The genealogy of Genesis 5 is key to understanding the Bible. The calendar proves in a spectacular way that the wise men (and maybe women) who wrote the Bible used riddles and puzzles to communicate their important ideas. The calendar discovery did not just happen. It was a part of a process.
I was taught about the Bible when I was young. I saw my pastors and other church members interpret portions of the Bible. As I matured, I noticed that the reading and interpreting of the Bible was not a dispassionate exercise. Most of the people who read the Bible were passionate about it. That's understandable. In almost all cases, the Bible was associated with a life-changing event in the life of the reader. As a technical person, I knew that this kind of interpretation could only affirm what the interpreter already believed. So where could I go to find out what the Bible really meant?
I decided to read the Bible myself. As I read, I encountered many things that amazed me. The book of Job was a story designed to hold and support a well-reasoned philosophical discussion about the nature of good and evil. The book of Proverbs explicitly taught the importance of knowledge, understanding, and wisdom. This rationality was at significant odds with things like the genealogy of Genesis 5 where it is reported that people lived over 900 years. At odds with the story of Elijah being taken directly into heaven. At odds with almost all of the gospels where all kinds of miraculous things would occur. Then there was the Book of Revelation, in which the seven thunders thundered and John was told not to record what they said. I saw no real way to integrate all of this. I thought it might be possible, because in the book of Job, there was the rational argument and the miraculous things, side-by-side.
I knew that I didn't understand the Bible, and I was pretty sure that most authoritive voices did not understand it either. I came to this conclusion with great difficulty over many years. So I stepped back. I began to read the Bible without trying to support what I already believed. I asked myself the following questions: Is it possible to read the Bible without passion? Is it possible to interpret the Bible completely and totally without passion? Could it be possible to read the Bible with the sole purpose of finding out what the writers (or God, if you'd like) intended to communicate?
I didn't know if it was possible, but that's where I found myself. I could see that following others down the path they were on would never allow me to understand what the Bible was all about. It was this process, this willingness to be a rebel, that brought me to the discovery of the calendar puzzle of Genesis 5.
I made a number of discoveries before I discovered the calendar in Genesis 5. I figured out that the Garden of Eden was not what it seemed to be. I figured out what Revelation 13 was about, with its seven headed beast and the number 666. But I held all this at arms length. I was satisfied with what I thought I knew about the Bible. But I did not think I could really convince anyone else. If my methods were valid, those methods should lead to further discoveries. It was those methods that led to the discovery of the calendar puzzle. It was those methods that led me to believe that the people who wrote the Bible were wise men who had what we now call a "wisdom culture" which communicated using riddles and puzzles. The writings of this culture, are now called "wisdom literature" and that term has been applied to books like Job and Proverbs. The major discovery that I've made is that much more of the Bible is this kind of "wisdom literature."
If you've read Proverbs or Ecclesiastes you will find some hard riddles embedded within them. Lots of people know about the riddles and the solutions have been published. What I show in my book is that much, much more of the Bible is composed of these kinds of hard riddles.