Category Archives: History

Long Lives in History

Long Lives in History

There are several accounts of persons that lived very lengthy lives prior to the “great flood”.

The earliest is the Sumerian King List. The first fragment of this rare and unique text, a 4,000-year-old cuneiform tablet, was found in the early 1900s by German-American scholar Hermann Hilprecht at the site of ancient Nippur and published in 1906.  Since Hilprecht’s discovery, at least 18 other exemplars of the king’s list have been found, most of them dating from the second half of the Isin dynasty (c. 2017-1794 BCE.).  No two of these documents are identical. However, there is enough common material in all versions of the list to make it clear that they are derived from a single, “ideal” account of Sumerian history.

The Sumerian King List , records that eight kings reigned before a great flood. After the Flood, various city-states and their dynasties of kings temporarily gained power over the others. 

Some of the rulers mentioned in the early list, such as Etana, Lugal-banda and Gilgamesh, are mythical or legendary figures whose heroic feats are subjects of a series of Sumerian and Babylonian narrative compositions.

The early list names eight kings with a total of 241,200 years from the time when kingship “descended from heaven” to the time when “the Flood” swept over the land and once more “the kingship was lowered from heaven” after the Flood.

Over a thousand years later it is interesting that the bible also contains a “king list” that indicates significant longevity (a bit puny compared to the Sumerian’s) but still send the same message. Folks lived a long time prior to the flood, but lost that ability afterward.

158 Newgrange (just for fun)

158 Newgrange (just for fun)

On a recent trip to Ireland we had the opportunity to visit and explore Newgrange. I had seen the sight on several TV documentaries and was anxious to experience it for myself. The following is taken from Wikipedia:

Newgrange (IrishSí an Bhrú or Brú na Bóinne) is a prehistoric monument in County Meath, Ireland, located 8 kilometres (5.0 mi) west of Drogheda on the north side of the River Boyne. It is an exceptionally grand passage tomb built during the Neolithic period, around 3200 BC, making it older than Stonehenge and the Egyptian pyramids.

The site consists of a large circular mound with an inner stone passageway and chambers. Human bones and possible grave goods or votive offerings were found in these chambers. The mound has a retaining wall at the front, made mostly of white quartz cobblestones, and it is ringed by engraved kerbstones. Many of the larger stones of Newgrange are covered in megalithic art. The mound is also ringed by a stone circle. Some of the material that makes up the monument came from as far away as the Mournes and Wicklow Mountains. There is no agreement about what the site was used for, but it is believed that it had religious significance. Its entrance is aligned with the rising sun on the winter solstice, when sunlight shines through a ‘roofbox‘ and floods the inner chamber. Several other passage tombs in Ireland are aligned with solstices and equinoxes, and Cairn G at Carrowkeel has a similar ‘roofbox’. Newgrange also shares many similarities with other Neolithic constructions in Western Europe, especially Gavrinis in Brittany, which has both a similar preserved facing and large carved stones, in that case lining the passage within. Maeshowe in Orkney, Scotland, with a large high corbelled chamber, and Bryn Celli Ddu in Wales have also been compared to Newgrange.

It is the most famous monument within the Neolithic Brú na Bóinne complex, alongside the similar passage tomb mounds of Knowth and Dowth, and as such is a part of the Brú na Bóinne UNESCO World Heritage Site. Newgrange consists of approximately 200,000 tonnes of rock and other materials. It is 85 metres (279 ft) wide at its widest point.

Images of the interior follow:

Date of creation (From Conservapedia)

Date of creation (From Conservapedia)

“The date of Creation has been debated for many years. Separate calculations have given different answers although most are fairly close to each other.

Basis of calculation

The Bible contains chronogenealogies from Adam to Abraham, listing the age at which each person in the genealogy gave birth to the next person in the list, thus allowing by simple addition a determination of how many years passed between Creation and Abraham. There are other chronological indications also, allowing that calculation to be extended into the times of the kings, when the dates can be correlated with other events in history for which the absolute date is known. By this means, in theory, one can calculate the date of Creation.

Calculated dates

The best known date of Creation is the one calculated by Archbishop James Ussher in the 17th century – namely 6:00 p.m. Saturday, October 23, 4004 BC. Ussher calculated the year of Creation by the following means:

  • He accepted the date of the death of Nebuchadnezzar II of Babylon at 562 BC.
  • He then assumed that Evil-Merodach began to reign in that year.
  • King Jehoiachin received a pension from Evil-Merodach beginning in this year, and that he was taken captive 37 years before then, or in 599 BC. (The final Fall of Jerusalem occurred eleven years later; hence Ussher places the Fall of Jerusalem in 588 BC, not 586 BC as most secular archaeologists assume.)
  • From that anchor point, Ussher worked backward through the king lists of the Divided Kingdoms Northern and Southern. See I and II Kings.
  • He worked backward further to set the dates-of-reign of King Solomon, and calculated the Exodus of Israel at 480 years earlier than the groundbreaking of the Temple, which was in Solomon’s fourth year. This fell in 1012 BC, and so Ussher fixed the Exodus at 1491 BC.
  • Based on his interpretation of Galatians 3:17 , Ussher then fixed the date of the entry of Abraham into Canaan. This was in 1921 BC.
  • Ussher here made a key assumption that is in great dispute. We read that Abraham was 75 years old when he embarked into Canaan. We also read that Terah was 70 years old when he “begat” Abraham, Nahor (the younger), and Haran. Ussher’s assumption, which added another sixty years to the reckoning of Creation, was this: that Abraham did not embark on his own until after Terah had died at the age of 205. This would mean that Terah was actually 130 years old, not 70, when Abraham was born—and presumably that Nahor the Younger or Haran was born when Terah was 70. Ussher’s sole warrant for this assumption is that the Bible describes Abraham’s departure after it describes Terah’s “death.” But Terah’s “death” might be spiritual rather than physical, in that Terah had originally intended to take all his family out of Ur of the Chaldees and into Canaan, but forgot his purpose and grew too accustomed to worldly enticements in the country of Haran. If that is the case, then Abraham might have departed when Terah was still alive—which is what the inventors of the present Hebrew calendar assumed.
  • Ussher then backtracked the pedigree of Abraham to Arphaxad, born to Shem two years after the Great Flood. He therefore concluded that the Great Flood happened in 2349 BC.
  • Finally, Ussher backtracked the genealogy of Shem to Adam.

To arrive at the month and approximate date, Ussher concluded that Creation must have occurred during the Autumnal Equinox, which in fact is the favorite start of many of the world’s calendars, ancient and modern. He also assumed that the ancient Hebrews did not attempt to synchronize their months with the moon until after their exile into Babylonia. He thus calculated the date of Creation at October 23, 4004 BC according to the Julian calendar.

Because the seven days of Creation (including one day of rest) set the pattern for our week, Ussher decided that the Creation began on the first day of the week, i.e. Sunday. However, because the day was defined as being an “evening and morning”, and some calendars to this day still have the days beginning at sunset, Ussher concluded Creation actually began at what on modern western calendars would be 6 p.m. (sunset at the equinox) on Saturday.

James Ussher’s calculation was the best-sourced calculation in all of Christendom at the time. Ussher also spoke with authority, and from a position of authority. For those reasons, his dates for various Biblical events appeared in the margins of King James and other Bibles for centuries, until the last quarter of the twentieth century, when publishers abandoned this practice. Sir Isaac Newton defended Ussher’s date.

Johannes Kepler also attempted to calculate the date using his own methods (sadly lost to time); he worked it out to be 3992 B.C.

Such calculations in fact date from at least the Middle Ages, and offer a range of dates from around 5000 to 4000 BC. The date used by Eastern Orthodox Christianity is often 1 September, 5509 BC. This was the date used as the beginning point for their calendars. Traditionalist Catholics often use 5199 BC. Judaic tradition reckons the date of Creation at 3760 BC. Another calculation, beginning with the date of the destruction of Jerusalem known from secular history and working backwards, arrives at 4163 BC.

Retrieved from:  “”              The preceding information assumes that the bible is an accurate historical document. Most folks date the actual writing of the first book of Genesis at between 1200 and 900 BC. The latter date is likely the most reasonable as there is no conclusive evidence that the Aramaic Alphabet existed before that time. This means that only an oral account existing for at least 3,000 years. The veracity of every detail (and likely most details) is doubtful. If we place any value on the scientific evidence of creation of the Universe, the Galaxy and our Planet then common sense will dictate that the time frame is far off. This does not mean that certain elements of the bible are inaccurate. Many elements of the text that closely correspond to the Sumerian tablets.  The Sumerian tablets were written several thousands of years before the bible!