29 September 2014

The Biblical Rule

Rule #4: The Bible is not a source for your family tree.
"I don't think we're going to decide whether or not the Bible is an accurate genealogical source on this (or any other) Facebook group. Let's move on, shall we?" - a genealogist employed by Ancestry.com
This decision does not need to be made in a Facebook group or anywhere else because there is nothing to decide. The Bible is not, and never will be, a genealogical source for your family tree. Period.
Note that I said "The Bible" and not "the family bible." A family bible can have useful information usually provided by someone who could be considered a primary or secondary source. The Bible, on the other hand, can only be considered a source for family trees limited to names mentioned in The Bible. Even then it is a derivative of a derivative of a derivative of a...
This is not a Christian vs. non-Christian thing. This is a fantasy vs. proof thing. Some of you who are looking to be offended are probably already typing your misspelled, misdirected comments before you've even finished reading this post. I have not said The Bible is fantasy. No one's religious beliefs are at issue. The fantasy is thinking that you can connect someone named in The Bible to someone not mentioned in The Bible with any certainty.
If you have ever tried to tell someone that The Bible is not a genealogical source they probably argued that The Bible is true. They have no convincing rebuttal for using The Bible as genealogical documentation which is why they will try to derail the argument onto the subject of religion. Allow them to do that and you will have lost the debate.
If you think you have connected a branch of your tree to Biblical times you should submit a paper about your documentation to a genealogical society for review and publication. I'm sure they could use a laugh.

ADDITIONAL READING from FamilySearch: 
Can I trace genealogy back to Adam and Eve?
I have my family tree back to Adam and Eve


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