It is helpful to have some idea of the timing of events as you read scripture. This is just some highlights. You will find more detail on BibleHub.
The events below are just a selection to give you an overview. The times are approximate, defined more to help you remember than to always be exact.
|Approx Time period|
Observations of Interest
|Creation||4000 BC||Genesis 1|
|Noah||2500 BC||Genesis 7-9||It is estimated that Noah spent 50-75yrs building the Ark.|
Adam would have been alive during the lifetime of Noah’s father.
The Ark was a picture of Christ in saving righteous people from Judgement.
Noah’s boat hit dry land on the same day of the year as the resurrection of Jesus, helping us to understand there is a linking of ideas.
|Job’s suffering||Between 2400 BC and 2100 BC||Job||Job is the example of someone who endured great suffering and yet still had faith in God.|
|2100 BC||Genesis 12-25||Noah’s son Shem who was on the Ark would have been alive in part of Abraham’s life.|
God made unconditional covenants with Abraham recorded in Genesis 12 and 15.
We now know that Jesus would come from Abraham’s descendants.
|Joseph||1850 BC||Genesis 37-45||Joseph was rejected by his brothers and sold as a slave to Egypt. His brothers later recognise him during a famine and there is great reconciliation.|
Joseph is a picture of Jesus who was rejected by the Jewish nation. Jesus will one day be recognised by the nation during a time of great difficulty and there will be a reconciliation between the nation of Isreal and Jesus
|Moses||1450 BC||Exodus – Deuteronomy||Moses led the nation of Israel out of Egypt through the wilderness and to the promised land of Canaan/Israel over a period of 40 years.|
10 commandments 1446 BC
Entry into the promised land 1406 BC
Conditional Mosaic covenant established. This Mosaic law would define a large part of the culture of the Jewish nation. It was the breaking of this covenant that leads to the exile of the nation from the Land.
|King David||1000 BC||1 Samuel – 2 Samuel||God makes an unconditional covenant with David that a descendant of his would be King and reign on his throne forever. This covenant relates to Jesus (2 Samuel 7, 1 Chronicles 17:11-14 & 2 Chronicles 6:16|
|King Solomon||950 BC||1 Kings||Temple built by Solomon|
God enters the temple in the form of the Shekinah glory and dwells in the midst of the people of Israel.
|Israel split into two kingdoms: Israel (or Ephraim) in the north and Judah in the south||931 BC||1 Kings 12,13|
|Elijah/Elisha prophesy to the Northern Kingdom||850 BC||2 Kings||Elijah confronts the prophets of Baal and Queen Jezebel. He is later taken up to heaven in a chariot.|
|Northern kingdom of Israel exiled by the Assyrians||722 BC||2 Kings 17:6|
|Isaiah Prophesies to Judah in the South||Approx 730 BC…..||Isaiah||While Isaiah was a major prophet, there were other prophets who prophesied around this time such as Micah. All were sent by God to call Israel to repentance but they did not repent.|
They had seen their Northern countryman (Israel) exiled by Assyria in 722BC but failed to heed the obvious message that God will do what He says he will do.
This southern kingdom of Judah rejected God’s ways and followed the god’s of the surrounding nations, the practices of which included child sacrifice by placing them on burning altars.
|Southern kingdom of Judah exiled by the Babylonians||First stage 605 BC|
Second stage 597 BC
Fall of Jerusalem 586 BC
|2 Kings 25|
|Jeremiah prophesied during this period before and after the exile|
Ezekiel’s prophecies are recorded in the early part of the exile and records the departure of the presence of God from the Temple before it is destroyed.
The presence of God returned in the person of Jesus who will one day sit in the Millennial temple as prophesied by Ezekiel after Jesus returns
|Daniel||605 BC….Approx 537 BC||Daniel||The nation is now exiled to Babylon.|
Daniel’s prophesies cover the period from Babylon through the Persian empire, Greek empire, Roman empire and then to the last world empire led by the AntiChrist before the return of Jesus
|Exiles return from Babylon to rebuild the temple||537/6 BC||Ezra||The story of Esther occurs between that of Ezra and Nehemiah. God’s name is not mentioned explicitly in the book of Esther but is hidden just as God is hidden from the Jewish people for a period of time and yet watches over them. It can be found hidden in the text by counting letter sequences.|
|Further exiles return from Babylon rebuild the walls of Jerusalem||445 BC||Nehemiah||God is silent in the period from Nehemiah to the Gospels but the years in this period were covered by Daniel in his prophecies.|
|Birth of Jesus||Approx 4 BC||Gospels||In fulfillment of the promise, Jesus, God from heaven is born as a human baby.|
|Death and Resurrection of Jesus||30 AD||Gospels|
|The Holy Spirit is given and the Church is born in the upper room||30 AD||Acts||Peter preaches the first Gospel message 50 days after the resurrection at the time of Pentecost/Jewish Feast of Weeks (Shavuot).|
3000 had died during the original Shavuot when the law was given on tablets of stone. This time the law is written on hearts and 3000 people are saved.
|Events of the New Testament and writing of most of the New Testament Gospels, Acts and Letters||30 AD …approx 65AD||Acts/Letters|
|Destruction of the Temple by the Romans||70 AD||Not recorded in scripture||The lack of a record of this significant event in the New Testament indicates that Paul’s letters and Acts were all recorded before this event.|
|Revelation of Jesus given to the Apostle John||Estimated around 90 AD||Revelation|
Also check out Writing types in scripture
If you want a quick 3 minutes overview of the history of the Bible, the following is a great video clip to watch