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I am a Natural Born United States Citizen with NO allegiance or citizenship to any nation but my own, and will use this site as a hobby place of sorts to present my own political and religious viewpoints, as a genuine Constitutional Conservative and a genuine Christian Conservative.

Thank you for coming.
In the Year of our LORD Jesus Christ
-- As of January 20, 2017
A Sigh Of Relief With The Inauguration Of Donald John Trump as President of the United States of America, And Hope For A Prosperous Future For All United States Citizens (we who are a nation called "the melting pot of the world"). We shall be great and exceptionally great again.

It is likely that the entries to this blog will be less frequent than in years past. I do intend to keep this blog active, and to offer insightful information and/or opinion (and sometimes humor and/or entertainment on occasion) when I do post.

Peace and Liberty. Semper Fidelis.

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

October 1962 Cuban Missile Crisis President's Intelligence Notes We Legally Can See. Declassified And Sanitized CIA Intelligence Briefing Notes Released For Public Consumption As of July 2015.

The Cuban Missile Crisis  occurred during the days of Tuesday October 16 to Sunday  October 28, 1962.

Considering how that jackass Communists, Muslim sympathizers and Muslims. and Obama groupie sh*t for brainers on psychotropic drugs who strut around demanding hypersensitivity to their deviance and congenital idiocy relabeled as political correctness, and how they are pushing toward a nuclear confrontation with the Manchurian Compact of Russia and China at the Ukraine, at Syria, at the South China Sea, it is a necessary thing to know what the talking points of rationale would be and how they will spin this among themselves by looking at the past.  If you do not understand the past, those who try to conquer you will use that ignorance to their advantage and encroach and infringe and conquer under the old maxim which says "Knowledge is power."

  The following is direct sanitized and declassified material for public consumption, and the *** and **** signs designate that words or whole sections of comments were deleted and sanitized as still classified, even after 53 years.












The ff. map was used in the October 19  briefing

OCTOBER  19, 1962

“1.  Cuba    

   a.     Another surface-to-air missile site has been located.
           This one, situated close to the border between Matanzas and Las
            Villas provinces, brings the total of identified SAM sites to 22.

  b.    *** at least nine of these installations are probably now operational.

  c.     There are ***  IL-28 crates at San Julian in the extreme west of Cuba. 
          The aircraft are being unpacked and one is well along in assembly.

 d.    At Santa Clara in central Cuba there are now ***  MIG-21s.   ****”

October 20, 1962


OCTOBER 22, 1962


 d.    Cuban air force activity was stepping up rapidly late last week.
        We noted   ***  pilots operating MIGs in ***
         at San Antonio de los Banos and Santa Clara. 

 f.   Alpha-66 announced it has put to sea again to harass shipping,
                          particularly British, to Cuba. “ 

[[[[Transcript of President Kennedy's October 22, 1962 Speech  at:   http://legacy.fordham.edu/halsall/mod/1962kennedy-cuba.html   ]]]]

October 23, 1962

“1.    Cuba          
 (A roundup of world-wide reaction to the President’s statement is enclosed separately.)

I.                     The reaction within Cuba
                          a.        Fidel Castro is scheduled to go on the air later today, at a time still unannounced. 

                          b.       Cuban ground, air and naval units have moved into the alert status
                           decreed yesterday even before the President’s broadcast.  
                   d.       The most recent analysis of photography (from a mission flown
                           20 October)  does not alter our count on missile sites,  but does raise
                           the total of identified missiles and launchers.   We can now account for
                          33 missiles and 23 launchers.”

October 24, 1962

“1.  Cuban problem      

I.  The Local situation

a.       Fidel Castro had little new to say last night.  As expected,  he rejected any proposal for international inspection of Cuban  territory. 

c.   The latest photographic intelligence does not change our figures on
      missile sites, missiles, and launchers.  It pushes the estimated
      readiness date at two MRBM sites back from 22 to 25 October.
     Photography also shows erection of camouflage nets under way  at some sites.  



II.          Soviet Reaction
        a.        There has been no major reaction since yesterday’s statement published by
                      TASS        (We do not have any report from Kohler on his meeting with
                      Khrushchev).     The expected Soviet propaganda orchestration is beginning to 
                      build up.

             b.       There have been a number of *** statements by Soviet officials that Soviet 
                    ships will not submit to blockade.


    III.                     Other reactions
a.        There have been no surprises cropping up in the past 24 hours.
b.      In New York, neutral members of the UN are trying to generate
steam  behind a move to get U Thant to do something about heading
off a US-USSR showdown.   

October 25, 1962

“1.  Situation in Cuba

a.        Photography ***revealed no new missile sites, and no additional missiles,
missile transportation or erectors.


 g.  The standdown of Cuban tactical aircraft continues in effect and all naval ***
Reports out of Havana, however, are that things are relatively quiet and there
is none of the confusion that accompanied the mobilization in April 1961.
Cuban domestic reporting of the President’s speech omits all reference to offensive
missile bases in Cuba “which was the direct reason for the action taken.” 
Cuban media take the line set by Castro in his speech, denying there are any

offensive weapons in Cuba and never using the word missile.

2.  Shipping 

3.  Bloc Relations    

     a.  We have noted no significant movement or deployment in any of the Bloc military forces.  

     c.  The naval auxiliary Terek, now under surveillance by a US ship, appears to be backing
         and filling northwest of the Azores.  It may intend to make another submarine rendezvous.  

d.       Soviet and other bloc media are making much of Khrushchev’s statement favoring
a top-level meeting but have not elaborated on the remark.  There has been no mention
of the diversion of Soviet shipping. 

e.       Gromyko’s remarks on the German situation – the first direct commentary on the
problem by a high  Soviet official since the President’s address on Cuba – were
purposely vague and contained no hint of retaliatory measures which might be taken
against us in Berlin.   

4.  Non-bloc reaction    
      a .  Official and unofficial expression of support and understanding for the US position on
           Cuba have reached an impressive volume from such diverse quarters as Switzerland,
           India and Sudan.

     b.   Demonstrations against US establishments overseas have so far not been of
           unmanageable size or force.
      c.  So far there has been no reaction to the President’s reply to U Thant.
           Neutral representatives at the UN will be concerting again this morning following
           consultations last night with their governments."   

October 26, 1962


The navy this morning forced a Soviet submarine to the surface at a point about 350 miles south of
Bermuda.  It has also stopped and boarded the Lebanese freighter, Marcula,  inside the quarantine zone. 

1.        The Cuban Problem

a.        Havana remains quiet, but the prevailing atmosphere is one of slowly rising tension.


d.      We are beginning to see evidence that the Cubans are having their headaches over
mobilization and logistic problems.  They are also getting worried about the
possibility of civil disturbances.  


f.       Photographs taken yesterday indicate there has been no slackening in the pace
of construction work at the missile sites.  They also show what looks like missile
check-out operations in progress at two San Cristobal MRBM sites.  

      2.        Non-bloc reaction     
         Reactions in the non-Communist world are about what they were yesterday. 
         However, there seems to be something of a ground swell of uneasiness developing,
         notably in Europe,  over the possibility that the Soviets will take retaliatory action. 

3.       Bloc support


     c.   Guinea and Senegal have assured us that they will deny landing rights to Soviet
           aircraft bound for Cuba.  Morocco seems to be coming around as well.  So far
           so good, but it remains to be seen how well these countries stand up to Soviet
           pressures.  ****

      4.        Bloc reaction
a.        Scattered indications that some Soviet and satellite ground and air units are on
alert status keep coming in, but we observe no important abnormalities in the bloc’s
military posture.

b.      Moscow is making much of Khruschchev’s acceptance of U Thant’s proposal for
US-USSR negotiations.  Peiping, however, is grumbling that Moscow again has
shown itself to be weak-kneed.     ***"

October 27, 1962

     "1.        Cuba  

a.       A preliminary look at yesterday’s photography shows no change in the pace of
Construction.  Our estimate of operational readiness dates stands unchanged. 

            c.   Photography has also turned up a launcher for the “Frog” missile.
                  This is a short-range (50,000 yards)  tactical unguided rocket similar to our
                  Honest John.  It can carry either a nuclear or conventional warhead. 


            e.   Raul Castro’s assumption of personal command in eastern Cuba has
                   been followed by rapid mobilization and deployment of reserve units
                   throughout Oriente province. 

f.       Cuban spokesmen and media remain adamant in refusing any inspection

by outsiders.  ***

       2.        Bloc Shipping  
       3.       Bloc Reaction
a.        No significant development of ground, air, or naval forces has been noted;
Apparently normal exercise activity is continuing in many of the major commands.




      d.    The Soviet propaganda line continues to be that the USSR is taking a calm and
              reasonable approach to the problem while the US is in a state of “war hysteria.”  
             The Soviet diplomatic drive for negotiations also continues.

e.         Khruschchev *** earlier this week *** was “very pleased” with the progress
  of the Rusk-Gromyko talks, and made no threat of retaliation in Berlin for

  US action in Cuba.

     4.       Non-bloc Attitudes
a.        There has been no distinct shift in the pattern of reaction elsewhere.
b.      Further support for us has come from several quarters in Western Europe, and
unfavorable commentary is decidedly in the minority.  A poll shows two thirds of
British  public opinion to be with us. 



e.   Many quarters, after some premature optimism, are now having trouble
      deciding whether there has been an easing of the crisis or not.

f..      La Paz, Bolivia, was the scene of street fighting near the US embassy involving some
3,000 anti-American labor union members.  The press also reports that Buenos Aires
and Caracas have been hit by demonstrations.

g.       The Venezuelan Defense Ministry has requested riot-control equipment and
ammunition for all services against the contingency of an all-out Communist effort.
Embassy Caracas considers this request to be of the utmost urgency. "

October 28, 1962

       " 1.        Cuba  
a.        On the basis of aerial photographs obtained from missions flown on Friday and
Saturday, we estimate that all 24 MRBM missile launchers are now fully operational. 



d.     Camouflage against aerial photography is becoming more effective. 
         Automatic anti-aircraft weapons have also been deployed around many of the

         missile sites in the past few days.  


3.  Bloc Reactions
      a.  There has been no significant change in the bloc’s military posture since yesterday.  ***
     b.   Bloc propaganda this morning began changing gears from praising Khrushchev’s 
             proposals for a settlement to sharp attacks on our turning them down. 
             As expected, there has been no change in Peiping’s line that the only right policy 
             is one of no compromise.

      c.        In Eastern Europe, scattered instances of scare buying, hoarding, and
                   blackmarketeering are symptomatic of an underlying apprehensiveness
                   over the way things are going.          

e..        During the past month, Moscow has increased its daily radio broadcasts to
Cuba from one hour to ten.

f.       As of Thursday. The Voice of America Russian broadcasts  were getting by
Soviet jamming in the Moscow area with a quality ranging from good to

loud and clear.  

        4.       Non-Bloc Reactions
a.        Returns are still coming from Khrushchev’s proposals, but so far we have seen
no surprises.   Neutral sentiment for some sort of a quid pro quo settlement
is strong.

b.       Venezuela yesterday got out in front in Latin America by ordering a full-scale
Mobilization of its armed forces.  This action followed closely on the heels of
President Betancourt’s declaring that the time had come to get rid of the Cuban
Threat “once and for all.”

c.        Bolivia has followed Brazil’s lead in coming out in opposition to the application
 of stiffer measures against Cuba. "

OCTOBER 29. 1962
        "1.        USSR
a.        We see Khrushchev’s Cuban misadventure as a major setback for him personally.

b.      The decision to put the missiles in Cuba, as well as the decision to pull them out,
was almost certainly his alone.  We did not, however, see any signs of high-level
opposition to the missile deployment, as we have in the case of some of
Khrushchev’s other pet schemes.

c.       There are no scapegoats for this one and he will be blamed by just about everyone. 
Many whom he has bullied are probably secretly pleased.

d.       The top leadership put in a mass appearance at a theater performance

last night, we suspect, to show their ranks are undivided.   

        2.        Cuba
a.        Castro faces a serious setback to his prestige.

b.      Obviously not consulted beforehand on Khrushchev’s exchanges with the
President, he is trying hard to get Moscow to back his demands for major
concessions from us before pulling the missiles out.
So far the only endorsement he has gotten has come from Peiping. 
c.        Special editions of two of Havana’s leading newspapers were issued yesterday
 making much of Castro’s conditions, and they have been given heavy play on the
 Cuban radio.

        3.        Cuba – USSR   
a.       We do not believe the Soviets will attempt to delay implementation of their
promise to dismantle the missile sites.

b.       Nor do we believe Khrushchev’s expressed “wish” that we discontinue
 reconnaissance to be intended to provide a pretext for procrastination.

c.        We think the USSR would go along if we were to insist that initial steps
be taken immediately (next day or two) to get inspection in Cuban organized
and underway.

d.       Soviet First Deputy Foreign Minister Kuznetsov arrived in New York last night
saying the USSR intends to resolve outstanding international problems
through negotiation.

e.        Neither he, nor Khrushchev, nor Soviet media have mentioned Berlin in
connection with the most recent moves on the Cuba problem, suggesting that
Moscow will continue to play the German problem in low key for the time being.

f.        In initial response Bloc media are claiming that Khrushchev’s latest “blow for freedom”
proves the USSR’s peaceful intentions.  The attempt is to salvage some prestige from
the shambles by showing that the move averted unilateral US action. 

        4.        East Germany – Berlin
a.        The opinion is gaining ground among officials at the medium level in the East
German party and government that our strong stand on Cuba will cause 
Moscow to postpone action on Berlin and a peace treaty.

b.       Western businessmen who visited East Berlin late last week at the height of the
crisis say they found a “business as usual” atmosphere and heard no mention of a

 blockade of West Berlin in retaliation for the Cuban quarantine.  

        5.       Communist China – USSR
a.        Communist China’s leaders have recently stepped up their criticism of
Soviet foreign policy and appear determined to undermine confidence in
Soviet leadership.  We have not gotten a reaction yet to Moscow’s latest moves in the
Cuban crisis, but it will be bitter.



d.       Peiping’s latest note charges the Soviets with betrayal for allowing international
communism to fall behind in the nuclear arms race by not sharing technical
information with China since 1959.
e.       China also accuses Moscow of betraying the international communist movement
 on another front – the India border dispute. 
Peiping says it is absurd to think of Moscow playing a pacifying role in this issue:
“Communists must draw a clear-cut line between themselves and their adversaries.”
f.        The Chinese, it seems, choose to ignore Moscow’s recent shift from neutrality
 to a position of cautious support for them on this issue.  *** ” 

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Exposing A Scam: The Tall El-Hammam As The City Of Sodom Scam

World Net Daily has joined various media in falling for what is clearly a modern SCAM in promoting Tall El-Hammam  

as the ancient city of Sodom, identified in Genesis chapters 13 and 19, and referenced in various biblical texts.

I have a personal issue of integrity in this, no finances, just integrity...because I and a few others discussed and debated various angles of this Northern Sodom Theory view with Dr. Collins and his excavation assistant Dr. Graves at considerable length when the Biblical Archaeology Review Forum was up and running, prior to it being taken down. 

Dr. Collins would regularly refer in various statements wherever that Tall El-Hammam was 'the big dog" of the ancient region in its day.  A "dog" is appropriate, as it is a "woofer", or "real ugly illegitimate (sometimes grossly incestuous)" claim.  I raised a variety of real issues as I delved into many months long back and forth with a few others to understand Dr. Collins point of view and to discuss various flags that popped up as I delved into various texts that gave the Northern Sodom Theory (NST) / North of the Dead Sea Theory For The Location Of Sodom some benefit of a doubt.  When various sciences, various Scriptures, various analysis and conclusions were clearly pointing to a dismissal of the NST by sheer weight of the preponderance of the evidence, Dr. Collins tried a slap down technique against me  --

Mar 24, 2008, 10:56 AM 

Dr. Collins writes:

"the nebulous cacophony of disjointed ideas and rhetoric that have absolutely no scientific value in the discussion of Sodom's location."

--  that might work on college aged and below not yet fully developed intellectually or the Liberal Left, but it revealed that indeed Collins was throwing up a red flag that he was feeling threatened  by being found out in what I personally believe is his KNOWINGLY promoting a lie for personal financial gain.    

I have addressed this issue on this thread before.  To me, the Northern Sodom Theory or NST is nothing more than a financial scam to keep the annual funds flowing and promote disbelief in the Bible, cultism, and THE BIG LIE.  What kind of f***ng moron would allow some jackass to say you can use this chapter of the bible, but the rest of it is forbidden?  Are you kidding?  G-D Himself can tell us Sodom is permanently destroyed, but in effect, Dr. Collins demands we can only use two chapters for Bible text, and thereby in any other Bible text that contradicts Collins version, that we call GOD a liar, that we call Jesus a liar, that we call all the historic witnesses down through many centuries that declared Sodom still a destroyed place when Tall El-Hammam revived all liars.  That is cult mentality on the level of Jim Jones suicide cult and the later nut that told his followers to suicide over the Hale-Bop Comet or what have you.  

You would think that in Ezekiel or other later biblical texts, from what fundraising big talk propaganda Collins pushes, that in its various names, Tall el-Hammam was a capitol or some great mega city on the Jordan Plain.  But when the ancient histories are consulted, Tall El-Hammam  was never listed as the "big dog" or great or greatest influential city of the plain of the Jordan on which it rested, unless it was inferred to as Hamon-Gog (by Ezekiel) rather than Sodom.  Even if this were the true identifier, it is not something that raises $$$, so Dr. Collins therefore -- like the Jews of the Sanhedrin during the time of Christ who were insulted in Christ in threatening to come to establish a kingdom that took away their power and $$$ --  finds offense in GOD for even daring to contradict Dr. Collins from prevaricating that his find is Sodom?  Oh, please.  

 I would recommend those who are interested to check out:

Genesis 13 


Genesis 19


Generalities On Regional Instability At Or Near The Time Period In Question



Below are posts that I personally made at the Biblical Archaeology Forum, but which Forum and threads is now no longer extant.  I will at times refer to colorize or capitalize or correct a mis-spelling on my part, and at times I will refer to Tell el-Hammam as Tell el-Hamman, which is exactly how I then wrote it and was never contradicted,  because I believe it to be a location referred to as Hamman such in the biblical indications of "Hamon-Gog" in Ezekiel.  Rather than Dr. Collins  (in the Forum or to my knowledge anywhere else, or perhaps I glossed past any such singular reference to that effect) ever pointing out   a book of Ezekiel related find, probably because it would receive no real financial backers of any weight, for that reason I believe Dr. Collins (in my opinion) found that by intentionally mislabeling it as Sodom, it was only then that the money for excavating it poured in and the nation of Jordan also saw tourist dollar signs in their own collective government eyes, it seems to me.  

The posts selected by me for below keep to the generalities most readers can readily absorb, as I did go into geological sciences, ceramics of the period, and a many other relevant points which are referred to as a  nebulous cacophony of disjointed ideas and rhetoric that to Dr. Collins, along with textual examination, had no scientific value to him as it disproved or cast doubt on his Northern Sodom Theory, which might as well attach one other word to it: "Scam."

Mar 24, 2008, 10:56 AM 

Dr. Collins writes:

"the nebulous cacophony of disjointed ideas and rhetoric that have absolutely no scientific value in the discussion of Sodom's location."

Dr. Collins, 
Perhaps disjointed in their presentation, yes.  But you will still have to do a chemical analysis on the soil to -- in part -- prove your contention, since you accept the Biblical accounts of sulfur, slime, and salt. 

 A chemical analysis which you have not put at the forefront, which I would expect should have been as part of the offering of scientific proof. 

 You will also have to answer why this area was inhabited by the tribes of Israel when it was supposed to be cursed, and answer why Jericho was not considered a city of the same plain (etc.), if it is of the Jordan Valley KaKaR. 

I may be eccentric in the fact that I am sometimes willing to think out a process on-line, and over a period of time, and allow you to see that process at work.  If you are offended in this, I apologize. 

But the point of doing that is, that there are holes in what you deem as a "perfect" conclusion. 

You appear to want me to stick to the Bible, and not bring in Josephus, etc., but that the opinions of archaeologists and scientists are okay or even a better witness than Josephus' (opinions, perhaps?)  or transmission of history on this topic.   I have simply given Josephus the weight that his contextual statements deserve.

You have simply ignored or refused to believe Josephus Antiquities 1.9, etc., which I quoted and referred to earlier:

"...when they were come over against Sodom, they pitched their camp at the vale called the Slime Pits, for at that time there were pits in that place; but now, upon the destruction of the city of Sodom, that vale became the Lake Asphaltites, as it is called." 

and the lake Asphaltides is none other than the lake of the Dead Sea.

 In effect, this is part of the historical witness you have discarded because it clearly conflicts with your conclusion,and even disqualifies it, it seems to me.  I have offered two credible alternatives and biblically important alternatives to the site, so that there is no disgrace.  More than one site has been misidentified in archaeology.  It happens.  

You say we ought to use "related data from geology, botany, physical and cultural anthropology, etc".  

What about being the very area of Tall el-Hamman needing to be so  uninhabitable (if it is Sodom) during the time the Exodus entrance to Canaan against Jericho, but instead, this being the very same tract of land that was also being so plush and fertile, a good place for cattles and well-watered in contrariness to the same time period Genesis' testimony of Sodom, and both Numbers 32 and Genesis 13 being contemporaneous writings with one another?  

Are you now saying Moses contradicted himself?  I think not. Was it Hilkiah that potentially altered the text?  I think not.  

Where are the slime pits and the evidences of another Lake Asphaltides in the vicinity?   

You will have to also identify the slime pits or Lake Asphaltides location, BEFORE you can conclusively say it is Sodom. 

 And you will also have to illustrate  the invasion route from the  northern armies that subjugated the 5 plain city-states and their kings (as it were) as part of your proofs to your thesis.  In effect, you will also have to give those same approximate boundaries that would have opposed Jericho's territory, and explain why Jericho isn't mentioned under one of these 5 kings, etc., as well (it seems to me). 

Mar 24, 2008, 02:55 PM 

Dr. Collins writes: The biblical record does not say all evidence of their existence was wiped from the face of the earth so that the same locale would never be inhabited again.”

Isaiah 1:9 implies total annihilation:  

“Except the LORD of hosts had left unto us a very small remnant, we should have been as Sodom, and we should have been like unto Gomorrah.”

Deuteronomy  29:23 translates the destruction of Sodom as in the present tense, and on-going:  “the whole land thereof IS brimstone, and salt, and burning, that IT IS NOT sown, NOR beareth, NOR any grass groweth therein, LIKE the overthrow of Sodom, and Gomorrah, Admah, and Zeboim, which the LORD overthrew in his anger, and in his wrath:”

Jeremiah 49:18 implies total annihilation: 
“As in the overthrow of Sodom and Gomorrah and the neighbour cities thereof, saith the LORD, no man shall abide there, neither shall a son of man dwell in it.”  and implies, no man shall dwell in it ever again.

Jeremiah 50:40  implies total annihilation: 
“As G-D overthrew Sodom and Gomorrah and the neighbour cities thereof, saith the LORD; so shall no man abide there, neither shall any son of man dwell therein.” (again, "ever again" is implied by the text)

Jesus testifies that Sodom ceased existence, and implies having ceased existence in the Day it was judged:

 “But the same day that Lot went out of Sodom it rained fire and brimstone from heaven, and destroyed them all.”  (Luke 17:29)  -- with --  “And thou, Capernaum, which art exalted unto heaven, shalt be brought down to hell: for if the mighty works, which have been done in thee, had been done in Sodom, it would have remained until this day.” (Matthew 11:23)

2 Peter 2:6  testifies that it ceased in existence:  
“And turning the cities of Sodom and Gomorrha into ashes condemned them with an overthrow, making them an ensample unto those that after should live ungodly;”

Jude 7   testifies that Sodom ceased to exist:  “Even as Sodom and Gomorrha, and the cities about them in like manner, giving themselves over to fornication, and going after strange flesh, are set forth for an example, suffering the vengeance of eternal fire.”

The plain text readings support the permanent annihilation of Sodom, and these plain text interpretations are clearly supported by Jesus, Peter, and Jude in the NT.

     The error in the argument by Dr. Collins becomes clearly apparent  when Dr. Collins is unable to distinguish "esh" /"fire" because of immersion into the philosophical potential of its usages, rather than the plain text application.  

       He also struggles with Zephaniah 2:9, saying "dealing with similes, metaphors, and other figures of speech, one must be very careful to ascertain their character, which is often hyperbolic"...but sometimes a text implies what it implies, unless clarified by another text...as Sodom's destruction clearly is...even without Josephus.  


Dr . Collins writes:” The Bible does not say Sodom and Gomorrah were located anywhere near the southern end of the Dead Sea.”


Genesis 10:19 expresses the boundary of Sodom as being southerly: 

 “And the border of the Canaanites was from Sidon [in the north], as thou comest to Gerar, unto Gaza [the westerly south coast and border on the mediteranean Sea]; as thou goest, unto Sodom, [implying a south and easterly border area toward or in the south Dead Sea region] and Gomorrah, and Admah, and Zeboim, even unto Lasha.”

 It is my personal opinion, that to delve into this more deeply will offend Dr. Collins, because the thesis can be picked apart when called absolute, rather than upon the preponderance of the data.  And even the preponderance of the data, appears to dismiss the location he has chosen, as Sodom. 

Even Jewish Targums and the Babylonian Talmud, as well as Patristics,  to my knowledge, have NEVER EVEN HINTED of a "still existing" Sodom that could be inhabited at any time by any body in their day. I think that one point alone, deserves consideration and thought before proceeding, should we dare do so.  

Mar 24, 2008, 07:06 PM 

DGraves writes: " if you do want to quote them then you need to consider the testimony of Egeria, the Spanish Pilgrim who said she saw Sodom from the top of Mt Nebo and you cannot see the bottom of the Dead Sea from Mt. Nebo." 


Egeria / Aetheria, made her pilgrimmage something like 381–384 A.D., 300 plus years after Josephus.

 After the conflagrations, persecutions, schisms, etc., I find it difficult to accept these late (and I mean very late) traditions based on contemporaneous locals (to them) over what the NT and the NT era appears to state. 

 Why is she more reliable than someone closer to the textual source traditions, that same someone who not only preceded her by 300 years, but who had the last free access to the actual Jewish historical records the size of a library?  Why would you even consider such a "removed" alleged eyewitness who could easily be conned?  Consider also the violence and chaos of the region historically in the 380s A.D. period in which she wrote.

The same goes for any pilgrim who visits thereafter, such as "the Christian pilgrim Antoninus Placentinus (sixth century)", as you say.   

If we apply the rules of evidence, Josephus would prove the more reliable and trust-worthy, and the Aetheria and Placentinus would never be allowed to testify (as it were).  That is the literary historical value of Josephus over these other two.  That over-equalizing of all testimonies, or making later and less informed testimony of greater weight,  is another flaw which I have found in another area of research, that of the dating of the New Testament.  

You cannot apply equal weight to all testimony...especially those not within 3 and 4 generations from an original source, or those without having had direct access to the original source material.  

By equating Aetheria and Placentinus testimony with Josephus, we fall into the fallacies of the manipulations which created a tourist site Jesus' tomb as north of Jerusalem, when he was crucified in the Kidron near the Hinom juncture according to both Biblical prophecy and the historical witness, and base our greatest hope on Byzantines 300 years removed -- rather than on those closest to the source. 

 Another example is how archaeology ignore's Justin's measurements from Jerusalem to Bethlehem -- when by the above 4th and 6th century examples, it should have bulldozed on Justin's like word -- and yet, never digs the fields on the hills north -northeast of the city at the distance Justin Martyr gave.  This I have pointed out in another thread.  Instead, we look at a tourist city built further away because of a Byzantine and later era perception?  

Further, you have never addressed a point of focus...the size of Josephus' Dead Sea versus the modern shrunken Dead sea.   As  I have stated, I believe the Sodom site to be about another 15-20 miles south of the current Dead Sea, based on Josephus...and oil and natural gas deposits besides.  I am quite confident that these areas have not been thoroughly explored...and hopefully will not be off limits via the Israeli military.

Finally, the issue of soil chemical analysis in the strata you defend as being Sodom will also need to be presented.  I believe you will find the necessary elements of sulfur (brimstone) and salt lacking in the strata that is presented as being contemporaneous to the Sodomic destruction.

 Mar 28, 2008, 07:51 PM 

On 03/28/08, Dr. Collins writes:
“The definitive passage on the location of the Cities of the Plain remains Gen 13:1-12. Period. I've had a standing challenge for years to any southern Sodom advocate who might step up to the plate and offer a detailed textual analysis of that passage showing how one could possibly support the southern theory from it.”

Genesis 13: 1  (LITV) :  
“And Abram went up out of Egypt into the Negev [the southern desert region], he and his wife and all that he had, and Lot being with him.” 

Verse 1: the flocks etc. are way down south, beneath the later Dead sea region.

Genesis 13:3  : “And he [Abraham] departed

 [V’Y’LaK…HaLaK in the Qal…He DEPARTED from the main body still in the Negev; followed by Massa {a departure}…or,  he departed departed…that is,  pulling up stakes and going on ahead separately from the flocks and servants, etc., and reconnoitering ahead (as it were). 
      This notion is supported in Jewish interpretation of the Hebrew as Rashi explains in regard to Genesis 12:9, of Abraham often traversing betweem Bethel and Ai and the "south" or Negev, implying that the main body of his flocks may have grazed in that general area, far away from him.] 

from the south, even to Bethel, to the place where his tent had been there at the beginning, between Bethel and Ai" 

In the Hebrew, we are never clearly told that the flocks and all that were with Abraham and Lot ever left the Negev…rather, it becomes a scene where Abraham and Lot leave their flocks behind in the Negev, and travel on ahead.   This is why the emphasis is placed upon the use of “the South” or “the Negev” as identifying the location of the entry and the squabbling shepherds.

  Hence, the view Abraham and Lot behold in this chapter, then,  is NOT to be from Bethel, but from the “south” region, or the “Negev” desert.  

Shortly after arriving at Bethel, they receive word of the strife, and apparently RETURN to the Negev.   If they were watering near the wilderness of Zin, they would have quite probably beheld the Jordan flowing through the Plains (which are now the Dead Sea Region) in the south. 
So by reading the Hebrew more precisely, and geographically, the view is from about the area of Zin, in the SOUTH.   Zin would again play a significant location in the Exodus, and duplicate this Exodus of Abraham with the Exodus of Moses voluntarily leading Israel to the left hand by choice and greater prosperity than Lot had seen in the East (while leaving Abraham the slim pickings of the west).  

Numbers 13:
21   So they went up, and searched the land from the wilderness of Zin unto Rehob, as men come to Hamath
22a    And they ascended by the Negev [from the south], and came unto Hebron.

They were well south of Hebron, passing  Beersheba and Arad’s approximate Latitude.  Hebron is just above 31 degrees and 30 minutes north Latitude, only half way up the now Dead Sea. 

Theologically applied -  the L-RD was taking a curse of barren pickings allowed by Abraham to be cast upon him, and making the event reoccur in his descendants to bless them by that same choice made.  The opportunity of re-occurrence redemption is the most clearly seen in Peter’s denial by hot coals outside Jesus’ Trial being remedied by his 3 affirmations of love for Jesus, by  hot coals baking fish, but in Galilee.  The location of being by hot coals (not necessarily Jerusalem) and the remedy of affirmation to cancel out the denials -- are the essence of the recurrence redemptive action, through faith, in Peter’s particular case.  

So in the case of Israel, by failing to believe at this second opportunity, this recurrence redemption point…it meant that the whole generation of an accountable age to war and make such decisions (age 20 on up) who refused to be redeemed and make a willful choice to take the Land, theologically had to perish for their decision to rebel, and refuse to go.  

For this above reason alone, did the nation of Israel have to enter by another route than what Abraham  had come in from Egypt by. 


The view and Kikkar

When in the mountains of the East at Tall el-Hamman, once the smoke would have cleared…would the daughters of Lot been able to behold Israel, and the civilizations in the Land…yes or no?   

We are told by Irenaeus, Against Heresies,  4.31.2:  “Thus, after their simplicity and innocence, did these daughters so speak, imagining that all mankind had perished, even as the Sodomites had done, and that the anger of G-D had come down upon the whole earth.”

From the perspective of seeing other civilization from elevation north of the Dead Sea, of caravans along the trade routes on either side of the Jordan, or what have you, they couldn’t have been innocent or truthful.  

In fact, such testimony would have long ago been challenged.  But in the south, where civilization is sparse, and Sodom being the most southern city, and Zoar but a hamlet of widows  and girls…or perhaps simply harlots…by heading east into the mountains beneath Edom, from the obscured low-lying area viewpoint…then one could hold the girls innocent or na├»ve. 

In regard to Kikkar, circular (Ecclesiastes 1:6) it is strange that this word is used, unless the 5 cities formed a sort of circular setup at the base of the Jordan river passing through the plain which is now the Salt Sea.   It doesn’t have to be fully circular, simply something that could be traveled in such a manner perhaps?  

 1 Samuel  7:16 designates for  Bethel, Gilgal, and Mizpeh the same trumpet shape given to Canaan… from Sidon to the Negev pointing down, is now pointing… like a little trumpet shape, but  to the west.   I do not know if there could have been routes of a circular fashion to these three cities visited by the prophet Samuel, as we often speak of the triangulated postal route of the Roman period’s 7 Churches of Asia (Minor) as though it also were “circular”.   

Origen against Celsus, .45:  “Look not behind thee, neither stay thou in all the surrounding district…”  {Genesis 19:17}   This tells us that these 5 are in close proximity to one another, since all 5 are spoken of in such a manner as one district, but it may ...in regard to kikkar... well be in a circular fashion extending up the Jordan plain (now the Dead Sea) perhaps in a circular (half-moon?) joining of those into one mighty district.   

The Madaba map only shows one city in the proximity of Tall el-Hamman (making that particular district either too small, or disqualified for not posting other cities on that side of the Jordan for justifiable consideration).   

 If Bab-edh dhra is the eastmost  town of that district and Kikkar / circle in the Southern region, we might be able to eventually overlay the approximate locations  for the others if we can but verify just one find more of the 5 in the Sodomic  alliance of circa 2000 B.C.

I Clement .11: “…Lot was saved out of Sodom when all the country round  

[as one looks to the East from the Negev entrance to Canaan,  from the south, you will see 5 cities in a circular fashion from Sodom in the South to a certain distance the northeast sphere of your view, looking like a circle of cities from your perspective] 

was punished by means of fire and brimstone…”

  It may be that as there was an upper and lower Egypt, there was perhaps the Ebla cuneiform geological expression in this period of an upper and lower Jordan that has been glossed over? 


Sodom long extinct to Isaiah’s day, and to Justin’s day 

Justin Martyr, An Answer to the Jews,  .9:

“For it calls your rulers ‘rulers of Sodom,’  and your people ‘the people of Gomorrah,’ [Isaiah 1:20]  when those cities had already been long extinct.”   

  …as of ca. 735 B.C. "those cities [Sodom included] had been LONG extinct."

  Justin implies a length of time / extinction excelling many hundreds  of years, and that once extinguished, Sodom never was inhabited again.  By the absence of any patristics and other ante-Nicene historians citing the habitation of Sodom since Isaiah 1:20, we also should note that wherever Sodom is, it remains uninhabited to at least the ante-Nicene period. 

Sodom used as a catapult for preaching Christian themes

The Early Church Fathers did not feel a need to preach on the location of Sodom, but rather used Sodom's extinction to promote 3 issues:

1)    The need to flee this world’s system and the devil, and come to faith into Jesus Christ ;

2)   That the preincarnate G-Dhead visited Abraham in disguise  (Justin Martyr, Dialogue with Trypho, .56-57; Irenaeus, Against Heresies, 3.5.3. – 3.6.1; Treatise of Cyprian .37) as a man and two youthful and very attractive boys, and went into the midst of the wicked world system of Sodom to deliver the righteous, and that one of these boys was the L-RD Himself (as Amos 4:11 and other verses tell us); 

3)   and finally, that to commit pederasty (Constitutions of the Holy Apostles, 7.2), is as if crossing  a holy line that should never be crossed…as if they imply that such wickedness is to be taken with such abhorrence as if it were an (either conscious or unconscious) act  of secretly seeking to spiritually  defile their first father Adam and hence,  the L-RD himself (as the men of Sodom are literally credited as having attempted to do).  

That is, Adam, who was created as a boy…Irenaeus, Ag. Her. 3.22.4 …was created as a boy, because he was made literally in the “image and representation” of G-D the Son… as it says and implies  in Genesis 1:26. And that the preincarnate L-RD Himself was perceived as one of these two boy angels who redeemed Lot from Sodom.  

To the Justin and Irenaeus in the second Century Early Church, those three points were all that was cared about Sodom, because to them...the location was common knowledge and undisputed.  

So even simply starting and briefly expounding from the Hebrew of just verses 1 and 3, in Genesis chapter 13 (as Dr. Collins wishes to limit me and others to)...we have more than ample justification to literately (geographically, historically, and theologically)  accept an equal or greater probability of a Southern Theory.

Perhaps Tall el-Hammon is a great find...but the very name  such as that of Hammon is often found to be an indication of what its name should have been or actually was.   

And if Gog from the north was extorting taxes for 12 years from Sodom and its alliance, etc., perhaps this location was once that kind of alien place...even as Roman Caesarea was to Roman occupied Judea.  Therefore, the city or town Hammon-Gog could still perhaps conceivably be an alternate consideration to be explored.  

Thanks for your time.  Peace.

Mar 30, 2008, 12:20 AM 

Dr. Collins writes:
“That both Abram and Bera, king of Sodom, paid a formal visit to the king of Jerusalem, Melchizedek, after Abram returned the war spoils to the Cities of the Plain, is another indicator that Sodom was close to Jerusalem.

Not necessarily.  That is, not necessarily IF the country of the Sodomic alliance was developed into the region’s bread basket following the last severe drought that drove Abraham to live in Egypt in the first place, then it would be natural for the high priest to come out and give thanks that not only Lot was saved, but for all that granary and other spoils necessary for purchase and regional survival for the coming year, wherever Abraham and Lot were along their journey back after hearing the news.   We have to enter the mind of a pre-industrial and pre-supermarket agrarian age, here.  The land was just sacked and looted by hordes, and Abraham had merely attacked the slow "drag end" of the bands covering the rear cattle and rear prisoners.  The main armies had already gone on ahead with their lighter spoils.

Dr. Collins writes:
“The next geographical “evidence” in Wood’s textual arsenal in Ezekiel 16:46:
When Ezekiel chastised Jerusalem for her wickedness, he said, “Your older sister was Samaria, who lived to the north of you with her daughters; and your younger sister, who lived to the south of you with her daughters, was Sodom (Ez 16: 46).” Samaria is 34 mi (55 km) north of Jerusalem and Bab edh-Dhra, the likely site of Sodom, is 40 mi (64 km) southeast of Jerusalem. Tall el-Hammam, however, is 26 mi (42 km) east-northeast of
Jerusalem. [Wood, “Locating Sodom” 78]

One of the first rules of hermeneutics is that poetic, symbolic, metaphorical passages should never be used to delineate historical information.  …Hebrew has no words for “north” or “south.”

Actually there are 6 descriptive words used for "south" in the Hebrew, so that we can even say that the book of numbers is a book of "the Way of the South" if we wished to apply Psalm 75:6, for example.   The South is that which is illumined, bright, desert, remote recesses, to the right, etc.  While the North is that which is dark and a scattering.  The West deals with the (Mediterranean) Sea and three more words for the going down of the sun. The East deals with the sun or its direction when rising in at least 4 different words, but these are not used in Genesis 13.  Instead, we have an "eastward" application as could be anything from a North-northeast to a South-southeast direction, or "eastward" portion. so on its face, a Zoar at Arnon from Tall el-Hammon might appear attractive in its untested state.

Dr. Collins again, in the fuller quote regarding Ezekiel 16:46: 

"One of the first rules of hermeneutics is that poetic, symbolic, metaphorical passages should never be used to delineate historical information.  [Any good text on biblical hermeneutics will support this fundamental concept. I recommend B. A. Mickelsen, Interpreting the Bible (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1981); and B. Ramm, Protestant Biblical Interpretation (Grand  Rapids: Baker, 1973).]  
There are several things about this passage  that should be noted. First, Hebrew has no words for “north” or “south.” Assuming that one faces the rising sun, the Hebrew term “east” is simply “forward.” The word for “west” is “behind.”  Thus, “north” is “left (hand),” and “south” is “right (hand).” Ezekiel may not have the two cardinal directions in mind at all.”


By this same logic, we can also discard its “assumption”.  If  the terms are without specific direction, who is to say that the forward is not northeast to Nineveh or Haran, and the left hand is Samaria, and the right hand isn’t the Dead Sea?  
In regard to the biblical writers, words like the geographical  “Negeb” / “Negev”  is indeed southerly.   The word Teman is from Toemnin, and implies that which is “south and to the right”, i.e., outside the borders of Israel and to the southeast or south-southeast. 

In the Hebrew of Habakkuk, the significant word that deserves our focused attention is “Teman”, which denotes “south and to the east.”  That is, to the same general location of the Kidron and Hinom Valley location of "Egypyt and Sodom" in Revelation 11:8's Jerusalem -- in relation to the Great Two Witnesses and the True Messiah of Israel, YHVeH Messiah Jesus Christ. 

 In the King James Version of Habakkuk 3:3, we read,
“G-D came from Teman,
 and the Holy One from Mount Paran.  Selah.”  

Teman is that which lays to the south of one’s Right Hand.  It is likened to a servant who follows at his master’s right hand, but three steps behind.  In geography, Teman is in Edom, to the south and to the right hand of Jerusalem, as one faces north:  on the eastern bank of the Dead Sea (Jeremiah 49:7,20; Amos 1:12).  Obadiah 9 calls Teman “Mount Esau”, “the hill of the firstborn son”.  Mount Esau is the location of the hidden city of Petra (“Petra” means the “Rock”, a Messianic identifier). 

In Yiddish Food, we find that the Ashkenazi dish of Toemnin derives its name from Teman. (Cooper, John  “Eat & Be Satisfied”, Northvale, N.J.: Aronson, © 1993)    The Sabbath dish is “covered and hidden,” it is “concealed” for more than an entire day.  It undergoes a period of “sleep”, of “rest”.  It is “a dish of life” to some, a dish despised “as death itself” to others.  The location of the Cross and the tomb of Resurrection, is to us, Toemnin:  “it is hidden and concealed” by the ravages of wars --and the ravages of time -- upon the landscape of Jerusalem, and is identified from the Temple's sense of direction as one who is looking north reaching back their right hand behind as if grasping for a hand out of their peripheral view.  But here, I digress....

    What I perceive as missing from Dr. Collins, is that the land of Sihon and Og is north of Moab, and due east of  Tell al-Hamman and Jericho.  Moab’s northwest corner apparently follows the shoreline of the Dead Sea, to  the height where the Jordan runs into the Dead sea, and no higher. The southeast corner of Canaan wraps around the base of the Dead Sea, and always has, and extends to the mountains on the eastern side of the lower basin, where the copper mines of the Bronze Age were located.  Zoar marked the southernmost boundary that Egypt so used to tax Canaan for tributes. 

      An  essential point  that is lost when Dr. Collins places Zoar in the gorge of the Arnon river, is that he assumes that Lot would be running southeast from Tall  el-Hammon, rather than running to the much easier city of Jericho on the other side of the Jordan, or to Abraham’s tent northeast of Jerusalem in Bethel.  

   Lot has as much time as he needs from the L-RD (or the Angel)  to travel to a place of refuge, correct?   So, why travel to a wilderness than to safety among those who are family and friends, or even strangers who would have natural compassion on you?  It makes no sense.  It is Non Sequitor as a logic that does not follow.  Why bother to mention a mountain at all to escape to?  Why would Lot decide to traverse a whole range of mountains and over 30 miles from Tall el-Hammon when Jerusalem, Bethel and Ai, all these were so much closer?   He had knowledge of making a shield boat like the Euphrates and could have easily made a skin boat and floated downstream and the across the Jordan with no problem if Tall el-Hammon was Sodom.  So the more one “explores the possibility from every angle”, the more the Northern theory sinks under the weight of practical application. 

Dr. Collins continues:

“One might ask: What does the location of Zoar have to do with the location of Sodom and Gomorrah? Has anyone ever thought to ask this question? (I believe I am the only one who has ever posed it seriously.) 

Other than the probability that it was south of Sodom, [Zoar was probably south of Sodom because of the phrase “Egypt, unto Zoar” (Gen 13:10).]  the only  relevancy in Zoar’s location may be in how far Lot and family could have traveled from Sodom beginning, say, just before sun-up through mid-afternoon, perhaps on donkeys or other beasts of burden, scared to death, and wanting to get as far as they could as fast as possible. Maybe such a calculation could be helpful. Nevertheless, my examination of the issue of Zoar’s location [S. Collins, “Rethinking the Location of Zoar: An Exercise in Biblical Geography,” BRB VI.3 (2006)]     reveals that most Bible scholars, archaeologists, and even biblical geographers, have completely missed the mark on the actual biblical location of Zoar….”

     The willingness to ignore or call for the dismissal of Zoar is probably because it is a known threat that has potential, as I have shown briefly above,  to the northern theory.  It actually flies in the face of applying the geographical text and the psychological instinct to preserve one’s life by fleeing, not only to safety, but to where you know others who can comfort, aid, and succor you will be.  

So from even a psychological angle, to run to a tent village (as Zoar is excused to be by Dr. Collins and DGraves) instead of a known place of civilization and place of greater psychological comfort and population…seems alien.   

We know that Zoar was a southern hamlet marker of Egypt’s influence in regard to the Canaan region, and bordered on Arabia.  East of Zoar were mountains, north was civilization, and south of Zoar was lands that even Egypt didn’t want to bother with. 

 Considering that the pre-Dead sea plain was likely a fresh water paradise and Bread-basket region, with copper mines (in the region south of Babe dh-dhra), sulfur mines, and bitumen for boat sealing…to dismiss Zoar as a geographical importance is clearly a foudroyant stubbornness to avoid the facts that dismiss Tall el-Hammon from being specifically labeled as Sodom proper.  

 In order to dismiss Zoar, Dr. Collins then uses the sons of the daughters of Lot,  and thereby obscures the issue, even if unintentionally.  

In his zeal to follow the northern theory, he makes an eleemosynary but erroneous contribution to his thesis by   reading into the texts those events hundreds of years out of historical context, rather than from  the texts regarding matter.  

 It would be like using the Indian nations of New York State, and citing the Iroquois as having such a boundary around 1485 A.D., and then justifying that no such allotment existed in this southeast territory in 1700 A.D.; because two European colonial communities had seized that territory on that part of the Lake.   

Same principle in applying  Ammon and Moab, after the same vein, when the ancient writer…Moses, himself under Egyptian training, viewed the Kikkar of Jordan  in a sweeping motion from Jericho to south of the Dead Sea to the mines.  

Another  essential text in understanding the location of Zoar is the definition of the southern boundary of Canaan.  

The discussion that is of interest in Jewish scholarship, is that of: Rashi, Maskil LeDavid, and Minchas Yehuda; in regard to Numbers 34:3-4

In effect, the precise line of boundary is somewhat obscure, but what is agreed by the three Jewish commentaries, is that the boundary of Canaan runs from the southern boundary of Gaza to somewhere beneath (south of) the Dead Sea.  

 The Hebrews were not above using “curves” and “horizontals”, “slanting lines”, “ascents”, “graduals”, “expands”, ‘broadens”, “narrows, “passes” to express their borders sense of direction, as if expressing their thoughts like using a stick drawing in the dirt to describe them (as an examination of Numbers 34 will show). 

 In effect, there may have been more than just a beach-line claim to the eastern boundary of the Salt Sea, but something of a narrow border encompassing a strip of land, even as Israel in 1949 had an armistice strip of land that encompassed the sea of Galilee from many hundreds to as little as only 33 feet wide as a border on the East (by modern example for possible border size).

  If like the Sea of Galilee, ancient Israel ran a narrow border from Arnon to south of the Dead Sea, this would allow again, for a south of the Dead Sea Zoar both in Modern and Ancient Hebraic comprehension.  In Modern times, if we apply the same aspect to the 1949-1966 Sea of Galilee and superimpose an Ancient times southern theory and northern theory upon it; we find that the northern theory is equally challenged by the southern theory in mere possibility alone. Why would Moab and Ammon care about an eastern shoreline of the Dead Sea unless they had trade with Israel by ships? The Madaba map shows that indeed, in later times, ships did travel the Salt Sea…so it would behoove ancient Israel to allow an Eastern harbor or harbors on that sea, but more exploration would be in order at the most likely maritime sites in regard to this hypothesis.   

The northern theory indeed brings up many points and questions, but to me, the southern theory holds up equally well, if not better.  In a debate format, the opponents shake hands, in a friendly manner engage in a discussion of ideas from their point of view, and shake hands at the end.  Oftentimes, one side will become much sharper and more informed as to the strengths and weaknesses of his presentation, and the other side may have to re-evaluate or take a harder line.  But it is my hope, that we both come out winners with better insight and greater appreciation of that which we have been given...and perhaps a few more archaeological discoveries to confirm a Bible we know to be true might yet come out of it as a fruit to the result.


Mar 31, 2008, 06:39 PM 

Although I agree with Dr. Collins that the Exodus occurred after a 215 year sojourn

I am personally of a mind to date the Exodus at 1551 B.C., and placing Abraham in Egypt in 1981 B.C., verifying Scripture chronology  by reconciling Greek history to some degree as well.

...   How we apply the 18th dynasty dates (as well as how we probably differ in accepting and rejecting Carbon 14 dating) will also affect how we differ on looking at the dates of the cities, and our historical approaches.

Apr 07, 2008, 10:52 AM 


Wasn't Livias a thriving city-town from before 80 BC until the War of the Jews in 66-70 A.D., in regards to the NT era?

 Isn't  this Livias the  same as Betharan, as the Roman Catholic Church historians contend, which appears in Numbers 32:36 and Joshua 13:27?

Numbers 32:34 And the sons of Gad built Dibon, and Ataroth, and Aroer, 35 And Etroth, and Sophan, and Jazer, and Jegbaa, 36 And Bethnemra, and Betharan, fenced cities, and folds for their cattle.

Joshua 13:24 And Moses gave to the tribe of Gad and to his children by their kindreds a possession, of which this is the division. 25 The border of Jaser, and all the cities of Galaad, and half the land of the children of Ammon: as far as Aroer which is over against Rabba: 26 And from Hesebon unto Ramoth, Masphe and Betonim: and from Manaim unto the borders of Dabir. 27 And in the valley Betharan and Bethnemra, and Socoth, and Saphon the other part of the kingdom of Sehon king of Hesebon: the limit of this also is the Jordan, as far as the uttermost part of the sea of Cenereth beyond the Jordan on the east side, 28 This is the possession of the children of Gad by their families, their cities, and villages.

Somewhere near  80 B.C.  this same location of Livias and Tall el Hammon, while being called  Betharamphtha was taken away  from the Arabians is noted as li-B-ias, is it not (Josephus, Antiquities of the Jews, 14.1.4)?

...There appears to be that this location received two names (?), with  Herod Antipas of Galilee calling it Livias, and fortifying it…while Josephus calls the same location as Julias?  (Josephus, Antiquities, 18.2.1 and Wars of the Jews 2.9.1.)  And oddly enough, there were two cities called Julias as being the city's "second name": that of the Sea of Galilee, and that of Livias.


Apr 07, 2008, 06:52 PM 

Josephus (Antiquities of the Jews, 14.1.4)  mentions:
    "Alexander had taken from the Arabians, which were these, Medaba, Naballo, Libias, Tharabasa, Agala, Athone, Zoar, Orone, Marissa, Rudda, Lussa, and Oruba." 

When Josephus mentions this "Zoar", could he not be talking of another, in the same way two cities were called Julias, and we know two of five alledged locations said to be  "Bethlehem"...that of Judea, and that of Zebulon (or Galilee)?  

After all, Josephus never distinguishes this Zoar as the one to which Lot fled.  Again  Josephus  never alludes to Mount Nebo, upon which Moses died (or was raptured up to Heaven like Elijah in Josephus' account), as being the same mountain to which Lot fled after Zoar, nor that it was a sacred conception place of Moab and Ammon, etc.  Further, Nebo's caves, if any, were sealed up in such a way that no one could find the Mosaic burial cave if they tried.  

It makes sense to me, that if Zoar survived, there would have been a death sentence upon the land and upon its waters (wells, springs, streams).  

 That could explain 500 years of inoccupancy...especially if the waters were filled with sulfur or salt.  

 We have the accounts of Jericho's waters being healed by the L-RD through Elisha the prophet.   In respect to Elisha...what is the comparable date of reoccupancy of Tall el-Hamman?

Is there an underground connective water table that has been geologically confirmed to connect these two sites of Tall el-Hamman and Jericho?

On this map, the location in the Tall el-Hamman area is listed as betharamptha.   

I guess we will have to get used to the variety of names associated with the site as we skim through various maps and atlases of this region.  

     Let us explore the claims of the Northern Sodom Theory from its vantage point.  If this is too upsetting...maybe consider other topics and let the discussion play out?  

  As for the ceramics, if after the example of other Universities, Dr. Collins will probably have his 2008 report in Feb/Mar 2009, and hopefully report the preliminaries of that report by late fall this year at a BAS event.  In other words, if he is in the field still digging, we need to have patience with the time it takes for processing.  And even a year may not be enough time unless he has the proper staff and financial support, and other situations we might not readily perceive at a free electronic forum.  

Wouldn't you say that is fairly accurate Dr. Collins?

Peace to all. 

Apr 11, 2008, 06:40 PM 

Dr. Collins writes:

"Albright certainly was a genius on many subjects within the ANE sphere, but he was as sharp as a mudbrick when it came to Sodom's location."

Upon sober re-investigation of the Bible, I disagree.  

I have gone back over the Biblical material in checking to see what all the material says, and in which direction it points.  After reviewing the Bible texts, Albright was alot closer to the Bible's witness than what has been given him credit for.

But since the Biblical material in dealing with this will end up being so voluminous...I will have to open up another thread to address  the Biblical literary material more properly.

The Biblical literary material will clearly refute Tall el-Hammon as being the site of the Sodom that perished in Genesis 19.   

This does not take away that Tall el-Hammon could have been fictiously, or mistakenly labeled as "Sodom", or another "Zoar" could have been named in its general vicinity in the post-200 A.D. times, especially in the Byzantine era, some 2200 years (and much more) after the Genesis 19 Sodom was destroyed forever. 

Apr 12, 2008, 12:17 AM 

Dr. Collins response to Dr. Wood, p. 26: 
“…we know that [Tall el-Hamman] was destroyed during the Middle Bronze Age and not  reoccupied for at least five to seven centuries (late Iron I or Iron II), which matches the biblical profile of Sodom…”

In other words, a circa 2100-1800 Tall el-Hamman "Sodom" was occupied by the 1200s B.C., and continued various occupation/inhabitation until the Muslim conquest (in the A.D. 700s, etc.) under various names.

In 1511 B.C., Sodom is a destroyed place, to which we both agree:

Deu 29:23  The whole land shall be burned with brimstone and salt; it shall not be sown, nor shall it sprout; nor shall there be any herb in it. It shall be like the overthrow of  Sodom and Gomorrah, Admah and Zeboim, which Jehovah overthrew in His anger and in His fury. 

Deu 32:32  For their vine is of the vine of  Sodom, and their grapes of the fields of Gomorrah, grapes of gall; they have bitter clusters. 

In the interim, Tall el-hamman [ /Hamon] becomes occupied...but SODOM DOES NOT: 

In circa 760 B.C., Sodom is a destroyed place:

Amo 4:7  And I have also withheld the rain from you when it was yet three months to the harvest. And I caused rain to fall on one city, and caused it not to rain on another city. One piece was rained on, and the piece where it did not rain was dried up. 
Amo 4:8  So two or three cities staggered to one city in order to drink water, but they were not satisfied; yet you have not returned to Me, declares Jehovah. 
Amo 4:9  I have struck you with blasting and mildew. The multitude of your gardens and your vineyards, and your figs, and your olives are devoured by the creeping locust; yet you have not returned to Me, declares Jehovah. 
Amo 4:10  I have sent a plague among you in the way of Egypt; I have killed your young men with the sword and your horses with captivity. And I have made the stench of your camps to come up even into your nostrils; yet you have not returned to Me, declares Jehovah. 
Amo 4:11  I have overturned among you, as God overturned Sodom and Gomorrah, and you were like a firebrand plucked out of the burning; yet you have not returned to Me, declares Jehovah. 

"No rain...blasting and mildew...the creeping locust...plagues."  These all represent a current state of  death to be found in circa 760 B.C. Sodom...not a thriving Tall el-Hamman.

In 735 B.C., Sodom is definitely a destroyed place:

 Isa 1:7  Your land is a desolation; your cities burned with fire. Foreigners devour your land before you; and behold, ruin, as overthrown by foreigners. 
Isa 1:8  And the daughter of Zion is left a booth in a vineyard, like a hut in a cucumber field, like a besieged city. 
Isa 1:9  Except Jehovah of Hosts had left a remnant for us, a few, we would be as Sodom; we would be as Gomorrah. 
Isa 1:10  Hear the Word of Jehovah, rulers of Sodom. Listen to the Law of our God, people of Gomorrah. 
Isa 1:11  What good to Me are your many sacrifices, says Jehovah? I am sated with burnt offerings of rams, and the fat of fattened cattle, and the blood of bulls; nor do I delight in the blood of lambs and he goats. 

How are the Jews like Sodom and Gomorrah?  Isaiah answers it as: 

Isa 3:9  The expression of their faces witnesses against them; they have declared their sin like Sodom; they do not hide it. Woe to their soul! For they have dealt evil to themselves. 

Isa 13:19  And Babylon, the glory of the kingdoms, the beauty of the pride of the Chaldeans, shall be as when God overthrew Sodom and Gomorrah. 
Isa 13:20 It shall not be lived in forever, nor shall it be lived in from generation to generation. And the Arabian shall not pitch a tent there, nor shall the shepherds make flocks lie down there. 
Isa 13:21  But the desert creatures shall lie there; and their houses shall be full of howling creatures; and daughters of ostriches shall dwell there; and he goats shall skip there. 
Isa 13:22  And hyenas shall cry along with his widows; and jackals in palaces of delight. Yea, her time to come is near, and her days shall not be prolonged. 

"...as when God overthrew Sodom and Gomorrah...It shall not be lived in forever, nor shall it be lived in from generation to generation. And the Arabian shall not pitch a tent there...."  This is very clear.  In 735 B.C., Sodom was a place ruined since its overthrow over 1200 years earlier, set forth as an example.  In a later entry, we will see "Sodom" and "hell" and the "nether-world" as a sort used to manifest Jewish theology to the Jews.

In circa 620 B.C.,  Sodom is a desolation and uninhabited: 

Zep 2:8  I have heard the reproach of Moab, and the revilings of the sons of Ammon, with which they have reviled My people and have magnified themselves on their border. 
Zep 2:9  Therefore, as I live, declares Jehovah of Hosts, the God of Israel, surely Moab shall be as Sodom, and the sons of Ammon like Gomorrah, a possession of nettles, and a pit of salt, and a ruin forever. The remnant of My people shall plunder them, and the rest of the nation shall possess them. 
Zep 2:10  They shall have this for their pride, because they have cursed and magnified themselves against the people of Jehovah of Hosts. 

In circa 590 B.C., Sodom is still a destroyed place:

Jer 23:13  And I have seen frivolity among the prophets of Samaria; they prophesied by Baal and led astray My people Israel. 
Jer 23:14  I have also seen a horrible thing among the prophets of Jerusalem; they commit adultery and walk in falsehood. And they make the hands of evildoers strong, so that not a man returns from his evil. They are all of them like Sodom to Me, and those living in her like Gomorrah. 
Jer 23:15  So Jehovah of Hosts says this concerning the prophets: Behold, I will feed them wormwood, and make them drink poisonous water, for ungodliness has gone forth from the prophets of Jerusalem into all the land. 

Sodom is a place of wormwood and poison water in circa 590 B.C.   But Jeremiah continues the testimony:

Jer 49:14  I have heard a message from Jehovah, and a herald is sent to the nations: Gather together and come against her, and rise up to the battle. 
Jer 49:15  For, behold, I will make you small among the nations, despised among men. 
Jer 49:16  Your dreadfulness has deceived you, the pride of your heart, you who live in the clefts of the rock, who hold the height of the hill. Though you should make your nest as high as the eagle, I will bring you down from there, declares Jehovah. 
Jer 49:17  And Edom shall be a ruin, everyone who goes by it shall be amazed and shall hiss at all its plagues. 
Jer 49:18  As in the overthrow of  Sodom and Gomorrah, and its neighbor, declares Jehovah, no man shall remain there, a son of man shall not live in it. 

No one can say..."But look!, Sodom is inhabited again!" that the prophet and the L-RD might be contradicted and mocked.  

Jer 50:38 A drought is on her waters, and they shall be dried up. For it is the land of idols, and they boast themselves in idols. 

Jer 50:39  So the beasts of the desert shall dwell there with jackals. And the daughters of the ostrich shall dwell in her again. And it shall not again have anyone in it forever; it shall not be lived in until generation and generation. 
Jer 50:40  As God overthrew Sodom and Gomorrah and their neighbors, states Jehovah, so no man shall live there, nor shall a son of man stay in it. 

Lam 4:6  And the iniquity of the daughter of my people is heaped more than the sin of Sodom, which was overthrown as in a moment, and no hands were whirled on her. 

In circa 47 A.D., Sodom was an uninhabited place  sent to ever-lasting fires:

Jud 1:4  For certain men stole in, those of old having been written before to this judgment, ungodly ones perverting the grace of our God into unbridled lust, and denying the only Master, God, even our Lord Jesus Christ. 
Jud 1:5  But I intend to remind you, you once knowing these things, that the Lord having saved a people out of the land of Egypt, in the second place destroyed the ones not believing. 
Jud 1:6  And those angels not having kept their first place, but having deserted their dwelling-place, He has kept in everlasting chains under darkness for the judgment of a great Day; 
Jud 1:7  as Sodom and Gomorrah, and the cities around them, in like manner to these, committing fornication, and going away after other flesh, laid down an example before-times, undergoing vengeance of everlasting fire. 

Sodom was destroyed with ever-lasting fire that continues to this day and will ever continue.  What does that mean?  

Compare with Korah going to ever-lasting fires…ceasing to be seen ever again in the Land of the Living:

Num 16:28  And Moses said, By this you shall know that Jehovah has sent me to do all these works, and that not from my own heart. 
Num 16:29  If these die according to the death of all men, and are visited according to the visitation of all men, then Jehovah has not sent me. 
Num 16:30  And if Jehovah makes a new thing, and the ground opens its mouth and swallows them, and all that they have, and they go down alive to Sheol, then you shall know that these men have despised Jehovah. 

Num 16:31  And it happened, as he made an end of speaking all these words, the ground which was under them split apart, 

Num 16:32  and the earth opened her mouth and swallowed them, and their houses, and all the men who were for Korah and all their possessions. 
Num 16:33  And they went down, they and all that they had, alive to Sheol, and the earth covered over them; and they perished from the midst of the assembly. 
 Num 16:34  And all Israel who were around them fled at their cry; for they said, Lest the earth swallow us up. 

Num 26:10  And the earth opened its mouth and swallowed them up together with Korah at the death of that company, when the fire devoured two hundred and fifty men. 
And they became a sign; 
Num 26:11  but the sons of Korah did not die. 

There is, as yet,  no need as yet to address the basic concept that hell is a place under the Earth's Crust in the bowels of the planet, having ever-lasting fires and damned souls.  

In the A.D. 50s, Sodom was an uninhabited place, unlike Livias:

Rom 9:27  But Isaiah cries on behalf of Israel, "If the number of the sons of Israel be as the sand of the sea, the remnant will be saved." 
Rom 9:28  For He is bringing the matter to an end, and having been cut short "in righteousness," "because the Lord" "will do a thing cut short" "on the earth." [Isa. 10:22, 23] 
Rom 9:29  And as Isaiah has said before, "Except the Lord of hosts left a seed to us, we would have become as Sodom, and we would have become as Gomorrah."  [Isa. 1:9] 

2Pe 2:1  But false prophets were also among the people, as also false teachers will be among you, who will secretly bring in destructive heresies, and denying the Master who has bought them, bringing swift destruction on themselves. 
2Pe 2:2  And many will follow their destructive ways, by whom the way of truth will be evil spoken of. 
2Pe 2:3  And by covetousness, with well-turned words, they will use you for gain, for whom judgment of old does not linger, and their destruction does not slumber. 
2Pe 2:4  For if God did not spare sinning angels, but delivered them to chains of darkness, thrust down into Tartarus, having been kept to judgment; 
2Pe 2:5  and did not spare the ancient world, but preserved Noah the eighth, a herald of righteousness, bringing a flood on a world of ungodly ones; 
2Pe 2:6  and covering the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah with ashes, He condemned them with an overthrow, setting an example to men intending to live ungodly. 

 The cities were covered with ashes and condemned.  If by example a rebuilding would have occurred   upon Sodom, where is the lesson of destruction?  The Judgement of old, not lingering, must be something of a frightening nature and permanent, or it is waved off by later generations with a laugh and scorn..."Oh, that was them.  Those ancients sure must have been "blankety-blank" or "blank"!"  No...human nature -- apart from Christ and His influence -- from Amos' to Peter's  to Our Day hasn't changed.  

In ancient Judaism,  there was indeed a need for a visible connection between Sodom as a physical testimony to "hell", and "hell" as a doctrinal belief.  And perhaps, for our immoralized societies round the globe, such -- even worse than a Chernobyl -- would be for all of us, a preaching come   too late.

Jun 19, 2008, 07:26 PM 

in respect to Josephus and the book of Genesis.   

"It well deserves our further remark, that Josephus, when he wrote his Antiquities, seems not only to have had the use of one or more ordinary Hebrew copy, but probably of the most authentic copy in the whole nation;  I mean that which had been laid up in the temple itself: which very book seems to have been given him, or, however, the use freely allowed him, after the destruction of the temple, and when he wrote his Antiquities."    Dissertation 4.1 of William Whiston, ca. A.D. 1737     

Josephus remarks in the Brill translation of the obliteration of Sodom
as aphanisai.  The argument gets into whether this implies a temporary cessation of an existence in one state, while allowing the rebirth into the state of another...as the Pharisee in Matthew 6:16  who temporarily deforms his face for robbing a greater tribute from the widow or other faithful...as  TeH is promotes the concept of Sodom; 
or  whether aphanisai is  more along the lines of Hebrews 8:13..."not just destroyed, but has lived out its time and usefulness to disappear from existence entirely... vanished with fear  as a location hidden from being  habitable or even possible from  among the living, and relegated to little more than a memory."


... Yes,we rely on the Biblical text...but in the case of Josephus, as it regards the first 5 books of Moses, we can say "Sh'ma"...open up your ears, be quiet, listen intently as to what he has to say...or as Jesus says: "Let these sayings sink down in your ears".

We may quibble about Whiston in comparing the English translation versus other translations, such as that of the Italians ( 1638's translation by  Pietro Lauro Modenese; and Francesco Angiolini's 1840 translation) before and after W. Whiston. 

Where it reads in 1.194 of Whiston's Antiquities as a translation of "kai tas pros allous homilias ektrepesthai."  The expression is actual read as allelous in the better manuscripts.

In regard to Josephus and Genesis...it is like having the better Brill or Niese Greek manuscripts, even though "allous" as Whiston uses in 1.194,  is found in the two earliest manuscripts of Josephus's copy of the first 10 chapters of Antiquities are apparently the 14th century Codex Regius Parisinus, and the 15th century's Codex Oxoniensis.  These were followed by a variant copy now called the Editio Princeps, which was put forth through Johannes Froben of Basel in 1544.  Other portions of Josephus are said to date to the 11th century in various manuscripts such as the Codex Parisinius and Codex Vindobonensis...both of which contain "allous" as well.   The question may be reckoned as, to which manuscripts did Haverkamp rely upon in 1726, upon which Whiston translated his Josephus from?  

Irregardless, via scholarship and efforts of men such as Brill and Niese, we are fairly certain that Josephus is accurately handed down, and that our take on the text as Josephus saw it through his Temple Scroll copy of Genesis, is trustworthy as well.  Josephus supplements the textual translation, and sometimes even corrects the Masoretes, whose efforts ceased where the 11th century Codexes Parisinius and Vindobonensis appear to have picked up.

Jun 21, 2008, 12:41 PM 

Dr. Graves writes:

To many of us the material remains, geographical location and stragegraphic periods fit the footprint required of the details in scripture to warrant Tall el-Hammam as good candidate for the location of Sodom. Remember the taunting of Goliath was felled by a single sling stone {sic} (Gen 13). Scripture (not Dr. Collins) limits us to this passage for geographical clues for the whereabouts of Sodom.

Much information has been shared by me, especially numerous texts, but you and others of the NST wish to insist on ignoring that the data is with the SST.  I cannot help having an ally who behaves as if he were in junior high or something. Any immature responses are his to contend about alone.  I am sure that on some occasions, a poorly written sentence or two may be deemed just as badly.  

 On many occasions... NST advocates... are losing the debate on points of texts etc.  There is a difference in me saying that you have to do semantic somersaults and mid-air twists to make the argument, than to attack the mental stability (or such rubbish) as has been directed at me in past posts, including insults by Dr. Collins himself.  

I have used more than just the study of knowledge to justify my beliefs...but perhaps there is some kind of mental-block shutdown which occurs when zealous NST advocates; especially those  who stake their professional careers on a bad thesis.  Emotionalism takes many forms and variant behavioral expressions upon all of us...as we are all human...some of which behaviors and expressions we are not readily conscious of, or willing to admit, perhaps? 

Beginning with a word from the text on Sodom in Genesis 19:4

Genesis 19:4 - …the men of Sodom, compassed the house round, both young and old, all the people from every quarter

The actual word for every quarter is M’QeSeH…and means "the extreme limits" of the lands of the Sodomic influence, making the translation “from every quarter of the city“ a weak translation . 

When we consider all the lands of Sodom...how many far of a distance and how many people are we talking about?

If T-e-H was as big as Dr. Collins alleges, then perhaps he will state that its influences and borders were as far as the Jordan, some 9 miles west?

  Perhaps, as “the big dog” as he puts it, dominated other existent talls in the area, and they too, from the M’QeSeH or “extreme limits” joined in as well?  

But then, even if we were to rationalize ourselves into believing this...we have Josephus and Scripture placing a geographic obstacle called the lands of the tribe of Benjamin and the Jericho influence as NORTH of Sodom country…which T-e-H is clearly not “south of”.   

So to what area designation does TeH belong?  As both Scripture and Josephus concur:
'To the plains of Moab', 'opposite Jericho and the tribe of Benjamin':

Numbers 22:1
And the children of Israel set forward, and pitched in the plains of Moab on this side Jordan by Jericho.
Numbers 26:63
…the children of Israel in the plains of Moab by Jordan near Jericho.

Numbers 31:12
at the plains of Moab, which are by Jordan near Jericho.

Numbers 33:48
And they departed from the mountains of Abarim, and pitched in the plains of Moab by Jordan near Jericho.

Numbers 33:49
And they pitched by Jordan, from Bethjesimoth even unto Abelshittim in the plains of Moab.  WHERE TALL el-HAMMAN IS!!!

Numbers 33:50
in the plains of Moab by Jordan near Jericho….

Numbers 34:12
And the border shall go down to Jordan, and the goings out [or extension] of it shall be at the salt sea: ...

The plains of Moab STOPS at the Dead Sea

Numbers 34:15
The two tribes and the half tribe have received their inheritance on this side Jordan near Jericho eastward, toward the sun rising.

Numbers 35:1
in the plains of Moab by Jordan near Jericho….

Numbers 36:13
in the plains of Moab by Jordan near Jericho.

… the Tall el-Hamman plain is called the "plains of Moab" and NOT the Sodom country.  Why?  Because, as the Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade line goes: "They're digging inthe wrong place" ….

Not once is there ever even the slightest hint of Sodom, or a former name attributed to the plains of Moab, and TeH's spitting neighbor Abel-shittim.

Red flag from simple, plain texts.

Jan 31, 2010, 09:19 AM 
Let me deal a death blow to the Northern Theory.  It has been throughout all our prior discussions...and that is salt...where is the salt most greatly concentrated?

The greatest deposits of salt from any explosion would be expected to be at points closest to the source of the explosion, not further away from it.   

Tall el-Hammam has no great mountain deposits of sodium, and no craters to indicate a likely source of an explosion to create the explosion and "smoke rising like a furnace" effect Abraham saw, which is required to any location theory.  1) No sodium mound,  2) vastly far lesser sodium and  basalt  concentrates in the north than the south, and 3) no source explosive crater in the north.   Three strikes, and the NST is out.

  As previously noted, the area near the Lisan Peninsula and the at the East Southeast has a mountain of the stuff near where a volcanic / clastic explosion could have erupted where the Dead Sea drops down into many hundreds of feet in depth...and there is another mound to the far South-Southwest.

Where is the salt mound for Lot's wife in the North?  Where are the great land deposits of salt indicating an equally viable northern location?  There isn't such.

There ia a  Volcanic Fault  which extends from southern Turkey and onward through the Dead Sea and onward. 

I argued, correctly, that the Dead Sea was a newly created event beginning with the circa 1960 B.C. destruction of Sodom...but not finalized in its rift until after the 1511 B.C. third mega-seismic event  

It may be, that when the mountains traveled in the Psalm 114 testimony, 

Psa 114:3 The sea looked and fled; the Jordan turned back; 
Psa 114:4 the mountains skipped like rams; the little hills like lambs! 
Psa 114:5 What ails you, O sea, that you flee? O Jordan, that you turn back? 
Psa 114:6 O mountains, that you skip like rams? O little hills, like lambs? 
Psa 114:7 Tremble, O earth....   (LITV)

that the two Dead Sea Salt mountains were once joined by an in-between section where the Dead Sea is (especially where the Lisan chasm) is...and were likely divided by and likely created the Dead Sea by 3 events (the 1960 B.C. Sodomic destruction, the 1551 B.C. Exodus event that rolled back the Red Sea, the 1511 B.C. event that rolled back the Jordans and made mountains and hills bounce over discernable distances from where they were originally). 

So if one can believe that Africa and South America were once joined as one continent, the separation of the two mountains of the Dead Sea Salt mountains also appear to be divisioned in the same general direction from one another as Africa and South America were.  It merely takes a tsunami wave of magma to laterally slip the tectonics of the  Dead Sea's "Amanos fault", creating an oblique slip-tension, “giving rise to a fissure-fed, mantle-derived alkaline volcanism”.    

The southern Dead Sea area is covered in a layer of 20-30 feet of volcanic ash, and needs excavation.  The heaviness of the ash, from which sink-holes tourists still fall through, indicates the direction which the force of the mega-explosion made clastic the Salt mountain that once connected the two sides of the Dead Sea,  was projected Southerly, where all the ash still is, and is made visible by the drying up of the Dead Sea...AND testifies to us all that the destruction of Sodom was in the south.

Tall el-Hammam by its very name should relate more to Ezekiel's day, and be relevant to such, rather than to the era of Abraham.    Hence, the find is not biblically diminished...it just needs proper context for what it really is, as opposed to what it is not.  

Jan 31, 2010, 04:53 PM 

...  Read Collins reply #7 on April 6, 2008  et al. before going off on no NST or  SST, "but only eastern" whining to the wrong party.  Collins gave HIMSELF the "northern" in what used to be simply a "Sodomic location theory", so as to distinguish himself from the previous scholarship that had a better handle on the Sodomic locale than he.

Writes Collins: These points represent the nuts and bolts of the issue. An accurate, factual assessment of the SST and NST on these three points are instructive:

On point one: The multiple NST candidate sites on the eastern Jordan Disk are all in the right place. The SST candidate sites are not in the Jordan Valley at all (nor could they ever have been, geologically speaking).

On point two: The multiple NST candidate sites all have an EB/IB/MB/gap/IA profile, fitting the biblical criteria. The SST candidate sites are EB only (ending hundreds of years before Abram), and most are not even entirely contemporaneous for that period.

On point three: The larger SST candidate sites were fortified, and destroyed with some spotty evidence of burning. The larger NST candidate sites were fortified, with evidence of sudden destruction and/or abandonment. [This point can be considered a plus for both views.]

Read his papers, where he himself defines NST as the Northern Sodom Theory and SST as the Southern Sodom Theory.  So there is a north and south theory.  Only Collins argues that his Sodom must have an Iron Age existence, when I have repeatedly shown (collectively on 3 threads) that Sodom was extinct from its fall until a time at least past when the New Testament texts were written.  Collins contradicts the Bible in doing so.  The extinction of Sodom for at least those 2,000 plus years is a Biblical textual fact...but Collins goes...'ah, skip that.  That part of the Bible isn't relevant...stay with Genesis 19 and then try to get me on my Northern Theory...you can't.' or an summarizing to that effect.  

If Collins and I went into a one on one debate, and I could collect a generous reward for disproving the NST, I would win the cash prize...and I wouldn't do it unless the money was worth the preparation time.  I also wouldn't allow being hindered to just Genesis 19 (as cults often do with the Bible...'read this, but don't you dare read any other parts of the Bible for context' argument).  Remove the barrier, and the Genesis 19 text only argument with the forced upon the text NST falls apart.     

Indeed,  there would be wailing and gnashing of teeth from Collins for using the Psalms, Isaiah, and other passages to prove word definitions from the Hebrew with textual justification even of just Genesis 19, on how to properly interpret certain words in Genesis 19.

23 The sun was risen upon the earth when Lot entered into Zoar. 

 24 Then the L-RD rained upon Sodom and upon Gomorrah brimstone and fire    [read: Volcanic related material] 

from the L-RD out of heaven; 

 25 And he overthrew those cities, and all the plain, and all the inhabitants of the cities, and that which grew upon the ground. 

 26 But his wife looked back from behind him, and she became a pillar of salt. 

 27 And Abraham gat up early in the morning to the place where he stood before the L-RD: 

 28And he looked toward Sodom and Gomorrah, and toward all the land of the plain, and beheld, and, lo, the smoke of the country went up as the smoke of a furnace. 

[The land had become like unto a complete magma intrusion upon the whole land of the plain, as if it were now like the inside of a violently erupting volcano]

 29And it came to pass, when G-D destroyed the cities of the plain...

The destruction could also mean that the very plain ceased existence and collapsed and turned into a valley, like the use of hapak in Psalm 66:6, and the other Biblical Testimony that Israel descended into the depths as into a Valley (Psalm 106:9, Isaiah 51:10), when they crossed the Red Sea on dry land.  The language used means not only that the plain was overthrown, but that it was turned from a plain of probable elevation (a plateau), and into a Valley.  The NST fails to live up to the Genesis 19 and other Biblical Texts in those regards as well.   

Secondly, since this is a volcanic rift region with evidences of shifts, I have expalined in the past pages the likely  geographical shift which is forced on us by the BIBLICAL TEXT as well as the geologic markers themselves, which  itself explains the drop in elevation, the creation of the Dead Sea in three short duration cataclysmic events of the past, all present in the Scriptures, etc.  Collins has no geologic major salt intrusions from which Lot's wife gets covered, nor a salt boulder to which he can point to as a former tourist attraction of the ancients as Lot's wife Josephus, Antiquities 1.11.4, .  The Volcanically pushed up salt intrusions are to far south to fit into his theory.

Third, Josephus states that the Dead Sea extends to Zoar in Arabia, at the southern regions of the Dead Sea, a few hours walk from Sodom (Wars of the Jews 4.8.4).  In other words, Collins demands that Lot and his daughters walk to Zoar in an alien location from Josephus' listing of Sodom.  So let's say he conceded Zoar would be south of the Dead Sea...figure about 65 miles in about 4 to 12 hours in the dark out on the trail.  If a mountain was too far to go, why should anyone figure that 65 miles would be less of an effort in a few short hours, the majority of which was  in the dark of night?  Lot only arrived in Zoar just at or just after sunrise.  

So on geology and geolgical markers for a catastrophic event involving salt, gases, volcanization and overturning a plain into a valley, distance traveled in probably very obscure conditions where smoke clouds blocked out the mon and stars, on even naming a distinguishable mountain for Lot and his daughters to flee to in an undisturbed land he chose to name in the North...on point after point, the NST falls flat...and the SST comes back into prominence as the more intelligent, the more viable answer in line with the literal Biblical Texts, and backed by known answers and acceptable theories in Science as not only possible, but probable.    

In effect, W. F. Albright had it more right with less facts to go on, than Collins.  65 or so trail miles off by Collins is a big miss!