Saturday, January 21, 2017

Where Do We Find Accurate Dates? – Part II

Continuing with Joseph L. Allen’s descriptive information in his book Exploring the Lands of the Book of Mormon, that poses as Land of Promise discussion but really is meant to solidify his Mesoamerican model. 
    The first of his four points to consider was covered in part in the first post. The other three questions we should ask are, 2) what is meant by “time periods”? Are we discussing the Book of Mormon and Biblical time periods, or are we discussing archaeological time periods attributed to Mesoamerica?  3) what is meant by being in existence, are we discussing the actual dates of known ruins?  Or are we discussing the estimated dates of carbon-14, the Maya calendar, or glyphs on stones?  And 4) what is meant by Book of Mormon correlations, are we discussing actual dates found in scripture of the Book of Mormon, Bible and Pearl of Great Price? Or are we discussing the dates archaeologists and Mesoamericanists have created to fit their model? 
It should be note here that the calendar dates, etc., that Allen uses is the Maya Calendar (left), which begins in 3114 B.C. To justify or explain that beginning date, Mesoamericanists claim the Maya began their calendar following a cataclymisc event, such as Noah’s Flood. However, the Maya calendar beginning at 3114 B.C. has no rationale associated with it other than there must have been some reason to begin then and that reason must have been associated with a cataclysmic event and no other such event other than the Flood is considered—thus Mesoamericanists place the Flood at 3114 because of this calendar rather than from the revealed word of a prophet of God. Such thinking is rampant throughout Allen’s work and that of all other Mesoamericanists.
    So let's take a look at each of these four points:
1)  The trouble with trying to match Mesoamerican cultures with Book of Mormon cultures is that when they don't align in time and area (which they typically do not), the Mesoamericanists want to alter the scriptural record of time and area to meet their Mesoamerican model.  A case in point is that their Olmecs (who they consider the Jaredites) lived both in their Land Northward and their Land Southward when, in fact, the scripture account shows they were only in the Land Northward (Ether 10:21-22).  But because the Olmecs were on both sides of their Narrow Neck of Land, they have to change the Jaredite record as found in the Book of Mormon. 2)  The Biblical time frame of the Flood is quite specific. From the dates shown in Abraham, Moses and Genesis, it seems fairly certain that the flood came approximately 1656 years after Adam's ejection from the Garden of Eden. As an example, figuring that Adam was ejected from the Garden of Eden in 4000 B.C., then the Flood occurred in 2344-2343 BC. For the Flood to have occurred in 3114 BC, as Allen claims, one of two things would have to exist: (1) Adam was evicted from the Garden of Eden in 4770 BC, about 770 years before Earth life was supposed to have begun (if it began as Allen says, we would now be well into the Millennial period, with about 230 years left in that 7th Day), or (2) the 1656 years from Adam to Noah entering into the Ark as described in Genesis 5, would have to be incorrect.  Since this latter information was given to Moses directly from the Lord, it seems unreasonable to consider this to be in error.
So, according to Moses, who was writing the record of the Flood as part of Genesis as the Lord was dictating this history to him, placed the Flood at 2344 B.C. This is found both in Genesis and in the Pearl of Great Price. Thus, the commencement of the flood in the year 2344 B.C., as shown in Genesis and Moses, would be accurate.  
    The flood lasted 1 year and 3 days (from the time Noah stepped into the Ark until he and his family left it), which means the flood ended in the year 2343 B.C.
3)  Carbon-14 is undeniably the measurement of choice of almost all archaeologists, anthropologists and Mesoamericanists; however, as is thoroughly pointed out in our book Scientific Fallacies & Other Myths, C-14, in fact all dating methods, are far from accurate, and anything before the time of Christ is bound to be several hundreds and even thousands of years off.  C-14 also has a plus or minus factor, causing as much as a 300 to 500 year swing; and typically, two or more measurements of the same item in C-14 testing yields extremely different results.  The developer of the Carbon-14 clock, Dr. Willard F. Libby, by his own admission had to go against the findings of his own testing in order to come up with the basis of the measurement and, had he not gone against his own findings, the time frame in all C-14 testing would yield far younger measurements than now is found—typically showing the Earth is between 10,000 and 12,000 years old.         
4)  As stated above, the Maya calendar began in the year 3114 B.C. according to those who have determined its interpretations.  This date has been attributed to the time of the Flood by Mesoamericanists, since no other calamitous or singular event fits that date in their mind. Thus, to make this date correct and that event its beginning, and the calendar effective, several things have to fit in place: a)  The Flood had to have occurred in 3114; b)  The Tower of Babel had to have occurred within a couple of hundred years afterward no later than about 2900 B.C.; c)  The Jaredites had to have landed in Mesoamerica by 2700 B.C. at the latest. This means, to the Mesoamericanists, that any date in scripture that does not fit in to these events, must be wrong and should be changed. And that is exactly what they have done, pushing the Flood forward in history some 800 years and, therefore, claiming the Jaredite landing occurred about 700 years or so before it happened so that the Book of Mormon agrees with the Maya calendar.
    Allen also adds: “Dates are very elusive and, as a result, allow a great degree of flexibility. We run into the same problem (elusive dates) as we attempt to correlate Book of Mormon dates with secular dates of Mesoamerica.” Wow, how difficult is it to be to choose between those of the scriptures or those of the secular world? However, dates in scripture are not at all elusive. The dating time frame of all Nephite, Lamanite and Mulekite history is specific, extensively foot-noted in the Book of Mormon to show when events occurred. Dates regarding such things as the Patriarchs, their birth, death, and the age at the time of their son's birth, are specific in Genesis and the Pearl of Great Price.
Thus any date up to and including the Flood are specific, and those dates afterward are also specific. There are no dates of these events that are not known connected with known events as recorded by Abraham and Moses, or that can be arrived at through reasoning out other, surrounding dates.
    Nor is the Jaredite dating as elusive as Mesoamericansts would like us to think. The Jardites left Mesopotamia at the time the Lord confounded the languages of the Tower builders. This date can be arrived at within 100 years without difficulty, considering the time of the Flood, the time the earth was divided (Peleg's time) and the birth of Nimrod (the architect of the Tower), etc. The date of the Jaredite demise is open to argument, but it had to have happened sometime around 600 to 500 B.C. as the scriptures point out. The only reason Allen and other Mesoamerican Theorists consider Book of Mormon dates elusive is that they do not agree with the Mesoamerican Maya calendar.
    This seems obvious considering the Nephites of the Book of Mormon were not in Mesoamerica.  It is surprising that this fact has not occurred to Mesoamericanists who, true to their archaeological background, want to find reasons why something does not match their model, rather than considering their model might be in error because it does not match scripture. Undaunted by this lack of match, Allen adds: “Many times the dates in the Book of Mormon are peculiar in nature.”
    What he means is that the dates of the Book of Mormon do not agree with the Maya Calendar and Maya dated events. On the other hand, all dates in the Book of Mormon are peculiar to the Nephites, Lamanites, Mulekites or Jaredites.  One would not expect to find those peculiar dates consistent with any other cultures or people other than the four groups mentioned once each left the area of the Old World where dates can be compared against the Bible. The fact that Olmec, Zapotec, or Teotihuacan, etc., do not match Book of Mormon dates in specific areas should suggest that those cultures were not the same cultures as discussed in the Book of Mormon.
(See the next post, “Where Do We Find Accurate Dates? – Part III,” for more of Allen’s descriptive information that poses as Book of Mormon discussion but really is meant to solidify his Mesoamerican model)

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