Welcome to The Biblical Timeline. This site is dedicated to helping both novice and more serious readers understand how the events described in the Bible relate to each other and to the larger history of the world. Allow me to begin with a quote from a kindred spirit of long ago:
“I have perused the diverse histories of the past which the Egyptians have written in detail, and which the Greeks have recorded as accurately as possible. These works contain information about the times of Kings and Olympiads, about the brave deeds which were performed by barbarians and Greeks, Aryans and non-Aryans, and about the marvelous accomplishments of their generals, sages, braves, poets, storytellers, and philosophers. I thought it would be appropriate to write down everything in brief, especially the beneficial and important things, and further to put adjacent to these accounts the history of the Hebrew patriarchs as revealed in the Bible. And thus we might establish how long before the life-giving revelation of Christ Moses and the Hebrew prophets who succeeded him lived and what they, filled with the divine spirit, said. In this fashion it might be possible to recognize easily when the braves of each nation appeared compared with when the celebrated Hebrew prophets lived and, one by one, who all their leaders were.
Permit me, right at the outset, to caution everyone against believing that there can be complete accuracy with respect to chronology. Indeed, we would benefit by contemplating what that wise Teacher told his acquaintances: ‘It is not for you to know times or seasons which the Father has fixed by his own authority’ (Acts 1:7). It seems to me that Jesus as God and Lord, delivered this succinct verdict not solely regarding the end of the world but about all times, in order to discourage those who would dare attempt such a futile undertaking”
– Eusebius of Caesarea, introduction to his Chronicle. 325 AD
Beginning in 2005 (and long before I was aware of the passage above), I decided to put together a timeline so that I could see how the events of the Old Testament related to those of the major cultures of ancient times. This was very much a hobby, but in 2018 a friend encouraged me to put it on line, and here we are
Old and New Chronologies
The timeline has been (and remains) a work in progress for fifteen years or so. The original version was based entirely on what is known as the “orthodox” or “old” chronology for the regnal dates of the kings of the world empires and kingdoms other than Israel. These are the dates that you might find in a text book or on Wikipedia and are what are accepted by the majority of scholars. These dates are by no means absolute and in fact if you scratch the surface you will find that there is still a lot of disagreement among scholars but that most of this involves relatively minor adjustments to the timeline. Still, out chronologies of ancient times are far from absolute and I would not be surprised to see revisions based on new archaeological discoveries
Recently, I was introduced to what is known as the “new’ chronology which has been championed by Egyptologist David Rohl, most recently in the documentary film Patterns of Evidence: Exodus, but also in earlier Rohl documentaries which were televised in the US and UK. The new chronology is based on a radical down dating of the Third Intermediate Period in Egypt. This is made possible by identifying that many Pharaohs which rule sequentially in the orthodox chronology actually ruled at the same time or in parallel in different parts of the country. The result is a shift of over 300 years in some parts of the timeline and about 200 years for the Middle Kingdom of Egypt (Joseph through the Exodus). This change has a ripple effect on other nations and periods that derive their chronologies from the Egyptian one. It does not however impact the chronology of Israel directly as the dates going back to the Exodus and beyond can be derived from scripture and from synchronisms with foreign kings whose dates are not in question (the old and new chronologies are in agreement from 664 BC onward for Egypt and from earlier dates for Assyria and Babylon). The new chronology resolves some disconnects between archaeology and scripture that exist in the orthodox chronology, particularly around the exodus, and therefore it’s good for biblical scholars to at least be aware of it.
Here at The Biblical Timeline the goal is to promote scholarship and study, and on that basis I have included versions based on both old and new chronologies for the period after the flood. Both versions can be found in the PDF and PPT files available on the download page.
The goal when I first began was to put as much of scripture as possible onto a timeline and then add the people and events of the larger world to see how they interacted. This provides some interesting insights and reveals some interactions that are not mentioned in scripture. For example, Queen Esther may have been present at the battles of Thermopylae and Salamis (if Xerxes brought his harem along on that campaign as kings sometimes did). King Ahab fought against Shalmaneser III as part of a coalition of kings just before he died. And in the new chronology, King Saul (as Labaya) corresponded with Pharaoh Akenaten as part of the Amarna Letters.
As the old saying goes, a picture is worth a thousand words. So, rather than putting all this information down in black and white tables of numbers as you often find it, I chose to graph it. In color. My hope is that by viewing it this way you can find some new insights. I welcome questions and feedback, so feel free to leave a comment.
If you are still reading this and have not yet clicked over to the downloads page to see more, you can see a sample below. Click on the picture to enlarge it.
Below is a larger version showing the last three hundred years of the timeline. Remember that old and new chronologies agree after 664 BC, so what you see below will be the same for both.
You can find the timeline under the Timeline menu item and the best option for viewing it is to download the PDF and view it in Acrobat Reader which allows you to freely zoom and scroll. PDF versions of the timeline and the associated articles with their embedded graphics can also be found in the Downloads section.
4 thoughts on “Home”
I appreciate your supply of the Judges timeline–integrating both internal and external evidences and then graduating the analysis of those from Bishop Ussher to Nolen Jones to your adjustment per Hazor’s archaeology. My personal use for it is research on a book I wish to write–an historic/biblical fiction of sorts–related to this period. Thank you for the work
I just published an updated timeline today that you might want to have a look at. It replaces the previous Judges page on the site
Greetings from Glen, Australia
This is a most interesting site. Encouraged by the new chronology based on a radical down dating of Egyptian chronology. But much more down-dating to go before we have the “Biblical” timeline as the site reports to target. Just love your first video and impatient for more. But I am not sure how the above can be called a Biblical timeline when the secular majority vote often gets the nod over the MT for the master framing of time?
My Bible teaches me that the very 6 + 1 day of creation week in type or even prophetically speaks of 1 day is as a 1,000-years. I.e., the earth today is almost 6,000-years old with the soon 1,000-year Sabbath day kingdom to come.
If you accept this 1 point and just 2 more you will have a truer and biblically purer timeline and they are (1) A Bible only timeline (first) and accept that the Jubilee cycle is 50-years and exactly 20 of them = a 1,000-year day. And 10 = a half a 1,000-year day.
E.g., 500 from Abram to the Exodus. 500-years from the Egyptian Exodus to Shekinah Glory`s entering Solomons temple. 500-years to Cyrus` decree and 500-years to the crucifixion of Messiah.
Thus Daniel`s prophecy is not 490-years but 490 + 10 intervening jubilee years = 500.
Abraham of course was 70 when God first appeared to him in UR + 430 to the Egyptian Exodus. Exodus to Solomon`s 4th year as Co-king is 480 + 20 years as sole king to build both houses = temple 7-years and palace etc for 13, then the great dwelling within that temple of God`s own glory, also = 500. THEN Solomon Reigned 40-years more (total 64 or 4+20+40) + 410 to destruction and burning of Jerusalem + 50 to Cyrus` famous decree. This is 40 + 410 + 50 = 500 with NO gaps in the Judean king’s chronology. Note also: the 1,000-years exactly between the Egyptian and the Babylonian Exodus.
Therefore 2,000 from Creation to birth of Abram then 2,000 (500+500+500+500) to the crucifixion and 2,000-years more to the Glorious 2nd advent + 1,000-year kingdom.
2,000 + 2,000 + 2,000 + 1,000 = 7
Note Hosea 5:14-6:3 speaks of the LAST DAYS = 3.
Two days (2,000) from Messiah`s ascension to His 2nd advent and 1 day (1,000) He will heal us = millennial kingdom, the 7th DAY = the Day of the Lord.
This is truth and can be taught even to the young in the Lord.
And truth really can be stranger than fiction
Thanks Todd for doing this! You showed me this first project in 2005 in Singapore. I am keen to see what Biblical chapters and verses will be revealed before our eyes in the coming years. Shalom!