Methuselah’s Begetting Age in Genesis 5:25 and the Primeval Chronology of the Septuagint

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This article is part of ongoing research for The Genesis 5 and 11 Research Project.

Excerpt We are pleased to announce the publication of a new article, "Methuselah’s Begetting Age in Genesis 5:25 and the Primeval Chronology of the Septuagint: A Closer Look at the Textual and Historical Evidence." This article appears in the 10th volume of the Answers Research Journal. It is excerpted here on the ABR website, and is now available for reading and download on the Answers in Genesis website. Continue reading

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Most young-earth creationists who view the genealogies of Genesis 5 and 11 as yielding a continuous chronology from the creation of Adam to the birth of Abraham claim that the Hebrew Masoretic Text (MT) preserves the original begetting ages given to Moses by Yahweh. Calculations derived from the MT yield a timespan for this period of about 2008 years. The Greek Septuagint (LXX) yields a chronology for this era of 3394 years, 1386 years greater than the MT. In some LXX manuscripts of Genesis 5:25, Methuselah was 167 years old when he fathered Lamech, placing Methuselah’s death 14 years beyond the Deluge. This obvious problem often leads to a swift dismissal of any possibility that the LXX might preserve the original begetting ages and remaining years of life for each named patriarch in Genesis 5 and 11. This article will examine this issue and advance four main points: (1) the figure of 187 for Methuselah is original to the LXX translation and to Moses; (2) the reading of 167 in certain manuscripts of the LXX is a scribal error which occurred early in its complex transmissional history; (3) the appearance of 167 in some LXX manuscripts does not automatically negate the overall validity of the LXX’s primeval chronology; and (4) numerous lines of historical and textual evidence suggest the young-earth creation community should remain open and willing to contemplate the strong likelihood that the primeval chronology of the LXX reflects most of the numbers that Moses originally recorded in Genesis 5 and 11.

Read the rest of this article in the Answers Research Journal (Volume 10, pp. 169-179) on the Answers in Genesis website.

Download the PDF file of Methuselah's Begetting Age in Genesis 5:25 from the AIG website.

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