Wednesday, December 07, 2005

The Law, Rules of Evidence & Archaeology Part 3 by R.P. BenDedek - LexiLine Journal 374

The Law, Rules of Evidence & Archaeology Part 3
The Laws, Rules of Evidence & Archaeology Part 3.
Published on 12/02/05 at 02:14:47 AEST by R .P. BenDedek


Bates.F. (1985) Principles of Evidence. 3rd Edition. Sydney The Law Book Company Limited.
Freckelton. I.R. (1987) The Trial of the Expert. A Study of Expert Evidence and Forensic Experts. Melbourne.Aust.Oxford University Press.
Ligertwood. A.L.C. ( 1988 ) Australian Evidence. First Edition. Butterworths P/l. North Ryde
Vinson.D.E. (1985) How to Persuade Jurors. American Bar Association Journal 72, 76
Gobbo. J.A., Byrne. D., Heydon J.D. (1979) Cross on Evidence 2nd Edition. Sydney. Aust. Butterworths Pty.Ltd.
Vinson.D.E. (1985) How to Persuade Jurors. American Bar Association Journal 72, 76
Legal Information Institute : Federal Rules of Evidence

The Laws of Evidence & Archaeology Part 3.

(Installment 3 of Legal Issues related to Chapter Seven of the King's Calendar : "The Battle of Qarqar - 853 BCE")


The intention of this article is to offer a Polemical rebuttal of Academic methodology in reconstructing the history of Israel.

Currently Historians insist that King Ahab of Israel was at the Battle of Qarqar which occurred in 853 BCE. In Parts 1 and 2 of this series, it was demonstrated that the direct evidence that they offer is (legally) unacceptable direct evidence, and it was further concluded, that there is no 'circumstantial evidence' to support the claim that Ahab was at the Battle.

The 'King's Calendar' chronology for Ancient Israel insists that Ahab died in 863 BCE, a decade prior to the Battle of Qarqar (853 BCE).

In this article we will discuss circumstantial evidence that rebuts the testimony of the Kurkh Stela of Shalmaneser III in its' claim that Ahab was at the Battle.


'Circumstantial Evidence is evidence of facts which are not in issue, from which a fact in issue may be inferred. (Bates, 1985, p.2)

In this article some direct evidence in relation to the reign of Ahab will be provided to demonstrate that the claim made by the Kurkh Stela is incorrect. ['Direct Evidence is evidence of the facts in issue themselves and will be constituted either by the testimony of a witness who perceived the event or the production of a legally admissible document which constitutes the fact in issue.'(Bates,1985,p.2)]


The Biblical Documents are direct documentary evidence of certain historical details, which, unless successfully rebutted, must be accepted as 'factual'.

It is accepted within the academic community that the Battle of Qarqar occurred in 853 BCE, and that King Jehu of Israel commenced his reign in 842/841 BCE. Furthermore, the Biblical Story relating to Jehu usurping power in Israel, and killing the King's of Israel and Judah (Jehoram and Ahaziah) is accepted without question. [We will come back to this later.]

All academic chronological reconstructions are based upon the PRESUMPTIVE ACCEPTANCE of the 'factual truth' of the Biblical assertion in relation to Jehu, Jehoram and Ahaziah, even though there is no corroborating evidence to indicate that the story is true.[Refer to Bates, (1985, p.82) for an elaboration on the legal implications in 'corroboration'. ]

If it is accepted that the story of Jehu slaying both of these Kings is true, then unless evidence is provided to indicate that other parts of the story are false, the balance of the data must be accepted as true.


The Direct Documentary Evidence that provides us with details about the deaths of Jehoram and Ahaziah, also provides the following details about them.

1. Jehoshaphat : 2 Chronicles 17:1 & 20:31 and 1 Kings 22:41 - succeeded his father Asa, commencing his reign in Ahab's 4th year and reigned 25 years (2 Chron 20:31 & 1 Kings 22:42)

2. Jehoram of Judah : 2 Chronicles 21:1 & 2 Kings 8:17 - succeeded his father Jehoshaphat, and reigned 8 years. [He was also co-reigned with his father. This is evidenced in the Septuagint 4 Kings 8:16 and 2 Kings 1:17 which indicates that Jehoram of Israel came to the throne in the second year of Jehoram of Judah, who commenced in the 18th year of Jehoshaphat.]

3. Ahaziah of Judah : 2 Chronicles 22:2 - succeeded his father Jehoram of Judah and reigned one year. Together with King Jehoram of Israel, he was murdered by Jehu 2 Kings 8:24,27.


If Ahaziah of Judah was slain in 842 BCE after he had reigned one year,
Then Ahaziah commenced in 843 BCE
If Ahaziah's father Jehoram reigned 8 years prior to that,
Then Jehoram commenced in 851 BCE
If Jehoram's father Jehoshaphat reigned for 25 years prior to that
Then Jehoshaphat commenced in 876 BCE.

If Ahaziah of Judah was slain in 842 BCE
If the Battle of Qarqar occurred in 853 BCE [11 years earlier]
If between them Ahaziah and Jehoram reigned 9 years, [commencing 2 years after 853 BCE]
If Jehoshaphat reigned 25 years
Then the Battle of Qarqar occurred in the 23rd year of Jehoshaphat.

If the Battle of Qarqar occurred in the 23rd year of Jehoshaphat of Judah
If Jehoshaphat commenced reigning in the 4th year of Ahab
If Ahab reigned 22 years,
Then Ahab died in the 18th year of Jehoshaphat [22 - 4 = 18]
So Ahab died 5 years before the battle of Qarqar.


The Circumstantial evidence of the Biblical Chronological data demonstrates that Ahab could not have been involved in the Battle of Qarqar in 853.

The evidence upon which the Academics build their Historical reconstructions, is 'false' evidence, that can be demonstrated to be incorrect.

"Oh! You can't be serious! You don't honestly expect us to believe that that Biblical mishmash of confusing chronological data can be relied upon do you?"

'Actually I don't expect you to 'believe' anything other than the evidence! As for the mishmash of chronological evidence, what evidence can be offered to prove that the Bible is unreliable?'


In Part 1 of this series, the following statement appears:

At Bates, 1985, p.2 citing Wooldridge v Sumner [1963] 2 Q.B. 43, you can find an account of twelve (12) qualified witnesses whose combined testimony could not render a precise account of what actually transpired in a particular witnessed incident. While the 'evidence was genuine' and the 'eyewitnesses' reliable and trustworthy, the testimony they gave was ultimately too distorted by their own 'personal' perceptions. They were in fact, unreliable. [See 'Inadmissible Evidence ]

There is a difference between being wrong and and being unreliable. A reliable witness can testify to a witnessed event without presenting a demonstrably 'correct' version of the event.

All historical documents are susceptible to presenting testimony that is not demonstrably correct. Some historical documents are of course forgeries, whilst others are incompetently composed, misinformed or biased.

In the case of the Historical Direct Evidence Documents upon which historians rely, documents like the the Bible, Mesha's Stela, the Kurkh Stela of Shalmaneser III and the Babylonian Chronicles (Wiseman 1961), not only are they written from the perspectives of the writers, but their methods of chronological recording are all different.

The Historical Documents of Israel however, are the only documents which present history in a truly linear and synchronistic fashion, and are therefore more susceptible to scientific verification and falsification. As such, they, of all the historical records, ought to be the most reliable.

Whether or not you believe in 'Divine Inspiration', the historical records of the Bible cannot have been written with any less intention to be factually correct than any other historical record, unless that is, that you commence with the assumption, [Presumption and assumption are not permitted as evidence in legal issues. See Bates, 1985, p.46 ] that they were deliberately meant to 'deceive'.

From a legal perspective, in order to do this, you must demonstrate 'intent' to do so. [Legal definition of Specific Intent ]


If the Biblical chronological details, like other ancient records, were meant to accurately reflect the history of the nation, then we must conclude that the fact that they do not 'appear' to do so now, results from either:

a) Corruption of the documents (Demonstrably untrue!)
b) Historians have misrepresented most of Ancient History (Demonstrably untrue!)
c) The Documents are not presented in a fashion with which we are familiar.

Unless we 'illegally' (from the perspective of the Rules of Evidence) terminate the discussion by insisting that Israel's historical documents were meant to deceive and are therefore not reliable, we must determine that the reason that the data does not now appear to be correct, is that it is presented in an unfamiliar fashion.

The King's Calendar of course, is all about demonstrating that the fashion in which it was presented is now understood, and can be seen to align with history. [ See: Biblical Infallibility, Divine Inspiration & Academic Deceit and Manipulation

Nevertheless, it does contain errors. Errors of which I'm sure, some academics reading this article, will have wanted to point out. Let's deal with those 'errors', from the perspective of 'intent' and 'evidence'.


[ The purpose here is to argue the 'The Law, Rules of Evidence & Archaeology', not 'justify' the King's Calendar chronological reconstruction, some of which may be found at ]

One of the popular and of course 'ignorant' proclamations about the Bible, is that it is full of contradictions. I don't believe in the modern 'religious fundamentalistic' concept of Biblical Infallibility, but I can say, that generally speaking, most complaints about Biblical contradictions arise because people are 'ignorant' about the 'background' of the subject over which they pontificate.

Errors in testimony can arise, because people simply make mistakes when they talk/write. For instance: Ahaziah, the youngest son of Jehoram (2 Chronicles 22:1), is said to have been 22 years of age when he ascended the throne (2 Kings 8:26), despite the obvious error in Chronicles which makes him 42 years old. It is nothing more than a transcription error.

People get confused, read the wrong name, speak the wrong amount, or use an ambiguous phrase. Being wrong, is not the same as being unreliable. The chronological data provided in Israel's Historical documents is demonstrably accurate, albeit, encoded in an artificial system of time reckoning.

In relation to Ahaziah of Judah, Jotham of Judah and Jehoram of Israel however, there are a number of scriptural references that seem particularly contradictory. The ignorant (though from bias) have ignorance as an excuse for disparaging the Historical record. The Academics of course do not.

A number of chronological references which appear contradictory, are demonstrated within the 'King's Calendar reconstruction of chronological events' to in fact be correct. For Example:

2 Kings 8:25 Ahaziah of Judah commenced in the 12th year of Jehoram of Israel
2 Kings 9:29 Ahaziah of Judah commenced in the 11th year of Jehoram of Israel

Some apparent errors are in fact, errors. Jehoram of Israel for instance, is accorded a 12 year reign 2 Kings 3:1. This error also compounds some other apparent errors, but via the King's Calendar reconstruction, it can be demonstrated "how and why" the error occurred.

Some apparently contradictory references merely reflect different time recording methods. One method is the standard calendrical system of the day, and the other is the artificial calendar.
[Compare Appendix 5 and 13 & ]

Some apparent contradictions are not the the result of 'real errors' and the compounding factor of those errors {example: Jehoram of Israel reigned 12 years}, but appear as contradictions because they are recorded from two differing methods of presenting not only differing calendrical systems but differing forms of information presentation.

For Example:

2 Kings 8:16 Jehoram of Judah commenced to reign in the 5th year of Jehoram of Israel
2 Kings 1:17 Jehoram of Israel commenced to reign in the second year of Jehoram of Judah.
While the King's Calendar demonstrates both references to be correct, the result of this apparent conundrum is that some academics have come to believe that the two Jehoram's are in fact the same person ruling the two countries and counting regnal years from his commencement date in each.

This would be like someone maintaining that George Bush became President of America in 1989, had two wives, (Dorothy then Laura), and twice invaded Iraq.

It might be understandable that someone gets confused, but if you do your homework, you ought to see the differences between the two accounts of the two different people.

If King Jehu killed both Jehoram of Israel and Ahaziah of Judah, and, Jehoram of Judah and Jehoram of Israel are the same person, then Ahaziah of Judah who was killed at the same time as Jehoram of Israel, would have been no other than his son. To make this assertion would be to defy all logical considerations about 'historical recording processes', unless at the same time, it was to be asserted that later in history, someone deliberately erased the 'evidence' relating to the true 'facts'.[Refer Miller & Hayes 1986.p.59 re:scepticism of all things biblical]

When you examine the historical evidence, the truth can easily be seen, and if you logically follow some 'contrary academic explanations' that are offered without 'evidence', the fanciful theory ultimately turns into a 'conspiracy theory', that defies both evidence and logic.


The Circumstantial evidence in the direct documentary evidence of Israel's Historical Documents, demonstrates that the claim of the Kurkh Stele of Shalmaneser III is wrong. Furthermore, it demonstrates that 'prejudice and bias' unduly influence evidentiary investigations undertaken by archaeologists and historians.

In Part 4 of this series, we will turn our attention to the chronological significance of the reign of Jehu of Israel.


The Law, Rules of Evidence & Archaeology Part 1.

The Law, Rules of Evidence & Archaeology Part 2.

The Law, Rules of Evidence & Archaeology Part 4.

No. 16: The Life and Death of King Ahab of Israel.

No. 17 : The Significance of Ahab's death.

Biblical Infallibility, Divine Inspiration & Academic Deceit and Manipulation

Miller,J.M., Hayes,J.M. ( 1986 ) A History of Ancient Israel and Judah. USA. Westminster Press.
Wiseman.D.J. (1961) Chronicles of the Chaldaean Kings (626-556 BC) in the British Museum. Trustees of the British Museum. London
Wiseman.D.J. (1985) Nebuchadrezzar and Babylon. The Schweich Lectures. Oxford University Press

This article may be freely reprinted providing this box is included and all links herewith (and within the article body) are made/remain active. (c)2003-2005 R.P.BenDedek.

About the author: R.P.BenDedek is the author of 'The King's Calendar: The Secret of Qumran' at In addition to his academic articles, in which he sets forth Apologetics for and the results of his discovery of an "artificial chronological scheme" running through the Bible, Josephus and the Damascus Documents of the Dead Sea Scrolls, he writes photographic stories on China and social editorial commentaries. Visit for more info.

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