Introduction to the Biblical Chronology

This site, gentle reader, contains a complete Biblical chronology which is derived only from scripture itself. In this respect, as well as (unsurprisingly) in some of its dates, it differs from any published chronology known to the author. Contrary to generally-held opinion, the Bible's internal chronology is complete and self-consistent. There is no need to resort to Ptolemy, Josephus, or to any other un-scriptural source in order to construct a complete chronology from Adam to Christ. The principal scholars who have laboured in this field to such good effect include:-

Archbishop James Ussher of Armagh (1580-1655)
Rev Dr Ethelbert Bullinger of Canterbury (1837 - 1913)
Rev Martin Anstey of Westminster Bible School (fl 1913)

and all the essential work had been completed by the outbreak of the Great War in 1914. In this chronology textual quotations are from the Authorised Version of the English Bible and years are numbered Anno Hominis - because they start from the creation of Adam and count forward. They do not start from any later date and work back. The more familiar BC/AD numbering is included simply because it is the one to which most of us are accustomed, but it is important to understand that it has nowhere been used for the calculation of any date. The use of BC/AD numbering necessarily makes assumptions about the year of the birth of Jesus, and there is therefore a great danger of circular argument in its use. Not a few chronologies have come to grief in this way. This chronology depends only upon the record of scripture. It numbers all its years from Adam, and it is continuous from Adam to Christ.

(a) The unbroken scriptural record of historical events has been used to establish the accession year of King Cyrus in AH 3,589.
(b) The well-known (but little understood) prophecy of Daniel 9: 21-27 has been used to count down the years from Cyrus to the crucifixion of Jesus and the sack of Jerusalem by Titus.
(c) The year of the birth of Jesus has been derived by counting backwards from His prophesied "cutting off" (i.e. crucifixion) using biographical data from the gospels.

Daniel's prophecy specifies precisely the year of the destruction of Jerusalem by Titus, albeit in slightly coded form to keep it from being understood by the rebellious and disobedient Jews who would later reject their own Messiah. Only at this point have we attempted to link the Biblical calendar with the modern Western calendar.

image
Drawing upon Josephus and the consular records of Imperial Rome, historians have dated the sack of Jerusalem at AD 70. When this date is equated to the Biblical date of Anno Hominis 4,110 given by Daniel's prophecy, all other Biblical years can then be expressed in terms of the modern calendar by simple arithmetic. By this calculation Jesus was born in the year 2 BC, and was two years old in AD 1.

In January (by the Roman calendar) and two weeks before Passover (by the Mosaic calendar) of the year which we would now call AD 32, Jesus had just turned 33 and was crucified at Passover. (To an historian there was of course no year 0, which is an inconvenient detail which astronomers and mathematicians have to bear in mind, but sometimes have not!)

NB: The granularity of the Bible's chronology is generally one festal year. This does not tell us how many days lay between one event and another, but it does tell us precisely in which two years those events occurred, which for the purposes of a chronology is exactly what we need. Also, it became clear to the webmaster during the ten years it took him to construct this work that the inspired penmen of scripture did not reckon a man's age from one anniversary of his birthday to the next, but by the number of festal new years he had seen. This point is of significance, for example, to the testimony of Caleb and, of course, at the Crucifixion.

Proceed to the Chronology here.