Chronology

Any historical chronology that attempts to pinpoint events much before Christ is wrong, my own included. There is a simple reason for that. We do not have all the data. And some of the data we do have is demonstrably wrong, as it conflicts with other data. Face it, God only knows all the myriad details of who did what when way back before computers. All we can do is piece together some semblance of a time-line, stretching it back and forth like a rubber band to try to fit all the incomplete bits and pieces of history that have survived the ravages of time.

Many people have done that, with more or less satisfactory results back even beyond the time God called Abram out of Ur of the Chaldees. I think most honest people agree that call to be within 50 years of 1950 BC, roughly 4000 years ago. There are still arguments, such as with the lists of Pharaohs or kings which don’t seem to line up with each other, yet such arguments are at the most two or three hundred years either way. For a few hundred years out of 4000, let’s be charitable and agree that you could be wrong, or I could be wrong, but in going that far back, it’s not terribly significant. We do the best we can with the data we have and try to defend our position, but we’re probably both wrong at least to some extent.

When you tell a story (or write a history book) you must have a chronology to tie together the events. I’ve spent a lot of time developing the unique chronology for my book. Thousands of hours. Some of the most fun times in my life were when the chronologies of ancient history lined up with the events of Scripture so I could see the bigger picture behind the Bible story. Yet even there, I may have lined it up wrong. Even twenty years off with Egypt’s Pharaohs, for example, makes for a very different story, thought it might still be a plausible one.

I’m not God. I’ve never seen a better “fit” between ancient history and the Bible than in the story I’ve told - that’s why I wanted to write it all out, so others could also enjoy the relationships I’ve discovered. Yet I’ve made errors, many of them. For example, just last month, long after my book was complete and posted on-line, I discovered new information regarding the Pharaohs around the Amarna period, the times of Samuel and Kings Saul, David, and Solomon. I had to re-write some major portions in Volumes 2 and 3 (which I just completed and posted).

So why is this controversial? We’re all in the same boat, struggling to line up inadequate data with the very few things we really “know” about ancient history. It’s controversial because we each have an agenda here, whether we acknowledge it or not. Even those who originated our source material had their agenda! I maintain that if our agendas are different, we will come up with different chronologies.

 

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