Current Events Articles: January 2010

Throw Some More Dirt on Radioactive Isotope Dating posted by Henry B. Smith Jr. MA

New data collected by secular researchers has confirmed what creation scientists discovered decades ago—geologists’ assumptions about radioactive decay are not always correct. For a century, the radioactive decay of unstable elements into more stable ones has been used as a natural clock to estimate the age of earth materials. Even the solar system has been dated using one of these systems, by measuring the amount of a decaying element and comparing it to the amount of its stable (decayed) daughter material in meteorites. However, a recent analysis using state-of-the-art equipment found that a basic assumption underlying one of these clock systems needs to be re-evaluated.

Unearthing Ephesus with John Turtle Wood posted by Henry B. Smith Jr. MA

John Turtle Wood left England for the Aegean coast of Ottoman Turkey in 1858 as an architect, not an archaeologist. His brief was prosaic -- to design stations on a new railway line between the port of Smyrna (now ─░zmir) and Denizli. To the Turks, however, the railway was a matter of pride, visible proof that the Ottoman Empire was modernizing and able to keep up with Europe. Indeed, in 1863 the sultan himself twice came to see the work in progress, even visiting the site of Ephesus using the new railway. In the same year, Wood, who had become less interested in railway stations and more and more obsessed with uncovering the remains of Ephesus, managed to secure both the financial backing (albeit limited) of the British Museum and permission from the Ottoman authorities to begin digging at the site -- and export any antiquities he discovered.

Bible and Spade Sneak Preview posted by Henry B. Smith Jr. MA

Shortly, the Fall 2009 issue of Bible and Spade will be available to our members and subscribers. This issue contains articles from our Associates, friends who have faithfully volunteered their time and scholarship to the advancement of the Kingdom of God and the ABR ministry.

Benjamin Felker attends Wheaton College and has written two articles: one regarding the James Ossuary and the other about his exciting experience participating in the excavations at Ashkelon, an important Biblical site. Another ABR Associate, Jared Compton, is in the Ph.D. program at Trinity Evangelical Divinity School. He has written a well-researched article on the Historical Validity of the Resurrection. Another article by long time ABR friend, Dr. Clyde Billington, reviews a book about the history of the writing and transmission of the Bible. It is a powerful and useful critique! You will find this issue to be an excellent apologetic tool and personally edifying.

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Apologetics Conference in Bend, Oregon posted by Henry B. Smith Jr. MA

The Associates for Biblical Research will have a table at the 2nd Annual Kilns Apologetics Conference coming up on February 19 & 20, 2010. We are looking forward to two great days with three excellent speakers lined up for this event, including Dr. Craig Blomberg and Dr. Daniel Wallace, two of the top New Testament scholars in the country, and Craig Hazen, who is joining the conference for several of the breakout sessions. This year’s central theme will focus on the authority of the New Testament and the historical reliability of the Bible. The conference is sponsored by Antioch Church and Kilns College. For more information about the conference, please visit:

Those Enigmatic Neanderthals posted by Henry B. Smith Jr. MA

Young-earth creationists rightly consider that Neanderthals were human, but are divided on various issues, mainly because of the opposing views of Jack Cuozzo, author of Buried Alive! and Marvin Lubenow, author of Bones of Contention. These differences include Neanderthal lifespan, causes of the Neanderthal distinctive morphology, why the Neanderthals disappeared, length of Neanderthal children’s maturation time, whether we can place Neanderthals in biblical history, and the related issue of whether Homo erectus was human. In addition, Neanderthals are implicated in matters that include the Babel dispersion, earth’s breakup, DNA, patterns of world population, the Ice Age, archaeology, and historical timeline.

Updates from the Temple Mount Sifting Project 2010 posted by Henry B. Smith Jr. MA

The ABR study tour group has arrived safely in Israel and are now enjoying the wonders of Israel and Jerusalem. They will be participating in the Temple Mount Sifting Project for the next couple of weeks. Comments on the trip will be posted here in the near future. Please pray for our group!

101 Reasons the Earth is Young posted by Henry B. Smith Jr. MA

The lesson here is clear: when the evolutionists throw up some new challenge to the Bible’s timeline, don’t fret over it. Sooner or later that supposed evidence will be turned on its head and will even be added to this list of evidences for a younger age of the earth. On the other hand, some of the evidences listed here might turn out to be ill-founded with further research and will need to be modified. Such is the nature of science, especially historical science, because we cannot do experiments on past events...

Urging Caution: A Brief Comment on the So-Called 'Joseph Coins' posted by Clyde E. Billington PhD

The claims made by Dr. Sa'id Muhammed Thabet should be viewed with great skepticism. First, most archaeologists and historians of the ancient world believe that the oldest coins ever minted were those of the Lydians in west central Asia Minor dating to ca. 700 BC. Thabet's highly questionable theory would push the invention of coinage back by about a thousand years.

Second, it is highly unlikely that Joseph's image would appear on coinage unless he was the pharaoh, and the Old Testament makes it very clear he was not a pharaoh.

Third, Egyptologists and Hebrew scholars are not certain of Joseph's exact Egyptian name in hieroglyphic symbols since it is given in a Hebrew version in the Old Testament. For an example of the problem, note that the name Ivan in Russian is the name John in English, and the name John from Koine Greek transliterates into English "Ioanneh." All of this to ask the question, how does Thabet know that the name on some of the "coins" is that of Joseph?

And fourth, Thabet claims to have discovered these "coins"--- almost certainly amulets or scarabs--- in the Museum of Egypt. These are all items that were discovered by many other, frequently very famous, archaeologists who Thabet argues missed the fact that they are actually coins. This is a highly unlikely assumption. Thabet's claims should not be given any credence.

Reproduced from Artifax, Fall 2009.

From October 26, 2009 by ABR:

There has been a recent report regarding the discovery of a cache of coins in Egypt. The news reports thus far are indicating that several coins were discovered.  The Middle East Media Research Institute claims the following:

"One Coin... [Had] an Image of a Cow Symbolizing Pharaoh's Dream about the Seven Fat Cows and Seven Lean Cows"

"The researcher identified coins from many different periods, including coins that bore special markings identifying them as being from the era of Joseph. Among these, there was one coin that had an inscription on it, and an image of a cow symbolizing Pharaoh's dream about the seven fat cows and seven lean cows, and the seven green stalks of grain and seven dry stalks of grain. It was found that the inscriptions of this early period were usually simple, since writing was still in its early stages, and consequently there was difficulty in deciphering the writing on these coins. But the research team [managed to] translate [the writing on the coin] by comparing it to the earliest known hieroglyphic texts…

"Joseph's name appears twice on this coin, written in hieroglyphs: once the original name, Joseph, and once his Egyptian name, Saba Sabani, which was given to him by Pharaoh when he became treasurer. There is also an image of Joseph, who was part of the Egyptian administration at the time.

The ministry of ABR urges GREAT CAUTION with respect to these claims. We are not claiming that this report is necessarily false. However, we believe that there must be more information forthcoming on this discovery before it can be touted as support for the Bible. ABR will continue to monitor the situation and post our commentary on the ABR website. In the meantime, we urge our brethren not to use this information as an apologetic until more information is available.

Sincerely--the ABR Staff

Ancient Tablet Depicts Noah's Ark posted by Henry B. Smith Jr. MA

According to newly translated instructions inscribed in ancient Babylon on a clay tablet telling the story of the ark, the vessel that saved one virtuous man, his family and the animals from God's watery wrath was not the pointy-prowed craft of popular imagination but rather a giant circular reed raft.

Editorial note from ABR: The proliferation of Flood accounts all across the world is powerful and irrefutable evidence of an actual historical event, which is infallibly and accurately recorded in the Bible. The description of Noah's Ark on this tablet is clearly inaccurate, but it does reflect a basic historicity of the event.

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