April 19, 2009

Finding Critical Points

When graphing higher order equations, the first trick is to plot the parameters. When polynomial and rational expressions are involved, boundaries and starting points make the curve easy to plot. Don't remember your High School Algebra? Okay. How about Sudoku?

When starting a Sudoku puzzle, the first trick is figuring out where to start. "Easy" puzzles have lots of helpful information and "difficult" puzzles offer the bare minimum required. On the other hand, if the puzzle makers accidentally include too little information, you'll have multiple solutions available. Of course, the whole idea is that there should be precisely one solution.

Finding the critical points to begin from requires ignoring all other data, no matter how tempting. A 500 piece jigsaw puzzle may feature a bright yellow flower in the center, but the green shades with straight edges (and corners!) are the right place to start.

What are the critical points of Biblical Chronology? They're all fairly well known, but there's too many pretenders. Some details don't deserve first place in authority. Not all points are critical. And that bright yellow flower in the center? Yes, He's the focus, by far, but He still needs a frame to be properly fit all around Him... IF we want to understand His whole Story. Anyway, back to the puzzle metaphor.

One of the reasons I'm blogging is to test the reducibility of the historical data for reconstructing a comprehensive NT chronology. Up to now, there's been too much argument based around too many shifty, debatable details. So I'm asking, what are the critical points?

Stick around, and I just may be able to tell you...

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"If I have ever made any valuable discoveries, it has been owing more to patient observation than to any other reason."

-- Isaac Newton