607 – 70 Years Desolation – Online Discussion

1st topic for discussion: Josephus-50 or 70 years?

Postby Rotherham » Wed Apr 16, 2014 11:06 am

Received email from Mr Perez:I have found many quotes that are simply misleading and this is one simple example:
In regards to when Jerusalem was destroyed the Watchtower will quote Josephus writing in his book which I own “Against Apion” Book 1, Par 19 they will quote the following words “and removed our people entirely out of their own country, and transferred them to Babylon; When it so happened that our city was desolate DURING THE INTERVAL OF SEVENTY YEARS, until the days of Cyrus king of Persia”. They will be quick to say oh he is saying that from the time Jerusalem was destroyed until Cyrus was 70 years, but wait it does not say that it says “DURING THE INTERVAL OF SEVENTY YEARS” which interval is the question. The seventy years interval referred to here is not the same as the 70 years of the desolation of the Temple. This can be clearly shown if anyone reads the entire article.What they don’t want anyone to see that a couple of pages later Josephus says the following:
Again, “Against Apion” Book 1, par 21 ( just three paragraph later) “These accounts agree with the true histories in our books; for in them it is written that Nebuchadnezzar, in the eighteenth year of his reign, LAID OUR TEMPLE DESOLATE, and so it lay in that state of obscurity for FIFTY YEARS; but that in the second year of the reign of Cyrus its foundation were laid”. Josephus clearly shows it was 50 years from the time the Temple was laid desolate until the year 537 when the foundation were laid, but the Temple did not get rebuilt until 517 BC. 587 BC-517 BC (70 years).
This is not a single occurrence they continually lie. I cannot believe people that have so much time in their hands could need read just two pages later when they have been told this is not true. I just want you to know I have the book so no it is not some Apostate telling me these things.

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Re: 1st topic for discussion: Josephus-50 or 70 years?

Postby hperez » Fri Apr 18, 2014 7:48 am

Is There a “Bible Chronology” without secular sources?
Despite the relative nature of the Biblical dates, it is nonetheless not impossible to date events mentioned in the Bible. But, the simple truth is that as related to connecting with our Christian era reckoning without secular sources there is no Bible Chronology, no dating of Biblical events in terms of years “BCE” or “CE”.
When for instance, some Jehovah’s Witnesses point to the fact that modern historians date the fall of Babylon to 539 BCE and then claim that “the chronology of the Bible is in agreement with this date, they show they have not really understood what relative nature of the Biblical chronology actually implies. Since, the Bible does not give a specific relative date, for either the Fall of Babylon or the destruction of Jerusalem, the statement the Bible “agrees” with the secular dating of this event to 539 BCE is completely meaningless. It is equally meaningless and misleading to state that the secular date for the desolation of Jerusalem, 587 BCE, disagrees with the chronology of the Bible, since the absolute date for that event is not given in the Bible either.
The interesting fact is that there is a greater amount of data to establish the destruction of Jerusalem to the date of 587/586 BCE (Chronology, Archeological, Historical, Astronomical data) then there is that establishes 539 BCE as the date for the destruction of Babylon. But, the Watchtower choses one over the other for their own reasons which cannot be any less than a great deception. As the previous Article shows the destruction of Jerusalem in 587/586 BCE is not in contradiction with the Bible Chronology, but with the Watchtower interpretation.
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Re: 1st topic for discussion: Josephus-50 or 70 years?

Postby Rotherham » Fri Apr 18, 2014 7:55 am

Hello Heber,We can address this post after we talk about the Josephus problem first. It will help keep things easier to read and understand if we isolate our topics. So let’s table your first post until we have discussed the Josephus issue. Then, we can either proceed with this post as our next topic of discussion or one of the points made in the article that you sent that I posted above.Regards,
Rotherham

hperez wrote:Is There a “Bible Chronology” without secular sources?
Despite the relative nature of the Biblical dates, it is nonetheless not impossible to date events mentioned in the Bible. But, the simple truth is that as related to connecting with our Christian era reckoning without secular sources there is no Bible Chronology, no dating of Biblical events in terms of years “BCE” or “CE”.
When for instance, some Jehovah’s Witnesses point to the fact that modern historians date the fall of Babylon to 539 BCE and then claim that “the chronology of the Bible is in agreement with this date, they show they have not really understood what relative nature of the Biblical chronology actually implies. Since, the Bible does not give a specific relative date, for either the Fall of Babylon or the destruction of Jerusalem, the statement the Bible “agrees” with the secular dating of this event to 539 BCE is completely meaningless. It is equally meaningless and misleading to state that the secular date for the desolation of Jerusalem, 587 BCE, disagrees with the chronology of the Bible, since the absolute date for that event is not given in the Bible either.
The interesting fact is that there is a greater amount of data to establish the destruction of Jerusalem to the date of 587/586 BCE (Chronology, Archeological, Historical, Astronomical data) then there is that establishes 539 BCE as the date for the destruction of Babylon. But, the Watchtower choses one over the other for their own reasons which cannot be any less than a great deception. As the previous Article shows the destruction of Jerusalem in 587/586 BCE is not in contradiction with the Bible Chronology, but with the Watchtower interpretation.
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Re: 1st topic for discussion: Josephus-50 or 70 years?

Postby Rotherham » Fri Apr 18, 2014 9:06 am

Hello Heber,As regards the quotes in question from Josephus referencing both “70” and “50” years, I believe a closer examination of those will reveal why there is no compelling reason to think that Josephus was confused or that he changed his mind and went with the 50 years instead of the 70 years for the span of Jerusalem’s desolation.If you think about it, it would be odd for him to change that thought within the span of only two very short chapters in his “Against Apion” without any clarification as to why, or without any kind of explanation as to the different numbers, with such close proximity to each other.

Therefore, there are some things to consider that should shed some light on this supposed contradiction by Josephus.

We should keep in mind that when we read the kind of objection that you have offered it makes it sound as if there are but the two references to compare when in fact, Josephus referred to the year length of the desolation of Jerusalem as being 70 years a total of five times, and the 50 years is mentioned but once. And as mentioned, if he really did think that it was 50, why would he leave the erroneous figure of 70 unchanged just two short chapters (nearly just paragraphs) prior? Was something else going in the quotation concerning the 50 years? We believe it is quite possible that there was.

Here are all the relevant quotes of Josephus:

…But Jeremiah came among them, and prophesied what contradicted those predictions, and what proved to be true, that they did ill, and deluded the king; that the Egyptians would be of no advantage to them, but that the king of Babylon would renew the war against Jerusalem, and besiege it again, and would destroy the people by famine, and carry away those that remained into captivity, and would take away what they had as spoils, and would carry off those riches that were in the temple; nay, that, besides this, he would burn it, and utterly overthrow the city, and that they should serve him and his posterity seventy years.”(Antiquities X., 7:3)

… The king of Babylon, who brought out the two tribes, placed no other nation in their country, by which means all Judea and Jerusalem, and the temple, continued to be a desert for seventy years. “( Antiquities, X., 9:6,7)

,, In the first year of the reign of Cyrus, which was the seventieth from the day that our people were removed out of their own land into Babylon , God commiserated the captivity and calamity of these poor people, according as he had foretold to them by Jeremiah the prophet, before the destruction of the city, that after they had served Nebuchadnezzar and his posterity, and [b]after they had undergone that servitude seventy years, [/b]he would restore them again to the land of their fathers , and they should build their temple, and enjoy their ancient prosperity; and these things God did afford them.” (Antiquities, XI., 1:1

“I will now relate what hath been written concerning us in the Chaldean histories; which records have a great agreement with our books in other things also. Berosus shall be witness to what I say … This Berosus, therefore, following the most ancient records of that nation [Babylon], gives us a history of … Nabolassar, who was king of Babylon and of the Chaideans. And when he was relating the acts of this king, he describes to us how he sent his son Nabuchodonosor against Egypt, and against our land, with a great army, upon his being informed that they had revolted from him; and how, by that means , he subdued them all, and set our temple that was at Jerusalem on fire; nay, and removed our people entirely out of their own country, and transferred them to Babylon; when it so happened that our city was desolate during the interval of seventy years, until the days of Cyms king of Persia .”( Apion, I.:19;)

“These accounts agree with true history in our books; for in them it is written that Nebuchadnezzar, in the nineteenth year of his reign, laid our temple desolate, and so it lay in that state of obscurity for fifty years;[/b] but that in the second year of the reign of Cyrus, its foundations were laid and it was finished again in the second year of Darius.” (Apion, I.:21)

The very first thing that we should keep in mind is that in the “50 year” reference there is evidence that the text has been tampered with due to the manuscript variances that exist. It has been noted by scholars that in some manuscripts ( L and Latin) that it does not read 50 but reads just 7. That demonstrates a clear tampering with the text at some point. It is true that Eusibius reads it as fifty but one has to wonder if the text had been altered even by his time. Due to the textual variants, one has to ask if the 50 year reference is as reliable as the five other 70 year references which do not display any evidence of tampering or textual variants that I am aware of.

Regardless, there is also another way to read what Josephus wrote in this particular place. You will note that in Barclay’s rendition it says the following:

These words contain the truth in agreement with our books; for it is written there that Naboukodrosoros devastated our sanctuary in the eighteenth year of his reign[b] and it was left without trace for 50 years, and in the second year of the reign of Cyrus the foundations were laid, and, again, in the second year of the reign of Darius it was completed.

This alternate reading is significant and can present a different picture of what is being referenced. As to the context of the “fifty,” first note that the “seventy years” in Against Apion, just about two paragraphs away from the 50 year reference, is directly tied to the city and land being desolate, with the mention of the temple being burned. The “fifty years” though is specifically tied to the temple being LEFT WITHOUT A TRACE.

So, it could be viewed this way: First it is laid desolate, and then it lays in obscurity for fifty years. This leaves open the possibility that initially the ruins were visible to those who would pass by but after 20 years of further decay, erosion and plant growth, the temple was obscure for the remaining 50 years of the total desolation. This would make Josephus completely harmonious throughout his references and that stands as a more reasonable approach to the discrepancy, if there was indeed a real discrepancy to begin with.

This would explain why just about two paragraphs prior, Josephus made reference to the 70 years and it is readily apparent from the other 70 years references that he believed that the land was left as “desert” for 70 years. This explanation answers why Josephus would use two figures in the same apologetic book just two chapters apart, the “seventy years” referring to the entire period and the “fifty years” referring to the time when the remnants of the temple further deteriorated and were overgrown and it passed out of view from the standpoint of those who would pass by.

Given the reasons above, there simply is no reason to quote the “fifty years” as if it had the same authority as the “seventy years,” especially since it may not even refer to the entire period of desolation.

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Rotherham

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Re: 1st topic for discussion: Josephus-50 or 70 years?

Postby hperez » Fri Apr 18, 2014 2:03 pm

Was it Desolation or Servitude? Was Josephus wrong? Did Josephus ever changed his figures?This is a lengthy reading, but it shows that “YES” the nations including Jews “Served” for 70 years, since many were taken captives. Jeremiah’s prophecy would commence with Servitude and not the desolation specifically of the Jewish Temple, but of the Nations surrounding Judea. It is inconsistent, to say the least, to argue that the seventy years of desolation foretold for the nation of Israel and Jerusalem, started precisely seventy years before their release from Babylonian captivity, when we don’t apply that same measurement to the other nations who were under the same seventy year judgment. Or is there anyone who might argue that they were all laid waste in the same year, namely 607 B.C.E., and then released upon the fall of Babylon seventy years later? The other problem is that the Bible clearly shows the 70 year period ended in 539 BCE when he judged Babylon not two years later.Jeremiah 52:28–30 does not give a complete number of those deported, and some commentators also suggest that not all deportations are mentioned in the text.26 At least the deportation in the accession year of Nebuchadnezzar described by Daniel is not mentioned by Jeremiah―which does not prove that it did not take place. The reason why it is not included among the deportations enumerated in Jeremiah 52:28–30 most probably is that it was a small deportation only, consisting of Jews chosen from among “the royal offspring and of the nobles” with the intention of using them as servants at the royal palace. (Daniel 1:3–4) The important thing is that Daniel, independently of Berossus, mentions this deportation in the accession year of Nebuchadnezzar. Against the clear statements of both Daniel and Berossus, the Watch Tower Society refers to the Jewish historian Josephus, who claims that, in the year of the battle of Carchemish (during Nebuchadnezzar’s accession year), Nebuchadnezzar conquered all of Syria-Palestine “excepting Judea.”27 The Watch Tower publication argues that this conflicts with the claim that the 70-year servitude began in that accession year Josephus wrote this more than 600 years after Daniel and almost 400 years after Berossus. Even if he were right, this would not contradict the conclusion that the servitude of the nations surrounding Judah began in the accession year of Nebuchadnezzar. Jeremiah’s prophecy clearly applies the servitude, not to the Jews, but to “these nations” (Jeremiah 25:11), that is, the nations surrounding Judah. (See Chapter 5 above, section A-1.) In fact, Josephus even supports the conclusion that these nations became subservient to Nebuchadnezzar in his accession year, as he states that the king of 24 Insight on the Scriptures, Vol. 1 (1988), p. 415. 25 New Bible Dictionary, 2nd edition, ed. by J. D. Douglas et al (Leicester, England: Inter-Varsity Press, 1982), p. 630. 26 See Albertus Pieters’ discussion in From the Pyramids to Paul (New York: Thomas Nelson and Sons, 1935), pp. 184–189. 27 “Let Your Kingdom Come,” p. 188, quoting from Josephus’ Antiquities of the Jews X, vi,1.

Babylon at that time “took all Syria, as far as Pelusium, excepting Judea.” Pelusium lay on the border of Egypt. There is no reason, however, to believe that Josephus’ statement is more trustworthy than the information given by Daniel and Berossus. Josephus here evidently presented a conclusion of his own, based on a misunderstanding of 2 Kings 24:1. Dr. E. W. Hengstenberg, in his thorough discussion of Daniel 1:1ff., gives the following comment on the expression “excepting Judea” in Josephus’ Antiquities X, vi, 1: It should not be thought that Josephus got the parex tes Ioudaias [excepting Judea] from a source no longer available to us. What follows shows clearly that he just derived it from a misunderstanding of the passage at 2 Kings 24:1. As he erroneously understood the three years mentioned there as the interval between the two invasions, he thought that no invasion could be presumed before the 8th year of Jehoiakim.28 Josephus’ statement thus carries little weight against the testimony of Berossus, who evidently, unlike Josephus, got his information from sources preserved from the Neo-Babylonian period itself, and the testimony of Daniel, as one personally involved in the deportation he himself describes. The Watch Tower Society next quotes two passages from Josephus’ works in which the seventy years are described as seventy years of desolation (Antiquities X, ix, 7, and Against Apion, I, 19).29 But they conceal the fact that Josephus, in his last reference to the period of Jerusalem’s desolation, states that the desolation lasted for fifty years, not seventy! The statement is found in Against Apion I, 21, where Josephus quotes Berossus’ statement on the Neo- Babylonian reigns, and says: This statement is both correct and in accordance with our books [that is, the Holy Scriptures]. For in the latter it is recorded that Nabochodonosor in the eighteenth year of his reign devastated our temple, that for fifty years it ceased to exist, that in the

28 Ernst Wilhelm Hengstenberg, Die Authentie des Daniels und die Integrität des Sacharjah (Berlin, 1831), p. 57. Translated from the German. 29 Josephus mentions the seventy years five times in his works, viz., at Antiquities X, 7, 3; X, 9, 7; XI, 1, 1; XX, 10, 2; and Against Apion I, 19. In these passages the seventy years are alternatingly referred to as a period of slavery, captivity, or desolation, extending from the destruction of Jerusalem until the first year of Cyrus.
Attempts to Overcome the Evidence 299 second year of Cyrus the foundations were laid, and lastly that in the second year of the reign of Darius it was completed.30 In support of this statement Josephus quotes, not only the figures of Berossus, but also the records of the Phoenicians, which give the same length for this period. Thus in this passage Josephus contradicts and refutes his earlier statements on the length of the period of desolation. Is it really honest to quote Josephus in support of the idea that the desolation lasted for seventy years, but conceal the fact that he in his latest statement on the length of the period argues that it lasted for fifty years? It is quite possible, even probable, that in this last passage he corrected his earlier statements about the length of the period. The translator of Josephus, William Whiston, wrote a special dissertation on Josephus’ chronology, entitled “Upon the Chronology of Josephus,” which he included in his publication of

30 Josephus’ Against Apion I, 21 is here quoted from the translation of H. St. J. Thackeray, published in the Loeb Classical Library (Cambridge, Massachusetts, and London, England: Harvard University Press, 1993 reprint of the 1926 edition), pp. 224–225. Some defenders of the watch Tower Society’s chronology claim that there is a textual problem with the “fifty years,” pointing out that some manuscripts have “seven years” instead of “fifty” at I, 21, which some earlier scholars felt could be a corruption for “seventy” Modern textual critics, however, have demonstrated that this conclusion is wrong. It has been shown that all extant Greek manuscripts of Against Apion are later copies of a Greek manuscript from the twelfth century CE., Laurentianus 69, 22. That the figure “seven” in these manuscripts is corrupt is agreed upon by all modern scholars. Further, it is universally held by all modem textual critics that the best and most reliable witnesses to the original text of Against Apion are found in the quotations by the church fathers, especially by Eusebius, who quotes extensively and usually literally and faithfully from Josephus’ works. Against Apion I, 21 is quoted in two of Eusebius’ works: (1) in his Preparation for the Gospel, I, 550, 18–22, and (2) in his Chronicle (preserved only in an Armenian version), 24, 29–25, 5. Both of these works have “50 years” at I, 21. The most important of the two works is the first, of which a number of manuscripts have been preserved from the tenth century C.E. onwards. All modern critical editions of the Greek text of Against Apion have “fifty” (Greek, pentêkonta) at Against Apion 1, 21, including those of B. Niese (1889), S. A. Naber (1896), H. St. J. Thackeray (1926), and T. Reinach & L. Blum (1930). Niese’ s critical edition of the Greek text of Against Apion is still regarded as the standard edition, and all later editions are based on—and improvements of—his text. A new critical textual edition of all the works of Josephus is presently being prepared by Dr. Heintz Schreckenberg, but it will probably take many years still before it is ready for publication. Finally, it should be observed that Josephus’ statement about the “fifty years” at Against Apion I, 21 is preceded by his presentation of Berossus’ figures for the reigns of the Neo-Babylonian kings, and these figures show there was a period of fifty years, not seventy, from the 18th year of Nebuchadnezzar to the second year of Cyrus. Josephus himself emphasizes that Berossus’ figures are “both correct and in accordance with our books.” Thus the context, too, requires the “fifty years” at Against Apion I, 21.

Josephus’ complete works as Appendix V.31 In this careful study Whiston points out that often in the later parts of his works, Josephus attempted to correct his earlier figures. Thus he demonstrates that Josephus first gives the length of the period from the Exodus to the building of the temple as 592 years, which figure he later changed to 612.32 The next period, from the building of the temple to its destruction, he first gives as 466 years, which he later “corrected” to 470.33 Of the seventy years, which Josephus first reckons from the destruction of the temple to the return of the Jewish exiles in the first year of Cyrus, Whiston says that “it is certainly Josephus’ own calculation,” and that the 50 years for this period given in Against Apion I, 21, “may probably be his own correction in his old age.”34 If this is the case, Josephus might even be quoted as an argument against the application of the seventy years made by the Watch Tower Society. In any case, it seems obvious that his statements on the seventy years cannot be used as an argument against Berossus in the way the Society does. Josephus’ last figure for the length of the desolation period is in complete agreement with Berossus’ chronology, and Josephus even emphasizes this agreement!35 In addition to Josephus, the Watch Tower Society also refers to Theophilus of Antioch, who wrote a defense of Christianity towards the end of the second century C.E. As the Society points out, he commenced the seventy years with the destruction of the temple.36 But the Watch Tower writers conceal the fact that Theophilus was confused about the end of the period , as he first places this in the “second year” of Cyrus (537/36 B.C.E.) and then in the “second year . . . of Darius” (520/19 B.C.E.).37 Some other early writers, including Theophilus’ contemporary, Clement of Alexandria (c. 150–215 C.E.), also ended the seventy

31 Josephus’ Complete Works, translated by William Whiston (Grand Rapids: Kregel Publications, 1978), pp. 678–708. Whiston’s translation was originally published in 1737. 32 1bid., p. 684, § 14. 33 Ibid., p. 686, § 19. 34 Ibid., pp. 688, 689, § 23. 35 Against Apion I, 20–21. 36 “Let Your Kingdom Come,” p.188. 37 On Theophilus’ application of the seventy years, see A. Roberts and J. Donaldson, eds., The Ante-Nicene Fathers, Vol. 2 (Grand Rapids: Wm. Eerdmans Publishing Co., reprinted 1979), p. 119. Theophilus probably based his terminal date of the seventy years on Ezra 4:24, confusing Darius Hystaspes with “Darius the Mede” of Daniel 5:31 and 9:1–2.
Attempts to Overcome the Evidence 301 years “in the second year of Darius Hystaspes” (520/19 B.C.E.), which would place the desolation of Jerusalem about 590/89 B.C.E.38 Eusebius in his chronicle (published c. 303 C.E.) adopted Clement’s view, but also tries another application, starting with the year in which Jeremiah began his activity, forty years prior to the desolation of Jerusalem, and he ends the seventy years in the first year of Cyrus, which he sets at c. 560 B.C.E. Julius Africanus, in c. 221 C.E., applies the seventy years to the period of Jerusalem’s desolation, the end of which he, like Eusebius later, erroneously dates to c. 560 B.C.E. It is very obvious that these early Christian writers did not have access to sources that could have helped them to establish an exact chronology for this ancient period. The Watch Tower Society’s use of ancient writers then, is demonstrably very selective. They quote Josephus on the seventy years of desolation, at the same time concealing the fact that he finally gives fifty years for the period. Their reference to Theophilus reflects the same methods: He is quoted, not because he really presents evidence that supports them, but because his calculation to some extent agrees with theirs. Other contemporary Christian writers, whose calculations differ from theirs, are ignored. This procedure is a clear misrepresentation of the full body of evidence from the various ancient writers who discussed the matter at hand.

Last edited by hperez on Sat Apr 19, 2014 7:03 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: 1st topic for discussion: Josephus-50 or 70 years?

Postby Rotherham » Fri Apr 18, 2014 3:12 pm

Hello Heber,AS I mentioned, it’s OK if the text actually does read “50” instead” of “70”. I read through your references and as far as the information that touches on the issue at hand, I didn’t see where it would contradict the notion that the 50 years was in reference to the obscurity of the temple and not the entire time that he said it remained a “desert”. Maybe I missed that and you can point that out to me.A much more reasonable and harmonious approach is to see the 50 year reference as speaking to the time that the temple laid in obscurity or “without a trace” according to Barclay’s rendition.

I would hope that I could dialogue with you personally rather than have to read enormous quotes from a book. Plus, you didn’t provide documentation for the quotes so I have no way of checking what was actually said.

So I would like to ask YOU, and please answer personally, why can’t the explanation given about the 50 years referring to obscurity not be an accurate way to look at it? What exactly would contradict that view? What did you see in all that you quoted that would disprove that understanding of what was said?

Regards,
Rotherham

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Re: 1st topic for discussion: Josephus-50 or 70 years?

Postby hperez » Fri Apr 18, 2014 4:29 pm

Which quote was it that I did not give the proper documentation? The previous article is found in the book “The Gentiles times Reconsidered, chronology of Christ’s return” by Carl Olof Johnson page 295-298.So, it could be viewed this way: First it is laid desolate, and then it lays in obscurity for fifty years. This leaves open the possibility that initially the ruins were visible to those who would pass by but after 20 years of further decay, erosion and plant growth, the temple was obscure for the remaining 50 years of the total desolation. This would make Josephus completely harmonious throughout his references and that stands as a more reasonable approach to the discrepancy, if there was indeed a real discrepancy to begin with. With all my respect, but that is just not logical at all at least for me. Josephus was using Berossus chart which clearly shows it was 50 years from the destruction trough 539/538 BCE, why would he misrepresent what Berossus clearly shows after using his data and claiming it was accurate? Berossus show it was 50 years and not 70, so it would be inconsistent for Josephus to have used him as an accurate source and then say totally the opposite. If you are asking documentation in which Josephus lay out Berossus account and shows his agreement you can read “Against Apion” all through 1: 19-21.

“The gentiles times reconsidered” page 98: The reigns of the Neo-Babylonian kings according to Berossus:
Nabopolasar 21 years 625-605 BCE
Nebuchadnezzar 43 years 604-562
Awel-Marduck 2 years 561-560
Neriglissar 4 years 559-556
Labashi-Marduck 9 Months 556
Nabonidus 17 Years 555-539

The above sequence is quoted by Josephus in “Against Apion” 1:19-21 and found accurate. If Nabuchadnezzar first year was 605/604 then it follows that 18 years later when he destroyed the temple was 587/586 BCE.

So, why did Josephus changed the date?

The following shows that Josephus attempted to correct his earlier figures including his previous comments concerning the desolation of the Temple period:

Josephus’ complete works (pages 678-708) In this careful study Whiston points out that often in the later parts of his works, Josephus attempted to correct his earlier figures. Thus he demonstrates that Josephus first gives the length of the period from the Exodus to the building of the temple as 592 years, which figure he later changed to 612.32 The next period, from the building of the temple to its destruction, he first gives as 466 years, which he later “corrected” to 470.33 Of the seventy years, which Josephus first reckons from the destruction of the temple to the return of the Jewish exiles in the first year of Cyrus, Whiston says that “it is certainly Josephus’ own calculation,” and that the 50 years for this period given in Against Apion I, 21, “may probably be his own correction in his old age.” After looking at all the above information I have shared Josephus should be quoted as an argument against the application of the seventy years made by the Watch Tower Society. In any case, it seems obvious that his statements on the seventy years cannot be used as an argument against Berossus in the way the Society does.
Josephus’ last figure for the length of the desolation period is in complete agreement with Berossus’ chronology, and Josephus even emphasizes this agreement and the correctness of Berossus information that it was 50 years not 70.
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I can understand that someone can be confused by previous statements he had made, but as the writing of Josephus show he made changes to others dates and comments he had previously made in his earlier writings when he found better sources. His writing in the book of Apion were written after the Book of Antiquities, so It is clear that he corrects his previous comments.
It should be observed that Josephus’ statement about the “fifty years” at Against Apion I, 21 is preceded by his presentation of Berossus’ figures for the reigns of the Neo-Babylonian kings, and these figures show there was a period of fifty years, not seventy, from the 18th year of Nebuchadnezzar to the second year of Cyrus. Josephus himself emphasizes that Berossus’ figures are “both correct and in accordance with our books.” Thus the context, too, requires the “fifty years” at Against Apion I, 21.
The Watchtower uses Josephus comments to their advantage even if it is not the best or most accurate source, but decides to dismiss thousand of more accurate sources and even when they quote him they misinterpret his words. The way I understand Josephus comments is clearly in the context that Judea and the nations will have to serve Babylon for the interval of 70 years not just Judea, since the Prophecy was not talking about just Judea. There is no contradiction in saying that “during that interval” the nations and the temple would be destroyed and serve Babylon for 70 years. That actually happened there is no contradiction. The problem is not if I feel there is no contradiction the problem for your view is the incredible amount of data that simply says the opposite.

As I said before, It is inconsistent, to say the least, to argue that the seventy years of desolation foretold for the nation of Israel and Jerusalem, started precisely seventy years before their release from Babylonian captivity, when we don’t apply that same measurement to the other nations who were under the same seventy year judgment. Or is there anyone who might argue that they were all laid waste in the same year, namely 607 B.C.E., and then released upon the fall of Babylon seventy years later? The other problem is that the Bible clearly shows the 70 year period ended in 539 BCE when he judged Babylon not two years later.

Now, regarding the comments in paragraph 19 versus 21:

“I will now relate what hath been written concerning us in the Chaldean histories; which records have a great agreement with our books in other things also. Berosus shall be witness to what I say … This Berosus, therefore, following the most ancient records of that nation [Babylon], gives us a history of … Nabolassar, who was king of Babylon and of the Chaideans. And when he was relating the acts of this king, he describes to us how he sent his son Nabuchodonosor against Egypt, and against our land, with a great army, upon his being informed that they had revolted from him; and how, by that means , he subdued them all, and set our temple that was at Jerusalem on fire; nay, and removed our people entirely out of their own country, and transferred them to Babylon; when it so happened that our city was desolate during the interval of seventy years, until the days of Cyms king of Persia .”( Apion, I.:19;)

“These accounts agree with true history in our books; for in them it is written that Nebuchadnezzar, in the nineteenth year of his reign, laid our temple desolate, and so it lay in that state of obscurity for fifty years;[/b] but that in the second year of the reign of Cyrus, its foundations were laid and it was finished again in the second year of Darius.” (Apion, I.:21)

It cannot be harmonious to accept your understanding of what Josephus said when it contradicts better sources and to a certain extent himself. I don’t think Josephus corrected any comment from paragraph 19 to paragraph 21 at all it is very consistent. The comment in paragraph 19 does not say that the interval from the time the Temple was destroyed through the destruction of Babylon was 70 years as he had previously stated, but that the temple was destroyed “during the interval” it shows the interval of 70 years for Babylon was in progress when the Temple was destroyed. It shows the destruction of the Temple was not to be the start of that period, but that “during” the 70 years “For Babylon” at some time the Temple was destroyed. He might have corrected himself from previous comments, but not from that one at all. But, as my previous article shows he corrected himself in latter writings from other mistakes he had made, so this clearly shows he corrected his previous wrong comments in regards to the 70 years applying directly to the Temple laying desolate. And again, It should be observed that Josephus’ statement about the “fifty years” at Against Apion I, 21 is preceded by his presentation of Berossus’ figures for the reigns of the Neo-Babylonian kings, and these figures show there was a period of fifty years, not seventy, from the 18th year of Nebuchadnezzar to the second year of Cyrus. Josephus himself emphasizes that Berossus’ figures are “both correct and in accordance with our books.” Thus the context, too, requires the “fifty years” at Against Apion I, 21.

Actually, Josephus said “he laid desolate” referring to the Temple ?Who did? Just the passing of time, I don’t think time is a “HE”, so it is a direct reference to the king of Babylon.

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Re: 1st topic for discussion: Josephus-50 or 70 years?

Postby hperez » Sat Apr 19, 2014 4:47 am

In regards to the following quote I would like to give an example:”I will now relate what hath been written concerning us in the Chaldean histories; which records have a great agreement with our books in other things also. Berosus shall be witness to what I say … This Berosus, therefore, following the most ancient records of that nation [Babylon], gives us a history of … Nabolassar, who was king of Babylon and of the Chaideans. And when he was relating the acts of this king, he describes to us how he sent his son Nabuchodonosor against Egypt, and against our land, with a great army, upon his being informed that they had revolted from him; and how, by that means , he subdued them all, and set our temple that was at Jerusalem on fire; nay, and removed our people entirely out of their own country, and transferred them to Babylon; when it so happened that our city was desolate during the interval of seventy years, until the days of Cyms king of Persia .”( Apion, I.:19;)If I were to say the following concerning let’s say the last Century (100 Year period) 

“When it so happened that Hiroshima was desolate during the interval of 100 years, until the days of Cyrus king of Persia”

Am I saying that the destruction of Hiroshima signal the beginning of that period? Of course not, then if I three paragraph later make it even more clear by expanding not contradicting my previous comment:

“These accounts agree with true history in our books; for in them it is written that Nebuchadnezzar, in the nineteenth year of his reign, laid Hiroshima desolate, and so it lay in that state of obscurity for fifty years;[/b] but that in the second year of the reign of Cyrus, its foundations were laid and it was finished again in the second year of Darius.” (Apion, I.:21)

Clearly, I am saying that the destruction of Hiroshima occurred fifty years into the interval of the 100 years. 

I can understand that someone can be confused by previous statements he had made, but as the writing of Josephus show he made changes to others dates and comments he had previously made in his earlier writings when he found better sources. His writing in the book of Apion were written after the Book of Antiquities, so It is clear that he corrects his previous comments.
It should be observed that Josephus’ statement about the “fifty years” at Against Apion I, 21 is preceded by his presentation of Berossus’ figures for the reigns of the Neo-Babylonian kings, and these figures show there was a period of fifty years, not seventy, from the 18th year of Nebuchadnezzar to the second year of Cyrus. Josephus himself emphasizes that Berossus’ figures are “both correct and in accordance with our books.” Thus the context, too, requires the “fifty years” at Against Apion I, 21.

The most accurate sources show Josephus said 50 years regardless of what Mr. Barclay says. The interpretation that you call the “much more reasonable and harmonious approach” of what Josephus said, it would actually be unnatural and contradictory, since it contradicts the context and his own words.

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Re: 1st topic for discussion: Josephus-50 or 70 years?

Postby hperez » Sat Apr 19, 2014 12:36 pm

I moved the information I had posted here to a previous comment to make it more concise. I don’t have much more to say about the matter. I hope I made it more readable this time.
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Re: 1st topic for discussion: Josephus-50 or 70 years?

Postby hperez » Sun Apr 20, 2014 3:58 pm

Here are the exact quotation (for the benefit of those that do not have the book) of Berosus by Josephus in “Against Apion” 19-21
19. (128) I will now relate what hath been written concerning us in the Chaldean histories; which records have a great agreement with our books in other things also. (129) Berosus shall be witness to what I say: he was by birth a Chaldean, well known by the learned,20.(142) This is what Berosus relates concerning the forementioned king, as he relates many other things about him also in the third book of Chaldean History; wherein he complains of the Grecian writers for supposing, without any foundation, that Babylon was built by Semiramis,{o}{The great improvements that Nebuchadnezzar made in the buildings at Babylon, do no way contradict those ancient and authentic testimonies which ascribe its first building to Nimrod, and its first rebuilding to Semiramis, as Berosus seems here to suppose.} queen of Assyria, and for her false pretense to those wonderful edifices thereto relating, as if they were her own workmanship, (143) as indeed in these affairs the Chaldean History cannot but be the most credible. Moreover, we meet with a confirmation of what Berosus says, in the archives of the Phoenicians, concerning this king Nabuchodonosor, that he conquered all Syria and Phoenicia; (144) in which case Philostratus agrees with the others in that history which he composed, where he mentions the siege of Tyre; as does Megasthenes also, in the fourth book of his Indian History, wherein he pretends to prove that the forementioned king of the Babylonians was superior to Hercules in strength and the greatness of his exploits; for he says that he conquered a great part of Libya, and conquered Iberia also. (145) Now, as to what I have said before about the temple at Jerusalem, that it was fought against by the Babylonians, and burnt by them, but was opened again when Cyrus had taken the kingdom of Asia, shall now be demonstrated from what Berosus adds farther upon that head; (146) for thus he says in his third book:—“Nabuchodonosor, after he had begun to build the forementioned wall, fell sick, and departed this life, when he had reigned forty-three years; whereupon his son Evil-merodach obtained the kingdom. (147) He governed public affairs after an illegal and impure manner, and had a plot laid against him by Neriglissoor, his sister’s husband, and was slain by him when he had reigned but two years. After he was slain, Neriglissoor, the person who plotted against him, succeeded him in the kingdom, and reigned four years; (148) his son Laborosoarchod obtained the kingdom, though he was but a child, and kept it nine months; but by reason of the very ill temper and ill practices he exhibited to the world, a plot was laid against him also by his friends, and he was tormented to death. (149) After his death, the conspirators got together, and by common consent put the crown upon the head of Nabonnedus, a man of Babylon, and one who belonged to that insurrection. In his reign it was that the walls of the city of Babylon were curiously built with burnt brick and bitumen; (150) but when he was come to the seventeenth year of his reign, Cyrus came out of Persia with a great army; and having already conquered all the rest of Asia, he came hastily to Babylonia. (151) When Nabonnedus perceived he was coming to attack him, he met with his forces, and joining battle with him, was beaten; and fled away with a few of his troops with him, and was shut up within the city Borsippus. (152) Hereupon Cyrus took Babylon, and gave order that the outer walls of the city should be demolished, because the city had proved very troublesome to him, and cost him a great deal of pains to take it. He then marched away to Borsippus, to besiege Nabonnedus; (153) but as Nabonnedus did not sustain the siege, but delivered himself into his hands, he was at first kindly used by Cyrus, who gave him Carmania, as a place for him to inhabit in, but sent him out of Babylonia. Accordingly Nabonnedus spent the rest of his time in that country, and there died.” 21. (154) These accounts agree with the true history in our books; for in them it is written that Nebuchadnezzar, in the eighteenth year of his reign,{p}{This number in Josephus, that Nebuchadnezzar destroyed the temple in the eighteenth year of his reign, is a mistake in the nicety of chronology; for it was in the nineteenth.} laid our temple desolate, and so it lay in that state of obscurity for fifty years; but that in the second year of the reign of Cyrus, its foundations were laid, and it was finished again in the secondNebuchadnezzar 43 years 604-562
Awel-Marduck 2 years 561-560
Neriglissar 4 years 559-556
Labashi-Marduck 9 Months 556
Nabonidus 17 Years 555-539

If Nabuchadnezzar first year was 605/604 then it follows that 18 years later when he destroyed the temple was 587/586 BCE.

Why would we have any doubt that Josephus meant 50 years, he had just agreed with Berosus timeline which clearly shows it was 50 years. Berosus’s comments have more weight then Josephus, since he was that much closer to the actual events. I respect an individual been confused as I have been many times, but an organization with so much resources having this type of scholarship? It is a deception. I would love to tackle other aspects of this prophecy whenever you are ready Mr. Rotherham. I greatly, appreciate you giving me the chance to express my thoughts on this topic. I am not a great writer, English is my second language, but I try to do the best I can to convey my thoughts and facts in a logical manner. If you still think it should read 70 years, I would love to hear your thoughts or we can move to another topic. I think I have established that the Watchtower has not been honest, that been the case I believe that then we have the responsibility to put to the test anything that they say. It is actually, what the Bible asks us to do to test anything.

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Re: 1st topic for discussion: Josephus-50 or 70 years?

Postby Rotherham » Tue Apr 22, 2014 7:57 am

Hello Heber,Sorry for the delay. I was not available Saturday thru Monday to get online as I was upgrading my home computers, which by the way, was a real pain in the patushki. :(Anyway, I have read through your arguments concerning Josephus and understand your points. I will look through all of these references in detail and get back with you about this probably yet today or tomorrow.

One question: Where is the quote found in the WT literature that you refer to?

Regards,
Rotherham

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Re: 1st topic for discussion: Josephus-50 or 70 years?

Postby Rotherham » Tue Apr 22, 2014 11:05 am

Hello Heber,I am seeing that although Josephus says that Berossus’ facts and figures agree with their histories, I am wondering as to how much detail he means, because there appears to be discrepancies that don’t match and would conflict with the true picture of events.For instance, Josephus says the following about Berossus’:

“And when he was relating the acts of this king, he describes to us how he sent his son Nabuchodonosor against Egypt, and against our land, with a great army, upon his being informed that they had revolted from him; and how, by that means, he subdued them all, and set our temple that was at Jerusalem on fire; nay, and removed our people entirely out of their own country, and transferred them to Babylon; when it so happened that our city was desolate during the interval of seventy years, until the days of Cyrus king of Persia.”

This says that this FULL removal of the Israelites from the land happened when Nebuchadnezzar also came against Egypt, which isn’t the way history relates it at all. It was not at the same time that he came against Egypt that he also set the Jerusalem temple on fire and made a complete removal of the people from the land, so how does that possibly agree with the true history that Josephus refers to? If Josephus quotes Berossus accurately, then this means that Nebuchadnezzar would have destroyed the temple circa his first year as king. The way this reads the desolation would have begun sometime circa 605 BCE when he went against Egypt at the command of his father Nabopolassar. How can that be in complete agreement with their books? Or ours?

Either this “book agreement” is a very “loose” agreement, just in relation to events, or Josephus is highly confused as to how these events transpired. Josephus is likely looking for corroboration to their own histories by other ancient history from other nations, but is not evidently concerned with all the details, especially timing, or he would not agree to such a huge discrepancy as this. He could be referring to the events as being in agreement with the histories without referring to the years given, because the years that would line up with the way Berossus lays it out simply would not match with their books, unless I am misunderstanding what is said.

Therefore, I still believe that we can see the “fifty” year remark as a reference to the actual “obscurity” of the temple and not the actual length of its destruction. The overgrowth and erosion, etc. could easily come to cause the ruins to become out of sight by the passersby.

Since there is no doubt that Josephus once believed that the entire “desertion” of the land was 70 years, with the considerations above, there is no reason to think that he is changing this without any warning or word to the wise to correct his earlier beliefs. He clearly was not adhering strictly to what Berossus said because he did not believe that Nebuchadnezzar destroyed the temple at the same time that he defeated Egypt circa 605 BCE. The EVENTS match which is generally considered a good corroboration of ancient events between nations, but the timing clearly didn’t.

Now unless you can clear that mystery up another way, I have no reason to believe that the WT was attempting a deception as to the words of Josephus.

ADDITION: I also notice that Barclay’s version of what is said does not allow for the “DURING” argument that you offered earlier. Notice what the meaning of the passage is revealed to be by his rendition of Josephus.

“and while relating his exploits he describes how he sent his own son Naboukodrosorus [Nebuchadnezzar]437 with a large army against Egypt and against our land, when he learned that they had rebelled;438 he defeated them all and burned the sanctuary in Hierosolyma,439 and utterly uprooted all our people, and transferred them to Babylon,440 [b]with the result that the city was deserted for seventy years until Cyrus[/b], the first king of the Persians.441”

Since Whiston’s version is ambiguous with the “during” rendition, it could be part of or all of the interval of seventy years, Barclay clears up the meaning for us showing that Josephus, as late as chapter 19 in book 1, just two paragraphs before the FIFTY reference, STILL believed that the city was DESERTED fro SEVENTY years. This adds more weight to what I am saying and increases the mystery as to why he would change to fifty without any explanation as to why. I believe he was clearly referring to the “obscure” condition lasting fifty years, not the entire deserted state of seventy years as attested throughout the rest of his writings,

Regards,
Rotherham

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Re: 1st topic for discussion: Josephus-50 or 70 years?

Postby hperez » Tue Apr 22, 2014 5:12 pm

Your comment “Since there is no doubt that Josephus once believed that the entire “desertion” of the land was 70 years, with the considerations above, there is no reason to think that he is changing this without any warning or word to the wise to correct his earlier belief”I appreciate your response. It is to be noted that in Josephus other corrections he did not give any warning or word to the wise, so I don’t see the need to apply a different rule here. It is us that is demanding an explanation, but he was a Historian and was concerned about the accuracy not about what the learned wanted to hear.In regards to the following statement that you quoted from Josephus:

“And when he was relating the acts of this king, he describes to us how he sent his son Nabuchodonosor against Egypt,( I don’t think Josephus wanted to list 18 years of history between these two events, he was giving a sequence of events not exact timeline, but you chose to ignore the real timeline he quotes from Berosus) and against our land, with a great army,upon his being informed that they had revolted from him; and how, by that means, he subdued them all, and set our temple that was at Jerusalem on fire; nay, and removed our people entirely out of their own country, and transferred them to Babylon; when it so happened that our city was desolate during the interval of seventy years, until the days of Cyrus king of Persia”.

Your comments simply ignore paragraph 20 as if it did not exist. In your mind you are imposing upon the text what you want to see and then ignore real facts(numbers) the ones that Berosus gave. Josephus comments were not in a vacuum as you want to make them he was quoting another historian and one with greater weight then he was. But, I think Josephus says “UPON HIS BEIGN INFORMED THAT THEY HAD REVOLTED”, uhg was that right after he destroyed Egypt? Nope, so why confuse the matter? Josephus do give a qualitative statement as to the When the Temple was destroyed, a statement that separates it from the war against Egypt. He does not say both happen at the same time, you read that into the text to justify the unjustifiable.

One thing I love are numbers(I am an Engineer so with all the mistakes I make in grammar I hope I can understand numbers) as words can be twisted to mean different things. The timeline of Kings and the years they ruled cannot be changed thank God otherwise we would be changing those too. I am sure Josephus knew better than us what Berossus meant as I am sure he could add the numbers. Berossus numbers clearly show it was 50 years from the 18 years of Nabuchodosor through the destruction of Babylon.

In regards to Josephus words that you quoted “”And when he was relating the acts of this king, he describes to us how he sent his son Nabuchodonosor against Egypt, and against our land, with a great army, upon his being informed that they had revolted from him; and how, by that means, he subdued them all, and set our temple that was at Jerusalem on fire; nay, and removed our people entirely out of their own country, and transferred them to Babylon; when it so happened that our city was desolate during the interval of seventy years, until the days of Cyrus king of Persia.”

As far as I understand according to the Insight of the Scriptures the Watchtower puts the battle of Carquemis in the year 625 BCE, so are you implying that Josephus and Berossus are saying that Jerusalem was destroyed on 625 BCE right after the battle of Carquemis? I am sure you don’t agree with that, because not even the Watchtower believes that notion. And When we look at the timeline Berossus gives us which Josephus could read we find that the destruction of Jerusalem in the 18 years of Nabuchonosor’s reign he destroyed the Temple which was 587/586 BCE. I don’t think I Josephus was that Stupid and we are that much smarter or for that matter smarter then Berossus.

I don’t see the previous statement as solid as the timeline that Josephus quotes from Berossus on paragraph 20, but even then it does not say what you are implying. I will put more weight on a sequence of numbers, because numbers cannot be twisted. Josephus is not contradicting Berossus timeline, the king of Babylon did sent his son Against Egypt, he also send him against Jerusalem but when did this happened? This was after they REVOLTED FROM HIM. Did both things happened at the same time? No, Egypt was destroyed first and years later after Jerusalem did not want to continue in servitude of Babylon and after not listening to the Prophect of Jehovah’s warning not to REVOLT they were destroyed. The two happened in sequence, but not at the same time . The bigger question is does Josephus says it happened right after the other? NO, NO, NO, All the Watchtower has in their arsenal is planting the seed of doubt, but not solid fact is behind their strategy.

In reality that argument is NULL AND VOID it is just grasping for air, not even the Watchtower believes that Jerusalem was destroyed right after the battle of Carquemis( they have the battle of Carquemis on 625 BCE and the destruction of Jerusalem 607 BCE), so I don’t see any contradiction. Such interpretation actually contradicts the Watchtower timeline of events. Either way, Berossus is a much more reliable source then Josephus and his timeline is clear the 18 year of rule by Nabuchonosor was 587/586 BCE in which year the Temple was destroyed. I believe Josephus knew what he was saying there is no contradiction.

You also said the following “This says that this FULL removal of the Israelites from the land happened when Nebuchadnezzar also came against Egypt, which isn’t the way history relates it at all. It was not at the same time that he came against Egypt that he also set the Jerusalem temple on fire and made a complete removal of the people from the land,” I agree with you it was not at the same time. Again, if that is what Josephus meant then it would contradict the Watchtower own timeline and what I believe and history, but he did not say that at all. Egypt was destroyed first and then Jerusalem WHEN JERUSALEM REVOLTED not before not right after the battle of Carquemis. The only contradiction is only with your view, but not in context of what he said after or what he quoted Berosus as saying. In all his words in the Book “Against Apion” you cannot find a contradiction. On the other side , Your view (that paragraph 21 does not mean 50 years from the destruction of the Temple through the destruction of Babylon) does contradicts not only the comments made by Josephus on paragraph 21 in light of the text, but the comments from a much greater source Berossus and a lot more sources. So, when you say “This says” no it does not at all again you have to impose the Watchtower(planting of doubt, since you have no other recourse) view on what he said and then ignore paragraph 20 like is does not exist. So, now the Watchtower has more validity then Berossu’s timeline?

You also commented “The way this reads the desolation would have begun sometime circa 605 BCE when he went against Egypt at the command of his father Nabopolassar. How can that be in complete agreement with their books? Or ours?”. It cannot, because that is not what he is saying that is what you are implying that he is saying. Berossus timeline is clear as I have listed before and it is in agreements with History, Archeology, the Bible, Astronomy data. Can you proof the timeline exposed by Berossus is wrong? Lets, put words aside. Now, the Watchtower timelines matches with NONE, not with their books or our books, not with History, nor Arqueology, nor with Astronomical data, Nor with any facts. Actually, neither with the parallel history of the Egyptians kings.

One final comment you said ” This adds more weight to what I am saying and increases the mystery as to why he would change to fifty without any explanation as to why. I believe he was clearly referring to the “obscure” condition lasting fifty years, not the entire deserted state of seventy years as attested throughout the rest of his writings”

Are you really serious mystery? He just finished quoting Berossus timeline which shows 50 years from Nabochonosor 18 years of reign through the Destruction of Babylon why in the world would he meant anything different. Was he retarded to quote a timeline like the one Berossus shows and say it is accurate and then contradict it in the next paragraph? You call been consistent with the context a mystery? I call a mystery why the Watchtower chooses to give a blindside to all the facts instead of doing the honorable thing that even a man like Josephus was able to do, when he found he was wrong he did not make excuses, but accepted his mistakes and corrected them.

I truly think Berossu knew what he was saying way better then the Watchtower 2500 hundreds years later don’t you think. And what a coincidence he is in accordance with everything else, but the Watchtower interpretation and yours.

One last comment, since you think Mr. Barclay is the last word maybe you would like to know what he said about the watchtower rendition of John 1:1, but that is a different topic.

Regards
Heber Perez

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Re: 1st topic for discussion: Josephus-50 or 70 years?

Postby Rotherham » Wed Apr 23, 2014 2:03 pm

Hello Heber,Just as an aide, I am familiar with Mr. Barclay’s criticism of the WT, but as you mention, that is certainly not related to this discussion. I think the fewer sidebars that are inserted the better.Now, let’s return to your response. My comments will be inserted between the #############.

You started:
[quote=”hperez”]Your comment “Since there is no doubt that Josephus once believed that the entire “desertion” of the land was 70 years, with the considerations above, there is no reason to think that he is changing this without any warning or word to the wise to correct his earlier belief”

I appreciate your response. It is to be noted that in Josephus other corrections he did not give any warning or word to the wise, so I don’t see the need to apply a different rule here. It is us that is demanding an explanation, but he was a Historian and was concerned about the accuracy not about what the learned wanted to hear.

###############################
That of course is an opinion. It is just as likely as I will explain, that Josephus did not think he was actually changing anything from 70 to 50. Plus, can it be said that the changes he made in the other places were just two short chapters apart? That, in my opinion, increases the likelihood that he wasn’t really changing anything but speaking about a different aspect of the same time period.
###############################

In regards to the following statement that you quoted from Josephus:

“And when he was relating the acts of this king, he describes to us how he sent his son Nabuchodonosor against Egypt,( I don’t think Josephus wanted to list 18 years of history between these two events, he was giving a sequence of events not exact timeline, but you chose to ignore the real timeline he quotes from Berosus) and against our land, with a great army,upon his being informed that they had revolted from him; and how, by that means, he subdued them all, and set our temple that was at Jerusalem on fire; nay, and removed our people entirely out of their own country, and transferred them to Babylon; when it so happened that our city was desolate during the interval of seventy years, until the days of Cyrus king of Persia”.

Your comments simply ignore paragraph 20 as if it did not exist. In your mind you are imposing upon the text what you want to see and then ignore real facts(numbers) the ones that Berosus gave. Josephus comments were not in a vacuum as you want to make them he was quoting another historian and one with greater weight then he was. But, I think Josephus says “UPON HIS BEIGN INFORMED THAT THEY HAD REVOLTED”, uhg was that right after he destroyed Egypt? Nope, so why confuse the matter? Josephus do give a qualitative statement as to the When the Temple was destroyed, a statement that separates it from the war against Egypt. He does not say both happen at the same time, you read that into the text to justify the unjustifiable.

##############################################
I believe it is you who are reading into the text what you want to see here. Berossus’ account is not accurate because even commentators have noted this problem:

Notice what Barclay states about this issue: (interspersed between the words of Josephus in the section under current scrutiny.) My words are also interspersed. I will label each section to keep it all straight.

Josephus
131Then, listing Noah’s descendants and adding their dates,434 he comes to Naboupolassaros,435 the king of Babylon and the Chaldeans,436 

Barclay
A-434 This suggests that Josephus knew Berosus’ dating scheme, which we know from elsewhere ( FGH 680, frag. 5a) as including 86 kings between the flood and the Medes’ capture of Babylonia, all named and with reign-dates totalling 33,091 years. Josephus knew Berosus’ age-figures were enormous ( Ant. 1.106-7) and may have considered them too incredible to cite.The result is that he gives no indication of where to place the following historical events in a wider chronological framework; it is only later that he will connect Babylonian history to a widely known figure, Cyrus. For the moment, by simply juxtaposing Nabopalasaros with Noah, he leaves the impression of great antiquity. Following his own reckoning ( Ant. 1.82-88), he is jumping here about 1,600 years.

Rotherham
This proves that Josephus was not in harmony with the figures of Berossus and was merely using Berossus as a corroboration of EVENTS, not the TIMING of these events. Otherwise, you would have a huge problem with the timeline of Berossus.

Josephus
132and while relating his exploits he describes how he sent his own son Naboukodrosorus [Nebuchadnezzar]437 with a large army against Egypt and against our land, when he learned that they had rebelled;438 he defeated them all and burned the sanctuary in Hierosolyma,439 and utterly uprooted all our people, and transferred them to Babylon,440 with the result that the city was deserted for seventy years until Cyrus, the first king of the Persians.441

Barclay
440 Josephus highlights the Judean captives from among those Berosus will list in 1.137, and compresses the different phases of captivity (cf. Ant. 10.98, 101, 149) into a single event, to match Berosus’ account.

Rotherham
This shows that even Barclay recognized that Josephus was attempting to match up with Berossus account which condensed all the captivities into a single event. This once again proves that Josephus was more interested in the corroboration of events, not the corroboration of the numbers involved because the captives were not taken in a single event, which is evidently how Berossus presented it. Another mismatch with true history when it comes to Berossus according to Barclay’s commentary.

Josephus:
133He says that the Babylonian442 conquered Egypt, Syria, Phoenicia and Arabia, surpassing in his exploits all who had previously ruled over the Chaldeans and Babylonians.443

134444 I shall present Berosus’ own words, which go like this:445

135When his father Naboupolassaros446 heard that the satrap appointed over Egypt and the regions of Coele-Syria and Phoenicia had rebelled,447 since he was no longer able to endure the hardships himself, he appointed his son Naboukodrosoros, who was still in his prime,448 over some parts of his army, and sent him out against him.449

Barclay:
447 In fact there was no “satrap” (a Persian term) over these territories, which were ruled independently by Necho II of Egypt (609 – 594 BCE). Berosus presents a clash between two rival powers as a rebellion by an appointed subordinate. It is curious that the names of key people and battle-sites (1.136) are not mentioned: it is possible that they were omitted in Polyhistor’s abbreviation of this source, or that Josephus has strategically cut them out. On what Berosus might have meant by Coele-Syria (including Judea?), see Stern 1.14; Labow 2005: 138, n.54.

Rotherham
This demonstrates that Brossus words have been filtered through Polyhistor and may not contain everything, Josephus strategically leaving out things. It shows the possibility of corruption in other places.

Josephus:
136Naboukodrosoros engaged the rebel, overpowered him in a pitched battle,450 and brought the district again under their rule.451 And it happened that at this time his father, Naboupolassaros, fell ill in the city of the Babylonians and died, having reigned for twenty-one years.452

137When, not long after, Naboukodrosoros heard of his father’s death, after he had settled affairs in Egypt and the rest of the district,453 and appointed some of the Friends454 to take charge of the captives – Judeans,455 Phoenicians, Syrians, peoples bordering Egypt456– and to convey them to Babylon, together with the heavily-armed troops457 and the rest of the spoils, he himself rushed ahead with a small escort and got to Babylon across the desert.

Barclay:
453 The Greek ( τὰ κατὰ τὴν Αἴγυπτον πράγματα) could be translated “the affairs concerning Egypt”; if Berosus suggests that Nebuchadnezzar got to control Egypt, the claim is wholly unhistorical. The context here, the brief interval after Carchemish and before Nebucahdnezzar’s enthronement, suggests that Berosus is referring only to events in 605 BCE (see Gutschmid 496-97). If so, the captives mentioned in this section, including the Judeans, would be prisoners captured from Necho’s army at Carchemish or other garrisons (cf. Begg and Spilsbury 2005: 291, n.956), not the result of the extensive, but rather later, campaigns in Syria and Phoenicia. It is uncertain whether Berosus returned at a later point in his narrative (after his account of the rebuilding of Babylon) to the eastern campaigns of Nebuchadnezzar, including his eventual sack of Jerusalem (587 BCE). But if so, Josephus does not know that part of his work, and he has to make do with the one, passing, reference to “Judeans” to which he has access. Although he knows that the destruction of the temple did not take place until the 18th year of Nebucahdnezzar’s reign (1.154), his reference to that event both before (1.132) and after (1.145) this citation encourages readers to hear in this reference to Judeans and their settlement in Babylon (1.137-38) an allusion to the Babylonian conquest of Judea and Jerusalem. He had related the successive stages of subjugation of Judea in Ant. 10.84-150, closely following the biblical account. He cannot find in Berosus the justification to repeat any of that narrative here.

455 The relative insignificance of these captives is indicated by their mention in a subordinate clause (the main verb comes only at the end of the section). For Josephus, this whole segment of his work hinges on the mention of Judeans in this list of captives within this subordinate clause. Since Judea is not explicitly mentioned in the list of territories in 1.135, and since the presence of “Judeans” here is essential for Josephus’ whole argument, it has been suggested (e.g., by J. Lewy) that Josephus himself has introduced the name into Berosus’ text. Reinach’s counter-arguments (27, n.3) are not very strong, and we have reason to suspect that Josephus does sometimes tamper with his sources (see, e.g., at 1.82, 84). Eusebius’ inclusion of this reference ( Chron. 22.18) is not independent of Josephus ( pace Reinach), and the slightly clumsy Greek ( τε καὶ … καὶ …) might betray the hand of Josephus. The question must remain open, but even if we trust Josephus at this point, the contrast between his perspective and the political interests of his source is striking.

Rotherham
This shows that Josephus or at least SOMEONE was willing to alter the text which calls into question the validity of many things here stated. It also shows that Josephus was very selective in his references to avoid conflict between the accounts.

This statement here:

(When, not long after, Naboukodrosoros heard of his father’s death, after he had settled affairs in Egypt and the rest of the district,)

shows another condensing of events by Berossus because the “settling” of the rest of the district would have included Judea and it was said to have happened NOT LONG after the death of Neb’s father. Again, an historical inaccuracy. See Barclay’s agreement below.

Josephus
147His regime was lawless and debauched,488 and when a plot was laid by his sister’s husband, Neriglisaros,489 he was assassinated, having reigned for 2 years.490 After his assassination, Neriglisaros, who plotted against him, succeeded to the throne and reigned for 4 years.491

Barclay:
488Berosus’ moral tone justifies the change of regime; his pride in the Babylonian kingdom does not mean whitewashing all its rulers. In Ant. 10.229-31 Josephus had followed the biblical story (2 Kgs 25:27-30 = Jer 52:31-34) in recording this king’s kindness to “Jechonias”; he also attributed to him there an 18-year reign (see Begg and Spilsbury 2005: 294, n.987). Here Josephus seems unable, or at least unwilling, to reconcile Berosus’ account with that of his scriptures.

Rotherham
To claim Josephus was somehow in lockstep agreement with Berossus is most certainly flawed. Again, this stresses the fact that Josephus was more interested in corroborating EVENTS rather than actual timelines and that Berossus timing was skewed.

Josephus:
154These words contain the truth in agreement with our books;504 for it is written there that Naboukodrosoros devastated our sanctuary in the eighteenth year of his reign505 and it was left without trace for 50 years,506 and in the second year of the reign of Cyrus the foundations were laid,507 and, again, in the second year of the reign of Darius it was completed.508

Barclay:
505 Josephus has to find this in “our books,” since the event goes unmentioned in what he knows of Berosus. Although he had found something close to what he wanted in the reference to Judean captives (1.137), he knew that Berosus placed this at the beginning of Nebuchadnezzar’s reign, not in its 18th year. Josephus thus relies on a (slightly inexact) memory of the biblical account: 2 Kgs 25:8 = Jer 52:12 says the temple was burned in Nebuchadnezzar’s 19th year; Jer 52:29 talks of captives in the 18th year (cf. Ant 10.146). The surviving Babylonian Chronicle refers to Nebuchadnezzar’s campaign in Judea, but is missing for the years in which the temple was destroyed (Wiseman 1956: 32-38).

Rotherham
This demonstrtaes that even Barclay recognized the fact that Berossus had the timing of this event as wrong. He specifically claims that Berossus’ words put this event at the BEGINNING of Neb’s reign, and that is simply not correct. Josephus couldn’t possibly be agreeing with the timeline.

Therefore, this demonstrates my point beyond any reasonable doubt that Josephus was NOT relying on the numbers of Berossus but was relying on his corroboration of events. Berossus’ timing was completely off.
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In regards to Josephus words that you quoted “”And when he was relating the acts of this king, he describes to us how he sent his son Nabuchodonosor against Egypt, and against our land, with a great army, upon his being informed that they had revolted from him; and how, by that means, he subdued them all, and set our temple that was at Jerusalem on fire; nay, and removed our people entirely out of their own country, and transferred them to Babylon; when it so happened that our city was desolate during the interval of seventy years, until the days of Cyrus king of Persia.”

As far as I understand according to the Insight of the Scriptures the Watchtower puts the battle of Carquemis in the year 625 BCE, so are you implying that Josephus and Berossus are saying that Jerusalem was destroyed on 625 BCE right after the battle of Carquemis? I am sure you don’t agree with that, because not even the Watchtower believes that notion. And When we look at the timeline Berossus gives us which Josephus could read we find that the destruction of Jerusalem in the 18 years of Nabuchonosor’s reign he destroyed the Temple which was 587/586 BCE. I don’t think I Josephus was that Stupid and we are that much smarter or for that matter smarter then Berossus.

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I have already demonstrated that Barclay was convinced that Berossus’ timeline was skewed. If you take the words at face value, that’s exactly what it sounds like and Barclay was convinced of it himself. Josephus was not looking for timeline corroboration, if so, he would have to agree with Berossus about the years between the flood and Babylonian conquest being highly inflated and he would have to agree that Jerusalm was depopulated in the first year of Nebuchadnezzar.

And once again, this is confirmed by Josephus own words just two paragraphs prior that the city was DESERTED FOR SEVENTY YEARS. Therefore, the 50 year reference is most likely not a correction but refers to something else, its obscurity for 50 years.
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I don’t see the previous statement as solid as the timeline that Josephus quotes from Berossus on paragraph 20, but even then it does not say what you are implying. I will put more weight on a sequence of numbers, because numbers cannot be twisted. Josephus is not contradicting Berossus timeline, the king of Babylon did sent his son Against Egypt, he also send him against Jerusalem but when did this happened? This was after they REVOLTED FROM HIM. Did both things happened at the same time? No, Egypt was destroyed first and years later after Jerusalem did not want to continue in servitude of Babylon and after not listening to the Prophect of Jehovah’s warning not to REVOLT they were destroyed. The two happened in sequence, but not at the same time . The bigger question is does Josephus says it happened right after the other? NO, NO, NO, All the Watchtower has in their arsenal is planting the seed of doubt, but not solid fact is behind their strategy.

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Barclay begs to differ. Berossus did not separate the two events and Josephus let it slide.
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In reality that argument is NULL AND VOID it is just grasping for air, not even the Watchtower believes that Jerusalem was destroyed right after the battle of Carquemis( they have the battle of Carquemis on 625 BCE and the destruction of Jerusalem 607 BCE), so I don’t see any contradiction. Such interpretation actually contradicts the Watchtower timeline of events. Either way, Berossus is a much more reliable source then Josephus and his timeline is clear the 18 year of rule by Nabuchonosor was 587/586 BCE in which year the Temple was destroyed. I believe Josephus knew what he was saying there is no contradiction.

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You mistakenly think that I am agreeing with Berossus. That’s not my point at all. The point is that Berosus assigned the fall of Jerusalem to Neb’ first year as Barclay confirms. Funny though, if that is true then Berossus gave the destruction period closer to 70 years instead of 50, according to secular chronology and Berossus’ timeline, it would have been circa 605 BCE to circa 539 BCE.
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You also said the following “This says that this FULL removal of the Israelites from the land happened when Nebuchadnezzar also came against Egypt, which isn’t the way history relates it at all. It was not at the same time that he came against Egypt that he also set the Jerusalem temple on fire and made a complete removal of the people from the land,” I agree with you it was not at the same time. Again, if that is what Josephus meant then it would contradict the Watchtower own timeline and what I believe and history, but he did not say that at all. Egypt was destroyed first and then Jerusalem WHEN JERUSALEM REVOLTED not before not right after the battle of Carquemis. The only contradiction is only with your view, but not in context of what he said after or what he quoted Berosus as saying.

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I am not talking about the WT, I am talking about Josephus and Berossus and Barclay’s view of what was written and how we should understand it. The way Barclay understands it, Josephus allowed the Berossus account that puts the destruction of Jerusalem at the first year of Neb. This demonstrates my real point that Josephus was not trying to add up years and come to a new figure because he knew that Berossus’ timeline was skewed, sometimes drastically.
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In all his words in the Book “Against Apion” you cannot find a contradiction. On the other side , Your view (that paragraph 21 does not mean 50 years from the destruction of the Temple through the destruction of Babylon) does contradicts not only the comments made by Josephus on paragraph 21 in light of the text, but the comments from a much greater source Berossus and a lot more sources. So, when you say “This says” no it does not at all again you have to impose the Watchtower(planting of doubt, since you have no other recourse) view on what he said and then ignore paragraph 20 like is does not exist. So, now the Watchtower has more validity then Berossu’s timeline?

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You can’t possibly believe that Berossus’ timelines would be correct unless you want assign over 30,000 years between the flood and Babylon’s fall and if you want to believe that Jerusalem was destroyed in the first year of Nebuchadnezzar. Josephus had to know that the timeline of Berossus had to be unreliable. All the more reason not to overturn the view expressed in chapter nineteen just two paragraphs later from 70 to 50. Why would he suddenly trust Berossus for these figures when he knew he couldn’t trust him for others. It would be a classic example of cherry-picking to say the least. If Jospehus was wanting to stick with Berossus as strictly as you say then he would have assigned the destruction to about 70 years instead of 50, from 605 BCE to 539 BCE. You can’t have it both ways. Either Josephus was not trying to change anything to line up with a supposedly correct Berossus timeline, or he was wanting to agree with Berossus and messed up the math, because 50 years would not have been correct either because Berossus believed it would have been closer to 70 if Neb destroyed Jerusalem in his first year.
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You also commented “The way this reads the desolation would have begun sometime circa 605 BCE when he went against Egypt at the command of his father Nabopolassar. How can that be in complete agreement with their books? Or ours?”. It cannot, because that is not what he is saying that is what you are implying that he is saying. Berossus timeline is clear as I have listed before and it is in agreements with History, Archeology, the Bible, Astronomy data. Can you proof the timeline exposed by Berossus is wrong? Lets, put words aside. Now, the Watchtower timelines matches with NONE, not with their books or our books, not with History, nor Arqueology, nor with Astronomical data, Nor with any facts. Actually, neither with the parallel history of the Egyptians kings.

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Like I said, you cant possibly believe that Berossus’ timeline is accurate unless you are willing to believe what I mentioned above. We will get to the other stuff later once this topic has been concluded and closed.
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One final comment you said ” This adds more weight to what I am saying and increases the mystery as to why he would change to fifty without any explanation as to why. I believe he was clearly referring to the “obscure” condition lasting fifty years, not the entire deserted state of seventy years as attested throughout the rest of his writings”

Are you really serious mystery? He just finished quoting Berossus timeline which shows 50 years from Nabochonosor 18 years of reign through the Destruction of Babylon why in the world would he meant anything different. Was he retarded to quote a timeline like the one Berossus shows and say it is accurate and then contradict it in the next paragraph? You call been consistent with the context a mystery? I call a mystery why the Watchtower chooses to give a blindside to all the facts instead of doing the honorable thing that even a man like Josephus was able to do, when he found he was wrong he did not make excuses, but accepted his mistakes and corrected them.

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You’ve made an error. Berossus did not say that Nebuchadnezzar conquered Jerusalem in his 18th year, that was Josephus stating that. All Berossus says is that Neb ruled for 43 years and again, he puts the destruction of Jerusalem in Neb’s first year, giving the desolation closer to 70 years, according to secular numbers. If Josephus wanted to agree with Berossus he would have used 70 instead of 50 for the complete desolation. The fifty could have been nothing more than an aside mentioning the fact that the temple could not be seen for 50 years with no intention of correcting the timeline.

I think it odd that Josephus would claim agreement with their records with Berossus when he would have had to know that Berossus put the destruction of Jerusalem around the first year of Neb’s reign. There is no way that they could be said to be in agreement UNLESS he was just referring to events rather than years.

Even though it looks like Josephus could have been refiguring the desolation to 50 instead of 70, I have to think because of all the discrepancies that this is not what he was doing at all. He couldn’t agree with Berossus on many things, sometimes just cherry-picking what would fit and glossing over that which would not. So thusfar, I do not see any compelling reason to think that Josephus was making a correction but rather an aside observation about obscurity.

And I suppose as a bottom line, if Josephus truly did change his mind, the WT simply committed an oversight when they did not mention the fifty year reference. It’s certainly not the easiest thing to figure out, all things considered. Now, our enemies, such as yourself, love to claim corruption and deception, but we all know that things like this are possibly just overlooked. You can feign shock and surprise at such a thing but then that is just grand-standing. I can assure you, we do not need Josephus to prove our point about 607 BCE.

I never did get that reference from you as to when and where the WT referred to Josephus for corroboration so I really can’t comment too much on that until I see it. It would be interesting to see when that comment was made because there has been some detailed information written on that topic in the last few years and I did not find it there, indicating that if they DID become aware of the problem, they aren’t using that any longer for corroboration. So please, tell me where that’s at.

Regards,
Rotherham

In the end of the matter, knowledge is based upon acknowledgement.
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Re: 1st topic for discussion: Josephus-50 or 70 years?

Postby hperez » Wed Apr 23, 2014 3:06 pm

Mr. RotherhamSince your last response is quite lengthy it will take me longer to respond. I am not too concerned about what Mr. Barclay says, since he was not Josephus or Berossus, plus Berossus is proven correct by History itself. I will try to answer a couple at a time, since it is just the same planting doubt on all the secular proof, because they do not meet your criteria as I will explain.Mr. Rotherham did you make the following comment? “You mistakenly think that I am agreeing with Berossus. That’s not my point at all. The point is that Berosus assigned the fall of Jerusalem to Neb’ first year as Barclay confirms.[/size] Funny though, if that is true then Berossus gave the destruction period closer to 70 years instead of 50, according to secular chronology and Berossus’ timeline, it would have been circa 605 BCE to circa 539 BCE”. LET ME GET THIS STRAIGHT BARCLAY CONFIRMS THAT JERUSALEM WAS DESTROYED ON NEBUCHONOSOR FIRST YEAR AND YOU AGREE WITH THAT? I FIND THAT WONDERFUL THAT YOU SIDE WITH HIM INSTEAD OF THE BIBLE THAT CLEARLY SAYS IT WAS ON NEB 18 YEAR.Actually, that would make Berossus putting the destruction period closer to 90 years, since the Watchtower puts the Nab first year as 625 BCE. So, I don’t get where you get that from it makes no sense.

So now you are quoting a man that says totally the opposite of what the Bible says? Again, you impose over the text what you want to hear and ignore the very accurate timeline Josephus quotes from Berossus. So, Josephus quotes a man as accurate, wait did he say it was accurate (maybe Mr. Barclay has a more enlightened opinion) and list his timeline of kings as accurate, but he did it because according to you an Barclay he believed him to be inaccurate? Can you show me a quote in which Berossus says that the destruction of Jerusalem occurred in the first year of Nab reign?

So, you are saying in other words that Mr. Barlay is saying that Berossus timeline puts the destruction of Jerusalem on his first year 605 BCE, which in turn would mean that by 539 BCE would be close to 70 years (which would be true if it happened on Nab first year). The problem is that the Bible and all historical facts show Jerusalem was destroyed on Nabuchanessar 18 year. So, then from 605 BCE (WHICH YOU AGREE IS NAB FIRST YEAR)- 18 years guess what? 587/586 BCE for the destruction of Jerusalem.

1) You quoted “Barclay
A-434 This suggests that Josephus knew Berosus’ dating scheme, which we know from elsewhere ( FGH 680, frag. 5a) as including 86 kings between the flood and the Medes’ capture of Babylonia, all named and with reign-dates totalling 33,091 years. Josephus knew Berosus’ age-figures were enormous ( Ant. 1.106-7) and may have considered them too incredible to cite. The result is that he gives no indication of where to place the following historical events in a wider chronological framework; it is only later that he will connect Babylonian history to a widely known figure, Cyrus. For the moment, by simply juxtaposing Nabopalasaros with Noah, he leaves the impression of great antiquity. Following his own reckoning ( Ant. 1.82-88), he is jumping here about 1,600 years.

Rotherham
This proves that Josephus was not in harmony with the figures of Berossus and was merely using Berossus as a corroboration of EVENTS, not the TIMING of these events. Otherwise, you would have a huge problem with the timeline of Berossus.
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My answer: Who is more credible Berossus or the Watchtower timeline? So, Josephus quotes a man as accurate, wait did he say it was accurate (maybe Mr. Barclay has a more enlightened opinion) and list his timeline of kings as accurate, but he did it because according to you an Barclay he believed him to be inaccurate? Ok, I really need time to answer that one. The only thing that shows is that Josephus knew of some figures that were not accurate as we also know today, but does that make the period which Josephus quotes Berossus inaccurate?

DID MR. BARCLAY ALSO INFORMED THE READERS OF THE FOLLOWING INFORMATION? I MEAN, SINCE HE IS THE ULTIMATE SOURCE, HE MOST HAVE RESEARCHED ALL ANGLES BEFORE GIVING A PROFESSIONAL OPINION. ALL THE COMMENTS REGARDING THE INNACURACY OF BEROSSUS FOR THE TIME WE ARE INTERESTED IN ARE WITHOUT BASIS, WHY?

Where did Berossus get his information on the Neo-Babylonian kings? According to his own words he “translated many books which had been preserved with great care at Babylon and which dealt with a period of more than 150,000 years.”9 These “books” included accounts of legendary kings “before the Flood” with very exaggerated lengths of reign. His history of the dynasties after the Flood down to the reign of the Babylonian king Nabonassar (747–734 B.C.E.) is also far from reliable and evidently contained much legendary material and exaggerated lengths of reign.

Berossus himself indicates that it was impossible to give a trustworthy history of Babylonia before Nabonassar, as that king “collected and destroyed the records of the kings before him in order that the list of Chaldaean kings might begin with him.”

Despite these problems, however, for later periods, and especially for the critical Neo-Babylonian period, it has been established that Berossus used the generally very reliable Babylonian chronicles, or sources similar to these documents, and that he carefully reported their content in Greek. The figures he gives for the reign of the Neo-Babylonian kings substantially agree with the figures given by those ancient cuneiform documents.

Burstein, for example, says: “The earliest are those made by Josephus in the first century A.D. from the sections concerning the second and particularly the third book of the Babyloniaca, the latter indeed providing our best evidence for Berossus’ treatment of the Neo-Babylonian period.” (Op. cit., pp. 10, 11; emphasis added.) Josephus’ lengthy quotation on the Neo-Babylonian era in Against Apion is best preserved in Eusebius’ Preparation for the Gospel, Book IX, chapter XL. (See the discussion by H. St. J. Thackeray in Josephus, Vol. I [Loeb Classical Library, Vol. 38:I], London: William Heinemann, and New York: G. P. Putnam’s Sons, 1926, pp. xviii, xix.)

In other words it is true that up to the year 740 BCE even Berossus admitted that it was impossible for him to date previous to 740 BCE with any accuracy, but does this mean that time time we are interested after 740 BCE was not accurate? NOPE, it is very accurate as the following information shows. Can you show me where the Watchtower timing matches any of the following timelines that have been proven to agree with each other at least to the month, but we are missing 20 years with the Watchtower interpretation. What are the odds that they all agree with Berossus and not the Watchtower and you put Berossus on the questionable seat and not the Watchtower? uhg, I wonder why?

The figures he gives for the reigns of the Neo-Babylonian kings substantially agree with the figures given by those ancient cuneiform documents.

TIMELINE ACCORDING TO THE ECONOMIC-ADMINISTRATIVE AND LEGAL DOCUMENTS
Nabopolassar 21 years (625 – 605 BCE)
Nebuchadnezzar 43 years (604 – 562 BCE)
Awel-Marduk 2 years (561 – 560 BCE)
Neriglissar 4 years (559 – 556 BCE)
Labashi-Marduk 2–3 months ( 556 BCE)
Nabonidus 17 years (555 – 539 BCE)

TIMELINE ACCORDING TO THE NEO-BABYLONIAN HISTORICAL RECORDS
ROYAL THE NEO-BAB. THE URUK THE ROYAL B.C.E
NAME CHRONICLES KING LIST INSCRIPTIONS DATES

Nabopolassar 21 years 21 years 21 years 625–605
Nabuchadnezzar 43 years * 43 (ye)ars 43 years 604–562
Awel-Marduk 2 years* 2 (ye)ars 2 years 561–560
Neriglissar 4 years* ‘3’ (y’s)+8 m’s 4 years 559–556
Labashi-Marduk some months* 3 months — 556
Nabonidus ‘17 years ’ ‘17?’ (years) 17 years 555–539

TIMELINE ACCORDING TO THE URUK KING LIST
(obverse)

21 years K(anda)lanu
1 year Sin-shum-lishir and Sin-shar-ishkun
21 years Nabopolassar
43 (ye)ars Nebuchadnezzar
2 (ye)ars Awel-Marduk
‘3’ (years) 8 months Neriglissar
(. . .) 3 months Labashi-Marduk
‘17[?]’ (years) Nabonidus

TIMELINE ACCORDING TO BABYLONIAN CHRONICLES.
Most of these chronicles are incomplete. The extant (actually existing) parts of Chronicles 2-7 cover the following regnal years:
TABLE 2: EXTANT PARTS OF THE NEO-BABYLONIAN CHRONICLES 2–7
CHRONICLE NO. RULER REGNAL YEARS COVERED
No.2 = B.M. 25127 Nabopolassar acc.-year – 3
3 = B.M. 21901 Nabopolassar 10 – 17
4 = B.M. 22047 Nabopolassar 18 – 20
5 = B.M. 21946 Nabopolassar 21
” ” ” Nebuchadnezzar acc.-year – 10
6 = B.M. 25124 Neriglissar 3
7 = B.M. 35382 Nabonidus 1 – 11
” ” ” Nabonidus 17

THE NEO-BABYLONIAN CHRONOLOGY ACCORDING TO THE ECONOMIC-ADMINISTRATIVE AND LEGAL DOCUMENTS
Nabopolassar 21 years (625 – 605 BCE)
Nebuchadnezzar 43 years (604 – 562 BCE)
Awel-Marduk 2 years (561 – 560 BCE)
Neriglissar 4 years (559 – 556 BCE)
Labashi-Marduk 2–3 months ( 556 BCE)
Nabonidus 17 years (555 – 539 BCE)

Was Berossus more accurate than the Watchotwer? It is not even a comparison. I will continue answering your planting of the seed of doubt, but you have no substantial proof that Berossus was wrong.

You also said “You’ve made an error. Berossus did not say that Nebuchadnezzar conquered Jerusalem in his 18th year, that was Josephus stating that. All Berossus says is that Neb ruled for 43 years and again, he puts the destruction of Jerusalem in Neb’s first year, giving the desolation closer to 70 years, according to secular numbers. If Josephus wanted to agree with Berossus he would have used 70 instead of 50 for the complete desolation. The fifty could have been nothing more than an aside mentioning the fact that the temple could not be seen for 50 years with no intention of correcting the timeline.

Does your Bible say it was in his 18 year of rulership? Does it? Oh, I guess you are right he did not say it my mistake, but he did not have to. I am not even going over the Egyptian line of kings from the Saite period which correspond with the timeline we are discussing and it also agrees that the destruction of Jerusalem was in 587/586 BCE.

You asked the following “Besides, he is quoting Josephus and Berossus when he makes his commentary. Should I think your observations are somehow superior to his?” Nope, but nowhere is Mr. Barclay dismissing (neither can he) the substantial data from the Babylonian records which show clearly from every aspect pretty much the same timeline that Josephus quoted from Berossus, timeline that shows that the 18 year of Nabuchonossor rule and the date in which the Bible and Historian say he destroyed the Temple was 587/586 BCE. I will direct your readers seeking for the truth to read the previous article that you where so kind to post, also to google the following book which is free in its pdf format “The Gentiles Times Reconsidered” by Carl Olof Jonsson and then judge for themselves.

My question to you is are you putting the opinion of an Organization that has an agenda (not to lose their power over people based on 1914) above all the Scientific community which disagrees with them and whos opinion is just based on facts and not the search of power?

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YOU MADE THIS COMMENT IN WHICH YOU PUT THE WORM ON THE HOOK AND CAUGHT YOURSELF “You’ve made an error. Berossus did not say that Nebuchadnezzar conquered Jerusalem in his 18th year, that was Josephus stating that. All Berossus says is that Neb ruled for 43 years and again, he puts the destruction of Jerusalem in Neb’s first year, giving the desolation closer to 70 years, according to secular numbers. If Josephus wanted to agree with Berossus he would have used 70 instead of 50 for the complete desolation. The fifty could have been nothing more than an aside mentioning the fact that the temple could not be seen for 50 years with no intention of correcting the timeline.
++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

FIRST, BEROSSUS NEVER SAID IT HAPPENED ON NEB FIRST YEAR NO DATING WAS GIVEN. BUT ANOTHER LITTLE BITTY BITTY PROBLEM THE BIBLE SAYS IT WAS NAB 18 YEAR THAT IT HAPPENED NOT NAB FIRST YEAR. THE WATCHTOWER PUTS NABUCHODONOSOR FIRST YEAR AS 625 BCE. IF YOU AND BARCLAY CLAIM THE DESTRUCTION OCCURRED IN NAB FIRST YEAR THAT WILL MAKE ALMOST 90 YEARS BY 539 BCE, SO YOUR OPINION AND MR. BARCLAYS OPINION IS SOOOO WRONG. If all that data including the timeline that Berossus gave which Josephus calls accurate are wrong according to you and the Watchtower? Can you help me find the extra 20 years in between that are missing? Do you have any facts beyond just opinions?

I will continue answering tomorrow as time permits, but what are the odds of all that immense amount of data that to coincide with each other including the dating of Astronomical Eclipses (occurrences) – which cannot be altered? Simply, it is literally astronomically impossible.

Last edited by hperez on Thu Apr 24, 2014 7:07 am, edited 42 times in total.
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Re: 1st topic for discussion: Josephus-50 or 70 years?

Postby Rotherham » Wed Apr 23, 2014 3:16 pm

Hello Heber,I do not know why you would want to discount the commentary of Barclay since I would think he would be regarded as a neutral source of information and certainly has qualifications to make observations and commentary based upon the actual original languages. If you can’t overturn Barclay’s observations and show them wrong, then I fail to see how you can overturn what he has said.Besides, he is quoting Josephus and Berossus when he makes his commentary. Should I think your observations are somehow superior to his?

And please, in the meantime, find that WT quote for me.

Regards,
Rotherham

In the end of the matter, knowledge is based upon acknowledgement.
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Re: 1st topic for discussion: Josephus-50 or 70 years?

Postby hperez » Wed Apr 23, 2014 5:25 pm

Mr. RotherhamI don’t have to impose any ideas into what Josephus says. What I can read Josephus says and Berossus have been proven to be true and that is why the entire Scientific community believes that Jerusalem was destroyed in 587/586 BCE, which corresponds with the Bible. I don’t have to proof anything, it is for you and the Watchtower to be able to disproof that and show that the proof does not exist. The amount of data is so great that only an Organization with an agenda can continue with such a farce. The Watchtower has to admit it the fact that the data does not support them and then they have to run for covers and give their preferred excuse that “they trust more the Bible Chronology then the world”, but the truth the Bible Chronology does not support them neither. You are the one that has to impose your views on the text to interpret the 50 years to mean something else then what it says.I am not sure if you read the Article you posted, but if you still have any doubts that the timeline Berossus gave was accurate in light of the Historical data, Archeological, Astronomical, then it is your burden to show why, not me. You can try to poke doubt, but the fact is that you can show little mistakes here and there, but when you put it all together they all correspond with the Historical fact that Jerusalem was destroyed in 587 BCE and not 607 BCE. So, who cares? It is up to the Watchtower to show that what they say has any validity whatsoever. Is there any place your preferred source I guess Mr. Barclay agrees with the Watchtower that Jerusalem was destroyed in 607 BCE? I think that would be very enlightening.

AGAIN, I WILL ASK WAS BEROSSUS WRONG? DOES BERUSSUS TIMELINE CORRESPONDS WITH A 607 BCE OR A 587 BCE DATE FOR THE DESTRUCTION OF JERUSALEM? WAS THE WATCHOWER CORRECT OR WAS BEROSSUS TIMELINE CORRECT? IF YOU ARE GOING TO CRITISIZE BEROSSUS AS NOT ACCURATE WHEN HE CORRESPONDS WITH EVERGTHING THAT WE HAVE FOUND (GIVEN SOME MINOR DISCREPANCIES) AND AT THE SAME TIME SUPPORT THE WATCHTOWER WHOS TIMELINE CORRESPONDS WITH NONE, UHG NOT SURE WHAT ELSE TO SAY.

“The gentiles times reconsidered” page 98: The reigns of the Neo-Babylonian kings according to Berossus:
Nabopolasar 21 years 625-605 BCE
Nebuchadnezzar 43 years 604-562
Awel-Marduck 2 years 561-560
Neriglissar 4 years 559-556
Labashi-Marduck 9 Months 556
Nabonidus 17 Years 555-539

You quoted:
Barclay
440 Josephus highlights the Judean captives from among those Berosus will list in 1.137, and compresses the different phases of captivity (cf. Ant. 10.98, 101, 149) into a single event, to match Berosus’ account.

Rotherham
This shows that even Barclay recognized that Josephus was attempting to match up with Berossus account which condensed all the captivities into a single event. This once again proves that Josephus was more interested in the corroboration of events, not the corroboration of the numbers involved because the captives were not taken in a single event, which is evidently how Berossus presented it. Another mismatch with true history when it comes to Berossus according to Barclay’s commentary.
++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
I simply have to disagree with Mr. Barclay in light of Berossus timeline and history itself it is ridiculous to defend the Watchtower timeline over Berossus. I DO NOT AGREE HE MADE THEM INTO A SINGLE EVENT. IT WAS A SEQUENCE OF EVENTS NOTHING ELSE TO JUMP TO THE SUBJECT OF THE DESTRUCTION OF JERUSALEM. EITHER WAY BEROSSUS TIMELINE IS ACCURATE WITH HISTORICAL DATA.

You quoted:
Barclay:
447 In fact there was no “satrap” (a Persian term) over these territories, which were ruled independently by Necho II of Egypt (609 – 594 BCE). Berosus presents a clash between two rival powers as a rebellion by an appointed subordinate. It is curious that the names of key people and battle-sites (1.136) are not mentioned: it is possible that they were omitted in Polyhistor’s abbreviation of this source, or that Josephus has strategically cut them out. On what Berosus might have meant by Coele-Syria (including Judea?), see Stern 1.14; Labow 2005: 138, n.54.

Rotherham
This demonstrates that Brossus words have been filtered through Polyhistor and may not contain everything, Josephus strategically leaving out things. It shows the possibility of corruption in other places.

+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
In light of all the other sources which corroborate Berossus timeline I don’t see how that opinion is realistic.

I could on forever showing proof after proof of how they all agree, so do I care if the Watchtower chooses to disagree it is meaningless. I will just ask the readers to read the following book and make up their minds on their on “The Gentile Times Reconsidered, Chronology and Christ’s return” by Carl Olof Jonsson. If after reading that book and the article you posted for me they still support your view, then honestly there is nothing I can say beyond the research they have done. Unlike the Watchtower they were not trying to uphold a lie so their power structure would not crumble, actually their personal lives were attacked so they did it for the love of truth. I am not your enemy I am just a lover of truth I don’t care where it comes from.

I have read a few of the rest of Mr. Barclays comments and if that is all you have I think he simply ignores the rest of the data as you do, so I will read through it, but I don’t see what he sees specially in regards to the quotes we have been taking about.

ALL OF THOSE COMMENTS OF ALTERING OF THE TEXT WOULD HAVE TO BE PROVEN IN LIGHT OF THE REAL DATA AND SHOW HOW IT WAS ACTUALLY ALTERED NOT JUST SOME CONVOLUTED OPINION. SO I AM NOT WASTING MY TIME ON IT. Mr. Roherham if your only source is one 20th Century Scholar(ONE YOU DONT EVEN AGREE WITH IN OTHER OPINIONS) and you don’t deal with the immense data before Christ, are we really discussing anything here? I will recommend the book I mentioned before If still you think the Watchtower is right, honestly I am not any better. When you show me how Mr. Barclay dismisses the immense data backing Mr. Berossus above the Watchtower then maybe we can be moving into some real debate. I will read the rest of your comments and see if there is anything meaningless for me to address.

You quoted:

Josephus:
154These words contain the truth in agreement with our books;504 for it is written there that Naboukodrosoros devastated our sanctuary in the eighteenth year of his reign505 and it was left without trace for 50 years,506 and in the second year of the reign of Cyrus the foundations were laid,507 and, again, in the second year of the reign of Darius it was completed.508

Barclay:
505 Josephus has to find this in “our books,” since the event goes unmentioned in what he knows of Berosus. Although he had found something close to what he wanted in the reference to Judean captives (1.137), he knew that Berosus placed this at the beginning of Nebuchadnezzar’s reign, not in its 18th year. Josephus thus relies on a (slightly inexact) memory of the biblical account: 2 Kgs 25:8 = Jer 52:12 says the temple was burned in Nebuchadnezzar’s 19th year; Jer 52:29 talks of captives in the 18th year (cf. Ant 10.146). The surviving Babylonian Chronicle refers to Nebuchadnezzar’s campaign in Judea, but is missing for the years in which the temple was destroyed (Wiseman 1956: 32-38).

IS MR. BARCLAY SO INEPT NOT TO KNOW ALL THE DATA THAT ACTUALLY BACKS UP BEROSSUS? UH, LET ME THINK WHO DO I BELIEVE MORE JOSEPHUS/BEROSSUS/KINGS LIST/BUSINESS TABLETS, ETC, ETC, ETC OR MR. BARCLAY WITH ALL HIS SUBSTANTIALLY UNSUBSTANTIAL OPINIONS IT IS ALMOST ABSURD WHEN YOU COMPARE WHAT HE SAYS TO OTHER SCHOLARS. I DONT REALLY HAVE TO KEEP QUOTING DATA, BECAUSE YOU SIMPLY HAVE NONE.

The Watchtower quotes are mainly taken out of the book “Let your Kingdom come”. I will give you pages later.

You said “You can’t possibly believe that Berossus’ timelines would be correct unless you want assign over 30,000 years between the flood and Babylon’s fall and if you want to believe that Jerusalem was destroyed in the first year of Nebuchadnezzar”. Again, Berossus agreed that before the year 740 BCE he did not have good data, but can you proof that his data was wrong after that? Even better, can you proof that the Watchtower interpretation has better substantial backing for the period we are dealing with mainly 700 BCE – 500 BCE? I don’t think so. Its funny your Barclay quote makes fun of Berossus not been very accurate before the year 740 BCE, but I poke fun that the Watchtower has no substantial backing for their 607 BCE destruction of Jerusalem. If I were to bet on one million dollars, believe me I would have no problem betting on that.

DO YOU REALLY WANT TO POCK FUN ON BEROSSUS? BECAUSE YOU MIGHT REGRET THAT ONCE YOU FIND THE WATCHTOWER CLAIMS HAVE WAY LESS BACKING THEN HIM.

I WILL GIVE MR. BARCLAY’S COMMENTS AS MUCH WEIGHT AS YOU GIVE HIM IN HIS COMMENTS REGARDING JOHN 1:1.

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Re: 1st topic for discussion: Josephus-50 or 70 years?

Postby Rotherham » Thu Apr 24, 2014 10:30 am

Hello Heber,I really think that it would be more beneficial to the discussion if you would turn down the hostility that you so often exhibit and not use such inflammatory speech. My desire is not to fight with you but to reason with you. I am trying to have a meaningful discussion with you which in the end I hope to demonstrate that your views of chronology need to be adjusted to fit more with what the Bible says. You keep wanting to run ahead and throw a tremendous amount of information at once and claim that it’s all there and it all proves your point. I believe that when examined individually, the evidence will not prove your point, but will rather support our views, so once again, I will ask for your patience and a little respect so that we can methodically work our way through this.We should apply this Biblical principle should we not? “Sanctify the Christ as Lord in your hearts, always ready to make a defense before everyone that demands of you a reason for the hope in you, but doing so together with a mild temper and deep respect.” (1 Peter 3:15)

You said:
I don’t have to impose any ideas into what Josephus says. What I can read Josephus says and Berossus have been proven to be true and that is why the entire Scientific community believes that Jerusalem was destroyed in 587/586 BCE, which corresponds with the Bible. I don’t have to proof anything, it is for you and the Watchtower to be able to disproof that and show that the proof does not exist. The amount of data is so great that only an Organization with an agenda can continue with such a farce. [/color] The Watchtower has to admit it the fact that the data does not support them and then they have to run for covers and give their preferred excuse that “they trust more the Bible Chronology then the world”, but the truth the Bible Chronology does not support them neither. You are the one that has to impose your views on the text to interpret the 50 years to mean something else then what it says.

#####################################
But that’s just it. What you claim has been proven has not been proven, as I plan to show in great detail before we are done. Let’s try not to run ahead and claim victory prematurely.
#####################################

I am not sure if you read the Article you posted, but if you still have any doubts that the timeline Berossus gave was accurate in light of the Historical data, Archeological, Astronomical, then it is your burden to show why, not me. You can try to poke doubt, but the fact is that you can show little mistakes here and there, but when you put it all together they all correspond with the Historical fact that Jerusalem was destroyed in 587 BCE and not 607 BCE. So, who cares? It is up to the Watchtower to show that what they say has any validity whatsoever. Is there any place your preferred source I guess Mr. Barclay agrees with the Watchtower that Jerusalem was destroyed in 607 BCE? I think that would be very enlightening.

######################################
I will remind you again that at the moment we are simply discussing the validity and the meaning of the “fifty years” mentioned by Josephus. We are not yet considering the entire “ball of wax” that you and others have touted as proof. So far, we see that it is entirely possible that the fifty years may not be a reference to the entire period of desolation but only a period of obscurity. There is no way to prove either direction from what I have seen and you have produced nothing conclusive in the other direction. Yes, the years given by Berossus for the reigns of the kings Babylon would fit with the current views of chronology, HOWEVER, if we allow secular history to shrink the desolation down to fifty years we have no more for the 40 year desolation of Egypt that was to take place during that time nor do we have time for 70 year down-time for the city of Tyre. But those are things that we will get to in due time, along with all the other pieces of evidence that you offered in your article.

As I have mentioned, I have seen the information in your Article before and dealt with it in the past but you are going to have to be patient in order for all of this to be logically presented, not just for us to see, but for the readers that are following along.
###############################################

AGAIN, I WILL ASK WAS BEROSSUS WRONG? DOES BERUSSUS TIMELINE CORRESPONDS WITH A 607 BCE OR A 587 BCE DATE FOR THE DESTRUCTION OF JERUSALEM? WAS THE WATCHOWER CORRECT OR WAS BEROSSUS TIMELINE CORRECT? IF YOU ARE GOING TO CRITISIZE BEROSSUS AS NOT ACCURATE WHEN HE CORRESPONDS WITH EVERGTHING THAT WE HAVE FOUND (GIVEN SOME MINOR DISCREPANCIES) AND AT THE SAME TIME SUPPORT THE WATCHTOWER WHOS TIMELINE CORRESPONDS WITH NONE, UHG NOT SURE WHAT ELSE TO SAY.

####################################################
Actually, it will be demonstrated beyond any reasonable doubt that the WT timeline is that which lines up primarily with the Bible, and that should take precedent over man’s view of chronology which has changed down through the years and may yet change again. But we will get to all of that in due time.

You have to realize that Berossus’ information was likely filtered through Polyhistor and is simply a repetition of what 3rd century BCE chronologers came up with in their calculations. If the third century chronologers, the Seluecids, had it wrong, including Berossus, and everyone basically repeated their errors from that time period, then naturally they are going to come up with the same figures that Berossus came up with since he was one of those 3rd century BCE chronologers who helped put the chronological format together at that time.

I will show you that the info contained in the tablets can be looked at in a different way than what you and others are looking at it. Those tablets and BIBLICAL information and time periods will show that the secular view has to be incorrect, but all in due time.
##################################################

“The gentiles times reconsidered” page 98: The reigns of the Neo-Babylonian kings according to Berossus:
Nabopolasar 21 years 625-605 BCE
Nebuchadnezzar 43 years 604-562
Awel-Marduck 2 years 561-560
Neriglissar 4 years 559-556
Labashi-Marduck 9 Months 556
Nabonidus 17 Years 555-539

################################################
I understand how the years add up according to Berossus and why secular chronologers think it all fits, but it will be shown in the finality of this that it can’t possibly fit once all the Biblical data is considered, and I am not just talking about the 70 year references but other prophetic references involving other nations that had to fit into the time of the desolation of Jerusalem.
###############################################

You quoted:
Barclay
440 Josephus highlights the Judean captives from among those Berosus will list in 1.137, and compresses the different phases of captivity (cf. Ant. 10.98, 101, 149) into a single event, to match Berosus’ account.

Rotherham
This shows that even Barclay recognized that Josephus was attempting to match up with Berossus account which condensed all the captivities into a single event. This once again proves that Josephus was more interested in the corroboration of events, not the corroboration of the numbers involved because the captives were not taken in a single event, which is evidently how Berossus presented it. Another mismatch with true history when it comes to Berossus according to Barclay’s commentary.
++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
I simply have to disagree with Mr. Barclay in light of Berossus timeline and history itself it is ridiculous to defend the Watchtower timeline over Berossus. I DO NOT AGREE HE MADE THEM INTO A SINGLE EVENT. IT WAS A SEQUENCE OF EVENTS NOTHING ELSE TO JUMP TO THE SUBJECT OF THE DESTRUCTION OF JERUSALEM. EITHER WAY BEROSSUS TIMELINE IS ACCURATE WITH HISTORICAL DATA.

#########################################################
You can disagree with Mr. Barclay all you want but he is considered by those in many “theological camps” to be a respected scholar. Surely you don’t think he is biased toward US, do you? This simply demonstrates that you can’t make any absolute claims about Josephus and Berossus being accurate when it is quite evident that they are not absolute by any means. Do you actually believe Berossus was correct when he puts 30,000 some years between the flood and the fall of Babylon? You call that a MINOR discrepancy? And the way the narrative reads in chapter 19 of Book 1, if you break it down semantically, Josephus defnitely puts the conquest of Egypt and Jerusalem as the same event. If you want me to break that sentence down semantically and explain why, I will do so. Just let me know. Again, Barclay, a respected scholar by many, agrees.

Will you still then claim that Berossus is always trustworthy when it comes to numbers? Be careful not to stick your head in the sand when comments don’t line up with what you want to believe. I will try and do the same.
########################################################

You quoted:
Barclay:
447 In fact there was no “satrap” (a Persian term) over these territories, which were ruled independently by Necho II of Egypt (609 – 594 BCE). Berosus presents a clash between two rival powers as a rebellion by an appointed subordinate. It is curious that the names of key people and battle-sites (1.136) are not mentioned: it is possible that they were omitted in Polyhistor’s abbreviation of this source, or that Josephus has strategically cut them out. On what Berosus might have meant by Coele-Syria (including Judea?), see Stern 1.14; Labow 2005: 138, n.54.

Rotherham
This demonstrates that Brossus words have been filtered through Polyhistor and may not contain everything, Josephus strategically leaving out things. It shows the possibility of corruption in other places.

+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
In light of all the other sources which corroborate Berossus timeline I don’t see how that opinion is realistic.

#############################################
I understand. However, not all things have yet been analyzed which I claim will show that Berossus timeline is based on inaccurate information because it will be shown to be in conflict with many Biblical prophecies. I believe that the 3rd century BCE chronologists made a 20 year error in their calculations and perpetuated that error through many of the tablets that they made copies of and those same errors are being perpetuated today.
###############################################

I have read a few of the rest of Mr. Barclays comments and if that is all you have I think he simply ignores the rest of the data as you do, so I will read through it, but I don’t see what he sees specially in regards to the quotes we have been taking about.

#################################################
It doesn’t matter if you agree Heber, what matters is that Mr. Barclay has shown that these views are certainly in the mix and can not just be dismissed out of hand. They are legitimate views whether you or someone else would accept them or not. That’s the point.
#################################################

ALL OF THOSE COMMENTS OF ALTERING OF THE TEXT WOULD HAVE TO BE PROVEN IN LIGHT OF THE REAL DATA AND SHOW HOW IT WAS ACTUALLY ALTERED NOT JUST SOME CONVOLUTED OPINION. SO I AM NOT WASTING MY TIME ON IT. Mr. Roherham if your only source is one 20th Century Scholar(ONE YOU DONT EVEN AGREE WITH IN OTHER OPINIONS) and you don’t deal with the immense data before Christ, are we really discussing anything here? I will recommend the book I mentioned before If still you think the Watchtower is right, honestly I am not any better. When you show me how Mr. Barclay dismisses the immense data backing Mr. Berossus above the Watchtower then maybe we can be moving into some real debate. I will read the rest of your comments and see if there is anything meaningless for me to address.

#################################################
I will deal with what you call the IMMENSE DATA BEFORE CHRIST in due time if you will simply show some patience. We will get to it all, I promise. I am not quoting Mr. Barclay as a someone who agrees with us on everything, but I am quoting him as someone who is respected in many camps as a scholar and a highly qualified to make commentary about original languages. You don’t have to agree. But it shows I am not forced to see your view of it either.
################################################

You quoted:

Josephus:
154These words contain the truth in agreement with our books;504 for it is written there that Naboukodrosoros devastated our sanctuary in the eighteenth year of his reign505 and it was left without trace for 50 years,506 and in the second year of the reign of Cyrus the foundations were laid,507 and, again, in the second year of the reign of Darius it was completed.508

Barclay:
505 Josephus has to find this in “our books,” since the event goes unmentioned in what he knows of Berosus. Although he had found something close to what he wanted in the reference to Judean captives (1.137), he knew that Berosus placed this at the beginning of Nebuchadnezzar’s reign, not in its 18th year. Josephus thus relies on a (slightly inexact) memory of the biblical account: 2 Kgs 25:8 = Jer 52:12 says the temple was burned in Nebuchadnezzar’s 19th year; Jer 52:29 talks of captives in the 18th year (cf. Ant 10.146). The surviving Babylonian Chronicle refers to Nebuchadnezzar’s campaign in Judea, but is missing for the years in which the temple was destroyed (Wiseman 1956: 32-38).

IS MR. BARCLAY SO INEPT NOT TO KNOW ALL THE DATA THAT ACTUALLY BACKS UP BEROSSUS? UH, LET ME THINK WHO DO I BELIEVE MORE JOSEPHUS/BEROSSUS/KINGS LIST/BUSINESS TABLETS, ETC, ETC, ETC OR MR. BARCLAY WITH ALL HIS SUBSTANTIALLY UNSUBSTANTIAL OPINIONS IT IS ALMOST ABSURD WHEN YOU COMPARE WHAT HE SAYS TO OTHER SCHOLARS. I DONT REALLY HAVE TO KEEP QUOTING DATA, BECAUSE YOU SIMPLY HAVE NONE.

##################################################
It is entirely premature for you to claim I have no data when I have not even gotten to it yet. We are simply at this time talking about one reference of Josephus and what it actually means. I think I have demonstrated that one can read it as I am reading it, whether you agree or not is hardly the point nor the goal of this conversation. The goal is to show that there is another way to look at these words and your constant appeal to the other data is premature. We will get to it in due time.
##############################################

You said “You can’t possibly believe that Berossus’ timelines would be correct unless you want assign over 30,000 years between the flood and Babylon’s fall and if you want to believe that Jerusalem was destroyed in the first year of Nebuchadnezzar”. Again, Berossus agreed that before the year 740 BCE he did not have good data, but can you proof that his data was wrong after that?

##############################################
The problem is Josephus, after claiming considerable agreement with his books, talks about Berossus account of the flood as if it is accurate. Don’t you think that if Josephus was relying heavily on Berossus’ dates, he would have mentioned the great discrepancy here? This tells me that Josephus was looking for corroboration in regard to EVENTS, not dates. And where exactly do you find that Berossus admits that his dates are nor good before 740 BCE? I would like to check that out if you don’t mind.
############################################

Even better, can you proof that the Watchtower interpretation has better substantial backing for the period we are dealing with mainly 700 BCE – 500 BCE? I don’t think so. Its funny your Barclay quote makes fun of Berossus not been very accurate before the year 740 BCE, but I poke fun that the Watchtower has no substantial backing for their 607 BCE destruction of Jerusalem. If I were to bet on one million dollars, believe me I would have no problem betting on that.

###########################################
Once everything has been considered I think I can demonstrate that things are not exactly as you think they are and that the WT chronology is Biblically well founded.

In my opinion, I think we have covered your objection about the fifty years as being some supposed deliberate deception by the WT. “Let Your Kingdom Come” is a fairly old book and I have not seen where they appeal to Josephus quote since then.

Worst case scenario for me, it could have been an oversight by them, or the information is not clear enough to warrant a contradiction of Josephus where he elsewhere says it was definitely 70 years. I am not saying you have to agree but I am certainly saying that I do not see where it has to be your way either. I think you call this a draw and maybe it is best to move onto another point. Your choice.

Remember, let’s keep the peace.

Regards,
Rotherham

In the end of the matter, knowledge is based upon acknowledgement.
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Re: 1st topic for discussion: Josephus-50 or 70 years?

Postby hperez » Thu Apr 24, 2014 11:38 am

My apologies if I offended you. I will answer tonight in more detail, but one point I would quickly like to make is that Josephus exposed his disagreements when he saw fit, but the statement in which he calls accurate and according to ours books is directly and only related to his exposition of Berossus king list on the last paragraph. Of course, he did not agree with every comment Berossus made. I can disagree with someone and many subjects, but if a quote someone and say that what I quoted was accurate I dont see why people would say I am not saying what I just said. I believe that would extreme arrogance on their part as I believe is the case here. I take Josephus meant what he said and again he was directly refering to the destruction of the temple and not with everything Berosus said about other subjects. The timeline Berossus is accurate just like Josephus described it to be. I think you are imposing your view on what he said because it is not in the text or context.I trust Josephus when he disagreed and when he agrees I dont have to question it because it does not fit my theology. Unless you can proof Berossus kings list is wrong I dont see why we need to continue this debate. If Betossus king list that Josephus quotes is correct and is corroborated by the babylonian chronicles it really matters little if you agree with Josephus or not.The question is not was Berossus correct in everything he said the question is was his kinglist correct? If it can be proven accurate in light of other sources it matters litte what anyone wants to say. Unless you can show that Berossus king list is wrong your case is mute.

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Re: 1st topic for discussion: Josephus-50 or 70 years?

Postby Rotherham » Thu Apr 24, 2014 2:42 pm

Hello Heber,I will wait for your complete answer before I respond.Regards,
Rotherham

hperez wrote:My apologies if I offended you. I will answer tonight in more detail, but one point I would quickly like to make is that Josephus exposed his disagreements when he saw fit, but the statement in which he calls accurate and according to ours books is directly and only related to his exposition of Berossus king list on the last paragraph. Of course, he did not agree with every comment Berossus made. I can disagree with someone and many subjects, but if a quote someone and say that what I quoted was accurate I dont see why people would say I am not saying what I just said. I believe that would extreme arrogance on their part as I believe is the case here. I take Josephus meant what he said and again he was directly refering to the destruction of the temple and not with everything Berosus said about other subjects. The timeline Berossus is accurate just like Josephus described it to be. I think you are imposing your view on what he said because it is not in the text or context.I trust Josephus when he disagreed and when he agrees I dont have to question it because it does not fit my theology. Unless you can proof Berossus kings list is wrong I dont see why we need to continue this debate. If Betossus king list that Josephus quotes is correct and is corroborated by the babylonian chronicles it really matters little if you agree with Josephus or not.The question is not was Berossus correct in everything he said the question is was his kinglist correct? If it can be proven accurate in light of other sources it matters litte what anyone wants to say. Unless you can show that Berossus king list is wrong your case is mute.

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