Difference between absolute and relative chronology?

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Ged
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Difference between absolute and relative chronology?

Post by Ged » Mon May 18, 2015 9:13 pm

Chronology is defined as 'the determination of the proper sequence of past events', in other words, the arrangement of dates, events, etc, in order of occurrence.

The Bible is filled with detailed chronological information, but scholars seem to have difficulty dating important events. Apparently, the Bibles 'relative' chronology is not the problem; it's the absolute chronology. Im not so interested in events prior to the Patriarchs because that attracts old earth/young earth flame wars. My main purpose in opening this topic is to discuss the possibility that the internal biblical chronology can be tied to verifiable dates.

So, to get started, what is the difference between absolute and relative chronology?
The science of arranging time in periods and ascertaining the dates and historical order of past events.

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Ged
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Re: Difference between absolute and relative chronology?

Post by Ged » Thu May 21, 2015 8:35 pm

I would like to suggest that there are more absolute dates linked to the Bible’s chronology than what has been realised. The following examples are summaries, but worth considering:
  1. Completion of the Temple: Josephus, quoting the record of the Phoenicians, says,
    “Therein it was recorded, that the temple was built by King Solomon at Jerusalem, one hundred forty-three years, before the Tyrians built Carthage: and in their annals the building of our temple is related. For Hirom the King of Tyre was the friend of Solomon our King.”
    Greek historians date the building of Carthage in 814 BC, and subtracting 143 years from then; we locate the completion of Solomon’s temple in his 11th year, 958 BC. The Hebrew king records agree, providing us with an absolute date at the beginning of the monarchy.
  2. Last years of Omride dynasty: A tight twelve years has been confirmed between Ahab’s last year (853 BC) and Jehu’s first year (841 BC) in ground breaking research done by Dr. Edwin Thiele. Both kings are included in Assyrian inscriptions naming Ahab as one of the kings present at the battle of Qarqar, and Jehu depicted on the Black Obelisk of Shalmaneser III bringing tribute. The twelve years in-between Ahab and Jehu were occupied by the sons of Ahab, fitting perfectly into Assyrian as well as Samaritan chronology.
  3. The Assyrian Eponym List: For centuries the Assyrians had a practice of honouring a high ranking person with the title of ‘Limmu,’ holding the office for one year. Historical events were dated in terms of these men’s names, and extensive limmu lists have now been discovered, enabling Assyriologists to construct a timeline of the Neo-Assyrian Empire. It is considered reliable from 911 BC to 648 BC.

    Moreover, this list is linked to a solar eclipse during the year of Bar-Sagale who was limmu in the tenth year of the reign of King Ashur-Dan III. Such a linkage is very useful, because astronomical calculations identify the eclipse as having occurred on the 15 June 763 BCE. Consequently, this date becomes an ‘absolute’ from which all ‘relative’ events can be plotted on our solar calendar.

    Since the Hebrew records intersect with Assyrian records, they also may be deemed ‘absolute.’ Ahab and Jehu have been mentioned, and the other example which I think should be considered, is the fall of Samaria in 720 BC.
  4. The Siege of Jehoiachin: Until relatively recently, the Babylonian Chronicles had lain undeciphered in the British museum. After they were translated, the following section was realised to be speaking of the first invasion of Jerusalem by Nebuchadnezzar in 597 BC.
    "... the king of Babylon assembled his army, and after he had invaded the land of Hatti (Syria/Palestine) he laid siege to the city of Judah. On the second day of the month of Adara (16 March 597 BC) he conquered the city and took the king (Jehoiachin) prisoner. He installed in his place a king (Zedekiah) of his own choice, and after he had received rich tribute, he sent them forth to Babylon."
    With this discovery, we have been given absolute dates at each end of the Hebrew monarchy in addition to the ones in the middle.
The science of arranging time in periods and ascertaining the dates and historical order of past events.

andrewcriddle
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Re: Difference between absolute and relative chronology?

Post by andrewcriddle » Sat May 23, 2015 2:25 am

Ged wrote:I would like to suggest that there are more absolute dates linked to the Bible’s chronology than what has been realised. The following examples are summaries, but worth considering:


Completion of the Temple: Josephus, quoting the record of the Phoenicians, says,
“Therein it was recorded, that the temple was built by King Solomon at Jerusalem, one hundred forty-three years, before the Tyrians built Carthage: and in their annals the building of our temple is related. For Hirom the King of Tyre was the friend of Solomon our King.”
Greek historians date the building of Carthage in 814 BC, and subtracting 143 years from then; we locate the completion of Solomon’s temple in his 11th year, 958 BC. The Hebrew king records agree, providing us with an absolute date at the beginning of the monarchy.

The Phoenician records according to Josephus are possibly less reliable than the other evidence quoted.

Andrew Criddle

Agnosticus
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Re: Difference between absolute and relative chronology?

Post by Agnosticus » Sun Feb 28, 2016 5:01 am

Some years ago I did a lot of research on the Bible and eclipses which gave absolute dates. I wrote a book but no publisher was interested. I have not kept a full copy. How I began was to read the entire Bible and mark any reference that might be a celestial event. I took as my starting point Isaiah talking to King Hezekiah about the sun moving back. 'I will bring again the shadow that went down in the sundial of Ahaz '. With my Redshift 7 planetarium I searched for 2 solar eclipses that might fit these events. 12th Jan 662 BCE and 11th Jan 689 BCE. Using Chronicles I was able to work out the reigns of all kings back to David 1010 - 970 I used the year as our modern years because I thought that the Bible written during the captivity when Babylon used solar years. Without going into detail The Exodus took place 1444BCE . Aug 8th there was a total lunar lunar eclipse which culminated almost exactly midnight as seen from north east Egypt. Was that the passover ?. Going back beyond Moses I went to Abraham b. 2163 BCE. Isaac was born 2065 BCE which was just after the destruction of Sodom & Gomorrah. There was a total solar eclipse 18th June that passed over the northern end of the Dead Sea. Was this how the men trying to get into Lot's house smitten with blindness ? Archaeologists have found evidence of an earthquake in that area and about that time. There's a couple of examples. Want more ? I'll have to repeat my work.

Agnosticus
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Re: Difference between absolute and relative chronology?

Post by Agnosticus » Sun Feb 28, 2016 5:08 am

andrewcriddle wrote:
Ged wrote:I would like to suggest that there are more absolute dates linked to the Bible’s chronology than what has been realised. The following examples are summaries, but worth considering:


Completion of the Temple: Josephus, quoting the record of the Phoenicians, says,
“Therein it was recorded, that the temple was built by King Solomon at Jerusalem, one hundred forty-three years, before the Tyrians built Carthage: and in their annals the building of our temple is related. For Hirom the King of Tyre was the friend of Solomon our King.”
Greek historians date the building of Carthage in 814 BC, and subtracting 143 years from then; we locate the completion of Solomon’s temple in his 11th year, 958 BC. The Hebrew king records agree, providing us with an absolute date at the beginning of the monarchy.



Andrew Criddle
By astronomical means I have placed Solomon's reign as 970 - 930 BCE. Which comes pretty close to your given dates

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