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Sunday, September 9, 2012

Luther's Chronology of the World, Part 5 (comments)

     This continues from Part 4 in this series (Table of Contents in Part 1 here) on Luther's Biblical Chronology.  In the last post, the text of the Prefaces were given, both for translator Pastor Kenneth K. Miller and Martin Luther.
     Pastor Miller indicates in his footnote (3) at the bottom of "Page 4" of his Preface that modern interpreters differ from Luther's entire approach to the "forth-six" years of John 2:20.  I suppose Pastor Miller had to mention this because his readers in the late 20th century were surrounded by "modern interpreters"... as we still are today.  I mention this also because the Wikipedia links I provide for some of the historical figures do not subscribe to the infallible truth of the historical record of Holy Scripture and so will largely present "histories" that contain mistakes where they clearly contradict the Biblical record.  An example of this is "Darius the Mede" for whom modern historians, at least the Wikipedia reference author John J. Collins, "suggests that it was highly probable that Daniel created the figure of Darius the Mede to fit this schema".   I have news for Professor Collins and all "modern interpreters" — Luther is much more correct than you because the Bible is absolutely true... there was a Darius the Mede for he is recorded in the Book of Daniel:
Daniel 5:31: And Darius the Median took the kingdom, being about threescore and two years old.
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      On the lighter side, the name of "Matasthenes" that Luther mentions in the last paragraph of his Preface is unknown to all the search engines that I tried – quite remarkable.  Perhaps a scholar could shed some light on who Luther is referring to by this person.  I suppose the Internet does not know everything!
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     There is so much material on the Internet regarding "Biblical Chronology".  Much, if not most, of this material relies to some extent on modern ideas or the author's own ideas.  I especially enjoy the various charting methods (link here) here – quite fascinating.  Perhaps most of these present themselves as "Christian" sources.  I have no doubt that some of these presenters are Christians – most would be from the sects, those who call themselves "Protestants" but are not Lutheran.  But I have yet to find any material on the Internet that bases their "Biblical Chronology" on Luther's work... none!  (correct me if I'm wrong)... Luther is perhaps the premier scholar of all time to give the best Biblical Chronology.  Why?  Because Luther was not only a tremendous scholar, he was also the Reformer of the Church... he was the true herald bringing to the "modern" world the everlasting Gospel...  he believed God's Word.

   Yes, scholars will label all who hold the Bible to be an infallible record, who believe the Bible to be infallibly true, as "cranks and crackpots".  The highly regarded modern scholar Professor James Barr († 2006) perhaps said it best when he used these terms in his 1999 article for the American Philosophical Society entitled Pre-scientific Chronology: The Bible and the Origin of the World.  In this article, Professor Barr also mentions that he wrote an earlier paper in 1990 entitled Luther and Biblical Chronology for the Bulletin of the John Rylands University Library of Manchester.  I have obtained a copy of this article and will later comment on it.  One can deduce from Barr's later comments that he would not believe any biblical chronology.  I will find out if he compliments Luther in any "scholarly" way.  He laughs at Archbishop James Ussher's attempt at Biblical Chronology.  In any event, James Barr believed the so-called "scientific" chronology of the world instead of the Bible – the title of his article states it clearly.

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     Each page of Luther's chronology covers 50 years and is in 2 columns.  The designation A.M. is in the header of the left side on each page and is used by Pastor Miller to translate Luther's Jahre der Welt.  It stands for Anno Mundi – Latin for "in the year of the world".  The right side notation follows the more familiar B.C. and A.D. or Anno Domini which Luther calls Jahre der Christo.

     In the following installments, I hope to bring out further details of Luther's chronology.  Now if I could find a piece of software that would make it easy to enter Luther's data and then chart it out graphically so that it made it crystal clear...   can anybody help me?

See the next Part 6a for the first installment of the review of Prof. Barr's 3 essays (all downloadable) on Luther and Biblical Chronology.
(This post may be modified as a work in progress.)

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