Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Responses and Answers to Jaredites Posts – Part VII

Continuing with the comments that have been received regarding the most recent series we have posted on the Jaredites. 
    Comment #1: “The Jaredites are said to have existed between 2700 BC, when they traveled to America, and 600 BC, when they succumbed to civil war, yet you write about dates 400 to 600 years later. How do we correlate these dates?” Sally A.
    Response: There are all sorts of dates that different Theorists have projected as to when the Jaredites existed. John L. Sorenson and many other Mesoamericanists use dates that are in line with the Popol Vuh—a text corpus of mytho-historical narratives of the Post Classic K’iche kingdom in Guatemala, which places the Jaredites as early as 3100 B.C. However, in this blog, we use the scriptural record for all dates and events, whether Biblical, Jaredite or Nephite.
    In the Bible, Noah was 500 years old when he began the Ark (Genesis 5:32), and one hundred years later, when he was 600, he finished (Genesis 7:6). “In the six hundredth year of Noah’s life, in the second month, the seventeenth day of the month, the same day were all the fountains of the great deep broken up, and the windows of heaven were opened and the rain was upon the earth forty days and forty nights” (Genesis 7:11). In going back over the births and ages of the Patriarchs (Genesis 5:3-32), this places the Flood beginning in 2344 B.C. (using the start date of 4000 B.C. when Adam left the Garden of Eden). The Flood then ended one year and three days later (Genesis 8:14).
Using the sectarian accepted dating of the Patriarchs, and beginning with Adam’s age at 4000 B.C., Noah would have been 600 years old in 2344 B.C., the time of the Flood—he lived 350 years after the Flood (Genesis 9:29), dying in 1998 B.C.
    Continuing with the births of Shem’s lineage, down to the birth of Peleg (Genesis 10:25), and placing Jared and his brother within the lineage of Peleg’s younger brother, Joktan, this means that the Jaredites would have lived in the 22nd century B.C., and left Mesopotamia sometime around the late 2100s (see the book Who Really Settled Mesoamerica for a complete chronology and date breakdown of the Jaredites, and why this date is placed at 2116 B.C.)
    Consequently, we use the round-figure date of 2100 B.C. as the time frame of the Jaredites arriving in the promised land.
Comment #2: “I have always been curious what drove horses to extinction in the Americas? Did humans have a hand in their demise, or did climatic change and altering vegetation trigger it?” Zonnie B.
    Response: A definitive answer to this questions has eluded scientists for centuries. Science claims that the end of the Pleistocene epoch—the geological period roughly spanning 12,000 to 2.5 million years ago, coincided with a global cooling event and the extinction of many large mammals. They claim that evidence suggests North America was hardest hit by extinctions. They also claim this extinction event saw the demise of the horse in North America. The species survived, they believe, only because the Bering land bridge that once connected Alaska and Siberia (another scientific assumption) had enabled animals to cross into Asia and spread west (which is in the opposite direction that people are claimed to have spread from the Old World to the Western Hemisphere, which seems like a rather opportune hypothesis to answer this question).
    In addition, the end of the Pleistocene is also credited with the end of the woolly mammoth, American camels, dire wolves, short-faced bears, saber-toothed cats, stag-moose, woolly rhinos and giant ground sloths.
Horses have always flourished on the American continent, developing the wild mustang that roamed most of North America
    However, the unanswered question has always been, and still is, "why could the continent that gave rise to the horse no longer provide a suitable home?" What is the rationale behind the horse no longer able to survive on a continent where horses have always flourished?
    The only feasible answer is that Noah’s Flood wiped out all animal life on the entire earth except what was in the Ark. However, science will never follow that line of thinking. So they struggle from generation to generation not able to answer one of the most important questions facing zoology, yet still maintain that there were no horses in the continent where horses have always flourished.
The American Bison, or buffalo, has survived in North America for what science claims is between five and ten million years, co-existent with the horse
    After all, it should be kept in mind that the America bison, which lived before the extinction (found in the La Brea Tar Pits along with the horse), and lived after the so-called horse extinction, continued to flourish on the continent until wiped out from hunting by man in the 19th century. It is interesting how science claims one became extinct from natural causes and the other did not.
    Commit #3: “In your Jared story-line, the Lord directed the brother of Jared to build barges to take him and his family on a year-long voyage to America. They would also take aboard a variety of creatures…doesn’t that sound familiar? No originality there. Sounds like someone borrowed the idea from the Bible” Pieter M.
    Response: How odd that the same being that told Noah to save animals for the repopulating of the earth also told the brother of Jared to take some of those same "saved" animals across the oceans to repopulate the Western Hemisphere. Hmmm. Let’s say you create a plan to start up a business that becomes very successful, then a few years later, you want to start up another business. Do you reinvent the wheel, or use the same plan with some slight modifications?
    Comment#4: “Correct me if I’m wrong, but one hole wouldn’t have provided enough air for an entire barge. Closed spaces (such as watertight vessels) don’t draw in a lot of air, because they’re already full of it. And due to the body temperatures of the Jaredites and the animals, the barges would be full of high-pressure warm air trying to exit the hole such that fresh air could not enter” Walker R.
Response: The principal you state is correct; however, there were two holes (Ether 2:20), which have been illustrated in this blog several times. They were set or cut top and bottom (fore and aft) creating a perfect cross-ventilation. Did you read the blog, or just decide to weigh in with other critics' arguments?
    Comment #5: “One might also reasonably wonder, for example, whether the ‘small barges’ could have held a years-worth of food for the Jaredites and their animals, bird, fish, and bees” Gifford T.
    Response: Eight vessels, approximately 100 foot long by about 50 foot circumference, would provide space of about 52,000 cubic feet per vessel. Each vessel would contain about 16 people (16x8=128). Each vessel could contain one elephant, and pairs of horses, camels, sheep, cows, goats, etc., and a beehive, cage of birds and barrel of fish. When broken down, it is not a large number of animals, and in 52,000 cubic feet of space (416,000 cubic feet overall), a lot of food could be stored without it hindering the living spaces of the occupants.
    Comment #6: “Who were the warring nations of the Steppes the Jaredites were supposed to be part of according to Hugh Nibley?” Samantha W.
Response: The first people of the Steppes as far back as can be accounted were the Scythians. Scythia was the region to the north and northwest of the Black Sea and the people called themselves the Skoloti and the Greeks called them Scythians. They originally came from Mesopotamia. They were considered barbarians, but repelled Alexander the Great’s army as well as the Persian invasion of Darius’ troops—however, they existed only between about 800 and 200 B.C. Around 600 B.C. a group called the Sarmatians (introduced in the recent movie King Arthur) appeared (also known as Colchis). When Nibley tries to place the Jaredites among the Steppes, he seems to be forgetting two very important things—the steppes were about 1000 miles to the north and east of where the Jaredites were always located, and the time frame of the warring tribes is about 1500 years after the Jaredite period.

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