever. Relate the dream to your servants, and we will tell the interpretation.” The king answered the Chaldeans: “This is my final word: If you do not make the dream known to me, along with its interpretation, you will be dismembered, and your houses will be turned into public latrines."
      Why? What did they do? They are yanked out of bed to learn they must tell the king what his dream IS in addition to what it means? Now they will have to sit each in his house, without any arms or legs, and watch people come in to pee on their couch and poop on their carpet. There's bad blood between the king and them, somehow. How it came about is not described, but it hardly seems fair he should pick on them.
      Or does it? If the king made such demands, it is likely because he is fed up with their claims that they can do things like that. They are always playing him for a sucker with their air of religious mystery, and he has had it up to here. That's my guess, anyway.
      We're used to quoting Daniel 1:20 to show how, after a short trial period in which the Hebrew captives did little more than eat vegetables, the king found them "ten times better than all his magic practicing priests." We're used to saying it is because of God's blessing that Daniel was elevated so high. Probably so, but I'll bet it is more a reflection of how worthless he found the priests. It was a pretty low bar they set, and Daniel leapt it without fuss.
    • By PeterR
      So if this is the basis for your belief, then probably what you'll want to do is first of all find out which bible book your foundational scripture is in. (It's Exodus by the way.)
       
      Ex 1:6 - Eventually Joseph died, and also all his brothers and all that generation.
       
      It's not a complicated scripture.
      Let me ask you this. If you die in 2017 and all your brothers and all your generation also die at some point, what does "generation" mean if you don't impose any weirdness on the text? Do your precise birth and death times change the fundamental meaning of the word generation?
      Of course there are overlaps in a "generation". The only possible way for there not to be overlaps would be for each generation to have a batch of children be born at the same minute of a certain year, and die at a simultanous minute of a later year.
      But does your grandfather suddenly become part of your generation just because your life overlapped with him? Does that overlap of a few years between you and your brothers give latitude to distort the language to allow for President Kennedy to be of your generation even if your life overlapped with him?
       
       
       
       
    • By ComfortMyPeople
      An unexpected visit

      Characters: Angel (A) You (Y) Narrator (N)

      N- Imagine that an angel visits you today. He wakes you up in the middle of the night and says:

      A- Jehovah granted me choose one of his servants to inform Armageddon’s date, and I’ve chosen to you.

      Y- Wonderful! What a privileged man I am! When will it be?

      A- January 1, 2025. Now, I’m going to give further information about this date of capital importance

      Y- Errr, excuse me angel, thanks for this marvelous information, but my alarm clock is set at 5 AM, and I wish to sleep. Tomorrow I will have a hard day and I need to feel awake.

      A- What a lack of appreciation! If only I had known!

      N- The angel, sorrowful and turning its back on you, is ready to depart.

      Y- Please angel, don’t feel bad. It remains 8 years. I have no savings to live without my secular work. Next month my wife has a surgery, and also I need to ponder the education of my children. You aren’t going to think I take my children off from the school all these 8 years!

       A- I think if you were more spiritual…

      Y- One moment, I’ve just applied for the pioneer next month, and with my collaboration my wife is going to start the regular next September. What’s wrong with me!

      A- And what’re your plans for next holidays? Now you know for sure the Date! Would not you rather dedicate it to preach?

      N- The angel a little bitter, you a little worried.

      Y- Well… perhaps you’re right… one moment!

      A- Yes

      Y- The brothers at Bethel, missionaries and traveling overseers, do you think they are, in general, spirituals?

      A- Of course!

      Y- And don’t have they fully conscience of the closeness of the end?

      A- Yes, I think so

      Y- And, don’t they enjoy of their holidays these years?

      A- Well, I believe this, yes.

      Y- Look. If you only had said to me this date is, let’s say, is in a few months, perhaps I could have made some arrangements. But believe me, dear angel, I love Jehovah and I’m trying make my most every day, without any date in consideration.

      N- And they both say goodbye with affection

       

      Abraham’s example

      Some emphasis added: (Genesis 12:1-4) “And Jehovah said to A′bram: “Go out from your land and away from your relatives and from the house of your father to the land that I will show you. 2 I will make you a great nation, and I will bless you, and I will make your name great, and you will become a blessing. 3 I will bless those who bless you, and I will curse him who calls down evil on you, and all the families of the ground will certainly be blessed by means of you.” 4 So A′bram went just as Jehovah had told him, and Lot went with him. A′bram was 75 years old when he left Ha′ran.”

      What would be your reaction if someone promises YOU all these things? Would it not be logical to expect the fulfillment of these words in your own life? Let’s continue with Abraham.

      Some emphasis added: (Genesis 13:14-18) “Jehovah said to A′bram, after Lot had separated from him: “Raise your eyes, please, and look from the place where you are, to the north and south, east and west, 15 because all the land that you see, I will give to you and your offspring as a lasting possession. 16 And I will make your offspring like the dust particles of the earth, so that if anyone could count the dust particles of the earth, then your offspring could be counted. 17 Get up, travel through the length and breadth of the land, for to you I am going to give it.” 18 So A′bram continued to live in tents”

      Again, would it not be logical to suppose for Abraham to think he will receive these rewards during the span of his life?

      Now, some years after, about ten perhaps, these words happen.

      Again, emphasis added: (Genesis 15:13-16) “Then He said to A′bram: “Know for certain that your offspring will be foreigners in a land not theirs and that the people there will enslave them and afflict them for 400 years. 14 But I will judge the nation they will serve, and after that they will go out with many goods. 15 As for you, you will go to your forefathers in peace; you will be buried at a good old age. 16 But they will return here in the fourth generation…”

      “What? What does this mean? It was assumed that I was going to get your promises in my life, and now, you’re going to say me that I’m going to die, and my reward is postponed until a very distant future, for some remote descendants.” Perhaps no one between us find this hypothetic answer odd or rare, but did Abraham felt deceived? Well, the rest of his life, very known for all of us offers a clear answer.

      Conclusion

      Did Abraham need date information to serve God with all his soul? No. Why? Because he simple loved God. And here I am, like all of you. Serving to Jehovah decades after our thoughts about when the end should come.  Because our main motivation is, simply, love.

      What I’m trying to say with the little story about the angel visiting at night and the account about some passages regarding Abraham’s life is the danger of getting quickly excited with some developments, in the world or in God’s people. When I listen to some brother saying something like “look at the news today… China, Middle East, etc., the end is near” I always answer, yes, you’re right, but I also thought to myself “the same I believed when I was a child.” These recursive ideas bother me, because always lead to disappointment. I try to share the attitude of Abraham, attempting to serve Jehovah till the end of my days with all my soul.

       

    • By JW Insider
      The October 1, 2011 Watchtower says this date is important for two reasons. 
      *** w11 10/1 p. 26 When Was Ancient Jerusalem Destroyed?—Part One ***
      But why be interested in the actual date when Babylonian King Nebuchadnezzar II razed the city of Jerusalem? First, because the event marked an important turning point in the history of God’s people. . . .
      Second, because knowing the actual year when this “ultimate catastrophe” began and understanding how the restoration of true worship in Jerusalem fulfilled a precise Bible prophecy will build your confidence in the reliability of God’s Word. So why do Jehovah’s Witnesses hold to a date that differs from widely accepted chronology by 20 years? [Emphasis added]
    • By Jesus.defender
      Yes....Watchtower 7/1879 page 8
      No.....Watchtower 6/1/52 page 338
      Yes....Watchtower 8/1/65, page 479
      No.....Watchtower 6/1/88, page 31
      Yes...Live Forever (old Ed.) page 179
      No....Live Forever (new Ed.) page 179
      Yes...Insight, vol. 2., page 985
      No...Revelation book, page 273.
       
    • By The Librarian
      Part of the series on:

      See attached images
      Anyone by chance have a PDF of these images combined? 
       
       
       
      See also:

       












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