Saturday, January 09, 2010

QUESTION OF THE WEEK- Egyptian history and the Bible--are they compatible?

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January 9, 2010

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Q: Egyptian history and the Bible—are they compatible?

In Chapter 26 of our Unwrapping the Pharaohs series, John Ashton and David Down demonstrate just how susceptible to error is our understanding of the ancient world.

As far as chronology is concerned, the Third Intermediate Period is the villain of the piece. On the assumption that Dynasties 21 to 25 were consecutive, early scholars dated them approximately 1070–665 B.C., but a number of recent scholars have challenged this assumption. Although Manetho seems to regard Dynasties 21 to 25 as successive, most scholars now acknowledge that Dynasties 22 and 23 are contemporary with each other, and Dynasties 24 and 26 are contemporary with Dynasty 25. Revisionists claim that Dynasties 21 and 22 should also be regarded as contemporary with other dynasties. This would reduce Egyptian dates by some 250 years.
That such a drastic revision is feasible is bluntly stated by Dr. Colin Renfrew of Cambridge University in his foreword to the book by Peter James, Centuries of Darkness. He wrote,
"This disquieting book draws attention, in a penetrating and original way, to a crucial period in world history, and to the very shaky nature of the dating, the whole chronological framework, upon which our current interpretations rest. . . . The revolutionary suggestion is made here that the existing chronologies for that crucial phase in human history are in error by several centuries, and that, in consequence, history will have to be rewritten. . . . I feel that their critical analysis is right, and that a chronological revolution is on its way."�

Continue reading Chapter 26: The Third Intermediate Period to find out more about this discrepancy—just another example of the fallibility of man's interpretations of history.

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