Perhaps you are reading this in order to verify the claims of the November 1, 2011 Watchtower. If not, you may wonder, why is this important?
The astronomical diary VAT 4956 points to Nebuchadnezzar’s 37th regnal year. By knowing his 37th year, we can calculate back to his 18th year, the year he destroyed Jerusalem.
If Year 37 was 568 BC, Year 18 was 587 BC.
If Year 37 was 588 BC, Year 18 was 607 BC.
The November 1 article says that “researchers have carefully analyzed these 13 sets of lunar positions on VAT 4956. They analyzed the data with the aid of a computer program capable of showing the location of celestial bodies…” What are the said results of this research? “Clearly, much of the astronomical data in VAT 4956 fits the year 588 B.C.E. as the 37th year of Nebuchadnezzar II. This, therefore, supports the date of 607 B.C.E. for Jerusalem’s destruction…”
In the footnotes, we find that the results of these researchers stand on two assumptions:
(1) the planetary observations are useless and must be discounted.
(2) The Babylonian calendar in 588 BC began on May 2/3.
However, in previous posts, we established through neutral, academic sources these assumptions are false. The planetary observations on VAT 4956 are clear and unambiguous. It was impossible for the Babylonian year (Nissan 1) to have ever began as late as May, even with a preceding intercalary month.
Who are these “researchers”? They are not named. Where are the full results of their analysis shown? They are not…neither in the magazine, nor on the official website. In high school, often math teachers would say, “show your work”. But nowhere is the work shown.
Rather than relying on unknown researchers, have you examined VAT 4956 for yourself? It is not beyond your ability to do so. You do not need to know how to read cuneiform, any more than you need to know Hebrew or Greek to read the Bible.
You simply need two things:
(1) A translation of VAT 4956: http://www.caeno.org/pdf/F019_Translation.pdf
(2) Free astronomical software: http://www.ap-i.net/skychart/
In subsequent posts, we will do an analysis of some of the planetary and lunar observations on VAT 4956, where the results will be shown. However, rather than taking my word for it, why don’t you do the research for yourself?