(Philosophy/Poem) Is A Human Really Capable Of Obtaining Wisdom?

IS A HUMAN REALLY CAPABLE OF OBTAINING WISDOM?

 

What is Wisdom that a man will choose to actively chase it

Is not Wisdom but a vapor that is beyond our understanding

It is said that a wise man listens carefully to obtain understanding

Yet who is it that decides what is wise and what is foolishness

One can have a sweet tongue yet also have the Soul of an Asp

 

Did not Hitler and Chairman Mao attract masses with poison pens

Are the masses but simpletons incapable of understanding dark secrets

Does not a political Preacher speak sweet words as he lifts your wallet

The Professor, we assume bathes each night in truth and in knowledge

Yet, does truth drip from his lips or just his version of political correctness

 

Politicians rattle their lies as they wrap themselves in the Bible and the flag

Doctors and Lawyers, many graduated in the bottom 50% of their own peers

Did we choose to listen to our parents or theirs in the days of our youth

Even when one is not lying it does not mean they know of what they speak

Humans are not Divine, yet without Divinity there is no such thing as Wisdom

 

 

Politically Correct: The Acidic Evil That Is American Politics

Politically Correct: The Acidic Evil That Is American Politics

Good evening folks, tonight I wish to speak with you about a subject matter that is not near or dear to my heart, it is called political correctness. This subject matter touches each and every one of us on a regular basis in our daily lives. In its simplest form political correctness is the attempt to avoid offending anyone at anytime regardless of the subject matter. I believe that when most of us hear the term political correctness it is not a smile that crosses our face, it is more likely to be a disgusted frown. Today if a person says anything about a subject matter when it may in any way shed a light of truth on the events of today, if that truth in the slightest degree has any measure of negatives then you will be labeled as a hater. There was a time in this country when people were allowed to be honest in their speech but unfortunately that is not the case these days. Now if you say anything about anyone person or persons even if you are speaking the total truth to the best of your knowledge, you have become a hater or some kind of a bigot whom is very likely to be sued in court because you dared to be honest. In the past we could describe a dirty old man in simple terms/truths, these days political correctness (stupidity) airbrushed the truth stains away so that you don’t offend that dirty old man. These days that person is a sexually focused chronologically gifted individual. Laziness is now referred to as motivationally deficient. I am now no longer short being only five feet eleven and three-quarters inches tall, I am vertically challenged because I didn’t make it to at least six feet. It is comforting to know that I didn’t really have trouble with algebraic equations in college, I simply had a memory deficiency.

 

We could all just sit back in our Lazy Boy recliners with a glass of Jose Cuervo in one hand and a big blunt in the other and just sit back and laugh at American politicians and media talking heads as they spout this stupidity. The scary part of this is that what we the people call stupidity/political correctness, some of the fore mentioned people cultivate this ignorance as their personal gospel. This ignorance is a gospel of re-education and it does show via the ignorance and apathy we see and hear when today’s streamlined, bought and paid for politicians open their mouths. Today at almost all of our college campuses as well as the secondary and primary schools this re-education propaganda is widely referred to as diversity education. This ignorance that our politicians and the media push down our throats tries to please everyone all of the time and to never offend anyone any of the time. This is a nice story line if it were in a small child’s fantasy or Fantasy Island handbook but in the real world it is simply poison. Most all of us adults know that political correctness if allowed to play out and to become the laws of the land, we are all doomed to be the laughing-stock of the whole world. Today if people dare attempt to speak the truth about real world issues they are branded as haters or we are people with stone-age ideologies. Truth is that when people do dare to speak the truth on real issues what you say will most likely offend some people whom do not happen to agree with you. When we are cultivated away from the truth and told we can’t say such things isn’t this the same thing as saying to advance in our society today that you must either be and idiot, or an habitual liar?

 

For those who might think that this mental disease is a spin-off of the 1960’s and 70’s hippy drug culture then you need to crack open some college level history books and increase your knowledge on this subject matter. My friends, political correctness has been around and practiced through other cultures around the world far longer than any of us have been alive. Political correctness is really nothing more than cultural Marxism in some professors views and I can’t say that I disagree with them. If we compare the basic tenets of political correctness with classical Marxism the parallels of the two are very obvious. When Marxist Communists take over a country such as Russia, China, North Korea or Cuba the personal freedom of speech ceases to exist.

 

I leave you tonight with just one last observation, isn’t it amazing how much Russia and her politics have turned to look more like our politicians rhetorical babbling? Or, is it more correct to say that our government is starting to look more like the Russia of President Putin or even that of Germany of the mid 1930’s in that free honest intelligent conversation can be construed as a hate crime? Is political correctness in places like D.C., Hollywood and New York City going to be a nail in America’s coffin? Time will tell us all what the truth is but I totally have my doubts that anyone alive today will live long enough to see that day. Friends, good night, stay well, God Bless.

Ten Quick King Solomon Proverbs To Lighten Our Day

Ten Quick King Solomon Proverbs To Lighten Our Day

(PERSONALLY I BELIEVE THAT ALL PEOPLE NEED TO SERIOUSLY CONSIDER THESE WORDS EACH DAY) (OLDPOET56)

This is ten of King Solomon’s proverbs and shouldn’t take more than about two moments of your time. The dictionary says a proverb is a profound saying, maxim, or oracular utterance requiring interpretation.

  1. A just man walks in his integrity and his children that come after him shall be blessed because of his actions.
  2. Even a child is known by their actions whether they are pure and whether they are correct.
  3. The spirit of a man is like a candle to the Lord who searches all our inner thoughts.
  4. It is better to live on the corner of a house-top than to live in a mansion with a hate filled woman.
  5. He that keeps his mouth shut and his tongue from wagging keeps their own soul from trouble.
  6. If you see a person who is wise in their own deceit there is more hope for a fool than for that person.
  7. Evil men do not understand judgement but they that seek the Lord understand all things.
  8. He that turns away their ears from the Word of God even his prayers are an abomination.
  9. Give wine to those who are of heavy hearts. Let him drink and forget his poverty and remember their misery no more.
  10. A wise person will listen and will obtain learning and a person of understanding will listen to wise counsels. To fear the Lord is the beginning of knowledge but a fool despises wisdom and instruction.

Philosophy Poem: Darkness

Darkness

 

Darkness is the absence or the lack of the Light of our Creator

Wickedness and evil are the hallmark of the Darkness hidden

The metaphor of Darkness conceals it danger via its own lies

Lack of knowledge and enlightenment encourages Darkness

Darkness is the destination of those who lack understanding

 

The Lord often speaks in a parable of the darkness of old

Often one can feel the essence of the Darkness around us

The Righteous have no need to be afraid of the Darkness

The Works of Darkness are shameful even to be spoken of

Darkness blinds the heart and eyes to ones own salvation

 

We can say we are a child of Light but by our hearts we are known

When we hate our own Brothers we are children of the Devil’s Darkness

To love the World and their lusts condemns us to living in this Darkness

The Darkness of this World is wicked and it and we shall soon pass away

The Love of God is the only Light with the Power to save us from the Dark

Caring And Charity From A Biblical Christian View Point

Caring And Charity From A Biblical Christian View Point

Caring, it should be a deep, loving, kind thing, a way of life. Just as a lack of caring shows a deeply troubled hurt filled way to live and these two are not compatible within one home, or within one Soul. A caring person is usually a kind and loving type of person. Yet a person who is self-centered and egotistical by their nature tends to be a person who is down on the world around them, they tend to be people who think very little or nothing at all about how they treat other people or animals, or even themselves. I am not a doctor but to me, this sounds a lot like the building blocks to depression issues. The Lord wants all people to be good, decent and kind to each other. The Lord wants us all to treat people of all tongues, races and beliefs like they are our brothers and sisters if these people will allow such to be. Do you remember the ‘Golden Rule’? Friend, it does not say ‘do unto others before they have a chance to do unto you.’

 

The Lord tells us all to be a person who is charitable, to give alms to the poor, if you don’t know what alms means it is simple, it means food, clothing, a place to stay and even some money when we can. Charity is caring about the people in your Church, your family, town, state and Country and even toward people in other Countries. It is an old saying that charity begins at home for if you are a person who turns a blind eye toward helping your own family members and people close to your home, is any charity you give to other people in other Nations without sin? But in your charity do not be taken advantage of by people who could work, who are healthy enough to work, but refuse to do so for they are worse than a non believer in your own Church family, remember folks, if a man will not work, neither shall he eat. The Lord has never said that He wants His disciples to be lazy, to lay around on their backside while begging or stealing from those who do work. If a person’s nature is that of caring and are charitable they seem to have a love filled, light filled, quiet self-assured ora about themselves. Think about this for a moment, a Christian is a person that is ind-welled by the Holy Spirit of God Himself so our lives should be one of His light and His love. Without love, is there really any caring or charity in our life?

 

I am not saying nor is it true that all of the kind, good, honest, caring, charity filled people on Earth are Christians for that is not at all so. There are people of all Faiths and religious beliefs and even some people of no Faith system at all who are good, honest, hard-working, caring, charitable people, but these traits, these ‘works’ does not save our Soul at our judgement time. Remember folks what the Apostle Paul told us, that faith without works is dead, just as works without faith means that our works are dead. Every single person who is a Christian is supposed to be a light unto the world, a light that one does not try to hide from the world. Would this be saying that every Christian is supposed to be a role model whether they wish to be or not? The world is full of darkness as the Devil and His tens of thousands of Angels roam this world at will looking for anyone that they can destroy. If we walk outside in the darkness with a lit lantern, the world will see that light and many will gravitate toward that light and this Light is the Lord.

 

Any person, community or Nation can not fully serve two different Masters, we can not serve God and serve the Devil at the same time, it is not possible. People can pretend to care about you or your family, they can even be charitable and may even do some charity work but this does not mean that they are a Christian, even if they smile a lot and confess themselves to be. The people who are around us each day know what the truth is about whom we serve. If a person is just a Sunday Christian, they are not a Christian. Think about it, the people we work with each day, our neighbors, friends and families, they see the ‘true’ us. We do not have to be one who pushes religion on other people, we don’t need to be yelling sermons from the street corners to try to prove that we are a Christian. The daily lives we lead show those around us that we are different from ‘the world’. If we don’t curse or tell dirty jokes or steal or lie, those around us notice that we are different and those tend to be the same people who gravitate toward the ‘Light’ that you are showing daily. But, if we are ones that confess to be a Christian yet we act no different from how the people of ‘the world’ act we turn ourselves into the “lukewarm water'” the Lord spoke of to the Apostle John in the book of Revelation. Now think about it, if those around us can see through our fake Christianity do you honestly believe that God can’t see straight through us?

 

Throughout the New Testament we are told over and over again that the harvest is ready and that we as Christians must produce. Any tree that produces no fruit shall be cut down and cast into the fire. Friends, we cannot hide our ‘talents’ in the sand until the Lord returns. Look at how caring and charity and love brings people closer to each other. If you woke up late at night and you noticed that your neighbor’s home next door was on fire and you knew that their whole family was asleep inside but you just went back to bed because it wasn’t your house, not your family, not your problem, and that family all died do you think that man’s laws would leave you at peace if they knew what you had done? When we do not try to keep our friends, neighbors, coworkers and family from the fires of Hell because we just didn’t want to put out the effort do you really think that God will hold us blameless when we are at the Judgement Seat of Christ?

 

As I said earlier there are a lot of really good people in the world today, people of every Nation, skin color and tongue who are not Christians yet they are daily looking for the meaning of life. There are people around us each day who are caring, loving, charity filled individuals who do not have the Light of Christ within them. If we do not live a Holy Spirit led lifestyle around them, if we do not show them the Light of Christ within us and they die without Christ, their blood will be required of us at our own Judgement. Let us all be truthful to our own selves for a moment please. When it comes to our own faith, are we just sitting on our hands, doing little to nothing? Do we really care about anyone? Honestly, do we really even care about our own families? Friends, if we don’t then we are condemning our own selves to Hell. It is not the Devil doing it, nor is it God doing it, it is us, our own selves that is doing it through our own lack of faith. The Lord knows all of us, He knows exactly why we do or do not do things, there is no way we are going to be able to fool God and quite honestly only a fool would try to.

 

In the book of Matthew 10:38-39 it says “He that does not take up his cross and follow after me is not worthy of me. He that finds his own life shall lose it. And he that loses his life for my sake shall find it.”

1 Corinthians 15:58 “Therefore my beloved brethren, be ye steadfast, unmovable, always abounding in the works of the Lord. For as much as ye know that your labor is not in vain in the Lord.”

2 Corinthians 5:10 “For we must all appear before the Judgement Seat of Christ,  that each one may receive what is due him for the things done while in the body, whether good or bad.”

Matthew 7:21 “Not everyone that says unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the Kingdom of Heaven, but he that does the will of My Father which is in Heaven.”

Now the last Scripture passage I will use tonight goes like this, it is from 1 Peter 4:7-8

“But the end of all things is at hand: Be ye therefore sober, and watch unto prayer. And above all things have fervent charity among yourselves: For charity shall cover a multitude of sins.”

 

This article tonight is just an effort to try to get each of us to thinking outside our human box we tend to put ourselves in so that hopefully when we are put in a pine box we aren’t likely to get awakened by a hot pitchfork.

Theology Poem: Communion With God

Communion With God

 

If I truly love God, will I not keep His Words to live by

Our Father loves us and He abides in me as I in Him

If I choose not to walk in God’s Love, I am but a fool

God’s Holy Spirit is the Comforter that lives inside us

We will be taught all things if we will shut up and listen

 

The body is but temporary, just as the food that we do eat

Our body is made in the image of God, for His Spirit to indwell

As The Father raised up His Son so shall He raise up our Soul

Know ye not that our body is owned by God and His Spirit

Our body is the Temple of The Holy Spirit, it is not our own

 

By the Grace of God we are all one family both the Gentile and Jew

Because of the spilled blood of Christ we can all commune with Him

Death was the Devils bondage that the Resurrection of Christ broke

We shall be changed in the blink of an eye to the Glory of God fulfilled

Communion with the Angels of God we shall be joint heirs in Salvation

Theology Poem: Compassion

Theology Poem: Compassion

 

Should we kneel and pray for the things we have done

Should man only fast in certain months throughout the year

When our Elders did Fast, did they only do so in times of plenty

When we eat and when we drink do we share with our friends

Did the poor ever savor our crumbs or did we take them from them

 

Have we ignored the words of the Lord’s Prophets throughout time

True judgement is to shew mercy and Compassion to friend and foe

Those who oppress the Widow and the Children oppresses the Lord

The Greedy pull away and stop their ears to the truth of Compassion

The hearts of the wealthy are often like a stone, no Compassion within

 

The Spirit of The Lord see’s those Souls who refuse to live by Compassion

In turn The Lord will not hear their cries for what they would not give

The High Minded, Arrogant and selfish consider Compassion to be weakness

If we choose to live without Compassion The Lord will turn His Face from us

Compassion, no Soul lives in isolation, good or bad, before The Lord we will Kneel

 

Will The People Of The U.S. Ever Care About Truth Or Reality

Will The People Of The U.S. Ever Care About Truth Or Reality

 

I wish life was a rose garden with only pretty scenery and nice smells. But, even in a beautiful rose garden there are lots of stickers that want your blood. How much more the landscape of the real world hides holes and rocks for all the snakes and other venomous creepy creatures to hide in and to crawl out from underneath. What am I speaking of? There is hate filled people and hate filled religions and usually they gravitate toward each other. The nature of a person or a religion is what it/they are at their base, what is their foundation. If I was raised in hate and ignorance there is a good chance that it would be difficult to remove myself from that foundation especially if I remained physically in that culture/family.

There are a lot of people who call themselves Godly people who knowingly or unknowingly have a black heart. Hollywood has always painted evil as not being able to tread upon Holy ground like Church property, Scripture says that is totally not the truth, that Satan has His Seat within many Churches. If people have a religion taught to them that is filled with hate toward other people then God has nothing to do with you or with the Church or religion that is teaching such a thing. Hate begets hate, love begets love, Scripture teaches us to love those who hate us. The Devil’s main tool he is using to spread His Doctrine of hate is through organized religion. Many Christians actions, in their uppity, snooty, and hate filled ways cause more damage to the salvation of souls then they can possibly realize. Christianity is about loving one another, including those who hate us. We all will answer for how we perform our lives at the Judgement Seat of Christ whether we are Christians or non Christians.

What we Americans and the rest of the world need to realize, (but we won’t until it is too late) is that these religions or Oracles of hate have nothing to do with God and that God has nothing to do with them. You can not appease them just like you could not appease Hitler, no one can appease evil. I have very little time left, I do not feel sorrow about this really. What I feel sorrow about is the world my children and grandchildren are going to have to live in, Hell on earth has a loud ring of truth in it.

(Theology) The War Will Never Ever End

THE WAR WILL NEVER EVER END

(I FIRST PUBLISHED THIS ARTICLE OF NOVEMBER 18th OF 2012)

Today the headlines from Israel and Gaza, war, more deaths and destruction. In 1948 the Jewish people took back about 1% of the Holy Land and renamed it Israel, as it was, is, and will always be. The people that later became known as the Palestinians were displaced into the other 99% of the Middle-East. None of their Islamic brothers wanted them and they became know as a people without a Nation, displaced. The Arab people who did take them in like the people of Jordan soon threw them out because of the ways in which they acted toward their hosts. Even though their brothers who possess 99% of all the land, no one wants them in their countries. Instead, these “brothers” used them as a pawn for over sixty years, not supporting them, just using them.

Then the Israeli PM did that which he had no authority to do, he gave up some of the Israeli land in an effort to obtain peace with the Palestinian people and their Islamic neighbors. The PM gave them what is now called the West Bank and Gaza, hoping for peace. As I wrote then, Israel only accomplished giving these hate filled people closer bases into which to use to attack Israel and their people from.

God gave to the Israeli PM his just reward for giving away land that is no mans property to give away. He was told not to do it, he did it anyway. He quickly stroked, suffered, never repented and died. This is called the Holy Lands for a reason, this land above all of earths land is called Holy because it is where Christ will rule from the NEW Jerusalem after Satan and his angels are put into hell for ever.

Toward the end of times the ten demons who possess the ten human rulers here on earth new Jerusalem will be sub-planted by the three demon generals who sit at Satan’s left hand. These three “super leaders” will come from the three divisions of human powers. 1) the Americas, 2) Europe/Russia, 3) Asia. You see yet, the sign of God is 3, the sign of man is 6. The three men who would be gods, three of the last four “super” anti-Christs. Have you figured out yet who “The” anti-Christ is, The Root who sub-plants them from beneath is? Should be obvious, their boss, Satan himself, The Anti-Christ. He who would be God but who will instead only rule Hell once the trumpet of God sounds. He comes from beneath for two symbolic reasons. One is because where he now is “god” is geographically beneath the current world super powers where his base is. His throne is now upon the Temple Mount above the Wailing Wall as he demands “Submission” from all.

When Gods’ trumpet sounds, the world will then see and understand that they have been duped by their leaders and that these “super” leaders have been Satan’s henchmen. Friends, it will be too late for those who bowed to the will of Satan to repent. The demons will be cast straightway into Hell because they have already been judged. Satan will be cast into his new Kingdom after the last humans have had their turn before the  judgement seat of Christ. Unfortunately, billions of duped humans will spend forever there in the fire with him. This religion IS NOT a “great and peaceful religion” no matter what the buffoons say on TV. IT IS the most powerful attack on the people of earth that has ever been established.——-“THE WAR WILL NEVER END—UNTIL GODS’ TRUMPET SOUNDS”…..People wake up, or you are going to die twice, 1) the physical death, 2) Eternal separation from the presence and grace of God in Hell with Satan and his followers…… People, Please wake up!!!

New carbon-dating tool could pinpoint ancient eruption, gauge if tied to Exodus

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF THE TIMES OF ISRAEL)

 

A NEW CHRONOLOGY

New carbon-dating tool could pinpoint ancient eruption, gauge if tied to Exodus

Calibration technique aims to show exactly when Thera erupted on Santorini, some 4,000 years ago. Volcanic blast has been linked to rise and fall of civilizations, even the Plagues

  • Assistant professor of dendrochronology Dr. Charlotte Pearson in her lab at the University of Arizona. (Robert D. Demers)
    Assistant professor of dendrochronology Dr. Charlotte Pearson in her lab at the University of Arizona. (Robert D. Demers)
  • Ancient wood sample used by assistant professor of dendrochronology Dr. Charlotte Pearson in her lab at the University of Arizona. (Robert D. Demers)
    Ancient wood sample used by assistant professor of dendrochronology Dr. Charlotte Pearson in her lab at the University of Arizona. (Robert D. Demers)
  • Image of Akrotiri, a Minoan Bronze Age settlement on Greek island of Santorini where the volcano Thera erupted, wiping out the island. (Gretchen Gibbs)
    Image of Akrotiri, a Minoan Bronze Age settlement on Greek island of Santorini where the volcano Thera erupted, wiping out the island. (Gretchen Gibbs)
  • In a May 26, 2018 photo, area residents, the media and national guard flock to what is now the end of Leilani Avenue to take in the fiery show at fissures 2, 7 and 8 of the Kilauea volcano near Pahoa. (George F. Lee/The Honolulu Advertiser via AP)
    In a May 26, 2018 photo, area residents, the media and national guard flock to what is now the end of Leilani Avenue to take in the fiery show at fissures 2, 7 and 8 of the Kilauea volcano near Pahoa. (George F. Lee/The Honolulu Advertiser via AP)
  • The Crossing of the Red Sea by Nicolas Poussin, 1634 (Public Domain)
    The Crossing of the Red Sea by Nicolas Poussin, 1634 (Public Domain)

The ancient eruption of Thera on the Greek island of Santorini has long been a font for popular flights of fancy. The volcano’s devastating blast — volcanic rock has been discovered as far away as Greenland — was thought by Plato to be the source of the famous Greek legend of Atlantis. With black ash-filled skies, pillars of fire, and disastrous tsunamis that may have reached the shores of Egypt, the eruption’s potential fallout is used as “scientific” source material by some theorists to explain the Book of Exodus plagues, and even the parting of the Red Sea.

While these theories do not currently get much mileage in academic circles, the allure and mystery of the very real eruption of Thera is abiding among scholars attempting to pinpoint its actual occurrence. And because it was such a terrifically cataclysmic event in the Mediterranean, if scientists are able to accurately date the blast, other ancient “floating,” or unattributable, dates may fall into place in its wake.

Now, a University of Arizona study on carbon dating methodology could catalyze a shift in the timeline for ancient Mediterranean chronology, and potentially set a firm date for the natural disaster.

In a new article published in the peer-reviewed journal Science Advances called “Annual radiocarbon record indicates 16th century BCE date for the Thera eruption,” an interdisciplinary team led by dendrochronologist, or tree-ring expert, Dr. Charlotte Pearson attempts to use high-resolution radiocarbon dating methods to firm up the Thera blast, one of the most elusively undated events of the ancient world.

Using the study of tree-rings’ radiocarbon-14 molecules, alongside a new proposed annual radiocarbon calibration curve (as opposed to the current decade-averaging approach), Pearson’s team aims to arrive at a more precise dating for the blast.

Assistant professor of dendrochronology at the University of Arizona Dr. Charlotte Pearson. (Peter Brewer)

This data, along with radiocarbon dates of several organic samples frozen in time immediately preceding the volcano’s eruption, will then be synchronized with archaeological evidence from sites where Thera pumice was discovered, including the Aegean, Egypt, and the Levant — in particular Israel’s Tel Ashkelon and Tel el-Ajjul in Gaza.

The Odeon at Ashkelon was shaped in a semi-circle and probably held either city council meetings or musical events – or both. (photo credit: Shmuel Bar-Am, at Tel Ashkelon)

“What we are trying to do is be part of the global realization that the radiocarbon calibration method is ready for an improvement. Because now the technology is there to measure the radiocarbon in every single tree ring, and we’re just pulling out one treasure from the box — in this instance the carbon-14, and seeing how that can be applied to improve the way we date material in the Mediterranean… and anywhere in the world,” said Pearson, in a video explaining her project.

The Crossing of the Red Sea by Nicolas Poussin, 1634. (Public Domain)

One of the ongoing problems in dating the Thera eruption is that the timings derived from radiocarbon dating and archaeological evidence do not currently match up: The radiocarbon testing of contemporary organic material consistently results in a date of the late 17th century BCE. However, when archaeological evidence is also taken into account, two schools of thought are formed — a “high” or “low” chronology — which place the blast date about 100-150 years apart, from 1650-1500 BCE.

Now Pearson proposes that the calibration curve may be shifted to an annual resolution to resolve the discrepancy.

“We can use the annual precision of tree rings in combination with carbon-14 to underpin some big questions in terms of the rise and fall of civilizations,” said Pearson. “We can look at the tree rings as a timeline and connect with people that lived in the past, and I think that gives us more of a sense of who we are, but also a sense of where we’re going and perhaps ways to deal with some of the issues that we might collectively face.”

How does C-14 dating work?

Radiocarbon testing was developed by an American former Manhattan Project scientist, physicist Willard Libby, as a tool for archaeologists to date ancient organic material in the wake of World War II. In theory, when radioactive atmospheric rays hit nitrogen in the atmosphere, they form radiocarbon, an isotope that is distinctive in that it has eight neutrons and an atomic mass of 14 (thus the term “C-14”).

In the atmosphere, the C-14 is mixed with oxygen to form radioactive carbon dioxide, which is then “inhaled” by plants through photosynthesis. The plants are ingested by animals and transported through their bodies. When the flora or the fauna die, the C-14 also begins to decay. The smaller the amount of C-14, the older the sample, which is then assigned a date according to a calibration scale.

The current iteration of the calibration scale, called IntCal13, was crystalized in 2013 and is increasingly seen as a not fully reliable measure for assigning dates. The curve is based on securely dated findings taken from trees, usually oaks or conifers, from the northern hemisphere. But a recent study from Cornell University’s Prof. Sturt Manning asks whether these hardy northern trees are a good source or have the same growing patterns as, for example, olive, which is grown in arid regions such as the Levant.

Prof. Sturt Manning coring an example multi-century old Juniperus phoenicea tree near Petra in southern Jordan of the type employed in the Taybet Zaman buildings. (Sturt Manning, Cornell University)

An additional wrinkle, says the new Pearson study, is that the decadal or semi-decadal approach used by most labs today averages and flattens spikes in data. In her study, Pearson pushes for a more high-resolution, single-year focus, instead of taking decades of data and averaging them, so anomalies such as the Thera eruption could be more precisely addressed.

Pearson explained in an email to The Times of Israel that her team attempted to create an annual average plateau from the C-14 records gleaned from individual securely dated tree-rings, such as Irish oak trees and the North American bristlecone pine.

The next stage was to study how annual tree rings’ C-14 readings were affected during “spike” events, and how the calibration curve could be improved to accommodate these one-off occasions.

View of the damage caused by the eruption of the Fuego Volcano in village of San Miguel Los Lotes, in Escuintla Department, about 35 km southwest of Guatemala City, taken on June 5, 2018. (AFP PHOTO / Johan ORDONEZ

“Such events have already been shown to have a powerful role as anchor points for synchronizing chronologies. But we also wanted to test, given the large amount of annual data that are now being published, how such data might contribute to the onward improvement of the radiocarbon calibration curve. I.e., is there any point in spending time and money on a lot of annual 14C measurements? Could it help improve calibration?” asked Pearson.

In general, the team found there would not be massive shifts in radiocarbon dating calibration using this annual approach — except for cases of catastrophic events such as the Thera eruption.

A radiocarbon ripple effect

The Thera eruption, the focus of the study, was a “spike” in radiocarbon evidence, and its dating could potentially be improved with an annual calibration — to the benefit of many other ancient Mediterranean chronologies.

“The event has been intensively studied from archaeological and paleoenvironmental perspectives because it provides a geological marker that, if precisely dated, could synchronize Bronze Age histories of the Aegean, Egypt, and the Near East and anchor a wide range of contemporary environmental data,” according to the paper.

Assistant professor of dendrochronology Dr. Charlotte Pearson in her lab at the University of Arizona. (Robert D. Demers)

One such example of how dating Thera could influence other cultures is the dating of pharaonic Egypt: It is possible the Thera eruption was noted in contemporary or close-to-contemporary documents found in Thebes.

Recently, new readings of ancient Egyptian inscriptions have led scientists to propose an Egyptian documentation of the disaster. On the Tempest Stela, the Pharaoh Ahmose describes a major catastrophic climactic event, including loud explosion, earthquakes, and darkness, according to Nadine Moellerassociate Professor of Egyptian Archaeology at the Oriental Institute, University of Chicago.

“It is now time to consider the possibility that the Tempest Stela is indeed a contemporary record of the cataclysmic Thera event,” Moeller wrote in a 2014 article.

According to a 2014 University of Chicago press release about the Stela, Ahmose was the first pharaoh of the 18th Dynasty, which marked the beginning of the powerful New Kingdom. For decades, scholars have debated the actual start-date of the New Kingdom era. Assuming the Tempest Stela is dated in close proximity to the Thera eruption, then Egyptian pharaonic chronology would have a new “anchor” for its timeline.

The Pearson article writes that “evidence indicates that the eruption occurred after the start of the New Kingdom in Egypt, which, according to proponents of conventional, archaeologically based chronology, is considered to be sometime after c.1550 to 1500 BCE.”

A picture taken on September 9, 2017 shows Egyptian archaeologist restoring a wooden sacrophagus at a newly-uncovered ancient tomb for a goldsmith dedicated to the ancient Egyptian god Amun, in the Draa Abul Naga necropolis on the west bank of the ancient city of Luxor, which boasts ancient Egyptian temples and burial grounds.(AFP PHOTO / KHALED DESOUKI)

However, according to the Pearson study, “direct radiocarbon evidence for the Thera eruption currently places this event multiple decades earlier than the earliest possible start of the New Kingdom.”

For example, in 2006, an olive tree on Santorini that was buried under volcanic ash was radiocarbon dated, and found to pinpoint the Thera eruption between 1621-1605 BCE. While this discrepancy is a blink in terms of the historical record (or the current lifespan of the State of Israel), it causes a clear conundrum for archaeologists and historians.

But is Pearson’s annual approach to solving spikes such as Thera earth shattering?

In her study, she writes, “No definitive calibrated radiocarbon range for the Thera eruption is currently possible, but the altered position of the 14C plateau indicates that improved calibration has much to offer chronological synchronization of human and environmental timelines in this period.” To paraphrase, while she cannot arrive at a solid timing for Thera, the methodology of the calibration curve may still benefit.

Cornell University’s Goldwin Smith Professor of Classical Archaeology in the Department of Classics and director of the Cornell Tree-Ring Laboratory Sturt Manning. (courtesy)

Fellow dendrochronologist Sturt Manning, a professor at Cornell University, told The Times of Israel that the Pearson study has an “impressive dataset” and that the results were “a little bit of a surprise,” for which he awaits confirmation from other labs.

“I suspect when other labs have run data on 1-year samples in this period the ‘real’ picture will be somewhere between the previous one and the Pearson et al. findings. So some change but rather less dramatic,” Manning said.

“Even so, Pearson et al. over-claim. Their revised curve, even if right, does modify dates just in this period, yes. But where there are sequences of 14C dates from longer order series, whether archaeological, or from the series of Pharaohs, etc., then it will make much less difference as the rest of the calibration curve is not changed they say,” he wrote.

A source for Exodus?

The new dating doesn’t only affect the timing of the eruption of Thera or Pharaoh Ahmose’s reign and the start of the New Kingdom. It could also help assign dates to other important events such as the end of the Babylonian Empire, as well as the rise and fall of the Anatolian Hittites and the mysterious Semitic-speaking people called Hyksos.

The Exodus: Illustration of Moses leading the Children of Israel out of Egypt in the Kaufmann Haggadah, 14th century. (Wikimedia Commons)

Some theorists say dating Thera could solidify the natural source of the Exodus narrative as well.

Asked whether she sees her study as having implications on the dating of the roots of the biblical Exodus story, Pearson questioned her qualifications to answer. In an email she wrote, “All I can say is that continued work to improve chronological frameworks is essential for the study of past civilizations!”

Image of Akrotiri, a Minoan Bronze Age settlement on Greek island of Santorini where the volcano Thera erupted, wiping out the island. (Gretchen Gibbs)

There is no doubt the eruption was an event of biblical proportions. According to Greek archaeologist Christos G. Doumas who excavated on Santorini from the 1970s to 1990s, “When the volcano literally ‘blew its top,’ the sides of the mountain collapsed into the abyss; then the sea poured into this great caldera — 32 square miles of it… The blast was so powerful that the eruption column reached an estimated height of 20 miles, sending particles of dust hundreds of miles away,” writes Doumas in a 1991 Biblical Archaeology Review article.

Every decade or so, there is a scholar or ostensible scholar willing to go on record and state that the Thera blast may have caused the Exodus narrative. In the 1980s, Johns Hopkins Prof. Hans Goedicke was lauded by the New York Times, then raked over the coals for his suggestions.

An entertaining, if not entirely drily factual, 2006 documentary called “The Exodus Decoded” by Canadian “Indiana Jones” filmmaker Simcha Jacobovici and producer/director James Cameron caused waves of backlashin scholarly circles.

In general, the theories state that Thera jump-started tsunamis that could have caused the parting of seas (location is subject to change depending upon the scholar). Additionally, it may have sparked a pillar of fire in the sky visible as far as Egypt.

Other environmental effects of the Thera eruption likewise may have caused “some major hemisphere-wide climate episodes” that could link to the plagues, wrote Cornell’s Manning in an email outlining the more popular theories. Some scientists tie the dating to the Israelites in Jericho, based on radiocarbon dating of the city’s destruction.

The linkage between Thera and the Exodus narrative is fodder for numerous articles, books, and even conferences, including the one held in 2013 at UC San Diego called “Out of Egypt: Israel’s Exodus Between Text and Memory, History and Imagination” where University of Edinburgh’s Dr. Mark Harris, a former physicist and current theologian, delivered the lecture “The Thera Theories: Science and the Modern Reception History of the Exodus.”

In his witty 20-minute talk, Harris broke down the various “Thera theories,” and noted that, regardless of their pseudo-scientific questionable veracity, the “volcano remains a rich resource for the imagination.”

The theologian said that implementing it as an interpretation of the miracles is as legitimate as reading the text through a feminist lens or through liberation theology.

“The Thera theories give us ‘scientific readings.’ They challenge or inspire the imagination without necessarily requiring a firm historical commitment that this is what really happened,” said Harris.

He personally does not think Thera had a role in the Exodus, but clearly fathoms the impulse of those who do.

“There is a fascination with the Bible in the popular imagination, and there’s a fascination with science, and when the two get together, you literally get an explosive combination,” said Harris.