The Biblical Timeline was first created in 2003-2005 as part of personal study by the author to provide a big picture view of history up until the time of Christ. When did the stories in the Bible take place? What were the interactions between the nation of Israel and other important peoples of the ancient world? How did history relate to Bible prophecy? Would a macro view provide any interesting insights? Was it possible to answer some of the mysteries of early history? You will find some of the answers to these questions on this site, but others remain open or subject to much debate. Ultimately, the goal of this site is to provide insight and resources to the novice reader in an easily digestible form and to provoke discussion. More serious scholars will find this a bit thin and will want to dive into the references provided.
The Timeline originates from an apologetic perspective. In other words, the starting point for the timeline is the historical events and prophecies found in the Christian Bible. To this has been added the findings of archaeology and the written history that has been passed down in monuments, papyri, clay tablets, and other ancient writings. These are interpreted through the lens of scripture, and both alignment and inconsistencies have been noted. Where there is debate or disagreement among modern scholars the author has tried to identify this and, in some cases, provide both perspectives. I should note at this point that I have followed the orthodox or “old” chronology of Egypt and the other old world powers. I am aware that there are proposals for a “new” chronology currently being debated by archaeologists and hope to construct an alternative chronology based on these revisions at some point in the future.
This is not the first attempt to produce a Bible based timeline of ancient history. Many other chronologies of the world have been produced, perhaps most famously the Annales Veteris Testamenti, a Prima Mundi Origine Deducti (“Annals of the Old Testament, deduced from the first origins of the world”) of Bishop James Ussher, first published in Latin in 1650 and then posthumously in English in 1658. Compared to Ussher and others we have both the advantage of more recent archaeological discoveries and the disadvantage that some of the ancient sources are no longer directly available to us, existing only in later quotes and references. Still, there has been much scholarship in this area in the past and that will be relied on and updated as necessary. Sir Isaac Newton worked on his chronology for 40 years and left it unpublished at his death. Rather than attempt perfection in a first draft, it is the intent of the author to publish an imperfect work and continually update it as new discoveries are made and based on the feedback of you, the reader. Consequently, each page offers the opportunity to leave comments and feedback with the expectation that the best comments will result in changes to the text.
As a final note on the chronology of Ussher and others, it is not this authors intent to try to fix the age of the earth. While the literal interpretation of scripture would set the beginning of mankind somewhere around or before 4,000 BC, the time that mankind has been on this earth remains a hotly debated topic and no attempt to resolve it is made here. Ultimately, this is not a theologically important question, and whether the entire act of creation began on a Sunday afternoon in October, 4,004 BC or at some earlier time or God recycled our planet from some earlier creation is not important. To the Christian, it is only important to believe that God spoke His creation into existence, that it is the result of His creative act. Not when or how He accomplished it. Though certainly it is natural to want to know those things and to seek those answers through scientific and historical research.