|Don's Home Religion||Contact|
There are several systems for determining dates in the Bible.|
Nowhere in the Bible it give dates for early events like Creation, the flood and the exodus from Egypt.
Dates are calculated from verses like "After Noah was 500 years old, he became the father of Shem, Ham and Japheth." [Genesis 5:32] and "Abraham was a hundred years old when his son Isaac was born to him." [Genesis 21:5]
Time for the creation is discussed at the creation vs evolution page.
Biblical passages like [Psalms 90:4], ("For a thousand years in thy sight are but as yesterday ..." ) and "But do not forget this one thing, dear friends: With the Lord a day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years are like a day." [2 Peter 3:8] were used to reconcile the two. Both were concerned with the search for an orderly, harmonious universe, but neither excluded the other.
The hebrew word for day, yom (), can mean a literal day (24 hours), or an "extended
period" or "age" to be defined by associated words.
Different religions and religious scholars have come up with different dates.
Some try to compute it by calculating back from the date of the temple, others try to correlate it with dates for the Egyptian ruler Ramses II (1300-1234), and others use archeological evidence.
Protestants Evangelicals accepted the seventeenth-century Archbishop James Ussher's calculation, which put the creation at 4004 B.C and the exodus at 1445.
Dr. Aardsma's chronology in his book "A New Approach to the Chronology of Biblical History from Abraham to Samuel", 1995 places the Exodus 2447+/-12 B.C. This corresponds with the Seder Olam Rabbah, written somtime before 160 AD. He says:
Egyptologists sometimes refer to these varying theories under the term of "High, Middle and Low Egyptian Chronologies"
Smith's Bible Dictionary refers to three principal systems of biblical chronology: the Long chronology (creation = 5,411-5,426 BC), the low or short (creation = 4,026-4,004 BC), and the Rabbinical.
The chronologies converge on the date for the destruction of Solomon's Temple in 586-589 (586 is the most common).
The Short Chronology places the Exodus at 1491 B.C., the Long at 1593-1648 B.C.
"The Jewish historian Josephus who lived at the time of Christ, wrote "The Antiquity of the Jews", where he interprets the 430 years of Exodus 12:40 as starting with Abraham's entrance into Canaan and ending at the Exodus. So the exodus, according to Josephus, was about 1552 BC. 
Others date the Exodus as about 1260-1290 BC, under Ramesses II." There is very little direct biblical evidence for a later 13th century date. [2, 3] Most of the support comes from archaeological and historical evidence. 
Some are based on different translations of the Bible:
I. The Original And The Samaritan Pentateuch (SP): From the time of Ezra and Nehemiah (about 440 BC) there existed a 'Vorlage Text' of the Old Testament in paleo-Hebrew. (Short Chronology)
II. The Greek version known as the Septuagint or "LXX," or "Seventy," from the supposed number of translators. was translated from the Vorlage Text about 250 BC by 72 Jewish scholars in Alexandria. (Long Chronology)
III. Masoretic Hebrew (MT) version was re-written at the Council of Jamnia around 100 AD.
There is recent archaeological evidence of a large flood in the Black Sea region 7,500 years ago.
We have tried to use the Short Chronology here.
Smith, William, "Smith's Bible Dictionary"
* Note: Many dates are counted from the creation of the world (anno mundi; AM). This scheme is the basis of the Jewish calendar which came into popular use about the 9th century AD. However this period of biblical chronology abounds in intractable problems caused by discrepancies between versions of the old testament.
Note: "CE" means "Common Era" (or alternatively, "Christian Era") and refers to the same dates as "AD" or "Anno Domini" does. (Except that "AD" goes before the year number and "CE" goes after it: e.g. "AD 1996" is the same year as "1996 CE".). BCE is "Before Common Era".
Return to Bible.