(a personal word from the creator of this site)
The chronology presented on this site is the result of my personal study. I have based all dates prior to Judah's Babylonian Exile on the Old Testament as presented in the Holy Bible, New International Version ® (Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 by International Bible Society). The NIV in turn bases its translation primarily on the recognised Hebrew text as used by Jews today.
One of the reasons for developing this site was to demonstrate how it is possible for the average Bible reader to take their English Bible and construct a chronology which will give them a good overview of history from a biblical perspective. This is one reason why I have not taken into account other ancient texts, such as the Septuagint. Another reason is that I am only an amateur biblical scholar and historian - and my focus is on constructing a good overview, not on resolving the finer points of biblical chronology.
I am aware that there are many biblical chronologies in circulation. My purpose is not to debunk these - I am sure that in many cases much more time has been spent researching the source of biblical dates and the manuscripts in which they are contained.
Non-biblical historical dates have been taken from Britannica CD (Version 99 © 1994-1999. Encyclopędia Britannica, Inc). This has been a tremendous tool for studying history with a view to getting the "big picture".
Anyone who has done a moderate amount of historical research using various sources will realise that dates are not always definite, but sometimes vary by a year or so. This is especially true when dealing with dates B.C. (Before Christ). The original record of these dates obviously used a different calendar to the one that is now commonly used. As such, conversion between different calendars, along with other factors, leads to differences in reported dates.
This site assumes such a variance in all dates quoted, and does not mark such dates as being approximate. On the other hand, if an event cannot be narrowed down to within a couple of years it is given an approximate dating - and is marked so by using the abbreviation "c." for circa.
B.C. dates prior to the chart of the Babylonian and Persian Empires have been reverse calculated - i.e. A.M. (Anno Mundi) dating was used to bring the charts from Creation through to the Babylonian era, where a correlation could be made between established B.C. dates and the biblical A.M. dates. A conversion factor between the two calendars was then computed, allowing all charts to be expressed in both A.M. and B.C. dates. After applying this conversion factor the computed B.C. dates on this site are taken to be as definite as their corresponding A.M. counterparts.
It is my hope that as you browse this site you will gain an appreciation for the Bible and its telling of history. In my own study I have been amazed at how well the various books of the Bible complement each other, and how they slot into a larger framework - a framework that only becomes apparent through overall studies such as the one presented on this site.
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Copyright © 1999, 2012 by David Petrie