Deacon Bill Nourse, Ed.D., CPP

Intoduction:  This chronology was assembled to help me clarify in my own mind the timing and sequence of certain events in biblical and church history, and their relationship in time with other historical events occurring in the world. It is synthesized from a number of sources, some of which differ in their assignment of dates to certain events. Inclusion or omission of an event is based on my personal whim and is not to be taken as an indication of my opinion of any objective or subjective significance of a particular event. Information deemed reliable but not guaranteed.
c. 13,000 BC
End of the Second Ice Age
c. 3500-3200 BC
Beginning of the Bronze Age
c. 1800-1700 BC
Time of the Patriarchs; Abraham, Isaac, Jacob; general migration of people in the Middle East draws the descendants of Jacob into Egypt
c. 1792 BC
Hammurabi in Babylonia, early lawgiver
c. 1560-1250 BC
Silence in the Bible for five centuries, the period between Joseph and Moses
c. 1347-1338 BC
Tutankhamun in Egypt 
c. 1301-1234 BC
Ramesses II (“The Great”), some believe to be the Pharoah of Moses' time
c. 1250-1225 BC 
Deliverance from Egypt, Exodus through Sinai into a semi-sedentary life near Kadesh; Moses
c. 1200 BC
Beginning of the Iron Age; Hebrew tribes have arrived in Canaan by this date
c. 1200-1025 BC
Installation of Hebrews in Canaan under the Judges; semi-nomadic royalty, no capital, no administration, no professional army
c. 1043 BC
United Kingdom, Samuel anoints Saul
c. 1040-1010 BC
Samuel and Saul
c. 1000 BC
Capture of Jerusalem, establishment of a fixed capital, mercenary army
c. 1000-950 BC
Yahwist (J) tradition written down, southern kingdom
c. 1010-976 BC
Unified monarchy; north (Israel) and south (Judah) united under King David; Nathan the Prophet ("You are the man.")
c. 970-931 BC
Solomon; construction of the First ("Solomon's") Temple, built after the death of David and dedicated by his son (1 Kgs 8:1ff); this Temple was destroyed c. 586 BC by the Babylonians; collection of Yahwist traditions, beginning of wisdom literature; splendor, royal administration, high taxes, signs of decadence 
c. 931 BC
Schism between Judah and Israel; divided kingdom, Judah (southern kingdom) under Rehoboam I and Israel (northern kingdom) under King Jeroboam I
c. 922 BC
Elohist (E) tradition written down, northern kingdom
c. 874-853 BC
Ahab and Jezebel
c. 860-840 BC 
Elijah, Elisha
c. 786-746 BC
Reign of Jeroboam II; Hosea's prophetic career; Amos' prophetical career
c. 742 BC
Death of King Uzziah
c. 740 BC
Isaiah receives his call to prophecy
c. 735-700 BC
Hosea's prophetical career begins
c. 721 BC
Fall of Samaria, capital of Israel (northern kingdom): captured by Assyrian King Sargon II; captives deported to Ninevah, never to return; these are the "twelve lost tribes"
c. 701 BC
Jerusalem beseiged by Sennacherib
c. 700-650 BC
Deuteronomic (D) tradition written down
c. 690 BC
Micah's prophetical career
c. 687-680 BC
End of Isaiah's prophetical career
c. 650 BC
Jeremiah born
c. 640-609 BC
King Josiah's reign; Zephaniah's prophetical career
c. 629 BC
King Josiah begins his reforms (in Jerusalem?)
c. 628 BC
Zoroaster founds Zoroastrianism in Persia; Ahura Mazda, the Lord of Wisdom, dualism of good and evil, people judged by their actions
c. 627-580 BC
Jeremiah’s prophetical career
c. 615 BC
Nahum's prophetical career
c. 612 BC
Babylon conquers Assyria; Ninevah (in Assyria) falls
c. 609 BC
King Josiah killed on the battlefield of Megiddo
c. 605 BC
Babylon defeats Egypt at the Battle of Carchemish. Egypt is destroyed as a power in the Middle East, Babylon is now the dominant power
c. 605-597 BC
Habakkuk's prophetical career
c. 600 BC
JED (Yahwist-Elohist-Deuteronomic) sources probably conflated by this time
c. 593-559 BC
Ezekiel's prophetical career in Babylon
c. 598-587 BC
Jeremiah attempts to counsel Zedekiah in the face of bitter opposition
c. 587 BC
Babylonian Empire conquers and destroys Jerusalem (capital of Judah, southern kingdom), Babylonian King Nebuchadnezzar; beginning of the Exile; deportation of King Jehoiachin and the elite of the Jewish population to Babylon with only the "inferior classes" remaining in Palestine; destruction of the First ("Solomon's") Temple ( which had been built c. 950 BC); the Ark of the Covenant is lost; sacrificial worship replaced by prayer meetings (beginning of synagogal worship); Jeremiah's "New Covenant"
c. 586 BC
Priestly (P) tradition written down
c. 585 BC
Ezekiel (?)
c. 563-483 BC
Buddhism founded by Siddarta Gautama (the Buddha) in India
c. 561 BC
Jehoiachin released from Babylonian prison
c. 551-479 BC
Confucius active in China
c. 538 BC
Return from Exile (decree/edict of Cyrus, King of Persia); Jews return to Palestine; limited self-government as a province of the Persian Empire, but united; religious community directed by the priests; Samaritan factions block the rebuilding of the Temple until c. 522 BC
c. 522 BC
Reign of Darius (Persia) begins; Darius gives permission to rebuild the Temple, and rebuilding begins; completed c. 516 BC
c. 520 BC
Haggai's prophetical career begins; Zechariah's initial prophecy
c. 516 BC
Rebuilding of the Second ("Zerubbabel's") Temple completed, Temple dedicated; First ("Solomon's") Temple had been destroyed 70 years earlier; the Second Temple will be destroyed 70 AD by the Romans; since the Ark of the Covenant was lost when the First Temple was destroyed by the Babylonians, the Holy of Holies is now an empty room inhabited only by the presence of God. Some say the Ark was hidden under the Temple Mount, where it still remains; others say it is in Ethiopia, others that it was submerged in a river somewhere in the Middle East.
c. 508 BC
Book of Haggai written
c. 485-464 BC
Xerxes (in the Deuterocanonical Book of Judith, called King Ahasuerus) king of Persia.
c. 470 BC
Birth of Socrates
c. 460 -400 BC
Book of Malachi (pseudonym) written
c. 455 BC
Nehemiah arrives in Jerusalem
c. 438 BC
Parthenon built in Athens; Birth of Plato
c. 420 BC
Ezra (?)
c. 400 BC
Books of Joel and 1 Chronicles written; Torah (Pentateuch) edited in final form
c. 399 BC
Death of Socrates
c. 384 BC
Birth of Aristotle
c. 347 BC
Death of Plato
c. 335 BC
Alexander the Great became king
c. 331 BC 
Defeat of Darius III, end of Persian Empire
c. 323 BC
Death of Alexander the Great
c. 322 BC
Death of Aristotle
c. 287-212 BC
Archimedes in Greece
c. 270-260 BC
Translation of Septuagint (Old Testament translated from Hebrew into Greek)
c. 261 BC
Punic Wars begin (Rome)
c. 200-175 BC
Book of Sirach (Deuterocanonical) written
c. 169 BC
Second ("Zerubbabel's") Temple desecrated by Antiochus Epiphanes
c. 168-142 BC
Jewish kingdom revived under the Hasmoneans
c. 167-164 BC
Persecution of Antiochus IV Epiphanes; Book of Daniel written
c. 165 BC
Judas Maccabeus
c. 100 BC
1st Book of Maccabees (Deuterocanonical) written
c. 63 BC 
Jerusalem captured by the Romans
c. 44 BC
Julius Caesar assassinated in Rome on March 15
c. 19 BC
Restoration of Second ("Zerubbabel's") Temple begun by Herod the Great; Temple is renovated and enlarged, almost completed ("Herod's" Temple) when it was destroyed by the Romans c. 70 AD. The “46 years” of John 2:20 begin here.
c. 19 BC
Death of Virgil
c 8 BC 
Death of Horace
c. 6-4 BC
Birth of Jesus
c. 4 BC
Death of Herod

c. 30 AD
Crucifixion, death and Resurrection of Jesus
c. 35 AD
Martyrdom of Stephen, Deacon and first Christian martyr
c. 36 AD
Death of Pontius Pilate
c. 50 AD
Earliest oral traditions of the Gospels written down
c. 52 AD
Paul’s Letters to the Thessalonians written
c. 56-67 AD
Other Letters of Paul written
c. 64 AD
Gospel of Mark written
c. 67 AD
Paul writes 2 Timothy; later beheaded
c. 70 AD
Jewish Revolt, capture of Jerusalem and destruction of Second ("Zerubbabel's" or "Herod's") Temple by the Romans; the Diaspora (the Jews were dispersed from Palestine)
c. 70-80 AD
Gospels of Matthew and Luke, Acts of the Apostles written
c. 95-98 AD
Book of Revelation, Gospel of John written
c. 99 AD
2 Peter written
c. 131-135 AD
Second Jewish Rebellion
c. 134 AD
Capture of Jerusalem by the Romans
c. 135 AD
Sanctuary of Zeus and Hadrian established on the site of the Temple
312 AD
Battle of Malvian Bridge (October 23); Emperor Constantine is victorious after seeing a vision of the sign of the cross ("In hoc signo vinces"); Christianity becomes the established religion of the Roman Empire; Constantine reigned 306-337
c. 400 AD
St. Jerome’s translation of the Bible into the Latin Vulgate
c. 500 AD
Unified Roman Empire has ended by this date
c. 529 AD
Plato's Academy closed by Byzantine Emperor Justinian I
c. 611 AD
1054 AD
Schism between Orthodox (Eastern) and Catholic (Western) churches

c. 950-586 BC
First ("Solomon's") Temple; lasted approx. 364 years
c. 586-522 BC
Interim period (approx.70 years); Temple in ruins
c. 522 BC - 70 AD
Second ("Zerubbabal's" or "Herod's") Temple; lasted approx. 592 years

There was a Temple in Jerusalem for approximately 950 years

Approx. 1,927 years have now elapsed since the destruction of the Second ("Zerubbabal's" or "Herod's") Temple.

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This page last updated on April 12, 2003.

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