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Bible Timeline – Dates in the King James Bible

How do we know when Adam, Noah and King David lived? Where did the dates in our Bibles come from? How were the Bible timeline dates calculated?

The three most widely known Bible timelines are the Septuagint timeline based on a Greek translation of the Old Testament, the timeline of Josephus a Jewish historian who published his Antiquities of the Jews in 93 AD, and Bishop James Usshers chronology published as Annals of the Old Testament in 1658 AD.

Beginning in 1701 AD The King James Bible included the dates determined by Bishop James Ussher as part of the commentary.

How were the King James Bible Timeline dates calculated?

Ussher’s chronology was determined in three ways. First were dates easily calculated directly from information contained in the Bible, next others were calculated by using information from the Bible with secular histories and finally others had to be calculated using only secular histories of people named in the Bible.

The first dates from Creation to Solomon, are easily calculated from the Bible itself using the genealogy from Adam to Solomon. After that it becomes harder. The histories in the Bible are a series of incidents in a bit of a jumble with no straightforward timeline. Rather than a linked genealogy with birth and deaths related only the Kings are included and often only how long they reigned.

Bishop Ussher used cross references from secular histories that gave the dates for other nations and kings mentioned in the Bible to determine when Bible events happened. For example knowing that the Chaldean King Nebuchadnezzar II conquered Jerusalem in 586 BC Ussher could calculate the date for Jehoiachin’s exile.

What are the Bible chronology dates?

You can find my detailed list of Ussher’s Bible timeline with World History dates here.


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