Talk:Biblical chronology dispute
Deletion of last paragraph of the Kingdoms section
On January 27, 2018, I deleted the last paragraph in the Divided Kingdom section. On the previous day I had tried to edit the paragraph so it made more sense. I put in a “Citation needed” tag so that reference could be made to the original source and thereby perhaps the confusion could be resolved. The original intention of the paragraph, before I edited it, was to cast aspersions on the character and scholarship of Edwin Thiele and Leslie McFall.
McFall was very conservative in his approach to the text of Scripture. He stood by the Textus Receptus for the NT and the Masoretic text for the OT. He was very reluctant to so much as admit that there had been any error in the transmission of the Scripture, preferring to try to given a stretched interpretation of texts like 1 Sam 13:1 and 2 Chr 22:2 that most other scholars said demonstrated an error in the transmission of the text. Therefore the charges against him in the last paragraph of the Divided Kingdom article did not seem reasonable. I made some modifications to that paragraph on January 26, in particular putting in a “Citation needed” tag so that the original source of these allegations against Thiele and McFall could be examined and perhaps the misinformation could be straightened out.
Later that same day, I searched the Pierce's edition of Usshers Annals and found where similar allegations against McFall were found, on pages 918 and 919. On p. 918b, Larry Pierce charges the “Thiele camp” with creating “imaginary viceroy relationships when it suits them. Sometimes they count years from when he became sole king. Sometimes they count years from when a king became a viceroy, sometimes from when he became sole king.” But this is exactly what Ussher also did when he thought the data required it. He starts the coregency of Jeroboam II of Israel in AM3168c, starts his sole reign in 3165c, and ends his reign in 3179c. In terms of BC Nisan-based years, these are 836, 825, and 784 BC, respectively, so that J II’s years of reign are (836 – 784) = 52 years when starting from Ussher’s coregency and (825 – 784) = 41 years when starting from his sole reign. The Bible gives 41 years; Ussher gets to this figure by starting from the sole reign, not from the coregency as Pierce states.
The same applies to Ahaziah of Judah, where Ussher starts the coregency in 886, the sole reign in 885, and the end of his reign in 884. The Bible gives one year of reign. Ussher's reckoning then started from the sole reign, unless we ascribe to him some knowledge of non-accession reckoning, which he did not possess. The lack of this knowledge explains many small discrepancies in Ussher’s figures; Floyd Nolen Jones tried to correct these errors, since he followed Thiele in taking into account accession and non-accession reckoning. Jones, however, did not follow Thiele in accepting the Scriptural data that shows that Israel and Judah started their regnal years in different months, and so his elaborate charts have the same small errors that Ussher has in various cases, and which will not be reconciled until recognition is given to the work of Coucke, Thiele, and other scholars--all based on Biblical data--that showed that Israel began its regnal year in Nisan and Judah began its regnal year six months later, in Tishri.
Apparently Pierce did not study the issue very well before he made these charges against Thiele and McFall, because he writes on the same page (918b) “The longer [I.e. Ussherian] chronology consistently measures time from when a king became viceroy.” It has just been demonstrated that this is false. Pierce’s charges against Thiele and McFall therefore ring hollow, because his champion did the same thing.
I don’t know how the dialogue between McFall and the Pierces started, but apparently at some point, Dr. McFall tried to straighten out the wrong reasoning of the Pierces. He would have pointed out that there are no such words as viceroy, viceregent, or coregent in Biblical Hebrew. The Hebrew verb malak (began to reign, reigned, or had reigned) and its noun cognate melek apply whether the king was any one of these at a given time. An example is 1 Kgs 1:34,35, where Solomon was declared king, melek in Israel (v. 34), and he began to reign (malak, v. 35) at that time. In modern parlance we might say he was made coregent (David was still alive), but as explained above, Biblical Hebrew does not have such a word. Apparently McFall was trying to explain this to the Pierces, and this resulted in the tirade just described. It is this tirade which apparently was rather inaccurately cited in the last paragraph of the Divided Kingdom section.
This, to me, shows the unreasonable lengths to which modern defenders of Ussher have gone in misrepresenting any modern scholarship that does not agree with them, at the same time making unfounded defamatory charges against the scholars with whom they disagree. To clarify all this, however, would not seem appropriate for the main article, which is why I’m putting my explanation of deleting the misinformed last paragraph here on the Talk page. User:Latent, January 27, 2018.