Thursday, August 27, 2015

What Peleg Teaches Us – Part II

What Peleg teaches us is that: 
1) The Bible and scriptural record are accurate;
2) The time frame of Moses is accurate;
3) The Earth is not as old as scientists want us to believe.
The lesson for us to learn is simply this: The Bible is accurate.
Whether secular reconstructions of history agree with it or not does not change the accuracy of the Bible. We should use the biblical chronologies to determine where the secularists have gone astray and we should not amend the Bible to fit the latest secular speculations on history. This research area has largely been ignored by Christians in the last hundred years or so as they scramble to manipulate the Bible to conform to the latest secular reconstructions of man's history.
   We even find members of the Church trying to do this because of the pressure of the sectarian world, the time-frames taught by science, and the upbringing in public schools.
In recent years, some Christians have done an excellent job of restoring the authority of Genesis 1–4, 6–9. However, the genealogies in Genesis 5,10, and 11 (and the chronological portions in Kings and Chronicles) have been quietly surrendered to the domain of secular historians.
    Their destructive work on these chronologies has overthrown the faith of many. It is about time that the Moses time frame of Genesis and Moses of the Pearl of Great Price, are reclaimed. After all, if one cannot trust the numbers in the chronologies of the Bible, why should one trust the words between the numbers? What limits should a person place on their unbelief?
    In fact, we find far too many today who say, “I will accept this, but not that,” in their so-called pursuit of truth. “I can agree with that, but not this.”
    When we look at the Bible and its chronology, it is true the Bible has been translated inaccurately at timers and difficulties do exist—it should be kept in mind as Latter-day Saints, we  have the writing of Moses in the Pearl of Great Price, as well as Abraham who give support to and authenticate the dates found, in Genesis of the Bible.
There are three errors common in biblical chronology today. First, there are those who have a low view of the Bible and ignore its chronological data altogether. Numerous ancient secular writers can be cited on this and often are in articles about the Earth being 4.55 billion years old. However, there are numerous other writings of scientists as well as religious leaders who counter this secular view. As an example, when it comes to the Bible and Genesis, we also have Moses in the Pearl of Great Price, the latter writing showing us the Earth is about 13,000 years old. For more on this, see the book Scientific Fallacies & Other Myths.
    Part of the problem in this battle is the fact that the great disparity between 4.55 billion and 13,000 is so great, it is not even considered possible. How could science speak in billions while religionists speak in thousands—so immediately, we have a believability gap.
    This issue becomes critically important when we look for common ground to discuss the Book of Mormon, which is based on the accurate framework of Moses as found in Genesis and Moses (Pearl of Great Price). Once this common ground of dates can be accepted—which, by the way, is the same time frame used by Joseph Smith in his teaching of the second session he taught in the School of the Prophets.
However, this acceptance comes only after a great deal of study, comparison, and understanding of what is being learned. This was so important to Joseph Smith, that he used the dates of the early Patriarchs as the basis for his second lesson in the School of the Prophets. A revelation in December 1832 specifically directed Joseph and the elders of the Church in Kirtland to establish the school. Their instruction was to include both sacred and secular topics. Joseph presided over the school. In the second lesson, Joseph not only taught the birth and dates of the early patriarchs from Adam down to Noah and from Noah to Abraham, but afterward tested the school participants on the knowledge they had learned, and specifically on the dates.
    Joseph obviously felt this knowledge was that important for the early Church leaders to know and understand. Perhaps one of the reasons is that the Book of Mormon, and especially its geographical setting, cannot be proven by the Bible when one approaches the geological setting of a 4.55 billion year old world. This is why we often say true science supports true religion and visa versa. We cannot approach true religion with biblical or scientific myths. We need to compare truth with truth, not truth with fallacy.
    One of the things that Peleg teaches us is the correct founding of the first great nations and, once understanding that, the placement of nation building after the Flood, within the early centuries of the Earth. As an example, there are those who would shorten the period of the divided kingdom. This is found in E. Thiele’s The Mysterious Numbers of the Hebrew Kings (Kregel, Grand Rapids, MI, 1994), where he adjusted the Hebrew numbers to make them conform to Assyrian chronology and ignored making Assyrian chronology fit the biblical chronology, which it does just as well.
Thus, Thiele uses the fragmentary Assyrian chronology of the divided kingdom period by about 50 years, to fit the conjectured dates from Assyria. But this would mean that Babylon would have been founded way before Peleg and the Tower of Babel! Third, there are those who would lengthen the biblical chronology. One of the earliest were those rabbis in Egypt who translated the Hebrew Bible into Greek to produce the Septuagint (LXX) in the third century B.C. They arbitrarily added about 700 years to the biblical chronology for the period between Noah and Abraham, to make it agree with the works of Manetho. If what they had done was correct, then Peleg would be dead and gone (as would most of the leaders of the division of the nations) before the Tower of Babel happened.
    Many modern biblical archaeologists, like the translators of the LXX, are just as guilty of the same thing today. Just as the LXX's translators listened to the fairy tales the Egyptian priests told them, most modern biblical scholars follow the just so stories told by secular historians and archaeologists who push the founding of Babylon and Egypt back thousands of years. As an example, Merrill F. Unger (Archaeology and the Old Testament, Zondervan, Grand Rapids, MI, 1954), who states (p84) that Egypt dates back to about 5000 B.C., but later states (p97) that Susa near Babylon dates back to about 4000 B.C. Since the biblical date for the Flood is 2344 BC, how long could these people tread water? Although this book was published in 1954, its opinions are reflected in newer works dealing with biblical archaeology. If anything the situation has become worse, not better, in the last fifty years. Unger is a very conservative and well-respected Bible scholar. If he could be deceived, how much more careful should we be today when so many more errors are afoot?


  1. I really need to pick up your 3rd and 4th books.

    On a related note, do you have any plans for an ebook format publication? I definitely prefer a physical book for this type of material, but their size does not make is convenient for travel.

  2. This comment has been removed by the author.

  3. We have been looking into it for a while now and are nearing a completion of our negotiations.