Two Witness Analysis
By Daniel Gregg 9/2016
This article is an explanation of the changes that I have made in the chronology since 1994 and the reasons why the changes were made and the reasons for the errors. For the sake of comparison, I have put Henry Fynes Clinton’s dates in the right column. His datings for ancient dates were the nearest of all chronologers to the results I have obtained, and he obtained his results without the benefit of of accurate astronomy, or the benefit of a correction for Joshua’s long day. It should be noted that the most serious change was from 3 BC to a 2 BC date of Messiah’s birth. The Tishri 1 date, however, did not change.
The article is titled Two Witness Analysis because the errors may be chiefly explained by reliance on just 1 witness whereas the unchanged date relied upon two or more witnesses. At the end of this paper I disclose my basic method of research.
CASE DATE CORRECTED PREVIOUS CHANGE F.H. CLINTON I. Creation Date 4139 BC 4140 BC -1 4138 BC (-1) II. Flood Date 2483 BC 2484 BC -1 2482 BC (-1) III. Exodus Date 1632 BC no change 0 1625 BC (-7) IV. Joshua’s long day 1592 BC no change 0 V. Inception of Daniel 9 445 BC 444 BC +1 VI. Birth of Messiah Date 2 BC 3 BC -1 VII. Crucifixion and Resurrection Date 34 AD no change 0
What follows here is the principle evidence witnessing for each given date.
I. Creation Date: 4139 BC p1: Sabbatic cycle counts year 1 as Nisan 1 up to Tishri 1 a: Counting first growing season in any other year is unlikely. p2: Jubilee cycle synchronizes with the date p3: proleptic equinox synchronizes with dawn on day 1. p4: proleptic new moon day synchronizes with day 1. p5: Adam’s is age 1 in the second year of the world. p6: Adam’s first year is in the first year of the world. p7: Noah’s 600th year is when he is age 599. p8: Building on Flood date only 4139 or 4140 are possible a: P1-P7 greatly favors 4139.
II. Flood Date: 2483 BC p1: There are 150 days from 2/17 to 7/17 inclusively. a: no other years astronomically match that agree with text b: the non-inclusive count is not astronomically possible p2: 2/10 and 2/17 are the 7th day of the week p3: 11/11 is 40 days from 10/1 and is the 1st day of the week p4: 11/11, 11/18, and 11/25 are the first day of the week p6: building on Exodus, only 2483 or 2484 are possible. a. Joshua’s long day rules out 2484.
III. Exodus Date: 1632 BC P1: 15th day of month II = Sunday a: dependent on Joshua’s long day. P2: 16th day of month I = Sabbath P3: 50th day in month III = Sabbath P4: Only possible date building on entry into land P5: Agrees with Jubilee periods P6: Agrees with Sabbatical periods P7: Agrees with text only sum of chronology
IV. Joshua’s Long day 1592 BC, July 26th. P1: 12 hour delay in sun (from text) P2: 12 hour delay explains eclipse data before 1592 BC. P3: Agrees with carbon dating of Jericho destruction. P3: Agrees with text only sum of chronology
V. Inception of Daniel 9 in 445 BC. P1: The date given in Neh. 2:1 is in 445 BC P2: Xerxes died such that a Tishri version of the 20th year is 446/445 BC. P3: 445/444 BC was Sabbatic. P4: Ezra read the law in Tishri 445 BC. a: Deut 31:10 refers to the start of the Seventh year. P5: Agrees with Babylonian and Persian records exactly.
VI. Birth of Messiah Date: 2 BC, Tishri 1. (Aug. 31-Sept 1). P1: Proved by Luke 3:1, 3:23 a: no other year agrees with this P2: Proved by priestly division of Abijah a: 5-3 BC do not agree with this P3: Proved by Revelation 12:1-2 P4: Proved by due date birth AP1: 4 BC eclipse does not fit Herod’s funeral AP1: Proof of 4 BC death of Herod has collapsed under cross examination in recent years.
VII. Crucifixion and Resurrection Date: AD 34, March 24th and 27th. P1: Luke 3:1, 3:23 = AD 29, and Passover #1 = AD 30. P2: Daniel 9 points to AD 34 as lowest possible year. P3: Four year ministry in Luke 13:6-9. a: Four year ministry length enjoyed past widespread support. P4: Temple Tax passage adds 4th year. P5: AD 34 enjoyed widespread past scholarly support. P6: The texts say the resurrection was on the first of the Sabbaths a: per Mat 12:40 this points to WED as the crucifixion day P7: In AD 34, Nisan 14 was WED March 24th. P8: In AD 34, Nisan 15 was THU March 25th. a: March 25th became a historic date of the crucifixion among those holding to a Nisan 15 crucifixion date P9: The resurrection had to be within the 3rd day P10: The third day was calculated on a dawn to dawn basis a: This refutes Wed-Saturday afternoon theories. P11: The third day was the day of first fruits. P12: Matthew 28:1 says the resurrection was the “later of the Sabbaths” P13: Matthew 12:40 agrees a: This refutes Friday Crucifixion Theories AP1: Friday dates are not compatible with Daniel 9. AP2: Friday dates do not agree with Matthew 12:40 or 28:1 AP3: Friday dates do not agree with first of the Sabbaths AP4: Thursday dates do not agree with Matthew 28:1. P14: The equinox and 1st month agree in AD 34 for month I.
VIII. First of the Sabbaths Resurrection, March 27th, AD 34. P1: Sabbath does not mean “Week” a: אחד בשבת means “one day unto the Sabbath” b: it does not mean first day in the week. c: Luke 18:12 i. I fast two meals on the Sabbath (most likely) a. daybreak and noon meal b. super Friday is before sunset and after sunset of Sabbath ii. I fast two days from the Sabbath (less likely) a. THU and MON, two days each side of the Sabbath. b. less likely because naked ablative is rare in NT. iii. I fast twice the week (impossible) b. No one would think this without the presupposition that Sabbath means week. P2: The term Sabbaths is plural in the resurrection passages P3: Mathew 28:1 means “later of the Sabbaths” a: the meaning week is not possible here b: all other interpretations are unlikely P4: Seven Sabbaths were counted after Passover (cf. Lev. 23:15). P5: The gender argument against first of the Sabbaths fails.
Here the reasons for the previous errors are logged. The most serious error was the change from 3 BC to 2 BC. But the Tishri 1 date did not change.
Past dating Errors Reason for Error Neg. Impact 4140 BC DATE vs. 4139 Joshua’s Long day not factored in Minor Sabbatic synchronization at Creation overlooked 2484 BC DATE vs. 2483 ---Same reason--- Minor 444 BC DATE vs. 445 Reliance on two witnesses both proved false Minor i. Harold Hoehner’s guess on the 20th year (disproved by archaeology) ii. Jewish tradition of end of Sabbatic year Torah reading proved false (disproved by Ibn Ezra and Deut. 31:10). 3 BC DATE vs. 2 Reliance on one witness proved false Major Priestly Division Dates Reliance on one witness proved false minor 390 years -3, +7 years Missing two passages that corrected error. AD 33 vs. 34 Reliance on conjunction method minor b. 1994. Eschatology dates Rating them high probability rather than low minor b. 2012 failing to communicate that they are guesses
The following table gives the dislocation in the previous editions of my chronology due to the errors. The largest error is -1 year over the pre flood period. All other errors were contained to a very local disruption or a single era and did not affect other parts of the chronology.
CASE DATE CORRECTED Dislocation Total I. Creation Date 4139 BC -1 year till flood date 1656 years -1 II. Flood Date 2483 BC -1 year 2484 to 2483 1 year -1 V. Inception of Daniel 9 445 BC 445-444 only 1 year +1 VI. Birth of Messiah Date 2 BC 5-3 BC only 3 year -1 VIII. 390 Year Era 980 BC -3, +4 390 years -3,+4
The number of witnesses increased in every case of correction. To change the creation date to 4140 BC, the probability list would have to be overturned. To change it to any other date, the Hebrew texts would have to be overturned. To change the flood date to 2484, the validity of astronomy would have to be overturned. To change it to any other date the text would have to be overturned. The 445 BC date now rests on two archaeological sources, the death of Xerxes and the 20th year of Artaxerxes, and the assumption that the Torah reading was in the Sabbatical year. The archeology and probability will have to be overturned to change this to 444 BC. The calculation of Daniel 9 is not affected. To overturn the 2 BC date (and only to 3 BC) multiple biblical texts would have to be denied. For all other dates, concerning which no error was made, texts would have to be denied. Concerning the resurrection date, a great many texts would have to be denied. This analysis suggests that although I believe 4139 is correct, it should be officially labeled tentative vs. 4140 BC in light of the fact that its support lies merely in a sum of probabilities which if proved false would not actually overturn a written text. The textual difference depends on how the 600th year of Noah is interpreted.
What led to this analysis
This past Yom Kippur I pondered over the errors I had made and taught in the past and the reasons for them. Do these errors disqualify me as a teacher of chronology? I am convinced they do not simply because no one else teaching this subject comes even close to as correct. Interestingly, the results come as close as possible to some previous scholarly results (namely Clinton and Willis Judson Beecher). But the take away here is I that I have to be more careful in stating the wiggle room for each dating and which are based on the written texts vs. only probabilities. In some cases, of course, I was not aware there was wiggle room, but it proves to be the case that the evidence was already in front of me, or verifiable in the erring cases. I just didn’t see it. Now, a good deal of this chronology, if not all of it, was constructed in answers to prayer to be led in the right direction. It has become clear to me though answers were supplied, the Almĭghty wants the answers to be verified and documented based on valid historical witnesses and not any of the following: 1. Claims to a prophetic word (the Lord told me so), 2. Appeal to authority, or 3. Appeal to majority. I took it upon myself to analyze my methods of research and teaching in light of a recent non-chronological correction I had to make, and being made to witness someone else’s grievous chronological false-teaching. I then ask myself how am I to be any different? The teacher in question clearly learned the art of projecting his views with the voice of authority, all confidence, and hope, and even enjoys what amounts to a current consensus with another ministry less confident about the result, but which nevertheless teaches it.
It appears to me the difference is this. These ministries actually withold their key witnesses, or assumptions of probability concealing them in the fine print of their products or in the footnotes of their videos. They expect a certain number of people to become their followers on the points they make based on their confident authoritative sounding pronouncements alone. Meanwhile, those of us who want to see the witnesses are denied access, and only suspect a problem if we know the truth in advance. When the witnesses are dug up, or found lacking, the authoritative and confident pronouncements they make are found to collapse when cross-examined! It is a shame that human nature, such as it is, believes that something is true just because it is confidently and authoritatively announced to be so. People immune to this are only the few who know the real truth to start with, or the few people who disregard the level of confidence and authority expressed and do their own cross-examination. But these people are few. The lazy flesh simply wants to believe anything it is told if the message comes with hope.
Now this bit of human nature appears to handicap us who present witnesses up front. But there is a problem. The flesh does not respond to evidence. The flesh is cynical by nature and when presented with the actual witnesses cannot plainly assess it with a childlike nature and choose what the evidence supports. The flesh wants a quick answer, and the quick answer is one that does not do any analysis. The flesh wants to believe something because it is put forth with authority and confidence. So when it comes to a choice between a point made with authority and confidence vs. a point made with evidence and asking people to consider the evidence, then the cynical flesh always dismisses the evidence as spun up or deceptive and goes straight for the perceived authority as its foundation. The flesh desires perceived authority and majority or consensus even if it is unknowingly in a cultic minority or its own minority viewpoint is full of self contradictions.
The masses of religious people all in their own groups and believing together the exact things that contradict things believed in other groups is proof that it is human nature to follow the leader. What is believed is reinforced by authority, the local majority, and the carrot stick of hope and the whip of fear. So every person needs to ask themselves if they are really being led by the evidence or if they are being led by their desire to be guided by human authority.
Those who want to discount the evidence that people everywhere are led by their fleshly desire to believe someone else no matter what the evidence says say the other people are deceived by false teaching or the devil. Yet they have yet to suspect that the flesh operates in their own denomination, and they accept everything taught in their own place with authority and confidence never thinking that the teaching should be independently tested. This is because it is also of the flesh to believe one’s own group cannot possibly be wrong. The flesh wants to believe that God favors the group and will prevent it from possibly being wrong. Wrong, the Law says that every matter of controversy has to be proved by two or three witnesses. Even Paul said that. So the problem is that PRIDE and FEAR keep those trapped in a lie from performing any tests that will reveal it, or cross-examining any witnesses to test what they believe. Fear is of the majority. Fear is of public shame. Pride and fear hate to be laughed at. Pride and fear prevent self-honesty and honest testing of the evidence.
Those are the sins which cause the destruction of God’s people. Those are the sins which deprive the faithful of knowledge, and deprived of knowledge faith is easy to destroy. God is not in the business of bailing out generation after generation from their errors resulting from those sins, that is, not without people first repenting of those sins, and actually paying attention to what he said. For that is the evidence. Century after century the Church devolves into more ignorance. The louder it speaks with authority and hope while ignoring the evidence the darker and darker it becomes until they repent and realize that they must fight what their flesh wants, in order to win against it.
There are many who pay lip service to testing things in a controversy. There are many who have only authority behind them and who fix up their tests to prove their points. They are successful in the world because they use authority and majority and projected confidence. Make sure then that you do your tests without skewing the data with fleshly desires. Find two or three witnesses to establish every point in a controversy. And pay attention when a witness is overturned by two or three other witnesses. That’s the only way you can find out you have been lied to. That’s the way God expects you to discover you have been lied to. The truth is not going to be revealed to you by subjective spiritual experience. It will be revealed in the hard facts.
Beware in collecting witnesses that disagree with each other to test each witness against the more fundamental facts of language and observable science. Beware that you decide which witness is correct and follow its lead lest you cynically decide that no witness can be believed. These people abandon the hope of finding the truth. Do not let the flesh deceive you. The devil has done everything he can possibly do to bury the truth beyond your reach. It takes work to dig. It takes work just to verify the things I am telling you, and to look them up, and see if they compute. The only reason I can say the work is shorter for you than me is that I know how long and how hard I had to seek the answer in order to find it. But believe me, it will not be so simple as just believing me.
Christianity has split into too many denominations to count, and I dare say that a lot of denominations next door to other denominations have conflicting doctrines. This is solid evidence that the Almĭghty is not intervening to prevent groups from going astray. Why is he not intervening? Because error has accrued bit by bit over the centuries due to a lawlessness taught by the majority and supported by their authority. The lawlessness has increased because the majority weigh what is true or not using fleshly methods. That is they respond to naked authorities and naked majorities and do not realize that the truth is always, and always has belonged to only a minority while sin has been around. Just look at the history of Israel. And that minority only exists because they have weighed and tested what is true. Therefore, beware of anyone who comes teaching whose argument is authority and majority. Different streams of Christianity are in the business of writing their own bibles according to their own doctrines, viz. the Catholic Bible that contradicts the Protestant Bible. Jews are also in the business of writing their own bibles which contradict the Hebrew text just to contradict Christianity. Compare Gen. 3:15 in the three versions, “her heel” vs. “his heel” vs. “their heel.”
The Almĭghty does need to intervene, and he will, and he is. He is sending teachers to correct the Church, but mark my words, the genuine teachers are going to correct the Church based on objective witnesses that disprove the false doctrines the Church has acquired, and based on objective and true witnesses as to what the truth is. The majority are not going to listen to these teachers. They are going to listen to naked authority, because that is what the flesh desires.
Your denomination may be more right on more things than the one next door. Does that mean the Almĭghty has anointed your creed and your leaders so that neither can possibly be in any error? So long as He requires every matter to be tested and decided on by actual witnesses in place of repeating year after year a chain of authority based on tradition, and so long as the leaders and authorities refuse to apply the tests to their doctrines, you can bet that the Almĭghty will let your leaders and authorities continue in the error. The Almĭghty is against the Shepherds of his people who muddy the water with their feet and make the sheep drink muddy water.
Now, I do not make my argument based on authority or majority, but on pointing out facts, which they (the authorities) admit to, which do not bear witness to what they teach! The very numbers in Scripture add up differently. The texts and all the probabilities of the meaning of the original language say they are wrong. And they resist this by citing the majority tradition as their authority, that is, by putting the traditional interpretations on words and phrases, which if simply analyzed according to the norms of the languages would give different results.