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.
See: What does "yom" mean in Genesis 1 and "The Days of Genesis"

Different religions and religious scholars have come up with different dates.
I have seen AM 0 * (Creation) calculated to be various dates from 3760 BC to 5501 BC and the Exodus placed anywhere from 1211 - 1552 BC. The most common dates for the exodus are 1445/6 and 1290. (1260 is also used.[4])
Aardsma gives a date of 247.

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.
The Roman Catholics set the Exodus at circa 1512 BC [1] and the Jewish TANAKH's data which appears in the Jewish work called Seder 'Olam Rabbah calculates the Exodus at 1312 BC. [1]

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:
"none of the prominent figures of the Exodus can be positively identified in secular records; the chronology and history of Egypt seem incompatible with the biblical account; the archaeology of Jericho cannot be made to fit the biblical record of Joshua's defeat of that city. ... In fact, the majority of scholars today have concluded that the Bible is simply not historically reliable before the United Kingdom period."
The key biblical chronological link used to determine the date of the Exodus is a number in 1 Kings 6:1. This verse reads, "And it came to pass in the four hundred and eightieth year after the children of Israel were come out of the land of Egypt, in the fourth year of Solomon's reign over Israel..."
In 1990, Dr. Aardsma proposed a major adjustment to traditional biblical chronology. He proposed that the "480" of 1 Kings 6:1 was originally "1,480" but the Hebrew letters corresponding to the "one thousand" were lost at an early stage of copying.
This change is radical, and at first unimaginable. However, as one begins to examine the archaeology at the new dates, the harmony between biblical and secular accounts is overwhelming.

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.
There is also a "Low Mesopotamian chronology" referred to as the low chronology and a high chronology.

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 oldest record of Jewish chronology is the Seder Olam Rabbah. It was edited by Jose ben Halafta, who died in the year 160 CE. It places the Exodus at 2448 AM (Anno Mundi - Creation) = 1312 BC

"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. [1]

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. [4]

Some are based on different translations of the Bible:
This period of biblical chronology abounds in intractable problems caused by discrepancies between versions of the old testament.

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.
See Creation and Catastrophe Chronology

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"
Sarna "Israel in Egypt"

* 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".

Dates of Biblical Interest and Reference
Timeline: the development of Israelite religion / Judaism

1. EXODUS PROBLEMS: Scholarly Pitfalls encountered in setting a Date for the Exodus
2. Catholic Culture
3. Phillips, P.G., 1991. Are the days of Genesis longer than 24 hours? The Bible says 'yes.. Research Report No. 40, Interdisciplinary Biblical Research Institute, Hatfield, Pennsylvania.
4. The Date of the Exodus: The Historical Study of Scripture
Dating the Pentateuch and the Book of Exodus via Archaeological Anomalies and Anachronisms
BIble Numbers
Biblically Inerrant Chronology (BIC) published previously [Montgomery, 1998], Proceedings of the International Conference on Creationism, R. Walsh et al., Editors, 1998, Creation Science Fellowship, Inc.
Exodus and the Hyksos
The Fourth Day: Why the Bible is Historically Accurate, 2006, Darren Thompson
Encyclopedia of Bible Difficulties
See also:
Bible Timeline
Chronology of the Bible - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

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last updated 30 May 2007