Amazing: JW Finds Scholarly Evidence that 607 BCE is “dead on target”!

The following “exchange” just occurred through the comments section of the site. It’s the type of exchange I’ve seen elsewhere between JWs and non-JWs, but this one intrigued me because of a serious “academic” tone:

Danny, he calls himself said the following:

I think you might want to use some actual scholastic information. I’d suggest everyone read the entire series of Mesopotamian history and environment “Dating The Fall of Babylon” A reappraisal of second-millennium chronology.

(A joint Ghent-Chicago-Harvard Project)
By H. Gasche, J.A. Armstrong, S.W. Cole and V.G. Gurzadyan.

The year 607 is dead on target. The peer reviewed information is overwhelming and photos and dates are proven to be highly accurate and still to this day stand as the measure for Babylonian chronology.

Not knowing if I’d find the book any time soon, I responded:

The point of this site is to look at anything and everything from both sides (or all sides) of the issue. So far we have only been able to provide evidence against 607 BCE because that is all that existed when I researched this. If there is something else, I’d be happy to include as much of it as is relevant. Is there a specific quote you would like to share from the book? (If you would like to provide a post or a page about this resource, yourself, or anonymously, or if you know someone else who can provide the details (anonymously) we can add a page, or discuss the evidence. Thanks for sharing.

But a Google search, turned up the entire book on a Chicago University site, and I had some time to look through all 117 pages. I was surprised. Amazed, in fact. Here is my response, after reading all the relevant portions of the book:

I found the entire book available at http://oi.uchicago.edu/sites/oi.uchicago.edu/files/uploads/shared/docs/fall_of_babylon.pdf
It’s 117 pages and is quite interesting.

Unfortunately, the book has NOTHING to do with the Neo-Babylonian Empire. That’s why you might have noticed that the book doesn’t mention 607BCE, or 539BCE or even Nebuchadnezzar (or any kings of Babylon during the time of Israel’s or Judah’s Kings).

The reason for this is summarized as follows in the book’s description found at website: http://oi.uchicago.edu/research/publications/misc/dating-fall-babylon-reappraisal-second-millennium-chronology: “…the writers can reconstruct a ceramic sequence representing the 400-year period between the fall of Ur under Ibbi-Sin and the fall of Babylon under Samsuditana. The authors also have a detailed sequence for the fourteenth and thirteenth centuries and a twelfth-to-eleventh-century sequence that, even though it is less detailed due to a lack of excavated material, is nonetheless coherent.”

In other words, the book is about the Old Babylonian kings, not the Neo-Babylonian kings. The discussion in the book is about a time period that ends 900 years prior to 607 BCE. It has no relevance to 607 BCE.

What you’ve done is nearly the same as if you, Danny, asked a schoolteacher why they (falsely) claimed that Columbus landed in the “Americas” in 1472 instead of 1492. When you ask him why, he defends it by producing a book that shows that World War II started somewhere between 1939 and 1941. If you (Danny) were to ask this teacher how a book about World War II proves anything about Columbus, this teacher might answer: “Well this book about WWII has overwhelming peer-reviewed information, lots of photos, and dates that are proven to be highly accurate, and stands to this day as the measure of American chronology.”

What would you think of a teacher like that?

What I didn’t say was that I had to wonder what “Danny’s” motive was. There were only a couple possibilities:

1.  Maybe Danny is not a real JW, and just wanted to make it look like JWs are more interested in “trolling,” wasting someone’s time, or dishonesty than actual discussion of the issue.

  • I thought, well maybe, but I’ve seen these kinds of irrelevant responses before, where known JWs have made attempts to defend 607.
  • Also, there was no  reason to believe that a non-JW would risk leaving a pro-JW message up (that might not be responded to) have no reason to try to get people to think that the JW teaching was “on target” with overwhelming, highly accurate information.
  • If this is true, Danny is being dishonest.

2. Danny actually believed the information he referenced could truly defend 607 BCE as “dead on target.”

  • This is possible, but if true, it would indicate that a 607 BCE defenders was gullible and unable to draw conclusions from straightforward material. It also would not be honest then to tie something he couldn’t understand to a claim that the evidence is overwhelming and proven and it indicates 607 BCE is on target. (The material is not written in any way that is difficult to understand, and in fact, includes its own conclusion, which clearly stated that the “fall of Babylon was about 1500 BCE” not 607 BCE — speaking of course, of Old Babylon.)
  • If this is true, Danny is being dishonest.

3.  Danny is a JW who believes that obfuscation and dishonesty is a legitimate defense of the JW doctrine.

  • Sadly, this is the most likely scenario. It’s the one that has appeared many times on jehovahs-witness.net .  I can only hope that Danny will respond and ‘say it ain’t so.’
  • If this is true, Danny is being dishonest.

Dishonest as it is, it now remains the first and best attempt that any Jehovah’s Witnesses have made so far in defense of the 1914 teaching.

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