A few years ago we posted our Top Ten Reasons Noah’s Flood is Mythology. It’s been viewed over 10,000 times. Reason number three was:
What about Egypt? They have a written history that precedes, is co-existent with, and which continues uninterruptedly after the time of the Flood, yet somehow they were unaware of that catastrophic global event. The same is true for the Chinese and other cultures. How did a global Flood somehow ignore them, leaving their societies intact?
The problem of Egypt has finally come to the attention of the creation scientists at Answers in Genesis (AIG), the creationist ministry of Ken Ham (ol’ Hambo) — the Australian entrepreneur who has become the ayatollah of Appalachia, famed for the infamous, mind-boggling Creation Museum.
This dazzling essay appears at the AIG website: Doesn’t Egyptian Chronology Prove That the Bible Is Unreliable? You know it’s authoritative because it was written by Dr. Elizabeth Mitchell, a creationist gynecologist. It’s very long, with numerous charts and chronologies, so we’ll have to skip a lot. Here are some excerpts, with bold font added by us:
Egyptology, originally expected to support the history recorded in the Old Testament, has produced a chronology that contradicts the Bible. This so-called traditional Egyptian chronology would have the pyramids predate the flood of Noah’s day; such cannot be the case, for pyramids could never withstand a worldwide flood. And when traditional Egyptian chronology is used to evaluate archaeological findings, landmark events such as the mass exodus of Hebrew people from Egypt appear to have left no evidence. Such discrepancies between traditional Egyptian chronology and the Bible are used to attack the Bible’s historical accuracy.
But that doesn’t bother a good creation scientist. We’re told:
Instead of simply assuming the accuracy of traditional Egyptian chronology and modifying the Bible, people should carefully examine traditional chronology to see if it is as reliable as some claim it to be.
You know what’s coming. Let’s read on:
Though traditional Egyptian chronology dominates modern understanding of ancient history, traditional chronology is inconsistent with the Bible. When there is a discrepancy between traditional chronology and the Bible’s chronology, scholars usually ignore the Bible. Though many claim that traditional chronology is indisputable, a close look at this chronology reveals its shaky foundation. … Before exploring an acceptable alternative to traditional Egyptian chronology, this chapter will show some of the errors it is built on.
You will observe, dear reader, that no such skepticism is aimed at the bible’s version of history. Skipping a big discussion of early chronologies, with which we’re not familiar, we’re told:
Just as carbon dating is more consistent with a young earth than most people realize, carbon dating is consistent with a much younger Egyptian civilization than traditional chronology claims.
Revised chronology bolsters the Christian’s trust in the Bible and equips him with answers for a skeptical world.
Space does not permit analysis of all the revised chronologies. … The Christian should only accept revised chronology that is consistent with the Bible. New evidence may someday shed new light on the identity of a pharaoh, but nothing should ever rock the Christian’s faith in the trustworthiness of God’s Word.
Yes, one must have a reliable standard of reference. She continues:
Most histories begin with the unsubstantiated notion that primitive people slowly developed civilization from rudimentary beginnings. Archaeology around the world has instead revealed advanced ancient technology without discernible periods of evolution. This sudden appearance of cultures possessing advanced technology approximately 4,000 years ago is consistent with the Bible’s account of the Flood, the proliferation of intelligent people on the plains of Shinar, and their subsequent scattering from the Tower of Babel.
Uh huh. Here’s more:
Abram’s [that’s Abraham, presumably] visit to Egypt may explain Egypt’s sudden advance. Abram grew up in the advanced but idolatrous culture of Ur about three centuries after the Flood. Josephus wrote that Abram “communicated to them arithmetic, and delivered to them the science of astronomy; for before Abram came into Egypt they were unacquainted with those parts of learning; for that science came from the Chaldeans into Egypt.” Based on Josephus’s statement, Abram’s visit to Egypt may well have occurred during the fourth dynasty.
Does this make any sense to you? Don’t worry, you’re not alone. We’re skipping a huge amount of text because we just can’t process it. It revises history so that Egypt fits nicely into biblical chronology. Moving along, we come to the “Conclusion” section:
God determines truth. Historians examine fragmentary clues and fill in the gaps based on their presuppositions. Those presuppositions may be biblical or traditional. Accepting traditional Egyptian chronology necessitates rejection of biblical truth. Accepting biblical chronology allows a reconstruction of ancient chronology on a foundation of truth. Viewing the evidence from a biblical framework makes the histories of Egypt and the Old Testament fit together like two sides of a zipper.
So there you are. Your Curmudgeon isn’t an Egyptologist, so we can’t provide any serious criticism of Dr. Mitchell’s version of history. If she’s right, then Egyptian history doesn’t contradict the Flood or anything else in the bible. But she’s using the bible as her unquestioned authority for the rejection of everything that doesn’t fit. Perhaps we’re being unfair, but we have doubts about her methodology.
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