Friday, November 11, 2005
Using multiple lines of evidence, Austin et al. showed that:
- The Earthquake referenced by Amos and other biblical writers occurred in 750 B.C.
- The earthquake appears to have been an 8.2 on the richter scale, affecting from an epicenter near lebanon all the way to Tel Sheva.
- The earthquake became a standard way to discuss widespread panic in Hebrew literature, and was referred to as "The Earthquake" for a long time afterward
- Such an earthquake could explain what is called the "missing earthquake" in tectonic theory (NOTE: I could not find reference to a "missing earthquake" in geologic literature, but if someone could post me a link, I'll add it in)
- Knowing the date of the Earthquake helps authenticate certain chronologies. He shows that it shows that Thiele's chronology (summarized here) works better with the seismic data (NOTE -- I don't know much about this area of chronology -- just reporting what I found on the web).
- The Earthquake seemed to cement the tradition of the writing prophets, starting with Amos. Many of the prophets afterwards referred to the same event.
Anyway, it's exciting to see Austin published in a journal, specifically writing on biblical topics.
NOTE - This post has been updated to reflect the current location of Steve Austin's paper.