sources now gone. Ussher also used a 215-year sojourn
in Egypt, which Steinmann demonstrated unnecessarily
constrains Scripture, and was influenced by a belief in 6,000
years of total world history.
34 Even with these differences,
Ussher’s age of 2348
BC for the Flood deserves appreciation.
A Septuagint-based bc date for the Flood
The Masoretic Text (MT) originated in the second
century AD. It contains a few corruptions that other
texts can resolve so that the original inspired Word can
be reconstructed. More often than not, however, the MT
corrects other textual traditions. Jewish scholars translated
ancient Hebrew scrolls into Koine Greek to form the
Septuagint during the third century
BC. New Testament
authors quoted the Septuagint (LXX). The MT Genesis 5
chronology from Adam to the Flood shows 24 more years in
total lifespans, all of them for Lamech. The MT post-Flood
chronology records 780 fewer years than the LXX—except
that pre-Christ copies do not have Cainan or his 130 years
in Genesis 11. Table 1 shows variants between the MT,
LXX, and the Samaritan Pentateuch (SP), a third textual
tradition that does bear some Samaritan-friendly corruptions
Most creation scientists use and defend the MT for
biblical chronology “because the other texts show evidence
36 However, Sexton and Smith (2016) recently
used at least 11 arguments in favour of the superiority of
the LXX for the Genesis 5 and particularly the Genesis 11
1. A vast majority of pre-Reformation Christians endorsed
the Septuagint chronology.
2. No known pre-second century history uses the MT
3. MT-defenders’ long-held speculation that LXX
translators inflated patriarchal ages to conform it to
Egyptian chronologies has no evidential basis. The LXX
actually shows no such trend elsewhere in its text, and
the copyists of that time (third century
BC) were held
accountable to precision record-keeping.
4. The odds that separate scribes independently inflated
Genesis 11 numbers in the LXX and the Samaritan
Pentateuch to exactly the same ages are unbelievable.
That they were translated from a reliable original Hebrew
source long ago better explains their identical numbers,
shown in table 1.
5. Jewish historians from about 200
BC to 100 AD, including
most of Josephus’ numbers, referenced the LXX
6. Five ancient texts fit a trend of Jewish scribal chronological deflations, not inflations.
7. The earliest witness to the MT chronology occurs in the
Seder Olam Rabbah, which severely reduced post-exilic
chronology in order to disqualify Jesus as the Messiah
that Daniel 9: 6 foretold.
8. The earliest witness to the MT chronology thus postdates the earliest witness to the longer LXX chronology
by four centuries.
9. The MT Genesis 5 numbers fit the hypothesis that
systematic chronological reduction ensured that no
antediluvian patriarchs lived beyond the Flood, and yet
the numbers for Noah, Shem, and Terah remained
unaltered since they meshed with other chronological
10. If Eber was still alive and twice Abraham’s 175-year age
at death, as per the M T, then why does Genesis 25: 8 say
that Abraham “died in a good old age, an old man and
full of years”? Rather, the LXX numbers show Eber
passed away four centuries before Abraham’s death.
11. The Pharisees generally believed that the Messiah would
arrive during the sixth millennium after creation. They
marshalled the few remaining Scriptures available to
them after Bar Kochba revolt in 132–136 AD to finalize
the MT. This moment in history could have enabled their
alteration of Genesis 11 and 5 to shrink the world’s
chronology enough to discredit Jesus as the sixth millennium Messiah, without accountability.
The longer chronology has a few more advantages.
Geologist Steve Austin has counted Dead Sea sediment
laminae and correlated specific seismites with biblical
earthquakes at Jerusalem.
38, 39 If the laminae below these
also represent annual deposits, then they extend beyond
the MT-supplied number of post-Flood years. Also, the
LXX’s additional Noah-to-Abraham years offer more time
to accommodate archaeologically attested Mesopotamian
Name (table1) LXX MT SP
Noah 500 500 500
Shem 100 100 100
Arphaxad 135 35 135
[Cainan]  – –
Shelah 130 30 130
Eber 134 34 134
Peleg 130 30 130
Reu 132 32 132
Serug 130 30 130
Nahor 79 29 79
Terah 70 70 70
Flood to Terah's first born Sum: 1070 292 940
Table 1. Age at begetting of post-Flood patriarchs, plus Noah, from three