Friday, July 31, 2009

Camping Jenga

Mr. Harold Camping's views of the end times are extremely complex, which is one of the reason that they attract many folks. In some ways, they are like a more complicated version of Jenga, in which a tower is constructed from numerous sticks that seem to be more or less separable from the tower. One problem with the extreme complexity of his views, however, is that there are numerous single points of failure for his entire system. For example, if Mr. Camping is wrong about the spiritual significance of the number 23 (which happens to be the age that Jehoahaz was when he began to reign, and the length of the period of judging of the pre-regnum judge Tola), many of his arguments would collapse. But how could one prove that 23 is supposed to be the number of "ruling" or "reigning" (both Tola and Jehoahaz were rulers) as opposed to "obscurity" (both men are relatively obscure Biblical characters) or as opposed to "God's wrath or judgment" (one "judged" Israel, the other was taken prisoner by the King of Egypt)? No one really can: Mr. Camping can assert one of those, or any of those, without anyone being able to tell him that the Bible clearly contradicts him, because the sort of identification he's making is essentially arbitrary. In fact, selecting "judgment" has the weakest argument of those three possibilities, since Tola "judging" Israel basically meant protecting it, whereas the judgment that fell on Jehoahaz resulted in Israel becoming a tributary to Egypt.

As you can see, though, the argument regarding the significance of numbers ends up being something like the reverse of the game of Jenga. We pull something out of the tower that Mr. Camping has constructed, and while it might wobble a bit, it doesn't immediately come crashing down. Why is that? Because Mr. Camping's complex approach is used as a support for each tenuous argument. "Maybe the biblical evidence is quite weak for 23 being a spiritual number," we can imagine him saying, "but then isn't it a strange coincidence that it fits together with all of these other pieces of the puzzle?" Of course, those other pieces of the puzzle are tenuous themselves: in fact we could legitimately question the spiritual significance he gives to almost every number in his list of spiritually significant numbers.

That said, having observed Jenga played, I recognize that there are some points of any tower that are fundamental, which if removed do undermine the entire building. What are those fundamental planks in Mr. Camping's system?

One of the fundamental planks in Mr. Camping's system is his rejection of the grammatical-historical hermeneutic. Mr. Camping recognizes this and states: "For example, anyone who follows the man-made, grammatical, historical hermeneutic, which is utilized throughout the church world, will not be able to correctly understand many very important truths of the Bible. This includes the Bible's teachings concerning the end of the church age, and the fact that the true believers can know much about the timetable and details of the end of the world." (We Are Almost There, Chapter 1, pp. 4-5)

What Mr. Camping fails to recognize or appreciate is that his own system has many planks built on the grammatical-historical hermeneutic, either directly or indirectly. For example, in most cases, the spiritual signification of the numbers is derived from looking at the passage in which they appear, applying a grammatical-historical hermeneutic to understand the sense of that passage, and then selecting one or more item from that passage to have spiritual significance. In the case of the 153 fishes in John 21:11, Mr. Camping recognizes a grammatical-historical sense to the passage before imposing his spiritualizing interpretation on it.

The grammatical-historical hermeneutic aspect to Mr. Camping's interpretation with respect to John 21:11 is rather trivial: the story is quite straightforward and easy to understand at the grammatical-historical level. That's not always the case. Sometimes Mr. Camping blunders in his analysis, even at the grammatical-historical level of the investigation.

I'll try to provide an example of Mr. Camping's grammatical-historical blunder, but first let me show you the significance of this particular Jenga piece. One way that Mr. Camping derives May 21, 2011, as the day of the Rapture is based on a comparison of relative dates of various historical events, including not only the crucifixion, but also the Flood, and apparently even Creation. Mr. Camping rejects Ussher's careful and studied chronology in favor of a chronology that appears to be entirely of his own creation. One of the keys to Mr. Camping's chronology is a view that Biblical genealogies are not necessarily the same as modern genealogies.

If Mr. Camping's view of the Biblical genealogies is wrong, then his chronology is not reliable, and if his chronology is not reliable, then his prediction based on that chronology is not reliable. Now, of course, he may simply resort to saying that he has also confirmed the date some other way, but those other ways are also similarly tenuous, so that's not a valid rebuttal on his part.

Where is the blunder in Mr. Camping's view of Biblical genealogies? Mr. Camping builds his geneaologies based on a principle that passages like Genesis 5 should not be viewed as providing a series of fathers and sons, but as providing representative men of each era of mankind. The basis for this claim is an analysis of the genealogies in Exodus particularly with respect to the duration of the sojourn in Egypt.

Using the grammatical-historical hermeneutic, Mr. Camping recognizes that the Israelites sojourned in Egypt four hundred, thirty years.

Exodus 12:40-41
Now the sojourning of the children of Israel, who dwelt in Egypt, was four hundred and thirty years. And it came to pass at the end of the four hundred and thirty years, even the selfsame day it came to pass, that all the hosts of the LORD went out from the land of Egypt.

Next, Mr. Camping provides a genealogical account that he believes corresponds to those four hundred, thirty years. Specifically, Mr. Camping provides the following summation:

Levi (77 years in Egypt)
Kohath (133 years in Egypt)
Amram (137 years in Egypt)
Aaron (83 years in Egypt)
Total = 430 years total time

The numbers do sum to four hundred, thirty years, and Aaron was in Egypt for 83 years. Also, Amram was in Egypt his whole life, which was 137 years. There is, however, a small problem with Mr. Camping's methodology. Amram is the father of Aaron. We know this from Exodus 6:20, the same place that we know that Amram was 137 years old:

Exodus 6:20 And Amram took him Jochebed his father's sister to wife; and she bare him Aaron and Moses: and the years of the life of Amram were an hundred and thirty and seven years.

In view of the fact that Amram is Aaron's father, it does not make sense to simply add his age to Aaron's age. After all, one would expect some overlap between a father and his son. Mr. Camping, however, insists that Amram died the year that Aaron was born: "Aaron in turn was born the year of Amram’s death, and was descended from Amram." (Biblical Calendar of History, p. 3) In itself, this claim is not necessarily problematic. After all, a father could die the same year as his son is born. In fact, a father could die up to 9 months or so before his son is born.

The problem is that Amram is also the father of Moses (as we saw above), and Moses was three years younger than Aaron:

Exodus 7:7 And Moses was fourscore years old, and Aaron fourscore and three years old, when they spake unto Pharaoh.

Even if we assume that Aaron was born on the first day of year X and that Amram died the last day of year X, Moses could only be at most about 1 year and 9 months younger than Aaron. Even if Moses was born a full month late, and was conceived on the day that Amram died, he'd be less than two years younger than Aaron. Maybe it would help to put in numbers treating Aaron as though he were born on January 1, 1900:

Aaron: January 1, 1900
Amram dies: December 31, 1900
Moses born: October 31, 1901
From October 31, 1901, to December 31, 1901, Aaron would be 1, while Moses was 0, and then from January 1, 1902, to October 30, 1902, Aaron would be 2, while Moses would be 0. Thus, part of the year Aaron would seem to be two years older, and part of the year Aaron would be one year older. It would never be, however, that Moses would be three years younger, counting by birthdays. So, it is impossible that Amram died the year Aaron was born.

Mr. Camping, however, insists that Amram is not actually Aaron's father, but simply an ancestor of Aaron. This is contradicted by the Scriptures, which declare Aaron and Moses both to be the sons of Amram, to be the children that Jochebed, his father's sister, bare to him:

1 Chronicles 23:13 The sons of Amram; Aaron and Moses: and Aaron was separated, that he should sanctify the most holy things, he and his sons for ever, to burn incense before the LORD, to minister unto him, and to bless in his name for ever.

1 Chronicles 6:3 And the children of Amram; Aaron, and Moses, and Miriam. The sons also of Aaron; Nadab, and Abihu, Eleazar, and Ithamar.

Numbers 26:59 And the name of Amram's wife was Jochebed, the daughter of Levi, whom her mother bare to Levi in Egypt: and she bare unto Amram Aaron and Moses, and Miriam their sister.

Exodus 6:20 And Amram took him Jochebed his father's sister to wife; and she bare him Aaron and Moses: and the years of the life of Amram were an hundred and thirty and seven years.

Mr. Camping's teachings on this matter are clearly contrary to Scripture, which declares that Amram and Jochebed were the parents of Moses, Aaron, and Miriam. But what can Mr. Camping say to respond to this problem?

Mr. Camping's primary response is to appeal to "The Clue Phrase 'Called His Name'." (Biblical Calendar of History, p. 1). Mr. Camping insists that "Called his Name" is a secret clue word to the fact that the relationship being discussed is true parent-child relationship: "A more careful examination of the Scriptures reveals why the phrase "called his name" which is the Hebrew qara, was used. In every place where this phrase is employed, there can be no doubt of the existing relationship; invariably it is indicative of parent and child." (Biblical Calendar of History, p. 1) We can easily rebut this argument:

a) Mr. Camping has to appeal to grammatical-historical exegesis to determine whether in those other cases a parent-child relationship is, in fact, present. Then, having no further use for that method, he acts like a child who has climbed into his father's lap, and slaps the method in the face. The self-contradictory nature of such an approach should be evident to all.

b) Even if it were true that qara always correlated with a parent/child relationship, that would not establish that qara is a clue word to any secret meaning.

c) Mr. Camping is wrong about the claim that it is "invariably ... indicative of parent and child." (Biblical Calendar of History, p. 1) In fact, the very first instance of the word is when Adam calls his wife's name, Eve:

Genesis 3:20 And Adam called his wife's name Eve; because she was the mother of all living.

Additionally, the expression is used of inanimate objects such as a rock:

1 Samuel 7:12 Then Samuel took a stone, and set it between Mizpeh and Shen, and called the name of it Ebenezer, saying, Hitherto hath the LORD helped us.

or a city:

Judges 18:29 And they called the name of the city Dan, after the name of Dan their father, who was born unto Israel: howbeit the name of the city was Laish at the first.

More importantly, the expression is used of naming children, when the person naming the child is plainly not his father or mother:

Ruth 4:17 And the women her neighbours gave it a name, saying, There is a son born to Naomi; and they called his name Obed: he is the father of Jesse, the father of David.

Both "gave" and "called" are from qara.

And most amusingly, this is even the case with Moses, who was called Moses not by his parents (Amram and Jochabed) but by Pharaoh's daughter:

Exodus 2:10 And the child grew, and she brought him unto Pharaoh's daughter, and he became her son. And she called his name Moses: and she said, Because I drew him out of the water.

In short, Mr. Camping's supposed key to unlocking these genealogies is wrong. And, without that key, we have no reason to trust his chronologies. Furthermore, without his chronologies, we have no reason to trust the date of the flood that he gives. Furthermore, since we have no reason to trust the date of the flood, we have no reason to trust his date of Christ's second coming. The Jenga tower comes crashing down, not only because we have shown that the grammatical-historical hermeneutic is simply inescapable, but because the entire system of chronology is rotten at its core.

-TurretinFan

14 comments:

natamllc said...

This is a long, well laid out writing. I wanted to stop along the way then and point to some of the confusion.

For instance, TF, you note Mr. Camping's words: "...."For example, anyone who follows the man-made, grammatical, historical hermeneutic, which is utilized throughout the church world, will not be able to correctly understand many very important truths of the Bible. This includes the Bible's teachings concerning the end of the church age, and the fact that the true believers can know much about the timetable and details of the end of the world." (We Are Almost There, Chapter 1, pp. 4-5)....".

I would say, if you do not have the "same" Holy Spirit in you when reading the Bible He authors through men or any man-made, grammatical, historical hermeneutic by His inspiration, you will only read the Bible incorrectly and arrive at a tenuous conclusion at best, as is clearly being demonstrated here of Mr. Camping!

It is clear to me that you have no choice when listening to or reading anything of Mr. Camping but to spend all your time understanding him, which clearly then makes you an idolater. It is my view that Mr. Camping is his own best classical example of what is cited as a "man-made, grammatical, historical hermeneutic", TF!

We can give ourselves to know God only "after" God brings about that inspiration to know Him. When that happens, we then are inspired even moreso to this that the 24 Heavenly elders inspire too which is not idolatry when understanding clearly why we were created:::>

Rev 4:11 "Worthy are you, our Lord and God, to receive glory and honor and power, for you created all things, and by your will they existed and were created."

When you know who you are by God's inspiration, man's inspiration clearly becomes a dead dry bone!

Now, of course, you now know why a dog drops his dead dry bone? When God throws him the lambchop!

If the dog isn't dropping the dead dry bone from his mouth, you then have to conclude that he wasn't invited to have Lamb for dinner! :)

Pilgrimsarbour said...

Greetings TurretinFan,

This is an excellent post (and a clever title and analogy) on some of the aspects of Mr. Camping's teachings. I am particularly impressed with your analysis of what the Bible really says about Amram and his relationship to Moses and Aaron. Thank you very much.

I was a regular listener to the Open Forum program for several years before the 1994 debacle, at which time, I admit, I completely threw him under the bus. Ironically, it was primarily Mr. Camping's teachings on the doctrines of grace that drew me to Reformed theology. So in spite of it all, I thank God that it was His pleasure to use the good in what Camping taught to draw me into a deeper and more consistent understanding of who He is and my relationship to Him.

The exchange between Dr. White and Mr. Camping on the Iron Sharpens Iron show was telling. I confess to mentally tuning out during the second day when Mr. Camping droned on and on in a mind-numbing fashion about his biblical numbers theory. Me eyes glazed over. It's a good thing I wasn't driving at the time.

But the issue that really got my attention on the first day was a question about Hebrews 10:24-25. You'll recall that at issue especially was the word in verse 24 rendered by the KJV as "provoke," and that this always by necessity must indicate negative activity. Dr. White skillfully and easily pointed out that in this context, provoking someone to good works was, in fact, a good thing. But Camping would have none of it. At that point I wished I could have called in to the show.

The idea that biblical words must mean exactly the same thing at all times and in all places conflicts with something I heard Mr. Camping say some years ago on the Open Forum program. A woman called in to chastise Mr. Camping for having used these words to exhort people to pray for him and for Family Radio: "We covet your prayers." The caller really took him to task for "coveting." "Thou shalt not covet!" she said over and over. She was really quite adamant. Despite all Mr. Camping's efforts, he was unable to convince her that the word covet is used both positively and negatively in the KJV. These are the two positive usages I could find:

31 But covet earnestly the best gifts: and yet shew I unto you a more excellent way (1 Corinthians 12:31).

39 Wherefore, brethren, covet to prophesy, and forbid not to speak with tongues (I Corinthians 14:39).

For some reason that call has stuck with me all these years. And his response then strikes me as inconsistent with what he now teaches concerning recurring words, whether found in the OT or the NT.

Thanks again for your work, and please thank Dr. White for me. It was a very worthwhile broadcast. I'm looking forward to how Dr. White and the rest of the apologetics world will deal with Mr. Camping and his false teachings after this new date has come and gone. And I pray that those who have been caught up in his web of deceit will be broken free by the Holy Spirit, who is still to be found active in the lives of individuals and in His Church, all over the world now and until our Lord Christ returns.

Blessings in Christ,

Pilgrimsarbour

Anonymous said...

Excellent article. As an aside, I long to talk to Camping and ask if he is using the Gregorian or Julian calendar in his end-of-time calculations. I wonder if he even knows about the difference.

Reformed1647 said...

"We pull something out of the tower...and while it might wobble a bit, it doesn't immediately come crashing down. Why is that? Because the approach is used as a support for each tenuous argument. But then isn't it a strange coincidence that it fits together with all of these other pieces of the puzzle?"

This reminds me of the debate over origins. I have had people tell me that we cannot remove a tenuous piece of the anti-Christian tower because all of the pieces fit together, even though all of the pieces that fit together can be pulled out because they are tenuous.

Of course, these are also people who have anti-Christian epistemological and metaphysical assumptions that they are using to evaluate those pieces of the tower.

Turretinfan said...

Reformed1647:

There does seem to be another comparison between the two: those who set forth a "naturalistic" origin of everything have to keep changing the date.

-TurretinFan

Turretinfan said...

Anonymous,

I do seem to recall him claiming that the ancient dates he was using are "adjusted to our modern calendar" or something like that.

-TurretinFan

natamllc said...

Now, having gone over this here a few times I have decided to Follow Jesus!

Ah, ...."oops", why no, I have been turned indeed to reformat ional thinking and have come to my senses and realize I haven't really decided on anything on my own, but I digress, because, as I was typing that refrain came to my mind so I decided to "give it wind and let it flow" and out through the tips of my fingers flowed that refrain, "I have decided" to follow Jesus!

Wow, it's been a really long time since I was in a Church when that one was sung! Reformed Theology has a way of bending one's mind and turning it to Truth!! :)

Ok, so as I was saying, I have decided to jump into this whole Camping Jenga numbers game then.

There are two passages of Scripture I would like to grammatically historically hermeneute.

Here they are:

Gen 15:13 Then the LORD said to Abram, "Know for certain that your offspring will be sojourners in a land that is not theirs and will be servants there, and they will be afflicted for four hundred years.


And

Jer 25:11 This whole land shall become a ruin and a waste, and these nations shall serve the king of Babylon seventy years.


Ok? Let me begin with the passage in Genesis.

As you should already be familiar with the verse, let me simply observe that this is God Himself making it clear He can count and see into the future at the exact same time where His count counts!

It was dreadful indeed what He showed our Patristic father Abram.

The Holy Ghost conveyed the dread so well within my very being, my mind, will and emotions, my soul, I do not wish to have such an experience! Do you?

If so, I will be the first to tell you, “you are nuts” and not in your right mind! It is pure idiosyncrasy and you my friend are an idiot!

The only true Word I can draw from that verse is in its context with its companion verses in Exodus. Human nature is such that it tends to come to Truth slowly, after the fact, so to speak, when the liberty the Gospel shines on us brings us to understand the Truth of God's Word count. I believe it is because we are in bondage to our stupid will; stupid as in slow of heart to believe and understand the Truth"!

Here's the companion verses to what Abram dreamt and teaches us about just how slow it is we are to respond to God's Truth when Truth comes alive upon our hearts and minds:

Exo 12:40 The time that the people of Israel lived in Egypt was 430 years.
Exo 12:41 At the end of 430 years, on that very day, all the hosts of the LORD went out from the land of Egypt.
Exo 12:42 It was a night of watching by the LORD, to bring them out of the land of Egypt; so this same night is a night of watching kept to the LORD by all the people of Israel throughout their generations.

So, having laid out my course charging us with natural stupidity, after its kind, then, I now pick up the other example from Daniel about Jeremiah's Word about liberty coming after seventy years of captivity:

Dan 9:1 In the first year of Darius the son of Ahasuerus, by descent a Mede, who was made king over the realm of the Chaldeans--
Dan 9:2 in the first year of his reign, I, Daniel, perceived in the books the number of years that, according to the word of the LORD to Jeremiah the prophet, must pass before the end of the desolations of Jerusalem, namely, seventy years.

That happened "3" years later! Hmmmmm?

Now, dear reader, what can we learn about one another and our self?

It ain't always as quick for us to respond to the freedoms and liberties the Gospel declares to us, by proclamation, as we see from these representative samples, a people group, the "Hebrews" of Abram's genealogy.

They were selected for a wonderful quality; they are a rather stiff necked, stubborn and rebellious bunch of people, which serves to show us all, the other nations in the world today, that God draws to Himself “patiently”, people, by the numbers game, by the leading of the Holy Ghost!

Ok, did I play a good game?

Anonymous said...

TF used Exodus 6:20 to prove Amram was Aaron's father,

Exodus 6:20 And Amram took him Jochebed his father's sister to wife; and she bare him Aaron and Moses: and the years of the life of Amram were an hundred and thirty and seven years.

This assertion is made because Jochebed bare (begat) to Amram Aaron and Moses. TF clearly sees "bare" as an indicator of a direct father son relationship. Ok, fine. TF also mentions Numbers 26:59 as a further proof of Amram being Aaron's father,

Num 26:59 And the name of Amram's wife was Jochebed, the daughter of Levi, whom her mother bare to Levi in Egypt: and she bare unto Amram Aaron and Moses, and Miriam their sister.

And sure enough we see here that Jochebed "bare" to Amram: Aaron, Moses and Miriam. Oh, but wait a minute, this verse tells us something else quite important. Did you see that Jochebed, Amram's wife, was a daughter of Levi, and that Jochebed's mother "bare" her to Levi in Egypt? Hmm, that's interesting. So we now have a very good picture of this family tree. Jochebed is Levi's daughter, and was "bare" to Levi in Egypt. Based on TF's own use of Numbers 26:59, "bare" clearly indicates a direct father offspring (son or daughter) relationship. OK, so Jochebed is Levi's daughter, and she marries Amram, so what? Well, what you must remember here is that Levi only lived part of his 137 year lifespan in Egypt. People might argue how much of Levi's life was spent in Egypt, but we do know that Levi could not have been any younger than his half-brother Joseph, who was 39 years old when his father Jacob came to Egypt at 130 years old (Gen 47:9). So Levi must have been at least as old as Joseph, or at least 39 years old when Jacob came to Egypt. That being the case, knowing Levi lived a total of 137 years, the longest Levi could have lived in Egypt would have been 98 years. OK, so on the other end, we know Aaron was born 83 years before the Exodus (Ex 7:7). And, knowing that Israel was in Egypt a total of 430 years (Ex 12:40-41), we can quickly figure out that Aaron was born after Israel was in Egypt 347 years. So what's the point? Well remember, Jochebed was born to Levi in Egypt, and Levi couldn't have lived in Egypt more than 98 years. To be fair, lets assume Jochebed was born very late in Levi's life, in fact, let's just assume she was born in the year Levi died, after Israel had been in Egypt for 98 years. Now we also know that Jochebed gave birth to Aaron 83 years before the Exodus, or in the 347th year that Israel had been in Egypt. Well now, do you see that? How old would Jochebed have been when Aaron was born? We can quickly figure this out, since we already showed the latest she could have been born to Levi would have been in the 98th year that Israel was in Egypt, and since Aaron was born in the 347th year, then she must have been 249 years old. Wow! That's a pretty old age for a woman to have a child. In fact, remember Abraham's wife Sarah, and how much doubt she had at the prospect of having a child at 90 years old. Now we have a case where Jochebed, Levi's daughter, and mother to Aaron, was 249 years old, almost 3 times older than Sarah!

I think we can all see that this isn't the way it happened. In fact, the fatal mistake in this analysis, and in the analysis TF used to prove Amram was Aaron's father, is the assumption that "bare" indicates a direct father son or father daughter relationship. TF used Exodus 6:20 and the fact that Jochebed "bare" Aaron and Moses as proof that Jochebed was Aaron's mother.

I hope now we can see this assumption is incorrect and presumes more than the word "bare" actually means. And, this being the case, it should be very clear that TF can no longer assert that Exodus 6:20 is proof that Amram was the immediate father of Aaron and Moses. Ah, one Jenga piece restored to it's rightful place!

Anonymous said...

Hi Turretin Fan, I just have one quick question about the Camping Jenga article. If Amram was Aaron's dad, how on earth do we account for the 430 year sojourn in Egypt? Thanks in advance for taking the time to respond.

Turretinfan said...

Anonymous:

Regarding the 430 years, I've answered this in a new post (link).

Turretinfan said...

Incidentally, as to the longer comment above (also by anonymous, perhaps the same anonymous), the term "bare" does mean "bare" - the problem with your analysis is the assumption that the time in Egypt was 430 years rather than 210 years.

-TurretinFan

Anonymous said...

Here is a statement made by Dr William Green, professor of Old Testament at Princeton, who wrote a paper entitled "Primeval Chronology" (http://www.girs.com/library/theology/syllabus/creation_green.html) in 1890:

"This subject may be relieved from all perplexity, however, by observing that Amram and Jochebed were not the immediate parents, but the ancestors of Aaron and Moses. How many generations may have intervened, we cannot tell. It is indeed said (Exod. 6:20; Num. 26:59), that Jochebed bare them to Amram. But in the language of the genealogies this simply means that they were descended from her and from Amram. Thus, in Genesis 46:18, after recording the sons of Zilpah, her grandsons, and her great-grandsons, the writer adds, "These are the sons of Zilpah... and these she bare unto Jacob, even sixteen souls." The same thing recurs in the case of Bilhah (v. 25): "She bare these souls unto Jacob; all the souls were seven," (comp. also vv. 15, 22). No one can pretend here that the author of this register did not use the terms understandingly of descendants beyond the first generation. In like manner, according to Matthew 1:11, Josias begat his grandson Jechonias, and verse 8, Joram begat his great-great-grandson Ozias. And in Genesis 10:15-18 Canaan, the grandson of Noah, is said to have begotten several whole nations, the Jebusite, the Amorite, the Girgasite, the Hivite, etc. (Comp. also Gen. 25:23; Deut. 4:25; 2 Kings 20:18; Isa. 51:2.) Nothing can be plainer, therefore, than that, in the usage of the Bible, "to bear" and "to beget" are used in a wide sense to indicate descent, without restriction to the immediate offspring."

The nice thing about Dr. Green's comments are that they were made well before Mr Camping walked the face of the earth, so when he asserts that Amram and Jochebed were not the parents of Aaron and Moses, and that the Hebrew "yalad", translated "begat", indicates descent and not immediate offspring, it is done without any ulterior motive.

Turretinfan said...

a) From the same article, Dr. Green states: "Now unquestionably Levi was Jacob's own son. So likewise Kohath was the son of Levi (Gen. 46:11) and born before the descent into Egypt. Amram also was the immediate descendent of Kohath."

Presumably other critics of the 215 year stay would tend to agree with Dr. Green about that.

b) Dr. Green did have a motive, though it was not to engage in date-setting. It was to ascribe an older age to the earth in view of then-prevalent scientific claims. See the first few lines of the article ("The question of the possible reconciliation of the results of scientific inquiry respecting the antiquity of man and the age of the world with the Scripture chronology has been long and earnestly debated.").

-TurretinFan

elephantfaith said...

Any possibility of contacting me at my email address? I have concerns about a family member who is deeply involved in this. My email address is Elephantfaith@yahoo.com. Thank you very much.