Biblical chronology is the order and timing of events recorded in the Old Testament and New Testament. The Bible is remarkably detailed in its chronology, giving precise dates and years for many important events and Biblical genealogies, for the events spanning from the first day of Creation to the death of Abraham's father, Terah. The post-biblical chronology from Jesus to the present day is also easily available from European historical record.
- Main Article: Biblical Genealogy
The Bible contains a genealogical record from Adam to Jesus, and specifies the age of each man (from Adam to Jacob) in this lineage at the time each had his first son. This genealogy provides the basis for the chronology of events described in the Bible. Using this detailed record of births from the beginning of creation, Bible scholars have been able to calculate the dates of many important historical events and the age of the earth itself.
The genealogy is precise and detailed from the first day of creation to the death of Terah. Ages are given for the birth, next son in line, and death of all the patriarchs reported to have lived during that period. There is some dispute about Terah's age at the birth of Abraham, but the record from there is once again fairly clear until the death of Joseph. From then until the Exodus of Israel, however, the Bible text lends itself to two different interpretations that differ by two hundred fifteen years. The chronology of the kings of Israel beginning with Solomon and continuing to Zedekiah is subject to multiple differing interpretations of concurrence of reigns, viceroyalties, and the like. The Bible also does not give a precise length for the period from the end of the kingdoms of Israel to the New Testament era, though most authorities, both biblical and secular, are in accord on the date of the ending of those kingdoms.
Biblical age of the Earth
- Main Article: Biblical age of the Earth
We can see that Adam died in Anno Mundi (AM) 930, Noah was born in Date::1057 AM and the Flood occurred 600 years later, which was in Date::1657 AM . Terah begat Abraham when he was at least 70, but probably not more than 130, (which is the age this chronology will use), 352 years after the Flood, in Date::2009 AM.
- From the time that Abraham left for Egypt until the Exodus of Israel from there was 430 years to the day (Gen 12:10, Ex 12:40, Gal 3:17), 2083+430 = Date::2513 AM.
- From the Exodus from Egypt to the start of the Temple of Jerusalem was 479 years (1 Ki 6:1), 2513+479 = Date::2992 AM.
- From the start of the Temple to the division of the Kingdom was 37 years (1Ki 11:42), 2992+37 = Date::3029 AM.
- From the division of the Kingdom to the final deportation (about four years after Jerusalem fell) was 390 whole years plus part of one year (Eze 4:4-6). 3029+390 = Date::3419 AM.
To make these dates conform to dating methods used today, Anno Mundi (AM), which has been used within this Biblical framework, needs to be converted to BC (Before Christ). Since the final deportation and ending of the kingdom was in Date::586 BC, the date of creation would then be 586+3419-1 or Date::4004 BC.
|Event||Year BC||Year AM|
|The Creation of the World||4004||1|
|The World Wide Flood||2348||1657|
|The Call of Abraham||1921||2083|
|The Exodus from Egypt||1491||2513|
|The Foundations of Temple Laid||1012||2992|
|The Destruction of Jerusalem||586||3421|
|The Birth of Christ||4||4000|
Young vs. Old Earth Creationism
- Main Article: Creationism
Proponents of Old Earth and Young Earth creationism differ in their interpretations of this chronology. Young Earth creationists believe that the specific dates given for important events (such as the global flood, for which the date, month, and year for all the events associated with the flood is recorded) were intended to be understood literally, because there is no evidence of allegory, and no reason to read them as such.
In support they cite Hebrew scholars such as James Barr:
|“||...probably, so far as I know, there is no professor of Hebrew or Old Testament at any world-class university who does not believe that the writer(s) of Genesis [chapters] 1-11 intended to convey to their readers the [idea] that ... the figures contained in the Genesis genealogies provided by simple addition a chronology from the beginning of the world up to later stages in the biblical story...||”|
Old Earth creationists, on the other hand, believe that at least the days of creation if not at least some of the earlier chronologies should be taken allegorically. Invariably they base their old-Earth beliefs on extra-biblical evidence, as with Gleason Archer:
|“||From a superficial reading, the impression received is that the entire creative process took place in six twenty-four hour days. If this was the true intent of the Hebrew author (a questionable deduction, as will be presently shown), this seems to run counter to modern scientific research, which indicates that the planet Earth was created several billion years ago.||”|
Egyptian vs Biblical Chronology
- Main article: Egyptian chronology
Skeptics often criticize the Bible because its chronology disagrees with the standard chronology of ancient Egypt. However, this argument assumes that the Egyptian, rather than Hebrew chronology, is correct. One might just as easily argue that the Egyptian chronology is wrong, because it disagrees with the Hebrew.
In fact, there is no original "Egyptian chronology." Egyptian historical accounts record the lengths of the reigns of kings and dynasties, but do not tell when these kings and dynasties ruled in relation to each other. The Standard Egyptian Chronology was developed in the early 20th century, based on the assumption that no two Egyptian dynasties ruled simultaneously, (which is demonstrably false), and a series of inferences and calculations based on the so-called Sothic cycle, (an assumption without any substantive evidence to support it).
In contrast to this questionable Egyptian chronology invented in the 20th century and based on false assumptions and hypothetical calendars, the Biblical chronology records not only the birth and death of many of the patriarchs, but also reports their lives in relation to each other, and, in some cases, gives the month, day, and year when important events occurred.
As a result, some creationist archaeologists (and secular Middle Eastern historians like Velikovsky) argue that the standard Egyptian chronology is erroneous, and in need of revision. They reject the two assumptions above, and have proposed a revised Egyptian chronology, consistent with the Hebrew chronology and with the archaeological evidence.
Based on chart in Creation Vol. 27 No. 3 (June–August 2005)
- OK = Old Kingdom
- FIP = First Intermediate Period.
- MK = Middle Kingdom
- SIP = Second Intermediate Period.
- NK = New Kingdom
- TIP = Third Intermediate Period.
- LP = Late and Persian Period.
- C = Creation.
- F = The Flood.
- B = Babel.
- A = Abraham.
- J = Joseph.
- M = Moses and the Exodus.
- DS = David and Solomon.
This chart shows the standard Egyptian and revised Egyptian chronologies and how they compare to the Biblical chronology. Note that with this shift the Biblical events are not only shifted into different dynasties, but different periods as well, with the flood and Babel predating the beginning of Egyptian history. Also note that the post-flood ice age coincides with the early Egyptian history, ending about 100 years after Joseph. This not only explains the famine of Joseph's day, but the water erosion on The Great Sphinx.
The standard Egyptian chronology causes problems for nearly every other civilization that it is used to date. It causes an unexplained dark ages across the ancient world. It also disagrees with 8th and 9th century Assyrian records that show them warring against the Hittites some 500 years after the standard Egyptian chronology claims that the Hittites were wiped out. The Hittite kings the Assyrians were warring against are the same kings found in Hittite records dated 500 years earlier by the Egyptian chronology.
Furthermore, when these corrections are made, there is abundant evidence for Joseph, Moses, the Exodus of Israel, David, and Solomon right where the Bible says they are. The reason for the alleged lack of evidence is that archaeologists have been looking in the wrong places, because their chronology is wrong.
- Barr, James. "Oxford Hebrew scholar, Professor James Barr, on the meaning of Genesis." Creation Ministries International, n.d. Accessed September 1, 2008.
- "Progressive Creationist Pattle Pun of Wheaton College." Creation Ministries International, n.d. Accessed September 1, 2008.
- The Great Sphinx of Egypt, Genesis Mission.
- Timing is everything A talk with field archaeologist David Down, by Tas Walker, Steve Cardno, and Jonathan Sarfati. Creation 27(3):30–35 June 2005
- Searching for Moses by David Down. TJ 15(1):53–57 April 2001
- Displaced Dynasties by Jim Reilly
- False History 'out with David and Solomon!' by David Down. Creation 24(4):16–19 September 2002
- Biblical chronology dispute
- The Annals of the World by James Ussher in the 17th century. Traces the events of the ancient world from the Genesis creation through the destruction of the temple of Jerusalem.
- The Chronology of the Old Testament by Dr. Floyd Nolen Jones, updated 2005. This work carefully and thoroughly investigates the chronological and mathematical facts of the Old Testament, showing them to be accurate and reliable.
- Unwrapping the Pharaohs By John Ashton and David Down, examines Egyptian chronology critically, and proposes a specific correction to conventional Egyptian chronology that brings it in harmony with the Hebrews' experiences with Egypt as stated in the Old Testament.