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BC Volume 6 (2000)

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Excerpts from BC61: 12 pages: PDF (0.4 MB): $13.99 U.S.

The Biblical Chronologist Volume 6, Number 1

Elk Lake Revisited

Prelude

From time to time I feel an urge to communicate some of my discoveries beyond the boundaries of the modest circulation of The Biblical Chronologist. I feel a sense of responsibility especially toward fellow scientists. My work is at the interface of science and the Bible, and discoveries at this interface can greatly impact one's worldview. I have always felt that if someone else were to make these discoveries, I would certainly want to be informed of them. A simple application of the Golden Rule says I should try to inform others.

But a bit of a sinking feeling always damps my enthusiasm when I undertake one of these communication projects. Experience has shown repeatedly that most individuals, scientist or otherwise, are not very receptive to discoveries which challenge their accustomed way of thinking. This observation extends far beyond my own experience. The pages of history are replete with instructive instances. Let me briefly review a few facts in relation to Galileo's struggles with fellow scientists, which I have previously discussed in greater detail.


Galileo, having greatly improved the recently invented telescope, was the first to observe that the surface of the moon was cratered. Also by use of this improved instrument he was able to observe that moons orbited Jupiter.

Unfortunately, both of these observations were unthinkable at the time. Traditional wisdom of respectably ancient lineage held that the surfaces of all heavenly bodies were geometrically perfect spheres, and that all celestial objects orbited the earth.

The reception Galileo's discoveries received from fellow scientists is revealed in a letter from Martin Horkey, associate of internationally renowned astronomer Giovanni Antonio Magini, to the now famous astronomer Johannes Kepler.

Galileo Galilei, the mathematician of Padua, came to us in Bologna and he brought with him that spyglass through which he sees four fictitious planets [i.e., moons of Jupiter]. On the twenty-fourth and twenty-fifth of April I never slept, day and night, but tested that instrument of Galileo's in innumerable ways, in these lower [earthly] as well as the higher [realms]. On Earth it works miracles; in the heavens it deceives, for other fixed stars appear double. Thus, the following evening I observed with Galileo's spyglass the little star that is seen above the middle one of the three in the tail of the Great Bear, and I saw four very small stars nearby, just as Galileo observed about Jupiter. I have as witnesses most excellent men and most noble doctors, Antonio Roffeni, the most learned mathematician of the University of Bologna, and many others, who with me in a house observed the heavens on the same night of 25 April, with Galileo himself present. But all acknowledged that the instrument deceived. And Galileo became silent, and on the twenty-sixth, a Monday, dejected, he took his leave from Mr. Magini very early in the morning. And he gave no thanks for the favors and the many thoughts, because, full of himself, he hawked a fable. Mr. Magini provided Galileo with distinguished company, both splendid and delightful. Thus the wretched Galileo left Bologna with his spyglass on the twenty-sixth.

Several years ago I submitted a paper to a secular scientific journal arguing, as I had previously done in The Biblical Chronologist, that the chronology of laminated sediments from Elk Lake, Minnesota had been misinterpreted. The original researchers had interpreted a thick section of anomalous sediment as spanning a six hundred year interval. I pointed out that this interpretation encountered numerous contradictions from the Elk Lake data themselves. I argued that to avoid these contradictions it was necessary to interpret this anomalous section as due to a single brief episode of intense deposition. I suggested that careful radiocarbon measurements should be able to resolve the true chronology of the anomalous section, and I suggested that such a check should be carried out to settle the issue.

I would like to have added that the anomalous section dated to the time of Noah's Flood, implying that Noah's Flood was, in fact, the explanation of the anomalous section of sediment in question. But I knew that mention of Noah's Flood in a way which treated it as real history would almost certainly guarantee rejection of the paper by the journal editor prior even to the usual peer review process. Prudence demanded that I attempt this communication in two stages: 1. establish the fact that there was a big chunk of sediment at Elk Lake which was deposited in a single brief episode rather than 600 years, and, once that was accomplished, 2. point out that this single brief episode was synchronous with the date of Noah's Flood calculated by modern Biblical chronology, and suggest that Noah's Flood provided the only reasonable explanation of the anomalous sediments. ...

Excerpts from BC61: 12 pages: PDF (0.4 MB): $13.99 U.S.

Excerpts from BC62: 14 pages: PDF (0.6 MB): $13.99 U.S.

The Biblical Chronologist Volume 6, Number 2

Radiocarbon Dating Noah's Flood -- Part II

Several years ago The Biblical Chronologist launched a research project to obtain modern radiocarbon dates on the Cave of the Treasure reed mat. The first result from this modern redating has now been obtained. As is often the case in science, the result is a bit of a surprise.

Introduction

Several years ago I discussed radiocarbon dates which had been obtained in the 1960s on the Cave of the Treasure reed mat (Figure 1). This very ancient mat is of interest to Biblical chronology because of its possible relationship to Noah's Flood.

The idea in this case is as follows. The mat is constructed of reeds. If the reeds grew just prior to the Flood, then the mat can serve as a chronological proxy for the Flood---the date of the reeds (i.e., when they grew) will give us, very nearly, the date of the Flood. The date of the reeds can be determined using radiocarbon dating. Since radiocarbon dating is independent of Biblical chronology, we can use the radiocarbon date of the reeds to check the date of the Flood we have derived from Biblical chronology data.

The catch here is in knowing for sure whether the reeds of the mat grew just prior to the Flood. The possibility they did so suggests itself from several circumstances.

First, the advanced technological ability in metallurgy evidenced by the copper objects of the treasure found together with the mat argues for their origin late in the Chalcolithic period, and the Chalcolithic period in Palestine, we have many reasons to believe, came to an abrupt termination as a result of Noah's Flood.

Second, there is a considerable depth of Chalcolithic deposit in the Cave of the Treasure, indicating prolonged occupation. According to the excavators, "There is no doubt that the treasure was hidden towards the end of the occupation of the cave in the Chalcolithic period". This seems to place the burial of the treasure, at least, later on in the Chalcolithic.

Finally, the coming of the Flood provides ready answers to several mysteries associated with the treasure. For example, the treasure appears to have originally been part of the furnishings of a Chalcolithic temple, the remains of which are located just six miles north of the Cave of the Treasure. The temple was found bare of furnishings by the archaeologists, and gives the impression of having been "abandoned". Meanwhile, the treasure was found by the archaeologists to have been buried, obviously in haste, and never reclaimed. If the treasure was buried just prior to the Flood---even perhaps because of the onset of the Flood---one has immediate answers to why the temple was "abandoned", why the treasure was buried hastily, and why it was never reclaimed.

But, admittedly, all such considerations fall short of proof. It is possible to imagine other calamities besides the Flood which might have given rise to these archaeological observations. Furthermore, the Chalcolithic period in Palestine was very long---in excess of a thousand years. So even though the treasure was buried after a considerable depth of Chalcolithic deposit had accumulated in the cave, it is still possible that further centuries of the Chalcolithic transpired before the coming of the Flood. And even if the treasure had been buried just prior to the Flood, one could still not guarantee that the reeds of the mat had grown just prior to the Flood. The mat might, for example, have had ritual significance, and have hung on the wall of the temple for hundreds of years prior to its burial in the Cave of the Treasure, for all we know. The dry climate of the region is certainly conducive to extended preservation, as the existence of the mat through more than five thousand years, down to the present time, clearly testifies. So the possibility that the reeds of the mat might have grown hundreds of years prior to the burial of the mat in the Cave of the Treasure cannot be excluded. Obviously, the origin of the mat just prior to the Flood cannot be guaranteed up front. But the date of the mat is still of great interest to Biblical chronology as a potential means of checking the date of the Flood. ...

Biblical Chronology 101

On Checking Biblical Chronology

Biblical chronology is not an infallible endeavor. Indeed, the history of the discipline of Biblical chronology shows that it is, if anything, rather error prone.

I think this fact may be difficult for the lay person to understand. Isn't The Biblical Chronologist a conservative Christian publication, and is it not the case that conservative Christians hold to the inerrancy of the Bible?

Yes, The Biblical Chronologist is a conservative Christian publication, and yes it is the case that conservative Christians hold to the inerrancy of the Bible. But the fact that the Bible is without error does not mean that the discipline of Biblical chronology is without error.

The problem is that the discipline of Biblical chronology is a human endeavor, not a divinely revealed one. Notice, for example, that the Bible does not supply us with the date of Creation. The Bible does supply us with chronological data pertinent to the question of the date of Creation, such as the genealogical lists in Genesis 5 and Genesis 11. Apart from these data it would be all but hopeless to attempt to date Creation. But to use this data to accurately date Creation, one must first overcome a number of hermeneutical hurdles.

For example, it is a simple fact that the critical numbers in Genesis 5 and 11 for calculating the date of Creation show a great deal of variation in the oldest extant texts of Genesis. This plunges one immediately and unavoidably into difficult issues regarding the preservation of Scripture. Which set of numbers, from which ancient texts, is more likely to be true to the original, inerrant autographs?

In addition one necessarily encounters interpretive issues. For example, should the genealogies of Genesis 5 and 11 be interpreted as direct father-son lines, or might "begot" signify grandfather-grandson in some instances?

This is only a sampling of problems which confront the Biblical chronologist. They are sufficient, however, to illustrate that while the Bible is---according to conservative doctrine---inerrant in the original autographs, the discipline of Biblical chronology is a decidedly human endeavor, and as such it is not and cannot be without error.

I enjoy looking through old books on Biblical chronology. One by Rev. William Hales, D.D., published back in 1830, has a table listing dates of Creation computed by various Christian and non-Christian scholars known to the author back at that time (Figures 7 and 8). The table fills three pages. Following the table Hales summarizes thus:

"Here are upwards of 120 different opinions, and the list might be swelled to 300; as we are told by Kennedy, in his Chronology, p. 350. This specimen, however, is abundantly sufficient to shew the disgraceful discordance of chronologers, even in this prime era: the extremes differing from each other, not by years, nor by centuries, but even by chiliads [millenia]; the first exceeding the last no less than 3268 years!"

The "disgraceful discordance of chronologers" which Hales noted is amply demonstrated by his table not only between secular chronologists and Biblical chronologists, but also between one Biblical chronologist and the next. But this discordance is hardly "disgraceful" in my opinion. It is a mere reflection of the fact that the discipline of chronology, including that branch known as Biblical chronology, is a human endeavor, and humans are, however unfortunately---even when they use the infallible Word of God as their starting point---fallible. ...

Excerpts from BC62: 14 pages: PDF (0.6 MB): $13.99 U.S.

Excerpts from BC63: 10 pages: PDF (0.5 MB): $13.99 U.S.

The Biblical Chronologist Volume 6, Number 3

The Bamah of Moses at Mount Sinai

Then he [Moses] arose early in the morning, and built an altar at the foot of the mountain [Mount Sinai] with twelve pillars for the twelve tribes of Israel. (Exodus 24:4b, NASB).

Figure 1 shows a satellite image of a bamah, or high place, built four and a half thousand years ago. It is visible today in satellite photos, taken some 100 miles above the surface of the earth, because of the roughly circular stone boundary which surrounds and defines it. The ring of stones has a diameter of roughly 95 feet (30 meters) and encloses somewhat less than a quarter acre.

This bamah is located on a spur at the foot of Mount Yeroham in the desert of the northern Negev of Israel. I have previously presented chronological and archaeological data which forcefully imply that Mount Yeroham is the true Mount Sinai. These same data also imply that the bamah shown in Figure 1 was built by Moses---that this high place is, in fact, the very one referred to in the verse above.

I first identified this bamah with Exodus 24:4 four and a half years ago. Other pressing Biblical chronology research has kept me from the pursuit of this discovery since that time. But I am presently planning a trip to Israel, to present a paper at the 17th International Radiocarbon Conference later this summer, and I hope to follow up on this discovery with a visit to Yeroham while there. Preparation for this venture has provided opportunity to focus attention on this discovery once again. The present article is an interim report---interim between my initial identification four and a half years ago and the final report on my firsthand visit to Yeroham which I hope to share in future issues of The Biblical Chronologist. Its nature is deliberately exploratory and evocative rather than a rigorous logical demonstration at all points. ...

Research in Progress

The Cave of the Treasure Reed Mat

I had expected to be able to report the final radiocarbon results on the Cave of the Treasure reed mat this issue. Unfortunately, as of the time of writing I am still waiting on one final measurement. This is expected to be complete in several weeks, so I expect to be able to give a full final report on this research project next issue.

Ark Search

Two commercial satellite photos of the south side of Mt. Cilo, where IO3 was photographed in the 1960s, have now been ordered. We are currently waiting on final acceptance of the orders by the commercial satellite company. ...

Excerpts from BC63: 10 pages: PDF (0.5 MB): $13.99 U.S.

Excerpts from BC64: 18 pages: PDF (1.0 MB): $13.99 U.S.

The Biblical Chronologist Volume 6, Number 4

Yeroham: the True Mt. Sinai

I spent five days in June this summer exploring Mount Yeroham and the region around it in the northern Negev of Israel. This excursion was a great success. My desire now is to share as much of my experience with you, my readers and friends, as the medium of writing may permit.

This goal cannot be accomplished in a single issue. In the present article I focus on the foundational issue of how we can be confident Mount Yeroham is the true Mount Sinai. In future issues I hope to report on the excursion itself, including many photographs which were taken while at Yeroham. I am also hoping, before too many months have passed, to make more of this experience available on video, from footage filmed on site.

The total personnel for this excursion consisted of myself, Dr. Gerald E. Aardsma, and my cameraman, Philip Gioga (pronounced Joy-a). Philip is a friend of the family of a number of years and a college student in a communications program.


Introduction

I have previously proposed that Mount Yeroham is the Biblical Mount Sinai. This proposal is unusual only in the sense that, to the best of my knowledge, nobody has ever proposed this specific mountain before. Many other mountains have been proposed in the past, and proponents of a variety of candidate mountains can be found at present. Bible encyclopedias will typically list several candidates and state that it is impossible to tell today which is the true Mount Sinai.

But the Bible encyclopedias are wrong. They are currently all out of date on this matter. Times have changed.

It was impossible to figure out which was the true Mount Sinai ten years ago. As we will see below, correct chronology is vital to this problem, and ten years ago everyone was using a chronology for the Bible which was wrong---badly wrong.

That all changed with the discovery in 1990 that a thousand years had accidentally been dropped from 1 Kings 6:1. With that discovery many longstanding, murky problems in ancient Bible history suddenly began to clarify. And one of those problems was the identification in the modern world of the mountain upon which Moses once stood and received the Ten Commandments on tablets of stone from the hand of God.

Mount Yeroham is not just another candidate. It is the candidate one finds when one has their Biblical chronology right.

Purpose of Excursion

My main objective in visiting Yeroham was not to prove that Mount Yeroham is Mount Sinai. However, having been there has removed all objective grounds for doubting the validity of this identification. There is very much about Yeroham which corroborates its equivalence with Sinai and nothing about it that I have been able to find which falsifies this identification.

I had two main reasons for wanting to visit Mount Yeroham. First was the purely scientific motive of documenting the state of the site today. I wanted to capture as much factual information as possible about the site before its intrinsic nature becomes submerged beneath national and/or commercial interests.

Second was a motive---not far removed from science, by any means---of curiosity. I wanted to enter into the experience of Moses and the Israelites as they camped at the foot of Mount Sinai four and a half thousand years ago. I wanted to know, first hand, what a sunrise was like at Sinai---how it must have felt to the Israelites as they rose to each new day in their tent city at the base of Sinai. I wanted to see what they would have seen: the rocks, the desert vegetation, the insects... I wanted to feel the heat they would have felt. I wanted to handle broken fragments of the pottery vessels they once carried water in, or ate their meals from. I wanted to view the form of Mount Sinai as they would have been familiar with it. I wanted to climb the mountain, as Moses would have climbed the mountain---to feel the physical exertion he would have felt laboring upward under the desert sun. I wanted to step into the bamah that Moses had built on the mountain, and see the view of the Sinai plain far below, as he did. I wanted to ascend to the summit in his footsteps. I wanted to know what kind of rock the Ten Commandments had been written on. I wanted to learn whatever I could of the physical manifestations of God's presence on the mountain---the smoke, the fire, the sound of the trumpet, the thunder. I wanted to exorcize both dusty scholarly speculations and scintillating Hollywood imaginations about Sinai with a hefty dose of the real thing. I wanted to drink in as much of the brute physical reality of Sinai as was possible for any individual, these four and a half thousand years after the Israelites had been there. ...

Biblical Chronology 101

I presented the following talk at the 17th International Radiocarbon Conference in Israel in June. I have included it this issue in this column for two reasons. First, it serves as a helpful overview and review of material covered in greater depth and detail previously in The Biblical Chronologist. Second, many subscribers have closely followed the work it describes and some have actively participated in its support. It seems appropriate that they should share in what was said.

The conference lasted one week and was attended by hundreds of scientists from around the world. Session topics included calibration of the radiocarbon time scale, radiocarbon instrumentation, the application of radiocarbon and other cosmogenic isotopes to the modern environment, archaeology, Near East chronology (the session in which the following talk was presented), global climate, and others.

My presentation was titled "New Radiocarbon Dates for the Reed Mat from the Cave of the Treasure, Israel".


Most of what I have to say today is shown on this time chart (Figure 7).

My background is in physics, with a Ph.D. in A.M.S. [Accelerator Mass Spectrometry---a technique which uses nuclear physics instrumentation to radiocarbon date extremely small samples.] from the University of Toronto back in the early eighties. But my absorbing interest for decades has been Biblical chronology.

Biblical chronology seems to me to be the one independent dating method which is being largely neglected at the present time. It had a very prominent place some few generations ago, but it did not do very well, and it is being basically ignored at the present time.

It's through this interest in Biblical chronology that I became involved in redating the Cave of the Treasure mat. I want to explain a little bit of how this has come about, and then go into some of the new dates on the mat. ...

Research in Progress

The Cave of the Treasure Reed Mat

The "Biblical Chronology 101" article this issue reports the results of The Cave of the Treasure mat redating project current to the middle of June. Further work continues on one sample of reeds from the mat which has not yielded reproducible results. We hope to learn whether the problem is with the sample itself or is a result of a lab error of some sort. Once this loose end has been sewn up, the project will be officially complete.

The curator of the Cave of the Treasure mat, Ms. Osnat Misch-Brandl, has broached the possibility of further joint effort with The Biblical Chronologist to have food items (e.g., seeds) excavated within the Cave of the Treasure radiocarbon dated. This is of interest to Biblical chronology for the following reason. ...

Excerpts from BC64: 18 pages: PDF (1.0 MB): $13.99 U.S.

Excerpts from BC65: 14 pages: PDF (2.5 MB): $13.99 U.S.

The Biblical Chronologist Volume 6, Number 5

Report on the Excursion to Mt. Yeroham - Part I

Report on the Excursion to Mt. Yeroham -- Part I

Last issue I explained how we know, from available Biblical, archaeological, topographical, and chronological evidences, that Mt. Yeroham in Israel is the Biblical Mt. Sinai.

After reading the last issue a friend wrote me asking about Galatians 4:25, which I had not discussed. This verse mentions (NASB), "Mount Sinai in Arabia...". It raises the question: "But is Mt. Yeroham in Arabia?"

I dealt with this question several years ago, but forgot to review it last issue. Here is the kernel of the answer from my previous discussion.

Arabia, in New Testament times, included the Sinai Peninsula (where the traditional site of Mount Sinai is located) and the Negev of Israel (where I have suggested Mount Sinai is really located). (You can easily verify this using a Bible atlas or maps of the Mediterranean regions at the time of Paul found in many Bibles.)

This issue I move from a discussion of how we know Mt. Yeroham is the Biblical Mt. Sinai to a report on my recent excursion to Mt. Yeroham. My purpose in going to Mt. Yeroham was mainly to document the state of the site today, as I explained last issue. My purpose with the present article is to put what was found at Yeroham on public record.

Getting There: June 13--17

Philip (my cameraman) and I were scheduled to fly from Chicago to Tel Aviv on Tuesday, June 13. Unfortunately, a series of thunderstorms grounded air traffic, which caused our flight to be canceled.

Rescheduling turned out to be more difficult than usual. Many tourists were going to Israel to celebrate year 2000. There were almost no spare seats on airplanes headed for Israel.

We ended up flying out of Chicago two days later, on June 15, on a flight to Amsterdam. After a lengthy stopover in Amsterdam we arrived in Tel Aviv in the early morning hours of Saturday, June 17.

Saturday, June 17

We rented a car at the airport and headed south toward Be'er Sheva in the dark, and then on toward Yeroham. We only got lost once in Tel Aviv, and once in Be'er Sheva on the way.

We watched the sun rise above the eastern horizon, and the full moon sink below the western horizon as we neared the end of our journey, well to the south, in the parched Negev hill country.

Shortly after 6:00 a.m. we were viewing the true Mt. Sinai from the road for the first time. Yeroham is a low, sprawling mountain---hardly the sort of thing to titillate one's spiritual vanity. The glory of Sinai rests in what God did there four and a half thousand years ago, not in any intrinsic physical grandeur.

Our initial objective was to drive around the mountain, sticking to the main roads, to survey the area from all angles and find the best place to park our car for hiking up into the mountain. We were surprised to find an extensive, abandoned national park, incorporating the reservoir we had seen previously in satellite photos of the area (Figure 1), to the east of the mountain on the edge of the town of Yeroham.

Also unanticipated were signs on either side of the road, as soon as we had gone a few kilometers from the town of Yeroham, which read "FIRING ZONE ON BOTH SIDES". We soon realized that the whole area of which Mt. Sinai is a part is presently being used as a military training grounds. We began to be glad that we had arrived on a Sabbath, when everyone---military included---was taking the day off, allowing us to explore without incident or interruption. ...

Research in Progress

Ark Search

Modern Satellite Photos of IO3

Earlier this year we placed an order for two commercial satellite photos of the southeast side of Mt. Cilo, where IO3 was photographed in the 1960's (Figure 43). These were to be taken at different angles and at different times, late in the summer to minimize snow cover.

The images would be in digital format (11-bit GeoTiff) on a CD. They could only be viewed via computer.

Unfortunately, the 11-bit GeoTiff format is not recognized by most mass-market programs designed to view and manipulate digital images. Many days were spent in preparation for receipt of our first 11-bit GeoTiff image, to guarantee that we would be able to get the image off the CD and onto the computer where we could look at it. This included obtaining a sample 11-bit GeoTiff image (a portion of which was shown last issue) to test our image-reading software.

I received the CD containing our first modern digital image of Mount Cilo on September 19. ...

Excerpts from BC65: 14 pages: PDF (2.5 MB): $13.99 U.S.

Excerpts from BC66: 10 pages: PDF (0.8 MB): $13.99 U.S.

The Biblical Chronologist Volume 6, Number 6

Report on the Excursion to Mt. Yeroham -- Part II

This past June I had the privilege of exploring Mount Yeroham, the Biblical Mount Sinai. Last issue I shared results from my investigation of the bamah (high place) built by Moses at the foot of the mountain four and a half thousand years ago, and my visit to the archaeological remains of stone dwellings Moses' Midianite in-laws built on another hill at the foot of Mount Yeroham.

My investigation of Yeroham was put on hold for a week while I attended the 17th International Radiocarbon Conference near Jerusalem, listening to scientists from around the world presenting results of their research, and presenting a paper myself on new radiocarbon dates on the Cave of the Treasure mat obtained as one of the research efforts of The Biblical Chronologist.

The present article resumes the narrative back at Yeroham after the conference. It's purpose, as with the previous article, is to document the state of Yeroham/Sinai today, and to put on public record what I found there.


Friday, June 23

The final sessions of the 17th International Radiocarbon Conference had ended by noon on Friday, June 23. After lunch my cameraman, Philip, and I began the several hour drive from Jerusalem back to Yeroham. When we were situated in our lodging at the Ben Gurian University of the Negev once again I began to plan our next day's hike.

My goal this time was not the archaeological remains at the foot of Mount Yeroham/Sinai---i.e., the bamah and the Midianite/Kenite settlement---but rather the mountain itself. I was especially keen to visit the summit. The Bible records that "the Lord came down on Mount Sinai, to the top of the mountain; and the Lord called Moses to the top of the mountain, and Moses went up". I wanted to see this place where Moses had met with God.

I suppose there are many reasons why someone might wish to visit the summit of Sinai. My reason was probably somewhat unusual. I was interested in the possibility Sinai presents of finding some answers to some difficult scientific and theological questions. The natural and the supernatural intersected at Sinai in an unusual way four and a half thousand years ago. We are unable to study supernatural processes directly in the science laboratory because they are intrinsically nonreproducible. As a result our ignorance of them is profound. Sinai offers a rare opportunity to study the intersection of the natural and the supernatural---to probe the aftermath of a miracle within the physical creation. The Bible records, for example, that "the mountain burned with fire to the very heart of the heavens". Would we find evidence of this burning at the summit? And if we did, would the evidence be explainable in terms of some natural phenomenon, or would we find an effect (i.e., evidence of highly elevated temperatures) with no apparent natural cause?

Many of the phenomena associated with God's presence on Mount Sinai seem to coincide with what one might naturally expect of a volcano. The "consuming fire on the mountain top", the "thunder and lightning flashes and thick cloud upon the mountain", the "very loud trumpet sound" (this can result from pressurized gases escaping from the earth through a narrow vent), the "smoke" which "ascended like the smoke of a furnace", and the earthquake ("the whole mountain quaked violently") are all readily associated with volcanic eruptions. This leads to the question: "Did God use a 'natural' volcanic event as the backdrop to His visit on Sinai?" Which leads to the further question: "Is Mount Sinai a volcanic mountain?" ...

Research in Progress

Ark Search

I am disappointed to have to report that no new satellite photos have been obtained from Space Imaging, the commercial satellite company, since last issue. As it is now well past the time of year when reasonably snow-free coverage can be obtained in the Mount Cilo region, the earliest we can now hope for obtaining modern satellite images of IO3 is late next summer. ...

Excerpts from BC66: 10 pages: PDF (0.8 MB): $13.99 U.S.
 
 
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