Note: The Letter explains some fascinating details on how we have come to keep time. J.L. Robb’s “Why Do Bad Things Happen to Good People?” discusses the devil, NY Times, Job and Paul Harvey.
According to our calendar, this is the year two thousand and fourteen as measured from the birth of Jesus Christ of Nazareth in Bethlehem.
The calendar that we use is the standard calendar in use world-wide for all official business.
Hindu countries, Muslim countries, officially atheist countries and religiously confused countries all date modern events based on the life of a Jewish laborer executed as a criminal by the Roman Empire roughly 1978 years ago.
They may not believe in Jesus of Nazareth, but He affects their lives daily, nonetheless.
In Buddhist Sri Lanka, this is the year 2545. In Hindu India, it is the year 1922. Muslims reckon this year as the year 1421.
The starting point for the Buddhist calendar is the year 544 BC — the date of the Buddha’s death. The Muslim calendar dates from the flight of Mohammed from Mecca to Medina.
The Chinese lay claim to being the world’s oldest civilization. Whether or not that is true, according to the Chinese calendar, which is the oldest calendar in continuous use since inception, this is the year 4704, dating from around the time of Noah and the Flood.
The oldest calendar in use in terms of length is the Byzantine calendar, which uses the Julian date for its calculations, beginning with Day One, AM (Anno Mundi) on September 1, 5509.
But the Byzantine calendar is based on the Julian calendar created by astronomer Sosigenes of Alexandria 45 years before Christ. It isn’t based on human history, but rather by assuming an arbitrary date for creation based on the position of the stars, and then working forward.
What is fascinating about all of these calendars is that none of them (except the Byzantine) reach further back than about six thousand years.
We have fossils that science claims are older than six thousand years. We have dug up settlements and evidences of civilization that science says dates back further than six thousand years.
But the human historical record comes to an abrupt re-boot at about the same place where the Chinese calendar begins.
The Chinese record starts at just about the same time when Noah and his family left the Ark and began to rebuild human civilization. And it is the oldest.
Everything before that is mythologized.
The ancient Sumerians who were the first to develop a written language dated the lifespan of their early rulers into the thousands of years. The ancient Egyptians claimed that their earliest rulers were giants who stood twice the size of ordinary men.
The ancient Greek and Roman mythologies included strange, demonic, half-human, half-animal creatures like centaurs, minotaurs, demi-gods, and so on.
Joshua makes reference to the gods “which your fathers served on the other side of the Flood” four times; (Joshua 24:2-3,14-15)
Every ancient civilization makes reference to an ancient, cataclysmic flood that was sent as a form of judgment by the gods, a god, or God.
And in all the world, there is no record of human civilization that predates the record set forth in the Bible. The Sumerians have written records predating Moses, (who wrote Genesis) but there is no coherent written account of human civilization that predates the Flood.
The Book of Genesis explains the origins of human legends, like long-lived Sumerian rulers of pre-history. Genesis explains that until the Flood, human lifespans were measured in centuries — Methuselah lived for some 969 years.
Genesis 6:4 explains the Egyptian giants of prehistory. It also provides a credible explanation for the origins of Greco-Roman mythology. The gods, demigods, centaurs and so forth worshipped by the Romans and Greeks are entirely consistent with the unholy offspring of Genesis 6:4.
The gods of Mount Olympus and demigods like Hercules, Mercury, Perseus and Achilles and Joshua’s “gods on the other side of the Flood” are a far better historical fit than an explanation that they were simply invented out of nothing somewhere in the distant, unknowable past.
Were it not for the Bible’s insistence on the universal worship of the Creator as a condition of salvation and its insulting representation of all mankind as unregenerate sinners in need of His mercy, the Bible would undoubtedly be hailed as an unassailably accurate historical record.
No matter how desperately science tries to discredit the Bible, it keeps coming back to the Cradle of Civilization for answers to questions relating to the origin of human language, human culture, human racial differences and human DNA.
Linguists say all human language evolved from a single ‘proto-language’ that existed at about the same time and place that the Bible puts the story of the Tower of Babel, at the same time dismissing any connection between the Bible story and their findings as ‘coincidence.’
Note that the primary effort isn’t to prove the Genesis account true. The primary effort is to disprove it in the face emerging evidence that tends to support Babel as a real event. The same is true of DNA research that also tends to support, rather than refute, Babel as the source of differing racial characteristics.
One of the first rules of legitimate scientific investigation is that one approaches an issue with an open mind, rather than beginning with a conclusion and then working backward to find evidence to support it.
But when it comes to the Bible, that is the first rule to be broken. Openly. Scientists and historians that even consider the Bible are immediately and permanently derided as ‘religiously biased’ despite mounting evidence that all human history began exactly where the Bible says that it did.
No fact of history (or medicine, astronomy, geology, physics or science) contained in the Bible has ever been conclusively disproved. None. At best, there are things in the Bible for which there is no proof either way, like Adam and Eve, Noah’s Ark, or Jonah and the whale.
But whenever some piece of evidence does come to light, such as the 1993 discovery of the Tomb of Caiaphus, that piece of evidence always confirms the Bible’s account.
“All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: That the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works.” (2 Timothy 3:16-17)
How is this relevant? What we call Bible prophecy is really a record of Bible history that hasn’t yet happened. It is history in advance, as seen from God’s perspective outside of space and time. It is as accurate as if it was yesterday’s news.
It is only from our perspective that it is really tomorrow’s.