Chronological Methods

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  • A Chronology for the Cities of the Plain

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    A Chronology for the Cities of the Plain

    by Steve Collins PhD

    Biblically, the timeframe for the existence of the Cities of the Plain ranges from the early patriarchal period of Genesis 10 to the time of Abram and Lot in Genesis 13-19. Taken at face value, the biblical chronology would thus require the Cities of the Plain to exist during the Middle Bronze Age. Southern Dead Sea sites such as Bab edh-Dhra and Numeira belonged to the Early Bronze Age, and were destroyed hundreds of years before the time of Abram. This is problematic for the identification of these two southern sites as Sodom and Gomorrah.

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  • Tall el-Hammam Is Still Sodom: Critical Data-Sets Cast Serious Doubt on E.H. Merrill’s Chronological Analysis

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    Tall el-Hammam Is Still Sodom: Critical Data-Sets Cast Serious Doubt on E.H. Merrill’s Chronological Analysis

    by Steven Collins PhD

    In this article, S. Collins responds to an article by E.H. Merrill published in the Autumn 2012 issue of Artifax magazine titled Texts, Talls, and Old Testament Chronology: Tall el-Hammam as a Case Study.” Merrill rejects Collins identification of Tall el-Hammam as Sodom because the date of its destruction is too late (between 1750 and 1650 BCE) to conform to Merrill s early placement of Abr(ah)am, ca. 2166- 1991 BCE. While Merrill takes a literal, base-10, arithmetic approach to the patriarchal numbers in Gene- sis, Collins suggests that every available line of evidence from ANE archaeology, history, culture, litera- ture, climatology, and socio-economics demonstrates that the patriarchs fit best in the period following 1800 BCE, which also conforms to the terminal MB2 destruction of Hammam/Sodom.

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  • The Length of the Israelite Sojourn in Egypt

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    The Length of the Israelite Sojourn in Egypt

    by Steven Collins PhD

    If one adopts the short sojourn scenario (Jacob to Moses is approximately 215 years), then numerous conclusions about biblical chronology and its correspondence with ancient Near Eastern history and archaeology, which are based on a 430-year Israelite sojourn in Egypt, must be abandoned.

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